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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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The '70s Were Years in the Making
2008-01-06 08:00
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

You know those hallowed days of stability for the Dodgers in the 1970s? They only came after a whole lot of testing, sifting, shifting and most of all, waiting.

The Dodgers went six seasons, from 1967 to 1972, without winning 90 games or any kind of pennant. In 1973, the Dodgers sped up to 95 victories, only to meet a bitter end. They led the National League West for most of the summer before exploding their tires at the finish:

Team	9/1	After	Final
Dodgers	83-53	12-13	95-66
Reds	81-55	18-8	99-63

Key moments: No one ever talks about 1973, but this was one of the most miserable collapses in Dodger history. From August 31 through September 12, the Dodgers dropped nine consecutive games and 11 of 12 - needing only two weeks to turn a four-game lead into a five-game deficit. On September 16, the Reds' lead grew to 6 1/2 games. The Dodgers trimmed the margin back to 4 1/2 games in time for a three-game series with the Reds beginning September 21, but lost the first two, including an 11-9 defeat in which Sutton was KOed in a seven-run first inning. Cincinnati clinched September 24 - game 157.

But after that blip of Wrong Way - Severe Tire Damage, the team recovered in 1974 to win 102 games and the NL championship.

There was little wasted effort in the 1973-74 offseason. Only two key members were acquired from outside the organization - though both pickups (Jimmy Wynn and Mike Marshall) were huge. Three starting pitchers (Al Downing, Tommy John and Andy Messersmith) had been acquired earlier in the 1970s.

Beyond that, heading into 1974, the Dodgers recognized the value of their younger players on the rise and continued placing their faith in them, despite the disappointment of the previous year and question marks about their ability.

Of the eight regulars in the lineup, seven were homegrown and under the age of 30. Six were under the age of 28. Four were 25 or under. But none were rookies in 1974. They were the product of much earlier drafts; they were all given time to develop - even stumble - in previous years. Bill Buckner batted .275 with eight home runs and 17 walks in a full season as a first baseman/outfielder in 1973, but got a new shot at the starting lineup at age 24 the following year. In the middle of 1973, Steve Garvey was little more than a man without a position.

In fact, even in '74, not all of the young Dodgers were all that extraordinary. But together, they formed something grand - a pennant-winner for 1974 and the basis for NL titlists in 1977 and 1978 and finally, a World Series winner in 1981.

The 1974 roster was a model of prudence, a product of measured faith. The 1973 lineup had one player above the age of 30 - beloved, productive homegrown star named Willie Davis - and he was replaced. The trade of a veteran pitcher heading for the downside of his career, Claude Osteen, enabled that replacement, while opening the door for a relatively unproven pitcher, Doug Rau, to take his spot.

Even the bench was populated with kids: Tom Paciorek, Von Joshua, Lee Lacy, Rick Auerbach - all 27 and under. Manny Mota, at age 36 the team's oldest hitter, had 293 at-bats in 1973 but 57 the following year. In 1974, players who were at least 30 years old accounted for only 829 of the team's 5,557 at-bats: 15 percent. They pitched 34 percent of the team's innings.

The big moves were few but paid off huge; the rest of the team's composition was the result of a multiyear effort to find the best way to take advantage of some fortuitous drafting and stockpiling.

Los Angeles had to live without a pennant for what must have seemed like an eternity at the time. No one argues today that it wasn't worth it.

Here's how it breaks down, position-by-position:

Catcher: Joe Ferguson (born 9/19/46) was the No. 1 catcher in 1973, playing 122 games there, with Steve Yeager (11/24/48) backing him up, but in the Dodgers' NL championship year of '74 the two really shared the position, with Yeager catching in 93 games and Ferguson 82.

Always known for his defense, Yeager arrived in 1972 and showed a more promising bat than you probably remember (124 OPS+, with 100 being the league average, in 35 games), then played 54 games in '73 (91 OPS+). Ferguson had made his Dodger debut back in 1970, but mostly as a bit part until '73, when he hit 25 homers and walked 87 times on his way to a 135 OPS+ season. Ferguson's bat also started getting him playing time in the outfield.

In 1974, at age 25, Yeager had a .283 EQA (.260 being average) while Ferguson (27) was at .304. By comparison, Russell Martin was at .293 last season.

First base: Called up as a third baseman in 1970, Steve Garvey (12/22/48) moved across the diamond for good in 1973. His bat had been developing steadily, but it wasn't necessarily an obvious move. Here's how Steve Delsohn describes it in his oral history of the team, True Blue:

In 1972, when Garvey made a whopping 28 errors in only 85 games, a majority of them came on wild throws. Garvey believes he knows why, even though throwing problems are always a little strange and mysterious.

"I had always had a strong arm," Garvey said. "And them my freshman year at Michigan State, I separated my shoulder playing football. It was enough of a separation that I never threw quite the same again after that.

"But it may have been partly psychological, too. Because if I had to make a quick throw, if it was a quick play, boy, it would be on the money. Give me time and who knows where it would be going."

So in the fateful summer of 1973, how did he make the transition from a scatter-armed third baseman to a budding superstar playing first base?

That depends on who you ask. Garvey says (Walter) Alston simply decided to move him to first. Garvey's ex-wife, Cyndy, has said that she gave Alston the idea. Bill Buckner, the incumbent first baseman, says the suggestion to Alston came from him.

Bobby Valentine has yet another interpretation. He says fate intervened on Garvey's behalf.

"In 1973 Bill Buckner was playing first base for the Dodgers. That was rightfully so, because Buckner batted .300 wherever he went.

"Garvey was on the bench, because they finally decided he couldn't play third base. Then in June of '73 the trade deadline was approaching and the Dodgers were getting ready to trade Garvey. But Von Joshua, the left fielder, got injured. Manny Mota, the fourth outfielder, pulled a hamstring.

"So the next logical candidate was Garvey, because he had played some left field (10 games in the outfield in 1973, according to Baseball-Reference.com). But instead of putting Garvey in the outfield, Alston moved Buckner to left and put Garvey at first."

In '74, Garvey had 200 hits (including 21 homers) in 156 games. That was enough to win him the NL Most Valuable Player award, even though in reality he wasn't the most valuable player on the team. His OPS+ of 130 and EQA of .297 were both surpassed by someone who was also a more valuable defender, center fielder Wynn.

As far as Wins Above Replacement Player, a Baseball Prospectus statistic that measures "the number of wins this player contributed, above what a replacement level hitter, fielder, and pitcher would have done," Garvey was sixth on the Dodgers, behind Wynn, Ron Cey, Mike Marshall, Andy Messersmith and Davey Lopes. I point this out not to diminish anyone's fond memories of Garvey, but rather to underscore what the others contributed.

At any rate, the Dodgers found themselves in 1974 with a 25-year-old first baseman who was a genuine asset with the bat. (James Loney, however, has better statistics at a comparable age.)

Second base: Lopes (5/3/45) was a late bloomer. He made his major-league debut in 1972 at age 27, but became the full-time starter at second base the following season (.273 EQA, 36 stolen bases in 52 attempts). In many ways, Lopes would never stop improving despite the late start. He hit a career-high 28 homers at age 34, and remarkably at age 40, he stole 47 out of 51 bases.

In 1974, Lopes was only a second-year regular, but he was the second-oldest man in the regular lineup behind Wynn. Lopes posted an EQA of .288, stealing 59 bases in 77 tries. His on-base percentage was .350, and he hit 10 home runs.

Shortstop: Though only 25 himself when the '74 season began, Bill Russell (10/21/48) had been in the majors since 1969, playing no fewer than 81 games. In 1972, he became the first-string shortstop and had a .269 EQA, though he slumped to .242 in 1973. But in those days, batting averages of .272 and .265 surely seemed adequate. In fact, Russell got selected to the 1973 midseason All-Star team for the NL and even received a 10th-place vote for MVP.

Sure enough, Russell kept in his range with a .269 batting average in '74, and played in more games than even Garvey, while actually boosting his EQA to .262 (the highest it would be until 1982).

Third base: Cey (2/15/48) had 47 plate appearances combined in 1971-72 before playing in 152 games in 1973 (.275 EQA) and pushing Garvey to first base.

Cey had 15 homers and 80 RBI in 1973, then improved to 18 and 97 as a 26-year-old in '74. He really didn't explode as an offensive player until 1975, when he raised his EQA to .308.

Left field: Buckner (12/14/49) was 19 when he made his major-league debut in 1969. He started playing semi-regularly in 1971 and 1972, mostly in the outfield, before beginning 1973 as the regular first baseman.

But he slumped badly that year, falling from a .292 EQA in 1972 to .248 - in more conventional terms, from a .319 batting average to the aforementioned .275. When Garvey moved to first base that June, Buckner began fighting Mota for playing time in left. (Mota, who started 71 games in left in 1973, batted .314 in '73.)

Nevertheless, the Dodgers kept their faith in Buckner, and at age 24, he batted .314 (.287 EQA) while playing 137 games in left field, starting 128.

In two seasons with the Dodgers, Andre Ethier (4/10/82) has had EQAs of .282 and .267.

Center field: The 3-Dog, Davis, batted .285 with 16 homers, 17 steals, 29 doubles and nine triples in 1973, usually batting third in the order. And still, the Dodgers traded him.

Not only that, it was the only move outside the organization the Dodgers made to improve their lineup heading into the 1974 season - and yet, the 2008 team will have to be thrilled if it does as well with Andrew Jones. Acquired in a trade for 34-year-old Osteen (3.31 ERA/105 ERA+) and minor leaguer Dave Culpepper (who never made the bigs), Wynn (3/12/42) whacked 32 home runs, posting a .320 EQA.

