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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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Dragging the Infield
2008-03-19 15:55
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

An MRI revealed that Nomar Garciaparra has a microfracture in his wrist, reports Tony Jackson of the Daily News. While this doesn't rule Garciaparra out for Opening Day, it does add to the uncertainty.

For all the attention that the outfield has gotten this spring, third base is a bigger issue for the Dodgers, and with nagging injuries to Garciaparra and Tony Abreu to go with Andy LaRoche's more severe malady - not to mention second baseman Jeff Kent's tenuous health - it's unclear how the Dodgers will respond.

The fourth option at third base is to move Chin-Lung Hu there, which in some ways recalls the Cesar Izturis venture of 2006. The difference is that Hu would be more of a short-term stopgap at that position. Furthermore, the alternatives inside and outside the organization to Hu are so, so meager.

Blake DeWitt has also been mentioned by some, but considering how recently the guy was in A ball, it just strikes me as too huge a leap for him to make. Consider that the Dodgers are hesitant to do the same thing with Clayton Kershaw, then ask yourself whether it makes sense to throw DeWitt to the major-league wolves at this stage.

Ramon Martinez? We're past the expiration date.

I hate to bring up the outfield dilemma again, but I have to say I'd be more comfortable sticking Hu at third base and batting him eighth if Andre Ethier were playing instead of Juan Pierre - but that's also assuming Kent or even Abreu plays second. An infield that's half James Loney and Rafael Furcal, and half Hu and DeWitt, is a bit scary.

Basically, if the Dodgers want to try to sneak through the first month or so of the season with a combination of Garciaparra, Abreu and Hu, I won't object. But is it too early to wonder if bad health is going to sink the Dodgers in 2008? They haven't yet gotten a serious pitching injury beyond Jason Schmidt, but something is inevitable on that front.

That injury to LaRoche was just critical, simply critical.

Update: From The Associated Press:

"Blake DeWitt's got a hell of an opportunity to hang out with the big boys," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Wednesday.

Asked whether DeWitt is ready to play in the majors, Torre replied: "Some people are saying yes, some people are saying maybe. Nobody says for sure that he's not ready."

Update 2: Andrew Grant at True Blue L.A. wonders if Esteban German is a viable option.

He lacks power, but has great discipline, and would fit very well into the spot of utility guy off the bench. He's also cheap, just entering his first year of arbitration, and can be easily abandoned once we no longer need him. Only problem is that with all of these pluses, he might actually require giving someone up to get him, instead of just eating his salary like we could with any of the other options.

Update 3: Some more roster notes from Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:

With the Florida and China squads reunited on Wednesday, the Dodgers trimmed two pitchers, optioning left-handers Eric Stults and Greg Miller.

The Dodgers did not officially make a move with reliever Yhency Brazoban, but they did leave him in Vero Beach, Fla., when they headed to Phoenix, where they resume their exhibition schedule this week. Brazoban needs innings to build arm strength after shoulder surgery, and the club wants him to shed about 25 pounds.

The same article talks nicely about limiting Clayton Kershaw's innings this season to protect his arm.

Comments (163)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-03-19 16:05:02
1.   silverwidow
Gurnick's article says Nomar will be swinging a bat by the weekend. And Ned seems open towards DeWitt as a backup.
2008-03-19 16:06:02
2.   bhsportsguy
1 I just think that is optimistic. That wrist won't heal by itself.
2008-03-19 16:06:42
3.   Kevin Lewis
I just feel terrible for Andy. This has got to be so frustrating for him. Stupid pickoff at third base. Here's to him fully recovering and taking over in June...never looking back!
2008-03-19 16:10:22
4.   Ken Noe
I'd certainly be comfortable with a stopgap of Hu/Abreu, assuming that the latter is ready to go, but NedCo's recent statements about re-evaluations in Arizona lead me to now expect/dread a trade. Now what might he do? A salary swap of JP for Inge or Crede? Pitching for Helms? A revival of Ethier for Blalock? I shudder. Lucille II is looking better all the time.
2008-03-19 16:11:47
5.   Kevin Lewis
Would it be worth a salary swap for Pierre if the guy in return is willing to be a bench player?
2008-03-19 16:11:51
6.   regfairfield
Dewitt's MLE's from last year:

Inland Empire: .247/.277/.375
Jacksonville: .253/.277/.406

Unless he suddenly figured it all out, the guy has absolutely no buisness on a big league roster right now.

2008-03-19 16:11:56
7.   underdog
The Dodgers were ardoined before they even knew what hit 'em.

1 That's semi-hopeful but yeah sounds too optimistic. I never thought I'd root so hard for Nomar to be healthy and starting.

2008-03-19 16:12:05
8.   Kevin Lewis
down the road
2008-03-19 16:13:30
9.   Kevin Lewis
7

Sometimes we live in a sick, sick universe.

