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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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This Is Not My Beautiful Wife
2007-08-12 17:40
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Well. How did we get here?

Too many of the talented players on this 2007 Dodger team got hurt, and too many slumped - whether by means unlucky or deserved. (Follow that link - it will blow your mind.) In the end, that meant there weren't enough talented players to avoid falling to the bottom of the wild card race.

Now what?

Catcher: For all the complaining about Russell Martin playing too much, even in July he posted an .858 OPS. Like almost every other Dodger, he is struggling in August (.635), but as much as people have a hard time believing it, there's nothing to indicate that the Dodgers would have more victories in 2007 if Martin had rested more in the first four months. Even conceding he might be a bit stronger now (though we don't know that it's true), the extra value he'd have would be negated by the extra playing time given to Mike Lieberthal, who has one extra-base hit in 62 plate appearances this season.

Ultimately, the lesson may just be that if a catcher is your team's MVP, your team needs help.

Remainder of 2007: When rosters expand in September, the Dodgers will carry three catchers (Chad Moeller appears to have been acquired from the Cincinnati organization for that purpose) and have more flexibility to use Lieberthal as a pinch-hitter. If the Dodgers fall out of contention, Martin will get some days off.

2008: Martin will finally reach the ripe old age of 25. The future is bright. Hopefully, he'll have a stronger supporting cast.

First base: The Dodgers made a strong statement of faith in James Loney by not trading for Mark Texeira of the Rangers. Loney has up and down stretches, but the aggregate product (125 career OPS+) is all that Dodger fans could have hoped for in 2007. Little's elevation of Loney to the No. 3 slot in the batting order, when Loney's most recent statistics might have argued against it, reflects the confidence the organization has in him.

Remainder of 2007: Pennant-race panic might put Loney on the bench from time to time, and there's always the possibility he'll have a disappearing September like Andre Ethier had last year. But for the most part, the Dodgers appear to have decided that the future at first base has arrived.

2008: Again, Ethier provides a cautionary tale with how his sophomore season began, but expect Loney to be entrenched as the starter.

Second base: While Jeff Kent has never been an ideal cleanup hitter for this team, and while his range at second base is about the size of an Easy Bake Oven, Kent's continued offensive strength at the position is hardly something the team should spit at.

Remainder of 2007: Kent needs 134 more plate appearances for his $9 million 2008 option to automatically vest. Barring a serious injury, that will happen.

2008: Assuming Kent doesn't retire this year, 2008 will be his last season. What would be lovely would be for the Dodgers to reduce their reliance on Kent by being able to drop him to the No. 6 spot in the batting order and being able to rest him on a weekly basis. They have a perfect opportunity to break in a new infielder without pressuring him, the way they have broken in players like Ethier and Loney. (Why, by the way, are people so confident that Tony Abreu is faking an injury? Why can't he just be hurt? Why couldn't he have been faking being healthy (like others have done) before he was optioned? Are the Dodgers so reliable in knowing exactly what's going on with their players' bodies?)

Shortstop: We'll never know what might have been had Rafael Furcal not collided with Jason Repko in Spring Training. What has happened, so far anyway, is arguably the worst full season offensively of Furcal's major-league career - an 85 OPS+ - though he still mixes in outstanding defensive plays with his errors.

Remainder of 2007: Chin-Lung Hu, the highly touted defensiveman who has come on to have an .893 OPS in AA and AAA combined this season, should get to be Furcal's caddy in September.

2008: Furcal will be 30 in the final year of his Dodger contract and looking to come back strong. Hu should begin the season further honing his skills in Las Vegas.

Third base: The thing I can't quite figure out is how Nomar Garciaparra is still batting .281. Forget the fact that his on-base and slugging percentages aren't much higher - he just rarely seems to do more than a 1 for 4.

I have to think that Ned Colletti felt victimized that Andy LaRoche got hurt just when he looked ready to be promoted for good. Colletti had to be counting on LaRoche after trading Wilson Betemit. I don't believe there's any way Colletti wanted Ramon Martinez to be starting as many games as he has the past two weeks.

Remainder of 2007: Just waiting for LaRoche to get well. Otherwise, it's praying for Garciaparra to have something left. Garciaparra has a .844 OPS the past 28 days, including .422 over the past seven.

2008: LaRoche should be ready to assume this position, but a) he has been injured three times in the past two seasons and b) by federal decree, Dodger rookies don't get to start in April. No one will have high expectations for Garciaparra, but short of an Alex Rodriguez pursuit by the Dodgers, the incumbent will probably get the Opening Day call, with LaRoche poised to take over after May Day.

Left field: Luis Gonzalez, who turns 40 on September 3, has killed the Dodgers since the All-Star Break (.501 OPS).

Remainder of 2007: The Dodgers will hope for some September veteran miracles from Gonzalez, but also will mix younger players like Delwyn Young into the lineup (along with Ethier, when Matt Kemp is in right).

2008: As much as Gonzalez hurt the Dodgers this summer, he has done them a huge favor as far as the future. It was one thing for Colletti to ignore the younger Garciaparra's second-half struggles in 2006; it will be impossible to ignore Gonzalez's. If Gonzalez wants to have a role in baseball greater than Mark Sweeney's, it will probably be as a designated hitter. Now that he has proven himself, Ethier should be the full-timer, with Young backing him up.

Center field: Juan Pierre's 30th birthday is Tuesday. He's looking like an old 30 to me. While Pierre has hardly been the worst player on the Dodgers during their recent struggles, this season reinforced the fact that he is not good, and will not be good.

Remainder of 2007: The fact that Kemp and Gonzalez have tailed off means that no matter how dissatisfied Little has become with Pierre, Little lacks that final impetus to bench Pierre and end his consectutive game streak. Only extreme performances by all three of those mentioned will change that.

2008: Yes, the Dodgers could form a starting outfield without Pierre, but it won't happen.

Right field: At age 25, Ethier has a 113 OPS+. Kemp, though again struggling with strike zone judgment (though several Dodger Thoughts commenters argue that no player gets rougher treatment from the umpires), is at 117. Kemp turns 23 on September 23.

Remainder of 2007: Ethier will get the majority of the playing time.

2008: The Dodgers need to commit to Kemp as an everyday player, through thick and thin, because of the ongoing potential of the thick. Having hung onto him through two trading summers, Colletti and Little will do this, I suspect.

April 2008 lineup:

Furcal, SS
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Kent, 2B
Ethier, LF
Garciaparra, 3B
Kemp, RF
Pierre, CF

July 2008 lineup:

Furcal, SS
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Kemp, RF
Ethier, LF
Kent, 2B
Pierre, CF
LaRoche, 3B

In my opinion, there's a lot to like there.

Starting pitching: Brad Penny is having a career year. Chad Billingsley's bad starts are getting better, and his good starts are getting great. Derek Lowe is learning to pitch hurt. Mark Hendrickson's ERA swelled to 5.20, and Brett Tomko (5.49 ERA, 80 ERA+) is about to be caught by ex-Dodger Edwin Jackson (5.84 ERA, 78 ERA+), who has a 2.97 ERA since the All-Star break. (Jackson might not have a better career than Tomko, but at least he's on the upswing.)

Remainder of 2007: Unless the Dodgers attempt to pull a 2003 Jackson by promoting red-hot James McDonald (3.15 ERA, 143 strikeouts in 114 2/3 innings) from AA Jacksonville, the Dodgers will muddle through with their existing five, plus some spot starts from the likes of D.J. Houlton, Eric Stults, and maybe even Randy Wolf or Hong-Chih Kuo if they're able to get some work in.

2008: Looking at the projected batting orders for 2008, there are few question marks. With LaRoche as a stand-in for Garciaparra and Pierre the immovable object, you can already fill out that batting order. Such is not the case for the starting rotation.

As much as it didn't end up working out this year, the Dodgers will have little choice in such an injury-plagued position but to attack with numbers. Penny, Lowe, Billingsley and Jason Schmidt will be the front four, but only Billingsley doesn't have injury questions. You'll be able to knock me over with a feather if Colletti doesn't non-tender Hendrickson and buy out Tomko's 2008 option for $1 million, but that still leaves a spot in the rotation to fill - not to mention backups to have in place.

Help is coming from the minors - the Dodgers could perhaps try to sneak Houlton through the No. 5 spot until McDonald is ready for promotion. (Too bad Scott Elbert lost 2007 to injury, and Greg Miller lost 2007 to the wilds.) Colletti can also buy out Wolf's $9 million 2008 option for $500,000 and then see if he will come to Spring Training on a lower-priced deal. And Hong-Chih Kuo will give it another go. But that's not going to be enough depth to satisfy the GM. As much as the offense has struggled this month, I expect starting pitching to be priority one for the Dodgers this offseason.

Bullpen: When it's not overworked, the Dodgers simply have one of the best.

Remainder of 2007: Um, try not to overwork the bullpen.

One thing is that with September fewer than three weeks away, we're finally about to see Jonathan Meloan (2.08 ERA, 81 strikeouts, 54 baserunners in 57 minor-league innings).

2008: Four possibilities for Takashi Saito: 1) he defies the odds for a third season in a row, 2) he moves into a setup role, 3) age finally captures up with him, 4) he retires feeling good about himself. I'm going to guess he doesn't walk away from the game before the game walks away from him.

Jonathan Broxton, Joe Beimel and Scott Proctor will be back, no doubt joined by Meloan. Rudy Seanez will probably retire. Yhency Brazoban and Chin-Hui Tsao will try to come back from injuries. The bullpen will be in flux a bit, but it's not something to worry about now.

Prognosis

Remainder of 2007: In a two-week stretch, the NL West became Arizona's to lose. And that's still possible. The Diamondbacks are not the '27 Yankees, and they blew a 5-1 eighth-inning lead today against Washington. Meanwhile, the wild-card race is a jumble.

More than anything, perhaps, it was Derek Lowe's bad-hip start on Saturday that has made me lose faith that the Dodgers have it in them to come back in 2007. I'm not giving up - I'm already disappointed, so there's no disappointment to avert - but this ship has taken on a lot of water. The offense is simply going to have to pull a 180, at a minimum not letting any good pitching performances the Dodgers do get go to waste.

2008: We know Arizona is going to be a rival for a division title. We know Colorado is on the rise. We know the Padres will be tough if Jake Peavy and Chris Young carry on to next season, though the Padres don't appear to have the younger reinforcements the other three teams have. And for all we know, replacing Barry Bonds in the San Francisco lineup next season will be Alex Rodriguez. The NL West is ascending. The Dodgers are keeping up as well as any team, but because so much is dependent on the vagaries of pitching health, essentially there is going to be no predicting who will win.

2009: Just fooling around ...

Young, LF
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Kemp, CF
Ethier, RF
LaRoche, 3B
Abreu, 2B
Hu, SS
Santana/Penny/Billingsley/McDonald/Kershaw, P

Same as it ever was? Maybe not ...

Comments (317)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-08-12 17:45:01
1.   gpellamjr
I'll take that '09 rotation!
2007-08-12 17:47:38
2.   Bob Timmermann
But Joe Girardi promised me yesterday that the Dodgers would be fine.

Joe Girardi wouldn't lie to me would he?

2007-08-12 17:49:57
3.   Bob Timmermann
Monday Night Baseball on ESPN will be the Dodgers and Astros! Wave high to me! I'll either be in Section 34 of the Reserved or Section 55!
2007-08-12 17:51:46
4.   Jon Weisman
2 - I kind of liked Girardi as a commentator. What did you all think?
2007-08-12 17:54:56
5.   Bob Timmermann
I liked Girardi because he was not Thom Brennaman. He was pretty calm and level-headed when it came to analyzing the action. And I think Girardi played long enough to see teams go through up and down streaks to not be surprised by anything.
2007-08-12 17:57:00
6.   Greg Brock
I like Girardi a lot. He's got the whole cliche thing going on sometimes, but he is obviously a very smart guy.
2007-08-12 17:58:25
7.   Eric Enders
Nice read, Jon.

I thought Girardi was fantastic as a commentator. A FOX commentator who actually does his homework? Sssh, better not tell the network brass or they'll hire Scooter the talking baseball to take his place.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Throw all the money in the world at Santana after 2008. I don't care if it takes A-Rod money or even more to get him signed. Do it. Teams keep signing free-agent patch-up jobs like Jason Schmidt, Barry Zito, and A.J. Burnett, while losing sight of the fact that the truly elite free agents -- the future Hall of Famer types -- are the signings likely to pay off the best, and are a much better bet to be worth the money.