The Toy Cannon was fifth in the NL with a 151 OPS+, trailing only Willie Stargell, Joe Morgan, Mike Schmidt and Reggie Smith. Wynn finished fifth in the MVP voting that year.

Right field: At age 27, Willie Crawford (9/7/46) had already worn a Dodger uniform in 10 different seasons. The Fremont High grad got his first at-bat nine days after his 18th birthday, in September 1964.

For someone who had been on the roster that long, it's almost surprising to think that the Dodgers didn't tire of him sooner. He didn't play more than 130 games until 1973, when he had a splendid .312 EQA in 145 games, starting 118 in right field.

Crawford had a similar if slightly less effective season in 1974. He had the same batting average both years - .295 - but his EQA dropped to a still-useful .298.

Starting pitchers: Don Sutton (4/2/45), who made 40 starts, had been with the team since 1966. It was a disappointing year for Sutton, whose ERA went from 2.42 (144 ERA+) in 1973 to 3.23 (106).

Sutton was eclipsed that year by two pitchers - one acquired after the 1971 season and one after the '72 campaign - each posting 2.59 ERAs (132 ERA+) in '74.

Messersmith (8/6/45) came from the California Angels with Ken McMullen in time for the 1973 season in a trade for Frank Robinson, Bill Singer, Mike Strahler, Billy Grabarkewitz and Valentine. Hitting his prime just at the right time for Los Angeles, Messersmith threw 249 2/3 innings in 1973 and 292 1/3 in '74.

A year before the Messersmith trade, John (5/22/43) came from the Chicago White Sox with Steve Huntz (who never played with Los Angeles) for Dick Allen, who had one and only one season with the Dodgers - a powerful one (151 OPS+ at age 29). A steady pitcher in '72 and '73, John pitched his final game for the Dodgers in '74 on July 17, before undergoing an operation you may have heard about.

Picking up the ball for John was Geoff Zahn (12/19/45). Zahn, like Lopes, was a better-late-than-never player. He had debuted in September 1973 shortly before his 28th birthday. In 1974, he joined the team in the bullpen in May. As a starting pitcher, from July on, he averaged 6 1/3 innings per start with a 1.85 ERA. You can't say much was expected of him, but boy, did he deliver.

Beginning the season in the rotation ahead of Zahn was Doug Rau (12/15/48). Rau entered 1974 with six career starts and 96 1/3 career innings, but he made 35 starts in '74, ERAing 3.72 (92 ERA+).

Finally, the Dodgers used Downing (6/28/41) for 16 starts. Downing won 20 games with a 2.68 ERA in 1971 for Los Angeles, but he threw only 98 1/3 innings for the team in 1974 (3.66 ERA/93 ERA+) Still, you could have done a lot worse at the back of your rotation than the young Rau and the older Downing.

Bullpen: If Wynn was the X factor for the 1974 Dodgers, Marshall (1/15/43) was the Y and Z. Acquired the previous December for longtime favorite Davis (one day before the Wynn trade), Marshall had a season for the ages, pitching 208 1/3 innings in relief with a 2.42 ERA. He won the NL Cy Young and finished third in the MVP voting.

Homegrown Charlie Hough (1/5/48) and Jim Brewer (11/17/37), who started his career with the Cubs but had been a Dodger since 1964, backed up Marshall in the bullpen. That year, of the 1,465 innings thrown by the Dodgers, nine pitchers combined for 1,441 of them. What a difference a few decades make.

* * *

I suppose it's worth reflecting that all that work generated no World Series titles until 1981. That's the way it goes, sometimes. But it's hard to imagine the Dodgers doing much better in building a team than they did during this period. The Dodgers don't have to win a World Series in 2008 to prove that an emphasis on talent, whatever the age, is the right path.

Comments (219)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-06 09:00:48
1.   Gen3Blue
An amazing piece work, Jon, and it brought back many details I had forgotten. I can remember following Dodger minor leaguers in the early 70's in the Sporting News--it was the only source then that I knew of. Add an amazing performance from an unexpected starter, (Fernando) and you get 1981.
2008-01-06 09:08:26
2.   Marty
I was really upset when they didn't beat Oakland in 74. I still hate Joe Rudi.
2008-01-06 09:33:31
3.   Suffering Bruin
Thank you for that trip down memory lane, Jon.
2008-01-06 09:35:31
4.   Johnny Nucleo
Great piece. It's great to have this perspective on how the pennant winning team of the '70's was built, and to see how it illuminates our current situation.
2008-01-06 09:37:00
5.   Bob Timmermann
I remember Downing being given a start on national TV in April against the Braves.

He didn't fare well.

2008-01-06 09:38:10
6.   DXMachina
Good post. The '74 World Series was kind of a downer after such a splendid season, but I still fondly recall Marshall picking off Herb Washington, the A's designated pinch runner.

Downing won 20 games with a 2.68 ERA in 1971 for Los Angeles, but he threw only 98 1/3 innings for the team in 1974

Plus he gave up one very famous home run that year.

2008-01-06 09:38:54
7.   DXMachina
5 Or what Bob said.
2008-01-06 09:47:28
8.   bluecurtain
pitching 208 1/3 innings in relief

That may be the most incredible stat line of all time. That's some closers careers these days.

2008-01-06 09:48:33
9.   Michael Green
Marty, I hate all of those A's, but remember too that when Rudi hit that homer, it came after a delay when Oakland fans threw garbage on the field at Bill Buckner in LF. Mike Marshall didn't warm up because he was an expert on the human body. Rudi reasoned that a pitcher who hadn't warmed up would throw a fastball and hit it out of sight. Marshall still insists that had nothing to do with it.

By the way, I think it was in The Lords of Baseball that Harold Parrott said Walter O'Malley almost fired Alston in 1974 because the Dodgers had gone into a slump, and that he had Leo Durocher in mind to replace him. But the Dodgers turned it around. There was a story that the time was on the road and stayed up too late, playing cards or something, and Alston blistered them, and that straightened them out. I don't know, but it sounds plausible with a group of kids.

2008-01-06 10:01:07
10.   D4P
1974 was a good year for me.
2008-01-06 10:06:50
11.   Bob Timmermann
I was looking for a slump from the 1974 Dodgers and in August the Dodgers lost six straight, getting swept in Pittsburgh and New York. It was part of a 12-game trip that started in St. Louis and would finish in Chicago.

On August 19, the Cubs jumped out to a 7-2 lead after 3 1/2 innings. Then the Dodgers got five straight hits for three runs in the fifth as the Cubs went through four pitchers: Rick Reuschel, Burt Hooton, Dave LaRoche, and Jim Todd.

Garvey hit a 2-run homer in the 7th to tie the game at 7-7 and it went to extra innings.

In the 12th, Mike Marshall (who would pitch six innings in relief) led off with a single. Steve Yeager sacrificed him over to second. Then Rick Auerbach hit a squibber in front of the plate that catcher Steve Swisher ran out to field. He got Auerbach at first, but both Swisher and pitcher Oscar Zamora failed to get back to cover home and Marshall came around to score.

Marshall gave up two hits in the bottom of the 12th, but hung on. The Dodgers would sweep the series winning the next two games 18-8 (three home runs by Lopes) and 7-5 (a three-run homer by Crawford and a bunch of misplays by the Cubs helped) and the slump was gone.

2008-01-06 11:17:20
12.   Dave60
The only World Series game I've attended was Game 4 in '74. (The only game to not end with a 3-2 score.) At the time, there was much talk that Charlie Finley was tacitly encouraging a rougher group of fans by lax crowd control. I sat in the leftfield bleachers behind a thug who had brought two dozen stale donuts and methodically sailed them at Bill Buckner. The security staff watched from the next section over. I'm still willing to attend games in Oakland, but have nothing good to say about Finley.
2008-01-06 11:19:28
13.   popup
Thanks Jon. And thanks to Bob for a random Dodger game flashback in post 11.

My fondest memories of the Dodger are from when I was young. Maury was stealing bases and Sandy was a joy to watch pitch. The 70's Dodgers were favorites too though. Thanks for bringing them back to me, though I am sure you were too young to have made much of an impression on you. Really splendid writing, though I think all of us have come to expect that when we visit this site.

Stan from Tacoma

2008-01-06 11:19:40
14.   immouch
i was a little league 3B/catcher in 1974 and, because i was short and, well, fat, i loved ron cey. i loved him so much, in fact, that i took to trying to run exactly like him; stubbornly upright, toes slightly splayed, zero bend at the knee... my back still hurts because of that...
2008-01-06 11:30:25
15.   Bob Timmermann
I'm still willing to attend games in Oakland, but have nothing good to say about Finley.

Like Jean Shepard says in his cameo in "A Christmas Story"

"Hey kid, the line ends here. It starts way back there."

2008-01-06 11:50:15
16.   DougS
Thanks also, Jon, for reminding of the days when Trader Al Campanis used to make fools of other GMs (a declining Claude Osteen for Jimmy Wynn in his prime plus pocket change, indeed!). That's how I'd prefer to remember him.
2008-01-06 11:55:54
17.   Dave60
16 I spoke with Campanis in 1995, when he was the general manager for the Palm Springs Sun in the now-defunct Western League. (I was part-owner of one of the other teams.) I approached him in the parking lot after a game. He was clearly in his dotage and was probably in Palm Springs only for the PR value, but still had a strong presence and firm opinions.
2008-01-06 11:57:06
18.   D4P
15
That was Jean Shepard...?

I did not know that.

2008-01-06 12:21:25
19.   Eric Stephen
I found this interesting: Not only did the 1974 Dodgers lead the majors in runs scored, but they led MLB with 139 HR as well!

139 HR is 2007 would have placed them 12th of 16 teams in the NL.

2008-01-06 12:24:20
20.   Bob Timmermann
19
They also had the fewest intentional walks issued in a season since the record was kept.

