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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Hot Spring Training Isnít Reason for Ethier To Start
2008-03-17 14:41
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

If it were Juan Pierre having the hot Spring Training and Andre Ethier struggling, that wouldn't change the fact that Ethier should play ahead of Pierre. So let's avoid using exhibition statistics to build Ethier's case for the starting job.

At best, the Grapefruit League numbers are a postscript. Ethier deserves to start because he had already proved prior to this month that he was the better player. Nothing that happened over the past 50 plate appearances against a grabbag of pitchers could affect that. (Or maybe you'd like to see George Lombard and his 1.577 OPS play ahead of them both?)

If you want to use Spring Training as a tiebreaker to decide a battle between two evenly matched players, that's one thing. But to lend more weight to them than you would give regular season performances is to make a deal with the evil spirit of your choice.

I realize that some people needed to see Ethier dominate Pierre in Spring Training (to this point, anyway) to be convinced of the younger player's relative value. That doesn't make it right, any more than it would be right for Pierre to grab the starting job back if he plays better between now and March 31.

Stick to the correct argument. It's nothing personal, and it's not a vendetta against speedy ballplayers. It's just this simple: Overall, Ethier has more value than Pierre.

Comments (195)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-03-17 14:46:54
1.   underdog
Stop being logical! ;-)

I mean, I agree.

2008-03-17 14:49:14
2.   regfairfield
Very well said, Jon.
2008-03-17 14:49:37
3.   alex 7
LAT'd

Really, most of you don't believe that all this "Pierre may start" talk serves the purpose of keeping his trade value higher? At least in the minds of Ned and Torre?

For whatever reason (logic), I simply don't buy the idea that Torre will play Pierre over Ethier.

Torre's comments have been nebulous at best, and I think it's because he doesn't want to just come out and say that Ethier will start. Keeps them competitive, and keeps Pierre's price a bit higher.

I read the part about Pierre being what he is to other teams, regardless of whether he starts or not. However, I think an offer for a backup will be slightly lower than if that guy was starting. At least it should start lower, on the premise that the player isn't as valuable to the team.

I also believe that the trade that didn't go through involving the White Sox - which Ned was upset about - involved Pierre.

2008-03-17 14:51:38
4.   Jon Weisman
2 - Thanks.
2008-03-17 14:52:48
5.   alex 7
Perhaps Spring Training has allowed us to see Pierre and Ethier play alongside each other more often than ever before. This might contrast their strengths, weaknesses, and overall values more easily to the fans, media, and coaches.

It's not just the numbers, but we get to see the "scout" side more clearly when they're playing side by side. We notice their swings, their approaches, their defense side by side, sometimes in the same inning.

2008-03-17 14:55:31
6.   regfairfield
5 Just eyeballing it, there were about 120 opportunities to see Pierre and Ethier play side by side last year.
2008-03-17 14:58:22
7.   bigcpa
Colletti himself said the starting OF will be decided on the field. So is he guilty of putting excessive weight on March stats? Or is it that Ethier/Pierre are just being "scouted" for their "tools" and not measured by 60-70 pa's.

If in mgmt's mind this was a coin-flip decision, then Ethier's torrid March has got to factor in. If mgmt believed Ethier was their guy on March 1, then Ethier's spring performance gives Ned/Torre adequate cover to make the decision. And of course Plaschke will write one of his "I was wrong" columns- like anyone cares about his public reversals (Pete Carroll et al).

2008-03-17 15:01:53
8.   alex 7
re: 5 I guess I meant for guys like Torre and media/fans who hadn't been forced to pit them against each other for one position. Many of us here knew Matt Kemp before he even came up last year, but I doubt most casual fans had a problem with the Kemp/Ethier/Pierre rotation most of last year.
2008-03-17 15:05:04
9.   madmac
172 from prev thread.

Are you familiar with James Patterson's Maximum Ride series? One of the main character's name is Fang.

2008-03-17 15:06:28
10.   Humma Kavula
glistening white triangular tooth
open up a can of tomato juice
(guitar riff)
i've got a fang
i've got a fang
i've got a fang
2008-03-17 15:07:04
11.   k0b3
sadly the dodger management views salary and fame as more important than contribution and talent, which means no matter what, Pierre will be in left field. If anything Ethier's hot spring will mean kemp will be pushed to the bench, not pierre.
2008-03-17 15:07:24
12.   scareduck
In which Jon limns the elephant in the room.

I feel like this is so patently obvious, and Ned's refusal to appropriately deal with is so consistent, that there's almost no point in discussing this.

2008-03-17 15:07:33
13.   blue22
8 - the Kemp/Ethier/Pierre rotation most of last year.

To be accurate, it was a Kemp/Ethier/Gonzo rotation. Pierre was the lone undisputed starter in the OF for the entire year.

2008-03-17 15:12:41
14.   trainwreck
Let's all hope that this is the last time Jon has to write about this.
2008-03-17 15:13:03
15.   Daniel Zappala
11 If this comes to pass, I don't think it will be due to salary and fame. Instead, I think it will be a misunderstanding of the importance of batting average and speed at the top of the lineup.
2008-03-17 15:14:59
16.   Daniel Zappala
14 Next year I hope this will all be a boring historical anecdote.

Grandpa: "I remember when Juan Pierre actually challenged Andre Ethier for playing time in left field"
Grandson: "Wasn't Juan Pierre a centerfielder?"
Grandpa: "Naw, he got moved to left when the Dodgers got Andruw Jones"
Grandson: "Aw, come on grandpa, you're just joking."

2008-03-17 15:16:03
17.   Kevin Lewis
191 from last thread:

He turned me into a newt.

2008-03-17 15:16:14
18.   bigcpa
If "it" were to happen, and by "it" I mean the correct decision, isn't the most logical time for the announcement to be this week in Phoenix? Torre would want to field his opening day lineup for 10 days and get everyone comfortable in their roles blah blah. I don't see "it" happening late next week.
2008-03-17 15:16:37
19.   alex 7
Guess I'm curious, but what would you all do as GM? Is there a downside to handing the LF position to Ethier in February? Should Ned just have come out and stated that Ethier would start? Or isn't stating that it's an open competition the best way for him to deal with it?
2008-03-17 15:17:17
20.   GMac In The 909
17 A newt?!?
2008-03-17 15:18:11
21.   regfairfield
16 Since I'm thinking there's a good 20% chance he'll be Hall Of Famer Juan Pierre by then, I don't think that's how the conversation will go.

The guy has a pretty realistic shot at 3000 hits and 800 steals if he keeps getting jobs. If he does that, he's Hall bound.