2008-03-19 16:16:07
10.   underdog
Pierre for Esteban German, done.

There's room for Pierre in the Royals' outfield. Throw some moolah their way.

2008-03-19 16:17:14
11.   StolenMonkey86
I re-emphasize that I never wanted the Proctor trade.
2008-03-19 16:17:58
12.   Andrew Shimmin
Colletti should sign Bonds. Move Pierre to somewhere else, then we've still got four OFs who are good, and no Pierre. And the lineup could handle a couple of months of something sub-optimal at third.
2008-03-19 16:18:09
13.   Eric Stephen
If it comes down to Lucille II vs. DeWitt, I would rather have DeWitt. I don't think either one will do much, but at least there's a chance with Blake. Both men would require a roster move (Schmidt to the 60-DL?) to be added to the 40-man, and of course DeWitt would burn an option year, but I'd still rather have DeWitt than Lucille. Basically, I hope it doesn't come down to that.

I hope Kent & Abreu are healthy enough to allow Hu to come up and play some 3B, rather than some of the untenable options outside the organization.

2008-03-19 16:19:12
14.   StolenMonkey86
12- I think you just want people to come after Ned with torches and pitchforks.
2008-03-19 16:20:08
15.   fanerman
12 No.
2008-03-19 16:21:45
16.   Ken Noe
5 In some ways it would be more palatable, but I honestly think Ethier will win the position anyway, and do we want Inge or Crede blocking a healthy LaRoche for years? I'll confess that my real nightmare is Ethier for Blalock--he was talking about Texas the other day--but if I had to bet, I'd say Helms for someone like Beimel or Stults--they seem to need lefty relief. That might be digestible, especially if Nomar takes a typically long time to heal. Helms makes $2.15 million with a $750,000 buyout on a 2009 option, so he wouldn't hold back LaRoche too long.
2008-03-19 16:22:06
17.   Andrew Shimmin
Or what underdog said. I don't think Pierre should be kept just because, at some point, the team might need a better backup plan than Repko. And time Repko isn't good enough, Pierre isn't either. There's got to be a young AAA outfielder without a ton of upside who could be gotten for Beimel and, say, Stults. I wouldn't want to go into August without more depth in the OF, but, really, would you be happy going into August knowing that Pierre was going to be getting any much time in place of one of the top three, if any of them were hurt?
2008-03-19 16:22:46
18.   underdog
12 Spoken like a true Diamondback fan.

Bonds will make a good DH for someone.

Anyway, good thing there's still almost two weeks before the season starts.

2008-03-19 16:23:11
19.   Andrew Shimmin
Any time Repko. . .
2008-03-19 16:23:14
20.   Ken Noe
11 Would be funny if Torre said "Ned, I want Betemit."
2008-03-19 16:24:29
21.   underdog
16 Wes Helms is intriguing. Again, IF he can be had for something small, a reliever or someone expendable, then I'd be up for it.
2008-03-19 16:24:56
22.   bhsportsguy
13 Abreu is the key, his doctor says he should be good to go (not the Dodgers Medical Staff) so if he can show this week in AZ that he can play in consecutive games, then I think the Dodgers would feel comfortable with that part-time arrangement.

If Abreu is no go, then all those outside trade rumors will start again. Especially since the White Sox are already in Arizona (see you tomorrow).

2008-03-19 16:26:21
23.   underdog
Darnit, I really hate not having ESPNU. Did I mention that already? Can't watch the UCSB NIT game today. They won't win, but it'd still be fun to watch.
2008-03-19 16:28:17
24.   StolenMonkey86
20 - I think they made that trade to lure Torre here. It didn't make sense then, and it doesn't now.
2008-03-19 16:28:19
25.   Eric Stephen
20
Then Betemit can be the modern day Rickey Henderson, going up to Joe Torre in the clubhouse and say, "Joe, the way you wear your hat kind of funny--you know, on top of your head so it sits real high--that reminds me of a manager I had the second half of last season."
2008-03-19 16:32:27
26.   Sam DC
Ronnie Belliard will fit right in.
2008-03-19 16:33:07
27.   Eric Stephen
Didn't Joe Torre play a lot of 3B? MLB has been lacking a player/manager since the last one got banned from the sport.
2008-03-19 16:34:22
28.   silverwidow
I love me some OPS at 3rd base.
2008-03-19 16:34:27
29.   Andrew Shimmin
Is Olmedo Saenz still in camp with the Mets? He could come back for a little more time at the hot corner.
2008-03-19 16:35:25
30.   Daniel Zappala
I hate that both the Dodgers and Lakers have injury issues right now. Why can't we have a nice, injury-free romp to a title for once?
2008-03-19 16:35:37
31.   StolenMonkey86
27 - He won the MVP playing 3B in 1971. I don't think you have to check PECOTA to see that he probably won't hit .363/.421/.555 again, though.
2008-03-19 16:36:18
32.   Lexinthedena
25 "Joe...Wilson's cleats keep breakin'!"