9

2008-01-06 12:26:40
21.   ToyCannon
As Jon has noted before we have have a lot of similarities between 2008 and 1974.
New center fielder coming off a down year.
Young 1st baseman who became a starter the year before.
Young 3rd baseman
Young LF
Kemp, Kent, and Furcal don't have any comp's to the 74 team and Mike Marshall was unique in history.

I also need to apologize to Mia and Nomar. Last year when it was suggested the Twins were wearing him out, I skoffed at the notion that people as wealthy and busy as Nomar and Mia would not have a flurry of people taking care of their twins for them. Based on a story I just read, I was wrong. They are actually trying to raise the twins by themselves and Mia said it is the hardest thing she's ever done.

2008-01-06 12:26:42
22.   Eric Stephen
20
They must not have been feared.
2008-01-06 12:27:44
23.   Eric Stephen
21 Young LF

Some nights, that could be literally true!

2008-01-06 12:34:48
24.   Bob Timmermann
22
Sorry, wrong subject of the sentence there.
The Dodger pitchers issued the fewest intentional walks. Just 9.

The Dodger hitters received the most intentional walks, 95, with Bill Russell leading the league with 25.

So the #6 and #7 guys must have gotten on base a lot.

2008-01-06 12:42:30
25.   ToyCannon
The fact that Bill Russel got 25 intentional walks might be the most bizarre stat of the season. If it wasn't Bob posting that information, I'd be double checking it.
2008-01-06 12:51:29
26.   Bob Timmermann
Before Barry Bonds, #8 hitters would lead the league in intentional walks from time to time.

Leo Cardenas led the NL in IBB in 1965 and 1966 and he was primarily an eighth place hitter.

In 1974, the Dodgers cleanup hitters had an OBP of .337. But #5 was .368, #6 was .358. Those were a mixture of Ferguson, Cey, and Crawford.

Russell had 28 unintentional walks and 25 IBBs.

2008-01-06 12:52:59
27.   dzzrtRatt
What a great post. I only half remember some of these development trajectories; it's good to see them all collated in one place, and written with Jon's panache.

But one big lesson emerges from this: Rebuilding is not pretty; it requires more patience than one expects and it takes unexpected turns. Seems like in the 70s, the Dodgers raised a lot of offensive prospects who didn't have obvious positions. The '74 and '77 lineups might not have been exactly what Campanis envisioned in '70. The point is not to get too attached to current impressions of our prospects.

2008-01-06 12:57:29
28.   bhsportsguy
I do remember being one of the many who wrote in Steve Garvey's name on the All-Star ballot.

Here's a little note from today's L.A. Times that shows us that it is not 1974 anymore.

"So when Hiroki Kuroda signed with the Dodgers two weeks later, he made sure to one-up his countryman, asking for eight first-class tickets, an interpreter for his family as well as English lessons for himself, a personal trainer who doubles as a masseuse and a moving allowance of $30,000."

2008-01-06 13:03:17
29.   bhsportsguy
21 If you are interested in the story.

http://tinyurl.com/3c9p6c

2008-01-06 13:04:19
30.   Bob Timmermann
The presence of the reserve clause and the absence of free agency helped the 1970s Dodgers also.

Until Andy Messersmith had an idea.

2008-01-06 13:17:05
31.   ToyCannon
26
Makes sense. I always thought of Russel as the number two hitter where he got the majority of his at bats but I guess in 74 he batted 8th.
2008-01-06 13:22:15
32.   Bob Timmermann
Buckner was the #2 hitter most of the year in 1974.

In 1974, the Dodgers 1-2-3 hitters were Lopes, Buckner, and Wynn.

Unsuprisingly, they led the league in runs scored.

2008-01-06 13:27:50
33.   ToyCannon
5 key members of the 74 team(Wynn, Marshall, Buckner, Ferguson, and Messersmith) were long gone by the time the forever infield won another pennant in 1977. Those trades neted us our starting outfield of Reggie Smith, Dusty Baker, and Rick Monday.
Time to look at Al Campanis, lots of nice deals between 74 - 81.

Andy should have stayed a Dodger. He only had one more good year and was done at age 32. Does anyone remember him pitching for us in 1979? I sure don't.

2008-01-06 13:34:32
34.   Bob Timmermann
And a tip of the scalpel to Dr. Frank Jobe for getting the Dodgers another stud pitcher to bookend with Sutton.
2008-01-06 14:47:38
35.   Ken Noe
Many thanks Jon. I tend to swoon anytime the Little Blue Bicycle is brought up. Man, I loved that 1974 team; their photos were taped to my bedroom wall for years. And yes, 21 I absolutely do see shadows of that team in the current one.
2008-01-06 15:04:18
36.   MarLoKemp
Yep. I believe that 2008 is 1974 revisited. Except of course I hope it will end just a little bit better.

If we continue to hold onto the youthful core of this team, there is every reason to believe that wew will be serious World Series contenders almost every year for the next decade. You younger fans who have never experienced Dodgers success will have more fun than you dreamed possible.

Here's a link to the cover of my all-time favorite issue of Sports Illustrated:

http://dynamic.si.cnn.com/si_online/covers/issues/1974/0527.html

It features Jimmy Wynn on the cover. I believe the words spoken in that issue by Don Sutton of that '74 team will soon be applicable to this '08 team: "This is the culmination of something that's been coming for a long time."

2008-01-06 15:06:50
37.   MarLoKemp
Even though they failed to win the World Series, that 1974 team has always been my favorite. And Bill Buckner remains my all-time favorite player.
2008-01-06 15:20:20
38.   MarLoKemp
34

Dr. Frank Jobe is probably the most influential doctor in the history of baseball.

But boy was losing Tommy John in mid-'74 a blow. He was 13-3 with a 2.59 ERA when he went down in July.

Although the Dodger pitching was outstanding in the 1974 Series, Tommy John starting in place of Al Downing might have been enough to make the difference.

P.S. My name is John and one of my good friends in the early '70s was named Tom, so together we were Tommy John.

2008-01-06 15:49:24
39.   Bluebleeder87
Really nice read Jon, the Davey Lopes piece kind of surprised me, I always thought he was good from the get go.
2008-01-06 17:31:31
40.   Gen3Blue
39 It was in my prime as a D's fan, and I remember watching Lopes develop. His speed seemed to stay throughout, while he got more and more power. This is one reason I am somewhat optimistic that some younger players power may increase with age.
2008-01-06 17:48:18
41.   ToyCannon
I was never a Lopes fan because he took Lee Lacy's job and because he's a jerk but as a baseball player he was a great package. I hadn't realized he got such a late start to his career. Wouldn't surprise me to find that since integration he might be one of the top players in baseball whose major league career didn't start until he was 27.
Just in case Eric isn't busy or anything.
2008-01-06 17:53:13
42.   underdog
Thanks for the fine post Jon, and it is food for thought as far as thinking of the '08 Dodgers as akin to the '74 model. Hope springs eternal.

I was just too young to have awareness of the '74 Dodgers, but a few years later a friend of our family's gave me a Dodgers pennant from that year which had autographs printed onto it of all that team's players. I used to stare at it trying to memorize the names of the players ("Vic Dav..davali..lillo?") - some of whom I knew, some I knew nothing about until I looked them up in a sports almanac. The '78 Dodgers were the first team I really knew, and as said above, sported a few players from 74 that would go on to make names for themselves. But maybe because of that pennant, or because of what really did happen, I do look at that year, 1974, as the one that started the Dodgers road to respectability and stability for years to come. May it happen again.

2008-01-06 17:55:41
43.   underdog
Btw, maybe mentioned elsewhere but good piece in the NY Times today on Tim Raines. He was always one of my favorite non-Dodger players as a kid and though I never thought about him for the Hall of Fame, the story makes a good case for it.
2008-01-06 18:15:09
44.   Bob Timmermann
42
I hope Vic Davalillo didn't have his name on a 1974 Dodgers pennant.
2008-01-06 18:28:29
45.   Bumsrap
A question about centerfielders Pierre and Wynn--who had the better arm?
2008-01-06 18:38:46
46.   popup
It would have been great to put the 70s Dodgers with the 60s pitching staff. Sandy didn't lose much anyway, but if he had the 70s team behind him he might have had a few 30 win seasons.

Stan from Tacoma

2008-01-06 18:43:54
47.   Joe Pierre
Reading this thread really bought back a lot of memories, the 70's were a decade that made me proud that I remained a Dodger fan after they left Brooklyn, when many did not. The team during that era was hated in NY. Mostly because many former fans of the team were still around. Today it is hard to fiqure how I actually followed the team throught newspapers(about 1 paragraph a day), TV(thank God they were contenders) sports magazines, the year books. And it all began in 1958. I hardly missed a game in each series at Shea stadium. I've been a fan since 1947.
2008-01-06 19:16:52
48.   immouch
41
Lopes a jerk? I don't pretend to know the guy, but I did meet him once. He came to my high school in the late 70s as part of a one-day baseball camp. He took a few of us to the infield and offered tips about base stealing. He was funny and smart and didn't talk down to us. I don't recall thinking much about it one way or another, to be honest, but he seemed like a very decent guy. Obviously, it was a bit of a PR deal and maybe he was on some kind of good behavior. But, beyond that, I can't recall any incident involving Lopes that would warrant "jerk." Maybe I missed something... I dunno. He was always a pretty solid player.
2008-01-06 19:33:16
49.   underdog
44 Er, right. That was a misprint.

On my part.

Tom Paciorek. Vic Davalillo, very easily confused. Ahem.

I do remember Von Joshua, for some reason, partially because his name seemed really odd to me as a kid. Poor guy was a part of the 1974 team, then left to return for the mediocre 1979 season.

