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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

Aybar, Hendrickson Head for the Sunshine State
2008-01-17 19:24
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Mark Hendrickson signing with the Marlins was Wednesday's news, but today we learned that the Rays had acquired yet another erstwhile Dodger: Willy Aybar. From Bill Chastain at MLB.com:

In 105 career Major League games for the Dodgers and the Braves, the switch-hitting Aybar has a .292 average with five home runs, 40 RBIs and a .387 on-base percentage; he has played 81 games at third base and 21 at second. Friedman said the Rays plan to look at him at first and in the outfield as well.

(Rays executive Andrew) Friedman did not back away from addressing Aybar's problems off the field.

"We did a lot of due diligence into his problems from last year," Friedman said. "While we recognized it's a risk, we feel it's a risk worth taking."

Friedman said Aybar's problem "needs to be monitored."

"And it's something we will be aggressive to help him any way we can to put a support network into place," said Friedman, who noted such issues are a private matter.

Aybar has spent the offseason playing third base for Licey in the Dominican Winter League, batting .268 in 27 regular-season games. He is currently hitting .339 for Licey in the league's round-robin tournament with a home run and six RBIs.

* * *

Lee Panas of Detroit Tiger Tales has been assimilating (maybe that's not quite the right word) different defensive metrics, and finds that Andruw Jones was tops in the National League at his position in runs saved.

* * *

Finally, a souvenir photo from Wednesday: Andy LaRoche

Comments (159)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-17 19:49:55
1.   silverwidow
Hopefully Andy is starting to impress his new boss.
2008-01-17 19:59:40
2.   Branch Rickey
It seems that in all of the talk about A. Jones, his defense is usually mentioned only after hashing through his offensive stats. I realize you need to be strong in both to be worth $18M. But I think the defensive upgrade in CF will be the biggest improvement the team will or could make and it will make the team at least competitive. I think it's very hard to be a Championship caliber team without an excellent defensive SS or CFer. We now have both and for that I am excited about '08.
2008-01-17 20:03:34
3.   Gen3Blue
I was LATed at the last post, but I had trouble expressing it and it is too painful to repeat. In brief--Torre has a chance to play who he should.
2008-01-17 20:11:50
4.   Gen3Blue
If runners hesitate to take an extra base on their hit or a subsequent batters, I believe it means between 15 and 25 games a year. No mean result. (But it might be prudent to have a left fielder like Ethier!)

And when you figure out what good defense means to pitchers stats, I think it may cast offense in a different light. In play-offs and World Series pitching and defense( which leverages pitching) does seem to dominate.

2008-01-17 20:13:38
5.   CanuckDodger
Who said LaRoche looks fat? He looks fine.
2008-01-17 20:18:12
6.   CanuckDodger
5 -- Well, not exactly "fine," since I have long thought that LaRoche's face is suggestive of Cro Magnon man, but weight-wise he is okay.
2008-01-17 20:31:52
7.   jasonungar07
I totally agree number 2 ( I sound like Picard) you can add a solid defensive catcher to go with the other two...as well.
2008-01-17 20:33:30
8.   jasonungar07
5 He's not fat, he's big boned. I blame Canada.

(Kidding Canuck. Don't tell me to take off eh.......)

2008-01-17 20:47:15
9.   Andrew Shimmin
Is he wearing a weight belt, or a back brace, or something? Looking at the full size picture, there's a line above where one would expect his belt to be. Unless he's trying to reach out to the old guys by wearing his pants up under his arm pits.
2008-01-17 20:54:45
10.   68elcamino427
5 This looks like a fine defensive, power hitting third baseman, who is on the rise.
2008-01-17 20:58:18
11.   Jason in Canada
Actually Americans are the fat ones, hoser. :)
2008-01-17 20:59:01
12.   Jason in Canada
er, big boned ones.
2008-01-17 21:00:58
13.   Gen3Blue
Ahh. Have I gained restraint with age? Perhaps. Goodnight all on both coasts. And I wonder where Bob T. is in his central European Odysee.
2008-01-17 21:05:11
14.   MarLoKemp
I thought by trading Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes away, the "Rays" were moving away from talented but troubled youngsters.

Their acquisition of Willy Aybar apparently signals that I misread those earlier moves.

I really don't get this. If you're willing to put up with problem kids, why not hold on to truly outstanding talents like Delmon and Dukes?

I can only conclude that the Tampa Bay club is suffering some kind of schizophrenia.

