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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

A Thin Line Between Love and Hate
2008-04-15 09:50
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

"Success": Blake DeWitt's first 51 plate appearances, 2008

.256 batting average
.373 on-base percentage (seven unintentional walks, zero intentional)
.349 slugging percentage
.722 OPS
.297 batting average on balls in play (zero home runs, six strikeouts)

"Failure": Andy LaRoche's first 54 plate appearances, 2007

.216 batting average
.444 on-base percentage (11 unintentional walks, four intentional)
.270 slugging percentage
.712 OPS
.242 batting average on balls in play (zero home runs, five strikeouts)

This post isn't meant to put DeWitt down at all. Challenged to perform in the major leagues ahead of schedule, he has done more than anyone could have expected.

But it is telling how expectations influence evaluations. Some people will be sorry to see DeWitt go, even though LaRoche, who many considered to have punted his opportunity in 2007, arguably performed better at this stage of his career than DeWitt has.

LaRoche had a lower slugging percentage but a higher on-base percentage than DeWitt, and as far as I know, studies show that on-base percentage is more important. (This ignores for the moment that LaRoche has a better track record for power in the minor leagues and is expected to show more power in the majors.) LaRoche accomplished this while also not getting as lucky as DeWitt on balls in play has. Defensively, both fielded their position well, I believe, but feel free to offer your take.

DeWitt's play this season has been nothing but a bright spot for the Dodgers, but I'm sure there are some people starting to believe that he has leapfrogged LaRoche in the pecking order. Once LaRoche is healthy, I don't feel that's the case. If there's a lesson from DeWitt, maybe it's about what can happen if you take a young player, put him in the lineup, and leave him alone instead of having him looking over his shoulder. Maybe.

It is fair to note that LaRoche OPSed .634 in his final 61 plate appearances of 2007. The Dude abides, and the league adjusts. I look forward to seeing if LaRoche adjusts back in 2008 - that is, when Nomar Garciaparra isn't in the field ahead of him.

Comments (298)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-15 09:59:11
1.   regfairfield
I think a big part is that DeWitt started out hitting .500, I've noticed people think a lot more of you if you drop to .240 rather than working your way up to it.
2008-04-15 10:00:47
2.   arborial
thank you for the perspective.
2008-04-15 10:06:15
3.   KG16
I'll take DeWitt's line over LaRoche's. While DeWitt doesn't get on base as much, he's got the higher batting average (something I value more than the rest around here, I know) and he's clearly out slugged LaRoche.

A lot can happen over the next, say 200 PAs for both players. But if I had to choose one guy to be the third baseman of the future and one guy to be on the trading block... DeWitt's the guy at third and LaRoche is the guy I'm shopping (though given the Dodgers make up, I'm not entirely sure what I shop him for).

2008-04-15 10:08:20
4.   CanuckDodger
I don't think it's inappropriate to take expectations into account. At the time of his MLB debut, LaRoche had had over 200 AB's of Triple A experience and had hit .322/.400/.550 in those AB's. DeWitt had less than 200 AB's in Double A in 2007, and hit only .281/.306/.466. Arguably, more was expected from LaRoche than he was able to deliver in his MLB debut, while DeWitt has delivered more than anybody had a right to expect from him at this point in his development.
2008-04-15 10:10:17
5.   PalmdaleSteve1
Jon

Got Defense?

Or errors made at the same relative points in time for both?

I think the only error that DeWitt has been charged with was the bad throw to first that went wild against San Diego (?)...not sure about the game.

Far as leap frogging goes, what would bring that reptile into play? .300+ batting average?

2008-04-15 10:10:57
6.   blue22
3 - I'll take DeWitt's line over LaRoche's.

Past results are not a prediction of future performance though. And it's not like Dewitt's .256 is lighting the world on fire.

Give LaRoche two little "groundballs with eyes" and his average jumps about 40 points, making him pretty clearly the better option.

2008-04-15 10:11:59
7.   El Lay Dave
This belongs in the last thread, but they are coming too fast this morning.

The two Saito appearances referenced are the only two time Saito has yielded a home run that turned a lead into a deficit. No wonder we were shocked.

2008-04-15 10:13:07
8.   Jon Weisman
4 - I'm not sure what your point is though. As you can see, my post is talking about who is more likely to be the better player going forward. Are you saying that the fact DeWitt outperformed lower expectations changes that?
2008-04-15 10:13:31
9.   Xeifrank
Player / LD% / GB% / FB%
2008 DeWitt / 13.5 / 45.9 / 40.5
2007 LaRoche / 18.6 / 41.4 / 40.0
2008 Loney / 23.8 / 31.0 / 45.2

DeWitt's LD% is a bit low. vr, Xei

2008-04-15 10:13:43
10.   tethier
Jon, I understand the need to point out perspective and expectations between LaRoche and DeWitt. It seems that maybe you are directing this to the "mainstream media." Few people on this blog thought that LaRoche was a failure last year - just a young player feeling his way in his first shot in the big leagues. I can't remember anyone in Spring Training advocating Nomar over LaRoche. So, maybe you're preaching to the converted as they say.
2008-04-15 10:14:40
11.   underdog
We could have a little logjam at third very soon, given LaRoche's quicker than expected recovery. Not the worst problem to have, but while I look forward to having Nomar back, too, I mostly look forward to having him back on the bench as a backup option and pinch hitter. We'll see. We'll see DeWitt again before too long, that much is clear.

Btw, I was thinking of this in the last thread before the thread ended, but for whatever people's disagreements, frustrations and occasional repetitions, I would like to thank posters here for generally showing admirable restraint compared to other boards. I know a lot of that is Jon's moderation abilities, and the community here in general, but given the team is off to a frustrating start, it's nice to be in a low exclamation point, comparatively low anger zone. ;-) Hopefully the team will reward us soon for our restraint. It's clear they still have some work to do. Happy Tuesday all.

2008-04-15 10:15:24
12.   Jon Weisman
http://tinyurl.com/3lb3su

So was Alyssa there or not? I thought people were joking when they said she was there.

2008-04-15 10:15:56
13.   Jon Weisman
10 - Not everyone who reads this site is "the converted."
2008-04-15 10:16:47
14.   Sagehen
>>> If there's a lesson from DeWitt, maybe it's about what can happen if you take a young player, put him in the lineup, and leave him alone instead of having him looking over his shoulder. >>>

Yes! I wish Torre would just put together a good lineup -- last night's for instance -- and let it stick for awhile. Let Ethier learn to hit second in the lineup. Give Kemp a chance to relax at the plate.

I realize that Torre has been learning what he has and that all the travels during spring training didn't help, but I am greatly disappointed that Torre didn't prepare himself before spring training even began. I get the sense that he didn't even try to learn about his players before then. What is video for? He should have been able to come into spring training knowing more than we, who watch the team regularly on t.v. (video) do. He had the video plus the coaches and scouts on the team.

It just seems that the Dodgers have been playing catchup while waiting for Torre to learn what he has. Couldn't some of this have been prevented?

2008-04-15 10:17:10
15.   El Lay Dave
5 Errors are a crude measure, but DeWitt's 1 is in 113 innings, LaRoche made 3 in 237, which doesn't seem like a meaningful difference.
2008-04-15 10:17:58
16.   blue22
10 - This isn't intended to be a call-out or anything, but "longtime poster" KG16 is advocating the trade of LaRoche in favor of Dewitt apparently based on the past 3 weeks.

I don't think DT is of one mind on everything. It just seems that way.

2008-04-15 10:21:05
17.   Reddog
I think the big point you made, Jon, is about putting a young player in there and just letting him play without looking over his shoulder.

That's how Colorado and Arizona have gotten so good. With a lower payroll and lower expectations, each team let a bunch of prospects just play. Some of them are now really good.

With the Dodgers and Colleti and McCourt, there's a totally different mindset for guys like Kemp and Ethier. They're always looking over their shoulders. They know one slump could mean back to the bench. This is not conducive to their development - it makes them press.

One question I have is - how does our group of young players stack up against other teams' group of young players, such as Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Tampa, etc.

2008-04-15 10:22:09
18.   El Lay Dave
12 From the blog reports I read, I, too, thought they were joking; in fact, I had no doubt about the joke, but, who knows, maybe I misinterpreted the whole thing.

Did Eamonn Brennan (whoever he is) report it while having two sources?

2008-04-15 10:22:48
19.   bhsportsguy
14 But still you had the injuries at 3B, Kent didn't play the until the last week of spring training, and the outfield situation. If everyone was healthy or if he had just one of his 2 thirdbaseman ready to go, then I think he might have been able to settle on a lineup.
2008-04-15 10:24:09
20.   Sagehen
19 But the only two parts of his lineup that have been constant are those you mention: Kent, usually in the #4 spot, and DeWitt, usually in the #8 spot. Otherwise, I'd agree with you.
2008-04-15 10:24:26
21.   Jon Weisman
18 - I'm guessing he didn't get the joke, but I wasn't completely sure.
2008-04-15 10:24:46
22.   The Trolley Dodger
12 As I pointed out in my recap of the blogger night, it was revealed that Alyssa is one of the Sons of Steve Garvey.

But apart from that, not so much. :)

2008-04-15 10:25:10
23.   Ken Noe
I'm a LaRoche guy, but by the same token I hate to see DeWitt disappear. Given management's apparent problems with Abreu--I really expect Ned to ship him out when he can--I wouldn't mind seeing Solution go back to second base when he gets to Vegas. If Ned decides to put Furcal's money elsewhere, DeWitt and Hu up the middle could be intriguing. (I've suggested this before, and won't again).
2008-04-15 10:25:25
24.   Sagehen
19 As for the outfield situation, we had heard that was settled out of spring training, but let's not go there.
2008-04-15 10:25:26
25.   Penarol1916
9. Is that 31% groundball number for Loney abnormally low, or are LaRoche and DeWitt's numbers in the 40's high?
2008-04-15 10:26:29
26.   El Lay Dave
21 I agree; my last question was an, apparently weak, joke.
2008-04-15 10:26:52
27.   Frip
I don't mean to bring up Pierre unduly, but this is quite something, on the face of it at least. (I'm surpised none of you are talking about it, or perhaps you have. If so, sorry.)