2008-01-06 19:38:51
50.   Bluebleeder87
I just clicked on the DT 2005 minor league report, I can't believe TC/Molokai wanted to trade RUSSELL MARTIN & Broxton among others for Tejada, Icaros funny as ever & Bob T. talked more baseball on that thread than I ever remember.

Ps by the way TC has some great reads over on True Blue I especially liked the Winn/Morgan post, really nice.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-06 19:40:50
51.   Bluebleeder87
It's just really cool reading old posts from commenters I've met on DT gatherings.
2008-01-06 19:43:32
52.   LAT
Clemens begins his 60 Mins interview claiming "After all I've given to the game. . . Where's the respect?"

What arrogance. The game has given Clemens unprecidentand millions while he demanded special Bonds like treatment.

Memo to Roger: Respect is earned not given.

"If I was tkinging this s tuff I should have a eye in the middle of my foreheadand pull tractors with my teeth." Anyone see any of the other users pull a truck.

2008-01-06 19:44:26
53.   Gen3Blue
Perhaps Lopes was not the most easy to like.
But ToyCannon and Underdog are two of my favorite posters at this site who seem to sift data beyond my capacity, and it shows what a great forum this can be.
2008-01-06 19:47:44
54.   Dave60
48 A friend once attended an adult Dodger fantasy week at Vero Beach. The entire Garvey-Lopes-Cey-Russell infield was there to offer tips to the campers. The friend reported that only one of the quartet, not Lopes, wasn't friendly to the campers. The friend had the four autograph a ball for me. It is my attic, wrapped in a sanitary hose that the friend lifted from Garvey's locker.
2008-01-06 19:49:20
55.   Gen3Blue
Also, Vic Davalillo made me aware that it might be a good idea to learn the pronouciation of certain words in spanish, and eventually french so as not to sound like a hick.
2008-01-06 19:50:30
56.   LAT
His take is "I'm a victim." I was fed Vioxx like Skittles. Now I don't know what will happen to me.

Ambigious about whether he will take a lie detector test.

2008-01-06 19:57:08
57.   Marty
I know for a fact that Lopes had/has the same silliness streak as Brock.
2008-01-06 20:01:03
58.   Bluebleeder87
I'd forgotten about that thanks for the heads up LAT.
2008-01-06 20:35:32
59.   Bumsrap
Some pitchers try to take what I consider an unfair advantage of a hitter by throwing at them if they feel they are digging in or got a couple of hits against them. If they look for that unfair advantage is it not likely that they would look for other advantages such as steroids?
2008-01-06 20:39:31
60.   underdog
Thanks Gen! Though I'm not the best at data sifting, so maybe that specific kudos belongs to a different poster? But I do remember Von Joshua! That should count for something.

Btw, The Simpsons rocked tonight - the Springfield primary, Ralph Wiggum wins as a write-in candidate. Spot on and timely, glad they saved that new one for the midst of both strike and primary season.

2008-01-06 20:42:51
61.   Bumsrap
Which current players have the best chance of playing together for at least 5 years? How about: Martin, Loney, Kemp, Ethier, Billlingsley, Broxton, Kershaw. Maybe Hu, Abreu, LaRoche as well.
2008-01-06 20:51:07
62.   immouch
vioxx?
i just want to confess that i popped skittles like... skittles... it didn't help.
2008-01-06 20:52:59
63.   Louis in SF
Enjoyed the read and the 74 team was special. I was at the game the night in 74 when Tommy John went down, I want to say it was the Expo's, and I believe the Dodgers eventually won the game. I seem to recall that there was a report that night that John would only be out for a few games!

While I have no firsthand info about Lopes, I do think after his stint in Milwaukee as manager, he never got a fair shake to manage again. I also seem to recall that he wanted to come back to the Dodgers after his playing days and there was nothing for him.

2008-01-06 20:56:53
64.   ToyCannon
50
I remember that thread. I think Canuck gave me a thrashing for suggesting such a terrible trade. We had Navarro and I felt the AA Martin was superflous.
The problem with actually posting opinions is that the written word never goes away. I've learned alot from DT folk in a brief amount of time.
2008-01-06 21:17:53
65.   Bob Timmermann
64
In 2005, I made it a point to not watch or pay attention to the Jacksonville team. I wanted to be outside the mainstream.
2008-01-06 21:52:09
66.   Strike4
The youth movement in 1974 was no more newsy or surprising than the current crop has been. But the impatience was just as tough to control then as now. Five years before, in the Dodgers 1969 Pre-Season Yearbook, the final article was "Youth on the Move." It highlighted that "...there was, in '68, perhaps the healthiest contingent of prospects in many a Dodger year." It called out 18 players including Buckner, Garvey, Valentine, Cey, Ferguson, Sudakis, Grabarkewitz, Russell and Vance. Only three of the 18 never made it to the majors. Tom Lasorda at Ogden was mentioned twice.

A couple of other notes from the yearbook. The next page listed the Dodger Scouting Directory, headed by Al Campanis. There are 85 names, addresses and phone numbers. The 1969 ticket prices were on the following page - box $3.50, reserved $2.50, general $1.50, children g.a. $0.75. The U.S. minimum wage in 1969 was $1.60.

2008-01-06 22:24:37
67.   GoBears
Thanks for the memories, Jon. 1974 was my first year living in LA, and hence my first as a Dodger fan, so I remember that team vividly. I too had pictures of all of them on my wall - must have been a game-day giveaway - a book of action photos or somesuch.
2008-01-06 22:31:21
68.   Jon Weisman
New article on outfield arms:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/best-outfield-arms-of-2007/

2008-01-06 22:42:48
69.   underdog
68 - Pierre last among centerfielders, why you could knock me over with a feather! Glad to see another "noodle-arm" reference though. Interesting to see Ethier as middle of the pack. Then his comments:

>>Andre Ethier, right there in the middle of the northwest quadrant, is a curious case as he is very good at throwing out batters, but they still run wild on him. Runners should know better, since he was also very good, albeit in left field, in 2006. Perhaps this past season they figured they could run on a mere "left fielder." I expect his hold rate to rise next year (assuming he gets playing time, either in LA or elsewhere).

Ethier's opposite number is Andruw Jones, who sits alone out in the middle of the southeast quadrant. Andruw's Hold+ of 126 is among the very best in 2007, while he only killed about half of the expected number. Hmmm, is Andruw coasting on his reputation? Jones was the top throwing center fielder in 2005, but slipped to about average in 2006, with a poor Kill+ and average Hold+.<<

2008-01-07 04:13:02
70.   bhsportsguy
As we are now less than 40 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting (February 14, 2008), I thought it might be time for a review of some transaction terms you will be hearing in the coming weeks.

The first one I will review is options.

Here is Rob Neyer's explanation of options from ESPN.com
"Options"

"When a player is on the 40-man roster but not on the 25-man Major League roster, he is on "optional assignment." One common misconception about the rules is that a player may only be "optioned out" three times. Actually, each player has three option years, and he can be sent up and down as many times as the club chooses within those three seasons."

"When you hear that a player is "out of options," that means he's been on the 40-man roster during three different seasons, beginning with his fourth as a pro, and to be sent down again he'll have to clear waivers."

Here is the "option" status for the most likely bubble players on the Dodgers 40-man roster.

Out of options (3)
LHP Hong-Chih Kuo
IF Wilson Valdez
OF Delwyn Young

One option left (5)
RHP Yhency Brazoban
RHP D.J. Houlton
LHP Greg Miller
LHP Eric Stults
3B Andy LaRoche

Two options left (3)
RHP Eric Hull
IF Tony Abreu
OF Jason Repko

Three options left (9)
RHP Mario Alvarez
RHP James McDonald
RHP Jonathan Meloan
RHP Justin Orenduff
RHP Ramon Troncoso
RHP Cory Wade
C Lucas May
IF Chin-Lung Hu
OF Xavier Paul

Both Meloan and Hu made their MLB debuts in September but since they spent their time on active roster after they were added to the 40-man roster, they did not use their first option last season.

2008-01-07 04:20:22
71.   bhsportsguy
70 My inclusion of Andy LaRoche was only informational, I don't think he will be optioned but unlike Loney, Kemp, et.al., his placement on the 25-man roster is less secure.
2008-01-07 04:20:23
72.   bhsportsguy
70 My inclusion of Andy LaRoche was only informational, I don't think he will be optioned but unlike Loney, Kemp, et.al., his placement on the 25-man roster is less secure.
2008-01-07 07:10:35
73.   Sushirabbit
68 Kenny Lofton is amazing.

The other thing that stands out to me is that I didn't think Soriano would/could do well with the switch. Boy was I wrong.

2008-01-07 07:25:44
74.   berkowit28
70 You may be unaware that Wilson Valdez has been sold to the Kia Tigers of Korea.
2008-01-07 08:20:21
75.   old dodger fan
1. Has the Valdez "sale" been completed?
2. Can someone explain to me how a player is "sold" to a Korean team? I assume the player has to consent. Does he agree to a contract with Kia first? When the contract is complete is he free to return to the US as a free agent? Has this happened before?
2008-01-07 09:10:08
76.   regfairfield
71 I'd be mighty surprised if LaRoche didn't spend some time in Vegas this year.
2008-01-07 09:23:15
77.   ToyCannon
70
Thanks for the update on the option info.
2008-01-07 09:32:29
78.   Bob Timmermann
75
Players have had contracts sold to teams outside the U.S., usually Japan or Mexico, but on occasions Taiwan or Korea.

The player does have to give consent. Kevin Millar, most famously, refused to go to Japan before the 2003 season. He said at the time that it would be more prudent to stay in the U.S. given the troubled international situation.

Actually, he just ended up signing with the Red Sox.