2008-03-17 15:18:59
22.   Jon Weisman
19 - I would expect Ethier to have the maturity to handle getting a starting job the same way I expect Loney to have the maturity to handle his starting assignment.

It's not as if Ethier hasn't started a bunch of games before.

2008-03-17 15:19:08
23.   regfairfield
19 If I'm Ned, I'm doing everything I can to give Juan Pierre a chance so I don't look like a complete idiot for signing him.
2008-03-17 15:19:37
24.   scareduck
19 - Is there a downside to handing the LF position to Ethier in February?

Since it isn't February, there's no point to discussing this. But assume for the moment that going into spring training Ethier were given the starting job. That would imply Ned would have to confess his Pierre deal was a near-total loss. It would be a significant hit to his prestige.

So the collateral damage would principally be limited to Ned's ego.

2008-03-17 15:19:58
25.   alex 7
Ned signed Jones to replace Pierre, and did the whole Pierre to left field schtick to help trade him, as well as to soothe Pierre's ego much the way Nomar was soothed into taking grounders at 3rd before being replaced by Loney.

I remember reading that on here months ago and thinking it was logical. I'll just stay in that happy zone and hope Torre doesn't let me down.

2008-03-17 15:21:05
26.   Jon Weisman
How many people here still remember what happened with Matt Kemp at the end of 2007 Spring Training?
2008-03-17 15:23:06
27.   k0b3
I'm getting annoyed at the "it's a good problem to have" comment coming from everyone from the dodgers. It's not a good problem to have when the right decision is not being made and you will have two 9Million dollar bench players if everything is right
2008-03-17 15:25:59
28.   underdog
27 It's annoying, but they have to say that. What are they supposed to say publicly, especially if they really DO want to trade Pierre somewhere? It is a bogus PR-y thing to say, but it's unrealistic to expect them to say something else, too.

Can y'all just wake me in April?

2008-03-17 15:26:21
29.   Marty
26 Didn't he come out of spring as the starter until he ran into a trashcan disguised as a scoreboard?
2008-03-17 15:26:42
30.   fanerman
21 Your blogmate disagrees, but I want Pierre to be traded partly because I want him to play everyday and have a shot at 3000 hits.
2008-03-17 15:26:54
31.   KG16
19 - I tend to agree with 22 and 23. If I was the GM now, I'd be looking to trade Pierre. I don't know that I'd be publicly saying that I was shopping Pierre, but I'd be looking for teams that would want a player like him (yes, there are teams that would want a guy like Pierre). And, in shopping Pierre, I'd be looking for the best possible value.

The public approach would be similar to what Ned has been doing.

2008-03-17 15:27:16
32.   alex 7
Pity Ned's ego at least temporarily if... Pierre is on the bench to start the season, Nomar is banged up, Schmidt is hurting, and Jones slumps out of the gates.

He did go out and get Ethier, but overall it seems the best thing that can be said about Ned is that he hasn't traded top prospects, traded for Maddux, and got a ridiculous output from Marlon Anderson. Just seems a lot of things might be piling on the negative side now.

2008-03-17 15:28:45
33.   k0b3
just wondering did torre or ned actually say anything about there being a spring competition or are we just assuming there is the three outfielders for two spots thing?
2008-03-17 15:29:17
34.   Jon Weisman
24 - I'm still not buying this argument, because it's so easy to spin the positive. Ned all along has said (rightly or wrongly) that he got Pierre because Kemp and Ethier weren't proven. Well, now Kemp and Ethier are proven - plus, Jones was available. All Ned has to do is say, "My goal is to put the best possible team on the field, without sacrificing the future."

Who wants a GM who rests on his laurels? If the starting outfielder from 2007 is a fourth outfielder in 2008, that's a good thing. (You can get into an argument about whether Pierre's salary prevented the team from getting A-Rod or Santana, but I don't think most people will take it that far - plus, it may not even be true.)

I've never heard of improving a team translating into a loss of prestige. If the team wins, no one's going to care that Pierre was signed along the way. And if the team loses, no one's going to care that Pierre was benched. They're only going to care about the wins and losses.

Ned's prestige solely depends on how well his team does. It's the only barometer, and frankly, I'd be surprised if Ned doesn't know it.

2008-03-17 15:29:26
35.   alex 7
exactly KG, and I just think we need to see that for what it is - Ned posturing. No matter what stats Ned uses, I'm sure he now sees Ethier that outperforms Pierre if given equal opportunities. Not sure if he saw that last year.
2008-03-17 15:29:43
36.   ToyCannon
23
I don't think that is what Ned is thinking. If he can win, all past mistakes will be forgiven. If he finally decides to move JP for pennies on the dollar it will be because he's decided that an outfield of Kemp/Jones/Ethier makes that a more realistic proposition.

I would also be shocked if this decision is not completely in Joe Torre's hands. They brought him in to win, and he will play who he thinks will give him the best shot at winning. This isn't some rook manager worried about his backside.

That said, I have little faith that Joe will make the correct decision.

2008-03-17 15:31:03
37.   Jon Weisman
29 - He wasn't expected at all to make the Opening Day roster ... until he did. My point is that there's always room for surprises, no matter what we perceive or read this month.
2008-03-17 15:32:14
38.   alex 7
if the team wins while Pierre and Nomar and Schmidt eat up lots of salary, sure fans will still be happy, but Ned's resume will seem to show that he won because of the kids and the guys DePodesta brought in.

And the money he has thrown around to those guys has to stand out to McCourt at some point when it comes to evaluating his total GM-worthiness.

Sure, Ned still wants to win no matter what, but ouch on his ego.

2008-03-17 15:35:42
39.   Kevin Lewis
36

I imagine Joe has already had conversations with Ned about wanting Ethier over Pierre. All the comments have been so neutral that it seems they are trying not to upset Pierre/bring down his value. At this point I am going to trust the higher ups to make the right decision.

2008-03-17 15:35:51
40.   MC Safety
A competition is a competition. I think the stats they are putting up right now are definitely relevant. How relevant? I'm not sure, but I'm not willing to completely dismiss Matt Kemp's bomb off Dice K and Slappy barely above the Mendoza line.

It's been obvious for quite some time, but this spring Ethier just decided he was going to bring the SWAT team along to knock down Ned's ridiculously strong door.

2008-03-17 15:37:14
41.   Jon Weisman
If Ned wins, his job is safe. DePo will be an ancient memory, and Ned will be praised for not trading the kids.

DePo wasn't fired for his methods; he was fired because of the results.

