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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

All in a Day's Work
2008-07-20 16:44
by Jon Weisman

"Veteran Selectivity": Big, patient at-bats by young and old alike keyed the second big Dodger comeback in three days. We're all in this together. (Also, this was an unjinxed rally thread.)

"Gem Webb": It's saying something to note that even as he held the Dodgers to one run over eight innings, Brandon Webb has been better.

"Dodgers Replace Maza with Ozuna": Who scored the tying run.

"Solid State": The winning run was driven in by a very solid, much appreciated Andre Ethier triple.

"Eat at Dave's": The Dodgers spoiled Arizona's home cooking.

"Disaster or Stroke of Genius?" Eric Stults and Jason Johnson lead the Dodgers into Colorado with a first-place tie in the NL West, rather than a deficit.

"If Somehow You Haven't Said Enough About DeWitt and LaRoche, This Is Your Thread": This time, Andy LaRoche silenced the naysayers. You can decide for yourself whether or not it was an honest at-bat.

"Back to It": The kids (mine, that is) played together so nicely this morning that I had time to catch up on a lot of Dodger thoughting today. This afternoon, inspired just a little extra by Tim Brown's column, I played all kinds of games with them - and missed the ninth inning in the process. I like to think that helped the Dodgers in the end.

* * *


Ramon Troncoso had the biggest game of his career, and not just because he got his first major-league win. He faced seven batters, allowing no hits or walks, striking out five - including one that reached base on a wild pitch. The other two outs came on grounders.

In 14 appearances this season, Troncoso has pitched shutout ball 11 times. Since his return to the team in June, he has allowed two runs on nine baserunners in 11 innings while striking out 14 (although he has allowed four of six inherited runners to score).

* * *

San Francisco second baseman Ray Durham has been traded to Milwaukee. He had a down season last year, and he hasn't always come through against the Dodgers, but he's done enough damage to my psyche that I'm happy to see him out of the division.

* * *

Friday Night Lights had its day before the television press today, and there are Season 3 spoilers everywhere. I'm excited for the upcoming episodes (beginning in October), but watch out if you don't want to learn any secrets.

Comments (287)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-07-20 16:54:40
1.   JoeyP
Is their a correlation between Jon's posting rate/Dodgers winning percentage?
2008-07-20 16:57:13
2.   Greg Brock
The Best of Dodger Thoughts Today.

Foreword by Bob Timmermann.

2008-07-20 16:58:38
3.   The Trolley Dodger
1 I think it's more like bobbing and weaving to keep the DeWitt vs. LaRoche futility to a minimum. ;)
2008-07-20 17:10:26
4.   bhsportsguy
I love how some guys think that their blogs make a difference in how the team does (I am talking about some guy on DodgerTalk not Mr. Weisman).
2008-07-20 17:12:12
5.   bhsportsguy
So, the last two Sundays, I have been unable to see the game but I did keep up over my phone.

I can actually say that I was very happy to see "Run(s) scored." on my phone during the 9th inning.

2008-07-20 17:12:38
6.   trainwreck
Maybe cool nicknames inspire the players to be better.
2008-07-20 17:14:35
7.   D4P
See Rule 9.
2008-07-20 17:19:24
8.   bhsportsguy
7 This guy apparently wrote up on how Matt Kemp had a bad at-bat last night in the 9th and that someone needed to get it across to him that he needs to do better.

He figured that happened sometime between last night and today.

2008-07-20 17:20:41
9.   Suffering Bruin
Nine posts?

Nine posts!

2008-07-20 17:27:08
10.   Jon Weisman
Listening to Dodgertalk while putting in a new carseat. I can live with differing opinions, but do people just have to make stuff up?
2008-07-20 17:28:38
11.   Greg Brock
If I just say that all criticism of Matt Kemp is racist, will it make people stop criticizing him? Even if it's not true?

I've always wanted to do that. Being a WASP, I've never had the chance to lob that bomb.

2008-07-20 17:35:51
12.   bhsportsguy
10 Its the freedom of being anonymous. Kind of like commenting on a blog.

Except here, people will call me out if I invent something.

2008-07-20 17:36:23
13.   D4P
All bombs should be lobbed by Bob. Or at least, the law ones.
2008-07-20 17:40:26
14.   LogikReader

What a great comeback! What a huge win!


Now I'm worried about LaRoche. By now I think it's obvious we should go with Andy instead of the Solution. DeWitt was "the Solution", but he it was the "solution to how to replace LaRoche while he's out."

LaRoche is back. There's zero reason to opt with DeWitt anymore instead of as a pinch hitter or maybe a guy to plug in against lefties. I just hope Torre and the rest see the light and switch the two. I love DeWitt as much as anyone here, but now I think we gots to switch the two roles of our 3B.

By the way may I proclaim: THE RED SOX ARE ABOUT TO BE SWEPT!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

2008-07-20 17:40:35
15.   Gen3Blue
It may make me a wimp, but when I desert and don't watch games that look lost, we seem to win half of them. I would say this is a miraculous percentage.
Also this month I had a marvelous oppurtunity. A Marketing firm called on me to take a survey ( I think it was for DTV or the local cable co.) they guestioned me deeply about 4 or 5 national channels. They actually asked me about ESPN. Do you know what ESPN stands for? I said "yes Eastern Sport Network". And I continued by saying I wanted a national sports channel because I was interested in West Coast Baseball. I don't think they liked this, but when they gave me choices of five channel packages I avoided ESPN. Oh well. Still no Dodgers on ESPN, anyway.
2008-07-20 17:45:57
16.   fiddlestick
Just got home from the game. What a fantastic afternoon.
2008-07-20 17:50:54
17.   MollyKnight
Hey, hey, Bob! A 2-1-3 dropped third strike put out in the Angels/Red Sox game!
2008-07-20 17:52:56
18.   fanerman
Troncoso pitched 2 innings and had 5 K's without surrendering a hit or a walk. Was it as impressive as it sounds?
2008-07-20 17:54:35
19.   Alex41592
18 - Yes, it was very impressive and a part of the game that hopefully won't be overlooked.
2008-07-20 17:58:26
20.   Gen3Blue
18,19 yes it should not be overlooked.

If anyone gives a damn about the Honda 200 I am very scared.

2008-07-20 18:02:40
21.   CanuckDodger
Did anyone else read Marc Normandin's comments on the Dodgers' defense at BP? He says that Loney has been the 4th worst first baseman (not sure if that is supposed to be in the NL or all of the majors), that DeWitt has been "average," and in the infield "only Kent has made a positive contribution with the leather." Someday, with hard work, maybe Loney can be the defensive whiz at his position that Kent apparently is at his position. Time to just bury these idiotic defensive "metrics" for good.
2008-07-20 18:03:18
22.   Reddog
Well, it'll be interesting to see what Torre does when Pierre comes back in two weeks. Does he have the guts to bench Andruw Jones? Or will he platoon Kemp and Ethier and play Andruw every day in center?

I think if Andruw doesn't start hitting in the next two weeks, Torre will bench him.

2008-07-20 18:05:32
23.   D4P
I don't think Torre will go directly from starting Jones everyday to benching him. There'll at least be a transition period where Jones plays 40-50% of the games.
2008-07-20 18:08:22
24.   fanerman
21 Just because they're not there yet doesn't mean they'll never get there...
2008-07-20 18:11:04
25.   Greg Brock
There are no good defensive metrics. UZR, Rate, Rate2 are all garbage. Dewan's stuff is whatever.

The eyes tell the tale on defense.

2008-07-20 18:11:46
26.   Prescott Pete
Thanks for that post. Loney's size alone at first has been a great asset.

The game and its outcome was great; what was the mood at the stadium?

2008-07-20 18:14:07
27.   fanerman
25 That's the kind of thing they used to say about evaluating players offensively.
2008-07-20 18:14:56
28.   Gen3Blue
21 Did he really say that! That is the most absurd stuff I have heard this year, and while our guys may not be the best by these metrics, I think eye balls are important and this guy's may be very flawed. Also I trust you Canuck, so I have to believe. Maybe BP is so inflamed about the D's exec's incompetance that it is bleeding into their senses.
2008-07-20 18:15:19
29.   Greg Brock
27 So which defensive metric is good?
2008-07-20 18:17:03
30.   bhsportsguy
25 That's not too far away then from having a good feeling about a player.

28 Actually, the metrics they were talking about say that Arizona's infield is worst than the Dodgers.

2008-07-20 18:18:41
31.   Tripon
27 That's the kind of thing they used to say about evaluating players offensively.

In the meantime, the current Defense metrics are still garbage.

2008-07-20 18:19:53
32.   Bob Timmermann
Greg Brock would just retire the AL Gold Glove award for shortstops and call it the Derek Jeter Award.
2008-07-20 18:20:13
33.   Greg Brock
That's not too far away then from having a good feeling about a player.

That's false and you know it! Foul!

2008-07-20 18:21:17
34.   Greg Brock
32 Your japes continue to cut like a knife.

What have I done to offend thee so?

2008-07-20 18:21:39
35.   D4P
Question: How do we know that the current defensive metrics are garbage? Is there some standard against which we can measure them? If so, why don't we just use that standard instead? If not, then how can we really judge them one way or another?