Pierre for anyone...including Crede or Inge. If Crede or Inge underperform, they still have more value than Juan off the bench. If they hit a few home runs, someone will take them in a trade. Repko is a very good 4th outfield candidate. Does everything, just not everything at a high level.

2008-03-19 16:37:08
33.   StolenMonkey86
We could help the Nats solve the question of who plays first by taking Nick Johnson to play third. Anyone?
2008-03-19 16:40:52
34.   El Lay Dave
What's Shea Hillenbrand up to these days? ;)
2008-03-19 16:40:53
35.   silverwidow
If we're really desperate, what about Josh "Baby Kemp" Bell?
2008-03-19 16:41:47
36.   bhsportsguy
32 Lex, the first words your daughter should hear from your mouth better not contain "Juan" or "Pierre."

Of course same goes for our leader, I hope your little one doesn't hear "Mitch" or "Johnson."

2008-03-19 16:41:57
37.   StolenMonkey86
I just noticed - how did Ethier do in CF yesterday?
2008-03-19 16:45:34
38.   Lexinthedena
10 Pierre for German is my favorate.....German is a tough out, quality at bat guy who would serve many purposes. I don't see why in the heezy the Royals would make that deal though.
2008-03-19 16:46:05
39.   El Lay Dave
Or Ned could just wait until the Yankees cut Morgan Ensberg.
2008-03-19 16:47:04
40.   Eric Stephen
"Sideline reporters" have no place in MLB, but I believe we can make an exception since Erin Andrews will be at Dodger Stadium on opening day for ESPN.
2008-03-19 16:47:52
41.   Lexinthedena
36 I sincerely hope that she hears words like "Juan" "Pierre" "traded" before she reaches 3 months....
2008-03-19 16:48:30
42.   regfairfield
39 I'm not sure Ensberg is any good any more.
2008-03-19 16:48:58
43.   El Lay Dave
37 LOL!
http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/924803.html

Start at comment 86.

2008-03-19 16:49:54
44.   Samuel
37

I believe the highlight of the day was Ethier cutting in front of Pierre to make a catch and then throwing out a guy trying to advance to 3rd.

2008-03-19 16:50:22
45.   bhsportsguy
40 She cannot wear the heels she wore at Pauley at the Arizona game at Dodger Stadium, she'll ruin her shoes on the playing surface and dugout areas.

The next question is why was I looking at her shoes.

2008-03-19 16:51:08
46.   bhsportsguy
40 She is also an unabashed Red Sox fan.
2008-03-19 16:51:39
47.   El Lay Dave
42 Then he won't block LaRoche.
2008-03-19 16:52:36
48.   bhsportsguy
Trainwreck - Dohn reports that Luc will start tomorrow.
2008-03-19 16:52:52
49.   StolenMonkey86
47 - er, he shouldn't block LaRoche, but I'm not that confident.
2008-03-19 16:53:47
50.   Bob Timmermann
46
And the University of Florida! That's even worse!

That's an unpardonable sin akin to being a barrator.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-03-19 16:55:13
51.   Eric Stephen
50
Bob, I'm going to sue you for sullying the good name of one Erin Andrews!
2008-03-19 16:55:49
52.   regfairfield
Ned also doesn't tend to go for the three true outcomes guys.
2008-03-19 16:56:00
53.   Eric Stephen
50
Does it help EA that she predated Joakim Noah's time as a Gator?
2008-03-19 16:56:35
54.   Bob Timmermann
51
What if I accused Erin Andrews of simony?
2008-03-19 16:56:48
55.   Gen3Blue
On Mike and the Mad-dog today, heard a bit about how Betimit was a definite on the Yanks, and how that would force them to have a back-up SS and keep some Rook off the team.

Really--we are very deep with prospects at third base, and while most are not close yet, it would be incredably unintelligent to take on any long term contracts there.

SOSG piece on college bands almost made me reveal what I think of certain sports using colleges as a minor league, and no one wants or needs to hear that.

2008-03-19 16:57:53
56.   Eric Stephen
I got the "Bill James Gold Mine" book yesterday, and it's great. I've just been flipping through randomly, and it has some really cool tidbits.

It's a perfect short attention span theater book.

2008-03-19 16:58:08
57.   Bob Timmermann
53
Sometimes justice can only be accomplished when you use guilt by association.
2008-03-19 16:58:56
58.   Eric Enders
37 He also dropped a fly ball for a double to begin the game.
2008-03-19 16:59:19
59.   Eric Stephen
54
Well, that's different. It's illegal, under (Toy)Cannon law.
2008-03-19 16:59:55
60.   StolenMonkey86
43 - Ha, 86!

