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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Give Piazza His Day
2008-05-20 23:04
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles owes Mike Piazza a big thank you. The Dodgers need to be proactive in making sure it happens. The sooner he is honored at Dodger Stadium, the better.

A propos of this, here's Bill Shaikin in the Times:

Piazza loved L.A. -- the fans, the night life, the perennial promise of October -- and L.A. loved him back. But free agency loomed after the 1998 season, initial negotiations did not go well, and all of a sudden L.A. knew he wanted a record-setting contract.

Fred Claire, the general manager, figured he had all season to make a deal. The new Fox ownership wanted to rid itself of Piazza and buddy up to the Florida Marlins for television rights purposes, so the corporate suits traded Piazza to the Marlins in May, then told Claire what they had done. ...

In his statement (today), Piazza thanked all the teams, managers and fans for which he played, but he singled out the Mets' fans as "the greatest fans in the world."

(Tommy) Lasorda, the Dodgers' chief salesman, said he was not offended. He said Piazza was stung by boos at Dodger Stadium, before and after the trade. He would try, he said, to persuade Piazza to wear a Dodgers cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Persuasion should not have been necessary. The late, great Times columnist Jim Murray called it, two days after the trade:

"The Dodgers always have adhered to the Branch Rickey theory of roster cutting that it's better to deal a player a year early than a year late. But in Piazza's case, 10 years early?"

Jay Jaffe runs Piazza's Hall of Fame credentials up the Baseball Prospectus flagpole, so we can all salute.

Hopefully, the next time Piazza visits Dodger Stadium, he won't get those tasteless boos from the thoughtless.

* * *

Check out Tuesday's In the Bleachers from Steve Moore. Too close for comfort?

Comments (350)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-20 23:18:49
1.   sporky
It broke my teenage heart when Piazza was traded away, but it hurt more when he was booed at Dodger Stadium.

They did such a wonderful job on opening day, so maybe...

2008-05-20 23:28:23
2.   underdog
Hear hear! I was so upset, shocked, about that deal and never understood all the hows and whys. It's interesting to read all these aftermath articles now that explain what the heck happened better than anything at the time. I can't believe people in LA booed Piazza. They should have booed the NewsCorp guys, if they weren't so anonymous. (I always pictured them like the lookalike lawyers for Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.) Anyway, yes, let's have a tribute day for Piazza and make some sort of amends with him.
2008-05-20 23:30:39
3.   dzzrtRatt
Chase Carey, one of the Fox execs who engineered the Piazza deal, was also involved in the OJ Simpson "If I Did It" fiasco. American corporate leadership at its finest. I doubt he'll be opening any cans of pork and beans for the rest of his life. But he should at least have to spend the Piazza Day outside Dodger Stadium in a dunking booth.
2008-05-20 23:31:47
4.   underdog
Off subject but Carlos Quentin now has 12 home runs for the White Sox. How's that trade looking at the moment, Diamondbacks?

(I'm sure Chris Carter will some day turn into a fine major leaguer, but right now... I say, thanks DBax, since you're strong enough as it is.)

2008-05-20 23:32:51
5.   bhsportsguy
4 Chris Carter was spun off in the Danny Haren deal.
2008-05-20 23:36:08
6.   Jon Weisman
There's no doubt that some Dodger fans were a bit piqued over Piazza's salary demands. I can't remember if it was the amount, the early season timing, or an ongoing reiteration. But there were some people who began to think of him as a distraction.

Doesn't mean that the trade wasn't a shock.

2008-05-20 23:39:46
7.   Andrew Shimmin
I LAT'd myself in the last thread, but it's not important enough to repeat the whole thing. I do wonder what the deal with Joakim Soria was. Why did DePo release him after 5IP?
2008-05-20 23:42:07
8.   underdog
5 Ah, you're right. Well, then I hope Carter does well for the A's some day. Haren's great, but boy, they sure did end up giving up a lot for him.
---

It's funny how 1998 seems like ages ago, and it was ten years now, but it just seems like forever and a day. I feel like I blacked out during and after that trade, blacked out any memory of the Dodgers around then.

2008-05-20 23:43:47
9.   bigcpa
Giants recalled infielder Travis Denker from Triple-A Fresno.

Strange but true- Denker was born the same month as Blake DeWitt in August 1985.

2008-05-20 23:44:29
10.   Bob Timmermann
Chase Carey has the finest mustache since the one Mort Mills sported in "Torn Curtain":
http://tinyurl.com/4kd8fs

Peter Chernin looks more benevolent. Unless you were a member of the WGA. Then you would think he's pure evil.
http://tinyurl.com/4wu2nt

2008-05-20 23:46:35
11.   Strike4
For whatever reason, I always think of Mike Piazza when I look at the Dodger Thoughts t-shirt logo.
2008-05-20 23:47:06
12.   trainwreck
Hard to imagine that Piazza's career is over. He played for the majority of my life.
2008-05-20 23:53:05
13.   Andrew Shimmin
"Bulgarian cursing is based on a hybrid of nature references and non sequiturs. Most of the good ones read like Tourette's syndrome Mad Libs. They still embrace common baselines, but the modifiers around it are what really shine."

http://tinyurl.com/6xjmbu (highly profane)

2008-05-20 23:54:31
14.   Bob Timmermann
Mort Mills' mustache can be seen around the 1:44 mark of this video.

http://tinyurl.com/5kwbb9

Please do not watch any more of "Torn Curtain" than you have to. It's one of the dopiest Hitchcock films ever made.

2008-05-20 23:55:34
15.   Zak
Nice win tonight.

The insinuation by Lasorda that Piazza was maybe two-three hours away from being our backup catcher makes me incredibly sad. That is despite the fact the it probably is not true.

2008-05-20 23:56:11
16.   68elcamino427
One of my favorite Dodgers ever, traded on my BD.
I'm still bitter.
Piazza should have NEVER been in any uniform other than a Dodgers uniform.

Mike Piazza, the strongest man in baseball.

2008-05-20 23:58:09
17.   Jon Weisman
Joe Torre on Billingsley:

http://www.insidesocal.com/dodgers/2008/05/dodgers-4-reds.html

``I don't want to put that (ace label) on him,'' Torre said. ``His personality is such that he puts enough pressure on himself without thinking he has to be the leader of this staff. Right now, he is taking his turn and giving us reasons to feel good about him, just giving us very solid performances. He had seven strikeouts in the first five innings, but he also made them hit the ball, and that's a really big thing for him.''

2008-05-20 23:58:45
18.   Jon Weisman
15 - LOL
2008-05-21 00:03:27
19.   Zak
Jon, I like the Big Bang Theory. I thought the kiss was kind of a bigger moment too, so I agree with you on that. Also, I can't recall but did Penny kiss Leonard on the lips earlier this season too? My pre-strike and post-strike seasons are all muddled up this year.
2008-05-21 00:04:37
20.   Zak
Also, I like How I met your mother. What did you think of the season ending there... if you watch that show?
2008-05-21 00:05:38
21.   Andrew Shimmin
So, Soria was released for blowing out his elbow. That's meaner than putting somebody on the minor league DL to keep from having to pay him the big league salary.

http://tinyurl.com/4emuxz

2008-05-21 00:08:24
22.   Jon Weisman
19 - A peck earlier in the season, I think. I definitely think she likes him but just needs to believe she can go out with someone who looks like him. Very Tyra-Landryesque.

20 - I like the show okay, but that was not the most artfully plotted episode. I wasn't buying Ted in much of it.

2008-05-21 00:14:08
23.   Zak
About Ted in HIMYT, I get that feeling the last few episodes in the whole Ted and Stella relationship. It seems like the relationship has been very choppy... as if written in a hurry post strike. I wonder if the writers were desperately trying to make this relationship serious in case the series was not picked up next season and Stella could then be the mom.

Anyway, glad the series has been picked up. And I think the Barney and Robin thing has a lot of comedy gold potential. I'm thinking when Chandler and Monica started dating on Friends but did not want anyone to know. At the very least, it should be intriguing and fresh.

2008-05-21 00:35:18
24.   CanuckDodger
21 -- The Dodgers kept Soria through his rehab, because he very briefly pitched in the organization after the rehab. There has to be more to the story. And I am skeptical that DePo, as GM, personally had much interest in the fate of an obscure Dominican Summer League player. Somebody in the player development staff, or even medical staff, must have been skeptical he would amount to anything.
2008-05-21 00:44:15
25.   Jon Weisman
23 - The consensus among people I've read and talked to is that the strike forced them to rush through Ted-Stella.

I like Barney and Robin's potential much more than Chandler-Monica, mainly because they figure to be a much less annoying couple. And I liked Friends, at least for a while.

2008-05-21 02:42:33
26.   Eric Enders
"There was a time when it was never quite clear what the Dodgers would get on those days when Chad Billingsley took the mound, although it was usually perfectly clear what they wouldn't get. They wouldn't get a lot of strikes, they wouldn't get a lot of quick outs, they wouldn't get grace under pressure, and they definitely wouldn't get very many innings."

I'll give you one guess as to whose game article today starts with that paragraph.

2008-05-21 02:43:55
27.   Eric Enders
Also: "If Billingsley (4-5) is the Dodgers' ace, that would seem to suggest the Dodgers are in trouble."
2008-05-21 02:52:00
28.   Eric Enders
On the other hand, Hall of Fame beat writer Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News went with this lede:

"It is bad enough that the Cincinnati Reds lost their eighth straight game in Dodger Stadium to a pitcher with a 3-5 record and a 4.34 earned run average, but it makes it even worse that they lost in front of a supposedly hip Hollywood crowd that still does The Wave."

2008-05-21 04:59:40
29.   Dodger Dawg
Has anyone noticed that Hendrickson has a better W-L and ERA than our own Penny and Lowe? Also any theory's as to why it seems like most of the players we acquire are good someplace else, than come to LA and tank, then either leave on their own or get traded , and then become good or at the very least serviceable again?
2008-05-21 05:24:56
30.   herchyzer
29. The Curse of Piazza.
2008-05-21 05:53:46
31.   Ken Noe
That's the first time I've seen the trade connected to FOX's cable sports aspirations in Miami. True? If so, I'm way too close to Rule 1 and 5 violations to continue.
2008-05-21 06:20:04
32.   Eric Stephen
26
Chad must be in charge of the elevators at Dodger Stadium.

I respect the heck out of Tony Jackson, who provides a lot of information via his blog, but he's ridiculous.

2008-05-21 06:29:08
33.   Eric Stephen
Before last night's start, selected pitchers with their ERA+ 2006-2008:

Billingsley 124
Peavy 124
Haren 122
Penny 117
Lowe 115
Beckett 111

http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/Mxzc

2008-05-21 06:32:18
34.   Eric Stephen
33
By the way, Billingsley's ERA as a starter -- before last night (Baseball-Reference.com hasn't yet been updated this morning) -- was 3.36 from 2006-2008, moving his ERA+ into the 134 range, which would tie Chad with John Smoltz for #5 on the list.
2008-05-21 06:42:55
35.   Eric Stephen
FIP for Dodger Starters (includes all appearances, even in relief):

Kuo 2.53
Billingsley 3.08
Lowe 3.62
Kuroda 3.99
Penny 4.13
Loaiza 4.60
Park 5.20

2008-05-21 06:43:39
36.   Eric Stephen
28
Somewhere in there there's a joke about Hal McCoy not being able to see the truth.
2008-05-21 06:49:31
37.   Xeifrank
35. Guo is the best pitcher on the 25 man right now. Wonder how long he will stay in the current role of "5th starter, I got your back"?
vr, Xei
2008-05-21 06:53:33
38.   Eric Stephen
37
I'm with you on this one. With Park & Loaiza as the other 5th starter options, there is no reason Kuo shouldn't start.
2008-05-21 07:39:50
39.   JoeyP
287 DePodesta signed Jose Valentin, he traded for Jason Phillips, he gave J.D. Drew a player option in the second year of his contract with a no compensation if he opts out clause.

BHsportsguy--Its kinda of strange you'd pick these three things out. Valentin was just a 1yr cheap stop gap that got hurt. He had a good year with the Mets afterward.

Phillips was a backup catcher, and really the key wasnt getting Phillips it was getting rid of Ishii.

DePo's deal with Drew got the Dodgers a good player at 2/22. Thats a great deal that worked out perfectly for them.

There's no comparison between the mistakes that DePo made and the mistakes that Colletti continues to make. DePo's mistakes were small in nature (Jim Tracy, Erickson, signing Izzy to a 3 yr deal).

Comparing his bad stuff to Ned's: Druw, Nomar, Schmidt, Loaiza, trading Navarro/Edwin...its not even in the same level.

Maybe DePo could have done more---but I tell you what: A Dodger OF of Werth, Kemp, Bradley, Drew would look mighty fine right now at a much smaller cost than what Ned's playing for the current crop.

2008-05-21 07:40:12
40.   delias man
Is it true that they had a offer on the table that would have made Piazza the highest paid player in the game at that time? I was offended at the time that he did not take it.
2008-05-21 07:52:34
41.   Eric Stephen
40
Sheffield had the highest contract in MLB, signing a 6/$61m deal with Florida just before the 1998 season. Piazza was making $8m in 1998, his final year before free agency. I don't remember what the Dodgers' offer was (I want to say in the 7/$75m range), but Piazza was right to turn that down, given the market that was about to happen.

