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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Bill Robinson Dies, Brett Butler Hospitalized
2007-07-29 20:42
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

A sad, sad Sunday.

Update: Other passings noted at Screen Jam: Ingmar Bergman and Tom Snyder.

Comments (80)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-29 20:53:18
1.   Suffering Bruin
I had a bad feeling all weekend. I'm now teaching a summer session at the high school because the administrators flat begged for someone to do it. I had been enjoying my baseball summmer. I had a dark feeling about this, like something was going to happen. And sure enough, the Dodgers lost three to the Rockies and I missed this site for all three days. I told the wife, "See? I've jinxed them!"

And could I have been more self-involved? It all seems so slight, so wrong in a way because of Robinson and Butler. Bill Robinson was one of my favorite ESPN commentators because the guy was completely off the reservation, so much so they had to replace him. He was doing baseball tonight with John Saunders one time and to say he was off the script... well, he was talking about how he wouldn't try hard for a pitcher who didn't throw at people after he got hit. Then, a commercial break. I swear, ESPN broke from the commercial break to extend Baseball Tonight so Bill could go on a three-minute rant about he's a winner, not a loser and always played to win no matter who he played with or for. Thing is, he spoke with such passion I agreed with everything he said, no matter how much he would contradict himself. The beanball bit? I about fell out of my chair. I'll miss him.

Brett Butler got caught stealing 50% of the time and had no power at all. He still scored a hundred runs a season. Were my son to model after a player, he could do a whole lot worse than Butler. Get well soon, Brett.

2007-07-29 20:55:18
2.   Suffering Bruin
Sorry for the double post but I want to add that I'll be thinking of Bill Robinson this week a whole lot more than B... you know what? I won't even name him.
2007-07-29 20:56:15
3.   Bob Timmermann
Actually, the Dodgers just lost two to the Rockies.
2007-07-29 21:07:29
4.   Suffering Bruin
3 Well, it felt like three.

(sigh)

One of these days, I'm going to do some research before I post.

2007-07-29 21:08:02
5.   Jon Weisman
People in the last thread were talking about Logan and Ned. At DT Day, I asked Josh whether Logan can beg Ned (so to speak - these weren't my exact words) not to trade a prospect that Logan highly regarded. Josh said that it never comes to that - Ned doesn't need to be reminded whom the Dodgers should hang on to.

I think somehow this got translated into "Logan doesn't have input," when the implication was quite the opposite - Logan and Ned are enough in sync on the prospects that Logan's input goes without saying.

We'll see what happens over the next 40 hours.

2007-07-29 21:13:23
6.   trainwreck
5
I am not sure if it was you Jon, but someone mentioned that Kim Ng monitored the minor leagues and she made the suggestions to Ned.
2007-07-29 21:22:43
7.   Jon Weisman
6 - What suggestions?
2007-07-29 21:25:28
8.   trainwreck
Just suggestions about what to do with various prospects. For instance she was the one that suggested promoting Matt Kemp last year.
2007-07-29 21:25:29
9.   oswald
can anyone explain why our aaa affiliate is in las vegas. it seems like even good pitchers struggle there. it seemed like the dodgers were rescuing bills rather than promoting him.

along these sames lines, given the lack of quality pitching out there and the quality prospects a team would have give up to get a mediocre pitcher, shouldn't orenduff or even mcdonald be given a chance to see it they could make it now (orenduff more than mcdonald)? are we really that shaken up by the edwin jackson thing?

2007-07-29 21:30:10
10.   oswald
add johnathan meloan to my comment above.
2007-07-29 21:30:51
11.   underdog
The problem isn't Vegas as much as the PCL in general. Except for the Pacific Northwest teams much of the PCL is located in places with higher altitude and/or desert air where balls carry and ERAs balloon. But I think the Dodgers are better served having their affiliate there then in some city too far east for them to be able to recall someone quickly if needed, or watch the AAA team fairly easily. Vegas is fairly close to LA so logistically it makes sense.

