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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
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Blah Blah Blah Veterans Good Young Players Evil Blah Blah Blah
2007-11-08 22:23
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Blah.

(New Dodger coach Larry) Bowa, a former big league manager himself, didn't bring up the Dodgers' late-season collapse this year, when veteran second baseman Jeff Kent alluded to what he saw as a problem with younger players not doing the little things necessary to win.

But in essence, Bowa said nothing of the sort would be tolerated in the future.

He did say he was familiar with several Los Angeles veterans, adding: "Those are winners, they know how to play the game."

Blah.

Bowa rattled off the names of several of the younger Dodgers.

"It's not going to take us long," Bowa predicted. "Believe me, we'll get inside their heads. It's important they learn how to win, to do the little things. Guys get caught up in stats. The sooner we get rid of the individual things, the sooner we'll get them to thinking of how to win as a team."

I tell you, Ned Colletti better hang onto those kids. If the Dodgers don't keep 'em, what will they use for scapegoats?

Here's a thought. It doesn't have to be this way. Instead of stereotyping all the veterans as baseball saints and all the kids as baseball sinners, the leaders of this team could actually evaluate each team member on their own merits. For example, the way Russell Martin, the kid, is a stand-up guy on the field and off, while Derek Lowe, the grownup, pouts when things don't go his way. And so on.

Why are so many people buying into these stereotypes?

Update: Some comments from this thread ...

35. joejoejoe
Don't worry about (Bowa) favoring the veterans, he was on Jeter in spring training to stay focused on infield practice his first year with the Yankees. Bowa may slip into idiot coachspeak but he's no dummy. The young players liked him in NY and he's a great (if crabby) INF & 3B coach. I wouldn't worry about Bowa. Worry about Torre's bullpen usage. Get Mr. Torre to use the Joba Rules for Broxton and you'll be fine.

42. dzzrtRatt
Reading between the lines of the quotes from the various articles, it sounds like Torre and his posse were brought here because the young players are staying. Maybe some think they're just perfect right now, but the point is, it's for the purpose of improving them that they were brought here.

So, smile.

46. D4P
Bottom line:

1. The number of players who don't care about money is presumably very small.
2. Individual stats mean money.
3. Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that the number of players who don't care about individual stats is very small.
4. Players who care about individual stats are more likely to work hard, stay in shape, accept instruction, etc. than players who don't care about individual stats.
5. Other things being equal, players who work hard, stay in shape, accept instruction, etc. are more likely to achieve good stats than players who don't work hard, don't stay in shape, don't accept instruction, etc.
6. Teams with players who achieve good stats are more likely to win than teams with players who don't achieve good stats.

Also, this interesting comparison between Dodger infielder Tony Abreu and the Angels' Howie Kendrick:

34. CanuckDodger
What I really want to get into, after doing some research and giving it some thought, is who Kendrick reminds me of on the Dodgers, and this not long after I, in the last thread, said that I didn't think we had anybody comparable to Kendrick. Boy, was I wrong, and I feel rather embarrassed for making that mistaken comment. Kendrick is really just a hyped-up version of Tony Abreu. That never occurred to me before, because I had gotten so used to Kendrick being lionized as a true elite prospect while Abreu was always treated like a guy in the second tier of Dodger prospects. But really, they are practically the same guy -- good-fielding second basemen with a bit of pop in the bat, very good contact ability, and no inclination to walk to first base. Look at their stats in their first tastes of the majors -- for Kendrick in 2006, for Abreu in 2007 -- at the exact same age, 22:

Kendrick:

.285/.314/.416 -- 9 BB's, 44 SO's, 267 AB's

Abreu:

.271/.309/.404 -- 7 BB's, 21 SO's, 166 AB's

Abreu had the better walk rate (although it was still pretty bad) and the better contact rate.

So, how did Kendrick get as much hype as he did relative to Abreu, coming up in the minors? I think it has a lot to do with the Angels' chain of affiliates that play in hitter-friendly parks in hitter-friendly leagues. Kendrick's numbers in the minors always got a nice boost from his playing environments, while Abreu, by contrast, was always in pitchers' leagues until he played in Vegas this past year, and he never really got settled in in Triple A because he spent a lot of time in the majors in 2007 and also got hurt.

If I had it in me, I would highlight comments from the threads every day, because there's so much good stuff down here. Alas, I usually leave it to you to find them yourselves ... happy hunting!

Comments (94)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-08 22:33:53
1.   yankz
Wow. Sounds like a lot of small ball and secret handshakes.
2007-11-08 22:35:46
2.   trainwreck
Why would anyone listen to Jeff Kent or Derek Lowe?
2007-11-08 22:36:53
3.   ImprobableImpossible
"The sooner that we can get rid of the individual thing, the better this team will be."

Like putting a certain individual in the lineup every single day just to keep up a meaningless streak?? Or are individual things OK if those individuals are also "proven winners"??

2007-11-08 22:37:40
4.   Reddog
Why did MLB give the Dodgers to McCourt? What did we do to deserve this? Ned Colletti? I'm depressed just thinking about it all...
2007-11-08 22:38:07
5.   Eric Enders
I have the feeling I'm going to grow to dislike Larry Bowa very soon. Is there any other manager in recent history who was so universally hated by his own players? He drove Scott Rolen (among others) nuts to the point that Rolen wanted out of Philadelphia.

