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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Colletti Collected
2008-01-12 20:40
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Dodger general manager Ned Colletti gave David Laurila an interview for Baseball Prospectus. The first half offers Colletti's reactions to the recent Hall of Fame vote; the second offers his thoughts about the Dodgers - thoughts that hit the familiar talking points.

Here's prototypical Colletti:

DL: Given your young talent and the impact-players reportedly on the market, trade rumors are inevitable. With that in mind, do you feel that everyone in the organization is on the same page with the philosophy of building from within?

NC: I believe that we're all on the same page. We have stayed the course without trading our core of young players. We've traded a handful of prospects, but those who we have the most faith in we have held on to. While we wait for them to develop we've tried to bridge the gap with some free agent signings, but that's something you need to do. Baseball isn't an easy game to play at this level, especially in a major market with high expectations. Our view is that players coming up need to almost dominate at the Triple-A level, and in some cases at the Double-A level, if their maturity and skill set is exceptional. We want to make sure that a given player is ready to compete at the major league level and help us win. Sometimes because of injuries we aren't allowed that full development time, but whenever possible we like to be as certain as possible that the player is prepared for the expectations of playing at the highest level for a full season.

DL: You've received some criticism for not being aggressive enough in giving your younger players an opportunity. Following up on what you were just saying, is that fair?

NC: Hindsight is never a fair judge. If we believe that a player is completely prepared to take over a big league position full-time, for a full season, we'll do that. Those off-season decisions are really based on what was witnessed during the last full season by our staff, the player development staff and our scouts. If we have some doubt, we like to have a veteran in that position--especially in a big market--until we are more certain that the young player is ready. If you provide a young player with the position prematurely and the speed of the game and the pressures of the big leagues exceed where that player is at, at that point in his career, then we have done an injustice to the team and to the young player. And finding out that we've overestimated a young player 50 games into the season is a very difficult point of the season to make an adjustment.

In other words, younger players are held to a higher standard of performance than older players, out of fear that struggle will be overly detrimental to a young player's career. Maybe that's valid; on the other hand, sometimes I wonder whether this common mythology is actually true. Not every player is Edwin Jackson (putting aside whether his early callup really was the reason for his later struggles.) For some players, an early struggle is going to be just a speed bump.

And then you have a player like James Loney, who dominated AAA in 2006, didn't get put on the roster at the start of 2007, then struggled in AAA in 2007, then got the callup and thrived in the majors. From exception to exceptional.

It's not that Colletti's philosophy is necessarily wrong. It's that it's filled with assumptions that, however time-honored, might not be valid - at least for every player.

Colletti is transitioning the Dodgers into a younger group: kids will start the season in at least three spots in the lineup and potentially as many as five. Jeff Kent could soon be the only regular over the age of 31. It's not a war with youth; it's just a different timetable. I happen to think that timetable can be an "injustice to the team," especially when it leads to deleterious contract signings, but others' mileage may vary.

Comments (84)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-12 21:04:39
1.   jasonungar07
"Our view is that players coming up need to almost dominate at the Triple-A level"

Does this count I wonder?

.309/.399/.589/.988 The Penguin part 2

2008-01-12 21:09:29
2.   Andrew Shimmin
He came close to giving dzzrtratt a shoutout, at the end, but then didn't, instead.
2008-01-12 21:10:15
3.   Daniel Zappala
Colletti also clearly believes that the Dodgers, as a "major market" team, with "high expectations", can't afford to make a mistake on a young player who shows he can't make it after 50 games.

(a) I'm not sure 50 games is enough to tell whether a young player is ready for the major leagues, especially since Colletti will only call him up if has dominated the minors.

(b) I don't agree that they can't afford to make a mistake. They don't have an unlimited budget, so they need to see if the young guys can play, particularly those that have spectacular minor league careers. Young players are worth a lot in today's market.

I think it's the opposite -- the Dodgers are in a position right now that they can afford to have a young player struggle (e.g. at third base) because they will have tons of fans coming anyway.

I don't see any reason why a large market team should have less patience with a young player.