That said, I'm sure having ERAs higher than they might be can't help a pitcher's confidence, and sometimes it does seem their reluctant to bring their best pitching prospects to AAA (but Billingsley did pitch there, for one), or at least they don't like leaving them there for long. But there are too many other positives in having a team in Vegas, or the PCL.

2007-07-29 21:30:53
12.   CanuckDodger
9 -- I'm on board with that. Meloan belongs up here already, but beyond him, I would be open to giving chances THIS season to not just Orenduff and McDonald but to Zach Hammes as well before I would try to reach outside the organization for pitching help. Other organizations promote from Double A and they somehow survive. The Marlins do it all the time.
2007-07-29 21:31:13
13.   underdog
(I'm pretty sure we'll see Meloan soon, or at the very least, in September.)
2007-07-29 21:32:55
14.   underdog
"they're reluctant" I meant above. Ergh, gotta read my posts before submitting.

And I do agree, there are pitchers in AA that might deserve a look sooner rather than later.

2007-07-29 21:34:47
15.   Jon Weisman
8 - Oh, yes, that's right. Josh said that once a player is signed to a contract in the organization, that player comes under Kim's purview. But my point is still the same - keeping in mind this is the PR director telling the story.
2007-07-29 21:35:07
16.   Bob Timmermann
11
The PCL also has teams in cities like Memphis and New Orleans.
2007-07-29 21:38:10
17.   Bob Timmermann
Of the 16 PCL teams, it's only Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and Colorado Springs that are at altitude.

A lot of teams prefer to have their AAA affiliate close to the parent city to make it easier when you have to call someone up in an emergency.

2007-07-29 21:38:10
18.   Xeifrank
12. Couldn't agree more... can I quote you on that?
vr, Xei
2007-07-29 21:40:35
19.   oswald
i try to stay positive and i really want tomko and hendrickson to figure things out (it feels so good when they pitch well), but i'm getting really frustrated with the dodgers continuing to run them out there. someone here suggested that the dodgers were conceding the tomko starts. that was probably a joke but the fact remains that you can't do that. that means you have to win 3 of the other 4 starts just to stay above .500.

this would be the perfect time to roll the dice. wolf, kuo, schmidt have gone down. tomko and hendrickson have done nothing to earn their spots. lowe might be going down. the dodgers' playoff chances for this year are slipping away. the fans are willing to let this year slip away because of what they see on the horizon. so even if orenduff, meloan, mcdonald, (heck, even kershaw) bomb, they're given a pat on the back and told, "not yet, kid. but don't worry, your time will come."

2007-07-29 21:40:43
20.   underdog
True, I'm still thinking old school PCL aren't I? I forgot it expanded some years back, swallowing some teams from the International League (I think, right?) That said, I still think Vegas beats Albuquerque for the Dodgers, and is about as close as they can get short of putting a team somewhere in California. (The Giants have theirs in Fresno.)
2007-07-29 21:42:07
21.   Jon Weisman
Did Loney almost homer in the sixth inning today? I didn't see it.
2007-07-29 21:44:47
22.   underdog
Meloan, 75 Ks, 19 walks, so far this season.

{beating the drum}

2007-07-29 21:45:33
23.   Bob Timmermann
20
And Oakland has a team in Sacramento.
2007-07-29 21:46:26
24.   underdog
And the A's team is in Sacramento. Okay, never mind the altitude thing. Still... I stand by my point!
(I sound like John Cleese in Life of Brian: "All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order... and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?")
2007-07-29 21:47:27
25.   underdog
I swear I was typing that as you were typing 23. The judges give me half a point for that.

I need to go watch TV and crawl into bed.

Hasta luego.

2007-07-29 21:50:20
26.   oswald
17 i think the geographic explanation is reasonable, but is there any chance of affiliating with a team that does have a altitude problem, or even moving the 51s to, say, riverside?
2007-07-29 21:50:55
27.   CanuckDodger
18 -- Sure.
2007-07-29 21:59:48
28.   Xeifrank
With the DBacks and Padres going head to head at the same time the Dodgers are facing the Giants, the Dodgers must win on tuesday or they are gauranteed to be in second place. vr, Xei
2007-07-29 22:02:50
29.   Bob Timmermann
26
Riverside is in the Dodgers and Angels territory I believe.

