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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

The Pre-Pre-Preseason Is Underway
2008-01-11 08:35
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers are getting a jump on Spring Training with a mini-camp. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has the details.

Pitchers and catchers report to Dodgertown on Feb. 14, but De Jon Watson couldn't wait for that.

Watson, assistant general manager for player development, has the cream of the farm system crop at Dodger Stadium this week and next for the organization's first winter mini-camp. Halfway through, it's a big success.

"There's already been a lot of positive feedback," said Watson, recently promoted to his new title after being hired as farm director only a year ago. "This is something I've always wanted to do, something I mentioned during my interview process. I just thought it was a great tool to implement in helping our young players with the transition from the Minor Leagues to the Major Leagues." ...

Each day begins with a spring-like workout at the ballpark, but the afternoons include classroom sessions ranging from strategy to personal security to dealing with the media. Among guest lecturers brought in: legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, former MVP and Cy Young winner Don Newcombe and longtime Southland sportscaster Jim Hill. There will be a farewell dinner next week with an unnamed celebrity guest.

"The idea," said Watson, "is to bring in guys recently promoted to the 40-man roster and the core of our younger players who might reach the Major Leagues in 2008 or 2009 and get them prepared and accustomed to the surroundings -- where to go to eat, how to get into the ballpark. It can be overwhelming and intimidating the first time. We're trying to create a comfort level and make the transition easier."

Watson said the mini-camp also allows club officials to get a line on each player's conditioning prior to Spring Training and to "tweak" flaws in a pitcher's delivery or a hitter's swing prior to the start of the real camp, where the player is focused on making a club. ...

* * *

Former Dodger scout Mel Didier, 81, has written a book about his experiences, reports Dan McDonald of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser:

The subtitle, "A Baseball Life," isn't just a catch phrase. It's something Didier has lived - and he has the stories to prove it.

The most famous - Didier tipping off Kirk Gibson on the pitch to expect prior to his dramatic walk-off home run in the 1988 World Series - is described in detail. Others aren't as well known, but just as fascinating.

Who knew that Didier snuck into Cuba at the height of the Cold War, looking to bring some of the talented Cuban players back to the Montreal Expos, and then had strings pulled to get him aboard a Russian jet to get out of the country.

Future basketball legend Bob Pettit's first organized-game coach? Mel Didier.

Didier sat in meetings with Bear Bryant, battled with Buck O'Neill for a young baseball prospect named Lou Brock, and watched while a passport-less Tommy Lasorda called the president of the Dominican Republic from the airport and suddenly didn't need a passport to board a flight.

"He's had a love affair with the game of baseball for as long as his family and closest friends can remember," said former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire in a foreword. "I don't know of anyone who has been in more baseball parks throughout the world. And every time Mel enters a park you can hear the enthusiasm in his voice and you can see the joy in his eyes." ...

* * *

The Dodgers continue to negotiate their Spring Training exit from Vero Beach, writes Laurel Scheffel at TCPalm.com.

County administrator Joe Baird said Wednesday his counsel at Bryant, Miller & Olive in Tallahassee is working with Dodgers general counsel Sam Fernandez on the matter.

"At this time they seem to be cooperative in discussing an exit agreement," Baird said. "It's just things like, when you leave what are you going to do, what are we going to do, is there going to be any compensation? Those are things being discussed."

Baird currently considers the Dodgers in breach of contract because they will be ducking out on a lease set to keep them in Vero Beach through 2020.

The economic damages of the team's departure could be costly, Baird said, and the Dodgers may be penalized for those damages.

He plans to cite an economic impact analysis the Dodgers conducted through a consultant they hired prior to applying for grant money to renovate Dodgertown in 2003. ...

Update: Robin Ventura has been to Ankle Hell and lived to tell the tale, writes Marty Noble at MLB.com:

Twenty-six months ago, Ventura underwent ankle transplant surgery. A piece of bone harvested from a cadaver was inserted into his right ankle, the ankle he grotesquely mangled in a slide at the plate in Spring Training, 1997.

The ankle allograft has made the former Mets and White Sox third baseman whole again as well as something of a curiosity. The sense of wonder has subsided to a degree within Ventura, but most others who become aware of what he had endured are incredulous -- or merely non-believers.

"They say, 'Really, what did you have done?'" Ventura said. "Most people aren't very familiar with the procedure."

Ventura was forced to become quite familiar with it when walking became a hardship in 2005. The condition of his ankle had ended his career prematurely following the previous season, his 16th season in the big leagues and his second with the Dodgers. And the condition deteriorated significantly in his first months away from the game.

"Most mornings I needed an hour to get past the pain and get going," he said Thursday night from his home in California. "The mornings it didn't take an hour, it took longer."

Ventura relied on a cane five out of seven days and limped conspicuously despite it. Physical activity was out of the question. His wife, Stephanie, did most of the driving, dropping off her disabled husband as close as possible to their destination. ...

Comments (276)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-11 08:57:35
1.   GoBears
The mini-camp sounds like a great idea. Hopefully, Logan White gets to make up the guest list.
2008-01-11 09:07:07
2.   dianagramr
1

Better than having Crash Davis describe the big leagues to you in the back of the team bus. :-)

2008-01-11 09:07:57
3.   underdog
So, continuing from end of the last thread, that's definitely not DYoung, it's Matt Kemp, right? Or am I crazy?

And as I said there, I think it's a great idea too. Y'all should check to see if they have an open to the public day at some point.

2008-01-11 09:10:02
4.   underdog
Picture of Delwyn Young:
http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/images/2006/11/22/cWqJUQMt.jpg

Yeah, I'm not crazy.

2008-01-11 09:10:39
5.   silverwidow
3 Yeah, it's Kemp.

Gurnick mentioned Josh Paul (?) being at camp. The former DRays catcher?

2008-01-11 09:21:35
6.   regfairfield
5 Probably meant Xavier Paul.
2008-01-11 09:22:34
7.   silverwidow
5 He also mentioned Xavier Paul.
2008-01-11 09:24:35
8.   silverwidow
OK, now I figured it out: Gurnick meant Josh Wall.
2008-01-11 09:25:46
9.   Gagne55
Would Josh Paul really be any worse than Gary "Mitchell List" Bennett?
2008-01-11 09:29:59
10.   regfairfield
9 No, but we did somehow manage to get someone worse than him in our minor league contract spree. Rene Rivera sure will help things if Russ gets hurt.
2008-01-11 09:37:34
11.   Jacob L
Suppose the public (read, me) can go watch the workouts at the stadium this week?

On the other post topic, I got the 3 game miniplan for Vero Beach March 9, 11, and 12. If any other DTers are planning and going, it would be nice to meet up. Also, I'd be interested in lodging, dining, and golfing recommendations from anyone who's made the pilgrimage before. I think leaving Vero Beach, and all the attendant messiness, is a shame, but I'm happy to get a chance to go for the last spring training.

2008-01-11 09:45:52
12.   CanuckDodger
10 -- Rene Rivera is only 24 and a very good defensive catcher. He might even have a future with us as Martin's back-up. You seem to worry an awful lot about catcher offense when no team in the majors really does, especially for non-starters. You wanted the Dodgers to get J.R. House. Well, he is not good at all behind the plate. A Rene Rivera has a better chance in baseball than a J.R. House.
2008-01-11 09:56:59
13.   Jon Weisman
BP's Kevin Goldstein on the Diamondbacks' Under-25 group:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7039

1. Justin Upton, OF
2. Chris Young, CF
3. Jarrod Parker, RHP
4. Mark Reynolds, 3B
5. Gerardo Parra, OF
6. Max Scherzer, RHP
7. Miguel Montero, C
8. Yusmiero Petit, RHP
9. Brooks Brown, RHP
10. Juan Gutierrez, RHP

That's a pretty damn good group, and shortstop Stephen Drew (an excellent '08 breakout candidate) fell just a couple weeks short of making the list. Upton is a future superstar, and Young already is one of the best young players in the game. Reynolds' surprising minor league power surge held up well in the majors, and he'll hit 30 or so bombs annually, but also strike out 150 times a year. Montero has good power for a catcher and should hit for a much higher average down the road. Petit is basically what you hope guys like Roemer and/or Enright can turn into.

By trading for Dan Haren, the Diamondbacks lost several top prospects, leaving them as no more than an average organization. Then again, they just got Dan Haren, and as you can see, they already have a lot of young talent on the big-league roster.

2008-01-11 09:59:02
14.   Jon Weisman
Meanwhile, Jim Baker of BP has decided to turn over a new leaf following the latest Hall vote.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7040

I've decided to give up. Thinking, that is. Especially when it comes to baseball. I've given it a lot of a thought--and I promise you, it's the last I will generate in this direction once I commence the full thinking stoppage--and have decided it's much easier to live without thinking things through. From now on, I'm going to follow the Five Principles of Thought-Free Living:

1. Go on gut reaction.
2. Stick with initial gut reaction regardless of later input.
3. Accept numbers at face value.
4. Assume, assume, assume.
5. Question nothing that is written or said.

2008-01-11 10:00:27
15.   dkminnick
I love this mini-camp idea. This sounds like the O'Malley era when they reinforced the idea that being a Dodger was something special.
2008-01-11 10:18:55
16.   Sam DC
Mid-Atlantic Coen Brothers fans -- start getting ready now.

http://tinyurl.com/yqs7jz

2008-01-11 10:19:24
17.   regfairfield
Why wouldn't you, a catcher's at bats count just as much as everyone elses? Isn't it a mistake to just throw away those at bats? Rene Rivera hit .214/.275/.310 in AA as a 23 year old last year, a .162/.192/.225 MLE. This guy has absolutely no chance of being a useful major leaguer, even with his arm. If he gets one, the system is completely broken.

