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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Roster Rumblings
2007-11-21 08:47
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Because my coverage of the Dodger minor leagues has really suffered in the past couple of years, I let go of some of my Dodger Thoughts control issues and invited commenter CanuckDodger earlier this month to comment on the Dodgers' efforts on the international amateur market. That seemed to be a big success, so enjoy his piece today on Tuesday's changes to the Dodgers' 40-man roster:

The Dodgers' latest changes to their 40-man roster, in preparation for December's Rule 5 draft, mix the predictable with the astounding, which is, these days, true to type for the organization. The additions of RHP James McDonald, OF Xavier Paul, RHP Ramon Troncoso, RHP Justin Orenduff, and RHP Cory Wade to the roster were all expected, certainly. Even the removal of LHP Mike Megrew from the roster had the odor of inevitability about it, after RHP Zach Hammes had already lost his roster spot, weeks ago, because of the twin killers of a disappointing Double A season similar to Megrew's and the need to free up roster space. But the additions to the roster of RHP Mario Alvarez and C Lucas May, and the omission of LHP Wesley Wright? As Damon Wayans' character exclaims in the 1994 film Blankman, "Well, slap me silly and call me Susan!"

Mario Alvarez has never pitched above high A, and in Alvarez's three seasons in the U.S., since he came over from the Dominican Republic, the best season ERA he has produced has been 5.60, which he put up just this past year. Listed at 6 feet, 150 pounds, Alvarez has been described as looking like a shortstop on a pitcher's mound, and scouts scorn scrawniness in right-handed pitchers when they overlook it in southpaws, for arcane reasons known only to their fraternity. In addition to lacking size, Alvarez doesn't have good command, or a good feel for pitching, and his curve and changeup are unreliable - a litany of shortcomings that would be more forgivable in a minor league pitcher younger than 23. But Alvarez can throw his heater in the mid-90s, and sometimes - and apparently in Alvarez's case in particular - that's all that matters. The Dodgers clearly don't want to take a chance on losing Alvarez's arm, even though he has never pitched in Double A, and notwithstanding that he has been clobbered everywhere he has pitched since the Dominican Summer League in 2004. Honestly, had Alvarez been left exposed for the Rule 5 draft, I think it's a good bet other organizations would have left him alone, and if one did take him, Alvarez probably couldn't make or stick on an MLB 25-man roster. Whether Alvarez will ever be able to stick on an MLB roster is very much an open question, in my mind.

It hasn't gone unnoticed by Dodger fans who have scrutinized Logan White's drafts over the years that White has never targeted power hitters in the top couple of rounds in his drafts. White, the ex-pitcher, prefers to pop pitchers that early, and on the rare occasions when he has gone for a position player in the top two rounds, he has opted for young men who are "pure hitters," or in the case of Preston Mattingly, a pure basketball player. Perhaps that's why, after six Logan White drafts, the purest slugger in the Dodgers' farm system might be catcher Lucas May, who was drafted as a shortstop out of a Missouri high school in the eighth round in 2003. May's bad defense got him banished from shortstop to the outfield before his strong arm and an organizational dearth of catcher prospects prompted his conversion to catcher in instructional league just last year. As a catcher, May is still very much a work in progress, and he may never be sufficiently adequate at the position to play it in the majors, but at the plate May puts enough of a wallop on the ball that he managed to slug .465 in 2007 while batting only .256. As with Alvarez's fastball, May's power seems to have induced the Dodgers to overlook multiple glaring weaknesses that cast a big shadow over May's prospects for the future. But more to the point, knowing how much importance MLB teams place on their backup catchers being defensively sound, it's hard to believe May could have made a 25-man roster in 2008, let alone lasted a whole season on one. Also, this year, May hit for too low an average, and got on base by walking too infrequently - at the single A level, no less - for there to have been even a remote hope that he could have had value as an extra outfielder and "emergency" catcher on an MLB team next year.

There's a price to be paid for wasting roster spots on players like Alvarez and May, who were not only unlikely to draw interest in the Rule 5 draft, but are longshots to be of value to the Dodgers' MLB team even after two more seasons in the minors, barring their development hitting overdrive from this point forward. I thought Wesley Wright - who was drafted one round before May in 2003, out of an Alabama high school - was sure to make the Dodgers' 40-man roster. Unlike Alvarez and May, Wright has performed above high A, doing quite well in Double A in 2007 (2.49 ERA, with 68 K's in 61.1 innings), and he even made it up to Triple A this past season (where he performed poorly, indicating that that promotion was a "bridge too far" for Wright, just yet). Wright resembles Alvarez physically, but diminutiveness, like mortal sins and felonies, is never held against left-handed pitchers in the world of baseball. Wright has a better curveball than Alvarez, and his fastball sits in the low 90s and reached the mid-90's. While RHP Jonathan Meloan, a prized prospect, and Wright were part of the same bullpen in Triple A, Wright's fastball lit up Vegas's stadium radar gun better than Meloan's fastball. No doubt Wright needs to improve his control and command, and he's not really ready for the majors, but he's closer to being ready for that level than Alvarez, and his combination of left-handedness and power stuff will make him much more attractive to other organizations in the Rule 5 draft than Alvarez would have been.

When the Rule 5 draft is held in December, at the Winter Meetings, I think only a minor miracle will keep us from losing Wesley Wright. He's not guaranteed to make or stick on a 25-man roster in 2008, but a non-contending MLB team will take greater pains to hide Wright as a bullpen mop-up man than would have been spent hiding Alvarez in the same role, were Alvarez somehow picked. Now, it's possible that the Dodgers know something about Wright that hasn't been told to the public - such as Wright is hurt, or the Dodgers suspect his arm will fall off soon - but outside of that possibility, the Dodgers' protecting Alvarez over Wright is a monumental head-scratcher, and in my opinion, represents a Dodger front-office miscalculation. But, alas, such miscalculations are something to which the current Dodger front-office personnel are very far from strangers.

Comments (353)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-21 08:17:21
1.   Jon Weisman
A feature on Sarah Gilfillan:

http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/news/2007/nov/21/gilfillan-was-devoted-work/

2007-11-21 08:54:01
2.   underdog
Nice write-up, Canuck. Very useful, as always. I agree, as I'm sure we all do, that Alvarez was a surprise - a real head-scratcher. I disagree about May, though, I thought it was a no-brainer they protect him. He may be a work in progress, but still has a world of potential and, if his defense never comes around (which as a catcher it still...may) he can always be traded to an AL team as a DH. ;-) I'm curious who you would've protected instead of those two? I'm not sure who some of the other eligible players were right off-hand.

Also, isn't there still a possibility Alvarez could be cut if they needed to make room for more than two new players over the coming months?

Still, that one came out of nowhere...

2007-11-21 08:55:10
3.   KG16
LAT'ed in the last post, not worth reposting, other to say that I'm reaching "cautiously optimistic" territory this off season.

In re 207 and the comparisons of Caberra to Mitchel, I think it has to do with the incredibly weight gain and questions of conditioning. Past performance matters less when a player shows poor conditioning/training habits, in predicting future performance.

2007-11-21 08:55:45
4.   underdog
Ah, Wesley Wright - yes, I agree, he should've been given the spot over Alvarez for sure. I bet they lose him (though it's hard to picture him on an ML roster for a year.)
2007-11-21 08:58:18
5.   D4P
For D4P I submit this to you: You... are... correct. Why is Brady having such an extraordinary season? It's Randy Moss! Why did the 49ers go from darn good to really great? Jerry Rice! What kept the Cowboys from defeat this week? Terrell Owens.

I give thanks for your shout-out, but I'm not allowed to talk about those guys anymore.

2007-11-21 08:58:37
6.   Jon Weisman
Related:
http://bronxbanter.baseballtoaster.com/archives/870958.html
2007-11-21 09:02:12
7.   regfairfield
3 Seeing as Miguel Cabrera is quite obviously far more talented than Kevin Mitchell, I think it does matter.

Every time someone brings up these fat guys in regards to Cabrera, the bring up someone who peaked around age 32, that's eight years for Miguel.

2007-11-21 09:04:21
8.   LogikReader
5

I appreciate that, D4P. I'll remember to not start another "worst thread ever." =)

2007-11-21 09:08:57
9.   KG16
7 - I'm not saying that it's a perfect comparison. But talent evaluators are using experience to judge players. Is it fair to judge a player based on what someone he's probably never met did when the new player was 10 make a lot of sense? No, probably not. But that doesn't mean that there aren't warning signs. Plus, Cabrera has put on a lot of weight before other comparable players have. That, for me, would be a major concern.
2007-11-21 09:12:14
10.   Bob Timmermann
Since Andrew Shimmin's comment was LAT'd, I will reproduce it here:

Personally, Cabrera reminds me a lot of Andrew Bogut.

2007-11-21 09:13:06
11.   regfairfield
9 These aren't talent evaluators, this is Buster Olney. If you can find me an example of a guy who ate his way out of the bigs at age 25 or 26, I'd be happy to concede the point, but this seems to be more of a case of players with old players skills fading when players with old players skills usually do.
2007-11-21 09:13:20
12.   fiddlestick
FWIW, in the same piece quoted in the last thread, Buster Olney reported that LA's offer to Lowell was 3 years.
2007-11-21 09:15:57
13.   Lexinthedena
10- As long as he doesn't remind you of Jon Koncak.
2007-11-21 09:20:40
14.   Bob Timmermann
The only recent player I can think of who ate himself out of being an All-Star was Carlos Baerga:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/baergca01.shtml

2007-11-21 09:22:46
15.   Lexinthedena
I noticed that Cabrera's run totals were down a little bit from this last season, could the arepa weight have something to do with it?.....I'm sure it's been talked about, but I love the hot stove.....
2007-11-21 09:23:16
16.   fiddlestick
Baerga. And people thought Cey looked odd when he ran.
2007-11-21 09:24:34
17.   KG16
11 - if a guy like Kevin Mitchell took better care of himself at age 24-26, would he have been a better player? If he didn't report to camp 30 pounds overweight one year, would he have been a better player?

Talent is like air, the higher you go, the thinner it gets. The fact of the matter is, there are not a lot of guys who can perform at the major league level, so teams will always take a chance on guys who have performed in the past. As someone mentioned the other day, contracts seem to be a year longer than they should be... well, that is one of the reasons. So even when a guy puts on an extra 20-30 pounds, he's going to get a contract because he's shown he can do it. It's not smart, but when you're dealing with a core of 750 players, plus a small percentage of minor leaguers who can step up, that's what you are going to get.

In short, a guy won't eat his way out of the bigs at 25 because some team will take a shot at him. But his performance will likely deteriorate quickly (a la K. Mitchell) if he doesn't get better when it comes to conditioning.

2007-11-21 09:26:26
18.   CanuckDodger
Regfairfield, I don't know what you think people who think Cabrera's weight gain is worrisome believe will happen to Cabrera, because you keep objecting that Cabrera is going to continue to hit, when nobody seems to be saying he won't hit. Standing at the plate and swinging a bat is about the least athletic part of a baseball player's routine, and plenty of players who do that well and can't do anything else well play the game -- in the American League, as DH's, or as Manny Ramirez. If you believe, like JoeyP, that the ability to avoid being a big defensive liability on a National League team is unimportant, say so, but I don't think you believe that, or at least I don't recall you articulating that sentiment.
2007-11-21 09:26:31
19.   Lexinthedena
17- Mondesi is a great example....guy could have been a hall of famer...
2007-11-21 09:30:44
20.   Bob Timmermann
Cabrera's run totals likely dropped because guys like Joe Borchard were batting behind him a lot.
2007-11-21 09:32:37
21.   regfairfield
18 I've seen lots of people saying he won't hit. I've seen people saying things like Cabrera will hit .270/.330/.380 as a Dodger (the most extreme example). When so many people say I don't want Miguel Cabrera because he's fat, they're certainly implying that he's going to fall off the table.

