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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
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360 Degrees of Torre
2007-11-02 07:57
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I don't want to leave the impression that my Thursday inquiry into Joe Torre as a game manager means that I have an axe to grind with him personally. Quite the opposite, actually. I do admire him and like him. For that matter, I have fond memories of him as an Angels commentator years back - in all seriousness, he might be wasting his perceptiveness and personality in the Dodger clubhouse instead of in the booth.

In any case, here's some more on Torre. Alex Belth of Bronx Banter was kind enough to provide me with his thoughts about Torre, on and off the field:

Clearly, his greatest asset in New York was being able to handle (George) Steinbrenner - who, until recently, was as fiery as ever - the media, and the enormous egos in the Yankee clubhouse. When you consider how many managers worked for Steinbrenner before Torre, his longevity is truly remarkable (of course, it was Torre's great initial success that allowed him to keep George at bay for so long).

He's a hands-off guy. He doesn't come in early to study statistics on the opponents. He shows up, trusts his instincts, and lets his players play. In fact, I think that is why he was ideally suited for the Yankee job when he took over in '96 - that was a team stocked with veterans who essentially policed themselves. Unlike in the '80s, clubhouse disagreements didn't land on the back page any longer. When Buster Olney was writing his book, "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," Jorge Posada told him about a beef he had had with Tino Martinez several years earlier. Olney, who was a beat writer when the rift occured, had no idea it ever existed. And Posada told him (I'm paraphrasing), "Exactly, that's because we didn't want you to know about it." It is also commonly believed in New York that Don Zimmer had an enormous impact on the in-game desicions during the early Torre years with the Yankees. They were a perfect match. Zimmer, the quintessential red-ass, and Torre, the stoic diplomat. I'd like to believe - though I don't know this for sure - that they were co-managers, at least during the games, with Torre constantly looking to Zimmer for strategy.

For the most part, I think guys liked to play for Torre. Sure, he had his whipping boys - Kenny Rogers, and Jeff Nelson, both stubborn bastards who didn't always throw strikes, come to mind - but the Papa Joe routine wasn't just a front, or a schtick. The players bought it. Who knows? Maybe if Torre didn't win the first season, the players wouldn't have admired him, and he would have quickly been out of job.

But the biggest deal, again, was how he dealt with George. How he was able to diffuse Steinbrenner's tantrums. He didn't sidestep the Boss. He wasn't intimidated. Torre was deferential to Steinbrenner, always praising him publicly, and privately, from what I've read, he was able to disarm Steinbrenner by gently busting his chops, without further antagonizing him. But then again, Torre is a pro - remember, he was a major presence with the player's union during his playing days. He sat in on a lot of contentious meetings during those volatile days of union v. management in the late 60s and 1970s. (Torre also worked on Wall Street during the off season during this time.) John Gaherin, the owner's legal counsel, once said that Torre was "the original Godfather, talking from behind a cloud of smoke." Gaherin praised Torre as someone who was able to keep his calm in charged situations. That ability served him well with not only the Boss, but the New York media as well.

I don't really know how things in Los Angeles compare. I don't know if fans are as obessessed with MLB in L.A. as they are in New York - though judging by the amount of comments you get, I'd say there are at least some bonafide fanatics. In NYC, we don't have college programs of any note, so it's Yankees 365 days a year. Torre understood this, and he was rarely ruffled. I mean, he did a weekly spot with Mike and the Mad Dog - the most popular sportstalk radio show in town, and the epitome of hype and histrionics - like it wasn't nothing but a thing.

I don't really know how Torre will do without a great club. For the first several years in New York, it seemed as if every move he made turned to gold. Then, the past few years, when he didn't stellar starting or relief pitching anymore, he made more wrong moves. I don't think anyone believes that he is a great tactician, or maybe even a great manager, but he was the right man at the right time for the Yankees. And the run the team went on from '96-'01 is an anomaly, something that likely won't happen again in our lifetime. I think Torre contributed to that success. It wasn't all because of him, but he helped.

Look, I think the term "classy" is as overused as most sports cliches, but it is entirely fitting when applied to Torre. The Yankees love to think of themselves as a class organization, but class is not something you can buy, and Steinbrenner never had much of it. I don't know if that class will translate to the Dodgers, but hey, at least he's Italian! So Lasorda has got to be happy, right?

* * *

You know, everyone talks about how difficult Steinbrenner was to deal with. But at least, until recent years, everyone knew where Steinbrenner stood. He stood out in front of the Yankee franchise and spoke in unmistakable specifics.

The McCourt ownership, on the other hand, speaks in platitudes. Rumors swirl about which big change he has pushed for and whose leash he has shrunk, but we don't really know, do we? He tells us that he leaves the baseball operation to the baseball guys, but is that true?

Certainly, Steinbrenner isn't the only owner who ever saw chaos on his watch. The McCourts have seen some just about every year. It will be interesting to see how much of this Torre neutralizes and for how long. (I suppose it would be poor form to wonder whether he might even contribute to the dysfunction, now that he has been crowned the Dodger savior.)

Anyway, I wish him the best of luck.

Comments (359)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-02 08:31:54
1.   Vishal
it's interesting how polar opposite steinbrenner and mccourt seem to be, yet at the same time, both manage to be extremely difficult to like.
2007-11-02 08:37:04
2.   D4P
He's a hands-off guy. He doesn't come in early to study statistics on the opponents. He shows up, trusts his instincts, and lets his players play

In other words, he pretty much sits on a bench for $13 million.

2007-11-02 08:40:15
3.   Disabled List
Honestly, I'm already over the Torre-to-LA saga. He's a manager, that's all. His success will be determined by how well the players he's been given perform. Period.

I'm far more concerned with what player personnel moves Ned Colletti is going to make this offseason. That will have a far greater impact on the team's success than Joe Torre.

2007-11-02 08:46:31
4.   El Lay Dave
2 Considering how much more easily managers can lose games rather than win games, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Besides, a $13M man should have assistants to do grunt work like statistics. ;)

2007-11-02 08:56:17
5.   D4P
But if the manager is just supposed to sit there and let the players play, why bother paying for a manager in the first place?
2007-11-02 08:58:14
6.   Bob Timmermann
5
I really hope this is a rhetorical statement or a joke.
2007-11-02 08:58:35
7.   Disabled List
Not for nothing, but this random sentence appeared in the NY Post this morning in an article discussing the possibility of A-Rod staying with the Yankees: Moments after Torre was named the Dodgers manager yesterday, Rodriguez told a person he was interested in joining Torre in Hollywood.

A person??? What kind of source is that?

2007-11-02 09:00:17
8.   D4P
If I were an owner, I think I would go managerless. The hitting coach could set the lineup, the pitching coach could bring in relievers etc., and no one would need to call for bunts, steals, hits and runs, etc.

I have a hard time believing a given set of players would perform worse under such a setup than if the same players had a manager.

2007-11-02 09:07:01
9.   El Lay Dave
8 And when the hitting coach stacks the lineup with bats without regard for defense, and pitchers like Lowe or Penny go ballistic because ground balls are getting through a porous infield and singles are turning into doubles, all due to defensive weakness up the middle, then what? Oh, wait. ;)
2007-11-02 09:07:01
10.   CajunDodger
7
ARod is interested in anywhere that he can meet his needs: to be loved, to make money, to make his family happy, and to be put in a position to succeed.

I don't say that lightly since that list is what about 95% of free agents look for. In the end, ARod, I don't think, really knows where he will end up, but SoCal seems to be the best fit.

He is the anti-Jeter. Jeter is media savvy, tough minded, and plays things closer to his chest. ARod seems to be the quintessential West Coaster: More about quality of life, less serious, and more sensitive to intense scrutiny.

For all of the craziness that will come, I think it will end up being the Dodgers and Angels vying for his services.

2007-11-02 09:12:02
11.   D4P
Managers are the Tom Smykowski-s of baseball.

"I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?"

2007-11-02 09:16:20
12.   Michael Green
Whatever I think of Torre--and I think highly of him--I'd like to add to Jon's and others' wise thoughts:

1. Granting that LA is less obsessed about its teams and doesn't have the tabloid back pages, it does have untalented phonies like Plaschke and Simers. The point is, the Posada/Martinez issue didn't get into the papers. Torre managed to control things himself and create an atmosphere that kept that sort of thing out of the press. True, that didn't always work with A-Rod, but dealing with a completely selfish player like him has readied for Torre for Jeff Kent, no question.

2. The Yankee winning teams were a joy to watch. I hated them, but they played the game very well. A lot of the credit for that goes to the manager. If the team is well prepared and doesn't make stupid mistakes, the in-game strategy suddenly matters less. Torre created that atmosphere, beyond doubt.

3. Neither of these facts means Grady Little alone failed. But the question is whether Torre can do a better job at them than Little did. His track record suggests that he can.

4. Torre's presence provides both body armor and a bullseye on No-Class Frank and Nedley. Torre brings a reputation, gravitas if you will, that Little didn't have, and that can help deflect criticism and problems. But it also means when things go wrong, Torre will be subject to less criticism, and the media will go after the bosses a bit more. And neither of them has the relationship with the media that George III, as Red Smith perfectly called Steinbrenner, had. Not that they loved him, but it was like the LA media with Lasorda: they made him look good even when he didn't deserve it because they knew he was great copy.

2007-11-02 09:16:56
13.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm all caught up, now, on all the Torre business. And I still don't care. I don't like how it was handled; I don't particularly care that Little got the ax, I just don't like being asked to believe that he put it in his own back. I think this was a low priority problem, like finding a new third best relief pitcher as a precondition of getting Billingsley back in the rotation.

It's all fine, but it looks like a push to me. McCourt needs a new hobby. Stamp collecting, or bird watching, or adultery. Something to get obsessed about, so that he doesn't keep trying to control things that can't be controlled.

2007-11-02 09:17:31
14.   sweepstakes
After baseball Torre is reported to be considering a position as prison warden. Sources close to A-Rod say he would play in a penal league if Torre was boss.
2007-11-02 09:19:43
15.   fanerman
13 McCourt should try gambling. If he's bad at it, he can sell the Dodgers.
2007-11-02 09:22:36
16.   CajunDodger
12
We may have gotten some long term stability with Torre as well. I have no idea if Donny Baseball can manage or not, but he could end up being the Yankees' Scioscia. The guy not quite appreciated enough to get the job, but the one that got away to another team who adopts him as their own.

Again, I have no clue if he can manage, but the potential is there for a Scioscia-like ascendency.

2007-11-02 09:23:29
17.   SG6
If a manager has no impact, then what was the cause of the Dodgers fall from first place to fourth in a period of two weeks with virtually no change in personnel?

In my opinion, winning keeps everyone happy, but losing causes discord. The manager is the one that can/should alleviate these matters of discord that happen over the season.

They keep the cracks at bay, which would otherwise continue until the clubhouse is completely fractured.

2007-11-02 09:25:23
18.   regfairfield
17 They went six for 100 with runners in scoring position?
2007-11-02 09:26:31
19.   Marty
13 Philately is a pretty cutthroat business. I have the scars to prove it.
2007-11-02 09:27:29
20.   Andrew Shimmin
In my opinion, winning keeps everyone happy, but losing causes discord. The manager is the one that can/should alleviate these matters of discord that happen over the season.

And the way to do that is to win, right? Since losing is what causes the discord. . . It's begging the question (Ha! I finally got a chance to use this properly; eat your heart out, Pellam!).

2007-11-02 09:28:54
21.   Andrew Shimmin
19- Perfect. McCourt could hire you as a consultant. Your new title would be Assistant General Manager.
2007-11-02 09:34:37
22.   fracule
About the asterisk, Bonds added: "I don't think you can put an asterisk on the game of baseball. I don't think that the Hall of Fame can accept an asterisk. You cannot give people the right to alter history. You can't do it. There's no such thing as an asterisk in baseball."

Oh, Ok. Tell that to Roger Maris' family. They had to live with an asterisk. Deal with it.

2007-11-02 09:36:39
23.   fracule
Sorry, off topic, but man that guy is lame.
2007-11-02 09:38:32
24.   jasonungar07
My Friday office/dodgers fix:

(Frank to Torre): I'm going to grant you three wishes — to move to LA, to have a great job, and to be my best friend.

(Ned to Torre): LA is not lame. LA is the cool, fun branch. We're like Animal House.

(Ned to Torre): We're getting crapped on. Word is our branch sucks.

(Torre to Ned): So why did you and Grady break up? Was it the sex?

At Press conference:
(Jaimie to Tommy): Tommy, are you peeing?
(Tommy to Jaimie): Hey! You're making me spray!

(Derek Lowe): The Kissing Torres but Club is the most exclusive club in this office. Naturally, it's where I need to be.

(Any dodger rookie): Why can't I be in the club?

(Beimel talking to Grady): I'm gonna miss you, man. You've been like an uncle to me. Like a kind old Uncle Remus.

(Ned to Grady): Fly away, sweet little bird. Fly away and be free.

(Tommy): I'm losing control of my bladder!