Our offense lacks any true studs right now, and needs to be strong 1-8. A dead spot like Bennett or Rivera could sink us.

2008-01-11 10:36:35
18.   trunkybeat
Where can I get a Spring Training schedule for other Major League teams like the one that was including in the previous post (http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/888057.html) that includes which games have split squad designations? I am specifically looking for the Mets and Rays, but would like to know about all MLB teams. Thanks for your help!
2008-01-11 10:37:52
19.   cargill06
espn.com is having a very interesting chat debate, best RHP in baseball... Peavy or Beckett

sorry for the other site reference Jon

2008-01-11 10:45:03
20.   underdog
17 I don't know how to define "studs" but I'm okay with Loney, Kemp, Jones, and Martin, plus Ethier. Having a backup catcher who can hit decently is good, but given he's only going to play 10% of the year, having a backup catcher who is a stud seems unnecessary, and too much to ask for. Not that I'm a big Gary Bennett fan mind you, I preferred we resign Lieberthal for only a bit more money. I also think Rivera was signed to give more depth to the minor league system at a thin position there, and help on defense. Lucas May may be the next minor league catcher to be any kind of impact player.
2008-01-11 10:50:57
21.   ToyCannon
13
Here is my quick and dirty 25 and under for the Dodgers. Not sure what Goldstein is using as his cutoff but I'm using current age.

Martin (24)
Billingsley (23)
Loney (23)
Kemp ((23)
Kershaw (19)
LaRoche (24)
Broxton (23)
McDonald (23)
Abreu (23)
Meloan (23)
-----------
Hu (23)
Winthrow (18)
Elbert (22)
Morris (20)

I think he has Parker to high until we see what he does this year. I wouldn't let Winthrow crack our top 10 until we get a few more innings out of him. You have to love our list. The Diamondbacks are top heavy with Upton and Young but I don't think they come close to matching our depth but then I'm biased.

2008-01-11 10:51:55
22.   Jon Weisman
Chat about 30 Rock at Season Pass:

http://weblogs.variety.com/season_pass/2008/01/30-rock-leaves.html

2008-01-11 10:53:20
23.   ToyCannon
20
At least Lucas will know where to eat and which baseball annies to stay away from when he makes it to the bigs thanks to the minicamp.
2008-01-11 10:53:45
24.   CanuckDodger
17 -- Why wouldn't a person worry about catcher offense? Because a catcher who is an offensive asset without being a defensive liability is so rare that worrying about getting that is like worrying about winning the lottery. We have ALREADY hit the lottery with Martin, so worrying about what happens IF Martin gets injured is just too much worrying.

Frankly, I am wondering if A.J. Ellis has any shot at being a back-up for Martin. B.A. calls him our best defensive catcher on the farm, but that may not be saying much. He is old, but he drew 60 walks in 357 AB's in Jacksonville last year. Personally, I would have Ellis and Rivera sharing the catching duties in Vegas this year, and if Ellis is good enough defensively, and has the kind of offensive year in Vegas that he just had in Jacksonville, I would add him to the 40-man roster next November and let him be Martin's back-up in 2009.

2008-01-11 10:56:09
25.   underdog
23 Hah hah. And how to deal with Jim Hill!
2008-01-11 10:56:18
26.   kinbote
17 By the time this is posted, I'm sure it will be behind a long line of similar responses. Your comment that " a dead spot like Bennett or Rivera could sink us" doesn't make that much sense to me. We're talking about:

1. A back-up catcher
2. A back-up catcher to one the best and most durable [knock wood] catchers in the game
3. A back-up catcher in a league with no D.H.

Whoever occupies the spot of back-up catcher IS an important part of the team: but he's important mainly in his ability to keep continuity while the starter is resting. This continuity means receiving pitches, fielding his position, and doing no harm defensively.

Offensively, well, I don't know if there's such a thing a good-hitting back-up catcher. I think Lieberthal was supposed to be one those, but that didn't pan out. Piazza might be one, but he's the exception to the rule (and a defensive liability). As for Bennett/Rivera, bat him 8th, have him bunt, hope he doesn't ground into a double or triple play . . .

As for the assertion that "our offense lacks any true studs right now," I disagree. Kemp & Loney were pretty studly last year. Martin is studly in a different kind of way. Kent and Jones have stud potential. I'm not trying to poke fun here, but our OVERALL lineup--assuming it doesn't include you-know-who--might very well be an above-average group if given the chance.

Oh well, time to find out how many people got to your comment first :)

2008-01-11 10:59:06
27.   Jon Weisman
I would say in Regfairfield's defense that you all seem to be assuming that Martin will never get hurt. I think he's looking at a situation where, if Martin gets hurt, the Dodgers are in huge trouble.
2008-01-11 10:59:37
28.   CanuckDodger
21 -- Under the age criteria Goldstein is using, I don't think Martin qualifies. I think it is just under 25, not 25 and under, unless I am remembering what I read incorrectly, and that is possible.
2008-01-11 11:01:52
29.   Jon Weisman
Latest from MLB.com

Twenty-six months ago, Ventura underwent ankle transplant surgery. A piece of bone harvested from a cadaver was inserted into his right ankle, the ankle he grotesquely mangled in a slide at the plate in Spring Training, 1997.

The ankle allograft has made the former Mets and White Sox third baseman whole again as well as something of a curiosity. The sense of wonder has subsided to a degree within Ventura, but most others who become aware of what he had endured are incredulous -- or merely non-believers.

2008-01-11 11:02:15
30.   Jon Weisman
29 - http://tinyurl.com/359pj6
2008-01-11 11:13:32
31.   Xeifrank
6 months jail sentence for Marion Jones. That's not how most former Rio Mesa H.S. students end up going to jail.
vr, Xei
2008-01-11 11:14:16
32.   cargill06
i could be wrong, but has a certain 5'9" 160 LB CF/LF not been mentioned in any of these comments?
2008-01-11 11:14:19
33.   CanuckDodger
27 -- I am not assuming Martin won't get hurt. I just believe that when any MLB team's starting catcher gets hurt the replacement is pretty well bound to be offensively useless. Plenty of MLB teams have STARTING catchers who are offensively useless.

Are we spoiled having Martin as a starting catcher? I think so. Our starting catcher is so good that losing him would hurt us more than just about any other team would be hurt by losing their starting catcher, but that is almost an Alice-In-Wonderland-logic way of making having Martin at all sound like a bad thing. Or as Leela's mother says to her husband in a Futurama episode, in full Jewish mother mode, "It is a GOOD thing Leela doesn't love us, so she won't miss us when we die."

2008-01-11 11:15:37
34.   underdog
27 I think that's true, up to a point - which is why I wanted them to sign Mike Lieberthal again. At least I trust him. But let's face it, Lieberthal, Bennett, whoever - Martin would be irreplaceable if he went down. At that point if it was for a long while, god forbid, they'd have to look to acquire someone of starting caliber anyway. The team's thinking though is why spend a lot of money now for someone who the odds are won't play hardly at all? Sure, they're hoping Martin doesn't get hurt, if he does they're probably in deep trouble anyway, but again, I think plan B would be to acquire someone better than the in-house options at that point, unless someone like Ellis or May was ready when it happened.
2008-01-11 11:15:52
35.   Linkmeister
29 Knee replacements aren't that uncommon, but I don't think I've heard of knee transplants. And knee injuries are far more widely known than ankles.

An ankle transplant would definitely be an object of my curiosity.

2008-01-11 11:17:09
36.   cargill06
never seeing the guy pitch and only reading a few scouting reports on him tell me where the flaws in my theroy are... is james mcdonald a jeff francis type? tall slender guy who doesn't throw much harder than 91, but still gets his fair of K's, obvious difference besides race is one is a LHP
2008-01-11 11:23:16
37.   Linkmeister
Oh, I see. Ankle replacements last about 5-10 years, so they're typically recommended for patients who may not outlive the replacement. Transplants are for younger patients.

Fascinating. Thanks for posting that story, Jon.

2008-01-11 11:23:23
38.   Jon Weisman
It's not a big deal, and I could be wrong, but I think that there's a difference between Mike Lieberthal and Gary Bennett, much less Rene Rivera.
2008-01-11 11:25:53
39.   CanuckDodger
36 -- McDonald throws a bit harder than Francis, but otherwise you are spot on. McDonald is a righty Jeff Francis. Tall and lanky, good control, breaking ball and change-up are better than his fastball, some deception in his delivery.
2008-01-11 11:26:55
40.   ToyCannon
You can almost never compare a LHP to a RHP. The natural action of a LHP allows to them to get more out of less which is why when a Kershaw and McGee can dial it upto 98 everyone gets excited because it is unusual for a LHP to get that kind of velocity.
2008-01-11 11:29:17
41.   underdog
38 Oh I think there's a huge difference, which is again, why I've been saying I wished they had re-signed them. But did they listen? Noooooo! But I also said that there's a huge difference between Lieberthal and Martin (which is your 'duh' moment for the day).
2008-01-11 11:29:41
42.   underdog
Re-signed him that should read (as in Mike L). I need lunch.
2008-01-11 11:30:37
43.   cargill06
this is about as unpredictable as unpredicatble gets, but just for entertainment purposes (assuming they resign lowe and pick up their option on Penny) '09 rotation, Penny, Lowe, C Bill, Kuroda, McDonald or Kershaw??
2008-01-11 11:35:26
44.   CanuckDodger
38, 41 -- The difference between Lieberthal and Bennett is a difference in career records. One guy was a starter and a valued one, and the other has been a career back up. But how different were they in 2007? They were both back-ups, and since hitting is what people seem to be concerned about in this discussion, Lieberthal's batting average, OBA, and slugging percentage were ALL worse than Bennett's in 2007.
2008-01-11 11:37:04
45.   Jon Weisman
44 - I'm concerned about both hitting and defense. I just had a feeling that if it came to playing every day over two or more weeks, Lieberthal would be more valuable.

