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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

Donut Roll
2008-06-29 07:41
by Jon Weisman

Since Wednesday:

Opponents ... 000 000 000 011 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 - 2
Dodgers ..... 200 300 00x 000 000 000 100 020 30x 000 010 00x - 12

Look out below, though. Today's opposing starter, John Lackey, has allowed 13 runs in eight starts this year (1.65 ERA).

* * *

Chad Billingsley, age 23, has these career numbers as a starter: 292 innings, 7.98 strikeouts per nine innings, 3.36 ERA.

* * *

"I never make excuses, but the situations I have been in haven't been ideal for pinch-hitting ..."
- Mark Sweeney, as told to Tony Jackson of the Daily News

Struggling hitters say the dardnest things.

Sweeney should not be at the top of any list of reasons the Dodgers have struggled, and you can argue that he's hit in tough luck. In 60 at-bats, he has put the ball in play 41 times, yet gotten only six hits. But yeah, the time has come - whether or not other Dodgers are ready to come off the disabled list. It doesn't matter whether or not you feel that Sweeney has deservedly been a .100 hitter. The question is what you think he will provide going forward, relative to other players. It's time for someone else to have a chance at that roster spot, even if it doesn't make or break the season.

* * *

Best wishes to Dodger pitching coach Ken Howell, who has been hospitalized with a foot infection.

2008-06-29 08:43:47
1.   underdog
Today's game should be another low scoring affair. Let's see if the Dodgers gather some hits today! And more than a run! Gowe Lowe.


I wrote a sort of Sweeney-ish character into my baseball script, a character I managed to muster up some empathy for. But the real Sweeney I think should step aside soon.

Okay, off to play soccer, then watch Euro soccer on TV, then the Dodgers. An action-packed day!

2008-06-29 08:46:32
2.   underdog
Bill Shaikin proposes the Dodgers offer middle reliever Cory Wade or Single-A fireballer Javy Guerra for OF Juan Rivera. Mlbtraderumors:" Despite already having a logjam in the outfield, Rivera would provide the power the Dodgers need. As he sees it, the Angels have a propensity for stockpiling arms and Rivera is only gathering dust behind Gary Matthews Jr. Fun fact from Shaikin: it's been 32 years since the last Dodgers/Angels trade."

Juan Rivera makes no sense unless the Dodgers find an outlet for the other Juan.

2008-06-29 08:48:24
3.   Jon Weisman
So what Dodger, other than I guess Kemp, came the closest to getting a hit Saturday?
2008-06-29 08:49:41
4.   underdog
Ethier gave a ball a ride to deep left field that was run down near the warning track. A few other balls were decently hit through the infield but at someone. Don't remember anything else except a few good foul balls...?
2008-06-29 08:54:06
5.   Eric Stephen
Man, John Lackey really flies under the radar. He has been an outstanding pitcher, and he'll make a lot of money after 2009. The Angels hold a $9 million option on him for next year, which by my calculations has a 100.0% chance of being exercised.

In 6 starts against the Dodgers, Lackey has a Peavy-esque 1.46 ERA. He has allowed 0 runs in 3 of those starts, and allowed 1 run in two others. The last time he allowed more than one run to LA was June 2003.

2008-06-29 08:54:19
6.   Eric L
From the last thread:

if it was the Red Sox or the Yankees, ESPN would be all over it, and MLB would recognize it...that's just the way things are these days

ESPN was all over the game as soon as it was over on BBTN and then a few minutes later on Sportscenter. Between the end of the game and midnight or so, I saw the highlights about 5-6 times while I was feeding my son. It was also the lead story on the Sunday morning Sportscenter, too.

I don't watch ESPN that much these days, but our two-week old son demands that we keep odd hours.

2008-06-29 08:57:10
7.   ToyCannon
If Adam Dunn had been in LF it would have been a triple.

Berroa hits more hard foul balls for such a lousy hitter then anyone else I can remember.

Juan Rivera may not be a fit for the Dodgers but why some team hasn't pried him away from the Angels is beyond me. It might be because even though the Angels have a lot of excess outfielders, none of them are any good.