2008-01-17 21:07:48
15.   bhsportsguy
13 I think Bob is sitting in his apartment laughing at all of us thinking he is in Europe.
2008-01-17 21:08:41
16.   Gen3Blue
15 you are right. I would rather have Delwyn. Over and out.
2008-01-17 21:08:51
17.   Vishal
6 i know he's a baseball player, but for an up-and-coming athlete, he seems to have a bit of a gut.
2008-01-17 21:20:57
18.   silverwidow
Kemp has spent most of the off-season working out in Arizona and said he has lost 25 pounds since the end of the last season.

http://tinyurl.com/2gv6fd

2008-01-17 21:26:45
19.   bhsportsguy
17 He looks fine in the video posted on dodgers.com
2008-01-17 21:28:35
20.   Jon Weisman
14 - They are different people with different problems.
2008-01-17 21:31:56
21.   underdog
My lord, I knew the Lakers were going to be downgrading at center with Bynum out, but I'd forgotten how much until watching the atrocity known as Kwame in this awful game (so far) vs Suns tonight. In fairness, all the Lakers are playing poorly, but he's just awful. If they play like this, .500 will be too much to ask for in Bynum's absence. Ugh-ly.

Luckily, Notorious is on TMC so I can switch to something less atrocious.

2008-01-17 21:33:56
22.   Marty
25 pounds is a lot. I hope it doesn't sap his Bisonish awesomeness.
2008-01-17 21:44:02
23.   Bluebleeder87
La Roche actually doesn't look that bad in that picture, but like Vishal says...
2008-01-17 21:50:48
24.   trainwreck
Odom misses so many gimmes.
2008-01-17 21:58:39
25.   Andrew Shimmin
Stanford's up by two with 10.7 left on the clock, Arizona ball. If anybody's looking for something to watch.
2008-01-17 22:03:50
26.   trainwreck
I am happy Arizona continues to lose.
2008-01-17 22:46:13
27.   regfairfield
14 Dukes is so bad that even I wouldn't want to touch him. I think the Young trade was selling on a guy that hadn't improved at all in the last three years, so it was pretty fair.
2008-01-18 04:22:07
28.   D4P
Did Matt Kemp really have 25 pounds to lose...?
2008-01-18 05:08:49
29.   Bob Timmermann
If Matt Kemp weighed more than 25 lbs, he could lose 25 lbs in theory.
2008-01-18 06:00:09
30.   StolenMonkey86
He was listed last year at 6'2", 230lb. 6'2", 205 doesn't sound too bad, and part of that might include weight he gained in the offseason.
2008-01-18 06:16:53
31.   D4P
29
I'm just wondering if he was indebted to 25 Jews or something.
2008-01-18 07:13:40
32.   Bumsrap
But Torre expressed concern that the bench, as it is shaping up, could be very young, especially if Garciaparra is a starter. Among likely candidates are Delwyn Young, Tony Abreu, Pierre or Andre Ethier, Chin-Lung Hu and Jason Repko, along with backup catcher Gary Bennett.

"With youth coming off the bench, there's always a question mark how they'll handle not playing," Torre said. "Andy Phillips had that problem [in New York]. He had trouble playing off the bench."

One good way to get more veterans available for bench strength would be to have Nomar and Pierre on the bench.

2008-01-18 07:14:29
33.   Bumsrap
31
Pound of flesh or pound of fat?
2008-01-18 07:22:11
34.   Bumsrap
Does anybody know if Kemp was working out at Athletes Performance in Tempe like Martin, Dewitt, etc did last year?

I can't see into the clubhouse but I can see Kemp running very hard on every ground ball and crashing into outfield walls. Now he works hard on the off season and comes into spring in what appears outstanding shape. I seem to appreciate his attitude. Willie Davis ran through a few stop signs and scored from second on bunts or ground outs. Kemp = excitement. He probably is fun to watch even when he is merely moving a trash can.

2008-01-18 07:23:00
35.   Gen3Blue
32 Excellent. I almost said the same thing last night but I had signed off. You beat me.
2008-01-18 07:25:17
36.   Bumsrap
35 I had to restrain myself from adding Kent to that bench strength.
2008-01-18 07:26:29
37.   Terry A
Torre's matter-of-fact appraisal of Andy Phillips' inability to play effectively off the bench sounds an awful lot like the kind of pigeonholing through small sample size that many of us despise.

Broxton can't close. Betemit can't hit. Kemp is a bad baserunner.