But maybe there isn't that much difference in them today.

2008-01-11 11:38:25
46.   CanuckDodger
43 -- I say there is no chance Lowe is with us beyond 2008. None. And I think McDonald will be ready for the majors quicker, and will be more immediately productive, than Kershaw.
2008-01-11 11:38:48
47.   silverwidow
43 Lowe will be gone in 2009.
2008-01-11 11:41:04
48.   cargill06
46, 47 why do you think Lowe is for sure gone after '08? he's really durable and pitchers who have a 3.50 ERA every year don't grow on trees... you think it will be lowe's decision to move on or managements?
2008-01-11 11:41:14
49.   27indigo
New Gurnick article:

"But when the job fell into his lap because of Garciaparra's shortcomings, LaRoche wasn't ready for it. He hit .226 with only one home run and 10 RBIs in 93 at-bats. LaRoche had almost as many walks as hits (20-21), lacking aggressiveness for a hitter that showed better Minor League power than Loney or Kemp. "

2008-01-11 11:41:24
50.   silverwidow
BA seems to trumpet Scott Elbert as a future set-up guy. Maybe he replaces Beimel in 2009.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-11 11:43:09
51.   27indigo
48 I don't know if Lowe's 36-year-old season and beyond it'd be worth the premium Boras will demand.
2008-01-11 11:43:15
52.   silverwidow
48 Lowe will be a free agent. The Dodgers won't need to re-sign him because we will have young, ML-ready pitching by then.
2008-01-11 11:43:31
53.   bhsportsguy
21 And that is not even including:

3B Pedro Baez (19)
1B/3B/OF Andrew Lambo (19)
OF Alfredo Silverio (20)
SS Yosanddy Garcia (20)
1B/3B Austin Gallagher (19)
LHP James Adkins (22)
RHP Steven Johnson (20)
RHP Timothy Sexton (20)
2B/OF Preston Mattingly (20)
3B Josh Bell (21)
SS Ivan DeJesus, Jr. (20)
SS Jamie Pedroza (21)
3B Blake Dewitt (22)
OF Xavier Paul (22)

2008-01-11 11:44:33
54.   cargill06
if lowe does go, the '09 rotation looks pretty frightening assuming they don't make a trade for a front line starter or sign a big FA, Penny, C Bill, Kuroda, McDonald, Kershaw/Schmidt?
2008-01-11 11:46:07
55.   cargill06
52 what happens if McDonald was an abberation last season and really isn't that good? what happens if Kershaw never gains the command he lacks? you can't be banking on prospects
2008-01-11 11:46:37
56.   D4P
The LaRoche story should read more along the lines of:

Despite hitting only .226, LaRoche nevertheless managed the 6th highest OBP on the team, thanks to a team-high .139 IsoD.

2008-01-11 11:47:45
57.   cargill06
i can't imagine that much of a downfall from lowe considering he is a 85% sinker pitcher not much stress on his arm that's why he's never been on the DL in his career. he is about as a sure thing for not getting injured as pitchers get. a 2 yr 26 million dollar contract would be worth the dodgers while
2008-01-11 11:48:10
58.   silverwidow
55 What happens if Kershaw dominates Double-A and makes a surprise appearance this year in L.A.? The "what ifs" go both ways.
2008-01-11 11:48:19
59.   cargill06
56 what in gods name is a IsoD
2008-01-11 11:50:25
60.   eusmus
57 2/26 would be great, but I think you are underestimating the amount of money he will command in the free agent market.
2008-01-11 11:51:11
61.   cargill06
what was d. lowe's contract with the Dodgers?
2008-01-11 11:51:54
62.   Jon Weisman
55 - What if Lowe is headed for a decline? You can't be banking on aging players.

Anwyay, I thought this was all hypothetical. We don't need to decide all this today. But I agree with the others - my guess is that Lowe will probably price himself out of what's reasonable for the Dodgers to pay.

2008-01-11 11:52:42
63.   27indigo
If I remember correctly, Loney had 1 HR and 8 RBI at a similar point in his first season. He picked up a ton in the Colorado game when he went nuts.
2008-01-11 11:54:57
64.   cargill06
62. i don't think there's been any decline in lowe's 3 years in LA, he's been very very consistant. he was actually on pace for his best year this year before the leg injury. i just can't see him declined for the '08 and '09 season. if lowe is willing to give a hometown discount i think it's a no brainer you pay a little below market value and keep him in a dodger uniform til '10
2008-01-11 11:57:20
65.   Jon Weisman
64 - I doubt Lowe will settle for a two-year contract or give a hometown discount.
2008-01-11 11:59:05
66.   cargill06
at this time next year he'll be 35 going on 36, how long of a deal would he be looking for?
2008-01-11 12:06:18
67.   Jon Weisman
66 - I'd guess four years.

Joe Sheehan on Jeff Francoeur

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7042

In 2007, however, Francoeur showed the kind of incremental development you love to see in a young player. Leveraging the development of his physical skills with the experience of a thousand MLB plate appearances, Francoeur went deeper into counts, seeing a career-high 3.44 pitches per plate appearance. His walk rate more than doubled, going from only 2.4 percent of plate appearances in his first two seasons to a little more than five percent. That's still very low, but it's also a dramatic improvement. The deeper counts didn't affect his strikeout rate, which held steady, giving him an acceptable K/BB of 3.5 to one.

2008-01-11 12:07:54
68.   Johnson
59 IsoD, or Isolated Discipline, is OBP - BA. It's an attempt to identify how much patience a player has at the plate.

I'm not in love with it because the denominator in OBP and BA is different, so changes in batting average can throw the number around. I'd much prefer to see BB/PA, which doesn't have that sort of problem, but it's a good start and easy to calculate from numbers that are often on hand.

2008-01-11 12:09:16
69.   kinbote
50 Ever since reading that, I've been thinking more and more of Elbert as a future set-up man. B.A. essentially said he would make a top-flight one.
2008-01-11 12:10:29
70.   regfairfield
You can sign anyone to a two year deal as long as you have the money for it. Lowe would much rather take 2/40 than 4/40.
2008-01-11 12:10:40
71.   fanerman
59 Isolated Discipline. Basically, subtracting out hits from on-base percentage. So how good a player is at getting walks.
2008-01-11 12:12:16
72.   Jon Weisman
70 - Well, okay, you got me there :)
2008-01-11 12:14:26
73.   silverwidow
Mike Cameron signs with Brewers for 1 year (per Rosenthal).
2008-01-11 12:15:41
74.   regfairfield
Actually, that is an interesting question. If a player would accept a 4/40 deal, would it be better to offer him 2/40 instead, especially when he's in decline?
2008-01-11 12:17:11
75.   cargill06
74. i think i player would rather have a 2/34 deal than 4/40 so the answer would be 2/34 so i didn't really answer your question
2008-01-11 12:17:12
76.   cargill06
74. i think i player would rather have a 2/34 deal than 4/40 so the answer would be 2/34 so i didn't really answer your question
2008-01-11 12:18:11
77.   regfairfield
73 Amazing move. The Brewer's big problem is defense and Braun/Cameron/Hart with Hall at third makes them so much better.
2008-01-11 12:19:38
78.   kinbote
Last thought on the catching issue: We have every reason to be concerned about our overall catching depth. Beyond Martin, there's May [who's iffy] and some low-level names. We'd be wise to address this in the next draft (right after outfielders and more pitchers!)
2008-01-11 12:21:36
79.   regfairfield
I understand that every backup catcher is terrible, and wanting a good replacement is greedy, but when guys like House and Lieberthal are out there why not get them instead of (or in addition to) Rivera and Bennett.
2008-01-11 12:29:34
80.   still bevens
I can see Lowe giving a hometown discount.. to Detroit.
2008-01-11 12:47:40
81.   cargill06
80. LA probably has the best selection of media girls for D Lowe's next wife. that may factor in his next contract as far as where to go
2008-01-11 12:53:16
82.   cargill06
80. also howmetown discount doesn't refer to the player actual hometown. if that's the case torii hunter said he was willing to give Minn a hometown discount, he's from "Our Kansas"
2008-01-11 13:01:06
83.   Andrew Shimmin
I can hardly remember how program one to make my television volume control work.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/11/tram_hack/

2008-01-11 13:03:41
84.   Jon Weisman
Law & Order: Baseball Investigations Unit

http://tinyurl.com/38cyet

2008-01-11 13:07:31
85.   Joe Pierre
Starting spring training early is a sure sign that we are dedicated to W I N N I N G
2008-01-11 13:10:33
86.   fanerman
84 I'd watch that that if it were a reality TV show. Provided they can use the "Dun-Dun" sound effect.
2008-01-11 13:11:04
87.   silverwidow
82 Torii Hunter is incredibly overrated.
2008-01-11 13:22:37
88.   fanerman
87 I don't think anybody here would dispute that.
2008-01-11 13:24:09
89.   regfairfield
You can buy a lot of ponies for 90 million dollars.
2008-01-11 13:26:34
90.   Summer Saint
This question has been niggling at me for a while: how do you guys value winning a championship in terms of unsuccessful seasons? If you could choose, would you rather be fans of a team like the Marlins that won two championships in 15 years (or maybe more, say 4-5?) but was horrible the rest of the time, or a team that was always competitive for those same 15 seasons by making the playoffs, but consistently falls short of winning it all?