In addition, Colletti is failing to consider the cost of a veteran player who is a known average or below-average player, taking at-bats away from someone who could be a lot better.

It's time for Colletti to understand that we, the fans, want to see the young players now. They have tons of talent and it is exciting to see them play and grow and to wonder if they will fulfill our hopes and drems. We expect to see young players, not veterans, when the young players are better. We expect the team to make wise decisions. The size of the market is irrelevant.

2008-01-12 21:14:15
4.   Gen3Blue
When players dominate at triple A, like Loney or Delwyn Young, they seem to have to jump through hoops to get playing time. Veterans seem to have problems--if Gonzo, Nomar and Furcal had played to their career nos. in Aug. and Sept., we may have made the playoffs, although to be fair, our pitching collapsed about that time. But I think the examples in our own division are opening our execs. to daylight.
Pray for enlightenment. Hari Rama!!
2008-01-12 21:15:08
5.   Andrew Shimmin
Colletti is in favor of inducting every baseball player ever into the HoF.
2008-01-12 21:21:45
6.   jasonungar07
It would also be a good question to ask, what after 06 did you see to make you think Loney wasn't ready for a full time job?
2008-01-12 21:22:16
7.   Jon Weisman
3 - I think Colletti's argument is that in a big market, fans are likely to be impatient and unforgiving if a young player gets off to a slow start.

But ultimately, fans in any market, big or small, want to win. And if the younger player is the right player, it's up to the organizational leadership to support him publicly and privately, rather than sandbagging him. Have some collective backbone.

It's discouraging to think that there's all this fear that a young player, if he goes 0 for 20 or 5 for 50 or has an 8.00 ERA after 20 innings, is in career-threatening danger.

2008-01-12 21:22:18
8.   Suffering Bruin
Our view is that players coming up need to almost dominate at the Triple-A level, and in some cases at the Double-A level, if their maturity and skill set is exceptional.

That and the fifty-game comment leads me to believe that we are in for more of the same--the kids will be on a short leash and if they falter, we'll see the proven vets, whoever they may be.

I take solace in the fact I've been wrong many times before. I hope I am again.

2008-01-12 21:31:44
9.   Gen3Blue
8 Oh God I hope you are wrong. AS a fan on the east coast from the 60's I represent thousands of people who have no right to be D's fans but are! They (we) are out there. And a 110+OPS player developed in our system is worth more than a 120 OPS+free agent as irrational as that sounds.
2008-01-12 21:36:12
10.   Gen3Blue
Of course seeing a veteran of 80 OPS+ like JP replacing a youngster who may only be a 90 is another story. Colletti may be a genius in this respect, and keep us from becoming mediocre.
2008-01-12 21:41:24
11.   Daniel Zappala
7 I hope we can change his understanding of what fans want to see.
2008-01-12 21:46:23
12.   immouch
better dead than ned
the weasel stuff in this interview is infuriating... the MARKET made him do it?... the reason ned favors mediocre but well known vets is job security. pvleaders are a lot easier to explain to mccourt than kids... when you deconstruct it, he's arguing that LA fans have been clamoring for luis gonzales and brett tomko and the peanut-headed man i cannot name without violating some sorta anti-cursing rule on this site. that's... preposterous. i'm eager to move on; to believe that ned has learned a lot in the past couple years. this winter's moves, to me hope as much... but then i read this stuff and... oh, nevermind. when do catcher's report, anyway?
2008-01-12 21:50:08
13.   immouch
er... in 12 i meant to replace the word "hope" with "signal."
2008-01-12 22:36:58
14.   bigcpa
we like to have a veteran in that position--especially in a big market--until we are more certain that the young player is ready

I don't think he really believes that Luis Gonzalez gets the turnstiles spinnin'. I take this to mean that Dodger fans expect to win 85+ games a year. If your Pittsburgh or KC you can send out 6-7 projects with a Reggie Sanders sprinkled in.

Course the problem with the veteran safety net comes when the young player proves he was ready. Ned would prefer the logjam problem than the 50 game nightmare he fears.

