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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Stock Aids
2008-06-17 08:44
by Jon Weisman

Folks are calling the Mets the "laughing stock of baseball" for the way the front office handled the firing of manager Willie Randolph. Of course, the Dodgers have known that designation once or twice or thrice this decade.

In the end, the world at large tends to care only if the ends justify the means. The means - sometimes all too appropriate a word choice - tend to get lost in the shuffle of victory.

What examples can you think of in baseball where a laughing-stock move ended up being worthwhile.

(I should add that sometimes the shame only reflects the execution of the choice, not the choice itself.)

* * *

The Dodgers plan to call up Eric Stults to take Brad Penny's rotation turn Friday, reports Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise, although Penny's MRI revealed no structural damage to his shoulder. Good decision all around.

* * *

Another gem from Earl Pomerantz.

Comments (169)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-17 08:51:13
1.   LogikReader
What examples can you think of in baseball where a laughing-stock move ended up being worthwhile?

When the GM this year gets re-assigned to Media Director. Could be worthwhile :-)

Repeat after me, fellas. There is only one game tonight. Win the one game. There is only one.

2008-06-17 08:52:25
2.   D4P
That time the Dodgers traded for Brad Penny and the other guy.
2008-06-17 08:55:17
3.   Eric Stephen
I think the Randy Johnson trade to Houston comes to mind. I seem to remember Seattle being raked over the coals for only getting a few prospects for The Unit in 1998.

Two of those prospects -- Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen -- ended up being key cogs in a 116-win team just three years later.

2008-06-17 08:55:58
4.   Sagehen
Although the Dodgers were already laughing-stocks at the time, Malone's final laughing-stock move of getting in an altercation with a Padres fan had a worthwhile result in that it got him fired.
2008-06-17 08:56:29
5.   underdog
Re: the Seattle GM opening, this was posted on MLBTraderumors (go to that site for links to their sources):

* Interim GM Lee Pelekoudas is in the running. But as Bavasi's former righthand man and assistant GM, he'd be an odd choice.
* Tigers assistant GM Al Avila was considered for the Mariners' job back in '03 and would love the opportunity.
* Keep in mind that the long-term GM will probably not be hired until after the season. Ken Rosenthal speculates on Brian Cashman, Kevin Towers, A's assistant GM David Forst, and D'Backs director of player personnel Jerry Dipoto.
* Statistically Speaking discusses the Chris Antonetti possibility (he's Cleveland's assistant GM).
* Larry Stone has all sorts of ideas. Aside from those already mentioned here, he tosses out Pat Gillick (unlikely), Gerry Hunsicker, Kim Ng, Dan Evans, Bob Watson, Peter Woodfork, A.J. Hinch, Tony LaCava, Jed Hoyer, Ben Cherington, Jim Duquette, and Paul DePodesta.

2008-06-17 08:57:02
6.   regfairfield
From the last thread:

Hu alone can't bring down the "everyone is decent" offense, but combined with Pierre and potentially someone else, it's a problem.

2008-06-17 09:00:49
7.   JoeyP
Someone mentioned a Lowe for Robinson Cano deal last week, and I thought it was an interesting deal. Cano is having an awful season, but I just looked at his career numbers and they are troubling. He's gotten worse each year.

It appears to me that Cano's a guy that hasnt developed any plate discipline, the pitchers have figured him out. Therefore they dont throw him anything near the strike zone, and he likewise wont take a walk and when he does put it in play, he has very little power since the pitches he's hitting are probably bad pitches.

I dont think I'd trade for Cano. The lack of plate discipline is very concerning, something he's getting worse at as his career progresses.

2008-06-17 09:01:40
8.   scareduck
5 - USSM has been pushing for Cleveland AGM Chris Antonetti, too. It would be a decent choice.
2008-06-17 09:05:09
9.   regfairfield
7 His plate discipline got much better last year. He went from non existent to below average.

Cano was slightly lucky on batted balls the last two years, and this year he's been amazingly unlucky. That pretty much explains the discrepancy.

2008-06-17 09:05:12
10.   scareduck
Re laughingstock moves that work out, Billy Beane's deals to move Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder didn't work out too badly, though the Mulder trade worked out much better (Kiko Calero, Danny Haren, Daric Barton) than the Hudson deal did (Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, Charles Thomas).
2008-06-17 09:07:55
11.   regfairfield
10 I'd say getting a season of Juan Cruz and Brad Halsey for Tim Hudson wasn't exactly in the A's best interest.
2008-06-17 09:10:10
12.   scareduck
9 - yes, and his line drive percentage has been in decline every year he's been in the majors:

Sometimes BABIP is a fluke and sometimes it's indicative of just failing to hit the ball hard. In Cano's case, his LD% isn't actually that far below last year's numbers, but the consistent decline makes me think his BABIP is actually catching up to his low LD%.

2008-06-17 09:12:18
13.   regfairfield
12 His line drive percentage is almost exactly the same this year as it was last year and his BABIP dropped 90 points. He's fourth in the league in underperformance according to PrOPS.

Plus his defense has greatly improved over the last couple years. The Yankees would be insane to trade him for Lowe.

2008-06-17 09:13:19
14.   D4P
His plate discipline got much better last year. He went from non existent to below average.

That's like having your stock upgraded from "Sell" to "Don't buy".

2008-06-17 09:14:01
15.   Jacob L
I get a little bit jealous when I hear the Mets referred to as the laughingstock of baseball. The Dodgers are not even visible enough now to be a laughingstock.
2008-06-17 09:15:16
16.   The Mootz
It's still early to completely judge the value of this trade, but the Marlins were hammered in the press when they traded Willis and Cabrera to the Tigers. As of today, the Marlins are six games above .500 while the Tigers are six games below.
2008-06-17 09:19:18
17.   scareduck
16 - and a lot of that is because the Marlins' early schedule was padded with weak teams. But I do agree the Marlins ended up with the better end of that deal. Willis is probably worthless right now (they sent him to single-A ball??) and Cabrera's stock took a huge hit after the Tigers moved him from third to first. He may not age that well after all; immobile sluggers tend not to.
2008-06-17 09:19:18
18.   Jacob L
I think the "established-star-for-collection-of minor-leaguers" deals pretty much always get ridiculed in the media. Texas got a boatload of talent for Texieria but got raked over the coals. I actually remember Tampa getting criticized for giving us Danys Baez, if you can believe that.
2008-06-17 09:20:29
19.   regfairfield
16 Unless you're arguing that Andrew Miller's 84 ERA+ is pushing the Marlins to victory, the trade had nothing to do with that.

