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About Jon
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Triangle Table with Dylan Hernandez and Diamond Leung
2008-02-14 07:34
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I know, for today, it should be a heart-shaped table. But those are on backorder.

In any case, before they were completely lost in the grind of covering the 2008 baseball season, Dodger beat writers Dylan Hernandez of the Times and Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise agreed to share some thoughts about the upcoming season. Really appreciate both of them participating.

And away we go ...

Jon: Just to get this out of the way, what are your thoughts on the clubhouse rift from last season, now that months have passed? Do you think the players will be on the same page this season? Do they need to be?

Dylan: Jon, as I'm sure you noticed, the tensions started to surface when the team started tumbling down the standings. Losing is what led to the changing of players' roles and the complaining by at least one player of how the club refused to part with its prospects to acquire an impact-type veteran. Whether the players are on the same page this season, or at least appear to be that way to the public, will depend largely on the results.

Diamond: Dodger players have said this offseason that whatever clubhouse problems they had were overblown by the media. Among casual observers, there seems to be the perception that a battle line was drawn between young and old across the room. It all probably falls somewhere in the middle. Russell Martin seemed to understand this in September. When Rafael Furcal initiated a conversation with him, Martin noticed writers were within earshot and deadpanned, "I don't know if I'm supposed to be talking to you (Furcal)." I suspect Joe Torre will come in with enough credibility to put an end to any nonsense, but we'll see.

Jon: I agree that the losing seemed to produce the grief. But before I move on, let me just ask if you think Martin is ready to emerge as the leader of this team. He has always seemed mature, and I thought his silence to the media (at least on the record) when all the stuff was going on spoke volumes. If the team slumps and any uniting needs to be done, can he be the one who does it? Does he have the respect of the veterans, should hard times hit and the rift ever return?

Diamond: It would seem Martin has all the tools necessary to be a capable leader. He comes to play every day, wants to play every day, and plays while hurt. He might not be a rah-rah type guy at this stage of his career, but his passion and production on the field make up for that, and those qualities can be infectious. As for the veterans, I'm sure they'd respond more to Martin putting the team on his back with what he does on the field anyway.

Dylan: Martin's willingness to play every day and, perhaps more importantly, learn, has earned him the respect of the veterans. Whether he'll be a more vocal presence and how he'll transition from being a precocious young player into a bona fide leader is something to keep an eye on over the next couple of seasons.

Management seems to be hoping that Andruw Jones can help unify the clubhouse, as Ned Colletti has mentioned on more than one occasion that Jones worked well with the young players in Atlanta last season.

Jon: Okay, onto the makeup of the roster and the lineup. Obviously, you haven't gotten to spend much time with Joe Torre yet, but we did get some signals last month that Juan Pierre isn't guaranteed 162 games this season. What do you foresee happening with the outfield?

Diamond: Management does indeed appear to be more open-minded about sitting Pierre this season. Last year, it seemed having that him hit lower in the order was as far as Grady Little would go, and if my memory serves me correctly, Pierre was even inserted into the game as a defensive replacement to preserve his streak of consecutive games played. Ned Colletti has called Pierre a complementary player, and my guess is he'll be eased into that role. I can see Pierre as the opening day left fielder and platooning with Andre Ethier. The more productive of the two would then have his playing time increased as the season progressed.

Jon: Let's talk about the infield. Last month, Colletti seemed open to the idea of Andy LaRoche getting the starting spot at third base, but even the most favored rookies during Colletti's tenure have usually needed to wait until at least May to get in the lineup regularly. With most of the lineup locked in, however, could LaRoche truly get the call, allowing Nomar Garciaparra to become a pinch-hitting specialist?

Dylan: I think so, if only because the Dodgers would like the roster flexibility they'd have with LaRoche as the starter. On the bench, Garciaparra could fill multiple roles - backup at first and third, and an experienced bat off the bench, which Torre said was something he wanted - and save the team a roster spot. That's particularly important in a year when Delwyn Young is out of options, as it'll allow Torre to decide whether he wants 11 or 12 pitchers. (Of course, if Garciaparra beats out LaRoche, the Dodgers could always send LaRoche to Las Vegas and have Abreu back up at second and third. But Colletti basically said last month that LaRoche would have play his way off the roster to not make the club.)

Both Garciaparra and LaRoche enter the spring with serious question marks. Can Garciaparra bounce back? Can LaRoche, who looked completely overwhelmed last September, make the necessary adjustments to become an everyday big-leaguer? Neither question can be answered with any certainty right now.

Diamond: Colletti seems very willing to give LaRoche a fair shot at the starting job, and Garciaparra has said all the right things about accepting any role given to him. At the same time, I still think Garciaparra must be considered the incumbent at third base. LaRoche will need to prove his back is healthy so that he can play consistent defense and all the minor league offensive exploits we've heard about start to translate on the major league level. Let's also keep in mind he's only 115 plate appearances into his career.

Jon: Clearly, what happens at third base will directly affect the makeup of the bench. But if you had to pick one dark horse to make the Opening Day roster, who would you pick?

Diamond: It wouldn't surprise me if Ramon Martinez were to somehow make the team. Assuming LaRoche makes it, Martinez would be battling Tony Abreu and Chin-lung Hu for a utility role. Abreu will have to prove first of all that he's healthy, and he'll also need a nice spring to prove that he shouldn't need to "knock the door down" from Las Vegas. Hu will likely be asked to see some more pitching in Triple-A, where he could potentially play some more second base to improve his versatility. Martinez can play second, third and shortstop on the major league team. He wouldn't need to hit a whole lot behind a strong bench consisting of the fourth outfielder, whoever doesn't start at third base that day, and presumably Delwyn Young.

Dylan: If they go with 12 pitchers, they might want to have an extra lefty in the bullpen. Is Eric Stults enough of a dark horse to be called a dark horse? (For that matter, is Martinez?) If Stults doesn't qualify, I'd say one of the two left-handed non-roster invitees they recently signed, Tom Martin or Mike Myers.

Jon: As for the starting rotation, will the Dodgers play conservative with Jason Schmidt? And perhaps more importantly, do you think Jason Schmidt will play conservative with Jason Schmidt? And who else has a realistic chance to be his understudy in April besides Esteban Loaiza?

Dylan: Stan Conte tends to be on the conservative side, so I'm guessing, yes, the team will be conservative with Schmidt. I don't know if Schmidt can be expected to be conservative. What can be expected of Schmidt, however, is for him to be honest. It's up to the trainers to use that information and take what they deem is the best course of action.

Colletti picked up Loaiza and his $6.5 million salary for this season believing he could be in the rotation, so he'll be given every chance to win a spot if Schmidt can't go. If Loaiza, for some reason, isn't an option, next in line would probably be Hong-Chih Kuo, who started his rehab before the end of last season.

The Dodgers have three pitchers who spent significant time on the DL vying for that fifth spot and are basically hoping that at least one of them will be healthy at all times.

Diamond: Management has always been enamored by Kuo's potential, and it's just a matter of staying healthy for him. That he's out of options and has traditionally struggled coming out of the bullpen might once again make him a contender for the rotation. The Dodgers have invested plenty of time and money in him and should give him every opportunity to succeed.

Jon: I'd say we're close to wrapping this up. For a final question on the eve of Spring Training, could you fill in the blank? The Dodgers' fate in 2008 depends mostly on ______________

Diamond: It depends mostly on whether or not the kids fulfill their potential sooner than later. Matt Kemp, James Loney and Chad Billingsley have already shown they can be front-line major league players, so imagine if they kept it up over a full season. Add the All-Star play of Russell Martin, starts from Andy LaRoche and solid contributions from Andre Ethier, and the Dodgers would be in great shape. They made strong free-agent signings and have former All-Stars in their lineup and rotation. The kids playing everyday would also result in a veteran bench. The big question is how much of an opportunity the youth movement will get to thrive at the onset under Joe Torre, who inherits the tough task of easing the transition.

Thanks, Jon, for inviting me to participate. Dodger Thoughts is an everyday must-read for me, and I want to also thank the site's readers for checking out my coverage, especially on the blog. Whoops, sorry for the Rule 9 violations on there.

Dylan: …. the health of the pitching staff. The addition of Jones, coupled with the return to health of Furcal, would seem to indicate that this team will be better offensively than last year's. Pitching, as Torre has said repeatedly, is the key. The start of last season's slide coincided with that period when Randy Wolf, Hong-Chih Kuo and Chin-hui Tsao went down. The freefall started when Brad Penny and Derek Lowe suffered their respective abdominal and hip injuries.

Jon, I'd also like to thank you for the invitation to chat. See you at the park.

* * *

Jason Schmidt agreed that he might be ready to start the season on the active roster, reports Tony Jackson of the Daily News.

"I have no idea," Schmidt said. "It will dictate itself. I would like to say yeah, I'll be ready, but we really don't know what is going to happen down here."

Schmidt's rehabilitation isn't happening in a vacuum. The only other serious contender for the fifth spot is Esteban Loaiza, a 13-year major-league veteran who probably will go to the bullpen if Schmidt is ready.

The most recent of Loaiza's 37 career relief appearances came in 2004, when he was pitching for the New York Yankees and Joe Torre.

Loaiza has never been a reliever for more than a few weeks at a time.

When he was asked if he could make such a transition, he said he didn't know.

"I can't really answer that question right now," he said. "It's not my decision. I just have to perform and do my best and see what happens."

Meanwhile, is there something to be said for giving even your best pitcher's arm a little bit of extra rest during the season? David Pinto of Baseball Musings makes a persuasive case, and then passes along a story about the A's debating whether the opposite happened in the case of Rich Harden.

Comments (487)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-02-14 07:49:01
1.   Eric Stephen
Jon, this is good stuff, thanks.

How sweet is it to be a baseball fan in this day and age? We have this wonderful site, of course, but also dedicated beat writers from three newspapers regularly updating us on their respective sites. Even Ken Gurnick, although he appears to hate the team at times, provides a steady stream of information on Dodgers.com. Throw in a proactive Josh Rawitch from the inside, and we are truly lucky to have such great access.

Hell, I live in San Diego, and I'm still able to watch almost every game thanks to Extra Innings.

What's funny is that, even though all this access would have been unheard of 15 or so years ago, I'm sure we'll look back in 2025 and think, "My God, how did those poor primitive shlocks in 2008 live under such oppressive conditions!" :)

2008-02-14 07:59:13
2.   ToyCannon
Eric just a quick thanks for the link to the Petty movie. Always been a fan so that will be a must buy for me.

The blogging world must be a godsend to some of these writers who have been limited by what you can do in newsprint. Joe P has gone crazy in a good way. It is obvious that he loves to write and now that he's writing novels everyday, just think how stunted he must have felt before when every column had to fit in a round hole. Now he can write in any size.

2008-02-14 08:02:29
3.   Eric Stephen
2
Yeah, the Petty movie was on Sundance over the weekend and I recorded it, and watched it when I was home sick on Tuesday. It was awesome, a great out of the blue surprise.

If the internet is Greenwich Village in the 1960s, then Joe Posnanski is Bob Dylan! :)

2008-02-14 08:32:32
4.   kinbote
Great stuff, Jon. Thank you.

OT: Can you imagine being a Royals fan right now? Tomko is being handed a rotation job and Hoe-shaver is slated to be a long reliever.

2008-02-14 08:45:47
5.   Sushirabbit
I enjoyed the triangle table, too.

GCRL, if you're still around are you going to join Lumber&Leather this year? Shoot me an email.

2008-02-14 08:55:02
6.   Hythloday
sushi, i'm in again this year. i'll sign up this weekend
2008-02-14 08:57:07
7.   Bob Timmermann
I always knew the Trilateral Commission was behind Dodger Thoughts.
2008-02-14 09:10:06
8.   Sushirabbit
3 Is Joe Morgan Tiny Tim?
2008-02-14 09:15:54
9.   wireroom
Do any of you guys know of a pitcher who has had similar shoulder surgery as Schmidt and was able to come back at least enough to be decent?
2008-02-14 09:30:05
10.   Xeifrank
9. I think this was a hot topic of conversation over the fall/winter. Can't remember for sure, but not many have come back but there is a new way of treating it. Others chime in.
vr, Xei
2008-02-14 09:36:01
11.   Terry A
C'mon, Dylan! Let's hear what you think about Pierre! No ducking the questions!

Seriously: My appreciation to both beat writers and to Jon.

2008-02-14 09:36:23
12.   wireroom
10 Yeah I knew that it was a highly invasive procedure, but I couldn't think of anyone off the top of my head who has come back from the labrum surgery that he has had.
I guess I am just trying to prepare myself for what the reality of the situation is.
2008-02-14 09:41:44
13.   Jon Weisman
12 - Just to reiterate 10 ... No starting pitcher to date that I know of has come back effectively, but they claim to have made advances, and the past doesn't necessarily indicate what the future holds for Schmidt.

But sure, don't count on him being what he was, even when he gets healthy.

2008-02-14 09:48:35
14.   wireroom
13 Oh, I understand that everybody has a different physiology and the procedures do improve.
And I am quite the eternal Dodger optimist, so with that said, I tend to beleive that Schmidt will be the trailblazer with coming back from that injury.
I really hope so. I have always enjoyed watching him pitch.
2008-02-14 09:48:38
15.   Eric Stephen
Maybe the new procedure can be named after Schmidt, keeping another Dodgers tradition alive.
2008-02-14 09:54:04
16.   wireroom
I also wonder how you gauge a players own idea of where they are at. Is Schmidt being careful, guarded, or optimistic when he says "I have no idea," or is he being realistic with himself and thinking, "I don't think I can come back." I just remember with Gagne how many times he said he was fine and he wasn't. I would hope that Schmidt is honest with himself and waits it out until july or august. Getting him for a stretch run would be ok then too.
2008-02-14 10:01:34
17.   cargill06
9 drew brees tore his labrum dec. of '05 and was ready to go in aug. '06. he had the best year of his career in '06 and was quoted saying that it's the best his arm has ever felt. it took him 8 months to rehab, i know it's completely different comparing QB's and pitchers but it is something positive to look at.
2008-02-14 10:10:00
18.   Jon Weisman
Arizona team health report:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7142

2008-02-14 10:16:05
19.   wireroom
17 It is similar circumstances, a good comparison. I may be wrong, but I think Schmidt had a completely disclocated labrum and not just a tear though.
2008-02-14 10:21:06
20.   MC Safety
Nice post Jon. I really hope Tony Abreu makes the team.

From the last thread: Did any of you guys go to the Tom Petty/Strokes concert at Hollywood Bowl last year?

2008-02-14 10:26:57
21.   Xeifrank
Nice article (Part 3 of three part series) on the new GM for the Pirates. He looks like a very statistically inclined GM and one I would love the Dodgers to have, but we've been down the road before, right!?

Worth a read.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08044/856979-63.stm

vr, Xei

2008-02-14 10:28:41
22.   wireroom
18 I didn't get to read the full article because I am not a member, but the part I read makes sense. Having an understanding of how each players physical makeup works is important. Maybe younger, more recently schooled trainers have a better understanding of what should be done as far as training goes.
My brother is going to school for physiology and is a well fit gymnast. He tells me similar type things with the teams he trains.
I wish I could read the full article. Damn being poor and in school again.
2008-02-14 10:30:25
23.   Jon Weisman
From Kevin Roderick at L.A. Observed:

"NPR to honor Red Barber: Friday's 'Morning Edition' remembers the former Brooklyn Dodgers announcer who appeared on the show weekly for years. He would have been 100 years old this weekend."