Riverside would also suffer from the problem that a AAA team there wouldn't get many fans.

2007-07-29 22:06:53
30.   NorCal-Dodger
Wonder if Ned would consider an offer for Ervin Santana, I know the Angels sent him back down, but a change in Leagues might bring him back around?? Say a prospect like Young? Or, how about Young and Betemit for a Joe Blanton? We could bring up Meloan to shore up our bullpen.

Realize, not time to panick, yet, but, with our Starting Pitching hurting, I believe Ned is looking very hard at SP's...but what is available out there is no better than what we have in Tomko or Hendy. Any SP's that is worth a lick, would cost us a bundle in terms of young, cheap, and controllable talent. Trying to find a diamond in the rough. If the Cardinals found a savior in Weaver last year, there might be hope out there.

2007-07-29 22:07:57
31.   Robert Daeley
I feel awful about Bill Robinson dying, but it's even weirder than that -- my boss has the same name!
2007-07-29 22:12:04
32.   Robert Daeley
30 What about Dontrelle Willis? He's owned lefties this year -- if only he could improve the other guys. :)
2007-07-29 22:15:46
33.   trainwreck
30
I think it would take more from us to get Santana. In fact, we would probably have to bowl Stoneman over.
2007-07-29 22:17:15
34.   trainwreck
Same with Beane about Blanton.
2007-07-29 22:18:26
35.   NorCal-Dodger
Dontrelle would cost us a lot of young talent, just thinking that Santana may have fallen out of favor with the Angels...Young and a PTBNL?
2007-07-29 22:21:41
36.   NorCal-Dodger
Well, just speculation on my part, buess we'll know what does or doesn't happen within the next 40hrs.
2007-07-29 22:24:08
37.   trainwreck
Well I had heard that Stoneman would not include Santana in a trade for Teixeira.
2007-07-29 22:28:12
38.   NorCal-Dodger
37 Didn't know that..just fearful that our starting rotation will consist of
Penny pitching with a tummy ache;
Lowe pitching with a crotch ache;
Bills aching to lower his pitch count;
and Tomko and Hendy who gives me an ache in my rear when they pitch.
2007-07-29 22:29:53
39.   trainwreck
38
Yeah, definitely an issue. The problem is that there is no one really out there so it would probably take us making a bad deal to get a deal done.
2007-07-29 22:37:53
40.   Izzy
The 51's moving to Fresno and replacing the Giants affiliate has been discussed several times. The contract renews every 2 years, and it will most likely be on the table again in a year. The Giants would love to take over the Rivercats, but that won't be easy to do. That would leave Grizzly Stadium open, and it is truly a beautiful stadium, at sea level even. It wouldn't surprise me. Though Fresno is traditionally Giant territory, it is less so each year that goes by.
2007-07-29 22:41:04
41.   Bob Timmermann
But Fresno has really ugly uniforms.
2007-07-29 22:45:55
42.   Robert Daeley
I wonder if they'll move the Suns closer at some point.

Hopefully, not in the Phaeton sense.

2007-07-29 23:05:51
43.   Greg Brock
I really don't like that we have an AA team in an extreme pitcher's league, and the AAA affiliate in an extreme hitter's league. I really do believe it makes it tough to objectively scout the players well enough, even if we can take these factors into account. It gives us Billy Ashleys and Mike Marhalls and Greg Brocks.
2007-07-29 23:17:56
44.   Eric Stephen
43 I think having extreme parks can work to the organization's advantage. I think most analysis (especially inside info with the club) is sophisticated enough to factor in the parks, to neutralize the numbers.

The advantage can come if some teams don't pay attention to such park factors. We can dump subpar hitters putting up good numbers in Vegas, or subpar pitchers putting up good numbers in Jacksonville, and perhaps get a better return. I don't imagine there are many teams that can be taken advantage of in such fashion, but it's worth a shot.