Salaries were about to explode. In the ensuing offseason, Kevin Brown (7/$105), Mo Vaughn (6/$80m), Bernie Williams (7/$87.5), and Randy Johnson (4/$53.4) among others signed huge deals. Piazza himself signed for 7/$91m with the Mets.

2008-05-21 08:14:00
42.   schoffle
41

As I recall (based on what was reported) prior to the trade the Dodgers offered Piazza a contract that was the about the same as the one he ended up signing with the Mets, Piazza made it known that he wanted to be the first $100M player and decided that he would no longer negotiate until after the season.

2008-05-21 08:27:04
43.   KingKopitar
I remember when Kelly Hrudey signed with the Sharks and came back to the Forum for the first time. I was like 11 and couldn't understand why people would boo him (among other things). That was the only time I ever cheered against the Kings.
2008-05-21 08:30:06
44.   Daniel Zappala
My great Dodgers heresy: I was never a big fan of Mike Piazza. I appreciated his talent, but just never had an emotional connection with him as a fan. I wish him well in his retirement, and I hope the Dodgers do have a special day for him.
2008-05-21 08:31:16
45.   KingKopitar
And Jon, to answer your question about Billingsley, I don't hear him talked about with the same reverence by people on Baseball Tonight or ESPN that guys like Hamels, Cain, Price, Hughes, Bucholz, even Bailey and Lincecum get. Maybe I'm just oversensitive because he's on the Dodgers.
2008-05-21 08:40:52
46.   Bob Timmermann
44
He's a witch. BURN HIM!!!
2008-05-21 08:42:42
47.   KingKopitar
44 It's alright, I never liked him either because I always liked Karros more (I was a kid).

46 And my great heresy: I don't like Monty Python & the Holy Grail.

2008-05-21 08:44:05
48.   Bob Timmermann
47
The line for heretics, witches, and apostates forms BEHIND Daniel.
2008-05-21 09:02:30
49.   Suffering Bruin
From Jaffe: As fate would have it, I was in attendance at Shea Stadium on August 9, 2006. Piazza's last game at the venue, albeit in a Padres uniform. Piazza received a standing ovation prior to his first at-bat, when he struck out, but he came back to hit two home runs off Pedro Martinez, the first of which netted a curtain call for a visiting player, something I've never seen before.

Piazza is going into the Hall of Fame as a Met and I don't blame him for a second.

2008-05-21 09:10:18
50.   LogikReader
49

That passage hurt my feelings. I must not be a very good fan, as a Dodger Fan. If that's true, Dodger fans who go to the ballpark must not be very appreciative or smart in comparison.

In the 80s, did the Dodger fans ever cheer on Steve Garvey in his last game at DS (in a Padres Uniform?), or Cey in his Cubs uniform?

I look at us, and I feel lousy today. If Mets fans can show that kind of class, I can only wish we reciprocate.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-21 09:11:09
51.   LogikReader
50

Cey finished his career with the A's, actually.

2008-05-21 09:12:57
52.   Bob Timmermann
50
When Dodger fans booed Steve Finley, whom the team chose not to offer a contract to, in 2005 I knew that there was no hope left.

The souls of Dodger Stadium fans had become irredeemable.

(Exceptions for soul redemption can be made in writing for a $5 fee payable to me.)

2008-05-21 09:14:51
53.   Disabled List
The trade of Piazza marked the turning point and descent of the Dodger franchise far more than Barry Bonds' pirouette ever did. We really fell from baseball royalty on 5/15/98.
2008-05-21 09:18:07
54.   Disabled List
The booing of players like Piazza, Green and Finley after they left the Dodgers staggers me to this day. The only explanation I can think of is that Dodger fans, collectively, have become so bitter and frustrated that we've morphed into 1980s-era Candlestick Park Giants fans.

That's an ugly, harsh truth, and I might have to drink heavily to come to grips with it.

2008-05-21 09:26:15
55.   Bumsrap
I think McCourt needs to continue to find ways for the Dodgers to get Dodgers back into the organization. What he is doing is fine but it is not enough to have retired players throw out the first pitch or celebrate the five decades with players from each decade coming in to sign autographs and wave at the crowd.

The Dodgers have a Yankee for a Manager, a Giant as a GM, and a Boston fan as an owner.

Mostly because I liked Bill Russel and Alston and Lasorda established a LA tradition for a Manager to manage for 20 plus years I wanted Russel to have a long realm as manager. Not only did that not happen but we lost Scoscia as well.

I don't know what Piazza wants to do but if he would like to be part of the Dodger organization, I would hope McCourt would give him a visible role.

2008-05-21 09:31:19
56.   Bumsrap
I think the booing Piazza got during his contract negotiations were fans saying they wanted him to stay. They were not booing the person, they were booing the process.

O'Malley did not want to sign a big contract while he was selling the Dodgers so Piazza had to wait. If it weren't for the process of selling the Dodgers, Piazza would have been signed before the season started without distractions.

2008-05-21 09:31:26
57.   underdog
28 Couldn't resist. I was one of 3 people to comment on Hal McCoy's blog explaining who Chad Billingsley is to him. That'll learn him!
2008-05-21 09:34:15
58.   Xeifrank
44. Guess it's time to come out of the wood work. I have the same feelings.
vr, Xei
2008-05-21 09:34:39
59.   ucladodger
45

People dont understand how good Chad is. Of the pitchers you mentioned, I'd only take Hamels and maybe Lincecum over him. He needs more pub.

2008-05-21 09:37:14
60.   Jon Weisman
I would be quite happy if the myth that Barry Bonds' piroutte had any signficance at all got no play at Dodger Thoughts.
2008-05-21 09:42:13
61.   BlueCrew Bruin
52 Will I need to wait 8-12 weeks for delivery of my soul? What if I only have a photocopy of the UPC for my soul? Is that acceptable?
2008-05-21 09:43:15
62.   Daniel Zappala
49 - 55 These comments have really made me feel sad -- like the Dodgers have lost their soul. Jon, your book certainly will include something about Piazza, but it likely also needs something about not booing players who leave the Dodgers. Especially not if the Dodgers let them go, but even if they left of their own volition. Show some respect and cheer for the memories they had as Dodgers.
2008-05-21 09:44:54
63.   Daniel Zappala
Unfortunately, I don't think Bob is truly the keeper of souls, or else he would have returned the Dodgers' soul a long time ago. I may be a heretic, but Bob is worse -- he's a con artist.
2008-05-21 09:46:07
64.   bhsportsguy
39 Okay, I was kind of joking with my response basically because I think Ned gets way too many hits here.

True, Ned has had the resources and the additional years of experience for the farm system that DePodesta did not have in his time here.

But I get that feeling here at times that its Paul good and Ned bad and I just don't tend to view things that way.

2008-05-21 09:49:25
65.   KG16
56 - so then, it's one more thing we can blame on Richard Riordon and his NFL plan?
2008-05-21 09:51:24
66.   Kevin Lewis
54

I just think the fans don't realize it is okay to be silent and not boo. On Monday night they were booing Griffey at his at bats and the entire team when it was announced. I know we go on and on about this, but how do you boo a guy like Griffey?

By the way, I was fortunate enough on Monday night to see Heidi and Spencer on the jumbo tron from "The Hills" (heavy sarcasm)

2008-05-21 09:57:37
67.   fracule
64 Yeah, I agree. Neither of them really deserve the reputation they have in certain circles. I equate it to booing players who return to Dodger stadium on the opposing team, after we TRADED them away, it just doesn't make any sense. Also, can the city of Los Angeles sue Newscorp for what they did to the Dodgers? MLB has an anti-trust exemption and therefore has to abide by certain rules. I think it could be shown that that the Dodgers were purchased by Newscorp purely to attain their media rights. Also, we should ban Bud Selig for life for allowing a foreign corp. to buy an MLB team. No, I'm not still bitter, no not at all. Thanks for letting me wallow.
2008-05-21 10:00:07
68.   BlueCrew Bruin
13 Oh man, that was hilarious. My favorite was the one that went
{Rule 1}{Rule 1}{Rule 1}{Rule 1}. Classic.
2008-05-21 10:00:11
69.   Disabled List
MLB has an anti-trust exemption and therefore has to abide by certain rules.

Actually, I think the anti-trust exemption means they DON'T have to abide by certain rules.

2008-05-21 10:01:45
70.   fracule
69 Well, no, just the anti-trust one.
2008-05-21 10:03:24
71.   fracule
They have to endure much more government scrutiny (re: the whole steroids in congress thing) because of this status.
2008-05-21 10:04:06
72.   Bumsrap
67 - Going further, One owner cannot own two MLB teams due to conflict of interests. I don't see any difference in spirit in regards to Newsday's motive for trading Piazza to the Marlins.
2008-05-21 10:04:58
73.   Ken Noe
If the Dodgers decline can be linked to a single date, I pick April 6, 1987, when Al Campanis went on Nightline. That self-inflicted wound not only offended the gods of baseball, but led immediately to the big spending, lack-of-a-plan Fred Claire Era as GM, and with the brief aberration of 1988, it was downhill from there. When I get overly ticked at Colletti's PVL deals, I know it's because I'm still post-traumatically scarred from seeing Darryl Strawberry in Dodger blue. Same with McCourt and FOX.

As for the respect issue, I agree 100 percent, but let's be honest. This is the franchise that traded Jackie Robinson to the Giants, that stiffed Koufax and Drysdale, that sent away Garvey, Lopes, and Cey. We can't expect fans to respect our former heroes if management itself doesn't. Piazza after all was just one of many guys who cried when he heard the team had traded him away, so did Buckner, and yes, so did LoDuca. On this, I give McCourt credit. Maybe it's because he's a Sox fan, but aside from ignoring Scioscia as a possible manager, he seems to have a sense of team tradition, as we saw on opening day. I hope now that he keeps it up. Honoring Piazza and Nomo with more than a first pitch would be good next steps. Advance apologies for the rant.

2008-05-21 10:06:08
74.   LogikReader
67

On the other hand, the M's are owned by Nintendo, for all intents and purposes.

2008-05-21 10:06:29
75.   briano
The cold hard fact is the most boisterous Dodgers fan is historically illiliterate. They don't know Willie Davis from Willie Crawford (or from Johnny Crawford for that matter). I called Steinbergs office yesterday, and I emailed the Dodgers and told them there must be a Piazza celebration before the Mets have one. And I agree with previous bloggers that Piazza should be offered some position with the Dodgers. Also, there needs to be strong and proactive PR to receive former Dodgers on the field with a warm reception. This has to happen from top down.
2008-05-21 10:08:31
76.   fracule
72 Right. Also, how did this go through Selig, when he must have known that the GM didn't even know about it. (Well, according to a recent article by Claire, he claims he didn't know about it.) This reeks of conspiracy.
2008-05-21 10:09:18
77.   LogikReader
75

If the Dodgers can make good with Fernando Valenzuela, there is indeed hope. Bob, will you accept my 5 dollars in cash or check?

2008-05-21 10:09:51
78.   Bumsrap
I would love for the love for Depo to fade away. There are three basic skills and they are technical skills, conceptual skills, and people skills and they are usually learned and developed in that order. A GM should have all three and Depo did not. Depo is still a very good Assistant GM and the Dodgers already have Ng.
2008-05-21 10:10:11
79.   briano
Oh ya. Regarding Garvey's return to Dodger Stadium as a Padre. He received a standing ovation. I also have on cassette tape his final game and interview as a Dodger. Ross Porter interviewed him on the post game show after his last game as a Dodger. And of course we all know that Garvey's relationship with the Dodgers is just fine.
2008-05-21 10:10:31
80.   bryanf
73 I'm not the biggest McCourt fan in the world, but when did he "ignore Scioscia as a possible manager"? Hasn't Mike been with the Angels the whole time McCourt has owned the Dodgers?
2008-05-21 10:10:59
81.   fracule
75 Or Joan Crawford. Yeah, I definitely think Piazza would be a nice addition to our hitting instruction staff.
2008-05-21 10:12:07
82.   old dodger fan
41 Piazza signed with the Mets for 7/$91. It was reported that we offered him 6/$79.
2008-05-21 10:12:23
83.   fracule
80 Actually Newscorp canned Scioscia. They burned that bridge ten years ago.
2008-05-21 10:12:38
84.   underdog
80/73 -- Yah, I appreciated the heck out of your comments Ken, good stuff. But Mike Scioscia was ignored as manager around the same time as the Piazza fiasco, no? (Like, 10 years ago.) But I do agree, I hope the trend toward honoring the past, the team's rich tradition, is a good one and hope it continues with a Piazza Day.
2008-05-21 10:13:15
85.   bhsportsguy
80 I believe there was talk at the time of Tracy's termination but Scioscia shot down any possible move.

McCourt can be blamed for lots of things, not hiring Mike Scioscia is not one of them.