2007-11-02 09:38:58
25.   GoBears
17 is not a good argument that managers matter. Streaks happen.

But D4P is either nuts or is pulling our legs. As far as in-game tactics go, sure, the manager is probably extraneous. Even in football, which is undeniably a coaches game, the actual game is run by offensive and defensive coordinators, with position coaches, well, "coaching" along the way. But the head coach shows up anyway. Why?

I think the point is that the buck has to stop somewhere. Someone has to take responsibility for the whole product, and coordinate the position coaches.

And I think a lot of people agree that the most important job of the head coach is to lead and manage between games. Sure, once the first pitch is thrown, the manager could probably take a nap. The important part of his job is on hold for a few hours. But that doesn't mean the team doesn't need a guy in charge.

And this is why I'm hopeful about Torre. The in-game stuff is likely not a reason to prefer him to Little or anyone else. But I'm hopeful that he'll end the soap opera in the clubhouse. I was hopeful about Little on this score as well - Tracy was certainly no leader - but the end-of-season evidence from last year is that Little was not up to the job.

2007-11-02 09:44:36
26.   Foolsgold
ESPN pointed out last 5 dodger skippers (Bill Russell .537, Glenn Hoffman .534, Davey Johnson .503, Jim Tracy .527, Grady Little .525) had winning records.....
2007-11-02 09:46:51
27.   D4P
25
I feel like you're essentially saying that major league players need a babysitter. I guess it's too much to ask for grown men making millions of dollars to be mature adults.

I've said this before: if the manager is supposed to be some kind of conflict resolver person, why not hire someone who specializes in such things? Why hire a former baseball player who probably has no formal training in communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, etc. and is probably just as inadept as the players at such things?

2007-11-02 09:47:43
28.   Andrew Shimmin
Way more interesting story than Torre (SFW news story):

http://tinyurl.com/32y74o

What would you have to write on the side of the crate to make it believable? Alternate question: why didn't they think to tap the side before opening it?

2007-11-02 09:47:46
29.   D4P
26
Good is not good when better is expected.
2007-11-02 09:48:31
30.   BlueCrew Bruin
16 I was thinking the same thing about Mattingly and Scioscia. Given Torre's age, it's pretty clear that this 3 year deal might be his last hurrah as a manager. If McCourt really is looking to get the Dodgers back to some semblance of stability, these next 3 years are the perfect time to firmly wedge some young managerial candidate under Torre's wing and groom someone to take the helm for the next 15 years.
2007-11-02 09:53:27
31.   Greg Brock
Bill Plaschke is doing everything in his power to get Matt Kemp. He'll get that kid traded, even if it kills him.

That's a trade-off worth considering.

2007-11-02 09:54:14
32.   Greg Brock
31 That's a joke, of course. I'd never trade Kemp.
2007-11-02 09:54:37
33.   bigcpa
If only we just hired Orel to be the pitching coach in 2005. Then he would have been the heir apparent. Right now we'd be negotiating with Gibby to be his bench coach and saving $10M in the process.
2007-11-02 09:55:50
34.   D4P
I wonder how much of this "Kemp is an immature jerk" stuff will be self-fulfilling. From what I can tell, Kemp has not really responded or defended himself in the media much. But a guy can only take so much, and I wouldn't be surprised if Kemp eventually "has enough" and lashes out publicly, much to the delight of the LA Times morons who'll get to say they told us so.
2007-11-02 09:55:59
35.   Bumsrap
As the Dodgers build their coaching staff I wonder if Bill Russell would be interested and if he would qualify still as a Manager-in-Training for the long haul?

If the Dodgers trade for Miguel Cabrera would they replace the cheaper youth lost to the Marlins in that trade with costly veterans that combined with Miguel's future salary would wind up costing more than just signing AROD?

I would rather take chances with either Nomar or LaRoche or Dewitt instead of trading the best prospects.

I think I would like to trade Kent and Abreu to Texas for Ian Kinsler,

Just trade Kent already.

2007-11-02 09:57:35
36.   fanerman
33 If we didn't trade Pedro. If we didn't fire Evans. If we didn't fire DePodesta. If we didn't fire Tracy. Oh wait. Not that last part.
2007-11-02 09:59:23
37.   fanerman
34 He did defend his worth ethic after Kent's lashing right? Talking about how vets are established but young guys need to prove themselves so they work hard and bust their butts and have fun. And then if things don't work out it's not the end of the world and there's always next year.

I think I might be combining quotes.

2007-11-02 10:01:07
38.   Greg Brock
37 Kemp being Manny?
2007-11-02 10:02:20
39.   fanerman
38 I have applied Manny's quote to every facet of my life, and it's made me a better person.
2007-11-02 10:04:31
40.   BlueCrew Bruin
34 I think this is where having Torre will pay dividends. Where Grady might not have been able go get through to the players, Torre has a track record that commands respect and Kemp might pay attention when he says "Listen, kid, I've been through this in NY. Don't respond, don't dignify this stuff with a sound byte. Let me deal with this Plaschke clown."
2007-11-02 10:04:34
41.   uke
UCLA hoops #2...

http://tinyurl.com/3797no

2007-11-02 10:08:13
42.   CajunDodger
40
I can't wait until Simers tries to get snide with Torre. That will be fun to watch.
2007-11-02 10:08:21
43.   D4P
Question:

When players don't give a manager their "respect" by keeping things in house, trying to get along with teammates, giving 100%, etc., does that say more about the manager or the players?

2007-11-02 10:12:42
44.   Greg Brock
43 Professional athletes are generally not your most normal folk. Since the age of 10, they've been coddled, worshiped, enabled, and promoted. The sun rises and sets in their eyes. They've been the very best at what they do for a long time, and live on a separate plane of existence from the rest of us poor schlubs.

A lot of them are babies. Not all, but a lot of them.

2007-11-02 10:17:35
45.   BlueCrew Bruin
43 I think it definitely says more about the players. Unless a manager is cheating or doing something underhanded, every manager deserves the respect of his players. However, the sad reality is that a lot of pro atheletes have a sense of entitelment and of being above the law, so to speak, and it takes a strong manager to garner that respect. You're right that it shouldn't be necessary to have manager to keep grown men in line but it also shouldn't be necessary to have a police force to keep citizens from being murdered by other citizens (I think I pulled a muscle stretching with that analogy). Just because it shouldn't be necessary doesn't mean it isn't.
2007-11-02 10:19:28
46.   robohobo
You guys are missing the bigger picture here. Rich Donnelly is not going to be coaching 3rd any more. That alone is worth 14 million bucks.
2007-11-02 10:20:13
47.   D4P
44-45
I'm guessing long-term, guaranteed, multi-million dollar contracts don't help the situation much. I'd love to see the league go to one-year contracts. I think the game would be better off for it.
2007-11-02 10:22:53
48.   RIYank
Buster Olney:
"The Mets, Dodgers, Angels, Giants and Marlins are among the teams which have not publicly ruled out pursuing Rodriguez. Sources say it is highly unlikely that the Dodgers will seriously entertain the possibility."

(Boldface added by me)

2007-11-02 10:23:22
49.   Greg Brock
47 Hey, you're like the reincarnation of Charlie Finley!

What are your thoughts on orange baseballs?

2007-11-02 10:24:37
50.   CajunDodger
47
Just out of curiosity, why do you think that would make the league better?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-02 10:28:14
51.   Icaros
I'll take D4P's madness even further. How about all players make the same base salary, regardless of who they are?

Bonuses are paid out based on team standings. The better your team, the more you make, comrade.

2007-11-02 10:29:06
52.   D4P
50
1. Every year would be a "contract" year, so every player would have the maximum incentive to perform well.
2. No team would get stuck with a Darren Dreifort for more than a season.
3. If you play well this year, you're always eligible for a raise next year.
4. If you play poorly this year, you don't deserve a raise anyway.
5. The bottom line on long-term contracts is that they allow players to play poorly and/or get hurt but still make money. I don't see how that helps the game.
2007-11-02 10:30:10
53.   D4P
51
I've floated that idea here before!

It sunk.

2007-11-02 10:30:33
54.   fanerman
51 Your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
2007-11-02 10:30:40
55.   Eric Stephen
26 ESPN pointed out last 5 dodger skippers (Bill Russell .537, Glenn Hoffman .534, Davey Johnson .503, Jim Tracy .527, Grady Little .525) had winning records.....

I think it goes farther back than that:

Little, 2006-2007 (.525)
Tracy, 2001-2005 (.527)
Johnson, 1999-2000 (.503)
Hoffman, 1998 (.534)
Russell, 1996-1998 (.537)
Lasorda, 1976-1996 (.526)
Alston, 1954-1976 (.558)
Chuck Dressen, 1951-1953 (.642)
Burt Shotton, 1947-1950 (.603)
Leo Durocher, 1939-1946, 1948 (.566)

You have to go back 70 years, to Burleigh Grimes' .434 winning % from 1937-1938 to find a Dodger manager under .500. Even small sample size guys Clyde Sukeforth (1947) and Ray Blades (1948) went a combined 3-0.

Amazing.

2007-11-02 10:32:49
56.   D4P
52cont.
6. Players wouldn't get stuck in a miserable situation. If they don't like the team, they leave after a year. If they do like the team, they can always try to stay, which will work unless the team doesn't want them, in which case they should leave anyway.
7. While your team might lose more players every year this way, there are also gonna 29 other teams in the same boat, and 29 other teams' worth of players to choose from.
2007-11-02 10:33:26
57.   CajunDodger
52
Just to offer a counterpoint, what happens when a player gets hurt? Should they just not be paid. Even though the pendulum has clearly gone to the player side with guaranteed contracts with no salary cap, I don't like the idea of a league where the owners have no responsibility for the health of the players that provides them with their product.
2007-11-02 10:34:49
58.   fanerman
51 If the baseball teams have no managers, the players (the ones who do the real work anyway) get paid more! They have nothing to lose but their chains!!!
2007-11-02 10:35:13
59.   KG16
52 - on point five, I don't think it's the long-term contract that leads to injury. It's the competitive drive and doing something nearly insane to win a game (see Werth, Jayson). One year contracts would lead to more of these because, as you said in point one, every year is a contract year. There's also a moral objection to point 2, in that a one year deal would allow a team to toss a guy who was severely hurt while on the job without any repercussions.
2007-11-02 10:35:27
60.   Greg Brock
51 I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
2007-11-02 10:35:28
61.   Icaros
53

Maybe I subconsciously plagiarised you.

It happens.

2007-11-02 10:37:25
62.   Icaros
60

Communism and baseball go hand in hand. Cuba rules!

2007-11-02 10:38:31
63.   SG6
25 - Maybe not a good argument - heck, I don't know what goes on in the clubhouse, as I've never played at that level (or anywhere near). But I do know that in real life, it's when the chips are down that the best come out to play. It's true, the Dodgers couldn't hit a lick w/RISP, but was that because of the discord? It's the chicken and egg syndrome (although I always believed the egg had to come first).

The best part is, we should know shortly the impact Torre will have - both on leaving the Yankees and joining the Dodgers.

As for D4P's suggestion to do away with a manager, there has to be someone accountable. How would the hitting coach and pitching coach handle a double switch? Whose call is final?

This is a great board.

2007-11-02 10:38:59
64.   Sam DC
Derek Lowe is now, hands down, my least favorite professional athlete.

I'd rather bring in Barry Bonds to pitch.

2007-11-02 10:39:08
65.   gvette
16. The Dodger "tradition of grooming"managers?
1)Supposedly the '73-76 clubhouse was divided between Alston loyalists (Sutton) and Tommy's guys, with charges Tommy was trying to undercut Alston;

2)Russell and Tommy's relationship didn't survive Lasorda's realizing that Russell was going to keep the job permanently after the heart attack

3)Scioscia was in line after Russell, which in the O'Malley way of things, would have been years. Hoffman wasn't even in the picture until Malone arrived to destroy the franchise.

Best of luck to Joe, but eveh his "aura" will have a tough time surviving a rotation with Hendrickson and Loaiza every fifth day.
The spin is way too similar to the 1999 Davey (He's won everywhere he managed)Johnson hype

2007-11-02 10:40:34
66.   Sam DC
34 I worry about this too.

And I really agree with this: "You know, everyone talks about how difficult Steinbrenner was to deal with. But at least, until recent years, everyone knew where Steinbrenner stood. He stood out in front of the Yankee franchise and spoke in unmistakable specifics.

The McCourt ownership, on the other hand, speaks in platitudes. Rumors swirl about which big change he has pushed for and whose leash he has shrunk, but we don't really know, do we? He tells us that he leaves the baseball operation to the baseball guys, but is that true?"

Frankly, for all the grief he got for being a bad communicator, I feel like you always knew what Paul DePodesta thought and why he was doing what he did. You might not have agreed, but at least you had a chance to decide.

2007-11-02 10:41:56
67.   D4P
I'm not opposed to some kind of workman's comp for athletes that kicks in if you get hurt. That could be part and parcel of the one-year contract idea.