I can understand that we might have qualms about the very concept of a measure, but it seems to me that we can't really know whether it actually measures defense well or not.

2008-07-20 18:22:45
36.   Doctor
I dont get the negativity re: Ozuna. He is a utility guy who can play just about every position and looks like he can actually hit a little. If Beraza hit .285 this year we would probably be 2-3 games up on AZ. If his defense is ok and he hits .285 with no power and few walks it's still a nice pick up I think. He doesn't look like he has declined really. This is an improvement. Yea, that bar is pretty low.
2008-07-20 18:23:21
37.   fanerman
It's one thing to say that the current ones aren't great or any good and it's perfectly fair to dismiss them. But the attitude seems to be that they'll never get there and defensive analysis should be left to scouts and scouts alone. And that sounds like Joe Morgan's thinking.

Research isn't always perfect, but it does sometimes figure things out better. Any attempt to improve knowledge of a player's defensive abilities is alright by me.

2008-07-20 18:25:29
38.   JoeyP
Time to just bury these idiotic defensive "metrics" for good.

I think its time to bury defense for good.

Just get high OPS players in the lineup.
Stack the pitching staff with high k rate/low bb guys/low hr allowed pitchers.

Forget about defense.
At least, dont attempt to quantify something that isnt guantifiable, and thus make recommendations on faulty info.

2008-07-20 18:26:59
39.   Greg Brock
And that sounds like Joe Morgan's thinking.

Calling somebody Joe Morgan is a bit much. It's the baseball equivalent of the word that Scott Long railed against a few months ago.

2008-07-20 18:27:21
40.   fanerman
It's also unfair to dismiss said metrics because they don't agree with observation. Not everything is as it appears.

And these metrics don't say what a player's abilities are. They're supposed to say how a player performs, and how a player performs on defense depends on the balls hit at him, which is subject to chance.

2008-07-20 18:27:39
41.   JoeyP
21st- Not sure about Loney's defense, but his offense at 1st is amongst the worst in the league when you factor in DPs.
2008-07-20 18:28:12
42.   Gagne55
12 That's why you put the words "according to Ken Rosenthal" in front of made up material. ;)
2008-07-20 18:29:10
43.   Greg Brock
41 And the worst part is that there's a free agent slugging first baseman on the horizon.

And we're not going to even try to sign him.

That must really bother some people.

Some random people.

2008-07-20 18:29:10
44.   Gen3Blue
I can't understand this. I've been following ESPN and ESN trying to see when they pick up the D's game. Not yet, and I thought maybe they were going to wait until news time on the west coast. But they have been crowing about Lincecum losing for a couple of hours now, and showing some really stupid cat fight on a race (?) track.
No D's-snakes yet.--good night.
2008-07-20 18:31:28
45.   D4P
I dont get the negativity re: Ozuna. He is a utility guy who can play just about every position and looks like he can actually hit a little.

But he can't hit. He's the prototypical Ned player: all value comes from (empty) batting average.

2008-07-20 18:32:10
46.   JoeyP
If you can limit the amount of balls put into play (through having high K rate pitchers), or limit the amount of batters faced (through getting low bb rate pitchers), you can really limit the amount of luck/defense dependence in preventing runs.

I think the newer offensive stats are fine, but the defense stuff just is way way out there.

The new defensive metrics have resulted in guys like Julio Lugo getting way more than they are worth.

Thats not to say Loney isnt a poor 1st basemen--maybe he is? But who cares? His job is to bash.

2008-07-20 18:37:01
47.   Eric Enders
There's nothing sillier than concluding that a particular defensive metric (or all defensive metrics) are garbage because there is one specific evaluation you don't happen to agree with.

Jose Lopez has a higher batting average than Chase Utley. Therefore batting average is a garbage stat.

Justin Duchscherer has a lower ERA than Johan Santana. Therefore, ERA is a garbage stat.

Aubrey Huff has a better OPS than Vladimir Guerrero. Therefore OPS is a garbage stat.

Come on, you guys are better than that. You should know better.

2008-07-20 18:39:27
48.   fanerman
46 But you're not going to be able to stuff your team with nothing but high K/low BB pitchers.

A team ought to look for any kind of competitive advantage it can get.

2008-07-20 18:40:14
49.   Greg Brock
So, again, which defensive metric should be the bedrock?

UZR? Rate2? +/-?

2008-07-20 18:40:23
50.   fanerman
48 "A team ought to look for any kind of competitive advantage it can get..." that's not, you know, unethical.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-07-20 18:42:43
51.   Eric Enders
49 I think Win Shares generally does a good job, with the possible exception of catchers and first basemen.
2008-07-20 18:43:04
52.   CanuckDodger
24 -- How can defensive metrics ever "get there?" Is something going to happen that is going to make it something other than subjective opinion whether a particular ball in play should or should not have been turned into an out by a particular fielder?
2008-07-20 18:44:26
53.   Greg Brock
51 But Win Shares merely incorporate defense, instead of judging it independently of offense.

I want a good way to judge defense. If my Joe Morgan-sized brain can handle such complexity.

2008-07-20 18:46:12
54.   Eric Enders
52 The fact that something may contain subjective elements doesn't mean it doesn't contain objective ones too. Through the noise you can still see information.

OPS, just as much as fielding percentage, contains the official scorer's subjective opinion on whether something is a hit or an error. That doesn't render it valueless as a metric.

2008-07-20 18:46:32
55.   fanerman
39 Sorry. I'm not a fan of what I perceive as closed-mindedness... or giving up on things quickly.
2008-07-20 18:46:48
56.   Jon Weisman
52 - Even if that were the case, why is that subjective opinion worth less than the subjective opinion of using "the eye"?

I mean, you're free to ignore any stats, offensive or defensive, to your own advantage or peril. But I find every reason to believe that, with every play being monitored by evolving technology, reliable defensive stats can be developed. Saying that the stats are too subjective to be use in place of one's own subjectivity strikes me funny.

2008-07-20 18:48:09
57.   The Trolley Dodger
36 45 Ozuna 2008:

vs Lefties (23 AB): .391/.417/.522/.939
vs Righties (41 AB): .220/.256/.220/.476

Home (31 AB): .387/.406/.452/.858
Away (33 AB): .182/.229/.212/.441

April (20 AB): .200/.200/.200/.400
May (24 AB): .292/.320/.333/.653
June (17 AB): .353/.421/.412/.833
July (3 AB): .333/.333/.667/1.000

2008-07-20 18:48:45
58.   Greg Brock
55 I gave up on Studio 60 quickly. Did that make me wrong?

No. No, it did not make me wrong.

2008-07-20 18:50:55
59.   Bob Timmermann
You just weren't urbane enough to fully appreciate the width and depth of Aaron Sorkin's awesomeness.
2008-07-20 18:52:37
60.   Greg Brock
59 That show sent the psilocybian movement back a decade.
2008-07-20 18:53:01
61.   Jon Weisman
By the way, how many are watching Generation Kill? I never heard DT commenter reaction to the first episode.
2008-07-20 18:53:10
62.   therickdaddy
I was so proud of Matt Kemp today -- that was one of the biggest ABs in his career IMO and he performed beautifully.

Andre Ethier is without a doubt one of this team's best players and needs to be billed as such.

And what about Nomar? I'm not about to forget about Furcal but he has had some nice pop in his bat since returning from the DL. Lifesaver.

2008-07-20 18:53:20
63.   LogikReader

Ugh, don't remind me.

That said, "Charlie Wilson's War" is a great movie and a notable exception.

2008-07-20 18:54:02
64.   Greg Brock
61 I'm not going to watch it.
2008-07-20 18:54:05
65.   underdog
Why are people arguing? Didn't the Dodgers just take two out of three in Arizona? Group hug, people, group hug!

Go look at some Lolcatz pictures if that will help.

In even better news, a friend of mine has two tickets to the Nats@Giants game on Tuesday and invited me to come. I am touched but wonder what I have done to him?

Would it be rude to bring along a book?

2008-07-20 18:55:12
66.   overkill94
58 The pilot episode was awesome. After that it became less and less tolerable until the episode where one of the actors' parents scolded him for not being in Iraq like his brother, at which point I abandoned ship.
2008-07-20 18:56:51
67.   Icaros

I'm watching it. Only one episode so far. Interesting...don't love it yet.

2008-07-20 18:56:59
68.   CanuckDodger
47 -- Eric, I reached my conclusions about the flaws inherent in defensive metrics (and not because of one or even just a few cases of absurd conclusions based on defensive metrics) long before today, but reading what I did in Normandin's piece just before I commented here did make me angry. Pardon me for sharing with the group. But I will note that there is, in logic, such a thing as disproving something by reductio ad absurdum, and Normandin's comments about Loney and Kent's defense certainly is a case of somebody BELIEVING the very absurd thing that destroys the credibility of a given intellectual construct (in this case, whatever system of defensive metrics Normandin relies on).
2008-07-20 18:57:05
69.   underdog
61 I watched the first episode a few nights ago, forgot to comment on it. I thought it was extremely well done and will watch the 2nd, but also thought it a bit needlessly complicated (I guess, just like war!) Still, I even felt a few comparisons to Band of Brothers in that there are so many characters who I often got confused and yet found compelling anyway, and in that show the characters became more distinctive with each passing episode. At any rate, it seemed a little scattered to start but still very compelling, to me.
2008-07-20 18:57:43
70.   LogikReader

At least they're arguing about defensive metrics.

