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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

Things That Went Wrong for the Dodgers That Have Nothing To Do with Listening Skills
2008-07-11 09:15
by Jon Weisman

In no particular order:

1) Rafael Furcal was injured.
2) Andruw Jones was out of shape, incompetent and injured.
3) Brad Penny lost effectiveness and was injured.
4) Tony Abreu was injured.
5) Chin-Lung Hu had vision problems.
6) Takashi Saito and Jonathan Broxton blew a few saves in otherwise effective seasons.
7) Chad Billingsley's first start of the season was derailed by a Los Angeles rainstorm.
8) Hong-Chih Kuo was underused in critical situations.
9) Hiroki Kuroda was injured.
10) Gary Bennett was signed.
11) Nomar Garciaparra was injured while Furcal was injured.
12) Jeff Kent is 40.
13) Andy LaRoche can't get more than two starts in a row to prove himself, which would be okay if Blake DeWitt had a batting average of more than .217, an on-base percentage of more than .277 and a slugging percentage of more than .263 over his past 46 games.
14) Juan Pierre was overused at the expense of Andre Ethier.
15) Mark Sweeney could not buy a hit even on layaway.
16) Brian Falkenborg gave Hanley Ramirez an easy pitch to hit.
17) The Dodger front office made some sloppy decisions.

But by all means, let's blame those insufferable kids who can't listen for everything – the kids who represent a great deal of everything that's good about the 2008 Dodgers. Players are getting hurt left and right, players are old, players are ill-chosen – but who cares? The kids aren't perfect, so they must be the problem.

You know, in my own life, I'm not accomplishing everything I wanted to. I think I'll blame my kids. Because I've seen other 3- and 5-year-olds who are perfect. So it must be my kids' fault.

Look, you can trade Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw and Carney's for all I care if you can get a proper return. But good luck trying. In the meantime, if you're going to scapegoat, get a clue. This isn't my approach, but if you want to advocate a culture that espouses professionalism, responsibility and effectiveness, then demand the release of Andruw Jones. If it's those values that matter, if you want that kind of shape-up-or-ship-out integrity, blame Jones for reporting to the team without any of them.

Otherwise, just shut up.

* * *

This post from Joe Posnanski features two of my favorite people in the world: Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Culpepper. Or three, if you count Rosalita.

Comments (382)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-07-11 10:49:07
1.   JoeyP
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt rejected a deal that would have brought CC Sabathia, along with Casey Blake and Jason Carroll, to the Dodgers, according to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News. McCourt denied the report, but McCourt's over-protective stance toward anything resembling a prospect is well known. And so is his willingness to kill deals. He is also said to be upset by disappointing attendance at Dodger Stadium.

This is from Jon Heyman's column in SI today.

Why would McCourt be upset about attendance?

2008-07-11 10:49:08
2.   Alex41592
0 - Now, that's a good column. Hear hear!
2008-07-11 10:49:22
3.   JJ42
0 Well said Jon.
2008-07-11 10:50:21
4.   Dexter Fishmore
I love it when Jon bares his teeth.

I love it even more when it's in Plaschke's direction.

2008-07-11 10:52:12
5.   dianagramr
Are gas prices keeping people from driving to the Stadium?
2008-07-11 10:52:17
6.   Jonny6
Can we get this faxed, sent, emailed, phoned, text messaged, and flown by pigeons to McCourt, Colletti, and Plaschke? And then repeat the process about 50 thousand times so it might finally sink into their thick, dim-witted skulls.
2008-07-11 10:52:45
7.   Jon Weisman
4 - It's not in any single person's direction.

1 - Well, parking fees and food sales, I suppose. But I would really be surprised if that's his greatest worry, because he's still drawing like gangbusters.

2008-07-11 10:55:29
8.   CodyS
Alright, some fire! You must have been inspired by Andruw Jones hard slide to take out the double play. It has lit up the whole team and the fanbase. That critical moment of gutsy leadership will spin us up to glory!
2008-07-11 10:55:49
9.   Tripon
The Kids, the kids I keep on hearing the "Kids", when the heck are people actually going to name names and finger people who they think aren't pulling their weight? At least when Simers' is attacking each other he name names, he calls out Jones, he calls out Gary Matthew Jr. I'm sick of grouping everyone under 26 'The Kids'. Is Russel Martin the Problem? Andrew Either? Matt Kemp? Chad Billingsly? Just who the heck is the problem among 'The Kids'?
2008-07-11 10:56:17
10.   Eric Stephen
I've never eaten at Carney's. I sense an August 16 trip there is in order.
2008-07-11 10:56:21
11.   regfairfield
1 I guess we're only second in the NL...

We could drive up food sales if they actually let us roam the stadium to get what we want like the used to.

2008-07-11 10:57:42
12.   BiggO
0- That's what make's DT the best Dodger web site
perfectly said!
2008-07-11 10:58:40
13.   Tripon
>>Why would McCourt be upset about attendance?

Attendance is slightly down this season. Of course, this has a number of reasons why attendance is down, but this is also the power couple that said that Dodger Stadium can draw 4 million and it was ridiculous that it doesn't.

2008-07-11 11:00:02
14.   Neal Pollack
2008-07-11 11:01:11
15.   Bob Timmermann
Jon I have been very disappointed in your middle child's ability to produce income for you.

He really needs to step up. When I was his age, I brought in $200,000 of revenue for the Timmermann household. And I could recite the entire New Testament in both Greek and Latin.

2008-07-11 11:02:36
16.   RELX
"McCourt's over-protective stance toward anything resembling a prospect is well known."

Should I take that to mean that McCourt has been preventing Colletti from trading the "kids?"

2008-07-11 11:02:41
17.   CodyS
9 The cocky ones. If you can't tell which ones are cocky, ask a racist.
2008-07-11 11:02:45
18.   Eric Stephen
Hong-Chih Kuo's ERA+ is currently 260. There have been 11 seasons in LA Dodger history in which a pitcher threw 50 IP and had an ERA+ of 200 or higher. Roger Craig's 1959 season kind of jumped out at me. Three of the 11 seasons were from the famed 2003 bullpen.

2008-07-11 11:03:30
19.   fanerman
2008-07-11 11:05:39
20.   Kevin Lewis
I just don't understand the comments from Frank and Ned about our "problem" players. How are we supposed to trade these guys when you keep trashing them in the press. Aren't these guys all about PR?

Tonight I am planning on taking my wife and son to our first game as a family. He is approaching the 9 week milestone, so if he is feeling good tonight, we will be at the stadium...for as long as he allows us to be.

2008-07-11 11:05:53
21.   sporky
And to think Plaschke/Simers survived the Times' layoff extravaganza.
2008-07-11 11:06:04
22.   still bevens
I blame Evan Longoria and Ryan Braun for making our kids look bad! This is their fault!

McCourt probably freaks out about attendance all the time since Fox takes all his TV money.

2008-07-11 11:07:16
23.   cargill06
jon bringing the heat
2008-07-11 11:07:39
24.   sporky
20 Have fun! My dad tried to take me to a Mets game when I was around 12 weeks old, and my mom said she would rather dunk me in a public toilet. I still haven't been to Shea.
2008-07-11 11:07:43
25.   okdodge
Reading that made me feel really good. That and the fact that I just found out I got the promotion I interviewed for the other day!
2008-07-11 11:08:52
26.   Eric Stephen
Be sure to take pictures, so you can show your son his Dodger Stadium debut!
2008-07-11 11:09:01
27.   Neal Pollack
20--A nine-week-old should be able to sleep through anything. Enjoy the games now. When he's two, you won't make it to the fourth inning.Trust me. I'm a Parenting Expert!
2008-07-11 11:09:35
28.   Eric Stephen
Congrats! Hopefully this promotion allows for more time to post here. :)
2008-07-11 11:10:19
29.   sporky
25 Congratulations!
2008-07-11 11:10:21
30.   Jon Weisman
25 - Congrats!

28 - Don't they all???

2008-07-11 11:12:07
31.   Bob Timmermann
Try to put yourself in a camera-friendly spot so Vin can ooh and ahh over your child on the air.

I need to hear more 1950s style description of cute babies. My vocabulary in that area is declining.

2008-07-11 11:12:34
32.   Doctor
Right on!!!
# 8 I don't think is a mistake on anyone's part. The data to support the case that Kuo was underused in key situations early this year couldn't be used and generated at the same time.
2008-07-11 11:12:49
33.   Eric L
27 Tell that to my 4 week old that is currently on my lap right now and hasn't slept since 3am!
2008-07-11 11:13:44
34.   GoBears
Nice work, Jon.

Aside from a couple of pitchers, all of the best-performing players on the team right now are "kids." Ignoring the fact that they're still young and will all improve, they are leading the team RIGHT NOW.

The problem, of course, is that you can't prove that to someone who refuses to look at statistics, and judges instead by (1) body language and (2) willingness to confirm one's own predispositions in interviews.

The best recent example is that everyone, including Torre, thinks that Kemp is struggling since he moved to leadoff. And sure, he's striking out a lot, but his performance has nonetheless been better than Pierre's was. But strikeouts just LOOK worse than 4-3 groundouts that you make close by hustling.

2008-07-11 11:15:44
35.   Kevin Lewis

That is what I am thinking. Plus, I have a pretty good rocking technique, so I can always walk with him up at the top while watching the game. The bummer is that I will actually pay for parking because the walk will be a little long outside the park if he has a melt down.

2008-07-11 11:17:12
36.   Kevin Lewis

Are there baby changing stations in the Top Deck? Near the latrine :)

2008-07-11 11:19:16
37.   Bob Timmermann
It's supposed to be in the bahtrooms near Section 3.
2008-07-11 11:19:22
38.   Tangled Up in Blue
Thank you Jon. Fantastic writing as usual.
2008-07-11 11:19:55
39.   Bob Timmermann
Bahtrooms are where they have pay toilets that use Thai currency.
2008-07-11 11:20:16
40.   Zak
Missing in your top 5 Things That Went Wrong for the Dodgers is Andy LaRoche getting injured in ST. I think that had almost as big an impact on our season as say, the Penny ineffectiveness.

I like Dewitt and root for him, but his one good month has become an anchor on this team now. Torre keeps waiting for him to break out of his slump and LaRoche cannot get any consistent, pressure-free time at 3B.

And Jon, totally agree with you about Andruw Jones. It is inexcusable the things that the Dodgers are willing to let slide compared to the things that they are criticizing the players for.

2008-07-11 11:21:19
41.   sporky
39 Hee.
2008-07-11 11:21:25
42.   KG16
anyone else have a mac account? if so, are you having trouble getting on the new mobile me site?

This is the sort of thing I expect from microsoft, not the good guys

2008-07-11 11:22:06
43.   KG16
42 - never mind, apparently it just takes asking such a question somewhere in the intertubes to get it working.
2008-07-11 11:22:12
44.   ibleedbloo
31 That little "toe head" is "full of beans".

Put that in your Google translater

2008-07-11 11:22:31
45.   Zak
38 Early one morning the sun was shining, I was just laying in bed.

Love the handle.

2008-07-11 11:23:02
46.   regfairfield
On the bright side, Furcal has finally been dethroned as the team VORP leader by Russ.
2008-07-11 11:23:29
47.   Bob Timmermann
It's actually "towhead."
2008-07-11 11:24:44
48.   Zak
46 There really is no bright side in that statement this late into the season.
2008-07-11 11:24:51
49.   gibsonhobbs88
Oh My, as Dick Enberg used to say! Jon, did you ever hit the nail on the head!! I guess the last Plaschke article was the straw that broke the camels back that inspired this brilliance! The clarity and logic that you have in your arguments are in direct contrast to Plaschke's and Simers's drivel. This post really should be brought to managment's attention-at least forward it to If it wasn't for "our kids" we might have the same record as the Padres right now. Instead of bashing them, we should be thanking them for at least keeping us upright during this notoriously unlucky first half. An injury deluge to the infield, Penny's sudden ineffectiveness, and the misplaced loyalties in certain unproductive players are the reasons why we aren't better.
2008-07-11 11:25:18
50.   regfairfield
48 It's better than Rafael Furcal is still the VORP leader.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-07-11 11:27:42
51.   Zak
50 :) Yeah, that's true. Whether there is any bright side to that is debatable. I'm just mostly kidding though. It is nice to see an active player on top of that list though. Hopefully Kemp, Ethier and Loney are headed there soon too.
2008-07-11 11:28:26
52.   Bluebleeder87
I love how Jon wrote that...