I ask this because I've often seen it stated that the first is infinitely preferable (eg "It's all about the rings!") but, personally, I think that I would prefer the second team. The agony of all those losing seasons just wouldn't be worth it to me. What are you guys' thoughts?

2008-01-11 13:27:47
91.   cargill06
87. i would despute that because every analyst puts him as a top 5 CF... i think thats ranked about right, 4th or 5th best.
2008-01-11 13:28:24
92.   Andrew Shimmin
89- Worst promotional give-away idea ever.
2008-01-11 13:28:38
93.   Jon Weisman
90 - I've asked that question a couple times in the past.

I'd prefer the second team as well, but I also could go for a happier medium.

2008-01-11 13:29:41
94.   cargill06
90. totally agree with you. as a fan i want to be entertained while those champioship years would be lots of fun. the bad years would be not fun to be a fan, '05 was not run at all
2008-01-11 13:31:27
95.   cargill06
90- basically what i'm saying i'd prefer every season having every game be meaningful. that is a lot of entertainment throughout a 6 month period for 15 years. braves fans had it pretty good plus 1 WS
2008-01-11 13:36:09
96.   regfairfield
Centerfielders who I would rather have for the next five years instead of Torii Hunter:

Sizemore, Beltran, Young, Pence, Ichiro, Elsbury, Upton, Granderson, Milledge, Hamilton, Jones. These guys except maybe Milledge are all better than Hunter now. When you start entering prospects and guys with some breakout potential, the list gets even better.

2008-01-11 13:36:41
97.   regfairfield
92 I would so go to pony night.
2008-01-11 13:39:47
98.   cargill06
96. that's stupid
2008-01-11 13:41:25
99.   regfairfield
Touche.
2008-01-11 13:41:50
100.   Andrew Shimmin
Think of the horrible sponsored branding they'd inflict on the ponies. There you'd be, prancing about on your VERIZON WIRELESS: IT'S THE NETWORK pony, with all your stable neighbors looking down on you.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-01-11 13:43:42
101.   Sam DC
It could be worse.

Your pony could say: THE COMPUTER IS PERSONAL AGAIN.

2008-01-11 13:44:52
102.   Andrew Shimmin
That'd be on the other side.
2008-01-11 13:45:50
103.   ToyCannon
98
Actually your response was.

We disagree here, we don't call each other names. Your in the minority on this site with your opinion of Hunter, not Regfairfield. We can back up our opinions of Hunter with data, can you back up yours other then to say "analysts say he is is a top 5 center"?

2008-01-11 13:47:35
104.   cargill06
103. well we'll start with josh hamilton, he was so good that he couldn't stay up in the majors last year
2008-01-11 13:49:35
105.   cargill06
sizemore beltran ichiro are all better that's for sure, than a jones and hunter are a toss up for #4
2008-01-11 13:50:38
106.   fanerman
98 Nice comeback.

90 The Marlins are sort of an extreme example because of the way they gut their teams whenever they're good makes both of their WS wins kind of cheap. The recent White Sox or Cardinals wins don't carry that same... stench (for me, anyway).

Being a fan season to season, clearly fielding a competitive team every year is the goal. Who knows if they'll win a championship, even if they're the best team.

Looking back in retrospect seems less worthwhile because as fans, we're sort of stuck with our history. I'd prefer a happy medium, too. I'd take the occasional down year for the occasional WS win rather than come up short year after year. But not in the Marlins' win-and-trade-everybody style.

2008-01-11 13:50:43
107.   regfairfield
104 He got hurt. Did you see his numbers? Have you seen how amazing of an athelete he is. I'm one of the most stat heavy guys that post here but even I can just watch Hamilton play and see how good he is. The fact that he had a .922 OPS last year certainly helps my case.
2008-01-11 13:53:47
108.   fanerman
104
Josh Hamilton OPS+: 131
Torii Hunter OPS+: 122

Josh Hamilton is 26 and entering his prime. Torii Hunter is 31 and leaving his prime.

2008-01-11 13:54:03
109.   ToyCannon
He was in the majors all year other then doing the basic rehab stint from his numerous injuries. He was never in the minors due to production. If they were the same salary I would take Hunter over Hamilton because of the future health issues that he will probably always have but since he's earning less then 1 Million and Hunter is earning 18 Million I think the choice for Hamilton is an easy one to defend.
2008-01-11 13:54:57
110.   Marty
90 The question is unanswerable the way it's asked. Sure, you may prefer a team that wins 2 world series and is rotten the other years. But only if you were guaranteed those rings. No one knew the Marlins would win and if you were a fan of them, you may have thought they didn't have a chance those two years.. I'll take a team that I think is going in the right direction, is not prone to fire sales or rebuilding every 5 years. That gives the best expectations in a world with no guarantees.
2008-01-11 13:55:40
111.   regfairfield
Yeah, I actually should have included an all things being equal disclaimer on my post. I'd take any of those guys I mentioned for 5/90 instead of Hunter.
2008-01-11 13:56:16
112.   cargill06
107. well you can't put career minor leaguers and guys who have yet to put an impressive 1000 major league AB's in over a guy who is consistantly 25+ HR's 90 RBI's 15 SB's and the best defensive glove in CF in baseball.... so that's stupid in my opinion, 106 thank you
2008-01-11 13:58:12
113.   ToyCannon
106
What was wrong with the way they won the 2nd title? They didn't buy it like the 1st one, they won with some of the best young pitching the world series has seen this decade, until Beckett went on display again this fall.
2008-01-11 13:58:53
114.   Eric Enders
"sizemore beltran ichiro are all better that's for sure, than a jones and hunter are a toss up for #4"

Uh... no.

Cargill, meet Curtis Granderson. Curtis, Cargill.

2008-01-11 14:00:11
115.   dianagramr
86

Only if they bring back Angie Harmon?

2008-01-11 14:01:20
116.   cargill06
114. you still are not 100% sure what you're going to get out of curtis, you know what you're getting out of hunter. if you were to bet 100 bucks on who has a better year this year, are you betting curtis or torii
2008-01-11 14:02:50
117.   Humma Kavula
114 Curtis Granderson is on my list of favorite players, not just because he's good, but because he did the 20-20-20-20 thing, and it was pretty much regarded as interesting, but meaningless (which it is). And he had to watch while Jimmy "most outs in the majors" Rollins had his 20-20-20-20 feat lauded as evidence that he should be the MVP.

Of course, neither of those players was David Wright last year, but that's neither here nor there.

2008-01-11 14:03:01
118.   Eric Enders
113 Remember, their first title also wouldn't have happened without a core of young farm system players. Namely, Renteria, Charles Johnson, and Livan Hernandez.
2008-01-11 14:04:05
119.   jasonungar07
I have decided without knowing much that Greg Miller is the Dodger I will root hardest for in the spring. I am looking at him as a story where the Dodgers stuck with a successful, then injured high draft pick for a long time and the kid battled and all of a sudden broke out, got healthy and managed to put it all together.
2008-01-11 14:06:22
120.   regfairfield
And even then, that's just this year. In three years, we won't be asking if Hunter is better than Granderson, we'll be asking if he's better than Chris Denorfia (granted, I really like Denorfia).
2008-01-11 14:07:17
121.   Humma Kavula
116 The point, as you likely know, is this: when a player is 31 years old and has a performance history like Hunter's, he can demand a high-priced contract lasting many years. Most of these players will decline over the course of their contracts. So the logic of signing a player like Hunter because "You know what you're going to get for him" fails, because at the end of the contract, you aren't getting that anymore.

Yes, this year, Hunter might be better than a number of players that Regfairfield listed. (And he might not, but let's assume for a minute.) But that isn't what Regfairfield said. He said "over the next five years," he'd rather have any of those players.

Sure, next year, Hunter might look okay. But the year after? The year after that? That contract will likely be an albatross by the time it's done.

2008-01-11 14:07:39
122.   Andrew Shimmin
Carey Lowell was the last good ADA.
2008-01-11 14:08:12
123.   Eric Enders
112 "a guy who is consistantly 25+ HR's 90 RBI's 15 SB's..."

Apparently by "consistently" you mean twice in his eleven-year career.

2008-01-11 14:09:10
124.   cargill06
121. that's what i was saying torii hunter right now is a top 5 CF, and regfairfield is saying he is 12th, that's foolish
2008-01-11 14:09:57
125.   regfairfield
Would you trade Torii Hunter for B.J. Upton and a large pile of money?
2008-01-11 14:09:59
126.   fanerman
113 Nothing really. I just kind of lumped it in with 1997. My bad. Though, they disassembled that group rather quickly, too, didn't they?
2008-01-11 14:12:11
127.   cargill06
125 of course i would rather have BJ at his price than Torii at his... this discussion started with Torii is overrated and I said no he is a top 5 CF than you told me he is 12th, this season he is a top 5 at worst 7th best CF in baseball
2008-01-11 14:12:51
128.   Andrew Shimmin
124- The problem wasn't the word "stupid." It was the sentiment. Is there any reason you can't ease off the epithets? Is there a medical condition we need to know about?
2008-01-11 14:13:40
129.   Humma Kavula
124 What you're arguing for, in essence, is to become the Giants. Long, expensive contracts to players on the wrong side of 30.

That can certainly work well enough when you have Barry Bonds v.2002 at the center of your lineup.

When you don't, you get the 2008 Giants, who will have an offense that rivals that of the 2003 Tigers.

2008-01-11 14:13:49
130.   fanerman
I have slight animosity towards the 1997 Marlins. I really really wanted the Indians to win that one.

I'm very happy that the 2003 Marlins beat the Yankees.

