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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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The Chad Billingsley High-K, High-ERA Conundrum
2008-04-30 10:26
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Caleb Peiffer of Baseball Prospectus offers this assessment of Chad Billingsley (in part by comparing him to his opposing starting pitcher tonight, Scott Olsen):

Billingsley and Olsen have been almost complete opposites so far this season. The Dodgers' young right-hander has fanned nearly 14 batter per nine so far, yet his BABIP stands at .449, the second highest in the majors behind Florida's Andrew Miller. Olsen has the fourth-lowest BABIP, .187, but has struck out less than 3.5 men per nine, an even more steep deterioration of his strikeout rate than last season's drop from 8.3 K/9 in 2006 to 6.8. The easy explanation would be to say that Olsen has been lucky and Billingsley unlucky. While luck is almost certainly behind Olsen's run, however, there could definitely be more to Billingsley's high BABIP than misfortune, despite the fact that the Dodgers rank 26th in the majors in defensive efficiency. As Marc Normandin suggested in his Tuesday chat, one possible explanation is that Billingsley's wildness (5.7 UBB/9) has forced him to venture into the center of the zone with fat pitches on hitters' counts, leading to solid contact. Billingsley's BABIP will fall, of course, but it will take a significant improvement in his control in order to bring that BABIP and his high RA back down.

One thing to keep in mind is that Billingsley hasn't been walking five batters every game. He walked three in the second inning April 8 and three in the fifth inning April 19. Otherwise, he has walked seven in 18 2/3 innings, which is a pretty harmless rate (and, of course, the total body of work this year that we're analyzing is miniscule anyway). You can't ignore those meltdown innings, but it's interesting that they are relatively isolated - if damaging - events.

Peiffer adds the following regarding Blake DeWitt:

One player Billingsley probably can't blame for the hits that have been piled up against him is rookie third baseman Blake DeWitt. Entering the season with a strong defensive record in the minors at the hot corner, DeWitt has been excellent. With just one error in 165 2/3 innings, he leads all major league third baseman in fielding percentage, DeWitt's range factor per nine (3.72) also leads all major league third basemen, and he ranks fourth in zone rating. DeWitt has been surprisingly able with the bat as well, as he has thus far outperformed his PECOTA projection with a .270/.361/.365 line in 72 PA, better numbers than Garciaparra has put up in his last 500 PA, and also strong enough to carry DeWitt's defensive play. As sad as it is to say, the once-great Garciaparra's recent injury might actually help the Dodgers more than it hurts them.

* * *

Vin Scully and Ralph Branca: friends forever, writes Kit Stier at MLB.com.

* * *

Update: Go to Bronx Banter for Alex Belth's post, "Ten Essential Baseball Books."

Comments (249)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-30 10:38:06
1.   Bob Timmermann
I think the interesting point of the Scully-Branca story is that Emmylou Harris was very excited to meet Ralph Branca.

I didn't see that one coming.

2008-04-30 10:38:14
2.   Jacob L
I attended Billz' ridiculous 6IP, 12k, take the loss performance last Thursday. It breaks down roughly in three phases -

1. A bunch of baserunners, and a 3 run homer,
2. Billingsley, apparently a bit ticked off at himself, bears down and starts mowing down hitters,
3. D-Backs tack on a couple more runs on bleeders, bloopers, and suspect defense.

Therefore, I think if he can just stick to the part where's he's dominating, he'll be fine.

2008-04-30 10:38:32
3.   natepurcell
Re: Dewitt

What say you Andrew? :)

2008-04-30 10:40:04
4.   blue22
How prudent would a job share (specifically not a "platoon" though) between DeWitt and LaRoche be? Even with DeWitt's relative lack of punch at the plate, I really find it tough to fathom them sending him down in favor of LaRoche. I'm not sure that even a Nomar return would send DeWitt down at this point.
2008-04-30 10:41:46
5.   ToyCannon
Wow, BP just killed the post I was going to write about the matchup between Olson and Chad. I have both of them on my roto team so I've delved into their peripherals quite a bit.

While I've defended DeWitts defensive reputation in the past, that is the first time I've ever seen the words "strong defensive record " associated with him. Adequate has usually been the description of his defense in the minors.

2008-04-30 10:42:46
6.   CanuckDodger
About the Normandin chat referenced in that BP excerpt, somebody who asked a question referenced a San Diego newspaper article in which it is said that veteran scouts who have seen a lot of both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks think that the Dodgers are "as or more talented than the Diamondbacks." I like the "more" part myself.:)
2008-04-30 10:43:04
7.   Jon Weisman
5 - I look at it as them saving me some work :) Would love to read anything you have to add.
2008-04-30 10:44:56
8.   regfairfield
3 DeWitt has greatly exceeded my expectations, and we should be thankful for that when we send him down the instant LaRoche is ready.
2008-04-30 10:50:15
9.   blue22
8 - My hope is that LaRoche tears it up in his rehab assignment, thus kicking down the proverbial door. DeWitt regressing a bit at the plate over the next couple of weeks makes that an easier decision as well, but who wants to root for that?
2008-04-30 10:51:39
10.   Jacob L
Add to a post I made in the last thread re: the Dodgers suddenly not so terrible offense -

The team is currently tied for 6th in the NL in runs scored, and 7th in team OPS. The teams ahead of the Dodgers are mostly those playing in hitters parks (Phi, StL, Cubs, Houston is tied with 124 runs). The Dodgers are 7th in team OPS.

The optimist says that with the Dodgers offense essentially taking the first 2 weeks off, that this can only trend upward. The pessimist says that the Dodgers' middling team slugging (.401) may not improve much, if at all. Plus, when you start examining the runs scored/runs allowed tables, well, Arizona is good.

2008-04-30 10:52:17
11.   Jon Weisman
Ten Essential Baseball Books - comment away at Bronx Banter:

http://bronxbanter.baseballtoaster.com/archives/970360.html

2008-04-30 10:54:21
12.   Xeifrank
Ok, let's take it a step further.

Billingsley / Olsen

FIP ERA 3.54 / 4.69
LD%: 18.5% / 10.2%
HR/9: 0.87 / 0.77
LOB%: 63.5% / 84.9%
BB/9: 5.66 / 3.34

Billingsley has been very unlucky and Olsen has been very lucky. Billingsley has been the better pitcher even with his 0-4 record and high WHIP. Look at the FIP ERA of both pitchers up to this point. The Dodgers have only scored an average of 2.5 runs in his four starts. Billingsley's only flaw has been his high walk rate and I am not convinced that the .455 BABIP is due to Chad just laying the ball over the plate. His LD% is only 18.5% (hard to control), which is pretty normal and does not support such a high BABIP. Olsen has a ridiculously low LD% of 10% and has been well above the norm on LOB%. If Chad was just laying the pitches in there, his HR/9 and likely his LD% rate would be much higher. If Chad's walk rate was better, he'd have the best stats of any pitcher in all of baseball.
vr, Xeifrank

2008-04-30 10:55:02
13.   Bob Timmermann
11
Since the list doesn't include "Meet the Mertzes", I'm skeptical.
2008-04-30 10:59:40
14.   kinbote
12 There was also that perfect 3-2 pitch to Chipper Jones that was called a ball. After that, the wheels came off.
2008-04-30 11:12:03
15.   uduser
I didnt expect much from Dewiit so I guess from my low expecatations I'm pretty happy.