We feel you Jon.

2008-07-11 11:33:08
53.   regfairfield
51 They've got a ways to go.

I think another problem here is marketing. The PR department isn't telling the fans to embrace any of our young players but Russ. Why can't some guy find Matt Kemp in his toast instead of Kent? Why aren't we telling people about how great Bills is now instead of Ron Cey telling people how great we used to be? The team isn't giving any reason for the casual fan to embrace this team, so the only impression they have of Matt Kemp is that he's a delinquent.

2008-07-11 11:33:55
54.   Neal Pollack
Jones' nonchalance and incompetence this season are just short of disgusting, particularly given his outrageous salary. He is 3 for 43 with runners in scoring position. And we're criticizing KEMP?
2008-07-11 11:34:01
55.   KG16
heh, I just tried sending plaschke an email asking him who he means by "kids" (I've actually exchanged emails with him before) and I got a mailer deamon that deliver didn't work.

I wonder if that's my webmail or if it speaks of something else

2008-07-11 11:34:02
56.   Jon Weisman
53 - I think that's a good point, though you're conflating the PR and marketing departments.
2008-07-11 11:34:23
57.   Jacob L
Leave it to Jon to say it best. My main reaction when I read Plaschke this morning was that this is getting so tiring. If the Dodgers don't want to get their organizational act together, and the local media aren't inclined to responsible reporting, then fine. So be it. I don't have the energy. I'll just watch the games and hope for the best.

Speaking of which I'll be at the game tomorrow, with 2 cute kids in tow (daughter and friend - the baby's got to stay home with a sitter). We should be in prime territory for cute kid shots on the telecast.

And speaking of which, if Frank is indeed disappointed by attendance, maybe its because the tickets have gotten ungodly expensive. If we hadn't called in connection for tomorrow, there's no way I'd bring kids to Dodger Stadium. Its a choice between the bleachers and paying through the nose.

2008-07-11 11:34:26
58.   Bluebleeder87
600. Bluebleeder87
Happy Friday everyone, I really hope they [Torre] plays La Roche for a fair amount of time to see what's doin' with him but he won't (exhibit A. Pierre) Torre seems to be a first impression kind of guy or something to that effect.

I hope it isn't the norm for Torre (1st year managing a new team & all...) veremos...

2008-07-11 11:34:27
59.   Jon Weisman
55 - My understanding is that he usually replies if you're the least bit civil.
2008-07-11 11:34:50
60.   Neal Pollack
53--that's why this whole 50th anniversary celebration is so misguided. This team is mired down in its past.
2008-07-11 11:36:25
61.   Doctor
.... I mean how about just a little footnote next time a writer brings up Kemp's Ks that mentions Andruw (who was brought in in part to mentor) is actually fanning at a higher rate.
2008-07-11 11:36:55
62.   KG16
59 - i'm always civil in email, especially since i have the "Esq." after my name on my standard signature.

but i'm mainly wondering why my email got bounced.

2008-07-11 11:38:29
63.   Jacob L
I like it when Ron Cey tells us how great we used to be. It takes my mind off of how not-great we are.
2008-07-11 11:39:24
64.   KG16
60 - there's nothing wrong with celebrating the past, especially for the Dodgers and the thing they are celebrating (moving west). If it wasn't for Walter O'Malley deciding to move to LA, it would have taken baseball another 20 years to expand beyond the Mississippi River.

What they need to do is tie the history in with the present. I think I mentioned during the off season how the ad campaign should have all the old Dodgers embracing the new Dodgers, passing the torch or what have you.

2008-07-11 11:40:26
65.   jasonungar07
Bravo Jon!!
2008-07-11 11:41:51
66.   Jon Weisman
64 - They do that on the cover of Dodgers magazine each month this year.
2008-07-11 11:42:28
67.   ToyCannon
McCourt has every right to be upset about attendance. Every night thousands of season ticket holders do not show up and he's getting very few walk up sales.
On the surface the cash flow from the season ticket holders is nice but he needs butts in those seats and when he doesn't get the butts he should worry.
You would never see the type of promo's that we are seeing today for good seats in the infield reserve unless he is having attendance problems. You might see the seats filled between 1st and 3rd but that is just the foul pole people moving in to the empty season ticket seats. All those foul pole seats are sold from row A to Row F and yet just about every night during the week those seats are empty in the loge. I've only sat in my seat maybe three times all year and those have always been promo nights.
2008-07-11 11:48:18
68.   Bob Timmermann
But it was a nice affluent, computerized crowd last.

Cory Snyder was featured on DiamondVision and he was at the game. He's just 45 years old and looked about 20 years older. I hope he is not ill.

Marty thought he looked like Nick Nolte.

2008-07-11 11:50:38
69.   Gilberto Reyes
0 Jon, very well said. Probably your best post of the year. I wish the front office and guys like Plascke would read this.
2008-07-11 11:51:39
70.   Neal Pollack
Maybe he should

--Lower the prices, including for parking.
--Professionalize the food service.
--Get rid of those ridiculous digital add banners at every concession stand.
--Stop treating fans like morons, even if they are.
--Run a sound front office that knows something about baseball.

2008-07-11 11:51:45
71.   Jacob L
67 $16 to sit in reserved
$28 to sit in infield reserved
$25 for loge
$50 for field
Walk up? Bump all those prices up by $3 to $10 for day of game prices?

$15 to park
$10 for a beer
?? in gas to get there and back, depending on your Mpg and how far away you live.

If I bring my kids, they're either going to jump around like monkeys, not watch the game, or melt down and have to leave early. Then I'm wondering why I paid $20 a pop or more for their tickets. Alternatively, I could leave them home and spend $75 for a baby sitter.

O.k., that was a long way of saying I think disappointing attendance has about 98% to do with cost, and 2% disappointing team.

2008-07-11 11:51:49
72.   scareduck
53 - Somebody needs to control Eric Karros, too. I really don't understand why it is that every time he talks about Kemp it seems that it's only to run him down.

But then, that's pretty much the MO of this front office. I think there's a lot of frustration that he seems to be taking a step backwards after a promising 2007, but it's just so obvious that the front office is getting close to the ledge that they might do something rash like trading him for a high-average, low-OBP shortstop.

2008-07-11 11:52:15
73.   Eric Stephen
Mugshot Nick Nolte or Blue Chips Nick Nolte? Neither is a flattering comparison, but there are degrees.
2008-07-11 11:53:33
74.   ToyCannon
I'm not sure how much more you want A Jones ripped on as the only thing left to do to him is keelhaul him.
2008-07-11 11:54:49
75.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
10 Carney's is now mostly nostalgia for me. First, it was the place my Dad often took my brother and me for dinner before Dodger Games (I guess that in the 70's, the start time was long after our dinner time).

Then, it was the high-school hangout for off-campus lunch, particularly when lunch fell across two open periods (Jon will know exactly what I'm talking about).

Recently, I ate there once or twice when approaching Burbank airport en route out of town with the kids in the back seat (not old enough yet for that kind of food). I have to say, it lost a lot of luster for me, food-wise. I was never a fan of the chili-dog, so that's probably my problem, given how most Carney's fans rave about them.

Now Apple Pan, that's something I really jones for....

2008-07-11 11:55:50
76.   KLV

Have you considered submitting a version of this to the LA Times? It would be newsworthy given Plaschke's article today, so the Times might actually print it. I'd love to see a response to all this "it's the kids fault" nonsense in the readers' letters section. Just a thought.

2008-07-11 11:56:47
77.   kinbote
0 Amen, Brother Jon.

Now back to what feels like the worst divisional race ever . ..

2008-07-11 11:56:48
78.   Bob Timmermann
The LA Times has plenty more to deal with than publishing a dissenting opinion to Plaschke.
2008-07-11 11:57:05
79.   scareduck
71 - disagree. I have Angels season tickets and their regularly announced "sellouts" are actually around 70-80% butts-in-seats, and the rest are scalpers or season seat holders who couldn't unload their tickets. From what I've seen of Dodger Stadium in telecasts and actual attendance this year, it's probably more like 60-70%; the reserved level seats near the foul poles are inevitably empty, even during series with division rivals like Arizona. Winning makes a big difference in ticket sales, and the decision whether to show up at the park if you've already committed to season tickets.
2008-07-11 11:59:50
80.   overkill94
McCourt is finally seeing the backlash to his continuously ascending ticket prices. It was fine for a while since we were actually one of the better bargains in the major leagues, but I'd have to assume we're in the top half for average ticket price by now. I've only gone to three games this year, and they've all been on dates!

Plus, people aren't going to get as excited about a sub-.500 team who doesn't score a lot of runs.

2008-07-11 12:03:41
81.   Marty
80 Making her pay?
2008-07-11 12:06:06
82.   Bob Timmermann
When I find a woman who wants to buy me a malt, then I will know it is time to get married.
2008-07-11 12:06:42
83.   okdodge
I think with the overall state of the economy, attendance has been down at most major sporting events nationwide. I read a good article about the declining attendance in college sports a few weeks ago, but now I can't find it on the web. It seems outrageously expensive to take a family to a game and owernship needs to realize this and stop hiking up the prices.
2008-07-11 12:06:56
84.   overkill94
82 Obviously. And unless she wants to pay the $15 for parking herself, we're walking from outside the stadium!
2008-07-11 12:07:23
85.   overkill94
84 Should've been 81. I have no interest in a malt.
2008-07-11 12:09:05
86.   scareduck
80 - There's probably something to this. Even as recently as 2006, the Dodgers ranked 26th in Sports Illustrated's Fan Value Index, which attempted to rank teams by best experience for the dollar.

2008-07-11 12:09:49
87.   Suffering Bruin
Nothing like waking up at 11am. Ah, Summer!

I've been a reader of this blog since its inception. Quite literally, I've read every single post Jon has written. I've never read a post quite like this. In the neighborhood, yes (DePo's firing was called "despicable") but this... this is a different level of anger. I don't know if I'd call it anger but I like it.

When someone says the sky is red and you know it's blue but they keep insisting it's red, well, how do you argue with that? Bill Plaschke says the sky is red. Good luck trying to convince him otherwise.

2008-07-11 12:09:51
88.   Alex41592
David Wright will replace Alfonso Soriano on the N.L All-Star roster.
2008-07-11 12:10:00
89.   Ken Noe
0 I'm late to the party, but...bravo!
2008-07-11 12:13:45
90.   overkill94
86 I remember the infield reserve as being $12 as recent as maybe 3 years ago and now they're $26 apiece? That's just plain ridiculous.
2008-07-11 12:15:49
91.   Bob Timmermann

And the livin' is easy.

Fish are jumpin'

And the cotton is high.

Oh you're DL is rich.

And the kids are good lookin'

So hush little baby

Plaschke's gonna cry ....

2008-07-11 12:16:07
92.   Jon Weisman
87 - Yeah, I've been angrier. I've even been more exasperated.

It actually might be fun to compile my top 10 angriest posts.

2008-07-11 12:18:32
93.   ToyCannon
I don't, if the team is winning people go to the games. Haven't most of the studies done on this issue, shown that cost has little to do with attendance?

I'm not saying it isn't expensive to go to a game, but I'm saying that if the team is winning the season ticket holders either go to the games themselves or they are deluged with offers for their tickets.

2008-07-11 12:18:43
94.   Tripon
So who's ready for this team to add another 50 million dollars in payroll just to ship out all the cheap young talent out of town?
2008-07-11 12:20:03
95.   bhsportsguy
80 I think the top tickets are pre-sold for the most part to season ticket holders.

Attendance is down throughout baseball, even in the best fans in America are showing up a 1000 fans less than last year.

Now, that could be balanced by some teams having small increases (and the Dodgers are still on pace to draw over 3.5 miilion) second to the Mets who have sold a lot of tickets as fans want to say goodbye to Shea).

Anyway, I agree with Jon, and frankly, I don't have a clue of who you would trade for that could improve this team without weakening it somewhere else.

2008-07-11 12:21:29
96.   therickdaddy
I take it I missed an LAT article? Or what was the inspiration for this piece?
2008-07-11 12:22:29
97.   therickdaddy
Oh, good ol' Bill.

We need to stop taking Bill so seriously. I doubt he even takes a step out of the press box to see who's listening or not.

