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About Jon
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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
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Thunder Road
2008-07-28 00:30
by Jon Weisman

I want to make the playoffs. I believe in October Madness. I don't care if the Dodgers are the lowest-seeded team in the tourney. I want in.

Play for the future or play for the present? Sell or buy? These are false choices. An utterly phony construct. A team like the Dodgers, a team with four-star talent and a nine-figure payroll, doesn't need to choose. The Dodgers can make a longshot bid for the World Series without sacrificing their future. It's not nearly the riddle that some would make it out to be.

I had no emotional reaction to the trade of Jonathan Meloan and Carlos Santana for Casey Blake. I almost had no reaction at all. It was no watershed, no last straw. It's purely a byproduct of an organization whose values are incoherent.

The media, locally and nationally, is choosing the theme of the Dodgers' 2008 season. After Youth vs. Age made a bid for a repeat title, the leader heading into the stretch run is Front Office Dysfunction. Top Dodger execs are in disagreement; the team isn't easy to complete a trade with. This isn't news. It's not important. It's not even interesting. The press is breathless about the Dodgers' foreign relations, yet with few exceptions doesn't question the nonsense, the violence, being unleashed domestically.

Under the leadership of Ned Colletti and Joe Torre, the Dodgers are both arrogant and self-loathing. They over-compensate to a fault. They belong on a therapist's couch not because of their part in any organizational disagreement (disagreement and debate can be productive), not because opposing teams don't know where the buck stops, but because of a maniacal insecurity.

Yes, the Dodger lineup is infused with youth. Young players are everywhere - in the lineup, in the rotation, in the bullpen. It's not that Colletti and Torre don't want the youth to do well. It's that at the sign of trouble, they don't believe. They're on a roller coaster that they want no part of. In their perfect world, there is no youth.

They're addicts, and they can't stay on the wagon. Veteran talent is the drug and it feels so good, even if they wake up emptier than before. The Dodger leadership doesn't have the backbone to stand on its own two feet.

I'm an addict too. I'm not addicted to experience; I'm not addicted to youth either. I'm addicted to having the best possible player in the game, regardless of age. As far as I'm concerned, this is like being addicted to a glass of orange juice each day.

When life is good, Torre and Colletti love the kids. When there is doubt, the veterans benefit - not because they are better, but because they are veterans. Sometimes this is fine. In a pinch, Nomar Garciaparra has helped the Dodgers at shortstop. Casey Blake might hit 10 home runs for the Dodgers at third base in the next two months. Juan Pierre, of all people, might save the Dodgers from the nightmare of Andruw Jones.

But these ifs could apply just as easily to the kids as to the grownups. Age for the sake of age as an operating philosophy? Experience without regard to talent? It's an astonishing blindness. Experience should be a means, but when the chips are down, Colletti and Torre see it as an end. A million World Series veterans within arms reach for some quiet instruction or a pep talk aren't enough for them. They value experience over talent. A first-pitch swing, a strikeout, a botched rundown - any outcome at all - has an entirely different meaning to Torre and Colletti when experienced by a 35-year-old instead of a 25-year-old. The veterans spend an entirely different currency.

Experience will not make anyone better than someone that is better than them. Experience will not save you.

If the Dodgers had handed their team over to every available kid, some things would have gone right and some things would have gone wrong. Meloan might have been worse as a swingman than Chan Ho Park. On the other hand, it's almost mathematically impossible for anyone to have been worse than Mark Sweeney.

But permitting failure by youth strikes Torre and Colletti as the height of irresponsibility. They simply can't allow it on their watch. Veterans, on the other hand, don't fail. They just need more time - which is true enough, since the clock has fewer ticks left for them. It's like a reverse Logan's Run: Life begins at 30.

Except it doesn't.

The Dodgers' dysfunction doesn't center on trade talks. It centers on leadership that hides its eyes as the kids grab the car keys, yet doesn't bat an eye when Grandpa's shaky hand and squinty eyes take the wheel. Colletti and Torre might say they like their team - they might insist that they do - but they don't. It makes them cringe. They have conditioned themselves to believe that youth cannot be trusted in a crisis, even though some of the bravest men and most heroic have been callow. The Dodgers would be better off with John Hughes or Kermit the Frog in charge - with leadership that embraces the follies of youth because of their faith in youth, and that ultimately believes in a meritocracy.

Until the Dodger leadership works through these issues, regardless of what trades might be on the table, they'll always be undermining themselves.

The Dodgers' pitching can win any playoff series. Underdogs? Sure. DOA? No way. The team is one game out of first place, and you know what? I'm too old to thumb my nose at that. The Dodgers should go for it. And they can do it without sacrificing the future, without being desperate. If they fail, it won't be because they weren't experienced enough. It will be because they weren't talented enough. And the talent is there. It has been there all along. Show a little faith - there's magic in the night.

Comments (639)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-07-28 00:39:41
1.   underdog
Huzzah, Jon! Took the words out of mouth, in many regards here. I'm still seriously rooting for this team - now, and in the future. And will have a glass of orange juice to celebrate if they make the playoffs.

It's like a reverse Logan's Run: Life begins at 30.

Colletti 5, at the end of the season: "There... is... no... sanctuary."

2008-07-28 00:40:29
2.   Bob Timmermann
That was worth waiting up for.

Joe Torre does not seem to have the same faith in youth as Duck Phillips.

2008-07-28 00:40:53
3.   underdog
McCourt 7: " are terminated."
2008-07-28 00:42:03
4.   Bob Timmermann
Now I'm going to be thinking about Jenny Agutter all night.
2008-07-28 00:44:19
5.   trainwreck
That's why my issue with the Blake trade was blocking LaRoche. I'm iffy on Meloan and I frankly did not know much about Santanta, so losing them was not the big issue to me. As Jon alluded to, this team simply refuses to play their best players, because McCourt has created an atmosphere of fear.
2008-07-28 00:47:46
6.   trainwreck
Plus, he hired the wrong person to run this team based on public relation issues.
2008-07-28 00:50:16
7.   dzzrtRatt
Very insightful as to the psychology of the front office. And perhaps something McCourt should consider in choosing Ned's successor: "Do you believe in giving young players a chance? How much of one?"

This schizophrenia is an old Dodger disease, though. Since I've been a fan, every manager and GM, especially Lasorda and Claire, took the stance that somehow LA was different, fans here just couldn't and wouldn't stand for rebuilding, and yet the "Dodger Way" emphasized superior development of young players. So they try to do both, but take shelter in the notion that the fans and the culture are forcing their hand.

It was the fans who sent LaRoche and DeWitt down and wanted Casey Blake, doncha know? Because they want a winner. But it isn't the fans who keep giving infinite chances to Jones and Sweeney to turn things around, and who pencils Kent into the middle of every lineup, regardless of how hot he is or isn't. Sure the fans like Pierre, but they also like Ethier. They liked DeWitt, who listens, and Kemp, who doesn't.

Maybe the way the Dodger culture works, they should let the fans vote for the starting lineup each day, like American Idol. If the lineup gets us to the World Series, McCourt will build a statue to us. If not, we get fired and some new fans come in.

2008-07-28 00:54:04
8.   Jon Weisman
7 - It's not about giving them a chance. Torre and Colletti give the young players chances. It's about extending the definition of what a chance is.

And the day the fans vote for the starting lineup will be a nightmare, if talkradio is any indication.

2008-07-28 01:07:00
9.   sporky
Wonderful post, especially this:

It centers on leadership that hides its eyes as the kids grab the car keys, yet doesn't bat an eye when Grandpa's shaky hand and squinty eyes take the wheel.

2008-07-28 01:09:11
10.   dzzrtRatt
8 Right, of course. My point was, Colletti and Torre -- and most of their predecessors -- run the team with one eye on the metrics of success, and one eye on the Dodger mystique, which includes so many contradictory ideas and so much magical thinking that it's almost worthless as a guide. Part of the mystique is: You have to win every year. Another part is: You have to grow players from your own system. So they develop and promote young players, but have limited patience with them.

And while my American Idol notion was tongue in cheek, I have no doubt that in our lifetime, a team will try it.

2008-07-28 01:09:20
11.   Jon Weisman
Bill James spots a lemur:

2008-07-28 01:10:27
12.   Tripon
We should decide the starting lineup on craps. Andruw Jones starts when Ned throws snake eyes.

Yeah, Ned's luck sucks lately.

2008-07-28 01:12:16
13.   sporky
It's scary to think of what a half-decent GM or manager could have done with all this high-upside talent.
2008-07-28 01:19:00
14.   Tripon
So can we play the Nats 162 games a year? I feel we would have a really good record if we did that.
2008-07-28 01:26:26
15.   trainwreck
Yeah, and the thing is our talent is so young that a quality GM can still do amazing things with this team.
2008-07-28 01:27:06
16.   trainwreck
In the last thread I said we should start a Harlem Globetrotters type of agreement with the Nats.
2008-07-28 01:28:08
17.   Eric L
7 That whole idea that LA won't stand for rebuilding is a bunch of bologna anyways. The Lakers rebuilt a couple of times in recent decades. They had to rebuild after Magic and again after they traded Shaq.

After Magic, it was ugly for a bit but the fans embraced the young players when they started winning. The fan base really rooted for guys like Van Exel and Eddie Jones.

The last rebuilding process was a little different and more frustrating but it seems like the team is set to go on another roll for a few more years.

Seeing that the Lakers have won 3 titles and been in the finals 6 times since the last time the Dodgers won a playoff series, I'm thinking that the fans would have settled for a few rebuilding years a while back.

I will grant that it is much easier to rebuild an NBA team. It is even easier when you still have the best player in the league on your team and you fleece a dumb GM to pick up another great player.

2008-07-28 01:38:39
18.   Tripon
17 Football teams rebuild all the time. If the New York Giants, and the New York Jets, and the Dallas Cowboys can rebuild and suffer losing seasons to fix itself, then so can the Dodgers. The problem with this season is that the D'Backs shown that they still have serious flaws. And the oddest thing is that it doesn't seem that anybody in Arizona are running around like chickens with their heads chopped off. The D'Backs are in a similar situation, only made a deal for Jon Rauch, and and yet they're a sea of stability compared to the Dodgers.
2008-07-28 01:45:15
19.   Eric Enders
In general, do football and basketball teams lose as much fan support during rebuilding seasons as baseball teams do?
2008-07-28 01:45:32
20.   sporky
A rebuilding phase could be relatively easy to market with so much developing talent. If only Ned could decide which talent they'd keep...
2008-07-28 01:45:39
21.   trainwreck
D-Backs have smarter overall management, but we have a better minor league system. The D-Backs system is really feeling the effects of all their prospects being promoted to the bigs or being traded. We still have a solid system in place. If we are smart with our moves, we should be better than them for years to come.
2008-07-28 01:46:56
22.   trainwreck
Not in football, because it is too popular of a sport, but I believe basketball teams face at least equal or bigger problems when rebuilding.
2008-07-28 01:48:33
23.   sporky
The Sweeney/LaRoche roster move reminded me of a phrase from Ugly Betty. Out of curiosity, does "fabulously douchey" violate Rule 1?
2008-07-28 01:53:01
24.   trainwreck
lol, I've wondered if I could use that world myself.
2008-07-28 01:55:23
25.   Tripon
Would you offer C.C. an extra $5 million a year if he grows a full on beard so people can point at him and say he's a gamer?
2008-07-28 01:57:57
26.   trainwreck
Can someone link to me any of these articles where CC suggests he wants to be a Dodger? I swear I read he was a Giants fan or at least an A's fan.
2008-07-28 02:02:32
27.   dzzrtRatt
17 Right. It isn't the fans that are demanding the Dodger GM add players like Darryl Strawberry or Andruw Jones. I would think even a mildly sentient fan would be conditioned to to dread these big-salaried imports. But the GMs, whether it's Claire or Colletti, all explain their dumb moves in the same way: "The great Dodger fans deserve no less." So what I want to know is, what did we do, exactly, to deserve Andruw Jones, and is there some other way we can work it off?
2008-07-28 02:11:02
28.   trainwreck
2008-07-28 02:28:19
29.   Tripon
27 The funny thing is that most of the guys on the current roster that people would pay to see are the younger Dodgers. Kemp, and Martin would move the numbers, but I don't know anybody who would pay to see Kent. Out of all Vets, the only one I can see people would pay to see is Nomar. As for pitchers, its Billingsley, Kershaw, and Kuroda that usually excites the crowd. If the current philosophy is to sign Free Agents partly because of how they affect ticket sales, then shouldn't try as hard as heck to trade for guys like Ichiro, A-Rod, or Manny? Guys who are certain to move the numbers. Picking up Andruw Jones because you're trying to drive up attendance is like the Knicks trading for Zach Randolph and Stephon Marbury and believing that people would actually pay to see them stink up the joint.
2008-07-28 02:30:58
30.   Eric Enders
I would pay to see Saito.
2008-07-28 02:45:49
31.   ChemicalMachine
I don't know - while I think the Chavez Ravine crowd loves Martin, I hear bigger cheers for Nomar, Pierre, Saito and Raffy than just about anyone. To my ears, the crowds think Nomar and Pierre can do no wrong.
2008-07-28 02:49:55
32.   ChemicalMachine
To clarify - I think Russ is just as popular to the average crowd as those other guys. But I don't know if any other "kid" gets the same response as Nomar or Pierre. Although the first half crowds loved Dewitt.
2008-07-28 02:50:40
33.   bhsportsguy
29 Are you basing this on personal observation? Because, I don't think there is a starting pitcher on the roster that excites the average fan. And as far as everyday players, sure the fans at the games like Martin but they just as much for Pierre and Kent (and for that matter Angel Berroa) as they do Kemp, Loney and Ethier.

Really, its Nomar and then maybe Martin and then the rest. They save their boos for Jones. The only pitcher who gets an above average reaction is Saito.

2008-07-28 03:12:37
34.   bhsportsguy
Maybe I should just say I agree with Jon's post and leave it at that. Otherwise I think I may write something that won't be able to convey exactly how I feel and I will have to write a bunch of other comments to explain that and that won't advance this conversation at all.

On other things people have brought up.

1. There's Nomar and everyone else in terms of being popular at the games. No starting pitcher, not Chad or the Minotaur, is exciting the fan base that much.
2. When you make the playoffs 44 out of 48 seasons and the longest stretch of not making the NBA Finals is 9 years (the Celtics just went 21 and the Bulls are going to be more than 10), its hard for me to consider them "rebuilding" unless you are of the mind that for the Lakers, its only titles that count.
3. Its probably the wrong term to use in terms of fans not wanting to see a rebuilding club, it was the O'Malley philosophy (or so I read) that he always wanted a team that could contend just enough to keep fans coming to the ballpark. And let's face it, until the last few years (during the '90s and until 2006) the Dodgers lacked the talent in the system to totally rebuild anyway. So they went out and spent money. That started with the 1988 team and has continued until today.

2008-07-28 04:14:17
35.   trainwreck
We can't even get fans to vote for our players on the All-Star ballots. Russell Martin was not even top five in NL catchers. I don't think anyone is exciting the general Dodger fan.
2008-07-28 04:45:31
36.   Howard Fox
Dodger fans are generally not very sophisticated. They like who they are told to like. They like whoever is doing well at the moment. They boo whoever isn't doing well.

They like movie stars. They like Torre. They like Nomar. They like Pierre. They like Lasorda. The rest come and go.

Some periodically capture the fans' fantasy...Saito, Martin, DeWitt...

But I don't see anyone right now that the fans "love". We loved Orel, we loved Wills, we loved Fernando, but I don't see anyone on the current team that evokes this deep feeling. At least not right now.

It could change, or it could be a product of how sports is, that players change teams and have no loyalty (at least that is how most fans see it).

2008-07-28 04:53:54
37.   D4P
When there is doubt, the veterans benefit - not because they are better, but because they are veterans

They're...beterans! As in, "The old guys are beteran the young ones."

It's as if Management made a quarter-hearted effort to let the kids play for the first part of the season, but made a firm and discernible decision that being in a Pennant Race™ now requires a different approach (i.e. strict reliance on beterans whenever possible). They just couldn't stomach the thought of putting players who haven't been there before out there over players who have, and it looks like they're gonna maximize the PT for the old players from here on out.

2008-07-28 04:55:21
38.   Ken Noe
You can't judge fandom completely by who gets cheers. There are a lot of Dodger fans out here who don't get to games much. Besides, even Pierre said this morning that he's surprised the fans are suddenly cheering him, because they weren't before.
2008-07-28 05:11:11
39.   herchyzer
17 . I want Sedale Threatt and, who was that shooting guard who used to take lots of fallaways and miss most of them?
2008-07-28 05:52:12
40.   MollyKnight
Can someone please publish this in the LA Times? Or tape it to Ned's desk?

Good golly that's some fine writing.

2008-07-28 06:03:29
41.   D4P
They're addicts, and they can't stay on the wagon. Veteran talent is the drug and it feels so good, even if they wake up emptier than before

It's not so much veteran talent as veteran presence, or just veteraness itself. The problem with our veterans is not that they're veterans: it's that they're not talented.

2008-07-28 06:07:14
42.   ChemicalMachine
No, fandom certainly can't be judged entirely by who gets cheers. However, in terms of player popularity as relates to home game attendance, I would imagine that Dodger Management values at a higher level players who Chavez Ravine attendees cheer/buy merch for than others.

Also, I am shocked about the Pierre being surprised by cheering comment. I've been to at least 3/4 of the home games so far and haven't heard anything but hearty cheers for Juan. And trust me, I've been vocal at games about why he hasn't been one of the Dodgers best OF options.

I agree with above comments - this is great writing by Jon. It deserves some LA Times play and more.

2008-07-28 06:19:38
43.   Dodger Dawg
The Dodgers will not improve until they have a baseball man in charge not a PR guy.
2008-07-28 06:23:55
44.   Howard Fox
43 isn't Torre a baseball man?
2008-07-28 06:37:51
45.   Sam NYC
I agree 100% on Colletti. But I'm not sure how Torre is getting roped in here. I understand that he's yanking young players, but that's more a function of the roster he was given. It's not his fault that Colletti went out and signed Andruw Jones and didn't trade Juan Pierre, leaving him with four outfielders. And it's not his fault that Colletti is desperately trying to put his stamp on a team that wants to be Logan White's team. When Torre has been given the chance to play young players without having to fear clubhouse unrest for lack of playing time, he has. And remember, this "hater" of young players started Derek Jeter every day in 1996 on a team filled with veterans. He won his first world series with a young Andy Pettitte. He stuck with a young Bernie Williams when Steinbrenner wanted to trade him. And recently, he stuck with a young Robinson Cano at second base and watched Joba Chamberlain become a star. He is not a man that is averse to letting the kids play.
2008-07-28 06:41:00
46.   Howard Fox
45 and he sits Ethier in favor of Pierre and Jones...
2008-07-28 06:49:57
47.   ToyCannon
The Laker front office would not agree with you. The fans left the team in droves in the early 90's and the waiting list for season tickets completely disappeared and didn't come back until Shaq showed up.
2008-07-28 06:52:51
48.   CodyS
Well, they did finally bench Jones yesterday. Ethier, Kemp, and Pierre are the official regular outfield until one goes into a little slump. That's a little step forward in rewarding performance.
2008-07-28 06:54:35
49.   Howard Fox

I'm not in town, so I am probably missing something, but sitting Jones for one day doesn't make it that Torre has seen the light.

2008-07-28 06:57:31
50.   MollyKnight
I don't know that they love Nomar. I think they may just love hearing "Low Rider" when he comes to bat. Also, he's, you know, a hometown kid.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-07-28 06:57:57
51.   MollyKnight
50-Or from my hometown, at least.
2008-07-28 06:58:32
52.   Sub4Era
Wouldn't all the cheering for Pierre have more to do with him being a CF NOT named Jones? He was getting booed pretty heavily early on, it wasn't until people got fed up with Jones that he started to get cheers.
2008-07-28 07:02:30
53.   Howard Fox
52 Pierre got cheers last year too. He has personality. He works hard. He gives it his all. Qualities that the average fan values.
2008-07-28 07:08:11
54.   RELX
One thing that is interesting here in NY is seeing how well the Yankees are playing without Torre. If the Yankees make the playoffs and go far, and the Dodgers stay around .500 and miss the playoffs, I wonder what that would do to Torre's luster? Right now, no one in NY--not the papers, not sports radio--misses Torre, or to be honest, even talks about him.
2008-07-28 07:14:52
55.   Bob Timmermann
Even though Torre is the manager, the Dodgers use Lasorda a lot more in advertising and promos. I don't know if this is just a factor of giving Lasorda more to do or if Lasorda is more popular than Torre (he likely is), but I've seen more of Lasorda on TV this year than I have in many years.

It's like they canceled "Mad Men" and replaced it with 23 hours a day of "Who's The Boss?"

2008-07-28 07:18:12
56.   JoeyP

Russell Martin was not even top five in NL catchers. I don't think anyone is exciting the general Dodger fan.

Thats a good point.
Most Dodger fans are apathetic. It shows in things like gate attendance, time spent at the stadium (the whole arrive in the 3rd leave in the 7th is almost mutually exclusive to the Dodgers...they should have it trademarked.

But, the problem is that the McCourts never seem to get that. If the fans are apathetic (which I'd argue they are), why cant the McCourts be willing to go with the youth movement full board or embrace the different Sabr philosophy? If the fans dont care either way, then why not think outside the box?

Its amazing that the McCourts have seemed to more concerned with traditional mass media criticsm, than over general fan apathy.

2008-07-28 07:19:26
57.   Neal Pollack
The Dodgers don't know what they're doing. This is obvious to anyone who watches them. I still want a playoff team, but it's hard to believe in an organization that values Scott Proctor and can't wait for him to return. Just wait for the Jack Wilson trade. It's coming. And the team will get a little bit older, and a little bit worse.
2008-07-28 07:19:48
58.   D4P
the whole arrive in the 3rd leave in the 7th is almost mutually exclusive to the Dodgers


2008-07-28 07:21:14
59.   Bob Timmermann
I'm in a really good mood and I intend to stay that way. So I'm staying out of that.
2008-07-28 07:22:08
60.   D4P
Why such a good mood...?
2008-07-28 07:24:26
61.   Bob Timmermann
Why ask why?
2008-07-28 07:27:02
62.   D4P
Why ask, "Why ask why?"?
2008-07-28 07:36:39
63.   Harold M Johnson
I'd say on any given night I'll take the top 25,000 Dodger fans over the top 25,000 fans in almost any other stadium, in terms of passion, die-hard-ness, etc.

It's just that we have beautiful weather, tons and tons of seats (at good prices), convenient parking, and a populace who is connected to the game through a far-reaching (and congested, hence the come late leave early) transit system.

We also have the game's most beautiful stadium, with 2-3 possible exceptions (IMO).

In other words, there are a ton of reasons to come to the Dodgers game if you're a casual fan.

But our 25k matches up with anyone else's.

2008-07-28 07:41:34
64.   Jon Weisman
"Most Dodger fans are apathetic. It shows in things like gate attendance, time spent at the stadium (the whole arrive in the 3rd leave in the 7th is almost mutually exclusive to the Dodgers...they should have it trademarked."

-- At every Dodger home game, there is a core of about 25,000 fans that watch every inning and countless others that do so on television - or wish that they could if not for traffic, etc. The existence of the ones that don't do this doesn't eliminate this.

"But, the problem is that the McCourts never seem to get that."

--If you believe the rumors, and it's up to you to believe, the McCourts are the first to complain that they're not getting enough out of the fan base.

"If the fans are apathetic (which I'd argue they are), why cant the McCourts be willing to go with the youth movement full board or embrace the different Sabr philosophy?"

-- Their first hire as GM was DePodesta. Fear of fan dissatisfaction with him was a large reason DePo was fired. They believed, for good reason, that Plaschke represented the common fan belief.

--Their second hire has gone with a youth movement that is only occasionally interrupted by vets. Prominent vets, to be sure, but the vets are outnumbered. The management of the youth movement has been dubious, but there's no denying it's a youth movement.

"If the fans dont care either way, then why not think outside the box? Its amazing that the McCourts have seemed to more concerned with traditional mass media criticsm, than over general fan apathy. "
They're very likely concerned with both, but believe they are connected.

Colletti appears to be on the hot seat, a year after he was McCourt's best hire. The new GM might reflect a new path. But that path might be further away from what you want. I'm not saying this will happen, but there are plenty of ways that the Dodgers could go more Old School.