And although you studiously avoided mentioning him in the context of 2008, it might be noted that the Minotaur will be starting 2008 in AA, and is potentially only a good first half away from joining the Dodger rotation.

2007-08-12 18:01:44
8.   MJW101
The smoke and mirrors of the 2007 Dodger offense has drifted away and been broken. What happens from this point to the end of the season will determine the future of our Dodgers. If Ned panics and starts do all kinds of crazy Ned moves then we are in trouble. If he accepts that he did all that he could do and encourages Grady to find out what the kids can accomplish (play Loney/Kemp/Ethier full time) then the 2008 future may be bright.
2007-08-12 18:02:39
9.   Eric Enders
Also, Jon's 2009 lineup, while it has its merits, could never conceivably be implemented by anyone other than Michael Lewis. Hu and Abreu are middle infielders with speed. They bat at the top of the order. Period. Delwyn Young is a slow left fielder. He bats in the middle of the order. Period.
2007-08-12 18:04:02
10.   Jon Weisman
7 - Trying to avoid the Elbert/Miller curse.

8 - I don't see anything to indicate that Colletti and Little won't go with the July 2008 lineup I posted above.

2007-08-12 18:04:22
11.   Bob Timmermann
9
It's a little-known fact that Jon's wife is a dead ringer for Tabitha Soren.
2007-08-12 18:04:37
12.   Eric Enders
So Penny is a free agent after next year, right? How much are we going to have to fork over for him to be a part of that 2009 conversation?
2007-08-12 18:05:28
13.   Jon Weisman
9 - Okay, Martin leads off then :)
2007-08-12 18:05:56
14.   overkill94
I think the chances of McDonald getting some starts in September are pretty good for a few reasons:

1. Hendrickson and Tomko are terrible
2. McDonald's already 22 (not far from 23), so he's not young enough to scar for life if he fails
3. Fans want to see some new blood to spark the current lull
4. He doesn't have quite the same burden of being a "can't-miss prospect" that guys like Jackson had

His inexperience as a pitcher is the only reason I could see management wanting to wait it out.

2007-08-12 18:06:01
15.   Marty
I blame Alyssa for all of this. As soon as she was connected to Martin, the bottom fell out of this team.
2007-08-12 18:08:34
16.   natepurcell
Dodgers have a 2009 club option for Penny. Lowe is gone after 2008 though.
2007-08-12 18:11:40
17.   Eric Enders
I have a question that may challenge the omnipotent powers of The Great Timmermann.

When was the last time the Dodgers fielded an all-homegrown starting lineup in a game? Because it could happen next month, if we fall out of the wild card race. (I'm assuming the answer is "never," but I guess it's possible that it happened before.)

C Martin
1B Loney
2B Abreu
3B LaRoche
SS Hu
LF Young
CF Kemp
RF Ethier
P Billingsley

(I know I'm stretching it with Ethier, but the Dodgers are the only MLB team he's played for, and he played for us in the minors too.)

2007-08-12 18:12:00
18.   NoHoDodger
Jon's predictions for the future are probably right on, but......his premise is based on the fact that we do not make any trades and don't pick up any impact free agents.

I find it hard to believe that Coletti will not now be tempted to right the ship and find some lumber and some arms in the off season.

Who? Who knows?

2007-08-12 18:12:26
19.   Eric Enders
16 Thanks nate. That DePo fella is looking better with each passing day.
2007-08-12 18:14:01
20.   King of the Hobos
One in a lifetime post (sorry...)

I personally don't like Delwyn leading off, as he simply doesn't get on base enough. I like Laroche leading off, or if he can ever learn to play D and hit consistently, Denker (who is currently leading off for the 66ers with his .382 OBP)

2007-08-12 18:14:31
21.   Eric Enders
My (probably unrealistic) hope is that Colletti will sign Andruw Jones or one of the other free agent CFs, and trade Pierre elsewhere, even if the Dodgers have to eat most of his contract.
2007-08-12 18:17:21
22.   Eric Enders
One thing Jon forgot to mention for 2009 is the triumphant return of Greg Miller as a power-hitting outfielder.
2007-08-12 18:17:35
23.   King of the Hobos
17 Maybe Repko will decide he wants to play before he's ready, so he could replace Ethier.
2007-08-12 18:17:47
24.   natepurcell
21

I was thinking about that and I don't know if I want any of them. Hunter is old, Druw might be on the decline and I don't think Rowand is as good as he is showing this year.

2007-08-12 18:18:07
25.   Bob Timmermann
Just poking around, but on 10/1/1976, the Dodgers started:
C Yeager
1B Garvey
2B Lopes
SS Russell
3B Cey
LF Buckner
CF Burke
RF Lacy
P Lewallyn

The next day, Sutton was the pitcher and Hale was in center

2007-08-12 18:18:30
26.   MJW101
10 I desperately want to believe that Ned & Grady will put your recommended 2008 lineup in place. However, based upon past actions I do not have the same faith that you have that Ned will do the logical thing. As an example - Ned will probably resign Gonzo for 2008 since he had such a good 1st half (same logic used with Nomar last year).

12 Penny is signed through 2008 with an option for 2009. Lowe is a FA after 2008 with no probability of resigning since he is a BORA$$ client. Ned should try to extend Penny's contract at $15 million a year.

2007-08-12 18:19:00
27.   Eric Enders
24 Agreed on all points. But the question isn't really whether you want them, it's whether you want them more than Pierre.
2007-08-12 18:21:39
28.   natepurcell
26

I wouldn't even want Lowe beyond next year. He's gunna be like 35 and his hip condition looks to be an ongoing thing.

2007-08-12 18:22:22
29.   King of the Hobos
24 That's fine. How about we sign Fukudome, let Kemp become Jim Edmonds, and trade Pierre and $10 mil for Farnsworth (or some similar deal for an overpriced guy we don't need to start every day)?
2007-08-12 18:22:29
30.   natepurcell
27

I think out of all 3, Hunter will probably age the best.

2007-08-12 18:24:34
31.   Bob Timmermann
I have a strong desire now to go to Jamba Juice. I'm not sure. I think there was some non-subliminal advertising going on.
2007-08-12 18:27:50
32.   Eric Enders
What exactly is Jamba Juice anyway? I don't think I've ever seen one. The only reason I'm even aware of its existence is because they paid for product placement on the Sopranos a few years ago.
2007-08-12 18:30:17
33.   Bob Timmermann
5/18/95
C - Piazza
1B - Karros
2B - Ingram
SS - Offerman
3B - Hansen
LF - Ashley
CF - Mondesi
RF - Rodriguez
P - Astacio
2007-08-12 18:30:53
34.   Eric Enders
33 Man, that team had so much promise.
2007-08-12 18:31:18
35.   natepurcell
32

a place that serves smoothies. My favorite is the Caribbean Passion.

2007-08-12 18:34:04
36.   das411
WOW and both runners are safe? And Cox did not get himself tossed??
2007-08-12 18:36:59
37.   Bob Timmermann
33
I'm 99% that 1995 game was the last game for the Dodgers featured all nine players who were originally signed by the Dodgers.

It gets easy to check later on. Especially with Shawn Green getting a lot of starts to eliminate a lot of years.

2007-08-12 18:38:07
38.   Bob Timmermann
In 1995, Ingram was just filling for Deshields.
2007-08-12 18:38:29
39.   Bob Timmermann
"filling in for Deshields."
2007-08-12 18:38:37
40.   natepurcell
Howard's a beast.
2007-08-12 18:39:20
41.   Eric Enders
38 He is by far the least prominent of the nine players, yet he's the only one still in the Dodger organization.
2007-08-12 18:43:05
42.   bigcpa
Hopefully this RISP death march will help mgmt realize that it's ok to have some players that hit HR's even with 100+ K's. I'm on board with Eric's idea in 21 , and that should only require a $10M write-off. Someone must see Pierre as a $6M/yr guy- especially the 15+ teams that can't afford the Hunter/Jones/Rowand sweepstakes. Otherwise I'd like to see Ethier take some reps in CF and go after F-Dome for LF.
2007-08-12 18:44:11
43.   ToyCannon
29
It is my understanding that with the season ending injury that Fukudome had, that he will not be able to post to the US this offseason.
2007-08-12 18:46:05
44.   Curtis Lowe
the F-Dome just had surgery to remove bone chips.
2007-08-12 18:46:31
45.   ToyCannon
Jon's lineup makes to much sense thus it won't happen.
2007-08-12 18:50:53
46.   Greg Brock
I still believe Ethier and a pitcher will be packaged for a power bat at some point.
2007-08-12 18:51:01
47.   Curtis Lowe
According to the article cited on MLBTRADERUMOS there is a new rule that would allow him to become a free agent which is different than being posted.

Would the Dodgers still want to pay a premium for an MLB Unproven player coming off of surgery?

2007-08-12 18:52:34
48.   King of the Hobos
43 He doesn't need to post. The problem is he's a few days short of free agent eligibility, but apparently some new rule allows him to become a free agent anyways (so sayeth http://tinyurl.com/35f3vd).
2007-08-12 18:53:29
49.   natepurcell
I still believe Ethier and a pitcher will be packaged for a power bat at some point.

Hasn't Ethier shown he should be part of our future already?

2007-08-12 18:56:37
50.   overkill94
I would love for management to give so many starting jobs to the kids next year, but I just don't see it happening with the way the team has struggled lately. If they finish strong and the kids finish with good numbers that's one thing, but otherwise I fear they will sign a name outfielder and relegate Kemp to the minors again.

Ideally, they could pawn off Nomar and Pierre without having to eat too much of their contract (even if they don't get anything good back) and free up some money to sign some quality players (A-Rod? Hunter?). As it is, we're not losing enough payroll to be able to plug in a power hitter, but cutting that deadweight would do wonders for the line-up.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-08-12 18:57:21
51.   Greg Brock
49 I don't have a problem with keeping Ethier. I'd also like to have two outfielders that can hit 20 flippin' home runs.

You know, like really good teams often have.

2007-08-12 19:00:22
52.   Greg Brock
And to be clear, I didn't say Ethier should be traded, or that I'd like him to be traded, or that I wouldn't like for him to be traded, or that I think he's a communist.

We're just predicting things here. And that's my prediction.

2007-08-12 19:00:33
53.   King of the Hobos
51 Ethier has hit 20 homers exactly. He may have trouble doing it in one season, but if you're going to get picky...
2007-08-12 19:00:53
54.   Jon Weisman
My Jamba pick: Orange Dream Machine. The closest thing you can find to an Orange Julius since the original fell by the wayside - and healthier too.
2007-08-12 19:02:55
55.   Gen3Blue
As long as I have observed, when the D's (or other teams) locked up a playoff spot, orwere knocked out of the race they got to play their future players and improve the next year. I specifically remember this with some of the Lopes era infielders. I hope the present Admin. sticks with this tradition, it would be a wonderful late season.
I'm just so sorry for LaRoche, who has had several times he could have taken over, but (like many young players) is always fighting injuries. I hope this hasn't begun to happen to Abrue, and god forbid, Hu.
2007-08-12 19:08:43
56.   bcg60
I would actually like to see them go with an outfield of Young - LF, Kemp - CF and Ethier - RF now and definitely not wait until 2009 for it. Gonzo has had a great career, but agree he would be much better as a DH in the American League at this point in his career. Pierre is not a fit at all for the Dodgers. He seems like one of the nicest guys you could ever want to meet, but decisions have to be made based upon what works best for the team and Pierre's skills fit much more for an infielder than an outfielder,and definitley fit better for a team with big time home run power that needs some speed if he remains an outfielder. You can't have a center fielder with a weak arm that hits for no power at all unless you are loaded with power at other positions. Hopefully, the Dodgers can unload him to a team that has power and needs some speed.

I'm a huge Ethier fan,have been from day one, and think he is going to be one of the top hitters in the league in the next year or so. I also think he'll hit for a lot more power in the future than people think at this point. I like him better in right field than left field defensively also. He's a good left fielder, but potential gold glove in right. Gotta give him huge credit for hanging in there and keeping his head up this season with how Grittle has jacked him in and out of the line up and basically tried to break his confidence. What a difference a manager who recognizes talent could have made for him, but he's come out on top this year in spite of it. I can't understand why Grittle would be so hard a guy who seems like a really nice hard working kid. If he's mad because he tried to play with the shoulder injury at the end of last season, he needs to move on and get over it. I can't think of too many rookies, or players in general, that wouldn't try to suck it up and play through it.