----
UsDiscuss.com - Everything about Los Angeles Message Boards

2008-04-30 11:19:20
16.   Reddog
I really like DeWitt. He has played great defensively at third base. Between him and Furcal, the left side of our infield is terrific. I know Joe Torre also likes DeWitt. He remarked early in the season how calm he is for a rookie just called up.

He is hitting better than Nomar. They've won four in a row since Nomar went on the DL. I just don't see LaRoche getting much chance to supplant DeWitt. Unfortunately for Delwyn Young and LaRoche, there's no place to play either one. Maybe Ned will trade them.

I would like to see a trade where we package LaRoche, Delwyn Young and Pierre to Philadelphia for Chase Utley. That solves our situation at 2nd base.

2008-04-30 11:21:04
17.   Xeifrank
16. I like the trade too, but my guess is that we'd also have to send a bag holding about $50 million dollars to get that deal done (perhaps much more). vr, Xei
2008-04-30 11:23:53
18.   LogikReader
17

Why don't we add Derek Lowe to sweeten the deal?

2008-04-30 11:24:07
19.   kinbote
16 That bag also needs a pocket with Kershaw, Kemp, & Billingsley.
2008-04-30 11:26:09
20.   underdog
I said it before and I'll say it again, "DeRoche" is our third baseman of the future. Nomar is our roving coach of the future.

The one part of that article quoted above that worries me about the Dodgers a bit is: "...despite the fact that the Dodgers rank 26th in the majors in defensive efficiency."

I'd like to see that improve.

2008-04-30 11:26:36
21.   Joshua Worley
With no runners on, Billingsley gives up an OPS of 0.633.

With at least one runner on, Billingsley gives up an OPS of 1.040.

Something seems to change with him when a runner gets on base.

2008-04-30 11:27:45
22.   bablue
In the Mets-Pirates game Oliver Perez just faced three straight batters without getting one real swing, while still throwing 5 strikes.

First he faced Laroche who got to 1-2 without swinging, then hit a foul on a check swing, then k'ed looking. The next batter he walked on 4 pitches. The third guy he walked on 6 pitches with a 3-2 count, without ever swinging. Finally he got the next guy to swing on a 0-1 count. So he threw 16 straight pitches without a swing. That's pretty rare isn't it?

And then he gets a DP ball but Castillo bobbles it o they get no one out and now he just walked McLouth for his 5th walk and gave up a hit to Freddie Sanchez. I guess its all falling apart for him.

2008-04-30 11:28:39
23.   JoeyP
While luck is almost certainly behind Olsen's run, however, there could definitely be more to Billingsley's high BABIP than misfortune, despite the fact that the Dodgers rank 26th in the majors in defensive efficiency.

This is one of the reasons why I find it hard to believe or lend credit to many of the defensive metrics. If you look at each Dodger player's individual defensive abilities---you'd probably gather that the Dodgers would have a good "team" defense, since most of the individual players are seen as good defensive players.

Yet, the team defensive efficiency is amongst the worst in the league..

How does it all add up?

2008-04-30 11:32:56
24.   bablue
After a sac fly and then another hit where they had the runner in a rundown but nobody was covering second so he advanced Oliver Perez is done after just 1 2/3 innings, with 5 runs in and runners on 1st and 3rd. Sorry I hate the Mets, don't know if anyone cares about this or not. ;)
2008-04-30 11:33:25
25.   StolenMonkey86
23 - It's all Jeff Kent's fault?

21 - But how do you explain how the .690 OPS with men on in 2006 and .674 OPS with men on in 2007? What changes with men on in 2008 is a .472 BABIP.

2008-04-30 11:34:27
26.   regfairfield
23 First problem is that there is no defensive metric that means anything a month into the season. It is actually recommended you look at three years worth of data to get a real hold on a player's defensive ability.

The second is that the Dodgers are failing miserably defensively statistically, so it makes sense that other numbers don't lineup. Loney is way in last place in RZR at his position, so is Kemp. No one except DeWitt rates well defensively right now, floating around average.

Again, this means nothing, but it tells you why the Dodgers defense ranks so low. despite being good on papaer.

2008-04-30 11:34:36
27.   bablue
Oops, I meant second and third. Well another hit plates both of them so Perez's book is closed with 7 runs given up in the second inning.
2008-04-30 11:36:14
28.   bablue
21,

I think thats just bad luck. Once that number regresses to the mean his era will lower to what it should be at with the peripherals he has.

2008-04-30 11:36:40
29.   Bob Timmermann
24
The New York Mets are the registrants for a company called Brooklyn Baseball Company, LLC.

I found that interesting.

2008-04-30 11:39:26
30.   Jacob L
29 That would be the Cyclones, wouldn't it?
2008-04-30 11:40:47
31.   JoeyP
26--Interesting take. I guess you'd agree that defense--fielding one's position-- can "slump".

All the scouting reports and minor league reports have said Loney is a future gold glover, but he's never looked the part at the MLB level. Hopefully he turns it around.

Its rather shocking that Loney could be considered right now statistically the worst defensive 1st basemen in baseball.

2008-04-30 11:41:48
32.   Joshua Worley
25

Well, I can't explain it.

There is something interesting in the 2007 splits. Though Billingsley was actually better in OPS against when runners were on last year vs. none on ( 0.633 v 0.719 ) his K to BB ratio was worse when runners were on last year ( 54:31 v 81:33 ). It looks like about 40% of his batters faced last year came with runners on, so his walk rate was also slightly higher with runners on. It does seem that part of his method is to avoid the strike zone more when runners get on.

2008-04-30 11:45:28
33.   regfairfield
31 It's just a problem with the metric. I'm guessing Loney is doing so bad at zone rating because he's had a lot of uncactchable balls hit in his zone. Over the season, these things tend to even out, but over a month, a lot of strange things can happen.
2008-04-30 11:45:44
34.   CodyS
The Dodgers have fielded 217 balls for hits, and made 520 (non-strikeout) outs in the field.

An analyst seriously can't determine anything meaningful from that?

2008-04-30 11:49:05
35.   Reddog
If Kupchak can trade Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol, I see no reason why Ned can't get Utley for Pierre, Young and LaRoche. Maybe we also throw in Lowe. That would work -we'll just call up Kershaw.
2008-04-30 11:49:15
36.   regfairfield
34 Nope. How many of those balls were actually catchable? What kind of batted ball type were they? What stadium did they happen at?

If you had all that, you might be able to determine something, but probably not.

2008-04-30 11:53:14
37.   CanuckDodger
31 -- Loney has made a boatload of Gold Glove-level defensive plays in the majors, and I have read about opposing team coaches going nuts about Loney's defensive play (the Astros were really impressed). Loney has just botched some very routine plays, perhaps out of over-confidence. I can't even count how many easy pop-ups I watched Adrian Beltre drop because he refuses to catch a pop-up any other way than with a fancy basket catch, yet that does not negate Beltre's defensive skills.
2008-04-30 11:53:48
38.   blue22
35 - I'll go out on a limb and say Utley, Pujols, and Wright are the three most untradeable players in the National League (and not "untradeable" in the way that Barry Zito is "untradeable").
2008-04-30 11:54:54
39.   underdog
35 Except the Phillies aren't the Memphis Grizzlies of baseball. Memphis was kind of desperate to unload; can't see Phillies being desperate to unload Chase Utley, although, yes they are desperate for pitching. Any trade with them could include LaRoche but would also probably need to include someone like Broxton, Meloan, etc, and less likely Pierre, whom I don't see them needing in any way.

