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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

2008-07-25 08:00
by Jon Weisman

I can't tell you how much I don't enjoy writing this. But in the endless history of Juan Pierre hagiography, this piece from Kevin Baxter in the Times deserves special mention.

Baxter writes:

Pierre, who was batting .277 in 73 games before Angels shortstop Erick Aybar accidentally fell on his knee during a play at second, could be back in the big leagues as early as tonight when the Dodgers, a game back in the National League West, play the Washington Nationals in the opener of a 10-game homestand.

Problem No. 1: We'll start with a low-key but fundamental issue. There are several more useful ways to summarize a player's abilities than batting average. It's like starting off by telling us that my kid is a B student at Hits Per At Bat Elementary.

That's more than two weeks ahead of some doctors' estimates -- but not a moment too soon for the Dodgers, who clearly miss Pierre's speed at the top of the lineup.

This is gonna be tough to prove. The Dodgers have a .550 winning percentage and are averaging 4.75 runs per game since Pierre was hurt - both better than they were doing with him. Now, it's possible that the Dodgers would have done still better with Pierre than with his replacements in the lineup, Delwyn Young, Jason Repko and Andruw Jones. But Baxter has set up the question as an issue of who's batting leadoff.

Although Matt Kemp, who has batted first most often in Pierre's absence, has a .393 on-base percentage and a .532 slugging percentage in the leadoff spot -- both far superior to Pierre's .327 and .318 figures -- he has also struck out nearly a third of the time, and only six of his 22 stolen bases have come when he was batting leadoff.

This is the clip they'll show at the awards ceremony. Talk about being committed to an agenda. The construction of the sentence suggests that Kemp's superior on-base and slugging percentages are less important than a) the kind of outs he makes and b) ...

I tell you, b) deserves its own reward. Baxter is actually knocking Kemp down for having a low percentage of his season stolen bases in the leadoff spot. Kemp has batted leadoff in 22.2 percent of his plate appearances. He has stolen 27.2 percent of his bases in the leadoff spot. I mean, Baxter's measuring stick is not only nonsensical, it actually works against him.

As for a) - in general, strikeouts are no worse an out than any other kind of out. Yes, there are times when a flyball or grounder will advance a runner, just as there are times when those might cause a double play. But overall, there's simply no question which is more important: out types or one's OPS.

The crazy part is that there is no spot in the batting order where strikeouts are less of an issue than the leadoff spot. In the first at-bat of the game, there are literally no runners to advance. In most later at-bats, you're batting after the pitcher's spot. It's simply crazy to suggest that strikeouts are a problem for a leadoff hitter.

Oh, and by the way: Kemp and Pierre have both seen 3.8 pitches per plate appearance this season.

Pierre, meanwhile, is the toughest outfielder in the majors to strike out, and his 35 steals still rank second in the league despite the fact he has missed a month.

"He doesn't give us the power threat that Matt gives us. But he knows how to lead off," said Dodgers Manager Joe Torre, who promised Pierre would be at the top of the order when he returns but did not say where he would play him in the team's crowded outfield. "He's going to make the pitcher work hard and be a threat on the bases. He's a good spark plug for us."

And the Dodgers could certainly use a spark plug. Although they are 11-9 without Pierre, the Dodgers have hit .253 -- slightly below their season average -- during that span, scoring two or fewer runs six times.

Again, Baxter relies on an objectively less relevant stat - batting average - to make his argument. Yet the Dodgers' on-base percentage (.327) and slugging percentage (.402) have both been higher in Pierre's absence.

"He's got speed, he's got everything," said Mike Easler, the former Dodgers batting coach and now their minor league hitting instructor. "He can turn a ballgame around." ...

Pierre doesn't have everything. I mean, we know this. If someone says something that's completely false, the reporter isn't required to accept it. Unless he just wants to.

The thing is, Pierre's return to the lineup could help the Dodgers at this point. They have a serious problem in the outfield right now, so serious that even Pierre might help solve it. And yet, Andruw Jones' name doesn't even appear in Baxter's story.

I understand the reality that Pierre will bat leadoff when he returns to the lineup. But is that what journalism is about? Cobbling together flawed evidence to justify a flawed reality?

There's no reason Kemp has to remain the team's leadoff hitter. The .925 OPS and speed has provided there can be an equal or greater asset in the heart of the order. But to suggest that the leadoff spot has been a problem, that the Dodgers are lacking a spark plug, is irresponsible. And it's not like it's even difficult to see. In fact, the only way you can't see it is if you're so determined to advance a storyline that you'll steamroll your way through it, logic or no logic.

Editorially, it makes sense to write about Pierre's imminent return from the disabled list. Analytically, someone needed to challenge the conclusions in this story before it went to print.

Update: After I wrote this piece, I was thinking about it and realizing that if it weren't for this one part - "and only six of his 22 stolen bases have come when he was batting leadoff" - I might not have bothered writing this morning. Without that portion, you're left with comparing Kemp's batting skills to his strikeouts, which is tiresome but nothing particularly unusual to see. There were other problems with the story, but this line about the stolen bases was just so strange and vexing.

Then, when reading the Times sports section in print, I noticed that the online version was actually edited from this: "while stealing only six bases."

In other words, someone in the sports department - Baxter or an editor - actually gave this portion of the article special attention, for good reason, since criticizing Kemp for stealing "only six bases" in 19 games (a pace for 51 in 162 games) would be ludicrous. Yet the edit doesn't solve the problem, it exacerbates it.

Either that, or the online version was the intended version, and the print version had extra words cut for space, yet preserved the silliness of using Kemp's six steals against him. Neither scenario is very consoling.

Comments (318)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-07-25 08:17:32
1.   D4P
Not to mention "Denihilism".
2008-07-25 08:18:40
2.   ImprobableImpossible
I check DT and get FJM. I like it!

It's one thing for coaches and players to speak in cliches. They're experts at it. It's too bad when writers and broadcasters fall into the same bad habits.

2008-07-25 08:19:02
3.   Bob Timmermann
I guess we know who's not coming to the picnic now.
2008-07-25 08:19:45
4.   Terry A
Also noteworthy is the fact that Baxter chooses to compare Kemp's numbers as a leadoff hitter (OBP & OPS) to Pierre's whole-season numbers (not just leadoff). D4P pointed this out in the last thread.

It's either an(other) oversight in a seemingly rushed story, or it's Baxter's bias shining through again.

2008-07-25 08:26:31
5.   Disabled List
I love it when Jon unleashes his inner FJM.

Although Jon: I'm sorry you consider the time you spent deconstructing this nonsense as a wasted hour of your life. It's a dirty job, but a blogger's got to do it. There are lots of fans out there starved for baseball commentary that isn't breath-takingly stupid. Keep up the good work.

2008-07-25 08:28:21
6.   regfairfield
So the Dodgers declined at the things Pierre is good at (batting average) and got better at the things he's bad at (everything else) in his abscence. I'm shocked.
2008-07-25 08:30:58
7.   fanerman
Diamond Leung's story makes me feel a lot better than Mr. Baxter's.
2008-07-25 08:33:27
8.   GoBears
6 But Pierre isn't even good at BA. Unless you compare him to the guy who actually replaced him in the lineup. Not Kemp - he was already in the lineup. It was Jones. And yeah, his BA is worse than Pierre's.
2008-07-25 08:33:57
9.   Louis in SF
I think the last line in your post describes it best and I would only add,

"In fact, the only way you can't see it is if you're so determined to advance a storyline that you'll steamroll your way through it, logic or no logic."

One of the main themes of of Joe Torre's first year as Dodger Manager was and his belief that Juan Pierre must bat at the top of the order for his team to succeed. Logic be damed!

Matt Kemp while a very talented player who seems to be working very hard at adopting to the changes Torre has tried to implement throughout the year can never satisfy Torre's expectations, batting leadoff or in the middle of the line-up.

2008-07-25 08:38:13
10.   The Trolley Dodger
No, one of the main themes of the Dodgers' season was the well-founded belief that Rafael Furcal must bat at the top of the order for the team to succeed. Juan Pierre is a substitute. Like Sweet and Low.
2008-07-25 08:41:22
11.   The Trolley Dodger
10 And I should add that some aren't big fans of the aftertaste.
2008-07-25 08:45:39
13.   Johnny Nucleo
I know manager's pronouncements are generally fluff and not meant to be taken too literally. But I really don't know what it means when you say someone "knows how to lead off". I mean, what exact knowledge is involved here? Not batting out of order?
2008-07-25 08:48:09
14.   Kevin Lewis
Reading Baxter and Heyman has got me thinking cynically again. I mean, I generally view our media with a skeptical eye, and I try not to take anything at face value unless I see some great research to back it up. The C.C. rumor has popped up in so many places that it makes me think it could be true...but I read it as Ned trying to make a "big" trade for the sake of the trade. However, do reporters like Heyman really believe this would have been a good thing for us, even if it cost us some offensive power from our "prospects' as they say? Or, do they just write this stuff for the masses to sell advertising and to get hits on the website?

There may very well be some dysfunction in the head office at Dodger Stadium, but if we were really trying to move Kemp for C.C., than I am glad Frank stepped in. I would rather look like a team that is hard to deal with, rather than showing we don't know where to place our current value along with our greatest need.

2008-07-25 08:53:31
15.   Lexinthedena
It amazes me how wrong these mainstream journalists are. Plashke was filling in the other day on 570, and was wrong about everything. EVRTHING! Are they being contrarian? Are they just ignorant? Both? Does anyone know?
2008-07-25 08:57:24
16.   fernst2937
The article is riddled with bad and misleading information.

Thanks for calling attention to it.

2008-07-25 09:01:01
17.   old dodger fan
As you point out, focusing on who leads off is a diversion. The key issue is who loses AB's. Will it be Ethier or Jones?
2008-07-25 09:01:01
18.   ibleedbloo
0 Thanks for being able to articulate the thoughts that are in my head. Sometimes I do not realize what I'm thinking until I read it here.
2008-07-25 09:01:44
19.   regfairfield
15 It's a lot easier to speak in cliches than it is to watch as much baseball as we do.
2008-07-25 09:04:37
20.   dzzrtRatt
For the first time in my life, I was moved to write a letter to the sports editor. I saw it before I saw what Jon wrote, so I wasn't nearly so comprehensive.