How would the hitting coach and pitching coach handle a double switch? Whose call is final?

One of them could be designated by the owner to have the authority.

2007-11-02 10:43:50
68.   D4P
And if we're worried that players in contract years will try too hard, aren't we admitting that they're not giving 100% in non-contract years?
2007-11-02 10:45:20
69.   Sam DC
One of them could be designated by the owner to have the authority.

And we can call that person, "the manager."

:)

2007-11-02 10:47:09
70.   Humma Kavula
52 Isn't that what Miller really feared back in the 70s when free agency was getting established? If everyone is a free agent every year, won't that push down salaries a huge amount?

I don't think the players union would let that happen.

2007-11-02 10:49:46
71.   Greg Brock
70 It was what Charlie Finley pushed for, and the other owners laughed him out of town.

Well, who has the last laugh now? Well, he's dead, but he'd be laughing...If he wasn't dead. Which he is.

2007-11-02 10:49:50
72.   KG16
68 - there's a difference between playing hard and playing with reckless abandon. It's about decision making, maybe with a guaranteed deal generic shortstop doesn't go diving into the stands to catch a foul ball and break his jaw on the seats. Conversely, with no guaranteed money, perhaps he lays out and hurts himself, thereby hurting the team (because they lose his services).

The other problem that develops is that there is no incentive to groom young players for major league positions. If I can go out and sign Jeter after a bad year, why bother developing Hu? If I can go get Puljos after one stellar year, why worry about Loney?

2007-11-02 10:49:50
73.   D4P
I don't think the players union would let that happen

Of course they wouldn't. Players want long-term contracts so they can take it easy for a few years if they want or get guaranteed riches if they get hurt. Who can blame them for wanting such things.

But I'm not convinced the game is better off for it.

2007-11-02 10:52:06
74.   D4P
The other problem that develops is that there is no incentive to groom young players for major league positions. If I can go out and sign Jeter after a bad year, why bother developing Hu? If I can go get Puljos after one stellar year, why worry about Loney?

I don't see this as a problem. Owners still want to make money, so if they can get similar production out of a cheaper player, they can still choose to do so. If you want to pay for expensive free agents every year, that's your prerogative too.

2007-11-02 10:52:31
75.   Dark Horse
70-Never in a million years would the players' union let such a thing happen. Which isn't to say it isn't in many respects a great idea.

I'm the wrong guy to ask, though, since I'm a complete and unapologetic Commie.

2007-11-02 10:55:05
76.   KG16
Why do I continue to read Everyone's Favorite Columnist™? It's like drinking - it kills brain cells, but doesn't have any of the benefits.
2007-11-02 10:55:21
77.   D4P
If everyone is a free agent every year, won't that push down salaries a huge amount?

But this assumes that the demand for free agents stayed constant, while the supply increased. In fact, the demand would also increase, as every team that lost free agents would also be looking for free agents to replace them.

2007-11-02 10:56:23
78.   fanerman
76 At first glance, I thought that said "Everyone's Favorite Communist™."
2007-11-02 10:57:07
79.   DodgerBakers
51 How would the Royals and Devil Rays have any players? Wouldn't all the players bolt for other winning teams so they could make more? Then the Royals and DRays would have no talent, not just some promising talent. I don't think that would be any fun at all.
2007-11-02 10:59:34
80.   D4P
79
Do the Royals and Devil Rays have any players now? There's only so many openings on "winning teams": somebody's gonna have to go to Kansas City or Tampa Bay. That's really no different than the way it is now. And pardon me for not feeling sorry for players who have to play baseball for a mere $1 million a year in small markets.

Waah.

2007-11-02 11:01:20
81.   KG16
79 - which also reminds me, you've got to factor in the minor league system in baseball. The initial multi-year deal a player signs is after he his drafted and figures to spend a couple of years in the minors (unless he is a top college player, then it's a year at most). Without the use of multi-year deals at the minor league level, you can't develop young players. And I highly doubt that they would remain cheap.
2007-11-02 11:01:24
82.   Disabled List
65 The spin is way too similar to the 1999 Davey (He's won everywhere he managed)Johnson hype

You know, I had a weird feeling about this too. I remember when Davey Johnson was first hired, in the press conference announcing his signing, he mentioned that his only previous experience with the Dodgers was the thrill of sweeping them in the 1966 World Series (when he was playing for the O's). I remember thinking to myself, "This guy is now the leader of the Dodgers? He's not one of us."

Torre has had a quote circulating the last couple of days about how much he hated the Dodgers while he was growing up in Brooklyn, and I had the same sinking feeling.

2007-11-02 11:01:36
83.   Greg Brock
80 If all the owners got together and decided on one-year contracts it would be collusion, and they would be sued for a bazillion dollars.

And the owners would lose.

2007-11-02 11:03:06
84.   KG16
83 - and then one smart owner would offer multi-year deals and have the best team by far.
2007-11-02 11:06:57
85.   D4P
and then one smart owner would offer multi-year deals and have the best team by far.

But there are only so many slots available on any given team, so players would by necessity have to go elsewhere. Plus, since when do multi-year deals automatically turn out well for the team? I'm not convinced of that at all.

2007-11-02 11:08:10
86.   DodgerBakers
80 Yes, I happen to think that the DRays especially have some great young talent that would go to other winning teams. Yes, someone will be playing in KC and Tampa, but those players will be named Neifi. I think it sets up a system where losing teams will never be able to win unless they get lucky and whatever dregs they get to sign with them pull out a World Series.

Also, I don't feel sorry for the players. I feel sorry for the fans watching a lack luster team with next to no hope of improving from year to year. Anyone who comes up through the minors and is good right away will assuredly be gone the next year since the only way for them to get more than base salary will be to play for a winning team.

2007-11-02 11:08:48
87.   Marty
60 I hear Torre's drink of choice is grain alcohol and rainwater. And he's not too fond of transistor radios.
2007-11-02 11:08:58
88.   CajunDodger
73
Though I do not like the fact that player salaries are pushing me from about 25 games per year down to 10 so we can actually afford to eat at the stadium, I do side with the players wanting guarantees.

Even though the owners have a much harder job in managing a franchise, major sports franchises, perhaps more than any other investment, is a guaranteed moneymaker. Even if you simply break even or lose slightly, the amount of appreciation you get on your investment is phenomenal.

If McCourt sold the Dodgers today, he would likely see a $100-150 million profit from just 3 years of ownership. That is in addition to any profits he made on the team in the interim or salaries that he and Jamie took in for their positions within the franchise.

2007-11-02 11:10:34
89.   jasonungar07
Is it spin though? I mean I am as cynical and tough on the dodgers as anyone...but 12 straight playoff apperances, with any club, is saying something.
2007-11-02 11:10:46
90.   Disabled List
83 , 84 That's a great game theory scenario. I'm gonna build a prisoner's dilemma model based on that.

Actually, no I'm not.

2007-11-02 11:17:07
91.   Andrew Shimmin
83- Baseball has an antitrust exemption. They'd stop having one shortly after they (by necessity, if this was going to be a thing) dissolved the union and decided to only sign one year contracts. But they should be immunized from bazillion dollar lawsuits.

I hope D4P will explain, on the day it happens, why the Dodgers' extending Russ Martin's contract till the day of the Rapture is bad for baseball.

2007-11-02 11:18:33
92.   fanerman
The thought of Russell, James, Matt, Chad, etc. ever becoming PVL's frightens me sometimes.
2007-11-02 11:19:06
93.   Eric Stephen
88 Though I do not like the fact that player salaries are pushing me from about 25 games per year down to 10 so we can actually afford to eat at the stadium...

Aren't salaries determined, in a general sense, from revenue, and not vice versa? In other words, salaries are higher because tickets/food/etc prices are higher, not the other way around.

I think owners charge what they can get for tickets, food, etc, because the consumer will pay for it, not because they have to justify higher player costs.

2007-11-02 11:20:20
94.   D4P
I hope D4P will explain, on the day it happens, why the Dodgers' extending Russ Martin's contract till the day of the Rapture is bad for baseball

He can stay with us as long as he wants, and as long as we want, on a series of one-year contracts. If he wants to leave, let him. We shouldn't keep him against his will. And if we (for whatever reason) want him to leave, we can make that happen too.

One-year contracts only preclude long-term relationships if one or both parties want the relationship to end. And if such is the case, then the relationship should end, shouldn't it...?

2007-11-02 11:20:55
95.   Eric Stephen
91 Just think, in a D4P world, we could acquire Eric Byrnes much, much sooner!
2007-11-02 11:22:14
96.   silverwidow
After listening to Ned's call, I don't expect a new 3rd baseman. He seemed to indicate that it's Nomar/LaRoche and that will "play itself out in the spring."
2007-11-02 11:23:20
97.   D4P
He seemed to indicate that it's Nomar/LaRoche and that will "play itself out in the spring."

Valdez had a great spring last year. Maybe they should throw him in the mix too, if the decision is going to be based on spring performance.

2007-11-02 11:24:34
98.   KG16
94 - to quote Seinfeld, and in the end, "you're just rooting for laundry"
2007-11-02 11:24:58
99.   CajunDodger
93
That is definitely true since revenue sharing came into being, but I think that if we were to sign, say, ARod I am quite sure that there would be an announcement from the McCourt Compound about raising prices of tickets so that the Dodgers can "stay competitive".

I think that players are an excuse to raise prices, but they may not necessitate a raise in prices.

2007-11-02 11:27:20
100.   El Lay Dave
I realize that, to a certain extent, we fans are rooting for the laundry, but if all players had only one-year contracts, doesn't it seem likely that roster turnover would increase quite a bit? What incentive is there for fans to continue to practice their fandom (with their money) for a particular team?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-11-02 11:27:56
101.   Andrew Shimmin
94- Why did you get married? Couldn't you have handled it as a series of daily reaffirmations of devotion?
2007-11-02 11:29:28
102.   D4P
101
Leave Stuart Smalley out of this.
2007-11-02 11:31:30
103.   Frip
I still don't know why baseball players get injured so much, but anyway, here is actor Thomas Jane on playing Mickey Mantle in movie "61".

From IMDB:

"When I played Mickey Mantle in 61, we were operating on a real high level. All the athletic training that we had to go through was something that you had to condition your body at a high level of athletic skill and we were playing baseball for three months. I was constantly getting injured, pulling muscles in my shoulder, muscles in my back, muscles in my groin, leg muscles. I was always having electric stimulation going at some point in my body. And the swings that we were taking were real. There's just a high amount of injury when you're playing a sport at that level".

2007-11-02 11:34:01
104.   Andrew Shimmin
Good morning, Mrs. D4P. I've decided that I'd still like to be your husband. For today. I've prepared a position paper, on glassy paper, detailing why you should reciprocate, if you have a minute. . .
2007-11-02 11:35:10
105.   Dark Horse
101-There's a huge difference between marital devotion and the bond (such as it is) between player and team. The day a player decides to keep playing for his team with no contract in place is the day that comparison holds water.
2007-11-02 11:37:39
106.   KG16
105 - ok, as one of the lawyers in the room, I'll just point out that civil marriage is a contract, of sorts. There is offer, acceptance, and consideration for marriage, just as there is for any contract. The law also provides a means for terminating the contract.

Ok, now I need to get back to real legal work.

2007-11-02 11:39:42
107.   silverwidow
Including those who have filed for free agency, the 40-man roster now stands at: 33.

Hendrickson SHOULD be non-tendered but who knows. Tsao is also a possibility.

I would expect McDonald, X. Paul, etc to be added in the next few weeks.

2007-11-02 11:40:57
108.   robohobo
100 What if players were only allowed to change teams if they weren't playing much. Pay would be the same for all teams and would be determined by some combination of team success, personal success and service time with the team. That would inspire team and player loyalty by the fans. It would encourage rivalries as good players would rarely switch teams.
2007-11-02 11:45:32
109.   Greg Brock
How about we just let the market dictate the worth of each player. Based on past performance and projected performance, factoring in age and injury probability, players are given contracts varying from one year to many, many years. At the end of each contract, each player will be reevaluated, and their value will be determined based on that reevaluation.

It's crazy, but it just might work.

2007-11-02 11:48:23
110.   KG16
109 - capitalism and a meritocracy? You are crazy.
2007-11-02 11:51:01
111.   Branch Rickey
One year contracts are all that existed in baseball until the 70's. Of course there was the reserve clause that said that at the end of the year, the owner had the option to renew that contract. The owners interpreted that to mean they could renew it EVERY year, forever. The players union formed and fought for an independent arbitrator to settle disputes. The interpretation of the reserve clause was a dispute and the arbitrator decided the owners interpretation was ridiculous.
So free agency was born. And while you can argue that one year contracts might be best for baseball (whatever that means) it doesn't mean that they are fair or right or just. There needs to be some freedom to the marketplace and if one owner wants to offer multiple years, he shouldn't be precluded from doing so or there is an artificial cap on the players earning potential. You might not like that the player is rich but he has a right to offer his services to the highest bidder.
2007-11-02 11:57:18
112.   Andrew Shimmin
Evidence that BP internet poll voters aren't that much smarter than the BBWAA: Clint Hurdle won NL Manager of the Year.

http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6897

2007-11-02 12:01:20
113.   Icaros
There's got to be a way to work Stanley's free agency from Dunder-Mifflin into this discussion.
2007-11-02 12:04:00
114.   CajunDodger
112
We tend to be on the critical side when it comes to managers on this blog. That may be a generalization, but that is the way it seems from my seat (me included).