Sounds okay by me, though.

2008-04-30 11:56:10
40.   Eric Enders
Hmm. That's interesting. I don't remember Beltre being especially prone to dropping pop-ups.
2008-04-30 11:56:28
41.   Gagne55
35 Fallacy! What a GM in Memphis does has nothing to do with what a GM in Philly in a different sport does. Your argument is not valid.
2008-04-30 12:03:08
42.   CodyS
37 It may not negate his skills, but it does reduce his defensive value if true. If you make one "extra" play other guys wouldn't, but miss one play other guys would make, you haven't accomplished anything at all.
2008-04-30 12:03:36
43.   Eric Enders
Pat Gillick is a pretty good GM. He's nowhere near stupid enough to trade Utley for the collection of goods mentioned in 35 . Plus, the Phillies are, in a way, the largest-market team in baseball.* They're not the kind of team that trades players like Chase Utley for prospects, even if it were a good deal. Which it isn't.

I always find trade speculation more interesting when it leaves the realm of wishful thinking. Let's talk about stuff that has at least a whiff of plausibility about it.

(*Philly is actually the fourth-largest market, but the three larger ones all have more than one team.)

2008-04-30 12:07:29
44.   dagwich
1 If you watch the movie "Down From the Mountain", you'll see that Emmylou Harris is a stone cold baseball fan. There's a great scene of her backstage before her performance at the Ryman where she's listening to a game on her walkman. My Emmylou crush was pretty strong before I watched the movie, and was even stronger afterwards.

Oh, and I really liked the movie. If you liked the soundtrack to "O Brother" you'll likely enjoy "Down From the Mountain".

2008-04-30 12:09:46
45.   Linkmeister
1 Yeah, that struck me too. Emmylou reveres the past in her music, though, so maybe it's not so surprising.
2008-04-30 12:10:29
46.   underdog
Caught this on the Marlins Fishstripes blog:

Hopefully you saw the great relay from Jeremy Hermida to Danny Uggla to Mike Rabelo that cut down Blake DeWitt and ended up with a collision at the plate. After the play Mike spiked the ball. Well, he won't be doing that again.
{the rest is quoted from newspaper article:}
But strong relays by Jeremy Hermida and Uggla got the ball to Mike Rabelo as DeWitt plowed into the catcher. After holding on for the out, Rabelo spiked the ball in front of home plate.

The fire Rabelo showed impressed the team, but it resulted in a mild lecture from Gonzalez.

"I like guys showing emotions, and things like that, but that's not the way we want to be portrayed as an organization or as a team," Gonzalez said, referring to seemingly showing up the opposition. "I spoke to him afterwards. He will be fine. But it was good to show a little emotion."

Afterwards, Rabelo made it clear that he didn't mean to have his emotions come across as rubbing it in on the Dodgers.

"In no way was I intending to disrespect the other team," Rabelo said. "I was just excited. They made a great relay. I was excited."

The message Gonzalez told his catcher: "Great play, but save the end zone dances for someplace else."

2008-04-30 12:16:18
47.   Bob Timmermann
The best spike of a baseball I ever saw was back in 1980 I believe on a Saturday afternoon Game of the Week. With two outs, the A's had loaded the bases against the Orioles. Rickey Henderson was on first.

All the runners were ready to break on the pitch as there was a full count. Eddie Murray wasn't holding Henderson on. But he sneaked up behind him, the Orioles pitcher turned and wheeled and Henderson was leaning toward second and Murray tagged him out.

Murray spiked the ball coming in. That play was so well-done that it deserved it.

2008-04-30 12:17:56
48.   Bob Timmermann
47
The pitcher was Tippy Martinez.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/OAK/OAK198008230.shtml

2008-04-30 12:19:06
49.   Eric Enders
Is there any outstanding pickoff play, ever, that did not involve Tippy Martinez?
2008-04-30 12:21:44
50.   Bob Timmermann
49
What about "The Grand Illusion" play in the College World Series? I think that one came out of the "Jean Renoir Way to Play Baseball."
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-30 12:22:02
51.   LogikReader
38

Where does Ryan Howard fit into the untradeable table? Would he be more tradeable than Utley?

2008-04-30 12:22:19
52.   Bob Timmermann
As a followup the "Grand Illusion" play is now illegal under "The Rules of the Game."
2008-04-30 12:23:05
53.   Eric Enders
50 I believe the first chapter of that book is called "The Rules of the Game."
2008-04-30 12:23:07
54.   blue22
49 - The Giants' Velez getting picked off firstbase last night with the tying run at 3rd and one out in the 8th inning was pretty awesome.
2008-04-30 12:23:24
55.   Eric Enders
On notice: Bob Timmermann.
2008-04-30 12:23:32
56.   Ken Noe
I'm not sure I'd want to trade anyone we have right now anyway except certain players with contracts no one would take. The real questions are resigning Furcal, who plays second if you don't (ie, can Abreu ever get out of the doghouse, or can DeWitt make the move), and what do you do with Jones over the winter if he can't turn it around?
2008-04-30 12:25:08
57.   StolenMonkey86
43 - Boston has more than one team?
2008-04-30 12:25:52
58.   Eric Enders
57 Boston is the seventh-largest market.
2008-04-30 12:27:03
59.   Eric Enders
1. New York City
2. Los Angeles
3. Chicago
4. Philadelphia
5. Dallas/Fort Worth
6. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose
7. Boston/Manchester, NH
8. Atlanta
9. Washington, D.C./Hagerstown, MD
10. Houston
2008-04-30 12:27:12
60.   Bob Timmermann
I'm going to watch a movie about Eric Enders life and try to set the theater on fire.
2008-04-30 12:29:43
61.   underdog
Awesome. Jean Renoir Thoughts. I love this place.

Did anyone ever see Grady Little's story, The Southerner?

(But in all seriousness, that is one of Renoir's most underrated films. It was actually recommended to me -- sorry, brief namedrop here -- by director Charles Burnett once, who is always talking up that film.)

2008-04-30 12:31:04
62.   Xeifrank
I don't have any problem with the catcher spiking the ball after a collision at home plate. Just think of all the juices that must be flowing, knowing you are about to get hammered by a runner coming down the line. The spikes that really use to annoy me was when Pete Rose played first base for the Phillies and he would spike the ball after almost every 3rd out putout he made at first base. It was as if the guy was on uppers the way he carried on.
vr, Xei
2008-04-30 12:31:56
63.   Bob Timmermann
It was as if the guy was on uppers

IF?

2008-04-30 12:32:06
64.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
For you fellow Gauchos out there, great read in the student paper today about an alum.

http://tinyurl.com/6nm4be

Usually the student paper (Daily Nexus) is pretty bad, but this was a great article. I thought it would tie in to the journalism concept discussion we're having today.

2008-04-30 12:32:12
65.   Eric Enders
The thing that makes Boston so successful, I think, is that they have access to such a huge population that's outside their metropolitan area. Essentially, they own all of Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, and half of Connecticut, while the Phillies only hold sway in half of Pennsylvania and half of Jersey. They're blocked in to the north and east by the Yankees, to the south by Baltimore, and to the west to a certain extent by Pittsburgh.
2008-04-30 12:34:02
66.   blue22
51 - Yeah, I'd think Philly would be way more inclined to give up Howard in a trade than Utley.
2008-04-30 12:34:08
67.   Daniel Zappala
Sadly, I've never seen The Grand Illusion, and can't find any video of it.
2008-04-30 12:34:29
68.   Jacob L
Boston may be, technically, the 7th biggest market, but the geographic reach of their fanbase is enormous, going well beyond the Metropolitan Statistical Area or whatever definition is used. Its all of New England.