Even Willis hasn't been given enough opportunity to suck to make up the gap.

2008-06-17 09:20:39
20.   Jon Weisman
15 - You sell us far too short. Putting aside that NY is the capital of baseball coverage, the Dodgers get all the grief they need.

The fact that the press sometimes get the story wrong is another matter.

2008-06-17 09:21:03
21.   underdog
16 That's a good example. I even warned my cocky Tigers' fan friend that trade may come back to haunt them. As you say, it's still too early to judge, and the Tigers are hot again. But between the prospects the Marlins got and that MCab and especially Willis aren't quite at the level of greatness some pundits assumed they were, you have a possible win for the Marlins.
2008-06-17 09:21:58
22.   CajunDodger
Not sure that I would call it a success yet, but Carlos Gomez is holding his own for the Twins since he was traded from the Mets...
2008-06-17 09:22:29
23.   underdog
No, but Miller, Maybin, those guys will eventually help the Marlins, and Willis was terrible last year and looked worse this year, in his limited time. Again, it is too early to judge, but at least it's clear the Marlins weren't entirely stupid or the victims of highway robbery, is more the point.
2008-06-17 09:23:06
24.   underdog
How's that Zambrano for Kazmir trade workin' out for ya, Mets?
2008-06-17 09:23:40
25.   LogikReader

I have a strange attachment to the Marlins right now. For some reason I find the team very likeable, even though technically its boring to watch. Of all the Marlins teams I've seen, this year's team is the one that has potential to stay together. They're mostly home grown, to boot, if we count prospects via trade as home grown (i.e. Ethier and Hanley).

As of right now, I dont know how much of an impact the traded prospects have on the Marlins, but at worst, you could call it "addition by subtraction." Hanley is amazing!

2008-06-17 09:24:37
26.   LogikReader
I threw in Ethier to illustrate a prospect acquired via trade, not to insinuate he's going to Florida.
2008-06-17 09:25:56
27.   regfairfield
23 I agree that Willis was a minus, I've never liked the guy. Miller is out of options after this year, so he'd better figure things out very soon, and Maybin's will be burned by age 23 and he's not exactly tearing up AA.

Cabrera isn't doing too well right now, I agree, but he's starting to heat up and could still finish the year with great numbers. It was an entirely stupid deal still.

2008-06-17 09:29:35
28.   D4P
I agree that Willis was a minus, I've never liked the guy

Juan wept.

2008-06-17 09:33:32
29.   LogikReader
By the way, while we're talking Marlins...

Josh Beckett trade, 2005

The Sox, the sources said, will send to Florida two of the organization's top prospects, Double A shortstop Hanley Ramírez and Double A righthander Anibal Sánchez, as well as another lesser prospect...

Who got the better end of that deal?? Hanley Ramirez is easily one of the top five players in the game. He is phenomenal with the bat.

2008-06-17 09:36:47
30.   Eric Stephen
Does anyone know if the throwing stats are factored into the "enhanced +/-" defensive numbers on Bill James Online? I don't think they are since each section is ranked separately.

Anyway, last season Pierre was a +9 in CF, good enough for 9th among MLB CF, but he ranked 30th in the "Throwing" category. Runners took an extra base 99 out of 146 times (67.8% of the time), and he had 2 "kills".

This year in LF, Pierre is a 0 in LF, but that's still good enough for 14th in MLB. And his throwing stats have improved. Opponents have advanced an extra base 19 of 53 times, only 35.8%. That's good enough for 11th place.

2008-06-17 09:39:08
31.   ToyCannon
That is about win win as you can get. The Sox got an Ace and a solid 3rd baseman, the Marlins got an offensive superstar and saved a gazillion dollars. If Anibal Sanchez doesn't blow out his arm it might be more tilted toward the Marlins.

Jon asked about laughingstocks. Everyone was laughing at the Mets when they traded Kazmir. The only way you can count that as working out is if Zambrano had done well and Kazmir flopped.

I think the Tigers were roundly laughed at when they signed Pudge and Magglio. I think we'd be happy to have Magglio right now but if we had given him that contract the pitchforks would have been out in force.

2008-06-17 09:41:44
32.   ToyCannon
Isn't that an understatement. One deal was awesome the other was awful but I don't remember anyone making fun of Billy when he did either deal. He was still on his pedestal at the time.

Pierre is not part of my plan. My plan looks like this:
Martin, Loney, DeWitt/Abreu, Furcal Or DeJesus/Hu, LaRoche, Kemp, Jones, Ethier
Martin, Loney, Hudson or Ellis, Furcal or Hu/DeJesus, DeWitt, Ethier, Kemp, LaRoche

No superstars but only one offensive weakness in either scenario. Assuming A Jones comes back, which he will just to deflate Scareduck.

2008-06-17 09:43:18
33.   Jacob L
20 All I'm saying is there ought to be some more clear way to decide this. For my money, until somebody (like the Mets for instance) lets the GM fire the manager, then fires the GM a week or so later, the title of laughingstock goes through us!
2008-06-17 09:44:34
34.   ToyCannon
Miggy will win that trade all by himself and I don't think it will even be close when you examine it several years from now.

I wouldn't have to try to make a case that we could have a succesful team with a group of average to above average offensive players if Miggy was on the team. If I was to bet on who will have the biggest 2nd half in baseball, my bet would be placed squarely on his shoulder.

2008-06-17 09:46:26
35.   regfairfield
If the White Sox make the playoffs this year, I think that will count.