2008-01-18 07:33:33
38.   Jon Weisman
Bobby Fischer has gone on to the great, cantankerous chess match in the sky.
2008-01-18 07:36:39
39.   D4P
38
Don't bother "searching" for him down here...
2008-01-18 07:40:09
40.   Disabled List
38 What a strange life he led.
2008-01-18 07:52:30
41.   MC Safety
So, I am back from my road trip to Colorado. I'd like to thank Hallux Valgus (I Think, its been a while) for the pointers. I didnt get to venture back to Idaho Springs for Beau Jo's, but I will for sure this summer. Eldora was 15 minutes away from where I was staying and was virtually empty. I must say that was THEE best snowboard trip I've been on. My customized Dodger shirt didnt seem to be a big hit out there, but thats understandable.

Glad to hear we signed Brazoban, and I am especially glad to hear Nomar and Andy are battling it out for the job. I really hope Andy gets it together this spring.

Also, I was not aware the Dodgers play the Tigers this year, that is going to be something to watch. A friend works for Don Slaught's company Right View Pro. I havent been this excited about the Dodgers ever, being born in 1983 and all.

2008-01-18 07:53:10
42.   regfairfield
Oh god, he still loves Andy Phillips. He should be thrilled with Nomar hitting nothing but singles.
2008-01-18 08:18:43
43.   cargill06
regarding the fat issue, look at pictures of Andruw Jones at the work-outs he looks fat. Kemp losing 25 pounds, hopefully he lost all body fat, his first few steps out of the box looks pretty slow compared to when he finally gets to full speed. Maybe the loss of weight will help with his acceleration.

Torre said he prefers to have a lefty in the rotation... i can think of a couple lefties on the trading block, is he hinting at something?

2008-01-18 08:18:45
44.   cargill06
regarding the fat issue, look at pictures of Andruw Jones at the work-outs he looks fat. Kemp losing 25 pounds, hopefully he lost all body fat, his first few steps out of the box looks pretty slow compared to when he finally gets to full speed. Maybe the loss of weight will help with his acceleration.

Torre said he prefers to have a lefty in the rotation... i can think of a couple lefties on the trading block, is he hinting at something?

2008-01-18 08:19:09
45.   cargill06
regarding the fat issue, look at pictures of Andruw Jones at the work-outs he looks fat. Kemp losing 25 pounds, hopefully he lost all body fat, his first few steps out of the box looks pretty slow compared to when he finally gets to full speed. Maybe the loss of weight will help with his acceleration.

Torre said he prefers to have a lefty in the rotation... i can think of a couple lefties on the trading block, is he hinting at something?

2008-01-18 08:19:54
46.   paranoidandroid
31 Why 25 Jews? I don't get it.
2008-01-18 08:20:43
47.   cargill06
43 ,44 , 45 , sorry
2008-01-18 08:21:41
48.   ToyCannon
Pound of flesh?
2008-01-18 08:26:20
49.   D4P
"Jews" probably wasn't specific enough. Maybe "Jewish merchants" would have been better.
2008-01-18 08:32:14
50.   D4P
Still: I didn't look at Kemp and think "That guy needs to lose 25 pounds". That's a lotta weight. I guess maybe he'll be able to beat out even more infield grounders, but won't the weight loss likely hurt his power?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-18 08:34:50
51.   cargill06
50 if he still keeps his muscle mass than no. if he's losing the weight by eating better and still lifting weights if would just make him leaner but just as strong
2008-01-18 08:35:52
52.   cargill06
and like someone said he was listed at 230, maybe he got up to 240-245 at some point and is down to about 215-220
2008-01-18 08:36:01
53.   cargill06
and like someone said he was listed at 230, maybe he got up to 240-245 at some point and is down to about 215-220
2008-01-18 08:39:57
54.   paranoidandroid
cargill, you tend to be redunant. Yet, you are redundant.
2008-01-18 08:40:51
55.   paranoidandroid
Jon,

Any insider buzz on Piazza?

2008-01-18 08:42:37
56.   cargill06
54 ya i've been a little trigger happy this morning. however, i don't believe i've repeated myself other than then the duplicate posts
2008-01-18 08:47:20
57.   Disabled List
49 Unless that's an oblique reference to something I'm not getting, I don't think either of them are very good.
2008-01-18 08:52:01
58.   D4P
57
It's an oblique reference to something you're not getting.
2008-01-18 08:57:18
59.   Disabled List
58 Ok, that's what I thought.

Without an explanation, of course, it's still oblique and confusing.

2008-01-18 08:58:46
60.   D4P
59
This should get you started:

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

2008-01-18 08:59:26
61.   cargill06
55 i would bet 8 boxes of honey bunches of oats that Piazza isn't coming here, just because it makes no sense.
2008-01-18 09:05:09
62.   Disabled List
60 Shakespeare was never my strong suit.
2008-01-18 09:17:33
63.   silverwidow
Torre said he prefers to have a lefty in the rotation... i can think of a couple lefties on the trading block, is he hinting at something?