2008-07-11 12:22:46
98.   ToyCannon
I'm fairly certain that I ragged on this issue over at True Blue when the 2008 pricing came out and Eric Enders pointed me to many studies that said I was full of hooey when I used the same arguements as 71
2008-07-11 12:23:12
99.   GIDP
Ancient Egyptians believed the sky was green as grass. The ability to distinguish blue from green may be a recent human development. Perhaps Plaschke is an evolutionary throwback.
2008-07-11 12:23:41
100.   bigcpa
Just some more fuel to the fire. BP 3B prospect ratings from May '08 accd to a PECOTA measure called "Upside":

Evan Longoria, Rays (22) 339.1
Andy LaRoche, Dodgers (24) 178.0
Ian Stewart, Rockies (23) 95.2
Neil Walker, Pirates (22) 92.0
Scott Moore, Orioles (24) 90.6
Joe Dillon, Brewers (32) 70.4
Angel Villalona, Giants (17) 60.1
Andy Marte, Indians (24) 51.8
Billy Rowell, Orioles (19) 49.4
Mitchell Hilligoss, Yankees (23) 47.9
Rico Washington, Cardinals (30) 43.4
David Fresse, Padres (25) 42.4
Blake DeWitt, Dodgers (22) 41.2
Matthew Sweeney, Angels (20) 33.3
James D'Antona, Diamondbacks (26) 30.4
Matt Moses, Twins (23) 29.3
Daniel Murphy, Mets (23) 28.3
Mario Lisson, Royals (24) 28.0
Michael Costanzo, Orioles (24) 26.9
Joel Guzman, Devil Rays (23) 26.1
Chase Headley, Padres (24) 25.5
Chris Davis, Rangers (22) 22.4
John Whittleman, Rangers (21) 14.6

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-07-11 12:24:40
101.   ToyCannon
We have never not been able to take him seriously ever since he successfully ran Depo out of town. That is why we fret about what he writes. History has shown that he does have an audience with the guy who counts.
2008-07-11 12:26:37
102.   JoeyP
100--Joel Guzman ahead of Chase Headley?

Thats interesting.

2008-07-11 12:29:48
103.   okdodge
100 and chase headley gets a ton of playing time
2008-07-11 12:31:37
104.   ToyCannon
If they reran that in July it would change again. Chris Davis with a 22.4? Now a slugging 1st baseman already in the majors who has moved into some top 10 scouting reports.
I don't remember how relevant the position is but to have Headley and Davis below 25% is just as ludicrous but pecota is all based on input. No scouting at all. All numbers
2008-07-11 12:33:33
105.   ToyCannon
For most of the year he was in AAA and he's a 3rd baseman playing LF. I don't see how relevant Headley is to LaRoche because Headley only gets time because the Padre outfield was blown full of holes otherwise he'd be stuck behind the the incumbent.
2008-07-11 12:36:05
106.   okdodge
105 The Padres could have stuck anybody in the outfield, they chose Headley. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have decided not to plug in LaRoche, that's how it's relevant.
2008-07-11 12:37:18
107.   cargill06
91 summertime is finally here the old ball park man is back in gear. out on 49 man i can see the lights.
2008-07-11 12:37:48
108.   natepurcell
Some of our Behemoths in Rookie Ball

Orr: 234/310/429

Caseres: 283/416/491

Clay Calfee: 276/353/618

Kyle Russell: 313/442/642

As expected, due to his Big 10 background, Russell is the best of our behemoths so far.

2008-07-11 12:40:40
109.   berkowit28
78 Not so. The Times frequently gives a lot of space in the Letters to the Editor page to letters with dissenting opinios to Plaschke and Simers. Just keep the letter short, or they'll cut it.
2008-07-11 12:43:54
110.   Marty
0 I love that most of the comments on Posnanki's piece is about the Cruise vs. Costner debate. Where's LAT when you need him?
2008-07-11 12:46:26
111.   LoneStar7
0 I'm late to the party as well, but of course mr. weisman, I could not agree more.

I just wish Plaschke, Coletti, and McCourt could take a peak at it, and release that the Dodger fan base isn't buying this crap about the kids being the problem.

And why is McCourt complaining about attendance, prices are sky rocketing, the economy isn't exactly as good as its been...

meanwhile, we're sitting here watching the front office and our manager make daily blunders, and then listening to sports journalists lie to us as to why we lost the game

2008-07-11 12:47:06
112.   Greg Brock


2008-07-11 12:47:43
113.   cargill06
Brett Favre has officially asked to be released.
2008-07-11 12:47:47
114.   LoneStar7
and when i say release i meant realize lol
2008-07-11 12:49:49
115.   Bumsrap
Mattingly leaving has hurt the team as well.

Torre constantly blaming the kids instead of the veterans is not motivational.

Letting Jones come back from rehab 2 weeks early is as bad a decision as letting him play as much as he has.

The whole China thing was a mistake for a team this young with a new Manager and new Coaches.

The order in which Jones and Kent and Pierre hit ignored what they were doing.

Bowa is going to like and support players like DeWitt more than he is the likes of Loney, Kemp, LaRoche, and Ethier making him the wrong type of coach for a team like the Dodgers. Either Bowa should leave or Loney, Kemp, Ethier, and LaRoche should leave.

2008-07-11 12:51:07
116.   Jon Weisman
Who started the 0 phenomenon?
2008-07-11 12:53:09
117.   Louis in SF
Great post Jon and it would be wonderful to really get a response from the "other side" What is further frustrating about comments like Plaschke's is that they then morph to other columints and news outlets as facts.

One quick example is Martie Lurie who does an A's pregame show and other baseball stuff in the Bay Area. Again news about the Dodgers from the Bay Area should not be taken seriously, but Lurie refered to the Dodger youngsters as being immature and not listening to Torre. However, this person like Plaschke has not bothered to see the improvement in AB's by all Dodger youngster's, and looked or even heard Torre's comments complimenting some of the Dodger youngster's.

2008-07-11 12:53:32
118.   Bob Timmermann
I still think the importance of the China trip is way overblown.

It's not like Torre was installing the West Coast Offense and needed to get his players to learn a new terminology. And only two starters went on the trip: Kemp and Jones. The rest were minor league fillers, although Falkenborg is back up.

Just what important information was Torre not able to impart while in China.

"Hey you, over there, the guy wearing #27"
"Yes, skip."
"Don't swing at that pitch in the dirt."
"Thanks Skip!"

"Hey, you, the catcher who talks funny."
"Yes, sir!"
"Don't break the third baseman's hand with pickoff throws."
"Yes, sir!"

2008-07-11 12:54:06
119.   bryanf
One of the angrier posts I've seen from Jon, but man I couldn't agree more.
2008-07-11 12:54:27
120.   Tangled Up in Blue
I think Torre is a problem with this Dodger team. He has clout and people listen to him. He has fallen in love with Pierre and DeWitt and will continue to play them and no one will challenge him. Jones, Kent and Garciaparra will get a great deal of playing time and the likes of Plaschke, Colletti and even McCourt won't question him. Also, I am starting to think he is fueling the fire surrounding all this talk about "the kids not getting it". What scares me is that Torre is going to have some say regarding trade possibilities.

Basically the Dodgers have an owner who has not been able to demonstrate he has a plan, a GM that is not fit to be a GM and a manager no one can question.

Am I reaching here regarding Torre?

2008-07-11 12:54:52
121.   Greg Brock
116 I know the Banterers do it.
2008-07-11 12:54:56
122.   kinbote
116 The Babylonians? :)
2008-07-11 12:55:00
123.   Bumsrap
Getting Matingly back is a good start for the second half and replacing Bowa would also be good for kick starting the second half. It would tell Torre that he isn't immune from troubles the Dodgers have had in the first half. My opinion.
2008-07-11 12:55:52
124.   Bob Timmermann
I thought it was the Mayans?
2008-07-11 12:57:25
125.   kinbote
124 Mayans, Hindus, Can't we all just get along?
2008-07-11 12:59:21
126.   okdodge
123 As long as Torre's here, Bowa's not going anywhere except for his little white box 15 feet from 3rd.
2008-07-11 12:59:52
127.   Marty
If I said I started it, would that be something you'd be interested in?

Naw, me neither.

2008-07-11 13:01:56
128.   Bumsrap
126 - We shall see.
2008-07-11 13:02:27
129.   Greg Brock
I'd like to know what Larry Bowa is immune from. It would make things easier to take care of.

A list of serious allergies would also be nice (let it be peanuts, that's easy to work with).

2008-07-11 13:03:54
130.   Marty
He seems to be immune from logic or rational thought. We could throw Spock at him.
2008-07-11 13:04:05
131.   Eric Enders
108 As an alum of Kyle Russell's school I must point out that he played in the Big 12, Not the Big 10.

The way you can tell the difference between them is:
1) The Big 12 can actually play baseball, and
2) The Big 12 knows how to count.

2008-07-11 13:05:17
132.   bhsportsguy
Ramdom thoughts.

The China trip was MLB's request not the Dodgers and should San Diego blame its lousy year on it.

I was explaining this to someone the other day, I believe it is perfectly fine to critique the players and point out their mistakes. I just don't believe when Torre talks about it, he views it like but Kemp and Ethier are better than Pierre so I just should be happy about that. No, his concern is about how to get Kemp and Ethier to play better.

And really, have their been any supporters for Jones in the media, Simers bags on him all the time.

I read an article in the last few weeks in the Denver Post on how it was a huge mistake to sign their young players to guaranteed contracts and that relying too much on them was a big mistake.

Again, I agree with Jon that to solely blame this season on growing pains of the younger players is wrong. And to be fair, both Plaschke and Simers have not been exactly supporting the GM.

The only difference that I read into it is that McCourt wants the team to do better and right now, he may agree to move some players thouught unmovable if it helps.

Whether that deal exists, I don't know.

2008-07-11 13:07:35
133.   bhsportsguy
131 Nate is a proud graduate of a school that brought a whole new meaning to the word Pacific.
2008-07-11 13:08:17
134.   Greg Brock
We can all agree that the four best hitters on the team should bear less criticism than those who are not performing as well.

So, blaming the younger players to any large extent is unfair.

Blame the worst impact players and work your way backwards.

2008-07-11 13:08:21
135.   bhsportsguy
Larry Bowa is not going anywhere and having him here is not a problem to me.
2008-07-11 13:09:02
136.   Marty
By the way, last night Juan Pierre looked like he was one mis-step from being back in the hospital. He could barely move.
2008-07-11 13:09:30
137.   Greg Brock
133 Nate's school and their rival have yet to receive diplomatic recognition in some circles.

I'm a circle.

2008-07-11 13:10:40
138.   Louis in SF

I think you are reaching regarding Torre, although I am in the camp like many here that LaROche deserves more playing time as DeWitt as struggled lately and would definitely like to see him play second more when Kent rests.

Torre in public has been supportive of Matt Kemp, an example recently when he was thrown out against Atlanta trying to stretch a single into a double. He did mention a few weeks ago the Dodgers poor approach to AB's, which seems of late to have turned around.

At this point in my mind the more PT Nomar gets at short the better. I say this because the available alternatives are not great and the more Nomar plays short, the less opportunity there is for him to get back into blocking mode.

2008-07-11 13:11:29
139.   Eric Enders
So did anybody read Jon's Posnanski link? Off the top of my head, I'm sure I'm missing something, but my vote for the best Springsteen love songs are
Long Time Comin'
Bobby Jean
Better Days
I'll Work For Your Love
Stolen Car (Son You May Kiss the Bride)
2008-07-11 13:11:34
140.   Marty
Speaking of Bowa, I noticed the new, pushed back coaching box last night, but didn't know they had just changed it that game.
2008-07-11 13:12:42
141.   bigcpa
Torre and his staff would love to believe that they can turn the kids into winners. To me that's a football/basketball concept that rarely applies in baseball. But I don't blame them for trying to teach the kids the finer points. Unfortunately Torre can't speak publicly about things like performance relative to pay and how much responsibility for the Win column lies with him vs. the GM. These are the elephants in the room that the media should cover. But of course they're too busy with Kennedy's Confidential, Psycho Babble and tonight's Keys to the Game.
2008-07-11 13:12:52
142.   natepurcell
Brandon Jennings is a loser.
2008-07-11 13:13:46
143.   Marty
I'm in the distinct minority, but to me that's like listing Box Car Willie's best love songs.

Off topic, I've got a tomato plant that's called a Box Car Willie.

2008-07-11 13:14:44
144.   NoHoDodger
With respect to the issue raised regarding attendance this year, I find this to be a particularly strange season.