2008-02-14 10:30:49
24.   madmac
15 Holy Schmidt
2008-02-14 10:34:29
25.   LogikReader
23

I didn't realize he was on Morning Edition for all those years (1981 to about 1992). That's really cool.

I wonder what Bob Edwards thinks about this.

2008-02-14 10:36:02
26.   regfairfield
21 I'll be more impressed when he actually makes a good move. So far he's stocked up on AAAA arms (which the Pirates had in spades) and resigned Freddy Sanchez. Not exactly rebuilding there.

I guess Dave Littlefield would have got Odalis and Luis Gonzalez, so that's an improvement.

2008-02-14 10:40:59
27.   regfairfield
Pujols might need Tommy John surgery, people in keeper leagues on suicide watch.

http://tinyurl.com/ywa466

2008-02-14 10:43:19
28.   Jon Weisman
25 - There was a book that Edwards wrote, "Mornings with Red," that was pretty good. I guess it's not being published anymore, though - Amazon seems to only have it available as used.
2008-02-14 10:43:26
29.   silverwidow
I'm pretty sure the Giants are going to lose 100 games. Who else?
2008-02-14 10:43:42
30.   wireroom
21 Just because a guy is statistically or sabermetrically inclined doesn't make him a good GM. A lot does depend on re organizing like this guy is doing for the Pirates, but people won't want to play or work for him if he isn't good with other skills. I am a firm believer in communication skills. I guess time will tell if he was able to lead them somewhere besides the bottom.
2008-02-14 10:44:51
31.   regfairfield
The Orioles are really terrible. Their best pitcher missed all of last year, they have no shortstop, first baseman, third baseman, left fielder, centerfielder, DH, or bullpen.
2008-02-14 10:48:16
32.   regfairfield
Actually, this might be a worse team than the Giants.

C Ramon Hernandez
1B Kevin Millar
2B Brian Roberts
SS Brandon Fahey?
3B Melvin Mora
LF Jay Payton
CF Adam Jones
RF Nick Markakis

SP Jeremy Guthrie
SP Adam Loewen
SP Daniel Cabrera
SP Matt Albers
SP Hayden Penn?

CL George Sherill?

Maybe not Giants bad, but it's close.

2008-02-14 10:49:20
33.   silverwidow
At least Tampa Bay will finally sport a good team this year.
2008-02-14 10:49:23
34.   Eric Stephen
31
No centerfielder, you say? We should help them rectify that.
2008-02-14 10:50:35
35.   cargill06
19 i don't think you can dislocate a labrum since it's a muscle. there was also a torn biceps tendon and scarring of the bursa sac with schmidt also. it wasn't just a torn labrum. brees, however also had a slight rotator cuff tear to go with his torn labrum, their injuries maybe similar in severity.
2008-02-14 10:50:38
36.   Eric Stephen
The Giants offense looks like it will be historically bad, but their pitching is good enough to keep them under 100 losses.
2008-02-14 10:51:20
37.   regfairfield
34 I just remembered they got Adam Jones, but I'm thinking he'll struggle this year. Still has issues controlling the strike zone that he probably needs another year to work out.
2008-02-14 10:51:53
38.   Eric Stephen
32
Also, the Orioles last offseason gave multi-year contracts to the Bradford, Baez, and Walker in their bullpen. But none of them seem like closer material. Sad.
2008-02-14 10:51:59
39.   Jon Weisman
28 - Sorry, that's called "Fridays with Red"
2008-02-14 10:53:10
40.   ToyCannon
Adam Jones isn't a CF? They will be terrible but the new GM is doing a bangup job of getting solid stuff while he builds for the future. The return for Tejada was light but when you consider he might not even be allowed a visa it doesn't look so bad.
His return on the Bedard deal was as good as it gets. Can't remember a deal in which one team received so much rebuilding material. All of those guys can be major leaguers and Sherril will probably be their closer this year.
2008-02-14 10:53:44
41.   ToyCannon
Oops, should have refreshed.
2008-02-14 10:54:16
42.   regfairfield
38 Baez is out for the year, so is Chris Ray. I think their best plan is go with a Sherill/Bradford duo at closer, but since that would involve the dreaded closer by committee, I doubt they'd do it.
2008-02-14 10:54:35
43.   Bob Timmermann
labrum - a rim or cup of cartilage that contributes to shoulder stability by deepening and increasing the glenoid surface area, and by providing attachments for the shoulder capsule and various ligaments and tendons.
2008-02-14 10:56:05
44.   bhsportsguy
40 I'm sorry, all trades will now be based on the Kwame/Jarvis deal for Gasol standard or how many other team execs can you get to complain to the media about how you made that deal.

Even the Santana deal was better than that.

2008-02-14 10:56:48
45.   ToyCannon
36
They might have the best rotation in the league with Cain, Lincecum, Zito, Lowry, Correia, and Jonathan Sanchez waiting in the wings when they trade Lowry for some hitting.
But that lineup looks like the 68 Dodgers. What was Rowand thinking?
2008-02-14 10:57:15
46.   regfairfield
45 That he could use another 20 million.
2008-02-14 10:59:25
47.   Eric Stephen
40
The Bedard return was quite a bounty, but was the Teixeira haul for Texas better?

Texas got Salty, Elvis Andrus (their BA #1 prospect), P Neftali Feliz (BA #5), and P Matt Harrison (Braves #3 in 2007).

2008-02-14 10:59:54
48.   wireroom
35 I should have said "detached," but I think I have confused the labrum with the rotator cuff. I think it is the rotator cuff that becomes detached. I don't know, I am sure someone here knows.
2008-02-14 11:01:02
49.   Eric Stephen
44
That's an excellent point. Kupchack has gone from pariah to possible executive of the year in like 5 months.

It's times like these that you weep for the Effigy District.

2008-02-14 11:01:22
50.   wireroom
48 Bobkipedia already had the answer before I could post my post.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-02-14 11:01:43
51.   ToyCannon
44
We shall see. Marc Gasol was developing quite well in Europe this year and was probably a steal in the draft. If Jarvis ends up starting and Gasol comes over and starts and they use the cap money they save on Kwame's expiring contract and bring in Childress combined with Gay, plus the two supporting players they get with the Laker number one's it won't look so one sided. But it won't matter because if the Lakers needed one guy, it was Gasol. He was made for this team.
2008-02-14 11:03:16
52.   ToyCannon
47
Depends how Tillman does. A Jones is the best player in either deal. Salty has to remain a catcher to really make that deal look good for Texas and I'm not sure he will.
2008-02-14 11:03:53
53.   regfairfield
47 I think getting Adam Jones alone makes it a better deal. Picking up two decent pitching prospects helps too.
2008-02-14 11:04:48
54.   underdog
The Orioles probably will be terrible, but at least they're now on the right path for rebuilding. Seems like Angelos is finally more willing to butt out and let the GM rebuild properly. Jones and Markakis is a pretty darned good young outfield - and Payton's average. The infield is terrible, and that's not even counting if Brian Roberts is actually traded to the Cubs, as is rumored, or someone else. And without Bedard their rotation will certainly be a lot worse than the Giants. But I do think they'll be improved within another year.
2008-02-14 11:05:11
55.   ToyCannon
46
I bet he's booed by the end of the year when they realize his lack of center fielder skills were hidden by his ballpark and his offense plummets under PacBel and the weight of his contract.
2008-02-14 11:05:31
56.   Bob Timmermann
IANAD, but the rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that are found by where your arm connects to the shoulder. As the name implies, they allow your arm to rotate.

The labrum is a different part of your shoulder and is sort of the thing that keeps your arm and shoulder attached. Kind of. In a way. But I oversimplify.

2008-02-14 11:07:14
57.   regfairfield
54 Payton hit .256/.292/.376 last year without notable defense. I'd argue that if he can hold the job long enough to qualify, Juan Pierre won't be the worst left fielder in baseball.
2008-02-14 11:09:27
58.   ToyCannon
So yeah, the Orioles might lose 100 games this year but I'd rather have their future then the Giants. At least until the cavalry arrives in 2010 for the Giants. If Angel Villalona is what he's cracked up to be they might have a Miggy on their hands and combined with all the pitching prospects they picked up last year it may only be a few lean years for the Giants. But do you want Sabean making those deals where he's swapping pitching for hitting?
2008-02-14 11:09:47
59.   Xeifrank
Orioles and Giants will be bad this year, The Marlins and Royals need to be in this conversation too (aren't they always). Atleast some of these teams have excuses, like a small market budget, or atleast we have some good prospects in the pipeline but the Giants have nada besides their good young starting pitchers. Their farm system is Juan Pierre-esq. The Giants need a Mitch Kupchack miracle to contend in the near future, especially with the Rockies, DBacks and Dodgers all being good and young
vr, Xei
2008-02-14 11:11:47
60.   Eric Stephen
50
I'd like to think the acceptable term is "Griddlepedia".
2008-02-14 11:11:56
61.   bhsportsguy
Read into this what you will, more speculation in TJ's blog - Also, going to China, Joe Torre, Andruw Jones, and Nomar, not going, any of the main starting pitchers.

Juan Pierre showed up early today, but declined to meet with reporters, promising to do so when he returns on Tuesday. He also hinted that he knows exactly what we want to ask him about, which is the situation in left field.

Torre said hello to Pierre but didn't address the LF matter with him beyond what the two discussed over the telephone this winter. Looking more and more like J.P. will have to actually beat out Andre Ethier for the job, although Torre did admit that his history suggests he likes veteran players.

2008-02-14 11:12:13
62.   regfairfield
Heck, Payton actually brought the team average for left fielders up. As a whole Oriole left fielders hit .241/.283/.348 thanks to Jay Gibbon's .230/.272/.348. As a comparison, Dodger left fielders in 2005 hit .212/.279/.324.
2008-02-14 11:12:51
63.   Bob Timmermann
Here's a cool looking diagram of the parts of the shoulder:

http://tinyurl.com/yrobyr

2008-02-14 11:13:11
64.   wireroom
56 So then the labrum can be detached. That is the correct terminology. Thanks for the info between rotator cuff and labrum.
2008-02-14 11:13:28
65.   ToyCannon
57
With them going so young I can't imagine Payton getting many at bats before he's relegated to the bench or dealt to a team looking for a PVL.
2008-02-14 11:14:50
66.   ToyCannon
62
Wow, that is stinky bad. I couldn't even tell you who played LF but Mike Edwards must have grabbed some of those at bats.
2008-02-14 11:15:51
67.   Bob Timmermann
64
Judging by the diagram, if the labrum becomes detached, it's going to hurt.
2008-02-14 11:16:48
68.   regfairfield
66 We were lead by Ricky Ledee who hit .263/.299/.404 in 171 at bats. This was followed by Werth, Edwards, Grabowski, and Valentin.

It was a collection of players who had terrible years, who somehow managed to be extra terrible when they played left.

2008-02-14 11:17:17
69.   Eric Stephen
62
Jose Valentin actually got 70 PA as a LF in 2005. I must have blocked that from my memory.

The PAs were distributed rather evenly to Ledee, Werth, Edwards, Grabowski, Valentin, and Repko. Chin-Feng Chen picked up 4 PA as well.

The best performance of that group was Ledee's .263/.299/.404. Yikes.

2008-02-14 11:21:18
70.   kinbote
U.S.S. Mariner has a great post up now. I would explain what it's about, but I'm not quite sure what to call it. I have to hand it to Jon and the many posters here who truly understand advanced statististics as they apply to baseball. Weird wild stuff.
2008-02-14 11:22:41
71.   Jon Weisman
61 - Should we tell Joe that this is Ethier's third season. He's a vet, he's a vet!
2008-02-14 11:24:37
72.   Eric Stephen
71
Jon, was Tony Jackson invited to the square table?
2008-02-14 11:28:22
73.   wireroom
63 I wonder why there hasn't been more coraco-acromial ligiment procedures?
2008-02-14 11:29:31
74.   Kevin Lewis
46

I understand wanting more money, but I mean, he's already making a ton. Wouldn't you want to give your team a discount to stay with a contender and a pretty exciting place to play? Or do these players just not know how to save their money?

2008-02-14 11:33:27
75.   Jon Weisman
72 - Assuming he got the e-mail, yes.
2008-02-14 11:33:41
76.   Eric Stephen
74
I find it hard to fathom the massive earning power of MLB players. That said, even I have already made a little more than $10 million in my lifetime -- as Aaron Rowand has -- it would still be hard to turn down an extra $20 million, if that was in fact the difference in offers.
2008-02-14 11:35:43
77.   ToyCannon
70
That is the kind of stuff that regfairfield used to do regularly. Hungry readers are curious when that might be happening again.
2008-02-14 11:36:09
78.   fanerman
76 I find it hard to fathom the massive earning power of MLB players.

Seriously. I have a decent-paying job and it's pennies compared to what a pro athlete makes. I try not to think about it too much.

2008-02-14 11:37:02
79.   Xeifrank
70. Yeah, I love reading that site. I ranked it #7 of my favorite baseball oriented blogs (DT#1). Probably the best team oriented stats site though. The writers can be a little snarky sometimes and it spills over into the comments. Glad people here are more civil.
vr, Xei
2008-02-14 11:37:08
80.   Bob Timmermann
Where's D4P when you need him? We're having a discussion about overpaid players and he's not here.
2008-02-14 11:37:29
81.   ToyCannon
74
I need to find the link but I was reading the other day that most basketball players will end up broke by the time they are 40. Baseball players have the incredible pension and they should thank Marvin Miller before they take the field every day. No man did more for the professional baseball player then that man.
2008-02-14 11:37:44
82.   El Lay Dave
77 Depends on when he can escape the cave-like atmosphere of his work environment long enough, I guess.
2008-02-14 11:38:22
83.   Eric Stephen
78
I don't even think it's a jealousy issue, it's just that the numbers are so far removed from the E Zone® (as I like to call it), it's like wrapping my mind around the concept of infinity. My brain gets tied up in knots just thinking about it.
2008-02-14 11:38:54
84.   bhsportsguy
74 Sure, he made about 9 million total in the previous 3 years but this was probably his only shot at a big contract and its not like he got a mega-contract.

I don't begrudge a guy for making the best deal, the money is so big but for these guys, it is a way to set them and their families up (if managed correctly) for their longtime future.