2008-01-12 23:10:34
15.   LAT
What's with the references to "major" and "big" markets. How is this relevant to player development? Why should a prospect have to prove himself more in LA than AZ?
2008-01-12 23:12:04
16.   GoBears
Funny, I read Colletti's obsession with a big market differently than both DZ and Jon. What I inferred was that he thinks a big market will increase the probability that a kid will struggle, in the "bright lights, big city" sort of way. So he doesn't mean "market" so much as "stage." Moving from AAA to KC is no big deal, but Dodger freakin' Stadium? Sort of like the mythology about how some players can't play in New York.

But I could be wrong. Jon's interpretation seems more likely.

2008-01-12 23:14:32
17.   LAT
3. Daniel said it much better than me.
2008-01-12 23:24:57
18.   LAT
The good news is we don't have very many PVLs to fill in if the kids struggle. Obviously, if LaRouch struggles Nomar will get the job but after that who? If Kemp or Loney slump there isnt much else to go with. (That's a good thing)
2008-01-13 00:58:48
19.   PDH5204
Re the "big market", I would like to think that Ned is instead saying that fans like me don't want failure based on the can't miss prospect who missed when the team could instead have spent its fair share of that big market money on the likes of ARod and won. If that is what Ned is thinking, then what I find objectionable is not that Ned understands how I feel, but that he isn't true to the understanding as evidenced by his failing to sign the likes of ARod and instead one Juan Pierre.

The distinction that I believe that some are missing re big and small market teams is simply that the big market team has the money to spend outside the organization that the small market team does not, and so the small market team can fairly say to its fans that it has a greater need to build from within and focus on youth than does the big market team that has the money not only to develop its own but also to poach the players who cannot be re-signed by the small market teams that don't have the money to re-sign them. In other words, the small market team can and should say that we have small revenue and so we have no choice but to build from within and focus on youth, as we even lose some of our own to the bidding war when the time comes, and so, for the love of baseball, be patient as development takes time and some who can't miss, miss.

On the other hand, the Dodgers ought not ever be heard saying that their revenue stream is such that they must build from within and focus on youth and forget about signing not only our own older souls but also the older souls of others who have proved themselves worthy. Ned speaks the correct analysis but apparently believes that Juan Pierre was the outside-the-organization, big-money poaching that I had in mind when it comes to supplementing the gaps in the team's talent development.

And, Daniel, for cruel irony, you uttered Ned's justification for Nomar. You come to see the youth. A whole host come to see Nomar. You'd apparently be "patient" with losing while awaiting player development while they'd apparently be "patient" losing with Nomar. You'd like to think that there's more of you than them, but I'm not so sure.

Lastly, why the problem with LuGo? He was signed for one year, so if he was in the way, it was only going to be for 1 year. The other relevant item is the numbers:

LuGo: .278/.359/.433
Ethier: .284/.350/.452

I'd call that a wash. Since someone mentioned the end there, well, going into the August 1 game, after the August 31 game, and after the September 30 game:

LuGo:

.285/.365/.447
.278/.358/.429
.278/.358/.433

Ethier:
.298/.369/.449
.291/.357/.457
.284/.350/.452

As to what we had a right to expect, LuGo's prior year was .271/.352/.441. As for what LuGo had a right to expect, he did sign that one year deal on the premise of "win now" and so he presumably expected to be called upon to do some of the winning. Juan Pierre speaks for himself, but some of the criticism here of LuGo has simply been unfair. With those numbers, team management would have been entirely justified in going with LuGo down the stretch on the premise that he's been there and done that, and so less of the unknown when it comes to wilting under any perceived pressure of a pennant race as was the circumstance with Ethier [who in this respect is still a relative unknown].

2008-01-13 05:20:43
20.   DXMachina
19 I was about to say pretty much the same thing, but you said it far better. We fans who hang out in places like this want to see the young players get a chance because of their potential to be great, but I suspect there is also a substantial number of fans who want to watch players that they've heard of before, guys like Nomar and LuGo and (god help me) Juan Pierre. They don't follow or care about the minor leagues. James Loney, Mike Edwards, it's all pretty much the same to them when they first come up.