I usually purchase 10 games from a season seat holder. This year I bought 6 games because of some early conflicts. I attended the first three with my 6 year old daughter who loves going to games. I gave away the last three because I just wasn't up for the effort, for lack of any other description.

Parking rates are ridiculous. The parking situation is still wacked. Vendor prices are crazy. Gasoline costs have skyrocketed. Midweek games are tiring after working all day.

The bottom line is that I can find better comfort, convenience and economy by watching the game in my liviing room. When the game is good (Kurdo flirting with destiny), I'm glued to the set. When they are stinking it up, I wander off to watch a rerun of the Simpsons.

Don't get me wrong, I love watching the Dodgers live from the Ravine, but lately I've found it a bit tiresome. Maybe its me.

2008-07-11 13:15:36
145.   Eric Enders
132 "The China trip was MLB's request not the Dodgers and should San Diego blame its lousy year on it."

Is that really right? At least, the stories at the time went that McCourt campaigned vigorously for the Dodgers to get the China games, and MLB said OK, fine.

Anyway, I don't want to blame the trip for everything, but I can't see how the manager spending 7 days away from his new team -- a team which he has already vowed to remain ignorant of during the offseason -- could ever be a good thing.

2008-07-11 13:15:55
147.   bhsportsguy
134 But really, what do you say? Jeff Kent isn't going to get younger, Jones has been hit harder than anyone, Blake DeWitt has a whole town behind him, and Pierre is Pierre.

So basically, do you think you just say fine job Matt on your .240 average for the last two months while striking out a third of the time. Oh, tough luck Andre that this year you can't hit lefties. James congrats on now going 10 games without hitting into a double play.

Everything I wrote there is true. And it is perfectly legitimate to examine. Now, this is other touchy feely stuff about not getting what Torre and the coaches are saying, heck who knows what that is about. Again, there are legitimate issues to point out with every player, I suppose in the end it is an issue of fairness, or perhaps its akin to taxation without representation.

2008-07-11 13:16:38
148.   Bumsrap
No one has to be at blame for the China trip but it is still in play as part of the Dodger season to date.

My biggest criticism for Torre's criticism of the kids is that while they can do better and will, they are the ones that are producing more as expected while the vets are playing as if their careers have past them without equal criticism.

2008-07-11 13:18:18
149.   Jacob L
I see there's been a good bit of debate on my cost-to-see-a-Dodger-game rant. That's cool - I'm not really dogmatic on the subject. Alls I know is, this past week, when I looked into getting tickets for a game, I said to myself "Self. I don't want to do this. Its too expensive." That may have more to do with me than with study of economics, but there you have it.

120 , 138 - My feeling is that Torre is not part of the solution, and is therefore part of the problem.

2008-07-11 13:20:17
150.   Eric Enders
147 "So basically, do you think you just say fine job Matt on your .240 average for the last two months while striking out a third of the time. Oh, tough luck Andre that this year you can't hit lefties. James congrats on now going 10 games without hitting into a double play."

So you don't think some sort of happy medium exists between praising players for their shortcomings, and crucifying them for them?

Anyway, the examples you cite above are pretty darn near the things types of twisted things Torre is forced to say when he tries to praise Pierre and Kent.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-07-11 13:20:38
151.   Greg Brock
147 A performance-to-criticism metric needs to be developed.

It's the next great frontier in statistical analysis.

2008-07-11 13:20:47
152.   regfairfield
144 I learned at the last game I went to that the parking guys don't actually do anything if you disobey them, I got to park in my old spot and everything worked out great.
2008-07-11 13:21:18
153.   bhsportsguy
145 If the Dodgers don't go to China, how does it change this season, if everything remains the same in terms of injuries and the like.

And even if Torre had studied everything about this team during the off-season, again, tell me how it impacts this season with everything playing out the way it has.

The China trip and Torre learning this team are at the bottom of my list of why this team is struggling to get to .500.

2008-07-11 13:21:34
154.   Ken Noe
120 138 I didn't like the Torre hire, so I'm the wrong person probably to comment, and my views now are admittedly mixed. Given his age, his devotion to certain things (speedy lead-off hitters, for example) is understandable but sometimes frustrating. His over-reliance on certain favorites was well-known in New York--ask Scott Proctor's arm. He says one thing and the next day does the opposite. But Louis is right as well, I thought his praise of Kemp at lead-off, for example, didn't get enough attention. I think the verdict remains out. I'd also add that I'd be shocked if he was not already the organization's alpha male--the real unanswered question to me is where he stood on all these potential trades like the one for CC. My guess is that he's the one who will separate the wheat (they "listen") from the chaff (who don't) and probably determine Ned's fate as well. Otherwise you don't hire Joe Torre.
2008-07-11 13:21:57
155.   Eric Enders
Regfairfield is the Matt Kemp of Dodger Stadium parkers.
2008-07-11 13:24:44
156.   Eric Enders
153 The answer is simple: If he'd spent more time with the team, or learning about the team, perhaps (or, admittedly, perhaps not) he'd be able to do a better job distinguishing between the good players and the bad players. That, to date, has been his prime failing as Dodger manager.
2008-07-11 13:24:47
157.   bigcpa
155 Is that like when you move an orange cone to free up a nice spot?
2008-07-11 13:25:30
158.   bhsportsguy
150 There are times when I think some here are more upset that management isn't critiqueing the veterans and could care less if they praised the younger players at all.

I think there is a mentality in place in professional sports (and really corporate structure) where good performance is rewarded with silence, past performance is rewarded with praise and mistakes are highlighted especially if they feel they are repeated over and over.

2008-07-11 13:27:51
159.   PHilldodger
120 I would call Torre a problem with this team, not the problem. A couple of recent examples. Sending Billingsley out for the 6th inning in his last outing when he was lucky to get through 5 having given up 3 runs was bad. The bullpen was fresh, it was not smart to send Billz out for at most one more inning.
Last night was the perfect opportunity for a double switch when Kuo relieved Park, putting Kuo in Dewitt's spot and Laroche in the pitcher's spot. And of course his fixation with how a player "looks," which I will never understand. Pierre, Dewitt and Jones do something that Torre likes, whatever it is.
Torre's positives are his demeanor and the respect he gets from the players. But like most managers, he's largely irrelevant. Torre's record stinks when he was the manager of a lousy team, and was very good when he managed a team with talent.
2008-07-11 13:27:59
160.   bhsportsguy
156 Aside from LaRoche, again who are these good players that are not getting recognized in the best way right now which is playing everyday?

I just don't get this.

2008-07-11 13:28:44
161.   bhsportsguy
159 So then, this team is not talented?
2008-07-11 13:29:06
162.   jujibee
156. I really think that if Joe had spent the time here instead of China, he would trot out the same exact team. The season is half over now, and if he still can't field the best team possible, those 7 days at the beginning of the year wouldn't make a lick of difference now after seeing the team play 80+ games.
2008-07-11 13:29:20
163.   Bluebleeder87
I think La Roche will get a legit chance in '09.
2008-07-11 13:29:56
164.   Eric Enders
"There are times when I think some here are more upset that management isn't critiqueing the veterans and could care less if they praised the younger players at all."

That would describe my feeling, I guess.

Basically, my position is that all the players should be given a fair shake. If you're going to criticize Matt Kemp's stupid baserunning mistakes, then also criticize Jeff Kent's even stupider ones. If you're going to criticize Andre Ethier's hitting approach, then also criticize Juan Pierre's even worse approach.

If you don't do that, then you get so caught up in playing favorites that it blinds your ability to analyze performance onjectively.

2008-07-11 13:31:49
165.   bhsportsguy
Who would you rather play second base this season for the Dodgers, Jeff Kent or anyone else on the roster?

Who would you rather play SS on this current team?

Does Blake DeWitt fall into the bad player category and is that fair since he truly is a rookie?

Certainly only his injury put him out of the lineup but while the four outfielders were healthy, some called for Pierre rather than Jones to start (and until Furcal got hurt, they were rotating 3 for 2).

2008-07-11 13:31:59
166.   underdog
Late to the party after too many meetings, but...

>>snap!<< Right on, Jon. Spot-on, really. I only feel a little melancholy about the fact that the journalists and pundits out there who really need to hear this are either not going to read it or not going to "hear" it. But you know what, it's still important to have it out there. The more it gets disseminated the better chance it will counter the ludicrous stuff coming from other corners. So thanks. Now let's get to spreading this out there.

Good discussion here, too, people.

2008-07-11 13:34:36
167.   jujibee
164. I think the difference here is with a veteran you have already seen them make these errors on the path and batting approaches. They are a known commodity whereas the younger players aren't such a given because we are unaware of their past and expecting them to reach their highest ceiling. While I agree with you, there is just no way we're ever going ot hear about JP's poor plate approach because he's been doing it so long and that makes it "right" because he's doing it like he always has. Ethier, on the other hand, we (expect/hope/desire) him to have a perfect approach. When he doesn't, he gets blamed for it.
2008-07-11 13:35:23
168.   Eric Enders
167 Good point.
2008-07-11 13:35:57
169.   bhsportsguy
The following represents my opinion and not those of Dodger management.

But I think their position would be, I can't change Jeff Kent's age nor Juan Pierre's batting approach, but I can try to improve Kemp, Ethier and the rest.

I believe when McCourt and Ned talk about the these players listening to the coaching staff, its not that they think the players are not good, heck they got here and are playing at a really young age. Its more like these guys have seen it all and have an idea what it takes to play this game, why not give them a chance to pass that on to you.

2008-07-11 13:37:37
170.   Greg Brock
Maybe the veterans don't lead by example, or aren't very effective leaders.

Can that meme ever get started?

2008-07-11 13:38:30
171.   bhsportsguy
169 And yes, I know firsthand that there are some here who would say and proudly so, just let the kids play and get out of their way.
2008-07-11 13:38:40
172.   jujibee
165. I just would wish that the possibility of LaRoche at third and Dewitt at SS would at least be considered. How much worse could Dewitt play at SS, just 20 feet away from his regular position. It's no different than playing a "permanant" shift. Or maybe, trying Laroche/Young at second instead of Maza on Kent's days off.
2008-07-11 13:39:44
173.   bhsportsguy
170 Kemp and Ethier have both praised Andruw this year.

And remember, Matt and Jeff chill to the same music.

2008-07-11 13:40:03
174.   Tangled Up in Blue
159 - I agree that Torre is not the main problem with the Dodgers. I disagree that he is like other managers making him irrelevant. If Torre wants the team to trade Kemp I would bet you that Kemp gets traded. Its a thin line. All managers have a say in personnel moves but, IMO, Torre has much more of an impact. Especially when you consider who our GM is.
2008-07-11 13:41:38
175.   Humma Kavula
169 You're making an important distinction, which is the difference between criticism and action based on that criticism.

I don't really mind the former. I can't imagine that Kemp/Ethier/Martin like it all that much, but I guess there's an argument that they can respond by improving even more. So: whatever.

But I definitely fear action being taken based on that criticism. It's very easy for Plaschke -- or whoever -- to hear the front office criticize "the kids" and then to make the next jump: well, why not trade them?

That would be a mistake. Right now the team has growing pains, but for me, they're still fun to watch. I believe they will get better, and I doubt that the team can receive equal value in trades.

2008-07-11 13:43:19
176.   kingbb99
The McCourt/Colletti/Torre Cabal of Ineptitude has the listening problem. They don't listen to the statistics. No thoughtful Dodger observer can blame "the kids" for the misfortunes of this club.
2008-07-11 13:43:55
177.   Greg Brock
173 I was thinking about Jeff Kent, The Luis Gonzalez Experience, the outfielder who is currently not ambulatory, Mark Sweeney, Nomar Garciaparra, etc.

I'm sure Andruw Jones is a good teacher. It's the actual baseball that is currently the problem. It'd be unfair to lay any of this annual nonsense at his gravy-laden feet.

2008-07-11 13:44:14
178.   JoeyP
Aside from LaRoche, again who are these good players that are not getting recognized in the best way right now which is playing everyday?

Playing LaRoche over Dewitt should happen right now.

The team playing Pierre in the leadoff spot was also a bad idea.

Those two things should never have happened.

2008-07-11 13:46:12
179.   kinbote
We could sure save ourselves a lot of handwringing if McCourt just fired Colletti.

He can't blame himself; it's wrong to blame the young players; and everything else falls under Ned's jurisdiction.