Cabrera's defensive liability is a huge issue. I agree with that. He's a left fielder or a first baseman, no question about it. Even with this liability, however, he's still a 55-60 run player at his worst at age 25, which keeps him as elite status.

2007-11-21 09:34:08
22.   CajunDodger
18
I tend to think that the weight gain issue will be a non-issue because I see the agent of Miggy sitting him down to have the conversation with the following points:

1) If you take off 5-8% of your body fat, you are more likely to play for a really good team next year and showcase your abilities for free agency.

2) If you take off the weight now, in two years, I can probably get you an extra 2-3 years and $45-70 million on a contract. That's about $2 mil per pound that you lose.

I think that the weight issue is being considered by Colletti and Reagins, so in dealing with the team and agent, I am sure that a status update on his new training regimen is being passed out under the table.

2007-11-21 09:35:00
23.   regfairfield
Basically, I just want people to acknowledge that whether or not you want to deal a large package of talent for him, Miguel Cabrera is an elite player. That's all I'm asking.
2007-11-21 09:38:08
24.   KG16
22 - call me skeptical, but if I were a GM, I'd want to see Cabrera in good shape for two years straight before I even think of giving him a contract. And you better believe there is going to be a weight clause in any contract he gets.

I'm not saying he's not a great talent, he is absolutely great. But, the weight gain shows me a lack of discipline off the field, and way too many guys have started off amazingly because of sheer talent, only to drop off when conditioning starts to matter.

Besides, if Cabrera is a first baseman or left fielder, I'd rather pass. We've already got Loney and Kemp/Ethier/Young to play those positions

2007-11-21 09:38:17
25.   Lexinthedena
23- I don't doubt that Cabrera is elite....But am I alone in thinking Kemp is closer to that level than advertised?
2007-11-21 09:39:06
26.   fiddlestick
19-- Mondesi had other issues besides conditioning.
2007-11-21 09:49:41
27.   regfairfield
25 Until he figures out the strike zone, he's a lot closer to Mondesi than Cabrera.
2007-11-21 09:51:55
28.   scareduck
Another great piece, Canuck. Very interesting offseason reading.
2007-11-21 09:52:17
29.   Howard Fox
27 I agree, Kemp is approaching a crossroads where he can become an elite player or head off on the road to being a Mondesi. Attitude and ability to take constructive criticism will determine alot over the next year or so.
2007-11-21 09:55:04
30.   Andrew Shimmin
The geniusest spammer of all time (from my spam filter):

"Dear Hee Seop Choi,
"Los Angeles Dodgers First Baseman
"Cincinnati, Ohio

"My name is Mr. David Smith and I work with a Bank here in London-England, The name of the bank is Credit Suisse Banking Group. We had a , customer that had a deposit of GBP3.5M Three Million and Five Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) ..."

He got me to open the message, anyway. This is definitely 'carrying the name of Ch-i in vain,' so he'll be burning in eternal hellfire for his effort. But still, kudos.

2007-11-21 10:01:25
31.   regfairfield
29 I partially agree, but that crossroads can be a huge period of time, three or four years.

Right now, Kemp is almost pure projection. He obviously has power, but he really hasn't shown it at all the last two years (17 home runs between AA/AAA/MLB in 2006, 14 between AAA/MLB last year), and he has no concept of the strike zone. However, I can also tell you that he's only the third Dodger I've seen in my life that crushes the ball every time he hits it. Only Piazza and Sheffield showed that ability.

If Kemp doesn't show real improvement in the next three years, then he'll probably never be a great player, but three years is a long time.

2007-11-21 10:03:18
32.   Howard Fox
31 a nagging part of me sees Billy Ashley...
2007-11-21 10:06:21
33.   regfairfield
32 Which is really, really unfair. At Kemp's age, Ashley was fanning once every 3.3 at bats in Albuquerque.
2007-11-21 10:17:24
34.   FirstMohican
I wonder if Kemp is developing an attitude problem from seeing questions about his attitude incessantly linked to his name.

All it took was one article, and now its almost common knowledge among sportswriters at even the national level that he's a potential problem. Who knew the trashcan decision could be such a pivotal moment in his career.

2007-11-21 10:21:12
35.   scareduck
17 - Talent is like air, the higher you go, the thinner it gets.

And in Los Angeles, at least, the closer you get to the bottom, the more polluted.

2007-11-21 10:24:13
36.   fiddlestick
I'm of the opinion that if Matt Kemp truly had an attitude , Dave Stewart would make sure that it didn't become a problem.
2007-11-21 10:24:41
37.   Eric Enders
32
1. Matt Kemp and Billy Ashley are very dissimilar types of players, in my view. They merely share a bunch of superficial qualities such as being large humans who hit the ball real hard. (They both struck out a lot, too, but I wouldn't count that as a similarity since Kemp is nowhere near Ashley's league.)

2. Kemp's minor league track record is far, far more impressive than Ashley's was, even before you take age into account (which would tilt things even further in Kemp's favor).

3. Billy Ashley is perhaps not entirely deserving of the Dodger bogeyman status he currently holds. There's a chance he could have become a useful player had he been given a chance, which he never was. And he did break (or almost break) the MLB record for pinch homers one year for us, IIRC.

2007-11-21 10:29:57
38.   SoSG Orel
More great insight we can't get elsewhere. Thanks to Jon and Canuck.
2007-11-21 10:29:58
39.   Eric Enders
36 Dave Stewart still has a chip on his shoulder after being retired for nearly a decade, and was never one for conformity in the first place, so I'm not sure how he could help Kemp in that regard.

BTW, Canuck, great read up top. The one comment I have is that there appears to be a great deal of thought going on as to whether these guys could stick on an MLB roster for a year. But really, that's irrelevant. Teams have learned to hide Rule 5 picks on the DL all year with mysterious injuries, then send them back to the minors the following year. You can stash the guy on your 60-day DL too and it doesn't even count against your 40-man roster. So really, all it would take to lose one of these guys is a team that kinda wants him and is willing to spend $50,000 on him.

We acquired Derek Thompson via the Rule 5/DL method a few years ago.

2007-11-21 10:35:21
40.   MollyKnight
Why don't we just move Matt Kemp to third base? He can't be as bad a fielder as Ryan Braun.

Problem, solved!

:)

2007-11-21 10:36:58
41.   Andrew Shimmin
Is Thompson still in baseball? It looks like he was an NRI in Oakland in 2007, but neither the Cube, nor Minor League Splits have any numbers on him for the regular season.
2007-11-21 10:37:05
42.   Eric Enders
Yes! Kemp to third base. Which means LaRoche has to move to the outfield.

Problem solved.

2007-11-21 10:37:27
43.   fiddlestick
39--To clarify my thought: I wouldn't expect Kemp to become some sort of a conformist. I meant that Stewart wouldn't allow his "attitude" to prevent him from becoming the player he could be ala Mondesi for example.
2007-11-21 10:39:42
44.   Eric Enders
41 I sort of lost track of Thompson after he blew out his arm again and got busted for (I think it was) stealing money from a casino in Florida.
2007-11-21 10:42:52
45.   Andrew Shimmin
That's right. I forgot he was the one who ran afoul of The Man.
2007-11-21 10:43:26
46.   Eric Enders
Thompson does, however, have possibly the best single transaction listed on Baseball-Reference:

"December 21, 2006: Signed as a Free Agent with ???."

2007-11-21 10:47:54
47.   wireroom
31 I would like to see a breakdown of Kemps hits to the various parts of the field because I saw him go the other way quite a bit on outside curveballs and hit a few homers that way. I think his plate discipline is far ahead of what Mondesi ever had.
2007-11-21 10:49:19
48.   JoeyP
18--Has Manny Ramirez been a detriment to the Boston Red Sox?

Defense seems to be largely overrated, in comparison to power pitching and power hitting.

If the Dodgers can fill the roster with power hitting and power pitching---then the defense will sort itself out.

2007-11-21 10:55:59
49.   Eric Enders
If the worst-case scenario is Kemp becoming Mondesi, well, I'll take that. It means he'll have a few 30-30 seasons, win a few Gold Gloves, play on several playoff teams, and put forth maximum effort on the field.

As you can probably tell, I don't get all the Mondesi-bashing. The guy was a good player.

Is he still a congressman?

2007-11-21 10:58:38
50.   Andrew Shimmin
47- http://tinyurl.com/32v8mz
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-21 11:00:16
51.   wireroom
Mondesi could never lay off of that curveball low and away. Kemp either lays off or smacks it in the gap from the games I have watched or been at.
As far as his attitude, I was impressed that he spent last winter in the Dominican League working on hitting the curveball and laying off of it. I think that was why he had bad numbers last winter when he was there. He went there to work on hitting the curveball. I think that league elevated his play tremendously and I hope Laroche has the same results from his winter league play.
2007-11-21 11:02:23
52.   old dodger fan
Mondesi was ROY at age 23 and what an arm! I loved to watch him play.
2007-11-21 11:06:55
53.   wireroom
50 for the type of hitter that Kemp is, that seems like a pretty good distribution to me. That would show me that he hits for power to all fields and being young still, he will likely get better. He actually hit more homeruns to the opposite field.
Thanks for the link Andrew Shimmin!
2007-11-21 11:07:54
54.   underdog
So much for ix-naying the Abrera-cay alk-tay!
2007-11-21 11:08:06
55.   Rob M
Mondesi was an elite defender too, from what I remember. He was very fast to balls down the line and in the gap, and his arm was accurate as well as strong. He also was a very good baserunner. I'd say Kemp will likely never be the outfielder nor the baserunner that Mondi was, but he could (I think will) be a better hitter.
2007-11-21 11:09:05
56.   CajunDodger
50
What a weird distribution. All doubles to Left. Homers evenly spread, and almost all flyouts were to Right.
2007-11-21 11:11:51
57.   Eric Enders
Did you guys actually click on all 20 ballparks for Kemp's hit chart, or are you just going by the Dodger Stadium chart?

I was too lazy to click through all of them, I admit. I wish there was an option where it would just show all parks on the same screen.

2007-11-21 11:14:37
58.   D4P
When I played baseball, I (a right-handed hitter) consistently hit

1. groundballs to left
2. linedrives to center
3. flyballs to right

What does that say about me?

2007-11-21 11:15:57
59.   Eric Enders
58 You liked swinging at outside pitches?
2007-11-21 11:16:11
60.   bigcpa
Accd to the Chicago Sun Times we've offered Hunter a 5-yr deal: http://tinyurl.com/ysukg6

So I infer Colletti's CF wishlist looks like this:

1) Hunter
2) Rowand
3) Cameron
4) Jones

2007-11-21 11:16:26
61.   CajunDodger
57 Just Dodger Stadium.
2007-11-21 11:17:05
62.   Rob M
58 It says you're typical of most righties. The natural uppercut swing leads to those results. It's something Ted Williams talked about in his hitting book. That's why he says that the hardest thing to do is pull balls in the air.
2007-11-21 11:18:00
63.   wireroom
57 just looking at his distribution at NL West ball parks, it is similar in most. Pretty even distribution with Coors Field, Kemp hitting with power the other way.
God, I hope they keep that kid.
2007-11-21 11:18:05
64.   D4P
How many 5-year deals in Dodger history have worked in the team's favor?