2008-07-28 07:42:05
65.   Jon Weisman
Funny - I didn't see Harold's "25,000" before I posted.
2008-07-28 07:46:49
66.   Dave60
0 "It centers on leadership that hides its eyes as the kids grab the car keys, yet doesn't bat an eye when Grandpa's shaky hand and squinty eyes take the wheel."

What a great phrase! It's an image that will endure the remainder of the season. Thanks.

2008-07-28 07:47:05
67.   D4P
The new GM might reflect a new path. But that path might be further away from what you want

Yes. Ned definitely deserves to be fired, but his replacement wouldn't necessarily be any better. In fact, setting aside any knowledge we might have about particular replacement candidates, the odds are that a replacement would be just as bad. Ned is pretty typical as far as GMs go.

2008-07-28 08:03:19
68.   delias man
Jon, when you say they should go for it in the last paragraph, what exactly do you mean by that? As in make a big trade? Can not do that without damaging the core group. Not sure if they have the players to go for it as constructed either. thanks....
2008-07-28 08:05:28
69.   cargill06
Who are the top 5 defensive 3B over the past 3 years? Where does Casey Blake rank overall?
2008-07-28 08:08:24
70.   cargill06
don't look now but Hu is posting a 1.004 OPS in Vegas.
2008-07-28 08:10:22
71.   CajunDodger
I have not been posting too much lately, but has it been discussed how much the Dodgers stand to get in the next draft? If we let Blake, Lowe, and Furcal go, Logan White could have something like 8 picks in the first two rounds plus the supplemental.

I would love to see that offset with a deal for Sabbathia, but our lower system could be loaded in a single season.

Right now I am just trying to look at something good since we sent Andy LaRoche down to make room for Sweeney. I feel for the guy almost to the point that I wish they would deal him just to give the poor guy some playing time. He deserves a legitimate shot.

2008-07-28 08:11:16
72.   CajunDodger
3 extra base hits last night alone...
2008-07-28 08:12:57
73.   ToyCannon
Great writing Jon. So many quotes could come out of this to define Dodger management.
2008-07-28 08:14:30
74.   fanerman
0 As far as I'm concerned, this is like being addicted to a glass of orange juice each day.

Is it freshly squeezed orange juice? =)

Great post. It's what I've been thinking except said a gazillion times better.

2008-07-28 08:16:58
75.   Howard Fox

LaRoche needs to play every day, just as DeWitt needs to play every day. They aren't going to do that in LA as the team is presently constructed or managed.

Even if they got rid of Sweeney in favor of LaRoche, pinch hitting every couple of days is not going to enhance his career path.

2008-07-28 08:17:06
76.   Harold M Johnson
Jon, that is pretty funny, we've obviously noticed the same thing. About a decade ago, I had a job which involved a lot of travel, which I combined with Baseball as often as I could, so I've been to just about every stadium (that existed 10 years ago), many of them multiple times, and I feel pretty confidant with my assessment and yours. Note that I didn't say "knowledge" because the big East Coast franchises have a larger core group of fans who know the game, or at least loudly express their knowledge punctually.
2008-07-28 08:20:18
77.   Scanman33
$20 Field Level Tickets, $9 Inner Reserve, $6 Lower Reserve, $4 Reserve for the Giants series:

Seats in Blake's beard are still normal price.

2008-07-28 08:23:43
78.   Jon Weisman
68 - The team is one game out of playoff start despite making several poor decisions. Playing the right players currently in the organization gives them a great shot at making the playoffs. A judicious trade potentially could help, without breaking up the core, though I'm not sure such a trade is necessary.

Once in the playoffs, in a short series, I give the team's pitching a chance to make a difference. No team in the NL is unbeatable.

I'm not saying that the team is going to win the World Series. I'm saying they have the resources to compete right now. And they can compete without killing the future.

2008-07-28 08:25:40
79.   sporky
72 Hu had 3 singles last night.
2008-07-28 08:27:52
80.   fanerman
46 What's frustrating is that Ethier "won" the job over Pierre in Spring Training. And yet he's the first guy to get benched as soon as Pierre and Jones are healthy again. Somehow things changed even though he's been "doing his job."
2008-07-28 08:29:37
81.   D4P
Ethier "won the job" over Pierre when we had Speedy Furcalez available to Set The Table™. Once Furcal got hurt, we "needed" Pierre to bat leadoff.
2008-07-28 08:31:30
82.   delias man
78 That was the obvious then. I was wondering if you meant something more with that. Good read.
2008-07-28 08:36:06
83.   LAT
I don't think Ned and Joe necessarily have a preference for vets. I think they have a preference for reduced risk and insulation. If the Dodgers miss the playoffs because they played the kids everyday, our fearful leaders will have to answer to Plashke, Gammons, Simers, etc. If they miss the playoffs with vets at the helm, most will say "oh well, they gave it their best shot." I see this happen all the time in my field. General Counsel or risk managers of businesses repeatedly hire Latham & Watkins or O'Melveny & Meyers at some outrageous rates. Not necessarily because they are the best but because at the end of the day, no one will be able to second guess them. If the case is lost, the General Counsel or risk manager is insulated by the argument "I hired the most expensive, well known law firm, if they couldn't win it no one could." This is of course, not true but I think more than preferring vets, Ned and Joe are simply risk adverse.
2008-07-28 08:38:48
84.   RELX
If the Dodgers do fire Colletti--and, really, other than scattered media reports, has there been any concrete evidence that McCourt is dissatisfied with him--I expect the team will promote from within, with Ng a good option, as the positive PR from her hire would offset the negative PR of McCourt firing his third GM in five years. If they go outside, I believe the only candidate would be Brian Cashman, and I don't think he is going anywhere.
2008-07-28 08:40:20
85.   underdog
"but there are plenty of ways that the Dodgers could go more Old School."

This has been my fear all along. I'm all for trading Colletti in for a newer model GM if it's a GM with a plan and a commitment to playing the best players, but we could also get someone even more Old School (or... cue sinister music... Jim Bowden), so if NedCo is fired after the season it would be good for fans here to speak up quickly all over the place.

71 Yeah I'd asked here about the draft picks possibilities recently too and don't remember if there was a response, but no question the Dodgers do stand to gain a bounty of draft picks to keep that farm system well-stocked. Which is good for future use directly and, yes, for use as trade chips.

2008-07-28 08:41:11
86.   ToyCannon
Christina Kahrl over at BP gives her breakdown on the deal. Quite a few words for the Indians and Dodgers. The content is free at the moment.
2008-07-28 08:41:27
87.   underdog
But 84 is my hope and presumption (with fingers crossed) that Ng or White would be the next GM. Or Cashman, yeah, though I'm not always convinced he's all that great, either.
2008-07-28 08:41:59
88.   RELX
83 . I disagree. If the Dodgers missed the playoffs with a "veteran" team, Plashke, et. al will say that the Dodgers lost because they didn't trust their young players. You can't "beat" people like Plashke and Simers, as they will lie and contradict themselves whenever they feel the need to.
2008-07-28 08:42:11
89.   D4P
I have expressed a similar sentiment before, and I agree. However, I think that there is still an aspect of preferring veterans that comes not from thinking they're better players, but from thinking they're better co-workers. Old guys like Ned and Joe aren't likely to "connect" to young guys like Kemp etc., and don't want to have to deal with perceived immaturity. They want to be around guys they can joke around with and such, not guys they either don't relate to or feel like they have to babysit.

In short, they want to be around people like them.

2008-07-28 08:47:11
90.   sporky
According to Will Carroll, the Dodgers mathematically eliminated the Nationals from the playoffs.
2008-07-28 08:47:15
91.   underdog
That Kahrl piece on BP is awesome, Toy. Totally spot-on and fair-minded.

A key excerpt seconds (and thirds) a suggestion made here: "If the Dodgers really want to be serious about this contention thing, don't they owe it to themselves to field their best team, instead of their most (in)famous one? The tension between the different factions in the front office has been such that they have seldom been able to agree on much. However, there might have been general agreement that they needed to bring in a bat, and agreement that they could afford to bring in a bat, and because of this lineup's odd collection of overlapping problems and disappointments, at third base as well as the outfield, it even seems like a remarkably sensible collective choice that their roving eyes alighted upon Blake. The question of whether or not they really needed to give up two good prospects for two months of Casey Blake isn't quite right; they could. Meloan's a potentially gifted reliever, but the organization has better pitching prospects in the system and already on the team; Santana's a pretty exciting catching prospect, but this is the organization that has Russell Martin, and if Santana really does end up having to move to third, isn't that what LaRoche will be for far into the future? Blake's useful, and this club has needs; getting him makes a goodly amount of sense... With Blake in hand, what then is the best case for their lineup? That they come to their senses, realize that playing what they've already paid for doesn't help them win, bring back LaRoche and play him at third, and move Blake to an outfield corner?"

2008-07-28 08:48:12
92.   Penarol1916
83. And that is why those firms can keep upping their billing rates year after year. Of course, it seems like the model is becoming more and more unsustainable and my guess is that the really top tier firms (Latham, a handful of New York/London firms and Kirkland & Ellis) are going to seriously seperate themselves from the next tier of OMM and others who are going to find themselves in a world of trouble as they can longer charge their obscene rates on non-bet the company issues and are still trying to pay their associates at the same rates as the top guys.
2008-07-28 08:51:44
93.   underdog
89 "In short, they want to be around people like them." I think this applies even more clearly to 'old school' journalists like Simers and Plaschke; thus the latter's love of Pierre.
2008-07-28 08:51:45
94.   Eric Stephen
This is a fine essay, Jon.

There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys the Dodgers sent away over the weekend.

I just home Logan White (the "Logan's Run" reference was probably coincindental, but still apt) at the end of the season say that LA "is a town full of losers. I'm pulling out of here to win."

2008-07-28 08:51:58
95.   Bob Timmermann
Washington is one of six teams in the NL that does not control its own destiny in terms of making the playoffs.

The others are Cincinnati, Houston, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Washington is the team that is closest to being mathematically eliminated.

2008-07-28 08:53:08
96.   Bob Timmermann
I find it hard to believe that Joe Torre or Larry Bowa finds that there is much difference in age between Jeff Kent and Matt Kemp.
2008-07-28 08:54:18
97.   underdog
Man, the Padres and their first round picks, I swear... From Jim Callis:
"Twelve first-round picks remain unsigned as of now, but I think the only one who might not come to terms is Wake Forest first baseman Allan Dykstra. Dykstra and the Padres had agreed on a $1.4 million bonus, but a subsequent physical has the club concerned about his right hip, which required surgery in high school. San Diego is worried that it's a degenerative condition, while Dykstra got a second opinion from Angels medical director Dr. Lewis Yocum, who cleared him. Add in the Scott Boras Corporation, which is advising Dykstra, and it may be difficult to resolve the situation to both sides' satisfaction."
2008-07-28 08:56:43
98.   ToyCannon
Great point and I think you are dead on with your assessment. And I'm not sure that I disagree with it.

I have little problem with Casey Blake being our 3rd baseman from here on out in 2008. I have a huge problem that we basically sold Santana to pay for Blake's salary. A huge problem.

2008-07-28 08:57:22
99.   Eric Stephen
Allan Dykstra might be the closest comparable player to The Bison, as he is literally at least partially made of Nails.
2008-07-28 08:59:53
100.   sporky
99 I think you're referring to Cutter, not Allan.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-07-28 09:01:04
101.   Eric Stephen
D'oh! Stupid facts.
2008-07-28 09:02:31
102.   Michael Green
To be historical about it, Colletti's approach as GM reminds me a little of Larry MacPhail, who started the Brooklyn Dodgers on the road to greatness in the late 1930s and early 1940s. While Branch Rickey and his disciples under Walter O'Malley built teams to last, MacPhail developed a farm system but always had the team in motion--trading, signing, etc. The differences are twofold:

1. MacPhail came into baseball to run a team and therefore was in the baseball side of things from the outset, training under Rickey, perhaps the only true front-office baseball genius in baseball history.

2. MacPhail didn't mind making news, but he didn't worry about what the media thought. Colletti is afraid to go to the bathroom without Plaschke's approval.

2008-07-28 09:04:40
103.   regfairfield
69 From 2005-2007 according to +/-
Pedro Feliz
Brandon Inge
Scott Rolen
Joe Crede
Adrian Beltre

Blake ranks 29th this year and is -16 from 2007-2008 (I don't have 2005 numbers and he played right in 2006).

2008-07-28 09:07:04
104.   Bob Timmermann
Ned Colletti drinks a lot less than Larry MacPhail ever did is not a racist either.

MacPhail wanted to be a lightning rod for his team. Colletti doesn't.

2008-07-28 09:08:02
105.   scareduck
This is the first time in a few years that I've really strongly disagreed with something you've written, Jon.

The Dodgers don't even have the best rotation in the division; that would be Arizona, by about a third of a run:

I just don't buy the idea that the Dodgers can compete against anybody. Sure, they took the Cubs at home, but that was against a Carlos Zambrano who immediately thereafter went on the DL. Perhaps there's an argument that the Dodgers have a better rotation now because Penny isn't in it, but I'm not convinced that's true, either, because of Chad Billingsley, whose on-and-off struggles with pitch count. The Dodgers' bullpen is second in the league, though, which does count for something; the opposition had better get some runs off the starter, 'cause it's just about certain they won't be able to mount a comeback.

The Dodgers' offense isn't very good, 13th in the league in runs scored:

Yes, a lot of the kids have stumbled, but some of that (at least in the case of Andy LaRoche) is because they can't get playing time. In other cases it's because they've hit their ceilings (probably Ethier, perhaps Loney). In the case of the veterans, some are on their way out of baseball and/or are having injury problems (Furcal, Kent, Jones, Garciaparra, Schmidt, Sweeney), and some are just bad (Pierre, Sweeney again).

The reason context is important is because you have to understand what you're trying to accomplish. The Dodgers' front office is nervous because they don't want to sacrifice the season for the sake of letting Andy LaRoche learn, or giving more playing time to anybody not named Juan Pierre in the outfield (though that latter would ultimately improve the team in the short term).

You give the team over to the kids. If you can make trades that will improve the team over the next few years, you do that. And maybe most importantly, you stop blocking the kids at every turn.

2008-07-28 09:08:13
106.   PHilldodger
89 That makes some sense. Although Torre/Bowa still confuse me. Dewitt was obviously someone they "connected with" right away. Same with Martin. They aren't old, but what is it about them that puts them in the "Torre Circle of Trust?"
Ethier also now apparently "gets it," whatever that means, although the numbers he's putting up are very similar to what he's done to date in his career.
2008-07-28 09:09:07
107.   D4P
MacPhail wanted to be a lightning rod for his team. Colletti doesn't

When it comes to rods, Ned's more of a nim.

2008-07-28 09:10:13
108.   cargill06
103 Thank you very much, just curious where mike lowell ranks? I thought he'd be up there.
2008-07-28 09:13:12
109.   ToyCannon
Sure as a team they are not impressive but that is not relevant once you make the postseason and this team has a better shot at making the playoffs then the 1st place Tampa Bay Ray's who might end up winning 15 more games then the Dodgers.
Recent history has shown that you just need to get in and then let the chips play out. This team has plenty of problems but probably not enough to keep them out of the postseason.
2008-07-28 09:17:10
110.   Jon Weisman
83 - Ned and Joe aren't any more or less risk-averse than I am. The difference is that their approach to reducing risk is at least partially self-defeating.
2008-07-28 09:18:56
111.   delias man
105 Fair points, but I doubt a 24 y.o. Loney in his first full season has hit his ceiling.
2008-07-28 09:19:50
112.   regfairfield
2006: +6
2007: +7
2008: +7

He's been 10th, 11th and 9th those years.

2008-07-28 09:22:04
113.   ToyCannon
As the dump Andruw Jones hits it's zenith, I noticed that Nomar Garciaparra currently leads the current starting lineup with an OPS+ of 116.

It was only a year go when the dump Nomar cries hit their zenith as just about everyone decided his bat was done independent of his health. With his power having gone AWOL for a year in a half it has reappeared. Supplements during his latest rehab or whatnot the fact is that is he hitting the ball hard and far for the first time since the first half of 2006.

Jeff Kent has an OPS+ of 83. Eric that is 27 points below our point of who pays for drinks. That is so low I think you owe me a case instead of a drink.

I'd be curious to know the last team that gave most of it's clean up at bats to a guy with an OPS+ below 90.

2008-07-28 09:22:51
114.   cargill06
112 much appreciated, hopefully it didn't take too long for you to look that up
2008-07-28 09:24:43
115.   regfairfield
111 I really hope he hasn't, because once you start factoring in double plays he's our worst hitter not named Andruw.
2008-07-28 09:26:57
116.   Jon Weisman
105 - It's not as if the Dodgers were in perfect health when they beat Chicago. Not at all. You can't discount the Cubs' team without discounting the Dodgers.

It's not as if, for all their problems, for all their poor decisions, the Dodgers aren't neck-and-neck with Arizona.

I don't see an argument for saying that the Dodgers can't compete with these teams when they are in fact competing with them right now.

Other things you wrote that don't make sense to me: Chad Billingsley is averaging 6 1/3 innings on 103 pitches since April 30, when he got over being mishandled, with a 2.90 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning. That makes him one of the best pitchers in the NL. In an era when almost no one pitches complete games, on a team with great bullpen support, his pitch counts are hardly an issue any more.

You write, "Yes, a lot of the kids have stumbled, but some of that (at least in the case of Andy LaRoche) is because they can't get playing time. In other cases it's because they've hit their ceilings (probably Ethier, perhaps Loney). "

I can't parse this comment. Ethier and Loney have stumbled because they've hit their ceilings?

And yet, your concluding paragraph is in agreement with me.

2008-07-28 09:27:10
117.   Dave G
Really insightful, well-written post, Jon. I can imagine how a response in the "mainstream media" might be framed: "Blogger suggests firing Coletti; hiring Kermit the Frog."

Sad part is, I think a good majority of Dodger fans might agree with that statement. Jeff Kent really needs to get a lecture about the Rainbow Connection.

2008-07-28 09:29:15
118.   fanerman
113 Yeah I've wondered what the point of dumping Andruw is. We have to pay him either way. At worst he's a defensive substitute, right? I suppose the argument is that we don't have a manager who's willing to bench him so it's better to just let him go, but that's pretty silly.
2008-07-28 09:31:07
119.   Eric Stephen
The 1990 Padres had 85 OPS+ Joe Carter bat cleanup 84 times (he hit 5th 66 times).

Name your drink and I'll bring it August 16 (assuming said drink is allowed at Elysian Park).

2008-07-28 09:31:15
120.   fanerman
Rudolf's BR page is up for sponsoring. I don't recall it being up for donating last week.
2008-07-28 09:32:22
121.   fanerman
115 Is there luck associated with GIDP's?
2008-07-28 09:33:54
122.   D4P
I really hope he hasn't, because once you start factoring in double plays he's our worst hitter not named Andruw

Are you looking at double plays as a counting stat, or some kind of rate stat?

2008-07-28 09:35:06
123.   regfairfield
121 There is, it's a product of opportunity so it's not going to be 100% consistent year after year, but Loney's combination of solid contact and zero speed make him a prime double play candidate.
2008-07-28 09:35:54
124.   Doctor
The solution to the Jones problem is painfully obvious.... send him to Vegas, and leave him there till he is mashing HRs. That way he isn't hurting the Dodgers, and he is getting a chance to fix his problems... if he never gets going there, no one can be second guessed for not playing him.
2008-07-28 09:35:55
125.   regfairfield
122 Counting stat. I'm using linear weights. Also, this was from the All Star Break and Loney has been hot since then so he probably passed Pierre.
2008-07-28 09:42:13
126.   D4P
Seems to me that GIDP counting stats are as useless as RBI counting stats, for the same reason.
2008-07-28 09:43:51
127.   ToyCannon
Joe Carter would have been high on my list when doing the research.
2008-07-28 09:44:25
128.   regfairfield
126 He's fifth in double play percentage.
2008-07-28 09:45:19
129.   schoffle
"I have a huge problem that we basically sold Santana to pay for Blake's salary. A huge problem."

I have seen you allude to this before, how sure are you that this is correct? or is it that you are making an assumtion based on McCourts reputation?

If it is true I would expect the talking heads of the LA Times would be screaming about it, as they have often used less to disparage the McCourt's/McBroke's.

2008-07-28 09:49:01
130.   regfairfield
127 We gave Karros 63 games with an 88 in 1994.
2008-07-28 09:49:56
131.   delias man
126 So, how many runs will his GIDP cost them throughout the year? Is there a stat for that?
2008-07-28 09:50:30
132.   cargill06
Not sure if anyone mentioned yet...

According to Los Angeles Dodgers' general manager Ned Colletti, Derek Lowe is not on the trading block, reports the Los Angeles Times.

When Colletti was asked if there was even a possibility that the right-hander could be traded before the July 31 deadline, the general manager simply replied "no."

2008-07-28 09:50:53
133.   underdog
Wow, Emma Span has quite the rant about Walter O'Malley on Bronx Banter. She must be older than I thought. Like about 87? Anyway, seems a bit much but worth a read for amusement.
2008-07-28 09:50:55
134.   D4P
He's fifth in double play percentage

Fifth in what...?

2008-07-28 09:51:37
135.   regfairfield
131 Each one is worth about -.83 runs more than three regular outs.
2008-07-28 09:51:46
136.   Bob Timmermann
Subtract 60 from Emma's age.
2008-07-28 09:54:09
137.   still bevens
Did anyone call into the sports show on KABC last night to ask questions to Dan Evans? I assumed people on the board would be calling him up to give him a thousand thank yous for his drafts.
2008-07-28 09:54:38
138.   scareduck
116 - I don't see an argument for saying that the Dodgers can't compete with these teams when they are in fact competing with them right now.

And yet, the Dodgers are still under .500. Moreover, they are 2-5 against the Cubs, They are concluding their first winning month all season in July (14-8 presently). That pretty much trumps any other argument you care to send out there. It's extremely unlikely the Dodgers would advance were they to make the postseason.

Ethier and Loney have stumbled because they've hit their ceilings?

What I mean (and expressed poorly) is that they are complimentary players, not stars you build an offense around.

Where I disagree with you is the idea that the Dodgers won't suffer because of the kids' learning curve. That can and will happen. The Dodgers should be prepared to lose some because of it in the here-and-now, for greater glory in the future. In a season in which the Dodgers' most probable outcome is second place and ultimate futility if they land in first, the Dodgers can use this year to find out what they've got at third.

What I'm trying to say -- and forgive me for using this because it's been done, badly, and to death in the local media -- is that this year looks very like the 2006 Angels' season: you have a wave of young talent coming up, there's a need to get them playing time, and it's not clear the veterans will carry the load to expectations. The Dodgers need to bite down, understand they may not win, even in a year in which the division is weak, and proceed from there.

2008-07-28 09:55:54
139.   wronghanded
Maybe this assessment is way off base but Loney has the 2nd highest OPS of our regular starters this season. I don't see how he could be our worst hitter not named Andruw.

Martin .828
Loney .822
Kemp .816
Ethier .787
Kent .712
Dewitt .686
Pierre .645
Jones .517

2008-07-28 09:58:16
140.   regfairfield
139 Double plays kill. They cancel out a hit and then some. Loney's numbers don't look too great when you take away 25 or so of his hits.
2008-07-28 09:58:49
141.   goofus
Memo to Frank: Publicity and public relations is your thing, right? How would you like to do something really radical, that baseball would never forget, and take the team to the World Series? Simple. Fire Colletti. Fire Torre. Appoint Kim Ng and/or Logan White the GM, make Manny Mota the manager. Or anybody as manager as long as it is made perfectly clear to him why Torre was canned. Old vets stink; the day comes they can't outperform some kid on the bench or in the minors, they're history.
2008-07-28 10:00:27
142.   LAT
110. Joe and Ned are more risk adverse than you. You presumably would play the best players. They take the traditional approach regarless of whether it reduces the likelihood of success. The irony is this approach is what's killing Ned and he can't bring himself to change.
2008-07-28 10:01:06
143.   wronghanded
139 *Loney .827 oops.
2008-07-28 10:01:41
144.   scareduck
129 - Peter Gammons wrote this over the weekend:

The reason the Indians were able to get Carlos Santana, a very high-level prospect, in the Casey Blake deal is that the Indians took on all of Blake's remaining $2 million salary. Several general managers around baseball wonder whether L.A. doesn't have cash flow problems.