I suppose, though, that Atlanta could claim all of the deep south. I can hear in the back of my head the voice of Skip Caray, letting us know that some couple for Opelika, Alabama were in town for the ballgame, and were "big Braves fans!"

2008-04-30 12:34:55
69.   Bob Timmermann
I thought the last two Pirates fans were captured and put into a captive breeding program in a zoo outside Homestead.
2008-04-30 12:35:58
70.   Jacob L
On notice: Eric Enders.
2008-04-30 12:36:32
71.   Eric Enders
67 This is where underdog's free Greencine trial comes in handy.
2008-04-30 12:37:07
72.   Bob Timmermann
The Grand Illusion play was in 1982 and I think that was before ESPN televised the College World Series.
2008-04-30 12:37:09
73.   underdog
64 - Good read, thanks. I remember a little about him when I was growing up in SB, vaguely remember him there. But had no idea he was such a behind the scenes success story. Also cool to think he got to take a class taught by Ben Howland (on the technical analysis of coaching basketball). Nice story.
2008-04-30 12:39:22
74.   underdog
71 You rang?

Criterion put out Grand Illusion in a lovely remastered print, watched the film for third time just last year.
http://www.greencine.com/webCatalog?id=1023

promo code: dodgerthoughts

It's good for another few weeks!

2008-04-30 12:40:40
75.   berkowit28
59 "Hagerstown, MD"? Is that some sort of allusion (I miss most of the pop culture stuff, if that's what it is) to Baltimore?

And is "Manchester, NH" standing in for some of those states you mention in 65? Does it contribute much on its own?

2008-04-30 12:44:48
76.   Eric Enders
75 Hey, blame it on Nielsen, not me. Those are the names they give each market.

Baltimore is its own market, #24.

2008-04-30 12:45:43
77.   Xeifrank
64. Great article. I was there 85-88 and went to a few games. The Hammerheads were great, I think UCSB had some of the best/most unique fans I've ever seen. Today's student body fan seems to be so cookie cutter, with the standing and jumping in the bleachers. At UCSB I saw some hilarious fans at both baseball and basketball games in the mid/late 80s. The basketball rivalry between Brian Shaw's Gaucho teams and UNLV were great too. Tark On A Stick, Gaucho Joe and The Hammerheads were all part of a great college sports experience. It's funny that he went to UCSB because of his love for Isla Vista. The only reason to love Isla Vista is for it's hard core party atmosphere. Otherwise, the place was a dump in the 80s. Halloween, Rugby weekend, sorority volleyball tourney weekend, those were some crazy times.
vr, Xei
2008-04-30 12:48:11
78.   Marty
61 J. Carroll Naish rules.
2008-04-30 12:48:37
79.   evenatriple
This is nit-picking (unless you live in Israel), but if Branca and Scully were traveling to the mid-East in 1956, the war that altered their travel plans was not the six-day war, but the Suez War.

I hope that Costas does not seize upon this error as proof of anything.

2008-04-30 12:49:35
80.   Louis in SF
4-0 Astros over D Backs in the top of the first Lee hits a 3 run bomb
2008-04-30 12:50:45
81.   Marty
I'm continually amazed at how easy some people dismiss LaRoche.
2008-04-30 12:51:04
82.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
73 Its refreshing to read of something of substance in the Daily Nexus other than which Freshman got arrested for holding a beer bottle on DP.

It looks like we miss Santana next week vs the the Mets. While Im glad we dont have to face him, I still would've like to seen him live next week.

2008-04-30 12:52:22
83.   Daniel Zappala
71 72 Ha ha! Bob wins! I was referring to the play, not the movie.
2008-04-30 12:53:30
84.   Daniel Zappala
81 Seconded.
2008-04-30 12:54:55
85.   Bob Timmermann
83
I think Renoir wrote "Grand Illusion" directly for the screen.
2008-04-30 12:56:48
86.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
77 I wouldve loved to be there then. My time there was 2002-2004. It seemed like the student population was more of the bandwagon type. Back in the 80's, it meant something to root for the Gauchos. Now, even with our soccer team's recent success, if they have a rough start, no one would ever go. The Men's bball team won the regular season Big West title, and the last home game probably had 1500 people tops, with most fans from the surrounding communities.

Bob Cunningham, the AD is retiring, so hopefully they get someone in there to restore that Gaucho pride of yesteryear!

2008-04-30 12:59:06
87.   trainwreck
I have a question. Many people parody the whole going through and coming out of various doors scene from Rules of the Game, was that the first French film to do it?
2008-04-30 13:00:02
88.   D4P
Arizona already down 4-0 in the first inning.

Dodgers could pull within 4.5 games with a victory today.

2008-04-30 13:01:22
89.   KG16
81 - I don't think people are dismissing LaRoche. I'd have been very happy if he would have won the job out of Spring Training, but he didn't... yeah, it's not fair that he didn't win the gig because of an injury, but ask Wally Pipp about that.

I think the difference is that DeWitt has out performed expectations while LaRoche basically lived up to expectations. The final results may be the same on the stat line but it doesn't matter. LaRoche was supposedly ready for the show and DeWitt was supposedly a couple years away, most people are going to rally around the guy that was supposed to be a couple years away.

2008-04-30 13:08:22
90.   Eric Enders
This article implies that video of the Grand Illusion play does exist, although I wasn't able to find anything online.
http://tinyurl.com/3k7b6y

"'The Grand Illusion will be shown long after I'm gone, and to me, that's priceless,' said Lusby."

2008-04-30 13:13:10
91.   Bluebleeder87
I think if La Roche has another injury the Dodgers will take a good hard look at possible trade partners
2008-04-30 13:14:33
92.   Frip
Good baseball book list at The Bronx Banter. I would have liked to see Roger Angell make a better showing throughout, as he's certainly the best prose stylist in the game.
2008-04-30 13:15:30
93.   CanuckDodger
89 -- I don't think LaRoche lived up to expectations at all. He hit for poor average and no power in the majors, despite doing well in those areas in the minors. I would just say that that shouldn't be held against him, because lots of good prospects get off to disappointing starts in the majors and improve later.
2008-04-30 13:16:32
94.   Eric Enders
91 That would be in keeping with Colletti's "wait until my asset reaches the lowest possible value, and then trade it for next to nothing" philosophy.