1. Dreifort: disaster
2. Pierre: disaster

Others?

2007-11-21 11:19:55
65.   JoeyP
JD Drew's 5-year deal worked out, in large part bc of the 2year out.

Unfortuntately, even if Pierre's deal had a 2yr out, I dont think he'd take it.

2007-11-21 11:21:07
66.   Eric Enders
64 Kevin Brown, although considered by many to be a disaster, was in my view a spectacular success.

Hmm. How long did we sign Darryl for?

2007-11-21 11:21:16
67.   Fallout
From what I saw, Kemp did improve his plate discipline from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Meaning...that his chances of developing into a star are realistic.
2007-11-21 11:21:21
68.   D4P
For that matter, how many 5+ year deals work in any team's favor?

I have to think that, on average, long-term deals are much better for the players than they are for the teams.

2007-11-21 11:24:22
69.   D4P
The Angels have some interest in bringing back free agents David Eckstein and Darin Erstad, according to the Orange County Register's Randy Youngman.
2007-11-21 11:26:44
70.   wireroom
68 If I was a GM, I would have a hard time signing anybody for more than 3-4 years. I guess that would make me a GM who never made the big time aquistition, but there are very few players that I would give that to. Bonds in his prime being the only one for 5 or more years, or Clemens maybe in his prime.
2007-11-21 11:29:10
71.   CajunDodger
68
Some do (Vlad Guerrero, ARod) but I will agree that is probably 5-1 in favor of the deals that should not have been done.

You wonder if some GMs look at the last year of a five year dela as a cost of doing business sort of risk. They may look at the first four years of the deal as being worth the last year sucking turnips.

2007-11-21 11:30:29
72.   old dodger fan
How long was Maddux's first contract with Atlanta?
2007-11-21 11:35:34
73.   Bob Timmermann
Maddux signed with the Braves in December of 1992 for 5 years for a total of $28 million.
2007-11-21 11:36:45
74.   Eric Enders
Vlad, A-Rod, Clemens, Randy Johnson, Maddux, and Bonds are a few 5+ year free agents who worked out spectacularly well.

So I guess the moral of the story is, if you're going to give five years or more, make sure you give it to a future Hall of Famer, and not Juan Pierre.

2007-11-21 11:38:01
75.   old dodger fan
73 Didn't he do a 5 year $57 million contract after that one expired?
2007-11-21 11:40:22
76.   Bob Timmermann
Other players who signed on that same day as Greg Maddux back in 1992 (December 9).

Andre Dawson with Boston for 2 years and $9.3 million.

Randy Myers with the Cubs for 3 years and $11 million.

Mike Moore with Detroit for 3 years and $10 million.

Todd Worrell with the Dodgers for 3 years and $9.5 million.

Dave Martinez with the Giants for 2 years and $2.2 million.

Milt Thompson with the Phillies for 2 years and $2.75 million.

2007-11-21 11:41:22
77.   Bob Timmermann
75
Maddux re-upped before becoming a free agent. He wasn't one again until 2002.
2007-11-21 11:45:21
78.   BlueCrew Bruin
60 I wonder if that's due more to Ned holding the belief that Jones' 2007 was a sign of things to come or to the presence of Mr. Glossy?
2007-11-21 11:50:22
79.   LogikReader
78

It has to be the latter. If Ned really thought that far ahead about Jones, then why would Torii Hunter be at the top of his theoretical "list"? Hunter figures to have a higher probability than Jones does.

2007-11-21 11:51:19
80.   LogikReader
A higher probability of declining than Jones does, I meant to say.
2007-11-21 11:51:30
81.   Bob Timmermann
Shane Youman and Josh Phelps are now part of the free agent bonanza.

The line forms to the left.

2007-11-21 11:55:54
82.   dzzrtRatt
"But, the weight gain shows me a lack of discipline off the field, and way too many guys have started off amazingly because of sheer talent, only to drop off when conditioning starts to matter."

In a way, MCAB is like a child prodigy. He was a better hitter at 21 than most hitters are, ever. Obviously, this is a tremendous, God-given natural talent that didn't necessarily require a lot of discipline to develop to where it is now. It seems likely he will always hit extremely well, barring injury. So the question about his discipline comes down to, can he find it at this age? I think you have to give him the benefit of the doubt, but not that much benefit.

We could get MCAB, see two years of great hitting, lousy fielding and further weight gain. In two years, he'd be a free agent, probably looking to land on an AL team, so the idea of the Dodgers signing him to a long-term contract would become moot unless the NL brings in the DH. If that's how it plays out, MCAB is a two-year rental and, on the trade market, should be priced accordingly.

If, OTOH, he does manage to lose a bunch of weight this winter, and develops further as a complete player, then the Dodgers will have gotten themselves a HOF player as he is starting to hit his prime. Even still, however, it will take a huge amount of money to keep him past two years, even in a contract-extension scenario.

Conclusion: Passing on MCAB might cost LA the opportunity to win a pennant in '08 or '09, but at this particular moment in time, there's too much risk and uncertainty to offer Florida a huge package of talent for him. The better bet is to wait out the two years and if he shakes off his problems, bid a ton of money to try to get him as a FA when he will still be in his early prime years. We would have to do that anyway, whether he spends the next two years with the Dodgers or not.

It comes down to win-now or build for the future, I guess. If Jeff Kent is running the team, we probably meet Florida's price after a decent interval of haggling. If Logan White is running the team, we pass.

2007-11-21 12:02:59
83.   alexx
I wonder what Jeff Kent would think of Miguel Cabrera's practicing of santeria in the clubhouse.
2007-11-21 12:03:08
84.   dzzrtRatt
Another DT nickname I don't know: "Mr. Glossy." Great name!

I just noticed this in the Chicago SunTimes article:

"The New York Yankees, who are shopping center fielder Melky Cabrera for pitching, could become a formidable sixth suitor if they can trade Cabrera by early next week."

Derek Lowe and Juan Pierre for Melky Cabrera? Is that a stupid idea?

2007-11-21 12:05:46
85.   old dodger fan
82 You assume that if we pass he will be available as a FA in 2 years. I don't think you can do that. If they trade him you can bet that his new team will make a significant effort to extend him. Don't count on this window staying open very long.
2007-11-21 12:05:53
86.   CajunDodger
84
How does Melky help us? He's Pierre without the speed...
2007-11-21 12:07:46
87.   Gagne55
The thing I don't like about the idea of aquiring Miguel Cabrera isn't that I don't think he's a great player, but that I think Matt Kemp is going to be awesome this year. Hanley Rameirez level awesome.
2007-11-21 12:08:55
88.   MikeB
Ned hasn't impressed me as the all-in, gambler type. His biggest deals to date are signing over-the-hill vets with character, comeback-of-the-year candidates, and overachieving starters with character.

When all is said and done, I think Ned will go the safest route, sign one of the FA CF's (my guess is Rowand), and make a less costly prospects deal for a Blanton or a Bedard.

2007-11-21 12:14:25
89.   old dodger fan
87 Miguel Cabrera is not "great". Define great.

But Matt Kemp will be "awesome". I assume awesome is better than "great".

Conclusion-Kemp will be better than Cabrera this year. Do you really think that? Why? Is it just a hunch?

2007-11-21 12:15:40
90.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I admit I don't really understand the nitty-gritty stuff about the 40-man roster rule. Is it just prospects you're protecting?

I guess my question is, can you leave Pierre off the 40-man roster and save that spot for somebody else? My sense is you can't do that, but I'm not sure why.

2007-11-21 12:18:22
91.   Bob Timmermann
If you took Juan Pierre off the 40-man roster, you would have to release him and pay the rest of his salary. He can turn down a minor league assignment.

Some other team would pick him up on the cheap right away.

2007-11-21 12:21:22
92.   al bundy
Canuck - thanks for the great posts. I've really enjoyed them. And Jon, thanks, as ever, for a great forum.
2007-11-21 12:21:54
93.   regfairfield
88 I think that's the biggest reason why this won't get done. The proposed deal would take some serious stones to pull off, and Ned hasn't shown that he's willing to take any risk at all.
2007-11-21 12:26:12
94.   old dodger fan
If Kemp is traded for an infielder is our outfield Ethier, Pierre and Young?
2007-11-21 12:27:46
95.   regfairfield
94 I'd guess free agent is there instead of Delwyn. I think the odds are almost nil that he would have a starting job coming into the year.
2007-11-21 12:34:33
96.   still bevens
You know its not Ned's fault that Kemp is being shopped. Its my fault. I bought a Kemp tshirt at a game in September and this is what happens. The last player whose tshirt I bought was summarily jettisoned from the team within a couple weeks (M. Bradley).
2007-11-21 12:35:09
97.   old dodger fan
96 And you didn't buy a Pierre T-Shirt?
2007-11-21 12:35:55
98.   still bevens
97 I would rather cut off a digit than buy a Pierre tshirt.
2007-11-21 12:38:23
99.   Lexinthedena
95- I think very high of Delwyn, but I am almost sure that he will be a the bat off the bench this year....I really hope the Pierre is moved....a starting outfield of Rowand/Hunter/Jones in center, Kemp in Right and Ethier in Left looks great to me....and I still think the Angels are going to get Cabrera....
2007-11-21 12:40:23
100.   fiddlestick
96-- It all comes full circle.

You know whose replica jersey is still hanging in my closet?

[vin]Yep, you guessed it[/vin]

Raul Mondesi.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-11-21 12:41:17
101.   old dodger fan
From Dayn Perry at Fox:
"Yes, it's time to eat Juan Pierre's thoroughly ill-advised contract and either relegate him to the bench or trade him for anything at all."
2007-11-21 12:46:07
102.   old dodger fan
Jones, Kemp and Ethier in the OF with LaRoche, Furcal, Kent, Loney and Martin sounds like a starting 8 that can compete in our division just fine. If Schmidt is healthy I like our rotation as well. If he is not healthy we could use another starter.
2007-11-21 12:49:04
103.   silverwidow
102 Ethier, Jones, Kemp is excellent. 70 HRs, easy.
2007-11-21 12:51:29
104.   bigcpa
I think I'm going to change my username to Ethier/Jones/Kemp.
2007-11-21 12:53:18
105.   Lexinthedena
It would be an elite defensive unit as well.....Just do it Ned!
2007-11-21 12:59:37
106.   underdog
Pierre and (a prospect: Elbert? Young? Lucas May?) and cash for Bedard. There, that's my final offer Bawlmore! Take it or leave it.
2007-11-21 13:04:54
107.   Howard Fox
102 only if Jones hits 40
2007-11-21 13:11:22
108.   silverwidow
107 Disagree. Ethier could very well hit 17-18 with a full year of playing time. Kemp should hit 22-23.
2007-11-21 13:13:04
109.   MikeB
Coulda/Woulda/Shoulda - Dodgers CF in 2008?

PLAYER BA/OBP/SLG/VORP
Aaron Rowand .309/.374/.515/52.0
Torii Hunter .287/.334/.505/39.2
Matt Kemp .342/.373/.521/23.4
Mystery Guest .298/.404/.459/18.3
Juan Pierre .293/.331/.353/16.2
Andre Ethier .284/.351/.452/13.8
Andruw Jones .222/.311/.413/ 5.4

2007-11-21 13:19:17
110.   regfairfield
108 Counting on people to set career highs seems to be a bit more than easy.