2008-01-07 09:56:56
79.   silverwidow
70 Stults has two options left. He was added as a September call-up in 2006 but never optioned. So last year was his first.
2008-01-07 11:07:55
80.   Izzy
69. Andres's kill rate is 3rd in the league, but his hold rate is dragging him down. He does have a cannon. Makes no sense, but teams will do what they do. It does sound like it might be the metric that is curious, to me.
2008-01-07 11:49:25
81.   old dodger fan
Eleven posts in about 12 hours. Is this a record? I thought the Clemens interview would spark some discussion.

Does anyone think he might have filed the suit to avoid testifying before Congress using the, "I can't talk about pending litigation" defense?

2008-01-07 11:58:34
82.   Jon Weisman
Frankly, I thought this post would stir up more conversation. I'm having trouble working up any interest in the Clemens saga.
2008-01-07 12:09:36
83.   silverwidow
Big Ned is having a web chat on Tuesday, 1/22. It's been a long time since he did one of those, so hopefully there will be plenty of questions.
2008-01-07 12:16:18
84.   Bob Timmermann
82
You even lobbed in a Juan Pierre bomb and it apparently failed to detonate.

I think everyone has Pierre Fatigue. It's an actual condition listed in the DSM-IV-R

2008-01-07 12:23:44
85.   fanerman
82 I also couldn't care less about what Mr. Clemens.

83 What time is this chat? How do you ask questions? I wonder how Ned would respond to someone (or someones) asking about benching Juan Pierre instead of playing LF. I doubt Ned would answer the question, but maybe he'd get all defensive about it.

84 What does DSM-IV-R stand for?

2008-01-07 12:24:11
86.   silverwidow
Last night, I dreamt I was watching Chad Billingsley throw a perfect game in his first 2008 start.
2008-01-07 12:26:02
87.   silverwidow
85 I believe it's at 2 p.m. PT on Dodgers.com that day.
2008-01-07 12:26:03
88.   Bob Timmermann
85
Actually, it's going by DSM-IV-TR now
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/43483668
2008-01-07 12:27:33
90.   fanerman
88 Is Never Nudity also found in the DSM-IV-TR?
2008-01-07 12:38:02
91.   Jon Weisman
89. Howard Fox (edited)
82 after watching Clemens last night...

if that isn't the response of a guilty person, I don't know what is...

Dwyre in the Times and Dan Patrick on the radio put the whole matter in perspective...great jobs on their parts...

2008-01-07 12:39:06
92.   Howard Fox
didn't think that was bad...sorry....
2008-01-07 12:55:22
93.   old dodger fan
1974 was a great baseball year for me. I pretty much missed the '72 and '73 seasons being assigned to an Army base that defines "in the boondocks" and outside anything that resembles communication with the outside world. In '74 I finished my service at a base in the US and roomed with a Cinncinati native who was a BIG Reds fan. We had lots of good natured exchanges as our teams fortunes rose and fell. I had tickets for a doubleheader in Cincy that year but couldn't go because of a duty requirement. My roommate went instead. I think we split the doubleheader.

The LL team I coached that year won their pennant too! As much as I love the Dodgers I have to admit that I cherish the LL pennant more along with the baseball all my kids signed.

2008-01-07 13:02:00
94.   Jon Weisman
Lots of TV posts at Season Pass, including posts on The Wire. Comment away!

http://weblogs.variety.com/season_pass/

2008-01-07 13:19:35
95.   El Lay Dave
Jon, thanks for the trip down memory lane. I was 13 throughout the 1974 season; were there bigger baseball fans in those days than 13-year olds? The '74 WS was definitely heartbreaking as we thought this might be a team of destiny, ready to knock the two-time champions off their perch. Alas, not. Things I remember about the '74 WS apart from those previously mentioned:

• Mike Marshall's Game 2 save where, after allowing the inherited runners to score to cut the lead to one, he picked off the "designated runner" Herb Washington and struck out two to end it.

• Joe Ferguson stepping in front of elbow injury plagued Jimmy Wynn in RCF to field Reggie Jackson's fly ball and fire a strike to Steve Yeager to gun down Sal Bando at the plate. (Can't believe this wasn't mentioned yet.)

• Billy Buckner thrown out at 3rd leading off the 8th inning of Game 5, down one run (and three games to one), trying to stretch a double (or was it a single and an error?). At was at this moment that I realized that the Dodgers could well not come back in this game or in this series.

2008-01-07 13:20:14
96.   LogikReader
My goodness, this is the first time I've been here all year!

Born after 1974, it was good to read this nice history lesson. I like how Jon pointed out the parallels between '74 and today.

I hope all of you had a great Christmas and New Years, and any other holidays you were a part of. Good to be back on DT.

Boy, I don't know about you, but this offseason is going by really quickly.

To avoid writing ancillary posts, I had two things to comment on re: 2008 in general.

1) I hope the WGA and the Production Companies reach a settlement very soon. I miss first-run network TV so much.

2) Housing prices have really fallen since 2005. I still rent, but would now be a time to purchase a home?

2008-01-07 13:21:30
97.   El Lay Dave
93 As much as I love the Dodgers I have to admit that I cherish the LL pennant more along with the baseball all my kids signed.

As you should.

2008-01-07 13:23:39
98.   Howard Fox
96

(1) don't bet on it settling any time soon unless the writers cave

(2)economic surveys (here in the So Cal area) indicate the housing market should bottom out in spring 2009...make of that what you will...

2008-01-07 13:27:57
99.   fanerman
98 What kind of cycles do these housing markets go through? ie, after spring 2009, roughly how long would it take for houses to go up and then go back down?
2008-01-07 13:30:39
100.   Howard Fox
99 although things change constantly, the housing market typically goes thru roughly 10 year cycles...

it may not drop alot over the next year to year and a half...and no one knows how fast it will rise thereafter...

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-01-07 13:31:49
101.   fanerman
100 Thanks. That's exactly the answer I was looking for.
2008-01-07 13:32:36
102.   Sagehen
I love this post, Jon! It provides optimism for the future, while also invoking my favorite part of Dodger history, which is, of course, the teams that I grew up with.

In the interest of generating more posts, I need to point out that two lingering questions are remaining from the above posts. (1) What is the evidence that Lopes is a jerk? I've heard he was firey, but a jerk? (2) Who of the fabled infield was rude to the fantasy campers? Or is gossip a rules violation? OK. I guess that's more than two questions. Who said I could count?

2008-01-07 13:33:00
103.   Howard Fox
that being said, traditionalists typically believe that long term, real estate is the way to go, as there is only a finite amount
2008-01-07 13:35:41
104.   fanerman
103 What do you mean? I only ask because I figure sometime in the next 10 years I'll probably be looking to buy my own house (depending on grad school, jobs, and a million other complications).
2008-01-07 13:40:04
105.   Howard Fox
it means RE long term always goes up, its always there, it may have dips and valleys occasionally, you get terrific tax writeoffs for your residence, you also get to use it...

and it doesn't depend on the whim of stockholders or CEOs, and doesn't lose value because the buying public finds something else...

2008-01-07 13:43:30
106.   fanerman
105 Oh I see what you mean. Thanks.
2008-01-07 13:43:54
107.   Jon Weisman
I think this year is probably as good a time to buy a house as any you'll find. You could split hairs on when the price momentum will rebuild, but certainly, you could start looking.

But my main advice would be to calculate all the ancillary costs of owning a house - maintenance, property taxes and such - and then double them. It's always more than you think. The sticker shock of buying was one thing, but it's the maintenance costs that just are the backbreakers.

If you're buying a condo, that's easier to get used to.

2008-01-07 13:46:08
108.   ToyCannon
1. Is Andy Messersmith one of the best Dodger pitchers that no one ever talks about? He had 3 of the top 30 ERA+ seasons since Koufax retired. He only pitched 3 years but his best season was better then Fernando's best season, and his 2nd best season was better then Fernando's 2nd best season. Take a look at those innings he logged.
http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/amwX

2. If the Dodgers had traded Garvey in 1973 like the story suggests almost happened, would the team have been just as succesfull with an infield of Buckner/Lopes/Russel/Cey and an outfield of Crawford/Wynn/Ferguson/Paciorek?

3. Does anyone remember all the diving catches that Buckner made in 74 or is my memory playing games?

Joe Ferguson was a player I never fully appreciated until I read the Bill James Almanac. My memory tells me that Paciorek was considered one of the best of the prospects but upon reveiwing his stats and age I'm not sure that was the case.

2008-01-07 13:47:29
109.   Howard Fox
107 all true...but when all is said and done, rent is throwing money away, while long term, owning is an investment
2008-01-07 13:51:06
110.   Bill Crain
Real estate is the secret of life.

When everyone is selling, buy. When everyone is buying, buy more.

2008-01-07 13:53:07
111.   Bob Timmermann
The only thing I fear more than rogue walruses and drunken hang gliders is a mortgage.
2008-01-07 13:53:18
112.   Jacob L
109 107

Howard's right. If you're in it for the long or relatively long haul, its always a good time to buy.

If you're not, though, I'm going to beg to differ with you, Jon. This could be a fairly crummy time to buy a house if the idea of owing more than the house is worth in the next couple of years is any sort of concern. I just don't think the full weight of the mortgage crisis on home values has hit yet. By a long shot.

Also, on the condo thing, the constant escalation of HOA dues was one of the reasons I sold my (vacation) condo.

2008-01-07 13:53:32
113.   Howard Fox
110 <---- he knows...
2008-01-07 13:54:59
114.   Bill Crain
Borrow as much as they'll give you whenever you can. It's not debt; it's leverage.
2008-01-07 13:56:00
115.   LogikReader
109 107

Thank you all very much for your advice. Indeed, my rent has gone up (on a month to month lease) in each of the last two years. Investing in a new home, I guess right now a condo, will eventually pay dividends.

