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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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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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Irony for Dummies
2008-06-14 21:55
by Jon Weisman

Say what you will about how damaging Rafael Furcal's bulging disk has been, but at least he's been doing the right thing by sitting out the games. Tonight, you can read everywhere about how Brad Penny pitched today with shoulder problems, even though he said to Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise and others that he knew beforehand that he "probably" shouldn't have. But he pitched anyway, because he didn't want to put the team in a horrible spot.


Some of the best moves the Dodgers have made this year have been yanking injured players onto the disabled list, and some of the worst have been allowing them to be gamers, to no good end. I've been hoping that they'd start to gravitate further toward the former, but the Penny example shoots some holes in that theory. While I'm impressed that Penny has been able to throw as hard as he has all season considering his problems, I just wish, when the Dodgers' pitching depth has been one of their strengths, he hadn't taken so long to try to get better.

Apparently, there's a good chance they're about to repeat the process with Chan Ho Park, who has a pinch in the back of his shoulder but says he's able to pitch anyway. I'm no doctor, but isn't almost axiomatic that in this comeback season following years of struggle, Park's better served getting rest than pitching with an aching wing?

At least the Dodgers scored some runs today, reminding us of the possible.

Comments (66)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-14 22:17:10
1.   Eric Stephen
Park's better served getting rest than pitching with an aching wing

For some reason, I immediately started hearing "Take...these broken wings...and learn to fly again, learn to live so free."

2008-06-14 22:20:07
2.   Dodgers49
From previous thread:

323 321 Yeah, I would imagine it's Troncoso (or maybe Brazoban -- is he hurt?) to come up.

Brazoban is currently on the DL in Las Vegas.

2008-06-14 22:21:19
3.   ChicagoDodger
I'm no doctor, but isn't almost axiomatic that in this comeback season following years of struggle, Park's better served getting rest than pitching with an aching wing?

Especially when 10 or 15 games under .500 is about the best this team will do this year regardless of how well park pitches!

I just don't understand why it's so hard to admit it's not going to happen and start building for the future. It always makes the most sense because it most assuredly prevents you from making panic moves. A team with a wealth of young talent is not one that should even be contemplating panic moves. 2008 is simply not that important! The sooner the Dodgers realize this, the better off they will be!

2008-06-14 22:23:32
4.   Gen3Blue
Kuo--we may have missed his window of health-- but his not playing a major role at this point is hard to explain. (I wanted to say criminal) I am trying to be reasonable, but should just go to sleep.
2008-06-14 22:25:06
5.   Eric Stephen
Especially when 10 or 15 games under .500 is about the best this team will do this year regardless of how well park pitches

I don't agree with this at all. With today's loss, the club's pythagorean win% is .493. That's 80-82, with just about every possible thing going wrong. Certainly they could regress, but this is still an 80-85 win team with even minimal improvement.

2008-06-14 22:28:00
6.   underdog
2 And Troncoso had been none too impressive since his return to the minors, until his last performance or two. They have other options, too.

This could be another instance where the Dodgers are forced to make the move they should have earlier, due to injuries - in this case moving Kuo to the rotation. If they need another long reliever they can call up Stults, or even Jason Johnson, who is probably just impersonating Aaron Sele but has been pretty good in Vegas so far. But as Jon says, pitching depth is not the Dodgers' problem, so...

2008-06-14 22:29:44
7.   Linkmeister
Completely unrelated to the subject, I happened to pick up a copy of Best American Sports Writing 2007 at the library the other day ( It's edited by David Marannis, who wrote that wonderful Clemente biography a while back.

Much to my surprise and delight, the USS Mariner blog post analyzing Bugs Bunny's baseball talents as he played all nine positions simultaneously against the Gorillas in a single game is included in the collection.

If you've forgotten it, here's the link:

2008-06-14 22:30:35
8.   ChicagoDodger
Penny's done! Kent's done! Jones is done! Furcal is done (for 2008 anyway)! Nomar was done! Lowe and Kuroda are nothing special! Saito is aging before our eyes!

And you still see it as a 80-85 win team? You are a heck of alot more optimistic then I! But if you are correct, it will be because the young players played above expectation! And if that' were to be the case, it's still no reason to use Park if he's injured! The whole purpose of the rest of the season should be to give the young players opportunity. If they happen to win as well? That's just gravy!