Why is it that sports reporters love Juan Pierre so much? Why? Does he send them nice presents at Christmas? Does he introduce them to supermodels? The Dodgers have played above .500 at two points this season: Early, when Furcal was batting leadoff and Pierre was a part-timer, and since Pierre's injury. Can't they see that?

2008-07-25 09:07:07
21.   PalmdaleSteve1
Funny thing about JP, he plays the game that he was hired to play, not better not worse. Take a look at his stats, they are no better or worse than when the Dodgers hired him.

On the other hand there's Andruw Jones and the Mendoza line...any bets on if he breaks it this season? What happens for next year when the Dodgers are looking at his big paycheck and low stats...what happens next year?

2008-07-25 09:10:02
22.   Tripon
I'm sure there's another team that can suckered into Andruw Jones er, former numbers. Trade with the Yanks for Kei Igawa?
2008-07-25 09:11:10
23.   JoeyP
I'm going to miss having the Dodgers score in the 1st inning.

Their 1st inning runs average shot through the roof with Kemp leading off, and Pierre not in the lineup.

2008-07-25 09:11:23
24.   jasonungar07
Why do the dodgers love Pierre so much, they feed the writers.
2008-07-25 09:13:22
25.   JoeyP
If even baseball writers, who are actually paid to know and understand the game--cant do it---> are we then expecting too much from the casual fan community to understand why Juan Pierre is bad at baseball?
2008-07-25 09:14:29
26.   regfairfield
If you see a guy like Juan Pierre or David Eckstein out there, it's pretty easy to convince yourself that if you just got a few breaks you could be the Dodgers second baseman.
2008-07-25 09:14:54
27.   Bob Timmermann
The writers have to pay for their own food.
2008-07-25 09:15:45
28.   Tripon
Its funny, but I thought On base percentage was a mostly accepted stat. Guess not!
2008-07-25 09:17:02
29.   silverwidow
Take a look at his stats, they are no better or worse than when the Dodgers hired him.

His triple slash stats are actually worse with the Dodgers.

2008-07-25 09:17:58
30.   PalmdaleSteve1

So Joey, are you saying that Ned C. does not know who to do his job? Ned hired JP to play a role in the Dodgers offense, JP plays the role exactly in the way he was hired to. Not as a power hitter, not a big offense force, a small ball, get on base, steal a base player.

Is your problem with JP or with Ned because he does not know how to build a winning team that has an offense?

2008-07-25 09:18:01
31.   larry slimfast
How to lead off (everything I've ever heard):

1. bat first

2. take until you get a strike

2.5 look at a lot of pitches for the benifit of your team

3. run really, really fast

4. get on base a lot

4.5 tell the rest of the team "what the pitcher's got" if you don't

5. waste a lot of time if the pitcher just made the 2nd out

6. steal bases

7. get in "pitcher's head"

8. make sure uniform is dirty at end of game

9. drink a lot of sports drink

2008-07-25 09:20:24
32.   Jim Wilson
I would like to JP used as a situtional left handed pitch hitter. I think he does bring some spark, but not as a starter. Maybe, (crossing my fingers) just maybe, the club can showcase him for another contender, eat some contract, and be rid of him.
2008-07-25 09:20:41
33.   silverwidow
30 get on base

He's not very good at this, which negates his speed.

2008-07-25 09:21:56
34.   Jim Wilson
#31- You forgot to mention
10. Not hit lazy fly balls because your probably a punching judy at best.
2008-07-25 09:23:08
35.   regfairfield
How to leadoff according to Joe Torre

1. Be fast

Pierre is the best person for the job.

2008-07-25 09:28:01
36.   old dodger fan
JP's 2008 OBP = .327
LA Dodger 2008 OBP (including pitchers, Sweeney and Jones) = .323
2008-07-25 09:28:52
37.   larry slimfast
35 i wonder who would win in a race between juan pierre and matt kemp.

do the dodgers still have the Annual Jose Rafael Gonzalez Spring Training Race-off™?

2008-07-25 09:29:02
38.   Alex41592
0 - I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading that.

"Juan Pierre can't wait to get back to Dodgers."

At least he didn't title his piece, "The Dodgers can't wait for Juan Pierre to get back"

That's all. Sweep the Nats.

2008-07-25 09:31:26
39.   Dexter Fishmore
Buzz Bissinger needs to read Baxter's article, and Jon's deft and patient deconstruction of it, and then carefully reconsider his whole blogs-versus-newspapers worldview.
2008-07-25 09:34:41
40.   D4P
How to leadoff according to Joe Torre

1. Be fast

Pierre is the best person for the job.

I don't think that's quite right.

What Torre is not doing:

1. Asking himself "Who is the fastest player on the team, because I want him to leadoff?", answering to himself "Juan Pierre", and then putting Pierre in the leadoff spot.

What Torre is doing:

1. Asking himself, "Given that Juan Pierre is gonna be in my starting outfield, which lineup position is he best suited for?", answering "Leadoff, because of his speed", and then putting Pierre in the leadoff spot.

2008-07-25 09:34:47
41.   JoeyP
JP plays the role exactly in the way he was hired to.

The fact that Ned believes he needs a Juan Pierre on the team is the fundamental reason why he should not be the GM. He doesnt possess any analytical skills, doesnt know how runs are created/prevented, etc.

But my point was really about just casual fans. Ned's a product of that environment (ex-PR guy). Until the casual fans become more educated, I think they'll always be a place for a Ned Colletti in major league baseball.

Its just too bad he has to be on the Dodgers ruining them, when he could just as easily be in Baltimore, or San Franciso, Seattle (sorry USS Mariner), Pittsburgh, Cubs, Nationals, Kansas City etc.

Gradually, the old school baseball types are being phased out I think but it wont totally be driven out till the casual fans become more educated, or the entities that are educating them (ESPN, Baseball Tonight, Mainstream Media) becomes more educated.

Its amazing that for instance CNBC, or Fox Business, or Bloomberg--> they have analysts on everyday evaluating the market. And these guys use every type of statistic/indicator available to try to predict what will happen the next day. And generally, investors want this information. They want everything they can get their hands on that will make them more informed.

Why cant that attitude carry over with the casual baseball fan?

In the information age, where more & more is become available, its almost as if Baseball media types dont want access too it or to acknowledge it.

2008-07-25 09:35:21
42.   cargill06
38 i'm excited for pierre to come back.

as long as he doesn't take PT away from Kemp and Ethier he makes our team better there's no doubt, and sure i'd rather see him bat 8th or 9th, but i've been told numerous times here that batting order has very little effect on run scoring.

2008-07-25 09:36:25
43.   regfairfield
Assuming Pierre doesn't homer tomorrow, he'll tie Jason Kendall for the fifth longest homeless streak (246 games) since 1993. His next targets are Rey Sanchez with 251 and Rey Sanchez at 296.
2008-07-25 09:37:22
44.   regfairfield
40 How do you explain Kemp batting leadoff then?
2008-07-25 09:39:26
45.   PalmdaleSteve1

Yep that big old fall off on JP's OPS numbers over the years.

2005 84
2006 82
2007 75
2008 69


2007 88
2008 36

By the way, JP is number 12 in the Dodgers OBP at .327, ahead of Dewitt, Young and Kent.

How about if the Dodgers had any offense power at all in the batting order (any of Joe's orders), JP would a heck of a lot better.

2008-07-25 09:40:05
46.   GoBears
a punching judy

I feel old for knowing this:

2008-07-25 09:40:52
47.   PalmdaleSteve1

JP is not a power hitter...rinse, repeat, rinse. Not a hard concept is it?

2008-07-25 09:42:20
48.   regfairfield
47 I just thought it was a fun fact.
2008-07-25 09:43:44
49.   underdog
Here, here, Jon. What Jon said, and what everyone said about what Jon said.

(Sorry, I sound lazy but I mean it, and am running late to work.)

The fact, too, is that Pierre replacing Jones will actually be a plus, which none of us thought we'd say. But he should be returning to bat 8th (or 9th), not 1st, end of story. And he should be replacing Jones and not Kemp or Ethier (except to maybe spell the latter once in a blue moon.)

Glad to have someone checking these lazy stories, Jon.

2008-07-25 09:43:50
50.   fanerman
48 I thought it was fun.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-07-25 09:44:20
51.   larry slimfast
42 It matters that he will bat more often than anyone else in the lineup. The difference between batting say... 2nd and 6th, is fairly negligible. 1st and 8th, when you are one of the worst hitters in the lineup, is a different story.

I'd still rather have Jones in playing over Pierre. In spite of his troubles, Jones still stands to contribute more as a hole than Pierre does.

2008-07-25 09:45:15
52.   KG16
In most later at-bats, you're batting after the pitcher's spot. It's simply crazy to suggest that strikeouts are a problem for a leadoff hitter.

Actually, no, it's not crazy. Assuming that once every three time the lead off hitter comes up after the pitcher, there is a runner on base, it is highly likely that the pitcher just sacrificed the runner over to second (or if we're real lucky to third). In these spots, once again, the strike out does nothing to advance the offense. This, of course, depends on the number of outs and whathaveyou.

I really think too many around here undervalue the costs of a batter striking out.

However, all things considered, I'd still take Kemp as the lead off man over Pierre. Everyday of the week and twice on Sundays (not that they play Sunday double headers anymore)

2008-07-25 09:45:24
53.   Doctor
The numbers don't Lie.
We 1. Score more runs and 2. Win more games sans Pierre.
Nice guy, fast guy, plays hard, but shouldn't take PT from Kemp or Ethier. If he platoons with Jones that's somewhat acceptable i guess.
2008-07-25 09:46:11
54.   GoBears
Yep that big old fall off on JP's OPS numbers over the years.

2005 84
2006 82
2007 75
2008 69

Not sure if you meant to be sarcastic here, but that IS a huge dropoff for Pierre (I assume those are OPS+ numbers?).

Not off the cliff like Jones, but still, substantial.

So to answer your (possibly rhetorical?) questions above:

1. Colletti brought Pierre in to be a certain type of player. That was a mistake. That type of player is of very little value, and shouldn't be starting every day, let alone leading the team in PAs (which he did between Jones's injury and his own) and making $45M.

2. Pierre has certainly been the "type" of player expected, but a lower-than-expected quality version of that type. He has been worse than should have been expected, and those expectations were very very low to begin with.

But let me tell you how I REALLY feel....

2008-07-25 09:46:26
55.   gibsonhobbs88
36 - Take away Sweeney and Jones and what will be our OBP? Even including our pitchers!