2008-06-29 08:58:39
8.   Eric Stephen
Berroa has a knack for hitting line drives into either dugout, doesn't he?
2008-06-29 09:06:52
9.   Marty
Loney nearly had an extra base hit down the right field line.
2008-06-29 09:10:43
10.   bhsportsguy
I get the idea that Berroa's 18 HR as a rookie ruined him because he should not have as long a swing as he demonstrates again and again.

3 I couldn't tell how close Loney's hit down the line called foul was to being fair.

Again, for a team being no-hit, they did do a good job driving up Weaver's pitch count, most of the game they were averaging about 5 pitches a batter and only on 2-3 occasions did they even swing at the first pitch (Vlad swung at the first pitch every time, I think)

2008-06-29 09:11:04
11.   ToyCannon
Lackey has been one of the top 5 pitchers in the AL for a while now but even in LA he doesn't get the recognition he deserves.
2008-06-29 09:13:37
12.   ToyCannon
I really think pinch hitting for Weaver was a moot point. In todays world, with his pitch count he would have had to come out after the 7th inning anyway, and if he had hit for himself you know darn well we would have tatooed him in the 7th.
2008-06-29 09:15:12
13.   ToyCannon
They didn't ruin him, they got him a silly contract. I don't think you understand this is a lousy ballplayer who doesn't have the skills to be ruined.
2008-06-29 09:17:14
14.   Alex41592
0 - Just less than half of Sweeney's at bats (29) have come with the bases empty. In those at bats he has an abysmal .203 OPS. In just more than half of Sweeney's at bats (31) he's come up with runners on base and has a less abysmal yet still very less appreciable OPS of .424. RISP he's 1 for 17. OPS of .286. RISP w/ less than 2 outs: 0 for 10. OPS of .167.

But I'm sure he's hiding an injury. It's the hip new thing that all the vets are doing and Sweeney just wants to look cool for the kids. Set a good example as a PVL and all.

2008-06-29 09:19:15
15.   tjdub
I think Lackey's great, but of course I have a soft spot for anyone who helps keep the Giants 0-SF in the World Series Championship count.
2008-06-29 09:23:53
16.   Eric Stephen
Kuo hasn't pitched since Sunday. I would imagine he'd get some work today unless it's a save situation in the 8th or 9th. Maybe Lowe can pitch 7, then with a 4+ run lead Kuo can finish the job.
2008-06-29 09:25:23
17.   Eric Stephen
Lackey is one of the very few rookies to start -- and win -- a Game 7 of the World Series.
2008-06-29 09:28:02
18.   Jon Weisman
16 - A four-run lead? Against Lackey?
2008-06-29 09:29:13
19.   Doctor
Uughhh, im sure this has already came up the Simers is at it again with a Tony Jackson-esque piece this morning blaming the young players... why is that so in vogue in LA this year?
2008-06-29 09:30:08
20.   Eric Stephen
One of the things I missed this week was that LaRoche joined the Cory Snyder club with his start at 2B on Thursday. LaRoche, Snyder, and Jim Lefebvre are the only LA Dodgers to start at 1B, 2B & 3B in a single season.
2008-06-29 09:31:21
21.   Xeifrank
Sweeney may have some bad luck on his BABIP, but his line drive percentage is only 14.3%, down from a career norm of 22.1% and last years 23.7%. His GB% is way up, sitting at 47.6% where it was 32.3% last year. He is also striking out a lot more than usual, 31.7% where it was 23.6% last year. His BB% is normal.
vr, Xei
2008-06-29 09:31:52
22.   Eric Stephen
Would you believe two to negative two? :)

I'm just trying to think of ways Kuo can pitch. The most likely option is not palatable to me -- if Lowe exits early.

2008-06-29 09:34:17
23.   jtrichey
I can't figure out what Sweeney even means by that. Doesn't want to make excuses...BUT. Pinch hitting in general is difficult, but what is an ideal pinch hitting situation and a non-ideal one?
2008-06-29 09:37:05
24.   Eric Stephen
C.C. Sabathia is going to make a ton of money this offseason, easily the most coveted free agent pitcher.