2008-06-14 22:30:42
9.   Eric Stephen
Jason Johnson would require some 40-man maneuvering, since he's not currently on the list. Which means the realisic call-up options are Troncoso, Miller, or Stults (I'm assuming they will want Meloan and McDonald to resume starting in the minors).
2008-06-14 22:32:54
10.   Jon Weisman
Stults is 28 and pitching the best ball of his career. Not that I put him ahead of Kuo or maybe even McDonald, but if you're ever going to use him, I don't know why no now.
2008-06-14 22:34:53
11.   Eric Stephen
I think playing the young ones (at least at 2B & LF) will both enhance the Dodgers chance of winning this year and their own development.

That still leaves SS as a huge hole, but that can be solved by (a) Hu coming back in a month or so; (b) Jones coming back healthy and productive, pushing Young to 2B and DeWitt to SS; (c) Nomar somehow finding the fountain of youth and not breaking bones at SS.

2008-06-14 22:35:25
12.   underdog
Yeah, the more I think of it, it has to be Stults. He deserves it, has some experience, and wouldn't require any other maneuvering. It's got to be.

8 You! Like! Exclamations! eh?

2008-06-14 22:39:35
13.   underdog
What the...? They're showing "GoodFellas"... on Lifetime.

With a "Happy Father's Day Weekend" tag in the lower right corner.

2008-06-14 22:39:35
14.   Reddog
I wonder what the team would be like now if McCourt had simply kept Dan Evans as the Dodgers GM?
2008-06-14 22:44:10
15.   underdog
14 I know, of the past four Dodgers GMs, he's the one I trusted and liked the most. Not that he was, or would have been, infallible at all, but comparatively at least... Ah well, we can only look forward, not back.
2008-06-14 22:44:30
16.   ChicagoDodger
11 I think playing the young ones (at least at 2B & LF) will both enhance the Dodgers chance of winning this year and their own development.

Agreed. (tempted to use exclamation point here).

That still leaves SS as a huge hole

No more a hole then it will be for 2009. Given Furcal's injury history, they can't bring him back. Might as well address it now. Hu for the remainder of the season makes the most sense. If you are inclined to move DeWitt to short, what's wrong with Young in Left, LaRoche at 2nd, and DeWitt at short? That seems a heck of a lot better then Jones in center or Nomar anywhere near the playing field.

12 You! Like! Exclamations! eh?

A little I guess. More then I realized.

2008-06-14 22:46:18
17.   Bob Timmermann
If Dan Evans were the GM, we wouldn't have to worry about acquiring any Nats players.
2008-06-14 22:50:34
18.   Eric Stephen
I would also like to caution that Takashi Saito is not ready to put out to pasture.

Opposing Hitters
2006: 177/243/262
2007: 151/209/239
2008: 229/293/324

2006: 2.07
2007: 1.40
2008: 2.28

2006: 12.29
2007: 10.92
2008: 12.36

2006: 4.65 to 1
2007: 6 to 1
2008: 4.75 to 1

His numbers might be slightly down, but he's still a great pitcher.

2008-06-14 22:50:43
19.   underdog
17 Or Gnats players.
2008-06-14 23:02:31
20.   Eric Stephen
Lowe and Kuroda are nothing special!

Both Lowe & Kuroda are on pace for 190-200 IP with a 107 ERA+. Last season, there were only 22 pitchers in the NL with 180 IP & 100 ERA+.
Also, here are their FIP ranks this season:

Lowe - 3.54 FIP (11th in NL)
Kuroda - 4.17 (28th in NL)

I'd say that's plenty special.