32 I agree that if we get rid of Pierre somehow, we're looking good in the future.

2008-06-17 09:50:24
36.   sporky
The game doesn't start for hours, and my co-worker is already bashing Billingsley ("He sucked in the games I went to!").


2008-06-17 09:51:00
37.   Eric Stephen
I had no idea the White Sox were pitching so well. 2003 Dodgers-esque.
2008-06-17 09:53:43
38.   Eric Stephen
I've seen him pitch thrice this season (each time wearing his jersey, mind you!!!) and he is 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA in those games.

In his other games, he has a 3.39 ERA.

2008-06-17 09:55:36
39.   sporky
Hope everyone had a good Father's Day. I spent the entire day watching baseball, golf and basketball with my dad.
2008-06-17 09:57:03
40.   JoeyP
His plate discipline got much better last year. He went from non existent to below average.

Thats true.

2006: 18bbs in 482 Abs
2007: 39bbs in 617 Abs
2008: 14 bbs in 258 Abs

2008-06-17 09:57:04
41.   El Lay Dave
36 Tell your co-worker that perhaps she's a bad-luck charm and that when Penny started his downward spiral losing streak, Billingsley stepped up: in 8 starts, 2.88 ERA, 5 starts allowing 2 runs or less, batters hitting .223 against him.
2008-06-17 09:58:51
42.   ToyCannon
Jose Contreras, who knew?

I did love the Carlos Quentin trade at the time. Still shocked the Diamondback GM gave him up so easily. It was like our Navarro deal except they got more but it was still the idea of making room for a more talented player but not getting enough for the guy your giving up on. I'm still worried that is what will happen with LaRoche but BH tells me that is not going to happen.

2008-06-17 09:59:49
43.   sporky
41 She says his numbers are better than he is. What?

Only 31 more business days until I quit...

2008-06-17 10:00:02
44.   ToyCannon
Those numbers will mean nothing to her co-worker.
2008-06-17 10:01:55
45.   sporky
She just prefaced a statement with "But Steiner said..."
2008-06-17 10:02:37
46.   ToyCannon
It is not a bad thing for casual fans to have favorites or non-favorites just based on who they like or don't like. Not everyone has to enjoy baseball based on the numbers. For some it is just going to a game and cheering for the guys who do good on that day.
2008-06-17 10:03:06
47.   Eric Stephen
I think you're at the point in the argument where you throw up your hands and say, "You're right. You win," then walk away (and possibly let air out of her tires).
2008-06-17 10:03:20
48.   Kevin Lewis
I think I finished the season 3 finale of Battlestar last night. I didn't know I was on the last episode, so it was a really exciting treat. Awesome show!
2008-06-17 10:05:16
49.   Kevin Lewis
26 from the last thread:

The hardest hit ball I have ever seen in person was on the third base line of a Sacramento Rivercats Game (AAA). I got a lot of flack from my Mother-in-law, since I ducked for survival rather than trying to protect her.

I had no glove!

2008-06-17 10:06:34
50.   scareduck
32 - you mean, Andruw Jones will come back to the 25-man roster? Or he will do so and have an offensive renaissance? The former is all but guaranteed. The latter is not, but the second outcome would be good for the team in an immediate sense, though I have a bad feeling it would just validate Ned's logic in signing him in the first place. That was what got the Dodgers $40+M on the DL, and is faulty.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-17 10:07:32
51.   sporky
46 Yeah, I feel like a proselytizer.
2008-06-17 10:10:51
52.   El Lay Dave
44 LOL! I was trying to keep it basic!
2008-06-17 10:12:03
53.   El Lay Dave
46 And for some it is just going to a game and booing the guys who don't do good on that day.
2008-06-17 10:17:02
54.   JoeyP
32--Here's my 2009 Dodgers:

C- Martin

Ship Loney/Ethier for prospects to fill the upper levels--preferably 3rd base/SS prospects. Ship Juan for anything. If he cant get traded, then keep him on the team but force the manager to keep him as 4th OF'er for his last 3 years in LA.

Sign Dunn/Teixeira.

Starting Staff:
McDonald/Kuo etc.

I wouldnt mind signing Sabathia, but I think signing Dunn/Teixeira both are much more pressing concerns. Seems the Dodgers turn out more quality pitchers than true power hitters these days.

2008-06-17 10:17:09
55.   Jon Weisman
50 - Are you saying that if Andruw Jones has an offensive renaissance, it would be bad for the team because it would justify Ned thinking Jones would have an offensive renaissance?
2008-06-17 10:22:50
56.   D4P
Which is more likely:

1. Andruw Jones having a rebirth
2. Andruw Jones giving birth

2008-06-17 10:27:27
57.   cargill06
54 i like it, if it were only that simple

56 that's cold, but funny.

2008-06-17 10:27:59
58.   cargill06
38 i ban you from the state of ohio for today.
2008-06-17 10:30:38
59.   Eric Stephen
So if I were to go to Ohio today, it would be an act of Defiance? How appropriate!
2008-06-17 10:35:57
60.   madmac
49 the seat a few spots from us received quite a beating from foul balls. The railing was only about 3 ft. high, so there really wasn't much protection.
2008-06-17 10:37:20
61.   underdog
51 Your co-worker isn't related to Tony Jackson by any chance, is she?

Or, is her name Sarah? (Sorry, but I couldn't resist. So sue me.)

2008-06-17 10:39:22
62.   Connector
Thanks, Jon, for the link to Earl Pomerantz. His article hit a home run with me. I've left a comment.
2008-06-17 10:41:37
63.   scareduck
50 - I'm saying that his overall philosophy is to go long (in the financial sense) on veterans, even to the point of blocking kids. The Jones deal was bad first and foremost because there were big red warning flags about his ability, but also because it created outfield congestion where none was needed. This is not the first time and place that has happened (first base: Nomar vs. Loney in 2007; third base: Nomar vs. LaRoche/DeWitt in 2008). What I fear is that Jones coming back will only encourage Ned to take more of the same bad risks in the future.
2008-06-17 10:41:59
64.   scareduck
63 - actually in response to 55 .
2008-06-17 10:42:47
65.   scareduck
56 - I'll take door number two, Monte.
2008-06-17 10:44:42
66.   bigcpa
Uninentional humor in Kevin Baxter's foul ball column today:

Mark Sweeney was playing in the Cape Cod summer league when he hit a check-swing foul ball into the seats near the plate, hitting a woman in the arm.