Also, Is Pierre's speed back up to 100%? If he is less and he is not aggressive when he is on the basepaths, his main asset is neutralized and Baxter's and Torre's argument is basically flushed down the proverbial toilet!

17 - Yes, you are right! That is the real question. Do we end up with 2 black holes in the lineup or just one? Jones and Pierre in the lineup will suck the energy of the rest of the lineup down with them into the vortex of the black hole. If Ethier goes back to being 3.5 and playing just 2-3 games a week again after proving again that he can be a consistent steady hitter as an everyday player, then the Dodgers deserve whatever happens to them. Ethier may not be a spectacular player, but he is a grinder as well, and even when he makes out some times, he has worked the pitcher into 8-12 pitch at bats, plays a good outfield and has a steady line drive swing. Again, he has done nothing to deserve being taken out of the lineup and benched, other than just being undervalued in the eyes of Dodger management.

2008-07-25 09:46:46
56.   underdog
Man, I wish Diamond Leung would stop posting videos from Troy from WV. It's getting old, Diamond.
2008-07-25 09:47:30
57.   Jon Weisman
I've posted an update to this post at the bottom.
2008-07-25 09:47:55
58.   fanerman
52 I think you're overvaluing the benefit of advancing the runner, and the frequency that the runner actually advances on a ground/flyout.
2008-07-25 09:48:11
59.   JoeyP
How about if the Dodgers had any offense power at all in the batting order (any of Joe's orders), JP would a heck of a lot better.

No matter who is in the middle of the order, Pierre would still have his basic career line of .280/.320/.330. And a .650 OPS for a corner OF'er is awful.

Why blame other players for Pierre's suckiness?

If you're arguing that Andruw Jones is a bigger disappointment---> I'd agree.

But how he hits has no effect on Juan Pierre.

2008-07-25 09:49:46
60.   Tripon
Ned isn't an old school guy. Gillick's an old school guy, Bowden's an old school guy. Seabaen's an old school guy. Ned's just a guy who is grasping at straws and masquerading as an old school guy.
2008-07-25 09:50:23
61.   GoBears
I'd rather have Young replace Jones. I think, given consistent playing time, that YOung is the best hitter of the three. Jones is the best defender of the three (though if DY plays, he plays LF). Pierre is the best basestealer of the three.

Free Delwyn Young!

2008-07-25 09:51:33
62.   old dodger fan
Just found out I need to head to LA for a quick business trip next month so I need 1 ticket for Sunday Aug 17. If you have one email me at msuiter at maida dot com
2008-07-25 09:51:54
63.   regfairfield
Would it be wrong to point out that Delwyn's been a worse hitter than Pierre this year?
2008-07-25 09:52:08
64.   D4P
And where does Gary Bennett fit in to all of this...?
2008-07-25 09:52:22
65.   cargill06
51 JP has a much better chance on OPS'ing .650+ than Andruw, that's just my opinion, but that's what I believe. If JP can even get hot and hit .300+ he could even OPS .700-.725. Even if he hits leadoff it has to better to replace Andruw Jones .447 OPS since returning.
2008-07-25 09:53:03
66.   Tripon
63 You mean a pitch hitter has worse stats than a regular player? Pershaw!
2008-07-25 09:53:06
67.   fanerman
64 Juan Pierre leading off will be Gary Bennett's fault.
2008-07-25 09:53:20
68.   KG16
58 - perhaps.

however, I think it is a simple baseball truth that it is easier to score a runner the closer he is to home: No runners on requires a home run; runner on first requires an extra base hit; runner on second requires a base hit; runner on third can score on a fly ball out.

2008-07-25 09:54:04
69.   Doctor

This piece is a new low in the use of statistics and logic. I have to stop reading it....

2008-07-25 09:54:33
70.   JoeyP
Assuming that once every three time the lead off hitter comes up after the pitcher, there is a runner on base, it is highly likely that the pitcher just sacrificed the runner over to second (or if we're real lucky to third).

But, how much value does a "productive" out have if the out is going to mean that there would be 2 outs regardless?

Having a guy at 2nd base with 2 outs (if the leadoff guy Ks), or having him at 3rd base and 2 outs (if the leadoff guy gets him over to 3b)---> cant be that much more valuable.

Because with 2 outs, batters are running on contact anyway. So most are going to score on any hit to the OF be it from 2nd or 3b.

2008-07-25 09:55:27
71.   regfairfield
How often does a leadoff hitter really come to the plate with a runner on second and one out?

Even if you do advance the runner, your expected runs only go from .346 to .453.

2008-07-25 09:55:48
72.   Jon Weisman
52 - How many times, relative to the other batting positions in the order, does the leadoff hitter come up with a runner on second or third base and less than two out?

The No. 9 spot in the Dodger batting order has 30 sacrifice hits in 381 plate appearances this season (8 percent). The No. 8 and No. 9 spots in the batting order have a combined 22 doubles and triples in 771 plate appearances this season. Even throwing in the other ways runners could be in scoring position, I'm not sure how you can argue that strikeouts have been a noteworthy issue for the leadoff hitter.

2008-07-25 09:57:33
73.   regfairfield
66 He's hitting much better off the bench than when he starts.
2008-07-25 09:57:40
74.   PalmdaleSteve1

On this much we agree

"1. Colletti brought Pierre in to be a certain type of player. That was a mistake. That type of player is of very little value, and shouldn't be starting every day, let alone leading the team in PAs (which he did between Jones's injury and his own) and making $45M."

So Colletti has built a baseball team based on no real offensive power and a pretty good set of arms, well if you don't count Schmidt who if rumors were true was damaged goods when he arrived at the Dodgers. That's the real problem for the Dodgers this year, and last year and probably next year.

Next year take a look at the power lineup for the Dodgers.

Kent probably gone.

Jones hitting below the Mendoza line.

Garcipara...gone probably, even if healthy.

Raffie is a big big question mark and this is his walk year.

Dodgers need a bat, two would be nice, for 2009, plain and simple.

Quick...someone send a note to Manny and tell him about Venice Beach and how well he'd fit with Manny being Manny.

2008-07-25 09:57:43
75.   JoeyP
72--> Maybe using Regairfield's idea of Loney leading off would be a good use for him.

It'd definitely cut down on his DPs.

2008-07-25 09:59:03
76.   GoBears
52 Assuming that once every three time the lead off hitter comes up after the pitcher, there is a runner on base, it is highly likely that the pitcher just sacrificed the runner over to second (or if we're real lucky to third).

One in three seems way too high. Pitchers don't actually get that many sacrifice opportunities.

And yes, a strikeout is worse than other kinds of outs in some circumstances. Better than others (DPs). But the more important consideration is WHETHER a batter creates an out. Higher OBP matters more.

Oh, and since we're giving credit to players who make contact because their outs may be productive, consider this: Pierre almost never hits fly balls deep enough to advance runners. His popups are no better than strikeouts. And many of his SBs are after FCs - he vultures the spot on base that someone else earned, because his groundouts are also no better than strikeouts.

So what you'd have to do to make a case that Pierre is a better leadoff hitter than Kemp is to figure out how many more of his (much greater number of) outs actually were "productive" (relative to Kemp's non-K outs), and compare that to the differences in OBP and (let's not forget) SLG. I haven't run the numbers, but I can predict what they'd show.

2008-07-25 09:59:42
77.   underdog
Btw, since posts about the Heyman article, feel free to add a comment to that thread - you know, from the DT Dodger fan perspective.
2008-07-25 10:00:30
78.   bhsportsguy
52 Played a $60 Sit N Go on vacation on some sort of strange hybrid of online poker meets real live people. I won the whole thing in less than hour.

So I go away for a few days and nothing is resolved.

At least my predction of Kershaw coming back by the first turn of the second half came true. (Sorry Clayton, I told them to start you in Arizona but Lowe can't pitch there so there you go.)

I'm surprised Jon hasn't figured out a way to post some sort of countdown clock to 7/31/08 1:00 p.m. PDT.

2008-07-25 10:01:06
79.   underdog
75 I was thinking that too, though, even though I don't fully buy into the idea of needing speed atop the order, wouldn't his being quite slow at least ruin his chances of being put there. And he's certainly not going to steal bases. Even if it's a good idea it'll never happen.
2008-07-25 10:02:10
80.   blue22
56 - That's the first one of those I've seen. What a goofball.
2008-07-25 10:02:36
81.   Jon Weisman
78 - Welcome back.

"I'm surprised Jon hasn't figured out a way to post some sort of countdown clock to 7/31/08 1:00 p.m. PDT."

I'm surprised you'd think I'd want to put a focus on that.

2008-07-25 10:02:36
82.   GoBears
63 Would it be wrong to point out that Delwyn's been a worse hitter than Pierre this year?

It's rarely wrong to point out the truth. My point, admittedly speculative, was that given consistent playing time, that would no longer be true. I can't know that that is correct - but I think it would be. What are Young's MLEs from his minor league stats, compared to Pierre's numbers?

2008-07-25 10:02:45
83.   JoeyP
It'll never happen, you're right.
But thats the type of out of the box thinking that would liven up the game.

I can just see the "Loney clogging the bases" comments ;)

2008-07-25 10:03:22
84.   fanerman
79 regfairfield has made the point that steals/speed are most valuable at the bottom of the order. Why do you need to steal 2nd base if the guy behind you is about to hit a home run? You're more likely to play small ball and manufacture runs at the bottom of the order around the pitcher's spot anyway.
2008-07-25 10:04:48
85.   JoeyP
84--Plus, if a guy gets caught stealing at the bottom of the order, you're likely not ruining a possible big inning.
2008-07-25 10:05:22
86.   KG16
76 - I meant that once every three times the lead off hitter comes up, there is a runner on base. That doesn't necessarily mean the pitcher sacrificed, or that it was even the pitcher to begin with (pinch hitter), just that from plate appearances 2-4, there should be at least once when there are runners on for the lead off man.

Also, don't take what I've been saying as a defense of Pierre. I agree entirely that he isn't even good at getting productive outs, such as the FC you point to.

I'm really talking from a more philosophical position here than I am from the facts on the ground, with this particular team and this particular line up.