I fear that Bowa's unique method of "motivation" will drive the young players crazy and cause far more problems than it solves. I really wish he'd stayed in whatever hole Torre dug him out of.

2007-11-08 22:38:31
6.   GMac In The 909
3 He does have that wiggly feel.
2007-11-08 22:38:36
7.   das411
Wolfman and Lieby know how to win? That's odd, Bo, because the Phils never made the playoffs until both you and they, um, left!

Back to the last thread's mini-discussion: how many young, contributing MLB players is it worth to trade for one superstar? Show of hands, who in DT-land would have traded, say, young Carlos Guillen and Freddy Garcia for in-his-prime Randy Johnson? Or, hmm, maybe Han-Ram (like Matt Kemp but infieldier!) and Anibillingsley Sanchez for Beckett and Lowell? Regardless of whether these deals end up "working" (= aka being the one team out of 30 that wins all of the dice rolls), who here would take the gamble?

And does trading Joel Guzman, EJax, and Dioner Navarro, after seeing what they did in '07, really mean that Colletti is that kind of gambler?

2007-11-08 22:39:48
8.   KG16
3 - Torre wasn't ever scared to bench guys when they weren't performing. And I don't remember hearing anything about anyone on the Yankees playing all 162 games in any season over the last 12 years. So, hopefully the games played streak doesn't survive a three game slump.
2007-11-08 22:42:31
9.   trainwreck
I can't imagine Bowa tries to control too much with Torre around and Torre is very level-headed. Bowa just needs to be third base coach and do it well.
2007-11-08 22:44:38
10.   Bob Timmermann
8
Hideki Matsui played 163 games in one season under Torre.
2007-11-08 22:45:52
11.   Eric Stephen
8 Hideki Matsui played in every game for the Yankees for 3+ years until he got hurt in 2006. He also had a consecutive games streak from Japan.
2007-11-08 22:48:14
12.   Eric Stephen
Bested by Bob yet again.
2007-11-08 22:49:41
13.   Eric Stephen
8 Also, A-Rod played 162 games in 2005, as did Cano in 2007.
2007-11-08 22:51:25
14.   Eric Enders
4 The McCourt-Colletti Dodgers are like a hyperactive three-year-old who's been handed a piece of antique China as an experiment to see how long it takes him to drop and break it.
2007-11-08 22:52:42
15.   thinkblue0
7-

The problem with your thinking there is that the only examples you give are of players that turned out to be really good.

I certainly don't want to deal our young players, but it isn't a bad move to deal a couple for a guy like Cabrera. Of course, I'd love to deal for him without giving up Kemp or Kershaw, but I dont think that'd be possible...

2007-11-08 22:53:43
16.   ToyCannon
Guys like Torre have guys like Bowa around to do the dirty work.
2007-11-08 22:54:08
17.   Eric Stephen
From the Gurnick article:

Mattingly and Bowa have been doing their homework. Mattingly said he's already begun receiving briefings and video of Dodgers hitters, while Bowa rattled off the names of several of the younger Dodgers.

I would like to see a list of names of players Bowa rattled off.

2007-11-08 22:55:18
18.   Reddog
Bob -
Do you have any comment or thought on Marty Greenspun "resigning "and then being replaced the next day by some guy from Baltimore?

Just wondering what your thoughts are on that. Thanks.

2007-11-08 22:55:21
19.   rabid stan
0 Larry Bowa was great with Robinson Cano. That doesn't mean he's just what all your rookies need, but maybe it's something. Most Yankee fans were sorry to see him go.
2007-11-08 23:01:55
20.   ToyCannon
Whoever showed that quote about Miggy and his disrespect for veterans. Wasn't that quote from something like 2005 when he was 22? I remember reading those quotes back when there were complaints about his entourage, and how he prepared for baseball but that was in 2005. I'm just curious because there is a big difference between a 22 year old who has never known failure and is the best player on his team, and a 24 year old who just might have matured a little.
2007-11-08 23:04:30
21.   regfairfield
17 Are we seriously supposed to be happy that Larry Bowa knows who is on the Dodgers?
2007-11-08 23:10:00
22.   Eric Stephen
Also, isn't Bowa just the 3rd base coach? Hopefully he can instill "the right way" to play as he's sending a runner home.

I'm sure The Windmill® had extra duties too; I just don't remember ever hearing him make statements about it.

2007-11-08 23:10:28
23.   scareduck
4 - Why did MLB give the Dodgers to McCourt?

I seem to remember a Paul Conrad cartoon from 1956 after Joe Stalin died where Death had his arm around Stalin, and the caption read, "You were always a good friend, Joseph..."

I feel the same way about Frank McCourt.