There's no way I can afford to buy a home in Santa Barbara area right now, so I'd either settle for Carpinteria or Ventura.

Then I can realize my dream of having the ultimate game room.

2008-01-07 13:56:48
116.   Howard Fox
114 you are a real estate agent, right?
2008-01-07 13:58:29
117.   Jon Weisman
112 - Well, certainly if you can afford to wait longer, wait. I was mainly saying it's not too soon to get acquainted with the market. Certainly, it's a better time to get in now than it was a year or two ago.
2008-01-07 13:59:40
118.   Howard Fox
117 of that you can be sure, but if my hind sight glasses had been working better, I'd have bought Microsoft in the 60s like some of my clients
2008-01-07 14:00:07
119.   Bill Crain
116
Lawyer, but don't practice.

The tenants paid my law school tuition.

2008-01-07 14:09:39
120.   Penarol1916
107. Maintenance costs, ha! That's for people who don't have a father-in-law who lives 8 blocks away and is a licensed carpenter and electrician.
2008-01-07 14:09:45
121.   ToyCannon
114
I tend to think the people who are in foreclosure would disagree with you but hey it was only their money and their lives.
2008-01-07 14:13:58
122.   Bill Crain
121
You can't make bad decisions; it's never that easy.

If A-Rod were available would you wait a year to see if the price drops?

When would be a good time to invest in Juan Pierre?

2008-01-07 14:16:25
123.   Howard Fox
121 they are in foreclosure for reasons other than investing in real estate....they were too highly leveraged to begin with, or they accepted a loan which they could not afford in the first place, or they live beyond their means, or...I could go on and on...

and if you say they were given a loan they could not afford, the borrower does have some culpability wehen applying for and/or accepting a loan...

2008-01-07 14:19:26
124.   fanerman
107 There's absolutely no way I could buy a house in the next year or two. The soonest would be in about 3-4 years. I need to go back to school first, and then find a job (but who knows how long that could take). I'm just curious as to how things might look then.
2008-01-07 14:21:08
125.   Howard Fox
3-4 yrs from now? wait, let me dust off my crystal ball...lol
2008-01-07 14:24:06
126.   fanerman
125 Haha. That's why I asked you what kind of cycles the housing market goes through and not "will 4 years from now be a good time to buy a house?"

I just wanted to satisfy my curiosity, more than anything.

2008-01-07 14:24:28
127.   Bob Timmermann
124
Head on down to the next UCLA/Anderson School forecast. But the next one won't be until April.
2008-01-07 14:24:30
128.   Humma Kavula
Jim Callis gets out his crystal ball:

TSP:You're driving the '10 Rays World Series Bandwagon; can you give me an early prediction on the Rays opponent and the World Series MVP?

JC:When I first made that prediction last spring, I had them beating the Dodgers. Let's go with B.J. Upton as World Series MVP.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/2nc2za

2008-01-07 14:25:32
129.   Howard Fox
I can tell you this about 3-4 years from now...Kemp, Loney, Ethier, and Martin will no longer be our youth movement...and Pierre's contract will finally be over...other than that, who knows...
2008-01-07 14:26:52
130.   Bill Crain
124
I wouldn't worry about it. You'll find good stuff whenever you're ready. It's impossible to time the market, so why bother to try? It's not the time that matters; it's the deal.

Is there a bad time for Billy Beane to choose a player? Is there a good time for Ned?

2008-01-07 14:32:10
131.   Humma Kavula
130 I think there's some truth to that. Four years ago, when we were looking to buy, a guy said, "People think of houses as investments. They are, but really, you should think of a house as a place to live. When you need to buy a house, buy a house." So instead of trying to time the market, we bought a house.

As it turns out: now we have a kid and I am glad we are settled and living in a house. Will we be upside-down this time next year? Possibly, and that's not great news, but if it happens it happens and it will fix itself over the next five years -- we'll just stay in the house and raise our family.

2008-01-07 14:49:29
132.   fanerman
130 131 That's very good and calming to hear. Thanks.
2008-01-07 14:58:30
133.   Bob Timmermann
132
And if there's a run on the bank or the S&L, George and Mary Bailey will offer up their wedding trousseau to help you out through the bad times.
2008-01-07 15:01:25
134.   ToyCannon
133
My mothers parents lived in a house just one block from Glendale High. He paid rent for about 40 years and could have bought the house easily in the early 60's but my grandmother was as afraid of a mortgage as you were. It was not a good decision.
2008-01-07 15:02:37
135.   ToyCannon
Checking my numbers it was 30 and not 40 as I try to live upto a New Year resolution not to exaggerate.
2008-01-07 15:04:54
136.   El Lay Dave
131 That is a familiar-sounding story. We closed on our first house a month before our daughter was born in 1989 and only several months before the bottom started dropping out in So. Cal. real estate. Our plan was to be there two to three years, but we were upside-down in no time flat, so we lived there for nine, instead.

Eventually this did work itself out; we only paid the minimum on that mortgage and were able to put together enough to buy another house in 1998, when the market was starting to recover into this now-ending boom, but just starting.

The killer for new home buyers is the property tax, with the price you paid as the basis. Ouch every December and April.

111 Every year, when I fill out Schedule A, I became less and less fearful about the mortgage. (Plus, with a traditional fixed-rate loan, the minimum mortgage payment never rises, unlike the rent.)

2008-01-07 15:15:33
137.   Bob Timmermann
136
My brothers and I pay a total of $960 per year in property tax on my late father's home!

Viva Proposition 13!

2008-01-07 15:19:05
138.   Humma Kavula
137 Viva Proposition 13!

I can't think of Proposition 13 without violating Rule 13.

2008-01-07 15:19:09
139.   Bill Crain
137
When Prop 13 passed I got laid off my county job. I'm still unemployed.
2008-01-07 15:22:00
140.   Bob Timmermann
139
Hey, after 30 years, I think you'll find something.

Are there no workhouses?

2008-01-07 15:23:46
141.   Bill Crain
140
I'm busy every day praying for the soul of Howard Jarvis.
2008-01-07 15:26:16
142.   Andrew Shimmin
Buying Microsoft stock in the 60's is one of those foresight-daydreams that require a wormhole, and a complaint alternate universe. I try to limit my fantasies to things that are only a time machine away from being possible. Which is sort of sad, I guess; why should my imagination be so much less imaginary than Howard Fox's?
2008-01-07 15:31:15
143.   El Lay Dave
BTW - Messrs. Messersmith, Marshall and Sutton finished second, first and fourth in the 1974 Cy Young balloting, respectively. They accounted for 53% (!) of the IP for L.A. that season.
2008-01-07 15:34:01
144.   ToyCannon
139
Was it the impetus for you to leverage your way to the good life? Losing ones job has been quite beneficial to a few of my friends. Freedom to soar or sink, sounds like you soared.
2008-01-07 15:39:07
145.   Johnson
140 Are there no workhouses?
Bah, humbug!
2008-01-07 15:40:05
146.   El Lay Dave
I graduated high school in 1978. In the snide way that 17 year old high school seniors have, in the last edition of the school paper, senior will section, I left my Prop 13 bumper stickers to the faculty and staff. Not funny, in retrospect, and, unfortunately, I haven't outgrown that snideness enough either.

Prop 13 is a strange, terrible and wonderful thing, all at once.

2008-01-07 15:46:07
147.   Bill Crain
144
The job I lost was working for the county assessor, raising everyone's taxes by four or five hundred percent. In that time and place it was fairly easy to see what was happening, so I'd already started on the leveraging.

Actually they offered me a demotion which I refused. Morally, it was the only thing to do.

2008-01-07 15:47:15
148.   JJ42
I never thought I'd read about Prop. 13 on DT. It's a violation of Rules 1 and 5 waiting to happen. Let's think of happier topics to talk about - like Juan Pierre's throwing arm, Ned Colletti's white tie, or the pleasant demeanor of Davey Lopes.
2008-01-07 15:48:22
149.   Johnson
142 Buying Microsoft stock in the 60's is one of those foresight-daydreams that require a wormhole, and a complaint alternate universe.

Sorry, but this is the Getting Hit On The Head Lessons Universe. Microsoft Was Founded When Bill Gates Was In Junior High is in Universe 12.

2008-01-07 16:08:13
150.   Bob Timmermann
Heck, my brining up Prop 13 could be a violation of Rules 3 and 7 too.

If it makes you feel any better, I don't get to live in the house with the low property tax and I can't sell it either. And my brothers and I really wanted to sell it two years ago.

Now by the time we get to sell it, it will likely be dilapidated and occupied by hobos.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-01-07 16:11:45
151.   Humma Kavula
I'll bite. Why can't you sell it?
2008-01-07 16:15:23
152.   Bob Timmermann
151
Estate issue.
2008-01-07 16:17:21
153.   Bob Timmermann
In other news, a medical study says that chronic anxiety can lead to heart disease. Which will give people like me who worry a lot something else to worry about.
2008-01-07 16:20:45
154.   D4P
Greetings from downtown Knoxville, TN.

I'm here for an engineering conference. I know less than nothing about engineering.

But I am staying at a Holiday Inn tonight.

And not just any Holiday Inn, but a Holiday Inn Select...