2008-07-25 10:05:29
87.   PalmdaleSteve1
I did a quick scan for news on Big Brad Penney, anyone know when he's coming back?
2008-07-25 10:06:24
88.   regfairfield
82 I don't know, but PECOTA had him at .275/.328/.462 coming in. If he can do that he'd probably be slightly better than Pierre after factoring in defense.
2008-07-25 10:06:36
89.   underdog
78 Here you go!

Created a countdown page:

2008-07-25 10:07:54
90.   Tripon

Thats because he's not getting regular starts. The big argument for LaRoche is that he needed at bats to show his worth, the same argument can be used for Young. Young's problem is that there's two guys blocking him with huge contacts instead of a fellow rookie (who admit ally has Torre's back).

2008-07-25 10:08:30
91.   KG16
78 - good move, trying to distract me with poker thoughts. though i should probably start actually working at some point.

i am intrigued by this sit n go you speak of.

2008-07-25 10:09:56
92.   Tripon
We could solve all of our problems if we just have Andruw Jones leading off. He'll get more at bats to figure out his swing, it'll show Torre has confidence in Andruw, and it'll make the rest of us fly into a murderous rage. That or cheer for that elusive six strike out game that we all so desperately need.
2008-07-25 10:11:16
93.   Bob Timmermann
In 1970, Bobby Bonds struck out 180 times as a leadoff hitter.

In 2006, Curtis Granderson and Grady Sizemore both struck out over 150 times as leadoff hitters.

2008-07-25 10:12:31
94.   regfairfield
I agree with Delwyn not being as bad as he's shown, but it's not like we're going to get way better if he starts. Delwyn Young is a lot like Matt Murton, he's a nice guy to have on your bench but if he's starting your team probably has some serious falaws.
2008-07-25 10:12:32
95.   PalmdaleSteve1

Do you actually expect the Dodgers to trade or even rent players to make a big push to win the West?

I see no indication that Parking Lot Frank needs to win and win big this year, or even next to force the Dodgers into getting aggressive in the trade market. Nope the song on Parking Lot Frank's lips is "Kids are Alright" least for now.

2008-07-25 10:14:22
96.   Tripon
95 More like the fear that Ned's has a week to screw up and trade away one of our better, younger players. For well, anything.
2008-07-25 10:18:05
97.   underdog
95 - I don't expect a huge trade, no, possibly something smaller from what I've heard. But when the deadline passes, without anything horribly stupid happening, I think most of us will breathe a sigh of relief, yah?
2008-07-25 10:18:36
98.   cargill06
does anyone know where i can get my hands on a chart of BA and Slugging against certain types of pitches compared to the league average?
2008-07-25 10:20:16
99.   cargill06
98 mostly wanted one for Kemp.
2008-07-25 10:21:35
100.   PalmdaleSteve1

To what end do you do a trade?

Mo Arms...Dodgers do arms pretty well now.

Mo Bats...Dodgers have had little offense this year and no signs of an offense showing up.

Going for a big Bat now shows me that Ned is trying to make a run to win the West this year, even if it means giving up one of the kids. Anything else is more of the same old Ned muddle of a mess based on "Hope and Change" astride a Unicorn.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-07-25 10:22:33
101.   Doctor
Baxter says this isn't his evaluation it's Torre's.
2008-07-25 10:27:54
102.   old dodger fan
More speculation from ESPN this am-Texeira to the D'Backs. I'm looking forward to August 1st.
2008-07-25 10:28:22
103.   GoBears
101. Yikes.

88/94. Yeah, so Young wouldn't set the house on fire, but it doesn't look like he'd be worse than Pierre. Add in that he should improve, while Pierre can only decline, and it's pretty obvious to me.

Save Pierre to PH and PR.

2008-07-25 10:29:44
104.   Bob Timmermann
Such a trade would decrease the number of "Conor Jackson going on audition" stories coming from Vin.
2008-07-25 10:32:47
105.   regfairfield
104 Fortunately Conor Jackson is the left fielder now.
2008-07-25 10:34:09
106.   Bob Timmermann
I cannot imagine that the DBacks could pry away Texeira without giving up Jackson though.

The Braves don't want Chad Tracy or Tony Clark.

2008-07-25 10:34:25
107.   Zak
I know a lot of people have been laid off and upset over the decline of The LA Times, but articles like the Baxter one are why I would not be bothered to pay for the Times anymore. The thing that really got to me was the convenient use of BA where necessary. I mean, that's just insulting to the readers. I'm sure a baseball writer in any kind of medium understands the limitations of BA. To use it to conveniently keep making a thin and flimsy argument is basically telling your readers that they are stupid and won't see through what he is writing about. Arghh!! I could go on but what's the point.

By the way Jon, great catch on the Easler quote.. "he's got everything". Indeed! And for Torre to throw out the "he knows how to lead off" line. Isn't that like saying his skills are craptastic? Like, "you're gonna love this girl I want to set you up with, she's not as good looking as Norbit's wife, but she's got a great personality".

2008-07-25 10:36:07
108.   Tripon
Who is Kevin Baxter? He's not the regular Dodgers or Angels beat writer. Was this a 'Special from the Times' type thing?
2008-07-25 10:36:36
109.   Neal Pollack
Are other MLB teams as regularly misinterpreted as the Dodgers? I don't understand the totemic power that Pierre has over the press and over Torre and over half the fan base. Seriously, it's like the guy is a master hypnotist.

Still, he'd be an improvement over Jones--if Torre would have the brains to bat him 8th.

Here we go again.

2008-07-25 10:39:46
110.   Zak
31 , 35

Most important skill for a leadoff hitter, according to Joe Torre

1. Know how to lead off.

Game, set and match, Mr. Pierre.

2008-07-25 10:40:25
111.   PalmdaleSteve1

"L.A. Times staff writer Kevin Baxter has spent the past two decades covering sports and Hispanic arts and culture. Co-author of the 2004 book "Miracle Over Miami: How the 2003 Marlins Shocked the World," he has reported from throughout Latin America for several publications including The Sporting News, The Nation, Baseball America and La Opinion. Prior to rejoining the Times, he worked for the Miami Herald."

Ahhh who was on the 2003 Marlins? Look for additional glowing reportage on Big Brad.

2008-07-25 10:47:39
112.   underdog
The story in the AZ Republic on DBack trade rumors seemed to downplay the Texeira rumblings, at least "officially."
2008-07-25 10:47:39
113.   Jon Weisman
108 - He's on the Times' baseball staff. He's the backup guy on the Dodgers, among other things, so that Dylan can have a day off between February and November.
2008-07-25 10:49:50
114.   ToyCannon
You are overestimating the level of the reader of the LA Times sports page. The people who read the LA Times sports page are the same people who go to the stadium. If you think the majority of people at the stadium don't think BA is still very important you have never spent any time talking to the average fan who inhabits the ballpark.

It is still a terrible article but hardly anyone who reads the article will recognize it as such. The idea that baseball fans are an enlightened bunch seems far fetched.

2008-07-25 10:51:58
115.   Tripon
It should be pointed out that Matt Kemp has a higher .BA over JP.
2008-07-25 10:57:17
116.   elandcohen
the times sports page, in the last 10 to 12 years has become almost unreadable. They try & push whatever agenda they have. They did/do the same thing whenever they mention Depo's tenure as GM. Somewhere Allen Malamud is rolling over in his grave
2008-07-25 10:57:59
117.   Eric Stephen
Dan Haren is 3-0 in his last four starts against the Giants, whom he will face this evening, with a 2.00 ERA over 27 IP.

However, the silver lining is that over his last 13 IP against SF, Haren has 7 walks against only 2 strikeouts.

Clearly, the Giants must thus be heavy favorites this evening to extend their own winning streak to four. :)

2008-07-25 10:59:35
118.   Eric Stephen
Strike that, my reading comprehension skills are poor at best. Those Haren stats are wrong, but the Giants will still win 9-4 tonight. Mark it down!
2008-07-25 11:04:52
119.   Kevin Lewis
So, can we all agree that given the situation with Jones, Pierre should be back in the lineup, but he should be batting 8th or 9th?
2008-07-25 11:08:52
120.   elandcohen
would anybody here trade Matt Kemp for Robinson Cano? Heyman's article seems to lend to the rumor that Logan White shoots down many of Ned's trades. Good bless Logan White, as Clayton Kershaw might already be in Tampa Bay
2008-07-25 11:09:27
121.   elandcohen
i meant God
2008-07-25 11:09:31
122.   cargill06
119 yes. 42
2008-07-25 11:09:55
123.   Eric Stephen
Chad Billingsley is 2-0 in two lifetime starts against Washington.

Nationals' starter John Lannan has never faced the Dodgers. I believe he was quoted as saying, "In my life I've never pitched at Dodger Stadium. I'm so excited, I called my mother. How do you sleep before a game like this? I'm glad I will get to pitch there, so I don't have to look back when I'm 64 and lament never pitching there. I would have been one jealous guy, and no woman would want to grow old with me." Before tonight, he has had to imagine what it's like to face them.

Asked where he would rather pitch than Dodger Stadium, Lannan replied, "Nowhere, man."

Although not in the field of medicine, Lannan was asked to comment on injured Nationals' OF Wily Mo Peña, whom Lannan described as "Crippled inside." Lannan is confident the outfielder will return, noting that with Peña's help, the club to come together next season.

2008-07-25 11:10:06
124.   Tripon
Yeah, but he's going bat leadoff. My only question is where Kemp is going to bat now, 4, 5, 6? Its possible he'll bat behind Normar, or Kent, pushing Loney who currently bats sixth to 7th.
2008-07-25 11:10:57
125.   dzzrtRatt
From Heyman's SI piece:

While some Dodgers people think Kemp still has some maturing to do, until further notice, I remain doubtful the Dodgers could execute a small deal, much less something that big.

How do these clauses fit together? The Dodgers' ability to execute a deal depends on Kemp's achieving maturity? Is he implying Kemp is in charge of trades? Or does Kemp's maturing process merely effect Heyman's consciousness of doubt?

If he had just written "I doubt the Dodgers can execute any deal," he would have been clearer and saved 22 words.

But lack of syntactical skill is probably to be expected from a writer who propounds the the bizarre notion that the Dodgers can only prove their front office's functionality by trading Kemp, their best or second-best hitter.

2008-07-25 11:13:59
126.   Tripon
123 I'm going to assume John Lannan is a Dodgers fan.
2008-07-25 11:16:08
127.   Eric Stephen
Negative. I should have said, "my sources tell me he was quoted as saying..."
2008-07-25 11:17:12
128.   GoBears
119 So, can we all agree that given the situation with Jones, Pierre should be back in the lineup, but he should be batting 8th or 9th?