2008-03-17 15:38:07
42.   Jon Weisman
40 - So what would you have said if Pierre had 50 good at-bats this month?
2008-03-17 15:38:20
43.   regfairfield
40 When deciding how relevant, just keep in mind Abraham Nunez (he of 18 home runs in 2484 career at bats) once led Spring Training in home runs. A lot of freaky things can happen in 60 at bats.
2008-03-17 15:39:59
44.   Jon Weisman
Diamond Leung:

"I asked bench coach Bob Schaefer if this would improve Ethier's chances, and Schaefer said, 'His chance has been good all this time.'"

http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/03/ethier_has_good_day_for_dodger.html

2008-03-17 15:42:36
45.   blue22
Assume that logic and good sense prevail, and that Ethier is the starter. Pierre seems like a perfectly decent bench player, 4th/5th OFer. Does Ethier starting necessarily require trading Pierre (and taking the massive financial hit that would go along with it)?

Perusing the depth charts, it doesn't seem like anyone has a desperate need for an expensively unproductive centerfielder right now.

2008-03-17 15:43:57
46.   RELX
Everyone has made this a Pierre vs. Ethier competition, but is it correct to assume that Kemp is definitely the everyday RF?
2008-03-17 15:44:43
47.   Michael D
23

I really hate that that might be how Ned actually thinks. What Ned needs to realize is that if there are World Series games played at Dodger Stadium this year, he will look like a genius no matter what. If he gets us to the World Series he secures himself a job for at least a couple more seasons.

Ned needs to understand it could be win or go home for him. If we have another year like last year he could very well end up unemployed. If we win the World Series he gets a contract extension. So if Ned thinks anywhere in his mind that Ethier starting over Pierre gives us a better chance to win he needs to start him. Sure he'll get asked the tough questions in April if we get rid of Pierre, but nobody will remember or care if we're hoisting up flags in October.

I really hope Ned understands this, that winning a World Series will vastly cover up any "looking bad" dumping Pierre would cause. Because if we start Pierre for 162 he'll look bad and possibly be unemployed next year.

2008-03-17 15:44:49
48.   alex 7
Colletti praised for not trading the kids just doesn't lend itself to a raise or extension in a few years though does it? Congrats on not screwing up.

Won't someone - be it McCourt, someone hired by McCourt, or the press - lay down the + and - on Ned's side and not be impressed?
Hmm, I guess it would necessitate a risk-taker to hire a new GM in the midst of winning seasons (happy assumption is all mine!). Maybe that's not McCourt and Ned's job is safe. That just seems like the right move based on Ned's track record in big-money free agency moves and trades.

2008-03-17 15:45:02
49.   regfairfield
45 I think he'd actually be a really good fit for the Padres if we paid some of his salary. They're a team built around fly ball pitchers that has no outfield defense. They could use Pierre's glove.
2008-03-17 15:45:05
50.   Daniel Zappala
Here's what I think Mr. Colletti is doing. He recognized that JP was not a strong CFer, and got a much better replacement in Jones. He did the smart thing and got Jones before getting rid of JP, figuring he could figure out that situation later. That led to putting him in LF temporarily, while he explored deals. However, he's not the type to give away a player for free, and no good offers have come in, so he's left him out there with regular playing time in spring. No harm done, since no one plays full-time in spring anyway. Spring is rapidly coming to a close, and I expect that, unless a good deal comes along, he'll be relegated to the bench, with an occasional start. I think Colletti follows a very logical pattern of thinking, and this seems entirely logical to me.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-03-17 15:46:04
51.   brooklynboy
If Ethier starts, the Dodgers could have an impressive lineup:
2008-03-17 15:48:09
52.   fanerman
44 That's very reassuring.
2008-03-17 15:48:41
53.   RELX
I think that the Dodgers know that they are better off with a Ethier-Jones-Kemp OF and want to trade Pierre, but it is really difficult to make trades at this point in the season. Most teams would rather start the year with what they got and make adjustments along the way. Based on that, I doubt the Dodgers can trade Pierre before mid-season.

Either way, this has to be resolved at some point this season, since Pierre is signed for five years, and Ethier and Kemp are 4-5 years away from free agency. Something has to give.

2008-03-17 15:49:04
54.   Jon Weisman
47 - I'm confident Ned understands all of that. I think Ned's boosting of Pierre is simply because he likes Pierre, for the same reasons that prompted him to sign him. Whether he will continue liking him more than Ethier will have very little to do with his ego.

48 - All baseball jobs are temporary. But winning tends to provide the best security, regardless of how it was achieved.

49 - I agree; I'd just add another if: "If we were willing to trade a starting player to the Padres."

2008-03-17 15:50:15
55.   RELX
Correcting myself, Pierre has only 4 years left on his contract.
2008-03-17 15:50:59
56.   blue22
49 - You're right, that is a good fit (as far as divisional rivals go). If Ned was shrewd, he'd wait until the first Edmonds injury happens. Which should be any minute now...
2008-03-17 15:51:16
57.   Jon Weisman
56 - It already happened.
2008-03-17 15:51:28
58.   MC Safety
42 Darn, Pierre is doing good. Andre Ethier still brings more to the table, offensively and defensively.

43 Yeah, I know "it's spring training".

2008-03-17 15:54:04
59.   brooklynboy
Assuming Ethier starts, the Dodgers could have an impressive lineup:
1. Furcal
2. Martin
3. Kemp
4. Loney
5. Jones
6. Kent
7. Ethier
8. Garciaparra
9. (pitcher)
Depending on performance, there would be some flexibility at the bottom of the order. If Ethier does not start, the lineup would be significantly weaker--since Ethier is the better player--but also, there would be an excessive number of consecutive right-handed hitters in the middle or bottom of the lineup.
2008-03-17 15:55:45
60.   MC Safety
52 But Diamond just asked if it increased his chances. He didn't specify RF or LF, which I'm trying not to read too much into.
2008-03-17 15:55:49
61.   blue22
57 - Geez, didn't even get through the first week of March.
2008-03-17 15:58:13
62.   Jon Weisman
Box score from Mississippi Valley State's last game against a Pac-10 opponent:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=273280265

2008-03-17 15:58:44
63.   scareduck
47 - Ned needs to understand it could be win or go home for him. If we have another year like last year he could very well end up unemployed.

And the Dodgers will replace him with someone exactly the same. Ned was chosen as a PR-first GM. That was Frank McCourt's priority then, and I very much doubt it will change if the Dodgers have another crummy season.