"I'll never forget it. She was wailing and screaming," said Sweeney, who was ordered back in the batter's box, where he feebly struck out.

Maybe Sweeney is still playing with pent-up trauma from this incident.

2008-06-17 10:49:28
67.   bhsportsguy
I am happy that Chad gets to pitch in front of his family and friends today.
2008-06-17 10:52:52
68.   D4P
But what if he pitches poorly...? Won't they be sad...?
2008-06-17 11:01:47
69.   Jon Weisman
63 - The Jones signing did not create outfield congestion. If Jones, Kemp and Ethier hit from Opening Day on, that would be the starting outfield.

Look, your lecture about the warning flags about Jones has just about become the ultimate rule 8 violation here. We have all seen the evidence. That doesn't mean it was an iron-clad guarantee that Jones was going to tank. Nevertheless, if there was a lesson to be learned, it's that Colletti should have looked at the kind of evidence the Hardball Times article offered. I tend to doubt that Colletti will learn that lesson, regardless of whether Jones OPSes .500 or 1.000. So you might as well have him OPS 1.000 - because, you know, if he did, we might actually win something.

2008-06-17 11:01:51
70.   D4P
Has anyone tried the new version of Firefox, which was supposedly to be released today? It's being presented as a big step forward in web-browsing, but I can't access the Mozilla site to download it.
2008-06-17 11:03:17
71.   D4P
Nevertheless, if there was a lesson to be learned, it's that Colletti should have looked at the kind of evidence the Hardball Times article offered. I tend to doubt that Colletti will learn that lesson


2008-06-17 11:03:32
72.   LoneStar7
32 I think that works, It kind of reworks what we already have more appropriately, and allows us to possibly go out and get someone like C.C...If Jones found any of the power he once had, I mean ANY of it...that would be a decent lineup
2008-06-17 11:04:05
73.   still bevens
42 That Carlos Quentin trade was more of a byproduct of the PR backlash AZ got for dumping Luis Gonzalez. Byrnes was the most popular player on the team and was in the middle of a good season. Quentin was coming off shoulder surgery and was a bit of a question mark. The AZ management opted to go with giving Byrnes his payday instead of sticking with Quentin. Granted they had other options in the OF, but AZ could be doing well for themselves with an OF of Young/Quentin/Upton right now.

Apparently were not the only NL West team who does dumb moves to placate the media.

2008-06-17 11:07:28
74.   regfairfield
73 Considering they spun the guy off into Dan Haren, I don't think they really mind. Also saying someone who had labrum surgery and hit .214/.298/.349 was a bit of a question mark is an understatement.
2008-06-17 11:09:39
75.   screwballin
70 Downloaded it earlier from without a problem. It's noticeably faster, and has some nice new features. Looks like most of my plugins work also, which I didn't expect.
2008-06-17 11:10:19
76.   El Lay Dave
Over at True Blue LA, Andrew soberingly points out that from this point forward, the Dodgers likely have to win like the top teams this season to date in order to make the playoffs.

For the Dodgers to win 86 games, [they must finish] 55-38, a .591 winning percentage.

Four teams have done that well thus far, and the Dodgers would have to do it for about one-third more games.

~sigh~ (if I may borrow from underdog.)

2008-06-17 11:11:46
77.   D4P
Looks like is overloaded now too. But good to hear that you like the new version. I'm hoping it looks the same as what I'm using now.
2008-06-17 11:12:27
78.   underdog
Hey, anything is possible!


2008-06-17 11:12:43
79.   Kevin Lewis

I tried the demo, but it had a lot of bugs, so I reinstalled version 2. I will wait a few more months to make the switch

2008-06-17 11:13:26
80.   Kevin Lewis
I did like it but I had problems with some automated screens and selections on ESPN and banking site. That is probably all fixed now
2008-06-17 11:14:45
81.   Kevin Lewis
it won't look the same
2008-06-17 11:22:01
82.   bigcpa
69 Nevertheless, if there was a lesson to be learned, it's that Colletti should have looked at the kind of evidence the Hardball Times article offered.

I'm sure Joe Sheehan was aware of the same evidence when he called the Jones signing "far and away the smartest thing any team does this winter." For those (like me) that wish Colletti had someone of the Baseball Prospectus ilk on staff- how can the Jones signing be cited as an example of Colletti's lack of statistical savvy?

2008-06-17 11:24:25
83.   Daniel Zappala
76 But what winning percentage do they need to get to the 97 wins I predicted? That's still possible, right?
2008-06-17 11:26:40
84.   regfairfield
83 .709.
2008-06-17 11:27:09
85.   Eric Stephen
Sadly, my 125-win prediction is toast.
2008-06-17 11:27:29
86.   BlueCrew Bruin


2008-06-17 11:28:18
87.   BlueCrew Bruin
Dang it! Too slow yet again.
2008-06-17 11:28:34
88.   fanerman
There are worse bets for 31-38 teams to win 60% of the rest of their games than this one.
2008-06-17 11:30:14
89.   D4P
Who's to say we won't win 60% of the rest of our games, right?
2008-06-17 11:32:53
90.   Eric Stephen
I do sort of enjoy the fact that the last time the Dodgers were 7 games under .500 was shortly after the all-star break in 2006. They proceeded to win 17 of 18. So we've got that going for us.
2008-06-17 11:33:39
91.   silverwidow
Dodgers on pace to finish 72-90. At least that would secure a top 10 draft pick, maybe even top 5.
2008-06-17 11:34:16
92.   Daniel Zappala
84 Thanks. Still possible, I see. :-)
2008-06-17 11:40:48
93.   Eric Stephen
If the season ended today, they'd pick 7th. Last year, both Cincinnati and the White Sox finished 72-90, and picked 7th & 8th in this year's draft.
2008-06-17 11:44:05
94.   JoeyP
82--Maybe Hardball times is better than Baseball Prospectus?