2007-11-08 23:12:14
24.   silverwidow
In case anyone cares, the Dodgers outrighted Tsao to Triple-A, opening up a roster spot.
2007-11-08 23:12:39
25.   Linkmeister
I have no desire to turn this into Office Thoughts, particularly when I've never seen the show, but from the NYT editorials tomorrow:

"This might sound elitist, but when "The Office" goes out of production, we worry about what might happen to its place in the lineup."

http://tinyurl.com/29dmay

2007-11-08 23:17:15
26.   Eric Stephen
13 Cano only played in 160 games in 2007.
2007-11-08 23:17:51
27.   Gen3Blue
A former big league manager himself----if that doesn't say quite a bit, I don't know what would. Blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, and many more....
2007-11-08 23:19:05
28.   Bob Timmermann
18
I hadn't even given it a thought.
2007-11-08 23:20:59
29.   Greg Brock
Well, if anybody knows what it takes to build a winning, cohesive team, it's Larry Bowa.

Oppo.

2007-11-08 23:21:50
30.   underdog
Who cares about Bowa? We're gonna have Foxy Boxing! I love Foxy Boxing. It combines two of my favorite things. Boxing. And referees.

Man, I'm gonna miss 30 Rock even more than The Office. Will miss them both.

---
Look, as long as Bowa knows who to send in and when to hold them up standing near 3rd base, I don't care what kind of crotchety nonsense comes out of his mouth. He did some good things in New York. But I do agree, why do people even believe this stuff, veteran canniness vs. youthful mistakes blah blah.

23 I think a McCourt is like Stalin analogy seems a bit of a stretch, but maybe that's not what you're saying...

2007-11-08 23:26:08
31.   Greg Brock
I pity the poor youngster that steps on Larry Bowa's lawn.

I'd image there are land mines.

2007-11-08 23:29:33
32.   underdog
He's gonna be more entertaining than Rich Donnelly - not that The Windmill didn't have his memorable moments, too...

Mattingly will be good to have around I think. I get the feeling he'll be fair, taking players on individual basis and not looking at age or whatever.

2007-11-08 23:29:46
33.   Eric Stephen
31 Bowa doesn't have a lawn. He has rocks in his front yard.

Rocks, painted green.

2007-11-08 23:38:02
34.   CanuckDodger
In post #36 in the last thread, Regfairfield really surprised me, on several levels, with his comments on Howie Kendrick, and I want to take some time to respond to that post after looking up both minor league and major league stats not only for Kendrick but for some young Dodger players. Regfairfield says he rates Kendrick a bit above Kemp, says Kendrick "could be the greatest contact hitter of this generation," and hit 15 to 20 HR's a year.

First, I couldn't have imagined that Regfairfield would be so enamored of a player without plus power who rarely ever walks. Second, I don't think Kendrick is even as good a contact hitter as James Loney, and while I have always loved Loney's contact abilities, I never really thought about him being "the greatest contact hitter of this generation," though, now that I think about it, maybe Loney has a chance to be that.

But what I really want to get into, after doing some research and giving it some thought, is who Kendrick reminds me of on the Dodgers, and this not long after I, in the last thread, said that I didn't think we had anybody comparable to Kendrick. Boy, was I wrong, and I feel rather embarrassed for making that mistaken comment. Kendrick is really just a hyped-up version of Tony Abreu. That never occcurred to me before, because I had gotten so used to Kendrick being lionized as a true elite prospect while Abreu was always treated like a guy in the second tier of Dodger prospects. But really, they are practically the same guy -- good-fielding second basemen with a bit of pop in the bat, very good contact ability, and no inclination to walk to first base. Look at their stats in their first tastes of the majors -- for Kendrick in 2006, for Abreu in 2007 -- at the exact same age, 22:

Kendrick:

.285/.314/.416 -- 9 BB's, 44 SO's, 267 AB's

Abreu:

.271/.309/.404 -- 7 BB's, 21 SO's, 166 AB's

Abreu had the better walk rate (although it was still pretty bad) and the better contact rate.

So, how did Kendrick get as much hype as he did relative to Abreu, coming up in the minors? I think it has a lot to do with the Angels' chain of affiliates that play in hitter-friendly parks in hitter-friendly leagues. Kendrick's numbers in the minors always got a nice boost from his playing environments, while Abreu, by contrast, was always in pitchers' leagues until he played in Vegas this past year, and he never really got settled in in Triple A because he spent a lot of time in the majors in 2007 and also got hurt.

2007-11-08 23:41:04
35.   joejoejoe
Bowa is a red-ass but a good coach. Don't worry about him favoring the veterans, he was on Jeter in spring training to stay focused on infield practice his first year with the Yankees. Bowa may slip into idiot coachspeak but he's no dummy. The young players liked him in NY and he's a great (if crabby) INF & 3B coach. I wouldn't worry about Bowa. Worry about Torre's bullpen usage. Get Mr. Torre to use the Joba Rules for Broxton and you'll be fine.
2007-11-08 23:45:17
36.   LAT
I can't expend to much energy on Bowa hate. He has been out of Philly for a while and since he has been with Uncle Joe he appears to have kept himself in check. I see no reason to think Larry under Joe in LA will be any diffrent than Larry under Joe in NY. As for the comments relating to stats, I tend to agree with him. Stats for player evaluation are the most useful tool there is. We all agree on that. Stats for purpose of negotiating a contract are also useful. They are also valuable in a fantasy ball. But they have no real value for a player under contract. There is no reason (other than, perhaps, pride) anyone on the team who is not a free agent or arbatration eligiable should worry about their individual stats. I guess this means Scott Roland won't be coming to my house for dinner.
2007-11-08 23:47:43
37.   El Lay Dave
16 Spot on, I think. Bowa is Torre's aging junkyard dog that still has some bark and bite left in him. Might be refreshing to see a little energy out of somebody on the coaching staff.
2007-11-08 23:55:56
38.   Eric Stephen
As if we didn't know this already, Saenz probably won't be back.