Today LA Times - T.J. Timers:

I thought about what you (Timers) said," Torre said with a smile Monday after inserting Kemp into the lineup, "and it's the only way to go. I just hate to break down that soon.

I hate to say he's going to play every day; that's too black and white for me," said Torre, who immediately noticed the disapproving look that he was getting. "But I have a sense he's going to play a good part of the time.

Again, Torre, [Kemp is] the only way to go.

Now either I'm misreading something, or Torre's a huge BS'er, or this is a great thing. 1 of those 3 things!

2008-04-15 10:27:20
28.   Sagehen
23 Wasn't there a reason why the DeWitt at second experiment ended? I'm not remembering.
2008-04-15 10:27:32
29.   D4P
"Success":

Andruw Jones in 2007:
.222 batting average
.311 on base percentage
.413 slugging percentage
.724 OPS

Worth to Ned: $18 million/year

"Failure":

Wilson Betemit in 2007:
.231 batting average
.359 on base percentage
.474 slugging percentage
.833 OPS

Worth to Ned: Not even $500k/year or whatever

2008-04-15 10:30:32
30.   Sagehen
27 Torre is filled with contradictory statements and actions re: Kemp and Pierre. Yes, you hit the nail on the head: Torre is a huge, er, user of sophistry? (did I say that correctly, oh you word checkers out there -- I'm trying quite hard here to avoid a rule one violation). That skill is what allowed Torre to survive in New York and working for Steinbrenner for so long.
2008-04-15 10:31:27
31.   Sagehen
29 Ouch!
2008-04-15 10:31:31
32.   CanuckDodger
8 -- Jon, oddly, I didn't "get" that that was what your post was about. I thought you were, primarily, making a point about it being unfair to LaRoche that his MLB debut was dubbed a "failure" while DeWitt's has been dubbed a "success," notwithstanding the similarity of their numbers through 50-odd AB's. And re-reading your post, I don't really see you saying MUCH about the relative future careers issue. You say that you disagree with the notion that DeWitt has "leap-frogged" LaRoche in the battle to be the Dodger 3B of the future, and I agree with you, but DeWitt has probably at least clouded the future 3B picture, when before we all took it for granted that LaRoche was "the man" and DeWitt was something on the order of an afterthought, at least when people here (coughToyCannonGreg Brockcough) weren't questioning his right to even be considered a good prospect.
2008-04-15 10:32:03
33.   PalmdaleSteve1
15

Defense is also part of the game, and DeWitt plays third pretty darn well, not sure how you measure that.

It's a long season and I don't think many here believe that Normar will make it to the end of the season without some injury, so DeWitt will be back.

23

If DeWitt does go down, playing all the infield positions as much as possible would not be a bad play.

2008-04-15 10:32:12
34.   The Trolley Dodger
29

Andruw Jones in 2006:
.262/.363/.531/.894
156 games, 565 AB, 41 HR

Wilson Betemit in 2006:
.263/.326/.469/.795
143 games, 373 AB, 18 HR

2008-04-15 10:32:30
35.   MC Safety
Nice post, Jon. I can't imagine anyone feeling sorry for Dewitt when that time comes. And I totally agree with Canuck and regfairfield. Our lineup 1-8 (with LaRoche back) is the best D's lineup I've seen as an adult rooting for the Dodgers. I'll take any of the guys that have manned the 3 spot this year over Nomore Garciapopup 7 days a week.

When LaRoche comes back, look out. I have a feeling LaRoche is not going to look back, and claim what was rightfully his.

And how could you not love our staff 1-5 with Kuo warming Kershaw's power lefty spot in the rotation?

2008-04-15 10:33:24
36.   El Lay Dave
3 I tend to believe that a GM "shops" players only when he perceives he has a player they must move, i.e., a contract they'd like to jettison, an attitude problem, etc. I don't think he actively shops surplus good talent. If the team has a need, there is a player available that fills that need, and the surplus good talent is the right price, then he makes the move.

That said, I don't advocate trading either LaRoche or DeWitt. Both still have high potential, with DeWitt having an small additional plus for being a LH 3B bat. (Heck, they might end up being Torre's next platoon.)

2008-04-15 10:34:32
37.   Sagehen
Here's a question: if DeWitt goes down when Nomar comes off the DL, who goes down when LaRoche also comes off the DL?

Yeah, yeah, probably a mute point ... the answer is that Nomar will be back on the DL by then.

2008-04-15 10:35:04
38.   Jon Weisman
32 - That's fair.
2008-04-15 10:35:28
39.   tethier
27 I haven't read the article but, I think the I just hate to break down that soon quote is more telling than Kemp is the only way to go. in otherwords, "I've known all along that Kemp is better, but I've been playing Pierre to save face for some reason.
2008-04-15 10:35:40
40.   Hallux Valgus
okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but since I know there are fans of both entities 'round these parts, here is my Fun and Interesting Fact of the Day:

the song featured in last week's The Office (stolen by Jim, beloved by Jan) was written and performed by Todd Fancey of the New Pornographers.

2008-04-15 10:35:59
41.   bhsportsguy
It will be a lot harder for Torre to sit Nomar down if he get's off to a good start for LaRoche than it will be for him to sit Pierre so Kemp and Ethier can play.

The scenario most likely to play out is that it will take an injury for LaRoche to get meaningful time. However, hand/wrist injuries are tricky things and if LaRoche hits a few homers on his rehab assignment, he may press the issue much faster than expected.

2008-04-15 10:36:06
42.   Ken Noe
28 Twenty errors in 90 games, I imagine. It clearly would take some work back at second to get him ready to play alongside Hu, but given what we've seen, it still might be worth the effort.
2008-04-15 10:37:05
43.   Jon Weisman
37 - Unless they think Nomar or Young can back up Kent at second base, in which case Hu could go down, I imagine that they'd have to send down a pitcher or cut bait on Young.

LaRoche may get a longer "rehab" assignment than Nomar.

2008-04-15 10:37:07
44.   Sagehen
Until you know if all LaRoche's injuries are just a momentary fluke or a long-term problem, you have to keep DeWitt.
2008-04-15 10:38:06
45.   GoBears
17 That's how Colorado and Arizona have gotten so good. With a lower payroll and lower expectations, each team let a bunch of prospects just play. Some of them are now really good.

With the Dodgers and Colleti and McCourt, there's a totally different mindset for guys like Kemp and Ethier. They're always looking over their shoulders. They know one slump could mean back to the bench. This is not conducive to their development - it makes them press.

Maybe, maybe not. Some think that competition and the risk of losing one's job is a good thing - it provides continuous motivation, and guards against complacency. Indeed, some here have suggested that Andruw Jones needs a dose of bench time to be motivated to get in shape and concentrate more at the plate. Others think that competition leads to pointless stress and hurts performance.

The truth is, there's no way to generalize. Some players are probably helped by security, while others are probably helped by insecurity.

I also do not get the obsession with lineup consistency. Or at least I think it conflates two very different issues. The first, for which I have some sympathy, is consistency in who plays. The idea that shuttling back and forth between playing and sitting can hurt a player, especially a young player, rings true.

But the idea that bouncing around the lineup, batting 2nd one day and 6th the next, should matter makes no sense to me. Maybe if we were all "small-ball" fanatics, concerned about who could bunt or something. But a player's approach shouldn't change based on batting order. Go up, and try to get a hit. Period. Lay off bad pitches, and try to hit the ball hard, whether you're leading off or batting 8th. "Situational hitting" is an outdated idea, and anyway, it could just as easily be the #7 guy as the #2 who comes up with a man on first and less than two outs, and "needs" to advance the runner. If baseball players are really so fragile as to more "comfortable" in one lineup slot than another, then it's hard to believe they've made it this far.

2008-04-15 10:38:44
46.   ToyCannon
DeWitt has been a complete revelation to me and I expect to just about everyone here if they are honest with their opinions.

Headed into the spring what we knew from the leading prospect scouts is that DeWitt was no longer even a top 100 prospect. Had an average season in AA and did nothing to impress in the AFL.

Some who had never seen him play were calling him stone hands. Andrew saw him play a few games in the spring and concluded he was a terrible defender. He in fact repeated this mantra several times even though it was just two games in the spring and he is the Yeti of small sample size.

Yet this person who was stuck in the middle with LaRoche on top and Josh Bell below him stepped up in a way that only Bumsrap can take credit for predicting. His defense while not spectacular has been very solid. Watching him bat every night in the 8th spot, one things comes to mind. He does not give away at bats. While A Jones looks lost in every at bat, I've never seen DeWitt look lost and he's been facing major league left handed pitching for the 1st time.

All in all I've been impressed and while I don't think he's leapfrogged LaRoche he certainly has made himself part of the equation to the benefit of the Dodgers. No one was traded because DeWitt provided adequate production and going forward he has certainly inhanced his trade value much more then it was on Feb 1st.

2008-04-15 10:41:16
47.   El Lay Dave
33 I didn't mean to imply defense didn't matter, only that errors is considered a pretty rough measure with which to judge. I believe the scouting reports from the minors were generally slightly more favorable about LaRoche's 3B defense; my eyes (small sample size) see both as adequate MLB 3B. There are others here that are much more knowledgeable about such things though.
2008-04-15 10:42:01
48.   tethier
37 & 43 I mentioned this the other day - IMO Sweeney should be the odd man out when evryone gets back. Nomar and Kent can back up 1st for all the time Loney should be on the bench. I would also like to see Hu stay all year - he's so good defensively.
2008-04-15 10:44:23
49.   jasonungar07
"We're certainly not the perfect team," Beane says, "but for as many young guys as we got, we're hanging in there. The culture and environment we wanted to create, it's been created."

--

I find this quote interesting. It's my big gripe about the Dodgers. We seem to lack a real plan.

2008-04-15 10:44:38
50.   El Lay Dave
27 When I read that article, I felt like the writer was quoting a conversation that had a joking tone to it. Something like: Yeah, yeah, writer, I'm taking your advice, "Torre said with a smile".
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-15 10:45:05
51.   Ken Noe
49 Don't forget Torre envisioning Ethier as a backup at 1B. I agree, Sweeney is expendable.
2008-04-15 10:45:41
52.   regfairfield
What was the scouting report on DeWitt's defense at third prior to this year? I thought it was average (which I agree with) but what did the scouts think?
2008-04-15 10:45:57
53.   Jon Weisman
46 - Right on.