2008-06-14 23:08:43
21.   ChicagoDodger
20 Just to be clear, which one of them is the ace? Or Number 1 starter? Because I have been having a hard time figuring that out all year. There was a rumor earlier in the year that it might even have been Penny, but that can't be true can it?
2008-06-14 23:10:03
22.   Eric Stephen
Billingsley is the ace.
2008-06-14 23:18:20
23.   ToyCannon
I don't understand jumping ship in the middle of June when the team we are chasing has just as many leaky holes as we do. Maybe we win the NL West with 81 wins instead of 90.
2008-06-14 23:19:09
24.   underdog
Billingsley, Kuroda, and Lowe make a pretty solid 1-3 minus SuckyPenny. Add Kershaw and Kuo and it's still a pretty good rotation. Without Penny, the Dodgers problems the past few weeks have clearly not been their pitching overall.
2008-06-14 23:20:50
25.   ToyCannon
Jason Repko is on fire, watch out JP, this guy can run, throw, hit with a little power, and works as hard as you do. Torre should love this guy.
There's our SS, put him back where he was drafted.
2008-06-14 23:21:58
26.   underdog
23 But I was told in the previous thread by someone that the team is a disaster! Which means Titanic, which means we should jump ship. Abandon ship!

But seriously, I agree.

2008-06-14 23:22:22
27.   ToyCannon
Does that matter, has that helped San Diego come crunch time, or the Twins? I'd rather have 5 solid starters then an ace and some holes.
2008-06-14 23:22:56
28.   ChicagoDodger
22 Hmmmm, both in their 30's, and yet both defer to the "much" younger Billingsley in terms of pitching status, yet they are both still considered special?

Next your going to tell me that by the end of the year Kershaw might even be the #2.

If that happens, just how special are Lowe and Kuroda? And when did a 4.04 era become a pitchers ballpark no less?

I must really be getting old, because I remember when a 3.00 era was special.

2008-06-14 23:25:43
29.   Eric Stephen
1) Dodger Stadium is no longer a pitcher's park
2) I mentioned in 22 that there were only 22 pitchers in the NL in 2007 with 180 IP and a 100+ ERA. That's barely over 1 per team. The Dodgers have 3. That makes them special.
2008-06-14 23:26:39
30.   ChicagoDodger
23 Maybe we win the NL West with 81 wins instead of 90.

Or maybe even with 71 wins. Ain't sports today just great?

Kinda reminds you of those 5-8 teams in the NFL in week 15 still thinking they have a shot.

It just doesn't get any better then that!

2008-06-14 23:26:45
31.   Eric Stephen
For Daniel, Johnd Lindsey has a blog! It's a poorly designed site (he's lumped in with other stuff) and I don't know when it will be updated again, but here is the link:

2008-06-14 23:29:41
32.   Eric Stephen
Holy crap is Repko on fire! 14 for his last 23 coming into today, when he "only" went 2-6 with a HR in a doubleheader. He has at least a 10-game hitting streak (can't see game logs older than that), and has raised his seasonal numbers to .269/.364/.419.

Is there a good site to translate that into MLEs?

2008-06-14 23:30:41
33.   ChicagoDodger
29 1) Dodger Stadium is no longer a pitcher's park

Oh my, if that's the case, then the Dodger offense is REALLY pathetic. Please tell me that you've mis-spoke.

I still don't understand why 3.00 era used to be special, but now 4.0 era is special. When did that happen?

2008-06-14 23:35:21
34.   Sam DC
17 No Marlon Anderson!
2008-06-14 23:36:34
35.   Eric Stephen
The Dodger Stadium park factor has been over 100 since 2005, meaning it favors hitters relative to other parks.

You seem to want Kuroda and/or Lowe to be an "ace". But no team really has so many great pitchers. Being above average over many innings is very valuable, and that is what makes Kuroda/Lowe special.

Also, the lowest cumulative NL ERA since 1994 has been 4.11 in 2002. A 4.00 ERA is above average, and has been for some time.

2008-06-14 23:46:42
36.   ChicagoDodger
35 In 2007 19 starting pitchers in the NL had era's below 4.00, and it was 21 in the AL. And that doesn't even take into account the DH.

I think at this point we need to agree that we have differing views of what "special" is. And that's fine.

I guess what it comes down to is that you probably feel alot more confident when Lowe or Kuroda are on the mound then I do. And again, that's fine. Like I said, to me they are nothing special.

2008-06-14 23:56:48
37.   bhsportsguy
36 I will say that without Brandon Webb, the D-Backs would be in big trouble but just adding an "ace" see Mr. Santana on the Mets, does not hand you the divison.

Had Billy Wagner and the Mets been able to hold some leads this week, the NL West might have had a leader under .500

Let's not forget that both Furcal and Penny are in contract years (Lowe is too). Many thought the Dodgers exercising Penny's option at I think $9M for 2009 was an automatic call but if he is put on the shelf, who knows.

