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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
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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The Standard of Success
2008-08-05 10:27
by Jon Weisman

From the Dodger press notes:

In three games with his new club, Manny Ramirez is 8-for-13 (.615) with a double, two homers, and five RBI. Over the last 75 years, the only other player to collect as many as eight hits over his first three games with the Dodgers was ...

... McKay Christensen, who was 10-for-14 in his first three games for Los Angeles (July 21-23, 2001) after being acquired in a trade with the White Sox earlier that month.

The notes also note this note: "The Dodgers have the best record in the National League over the last seven weeks, going 25-17 beginning June 17."

Comments (197)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-05 10:36:02
1.   Paul Scott
/cheer ??

Perhaps we can convince MLB to through out all the games before June 17.

2008-08-05 10:38:10
2.   underdog
Ah, McKay. I had high hopes for him, even if knowing that his hot start for the Dodgers was surely anomaly. Didn't know how much of an anomaly that start actually was. Manny we know can hit.
2008-08-05 10:38:33
3.   underdog
Surely an anomaly, that is.

{{drink more coffee}}

2008-08-05 10:39:25
4.   Jon Weisman
1 - Why is that so hard to be happy about? Or am I misreading your comment?

It is what it is. I'm not suggesting it's more than it is, but it's better than being 17-25.

2008-08-05 10:44:40
5.   bhsportsguy
There is nothing like listening to Mike Shannon in the morning.

Charley Steiner just said that the TV ratings on Friday night (Manny's first game) was the largest regular season TV audience (broadcast) in team history.

2008-08-05 10:45:50
6.   Eric Stephen
Entering the April 30 game at Florida, Billingsley was 0-4 with a 6.53 ERA. Since then:

18 GS, 118 IP (6.55 IP/GS), 11-5, 43/113 BB/K, 2.44 ERA

2008-08-05 10:51:43
7.   Who Is Karim Garcia
I'm still steamed at Torre for that rain delay game that I'm sure somehow affected Bills' start to the year.

Well, okay, I'm not SURE it really affected him one way or another.

But I still reserve the right to be steamed.

2008-08-05 10:52:25
8.   Hallux Valgus
2 why can't I find OZ on your website?
2008-08-05 10:57:01
9.   Neal Pollack
25-17 is pretty damn good. We do that over our next 42 games, and we'll almost certainly be in first place heading into the final weeks.
2008-08-05 10:57:20
10.   Sam DC
But how does Manny stack up against a real ballplayer like Marlon Anderson?
2008-08-05 10:58:38
11.   bhsportsguy
Stuff you can't make up.

Andruw Jones has 5 hits in 55 at bats with runners in scoring position (he's walked some too).

Manny Ramirez is 3 for 4 with RISP thus far.

2008-08-05 10:59:44
12.   bhsportsguy
9 They are 16-10 since ASB and 7-3 in their last 10 games.
2008-08-05 11:00:05
13.   Disabled List
I have absolutely no memory of McKay Christensen. I did a lot of traveling in the summer of 2001, so he probably slipped in under my radar. But it's weird that his name doesn't even ring a bell.
2008-08-05 11:02:02
14.   D4P
25-17 beginning June 17

26 games at homes, 16 on the road

2008-08-05 11:03:17
15.   wronghanded
I know somebody is going to tell me I'm wrong but I attribute the last 2 wins against the D-Backs to Manny, he didn't do everything but he was the difference maker. Some people were saying that Manny was worth an extra 2 wins over Pierre for the remainder of the season and if thats the case, those 2 wins sure did come early IMO.
2008-08-05 11:03:38
16.   KG16
interesting read over on page 2 of about how closers are overpaid and overrated. just skimmed it, but it looks like it can be summed up thusly:

1. saves use to be good
2. saves have become overrated because they've been "twisted"
3. the braves won 14 division titles in a row with a ton of different closers
4. where have you gone goose gossage?

2008-08-05 11:04:53
17.   the count
Good ol' McKay Christensen. He went to my rival high school and was also being heavily recruited as a running back. He was an incredible athlete (compared to me, I'm sure he still is). Excellent range in center field.
2008-08-05 11:05:00
18.   Eric Stephen
In Marlon's first 13 Dodger PA, he was 4-12 with a HR and hit .333/.385/.667.

Over his next 60 PA, he hit .385/.441/.846.

2008-08-05 11:05:14
19.   D4P

21-21 beginning June 17

17 games at home, 25 on the road

2008-08-05 11:06:34
20.   Kevin Lewis
random question:

Has anyone actually successfully completed one of those "free laptop" promotions?

Being a stay at home dad this week has me considering all sorts of crazy things.

2008-08-05 11:06:59
21.   Neal Pollack
14--Yes, and they're 25-1 at home over that stretch, and 0-16 on the road.
2008-08-05 11:07:01
22.   D4P
So, to summarize, since June 17, the DBacks have played more road games and the Dodgers more home games.

And, the DBacks have done better than the Dodgers relative to their home-road split over that time period.

2008-08-05 11:07:06
23.   njr
Just for a second, I thought...

2008-08-05 11:08:09
24.   Frip
4 Why is that so hard to be happy about?

Because basing a statistic on a date-range meant to convey some point can be misleading. There could be a scenario where if the date-range was moved back just two days, a given team wouldn't be first, but say, in the bottom 4.