49 - The plan is to turn the team over to the kids, with some vets mixed in for leadership.

2008-04-15 10:46:06
54.   jujibee
Who do we have to get rid of off the 25 man roster to make room for Laroche and Nomar when they come back. Dewitt most certainly will go back to the minors, but who after that. Young is out of options. I guess HU could go, but who would back up Kent (some combo of Nomar, Laroche, Kent for 2nd/3rd?). Hopefully there is some sort of trade in the works, or we'll be getting older, slower, and worse defensively than we are now. I guess my problem with this team is that Ned has failed to realize that this whole JP/Kemp/Ethier situation is not healthy for the team. It's more of a distraction that is keeping some players from being able to relax and focus on playing some good ball. Like Jon said, it might be a little different if a young player were given the job outright and had ample opportunity to fight through slumps, etc. I have my preference of who needs to go, especially with some roster decisions needing to be made in the near future, but I wish this outfield situation would just play out already./
2008-04-15 10:47:17
55.   JoeyP
46--I dont think DeWitt has a great deal of trade value given his lack of power at a corner infield position.

To DeWitt's credit, he has had a good approach and slapped some singles.

If anything, he'd be a nice utility player on the Dodgers if he can learn to play the middle infield.

2008-04-15 10:47:45
56.   Marty
Someone mentioned on the last thread the Vin was sort of tearing down the Pirates over the lack of strikeouts and the mis-plays thay had. I went over and read the game thread at Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke and most of those guys were ecstatic that they were getting Scully on their extra innings feed. There were many compliments of Scully throughout the game. Nice to see another city appreciate what we have. It really validates how good we have it here.
2008-04-15 10:49:12
57.   wronghanded
From last thread: But if it means something like "coming together as a team," then I'm clueless. To me, that's meaningless in baseball.

I know its not a popular point of view here but I have to disagree. When a team "comes together" and buys into the team first philosophy, it allows for most players to relax, trust the process and deliver optimal performance. Right now it doesn't suprise me to see players pressing (Jones, Kemp, Martin etc.), they feel like they need to do it all because our offense isn't clicking. When a batter trusts the guys hitting behind him, he can relax instead of trying to hit the ball 500ft and be the hero. The same philosophy works with pitchers, if the guy on the mound trusts his defense behind him, he can relax and be extremely aggressive in the strike zone instead of nibbling corners and trying to strike everybody out. Numbers are what drive the game of baseball but their is still a very human side to team chemistry, players are people not number generating machines.

2008-04-15 10:49:51
58.   JoeyP
The plan is to turn the team over to the kids, with some vets mixed in for leadership

The key to the Dodgers will be evaluating which of the youngsters is All-Star quality (and worth keeping), and those other ones that are less, but could be packaged for All-Stars.

Having all 8 positions not suck does have value. But it'd be nice to be significantly above average at a few as well.

2008-04-15 10:50:04
59.   regfairfield
55 He's not there yet, but his isolated power went up 25 points last year to an almost acceptable .174. At only 22, he can still easily develop the power to be a third baseman.
2008-04-15 10:50:33
60.   Jacob L
The Dodgers front office, from their public pronouncements, seem to imply that they feel there is less pressure on the younger players when they are sharing time with a vet. I suppose there could be some truth to that, but its not a workable arrangement when the kid is consistently out-producing the vet. Then there was the SacBee article yesterday, where Ned opined that the Dodgers actually have been willing to give youngsters a long leash, and apparently that's why we tanked at the end of last year.

Never mind. I think they're just feeling their way through.

2008-04-15 10:53:01
61.   bhsportsguy
43 Just as a reminder, players on a Disabled List can be assigned to a minor league club for the purpose of injury rehabilitation for a maximum of 20 days in the case of non-pitchers and 30 days in the case of pitchers.

54 I'm not sure if Nomar is the guy, should LaRoche just sit on the bench and wait, or would he be better off at Vegas.

2008-04-15 10:54:38
62.   MC Safety
29 From a philosophy standpoint, Ned has been all over the place.

Power guys or speed guys? Character guys or Gary Bennett?

2008-04-15 10:55:30
63.   CanuckDodger
52 -- As long as I can recall, BA has always called DeWitt an adequate 3B with a solid-average arm. Never any question about him having to move to a less demanding position, or being any kind of defensive liability at 3B. This past off-season, I do remember Kevin Goldstein at BP making a crack in passing about DeWitt being a bad defensive third baseman. I wish I could remember in which of Goldstein's articles I saw that.
2008-04-15 10:55:54
64.   JoeyP
I think Ned is a "name" guy.
2008-04-15 10:56:01
65.   Xeifrank
25. Loney's 31% GB rate is low, his career norm is 42.5%. It's just the small sample size, as well as the other numbers I posted. I was just adding more small sample size numbers to the data Jon provided.
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 10:56:16
66.   scareduck
49 , 53 - if that is the plan, signing Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones is a funny way to show it.
2008-04-15 10:58:06
67.   El Lay Dave
Colletti loves to have options. Options are sometimes the barrier to making plans - someone has to be gutsy enough to choose.
2008-04-15 10:58:20
68.   regfairfield
66 Who would we play instead? Repko? Xavier Paul?
2008-04-15 10:59:56
69.   scareduck
63 -- here it is:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7094

"The Bad: As much as scouts love DeWitt's batting tools, the results have hardly been eye-popping, and he's yet to show enough in the way of secondary skills to project as a classic third baseman. A move to second base last year was a failure, as DeWitt lacks the athleticism to play up the middle."

2008-04-15 11:00:10
70.   JoeyP
Werth/Ross had they not been jettisoned for Pierre.

Cost savings going toward A-Rod.

2008-04-15 11:01:15
71.   CanuckDodger
55 -- JoeyP, as Regfairfield hints in #59, there is no reason to think DeWitt's power now is all he will ever have. People have told you for YEARS now that power needs to develop over time in some very young players, like Loney, and you have never believed it. Believe it.
2008-04-15 11:01:54
72.   Jon Weisman
66 - Hardly. Pierre's character skills are the least disputed part of his resume. Jones was often cited as a positive member of the Atlanta clubhouse and a vet who relate to younger players. The fact remains that the Dodgers typically start young players at anywhere from four to six positions a night - and that's counting Furcal as old.

The Pierre signing was a mistake, perhaps the Jones signing was a mistake too, but it doesn't mean the plan isn't the plan.

2008-04-15 11:02:10
73.   Bumsrap
46
No one was traded because DeWitt provided adequate production

We might not ever know whom might have been traded if DeWitt hadn't played as well as he did and the Dodgers being curious about what he could do and therefore might not ever know just how big DeWitt's contribution really was. Good defense and a line of .256/.373/.349/.722 might pale compared to "the rest of the story".

2008-04-15 11:02:11
74.   bhsportsguy
70 A-Rod was never going anywhere.
2008-04-15 11:03:18
75.   dzzrtRatt
66 Ned's big into "bridges." Hire an old guy to do the job until the young player is ready. Jones is a bridge. Pierre is a very long bridge. The young player who was supposed to replace him was just born a few weeks ago. Actually, Jones is sort of a repair to the Pierre bridge.

Ned's engineering idol is Rube Goldberg.

2008-04-15 11:03:45
76.   bhsportsguy
71 But you agree that going on past performance, LaRoche is the better offensive prospect in every way.
2008-04-15 11:05:16
77.   GoBears
57 When a team "comes together" and buys into the team first philosophy, it allows for most players to relax, trust the process and deliver optimal performance.

You've just asserted a consequence of "coming together." My assertion was that "coming together" doesn't mean anything. It can't have consequences, because it's an empty concept.

You should trust the hitter behind you because he's good. Not because you like him, or you both believe in the team's potential.

But I think your comment shows that I failed to make a subtler point. I'm not saying that players don't think this way. You could be right - if a player is hitting in front of a bad hitter, he might feel that he himself has to carry the team, and might "press" and swing for the fences, or whatever.

What I'm trying to say is that that is a mistake by the player who is pressing. A batter should have the same approach no matter what (with the possible exception, I suppose, of the bottom of the 9th). Try to avoid making an out. If the pitcher throws no strikes, take your base. If you can't drive this particular pitcher's slider away, just try to go with it. If you're not a power hitter, don't swing for the fences (despite the cool Manny Mota story a couple of posts ago). The base and out and lineup situation shouldn't matter, even if you're hitting in front of the worst hitter on the team.

2008-04-15 11:05:18
78.   CanuckDodger
69 -- That's not it, actually. Somewhere else, Goldstein says or implies that DeWitt is an outright BAD defensive thirdbaseman. I THINK it may have been in his AFL preview.
2008-04-15 11:08:14
79.   JoeyP
Jones was often cited as a positive member of the Atlanta clubhouse and a vet who relate to younger players.

Wasnt Andruw Jones one of the athletes busted in The Gold Club scandal in Atlanta?

If Ned's going for "character" and "leadership"--I dont think he's the most shiny of examples. In addition, it didnt appear that he changed his approach last year at the plate after he started struggling.

2008-04-15 11:08:22
80.   bhsportsguy
I really think the plan was for Pierre, Kemp and Etier to be the outfield for the next few years.

Hopefully Kemp would develop into a big-time power guy and Ethier would eventually be a 20 HR guy. With LaRoche, Loney and Martin, those guys would be the power.

But it was really Pierres' defense that bothered the front office and the chance to improve both the defense and get known power in Jones for a short term deal is what clinched it for them.

I'm pretty sure that throughout last year, Ned never thought once that Pierre wasn't going to be playing CF in 2008.

2008-04-15 11:12:45
81.   CanuckDodger
76 -- I am not sure "in every way" is accurate, or that past performance is more relevent than scouting reports. I have long thought that DeWitt, as a major leaguer, might be the better guy for batting average, because of his Loney-like lefty swing, while LaRoche would be better for walks and homers. Have I liked LaRoche better? Sure, like everybody else. But with LaRoche's latest fluke injury, I admit to getting frustrated with him. Some guys, like J.D. Drew, are just "born under a bad sign," no matter their talent.
2008-04-15 11:14:45
82.   Disabled List
Isn't this just typical of how things work out? I had just made my peace with the fact that the Great Outfield Dilemma of 2008 was going to continue indefinitely for the foreseeable future, and now there's a whole new controversy for me to tear my hair out over.