See:
Navarro, Dioner
Guzman, Joel
Jackson, Edwin
Baez, Danys
Betemit, Wilson

2008-04-30 13:17:44
95.   JoeyP
How is it the Cardinals have the 2nd best record in the major leagues?-- (18-11).
2008-04-30 13:18:13
96.   Eric Enders
Can we please keep in mind that Andy LaRoche has 93 career at-bats?
2008-04-30 13:18:28
97.   regfairfield
The same reason the Orioles are first in the AL East.
2008-04-30 13:18:47
98.   Marty
It's not a matter of living up to expectations. It's a matter of LaRoche out performing Dewitt at every level so far with no reason to believe he won't at the major league level other than he has an injury jacket draped on him now.
2008-04-30 13:19:11
99.   Eric Enders
The same reason the Dodgers are only .500?
2008-04-30 13:20:52
100.   Eric Enders
For what it's worth, I agree that LaRoche was below expectations. However, LaRoche performing below expectations ended up being exactly the same player as DeWitt spectacularly overperforming expectations.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-04-30 13:22:30
101.   JoeyP
Cardinals XWL is 18-11 though.
18 wins is the most April wins they've ever had as a franchise.
2008-04-30 13:24:26
102.   blue22
96 - I think you need to tell that to the front office. Fortunately for LA (unfortunately for LaRoche) the majority of the kids have come up to the bigs and had substantial success. Those that come up and require a breaking-in period are not treated with much patience, it seems. Instead, DeWitt has "seized the opportunity" and may have (may have!) passed LaRoche in the eyes of the front office.
2008-04-30 13:24:36
103.   underdog
I love Andy LaRoche. I hope he comes back and earns the starting gig. I'm just glad DeWitt's filled in so admirably, because it's clear Nomar even when healthy can't be an everyday thirdbaseman. He's been a godsend. But I am under the hope and assumption that LaRoche will be our thirdbaseman before summer. Maybe it's DeWitt who has become a good trading chip.
2008-04-30 13:24:39
104.   Humma Kavula
If The Grand Illusion is now illegal, what about its spiritual cousin, the hidden ball trick?
2008-04-30 13:25:27
105.   regfairfield
101 Bad hitters playing well. Bad pitchers pitching well. Once Lohse and Wainwright get their ERAs over three and Ryan Ludwick stops slugging .600, things will work themselves out.
2008-04-30 13:25:38
106.   Daniel Zappala
90 I saw the same thing. Somebody needs to get that to YouTube.
2008-04-30 13:26:47
107.   scareduck
WRT the FJM thread in the previous post, let me add that I agree with ToyCannon: I find their output unfunny and repetitious. To the poster who suggested that he should write something funny, since when is that a requirement? Humor, like music, is highly personal.
2008-04-30 13:28:58
108.   underdog
Astros now up 6-2 on Arizona, only the bottom of the 2nd(!), in what is clearly a game that is far from over. I could only watch it briefly though, being reminded why I loathe the DBax announcers, even though Mark Grace can be amusing at times. They get so chit-chatty during the game, I feel like I'm evesdropping on some tipsy conversation at a small party rather than hearing about the game. Especially when they have some pointless guest in the booth with them. {Mute}
2008-04-30 13:28:59
109.   JoeyP
It probably helps that the Cardinals have guys like:

Schumaker--.409 OBP in 96Abs
Ludwick--.382 OBP in 67Abs
Duncan--.397 OBP in 64Abs

Then Pujols:
.366/.524/.602 in 93 Abs.

Kyle Lohse 0HRs in 34 ip. 2.36 ERA

This has to regress to the mean sometime.

2008-04-30 13:29:53
110.   El Lay Dave
DeWitt's OPS would be a source of howling from the fan community if it were produced by one of the crummy PVLs so many of us were fearful Colletti would obtain, e.g. Inge, Crede. It's great that DeWitt has been quite good with the glove and not overwhelmed at the plate, and speaks well to his future, but what the Dodgers need from 3B is what LaRoche is much more likely to provide than DeWitt, at this time.
2008-04-30 13:31:03
111.   Eric Enders
The hidden ball trick is legal. Somebody tried unsuccessfully to run it against the Dodgers last week, but I've already forgotten who it was.

As an aside, everybody always says the pitcher needs to be standing on the grass for the hidden ball trick to be legal. If he's on the dirt part of the mound, it's a balk. While I'm not necessarily doubting this theory, I'm unaware of its actual existence in the rules.

2008-04-30 13:35:29
112.   Eric Enders
Our Chipper-for-the-HOF discussion from the other day is expanded on by BP's Jay Jaffe, who notes that Jones is, by BP's numbers at least, the worst defensive 3B in the history of baseball:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7451 (susbcription)

Also at BP, Derek Jacques looks over the 2008 All-Star ballots and selects the one player from each league who's least qualified to even be on the ballot.

AL: Willy Aybar
NL: Nomar Garicaparra

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=856

2008-04-30 13:36:55
113.   Bob Timmermann
Xeifrank rejoices! The BCS formula and format will not change! The current format will persist through 2014.
2008-04-30 13:37:20
114.   silverwidow
Mariners DFA Brad Wilkerson, call-up Jeff Clement & Wlad Balentien
2008-04-30 13:39:26
115.   alex 7
lol, you dont read "the worst defensive 3B in the history of baseball" outside of conversations from tipsy fans very often. Something funny about seeing that from such a legit source.

Worse than Pedro Guerrero?

2008-04-30 13:39:37
116.   blue22
114 - About time. Now they just need to do something with Vidro and Sexson so that those two have a place to play, and they might just actually improve as a result of these moves.
2008-04-30 13:42:24
117.   Eric Enders
115 The thing is, to accumulate that much negative defensive value, you have to play the position for a really long time. There are probably a lot of third basemen, like Guerrero, who were worse than Jones on a per-game basis, but they were so bad that they didn't stick there.

Jones is the worst guy who stuck.

2008-04-30 13:42:55
118.   ToyCannon
100
Eric nails it.
2008-04-30 13:44:15
119.   Eric Enders
114 Clement's not actually going to play, right? They just signed Johjima to a (probably ill-advised) three-years extension a few days ago.
2008-04-30 13:47:02
120.   overkill94
119 Clement becomes the full-time DH with Vidro going to the bench. Balentien is taking over RF for the DFA'ed Wilkerson.
2008-04-30 13:47:07
121.   Sushirabbit
I thought it common knowledge that Emmylou Harris is a fanatic baseball fan. She used to have a pager (I assume she's moved onto a PDA/iPhone or somesort) by which she constantly checked the scores-- during meetings, backstage, surreptitiously on stage etc. Thus my post in the Scully '49 that Vin could check the scores with her.
2008-04-30 13:47:43
122.   overkill94
120 To expand on that, Vidro should take some time away from Sexson at 1B and Clement will probably start once or twice a week at catcher.
2008-04-30 13:47:48
123.   Xeifrank
113. Don't get me started here on another soap box. Feel free to open a Griddle thread on the subject. :)
vr, Xei
2008-04-30 13:48:46
124.   overkill94
121 Between her love for baseball and her amazing backing vocals for artists like Neil Young and Bright Eyes, she's become my favorite singer of whom I've never heard one of their songs.
2008-04-30 13:49:46
125.   Xeifrank
Yeah, put me in the 96/100 camp Re: LaWitt v DeRoche.
vr, Xei
2008-04-30 13:51:39
126.   blue22
122 - Now you've got Balentien as a fulltime OFer though, which would be similar to LA handing the RF spot to Delwyn Young (defensively speaking). Raul Ibanez is the other corner OFer.
2008-04-30 13:51:40
127.   silverwidow
I hope Gary Bennett doesn't start today. That's all.
2008-04-30 13:52:45
128.   Bob Timmermann
123
You have to appreciate the BCS for its sheer lunacy and complexity and its laughable attempts to create an objective method of deciding a champion in a sport where teams play only selected opponents at selected times (for the most part).

On the other hand, you also get people complaining about how the 2006 World Series was meaningless because the Cardinals won.

The ideal way to select a champion in any sport is to have your own favorite team declared champion by Papal bull.

2008-04-30 13:53:17
129.   CodyS
LaRoche has already played 5 AA games, and now they are sending him to AAA for some reason. It seems like he should be brought to the majors today.

As far as giving up on LaRoche after 93 at-bats, that is what gives fan-based analysis a bad name.