But I'm merely stating the obvious.

2008-08-05 11:08:10
25.   regfairfield
15 The thing is that even though Manny drove in the difference making runs on Saturday, we don't know that Ethier wouldn't have done the same thing. On Sunday, we won by six, Manny didn't really make one difference.

Heck, on Friday you could easily argue that Manny cost us the game (WPA labeled him as the goat thanks to that ninth inning double play). This is why it's so hard for a player to mean more than a win or so over the course of two months.

2008-08-05 11:08:24
26.   D4P
Which is another way of saying that they lost one more game than they "should" have, relative to playing .500 ball.
2008-08-05 11:10:01
27.   Jonny6
Christensen went to my high school so I was always hoping he'd make it big. His older brother was the fastest white kid I've ever seen in my life (Jeremy Wariner notwithstanding, so I guess fastest I've ever seen in person).
2008-08-05 11:11:06
28.   D4P
Meanwhile, the DBacks essentially won 4 more games than they "should" have over that time period.
2008-08-05 11:13:06
29.   the count
27 - You went to Clovis West? I played at Clovis High?
2008-08-05 11:17:01
30.   Eric Stephen
Fun bullpen facts:

Hong-Chih Kuo has allowed only 2 of 17 runners to score.

Chano Ho Park has stranded all 10 inherited runners.

2008-08-05 11:18:23
31.   wronghanded
25 I don't believe in trickle down economics but I do believe in trickle down success in a line-up. A lot of factors come into play when adding a stick like Manny to the line-up, pitching strategy for the people hitting in front of him, behind him (assuming he got on base), and the gut check a pitcher gets when Manny blasts a ball against him (it's discouraging). Manny will also help us roll our lineup over quicker and his presence shakes any pitchers confidence a bit before he even throws a pitch against us. These traits aren't all quantifiable but to ignore them because they aren't is wrong IMO.
2008-08-05 11:20:28
32.   underdog
21 Wait.. who was 0-16 on the road? I'm confused.
2008-08-05 11:20:40
33.   regfairfield
25 Even if those are factors (which are debatable) they mean a lot less than whether or not the guy hit the ball.
2008-08-05 11:21:42
34.   Hallux Valgus
27 Wariner was an assistant coach at my alma mater! yay!
2008-08-05 11:21:55
35.   Jonny6
Yep, I went to CW. Ironically, I didn't play baseball; I got sucked into the football madness and never escaped.
2008-08-05 11:22:33
36.   Doctor
For me It's still too early to worry about the D'Backs. If the Dodgers get it going (with Blake and Manny replacing some really bad production at CF, 3B at times) they will win the west. All that matters is no one has run away and hidden with the West at this point.
2008-08-05 11:22:50
37.   jujibee
31. I've always felt that if a bat like Manny's landed in an anemic lineup like the Dogers', than that lineup would flourish for the simple reason that they relax. When it's hard to score runs, there is so much pressure put on everyone and every at bat. Not that it's easier to score runs with Manny, but he bears the burden of producing them while everyone else can relax a little more than usual.
2008-08-05 11:23:05
38.   Bumsrap
This is from the last chapter of a book I wrote and number 53 of the 100 truths I made up for the chapter.

"I understand that long repetition does not allow my brain to encode as well as it can in distributed practice incorporating periodic rest and that while practice makes perfect, perfect will not endure if practice is crammed. I know that my brain needs a consolidation period, even overnight, for brain chemicals to alter old synapses and cause neurons to make new connections that are enduring."

A little homework done between classes allows the teacher to work with students that have had a chance to sleep on their homework efforts and thus have begun to alter old synapses. Doing homework once a week makes the teacher wait for the students brains to make the synapses that allow them both to move on.

Regarding Jones, he needs to form the right synapses before he gets in a game where he goes back to reinforcing the old synapses.

2008-08-05 11:23:11
39.   Jon Weisman
24 - I'm working under the assumption that most people here have a grasp of the Dodgers' overall record and place in the standings. I published one sentence that states that the Dodgers have been winning games over the past seven weeks. I made no claim as to this having great meaning. I completely understand that schedule could play a part, as it often does when a team is winning. I just thought it was something that people might enjoy knowing, because, you know, it shows the team has been winning.

So I ask again, why is that so hard to be happy about? If in fact the team is heading for a rough stretch, can we not at least enjoy the fact that they did well when the schedule dictated we were supposed to do well?

I get happy when the Dodgers have a good inning. A good at-bat. Do we have to wait for happiness to be a permanent condition before we can enjoy ourselves?

2008-08-05 11:26:20
40.   silverwidow
Andy LaRoche had X-rays on his right thumb after Monday night's game, which came back negative.

The bad news is that it's the same thumb that suffered the torn ligament in spring training. He hurt it on a check swing and immediately felt pain. He says it's "not serious," but the team hasn't ruled out another ligament issue. He'll undergo more tests today.

2008-08-05 11:27:38
41.   bhsportsguy
Since May 18th, the high point of the D-Backs season when they were last at their high of 12 games over .500 (28-16, 19-8 home, 9-8 road), through yesterday, they have gone 30-38 (12-14 at home, 18-24 road).