2008-02-14 11:40:24
85.   Marty
76 You've made $10 million? You should have been buying beers at the DT outing.
2008-02-14 11:41:18
86.   Xeifrank
81. I wonder what the average difference of SAT score between pro baseball and pro basketball players is (for American born).
vr, Xei
2008-02-14 11:41:49
87.   ToyCannon
84
But it wasn't like he didn't have other suitors. If the Giants were his only suitor like the Dodgers were the only idiots to offer JP his 5 year deal then sure it is a no-brainer but it was my understanding he had suitors.
2008-02-14 11:42:21
88.   bhsportsguy
81 http://tinyurl.com/2gyzvn
2008-02-14 11:42:28
89.   silverwidow
Eric S., I saw your comment on Diamond's blog about Sweeney. I think I know the answer - it was a major league deal to begin with. Sweeney's agent said that was one of the main sticking points for him to sign.
2008-02-14 11:42:49
90.   Eric Stephen
85
The lack of the word "if" has just cost me dearly!
2008-02-14 11:42:49
91.   fanerman
85 I think there's supposed to be an "if" in that sentence. But if not, can I have some money? Please?
2008-02-14 11:43:14
92.   Bob Timmermann
86
I doubt the difference is statistically significant, but also the figures aren't tabulated. They may be for college sports, but in the pros they tend not to ask you about your SATs.
2008-02-14 11:43:26
93.   ToyCannon
85
That is what I thought when I first read it, and my 1st reaction was that I need to be nicer to Eric and then I reread it and realized he's just a poor pauper like the rest of us so he deserves the treatment he gets.
2008-02-14 11:43:54
94.   Eric Stephen
89
Thanks. I think that might have been the first comment in the history of Diamond Leung's blog! Seriously, every entry has 0 comments. I feel bad for the guy.
2008-02-14 11:43:59
95.   bhsportsguy
86 Remember that there are a lot more pro baseball players (counting minors) than NBA players and most basketball players do play in college while the vast majority of baseball players don't.
2008-02-14 11:44:03
96.   Kevin Lewis
84

So are we saying he could of made about 40mil with the Phillies? I understand wanting 20 more, but wouldn't 40mil be enough to set your family up for life if properly managed? I mean, just throw it in an ING account if you want to be safe

2008-02-14 11:44:21
97.   Jon Weisman
"Joe Torre told Jason Schmidt he's not planning on him being ready for opening day"

- from Diamond's latest.

2008-02-14 11:44:42
98.   Jon Weisman
94 - Nah, he gets comments. During the season, anyway.
2008-02-14 11:45:08
99.   ToyCannon
88
Isn't that amazing?
2008-02-14 11:45:43
100.   Xeifrank
92. Well my point was just that perhaps education (or lack of) had something to do with the basketball players going broke by 40 more so than the baseball players. Perhaps not the leading factor but a significant one.
vr, Xei
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-02-14 11:46:49
101.   Eric Stephen
Speaking of Diamond Leung, he has the following Torre quote about JP:

"With Juan Pierre, there are so many things about him that are impressive. He plays every day, has 200 hits. I know he has no power, but he's a gamer"

2008-02-14 11:47:06
102.   Xeifrank
95. That's why I said SAT scores. :)
vr, Xei
2008-02-14 11:47:20
103.   ToyCannon
94
Now I know why your posting on True Blue. Pity comments. Not quite as good as pity sex but I'll take it.
2008-02-14 11:47:49
104.   old dodger fan
No wonder Torre won't go to China

http://tinyurl.com/yogex4

2008-02-14 11:47:51
105.   Xeifrank
101. Can someone put that Torre quote through the Babelfish translator? :)
vr, Xei
2008-02-14 11:48:08
106.   silverwidow
101 Torre is parroting Ned. Yikes.
2008-02-14 11:48:43
107.   Kevin Lewis
88

That was kind of depressing. But you reap what you sow, I guess.

2008-02-14 11:48:47
108.   Xeifrank
104. What kind of site does that tiny url link to? sfw??
vr, Xei
2008-02-14 11:49:25
109.   ToyCannon
100
It seems to be more about the proliferation of their genes. Child support is a female dog.
2008-02-14 11:50:00
110.   Bob Timmermann
108
That depends upon your opinion of the New York Times.
2008-02-14 11:50:16
111.   Eric Stephen
108
The link is SFW.
2008-02-14 11:50:37
112.   El Lay Dave
The major league minimum was $327,000 in 2006 ($390,000 this year). In 2006 the lowest U.S. household income for the top 5% in earnings was $174,012, per the U.S. census bureau. MLB players are indeed in a very different earnings stratum than most of us.
2008-02-14 11:51:48
113.   paranoidandroid
Great post Jon. I feel like an insider with your site as a daily read.

I just have to say that Diamond's pick of Ramon Martinez as a dark horse to make the opening day roster is not likely unless Kent, Abreu, Nomar or LaRoche are disabled.

I think Abreu proved he was ready last year. Being able to hit for a bit of power from both sides of the plate with all that speed he has, how do you send him to AAA and keep Ramon? Especially if you are grooming Abreu to take second base in 09.

Kent will need to sit out some games to remain strong, and Abreu is a logical late inning defensive replacement. He can also give Furcal an occasional day off too.

The only way (barring a rash of spring injuries) that Ramon can make the club is if both LaRoche and Delwyn aren't there for some reason.

Thank you Ramon for your time and effort, and we appreciate you being a back-up option at Vegas. You have been a bona fide professional and we hope to see you on September 1st.

2008-02-14 11:52:23
114.   Xeifrank
109. haha, so true. I remember the old UNLV teams rolling up to UCSB in the late 80s (Gilliam, Johnson etc...) and they all had wives/girlfriends and babies travelling with them. For some reason at the time, I thought that was odd. I guess they were just starting their proliferation early.
vr, Xei
2008-02-14 11:55:44
115.   paranoidandroid
104 Torre has to go to China, where did you hear he wasn't going?

I've traveled in Asia, including China. I've never had an issue with food there. I don't eat meat though. Nor bags of insects like they have in Thailand.

2008-02-14 11:56:23
116.   Xeifrank
Actually, the food is one of the reasons I'd want to go to China. As long as you aren't eating food from the street vendors you should be ok. The thing I worry about the most is the awful air. Torre and crew should just pack along their favorite strain of anti-biotics and immodium.
vr, Xei
2008-02-14 11:56:26
117.   cargill06
97 hopefully just trying to tell him take your time don't rush it
2008-02-14 11:57:07
118.   ToyCannon
113
I don't even think Ramon is a dark horse. I think he's the favorite, Joe is going to want a veteran bench. I have no problem with Hu/Abreu putting on a show in Vegas. If Kent goes down then I think Abreu gets the shot not Ramon but I don't think Abreu will be on the bench. Can't wait to find out how Torre wants to configure his team.
2008-02-14 12:04:49
119.   El Lay Dave
Man Jon, I forgot to thank you for the great post. Thanks for taking the time to organize the discussion and post it for us. I felt like the proverbial fly on the wall, except you probably did this via conference call - fly on the wire(less)?
2008-02-14 12:09:44
120.   MC Safety
101 Great.
2008-02-14 12:12:00
121.   old dodger fan
115 I don't recall where I read it. It was earlier today. Maybe it's not true. Tony Jackson's post today says that some are not making the trip but he does not mention Torre.

I was a bit surprised by the NY Times article. I have eaten a lot of food in China (including meat) without any problems.

2008-02-14 12:12:51
122.   paranoidandroid
118 You are a smart baseball mind Mr. Cannon. I have great respect for your insights and your writing. However, I must disagree.

I think Hu will get all his playing time at AAA unless Furcal goes down. Abreu will be used enough with the big club to justify not starting him everyday. I think Ramon is insurance at Vegas. In this case, I hope I'm right.

2008-02-14 12:17:10
123.   Eric Enders
Thanks for doing this, Jon. This is one of the better recent times for Dodger beat writers, I think, as there are some young, hungry reporters on the beat now instead of burned-out guys going through the motions for a paycheck.

3 asked "can you imagine being a Royals fan right now?" Well, the team might be bad, but think of all the great writers who cover or follow the Royals -- Joe Posnanski, Bill James, Rob Neyer, Rany Jazayerli, John Sickels, etc. It would at least be entertaining to be a Royals fan. Being a Marlins fan, now that would be misery.

2008-02-14 12:18:06
124.   silverwidow
121 Torre is making the trip. He was in China not too long ago to promote it.
2008-02-14 12:18:31
125.   old dodger fan
From Dodgers website:

The Dodgers will split their squad March 11, when Torre takes one group to China for a two-game goodwill series against the Padres and leaves the other to play games in Florida. The two squads reunite in Arizona on March 18 at the training facility of the A's, who will have left for their season-opening series in Japan.

So I was wrong. Sorry for spreading false rumors. I know I read it somewhere.

2008-02-14 12:18:43
126.   JoeyP
I'll be more impressed when he actually makes a good move.

Didnt he fire Jim Tracy? That has to count for something.

101---Torre only became smart when he had Yankee talent. He wasnt that good with the Braves or Cardinals---to the extent that a manager can make a team better. They can make them worse (for sure).

2008-02-14 12:18:53
127.   Eric Enders
"He plays every day."
--Joe Torre on Juan Pierre

Do you guys view this quote as more of a philosophy, or a historical observation?

2008-02-14 12:19:33
128.   El Lay Dave
121 But were you being tested for steroids and other performance-enhancing substances?
2008-02-14 12:20:23
129.   JoeyP
118--Ramon Martinez will be the to Joe Torre what Miguel Cairo/Luis Sojo were. Apparently he always needs that really crappy, ultra PVL, utility player to talk with on the bench.
2008-02-14 12:20:48
130.   old dodger fan
Schmidt update at Diamond Leung's Dodger Blog
2008-02-14 12:20:55
131.   Eric Enders
By the way, does anyone know where the Dodgers' extended spring training and GCL team will be located this year? Vero or Arizona?
2008-02-14 12:22:02
132.   paranoidandroid
129 He'll have Sweeney and Nomar. He doesn't need Ramon and neither do we.
2008-02-14 12:22:04
133.   bhsportsguy
122 Sorry P-Droid, I appreciate your enthusiam and hope but I think as long as Ramon is healthy and more importantly if LaRoche does win 3B, they will keep Ramon and send Abreu to play a variety of positons in Vegas with Hu.

Kent is not going to be subbed out as much as you think, and I see him not playing maybe 2 games every 3 weeks or so, barring any minor injuries.

2008-02-14 12:25:05
134.   cargill06
130 could you please link me? i dont know what his blog is
2008-02-14 12:25:32
135.   El Lay Dave
129 In the AL, without having to PH for pitchers, that can be afforded. Not quite the same luxury in the NL. That said, I can see the scenario in 133 happening and Ned arguing that Hu/Abreu playing a lot together is best for the organization.
2008-02-14 12:26:31
136.   El Lay Dave
134 It's the link at the top of Jon's post today, and on the right sidebar.
2008-02-14 12:26:34
137.   bhsportsguy
Generally, teams like their younger position players to play everyday as opposed to sitting on the bench. As long as he has options, he is only an hour away in Vegas.

Again, what has been the Dodgers pattern during the last two seasons, outside of the outfield situation, when the younger guys get called up, they play (Martin, Ethier, Kemp, Loney). If LaRoche is on the 25-man roster on March 31st, he's playing most of the time at 3B.

That all being said, its pretty likely that Abreu, Hu and some of the pitchers on the 40 man are going to see time in LA, its just not going to be April barring some injury.

2008-02-14 12:28:18
138.   Eric Stephen
135
I can live with that, as long as Ned wants the first two of the 6-4-3 and 4-6-3 combos to work together in Vegas and not the 5-4-3 DP combo as well.
2008-02-14 12:28:24
139.   bhsportsguy
131 I don't think they have said yet but its pretty doubtful they will have a facility in July so I think they will still be in Vero Beach.
2008-02-14 12:28:32
140.   paranoidandroid
133 I'm surprised I stand alone on this issue. Have some faith gentlemen, Torre will have major influence and he'll see Abreu for what he is.
2008-02-14 12:29:26
141.   Eric Enders
133 "Kent is not going to be subbed out as much as you think, and I see him not playing maybe 2 games every 3 weeks or so"

Kent sitting out twice every three weeks would mean starting 145 games. He hasn't started that many since the year 2000. Plus he's 40 now.

2008-02-14 12:29:54
142.   El Lay Dave
136 ... as the "Press-Enterprise Dodgers blog" link on the right sidebar.
2008-02-14 12:30:47
143.   Eric Enders
Actually, that last post was wrong. I was looking only at Kent's games as a second baseman. If you include first base, he's started over 145 a couple of times.
2008-02-14 12:31:30
144.   bhsportsguy
140 Again, I'm not arguing that Ramon is a better player than Abreu, its more will it benefit Abreu more to sit on the bench in LA or play everyday in AAA.

Its the presence of the touted super-sub (Nomar) that leads me to believe that they are going to be more willing to have Ramon sit on the bench than Abreu.

2008-02-14 12:31:46
145.   OhioBlues12
I also think that Abreu makes the team as the utility infielder. There was talk right after the season that Kent would be sharing more time this season. I could seriously envision a scenario where Abreu plays everytime Lowe pitches.
2008-02-14 12:33:04
146.   silverwidow
I guess we have to wait 'til 2009 to see Kershaw in big league camp.
2008-02-14 12:34:10
147.   bhsportsguy
The need for Abreu would be greater if Furcal wasn't healthy, but that appears for right now, a moot issue.
2008-02-14 12:35:31
148.   El Lay Dave
Jeff Kent is likely batting 5th., or 6th at worst, this season; I doubt Torre wants to sit that bat too often. I do, however, envision Kent sitting a lot of day games after night games, which happens most weekends, and the occasional getaway day.
2008-02-14 12:36:37
149.   cargill06
136 142 ty
2008-02-14 12:36:47
150.   Eric Enders
"Again, I'm not arguing that Ramon is a better player than Abreu, its more will it benefit Abreu more to sit on the bench in LA or play everyday in AAA."

What if I answer the former?

We've gone through this before, but he'd still get 200-250 ABs in LA, and what's more help for your development -- 450 ABs against high-altitude AAA pitching which you already mastered last year, or 200 ABs against big league pitchers without the pressure of having to succeed in an everyday role?

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-02-14 12:38:08
151.   Eric Stephen
If sending Abreu down means a supersub role for Nomar and regular playing time at 3B for LaRoche, then sign me up!
2008-02-14 12:43:14
152.   bhsportsguy
150 Here's another argument that has not really raised its head in LA but is bound to come up more and more with this influx of home grown talent.

Service time towards arbitration.

2008-02-14 12:44:06
153.   dsfan
An example of the Dodgers being committed to intelligent process would be Torre enlisting the "gamer" Nomar to embrace a super-utility role, with Nomar spending the majority of his defensive time this spring in LF, while also seeing enough time at 3B and 1B to retain his competence there.

I realize that Ethier-Pierre-Young also are LF options, but expaning Nomar's skill set into that of a super-utility man can only help. The extra versatility might make it easier to keep one pitcher fewer and could be a service when the injuries hit, or when a tight game burns up the bench. Maybe Nomar isn't able to play an adequate LF, but it certainly is the time to find out. He has said he is willing to perform wherever the Dodgers put him. I also think it couldn't hurt LaRoche's confidence to see Nomar working on catching flyballs, not that that would be a primary consideration.

2008-02-14 12:44:43
154.   MC Safety
151 Good point. I like that line of thinking. We're not gonna win em all.
2008-02-14 12:45:42
155.   LogikReader
This one's also for you, Eric:

Devean George Blocked the trade? That's the only block he's had in the last 5 years.

---

About Pierre again. It's quite possible the management is ready to relegate JP to a supporting role, but just don't want to say it. Joe Torre's comment from up the thread makes sense. Basically, as Mr. Enders puts it (Mr. or Dr.? I ought to make sure) Joe simply said what he does.

Everyone here ready for fantasy baseball?

2008-02-14 12:45:53
156.   paranoidandroid
I think that if Ramon was in our plans, we wouldn't have bought out his option and sent him looking for another team.

The fact that every other team passed on him, his injuries from last year, and his anemic offensive history leads me to believe he is merely insurance at AAA.