Plenty of people raised eyebrows at Joe Sheehan's assessment of Andruw Jones. He seemed to have totally downplayed Jones' age, wear & tear, and peripherals from 2007.

Just stating a guy had a down year, and not stating why he'll bounce back but that he "just will"---->is old school baseball media 101. Surprised that Sheehan fell victim to it.

2008-06-17 11:44:14
95.   underdog
Any chance we can talk about a top 10 draft pick, after the season as a consolation prize if things continue to go poorly, rather than right now?


2008-06-17 11:48:38
96.   Eric Enders
The Kevin Brown signing was a laughingstock move that worked out brilliantly.

The Yankees hiring Casey Stengel was considered a laughingstock move at the time. He was considered too much of a clown to be a successful manager, and had failed miserably in two prior managerial stints.

2008-06-17 11:51:28
97.   regfairfield
94 He did give reasons.

When you look a bit more closely at Jones' season, though, you find that many of his indicators were stable. His walk and strikeout rates were slightly worse, but within the bounds of fluctuation. In total, 2007 was a typical Andruw Jones season less 15 homers, five singles, and some intentional walks. His fly-ball rate was unchanged, it's just that the balls didn't go as far. Given Jones' age and the stability of so many elements to his performance, I'm certain that he's going to bounce back to his established level, which in a neutral park would look like .265/.330/.500, with plus defense in center. He's the player people suddenly think Torii Hunter is. [Ed. note: Nate Silver adds that a PECOTA for Jones as a Dodger yields up .258/.345/.488 with 29 home runs and a 28.5 VORP. Tasty.]

2008-06-17 11:52:12
98.   regfairfield
Granted "his flyballs didn't go as far" should be a gigantic warning sign, not something you just brush off.
2008-06-17 11:52:54
99.   bigcpa
94 I think Sheehan gave ample attention to Jones '07 peripherals:

When you look a bit more closely at Jones' season, though, you find that many of his indicators were stable. His walk and strikeout rates were slightly worse, but within the bounds of fluctuation. In total, 2007 was a typical Andruw Jones season less 15 homers, five singles, and some intentional walks. His fly-ball rate was unchanged, it's just that the balls didn't go as far.

Keith Law also endorsed the signing and chalked up '07 to the balky elbow:

In a vacuum, this is an outstanding signing for the Dodgers. Had Andruw Jones had a season closer to his 2006 or 2005 performances, he would have been in line for a five- or six-year deal in the $100 million area... Jones is still one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, and up until 2007 -- when he allegedly played with a hyper-extended elbow -- was good for an OBP near .350 and 30-40 homers every year. He's also about to turn 31, so he's still in or close to his prime as a hitter. And the Dodgers get the advantage of two of his peak or near-peak years without having to sign him into his mid- or late 30s.

The mileage argument sounds like hindsight to me. If Kent can OPS .850 until 39, I'm not going to start worrying about guys who debuted at 19.

2008-06-17 11:58:57
100.   D4P
Granted "his flyballs didn't go as far" should be a gigantic warning sign, not something you just brush off

Yes. This is one of the reasons why BABIP isn't strictly an issue of "luck".

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-06-17 12:00:01
101.   bhsportsguy
Baseball Prospectus is a great publication and I really enjoy both the book and the online content.

And I am certainly guilty of using their writings as additional backup to support my position in a discussion.

No publication gave higher praise than they did for the Schmidt and Jones signings.

But they are not perfect (nor do they claim to be) and certainly they cannot predict injuries or other things can affect performance.

Let's just say that BP and Hardball Times had legitimate arguments to make on Jones and so far HT is looking right.

2008-06-17 12:02:22
102.   Doctor
Regardless of luck, hindsight, debates or injury at some point "it is what it is"(Bustville, population 3+) and the GM should be judged accordingly. Coletti's 3 blockbuster deals as Dodger GM remain:


With plenty of supporting cast like Loiza, Nomar, Wolf, etc…

NedCo is batting below the Mendoza line.

2008-06-17 12:04:55
103.   Eric Enders
What was previously Colletti's most smashing success is looking a little weak these days, too. The Dodgers will now get, at most, a year and a half of good baseball from Furcal's three-year deal.
2008-06-17 12:04:59
104.   bigcpa
102 You'd have to include Furcal and Kuroda on that list if you're going by avg. annual value.
2008-06-17 12:07:16
105.   screwballin
I just went to and got the Firefox download in about a minute. Might be worth a try if you're still interested.

No bugs in the new version for me so far.

2008-06-17 12:08:21
106.   Eric Enders
104 Kent also, if you're going by average annual value. Ned is responsible for his 2007 and '08 seasons.
2008-06-17 12:08:34
107.   Doctor

I consider those pushes at this point. Too early to tell if either will be worth it in the end.

2008-06-17 12:12:08
108.   bigcpa
101 Actually John Beamer who wrote the 9/07 THT column "Will batting .220 hurt Andruw Jones' contract chances?" actually endorsed the signing as well:

John Beamer: I like this deal. Colletti has made short term, high priced deals his signature of recent years, what with the signing of Jason Schmidt and Rafael Furcal to short but over-priced deals. I argued here that Jones is worth three-years and $53 million (on a short contract), which is in line with what he has been given. It is a canny move. Jones is likely to recovery form and be a power bat for the Dodgers next year and if he doesn't LA isn't saddled with a six-year mammoth contract.

2008-06-17 12:18:54
109.   blue22
102 - Luis Gonzalez and Brett Tomko too.
2008-06-17 12:19:19
110.   Alex41592
From Diamond Leung:

Dodgers DL Penny

As expected, Brad Penny was placed on the disabled list today and Eric Stults has been recalled.