Who is a good manager? LaRussa, Francona, Washington? Is that defined by strategic ability or the ability to get the most from his players? Both?

Since we here at DT tend to like the more concrete aspects of baseball and have a working knowledge of items like VORP, winshares, ERA+, etc. what is the measure of a good manager?

2007-11-02 12:06:49
115.   D4P
Before Alex Rodriguez opted out of his contract with the Yankees earlier this week, the team was told that it would not be able to meet with the third baseman unless it presented an offer of at least $350 million, sources say.
2007-11-02 12:09:27
116.   Greg Brock
114 Handling a pitching staff, keeping clubhouse problems in-house, playing the best players, and generally staying out of the way.
2007-11-02 12:09:41
117.   uke
115 - Saw that. $350mm is nuts. I blame Boras.
2007-11-02 12:11:59
118.   Sushirabbit
104 + 115:

Mrs D4P (to assistant): Ignore him, just because Mr. Boras can present an argument for D4P doesn't mean I have to listen. Do NOT return his call. I want to hear from D4P himself.

2007-11-02 12:14:39
119.   Sushirabbit
Oh, and congrats gvette.
2007-11-02 12:14:51
120.   Dark Horse
115-Yeah, also rumblings to the effect Rodriguez wants 12 years, not 10.

It's a conundrum: I'd love to sign Rodriguez, not least because it would keep Ned from making one of those second-tier signings he loves so much. We can't have Rodriguez? Let's sign Mike Lowell. Can't have Drew? Let's sign, uh, Juan Pierre. But I can't help but thinking signing Rodriguez at that kind of money (the kind of money he will command from someone) just isn't wise. That signing him would look great, feel great, but that the results just wouldn't be what we wanted.

Time will tell. But there's no way in hell we're signing him for that kind of money, so instead we'd best pray that whatever Ned does instead, it isn't cripplingly stupid. The sort of prayer that really tests your faith.

2007-11-02 12:20:34
121.   D4P
Boras throws out the 12 years, 360 million silo so that 8 years, 250 million sounds palatable in comparison.

You wonder what GMs/owners are thinking when they give these kinds of deals. Are they really thinking that the player will deserve his annual salary in each given year, or will they be happy with the contract if the team wins one championship over the contract duration, regardless of what happens in the other years?

2007-11-02 12:20:50
122.   Greg Brock
The more ludicrous Boras chat I hear, the more absolutely convinced I am that Alex Rodriguez will sign with the Baltimore Orioles.
2007-11-02 12:22:52
123.   Sushirabbit
Maybe this will be the first time everyone scoffs at Boras' demands.

And you can find the answer about who managed at both the Yankees and Dodgers in Bob's new post at the Griddle.

2007-11-02 12:26:29
124.   Sushirabbit
123... uh, man am I out of it. That post was last night, but I just noticed it on the sidebar.
2007-11-02 12:27:23
125.   regfairfield
Abreu is off the market if anyone was interested in going that direction.
2007-11-02 12:33:38
126.   Frip
110 "capitalism and a meritocracy? You are crazy."

A player's merit extends to more than mere athletic ability. Like his ability to create buzz, to put fans in the seats, to sell his jerseys, to capture a television audience...

So no, not crazy at all.

2007-11-02 12:34:33
127.   Suffering Bruin
The McCourt ownership, on the other hand, speaks in platitudes.

I recall DT day and there was McCourt, across the table from all of us. We were guests and I know I wasn't alone in thinking that maybe a few penetrating questions were in order. I was just happy to be there but I've often thought what would've happened if we, ah, pressed him a little on some of the issues that affect the team.

I won't be able to see responses to this post (the lunch bell just rang) but I just wanted to add my two cents.

2007-11-02 12:35:41
128.   Sam DC
Bill James in SI on the Top 50 Young Players in the game (sorry if this is a repeat; I couldn't find it linked anywhere): "There is no doubt that there is an unusual amount of great young talent around right now. Arguably, there is more outstanding young talent around right now than at any other moment in baseball history -- not more per team, but there are more teams."

Only two Dodgers.

http://tinyurl.com/2ahnnu

2007-11-02 12:36:09
129.   ROC
Dodger Thoughts is my 2nd favorite website after Digg (it feeds my ADHD nicely). Very strange to see this false story make it to the front page:
http://tinyurl.com/yr7222
2007-11-02 12:39:47
130.   Eric Stephen
Someone asked me the other day the maximum I would pay A-Rod, and I said 10/$350m. I could probably be persuaded to go higher though.
2007-11-02 12:43:48
131.   regfairfield
128 That was a terrible, terrible list. Pujols doesn't even qualify (he made James' arbitrary cutoff) but Kyle Kendrick does? Shields ahead of Bills? Carmona the third best young talent in the game?
2007-11-02 12:47:22
132.   robohobo
109 You are right of course. I just get upset at times because ultimately the cost of a large contract gets passed down to the fans. Baseball has a trust exemption. Shouldn't owners/players have some level of accountability to the fans to protect our bank account? Its the same money that goes into their bank account. We can't just stop loving baseball. It is more than a business. It's part of our culture and it isn't even a truly capitalistic, free market business.
2007-11-02 12:48:20
133.   Bob Timmermann
Wow,
So, I go into meetings and find out that some people advocate manager-less teams and the description of how they would "work" is hard to fathom.

Who would be ultimately responsible for picking which players to play? Who resolves conflicts? Do the hitting and pitching coaches have someone to turn to as a tiebreaker?

"Letting the players play" is a management style. It's a decision. It's not doing nothing. It's choosing to let players whom you have confidence in perform in all situations with minimal instruction. If you have good, smart players (like most of the Yankees from 1996-2001), you can do this. Sometimes, teams have players that need more instruction. They require a different type of manager.

Are managers like Joe Torre overvalued? Yes, they are. But is a manager necessary for a baseball team, the answer is yes. An organization needs someone who is responsible for the day-to-day operations.

Or perhaps the Dodgers can adopt the Cubs "College of Coaches" model from the early 1960s. That went... poorly.

And don't even get me started on the idea of paying all players the same salary. Baseball claims it is making $6 BILLION in revenue this year. So if that revenue is only given to the players in a smaller amount, where does the rest go? How many more ivory backscratchers does John Moores need?

2007-11-02 12:49:02
134.   ToyCannon
If Carlos Silva does indeed get a 12M per year deal I don't see why anyone would scoff at 10/350 or 12/360 for Arod. By 2020 he probably wouldn't even be the highest paid player on his team and I'll probably be dead so nutt up you carpetbagger.
2007-11-02 12:51:14
135.   ToyCannon
131
I don't think you appreciate how good Shields has been playing in that Division with one of the worse defenses in baseball playing behind him.
2007-11-02 12:54:13
136.   Greg Brock
134 Please send that to the Dodgers, the Los Angeles Times, and post it on ItD.

Awesome.

2007-11-02 12:55:59
137.   Terry A
114 - Washington's manager shows a lot of promise.

123 - It wouldn't really be the first time, just the most noteworthy. If no owner caves to Boras' bluster, A-Rod may have to "settle" for a lucrative one-year deal and test the market again in '08.

2007-11-02 12:56:11
138.   sweepstakes
Regarding the one-year contracts, it doesn't seem like it would bode well for a team's long-term strategy. That being said, I don't think any player should get more than three years, too risky.
2007-11-02 12:56:18
139.   MikeB
Assuming that Torre is a three year manager: is it management's expectation that he will deliver a World Series within that time frame?
Assuming that the core of the Dodgers roster is spilt between very young players (Loney, Kemp, Martin, Bills) not yet in their prime, and a set of older players that are beyond their prime (Kent, Nomar) - how does that fit into the Torre 3 Year Plan?
Is signing A-Rod enough to bridge the gap?
Does the Colletti/McCourt brain trust believe the Dodger kids will mature/improve faster than the norm?
2007-11-02 12:56:26
140.   regfairfield
135 Oh, I do, I think Shields and Bills were about equivelant last year, but Bills is three years younger which is very highly valued in the formula that James uses.
2007-11-02 13:12:02
141.   trainwreck
I still think we should offer A-Rod a deal that is no longer than 5 years.

He is already 32.

2007-11-02 13:13:21
142.   regfairfield
141 He's also already one of the greatest players to play the game at age 32. I would have no problem signing him into his 40s, even if the last two years were less than spectacular.
2007-11-02 13:18:04
143.   ssjames
I have no idea where those rankings or value came from, but I do have to say that it is probably rightly called terrible. There is very little science applied to those rankings.

You cannot reliably apply small sample sizes of young players to determine their value, especially when you are artifically sttempting to place them on a age scale with no application of any scouting as to their development.

2007-11-02 13:22:01
144.   trainwreck
142
Well I don't think id offer any player in their 30's more than 5 years.

I remember when we signed Furcal how all the guys at prospectus were saying it is smart, because usually it is the number of years that end up really hurting a team. Not the annual salary.

2007-11-02 13:23:06
145.   natepurcell
i don't believe Jeremy Accardo is more valuable then James Loney or Matt Kemp....or Jonathan Broxton.
2007-11-02 13:23:44
146.   regfairfield
144 In general yes, but a lot of rules go out the window when you get into the realm of All Time greats.
2007-11-02 13:27:05
147.   ToyCannon
dianagramr posted this over at Bronx Banter. I don't know why but I found the splits fascinating.

2007 Home/Road splits for 3Bs, minimum 150 PAs at home and on road:

PLAYER Home Road Diff
Chone Figgins .993 .705 .288
Maicer Izturis .887 .616 .271
Aramis Ramirez 1.046 .780 .266
N Garciaparra .835 .570 .265
Mike Lowell .993 .767 .226
Garrett Atkins .936 .773 .163
Eric Chavez .825 .691 .134
Mike Lamb .888 .764 .124
Miguel Cabrera 1.026 .905 .121
Alex Gordon .787 .670 .117
Brandon Inge .748 .631 .117
David Wright 1.021 .912 .109
Ryan Braun 1.045 .966 .079
Ty Wigginton .830 .753 .077
Troy Glaus .883 .808 .075
Ryan Zimmerman .815 .760 .055
Mark Reynolds .868 .823 .045
Akinori Iwamura .779 .762 .017
Jose Bautista .759 .747 .012
Greg Dobbs .780 .780 .000
Josh Fields .784 .792 -.008
E Encarnacion .790 .799 -.009
Nick Punto .544 .581 -.037
Melvin Mora .735 .784 -.049
Pedro Feliz .677 .737 -.060
Alex Rodriguez 1.034 1.101 -.067
Marco Scutaro .653 .731 -.078
K Kouzmanoff .743 .823 -.080
Scott Rolen .685 .776 -.091
Chipper Jones .981 1.075 -.094
Adrian Beltre .745 .858 -.113
Ramon Vazquez .608 .735 -.127
Casey Blake .706 .846 -.140
Morgan Ensberg .589 .860 -.271

2007-11-02 13:27:56
148.   El Lay Dave
128 131 It should also be noted that the statistics used within James' formula are 2007 MLB numbers only. Thus, Russell Martin 28th, Brian McCann outside the top 75, for example. (FWIW, Loney and Kemp were in the top 75)

140 Years until age 33 is a MULTIPLIER!

2007-11-02 13:30:27
149.   capdodger
Underdog -
I was at that game last night. Great atmosphere in the stands, the concourses and the mens room at halftime. The handball was a very sharp call from the ref, and I don't think anyone but him saw it live. I sure didn't because I had a foul pole between me and the middle of the goal area. I'm not sure about the Perkins call. I don't see how that wasn't a red card.

Chad Barrett is very lucky no one in Barra Brava's section had a pager on them.

2007-11-02 13:32:57
150.   trainwreck
146
What is the max contract you would offer? In terms of money and length.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-11-02 13:34:58
151.   ToyCannon
143
145
Even if you don't agree with the ranking it is a nice read of the young talent. Even more telling is the preface where he discusses the talent in 1964. Many of the players he mentions as great young talent went on to less then memorable careers. Jimmy Hall in 1964 was probably considered the next great slugger right next to Tony C. I may be wrong but if I recall Jimmy Hall had the record for most home runs by a rookie until Big Mac shattered it. Tony C of course led the AL in home runs at the age of 20 in 1965. Wally Bunker had an ERA+ of 133 at the age of 19. If not for injuries God knows how good he would have been. Things happen.
I'm still down for trading Kershaw in a package for Santana or Miggy.
2007-11-02 13:39:58
152.   regfairfield
150 Start around 8/250, be willing to go up to around 10/320.
2007-11-02 13:40:04
153.   Michael D
Maybe D4P should make a compromise and just settle for the Billy Beane system of hiring managers and just get a guy to stand around with a stoic look on his face that at least makes him look like a leader.
2007-11-02 13:40:14
154.   ToyCannon
150
I know your asking Andrew but I would make a beginning offer of
8 years / 30 Million per year / No opt outs

My final offer would be

10 years / 32 Million Per Year / Player option to opt out every 3 years

2007-11-02 13:42:00
155.   regfairfield
154 That was pretty amazing.
2007-11-02 13:43:23
156.   fanerman
154 155 It's like you two were made for each other.
2007-11-02 13:44:01
157.   Sam DC
In a world where these player opt outs -- which take a decent amount of team upside out of long term deals -- are becoming more common, I wonder if a team could some protection of its own built in.