Man that was a big, BIG win today. I hope we don't blow it against the Rockies. The Rox just won 10 of their last 15.

2008-07-20 18:58:11
71.   Icaros
Am I the only person who has only seen one episode so far? Am I unstuck in time?
2008-07-20 18:58:23
72.   underdog
Canuck, OT, but have you seen Guy Maddin's "My Winnipeg" yet? Great stuff.
2008-07-20 18:59:42
73.   Greg Brock
I find the race to define the Iraq War annoying.

Sometimes, 20 years and a lot of perspective goes a long way.

2008-07-20 18:59:43
74.   LogikReader

umm... Make that 9 of their last 15

and unfortunately, I don't have HBO

2008-07-20 18:59:45
75.   underdog
71 - No, I'm in the same time zone as you, apparently. Are people watching advanced screeners or seeing them on demand first?

Tonight, however I'm going to plow through more episodes of "Spaced" which I have to review next week and which I can't get enough of anyway.

2008-07-20 19:03:21
76.   underdog
At least Tony Jackson admits he's hasty in his latest blog entry. (And didn't have the opportunity to post that version.) He drives me nuts sometimes, because he makes these rash assumptions - as in how he's declared the Dodgers essentially dead several times.
2008-07-20 19:06:18
77.   D4P
A huge cockroach just flew across the room and landed on the wall. I won't miss that if/when I leave The South.
2008-07-20 19:07:16
78.   CanuckDodger
72 -- Haven't seen that yet. Have you seen the same director's The Saddest Music In The World, which features Isabella Rossellini sporting an artificial leg full of beer?
2008-07-20 19:09:22
79.   Prescott Pete
I watched about 15 minutes of the first episode. But as a 20-year Army vet, I can lose interest in this type of military production quickly. I see many character exaggerations. Perhaps it's just "TV war fatigue" for me.
2008-07-20 19:17:08
80.   Disabled List
Just watched the first episode of Generation Kill tonight. Like it, don't love it (yet), willing to hang in there for the 2nd episode.

I'm bummed that I missed today's game. Sounds like it was a barnburner. I'm glad to see LaRoche actually came through with a big hit, I was starting to despair for that guy.

I'm also despairing for Underdog, who's apparently a fan of Satan's creation, the LOLcats.

2008-07-20 19:17:30
81.   Greg Brock
I wonder if Carlos and Smith still consider Jesse Owens an Uncle Tom.
2008-07-20 19:17:58
82.   underdog
78 - Yes indeed. Quite enjoyed it, and for Maddin that was a more "normal" film. ;-) I enjoy his near-silent comedies, too.
2008-07-20 19:19:23
83.   underdog
80 Wouldn't say I'm a fan as much as my girlfriend and two of my coworkers send me pictures from there just about every other day. I admit to laughing hard at a few of the pictures on there, though, but it does grate quickly,

Plus my real cats have never LOL'd for me so I think it's very deceptive!

2008-07-20 19:23:48
84.   trainwreck
Maybe I just do not get all the jokes, but sometimes that site comes off a little racist to me.
2008-07-20 19:26:39
85.   Tripon
Just visited the AZ snake pit and yikes. Dodger Thoughts is a ray of sunshine compared to the mood there.
2008-07-20 19:26:41
86.   Bumsrap
I think today's game is another example of Torre over coaching the young players. Webb was not his usual self and hasn't been for awhile. Many of his pitches were up and down the middle, enough for Marc Grace to say several times how lucky Webb was that the Dodgers were taking those pitches.

Webb's reputation shut down the Dodgers more than did his pitching and I blame that on Torre.

2008-07-20 19:28:31
87.   Bumsrap
It was better for Kent to be standing 5 feet off first and in the basepath to take Nomar's throw and when Nomar didn't throw it, Kent had to get out of the way or be called for interference.
2008-07-20 19:29:32
88.   Tripon
76 At least Tony Jackson admits he's hasty in his latest blog entry. (And didn't have the opportunity to post that version.) He drives me nuts sometimes, because he makes these rash assumptions - as in how he's declared the Dodgers essentially dead several times.

The man has to meet deadlines and such, and its his own personal blog. I'm sure a few of us already called the Dodgers season dead and should plan for next year back when the team was ten games under .500.

2008-07-20 19:31:44
89.   Disabled List
83 Wouldn't say I'm a fan as much as my girlfriend and two of my coworkers send me pictures from there just about every other day.

I'd call that domestic abuse and workplace harassment. You should call a lawyer.

2008-07-20 19:32:29
90.   Bumsrap
Kent getting slower as each day passes, getting tagged out while standing two feet off third on a grounder to third, Nomar botching a run down play, Jones continuing to not perform should be enough for LA Times writers to get off the backs of the younger players and instead start saying they might win in spite of the veterans. Same for Torre and Colletti.
2008-07-20 19:37:22
91.   Tripon
86 I think today's game is another example of Torre over coaching the young players. Webb was not his usual self and hasn't been for awhile. Many of his pitches were up and down the middle, enough for Marc Grace to say several times how lucky Webb was that the Dodgers were taking those pitches.

Webb's reputation shut down the Dodgers more than did his pitching and I blame that on Torre.

I think its more of a case of the Vets not buying into Torre's philosophy and not getting called on it. Working deep into counts is great, but its not as effective when only half of the lineup tries to do it. I wish Andruw Jones worked the count, I certainly wish Jeff Kent did. I can live with Nomar not doing working the count because he's actually hitting.

And do you think its too radical moving the pitcher's spot 8th, and DeWitt's 9th? That might spur him on to show that he's not a worse hitter than a pitcher not named Kuo.

2008-07-20 19:40:25
92.   trainwreck
Expecting a veteran player to all of a sudden gain the ability to take pitches is asking a lot I think. Not everyone is going to take David Dellucci's approach.
2008-07-20 19:44:56
93.   Xeifrank
The lowest WE was 2.8% today. Right after Kent hit into a double play.
vr, Xei
2008-07-20 19:45:00
94.   Greg Brock
92 I really doubt the problem is veteran stubbornness.

The problem is Matt Kemp's inability to adjust to receptacles.

2008-07-20 19:46:55
95.   trainwreck
You should have seen the Around the Horn segment last week on the A's. That was the worst thing ever. Plaschke, Mariotti, and Blackistone talking about how the A's don't win anything so therefore Billy Beane is completely overrated. When Woody Paige looks like the smart one, you know things are bad.
2008-07-20 19:50:40
96.   Tripon

I remember that, and I kept on wondering when anyone was going to mention the 2004 Red Sox as a team that won with moneyball philosophy.

2008-07-20 19:51:50
97.   Neal Pollack
Great great win today. Can't say enough about the bullpen. I will give Nomar a pass on the botched rundown, especially because he's raking sufficiently. Sometimes crap just happens. Kent does appear to be slowing down before our eyes, like a windup toy running out of juice, but he's had some bad luck with line drives of late.

Jones is just the worst. He's very lucky Drew bobbled that ball.

The division is ours for the taking. Our greatest enemy: Bad roster moves. I guess I'll reconsider my anti-Ozuna snark after reading how upset the Sox were to lose him...

2008-07-20 19:53:21
98.   Dodgers49
Kemp learns lesson, delivers bit hit

>> Kemp called the at-bat his best of the year, entering with the mind-set of not trying to do too much, as big hacks have led him to team-high 106 strikeouts. Torre said Kemp also appeared to come to the plate with a better plan against Lyon than he had on Saturday. <<

## Andy LaRoche followed with a pinch-hit RBI single in which he also learned from his at-bat Friday against Lyon when he just missed a first-pitch hanging curveball, hitting it out to center for an out.

This time LaRoche correctly predicted Lyon would start him out with an outside fastball, which LaRoche jumped on for his single. ##

2008-07-20 19:57:34
99.   oshea2002
I wonder if Plaschke and Simers are on the outs now that Simers wrote a column stating why the Dodgers need to keep Kemp.
2008-07-20 19:57:57
100.   bhsportsguy
96 I'm wondering how Curt Schilling fit into "moneyball" theory?

Its clear Boston has instituted statistical analysis into their baseball operations.

What's also clear is that they have made some good deals and not so good deals since the current front office group has been there.

I'm not saying the the sportswriters are right in arguing that Billy Beane is a bad GM but I think its a reach to say that Boston won due to any philosophy that was supposedly created by Beane.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-07-20 19:57:59
101.   bhsportsguy
96 I'm wondering how Curt Schilling fit into "moneyball" theory?

Its clear Boston has instituted statistical analysis into their baseball operations.

What's also clear is that they have made some good deals and not so good deals since the current front office group has been there.

I'm not saying the the sportswriters are right in arguing that Billy Beane is a bad GM but I think its a reach to say that Boston won due to any philosophy that was supposedly created by Beane.