I don't doubt that they could do it, but I don't think you can just pencil them in.

2007-11-21 13:22:22
111.   LogikReader
We need to send Michael Scott to that Dodgers/Torii Hunter meeting!

http://tinyurl.com/3287c5

2007-11-21 13:22:24
112.   Eric Enders
109 Mystery Guest: Bradley?

110 It's not unreasonable to expect them to set career highs in HR when they would, in this scenario, also be setting career highs in plate appearances (and by a lot).

2007-11-21 13:23:35
113.   regfairfield
112 Werth, I'm pretty sure.

I was also using their combined numbers from the minors too.

2007-11-21 13:24:08
114.   Bluebleeder87
101

of course we've been saying that since day 1.

2007-11-21 13:27:53
115.   MikeB
113. Jayson Werth is correct. Kinda makes you wonder what if ...
2007-11-21 13:31:10
116.   Eric Enders
As long as we're talking about outfielders who we gave away to the Phillies for nothing, would Victorino's defense in center make him more valuable as a center fielder than Werth?
2007-11-21 13:35:05
117.   dzzrtRatt
111 I didn't get into the Office until Season 3. So the TBS reruns are a revelation. Last night, they had the women's day episode -- the one where Michael smashes up the warehouse and thinks it's funny to blow styrofoam around and pretend it's snow; and the Valentine's Day episode where Roy promises Pam she's going to get "the best sex you ever had in your life" as a present. I could not stop laughing.
2007-11-21 13:36:09
118.   MikeB
Jayson Werth PA 304 .298/.404/.459/18.3
Shane Victorino PA 510 .281/.347/.423/17.1

I'd go with Jayson overall.

2007-11-21 13:37:31
119.   regfairfield
116 Most metrics have Werth and Victorino as very similar defensively, at least in right this year.
2007-11-21 13:40:47
120.   Eric Enders
But is there anyone who actually thinks Werth is a center fielder? It'd be a little like playing Ethier in center. You might get away with it, but it probably shouldn't be your first option.
2007-11-21 13:43:30
121.   ToyCannon
118
That might be a mistake. Werth has only 304 at bats because he's a lefty masher. If he was to garner 500 at bats, most of the additional at bats would come against RHP and he would probably suffer quite a bit in that scenario.
Career Splits:OPS
RHP-750
LHP-864
2007-11-21 13:45:39
122.   MikeB
I'd take Ethier or Werth in CF vs. what we had last season.
If ... Jayson had stayed healthy, or, the Dodgers had been just a bit more patient with him, we may have had a trio of Werth/Kemp/Ethier to fuss over in 2008.
2007-11-21 13:46:42
123.   ToyCannon
The fact we have Juan Pierre in CF and Werth/Shane Victorino are in Philly is a sad enough state of affairs.
2007-11-21 13:57:46
124.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
Can somebody help me interpret VORP? What is a "replacement player"? Is that an average player at that position in the Minors? What is a league-average VORP? Is it adjusted for position?
2007-11-21 13:57:48
125.   Eric Enders
The thing about Werth and Victorino is that getting rid of them was so needless. It's not like we took a calculated risk and traded them to get something in return. The Dodgers just looked at each of them and said "we're pretty sure your monetary cost will exceed your usefulness. Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

2007-11-21 13:59:03
126.   still bevens
125 But we still got Repko. So we got that going for us.
2007-11-21 14:00:04
127.   silverwidow
LHP on 40-man roster:

Joe Beimel
Mark Hendrickson
Hong Chih Kuo
Greg Miller
Eric Stults

It's pretty obvious that Kershaw cannot be traded with depth as shaky as that. Here's hoping that Elbert re-establishes himself in 2008 as well.

2007-11-21 14:00:31
128.   MikeB
121. Granted Werth's splits are a bit lop-sided - but I think Jayson makes up for it with more power and a better walk rate. Sometimes batters need to see more pitches - be it curveballs, or RH/LH opponents, in order to improve. If batters are constantly being benched against certain types of pitchers it will definitely diminish their skill to hit those kinds of pitchers - in this case RH's - and the perception becomes reality. On the other hand, the opposite can be true as well, thus leading to blogger confusion and bad trades by GM's.
2007-11-21 14:01:45
129.   kinbote
91 If you took Juan Pierre off the 40-man roster, you would have to release him and pay the rest of his salary.

That doesn't sound too bad. How much does he make? ;)

2007-11-21 14:03:00
130.   MikeB
124 VORP is a Baseball Prospectus term. Value Over Replacement Player. The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a player's defense.
2007-11-21 14:03:05
131.   Eric Enders
124 VORP is adjusted for position, yes, but does not adjust for actual quality of defense. So, in, say, Russell Martin's case, it does consider the fact that Martin hits better than other catchers, but not the fact that he also plays better defense than most catchers. Basically, it measures someone's offensive value, and in order to do so it has to take their position into account.

A replacement level player would be someone who is considered "freely available" -- that is, the quality of player whom you could acquire from the waiver wire, or whom you could acquire in a minor trade. Quadruple-A type guys, basically.

A replacement level player isn't the same thing as an average player. Average players are quite a bit better than replacement level players.

2007-11-21 14:07:33
132.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
130 131
Thanks. So what is considered an average VORP? Pierre's 16 sounds pretty good to me, but I guess context could change that.
2007-11-21 14:09:02
133.   El Lay Dave
124 Keith Woolner of BP (and now of the Cleveland Indians, right?) invented VORP. His summary can be read here:

http://www.stathead.com/bbeng/woolner/vorpdescnew.htm

"replacement player" as used in a sentence. (Here's where I wish the Toaster allowed italics, but I will used boldface instead.)

The Dodgers picked up a freely available, replacement player last season: Shea Hillenbrand.

2007-11-21 14:13:47
134.   MikeB
125 Your statement ties in very neatly with the 40 man roster topic today. The current Dodger regime does not seem to understand how to manage the roster effectively or efficiently. Losing quality players through non-tendering or Rule 5 drafts is almost as bad as trading a boatload of prospects for someone else's shiny rock. These are constant leaks in the system that must and can only be replenished through just one source - the draft. Frank! Give Logan White a big raise, now!
2007-11-21 14:14:24
135.   Eric Enders
132 I don't know what the average VORP is, but Pierre's 16.2 placed him a surprisingly high 11th among the 20 center fielders in baseball who had at least 500 PAs. Remember, though, that VORP is a cumulative stat, it increases with more playing time, so Pierre's playing almost every inning of every game helped him accumulate more VORP than your average bear.

I didn't realize until now just how many teams ran atrociously bad center fielders out there this year. The guys worse than Pierre were Matthews, Young, DeJesus, Crisp, Cabrera, Patterson, Hall, Jones, and Wells. But Pierre had at least 100 more PAs than all of them except DeJesus.

2007-11-21 14:15:16
136.   bigcpa
132 VORP is a cumulative or counting stat, not a rate stat. So Pierre's 700 pa's naturally gives him higher VORP. EQA is a better measure for relative value but doesn't adjust for position.
2007-11-21 14:16:03
137.   fanerman
132 The thing is, VORP is a counting stat, like RBI's. It took Pierre 729 PA's to accumulate his 16.2 VORP.

For reference, Matt Kemp had a 23.2 VORP in 311 PA's.
Russell Martin had a 46.1 VORP in 620 PA's.
Andre Ethrie had a 13.8 VORP in 507 PA's.

2007-11-21 14:19:43
138.   68elcamino427
If Kemp stays (which I would like) does that mean that Kent retires?
Would there have been a "trash can" incident without Kent and Gonzo in the mix? If Kent does retire, who will play 2b? Abreu, a Boras client, like A. Jones and M. Cabrera?
Would our up the middle defense be improved without Kent at 2B and with Hunter/Rowand in CF?
Fucal
Hunter/Rowand
Martin
Kemp
Loney
LaRoche/Nomar
Either
Abreu
2007-11-21 14:22:27
139.   ToyCannon
138
Sure the defense would be improved, the real question is would the improvement in defense be enough to offset the loss of offense from Kent's departure.
You can't just ignore Pierre. Not yet, no matter who they sign, JP is a starter somewhere in the lineup.
2007-11-21 14:22:58
140.   Eric Enders
138 That lineup would feature an above average defender at every position, which would be tremendous. (That's assuming you count LaRoche as above average, which he certainly appeared to be in the short time we saw him.)
2007-11-21 14:23:19
141.   fanerman
I had never heard of this "Trash Can" incident before. I googled it and I saw this quoted at SOSG:

Before a game on the last homestand, an attendant placed a trash can too close to [Matt] Kemp's locker in the Dodgers' crowded clubhouse. But when the outfielder got up to move it, one veteran complained aloud -- but not to Kemp -- about how rookies today are different from those of the past.

That's the trash can "incident?" Did the press make a big deal about it or something?

2007-11-21 14:27:14
142.   Eric Enders
141 Yeah, that's the trash can incident. It was the best example of Kemp's so-called "attitude problem" that anyone in the media could come up with.
2007-11-21 14:28:07
143.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
Thanks to all who provided insight in response to my VORP question. I tried to do some of the legwork myself by going to BP's website. They've got a stat that converts VORP into a rate, and Pierre performed pretty poorly (no surprise there).
2007-11-21 14:29:40
144.   MikeB
132 Introduction to VORP: Value Over Replacement Player by Keith Woolner
http://tinyurl.com/yvte9
2007-11-21 14:30:07
145.   Bob Timmermann
141
The "trash can incident" is one of America's great unsolved mysteries.

1. D.B. Cooper
2. Judge Crater
3. The "trash can" incident

2007-11-21 14:32:38
146.   MikeB
141 There's an idea for a Dodger charity event - auction off the Kemp Trash Can. We should ask TJ Simers to suggest it to the Parking Lot Attendant as a way to raise funds for a hospital.
2007-11-21 14:34:50
147.   fanerman
The "trash can" should be the official logo of Dodger Thoughts. It can make it on the cover of the next "Best of" book as well as the next DT T-shirt.
2007-11-21 14:40:30
148.   LogikReader
147

:::too many.... connotations!!:::

2007-11-21 14:41:57
149.   Eric Enders
So I was cleaning out some stuff last night and came across a 1994 Dodgers yearbook. Let's see who can match each Dodger player with the appropriate biographical note. The first person to match them correctly will win...
uh...
the eternal respect of your peers.