2008-06-17 12:20:43
111.   Eric Enders
Here was Dan Szymborski's ZIPS projection at Baseball Think Factory:

.249/.344/.503, 34 HR, 110 RBI

"While $18 million per looks like a lot, the years make it a good risk. Now, I'm not sure if Jones (or Hunter and definitely not Pierre) is the right player for the Dodgers, but they're determined to buy the NL West, no matter what the team's strengths and weaknesses are. At least there's a slim chance that Juan Pierre will end up riding the pine, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I do think the odds are that Andruw Jones is a better player than Hunter."


I think at this point I'm ready to say to the I-told-you-so folks: Fine. You're brilliant, and you were right. This time. But if the same situation came up again, it would still be a good move, and I'd still make it. I still feel this is a move that was bad only in hindsight.

Either that, or I need to learn whatever sort of voodoo enables one to know which 30-year-old players have enough "mileage" that their careers are essentially over.

2008-06-17 12:22:08
112.   blue22
111 - Don't you know: don't trust anyone over 30.
2008-06-17 12:22:37
113.   underdog
I still recommend holding off on officially judging the Jones signing 'til the year's out. Though even if he comes back and does well in the 2nd half, the fact that he was essentially worthless in the first half should still count against it. But, to be fair...

I think NedCo is batting over the Mendoza line, but not by much. He's kind of the Luis Maza of GMs.

2008-06-17 12:25:43
114.   fanerman
I still feel like the Jones move was a good move, even if it doesn't work out. Basically for reasons regfairfield has stated in the past. It's the kind of risk Ned isn't used to making and nobody could really know for certain whether he was breaking down or if he just had a bad year. It's a move I'd also make again.
2008-06-17 12:26:19
115.   bigcpa
111 Completely agree. And as we often speculate about lessons learned, I hope that the Jones signing does not dissuade Colletti from signing elite power hitters in their prime. Can the Jones naysayers tell us which of Dunn, Burrell, Teixeira will be the next FA flop?
2008-06-17 12:29:28
116.   scareduck
69 - The Jones signing did not create outfield congestion.

By the Pigeonhole Principle (yes, I actually did learn something in combinatorics!) Juan Pierre plus Andre Ethier plus Matt Kemp plus Andruw Jones equals four starting outfielders, but major league baseball is played with only three starting outfield slots. Therefore, the Dodgers had a congested outfield. And as expected, Pierre is playing half time.

Also --

Look, your lecture about the warning flags about Jones has just about become the ultimate rule 8 violation here.

Wow, I didn't know you found it so very offensive. I won't bring it up again, but people keep talking about the signing and it's not the same ones every time.

2008-06-17 12:33:59
117.   alex 7
assistant GMs Logan White and De Jon Watson, and director of scouting Tim Hallgren are having a live Web chat today at 2 p.m. PT.
2008-06-17 12:36:33
119.   D4P
I hope that the Jones signing does not dissuade Colletti from signing elite power hitters in their prime

Why would signing a non-elite power hitter not past his prime dissuade Colletti from signing an elite power hitter in his prime?

2008-06-17 12:39:46
120.   Jon Weisman
116 - I never said I was offended. I never said you couldn't bring it up again. But you don't think you've been mentioning it a lot?

Pierre is playing because Jones and Furcal are hurt, not because of congetstion.

2008-06-17 12:40:16
121.   Eric Enders
Jones is a player who, until this year, was on a clear track to the Hall of Fame. Calling him a non-elite power hitter is stretching credulity.
2008-06-17 12:42:34
122.   bigcpa
119 In my warped view of the world hitting 51 HR qualifies one as an elite power hitter and age 30 is within one's prime.
2008-06-17 12:45:39
123.   scareduck
I will say this in defense of Colletti: one of the reasons the strategy he has taken likely worked well in San Francisco is that their home park's weather doesn't get very warm for very long in the summertime. This is especially important for pitchers (see also, Texas). I have no reason to believe he has or hasn't taken this into consideration, but I suspect he hasn't. On the other hand, it's not clear that it has had much effect on the Dodgers' older free agency signings. Jason Schmidt barely pitched in 2007, Nomar has had problems almost from day one this year, and Andruw Jones was bad from the word "go".
2008-06-17 12:46:34
124.   dzzrtRatt
116 It was going to be Pierre-Jones-Kemp. After ST it was Kemp-Jones-Ethier, with Pierre having been told he had lost his starting job.

We were all gleeful that the team had finally made a baseball decision for baseball reasons, and were willing to make Pierre a part-time player despite the embarassment and wasted funds.

Jones let us down, and opened the door for Pierre to return to fulltime status. But really, it was Furcal's injury that guaranteed Pierre a daily spot, since Joe thinks he needs a runny guy. With Furcal in the lineup, I suspect Young would've gotten some of Pierre's starts.

Furcal-Jones-Pierre is the Bermuda Triangle of the Dodgers 2008 season.

2008-06-17 12:46:48
125.   Mike Scioscias tragic illness
Pierre is playing because Jones and Furcal are hurt, not because of congetstion.

Is it your opinion then that if Jones and Furcal came off the DL tomorrow, Pierre heads back to the bench? I would be really surprised if he doesn't still play a majority of the time, regardless of Ethier "winning" the LF job at the beginning of the year.

2008-06-17 12:50:44
126.   dzzrtRatt
125 That would be my contention, assuming that after a week, it was clear the two of them had returned to their expected productivity. The team needs power, and Jones was supposed to supply it. Joe thinks the team needs a speedy top of the lineup guy, and that was one aspect of Furcal's package.

Pierre is not playing as well as Kemp and Ethier.

I do think Joe would weasel a few "platoon" starts for Pierre and if Kemp had a couple bad days in a row, he might "give him a break." And surely Jones will need rest. Pierre would start maybe 1/4th of the games using those dodges.