I still think Kemp can be a great player, he just needs to learn to be more patient at the plate and hit more than the fast ball consistently. He definitley has gold glove potential defensively in center. Have to remember he's only 22 and hasn't played baseball all his life like most of the others.

2007-08-12 19:13:46
57.   Marty
As Eric Enders has pointed out frequently, Kemp already is hitting the curve ball.
2007-08-12 19:13:48
58.   Bob Timmermann
So has ESPN gone from showing only the Yankees and Red Sox to showing only the Braves and Cardinals?

Next Sunday night is St. Louis vs. Chicago. The Sunday after that will be the Dodgers at New York.

2007-08-12 19:21:02
59.   Dodgers49
>> Why, by the way, are people so confident that Tony Abreu is faking an injury? <<

The real problem for Tony Abreu is that one of the people who thinks he is faking an injury is apparently Ned Colletti.

## Tony Abreu was placed on the temporary inactive list because apparently there is a question about the extent of his abdomen injury. ##

http://tinyurl.com/yore3y

2007-08-12 19:22:21
60.   Bob Timmermann
The LA Dodgers first homegrown lineup was in Game 15 on May 1 against the Pirates
C - Roseboro
1b - Hodges
2b - Neal
SS - Zimmer
3B - Gray
LF - Demeter
CF - Cimoli
RF - Snider
P - Newcombe

The player who kept messing things up in the first few days of the LA Dodgers was Pee Wee Reese, who was first signed by the Pirates and then went to the Red Sox organization.

2007-08-12 19:25:48
61.   das411
NOBODY is safe from the arm of Francour!!
2007-08-12 19:26:07
62.   Indiana Jon
54 I was feeling a little left out earlier during the Jamba Juice discussion since we don't have those here. We do, however, still have Orange Julius, so I guess we're even.
2007-08-12 19:29:11
63.   Louis in SF
When is the next scheduled start for Hendrickson?...Perhaps in that start we bring up McDonald
2007-08-12 19:30:04
64.   Jon Weisman
62 - But do you have vintage Orange Julius?
2007-08-12 19:31:46
65.   Bob Timmermann
Hendrickson should start Friday against Colorado.

I'll get to see Billingsley go for his third straight 1-0 loss against the Astros and Oswalt Monday and then on Thursday, bhsportsguy, Vishal, and I will get to watch One-leg Lowe face off against Wandy Rodriguez.

2007-08-12 19:32:02
66.   Indiana Jon
64 Good question. If you can explain it to me, I would be glad to answer.
2007-08-12 19:35:24
67.   Robert Daeley
62 We have those too, so we're ahead again.
2007-08-12 19:37:00
68.   JoeyP
8 - I don't see anything to indicate that Colletti and Little won't go with the July 2008 lineup I posted above

Luis Gonzales is still playing everyday for the Dodgers. Matt Kemp is not.

If Gonzo's not going to get benched this year for Kemp, then Nomar most certainly wont for LaRoche next year.

Nomar's got way more pull than Gonzo.

2007-08-12 19:37:15
69.   underdog
Well, I'm back home. Did I miss anything this weekend? I mean, anything good. :-/

My Jamba Juice splurge pick: Peanut Butter Moo. My healthier favorite is the Banana Berry or Protein Berry Pizazz.

Well, I'm excited the Dodgers are on ESPN2 tomorrow for a change, even if it's a tough pitching matchup. I still have some manner of hope in this team but feel like this homestand is the "now or never" time to turn it around, or fuhgedaboutit.

Good write-up above, Jon, the right mix of reality, looking to the future, and still a bit of hope for now.

2007-08-12 19:38:51
70.   Indiana Jon
67 Yes, but we can get to ours with little or no traffic. So we are even again.
2007-08-12 19:40:28
71.   Louis in SF
By my count the Dodgers have 45 cames left and given the overall compettiton for the Wild Card and the Division, the Dodgers have to win in my estimation between 28 and 30 to have a real chance for a playoff spot. Do you think Grady has the courage to go to Gonzo and Pierre and say you are platoon players for the rest of the year? Either has earned a full time spot and let Kemp platoon between Gonzales and Pierre? Young would back-up Kent
2007-08-12 19:42:17
72.   Jon Weisman
66 - Basically, as standalone Orange Juliuses disappeared and you could only find them in malls, the art (or formula) of making an Orange Julius changed for the worse.
2007-08-12 19:44:11
73.   Robert Daeley
70 True, but the open roads are in Indiana, so we're ahead again. ;D
2007-08-12 19:44:32
74.   Indiana Jon
72 I guess I wouldn't know about the change. Ours have been in the malls since the 70's. Not sure if we ever had the stand alone variety.
2007-08-12 19:45:07
75.   Bob Timmermann
I would kindly request that people watch their Zs and Ss in Luis Gonzalez and Eric Stults.
2007-08-12 19:45:41
76.   Indiana Jon
73 The open roads?
2007-08-12 19:48:07
77.   Marty
Does the Orange Julius of today still contain an egg?
2007-08-12 19:48:29
78.   Bob Timmermann
73
Don't you mean The Crossroads of America?
2007-08-12 19:50:14
79.   Indiana Jon
73 Should I mention that we have an NFL team? That may be worth two points.
2007-08-12 19:51:38
80.   Robert Daeley
76 The ones without all the traffic.

Man, it's been a long time since I've been in an Orange Julius. After all the JJ talk earlier, I stopped by the local branch -- they were out of my usual Matcha Green Tea Blast, so I went with a Strawberry Nirvana that turned out tasty.

I can't think of Jamba without thinking of Natalie Portman in the SNL sketch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46bKh2Xl72U

2007-08-12 19:55:36
81.   Jon Weisman
68 - Gonzalez's slump is much more recent. The comp for Gonzalez is Nomar 2006.

If Matt Kemp were a third baseman, or if LaRoche were healthy, Nomar would not be playing as much right now.

I can't predict when Colletti might or might not make a trade. He and Little certainly don't turn to the kids as fast as you or I might. But the fact is, in 1 3/4 seasons under those two, the current lineup already has kids at catcher, first base and right field. Adding a fourth kid in the outfield in 2008 is a given. The willingness to "rest" Nomar every week is an indication that he will be on a shorter leash for 2008, and that it's LaRoche's position to claim. That would make the lineup 5/8ths kids.

2007-08-12 19:57:08
82.   Jon Weisman
77 - That was always optional, for an additional charge of (back in the 1970s and 80s) a quarter.
2007-08-12 19:59:23
83.   Jon Weisman
81 - That being said (re: Gonzalez) the difference between Gonzalez and Nomar is that Gonzalez is 40, and so there is really little hope that his good first half signaled a career renaissance. Gonzalez starting for the Dodgers next year would utterly shock me.
2007-08-12 20:18:11
84.   Jon Weisman
Cycle for me. Everyone must have gone to get Orange Julii.
2007-08-12 20:20:22
85.   Bob Timmermann
I'm too wrapped up in watching the "Knights of Prosperity" episodes I had saved up.
2007-08-12 20:23:53
86.   rockmrete
Did someone mention that Young played the infield in one of the last two days.
2007-08-12 20:26:08
87.   Bob Timmermann
Young played second base today.
2007-08-12 20:26:27
88.   bcg60
86 - Young pinch hit and then replaced Kent at 2nd for the rest of the game today.
2007-08-12 20:29:10
89.   Greg Brock
I wanted Jon to get the cycle. Hooray!

John from Cincinnati left us as it came to us. Thoroughly baffling.

2007-08-12 20:29:21
90.   Jon Weisman
85 - I was disappointed by the ending.
2007-08-12 20:31:32
91.   tjshere
Homemade Orange Julius -

1/2 of a 6oz. can frozen OJ concentrate

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

5 or 6 large ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes about 3 cups.

The recipe card I copied this from is in my mom's handwriting. She died in 1976 so that will give you some idea how old the recipe is. It's excellent, by the way.

2007-08-12 20:32:03
92.   MJW101
If LaRoche claims the 3b job in 2008 then Nomar and Luis can platoon in LF.
2007-08-12 20:32:21
93.   jasonungar07
Hold tight wait till the party's over...Three hun-dred six-ty five de-grees....Gonna come in first place....Fighting fire with fire..
2007-08-12 20:32:51
94.   Jon Weisman
91 - Thanks! I'm going to try that and see how it compares with my memory.
2007-08-12 20:33:16
95.   Jon Weisman
91 - How did she come to have it?
2007-08-12 20:37:40
96.   rockmrete
Thanks.
Did he get any chances? I read the scouting reports here from some of commentators about his inabilitiy to handle the position so I was curious as to how he did.
2007-08-12 20:39:10
97.   tjshere
95 We're talking over 30 years ago, boss. My memory isn't nearly that good. ;^) My best guess would be that the recipe came via the beauty shop. Going to the beauty shop was a big social event for my mom back in the day.

Salud!

2007-08-12 20:42:55
98.   Bob Timmermann
You mean there are no more "Knights of Prosperity?"
2007-08-12 20:46:14
99.   bcg60
#96 - He made a few routine plays, no errors.
2007-08-12 20:49:48
100.   Marty
Aah, the Beauty Shop. That was big for my mom too.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-08-12 20:51:16
101.   rockmrete
I would to see him continue to get oppertunities there...it could only improve his value to the team if he can handle it.
2007-08-12 20:52:21
102.   dsfan
It's only a matter of time before the press tells us that Abreu is represented by Boras. Count on Boras ripping the Dodgers and by implication Ned any day now.

This is the second time that Ned publicly has questioned a player's integrity.

2007-08-12 20:55:55
103.   dsfan
Jon, I enjoyed your forecast. Very well done. We disagree on how it will play out. I find it unlikely that the McCourts and Ned will sit on their hands to that extent.
2007-08-12 20:57:39
104.   rockmrete
I'm sorry, but what am I missing.
I thought he was sent down because he still had options, then he is hurt, then he is not...maybe. Is there some definitive info that he has not reported because of something other than an injury?
2007-08-12 21:01:24
105.   ToyCannon
91
Thanks, I will also be giving this a go.

Smoothies in general are my normal meal.

Soy milk, honey, banana, 3 frozen soy milk cubes blended together is my normal breakfeast. The Magic Bullet is perfect for a small serving.

2007-08-12 21:08:28
106.   CanuckDodger
102 -- The press has ALREADY told us that. It's in either T.J. or D.L.'s blog, I forget which.
2007-08-12 21:10:07
107.   dsfan
104--

Nothing definitive, but that hasn't stopped Ned from publicly implying that Abreu is dogging it. The real story here is that Ned sees fit to publicly attack the integrity of his players. This is dumb on several fronts. It also makes me wonder if Ned has any feel at all for the job. Didn't Ned use to be a PR employee for the Cubs? His PR blunders are similar to those made by the McCourts. These people just don't get it. They're always reacting. Very seldom do they anticipate well. I can see why Ned is frustrated that Abreu hasn't been available. They really needed him. But Ned isn't responding well to a testy situation. That's becoming a trend.

2007-08-12 21:11:45
108.   dsfan
106 --

Sorry, I didn't see it. Not up with the blogs. Now it's time for the press to quote Boras defending Abreu, if he hasn't already. The Ned-Boras feud will flare up again.

2007-08-12 21:17:19
109.   Jon Weisman
103 - I didn't say they would sit on their hands. I mainly said that a) they would prioritize pitching and b) they would not resign Gonzalez. I didn't rule out them going after a power hitter, though they're tough to come by and the team is less desperate for them.
2007-08-12 21:21:32
110.   Bob Timmermann
I've found no evidence so far that Boras is Tony Abreu's agent.
2007-08-12 21:25:46
111.   Greg Brock
I fail to see what any of this has to do with Scott Boras anyway. Abreu is being accused, not so subtly, of being a loafer and a malingerer. Which can affect his rep for a very long time.

He's either hurt or he's not. But I have a real hard time believing he's doing this because he was sent down. To sum up, Ned should probably just shut his mouth and handle it quietly.

2007-08-12 21:29:29
112.   dsfan
111

Amen.