I also agree with your interpretation of what Ned was saying about big markets. For what it's worth, I heard Ben Cherington, assistant GM for the Red Sox, say something very similar a couple of years ago, about how hard it is to give minor leaguers a shot in Boston, because expectations are so high.

2008-01-13 06:51:02
21.   D4P
Funny how letting a kid play before he's ready is a bigger mistake than giving 5 year contracts to Juan Pierres.
2008-01-13 08:01:49
22.   Bumsrap
Why would Colletti choose Nomar over Loney instead of Nomar over Betemit at the beginning of 07? Betemit may have been older and had more bench time at the MLB level but was a bigger question mark than Loney.

The fact that Nomar wasn't given any time at third during the 07 spring training indicates a decision was already make about Nomar over Loney and regardless of what Loney did wasn't going to change a predetermined plan.

Colletti cannot explain away his huge mistake regarding Loney. If Colletti can make that big of a mistake once, he is capable of making it again.

2008-01-13 08:03:19
23.   MJW101
19 Actually, Gonzo's reduced playing time, as the season progressed, can be traced to his abysmal July and August. He rallied in September with a reduced number of PAs, but the die was already cast.
2008-01-13 08:05:23
24.   silverwidow
and in some cases at the Double-A level, if their maturity and skill set is exceptional.

MINOTAUR!

2008-01-13 08:05:47
25.   Bumsrap
21 - Giving Pierre a big 5 year contract is a smaller mistake than the decision(s) to start him every game. And the latter mistake keeps being repeated.
2008-01-13 08:10:37
26.   MJW101
Ned does not learn from his mistakes because he does not admit to himself that he has made any. When he does remedy a mistake (Baez, Carter, Tomko, Seo etc.) it is to improve the team not to get rid of the deadwood that he acquired.
2008-01-13 08:23:55
27.   LAT
22. Colletti cannot explain away his huge mistake regarding Loney.

Yes he can. He says it wasn't his fault: "Those off-season decisions are really based on what was witnessed during the last full season by our staff, the player development staff and our scouts."

I'm sure it was White and Watson who decided to give Nomar a 2 years extension after he had a horrible decline at the end of the 2006 season.

2008-01-13 09:00:59
28.   Jon Weisman
19 - You make good points, though I happen to think people here do understand the difference between big market and small market, and largely don't have a problem with spending money if it's spent sensibly. There was a huge clamor for getting ARod - CanuckDodger, among others, was a minority voice against it.

I still think Ned is overly fearful about what will happen if a kid doesn't hit .400 right off the bat. Colletti's principal worry should be what is going to make the Dodgers the best by October, not what is going to make the fans less nervous in March.

Certainly, some Dodger fans would have been angry if the Dodgers had entered last season with an outfield of, say, Ethier-Repko-Kemp. And I think many people here tolerated the Gonzalez signing as a concession to the notion that the Dodgers have money to pick up a player that, at least, is insurance. The fact is, Gonzalez overachieved in the first half last season.

But I don't think most Dodger fans of any stripe think the team has an endless supply of money, or that it should be tossed away haphazardly just for the sake of saying you did something. And it's not as if the Dodgers had a shortage of name players. Generally, Colletti is too paranoid about young players and too sanguine about older ones.

2008-01-13 09:03:50
29.   Jon Weisman
26 - I don't see how the two are mutually exclusive. I'm fairly certain that Colletti realized those guys were toast, and that if he could get anything for them by that point, it would be worthwhile.

I just wish he had realized they were toast before he got them in the first place.

I think Ned thinks he has made mistakes - I just don't think he interprets them the same way I would. I think he thinks they're more like aberrations.

2008-01-13 09:15:56
30.   Bluebleeder87
but that is just a rough finish to an otherwise good delivery. His arm action is fine.

From last thread, great point from Canuck & I do feel he has a smooth enough arm delivery, I guess I was just nit picking. Also, when you try & correct little things like that the ball player ends up getting hurt (I guess there body's are just use to that type of delivery cause they been doing it for so long) Edwin Jackson comes to mind when Colborn tried to correct what he saw as a flaw in his delivery, Edwin Jackson ended up on the DL, yeah, nice point by Canuck.