2008-01-07 16:21:54
155.   Jon Weisman
153 - I read last week that high cholesterol is a weapon against Alzheimer's.
2008-01-07 16:25:07
156.   D4P
I hope they never find out that lightning has a lot of vitamins in it, because do you hide from it or not?
2008-01-07 16:30:39
157.   Jacob L
150 Indeed, why talk about Prop 13 when we could talk about hobos?
2008-01-07 16:32:47
158.   Bob Timmermann
157
Have at it people:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/700hoboes/pool/

2008-01-07 16:34:48
159.   El Lay Dave
149 I think that in that context "60's" is a price range, not a decade.
2008-01-07 16:36:11
160.   gibsonhobbs88
Great post Jon. The 70's Dodgers were the team I grew up on. I remember the September flop in 73, I was just turning 13 then. I had started to follow the Dodgers as a 9 year old in 69 during the Willie Davis, Crawford, Sutton & Osteen days. It took 5 years as a young fan to finally taste the fruits of victory with the 74 season. I loved that young club, Buckner was one of my early heroes. When some of my less patient friends keep telling me we should trade and get another old guy and trade some of our young ones, I remind them of how the Dodgers of the 70's were competitive for years because they had a great core of young players they stuck with. Here's hoping history repeats itself!!
2008-01-07 16:39:07
161.   Charenton
Thanks for the 1974 DODGER memories.
My first game at Dodger Stadium was "Fan Appreciation Day" at the end of the 1972 season. The Dodgers were within 2 to 3 games of the Giants in the last series of the regular season but they were unable to pull it off.

I remember Steve Garvey being the WORST player on the Dodgers at that time and just shuddering everytime a ball was ever hit to him at Third base.

Later when he was moved to first base and he eventually got a reputation as a solid defensive First baseman, I gained a prejudice against First basemen that I've held to this day: as an adolescent I thought that if someone as clumsy as Steve Garvey could win a Gold Glove at First Base, then anyone can play Firstbase…

2008-01-07 16:50:17
162.   El Lay Dave
Hobo is one of those words that is at risk of falling into disuse. I had to laugh at (not with) the somewhat recent commericial where a family (unable to use frequent flyer miles due to restrictions?) leaps aboard a moving freight car and the father points at two disheveled men already aboard and exclaims, "look kids, vagabonds!".

Vagabond Kelly is just not a good TV show title.

2008-01-07 17:03:46
163.   ToyCannon
Wasn't it hip in Hollywood at one time to lead the hobo life on a break?
2008-01-07 17:09:59
164.   LAT
To the contrary, I think the term "hobo" is making a comeback. My daughters and their friends all use the term "hobo" instead of "homeless". "Homeless" is scarier and sadder to them (even if they know its a distinction without a diffrence).
2008-01-07 17:17:10
165.   Charenton
Hopefully, Jon will continue to lead us through the story of the 197Os Dodgers year by year - through 1975/76(the years of the Big Red Machine) to the 2 World Series appearances in 1977/78 (When Vic Davillio was indeed on the team ! )

Indeed, some things need clearing up in my head:

The 4 players with 30HRs team was 1977 or 1978 ?

And the 4 were: Cey, Baker, Garvey and Reggie (??)

In those years between WS appearances, there was alot of stability but there were also lots of important trades - there was a complete turnover in the OF(Dusty, Reggie) and the important addition of Burt Hooten…
(or Hurt Booten as he was known in my family… for no logical reason…)
(and didn't he pitch a no hitter, if my memory serves me right ?)

Was it the same rotation in both 77 and 78?:

Sutton
Hooten
Tommy John
Doug Rau
R Rhoden

Doug Rau was quite a pitcher and great things were expected from him but his career ended early - what was his injury?

Also I get mixed up between the 1981 WS team and the 1977/78 teams. Rick Rhoden was in the 77/78 rotation, but not the 81 rotation if I remember correctly (?) When was he traded to Pittsburgh?

Was Rick Monday only on the 81 team , but not the 77/78 teams…
(I believe this was covered here at some point during the last year - )

And lots of other questions…

2008-01-07 17:17:14
166.   Indiana Jon
Anyone care to explain to a non-Cal resident why Prop 13 was so bad? Are property taxes in California high now? Not sure of the type of property, but Bob's $960 annually doesn;t sound bad.
2008-01-07 17:18:37
167.   Andrew Shimmin
159- That's not as funny, so, I disagree.
2008-01-07 17:22:05
168.   Bob Timmermann
166
It would take a long time to explain. You can read the Wikipedia article.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_13_(1978)

The whole thing is so contentious 30 years after the fact that it's just as authoritative as anything else you would encounter.

2008-01-07 17:22:11
169.   Jon Weisman
165 - Actually, I was doing the Dodgers year-by-year starting with 1967 and 1968 - check the archives - but I cheated and jumped ahead to 1974.
2008-01-07 17:22:41
170.   Bill Crain
A taped phone conversation (from WCBS Newsradio) Between Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee:

http://tinyurl.com/2ff7uu

Besides being unpleasant to listen to, the language is NSFW.

2008-01-07 17:38:30
171.   Johnson
159 I agree with Andrew in 167 that humor should trump all. In any case, if it's a price range it would depend on how many splits ago it was. If you bought Microsoft the last time it was at 60, you'd be about even now. If you bought it at 60 before the first split in 1987, you'd have multiplied your money about 170 times. Microsoft has spent time at 60 before something like 5 of its nine splits, each with at least a two-fold difference of return, so it seems like an odd way to index a stock.
2008-01-07 17:41:04
172.   Izzy
Lidocaine in the butt does sound awfully strange.
2008-01-07 17:48:05
173.   Bill Crain
172
I'm guessing sort of a "zzzzooop" with towel-muted screams of pain in the background?
2008-01-07 17:56:28
174.   Marty
I'm late to the house party.

Getting into the housing market was the best thing I've ever done. I bought a condo in 1993 when I thought the market had bottomed from the 1989 crash. I was underwater for 6-7 years, but I was getting a good tax adjustment and was paying only a little more than what I was paying rent on earlier. Then in 2001 prices started going up a bit and I was able to make a profit on the condo and put it into a house.

I love my house. I love having a front and back yard. I love having a fireplace (first one I've ever had). I love having a dining room rather than a dining area. My mortgage is at least a third less than current rental prices.

I will admit I got incredibly lucky by buying at pretty much the bottom of the market just before it exploded. But I'm not looking to try to move up to a bigger one. This may be the house I die in.

2008-01-07 18:08:31
175.   Bill Crain
Howard: Aah, real estate's a devilish sort of thing, anyway. You start out, you tell yourself you'll be satisfied with 25,000 handsome smackers worth of it. So help me, Lord, and cross my heart. Fine resolution. After months of sweatin' yourself dizzy, and growin' short on patience, and snakin' sewers', you finally come down to 15,000, then ten. Finally, you say, "Lord, let me just collect $5,000 rent and I'll never ask for anythin' more the rest of my life."

Marty: $5,000 is a lot of money.

Howard: Yeah, here on this blog it seems like a lot. But I tell you, if you was to make a real strike, you couldn't be dragged away. Not even the threat of miserable death would keep you from trying to add 10,000 more. Ten, you'd want to get twenty-five; twenty-five you'd want to get fifty; fifty, a hundred. Like roulette. One more turn, you know. Always one more.

2008-01-07 18:18:54
176.   dzzrtRatt
I can confirm that the word "hobo" has been rediscovered by Generation Aught. My son and his cousin, both 17, frequently say things like "what do you think I am, a hobo?" Meaning, "What do you think I am, crazy?"
2008-01-07 18:25:04
177.   natepurcell
So I just saw There Will Be Blood.

Besides the amazing performance by DDL, the soundtrack was intense. It had me at the edge of my chair throughout the whole movie.

2008-01-07 18:27:30
178.   Dodgers49
Just catching up after a weekend away from home. Someone mentioned that the original plans allow for Dodgers Stadium to expand to 85,000 by replacing the left and right field pavilions. That was true but by the time the Stadium was actually built not only was capacity set at 56,000 but the Dodgers cannot increase it without a waver.

>> Dodger Stadium is the only current MLB park (excluding the most recently-built parks) that has never changed its capacity. It has always held 56,000 fans, due to a conditional-use permit limiting its capacity. Every time the Dodgers add seats, they always remove an equal number of seats in the upper deck or in the pavilion to keep the capacity the same. <<

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodger_Stadium

2008-01-07 18:44:13
179.   Bob Timmermann
178
The Dodgers have a conditional use permit from the City of L.A. for Dodger Stadium that caps the seating at 56,000 per game in order to limit the number of cars that come in to the stadium.
2008-01-07 18:45:08
180.   El Lay Dave
167 171 See, see, the humor is in the ambiguity of "60's" as a price range.

Actually, for some entirely inexplicable reason, the now-quite-obvious reference in 149 completely escaped me. Apparently I need more waah; can I try it again?

2008-01-07 18:48:46
181.   El Lay Dave
172 Too long in an odd position at the nude beach, perhaps?
2008-01-07 19:05:06
182.   Dodgers49
70 My inclusion of Andy LaRoche was only informational, I don't think he will be optioned but unlike Loney, Kemp, et.al., his placement on the 25-man roster is less secure.

I hope I'm wrong, but despite what has happened since the end of the season I still suspect the 3rd base job is Nomar's to lose. Combine LaRoche's remaining option with the fact that he is notorious for being a slow starter and I foresee him starting the season at Las Vegas while Nomar is giving every chance to fail.

2008-01-07 19:24:56
183.   Dodgers49
182. giving should be given but either probably works here. :-)
2008-01-07 19:32:14
184.   Daniel Zappala
Jon, I think I mentioned this before, but the only autographs I have ever owned I got when I was 6 years old and attended a Dodger event at a car lot in Brea. They are on a signed Little League Ball from 1974: Jim Wynn, Bill Russell, Tommy John, Joe Ferguson.
2008-01-07 19:41:08
185.   Jon Weisman
182 - I don't think there's much doubt that the third base job is Nomar's to lose.
2008-01-07 19:48:27
186.   Dodgers49
Dodgers Mailbag: Will Kershaw arrive this year?