It's only 10 years ago that we had this great 3B prospect that tore up the minors but managed to hit .215 in 144 at-bats as a 22-year old. So we traded him, and he immediately the next year began producing around .290/.350/.500 and has kept that up for 10 years.

2008-04-30 13:56:12
130.   fanerman
129 Are you sure he's healthy now?
2008-04-30 13:58:10
131.   Eric Enders
129 With the release of the All-Star ballot yesterday, Mariners.com is urging fans to "Vote to send all-around sensation Adrian Beltre to the All-Star Game."
2008-04-30 13:59:18
132.   ToyCannon
Speaking of Beltre this has to be his best start ever other then the 2004 outlier.
Per Rotowire:
Beltre hit a tie-breaking, ninth-inning three-run homer Tuesday as the Mariners rallied to beat the Indians. Beltre is quietly having an excellent season. He has five homers and is hitting .309/409/.553 with three stolen bases. Beltre's .962 OPS is the third-highest among third basemen and tops in the AL by 80 points.

Also I don't remember him ever dropping pop ups like Canuck said and I think I watched just about every game he played. Does anyone else remember this?

2008-04-30 13:59:52
133.   Xeifrank
114. wow, time to head over to USSM for some snarky coverage of that move. vr, Xei
2008-04-30 14:01:36
134.   ToyCannon
129
As a 1st baseman.

Hard to believe that players like Konerko and Carlos Lee were actually considered 3rd baseman up until they hit the major leagues and then common sense prevailed.

2008-04-30 14:02:16
135.   ToyCannon
Must be overloaded, I couldn't get in.
2008-04-30 14:02:44
136.   overkill94
131 I think he's talking about Konerko, but didn't he come up as a C, not a 3B?
2008-04-30 14:03:21
137.   El Lay Dave
132 The only habitual basket-catchers I remember are Willie Mays and Derrel Thomas, and I don't remember Derrel doing it as an infielder.
2008-04-30 14:04:23
138.   Xeifrank
135. Try Lookout Landing, it's as good in quality and comes with half the snark. That sounds like a Dodger Dog commercial. :)
vr, Xei
2008-04-30 14:05:32
139.   Eric Enders
136 I didn't read Cody's post closely enough, obviously.

Konerko was drafted as a catcher but never played it above Class A.

2008-04-30 14:06:13
140.   kinbote
From Rotoworld:

"The Padres are reportedly offering Juan Castro a major league job, while the Dodgers are hoping he'll go to Triple-A Las Vegas and join them in 10 days."

2008-04-30 14:06:25
141.   El Lay Dave
136 C in the low minors, moved to 1B at AA, 3B at AAA. Dodgers tried 3B and 1B at the big league level.
2008-04-30 14:07:27
142.   ToyCannon
Abreu's health is truly maddening in that we might have Castro instead of him on the roster.
2008-04-30 14:08:08
143.   Xeifrank
135. They said by waiting 7 days to call Clement up they could have saved one arb year. Sounds like a Lasorda move. No wonder Bavasi is in the GM finals.
vr, Xei
2008-04-30 14:09:21
144.   Xeifrank
Tell me again why we need Castro when we have Hu? Hu needs to play every day in AAA?
vr, Xei
2008-04-30 14:10:43
145.   El Lay Dave
140 Doesn't make sense to me. Castro has always been a worse hitter than Ramon Martinez, and Hu got the job over Lucille II, so why would L.A. need Castro now? To replace Martinez in AAA, I can understand, but 25-man roster spot does not compute.
2008-04-30 14:11:20
146.   Eric Enders
So, does anyone think Delwyn Young's hits in his last three consecutive at-bats have saved his Dodger career? Or does he still get DFAed when LaRoche/Nomar is ready?
2008-04-30 14:11:29
147.   El Lay Dave
... to replace the injured Martinez ...
2008-04-30 14:11:31
148.   underdog
Juan Castro Rumors, please go away.

Actually, Castro playing for Vegas as insurance wouldn't bother me, but I don't know otherwise why the Dodgers want him. Hopefully he'll do the right thing and become a Padre.

I hope Bennett doesn't start today, either, but would kinda assume he'll start tomorrow with the early game time (maybe Russell will play 3rd!)

2008-04-30 14:12:46
149.   underdog
Or what Dave said.

146 I hope he'll stick around. I think they like him enough to keep him, but who knows. Sure would be nice if they'd give him a start in the outfield once in awhile.

2008-04-30 14:13:18
150.   Eric Enders
140 So if that move comes to pass, then Las Vegas's double-play combination will be Castro-Chavez.

Watch out, imperialists!

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-04-30 14:14:06
151.   kinbote
Sorry to rehash the Castro nonsense. Rotoworld is just working off of TJ's inside information. Let's return to trading Pierre for Utley ;)
2008-04-30 14:14:37
152.   underdog
Now 6-5 Astros over DBax as my comment 108 becomes unfortunately prescient.
2008-04-30 14:15:29
153.   blue22
LA does seem a little thin in the infield, but you would think they'd have enough of an emergency contigency plan with Russell at 3rd and Delwyn at 2nd. But their heart was in the right place by not guaranteeing him a ML job right away. Looks like it was strictly a depth move.

146 - Why is Sweeney automatically kept over Delwyn? Did Sweeney's hit the other night save his Dodger career?

2008-04-30 14:15:55
154.   Eric Enders
Delwyn's batting .385 and Sweeney's batting .118. At some point in the next month, the Dodgers will be forced to choose one of those guys to keep, and DFA the other. Is this a case where small sample sizes could work in our favor? Or does Sweeney have too much PVL sexiness?
2008-04-30 14:18:50
155.   uduser
Sweeney has too much PVL sexiness.

----
http://www.UsDiscuss.com - Everything about Los Angeles Message Boards

2008-04-30 14:19:49
156.   Eric Stephen
136
Around the time Konerko was coming up is roughly the time I trended more toward modern statistical analysis toward baseball. I still remember telling my older brothers in 2001 or so that Eric Karros wasn't very good (relatively), and they both looked at me with murderous rage.

I mentioned the Dodgers would have been better off with Konerko, and their constant argument was that Paulie never drove in 100 runs.

2008-04-30 14:20:40
157.   underdog
Clear some space on your Amazon wish lists for this puppy:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/04/30/strawberry.book/

"Straw," a memoir.

2008-04-30 14:20:49
158.   Eric Enders
I do love these small-sample-size lists you can make using Baseball-Reference.

Best Career Batting Average in the History of Baseball
(minimum 50 plate appearances)

1 Terry Forster .397 86 1971 1986
2 Dave Rowan .385 70 1911 1911
3 Kevin Rhomberg .383 52 1982 1984
4 Tom Hughes .373 63 1930 1930
5 Ty Cobb .366 13072 1905 1928
6 Randy Asadoor .364 60 1986 1986
7 Red Dorman .364 87 1928 1928
8 Ed Delahanty .360 1331 1901 1903
9 Josh Anderson .358 75 2007 2007
10 Rogers Hornsby .358 9475 1915 1937
11 Joe Jackson .356 5690 1908 1920
12 Lefty O'Doul .349 3659 1919 1934
13 Micah Owings .346 83 2007 2008
14 Delwyn Young .346 54 2006 2008
15 Tris Speaker .345 11988 1907 1928
16 Ted Williams .344 9791 1939 1960
17 Babe Ruth .342 10616 1914 1935

2008-04-30 14:21:08
159.   blue22
154 - Given LA's drastic lack of depth in the middle infield (hello Castro!), Young's moderate ability to play slightly adequate D at second gives him a bit of an advantage, right?