2008-06-17 12:50:44
127.   scareduck
122 - except that Jones hit 26 home runs in his age 30 season. This represented his second consecutive season with a declining slugging average.
2008-06-17 12:50:58
128.   silverwidow
When Nomar gets activated from the 60-day DL, there is no choice but to DFA Maza.
2008-06-17 12:52:06
129.   scareduck
124 - since Joe thinks he needs a runny guy

LOL! I'm imagining Pierre as a couple of sunny-side-up eggs.

2008-06-17 12:52:08
130.   Daniel Zappala
It's quite possible we wont be able to judge the Schmidt and Jones signings until their contracts are done.
2008-06-17 12:52:19
131.   Mike Scioscias tragic illness
128 Can't I still hold out hope for DFA-ing Sweeney?
2008-06-17 12:53:11
132.   Mike Scioscias tragic illness
126 I'd be on board with that, for sure. I'm just having a hard time believing that's what would actually happen.
2008-06-17 12:57:08
133.   Jon Weisman
127 - Still leaving him a margin to become the Dodgers' top home-run hitter.

125 - If Jones and Furcal were 100 percent and Jones, Ethier and Kemp were hitting, then I believe Pierre would once again become a fourth outfielder, and there really isn't much reason to think otherwise.

2008-06-17 12:58:15
134.   underdog
125 It's my opinion, too, or at least would happen fairly soon thereafter. Furcal's return in lieu of Jones would keep Pierre as starter but push him down in the line-up. Both of them coming back should push Pierre back to the bench or, if it happens before trade deadline, to another team. I stand by that, by gum.

131 But yes, you're not alone there, bud.

2008-06-17 13:00:23
135.   ToyCannon
Eric I agree with most of what you said today but I'm not sure how you came up with Furcal's numbers. In 2006 he was good from June - Sept and in 2008 he was good for April/May. So out of 18 possible months of baseball on his 3 year deal, I find that he was only useful 33% of the time. Granted that 33% was damn good, but the other 67% was either awful or spent on the DL.

Are you assuming he plays well when he comes back from his bulging back? I'm assuming he doesn't. He would do well to sign a one year deal with the Dodgers while he's re-habbing his back and using next year to spring board to his next big deal. It will give us another year to look at Hu/Dejesus and if Furcal can't stay healthy next year, we have to hope that Abreu/Hu/DeJesus will be ready to help more then the Belanger trio that we have going right now.

2008-06-17 13:03:21
136.   fanerman
135 I guess the keywords are "at most."
2008-06-17 13:03:36
137.   Mike Scioscias tragic illness
133 If they're all hitting, then sure. I guess my worry is that Ethier or Kemp get pushed to the bench at the first sign of a slump, while guys with more "veteran-ness" get more of a chance to work through it.
2008-06-17 13:03:45
138.   ToyCannon
The day they DFA Maza is the day that Nomar gets hurts playing SS:)

Actually I'm looking forward to watching Nomar play SS in a sick kind of way. As Underdog has said before, he's not blocking anyone for the 1st time and we really need some offense. It is a silly dream but it would be cool if Nomar could hit like he did in the 2nd half last year as a SS and not kill us in the field.

2008-06-17 13:06:23
139.   ToyCannon
I agree with you. At this point I'm of the opinion that Ethier is the bench guy not Pierre and that if Kemp keeps striking out even he could feel the wood before Pierre does.
The Kids needs to step it up to make sure the choice is easy as to who to send to the bench.
2008-06-17 13:07:45
140.   Jon Weisman
137 - Yeah, there's that. But for Jones, Kemp and Ethier, it's their job to lose.
2008-06-17 13:12:57
141.   silverwidow
Does Brian Cashman like Pierre's skill set? Just wondering what will happen if he becomes GM.
2008-06-17 13:14:02
142.   Mike Scioscias tragic illness
I just realized Sweeney's OPS+ is actually -2.

If my math is right, that means he's actually so bad that he's causing a hole in the space time continuum.

But seriously, he's 102% worse than average player. Mind-blowing.

2008-06-17 13:15:05
143.   Eric Enders
So, let's take a look at the "mileage" theory. Jones is one of seven players in the history of baseball to play at least 1600 games in the outfield by age 30. They are:

Cnt Player G From To
1 Andruw Jones 1761 1996 2007
2 Al Kaline 1720 1953 1965
3 Vada Pinson 1697 1958 1969
4 Ty Cobb 1694 1905 1917
5 Ken Griffey 1680 1989 2000
6 Mickey Mantle 1675 1951 1962
7 Hank Aaron 1656 1954 1964

Needless to say, this is not a list of slackers and early flameouts, although granted, Jones does have the most games played in the group. Going through them one-by-one:

- Kaline endured a bad year at age 25, but rebounded strongly. Got to 3,000 hits and the HOF. He turned in the best OPS+ of his career at age 32 and the third-best at age 31. (Which, of course, are the two ages we signed Andruw for.)

- Pinson was a player who peaked early and was already well into the decline phase of his career by age 28 or 29. He did rebound to have an excellent season at 31. His last excellent season came at age 33; he was average for a couple of years after that and then retired at 36.

- Ty Cobb collected 1800 hits after age 30. Posted averages of .382 at age 31 and .384 at age 32. Started to decline at age 36 but was still an above-average hitter until his retirement at age 41.

- Griffey is basically the one player on this list who can be seen as a cautionary tale. He began to decline at age 28 and has been on a gradual downward slide ever since. He OPS+ed 124 at age 31 and 103 at age 32. He was, however, far from finished, posting an excellent full season as late as age 37.

- Mantle was already hampered by injuries by age 30, but was nonetheless the best hitter in the AL at age 30, age 31, and age 32. He started to decline at age 33, falling all the way to a 137 OPS+. The next year he rebounded to 170. He was a superb hitter until the day he retired.

- Hank Aaron played more games after age 31 than all but two outfielders in history, during which time he had 1686 hits and 389 home runs. His yearly OPS+ numbers during this time were 160, 142, 168, 163, 177, 148, 194, 147, 177, 128. That 142 at age 32 is the closest he ever came to having a bad year, but he rebounded with a vengeance.