I have respect for role players and for wanting a proven vet to go play defense at times. He is a good bunter too. However, there is so many more things that Abreu can do and if they are grooming him to take over at second base, he'll get plenty of starts to justify his presence. He'll also be in so many games during the late innings to shore up the defense that Abreu might play over 100 games before September.

I truly believe this. I might be wrong, but I think Torre/Ned see it this way too.

2008-02-14 12:46:13
157.   cargill06
FROM espn's chat today...

Bruce (Asbury Park, NJ): Who's got the worst rag-arm for an outfielder? It's gotta be Caveman Damon, right?

Keith Law: Shannon Stewart. Coco Crisp.

is there someone else? i can't think of anyone.

2008-02-14 12:50:06
158.   Eric Stephen
Another factor to consider with Lucille II is that he's not on the 40-man right now, and the 40-man is full. Meaning someone has to come off for Martinez to be added, which makes his presence on the team unlikely.

Put me in the Lucille II as AAA insurance camp.

2008-02-14 12:50:28
159.   bhsportsguy
156 I don't think he goes to Vegas, not after a career spent in MLB. He's probably not that vested in playing that bad.
2008-02-14 12:50:41
160.   Eric Stephen
157
That's great that the question came from Bruce in Asbury Park, NJ.
2008-02-14 12:51:48
161.   El Lay Dave
160 Even better if he had started his post, "Greetings. Who's got..."
2008-02-14 12:51:59
162.   OhioBlues12
156 - To go along with your point, Martinez was probably brought in more for competition with Abreu this spring than an actual threat to make the team. Prior to Martinez being signed, there really was no competition for Abreu outside of Hu and there probably wasn't much thought to actually having Hu be on the OD roster. AAA insurance and keeping Abreu sharp are probably Martinez' main purpose.
2008-02-14 12:54:57
163.   Eric Enders
There is also historical precedent to consider. Remember what happened when Lucille I came back for a second stint with the Dodgers as a spring training NRI?
2008-02-14 12:55:09
164.   El Lay Dave
159 He would have the option of being released and hoping to catch on elsewhere, wouldn't he?
2008-02-14 12:56:01
165.   Eric Stephen
Also from the Keith Law chat:

Joe Torre (Vero Beach): Can I show up my boss by playing Ethier, Kemp & Jones and benching his $55,000,000 peter pan?

SportsNation Keith Law: You would earn your plaque in the Hall of Fame just for that one move.

A bit of hyperbole, and overstating since Pierre's contract was $44m, not $55m (must have Dreifort on the brain!).

2008-02-14 12:56:43
166.   cargill06
let's keep the espn chat going

Matt (Phoenix): Cain and Lincecum or Kirshaw and Billingsly

Keith Law: LA's kids.

2008-02-14 12:58:14
167.   Eric Stephen
Even more from Law:

Matt (Phoenix): Cain and Lincecum or Kirshaw and Billingsly

SportsNation Keith Law: LA's kids.

Nice spelling, Matt! probably a D-Backs fan.

2008-02-14 13:03:56
168.   silverwidow
Pierre makes $10 million in 2009-10.

Disgusting.

2008-02-14 13:05:01
169.   Eric Stephen
168
Plus, his contract "goes to 20 11."
2008-02-14 13:05:29
170.   paranoidandroid
159 Ramon signed a minor league contract. I think we'd let him leave if there was a team that wanted to give him a big league spot and we assigned him to AAA. Frankly, I just don't see it happening for him this year unless injuries make it such. Who would you take off the 40 man to give him a spot?

When Ned brought him in a few years ago, he had some time in Detroit and then Philly. I think he was either released from Detroit or spent some time in the minors inbetween that time.

I also think we gave him a minor league contract for 06 until he made the team out of spring training. I have nothing to back this up, it is merely from memory which has failed me lately. I'll try to find some info on "the Google".

2008-02-14 13:05:46
171.   Eric Stephen
169
Brackets ruined my joke!
2008-02-14 13:06:13
172.   Daniel Zappala
Abreu played some 3B, 2B, and even SS last year. I think/hope Torre will use Abreu similarly to how he used Betemit last year -- liberally at 3B and 2B as a sub. (He put Betemit in for ARod on his off-days and then squeezed him into 1B other days.)
2008-02-14 13:07:56
173.   Eric Stephen
170
From Dodgers.com:

1/31/06 Signed INF Ramon Martinez and RHP Kurt Ainsworth to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training
2008-02-14 13:09:14
174.   Eric Stephen
170 ,173
And his contract was purchased on 4/3/06
2008-02-14 13:11:13
175.   Jon Weisman
From Gurnick:

Schmidt, who signed a three-year, $47 million contract, then won only one game last year before needing surgery, doesn't consider his uncertain status a disappointment. In fact, he's encouraged by a breakthrough he experienced two weeks ago, when "something literally overnight happened" and a daily soreness disappeared.

"I'm starting to see a light at the end of the road where all the work is starting to pay off," Schmidt said. "It was nice leaving for Spring Training with a lot of the stuff resolved, physically and mentally.

"If I'm ready, I'm ready. If I'm not, I'm not. It's day-to-day, and there's no timetable on it. I'm a competitive athlete and I want to push the envelope, but it's not about one day. It's about a whole season."

2008-02-14 13:11:59
176.   cargill06
does anyone know if kershaw will pitch at all this spring? someone said we won't see him in a big league unifor until 09
2008-02-14 13:12:13
177.   Eric Stephen
172
Yeah, Torre was very open to using Betemit all over the infield whereas the Dodgers had him only pegged as a 3B.

With LA
3B: 353 innings
SS: 7
2B: 6
RF: 2

With NY
1B: 74
3B: 56
SS: 39
2B: 17
LF: 1

2008-02-14 13:12:38
178.   paranoidandroid
[173,174] Thanks.

Ramon M, 2008 = AIG, or a talking duck.

2008-02-14 13:14:15
179.   Jon Weisman
I notice that KABC is basically using True Blue L.A.'s diary space to run an ad.

http://www.truebluela.com/story/2008/2/9/18715/87044

2008-02-14 13:14:54
180.   Eric Stephen
178
Nice analogy. Does he have good enough hands to be Allstate?
2008-02-14 13:15:04
181.   LogikReader
175

I don't know, Jon. Maybe it's just me, but this has "Driefort" written all over it.

2008-02-14 13:16:30
182.   Eric Stephen
179
I hate people who use True Blue LA's diary space for their own nefarious purposes!

http://tinyurl.com/2u322k

2008-02-14 13:17:42
183.   ToyCannon
http://tinyurl.com/yr28ak

What is the opinion on trading two years of Penny for one year of CC plus the option of possibly signing him to an extension? I just think he'd be a great fit on this team.
Cleveland doesn't draft well so just losing him for draft picks wouldn't be an attractive option for them and they have the team to compete so they are in kind of a pickle in that they can't trade CC for prospects.

2008-02-14 13:19:44
184.   Eric Stephen
183
Well, there's our lefty! :)
2008-02-14 13:20:41
185.   ToyCannon
179
182
Eric is unaware, but we charge for that Diary space. We are usually paid in fish tacos.
2008-02-14 13:21:28
186.   fanerman
183 I think cargill brought this up awhile ago.

C.C. has better peripherals. I wouldn't mind really, given Penny's "he might explode soon" warning label.

2008-02-14 13:22:06
187.   cargill06
billingsley is more proven and a better pitcher than fausto carmona.

who agrees?

2008-02-14 13:22:28
188.   Jon Weisman
Today is Saito's birthday. (Reminder courtesy of the Dodger press notes.)
2008-02-14 13:22:50
189.   silverwidow
does anyone know if kershaw will pitch at all this spring?

Yes - in minor league spring training.

2008-02-14 13:22:55
190.   regfairfield
179 I left it there because I actually thought it was useful information. Even though Dodger Talk usually just makes me upset, I miss having it.
2008-02-14 13:23:24
191.   Eric Stephen
185
Thank God I'm sitting on that $10 million fortune.
2008-02-14 13:23:33
192.   regfairfield
187 Not about the proven bit, but I expect Carmona's ERA to shoot up this year.
2008-02-14 13:24:49
193.   madmac
183 in a heartbeat
2008-02-14 13:25:28
194.   cargill06
192 billingsley has dominated every level of the minors and has 2 good major league seasons, carmona has been sketchy in the minors and sketchy in 1 of his 2 ML years.

plus billingsley had more K's than Fausto last year in 70 less IP

2008-02-14 13:27:25
195.   paranoidandroid
We just signed Rudy Seanez and we already have Broxton. If we traded for C.C., that would put us over the calorie cap.
2008-02-14 13:27:48
196.   Jon Weisman
http://tinyurl.com/3xcb8p

From Dylan Hernandez:

Schmidt said he was thankful to be under the watch of Brett Fischer, the Phoenix-based physical therapist with whom he worked. There were days, Schmidt said, when he felt well enough to do more, but Fischer stopped him.

Fischer, he said, told him of pitchers who were at similar stages in their rehabilitation, only to reinjure themselves because of their impatience.

"That was the right thing to do," Schmidt said.

2008-02-14 13:28:02
197.   Daniel Zappala
I can't believe Saito is 38.
2008-02-14 13:28:46
198.   Daniel Zappala
(I'm 39 and I couldn't imagine holding up to the rigors of an MLB season, even out of the bullpen. Well, maybe bullpen catcher.)
2008-02-14 13:33:19
199.   silverwidow
My Dodger "peer" is Jason Repko. Lame.
2008-02-14 13:36:37
200.   wireroom
-196 reading that makes me feel like the teeter totter is teetering towards Mr. Schmidt recovering in a good manner. He is playing it smart. Good for him.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-02-14 13:39:10
201.   cargill06
carmona's career minor league era in AA ball or higher 4.22 6.1 k/9ip, billingsley AA or higher 3.58 10 K/9IP

Major league
Carmona 3.67 6.05 K/9IP
Billingsley 3.49 7.6 K/9IP

i'll take billingsley

2008-02-14 13:41:21
202.   madmac
195 nice
2008-02-14 13:44:16
203.   El Lay Dave
196 Gurnick referred to him as "celebrity sports therapist Brett Fischer".

Celebrity?

2008-02-14 13:45:15
204.   wireroom
199 I share Brad Penny's age. I wonder if he was an Alyssa Milano fan as I was and just couldn't resist the opportunity to ask her on a date.
2008-02-14 13:48:58
205.   paranoidandroid
My emotions can't take the injured pitcher daily status reports.

The first and only time I called into Dodger Talk was leaving the stadium on June 6, 2006. I sat in the left field pavilion and watched Gagne warm up for his only save that year. He was rubbing at his elbow and it appeared he wasn't a happy guy.

I called in to the show with paranoia after watching him battle back from injuries twice only to be sidelined again. I was told it was probably nothing since he struck out two and set the side down in order. Alas, he was done for the year again.

Who else is not going to let themselves have false hope that Schmidt is really going to be okay this year? I'm in a believe it when I see it mode.

I thought the same after Penny's first comeback and surgery-free off season. He proved to be healthy, but I just don't trust following the "I feel great today, I'm right on schedule" stuff.

Didn't we get an earful of that from Randy Wolf last year too?

2008-02-14 13:49:48
206.   El Lay Dave
204 My peer is Ken Howell! (I'm a few days younger.)
2008-02-14 13:51:07
207.   trainwreck
My peers are most of our young players : )
2008-02-14 13:57:03
208.   bhsportsguy
Scene: Small town coffee shop days before Spring Training starts.

Russell Martin: Hi, I'm Russell Martin.
Joe Torre: Nice to meet you son, are you a Yankee fan.
Russell Martin: No sir, I'm your catcher.
Joe Torre: My catcher, no, you don't look like Jorge. Do you speak Spanish?
Russell Martin: I can speak Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, French and I'm studying Minotaur.
Joe Torre: So tell me, do you have a Derek Jeter Fathead in your bedroom, I can get you one real cheap?
Russell Martin: That would be great, thanks.
Joe Torre: Okay, well I've got to go, I have to catch the early-bird special with Zim.
Russell Martin: See you at Vero Beach, Joe.
Joe Torre: Muttering, Vero Beach, is that near Tampa?

2008-02-14 13:59:32
209.   silverwidow
Russell Martin: I can speak Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, French and I'm studying Minotaur.

Love it.

2008-02-14 14:02:25
210.   ToyCannon
Mike Scoscia
2008-02-14 14:03:45
211.   ToyCannon
208
Best line of the year.
2008-02-14 14:04:23
212.   vegasblueman
Great discussion Jon. Anyone else going to Vero Beach this year? I went last year and I just made plans to be in Florida again March 6-9. I am only going to one game in Vero (3/7) and then on Saturday (3/8) I want to see a different game in or around the Orlando area (Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista, etc.) Has anyone been to some of the other Florida spring training stadiums and can offer a suggestion? The Dodgers play farther south in Jupiter, Fl on 3/8 and I don't really want to drive all over the state. Anyway, just curious.

This is my first DodgerThoughts comment. (hopefully the first of many) I am a die-hard Las Vegas Dodgers fan. Keep up the great work Jon and the rest of you who add to this blog.

2008-02-14 14:04:34
213.   trainwreck
Keith Law is driving the Andruw Jones will rebound well bandwagon.
2008-02-14 14:06:09
214.   bhsportsguy
208 According to Tim Kurkijan, that is what Russell said ("Hi, I'm Russell Martin")to Joe Torre when they met for the first time at IHOP on Tuesday.

The rest of course is pure speculation or as they used to say on Letterman, writer's embellishment.

2008-02-14 14:07:37
215.   bhsportsguy
213 I'm wondering if I should pay big bucks to go to see the UCLA/USC game this Sunday, I'm leaning no but I'll check StubHub as we get closer.
2008-02-14 14:10:59
216.   ToyCannon
Do it, you'll love the mayo.
2008-02-14 14:12:22
217.   El Lay Dave
212 As a mere commenter, welcome. I hope you go or see lots of 51s games and can report interesting stuff to us; I imagine a lot of us would eat it up.
2008-02-14 14:13:19
218.   El Lay Dave
216 UCLA will Love the Mayo.
2008-02-14 14:16:24
219.   vegasblueman
217 Thanks. Thursday are $1.00 beer nights at 51's games, so I usually see at least one game a week. I will post anything interesting I see.
2008-02-14 14:17:25
220.   MC Safety
I think James Loney is my Dodger peer. If we're talking minors too, my little league teammate James McDonald.
2008-02-14 14:17:36
221.   Jon Weisman
199 - I have to say, I haven't developed the anti-Jason Repko vibe that others have. It's not as if I want him in my lineup 162 games a year, but he's just a guy trying to carve out a career while he still can. It's not as if he hasn't been punished by the baseball gods for playing with abandon. I don't know that he has much future here, but I hope he gets some playing time somewhere before he's done.

People talk about Juan Pierre and how nice he is, but I've never gotten any indication that Repko was anything but a great guy.

2008-02-14 14:17:59
222.   Jon Weisman
212 - Thanks, VBM, and welcome.
2008-02-14 14:19:25
223.   bhsportsguy
According to Bert Blyeven, his nephew and former Dodger high draft pick, Brian Pilkington (sp.) just graduated from the LA County Sheriff's Academy and he is now an officer (deputy) patrolling the unincorporated sections of the county.