2007-08-12 21:33:24
113.   Greg Brock
So Tony Jackson thinks Meloan will be called up now.
2007-08-12 21:34:14
114.   Eric Stephen
110 Diamond Leung reported that calls to Boras, who represents Abreu, were not returned.
2007-08-12 21:35:30
115.   Bob Timmermann
114
Thanks.
2007-08-12 21:37:04
116.   natepurcell
i wonder what happened with negotiations with Devin Fuller. I remember 2 months ago when the Dodgers were playing the dbacks in Arizona, there were reports that Devin Fuller went to watch the games with Logan White and the odds were in the Dodgers favor that he was going to sign. Now he isn't likely to sign? boooo
2007-08-12 21:40:38
117.   Reddog
Jon,
In your estimation, what are the chances, if any, that the Dodgers would trade Pierre in the off-season and eat most of his contract. That would be my fondest wish.
2007-08-12 21:45:31
118.   Lexinthedena
Ned is beginning to take a lot of heat for the Pierre signing....I guess he has all year, but I would be suprised if he didn't at least try and move him....but I may also just be dreaming.....A Mr. T. Hunter would look good in Dodger Blue...
2007-08-12 21:50:13
119.   Greg Brock
118 Trading certain players after the first year of a monumentally (and now almost universally panned) contract would be the biggest egoless act this side of the Dalai Llama. I highly doubt it.

One more year of the guy. I can live with it. What's the alternative?

2007-08-12 21:51:06
120.   Greg Brock
Yeah, I made his holiness a spitting mammal.

All apologies there, Lama.

2007-08-12 21:52:34
121.   Jon Weisman
117 - About 2 percent. I'm sure they'll quietly look at offers, though, but since Pierre is essentially replacement level talent, what are they likely to get. Short of them signing a big-name outfielder, I don't see the Dodgers cutting bait on Pierre.
2007-08-12 21:55:14
122.   Lexinthedena
119- I imagine his ego is taking a beating, and rectifying the situation might boost it up a little....they could get rid of him under the "it just wasn't the right situation, but he's a great ball player" line....

Again, I realize I am hoping more than anything....

2007-08-12 22:09:12
123.   Gagne55
I'd like to see my man Andrew Lambo in the 2009 line-up.
2007-08-12 22:09:48
124.   KG16
I'm just hoping that the Dodgers make a run at A-Rod. If he wants to play short, fine, move Furcal to second. If he wants to play third, package LaRoche and Pierre for a real center fielder.

I don't know what to do about Kent if he's on the roster next year.

2007-08-12 22:11:58
125.   Greg Brock
Perseid meteor shower should be starting in a few minutes. I never see squat. But I try!
2007-08-12 22:12:12
126.   Bob Timmermann
120
Don't make me go all Ogden Nash on you, Brock.

I've done it before and I'll do it again!

2007-08-12 22:14:06
127.   KG16
125 - they say it'll be best after midnight until dawn, look to the darkest parts of the sky.
2007-08-12 22:15:35
128.   natepurcell
Pedro Baez broke out of his slump in a huge way going 4-4 hr and a bb. Lambo wet 0-1 with 3 bbs. He has incredible plate discipline for such a young hitter.
2007-08-12 22:17:29
129.   Greg Brock
126 Come on, man. I caught it quickly and self-corrected.

It's attitudes like this that make for poor detective partnerships, Bob.

2007-08-12 22:25:39
130.   Bob Timmermann
129
I'm thinking I want to work alone like Rockford did. I'm already looking for a trailer by the beach.
2007-08-12 22:29:02
131.   Greg Brock
130 No no no. We have to be partners. So that when you die, I could have saved you. And I become a jaded private eye who has stubble and downs whiskey from a flask, but deep down am just trying to find a way to atone for my partner's death, and then meets a mysterious gal that ultimately redeems me and I become a hero.
2007-08-12 22:36:40
132.   trainwreck
Which one of you wants to be the Fat Man?
2007-08-12 22:38:15
133.   bhsportsguy
131 Besides, he wants to say these words to that girl before he turns her over to the cops.

"When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. And it happens we're in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it's-it's bad business to let the killer get away with it, bad all around, bad for every detective everywhere."

2007-08-12 22:40:04
134.   bhsportsguy
132 Went to UCLA practice today and I'll go to the scrimmage on Saturday. Who knows what it means, but at least they are throwing the ball to the receivors who can make big plays.
2007-08-12 22:40:50
135.   Greg Brock
133 Yeah, I was sort of channeling Hammett there.

Are we still going to the game tomorrow? I think Bob is going. We can corner him and steal his wallet.

2007-08-12 22:43:03
136.   trainwreck
Hearing that Johnson and Rashaan are looking real good and Cowan's supposedly in top shape.

I hope Terrence Austin gets good playing time as well.

2007-08-12 22:43:21
137.   fanerman
If Jon says Johan is coming, I will believe it. Johan is my favorite pitcher, mainly because I added him on my fantasy team when he was a relative unknown and I saw his absurd strikeout ratio.

BTW, I don't understand the title of the post. Could someone explain, please?

2007-08-12 22:48:54
138.   underdog
137 Lyrics from classic Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime."
http://tinyurl.com/nzy3q

Was my introduction to the Heads, when I saw that video on MTV (back when they showed music videos), when I was in the 8th grade.

Okay, I'm gonna go take Bridget O'Shaughnessy out with me to see if we can find the meteor shower.

2007-08-12 22:54:49
139.   bhsportsguy
136 Austin made a sweet move on Norris (I think) and caught a fade in the endzone, Coach Walker kiddingly motioned to Austin to watch the contact he made on the play.
2007-08-12 22:55:36
140.   Greg Brock
The Dodger Report at the Times sheds a little more light on the Abreu situation. Seems like, to me, the Dodgers may be engaged in shady doin's. But who knows.

http://tinyurl.com/2q5eg7

2007-08-12 22:55:42
141.   bhsportsguy
135 Yes we are, I'll call you tomorrow.
2007-08-12 22:57:11
142.   bhsportsguy
140 However, Kuo was put on the DL after he was initially optioned down to Vegas so the mystery deepens.
2007-08-12 22:58:21
143.   bhsportsguy
135 I could also imagine you telling her that you might have a few rough nights but you'd get over it.
2007-08-12 23:30:11
144.   Greg Brock
137 If the Dodgers could relax and gear everything toward 2009, like the Indians did in the early 90's, Santana would be a brilliant addition to a team made up of $750,000 kids like Martin, Loney, Kemp, etc.

But I doubt the Dodgers have such patience. They signed a flippin' out machine in center for 44 million. They are bound and determined to waste money and tread water.

2007-08-12 23:30:29
145.   overkill94
The Blue Jays tried some of these DL shenanigans earlier in the year as well with a couple pitchers. The Dodgers have a better case considering Abreu had played in games before he got sent down and I don't seem to remember noticing him showing any signs of pain.
2007-08-12 23:31:21
146.   LAT
130. Jim didn't work alone. He had Angel and his Pops. Ok, his Dad didn't actually work with him but the fatherly advice he doled out led Jim to crack many a tough case. Plus, it goes without saying that Brock is much smarter than Angel. One thing you'll have going against you is you will be hard pressed to come up with a theme song as good as Jim's.
2007-08-12 23:36:22
147.   Greg Brock
146 As long as you know that you will be our lawyer friend that bails us out of various and sundry legal issues. We'll need you, LAT. We're gonna cross the line, because we're that kind of detective agency. We'll be renegades. We'll need your legal prowess.

Until Bob dies. Then I'll need you. Bob probably won't have much use for you at that point. Since he'll be dead.

2007-08-12 23:37:10
148.   Bob Timmermann
146
Jim had people who helped, but he didn't have a partner and said several times that he didn't want one.

The only person who helped out Rockford that I would want on my side would be Beth Davenport as my attorney.

2007-08-12 23:41:33
149.   Dodgers49
142. 140 However, Kuo was put on the DL after he was initially optioned down to Vegas so the mystery deepens.

Yes, and that's a key difference that raised a red flag for me from the very beginning. The Dodgers almost certainly suspected Kuo was hurt even before he admitted it. Although he hit 91 a few times during his last start, his fastball was mostly at 88/89. Even I felt he was hurt and I'm just a fan. By the time Kuo admitted it they had already optioned him to Vegas. They immediately rescinded his option and placed him on the Major League DL. But when Abreu was optioned to Vegas and then claimed he had been playing hurt the last week in Los Angeles they not only didn't place him on the Major League DL, they didn't put him on any DL at all. And the excuse someone gave Diamond that the Dodgers didn't have anyone they wanted to promote seemed lame. Notice that didn't keep LaRoche from going on the DL. Instead they waited to see if Abreu would play. And when he didn't they placed him on the Restricted List. It's pretty clear someone didn't believe Abreu. And it looks like that someone is Ned.

2007-08-12 23:45:06
150.   LAT
140. So if character is such an imporatnt quality in the Dodger organization how does Ned justify playing in the margins like this. Even if he is not violating the letter of the CBA he is certianlly violating the spirit.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-08-12 23:48:24
151.   Greg Brock
since I don't really care about the playoffs this year (most teams don't make the playoffs back to back), I'd love to see the Dodger go with kids from here on out. I'm willing to miss the playoffs. I, like most of you great posters, am looking long term. Let's go

Martin
Loney
Kent
LaRoche
Furcal
Ethier
Idiotic signing and a player that is a total nightmare
Kemp

2007-08-12 23:49:44
152.   Xeifrank
For those of you awake AND living in the northern hemisphere, I recommend going outside and watching the meteor shower. It is really amazing and I live in an area with alot of street lights, so the viewing must be very amazing in dark areas. The meteors are extremely bright, low flying and the last one looked like a Broxton fastball zooming through the sky.
vr, Xei
2007-08-12 23:54:33
153.   Greg Brock
I just want Ned to concede that there was a substantial group of people that hated the signing of the guy in CF. I want the guy to admit he made a huge mistake. I want the guy to admit that he was a motherloving moron. People were pleading that he not sign certain players. And he did it.

Ned signed an out machine while people begged him not to. People were smarter than he was. he messed up. Admit it, you mustache-having fraud.

2007-08-12 23:57:16
154.   LAT
146. Perfect because I am not a character guy. I like to win especially when I know its for the greater good. Having a couple of private dicks out on the street looking out for, say, a beautiful dame whose husband turns up drowned in a koi pond is a valuable public service.

On the other hand, as between partnering up with you or rotting in jail, Bob's future sounds better in the joint.

2007-08-13 00:03:29
155.   LAT
152. I went outside for a while but couldn't see anything. Too many lights around.

153. Never gonna happen.

2007-08-13 00:25:42
156.   overkill94
153 His rationale is somewhat correct - Pierre is a decent role-player, not a guy you build a team around. The problem is, we don't have the Yankees' line-up and/or payroll, so we can't afford to waste $9 million a year on a guy like that. Ned keeps trying to use that defense, but unfortunately he's trying to use it in the wrong context.
2007-08-13 00:59:13
157.   natepurcell
I found Kyle Blair's stats from this summer. He has been pitching in the Northwoods Wood Bat League; which is a league filled mostly with college players. Its not as widely known as the Cape Cod league but it is still highly competitive. His team is the Duluth Huskies and his stats are:

2.81 era 41.2IP 33H 16bb 52K 1HR

2007-08-13 01:18:48
158.   Greg Brock
155 So we have a GM who lacks the confidence and competence to simply admit to a mistake.

Baseball really is a microcosm of the world.