2008-07-28 10:03:12
145.   Gen3Blue
This post did a great job of expressing thoughts I hadn't quite been able to state. I guess that's what good writers do.
A couple of observations I find interesting.
A) Even more than last year playing time is being awarded according to salary instead of according to results.(Maybe this is wishful memory, but wasn't JP being moved down the line-up by this time last years)
B) Perhaps to Neds good, if even one of the Furcal, Jones, or Schmidt contracts had been a success, we would probably be well over .500 at this point
2008-07-28 10:03:13
146.   ToyCannon
Keith Law reported it on ESPN insider. The fact is the Indians are paying for Blake's salary in 2008. The rest is guesswork but the dots are not hard to connect. You can either believe the dots or not. In this case I choose to believe the dots.
2008-07-28 10:03:35
147.   wronghanded
Wouldn't DPs be more of an extra AB type stat rather than taking hits away? Essentially Loney should have extra outs or PAs when weighing these numbers right?
2008-07-28 10:07:06
148.   silverwidow
The Providence Journal has the NERVE to bring up Kemp in the latest Manny rumors.

Kemp's prime years >>>> Two months of Manny.

2008-07-28 10:08:58
149.   Alex41592
James Loney is certainly not the 2nd worst hitter on the team. People should watch out for Loney as he's in a middle of a hot streak and is posed to break out power wise. And he STILL is 2nd on the team in OPS.
2008-07-28 10:10:15
150.   D4P
If DPs decrease Loney's value as a hitter, would his value hitter increase if he were to bat more often with the bases empty...?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-07-28 10:10:38
151.   KG16
The buck stops with McCourt, or at least it should. Since he's taken over, the Dodgers are on their fourth GM and their third manager. Hard to build a winner with that kind of turn over. The product on the field seems to be succeeding in spite of, not because of the front office.

We shouldn't be surprised that Torre is afraid of playing the kids. He never seemed to do so unless pressed in New York. Jeter and Posada were young when he got the job but they were already bona fide starters (much like Martin and Loney). Cano only got the job because there was no one else available (see Dodgers, third base). And Joba was on a very tight leash and probably wouldn't have become a starter this year if Torre was still in the Bronx.

As far as Colleti goes, yes he's a PR man, which isn't a bad thing. But he's a bad PR man (which is a bad thing) because he can't maintain message disciple within the organization. He makes moves for the sake of making moves because that's what GMs do - it is the job description, in the eyes of the fans.

If I still lived and died by the Dodgers, this would be an incredibly frustrating scenario. Even now, with a bit more perspective, I want to punch holes in the wall.

Oh, on a side note... I had the opportunity to spend some time this weekend with some very good and very old family friends. We got to talking baseball (Angels and Dodgers) and one of the guys threw out the Slappy McPopup nickname. I thought that was kind of funny.

2008-07-28 10:10:39
152.   cargill06
150 i couldn't imagine this place if something like that went through.

would be ugly.

2008-07-28 10:11:08
153.   cargill06
152 was supposed to be 148
2008-07-28 10:13:23
154.   Alex41592
149 - poised*
2008-07-28 10:13:54
155.   Sean P
James Loney leads the Dodgers in hits, doubles, triples, total bases, and RBI. He is first in BA, 2nd in OBP, 2nd in SLG, and tied for 1st in OPS among Dodgers with 200+ PA.

So yes, he is our 2nd worst hitter.

2008-07-28 10:14:52
156.   Bumsrap
Very well said Jon.

If there is going to be a Dodgers way of playing baseball again it needs to get started. If LaRoche, Kemp, DeWitt for example are being exposed for the first time to the new Dodgers way of playing baseball in LA, that is too late. DeWitt might have slumped because he tried too hard to be patient and work the count and lost aggressiveness. LaRoche took too many big swings. Kemp took too long to have a plan.

The problem is that Nomar, Pierre, and Kent are not adhering to that new plan, the new Dodgers way of playing baseball and it doesn't matter. By hitting them first, third, fourth, or fifth, Torre is saying to the young guys, do as I say and not as I do. Keeping Jones in the lineup is saying the new way of playing Dodgers baseball only applies to the younger players.

I wonder what is the new Dodgers way of playing baseball. If there is a new way, and Torre has it floating around in his head, it doesn't seem like he can describe it or display it.

Talking about the shortcomings of the younger players while continuing to create playing time and batting sequences that ignores the shortcomings and strengths of the veterans, ignoring what appears to be Torre's new Dodger way of playing baseball, all of this, is my biggest gripe against Torre.

2008-07-28 10:15:42
157.   cargill06
From Buster Olney;

At a time when the Los Angeles Dodgers are dealing with the latest injury to Nomar Garciaparra and looking around for help at shortstop, Adam Everett may be reaching a crossroads in his time with the Minnesota Twins. Everett is nearing the end of his 20-day rehab assignment, and more recently, he has hit .333 for Triple-A Rochester.

Nick Punto is established with the Twins and he has been playing well at shortstop, so it's unclear whether Minnesota will have a spot for Everett, who hit .189 in 25 games earlier this year, or if they'd choose to trade or release him. Everett, 31, is a veteran of eight seasons in the majors.

2008-07-28 10:17:03
158.   Bob Timmermann
The first year Buster Olney kept track of Olneys, Adam Everett lead the majors in Olneys.
2008-07-28 10:17:32
159.   ToyCannon
Even if you count Evans it is only 3 (Evans, Depo, Ned). Not that I would count Evans.

The Depo free agent deals are looking more and more brilliant compared to his peers with only Odalis being the outlier. Derek Lowe might have been the best long term free agent pitcher signed this century when looking at performance to dollars as he comes to the end of his contract.

2008-07-28 10:18:52
160.   underdog
136 That's more along the lines of what I'd originally assumed, but it seems fairly unusual to be so bitter about a move that happened decades before someone's birth. And there's of course another side of that story. But I found her rant kind of cute. (That sounds patronizing but I don't mean it that way.)
2008-07-28 10:19:44
161.   JoeyP
149--I was thinking he might be the 2nd worst hitter relative to his position around the league.

Its just that guys just mash when they play 1st base.

Loney doesnt, and does GIDP quite a bit.

So yeah, he'll never be as bad as Juan Pierre playing LF, but he's still a prime spot for the Dodgers to upgrade in the off-season.

2008-07-28 10:20:17
162.   D4P
Adam Everett once had consecutive seasons with 500+ ABs and an OBP of .290
2008-07-28 10:20:22
163.   Jon Weisman
138 - They're not under .500, and the reason for this is they're playing better of late, despite Furcal being out, thanks to the already-in-progress improvement of players like Chad, Andre, Broxton and Kemp, as well as contributions in spots from some veterans. The point is, the team has been getting better as the season progressed, which is what you'd expect from a young team. The fact that the Dodgers remain insecure about their young players doesn't change that.

Yes, the Dodgers might suffer further because of their young players' learning curve. I never said that they wouldn't. But a lot of that suffering has already happened. Chad, Kemp, Ethier, etc. have already learned a lot and putting those lessons into action.

A 2-5 record against the Cubs - that proves nothing as far as them not being competitive. It's small sample size. I'm not saying the Dodgers are better than the Cubs. But in October, the cliche is true - you can throw those records out the window. If the Giants had swept Arizona this weekend, would you have concluded the Giants have the better team?

My point is not that the Dodgers will win this year. They might; they might not. The odds are against them? Fine. It doesn't mean that the Dodgers have to give up on 2008 while focusing on the future.

They could have a roster with LaRoche, Hu, etc. in 2008 if they wanted without giving up on the season. They're just too tied up in knots to do it.

You're arguing that the Dodgers have to choose the future over 2008. I'm arguing that they don't have to choose. I'm arguing that the Dodgers' best chance to win - however weak that might be - is with the resources their young players provide.

2008-07-28 10:25:34
164.   underdog
yah, scareduck must have missed the big cake we had here yesterday in celebration of the Dodgers reaching .500 again. ;-) There were a few speeches, some music, and then a moment of silence as we realized that there was more work to be done. Then we ate cake.
2008-07-28 10:26:04
165.   Tripon
Whats more valuable, a .250 BA and .310 OBP Jeff Kent, Kent's OPS the last seven games is at .729
or a .302 BA, and a .360 OBP Loney who hits into more double plays? Loney's OPS the last seven games is at 1.079

I use Kent and Loney because Loney usually bats either directly behind Kent, or a batter(Usually Nomar, with a .337 OBP). Even if Loney hits into more GIDP than the average person. Its not like the guys in front of him are able to break up the double play with their non-blinding speed. If Loney was batting behind Kemp, and Pierre, guys with actual speed. I would assume some of his double plays would be broken up by a fast charging Kemp or Pierre.

2008-07-28 10:27:36
166.   JoeyP
The point is, the team has been getting better as the season progressed, which is what you'd expect from a young team.

I disagree.
The Dodgers high point this year was +5, and low point was -7.

Currently they are even, and thats basically a function of just playing the Natinonals for 3.

If anything, they've maintained what they've been throughout the year---> a thorougly mediocre team that'll probably finish a few games above or below .500.

Now, I disagree with Rob also bc in a short playoff series anything can happen---> so I wouldnt say its "highly unlikely" they'll not advance if they were to make the playoffs.

I think its more likely they'll simply not make the playoffs.

The Dbax with Webb/Haren will be very tough to finish ahead, especially if they get Justin Upton back and he does anything.

Right now, the Rox are playing the best of anyone in the division.

The Dodgers season will be decided in August, when they play some very tough teams. If they come out of August only 3 or so games behind, they may make a run bc the Sept schedule is weak. But if they are more 4+ out. Its likely over.

2008-07-28 10:30:51
167.   Tripon
166 Everyone plays the Nats in the NL for at least six games, and the NLEast teams play the Nats 18 times a season. Should we take away those wins too?
2008-07-28 10:31:09
168.   KG16
159 - I was counting Evans, I thought there was an interim GM somewhere in there. Though, I think the point still stands.

And while I agree many of DePodesta's signings look good, it's really beside the point. McCourt is running this team like a kid with ADD would run his fantasy team.

2008-07-28 10:31:36
169.   fanerman
166 Isn't the Dodgers early record all part of the Furcal factor?
2008-07-28 10:33:53
170.   blue22
166 - Right now, the Rox are playing the best of anyone in the division.

Imagine my surprise when I went here:

to see LA in third place. Looks like Colorado has been really underperforming their 2nd and 3rd order wins (but are basically right on their 1st order wins).

Maybe good things are coming in the 2nd half for the NL West.

2008-07-28 10:33:55
171.   Jon Weisman
166 - "Currently they are even, and thats basically a function of just playing the Natinonals for 3."

The Dodgers were showing improvement before the Nationals series began.

BP gives the Dodgers a 35 percent chance to make the playoffs. I don't have a problem with that.

2008-07-28 10:34:55
172.   KG16
165 - there's probably something to the batting order issue. but you play the hand your dealt. If Loney was hitting behind Ethier, Martin, and/or Kemp, he'd hit into fewer double plays because those guys are more likely to get extra base hits or steal bases (you can add Pierre to this list). but Loney doesn't, so he's going to tend to hit into more double plays. nature of the beast.
2008-07-28 10:37:05
173.   overkill94
146 If there were more conclusive proof then there would truly be an outrage. I see it more as a last-minute concession by the Indians who insisted on getting Meloan and Santana but Ned/Frank thought it wasn't quite an even trade at that point so they figured the extra money made it fair enough. I highly doubt they would just plain give up an extra prospect for a measly $2M.

Or, if you prefer mathematical equations:
Meloan Blake
Meloan + Santana = Blake + $$$

Obviously it's just conjecture, but so is the assumption that Santana was the reason for the extra dough.

2008-07-28 10:38:15
174.   Bob Timmermann
Since when did beating up on a bad team count as a negative mark against a team?

Aren't teams supposed to do that?

2008-07-28 10:39:06
175.   tommyl
Wow, as a Bronx Banter guy I'm seeing some similarities here in past comment threads on our board. Yes, Torre played Pettitte and Jeter, but that's not really fair. Pettitte had already pitched in the postseason when Torre was handed him. If there's one thing Joe overvalues its postseason experience. As for Jeter, that's also a bit of a red herring, Tony Fernandez was hurt in spring training, the organization had literally no other options available. Yes, Torre had committed to starting him, but I wonder if Fernandez was healthy how long Torre would have endured the inevitable Jeter hiccup. He did say Ethier was the starter after all.

As for Joba and Cano, well Cano was once again the only option. This is a manager who played Tony Womack in the OF for his veteranness. Joba was so unbelievably good right out of the box you'd be insane to sit him. In contrast, Torre completely mucked up using Edwar Ramirez (sitting him for almost a week after he struck out the side in his debut, then benching him when he inevitably had command issues), who is arguably one of the best middle relievers in baseball right now.

I think Jon summed it up nicely. With Joe, when vets struggle they just need more time. When kids struggle it shows they are inexperienced and need to be benched or sent to the minors. Its an approach that gets you Miguel Cairo starting at first base, Womack in LF and constantly watching relievers who have made into the "circle of trust" (TM) trotted out time and time again.

2008-07-28 10:39:56
176.   Lexinthedena
174 I think he's just saying that those wins aren't as indicative of progress because they were against a sucky team.
2008-07-28 10:40:34
177.   D4P
Remember: good mood and all that...
2008-07-28 10:40:38
178.   Tripon
For all the Santana talk, he is likely the better prospect. But from the way the Dodgers see it(or spin it), if Santana moves from catching to 3rd base, the Dodgers win because Santana's more valuable as a catching prospect. If Santana makes it as a catcher, than the Dodgers just have to shrug it off and declare it a mistake that they traded away the wrong guy.
2008-07-28 10:42:03
179.   Kevin Lewis
Maybe it is because I have an Ethier jersey, but after seeing him and Matt do so well at the top of the lineup, I found his #8 spot yesterday rather insulting.
2008-07-28 10:42:57
180.   Lexinthedena
179 Maybe it's because you have common sense.
2008-07-28 10:43:19
181.   ToyCannon
How many guys are really mashing who play 1st base these days?
Loney is 12th among all 1st baseman. The only one younger then him that is above him on the list is the Prince. Other then the double plays I don't find any fault with his game at this point of his career and I'm not buying into the fact that just because James is hitting into double plays at this rate today means it will continue for the rest of his career.
2008-07-28 10:43:57
182.   Kevin Lewis

I am pitching this week, so we shall see about that.

2008-07-28 10:44:48
183.   bhsportsguy
163 Apparently Hu was guilty of a common trait among players, not being up front about an injury of some sort, in his case, some vision issues that took a while to sort out in Vegas. While a month or even less isn't fair to judge him, its hard to imagine anyone more overmatched and he simply had to be replaced.

Andy LaRoche's 2008 season was lost when Danny Ardoin tried to pick off a runner at 3B. The sequence of events that led to Casey Blake being at 3B were certainly not predictable. The LaRoche/DeWitt debate was problematic for me because I could see the team trying to give Blake time to adjust to the league adjusting to him. And what were we to believe, was DeWitt reverting to the player who was destined for AA ball and was not even invited to MLB camp, or was he just a young player trying to make adjustments.

And should the Dodgers had shut down that experiment and hand the job to Andy LaRoche who had come back from his surgery and played fine but perhaps he never gotten into the swing of the season and was now trying to adjust to being a bench player.

I have always been a proponent of not having young players like LaRoche just sit on the bench when he finally gets his shot at the majors, if he is here, he should play. And I said as much when he was called up, he was probably just going to sit a lot since they were sticking with DeWitt.

I know there are those who are waiting for the Chan Ho Park bubble to burst. Its now coming to August and I have to say he has done pretty much everything you could ask for and at this point I don't think you can question why he is part of this team.

2008-07-28 10:45:12
184.   Lexinthedena
182 At least your not playing shortstop;)
2008-07-28 10:46:26
185.   ToyCannon
Think how insulting Jeff Kent would feel if he was hitting where he belonged.

With an OPS+ of 83 and his defense, is Jeff Kent any worse then Andruw Jones? I mean if Andruw thinks that Nomar with his OPS+ of 116 and his defense is bad for the team what does that say about Kent?

2008-07-28 10:47:23
186.   Lexinthedena
NO one should be compared to Jones. He's historically bad.
2008-07-28 10:48:10
187.   fanerman
183 I think most people stopped waiting for the Chan Ho bubble to burst after he started striking people out. I wouldn't expect him to maintain his sub-3 ERA, but I don't think he's due to implode (knock on wood).
2008-07-28 10:48:48
188.   fanerman
185 Is the second Andruw supposed to be an Andrew?
2008-07-28 10:49:24
189.   ToyCannon
I'm not even sure Hu knew he had a vision problem.

LaRoches season may have been ended by the pick off throw but it didn't have to be. That was Torre's choice and make no mistake he had a choice.

2008-07-28 10:50:10
190.   fanerman
185 According to RZR, Jeff Kent's been making his plays this season.
2008-07-28 10:50:17
191.   Jon Weisman
On IMDB, the listing for "The Starter Wife" says "If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:"

Blast from the Past
The Misfits
The Full Monty

There is something wrong with the database.

2008-07-28 10:50:40
192.   Bob Timmermann
So beating the Nationals indicates nothing, but losing to them would have been reason for summary executions?
2008-07-28 10:50:52
193.   underdog
175 Welcome, and thanks! Admit it though, it was the Springsteen title that brought you over here today. ;-)
2008-07-28 10:52:13
194.   Tripon
That Chan Ho bubble isn't going to burst unless his fastball loses 5 miles on it, or he suffers an injury like Saito did.

I can't remember Chan Ho ever pitching like this, even as a starter. Is this the best he ever pitched?

2008-07-28 10:52:48
195.   underdog
192 Don't forget that all the Dodgers wins against the Reds shouldn't count either, because, you know, they've beaten the Reds a lot lately and it just shouldn't count. The Rockies' wins vs. the Reds should count, however, in our bizarro world of counting/not counting. :-/
2008-07-28 10:54:16
196.   ToyCannon
Which is why I stopped paying attention. If you want to believe that Jeff Kent all of the sudden has more range or has figured out exactly where to position himself, go for it but I'm not buying it.
2008-07-28 10:54:40
197.   Lexinthedena
192 Very O'Reilly-esque.
2008-07-28 10:55:05
198.   JoeyP
167--Not at all.
I just dont think beating the Nationals for 3 should make one believe the team is improving. I dont get the "since the team is at .500, Dodgers are improving" vibe. Have to look at strength of schedule.

The play of the team has been pretty consistent all year.

If the team drops some in August to the better teams, it wont be because they are getting worse. It'll be due to the competition. Likewise in Sept, when the schedule becomes more favorable and the team wins some, it wont be because of improvement.

I cant think of one invidual player that has improved as the season wore on.

Every player has been pretty consistent. Maybe Kemp has improved as the season wore on, but that could be an illusion bc he was a rather high OPS player coming into the season.

2008-07-28 10:55:24
199.   Bob Timmermann
Thank you!
2008-07-28 10:55:27
200.   D4P
Are you sure you don't have anything to add about Dodger fans leaving early...?
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-07-28 10:55:40
201.   Ken Noe
Frank McCourt has a soulmate, although Rosenthal hasn't ripped him yet:

0 When my wife was in college, her American Lit book included "Thunder Road." Rightfully.

2008-07-28 10:56:28
202.   Lexinthedena
194 He was pretty damn good in 2000.
2008-07-28 10:56:53
203.   fanerman
196 If half a season is a small sample size, couldn't you just believe that the balls hit to him have been pretty playable so even he could reach them, and that he's due to regress later? And wouldn't that not diminish what he's done so far?
2008-07-28 10:56:59
204.   bhsportsguy
189 Oh, there was a choice, yes indeed.
2008-07-28 10:58:27
205.   JoeyP
181--Isnt Vorp a counting stat though? It helps that Loney has played every game this year for the Dodgers. He's listed as above Ryan Howard on that list.

How credible can it be?

2008-07-28 10:58:28
206.   Eric Stephen
Matthew Ryan Kemp is currently enjoying the 9th longest hitting streak by an LA Dodger 23 or younger by hitting in 14 straight (currently tied with, among others, a pair of Raul Mondesi hitting streaks that occurred in one 30-game 1994 stretch).

Next on the list are Ron Fairly in 1962 and James Loney's season-opening 15-game hitting streak this year.

If Kemp gets a hit in every remaining game of the home stand, he will stand alone among young Dodgers, passing the 20-gamer by a rookie Tommy Davis in 1960.

Kemp is hitting .367/.424/.683 with 5 HR during the streak. He is also having quite a month, hitting .319/.396/.564 in July and the only game in which he didn't get a hit he had a Golden Sombrero.

2008-07-28 11:00:56
207.   tommyl
193 Can't say it hurt. I bop over here now and again to see how you west coasters are taking to our former manager (and EDSP). Have to say I really enjoy Jon's writing as well. Its sort of eerie how much some of your threads parrallel ours from the last couple of years. If you switch a few names (Pierre for Bernie, Kemp/Ethier for Lofton) you can pretty much just transcribe them. Its frustrating when your best team is not the one on the field.
2008-07-28 11:01:23
208.   Kevin Lewis

I can't say that didn't hurt.

2008-07-28 11:02:51
209.   Humma Kavula
Hi everyone. I've been absent for a while as I've gone through a heavy workload at work and, now, some family drama. I'm happy to have the distraction.

Here's my question -- in the Bill James Historical Abstract, one of the many reasons that James gave for ranking Biggio as the #35 player in baseball history is that he did all of the little things to improve his game -- for example, hitting into zero double plays one year (97?).

Now, we know that Bill James might be crazy about Biggio. But assuming for a second that he's not, wouldn't the logic apply the other way around, too? If Biggio gets credit for being so good at NOT hitting into double plays, don't we have to knock Loney for hitting into so many?

I'm not a stat guy, so I don't know the proper way to deduct that value or if it's really correct that he's the second-worst hitter on the team, but some seem to be implying that we can ignore it, like RBI, and I don't think we can do that.

2008-07-28 11:04:29
210.   ToyCannon
Just by having some offense at SS and 3rd base should help going forward. It is a testament to the pitching staff that we are even at 500 with the huge holes in the offense we have had most of the season.
I see that as improvement. Not a season goes by that you don't look on the negative side of every team. You, D4P and Scareduck are like the Axis of Doom and you make plenty of good points about the problems the teams have but you also seem to disregard anything positive that ever happens. This team has a kick ass pitching staff and while you think Haren/Webb/Johnson might be tough the flip side is that Billingsley/Lowe/Kuroda could be just as tough given our bullpen. They don't have a Kou or Broxton or even a Park. We do.
2008-07-28 11:05:47
211.   Sean P

Loney is .001 behind Howard in OPS.

Howard has 35 more PAs.

2008-07-28 11:07:18
212.   regfairfield
155 It's not like I'm making these numbers up. Yes, Loney is doing good at all of that but double plays kill a players value. Maybe second worst hitter is bad wording, how about, has cost the Dodgers more runs than any other player? Double plays basically end innings, and you want to avoid them at all costs. 25% of the time Loney comes to bat with a runner on first, he's going to hit into a double play. This is huge.

If he's in a situation with a runner on first and no outs, the Dodgers are probably going to score that inning (about .9 runs score on average with a runner on first and no outs),and he hits into a DP the Dodgers almost certainly aren't going to score (about .1 runs on average). If he does it with one out, we go from maybe scoring a run (.5 runs) to definately not.

Every time you hit into a double play, you basically cost your team a run, this is why Loney's value is so low right now. This isn't pefectly predictive, he might not be as double play prone in the future, but right now James Loney is a big part of our problems.

2008-07-28 11:08:27
213.   schoffle


Well that certainly puts some weight behind the assumption, and it yeah I also have a big problem if that was the reason that we sent Santana in the deal, I would like to believe that overkill's perspective 173 is correct. Either way it's really unfortunate that Eli Broad's bid was rejected.


"According to RZR, Jeff Kent's been making his plays this season"

Unfortunately I do not believe many are willing to consider that Kent is playing solid defense, therefore the stat must be wrong, I have certainly felt that this is the best I have seen Kent, at least in terms of ranging to his left.

2008-07-28 11:10:41
214.   Lexinthedena
213 So why was his bid rejected anyway?
2008-07-28 11:11:46
215.   Bob Timmermann
Is Eli Broad supposed to save every beloved L.A. Institution: Music Center, Dodgers, L.A. Times?
2008-07-28 11:12:48
216.   regfairfield
Kent defensively right now:

To his right: -4
Straight on: 0
To his left: -1
Fly balls: -2

Overall: -7 (29th in baseball)

2008-07-28 11:14:02
217.   ToyCannon
Loney's above average 360 OBP probably is more of a factor then Howards 324.
2008-07-28 11:14:22
218.   Eric Stephen
I don't remember Eli mentioned as one of the Broads referenced in Frank Sinatra's final question during The Sinatra Group.
2008-07-28 11:14:39
219.   Alex41592
Cal Ripken grounded into 350 double plays in his career which is #1 all time. Behind him are Hank Aaron, Carl Yastrzemski, Dave Winfield and Eddie Murray. All hall of famers.