I am thinking something like an agreement that, if the team fails to make the playoffs for consecutive years in the last four years of the contract, then the player's no trade clause is void and the team can trade him if it can find a suitor. Or, if the player's annual salary amounts to more than 30% of the league average payroll (or pick a marker, just not one that can be monkeyed with by the team itself), the no trade is void or an optional buyout is triggered.

Not sure if such clauses would be OK under the CBA, and I don't think they should be too frightening for the player. Indeed, if you give the team some protection in the case of certain downside risks, you may be able to get a meaningfully higher annual salary.

Not really sure, just noodling on a friday afternoon.

2007-11-02 13:45:52
158.   trainwreck
Yeah, pretty amazing.

I guess it may be possible for Boras to get close to that 360 figure.

2007-11-02 13:50:17
159.   Jon Weisman
Did someone say they didn't like Adande's Torre column? I liked it.
2007-11-02 13:54:02
160.   KG16
126 - I thought I'd been posting here long enough that it was easily recognizable when I was joking.

I know that there is more to a player's worth than what they do on the field. From a business standpoint, signing A-Rod to a 12/350m contract is a good move. By the end of that run, he'll likely be chasing both Bonds and Rose; the jersey sales, ticket sales, other merchandise sales, TV revenue. As strange as it sounds, signing A-Rod may actually create a scenario where the Dodges can build a long term winner (increased revenues means more money that can be spent on the payroll, either retaining our young guns or signing key free agents a la Gibby in '88).

I don't think that A-Rod is the guy that puts the Dodgers over the top (at least as far as winning the World Series), but from a business standpoint it would be incredibly foolish for the Dodgers to not pursue him. But, over the course of 162 games, I think A-Rod improves the Dodgers 6-10 games in the standings (giving them a legit shot at the division title and home field advantage in the playoffs).

2007-11-02 13:54:54
161.   KG16
159 - I mentioned something about Plaschke's column, but I did read Adande's column and thought it was pretty good.
2007-11-02 14:01:58
162.   Jon Weisman
Wilson Betemit update:

http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/023876.php

2007-11-02 14:04:28
163.   Howard Fox
133 Bob, having a good day are we? Usually you don't get so worked up over such drivel as that...
2007-11-02 14:05:41
164.   Howard Fox
on the subject of ARod's anticipated salary...for some reason I wouldn't have a problem paying him $35mm for 5 or 6 years, its the 10 to 12 I couldn't stomach...
2007-11-02 14:08:30
165.   cult of basebaal
162 interesting stuff, jon, thanks for the link
2007-11-02 14:08:59
166.   Matt Conroy
159 - I said I thought Adande's column was fairly negative. Whether I like it or not is another question. There is definitely a healthy dose of skepticism (if not outright defeatism) in there, which seems to be in line with most of the thinking here. I guess it's understandable, but it's also kind of depressing.
2007-11-02 14:09:05
167.   Howard Fox
Plaschke is just being Plaschke today.

All offseason he will be a proponent of spending for "help". And next season he will say either: (1) we should have trusted our farm system more and not wasted that money on free agents, and/or (2) I told you the kids could do it.

2007-11-02 14:09:15
168.   Andrew Shimmin
Pinto's got Betemit's age wrong. I think.
2007-11-02 14:10:13
169.   KG16
what is the MLB COLA/inflation been the last 10 years? I know it's been crazy the last couple of years, with Beltre being the prime example. And let's be realistic, does anyone think that A-Rod and Boras would agree to a 10-12 year deal without an opt out clause after year 5 or 6? And probably another one at year 8 or 9?

Maybe that's the way to structure this thing: at year three a club option, at year six a mutual option, at year nine a player option.

2007-11-02 14:10:32
170.   Bluebleeder87
160

nice read KG16, but I really feel with our great pitching (& more coming from the minors) A-Rod can definitely be a HUGE difference maker now & in the future. With him here I think we'd be a serious WS contender with in 2-4 years & maybe even sooner. I'm an ARON (is that what we call our selves?) I'm all for him wearing Dodger blue.

2007-11-02 14:10:49
171.   Gen3Blue
144 I agree that a 5 year for someone 32 is not a good idea. In A-Rod's case I might stretch to seven, but no more. I would certainly not feel good about it. Boras and any owners who go farther are probably insane. He could break a knee----or just get old at 36. It happens quite often.
2007-11-02 14:11:23
172.   ToyCannon
159
It is okay but this paragraph

"The actions of McCourt just reaffirm a little secret about Los Angeles: all of the behavior that gives this city a bad name comes from people who move here, not the folks who are from here. As soon as the plane lands, the new residents throw on the sunglasses, find a hairstylist and start trying to fit in. McCourt, a Bostonian, just bought the flashiest car on the lot and is ready to show off. He might even accessorize with A-Rod."

is wrong from my standpoint. The best people I've ever met in Los Angeles were not natives. They came from Kansas, Washington, Ohio, Texas, Korea, and Japan. That includes struggling actors/actresses so it is not like were talking about only salt of the earth people. Of course I haven't met anyone new from out of state in 15 years so maybe the new Angelenos are that shallow.

2007-11-02 14:13:36
173.   Bluebleeder87
169

Boras sickens me!! but yeah, I'm sure he'll want that in Alex Rodriguez contract.

2007-11-02 14:14:26
174.   Jon Weisman
166 - I don't know that I've read anyone anywhere saying that getting Torre will hurt the Dodgers ... which is pretty high praise from so many different voices. The disagreement is about how much he will help. I just don't see that as defeatism.

However, some have defeatism about Colletti and McCourt that is seeping into the Torre discussion. I think it's an important distinction.

2007-11-02 14:17:23
175.   Howard Fox
As for my feelings on how Torre will do, there won't be a significant change in the day to day field management.

The difference IMO will be in the handling of the clubhouse. I imagine if Little looked at Kent and told him to lay off the kids, Kent inferred where he could go. Whereas I would imagine that if Torre tells Kent to pipe down, it may carry a little more weight. With Torre, there would probably be repercussions whereas with Little there probably weren't.

2007-11-02 14:18:41
176.   Gen3Blue
If you thought A-Rod was confident and independent you could take the Schmidt approach and offer him 120mil/3 years(40mil per). Of course its much more unlikely but you might also get a Schmidt result!
2007-11-02 14:19:11
177.   Daniel Zappala
133 It makes my day when Bob expresses a strong opinion. Especially when I agree with it.
2007-11-02 14:20:26
178.   KG16
170 - thanks, like I said, I think A-Rod puts the Dodgers in a position to have home field through the play offs each year. But in the play offs, pitching matters more than anything... it'll be interesting to see how the Dodgers deal with th back end of the rotation.

173 - well, then we really aren't talking about a 10-12 year deal but a 3-6, maybe 9 year deal. Honestly, the more I think about it, as a GM, the options I mentioned would be nearly non-negotiable.

2007-11-02 14:20:55
179.   Matt Conroy
172 - Yeah I read that paragraph and had a bit of a laugh. How did he work that out? It's a ludicrous generalization.
2007-11-02 14:22:55
180.   underdog
Hah. Speaking of all this, I just fortuitously turned it to ESPN's Around the Horn when they were asking a group of columnists about who will fare better next year, Girardi and Torre. The first two guys said they thought Torre, because the Yanks were losing some key faces, whereas the Dodgers have a solid bullpen and "had best record in NL last year before the clubhouse fell apart," and so on. Then JA Adande said he thought the Yankees/Girardi, because the Yanks have a lot of talent still and so on. But most hilarious, the idiotic Woody Paige got himself muted (luckily the host knows he's a complete idiot) off the panel when he said the Yankees, too, because "the Dodgers have just gotten really old and creaky." Hah hah, he's so clueless, how does this guy keep getting published. Anyway, three of the other guys jumped at him right away, to their credit, ticking off all the young Dodgers that are key to their future and good.
2007-11-02 14:24:41
181.   scareduck
166 , 174 - McCourt's chronic desire to be loved times his short-as-a-gnat attention span fuels that. The manager has changed; the basic problem with the front office (and indeed, ownership) has not. In fact, you could argue that this embodies the very worst of the problems the Dodgers have had under McCourt, given that it (a) clings to name power (b) at the expense of future ability. Torre will be 70 in three years, meaning the likelihood of having to replace him is very high.
2007-11-02 14:32:47
182.   fanerman
180 These idiot writers wouldn't disturb me so much if we had an owner who realized what garbage came out of their mouths. But I'm afraid he listens to them, and that frightens me.
2007-11-02 14:35:10
183.   gvette
180- It's all about team expectations;

Torre wins 90 games, the Dodgers make the playoffs and he's a hero;

Girardi wins 90, he finishes well behind the Red Sox, misses the AL Wild Card,and George, his sons, with his "baseball people have angry meetings in Tampa and Cashman gets fired.

119- Thanks so much

2007-11-02 14:36:03
184.   Humma Kavula
176 I also endorse giving 3/120 a try. Who knows -- if Boras thinks he can get another long-term, high(er)-money offer in three years' time, maybe he'll bite.

Of course, it's entirely possible that you'll start at 3/120 and get suckered in to 12/480, which is, um, not so good.

2007-11-02 14:41:37
185.   blue22
Per Foxsports:

The Giants have even let it be known that Tim Lincecum, their No. 1 pick in 2006, can be had for a quality bat.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7400932

Wow. Trade him. Please.

2007-11-02 14:42:12
186.   natepurcell
185

id trade laroche.

2007-11-02 14:43:58
187.   D4P
186
This is Sabean we're talking about here.

Give him Nomar.

2007-11-02 14:44:15
188.   GoBears
I didn't like Adande's column. Seemed to me he was indulging in too many glib generalizations, some of which he must know are wrong (from working in LA for so long).

The Dodgers aren't hurting for attention. Their attendance of 3.8 million this year trailed only the Yankees. They just don't dominate the discussion any more, don't get the city's heart racing or keep Dodger flags fluttering from cars on the Santa Monica Freeway.

I also think he's wrong that the Lakers dominate the public consciousness. Since he acknowledges the 3.8 million in attendance, I'm not sure why he'd even try to make that point. I see many many many more Dodger-oriented auto accessories than Laker stuff. Maybe it's different in different parts of town.

Then there's this chestnut:

If adding A-Rod to the 2004 Yankees couldn't get them to the World Series, how would he single-handedly transform the 2007 Dodgers?

Gee, I love when bivariate correlations are sold as causal theories.

Then, he can't decide whether Torre's supposed owner-handling skills are worthless in LA, or if McCourt is a big bag of trouble.

Finally, what's with the gratuitous Beckham allusion?

If the only point he was trying to make is that LA fans don't obsess about baseball quite as single-mindedly as NY fans, well, he might be right. But I don't see a lot of value added from the rest of the piece.

2007-11-02 14:44:58
189.   blue22
186 - In a heartbeat. I wouldn't do Kemp or Russell, and would think real hard about Loney. Everyone else could go for Lincecum.
2007-11-02 14:45:39
190.   Greg Brock
I think all the owners should get together and secretly funnel money to David Glass, so that he can sign A-Rod, and he's banished to Kansas City for all eternity. Of course, Glass could probably afford him anyway.

And I want A-Rod on the Dodgers.

2007-11-02 14:45:41
191.   blue22
187 - We should've picked up Lieberthal's option if we knew Lincecum was available.
2007-11-02 14:46:38
192.   BlueCrew Bruin
Perfect. Sign A-Rod, trade LaRoche & DYoung (2 quality bats!) for Lincecum. Done.

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

Penny
Lowe
Bills
Lincecum
Schmidt

Kershaw, McDonald, Elbert on the horizon.

2007-11-02 14:47:42
193.   D4P
Gee, I love when bivariate correlations are sold as causal theories

I love it when you talk dirty...