Also, Blyeven's son is operating a pitching academy in Huntington Beach.

2008-02-14 14:20:22
224.   Eric Enders
Posnanski's latest blog post on the steroid hearings is brilliant. (As if there were any chance it wouldn't be.)

That man deserves a sidebar link!

2008-02-14 14:23:39
225.   fanerman
208 That scene should have taken place (or did take place) in IHOP. You need to do some fact checking.
2008-02-14 14:24:50
226.   paranoidandroid
224 Link us up dude. At least in a post.
2008-02-14 14:25:20
227.   trainwreck
215
Splurge!
2008-02-14 14:27:27
228.   Jon Weisman
224 - Hmm. I guess I never updated his link from "The Soul of Baseball."
2008-02-14 14:27:42
229.   Eric Enders
226
http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/
2008-02-14 14:28:34
230.   SG6
Regarding Bankrupt NBA players, here's a specific that just seems unbelievable:

Spending Spree got out of hand
By Peter Yoon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 13, 2008
Apparently, Latrell Sprewell really was having a hard time feeding his family.

The former NBA star's home is up for foreclosure and his yacht was sold at auction, according to filings in a Milwaukee court.

Sprewell, who once rejected a three-year, $21-million contract extension saying, "I've got my family to feed," has failed to make his $2,593 mortgage payment since September.

His $1.5-million yacht was seized last summer and sold at an auction last month for $856,000, but Sprewell may still be responsible for the remaining $500,000 owed to the bank.

Sprewell, 37, was making $14.6 million a year from the Minnesota Timberwolves when he rejected the contract offer during the 2004-05 season. The four-time All-Star hasn't played in the NBA since.

2008-02-14 14:29:51
231.   Eric Enders
Hey Jon, did you see the Basketball Prospectus column on why Stanford is a good pick to go to the Final Four?
http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=153
2008-02-14 14:29:59
232.   bhsportsguy
225 I was trying to avoid a product placement plug.
2008-02-14 14:37:18
233.   Eric Enders
230 Today the Times followed that story up with the headline--and I'm not kidding here:

"Lakers' Gasol is a quick study, an instant hero -- and homeless"

2008-02-14 14:43:19
234.   Jon Weisman
231 - Yes I did. And I noticed today we're doing really well in "Effective Height."
2008-02-14 14:43:28
235.   regfairfield
After months of arguing against it, I'm now on the Tony Abreu for second baseman bandwagon.
2008-02-14 14:46:22
236.   bhsportsguy
Just a quick survey, how many of you bought flowers today?
2008-02-14 14:47:13
237.   Bob Timmermann
233
Gasol is trying to find some of those neighborhoods where everybody speaks Catalan to make him feel at home.

Just last week, I was wandering through Little Barcelona.

2008-02-14 14:47:14
238.   fanerman
235 More at True Blue L.A.
2008-02-14 14:48:00
239.   fanerman
236 Now on what crazy occasion would spur me to buy flowers on today, of all days? Isn't today just another random day of the year?
2008-02-14 14:49:02
240.   ToyCannon
235
Do you mean this year or as the utility player for this year? What changed your mind?
2008-02-14 14:49:15
241.   MC Safety
I purchased three sunflowers today.
2008-02-14 14:49:17
242.   regfairfield
Me, advertise? Never.
2008-02-14 14:50:29
243.   Bob Timmermann
I saw people buy flowers today.
2008-02-14 14:50:40
244.   regfairfield
240 This year. I did the actual math instead of just estimating and I incorporated double plays into my numbers.
2008-02-14 14:52:13
245.   cargill06
244 you need kent in the line-up
2008-02-14 14:53:57
246.   Bob Timmermann
So why is the PGA stop in L.A. this weekend named after a bank headquartered in Chicago?

And why didn't I realize that I walk past an office of this bank most days of the week?

2008-02-14 14:55:44
247.   Dodgers49
Off Topic: It appears we may have a "Virginia Tech" type of situation at Northern Illinois University in case anyone here has any connection to that school.
2008-02-14 14:59:09
248.   ToyCannon
245
No, we need Kent playing Cowboy on his ranch.
2008-02-14 15:00:07
249.   Eric Enders
Would the all-Valentine's Day team win the NCAA Tournament?

G - Derrick Rose, Memphis
G - Michael Flowers, Wisconsin
G - Mike Rose, Eastern Kentucky
F - (for you Spanish speakers out there) Michael Amoroso, San Diego State
C - Kevin Love, U.C.L.A.

All five guys average in double figures.

2008-02-14 15:00:36
250.   regfairfield
248 I wouldn't go that far. It's a close comparison and having the move blow up is something that GMs get fired for.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-02-14 15:01:41
251.   ToyCannon
250
As opposed to Kent blowing up the clubhouse?
2008-02-14 15:02:44
252.   regfairfield
251 I don't think any GM has gotten canned by choosing the proven veteran ahead of the untested rookie, so yes.
2008-02-14 15:02:56
253.   ToyCannon
Anyway it is only close because of the unrealistic Pecota numbers for Kent.
2008-02-14 15:06:41
254.   ToyCannon
252
Maybe not for the inaction but I expect historically you will find someone got canned because of the result of going with the PVL over the untested kid when the PVL killed the team while the Kid went on to great heights somewhere else.
2008-02-14 15:08:00
255.   Jon Weisman
Which would you consider to be worse:

Garciaparra over Loney, April 2007
Kent over Abreu, April 2008

2008-02-14 15:10:33
256.   Eric Enders
255 The former, by a longshot.

Kent deserves to keep the job until his hitting declines enough that it no longer cancels out his lousy defense. Which may be relatively soon, but still.

2008-02-14 15:11:20
257.   regfairfield
255 The former by far. Coming into the season it looked like Loney was going to be the exact same player as Nomar, so why give Nomar 15 million to do the exact same thing that Loney can? Kent and Abreu provide two different things, and Abreu only edges Kent by a bit. Also, Kent wasn't resigned this offseason.
2008-02-14 15:11:40
258.   Jon Weisman
It's funny how each Schmidt article I read today has another nuance. Here's AP, noting that Martin saw Schmidt's problems coming better than Schmidt did:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2008/news/story?id=3246183

But there were indications in spring training last year that things weren't quite right.

"Playing catch last year, playing long toss, the ball would just die at the end," he recalled. "It's different this year, the ball is carrying better. I didn't really think there was [something wrong last year]. Spring training's always been an up-and-down thing for me."

Dodgers catcher Russell Martin saw it differently.

"Early in the spring, I remember he wasn't throwing as hard as I remembered when I faced him," Martin said. "The ball didn't have the same jump. After a couple weeks, with the velocity not picking up, I was concerned. He said he felt fine.

"After a while, he gained a little bit of velocity, but not as much as I expected. He reached 88 [mph], but that wasn't Schmidt-like."

2008-02-14 15:13:21
259.   fanerman
255 Nomar came off a bad second half and Loney looked like he'd hit just as well, anyway. Kent doesn't really show signs of slowing down with his bat. Except for him turning 40.
2008-02-14 15:13:58
260.   Jon Weisman
257 - I agree. So (in response to ToyCannon in 254) though I definitely agree that any short-term worry over an unpopular move should be canceled out if the overall gain is substantial, I would have a hard time advocating Abreu over Kent at this point.
2008-02-14 15:14:47
261.   cargill06
255 obviously april of '07

for those kent bashers he's been nothing but productive when he's been on the field. if you don't like himm you just have some personal issue with him. just like the whole milton bradely discussion yesterday, if you want to hand the job over to a guy who doesn't walk much with limited power, (.725 OPS written all over it) than go for it. But i'll take a guy who is going to give me a .850 OPS and loves the game and will do anything to win, he rubs people the wrong way but he just wants to win and plays the game the right way

2008-02-14 15:16:02
262.   fanerman
261 But Kent's defense is horrendously bad. The gap between Kent and Abreu isn't that great (if there is a gap) because Abreu is a plus defender and Kent is a minus-minus.
2008-02-14 15:16:53
263.   cargill06
do you people really believe abreu has more value than kent at 2b???
2008-02-14 15:17:00
264.   regfairfield
261 I break down my exact reasoning here and it has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel about Kent.

http://www.truebluela.com/story/2008/2/14/17427/0192#commenttop

2008-02-14 15:17:42
265.   bhsportsguy
Its easier to throw stones at jerks.

"There are people who don't like it when we say players aren't good, and saying this about a known nice guy like Pierre tends to fire up the opponents of performance analysis."

Joe Sheehan, Baseball Prospectus, on why Juan Pierre should be the 4th outfielder.

Note, he did not comment on Jeff Kent, I guess its hard when he was still near the top of VORP for NL 2B.

2008-02-14 15:17:42
266.   fanerman
264 Sell out! I thought regfairfield doesn't advertise.
2008-02-14 15:19:15
267.   regfairfield
266 I lack the integrity of Disco Stu. I figured it was less obtrusive than copy pasting the whole thing.
2008-02-14 15:19:28
268.   bhsportsguy
264 I am not posting 265 because I think you are saying that is why Kent should be dealt.

However, there is no question on how your blog mate feels on this topic.

2008-02-14 15:20:03
269.   cargill06
take a look at that defensive chart that weisman posted last month.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/DisplayCharts.py?PlayerID=1119&fpos=4&year=2007

kent is only a few outs below the expected and is above the expected in a few areas.

2008-02-14 15:22:13
270.   ToyCannon
260
That is cool, I would even like to say I hope you are all correct, except I'm openly rooting for Jeff Kent to have a career ending injury or look up and notice Steve Finley on his shoulder so I don't hope your right in this instance.
2008-02-14 15:25:11
271.   CanuckDodger
I don't know if anybody else saw it, but in his chat this week, BA's Jim Callis was asked to rank Lincecum, Cain and Billingsley in terms of his prediction for their effectiveness in 2008, and also in five years, throwing in Kershaw for the latter ranking. Callis went with Lincecum, Billingsley, Cain for 2008, and Lincecum, Kershaw, Billingsley, Cain for five years from now, and he made it clear that he does really like Cain.

I am curious, how would you guys have ranked them if you had been asked to do so? I am reluctant to even try because I doubt my objectivity. I actually like Cain better than Lincecum, though.

2008-02-14 15:29:09
272.   Jon Weisman
261 - "if you don't like himm you just have some personal issue with him"

I have a problem with you making that kind of blanket statement. The people who are making the argument for Abreu are doing it quite calmly, and explaining why - it's because of his defense. You can disagree, but you don't need to make it inflammatory.

2008-02-14 15:30:10
273.   cargill06
264 you're not factoring in protection, with kent in the line-up other hitters production goes up with abreu in the line up other players production goes down.
2008-02-14 15:30:21
274.   ToyCannon
At least one of those 4 if not more will suffer a serious injury in the next 5 years. It would seem to be a pointless exercise since we are talking pitchers. If we were to rank by stuff and not try to project the future then I would rank them Kershaw, Lincecum, Cain, Billingsley.
2008-02-14 15:30:45
275.   Jon Weisman
272 - Well, okay, ToyCannon has a personal issue with Kent - but it's not universal.
2008-02-14 15:31:46
276.   ToyCannon
272
I think he was directing that at me and he would be right. I could care less who replaces Kent just as long as he's replaced. Unless of course it is Lucille II.
2008-02-14 15:32:18
277.   cargill06
272
i just cant understand why people have so many issue's with jeff kent. everyone thinks he is a bad apple what has he done to prove that? he is a guy that plays the game the right way and everyone thinks he's a cancer.
2008-02-14 15:32:25
278.   ToyCannon
275
It should be:)
2008-02-14 15:32:40
279.   Jon Weisman
273 - The effect you're talking about has been shown to be negligible in multiple studies, I believe. But wven if that were true, you could say the same thing about Abreu defensively. He would make the entire infield stronger and in turn the pitching.

And I say this with no real desire to start Abreu over Kent at this point.

2008-02-14 15:35:10
280.   Eric Stephen
273
Lineup protection is a phenomenon that is largely nonexistent, or at least small enough to be considered immeasurable.
2008-02-14 15:35:11
281.   Jon Weisman
277 - "everyone thinks he is a bad apple what has he done to prove that?"

He's been the constant in the two biggest clubhouse controversies in the Dodger organization since 2005. But again, you're exaggerating. Not everyone thinks he's a bad apple, not everyone thinks he's a cancer. Why are you making such a big deal over a few people saying they don't like him?

I'm sure I could name some players that I like that you would say nasty things about.

2008-02-14 15:35:54
282.   fanerman
277 Well there's the "let's incite Milton Bradley so he has a nutter and gets kicked off the team" (suspected) incident.

I think Kent ought to keep playing as long as he keeps hitting. But if he had to stop playing and Abreu took over, I wouldn't shed a tear.

2008-02-14 15:36:37
283.   arbfuldodger
For anyone interested, ESPN is having the fans vote on the "Ultimate Highlight" and Gibby's HR is going up against Bird's steal in the playoffs

Here is the link to vote: http://tinyurl.com/39m2g7

2008-02-14 15:36:44
284.   Eric Stephen
277
T.J. Simers and Jeff Kent get along. That's all you need to know about Kent! :)
2008-02-14 15:37:40
285.   Jon Weisman
Simers got along with Bradley, too. Yet he couldn't play peacemaker!
2008-02-14 15:38:51
286.   fanerman
283 I hate these arbitrary listing of things (is there even on occasion for this "greatest highlight" nonsense?), but I will vote anyway because it's the Dodgers.
2008-02-14 15:39:08
287.   bhsportsguy
280 All I know is Babe Ruth still got a more than occasional walk ahead of Lou Gehrig.
2008-02-14 15:39:54
288.   bhsportsguy
285 And yet, I don't think he likes Juan Pierre, what a puzzlement.
2008-02-14 15:40:03
289.   cargill06
well it just seems odd that someone who will probably ops .850+ this year could be replaced by any 2B it just seems quite silly to me.
2008-02-14 15:40:41
290.   Eric Stephen
283
That ultimate highlight is tragically bad. It would be almost bearable with Chris Berman merely as the host of the "competition", but ESPN is not even playing the actually broadcast calls of these events!!!

For the Cal-Stanford kickoff return last night, rather than hear the amazing and classic call of Joe Starkey, we had to hear Berman yelling "whooop" over and over again on each lateral.

I shudder to think what awful call Berman will have tonight. I predict a "back back back" for Gibby. And seriously, these two plays tonight can't be thought of without the call of the plays. Gibson has two famous calls (I think Scully's is superior of course, but Jack Buck's call is classic too), and Johnny Most's call of Bird's steal is iconic at least!

A pox on ESPN!

2008-02-14 15:42:14
291.   regfairfield
289 Not just any second baseman, a very good defensive second basemn.

Every time Jeff Kent misses a ball that someone else would have caught, it will cost the team almost .8 runs on average. Since Jeff Kent misses a lot of balls, the 20-25 runs advantage he has on Abreu offensively goes away quickly.