To be fair, this particular controversy - the Great Third Base Conundrum of 2008 - has always been with us, it's just been sitting on the back burner since Nomar and LaRoche got injured in March. But with DeWitt playing well, and the incumbents on the mend, it's ready to take over top billing again.

For the record, my opinion on this whole thing is almost unchanged. LaRoche should got the bulk of the playing time when he comes back, Nomar should be the first corner IF off the bench, and DeWitt should be flipped post-haste while his value is still high.

2008-04-15 11:14:51
83.   JoeyP
74---Well, that might have been the case. But it would have been nice had the Dodgers actually put up a quality bid for him.

What would the reason be, other than financial considerations, for the Dodgers not going hard after A-Rod?

2008-04-15 11:15:06
84.   El Lay Dave
75 A Goldbergian contraption does, however convoluted the method, achieve its intended goal.
2008-04-15 11:16:32
85.   CodyS
LaRoche last year was one full year older than DeWitt is this year (they are two years apart), with more high-level experience to learn from. So if DeWitt can produce more or less the same, that is a win for DeWitt. To make the point, if a high-school kid came in and put up the same line, he would obviously be the more exciting prospect.
Long-term, LaRoche is the one with some power potential, but also maybe long-term injury risk (for his back, unrelated to the thumb thing).
2008-04-15 11:16:40
86.   Kevin Lewis
Did anyone else here the part on the radio about Jones going to the cages with Easler after the game on Sunday? Maybe I am too optimistic, but this seems like a great sign to me.
2008-04-15 11:20:35
87.   Jacob L
For no particular reason other than that J.D. Drew's name was just mentioned -

Hee Seop Choi
Jason Phillips
Julio Lugo
Danys Baez
Jason Grabowski
Kenny Lofton
Jim Tracy
Juan Pierre
Wilson Betemit

2008-04-15 11:21:19
88.   wronghanded
77 That is a good explanation and for the record I totally agree with you. I personally believe that taking the same approach is what separates good from great players. The difference between a good BA or OBP is simply an additional success per 10 plate appearances (.200 v .300 and .300 v .400). The best players in the game just know how to minimize their failures (and slumps) through consistency. That said, hitting is such a refined skill that the most minor of changes to a given approach (which many times are unconscious)can have a devastating effect to success rates. The consistency skill can be learned and improved upon but I think several big league hitters press when facing adversity and fall into bad habits/approaches.
2008-04-15 11:21:50
89.   bhsportsguy
83 Well, for one, A-Rod wanted to stay in NY.
2008-04-15 11:22:14
90.   Jacob L
Oh, and, Paul LoDoca.
2008-04-15 11:23:38
91.   Jacob L
86 For some reason, I'd be more psyched if they were going to the cages at Alpine Village, then having a beer and shopping for Bavarian trinkets.
2008-04-15 11:23:45
92.   scareduck
75 - that's not a bridge, that's a pier.
2008-04-15 11:23:46
93.   regfairfield
85 It's way too soon to declare something a win for DeWitt based on his stats.
2008-04-15 11:26:00
94.   Jon Weisman
79 - I'm not saying he should have been cited as a character guy. I'm only saying that he was.

Furcal was Mr. DUI for a while, after all. Yet everyone loves him, I think.

2008-04-15 11:34:37
95.   Physics DR
46.
Agreed. Dewitt has been a massive surprise and produced.

I see he is batting .321 in the 8th hole and does well in critical situations. I REALIZE the stats are too small to build any solid facts.

Nomar can back up 3B and 1B and be first off the bench. Give LaRoche 30 days in AAA and prove he is healthly.

Since Dewitt has produced give him 30 days to see if it is real.

2008-04-15 11:34:49
96.   Xeifrank
This is the day we should be excited about HongZhi Guo making a start. I hope he does well and doesn't struggle with his control and end up making too many pitches early in the game. I don't expect any more than 5+ innings from him in his first start. I just pray that we get the good Guo and Bob can eat his words.
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 11:36:42
97.   Kevin Lewis
91

Alpine Village! I used to go there all the time with my Little League teams

2008-04-15 11:36:55
98.   Bluebleeder87
3 I see your point KG16 but in my opinion La Roche is simply bigger, stronger, better. He is doing an awesome job though dont get me wrong
2008-04-15 11:38:52
99.   Howard Fox
I am sure I am in the small minority, but I like the "look" of DeWitt, he seems comfortable at the plate and looks very good defensively.

My complaint about LaRoche is he seems to me to have that "deer in the headlights" look against major league pitching. And I'm hoping he isn't a health risk.

But what we think doesn't matter, when Nomar and LaRoche are healthy, DeWitt is gone.

2008-04-15 11:42:34
100.   natepurcell
29

I thought John put a mandate on not repeating yourself say...100 times?

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-04-15 11:42:34
101.   Xeifrank
I am willing to let the 3B situation play itself out. Kind of a survival of the strongest competition. The only problem with this is that I don't have the highest confidence level in those making personnel decisions that such a competition would be fair. vr, Xei
2008-04-15 11:43:03
102.   natepurcell
and by "John", I really meant Jon.
2008-04-15 11:45:11
103.   D4P
I thought John put a mandate on not repeating yourself say...100 times?

I thought Jon put a mandate on using hyperbole when something less will suffice.

2008-04-15 11:46:47
104.   natepurcell
46 Was a great read.
2008-04-15 11:46:51
105.   scareduck
99 - me, too. DeWitt doesn't look lost at the plate. He's amazing considering he hasn't played at AAA. I have no problem with him going back down to Vegas once LaRoche is ready, but DeWitt looks like a real sleeper; at worst, he could land the Dodgers some interesting talent as a trade chit.
2008-04-15 11:47:53
106.   D4P
At this point, all 8 of the Western Conference NBA teams that qualified for the playoffs have a winning percentage over .600. Has that ever happened before?
2008-04-15 11:50:21
107.   blue22
106 - Golden State will set the record for best winning percentage while missing the playoffs, finishing no worse than 48-34. Considering that's a .585 clip, I'd say you're probably right.
2008-04-15 11:52:10
108.   natepurcell
103

I honestly don't think what I said was a hyperbole.

2008-04-15 11:59:47
109.   Xeifrank
106/107. I don't like the NBA playoff format. They would be better off if they just took the teams with the two best records, or two top teams in some agreed upon power rankings and let them play a 7 game series to decide the winner. All the other teams could have their own playoff series, where it didn't really matter who won or lost. And we could celebrate it with a parade. :)
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 12:00:12
110.   Disabled List
General Soreness sighting. From King Kaufman's column yesterday:

Mike Marshall, the former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder-first baseman who now runs the Yuma Scorpions in the Golden League, said he pursued work in independent baseball while his kids were school-age because the short season -- only three months of games -- meant he didn't have to spend most of the year away from home. But it's also let him be a bigger fish in a smaller pond.

"I scout, I negotiate contracts, I work in the front office and I get to manage the games," he said. "I'm not just a hitting coach or whatever it is." With a son at Stanford and a daughter soon to enter college, Marshall said he's thinking about a return to coaching or managing in affiliated ball.

2008-04-15 12:00:56
111.   LogikReader
106 107

This might be the best Western Conference field in the History of the NBA

That said...!

If not for that 22 game winning streak, Houston has no right to be in the playoffs. I feel like they've tapered off quite a bit, and Golden State, meanwhile, has maintained. I also felt like Houston beat cupcakes during most of that streak, even though you can't count the schedule against them.

2008-04-15 12:01:59
112.   bhsportsguy
106 35 years ago, Phoenix won 49 games and missed the playoffs. But then only 4 teams from each conference made the playoffs.

107 It will be the most wins since they expanded the playoffs to 8 teams from each conference.

2008-04-15 12:02:32
113.   D4P
I think Houston should be commended for playing so well after losing Yao Ming.
2008-04-15 12:04:08
114.   Bluebleeder87
96 Im stoked about the start as well, when he's right he's a treat to watch
2008-04-15 12:04:24
115.   LogikReader
111

Houston after 22 game winning streak: 8-7 or whereabouts.

I still think they'd be a tough team, but my point was, if not for that streak, GS would be in instead of Houston.

2008-04-15 12:05:02
116.   LogikReader
113

Absolutely

The streak is/was remarkable

2008-04-15 12:10:27
117.   JoeyP
74/89---Is this your opinion, or have you seen it in print?
2008-04-15 12:12:46
118.   JoeyP
108--It was. 100 times? Maybe after 100 Dodger games, this will be accurate.
2008-04-15 12:13:44
119.   Jon Weisman
111 - That's a huge "if not." That's almost like saying, "If not for me being a man, I'd be a woman."
2008-04-15 12:14:40
120.   LogikReader
It's lunch time, so I'd like to share something I saw on Sunday:

First of all, I'm under 30, so I never saw this as it happened.

I didn't know there was such a thing as Golf Classic. Before yesterday's Masters, CBS re ran the 1978 masters, and as strange as this sounds, Vin Scully was the main pbp guy.

So Gary player was about to set a record for lowest score in the masters, and this other guy was putting at the same time, so CBS ran them on a split screen. Vin described something like "Ok now this guy is going to putt on this other hole, and Gary Player is going to set a masters record."

both of them putt at the same time. The other guy misses it and Player sinks it from like 30 feet, all at the same time.

and classic Vin, he goes "YEEEEESSS!!! --uh for Player!"

2008-04-15 12:15:10
121.   LogikReader
119

LOL!!!!

2008-04-15 12:21:18
122.   LogikReader
Where'd everybody go?
2008-04-15 12:25:47
123.   bhsportsguy
120 Scully worked for CBS Sports from 1975-1982. He covered primarily football and golf.

He would leave CBS to work for NBC's Baseball Game of the Week, All-Star and Postseason games from 1983-1989.

His most famous football call (not that you hear it very often) the Catch.