PLAYERS
Darryl Strawberry
Mike Piazza
Roger McDowell
Ron Coomer
Billy Ashley
Delino DeShields
Henry Rodriguez
Darren Dreifort
Tom Candiotti
Orel Hershiser

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
Favorite athlete: Nancy Kerrigan
Favorite TV show: Melrose Place
Favorite singer: Bruce Springsteen
Favorite book: Autobiography of Malcolm X
Favorite movie: Pure Country
Favorite movie: The Sound of Music
Favorite TV show: The Andy Griffith Show
Favorite movie: Patton
Boyhood idol: Mike Schmidt
Favorite food: Ox tails

2007-11-21 14:42:12
150.   MikeB
In the good ol' days, Kemp would have ended up with a nifty nickname based on this incident.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-11-21 14:42:23
151.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I'm guessing the incident involved more than moving the trash can. Maybe it was something he said? The story is so ridiculous that there has to be more to it.
2007-11-21 14:44:13
152.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I'm guessing Piazza's boyhood idol was Schmidt.
2007-11-21 14:45:28
153.   LogikReader
I believe Dreifort is "Fave Movie: Pure Country"
2007-11-21 14:46:18
154.   ToyCannon
I don't know if this will add comfort to anyone or not. Since integration began no player who has posted an OPS+ > 120 and who was 22 years old or younger has ever been traded. Does anyone really think Ned is the guy to change history? On the other hand I don't think a player of Miguel Cabrera's talent has ever been available at his age. Will it take more balls to trade the package required to get Miguel Cabrera, or to stand pat and hope the kids prove you correct?
2007-11-21 14:47:25
155.   bigcpa
"The Hole" is my favorite of the recent nicknames.
2007-11-21 14:49:56
156.   ToyCannon
PLAYERS
Darryl Strawberry Boyhood idol: Mike Schmidt
Mike Piazza Favorite movie: The Sound of Music
Roger McDowell Favorite singer: Bruce Springsteen
Ron Coomer Favorite movie: Pure Country
Billy Ashley Favorite athlete: Nancy Kerrigan
Delino DeShields Favorite book: Autobiography of Malcolm X
Henry Rodriguez Favorite TV show: Melrose Place
Darren Dreifort Favorite food: Ox tails
Tom Candiotti Favorite movie: Patton
Orel Hershiser Favorite TV show: The Andy Griffith Show
2007-11-21 14:50:20
157.   LogikReader
154

It's hard to believe Kemp only played his second year. GEEEZ, give him a chance!

2007-11-21 14:50:52
158.   LogikReader
What on earth is an Ox tail?
2007-11-21 14:51:14
159.   LogikReader
--and... how does it become a ::favorite:: food?
2007-11-21 14:53:04
160.   Bob Timmermann
158
The name is not ironic.
2007-11-21 14:53:13
161.   Eric Enders
TC has two of them right in 56 .

I will say that while Mike Schmidt was indeed listed as Piazza's boyhood idol, in order for everything to match up, Schmidt needs to be assigned to another player.

2007-11-21 14:53:44
162.   Bluebleeder87
122

It's basically a tose up but I'd probably take Victorino over Werth.

2007-11-21 14:56:00
163.   Bluebleeder87
Werth strikes out a little to much for my taste but he does have more pop than Victorino from what I remember.
2007-11-21 14:58:14
164.   Eric Enders
Victorino had quite a bit better HR rate than Werth this year, although I don't expect that to remain true over the long term.
2007-11-21 14:59:01
165.   Bluebleeder87
155

That's funny, a park near my house is called "the hole" we use to play some little league games there.

2007-11-21 15:01:57
166.   Eric Enders
164 It would help if I hadn't misread Wes Helms's stat line as Werth's.

Werth: 1 HR/38 PA
Victorino: 1 HR/42 PA

2007-11-21 15:04:05
167.   Marty
Braised ox tails is one of my favorite recipes.
2007-11-21 15:05:51
168.   D4P
Cody Ross: 1 HR/16 PA
2007-11-21 15:08:05
169.   Bluebleeder87
165

I should mantion we called it "El Oyo" spanish for "the hole"

2007-11-21 15:08:13
170.   Bluebleeder87
165

I should mantion we called it "El Oyo" spanish for "the hole"

2007-11-21 15:08:38
171.   Bluebleeder87
that wasn't me I swear.
2007-11-21 15:15:38
172.   Sub4Era
Do all the proceeds from the useless things that MLB.com sell on the website go to charity? Bug spray? A Joba Chamberlain autographed pitching rubber? I'm hoping at least a portion of it does...
2007-11-21 15:20:45
173.   Bob Timmermann
172
Yeah... charity... that's what they call it.
2007-11-21 15:20:48
174.   MikeB
167 Marty - What wine are you serving with your Thanksgiving turkey this year? I'm going with a Syrah.
2007-11-21 15:26:56
175.   El Lay Dave
149 That's funny. I got no clue, but here are my guesses:

Darryl Strawberry / Boyhood idol: Mike Schmidt
Mike Piazza / Favorite TV show: Melrose Place
Roger McDowell / Favorite athlete: Nancy Kerrigan
Ron Coomer / Favorite food: Ox tails
Billy Ashley / Favorite movie: Pure Country
Delino DeShields / Favorite book: Autobiography of Malcolm X
Henry Rodriguez / Favorite movie: Patton
Darren Dreifort / Favorite singer: Bruce Springsteen
Tom Candiotti / Favorite TV show: The Andy Griffith Show
Orel Hershiser / Favorite movie: The Sound of Music

2007-11-21 15:27:16
176.   Dodgers49
The folks who harp on Kemp's supposed "lack of plate discipline" seem to be deliberately ignoring the progress this kid made right before our very eyes this past season (I guess that's just too short a sample size for them). During the second half, or at least the last third, of the season Kemp rarely struck out on that breaking pitch away. Contrast that to Raul Mondesi, to whom he is most often compared. The last time I saw Mondesi pitchers were still getting him to go after that outside curve ball whenever they got two strikes on him. And this was during his last year in the major leagues. Kemp seemed to make that adjustment in the latter part 2007 during only his second year in the major leagues. By season's end Kemp's strikeouts tended to come in the following two situations:
1). He swung and missed a pitch in the strike zone, or
2). He was called out on an inside pitch that appeared, at least on TV, to be just off the plate. In fact, #2 occurred so often that some folks here stated the umpires seemed to have it in for Kemp.

I'm just a fan who has been watching the Dodgers for 58 years but, IMO, the Dodgers will rue the day they trade Matt Kemp. I believe Logan White is right. Kemp will not just be a star, he will likely be a superstar. But, of course, nothing is guaranteed.

2007-11-21 15:29:52
177.   El Lay Dave
167 I remember eating ox-tail soup as a kid. I think mom stopped making it by the mid-70s. I vaguely recall a high bone & cartilage to meat ratio.
2007-11-21 15:33:07
178.   El Lay Dave
176 I'm just a fan who has been watching the Dodgers for 58 years ...

You sir (or madam) should be on that float on Jan. 1 !

2007-11-21 15:34:37
179.   Eric Enders
Correct guesses so far:

Darren Dreifort - Favorite movie: Pure Country
Billy Ashley - Favorite athlete: Nancy Kerrigan
Delino DeShields - Favorite book: Autobiography of Malcolm X
Orel Hershiser - Favorite movie: The Sound of Music

2007-11-21 15:37:05
180.   D4P
Former Bruin Dan Gadzuric has had an interesting career.

03-04: 74 games, 0 starts
04-05: 81 games, 81 starts
05-06: 74 games, 0 starts

2007-11-21 15:40:45
181.   MikeB
176 Hooray for old geezers! I'm going to celebrate my 50th year as a Dodger fan in 2008. Are there any plans for DT folks to gather at the Coliseum when we play the New Evil Empire (Red Sox)?
BTW - I agree that Matt Kemp is at an age where he can still improve - perhaps dramatically. I'm hoping someone here can provide statistical proof that validates what you and I and others believe we saw happen this season.
2007-11-21 15:42:38
182.   Bob Timmermann
180
And he changed the pronunciation of his name once he turned pro.

Or maybe he made people pronounce it correctly.

2007-11-21 15:44:16
183.   D4P
182
Gad-ZER-ick...?
Gad-ZER-itch...?
2007-11-21 15:47:44
184.   underdog
179 Oh God, Orel...

Sigh...

2007-11-21 15:48:40
185.   Bob Timmermann
183
UCLA - GAD-zur-ic
NBA - gad-zu-REEK
2007-11-21 15:50:42
186.   El Lay Dave
183 Here, this excerpt from wikedpedia will help:

Dan Gadzuric (Gadžurić in Serbian, pronounced /ɠɑːdʒʊɹitʃ/

2007-11-21 15:52:04
187.   D4P
185
REEK...!?!?

186
Half in English, half in squiggly.

2007-11-21 15:52:14
188.   El Lay Dave
179 Billy Ashley admired Nancy Kerrigan's ability to take a strike at the knees?
2007-11-21 15:52:42
189.   NorCal-Dodger
178 MMMMMM...sounds delicious, love that swinging sirlon! It's a regular dish in Hawaii. Probably can find some Hawaiian joint in Gardena that would make a good Ox-Tail Soup. I know that the California Casino in Vegas, their restaurant makes it, hits the spot at 0300.
2007-11-21 15:54:59
190.   68elcamino427
176 Great Observation!
Kemp, a true 5 tool talent has the ability to see the ball, recognize the pitch, and get his hands on the ball effectively as few in the game today are able to do. Kemp has developed the ability to wait on the outside breaking ball and go oppo with power. This is outstanding.
Can you name some other Dodgers past or present that share this rare talent? Campy, the Duke, Hodges, Hondo, Piazza ...???
2007-11-21 15:56:02
191.   Bob Timmermann
186
If the name is Serbian, then the "ic" or "ich" sound is closer to what it should be.
2007-11-21 16:09:58
192.   underdog
Could this be Russell's future backup?

Probably not.

From Diamond Leung/BE Blog:

The Dodgers signed minor league free agent catcher Rene Rivera and made him a non-roster invitee to spring training. Rivera, 24, has played in parts of three seasons with the Seattle Mariners and spent 2007 in Class AA West Tenn.

2007-11-21 16:18:32
193.   Bob Timmermann
Beware the checkerboard jersey:

Croatia knocks England out of Euro 2008

http://tinyurl.com/27mvhm

2007-11-21 16:23:16
194.   Lexinthedena
192- I saw Rivera play in the carribean world series when I lived in Venezuela....he looks the part of a catcher...pear shaped to say the least.....
2007-11-21 16:29:41
195.   underdog
Ouch. The three Brits on my soccer team are going to be depressed. I warned them about Croatia.
2007-11-21 16:30:03
196.   Lexinthedena
The Belizeans and Jamaicans do Ox-Tail pretty good...there is a Belizean spot on Western and Adams that hooks it up with a plate of Stewed Ox-Tails with beans and rice, and fried plantains.....mmmm mmmm!
2007-11-21 16:30:05
197.   Lexinthedena
The Belizeans and Jamaicans do Ox-Tail pretty good...there is a Belizean spot on Western and Adams that hooks it up with a plate of Stewed Ox-Tails with beans and rice, and fried plantains.....mmmm mmmm!
2007-11-21 16:39:12
198.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I imagine ox tail would be similar to chicken feet, but less appetizing.
2007-11-21 16:40:08
199.   El Lay Dave
196 Would the Jamaicans prepare ox-tail maybe similarly to a curried goat? The only Jamaican place I've been to, on the recommendation of an actual Jamaican-Chinese person, is Coley's in Inglewood, and the food was pretty darn good.

Mmmmm, Ox-Tail Thoughts!

2007-11-21 16:48:57
200.   underdog
The Ox-Tail Incident.

Y'know, I've just never been a fan. I can't imagine oxen are, either.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-11-21 16:54:01
201.   MJW101
Since rumors about Neds interest in Baltimore's Erik Bedard have been persistent maybe we should pursue BOTH Bedard AND Tejada at this time instead of Cabrera.