2008-05-21 10:16:37
86.   Bumsrap
I was at a game when Duke Snider returned to LA as a Giant and got a bit applause. Not only that, he hit a homerun that beat the Dodgers and the fans made him come out for a curtain call.
2008-05-21 10:17:23
87.   bryanf
86 Wow, something like that would NEVER happen today.
2008-05-21 10:17:47
88.   Ken Noe
I may well be wrong, but didn't Angels management tell McCourt when he bought the team that they'd let him talk to Scioscia, but he expressed no interest?
2008-05-21 10:20:41
89.   LogikReader
86

Seriously, man, Dodger Stadium fans today are flat out stupid. I remember during the last game I was at a guy was really letting Kemp have it for misplaying the ball during our game vs the D-backs. I wanted to let him have it, but I decided not to.

2008-05-21 10:21:27
90.   Bumsrap
87 - First ingredient needed for this to happen now is to have loved a Hall of Famer that plays most of his career with the Dodgers come home.
2008-05-21 10:22:04
91.   Brent Knapp
54 I don't think the booing is because of bitterness and frustration, I think it's because they just don't know any better. Don't get me wrong, I am a dodger fan, but like most of us at DT I'm not a typical dodger fan. We don't enjoy beach balls, LED scoreboards on the Home run fence and booing players that were traded away or left because they weren't offered a contract to stay. I think most dodger fans boo simply because the person behind them is booing.
2008-05-21 10:23:27
92.   fracule
87 Hey, I think Duke Snider might have some pop left. He still throws pretty well. 86 Maybe he got the curtain call because that HR only tied the game. The Giants did win it though, so I guess that pretty much beat em.
2008-05-21 10:24:16
93.   Bumsrap
Question: Does one hear more booing depending on where they sit?
2008-05-21 10:25:47
94.   Bumsrap
fracule, do you remember the game or did you look it up somewhere?
2008-05-21 10:26:04
95.   Eric Stephen
I like the LED scoreboards on the outfield walls.
2008-05-21 10:26:28
96.   fracule
94 No, I looked it up at Baseball-reference. I hang my head in shame.
2008-05-21 10:26:34
97.   Brent Knapp
66 I think you mean Speidi (spencer + heidi). jeez, where have you been Kevin?
2008-05-21 10:27:50
98.   Bumsrap
96 - On the other hand you may not want to be old enough to remember it anyway.
2008-05-21 10:30:34
99.   KG16
I have to wonder how much of the booing of former players is really booing the front office for letting them go?

I have to admit, as much as I love baseball and the Dodgers in particular, I really don't care much for going to games any more.

2008-05-21 10:31:10
100.   LogikReader
89 , 91 , 54

I have to admit though, when the team doesn't win a playoff series in 20 years, a lot of things can go sour. I have to admit, if let's say, the Lakers went 20 years without winning a playoff series, one could only imagine the amount of vitrol in the stands. We could be hearing more boos at Staples Center.

So my "stupidity" rant was overstated. If the Knicks fans can turn on their own, I don't think it precludes any fanbase to embitter themselves after years of frustration.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-05-21 10:32:49
101.   underdog
Does anyone want to pool our resources and buy the Rams?

Then we can move them back to SoCal!

That'll learn 'em!

2008-05-21 10:34:55
102.   Jon Weisman
I would be quite happy if the myth that Paul DePodesta had no people skills got no play at Dodger Thoughts.
2008-05-21 10:36:34
103.   Kevin P
Regarding yesterday's conversation pertaining to Blake DeWitt and mediocre minor leaguers who went on to have stellar major league careers, how about John Smoltz? I aked a friend of mine who is a huge Braves fan if he could think of any players that fit the mold and Smoltz was his first response. I know we were talking position players and all, but i still think it's interesting:

John Smoltz 22nd round, 574th overall.
Minors 21-24 4.13 ERA and not even a 2-1 K/BB ratio.
Majors 210-147 3.25 ERA 154 saves, 3011 K's 992 BB 15 Division Title Rings, 5 NL Penants a World Title, 1 Cy Young and the All time National League single season saves record.

2008-05-21 10:38:29
104.   Xeifrank
I don't care if people boo. I don't care if people boo an ex-Dodger. If they paid to get into the stadium, let them do so. You also have the right to cheer and drown them out. I find it a bit pretentious to call people who boo stupid, or to think they are some how a lesser fan. I would only find booing offensive, if they were yelling in my ear and I couldn't enjoy the game. I care more about people blocking my view or carrying on loud non baseball conversations near me. I also prefer to watch the game from the comfort of my own living room. The food is convenient, sofa is soft, parking is free, nobody to block my view and the walk to my bed doesn't take me through any traffic jams... just a few strewn toys here and there.
vr, Xei
2008-05-21 10:41:16
105.   Xeifrank
102. Perhaps Andrew can write you a macro for that. vr, Xei
2008-05-21 10:42:05
106.   underdog
If no one cheers or boos, is it at least okay if we raise a hullabaloo? At the ballgame, today?
2008-05-21 10:42:10
107.   dodgerkid7
I guess you could call them stupid if you're saying they don't understand what they're doing. Why do they boo Shawn Green? Do they know he was traded and didn't decide on his own to leave?

What is that fan upset at? If he's just booing without knowing much, that is kinda stupid.

2008-05-21 10:43:36
108.   dodgerkid7
open question.

If you were Kevin Towers, and the Dodgers offered you what you felt was the best pool of talent for Jake Peavy, would you pass on that offer and take a lesser offer just to not trade Peavy to L.A.?

2008-05-21 10:46:30
109.   philmc78
Mike Piazza was easily my favorite Dodger in the oh-so-crucial formative years of transforming from big baseball fan to Dodger obsessive in the early '90s. (I guess that's a bit of a backhanded compliment.)

It would be great to see him go into the hall of fame as a Dodger, but I don't really see that happening. I'd also like to see the Dodgers retire his number. Thoughts?

2008-05-21 10:46:30
110.   Eric Stephen
103
All time National League single season saves record

...tied with Gagne.

2008-05-21 10:48:40
111.   Eric Stephen
109
Piazza really will be the first test case to see if the Dodger policy is to only retire numbers of HOFers who are HOFers as Dodgers (besides Gilliam, of course).
2008-05-21 10:49:00
112.   Brent Knapp
104 Don't get me wrong. I love booing, and I love heckling, I just think it's stupid to boo a player like Shawn Green or Mike Piazza because he was traded away. However, if a player leaves as a free agent to chase those last couple bucks I'm all for booing him. I don't mind fans that don't know much about the dodgers (I probably know a lot less about the dodgers than many people on this blog, especially historically) but I don't like the people that know nothing about the dodgers but are stubborn and arrogant. I go to about 10-15 games a year and I believe I see more people that are fans of Los Angeles the City or are fans of being fans of the dodgers than people that even like baseball.
2008-05-21 10:50:16
113.   madmac
110 so you are saying that Smoltz juiced?
2008-05-21 10:50:53
114.   Bumsrap
102 - I don't like reading or talking about him anyway. We apparently merely disagree and until I learn something I didn't know about him, we will continue to disagree.
2008-05-21 10:52:17
115.   Disabled List
Folks, there's not gonna be a Piazza Day at Dodger Stadium for a long time. If the cretins in the stands were booing him before, there's no reason to think they'll stop on his special day.

Neither the Dodgers nor Piazza want to be humiliated like that, so it's not gonna happen.

2008-05-21 10:52:49
116.   bhsportsguy
102 No more from me.
2008-05-21 10:54:26
117.   Xeifrank
I go to about 10-15 games a year and I believe I see more people that are fans of Los Angeles the City or are fans of being fans of the dodgers than people that even like baseball.

Is there anything wrong with that, if indeed your perceptions were true?
vr, Xei

2008-05-21 11:00:49
118.   Eric Stephen
115
They wouldn't boo if there was a ceremony for him. It's one thing if he's on an opposing team, but Piazza will not get booed for that.

I would like to see the Dodgers move quickly to get their Piazza Day delivered before the Mets.

Fans long since waiting for the Reggie Jackson Orioles day will also have to wait for the Piazza Marlin ceremony.

2008-05-21 11:01:14
119.   underdog
Off subject, but tell me this isn't awesome:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0018LX9P8/

Freshly baked terror!

2008-05-21 11:01:38
120.   schoffle
82 41

Ok so I did some reseach to see if my memory was accurate with regards to what the Dodgers had offered and found this

http://tinyurl.com/634jl3

(hope that works)

Anyway according to the Daily News Piazza turned down a 6 year $85 Million deal with the dodgers, which I believe compares favorably (given the time value of money) to the 7 year 91 Millon that he ended up signing with the Mets. Also at that time Piazza canceled negotiations which led to him being traded, I didn't want to see Piazza go but given those circumstances I do not think that it is fair to put the majority of the blame on the front office.

2008-05-21 11:02:33
121.   fanerman
119 omg, the Passion of the Crust.
2008-05-21 11:05:07
122.   Brent Knapp
117 No actually, not really. Except I get annoyed when the wrong people get booed and my beer gets spilled by a beach ball.
2008-05-21 11:06:18
123.   adrian beltre
i think its completely reasonable to call certain fans stupid, albeit pretty harsh in wording. its true though, if certain fans lack knowledge of the way the game works, complexities in contracts, general ideas that dictate perfromance and personnel moves, then it is not wrong to say so. they have the right to act however they please at the stadium, as long as it doesn't break laws, but as a fan who does understand the difference between a player who leaves as a free agent and one that is traded away, i feel completely comfortable thinking certain fans lack the knowledge to represent me as a dodger fan.
2008-05-21 11:06:54
124.   kngoworld
115 I do not believe fans would boo Piazza during a pre-game ceremony if it took place today or a year from now. I trust fans would honor the person he is and the player he was. It is different when the player is on a different team, a team you are rooting against.

It has to be easier to boo a player who is trying to beat you, but Piazza is no longer wearing the uniform of an opponent.

2008-05-21 11:08:42
125.   Mike De Leon
102 But it's not a myth Jon. Joe Ammalfitano wound up by leaving, and going to the stnaig I might add, because he never heard from Depo after his contract was up. Then Depo comes out and says that he thought Joe knew he was welcome with the club. How was Joe supposed to know that when Depo never told him? The same thing happened with Boras/Beltre. Boras, granted according to Boras, said he tried to contact Depo to tell him he had a deal with the Mariners but Depo was no where to be found. If Depo wasn't interested fine but he could have returned the call just to say not interested but thanks Adrian for all you did for the club.

As far as Piazza getting booed, it was actually understandable. The Dodgers had offered Mike 84 mil/ 6year deal. Lozano, Piazza's agent, had let it be known that it would take a min. of 100mil to re-sign him and turned down the deal, which would have made Piazza the highest paid in the league. The Dodgers let him know that was their final offer and that they were gong to work on a trade. They even told Lozano that they were close to a deal with the Marlins but Lozano told Piazza that it was just a 'strong arm' tactic. Unfortunatly Lozano was wrong and Piazza was traded. I wouldn't have booed him but when he turned down the offer I didn't care if he was traded. It was pure ego on Piazza's and Lozano's part.

2008-05-21 11:10:46
126.   regfairfield
Ammalfitano left the club like 10 years before DePo.
2008-05-21 11:13:13
127.   Matt Conroy
Verducci weighs in on De Witt in this week's SI (sidebar to an article on "Bizarro Baseball"). Verdict: his performance to date is a fluke.

Best SI cover in quite some time BTW.

2008-05-21 11:16:57
128.   Jon Weisman
125 - DePo has already given his side of the Beltre story, and it does not resemble that of Boras. As for Amalfitano, I'm not going to say DePodesta is perfect, but most people have incidents/mistakes in their lives like this without getting branded as having no people skills. It's a convenient generalization for those who sought to brand him as an out-of-touch computer geek.

Juan Pierre was not happy with how he got the news about being moved out of left field. Does that mean that Ned Colletti has no people skills?

2008-05-21 11:19:26
129.   Zak
125 No player should try to make the most money possible. They should take what the team offers them without negotiation. If they don't, they should be booed irrespective of what they achieved with the team or what they meant to the fans.

If you want to boo Piazza, fine. Just don't justify it with weak reasoning. It's a little hypocritical. Piazza did what he thought was best for him and the Dodgers did what they thought was best for them. If you want to boo him, fine, but it shouldn't be because he was trying to negotiate the best possible deal for himself. I'm sure you would have and probably have done that for yourself at some point.

Sorry for any Rule 7 violations.

2008-05-21 11:24:10
130.   Jon Weisman
Blake DeWitt made SI.com's All-Surprise Team.

http://tinyurl.com/43dee8

2008-05-21 11:29:43
131.   imperabo
120 I didn't remember the exact numbers, but I do recall being a bit relieved that the Dodgers didn't give a long huge contract to a catcher who would be 30 when it started. Considering his defense fell apart long before that contract ended I think there was some justification for that concern.
2008-05-21 11:32:05
132.   fracule
128 In all fairness. Saying that Juan Pierre was not happy with how he got the news is a blanket generalization. They could have hired his mother to sit down with him, delivered 8 dozen roses with 5 lbs of See's candies, and had a talented messenger sing "Look at me, I can be Leftfield", he still would not have been happy with the news. No matter how he heard it, he would not be happy with that news. It's bad news. You were just signed to a massive contract that affirms you are a great center fielder, oh by the way, you're playing left field now, because we signed an even larger albatross.
In all fairness, the same could be said about how DePo handled any of his business. Nobody wants to be told they are not needed any more. No matter how it's done.
2008-05-21 11:34:15
133.   Zak
Hi Jon. Totally off-topic, but I wasn't sure if you knew about this website.

http://have-you-met-ted.com/

Also, any search for The Big Bang Theory Blog understandably leads to ornery astronomy buffs arguing about the origins of space rather than the Penny-Leonard big moment. Go figure!