2008-01-11 14:14:04
131.   El Lay Dave
127 not 12th, 12th over the next five years, which is relevant because of the five-year contract Hunter just signed.
2008-01-11 14:14:46
132.   regfairfield
127 Wasn't the question. You can have Hunter or Upton for the same cost, who do you take?
2008-01-11 14:15:52
133.   ToyCannon
112
Actually you can, the question is not how good Tory Hunter has been, but how good he is right now relative to the current crop of CF. Tory Hunter is a decent CF, he is just not one of the top 5 centerfielders in baseball. I wouldn't even think twice about taking BJ Upton or his brother Justin, Granderson, Sizemore, and new kid on the block Jay Bruce over the current version of Tory, throw in the veterans like Beltran, A Jones, Suzuki and I think he sneaks in around a top 10 CF right now but barely. http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/SCag

Yes, I would bet you that Curtiz Granderson has a higher OPS+, or VORP, or EQA, or even the old standby BA over Tory Hunter.

2008-01-11 14:17:13
134.   Gagne55
"Centerfielders who I would rather have for the next five years instead of Torii Hunter:

Sizemore, Beltran, Young, Pence, Ichiro, Elsbury, Upton, Granderson, Milledge, Hamilton, Jones. "

You would rather have Chris "I can't even put up a .300 OBP" Young than Torii Hunter? Lastings Milledge? You mean the guy who just got traded for Ryan Church and isn't even a center fielder anyway? Hamilton has 298 career at bats and Ellsbury has 116. That doesn't mean they aren't really good and they've been good, but they don't have near the track record of Hunter.

2008-01-11 14:17:32
135.   fanerman
129 No, I don't think cargill06 is considering contracts at all. I think he's talking about which is the better player, regardless of price.

I guess we all think along the lines of "Torii Hunter, at his age, should not be getting paid 90/5, so he's overrated."

2008-01-11 14:17:35
136.   Eric Enders
Best OPS+ Among Major League Center Fielders, 2007
(Min. 300 PA, 5% of games in center field. Yes, I rigged it so Matt Kemp would be included.)

Cnt Player OPS+ PA Year Age
+----+-----------------+----+---+----+---+
1 Curtis Granderson 136 676 2007 26
2 B.J. Upton 136 548 2007 22
3 Josh Hamilton 131 337 2007 26
4 Hunter Pence 130 484 2007 24
5 Travis Buck 130 334 2007 23
6 Nick Swisher 127 659 2007 26
7 Carlos Beltran 126 636 2007 30
8 Corey Hart 126 566 2007 25
9 Matt Kemp 125 311 2007 22
10 Aaron Rowand 123 684 2007 29
11 Alfonso Soriano 123 617 2007 31
12 Grady Sizemore 122 748 2007 24
13 Alexis Rios 122 711 2007 26
14 Torii Hunter 122 650 2007 31
15 Ichiro Suzuki 122 736 2007 33

2008-01-11 14:18:23
137.   cargill06
133. well if i knew you i'd take hunter's OPS this year over granderson OPS for $100
2008-01-11 14:19:49
138.   cargill06
137. that's stupid
2008-01-11 14:20:16
139.   cargill06
before you pile on i admit that was a dumb comment
2008-01-11 14:20:42
140.   regfairfield
137 I'd do that in a heartbeat.
2008-01-11 14:20:56
141.   ToyCannon
130
Me to, I was a huge Indian fan at the time and doubly hated Sheffield and Brown. However I loved the 2003 team, not only for beating the Yankees but for the way they beat the Cubs. Never quite seen a team fall a part like the Cubs did after the silly fly ball, unless it was the Angels after the Henderson home run or the Giants after the Spezio home run.
2008-01-11 14:21:44
142.   cargill06
i guess i'm just from the school of thinking that i would rather have more of a sure bet this year (hunter), than all the other risky alternative (upton, granderson, pence, ellsbury)
2008-01-11 14:22:17
143.   regfairfield
134 Yes, I would rather have Chris Young's age 24-28 seasons instead of Hunter's 32-36. This is not a controversial opinion.

I'd also take the pitcher who got traded for Delino DeShields.

2008-01-11 14:23:16
144.   cargill06
143. i was never arguing over the next 5 years that hunter will be in the top 5-7, this season he will probably be.
2008-01-11 14:23:36
145.   Eric Enders
142 I think the point people have been trying to make, though, is that Hunter IS the risky player in this discussion, due to his age and what it would have taken to get him. He's far riskier than the four players you mentioned.
2008-01-11 14:24:24
146.   fanerman
142 I, and maybe most other people here, would rather have the potential (look at our Dodgers). And don't you think you should take into account salaries and contracts? Do you really want Torii Hunter for $18M per, when he's 35?
2008-01-11 14:25:48
147.   cargill06
146. i never brought up the contract, i was just saying torii just based on talent and performance alone has to be a top 5-7 CF this season... that's all i was saying
2008-01-11 14:26:24
148.   regfairfield
146 At least when I brought up the discussion, I wasn't taking salary into account.
2008-01-11 14:26:52
149.   fanerman
141 That mid-90's Indians team was my first non-Dodgers team I came to really root for. Ah, nostalgia creeps in.
2008-01-11 14:28:28
150.   cargill06
what about this one. for the next 10 years, ellsbury or kemp?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-01-11 14:28:49
151.   Eric Enders
Bill James seems to have weighed in on the Juan Pierre vs. Matt Kemp issue, as quoted in Josh's latest Cardboard Gods post:

"Which is better to start a pennant race with, a guy that you think might be the MVP, or a guy that you know is going to hustle every day and get 200 hits?"

2008-01-11 14:30:06
152.   Eric Enders
150 That very question was the subject of a controversial thread over at BTF a couple of months ago. I believe the consensus was that those who prefer Ellsbury are slightly nuts.
2008-01-11 14:31:39
153.   cargill06
152. i agree you with, i've had many heated discussions with one of my good friends who is a die hard boston fan. i don't really think there is much of an argument on Jacoby's side
2008-01-11 14:32:19
154.   ToyCannon
I just realized from this discussion how many nice young center fielders there are.
Upton, BJ and Justin
Chris Young
Ellsbury
Granderson
Bruce
Rasmus
Hamilton
Sizemore

I don't consider Pence, Swisher, Kemp or Buck centerfielders.

Impressive group.

2008-01-11 14:32:22
155.   regfairfield
150 I think the only ways you take Elsburry are if you don't think Kemp will improve at all, ever (not bloody likely), or if you think really, really, really, really highly of his defense.
2008-01-11 14:39:26
156.   fanerman
151 I had an English teacher who would always ask us questions like that. Without really listening to what she asked us, we'd all just reply "the second one." Then she started to mix things up so we actually had to think about it for a second.
2008-01-11 14:47:36
157.   cargill06
how much better is the '08 line up??
1. 07- Furcal vs. 08- Furcal
2. 07- Pierre vs. 08- Martin
3. 07- Kemp vs. 08- Kemp
4. 07- Kent vs. 08- A. Jones
5. 07- Martin vs. 08- Kent
6. 07- Loney vs. 08- Loney
7 07- L. Gonzo vs. 08- Nomar/LaRoche
8. 07. Nomar vs. 08- Pierre/ Etheir

the #1 hole, you'd have to to take the '08 furcal over the 07' furcal. #2 hole you'd have to take 08 martin over 07 pierre. 3 hole unfortunately the '07 version will probably be better. 4 hole take a jones over kent. 5 hole i'll call that a slight edge to '07. 6 hole you'd have to take '07. 7 hole you'd be thrilled if you got the production out of L. Gonzo in '07 for '08 nomar/ laroche. 8 hole is an upgrade for sure if it's ethier, probably still and upgrade if it's pierre

2008-01-11 14:51:00
158.   cargill06
rotation
07 penny vs 08 penny (taking '07)
07 lowe vs. 08 lowe (taking '08)
07 .5 billingsley vs 08 full season c bill (taking '08)
07schmidt/hendrickson vs. kuroda (bid upgrade)
07 wolf/tomk0 vs. loaiza (toss up)
2008-01-11 15:05:57
159.   LAT
33. Our starting catcher is so good that losing him would hurt us more than just about any other team would be hurt by losing their starting catcher

Ironically, losing Bengie Molina would hurt the Giants more than the Dodger's losing Martin. But that's just a product of the Giants sucking so bad. I'l be stunned if the Giants win 73 games.

I'm guessing that there are a lot of Giant fans who would tell you being a contender for all those years in the late '90s and early '00 without a ring is not worth the suffering they are enduring now.

For some reason I am more facinated by how bad the Giants will be than how good SD or AZ are. (I don't count the Rocks because the odds of riding Matt Herges into the post season two years in a row, well, let's just say I have a better chance of Angie Harmon showing up at my front door in nothing but heels and fur coat. (Or for D4P, in a faux fur coat.)

2008-01-11 15:07:01
160.   El Lay Dave
157 In terms of who started in which spot of the batting order the most, last year's lineup would be:

Furcal / Pierre / Nomar / Kent / Gonzo / Martin / Ethier / Ethier (Andre has the most starts in both the 7th and 8th slots)

Since that lineup is missing a corner IF, Loney made most of his starts in the 7th spot, Betemit in the 8th, a reasonable representative lineup is probably:

Furcal
Pierre
Nomar
Kent
Gonzo
Martin
Ethier/Loney
Betemit/Ethier

2008-01-11 15:12:39
161.   El Lay Dave
159 I would say the odds of D4P showing up at your front door in nothing but heels and a faux fur coat are probably mighty low, but might make for an amusing youtube clip.
2008-01-11 15:15:22
162.   LAT
As Jon would remind us, Angie Hamon, Carey Lowell, Elizabeth Rohm, Jill Hennessy, etc. all owe thier place in the "ADA Hall of Fame" to the Emeritus ADA, Veronica Hamel.
2008-01-11 15:16:05
163.   regfairfield
Does anyone who follows the NHL know why it seems to be trendy to offer absurdly long contracts now? That goalie got 15 years, someone else got a giant one, and now Oveckin gets 13 years? Is there any way this is a good idea?