2007-11-02 14:47:50
194.   ToyCannon
Jeff Kent and Mr. Lowe come on down and join the team of veterans you so fondly wish for.
Mr Lincecum you may now leave the Dark side and watch your step so as not to trample on the dashed dreams of the Bay.
2007-11-02 14:50:45
195.   Marty
I never liked Adande as a columnist. Of course he thinks the Lakers dominate the public conscience, that's all he writes about. This column is the first he's written on the Dodgers in, I don't know, forever?
2007-11-02 14:51:08
196.   GoBears
As for the discussion about 1 year contracts for everyone all the time, the answer to why that is not optimal (leaving politics and union bargaining power aside) is related to the question of why we have firms in the economy, and not just spot market transactions for everything (especially labor). The answer is "transactions costs." The market is not perfectly equilibrating because there is too much uncertainty (as opposed to risk, which can be contracted for) and because transactions take time and cost resources. Also, human beings value more than just short-term money.

Simply put, D4P's nirvana could not work. Whether or not it's desirable is a separate question. Generally speaking, my view is that the closer one gets to a market-based system, the more efficient it will become. But there are various types of market failures (especially in spot markets), and that's why regulation is needed, and why adding the variable of time as a contracting tool is wise.

2007-11-02 14:51:24
197.   Greg Brock
You're the man, Sabes! You couldn't save us from the CF last year, but you're doing your best.
2007-11-02 14:53:38
198.   D4P
197
Pierre for Lincecum!
2007-11-02 14:54:11
199.   ToyCannon
If the slugger he gets is Miggy of which Lincecrum is the centerpiece we won't be doing a jig now will we?
2007-11-02 14:54:41
200.   KG16
What's the story on this Lincecum kid? Is it a bad thing that I've never heard of him?
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-11-02 14:56:34
201.   bhsportsguy
188 I do lots of Dodger gear outside the stadium but I do think that especially in the last 10 years, the Lakers have overwhelmingly dominated the local sports scene. With Shaq, Kobe, and Phil, you had 3 bigger than life personalities, who were not only successful on the court but provided lots of talk off the court as well. Add an playboy owner, his daughter dating the coach and the Logo being the GM who brought it all together, you had a powerful combination.

Plus, they won titles.

The Dodgers do just fine and I am not saying they need to this at all but without a player like A-Rod it will be difficut to capture this town when your best known name is the manager.

Can the kids get there, maybe but LA is really a superstar, one name town. Unfortunately, stories like what happened in Colorado this season, maybe last a year but it doesn't carry over to the average LA sports fan.

2007-11-02 14:57:30
202.   D4P
I'm listening to a Los Lobos song that includes the line "Vamos a tener mucho fun"
2007-11-02 14:57:46
203.   blue22
200 - Went a couple picks after LA picked Kershaw. Pitched for U of Washington. Little guy, but dominant stuff. Funky windup that a few on here say reminds them of a right handed Sandy Koufax.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/L/tim-lincecum.shtml

How did you miss him this past season?

2007-11-02 14:57:55
204.   ToyCannon
If I'd known DT was going to exist, I'd have forgone higher education and just gotten my degree from DT University. The only thing missing is the 2nd language requirements and cute coeds.
2007-11-02 14:59:43
205.   bhsportsguy
196 If you read the "Lords of the Realm," you will see that Marvin Miller wanted players to have the right to be a free agent at the end of every year.

It was the owners and MLB that did not want that drastic a change so they went to the 6 year provision. And arbitration, was just tossed in, owners never knowing that it would be that provision that would really escalate salaries.

2007-11-02 15:00:10
206.   blue22
201 - Matt Kemp and Russell Martin, to name two, have superstar written all over them. Why do they have to earn superstar status prior to coming to LA?
2007-11-02 15:02:37
207.   ToyCannon
205
The 1st arbitration cases hit the owners from the blindside. That is where some of the 1st sabr guys made their names. It took a little while before the owners started playing the same game.
2007-11-02 15:03:16
208.   trainwreck
204
TC, I thought you would like this. Apparently, Charles Barkley predicts Al Thornton will win ROY.

Oh and I am down for getting Lincecum.

2007-11-02 15:03:23
209.   KG16
203 - his numbers are impressive. I missed him this year because I only watch the Giants when they play the Dodgers.
2007-11-02 15:04:59
210.   Howard Fox
208 a lot of people are picking him to win ROY
2007-11-02 15:07:55
211.   trainwreck
210
Really? I have not seen a lot of talk about it, but I think buzz about the NBA is down a lot anyways.
2007-11-02 15:11:12
212.   JimBilly4
184 Such a short contract will never fly with Boras or Arod. He can just stick in a 3-year opt-out into a longer term deal to get the same effect.

You would have to do something truly ridiculous, 150 mil for 3 years maybe, to get Arod to bite. Probably more, as it just doesn't make economic sense not to get a longer guaranteed contract.

If you want a short term deal you are much better off giving Arod another opt-out, say in 4-5 years. If he remains healthy and the economics of baseball continue to spiral out of control, he would probably take it. That way you can promise him the moon, but actually get a relatively cheap short-term contract. Once he hits 36-37 the contract becomes a much dicier deal anyway, no matter how well he has performed. Of course then you miss out on the record breaking stuff, so decide now if you want a guarantee of being there for that.

Personally the only way I would offer a 32-year old player more than 7-8 year deal is if the final 2-3 years (of say 10 years total) were cheap. Or cheap in comparison anyway. No matter how good Arod may be, he could be completely broken down by 40. If the 41-42 year-old seasons only cost you what you pay a high-priced bench player it would be ok.

2007-11-02 15:11:45
213.   Andrew Shimmin
Lincecum only faced the Dodgers once this year. It was a Quality Start, but he did walk five batters.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN200708010.shtml

2007-11-02 15:12:51
214.   ToyCannon
206
I think your using "superstar" to loosely. Martin is a great catcher but he's no superstar and probably never will be. I think Matt Kemp can be Raul Mondesi and that is a solid player but not a superstar.

If Kershaw can make the Santana comparisons work then you have a superstar.

The Lakers during the great runs have always had two of the best players in basketball on the same team. West, Elgin, and Wilt, 3 HOF players One Championship, Magic, Captain, and Big Game James are 3 HOF players with multiple championships, Kobe and Shaq are two HOF players with 3 championships.

Since 1965 the Dodgers just don't match up.
The only players who have played for the Dodgers and won a championship who were HOF caliber in the last 50 years are Koufax, Drysdale and Sutton. I expect most of you weren't even born the last time Sutton pitched for the Dodgers. Fernando in 81, not HOF but no one owned the town more then he did in 81. 27 years ago.

2007-11-02 15:16:30
215.   ToyCannon
208
They will be wrong. He'll have a strong year but Durant is going to win unless he gets hurt. Look how many times he's going to be on National TV. The Clips won't be on once. Seattle will be on weekly. He could shoot 40% and still win. He could play Radman style defense and still win.
2007-11-02 15:17:06
216.   silverwidow
Old quote:

"Matt Cain wants to be the best pitcher in the game, and he's doing what it takes to get there," says Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, who was an assistant GM in San Francisco when Cain first reached the big leagues. "I think he'll wind up pitching more no-hitters than almost anybody in the history of the game."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=2849474

2007-11-02 15:17:32
217.   D4P
215
I thought you were tired of being cynical...
2007-11-02 15:18:31
218.   Andrew Shimmin
What would have to be wrong with you if you were an advertising professional, but didn't think you could sell Russ Martin to baseball fans? Russ Martin is like crack, if, instead of making your life horrible and then killing you, crack freshened your breath and improved your virility.
2007-11-02 15:21:46
219.   BlueCrew Bruin
Russ Martin is like crack, if, instead of making your life horrible and then killing you, crack freshened your breath and improved your virility.

Someone send this to the Dodger marketing department. I have to hear Vin speak these words over a background of Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

2007-11-02 15:23:59
220.   Jim Hitchcock
I expect most of you weren't even born the last time Sutton pitched for the Dodgers.

Not a good bet. I, for one, was in my twenties the last time I saw Sutton pitch at DS (against the Braves).

2007-11-02 15:27:49
221.   Jon Weisman
Sutton last pitched for the Dodgers 19 years ago.
2007-11-02 15:29:02
222.   MikeB
213. Tim Lincecum - alias "the Franchise", alias "Seabiscuit"
2007-11-02 15:29:02
223.   ToyCannon
218
Yeah, if Martin isn't on the side of a Van next year the rocket scientist needs to find another position within the company.

217
Clipper fandom and cynicism go hand in hand. We stink, we will always stink except for a few forays into respectability, and then we will stink again. Elgin Baylor is our GM. What can we do? And people complain about Kupchak! Come visit my world.

2007-11-02 15:29:36
224.   Jim Hitchcock
221 Whoops! Make that my early thirties!
2007-11-02 15:30:01
225.   ToyCannon
221
Did I violate rule 6? I should have used Sandy instead.
2007-11-02 15:33:07
226.   ToyCannon
My best Clipper story is that when Arenas was a free agent the Clippers offered him more money the the Wizards. He didn't know what to do so he flipped the coin. It came up heads for the Clippers. He signed with the Wizards.
2007-11-02 15:35:33
227.   trainwreck
226
I saw Arenas on the Warriors a lot and I was thinking here is the guy that is going to turn the Clippers around.

Then he went and did that crap.

2007-11-02 15:36:04
228.   D4P
226
Good story.
2007-11-02 15:41:14
229.   Dodgers49
137. 114 - Washington's manager shows a lot of promise.

I didn't think he was referring to the Washington manager. I thought he was referring to the manager of the Texas Rangers.

2007-11-02 15:43:31
230.   gvette
201-Last week, Kobe throws the trash out of his locker, and causes a media riot.

For whatever reason, neither the Dodgers or the Angels really promote individual players, Piazza was probably the last to get a lot of endorsements.

Meantime, the most recognizable faces are Scioscia, Tommy, and probably now Torre. Vlad is a superstar, but doesn't get national exposure.

2007-11-02 15:44:36
231.   ToyCannon
Manny Acta does show a lot of promise. He would not play Pierre 162 games or bat him leadoff. He had a very similar player in Nook Logan who ended up with more at bats batting 8th then leading off.
2007-11-02 15:46:15
232.   GobiasIndustries
Can someone explain what this is all about please?

I just received a third-hand tip that Alex Rodriguez is ready to sign with the LA Dodgers. At 9AM (Pacific time) Rodriguez's management was grabbing an early brunch with friends, one person in the party being an undisclosed high ranking...

http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/023878.php

2007-11-02 15:48:00
233.   regfairfield
232 An unnamed source talking about something he heard from an unnamed source.

It means nothing.

2007-11-02 15:50:57
234.   trainwreck
I wonder if Ned regrets trading for Loaiza.
2007-11-02 15:51:08
235.   Jon Weisman
230 - Trash and locker rooms. The Dodgers have already done that.
2007-11-02 15:51:21
236.   GobiasIndustries
233
Thanks. Restricted internet at work really sucks..........
2007-11-02 15:52:37
237.   Dodgers49
Of the things Derek Lowe said last thing what stuck with me most was this:

>> There was a lot of animosity

http://tinyurl.com/2do7ut

I assumed there was a lot of resentment. But it appears things were much worse than I imagined in September. Also, it's pretty obvious Grady Little lost that clubhouse and should not have returned unless there were a purge of either key vets or key kids. Lowe's statement that no one put a stop to it seems to be pointed squarely at Grady.

2007-11-02 15:56:20
238.   Bluebleeder87
Happy dia de los muertos to all hispanic DT'ers/toasters.
2007-11-02 15:58:14
239.   ToyCannon
Do we have to be hispanic to enjoy the Day of the Dead?
2007-11-02 15:59:50
240.   D4P
To me, the clubhouse collapse says more about the veterans whose leadership was allegedly proven than it does about the kids who were allegedly immature.

We've had PVL rhetoric foisted down our throats since Colletti was hired. Isn't the whole point of PVLs that they can deal with kids, take them under their wings, show them the ropes, get them on the same page, etc.?

Yet, look at our PVLs:

Kent: Sits in corner with headphones and motocross mags

Lowe: Cares more about scoring with reporters than helping younger teammates

LuGo: One season removed from complaints about losing PT to younger teammates

2007-11-02 16:00:09
241.   Bluebleeder87
239

well not really I'm just saying...

I'm gonna go visit pops in a little while.

2007-11-02 16:01:28
242.   Bluebleeder87
240

the Lowe one got me giggling pretty good....

2007-11-02 16:01:35
243.   trainwreck
I am going to be happy next year when I can hate Derek Lowe again.
2007-11-02 16:02:12
244.   ToyCannon
Lowe cares more about trading his younger teammates and wonders why they can't all get along just because he wanted to ship them to Texas.
2007-11-02 16:03:15
245.   Gen3Blue
As much as I would like Lincecum, the D's have no proven "quality bat", except Russ Martin. It would be a cold day in hell before I advocated that trade. Then again maybe the Giant still consider Jeff Kent........
2007-11-02 16:03:44
246.   ToyCannon
If Depo had only brought in Vet's who were mentors, not backstabbing, contract jumping hooligans.
2007-11-02 16:03:58
247.   Andrew Shimmin
Loomis: What does that mean 'Flores para los muertes'?

Grimm: Couldn't tell you.

Phyllis: Oh you know Grim, it means 'flowers for the dead.' (Loomis slumps to his knees groaning in pain.)