Joe Torre is 12th.

2008-07-28 11:15:18
220.   fanerman
216 Where did you get those numbers from?
2008-07-28 11:15:34
221.   ToyCannon
I still find Loney's ability to hit triples bizarre but the part of his game I most enjoy.
2008-07-28 11:15:37
222.   Tripon
214 McCourt promised Fox sports they would have cable TV rights until 2012. And I believe he submitted a bid before Eli Broad did. Even if Broad offered more money, the McCourt deal fitted more into News Corp plans.(TV rights without worrying about owning a team.)

215 I thought one of the bigger reasons why the Broad bid had public support because Broad promised to put O'Malley back as Dodgers president?

2008-07-28 11:15:57
223.   Wilbert Robinson
James Loney is ahead of only Todd Helton amongst NL 1B with a min of 100 PAs. His WPA is -.54 Heltons is -.63. According to fangraphs.

2008-07-28 11:16:34
224.   regfairfield
220 Bill James online. It's nine dollars every three months.
2008-07-28 11:17:34
225.   ToyCannon
Per plate appearance who had the worse ratio for hitting into double plays in history? My money is on the big nosed catcher Lombardi. Hopefully Bob or Eric are bored today and can respond.
2008-07-28 11:19:16
226.   Wilbert Robinson
223. Surprisingly Andruw Jones is ahead of 3 NL OFs in WPA. Francoeur, Wily Mo and Bourn.
2008-07-28 11:21:18
227.   fanerman
224 Okay interesting.

Andruw Jones defensive rank over the years:
2006: 1
2007: 3
2008: 23

2008-07-28 11:23:00
228.   schoffle

Yes, most definitely yes. Otherwise what the heck is the use of a billionaire philanthropist?


Just out of curiosity what was his number going to his left in the last 2 years?

2008-07-28 11:23:22
229.   Wilbert Robinson
The only currently active Dodger regulars that have a positive WPA are Martin, Ethier and Kemp (with a min of 100 PAs). Nomar also has a positive WPA and is approaching 100 plate appearances.
2008-07-28 11:23:44
230.   unlazy4sports
172 makes sense. Loney hitting behind Pierre would be perfect. Pierre doesn't get on base too often, and when he does, he usually takes off, thus Loney wouldn't have a chance to ground into many DP's. =)
2008-07-28 11:24:51
231.   ToyCannon
I think Jeff Kent only falls to his left.
2008-07-28 11:24:57
232.   regfairfield
228 2006: 0 2007: +1, it's definately his strength.
2008-07-28 11:26:51
233.   CajunDodger
Shouldn't that be:

Santana + Meloan = Blake + $$$ + a second round pick at worst/1st rounder + Supplementary pick at best

I think that is what made Colletti/Logan/Ng comfortable with the pickup. Biemel/Wade/Chan Ho/Kuo providing excellent depth to the bullpen so Meloan could be absorbed while May/Martin blocks Santana.

I do not like LaRoche being back in Vegas, but the Blake deal itself (separate from whether LaRoche should get the job) was, I think, a pretty good deal.

If he is a Type A at the end of the season, then it is a great deal.

2008-07-28 11:27:35
234.   ToyCannon
The Diamondbacks have 4. Will Upton go up or down once he rejoins the team?
2008-07-28 11:28:38
235.   regfairfield
233 There's still the issue of whether or not you even want to offer Casey Blake arbitration.
2008-07-28 11:28:45
236.   bryanf
These days I've been so busy, I haven't posted a comment in weeks. I guess it took a brilliant post like this to make me stop and appreciate how great it is to have a writer like Jon covering my favorite team. This is just one of many posts I wish I could wave in the face of every person in the Dodger front office and every writer covering the Dodgers for a newspaper. It's not only right, it's perfect. Thank you.
2008-07-28 11:29:05
237.   schoffle

I guess Kent's defensive strength is everyone else's mediocrity.

2008-07-28 11:31:41
238.   ToyCannon
Lots of assumptions. First he'd have to qualify as a Type A. That does look like it might happen. Then we would have to offer him arbitration and have him decline. Not so easy. He will be a 35 year old 3rd baseman in a league full of 3rd baseman. How many teams will want to give up their number one pick to sign a 35 year old 3rd baseman to a multi-year deal? He just might accept arbitration, and if he doesn't he might find the pickings slim for his services. Teams aren't so inclined to give up their number one picks. On the plus side the Giants still need a 3rd baseman and he fits right into their rebuilding plan so they might give up their number one pick.
2008-07-28 11:33:20
239.   schoffle

"If he is a Type A at the end of the season, then it is a great deal."

If he is a Type A free agent at seasons end do you really believe that Ned doesn't sign him to a two or three year deal? Seriously.

2008-07-28 11:36:04
240.   Tripon
239 Ned won't get that chance.
2008-07-28 11:36:44
241.   CajunDodger
I think that is a valid point. At worst, he could prevent us from resigning Nomar while being a super-sub of sorts next year backing up LaRoche, Loney, Ethier, and Pierre (in my world, Andruw is non-tendered after showing up to Spring Training looking like Tony Gwynn circa 2008).

I see Nomar being resigned by the way to something like a $5 mil 1 year deal if Blake leaves.

2008-07-28 11:37:13
242.   Wilbert Robinson
Casey Blake has a WPA of .98. .37 ahead of ARod?
2008-07-28 11:37:18
243.   ToyCannon
Casey Blake at the right price would be an excellent player to have on the bench backing up Loney, LaRoche, Kemp, and Ethier. Of course we know Joe would start him which is why hiring Joe was just as big a mistake as the day Depo extended Tracy instead of getting his own manager.
2008-07-28 11:38:30
244.   Ken Noe
Dayn Perry's Top 10 "Deadline Disasters": only two from the Dodgers!

2008-07-28 11:38:46
245.   ToyCannon
I have never heard of WPA and I'm probably not going to bother after that one line. Sometimes I just need to stay ignorant.
2008-07-28 11:39:01
246.   underdog
207 Eerie, indeed. And the only sweeping statement regarding DT-ers feelings on Torre is that they are mixed. I know I really like him in a lot of ways but also get incredibly frustrated by what you point out, his weird favoritisms and the double-standard about youth vs. vets, as Jon points out so well. And it isn't all young vs. old, it's certain players over others. We all just want the best line-up on the field. That said, in fairness to Torre, too, having a healthy Rafael Furcal this season and not having an abysmal Andruw Jones would've made it much easier for him to fill out the line-up card. And then the 3B battle would have been between LaRoche and Nomar had they both been healthy to start the season and frankly I would've lived with either choice. What exposed Torre's weaknesses were once the Dodgers had injuries and depth issues from that, then he kind of went all over the map. But there are still some things I like about him. And some of that has to do with the fact that our previous managers were Grady Little and before him Jim Tracy, whose lineups would make almost any of Torre's look positive perfect in comparison, and so on. So I keep perspective on things even though I think Torre could be managing the line-up and personnel better, no doubt.

I also know (from my dad and some of you Bronx Banters) that there hasn't always been joy in Bronxville regarding Girardi's moves this season, either. But they're winning now so that makes everything look a bit better I'm sure. :-)


2008-07-28 11:39:11
247.   Tripon
Did they change the rules for 1st rounders, or do the bottom 15 teams according to record still are able to keep their first round pick when signing a type A FA, and instead give up a compensation pick, and a 2nd rounder. The Indians are likely going to finish with one of the bottom 15, so they wouldn't be as risk adverse signing Casey Blake, as say Marlins would due to their decent record.
2008-07-28 11:40:34
248.   delias man
Does anybody know if Boras is CC's agent?
2008-07-28 11:42:36
249.   Sharkie
Didn't get a chance to read through all the posts. I have mentioned this on other boards about Ned, and it has been talked about by a lot of people. I call it the Ned-Sabes way.

In SF, they thought putting "professional" or "veteran" hitters around Bonds and drafting pitching was the way to build a winner. They simultaneously undervalued Bonds (a 10-11 win player) and overvalued veteran hitters.

All one has to do is build a .500 team. Add Bonds, and you have a 90+ win team. It's not hard to build a mediocre team. So Ned and Sabes think they have a system or paradigm. They did. It was Bonds (and Balco). But they probably gives themselves more credit than mediocre team builders. Hence the disconnect.

2008-07-28 11:43:03
250.   schoffle

If Blake plays well enough to be a type A free agent and the Dodgers make the playoffs ("Ned's big PVL acquisition just what young D's needed" LA Times 9/30/08) I cannot imagine that Ned would be fired.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-07-28 11:43:19
251.   Ken Noe
Blake's first comment after getting off the plane Saturday was about how much he wanted to re-sign with the Indians this winter and finish his career by the lake. I don't think he'll be blocking Andy at third next year.
2008-07-28 11:43:52
252.   scareduck
214 - Broad's bid included an immediate renegotiation of the cable bid. Broad was in a position to tell Fox what he would or would not do with the Dodgers, something McCourt couldn't do. Also, and this is principally my own supposition, the league wanted to hamstring the Dodgers by handing them over to a weak owner.
2008-07-28 11:43:58
253.   regfairfield
242 He's hitting like .390 with RISP.
2008-07-28 11:44:52
254.   CajunDodger
I believe that.

I certainly agree that my statement is pretty iffy, but the third base market is pretty thin this year (Crede, Melvin Mora via trade, This will also be Blake's last chance at a multi year deal, so I can't see him accepting arbitration to a team who promises him backup status.

More likely, however, he becomes a Type B and we get a second rounder, which given Logan White's track record should be included in the analysis of the trade as being a positive.

2008-07-28 11:44:57
255.   Wilbert Robinson
246 WPA is not a good predictive statistic because it's not necessarily a good representation of a player's true talent. If a player hits a home run in the ninth inning of a 1-0 game, he is credited with more WPA points than if he hits a home run in the first inning of a 1-0 game. The talent is the ability to hit the home run; when it happens in a game is something that is pretty random. When you are thinking of acquiring a player for your fantasy team, you should rely more on the traditional sabermetric stats, like Linear Weights, Runs Created, DIPS, etc. etc.

from the hardball times

2008-07-28 11:47:00
256.   bigcpa
When life is good, Torre and Colletti love the kids. When there is doubt, the veterans benefit - not because they are better, but because they are veterans.

This schizo approach ties in with the discussion of fan apathy above. Martin, Kemp and Billingsley should be on the cover of the media guide and splashed all over buses and 30-second spots. Instead we have to read Kemp/LaRoche trade rumors all summer. I went back and looked... the last time a current Dodger player was on the cover of the media guide was 2004- and it took a Cy Young award to merit that. It's such a buzzkill to watch this exciting young team in HD and then between innings hear Ron Cey and Reggie Smith spin yarns from the grainy 80's. The whole organization from the front office to the dugout to the marketing dept to the local press is in denial that this is a talented and likable team.

2008-07-28 11:48:00
257.   Ken Noe
252 More likely that MLB didn't want to tick off FOX and end up with less money. Plus, two good teams in LA would be better for post-season ratings, right? The prospect of Tampa vs. Milwaukee must have them shaking in their suits.
2008-07-28 11:52:11
258.   Eric Stephen
Hopefully Bob or Eric are bored today and can respond

You rang? :)

First of all, the Lahman database is sweet.

With a minimum of 500 career PA, the highest GIDP/PA is Gene Green, with 63 GIDP in 1262 PA from 1957-1963 (.0499 per PA). Your guy Ernie Lombardi is 9th on that list (great call, as he is the only one with a decent amount of PA)

Raising the minimum to 2000 PA, and here are the most GIDPiest players ever:

Lombardi (.0411 GIDP per PA)
Ron Coomer (.0407)
Walt Dropo (.0367)
Lamar Johnson (.0354)
Jim Rice (.03478)
Bengie Molina (.03475)
Toby Hall (.03454)
Jerry Adair (.03453)
John Bateman (.0343)
Hal Lanier (.03426)

Loney in his career has grounded into 32 DP in 908 PA, a rate of .0352 per PA, which would place him 5th all-time if he had enough PA.

2008-07-28 11:52:19
259.   bhsportsguy
225 Lombardi's rate is 4% of his PA resulted into hitting into double plays.

I have not gone throught the rest of the Top 20 (Lombardi was 20th in total GDP with 261) but since it appears he has the lowest number of PA in that group, I think ToyCannon is right.

2008-07-28 11:53:18
260.   underdog
Interesting -- from, via MLBTR:

A proposed deal, which would have brought Jason Bay to Atlanta in exchange for four Minor Leaguers, was killed when presented to the Pirates owners for approval.

Bowman believes Pirates targets might include Brent Lillibridge, Brandon Jones, a talented A ball pitcher, and a marginal position player prospect. He says the Braves will continue to pursue Bay.

(Doesn't sound like enough for Bay, imho...)

2008-07-28 11:53:41
261.   ToyCannon
I thought Ned's job was safe entering this year but with the A Jones fiasco, the inability of Schmidt to come back, and another injury to Rafy, at some point the point is going to be driven home that Ned's free agent purchases have killed the Dodgers bottom line without adding much to the ability of the team to bring in fans.
He is lucky that Kuroda is doing enough to make it appear that was a good signing for this year anyway.
2008-07-28 11:54:04
262.   fanerman
244 Hmm. The losing team was typically the one that traded for a rental. Maybe that's saying something...
2008-07-28 11:54:06
263.   scareduck
256 - how long was it before that weird ad with the lady with the Nomar mural van disappeared? There's this huge disconnect in the marketing department between who is really producing and who has a name made elsewhere. Outside of the 4+1 game, I don't recall Nomar doing anything that spectacular that he ever did that would have made him a star in the Dodgers firmament. And yet that ad kept running and running. I never understood it.
2008-07-28 11:55:13
264.   bhsportsguy
258 Darn those kids and their newfangled electronic devices, I had to rely on paper and pencil to come up with my figures. And my lantern kept going out.
2008-07-28 11:55:18
265.   trainwreck
Kind of odd that HBO approved a second season of Tell Me You Love Me and then all of a sudden just axe it.
2008-07-28 11:55:35
266.   Eric Stephen
BTW, the Lahman database runs through 2006.
2008-07-28 11:56:54
267.   tommyl
246 Joe is always going to look ok when established stars or vets are performing. Where he runs into trouble is when he has to get creative, instead of shifting players around or trying a new rookie he'll play Miguel Cairo, at 1B for lord knows how many games. Joe T has his good spots, and I'm still a fan of his but the favoritisms he plays can be jarring, much more so than any in game tactical moves. Another thing that always frustrated me was his complete lack of knowledge of the Yankees organization below the major league level. He would sometimes be handed a new player (Wang, Cano, Hughes, even Joba) and he literally didn't even know what they looked like. That's problematic.

As for Joe G. its true that some of his in game moves have been questioned here and there, but the guy knows his team, and really his whole organization. When handed David Robertson he immediately had him pitching high leverage innings and he knew what type of pitcher he was (high K, low HR rates) and used him appropriately. Sure he has a fetish for Kyle Farnsworth a bit, but then again Kyle had 9 innings without giving up a hit. Hell he's even used Mo in a tie game on the road multiple times. If you read BB these days, individual moves here and there will be questioned but its nothing like the consistent theme that was head scratching or frustration at Torre the last couple of years. The Yankees problems have come from either catastrophic injuries or players greatly underperforming their career averages or expectations. Its hard to pin that on Girardi, he can't make Derek Jeter hit better.

My 2 cents.

2008-07-28 11:57:05
268.   bhsportsguy
265 One more week until the Rick Neuheisal era officially begins.
2008-07-28 11:57:17
269.   ToyCannon
Sure would have been last October. Lillibridge's stock was high and Bay's was low.

I'm a little amazed at how the Braves continue to shed their future for a hazy present. The guy in charge of the Braves drafts has done a great job enabling them to make these kind of deals.

2008-07-28 11:59:50
270.   schoffle

I completely agree with that statement, but I was going with the idea that the Dodgers make the playoffs and that Blake (Ned's big acquision) plays very well. Add Kuroda's contribution to that mix (not to mention Bill P's undieing support), and do you really think given all that Ned would (not should) be fired

2008-07-28 12:00:25
271.   ToyCannon
That is because alot of people forgot how awesome he was in the 1st half of 2006 when he captured the hearts of the fans. It wasn't just 4+1 he had several other key hits that year. A week or so after the 4+1 I saw him hit a grand slam to win a game and early in the year he hit a grand slam in Houston to win a game.
The Mural makes perfect sense. He is the guy to the average fan. Just go to a game and listen to the introductions. They didn't get anything wrong, they are pandering to what the fans want.
2008-07-28 12:01:02
272.   trainwreck
Please be good Donovan Edwards. Everything hinges on the o-line.
2008-07-28 12:01:10
273.   Ken Noe
261 McCourt's refusal to allow Ned to expand the payroll this year--I think that was proven Saturday--suggests that the point already has driven home. No more faith, no more money. I don't even think Kuroda helps him, since White's the one who recommended the deal. Ultimately, Jones greatest contribution may be hastening the end of the Ned Era, which will be in September barring an NL pennant.
2008-07-28 12:01:42
274.   Eric Stephen
By the way, has anyone else had trouble viewing DT on a Treo lately? Since Friday (fairpole changes?) I haven't been able to view anything but the sidebar when inside an actual thread. Weird stuff.
2008-07-28 12:02:17
275.   scareduck
271 - I just don't remember that. Perhaps it's because I also remember watching him a lot as a Cub (my wife is a fan), and seeing him do not all that much. My expectations were low, and they were generally met.
2008-07-28 12:02:52
276.   ToyCannon
The only thing I know about Lombardi was whatever Bill James wrote in his abstracts. He was supposed to be the slowest player to ever play the game and it was said that he hit the ball harder then anyone of his era. Something like that. One of the great characters in baseball history.
2008-07-28 12:03:18
277.   scareduck
273 - Ultimately, Jones greatest contribution may be hastening the end of the Ned Era, which will be in September barring an NL pennant.

I would think a division title would be enough.

2008-07-28 12:03:55
278.   fanerman
263 He had an OPS >1 his first half-season here.
2008-07-28 12:04:01
279.   bhsportsguy
271 Nomar also hit a grand slam to beat Arizona to win the last 2006 home game.
2008-07-28 12:04:26
280.   scareduck
266 - are you kidding? The Lahman database is current to 2007.
2008-07-28 12:06:26
281.   ToyCannon
First half of 2006 in 303 plate appearances.
358 .426 .578 1.004
2008-07-28 12:06:47
282.   bhsportsguy
276 Same here.
2008-07-28 12:08:17
283.   ToyCannon
Is that the one I remembered?
2008-07-28 12:08:47
284.   fanerman
281 Usually when people have great first halves that mask horrible second halves, people remember the great first halves. The opposite seems to be true here.
2008-07-28 12:09:55
285.   blue22
Nomar won the Cinco de Mayo game in '06, which was his first big moment as a Dodger I believe.

2008-07-28 12:12:07
286.   Tripon
277 Lets split the difference and say a hard fought trip to the NLCS.
2008-07-28 12:13:18
287.   bhsportsguy
283 He hit 2 grand slams that year, one against the Astros in Houston and the one against the Diamondbacks on Fan Appreciaiton Day.
2008-07-28 12:13:48
288.   Jon Weisman
274 - Molly has, but I haven't.
2008-07-28 12:16:01
289.   Bob Timmermann
GIDPs weren't recorded during Lombardi's first two years in the majors: 1931 with the Dodgers and 1932 with the Reds.

As a 25-year old with the Reds in 1933, Lombardi GIDPed 26 times in 350 ABs. And in 1932, he had 413 ABs. The 1932 Reds had a team OBP of .317, which was actually seventh in the NL.

You could tweak his rates for PAs instead of ABs, but Lombardi didn't draw many walks.

The Dodgers got rid of Lombardi in a trade that included Babe Herman. The Dodgers got back Tony Cuccinello (the Dodgers first All-Star) and Clyde Sukeforth, whose biggest claim to fame was that he was the scout who signed Jackie Robinson. The Dodgers opted to use Al Lopez as their catcher.

I would think Lombardi's GIDPs were compounded by the fact that not only was he slow and he hit the ball hard, but he also rarely struck out. So he put the ball in play frequently. (In 1935, Lombardi had 6 Ks in 332 ABs.)

He was also rarely asked to bunt a runner over.

2008-07-28 12:17:27
290.   rjc41276
I actually like the acquisition of Blake.

The difference between having him and not having him this season could be the difference between winning the division and not winning the division. I also think that sometimes its ok to trade lower level prospects for a two month rental if it means the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs........the end goal should always be winning the world series and you can't win the world series unless you make the playoffs........after that, anything can happen.

If Blake is re-signed and ends up blocking LaRoche in the future, I wouldn't be happy with that, but personally I'll wait to cross that bridge when we come to it and there is nothing to indicate that this will be the case.

Blake deserves to be in our lineup every day. Ethier deserves to be in our lineup every day. Jones should never be in the lineup at this point, he had his chance and he has failed.

The question in my mind now centers around Pierre at CF/Blake at 3B vs. LaRoche at 3B/Blake at LF.

2008-07-28 12:20:37
291.   ToyCannon
Because of my experience on 4+1, I stayed that time.

Also on Nomar, last year he had one of the great historical splits in Dodger Stadium History. At home he had an 835 OPS compared to 570 on the road. So the fans who cheered him at home, saw him provide production after they cheered him.

2008-07-28 12:21:33
292.   68elcamino427
Under the leadership of Ned Colletti and Joe Torre, the Dodgers are both arrogant and self-loathing.

Thank you for a very accurate and concise description. So sad that this is true and that they are either blind to it or that they are purposely doing this a part of a planned policy.

Meritocracy - Play the best talent available to have the best chance of winning - What a concept!

Jon, thanks again for clearly defining the issues at hand.

2008-07-28 12:21:38
293.   Ken Noe
277 286 Whoever wins the West will be ridiculed by the local and national press as not deserving to advance. ESPN will run stories about all the better teams left at home. The only positive spin will be about the genius Joe Torre, how did he do it? Meanwhile the Angels will be rolling. No, I don't think the division will be enough, the LADs have to win a series or two.
2008-07-28 12:22:27
294.   trainwreck
Apparently the Phillies have been trying to get Matt Kemp or Matt Holliday and have been unsuccessful.
2008-07-28 12:24:05
295.   Tripon
294 Are the Phillies offering Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins, and are they willing to take Juan Pierre, Jason Schimdt, and Andruw Jones?
2008-07-28 12:24:16
296.   ucladodger
Brilliant writing, Jon. Truly great and expresses what a lot of us think about the current situation of this team.

I also just want to thank everyone for the type of discussion that can be found here. Informed, intelligent baseball discussion with people that understand the game. I went to the 2nd game of the Nats series (first game where i saw the Bison homer- very nice) with my roommate, his girlfriend, and her parents. We had a great time at the game and went back to the house for some good old baseball banter. I consider my roommates girlfriends dad (jeez, thats a tongue twister) to be more knowledgeable than the average fan. Has season tickets, reads whatever he can about he game, watches games from around the league, etc. We started talking about the game and it eventually turned into my roommate and I arguing with him about the merit of Juan Pierre and Matt Kemp. To him, Pierre was so valuable because of his 200 hits a year and his solid play, but Kemp was totally expendable because of his attitude and lack of smarts. Obviously I did my damndest to convert him, even showing him the statistics that show him to be wrong and explaining to him what they mean, but he woulnd't have it. I just couldn't believe that someone who does know aboutt he game could really know so little. And this isnt your typical Nomar-loving, Plaschke reading Dodger fan. To be able to come here and actually have debates with others who love the dodgers AND understand baseball is really something that i look forward to every day. I work at a baseball card and memorabilia store, so encountering people without knowledge is pretty commonplace. Even my bosses think I'm crazy for telling them that Derek Jeter is ridiculously overrated and overvalued. Having a place like this, my own little baseball safe haven, is something i don't take for granted and really appreciate.