2008-03-17 15:59:48
64.   Indiana Jon
I think Ned takes a lot of hits here that he really might not deserve. Now whether he doesn't deserve them because he is good, or whether it's because he is lucky may be up for debate, but he has done a pretty good job, although he's done it a little slower than we would have liked. The best player he has lost in his years here may be Milton Bradley. If thats your worst loss, I'll take it. In that loss, he gained Ethier, good move. He traded away a couple prospects, but NONE of the good ones, a huge plus. Now has he signed a few overpriced free agents? Of course he has, but the way I see it they allowed us to keep the kids. Playing these vets when we believe the kids are ready has been frustrating, but that's where I say he, or Grady, has been slow, not bad. Looking at this thing optimistically, which is not my nature, Ethier has a good chance to start in LF. If that happens, there will only be one position on the field where our best player is not in the lineup. Couple this with a pitching staff with at the very least 4 out of 5 starters that are our best, and a bullpen led by two of the better relievers in the league, one of which is one of those very same prospects that Ned held on to. The only real negative I see is at 3B, and I believe we would have seen the right move there if Andy hadn't gone down to injury. It's taken at least a year longer than what I wanted to see, but hasn't Ned put us almost exactly where we wanted to be right now assuming that Joe makes the right decisions?
2008-03-17 16:02:16
65.   bhsportsguy
Theo Epstein, Billy Beane, Kevin Towers. etc. all seem to do pretty well with the media. If you don't like how he does his job, that's one thing but to deny that being good at PR in that position isn't important, is just wrong.
2008-03-17 16:04:06
66.   Jon Weisman
65 - Taken any good cooking classes lately?
2008-03-17 16:05:52
67.   Xeifrank
21. Pierre HOFer? Eeegadz! I think he will be out of baseball completely in 2-3 years. Oh wait, he should be out of baseball in 2-3 years, but there is that pesky contract with 4 more years remaining.
vr, Xei
2008-03-17 16:11:49
68.   Michael D
63

The best PR McCourt could ever hope to receive would be the kind bringing home world championships provides. If he hires morons the press likes and we never do much of anything the people will eventually turn on him.

2008-03-17 16:12:51
69.   bhsportsguy
66 Occasionally, I do venture outside DT.
2008-03-17 16:14:57
70.   Indiana Jon
Has anyone ever done any research on other teams and how many of them play worse players on a regular basis than they have on their roster? I'm familiar with the Dodgers faults, and I follow by default the errors of the Reds, who gave away Josh Hamilton, and now appear ready to put Hopper or Freel in CF instead of Jay Bruce, but how many of these situations are there out there? One thing I know is that we're not alone, Freel over Bruce is a larger crime than Pierre over Ethier if it happens.
2008-03-17 16:17:49
71.   scareduck
65 - no denying that PR is a big part of the job, but oversensitivity about what people will say is a disease. The Penny/Loduca-Mota trade was a good one that I very much doubt Ned would have made.
2008-03-17 16:18:48
72.   El Lay Dave
My mother's family name is Fang (anglicized - Wade-Gilles?). Because my uncle visited KTLA once when he was a newscaster in Taipei, I got to hear George Putnam say the name.
2008-03-17 16:19:25
73.   madmac
50 I tend think this is more likely the case
2008-03-17 16:20:04
74.   regfairfield
70 Off the top of my head:

Tigers - Jacque Jones over Marcus Thames
Angels - Gary Matthews over Juan Rivera and Reggie Willits

2008-03-17 16:20:12
75.   bhsportsguy
71 I don't think there were a lot of GMs, maybe Billy Beane, who would have made that deal.
2008-03-17 16:20:15
76.   scareduck
68 - "Neo, sooner or later you're going to realize just as I did that there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."
2008-03-17 16:20:44
77.   Jon Weisman
71 - It was a good one and I wouldn't have had the guts to have done it.
2008-03-17 16:21:28
78.   scareduck
74 - Willits is the defensive inferior to Matthews in center. If Matthews starts at one of the corner positions and Juan Rivera does not, you have a point.
2008-03-17 16:21:31
79.   bhsportsguy
70 Isn't this heading towards the old question, if all of your friends jumped off a bridge, is it okay for you to do it too?
2008-03-17 16:22:20
80.   bhsportsguy
66 BTW, nice people you work with. But it is a very small world.
2008-03-17 16:22:57
81.   scareduck
78 - of course I say this without having seen Rivera play post-broken leg.
2008-03-17 16:23:54
82.   blue22
70 - who gave away Josh Hamilton

They got Volquez for him who is going to be in their rotation, right? That's something.

And I think the jury is still out on what kind of CFer Bruce can be, playing in between Griffey and Dunn. And it's not like Bruce has kicked down the door yet and demanded the job from PVL Freel :)

2008-03-17 16:24:13
83.   scareduck
74 - in Seattle, Richie Sexson over Ben Broussard, at least, against lefties.
2008-03-17 16:24:27
84.   Andrew Shimmin
Too slow is wrong.
2008-03-17 16:24:30
85.   Indiana Jon
79 I'm not trying to say it's OK in any way, but just for the record I would do it with a bungee cord.
2008-03-17 16:28:17
86.   Bob Timmermann
79
My friends are all afraid of bridges.
2008-03-17 16:28:32
87.   blue22
83 - Last year, playing Vidro, Ibanez, et al over Adam Jones, even after recalling him towards the end of the year.

Also in Cincy, Hatteberg over Votto, if it ends up working out that way.

2008-03-17 16:28:46
88.   Indiana Jon
82 Hamilton for Volquez is a horrible give away and making the Reds rotation is no proof of worth by a long shot. I agree on the jury being out on Bruce's ability to play CF, but you could always move Griffey back there if he can't handle it. If he can handle it, he has the talent to be the best CF in the game, very, very soon. Hamilton is possibly a top 5 CF right now if he can stay healthy.
2008-03-17 16:30:13
89.   regfairfield
After some more research:

Twins - Brendan Harris over Alexi Casilla (arguable)
Yankees - (Potentially) Shelly Duncan over Wilson Betemit
Rangers - Catalanotto/Byrd over Jason Botts
Cardinals - Skip Schumaker over Ryan Ludwick (and later potentially Colby Rasmus)
Pirates - Nyjer Morgan over Nate McLouth, Ronny Paulino over Ryan Doumit.
Mariners - Jose Vidro over Wladmir Balentin

2008-03-17 16:31:29
90.   regfairfield
78 Several stats peg Matthews as one of the worst center fielders in baseball. I'm inclined to believe his defense is horrible.
2008-03-17 16:33:34
91.   Indiana Jon
89 I would add Ensberg to the list with Betemit (potentially).
2008-03-17 16:34:41
92.   underdog
In the NCAA Women's Basketball bracket which is being announced as we speak, I just saw a couple of first round matchups of interest:

No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 13 UC Santa Barbara, No. 3 California vs. No. 14 San Diego

I think those are both in the Greensboro Regional.

Cornell's women's team made it to the Big Dance, too, and get the fun task of facing UConn in the 1st round.