Plus, the whole "he's a better hitter" thing too.

2008-04-30 14:22:34
160.   El Lay Dave
155 Sweeney is the Axe-wearer of PVLs?
2008-04-30 14:23:15
161.   Eric Stephen
This Juan Castro business is maddening. I hope the Padres win this hand of very low-stakes poker.
2008-04-30 14:23:50
162.   Xeifrank
154. It would be a no-brainer to keep Delwyn, and that's why I think DY gets the boot. vr, Xei
2008-04-30 14:24:34
163.   El Lay Dave
158 You know, that Ted Williams guy grew up in San Diego. How did he ever succeed coming from such a casual, non-competitive place like that?
2008-04-30 14:25:20
164.   Eric Enders
163 Tell him to learn to hit as well as Terry Forster and then we can talk.
2008-04-30 14:27:24
165.   ssjames
163 And of course that Dimaggio guy grew up in San Francisco, an outright bastion of casual non-competitiveness. It is a wonder that either of them even made the majors.
2008-04-30 14:29:12
166.   Eric Enders
Yeah, but Barry Zito grew up a hippie, and look where he is today. That proves it!
2008-04-30 14:33:38
167.   ToyCannon
If a player succeeds with a calm demeanor it is attributed to the fact he never lets the game get to him and keeps an even keel. If a player disappoints with a calm demeanor it is attributed to the fact he has no fire.

I think these generalizations are kept in the same recycled sitcom file cabinet.

2008-04-30 14:34:28
168.   fanerman
Nomar is from Southern California.
2008-04-30 14:37:31
169.   kinbote
Drew boots a DP grounder to extend Houston's inning. 7-5 and counting . . .
2008-04-30 14:37:32
170.   underdog
Avery Johnson will soon be creating a profile on Monster.com.
2008-04-30 14:38:45
171.   Xeifrank
I have to admit, it was funny in the beginning, but this Derek Lowe-west stuff is getting old fast, when it's applied to every topic/player of discussion. vr, Xei
2008-04-30 14:39:30
172.   Andrew Shimmin
Did USSMariner's domain expire? Whois.net says it did, two days ago. But you'd think they'd have fixed that by now.
2008-04-30 14:39:46
173.   Gagne55
167 Pretty much any personality trait can be spun as either a positive or negative depending what point one wants to make.
2008-04-30 14:41:49
174.   underdog
172 - It works if you do it without the "www" apparently (and weirdly).

http://ussmariner.com/

2008-04-30 14:43:36
175.   StolenMonkey86
158 - That's also where I discovered that the best OPS against Albert Pujols (min 20 PA) is Jason Schmidt at .436. The worst OPS against Albert Pujols with the same critera is Odalis Perez at 2.291.
2008-04-30 14:44:04
176.   tjdub
158
"Fun with Small Sample Sizes"

I hear that's the name of a proposed morning show when the MLB Network hits Cable/Satellite.

2008-04-30 14:44:37
177.   ToyCannon
173
Yup
2008-04-30 14:45:09
178.   kinbote
172 I've been unable to access it all day. I can't wait to read their reaction to today's news.
2008-04-30 14:45:38
179.   Eric Stephen
176
Billy Sample can be the host! Or maybe he can narrate/report short segments instead.
2008-04-30 14:47:04
180.   Eric Enders
The show will be hosted by Billy Sample, Orel Hershiser, and Pat Hentgen, and will be called Sample/Cys.

Yeah. Groan.

2008-04-30 14:49:50
181.   JoeyP
Canuck sometimes harps on Depo running (or ruining) the 2004 draft---but I doubt Cory Wade is a Dodger without the chance in influence.

10th rounder, "low ceiling"--collegiate.

I'm just suprised Wade made the majors before Elbert/Orenduff. Injuries suck.

2008-04-30 14:50:59
182.   Xeifrank
For those without USSM access, Lookout Landing is another high quality Mariner site.
vr, Xei
2008-04-30 14:51:44
183.   JoeyP
154--Delwyn's more useful as the 25th guy bc I cant see Sweeney learning how to be the 3rd catcher.

Sweeney's lone skill is 1st base. Anyone can play that.

2008-04-30 14:52:12
184.   Kraymo
Wow. Micah Owings just went opposite field for a pinch hit homer. You don't see that everyday from your No. 3 starter.
2008-04-30 14:52:52
185.   Andrew Shimmin
Lookout Landing has a piece below the transaction one on FanGraphs new plate discipline stats, which are awesome. Matt Kemp swings at more pitches out of the zone than Nomar, Pierre, or Jones. More than Vladimir Guerrero does, too. Not quite as many as Francoeur does, though.
2008-04-30 14:52:56
186.   Eric Enders
184 I guess that means he's not hurt anymore.
2008-04-30 14:53:51
187.   JoeyP
Astros shouldnt have taken out Wesley Wright.

Owings has been pinch hitting in pretty much every game that he doesnt pitch. I'm surprised they've had the guts to use him like that considering the risk of injury, but more power to them if it works.

2008-04-30 14:57:47
188.   D4P
ARod to the DL. Strange that he didn't get hurt last year, before signing the humongous contract.
2008-04-30 14:57:59
189.   underdog
Curse the Astros' bullpen! (Save for Wes Wright.)

So did no one see my post above? You should be able to see that Mariners site without the www: http://ussmariner.com/

2008-04-30 15:00:24
190.   regfairfield
189 I can't.
2008-04-30 15:00:45
191.   fanerman
188 Strange, or just small sample size?
2008-04-30 15:02:29
192.   kinbote
189 I still can't.

Someone remind me to stop scoreboard watching. Unbelievable.

2008-04-30 15:02:42
193.   underdog
190 - Try again. (Clearly they were having problems, as they just posted this: "Sorry about that disappearance, guys - technical snafu. But we should be good to go now.")
2008-04-30 15:03:49
194.   Eric Stephen
As much as I don't want to root for the D-Backs, I love the entire Micah Owings experience. That they're using him as a pinch hitter (4 times including today) outside of pitching is amazing, and a cool quirk about baseball that one day will be written about in Rob Neyer's Grandson's Big Book of Baseball Legends.
2008-04-30 15:04:21
195.   Eric Enders
193 I think that was also Colletti's prepared statement at the end of the 2007 season.
2008-04-30 15:05:07
196.   underdog
195 - Hah hah.

"Please try again later." - Dodgers Motto, 1989-2007.