2008-07-28 12:24:21
297.   trainwreck
Peter Gammons is full force on the Manny is terrible in every way campaign. Funny, you loved him Pete, until the Red Sox decided you didn't.
2008-07-28 12:24:30
298.   ToyCannon
I also like having Blake on the team and playing 3rd base. I would just rather be paying him 2 Million and still have Carlos Santana.

What kind of bonus would Carlos Santana have been worth if he was a 22 year College Senior who led the nation in every offensive category as a catcher?

2008-07-28 12:25:47
299.   Bob Timmermann
In related news, I have not been successful in my attempt in getting the IRS to exempt me from paying income tax.
2008-07-28 12:32:01
300.   trainwreck
You could always stop making money.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-07-28 12:32:44
301.   bhsportsguy
299 Well you don't pay Social Security tax so stop complaining.
2008-07-28 12:36:18
302.   Tripon
We're still paying Odalis Perez $750,000?
2008-07-28 12:36:24
303.   D4P
Kind of odd that HBO approved a second season of Tell Me You Love Me and then all of a sudden just axe it

The official story is that the creator/writer of the show couldn't figure out which direction to take the show in, and thus essentially canceled it herself.

2008-07-28 12:36:35
304.   underdog
274 Eric, I've had the same problem on my Ericsson phone since the layout change, and solved it by looking at DT in text only mode so the pagination squish doesn't happen. (I hardly ever post on DT from my phone, because it's not as easy to do as it would be with an iPhone or Treo.) See if you can do that on your Treo, disable images in your browser.
2008-07-28 12:37:20
305.   underdog
299 Is this just your long, arduous way to get Ben & Jerry's to name an ice cream after you?
2008-07-28 12:39:56
306.   D4P
I think it'd be kinda cool if there was a TMYLM spinoff that just focused on Carolyn and Palek. The storylines for the other couples (while not completely resolved) had essentially reached a point where the most interesting/complelling subplot was already resolved. Carolyn and Palek are really the only ones where you're really left wanting more.
2008-07-28 12:40:51
307.   Jon Weisman
303 - Also, there was a change in leadership at HBO.
2008-07-28 12:41:47
308.   still bevens
285 When Nomar donned a sarape after winning the Cinco de Mayo game he became a god in LA.
2008-07-28 12:42:30
309.   Jon Weisman
306 - I don't think Dave and Katie's story was done. Certainly Michelle Borth's story wasn't done. Jane Alexander's story wasn't done. I'm frankly surprised by the notion that they had story troubles. I'm not disbelieving it, but I think it might have been more of a business decision to cancel.
2008-07-28 12:43:27
310.   silverwidow
Nelson Cruz has 11 HR in the last 10 games for the Rangers' AAA club.


37 HR, 24 SB

Of course, he's 28 years old, so it doesn't mean much.

2008-07-28 12:43:50
311.   Sagehen
The first time I saw Kemp live was during his brief initial call-up when he was on the homerun tear. The ball was just stung off the bat -- in a way that I have only seen twice before: with Sammy Sosa and with Mike Piazza (I obviously don't go to that many games). How can anyone who sees that in person not like Kemp? Are they not paying attention? I suppose the casual fan doesn't pay much attention to the ball's speed off the bat -- they don't look up until the ball is at a fielder. But that's the image I will always carry of Kemp and why the Dodgers need him. He is the one to become the big bat they need. And that's my humble scouting report without even looking at the stats. I just don't know how anyone could support trading him.
2008-07-28 12:46:48
312.   KG16
did i hear correctly that Nomar left the game with a tweaked ankle yesterday? has there been an update on his condition?
2008-07-28 12:48:02
313.   Dodger Tony
"Show a little faith - there's magic in the night".

Physician, heal thyself.

2008-07-28 12:48:41
314.   KG16
also, why is LaRoche being sent to Vegas to play first? that seems like a strange place for him to get playing time.
2008-07-28 12:51:15
315.   D4P
I don't know whether I believe the official line either, but I'm probably less cynical than I might otherwise be because I always thought the writers would have a hard time figuring out where to go from here.

I don't mean that the other stories were done, just that they were more done (or less undone) than Carolyn/Palek. I also think that the other stories would be more difficult to continue than Carolyn/Palek, which increases their spinoff appeal.

All that said, I was still looking forward to seeing all of the stories continue.

2008-07-28 12:52:01
316.   ToyCannon
That is how I felt 3 years ago when I found this haven from ignorance. I must be coming up on my 3 year anniversary of posting here.
2008-07-28 12:52:19
317.   Sagehen
308 Nomar was very popular with the Latino population even before then because they see him as one of their own.

To his credit, Nomar has produced the big moments, and he legitimately seems happy to be home. The story about his parents getting season tickets and coming to every game is endearing. I have no problem with his popularity because he has on some level earned it. I'm not saying he's earned the big contract or that the Dodgers should resign him, although he could be a very useful utility man at a reduced salary; he just can't be counted on to stay off the DL. I'm also not saying that he ever should have been signed to block Loney or LaRoche. But I like the guy. He has always struck me as someone who looked like a ballplayer should, not that I can define what that means. When he was with the RedSox, he was one of the few non-Dodgers that I really liked.

2008-07-28 12:52:50
318.   underdog
312/314 - No update on Nomar yet, though it didn't sound all that serious from what he said after the game. (But we've heard that before.) I bet Diamond has an update this afternoon.

Andy and DeWitt getting PT at 2nd and 1st makes sense because it gives them more flexibility and value, and more opportunities to play when they do return to the majors. Plus if Andy can play 1st, that's still one more reason that Sweeney is superfluous.

2008-07-28 12:53:59
319.   underdog
317 I totally agree, re: Nomar. I have no problem with him being popular with fans, and like him, too. My only problem with him is that his body is made of peanut brittle. But he's a good guy to have on the team.
2008-07-28 12:54:31
320.   Sagehen
314 I would think the plan is for him to spell Loney and Blake in September, without having Blake shifting over to first to do so.
2008-07-28 12:54:52
321.   Who Is Karim Garcia
294 299

Reminds me of the time I tried to trade my girlfriend for her bestfriend. The friend was younger and had more upside and was able to handle different positions. I was tired of overpaying for my girlfriend and many of her best tools had begun to deteriorate. Legs are always the first to go, right?

Anyway, the deal fell through. At the end of the year my girlfriend did not accept arbitration.

I should have just swapped for a girlfriend to be named later.

2008-07-28 12:56:35
322.   ToyCannon
Make that four years.
2008-07-28 12:57:41
323.   bhsportsguy
321 Colin Cowherd had a similar comment about marriage being viewed as contract with options.
2008-07-28 12:58:21
324.   Sagehen
302 And Odalis was worth every penny the other night, wasn't he?
2008-07-28 12:59:40
325.   Who Is Karim Garcia

I had a rant similar to Colin? I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

2008-07-28 13:02:42
326.   Sagehen
Re: marketing. Is it just me, or is Martin the only one of the young guys to get a bobblehead? I just can't get excited about a Penny or a Furcal bobblehead. Give me Kemp, Ethier, Loney, and/or Billingsley days next year -- please!

Who gets the bobbleheads tells you a lot about who they're marketing.

2008-07-28 13:03:02
327.   underdog
321 That's so romantic!
2008-07-28 13:03:45
328.   Humma Kavula
325 Rule 13 violation.

And I should know, being the commenter who inspired the then-new rule.

2008-07-28 13:05:21
329.   bhsportsguy
326 Joe Beimel got one through internet voting for what that is worth.
2008-07-28 13:06:15
330.   Who Is Karim Garcia

I want a Nomar Garciaparra version of the Operation boardgame.

Or an Andruw Jones bobblehead with a golden sombrero. OOOOH, and have him sitting on the bench.

2008-07-28 13:07:04
331.   D4P
Or an Andruw Jones bobblehead with a golden sombrero. OOOOH, and have him sitting on the bench

With bobbling manboobs.

2008-07-28 13:08:02
332.   cargill06
I always brushed of the Teixara to LAD rumor, but now I'm hearing a lot of this talk.

Say they aren't really considering this?

2008-07-28 13:08:56
333.   fanerman
332 I thought it was bigger last year.
2008-07-28 13:10:08
334.   Sagehen
329 Can we all pool our votes to vote for the same young guy for the fan's vote next year? I nominate Kemp (which is very big of me, since Ethier is still my favorite).

330 ROTFLMAO (unless that's a rule 1 violation)

2008-07-28 13:10:19
335.   Dodgers49
173 146 If there were more conclusive proof then there would truly be an outrage.

## highly doubt they would just plain give up an extra prospect for a measly $2M. ##

%% Obviously it's just conjecture, but so is the assumption that Santana was the reason for the extra dough. %%

There is also this from BILL SHAIKIN:

Ned Colletti's rope seems to be getting shorter

The Dodgers picked up Casey Blake from the Indians, without spending a dime. The Indians paid the $2 million remaining on Blake's contract, raising the question of why the Dodgers did not pay some or all of that money to ease the hit on their minor league system.

"If anybody thinks we were going to go and get Casey Blake for two non-prospects, they're wrong," Colletti said.

Colletti said he could have added to the Dodgers' payroll if necessary to complete the deal. However, a source familiar with negotiations said the Indians were told that the Dodgers needed any trade to be "revenue-neutral" -- in other words, McCourt would not increase the payroll.

2008-07-28 13:10:19
336.   Dodgers49
173 146 If there were more conclusive proof then there would truly be an outrage.

## highly doubt they would just plain give up an extra prospect for a measly $2M. ##

%% Obviously it's just conjecture, but so is the assumption that Santana was the reason for the extra dough. %%

There is also this from BILL SHAIKIN:

Ned Colletti's rope seems to be getting shorter

The Dodgers picked up Casey Blake from the Indians, without spending a dime. The Indians paid the $2 million remaining on Blake's contract, raising the question of why the Dodgers did not pay some or all of that money to ease the hit on their minor league system.

"If anybody thinks we were going to go and get Casey Blake for two non-prospects, they're wrong," Colletti said.

Colletti said he could have added to the Dodgers' payroll if necessary to complete the deal. However, a source familiar with negotiations said the Indians were told that the Dodgers needed any trade to be "revenue-neutral" -- in other words, McCourt would not increase the payroll.

2008-07-28 13:10:47
337.   ToyCannon
For those who love the prospect reports, these from Jon, 4 years ago are cool to re-read.

The 2nd link is loaded with references to the kids we now adulate.

2008-07-28 13:10:57
338.   still bevens
318 I was at the game yesterday close to the dugout. After Nomar came out he was still in the dugout standing on the railing with the team. He wasn't grimmacing or anything. Keeping my fingers crossed that its just a minor precaution.
2008-07-28 13:13:30
339.   SevenNineSixtyFive

Just read this posting - and this comment is so far down the list of comments I wonder if you'll even see it - nevertheless, here goes.

I'm only a sometime viewer of these pages, and have only posted once before - but I appreciate the informed discussion here. And I definitely appreciate the passion of your arguments - this one included. But with all respect, this posting strikes me as a bit over the top.

In some ways, it's a more impassioned statement of much of what Shaikin wrote this weekend in the LA Times. But while he stuck to the logic of his argument - you seem to pushing the envelope on logic and venturing into the realm of baseball ideology.

Again, I definitely appreciate your passion, but I think it might be taking you down a road of overstatement and exaggeration (and I just don't mean rhetorically - although "the nonsense, the violence, being unleashed domestically" may be a tad excessive - no? - nonsense, perhaps, but violence?).

When you deride Torre and Coletti for putting all their faith in veterans, and none in kids, I think you're ignoring both some of the facts on the ground, and some of the factors involved in their choices that - although not necessarily based on statistics alone, are based in reality.

First off, is the fact that the season is no longer at its start - there are about a third of the games left to play - therefore the assumption that statistics will even themselves out over the course of a long season is pretty much out the window. Secondly, the pressure that players are being placed under will only increase during this last third of the season, not decrease. And while you're right that "some of the bravest men and most heroic have been callow" - you are, I think, missing the point a bit. It's not just about bravery. It's about something else that has to do with the ability to perform under pressure. Yes - "experience will not save you" nor will it make one "better than someone that is better." But the crux in that statement is the definition of "better." Bobby Richardson, who I'm sure you're familiar with, produced in the post season at a rate that way exceeded his regular season numbers. He excelled under the pressure of the World Series. You're an editor and a writer - so I think you'll understand this analogy very easily. One writer may have more pure talent than another, and - over time - may produce works that far outstrip that other writer's work... but under the pressure of a deadline - be it for a screenplay or an article - the writer who may have "been there, done that" before (to deliberately use the cliche) can often out-achieve the more talented writer in the context of what I call "writing with a gun to your head" - having to produce, and having to produce now. And while having "done it before" is never a guarantee of future success, it's one of the few gaugues that an editor, producer, or baseball manager has in situations like that.

I'm not saying that Casey Blake is going to be Bobby Richardson, and produce at a rate that's 20% or more above his regular output under the pressure of a pennant race or in the post season. Nor am I certain that Andy LaRoche would not produce in a way that would impress under those circumstances. But everyone here seems to forget that LaRoche - for all his talent - pulled one of the bonehead plays of all time (his suicide bunt with the bases loaded and two-outs). Yes - it was only one play - and I'm sure that he's learned, but if anything ever showed inexperience, that did. It was a move that would get one chewed out at any level of even amateur baseball - and when it comes to making decisions that affects people's lives and livelihoods, it's not something that people forget. (More on that in a second.) I very much hope the Dodgers keep LaRoche. I want to see him as their every day third baseman. But he has definitely seemed to be pressing since his injury in Spring - an unfortunate truth - but true nonetheless. And I understand the choice of sending him down now. If that's just a prelude to him being traded, I will disappointed - we'll see.

But I think it's wrong to say that Torre has no feel for younger players. No player is younger than Kershaw - and from yesterday's game, one has to say, I think, that Torre is - and has been - very sensitive to his development. He was sent down to work on his off speed stuff, and was brought up at a time when it seemed right. And Torre's handling of him in the actual game - taking him out at the precise moment when he seemed to begin to press - was very good, I thought. And the result that followed, with Park, Kuo, & Broxton pitching as well as they did, is hard to argue with. Granted, the Nationals are terrible. But it was a well-managed game. With a lot of care for a younger player.

There's one last element to consider in all this - Coletti's future. I'm not a fan of Coletti, but I think if I worked with him on a daily basis, and if he hired me to manage the team, putting his faith in me, I'd do all I could to at least try to put my faith in him, especially given the fact that his career and his future hangs in the balance (more than Torre's, for sure, but also more than any of these players, young or old - LaRoche will get more chances, and earn millions, one way or another - but if Coletti fails in L.A., his future is far less assured).

Agree with it or not, Coletti and Torre began the season with a plan in place. Injuries - first to LaRoche & Garciaparra, later to Furcal - plus the inability of Schmidt to return, and the utter incompetence of Jones - sent that plan reeling. The problems with Furcal and Jones have been especially hurtful, I think, as they were to be the offensive anchors of the team. What I think Torre has been doing up until now with Jones was trying to give the plan that was in place at the start of the season as much of a chance as he could to take shape, not out of loyalty to "veterans" - but out of loyalty to someone he worked alongside, and someone who hired him, and whose own future probably depends on that plan having at least some degree of success.

I think the fact is Torre altering that mode, and beginning to play Ethier more than Jones, is actually proof that there's a flaw in your assessment of him, and your feeling that you're addicted to playing the "best" players, and he's just addicted to playing "experienced" ones. I think there have been far more factors here than you have taken into consideration - factors that go into any workplace, job, and professional situation - especially ones where creative and subjective elements come into play.

With Jones on the bench - and Furcal on the DL - "the plan" clearly has not worked out. Maybe it was flawed to begin with. But would you sell your co-worker - someone who hired you, and who you've come to know intimately - down the river in midstream, without at least trying to give their plan a chance to play out? Frankly, from your posts, you strike me as an extremely fair-minded and caring person, and I don't think you would.

I don't think that Coletti will survive the off season. But I understand Torre trying to give the plan that Coletti and his team put in place as much of a chance of working as he could. I think those chances have passed - and that Torre is taking a different tack now. And I think the Dodgers will do the same once the season is over. I agree with Shaikin on a number of points - I like Cashman as a possible replacement. I also think that Torre will move upstairs within a few years - and that Mattingly - exactly the kind of younger, more hands on, more energetic manager that Shaikin talked about - could be his heir. We'll see.

But I do think you might give another thought or two to the assertion that you're addicted to excellence - while Torre is addicted merely to experience.

2008-07-28 13:18:44
340.   bhsportsguy
339 Welcome, its a mouthful you have written and I am sure it will be discussed below.
2008-07-28 13:21:40
341.   Alex41592
339 - Welcome. Post often.
2008-07-28 13:24:22
342.   blue22
337 - the 6-4, 240-pound Broxton

Who knew Jon had been scouting Broxton since he was a sophomore in high school?

2008-07-28 13:26:56
343.   68elcamino427
Reading SevenNineSixtyFive as though it's being read aloud to me by Vin is pretty cool.
2008-07-28 13:31:08
344.   Neal Pollack

A very thoughtful analysis, and a new perspective long needed in this stimulating and delightful but relatively uniformly opinionated echo chamber. I agree with your assessment of Torre, for the most part. Despite his unnatural attachment to certain players and his weird Pierre fetish, I think he manages a game well, and certainly much more competently than Grady or Jim Tracy ever did.

Torre's deference to Coletti is occasionally alarming, but any blame for this team's problems needs to fall on Ned's shoulders. Joe can only go to war with the army he has.

2008-07-28 13:32:14
345.   Tripon
Broxton's around 290 lbs right now. I'd call him fat, but I'm afraid he'd throw that fastball at my head and I'll die without ever knowing how owning a subprime mortgage feels after that first adjustable rate makes that house utterly worthless.
2008-07-28 13:32:51
346.   Jon Weisman
339 - Yeah, that was a showstopper :)

In the interests of time, I need to confine my reply to the following:

1) LaRoche's bunting gaffe was not evidence of anything do down the road. It was one play. There isn't a player on the Dodgers whom I can't find made a stupid play.

2) I didn't say Torre had no feel for young players. I said that he doesn't trust them when the chips are down. That's different.

2008-07-28 13:33:44
347.   regfairfield
339 Thing is that you can't predict who will perform under pressure. No one can predict over a small sample who will be the best players. Sure Pujols is the most likely player in baseball to have a successful month. Marlon Anderson showed no ability to be better down the stretch before we acquired him, and he went absolutely bananas in a Dodger uniform. No one could have predicted Blake DeWitt would knock the cover off the ball in early May.

I can tell you what Casey Blake will probably do. He'll probably have a .770ish OPS and play some really terrible defense, but I can't tell you with any certainty what will happen in 60 games. He might be amazing and carry us to the playoffs, or he might fade down the stretch and be terrible. I can't be certain, Ned can't, and you can't.

Casey Blake doesn't carry a special clutchiness factor. He's been in two pennant races, kept up his numbers once, and collapsed the other time. Anything can happen over two months, almost all analysis on the deal will be based on hidsight. If we make the playoffs, we'll here about how amazing and veterany he is, and if we miss them, who knows?

2008-07-28 13:34:02
348.   Jon Weisman
337 - I wish I had time to still do those.
2008-07-28 13:35:25
349.   Tripon
2) I didn't say Torre had no feel for young players. I said that he doesn't trust them when the chips are down. That's different.

I think he trusts certain young players, I think he trusts Kemp, Martin, Billingsley, and Broxton. But I guess that's partly because outside of Kemp, the other three was already entrenched from two or so years of being in the majors.

2008-07-28 13:37:38
350.   bhsportsguy
Mason and Ireland need a certain commenter to call and agree with them that the Dodgers need Atlanta's first baseman.
Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-07-28 13:38:37
351.   ToyCannon
It was a well written comment until you decided to indulge in such an over-the-top analysis of Andy LaRoche's bonehead play to make your point. You had me under a spell until that point, then the mirror cracked and I came to my senses.
2008-07-28 13:39:25
352.   Tripon
350 Aren't they both Angels fans?
2008-07-28 13:40:35
353.   Sagehen
348 So do we. But back in 2004, we needed them more. Without any real homegrown talent in the majors, we needed to have the hope that came with looking at the farm system. Now that we have Kemp, Loney et al in the majors, it seems less pertinent to know what's coming up, although it is still enjoyable to look at the prospect lists.
2008-07-28 13:45:08
354.   Sagehen
While I did initially buy into the idea that this team needs a young energetic manager, after I thought about it awhile, I began to wonder if young energetic coaches could fulfill that role. Does it work to have Torre, calm front man that he is, be there to run interference with the press and the front office while he delegates the work with the players to his coaches? Easler and Mattingly seemingly had the same philosophy to impart to the kids, and Easler had worked with them in the minors. So what real asset is Mattingly bringing? Is he the young energetic coach that the club has been needing to balance the steady lowkey manager?
2008-07-28 13:47:17
355.   fanerman
354 Maybe he's just a better hitting coach, or it was always just a matter of patience with the young players coming around.
2008-07-28 13:49:02
356.   Ken Noe
Providence Journal: Ned has reportedly talked to Epstein about Manny. The usual conjecture about the usual bait. Frankly, I don't see how the deal could end up "revenue neutral" unless Ned threw in somebody like JP. But then I think of Lugo and hope.

2008-07-28 13:51:27
357.   blue22
356 - What is interesting is that Manny has no intention of requiring his team to pick up his option years. I had assumed that he would want his 2 $20M option years picked up, but he actually wants to become a free agent as soon as possible. He seems to think he can get a 4/$100M deal this offseason (fat chance).
2008-07-28 13:52:32
358.   Ken Noe
356 Correction: apparently Boston would pick up the rest of his salary this year. So it could be another Blake deal.
2008-07-28 13:53:18
359.   Sushirabbit
Mark Sweeney is all that needs to be said.

However, I enjoyed this one Jon (and 339, too).

2008-07-28 13:54:30
360.   fanerman
Mark Sweeney OPS watch is at .301.
2008-07-28 13:54:30
361.   schoffle

If I hadn't seen it said several times (in various outlets) I would not point this out but he was bunting for a base hit, not attempting a suicide squeeze (which not only can't be done with 2 out, it can't be done unless the runner on 3rd knows about it). He merely noticed that 3rd base was playing back and attemped to lay down a bunt.

2008-07-28 14:00:12
362.   scareduck
339 - Bobby Richardson, who I'm sure you're familiar with, produced in the post season at a rate that way exceeded his regular season numbers. He excelled under the pressure of the World Series.

This is called a small sample size issue. It's also a half step away from, "Santa brings division titles to good GMs who pad their rosters with Proven Veteran Leaders."

Yes - it was only one play - and I'm sure that he's learned, but if anything ever showed inexperience, that did. It was a move that would get one chewed out at any level of even amateur baseball - and when it comes to making decisions that affects people's lives and livelihoods, it's not something that people forget.

And... so what? In your universe, one rookie mistake is enough to get you optioned to the minors or benched for a week? Gotcha.

Ned, is that you?

347 - I can tell you what Casey Blake will probably do. He'll probably have a .770ish OPS and play some really terrible defense, but I can't tell you with any certainty what will happen in 60 games. He might be amazing and carry us to the playoffs, or he might fade down the stretch and be terrible. I can't be certain, Ned can't, and you can't.

But we do know that Blake has pretty reliably been worse in the second half than he has in the first half. And putting him behind a groundball-mainly pitching staff like the Dodgers' is begging for trouble against right-handed batters.

2008-07-28 14:02:46
363.   Tripon

*One of the frequently mentioned trade rumors is Matt Kemp going to Pittsburgh for Jason Bay. How do Kemp's statistics compare to Bay's at the same stage of his career?
-- Gary P., Arlington, Va.*

Bay was more productive and Kemp has a higher average. Through 247 games, Kemp has a .302 average with 29 homers and 122 RBIs. Bay had a .289 average, 48 homers and 144 RBIs.

2008-07-28 14:05:34
364.   Kevin Lewis

Great post. I think the jury is still out on Ethier vs Jones in terms of playing time. The question is will Ethier bat where he belongs (based on his performance over the past month or so)?

2008-07-28 14:08:45
365.   CajunDodger
Again, think of the draft picks. What would we have to give up, though?

The package would probably have to include at least three of Ethier, Lambo, LaRoche, Hu, and McDonald.