2008-05-21 11:35:23
134.   Jon Weisman
132 - Well, yeah. I mean, that's kind of my point. First of all, Pierre had all kinds of warning if he had opened his eyes to it. But my point is I don't hold Colletti responsibile.

My larger point is that it's risky to draw a conclusion from isolated incidents that someone has no people skills.

2008-05-21 11:37:50
135.   DaDoughboy
124.
There is no way fans are booing him on an appreciation day. If he's wearing an LA hat then people are going to have extremely short memories..on the other hand Give me one former Dodger (still playing) that people would actually cheer at Dodger Stadium without blinking an eye. This is one of the differences between the east coast/west coast baseball fan I think (or maybe just Dodger fans in general?).
2008-05-21 11:38:25
136.   SG6
I've always wondered where the "$100million" bit came from: Piazza or the media. It seemed to me that radio talk shows, newspaper journalists are the ones that "forecasted" Mike to be the first $100 million guy. Then maybe Mike thinks, yeah, I can be that guy. Although he fell a few million short. But did he really make the demand for $100 million from the Dodgers at any time?

Then it seemed Dodgers had to rub it in by signing K. Brown to $105 million, like, see we can spend that much.

2008-05-21 11:40:03
137.   fracule
Oh Depo, you inspire so much devotion from some, hatred from others, yet we hardly knew thee.
2008-05-21 11:40:53
138.   Mike De Leon
126. That's not right, Ammalfitano was still with the Dodgers just not as coach. He was in the front office.

128. I'd agree if it only happened once or twice. But it didn't, it happened a few times, more than it should have especialy when communication is one of the strongest traits a GM should have and Depo's were weak.

125 It's not weak reasoning, fans were mad that he signed a deal that wasn't for much more than the Dodgers offered. He never got the 100 mil deal that Lozano wanted. If he had gotten it fine and it would have showed that the Dodgers were low balling him. Instead he signs for what amounted to the same contract the Dodgers had offered and without the no trade he also said he wanted.

2008-05-21 11:41:01
139.   Zak
137 Maybe we didn't know him because he didn't communicate well with us.
2008-05-21 11:47:48
140.   Zak
138 Again, Not sure why that is deserving of booing Piazza. He held out for a better deal, didn't get it. The Dodgers traded him and he took a similar deal from someone else. All that does not negate what he did for the Dodgers and what he meant to the fans. By your reasoning, every player who leaves any club should be booed because almost no player leaves a club voluntarily for a worse contract. They leave for a better contract or a similar contract.
2008-05-21 11:51:44
141.   Eric Enders
125 So in other words, they were booing him for having a bad agent. This is making less and less sense as we go along.

And just declaring that DePo had bad people skills, without actually offering evidence of it, isn't enough. The case you've made so far is much less than convincing. You've cited two examples, one of which has details that are disputed, the other of which involves a low-level front office employee that had no real effect on the team. You need a lot more than that to make a blanket statement.

2008-05-21 11:52:21
142.   JoeyP
I really could care less if the GM has people skills or is liked by the media etc. The only thing I care about from the GM is acquiring good players, allocating resources effectively, and staying out of the lime light (and even then, if the GM is good at acquiring players, I could care less...Kevin Malone should have been fired for his GM'ing results, not for arguing with a heckling fan in San Diego).

I think in sports, people let their emotions cloud their judgement. It's really a results oriented business and I dont think executives should be evaluated based on their personality but on their body of work.

Baseball is still lagging behind because some organizations still place personality over performance, and thats when you get in-efficiencies. Dodgers would be an example of a team that has operated like this, and are hurting because of it.

2008-05-21 11:52:42
143.   Eric Enders
(That actually referred to 138 , not 125 .)
2008-05-21 11:52:55
144.   Marty
Good clips of Vin and Wooden up at LA Observed on the plaque Wooden got for the Coliseum.
2008-05-21 11:54:34
145.   KingKopitar
Mike Piazza and Rob Blake are pretty similar: both were stars in their prime who were traded over a contract dispute. Imagine if the Dodgers had played and lost to the Mets in the playoffs later that year.

People at Staples Center still boo Blake to this day, and yes I think they are stupid. Do I think they're lesser fans? No, because arguing over who's a bigger fan is itself stupid.

2008-05-21 11:58:04
146.   Eric Enders
142 "I think in sports, people let their emotions cloud their judgement. It's really a results oriented business and I dont think executives should be evaluated based on their personality but on their body of work."

A agree with you. However, what should be is very different from what is. We live in the real world, and the fact is that everyone, baseball GMs included, is judged by those things to some degree. While I don't necessarily buy the fact that DePo had no people skills, one of the reasons, perhaps the main reason, he was fired is that Plaschke was able to convince certain people that DePo had no people skills. If DePodesta had been perceived as having people skills, it's pretty clear he would have received a longer leash and more time to finish the job he started.

2008-05-21 12:01:10
147.   regfairfield
Isn't having people skills a prequisite to getting any job, let alone ones as competitive as DePodesta gained?
2008-05-21 12:06:05
148.   bhsportsguy
144 I am still trying to figure out why they gave him a plague at the Coliseum. Not saying its a bad thing but the man doesn't have a plague at Pauley (though the court is named for him and his wife).
2008-05-21 12:06:55
149.   jelmendorf
I hate to weigh in the DePo debate so many years after it should be long dead, but that doesn't mean I won't. As a DePo fan, I'm happy to concede that people-skills matter, but would just ask critics to concede the following:

1) we are in no real position to evaluate said skills, having never met him or any of the people he worked with, and having no idea what the morale was or wasn't under DePo, let alone who was responsible for it;

2) people-skills, like all intagibles, are in the eye of the beholder, but to the extent that they matter, they should show up in the overall results.

DePo's skills with the media are a matter for debate, but I always found him fairly open and decent in the interviews I heard. Perhaps that's not so, since I certainly didn't hear them all, or deal with him as a press person. Certainly I'm impressed with the fact that he's created a blog.

2008-05-21 12:07:09
150.   Eric Stephen
I've always assumed DePo's supposed lack of "people skills" were his lack of schmoozing with reporter skills.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-05-21 12:08:14
151.   underdog
Sigh...
2008-05-21 12:08:58
152.   bhsportsguy
You know that is one thing I did not notice last night, no booing.
2008-05-21 12:10:00
153.   Eric Enders
Also, let's face it, the notion that the majority of the people booing had knowledge of the details of Piazza's contract negotiations is ridiculous. The casual fans were booing because he used to play for the Dodgers, and now he doesn't. "See ex-Dodger, boo ex-Dodger." I don't think the thought process was any more complicated than that. Same thing that happened with Steve Finley and Shawn Green other ex-Dodgers.

And yeah, I've got no problem with calling many of the fans who boo stupid. Well, stupid is kind of strong word, so let's give them the benefit of the doubt and call them thoughtless, as Jon did. What else are you supposed to call people who boo on every pickoff throw? Who boo a great Dodger like Shawn Green when he comes back to the stadium? Who boo even the umpiring decisions that are clearly correct? Who boo a great player like Jonathan Broxton when he has the rare bad game? Sure, they bought their ticket and they have the right to boo if they want to. But I also have the right to call them thoughtless jerks and simpletons.

I'm not philosphically opposed to booing, mind you. I think there are situations where it's defensible. But Dodger fans have no idea where to draw that line.

2008-05-21 12:11:45
154.   bhsportsguy
149 I'm sorry I started this whole thing.

Maybe JoeyP and I can write long e-mails to each other like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, to discuss the virtues of baseball executives in the same way Jefferson and Adams discussed ideal forms of governments, but for now, I would certainly like to turn the page.

2008-05-21 12:14:08
155.   KG16
108 - never trade with division rivals, especially with the unbalanced schedule in effect.
2008-05-21 12:18:35
156.   Bob Timmermann
155
There's that and never try to match wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line.
2008-05-21 12:18:39
157.   schoffle
125 140

Assuming you can allow for fans to boo at any time, why is it so difficult to accept that many fans felt sighted by Piazza when he (by all accounts) essentially demanded the 1st $100 million contract in baseball and when he didn't get it in cut off all negotiations signally (to many observes) that he would go to the highest bidder. Given that this was a player who (most likely) would never have been drafted if not for Tommy, and later while tolling in the minors was talked out of retiring (or so the story went) by the organization. It does not seem unreasonable that many fans would feel a certain level of betrayal when Piazza seemingly showed no loyalty to the Dodgers, and felt a desire to express themselves.

That said I strongly feel that McCourt should have some sort of ceremony/event to recognize the career of a great former dodger, and I think it would go over very well with dodger fans.

2008-05-21 12:20:52
158.   CanuckDodger
I think it is interesting that when DePo started his blog somebody here remarked that that proves he has communication skills. Yeah, addressing an audience of people on a blog can be called "communicating." But that is so not what McCourt had in mind when he implied that DePo lacked communication skills.

Jon says it is unfair to draw inferences from one or two anecdotes, but those are just the anecdotes we have heard about, and McCourt would have had first hand knowledge of others of their kind, if there were any. And what are the anecdotes we know about? One is that in the Dodger offices when people tried talking to DePo face to face he told them to sends him e-mails instead. Now, I'm sorry, even though communicating via e-mail is still communicating, when you tell people something like that you are going to be branded as lacking people skills. And you are going to get called "Google Boy." No two ways about it. The other anecdote we have relates to DePo's behavio at the Dodgers' yearly "organizational meeting" the week before DePo was fired. That annual meeting is one where all the scouts and other behind-the scenes personnel who don't usually come to Dodger Stadium come together to be part of discussions on the state of the organization and talk about needs to be addressed in the off-season. It is a time when there is a lot of mingling and "pressing the flesh" going on, the kind of stuff that Billy Beane was depicted doing in Moneyball with high skill. Supposedly, McCourt noticed that DePo was being the proverbial wallflower at this event. DePo spoke to a total TWO people in a big room full of people he was supposed to be leading, and that really bothered McCourt, who went out of his way to talk to everybody -- sort of "rallying the troops" -- and expected DePo to be doing the same thing.

I don't think anybody here familiar with Dave Cameron at USS Mariner is going to call him Old School or hostile to the saber-types, He knows his sabermetrics, but he also has contacts in the baseball industry,and he said at USS Mariner one day, in the comments section of a post, that he had it on good authority that everybody in the Dodger organization hated working for DePo. He said that DePo just lacked what it takes to be the face of an organization and is better suited to be an assistant in the background. I don't disagree with that.

2008-05-21 12:21:53
159.   BlueCrew Bruin
148 The man lives for 97 years, only to be given the plague at the Coluseum. Good one, Universe. :)
2008-05-21 12:23:38
160.   BlueCrew Bruin
159 would've been funnier if I knew how to spell Coliseum.

{slinks away}

2008-05-21 12:25:12
161.   scareduck
150 - bingo.
2008-05-21 12:26:07
162.   KG16
156 - you might as well start a land war in Asia.
2008-05-21 12:26:50
163.   JoeyP
147--It more about productivity than people skills. But if you are arguing that a baseball executive with better people skills will be more productive, I might agree. But then again, it almost always comes down to good judgment, and bottom line dollars. No amount of good people skills, schmoozing, talking a good game...can help a GM if they do not know how to value assets accurately.

There are some fields, advertising for one or any type of selling...that does require quite a bit of personality. But, the level of one's people skills would probably be reflected in their production anyways.

2008-05-21 12:30:18
164.   alex 7
employee lacks personality skill.

option 1 - work on this, or work around it.

option 2 - fire employee regardless of other possible positives.

isn't this like ignoring LaRoche's complete body of work and focusing on his lack of power during his call-up last year?

2008-05-21 12:31:48
165.   Daniel Zappala
153 Booing on every pickoff attempt is what really irks me.
2008-05-21 12:32:29
166.   JoeyP
DePo spoke to a total TWO people in a big room full of people he was supposed to be leading, and that really bothered McCourt, who went out of his way to talk to everybody -- sort of "rallying the troops" -- and expected DePo to be doing the same thing

Frank must have too high of opinion of just how important baseball is.

The point you make is a good one...if we're talking about war and having good Generals that make decisions, lead, and increase morale.

However, in baseball there is nothing of that. In fact, Kevin Towers just the other day said he would want his clubhouse's morale to be low, bc their playing bad. Like 149 put it, this stuff is all intangibles and if you get caught hanging onto intangibles at the expense of things that actually matter, it'll kill your efficiency. This doesnt just apply to baseball, it applies to all corporate business.

2008-05-21 12:32:59
167.   Bob Timmermann
Today Adams and Jefferson would just IM each other:

Monticello3: JA did you see BO dbate HRC?
Braintree2: No watched AI!
Monticello3: What about Dancing?
Braintree2: Oh Kristi totally deserved that!
Monticello3: What about fiscal policy?
Braintree2: GTG JQA is here! :-)

2008-05-21 12:35:20
168.   bryanf
167 It's like The Dugout!
2008-05-21 12:36:04
169.   KingKopitar
167 Excellent.
2008-05-21 12:37:07
170.   bhsportsguy
166 You know what, I bet that the Padres chemistry is good right now.