2008-03-17 16:37:15
93.   SG6
78 - Torri Hunter is in CF. Rivera is the odd man out. Garrett, Vlad and Mathews split the 3 spots LF, RF DH.
2008-03-17 16:39:20
94.   Jon Weisman
http://tinyurl.com/ytwyks

The final of Holman Stadium's hundreds of home runs was delivered by pinch-hitter Preston Mattingly -- given his first Grapefruit League at-bat by grateful bench coach Bob Schaefer, who 28 years ago had managed his father, Don, and without whose recommendation, he said, "I now wouldn't be here."

Earlier, a tying two-run home run had been struck by David Newhan -- son of Hall of Fame journalist Ross, who covered his first Spring Training here for the Los Angeles Times in 1967 and was in the stands Monday, dealing with his own emotions.

2008-03-17 16:41:15
95.   Bluebleeder87
If Pierre had Eric Davis power, glove speed etc I'd be all for Pierre starting over Ethier but Pierre is a singles hitting OUTFIELDER, come on!
2008-03-17 16:43:56
96.   SG6
95 - a singles hitting LEFT-FIELDER. At least Center is a "defensive" position.
2008-03-17 16:46:15
97.   scareduck
-----Player---------------Rate2----ZR----RZR
------------------------------------------------------------------
Gary Matthews, Jr.-----107----.851---.850
Reggie Willits-------------100----.839---.792

In addition, David Pinto's Probabilistic Model of Range shows Matthews as a slightly above average centerfielder (101.50), but does not rate Willits, presumably for lack of time in the field.

2008-03-17 16:48:06
98.   scareduck
97 is in response to 90 , incidentally.
2008-03-17 16:49:06
99.   regfairfield
97 Huh, didn't realize Willits was that awful. I stand corrected. Those ZR and RZR numbers for Matthews put him at the bottom of the back, but Willits is way back there.

It should be noted that rate2 is generally regarded as not that great and should only be used if there's no other alternative. Of the good metrics, only PMR thinks highly of Matthews and +/- absolutely hates him.

2008-03-17 16:50:00
100.   regfairfield
Of course, sample size is a big issue for defensive metrics so that could be Willits' problem.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-03-17 16:56:46
101.   bhsportsguy
Apparently Billy Donovan does not like being the first defending champion not to make the NCAA tournament in a while.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3298503

2008-03-17 16:58:03
102.   MollyKnight
Here's something to hold on to during these trying times:

The Giants may lose 110 games this year.

2008-03-17 17:04:05
103.   scareduck
103 - on the minus (or plus, depending) side, no more "Bar-ree Sucks" chants at/near Chavez Ravine.
2008-03-17 17:06:15
104.   Humma Kavula
67 I've noted this before, but Favorite Toy has Juan Pierre at a 30% shot for 3,000 hits.

But that depends on him getting playing time, of course.

Which leads to a question that I don't know how to answer. Would it be an unusual thing for Juan Pierre to lose his job? How many players in baseball history have set a pattern of 5+ years of 200 hits/year, hitting roughly .300, only to become bench players?

In other words, have the Juans Pierre of the world, once reaching our Juan's established level of performance, generally been able to hold onto their jobs?

2008-03-17 17:07:33
105.   Humma Kavula
102 A lot would have to go wrong with the Giants' starting pitching for them to lose 110. But it's certainly in the realm of possibility.
2008-03-17 17:07:44
106.   regfairfield
104 I can't imagine it's high since we've only relatively recently realized that Juan Pierre is a bad player.
2008-03-17 17:09:43
107.   Humma Kavula
106 That's what I'm getting at.

In a certain sense, what's bad for the Dodgers -- that the team is having trouble trading Pierre -- is great for baseball.

2008-03-17 17:11:18
108.   Humma Kavula
Or, to put it another way...

Like Howard the Duck, Juan Pierre is trapped in a world he never made.

2008-03-17 17:14:59
109.   Eric Enders
Not only am I going to be forced to root against Stanford in the third round of the men's tournament, but also in the second round of the women's tournament. Jeez.
2008-03-17 17:15:21
110.   underdog
Wow, Stanford's women's team didn't get a #1 seed. I can see the argument for the 4 teams that did, definitely, but the NCAA person said "strength of schedule" was one reason. That's just dumb.
2008-03-17 17:15:57
111.   bhsportsguy
Back when I first started watching baseball, the NL had 12 teams and half of them played on Astro-turf cookie cutter fields (or Dome), HRs were not as easily to come by and you would find Juan Pierre types on lots of clubs.

Now, there is not one astroturf field in the NL, ballparks are generally smaller, stolen bases are not as highly valued and power is a necessary part at all positions.

Juan Pierre is a throwback to a time not too long ago but since he does not have the defensive skills to make up for his sole offensive game, it is easier to make this move. If he was Paul Blair or Gary Pettis, perhaps, it would be harder.

2008-03-17 17:16:59
112.   underdog
Weird that 109/110 happened simultaneously and unplanned. Ah well, at least they get to play at home. Hard to complain about that.
2008-03-17 17:17:15
113.   Jon Weisman
110 - Still being punished for that Harvard loss.
2008-03-17 17:21:11
114.   underdog
113 I guess, but as an ESPN commentator just pointed out, they also beat Tennessee, Old Dominion, Baylor, Utah, Rutgers, Temple, Arizona State (twice) and Cal (three times).
2008-03-17 17:23:22
115.   Bob Timmermann
113
But Stanford lost to UCLA.
2008-03-17 17:24:53
116.   Bob Timmermann
Dang, called in for jury duty.

I hate the 7th Amendment to the Constitution!

I also hate the 3rd.

2008-03-17 17:25:15
117.   underdog
UCSB vs. UVA on Sunday it appears. Hope I get to see that one TV.
2008-03-17 17:33:45
118.   Jon Weisman
116 - Happens to the best of us.
2008-03-17 17:34:15
119.   Eric Enders
Hey Bob, have any two college teams ever played one another six times in the same season? Houston and UTEP may do this if the CBI shakes out the right way.
2008-03-17 17:39:30
120.   Bob Timmermann
119
I think Oregon and Oregon State played each other six times in 1913-14. They are always my "go to" pairing for such questions. Those schools have played each other a lot and for a long time they would play 3-4 times a year.
2008-03-17 17:41:48
121.   Jon Weisman
Is anyone picking Stanford to make the men's Elite Eight?
2008-03-17 17:42:22
122.   Bob Timmermann
2/24/14 - OSU 15, Oregon 7
2/25/14 - OSU 14, Oregon 13
2/27/14 - Oregon 21, OSU 18
3/5/14 - OSU 24, Oregon 13
3/6/14 - OSU 17, Oregon 10
3/7/14 - Oregon 13, OSU 11
2008-03-17 17:43:08
123.   Bob Timmermann
121
My brother is picking Stanford for the Final Four. He has Texas losing to St. Mary's.