On ESPN Radio, they played a clip of Mattingly saying the Dodgers' equipment manager told him #8 was available.

2007-11-09 00:09:03
39.   Eric Enders
from Baseball America:

Andy LaRoche leads Team USA to a second win

Team USA's pair of talented third basemen went a combined 5-for-8 with a home run and two doubles to defeat Panama 7-0 and improve to 2-0 in the World Cup. Team USA's next game is against Italy (1-0) at noon in Taiwan (11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time).

Third baseman Andy LaRoche, one of the Dodgers' top prospects, went 3-for-4 with two doubles. Evan Longoria (Devil Rays), who played third base in the team's 3-0 win over Mexico in the opener, went 2-for-3 with a home run as the team's designated hitter.

2007-11-09 00:22:50
40.   scareduck
34 - I can swallow some of the comparison between Kendrick and Abreu, but not to the extent you're suggesting. Take a look at the most recent set of park factors I have been able to find, Dan Szymborski's from BTF, for the period 2003-2005:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/oracle/discussion/weighted_park_factors_2003_2005/

Salt Lake boosts hits (1.09) and home runs (1.13), but like Dodger Stadium, suppresses doubles severely (.85). Las Vegas was even more hitter friendly, with an adjustment factor of 1.19 for hits of all kinds, increasing home runs (1.35) while very slightly curtailing doubles (.97). Moreover, Vero Beach (1.12) was also a notable hitter's park, reputation notwithstanding. Kendrick was playing in a hitter's park at the same point in his career at Cedar Rapids -- albeit a bit lesser (1.09).

The thing is, though, that I'm not entirely sure I disagree with your assessment. That is to say, there may be less to Kendrick than meets the eye, and perhaps more to Abreu. Kendrick has been less-than-stellar in the major leagues, and while you do expect inevitable growing pains, I'm not convinced (yet) that what you see with him isn't just what you get.

2007-11-09 00:46:44
41.   CanuckDodger
40 -- There is an age-relative-to-league discrepency too that needs to be factored in. Kendrick and Abreu both started out at the lowest level of rookie ball at age 18, but while Kendrick was only advanced to the Pioneer League the next year, Abreu was skipped past that league and tackled low A as a 19-year-old, and played in high A as a 20-year-old, while Kendrick played in low A and high A as a 20-year-old and 21-year-old respectively.

And while Vero Beach is a hitter's park, it is in an extreme pitcher's league, while Kendrick played his high A ball in one of minor league baseball's most extreme hitter's leagues, the California League.

Kendrick played in Triple A in 2006. Baseball Prospectus 2007 gives Salt Lake's park factor in 2006 as 1087, and Vegas's park factor in the same year as 1084.

2007-11-09 00:47:57
42.   dzzrtRatt
Reading between the lines of the quotes from the various articles, it sounds like Torre and his posse were brought here because the young players are staying. Maybe some think they're just perfect right now, but the point is, it's for the purpose of improving them that they were brought here.

So, smile.

2007-11-09 03:46:12
43.   JL25and3
8 Before Matsui was injured in 2006, Torre played him every day, even when he was slumping terribly. He did that specifically because of Matsui's consecutive-game streak - even though most of the streak was in Japan and didn't count here.

Also, Torre is very slow to bench a slumping player. Fans often characterized that as an overriding preference for veterans, but I don't think it was that simple. His preference is for set roles, and once a player is in a role Torre gives him every chance, and then some, to work his way out of a slump. When he finally does make a change, though, he sticks with that as well.

So in the first half of last season, when Damon was slumping horribly on offense and defense, Torre left him in. Then he left him in some more, and more. But when Torre finally installed Melky Cabrera in center field, he stuck with him just as doggedly - even when Damon started hitting again, and when Giambi came off the DL, and when Melky's bat went south in September.

2007-11-09 04:31:24
44.   D4P
The sooner we get rid of the individual things, the sooner we'll get them to thinking of how to win as a team

Does this mean they're all gonna get paid the same...?

Or does it just mean that the kids will stop hitting selfish HRs and start bunting more?