Then again, if the Mariners gave A-Rod 13 years, 124 million in 1997, they'd be mighty happy right now.

2008-01-11 15:20:41
164.   fanerman
157 It seems easier to compare players. ie, 2008 Kent vs. 2007 Kent. Jones vs. Ethier (or Pierre, in a best case).

But whether our offense is better or worse or the same probably depends a lot on who plays. Pierre or Ethier? LaRoche or Nomar?

2008-01-11 15:21:20
165.   fanerman
161 Luckily I have no idea what D4P looks like. Otherwise I'd probably have a disturbing image in my head.
2008-01-11 15:25:10
166.   Jon Weisman
162 - Well, Joyce Davenport at her heart was a public defender.
2008-01-11 15:34:00
167.   LAT
166. Darn and here I thought I was doing the Lord's work only to get it wrong. But she is one of the Grand Dame of the Prime Time Criminal Justice System.
2008-01-11 15:35:56
168.   Jon Weisman
167 - No, you are. She did switch over to work for the DA at one point. But her heart wasn't in it.
2008-01-11 15:45:08
169.   fanerman
Wikipedia also tells me that Veronica Hamel starred in the last cigarette commercial televised in the US.
2008-01-11 15:55:17
170.   Jon Weisman
169 - She also starred in the last personally autographed anything that I ever received.
2008-01-11 16:05:07
171.   Jim Hitchcock
168 Did Jon call LAT a grand dame?
2008-01-11 16:08:33
172.   El Lay Dave
169 and that she's now 64 years old (!).

Very small image of Veroncia Hamel, Virginia Slims model:
http://www.frankwbaker.com/tobacc1.jpg

2008-01-11 16:09:06
173.   bhsportsguy
162 2 others off the top of my head:

Lara Flynn Boyle - The Practice;
Susan Dey - L.A. Law

2008-01-11 16:20:07
174.   El Lay Dave
Fred and Barney shilling for Winston. Seems so different watching it now in the way-back machine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZvHiiWFbBU

2008-01-11 16:22:15
175.   Kevin Lewis
This whole conversation reminds me of how long conversation/questions can take over an email. If we were all sitting in a pub together, we would have this covered in 10-15 minutes (or at least clarified well)...just in time for the chicken wings to arrive.
2008-01-11 16:23:11
176.   Kevin Lewis
To clarify: I receive a lot of "I have a quick questions" emails at work that would take 5 minutes to solve on the phone, but end up taking 7-10 emails. I have learned to just pick up the phone and make the call.
2008-01-11 16:27:14
177.   Jim Hitchcock
175 That's gonna require a good sized pub :)
2008-01-11 16:28:13
178.   fanerman
175 Yeah, but if we're at a pub, we can't work and converse with DT people at the same time.
2008-01-11 16:30:07
179.   El Lay Dave
175 Fancy a game of chess? e4. (P-K4 for the old school.)
2008-01-11 16:31:51
180.   El Lay Dave
178 Unless you're the bartender.
2008-01-11 16:35:39
181.   Kevin Lewis
Speaking of which: favorite Microbrew?

Mine is definitely Deschutes... I love Oregon

2008-01-11 17:15:43
182.   caseybarker
151
true question. Give me the guy that might be an MVP.
2008-01-11 17:19:57
183.   Eric Enders
When I was in Montreal a few years ago I was served a microbrew which I'd never heard of, but which I suspect is a favorite of Wally Moon's:
http://tinyurl.com/2djmvc

I guess it doesn't qualify as a microbrew anymore, but I've always liked Shiner Bock.

There is also a microbrew called "Deep Enders Dark" which, alas, I hate.

2008-01-11 17:23:59
184.   LAT
"Deep Enders Dark" so many jokes come to my immature mind that I will just leave it alone.
2008-01-11 17:31:57
185.   underdog
One of my favorite microbrews is still Lagunitas, which is a northern cali concoction, Marin or Sonoma I believe.
2008-01-11 17:33:33
186.   Eric Enders
"A full-bodied porter with a rich creamy head, delicious chocolatey aftertaste and a roasted coffee character. A pleasantly bitter brew, Deep Enders is excellent with oysters and other shellfish, smoked duck, and chateaubriand, as well as your favorite chocolate desserts or with full-flavored meals and spicy dishes."
2008-01-11 17:34:13
187.   natepurcell
Would Left Coast Great White Ale be considered a microbrew?

If so, I'm digging that right now.

PS Last night was the first time ever I saw Newcastles in cans. It was weird.

2008-01-11 17:36:35
188.   natepurcell
and by Left Coast, I meant Lost Coast. Left Coast is something else.
2008-01-11 17:44:47
189.   underdog
That's the one from Eureka, Nate? I've had that, too, and it's excellent!
2008-01-11 17:45:20
190.   natepurcell
anyone wanna try to guess all the minor leaguers in the second picture of todays gallery?
2008-01-11 17:50:27
191.   natepurcell
189

Yea, its the one in NorCal. Their Downtown Brown and and Pale Ale are good too. I haven't tried the others though.

2008-01-11 17:51:07
192.   underdog
Yay! I don't know if it was because I dropped them a line pointing it out or someone else did, or because they figured it out on their own, but Dodgers.com finally swapped that picture of Kemp for one of Delwyn Young. Success!
2008-01-11 17:59:50
193.   Marty
Joe Posnanski lists his personal 20 greatest home runs ever hit. Gibson comes in at number 5:

http://www.joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/

2008-01-11 18:01:23
194.   Marty
Great headline, or greatest headline?

In today's San Gabriel Valley Tribune: Man kills self before shooting wife, daughter

2008-01-11 18:50:09
195.   natepurcell
Is Beane going to trade Street? Because I like him!
2008-01-11 18:57:56
196.   Ken Arneson
195 Probably. But I'm betting it won't happen until midseason. Everyone thinks they have a closer now. Not everyone thinks that in June.
2008-01-11 19:43:52
197.   Jon Weisman
Jeffrey Leonard, a two-time all star during a 14-year career in the majors and former manager of minor league teams in the Oakland Athletics' organization, was hired Tuesday as the new manager of the Reno Silver Sox in the independent Golden Baseball League.

http://www.pahrumpvalleytimes.com/2008/Jan-11-Fri-2008/sports/19029149.html

2008-01-11 19:45:34
198.   Jon Weisman
Or as I like to call him, ex-Dodger Jeffrey Leonard.
2008-01-11 19:51:22
199.   Eric Enders
193 How about a personal list of greatest Dodger home runs? Here's mine. In keeping with the personal nature of Posnanski's list, I am going to list only home runs that I actually remember. My Dodger memory dates back only to 1985. Sorry, Rick Monday.

1. Kirk Gibson, October 15, 1988
2. Marlon Anderson, September 18, 2006
3. Mike Scioscia, October 9, 1988
4. Nomar Garciaparra, September 18, 2006
5. Steve Finley, October 2, 2004 (I was actually at a Springsteen concert while this was happening.)
6. Alex Cora, May 12, 2004
7. Kirk Gibson, October 9, 1988
8. Mike Piazza x2, October 3, 1993
9. Hong-Chih Kuo, June 12, 2007
10. Franklin Stubbs, September 11, 1988

I'm sure I forgot a bunch. Actually, I just realized I forgot Kevin Elster.

2008-01-11 20:05:15
200.   Summer Saint
190 I think the only one I got correct is Clayton Kershaw.

Also, James McDonald is black? Not that it changes anything, it's just that I've never seen a picture of him until now.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-01-11 20:21:37
201.   Kevin Lewis
185

Has anyone seen Lagunitas in SoCal?

The best Newcastle on tap in Pasadena is at Brits. Newcastle in a can seems very wrong, very wrong indeed.

2008-01-11 20:32:32
202.   Marty
I don't know, but I would think you could get Newcastle on tap at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena. They have a lot of Belgian beers on tap also.
2008-01-11 20:32:34
203.   Bluebleeder87
watching Andy La Roche's new pictures on Dodgers.com doesn't exactly instill confidence in me that he'll bust a Loney & steal the 3rd base gig from Nomar. The only reason I mention this is because his work ethic has been questioned once or twice before.
2008-01-11 20:34:34
204.   Eric Enders
190 I hope you meant the fifth picture, because the resolution in the second one is too small to make anything out. Anyway, here's what I got (L-R):

?, Lucas May, Blake DeWitt, Andy LaRoche, James McDonald, (may or may not be Delwyn Young), ?, ?, Josh Bell, Clayton Kershaw, Ivan DeJesus, Greg Miller, ?, Scott Elbert. X Paul on the floor next to Snider. Meloan and Hu, reported by Gurnick as being there, are not in the picture.

2008-01-11 20:41:39
205.   Bluebleeder87
190

i could only make out a few of them, specially the tall drink of water in the back ground, James McDonald.

2008-01-11 20:44:16
206.   Indiana Jon
I give up. Searched Dodgers.com for 10 minutes and I still don't see these pictures. Where exactly are they?
2008-01-11 20:47:28
207.   Samuel
206

Scroll down on the front page and there's a photo gallery link.

2008-01-11 20:48:10
208.   Eric Enders
I had to search for a while too. Main page, three-quarters of the way down in the middle. Under the heading "Photo Gallery."
2008-01-11 20:57:43
209.   Bluebleeder87
206

It's in the photo gallery indiJon, just go to Dodgers.com (middle of the first web page) & click on the photo gallery.