Note to Eric Enders: This is my brother, not me.

2008-03-17 17:44:30
124.   Bob Timmermann
In football this year, Oregon State beat Oregon 38-31.
2008-03-17 17:45:16
125.   underdog
122 God bless the invention of the shot clock.
2008-03-17 17:48:22
126.   Eric Enders
Without the shot clock, I guess St. Mary's could just score first and hold the ball the rest of the game.
2008-03-17 17:49:07
127.   bhsportsguy
Steve Lavin is on the radio. UCLA fans are happy that he is no longer on the sidelines.

And he doesn't get booed at Pauley so life is good for Lavs.

2008-03-17 17:51:16
128.   bhsportsguy
Oh My!

Enberg and Bilas doing the first weekend games in Anaheim.

Fan favorite Gus Johnson is in Denver this weekend.

2008-03-17 17:55:58
129.   Eric Enders
I don't really get the Gus Johnson love. He's not bad, but I don't see why people think he's outstanding.

The guy that's growing on me is Ron Franklin. Even Fran Fraschilla is pretty good when paired with Franklin. And of course, Verne Lundquist is always terrific, though I could do without Raftery.

2008-03-17 17:56:05
130.   Marty
I have Kentucky beating Stanford. But, I have Texas beating Kentucky in the next game if that's of any consolation.
2008-03-17 17:59:26
131.   Eric Enders
Kentucky's weird in that they seem to have gotten better after losing their best player to a season-ending injury.
2008-03-17 17:59:52
132.   trainwreck
UCLA fans love Gus after the Gonzaga game from a couple years ago.
2008-03-17 18:05:28
133.   MC Safety
129 I kind of like Bill Raftery.
2008-03-17 18:16:41
134.   trainwreck
I am debating between Stanford and Texas. I think I may go with Stanford. I know they will have trouble guarding the Texas guards, but how in the heck are the Longhorns going to stop the Lopez twins?
2008-03-17 18:24:05
135.   bhsportsguy
134 But Stanford's guards have same matchup issues.
2008-03-17 18:26:35
136.   PDH5204
I have little to no trust in team management. As most here already know, in '06 we finished next to last, above only the lowly Pirates, in homers, but yet we managed to finish 4th in the NL in runs scored. We accomplished that feat via the team OBP. Compare Furcal 06 with Furcal 07, and also Lofton 06 with Pierre 07. Everything else was more or less the same. So what did we do? We added a guy with a .311 OBP last year.

Also, given Penny's usual second half tailspin [07 not as bad as 06] and Kuo's and Schmidt's fragile health, I'm wondering why no one has apparently talked with Kuroda about just how a 6 man rotation can be expected to work.

To end with two other matters, what Rays' pitcher in the minors other than Price do we want? With Baldelli out, the Rays would presumably trade one of their AAA pitching prospects for Ethier.

Lastly, re the Brian Bannister affair and some speaking of him regressing to their imagined mean, well, he defies their expectations simply and only because he does what the manager and pitching coach harp on ad infinitum, to wit, he avoids both the homer and the walk. When you do that, K's become just that much less important.

2008-03-17 18:26:40
137.   Eric Enders
Texas is actually much deeper on the front line than Stanford is, though they have noone nearly as talented as the Lopezes. They'll throw Connor Atchley, Gary Johnson, Dexter Pittman, Alexis Wangmene, Clint Chapman, and Damion James at Stanford and hope to get the twins into foul trouble.

Also, Brook is really prone to fumbling the ball away, and one of guard Justin Mason's specialties for Texas is stripping the ball away from post players who've caught it down low.

Put it this way: Texas's backcourt advantage is much stronger than Stanford's frontcourt advantage. Combine that with the fact that the game is being played in Houston and it's not too hard of a call to make.

2008-03-17 18:33:05
138.   Ken Noe
Diamond "asked bench coach Bob Schaefer if this [today's performance] would improve Ethier's chances, and Schaefer said, "His chance has been good all this time."

http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/mlb/dodgers/

2008-03-17 18:34:35
139.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
129 A Gus Johnson/Bill Raftery pairing should be calling the Final Four over Nantz and Billy pACCer. They embody March Madness.

I will not chime in on the Either/Pierre debate, as the fellow bloggers put it much more eloquantly than I ever will. Especially 111 well said!

\

2008-03-17 18:41:17
140.   trainwreck
The Lopezes are quite good at keeping the ball high up after they are in the post.

I am having way more trouble with earlier games than I expected.

I got Butler going far right now.

2008-03-17 18:45:35
141.   Bluebleeder87
I just text messaged my sunday league teammate & even him (casual fan) knows Andre Ethier is WAY better/brings more to the dance than Pierre.
2008-03-17 18:47:53
142.   trainwreck
Eric, what were the biggest reasons why Texas lost to A&M and Tech?
2008-03-17 18:49:09
143.   Dodgers49
122 Wasn't that their volleyball teams. :-)
2008-03-17 18:49:48
144.   Retire 55
Jon,

In terms of the argument, it's not an "Ethier/Or" proposition. (wakka wakka wakka)

Both arguments are valid. ~55 at bats isn't a big sample, but it's about a tenth of a season coming up right before Opening Day. And the difference is striking - particularly Ethier's Ruthian HR rate for a team with a power shortage.

Both arguments help us make the case. So let's make them.

2008-03-17 18:50:11
145.   Eric Enders
The nice thing about Texas, which will challenge Stanford defensively, is that all five of their starters shoot the three. The starting center shoots 44% from three and the starting power forward shoots 45%. Brook and Robin are going to have to fight through screens and play some perimeter defense.
2008-03-17 18:53:43
146.   trainwreck
Yeah, I figure that Stanford would have to play a lot of zone to deal with the Texas bigs.
2008-03-17 19:02:00
147.   Eric Enders
"Eric, what were the biggest reasons why Texas lost to A&M and Tech?"

Against Tech, it was the fact that Tech shot 43 free throws as opposed to 13 by Texas. That, and a couple of key guys had really poor shooting games. And Augustin had one of his worst games of the year, turning the ball over a very uncharacteristic 6 times. (For the year, Texas has the lowest turnover rate in Division I.)

Against Texas A&M (and against Kansas yesterday), it was just lights-out shooting by the other team. A&M shot 56% in that game, while Kansas shot 15-25 behind the arc yesterday.

Whoever beats Texas is probably going to be a team that shoots really well from outside. That's why the Longhorns have to be delighted to end up in the same bracket with Stanford and Memphis instead of, say, Duke.