2008-07-28 14:10:04
366.   fanerman
363 How kind of Gurnick to mention that Bay was older in his first major league game than Kemp is right now, already being in the majors for parts of 3 years. Oh wait...
2008-07-28 14:12:13
367.   Ian Capilouto
362 I think the point he is trying to make about Laroche and that bunting situation is that there is a difference between a mistake like booting a ball or trying to extend a single into a double, and making a mental mistake where you should be aware of the situation at hand well before the at-bat. That may be where Torre has to make decisions based on experience. I also think he wrote in a theoretical manner, so you should maybe approach reading it that way..
2008-07-28 14:14:28
368.   Terry A
A deal for Manny could easily be payroll-neutral if Andruw Jones is included. That could actually be a good deal for the Dodgers and a chance for Colletti to undo one of his biggest blunders.*

* - Full disclosure: I supported the deal at the time.

2008-07-28 14:15:55
369.   Jon Weisman
367 - It doesn't change the fact that veterans make mental mistakes too. I saw Garciaparra do a rundown a week or so ago like he was a Little Leaguer. LaRoche has no reptuation as a player with a screw loose.
2008-07-28 14:18:17
370.   gpellamjr
368 Jones, Pierre, and Sweeney for Manny! Done!
2008-07-28 14:21:14
371.   Ken Noe
Pierre for Manny--just think of it. It's kalidescopic.
2008-07-28 14:21:29
372.   Ian Capilouto
369 Yes, I am certain that veterans do as well, but I think Torre is in a situation where he may base his decisions on the idea of trying to minimize bad mistakes. I am not saying that this is a correct action, but maybe it plays into the decision.
2008-07-28 14:22:13
373.   Fallout
It seems to me that many posters on this site are as arrogant as anything that you see in the Dodger front office. Since they are not getting their way they go off into little tirades and name call like little children. To some if LaRoche is not at 3rd management is stupid. Others want an all kid infield of
LaRoche, Hu, DeWitt, Loney or some other similar combination. If not they are idiots. And so it goes.

Some play both ends against the middle. They don't like whose playing but if the Dodgers do win the division, they're afraid that Torre, the stupid, will get credit.

Some complain that the trade getting Casey Blake is blocking LaRoche. They claim that if LaRoche was given a chance he would perform at a higher level than DeWitt and will eventually be a star even though he has not even twinkled.

How can the Bill James crowd ignore the fact that C. Blake is an offensive upgrade at third? But, I know you have an answer for that too. You predict his 2nd half performance will be lacking. But, your prediction on LaRoche is greatness.
(It appears to me that the Dodger mgt is trying to win now without trading away the future.)

Furthermore, the ones that insist that LaRoche should be given a long rope to prove himself, are indigent to giving a long rope to an established power hitter, who is making a fortune and is only 31, to get going. It appears that Torre has come to the end of his rope but that is not good enough. He should have given up on him months ago. (Is it really such a surprise that since the Dodgers have a huge investment in this guy and will give him every opportunity to work his way out of it? Put yourselves in their shoes.)

So few have given the Dodger mgt credit for not trading the ripe kids for veterans. Not only that, but most of them are playing.

2008-07-28 14:22:42
374.   Mike De Leon
Well put Jon, but I think you left out a major reason for the dysfunction of the FO, namely McCourt. It starts with the owner and FM, although a fan of the game, doesn't really strike me as that knowledgeable when it comes to BB and more concerned with how he's viewed by the public since there was more enthusiasm for Eli Broad as owner than him. (I'm curious, did he ever give a reason for firing Evans? I never heard one.) This lack of knowledge goes along with who he hires. His lack of knowledge translates to not knowing who the best people are to hire for key positions. My gut feeling is that he fired Evans because Evans almost cost him the team with the deal he worked out with Vlad. He fired DePo because FM's public rep was taking a beating and so we wound up with deN a PR guy who would look good in the media but not have a clue of how to build a team or hire a manager.

As far as torre goes, I never believed all the hype he got as a great manager, lucky but not great or even above average. In his stints with the Cards and Mets he was terrible, and was fired as a result, when he was with the Braves he had a Cox/Scherholtz team so he really didn't have to do anything except keep the same lineup. Yes he stuck with Jeter and Petite when they were young but he also stuck with Williams after he was done. He has always favored veterans or pet players.

252. Also, and this is principally my own supposition, the league wanted to hamstring the Dodgers by handing them over to a weak owner.

I don't think it's just your supposition but just about everyone's view. While Fox was still taking bids o the team but FM was the front runner, Evans had worked out a deal with Vlad. From what I've read and heard duB told FM if the deal went through he wouldn't get the team. duB was trying to hold down team payrolls and was afraid that if Broad, another billionaire, got the team he would be a georgie type owner. The fact that FM couldn't demand to renegotiate the cable deal was in Fox's favor but I think the fact that FM financed 80-90% of the cost of the team with them had a lot to do with it too, just think of all that interest money, it's free $$ for Murdock.

The idea that Loney or any of the kids have hit their ceiling isn't just wrong. The average age a player hits his prime and comes into his physical strength is around 26 y.o. Everyone of them, except Ethier, is below that age so haven't hit their prime and Ethier just turned 26 in May.

Kemp 23
Loney 24
LaRoche 24
Martin 25
Ethier 26

They haven't even touched their ceilings yet and have shown that the possible upside for all of them is HUGE. I also think that the fact that they are so young works to their disadvantage as far as the general fan goes. The vets have been around so they are known commodities, regardless if they were on other teams their names are recognizable. Too, let's face it, the general fan is an idiot as far as his knowledge of baseball goes. They read the times sports page and believe everything that the simmers/plashke ilk write and believe all the idiocies coming out of the FO. They also belive that torre is a great manager because of what he did with the spanks and it never occurs to them that maybe those teams were so good that they won in spite of him.

2008-07-28 14:23:11
375.   okdodge
Pierre or Jones for Manny would be too good to be true.

If they could swing a deal for Manny for something like Pierre or Jones, Ethier, and another mid level prospect, I say go for it.

2008-07-28 14:23:31
376.   underdog
Just take a deep breath and remember this people:

2008-07-28 14:25:27
377.   dzzrtRatt
339 Excellent writing. Jon sets such a high standard, and it's great to read a new commenter who rises to the challenge with thoughtful, well-expressed responses.

I had an issue with this statement:

"Agree with it or not, Coletti and Torre began the season with a plan in place. Injuries - first to LaRoche & Garciaparra, later to Furcal - plus the inability of Schmidt to return, and the utter incompetence of Jones - sent that plan reeling."

I think the "plan" is, first of all, Colletti's and not Torre's. He wasn't engaged enough to contribute significantly.

Secondly, on the face of it, you could say it's all just some bad luck, but just limiting it to the players you mentioned, Colletti had no business putting so much faith in the health of any of the players you mentioned except LaRoche. Garciaparra and Furcal have spent much of their time on the Dodgers on the DL for conditions that are known to recur. Schmidt, it almost goes without saying, was already relegated to legions of the hopeless. His signing and Jones' are highly second-guessable based on metrics available to Colletti before he spent a dime on either of them. They were both flyers -- calculated risks with high rewards. Not foundational players, but players who might surprise you by staging a major comeback.

To whatever extent Colletti's "plan" relied on Furcal, Garciaparra, Schmidt and Jones, (and Kent, Penny and Saito, three other key players with high risk elements due to age or physical condition) then it was a terrible plan.

The "plan" should have been built around players whose 2008 performance could be predicted with greater certainty: Martin, Loney, Kemp, Ethier, Pierre, Lowe, Billingsley, Broxton. Those players have done what one could reasonable expect, or exceeded that. If that core wasn't strong enough, Colletti should've either chalked 2008 up to a rebuilding scenario and given more playing time to other players with upside; or if he wanted to be more aggressive, sought players in trades/signings with a lower risk/higher reward profile (admittedly hard to do, but something a few organizations like the A's, Tigers and Marlins excel at) and then, judiciously added a high-risk player or two like Jones and Garciaparra as the gravy, but at Garciaparra prices, not Jones'.

Colletti has consistently been drawing to an inside straight, making moves that only partially pay off (Furcal, Garciaparra) or don't pay off at all (too long a list, but Loiaza and Jones head it), and the price of the no-payoff outcome undermines whatever good is happening under his watch.

2008-07-28 14:27:48
378.   Ian Capilouto
372 All I am saying is that post 339 was well thought out and that I agree and disagree with parts of it. But I don't think it needs to be chastised. I read this site because there are many different takes on things and to me, they all have value.
2008-07-28 14:29:27
379.   Mike De Leon
374. The idea that Loney or any of the kids have hit their ceiling isn't just wrong

Should have been is. Oops

2008-07-28 14:30:24
380.   underdog
373 While you're painting this place with a broad brush, you should keep in mind that a lot of people here are on record as not having a problem with the acquisition of Casey Blake per se. (And I'm a huge Andy LaRoche booster but if he's not going to play every day I had no problem with him temporarily going down to Vegas.) Even those who are okay with it though expressed some reservations about having to lose Carlos Santana in order to make that done. I feel like there was more disagreement over that here than there was about Casey Blake (though I know some people also don't think he's all that good, which is cool). Be very careful when coming off as someone who tries to make a point - and there may be some validity to some of your points - by shoving back at the commenters here. This is a community, we all agree to disagree all the time. And I've been frustrated with some things stated here from time to time, myself, believe me, but take everything from as respectful a place as possible, while also learning other people's points of view, and sometimes even coming more toward it.
2008-07-28 14:32:40
381.   Humma Kavula
The first rule of trading: other teams do not want your team's flotsam and jetsam.

Pierre or Jones, plus Ethier, plus a mid-level prospect for Manny -- if the shoe were on the other foot, would anyone here do that trade? I wouldn't, if I ran the Sox. I'd take my chances with Manny.

I have no way of proving this, but if I were the Sox and Ned called, the conversation would go something like this:

NED: Humma, baby! How's the spawn? Say, I hear Manny is available. What do you think about Andruw Jones or Juan Pierre? We can add in Ethier and a mid-level prospect.

HUMMA: Mm hmm. Keep Ethier, keep your mid-level prospect, toss in this Clayton Kershaw kid and you've got a deal.

2008-07-28 14:33:09
382.   Zak
I'm just twiddling my thumbs trying to come up with trades that make the Dodgers better this year:

Ethier + Hu/DeWitt + McDonald for Bay.

I don't know if this is enough return for Bay, but for the Dodgers, this is a very good deal if possible.

A. Jones + LaRoche for Ramirez.

Boston should be happy to take this deal. They get rid of someone they don't want and get a premium prospect as well. Plus Jones is only on the hook for one more season and hopefully is just a "change of scenery" away from being decent.

Kemp CF
Martin C
Bay RF
Ramirez LF
Kent 2B
Loney 1B
Blake 3B
Nomar SS


Put Pierre on the bench. Of course for next season, we'd have to change 3/4 of our infield, but this line-up gives us a very good chance of winning it all this year.

2008-07-28 14:33:18
383.   Jon Weisman
372 - Absolutely, Torre wants to minimize mistakes. And for what it's worth, I think Torre completely wrote off that LaRoche bunt as an anomaly.

But I think in general, Torre just gives older players longer leashes than younger ones.

2008-07-28 14:34:04
384.   Sharkie
I talked a friend's kid (5th grader) earlier today about baseball. I asked him if he thought JP getting 200 hits a year is impressive. His first question was, "How many chances did he get?"

How would NedCo fair against a 5th grader as GM?

2008-07-28 14:34:12
385.   regfairfield
373 It's not arrogant to call people who disagree with you clueless?
2008-07-28 14:35:06
386.   scareduck
373 - How can the Bill James crowd ignore the fact that C. Blake is an offensive upgrade at third? But, I know you have an answer for that too. You predict his 2nd half performance will be lacking. But, your prediction on LaRoche is greatness.

No, my prediction for LaRoche is that he would likely equal what Blake might have given the team if given the chance. And even if he didn't, there appears to be very little, if anything, he needs to learn in the minors. The Dodgers may think they're playing for 2008, but in reality, all they're doing is retarding the development of a useful player at a strong position of need. By failing to give him adequate time to learn on the job now -- and make no mistake, there will be a learning curve associated with making the jump to the majors -- this only delays the inevitable.

No, the Dodgers haven't punted any of their top-level prospects at the moment (though you could argue that Santana might well have been among them given his position and recent blossoming). But they've done their damndest to delay all of them, at one time or another, from getting major league playing time at the exact moment they need it.

2008-07-28 14:36:36
387.   Sharkie
296 ucladodger -- Go Bruins! I feel likewise about this place.
2008-07-28 14:37:35
388.   scareduck
377 - To whatever extent Colletti's "plan" relied on Furcal, Garciaparra, Schmidt and Jones, (and Kent, Penny and Saito, three other key players with high risk elements due to age or physical condition) then it was a terrible plan.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! We have a winnah!

2008-07-28 14:38:36
389.   okdodge
381 I didn't say I think it would happen. I just that if that's what was proposed I'd do it in a heartbeat. I don't think it would take Kershaw to get Manny. How could Boston not be fed up with Manny by now? Hopefully they'll just give up and let him go else where and we can that else where and not have to give too much for it.
2008-07-28 14:38:40
390.   Ken Noe
381 Agreed, but you're disturbing my fantasy, Humma. My fantasy is that McCourt says "Manny! I know him! Boston! Make it happen Ned! Without trading any young players!" Epstein meanwhile wants to unload Manny so badly, and others teams are so wary of him (Mets and Phils dropped out today), that he takes JP out of desperation. We dance! We sing! I'm happy!!
2008-07-28 14:39:04
391.   ToyCannon
What is amazing about Manny is how his career away splits are not far off his home splits given how long he has played in Fenway.

While I have not enjoyed the idea of watching Adam Dunn roam left field for us, I get a kick out of the idea of Manny in left field. Probably because he was a favorite of mine back during his Indian days when I was a big fan of that club.

I just couldn't fathom a clubhouse with Kent and Manny in it.

2008-07-28 14:39:19
392.   scareduck
377 - by the way, could you explain this?

Colletti has consistently been drawing to an inside straight, making moves that only partially pay off

I am unversed in poker nomenclature, having given up actively playing now for over a decade.

2008-07-28 14:43:33
393.   Humma Kavula
389 Well, I agree with your first point -- if that was propsed, I'd jump all over that like it was a trampoline.

I do think that the Dodgers would have to include a knock-your-socks-off prospect if they also want the Sox to take Pierre or Jones. Those players aren't helping the Dodgers and they won't help the Red Sox either, who are a game back in their own pennant race.

I do imagine that the Bostons are tired of Mannybeingmanny -- just not so tired that they're prepared to offer him at Crazy Eddie's prices. That would be insane.

2008-07-28 14:44:09
394.   wronghanded
An inside straight draw refers to a bad gamble. If you had a 3,4,5 and 7 in hold'em you'd have less than a 16% chance of hitting your straight (only 4 chances to win with a 6) with 2 cards to draw.
2008-07-28 14:45:00
395.   Tripon
Time to offer the BoSox Gary Miller, and Lucas May.
2008-07-28 14:45:15
396.   scareduck
381 - The first rule of trading: other teams do not want your team's flotsam and jetsam.

Unless there is a reason for it. One of the few bad trades that Dan Evans made was unloading Eric Karros and Mark Grudzielanek for Todd Hundley (the second time!). Karros and Grudz were expensive and the Dodgers had better options; Hundley was deadweight, and so at the time of the deal it looked like a wash. Wrong. Both Karros and Grudz were healthy in the last year (or two, for Grudz, though less so for him) of their deals, while Hundley appeared in all of 21 games for the Dodgers. Blecch.

Evans was right about this, though: Karros was on his way down. After the Cubs intelligently let him walk at the end of the season, he had a hard time finding work; he eventually stuck with the A's, where he was a designated lefty-masher. That job didn't work out, and he's now with ESPN, making nasty cracks about Matt Kemp whenever he's covering the Dodgers.

2008-07-28 14:45:40
397.   scareduck
396 - er, sorry, make that Fox.
2008-07-28 14:45:47
398.   Brian Y
Do you really want to risk Ned dealing with Boston knowing they want to get rid of Lugo as well with us wanting another SS?? I'd be scared as heck right now if I knew for sure he was talking to the Sox. Even if they took Andruw from us, we would have to throw in prospects and still take on a contract like Lugo's.
2008-07-28 14:46:11
399.   ToyCannon
I don't ever recall such a string of long posts. 339 must have broken the damn. Excellent thread today, I'll have to do some work tonight to make up for it.
2008-07-28 14:46:36
400.   JoeyP
So few have given the Dodger mgt credit for not trading the ripe kids for veterans.

Why should credit be given for just not doing something completely idiotic?

GMs are credited when they create value. Not when they do nothing.

Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2008-07-28 14:47:15
401.   underdog
can't Manny option out after this year anyway? And I can't be the only one who, no matter how much he's mashed over the years, would still rather not have him on the Dodgers, can I? Especially not in exchange for top young players.
2008-07-28 14:47:34
402.   Tripon
396 He's with Fox, not ESPN. Karros also said Jones should play every day because the Dodgers didn't have better options at the time, and he might work it out.
2008-07-28 14:48:11
403.   Eric Enders
373 Setting aside for a moment the inanity of painting hundreds of individual people with such a broad brush... You criticize the DT posters for being a bunch of name-callers, and you do that by, well, calling them names. OK.

Your lack of desire to have an open, reasoned discussion on this issue is revealed by your attempt to use the term "Bill James Crowd" as an epithet of sorts. Basically, you've made up your mind about the people here and that's that. So what, then, was the point of your post? To proclaim your own superiority?

Nobody knows that Andy LaRoche is going to be a star. But a reasoned look at his career, a perusal of scouting reports, and a knowledge of how to evaluate statistics has led many people to believe that he'll be a good major league player. This is not the "Bill James Crowd" talking. It's also the decidedly anti-Bill James publication Baseball America, as well as the many traditional-thinking scouts and GMs who are trying to get LaRoche in trade. In fact, the only people in baseball who don't seem to view LaRoche as a valuable commodity are Ned Colletti and Joe Torre. The claim that he "hasn't even twinkled" is completely nonfactual. He's been doing so for four years now. There are very few examples on record of a player of his accomplishments and ability becoming a failure at the major league level.

2008-07-28 14:48:35
404.   Humma Kavula
If I have to endure the Second Coming of Julio Lugo, I am joining Shimmin and the D-Backs.
2008-07-28 14:48:50
405.   Zak
Actually, sorry to make this Poker Thoughts, but sometimes it is absolutely the correct thing to draw to an inside straight. Not commenting on this situation, but let's not say that drawing to inside draw does not pay off or slightly pays off. Drawing to inside straights is the smartest thing you can do in poker, if done in a correct situation.
2008-07-28 14:50:07
406.   Ian Capilouto
In my ideal world, both Dewitt and Laroche are getting good playing time in AAA. Make them both versatile giving them more value. I think Laroche's injury is understated and possibly a lucky turn of events. It was the plan to let Laroche win that job out of spring training and he looked well on his way to doing it, but he got hurt. By the time he came back, there was another third baseman doing a reasonable job for the situation, compounding the situation. Add in that the Dodgers are still contending, and management wants to find a third baseman with pennant drive experience. I hold management accountable for the bad signings and things of that nature, but I don't blame them for Laroche's near impossible situation.
2008-07-28 14:50:08
407.   ToyCannon
Who knew that old Grud would still be a solid average player all these years later. Throw in his defense at 2nd and maybe even better then average. I always liked him but could never spell his name.
2008-07-28 14:52:05
408.   Bob Hendley
Quite apart from some of the biases that they might share (veterens versus youngins or relying on the cut of a player's jib), it didn't seem to me that Ned and Joe were on the same page when it came to the 3rd base issue. Or are we to assume that Joe knew that the New Blake was on the way and was just being cynical in finally starting Andy for those four games?
2008-07-28 14:53:42
409.   Jon Weisman
From the press notes:

Dodger first baseman James Loney is hitting nearly 70 points higher than his overall average (.302) against the NL West this season. Since divisional play began in 1969, only two Dodgers have hit for a higher average within the division (min. 100 AB):

1995 Mike Piazza .403

1999 Eric Karros .376

2008 James Loney .371 (49-132)

1997 Mike Piazza .361

1978 Steve Garvey .355

2008-07-28 14:53:58
410.   Sharkie
405 How about drawing to a runner-runner-runner four-of-a-kind, FTW?!
2008-07-28 14:54:05
411.   Bob Hendley
406 - Define a reasonable job. The Solution was a May fling that Joe couldn't drop.
2008-07-28 14:54:07
412.   Humma Kavula
396 That's a good point. But I don't think the Sox would see Manny 2008 salary + option year buyout money + 2 draft picks as equal to Jones/Pierre contract years + Ethier + mid-level prospect. I could be wrong.

So while your point is absolutely correct in general, I don't think it applies in this case.

2008-07-28 14:54:15
413.   cargill06
373 I agree with you on the point it does get old hearing over and over again how our manager/GM is, incompetent, idiotic, dumb, etc. However, it's hard to argue that they aren't. But I think I can relate to what you're saying that it kind of comes across as people who throw out those terms are implying that they're brilliant and smarter than Ned and Joe. I'm sure that may not be what they're thinking that's just how it sounds, and nobody ever really liked the show-off in class.

As far as the Blake issue, I've said before I have no issue with it. They're in the middle of a play-off race and have been getting no production at 3B and Blake is far more likely to outperform LaRoche and DeWitt. I was in favor of the move just as long as he doesn't return next year.

2008-07-28 14:55:10
414.   JoeyP
Plus, as mentioned before, not many here were upset that Blake was acquired.

It was the opportunity cost that it took to acquire him.

If Juan Pierre was traded to the Indians for Casey Blake, and that Blake was going to play LF for the Dodgers---> I'd think everyone here would have been plenty pleased with the upgrade.

But playing Blake over Laroche (instead of Pierre), and moving Carlos Santana to even get him in the 1st place is what led people to justifiably critique the deal.

Not just here, but many different places.

2008-07-28 14:55:35
415.   wronghanded
With appropriate pot-odds maybe but you'd literally have to be getting like 8 times the bet on your money right? Don't get me wrong, I draw on inside straights but very seldomly.
2008-07-28 14:57:30
416.   Tripon
The Pittsburg papers say that the Dodgers are still interested in Jack Wilson.
2008-07-28 14:58:36
417.   Bob Hendley
414 - Doesn't he play 2nd, as well? An injury to Mr. Grumpy right about now could make Ned look real smart (I can't imagine the LF thing happening).
2008-07-28 14:59:00
418.   underdog
Don't make me pull out the LOLCatz on you, people. I'll take us all down!
2008-07-28 14:59:09
419.   ToyCannon
We can knash all we want, but for us to win now, we have to hope that Blake continues to hit and does not fall back to his April/May woes under the pressure of his impending free agency and the pennant race. He didn't start hitting this year until the Indians had been buried.
Someone mentioned that he was not a 2nd half hitter but his highest slug% is in August(490), but he really sucks in Sept.
Also noted that he has over a 100 point difference in OPS between home/away with the positive falling into the away bucket. That would seem to be unusual. I wonder how other Indian hitters fared in the same time frame.
2008-07-28 15:01:07
420.   Ken Noe
417 Nope, he's never played an inning of major league second base. 3B and RF.
2008-07-28 15:01:08
421.   Eric Enders
339 In addition to reiterating the point others have already made about LaRoche not having a monopoly on dumb plays -- Jeff Kent commits a hopeless mental blunder on the bases, what, once a month? -- I'd like to address your Bobby Richardson comments.

It has not been proven to anyone's satisfaction that there is, in fact, such a thing as an ability to perform better under pressure. Such things are largely a function of reputation, and reputation is itself usually a function of one or two memorable events. We call Reggie Jackson "Mr. October," and yet his career LCS batting average, over 11 series, was .227.

I would submit that Richardson's postseason record is not indicative of some mystical, mythical ability to improve his skill level in important situations. It's one thing and one thing only: random chance. If it were some sort of skill he could turn on and off, one would expect him to have chosen to utilize that skill in every World Series -- yet in the 1962 Series he batted .148 and in 1963 .218.

Richardson, during his career, batted .217 against Baltimore and .281 against Detroit. Does this indicate that he had a special ability to perform in the state of Michigan? Or a proven ability to succeed against teams with the letter "D" on their jerseys? No, it's the random effect of a small sample size, and so is Richardson's (and every other player's) postseason performance.

