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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Joe Shlabotnik, Your Life Is Calling
2003-06-09 08:33
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Could the eptless Dodger offense do worse than adding the noted slugger from the Green Grass League?

If Shlabotnik isn't the answer, the Dodgers should call up a third catcher to take the 25th spot on the roster. David Ross can hit better than Jason Romano, and probably as well as Bubba Crosby, but is forced to stay on the bench most nights in case Paul Lo Duca is hurt. A third catcher would allow more flexibilty. Koyie Hill, a switch-hitter, is batting .351 for Las Vegas. His major-league equivalent EQA, according to Baseball Prospectus, is .245. Calling up Hill, the organization's No. 4 catcher, would presumably leave the Dodger minor-league teams thin in this area - although so thin that the move shouldn't be made. Believe it or not, though, it does mean that the Dodgers miss Todd Hundley...

Romano, for his part, just has no role on the Dodgers. He cannot hit, and his value as a defensive replacement is mitigated by the fact that the Dodgers are rarely in a game where they can afford to remove an outfielder with a lead...

In fairness to Romano, it doesn't look like we're missing much right now in Luke Allen, whom the Dodgers traded for Romano. Allen is batting .290 for Colorado's AAA team. His MLEQA is .222...

In other trades, that Ruddy Lugo-Daryle Ward trade is looking like a gem. Ward is on the disabled list with a .361 OPS. Lugo is 0-8 with a 5.40 ERA for the Round Rock Express, Houston's AA team...

Ron Coomer is 5 for 15 with a double and two walks as a pinch hitter, 4 for 30 with three walks, an HBP and no doubles in other situations. He has an .804 OPS against lefties, .416 against righties. No homers in either case for the noted professional hitter...

Whenever I pick on McGriff's ability to hit lefties, he has a few good games against them. When I leave him alone, he withers. Well, McGriff now has a .561 OPS against lefties (.860 against righties). Mike Kinkade has a 1.287 OPS against lefties, .555 against righties. Kinkade's OPS against lefties is in only 23 plate appearances and includes four hit-by-pitches, but given the overwhelming evidence that McGriff can't hit lefties, Kinkade needs to be in there. (Be patient. Detroit's only lefty starter, Mike Maroth (1-11), pitched Saturday and will probably miss the Dodger series.) ...

Meanwhile, the Dodgers have announced that with McGriff now at 488 career home runs, they will place a "Countdown to 500" sign inside Dodger Stadium once he reaches 490. "That will add to the intensity and excitement and anticipation for the milestone, which the organization and his fans have been looking forward to since he was signed as a free agent," Dodger vice president of communications Derrick Hall was quoted as saying. Nope - it will just add more angst to an offense cornering the market in this commodity. Won't that countdown sign be a pleasure when McGriff ends the season at 498 and then leaves as a free agent...

The Dodgers are headed to American League parks this week and will need a DH. Instead of Shlabotnik, Kinkade and Jolbert Cabrera will get the call most of the time, either in the DH slot or in the field to allow a Dodger regular to DH...

In its three years of existence, Detroit's Comerica Park has had a park factor for batters of 97, 99 and 93 - almost as low as Dodger Stadium. The two teams that will be playing there Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have the 26th and 30th best offenses in baseball, according to Baseball Prospectus. Let's get ready to rumble!!!

With Tuesday's game against the Tigers not on television, I'm going to assume that this is the Knotts starting for Detroit...

The Darren Dreifort situation has been covered sufficiently enough that I don't have much that is profound to add. About all I can say is that his performance under his current contract looks just dandy next to the Rangers' signing of Chan Ho Park, who is back on the disabled list. Park is 10-11 with a 6.06 ERA for Texas...

It hasn't made sense to me that Andy Ashby can't hack it as a starting pitcher, because my recollection is that he had a good season last year. However, he did finish with an 0-3, 7.91 September in which he lasted 11 1/3 innings in three starts. He's 36 years old in an injury-plagued career. So maybe there's a reason that a guy like Wilson Alvarez looks promising in comparison...

To me, the Dodger decision to call up Alvarez before Ashby had made his first start struck me as giving up on Ashby before he had begun. After all, the Dodgers had no qualms about plugging Giovanni Carrara in for a five-inning stint last year when they felt the need. Tracy claims that Ashby will be given four starts before he is reevaluated, but it just rings hollow to me somehow. Ashby is like the anti-Adrian Beltre: no leash...

I'm trying not to worry about Odalis Perez because in a fine 2002, he did have one bad month: He went 1-3, 7.59 in July...

Here is a list showing the difference between 2003 OPS and 2002 OPS for the main eight Dodger position players:

+.132 Paul Lo Duca
+.036 Eric Karros/Fred McGriff
+.028 Cesar Izturis
-.010 Brian Jordan
-.035 Mark Grudzielanek/Alex Cora
-.050 Dave Roberts
-.111 Adrian Beltre
-.186 Shawn Green

I wonder what Jordan thinks of the year he's having. He has only 11 extra-base hits all season - yet has almost broken even because his singles and walks are up.

That figure for Green is atrocious.

Lo Duca these days is a pleasure to watch though, isn't he? He's striking out more than ever before, but he is really stroking some nice hits. And I guarantee you, despite their different reptuations for speed, Green does not get an inside-the-park home run off the ball LoDuca hit Sunday...

I saw Tony Gwynn hit a most memorable inside-the-park grand slam on June 26, 1997 at Dodger Stadium. Brett Butler, playing left field, dove for the ball but couldn't catch it, and lay writhing on the ground in pain as Gwynn circled the bases...

As you can imagine, with this site, my interest in baseball has been more Dodger-centered than it had been in some time. But I tuned in for the Roger Clemens-Kerry Wood duel Saturday with anticipation, and though no milestones were achieved (imagine seeing a 300th win and a 4,000th strikeout in the same game), I was not disappointed at all. You could feel the buzz of the crowd. Believe it or not, I saw every at-bat of the game except Eric Karros' home run. I made a diaper change during the pitching change and didn't get back in time...

No, not my diaper - the baby's...

Many were shocked to see an ambulance come onto the field for Hee Seop Choi, but Dodger fans will recall two such events last season, for Kazuhisa Ishii and for Alex Cora...

The Cubs-Yankees game Sunday got 346 comments on Baseball Primer Game Chatter. The Dodgers-White Sox game got zero...

As far as the Dodgers tying the Giants and then falling five games behind, it recalls what I wrote April 22 when the Dodgers fell behind by 8 1/2 games early this season, but pledged they could make up the difference. It's not enough to merely be able to make up the difference. The problem with making up such a deficit is that all it gets you to is square one. That said, the Dodgers remain only 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot right now...

As it happens, Only Baseball Matters, my highly respected counterpart to the north, has basically counted the Dodgers out of the NL West race...

The Dodgers selected a Mike Piazza relative in last week's draft, but it wasn't Tony Piazza, who hit a grand slam Sunday to help send Southwest Missouri State into the College World Series. It was Thomas Piazza of Palm Beach Atlantic College...

I was unable to attend any of the White Sox games, leaving my .636 home winning percentage this season intact. But at what cost? Reports from the field indicate that a foul ball was caught in the Weisman seats Saturday night...

With Dave Wallace leaving for the Red Sox, it's hard to imagine the Dodgers won't miss him terribly. He's been a great baseball mind and a class act all the way...

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