2007-11-09 04:34:04
45.   A Slo
I just read "The Ticket Out" which chronicles Darryl Strawberry and his high school teammates from Crenshaw High, very interesting book and wonder how many of you all have read it. On this topic, however, it certainly depicts Larry Bowa in a bad light and as someone who definitely failed to understand Chris Brown as a young player and the way he treated and spoke of Brown left him with a "label" he never could shake. Right after reading this, it certainly didn't excite me to have Bowa coming on board to work with our young players one bit.
2007-11-09 05:19:51
46.   D4P
Bottom line:

1. The number of players who don't care about money is presumably very small.
2. Individual stats mean money.
3. Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that the number of players who don't care about individual stats is very small.
4. Players who care about individual stats are more likely to work hard, stay in shape, accept instruction, etc. than players who don't care about individual stats.
5. Other things being equal, players who work hard, stay in shape, accept instruction, etc. are more likely to achieve good stats than players who don't work hard, don't stay in shape, don't accept instruction, etc.
6. Teams with players who achieve good stats are more likely to win than teams with players who don't achieve good stats.

2007-11-09 05:58:37
47.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
46
Your analysis is over-simplified. You need to take into account leadership and scrappiness, which just don't show up in the stats.
2007-11-09 06:16:19
48.   Daniel Zappala
I'm not sure park factors can completely explain the vast difference between Kendrick's and Abreu's minor league numbers. Kendrick never had an OBP below .380! He consistently had a SLG above .500, sometimes above .600. He got a lot of hype because he had fantastic minor league numbers. He made great progress last year, compared to his first year in the majors, despite being hurt. He looks ready to really turn it on this year.
2007-11-09 06:22:31
49.   Sam DC
I cannot believe how tired I am already this offseason.

On what basis has Larry Bowa concluded that the Dodgers have an issue with players being overly focused on individual stats? Is there a stat for trasch-can moving? More seriously, why does he think that's a problem with these players. Did someone tell him that?

Which individual stats are the ones that, when attained, do not further the team's goal of winning baseball games?

"That darn James Loney and his 9 RsBI -- 8 of those were totally wasted and unnecessary! Stathog!"

2007-11-09 06:25:14
50.   JL25and3
47 Hey, the scrappiest, spunkiest, grittiest player of all time - the very avatar of Grit - was Pete Rose. And he cared just a wee tad about individual stats...
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-09 06:27:24
51.   JL25and3
47 Oh, and now that you've got Joe, it's time to learn some Torrespeak. The key term isn't scrappy or gritty or any of those things; it's "bellyful of guts." Also look for your pitchers to have "electric stuff."
2007-11-09 06:42:50
52.   Bob Timmermann
51
So by "bellyful of guts," Torre is essentially saying he doesn't want a player who has had a colostomy?
2007-11-09 06:46:51
53.   Shaun P
52 I imagine that if, say, Miguel Cairo or Tanyon Sturtze had had a colostomy, that would have only increased their BFoG rating in Torre's mind.

Cano loved Bowa, and vice versa, and he's turned out just fine. I wouldn't worry too much about Bowa. Worry about Nomar hitting .450 in spring training, so he wins the 3B job until the ASB, and Luis Gonzalez getting an NRI and hitting .500 with power, so he's back in LF until the ASB.

2007-11-09 06:52:43
54.   Bob Timmermann
Fortunately, Gonzalez's ego is too big to accept an NRI.
2007-11-09 06:55:21
55.   D4P
54
And his stats are too big for an NRI to be the worst he can do. He'll get a contract somewhere.
2007-11-09 06:55:56
56.   PalmdaleSteve1
Bad Cop...Good Cop

Bad Cop = Bowa (Donny Baseball sometimes)

Good Cop = Joe Torry

LaJoe is brilliant.

Young'ns like to know where they stand and are not the poor defenseless baby's some make out, and the lack of that consistent level of play seen last year and lack of constant seriousness is probably what got under the skin of GrummpyOldMan Kent. Bowa will be an equal opportunity hard ass and LAJoe will be the nice Uncle that everyone can go whine to when Bowa hurts their little feelings, Vets and the Kiddie Corp.

Take a look at the always quick to have his feelings hurt Sheff. Last season he leveled his charges of hurt feelings and other claptrap against LAJoe, but never a word about Bowa, tells me a lot.

Me, I'm looking forward to seeing a much sharper LA Dodgers next year and you will be able to credit that sharpness to Bowa and Donny Baseball.