167 Maybe Hamilton and Burr could have just texted each other.

2008-05-21 12:41:46
171.   Bob Timmermann
ABVP: Yo Alex what about my honor?
AH10: What?
ABVP: I want a duel!
AH10: Duel what?
ABVP: Pistols at dawn?
AH10: Why?
ABVP: Hmmm... BRB
AH10: Dude, I'm sorry!
ABVP: Too late.
[GPS coordinates for Weehawken, NJ sent]
2008-05-21 12:42:10
172.   bryanf
153 Well said.
2008-05-21 12:42:36
173.   CanuckDodger
166 -- JoeyP, the problem with your "corporate bottom line" position and your defense of DePo is this: DePo presided over a 71-91 Dodger season. That's the bottom line -- dismiss all the other "intangible" stuff as you like. You spit fire at Dan Evans and Colletti, but the "bottom line" with them is that neither of them ever presided over a season in which the Dodgers didn't win at least a MINIMUM of 11 games more than DePo's Dodgers won in 2005.
2008-05-21 12:44:23
174.   bryanf
173 Not defending DePo or Evans or anybody here, but isn't it fair to say that the "bottom line" can't really be judged by one season? He was dealing with decisions made before his time, etc.
2008-05-21 12:47:26
175.   CodyS
When Jones goes on the DL, we'll have Loaiza, Jones, and Bennett all on there pretty suspiciously (they were just playing badly, with no apparent injury so bad as to make them not able to play). At what point does the league step in?
2008-05-21 12:47:59
176.   fracule
Hey Jon, can we get DT tuxedo t-shirts. I want to represent
at the Wooden-Scully for the Kids event, but I want to
dress it up a little.
2008-05-21 12:48:06
177.   Marty
What we've got here is a failure to communitate.

What we need here is a new post.

2008-05-21 12:49:22
178.   Bob Timmermann
Criticize Matt Kemp? That's a night in the box.

Criticize Chad Billingsley? That's a night in the box.

2008-05-21 12:52:32
179.   old dodger fan
175 Has that ever happened?
What could they do?
2008-05-21 12:59:31
180.   Jon Weisman
176 - I've got some black marker...
2008-05-21 13:01:49
181.   dianagramr
179

I hear the tapes of their respective "injuries" were submitted to the league offices, and mysteriously destroyed.

2008-05-21 13:02:41
182.   Humma Kavula
I booed when Rich Donnelly's name was announced at Game 3 of the 2006 NLDS, and I do not regret it.

I cheered for Drew and Kent.

I sat on my hands and did nothing when Julio Lugo's name was announced.

2008-05-21 13:03:00
183.   Eric Enders
179 I suspect the players' association would file a grievance if it got too ridiculous. One of the disabled players would probably have to complain, though.
2008-05-21 13:05:19
184.   arborial
175 While I agree the timing is a bit convenient, Jones had a golf ball sized cyst that had to be drained from the back of his leg so I wouldn't call that suspicious. If they were going to phantom DL him shouldn't they have done it a long time ago.
2008-05-21 13:06:47
185.   fracule
180 Ok then. If anyone goes, look for me, I'll be wearing a white suit with DT written on the back in black marker.
2008-05-21 13:10:43
186.   Eric Stephen
185
Make sure it doesn't cover your GoldenPalace.com tatoo though.
2008-05-21 13:15:24
187.   GobiasIndustries
I was watching ESPN news on Saturday morning and they had Tony Jackson and Bill Plunkett (the Angels beat writer?) call in to discuss the state of the two teams and the cross town rivalry and so and so forth. But, what I find extremely disturbing now is that when Tony Jackson was asked about Andruw Jones and his lousy performance as a Dodger thus far, Jackson said that he wouldn't be surprised if Andruw came up with some kind of phantom injury that would get him out of the lineup for a few weeks and maybe require a rehab start in the minors just so he could clear his head and not have to worry about all the pressure he feels in LA when hitting. Now it looks like this will indeed be the case. Tony Jackson correct? Since when does 1+1=5? Did anyone else see or hear this on the 17th?
2008-05-21 13:17:56
188.   underdog
One of the British announcers on the ESPN broadcast of the Chelsea-Man U game on right now (I won't divulge the score if you're taping it) described a player who was livid about a bad call as "practically incandescent." Gotta love it.
2008-05-21 13:18:54
189.   Gen3Blue
At the Coliseum, did Wooden get the plaque, or the plague?
2008-05-21 13:19:35
190.   Linkmeister
181 And there's an 18 1/2-minute gap in one of them, too.

Isn't there a secretary named Woods in the front office?

2008-05-21 13:23:19
191.   Gen3Blue
Sorry 159, I scanned through and didn't notice you had it cavered.
2008-05-21 13:24:41
192.   KG16
interesting read on the top nine base stealers by Crasnick. Looks like the stolen base is coming back, 457 SBs in the NL 395 in the AL to date. Boston and Tampa lead the AL in steals, Houston and the Bums lead the NL.
2008-05-21 13:28:15
193.   Mike De Leon
157. That was what I was trying to say, only I said it badly.

The thing is that in order to make trades or sign FA's a GM has to be able to communicate. Also in order for everyone under you to be on the same page communication is a must. You don't have to be great but you do have to at least be good at it. From all accounts Depo wasn't.

I don't understand why Dan Evans gets such a bad rap. When he took over he had no budget to work with, malone had already blown all the $$, so he did the best he could without raising the payroll. Add to that he was the one responsible for rebuilding the farm system. He brought in Logan White who in tern drafted Martin, Loney, LaRouche, Bills, Kemp and Kershaw. Before mccourt took over he had a deal worked out with Vlad. If I could buy the team the first thing I'd do is fire colletti and bring back Evans as Pres. and put in Kim as GM. Of course I'd also want a new manager and would see if Gibby was interested.

2008-05-21 13:32:51
194.   Bumsrap
I think I am getting what I deserved by saying anything about Depo because, like I said, the less said about him the better. Been there, got the T-Shirt, moved on.

But I can't resist this one more comment just for the fun of it. What I said in 78 was: There are three basic skills and they are technical skills, conceptual skills, and people skills and they are usually learned and developed in that order. A GM should have all three and Depo did not.

Not that I was or wasn't referring to people skills mostly but it wasn't me that looked at the three skills I mentioned and picked out people skills as the skill Depo was missing.

It isn't that people don't have these skills because they do to some degree and I would think more so if they get promoted into higher positions. For a smart, high IQ person, technical skills are the first and easiest to obtain and people skills are usually slower to develop and may be even harder to develop if a person is very smart. They get things quicker and might have less patience with those that can't keep up.

Looking at this differently, some believe Jerry West was a lousy coach because he usually didn't have to spend time breaking down and practicing the basics, he just did them naturally and expected others to do so as well. How do you teach when you skip the learning process yourself.

2008-05-21 13:37:04
195.   madmac
186 lol
2008-05-21 13:42:57
196.   JoeyP
173--> You'd be correct if the budget/farm system were at levels in 2005, as they are now. They werent, so there's a total different expectation.

A GM should be judged on based on resources available. Or more simply---ROI (return on investment), and ROA (return on assets). DePo didnt have many home grown assets, nor was the free agent budget such that you can judge his 2005 season the same way as other seasons.

You're taking the "bottomline" to literally. A GM's job is to allocate resources, asset management and acquisition. The W/L record does not always coincide perfectly with them.

2008-05-21 13:44:22
197.   Jon Weisman
193 - I never had much quarrel with Evans.

194 - I assumed you only meant people skills, since that's the topic that usually comes up, and I didn't think you actually thought that DePo had no skills of any kind. The idea that DePo doesn't have technical or conceptual skills is so far off the map that it didn't occur to me it merited addressing.

2008-05-21 13:45:27
198.   Bumsrap
Out of nowhere--Hu is getting valuable experience, will soon be back in Vegas where he will get it going again, get called up again in late July and do better, and be much more ready for next year as needed.
2008-05-21 13:46:06
199.   fanerman
196 173 Seems like you're talking about different things. ie, the motivation for firing DePo versus whether that motivation is logical.
2008-05-21 13:46:27
200.   CodyS
192 We are fully in the post-steroids era now I guess. Offense is way down
2008: NL 4.58 AL 4.38
2007: NL 4.71 AL 4.9
2006: NL 4.76 AL 4.97

Stolen bases start to look good again.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-05-21 13:49:26
201.   LogikReader
200

The NL scores more RPG than the AL? Thats surprising. When was that last time the NL scored more runs per game than the AL in a season?

2008-05-21 13:50:34
202.   Jon Weisman
http://tinyurl.com/53hsy2

The teaser for this FoxSports.com story is:

"If Mike Piazza's numbers weren't Hall-worthy, Mike Vaccaro would vote him in for making New Yorkers care about the Mets again."

Now there's a standard of excellence!

2008-05-21 13:52:36
203.   trainwreck
I was expecting this place to be full of futbol talk.
2008-05-21 14:03:59
204.   KG16
200 - I'm not sure I'd call .13 runs a game "way down" in the NL. I'm not even sure I'd call .52 runs in the AL "way down."

Plus, don't teams usually score more runs in June, July, August as the temperature gets higher, allowing the ball to fly more?

I think it's simply the recognition that the stolen base, when used properly, can be a huge asset to any team's game.

2008-05-21 14:04:54
205.   larry slimfast
158 to think... a zoloft prescription probably could have saved depodesta's job.
2008-05-21 14:10:10
206.   CanuckDodger
196 -- And Dan Evans, in 2002-2003, had less money and a worse farm system to work with than DePo had in 2005, yet you never take that into account when you slam him. Evans presided over 92 and 85-win seasons. With what he had to work with, that was damn good.
2008-05-21 14:10:21
207.   KG16
almost 50 games into the regular season, did any expect the NL West to be a two team race?

I sure didn't. I fully expected a four team race to the wire, or at least three teams with the older San Diego fading in September.

2008-05-21 14:14:49
208.   KG16
how is it that only 4 teams have winning records on the road, with 4 more playing .500 ball on the road? Is that normal?

Is home field advantage really that important?

2008-05-21 14:18:58
209.   underdog
203 - Apparently I'm the only one who was watchin' and talkin'. Wow, what a game.
2008-05-21 14:20:42
210.   Terry A
206 - I've heard that Evans had a screaming case of "Little Man Syndrome" and everybody hating working for him, too.

I suspect in a couple of years (or months, if we're lucky), we'll hear how everybody thought Colletti's hairpiece smelled like Brylcream and nobody could stand being within four feet of him.

Small sample size means a lot when we're hashing out the alleged details behind any GM's firing. We don't exactly have a lot of facts to work with here.

2008-05-21 14:23:58
211.   CanuckDodger
210 -- Then you heard something about Evans that I never heard. Do you remember the source?
2008-05-21 14:26:26
212.   Terry A
211 - Somebody tall. (Smiley.)

Actually, the point was that this entire argument quickly takes on a heard-it-from-a-friend-who.. tone that makes it hard to sort fact from fiction. Which, probably, is why we have these assumptions and half-truths about every former GM and the reasons behind his firing.

2008-05-21 14:26:43
213.   Sushirabbit
Is Furcal in the lineup yet?
2008-05-21 14:27:11
214.   underdog
I think they should settle the UEFA final with a nice trivia contest, or maybe Pictionary.
2008-05-21 14:31:36
215.   CanuckDodger
212 -- So, you made up the story about people hating working for Evans. GM's get fired all the time. The stories about DePo were NOT common to cases of GM's being fired. At least in my experience.
2008-05-21 14:32:21
216.   Ken Noe
Interesting day on DT. Maybe Scully was right last night, and we should talk more about Brandon Phillips.

For the record, I was always an Evans loyalist, still am in many ways, but the look-the-other-way Evans of the Mitchell Report was as disappointing as the LoDuca and Gagne revelations.

Now about Brandon Phillips....

2008-05-21 14:35:22
217.   CodyS
Historical pictures of R/G
http://home.istar.ca/~mbein/Baseball/MLR.JPG

And SB, (looks strongly anti-correlated)
http://home.istar.ca/~mbein/Baseball/MLSB.JPG

2008-05-21 14:35:47
218.   Terry A
215 - I agree. But I believe it says more about McCourt than it does DePo.

And no, I didn't make up that bit on Evans. I was told Evans was not a popular figure in LA. But I don't put a lot of stock in that information, just as I don't in the DePo party story. No offense intended.

2008-05-21 14:36:21
219.   bryanf
Bulletin:

I will be at the game tonight in the first row behind home plate. You better believe I will be representing and wearing my blue DT t-shirt. Look for me on TV!

2008-05-21 14:37:41
220.   schoffle
209

And I really do appreciate you not discussing the results of the game as I am looking forward to watching it tonight.