2008-07-20 20:02:19
102.   Greg Brock
I'm not saying the the sportswriters are right in arguing that Billy Beane is a bad GM


I think its a reach to say that Boston won due to any philosophy that was supposedly created by Beane.

Not created by Beane, no. But cultivated by his front office. Made possible by his willingness to adopt the new math.

Without Oakland, Epstein never gets hired, Bill James never gets a job with the Red Averages. That's not speculation.

2008-07-20 20:02:25
103.   Tripon

I was referring more to Bill James being a special assistant to the Red Sox during that time more than what Billy Beane calls 'Moneyball'.

And Curt Shilling fits into that theory because of his outstanding stats in the postseason. Or because unlike the A's, the Red Sox has stupid money to spend on anybody they want. Basically, its MoneyBall with actual Money.

2008-07-20 20:02:49
104.   trainwreck
The big issue is that people cannot separate "Moneyball" theory from statistical analysis. The A's have shifted the type of players they go after a lot.
2008-07-20 20:03:46
105.   Jon Weisman
99 - Simers has disagreed with Plaschke plenty of times. It's not an issue. He likes to disagree with people.
2008-07-20 20:05:17
106.   trainwreck
Yeah, Beane literally told them to hire Theo. Those couple days when Beane was going to be Red Sox GM were depressing.
2008-07-20 20:09:10
107.   trainwreck
Divorce basically saved the Oakland Athletics.
2008-07-20 20:09:31
108.   Greg Brock
Billy Beane didn't invent anything. So what? He was the guy in a position to drastically change course. And he did.

Find me a dozen people with such responsibility who were willing to do what he did. In any business arena. Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, maybe a few others.

2008-07-20 20:10:21
109.   bigcpa
Even though Simers ended up with the right p.o.v.- he loses points by measuring leadoff success by lack of strikeouts. Kemp's walk rate at leadoff is 10% vs. 6% overall. I haven't seen p/pa splits but he must be seeing more pitches.

Re: Colletti's search for a run-producing 3B... all signs point to the return of Beltre. Not sure who's pulling the strings in Seattle but hopefully they won't want that .190 hitting LaRoche guy.

2008-07-20 20:12:46
110.   underdog
88 True, but he is still, at the end of every day, a professional journalist. I realize it's a blog and I do like him interjecting opinions because I expect that to an extent, but he tends to overreact in ways that sometimes don't sound like someone who has covered baseball for as long as he has. I feel much more sane and rationale about the Dodgers' pluses and minuses, and their chances, than he seems to be. I still find him likable and appreciate the blog, but this particular aspect irks me is all.

Btw, I too poked around the AZSnakepit blog (I sometimes like the posts by its owner over there) and found their game thread not as enjoyable to read as I'd expect (as a Dodger fan) -- they all kind of bummed me out.

I feel like the attitude of a lot of commenters these days on baseball blogs (not from their owners but some of the commenters) is generally, I hate your team but my team stinks, or vice versa.

2008-07-20 20:14:19
111.   Greg Brock
I feel like the attitude of a lot of commenters these days on baseball blogs (not from their owners but some of the commenters) is generally, I hate your team but my team stinks, or vice versa.

So, they're like us?

2008-07-20 20:15:08
112.   oshea2002
I'm not sure who else is watching the espy's, but Timberlake has been hilarious.
2008-07-20 20:17:11
113.   underdog
84 - If we're talking about the icanhascheezburger site, I haven't seen much evidence of that at all. Would disturb me if that were true, of course. And the language they use for the captions is meant to recreate how kittens would speak/type if they could, it's just cutesey-catspeak. I can see it being found extremely irritating, however.
2008-07-20 20:18:07
114.   oshea2002
Realistically, what do you think Ned would give up in a deal for Beltre?
2008-07-20 20:18:50
115.   underdog
111 - Present company excepted here of course. ;-) But yeah... you know from poking around a lot this season on other team's most popular blogs, and also a few basketball sites. People are generally unhappy with their team, with very few exceptions - except for at least a few fleeting moments when they win. Probably just fits the zeitgeist of the country in general.
2008-07-20 20:20:23
116.   underdog
114 - Would, or should? Probably two different things, alas.

Since I'd rather keep LaRoche (and move him to 2nd next year if need be), I'd trade Blake DeWitt to them, and a pitching prospect like Meloan or something. Or Juan Pierre, if he were healthy. That's just me.

2008-07-20 20:21:38
117.   Greg Brock
Probably just fits the zeitgeist of the country in general.

I wouldn't know. I didn't buy a house I couldn't afford or buy an SUV. So my life is pretty shiny.

2008-07-20 20:22:43
118.   Indiana Jon
61 It's one of the worst military shows I have ever seen. It's filled with inaccuracies and common stereotypes. Having spent time in a war zone, I can tell you that this show is ridiculously unbelievable. Does anyone know if any military members or former members were even consulted on this show? I'm a big fan of most HBO programming, but not this one. I would guess the writers for this show are extremely extremely liberal.
2008-07-20 20:22:49
119.   trainwreck
Yeah, I got irritated this week when people on a UCLA board had all these dire predictions for the basketball program in 2009. Pretty ridiculous.
2008-07-20 20:23:55
120.   trainwreck
I saw one of producers being interviewed and he said that they did. I have not see the show yet, kind of surprised people do not seem to into it.
2008-07-20 20:25:25
121.   Greg Brock
118 We can commiserate when it wins five Emmy awards.
2008-07-20 20:26:50
122.   Tripon
Because .260 rookie 3rd baseman are a hot commodity. I like DeWitt, but its unlikely that either DeWitt or LaRoche would be moved in a trade this year. If I was the M's, I'd ask for a pitching prospect from the Dodgers.Andre Ethier so I can trade Ibanez to an another contender and pick up more prospects.
2008-07-20 20:29:43
123.   Jon Weisman
118 - It's based on eyewitness observation and has extensive miltary consult behind it.

Apparently a screening at Camp Pendelton earlier this month went very well.

2008-07-20 20:29:52
124.   Tripon

Hah! Andruw Jones has a .375 OPB over his last seven games. Maybe he's breaking out of his slump.

Then again, he also has a .000 Batting Average, and a .000 Slugging percentage, but I'm looking for positives here. ~_~

2008-07-20 20:31:26
125.   Jon Weisman
123 - That being said, I'm not in position to say who's right or wrong about this. Certainly, there were some aspects in the first episode that felt cliched to me. But the second episode started to get into gear for me. But I would just offer that the material is reported to have been vetted considerably.
2008-07-20 20:36:13
126.   Greg Brock
I can't think of a single film that accurately protrays a war as it's going on.
2008-07-20 20:38:18
127.   Tripon
You're telling me Shakespeare's Henry V wasn't historically accurate?
2008-07-20 20:39:46
128.   Jon Weisman
126 - "The Chocolate War"?
2008-07-20 20:44:10
129.   Indiana Jon
If I would have made a show about the worst six of the more than 1700 soldiers that I deployed to Afghanistan with, it would have been real similar to this one. In addition to them showing everything that is wrong with soldiers, they also show many inaccuracies perpetuated by CNN and other news organizations. I still remember sitting in Afghanistan, watching CNN as they talked about shortages of body armor and armored HUMMWVs. As the property book officer on my post, I had at the time upwards of 1100 sets of body armor that I couldn't give away (everyone already had plenty) and as a task force we had 725 armored HUMMWVs for 1700 soldiers. Most of this stuff comes from embedded reporters and the like that report only what they see with a small group of people and then it somehow becomes reality for the entire military. This show is a prime example of this. If anyone cares though, the real problems are now with our military here in the United States. We have sent everything we have to foreign countries to appease the media and now have nothing to train our soldiers with here. Half the equipment over there is never touched.

Yes, this is a touchy subject for me. I prefer to talk about Laroche.

2008-07-20 20:49:28
130.   Greg Brock
129 Hear hear.


2008-07-20 20:49:34
131.   Brent Knapp
Speaking of zeitgeist, anyone ever been there? It's an awesome beer garden in San Francisco.
2008-07-20 20:51:06
132.   Jon Weisman
129 - Okay, I can see Generation Kill discussion will fall victim to Rule 5 now. Oh well.
2008-07-20 20:51:22
133.   trainwreck
Yeah, I have been there. Interesting mix of hipsters and bikers.
2008-07-20 20:52:18
134.   Indiana Jon
130 You made a wise choice not to watch.
2008-07-20 20:52:22
135.   underdog
131 - Used to live literally around the corner from there and frequented often. It is indeed, awesome.

Okay, back to watching "Spaced" - which fits my mood more than Generation Kill.

2008-07-20 20:53:17
136.   Indiana Jon
132 Sorry, should have thought about Rule 5.
2008-07-20 20:53:36
137.   Greg Brock
132 Would a tiny bit of respectful chat really be a killer? Nobody is bashing anybody. It's a good conversation to have?




2008-07-20 20:54:32
138.   Bob Timmermann
I didn't even know there was a show called "Generation Kill."

I'm watching the "Philadelphia Story" on DVD. I think it may run afoul of Rule 5 also.