You know, Ned did well in that Milton Bradley trade.

2008-03-19 16:59:59
61.   bhsportsguy
56 The book is good but the website is really cool, if you like that kind of stuff.

Sure its $3 a month but that is less than a Diet Coke at Dodger Stadium or Petco.

2008-03-19 17:00:58
62.   bhsportsguy
58 Any luck on researching wrist microfracture injuries.
2008-03-19 17:03:46
63.   Eric Stephen
61
But a Diet Coke at either stadium adds to my rotation of cups I use at home!
2008-03-19 17:07:02
64.   Gen3Blue
54 Only today did I learn that simony related to Simon the heretic (not the disciple, I assume).
2008-03-19 17:13:25
65.   Gen3Blue
56 I scanned the D's section of "Gold Mine", and it seemed to emphasize run scoring depending on Pierres batting ist 2nd or third in an inning. Also the fact that the Dodgers were often behind early in the game. I had attributed that to pitching, but he made me realize it was Pierre and the awful"2007" Furcal batting at the front of the line-up.

I hope Furcal is as recovered as he seems.

2008-03-19 17:14:16
66.   Humma Kavula
64 And only last week did I pitch my new ecclesiastical private eye show. Two brothers, both Cardinals, try to solve crimes in the Vatican.

It's called Simony & Simony.

2008-03-19 17:17:40
67.   Eric Stephen
66
Ha!
2008-03-19 17:27:14
68.   trainwreck
48
Yeah, I saw the Ben Howland press conference. Or I should say, the one minute that ESPN showed of it.
2008-03-19 17:40:01
69.   bhsportsguy
68 Ben Howland has a lot of good qualities, a dynamic speaker isn't one of them. He's better than Bellichek but that is not saying a lot.
2008-03-19 17:41:22
70.   Gen3Blue
66 you sure that wasn't the sequal to the Karate Kid called Simonize and simonize.
2008-03-19 17:44:24
71.   trainwreck
Alex Harris has become the all-time leading scorer for UCSB men's basketball.
2008-03-19 17:48:28
72.   Jon Weisman
AP:

"Blake DeWitt's got a hell of an opportunity to hang out with the big boys," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Wednesday.

Asked whether DeWitt is ready to play in the majors, Torre replied: "Some people are saying yes, some people are saying maybe. Nobody says for sure that he's not ready."

http://www.theledger.com/article/20080319/APS/803190923

2008-03-19 17:49:41
73.   underdog
71 I'm stuck listening to the good ol' boy Ole Miss announcers - surprisingly they didn't mention that fact yet but I figured it out for myself. How's the ESPNU broadcast?
2008-03-19 17:50:36
74.   bhsportsguy
72 Now it is on ESPN.com too.
2008-03-19 17:51:13
75.   underdog
73 Wait, they did mention it - I stand corrected. My apologies to the good ol' boys.
2008-03-19 17:53:02
76.   Bob Timmermann
73
ESPNU gets announcers I've never heard of. But they seem fine to me.

UCSB vs Ole Miss seems like quite the cultural clash. I'm sure the Ole Miss announcers have made about 25 surfing jokes about UCSB.

Everybody knows that you're supposed to make jokes about everyone at UCSB being drunk instead.

2008-03-19 17:55:57
77.   underdog
They sure complain about the officiating a lot. And can't pronounce Nadim Pajevic's name to save their life. They've made several beach references, yes. But mostly they're not even that interesting.
2008-03-19 17:56:19
78.   Sam DC
Yay for 66 !
2008-03-19 17:56:45
79.   trainwreck
UCSB 36 Ole Miss 37 at halftime.

UCSB has been executing their offense a lot better than Ole Miss has, but UCSB just does not have the players to take advantage of their opportunities. Ole Miss cannot shoot at all.

2008-03-19 18:00:33
80.   underdog
79 They can't shoot free throws either. But i figured the Gauchos would get beaten up on the boards, as usual. They have to keep hitting threes to have a shot.

66 Hah hah. That reminds me of the old Monty Python sketch called "The Bishop" - about, yes, a crime-solving Bishop.

--
San Diego State seems to be in the NIT every year.

2008-03-19 18:01:27
81.   Gen3Blue
Believe me, Nomar and Kent want nothing to do with spring training. But when the season begins, they will be good to go, at least by their standards. So I wouldn't worry about their availability.

At least till Nomar gets a hangnail.