Phyllis (to Grimm sheepishly): Sorry.

2007-11-02 16:04:11
248.   D4P
I'd like to know which positions Lowe hopes Colletti will be able to "bring guys in for" because of Torre's reputation.
2007-11-02 16:04:34
249.   Dodgers49
231. Manny Acta does show a lot of promise.

You'll get no argument from me on that. :-)

But the question CajunDodger asked in 114 was:

Who is a good manager? LaRussa, Francona, Washington?

I thought he was referring to Ron Washington.

2007-11-02 16:04:47
250.   Bluebleeder87
Here is what Wikipedia says about Dia de los Muertos [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dia_de_los_muertos ] it's pretty accurate.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-11-02 16:07:17
251.   MikeB
Does the current generation of players respect a manager/head coach more if he's making as much or more than they are?
I'm wondering if Little maybe lost the clubhouse because he was making about the same as a .230 hitting utility infielder?
Do players equate respect and leadership with salary?
2007-11-02 16:08:39
252.   ToyCannon
248
Evidently the same ones Penny is hoping for. They have both basically said the same thing.
If only Gagne could chime in now on what the club needs.
2007-11-02 16:10:06
253.   blue22
251 - Maybe it's more about what's on his resume that allows him to command $5M/year (the bling is the thing).
2007-11-02 16:10:21
254.   Jim Hitchcock
In the photo gallery of Joe Torre through the years at the LAT's website, the second picture is captioned thusly:

Miller announced that the baseball strike had ended. The 13-day-old strike cost owners an estimated $5 million through postponements and one television cancellation.

One television cancellation.

2007-11-02 16:10:31
255.   ToyCannon
249
Maybe McCourt will be able to get Francona in 2015, 5 years after he won his 5th title and the RedSox finally fire him and give his job to Mike Lowell.
2007-11-02 16:12:20
256.   D4P
Let's accept for the moment that the players didn't respect Grittle, that he didn't babysit them enough so that they got along, etc. etc. etc.

Why must it follow that this stuff affected their performance on the field? Why would they throw worse, run worse, hit worse, or catch worse?

2007-11-02 16:14:04
257.   BlueCrew Bruin
251 Maybe some players figure that they can take more liberties with a low-salaried manager because there's more chance that upper management (ownership, gm) will side with the player. It's much more unlikely that the organization will side with a player if he runs afoul of Torre.

I guess what I mean is everyone knows that when a conflict arises between player and manager and one or the other has to go, there's more chance a manager with a $650k salary is more easily purged than a manager with a $4m salary. Some less than ethical players (with mustaches) might use this to their advantage.

2007-11-02 16:15:42
258.   trainwreck
256
The only way it would affect those areas is if the players were tanking and if they were tanking then we have to get rid of them.
2007-11-02 16:16:04
259.   BlueCrew Bruin
257 Let me try that second paragraph once more, in English:

I guess what I mean is everyone knows that when a conflict arises between player and manager and one or the other has to go, a manager with a $650k salary is much more easily purged than a manager with a $4m salary. Some less than ethical players (with mustaches) might use this to their advantage.

2007-11-02 16:16:33
260.   Bumsrap
D4P - Why not go all in. Instead of one year contracts why can't Santana, when he becomes a free agent, let teams bid for each of his 32 starts, one start at a time?
2007-11-02 16:17:31
261.   Branch Rickey
205. Hey BH! I've mentioned that book here several times in the past as I believe it to be the best book ever written on the business of baseball. I beg any of you who are interested (and isn't that most of us?) to read it.
But you should note that Miller quickly realized that making all players free agents would not maximize their earning power. When Finley suggested it, he prayed the owners wouldn't listen (and of course they didn't). In fact, the story in the book is that Miller figured out that six years was the exact optimal number that would maximize salaries. So when the owners said 10 years, he said 3. They said 8 and he "reluctantly settled" on six years. That's his story anyway and it's back up by the players who were on the bargaining committee.
2007-11-02 16:18:01
262.   D4P
if they were tanking then we have to get rid of them

Exactly. They're grown men getting paid millions of dollars in exchange for trying hard. That's not too much to ask, regardless of who the manager is or whether teammates don't want garbage cans in front of their lockers.

2007-11-02 16:18:44
263.   D4P
260
Now that's just crazy talk...
2007-11-02 16:19:37
264.   KG16
256 - it's little things, particularly in baseball, like a guy continuing to go after a ball when another player (who has the right of way) waves him off. Or ignoring a sign on a hit and run and either not swinging or not running. It's funny, baseball is a team game but basically an individual sport, so it shouldn't matter, but my guess is that it does. Another example is that older players get on the younger guys and then they start to press - there were a lot of times late in the season when it looked like guys (particularly the younger guys) were swinging for the fences rather than just trying to put the ball in play. It shouldn't affect their play on the field, but they are human... when you hear a co-worker bad mouthing you, does it affect your work product?
2007-11-02 16:20:11
265.   Bob Timmermann
261
I understood Mr. Rickey's view of the book to be the same as mine.
2007-11-02 16:20:57
266.   trainwreck
264
Obviously players pressing is a different issue, but isn't the first part a mild form of tanking?
2007-11-02 16:22:32
267.   blue22
262 - Do you think clubhouse/locker room chemistry matters in other sports? Is baseball different?
2007-11-02 16:23:33
268.   CajunDodger
249 , 114
I actually was talking about Ron Washington who has been lauded by his players as likable and good with lineups, but is obviously in a different perceived league than LaRussa or Francona.

Sorry it took so long to clarify

2007-11-02 16:23:56
269.   KG16
266 - I'm not sure I'd consider ignoring signs and instruction from the coaching staff to be tanking, it's being stubborn and a bad teammate/player, definitely. I consider tanking to be lackadaisical play, when a player's defensive range suddenly shrinks, or a contact hitter suddenly stops swinging the bat, or a pitcher hanging breaking balls.
2007-11-02 16:28:45
270.   El Lay Dave
269 A scoring machine passing the ball at every opportunity?
2007-11-02 16:29:04
271.   bhsportsguy
261 265 I trust both your memories a lot better than mine.

It is a very good book, I got mine a number of years ago.

In many ways, a much better book, than let's say, "The Boys of Summer."

That is unless you enjoy George "Shotgun" Shuba stories told from his rec room.

2007-11-02 16:33:23
272.   D4P
267
I suppose chemistry matters about as much as the manager does. To whit, not very much.

If players want to be paid based upon their own performance, then they should perform the way they're being paid to perform, regardless of what their teammates are doing. You don't like some kid on your team? Too bad: run hard, throw well, catch properly, and hit the way you normally hit.

2007-11-02 16:36:37
273.   trainwreck
I know Torre has the reputation as being the clubhouse king, but if it is actually true that players were rooting against one another, then I do not even think he can smooth that over.

They are just going to have to win and ignore each other.

2007-11-02 16:37:03
274.   Bob Timmermann
My memory today is affected by the fact that one of the smoke alarms in my house decided to give off the "battery low" beep around 4:30 in the morning and I didn't get back to sleep.

It's only a matter of time before my body hits the wall and I start muttering nonsense like "Frank Robinson for manager" or "Russ Ortiz for Cy Young!"

2007-11-02 16:38:52
275.   D4P
It's only a matter of time before my body hits the wall and I start muttering nonsense like "Frank Robinson for manager" or "Russ Ortiz for Cy Young!"

I'm holding out for "Teams should go managerless"

2007-11-02 16:43:50
276.   D4P
Last years' PAC-10 Player of the Year* has 3 turnovers in 7 minutes tonight. On the bright side, he's 2-2 from the charity stripe.
2007-11-02 16:49:39
277.   El Lay Dave
Irrespective of their salaries, baseball players are still human beings and with human beings, psychology matters. Perhaps for some players a calm clubhouse leads to better, less distracted, concentration at the plate or on the mound, leading to that fine difference between squaring up the ball or getting a little under it and popping up, or getting just a tiny bit more bite on the breaking ball and inducing the batter into a weak grounder instead of a line drive.

Players are not robots performing repetitive tasks to perfection. They are subject to the human condition just as we are.

2007-11-02 16:50:12
278.   El Lay Dave
274 Or "go Ham Fighters!" ;)
2007-11-02 16:57:27
279.   trainwreck
276
Hey, how many minutes has Aaron Brooks played this year?
2007-11-02 16:58:44
280.   Dodgers49
Since the clubhouse story broke most of the talk has been about Matt Kemp and James Loney. But I keep thinking back to the first hint I got that something wasn't quite right. That was when certain vets let a beat writer know in Colorado that they were upset because Grady Little had chosen to start Andy Laroche over Shea Hillenbrand in such an important series. I mean, Shea Hillenbrand!
2007-11-02 17:01:14
281.   D4P
279
Aaron cares more about quality than quantity.
2007-11-02 17:01:22
282.   Greg Brock
276 Turn the page, man. Let it go.

279 Now that's just mean.

2007-11-02 17:02:36
283.   Greg Brock
271 Hey, I'm heading to campus early. Try to gets me a sweater or something. Maybe walk around a bit.
2007-11-02 17:04:52
284.   El Lay Dave
Tim Brown at Yahoo sports:

Through mutual acquaintances, McCourt led the early communication with Torre. Last weekend, McCourt, Colletti and Torre met in Las Vegas. By Tuesday night, after Little resigned, as Colletti suspected he might, negotiations began in earnest with Torre.

http://tinyurl.com/2wa75h

"McCourt led the early communication with Torre." If true, does that make Torre a baseball operations move or an executive move? Does Colletti feel increased pressure? Does it matter?

2007-11-02 17:05:34
285.   D4P
I don't think Brooks even got to play in the pre-season games. Lame.
2007-11-02 17:10:10
286.   trainwreck
I actually think if Brooks goes back to being a pass first point guard he could be good or at the very least he could be an Earl Boykins type.
2007-11-02 17:13:45
287.   El Lay Dave
280 I thought that was LaRoche over Nomar, who was back by then, not Hillenbrand.
2007-11-02 17:24:25
288.   Dodgers49
It may have been Nomar. I was thinking Nomar was hurt when that series started. But, still, for them to reveal their displeasure to a reporter seemed strange.
2007-11-02 17:25:18
289.   goofus
There is a rumor out there that the Giants would trade Lincecum for a hitter. I'd trade them two hitters for him, Nomar and Pierre and pay half their salaries. That sets them in centerfield and first base and only costs them $9M this year, $4.5M for the next three unless they re-sign Nomar, which they are probably dumb enough to do.
2007-11-02 17:25:26
290.   Dodgers49
Off Topic for Greg Brock:

Judge throws out evidence, statements in ex-astronaut's case

http://tinyurl.com/3dtogk

2007-11-02 17:27:46
291.   Greg Brock
290 Best news I've had in two months.

And with that, I'm off to usher in the Kevin Love era.

2007-11-02 17:40:07
292.   Dodgers49
Devious Dodgers get their man

>> The Dodgers' duplicity was staggering. They were dishonest, deceitful, deceptive and … effective. <<

## This might turn out to be McCourt's finest hour, Colletti's greatest get. ##

http://tinyurl.com/2jdxu9

2007-11-02 17:41:29
293.   Bluebleeder87
274

oh man, that's annoying why don't just take it out & go buy a new one.

2007-11-02 17:41:44
294.   GoBears
2 0] 196 If you read the "Lords of the Realm," you will see that Marvin Miller wanted players to have the right to be a free agent at the end of every year.

Sorry for taking so long to reply - had to scurry off and do some work.

Note that Miller's demand was one-sided. He wanted players to have the right to be free agents every year. He didn't want them to be required to be free agents. Long-term contracts are about risk and about saving transactions costs. Risk can go both ways - a player who overperforms is hurt by a long-term deal, whereas a player who underperforms or gets hurt is protected, and the team is hurt.

And the only people who benefit from annual renegotiation is the agents.

2007-11-02 17:49:45
295.   KG16
270 - heh, it depends, if his coach has asked him to be the facilitator, then it would be acceptable (as a side note, I am amazed at the rock and hard place Kobe has found himself through out his career - he tries to take over a game and carry his team to victory and he's selfish, he tries to get his teammates involved and he's not being a leader and how could he even think of passing to Cook with the game on the line).
2007-11-02 17:50:08
296.   GoBears
201 You're correct on the facts, of course, but this is changing the terms of the comparison. I read Adande to be talking about now. That the Dodgers now are below the radar because all anyone cares about is "The Days of our Kobe." This is several years since the last championship. Shaq has won one in Miami already. If he'd been writing in the middle of the Laker run, I'd have no quarrel, but now, in 2007, I think he's wrong to say that Angelenos are obsessed with the Lakers. Well, in November 2007, the Lakers and the Kings (OK, and the Ducks) are all that there is (baseball is over, NFL is absent, and U$C/UCLA are disappointments to many), but that's not quite fair.

I suppose someone could check. Over the course of the whole year, what is the click-thru rate on Dodger stories vs. Laker stories on, say, the LA Times webpage?