2008-07-28 15:01:20
422.   Zak
415 If you're playing deep stack, no-limit hold 'em, especially against someone who you know has a very strong hand, you should almost always call a reasonable-sized flop bet to see one more card with an inside straight draw. The only situation this may not be true is if you're not the last to act on the flop.
2008-07-28 15:01:25
423.   Sagehen
Didn't the Dodgers get some decent draft picks when Lugo left?
2008-07-28 15:01:30
424.   cargill06
415 you don't need 8-1 odds, if you determine that if you hit there is still a certain amount of money you can win after you hit.
2008-07-28 15:01:38
425.   ToyCannon
According to baseball reference he has never ever played a game at 2nd base. He did play one game at SS.
2008-07-28 15:01:44
426.   silverwidow
Breaking News: Teixeira to Arizona close (Yahoo Sports).
2008-07-28 15:02:23
427.   Brian Y
412. Do you really believe a Manny/Lugo combination is only worth an Andruw/Ethier/Mid-level prospect to Ned? Even McCourt for that matter would see Manny and Lugo as being World Series champions that would bring us the same. I would think that any trade for them, considering how much Ned wants a replacement for Furcal after this year, would be more on the level of Andruw, Kemp, LaRoche, and McDonald. I would think that would be where it starts at considering the little value they seem to have in Kemp and LaRoche. I just wouldn't put it past Ned & Co. and looking at Lugo's contract at $8M for the next 2 years after this, I think it is something they would seriously consider. But I do think it would be more than Andruw (who is a salary dump), Ethier, and a mid-level prospect. The Sox have even said they would eat some salary to get better prospects. So yeah, I just hope we aren't talking to Boston at all.
2008-07-28 15:02:31
428.   scareduck
414 - It was the opportunity cost that it took to acquire him.

Just so. If you believe Carlos Santana's future is at first or third, then the cost goes down quite a bit. I'm not sure I believe that (pretty sure he'll stick at catcher).

2008-07-28 15:02:34
429.   fanerman
2008-07-28 15:02:41
430.   regfairfield
Blake does seem like a bad person to use as an example of the Dodger Thoughts hivemind. Opinions ranged from good move to bad move even if we didn't trade anyone for him.
2008-07-28 15:02:58
431.   Ken Noe
426 Panic move by Ned to follow.
2008-07-28 15:03:01
432.   JoeyP
But I think I can relate to what you're saying that it kind of comes across as people who throw out those terms are implying that they're brilliant and smarter than Ned and Joe.

Is being smarter than Ned or Joe really an achievement?

I believe that there are at least 8-10 people that comment on this site regularly that could do Ned's job better than he can. I dont think that is arrogant to think that. We all know Ned's qualifications. He's a PR guy masquarading as if he knows something about player analysis. He's a guy that has no background in scouting, statistical analysis, or the like. And Ned has set himself up for criticism by poking fun at those "new aged stats" that he seems so averse to using (or he just doenst understand).

Its not as if Ned got a doctorate in sports management (if there is such a thing) that makes him more qualified than the guys running the numbers at Hardball Times to GM a baseball team.

2008-07-28 15:03:11
433.   trainwreck
I guess they gave up Jackson? I thought their system lacked a lot of talent at the moment.
2008-07-28 15:03:54
434.   fanerman
To be honest I'm more concerned that the Texiera deal (assuming it happens) puts pressure on Ned to make a deal to "keep up"... and I'm completely frightened of any deal Ned makes.
2008-07-28 15:03:55
435.   sporky
373 So few have given the Dodger mgt credit for not trading the ripe kids for veterans.

I don't get enough credit for following traffic laws or practicing good personal hygiene.

2008-07-28 15:04:12
436.   ToyCannon
Giant fans still wish it wasn't random chance that found McCovey's line drive in Richardsons glove.
2008-07-28 15:05:32
437.   JoeyP
428--If he continues to hit the way he does, his bat plays anywhere but 1st or RF IMO.

To get a young guy like that, with the command of the K zone he has (more bbs than ks), pretty good power---> its definitely an oppy cost.

Yeah, you'd like to keep him at Catcher, but the reason why the guy is a prime prospect is the lumber not his position.

2008-07-28 15:06:25
438.   Ken Noe
433 Jackson or Tracy + a prospect, so Yahoo says.

434 Preach it brother. Ned's on the phone as we speak.

2008-07-28 15:07:04
439.   Ian Capilouto
406 In Torre's mind, Dewitt is holding his own and even excelling. He then starts to tail-off, but with the thought that maybe he will excel again, if patient. You then have an excellent situation where you have two players in Dewitt and Laroche that could help your team for years to come, Dewitt being somewhat unexpected. I am trying to look at it in an optimistic, but realistic way.
2008-07-28 15:07:04
440.   Ian Capilouto
406 In Torre's mind, Dewitt is holding his own and even excelling. He then starts to tail-off, but with the thought that maybe he will excel again, if patient. You then have an excellent situation where you have two players in Dewitt and Laroche that could help your team for years to come, Dewitt being somewhat unexpected. I am trying to look at it in an optimistic, but realistic way.
2008-07-28 15:08:16
441.   Humma Kavula
427 Actually, I agree entirely with your point that it would take more than Jones/Pierre + Ethier + mid-level prospect to get Manny + Lugo (or even Manny alone). That's what I've been saying all along. I suggested that the Sox would start by asking for Kershaw.
2008-07-28 15:08:26
442.   regfairfield
438 Does Arizona even have any prospects aside from Scherzer?
2008-07-28 15:09:02
443.   SevenNineSixtyFive
One more comment - then I have to work. I never said it was a good plan. Whoever defined it as "drawing to an inside straight" got it spot on.

And yes - the point about LaRoche's mistake was general and theoretical - about how assessments are made over time about when players are ready and when they're not. Or if they're making mental mistakes, or pressing, or trying to do too much too soon - letting their head get in the way of their talent, to put it another way. Of course, veteran players make mistakes, too. I'm not arguing for one over the other. And to be tarred with the whole "PVL" thing is kind of silly, isn't it? That's not what I said, and not what I'm arguing for.

Just pointing out that it's not such a black and white universe - all sorts of factors come into play - projectable statistics, yes, but others, as well. Especially when you're in a pennant race and a season starts to wind down. And even more so when a career - namely Coletti's - hangs in the balance. I don't think he's done particularly well. But neither do I wish him ill. And I understand Torre's effort to try, for as long as he could, to make that inside straight work.

2008-07-28 15:09:13
444.   cargill06
432 I agree with you on the fact that there are probably a few here that would do a better job.

But can you see why it may annoy someone?

Just like in school how someone would get annoyed at the kid who raises his hand and answers every question?

I have no problem with people showing off all their baseball knowledge (it's helped educate myself) and I like hearing it, but hearing all the time how stupid someone is just gets a little old. You could probably find the word Ned and stupid in every post at least 10 times.

2008-07-28 15:09:16
445.   ToyCannon
Not sure why I should be worried about Arizona getting the Vowel if they had to give up Jackson. He was having the best offensive year of anyone on the team. After a few years he was finally meeting his promise.
2008-07-28 15:09:31
446.   JoeyP
The Braves are said to be asking for a prospect and either Conor Jackson or Chad Tracy in return.

If Josh Byrnes gets Tex by only giving up Chad Tracy & a prospect, then either the market must not be very high for him, or the Braves GM is nuts.

2008-07-28 15:10:17
447.   scareduck
2008-07-28 15:10:47
448.   Eric Stephen
Didn't the Dodgers get some decent draft picks when Lugo left?

Yep. Pitchers Chris Withrow (1st round, pick 20) and James Adkins (supplemental, pick 39) were compensation for Lugo signing with the Red Sox.

2008-07-28 15:11:03
449.   Ken Noe
442 Jarrod Parker's been mentioned.
2008-07-28 15:12:03
450.   scareduck
435 - that made my day, Sporky!
Show/Hide Comments 451-500
2008-07-28 15:13:34
451.   Bob Timmermann
Or try to track down the Peanuts cartoon from December 22, 1962.
2008-07-28 15:16:52
452.   Tripon
I hope the DBacks do make that move for Texiera, especially if it means its for Conner Jackson. A move like that is bandaging up your right hand while cutting off your nose.
2008-07-28 15:17:40
453.   blue22
449 - If it's Conor Jackson and Parker, I think you have to be pleased with that deal as a Dodger fan.
2008-07-28 15:18:15
454.   underdog
The fact that Tex is a free agent after the season obviously affects what the Braves can get in return for him, otherwise I'd expect they'd want Jackson + Tracy in exchange. I will say if they give up Jackson I'll have mixed feelings about the trade because regardless of what happens this season if the DBacks acquire and then lose Texeira and don't have the very talented Jackson coming back next season, well, I'd be kinda happy about that.
2008-07-28 15:19:00
455.   ToyCannon
Especially if it includes the kid Parker. Would love to see them move that kid out of the organization.
2008-07-28 15:19:03
456.   Eric Enders
444 It's probably more frustration than arrogance. Most people here would like to see the best players on the field. When the Dodgers consistently choose not to do that, one must begin to consider the possibility that management is stupid.

Of course, I think most us realize full well that there are aspects to both the manager's and GM's job that don't involve player evaluation, and that both jobs require certain tools which very few, perhaps none, of the posters here possess. But in terms of identifying the best players, the evidence is pretty persuasive that neither Colletti nor Torre is the sharpest tool in the shed. I don't think it's overstating the case to say that there are 50 people here who could do a better job of player evaluation than those two.

2008-07-28 15:19:08
457.   D4P
I'll be surprised if the DBacks trade Jackson, especially after what has happened with Quentin.
2008-07-28 15:20:11
458.   still bevens
452 I hope they do it so we can listen to the commenters on BTF liveblog their self-immolation.
2008-07-28 15:20:40
459.   Ken Noe
I honestly don't think we can be lucky enough to see Jackson go. It's Tracy if anybody.
2008-07-28 15:21:25
460.   scareduck
443 - And to be tarred with the whole "PVL" thing is kind of silly, isn't it?

You argue for clutchness, which is only a step removed from stumping for PVL. In 339 : "Bobby Richardson, who I'm sure you're familiar with, produced in the post season at a rate that way exceeded his regular season numbers. He excelled under the pressure of the World Series."

He had three memorable years and three forgettable ones (excluding his 1957, in which he had zero plate appearances). Yes, his numbers overall were better than his career stats, but so many other factors are at play that it all comes back to sample size issues. This is in no way compelling.

2008-07-28 15:21:57
461.   blue22
459 - Then Atlanta must really like Parker. They could just keep Tex and get the two picks.
2008-07-28 15:22:49
462.   Tripon
Would the Braves want Tracy? I rather take the two draft picks instead of Tracy. He's okay, but hes not what I call a need to build a team.
2008-07-28 15:24:02
463.   KG16
405 - there are only two times you should draw to an inside straight:

1. you get a free card
2. you are getting good enough pot odds to draw (which are about 7:2 on the flop and 12:1 on the turn)

Now, betting out on an inside straight draw is a different story. But that's not so much betting on you hitting your card as it is on the other players not having a good enough hand to call.

The problem is this: when it works, there can be a big pay off, particularly if your opponent does not put you on the hand, or you make the wrong determination and draw when you shouldn't.

To use another poker analogy, Colleti is, at this point one of three things:

1. dead money (not good and in over his head)
2. a donkey (a player who makes terrible decisions but thinks he's good nonetheless)
3. on tilt (angry/upset and throwing good money after bad trying to prove just how good he is)

In any situation, if I was bankrolling him, I would not be happy.

2008-07-28 15:25:20
464.   bhsportsguy
456 I think I might fit Eric Enders cut-off list of 50 not sure about JoeyP's cut-off at 10-12. :)

Actually, I don't know if I fit either since I don't have any idea of what to look for in terms of skills, my picks would be results oriented which may or may not be the best way of evaluation.

2008-07-28 15:25:23
465.   Mike De Leon
396. I kind of agree. Getting Hundley was a mistake but unloading EK or Grudz wasn't a bad move. Remember that Evans had no payroll to work with so needed to free up some room. The REAL mistake was putting TL in charge and letting him trade away Konerko. If Evans had had a chance to just dump karros and put Konerko in as the everyday 1B, which should have happened before TL became GM, he wouldn't have had to scramble so much. On the whole I thought and still do think that Evans was the best of the 3 GM's the team has had and would have liked to see what he could do with some flexibility, I don't think we'd be having the AJ, JP discussion.
2008-07-28 15:25:37
466.   blue22
462 - Jarrod Parker is pretty good (if indeed that's who else is going). They probably wouldn't be able to do better than him with AZ's 1st rounder and sandwich picks next year.

Tracy is just Tex's fill-in at first base until something better comes along.

2008-07-28 15:26:22
468.   regfairfield
It would definately be a sell high on Conor Jackson. The only thing that's changed this year is his BABIP went up 40 points.
2008-07-28 15:26:30
469.   KG16
463 - d'oh got side tracked, the problem is, that drawing to an inside straight generally doesn't work. you have four cards that can help you, which means, best case scenario, you've got a 16% chance of hitting your card.
2008-07-28 15:27:36
470.   bhsportsguy
463 If only Ned was like the guy (Robert something or other) who won the 2002 WSOP where I think every hand he went in on was a pair of kings, aces or hit a draw. I think many have said it was the greatest run of cards in WSOP history.
2008-07-28 15:28:53
471.   Jon Weisman
Tonight's lineup:

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

2008-07-28 15:28:58
472.   bhsportsguy
Boras does have a pretty good relationship with Arizona though that deal would seem to be not really addressing their lineup hole if they have to move Jackson too.
2008-07-28 15:29:26
473.   trainwreck
Okay, I was going to say I rarely attempt to go after straits in general, so I was wondering if I was being too conservative.
2008-07-28 15:29:39
474.   cargill06
463 Last poker comment of the day...

What if you're against a calling station and are only getting about 2:1 odds on the flop but you assume if you hit your card you can win "X" amound of money on the turn and river? You can determine your implied odds to justify a call or fold.

2008-07-28 15:30:04
475.   Sean P
Examples of not arrogance:


2008-07-28 15:31:13
476.   KG16
470 - Robert Varconi (sp?)
2008-07-28 15:31:36
477.   blue22
468 - You'd still rather have Jackson than Tracy though, right? Although I'd take Tracy/Parker over Jackson alone.
2008-07-28 15:33:53
478.   Zak
463 So, you don't take implied odds under consideration when calling with an inside straight draw? And I think your flop percentages are wrong. You are not getting 7:2 to draw to an inside straight.. more like 7:1, but with big implied odds, wouldn't you try to draw at it with much lower pot odds.

Example, blinds are 200-400 and a tight player in early position raises to 1,200. Let's say you're on the button and call with 6h-8h. Everyone else folds. You have 30,000 in chips and the other guy has you covered. If there are no antes, there's 3,000 in the pot. The flop comes out K-9-5 rainbow. The tight player you are putting on AK, AA or KK bets out 1,800. Do you see value in calling here or would you fold?

I can see some value in raising here coz you can drive out the AQ, the QQ or JJs, but what you make from the pot for the risk involved is not worth it to me. I'd call almost every single time. The only time not to call this bet is when you or the other guy have less than 12,000 to 15,000 in chips or if there is someone else to act after you who you think could re-raise here.

2008-07-28 15:34:37
479.   MonkeyBlue
471. Good to see Kent bat clean up. I mean look at his numbers!
2008-07-28 15:35:05
480.   Tripon
Think Kent lasts in the 4 spot until the season ends?
2008-07-28 15:35:18
481.   KG16
474 - are you talking about a calling station or a maniac? calling stations, by definition, don't usually drive the action, they'll call (and i generally suggest taking a free card, if you can). maniacs will bet out, and then it might be worth calling even with the wrong odds. but there are a 1000 other factors to consider, i'm working at a very broad level with the stuff above. so, i'll leave you with the ultimate poker advice: well, it depends.
2008-07-28 15:35:49
482.   underdog
471 Cool that Ethier's proof that Jones is benched for now.

Any word on Nomar's status? (Other than that he's not quite good enough to go tonight?)

2008-07-28 15:36:45
483.   Zak
470 Robert Varkonyi.
2008-07-28 15:37:21
484.   cargill06
478 , 481 i think they daily PT limit has been passed.
2008-07-28 15:37:30
485.   Eric Enders
I don't see where getting rid of Conor Jackson is a big deal for Arizona. It's not a Carlos Quentin situation. For one thing, Jackson is already a productive big leaguer, so they're getting full value for him. For another, Jackson was never the type of high-ceiling guy that Quentin was. With Jackson, he's 26 and this season is reasonably likely to be his peak. What you see is what you get. He's only two years younger than Teixeira, and nowhere near as good.
2008-07-28 15:38:51
486.   KG16
478 - d'oh, yeah, 7:2 is way too good. never been good converting percentages to ratios.

I'm not sure about your example. i've have to think about it. likely, i wouldn't call 6-8 suited to begin with. i definitely don't like risking a third of my chip stack on an inside draw, particularly since if I were to raise any amount, i've effectively pot committed and again, best case scenario, i'm looking at 16% to hit my hand going all the way to the river.

2008-07-28 15:39:21
487.   Zak
469 I think you mean worst case scenario, not best case scenario. If you are drawing to an inside straight draw, unless it is the wrong end, you will make the best hand at the end of it. So, 16% is in the bank. Also, you have to account for someone not making their hand on the flop. Example, if someone raised with AK and you called with 68. The flop comes out 2, 5, 9. Now, when you call on the flop, you have six additional outs to make the best hand. Now, you can't count on that, and you won't make more money on the hand, but it does increase your reasons for calling in that situation.
2008-07-28 15:40:09
488.   fanerman
484 Poker Thoughts = Rule 14 Violation =(
2008-07-28 15:40:31
489.   still bevens
480 (sadly) Yes.
2008-07-28 15:41:48
490.   underdog
485 - But wouldn't you rather have Jackson next year than neither he nor Texeira? He may not be Texeira, but he's pretty darned good.
2008-07-28 15:42:41
491.   Zak
486 It's not a third of your stack.. I think I said about a tenth or less of your stack. Anyway, like you said, there are no absolutes.. it depends. Thanks for the poker talk though... nice break from today's edition of "8-10 people on this board are more qualified than your GM".
2008-07-28 15:42:45
492.   blue22
485 - But is 2-months of Tex worth over 3 years of Jackson?

And if I'm Atlanta and Conor Jackson alone is the best offer for Tex, I'd keep him and take the picks.

2008-07-28 15:42:46
493.   KG16
487 - no, i mean best case scenario. if you are drawing to an inside straight draw (and for the sake of argument, i'm assuming your against an over pair so pairing your cards will not help) you have four outs. rule of 2 and 4 - on the flop you multiply your outs by 4 and that tells you what percentage of the time you'll make your hand (4x4=16). 16% is assuming no one else threw away a card you need (or worse, the other guy has two of the cards you need).

and yeah, poker thoughts has probably run its course today.

2008-07-28 15:43:50
494.   Zak
488 Sorry, I'm done with poker. Now we can go back to things you like to talk about.
2008-07-28 15:44:04
495.   KG16
491 - sorry, my brain is not working at full capacity today. reading comprehension is rather difficult at the moment.
2008-07-28 15:44:36
496.   underdog
Ah I just saw Josh on ItD wrote: "No update on Nomar yet, but he's not in the lineup today. Stay tuned for more info on that front."
2008-07-28 15:45:29
497.   fanerman
494 Like ring pops?
2008-07-28 15:45:54
498.   Sagehen
451 Is that "Why couldn't McCovey have hit the ball just three feet higher?"
2008-07-28 15:46:13
499.   Zak
495 No worries. Like I said, good discussion. Got the mind working a little bit.
2008-07-28 15:46:38
500.   Zak
497 Which color?
Show/Hide Comments 501-550
2008-07-28 15:46:42
501.   Bob Timmermann
Indeed, one of the top 10 Peanuts strips ever.
2008-07-28 15:47:21
502.   SevenNineSixtyFive
I know - I said last post earlier - but I'll make an exception. This is far too addicting to do regularly... :)

RE: 460 - Toss out numbers for a moment, toss out statistics, Bobby Richardson, setting records for the most hits in a 7 game World Series, what is mathematically compelling and what is not and all the rest... Just answer this:

Do you really truly believe that everyone produces under pressure in exactly the same way? Or to put it another way - do you really truly disbelieve that some people produce better under pressure than others do? Just for the moment - put aside statistics, and try to draw from life experience. Do you really truly believe that?

2008-07-28 15:47:27
503.   blue22
490 - I guess AZ could be thinking that selling Jackson right now provides an instant upgrade on '08, plus they get the picks when Tex leaves.

Jackson is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason too. In effect you're trading Jackson's expensive control years for two 1st round picks and Tex's bat for the rest of the season.

2008-07-28 15:47:55
504.   bhsportsguy
492 Again, this may well be a trend but getting a MLB player that you can control for a few years might be worth it instead of draft picks from that are probably going to be higher than number 16. It appears that there is some thinking going around baseball around that idea.
2008-07-28 15:48:18
505.   Eric Stephen
Cool that Ethier's proof that Jones is benched for now.

The real test will be Wednesday against LHP Jonathan Sanchez. Then we'll see if Ethier has received the nod from Torre.

2008-07-28 15:48:25
506.   68elcamino427
What a great day on DT!
Great, great posts.
Thanks to all.
2008-07-28 15:49:12
507.   JoeyP
I dont think Jackson + Prospect is worth 2 months of Teixeira, but if he does sign an extension it would be.

Sure, Connor Jackson will never be as good as Teixeira, but his bat in LF may still be an asset (and Connor Jax has been playing Lf for alot of the season).

Its a much better deal for Arizona if they include Chad Tracy. But that goes without saying.

2008-07-28 15:49:23
508.   trainwreck
The mostly deadly things on Earth.
2008-07-28 15:49:58
509.   Jon Weisman
Trivia question:

Ralph Fiennes was nominated for Oscars for The English Patient and Schindler's List.

Without looking it up, what were his characters' names?

(I could not have gotten this.)

2008-07-28 15:50:11
510.   Zak
504 This is especially true considering signing money for draft picks is also going up.
2008-07-28 15:51:16
511.   underdog
505 True 'nuf. Well, if Jones replaced Pierre, I could certainly live with that. But that is highly doubtful.
2008-07-28 15:51:25
512.   overkill94
492 You seem to somewhat contradict yourself. Do you really think two late first-round picks will pay off better than three years of Jackson? It's hard enough for draftees (even first-rounders) to make the majors, let alone be productive starters for three years.

The trade seems to make sense for both teams as long as Byrnes can come back next year and at least be league-average. As it stands now they have too many corner players going into next year with Upton, Byrnes, Jackson, Reynolds, and Tracy. If the Dodgers had a similar log-jam I wouldn't mind making the deal myself as long as none of the other prospects involved are blue chippers.

2008-07-28 15:52:07
513.   regfairfield
502 I think it's a lot lower than you think. It takes a tremendous ability to succeed under pressure to make it to the bigs.

Even if it was true, it would explain people getting worse, but it wouldn't explain them getting better.

2008-07-28 15:52:34
514.   Zak
Count Lazlo and Amon Geoth. The EP one I remember, and I recently, very recently saw Schindler's List again.
2008-07-28 15:52:38
515.   ToyCannon
Crap, Jones is on the bench.
2008-07-28 15:52:46
516.   underdog
509 - I couldn't name his character in Schindler's if my life depended on it, other than that it's something German, but I know in English Patient he was Count Laszlo something or other...
2008-07-28 15:52:48
517.   fanerman
502 I can't speak for everybody else, but of course not. But in terms of how a player performs in the post-season, it's just another factor along with everything else--the pitcher, whether the batter is seeing the ball well, everything. Assigning credit purely to being "clutch" doesn't seem like it's really accurate.
2008-07-28 15:52:53
518.   sporky
509 Almásy and Göth.
2008-07-28 15:53:28
519.   fanerman
500 Blue!
2008-07-28 15:53:48
520.   underdog
515 - You keep adding that comma by mistake.
2008-07-28 15:55:14
521.   Greg Brock
How many wins is Teixeira worth from here on out? Two?

Love, love, love this deal if Jackson is out the door.

2008-07-28 15:55:22
522.   Bob Timmermann
The English Patient's name was Hungarian. The Schindler List's general had a very odd German name.
2008-07-28 15:55:32
523.   Zak
I also just saw In Bruges. I really liked the movie and it introduced me to a song I like a lot, On Raglan Road. Anyone see the movie or know the song?
2008-07-28 15:56:08
524.   Eric Stephen
Do you really truly believe that everyone produces under pressure in exactly the same way? Or to put it another way - do you really truly disbelieve that some people produce better under pressure than others do? Just for the moment - put aside statistics, and try to draw from life experience. Do you really truly believe that?