No, the rotation is set. If a lefty is needed, he will be called-up.

2008-01-18 09:20:09
64.   Benaiah
63 - I agree, if anything the Dodgers have a surplus of starting pitching (though I thought that last year too) so I can't imagine they will acquire another starter. Hopefully Elbert or Kershaw will make it a moot point by midseason anyway.
2008-01-18 09:21:12
65.   underdog
Huh. The Dodgers just re-signed Jason Repko (as per Dodgers.com.) Still have Beimel and Proctor to lock up. I wonder if they're planning on keeping Repko around and not trying to trade him somewhere, or only if they don't trade Pierre...
2008-01-18 09:22:29
66.   regfairfield
65 They can still stick Repko in AAA.
2008-01-18 09:24:27
67.   ibleedbloo
Edit: As I was TinyURLing I saw i was beat to the punch, but I'll post anyway.

May be old news around here by now, but Repko agreed to a deal worth $487,500. http://tinyurl.com/2v9kwl

2008-01-18 09:26:00
68.   underdog
66 True 'nuf. Seems like an expensive AAA player, but they wanted to keep him around just in case.
2008-01-18 09:29:14
69.   regfairfield
68 We can afford 487 thousand dollars for insurance.
2008-01-18 09:36:59
70.   cargill06
68 espically with the 1,600 bucks pres. bush will be giving the mccourts
2008-01-18 09:46:26
71.   ToyCannon
The weights for players mean nothing. They are weighed once and then that weight is assigned to them. It is not like they get weighed every spring and the new weight becomes part of their database. I'm sure internally it is but not the numbers the public views when looking at 40 man rosters, baseball cards, or baseball reference. The Height will normally stay static except for those HS boys who grow between 17-19. Kemp at Arizona in 2005 looked leaner then he did this year. Big guys with big butts put on weight very easily. Dave Parker was a big man when he came into the league but he was a very very big man just a few years later. Matt Kemp will always have to work hard to keep his weight at the ideal playing weight for himself.

In the old days of steroids when a player announced he had lost weight it was usually a nod and wink that they had de-juiced. At least that is what my grand pappy tells me.

2008-01-18 09:51:05
72.   ToyCannon
I don't see how Repko is insurance since he can never stay healthy enough to actually play the game. If he takes someone's spot and we lose that person on waivers I'll be irritated. Other then that I wish him luck in getting enough service team to qualify for a pension.
2008-01-18 09:59:21
73.   Andrew Shimmin
62- D4P only likes the ones with lots of cross dressing.
2008-01-18 10:21:01
74.   Jim Hitchcock
62 And he'll never make it as a Jeopardy contestant.
2008-01-18 10:24:58
75.   Dane Bramage
15 LOL! Bob answers that allegation in the latest Griddle post.
2008-01-18 10:25:35
76.   Marty
Maybe they are keeping Repko around as a designated injury. Someone is bound to get hurt, so why shouldn't it be Repko?
2008-01-18 10:25:44
77.   paranoidandroid
74 I'll take Anti-Semitism for 500 Alex.
2008-01-18 10:27:22
78.   cargill06
77 this chess player was a prodigy at the age of 15
2008-01-18 10:29:04
79.   paranoidandroid
If Repko stayed healthy, we might not have seen Ethier in 06 until September. Repko got out of the gate smashing the ball and playing great defense. Climbing that wall on a ball he couldn't ever get to was stupid. And he's paid a very high price for it too. I think he still has a big upside, especially if we let him take some grounders and he can become a Chone Figgins type of reserve. He has speed and more power than Pierre. If we could trade our former CFer...
2008-01-18 10:36:32
80.   bhsportsguy
2 questions:
1. Is it Jon or John Meloan?