2007-08-13 01:41:42
159.   LAT
GB, I hope you were able to tell that my partnering up with you or rotting in jail comment refered to the fact that Bob would be dead if he were out on the street.
2007-08-13 01:43:50
160.   LAT
155. A common trait in many managment folks.
2007-08-13 03:23:11
161.   Greg Brock
Karl Rove is leaving the White House.
2007-08-13 06:13:36
162.   ToyCannon
Ned would be an idiot for admitting he made a mistake with any player currently on his roster that will not be a free agent in the winter.
Just how much value would JP have if Ned really felt it was a mistake and he wanted to move him this winter, if he went public and said that JP was his biggest mistake of the winter?
Let's use common sense here. A GM's job is not to admit his mistakes with the current roster, it hamstrings his ability for future moves if he makes any negative comments on his current roster.
2007-08-13 07:14:17
163.   Sam DC
My grandpa Nate ran what was called in my family an "Orange Whitsit" stand. This was before the broasted chicken place. It was also before I was born. Later on, he went to work for an outfit called Sabatasso's pizza, which made the pizza sold under the Van de Kamp brand, and also had contracts to supply a lot of pizza to LA Unified. That rectangular pizza with sausage crumbles -- that was him. I went to visit him at work a couple of times and got to see the plant. Then they would bring us (like me and a couple of friends) up to the fancy executive dining room and serve us -- rectangular pizza with sausage crumbles. So cool! My 6 yr old son is coming to spend the day with me at work tomorrow; I don't think I have anything to show him that will be as impressive as that.
2007-08-13 07:18:54
164.   LAT
Then how about a couple of years from now when Ned is working for ESPN? Oh yeah, Frank basically implied Ned would be the GM for as long as he owned the team. Where have you gone Mr. DePodesta Jesus loves you more than you will know. . .
2007-08-13 07:19:45
165.   Penarol1916
157. Is signing Rob Rasmussen a lost cause? Signing Rasmussen, Blair, Fuller would make this a very good draft. Also, with Josh Bell's promotion to Inland Empire, I want to see Austin Gallagher at Great Lakes this year.
2007-08-13 07:20:45
166.   Bob Timmermann
163
"Son, these are briefs."
"The things I wear?"
"No legal briefs."
"But why are they so long?"
"They're as long as they have to be."
"Do you write any in comic book form?"
2007-08-13 07:39:04
167.   Marty
163 My dad worked in the meat business in Vernon. This was back when they still had stockyards. He used to take me to work and part of that was visiting the slaughterhouse. When I think back on those visits, I'm surprised I'm not a vegetarian.
2007-08-13 07:40:30
168.   fanerman
138 Oh it's THAT song! I know that song, believe it or not. I just haven't listened to much Talking Heads before. It's on Remain In Light, which they made with Brian Eno.
2007-08-13 07:52:33
169.   Sam DC
166 I've got him amped up to sharpen a lot of pencils!
2007-08-13 07:53:54
170.   berkowit28
Is anyone else here from Montreal? I don't know when Orange Julius began, but Montreal has the Orange Julep, a building in the shape of giant orange (3 stories, 40 feet high) dating from 1942 (or 1932, depending whom you believe). It's an original, not a chain, and it's still there, with the same formula and taste, on Decarie Blvd. According to reviews, the Orange Julep (drink) dispensed at the Orange Julep (big orange building) was invented by a M. Hermas Gibeau, back in 1932 (or 1942). So it's not impossible that Orange Julius was stolen from him, or an imitation.

Anyway, here it is:

Picture (well worth it): http://www.roadsideattractions.ca/orange.htm

Review: http://tinyurl.com/26w4j7

Review: http://tinyurl.com/27lxog (fun)

2007-08-13 08:05:19
171.   Ken Noe
Jon, thanks for a truly excellent analysis. It actually makes me feel hopeful after this horrid slide. I only hope Ned agrees with you! My faith in his judgement continues to wilt like my shrubbery under the Alabama sun.

162 I agree wholeheartedly, ToyCannon.

2007-08-13 08:29:32
172.   D4P
I have to think that Ned Colletti felt victimized that Andy LaRoche got hurt just when he looked ready to be promoted for good

Welcome to LA, Ned. This ain't no disco, and it ain't no country club either.

Karl Rove is leaving the White House

The first thing he's gonna do when he leaves? Go kill something.

2007-08-13 08:35:29
173.   Bob Timmermann
I still have on extra ticket for tonight's game. If you're in Downtown L.A. and want to come by and get it, drop me an email.
2007-08-13 08:42:00
174.   Sam DC
waiting for Zappala to pounce . . .
2007-08-13 08:53:32
175.   Bob Timmermann
Weird small sample size stuff:

Juan Pierre went 7 for 13 against Roy Oswalt from 2003-2005. Then last year he was 2 for 14 against Oswalt.

2007-08-13 08:58:06
176.   Dodgers49
Ken Gurnick's take on the Abreu situation:

>> The mystery surrounding Tony Abreu continues. He's still on Triple-A Las Vegas' "inactive list," an indication that the club doesn't buy his complaint of a lower abdominal injury made at the time of his demotion on July 18, otherwise he'd be on the disabled list. He's been tested for a sports hernia, but there's been no positive finding there. <<

http://tinyurl.com/2j839t

2007-08-13 09:06:25
177.   still bevens
176 He also notes that signing Blair is looking like a non-starter.
2007-08-13 09:08:04
178.   ToyCannon
173
1. One of the best pitchers in baseball facing the worse hitting team in baseball in August.
2. The pitcher for the Dodgers has not received one run of support in his last two starts.
3. The hitter with the most power will be playing in NY and the 2nd hitter with the most power will be on the bench.
4. Somehow Ramon Martinez will get some at bats.
6. The current hottest hitter on the team will be a caddy for the worse hitter on the team at this moment.

I expect Houston Fans to be beating a path to the library as we speak.

2007-08-13 09:09:32
179.   Bob Timmermann
178
But dude, where's number 5?

I need a 5!

2007-08-13 09:09:34
180.   ToyCannon
177
What does "non-starter" mean?
2007-08-13 09:10:29
181.   ToyCannon
179
I delete 5 due to Rule 6.
2007-08-13 09:10:45
182.   Jon Weisman
176 - I just have little faith in the Dodgers' integrity when it comes to judging whether someone's hurt. Even this year, remember the accusations in March regarding Kuo?

Why would a young infielder on a team desperate for infield help purposely keep himself out of a game? He could easily be on the major league roster instead of Young if he had kept playing.

2007-08-13 09:14:31
183.   Greg Brock
FJM has an Evan Grant apology regarding statistical analysis.

Kind of neat. Maybe other (ahem) sportswriters will read it.

2007-08-13 09:17:01
184.   ToyCannon
182
Maybe he's not very bright and a little to emotional.
Maybe he got bad advice from a vixen.

Just a couple of reasons why young men make bad decisions.

On the other hand maybe the old men in the Dodger guard are not very bright and a little to emotional.

Time will tell.

2007-08-13 09:18:42
185.   Dodgers49
177. Ken Gurnick

## The highest Dodgers pick still unsigned is fifth-rounder Kyle Blair, and it looks as if he'll stay that way. There have been virtually no negotiations between the two sides since June. ##

http://tinyurl.com/2j839t

Diamond Leung

>> The Dodgers remain in negotiations with pitcher Kyle Blair, the team's fifth-round draft pick who could sign by 9 p.m. Wednesday for a signing bonus worth about $1 million. <<

http://tinyurl.com/yore3y

So, which one should we believe?

2007-08-13 09:20:44
186.   ToyCannon
"Martinez signing: Ramon Martinez will be signing autographs Monday at the Superior Warehouse Market at 3600 Cesar Chavez Avenue from 12-2 p.m. PT. "

Anyone think Josh is sending as many Dodger employee's as possible so that Ramon isn't left standing all by himself, or do people really show up to get an autograph of the worse utility player in baseball?

2007-08-13 09:22:38
187.   ToyCannon
185
Leung, but that doesn't mean he'll get signed, but I do believe that they are still negotiating.
2007-08-13 09:22:51
188.   fanerman
186 We can make it an unofficial DT meet.
2007-08-13 09:23:36
189.   CanuckDodger
182 -- I'm sure Abreu would rather get the big money that comes with being on the MLB team's disabled list rather than play in Triple A for peanuts, especially if he thinks he didn't deserve to be demoted in the first place.

Players play hurt all the time. Maybe they shouldn't but they do. I think what bothers the Dodgers is that Abreu was happy to play with some pain as long as he was in the majors -- hence Colletti's comment about seeing Abreu running from first to third -- but as soon as the demotion occurred Abreu says he can't take the field anymore.

2007-08-13 09:29:46
190.   Jon Weisman
184, 189 - I completely understand that. But it's now August 13; the Dodgers are playing Martinez and Young at second base now. September 1 is 2 1/2 weeks away. Abreu's career is passing before his eyes. Seems to me if he could play, that he would declare himself healed and play, so that he could get himself back in the bigs, where there's going to be plenty of room for him. I would think Boras would tell him the same.

I'm not saying I believe Abreu on faith. But I'm certainly not sure I can trust the Dodgers on this one. And I'm definitely not in the mood for the Dodgers to hold a grudge against him, even if they now plan to get rid of him. Is it really worth not spending a month's worth of DL pay to preserve his trade value?

If the Dodgers just put him on the DL already, we'd have the whole situation resolved within the next couple of weeks at the latest. We'd know the truth, instead of playing this he said/he said game.

2007-08-13 09:31:40
191.   CanuckDodger
I don't think the Dodgers are going to sign Blair. With Withrow, Watt, Danielson, Contreras, Rondon, Thompson, and Dutton all doing well in the GCL, and Bryan Morris coming back from TJ surgery, it looks like the Dodgers will have no shortage of good arms in Great Lakes next year. Blair may well be better than most of those guys, but the bottom line is that the Dodgers just aren't going to be desperate enough to fork over a $1 million bonus to a teenage pitcher.
2007-08-13 09:32:36
192.   Jon Weisman
191 - Do you think they shouldn't?

What's Blair's ceiling? $1 million sure seems like a pittance for a guy with any kind of solid major league rotation hopes.

2007-08-13 09:33:29
193.   fanerman
191 Someone's made this point before, but why would you draft someone if you're not gonna sign him? Is it just to take the chance that you'll be able to sign him for what you want to sign him for?
2007-08-13 09:35:31
194.   regfairfield
191 If the Dodgers are willing to pay one million dollars to employ Joe Beimel, getting a high ceiling prospect for the same price seems like something they should do, no matter how many arms they have. They do tend to flame out for whatever reason.
2007-08-13 09:41:22
195.   bhsportsguy
183 I've said it before, I first remember reading Bill James Abstract in either 1982-1983, Tom Boswell first wrote about Total Average I believe around the same time, I love stats, they fascinate me particularly going back in the history of the game because I never saw Ruth, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Mays, Mantle, etc. play and you could get a sense of their greatness by their numbers.

But what happened, certainly when "MoneyBall" was published, is that sides were drawn, you either were stats or scouting, hard data or subjective observation on a given day. And I just don't think it is that easy.

Baseball Prospectus is great but does VORP accurately predict what is going to happen or how valuable something is after the fact.

The one thing about statistical analysis and the thing that makes it attractive, it allows those who are not connected to the game, e.g., not a scout or a front office person, a place to form opinions that then can be used to argue the pros and cons of that particular player. And in all the major sports, baseball is the one where you can to this with every player on the team.

That is where the "battles" with management or sportswriters begin, they have their set of biases and beliefs and sometimes appear not to accepting of this analysis while phrases like "great clubhouse guy", "good chemistry" sometimes fall upon deaf ears when it comes to those who just want to look at numbers.

Theo Epsteim is considered one of the new fangled GMs, he has the guru of stats, Bill James, in their employ, and still he signed Julio Lugo to long term contract. And has Boston done anything really revolutionary since those hires, to me, they did spend a lot more money but nothing revolutionary is being done in the players they sign or play, sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't.

Sorry for the long post but I just think that there is room for both, sure its nice when "one side" appears to get it but I do think that it would be better if when one or the other did, no one would make a big deal of it.

2007-08-13 09:42:02
196.   CanuckDodger
190 -- Jon, about Boras advising Abreu to play, Boras is the king of the hold out when it comes to his just-drafted clients, delaying players from starting their pro careers just to shake down clubs for more money, so I can believe he would take the same tactic with a prospect. Is it hurting the player? Sure, but Boras does not care about that. He never has. It's all about his own power struggle with the management of an MLB team.
2007-08-13 09:44:39
197.   bhsportsguy
190 From what I saw last week, I thought he was seeing someone regarding a sports hernia with the provision that those injuries are hard to detect, let's assume they did that and nothing came up. Then where are they?
2007-08-13 09:45:09
198.   Jon Weisman
196 - But how does it increase Boras' income potential? If this in fact is a "holdout" that keeps a healthy Abreu off the roster in September, then the player and his agent are in a lose-lose - to say nothing of what it does for his 2008 income.
2007-08-13 09:46:00
199.   Jon Weisman
197 - Look at how good they were in determining what was really wrong with Jason Schmidt et al.
2007-08-13 09:46:06
200.   Dodgers49
190. And I'm definitely not in the mood for the Dodgers to hold a grudge against him, even if they now plan to get rid of him.