2007-11-09 07:05:18
57.   Bob Timmermann
55
I'm glad you respect the back of the bubblegum card.
2007-11-09 07:06:03
58.   NJYankee41
Why is everyone so down on Bowa? Don't worry about him. You won't even know he is there. I never found myself upset at his decisions as a 3B coach, so I guess I would consider him good at it. He's not going to come in and be this tough guy who disciplines everyone. He's going to go of to the side and mentor infielders to help with their defense and such. When he came to the Yankees I expeceted him to get in peoples' faces and give them some toughness, but he wasn't like that. He just does his job and from what I could tell he did a fine job.
2007-11-09 07:07:55
59.   CanuckDodger
48 -- A small correction, but Kendrick's OBA was under .380 once, in Rookie ball, and his OBA was pretty much always heavily (sometimes absurdly heavily) batting-average dependent (not that I am someone who thinks that is a horrible thing). And rather than just citing park factors, I cited park factors, league differences, age relative to league issues. Anyway, if somebody wants to say that they think Kendrick is better than Abreu, I am not going to put up a big fight over it, but I will still insist that they are the same "type" of player, and the degree to which Kendrick is better is not that significant. Abreu is also the better defender, so that makes up for a measure of difference in offense.
2007-11-09 07:08:07
60.   Bob Timmermann
But without Rich Donnelly where will Jayson Stark get material for his columns?
2007-11-09 07:14:13
61.   ToyCannon
For the many posters here who are Notre Dame haters. Your morning pick me up.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0Y7yjxJVlc
2007-11-09 07:16:49
62.   Disabled List
I wouldn't take Bowa's comments too seriously. Like 35 said, it's standard coach-speak boilerplate.
2007-11-09 07:18:55
63.   ToyCannon
59
Your a scout guy from what I remember. At the AFL in 2005, the scouts I talked to felt Howie had a chance to become Bill Madlock and contend for batting titles on a regular basis. Tony Abreu they felt was going to be a major leaguer but felt his ceiling was an average offensive 2nd baseman with great defense or an all around utility player. This was not a slight on Abreu but every scout thought the world of Howie.
2007-11-09 07:21:11
64.   ToyCannon
63
For perspective the same scouts didn't think much of Matt Kemp even though my untrained eye said he was the class of the team.
2007-11-09 07:31:30
65.   Sushirabbit
2 um, because they are real people instead of the cartoons we turn them into?

For me it seems as time goes on that Kent might have had a good point, even if he sold it badly. I don't know. He seems like a grumpy old man, and I think his lack of defense combined with the outfield wore on the pitchers. But he might have a valid point. And maybe Lowe is as stupid as a rock, but it's not like he hasn't done some good stuff on and off the field as well.

Just my contrarian point of view. If they sign a real good big bat and swap out Pierre and swap in Abreu, though, I'd be happy.

2007-11-09 07:41:33
66.   therickdaddy
Jon - I understand that you are trying to carry the banner of the young players and the overall sentiment of DT into the ears and eyes of Dodger management. I appreciate that. But not every statement or article like this is a bad one. Just because a reporter picks out a few quotes from questions that he asks doesn't mean that Bowa is sitting here stewing on whipping the youngsters into shape.

The Dodgers have in place the best managers of this team in who knows how long. This is a management team that we can sit back and relax on, IMO. Torre is going to have more clout in McCourt's ear than Colletti, you can count on that for sure. And Torre certainly has a better mind for baseball, at least for what makes up a winning team.

And Bowa and Mattingly were two of the most popular coaches around.

Relax. Things are good in Dodgerland.

2007-11-09 07:46:17
67.   Yankee Fan In Boston
8 joe torre tried his best to get ("everyday") scott proctor into all 162 games.
2007-11-09 08:02:57
68.   Frip
Speaking of Willy Mays (or is it Maze?)

Very depressing sentence on Little Richard from All Music Guide.

"He spent the rest of the 60s in a continual unsuccessful comeback."

That sounds so pitiful! Sheesh! I wonder if that's what purgatory is like for dead Catholic rockers. Just one long unsuccessful comeback. Rock stars should just shoot themselves the VERY MINUTE they become un-hot.

2007-11-09 08:08:02
69.   CanuckDodger
63,64 -- Yes, I tend to be "pro-scouting," but I also have a foot in the sabermetrics camp, and am quite aware of the scouts sometimes getting it wrong. I remember when Shane Victorino and Reggie Abercrombie played on the same Dodger low A team in Wilmington, in 2001. They were the same age, 20, and both could play center field. Victorino hit .283, Abercrombie, .226. Victorino had 36 BB's and 61 SO's in 435 AB's., Abercrombie, 19 BB's and 154 SO's in 486 AB's. Yet BA's 2002 Prospect Handbook ranked Abercrombie ahead of Victorino, and I read a Wilmington newspaper article after the 2001 season in which scouts raved about Abercrombie because of his tall, sculptured, body and athleticism, and they dismissed the short, skinny Victorino as a mere "baseball player" (to baseball scouts, "baseball player" is an insult). In the years after this, the Dodgers treated Abercrombie like a real prospect, while Victorino was given the bum's rush.
2007-11-09 08:08:29
70.   Sushirabbit
So, assuming Furcal returns to normal and Loney continues to improve, can they make up for Kent's lack of range?
2007-11-09 08:25:40
71.   PHilldodger
66 Really? I've never seen Jon's agenda as being pro-youngster or anti-older player. He seems to advocate putting the best team on the field possible, as do many others here.
As to your point about having a management team we can relax on, well...I don't know what to say other than we view the world very differently.
2007-11-09 08:25:53
72.   Jon Weisman
66 - I am trying to carry the banner of people being treated fairly. If people kept saying that the kids were all winners and the vets were all selfish egotists, I'd rail against that too.

I welcome the testimony that Bowa isn't going to be a problem. But the fact is, at least for a day, he (and the media, certainly) helped perpetuate the simplistic and tiresome storyline of the past three months.

For the time being, the new staff clearly is operating based on hearsay. They may wish to come to the team with open minds, but already those minds are being clouded, without a doubt, by people telling them what a lousy human being Matt Kemp is, etc.