The Dodgers have played .500 ball since that date, 22-21 on 5/18 (11-9 home, 11-12 road), since then 34-34 (21-18 home, 13-16 road)

2008-08-05 11:28:07
42.   Bumsrap
I mused before that leaving Jones in the lineup tended to make other hitters worse, so I ask, if Jones didn't, can Manny make them better?
2008-08-05 11:28:35
43.   wronghanded
33 Again, I have to respectfully disagree, if having Manny in our lineup gets guys like Martin and Kemp more strikes to hit then their value is increased as well (assuming their BABIP doesn't take a nosedive). Baseball is a sport with delicate balance, it is obviously numbers driven game but to ignore the psychological aspects and intangibles (I know that is a bad word around here) is a mistake.
2008-08-05 11:29:27
44.   D4P
Andy's still hurt. Of that I'm pretty sure.
2008-08-05 11:30:00
45.   caseybarker
I participated in a fair number of high-school band competitions in Clovis. Those Clovis schools had great bands, too.
2008-08-05 11:30:46
46.   D4P
if having Manny in our lineup gets guys like Martin and Kemp more strikes to hit then their value is increased as well

But doesn't more strikes probably mean fewer walks? That's not necessarily a good thing...

2008-08-05 11:31:17
47.   Greg Brock
38 Very cool.
2008-08-05 11:32:24
48.   OaklandAs
43 But why is that an intangible? If Manny's presence causes the rest of team to get better pitches to hit, and they actually do hit better when he's in the lineup, then that is a tangible result. It would be relatively easy to measure, if it was a real effect.
2008-08-05 11:33:23
49.   Doctor

Interesting to note that Bill James said he was "re-thinking" the idea that there are no clutch hitters. He also said there are more intangibles than tangibles in baseball, but he just doesn't know how to make sense of them. By their very nature I suppose...

2008-08-05 11:33:36
50.   regfairfield
43 But even if a pitcher is trying to throw more strikes, it isn't necessarily going to happen. Davis started the game with seven straight balls to Martin on Sunday. I don't think he was pitching around him to get to Manny.

I'm willing to believe that it might have a very small, subtle effect, but certainly not one you would notice in three games.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-05 11:34:42
51.   wronghanded
46 With Martin maybe, but I don't think we're as concerned about Kemp's ability to walk as we are about him hitting the occasional HR or extra-base hit.
2008-08-05 11:37:31
52.   Bumsrap
Barry Bonds seemed to totally change the way pitchers pitched to hitters hitting both before and after him in the lineup. After because he was on base and at least they pitched from a stretch and probably more because if one more hitter got on base they were pitching in the middle of a rally.
2008-08-05 11:37:45
53.   bhsportsguy
39 I agree and yes, I can point to the last homestand as making that record appear to be better than it is, as I said since the middle of the May, the Dodgers have played .500 ball.

Also, logically, its true, we don't know how much Manny Ramirez means to the Dodgers because we don't know how the Dodgers would be doing if the lineup had LaRoche and Ethier in it as opposed to Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez.

But, its just hard for me to believe that this team would have bounced back and won those 2 games without Manny's HR on Saturday night. Right now, that's the at bat of the year.

2008-08-05 11:37:49
54.   silverwidow
Is it a coincidence that three of the players we traded (LaRoche, Morris and Meloan) are all major injury risks?
2008-08-05 11:38:44
55.   Jonny6
Yea, good bands, good athletics, good academics. The Clovis schools are essentially public schools run like a private system with the same advantages but also the same drawbacks, such as a zero tolerance for non-conformity, double standards for certain select kids, and a generally sterile Stepford-student type environment.
2008-08-05 11:39:26
56.   bhsportsguy
52 I do recall that the analysis showed it was a mistake to pitch around Bonds since all you did was keep putting men on base.
2008-08-05 11:39:41
57.   Bumsrap
54 - Seems like Colletti is learning ojt style.
2008-08-05 11:40:58
58.   regfairfield
Russ has seen 59% of his pitches go for strikes this season.

This has gone to 61% since Manny came to the team. Do you believe that this actually made a difference?

2008-08-05 11:41:25
59.   wronghanded
50 I agree that pitchers aren't always able to throw strikes when needed, but we are talking about guys in the MLB and assuming that they are on their game more than half the time, I believe that they have adequate enough control to command the strike zone. Again, I totally respect and appreciate your numbers driven view of the situation but I believe that Manny's impact/effect on our team was fully realized once he suited up and was out there.
2008-08-05 11:42:01
60.   larry slimfast
i have a feeling, considering ability to at least go deep in the count, matt kemp's walks will come as his power develops. it's gonna take time but the opposite field shots are a good predictor of more power to come. it's the one thing that makes me think ethier has a bit higher ceiling than i want to give him credit for as well. he goes the other way better than anyone on the team... well besides manny and martin.
2008-08-05 11:42:52
61.   Bumsrap
Where is the discussion about hitters in front of Manny getting more fastballs? I thought that was to be the big change and not the numbers of balls and strikes.
2008-08-05 11:43:15
62.   KG16
46 - fewer walks aren't a problem if it means more hits. more strikes likely means more hits.
2008-08-05 11:44:19
63.   larry slimfast
can barry bonds be signed on the last day of the season to be used as a DH for the world series roster? i know he needs more time. etc. to really be ready. this is just a logistical question.
2008-08-05 11:44:28
64.   D4P
Isn't it a "good thing" from the pitcher's standpoint if he's throwing strikes? If so, wouldn't that tend to mean it's a "bad thing" from the hitter's standpoint?
2008-08-05 11:45:36
65.   Howard Fox
46 et al

many people here seem to imply that walks are better than hits

when someone states that having Manny in the lineup gives the guys in front of him better pitches to hit, and the response is that it leads to fewer walks....I don't get it...isn't the issue getting on base, and then doing something with whoever got on base, regardless of how?