2008-07-20 20:54:55
139.   Greg Brock
The finest people, the most honest, decent, earnest people I ever met were the people I served with in the military.

That's not a rule 5 violation.

2008-07-20 20:57:41
140.   underdog
139 - Amen.


Seriously folks, "Spaced" for what ails ya.

2008-07-20 21:01:55
141.   skybluestoday

How about "Dr. Strangelove" ?

2008-07-20 21:02:23
142.   Jon Weisman
137 - Let's just say I'm particularly skittish after the D-Day debacle.
2008-07-20 21:02:25
143.   Bob Timmermann
Why "The Philadelphia Story" is a blatant ripoff of "High Society."

I'm appalled.

2008-07-20 21:02:26
144.   trainwreck
Sweet, a new show to watch. Have you ever seen Garth Marenghi's Darkplace or Man to Man with Dean Learner?
2008-07-20 21:02:44
145.   Eric Enders
You mean Slim Pickens really rode that missile all the way to the ground?
2008-07-20 21:04:46
146.   Bob Timmermann
I'm voting Muffley for President!
2008-07-20 21:05:01
147.   skybluestoday

You mean he DIDN'T ??

2008-07-20 21:05:46
148.   Prescott Pete
Thanks for your service and thank you for that post. In the first 15 minutes of the first episode I watched I could tell that the character exaggerations was something I could not take any longer.
2008-07-20 21:06:04
149.   Greg Brock
141 The Cold War is tough. There are a bunch of great Cold War movies. Like:

Greetings, Professor Falken....

2008-07-20 21:06:23
150.   Neal Pollack
My secret TV treasure is a Canadian show called Slings And Arrows about the Stratford Theater Festival. Stars Mark McKinney, Rachel McAdams, and many more. Written in part by Broadway playwright Bob Martin.

I can't recommend it more highly. But I'm having trouble finding takers.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-07-20 21:07:30
151.   trainwreck
I believe Canuck told me about that show and I really wanted to see it, but totally forgot about it.
2008-07-20 21:08:51
152.   Greg Brock
142 Being somebody who usually ignores it when people slide smarmy political commentary into the comments, I wouldn't mind if we could chat it up, respectfully, every once in a while.
2008-07-20 21:12:16
153.   Greg Brock
Keeping in mind that my party's last president was Millard Fillmore.
2008-07-20 21:13:23
154.   Jon Weisman
150 - Sounds fun.
2008-07-20 21:15:50
155.   Bob Timmermann
I worked with someone who called Millard Fillmore "Mallard Fillmore."

And started helping someone find information on President Mallard Fillmore.

I decided to step in and set the record straight.

2008-07-20 21:16:55
156.   Reddog
I would hope that one day the Dodgers could have a 3rd baseman as good as Pie Traynor.
2008-07-20 21:18:02
157.   Greg Brock
155 The freaking Green Party gets more respect than we do.

We have four presidents, you know. Four.

2008-07-20 21:19:59
158.   Bob Timmermann
And Henry Clay kicked one of them out of the party!
2008-07-20 21:22:44
159.   Bob Timmermann
Is there any modern day third baseman who is the equivalent of Pie Traynor? A guy with a very high BA, little home run power, but not bad at doubles and triples. And extremely hard to strike out.
2008-07-20 21:23:06
160.   CanuckDodger
150 -- Slings And Arrows seems to have quite a following in the US, judging by the sheer number of comments on the series at (since Canadian TV shows don't usually get many comments at
2008-07-20 21:23:26
161.   Greg Brock
158 Yeah, John Tyler was expelled, and Harrison died after a month.

And Taylor died after a year and a half.

But we had the office.

Go Whigs!

2008-07-20 21:24:55
162.   trainwreck
Bill Mueller?
2008-07-20 21:25:46
163.   Greg Brock
Also, the Whig promise to serve one term made Polk's one brilliant term possible. Which made the acquisition of California possible.

No need to thank us.

You're welcome.

2008-07-20 21:26:21
164.   Jon Weisman
159 - Boggs, without the triples?
2008-07-20 21:28:47
165.   KingKopitar
My high school history teacher always said that James K. Polk was the greatest president in US history because of what he accomplished in only one term. He was an odd fellow.
2008-07-20 21:29:49
166.   Tripon
I'm more interested in The Office and maybe its Spinoff.

You think Ramon Troncoso or Cory Wade gets traded for a bat? While I wouldn't want to screw around with the bullpen, apparently, the one thing our minor league can produce on a consistent basis is relief pitchers.

2008-07-20 21:29:52
167.   Bob Timmermann
The people of Mexico would beg to differ.
2008-07-20 21:30:07
168.   Jon Weisman
There are updates to this post. See above. No NPUT.
2008-07-20 21:33:24
169.   Megaballs
(96),(101) To me, the best part of the 2004 "moneyball" Red Sox with Bill James was letting free agents Pedro and Lowe go after the season. They took the 1st round draft picks... that went well...Ellsbury,etc...and made the team younger and gave payroll flexibility.
2008-07-20 21:34:21
170.   KingKopitar
And at the risk of riling anyone up, a buddy of mine was a Marine and thought Generation Kill was pretty accurate. That's just his experience though.
2008-07-20 21:35:11
171.   Greg Brock
He was an odd fellow.

He wasn't wrong. Polk is easily top ten. Maybe top five.


That's a murderer's row of presidents.

2008-07-20 21:37:36
172.   Greg Brock
I'll have no FDR/Reagan nonsense, either.

Save your ideological battles lefties and righties. Both were good presidents. Not top five.

2008-07-20 21:42:36
173.   Tripon
Okay, what about Herbert Hoover? ~_~
2008-07-20 21:44:05
174.   Bob Timmermann
Greg Brock has no love for the Gilded Age presidents.

I'm not going to give him my Chester Arthur autographed baseball.

2008-07-20 21:44:41
175.   Bob Timmermann
Exhibit A on why you shouldn't put Stanford grads in charge of a country.
2008-07-20 21:44:56
176.   Xeifrank
Sorry I missed "defensive metrics" chat earlier, but have to get in my two cents. I tend to agree with Greg Brock on this one, but not to the degree that I'd call the current defensive metrics "garbage". I'd just call them incomplete. They are better than what people looked at in the past and most likely quite a bit worse than what we will have 5 years from now. Atleast with OPS and some of the other hitting stats, you can correlate them with runs scored. You know how well they measure offense. They correlate very well, but of course not perfect. With defensive metrics, you know there is important stuff missing, because you know what is and isn't being measured. Are they measuring ball speeds and trajectories off of the bat? Are they keeping track of where fielders are positioned before a play? None of the methods quoted here do that. Many of the defensive metrics don't even take throwing arm into consideration and to me that's a huge flaw. Also, the defensive metric with the most respect doesn't even have it's results published as it's author (mgl) is now working for a major league team. Current defensive metrics are better than errors and fielding percentage, but let's face it, they still have a long ways to go.
vr, Xei
2008-07-20 21:46:57
177.   Greg Brock
123 Hoover is amazingly misunderstood

Way overrated presidents:

Woodrow Wilson (most overrated ever)
Andrew Jackson

Most underrated:

James Knox Polk
William McKinley
James Madison

Hoover and Nixon are two presidents that are consistently misunderstood. Had Nixon not been crazy, he'd be considered one of the top 15 or so. Unfortunately, he was crazy.

2008-07-20 21:50:07
178.   Greg Brock
175 I love the Gilded Age. Presidents knew when to step aside and let the robber barons and sweat shop owners make this country what it is today!

Say what you want about labor laws, they certainly slow down productivity!

2008-07-20 21:51:10
179.   Bob Timmermann
So Hoover is the Milton Bradley of presidents?

I never thought of it that way.

As for Andrew Jackson, I see that Mr. Brock is true to his Whig principles. To make sure that he does not compromise his principles, he needs to go to an ATM and give me all the paper money that has the picture of Andrew Jackson on it.

2008-07-20 21:53:29
180.   LogikReader
President Thoughts? Time for bed... nite all!
2008-07-20 21:54:13
181.   Greg Brock
Jackson thought the common man was the wise man...He was an idiot. The common man is dumb.

Wilson, I give a bit of a pass because he had a massive stroke and was probably not even in charge for the last two years of his service. Still, massive racist and jerk.

Reagan and FDR are fine men. Whatever. Baby Boomers fight over these guys, so I leave it alone.

2008-07-20 21:55:16
182.   nofatmike
No love for Calvin Coolidge? For shame. He was the most libertarian President we've ever had and has the coolest quote/burn of all time.
2008-07-20 21:55:56
183.   Tripon
So how about them Dodgers eh?
2008-07-20 21:56:08
184.   Greg Brock
180 I think Andy LaRoche should start over Blake DeWitt...What say you?
2008-07-20 21:57:42
185.   nofatmike
177 "Had Nixon not been crazy, he'd be considered one of the top 15 or so."

I highly doubt that.

2008-07-20 21:57:43
186.   Tripon
Taft was the only president to serve on the Supreme Court. Although with the news networks tells it, and Obama presidency will give a Supreme Court seat to either Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton to placate them.

Anyway my point is, Taft was bad ass.