2008-03-17 19:04:09
148.   Bluebleeder87
I think if Stanford plays there game, they will put them selfs in a position to succeed.
2008-03-17 19:04:28
149.   Jon Weisman
144 - In the blink of an eye, one of the arguments can be turned against what's good for the team. I think it's a big mistake to buy into an argument that is not only fundamentally flawed, but harmful on a larger level.

"55 at bats isn't a big sample, but it's about a tenth of a season coming up right before Opening Day."

You seem to intend for the second half of this sentence to mitigate the first. It really doesn't. Fifty-five at-bats in Spring Training is so close to meaningless as to be irrelevant. It is an argument for Ethier, but it's the worst argument for him. It's not valid. In a million years, I'm not going to hold two sub-par weeks by Pierre in March against him.

As I said in the post, I realize some people needed to see Ethier dominate Pierre in Spring Training to buy into him. I can't stop that, but I'm certainly not going to encourage it. There's a bigger issue at play, and I'd hate for it to be sacrificed.

If you're saying that Ethier's Spring Training mattered at all, you're tacitly acknowledging that Ethier had to prove he was better than Pierre.

2008-03-17 19:11:42
150.   El Lay Dave
136 ... [Brian Bannister] avoids both the homer and the walk. When you do that, K's become just that much less important.

In other words, you succeed as a pitcher if you turn all batters into Juan Pierre.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-03-17 19:13:53
151.   Gen3Blue
104, 136 It would be fascinating to analyse the fate of players like Pierre over the years. But their rarity and the chages in the game make it difficult. I looked at some of it a year or two ago, and I was surprised to see that Maury Will's OBP and other offensive no.s were not a whole lot better. The difference: Wills played a premium defensive position very well, and in his era a run was very important.( It was the no scoring era). But outside of Lou Brock (and possibly Ralph Garr) this type of player doesn't seem to last well. I would definitely like to know more.
2008-03-17 19:15:22
152.   El Lay Dave
149 Not judging by ST:

2005 - 2007 Juan Pierre:
2197 PA, .287, .329, .365, .694 OPS, 179/52 SB/CS 77.5%

2006 - 2007 Andre Ethier:
946 PA, .295, .357, .464, .821 OPS, 24 HR

We know about the defense.

946 PA. Jon has made the point before that Ethier is hardly an unproven, seldom-played talent; heck, he qualified for the batting title last year.

2008-03-17 19:23:32
153.   trainwreck
Texas vs Pitt would be a very interesting match-up.
2008-03-17 19:25:25
154.   El Lay Dave
151 The first guy that pops to my mind is Willie Wilson. Like JP, he had limited power, big base stealing, top speed, played OF and didn't walk. After having some .350+ (even .365 once) OBP seasons, his OBPs starting with his age 29 season were: .316, .313, .320, .289, .300 (playing time started decreasing), .354, .290, .329, .301.

JP is entering his age 30 season (but if he were a couple months older, it would be 31) with his last three seasons already at .327, .330, .331.

2008-03-17 19:40:12
155.   PDH5204
150 Now that truly was a fitting comment.
2008-03-17 19:41:19
156.   Gen3Blue
154 I had forgotten him. But it is certainly discouraging. If you made it on speed it is hard to improve as you pass 30.

As an aside, I clearly remember when several sports writers started a campaign to crown Lou Brock the founder of the new speed and stolen base age. It was so ridiculous it fell apart soon, but its a good example of how some columnists can almost believe the stuff they write.

2008-03-17 19:44:05
157.   Ian Capilouto
The whole Pierre vs. Ethier argument is obvious, redundant and tiresome. Both players have value and it comes down to how the manager sees fit to utilize each player. It seems that by nature, the superior player's play in the regular season will dictate the playing time. There are bigger problems that the Dodgers should be addressing than who plays fourth outfielder out of capable outfielders.
I also think that Andre Ethier would be wise to not open his mouth so much because his wishes may come true and he may end up playing for a perennial loser like the Texas Rangers.
2008-03-17 20:10:38
158.   Ian Capilouto
From what I have read and seen, Blake Dewitt seems like he may be a better solution than Abreu for third as back up or possibly extended playing time. It seems that people are passing this kid off because he isn't so highly touted and his numbers are in ST. But his defense has been excellent, and I think that is something that carries over from ST into the regular season. Abreu, Garciaparra and Laroche have been hurt over and over and as much as I like those guys, they can't seem to avoid the DL.
2008-03-17 20:12:50
159.   Eric Enders
I think the main issue with DeWitt is that he's played only 45 career games above Class A. He'd probably hit like Ramon Martinez at this point.
2008-03-17 20:18:30
160.   Bluebleeder87
151

Speaking of which, have any of you ever heard Maury Wills teach base stealing? I'm being serious when I say if he were teaching me I'd be afraid to steal a base the way HE PRESENTS IT.

2008-03-17 20:23:36
161.   Bluebleeder87
I also think that Andre Ethier would be wise to not open his mouth so much because his wishes may come true and he may end up playing for a perennial loser like the Texas Rangers.

He's playing it like a seasoned Vet IMO so far.

2008-03-17 20:36:46
162.   immouch
151: brett butler and otis nixon were leg guys who peaked somewhere north of age 35. davey lopes also had his second or third best season at age 40, with the cubs.
2008-03-17 20:43:21
163.   StolenMonkey86
116 "The trick is to say you hate people of all races."
2008-03-17 20:57:53
164.   Frip
Jon:

Stick to the correct argument.

Just look at it. Isn't it beautiful?

2008-03-17 20:59:50
165.   Ian Capilouto
159 I can understand that reasoning, but i haven't seen anything anywhere near solid at third except for that guy.

161 My point with that is that I think Ethier benefits more from playing in the Dodgers outfield than playing on another teams outfield. The Dodgers have a lot of good young players and will be a contending team for a good time. He play's in Los Angeles. Those things would seemingly translate into a player benefiting when free agency comes up. He is seen as a "winner" on a club full of good players. Unless he was putting up monster years in Texas, which I don't see, he won't get that same attention down there as just having solid seasons with the Dodgers.
He is handling his playing like a seasoned vet by playing great in the spring, but I just don't like hearing his grumbling. He hasn't been that disadvantaged in my opinion.

2008-03-17 21:22:42
166.   JoeyP
157---Pierre has no value to the Dodgers.
2008-03-17 21:29:31
167.   Xeifrank
No way that Juan Pierre collects 3000 hits. No way.
vr, Xei
2008-03-17 21:32:50
168.   Eric Enders
166 Pierre has value to the Dodgers as a guy who can pinch run, serve as a fourth outfielder, and get an occasional pinch single or pinch sacrifice. That doesn't make him Albert Pujols, but to say he has no value is a little silly.
2008-03-17 21:36:27
169.   JoeyP
168---His salary re-inforces his uselessness.