I can't say I had the best view of Vlad Guerrero tonight and I could be just imagining it but it looks like his swing is not as violent as it used to be.

2008-06-15 00:01:09
38.   bhsportsguy
I also think ERAs have to re-examined because starters don't pitch much beyond 6 innings these days so a to have a 3.00 ERA would require them to give up around 2 runs a game.

If a starter gives up 3 runs in 7 innings, that's a 3.85 ERA but that would win a lot of games today.

So really if a starter is averaging over 6 plus innings and has an ERA around 4, he is doing the job.

2008-06-15 00:06:56
39.   ChicagoDodger
37 I am not in favor of the add an ace theory. I didn't want Santana. I am more in favor of the develop 5 good pitchers of your own theory.

I also am not in favor of basing your team off of how effective or ineffective the other teams in your division or league are.

The goal should be to construct a team so that the other teams have very little meaning. You do your job, and it shouldn't matter what the others do.

This whole "at least the D-backs have lost 7 of 8 so things aren't so bad" stuff is what ruins sports. For me anyway.

Now, if the team is a work in progress with almost all young players, then yeah for fun it would be okay to root the team on to a possible 80 wins and a playoff spot. But not when they spend over $100 million.

2008-06-15 00:10:19
40.   ChicagoDodger
38 So really if a starter is averaging over 6 plus innings and has an ERA around 4, he is doing the job.

Agreed. But doing the job and being "special" are two different things. At least to some of us.

I mean, Edwin Jackson has a 4.0 era. Please don't tell me he's special to now.

2008-06-15 00:23:29
42.   LoneStar7
41 oh my word, that was a totally unintentional mistake, and I have no idea how that happened considering the T and P are not even close..

please go ahead and edit that hah

2008-06-15 00:29:42
43.   Zak
fanerman, Bluemamma and Jon, and anyone else I may have overlooked, thank you for all the good wishes about my daughter. She had a better day today than the last few days and should be better soon.

dzzrtRatt, I read your post and it had close to everything I could think of that would be my worst fears in life. It's very brave that you can write about it and honestly, thank you for sharing. Death scares me an awful lot... less mine and more about the people I love so much. What you went through took so much bravery and it is inspiring and painful just thinking about it. Congratulations for your sons and their wonderful recent achievements and be proud of yourself.

2008-06-15 00:29:59
44.   Bob Timmermann
Why don't you retype 41 and I'll get rid of the others?
2008-06-15 00:38:22
45.   Bob Timmermann
Sorry 44 was meant for 41

Oh never mind. I'll just go to bed.

2008-06-15 00:39:48
46.   Johnson
40 But doing the job and being "special" are two different things.

I think a lot of the back-and-forth here is due less to differing opinions on "special" (though they may exist) but rather to differing opinions on "nothing special". You seem to use the terms complementarily - a player must be either "special" or "nothing special".

To me, and I suspect to others reading your comments, "nothing special" is a fairly dismissive term, and there's a pretty big gulf between the low end of "special" and the high end of "nothing special", including (for me) "really good", "pretty good", "better than average", and "average" (not strict categories, of course, but terms I'd use to describe abilities). All of which come before "nothing special", which is almost on par with "cut him and bring up a warm body from Vegas".

I think it's pretty clear (looking at, for instance, the FIP numbers in 20 ) that Lowe and Kuroda are safely better than average. I wouldn't call them "special" myself, but their performances aren't anything to be dismissed, either, and I think that interpretation is the sticking point here.

2008-06-15 00:46:49
47.   LoneStar7
45 you can delete them both, my only real point was to confirm that repko was drafted as an SS
2008-06-15 06:52:26
48.   D4P
I just found the following on Juan Pierre's baseball-reference page. Don't know how long it's been there, but thought I'd share it in case you hadn't seen it.

Freebasing grit and hustle doesn't obscure the 700+ PA's of 75 OPS+ production Pierre brings. He's a black David Eckstein. Bill Plaschke's unsavory fetish notwithstanding, Juan Pierre is probably the worst regular in baseball.