2006-2008 ERA+
Webb 151
Lackey 146
Santana 143
Kazmir 140
Sabathia 134

Career ERA+
Lackey 119
Sabathia 115

Lackey won't be a free agent until after 2009, but I wonder if he will be as coveted as Sabathia. He should be. Although maybe C.C.'s hitting prowess puts him over the top. :)

2008-06-29 09:38:44
25.   Eric Stephen
Facing Scott "Al Czervik -- ooh, my arm" Proctor would be an ideal situation for a pinch hitter, so maybe that's what Sweeney was complaining about.
2008-06-29 09:54:47
26.   Daniel Zappala
If the Dodgers trade for Rivera (something I almost advocated the other day, but stopped myself), then they need to include Lindsey so that he can have a shot at being a DH.
2008-06-29 09:54:49
27.   Suffering Bruin
Bills is pitching great lately. Imagine how good he'll be when Torre gets through to him!

See, that last sentence was in response to a growing theme, that Torre can't get through to the youngsters because them youngsters be pig-headed and stubborn. Heck, you can just say it and it's true! No evidence needed.

Right, TJ?

2008-06-29 10:18:12
28.   ChicagoDodger
19 I just don't understand the agenda of such a column. Now I realize Simers is all about controversey, but just once I'd like to read a column that explains just how the young players are underachieving. I mean, who is underachieving?

Which young player at their age is doing less then what could realistically be expected of them? Are any of them grossly underachieving?

Writers will just point to the W/L record. Well so what. That is not the young players fault. Again, it's about what can be realisticaly expected from them. Expecting a good W/L record at their ages is simply unrealistic expectations.

2008-06-29 10:28:47
29.   bhsportsguy
28 He would respond than why do the Dodgers continue to charge what they do for tickets, if they don't care about winning why should anyone pay attention to them.
2008-06-29 10:30:33
30.   bhsportsguy
26 When would Lindsay ever get a shot with their set rotation of 4 outfielders/DH plan?

Actually, the Angels are going to have an issue with Kendry Morales at some point soon, he has to be out of options this year and what do you with him?

2008-06-29 10:32:49
31.   Bob Timmermann
Ahh, back in my own dystopia.
2008-06-29 10:34:47
32.   dodgerinlv
The Angels started four players yesterday whose brothers all played for the dodgers at one point. That must be some kind of record.
2008-06-29 10:35:49
33.   dodgerinlv
Is Jeff Kent concerned about his 2nd baseman home run record as two 2nd baseman are at the top of the NL lead this morning and both are early in their careers?
2008-06-29 10:40:32
34.   Jon Weisman
Today's lineup:

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

2008-06-29 10:42:40
35.   Gen3Blue
I can't express the value an all around player like Kemp or Ethier has to me. Kemp's was obvious last night, but I was on Gameday and didn't see Ethier's throw to second until today. He nailed someone going for a double late in the game that could have led to real trouble. He is not just a plug in corner outfielder and I am coming to see him as a true right fielder in the style of Dwight Evans. I don't know if his tools rate right at the top, but he seems to blend them to make the great play when it counts.
2008-06-29 10:43:44
36.   ChicagoDodger
29 I don't understand your point. How is building for a bright future the definition of not "caring about winning"?

If all the players in every organization went back into a pool to be re-drafted every season then yes your point has merit.

Is 2008 more important then keeping all these players around until they reach their prime? I sure hope not.

2008-06-29 10:43:51
37.   bhsportsguy
34 I'm guessing Kent gets Thursday off again and then maybe next Sunday in SF.
2008-06-29 10:45:43
38.   bhsportsguy
36 This I know, Simers does not care about 2010, he is only focused on today. And today they are under .500 and look like they will still not win a playoff series.
2008-06-29 10:46:16
39.   Jon Weisman
31 - Welcome back, Mr. Kotter.

New post up top.

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