2008-02-14 15:42:26
292.   cargill06
i just don't see how you say protection doesn't matter. i promise if you gave any good major league hitter 500 AB's with any stiff hitting behind him his numbers would be much much worse than if say a-rod was hitting behind him. you can tell me about every study until your face goes blue but i don't buy that protection makes no difference.
2008-02-14 15:42:28
293.   Jon Weisman
289 - We hear you. Someone offers a lucid case for something, and you dismiss it and call it silly. Point made.
2008-02-14 15:45:21
294.   Bluebleeder87
Really nice read Jon thanks. Hey, any of you seen the new helmets on the photo gallery (Dodgers.com) they kind of have the low rider paint job, I'm not trying to make a joke I'm being honest check it out for your self.
2008-02-14 15:46:02
295.   cargill06
293 no i don't dismiss it i discuss it, i think that's probably as far from accurate as possible.
2008-02-14 15:48:34
296.   Jon Weisman
292 - It's starting to get to the point where I wonder what's the point of engaging in conversation with someone who is simply going to dismiss everything he disagrees with, no matter what evidence people offer.

There was a time that I thought lineup protection mattered. Of course, because it makes sense. But when I was shown what actually happens, as opposed to what I imagined, it made me reconsider.

I'm not bothered by the fact that you're not convinced. No one here is convinced by everything everyone tells them. What's bothersome is you insisting that you refuse to be convinced, no matter what evidence there is. That's not the kind of conversation I'm interested in.

2008-02-14 15:49:00
297.   Eric Enders
"All I know is Babe Ruth still got a more than occasional walk ahead of Lou Gehrig."

And J.D. Drew has hit a few home runs during the waxing gibbous moon. Therefore, the moon is what causes players to hit for power!

This is one of those posts that I can't really tell whether it was sarcastic or not. I hope it was.

But in case it wasn't-- Babe Ruth had his three highest walk totals in seasons when Lou Gehrig was NOT in the lineup. Once Gehrig joined the Yankees, Ruth's walk totals declined quite a bit.

2008-02-14 15:49:34
298.   trainwreck
How can you beat "The Play" as the Ultimate Highlight. It's called "The friggin Play!"
2008-02-14 15:50:20
299.   Jon Weisman
295 - Your idea of a discussion is to respond to what people say with "it just seems quite silly to me." Or, "you can tell me about every study until your face goes blue but i don't buy that."

If you don't consider that dismissive, I humbly suggest you need a dictionary. I stand by my comment.

2008-02-14 15:51:19
300.   bhsportsguy
295 Its fair to say you think Kent should play 2B this year.

One person here would like to wish Kent into the cornfield (Sorry for the T-Zone reference), another makes an argument that the player being groomed to replace him, should be given the job and Kent should be traded.

Outside of that, I think the other posters are neutral or think that Kent should be in the lineup until evidence of his offensive skills are beginning to spiral downward.

So you would fall into that group, I believe.

I think again, your trap is that you want to win an argument that there is no right or wrong position.

But, as always, your voice is welcome here, at least by me.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-02-14 15:51:27
301.   Bob Timmermann
I would hate to think what the proper procedure is to get a high school baseball field named after one of the greatest coaches in Southern California's history is.

http://tinyurl.com/2h99e8

2008-02-14 15:52:27
302.   Jon Weisman
Cargill, let me just add that I really do welcome disagreement here. Some outsiders think I don't, but I really do. But it has to be done with respect for both sides. I hear what you're saying about Kent and about lineup protection.
2008-02-14 15:52:49
303.   underdog
Not that I like the DH because I don't, but a DH for the NL would solve some of this (not the personal issues with Kent, but worries about his defense). Kent DH's, Abreu plays 2nd, everyone's happy. Except Toy Cannon. ;-)

But of course that's not gonna happen. What will happen is Kent retires after this season, and then it's all moot anyway. If Abreu makes the team he'll no doubt spell Kent quite often, I'd bet. At least as a defensive sub.

2008-02-14 15:53:16
304.   bhsportsguy
297 It was sarcastic and I should check out my facts before making such a remark.
2008-02-14 15:53:43
305.   cargill06
296 jon, you have to understand that if you're going to tell me it doesn't matter if a-rod or ramon martinez is hitting behind you that just seems really really silly.

you can believe what you want to believe and i can believe what i want to believe, but don't be sensitive to a little criticism of what i say (even if you know for a fact i'm wrong) because when people are critical of what i say it doesn't bother me and i participate in the discussion further

2008-02-14 15:55:11
306.   bhsportsguy
301 They probably forgot to adhere to Roberts Rules during the committee meeting.
2008-02-14 15:56:46
307.   Eric Stephen
305
you can believe what you want to believe

Cargill, you don't have to live like a refugee.

2008-02-14 15:58:36
308.   Eric Enders
"a DH for the NL would solve some of this... But of course that's not gonna happen."

Actually, it is going to happen in a few games, and that would be even more of a reason to have Abreu as your backup infielder instead of Lucille II.

2008-02-14 15:58:58
309.   Daniel Zappala
I liked Brett Butler when he left the Giants and played for the Dodger. I don't particularly care for Jeff Kent as a person, but I like the offense he has brought to the Dodger lineup the past few years. I am not sold on Abreu being enough better than Kent that he should play ahead of him right now.

I like being an existence proof.

2008-02-14 16:00:25
310.   Eric Enders
Have we considered the possibility that Ned will, well, pull a Ned, and sign Kent to another two-year contract after the season?

Am I just being paranoid?

2008-02-14 16:00:29
311.   Eric Stephen
305
A simple argument against protection is that for any gain the batter might receive by hitting in front of a good hitter, it is somewhat counterbalanced by the pitcher bearing down and concentrating more -- "clutch pitching", if you will -- since his main goal is for the good hitter (on deck) to come up with as few people on base as possible.
2008-02-14 16:00:43
312.   cargill06
if i said i conducted a study that making contact is better than having a high OBP many of you would say that's silly and wouldn't be shy about saying it. if i tell you something which is completely opposite of everything you've ever know and what common sense tells you, you'd think that's silly also and dismuss my study too.
2008-02-14 16:01:14
313.   Jon Weisman
305 - I don't happen to think this is about me being over-sensitive - not about myself, anyway, since I don't even have a stake in this discussion.

What I'm sensitive about is the way conversation is handled on this site, which is my baby. And when someone comes in here and says, "I don't care what you say," that is a problem. It's a problem when your notion of participating in the discussion is dismissing other people's thoughts. There's a difference between that and agreeing to disagree, which I am perfectly willing to do.

Why do you think people say that lineup protection doesn't matter that much? Do you think they're trying to be silly? Do you think they're ignorant? What would the rationale be?

2008-02-14 16:02:02
314.   Jon Weisman
310 - Yes, you are.
2008-02-14 16:02:52
315.   fanerman
312 If the study was reasonable and logical and scientifically/statistically valid, I'd question what I currently believe.
2008-02-14 16:02:57
316.   Jon Weisman
312 - You're 100 percent wrong. Show me the study, and I'll read it. That's the difference I'm talking about.
2008-02-14 16:04:13
317.   Bluebleeder87
94

He posted a comment I made once last year.

2008-02-14 16:04:44
318.   Eric Stephen
Cargill, here's one study regarding protection, for your viewing pleasure:

http://tinyurl.com/36fxle

2008-02-14 16:05:45
319.   Bob Timmermann
Protection rackets:
http://www.baseball1.com/bb-data/grabiner/protstudy.html

http://www.baseball1.com/faqs/protection-faq.html

2008-02-14 16:06:13
320.   underdog
308 True 'nuf! One argument in favor of interleague play, though in general I'm with Jon in that I'd like to see it given a rest. But yes, if the team is smart enough to give Abreu a roster spot over Martinez, then those games at AL parks will have that aspect to look forward to. (Heck, I could also see Delwyn Young as a good DH candidate, too.)

But
310 Yes, I think you're being paranoid. (Though not without some reason.)

2008-02-14 16:06:29
321.   Eric Enders
"if i said i conducted a study that making contact is better than having a high OBP many of you would say that's silly and wouldn't be shy about saying it."

No, actually, that's the difference between you and (most of) us. We'd look at your study, see if the methodology was legitimate, kick the tires a little, and if it stood up we would probably change our minds and agree with you.

Most people here are relatively open to new ideas and ways of thinking about things. That's what makes this site great. Thing is, if you're going to argue a point, it's better to have more to back you up than "that sounds silly." We like facts. We like evidence. And what 12 random buddies think, or what the Vegas oddsmakers think, doesn't constitute evidence.

2008-02-14 16:07:16
322.   Eric Stephen
Here's another, albeit somewhat dated study on protection:

http://tinyurl.com/3anegp

2008-02-14 16:07:20
323.   underdog
Well, I'd rather not have Ramon Martinez in the line-up at all, never mind the protection issue.
2008-02-14 16:10:20
324.   El Lay Dave
301 I'm surprised you acknowledge that story.

I hope that I'm within the bounds of rule 5 to say that it is sad that something like this is difficult to do, yet we have county facilities that are named for currently sitting office holders, which should not be an allowable practice, in my opinion.

2008-02-14 16:10:58
325.   Eric Enders
Bruce from Asbury Park, who chimed in earlier on the young Dodger pitchers, has some thoughts on this issue as well.

Protection, that's what I need
I need protection, baby, from your love
I need protection

2008-02-14 16:13:36
326.   Eric Enders
301 , 324 Maybe they just wanted a little bit of time to check into the guy's background and make sure he wasn't a child molester or something.

Around here they just named a new elementary school after a longtime member of the school board. A month later, said school board member was arrested by the FBI on public corruption and bribery charges.

2008-02-14 16:14:04
327.   Daniel Zappala
you can believe what you want to believe and i can believe what i want to believe

There are some things that you or I can believe and are unable to be demonstrated true or false by facts. For example, I believe in a diety and I believe we should have some kind of universal health care system.

There are other things that you or I can believe for which it is difficult to determine the truth due to circumstances or complexity. I believe OJ Simpson was likely guilty, but we may never know. There is strong evidence for global climate change, but until we wait a long while we can't tell if carbon emissions from humans are more important than other possible factors.

There are other things for which facts are demonstrated to indicate a particular belief is wrong. For a long time, many people refused to believe smoking was bad for your health, but science has demonstrated this to be true.

On the scale from uncertainty to certainty, statistics show that batting order "protection" does not exist. I'd venture to say that we know this with at least a certainty of 90% if not higher.

I'm perfectly willing to listen to a well-reasoned argument that we're wrong, that batting order protection does exist. It would certainly confirm our intuition. But intuition alone is often wrong.

This is a case where you need some really good facts to back up your opinion or else you're just being contrarian.

2008-02-14 16:14:19
328.   fanerman
310 Even I have more faith in Ned than that. I think Kent will decline anyway and will be forced either to the AL or to retire. Of course I suppose he could put up another .850 OPS season.
2008-02-14 16:14:47
329.   Eric Stephen
325
Tying in with Bruce and some Petty talk earlier this week (not to mention 307 ), here is my personal musical pantheon. These 5 occupy an existence far above mere mortals in my eyes:

-Weird Al Yankovic
-Bob Dylan
-U2
-Tom Petty
-Bruce Springsteen

2008-02-14 16:17:14
330.   silverwidow
I like Homer Bailey more than the Giants top 2. I think he has picture perfect mechanics, a tremendous fastball, and is young enough to improve his control.
2008-02-14 16:17:51
331.   Daniel Zappala
Or what 321 said.
2008-02-14 16:20:03
332.   wireroom
Everybody makes baseball into more than it should be. It sometimes takes the fun away....let it go guys. It's just for fun.
2008-02-14 16:20:51
333.   El Lay Dave
236 I did not. The wife doesn't like to waste money on them when we are essentially getting price-gouged because of the "holiday". At other times, they are a welcome gift.

I buy champagne instead.

2008-02-14 16:21:45
334.   bhsportsguy
333 Another six pack of Champale?
2008-02-14 16:22:36
335.   El Lay Dave
326 I objected when Art Snyder had Hermon Ave. renamed to Via Marisol. Makes driving the Arroyo Seco Parkway a little more difficult when that sign is passed.
2008-02-14 16:23:23
336.   Jon Weisman
332 - For almost this entire day, I've been having fun. This hasn't been about taking baseball too seriously. It's about my efforts to maintain the dialogue at this site.
2008-02-14 16:24:00
337.   Bob Timmermann
335
But the community of Hermon lives on.
2008-02-14 16:25:06
338.   El Lay Dave
334 Oh yeah, makes for a great change of pace from the 40s of Brew 102.
2008-02-14 16:28:23
339.   wireroom
336 Understandable when it is your work or baby.
2008-02-14 16:30:17
340.   fanerman
333 In high school I saw a video in chemistry class about how DeBeers pretty much created a market for diamond engagement rings all by themselves (the video was about how diamonds are created and how synthetic diamonds are threatening DeBeers and other companies' chokehold on the engagement ring business). It really made DeBeers out to be a super evil company (with obligatory "evil" music whenever they talked about the company), especially compared to the nice poorly funded Russian researchers. And of course if some random dude really loves the girl he's getting engaged to (and, he ought to), he's pretty much forced to buy her an engagement ring, leaving the guy with a minor dilemma about supporting the evil DeBeers company or letting his fiance down.

Anyway when you talked about price gouging and wastes of money (involving relationships), I was reminded of that video.

2008-02-14 16:34:53
341.   El Lay Dave
337 Alas without its name on the road leading into it. Wouldn't it have been better to rename one of those nameless, numbered avenues like, I dunno, Avenue 59?
2008-02-14 16:41:05
342.   Bob Timmermann
341
For about 20 years, the exit at Via Marisol had a sign that read "Harmon Avenue ->"

That got fixed a few years ago and it reads "Hermon ->"

Spoken as a guy who gets off the freeway at Via Marisol a lot.

Avenue 60 would have been a better street to rename if you wanted people to notice it. And that offramp on the northbound 110 is not for the faint of heart.

2008-02-14 16:42:52
343.   Marty
Ahh, Brew 102. I remember driving by the brewery on the 101 downtown as we made our way to Dodger Stadium.
2008-02-14 16:43:02
344.   Bob Timmermann
RIP, David Groh.
2008-02-14 16:43:51
345.   Eric Enders
340 "In Japan, the matrimonial custom had survived feudal revolutions, world wars, industrialization and even the American occupation. There was ... no tradition that required the gift of a diamond engagement ring. Then, in 1967, halfway around the world, a South African diamond company decided to change the Japanese courtship ritual..."

http://edwardjayepstein.com/diamond/prologue.htm

2008-02-14 16:46:22
346.   Jon Weisman
344 - I was gonna put that up yesterday, but that name is a real trivia test for this crowd, I feel.
2008-02-14 16:48:03
347.   El Lay Dave
342 Art would want people to notice, but not me.

I once saw the Pasadena Freeway on a top roller coaster list. Argument for was that it's truly a white-knuckler, plus it's free. You gotta love those on-ramps where you get to try to merge in beginning from a dead stop.

2008-02-14 16:48:20
348.   Eric Enders
The bottle bat guy, right?
2008-02-14 16:49:03
349.   El Lay Dave
344 Say it ain't so, Joe.
2008-02-14 16:49:06
350.   Bob Timmermann
346
That now makes three people who were in the Pasadena location of California Pizza Kitchen eating dinner at the same time as me who are now dead.

My parents didn't recognize him.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-02-14 16:52:03
351.   Bob Timmermann
Marty and I probably can drive the Pasadena Freeway in our sleep.

But Marty gets on at one of the easy onramps. I use the ones that grow hair on your chest. Or leave embarrassing stains.

2008-02-14 16:54:35
352.   fanerman
345 They're evil!
2008-02-14 16:55:54
353.   bhsportsguy
351 But that's not too different than most early morning commuters.