2008-06-15 07:04:08
49.   Daniel Zappala
31 Very cool. Thank you for that.
2008-06-15 07:58:54
50.   underdog
48 - Funny stuff, though there's something just a little...wrong about using the phrase "freebasing" there. Makes me think Juan Pierre's gonna set himself on fire, which, as much as we don't want him in the lineup is not something I'd wish on him. Great to see Plaschke called out though.

Btw, I'm sure you read it but it's interesting to reread that section in Moneyball that has a bit on basestealing and "speed" and Beane's disinterest in it. With Ray Durham and Ron Washington both saying, "It's different here..." (Meaning, the A's didn't encourage basestealing) Which also calls out Joe Morgan. Fun stuff.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-15 08:28:41
51.   CodyS
Today, the Dodgers officially are flipped to a seasonal runs scored deficit. In the early going, their record wasn't that good, but you could take comfort that they were "better" than their record by virtue of the runs scored difference and that things would even out. What evened out was actually the runs scored and the record remained gopher turds.
2008-06-15 08:31:05
52.   timm
I'd like to see them give Repko a chance. He is a spark plug and we all know the Dogs need a little fire in their pants.
2008-06-15 08:56:05
53.   D4P

Maza > LaRoche, I guess.

2008-06-15 09:00:38
54.   D4P
Dear Joe:

Why do both DeWitt and Maza get to play vs. lefties over LaRoche?

- Confused in North Carolina

2008-06-15 09:06:55
55.   Disabled List
That's a very Grady-esque lineup. Guess the Dodgers are mailing in this one.
2008-06-15 09:10:41
56.   tjshere
54 The reason why Maza plays over LaRoche is simple: he's older.
2008-06-15 09:18:43
57.   Jon Weisman
Tony Jackson: "LaRoche got hit in the face by a bad-hop grounder during BP and had a severe nosebleed, but he's fine."
2008-06-15 09:19:46
58.   worz
54 Actually this is probably the reason for no LaRoche today (from T Jackson):

"LaRoche got hit in the face by a bad-hop grounder during BP and had a severe nosebleed, but he's fine."

2008-06-15 09:20:43
59.   rockmrete
I posted this at the end of a thread so I thought I would reprint it, sorry if your reading it twice.

First off...I wasn't happy about Torre, and his staff to begin with. They should have hired Kirk Gibson to manage, and to bring in a different pitching coach (Orel maybe) because Honeycutt is not the answer.

Has anyone taken a real look at Pierres numbers since he became the lead off man? With him at leadoff preceaded by the ptichers spot and the Need to use Borroa now you have an entire inning of outs bunched together. And when Toore makes the matter worse by putting in Maza to replace Kent...we get what get don't we. Should I bring up Sweeny not only getting at bats, but in the starting line up...Come On!

Replace the batting coach for starters.
Bench Pierre, and Maza, live with Borroa.
Play LaRoche, DeWitt, Young, Andre, Kemp, Loney

2008-06-15 09:21:11
60.   Eric Stephen
Torre said LaRoche would play today against LHP Nate Robertson. Damn this is frustrating.
2008-06-15 09:24:15
61.   Eric Stephen
57 ,58
LaRoche is cursed.
2008-06-15 09:40:27
62.   Jon Weisman
2008-06-15 09:42:26
63.   kinbote
13 Well, let's see. Henry Hill's father is abusive; Henry himself is no prize winner in that category; and the theme of fatherhood really plays no role whatsoever in the rest of the [excellent] film. Good call Lifetime!
2008-06-15 09:43:22
64.   Greg Brock
Daniel, LaRoche was drafted in the 39th round because he was almost certainly going up to D I out of community college. Everybody around baseball was shocked when he signed for the million bucks the Dodgers offered. He tore up the Cape Cod League something fierce.
2008-06-15 09:43:46
65.   Greg Brock
Bah, fiddlesticks.
2008-06-15 09:47:04
66.   Reddog
McCourt likes to fire people, and I'm pretty sure he will ax Colletti after this season. I'm hoping Logan White gets a well-deserved promotion and will be named our new GM for next year.

I also think McCourt has had it with Colletti blowing big money on over-the-hill free agents and has told him he can't trade any of the young players.

In a way, I'm looking forward to next season, and not caring so much now about this one.

2008-06-15 10:06:17
67.   sweepstakes
Anyone know why Repko was converted to an outfielder?

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