Thankfully, most [ahem, most] of Colletti's mistakes will be gone in a year or two anyway.

2008-07-11 13:46:51
180.   jujibee
174. Torre is part of the problem by the simple nature he is not part of the solution. Take Kemp vs. Pierre for example. All you hear from his mouth is JP this and JP that, while in the process praising him for poor attributes of his game. Kemp rarely, if ever, gets this kind of vocal embellishment from Torre. Maybe it's the columnists putting in their selective hearing quotes only, but this wouldn't excuse the fact that Torre could be boosting Kemp's confidence by talking him up like crazy via TV or radio, which I never hear either. One simple example is when Torre said that JP is hitting the ball really well after he went 0 for 4 so he'll leadoff. Yet by contrast when Kemp drills the heck out of the ball, nothing is said except he needs to work on his plate approach.
2008-07-11 13:47:41
181.   ibleedbloo
47 That makes even less sense to me. I always thought their heads were shaped like toes.
2008-07-11 13:48:16
182.   Humma Kavula
161 I've been thinking about this simple question since you posted it.

It's not that they're not talented -- we can see flashes of their talent come through. But a few weeks ago Jon asked Why the Rays and not the Dodgers? And the answer, I think, is either the Dodgers' prospects (now major leaguers) as a whole weren't as good as the Rays' were, or that the Dodgers' prospects had equal talent but are not at the point where their talent has been developed equally.

So yes, this is a mediocre team right now. But it's also reasonable to believe that with the same personnel, they'll be better next year.

2008-07-11 13:49:58
183.   JoeyP
If the Dodgers would just play this lineup for the rest of the year:

C- Martin

There'd be very little complaining here I suspect. Would this lineup win the NL West? Probably not, but at the very least you'd be developing players for 2009.

I think alot of the anger here is due to what happened with Pierre getting as much time as he did, supplanting Ethier as the starting OF'er, and leading off.

In addition, the Dewitt over LaRoche thing, the comments about trading Kemp for a veteran SS..have all created the angst.

2008-07-11 13:49:59
184.   fanerman
182 What was the question Jon asked? I must have missed it.

I figure that part of the reason the Rays are getting the press they are is because they're in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees.

2008-07-11 13:50:44
185.   fanerman
183 I'd bet they'd win the West.
2008-07-11 13:51:13
186.   bhsportsguy
178 I tend to ignore the Pierre issue, unfortunately Furcal's injury brought that thing to fruition.

177 I don't believe anyone has ever had a bad thing to say about Juan Pierre in any context outside what he does after the umpire starts the game. Sweeney reportedly is a good influence on the bench.

2008-07-11 13:52:35
187.   bhsportsguy
183 So 88% isn't good enough.
2008-07-11 13:54:12
188.   Humma Kavula
184 "Why Tampa Bay? Why not L.A.?"

2008-07-11 13:54:15
189.   Greg Brock
186 They may be good people, but their not doing a very good job of molding these young players into competitors, gritty hustlebots, or winners. Maybe the kids don't listen because they are not being taught well.

I hear the guy who led Orange County into bankruptcy was one of the nicest people you'd ever meet.

2008-07-11 13:54:24
190.   Vaudeville Villain

I think it's a combination of the Rays having better prospects, and actually giving them last year to develop.

Remember they had to sit through a whole year of Dioner Navarro being pretty mediocre last year, and look what he is doing now. Edwin Jackson has improved as well.

2008-07-11 13:56:53
191.   Greg Brock
Let's package Ethier and some prospects for Jason Bay.

Would we like that? I would.

2008-07-11 13:58:38
192.   Vaudeville Villain

Actually, I would probably do that, as long as the other prospects included in the deal were only Meloan level prospects.

2008-07-11 13:58:58
193.   Eric Enders
169 "these guys have seen it all and have an idea what it takes to play this game, why not give them a chance to pass that on to you."

But there's another, very dangerous side to that coin. Bill James has written about this before, but it's common thread throughout baseball history for an overbearing coaching staff to screw up a good young player. Coaches and managers often believe ballplayers to be more malleable than they are -- and so they often change whatever it is that player does right, and screw him up for good. Old baseball guys have set opinions that the way they learned to do things is the only right way to do it. So, for example, if they have a really good young pitcher who has an unorthodox windup, they'll screw with his mechanics until his windup is more "normal" -- but then often his pitching stinks.

I have noticed this happening with Matt Kemp this year. Others may not agree, but to me it's as obvious as can be that he's being overcoached. The thing that made him a great player in the past was his tremendous ability to crush strikes early in the count. However, they got him on this plate discipline kick, which has resulted in him taking more pitches early in the count -- but only a nominal improvement in his walk rate. Instead, what happens is that he takes the hittable pitches early in the count, which usually puts him in an 0-2 hole and forces him to swing at all the bad pitches thereafter. This is the number one problem with Kemp this year, and to me it's the reason he doesn't have much power. He's always swinging defensively, because he's always behind in the count, because he always takes the first pitch and it's always a strike.

I'm not saying Kemp doesn't need better plate discipline. He does. But it's never been established that plate discipline can be coached into a player. It's probably something that's got to happen naturally as part of a player's development, like it did with Sammy Sosa and others. Trying to cram it down someone's throat has never been shown to have worked.

Kemp's stats are not inconsistent with this theory:

Putting the first pitch into play: 16.7% in 2007, 11.8% in 2008
0-1 counts: 44.3% in 2007, 50.7% in 2008
0-2 counts: 16.4% in 2007, 22.0% in 2008

2008-07-11 14:00:20
194.   regfairfield
191 I would like this, I think Pirate fan wouldn't be happy since they think Kemp for Wilson is fair, but there's no way we should get Xavier Nady too.
2008-07-11 14:00:35
195.   Humma Kavula
192 I would also do it.

Which I take as a pretty good sign that the Pirates wouldn't. Why would they?

2008-07-11 14:02:09
196.   Alex41592
I don't think LaRoche over DeWitt is the difference between winning the West and not. I like DeWitt's glove and I can accept the lower offensive numbers if he keeps the errors and mental mistakes out as well. Especially if Nomar can pick up some slack offensively at short.

Also, has anybody seen DeWitt's numbers batting eighth this season:


2008-07-11 14:04:09
197.   regfairfield
He must be really, really bad hitting anywhere else?
2008-07-11 14:04:24
198.   Kevin P
Thank you, Jon. Bill Plashke just about made me vomit all over my desk at work. I'm so sick of hearing this junk.
2008-07-11 14:05:52
199.   JoeyP
187--Not when the line between winning & losing is so thin.
2008-07-11 14:06:02
200.   Eric Stephen
The Rule between 12 & 14!!! :)
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-07-11 14:07:12
201.   regfairfield
What's interesting is that even though DeWitt's numbers with 2 outs and RISP are great, and he's got a lot of hits with the bases loaded, he's actually the least effective in high leverage situations.
2008-07-11 14:08:48
202.   Alex41592
201 - Perhaps somebody needs to re-write what 'high leverage' means.
2008-07-11 14:09:13
203.   JoeyP
191--> Elbert/Ethier/Mcdonald for Bay. Done.

Bay's contract is one 7.5 mils for next season.

Plus, aside from last season, he's proven he has very good power & patience.

2008-07-11 14:11:25
204.   regfairfield
202 It means that when he's getting these hits, the game is probably already over anyway. It's not high leverage when you get the bases loaded hit when you're up five.
2008-07-11 14:11:45
205.   jumanjifan01
59 - Long time reader, first time poster here. Plaschke does seem to respond to emails. I've corresponded with him a couple of times before.

Tell him you're a longtime fan of his column and present your opinions to him in a calm and logical way. I don't know if it accomplishes anything but at the very least he's looking at a real Dodger fan's point of view.

The one redeeming thing about this article is for the first time Plaschke references a possible Post-Colletti era.

I think it would be a good thing if as many DT readers went ahead and sent him an e-mail with a few brief thoughts on the team. Write your e-mails as if you've never read a Plaschke column in your life.

2008-07-11 14:11:46
206.   underdog
180 Don't take this the wrong way at all but your handle always makes me absent-mindedly pick at my teeth. Sugary childhood flashbacks...


Yeah, I think we're already pretty close in general to the desired line-up, minus LaRoche (and not counting Furcal, who isn't part of the equation any more). Since they've in general been playing a lot better the last couple of weeks it doesn't seem like they're that far off, if they're not already there, as the best team in the West. Again, it's a weak division so that's not really the pinnacle of excellence. But I worry more about the perceptions and then the reaction to that then I do the actual personnel on the team at this point.

2008-07-11 14:14:45
207.   fanerman
193 Everybody seems to agree that Kemp's development is behind most major leaguers due to his relative inexperience with baseball. Wouldn't a player be more malleable earlier on rather than later?

I don't find anything particularly "bad" about trying to coach Kemp into better plate discipline. He's at a stage in his career where improvement isn't unreasonable (I would think). What does seem unreasonable is (1) holding his current struggles against him considering that he's trying to learn something new that the coaches are teaching him, and (2) calling him uncoachable when it's clear he's listening to the coaches and not ignoring their advice. (I guess nobody actually said Kemp specifically, but they didn't have to.)

2008-07-11 14:20:01
208.   Bob Timmermann
I think we have all failed to acknowledge that Plaschke referred to Tony Jackson as a "veteran scribe." It had a nice 1920s feel to it.

It was also unusual that a Times columnist would acknowledge the existence of a Daily News writer.

2008-07-11 14:20:49
209.   underdog
207 - I'm not even sure there's agreement on that. He's still very young. His development could even be seen as ahead of the curve if you take into consideration the lag before he started baseball full time. But anyway, agree with your point.
2008-07-11 14:21:33
210.   Vaudeville Villain
Actually, I think the misuse of LaRoche is a pretty big deal.

Since the Rays came up as example of a tem playing well with their young players, look over their stats. I just checked them, and they're certainly a bit better than many of our young players, but really, even with Navarro's nice year, Martin is still much better, and we are comparable at every other position.

The big difference is Evan Longoria. We don't have a Longoria, although we have a potentially similar hitter in LaRoche. The problem is we play a mediocre Dewitt over one of our few potential power bats. The Rays don't play Willy Aybar over Longoria.

2008-07-11 14:21:48
211.   Kevin Lewis

I'm pretty much expecting us to win the NL West right now. I am a glutton for punishment.

2008-07-11 14:22:06
212.   Eric Enders
Most major leaguers were in the minors at Kemp's age.
2008-07-11 14:22:45
213.   underdog
Doesn't Variety use "scribe" a lot to refer to screenwriters?

I do think Plaschke thinks he's somebody from a Billy Wilder movie sometimes, out of that era.

2008-07-11 14:23:11
214.   natepurcell
Heyman has a new article about Dbacks and other interested in Bay.

They mentioned the pirates want top prospect, Emilio Bonifacio... the same player who's current line in AAA as a 2b is 302/348/387

And th articles states the dbacks are reluctant to give him up.

I hate baseball.

2008-07-11 14:24:38
215.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think Variety's argot is applicable to any other publication.
2008-07-11 14:25:59
216.   Kevin Lewis
Did anyone hear 570am talk about Dodger scouts going to SD because there might be a fire sale? I know it is probably not credible, but who on earth could we want from SD? other than Peavey
2008-07-11 14:26:42
217.   Kevin Lewis
notice, I said want, not need
2008-07-11 14:29:17
218.   PHilldodger
193 I would agree. Without hearing what is actually said to Kemp on a daily basis, it's impossible to say for sure on the coaching. But looking at his swing now makes me want to cry (almost). Blocking balls that are down the middle or on the inside part of the plate to the opposite field has robbed his power.
2008-07-11 14:30:12
219.   Alex41592
216 - Kahlil Greene immediately comes to mind. He's having an absolutely awful season.
2008-07-11 14:38:18
220.   Jacob L
I was just thinking that while we're all sending polite, calmly worded e-mails to Bill Plashcke, that we might also bring his latest and greatest to the attention of the gentlemen at FJM. Then I read their last Plaschke piece from a week or two ago. I actually started to feel sorry for ol' Bill. I think FJM is done with him for a while.
2008-07-11 14:39:21
221.   Bob Timmermann
Jon will demand Jody Gerut from the Padres because he demands that the Dodgers sign a Stanford man.
2008-07-11 14:39:36
222.   Bill Crain
That's what I've seen, too, I think beginning last season. I wonder if it's coaching he's responding to or criticism in the media.
2008-07-11 14:42:52
223.   Eric Enders
If we're going to have a token Stanford guy I'd rather it be Carlos Quentin.
2008-07-11 14:51:37
224.   Jim Hitchcock
Okay, I'm sure this has been discussed, but why didn't Torre bring in Wade in the 11th last night. What was he thinking?
2008-07-11 14:53:00
225.   Jon Weisman
The kids have gotten opportunities to play. Not every opportunity, but many opportunities. Same with the veterans.