2008-04-15 12:26:23
125.   KG16
16 - um, no, I am not advocating trade LaRoche. And I am certainly not advocating him based on three weeks.

As I said, "if I had to choose one guy..." I don't have to choose one guy. I get to sit back and enjoy the game. What I've seen of the two guys - entirely at the Major League level, and admittedly, small sample sizes - I like DeWitt better.

The prudent thing to do would be to keep both guys until one can clearly win the job. Then trade the other - and this would be a good thing on multiple levels: one, you avoid potential chemistry issues with a bitter bench player; two, you can improve your team/franchise in other areas; three, the guy who won the job isn't constantly looking over his shoulder; four, the guy that didn't win still gets a chance to play (hopefully in the other league).

2008-04-15 12:27:14
126.   Hythloday
62 - This may be mixing apples and oranges (or legitimate psychological problems and illicit drug use), but some guy tried to trade me Gary Matthews for Zack Greinke and tried to sell it by saying the Greinke was a head case. The fact that Greinke had issues in the past doesn't color his current value. Similarly, I wouldn't be so quick to paint Bennett as a poor character guy. Past choices aren't always indicators of character. Redemption is possible. I'm not saying Bennett is a good guy; I don't know. But it seems a bit facile to attack the character of these players who admit to their actions and ask for forgiveness.
2008-04-15 12:29:55
127.   Kevin Lewis
Still here, just not much to say. Looking forward to Kuo and hopefully the same lineup as last night.
2008-04-15 12:35:42
128.   KG16
98 - totally understandable, and I'm not down on LaRoche at all. I'd just pick DeWitt, if I had to choose.
2008-04-15 12:37:37
129.   D4P
I might be crazy, but I tend to consider LaRoche the highest-ceilinged hitter in our organization.
2008-04-15 12:38:44
130.   LogikReader
Oh yea, I forgot to mention the new concourse on the field level at DS is amazing! And now, the stadium sells Dodger CORN dogs! I couldn't help thinking of SOSG when I went to the new restrooms... they were so right; even the cinderblocks remind me of those little rooms in Zelda.

Also virtually no lines at any counter, but that had something to do with the lower attendance.

2008-04-15 12:40:06
131.   bhsportsguy
130 Corndogs, must have missed that stand.
2008-04-15 12:44:18
132.   Jon Weisman
129 - I've often had that thought. I think at one point he was ahead of Loney - not sure if that's still the case, but it's still heady company.
2008-04-15 12:46:45
133.   Howard Fox
From what I have seen, I just don't see it with LaRoche. I think when his career ends people will still speak of what could have been.
2008-04-15 12:46:57
134.   Samuel
120

Wow, I thought I was day dreaming while I was channel surfing on Sunday. I was thinking that the voice sounded like Vinny, but I thought it was just wishful thinking. Good to know.

2008-04-15 12:47:23
135.   D4P
132
No one else appears to have his combo of power and patience. Quite a few players have one or the other, but not both.
2008-04-15 12:48:02
136.   Xeifrank
129. I would probably put Kemp above him "ceiling" wise imho.
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 12:48:33
137.   blue22
I think of Loney and LaRoche as both being more likely to hit their respective ceilings, but does either have a higher one than Kemp?
2008-04-15 12:50:56
138.   Howard Fox
I see Loney as a possible future hall of famer...not so sure about any of the others...
2008-04-15 12:51:09
139.   LogikReader
Now, a lot of people complain about the lack of power on the Dodgers.

Who among the home-grown Dodgers has the greatest potential to hit

a) 30+ Home Runs?
b) 20+ Home Runs?
c) 10+ Home Runs?

I say:

a) Kemp
b) LaRoche, Loney, Martin, Ethier
c) Hu, Abreu, DeWitt

2008-04-15 12:52:04
140.   Howard Fox
Kemp will make all the highlight reels in the years to come, but I'd take Ethier day in and day out...
2008-04-15 12:52:16
141.   CanuckDodger
137 -- I agree. I have heard Logan White more than once use the word "superstar" when he talks about Kemp. I have never heard him do that with Loney and LaRoche, as much as he likes them.
2008-04-15 12:52:17
142.   D4P
I tend to downgrade Kemp's ceiling because of his low IsoD, which while not set in stone, just doesn't make me optimistic about his future. LaRoche already has patience, which makes me more optimistic about him.
2008-04-15 12:53:06
143.   Howard Fox
139 I would switch LaRoche with DeWitt
2008-04-15 12:56:14
144.   D4P
I have heard Logan White more than once use the word "superstar" when he talks about Kemp. I have never heard him do that with Loney and LaRoche, as much as he likes them

I feel like some of this has to do with perception and stereotypes. LaRoche is not a physical specimen or highlight-reel player like Kemp. But consider the following:

Andruw Jones: .262/.341/.495/.836
J.D. Drew: .285/.390/.501/.891

I doubt many mainstreamers would ever call Drew a "superstar", but there are at least some who would think of Jones that way. But look at their stats: Drew comes out way ahead.

Boring white guys like Drew and LaRoche don't excite the masses like Jones and Kemp, but they might put up better numbers.

2008-04-15 12:56:52
145.   blue22
142 - I think that's just speaking to the likelihood of him achieving his potential though, right? Kemp certainly has a higher flame-out risk, but man if he clicks, look out.

LaRoche looks like a solid, above-average 3B if he stays healthy. I don't expect him to steal any awards from David Wright over the next decade though.

2008-04-15 12:57:44
146.   D4P
In other words, I tend to agree that Kemp is more likely than LaRoche to eventually be considered a "superstar" or even "star", but I think LaRoche is more likely to have the higher OPS (health and opportunity permitting).
2008-04-15 13:00:52
147.   oregon dodger
I think the biggest difference I've seen between the two has less to do with potential or even performance than it does to do with seizing the moment. Without putting LaRoche down, he has had ample opportunity to lock down that 3rd base spot (spring training last year, mid season last year, spring training this year), and just hasn't done it.

The thing I admire about DeWitt is that he was given the unexpected opportunity and has played well above the level expected of him.

I wish Andy LaRoche had that intangible that elevated his game when the opportunity arose. Maybe he does, I just haven't seen it yet.

2008-04-15 13:01:02
148.   cargill06
you guys have more info than me, but i would think laroche is a safer bet to have a better offensive career, but if kemp learns to take a walk than i'd take kemp
2008-04-15 13:02:45
149.   D4P
Without putting LaRoche down, he has had ample opportunity to lock down that 3rd base spot (spring training last year, mid season last year, spring training this year), and just hasn't done it

IIRC, LaRoche was hurt for most of his time in the big leagues.

2008-04-15 13:03:55
150.   CanuckDodger
146 -- I am not sure we disagree. Kemp is the riskier player. White might even agree with that. But if everything does click for Kemp, look out.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-04-15 13:04:11
151.   D4P
And here are LaRoche's stats from this spring before he got hurt:

350/409/550/959

2008-04-15 13:05:31
152.   arborial
One of my best memories from games I attended last season was seeing Kemp blast one into the loge level! (something like the 14th ever at Dodger stadium). Those are the types of hits that people remember and also the reason they use the term "superstar".
2008-04-15 13:06:28
153.   Xeifrank
144. Not that I am trying to shoot down your argument, as the answer to this question may even make your argument stronger. But obviously each player has spent some time playing in different parks, though both played in the same Atlanta stadium for a few years, how would the park each player played in effect those numbers? Also, which player has missed more time due to injury? Which player has spent more time playing a more difficult position? vr, Xei
2008-04-15 13:08:10
154.   D4P
Those are the types of hits that people remember and also the reason they use the term "superstar"

Exactly. But memorable feats here and there don't necessarily make one a better player. Kemp is no doubt more likely to make highlight reels, sell jerseys, have a bobblehead, etc., but those are all tangential to what I'm talking about.

2008-04-15 13:08:17
155.   Xeifrank
149. I agree. And we are talking about such really small sample sizes. When arguing about how each player (LaRoche/DeWitt) has done in the majors. vr, Xei
2008-04-15 13:10:03
156.   Xeifrank
Where is that list that Bob posted of the players that had put up Kemp's numbers at the major league level by his age?
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 13:11:30
157.   oregon dodger
149, 155. Like I said, I'm not trying to put LaRoche down, and I agree the sample sizes are too small. But the injuries are part of the picture too. Remember last year when the story came out about LaRoche not playing because of back trouble and he admitted to having not done his 30 minutes of stretching/exercise necessary to avoid that on an off day? It's just little things like that. Preparation. The bigs called and DeWitt answered. I love that. I think I'm trying to highlight DeWitt's preparation more than put down Larache.
2008-04-15 13:13:04
158.   D4P
Remember last year when the story came out about LaRoche not playing because of back trouble and he admitted to having not done his 30 minutes of stretching/exercise necessary to avoid that on an off day?

Yes. That bugged me. LaRoche's health (including what he can and cannot control) is the biggest concern I have.

2008-04-15 13:13:26
159.   KG16
155 - but all we have to go on are small sample sizes, as these are young players. If we had larger sample sizes, they'd be veterans and we'd be moaning about PVL.

One can only base their analysis on the information provided. Given a small sample size, one should keep his mind open. However, that does not mean that there is no value in the analysis.

I think we all see things that we like and dislike in each of the Dodger kids. There's also a lot of crossover/overlap in those categories. We just need to recognize that we all have different value levels on certain aspects of the game.

2008-04-15 13:15:02
160.   natepurcell
144

There are other factors that go into determining star players besides their batting lines that you just pointed out.

-ability to play high number of games each season
-where they are on the defensive spectrum
-there defense at that position on the defensive spectrum

Also, using Drew as a substitute for "boring, white guy" doesn't fly in this case. Coming out of the amateur ranks, Drew was compared to Mantle...that doesn't sound boring.

The reason Drew hasn't become a star is because star players play...Drew's history shows that isn't necessarily the fact.

Grady Sizemore...he's white, and he is widely considered an upcoming star.