To the Dodgers:

Erik Bedard LSP $7M in 08 probably $42M 2009-11
Miguel Tejada 3B $13M in 08 $17M in 2009-10

To the Orioles:

Derek Lowe $10M in 2008
Eric Stults $400K in 2008
Juan Pierre $7M in 2008 $28.5M 2009-11
Etan Abreu $400K in 2008
One of Elbert/McDonald $390K in 2008
One of Tronosco/Wade/Wright $62.5K in 2008
One of DeWitt/DeJesus/Mathews $62.5K in 2008

The orioles pick up a quality SP (Lowe) to replace Bedard for 2008 and a quality SP for 2009 and beyond in Elbert/McDonald with Stults as a rotation filler.

Pierre and Abreu are proven major league players.

Tronosco/Wade/Wright would improve the woefull Orioles bullpen.

DeWitt/DeJesus/Mathews would give the Orioles a quality minor league infielder for the near future.

However, most importantly, the transaction would save the Orioles $24 MILLION in salary over the next three years.

Ned could sign his favorite FA Hunter/Rowand to replace JP and Tejada could play 3b in 08 and move to 2B in 09 to replace Kent.

Just a suggestion.

2007-11-21 16:55:25
202.   Marty
I make my oxtails the same way I do short ribs. I like to use a few different dried chiles, passilla, new mexico and another whose name escapes me. Then I add some cocoa about 15 minutes before I take it off the fire. They come out great.
2007-11-21 16:57:41
203.   Vishal
Darren Dreifort - Favorite movie: Pure Country
Billy Ashley - Favorite athlete: Nancy Kerrigan
Delino DeShields - Favorite book: Autobiography of Malcolm X
Orel Hershiser - Favorite movie: The Sound of Music

Darryl Strawberry - Boyhood idol: Mike Schmidt
Mike Piazza - Favorite TV show: Melrose Place
Roger McDowell -
Favorite singer: Bruce Springsteen
Ron Coomer - Favorite TV show: The Andy Griffith Show
Henry Rodriguez - Favorite food: Ox tails
Tom Candiotti - Favorite movie: Patton

2007-11-21 16:59:16
204.   Vishal
188 i groaned out load at that one.
2007-11-21 16:59:24
205.   Vishal
i mean, out *loud
2007-11-21 17:07:20
206.   El Lay Dave
204 Mission accomplished!

205 I prefer "aloud", but I'm old-fashioned that way. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English terms "out loud" as "standard".

2007-11-21 17:13:04
207.   Vishal
206 i probably would have used "aloud" in spoken conversation, but on the internet, the land of LOLs and the like, "out loud" seemed more fitting.
2007-11-21 17:14:43
208.   Eric Enders
203 You get a big o-fer there, alas.
2007-11-21 17:20:25
209.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
Candiotti/Andy Griffith
Coomer/Ox Tail
2007-11-21 17:21:21
210.   Eric Enders
Nope.
2007-11-21 17:25:26
211.   Vishal
208 heh, figures.
2007-11-21 17:28:25
212.   natepurcell
Joe Blanton, RHSP--Oakland Athletics: The Dodgers, Mets, Yankees, Phillies and Diamondbacks are interested.

The Athletics will decide whether to shop him and Dan Haren or not in the near future. The Dodgers were close to acquiring him prior to the trade deadline. The A's wanted two players out of Chin-Lung Hu, Ivan DeJesus Jr., Andy LaRoche and Blake DeWitt and one pitcher out of Clayton Kershaw, Scott Elbert and Jonathan Meloan. The Dodgers best offer included two position players and a pitcher, but no one the A's wanted. He is eligible for arbitration for the first this winter.

Last updated: 12:27 PM - Nov 21, 07 by MLB4U.com | Source: Buster Olney | Rated: 2.9335 out of 5
___________________

thoughts?

2007-11-21 17:30:23
213.   trainwreck
212
I said early in the off-season that I was worried that Beane would come back to us shopping Blanton.

Just say no.

2007-11-21 17:33:48
214.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
212
If all we had to give up was Hu/Kershaw/Laroche, then I'd be okay with bringing Blanton over.
2007-11-21 17:34:46
215.   natepurcell
214

...."all"???!?!?

2007-11-21 17:42:00
216.   Dodgers49
While everyone else is saying the Dodgers would have to start their Miggy offer with Kemp and Kershaw, Jayson Stark has other ideas:

Hooray! ... The good, old-fashioned trade is back

>> The Dodgers would almost certainly have to build their deal around Kershaw and James Loney. <<

http://tinyurl.com/27emrt

2007-11-21 17:42:08
217.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
215
Sorry, I should have indicated that post was facetious.

Even if it were not that specific combination, that seems like an outrageous trade.

2007-11-21 17:53:19
218.   68elcamino427
Do we have enough Pitching?
Will Schmidt be effective next year, or still be rehabbing from shoulder reconstruction? Brazoban, also rehabbing next year? Wolf, resign while rehabbing?
Can we, should we count on these guys? Loaiza, can we count on him?

Starters
Penny
Lowe
Billingsley
Loaiza???
?????

Long Relief
Hendrickson?
Houlton?
???

Short Relief
Proctor to Broxton to Saito

Is Russ Ortiz the Giant available?

2007-11-21 17:59:31
219.   Vishal
Is Russ Ortiz the Giant available?

no. absolutely not.

2007-11-21 18:05:32
220.   El Lay Dave
218 Is Russ Ortiz the Giant available?
Somewhere in L.A., one of Bob Timmermann's ears is turning red.
2007-11-21 18:11:19
221.   68elcamino427
I heard that Russ might be available. We seem to have a certain affinity for people from the San Francisco organization.
2007-11-21 18:13:42
222.   El Lay Dave
216 Stark is mostly just ruminating in that article, but there was one interesting quote:

"The big worry on Andruw [Jones] is, his body is starting to scare people," said an official of one team that went into the winter shopping for center fielders. "You look at the body type, and you wonder: What are you getting? The question we were asking a few months ago was, 'Torii or Andruw?' But now Torii has gone way by him. I go back to bodies and conditioning. And based on that alone, I'd bet on Torii as the guy more likely to give you more productive years than Andruw, even though Andruw is younger."

1. I wonder who said that.
2. Jones' agent is Scott Boras, who supposedly has all that support staff of trainers and the like. Aren't they keeping up with their clients?
3. Personally, I wouldn't make multi-million dollar decisions on one criterion alone.
4. Has there been a lot of discussion on Jones' physical condition?

2007-11-21 18:16:15
223.   68elcamino427
222 The book on AJ is that he has always had "quick wrists".
2007-11-21 18:21:51
224.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
My favorite part of the Stark article: On the prospect of MCAB going to the White Sox, playing along side Orlando Cabrera: ''They'd be Cabreras 'R Us," quipped one front-office man.'

I'd like to think that quip came out of our front office.

2007-11-21 18:34:17
225.   Bob Timmermann
221
If Russ Ortiz were signed by the Dodgers, I would refuse to attend any Dodgers games even if I were given free tickets, free parking, and free food.
2007-11-21 18:36:37
226.   68elcamino427
216 Doesn't Stark know that Loney os on the Rose Parade float?
2007-11-21 18:37:14
227.   D4P
225
What about free O'Douls...?
2007-11-21 18:37:55
228.   68elcamino427
{216}sorry, is on the Rose Parade float.
2007-11-21 18:39:31
229.   68elcamino427
225 Schmidt, followed by Loaiza, followed by Russ.
2007-11-21 18:46:58
230.   LogikReader
225

I'll take it one step further. If they sign Russ Ortiz, I won't watch a single Dodger game the whole year or even listen to one on radio. The fix is in at that point.

2007-11-21 18:47:52
231.   LogikReader
I can, however, be persuaded to attend a game if I get the all you can eat pavilion :)
2007-11-21 18:49:06
232.   Bob Timmermann
230
I would also not watch or listen to a game too.

It would be a complete divorce.

2007-11-21 18:50:20
233.   LogikReader
I'm just fooling around in 230 , but seriously, I had a really hearty laugh over dinner tonight telling a friend the Giants took Ortiz BACK in '07.
2007-11-21 18:54:09
234.   68elcamino427
What about Blanton? At least he's NorCal like Loaiza. Also, do you think that Blanton and Penny are similar in their physical appearance?
2007-11-21 18:55:08
235.   StolenMonkey86
To change the subject from Russ Ortiz, where will Kip Wells end up? And will he ever stick around long enough to lose 20 games?
2007-11-21 18:59:22
236.   LAbits
141 WAIT - the 'trash can' incident is he MOVED the trash can? No going 'Carlos Perez' on it? No tumbling flight through the air? No injurious 'Grudzielanek' action?

I don't care if he moved it, with prejudice, and barked about it being too close. Cut arm and head holes in it and take the Veteran who made the crack about rookies and make him wear it to the plane!

2007-11-21 19:01:12
237.   NorCal-Dodger
Blanton would remind me of Penny's younger brother?

Guess Russ Ortiz is what a live Ox-Tail tries to swat away?

2007-11-21 19:02:38
238.   StolenMonkey86
236 - HA! Awesome.
2007-11-21 19:12:24
239.   regfairfield
212 Jesus.

I think Ethier for Blanton would be a very fair swap. Mediocre youngish hitter for a mediocre youngish pitcher. Anything else is pretty much insane.

Then again, Oakland has way too many players like Ethier, they really have no need for him when they have Buck and Denofria.

2007-11-21 19:16:14
240.   Lexinthedena
Here we go again with the "Ethier is mediocre" talk again.....I'll take him over Blanton any day....Blanton has shown nothing but potential.....if he was any good, Beane wouldn't be shopping him...
2007-11-21 19:17:59
241.   Lexinthedena
I know, I said "again" twice...only on this board do we have to do this....
2007-11-21 19:18:16
242.   Ken Arneson
239 That's silly. Mediocre starting pitchers are far more valuable than mediocre corner outfielders.
2007-11-21 19:20:20
243.   Bluebleeder87
I don't know why people like Blanton so much.
2007-11-21 19:22:06
244.   68elcamino427
242 Isn't Russ Ortiz a really mediocre starting pitcher?
2007-11-21 19:31:54
245.   CanuckDodger
212 -- Did anybody else find that excerpt from Olney hilarious? The Dodgers were "close" to acquiring Blanton, he says, then immediately notes the Dodgers offered the A's three players not a single one of whom the A's wanted, while the Dodgers wouldn't part with a single one of the eight players the A's asked for. That constitutes "close"?
2007-11-21 19:33:00
246.   Vishal
244 russ ortiz is not even mediocre. he is, in fact, very bad.
2007-11-21 19:36:04
247.   Andrew Shimmin
Russ Ortiz is marginally worse than Hendrickson, marginally better than a permanently impacted bowel.
2007-11-21 19:36:42
248.   Lexinthedena
246- Very, very bad...like Tomko bad...
2007-11-21 19:38:18
249.   68elcamino427
247 Maybe the Giants would like Hendrickson?
2007-11-21 19:43:12
250.   Bluebleeder87
I read Torii Hunter will have a meeting with the Dodgers, if anything I rather he man CF than Rowand but I really hope the Dodgers make a serious push for A.Jones.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-11-21 19:44:18
251.   Andrew Shimmin
The Giants have five starters who are better than Hendrickson. Much like every other team in baseball. Somebody will pay him, for some reason. And it'll probably be Colletti. For some reason.
2007-11-21 19:44:51
252.   Lexinthedena
250- I'm a Hunter fan, but I'm down with the Dutchman too.....just say no to Rowand....speaking of mediocre....Rowand would make a great Giant....
2007-11-21 19:49:49
253.   Lexinthedena
Hey bluebleeder...go to KPFK.org and check out the audio archives of our most recent edition of Soul Rebel Radio.....audio archives, Nov. 2nd, 7pm...you'll find it....we used a sports metaphor...want to know what you think...
2007-11-21 19:50:54
254.   CanuckDodger
212 -- Also, details about what the A's wanted for Blanton and what the Dodgers' weren't willing to give up are encouraging, if the details are accurate. We all worry that Colletti is too willing to trade our prospects, but how many DT people would have been happy to give up a package of Meloan, DeWitt, and DeJesus to get Blanton? I bet some people here would have pulled the trigger on that trade, but Colletti apparently valued those prospects more than Blanton.
2007-11-21 19:54:17
255.   68elcamino427
Could we use two medium starting pitchers (not great nor mediocre, just medium) and two medium long relieif guys? Guys without arm, shoulder, or leg issues? Are there such people availabe?
If so, could we package JP (with about half of his contract) for such a starting pitcher?
2007-11-21 20:26:53
256.   oldfan60
Great writeup on Alvarez and Wright, Canuck. Thanks.
Why not Fukudome, Wolfe, release Hendrickson and give Pierre away for a AAAA player?
I don't see Ned getting rid of Pierre. I think he has to keep telling McCourt this was not a terrible signing.
2007-11-21 20:26:59
257.   Sam DC
How's the pie coming Bob?
2007-11-21 20:28:07
258.   Bob Timmermann
257
I'm about to get started. I had to do important things first. Like nap.
2007-11-21 20:28:43
259.   Sam DC
It is truly sad/funny reading people's bewilderment and horror as they learn the true story of the Trash Can Incident.
2007-11-21 20:28:54
260.   CarlosDeC
254
Great point as always Canuck. I would have loved that trade
2007-11-21 20:29:32
261.   Sam DC
It's 8:30!