The kids have not been as successful as we might like. Same with the veterans.

The kids have plenty to learn, because everyone on Earth has plenty to learn. The need for learning never stops.

I'm with Eric in 164 . The main reason I defend the kids is not because I don't think they could do better. Nor do I believe the Dodgers and the press don't want them to do better.

I just want people to be evaluated fairly.

Jones is someone who gets evalauted for who he is, not what his pedigree is. He is heavily criticized. Perhaps because of his weight, he doesn't get the free ride that others get.

Yet when mainstream Dodger insiders and outsiders step back and start assigning blame, the $18 million man is an afterthought to Matt Kemp's game instincts.

Perhaps that's because people feel there's nothing to be done about Jones (let alone Pierre or whomeever). That doesn't make it right.

The one thing that I will acknowledge seems to be changing - and as we expected, it came with the end of the Lakers' season - is that Colletti is now under scrutiny. But even Colletti appears to be under scrutiny for the wrong reasons. As Tom Meagher has pointed out so well, talent evaluation, rather than the absence of trades, is the main issue with Colletti.

Joe Torre is still enjoying his honeymoon. While there have been some good points with him, let's look at the reasons he was brought in. The first was for PR/credibility reasons, which he has succeded in, however irrelevantly. The second was "How do you solve a problem like the kids?" And even if he made the greatest effort one could ever make, he has not solved this problem. I have every reason to believe that someone else could have done better, although that person was probably not remotely a candidate to be hired.

Torre gets credit for people buying into his West Coast offense when the Dodgers win. When the Dodgers lose, he has nothing to do with it - it's the kids' fault. So again, it becomes the uneven blame/credit game.

I don't really care what people think about the Dodgers except to the extent that it could impact player transactions. And as I think I said earlier this week, if the Dodgers themselves don't really understand what's good and bad about them, that's a concern, even if they are giving kids by and large a chance to play.

2008-07-11 14:53:43
226.   Jon Weisman
Oh - by the way - KABC did drop the game broadcast last night, right? I never found out what happened with that.
2008-07-11 14:55:47
227.   Eric Stephen
Tony Clark might be nice to have. I would imagine SD will trade Clark, Wolf, and possibly Maddux in the next few weeks.

Maddux has a no-trade clause, but would waive it for the right situation. Clark is making league minimum ($390k) but gets a $500k bonus if traded.

2008-07-11 14:58:47
228.   bhsportsguy
On a lighter note and please no ideas about doing this at the DT picnic.

2008-07-11 15:00:34
229.   Kevin Lewis

So, apart from Clark, we don't really need anyone from SD? They should be able to make some good deals for the contending teams that need some pitching. Ahhh, I remember the bliss of receiving Maddux for that fateful summer

2008-07-11 15:00:35
230.   underdog
224 Was discussed a little last night yeah, and my point was - and I may be in the minority - that I was less concerned with who they brought in at that point than the fact that they didn't pitch around Hanley. I really don't see Wade faring much or any better than the Borg, frankly, vs. Ramirez, but either one should've been told to pitch around him. He was as hot as Hades. Maybe not IBB him literally but pitch around. So I had less a problem with Borg then with the pitch calling in that matchup, whoever was facing Ramirez.
2008-07-11 15:01:47
231.   bhsportsguy
225 I guess my problem is that you are asking for something that is not done anywhere else (as far as the media and big business like MLB) so why should you expect it when it comes to baseball.
2008-07-11 15:03:11
232.   bhsportsguy
230 If baseball is statistically inclined, than the odds were certainly against Hanley Ramirez getting his 5th hit last night even if he was allowed to put it on a tee.
2008-07-11 15:03:38
233.   OaklandAs
226 Yeah, I believe Steiner said that most of the West Coast lost the game for a few minutes, around 9:00. Somehow, Larry Elder was on during the 7th inning.
2008-07-11 15:07:39
234.   Greg Brock
232 He has the same chance of getting a hit every at-bat.

Getting heads on a coin flip doesn't increase your odds of getting tails on the next.

Yeah, you'll get about 50/50 over a thousand, but not over four or six or ten.

2008-07-11 15:08:18
235.   Eric Enders
The statistical odds of Hanley Ramirez getting a hit in his final at-bat are completely independent of the result of his prior at-bats. Getting four hits earlier doesn't make you less likely to get another one.
2008-07-11 15:08:35
236.   Gagne55
229 And yet nobody ever gives Colletti credit for the aquisitions of Maddux and Anderson that propelled the Dodgers to a playoff spot that year.
2008-07-11 15:08:46
237.   Eric Enders
(Or, what Brock said better and faster.)
2008-07-11 15:10:12
238.   Jon Weisman
225 - I don't believe that there is a universal system of expecting more from kids than veterans. I believe there are plenty of places where the veterans are considered responsible.

When the Angel offense struggles, does it get written that it's all Kendrick and Kotchman's fault? That they need to start wising up now or get shown the door? Even though Kendrick, if I'm not mistaken, draws a walk once every leap year? No, because the approach in evaluating that organization is more that everyone has to pull their weight. It's hardly perfect, but people have been conditioned to give the Angels, young and old, the benefit of the doubt. It's just another hybrid of "winning brings chemistry."

And there certainly isn't an imperative to expect more from the kids, except to the extent that it fits one's own personal agenda.

2008-07-11 15:10:53
239.   Jon Weisman
236 - That's not true. I've seen him get credit for that here lots of times, including from myself.
2008-07-11 15:11:23
240.   bhsportsguy
225 Do you believe that Juan Pierre and Ned Colletti have gotten a fair shake here on DT?
2008-07-11 15:13:05
241.   Bill Crain
234 235
I haven't refreshed, so I don't know the outcome, but I'd estimate the odds of somebody else saying this a third time before my post goes up are at least 90%.
2008-07-11 15:15:15
242.   bhsportsguy
238 One, the local media give Scioscia lots of love. Two, every year about now, Plaschke or more likely, Simers, would bug Stoneman about making a trade for more offense.

It helps when you best player (and I truly believe this) is basically invisible to the media because he won't give interviews in English and frankly, you never hear much about him.

2008-07-11 15:16:41
243.   Icaros

When Colletti first got here, Jon wrote a national article comparing him favorably to DePodesta.

Pierre? What fair shot was there to give? Most of us knew he was terrible and getting worse, and he has proven that to be true.

2008-07-11 15:17:33
244.   Eric Enders
Juan Pierre has absolutely gotten more than a fair shake here. Colletti, I'd be inclined to agree with you has not. He's gotten a fair shake from Jon, but not quite from the commenters collectively.

The difference is that Jon and I are talking about the Dodgers giving people a fair shake. You're talking about internet blog posters giving people a fair shake. There's a difference between those two things.

2008-07-11 15:18:16
245.   Jon Weisman
240 - In the aggregate, yes. Pierre is considered a player who does not deserve to start ahead of Ethier, Kemp and in theory, Jones. Colletti is considered someone who has made a lot of mistakes amid some decent moves. I don't agree with some of the extreme root-of-all-evil opinions expressed in the comments about them, but I feel those are frequently rebutted anyway.

Sure, you could take some individual comments and they'd look bad. But the site as a whole, including me? And for that matter, you? Yeah, I think it's been fair.

I mean, that's the point, isn't it? We have a long-running, widespread dialogue about these guys. There's every opportunity for them to be praised, and I like to think I allow those opinions to get through, even if they're not majority opinions. I know some might disagree with that, but that's what I believe.

2008-07-11 15:19:41
246.   underdog
Jon, The K Bros over on Blue Notes were kind enough to link to this post just a few minutes ago with lots of love heaped upon it:

Thought you'd like to know. Since at least it's one more step toward counterbalancing Plaschke-isms, and on a Times-sponsored blog to boot! (Thanks K Bros!)

2008-07-11 15:19:43
247.   Eric Enders
242 So it's all the L.A. Times' fault for assigning the Dodgers, and not the Angels, a beat reporter who speaks Spanish and Japanese!

I'm all for blaming everything on the L.A. Times, up to and including global warming.

2008-07-11 15:20:34
248.   Icaros

Don't forget the LA Times's role in 9/11.

2008-07-11 15:21:21
249.   Greg Brock
Colletti's fate was sealed during the winter before last with one signing. And the subsequent statements justifying said signing.

Everything else has pretty much confirmed the impression caused by that signing.

2008-07-11 15:21:27
250.   Jon Weisman
238 - The point is, I don't think you can say that what I'm asking for isn't done anywhere.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-07-11 15:25:05
251.   Dodgers49
51s' Ellis misses shot at brother

>> • NOTE -- Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Mark Sweeney went 2-for-4 with a run for the 51s in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment for a strained right hamstring. <<

2008-07-11 15:25:40
252.   bhsportsguy
244 As long they play, I think they can say all they want about them, again you can argue about LaRoche but when I look at the stats and see their names among the tops at getting at bats, etc., I am not sure what else the organization is supposed to do.

This isn't my nieces' grammer school where they give awards for being compassionate or having good attendance, they are playing major league baseball and fair or not, bad decisions made by those in control or not, these guys have been put in the spotlight to perform.

The only way they can show that they get it, is not only to perform well on the fied but also as unfair it seems, understand that they have to learn to play "the game" in terms of appeasing your elders and listening to your coaches, show up on time, don't say much and be appreciative of what you got.

You get to pay to this all back when you get over 45.

2008-07-11 15:28:28
253.   Jim Hitchcock
230 Agree with you, Underdog. Remember Jose Vizcaino? Never much output, but the last time I saw him play at DS, he had 4 hits one night through 7, and you just knew he was going to get another hit, which did. The point being, Ramirez is on another planet than Vizcaino ability wise.
2008-07-11 15:28:56
254.   bhsportsguy
245 I was just asking the question, you and I have talked about Juan off line and you were pretty much up front when he was signed.

And this has been a good discussion and much more give and take than the articles that sparked it.

2008-07-11 15:30:00
255.   Dodger Dawg
McCourt is right about there has to be accountability, but that has to start with the people who are being paid the big money to produce. We all know who they are, and who's not producing like they should.What it comes down to, is who signed those people in the first place. Just like Pierre was never a good fit for this team neither was Torre. Grady little who I was never a big fan of said when we win it's because of the players, and when we lose it's my fault. I doubt Torre thinks like that, and to some extent he should. For the Dodgers to improve it has to start with management improving. How much better would the young players be if they were surrounded by productive vets?
2008-07-11 15:30:16
256.   Jim Hitchcock
247 It's Sam Zell's fault, Eric...only not according to him.
2008-07-11 15:31:10
257.   bhsportsguy
245 And I hope you know that I no way meant to imply that you, your posts or the comments here have not at least been respectful in their discussions about those two.
2008-07-11 15:31:41
258.   Greg Brock
The only way they can show that they get it, is not only to perform well on the fied but also as unfair it seems, understand that they have to learn to play "the game" in terms of appeasing your elders and listening to your coaches, show up on time, don't say much and be appreciative of what you got.

This is why Napoleon kicked everybody's hindquarters. Bravery in combat got you promoted. Being the Seventh Duke of Who Cares didn't. We can't learn that this works two hundred years later.

2008-07-11 15:31:47
259.   CodyS
234 , 235 That's a terrible use of statistics and completely false. Hanley Ramirez's chance of getting a hit in a particular at-bat go up and down constantly, depending on who's pitching, the game situation, the health of each party, etc.., etc....
2008-07-11 15:34:04
260.   Eric L
259 In other words, each at bat is an independent event and the outcome is based on a bunch of different factors.
2008-07-11 15:36:02
261.   CodyS
216 Maddux is supposedly available to West Coast teams. He is more or less for sure going to deliver 100 innings of league average pitching (and he could teach Kershaw how to win).
2008-07-11 15:36:16
262.   bhsportsguy
259 At least I got people to agree on something, that I used an ill-timed he's due reference.
2008-07-11 15:36:33
263.   Jon Weisman
254 - No, I took no offense and meant to give none. I was just trying to answer.
2008-07-11 15:36:52
264.   Eric Enders
259 That pretty much goes without saying, doesn't it? Or I thought it did.
2008-07-11 15:37:28
265.   Greg Brock
260 Independent outcomes was the larger point, without getting into the minutae of matchups, etc.
2008-07-11 15:37:38
266.   CodyS
Ah, 234 & 235 are indeed saying different things. I argued v. 234. 235 may or may not be true.
2008-07-11 15:38:53
267.   Jon Weisman
Ah, you know you've been around for a while when you remember Bandini Mountain.