2008-01-13 09:34:09
31.   Ken Noe
Kemp, Kershaw, et. al. are still Dodgers, the incoming third baseman isn't Inge or Rolen, that's Jones in centerfield, not Rowand...the evidence suggests that Ned in fact did learn from his mistakes. Like most people, he just doesn't want to admit it.

I'd add that baseball isn't the only business that holds youth to an unfairly higher standard. In my business, young scholars are tested constantly from grad school to dissertation, and from getting a job in an overcrowded job market to the exhausting push for tenure. I much prefer being a PVL ;-)

2008-01-13 09:41:53
32.   D4P
31
I'm trying to come up with a backup plan in case the overcrowded job market this year crowds me out.
2008-01-13 09:52:37
33.   Johnny Nucleo
Maybe it's just me, but I don't find a whole lot to argue with in Colletti's statement. I don't think it's unreasonable to hedge the risks associated with starting rookies by hiring veteran place-holders.
2008-01-13 09:56:14
34.   D4P
I don't think it's unreasonable to hedge the risks associated with starting rookies by hiring veteran place-holders

But requiring youngsters to dominate AAA is a much higher standard than veterans are held to. There's no way Lucille II or Hillenbrand (or even Juan Pierre) dominate AAA.

2008-01-13 10:05:42
35.   Suffering Bruin
34 I came thisclose to typing those very words about JP but after thinking it over, I wonder if JP doesn't have the perfect game to dominate Las Vegas baseball. That's a hitter's paradise, right? Everything goes up--singles, doubles, trips and dongs. JP in Vegas would very, very easily hit over .300 with a lot of runs scored and lots of steals.

You know what? I'm reading my post and I've lost track of how JP doing well in Vegas means anything at all. Never mind. :)

2008-01-13 10:14:32
36.   D4P
Ned's philosophy is apparently as follows:

If a player cannot dominate AAA, he is necessarily worse than any and all players currently in the major leagues.

I do not wish to subscribe to his newsletter.

2008-01-13 10:17:58
37.   Jon Weisman
33 - I think there's a difference between hedging the risks of starting rookies and blocking them, which is what sometimes happens.
2008-01-13 10:20:57
38.   Jim57
The top Proven Veteran Leadership starts with the manager and Grady bungled it badly last year. Of all the PVL we had last year(Grady,Pierre, Nomar, Kent, and Gonzo), none of them really provided leadership. That is a real problem when it is the manager.
2008-01-13 10:42:42
39.   Bluebleeder87
So I guess this is D-Lowe's last year with the Dodgers, I'm sure he's gonna want to have a great year so he can get maximum dollar when he hits the market
2008-01-13 10:45:16
40.   Indiana Jon
Not to take Ned's side here, but what he says actually makes a lot of sense. He really hasn't given up any good prospects, in hindsight. We still have all the future studs on the team. They may not get into the lineup as soon as we all would like, but they are slowly getting in there, and by their prime they may still all be Dodgers. Isn;t that what we really want here?
2008-01-13 10:47:28
41.   Bluebleeder87
anybody know were I can find Furcals winter league stats? I'm trying to google them to no avail.
2008-01-13 10:48:06
42.   Indiana Jon
40 Why do I consistently use the ; instead of the ' ? I believe it's some type of a mental block.
2008-01-13 10:49:46
43.   Suffering Bruin
40 What we want--and I speak for all us--is for the kids to be treated the same way as the adults. What we fear--and again, I speak for everyone--is that the kids will "struggle" and then be sent down or benched.

I have spoken. Now I will sit.

(Scattered applause, much nodding of heads...)