I gather you're cheating on the crust.

2007-11-21 20:32:13
262.   Andrew Shimmin
Thanksgiving for ten dollars. And it looks like enough for two. More if your guests have any taste.

http://www.buzz.mn/?q=node/2974

2007-11-21 20:38:00
263.   Sam DC
The Nationals have serious interest in Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes, according to a baseball official with knowledge of the situation. Asked what the chances are of acquiring Dukes' services from a scale of 1 to 10, the sourced believed it was "between a 6 to a 7.

I know DC is the land of second acts and all, but I'll admit to trepidation about this.

2007-11-21 20:40:10
264.   68elcamino427
256 Given the present state of affairs, do you think our GM would be eager to have a Japanese pitcher with a name like that on the roster?
2007-11-21 20:42:02
265.   Ken Arneson
255 I get the feeling that different people have different understandings of the word "mediocre". To me, mediocre == medium, not bad.

My point was "medium" starting pitchers, especially those who are and have been fully healthy (like, say, Joe Blanton), are very hard to replace, and therefore very valuable, and costly to acquire.

You can find a "medium" outfielder at your nearby convenience store. Nobody is going to send you a Joe Blanton for a Andre Ethier or (heaven forbid) a Juan Pierre.

2007-11-21 20:47:40
266.   Sam DC
Dunking in women's basketball: http://tinyurl.com/2ub3f8

Wouldn't have guessed that was still so rare.

2007-11-21 20:51:11
267.   GoBears
249 Maybe the Giants would like Hendrickson?

He's not old enough yet.

2007-11-21 20:52:35
268.   GoBears
Given the present state of affairs, do you think our GM would be eager to have a Japanese pitcher with a name like that on the roster?

Foo-koo-dough-may

What's the problem?

2007-11-21 20:54:34
269.   Bluebleeder87
253

Your Nov 2 show says 8:02pm Lex. I'm hearing it as I type this.

2007-11-21 20:54:41
270.   GoBears
268 con't: Actually, the "f" in Japanese is half way between an "f" and an "h," so even less of a problem.
2007-11-21 20:55:36
271.   Bob Loblaw
212. Wow. If Ned could have had Blanton at the trade deadline for DeJesus, DeWitt, & Meloan instead of signing Loaiza we may have been able to make the playoffs. It seems to me that Loaiza's first 3 starts in Sept. doomed us. He performed worse than Bomko.

Get Beane on the phone. Let's make that deal now!

2007-11-21 21:01:11
272.   Marty
The only thing I'm making for thanksgiving this year is Brussels Sprouts with buttered pecans. Oh, and to answer MikeB way earlier, I think I'll be bringing a couple bottles of a Paso Robles (Eberle) Zinfandel to my gathering.
2007-11-21 21:18:06
273.   68elcamino427
268 Some humor works better as a visual.
My apologies if you were offended by 264 in any way.
2007-11-21 21:22:14
274.   Bob Timmermann
Godspeed little pie. My dreams of baking pies rest on you.
2007-11-21 21:42:46
275.   68elcamino427
265 Last season 101 major leauge pitchers threw 140 innings or more.
One pitcher had an era of less than 3.00. 45 pitchers had an era of less that 4.00. 36 pitchers had an era of less than 5.00. 18 pitchers had an era of less than 6.00. 0ne pitcher had an era of less than 7.00.
Blanton era 3.95, ip 230, h 240, er 101, hr 16 bb 40 so 140.
Penny era 3.03 ip 208, h 199, er 70, hr 9, bb 73, so 135
Lowe era 3.88 ip 199, h 194, er 86, hr 20, bb 59, so 147
Wells era 5.43, ip 157, h 201, er 95, hr 22, bb 42, so 82
Billingsley era 3.31, ip 147, h 131, er 56, hr 15, bb 64, so 141
2007-11-21 21:49:16
276.   68elcamino427
271 "Spring Training" resumes for Loaiza Feb. 2008!
2007-11-21 22:00:03
277.   bhsportsguy
274 Don't peak at the pie. Trust that it will turn a golden brown.

Did you put foil on the edges so it won't burn?

2007-11-21 22:17:51
278.   Greg Brock
Thanksgiving might be the most overrated Holiday of all time. Turkey is the least tasty meat, and you have to deal with family members you despise. And you have to watch the Dallas Cowboys. When it's all said and done, you've added three pounds and have to do an hour's worth of dishes. And Pumpkin pies is slightly more overrated than Fargo.

Yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and beer. The only good things about this ridiculous holiday.

And to whom are we giving thanks? God? The Native Americans? Some random thing that makes us thankful? I never got a full explanation on that. Who are we thanking?

Anyways, have a happy Thanksgiving.

2007-11-21 22:34:51
279.   Bob Timmermann
278

Some of us give thanks for getting two paid days off in a row.

2007-11-21 22:40:44
280.   GoBears
273. No worries. I got the joke you were going for. Just yankin' yer chain.
2007-11-21 22:42:20
281.   Camano Island Dodger addict
Torii Hunter is an Angel according to mlb.com
2007-11-21 22:59:30
282.   Benaiah
The Andre Ethiers of the world are worth having on your team because they are cheap. Ethier has a 108 OPS+ for his career (only a 103 OPS+ last year), but his decent production with a small contract allows a team to sign Andruw Jones (or eat Juan Pierre's contract). A team like the Yankees just signs a player for 4-6 million dollars to do everything, including middle relief.

Ethier however, he would make an excellent platoon with Werth. Werth dominates southpaws and Ethier has a .292/.361/.475/.836 line against right handers.

The Joe Blantons (and Derek Lowes), on the other hand, are far more valuable. They might be worth more than Andruw Jones to a team. Filling out the back of the rotation with players like that eliminates the need for Brett Tomko/Mark Hendrickon/Jose Lima/Scott Erickson "hope for magic in a jar starters". A good example of that kind of healthy, deep rotation would be the White Sox in '05 (except repeatable). Thats why the Angels won the trade with the White Sox, Orlando Cabrera is a dime a dozen, but even Kyle Lohse might get 8-10 million (and Jon Garland is worth that much).

2007-11-21 23:04:29
283.   Benaiah
281 - Wow. I wonder what that means as far as Cabrera is concerned. They could still trade for Cabrera and kind of do a "Celtics" go for broke type of year.
2007-11-21 23:05:15
284.   trainwreck
Funny how everyone was saying the Matthews' deal was the one that Hunter's contract would be based on and he ends up going to the same team.
2007-11-21 23:11:12
285.   Benaiah
P.S. I think Laroche might be better than Matt Kemp. Matt Kemp looks like Miguel Cabrera (OPS/age/league), except a year further behind him and without as much patience (maybe better contact skills though). Andy Laroche looks like Matt Kemp only another year behind but with more patience and power. He outhit Matt Kemp in nearly every level, though he was a year older. If Laroche had gotten a chance in 2006 maybe he would already be a regular. Minor injuries or no, don't think of Laroche as anything other than a suburb prospect.
2007-11-21 23:11:54
286.   68elcamino427
I heard that Torri was going to make his decision known after the holiday. Should we give Harold a big hug for breaking this story?
2007-11-21 23:11:56
287.   Vishal
262 that was so awesome.
2007-11-21 23:14:59
288.   Dodgers49
Angels acquire Torii Hunter

>> The Angels pulled off their second stunner of the week Wednesday night, signing free-agent center fielder Torii Hunter to a five-year deal that is believed to be worth about $80 million. <<

http://tinyurl.com/2ocga5

2007-11-21 23:16:14
289.   trainwreck
As someone who does not like the Angels, this pleases me.
2007-11-21 23:17:17
290.   trainwreck
As someone who likes the Dodgers, this scares me.

I have thoughts of Ned overpaying Rowand running through my head.

2007-11-21 23:18:20
291.   bhsportsguy
288 Explain this to me. I challenge someone.
2007-11-21 23:19:28
292.   bhsportsguy
288 How much will they pay Vlad when they extend him?
2007-11-21 23:23:22
293.   trainwreck
291
Reagins is just like Stoneman. He won't trade young talent and he is not great at evaluating hitters so he decides to overpay for who he thinks is the best bat on the free agent market. He also thinks that their defense will be great with Matthews replacing Anderson in left.
2007-11-21 23:24:34
294.   Dodgers49
292 288 How much will they pay Vlad when they extend him?

Maybe not as much as they would have had to pay Vlad had they signed A-Rod.

2007-11-21 23:24:36
295.   dzzrtRatt
I think this means the Angels don't want the Marlins to think they're so desperate for MCAB's bat. But they'll still take him.

Maybe they see Hunter as replacing Howie's offense. So they'll trade a surplus pitcher and a surplus bat, plus 1-2 prospects to get Cabrera and they are a stronger team.

At best, if we get him, we come out even, trading future for present.

2007-11-21 23:28:56
296.   bhsportsguy
293 I guess they are just replacing Colon's contract with Hunter but Juan Rivera might start packing soon.
2007-11-21 23:29:30
297.   Brian Y
woohoo, 1 down...Rowand to go. Once he goes I'll be a bit more at ease. Oh and then get rid of Flanders and I'll be ecstatic.
2007-11-21 23:30:43
298.   bhsportsguy
294 Well Hunter is making more than Vlad so I think Vlad will have to be 17-18 million a year.
2007-11-21 23:31:17
299.   dzzrtRatt
296 unless maybe they aren't figuring on having Matthews anymore, due to what's coming out about him maybe.
2007-11-21 23:33:01
300.   trainwreck
299
Anyone know if they would still have to pay him?
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-11-21 23:33:13
301.   Daniel Zappala
I have no idea what the Angels are doing. If they are going to try to trade GMJ (or cancel his contract) because of his HGH problems -- good luck. If they are going to move GMJ to left -- good grief. As of now, this move does not make the Angels better. Instead, it makes me really confused.
2007-11-21 23:34:47
302.   Bob Timmermann
The Angels confuse me too and this will teach me not to bake pies or watch "Battlestar Galactica" on my computer for fear of missing news.
2007-11-21 23:36:05
303.   Daniel Zappala
Speculation at Halos Heaven is that GMJ will be traded, possibly as part of a deal to the Marlins, with salary included. They don't anticipate GMJ playing LF.
2007-11-21 23:37:08
304.   Daniel Zappala
I saved my baking till tomorrow -- er, today, Utah time. That will be apple pie and blueberry cheesecake.
2007-11-21 23:38:59
305.   68elcamino427
285 Great comparison. Consider baseball as a game of learned skills.