2008-03-19 18:03:14
82.   gpellamjr
64 Yes, in Acts. Simon Magos ("Simon the Itinerant Priest") asked Peter (Simon Petros, "The Rock") to teach him how to perform certain magic tricks in exchange for money.
2008-03-19 18:10:28
83.   Gen3Blue
82 I would guess that didn't go over well with Peter, though I certainly haven't read the scriptures lately.
2008-03-19 18:19:39
84.   Eric Stephen
81
Wait. Are you saying that Nomar is embellishing his broken hand to get out of spring training? Don't you think he has enough goodwill and stature to take a few days off without resorting to that?
2008-03-19 18:33:20
85.   Bob Timmermann
82
Acts 8:9-24
http://tinyurl.com/2g3dfu
for those of you not scripturing at home.
2008-03-19 18:40:41
86.   Bob Timmermann
But is Eric Enders off watching his first ever CBI game?
2008-03-19 18:45:51
87.   dkminnick
81 - Kent maybe, but fractures of the wrist - micro or otherwise - sound like trouble. Especially in Nomar's wrist. Sounds like Jayson Werth territory to me. I got 20 bucks that says it's a problem all year long. I also wouldn't be surprised if Kent's hammy lingers for a long time.

Abreu worries me, too. What, it's like a year he's had this hernia problem, right? And it suddenly goes away two days ago? The day after some paper questioned his heart?

I was very impressed by DeWitt in Vero (small sample size alert). I say give him a shot.

And not that it needs saying again but Ethier in person looks awesome. A very complete ballplayer who seems ready to break out. Nice guy, always smiling, friendly to fans. That counts for something in my book. I'll be rooting for him.

Congrats to Jon and Lex!

2008-03-19 18:59:22
88.   trainwreck
Well, it was a season to be proud of for the Gauchos.
2008-03-19 19:02:02
89.   Bob Timmermann
88
Will the UCSB fans commemorate the event by getting drunk? Or do they just do that after wins?
2008-03-19 19:07:44
90.   trainwreck
They have been drunk for at least three hours by now.
2008-03-19 19:08:20
91.   Eric L
89 I think they commemorate the days that end with a "y" by getting drunk, so I'm sure they'll do the same for a win.
2008-03-19 19:16:10
92.   Gen3Blue
84 Stature--maybe.
2008-03-19 19:23:09
93.   Jon Weisman
Brazoban update above in this post.
2008-03-19 19:26:11
94.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
89 90 UCSB have finals until Saturday, but many are done tomorrow.

As a UCSB alum and current employee, the student support for basketball is horrible. Men's Soccer on the other hand is a different story.

2008-03-19 19:42:02
95.   Gen3Blue
87 What a time for LaRoche to get an injury!
His big chance as usual. But I was surpised Nomar was gone so long until this news. I guess this would make sense, as he always seems to get bone injuries from getting hit.
I'd love to get DeWitt a month or so as he's done nothing to show he can't handle it.
2008-03-19 19:57:52
96.   trainwreck
94
Which department do you work for?
2008-03-19 20:07:32
97.   Bob Timmermann
The Rockets have now lost two straight games and New Orleans is tied with the Lakers for best record in the West.
2008-03-19 20:08:33
98.   trainwreck
I had no idea that Smush Parker was on the Clippers.
2008-03-19 20:10:26
99.   Bob Timmermann
Everyone's favorite former Laker signed with the Clippers last week.
2008-03-19 20:13:00
100.   OhioBlues12
Juan Uribe was waived by the Sox today. Wondering if this affects us at all?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-03-19 20:27:51
101.   KG16
So, what is the scouting report on DeWitt? I haven't seen him play at all.

Also, if DeWitt ends up being ML ready and takes over at third, what do we do with LaRoche?

And has there been any hint of what Young's role will be this year?

Sorry for the series of questions... I'm still recovering from turning 30 and St Patty's day. Plus, haven't seen much spring training ball

2008-03-19 20:30:05
102.   ToyCannon
Back on March 12th, Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness came to the same conclusion as Andrew that German is a possible answer.
http://tinyurl.com/yo74qh
I'm down with trying Ensberg as a stop gap. German has his uses, a starting 3rd baseman is probably not one of them.
Willie Aybar might also be available as well as Felipe Lopez.

In my world we take Brandon Wood off the Angels hand and test Andrew's theory about minor league strike out rates.

Using DeWitt should be sheer fantasy.

2008-03-19 20:31:03
103.   Bob Timmermann
Shea Hillenbrand is tan, rested, and ready.
2008-03-19 20:31:52
104.   Dodgers49
Dodgers begin training in Arizona for first time

>> Torre said the only disadvantage he foresees this year is that the team's minor leaguers are still training in Florida, so the Dodgers won't have the option of sending players over to minor league camp to get enough at-bats or innings. Therefore, the Dodgers will simulate at least one start, for Chad Billingsley, and might use other simulations as they try to evaluate every player before making roster decisions. >>

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/23716526/

2008-03-19 20:38:13
105.   Jon Weisman
Toronto 96, Miami 54 - final
2008-03-19 20:38:19
106.   John Hale
In the almost meaningless sports event department. Jon Brockman missed two freethrows with 4 seconds left to give Valpo a one pt win over UW. I think this confirms that the Pac-10 was overrated this year.