Of course, if the Dodgers aren't using park factors (I think they are) then we are in trouble.

2007-07-29 23:29:23
45.   Greg Brock
44 I'm sure they take them into account. But they could put their affiliates in relatively neutral settings, and not have to take them into account. It's just irksome to me.

Emil Brown shooting a reporter in the eye with a pellet gun. Yeah, that's the best story of the year, hands down, not doubt. Baseball, pellet guns, eyes, well-liked female sportscaster, Kansas City Royals...These are stories that make it all worth it.

2007-07-30 00:49:00
46.   bhsportsguy
44 I think there is a lot less of those types of deals happening these days.

From the 2006 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, four of their analysts listed their Top 50 prospects as of December 12, 2005. While their lists are fairly consistent, there are a few differences so closer to 70 prospects (I did not count them) were listed altogether.

Of those 70 players, only 3 are not with the organization on those lists. Those three players are Andy Marte, listed as a Red Sox just prior to being dealt to the Indians later that off-season, where he is he playing in Buffalo, their AAA club; Jason Hirsh, formerly of the Astros, dealt in the Jennings off-season deal, was pitching for the Rockies until going on the DL in early July; and Joel Guzman, dealt at last year's trade deadline, now in his first full year for Tampa Bay's AAA club, while he had a .861 OPS in June, he has a .420 OPS after their All-Star Break and has struck out 19 times in 52 at bats.

Now, there are other prospects who were traded prior to being put on this list, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Francisco Liriano, Bobby Jenks and Chris Young are the five that stand out to me, Jenks was the only one not traded, while the others were part of packages that included major league players in off-season deals.

But my point is that teams are becoming very, very cautious when dealing with high profile prospects, when I first subscribed to Baseball America, probably 18 or so years ago, I am pretty sure a lot of teams did not have a lot of information about other team's minor leaguers, now with all the third party information, plus their own scouting, teams are going to be careful when dealing their own players.

2007-07-30 01:05:15
47.   Greg Brock
46 Teams have become hesitant to trade young prospects because it's dumb. Like people have figured out that batting average is not as important as OBP. These are simple philosophies that people have finally figured out. Looking back on "proven veteran for prospect" deals through the years, the team that grabs the young stud wins nearly all the time. Not 100%, but most of the time.

While I admire Billy Beane and the like, their success is really a function of other people's stupidity. I think GM's are just better informed now. Of course, GM's today are more reluctant to dish young, affordable, not-even-arbitration eligible players today. They are not as flat out dumb as they used to be.

Steve Phillips was a General Manager. Wrap your head around that one.

2007-07-30 01:27:51
48.   bhsportsguy
47 Gee I spend a half hour reviewing the lists, checking it twice, research two other websites to make sure that my information is correct and then Greg Brock sums it up by saying GMs are no longer dumb.

I guess that was kind of my point though I was also trying to say that both Marte and Guzman, who were both at one time the number one prospects for their teams and in Marte's case, a number one prospect in the game, there is still no guarantee that highly rated prospects are going to be able to succeed at the MLB level. Teams are constantly trying to figure that out.

BTW, of the top 30 Dodger prospects listed in 2006, 6 were dealt after Ned became the GM, Steve Schmoll, currently on the Mets' AAA club; Blake Johnson, now on KC's High A team; Julio Pimentel, dealt with Johnson in the Odalis Perez deal, also on KC's High A team; Chuck Tiffany, injured in 2006, listed on Tampa Bay's AA team roster; Willy Aybar, remains on Atlanta's suspended list; and Joel Guzman.

2007-07-30 02:09:49
49.   Michael D
I think part of not trading minor leaguers is the wild card. It puts so many teams in contention that it's such a sellers market nothing can get done because only a few players are available.

Also, with baseball being flushed with cash, free agent contracts are insane. You're much better off getting the Roy Oswalt hometown discount than you are signing Barry Zito. Or do what several teams are doing now and expanding the Indians model. Don't just lock up the young guys but get a couple of their FA years too so you can be paying Johan Santana the same amount per year a guy like Jeff Suppan is making. Also with more teams locking up their young talent, it means less guys available in FA, which is also driving up the price. It's much cheaper to build from within.