Nope. I want Young in there. I recognize that the difference would be small, but I think it would be greater than zero (in the right direction).

2008-07-25 11:17:25
129.   LoneStar7
whats the league average OPS for left fielders this year.
2008-07-25 11:19:36
130.   old dodger fan
John Lannan:
In his debut, behind 3-2 with one out in the fifth inning, Lannan hit Chase Utley with a fastball (breaking Utley's hand) and then hit Ryan Howard on the next pitch, whereupon umpire Hunter Wendelstedt immediately ejected Lannan from the game; Lannan was the first Major Leaguer in a decade to be tossed from his debut.

Above from Wikipedia

2008-07-25 11:19:57
131.   68elcamino427
Juan Pierre is paid $8,000,000.00 this season.

Andruw Jones is paid $14,000,000.00 this season.

Matt Kemp is paid $400,000.00 this season.

Do the salaries need to justify the playing time or does the playing time need to justify the salaries?

Jon, your great article above demonstrates again that logic and common sense are not the determining factors regarding this issue.

It will be interesting to see who is in the starting line-up tonight.

2008-07-25 11:20:21
132.   Eric Stephen
NL LF: .266/.346/.450
MLB LF: .266/.342/.438
2008-07-25 11:22:09
133.   Eric Stephen
Lannan was the first Major Leaguer in a decade to be tossed from his debut

Instant Karma?

2008-07-25 11:25:34
134.   GoBears
123 If that's a quote, the thing that most impresses me is the use of the word "lament."

Heck, even if that's a journalistic fabrication, I'm impressed.

2008-07-25 11:26:28
135.   bigcpa
Aside from making the playoffs, all I wanted from this season was 2 things:

1) Andruw Jones to displace Pierre from the starting lineup and hopefully from the team.

2) Andy LaRoche to win the 3B job out of spring training and maintain the job all year.

This season is playing out like the 1 percentile PECOTA projection for these two things.

2008-07-25 11:28:34
136.   Kevin Lewis

Well, I agree with that. I guess I should have clarified by saying, since Torre is going to play Pierre no matter what...

2008-07-25 11:29:28
137.   JL25and3
114 The idea that baseball fans are an enlightened bunch seems far fetched.

Baseball fans...or the rest of the world, for that matter.

2008-07-25 11:32:14
138.   Bob Timmermann
So who is baseball's Voltaire?

I aim to be Baseball Toaster's David Hume.

2008-07-25 11:38:16
139.   underdog
133 That pitcher is nobody I know. But maybe he's better than just your typical fool on the hill. I'll just be glad all over if the Dodgers win, is all. Anytime at all, Dodgers, don't let me down.
2008-07-25 11:40:24
140.   PalmdaleSteve1

George Will does pretty good at the role, ignoring his politics, but heck of a commentator on baseball.

2008-07-25 11:40:59
141.   Sam DC
Your Washington Nationals - 0 fer 7 against the Giants this season.

Hopefully they'll do their duty against the Dodgers this weekend.

Lannan's a likeable young pitcher, but no ace.

Bob is pumped for Bergmannnnnnnnn tomorrow I am sure.

2008-07-25 11:41:39
142.   Terry A
140 - If George Will still has a mancrush on Tony LaRussa, I think he should be removed from further consideration.
2008-07-25 11:41:42
143.   Sam DC
(Bergmann = Sunday, actually)
2008-07-25 11:42:28
144.   El Lay Dave
126 134 I feel old.
2008-07-25 11:43:08
145.   Tangled Up in Blue
I love this from Rosenthal in his article about the Rockies being possible buyers at the deadline:

"The second-place Dodgers passed on acquiring CC Sabathia, Casey Blake and Jamey Carroll, a deal that could have won them the division."

Apparently the Dodgers just lost the division. How does he get away with stuff like this?

2008-07-25 11:45:26
146.   underdog
The best things are: a) Getting CC and the others would certainly help, but this is not considering who they would've lost to get him/them. Two steps forward, two steps back. And b) They can sign CC in the off season and then who cares?

Rosenthal is literally a broken record.

2008-07-25 11:48:02
147.   GoBears
A little philosophy of science:

If your assumptions are correct, and your logic is valid, then your conclusions MUST be true.

If either your assumptions are wrong, OR your logic is invalid, then you'd be very lucky to reach the correct conclusions, and you most likely will not.

If your assumptions are wrong AND your logic is invalid, however, you're qualified to be a baseball GM. Or maybe even a sportswriter for a major newspaper.

The argument for Juan Pierre over Matt Kemp reminds me of the argument used by President Hirohito of the Chimpokomon Company.

Probably NSFW: Forward to the 6:40 mark.

2008-07-25 11:48:27
148.   68elcamino427
*Yeah ... be careful with a fool ...
you know someday he may get smart*
2008-07-25 11:50:26
149.   natepurcell
Just curious...Austin Gallagher or Andrew Lambo?

Gallagher plays in a easier League to hit in but he is facing more advanced pitching. He is around 3-4 years younger than average age for the league.

*230 AB 326/372/522 34XBHs 18bb 56k

Meanwhile, Lambo dwells in one of the toughest hitting environments in the minors but is facing less advanced competition. He is around 2-3 years younger than the average age in the league.

365 AB 293/351/490 42XBHs 32bb 86k

Both bat left-handed, both project basically to LF, and both are pretty big boys with Gallagher 6'5 220lb probably and Lambo at 6'3 200lb or so.

You choose!

2008-07-25 11:51:53
150.   cargill06
144 146 what's a broken record?

like when bonds passed aaron last year?

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-07-25 11:52:53
151.   GoBears
144 Ah. John Lannan. Got it. I ignored the name first time through, and didn't think too hard about why Eric was going nuts with the bold widget.


Still, someone gets credit for using "lament" in a sentence. I'll give it to Eric.

2008-07-25 11:55:47
152.   Tripon
149 They are both traded for Casey Blake.
2008-07-25 11:59:08
153.   Ken Noe
145 I'm a Virginia Tech grad/fan. For years, sportswriters have hammered Coach Frank Beamer for his usually soft out-of-conference schedule (not next year, but that's another story). Big marquee matchups are great for fans, networks, and sportswriters, but not so great if you need to go 12-0 to make the National Championship. The same deal operates here. Rosenthal, Heyman, et al aren't interested in what's best for the Dodgers. They need storylines, and in baseball, big trades are equivalent to the Hokies playing LSU. And as with Coach Beamer, they get mad when no one delivers. Read enough Rosenthal and you see that he's just furious that the Dodgers won't swing a big deal--because big deals are what gets people to click on his column.
2008-07-25 11:59:13
154.   Eric Stephen
Woo hoo! I was lamenting not getting credit for that. :)

But GoTrojans. Sorry.

2008-07-25 12:00:59
155.   cargill06
For reporting that yesterday the Pirates wanted Kemp, Billingsley, and another prospect for Wilson this is actually one of the more sensible resposes I've seen regarding the Dodgers;

Gerry Upland Ca: What do the Dodgers have to do to pass the D-backs in the West....Trade for a Bat or a Pitcher? any chance we can get Tex from Atl?

Jayson Stark: I get the sense the Dodgers are more focused on a bat than an arm, even a bullpen arm. Their problem is that they have no place to put that bat except third base or short. So outside of Casey Blake or maybe Blalock, there isn't much to choose from. The Braves would love to deal them Teixeira for James Loney. But I see just about zero chance of that one happening. The Dodgers still like Loney too much, and they'd have him for four more years.

2008-07-25 12:01:42
156.   trainwreck
How do scouts rate their tools?
2008-07-25 12:02:21
157.   Bob Timmermann
How do you do?
2008-07-25 12:03:16
158.   natepurcell

I really don't know, I don't see much talk/coverage about them.

2008-07-25 12:03:23
159.   Mike De Leon
41. Gradually, the old school baseball types are being phased out I think but it wont totally be driven out till the casual fans become more educated, or the entities that are educating them (ESPN, Baseball Tonight, Mainstream Media) becomes more educated.

You actually think the 'new' breed of GM are better than the 'old' baseball types like Branch Rickey, who considered OBP the most important hitting stat, or Buzzy Bavasi or Al Campanis? There isn't a GM around that I wouldn't trade for one of those 3. It's not a new vs. old argument. The fact is that deN has no idea what he's looking at if/when he looks at any research on a player so he can have all the info in the world his analysis is just wrong if he can evaluate it at all.

2008-07-25 12:05:02
160.   Eric Stephen
I will never tire of that phrase. I promise you.
2008-07-25 12:07:44
161.   Tripon
Can we clone Branch Rickey and hire him?
2008-07-25 12:10:08
162.   KG16
130 - I don't care if he's good, but could we swing a deal for him? without ever seeing him pitch, i like this guy.
2008-07-25 12:10:36
163.   KG16
161 - only if we don't let him on nightline after being up for three days straight.
2008-07-25 12:12:58
164.   Tripon
162 Lannan's actually has a better ERA over His Royal Thingness
2008-07-25 12:13:24
165.   Eric Stephen
Branch Rickey ≠ Al Campanis
2008-07-25 12:14:59
166.   Bob Timmermann
Branch Rickey was a great baseball mind. That said, I think he would awful in today's baseball world.

Rickey is a little too 19th Centuryish for most people's tastes. Most of his good ideas (specifically training methods and statistical evaluation of players) have already been adopted by every team.

After Rickey left the Dodgers in 1950, he didn't fare so well. Somehow the 1964 Cardinals won the World Series despite Rickey's best attempts to ruin the team and front office.

2008-07-25 12:20:46
167.   cargill06
164 Lannan's FIP is 4.51 though... time for his luck to turn around.
2008-07-25 12:21:01
168.   Harold M Johnson
I'm new to this site, but does anyone here think there's a trade the Dodgers can make that will make them better then the Cubs, Mets, Phillies, or Brewers?

And if not, what's the point of trading right now?

We have major, major needs both this year and next, at 2B, SS, and possibly 3B and P.

I don't want to just make the playoffs, and go out with a whimper like we have so many times since 1988. I want to win the series, and that's a 2-3 year project that only works by holding on to our young talent.

The only confounding issue is that the free-agent market looks a little dry next year.