Related to the more meaningful I would agree that after many years of experience I consider March 20 a great day for a birthday. Good Luck.

2008-03-19 20:39:54
107.   KG16
105 - wow, what's the record for fewest points in the shot clock era?
2008-03-19 20:43:05
108.   KG16
107 - nevermind, it's 49 by the Bulls against the Heat in '99. Heat's futility is third worst ever.
2008-03-19 20:44:43
109.   Dodgers49
Cash keeps MLB Japan trip from falling apart

>> The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres were hardly paid at all for their trip to China last week to play two historic exhibition games. Each player received $3,000, while coaches and trainers were stiffed completely. <<

## "The Red Sox and A's are playing regular-season games, so I understand they should get more," one Dodgers employee said. "But going to China was just as disruptive to your sleep schedule and your preparations for the season as going to Japan. The difference should have been more like, $30,000 and $10,000, and support people and coaches should have gotten something." ##

%% The China series lost money. Wukesong Stadium seated 12,500 and many tickets were given to government officials. The Dodgers spent nearly $1 million on the trip and don't expect to be reimbursed. %%

http://tinyurl.com/28kbw6

2008-03-19 20:45:08
110.   Bob Timmermann
But Cal is leading New Mexico in the first half of the NIT. That game is being played at Haas Pavilion.
2008-03-19 20:45:31
111.   Eric Stephen
107 ,108
Didn't Utah put up 54 in the Finals in 1997 or 1998?
2008-03-19 20:46:08
112.   Bob Timmermann
106
gpellamjr and Daniel Zappala would tell you that March 22 is better.

They will remind you of this.

Frequently.

2008-03-19 20:48:00
113.   KG16
112 - I prefer the 18th
2008-03-19 20:50:55
114.   Dodgers49
109 I'm not normally a believer in conspiracy theories but until I learn otherwise I'm inclined to believe that the (apparently erroneous) information I read on Dodgers.com stating that each player would receive $40,000.00 plus a percentage of the gate has been deleted.
2008-03-19 20:53:32
115.   Daniel Zappala
112 Well, gee, if I knew it bothered you that much I would have mentioned it more than once or twice.
2008-03-19 20:55:20
116.   Daniel Zappala
102 How would the Dodgers pry Brandon Wood away from the Angels?
2008-03-19 20:55:43
117.   Eric Stephen
Everyone knows Aries is the greatest Zodiac sign of them all.
2008-03-19 20:56:14
118.   Bob Timmermann
115
Not only do I believe in guilt by association, I also like to paint with a broad brush.
2008-03-19 21:04:26
119.   Eric Enders
I did not go to the CBI, Bob. Fantasy Draft for a league I'm commissioner of, so I couldn't make it to the game. And thank goodness for that.

I haven't dug up anything on microfractures, either.

2008-03-19 21:09:01
120.   trainwreck
117
I agree.
2008-03-19 21:10:44
121.   KG16
117 , 120 - Pisces followed closely by Cancer. And then Scorpio.
2008-03-19 21:14:01
122.   Daniel Zappala
118 So you actually secretly admire the guy who thought you were a sleeper Nazi agent.
2008-03-19 21:21:08
123.   Dodgers49
A's paying dearly for their judgement errors

>> So much for the claim that the Oakland A's are the model franchise for small budget teams. <<

http://tinyurl.com/23fa98

2008-03-19 21:23:29
124.   trainwreck
123
That was not much of column at all. Let's just rip Billy Beane so we can feel superior.
2008-03-19 21:26:57
125.   Dodgers49
Preview 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks

http://tinyurl.com/28offf

2008-03-19 21:29:55
126.   delias man
114 I am with you. I distinctly remember reading it and commenting to my girlfriend about it. She replied "They came up."
2008-03-19 21:36:12
127.   Dodgers49
126 The thing is, I'm fairly certain I read it in an article about Kevin Howard replacing Nomar on the China trip. I can find the article in question but the info, which I believe was at the bottom of that article, is no longer there.
2008-03-19 21:51:05
128.   popup
Mike Morse is out of options with the Mariners. He doesn't have a spot with Seattle with Beltre at third. I don't know what the Mariners would want for him, but I think he could be a decent option.