I am still waiting for one person, one, to point out that Russell Martin is one of the kids. I realize this doesn't happen because Martin has in a sense achieved veteran status, but it doesn't stop people from ripping the kids in general. Recognizing Martin's value is the surest way to cut through all this garbage that the kids are all good and the vets are all bad - it's so obvious that it goes without saying - yet it needs so desperately to be said.

This post isn't about Bowa. It's about a culture of stupidity, a culture that convinces the casual Dodger fan who the heroes and villains are, a culture that leads to dumb decisions being made. I'm tired of putting faith in people that they're better than their words indicate. I'd just like them to say the right words.

2007-11-09 08:30:15
73.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
With (possibly) the exception of Ned, Pierre seems to get more disrespect here than anybody else. I'd like that to stop. I've seen people use the nickname "Slappy McPopup," and I propose a change to "Scrappy McTryhard."

The stats don't show it (they scream otherwise), but I can't help but shake the feeling that Pierre is a valuable member of the team. How many times did Pierre "make something out of nothing" by eking out a bloop hit, stealing 2nd and 3rd, and then score on an otherwise harmless groundout? Sure, lots of guys accomplish the same thing by hitting solo home runs, but who wants that? That seems like cutting corners, and that's not what the Dodgers are all about.

Maybe my motivation for defending Pierre stems from my feeling that I was the Juan Pierre of Little League. I had zero power, but I was fast and I could make things happen. Also like Pierre, I think I was overrated by coaches. I remember being surprised both times I made the All-star team, and, in the tradition of Pierre, I hustled my way way to zero hits in my All-star career.

I'll take Juan Pierre on my team any day!

2007-11-09 08:39:13
74.   Daniel Zappala
Canuck -- it is an interesting point that Kendrick played the same level a year older than Abreu, in most cases (though they were both 22 in AAA in hitters parks and Kendrick OPS 100+ points higher). Put another way, is it possible the Dodgers "rushed" along Abreu, playing him at each level one year too early? Are there any negative effects to playing each level a year before you're ready?

In Kendrick's case, the Angels handed him the job in his second full year in the majors -- doesn't look like Abreu will get the same treatment. How much does the way a club handles a player affect their development? If Abreu had instead progressed at the same pace as Kendrick, would he have been clobbering the ball at every level and now look like a fantastic 2B prospect with 2008 as his first season to get a taste of the majors?

Wouldn't this at least be a better way of showcasing your prospects for other teams in trades?

2007-11-09 08:40:42
75.   PalmdaleSteve1
"Youth is wasted on the young." Shaw

Baseball is a business which grinds on for 162 games at least. Martin gets it, kid or not, some of the other "kids" not so much it would seem.

This ain't little league where everyone gets a trophy for just showing up, something that I suspect the Veterans and Ru Martin figured out a while ago.

The new coaching team will, I think, bring the point that baseball is a grind it out business to the attention of both the old guys and the "kids" and "That's a good thing" Federal inmate #55170-054.

2007-11-09 08:43:13
76.   Jon Weisman
73 - Don't know how seriously I'm supposed to take this post, with lines like "Sure, lots of guys accomplish the same thing by hitting solo home runs, but who wants that? That seems like cutting corners, and that's not what the Dodgers are all about."

I would have aspired to be the Juan Pierre of my Little League. That doesn't make him any better. And however many times he "made something out of nothing," he did it at a rate lower than just about any starting outfielder in baseball. It's not guesswork. The stats measure it. If you want to grade him A+ on work ethic, that doesn't change his overall value. (Clearly, if his effort were so contagious, we wouldn't be having the dilemma outlined in 72 .)

I've never used any of these nicknames for Pierre, but I certainly wouldn't want to make it easier for the Dodgers to keep him in the lineup. He may not be liked by many people here (and elsewhere, I should add), but he's got enough allies in baseball.

2007-11-09 08:44:57
77.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
75
I think Pierre gets it, too.
2007-11-09 08:48:23
78.   Frip
72 "I'm tired of putting faith in people that they're better than their words indicate. I'd just like them to say the right words."

I want to hug you and make you tea. Great post. Reminded me of a movie lawyer making a dramatic final plea to the jury. I could even hear the triumphant swooping movie music as I read it. Ahh, suddenly, through your words, the world comes to its senses. If only...

2007-11-09 08:51:29
79.   Hythloday
73 - Slappy McPopup is one my favorite nicknames on this site. I think we could have a competition to determine this, but right now it is Darth Flanders by a nose for me.
2007-11-09 08:54:28
80.   regfairfield
Regarding Kendrick, I think the most important thing you're forgetting is that his career minor league average is .359. The lowest he hit at any level with more than 200 at bats is .367. Yeah, I rarely get enamored with guys like this, but Kendrick is clearly a special player.

Kendrick also went into a huge slump this year due to injury, yet still finished the year hitting .322. Do you ever foresee Abreu hitting .322? Your Abreu comparison focuses on one level, the majors at age 22, in which Abreu had only 166 at bats, still a small sample size. Kendrick, also demolished Abreu's minor league numbers that year.

Yes, the walk rate is a problem, and I can even give you Kemp being better than Kendrick. But really, Abreu? They're nowhere near each other.