Unfortunately, I suspect that is the case. Placing him on the Restricted List instead of the DL (even the Minor League DL) was huge as CanuckDodger indicated. I suspect the relationship between Abreu and the Dodgers is in deep trouble. It wouldn't even surprise me if Colletti refused to call him up in September even if he declared himself healed. Admittedly, this is just my take on the situation but that's just how it looks to me.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-08-13 09:47:33
201.   The Mootz
Don't fear! Jose is near!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/08/13/contreras.waivers/index.html

2007-08-13 09:48:39
202.   Greg Brock
196 Boras has one goal. Drive up the market on every player to raise salaries league-wide. If that's what "his own power struggle" is, than I agree. It's unfortunate that he views labor/management as an intrinsically antagonistic relationship, but it's quite effective.

Why should an agent care at all about management? He doesn't work for them. And if he was such a negative influence on his clients and their reputations, nobody would sign with him.

2007-08-13 09:49:11
203.   rockmrete
I don't see how Abreu holding out is to his benefit. This sring he appeared to come out of nowhere, wasn't he destined to AA before he played so well in Furcal's place?
2007-08-13 09:51:38
204.   bhsportsguy
199 Okay, but can Boras can get a doctor to examine Abreu for a second opinion if he really belives his client is hurt. Regarding Schmidt, that's true but sometimes you really don't know anything until you open up and take a look, I don't think that is necessarily just a Dodger situation and if is, it is now crossed over to a new head trainer.

UCLA lost one of their baseball recruits when Jason Heyward signed with the Braves for 2006 slot money, there are still 12 first round picks unsigned with Wednesday being the last day to sign any draft picks.

2007-08-13 09:53:22
205.   bhsportsguy
203 He was at AAA when he was called up, he actually 3B and a little at 2B during his callup.

He has mostly played 2B in the last few years of his minor league career.

2007-08-13 09:53:39
206.   Jon Weisman
At Baseball Musings, David Pinto linked to this post. His headline: "Your Girlfriend is Better."
2007-08-13 09:55:10
207.   Dodgers49
197. From the looks of things it appears the Dodgers primary motivation for the battery of tests was to verify their suspicions more so than to find a sports hernia that they didn't believe he had in the first place.
2007-08-13 09:57:12
208.   Jon Weisman
204 - I'm not saying by any means that this could only happen with the Dodgers.

These are the facts as I see them:

1) Tony Abreu was hurt at one point. Both parties stipulate this.

2) About a week later, after trying to make a go of it, Abreu is optioned. Stipulated.

3) Abreu says he is still hurt. The Dodgers imply that he isn't.

Why am I supposed to believe the Dodgers?

2007-08-13 09:57:32
209.   CanuckDodger
192 -- The Dodgers SHOULD sign Blair, I am just predicting they won't. Hope they prove me wrong.

193 -- Your second question answers your first.

194 -- I agree. That logic should apply, but it doesn't. We can't really know if it is even the front office that can make the decision or not. Ownership not only has to be willing to pay the above-slot money, but has to stand up to Bud Selig when Selig protests, because MLB ALWAYS protests above-slot bonuses, and vehemently protests really big above-slot bonuses. If McCourt is hoping to get an All-Star game at Dodger Stadium anytime soon, he isn't going to cross Selig.

2007-08-13 09:58:41
210.   Sam DC
Another somewhat personal tangent. My six year old is just opening up to the idea of baseball statistics. So I explain them to him. It's funny how easy I find it to explain what on base percentage is, but how hard it is to explain what batting average is.

WHIP is easy to explain, ERA is convoluted and hard to explain.

Now obviously OPS+ and VORP will take some time.

For one thing, I'll need to learn myself what they are.

Park factors in general, however, are easy to explain. He's been to both RFK and CBP, so that makes it especially easy.

Heaven knows what will happen when baseball tonight gets him. I predict he starts to see me as a very cranky old man.

2007-08-13 10:00:26
211.   fanerman
210 You have to convince him that the crank old men are on baseball tonight.
2007-08-13 10:03:47
212.   ToyCannon
Time for McCourt to play with the big boys. As Andrew says, it is silly to waste money on fungible big league players and not take chances on guys that Logan White felt strong enough about to draft.

Hochevar 2002 HS Draft - Unsigned - Number one overall Pick, 2006
Matthew Antonelli 2003 HS Draft - Unsigned - Number One of the Padres, 2006
Davic Price 2004 HS Draft - Unsigned - Number one overall pick, 2007
Joseph Savery 2004 HS Draft - Unsigned - Number 19 pick, 1st round, 2007
Alex White 2006 HS Draft - Unsigned - Possible top 10 pick in 2009

I would hate to see Alex White being the number one pick in 2009 and Blair the number one pick in 2010.

I think it is funny that we drafted a Loney and a Looney in 2002

2007-08-13 10:06:17
213.   Bob Timmermann
212
I would love to have a time with a Loney/Looney combo to go with the Seanez/Saenz combo.

There would be more typos in posts here than we get with Eric "Stultz" and Luis "Gonzales".

2007-08-13 10:07:49
214.   fanerman
209 Re: 103
That just seems like a pretty lame reason to me. I agree with Andrew and ToyCannon.
2007-08-13 10:07:52
215.   ToyCannon
210
You have six more years before he see's you as a cranky old man.
2007-08-13 10:08:32
216.   NorCal-Dodger
Well it can't get any worse. 6 behind in the divsion to the D'Backs and 3 behind in the W/C. This team has not been as streaky in the good like last year. We've just streaked in the bad side. Starting tonight we need to streak towards the 'W' column. Good matchip with Bills going against Oswalt. I'll be there tonight, hopefully things will turn around!
2007-08-13 10:12:21
217.   CanuckDodger
198 -- Boras' income potential is a function of his power. He gets the big clients because he is known to be ruthless and to not surrender when he plays a game of "chicken" with team management. By fighting for Abreu's right to be put on the MLB team's DL and be paid major league money he is championing a player rights issue. I suppose Boras could even win the point, but by that time the Dodgers may have soured on Abreu too much to want him any more. I am sure Boras thinks if it gets to that point a trade will happen and Abreu will just play for some other team, so no big deal.
2007-08-13 10:13:01
218.   bhsportsguy
OT-Golf stuff.

Tiger - 13 majors in 44 professional major starts.

Nicklaus - 11 majors in 44 professional major starts.

While Tiger has won 13 majors, 24 other players have won the other 31 major titles, 19 of them have just won one.

For Jack, 22 other players won the other 33 major titles, 16 of them won just one major.

5 other players have won more than one major during Tiger's run, Phil and Vijay have won 3 majors.

6 players won multiple majors during Jack's first 44 majors, Lee Trevino and Gary Player won 4 each, Arnold Palmer won his last 3 majors during that time period.

Tiger has equaled Jack's wins at the British Open with 3, he trails Jack by 2 at both the U.S. Open and the Masters and by 1 at the PGA Championship.

The next 3 U.S. Opens will be played at courses where Tiger has had great success, Torrey Pines South where he was won multiple Buick Invitationals, Bethpage in New York where he won his second U.S. Open and then back at Pebble Beach where he won his first U.S. Open in record breaking style.

2007-08-13 10:18:38
219.   Johnson
206 Now that is funny.
2007-08-13 10:22:15
220.   Piazza
I'm new to posting, but has anyone suggested yet that Grady Little should be replaced. It's time to rid ourselves of this guy. He is not the manager for this crew, and more importantly, he's not the manager for the up-and-comers in the next few years. It's time for some fire in the Dodger dugout for the first time since (a healthy) Tommy. Any suggestions?
2007-08-13 10:23:33
221.   bhsportsguy
212 While I agree somewhat, what big boys are you talking about, no team has gone on a spending spree during the draft, almost to a fault each team upholds this collusion of spending limits.

The first two were picked when Fox owned the team, Price, Savery and White were all picked in the teens. If waving a million dollars at these guys was all that it would take, why not draft them in the first round. There maybe some guys that just want to go to college. As the story goes, Chase Utley was offered first round money and decided to still go to college, stuff like that happens.

Maybe some team will decide to take 12-15 million dollars into the draft and make a real splash, but that day is not here yet and MLB is certainly doing its best to make sure it never does.

2007-08-13 10:24:38
222.   Bob Timmermann
220
Welcome. You should look for some comments from "Retire 55". He is the site's president of the Run Grady Little Out of Town on a Rail Club.
2007-08-13 10:25:19
223.   Jon Weisman
220 - The dump Little group has its members, but I'm not on board. Of course, I didn't turn on Jim Tracy until 2005.

"Fire" is definitely not on the top of my list of qualifications.

2007-08-13 10:27:32
224.   ToyCannon
221
I'll check the numbers but my recollection is that the Red Sox and Yankee's went over slot last year to make up for their poor draft placement.
2007-08-13 10:27:36
225.   still bevens
The callers to Dodger talk on Sunday were up in arms and were almost all on the 'fire Grady' bandwagon. It was kind of a hilarious show because every caller was completely p.o.'d and even the host wasn't really pulling punches. He also made comments that management listens to his show and tells him to be more positive, etc. and that this time he was trying to hold back, couldn't and might be hearing from them again. Hah.
2007-08-13 10:27:43
226.   kngoworld
Ned and Grady are best friends. I do not seeing Grady getting the axe as long as Ned is the GM.
2007-08-13 10:28:02
227.   Bob Timmermann
Also on golf from Paul Lukas's Uni Watch blog:

"No photo yet, but David Conley reports that Tiger Woods's baby girl, Sam, "was actually wearing a red jumper with a large Nike swoosh on it when they showed her on TV yesterday after Tiger won the PGA." And if you'll excuse me for a second, I need to go throw up."

2007-08-13 10:31:04
228.   kngoworld
227 If that is true, the poor girl will have to wear the red shirt every Sunday Tiger is leading an event.
2007-08-13 10:31:06
229.   Jon Weisman
226 - Friends will fire friends before they fire themselves. But not right now for Colletti.
2007-08-13 10:31:35
230.   old dodger fan
Nomar update:

At Home-.824 OPS; 5 HR
Road- .562 OPS; 1 HR

The season is too far along to call this a small sample size. Any explainations?

2007-08-13 10:32:19
231.   ToyCannon
226
Plenty of GM's have had to fire their friends. It is the nature of the business, since most GM's tenure is much longer then a managers.
2007-08-13 10:32:37
232.   Jon Weisman
I don't see anything Grady could have done differently with the pitching staff to improve the team. And I think Grady's hands are relatively tied with regards to Pierre. So other than batting order, which is a minor point in all this when no one's hitting besides Ethier, what really is Grady supposed to be doing differently?
2007-08-13 10:32:42
233.   regfairfield
221 Detroit has been spending pretty big on the draft the last couple years, but for the most part teams don't go over slot.

They really should though.

2007-08-13 10:33:52
234.   regfairfield
230 Low Rider gets him really fired up.
2007-08-13 10:39:22
235.   Bluebleeder87
The thing I can't quite figure out is how Nomar Garciaparra is still batting .281. Forget the fact that his on-base and slugging percentages aren't much higher - he just rarely seems to do more than a 1 for 4.

the thing about Nomar is that the hits he's getting are little singles no OPS at all. sigh [with a touch of anger in the sigh]

2007-08-13 10:41:04
236.   Bob Timmermann
"Johnny Appleseed" by Joe Strummer would fire me up.

Then I would speak uncomprehnsibly for 10 straight hours afterwards.

2007-08-13 10:41:32
237.   Penarol1916
224. I believe you are right. The consensus seems to be that after a few years of having very poor farm systems, the Yankees and Red Sox have vaulted to the stop of farm system ratings due to spending well above slot for drafted players and throwing money at international signings. The other two teams that have put a lot of money into the draft are the Tigers and the Angels.
2007-08-13 10:44:48
238.   Sam DC
227 Man, what Under Armour would've paid for that placement.
2007-08-13 10:46:28
239.   Jon Weisman
227 - I don't see the problem. The Woods' need to book some money for Sam's college fund.
2007-08-13 10:49:39
240.   Bob Timmermann
And it's not just me who gets upset about misspelled names:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/opinion/12pubed.html

2007-08-13 10:51:09
241.   still bevens
So they can buy her a college of her own.
2007-08-13 10:54:14
242.   underdog
I wish the Dodgers were facing Patton Oswalt tonight instead of Roy.

--

Argh, this Abreu thing is getting out of hand. I don't know whose fault it is (my guess: everyone's) but I really hope they can resolve it because we a) need Abreu to help the team in September and b) don't want acrimony to ruin any chance of him having a future with this team. Seems like Colletti and Boras are both playing hard ball and Abreu may be caught in the middle. Just don't want the Dodgers to be petty about it.