2008-07-25 12:26:01
169.   GoBears
159. It's kind of apples and oranges. While it might be true that Rickey et al. were better at player evaluation than most of the current bozos, the current bozos are operating in a much more complex environment. Free agency, a worldwide talent pool, 30 MLB teams, luxury tax, and, for better or worse, a 24-hour, internet-fueled news cycle.

I'm not saying that Branch Rickey couldn't have handled it all with aplomb - I'm saying we don't and can't know.

I think finding the perfect GM is sort of like finding an Ace pitcher who can also hit. The reason most pitchers can't hit is that very few people can hit, and very few people can pitch, and the overlap of those set is teeny.

A modern GM has to be good at more things than was true 50-70 years ago. The number of people who are good at all of them is vanishingly small. Billy Beane is in an exclusive club. The only exceptions to the "has to be" that I can think of are guys whose owners give them carte blanche, or nearly so. We don't actually know if Brian Cashman is a good GM - he's allowed to make lots of expensive mistakes.

2008-07-25 12:30:53
170.   GoBears
168. Welcome! And I agree, except for the 3b part. The job just needs to go to LaRoche.
2008-07-25 12:33:08
171.   Bob Timmermann
Rickey was in some ways like Beane in that he was able to exploit market inefficiencies in order to parlay his small budget into making his team a contender.

When Rickey took over the Cardinals, the team was horrible. It hadn't contended at all in the 20th Century.

Rickey started off by finding very good scouts who were able to find some hidden gems. But then teams like the Giants caught on to what he was doing, so they would just shadows his scouts and then just offer the player more money to sign.

So Rickey then decided to go and create the farm system and just go with a plan to sign a whole bunch of cheap players and control them indefinitely and train them the way he wanted them. He didn't have to worry about signing bonuses then. And with no antitrust laws or even rules against owning multiples team in one league, the Cardinals were able to control around 600 players at a time.

2008-07-25 12:39:32
172.   Tripon
Dodger Scouting Guru Logan White reports that they have signed #11 selection LHP Nathan Eovaldi from Alvin high school in Texas. "I'm excited we signed Eovaldi," he told us. "He has a quality arm. We have had him up to 96 [on the gun,]".

That gives them 14 of their first 15 picks and 15 of 18.

White also mentioned that they would not sign #10 - RHP Chris Joyce out of Dos Pueblos high school, Goleta, CA. He had mentioned earlier that he was skeptical about signing either of the two high school youngsters.

On the International front, White signed RHP Yohanse Morillo from the Dominican Republic. White reported he is very is projectable and loose with a 86-90 with a fair breaking ball. "His arm action and delivery is pretty good for a young kid" he said.

2008-07-25 12:41:12
173.   bhsportsguy
172 You would think Texas would have drafted him just because of where he went to school.
2008-07-25 12:41:23
174.   KG16
165 - obviously, I'm the one who has been up for three days straight.

don't let me on tv

2008-07-25 12:44:43
175.   Bob Timmermann
Sad news:

Esteban Loaiza was released by the White Sox.

2008-07-25 12:45:25
176.   willhite
The word is out that McCourt is not happy with attendance and revenues this year.

The word is out that McCourt has blocked at least one deal which would have added to payroll and sent some of the kids away.

The words is out that Logan White seems to have a lot of influence on McCourt.

Seems to me Logan is already half way into the GM chair. Logan's ideas on players and Frank's ideas on what he would like to spend should be a perfect match.

2008-07-25 12:46:47
177.   KG16
being a GM is a lot like running any big organization. it comes down to trusting the people around you enough to delegate responsibilities and giving a good press conference. set a policy and trust the baseball people to make baseball decisions based on said policy. if they don't, fire them and hire someone who will make decisions based on said policy.

and of course, having the right policy helps.

2008-07-25 12:47:25
178.   KG16
175 - odds of an old friend becoming a new friend?
2008-07-25 12:50:53
179.   Eric Stephen
odds of an old friend becoming a new friend?

2008-07-25 12:52:16
180.   KG16
179 - well played sir, well played.
2008-07-25 12:58:27
181.   berkowit28
166 "After Rickey left the Dodgers in 1950, he didn't fare so well. Somehow the 1964 Cardinals won the World Series despite Rickey's best attempts to ruin the team and front office. "

What would Rickey have had to do with the 1964 Cardinals? He left the Cardinals in 1942, to come to Brooklyn. When he left the Dodgers in 1950, he became GM of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Then he died, in 1955. (Agreed, the Pirates didn't seem to do too well, though they had recovered well enough by 1960 to win the WS.)

By 1964, how do you think that his years at the Cardinals from 1920-42 would be relevant? The Cardinals had already won the WS in 1942, Rickey's last year, 1944, and 1946. What's 1964 got to do with him at all? I'm just not following.

2008-07-25 13:01:43
182.   silverwidow
172 Eovaldi is a RHP.
2008-07-25 13:03:26
183.   bhsportsguy
181 Luckily, Jon frowns on quoting other blogs.

And Rickey died in 1965.

2008-07-25 13:03:56
184.   Bob Timmermann
In 1964, August Busch hired Rickey to be a "special advisor." Rickey spent much of the time second-guessing GM Bing Devine, who was actually doing a great job of assembling talent for the team.

However, in August, the Cardinals were still trailing the Phillies and Rickey pretty much told Busch that Devine had to go. So Devine was fired and replaced by Rickey disciple Bob Howsam. Cardinals manager Johnny Keane was so ticked off by the firing of Devine that he decided to quit at the end of the season.

The Sporting News ended up naming Divine Executive of the Year for 1964 despite his firing.

Branch Rickey died in 1965, not 1955. He died one day before I was born.

2008-07-25 13:04:16
185.   underdog
172 I had a feeling about Joyce; have a friend of a friend of a friend connection to their family and sounded like he was pretty close to definite on wanting to go to college. He'll probably develop into a great pitcher in college in a couple of years.
2008-07-25 13:04:25
186.   bhsportsguy
183 When you type in the search terms "Branch Rickey consultant cardinals," The Griddle is among the first hits you get.
2008-07-25 13:05:52
187.   bhsportsguy
184 I out Timmermanned Timmermann.
2008-07-25 13:11:23
188.   willhite
Branch Rickey died in 1965, not 1955. He died one day before I was born.

Bob Timmermann - Branch Rickey reincarnate

2008-07-25 13:12:49
189.   Bob Timmermann
I'm going to let my eyebrows grow out.

A lot.

2008-07-25 13:15:20
190.   willhite
189 -

Once you do that, maybe Frank will hire you to succeed Ned, for old time's sake.

I have a trade to propose:
Zell sells the Cubs to Mark Cuban and then Cuban trades the Cubs to McCourt for the Dodgers.

Boy would I like to see what Mark Cuban would do with an L.A. team ------ any L.A. team.

2008-07-25 13:17:32
191.   Ken Noe
Branch Rickey, albeit dead, would still be a better GM than many teams have. Had McCourt hired the dead Rickey instead of the living Colletti, for example, Pierre, Sweeney, and Schmidt would be Giants, Jones would be somebody else's bust, and I never would have noticed Gary Bennett. Of course we wouldn't have Ethier, but Bradley is playing pretty well. No, I submit the LA would in fact have a better record with Dead Hall of Famer in charge.
2008-07-25 13:20:40
192.   willhite
191 -

Would you care to expand upon that notion and hire the dead Walter Alston to replace the live Joe Torre?

2008-07-25 13:23:21
193.   Alex41592
The Jeff Samardzija era has begun in Chicago. He's on the mound.
2008-07-25 13:24:38
194.   Bob Timmermann
Many Dodgers players of the 1970s would tell you that Alston was already dead.

For a guy who had a lot of success, his players certainly didn't respect him much. Do you ever hear many of the old Dodgers ever speaking well of Alston?

2008-07-25 13:25:17
195.   Bob Timmermann
Fess up - Cut and paste?
2008-07-25 13:25:49
196.   Alex41592
195 - Absolutely.
2008-07-25 13:26:19
197.   Bob Timmermann
There's no shame in that.
2008-07-25 13:29:23
198.   sporky
My accomplishment of the day: I learned how to spell Samardzija.

I don't think it'll be particularly useful, though.

2008-07-25 13:29:29
199.   GoBears
Yeah, I've heard Garvey speak well of Alston. Of course, it could have been "PR-mode" Garvey.
2008-07-25 13:30:18
200.   underdog
Can we use "samardzija" in Scrabulous?
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-07-25 13:31:05
201.   underdog
199 Isn't he usually in that mode? Even when I was a kid, I swear, Garvey used to make me wonder if he was a robot from "Westworld."
2008-07-25 13:31:53
202.   PalmdaleSteve1

Given that it was Garvey, was it a paid speaking engagement and any one of his numerous creditors was there to intercept the check?

2008-07-25 13:33:27
203.   Bob Timmermann
The guys sitting behind me at Notre Dame Stadium when Samardzija broke my heart had SNL-like Chicago accents and hearing them say his name actually made the pain worth it.
2008-07-25 13:33:54
204.   Alex41592
And he's got his first M.L blown save.
2008-07-25 13:35:11
205.   KG16
190 - when was the last time that owners traded teams? not that i'd have a problem with Mark Cuban owning the Dodgers. I'd also like him to own the Chargers and move them to the LA area. but babysteps.
2008-07-25 13:35:19
206.   Strike4
In Diamond Leung's posting last night about Matt Kemp, he included this, "...the 6-foot-2, 230-pound former basketball player nicknamed "Bison" has got talent." Has this DT nickname been picked up by the mass media now? Given this much DT influence, maybe we could get "Eighth Batter" adopted for Juan Pierre.
2008-07-25 13:35:55
207.   trainwreck
Samardzija has had an interesting minor league career. I still think he should have gone with football.
2008-07-25 13:36:33
208.   trainwreck
No Chargers in LA!
2008-07-25 13:37:45
209.   GoBears
201. Fair enough.
202. No, it was an interview of some sort.

205. I remember the owners of the Celtics and Buffalo Braves trading teams. The Braves were then moved out here to become the Clippers.

Wait - was it the Celtics? That doesn't seem right, given Red Auerbach's continuity with the team, but that's how I remember it.

2008-07-25 13:39:29
210.   KG16
208 - but they'd be going home, like the Raiders.
2008-07-25 13:39:32
211.   LogikReader

Nope, you're right! So does that mean the Clippers won the NBA Championship this year?