2008-07-20 21:58:32
187.   Xeifrank
184. I think you already scared him and others away.
vr, Xei
2008-07-20 22:00:04
188.   Alex41592
Anyone who thought Andruw Jones has lost weight was indeed correct. According to the new Simers column, which I recommend reading, Jones has lost 16-17 pounds and now is 229 pounds.,0,2422382.column

2008-07-20 22:00:28
189.   KingKopitar
185 You'll have a hard time finding a US historian today that doesn't think Nixon was ultimately a pretty good president. It's just that, like Brock said, he was crazy.
2008-07-20 22:02:34
190.   Tripon
Nixon was nuts about domestic matters and his legacy. On foreign matters, he was surprisingly sane. Sane enough to bomb several countries in the SouthEast to dust, and to open talks with China after several decades but sane enough.

Sane enough that Henry Kissinger tried to sell Vietnam's Sec. of State that Nixon really was mad and that if they didn't capitulate and soon, Nixon would bomb the heck out of North Vietnam, AKA the Madman Strategy. Of course, to prove Nixon was 'insane', Nixon promptly bombed North Vietnam. Ah the inner workings of a sane man trying to prove people he's insane.

2008-07-20 22:04:21
191.   CanuckDodger
Greg, what criteria are you using to determine where the presidents rank? I took a course on the American Presidency when studying for my history degree. My conclusion: American historians tend to rank their presidents according to a combination of how much interesting stuff they did, and how much interesting stuff just happened on their watch. Historians are storytellers. Like like good drama. Boring presidents who just "minded the store well" and didn't start any wars or have any crises thrust upon them do not make for a good story.
2008-07-20 22:05:26
192.   Greg Brock
187 As usual, I'm wondering why you feel like going after other people. You've already chased KG16 away.

I just don't get it. It's a Sunday and we're chatting away. Why does it bother you so? Why does TV or movie or president chat bother you so much.

Why can't you just join or go away?


2008-07-20 22:07:06
193.   Greg Brock
Forget 192. Poor form on my part.

Sorry, Xeifrank.

2008-07-20 22:07:38
194.   CanuckDodger
191 -- Oops: make that "They like good drama."
2008-07-20 22:07:55
195.   nofatmike
189 Nixon practically wrecked our economy with his price caps on oil.
2008-07-20 22:08:42
196.   Reddog
I think Benjamin Franklin would have been a great President.
2008-07-20 22:11:24
197.   Tripon

Actually, I find as more time pass, the more boring presidents are viewed more fondly. I'm only 23, and barely remember Bush I's presidency, but the current view is that his presidency was actually pretty good for what it was. Obama's even noted his appreciation for Bush I's foreign policy.

2008-07-20 22:11:53
198.   sporky
188 That's another Simers column I can't access.

Dylan Hernandez:

>>With the non-waiver trade deadline 10 days away, General Manager Ned Colletti said the Dodgers could enter the market for a third baseman if they're unable to land a shortstop.

The Dodgers don't appear to be interested in Oakland shortstop Bobby Crosby or Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre.<<

2008-07-20 22:12:01
199.   Jon Weisman
Ben Silverman on the ever-changing state of the Office spinoff.

TVWeek: What's happening with "The Office" spinoff and Amy Poehler?
Mr. Silverman: So here's where we're at. Obviously, Amy is somebody that shows up once in a blue moon, you know what I mean? And it's so perfect coming out of the NBC family, but also in the great tradition of what Tina Fey is, what Steve Carrell is, what Jason Lee is, what Alec Baldwin is—these kind of movie/TV stars. We have these performers who hit beyond the medium, and who operate in a kind of cultural milieu, not just in a performance milieu. Mike Schur and Greg Daniels had a relationship with her and Mike actually had a really strong one from his work with Will Arnett when Mike was on "Arrested Development," and then through his relationship with Amy directly when he was on "Saturday Night Live." The opportunity to grab her was so exciting. Now the other side of it is that she's pregnant. So you know the timing of when we can bring her show to air may not fall into the same timing we were trying to hit for a spinoff. (Editor's note: NBC had planned to premiere an "Office" spinoff after the Super Bowl in February.) So that's kind of opened up some timing questions, because obviously you wait for Amy to have her baby.

TVWeek: So you're not doing a spinoff of "The Office"?
Mr. Silverman: No—we're also going to be pursuing an "Office" spinoff as well, but right now, for the moment, Greg and Mike are focused on this show, which is more in the kind of style of "The Office," but it's not like the Jeffersons appeared in "All in the Family." Do you know what I mean? Her character—which is something we're still working on and developing—but you get it.

2008-07-20 22:13:05
200.   Greg Brock
191 If you look at most historian rankings, it's all about expansion or strengthening of the central government. FDR, TR, Washington, Lincoln.

I'd go with territorial gains (Jefferson, Polk, TR) and strengthening of America's influence in the hemisphere.

It's easy to forget what a weak nation we were for so long.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-07-20 22:13:36
201.   ToyCannon
Bill Madlock

My favorite SNL skit ever was the Reagan one where he speaks 5 languages and dominated the oval office in between doddering photo shots with the public.

I assume Mr. Brock opinion on our presidents are subjective or could he share the latest metric he used to come up with his list. Was it a plus/minus system and if so, who was doing the grading?

2008-07-20 22:13:46
202.   Gagne55
Wow. These are some serious rule 5 violations.
2008-07-20 22:14:12
203.   Jon Weisman
Guys, I'm sorry, but I can't have a political discussion going on here as I'm heading off to bed. I'm sorry - I realize everyone has been measured for the most part in their comments, but it's just not a direction I want to take the site right now.
2008-07-20 22:14:56
204.   ToyCannon
Nice to get an answer before you even post a question.
2008-07-20 22:16:32
205.   Bob Timmermann
So I'm not crazy in not being able to access Simers columns online. I wonder what the Times online people are putting in the HTML?
2008-07-20 22:16:59
206.   Greg Brock
203 Sorry. Just thought it was a fun diversion from the usual.

I just saw 3:10 to Yuma. I thought it was quite good, but I was kind of underwhelmed. Bale and Crowe should rock harder than that.

2008-07-20 22:19:01
207.   sporky
It's unnerving to be annoyed at the fact that you CAN'T read something by Simers.
2008-07-20 22:19:03
208.   Alex41592
205 - It happens to me at times. Sometimes, I can't access it in Firefox so I try Safari among others. If that does not work I just wait until the morning. Or I wait for a discussion here about it and that fills the void for sure.
2008-07-20 22:20:08
209.   Jon Weisman
205 - I haven't had any problems.
2008-07-20 22:20:42
210.   trainwreck
Does anyone else watch the show Factory? I like it.
2008-07-20 22:21:12
211.   tjdub
LOVED 3:10 to Yuma.

Totally unrelated - Would never have recognized Crowe's crazy counterpart (can't remember his name) from his Freaks and Geeks days.

2008-07-20 22:22:29
212.   Greg Brock
211 Ben Foster was the best thing about that movie.

The kid is going to win an Oscar for sure some day.

2008-07-20 22:23:07
213.   Xeifrank
193. I agree with you again.
vr, Xei
2008-07-20 22:23:10
214.   Tripon
On the previous ep of Dodgermon

It's not very effective . . .



2008-07-20 22:23:17
215.   trainwreck
Completely agree.
2008-07-20 22:25:11
216.   ToyCannon
I guess it is back to the LaRoche/DeWitt debate. History always gets a back seat to things that are really important.
2008-07-20 22:25:59
217.   Jon Weisman
Google Reader down to 0. It only took 27 hours.
2008-07-20 22:27:04
218.   Tripon
216 I believe that thread is still active.
2008-07-20 22:29:20
219.   Greg Brock
213 You never make it easy, man. Ever.
2008-07-20 22:31:29
220.   Who Is Karim Garcia
Someone explain this to me.

2008-07-20 22:32:53
221.   Alex41592
220 - I have no idea but that looks amazing.
2008-07-20 22:33:39
222.   Xeifrank
219. Whenever you go to battle over "defensive metrics", I will be standing by your side. :)
vr, Xei
2008-07-20 22:36:21
223.   nofatmike
220 Please tell me there's a video...
2008-07-20 22:36:48
224.   Tripon
IT PROBABLY wasn't a good sign the other night for LuisMaza or Angel Berroa when Torre sent in pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo to pinch-hit to lead off the seventh inning, the Dodgers down by a run and Maza, Berroa and LaRoche still available to hit.

Torre later explained he had only one pinch-hitter left on his bench, LaRoche.

When asked what about Maza and Berroa, he said he had only one pinch-hitter left. Ouch.

That might explain why Maza was asked to pack his bags and leave before Sunday's game. Here's hoping Berroa didn't sign any long-term apartment lease. -Simers

Ouch. Least we know Torre isn't that in love with Berroa, so it'll be easy to cut him once (okay, if) we trade for a bat.

2008-07-20 22:36:58
225.   Who Is Karim Garcia

Found it. It was for a record ski jump attempt. I also found a treasure map at dodger stadium.