sometimes reviewing and analyzing the stats is overdone, to say the least

2008-08-05 11:45:47
66.   Bumsrap
What about Torre preaching for hitters to make the pitcher work now that Manny is swinging at the first pitch like Nomar and Kent. Will the Dodgers become more aggressive with another veteran leader being aggressive early in the count.
2008-08-05 11:46:13
67.   KG16
64 - hits count as strikes. a hanging curve over the heart of the plate is going to be a strike, it's likely also going to go a very, very long way before it lands.

i suppose what i'm trying to say is that it's not a zero sum equation. few things in baseball are zero sum.

2008-08-05 11:46:29
68.   bhsportsguy
63 He has to be on a roster by August 31st to be eligible for the playoffs.
2008-08-05 11:46:51
69.   wronghanded
58 It all depends on pitch-type, location and count. Nevermind the pitches that Russ has swung at out of the strike zone either (thats his mistake) but actual pitches thrown within the strike zone. Example: is he seeing more 0-0 and 0-1 fastballs thrown within the strike zone?
2008-08-05 11:47:00
70.   Ken Noe
40 More on LaRoche: He said it was "not serious," but it was heavily bandaged, and ligament issues are not often detected by X-rays, so more will be done today.

2008-08-05 11:48:17
71.   Jon Weisman
63 - All players for the postseason have to be in the organization by August 31.
2008-08-05 11:49:28
72.   Jim Wilson
Last week almost everyone here was crying about the Man Ram trade. Everyone was sooo upset that Ned gave up on LaRoach.

I have not seen this much excitement at Dodger Stadium in years...At least since Fernando Mania.

Now this week, where is all the naysayers?

I think more excitement at Dodger Stadium was and is needed.

By far, the best trade in my lifetime!

2008-08-05 11:51:19
73.   Eric Stephen
I love the Tom & Jerry cartoon where Tom sings "Is you is, or is you ain't my baby."
2008-08-05 11:51:35
74.   Wilbert Robinson
If I were hired tomorrow as Dodger GM I would...

Sign Bonds, play Pierre at short, Ethier at 2nd, teach Andruw Jones how to throw a knuckleball. Waiver trade Jeff Kent to the Nationals. All problems solved.

2008-08-05 11:51:45
75.   Sam DC
The Washington Nationals are among the five worst teams in baseball, but lordy isn't baseball-engaged portion of the city celebrating the shedding of a couple underpforming vets and a 4-0 run.
2008-08-05 11:54:19
76.   Greg Brock
A lot of people were very happy about the Ramirez trade. Even some of the biggest LaRoche backers.
2008-08-05 11:54:30
77.   D4P
where is all the naysayers?

We hasn't gone nowhere.

2008-08-05 11:55:45
78.   Sam DC
Last week almost everyone here was crying about the Man Ram trade. Everyone was sooo upset that Ned gave up on LaRoach.

That is not what happened last week.

2008-08-05 11:56:04
79.   Jon Weisman
"Last week almost everyone here was crying about the Man Ram trade."

Simply not true. Though it was a spirited and thoughtful debate, the pro-trade people were in the majority, including some hard-core Colletti/McCourt critics.

2008-08-05 11:57:07
80.   Doctor
I think if you had to handicap it was way maybe 60:40 in FAVOR of the trade. Just me guessing.
2008-08-05 11:59:41
81.   wronghanded
77 Even though I'm defending Manny's effect on our line-up, I'm still not sure about the deal, only time will tell. If LaRoche turns into an above average MLB 3rd baseman (likely) and we fall short of going to the WS (again likely) then the trade is a bust. If we do miraculously win a title this year and Ned-o signs Manny to a 4-year $100 million contract, again its a bust for us.
2008-08-05 12:01:13
82.   cargill06
81 what if he get's him for something like 3/63?

i don't think that's unrealisitc I don't see the market Manny thinks there will be

2008-08-05 12:01:33
83.   GMac In The 909
73 & 77 Awesome.
2008-08-05 12:01:51
84.   Sam DC
What I think is most important is that the Pirates get their medical team working so that LaRoche is in the lineup on August 18 for my inaugural visit to PNC park.
2008-08-05 12:02:48
85.   arborial
54 I got the sense that the injuries that LaRoche suffered in his development were a big red flag. I seem to remember somebody (Maybe Logan) saying that they wondered if Andy's body could withstand the increased demands of the Majors.

After seeing how effective Furcal and to a lesser degree Garciaparra can be when they are healthy it has made me realize how important it is to have players who are going to play most of the time.

2008-08-05 12:06:09
86.   cargill06
81 and i'll take a title this year and a manny 4/100 contrace without hesitation.
2008-08-05 12:06:17
87.   cargill06
81 and i'll take a title this year and a manny 4/100 contract without hesitation.
2008-08-05 12:06:20
88.   Jim Wilson
I would have thought everyone would have welcomed a BIG bat in the lineup. The excitment is such an added bonus.