2008-04-15 13:16:24
161.   natepurcell
Ignore grammar mistakes if possible please!
2008-04-15 13:16:51
162.   MC Safety
Matt Kemp has 30/30 written all over him, imo. I honestly believe he is literally one adjustment away from being a "superstar".
2008-04-15 13:17:08
163.   oregon dodger
158. That, to me, speaks volumes about whether he's going to reach the potential he has or not. I'm kind of an old school guy in that sense. I don't discount the stats by any means, but there's something about watching someone step up and get the job done that tips the scales to me. That said, I don't see DeWitt as the solution (pardon the pun) long term. And I'd be the first guy to jump on the LaRoche bandwagon (although it looks pretty full from all these comments) if he comes back strong this season. I just haven't seen it yet, and am more wary than optimistic, considering I never watched him in the minors.
2008-04-15 13:17:52
164.   regfairfield
153 J.D. has a 12 point OPS+ advantage in his career, but the average right fielder was 12% better than the average centerfielder last year. This gives Andruw a slight advantage.
2008-04-15 13:17:56
165.   Xeifrank
159. Actually, there are larger sample sizes out there to look at. Look at what each player did at the same age and at what level of competition they were at. It might not tell you everything, but it will tell you more than 50-60 plate appearances in the major leagues (that are pretty even).
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 13:18:43
166.   natepurcell
Terry Tifee is the answer guys.
2008-04-15 13:19:52
167.   bhsportsguy
153 The most games Drew has ever played in a season is 146.

The fewest games Jones has ever played is 153.

Jones is 2 years younger than Drew but has played more than 660 games and close to 3000 plate appearances more than Drew so far in their careers. Plus the fact that for his first 10 seasons with the Braves, he played in the post-season.

2008-04-15 13:20:14
168.   Xeifrank
160. Agree
164. Thanks.
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 13:20:22
169.   blue22
159 - We also have about 2000 at-bats each in the minors to go off of too. I really feel like LaRoche has separated himself from Dewitt in that time. And really nothing about either of their major league performances changes that, in my opinion.

And sorry about my earlier post if you felt like I was putting words in your mouth. I was actually just trying to point out that not all readers here feel the same way about each of the players.

2008-04-15 13:20:36
170.   D4P
Matt Kemp has 30/30 written all over him

That's the kind of thing I'm not interested in per se, but the kind of thing that will make Kemp more "superstarry" in the mainstream public and media.

2008-04-15 13:22:04
171.   CanuckDodger
166 -- Only if the question is really, really stupid.
2008-04-15 13:23:29
172.   trainwreck
The NBA should take the top 16 teams regardless of conference.

I also agree about LaRoche, though I wonder if he is going to get the chance to play everyday and prove that point.

2008-04-15 13:24:36
173.   trainwreck
160
Sizemore is actually half black.
2008-04-15 13:25:50
174.   blue22
170 - I wasn't keeping up on the discussion here at the time, but I felt that was a major motivation for Arizona to lock up Chris Young so quickly. He has "flashy" stats, possibly going 30/30 each year until he hits arbitration. Doing that would earn him a huge paycheck when the time comes, even while struggling to keep his OBP above .320. Locking him up right now keeps his cost in line with his actual value going forward.
2008-04-15 13:25:55
175.   bhsportsguy
172 Interesting news on BRO but the pressure to win if that happened would be greater than this year. Not that I am complaining.
2008-04-15 13:26:28
176.   Howard Fox
162 one adjustment away...famous last words
2008-04-15 13:26:33
177.   natepurcell
173

okay umm touche. Colby Rasmus?

Speaking of Sizemore, Grady's Ladies is prevalent in Cleveland.

My idea of Andre's Madres hasn't really caught on yet. All the women on DT need to help me with that.

2008-04-15 13:28:24
178.   ibleedbloo
152 I have also seen the Tomato and Milton hit them there. I had actually forgot about Kemp. I guess memorible is in the mind of the beholder.

I can name countless events that I have witnessed at Dodger games that the people who were there with me would never remember.

That said, I think Kemp will be awesome.

2008-04-15 13:28:35
179.   D4P
177
What about G/Kuo's Hos...?
2008-04-15 13:28:54
180.   trainwreck
177
My friend loves Ethier, but she loves a lot of athletes. I told her about Andre's Madres, she felt it would make her seem old.
2008-04-15 13:29:46
181.   Xeifrank
172. That could be a mess travel wise, if you then ended up playing western conference vs eastern conference teams in all four rounds instead of just the finals.
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 13:30:33
182.   trainwreck
We could have had Choi's Cholas, even though that makes no sense at all.
2008-04-15 13:32:06
183.   trainwreck
181
Hockey gets away with it. Detroit is playing Nashville in the Western Conference playoffs.
2008-04-15 13:33:20
184.   bhsportsguy
177 Also, I don't think his wife would appreciate any attempt to organize that type of club.

Remember, family site here guys and gals.

2008-04-15 13:34:02
185.   ToyCannon
144
Ron Santo and Bert Blyleven would agree with you.

Andruw Jones was considered a super star in conjunction with his defense. I think if he had put up his OPS as a corner outfielder instead of the best center fielder of his generation his reputation would be more like Carlos Lee.

2008-04-15 13:34:19
186.   Xeifrank
183. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't both Detroit and Nashville in the Western Conference?
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 13:34:31
187.   regfairfield
184 Maybe she encouraged him to grow that beard.
2008-04-15 13:34:39
188.   KG16
183 - Nashville is in the NHL West, just as Memphis is in the NBA.
2008-04-15 13:35:36
189.   underdog
179 was tasteless but it made me laugh.

Here's RotoWorld's take on, yes Hallux, the SilverGod:
"Double-A Jacksonville's Lucas May went 3-for-4 with a homer and a double on Monday.
This after he doubled three times on Sunday. May is hitting .364/.395/.697 in 33 at-bats. The converted third baseman is in just his second full season as a catcher, but he has the tools to be a fine defender in time. He's potential trade bait for a Dodgers team that hopes to have Russell Martin behind the plate for a long time."

2008-04-15 13:36:36
190.   trainwreck
186
I realize they are in the West, but they are not really located in the West. NHL just adds a few more off days in between games to accommodate. Someone from the West Coast will probably have to go to Detroit or Nashville.
2008-04-15 13:36:46
191.   natepurcell
Also, I don't think his wife would appreciate any attempt to organize that type of club.

I would allow her to have the presidency for the club.

2008-04-15 13:37:32
192.   D4P
185
Carlos Lee puts up the kinda numbers I tend to expect Kemp to max out at.
2008-04-15 13:37:42
193.   underdog
Sorry, I meant Humma, who loves the SilverGod nickname and now I do, too. I agree with the point made yesterday about that the Dodgers actually have more good catching prospects in the minors than it appeared a year or so ago. Well stocked there, and likely we will see at least one of them traded in the next year or so. But I'd love to see May or Santana get a shot at being full time backup at least for awhile.
2008-04-15 13:39:41
194.   Longhorn Bill
Bobby Jenks just pitched an inning by throwing two pitches. He also picked up the save.
2008-04-15 13:39:53
195.   Xeifrank
190. But if you mix the western/eastern conferences for the playoffs you would most likely have multiple long distant playoff series' going on. Unless you just throw the west's 9,10,11 teams into the pot with the east's 1-5. You didn't go into specifics. I think it's fine the way it is. Conference/division strengths go in cycles. Some longer than others, but eventually things will even out. Well, atleast for the Lakers/Clippers sake, I hope it does. Like my 3-year old daughter talks about at home, "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit!" :)
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 13:41:48
196.   trainwreck
195
It just stinks to have teams with losing records in the playoffs. In addition, does anyone care about the Eastern Conference playoffs?
2008-04-15 13:43:08
197.   MC Safety
Andre's Madres gives me this weird Evander Holyfield/James Brown type of vibe.
2008-04-15 13:43:29
198.   ToyCannon
185
I'd be happy with that. Hard to believe Carlos Lee was a AAA 3rd baseman before being converted to LF. If Kemp could provide the Carlos Lee offense in combination with his speed and defense we'd have quite a player.
2008-04-15 13:43:59
199.   Xeifrank
196. Over the last 5, 10 and 20 years what is the breakdown of titles won by the WC/EC? And yes, I have heard the argument about how the WC playoffs wear down the WC finalist. The EC supposedly been the more physical conference, so I am not sure that holds water. vr, Xei
2008-04-15 13:45:17
200.   Physics DR
195
"You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit!" :)

That great and from a 3 year old!!!

I think I will use on some my physics grad. students

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-04-15 13:45:31
201.   Bob Timmermann
JJ Putz had a 2-pitch, 1 inning save last season.
2008-04-15 13:48:00
202.   Bob Timmermann
199
The real advantage that the Eastern Conference teams in the NBA have is that the travel is usually much shorter.

A lot of the Eastern Conference teams are just short hops apart (Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Washington, NY Metro area, Philadelphia, Boston) while in the West you could be going from Memphis to Seattle. Or even back and forth between L.A. and Houston.

2008-04-15 13:48:29
203.   Ken Noe
Well, one good thing about last night's game--I just picked up Saito straight-up for Yovani Gallardo.
2008-04-15 13:48:51
204.   ToyCannon
My posting is going to drop quite a bit but I will be trying to keep up with the minor league gig at True Blue.

The other day I was looking for something to call my little routine each Monday when I write up some of the hottest Dodgers.
Perusing DT I read and quickly forgot someone mention the Blue Sparks song by X.

As I was touching up my article and looked at my lame title, I realized that Blue Sparks would work perfectly. So thanks for whoever suggested Blue Sparks as I've forgotten the content in which it came up and without any futher to do here is my 1st Blue Sparks write up.

http://www.truebluela.com/2008/4/13/392449/blue-hots-for-week-of-4-7

2008-04-15 13:48:55
205.   Jon Weisman
In our house, it's "You get what you get, and you don't get upset."
2008-04-15 13:50:45
206.   ToyCannon
203
I doubt that was a good thing for you unless you play in a 4 by 4 non keeper league. It would not surprise me at all to see Broxton closing games by the end of this year and for Gallardo to be the ace of the Central Division Champion Brewers.
2008-04-15 13:52:39
207.   wronghanded
While making my college debut, I had the distinction of throwing a 1-pitch inning. I came in relief w/ runners on 1st and 2nd and the batter hammered a line drive right at my SS on a hit and run. I gotta say that it was an efficient way to make an appearance (I was pulled after that inning).
2008-04-15 13:54:28
208.   Physics DR
195
"You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit!" :)

That great and from a 3 year old!!!