2008-07-20 22:38:54
226.   trainwreck
Cold bloodeeeeeeed.
2008-07-20 22:42:42
227.   Bob Timmermann
When Dodger Stadium opened, the Dodgers tried a few ideas to pick up revenue in the offseason.

There was a boxing match in March of 1963, but that ended up with Davey Moore dying, so that sort of put the kibosh on that.

There was a plan to have a ski jump competition in the stadium on 10/25/1963, but the artificial snow machines didn't work. They competition finally got underway on 10/26 and 10/27/1963 and 10,000 people came out to see Ansten Samuelsen of Steamboat Springs, Colorado win the "International Ski Jump."

One of the arguments against Dodger Stadium was that it wouldn't be used much during the offseason, so O'Malley tried to come up with ideas to assuage his critics.

Eventually, he just settled for an occasional concert and some RV shows.

2008-07-20 22:43:56
228.   Jon Weisman
From Mark Langill's "Dodger Stadium"

In addition to boxing matches and road races, some of the early non-baseball events at Dodger Stadium included an international ski show in 1964. The daily shows consisted of two jumping events, a slalom race, and fashion show. The roster of participating athletes included Minnesota native Gene Kotlaerk, the reigning U.S. distance record holder (322 feet) who was expected to contend for a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria."

2008-07-20 22:45:02
229.   Bob Timmermann
Kotlaerk finished in sixth place.
2008-07-20 22:47:44
230.   Greg Brock
There was a boxing match in March of 1963, but that ended up with Davey Moore dying, so that sort of put the kibosh on that.

Good thing that nobody ever died in the boxing ring after that. Problem solved.

2008-07-20 22:50:58
231.   kinbote
228 Did somebody say "fashion show"?
2008-07-20 22:51:07
232.   Who Is Karim Garcia
Bob and Jon, gracias amigos.
2008-07-20 22:53:20
233.   sporky
Meloan: 6IP 4H 1ER 4BB 7K
2008-07-20 22:54:54
234.   Tripon
PStill adjusting to being a part-time player, third baseman Andy LaRoche said his ninth-inning pinch-hit single to drive in James Loney and get the Dodgers to within 4-3 renewed his confidence to fulfill his role.

"I feel like my approach is getting a little better," LaRoche said.

LaRoche said he went into the batting cages to hit off the tee, something he started doing last homestand when he saw reserve outfielder Delwyn Young do it.

LaRoche said he's also benefited from conversations he's had with pinch-hitting specialist Mark Sweeney.

We all owe Delwyn Young for Andy LaRoche's hit yesterday.

2008-07-20 22:55:35
235.   Tripon
Dodgers should host an outdoor hockey game between the Kings and the Ducks.
2008-07-20 22:57:06
236.   Alex41592
227 - Apparently that fight was supposed to take place in July of 1962, but a typhoon like rainstorm hit Los Angeles and it had to be postponed. The fight was on national T.V and it was a very big deal when he died.

In a side note there was another Davey Moore who was also a professional boxer and he died in a freak accident where he was killed by his own car trying to open his garage.

2008-07-20 23:05:19
237.   Bob Timmermann
The Davey Moore death was a HUGE story at the time. Jim Murray asked for boxing to be outlawed. More importantly, Governor Pat Brown talked of banning the sport in California.

And Bob Dylan wrote a song about it.

The card with Moore on it was planned for the week before (March 16) and it was postponed because of heavy rains.

The number of heavy rainstorms to hit Los Angeles in July are somewhere between -1 and 0.

2008-07-20 23:06:22
238.   Tripon
237 Would Bob Dylan write a song about MMA?
2008-07-20 23:07:31
239.   underdog
Darn, closed down just before i make my great rant about Warren G. Harding. Oh well. And i agree, Ben foster was super, but thought Crowe rocked actually.

Night all.

2008-07-20 23:08:12
240.   Bob Timmermann
What rhymes with "Kimbo Slice"?
2008-07-20 23:08:30
241.   Greg Brock
Jim Murray like golf and baseball. Two sports that are about as non-contact as you can get.

Also horse racing. I guess it was okay when horses died.

2008-07-20 23:08:38
242.   Alex41592
237 - What? You mean Wikipedia isn't a reliable source? Gosh darnit all to heck.
2008-07-20 23:09:34
243.   Greg Brock
239 Daddy wanted to go to sleep without the kids horsing around.
2008-07-20 23:09:43
244.   trainwreck
Sigh. It is sad that he's the guy people know.
2008-07-20 23:11:31
245.   Greg Brock
Jim Murray was brilliant, but he absolutely killed a family friend that played defensive back for UCLA in the '70's after a pass interference call.

He was a mean spirited man.

2008-07-20 23:13:06
246.   Greg Brock
It was actually 1969.
2008-07-20 23:16:22
247.   Bob Timmermann
I never knew Sasha Cohen played DB for UCLA.
2008-07-20 23:18:20
248.   Greg Brock
247 I'm sure you know the play.

Bad call.

2008-07-20 23:21:11
249.   kinbote
244 Anderson Silva is amazing. His dismantling of James Irvin this weekend was precision personified.
2008-07-20 23:21:41
250.   trainwreck
Good chance my dad knew him. He was a defensive back for UCLA around that time.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-07-20 23:22:17
251.   kinbote
238 Hey, if David Mamet writes a screenplay about it . . .
2008-07-20 23:24:18
252.   trainwreck
I knew he would. James Irvin's like Phil Baroni. I can't believe the decision in the Anthony Johnson fight. By that logic you can "accidentally" poke your opponent every time and win.
2008-07-20 23:27:17
253.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think the Dodgers would have turned over the stadium for boxing in the middle of the season in 1962, especially in the opening season. O'Malley wanted that place to look like a palace.
There is a story in the LA Times on 7/27/1962 where O'Malley meets with a boxing promoter to set up a title bout at Dodger Stadium.

And I think that's what resulted in the March 1963 bout between Davey Moore and Sugar Ramos for the lightweight title.

Pat Brown's push to outlaw boxing in California went nowhere.

One of the writers for the LA Times who interviewed Ramos after the bout was Ruben Salazar.

2008-07-20 23:28:39
254.   Greg Brock

Also in my top five are the two games which contributed most to Prothro leaving Westwood for the Los Angeles Rams after the 1970 season: the 1967 loss to USC, 21-20, with a potential national championship on the line and the game which friends have said hurt Prothro the most: the 14-12 loss to USC in 1969 with the Rose Bowl on the line. Bruin fans are still steamed about the phantom pass-interference call on Danny Graham on a fourth-down play for USC late in the game and the just-as-questionable 32-yard touchdown catch by Trojan flanker Sam Dickerson in an unlit corner of the Coliseum with 1:38 to play.

2008-07-20 23:28:53
255.   confucius
227 My grandparents took my dad to that ski jump competition in doyer stadium. My grandpa was a crane operator and worked in chavez ravine during the stadium's construction so he used to get free tickets to things.
2008-07-20 23:29:38
256.   Bob Timmermann
Another person who asked for boxing to be banned after Davey Moore's death was Pope John XXIII.
2008-07-20 23:30:59
257.   Greg Brock
256 Vatican II: This time it's personal.
2008-07-20 23:33:04
258.   Greg Brock
Bob, your family was German Catholic living in the Miwest?

That must have been fun.

2008-07-20 23:33:34
259.   Greg Brock
Bah, Midwest.
2008-07-20 23:35:05
260.   Bob Timmermann
That would be my dad's side of the family and that description would apply from 1837 through 1960.
2008-07-20 23:42:08
261.   Greg Brock
260 My family was German Lutherans.

The Feldhaus line became athiests at some point. I come from a line of German Marxist-Leninist folk. And then the Scots Irish pop in, and a healthy dose of Swedes around the 1900's.

And then there's the Foote/Beecher lineage from way back. Distantly related to the Beechers, which is kind of cool.

2008-07-20 23:43:07
262.   Bill Crain
Also tonight in Sacramento: Tanyon Sturtze pounded for 4 runs in the seventh. Inning extended when Terry Tiffee bobbles a grounder at first, then has nowhere to throw because Sturze has forgotten to cover.

Meloan takes the loss; Tiffee takes the error.

Two run homer in the ninth by Angel Chavez.
Chin-lung Hu played ss and had a single in three at-bats.

2008-07-20 23:45:07
263.   Bob Loblaw
I don't think the D-Backs are feeling too secure about having Lyon as their closer. What's the consensus of who they may go after?...and should we seek to block their pursuit by going after the same closer since Saito's return is questionable?
2008-07-20 23:46:36
264.   trainwreck
I don't see Josh Byrnes giving up much for a reliever. I certainly do not want us trading for any middle relief.
2008-07-20 23:50:12
265.   LoneStar7
is there way torre shocks the world and makes juan compete with andruw for playing time?
2008-07-20 23:54:28
266.   overkill94
239 I didn't know anything about Harding until there was a Millionaire question about him involving the Teapot Dome Scandal and I decided to look him up. He was actually a pretty interesting president.
2008-07-20 23:54:39
267.   Tripon
I think we're more likely trading away middle relief in order to acquire a bat then acquire another middle reliever.
2008-07-20 23:57:31
268.   sporky
Starter ERA with/without Penny: 4.04/3.70
Reliever ERA with/without Proctor: 2.94/2.50

I wonder how many games we wouldn't have lost if those two buffoons admitted they were injured.