I am one who believes we should promote from within. The Dodgers history has clearly shown they do not do very well overall with free agent signings. Gibson was great! Has there been others?

When I think of LaRoach, I think of the likes of other can't miss prospects like:
Greg Brock, Joe Thurston, Joel Guzman, Candy Maldonado, Edwin Jackson, to name a few.

2008-08-05 12:07:26
89.   Doctor
One of the ESPN scouts- I can't remember which one- said LaRoche was pretty un-athletic and would probably not hold up well in the majors. He predicted an early decline by age 30 or so. Might be something to that.
2008-08-05 12:07:52
90.   Bumsrap
Last week almost everyone here was crying about the Plashke, and Plashke is no ManRam.
2008-08-05 12:08:00
91.   Neal Pollack
I seem to recall a lot of Manny joy last week. I know that I, one of the most obnoxious administration critics out there, have been giving them an enormous amount of credit for both the Ramirez and the Blake trades, which have made the team a LOT better. A benching or waiving of Pierre, and my joy will be complete.
2008-08-05 12:09:51
92.   Sam DC
88 Just fyi -- it's "LaRoche". Wouldn't nitpick, but that particular misspelling is sort of open to misinterpretation . . . .
2008-08-05 12:11:44
93.   Bumsrap
Drew, Werth, Bradley, Furcal, Nomar
2008-08-05 12:12:37
94.   Jim Wilson
I would also like to see Pierre gone, Jones in Las Vegas, and Sweenyb in the unemployment line. Ethier and some other youngsters have earned positions.
2008-08-05 12:12:53
95.   bhsportsguy
91 You, obnoxious, I wouldn't say that.

Critic, yes. But I think you would be happy if the Dodgers got a new food service before they replaced the current baseball operations part.

2008-08-05 12:13:08
96.   Jon Weisman
88 - It's "LaRoche."
2008-08-05 12:15:21
97.   arborial
I am not so sure picking up Manny for 4/100 or less would be such a bad thing. I didn't watch much of Manny before he came here but what I have seen reminds me a lot of Barry Bonds (quick, strong wrists and forearms that can make adjustments mid-swing) and as it has already been stated Bonds continued to be productive through the age of 40. Even if Manny tapers off a little I think he would be a good compliment to the core of young talent.

My one caveat would be if holding onto an aging Manny would block the development of a younger outfielder but I am not currently aware of any premier outfielders making their way through the system (let me know if there is).

With all that said I think a core of hitters like Kemp, Martin, Manny and Loney will strike fear into most pitchers.

2008-08-05 12:15:28
98.   underdog
88 I was excited about the Manny trade. I think the majority of people here were. Those who were depressed by it weren't depressed by Manny, they were sad to lose LaRoche (by the way, that's how you spell his name, just for future reference ;-) ) Heck, I was sad to lose LaRoche. But I still welcomed the trade. And I'm with you, I like to promote from within, the FA signings historically, even before Ned, have tended towards negative instead of positive, and trades make us all nervous. But the Dodgers have depth in their farm system, so they could make the trades they did. I wish LaRoche the best (though I do think he's an injury prone guy, even if that's maybe more bad luck than anything) and am afraid Santana's gonna come back to haunt us, but that doesn't take away from the excitement I feel having Manny around.
2008-08-05 12:16:28
99.   goofus
40 I'm trying to think of any injured Dodger who had a full recovery. The competency of our medical people comes into question again. In order to save a few bucks, is McScrooge sending the lame and halt to the free clinic in Skid Row?
2008-08-05 12:16:39
100.   underdog
Sorry, ignore my slow-arriving spelling correction then. Nothing like a redundant chorus.
94 I think we're all in agreement there. :-)
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-05 12:18:03
101.   Bob Timmermann
Juan Pierre is hale and hearty it appears.
2008-08-05 12:18:21
102.   Humma Kavula
97 The fear isn't that Manny's hitting will decline a little. The fear is that it will decline a lot.

And while reasonable people can disagree about how much Manny's poor defense takes away from the value he adds with his stellar bat, I think most would agree that as soon as he isn't a great hitter, his poor defense becomes a big, big problem.

That said, nobody ever got rich by betting against Manny Ramirez.

2008-08-05 12:21:44
103.   underdog
Speaking of which, what are Vegas oddsmakers saying about Furcal's healthy return in September? 4-1? 10-1?
2008-08-05 12:21:55
104.   alex 7
Stephen, I think McFadden has a much better chance than Russell of being a big deal. I vote for a white McFadden jersey.
2008-08-05 12:22:31
105.   underdog
98 Er, Santana referred to the addition of Blake, too, of course.
2008-08-05 12:27:41
106.   Daniel Zappala
My primary reaction to the Manny trade was stunned disbelief. I was at the same time excited, because he's a great player, but a little sad, because I would like to see the Dodgers do well without importing a player like Manny Ramirez. So many of the current players have come through the farm system, and it was great to see them grow, even with the growing pains. My consolation is that most of those players are still here. If Manny helps them get to the playoffs, perhaps they'll use the experience to springboard them to greatness.
2008-08-05 12:28:53
107.   Marty
I was against the trade and have since admitted the error of my ways. I reserve the right to change my mind again though.
2008-08-05 12:28:54
108.   Wilbert Robinson
99 - McScrooge

well since we're in the habit of correcting possibly inflammatory typo's...its spelled M-c-C-o-u-r-t.