I think I will use it on some of my physics grad. students

above is Edited: My speech recognition software is off today.

2008-04-15 13:55:58
209.   Xeifrank
207. That's great.

I wonder if anyone has ever come in with bases loaded no outs, then picked all three runners off base. Would you still be credited with an inning?
vr, Xei

2008-04-15 13:58:11
210.   Ken Noe
206 I hesitated myself, but good starters I have, and my RP situation was a mess.
2008-04-15 13:58:50
211.   wronghanded
209 yes you would and that would be the coolest thing to ever happen (unless it happened to the Ds). My dream was always to throw a 27 pitch perfect game.
2008-04-15 14:00:55
212.   Jon Weisman
209 - The famous Tippy Martinez game. I'll find a link.
2008-04-15 14:02:45
213.   Jon Weisman
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL198308240.shtml

Baltimore had put in Lenn Sakata as an emergency catcher. For some reason, this compelled baserunners to take even bigger leads off first.

Top of the 10th, Blue Jays Batting, Tied 3-3, Tim Stoddard facing 4-5-6
Tim Stoddard replaces Scott McGregor pitching; Lenn Sakata moves to C; John Lowenstein moves to 2B; Gary Roenicke moves to 3B; Benny Ayala moves to LF
R --- 16% C Johnson Home Run
--- 14% B Bonnell Single to CF
Tippy Martinez replaces Tim Stoddard pitching; Dave Collins pinch hits for Jesse Barfield batting 6th
O 1-- 18% D Collins Bonnell Caught Stealing (PO) 2B (P-1B)
--- 16% " " Walk
O 1-- 19% W Upshaw Collins Picked off 1B (P-1B)
--- 18% " " Single to 2B
O 1-- 20% B Martinez Upshaw Picked off 1B (P-1B)
1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Blue Jays 4, Orioles 3.

2008-04-15 14:07:16
214.   wronghanded
213 Thats awesome!
209 I have seen a baserunning debacle with the bases loaded that led to a triple play after a pick-off and about 30 furious seconds of around the horn pickle but the pitcher hadn't just come in the game.
2008-04-15 14:09:41
215.   El Lay Dave
201 Emil Brown was the scheduled first batter in both cases, but was PH for when Putz came in.
2008-04-15 14:10:25
216.   Jon Weisman
Tommy Lasorda will meet his third pope tomorrow.
2008-04-15 14:16:54
217.   kinbote
216 That sounds like the punchline to an obscure unremembered joke.
2008-04-15 14:18:28
218.   okdodge
216 proving that even god wants the dodgers to win
2008-04-15 14:19:56
219.   ToyCannon
213
I think remembering this is just as remarkable as the event. Did you see this so it was imprinted?
2008-04-15 14:25:37
220.   sporky
204 Thanks for the writeups. I really enjoy reading them.
2008-04-15 14:27:34
221.   Jon Weisman
219 - I remember reading about it in the paper the next day. It was just so unique. Whenever anyone mentions pickoffs, I think of this.
2008-04-15 14:28:37
222.   Jacob L
My wife, during last night's telecast: "That Andre Ethier sure is handsome."
2008-04-15 14:34:55
223.   El Lay Dave
216 Tommy missed the window of opportunity for meeting John Paul I methinks.
2008-04-15 14:36:26
224.   El Lay Dave
220 Me too, as well as the sportshubla articles.
2008-04-15 14:36:29
225.   Bob Timmermann
When Jeff Suppan went to Rome to meet Benedict XVI, he left his customized Cardinals "Benedict 16" in his checked baggage and it didn't make it to Rome with his flight.

My brother told him that most people have their gifts for the Pope in carryon.

2008-04-15 14:38:35
226.   sporky
222 I can't disagree with her, but I hope he decides against a full-on beard.
2008-04-15 14:38:53
227.   El Lay Dave
I wonder if there is a logoed Dodger Blue zuchetto.
2008-04-15 14:39:57
228.   KG16
199 - since '87, 6 franchises have won an NBA title, 5 multiple times. 11 titles to the West, 10 to the East.

If you go back to '80, 8 franchises have won, 14 titles to each conference.

The franchises that have won, if you're interested: San Antonio (4), Houston (2), Detroit (3), Lakers (8), Chicago (6), Miami (1), Boston (3).

The odds are one of those franchises listed above will win the title again this year.

2008-04-15 14:40:32
229.   Ricardo
I don´t know if anyone posted it, if the answer is yes I am sorry. Rosenthal on Andruw:

" Dodgers center fielder Andruw Jones is playing in the wrong division as he tries to overcome his 5-for-44 start; the starting pitching in the NL West is outstanding, and the Dodgers play nearly half their games against division opponents. Jones hit 10 of his 26 home runs last season against the Pirates, Reds and Marlins, the teams that posted the three highest ERAs in the National League."

2008-04-15 14:43:30
230.   KG16
228 - Philly was the other team to win. Also, between '87 and '02, only San Antonio failed to win back to back titles.
2008-04-15 14:43:47
231.   Bob Timmermann
227
If Danny Goodman were still alive, there would be one. When the Dodgers first came to L.A., he had all types of Dodger hats made including Tyrolian ones (with the brushes in them) and leaf hats (which went by a name that likely isn't politically correct now).
2008-04-15 14:47:03
232.   Jon Weisman
223 - "Lasorda, who has frequently been called to serve in dignitary roles on numerous occasions for President Bush and Major League Baseball, has previously met two Popes, His Holiness Pope John Paul I and His Holiness Pope John Paul II. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will mark the third. Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass at Dodger Stadium on September 16, 1987, halfway through Lasorda's tenure as Dodger manager."
2008-04-15 14:48:06
233.   LogikReader
228

Even stupider, something like 8 of the last 9 championships featured a team with either Tim Duncan or Shaquille O'Neal.

Even stupider than that: there was a time when the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons were in the Western Conference. Factoring that in, the NBA went 20 years before a "true" Eastern Conference Team won a single championship. The Celtics in '86 to the Heat in '06.

Granted, when the Bulls and Pistons were in the West, the Rockets and Spurs were in the East also.

2008-04-15 14:49:49
234.   D4P
Even stupider: Northwestern University is in Illinois.
2008-04-15 14:54:58
235.   Sushirabbit
Gallardo got lit-up yesterday (didn't get to see him in person, kid's baseball practice) but it was very cold. I have him in my keeper league. He looked amazing last year.

222, did you respond dreamily, "yeah, look at that swing?"

2008-04-15 14:55:12
236.   Bob Timmermann
234
Case Western Reserve is in Cleveland.
2008-04-15 14:55:27
237.   Jacob L
232 I'm not the slightest bit Catholic, but the Pope's mass is one of the Dodger Stadium events I regret not attending, along with the Jacksons Victory Tour. Anyone go? Could you pick up a dog and a beverage?
2008-04-15 14:57:27
238.   trainwreck
UCLA football will be playing Texas and Nebraska in the coming years.

I guess Eric Enders will get to do more bragging.

2008-04-15 14:59:19
239.   Jacob L
I used to like how the Cubs were in the NL East, but the White Sox were in the AL West. I wondered if perhaps Comsikey was a few blocks west of Wrigley, but I don't that's the case.

Of course, they kept trying to move the Cubs to the west, but they resisted because of the late night telecasts.

2008-04-15 14:59:36
240.   MJW101
Not to pick at the itchy scab that is Pierre/Jones, but they are both remarkably similar in some respects so far in 2008.

Outs per PA
Jones .82
Pierre .83

Bases per PA
Jones .28
Pierre .33

These are rate stats not counting stats. Jones/Pierre lead all team regulars in O/PA and are at the bottom amongst team regulars in B/PA.

Now back to our regular programming.

2008-04-15 14:59:47
241.   Bob Timmermann
237
First of all, it's Mass, not mass. I thought you would have picked that up at the Notre Dame football game!

My parents went to the Papal Mass. They sat on the field, left field to be precise. They didn't get a hot dog. They did get a piece of bread and some wine.

2008-04-15 15:00:07
242.   Hythloday
234 Now don't start criticizing the Louisiana Purchase?
2008-04-15 15:00:32
243.   Eric Enders
I think this is where I'm supposed to ask whether beating UCLA is really worth bragging about.

Actually, I'd be more excited about a series sweep in basketball, which seems possible given that next year's game is in Austin and the Bruins' whole team is leaving.

2008-04-15 15:01:05
244.   Eric Stephen
230
between '87 and '02, only San Antonio failed to win back to back titles

I love that stat. I remember how huge it was for the Lakers to repeat in 1988 since it had been 19 years since the last team to win back to back titles (Boston). I can still remember Pat Riley's prophetic words during the 1987 championship parade: "I'm guaranteeing everybody here, next year we're gonna win it again." Then he immediately looks over to the stunned players as the crowd went nuts.

2008-04-15 15:01:18
245.   Gen3Blue
Sorry if it's already been mentioned but I want to get into the Stupider thread.

Even stupider. Miami is in Ohio.

2008-04-15 15:01:30
246.   Hythloday
? = . ?
2008-04-15 15:01:36
247.   bhsportsguy
232 Since John Paul I's time served between August and September of 1978, I will assume that Lasorda met him prior to his election as Pope.

That begs the question, if you meet someone before they become famous or attain some office that become known for, can you honestly say you met President so and so or some actor or singer when they were not well known.

2008-04-15 15:02:09
248.   trainwreck
243
Hopefully by 2010 or 2011, it will mean a little something to beat UCLA football.
2008-04-15 15:03:12
249.   trainwreck
247
Where do you stand on the Stephenson/Sidney saga?
2008-04-15 15:03:44
250.   Jon Weisman
247 - I think more so.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-04-15 15:04:03
251.   bhsportsguy
243 West Virginia pulled that off a year ago.
2008-04-15 15:04:36
252.   Bob Timmermann
Miami, Ohio predates Miami, Florida and the two cities have different origins for their names.