So, to sum up, none of these guys was remotely done by age 30. Every one of them had multiple outstanding seasons at age 31 or later. Every one of them played until his late thirties. Every one of them is a player who would have paid off in spades if you signed him to a two-year contract just after he turned 30.

2008-06-17 13:16:04
144.   Eric Enders
135 , see 136 .
2008-06-17 13:17:14
145.   thinkblue88
and a happy belated-birthday to the blue ox.
2008-06-17 13:18:30
146.   Jon Weisman
Tonight's lineup:

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

2008-06-17 13:19:56
147.   Eric Enders
Also... 135 : I think we already sent Belanger down to AAA. What we've got now is Belanger's offense with Offerman's defense. Or maybe not Offerman, but, well, not far off, either.
2008-06-17 13:20:51
148.   scareduck
125 , 133 - I looked at the playing time distribution from March 31 through May 5, the last game in which Furcal played:

Pierre: 24 G, 6 late-innings substitutions
Jones: 31 G, 3 late-innings substitutions
Ethier: 28 G, 1 late-innings substitution
Kemp: 30 G, 7 late-innings substitutions

That's a lot of playing time for a fourth outfielder. Looking at the Dodgers lineup page over that span, it appears that Pierre started over Kemp nine times, over Ethier five times, and over Jones four times.

BTW, on 135 you ought to note that Furcal wasn't even available for most of May, being he only played through May 5.

2008-06-17 13:21:42
149.   cargill06
can anyone explain that the hell the sponser is talking about? (sfw)

2008-06-17 13:23:28
150.   ToyCannon
ah, yes that would be the key phrase. Sorry for missing that.

DeWitt has Torre under his spell. Maybe it will pay off with a splashball.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-06-17 13:23:54
151.   OhioBlues12
Alright, I am off to game. Hopefully I get to see Bills pitch a good one and maybe even a few hits, some of the extra base variety would gravy.
2008-06-17 13:23:55
152.   Jon Weisman
149 - Ask 147 .
2008-06-17 13:24:36
153.   ToyCannon
That is so awesome. That is our own Eric Enders.
2008-06-17 13:24:59
154.   fanerman
149 LOL brilliant.
2008-06-17 13:25:33
155.   silverwidow
DeWitt's June stats:


LaRoche has 6 ABs...why?

2008-06-17 13:27:32
156.   ToyCannon
I am so off my game, for some reason I thought we were playing the Giants.

Jay Bruce is coming back to earth after his Braun like debut. An outfield of Dunn/Hamilton/Bruce would get me to buy a ticket.

2008-06-17 13:27:42
157.   scareduck
138 - I'm actually mildly optimistic about Nomar playing short again, too. Things are so bad for the Dodgers in the middle infield that he can't help but be incrementally better. No miracles, and he almost certainly doesn't have much range, but it's worth a try.
2008-06-17 13:29:02
158.   Fallout
143 Eric Enders

Nice job! I always like it when someone mentions Al Kaline. :)

2008-06-17 13:29:07
159.   ToyCannon
You would have to ask the owners hand picked manager.
2008-06-17 13:29:15
160.   schoffle
133 137 139

I am not sure why anyone believes that Pierre will be relegated to the bench if and when Jones returns. From May 1st to May 18th (the last start that Jones made) the at bats for our outfielders were distributed as such:

Pierre 63 (this includes starting all 5 games in May that Furcal started in)
Kemp 55
Jones 44
Ethier 40

I can see no reason to expect that Jones return would greatly change this distribution. Also it is worth noting that Pierre is OPSing .662 to Ethier's .648 in June.

2008-06-17 13:31:15
161.   schoffle
Ok so my post seems a bit redundant after seeing 148 . I guess I just type slow
2008-06-17 13:34:09
162.   bigcpa
143 Nice research thanks. Here's another point of reference.

Likely HOF outfielder. Debuted at 19.

Age 27 42 HR (161 gms)
Age 28 21 HR (135 gms)
Age 29 22 HR (130 gms)

Joined Dodgers at Age 29.

Age 30 34 HR (152 gms)
Age 31 43 HR (141 gms)
Age 32 36 HR (143 gms)

2008-06-17 13:34:23
163.   scareduck
148 - of course, I should also add that Jon originally mentioned the caveat "if ... Jones, Ethier and Kemp were hitting", which was not the case for Jones. But Jones still got more starts than anybody over March 31 through May 5.
2008-06-17 13:36:43
164.   fanerman
162 Gary Sheffield is a likely HoFer?
2008-06-17 13:41:42
165.   cargill06
Kemp's nickname is "The Bison."3 During the second major league game of Kemp's career, on May 29, 2006, he stole second base in the fourth inning, after which Atlanta Braves television announcer Don Sutton said he looked "like a big buffalo running around the bases." The observation was appropriate due to Kemp's imposing size and surprisingly fast footspeed. The nickname was modified to "The Bison," the more proper term for the North American mammal to which the moniker refers.

that's what wikipedia has, is this correct

2008-06-17 13:48:00
166.   scareduck
164 - Jay Jaffe thought so, though with the caveat that it may take a Veteran's Committee vote to get him in... he's treated the press rather roughly over the years.
2008-06-17 13:50:02
167.   Jon Weisman
Check out Logan White's comments on the draft to Diamond Leung:

2008-06-17 13:54:46
168.   silverwidow
167 I love the Ethan Martin pick, but to say it's possibly a "top 3" draft for White is extremely optimistic.
2008-06-17 13:55:20
169.   Jon Weisman
2008-06-17 14:09:37
170.   dzzrtRatt
Diamond Leung is a model 21st century journalist. He is to baseball reporting what is to politics. He makes the Times look stodgy and slow (not hard to do.) I think he reads this blog for market research, which is what all the paid reporters ought to be doing. He asks the questions you all would ask.

I've probably purchased the P-E twice in my life, both times at a Denny's. But he's getting them page views from all over the country. I hope his ad dept. knows how to monetize that (they probably don't.)

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