2008-04-30 15:09:26
197.   underdog
Whoops, I better go back and get some actual work done for awhile, before the game starts.
2008-04-30 15:17:29
198.   Eric Stephen
Is this the latest the lineup has been posted this year? We're something like 50 minutes away from gametime. They must be finalizing the Castro accord! :)
2008-04-30 15:20:32
199.   blue22
198 - Yahoo has:

Furcal
Ethier
Kemp
Kent
Martin
Loney
Jones
Dewitt
Billz

2008-04-30 15:20:50
200.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers are repeating yesterday's lineup except for the pitcher.
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=280430128
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-04-30 15:20:55
201.   KG16
198 - it's up on gameday

Furcal
Ethier
Kemp
Kent
Martin
Loney
Jones
DeWitt
Billingsly

2008-04-30 15:21:27
202.   berkowit28
129 LaRoche was 0 for 3 yesterday in his first Vegas game, while his colleagues scored 18 runs. I expect he does need a little more time in rehab.
2008-04-30 15:23:22
203.   Bob Timmermann
Eliezer Alfonzo has been suspended for 50 games. The Giants season is ruined! Ruined!
2008-04-30 15:24:54
204.   Eric Enders
And they don't even have Pedro Feliz anymore.
2008-04-30 15:25:08
205.   cargill06
199 did yahoo really put billz... sweet
2008-04-30 15:29:14
206.   Bluebleeder87
Snakes 8 Houston 7, sigh...
2008-04-30 15:30:56
207.   Bluebleeder87
1st batter of the 9th inning gets a hit for the Astros, crossing fingers.
2008-04-30 15:31:23
208.   blue22
203 - Must've gotten into Bonds' secret stash in his BarcaLounger before they could donate the thing to charity. Sabean told those kids to stay away from the trash area outside!

205 - Nope, just my wacky shorthand.

2008-04-30 15:32:27
209.   Bluebleeder87
I heven't read up on the D-Backs but are they going by closer by committee?
2008-04-30 15:32:37
210.   Longhorn Bill
Is anyone watching the Astros/Dbacks game on FSN Houston? They are playing merengue music during each of Tejadas ab's. It is really strange.
2008-04-30 15:33:45
211.   blue22
209 - Nope, Lyon's the man.
2008-04-30 15:34:36
212.   Jacob L
210 Isn't he a little old for that?
2008-04-30 15:34:37
213.   Bluebleeder87
the heart of the Astros line up is batting right now, Tejada K'd & Berkman is at the plate with a runner at 1st.
2008-04-30 15:35:27
214.   Bluebleeder87
Matsui just stole 2nd base...
2008-04-30 15:35:36
215.   underdog
Stolen base, now runner at 2nd with 1 one out, Berkman up.
2008-04-30 15:37:06
216.   Bob Timmermann
El Caballo better come through because I wouldn't want to rely on Jose Nepotism and J.R. Towles.
2008-04-30 15:39:01
217.   Longhorn Bill
That looked fair.
2008-04-30 15:39:31
218.   Eric Stephen
216
I love, love, love the "El Caballo" nickname. That and "Big Hurt" keep Hawk Harrelson on life support in my mind.
2008-04-30 15:39:36
219.   blue22
Brian Wilson, he of the Beach Boys name and Social D look, preserves the win for the Giants.
2008-04-30 15:40:21
220.   Bluebleeder87
the Snakes announcers are D-Backs fans & they sure let you know they are.
2008-04-30 15:41:35
221.   Bob Timmermann
218
Jose Mota has said that "El Caballo" is a fairly common nickname for stars on baseball teams in Spanish speaking countries.
2008-04-30 15:42:02
222.   Bob Timmermann
On the other hand, it appears that Jose Nepotism will not gain any traction as a nickname.
2008-04-30 15:43:14
223.   underdog
The DBax announcer basically has two tones of voice for anything good that happens for the home team: "Mancrush" and "That was one of the greatest things I've seen."
2008-04-30 15:44:41
224.   Longhorn Bill
Lee also owns a ranch south of Houston that raises short-horn cattle and horses. I do not know if this has anything to do with his nickname.
2008-04-30 15:45:06
225.   D4P
223
Is his name "Charlie Steiner" by any chance...?
2008-04-30 15:45:28
226.   underdog
Feh. Curse you, DBax, and your homer announcers and your fairweather fans and your, your... extremely hot weather!
2008-04-30 15:45:40
227.   Kevin Lewis
I like how Jose Cruz Jr still has a Dodger hat on in his picture on Gamecast
2008-04-30 15:45:57
228.   Bluebleeder87
I just saw the highlights & it looks like the D-Backs busted a Tommy Lasorda with Micah Owings...
2008-04-30 15:46:03
229.   blue22
223 - It must be a mandate from the organization. Brennaman was like that before, and Darren Sutton is an exact clone, even though neither have any noticeable ties to the organization other than a paycheck.
2008-04-30 15:46:52
230.   underdog
225 - He bugs me a lot more than Steiner, who has his own issues, and yes, he's my team's announcer, but there's something more arrogant about this guy.
2008-04-30 15:47:04
231.   Jacob L
223 Really? That means that Phys and the Hit Dog have just 3 hours to catch a charter from Phoenix to get to tonight's Halo game.
2008-04-30 15:47:20
232.   Bluebleeder87
Owings = Tim Leary
2008-04-30 15:48:17
233.   ToyCannon
232
Thanks for the clarification.
2008-04-30 15:48:34
234.   blue22
227 - And he still can't hit righties. He's only OPS'ing .200 from the left side, microscopic compared to the whooping he's putting on the southpaws to the tune of a .580 OPS.
2008-04-30 15:49:36
235.   ToyCannon
If Joe had just checked in with us, we could have told him on April 1st what the best lineup would be. It only took him 28 days to figure it out for himself.
2008-04-30 15:50:28
236.   Brent Knapp
202 While La Roche certainly needs at least a little more work before being brought up to the majors, an 0 for 3 day, while his team scores 18 runs can't be used as evidence. In baseball people too often really on small sample size and this is an extreme case. He might have hit three screaming line drives to the third baseman.
2008-04-30 15:51:48
237.   Jacob L
235 Its important for people to learn things on their own. All we can do is teach them how to learn.
2008-04-30 15:51:48
238.   Eric Enders
I'd rather have Owings than Leary. Owings can hit for power and average. Leary, like Hershiser, was essentially a singles hitter.
2008-04-30 15:54:09
239.   ToyCannon
237
Some things you learn on your own, you never wake up from.
2008-04-30 15:55:24
240.   Eric Enders
236 He grounded out to the pitcher once, and grounded to shortstop twice (one was a 6-4-3 DP, the other a ROE).
2008-04-30 15:55:34
241.   Jacob L
239 Some things you learn on your own, you never wake up from.

Like batting Nomar third?

2008-04-30 15:56:45
242.   Jacob L
240 Drat. I was about to tell everyone that he had 3 balls pulled back into the yard by leaping outfielders. One to each field.
2008-04-30 15:59:42
243.   RELX
At least the Pierre situation appears to have become a thing of the past. Unless...(cue scary slap-hitting theme music).
2008-04-30 16:02:47
244.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-04-30 16:02:49
245.   Marty
Is this the game thread?
2008-04-30 16:03:04
246.   Marty
Ha!
2008-04-30 16:03:18
247.   Bluebleeder87
on a good note Randy Johnson looked pretty bad & his velocity was also bad.
2008-04-30 16:08:39
248.   Eric Stephen
Fun With Meaningless Numbers

Chad Billingsley gave up 5 runs in his last start against Arizona. He had previously given up 5 runs or more in a start 5 times. In the start immediately following the 5+ run game, Chad's numbers are as follows:

29 IP, 21 H, 16 BB, 29 K, 1.24 ERA

He has given up 1 or 0 runs in the last four such games (he gave up 4 runs -- 2 earned -- in a 2006 start).

So sit back, relax and enjoy Chad's first win of the year tonight!

2008-04-30 18:32:09
249.   Louis in SF
Isn't this the perfect game with a large lead and a bullpen that has pitched quite a bit already to extend Bills further, at least the 8th and even the 9th? In theroy these next two innings should be very low stress, so even if he hits 120 in pitches, it shouldn't be that taxing.

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