2008-01-11 21:07:40
210.   Indiana Jon
Thanks guys. I feel a bit stupid now as it seems pretty obvious. I must be tired.
2008-01-11 21:14:33
211.   Kevin Lewis
203

Is it because he looks like he is enjoying himself? Smiling too much?

2008-01-11 21:15:13
212.   JRSarno
I saw Loney being interviewed on FSN last weekend, when he was in attendance at the Laker game. He wasn't very endearing, seemed quiet, kinda annoyed, not very humorous. He's not gonna win a personality contest, and that certainly doesn't speak to his huge upside and talent. But when you see someone that laconic and seemingly disinterested, dare I say kinda conceited maybe, you have to wonder if he deserves to be slapped around by Kent a little...
2008-01-11 21:17:24
213.   Andrew Shimmin
He's wearing three shirts in that picture. Not too charitable to call him a lazy load of lard based on than that. Anyway, if he can hit, who cares?
2008-01-11 21:20:30
214.   Andrew Shimmin
211- Bluebleeder has it in for fat guys. It's a little funny, actually, that he used as a basis for posting 203, the fact that LaRoche's work ethic, since he's the primary questioner of it, 'round these parts.
2008-01-11 21:21:41
215.   Eric Enders
I had no idea that being quiet and laconic was a character flaw.
2008-01-11 21:22:35
216.   eekrock
201 I've definitely have Lagunitas on tap at Hollingshead's in Orange, CA.

Kinda hard to get to as it seems like a family's retirement plan. They are open M-F 11am-8pm. Great food, Phenomenal beer & very nice people. Lucky me I work a few minutes away.

2008-01-11 21:29:20
217.   Indiana Jon
215 Me either. Matter of fact, I've never even heard the word "laconic".
2008-01-11 21:42:16
218.   Bluebleeder87
You guys are probably right, as long as he performs on the field I could care less about his tummy.
2008-01-11 21:44:52
219.   Bluebleeder87
if anything I learned a new word today also...
2008-01-11 21:45:01
220.   overkill94
212 I got to talk with Loney a little bit at spring training last year and the last word I'd use to describe him would be conceited. He was very humble about the whole thing, signed autographs for everyone, and I even have a framed picture of him and me. When my dad and I stated that it would be a shame if he didn't make the team, he just responded with "I sure hope so". He may not have a charming personality, but I doubt he's anything but a hard-working motivated baseball player.
2008-01-11 21:46:23
221.   overkill94
201 My sister got me a case of microbrews for my birthday a while back and it had a couple Lagunitas in there (excellent stuff). I think Barney's Brewery might have it in bottles, but as far as buying it in stores I think you're out of luck. If it helps, I think she got the cases at Trader Joe's.
2008-01-11 21:50:32
222.   Bluebleeder87
I just mentioned this somewhere else but I feel La Roche has a couple of POTENTIAL red flags on him, for one he has back problems another is his work ethic & IMO he doesn't really play D that well, but boy oh boy can the boy hit when he is RIGHT, I really hope it's just my pessimistic side rearing it's ugly head, I really do.
2008-01-11 21:54:43
223.   Bluebleeder87
220

reading your post makes me think Loney is a normal person with normal responses to questions he is being asked, so the guy isn't polished/schooled when being interviewed, I say so what.

2008-01-11 21:58:09
224.   silverwidow
222 LaRoche's defense was really great last September. He was make difficult plays down the line and turning double plays, left and right. So what you're saying is not a valid criticism.
2008-01-11 22:01:13
225.   Kevin Lewis
I loved watching LaRoche's defense last year. I think he turned to sweet double plays in one game that made me say "Nomar who?"
2008-01-11 22:07:04
226.   Eric Enders
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

In a stunning move, the NBA has taken a victory away from the Atlanta Hawks and ordered the team to replay the end of an overtime game against the Miami Heat.

The NBA ruled Friday the Hawks were "grossly negligent" when their statistician crew incorrectly disqualified Heat center Shaquille O'Neal with too many fouls during the Dec. 19 game at Philips Arena.

A foul that had been attributed to Shaquille O'Neal on Dec. 19 actually had been called on Udonis Haslem. Hawks statisticians said O'Neal had fouled out and had to sit for the rest of the game. The stats crew, which consists of Hawks employees, keeps track of all scoring and fouls. The crew recognized the error before the end of the game "and didn't do enough to correct the mistake," said Brian McIntyre, the NBA's senior vice president for basketball communications.

For the first time in 25 years, two NBA teams will be forced to replay the end of a game. The Hawks and Heat will replay the final 51.9 seconds on March 8 at Philips Arena before that night's regularly scheduled game between the two teams, with the Hawks leading 114-111 in the overtime period.
-------

Two questions--
1. Do the people who bought tickets for that game and now don't get to see the end of it get their money refunded?

2. What happens to all the bets that people have already collected on in Vegas?

2008-01-11 22:15:39
227.   LAT
Sorry for the non-tiny URL link but for anyone who thinks Loney may be self centered check out these pictures and know that he asked to go back and visit when he came back last week.

http://mlb.mlb.com/la/photogallery/year_2008/month_01/day_07/cf2341270.html

2008-01-11 22:17:56
228.   LAT
Check out photos of the field level renovations. Looks kind of errie, more like a mine shaft than a baseball stadium.
2008-01-11 22:40:00
229.   Bob Timmermann
Do people remember the game 25 years ago that had the result reversed? It was a Lakers win turned loss in San Antonio. The Lakers forced an OT with a late basket after a jump ball close to the end.

Except there should have been no jump ball. Norm Nixon was shooting free throws and he did a pump fake and all the players went in the lane early (Nixon was trying to miss). The officials ruled incorrectly that it was a double violation and like a double foul, it would be a jump ball. However, the correct call would be to wipe out the FT attempt and give Nixon a substitute attempt.

The game was decided later and Nixon missed the rim for a violation and the Spurs won.

2008-01-11 22:45:54
230.   ToyCannon
199
Great Idea - I loved Joe's list
I get to start a little earlier then Eric. Joe goes in opposite order so I'll take that tack.
10. Hee Sop Choi, June 12th, 2004 - 3 Home Run day, 7 home runs in 4 games.
9. Mike Piazza x2, October 3, 1993
8. Oct 3rd, 1980 - Joe Ferguson - Game Winner
7. Oct 5th, 1980 - Ron Cey - Game Winner
6. Oct 25, 1981 - Steve Yeager and Pedro Guerrero go back to back to break up Guidry's shutout and propel Dodgers to 2-1 victory.
5. Back to Back to Back to Back and then Nomar wins it , Sept 18th, 2006
4. Oct 19th, 1981 - Rick Monday - Game Winner - Sends us to the World Series
3. Mike Scioscia, October 9, 1988 Doc Gooden goes down
2. Bill Grabarkewitz game winning home run on June 16th, 1970, 1st home run I ever saw at Dodger Stadium.
1. Kirk Gibson, October 9, 1988

I saw 10, 9, and 2 live.

2008-01-11 22:49:31
231.   natepurcell
203

Laroche has gotten kinda chubby hasn't he?

2008-01-11 22:57:54
232.   Bluebleeder87
6. Oct 25, 1981 - Steve Yeager and Pedro Guerrero go back to back to break up Guidry's shutout and propel Dodgers to 2-1 victory.

Believe it or not I heard that on a Vynil record at a friends house when I was younger (9 or 10, I can't remember) reading your post instantly brought back that memory.

2008-01-12 00:26:00
233.   Johnson
204 I believe the guy farthest back (your ? before Josh Bell) is Justin Orenduff.
2008-01-12 01:06:39
234.   Eric Stephen
In the photo gallery, Andruw is already wearing 25. I wonder what Loaiza (previous #25) gained out of that transaction; surely it is more than Abreu received for conceding 6 to Torre.

McDonald was sporting #70, not uncommon for a rookie NRI. Not sure who #11 is, the guy who lost to McDonald in tetherball.

But what was LaRoche doing in a #7 jersey? Is Loney's number set to change yet again? If LaRoche will indeed wear #7, that will make at least three numbers for LaRoche (28,10,7) and a possible fourth number for Loney (27,29,7)

Also, Kershaw's number appears to end in 2...unsure of what the complete number is.

Also, Lucas May was wearing 58. That's Billingsley's number! Is there no order anymore??? I think the Dodgers raided the top of the park store for jerseys before heading out to Albion Elementary School.

2008-01-12 01:45:15
235.   Eric Enders
234 It would actually be the sixth different number for Loney:
http://tinyurl.com/22tl8f
http://tinyurl.com/yrylkt

But I'm guessing those aren't the fer-real numbers they were wearing on the school visit.

2008-01-12 06:12:01
236.   Bumsrap
Of all the things going on in the pre-preseason I think this is the best part

afternoons include classroom sessions ranging from strategy to personal security to dealing with the media. Among guest lecturers brought in: legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, former MVP and Cy Young winner Don Newcombe and longtime Southland sportscaster Jim Hill.

2008-01-12 06:15:22
237.   Bumsrap
I heard an interview with Loney on XM MLB. Loney lives at his parants home in the off season and plans to do so until his younger brother moves out in a year or two. He really enjoys and appreciates his family as opposed to finding a bacholor beach house in LA for the winter. He seems like a grounded young man.
2008-01-12 06:55:31
238.   Ken Noe
I'm sure there are all sorts of reasons for it, but I was very pleased to see Jones show up at that camp. And whoever decided to take his picture with the Duke of Flatbush knew how to tug at my heartstrings.
2008-01-12 07:37:09
239.   Jon Weisman
217 - When I was a teenager, Grandma Sue would call me laconic. That's how I learned the word.