2008-05-21 14:39:31
221.   underdog
220 No worries! I won't say anything. Except that was incredible when {mmmph!} {mmmmmphhh!} {blam!}
2008-05-21 14:40:44
222.   underdog
213 I don't think there's any word yet but it sounded pretty definite they will hold him until Friday and that's when we should expect to see him activated. With an off day tomorrow it makes sense to hold out for an extra day to be precautious.
2008-05-21 14:42:04
223.   Eric Enders
Doh... sorry, that was meant for Dodger Thoughts.
2008-05-21 14:42:52
224.   schoffle
221

LOL

When I have a rooting interest in the game I "work" from home, but no such luck this year.

2008-05-21 14:44:29
225.   Eric Enders
I just managed the astonishingly difficult and idiotic trick of posting something meant for DT at Cardboard Gods by mistake, and then posting the apology (meant for Cardboard Gods) at DT.

Anyway, what I was trying to say, which wasn't really worth it anyway, is that...

Matt Kemp and James Loney are on pace to become the 26th and 27th players since World War II to finish a season with 100 RBI and fewer than 15 home runs. Kemp's on pace for 11 HR and 106 RBI, Loney 14 HR and 103 RBI.

2008-05-21 14:45:30
226.   Bob Timmermann
219
Make sure to be on your cell phone and waving to the camera a lot.

Also make sure Ian Ziering doesn't steal your food.

2008-05-21 14:46:25
227.   Eric Enders
226 The snipers are in place. Fair warning.
2008-05-21 14:46:57
228.   PDH5204
Tom, if you are here, by way of my reply to your last, which was post no. 213 in that one thread, well, first, I distrust the models. And not just baseball models, but also models that purport to tell the state just how to allocate resources for medical care, that purport to tell fishery management how to manage the fish stock, and the list is very nearly endless.

The problem is that the human constructing the model thinks that he or she understands the phenomenon in question, and so cause and effect, but in no instance can that be said to be true.

And the "variance" is THE point. The laws of physics are the laws of physics, and so have predictive value, because those laws are grounded in local INVARIANCE principles, to wit, local invariance with respect to frames moving at a constant velocity, local translational invariance, local rotational invariance, and, lastly, local time-translational invariance.

And from the author of The Physics of Baseball:

"My widely read book, entitled 'The Physics of Baseball', dissects the game and reveals underappreciated or previously misunderstood information about the sport. It only follows that sabermatricians would co-opt my style and use a more data-oriented form of analysis to extract similar types of conclusions. But it is starting to get out of hand. All of you self-professed 'baseball analysts' who have jumped on the bandwagon recently — where is the underlying physics behind your work? Why the messianic insistence in using VORP instead of the Principle of Inertia when predicting a pitcher's GB/FB ratio for 2007? Why do the 'new breed' of GMs hire number crunching statistical assistants — none of whom can explain why a curveball curves, let alone why Barry Zito's is so effective — instead of Ph.D.'s in fluid mechanics when they need advice on whether or not it is worth signing a journeyman pitcher to a four-year contract?

The scientific method is an indispensable tool when it comes to revealing the truth and beauty in the world we see around us. I owe my career to the scientific community that fostered my early career and allowed my work to flourish, to the Faradays and Helmholtzes and Chandrasekhars who elegantly and brilliantly showed all scientists how to perform great research. These lessons have been lost on the current crop of statistic-obsessed writers who have deviated down the path of accounting, rather than that of physics. Their never-ending number twiddling profoundly bores me, and introduces little that the great Branch Rickey didn't already bring to the game some sixty years ago. They race each other to be the first to invent a complex metric with a fancy-sounding acronym for a title, all while foregoing any discussion of the Stokes Drag Force law. In other words, they ignore the most basic underlying principles that describe player performance, while couching their arguments in my style of analytical rhetoric in the hope that their WARPs and LOOGYs can gain scientific credibility.

I pause for thought and am struck with the occasional pangs of fear. There are people who wish take account of the Steroid Era by restructuring the baseball record book. Do they really plan to reconfigure a decade's worth of home run numbers without any consideration of the Reynolds Number for near-spherical objects moving through a viscous fluid? Others wish to compare fielding across different eras by adjusting Fielding Runs Above Replacement for All-Time. How can such a calculation be valid without rigorous measurements of the coefficients of static and kinetic friction of both grass and turf, extrapolated over several decades of baseball groundskeeping? At what point between the time I introduced objective analysis to the sport of baseball and the present day did this knowledge of basic physics become lost?"

See: http://www.yard-work.org/?p=620

Re knowledge of basic physics being lost, re fielding metrics, from the Hardball Times:

"For each year, Dewan finds the probability of fielding a ball based on where it went (distance, direction), the batted ball type (fly ball, line drive, etc.), and whether the ball was hit hard, medium, or soft."

Tom, physics does not express motion in terms of "hard", "medium" and "soft", but instead in such units as meters per second. Now to continue:

"So if on a hard ground ball to Vector 17, the shortstop only has a 10% chance of making a play, and he does, then he is credit[ed] with 1 -.1 = .9 plays above average. If he does not make the play, he is credited with 0 - .1 = -.1 plays above average. Dewan runs this analysis on every ball put into play in each of the past three seasons, and adds up the results for every player in the major leagues. The resulting rating is the player's plus/minus."

Tom, you don't get to make up your own math. The ball in question could either have been caught by some living human, or not. I am not going use ground balls, since "fly" balls are easier to conceptualize/visualize.

Do you remember those "fun" problems from our younger school days? Train A left the station at 10:00 a.m., traveling at 35 miles per hour, while Train B left the station at…. It is the same here in baseball. We need not waste our time on absurd notions of hard, medium, and soft, and even more absurd notions of an x % chance of catching the ball. In order for the fielder to have been able to catch the batted fly ball, it must be true that his path of travel could have intersected the path of travel of the batted fly ball before the batted fly ball struck the ground.

And, Tom, since this is all after the fact, we don't care about balls that were caught. We will simply credit the soul for catching the ball. What we care about is the ball not caught. And we don't need someone either at the game or watching the film, trying to feebly and rather subjectively discern whether that ball was a fly ball, a line drive, hard, medium, or soft. Instead, the stat heads might try determining: (1) the exact location of the fielder when the ball was struck, (2) the exact of location of where the ball struck the ground, (3) the flight time of the batted ball, (4) the reaction time of the fielder, (5) the fielder's acceleration and velocity.

Since this is after the fact, we can know the flight time of the ball. That flight time limits the time within which the fielder's path of travel must intersect the path of travel of the ball before the ball strikes the ground. So measure the distance between the location where the ball struck the ground and the location of the fielder when the ball was struck. And so the fielder must have been able to cover X feet in T seconds. Knowing the fielder's reaction time and his rate of acceleration and maximum sustainable velocity will answer the question: could and should he have caught that ball. We probably don't need to be too precise here, so you can sub-in his speed in the 40 yard dash as an acceptable substitute, i.e., take the 40 yards over his time for same, and there's his velocity. Take the flight time of the ball, subtract time spent waiting for the fielder to react, and then take the remaining time and multiply by his velocity. The number you get will be the distance that he might have covered while the batted ball was still in flight. And, again, we know the distance between where the ball struck and where he was when that occurred. So compare the two distances and you will know whether it was possible for the respective paths of travel to have intersected.

Now, to continue with grounders, it's more or less the same analysis. We are doing this after the fact, and so we know how long it took the groundball to leave the infield. We know the relative distances. We know the reaction time. And if you like the play made on the outfield grass, well, take the time that it took the ball to get to some reasonable point beyond the infield. As you can imagine, one of the things that we are measuring here, at least conceptually [and more on concept in a bit], but one of those conceptual matters is the fielder's recognition of his correct path of travel. Going back to what I just said, sometimes we don't want to run in a straight line across the infield to catch the ball. Given the available time and respective "speeds", we might want to intersect the ball past that line.

If you wish to take the analysis one step further, here to account for some "variance" on the part of the individual player, you might also consult an expert in human factors. The human factors expert will help you when it comes to the analysis of human error in vision, perception, and attention.

And, Tom, I am sorry, as I believe that you mean well, but there was never a need to tell me that you use models, as I am familiar with the same from my statistics studies at UCLA. But I am wondering why a discussion and application of the clearly applicable physics never makes into a discussion and computation of any fielding analysis on the part of the metrics-heads [as I call you and the others].

Re things nuanced, you wrote:

"However, extensive research and statistical modeling shows that the batter-pitcher matchup is not dominated by one or the other participant."

Tom, if we take a league average OBP of .350, well, then pitchers have been dominating the game. If you don't call it dominance, then what do you call winning 65% of the battles in your war? And, Tom, back to concept, and so the very concept of the game dictates that the pitcher versus batter matchup takes place in the context of the fielders being on the field to assist the pitcher in recording the out on the ball in play. And it isn't "luck", it's the concept and design of the game. With that in mind, let me be more precise in my use of the English language, and so the pitcher-fielders combo has been dominating the batters since well before I was born some 45 years ago. Does that work for you?

And for more on concept, I recently had occasion to read a rather snarky Baseball Prospectus article on the purported "three true outcomes", which BP reports are the HR, the K, and the BB. Tom, who records the putout on the K? And if the catcher does not catch strike three, what happens? Now pretend that we have no catcher and for some insane reason, the umpire allows the game to continue. So the pitcher, call him the greatest strikeout pitcher in the history of the game, and, well, he's still pitching that same half-inning, as he K'd the first batter, who reached first base following his third swing and miss, as there was no catcher to catch the ball, and he took second on the next pitch, since again, there was no catcher to catch the ball. And he reached home safely on the third swing and miss for batter no. 2, since, again, there was no catcher to catch the ball. And batter no. 2 himself reached first base safely, again, because there was no catcher to catch the ball. And so it would continue for infinity. I understand the point that some are trying to make, but calling the K a true outcome demonstrates a startling lack of intellectual rigor and is simply sloppy in the extreme.

And for the incomplete, and some nuance too, recall what I said above re human factors. Does the pitcher share in that equally with the batter? How much does a curveball break? Viewed from above, the best curveball has a break of no more than 3.5 feet from a straight line to the catcher and it travels in a smooth arc. But that is viewed from above. From the batter's perspective, another matter, the break can be between 12 and 14 feet.
And so perception here is critical, and that explains why it is critically important that the pitcher gets to decide what and where he throws and so now the hitter has precious little time to decide which pitch and going where [it's in the hundreds of milliseconds]. And, Tom, it's called tactical surprise and it's just as useful and advantageous on the field of baseball as it is on the field of war. And I don't think that any rational soul would dispute that the batting results would be different if the pitchers always hit their spots and the batter knew what pitch and which spot. And so you see the tactical surprise, the first element of the same in war is where the attack occurs, here that's pitch location, next is axis of attack, here that's pitch selection and release point, leaving the batter roughly 400 milliseconds to decide on his counterattack [or to not counter the attack].

Lastly, truly, but for the singular and elemental reason why I don't buy into the new math, McCauley, from his Dynamics of Markets: Econophysics and Finance, Cambridge University Press:

"The main tool used in the past in economics was regression analysis, which so far has not led to any significant insight into economic phenomenon. Regression analysis cannot be used to isolate cause and effect and therefore does not lead to new qualitative understanding..."

And so WARP, VORP, etc., don't really add anything new. We already had OBP and SLG for batters. All we ever needed for comparison purposes was, generally, league average, and player specifically, the other fellow's OBP and SLG. And so not only did you not give us anything new, you gave us the horrid and wretched when it comes to fielding. My speculation is that Dewan and Davenport probably never took so much as a single course in physics. Speculation aside, one thing is certain, which is that both demonstrate a singular conceptual failure when it comes to the understanding and analysis of the quality of a particular MLB player's skill as a fielder. The other problem here is that the stat-heads usually only concern themselves with the matter of "is", and never bother to ask themselves "why". Those inviolate laws of physics were arrived at without any statistical analysis. Did you know that? But years, hundreds of years, following the discovery of the law of gravity, we have this alarming report from Rein Taagepera, of the U of C at Irvine and the U of Tartu, Estonia:

"It became most evident in June 2004 as I observed a student at the University of Tartu present another mindless linear regression exercise, this time haughtily dismissing a quantitatively predictive model I had published, even while that model accounted for 75 of the variation in the output variable. Right there, I sketched the following test.

Given synthetic data that fitted the universal law of gravitation near-perfectly, how many social scientists would discover the underlying regularity? See Chapter 2 for the blatantly negative outcome. Like nearly all regularities in physics, the gravitation law i[s] nonlinear. If there were such law-like social regularities, purely statistics-oriented social science would seem unable to pin them down even in the absence of random scatter!"

And so you wish me to trust a linear regression analysis, when the odds are pretty good that if given near perfect data, that you and the rest wouldn't be able to discern the already discovered law of gravity? More specifically, if you and the rest can find the law of gravity in near perfect data, why on earth or in heaven should I believe that you and the rest can even begin to describe just how many wins a particular player is responsible for? And never mind the failure of concept, here being that it takes at least nine souls to play and win the game. And so you get the concept:

1.00—Objectives of the Game.
1.01 Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires.

Do you understand now, the futility and absurdity of trying to "isolate" the 1 from the other 8? It is NOT the concept of the game. You and the others are trying to isolate that which cannot be isolated.

2008-05-21 14:48:24
229.   Terry A
Holy cow.