1). What chance do you see for Clayton Kershaw to crack the rotation before the end of the season?
2). What are your thoughts on Jason Schmidt staying healthy enough to make an impact in 2008?
3). Tommy John's love for the game and his willingness to allow Dr. Frank Jobe to experiment with elbow surgery impacted the careers of countless ballplayers. No question about it, T.J. belongs in the Hall of Fame.
4). What are the chances of the Dodgers signing Rafael Furcal to a contract extension sometime during this year?
5).Can you please fill us in on Xavier Paul?

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=la

2008-01-07 20:09:04
187.   Daniel Zappala
Is Tommy John the best player to play for both the Dodgers and Yankees?
2008-01-07 20:19:04
188.   Johnson
187 Rickey Henderson?
2008-01-07 20:20:52
189.   Bob Timmermann
187
That honor goes to Rickey Henderson.
2008-01-07 20:22:48
190.   Bob Timmermann
Other candidates would be Dazzy Vance, Willie Keeler, Joe McGinnity, Burleigh Grimes, and Waite Hoyt.
2008-01-07 20:26:41
191.   oklahomadodger
190 why'd you leave off scott proctor?
2008-01-07 20:27:40
192.   Johnson
No love for Steve Sax or Willie Randolph.
2008-01-07 20:32:39
193.   Dodgers49
Nomar excited for charity, new season

>> "I'm preparing myself for whatever. I want to be flexible and agile if I'm asked to play other positions besides third base. I always prepare myself to do whatever's asked of me. Right now it's third base. But I've talked to Torre and he loves the fact, being in the National League, that I can play other positions. I don't think that's a sign that I won't be playing third base. We've just seen before how things change and I want to be flexible." <<

http://tinyurl.com/25f3xa

2008-01-07 20:36:19
194.   Johnson
Kevin Brown's career was six years and 224 starts shorter, but he still had more Ks than John: 2397 (6.63 K/9) to 2245 (4.29 K/9). Brown's ERA+ was 17 points higher, as well (127 vs. 110). I'm not quite sure how to rank them given John's longevity.
2008-01-07 20:40:04
195.   Daniel Zappala
Maybe Nomar can be a super-sub and spell LaRoche at 3B, Ethier in LF, and Loney at 1B? (That's right, Ethier is our LFer, there is no other starting LFer on the roster. That other guy you're thinking of doesn't exist.)
2008-01-07 20:40:40
196.   Daniel Zappala
189 OK, so Tommy John is the best pitcher to play for both teams, and Henderson the best hitter. Yes?
2008-01-07 20:50:46
197.   Bob Timmermann
196
Joe McGinnity didn't need any fancy arm surgery.
2008-01-07 20:52:41
198.   Disabled List
Among the annual tweaks to the BCS formula, this year I'd like to see a provision barring Ohio State from ever again playing in the national championship game.

Actually, there's a few other schools I'd like to see that provision extended to. But let's just keep it at OSU this time, and maybe next year we'll actually have an interesting title game.

2008-01-07 21:35:52
199.   Gen3Blue
If there is a new D's mailbag, and if it is Gurnick, before I see it I have a few comments. Schmidts type arm injury has never been conquered before-- and unless Furcal returns to his career style nos.( his OPS was similar to JP's) this year, I don't see how anyone would give him a contract. Hu's power nos. would crush his 2007 stats.
2008-01-07 21:41:10
200.   FiftyYearDodgerFan
At the risk of annoying everyone on the board, I have to give voice to a grudge I've held against Tommy John for thirty years. His operation was obviously new (hence the name). No one knew how it would turn out. Nonetheless, the Dodgers kept him on the roster and kept his career alive. Had they not done so, he most likely would have been out of the game. How did he show is gratitude? He went free agent at his earliest opportunity.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-01-07 22:13:50
201.   ToyCannon
I understand that loyalty is nothing in professional sports but I am always annoyed when a player receives megamillions(Gagne) while hurt and then still goes to the highest bidder when FA beckons.
So we may be in the minority but we are an army of two.

Just because Ricky gave us some at bats doesn't mean he should be part of the discussion. What player, played for both teams and actually contributed to both teams success. Tommy John meets the criteria for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rickey or Brown do not.

Of course Boom Boom Betemit will make all this a moot point as soon as Arod goes down with a season ending injury in May.

2008-01-07 22:21:25
202.   Jon Weisman
If it weren't for Frank Jobe, the Dodgers would have cast off John without a second thought. The Dodgers invested in the surgery because they thought it would help them, not because it would help John. If, after being injured in the line of duty and fulfilling the terms of his contract enthusiastically, John was valued more by another organization, why should he have stayed?

And note, by the way, that John's earliest opportunity to become a free agent was in 1978. He was 35 years old and had been a major leaguer for 15 years. He gave the Dodgers about 700 innings after the surgery. Did he really not earn the right by that time to choose where he should play?

Look at how the Dodgers treated Fernando and so many other pitchers. Burned out their arms and then cut them. Loyalty can go both ways, and it's best not to think too hard about it when neither side keeps up their end.

2008-01-07 22:24:34
203.   Bob Timmermann
Perhaps then we can just limit the list to the two guys who played on World Series winners as both a Dodger and a Yankee:
Bill Skowron
Jay Johnstone
2008-01-07 22:26:56
204.   milkshakeballa
Wow no talk about Roger Clemens tape?

Is anyone else absolutely disgusted by what was said and heard and that tape?

Roger Clemens should be ashamed of himself as a human being. It was PATHETIC.

2008-01-07 22:31:53
205.   68elcamino427
Roger is on the dodge, but he is not a Dodger.
2008-01-07 22:32:46
206.   Bob Timmermann
204
The Clemens tape is the main topic of discussion on Bronx Banter.
2008-01-07 22:42:53
207.   ToyCannon
202
True words, but it still gave me great pleasure to see us beat him in 81.
2008-01-07 22:56:46
208.   Johnson
201 Because, of course, Betemit contributed more to the Dodgers than Kevin Brown did ;-)
2008-01-08 00:11:24
209.   Eric Enders
Three hella-good hitters that haven't been mentioned... Sheffield, Strawberry, and Lefty O'Doul.
2008-01-08 01:55:08
210.   bhsportsguy
Today's transaction primer, the non-roster invitee.

Takeshi Saito, Joe Beimel, Rudy Seanez, Aaron Sele, Olmedo Saenz, Jose Lima and Wilson Alvarez are all examples of recent non-roster invitees to spring training who became members of the team.

There are two types of non-roster invitees, one group are minor leaguers that are not on the 40-man roster but the team wants to see them against better competition and also allow the major league coaching staff an oppurtunity to see and instruct them. As of today, there is no announcement of any minor leaguers being invited to spring training, possibly because there are so many on the 40-man roster that the team already wants to see. However, you could still see a player like Blake Dewitt or even Clayton Kershaw make an appearance or two before being reassigned to minor league camp.

The second group is where the aforementioned list of players came from, those being veteran minor league free agents and major league free agents who could not get a MLB contract. They are usually signed to a "split" contract, that pays them a higher salary for anytime they spend on the active 25-man roster and a lower amount if they are playing in the minors. Sometimes these split contracts have time restrictions that allows the player to leave, sometimes even during spring training, if they are not in the team's plans for the season.

Currently the Dodgers have 14 players that fall into this group, the majority being pitchers. Odds are that one of those players will make the team at some point this season.

2008-01-08 07:00:31
211.   old dodger fan
From ITD on 1/7:

"Earlier today, James Loney visited Mattel Children's Hospital and spent some time with the young patients there. He was in town for the Rose Parade and asked if he could go back to the hospital again, having visited it earlier this year, so it's great to see our young players getting involved in the community on their own."

I like him better every day.

2008-01-08 07:18:01
212.   ToyCannon
How did we forget Sheffield?

208
Of course your right, I just wanted to write Boom Boom Betemit one more time.

2008-01-08 07:41:01
213.   Daniel Zappala
What player, played for both teams and actually contributed to both teams success. Tommy John meets the criteria for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That's what I was going for when I originally nominated Tommy John.

2008-01-08 08:57:59
214.   Kevin Lewis
Without violating rule 5, can anyone point me to a good place to read about candidates? I know it will be impossible to find unbiased information, but I want to have an informed opinion.
2008-01-08 09:02:00
215.   old dodger fan
214
http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/primaries08/
2008-01-08 09:18:15
216.   Charenton
202.
If I remember correctly, TJohn left the Dodgers in 1979 and after his stunning performance in the 78 Wseries, Bob Welch was ready for the rotation so the LAD saw less need to resign TJ.
(Do i have my chronology right ???)
2008-01-08 09:47:01
217.   capdodger
My parents love Prop 13 (after years of loathing it). It's going to allow them to take possession of my late grandmother's house on the sand on Alamitos Bay while maintaining the $1500/year property taxes. If it were reassessed, there's no way they could afford to assume the debt from the leverage the estate will use to buy out the siblings that want nothing to do with the house.
2008-01-08 10:03:05
218.   Wilbert Robinson
Spring training is going to weird this year without Elmer Dessens.
2008-01-08 10:09:15
219.   Jon Weisman
218 - That's one (amusing) way to look at it.

New post up top.

2008-01-09 12:33:37
220.   FiftyYearDodgerFan
Obviously, the Dodgers were doing what was best for the team, not the player. Still, when Tommy John came back, they had no way of knowing that he was going to make a complete recovery. In fact, he had some serious problems and was brought back slowly. Had the Dodgers not elected to do that, I have to think that the odds were against him hooking up with another team at his age. Again, I want to emphasize that everyone was sailing in uncharted waters back then.

Let me add another name that should be obvious: Al Downing. Gentleman Al was a star with the Yankees and then a star with the Dodgers.

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