2007-08-13 10:57:59
243.   ToyCannon
235
Not true at all. It is no longer May/June, From July 1st on Nomar has had more multiple hit games then Russel Martin. Perception is not reality. Russel Martin has had one more extra base hit since the all-star break but only one home run to Nomar's 4.
2007-08-13 10:59:46
244.   Robert Daeley
232 "...what really is Grady supposed to be doing differently?"

Be a scapegoat, apparently

2007-08-13 11:03:02
245.   Jon Weisman
243 - But everyone's telling me how bad Martin has been. So is that damning with faint praise?
2007-08-13 11:12:37
246.   Jon Weisman
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=2965174

Jayson Stark on Johan Santana:

Let's see now. Barry Zito signed last winter for $18 million a year over seven years. He's a guy with 18 fewer wins and an ERA nearly a run and a half higher (1.45) than Santana's over the last four seasons.

Mark Buehrle signed last month for $14 million a year for four years -- a deal that swells to $15 million a year (and one extra season) if he gets traded. He's a guy with 14 fewer wins and an ERA more than a full run higher (1.05) than Santana's over the last four seasons.

So if that's what Zito and Buehrle are worth, what's Johan Santana worth? One large-market executive predicts he would be a $20-million-a-year man on the open market. But another large-market executive says he wouldn't be shocked if that estimate is low. Way low.

As in $25 million a year. For anywhere from five to seven years.

2007-08-13 11:16:11
247.   Bob Timmermann
Hendrickson had a game score of 4 yesterday.

Which was not the lowest put up by a Dodger starter this year. Lowe had a 2 against the Mets.

2007-08-13 11:18:08
248.   Greg Brock
I would like Santana. For 25 million a season? No thanks.
2007-08-13 11:18:12
249.   El Lay Dave
240 I asked Greg Brock, the senior editor in charge of corrections, ...

The name is a happy coincidence, but does a newspaper, even the N.Y. Times, need a double-tiered (at least?) management structure for corrections?

Sounds to me like the NYT is using unsophisiticated software, or not using the software they have to full advantage. There should be a consistency checker, not just a spell checker in use. Alberto Gonzales' full name should appear in their custom dictionary; the consistency checker would find subsequent misspellings of "Mr. Gonzales".

2007-08-13 11:20:35
250.   bhsportsguy
249 I thought Bob was in charge of all NY Times issues?
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-08-13 11:22:00
251.   regfairfield
There is a serious misevluation of talent going on if Zito is an 18 million dollar a year man and Santana isn't at least a 25.

When you factor in how better players are exponentially more valuable than mediocre ones, Santana probably should be a 30-35 million dollar player on the open market, if the Ted Lillys and Viceinte Padillas of the world are getting 10 million plus a year.

2007-08-13 11:27:55
252.   Jon Weisman
Sounds like the NY Times has needed corrections help for a while. I'm still waiting for them to fix their mistake on George Burns being out trying to stretch a single into a double in 1914.
2007-08-13 11:30:41
253.   Bob Timmermann
252
The also spelled Harry Coveleski's name as "Coveleskie" back in 1914. He was referred to as "the militant Pole."
2007-08-13 11:36:40
254.   old dodger fan
251 The problem with a contract like that is that unless you have a tremendous amount of money to spend you have cut your own throat for the duration of the contract if the guy blows out his arm (or his knee or his hip, etc).
It is a high risk / high reward deal.
2007-08-13 11:46:33
255.   Lexinthedena
To chime in on the Grady Little talk....He needs at least another year...

He has made some questionable desicions, but tell me a manager who doesn't....

My theory is that Dodger fans whoo are fuming and throwing shoes at the T.V get upset when they see Little sitting stoic in the dugout while things fall apart....they miss the cathartic release they got to share with Tommy while he had his meltdowns...

Weather or not Little has anything to do with it, young players have for the most part thrived under his tenure....

2007-08-13 11:46:45
256.   silverwidow
Josh Bell is not doing too well in High A (1 for 11).
2007-08-13 11:47:59
257.   regfairfield
Maybe we need Alfredo Griffin to come in and steal a bucket of Grady's chicken.
2007-08-13 11:54:33
258.   Joshua Worley
I think some team is going to trade for Santana this offseason and then sign him to a 6 years at 30 million per year extension.

I wonder what the Dodgers would have to give up to get Santana in trade? Start with Kershaw, I guess, but it would take a lot lot more, surely.

2007-08-13 11:54:42
259.   ToyCannon
I'd give Santana 30 Million, one year at a time.

If I was a player like Santana or Arod I would do what Clemens does. Sign one year high dollar deals and then look around the next winter and make sure I'm only signing with teams who are going to be playing in October. Why lock yourself up for 5-6 years when you could end up playing poker in October if things don't go right with your team.

They could bounce back and forth between the Yankee's/Met's/RedSox to the highest bidder and the best team geared up for a long playoff run. No one wants to be the next Ernie Banks or Jeff Bagwell or Craig Biggio who never even got a chance to play for the ring. The money will be there, keep your options open.

2007-08-13 11:55:02
260.   Jon Weisman
254 - Seems like if you have high payroll, perhaps you should have X amount of dollars in mad money, in shoot-the-moon money. You would compliment your Santana signing with a signing of someone like (up to now) Lowe, who stays healthy?
2007-08-13 11:56:28
261.   Joshua Worley
259 --

I guess players don't do this because they're afraid of getting injured. But from a player's perspective I love the idea.

2007-08-13 11:57:09
262.   regfairfield
259 I don't know, the chances of getting hurt and losing out on 150 million dollars seems like too much of a risk to me. I would think that someone would want that kind of security, even if it meant less potential money in the long run.
2007-08-13 11:59:38
263.   regfairfield
254 With the way the Dodgers are setup, those are the kind of moves they should be making to leverage our advantage over the other teams in the division. The Dodgers could give that kind of money to Johan, and if he gets hurt the Dodgers could absorb the hit with the young talent they have. If the Diamonbacks did something like that, it would destroy them.

With the Dodgers talent base, signing those superstars are really the only way to improve the team, since those 8-10 million dollar a year players probably are going to be no better than what we have now.

2007-08-13 12:00:05
264.   ToyCannon
256
I'm not as concerned with his offense as I am with his defense. He may have been promoted to protect the 1st base fans. If he can't stick at 3b he is not nearly as interesting. 35 errors in 100 odd games suggests lots of work for Mr Bell.
2007-08-13 12:00:37
265.   lab rat
I am very saddened by the Gagne ordeal in Boston -- though I have faith that things will turn for the better.

I want to do a Maurice Cheeks and put my arm around the kid who can't remember the words to the Anthem. It's that bad.

2007-08-13 12:01:55
266.   KG16
A quick comment on Nomar hitting .281 while seemingly going 1 for 4 most of the time. That's all .281 is, it's 1 for 4 (.250) with an extra hit or two per week. Figure five games in a week and 5 ABs per game, that's 25 ABs, to hit .281 he need only get 7 hits, and a single counts just as much as a HR.

I can't explain why he hits better at home than on the road, but my understanding is that is not entirely uncommon for a lot of players. Maybe he sees the ball better at the Stadium?

With respect to Grady, I'm pretty apathetic, there haven't been a lot of moves he's made that I've questioned, given the way the team is built. Now, if Kent goes another 14 ABs without a hit and he's still in the line up, there might be a problem.

2007-08-13 12:08:38
267.   Eric Enders
Santana at $25 million per? It would take me about half a second to say yes to that deal. Regfairfield hits it on the head -- in a world where the Zito types are worth $18 million, Santana is an absolute steal at $25 M. There is only really one concern, expressed in 254 .

"The problem with a contract like that is that unless you have a tremendous amount of money to spend you have cut your own throat for the duration of the contract if the guy blows out his arm (or his knee or his hip, etc)."

The thing is, that's an exaggeration. With all the advances in baseball medicine, there's really no precedent for an elite pitcher blowing out his arm and remaining useless for the duration of a long contract. Santana has an impeccable health record, and has been around long enough that both his health and his ability are as close to guaranteed as it gets for a pitcher. Even Kevin Brown ended up paying some dividend on his contract, and Santana is no Kevin Brown. Even if Santana were to have major arm surgery, you'd still be likely to get several years of good pitching on the contract.

Really there is no precedent in baseball history for an elite young pitcher like Santana signing a big contract which ends up being not worth it. People are always citing examples of long-term pitcher signings that ended up being disasters, but not a single one of those examples is comparable to Santana in terms of age and ability.

2007-08-13 12:08:56
268.   old dodger fan
If we drop Wolf, Tomko & Hendy that gives us $15 million towards a front line pitcher that hopefully will be better than the combination of those 3.
2007-08-13 12:12:37
269.   lab rat
Regarding Little, it's sort of what Churchill said about Americans: "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing after they have exhausted all the other possibilities."

Little has slowly come to recognize certain limitations and realities about the compsition of the team. Dropping Pierre to 7th -- while it won't have a great deal of effect -- is at least a demonstration that Little now understands that Pierre is a player of limited usefulness. The same goes for his diminishing use of Nomar and getting Ethier in the lineup 5-6 games per week, and certainly against all RH starters.

I agree with the commenter who suggested that it's Little's stocisim that drives the excitable fan crazy. He seems dull and ineffectual. But I'd rate him about average for a big league Manager. And...if nothing else...the guy was credited as the Baseball Trainer on Bull Durham.

That's good for something.

2007-08-13 12:12:45
270.   JoeyP
His rationale is somewhat correct - Pierre is a decent role-player,

Its not correct at all.
Pierre's role (if he has one), would be a pinch runner or 5th OF'er.

Pierre in the starting lineup (for any team, mind you) is a disaster.

2007-08-13 12:19:40
271.   lab rat
Regarding Saito, am I incorrect to believe that he won't be with the Dodgers next year? That given the salary he'll command coupled with the existence of Broxton and kids like Meloan, that the Dodgers won't match what some other team who desperately needs short relief will offer him?
2007-08-13 12:22:14
272.   Icaros
271

Saito will not be a free agent for another 4 years. His service time is basically equal to Broxton, despite his age.

2007-08-13 12:23:19
273.   JoeyP
And has Boston done anything really revolutionary since those hires

I think Boston is an organization that knows what stats to value when promoting younger players (Pedroia, Papelbon), and also the big money to sign the better talent.

Boston's only real key mistake was trading away Renteria after only 1 year. Overreaction to just 1 bad season.

2007-08-13 12:23:31
274.   lab rat
Thank you. I wasn't aware that Japanese players were subject to the same rules of arbitration.
2007-08-13 12:25:48
275.   Icaros
274

I think some of the high-end Japanese players get early free agency written into their deals, but I don't know for sure.

2007-08-13 12:27:11
276.   Jon Weisman
269 - Speaking only for myself, I've quite enjoyed Little's personality.
2007-08-13 12:31:07
277.   Bob Timmermann
275
Hideki Matsui had a free agency clause written into his contract. But he could command it. I doubt Saito did.

The difference between Matsui and Saito in Japan would be like comparing Alex Rodriguez to Jake Westbrook.

2007-08-13 12:31:19
278.   ToyCannon
I like Little's personality, not as big a fan of his lineups but not enough to want to fire him, just chirp at him a little.
2007-08-13 12:32:51
279.   old dodger fan
267 I know he is not as good as Santana, who is now 28 years old but the first guy to come to mind is Russ Ortiz. At age 30 he had 6 seasons in a row with 33 or 34 starts (195 - 218 innings per year) and averaged 16.5 wins per season with a low of 14 and a high of 21. In the 2 (almost 3 now) seasons since then he has won 7 games. He pitched 60 innings last year and has pitched 40 this year. In fact he just came off 3 months on the DL on Saturday.
2007-08-13 12:34:24
280.   Jon Weisman
279 - I'd suggest looking beyond wins in making your comparison.
2007-08-13 12:37:15
281.   underdog
(I'm waiting for Bob to address 279 )

I like Little myself, certainly more than Tracy. He's made some mistakes and has some stubbornness, but I think, with the cards he's been dealt, he's done a pretty decent job. Between injuries and being forcefed some erratic veterans, mixed in with inexperienced youth, he's been fine by me. (Overall.)

2007-08-13 12:37:31
282.   Bob Timmermann
I never thought I'd live to see "Russ Ortiz" and "Johan Santana" to be used together in a comparison.