Shimmin, I think you're being called out.

2008-05-21 14:49:17
230.   Eric Enders
Holy moly. Someday, I hope to be able to read that post.
2008-05-21 14:51:38
231.   Bob Timmermann
230
It's 2773 words long!
2008-05-21 14:52:37
232.   Terry A
230 - Pace yourself. Build up to it. Don't try it all at once; you'll strain a retina.
2008-05-21 14:53:49
233.   regfairfield
That's more words than the entire front page of True Blue LA.
2008-05-21 14:54:37
234.   bhsportsguy
228 Wow.
2008-05-21 14:56:03
235.   bhsportsguy
231 The longest column I ever wrote for publication was slightly under 2000 words, I was asked to cut 1200 words from it.

It was easy, I cut out all my direct quotes from the published legal opinion.

2008-05-21 14:56:20
236.   KG16
For the record, I tried to read through all of 228 - couldn't do it, mainly because I'm at work and should be writing a motion, but um, yeah, wow.
2008-05-21 14:58:28
237.   Eric Enders
Almost half of the post is quotes, though. I think we can give him credit for 1500 words at most.

Slacker.

2008-05-21 14:58:35
238.   regfairfield
From what I did see, he quoted a long passage from a parody site, so that's a bad sign.
2008-05-21 15:00:37
239.   Eric Stephen
My head just exploded. I can't tell if 228 is a parody or not.
2008-05-21 15:01:32
240.   Marty
I assume 228 was a serious post. But citing yard-work.com makes me wonder.
2008-05-21 15:02:00
241.   Marty
Or what 238 said.
2008-05-21 15:03:31
242.   bhsportsguy
228 If he had just followed Bob's example of texting, this conversation could have consisted of a lot of LOL and OMGs.
2008-05-21 15:05:34
243.   LoneStar7
What a terrible end to the champions league final, John Terry, Chelsea's, but more importantly England's captain, slips and shoots wide with a chance to win in penalties. This opportunity given to them by a wonderful save off a seemingly illegal Ronaldo PK anyway.

Although I'm a Tottenham fan, My uncle is a long time season ticket holder for Chelsea, and he took me to see these two teams play at the in the community shield at Wembley, which ended nearly the same exact way for those who follow soccer. Disappointing to say the least..

2008-05-21 15:05:57
244.   adrian beltre
http://tinyurl.com/43dee8

anyone else notice that edinson volquez is the only non-white player on the all-surprise team? dont know what that says, but it just jumped out at me...

2008-05-21 15:06:00
245.   Gilberto Reyes
Danny Ardoin injures LaRoche's thumb and later makes it to the big club this year before Andy. Life is not fair.
2008-05-21 15:08:49
246.   Bob Timmermann
245
Ardoin said he was sorry.
2008-05-21 15:08:51
247.   Humma Kavula
245 I had the same thought. I heard he got called up and my first thought was, "Isn't he the guy who injured both* of our third basemen?"

Note: I do not know for sure that he injured Garciaparra, but I am going to accuse him of it. Ardoin is, after all, French-Canadian*.

**Note: I do not know for sure that Ardoin is French-Canadian.

2008-05-21 15:09:58
248.   Bob Timmermann
The Giants got a 2-out pinch double from STEVE HOLM! to tie the game in Colorado. The Gints led 3-2 in the 10th.
2008-05-21 15:10:10
249.   underdog
SPOILER ALERT! Avoid 243 if you don't want to know the results. SPOILER ALERT!!

:-P

245 - Well at least the two of them are now friends and Ardoin apologized 200 times for the accident and so on. But yeah Andy must feel a little either bitter or at least bemused by the karma.

2008-05-21 15:10:18
250.   Gilberto Reyes
246 Apparently 200 times!
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-05-21 15:10:22
251.   Bob Timmermann
247
Ardoin is Cajun I believe.
2008-05-21 15:10:45
252.   Humma Kavula
Also, if it were me, I'd give the call-up to the Silver God.
2008-05-21 15:11:17
253.   Bob Timmermann
I thought Ardoin was supposed to be sorry 70 X 7 times.
2008-05-21 15:12:16
254.   Eric Enders
Is 200 times actually enough?
2008-05-21 15:13:02
255.   okdodge
243 Thanks for ruining it!!!! Guess that'll free up some space on my DVR now that I can just delete the game. Underdog, thanks for the belated warning though.

And um...238.......that's a really long post dude.

2008-05-21 15:13:10
256.   Mike De Leon
217. CodyS, are you the Cody S that used to post on alt.sports.laDodgers?

210. I never heard that about Evans. Although in an obscure interview I read with Kim, she said she enjoyed working with Evans, take it for what it's worth.

2008-05-21 15:13:41
257.   Humma Kavula
Also, how do you say, "I'm sorrry that I screwed up your entire career and cost you millions of dollars?"

Because at a certain point, "I'm sorry" doesn't cut it.

2008-05-21 15:15:03
258.   Bob Timmermann
257
But what can LaRoche really be mad about? It wasn't like Ardoin took a baseball bat to his thumb. It was just an accident.
2008-05-21 15:16:25
259.   bryanf
226 Yes I will be careful of Ian, though I understand he's a really nice guy. :)

The ushers in that section will actually come scold you if you wave at the camera. I believe you have to resort to the old "watch me as I take my cap off right now" trick when on the phone with friends.

2008-05-21 15:16:34
260.   Humma Kavula
251 He's French-Canadian, I'm tellin' ya*.

It would be just like a sneaky French-Canadian to go and say he's Cajun.

*Note: I may not actually be tellin' ya.

2008-05-21 15:17:00
261.   underdog
Oh well, I tried. Hope schoffle isn't around right now, at least.
2008-05-21 15:18:14
262.   Humma Kavula
258 His thumb was working when Russell Martin was catching. Then all of a sudden Ardoin comes in and his thumb doesn't work anymore.

If you want to call that an "accident," logical minds can agree.

But don't we really know the truth?

2008-05-21 15:18:56
263.   Gen3Blue
I'm stunned. But I find 213 in this post a more question, and I would say no, although it is mostly a guess. We will find out soon if I haven't missed it already.

See 222 for better info.

2008-05-21 15:19:18
264.   Bob Timmermann
Daniel Wayne Ardoin was born in Mamou, Louisiana.

In a sense, he is French-Canadian. He's probably a direct descendant from Evangeline.

2008-05-21 15:20:07
265.   Humma Kavula
Since I would rather post here than work, I'll also say this: I look forward to somebody reading 228, figuring out what it says, and passing along the executive summary.
2008-05-21 15:20:47
266.   Gen3Blue
"more important question" re 263
2008-05-21 15:25:11
267.   Humma Kavula
264 I gave a little thought to posting a response that included the phrase "six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline," but failed to come up with anything funny.

So let's pretend that I came up with something funny. Oh, how we laughed at Humma's wit!

Then we moved on.

2008-05-21 15:26:39
268.   Eric Stephen
248
That's my son, you pothead!
2008-05-21 15:27:54
269.   Eric Stephen
267
For what it's worth, I always laugh at the name "Spawn of Kavula".

But then again, I laugh at the name Dick Pole, so there we are.

2008-05-21 15:30:05
270.   Howard Fox
265 okay, executive summary you say? well here goes...

someone has way too much time on their hands...

2008-05-21 15:31:35
271.   scareduck
228 is just so wrong-headed in so many places it's hard to know where to start, but the claim that "WARP, VORP, etc., don't really add anything new. We already had OBP and SLG for batters." Wow, let's go back to batting average as the primary yardstick. OBP and SLG don't add anything new. See? I can handwave, too.

"My speculation is that Dewan and Davenport probably never took so much as a single course in physics."

The hell? This is relevant, how?

What a pompous load of self-indulgent nonsense. You usually have to be the parent of a 3-month-old to get that kind of a diaperful, or a reader of the Times' sports section.

2008-05-21 15:31:55
272.   Eric Enders
Apparently somebody is not familiar with the laws of physics, which dictate that time cannot physically be "on" one's hands.
2008-05-21 15:32:53
273.   Howard Fox
271 yes, but tell us what you really think of it
2008-05-21 15:32:58
274.   scareduck
271 - "but the claim ... is a good place".
2008-05-21 15:40:58
275.   Zak
271 Uh-oh, somebody is going to get a 2773 word answer to their critique.
2008-05-21 15:57:20
276.   Eric Enders
Wow, the long post really killed the thread, didn't it? Hopefully Jon will swoop in soon with a NPUT.
2008-05-21 15:58:43
277.   Howard Fox
I think Jon is still reading it...
2008-05-21 16:04:02
278.   Eric Stephen
Let's revive the thread by listing Reds We Just Can't or Couldn't Stand™.

My quick list:

Paul O'Neill
Chris Sabo
Hal Morris

2008-05-21 16:05:19
279.   Eric Enders
You notice Eric Stephen didn't offer to tally the results this time.
2008-05-21 16:06:02
280.   Zak
278 Joe Morgan is on my list now.
2008-05-21 16:06:39
281.   Zak
279 I'm think we can blame Bob for that.
2008-05-21 16:07:05
282.   Eric Enders
Anyway...
Rob Dibble
Pete Rose
Marge Schott
Ryan Freel

That's about all I can think of.

2008-05-21 16:08:33
283.   Hythloday
I think the basic gist of 228 was that if you go to Vegas you should always bet on black, but only if the entire roulette wheel is black.
2008-05-21 16:09:30
284.   PDH5204
271 AVG = hits over at bats. OBP = times on base over plate appearances. Since the rules of baseball provide that the object of the game is to score runs and that one scores runs by reaching base safely and then advancing to home, well, then OBP tells us something that AVG does not, since the rules of baseball not only provide for the hit to reach base safely but also the BB. The rules also say that one can go beyond first base on a hit. That makes one's SLG important and so adds something beyond both AVG and OBP.

And, friend, anyone can invent any number. It doesn't mean that number (a) has any value and/or (b) has some value beyond some other already existing number with a value.

And the man who wrote the piece is Robert Adair, a Sterling professor of physics at Yale, now retired. He was also once the official physicist of the National League:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/science_news/4256812.html

And if you have something more than an argument purely against the man, which, if you don't know, is a logical fallacy, then by all means...

2008-05-21 16:09:44
285.   LoneStar7
Oh man I'm really sorry, I totally forgot about the Tivo...PLEASE everyone avoid 243...again my deepest apologies
2008-05-21 16:10:10
286.   Bob Timmermann
278
Brett Tomko
Eddie Milner
Gary Redus
Ray Knight
Rawly Eastwick
Pete Rose
Pete Rose
Pete Rose
Pete Rose
Pete Rose
Woody Woodward
2008-05-21 16:10:14
287.   Eric Enders
189 words. Weak.
2008-05-21 16:11:03
288.   Eric Enders
Oooh, Ray Knight for me too. Forgot about him.
2008-05-21 16:11:19
289.   Eric Stephen
282
I was going to list Dibble, but I always got a kick of two things for shear entertainment purposes:

1) Giving up a walk-off HR at Shea to Bonilla (?) and ripping his jersey off as he stormed off the field.

2) The "you wanna be treated like a man?" locker room fight with Lou Piniella. I don't think I've ever seen two men's faces more red than theirs.

2008-05-21 16:14:14
290.   Eric Stephen
289
It was Bonilla.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN199208300.shtml

2008-05-21 16:16:17
291.   eekrock
267 - nice Randy Newman reference.
2008-05-21 16:16:59
292.   Eric Stephen
290
Lots of former and future Dodgers in that game.

For the Mets
Eddie Murray
Jeff Kent
Chris Donnels
Todd Hundley
Bonilla
Sid Fernandez

For the Reds
Tim Belcher
Geronimo Berroa

2008-05-21 16:20:24
293.   bhsportsguy
A year just flys by.

May 30, 2007 - Kobe demands trade.

May 6, 2008 - At MVP celebration says he wants to be a Laker for life.

May 21, 2008 - He and the Lakers return to Conference Finals for the first time since 2004.

2008-05-21 16:20:52
294.   bhsportsguy
293 My spelling sucks today, flies by. Geez.
2008-05-21 16:22:04
295.   Eric Stephen
Haven't seen the Dodger lineup yet, but here is the Reds' lineup:

Patterson cf
Hairston ss
Griffey rf
Phillips 2b
Dunn lf
Encarnacion 3b
Votto 1b
Bako c
Cueto p

2008-05-21 16:23:52
296.   heato
For the Dodgers (from Diamond) . . .

Pierre, LF
Ethier, RF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Loney, 1B
Kemp, CF
DeWitt, 3B
Hu, SS
Kuroda, P

2008-05-21 16:32:39
297.   CodyS
228 Without reading the whole thing, or Tom's whole thing, the point about linear regression not determining cause and effect (and obviously not capturing non-linearities) is all fine and dandy. Linear regression is just one available tool of statistics, usually the first one you try before going on.
As Tom points out, baseball outcomes are highly linear by the nature of the rules, even if the underlying processes that drive the outcomes are phenomenally complex (extraordinarily talented human beings trying to do difficult physical/mental things versus each other over and over again). So you actually get pretty far with linear tools in your understanding of what elements cause wins. And certainly by using them well you get a lot further than would have been possible a few years ago.