Stan from Tacoma

2008-03-19 21:52:32
129.   Dodgers49
Mailbag: Pierre to start over Ethier?

http://tinyurl.com/2sjk46

2008-03-19 21:53:59
130.   68elcamino427
Forty year old second baseman can't run and gets a cortisone injection in the hammy.
Wow, I bet that smarts.
How many games/at bats will Kent be able to contribute this year?
I thought that maybe Kent was just coasting through ST. That does not seem to be the case.
Hoping that Nomar would somehow no longer be brittle. So much for that wishful thinking.
What to do? What to do?
What's the payroll, $110 - $120 mil.?
I'm glad that I'm not in Ned's shoes right now.
Getting ready for the final phase of ST and your 2b and 3b positions are very unsettled.
2008-03-19 21:56:43
131.   jasonungar07
Fromthe Dodgers.com mailbag (Gurnick)

Even with it being Spring Training, where numbers can be deceiving, can Joe Torre seriously ignore Andre Ethier's statistics compared to Juan Pierre's?
-- Jake N., Raleigh, N.C.

When you put it that way, I guess the answer is yes. Not that he's ignoring Ethier's stats, but having spoken with Torre, I believe that Pierre's eight years in the Major Leagues carry more weight with Torre than this Spring Training. That said, if Pierre is in the lineup Opening Day, it doesn't mean that he'll be in the lineup every day, or even most days, or even after a couple of weeks.

I believe that Torre would rather start the season with the veteran and transition to the younger player, than do it the other way around. There are important reasons to do it that way, particularly in the management of clubhouse politics. On the other hand, if Torre really believes Ethier deserves to play ahead of Pierre from the start, he'll do what he did when he benched Bernie Williams with the Yankees. Torre will do what's best to win. He's built a pretty solid reputation doing that.

2008-03-19 21:58:55
132.   jasonungar07
sorry about my post. my computer got stuck...it was qued up for a while.
2008-03-19 21:59:34
133.   Dodgers49
>> Torre said Park would start on Friday in Tucson, Arizona, against the D-backs, pushing Derek Lowe back a day and nudging Chad Billingsley into a simulated game. Park has not allowed an earned run this spring and has unexpectedly forced his way into the picture for a roster spot. <<

http://tinyurl.com/ysvhao

2008-03-19 22:02:36
134.   Daniel Zappala
83 challengers in the Griddle contest -- how many were there last year?
2008-03-19 22:04:14
135.   Eric Stephen
134
Last year there were 106 entries.
2008-03-19 22:04:55
136.   Daniel Zappala
128 I like Mike Morse. And as Bob's always pointing out, he's got a great birthday.
2008-03-19 22:05:35
137.   Daniel Zappala
Bob can go on about things sometimes.
2008-03-19 22:06:47
138.   Gen3Blue
Using JP over Ethier for even a few weeks could make a difference in this division. If Furcal is back to normal it won't be too terrible, but I guess we will have to wait and see.
2008-03-19 22:10:06
139.   Bob Timmermann
137
I was 63rd last year, although I assume there was a tie involved there.
2008-03-19 22:11:38
140.   Dodgers49
General manager Ned Colletti, who, along with Torre, spent the past week on the China journey and hasn't seen much of DeWitt, said he would likely watch DeWitt play for a week before deciding if he needs to acquire an infielder from another organization. DeWitt already has impressed teammates with his gumption.

http://tinyurl.com/2kh4aq

2008-03-19 22:13:29
141.   Bob Timmermann
140
Someone used the word "gumption?"
2008-03-19 22:20:08
142.   Daniel Zappala
That's the first thing I noticed too. Everyone keeps making up ways to characterize ballplayers instead of just saying that they hit and field well.
2008-03-19 22:21:36
143.   Greg Brock
From Mr. Brock's philosophy exam:

Plato and Socrates discuss removing children to be raised by the state. From which city-state did they borrow this idea?

Student answer: Texas

2008-03-19 22:24:35
144.   KG16
143 - sounds about right.

142 - because when someone says something like, "he's a five tool player", he gets grief, so you need things like "gumption"

2008-03-19 22:24:52
145.   MC Safety
IIrc, Lexinthedena can vouch for May 15th, but he's probably a bit busy at the moment
2008-03-19 22:30:26
146.   68elcamino427
140
Ron Belliard has some pop in his bat and hits for a decent average. He has ten years mlb experience.
He plays most at 2b, but also played at ss and 3b (2 games) last year.
His name was mentioned in rumors earlier this spring.
What are the drawbacks with this guy, if he is available?
2008-03-19 22:47:28
147.   Andrew Shimmin
This was my favorite part of the Henson piece:

"The China series lost money. Wukesong Stadium seated 12,500 and many tickets were given to government officials. The Dodgers spent nearly $1 million on the trip and don't expect to be reimbursed.

" 'The trip was about introducing Major League baseball to a new population,' Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said. 'It was about goodwill, not profit.'"