2008-01-13 10:51:08
44.   Indiana Jon
43 I agree totally. I'm just saying we are nowhere near a worst case scenario here. We are much closer to a best case scenario.
2008-01-13 11:07:17
45.   Jim57
Much closer to best case scenario than worst. All we really need is for someone to step up and solidify the 5 spot in the starting rotation and we are sitting pretty good. I hope Pierre has been listening to the buzz and goes out and proves us all wrong if he wins the starting left field job.
2008-01-13 11:09:55
46.   D4P
What would it mean for Pierre to prove us all wrong?
2008-01-13 11:09:57
47.   Jim57
I'd like to see Kershaw get a full year at AAA and be groomed to replace Lowe in 2009.
2008-01-13 11:12:45
48.   Jim57
D4P,
I think if he could get his OBP above .350 and preferrably .360, it would be decent. Also, making his outs more productive by moving runners up and hitting behind baserunners. It will make it easier to accept his poor defense.
2008-01-13 11:14:50
49.   D4P
I think if he could get his OBP above .350 and preferrably .360, it would be decent

Sure, and it'd be great if he hit 20+ HRs.

In fact, it'd be great if he were a completely different (and better) player.

But he's not. He is what he is, and it was easy to see what he is before he was signed. For five years.

2008-01-13 11:16:46
50.   bhsportsguy
43 Its down to one young player, Andy LaRoche and he will have a spring training battle with Nomar for 3B, otherwise, Martin, Loney, Ethier/Kemp (putting aside the 4 OF for 3 spot debate for the moment), Billingsley, and Broxton are secure in their spots.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-13 11:22:51
51.   Jim57
D4P,
Don't get me wrong. Signing Pierre was a huge mistake. But we are probably stuck with him. It is within the realm of possibility to get his OBP up. The dude needs to be more selective and take a few more walks and he could do it. I don't think the Dodgers will resign Furcal, especially for 14M per year and Ned sees Pierre as the leadoff hitter for 2009-2011. It makes me sick but I am trying to make lemonade out of this huge lemon. I am still hoping Ethier gets a fair shot at left and wins the position and we somehow unload Pierre.
2008-01-13 11:27:58
52.   fanerman
51 Juan Pierre's walks are not going to go up. If his OBP goes up, it will be because his BA goes up. The dude is afraid of striking out (who knows why) so he's gonna put the ball in play.
2008-01-13 11:30:32
53.   fanerman
Off topic, but what is there to see/do in and around Denver?

I'm going to Denver for a business trip, and I'm thinking that maybe I could arrange to stay an extra day to see the sights. I travel a bit around the country and after the conversation about places we'd like to visit, I feel like I'm wasting free tickets to various cities.

2008-01-13 12:01:40
54.   Bluebleeder87
Well I'm of to my game, I'm actually very excited to play again, it's been 3 weeks since I played because of either rain & or the holidays, it'll be fun seeing everybody again. 3 of us [teams] are tide for 1st place so that only adds to the drama with only a hand full of games left on the season, o.k. I'm out, late.
2008-01-13 12:10:32
55.   silverwidow
I'd like to see Kershaw get a full year at AAA and be groomed to replace Lowe in 2009.

Kershaw will not hit Triple-A this year. He'll likely stay at Double-A Jacksonville all year and could be a September call-up.

2008-01-13 12:23:27
56.   Andrew Shimmin
I understand not wanting to talk about Pierre any more, but I can't see how one could put aside the question of whether he'll take substantial playing time away from Ethier and/or Kemp. Isn't that just about exactly what we're talking about?

Colletti brought in this "complementary" player, who, instead of being a bridge to a good player, is Mr. Burns's giant sun-blocking device, driving up the price of light and killing all the flowers.

2008-01-13 12:24:44
57.   Lucklesspedestrian
41

Furcal's stats can be found by googling "liga dominicana de beisbol" or at:
http://www.lidom.com/stats.htm

The site is in Spanish but stats are set up identical to the structure of box scores and traditional stat lines in English.
He has 50 at bats, 9 hits, (8 singles and 1 triple for avg. .180) He's walked 9 times, scored 8 runs.

2008-01-13 12:31:58
58.   Suffering Bruin
49 is right and we all know it.

People are hoping against hope that JP becomes a different player than what he has always been. It ain't gonna happen and I take no joy in saying so.

Good guy? Sure. So am I. I still can't get on base.