2008-08-05 12:29:17
109.   Sagehen
99 No, I seem to recall McCourt bringing in a top conditioning guy during spring training. He seems to realize the importance of keeping the players healthy to protect his investment.
2008-08-05 12:30:29
110.   Wilbert Robinson
108 - *it's
2008-08-05 12:31:43
111.   GoBears
I recommend that everyone take another look at Jon's 2006 SI article comparing Ramirez to J.D. Drew. The context was that Boston was thinking of replacing the former with the latter, but ended up with both.

Still, an interesting read for Dodger fans today.

It's over there on the sidebar under ------>

2008-08-05 12:37:30
112.   GoBears
I'm a little late here, but one point about the the lineup effects that wronghanded is postulating:

The causal mechanism might be difficult to observe (other players relax, are more confident). But the effect, if there is one, is not hard to observe at all. And, from what I understand, studies have shown that there are no systematic effects.

So that means 1 of 2 things. Either the postulated causal mechanism is nonexistent (players DON'T relax or feel more confident or get better pitches to hit or whatever) OR those effects are real, but they are somehow counteracted by opposite effects (other players relax too much and rely on the star to save them, better pitches to hit does not lead to more hits, just more swinging outs that might otherwise have been walks, whatever).

2008-08-05 12:39:21
113.   Humma Kavula
I realize that continuing to point out where we stood on the Manny trade is kinda pointless, but... I was on the Molly Knight bus. To wit:

Oh man, we lost Andy. That's too bad. I root for him. Hope he does well in Pittsburgh.

But it's not like we traded him for Jack Wilson or Huston Street. We got Manny Ramirez! Sweet Jesus!

2008-08-05 12:41:17
114.   Daniel Zappala
113 See, for me it was more like a Sweet and Sour Jesus.
2008-08-05 12:41:43
115.   Marty
GoBears, there is someone posting on Chowhound under the name gobears. Is that you?
2008-08-05 12:42:58
116.   regfairfield
If Manny hits .630 the rest of the way, I'll gladly admit I was wrong for doubting the trade.
2008-08-05 12:43:23
117.   Howard Fox
113 We got Manny Ramirez! Sweet Jesus!

I laughed when I read that. Good one.

2008-08-05 12:45:36
118.   Howard Fox
116 some people will never be satisfied...

LaRoche is hurt...again...

Manny invigorated and elevated our lineup

what part of this is difficult to understand?

Ned or Frank or whoever made this trade...they did great, just accept it...

2008-08-05 12:47:24
119.   Humma Kavula
116 I respect your opinion about Manny's defense. You certainly know way more about it than I do.

So, in your estimation, what does Manny have to hit in order to make the trade worth it, in your opinion? .630, I hope, is way over that line. Does he have to OPS 1000? 1100? What do you want to see from Manny's bat?

2008-08-05 12:47:50
120.   Frip
112 What's all this about "postulated causal mechanisms", why not just say "causes"?
2008-08-05 12:48:21
121.   regfairfield
119 I still haven't decided if this is a good trade or not. I just really hate the "where are the haters now" after three days.
2008-08-05 12:50:19
122.   Tripon
"I could have probably done a lot of things that were more selfish for me but less beneficial for the organization, but I refused to do that. I could have campaigned to trade younger players and sold off the future for the present, but I refused to do it.


And Ned confirms that that Frank McCourt had a hand in the Manny talks.

Asked about widespread speculation that owner Frank McCourt,a Boston native with strong ties to Red Sox Chief Executive Larry Lucchino, was the driving force behind the trade for Ramirez, Colletti said, "We were both involved, as were many people in baseball operations. The last hour or two, Frank and I spent a lot of time talking about it and a lot of time on the phone with Boston."

2008-08-05 12:50:51
123.   Bob Timmermann
I believe that person is someone who only goes to restaurants that serve bear.
2008-08-05 12:54:19
124.   Dark Horse
121 - I agree. I hated losing La Roche, and admit that I love watching Manny in a Dodger uniform. It's thrilling to see him hit, and I think it gives us a legitimate shot this year. I don't think it's a "bad trade"--yet--and if we advance into the postseason on his shoulders, it may be a good one. But it's waaay too soon to be gloating about it; really it's too soon to be judged one way or the other.
2008-08-05 12:54:33
125.   berkowit28
99 Hu, Pierre. And don't forget Beimel's cut finger. ;-)
2008-08-05 12:54:57
126.   Tripon
122 Forgot to link to the L.A. Times report.,0,6969985.story

2008-08-05 12:55:54
127.   goofus
101 I've wondered about that. To me, he looks a little tentative, hasn't been running as much.
2008-08-05 12:57:05
128.   larry slimfast
I think that there is no real way to quantify the effects a hitter like Manny Ramirez has on a lineup other than he makes the meat of the order that much harder to get through. To put it in ballplayer-speak, or Scraptonics if you will, he has a habit of unclogging the bases really fast.