I'm going outside to have a bus hit me.

2007-08-13 12:39:09
283.   ToyCannon
And miss the game tonight?
2007-08-13 12:39:18
284.   Greg Brock
If people listed the 10 biggest problems with the Dodgers, Grady would be 8 or 9, tops.

Let's fix 1-5, and if Grady is still a problem, then fire him.

2007-08-13 12:40:35
285.   caseybarker
At least he wasn't advocating signing Russ Ortiz!
2007-08-13 12:41:04
286.   kngoworld
284 I would love to read what peoples 1 through 10 are, in order of importance. Possibly with a reasonable solution to each problem.
2007-08-13 12:45:32
287.   Eric Enders
279 inadvertently helps me make my point. You sign a lousy pitcher like Russ Ortiz, you deserve whatever's coming to you. You sign a future Hall of Famer like Santana, there's very good reason to believe your investment will pay a nice dividend.

Oh, and I like Grady's personality too. As, I believe, do the players. Anyway, it's a refreshing change from the self-aggrandizing blowhardiness of Jim Tracy.

2007-08-13 12:49:14
288.   lab rat
276 --

I agree wholeheartedly [possibly because I'm a Southerner]. But I think sports fans -- who, as a group, are incorrigible -- have a far less generous perception of character.

2007-08-13 12:50:45
289.   old dodger fan
The Ortiz-Santana comparison is not to say that Ortiz is as good as Santana, read the 1st phrase of the post. The point being made in 267 was that with todays sports medicine there is no precedent for a young healthy pitcher to be injured for an extended period of time thus the risks of signing Santana for a King's ransom and seeing him become injured for an extended period of time and having that money wasted for the balance of the contract is not as big a concern as I had expressed in comment 254 .

My point is that Ortiz was just 2 years older then than Santana is now and he seems to me to have gone from a healthy pitcher to a very unhealthy pitcher and such a drastic change in performance would give me great pause about committing $30 million per year for 5 or 6 years unless I had Yankee money.

Just because Santana is better than Ortiz does not mean he can't be injured just as badly.

It is still OK to disagree with me, I just want to be sure you understand my point.

2007-08-13 12:53:34
290.   Greg Brock
289 I wouldn't want to give Santana a huge long term deal, but one pitcher was an arm thrower, and the other has nearly flawless mechanics.
2007-08-13 12:58:17
291.   Eric Enders
289 "The point being made in 267 was that with todays sports medicine there is no precedent for a young healthy, *outstanding* pitcher to be injured for an extended period of time."

There. Fixed.

Really, it couldn't have been more clear. Go read the post again.

2007-08-13 13:00:54
292.   Lexinthedena
290- Someone will give him a long term deal.....I wouldn't be mad if it was The Dodgers.....A guy who does it with a changeup has a better chance of sticking around than a guy who does it with pure power....
2007-08-13 13:03:19
293.   MJW101
The main problem is that Ned has NO talent when evaluating players, period. Since he is such a wonderful friend and companion to the owner it is safe to say that Ned is not going anywhere.

What can be done? If Ned were to be PROMOTED by the owner into a senior VP position or even President (I realize this might put one of the owner's family out of a job) of the Dodgers it would open the GM job up for someone that would be qualified to hold the position. Say someone like White!

If White does not move up soon with the Dodgers he will move up with a different organization. How much worse can White be as a GM compared to Ned? At least White is qualified in evaluating ballplayers.

It is rather indicative of the status that Ned holds with the fanbase that they let out a sigh of relief when he just makes a dumb trade rather than a disastrous trade.

2007-08-13 13:03:33
294.   rockmrete
I like Grady's style of managing. Like GB said, Lets fix the roster and see what he can do.
2007-08-13 13:04:08
295.   paranoidandroid
Insurance money covers injuries but they don't report how much they get from the policies. How much did we get from Jason Schmidt? Colletti won't say.

That sort of factors into all of it. A bad contract for a guy like Russ Ortiz doesn't do you any favors if he is healthy. But if Santana's arm fell off, you'd recover a chunk of that money, wouldn't you?

2007-08-13 13:04:44
296.   Greg Brock
292 I heart Santana. A bunch. The guy has great mechanics and pinpoint command and the exact same arm action on his fastball and changeup. He's the left handed Pedro.

But 20% of your payroll to one starting pitcher scares me.

2007-08-13 13:05:25
297.   old dodger fan
291 You are correct and you were clear.

My point (next to last paragraph of post 289 ) is that I don't see how being outstanding makes one less suseptible to injury.

Is that your point? I am not trying to be argumentative. I had not heard that and really would like to hear it explained why that is.

2007-08-13 13:07:07
298.   bhsportsguy
295 I don't think it as much as an issue as it used to be because I don't know if teams insure contracts like they used too. The premiums are not inexpensive and insurance companies do fight coverage claims.
2007-08-13 13:12:07
299.   ToyCannon
291
Since your the historian, are you saying that pitchers who appear to be HOF pitchers between 27-30 usually escape the injury bug and continue to have HOF careers thus making is safer to offer them long term deals?
2007-08-13 13:12:30
300.   MJW101
I am not so sure that it is a good idea, in this age of gigantic contracts, to give a pitcher, even a pitcher like Santana, a contract of more than 3 years.

Three years is manageable if something happens, however, long term contracts for pitchers have a history of being bad investments.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-08-13 13:13:20
301.   regfairfield
297 I think the main problem with your comparison is that your are comparing a guy who wasn't any good to begin with (good pitchers don't walk over 100 guys in a season) with unquestionably the best pitcher in baseball.
2007-08-13 13:14:07
302.   underdog
I think the points are worth considering, but the main point is I don't ever remember Ortiz being even near as good as Santana, even in Ortiz's prime. So while it's true that any pitcher can be hurt and then you're screwed if it's a long term contract, Santana doesn't have much of a negative injury history, and has good mechanics, so it would seem less a worry than someone like, oh I don't know, Jason Schmidt, f'rinstance.

But the Dodgers do have a Santana coming up - Carlos, but alas, not a pitcher (nor guitarist).

2007-08-13 13:14:12
303.   Dodgers49
Possibility of signing Blair is still there

>> "We definitely have interest in Kyle Blair, and we like his ability," Dodgers scouting director Tim Hallgren said.

"We just have to see how it works out." <<

http://www.presstelegram.com/sports/ci_6609277

2007-08-13 13:14:42
304.   regfairfield
300 If you're only offering three years, you aren't getting Johan, plain and simple, unless you want to offer him something like 3/150. Even then, he could easily get more guaranteed money somewhere.
2007-08-13 13:17:08
305.   rockmrete
While the thought of Santana with the Dodgers youth movement is very attractive, I would like for them to take a chance this year with those draft picks. Even if it means angering Selig.

Tomko,Pierre,Hendrick,Wolf...$millions PER YEAR vs approx. 1 Million per draft pick for one year (or more)

2007-08-13 13:17:09
306.   ToyCannon
301
Unless your Nolan Ryan and then, hey, let's walk 200 and still keep our ERA below 3.00.
2007-08-13 13:18:56
307.   trainwreck
Just give him 3 or 4 years at ridiculous money. That is the one thing Ned got right. Shorter contracts worth more money.
2007-08-13 13:19:15
308.   regfairfield
306 True. Okay, you can't walk 100 guys with a K/9 of six.
2007-08-13 13:20:15
309.   Dodgers49
>> "If something needs to be done, we'll see," Little said.

That could mean the long-awaited major-league debut of top relief prospect Jonathan Meloan is at hand. The fireballing right-hander has been as impressive in eight appearances at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he has struck out 11 batters in 11 2/3 innings, as he was in 35 outings at Double-A Jacksonville, where he struck out 70 in 45 1/3 innings. Meloan, 23, has a 1.54 ERA for the 51s. <<

http://www.presstelegram.com/sports/ci_6609277

2007-08-13 13:29:04
310.   Jon Weisman
New post up top, mes amis.
2007-08-13 13:41:54
311.   Bob Timmermann
Top 10 things wrong with the Dodgers, from the home office

10. Team refuses to change name to Diamondbacks to take advantage of better record
9. Players disheartened by presence of Patrick O'Neal from Fox Sports because after watching "John from Cincinnati", they really don't want to hit on his wife anymore.
8. Ned Colletti keeps accusing Vin Scully of not being able to suck it up and announce games east of the Rockies
7. Grady Little can't find lineup card with #10 slot printed on it in order to hide poor hitters.
6. Rich Donnelly distracts too many runners on third with anecdotes about how once he forget what the steal sign was.
5. Derek Lowe can't get in touch with Bert Shepard to find out how to pitch with just one leg.
4. Nomar Garciaparra disappointed that Nike wouldn't give Mia and he Nike-branded baby clothes for the twins.
3. Team petition to move to NL Central denied by Commissioner Selig.
2. Failure to score enough runs.
1. Failure to win enough games.

2007-08-13 13:42:32
312.   Eric Enders
297 The point I was making is not that ace-caliber pitchers are less likely to get hurt. It's just that, when they are unhurt, or when they come back from injury, they are still outstanding pitchers. Even Darren Dreifort, the most extreme example of an injured pitcher, still pitched significant innings over the course of his contract. The problem wasn't so much that he got hurt, but that when he did pitch, he didn't pitch well.

Somebody like Kevin Brown represents the worst-case scenario of such a contract. And what did the Dodgers get out of Brown's contract, in between all the injuries? They got 873 innings pitched with a 149 ERA+, plus Jeff Weaver and Yhency Brazoban. The Brown contract was a spectacular success for the Dodgers. And that's the worst-case scenario.

So let's say you sign somebody like Santana to a seven-year contract. It just isn't physically possible for him to be hurt for all seven of those years. Even in a worst-case scenario -- let's say he loses three of the seven years to injury -- you still have four years of an outstanding pitcher.

Further, I would say that the odds of Santana suffering a disastrous injury are fairly slim given his injury history. He's not immune from injury, but he ain't Kevin Brown or Jason Schmidt either. For one thing, he's a lot younger than those guys. You'd be signing him for his prime, not for his late thirties.

And I'll say it again: Ace pitchers in their late twenties simply do not suffer career-ending arm injuries anymore. They used to, but now they come back from injury and are still outstanding pitchers.

If you look at all the long-term deals signed by pitchers of Santana's caliber, you'll see that almost all of them paid off big-time. Maddux signing with the Braves in '92. Clemens' signing by Toronto in '97. Randy Johnson's signing with AZ in '99. Pedro's trade and simultaneous long-term signing with the Red Sox in '98. In every one of those cases, the pitcher's team won at least one World Championship during his contract (with Clemens getting traded to NY).

Just looking at everything that's happened in the past, plus looking at the specifics of Santana's case, it seems like it's about as low-risk, high-reward a scenario as a long-term deal gets.

2007-08-13 13:55:20
313.   old dodger fan
312 Thanks for the follow up. I need to sign off for now but I appreciate the education. I always learn something when I come here.

I confess Dreifort came to mind during the conversation but because of his injury history before the contract I think we had some warning and Santana has not had that.

Ortiz gave some hints that something was wrong as well. While I think he was better than some here think his ERA rose 3 years in a row from 3.29 all the way up to 4.13, about 0.25 points per year, and his walks increased every year as well. Santana does not show any such trends.

I think it will be great fun this off season to see what happens with him. I actually fear him signing with someone in our division and having 6 great years far more than I do having him sign with us and be a bust. We can win carrying a $30 million non-performer more easily than we can win having him pitch like he does in SD or AZ and them eating our lunch.

Again, thanks for the conversation.

2007-08-13 15:31:00
314.   WillieD
276 I like Grady's personality too.

I've enjoyed your look to the Dodgers' future, Jon, and others' two bits. A pleasant distraction.

2007-08-13 15:35:29
315.   WillieD
287 Oh, and I like Grady's personality too. As, I believe, do the players. Anyway, it's a refreshing change from the self-aggrandizing blowhardiness of Jim Tracy.

Well stated! Sure is good to have Little to listen to now.

2007-08-13 16:08:34
316.   philmc78
If Colletti was to trade Juan Pierre for two mid-level prospects and pay three-quarters of his salary this offseason, he'd be fully absolved of his poor moves the past two seasons. Glad to see Scott Proctor is working out well, too.
2007-08-15 19:38:44
317.   ryu
Jose Offerman suspended after arrest for hitting 2 players with bat

http://tinyurl.com/3aj83b

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