2008-01-13 12:34:46
59.   Andrew Shimmin
I don't understand football. Why isn't the ball down where the punt defender caught it? Why does he have to come to a full stop before the goal line for it to count as downed?
2008-01-13 12:35:26
60.   Indiana Jon
If anyone is watching the Chargers-Colts game, I need your help in rooting against the Colts. It would be a glorious morning for me tomorrow in the office if they could lose this one.
2008-01-13 12:49:19
61.   silverwidow
60 LT and Rivers both hurt doesn't bode well for Diego.
2008-01-13 13:10:02
62.   Andrew Shimmin
It's starting to bode better.
2008-01-13 13:21:37
63.   Suffering Bruin
60 Enjoy your glorious morning.
2008-01-13 13:22:43
64.   Indiana Jon
I will. Everything boded just fine in the end.
2008-01-13 13:48:19
65.   das411
Reg, if you are still around, you basically have it right in your hockey question in the last thread. Ovechkin is either the '97 ARod or Jeter (depending on whether or not you are a Sidney Crosby hater) of the NHL right now, and Sid the Kid iirc picked up a not-too-shabby deal recently also.

Mike Richards of my Flyers is who picked up a 12 yr deal a month or two ago, and dollar-wise it looks like it's reasonably balanced, which hockey teams can do now that they've had a couple of seasons to grow into the new cap system.

DiPietro, in theory, is another game-changing talent that locking up to a long term deal would be akin to, say, the DRays extending Scott Kazmir. In theory he is good enough for the deal to work out long term, but there is much less certainty that he'll live up to it over time, just due to the nature of his position, than there is for Ovechkin and Richards's deals.

We now return to your regularly scheduled Juan Pierre Thoughts.

2008-01-13 14:14:33
66.   Joe Pierre
After reading Colletti Collected, Im glad I'm not Colletti. It's a lot easier being a fan just watching the action and waiting for the results. It seems impossible to know what will happen to a player once he gets to the majors. It's just a gamble and luck plays a big part, unless you have a good working crystal ball, or you're gifted with being able to really judge talent.
2008-01-13 15:18:47
67.   Andrew Shimmin
No reasonable person expects every bet the GM makes to pay off. But you can't get out of betting just because it might not work. Betting is the game. And the game isn't nine card stud.
2008-01-13 15:44:03
68.   dzzrtRatt
I just get the feeling comments like this,

" If you provide a young player with the position prematurely and the speed of the game and the pressures of the big leagues exceed where that player is at, at that point in his career, then we have done an injustice to the team and to the young player. And finding out that we've overestimated a young player 50 games into the season is a very difficult point of the season to make an adjustment."

...are a product of received wisdom, rather than Colletti's own philosophy, if he even has one. Someone is saying this to Colletti and he's buying it. Who?

2008-01-13 16:04:20
69.   Zak
Sabean
2008-01-13 16:15:59
70.   Zak
Just to show where my prejudices lie, I was always a big DePodesta fan, and to put it politely, was skeptical in my opinion of Colletti. A couple of years in, my prejudices remain. I feel like I'm always worried that today will be the day that Colletti makes some awful blunderous trade that will set the team back for a few years.

The Pierre signing was awful. But you can run off a list of signings over the past 2-3 years by every GM that was terrible to begin with. At least in the Dodgers case, the mistake is affordable... not excusable, but affordable.

My whole point is.. other than Pierre, Schmidt and Nomah, I'm pretty pleased with the Dodgers roster. Colletti has somehow come up with a team that I am happy with and I'm not sure what I would have wanted DePo to do differently. Sure there was a huge part of me three years ago who wanted Guzman, Navarro, Miller, etc. to be huge stars with the Dodgers, but I'm just as happy with Kemp, Martin, Kershaw, etc. too.

2008-01-13 16:52:03
71.   caseybarker
Unbelievable... Cowboys O-line just quit in the fourth quarter.
2008-01-13 17:00:03
72.   Gen3Blue
Their will be a Manning in the conference finals.
2008-01-13 17:00:09
73.   Gen3Blue
Their will be a Manning in the conference finals.
2008-01-13 17:25:06
74.   Bluebleeder87
57

well that isn't good, but I've heard he's a notorious slow starter.