2. When your own team website misidentifies you as Adam LaRoche, should you be upset?

2008-01-18 10:40:02
81.   regfairfield
80 Don't most Jonathans go as Jon?
2008-01-18 10:46:50
82.   cargill06
Eric Karabell projects a 25 HR 90 RBI and 15 SB season out of the Kemper
2008-01-18 10:53:17
83.   ToyCannon
Is Scott Boras changing his stripes? My favorite player from last year just signed a 3 year deal with Ray's instead of going to arbitration and heading for free agency at the end of the year. Either Pena is really worried about repeating his historic season or he wants to be part of the onslaught that crumbles the empires of the Northeast.
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-rays-pena&prov=ap&type=lgns
2008-01-18 10:56:04
84.   CanuckDodger
80 -- "Jon" is short for "Jonathan," except in the case of one Mr. Weisman, whose first name is like the letter "S" in "Harry S Truman." "John" is not short for anything, but is a completely different name than "Jonathan."
2008-01-18 10:56:30
85.   kinbote
I can't say I really understand the Repko situation. To me, it looks like another case of Colletti loving depth regardless of roster spot availability. (That being said, if Pierre is traded, Repko has a job.)
2008-01-18 10:56:37
86.   silverwidow
Matt Holliday just got a 2 year/$23 million deal.

What a bargain.

2008-01-18 11:01:15
87.   regfairfield
85 We have only seven outfielders on the 40 man. If someone gets hurt, we would have to call up Xavier Paul. Having Repko in AAA is completely necessary.

86 Why on Earth would he sign that deal?

2008-01-18 11:03:09
88.   paranoidandroid
86 We'll get a similiar bargain with a Mr. Kemp in the near future.
2008-01-18 11:05:56
89.   ToyCannon
79
When analysts call players a 4th outfielder I think of players like Repko and Cody Ross not players like Byrnes or Ethier or any of the other innumerable outfielders who are everyday outfielders.
If we didn't have D Young and 4 other outfielders I think Repko would have some value if he stayed healthy, but I don't ever foresee Repko being useful if he ever got 350 at bats. If you think Juan Pierre has OB problems then Repko's sub 300 OBP would really hurt. He has some power against LHP and can play off 3 outfield positions. I'd rather have Cody Ross if given a choice which the Dodgers were given in 2006 and they went with Repko
2008-01-18 11:06:58
90.   kinbote
Maybe it's time to give Blake DeWitt an outfielder's glove.
2008-01-18 11:09:50
91.   ToyCannon
87
No it isn't. It doesn't have to be Repko, there are plenty of NRI's who can be Jason Repko.

86
That is the strangest signing I've seen by a player.

2008-01-18 11:10:22
92.   cargill06
http://tinyurl.com/23u2mo

http://tinyurl.com/yt9ds3

in all fairness to mr. colletti when you look at these clips how is he supposed to have any idea about what would in occur in '07

2008-01-18 11:10:40
93.   screwballin
37 Torre's matter-of-fact appraisal of Andy Phillips' inability to play effectively off the bench sounds an awful lot like the kind of pigeonholing through small sample size that many of us despise.

I think it's a tough gig for anyone to hit well when starting only occasionally, since it's all about timing. So wouldn't it be doubly difficult for a rookie who's still getting his feet wet in the league?

I think that's all Torre was saying. Presumably a veteran on the bench would come in to a key pinch-hitting spot, or a fill-in start, with some experience against the pitcher he's facing. A rookie with only a vague idea about the pitcher is presumably at a greater disadvantage.

2008-01-18 11:10:51
94.   paranoidandroid
I just don't ever want to see light-hitting Ramon Martinez in left field ever again.

Repko has never stayed healthy enough to know what he can and cannot do if given a shot. I think we envisoned him platooning with Kenny Lofton before he got hurt. He showed he was able to hit lefties well.

Delwyn can hit from both sides of the plate but has left speed, less major league games under his belt, and strikes out albeit with more power in his bat. I don't see them both sticking with the team unless Pierre or Ethier are gone or injured.

2008-01-18 11:11:39
95.   bhsportsguy
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com asks the question, how many free agent starting pitchers who started last season, have signed a guaranteed multi-year contract.

Answer, 2 if you count Kurada. Only Carlos Silva (4/48 million) has signed a multi-year deal. Stark also says that only Kyle Loshe is probably going to get more than 2 years and only 2 other pitchers will get even 2 years.

2008-01-18 11:14:24
96.   paranoidandroid
I just don't ever want to see light-hitting Ramon Martinez in left field ever again.

Repko has never stayed healthy enough to know what he can and cannot do if given a shot. I think we envisoned him platooning with Kenny Lofton before he got hurt. He showed he was able to hit lefties well.

Delwyn can hit from both sides of the plate but has left speed, less major league games under his belt, and strikes out albeit with more power in his bat. I don't see them both sticking with the team unless Pierre or Ethier are gone or injured.

2008-01-18 11:15:25
97.   paranoidandroid
computer issues, i'm outta here
2008-01-18 11:15:40
98.   alex 7
re: Andy Phillips

It seemed to me Torre was discussing the mental part of the rookie vs. veteran pinch hitter. Sounded like he felt rookies might have a harder time mentally dealing with the lack of playing time, as opposed to the veterans who have settled into a back-up role.