I don't want to speak for Rob or Eric, but my own view on this is that people do in fact perform differently under pressure all the time. It's just that the reason they perform well under pressure is because they're good, but not because of some inate quality to turn it on at key moments.

Also, sample size is an issue. Given enough at bats or innings, the best players in the regular season would end up being the best players in the postseason. It's just that almost no one outside of Yankees or 1990s Braves have enough postseason data to truly measure their performance.

2008-07-28 15:56:16
525.   Sagehen
I am growing tired of seeing Kent in the middle of the lineup. By the numbers, he should be batting 7th (with Pierre batting 8th) or 8th, if one if insistent upon putting Pierre at the top of the lineup.

When Nomar plays, he should be the cleanup hitter if you look at his slugging percentage.


2008-07-28 15:56:32
526.   berkowit28
515 OK, I think I've got it. You don't want Jones even on the bench, or anywhere within miles of it. ;-)
2008-07-28 15:56:32
527.   regfairfield
521 Doubt it. Two wins is a ton even if Tex was replacing a useless player. I'd say somewhere around a win.
2008-07-28 15:56:35
528.   Jon Weisman
523 - Didn't Van Morrison and the Chieftains do a version of that song? I like that. And I've been to Brugges.
2008-07-28 15:57:42
529.   Zak
526 I wouldn't mind if he was within miles of it, as long as the number was more than one. :)
2008-07-28 15:57:51
530.   ToyCannon
Doubt if to many saw it but I'm sure Underdog did. What did you think of the movie "Once" that won the Oscar for best song? I was entranced with the Russian songwriter.
2008-07-28 15:57:54
531.   Bob Timmermann
You've either been to Bruges or Brugge.

I found the city quite pretty.

2008-07-28 15:58:24
532.   bhsportsguy
522 My views on the English Patient are similar to Elaine Benes's views.
2008-07-28 15:58:35
533.   scareduck
502 - Do you really truly believe that everyone produces under pressure in exactly the same way? Or to put it another way - do you really truly disbelieve that some people produce better under pressure than others do? Just for the moment - put aside statistics, and try to draw from life experience. Do you really truly believe that?

What bearing does ANY of this have on the subject at hand? You're the one who tasked himself with the difficulty of defending Colletti's abysmal record. I mean, seriously:

1) Bill Richardson was really clutch in the World Series (in three out of six World Series).
2) Because Bill Richardson was really clutch, other players might be really clutch, too.
3) Casey Blake is a player who might be really clutch.
4) Therefore, getting Casey Blake, even at the expense of some possibly significant minor league talent, even as a two-month rental, is a good idea.

This, so far as I can reckon it, is your syllogism, yes? I do not see how you arrive at (3) and I very much do not see how you arrive at (4).

2008-07-28 15:58:54
534.   Bob Timmermann
I really wanted to like "Once."


A whole lot.

I really tried.

I didn't like it.

2008-07-28 15:59:36
535.   Zak
528 I didn't find the Van Morrison version on YouTube. I found Sinead O' Connor, but the best one I liked was one with Luke Kelly, an Irish singer. I really liked his version.
2008-07-28 15:59:57
536.   bhsportsguy
533 Not to get political here but I do think you are thinking of Bobby not Bill.
2008-07-28 16:00:02
537.   Bob Timmermann
I know the Governor of New Mexico had embellished his amateur baseball career, but I didn't realize it had gone as far as 533
2008-07-28 16:01:28
538.   Zak
530 I think she was Czech.

534 Maybe when you saw it, it was already hyped too much?! I don't know.. I saw it pretty early on before it got any buzz and thought it was good. And I really liked the music in the movie.

2008-07-28 16:01:41
539.   scareduck
536 - oops, yes, of course.
2008-07-28 16:03:25
540.   Jon Weisman
532 - Mine too. But I liked Once a lot.
2008-07-28 16:03:49
541.   Jon Weisman
Bob thinks Wes Anderson directed Once.
2008-07-28 16:04:07
542.   underdog
530 I liked Once a lot more than Bob, I'll say that much, Toy. I think it helps to be in the mood for a slim plot, sweetly romantic film and to also really like the music. If you don't, you won't like it as much. But I was entranced, personally. I love Glen Hansard and was glad they cast him instead of a professional actor/non-singer, and of course it's hard not to fall quickly for the lovely Czech actress Marketa Irglova. (Obviously Hansard did, they've been an item ever since. And man, is she younger than I thought she was!)
2008-07-28 16:04:26
543.   overkill94
I've seen In Bruges and Once and I loved them both. In fact, In Bruges is my favorite movie of the year so far and Once was my favorite movie of 2007. Maybe it's something about the Irish accents that tickles my fancy :)
2008-07-28 16:04:35
544.   Greg Brock
527 And Jackson has a higher EqA than Teixeira.

This would be a massive improvement how, exactly?

2008-07-28 16:04:42
545.   blue22
512 - You seem to somewhat contradict yourself.

Yeah, that happens especially late in the day when I'm simultaneously trying to finish my work by 5 while maintaining a conversation on DT.

Short answer, I'd hold out for more than Jackson, who I think loses some of his allure when he starts making the big bucks. I think I would be more inclined to keep the picks and trust my player development team to get me some higher-upside guys.

2008-07-28 16:05:26
546.   underdog
532 But what did you think of "Rochelle, Rochelle"?
2008-07-28 16:06:23
547.   Jon Weisman
546 - Everyone talks about the great "Rochelle, Rochelle," but "Sack Lunch" is very underrated.
2008-07-28 16:06:51
548.   Bob Timmermann
Back when there was a movie theater in South Pasadena, "The English Patient" was showing there for something like 20 weeks.
2008-07-28 16:07:09
549.   ibleedbloo
Blaine: What was bad about The English Patient?
Elaine: Only that it sucked.
2008-07-28 16:07:18
550.   Greg Brock
"Chunnel" was pretty great.
Show/Hide Comments 551-600
2008-07-28 16:07:28
551.   ToyCannon
I truly believe that people of the same skill level handle pressure differently. Some will rise, some will cave, some will do as they have always done. Experience in just about anything usually helps you during pressure moments.
I don't think this has anything to do with baseball in that baseball is such a random event after the ball meets the bat that some will look like they failed(McCovery) while others will look like stars(Bucky Dent) even though one hit a ball as hard as you can hit one, and the other hit a pop fly. Dent was not much of a ballplayer but his name will linger longer in baseball lore then McCovey unless you are a Giant fan.
2008-07-28 16:07:35
552.   Doctor
Interesting that Terre said the exception to the Jones benching might be:
1. VS a tough Lefty or
2. a pitcher Jones has had good success against in the past...

Jones VS Correia: 4-9, 3HR, 7RBI

Not that I mind, of course, but its tough to read Joe sometimes.

2008-07-28 16:09:16
553.   68elcamino427
True - it does require a tremendous ability to succeed under presssure to make it to the bigs, so isn't that a given for the total population?

502 Suggests that people may posess this ability to varying degrees and that some may have more of this ability and some not as much. Some people have the ability to go into the "zone" and become one with the moment, like Ted Williams homering in his last at bat, or Cal Ripken in his commemorative game as easy examples. Was it just luck? The human element at times can defy definition.

2008-07-28 16:09:57
554.   MonkeyBlue
What with Nomar injury status? Day to Day?
2008-07-28 16:10:01
555.   Kevin Lewis

I think I rented "Once" for Valentines Day, and I loved it. My wife fell asleep about half way through. She sleeps through most movies.

2008-07-28 16:10:21
556.   underdog
547/550 - However, I found "Prognosis Negative" to be fairly disappointed, a real dog if you will.
2008-07-28 16:10:58
557.   ibleedbloo
My favorite was Death Blow. What is yours
2008-07-28 16:11:02
558.   regfairfield
544 Because Tex is more likely to have a better one going forward. Plus he helps defensively.
2008-07-28 16:11:21
559.   Tripon
Would you scream if the Dodgers resigned Kaz Ishii?
2008-07-28 16:11:37
560.   underdog
Disappointing, that is.

550 "Everybody out of the Chunnel!"

2008-07-28 16:12:18
561.   Tripon
Jorge Posada going to do surgery.
2008-07-28 16:13:52
562.   regfairfield
553 I'm not sure what you mean.

I think Ripken's home runs was more thanks to Chan Ho's 85 fastball down the pipe.

2008-07-28 16:14:05
563.   Greg Brock
558 But we're talking about one win this year and two draft picks (that may not turn into squat) for a good hitter under team control for three more years.

On balance, this seems like a bad deal.

2008-07-28 16:16:05
564.   Bob Timmermann
Jason Isringhausen has reclaimed the closer's role in St. Louis.

I believe he has done this through, in the words of Homer Simpson, "the two sweetest words in the English langauge: DE FAULT!"

2008-07-28 16:16:06
565.   bhsportsguy
556 Of all the titles of those films, Prognosis Negative seems like one that should be used. Maybe KG16 can use for his poker film.
2008-07-28 16:16:26
566.   Eric L
562 Didn't he hit a homerun off of Shawn Boskie in the game where he passed Gehrig? I think that may be what he was talking about.
2008-07-28 16:16:46
567.   ToyCannon
I don't know why but I take pleasure in the fact that some of my favorite posters liked the movie.

I've got a friend at work whose wife passed away several months ago after fighting cancer for years. He was a musician in his youth but gave it up for 25 years. Now 58 he has started playing again and writing songs. He currently is playing in 4 bands and doing showcases all over town to make up for lost time. He wrote a song that reminded me of the songs in Once. It is a song I would put into rotation I liked it that much.

2008-07-28 16:17:26
568.   bhsportsguy
553 I think Teddy Ballgame would have traded that moment where gods don't answer minions for a couple of hits in the 1946 World Series.
2008-07-28 16:18:26
569.   bhsportsguy
567 Sounds like the fella I met at the game earlier this year, good for him.
2008-07-28 16:19:12
570.   68elcamino427
It's ok - Disregard it. My point doesn't fit with the discussion.
2008-07-28 16:19:53
571.   Eric Enders
Both Jackson and Teixeira are likely to regress to the mean from now until the end of the year. Which would mean Jackson gets worse and Teixeira gets better.

There is also the question of defense which nobody has really mentioned much. Teixeira is, I believe, considered a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman. And if I recall, Jackson last year was rated by some metrics as the worst first baseman in the league, and he's considered even worse than that in left field, to the point where he gives back much of his offensive value with his defense. Remember last time we played AZ and he made two errors on one play in left field? That wasn't really an anomaly.

This could be one of those trades that works well for both teams, depending on who the prospect is.

2008-07-28 16:20:41
572.   Jon Weisman
557 - God, that makes me laugh so much.
2008-07-28 16:20:43
573.   regfairfield
563 I'm not saying it isn't. We don't know if Conor Jackson is actually involved either.
2008-07-28 16:21:57
574.   Gagne55
Pierre, LF

Kemp, CF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

Ethier, RF

Berroa, SS

Kuroda, P

2008-07-28 16:23:05
575.   Greg Brock
573 We'll have to wait and see, and take a measured approach on the quality of the trade.

God that's boring.

Let's rush to judge instead!

2008-07-28 16:23:58
576.   Zak
557 Thanks for that. Funny stuff.
2008-07-28 16:24:55
577.   Greg Brock
I wonder how many other teams have a guy slugging .468 in the two hole and a cleanup hitter that barely slugs .400.

I'm going to go with "Not very many teams at all, Greg. Not very many."

2008-07-28 16:25:05
578.   Tripon
At least Loney's batting 5th.
2008-07-28 16:28:03
579.   ToyCannon
Yeah, he didn't think much of out statistical conversations. He just wanted to enjoy the game.
2008-07-28 16:30:33
580.   Kevin Lewis
Definitely the "Flaming Globes of Sigmund"
2008-07-28 16:31:50
581.   wronghanded
I hate to bring up what has obviously passed but I did enjoy the discussion about poker. Makes me wonder if Jon or others could organize a DT poker tournament, make it for charity (Think Cure) and open up the invite to the Dodgers. Didn't Loney and Martin partake in a tournament earlier this year? It might be a great way for some of us to meet Dodger players and brass and have it benefit a good cause.
2008-07-28 16:32:03
582.   ToyCannon
Better then being a historian and knowing you will be dead before they decide if the actions of the time were plus or minus.
Course some of us will be dead before we know how the Santana trade works out.
2008-07-28 16:32:42
583.   Eric Enders
502 "Do you really truly believe that everyone produces under pressure in exactly the same way? Or to put it another way - do you really truly disbelieve that some people produce better under pressure than others do? Just for the moment - put aside statistics, and try to draw from life experience. Do you really truly believe that?"

Quick and dirty response:

1) I don't know the answer for certain. But neither does Joe Torre or anyone else. To the extent that anyone believes they do know, they're speculating.

2) I think it's important here to make a distinction between the way players react to pressure and the actual results they produce under pressure. It's perfectly plausible that some people respond to pressure differently than others. I would question whether those differing responses actually produce different end results on the baseball field.

3) Even if the ability to play better under pressure is a demonstrable skill, it's a fool's errand to attempt to discern which players have the skill and which ones don't. There's too much noise and interference to separate the skill from other factors. If you judge by results, you're likely to be led astray by mistaking random chance for skill. Which brings us back to the fact that clutch poster boy Bobby Richardson performed abominably in two consecutive World Series.

Also, assuming that an old player automatically has the clutch skill, while a young player doesn't, makes no sense. This implies that the skill isn't innate, that it can be learned -- and if it can, then let's teach it to our young players, or let them learn through experience, instead of relying on older players who are less good.

2008-07-28 16:33:38
584.   ToyCannon
That is a great idea. We can hold it at Bob's place of work.
2008-07-28 16:34:50
585.   ToyCannon
19 year old Andruw Jones sure seemed clutchy to me.
2008-07-28 16:35:47
586.   Greg Brock
Course some of us will be dead before we know how the Santana trade works out.

Wow, that's kind of a bummer :-(

2008-07-28 16:37:50
587.   Xeifrank
My simulator has the Dodgers favored to win all three games vs the Giants. With tonight's game being the most lopsided and the last game a close 2nd. I assume the pitching matchups listed at Yahoo are correct. vr, Xei

Matchup / Dodger Win% / OverUnder
Correia vs Kuroda / 59.25% / 8.22
Cain vs Johnson / 52.98% / 8.29
Sanchez vs Billz / 58.36 / 8.07

Series O/U: 24.58

2008-07-28 16:41:51
588.   underdog
587 - Sims or no, I wouldn't think game 2 will be much of a gimme.
2008-07-28 16:42:41
589.   underdog
Er, wait, that's what the Sim says, too. Never mind me.

Anyway, I think a sweep would be lovely but I don't think it will come easy.

2008-07-28 16:43:06
590.   trainwreck
I would be quite surprised if we win that game.
2008-07-28 16:45:22
591.   underdog
Jayson Stark on is saying it's no slam dunk that it'll be Arizona or that Tex will be traded but still lists AZ as the favorite. He adds:
>>So that still seems to leave Arizona as the best fit. Despite reports that Atlanta would insist on getting Conor Jackson back for Teixeira, one source with knowledge of those clubs' conversations says those reports are "not accurate."

"'Insist' is not the right word," the source said. "For one thing, there hasn't been that much conversation. That would insinuate somebody walked away from an offer that didn't include him. And that's not the case."<<

2008-07-28 16:46:02
592.   underdog
590 - Me too. Except the Dodgers have hit Cain pretty hard in many of their games against him. So who knows?
2008-07-28 16:46:05
593.   Eric Enders
Did anybody see the matchups for the AZ series yet? Two of them are pretty compelling. There's the worm-killing extravaganza with Lowe vs. Webb. And then there's Edwin Jackson, the sequel: Kershaw vs. Johnson.
2008-07-28 16:46:40
594.   Gen3Blue
The Black hole is a bit larger and this is not good. Is Nomar hurt, for I would rather have him at SS.
2008-07-28 16:48:08
595.   KG16
581 - hmmmm
2008-07-28 16:49:03
596.   Gagne55
590 Have you looked at Cain's W/L? It's terrible and has always been terrible throughout his career; the matchup still favors the Giants, but superior line-up at home makes Dodgers favorites.
2008-07-28 16:53:06
597.   trainwreck
Well I expect Jason Johnson to be terrible. Even with the Giants bad lineup.
2008-07-28 16:56:36
598.   Tripon
596 Have you looked at Cain's W/L? It's terrible and has always been terrible throughout his career; the matchup still favors the Giants, but superior line-up at home makes Dodgers favorites.

How do the Dodgers have the 3rd best offense in the NL West?

2008-07-28 16:56:52
599.   underdog
594 - Yes, Nomar was hurt yesterday. He seemed not too badly hurt but obviously couldn't go today. We're still waiting for an official report from them.
2008-07-28 16:58:45
600.   ToyCannon
Jason Johnson will rule the roost and take down Cain with him when Tyler Walker comes in to protect a 3-2 lead.
Show/Hide Comments 601-650
2008-07-28 16:59:24
601.   Bob Timmermann
Right now the Braves are going to need a 7-run homer from Mark Texeira.
2008-07-28 17:07:28
602.   trainwreck
I'm now getting Rihanna ad. Eat your heart out, underdog!
2008-07-28 17:31:02
603.   Bob Timmermann
Yellow alert for Joe Mather in Atlanta. This is a yellow alert.

This alert will carry over to the next thread.

2008-07-28 17:31:34
604.   Gagne55
598 by scoring more runs than the Giants and Padres
2008-07-28 17:33:41
605.   D4P
Any relation to Lowell...?
2008-07-28 17:35:58
606.   trainwreck
Is he still in witness protection?
2008-07-28 17:38:01
607.   D4P
My wife (who had never seen the show) and I are going through the entire series. We're almost done with season 6, which IIRC was Lowell's last. II also RC, the show got predictably worse after he left.
2008-07-28 17:44:36
608.   KG16
if the snakes get Tex, I hope it's too close to the deadline for a retaliation trade by the Dodgers.

it's not so much Ned's action that I worry about, it's more his reaction.

2008-07-28 17:45:23
609.   trainwreck
Budd was a completely pointless replacement.

At least Thomas Haden Church left to do a real good show in Ned and Stacy.

2008-07-28 17:56:03
610.   D4P
I'm gonna have to watch N&S again. I liked it, but haven't watched it since it aired.
2008-07-28 18:02:11
611.   Zak
The wrong A. Jones just hit a grand slam.
2008-07-28 18:04:02
612.   D4P
Nomar Garciaparra needed to undergo an MRI exam on his left knee, and results were not immediately available. The Dodgers have a renewed interest in Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson, but don't count out Rafael Furcal returning in September. He's currently rehabbing at Athletes' Performance Institute in Arizona.
2008-07-28 18:04:32
613.   Greg Brock
Any relation to Lowell...?

Or Cotton?

2008-07-28 18:05:39
614.   Tripon
Man, Jack Wilson is a sucker's bet.
2008-07-28 18:06:31
615.   ToyCannon
Mr. Hu may have rediscovered his vision in the nick of time.
2008-07-28 18:08:48
616.   Greg Brock
Extra, extra, read all about it!
Pinball Wizard in a miracle cure!

/The Hu

2008-07-28 18:09:53
617.   regfairfield
I'd take Jack Wilson, if only because Berroa is probably the alternative, not Hu.

It's also preemptively stopping a Ned panic move, which is always good.

2008-07-28 18:11:09
618.   68elcamino427
614 Wilson???
615 Hu???

Welcome to "Thunder Road".

2008-07-28 18:11:47
619.   Tripon
No one can accuse the Houston Astros of being quitters. Despite the fact that Houston is 12 1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central, they continue to look to be buyers before the trade deadline, rather than sellers. Rival teams report that the Astros are calling around in search of a high-profile, experienced reliever who might serve as a complement to Doug Brocail as Houston makes it push for a playoff spot in August and September.

This is the oddest thing ever.

2008-07-28 18:12:42
620.   regfairfield
I'm just amazed the Astros have any tradeable assets at all.
2008-07-28 18:12:55
621.   Tripon
617 You'd take two more years of Jack Wilson? Because his contract ends in 2010.
2008-07-28 18:16:32
622.   Zak
619 It's like they know something that nobody else does. Maybe Colorado sold them a formula to win 28 of 29 games or something. Although with 3 teams above them, even that might not be enough. Strange!
2008-07-28 18:16:35
623.   Greg Brock
Ed Wade is so awesome.
2008-07-28 18:16:39
624.   regfairfield
621 2009. 2010 is an option. It'll keep Ned from giving Hudson 7/90 when Ellis re-signs with the A's. I can't see a middle infield populated by Hu/DeWitt/Abreu/DeJesus, he's going to want a veteran presence there. You could get worse than Jack Wilson.
2008-07-28 18:16:55
625.   Eric Stephen
2010 is only an option year, with a $600,000 buyout.
2008-07-28 18:17:32
626.   roncey10
I do not think Jack Wilson has had a base hit since the original rumor of Wilson to the Dodgers a month ago.

He was batting over .300 and now he is barely hitting .270

2008-07-28 18:18:14
627.   Fallout
403 Eric Enders
Setting aside for a moment the inanity of painting hundreds of individual people with such a broad brush... You criticize the DT posters for being a bunch of name-callers, and you do that by, well, calling them names. OK.
I find it interesting that you take my "many posters on this site are as arrogant" ...the ones that "go off into little tirades and name call like little children." into hundreds of people. It's only those who fit the description. It's far less than hundreds.:) To say that it's frustration rather than arrogance that makes you say those things...whatever you want to call lift yourself up as smarter and calling Dodger mgt stupid and idiots over and over gets old.
Your lack of desire to have an open, reasoned discussion on this issue is revealed by your attempt to use the term "Bill James Crowd" as an epithet of sorts. Man, you really have an odd way of reasoning. If you cannot admit that the majority of posters on this site either follow B. James or adhere to a lot of statistical analysis then I have no where to go with you.
Basically, you've made up your mind about the people here and that's that. So what, then, was the point of your post?
Made up my mind about what?
But a reasoned look at his career, a perusal of scouting reports, and a knowledge of how to evaluate statistics has led many people to believe that he'll be a good major league player.
I believe that too.
In fact, the only people in baseball who don't seem to view LaRoche as a valuable commodity are Ned Colletti and Joe Torre.
I do not know exactly what they think about LaRoche, but I'm sure that they think that he is valuable...if only as a trading chip.:)
FYI a agree with post 406 except for the possible lucky turn...
The claim that he "hasn't even twinkled" is completely nonfactual.
Without question I was speaking at the major league level that he...I don't know how it could be taken any other way.
2008-07-28 18:18:28
628.   Greg Brock
Postseason Odds, Houston: .07637

So you're saying there's a chance...

2008-07-28 18:20:46
629.   regfairfield
628 I really hope that's .07% and not 7%.
2008-07-28 18:22:48
630.   Greg Brock
629 Yeah, its seven tenths of one percent.
2008-07-28 18:23:34
631.   eusmus
624 Are you that confident Ned will still be the GM in 2009?
2008-07-28 18:23:38
632.   fanerman
630 Do you mean seven hundredths?
2008-07-28 18:24:28
633.   regfairfield
631 I'm confident Ned's replacement feels the same way. Hell, I kind of feel the same way.
2008-07-28 18:24:57
634.   Greg Brock
Seven hundredths.

I hope I corrected this before somebody else.


2008-07-28 18:25:14
635.   Greg Brock
2008-07-28 18:29:53
636.   Jon Weisman
2008-07-28 18:30:06
637.   Jon Weisman
2008-07-28 18:30:14
638.   Greg Brock
As the last person on earth to see the Peoria/Dayton minor league brawl, let me say: Holy Smokes!
2008-07-28 18:30:19
639.   Jon Weisman
2008-07-28 18:35:57
640.   CajunDodger
As someone who posts much less than he reads the site, I think that I can say with certainty that the majority of the posters on this site do like analysis over "feel" that some managers like Dusty Baker and Joe Torre tend to use.

However, your statement about LaRoche is a bit self-defeating. There have been bumps along the road with pretty much all of the prospects (excluding Martin), but the frustrating thing about LaRoche is precisely that he has never played 10 games in a row at the major league level.

I certainly do not think that Colletti would win a cookie from the most of us for his acquisitions, but our frustration with him lies in his unpredctability and apparent lack of willingness to make sure that the best players see the field more than the ones making the most money.

Like it or not, your post seems like a critique of all posters on this site. That is certainly fine, but I don't think that you can reasonably say that your statements were not an effort to paint the vast majority of us with the same brush.

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