McCourt won't defy the pretend slotting system, and he'll pay out of his own pocket for MLB's let's market the game to China theory. He, allegedly, promised Selig he wouldn't go after Vlad Guerrero. What kind of deal with the devil did he make to get this team and when does it expire?

2008-03-19 22:52:15
148.   Andrew Shimmin
Also, it's nice to know that one of the gifts the Dodgers brought to China was their creative attendance counting policies.
2008-03-19 22:54:22
149.   underdog
94 Delayed response, just back from a workshop, but -- yeah, what's up with the drop in support there? For years the Thunderdome earned its nickname. Lately it's been quieter. is it too much disappointment in recent years? I feel like more support at home would help them with some close home games this past year, though I guess ultimately that wouldn't have made a difference where they ended up. Maybe they need a more exciting coach. Williams doesn't seem to inspire his players to play with enough energy consistently enough. Makes me miss Jerry Pimm. Or, sigh, Ben Howland, the former assistant coach who I hear has gone on to some good things. Sigh.

If the Brew brothers do indeed sign to play at UCSB and a couple of the other hot recruits come in, that could re-energize the crowd. Otherwise, I don't know what they should do - close the beach? Ban pot and beer?

Ah well, too bad games are two halves, not just one.

2008-03-19 23:02:19
150.   underdog
143 Perhaps it was indeed the ancient Greeks who first proposed the No Child Left Behind concept. I'm all-agoge just thinking about this.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-03-19 23:02:43
151.   PDH5204
143 Just to make you crazy, I would have answered: Sparta, Mississippi. Then for extra-credit I would have added that, last night, during dinner, my father said, you know, son, in this household, we don't think much of the Spartans from Mississippi.
2008-03-19 23:16:18
152.   Dodgers49
Garciaparra has microfracture in right wrist

>> With Garciaparra and LaRoche sidelined, Torre said that the majority of the playing time at third base in the Dodgers' six Cactus League games would go to Blake DeWitt, a 22-year-old prospect who has never played above double A. <<

http://tinyurl.com/2spsws

2008-03-20 00:03:53
153.   trainwreck
149
UCSB is rising in the academic world and I think a lot of the students just do not care about athletics. So priorities are studying and of course drinking. I did not meet another student that was really into college athletics there. Like students would go to games just because it was place to be and you got some stupid T-shirt. No longer place to be, so they do not care.

Most students do not really know any of the history of the Thunderdome or how the crowds were.

2008-03-20 00:08:14
154.   peeweereese
Has anyone ever floated the idea of Andre Ethier at third base?
2008-03-20 00:16:47
155.   regfairfield
154 Moving players up the defensive spectrum will almost always result in tears.
2008-03-20 00:44:27
156.   trainwreck
We must call on Norihiro Nakamura. He is the only one that can save us.
2008-03-20 01:27:36
157.   Eric Enders
154 , 155 While I don't think there's any reason a talented left-handed person couldn't handle third base, now is probably not the optimum time to break that particular barrier.
2008-03-20 01:29:12
158.   bhsportsguy
154 I heard Tommy Lasorda tell the story of when they asked Pedro Guerrero to move the 3B. He could catch the ball but his throws were wild. Lasorda he would tell Guerrero to think before each pitch, I want them to hit the ball to him. Pedro replied, Skip, before each pitch I say please don't hit the ball to me. And then I say please don't hit the ball Sax either.

Its an oldie but a goodie.

2008-03-20 01:41:41
159.   Eric Enders
Then there's the time Jay Johnstone blocked off the seats behind first base with police tape and put up a sign saying "Sit Here At Your Own Risk. Steve Sax Playing Second Base Today."
2008-03-20 06:40:54
160.   Terry A
Can Burghoff play 3B until NomaRoche are healthy?

His instincts are amazing -- sometimes it's like he senses things happening before anybody else does -- but I'm not sure he's got the arm for it. Also, his voice is "pimply" at times, I've heard.

2008-03-20 06:50:51
161.   Daniel Zappala
If LaRoche was healthy and starting at 3B for the Dodgers, would DeWitt have played at AAA this year, or was he slotted for AA. He has had 270+ ABs at AA already, including 170 last year.

When you have two injuries hit the same position, but you expect those players back after 1-2 months, you don't make a trade for that position. You fill in with whoever was going to be at AAA.

I could see trading for German if the team feels it needs a better utility player. Abreu has been injured and Martinez isn't good. But I wouldn't do it just to fill in the hole at 3B for a month.

2008-03-20 08:52:54
162.   Bob Timmermann
FYI,
NPUT

This is not a drill.

2008-03-20 15:24:29
163.   bablue
157,

A lefty would take too long on plays to his right, thats why they don't play 3rd. They also would take longer turning double plays.

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