2008-07-25 13:40:01
212.   GoBears
208. Why the heck not? You still hoping for a Raiders return?

For me, the Raiders in LA thing always seemed weird, and the return to Oakland seemed right.
Not that anything Al Davis does should seem correct, but the Raiders should be in Oakland.

2008-07-25 13:40:06
213.   Bob Timmermann
No, it was the Celtics and Braves. Irv Levin, owned the Celtics, and swapped them with John Y. Brown of the Braves. Levin then took the Braves to San Diego.

The rest was history.

2008-07-25 13:40:37
214.   Tripon
Samardzija went for the easy money.
2008-07-25 13:41:18
215.   Fallout
Re: Kevin Baxter's article
Even from my viewpoint (what is a Bill James?) the article seemed gratuitous toward Pierre and even irrational.
2008-07-25 13:41:40
216.   trainwreck
I can't hate a team from Los Angeles (Angels don't count). Besides, I am sure no one in LA wanted the Chargers until a couple years ago.
2008-07-25 13:41:48
217.   GoBears
I liked those old Buffalo Braves teams. Bob McAdoo and Randy uh, Randy Smith? Mostly I liked it when they beat the Celtics.
2008-07-25 13:44:02
218.   GoBears
216. I'm sure you're wrong about that. But mostly, I think Angelenos don't care. That's what the DirecTV NFL Package is for.
2008-07-25 13:44:39
219.   Bob Timmermann
Smith made it out to San Diego, but McAdoo had been sent to the Knicks prior to the move.
2008-07-25 13:44:58
220.   trainwreck
The Jaguars should move to LA. Jacksonville is the worst city to hold a professional sports team. Plus, MJD and Marcedes could return home.

I guess Del Rio too.

2008-07-25 13:46:19
221.   trainwreck
Well I can tell you my experience in SB at least. All of a sudden when the Chargers became good, all the bars in downtown SB suddenly became Charger bars and put Charger stuff up everywhere. Drove me nuts.
2008-07-25 13:47:22
222.   willhite
Didn't Carroll Rosenblum basically trade the Colts to Robert Irsay for the Rams in the early 70's?
2008-07-25 13:47:43
223.   underdog
220 - That could very well happen. Jacksonville is an abandoned city waiting to happen, and I've heard horrible things about their owner (who insists he's not moving them but apparently is asking around anyway, according to some other owners). So it's a definite possibility. Any league that has a team in a tiny market like Jax and no team in the 2nd largest market is really screwing themselves over. But it would be too bad for LA to get a franchise owned by such a jerk. Not that they haven't had that before..
2008-07-25 13:48:13
224.   tethier
Given that JP will be activated any minute now, who will lose their spot? Is Berroa gone, or will they send Troncoso down now that they've escaped Denver?

FWIW, once Pierre is back I see Ethier to the bench. He seems to be the odd man out, especially with stories of Jones starting to have quality at bats. If Jones does turn it around great - we'll still be faced with Pierre over Ethier though. No matter what Pierre does, within reason, Torre wil continue to trot him out there.

I haven't seen Mark Sweeney mentioned lately, but what do we do with him? Can't they see there is really no place for him on this team as long as Young and LaRoche are around?

2008-07-25 13:48:36
225.   underdog
221 We share a common bond in hatred of all things Chargers.
2008-07-25 13:49:17
226.   KG16
221 - funny, same thing happened with Orange County bars when the Angels got good.
2008-07-25 13:49:24
227.   TheDictator
Re: Dayton Dragons

I was at the game last night where the "incident" occurred. I just want to say that I hope that the umpires get reprimanded along with all the players involved. The umps should have had better control of this situation. Of course this is A Ball and I try to remember that.

I have had the pleasure of watching Homer Bailey, Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, etc. play in Dayton as a Dragon. It is always fun to see players make it to the Reds from Dayton.

However, I will have to admit I am not as excited to see any of this crew make it. Of course this is really unfair to them b/c in my opinion this situation was one that could have been avoided by all sides (and I mean all three parties involved). I think I have lost a little of the fun involved in minor league baseball.

Just thinking in writing I guess. So take it for what it is worth.

2008-07-25 13:49:56
228.   Bob Timmermann
But the Chargers are an L.A. team! We had 'em first!
2008-07-25 13:49:56
229.   trainwreck
I heard Weaver was also looking around to sell team.
2008-07-25 13:49:58
230.   MollyKnight
Totally OT but: It turns out I am now a Rams fan. I say this because I am guessing there are probably many others on this board.

Last year I decided to be a Cowboys fan in training camp. It worked out shockingly well for them until Jessica Simpson got involved.

2008-07-25 13:50:29
231.   Alex41592
When the Marlins traded Juan Pierre to Chicago they got Sergio Metre, Renyel Pinto and Ricky Nolasco.

The Marlins know what they're doing.

2008-07-25 13:51:25
232.   KG16
230 - just goes to show, tony romo should have picked you over jessica.

i'd have picked you over jessica

2008-07-25 13:51:33
233.   trainwreck
The Raiders granted KTLA more coverage than any other news group during training camp last couple of days.

Al clearly considers LA to still be his.

2008-07-25 13:51:46
234.   Bob Timmermann
D4P will become your biggest supporter. Please phrase anything you say about the NFL with this preface: "Bill Belichick is a cheating bum..."
2008-07-25 13:53:16
235.   blue22
230 - Better the Rams than the Cowboys. When do the 49ers get a turn?
2008-07-25 13:53:29
236.   trainwreck
I was at a bar in Newport and the bartender refused to turn on the Giants vs Dodgers for me.
2008-07-25 13:54:00
237.   trainwreck
How long were they in LA?
2008-07-25 13:55:36
238.   Prescott Pete
I was a huge Rams fan since the sixties. Now I hope they never win another game.
2008-07-25 13:56:51
239.   PalmdaleSteve1

I wonder if the CA Department of Corrections has special Raiders coverage, seems there is a special relationship there.

2008-07-25 14:00:51
240.   trainwreck
We aren't bad in that category anymore. I think McFadden is the only one with any kind of arrest record.

We do have the biggest jerk in the league in DeAngelo Hall though.

2008-07-25 14:01:35
241.   sporky
236 I was at a bar in Newport and I had to grovel to the bartender to turn on the Dodgers game for me (even though the Angels weren't playing that night).
2008-07-25 14:02:28
242.   berkowit28
184 Ooops, well that explains that then. Somehow (reading too fast) I conflated his retiring from the Pirates in 1955 with his dying in 1965. (There wasn't anything in between in the mini-bio I was reading.) I'd actually been wondering if maybe you meant 1946 rather than 1964, except the Cardinals won the WS in '46 so that didn't make sense either. Do the Cardinals one year before you were born have more weight for you than all those earlier Cardinals and Dodgers teams? (And even the Pirates seemed to pick up.)
2008-07-25 14:02:33
243.   Fallout
238 Prescott Pete
You have a pretty good genie.
2008-07-25 14:04:11
244.   sporky
Chris (TX): Odds of Andy LaRoche being traded?

Joe Sheehan: 50/50. I have no read on the Dodgers. I'm not sure the Dodgers have a read on the Dodgers.

2008-07-25 14:05:50
245.   Who Is Karim Garcia

No way DeAngelo Hall is the biggest jerk in the league. Not even close.

T.O, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, Shockey...

2008-07-25 14:07:35
246.   D4P
Molly's probably too young to remember the time the Patriots cheated the Rams out of that Super Bowl.

Let me provide her a brief summary of the events.

The Patriots cheated, and won the game.


2008-07-25 14:09:48
247.   Prescott Pete
Not really, I'm a AZ Cards fan now.
2008-07-25 14:10:49
248.   trainwreck
Cough...tuck rule...cough
2008-07-25 14:12:46
249.   underdog
Unhappy (Training) Campers, a list:

#1: Aaron Rodgers.

2008-07-25 14:16:54
250.   Eric Stephen
As a Raider fan, there was nothing worse than seeing the unbeatable Rams lose, because it increased the "it should have been [us]" part of my brain.

At least the U2 halftime show was the greatest ever.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-07-25 14:18:07
251.   GoBears
Yeah, this whole Favre unretirement thing has finally exposed the fragility of my combination of lifelong Packer-fandom and loyalty to my alma mater.

You're killing me, Bret. Just stay retired!

2008-07-25 14:18:47
252.   Eric Stephen
I also officially exonerated any and all involved with the tuck rule, during this year's NBA playoffs right after the Fisher non-foul of Brent Barry.
2008-07-25 14:20:04
253.   Jon Weisman
I am at Carney's. That is all.
2008-07-25 14:20:34
254.   D4P
Premature exoneration. Fisher's shot hit the rim shortly before that incident.
2008-07-25 14:21:42
255.   unlazy4sports
250 - Raiders would've gotten whooped by the Rams that year. They didn't have a Belicheck to hire someone to spy on scrimmages, which included Martz's new red zone plays.
2008-07-25 14:22:52
256.   Eric Stephen
I have no problems with how the Lakers won that game. Their performance stands on it's own merits.

However, the feeling of winning that game made me finally at peace, the yin to the tuck rule's yang, if you will.

2008-07-25 14:23:08
257.   Ken Noe
Johnny-come-lately's. I've despised Belichek since he cut Bernie Kosar.
2008-07-25 14:29:54
258.   KG16
241 - why did i have this feeling that you were not yet old enough to be in a bar?
2008-07-25 14:30:58
259.   Disabled List
253 I am now very jealous. That is all.
2008-07-25 14:31:30
260.   LogikReader

Studio City or the one on Sunset?


I wish LA would just admit that the Raiders don't play there anymore. I'm sick of CBS shoving Raider games up our throat. Unfortunately, the ratings prove it's the "best move".