It would be fairly presumptive to say that you are not going to try to get a guy out as much as you would if someone else was hitting behind him. You want to get everybody out. Pitching around people occurs for sure but a player like Ramirez really just extends the lineup. Dude can flat out rake.

That being said, as long as Kent is in his decline, it's a bit foolish to hit him behind ole ManRam. He's like the grizzle in the meat.

2008-08-05 13:01:08
129.   Tripon
Maybe we should bat Kent leadoff. After 20 million years in the league, he must have learned know how to lead off.
2008-08-05 13:02:43
130.   Suffering Bruin
112 The causal mechanism might be difficult to observe...

I lost you after causal.

2008-08-05 13:05:11
131.   trainwreck
We have to do damage in the playoffs in my eyes to make this trade worth it. I understand this is going to be a fun two months of the season, but it is just two months.
2008-08-05 13:05:40
132.   hernari

Kemp. CF
Ethier. RF
Martin. C
Ramirez. LF
Loney. 1B
Kent. 2B
Blake. 3B
Berroa. SS
Billingsley. P

2008-08-05 13:07:45
133.   trainwreck
Yes! Finally!
2008-08-05 13:08:40
134.   larry slimfast
132 that's what i'm talkin' 'bout!
2008-08-05 13:08:44
135.   Eric Stephen
Stephen, I think McFadden has a much better chance than Russell of being a big deal. I vote for a white McFadden jersey

I agree with you. If I buy a jersey, it will be a McFadden (probably white road one).

2008-08-05 13:10:42
136.   Tripon
132 Hah! Juan Pierre's whining worked! He's out of the lineup!
2008-08-05 13:11:59
137.   trainwreck
RBs do have the shortest career span though.
2008-08-05 13:13:03
138.   KG16
132 - i'm sorry, i'm a little ferkelpt at the moment. talk amongst yourselves.

here, i'll give you a topic: Andre Ethier, best right fielder on the Dodgers or best right fielder in Dodger history?

2008-08-05 13:13:39
139.   larry slimfast
I wonder if we'll ever get to see this magically delicious lineup?

Pitcher's Last Name

I want it so bad I can taste it.

2008-08-05 13:14:00
140.   KG16
137 - i wonder if that has something to do with breathing in all the dust from those three yards they're always trying to get.
2008-08-05 13:15:50
141.   underdog
138 - Heh. Do you mean 'verklempt'? ;-)

Yay, Andrethier! The Dodgers will need a strong line-up vs. Carpenter, and they have it. Well, except for Kent. (heh.) And I think he's due, way overdue!

2008-08-05 13:15:54
142.   Ken Noe
132 Man I hope they rake the Birds tonight with that lineup.
2008-08-05 13:17:26
143.   Bob Timmermann
I think you have to say "Redbirds." The "Birds" are playing in Anaheim tonight.

It's an all out war of Southern California baseball teams against avian competitors.

2008-08-05 13:18:03
144.   Eric Stephen
Reggie Smith (perhaps the most underrated LA Dodger ever) and Shawn Green want a word with you.
2008-08-05 13:18:35
145.   larry slimfast
138 Mondesi, Green... maybe Frank Howard
2008-08-05 13:19:34
146.   trainwreck
We will defeat them with our West Nile virus.
2008-08-05 13:21:26
147.   Tripon
Just wondering, while RBIs can be viewed as an overrated stat, I was thinking that RBIs should be viewed more as an indication of the successes of team offense. A guy like Ryan Howard is already at 96 RBI, despite hitting for a low BA(under .250), and a low.OBP(while high slugging. .330, and .502 respectively.) He's still driving in runs primarily because the guys in front of him are getting on base. I guess my point is that we shouldn't just dismiss RBIs out of hand.
2008-08-05 13:21:44
148.   Alex41592
132 - Your put Furcal at short in September and that is a sick lineup. Even if you put Nomar there in mid-August, that lineup can put up some runs. I eagerly await tonight's game.
2008-08-05 13:22:21
149.   regfairfield
147 Why not just look at the team runs scored?
2008-08-05 13:22:53
150.   bhsportsguy
Hmmm, when was the last time both Jones and Pierre were both eligible to start and did not?

I am pretty sure its never.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-08-05 13:22:59
151.   Tripon
here, i'll give you a topic: Andre Ethier, prettiest right fielder on the Dodgers or prettiest right fielder in Dodger history?

Fixed. :)

2008-08-05 13:23:13
152.   Eric Stephen
2008-08-05 13:24:03
153.   bhsportsguy
144 Or Pete Guerrero. Willie Crawford had a few good years.
2008-08-05 13:24:52
154.   KG16
144 , 145 - it was a joke, guys. really, it was.

141 - see, that's how verklempted i am, can't even say/spell the word right.

2008-08-05 13:25:00
155.   Tripon
149 Because you wouldn't ask your 8th best hitter to do the same thing as your cleanup hitter. Rather than total team offense, perhaps its more indicitive of a section of the team offense.

Well, this isn't really a well thought out proposition.

2008-08-05 13:25:24
156.   Ken Noe
143 As God is my witness, I though Birds and Redbirds could fly.
2008-08-05 13:25:59
157.   bhsportsguy
152 We are living in a world of opposites, last time JP said something about playing time, he started a streak only interrupted by him getting hurt.