LaRoche and his brother, - Trained by their MLB father, since/before birth.

Cabrera - Begins playing in Venezuela with the prototype milk carton glove. From a young age, comes up from the streets to all of the special teams, plays year round, working to make it in the states.

Kemp - From Midwest City Oklahoma. Not too much winter ball played here. Didn't take baseball serioulsly until a junior in high school. No special training or coaching until he signs pro.

All three are very talented, however it seems that Kemp is on a similar path as Cabrera production-wise, with about 10 summers less of training/preperation time.

So, bearing in mind Kemp's recent display of developing the ability to recognize and hit the breaking pitch (which many have tried and never mastered) in a very short time, could it be possible that Kemp may turn out to be the best of the three players?

2007-11-21 23:39:56
306.   Dodgers49
Okay, rumorwise we're down to (in alphabetical order):

Erik Bedard
Miguel Cabrera
Andruw Jones
Aaron Rowand
Miguel Tejada

What's Ned gonna do?

2007-11-21 23:40:06
307.   bhsportsguy
304 Do you use a water bath for the cheesecake?

303 I will send you a batch of holiday cookies if that happens.

2007-11-21 23:42:47
308.   BlueCrew Bruin
303 So help me, if Gary Matthiews Jr. goes to Florida as part of a package to get MCAB while Ned sits here hanging on to Pierre...
2007-11-21 23:45:40
309.   Daniel Zappala
307 Turns out GMJ has a no-trade clause. Suspension for HGH is the only way they get rid of him.

Halos Heaven reports on a conference call, Scioscia says GMJ plays RF, the GM says they're still working on the team.

Looks to me like the Angels got tired of falling short and brought in the new GM to shake things up.

Never tried a water bath for a cheescake -- I'll have to look into that.

2007-11-21 23:47:11
310.   Daniel Zappala
Well, I need to get some sleep.
2007-11-21 23:48:56
311.   bhsportsguy
308 Florida can do this, keep Miguel Cabrera and pay him $11M and still see if they can get better offers during the season or according to some hypotheticals written by folks on a blog, take a player 8 years older, already being paid around that amount of money, and three other prospects that are not MLB ready, plus that player could be suspended per a report to come out in the next month.
2007-11-21 23:50:08
312.   bhsportsguy
309 Helps with baking custards and cheesecakes evenly aka no cracking.
2007-11-21 23:52:46
313.   68elcamino427
311 Did you see the blurb today. The Judge in the NYM Clubhouse Attendant case wants all of the names on that list made public.
2007-11-21 23:53:32
314.   bigcpa
It should be noted that Rosenthal did not break the Hunter signing. $80M for a career .324 OBP guy who's closest comps include Carl Everett, Preston Wilson and Juan Encarnacion. Consider me relieved.
2007-11-21 23:55:14
315.   bhsportsguy
313 It's all coming out sooner or later.
2007-11-21 23:56:23
316.   bhsportsguy
314 I think the real story is Vlad is no longer playing RF.
2007-11-21 23:59:38
317.   68elcamino427
The Angels now have a very expensive and not a very young outfield. Now Vlad and Anderson can rest up at DH.
2007-11-22 00:02:54
318.   bigcpa
Well at least Ned has a nice cover to sign a CF to a multi-year deal in back-to-back years.
2007-11-22 00:04:49
319.   trainwreck
Maybe it will become an annual ritual of which LA GM can sign a centerfielder to the dumbest contract.
2007-11-22 00:06:11
320.   bhsportsguy
319 What do you think of Ariza going to Lakers, personally, I thought it was a nice small deal.
2007-11-22 00:07:18
321.   LA Native
I think the Angels are out of the Cabrera race. They would be wise to trade Matthews if they can, which is unlikely right now even if they don't get anything back (just to get rid of the contract). To me if they could get rid of Matthews (maybe if he is suspended), they are a better team.

I think Izturis can come pretty close to replacing Cabrera at short and they will have an outfield of Rivera, Hunter, and Guerrero with Anderson and Morales at DH. Also, they will have Garland instead of Colon/Santana as a starting pitcher. All seems pretty solid to me as that is a solid defense, pretty good pitching both starting and relief, and a suddenly pretty powerful offense.

I would have rather seen the Dodgers do this deal, although Hunter may decline after a year or two. Our outfield is more of a problem than 3rd INMO. If LaRoche stays healthy he should be solid.

2007-11-22 00:07:41
322.   68elcamino427
318 Yes, it's an LA thing this year. Contract wise too.
Matthews $$$ is to Hunter $$$
as Pierre $$$ is to Rowand $$$
2007-11-22 00:09:52
323.   trainwreck
320
Great deal. In fact, the best deal Mitch has ever made.
2007-11-22 00:23:42
324.   bigcpa
Anyone surprised that 5/80 was enough to sign Hunter with 6 teams after him? I figured Hunter would get a Carlos Lee type deal (6/100). Maybe Jones can be had for 4/60.
2007-11-22 00:25:39
325.   Brian Y
I dont remember the link but supposedly Boras wants to have Andruw Jones as the 1st Type B FA to make over $100M this offseason. That Andruw is listed as a Type B surprises me but realistically if we signed a Type A we would still only be giving them a sandwich pick since we are in the draft lottery and cannot forfeit our #1
2007-11-22 00:28:57
326.   dzzrtRatt
324 Jones < Hunter?
2007-11-22 00:30:22
327.   bigcpa
326 To 14 out of 15 GM's right?
2007-11-22 00:33:41
328.   Bob Timmermann
320
But what about this final:

University High 43, Franklin High 40.

The "whatever they call them now" are just one win away from playing in the Coliseum for the LA City Invitational Championship.

Uni will play Huntington Park in the semifinals. I believe they use a neutral site for that. Somewhere halfway between West L.A. and Huntington Park, which is presumably somewhere along the Harbor Freeway.

2007-11-22 00:35:00
329.   silverwidow
The L.A. Times article is updated: The deal is 5 years/$90 million. 18 mil a year average.

It also says the Dodgers did not make an offer.

2007-11-22 00:36:30
330.   Bob Loblaw
I think Jones is a better investment right now, after coming off a bad year. 94 RBI for a bad year isn't too bad despite his low obp.
2007-11-22 00:36:41
331.   bigcpa
It was the Crasnick piece: http://tinyurl.com/2tu8fh

Who would you want in center field, Torii Hunter or Andruw Jones?

Responses: Hunter, 14½; Jones, ½.

"The difference in defense is probably negligible these days," an NL general manager said. "But offensively, I think Torii is a better player. I'm not sure either guy is what we consider a 'professional hitter,' but Torii has a better chance to hit good pitching."

2007-11-22 00:39:05
332.   bhsportsguy
328 Many, many years ago, Uni lost to Carson High in the playoffs something like 81-0. The next year, they reorganized the City Section.
2007-11-22 00:40:17
333.   bhsportsguy
328 We are the Warriors but we don't come out to play.
2007-11-22 00:42:04
334.   overkill94
328 I used to live down the street from that school. I've never seen more kids assembled around a bus stop at 3:15 pm in my life. Where do they all get bused in from?

Oh, and (presumably) one of them stole my roommate's locked-up bike from our gated complex. Sure, the front gate opened if you just pushed it open, but gated nonetheless.

2007-11-22 00:43:50
335.   dzzrtRatt
have to admit, it's kind of cool the way the Hot Stove media all failed to see the Angels coming for Hunter. Did anyone predict this or even include the Angels among Hunter's many suitors?

So keep that in mind next time a nutty Ned scheme is alleged.

2007-11-22 00:44:09
336.   68elcamino427
328 There is a new school with a great field at 3rd St. and Lucas. That would be a great venue. By the way, how did the pie turn out?
2007-11-22 00:46:40
337.   sporky
335 I'm printing and posting that on my monitor for my mental health.
2007-11-22 00:48:46
338.   bhsportsguy
Hunter's average salary would make him the 4th highest paid player in baseball behind A-Rod, Jason Giambi and Derek Jeter.
2007-11-22 00:49:08
339.   sporky
In other news, Linebrink is set to sign with the White Sox for 4 years/$19 million.

http://tinyurl.com/yoh9e4

2007-11-22 00:50:00
340.   bhsportsguy
339 I apologize Jon, you were right.
2007-11-22 00:53:49
341.   bigcpa
338 Zito also gets $18m/yr. So if we do get Cabrera the conversation for an extension must start at $20m/yr.
2007-11-22 00:58:22
342.   68elcamino427
341 Please, no more Bora$ clients. Their track record is not very good here. Let's develope Abreu and trade him for something useful.
2007-11-22 00:59:48
343.   dzzrtRatt
"I'm a guy who can really change the game -- with the bat, with my defense, running the bases, getting guys pumped up," Hunter said.

Joe Torre must've heard this guy talk and said fuhgeddabouddit.

2007-11-22 01:23:08
344.   Bob Timmermann
Ahh, they are now the University High Wildcats.
2007-11-22 01:45:56
345.   natepurcell
We all worry that Colletti is too willing to trade our prospects, but how many DT people would have been happy to give up a package of Meloan, DeWitt, and DeJesus to get Blanton? I bet some people here would have pulled the trigger on that trade

I probably would have done that.

2007-11-22 01:54:13
346.   natepurcell
So now is the market set for Andruw Jones?
2007-11-22 02:53:59
347.   Michael D
Regarding the Linebrink deal, I gotta give Colletti credit for one thing he has done right, he's never given a reliever a ridiculous contract yet. Better yet, he hasn't given a ex famous person reliever a ridiculous contract yet.
2007-11-22 04:55:09
348.   Benaiah
338 - Manny makes more than that.
2007-11-22 05:44:18
349.   Sam DC
Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Even poor sad Greg Brock who understands so little of life.

Thanksgiving = cooking, eating, drinking, sports on tv, no presents = The Best Holiday.

2007-11-22 05:57:12
350.   Ken Noe
335 Very true. And perhaps our imagined "love those PVL" Colletti is the real guy the Angels hired.

306 I am sticking with my prediction though: an outfielder traded for pitching (Kemp for Bedard?]and a CF [Rowand] signed.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2007-11-22 06:26:39
351.   Jon Weisman
328 - Proud days for my mom's alma mater.

335 - Like I've been sayin'

340 - For what?

2007-11-22 06:27:51
352.   dbenzen
My hunch is Pierre, LaRoche and cash are headed to the Marlins for Cabrera and a position prospect.

Why does Colleti give me irritable bowel syndrome?

2007-11-22 06:45:40
353.   Jon Weisman
352 - If Colletti pulled that heist off, I'd say you'd owe him a kidney or two.

340 - Oh, I think I remember now.

New post up top.

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