2008-01-18 11:17:48
99.   underdog
76 Ah hah! I just figured it out. Repko was signed to be the designated injure-another-player guy, and they plan on playing him alongside Pierre in the outfield in spring training. That will solve all their problems! Now it makes perfect sense.
2008-01-18 11:19:31
100.   ToyCannon
That is what I got out of the interview. Not every kid is ready to be Lenny Harris, Mike Sharperson, or Dave Hansen. Adjusting to lack of playing time is not going to be the same for everyone. Sounded like Philips couldn't handle it mentally. His performance may not have been an issue but maybe he was driving everyone crazy on the bench.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-01-18 11:20:44
101.   regfairfield
91 Would that NRI be better than Repko and be willing to stay in AAA?
2008-01-18 11:21:38
102.   Xeifrank
isn't the Holliday deal just buying out his last two arbitration years?
vr, Xei
2008-01-18 11:32:02
103.   Jon Weisman
55 - Not to my knowledge.
2008-01-18 11:40:57
104.   kinbote
102 Yes. Shades of Piazza long ago.
2008-01-18 11:41:35
105.   silverwidow
Miguel Cabrera got 1 year/$11.3 million

Scott Kazmir got 1 year/$3.785 million

2008-01-18 11:43:08
106.   Jon Weisman
"News of Herschel Walker's personality disorder took many of his close friends by surprise."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/football/ncaa/01/18/walker.personalities.ap/index.html

2008-01-18 11:57:54
107.   regfairfield
102 Huh, it is. I can't believe he's only been in the league four years. I could have sworn this was his contract year.
2008-01-18 12:00:36
108.   Kevin Lewis
92

Small sample size, but it makes me sad we didn't get that last year.

2008-01-18 12:01:53
109.   ToyCannon
102
Yeah, my mistake, I thought he was walking after 2008.
2008-01-18 12:06:21
110.   kinbote
James MacDonald is rapidly becoming one of my favorites prospects. His little speech in the Dodgers.com video piece is really good. Combine his apparent makeup with his numbers and we're sitting on a pretty underrated starting pitching prospect I think. Did anyone hear anything from the subscriber-only B.A. chat about why he was ranked so low? I personally would've put him #3.
2008-01-18 12:07:42
111.   ToyCannon
106
Until Texas came to the Rose Bowl, Walker was the best college player I'd ever seen.
2008-01-18 12:09:29
112.   ToyCannon
110
Any chance that McDonald will add velo as he is still learning to pitch?

A: Alan Matthews: That's a good question, and an important one. When Dodgers assistant GM Logan White was looking for a late-round, projectable pitcher in the 2002 draft, area scout Bobby Darwin knew the perfect candidate, as he had seen McDonald pitch briefly and loved his arm action from third base when he scouted him in high school. McDonald pitched presently with a solid-average fastball, and because he has fluidity to his delviery, there is reason to think the FB could add some velo in the future. But's he's not as big-boned as his father was, and some scouts said they believed there was not considerable room for additional growth on his wiry frame. Even if 93 is all he's got in there, that, along with his command and breaking ball are going to get him to the big leagues.
2008-01-18 12:19:51
113.   Jon Weisman
112 - Who's his father?

Michael?
Ronald?

2008-01-18 12:23:12
114.   D4P
113
Old?
2008-01-18 12:23:49
115.   Eric Stephen
111
Vince Young still haunts my dreams. Luckily Will Ferrell can't hear my screams because he has two Heismans in his ears.

113
Ben?

2008-01-18 12:23:54
116.   CanuckDodger
110 -- What did McDonald say, if you don't mind?

Anyway, BA does not think that highly of McDonald. In a recent ESPN chat Jim Callis said that McDonald has only one pitch that is above average, his curve, and that he projects as a #3 or 4 starter, and more likely a #4. The problem I have with this is that the implication that McDonald's change-up is no better than average contradicts White's claim that it is "outstanding."