2007-11-02 17:53:32
297.   Bill Crain
The Dodgers should start at 10 years, $375 million for A-Rod. I'd go longer and higher, as necessary. The fight should be over limiting the player opt-out points, because look what's happened to the Ranger contract. (And similarly, to JD Drew's) But if you're Frank McCourt, you just have to get this done. The long-term cost of failure will be way too much to tolerate.

This is a market economy. Anybody who says he won't go over x years for a player of y age will find himself on the outside looking in very quickly. There was a time when MLB teams could be competitive even though they refused to sign black players. No reasonably efficient market fails exact a severe punishment for that sort of inflexibility.

And thanks to GoBears for today's new word: "bivariate." But still, Go Trojans.

2007-11-02 17:53:37
298.   trainwreck
291
Can we consider one year an era?
2007-11-02 17:59:06
299.   Dodgers49
Torre signing a good first step for Dodgers

>> At a fundamental level, however, here's what the Torre signing is for the Dodgers: a nice start.

It's merely that — a starting point — because the Dodgers still have much work to do. If Torre still stands as their signature addition by the time pitchers and catchers report, then the Dodgers are going to be in trouble. <<

## Offensively, the Dodgers badly need better production from third base and center field. If LaRoche adapts as expected, he'll fill the third-base void, but there's no helping things in center unless the club makes Juan Pierre go away and finds an upgrade. ##

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7397026

2007-11-02 17:59:30
300.   Bluebleeder87
a bull was named after Tommy Lasorda & Brad Penny owns a horse. [ http://tinyurl.com/36g9zl ]
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-11-02 18:01:47
301.   Bluebleeder87
299

Odalis Perez style were we pay most of the salary.

2007-11-02 18:10:46
302.   Dodgers49
297 There was a time when MLB teams could be competitive even though they refused to sign black players.

But that could work only as long as all teams refused to sign black players.

So, I would agree with your point that "Anybody who says he won't go over x years for a player of y age will find himself on the outside looking in very quickly". But only because not all owners would not go along. And Boras knows they won't.

2007-11-02 18:13:36
303.   Dodgers49
302. But only because not all owners would not go along. And Boras knows they won't.

Oh man, how in the world did I type that? :-)

I meant, of course, "not all owners would go along."

2007-11-02 18:19:30
304.   Bluebleeder87
Theres a good read over at DodgerRama about what went wrong for the Dodgers in '07, this quote is pretty darn good>>>>There are, sometimes, lessons to be learned from failure. Weaknesses shown, a path to improvement indicated. But there are no definitive answers.
2007-11-02 18:22:24
305.   KG16
304 - they handing out fortune cookies over there?
2007-11-02 18:35:22
306.   GoBears
292 Now that is good writing. I don't know if Henson's right (though I suspect he is), but that's a well-written article.
2007-11-02 18:42:56
307.   GoBears
299. Also a nice piece.

On an intellectual level, I like that national media outlets are now coming round to the notion that Pierre is a bad player, but I wish the Dodgers would figure that out before every other owner is just as convinced. For some reason, I fear that Colletti will be the last to know.

2007-11-02 18:46:41
308.   underdog
You know as much as I probably should I can't dislike Derek Lowe. He's just such a goofball I don't take him seriously. A clown who is one of the most consistent starters in baseball over past 4-5 years. Maybe I have a double standard or just don't hold him to very high standards, but I don't pay much attention to his nonsense.

149 Capdodger, delayed response here but, cool you were at that game. Must've been memorable. The handball call seemed questionable to me live but on replay it was clear it was a good call. Even the player himself didn't argue.

2007-11-02 18:48:44
309.   KG16
Huh, just flipping though the channels and caught some movie on FX featuring Katie Holmes that was filmed in old town Orange, very cool to watch her run through a place that I spent the better part of 3 years in law school.
2007-11-02 18:50:42
310.   KG16
309 - apparently it is called "First Daughter", never heard of it before.
2007-11-02 18:55:17
311.   Marty
309 Chapman? A friend's daughter is in her third year there.
2007-11-02 18:56:07
312.   KG16
311 - yup, Chapman, class of 2006.
2007-11-02 18:58:17
313.   natepurcell
Question, does A-Rod have the same opt out clause in his contract like JD Drew where his team is not allowed to offer arbitration to collect draft picks?
2007-11-02 19:11:28
314.   Frip
I'm drunk

and going out

to live

THE IMPOSSIBLE DREEEEAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMM!

2007-11-02 19:18:00
315.   still bevens
313 I think I read that somewhere.
2007-11-02 19:31:17
316.   Andrew Shimmin
313- Just the opposite. If he opts out, the team is permitted to offer arbitration. If he'd become a FA after 2010, they wouldn't have been allowed to.
2007-11-02 19:35:43
317.   Dodgers49
Torre's coaching staff for Dodgers is taking shape

>> The Dodgers said today that no decisions have been made about their coaching staff, but sources told The Times that newly appointed Manager Joe Torre would like to hire two of his former staffers to be part of a crew that includes holdovers Rick Honeycutt and Mariano Duncan.

Torre's preference would be to hire Don Mattingly and Larry Bowa, who were part of Torre's staff with the New York Yankees. <<

http://tinyurl.com/vusym

2007-11-02 19:37:00
318.   Bumsrap
How well did Torre handle the AROD / Giambi thing in 2006?
2007-11-02 19:37:27
319.   das411
um....so does anybody else think that this injury to Zumaya, as well as the imminent Yankee PVL exodus, are two very strong signs that teams with, say, older vets surrounding a younger core should GO FOR IT immediately and damn the consequences?

and JW, thanks for all of the excellent coverage from the Yankee bloggers you've talked to. Who knew the first week of the offseason would be this interesting??

2007-11-02 19:49:00
320.   Sam DC
When did Phoenix do that to their uniforms?
2007-11-02 19:50:43
321.   D4P
Article on uncertainty of Kent's return. I think he'll be back.

http://tinyurl.com/39ng3j

2007-11-02 19:52:18
322.   D4P
And why are the Lakers wearing yellow on the road...?
2007-11-02 20:01:11
323.   KG16
320 - couple of years ago.

322 - wow, just noticed that, strange.

2007-11-02 20:01:59
324.   KG16
322 - heh, maybe they had their purple jerseys stolen a la VaTech
2007-11-02 20:03:08
325.   Bob Timmermann
320
Phoenix had those uniforms last year I believe.

322
I can only assume that Phoenix asked for the Lakers to wear gold.

2007-11-02 20:05:47
326.   KG16
I'm torn on how to watch this game, I kind of trust the K-Cal guys on commentary, but ESPN has a better picture (it's like HD w/o HD) but their guys are speaking in the cliches that dominate non-LA reportage of the Lakers.

Mainly though, I miss Chick.

2007-11-02 20:07:12
327.   natepurcell
Bynum and Crittenton made a nice connection there.
2007-11-02 20:07:26
328.   Eric Stephen
In about 5 minutes, Crittenton has done more to solidify uniform #1 than Smush Parker did in two years.
2007-11-02 20:07:41
329.   Bob Timmermann
On my cable system, ESPN is 720i HD and KCAL is 1080i.

But I'm watching the Nevada-New Mexico State football game.

2007-11-02 20:07:48
330.   KG16
Wow, the Lakers are flat out out-playing the Suns right now.
2007-11-02 20:09:35
331.   natepurcell
Critt has a ton of talent. He is the type of explosive PG we need to combat the rest of the explosive PGs in the west.
2007-11-02 20:10:24
332.   KG16
hey, and the Clippers are beating the Warriors too.
2007-11-02 20:11:52
333.   KG16
331 - So, Crittenton as PG, Farmer as SG, Kobe at SF, AK-47 at PF (by trading Lamar), and Bynum at C... that could work.
2007-11-02 20:17:28
334.   natepurcell
This has been a fun game so far.
2007-11-02 20:18:06
335.   natepurcell
333

Farmar's too small to play SG. If you want to play that lineup, you would need to switch Critt and Farmar.

2007-11-02 20:18:58
336.   KG16
335 - ok, that's fine.
2007-11-02 20:20:06
337.   Eric Stephen
333 That would give you pretty good overall defense from the starters (assuming AK-47 solidifies the squad and makes up for Bynum or helps him improve), and of course let the team play more up tempo.
2007-11-02 20:21:14
338.   Eric Stephen
Not sure if I like the new Adidas team warmups. Maybe they can grow on me.
2007-11-02 20:23:38
339.   KG16
337 - yeah, and I hear that AK-47's game is perfect for the triangle. Just need to get Odom cleared to play so that we can make the trade.

Walton, D-Fish, Roni, and Kwame coming off the bench, that's a pretty solid team, 9 deep.

2007-11-02 20:24:20
340.   Eric Stephen
321 Kent said he was driving home to Texas, would spend October reacquainting with the family and around November tell his agent whether he's returning for one last grab at the ring at age 40 or forfeiting the $7 million 2008 salary to become a full-time dad and motorcycle dealer

There's some confusion as to Kent's 2008 salary from that article. I have always seen the contract reported as a vesting option of $9m if Kent got 550 PA in 2007 (which he did), or a $7m team option if he didn't achieve the PA threshold.

2007-11-02 20:24:24
341.   Bob Timmermann
Phoenix added the orange alternate jersey in 2003.
2007-11-02 20:25:13
342.   KG16
Ok, just figured out why the Lakers are wearing yellow on the road, the Suns aren't wearing their home white jerseys, instead they're wearing their alternate orange numbers, so the Lakers would be required to wear their "white" uniforms, which are the yellow/gold ones (I refuse to acknowledge the Sunday whites).
2007-11-02 20:26:45
343.   underdog
And 9 different Lakers have assists in this half. One of the most balanced halves I've seen from the Lakers in a long while. Probably won't last and the Suns look tired, but still great to see. They are clearly a deeper team than last year. And this is without Odom.

It's weird watching a Lakers game still in the first half at 11:25 at night.

2007-11-02 20:27:30
344.   Eric Stephen
Sometimes I think someone needs to shake Kwame and let him know he's the biggest man on the court. It's probably not rational to think this way, but if he would just "flip the switch" and see himself as a big man, he'd go to the hoop much stronger and would be better for it.
2007-11-02 20:30:12
345.   Eric Stephen
342 I don't like the white uniforms either. If they have to have an alternate, why not go with the powder blue as an homage to the great 1960s West/Baylor teams?

http://tinyurl.com/34m2mk

2007-11-02 20:30:15
346.   KG16
344 - Kwame would have been much better off going to college for a couple of years.

The key to beating Phoenix (other than out scoring them) is to out rebound them.

2007-11-02 20:31:18
347.   trainwreck
Crittenton actually fits the mold of a triangle point guard too. Farmar does not.
2007-11-02 20:31:44
348.   KG16
345 - I do dig the throw backs. I never quite understood the white unis. I think the alternate uniforms is one of the reasons I really disliked the Bulls in the 90s (I swear they wore a different jersey in every game).
2007-11-02 20:31:56
349.   dzzrtRatt
0 Just got back from St. Louis....

To Jon's post, I would only add this.

George Steinbrenner is like a combination of Sumner Redstone and Knute Rockne.

Frank McCourt is like Don Knotts.

The ability to handle one does not imply the ability to handle the other.

The reason to like Torre is that he will fill a leadership gap. I do like him and like the hire. But if the Yankee fandom thinks McCourt is Steinbrenner west... well, I guess I don't blame them for not paying attention to our doings out here. They really weren't that interesting.

2007-11-02 20:32:36
350.   Bob Timmermann
345
I saw the Lakers wear blue uniforms in a home game against the Celtics in their last year at the Forum.

It seemed odd.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2007-11-02 20:33:48
351.   KG16
One of the first Laker games I went to at Staples was against Philly, they were wearing throw backs that night, it was kind of strange, but cool.
2007-11-02 20:35:10
352.   underdog
Man, this Kobe guy is the Lakers' weak link. Trade him!
2007-11-02 20:36:30
353.   Eric Stephen
Wow that was a goaltend, no? Lakers dodged a bullet.
2007-11-02 20:36:58
354.   underdog
I love Turiaf with Walton.
2007-11-02 20:38:13
355.   Bob Timmermann
349
St. Louis in November is always special.
2007-11-02 20:38:29
356.   Dodgers49
321 There have been reports that the club has decided pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and first-base coach Mariano Duncan would be retained, but Honeycutt said that is news to him.

"I haven't talked to Ned or Joe," said Honeycutt, referring to general manager Ned Colletti. "I like the rumor, but it's not confirmed by anybody. Hopefully, like they say on ESPN, the reality will catch up with the rumor."

2007-11-02 20:38:39
357.   Eric Stephen
350 I think the Celtics wore green last year at Staples Center. That too was weird.
2007-11-02 20:40:40
358.   KG16
I know it's only the second game of the season, and I know the Suns played a road game last night, but I have to say, the Lakers are looking a lot better than I expected them to look at this point.
2007-11-02 20:40:55
359.   Jon Weisman
NPUT

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