The first Pasadena was in California and then the name spread east. There's one in Texas, Maryland, and also Newfoundland. And I've been to Pasadena, Newfoundland. The people were very nice. The town was founded by a man who married a woman from Pasadena, California and he liked that city and named the new area after it.

There is even a sign on the Trans-Canada Highway that says, "Welcome to Pasadena, Newfoundland. The Crown City of Newfoundland!"

Newfoundland is a very weird place.

2008-04-15 15:06:10
253.   bhsportsguy
249 Let's see if they get an offer first.

In some ways, UCLA has to continue to recruit the top guys. Its clear that they have lost to teams that featured lottery picks, so they have to always be on the look out to get their share.

2008-04-15 15:08:35
254.   Longhorn Bill
243 If Augustin decides to stay, which I do not think he will, then Texas will be really good next year. However, if he is gone then Texas will struggle. Rick Barnes's teams rely heavily on a strong, true point guard (i.e. T.J. Ford and D.J)
2008-04-15 15:21:37
255.   Marty
Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass at Dodger Stadium on September 16, 1987, halfway through Lasorda's tenure as Dodger manager.

Did anyone ask Lasorda what he thought of the Pope's performance?

2008-04-15 15:22:54
256.   Kevin Lewis
Man, I just noticed that Tony Jackson's blog looks much different, and his photo looks nothing like the old one. Did he lose a bunch of weight while adding the facial hair. He looks much younger
2008-04-15 15:23:18
257.   Bob Timmermann
The Papal Mass at Dodger Stadium was also the reason for the last scheduled doubleheader in Dodger Stadium. Most likely forever.

All the others have been because of weather or everybody in the city getting really, really, really ticked off.

2008-04-15 15:23:39
258.   Eric Enders
254 I hear DJ is 50/50. Even if he goes, there's still Doğuş Balbay, about whom the word of mouth is extremely good. If Augustin stays, Texas is an easy pick for preseason #1. If he goes, then they still could be a top 10 team, especially if they end up getting Evans or Ebanks to sign.

With or without DJ, next year will be the deepest Texas team ever.

2008-04-15 15:26:15
259.   Kevin Lewis
Interesting ad going on at trueblue LA
2008-04-15 15:27:06
260.   madmac
252 And in 2001 Pasadena became a tv series. I liked that show, too bad it was canceled so soon.
2008-04-15 15:29:03
261.   Johnny Nucleo
252 Newfoundland also has a town named Dildo.
2008-04-15 15:30:54
262.   Daniel Zappala
All the others have been because of weather or everybody in the city getting really, really, really ticked off.

Let's hope the Juan Pierre situation doesn't get that bad.

2008-04-15 15:31:51
263.   El Lay Dave
237 241 I was there with my wife and my parents. We were overlooking Bob's parents from field level, I think - I remember the popemobile being pretty close when it circled on the warning track. I was 26 at the time, so I should remember this better. Probably too large scale to remember details.
2008-04-15 15:35:33
264.   Bob Timmermann
263
My parents were very excited about going to that Mass. Since my father did a lot of volunteer work with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, he got priority seating.
2008-04-15 15:36:42
265.   bhsportsguy
I remember being at Dodger Stadium that night with the flashing lights and jumpsuits and background dancers, fireworks and smoke. And then a white glove rose above the fray.

Oh wait, that was the Jacksons' Victory Tour in 1984.

2008-04-15 15:46:21
266.   bhsportsguy
Tom Hoffarth chimes in on Lasorda's claim of meeting John Paul I.

http://tinyurl.com/6j8wkb

2008-04-15 15:53:41
267.   underdog
I vaguely remember the time the Pope visited Greenwich Village. Didn't go very well. Some guy got his thumbs lopped off. It was a bad scene.
2008-04-15 15:53:45
268.   Bob Timmermann
I think Lasorda was the guy who served the Pope the poisoned food that gave him a heart attack. Al Campanis later killed the evil Vatican banker by stabbing him in the head with his own eyeglasses.
2008-04-15 15:54:13
269.   LogikReader
Here we go lineup here we go (clap clap!)
Here we go lineup here we go (clap clap!)

C'mon Joe, bring me a winner!

2008-04-15 15:59:30
270.   KG16
268 - in defense of Lasorda and Campanis, the pope and the banker were Yankee fans.
2008-04-15 16:03:30
271.   KG16
Jackie Robinson was one of my heroes growing up... but I'm not sure about Jackie Robinson night and all the guys on both teams wearing 42. Then again, I wasn't really on board with retiring 42 through out baseball.
2008-04-15 16:04:44
272.   Eric Enders
The throwing was the last thing that was supposed to come for LaRoche, right? Because according to TJ's blog, Andy is down on the field right now throwing "with something on it."
2008-04-15 16:06:33
273.   El Lay Dave
264 My (very Catholic) parents were also quite excited and I believe our tickets were through my dad, who worked at the Chancery Office.

I seem to recall the various parishes being involved in organizing buses to ease the parking congestion.

2008-04-15 16:07:17
274.   Gen3Blue
252 Sure and you betja. Didn't the Shipping News guy Garp ( or something like that) have roots in Newfoundland.
2008-04-15 16:07:40
275.   dzzrtRatt
I glimpsed the popemobile from a window in City Hall as it sped along Spring Street. It wasn't as exciting as hanging around Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after the Lakers' second title in a row.
2008-04-15 16:11:05
276.   Kevin Lewis
Per ITD

Furcal, SS

Kemp, RF

Ethier, LF

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Jones, CF

DeWitt, 3B

Kuo, P

2008-04-15 16:12:29
277.   Xeifrank
276. What? Guo batting 9th!!? What a terrible lineup! :)
vr, Xei
2008-04-15 16:13:00
278.   El Lay Dave
I wonder if Tommy entered the Find the Popes in the Pizza contest.
2008-04-15 16:14:42
279.   LogikReader
276

Yaaaaaaay! It's a home run!

2008-04-15 16:14:48
280.   underdog
276 Nice little post with the lineup from Josh, too. Worth a quick read.

Let's go Guo/Kuo! {clap!clap!clap!}

2008-04-15 16:16:01
281.   underdog
I don't want to jinx this in anyway because the team is struggling for consistency and they could very well lose another one, but I have to say that line-up vs. Matt Morris should by all intents and purposes MASH. Whether they will or not, is another thing entirely, to be determined.
2008-04-15 16:17:21
282.   Eric Enders
It was already mentioned earlier, but I think it bears further discussion -- Delwyn Young's career as a Dodger is in danger of ending a week or two from now. When Nomar and LaRoche come back, obviously DeWitt will be sent down, but who else? Not Hu; you can't get rid of your utility infielder. Maybe a pitcher like Troncoso. But if the Dodgers are going to insist on carrying 12 pitchers, as I suspect they will, they're going to have to choose between Delwyn and Mark Sweeney. And based on how the two have been used so far this year, it seems likely that they'll keep Sweeney and get rid of Young.

Anyone see a way around this?

2008-04-15 16:17:33
283.   KG16
276 - so, it looks like Ethier is officially the number 3 hitter. I've always been a huge mark for the guy, but I never expected to see him hitting third regularly.

So, not looking too far ahead, but when/if Kent and Jones are no longer with the Dodgers (assuming everyone else is still there), who bats clean up?

2008-04-15 16:18:18
284.   wronghanded
Is it my imagination or did Matt Morris shut us down last year?
2008-04-15 16:19:39
285.   KG16
282 - a part of me wants to comment that Nomar should be back on the DL right around the time that LaRoche will be coming off.

Other than that, DFA Pierre [ducks]

2008-04-15 16:19:56
286.   underdog
282 Alas, probably not, unless someone there convinces them that losing Young - which they would, because he wouldn't clear waivers - would be bad news. I'm not a fan of the idea of cutting Sweeney either, and getting nothing. Would be nice to be able to trade him to someone looking to add PVL to their bench. (Honestly, I don't mind Sweeney, he's been a solid pinch hitter, so I'd rather them have both Young and Sweeney and maybe go one less pitcher, but the pitching staff is gonna have to prove themselves more reliable before that happens.) We'll see...
2008-04-15 16:20:23
287.   Jacob L
265 - http://tinyurl.com/5huabn
2008-04-15 16:21:26
288.   Xeifrank
283. I'm not sure it matters. Perhaps Kemp, Loney or a free agent to be overpayed (FATBO). vr, Xei
2008-04-15 16:21:40
289.   underdog
284 Yep, true - at least once. April vs. the Giants. Seven solid innings.

I probably wrote the same thing last year before that game. Okay, never mind.

2008-04-15 16:21:58
290.   Eric Enders
284 He faced us twice last year. April 24, three runs in 7.3 innings. July 14, six runs in five innings.
2008-04-15 16:22:53
291.   El Lay Dave
284 Two starts with SF, one was 7 1/3 IP 3 R, the other 5 IP, 6 R. 1 W, 1 ND.
2008-04-15 16:24:27
292.   wronghanded
I'm gonna be bold here and predict HRs from both Kemp and Jones tonight.
2008-04-15 16:24:57
293.   Jon Weisman
I've been thinking Young would get Cody Rossed for a while, once that brief moment occurs when the Dodgers are healthy.
2008-04-15 16:25:04
294.   El Lay Dave
288 ... Y early.
2008-04-15 16:25:25
295.   Eric Enders
Except for that one three-run game, the Dodgers have scored five or more runs off Morris the last six times he's faced them.
2008-04-15 16:26:28
296.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-04-15 16:27:09
297.   Eric Enders
286 , 293 Is is wrong of me, then, to wish for a Nomar "setback" in rehab, for the long-term good of the team?
2008-04-15 16:28:44
298.   underdog
297 Kind of, but I know what you mean. Given his history, he may end up having a setback anyway, regardless of prayers or wishes.
2008-04-18 11:14:22
299.   Mike De Leon
Just found some time to catch up on my reading.

As far as it goes DeWitt has done a great job. He's done well in the field and held his own with the bat.

That being said I'll take LaRoche. The one major difference between the 2, other than the OBP which shows that Andy has a great eye and plate discipline, is that DeWitt has been playing every day. LaRoche on the other hand was playing a couple of days then Nomar would take over for 3-4. I don't think he got the chance to get any kind of comfort zone.

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