2007-07-30 04:04:20
50.   DXMachina
20 I forgot it expanded some years back, swallowing some teams from the International League (I think, right?)

It was the American Association that got carved up and split between the PCL and the International League.

The altitude thing could be worse. Las Vegas is at 2000'. Albuquerque, where the Dodgers AAA team was before Vegas, is at 5000'.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-30 06:41:07
51.   Sushirabbit
There's always Danica to cheer everyone up with her new book:

http://tinyurl.com/28gsvh

2007-07-30 07:29:04
52.   Bob Timmermann
RIP Ingmar Bergman
RIP Tom Snyder
2007-07-30 07:33:17
53.   Gen3Blue
I've got to admit that after reading the first few posts here I had to go to the schedule to see how the D's only lost two.
Ahhh,said I, I forgot the rainout. It was probably a good thing the way things were going, but It wrecked my night. I ended up staying up late in ignorance and then somehow felt all dressed up with no place to go.
2007-07-30 07:35:51
54.   D4P
Did Bob learn anything new and/or interesting at the convention...?
2007-07-30 07:37:58
55.   Bob Timmermann
A longer article on the book by DT's favorite mathematician/actress:

http://tinyurl.com/327azu

2007-07-30 07:39:07
56.   Bob Timmermann
54
I learned I should have taken naps in the middle of day.

I'll write something tonight.

2007-07-30 07:48:31
57.   D4P
RIP Paris Hilton's $51 million inheritance

http://news.sawf.org/Gossip/40614.aspx

2007-07-30 08:11:20
58.   Gen3Blue
Darn, that writer in Texas still seems to insist the deal is alive :Texiera for Loney,Ethier and Clayton Kershaw.
Does this guy think if he flogs this inanity enough he will help it happen.
2007-07-30 08:15:02
59.   Gen3Blue
57 The poor girl will have to support herself on party going fees.
2007-07-30 08:18:38
60.   mankatododger
58Rosenthal disagrees strongly: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7074846
2007-07-30 08:29:41
61.   Gen3Blue
60 Thank you, Thank you! One down.
2007-07-30 08:41:27
62.   Hythloday
I was never too concerned about the Tex rumors. Ned has been a relatively straight shooter and when he said he wouldn't touch the A prospects for anything less than a superstar (which I don't take Texiera to be) I took him at his word. We'll see how that bears out over the next handful of hours, but I'm not that worried. Oh and Evan Grant is an idiot.
2007-07-30 08:45:53
63.   ToyCannon
So all those reports that top prospects don't get traded will now need to add Salty and Andrus to that list.
2007-07-30 08:53:21
64.   underdog
Well at least the Rangers didn't get stiffed on a deal for once. Seems like a trade that will benefit both teams but only time will tell. The Braves did need help at first base, there's no doubt, but I wouldn't be surprised if they make a run at a reliever, too. If they have any prospects left to trade.

As for the Dodgers, I still think they're being very secretive but are pursuing another starter. That's my gut feeling...

2007-07-30 08:57:08
65.   Gen3Blue
I can understand to some extent that trade, although its strange to see them move Adam LaRoche and then need a first base slugger. But it must be economics. Its hard to afford keeping two good young guys at a position like catcher, and that is probably where Salty has his value.
2007-07-30 09:01:00
66.   Bumsrap
Kemp seems to be changing his approach to hitting and making a much bigger effort to hit to the opposite field. While this will eventually be to his advantage, he seems to be in no-mans land for the time being. His upper cut swing maybe should be leveled out before trying to hit to right.

I wonder why players don't choke up on the bat more after seeing the success Bonds has had in doing so.

At this time in Loney's career he needs to hit second in the lineup. Another reason to give Pierre less playing time.