229 - I watched that game live on TV. Years later, when I got the opportunity to interview Chick Hearn, I asked him about it. We got into a small debate over the details before I realized I should move on.

2008-01-12 08:26:12
240.   Disabled List
199 , 230

No love for Shawn Green, you guys? TC has room for Choi's 3-HR game, how come nothing for Green's 4-HR epic?

2008-01-12 09:23:57
241.   JRSarno
Granted, this was the first time I had ever seen Loney interviewed. A 2 minute snippet with Joel Meyers at the helm would hardly be comprehensive nor revelatory of Loney's complete character, and I didn't mean to slam the kid. I was just pointing out, based on that admittedly brief interview, he seemed kinda blaze, like "do I have to do this?". He indicated that he lived in Houston, didn't really care too much about the "L.A. lifestyle," etc. That's great, he's an unblemished lad in a metropolis of greed. As long as Loney is mashing home runs, I'm a happy camper and don't really care how "under the radar" he chooses to be. My only point in this was -- to the extent that we have Kent (an admitted, notorious rabble rouser) making comments about the kid's attitude, that brief interview with Loney got me thinking... incidentally, did anyone see Kent's comments about doing blood tests? I appreciate Kent's numbers, relatively solid year-in and year-out, but man, I'm sure glad we won't have to hear his babbling after next season.... or will we?
2008-01-12 09:43:46
242.   Eric Stephen
235
But weren't those numbers worn by Loney worn in spring training? I was only counting regular season games.
2008-01-12 10:08:40
243.   silverwidow
Rosenthal said we are "interested" in Pedro Feliz. Brewers and Phillies were the other teams.

That would ruin a great offseason (for me, anyway).

2008-01-12 10:18:05
244.   Indiana Jon
The two greatest Dodger home runs for me.

1. Gibson

2. Bill Russell, in Cincinnati, early 80's. Not sure what year or time of year, but I was there. He hit it out to left field and barely cleared the wall. I still remember my dad telling me he was always a great "clutch" hitter. Not sure if he had any statistical analysis to back up that claim. Can anyone with powerful research skills help me find when that game was played?

2008-01-12 10:47:19
245.   silverwidow
Rolen-for-Glaus trade is close (Rosenthal).
2008-01-12 10:51:43
246.   ToyCannon
240
Other then number 5, I was either at the game, watched on TV or listened to it on the radio. I didn't include Green's awesome performance because I didn't see it, watch it, or hear it. During the post-Piazza Fox years I boycotted Dodger stadium and rarely watched any games. I couldn't bring myself to root for Sheffield and Brown, I disliked them before they were Dodgers, during, and after.
2008-01-12 12:03:11
247.   Andrew Shimmin
When did Angel Hernandez start reffing Pac10 basketball games?
2008-01-12 12:12:51
248.   Fallout
241 JRSarno
did anyone see Kent's comments about doing blood tests?....but man, I'm sure glad we won't have to hear his babbling after next season.... or will we?

1)Well if baseball did what Kent suggested, "I'd like to see every player take a blood test and have the samples frozen," then waiting for the day when there's a foolproof HGH test to identify the cheaters., then, you would see a cleaner game.
2)If one of the "youngsters" did reply to Kent, "What the hell do you know?" after a one line suggestion on hitting a curveball, I too would have a problem with that.

2008-01-12 12:34:02
249.   dzzrtRatt
244 I sure loved Russell Martin's walk-off 10th-inning home run in the great August 13, 2006 Maddux vs. Schmidt game, the one where Maddux was perfect from the second out of the first inning until he finally came out after 8. Martin's home run was the beautiful capper to that game.

(Because I saw Schmidt in that game -- five hits, but only 1 walk and 9 K's in his eight shutout innings -- I was not at all uncomfortable with Ned signing him just a few months later.)

248 Part of Kent's problem is that he's smarter than most players, but instead of recognizting it as an advantage, he is continually annoyed by how dumb everyone else is.

2008-01-12 12:42:55
250.   Fallout
Maybe you could call Kent laconic...
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-01-12 12:44:14
251.   underdog
This Kevin Love character, he's a decent ballplayer, isn't he? The Cougars have already had seen enough of him.
2008-01-12 12:53:53
252.   regfairfield
246 Do the Blue Jay's need Rolen's glove that badly? He can't hit any more and is owed a ton of money for the next three years.
2008-01-12 12:57:03
253.   Eric Stephen
230 ,246
TC, you liked Gibson's Game 4 NLCS homer more than the one six days later?
2008-01-12 13:03:51
254.   silverwidow
252 I like the move...for us (since it eliminates two potentially bad trades).
2008-01-12 13:20:02
255.   preacherroe
#212- My son got Loney autographs at a couple of minor league games, he was very approachable and friendly. Kemp also and Laroche. Xavier Paul was very personable when we saw him last spring.
2008-01-12 13:46:41
256.   overkill94
Arizona's offense is so much more formidable with Bayless in there. I know it's just Houston, but they still look way better than they have their last three games.

BTW, go Bruins!

2008-01-12 13:58:51
257.   Lucklesspedestrian
Other notable homers not mentioned, all post season swats:

Game 5, 1988 WS, Mike Davis is allowed to swing on a 3-0 pitch that he deposited in the right field stands giving the Dodgers and Hershiser a comfy 4-1 lead.

Dusty Baker in Game 4 for the 1977 NLCS off Steve Carlton.

Dave Lopes in the 78 World Series, Game 1. He homered twice and raised his finger to the sky as he dedicated his performance to coach Jim Gilliam who had passed away days earlier of a heart attack.

2008-01-12 14:15:38
258.   ToyCannon
253
No, I just copy and pasted Eric's line. Didn't check the date. Mine would be the game one world series walk off.

252
Why the assumption that Rolen can't hit anymore? His problem has always been health related, when healthy he has been one of the best 3rd in the NL this decade. Do you think his shoulder is completely shot and if so why do you think surgery didn't fix his problem?

2008-01-12 14:33:01
259.   Penarol1916
251. He's okay I guess, but I prefer my centers to be 7-2 and hit game winning 3-pointers.
2008-01-12 15:14:44
260.   caseybarker
For all the grammarians here:

There is a sign at the Packers-Seahawks game that reads, "Favres' on fire". What???

Great game, too.

2008-01-12 16:56:10
261.   Dodgers49
From Inside the Dodgers:

UPDATE: One more thing: The Wilson Valdez deal that has been rumored for quite some time is official and he has been sold to a Korean team.

2008-01-12 17:18:47
262.   Bluebleeder87
I'm gonna miss Valdez's D but like some here have mentioned, he is replaceable.
2008-01-12 17:27:24
263.   trainwreck
This would be a good time for Marcedes Lewis to have the game of his life.
2008-01-12 17:48:13
264.   caseybarker
I'm glad he caught that fourth down throw. He missed a couple last week.

It'll be a fun game.

2008-01-12 18:36:06
265.   Vishal
260 maybe the signholder was trying to convey a message about his family home being aflame?
2008-01-12 18:53:22
266.   Andrew Shimmin
The 2007 Darwin awards are up. They're down, too.

http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2007.html

2008-01-12 18:55:32
267.   neuroboy002
261 When a player like Wilson Valdez gets "sold," does he have to consent to the "selling" or does he have no choice in the matter?

Dodgers: Wilson, can you speak Korean?
Wilson: No.
Dodgers: It's a beautiful language. Would you like to learn?
Wilson: Okay.
Dodgers: Good, because we just sold you to a team in Korea.
Wilson: But, I don't wanna go to Korea.
Dodgers: While your there, see if your new team needs an upgrade in Center Field. We seem to have a log jam.
Wilson: I could use the company. Juan! Pack your bags and night light! We have a plane to catch.

2008-01-12 18:57:20
268.   Bluebleeder87
I'm kind of browsing Chad Billingsley's outings on the "best plays archives" over on Dodgers.com & Bills mechanics aren't exactly crisp, he is young enough to get away with it NOW but I can't help & think he is gonna have nagging injuries in the future if he doesn't correct them.
2008-01-12 19:18:18
269.   overkill94
268 I always thought he had very crisp mechanics; great balance, consistent arm action, good leg push.
2008-01-12 19:26:04
270.   Bluebleeder87
I think he opens up a bit to soon, maybe that's part of the reason he ends up leaning towards 1st base when he finishes up at times. It's basic easy stuff to detect but it does lead to shoulder or elbow problems. I'm not saying he's gonna have arm troubles tomorrow but it can in the future.
2008-01-12 19:28:23
271.   caseybarker
Multiple homes are aflame.
2008-01-12 19:35:36
272.   Bluebleeder87
I will say the Dodgers have done a superb job in the way they brought him up, not over working him & such.
2008-01-12 19:55:49
273.   Kevin Lewis
Well, I just finished the CSET, and it broke me.
2008-01-12 20:23:19
274.   Gen3Blue
I'm glad I only become a football fan when the Patriots are on top. The darn "box scores" or scoring summaries are so incoherent that if I cared who won, I would be hard pressed to tell who it was. I think the Pats won. It would be worse if it was college football for obvious reasons.
2008-01-12 20:31:47
275.   CanuckDodger
268 -- I just took out a tape of a game in which Billingsley pitched and studied him a while before replying to your comment. I don't agree that there is a problem with his mechanics, and specifically I don't think he opens up too soon. Sure, falling towards first base on his follow-through is not ideal, but that is just a rough finish to an otherwise good delivery. His arm action is fine. And Billingsley has been very durable. It is is fact highly unusual for a pitcher to not have any kind of arm problem, even a minor one, between the ages that we have had him.
2008-01-12 20:58:22
277.   Jon Weisman
NPUT

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