2008-07-11 15:39:33
268.   bhsportsguy
263 Actually my post was a cheap shot and undeserving.

Now GB comparing me to Napolean, well sir, can I suggest some nice location in NY where we can settle this, I call my second to contact yours for your choice of weapons.

My suggested choice, Garlic Fries.

2008-07-11 15:40:49
269.   Bob Timmermann
I would hope Maddux could teach Kershaw about winning using examples that predated this season.
2008-07-11 15:41:14
270.   Indiana Jon
In my opinion, the Padres should trade Peavy. Look at what these other teams are getting for pitchers these days (Sabathia, Haren, Bedard, Santana). They could get some major prospects. Peavy is better (younger?) than any of those others.
2008-07-11 15:41:20
271.   Bob Timmermann
Weehawken is in NJ.
2008-07-11 15:41:50
272.   underdog
258 So who on the Dodgers is currently most deserving of having a dessert named after them?

I'll take my answer off the air. Thank you.

2008-07-11 15:42:15
273.   Greg Brock
268 I was talking about meritocracies!

And in the tradition of dueling, I fire my garlic fry upwards.

2008-07-11 15:42:25
274.   El Lay Dave
To me, the irony was that the old schoolers - Torre/Bowa/Schaeffer - didn't abide by the hoary old adage of not letting THAT guy beat you, and for that team, particularly last night, Hanley Ramirez is that guy. I was fully expecting the pitch-around and TorreCo betting that Hermida wasn't going to beat them with a double or better.
2008-07-11 15:42:41
275.   Eric Enders
So, the Seventh Duke of Who Cares -- was that Duke Sims, or Zach Duke?

Actually, now that I think of it, Zach Duke missed his calling. He should've been a Dodger outfielder. Like Andujar Cedeno played for the Astros.

2008-07-11 15:43:20
276.   bigcpa
I rather pointlessly emailed Plaschke with this among other pleasantries...

2008 OPS and Salary

1 Furcal 1.045 $13,000,000
2 Martin .846 $500K
3 Loney .813 $400K
4 Ethier .808 $400K
5 Kemp .767 $400K
---- NL avg .738 -------
6 Kent .722 $9,000,000
7 DeWitt .703 $400K
8 Pierre .644 $8,000,000
9 Jones .527 $18,100,000

I know this presupposes he can read such a complex table, but does a fair job of laying out the ROI on this offense.

2008-07-11 15:43:52
277.   underdog
253 Yah, and not only is Hanley 1000X better than Vizcaino, but he has already before yesterday's game even proved himself to tear it up at Dodger Stadium. I really don't see it as a flukey game, frankly; great hitter + history of success in place + on fire for that game = pitch around him. I don't get it. But as others have said, they had other opps to win that game and other reasons for losing it, I suppose. But that guy will make me nervous all the rest of this series.
2008-07-11 15:44:19
278.   Indiana Jon
275 Took me a second to figure that one out. I know, I'm slow.
2008-07-11 15:45:14
279.   Greg Brock
272 Bananas Beimel sounds tasty.
2008-07-11 15:45:50
280.   Jon Weisman
276 - Using OPS was a bit of a gambit.
2008-07-11 15:46:00
281.   Eric Enders
I've been to Weehawken once. It ended with me surrounded by eight police cars, lights flashing and sirens a-sounding.

Because my buddy who was driving made an illegal U-turn.

Let's just say it's a town where outsiders aren't welcomed with open arms. They're welcomed with loaded arms.

2008-07-11 15:46:09
282.   John Hale
I would normally continue lurking but in the aftermath of the discussion from a couple of days ago I would report my immediate urge to go to the paypal button after reading Jons column.

I feel a little ashamed of myself that after reading many columns filled with great writing by Jon with perhaps subtler yet equally powerful points I was too lazy to do that. But the emotional pull of this article prompted immediate action.

I think you should write on of these during Dodger Thoughts membership renewal weeks

2008-07-11 15:47:09
283.   Marty
248 What am I? Osama Bin Laden?
2008-07-11 15:48:28
284.   bigcpa
280 I have to figure he's already received (and maybe learned from) countless attacks for his selective use of RBI and AVG.
2008-07-11 15:48:42
285.   Bob Timmermann
It was nice to meet you in person Marty.

Enjoy Gitmo.

2008-07-11 15:50:05
286.   Kevin Lewis
Anyone want to build a whiffle ball stadium with me? We could start a league and discuss trades and managerial decisions in that league instead of the Dodgers.
2008-07-11 15:50:37
287.   bigcpa
Fans don't appreciate him. Statisticians can't calculate him. Bloggers downright brutalize him.

I like him.

Hands down my favorite thing Plaschke ever typed. I absolutely love it.

2008-07-11 15:50:50
288.   Indiana Jon
284 I'm not sure he even uses RBI and average. If he did, then Kemp is one of the team's best, right? I think he just uses what he sees himself. He gets the impression from watching certain players that they don't listen or care and then it becomes fact.
2008-07-11 15:51:33
289.   Jon Weisman
281 - My first reaction to reading your comment was trying to place what Springsteen lyrics you were quoting.
2008-07-11 15:51:56
290.   Indiana Jon
286 Can I pitch? I threw a no-hitter at the Boy's Club one time.
2008-07-11 15:52:26
291.   Jon Weisman
282 - Thanks, and congrats on making Bob Timmermann's all-time make-him-smile Dodger team.
2008-07-11 15:52:27
292.   El Lay Dave
The other move last night that baffled me was the straight substitution of Jones for Young defensively in a tie game. In a tie game, I think one wants to keep his pinch-hitting options as open as possible, yet Torre used one up here, plus lost the flexibility of having Young as a 2B option later.
2008-07-11 15:52:41
293.   Greg Brock
The Code Duello:

No dumb shooting or firing in the air is admissible in any case. The challenger ought not to have challenged without receiving offense; and the challenged ought, if he gave offense, to have made an apology before he came on the ground; therefore, children's play must be dishonorable on one side or the other, and is accordingly prohibited.

But that happened all the time!

2008-07-11 15:53:47
294.   Eric Stephen
So who on the Dodgers is currently most deserving of having a dessert named after them?

Saltwater Tiffee? (probably more of a candy than a dessert)

Kuookies & Kreme ice cream?

2008-07-11 15:55:29
295.   Eric Enders
289 No, that was a real experience. It did, however, happen the day after I needed to catch a ride, because I had to make it through the tunnel for a meeting with a man on the other side.
2008-07-11 15:56:17
296.   El Lay Dave
272 Angel Food Cake Berroa? But nothing for LaRoche please.
2008-07-11 15:58:29
297.   Marty
Dulce de Maza
2008-07-11 15:58:30
298.   ryu
Can anyone prove that at-bats results are independent of each other? Are there any statistical studies to show this?

I am unwilling to accept this for granted. It may not be completely accurate to compare hitting a baseball to flipping a fair coin (truly independent).

For one thing, how does a player's confidence level affect his performance? If you believe that a higher confidence level contributes positively to his chances of getting a hit, then I think at-bats cannot be truly independent.

2008-07-11 15:58:44
299.   Jon Weisman
I'm Jonesing for some Druwskis.
2008-07-11 15:58:44
300.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I would think (although I don't know) that a player getting a hit in his previous at bat(s) would give you some information about the player, which would mean that two consecutive at bats (or two at bats from the same game) are not independent events.

Think of it this way: if Andrew Jones gets a hit in his first at bat, you might say that there is a 30% chance that he is "on" that day (healthy, swing is working, etc.), vs. if he does not get a hit, you might say that there is only a 10% chance that he is "on."

I guess it's an empirical question, but I would guess that there is some sort of autoregressive pattern to baseball performance.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-07-11 15:59:04
301.   Eric Enders
292 That's something that's perplexed me for a while -- why Torre feels he needs to remove Young from the game for defense. That's the third or fourth time it's happened this year, and I'm not talking about double switches, but simply removing Young and replacing him with Repko or whoever. I don't particularly buy that Young's a worse outfielder than Repko or Pierre, and certainly not enough worse to burn a bench player over it.
2008-07-11 15:59:05
302.   Jim Hitchcock
285 And the food is good there, though probably not up to Marty's standards.
2008-07-11 15:59:24
303.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I would think (although I don't know) that a player getting a hit in his previous at bat(s) would give you some information about the player, which would mean that two consecutive at bats (or two at bats from the same game) are not independent events.

Think of it this way: if Andrew Jones gets a hit in his first at bat, you might say that there is a 30% chance that he is "on" that day (healthy, swing is working, etc.), vs. if he does not get a hit, you might say that there is only a 10% chance that he is "on."

I guess it's an empirical question, but I would guess that there is some sort of autoregressive pattern to baseball performance.

2008-07-11 15:59:55
304.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
My first double post!
2008-07-11 16:00:02
305.   Eric Stephen
Furcal a mode?
2008-07-11 16:00:16
306.   Marty
Beimel Surprise.
Tasty Kents
Loney Bars
Sweet Peewees
2008-07-11 16:02:40
307.   Jon Weisman
Potatoes au Martin
2008-07-11 16:02:53
308.   Eric Stephen
I like "Tasty Kents".

Not a big fan of Plaschke Lime Pie, however.

2008-07-11 16:03:16
309.   El Lay Dave
139 I don't know if it's top-five, but "Fire" deserves a mention. Does "Highway Patrolman" count?

Posnanski likes baseball, Springsteen, "My Favorite Year", and Zooey Deschanel. I strongly approve.

2008-07-11 16:03:43
310.   underdog
I'm partial to Tiramidruw. Light and tasty.

Good, good, let's keep spitballing ideas here.

2008-07-11 16:04:09
311.   Eric Enders
298 You can start here...
2008-07-11 16:04:46
312.   bhsportsguy
292 The move that baffled Marty and me (not to be confused with the classic Mickey Mouse Club show, "Spin and Marty") was leaving Johnson to hit and then replacing him in the next inning.
2008-07-11 16:05:26
313.   Greg Brock
The law of averages over a small sample size is a myth. Is there anybody who wants to argue the opposite?
2008-07-11 16:05:52
314.   underdog
312 That had several of us scratching our heads here as well. Unless something changed in his status after he went back to the dugout, ie, they originally planned on bringing him back, that made zero sense.
2008-07-11 16:06:18
315.   Eric Enders
Jell-O. It's made from bison hooves, right?
2008-07-11 16:06:52
316.   El Lay Dave
307 For dessert? And would that be served with Russell Sprouts?
2008-07-11 16:07:30
317.   underdog
313 {Calls in Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman}
2008-07-11 16:08:09
318.   68elcamino427
Thanks for a wonderful post. I agree. Well done.
2008-07-11 16:08:23
319.   Greg Brock
317 Can they bring that lovely ginger from the show?

She's nerlinger heaven.

2008-07-11 16:09:28
320.   Marty
Mud Kemps
Pierre Stix
Ethier Ohs!
Sweet & Squatty Martins
2008-07-11 16:09:29
321.   ryu
303 I agree with your general point. You probably could infer some information about a player's ability that particular game by looking at what he has done up to time t. However, we'd have to make this inference based on a very limited number of at-bats (usually one or two at-bats), throwing in so many other variables such as different pitchers, fielders, time of day, etc..., so I don't know how confident you can be about it.
2008-07-11 16:10:22
322.   Bob Timmermann
I just assumed that Gonzalez thought Johnson hit well enough that he didn't want to burn a pinch hitter that early.
2008-07-11 16:10:58
323.   Humma Kavula
A drink, not a dessert, but: Martin-is?
2008-07-11 16:12:16
324.   Humma Kavula
If any Dodger of recent history is available... Izturis-Its?
2008-07-11 16:12:27
325.   El Lay Dave
312 Odd, but with two-out and nobody on, was it worth burning up a bench player to PH in a one-run game with a very low probability of actually scoring a run? With everyone carrying 12 man pitching staffs these days, there just aren't that many bats left on the bench anymore.
2008-07-11 16:12:53
326.   underdog
No love for Kempsicles?
2008-07-11 16:14:10
327.   Jim Hitchcock
Andruw Flambe?