2008-07-21 00:37:23
269.   sporky
If the Dodgers lose the division by a game or two, Brad Penny pitching through an injury will have had a bigger impact that, say, Sweeney, DeWitt/LaRoche or perhaps even Pierre. In his last 8 games, he lost 7 and had an ERA of 8.52 (overall 15 starts, ERA+ 75). It's not hard to imagine that of those 8 starts, a league-average pitcher could've won 2-3 of those.

I know it's been mentioned before, but ARGH.

2008-07-21 02:09:46
270.   PDH5204
52 56 As I believe I've said before, the answer is physics. But until we decide to approach the matter in the only rational manner, well, in the meantime, my eyes and my brain can receive and provide the input and make a rough calculation of the phyics of fielding in baseball. We do it every day. How else do we walk? Or skirt between cars in traffic while crossing the street?

A question for purposes of illustration: when do we die in that latter circumstance of trying to cross the street in traffic? When we don't have some of the relevant data, say, we don't know how long it took for Car C to go from Point A to Point B, as Car C is approaching us nearly head on, and humans are notoriously poor in judging the speed of directly oncoming vehicles. And so we have no reliable way of judging the speed of the oncoming vehicle, and that's a rather crucial omission, yes?

That's the current state of the defensive metrics. In contrast, you believe that you can cross the street safely as you know roughly how long it will take you to go from your Point A to your Point B, and you have some estimate of the speed of the oncoming vehicle, from having watched it go from its Point C to its Point D in T seconds, and you estimate it's distance from where you are now, and so you can go X feet in T seconds while the oncoming car can be expected to go only a mere Y feet in those same T seconds. And so you decide to cross the street as it appears to you that you can do so in safety. We do it every day. And not perfect, certain traffic fatalities attest to that, but we've got a not unimpressive rate of success in this respect. And it's better than the alternative, which is to simply walk on out into oncoming traffic.

For another comparison, deciding to cross in traffic is a lot like deciding to steal a base. Kirk Gibson understands the point, as with his stopwatch in the dugout there, he is trying to more precisely measure the limited time that we have in which to steal that base.

Our current fielding metrics largely omit the relevant distances and speeds. The best we have is ball in Zone Z and the ball is traveling at hard, medium, and soft. And so they're indeed asking you to just walk on out into oncoming traffic.

55 It isn't closed-mindedness, as you put it. It is instead recognizing intellecual garbage for what it is, intellectual garbage. To even begin to think that you could have a reliable and/or valid fielding metric without taking into account where the fielder was positioned when the ball was struck by the bat, well, as Willy Brandt once said when confronted by another instance of complete incompetence: words fail me.

And simply remember our Delgado-shift. And also the day that Delgado singled to 3B while the shift was on. According to the metrics, DeWitt gets downgraded because he didn't field a ball in his zone. Absurd. For more of the absurd, at least one metrics regime has this "out of zone" fielding measure. And so if Delgado had instead hit a two-hopper to DeWitt at SS, we'd be crediting DeWitt for making a play outside of his zone. Why are plays outside the zone important? Because they might indicate superior range? Not in the case of 3B Blake DeWitt fielding a ball at SS when the Delgado-shift meant that he was playing SS at the time.

And, Eric, to bring you into the discussion, that's a rather crucial distinction here, yes? I understand your point re scoring, but that will affect each and every metric that does not try to correct the stats for perceived scorer error. But here we have an error of a fundamentally different sort, in that someone is not misjudging fielder position but instead making the fundamental error of not bothering to include the necessary data on fielder position [erroneous or not] in the first instance. As I said, the error and the difference here is indeed fundamental.

Lastly, fanerman, there isn't much room for hope here. Who is going to invest the money for this? The teams won't. They already have the data for their own fielders and there's no incentive to share the data, I mean, there are some hitters who might be more able to hit a ball to a certain spot than some others, and so why tell the league just where your guy is weak in the field? True, the opposition might discover the weakness on their own, but that's their expense and their time, and otherwise simply no reason to provide the opposition with the knowledge to defeat you.

So if the measure improves, and it's worthless now, that much is certain, well, if the measure improves it will likely be because the outside souls providing the claimed new and improved computation will invest in the means themselves. Would you like to hazard a guess as to how likely it is that BP will invest and apply the existing technology necessary to accomplish our desired end? As for me, well, I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime, we could collect the data and do the math ourselves. There would be error, since we only have limited views on such things as MLBTV, meaning that we might miss some change of fielding position after our man leaves the camera picture, but such is better than the nothing we have now.

Lastly, Jon, the problem that some, me, have with all this is that some are not giving this information out for free and with a large and conspicuous disclaimer accompanying the transfer. To sell the metrics computations that are indeed now sold, well, does the word unconscionable ring a bell? Oh, and by the way, the board is becoming ever more irrational, and in the precise sense that the more Plaske speaks, the less love some souls have for persons such as Jeff Kent. Strange, as I just can't see why anyone's feelings for Kent should change just because Plashke has his own view on the matter of relative worth [and in the meantime, Kent hasn't said a word]. On the theory that in the era of gold rush you don't pan for gold but sell shovels, well, does anyone need a torch and a pitchfork?

2008-07-21 02:26:44
271.   Greg Brock
It's pretty great that I can watch The Fifth Element on Hulu when I can't sleep. This is what the internet was made for.
2008-07-21 04:41:13
272.   D4P
Does any know how "defense" is measured in the process of creating fielding independent pitching stats...?
2008-07-21 04:42:14
273.   Suffering Bruin
270 You lost me at "physics." Seriously, yeoman effort.

271 You're having more fun than I am. I've been up all night trying to get the Zune to work (late birthday gift from my brother who is probably laughing his tail off right about now). Next time, I'm looking you up in the book.

Jon? Is the third base discussion closed? Because according to the Times, if he can't get a shortstop, Ned is going to try to get a third baseman. Let me repeat: Ned is going to try to get a third baseman.

Methinks this is not wise. That is all. Good night... er, good morning!

2008-07-21 04:43:13
274.   Suffering Bruin
272 You too? Fer Chrissakes, go get Greg and let's get to a diner!
2008-07-21 04:59:31
275.   Ken Noe
TO: Ned Colletti
FROM: Frank McCourt

1. Matt Kemp officially "gets it." We will declare victory. Do not trade.

2. Nice pickup with Ozuna.

2008-07-21 05:33:31
276.   D4P
I find it ironic that Ned is looking for a "run-producing" third baseman, given that he signed Bill Mueller to a 3-year contract after Mueller had driven in 57 and 62 runs in the previous 2 seasons. Mueller had never driven in more than 85 runs in a season, and only drove in more than 60 twice.

DeWitt is currently on pace to drive in 61 runs.

2008-07-21 06:14:02
277.   Ken Noe
Dylan Hernandez says that Ned doesn't appear to be interested in Beltre or Crosby. I have a weird feeling that if there's a deal at all, it's going to be...Casey Blake and Jamey Carroll. Take that Frank.
2008-07-21 06:34:54
278.   Marty
Ah, Sam Dickerson. That was a great game.
2008-07-21 07:11:35
279.   Bob Timmermann
I have nothing really to say except 278 can't be the last word for aesthetic reasons.
2008-07-21 07:24:08
280.   bhsportsguy
When was the last time the Dodgers scored 4 or more runs in the 9th inning to win a game?

I think I know the answer.

278 and 279 - John Barnes.

2008-07-21 07:25:08
281.   Doctor
Wow, the Giants didnt get much for Durham.... that looks like a pretty bad deal to me.
2008-07-21 07:26:38
282.   Doctor
Ned's mentor maybe even worse.
2008-07-21 07:31:07
283.   D4P
Rotoworld thought the Giants got a nice haul for Durham, and that the Brewers were stupid to give up so much.
2008-07-21 07:35:44
284.   Doctor
It was 2 players, but wow- not very good ones.....26 year old so-so AA pitcher and a OF with no bat?
I wouldn't mind .799 OPS Durham off the bench or at 2B once in a while.
2008-07-21 07:49:13
285.   Jon Weisman
2008-07-21 07:52:18
286.   JoeyP
At what point did Russ Martin become a below average defensive catcher?

I checked his Stolen Bases/CS'ing percentage, and his numbers are really bad.

49 SBs
13 CS's.

Its in the bottom half of the league average percentage wise, and only Brian McCann has given up more straight SBs (though his CS'ing percentage is higher).

Is this all on the Dodger pitchers?

Or is Russ overrated defensively?

I'm really wanting his bat at 2nd base, especially if Carlos Santana keeps up his pace. If the Dodgers want to keep Russ behind the plate bc of his bat, then thats fine. But his defense seems to have gotten worse since he's been in the big leagues.

2008-07-21 07:54:20
287.   JoeyP
Its also likely that Russ Martin probably wont win the Gold Glove this year.

That award has to go to the ancient Jason Kendall.

He's actually caught more innings than Martin (784 to 767), and he's throwing out 47% of would be base stealers. 28Sbs 25Cs.

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