2007-07-30 09:06:35
67.   underdog
Hm. The Braves also are receiving reliever Ron Mahay from the Rangers, reportedly... He's pretty decent.
http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/players/playerpage/10973
2007-07-30 09:08:31
68.   ToyCannon
Have to give the rumor mills their credit on this one as they seemed to have nailed this one from when it was 1st reported.
The Braves guessed wrong on Scott Thorman and have now paid a high price for that mistake.
2007-07-30 09:12:44
69.   screwballin
47 Looking back on "proven veteran for prospect" deals through the years, the team that grabs the young stud wins nearly all the time.

I'd love to see some analysis on that, because I'm not sure it's the slam dunk you think it is. I don't have names off the top of my head, but how often do you hear about a "can't miss" prospect who never pans out? (OK, Dallas McPherson, Joe Thornton, Edwin Jackson and Andy Marte come to mind, but they could still pull it together.) I think we forget about some of them precisely because they never do anything.

I think the Yankees in particular got the reputation for pumping up their prospects to make them better trade bait, knowing that they may never be any better than they were in AAA.

2007-07-30 09:13:37
70.   Gen3Blue
68 Ahh Thorman--I see. Said the blind carpenter, as he picked up his hammer and saw.
2007-07-30 09:23:04
71.   underdog
Btw, maybe Nate or somebody knows more, but Elvis Andrus' minor league stats aren't really all that impressive. Is he really still considered a top prospect? I'm assuming because he's only 19...
2007-07-30 09:28:49
72.   underdog
>>>And like many fans, McNamara perked up as she pondered the idea of Bonds inflicting his record on Dodger fans in Chavez Ravine, where the Giants open their road trip Tuesday after resting today.

So what if they throw lawn chairs onto the left field grass.

"It would be poetic justice for him to do it in L.A.," McNamara said.

Giants diehard Gary Haedrich of Seaside (Monterey County), a charter season-ticket holder at the China Basin ballpark, predicted even the Dodger faithful would have to acknowledge the significance of a Bonds home run, should the Big One hit there, with at least some polite applause.

"It's OK with me if it's Chavez Ravine," Haedrich said. "Barry will get some kind of response there -- and more power to him if he hits it there.<<<
http://tinyurl.com/3yoyds

2007-07-30 09:32:52
73.   regfairfield
69 In the last 14 years, a top 100 prospect was traded 10 times (not counting this new deal). Only three of those prospects dealt, Konerko, Kazmir, and Penny have turned into anything for the team that received them.
2007-07-30 09:38:22
74.   JoeyP
Good deal for the Braves if Texiera re-signs with them.
2007-07-30 09:38:32
75.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-07-30 09:38:37
76.   Greg Brock
Like all trades, I guess we have to wait a few years to see if this is a good deal. If the Braves can re-sign Teixeira (doubtful) or if they weren't super sold on Salty (possible).

I get the impression that the Braves really really want to make the playoffs this year, with the Jones boys. They have a small window.

I still think it's a bad deal for the Braves.

2007-07-30 09:39:42
77.   Jacob L
I heard about the Texiera deal from the bizarro world of the Rogan and Simers show. Their crack analysis - that the Braves stole Tex because, basically, they hadn't heard of the players going back. They clearly and obviously confused Saltalamachia with Jason Simontachi, and wrote off everyone else in the deal because they were just minor leaguers. They went on to incorrectly assert that Atlanta did give up their starting catcher, because they've apparently also never heard of Brain McCann. They then wondered how it was that neither the Dodgers nor Angels could match the Texas deal.
2007-07-30 09:40:10
78.   regfairfield
If Matt Harrison is one of the players dealt as rumored, this is by far the biggest package of prospects dealt at the trading deadline in a while. No team has ever given up two top 100 prospects in a trade, let alone three.
2007-07-30 09:42:25
79.   ToyCannon
71
Yes, Hanley Ramirez was strictly a scouts guy and look how that turned out.
2007-07-30 09:49:57
80.   screwballin
Still, they get 40+ HR power without giving up a starting major leaguer. (Although I guess Salty starts fairly often.) Maybe it makes more sense to package some top prospects for someone of Tex's stature instead of trading them one at a time for the Hendrickson's of the world.

Nate's gonna hate me if I keep talking this way.

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