I generally do as much as possible to avoid the Pasadena Fwy.

2008-02-14 16:57:11
354.   El Lay Dave
The Pasadena Freeway was part of my father's test to see if I was ready to take the driving test. In a stick-shift.

For some reason, I always loved the NB Bridewell off-ramp that goes under the freeway to the west side.

Is it the SB Ave 64 on ramp where you don't have to stop because there is an acceleration lane (or you get a new lane)? That's for sissies!

2008-02-14 16:58:42
355.   El Lay Dave
353 The tunnels man, the tunnels! Classic. And the two left-side off ramps just after them. A real test of driving skill.
2008-02-14 17:01:02
356.   Marty
I learned to drive on the Pasadena Freeway. I get on and off at Ave. 64 quite a bit. That's one of the easier ones.
2008-02-14 17:03:22
357.   Marty
A friend in high school had a 1969 GTO that could do 70 in first gear. We used to take turns in it driving the Pasadena freeway. The contest was who could pass the most cars between Arroyo Parkway and the 101 transition. I'm amazed I lived through it.
2008-02-14 17:03:22
358.   Jacob L
The one getting on southbound from York always seemed particularly nutty to me. I've only lived in the Arroyo for a year.

On the other topic, my (now) wife had read something about DeBeers and the diamond racket shortly before we got engaged, so that got me off the hook, so to speak. She actually made me promise I wouldn't buy a diamond. I got her a funky looking ring that I thought she would like, and just just by sheer, dumb luck, it was her birthstone.

2008-02-14 17:04:12
359.   Bob Timmermann
354
Orange Grove has a new lane when you enter, but after that it's survival of the fittest the rest of the way.

Avenue 60 is the toughest onramp.

2008-02-14 17:05:12
360.   fanerman
358 You are a lucky guy. Way to stick it to the man!
2008-02-14 17:06:54
361.   Jim Hitchcock
Marty, can you navigate the Pasadena while eating a pastrami sandwwich?
2008-02-14 17:08:18
362.   Bob Timmermann
I thought Djimon Honsou and Jennifer Connelly took care of the whole De Beers thing.

Or did the movies lie to me?

2008-02-14 17:10:14
363.   Jacob L
361 What kind of pastrami? Some of that packaged supermarket stuff (Budding?) on bread would be doable. A Langers #19 or 44 would be impossible. Can't be done. Same with The Hat, though I wouldn't recommend eating that at a table, either.
2008-02-14 17:11:21
364.   El Lay Dave
The on-ramps are tough, but another moment of truth is decidely exactly when to start braking for those sometimes incredibly short or incredibly curved off-ramps. "Just how close is that Ford 350 to my bumper?"

357 Memories. I had HS friends with '69 and '70 Plymouth Roadrunners. They loved hauling backside down the Pasadena Fwy, sometimes to on our way to play "basketball" on the incredibly short hoops at San Pascual Elementary - we were all Dr. J (or Connie Hawkins even) on those.

2008-02-14 17:11:23
365.   Bluebleeder87
I think the best place to learn how to drive is a farming community were there is nothing but crop land & far as the eye can see (& farm animals) stress free & everything.
2008-02-14 17:13:18
366.   Jim Hitchcock
363 Marty only eats the good stuff :)
2008-02-14 17:21:52
367.   silverwidow
There's a new article on Dodgers.com that says Torre favors experience. Is he really ignorant enough to play Pierre and Nomar just because they're veterans? If so, he was absolutely the wrong choice for manager.
2008-02-14 17:22:04
368.   Eric Stephen
I normally have to navigate quite a bit of traffic on my morning commute. It usually takes me 9, sometimes 10 minutes to walk to work.
2008-02-14 17:24:13
369.   El Lay Dave
Bonds tested positive for steroids in 2001, U.S. attorney alleges.
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=4294063
2008-02-14 17:27:12
370.   Jacob L
367 I favor experience, too, if all other things are equal, which they're not. I'm just going to take the route of judging Torre on what he does, not what he says going into Spring Training, or what gets reported about his preferences.
2008-02-14 17:31:42
371.   wireroom
When I was a kid I used to love going on the old 110. It felt like we were riding on a wooden roller coaster.
Now that I am older and have had to deal with those on ramps (Ave.52 in particular) while driving a car that just is too old to want to accelerate at a safe speed, I feel as if I am playing human frogger.
2008-02-14 17:31:56
372.   Marty
The Hat makes a decent burger, but I wouldn't touch their pastrami with a ten foot pole.
2008-02-14 17:33:57
373.   Gen3Blue
Looking at the photo gallery at Dodgers.com, a Saito smile is worth 2 mil and should be for the next few years, no matter how old he is. (make it 3 mil).

Aren't you guys a bit ashamed of critisizing JP when he is already in camp and trying to find a size six hat?

2008-02-14 17:34:45
374.   trainwreck
367
Does Pierre look a little bigger to anyone else in the picture from that article?

I mean bigger as in adding muscle.

2008-02-14 17:34:48
375.   fanerman
Kobe's injury is worse than people first thought:
http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/080214kobeinjury.html
2008-02-14 17:35:30
376.   wireroom
How many of you guys have had the joy of going to Mr. T's Bowl for whatever reason there may be? I am just curious to know how many have been to that hidden treasure of the east side, if you could call it that?
2008-02-14 17:37:35
377.   Jacob L
376 I've been there. I liked when the twins (old college acquaintances, actually) were running a diner there a few years back. The karaoke night was a hoot, too. The bar, though, which I think is all that exists there currently, is bleak, depressing, and possibly dangerous.
2008-02-14 17:38:53
378.   wireroom
375 God bless it, can't the Lakers catch a break from these injuries for at least one year. What a drag to read that.
2008-02-14 17:39:25
379.   trainwreck
375
Dagnabbit!
2008-02-14 17:39:56
380.   Marty
I went to Mr. T's when the sisters were running the kitchen. Good food. But they've been gone for a while and I've not been back
2008-02-14 17:42:46
381.   wireroom
377 Yeah I was around during the diner times there. Friday nights were a lot of fun there at one time. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with that bar, but every time I have been there, the Dodgers pull out some amazing comeback, the place goes wild and then a rock band starts to play.
2008-02-14 17:45:12
382.   wireroom
Mike TV, the Arlo's, and that spaceship of a stage. If any of you are Ben Vaughn fans, he is rocking the Cinema Bar in Culver City tomorrow night.
2008-02-14 17:50:32
383.   ToyCannon
When I turned 16 I finally got to drive a VW bug I had bought 1/2 a year earlier. On my 1st date I was going out with the most beautiful girl I would ever date in my life. I jumped the clutch and killed the car at a green light. I was so ticked I gunned it through a red light(no traffic) and she refused to ever date me again. Smart girl. A week later I crashed into a lamp pole on Central when they were building the Glendale Galleria. The bug was totaled my head was split open but nothing serious. Teens are stupid, I was especially stupid. Fathers don't get mad when they see the car on the way to the hospital. He told me later he thought he only had 4 sons left.
2008-02-14 17:58:16
384.   El Lay Dave
383 A week later I crashed into a lamp pole on Central when they were building the Glendale Galleria.

I'm glad you didn't hit me when I was down the street at Music+ .

2008-02-14 18:00:02
385.   underdog
375, et al - Yah, I just caught them discussing Kobe's injury on ESPN News, and the analyst said if he can play through it he'll try to avoid surgery but if he needs surgery, yep, he'll be out a long while. Poop. It's the pinky finger, but on his shooting hand. I wish he were lefthanded!

Maybe they can acquire Devean George. :-/

2008-02-14 18:01:08
386.   fanerman
385 But what about his Bird Rights?! Will someone please think of his Bird Rights!?
2008-02-14 18:03:20
387.   ToyCannon
I used to work at Pioneer Chicken and then the liqueur store down the street. I bought alot of music at that Music+. Probably some 8-tracks.
Later I lived on Chevy Chase and Central. Not much about South Glendale I don't know about.
2008-02-14 18:03:27
388.   underdog
Maybe the Lakers can acquire Larry Bird Rights.
2008-02-14 18:03:53
389.   trainwreck
386
Sadly, at some point in the future Larry Bird may be more remembered for Bird Rights than for being Larry Freaking Bird.

Kind of like Tommy John.

2008-02-14 18:06:00
390.   fanerman
388 Well, they already have the Pau Gasol Rules, right?
2008-02-14 18:15:29
391.   Gen3Blue
If you take literally the words of Diamond Leung, Dylan Hernandez and Joe Torre over the last couple of days, you would have to expect Ramon Martinez and Mark Sweeney make the roster and JP and Nomar get the most at bats. I hope I am reading things wrong, but I am not happy.
2008-02-14 18:21:32
392.   fanerman
389 Possibly. But Larry Legend is one of the 5 best players of all-time. You can't say that for Tommy John.
2008-02-14 18:23:51
393.   trainwreck
392
Yeah, I am speaking about the distant future.
2008-02-14 18:48:32
394.   Bob Timmermann
Wazzu leads OSU by 8 at halftime
The Ducks lead UW by 7 in the second half
The unnamed school leads Cal by 2 in the second half
The Fighting Weisman play at ASU later.
2008-02-14 18:55:33
395.   ET90210
Seems Bonds failed test in 2001... shocker!! ha

http://mlbfleecefactor.com/2008/02/14/rumor-bonds-failed-2001-drug-test/

2008-02-14 18:57:09
396.   Marty
387 I spent a lot of time at the original Damon's on Central where the Galleria is now. That was a great place. When they moved to Brand, it was never the same.
2008-02-14 19:03:25
397.   Dodgers49
Long-shot Nomo gets a chance with KC

>> Nomo, once a hero of fans from Los Angeles to Tokyo, is trying a comeback with the Royals after a two-year absence from the Major Leagues. <<

http://tinyurl.com/ysdaof

2008-02-14 19:09:49
398.   Bob Timmermann
Washington is regressing toward the mean after their upset over UCLA. The Ducks are putting a hurt on UW at Mac Court. Oregon is up by 16.

I think Ryan Appleby will end up throwing the ball off someone's face tonight. I think that's how Lorenzo Romar draws up the plays.

2008-02-14 19:14:07
399.   Daniel Zappala
Oh man, great memories of the Pasadena Freeway. I remember driving that. I also did some stupid things as a teen driver that I won't mention here for fear my kids will hold them against me when it's their turn.

358 You are one lucky guy.

2008-02-14 19:14:51
400.   Daniel Zappala
397 I still have my Hideo Nomo jacket and it's blue. That should work.
Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2008-02-14 19:16:22
401.   Daniel Zappala
A sign that I am living right: my kids requested that we listen to my Ultravox -- The Collection album tonight while we clean the kitchen.
2008-02-14 19:17:59
402.   Bluebleeder87
Hideo Nomo is going threw an all to familiar path in which great competitors can't or will not realize there time has come, take a look.

[ http://tinyurl.com/2ak999 ]

mind you he didn't look bad but he didn't look like HIDEO NOMO.

2008-02-14 19:19:03
403.   Joe Pierre
I think the best thing about this season is the (experience) that last years "young" will be carrying around with them. To be truthful I felt during the off season we would regret letting M Cabrera get away. Now I could say I'm happy we did because no matter what happens we got a chance to see what many of our homegrown can do. I think we'll have a better idea who we would trade if the situation comes up again. Which I hope not ofcourse. I think TIME will solve our outfield delimer. The longer our starting pitching can stay in the game is another factor. If we can score some runs the rest will take care of itself.
2008-02-14 19:20:25
404.   Dodgers49
So, we already know who we'll be facing the first two games of the season. Now all we need to figure out is who will be pitching for the Dodgers.

Notes: Zito named Opening Day starter

>> Manager Bruce Bochy named Zito the starting pitcher for the March 31 regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Matt Cain will pitch the second game, with the rest of the rotation to be determined. <<

http://tinyurl.com/2vknno

2008-02-14 19:25:47
405.   Bob Timmermann
404
So Kemp should start on Opening Day barring an injury or unfortunate trash can placement.
2008-02-14 19:32:43
406.   CanuckDodger
404 -- Delwyn Young hit a home run off Zito in September. For all the talk about whether Ethier or Pierre, both of whom bat left, should be our Opening Day left-fielder, here's a thought: neither of them. Put the switch-hitting, Zito-killer Delwyn in.
2008-02-14 19:37:04
407.   68elcamino427
153 I like to think that the "intelligent process" at this site had just a little bit to do with the young pitchers staying here intact over the off season. Great to see you here again. I love this site. This is a great time. Time to retire the hot stove until next November.
2008-02-14 19:38:52
408.   ToyCannon
396
Yeah, the dark Damons was awesome. My 1st wife and I had many a house salad, steak, and Mai Tai there since we lived down the block. Went once or twice when they moved but like you said, it lost all of it's character. Still wonder if I would like the house dressing like I used to.
2008-02-14 19:41:54
409.   still bevens
Short of a tragic and heinous injury during spring I would assume our opening day starter is Penny, followed by Lowe and possibly Chad/Kuroda.
2008-02-14 19:46:23
410.   Bob Timmermann
Cougars, Ducks, and nameless are all early winners in Pac-10 play.

In the Northeast Conference, St. Francis beat St. Francis 63-50. Insert your own states.

2008-02-14 19:47:54
411.   Bluebleeder87
Judging from the photo gallery (Pierre looks ripped) I'm thinking he'll hit 2 bombs this year (at coors field) hopefully they'll be game winners too!
2008-02-14 19:51:45
412.   Marty
Yep. I was introduced to the Mai Tai there. The house salad was terrific.

I used to go to a Mexican place too on Central a little up the street. Called Casa del Sol. My girlfriend liked the margaritas, so I pretty much liked them too.

2008-02-14 19:54:36
413.   68elcamino427
367 Somehow, Mr. Torre finds a way to get people to perform.
Here are his Game Behind Leader Rankings since 1996.
1996 - 1
1997 - 2
1998 - 1
1999 - 1
2000 - 1
2001 - 1
2002 - 1
2003 - 1
2004 - 1
2005 - 1
2006 - 1
2007 - 1
This makes me feel very good regarding his baseball decision making abilities.
2008-02-14 19:56:09
414.   overkill94
410 I'll go with Hawaii and Alaska just to make their conference seem quite inappropriate.
2008-02-14 20:06:54
415.   Dodgers49
It appears Dallas may have an Aaron McKie in the wings if George continues to hold up the trade. His name is Keith Van Horn.

Kidd's trade to Mavs could still happen, but may require Van Horn

http://tinyurl.com/2drsyk

2008-02-14 20:21:32
416.   Bob Timmermann
The Mid-Continent Conference changed its name to the Summit Conference this year and I didn't notice.

I feel so ashamed.

Oral Roberts leads followed by the palindromic IUPUI.

2008-02-14 20:23:58
417.   Bob Timmermann
The Fighting Weisman trail the Sun Devils by four at halftime in Tempe.
2008-02-14 20:36:22
418.   68elcamino427
I'm ordering my T-shirts, then I'm gonna take 'em somewhere and get my number put on the back.

ORDER YOUR T-SHIRTS!