2008-01-13 18:44:54
75.   Daniel Zappala
19 I get what you're saying, and many here agree that the Dodgers should get a star free agent when they have the chance. They did get Jones, who has that potential if he goes back to his old self this year.

What I disagree with is that the high expectations and lack of patience -- that we need a winner now -- is a natural product of a big market. Any team, in any market, should develop and play the best players. With no alternative but average, and in fact mostly below average, veterans, there is no excuse not to play the younger players with stellar minor league track records. Winning demands it, and the market is irrelevant.

I expect to see the young players, not because I have a 'thing' for young players, while most fans have a 'thing' for name players. I expect to see the young players because quite frankly they have the track record to indicate they are better than the alternative. In short, I want my team to play the players that give them the best chance to win, and right now that is the young guys.

2008-01-13 19:32:52
76.   Sagehen
53 May I suggest Rocky Mountain National Park. My favorite national park. The wildlife is incredible. It's about an hour from Denver, I believe. Check to see how much of the park is open this time of the year though; I've only been there during the summer.
2008-01-13 21:21:15
77.   Eric Enders
53 "what is there to see/do in and around Denver?"

Well, that depends on whether you're dead or not.

But as Sagehen suggested, Rocky Mountain National Park is a can't-miss. It's about an hour north.

If you have a desire to see money get manufactured, you could take a tour of the U.S. Mint in downtown Denver. If you have a desire to see beer get manufactured, you could take a tour of the Coors plant in the suburb of Golden. There is also the Tattered Cover, which bills itself as the largest used bookstore in the world.

2008-01-13 21:29:34
78.   dzzrtRatt
75 To me, it has nothing to do with money. I actually get irritated when people argue against a Colletti move because of the kinds of concerns that might be relevant in Kansas City or Oakland. People who want the Dodgers to act like a small-market team should switch allegiance to a small-market team.

What 35 years of being a Dodger fan has taught me is, in reality, no team, not even a wealthy team, can contend and rebuild at the same time. Claire's bleak decade as GM was all about con-building and re-tending. Malone, Evans, DePodesta and Colletti have all tried it, and I'm convinced that path leads to what the Dodgers have given us since '88: A team that occasionally wins a division or the wild card, a team that usually is a contender but far from the best team and is dependent on luck to stay in contention past the first week of September, a team that is always a couple of injuries or slumps away from disaster. Is Colletti steering us away from that strategy? Hard to feel real confident, but it seems to be the case. Regardless of what he says in this interview.

2008-01-13 22:11:58
79.   Xeifrank
Tough win for the Lakers tonight, with the Bynum knee injury and all. They are now only 1/2 game out for the best record in the WC.

As far as Colletti and the way he has handled our youth. All I can say to myself is to look at the long term picture and be patient.

As far as Denver, how about a ski trip?

vr, Xei

2008-01-13 22:24:39
80.   ToyCannon
70
Have to agree. At this point I'm quite happy with the makeup of this team as we head into the season. Not a big fan of Kent's but that will take care of itself quickly. Andruw Jones is going to give us a Toy Cannon 74 season, minus the walks and pop gun arm.

78
Atlanta may only have the one title but the team has rebuilt itself on the fly and those consecutive division championships were earned.

2008-01-13 22:42:07
81.   KG16
79 - I will remain positive, I just hope the MRI remains negative.
2008-01-14 00:22:42
82.   Robert Fiore
Denver has an excellent railroad museum, but naturally it's outside, so whether you can enjoy it will depend upon the weather.

Tattered Cover isn't a used bookstore, though it is awfully big.

2008-01-14 00:44:37
83.   El Lay Dave
RIP Johnny Podres.
http://tinyurl.com/278av9
2008-01-14 10:25:51
84.   Ripper
Just don't trade Kemp and Ethier. Worst case - platoon Pierre and Ethier in Left. Andre is a fine player and deserves at lest 400 AB's. Don't forget - Andruw Jones is only signed for 2 years. Maybe we can get rid of Pierre's bad contract by trading him for another teams bad contract.

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