(Sorry, that was sort of mean spirited).

2008-07-11 16:14:17
328.   ToyCannon
I could hang with Joe anytime, probably a big fan of the BoDeans as well.
2008-07-11 16:16:48
329.   ToyCannon
I've been wrong a lot but I don't think I've been as wrong about a player as I was on Hanley Ramirez. I'd love to know if Bill James wanted to trade him or if they had to include him to get Beckett and it broke his heart to give him up.
2008-07-11 16:17:57
330.   Eric Enders
322 I thought the same thing, but it turns out Johnson hasn't been a good hitter, not even in the minors.

With all these teams carrying more and more pitchers on the roster every year, I think we're going to start seeing more of this kind of thing because bench players are going to be scarcer. When we played the Marlins earlier this year, Gonzalez did the same thing with Scott Olsen, leaving him in to hit and then taking him out of the game.

Olsen walked.

2008-07-11 16:20:52
331.   Eric Stephen
2008-07-11 16:20:53
332.   uclasway
Definitely should be Sour Kents
2008-07-11 16:22:09
333.   ryu
311 Thanks! Always wanted to read something like that. Gives me a good reason to slack off for whatever's left of this Friday afternoon.
2008-07-11 16:23:55
334.   El Lay Dave
Austin Gallagher's Watermelon Surprise. (If allowed to reach to prospects.)
2008-07-11 16:26:43
335.   Bluebleeder87
A youngurt with granola & fresh strawberries would really hit the spot.
2008-07-11 16:29:45
336.   Alex41592
Ryan Howard's #28 makes it 1-0 Phillies over the D'Backs Bot 2.
2008-07-11 16:30:10
337.   Dave G
Let's not forget...
Beef Billingsley
Larochet (put it on your Maza during Passover and make a Koufax sandwich)
2008-07-11 16:34:09
338.   GIDP
Chan Ho-Hos
Baked DeWitt
2008-07-11 16:34:10
339.   mintxcore
Chan Ho Peppermint Bark

And old favorite:

Choicolate Mousse

2008-07-11 16:35:19
340.   Eric Stephen
Hubarb Pie

I hope the Dodgers experience with the second dessert is similar to my experience with a similar sounding pie. I didn't like it at first, but grew to like it after repeated tastings. Let's hope the Dodgers get more tastings.

2008-07-11 16:36:13
341.   ThinkBlue116
I don't post here often, but I gotta say this was one hell of a post. Thanks for saying what so many of us have been thinking.
2008-07-11 16:36:38
342.   Dave G
Oh, I totally missed the dessert thing. Beef Billingsley would make a fantastic main course, though.
2008-07-11 16:37:18
343.   GIDP
Crêpes Ardoin
2008-07-11 16:38:22
344.   underdog
I believe Delwyn's favorite B&J flavor is Peanut Butter Cup of course. Jeff Kent is partial to Moustachio ice cream.
2008-07-11 16:44:45
345.   still bevens
Kemp, RF
Ethier, LF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Jones, CF
Loney, 1B
Nomar, SS
DeWitt, 3B
Stults, P
2008-07-11 16:45:06
346.   Eric Stephen
A lot of people here in San Diego are quite angry with Adrian Gonzalez being passed over for the HR derby. The spin here is that ex-Brewer owner Bud Selig chose a Brewer -- Ryan Braun -- unfairly over Gonzalez.

But there's pretty much no argument, right?

HR, 2008
Braun - 22
Gonzalez - 22

HR, 2007-2008
Braun - 56
Gonzalez - 52

Factor in Braun has hit more HR during the last 1.5 seasons in 241 less PA, and it's really no contest.

Plus, isn't Braun known more nationally than Gonzalez? I would think so, although I'm not sure the difference there is so huge.

2008-07-11 16:46:58
347.   Buffalo Jones
I haven't posted in a while, but here it goes...

While I agree that LaRoche should be playing more, it seems the Dodgers are giving Dewitt the chance to play through a slump the way that a lot of us always beg them to do with the younger players.

It is just unfortunate that we have two young players at the same position.

2008-07-11 16:48:57
348.   Eric Enders
I think if you factor in Petco, Gonzalez beats Braun.

Of course, if you factor in Petco AND use HR/PA, Braun probably still wins.

2008-07-11 16:51:30
349.   kinbote
Pierre Pops?
2008-07-11 16:52:34
350.   Eric Enders
349 Awesome. It's a dessert and a Retrosheet entry!
Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-07-11 17:02:08
351.   LoneStar7
Flan Ho Park?

phillies up 1-0 on the snakes

2008-07-11 17:04:00
352.   bhsportsguy
I just saw UCLA's tentative basketball season schedule and the Bruins are heading to Austin on December 4th to avenge for last year's loss at Pauley.

Anyway, I looked and saw that the first exhibition game was scheduled for November 4th. Electtion day.

I guess I will have to vote early that day.

2008-07-11 17:08:29
353.   LoneStar7
352 notre dame 2/7 should be fun...and thats right after sc

Digger is a Wimp!

2008-07-11 17:10:27
354.   Eric Enders
352 "I just saw UCLA's tentative basketball season schedule and the Bruins are heading to Austin on December 4th to avenge for last year's loss at Pauley."

I think the verb you're looking for is repeat.

2008-07-11 17:13:03
355.   bhsportsguy
354 Touche'
2008-07-11 17:15:34
356.   Eric Enders
Baseball America has done a mid-season update of its Top 100 Prospects list, re-ordering the top 25 and removing guys who no longer qualify, etc.

The new number #1 prospect in all of baseball is... a mythical creature.

2008-07-11 17:16:18
357.   Jim Hitchcock
356 Excellent!
2008-07-11 17:17:35
358.   GoBears
While I agree that LaRoche should be playing more, it seems the Dodgers are giving Dewitt the chance to play through a slump the way that a lot of us always beg them to do with the younger players.

I think the complaint is that we're well past "slump" with DeWitt. It's been 2 months, and his track record tells us that this is much more likely a true reflection of his abilities (at this stage of his career) than was that absurdly good first month.

There was a legit argument for letting him keep playing as long as he was hitting, just in case he really did find another level, but now it's pretty clear that April was the anomaly, not what's happened since.

2008-07-11 17:22:34
359.   DaDoughboy
Luis Mazapan?
2008-07-11 17:23:34
360.   Bob Timmermann
The game in New York was interesting for 4 2/3 innings, but then Brad Hawpe hit a home run.

Which made things a lot less interesting in many ways for the Mets.

2008-07-11 17:23:58
361.   Indiana Jon
Anyone know why Oswalt left the Astros game after one inning?
2008-07-11 17:26:31
362.   Bob Timmermann
I would presume it's the same hip injury he's been having.

Time to drop him from my fantasy team. I get one more start out of Halladay before he goes over to my nephew as part of a four-player deal. Halladay and M. Cabrera for Wright and Hudson.

2008-07-11 17:26:52
363.   Eric Enders
BA also lists its longtime nemesis James McDonald as a player who's now on the cusp of the top 100.

Not Santana, though.

2008-07-11 17:30:05
364.   Indiana Jon
363 Any Dodgers other than Clayton in the top 100?
2008-07-11 17:30:24
365.   bhsportsguy
362 Note from box score via


363 John Sickels sent his updated top 50 hitters in the minors, not one Dodger is on that list. (excludes anyone no longer a rookie e.g. 130 at bats)

2008-07-11 17:31:07
366.   bhsportsguy
364 They didn't update the whole list.
2008-07-11 17:31:42
367.   Eric Enders
364 They only re-ordered the top 25. We didn't have anybody else that high.

Okay, who abducted Roy Oswalt's hip?

2008-07-11 17:32:02
368.   Gen3Blue
345 If thats tonights line-up, I'm OK with it. The only obvious hole is Jones, and he is good on defense, and also has potential. Most of the other guys don't cost much and will only get better with playing time. And Stulze can handle a bat.
2008-07-11 17:33:36
369.   natepurcell

Carlos Santana is getting the shaft!

2008-07-11 17:33:39
370.   GoBears
On the earlier points - I don't think we can really know what motivates Torre's public statements. He might believe that public criticism (or withholding of praise) will motivate better effort and hence better performance, particularly from younger players. He might be right about that or wrong. And he might be right about that for some players and not others. Remember when he dropped A-Rod to 8th for a game or two? Now, there was no way that he thought A-Rod was his 8th best hitter - he probably just figured it would light a fire (I say probably, because, who knows - he might have done it to punish him for eating the last doughnut).

I remember Phil Jackson, when he was still in Chicago, saying that he learned that he can't treat every player the same. Some need a kick in the butt, others a pat on the back. Some need that in private, others in public.
The trick for a manager (in sports or real life) is to figure out who is motivated how.

Perhaps that's what Torre meant, in part, by taking a few months to figure out his new team. It's not about just figuring out their skills and weaknesses on the field (although sometimes performance should trump motivational goals - otherwise you're killing the team in the short run).

I too am troubled by how much PT Pierre and Jones and DeWitt have sucked away from better players, so I'm not saying that Torre is necessarily doing the right things. But I'm willing to give the guy some credit. Unlike Jim Tracy, I don't think Torre is saying what he's saying to the media in order to manipulate his GM. If he wants a change, he'll say so, and it will happen.

It could be worse - he could be batting Berroa or Maza leadoff right now (I could totally see Tracy doing that).

2008-07-11 17:33:56
371.   Eric Enders
"he is good on defense, and also has potential."

In this organization, all that gets you is a plane ticket to Vegas and an eye exam.

2008-07-11 17:35:14
372.   underdog
Dbacks just tied it up with Philly, 1-1.


363 Longtime nemesis?

2008-07-11 17:35:54
373.   Indiana Jon
368 Not me. It's obviously time to make a change at 3rd.
2008-07-11 17:35:56
374.   GoBears
370. Sorry - I kinda rambled there. Think of that as all the comments I couldn't post due to work, wrapped up into one.

Great threat today, everyone - it took a long time to read through, because there were a lot of long, interesting comments.

2008-07-11 17:36:28
375.   Eric Enders
372 They've always rated McDonald significantly worse than other pitchers of his stuff and performance level.
2008-07-11 17:39:09
376.   underdog
374 And dessert recommendations!

375 - Ah. Hm. That's odd. The man gets no respect.

2008-07-11 17:43:42
377.   GoBears
Oops. I meant to say "great thread." Freudian slip.
2008-07-11 17:45:12
378.   arborial
anyone else catch that ESPN's Accuscore has Dodgers as 64% favorites? Maybe accuscore's probabilities show that Hanley can't repeat last night's performance :)
2008-07-11 17:46:03
379.   Jon Weisman
2008-07-11 17:48:03
380.   underdog
2-1 Phillies now!
2008-07-11 18:05:35
381.   68elcamino427
276 Good post.
Martin, Loney, Ethier, and Kemp are all performing above the league average as starters in the National League, so does that infer that they are being coached properly? Clearly just about everyone expects them to improve given time and experience.

370 Good post.
What players are consistently batting at the top of the order for the Dodgers recently, like tonight for instance?

In the realm of PR the Dodgers are being out played by the other "LA" team.

A coherent organizational strategy falls at the feet of the organization's leader, hence the term "the shadow of the leader".

If all of the disabled and flops (Schmidt, Jones, etc.) were performing at their career averages would there even be a hint of discussion regarding the performance of the young players today?

Using the young players as a scapegoat in this situation is unseemly on the part of the leadership. Those that are engaging in this behavior are providing a poor comentary regarding themselves to the public at large.

This is what someone here once described as a propaganda smokescreen. It doesn't wash. It's not working. Get real.

2008-07-11 18:08:32
382.   timm
I'm wondering if any of our stat guys here have any idea how many games they think DeWitt has saved with his glove?
2008-07-12 00:22:27
383.   Lance Royce
My questions are regarding Jones:

1. For 2 yrs & $36 Million why didn't the Dodgers demand a physical exaim?
2. I would have added in the contract showing up at spring training at a certain required weight and being in a fit playing condition.
3. If not in shape then a daily fine until he is.
Who ever wrote his contract should be shot! Just a bad business decision and just lazy!

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