2008-01-18 12:29:09
117.   bhsportsguy
113 Is it gratifying in anyway that Pierre's consectutive game streak and the competition for playing time in the outfield is being discussed six weeks before Spring Training games start? And BTW, part of that is because of you sir, Mr. Weisman of Screen Jam and Dodger Thoughts fame.
2008-01-18 12:30:27
118.   CanuckDodger
113 -- James McDonald's father is James Sr., who played tight end for four years in the NFL, for the Rams and Lions.
2008-01-18 12:34:24
119.   El Lay Dave
118 ... and at a local university that I shall not name, but did NOT hire a new head coach recently.
2008-01-18 12:34:32
120.   Andrew Shimmin
116- "I mean, you look at those guys, how they loved it so much, it's like, you better get the best you can, right now. Play hard as you can, right now, so you don't look back saying, 'I wish.' Those guys, they don't say, 'I wish.' They're Hall of Famers, they're great, they're always remembered. They're motivators. They motivate me to want to work harder and give everything I've got, every single day, don't take it for granted."
2008-01-18 12:36:38
121.   Andrew Shimmin
I should have put that in context. He was talking about the guest speakers the Dodgers brought in to instruct the youngsters in the ways of Major League Baseball.
2008-01-18 12:38:27
122.   CanuckDodger
120 -- Thanks.
2008-01-18 12:56:42
123.   Penarol1916
111. I don't recall seeing Barry Sanders at the Rose Bowl that year. Did they show shots of him in the stands or something?
2008-01-18 13:06:11
124.   sajjushah
I can't get anything done at work, because of you guys.
2008-01-18 13:19:45
125.   kinbote
112 & 120 Thanks.

I also came across an old article in which Colletti is said to have been scouting him for a possible spot start last year. Just a word of advice: Don't enter "Another Tomko disaster" as a key word search--it could blow up your computer!

2008-01-18 13:32:45
126.   cargill06
hey jon, i apologize if you've done this before and i'm not trying to tell you how to do your job. but on one of your slow days it may be an interesting read to do a list of the top dodger 2 sport stars that played another sport at least at the collegiate level (ie, kenny lofton, mark hendrickson, jackie robinson) just throwing an idea out there
2008-01-18 13:46:00
127.   Jon Weisman
126 - My slow days here tend to be fast days at my job, but it's a fun idea. You guys might just want to talk about it here. Garvey played college football, I recall.
2008-01-18 13:51:30
128.   Marty
Chuck Connors had the trifecta. Baseball, basketball and acting
2008-01-18 13:57:03
129.   ToyCannon
116
Your painting BA with the same brush. Matthews, John Manual, and Callis all have their own opinions and they differ all the time.
Derek McKamey put McDonald at 98 in his top 100 which just came out. A month ago he wasn't even going to make the top 100, so I wonder what changed.
2008-01-18 13:58:44
130.   ToyCannon
I seem to remember some big tall LHP who fell off the mound once who played a 2nd sport.
2008-01-18 14:01:08
131.   ToyCannon
128
The rifleman has a -100OPS+ as a Dodger. If only he'd gotten that 2nd at bat.
2008-01-18 14:03:23
132.   Marty
Bo Jackson was probably the best two-sport star. Man I wish he hadn't blown his hip out.
2008-01-18 14:07:15
133.   Indiana Jon
84
Wow, this post really describes me. I assume you mean "Jon" being like the "S" means that it isn't short for anything. My name is also "Jon" not short for anything, but in addition to that, my last name is "Truman". I was thinking we could rephrase your post to say, "Jon" is short for "Jonathan," except in the case of one Mr. Weisman, whose first name is like the "Jon" in "Jon Truman." "John" is not short for anything, but is a completely different name than "Jonathan."

Of course this wouldn't have made any sense to anyone besides me though.

2008-01-18 14:20:04
134.   Indiana Jon
132
Bo Jackson was more than just the best two sport star. He was a freak of nature that may have been the best running back of all time. Lengthy career not factored in of course. I would say Deion would at least have to be mentioned in the discussion though. Maybe even a mention of Dave Winfield, wasn't he drafted in all three sports? By the way, how did I get off on this tangent when we were supposed to be talking about Dodger two-sport stars here?
2008-01-18 14:29:54
135.   cargill06
130 are you referring to lurch aka hendrickson
2008-01-18 14:33:30
136.   Branch Rickey
Kenny Lofton. Dodger like. Two-sport-star -like.
2008-01-18 14:35:14
137.   Disabled List
Kirk Gibson played some college football at Michigan State, IIRC. And of course, Brian Jordan played in the NFL for a little while.
2008-01-18 14:39:44
138.   SG6
132 - I was at the Coliseum the day Bo went down - playoff game against the Bengals. I was in the very top row at the 50 yard line. One of those, "he'll get up and be fine" moments. What an athlete!
2008-01-18 14:43:18
139.   kinbote
Juan Pierre throws like a dart player and bats like a badminton player. Does that count?
2008-01-18 14:45:18
140.   Kevin Lewis
I can't believe my parents bought me the Bo Jackson sneakers. I still remember the awesome poster my friend had of Bo as a baseball and football player. He was something
2008-01-18 14:48:55
141.   ToyCannon
Twas a sad day when Bo's hip went snarky on him. I enjoyed him more in a baseball uniform then a football uniform and I loved the commercials.
I wish MJ had been able to make it for at least a few at bats. When he tried to play baseball it must have opened up some eyes for those kids who adored him and thought of baseball as a ancient sport only played by farm boys and island dwellers.
2008-01-18 14:58:14
142.   Ken Noe
People still drive by Bo's old house here in Auburn, although he hasn't lived there in years. But the best pure runner I ever saw, better than Bo or Walker, was Marcus Dupree. If you haven't read Willie Morris's The Courting of Marcus Dupree, I highly recommend it.
2008-01-18 14:58:22
143.   Disabled List
I actually wished Bo had just focused on football. He was an amazing baseball player, but I think he could have been one of the five or ten greatest running backs in NFL history if he had given it his full attention.
2008-01-18 14:59:26
144.   sajjushah
Charlie Ward...Heisman, and nobody in the NBA.
2008-01-18 15:00:05
145.   Andrew Shimmin
"John" is not short for anything