256 I am. Hi Mike.

2008-05-21 16:33:38
298.   Eric Stephen
By my count, this is the Lakers 38th conference (or division in the old days) finals appearance in their 60 years. They are 28-9 in their previous conference finals trips.

They are 14-14 in NBA Finals.

2008-05-21 16:34:43
299.   imperabo
284 The only Ad Hominem fallacy I see here is your defense of the ideas by lauding the man. 271 attacked the ideas.
2008-05-21 16:38:30
300.   underdog
I shall be Tivoing the Lakers game to watch later tonight and probably won't be hanging around here during the Dodger game. So... go Dodgers! A consistent lineup this week, huzzah!
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-05-21 16:38:46
301.   Howard Fox
299 I am sure I have read everything wrong, but it seemed to me that the last paragraph in 271 had nothing to do the ideas whatsoever and was instead a personal attack...but then again, I have been wrong before
2008-05-21 16:39:39
302.   Don Tordilla
296 3 days in a row, wonder if that's the longest stretch with the same lineup this season? I know someone here will know the answer.
2008-05-21 16:40:01
303.   bryanf
I'm sure this will get LATed, but here goes:

I'm off to the game, and as I said I will be wearing my DT shirt in the front row behind home plate. Wave to me! :)

FYI, this weekend I get married and then disappear to Hawaii for two weeks, so you won't get to listen to my worthless comments for a while anyway. I know you will keep the Dodger analysis going while I'm gone so I have plenty of stuff to read upon my return.

Let's get the sweep tonight!

2008-05-21 16:42:31
304.   Howard Fox
303 be a man, take your computer and post comments when your bride is sleeping
2008-05-21 16:43:20
305.   Eric Stephen
302
It is the longest. The only other 2-day stretches with identical 1-8 lineups were April 28-29 in Colorado and May 2-3 in Florida.

303
What a whirlwind time for you bryanf, aka the first DTer I met at last year's DT Day. Have a great time, but watch out for errant sniper fire tonight.

2008-05-21 16:44:57
306.   Marty
Bench
Foster
Rose
Morgan
Gullett
Perez
Carbo
That skinny centerfielder
Concepcion
Hell, the whole team in the 70's. Hated em all
2008-05-21 16:45:32
307.   imperabo
301 Say that an idea is "a pompous load of self-indulgent nonsense" isn't a logical fallacy. It's not an argument, and it's not productive, but it's not a fallacy. An Ad Hominem fallacy would be saying that the ideas are wrong because the man is an idiot. He seemed to be saying the man is an idiot because the ideas are wrong.
2008-05-21 16:46:16
308.   Eric Stephen
This is also the first 3-game stretch with the same 8 position players.
2008-05-21 16:47:07
309.   Marty
Isn't it amazing what a little less Jones does for a team?
2008-05-21 16:49:35
310.   Howard Fox
307 so I stand corrected, thanks...then it wasn't personal to say the man is an idiot...see? I learned something today
2008-05-21 16:52:29
311.   bryanf
304 well I will have my iPhone (where I'm posting this from now) and DT is an addiction so we'll see...but I have a feeling I won't worry too much while I'm lying on the beach.

305 yes Eric we were the early birds at DT day last year. Can't wait for this year... ;)

2008-05-21 16:54:43
312.   Jim Hitchcock
311 What beaches?
2008-05-21 16:57:01
313.   scareduck
301 - etc. - the last graf was pure venting and not really contributing anything, and for that I apologize. But the rest ... I'll stand by that.
2008-05-21 16:58:28
314.   gpellamjr
310 Who said anything about it being personal or not? Imperabo simply said that scareduck did not make a logical fallacy, the 'ad hominem' fallacy.
2008-05-21 16:59:02
315.   bryanf
312 wailea on Maui and lihue on Kauai
2008-05-21 17:03:06
316.   Jim Hitchcock
315 Well, I guess saying `have fun' would be rather superfluous :)
2008-05-21 17:03:52
317.   Bluebleeder87
I'm off to the game, and as I said I will be wearing my DT shirt in the front row behind home plate. Wave to me!

how much are those twickets Brian?

2008-05-21 17:04:38
318.   imperabo
314 You're just taking my side because I have a Latin name. That's some kind of fallacy I'm sure. ;)
2008-05-21 17:05:42
319.   Bluebleeder87
What a surprise, Brandon Webb is winning 1-0. ugh.
2008-05-21 17:05:50
320.   gpellamjr
318 No. I'm taking your side because you're right. However, I said your full name rather than citing 299 because you have a Latin name.
2008-05-21 17:06:41
321.   scareduck
284 - it wasn't clear that what you put up was a quote in that section. Adair's comment is simply a non sequitur, which was my point in bringing up OBP and SLG as useless WRT batting average, i.e. we already have a means to measure offense so why do we need another? It's ridiculous on its face. OBP and SLG by themselves tell us nothing about how well a player is doing relative to his peers, and in particular, how well a player is doing relative to his easily-replaceable peers.

Another particularly absurd non-sequitur is bringing up Dewan and Davenport's facility with physics. The subject here is statistics, and if the author wanted to criticize their use and derivation of same his argument would stand up a lot better. As it happens, he didn't. It's about as silly as saying somebody has to have a background in aerodynamics in order to become a pitcher, or in leathermaking to become a good defensive outfielder.

2008-05-21 17:08:00
322.   Bob Timmermann
Out of deference to gpellamjr, I will never use Latin here again.
2008-05-21 17:08:07
323.   Bluebleeder87
Don't be surprised if you see me (Bluebleeder) in the front row sporting my DT gear also one of these days folks.
2008-05-21 17:09:15
324.   gpellamjr
322 Thank you! Finally he gives me something.
2008-05-21 17:10:09
325.   Eric Stephen
317
People don't pay for those tickets. Like Cosmo Kramer says, corporations just write them off.
2008-05-21 17:10:36
326.   Eric Stephen
324
He'll use Latin on your birthday.
2008-05-21 17:12:16
327.   Jim Hitchcock
317 Was `twickets' intentional? Either way, it gave me a chuckle.
2008-05-21 17:12:45
328.   Bluebleeder87
oh o.k. scratch 323 then.
2008-05-21 17:14:23
329.   Bob Timmermann
It was eerie when Eric said I would use Latin on gpellamjr's birthday. Because my comment was number 322.

Coincidence?

I think so....

2008-05-21 17:14:29
330.   PDH5204
297 I wasn't limiting my criticism strictly to linear regression, as my concern is that there was simply not a 10% chance that he catches the ball. Leaving out his error, he could have either caught the ball or not. And we use physics to determine the answer to that question, and not any linear regression or other method.

Since some here appear to be lawyers, so am I, and I do the physics on a routine basis, but since I don't plan on being the lawyer and the expert in the same case, as the rules of ethics rule that out, I hire the accident reconstructionist. He doesn't speak in terms of the car going fast, medium or slow, and there being a 10% chance of collision, as that would be absurd.

It isn't any different here, and so instead of "intersecting", think of the fielder "colliding" with the ball [which does indeed happen when ball meets glove], and so ask whether the fielder's position, his reaction time, his speed, and the flight time of ball, allowed for a "collision" [given that we already know just where the ball landed].

The problem I have with "win shares" and "wins contributed" is that you can't isolate the one soul in a game conceptualized and designed for the interaction of 9 souls. Since you appear to be familiar with statistical analysis, then you know that we must try to rid ourselves of confounding variables. How do you do that when the game is conceptualized and designed for the interaction of 9 souls? You can't. The CF was playing where he was because the lumbering Adam Dunn was in left field. And that might be why he just missed the fly ball into the gap in right field. But we charge the double to the pitcher, and the batter is credited for the same. But the at-bat might have played differently if Carl Crawford had been in left and so no reason for the CF to shade to left field.

And even if Carl Crawford was in left in lieu of Adam Dunn, maybe it wasn't any player's failure to perform, but the manager's decision with respect to fielder positioning. It might not make sense, but the manager could have had the CF positioned in the gap in RF and so an out would likely have been recorded.

That's the inherent problem in all of this. And so I simply don't for a moment see how we can "isolate" one individual's performance and say that he contributed a win. We can say that he's good, maybe better than most of his peers, but I don't see how we can allocate win shares and win contributions.

2008-05-21 17:18:01
331.   gpellamjr
329 It's not a coincidence that you remembered, you big sweet thing, you.
2008-05-21 17:18:43
332.   bryanf
317 yeah they are season tix 100s of 1000s of $$$ I think. Of course I am lucky enough to know some people ;)

My soon to be father in law also has baseline box sears right next to the dugout ... Just another reason to get married

2008-05-21 17:19:18
333.   scareduck
330 - you can't isolate the one soul in a game conceptualized and designed for the interaction of 9 souls.

We can say that he's good, maybe better than most of his peers, but I don't see how we can allocate win shares and win contributions.

A lack of imagination is thus the sum total of your argument against Win Shares? There are some good and compelling ones out there. This is not one of them.

2008-05-21 17:21:03
334.   Eric Stephen
332
Where are you taking your father in law for the honeymoon again? :)
2008-05-21 17:26:38
335.   Bluebleeder87
Old friend Luis Gonzalez just smoked a triple with one out, still 1-0 Snakes.
2008-05-21 17:27:38
336.   Bluebleeder87
1-1 tie now. (woohoo!)
2008-05-21 17:30:08
337.   Bluebleeder87
Cody Ross just went yard (mammoth shot) to left center field. 2-1 Fish.
2008-05-21 17:34:59
338.   eekrock
Thanks Blue, I'm appreciating the update.
2008-05-21 17:42:11
339.   PDH5204
333 Unless you wish to make a substantive comment, could you kindly have the grace to shut up and spare me the ad hominem. Thanks. And next time, please, don't omit everything in between, as that was the support for the comments that you rather shamelessly took out context and then purported to dismiss. And such an omission is frankly dishonest and morally reprehensible.
2008-05-21 17:43:59
340.   Dodgers49
244 Napoli, a 26-year-old rookie,

Why does SI think Napoli is a rookie? Do they only watch ESPN?

2008-05-21 17:45:44
341.   Marty
OK, I think it's time to drop this particular subject. Tempers are getting too high.
2008-05-21 17:47:52
342.   Eric Enders
And Napoli is not exactly a surprise this year. He's hitting lots of home runs, striking out and walking a lot, which are the same things he's always done.

In fairness, I guess there aren't a lot of catchers who you could say are surprises this year.

2008-05-21 17:55:21
343.   Marty
Scully has been harping on Martin bouncing the ball to second all the time. Anyone else noticed that?
2008-05-21 18:05:20
344.   scareduck
339 - and when you can show me that you know what an ad hom argument actually is, I'll be happy to do so. Meantime, I'm seeing you use post hoc and non sequitur fallacies by the bushel basketful.
2008-05-21 18:07:40
345.   LoneStar7
At least we can all agree that we hate the spurs, get it going purple and gold!
2008-05-21 18:08:45
346.   Andrew Shimmin
So, I'm trying to think of a job that (a) deserves to exist and (b) requires of anyone who would be good at it that he or she be charming at dinner parties.

The only one I can think of is Geisha. Which isn't what the G in GM stands for.

Every time Repent or Burn brings up the "email me," thing, I can't believe anybody doesn't wish that people would email them, instead of chatting at them interminably. Isn't it better to get it in writing? And, though I have no direct experience with this, isn't it much better for dealing with subordinates? To me, it's the chatters who lack people skills--imposing themselves on other people who are busy, and then getting snippy about their victims not being grateful for the imposition.

2008-05-21 18:21:48
347.   Eric Stephen
BTW, Jon snuck in a timed NPUT.
2008-05-21 18:43:47
348.   Andrew Shimmin
I saw it. I didn't want to pollute the new thread.

I read The Big Post. As has been alluded to, the big introductory quote is a joke. Yard Work puts the names of real people at the top of pretend essays. So, that's a little unfortunate.

The point of the post is that VORP is worthless because it's not perfect. To the extent that anybody thinks it is (I'm not convinced there is such a person, but supposing there might be), he's wrong. But it's an obvious mistake to say that an imperfect model is worthless. And one who is so disposed to physics should now that, since our physical models of the universe are not perfect.

Throwing out what you know because you know that there are things you don't (and can't, yet) know is patently bizarre. And not something anybody actually does. If you have a child, you cannot possibly know whether the book you're reading him is the best possible book for him to hear, right now. So, does it really not matter whether you read him Tom Sawyer or Penthouse Forum? Is there any way of arguing that Tom Sawyer is better for a kid that isn't unscientific?

2008-05-21 19:14:09
349.   Gen3Blue
Oh dear, I only have one feed tonight and lets see, its not Vin, its the Reds. A few years back I would have been grateful just to get the game. I guess I still am.
2008-05-22 17:22:17
350.   Joe Pierre
To me, the worse thing that ever happened in L.A. was the non-signing of Mike Piazza, by the Dodgers.
He deserves not only a Day but a retiring of his number 31.
He will most likely go in the HOF as a Met and the Mets deserve that.
I don't think the Dodgers will retire his number because he doesn't fit the criteria,
because he played more games for the Mets.
He was the greatest catcher we ever had in L.A. His offense is all that ever mattered.

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