2008-07-25 14:33:01
261.   MollyKnight
Jonathan Broxton's got nothing on Orlando Pace. He is the largest gentleman I have ever seen. Also, people are freaking out about Stephen Jackson's no-show. Fans are asking me if I know what is going on, as if I've been invested in the Rams for more than five minutes. People are upset!! Drama already!! Where is RamsThoughts when I need it?
2008-07-25 14:33:55
262.   Disabled List
I can't believe there are people in LA/OC who are still fans of the Raiders and Rams. They moved! They stabbed you in the back! And in the face, heart, lungs, and throat! They're somebody else's team now. You're a free agent fan, pick another team.
2008-07-25 14:35:49
263.   regfairfield
262 Because you're already invested in the team. I like a lot of the guys on the Dodgers, am I suddenly supposed to stop caring about Andrew Lambo if the team moves?
2008-07-25 14:36:09
264.   D4P
Depo and the Padres have launched "The Padre Channel".
2008-07-25 14:37:35
265.   Disabled List
263 You'd stop caring about Andrew Lambo if he somehow devastated you personally and went to another franchise.
2008-07-25 14:38:04
266.   trainwreck
The Raiders never have a call go there way. The Lakers always have the call go there way.
2008-07-25 14:40:02
267.   trainwreck
Yeesh, their.
2008-07-25 14:41:11
268.   underdog
266 {cough} Their {cough}

Heh. I still have a friend of mine since childhood, a Raiders fan, who will still say "Rob Lytle fumbled" in that controversial play in the 1977 AFC championship game even though we were both only 6 and 7!

2008-07-25 14:45:24
269.   unlazy4sports
261 - No RamThoughts, but there's a mailing list called Rampagers. BTW for the Rams fans in here, if you're looking for a place to watch games, shoot me an email to my gmail acct under the same handle. I've been watching the games with pretty much the same group of people since I turned 21..
2008-07-25 14:48:02
270.   unlazy4sports
262 - I look at it like this. Say you had a nasty divorce and your wife got full custody of the children and took them away, are you going to stop loving your kids? That's how I view the Rams. The name and logo are the kids and you know who is the * that took them away.
2008-07-25 14:53:38
271.   delias man
I am confused now - Is JP coming today or tomorrow?
2008-07-25 14:54:10
272.   Prescott Pete
You Ram fans need a Deacon Jones head slap!

(just kidding)

2008-07-25 14:54:55
273.   Zak
270 I look at it as anyone who loves a sports team as much as their kids = *
2008-07-25 14:59:12
274.   Bob Timmermann
The Raiders have never had a call go their way?

The ghost of Tommy Prothro will come down tonight and bring up the Holy Roller.
That play was even more farcical than The Play.

2008-07-25 14:59:50
275.   D4P
Deacon Jones: yet another ignominious "Cheap Seats" star.

2008-07-25 15:01:04
276.   trainwreck
Legal play at the time.
2008-07-25 15:01:48
277.   Zak
I just heard Jim Bowden on the radio - this man should walk around with a warning around his neck stating how dumb he is. He is going along nicely, surprising me with how it makes more sense to get Tex as a rental and how it doesn't make sense for the Dodgers. SO far so good... until Mason/Ireland ("MI") asked him what he thought about baseball in Olympics and if we should have baseball in Olympics and if ML players should go.

I almost fell out of my car when I heard his response. In the history of the world I have not heard so much stupidity. First he said, yes, baseball should be played everywhere as much as possible and it should be part of the Olympics. OK, fine, now, should MLers be part of it. He said yes, but they can't disturb the ML schedule, so they should play in November. Now, MI started laughing.. audibly and pointedly. They asked him if the whole SUMMER Olympics should be moved to November. And Bowden dropped this gem on them... No, they should play the Olympics and work out with the IOC to let the baseball event be held in November. This, of course, made MI laugh even louder.

I can't imagine what Bowden was thinking. Is he really that stupid? I thought he just played stupid on TV.

2008-07-25 15:01:56
278.   sporky
258 It must be the squee-ing.
2008-07-25 15:02:23
279.   Zak
He also pretty much said that if the Dodgers gave up DeJesus, they could have had Rauch instead of Zona.
2008-07-25 15:03:13
280.   Disabled List
I was a huge Raider fan until they moved. I was surprised how easy it was for me to become a Raider-hater.

And yes, if the Dodgers moved, I would cease having any allegiance to them. And I don't even live in LA anymore.

2008-07-25 15:04:15
281.   Bob Timmermann
Those were illegal forward passes, not fumbles.
2008-07-25 15:05:12
282.   MollyKnight
Oh, I will be at Raiders and Niners camp next week.

And I'll give Matt Leinart DodgerThoughts' regards on Sunday.

2008-07-25 15:05:21
283.   Marty
If the Dodgers left town, we could then all talk about where to build the new downtown stadium that will lure a new team here. That would be fun.
2008-07-25 15:05:36
284.   trainwreck
Well I am just going off what NFL Network said. They said they changed the rule because of that game. I am no expert in games from the 70's.
2008-07-25 15:06:14
285.   trainwreck
Sweeeet! Give us the down low on how crazy our organization is.
2008-07-25 15:07:03
286.   Bob Timmermann
I saw it live.

And I was angry.

And now a bitter wound has been reopened.

To the obelisk!

2008-07-25 15:07:10
287.   Tripon
277 By that logic, they should just move baseball to the winter games.
2008-07-25 15:08:45
288.   Eric Stephen
Tell Matt thanks from me personally.
2008-07-25 15:08:46
289.   skybluestoday


Burger? Chinese Chicken Wrap? Thai Wrap? Gardenburger?

2008-07-25 15:09:41
290.   Prescott Pete
282 Make sure you bring rain gear for Flag.
2008-07-25 15:09:46
291.   trainwreck
If only I could make a rolling eyes facial expression.
2008-07-25 15:10:24
292.   Eric Stephen
Oh no, not the obelisk! For trainwreck or Banaszak/Casper?
2008-07-25 15:10:31
293.   Bob Timmermann
Who will flame out of the NFL first:

a) Matt Leinart
b) Brady Quinn
c) Brett Favre

2008-07-25 15:10:51
294.   regfairfield
Bowden would rather have a legit prospect than a guy who doesn't seem to do anything well? News to me.
2008-07-25 15:10:58
295.   Eric Stephen
I tried to make that as sappy as possible. :)
2008-07-25 15:11:10
296.   Bob Timmermann
Ken Stabler mostly.

I always hated him.

2008-07-25 15:11:49
297.   Tripon
Matt Leinart. The Cards are looking for a reason to dump his butt.
2008-07-25 15:12:01
298.   Eric Stephen
Interesting choice of words, Bob. I say Favre-Quinn-Leinart, but sadly there won't be much distance between them.
2008-07-25 15:12:35
299.   Dodgers49
51s prevail in 10th on Lindsey's blast

>> • NOTES -- Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre was 1-for-4 and played nine innings in his second rehab start for Las Vegas. ... <<

2008-07-25 15:12:57
300.   cargill06
wow i just watched a few of troy from WV tapes, dude has issues.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-07-25 15:13:35
301.   Neal Pollack
Oh my god. It's going to happen. They're going to bench Ethier and/or Kemp. The Black Hole will return.
2008-07-25 15:15:26
302.   trainwreck
I think Quinn will be better than Leinart. Leinart has bad footwork and fundamentals. I think Sanchez and Barkley will be better QBs in the NFL.

If they don't get hurt.

2008-07-25 15:16:39
303.   still bevens
299 Juan-for-four indeed.
2008-07-25 15:20:10
304.   Zak
303 He's got everything!
2008-07-25 15:21:23
305.   schoffle

Was there any reason given why Hu did not play?

2008-07-25 15:22:44
306.   Bob Timmermann
Dumbest ... idea ... ever....
2008-07-25 15:22:49
307.   Dodgers49
Suns release Bellhorn, then split doubleheader

>> James McDonald allowed two runs and three hits in five innings to improve his record to 5-2 on the year. <<

2008-07-25 15:26:55
308.   Alex41592
306 - Seems like baseball's answer to college football's OT system.
2008-07-25 15:29:03
309.   Eric Stephen
I like college football's OT system. A random event (coin flip) isn't the major determinant in the outcome, and both sides are essentially playing the same game as before. I can see an argument for starting each OT drive at the 40 or 50 though.
2008-07-25 15:29:12
310.   Dodgers49
305 299 Was there any reason given why Hu did not play?

Hu wasn't mentioned in that article. Here is the rest or the Notes section:

>> • NOTES -- ... The Dodgers optioned infielder Luis Maza to the 51s. ... Las Vegas lefty Greg Miller and outfielder John-Ford Griffin were placed on the disabled list, infielder Ramon Martinez was released and infielder Rex Rundgren was activated. <<

2008-07-25 15:34:12
311.   underdog
I always liked the name Rex Rundgren. Sounds like he should be a rocker, a bassist for some metal band.

Hu might have just been given the day off.

2008-07-25 15:34:52
312.   Alex41592
309 - Sudden death determined on a coin flip is not the best answer either. Perhaps allowing the other team to better or match would be the best system. And keep going until a winner is determined. Sort of a combination between the two.
2008-07-25 15:35:15
313.   Ken Arneson
296 Bob and I would have come to fisticuffs had we met in 1978. If you hated Ken Stabler, you hated Ken Arneson.

I have since come to my senses.

2008-07-25 15:36:39
314.   Kevin Lewis

That reminds me of the Burbank softball league. Extra inning game is decided by choosing 3 batters per side, each batter gets to hit, and it is the total number of bases per team that decides the winner.

2008-07-25 15:37:13
315.   Bob Timmermann
That explains why Ken planted drugs on my car when I came to visit him in Alameda.
2008-07-25 15:37:30
316.   roncey10
Sent the following email to Baxter


You cannot be serious with your commentary on Piere vs. Kemp today?

You provide statistical proof that Kemp is the superior player and a better leadoff hitter then Pierre, yet you claim that the Dodgers should be excited to have Pierre back in the leadoff spot.

You cite the fact that Kemp strikes out much more often than Pierre? So what? Is a five hopper to the second baseman leading off the game more valuable than a strikeout.

Strikeouts as a leadoff hitter are LESS significant than any other slot in the lineup.

How about comparing Kemp's leadoff stats to all leadoff hitter's the majors? Kemp is amongst the best!

How about comparing Kemp's stats to Hunter, Rowand, and Jones who make $50 million between them this year to play CF? Kemp is superior!

Pierre is Putrid and an out machine!

Kemp is the Bison and a stud!

You may friend as an objective writer are a DUD!

2008-07-25 15:39:31
317.   underdog
Pierre's been activated because Delwyn Young has a strained oblique and had to be DL'd.


Oh, Jon's got a NPUT.

2008-07-25 15:39:49
318.   blue22
311 - His dad is Todd Rundgren.
2008-07-25 16:32:15
319.   elandcohen
314- you play in the burbank league? what team? i play for the killer k's

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