Not usually, but it's short for the given first name of one of the Presidential aspirants, this year.

2008-01-18 15:02:36
146.   Eric Enders
Sandy Koufax went to the University of Cincinnati on a basketball scholarship, although I don't think he lasted beyond his freshman year.
2008-01-18 15:06:42
147.   cargill06
does acting count?? wasn't kahlil greene in fast times at ridgemont high???
2008-01-18 15:13:18
148.   ToyCannon
Per a chat by Keith Law going on right now.

Keith Law: Kemp is the only one of those three guys who could hang with the Uptons on tools. I think I'd still rank him third, just because I think the Uptons show a better feel for the game (Kemp was a basketball star in HS, so he's developing a bit late as a baseball player), but I think all three will be superstars.

I only pass this on because I respect what Law has to say.

2008-01-18 15:15:59
149.   silverwidow
K-Rod wants $12.5 million but the Angels only want to give him $10M.
2008-01-18 15:18:23
150.   Jon Weisman
147 - Khalil Greene was nearing his third birthday when Fast Times came out ... I guess he could have been Mini-Spicoli.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-01-18 15:19:54
151.   ToyCannon
143
Since football ended his career I wish he had concentrated on baseball. To be honest I don't understand why anyone plays football if they can play baseball. You not only run the risk of serious injury but the financial rewards are much greater in baseball then football. In baseball you can be Eric Byrnes or Juan Pierre and pull in 10 million.
2008-01-18 15:21:41
152.   ToyCannon
Spicoli was awesome but my favorite martian kicked butt.
2008-01-18 15:23:01
153.   LAT
141. I was glad when Jordan flamed out at baseball for a couple of reasons. First, it gave some credibility to baseball that one of the best athletes in the world could not just pick up a bat and hit even AA pitching. Also, there was a lot of talk that Jordan left the NBA because of serious gambling issues and Stern was on the verge of suspending him. The baseball experiment was really just a distraction from the gambling and if he had been successful at baseball he would have been in a position to tell Stern where to put it. While he was the greatest basketball player ever, I'm glad he couldn't cut it in baseball.
2008-01-18 15:25:39
154.   Andrew Shimmin
In baseball you can be Eric Byrnes or Juan Pierre and pull in 10 million.

You, sir, are no gentleman!

2008-01-18 15:28:24
155.   SG6
152 - Mr. Hand sure knew how to share a pizza with the class.

Nothing like a little feast on our time!

2008-01-18 15:34:01
156.   ToyCannon
153
Not me, I wish he had made it. How many athletes saw him fail and then decided not to try baseball and just concentrate on football or baseball. Being 6'6 he was going against the odds as a hitter but I'd love to see the 5'10 - 6'4 guys playing CB/WR/RB give baseball a shot. I think were missing out on some special talents. I'd like to see an influx of Aarons, Mays, Robinson, Stargell, and McCovey again. I'm thrilled to see the Upton's and Kemp doing it in baseball.
2008-01-18 15:38:52
157.   bhsportsguy
150 Probably discussed many moons ago but Phoebe Cates, at least to me outshines all of today's wannabe starlets.
2008-01-18 15:52:08
158.   Jon Weisman
157 - Indeed, discussed. Phoebe Cates is in the DT pantheon.
2008-01-18 16:01:59
159.   Jon Weisman
Quickie new post up top.

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