I'm not a believe that sunk costs have value. In fact, they take away from the overall value of the team.

2008-03-17 21:39:01
170.   Eric Enders
The idea that a player's salary (having already been committed) influences his usefulness is something that I fail to understand.
2008-03-17 21:44:08
171.   coachjpark
170 I preach it all the time, but most people just don't understand SUNK COST!
2008-03-17 21:45:45
172.   CodyS
Juan Pierre is leading all of baseball in outs this spring, with at least 41. Congratulations, Juan.

And here's the top HR hitters in Spring Training. See if you can reach some conclusion about what sort of player makes this list
I. Rodriguez 6
A. Ethier 5
C. Guillen 5
G. Sizemore 5
L. Berkman 4
C. Granderson 4
R. Howard 4
A. Pujols 4
(5 others with 4)

If your answer was "very good players" you are correct.

2008-03-17 21:47:47
173.   immouch
168: In a vacuum, yes, it would be silly to say Pierre has "no" value. But given that the services he could provide (which you describe very well) off the bench come at the expense of a roster spot, and that the roster spot might be filled by somebody like, say, Repko, who can play average defense and provide the possibilty of power in addition to moderate speed, the odd hit, blah blah blah, I'd say Pierre's role on the team has the potential to hold negative value. The opportunity cost he represents outweighs his potential value. And, yeah, like you say in 170, money isn't the issue.
2008-03-17 21:52:38
174.   underdog
I've decided there's a new reason I want Pierre traded, more than all the other previous reasons: So we no longer obsessively talk about him here. I think we'd all be happy for that reason above all the others.
2008-03-17 21:53:54
175.   Eric Enders
What kind of sick, twisted world is this where I have become Juan Pierre's defender?
2008-03-17 22:03:52
176.   LAT
So if Ned Coletti never heard of Juan Pierre what would we be talking about? The answer: not much. The Pierre-Ethier situation is the only major probelm with this team. Sure we worry about Lucille II and Chan Ho but these are trivialities. So we have one signifigant problem. I'd say we are doing better than most. But what really seperates us from the pack is that we also have the solution to that problem. Imagine if Juan Pierre were our only option. So with only one major controversy and the knowledge that that issue will work itself out eventually, I, for one, am optomistic about things. Its spring training if you can't see the glass half full now you have no chance be for October. Either Ethier proves he deserves the spot pretty quickly or JP plays great. Its a win/win. And just think, about the time this gets sorted out, LaRoche will be back and we can start this dialog all over again.
2008-03-17 22:04:49
177.   Bluebleeder87
116

Hey Bob, do you get in trouble if you don't respond to those letters? I got one a few weeks ago but just disregarded it.

2008-03-17 22:06:24
178.   fanerman
Juan Pierre would be a good bench player/pinch-runner/sacrifice bunter.
2008-03-17 22:08:27
179.   Bluebleeder87
but I just don't like hearing his grumbling.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess cause I really like that competitive edginess about him, He's young & he knows he's better than Pierre there's nothing wrong with that (in my eyes) but I can see your point as well...

2008-03-17 22:10:33
180.   Just Blue
Interesting that the 2 players who lead all of MLB in RBI at this time are both Dodgers:
Ethier & Repko each have 13 RBI. Kemp is right behind them with 12 RBI.
2008-03-17 22:12:12
181.   jasonungar07
On blogs, my real life and the press there are only a handful of people who would suggest JP should be the starting LF..And I am not sure any of them are genuine about it.
2008-03-17 22:17:47
182.   Icaros
177

Don't ignore it.

The law will eventually come looking for you. It happened to me. I was forced to write a letter explaining that I was attending college 400 miles away and could not serve.

2008-03-17 22:19:02
183.   bhsportsguy
177 You get 2 letters (at least you used to), the first verifies your information, address, etc. and the second is a summons to appear for jury duty.

You are supposed to reply to both as a citizen of whatever jurisdiction that sends it to you (LA County, Central District of California) and you can (but not) be prosecuted for not replying. Particularly if you don't show up after getting the jury summons. Now they don't have the manpower to go after everyone but I think once a year they bring people in who skipped out of jury duty and they get fined and get admonished (nice word for reprimanded) for not responding.

Look, I know its a pain to go and a lot businesses don't pay for jury duty but as someone who used to participate in the system, it only works when everyone participates.

All that being said, likely nothing will happen to you.

2008-03-17 22:28:21
184.   Bob Timmermann
All I know about jury duty is that I have to be there at 7:45 in the morning, so I'm going to bed.

But at least I'll get home to watch the Opening Round game of the NCAA Tournament. Let's go Coppin State! Win one for Fang!

2008-03-17 22:29:55
185.   trainwreck
Maybe you will be lucky and you can call in and they won't need you. Happened with me.
2008-03-17 22:30:53
186.   Eric Enders
Bob hasn't told us Fang's last name yet. I think it's Mitchell, but I'm not sure.
2008-03-17 22:59:59
187.   bhsportsguy
184 Your favorite newspaper strikes again.

http://tinyurl.com/2smtp5

2008-03-17 23:08:14
188.   El Lay Dave
162 Lopes was a half-time player after 38, so his true peak was with the Dodgers, but still on the late side since he was a 28-year old rookie. Nixon never saw 400+ PAs until age 32. Butler was pretty consistent from 28-38.

Unlike JP, Butler and Lopes always walked and Nixon did learn to.

2008-03-18 00:15:41
189.   bigcpa
In today's Repko column, Kevin Baxter speaks of a right-field platoon of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.

http://tinyurl.com/3y7ch7

2008-03-18 05:50:13
190.   Ken Noe
189 And yet Tony Jackson says that Ethier is emerging as the starting left fielder. I assume that no one knows for sure.

http://www.dailynews.com/dodgers/ci_8608732

2008-03-18 06:26:06
191.   Bob Timmermann
Ron "Fang" Mitchell:
http://www.coppinstatesports.com/ssp/athletics-dept?c_id=1
2008-03-18 06:41:23
192.   Bob Timmermann
RIP, Anthony Minghella
2008-03-18 06:48:56
193.   Ken Noe
The Yankees play at Virginia Tech today. I've always rooted against the Yanks, but they adopted us after the shootings and have remained involved. Pretty impressive.

http://tinyurl.com/ytjlbu

2008-03-18 07:11:46
194.   Johnny Nucleo
192 That's a big loss. His films were always beautifully shot. Only 54.
2008-03-18 07:22:13
195.   Jon Weisman
192 - Wow. That's shocking to me.

New post up top.

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