2008-02-14 20:41:17
419.   Dodgers49
Bert Blyleven on Joe Torre:

Dodgers got it right with Torre's hire

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23168933

2008-02-14 20:41:22
420.   fanerman
418 I'm wearing mine as I'm typing =).
2008-02-14 20:43:56
421.   Jon Weisman
418 - Yea!
2008-02-14 20:46:53
422.   MJW101
346 I think he was Rhoda's husband.
2008-02-14 20:48:00
423.   MJW101
The more we hear from Torre the more he sounds like Ned's kind of guy. We may all be sorely disappointed.
2008-02-14 20:49:10
424.   LAbits
Totally off topic, but anyone know what is happening with the ESPN Baseball Today podcast? I loved that thing!
2008-02-14 20:49:37
425.   Indiana Jon
416 After two years of hearing news involving the schools of nearly everyone here, I finally see mine in a post. Only Bob would somehow work IUPUI into a Dodgers blog.
2008-02-14 20:57:03
426.   regfairfield
First, I'm confused about why people who I know aren't single are posting right now.

Second, I just remembered the Orioles have Luke Scott, so what I said about Pierre not being the worst left fielder in baseball isn't true.

2008-02-14 21:03:46
427.   68elcamino427
The ordering process is complete!
My T-shirts are on the way!

GET YOUR ORDER IN NOW!

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

THIS IS A LIMITED TIME OFFER ONLY!

THIS MAY BE YOUR LAST CHANCE!

2008-02-14 21:04:13
428.   Bob Timmermann
I'm making the Summit Conference a cause of mine.

Its members are:
Oral Roberts
IUPUI
Oakland, which is in Michigan and is proud of the fact that it offers free parking
IPFW (the Mastodons)
North Dakota State
Western Illinois
Southern Utah
Centenary (smallest enrollment of any Division I school)
Missouri Kansas City (the Kangaroos)
South Dakota State

I don't know how those schools make road trips, but getting from Cedar City, Utah to Brookings, South Dakota would present a challenge.

2008-02-14 21:05:42
429.   68elcamino427
423 Is Ned now a puppet attachched to Mr. Torre's hand? Did his lips move?
2008-02-14 21:06:09
430.   LAT
TC, you worked at Pioneer Chicken, that's a great claim to fame. Its up there with my brother who worked as a bag boy at Food Giant and my buddy who scooped 5 cent ice cream at Thrifty. I can see the Pioneer Chicken store on the Westside put can't place it. I want to say it was on Westwood and Pico but that may be wrong. (Near the movie theater that is now the Westside Pavilion(I remember seeing "Ben" (the rat movie) there). I think there was a bowling alley next door as well.
2008-02-14 21:08:39
431.   LAT
Sad day in my house:

SHAWN GONE: Shawn Green appears to be in retirement. Green, who hit .291 with 10 homers and 46 RBI in 130 games as a Met last season, has yet to sign with a team and is said to be only interested in playing for an L.A. club - commuting distance from his Orange County home. An opportunity with the Dodgers or Angels hasn't yet presented itself.

Seems unlikely either of those teams will be interested.

2008-02-14 21:11:00
432.   68elcamino427
431 Is San Diego out of the question?
How long can Edmonds stay in one piece?
2008-02-14 21:17:59
433.   jasonungar07
I just saw him the other day..How old is he..35?
2008-02-14 21:20:07
434.   underdog
432 I'm actually surprised San Diego hasn't made a stab at Green. But I kind of hope they don't, just because I could see that somehow coming back to haunt the Dodgers. Or not.

Wow, it's either really cool, or kind of scary (or both), that there are nearly 500 msgs in this thread and spring training hasn't even started yet. I hope the Toaster servers are ready for some DT overload this season.

2008-02-14 21:38:15
435.   LAT
433. Where? Bruin game? You with BH?
2008-02-14 21:41:27
436.   LAT
Hey BH,

Whats up with Brock, he doesn't seem to be posting much these days. (But maybe its me, I haven't been around much either).

2008-02-14 21:54:48
437.   68elcamino427
434
The hot stove has been put away today and many have been eagerly awating for this time to come.
2008-02-14 21:59:41
438.   68elcamino427
436 He stopped by yesterday and things livened up immediately.
I'll make a bold prediction and say that he'll be back very soon.
2008-02-14 22:03:07
439.   Bob Timmermann
Pac-10 standings
UCLA 9-2, 21-3
Stanford 9-3, 20-4
Wash St 7-5, 19-5
Arizona St 6-5, 16-7
USC 6-5, 15-8
Unnamed 6-5, 15-9
Oregon 6-6, 15-9
Cal 5-7, 14-9
Wash 4-8, 13-12
Oregon St 0-12, 6-18
2008-02-14 22:12:27
440.   LAT
TC,

I have been dying at work and am only now catching up on the good stuff. I should post this at True Blue but being I'm days late I'll do it here.

I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed the Roger and Penelope posts. The part about Penelope wispering about her back instead of making a big deal of it resonated with me. That would have been big points in my book. Roger is a lesson for all of us. Thanks for sharing. You are a class act.

2008-02-14 22:26:05
441.   trainwreck
Looks like I am going to have to catch the replay of the Stanford/ASU game.

Nice job, Sun Devils.

2008-02-14 22:30:05
442.   Bob Timmermann
I feel asleep during the ASU/Stanford game when the Fighting Weisman went up by 13. I woke up and it was tied.
2008-02-14 22:32:43
443.   trainwreck
I just watched part of Huskies All Access and the entire time was spent watching Brockman try to eat a ridiculous number of pancakes.
2008-02-14 22:43:35
444.   arbfuldodger
You guys are making me homesick! All this talk about the Pasadena Freeway and Glendale is killing me. Lived in Glendale for 10 years (apartments behind the BK on Central), so I've been to almost all these places mentioned.

And all the talk about how dangerous the 110 is reminded me about my worst drving experience. Was driving down from Pasadena in my '66 Mustang w/ a badly pitted windshield, sun hit the windshield so I couldn't see I'm going 60 and the 1st off-ramp is the York one... well I went from 60 to 10 MPH in a split second. Had to pull over and catch my breath and make sure I hadn't soiled myself. Ahhhhh memories

2008-02-14 22:54:06
445.   Jon Weisman
My Season Pass post on tonight's Lost is up:

http://weblogs.variety.com/season_pass/2008/02/lost-episode-3.html

2008-02-14 22:54:50
446.   Jon Weisman
442 - Yeah, it was a bummer.
2008-02-14 23:03:33
447.   trainwreck
Anyone know if and when they replay all the episodes of Breaking Bad? I don't want to have to wait for it to come out on DVD like I will with Mad Men.
2008-02-14 23:21:36
448.   Eric Stephen
447
It looks like they showed the first 3 episodes last night, but I can't find when they are showing again.

Full AMC schedule is here: http://tinyurl.com/2qhlpx

Also, they have been replaying Mad Men too, so you shouldn't have wait for DVD. I missed it the first time around, but am loving it right now.

2008-02-14 23:23:12
449.   Bob Timmermann
447
You can get "Breaking Bad" on iTunes if you want.
2008-02-14 23:28:06
450.   Eric Stephen
447
If you have the Independent Film Channel (IFC to the layperson), the first two episodes of Breaking Bad will be on next Friday (Feb 22) at 6pm & 7pm local time.

Schedule per Yahoo TC: http://tinyurl.com/yt2rjd

Show/Hide Comments 451-500
2008-02-14 23:30:42
451.   Eric Stephen
I'm watching Chris Berman's recounting of Gibson's HR right now. He didn't say "back back back", but it's still blasphemy.
2008-02-15 00:14:30
452.   bhsportsguy
436 He posted yesterday, I think he is just busy with work.
2008-02-15 00:15:41
453.   trainwreck
(499) (450)
Thanks, but sadly I don't have iTunes or IFC.
2008-02-15 00:22:49
454.   trainwreck
451
Chris Berman has become a very popular figure on Youtube. He kind of comes off as a scumbag when you watch the videos.
2008-02-15 07:14:43
455.   Bob Timmermann
453
It's not like Apple is going to charge you to load iTunes on your computer.

They will just wait until you buy lots of stuff.

2008-02-15 07:51:36
456.   cargill06
morning all
2008-02-15 08:00:20
457.   cargill06
someone said JP looks bigger in that picture on dodgers.com , told you he may go through a willie mays hayes career change.

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080214&content_id=2373715&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=la

2008-02-15 08:11:48
458.   ToyCannon
For D4P
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=754
2008-02-15 08:12:20
459.   cargill06
juan pierre's last 2 months of the season last year .325/.369/.408, he has put up entrie seasons like that, he is still more than capable of having a .310/.350/.400 season, if he does do that wouldn't that justify starting him over ethier? would his eqa be higher than 'dre?
2008-02-15 08:16:52
460.   ToyCannon
452
He's a HS teacher in SoCal, how could he be busy creating lesson plans and grading 150 kids with differing skills levels who speak at least 10 different languages. Seems like a piece of cake.
2008-02-15 08:16:55
461.   LogikReader
Found out about the Kobe injury details last night. ouch.

All morning I was wondering: What would Dodger Thoughts recommend for Kobe? Take care of surgery now or 'gut it out' like Rafael Furcal did with his ankle?

Personally I could see it either way. Since it's the pinky, Kobe could survive through the season, but it might also be better just to get the surgery over with so he'll be 100% come playoff time.

The Lakers have a very easy stretch of the season coming up anyway.

2008-02-15 08:18:22
462.   cargill06
458 he makes very good point, and i've said the same thing. but just fact is is it is agianst the rules right now. and bellicheck is a jerk so i'm glad it happened to him.
2008-02-15 08:21:02
463.   Bob Timmermann
There's a live Bill Plaschke chat on the LA Times website today. I think it's at 1:15.

Watch... If you dare.

2008-02-15 08:22:08
464.   old dodger fan
459 Most teams expect more power from a corner outfielder than a CFer. His slugging % the last 3 years has been .354, .388 and .353. Your expectation of .400 does not seem reasonable. His career high is .415 and that was in 2001. I think Andre should exceed .450. JP's bat was poor for a CFer but in LF it's just unacceptable.
2008-02-15 08:22:30
465.   cargill06
jon,

i will watch what i say and how i go about arguing a point i do not agree with, but rome wasn't built in a day so apolgize the next time it happens

2008-02-15 08:23:45
466.   Marty
What's interesting is I don't think it's against the rules to use binoculars to try to decode the signs, just to videotape it and study later. This has always seemed like small potatoes to me.
2008-02-15 08:24:28
467.   cargill06
464 i have tried making the argument that if pierre hit's 8 it makes him an above average #8 hitter, and i was told that wasn't a valid arguement which makes sense to me for the most part. however, if you i can't make that arguement i don't want to hear the argument about pierre being a corner OF, if A. jones plays LF and Pierre plays CF does that make the situation better?
2008-02-15 08:26:42
468.   Bob Timmermann
Old Friend Brady Clark is going to spring training with the Mets.

The Mets need to replenish their stock.

2008-02-15 08:27:40
469.   Gen3Blue
458 D4P should come out smoking today.I'm not sure whether to thank you TC:0)
( Still licking wounds in NE)
2008-02-15 08:31:29
470.   cargill06
i don't want to hear the argument

let's change that to:

than you can't make the argument that pierre is worse offensively because he switched positions defensively

that makes the my statement a little more open minded right?

2008-02-15 08:32:02
471.   ToyCannon
I like the pre-apologizing gambit.

Look, the team can win if Pierre is the everyday LF. The White Sox won with Podboy being the everyday LF, it just makes it harder and with the competition being thrown at us from the Diamondbacks and Rockies I don't know if we have the luxury.

It looks like your trying to find a rainbow with JP, but we have good LF in Ethier so he should play.

The problem is that the Dodgers have two players who would make great bench players but they are making 20 million which is not something you waste on bench players. That money could be used on paying CC next season. Ned created this problem now we just have to hope we have the talent to overcome it.

2008-02-15 08:33:12
472.   Jim57
467 Defense in centerfield is more important than in leftfield and defense is Pierre's biggest liability. What is frustrating with Pierre is that not only is he not a prototypical corner outfielder from a hitting standpoint(power), he will be a below average defensive left fielder as well. Most teams will sacrifice some defense in left to play a masher(i.e. Adam Dunn), but with Pierre you lose on both sides of the ball.
2008-02-15 08:34:17
473.   old dodger fan
467 The only thing that moving him to #8 accomplishes is that he gets few PA's.

If you compare Andre playing LF and batting #8 to JP playing LF batting #8 I think most any objective comparison will show that we should be better off with Andre. Add to that JP's poor throwing arm.

I hope Joe agrees.

2008-02-15 08:36:16
474.   cargill06
472 will pierre be a below avg defense LF? it was stated by someone awhile ago the best LF arm will save you 1 run ever 3 years or something minute like that, if that's the case and a LF's arm is virtually meaningless than pierre would have to be at least avg. with his ability to get to balls.
2008-02-15 08:37:01
475.   Jim57
It is especially frustrating when there is clearly a better option sitting right in your dugout. Ethier plays better than average defense and is a better all around hitter than Phew-erre.
2008-02-15 08:38:06
476.   cargill06
473 i agree with you from that most likely that etheir gives us our best chance to win. but it is possibel pierre can bat .300+ which would make his OBP and his OPS go up, factor in his ability to score runs you would have to think pierre and ethier production would be similar
2008-02-15 08:39:55
477.   LogikReader
I think we could rename Rule 8 "the Juan Pierre rule"
2008-02-15 08:41:33
478.   cargill06
477 ya sorry, just not much to talk about in feb.
2008-02-15 08:41:54
479.   Jim57
Pierre doesn't even get good reads and jumps on balls when playing center. Why should we think he will do any better in left where the ball slices and has more complicated angles. I'm not buying the 1 run every 3 year crap just because someone said it. I'd like to see the data on that one. With Pierre in left, there will be lots of guys taking second on singles to left.
2008-02-15 08:45:05
480.   cargill06
i'm not buying the 1 run every 3 year crap

be careful.

but i do agree with you there. it seems like just this situation happens a few times a year, 1 out, fly-ball to LF runner on 3rd doesn't tag because of LF's arm, and they strand him on 3rd.

2008-02-15 08:47:20
481.   old dodger fan
476

Ethier career .295/.357/.464 OPS+ 108
JP career .301/.348/.374 OPS+ 84

Assuming they reproduce career numbers I don't see how you could suggest JP will give us similar offense to Ethier. I think Andre is more likely to see improvement because JP seems to be on a downward trend.

Any mention of JP is probably a rule 8 violation but if we do it respectfully it should be OK until we have some real news to discuss.

2008-02-15 08:48:46
482.   cargill06
poor loaiza he's never quite been good enough to get his own number

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080214&content_id=2373715&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=la

2008-02-15 08:49:38
483.   Jim57
Looks like the #5 spot in the rotation is Loaiza's to lose.
2008-02-15 08:55:27
484.   old dodger fan
It's hard to feel but so sorry for someone making $7 million to play baseball.

Unless he puts up some really good numbers this year I think he is in for a significant pay cut in '09 but he will still make several times what most of here do.

2008-02-15 08:55:55
485.   cargill06
483 sure looks that way, he'll be servicable i believe that it would be a upgrade from tomko/lurch
2008-02-15 08:57:16
486.   cargill06
484 i hear ya bro, i tell ol lady all that all the time when she felt bad for tomko and is now her favorite player
2008-02-15 09:06:19
487.   Jon Weisman
Two new posts up top.

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