2007-11-09 08:57:27
81.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
76
I admit, my earlier post was a bit facetious. If the Dodgers could upgrade CF (trade for Cody Ross! Or just about anyone else, I suppose), I'd be all for it.

Even so, I think I do tend to hate Pierre less than most for the sentimental reasons I mentioned (although, those feelings for some reason never extended to Tony Womack, who was pretty much the same player).

2007-11-09 09:03:38
82.   CanuckDodger
74 -- Abreu rushed? I don't think so. He did fine at every level, and even won his league's batting title at age 20. If a guy can do "fine" at a given level, it is silly to hold him back a year just so he can pad his stats. The age at which a player puts up stats at a certain level is USUALLY going to be taken into account anyway.
2007-11-09 09:07:31
83.   Sam DC
75 Martin gets it, kid or not, some of the other "kids" not so much it would seem.

Why do you think this?

Because of comments by veterans on the team? Bill Plaschke? Somewhere else.

I am not being facetious -- what are the facts that support the opinion that the kids other than Martin don't seem to get it?

2007-11-09 09:08:20
84.   capdodger
I don't hate Pierre all that much. He shows up and plays to the best of his ability. It's not his fault that his ability is lacking in some areas. I save my ire for the people who signed a player with obvious defects for $55MM and then played him every day.
2007-11-09 09:09:26
85.   capdodger
83 What is "it" anyway?
2007-11-09 09:11:43
86.   screwballin
81 I, on the other hand, dislike Pierre more than I probably should because he so perfectly embodies the "stats lie" argument. Giving him that much money and starting him every game is the baseball establishment's way of telling us that "statheads" know nothing. Ned and Grady drove that point home every game, and their closed-mindedness cost us severely.
2007-11-09 09:13:16
87.   ToyCannon
Just reviewing some old Dodger drafts to help the memory and I found that we drafted Eric Byrnes in 1994 in the 38th round. He ignored us and went onto a great career at UCLA and then finally the A's picked him in the 8th round of the 1998 draft.
2007-11-09 09:13:38
88.   PalmdaleSteve1
On "SlapHappy Juan", what can you say?

It's not hard work, he's known for being the first one at the park and the last one to leave so much for that.

It's not like he once was a power hitter, before he became a slap hitter, after he was no hitter (thank you for that allusion Senator Kerry)

SlapHappy Juan is what he is, and that arm of his not going to get better as he slows down a bit on the bases, so what can be done about it?

Maybe Donnie Baseball can do a Tiger Woods like swing makeover? Hey, new reality TV show "Extreme Swing Makeover" ?.....nahhhh

2007-11-09 09:17:19
89.   ToyCannon
69
Interesting you should say that since Shane was a 6th round pick in 2000 and Abercombie was a 23rd in the same draft. Usually the higher picks are given more attention no matter the body build.
2007-11-09 09:19:43
90.   ToyCannon
84
Right, Juan is not the target, the man who signed him and the man who played him 162 games are the targets.
2007-11-09 09:24:25
91.   CanuckDodger
80 -- I have stated why I believe they are near each other, and it doesn't sound like anything more I say will convince you, but for anybody else reading, I'll give it another go. You haven't responded to what I said about park factors, league differences, and age relative to league differences. Each one in isolation may not mean a GREAT deal, but the three together are significant. You say Kendrick got hurt this year? Well, so did Abreu, so who knows how much that brought down his final stats. Can I see Abreu ever hitting .322? I can see him hitting over .300 (he has been a league batting champion, and in a league in which he was younger than the league average age by a couple of years). If Abreu hits .300 and Kendrick hits .325, and they both walk little and have the same amount of power (15 homers a year, I believe), and Abreu plays a better second base (Abreu would have been cultivated as a shortstop if he hadn't been on the same minor league teams as Chin-Lung Hu), how much better would Kendrick really be? I say again: not much.
2007-11-09 09:26:24
92.   underdog
Since they're currently unemployed, maybe the writers for TV's "Bionic Woman" could be hired by the Dodgers to write a scenario in which Pierre's throwing arm is bionically enhanced, saving the Dodgers and thus humanity from danger.

--

For what it's worth, I used the term "Slappy McPopup" earlier in the season this year for Pierre because he was supposedly a slapping hitter who needed to use his speed to run out groundballs who, instead, was hitting one maddening popup after another. With no power, Pierre + flyball = automatic out. In fairness to him, that did improve quite a bit in the second half, he hit many more groundballs and even (gasp!) line drive hits, got on base more, contributed more. Still, it was hard to let go of the nickname.

2007-11-09 09:27:53
93.   PalmdaleSteve1
83

Not getting it.

Showing up at the park without your gear.

Blowing through a stop sign at third base, not once not twice but three times.

Not showing up on time for team business. (Personal peeve of mine even in real life)

Getting it

Throwing yourself into the stands head first to catch a foul tip, regardless of what it's going to do your body...Russell

Being a pain in the arse to the Manager about taking a day off, even when you know you need it. Russell.

Showing up every day for work ready to 'Get er Done

Maybe running into the wall (light sign) in what Center field to catch a fly. (Toss up if that was "getting it" or not).

2007-11-09 09:30:32
94.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.

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