I guess I'll get tuna salad on toasted wheat with cole slaw and a cup of tea for lunch.

2008-08-05 13:27:42
158.   Wilbert Robinson
What do you guys think the odds are of a Brett Tomko waiver claim? I would like to think about how many of me in various dimensions are going to have to suffer.
2008-08-05 13:30:04
159.   Bob Timmermann
Mound Cityians never call the team the "Birds."
2008-08-05 13:30:34
160.   Marty
146 We shall defend our team, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
2008-08-05 13:30:47
161.   Deuce
147 RBI's are obviously largely a product of opportunity. What's interesting is how other counting stats (like runs scored) are rarely cited when discussing the value of a player.
2008-08-05 13:31:13
162.   bhsportsguy
156 And now you can see the whole episode online without any guilt or fear of copyright infringement.

2008-08-05 13:31:17
163.   Eric Stephen
Hmmm, when was the last time both Jones and Pierre were both eligible to start and did not

On Sunday, August 4, 2002, neither Jones nor Pierre started for Atlanta or Colorado respectively.

2008-08-05 13:34:53
164.   MC Safety
Finding out that Chin Lung Hu is supposedly untouchable made my day.

I love me some Chin Lung Hu.

2008-08-05 13:35:19
165.   Eric Stephen
That inspired one of the greatest pickup lines ever.
2008-08-05 13:35:27
166.   cargill06
Man, I was very confident Ethier would start tonight. However, I was more confident in Ozuna starting at SS tonight.
2008-08-05 13:36:29
167.   Bob Timmermann
Carl Furillo played more games in right field than any other Dodger. B-R credits him 1409 games.

Zack Wheat is the king of LF with 2271 games.

Willie Davis the CF king with 1898 games.

2008-08-05 13:36:39
168.   Ken Noe
159 Alas, I admit with shame, I did know better. My wife's grandfather had season tickets there for almost fifty years. He and Torre were on a first-name basis.
2008-08-05 13:37:07
169.   Eric Stephen
Ozuna hasn't started a game at SS since 2005.
2008-08-05 13:37:29
170.   KG16
161 - yes, rbis are a product of opportunity, and are higher rated than runs scored; but for good reason.

unless you hit a home run, you were dependent on the player behind you getting a hit in order to score. it is really a product of the same opportunity as the rbi. rbis are seen as more important because, at least in theory, it means you seized the opportunity to get your team runs.

personally, i am leaning toward a more holistic approach. i'm trying to consider as many old stats and new stats as i can in evaluating players. as well as the stats of players in relation to others in the line up.

2008-08-05 13:37:46
171.   underdog
Speaking of which, and he hasn't been as bad as we maybe feared, but still not very good, how much longer 'til we have Berroa back on the bench? When's Nomar due back again - Friday? Otherwise, I say let's head for Hu-Ville.
2008-08-05 13:38:37
172.   MC Safety
166 I guess he doesn't play short. Ozzie played him mostly at 2nd and 3rd.
2008-08-05 13:39:15
173.   KG16
When's Nomar due back again - Friday?

he's like the rain in southern California, due on friday, expected to last the weekend, clearing up by Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

2008-08-05 13:39:55
174.   Eric Stephen
Nomar is eligible to play a week from today, August 12.
2008-08-05 13:40:08
175.   cargill06
169 , 172 - I wasn't encouraging it, nor do I think he should. I just thought I knew Joe well enough to predict an Ozuna start at SS today. I guess our relationship isn't that strong yet. :-/
2008-08-05 13:40:17
176.   Jon Weisman
Kind of a wild game in Wrigley.
2008-08-05 13:40:54
177.   Ken Noe
They originally planned to bring up Hu if Nomar went on the DL, but that was before Manny. They might try now to get by without him. Heaven forbid they DFA Mark Swingy.
2008-08-05 13:41:57
178.   delias man
Are they without Ankiel tonight?
2008-08-05 13:42:22
179.   MC Safety
169 Should have known better. The general question answerers around here are a swift lot. : ) <----(for cargill)
2008-08-05 13:43:19
180.   KG16
I know they're 12 games back and have been out scored thus far in the season, but I'd love to see the Astros make a run. if only to make the NL central sweat. and to see them take a couple of games from the snakes.
2008-08-05 13:44:58
181.   Eric Stephen
I hope Chad gets used to the new Busch Stadium. He will hopefully have this patch on his uniform next July:

2008-08-05 13:45:53
182.   MC Safety
177 Mark Swingyandmissy... would that be the longest last name in baseball history? Bob?
2008-08-05 13:46:06
183.   scareduck
107 - assuming this is about Manny, it's still very easy to see how this could go awry: the Dodgers don't make the postseason, the Dodgers fail to advance past the first round... and then there's the hole at third.
2008-08-05 13:46:28
184.   regfairfield
Call up Hu, DFA Berroa. Seems pretty simple to me.
2008-08-05 13:46:55
185.   OaklandAs
170 RBIs are mainly a function of three stats:
1) Player's SLG - Howard is at .502 (19th)
2) Runners in Scoring Position - 193 (1st)
3) Player's Avg with RISP - .326 (17th)

Howard's low OBP means that he doesn't score many runs, but he definitely can drive in a lot.

2008-08-05 13:47:08
186.   scareduck
182 - Saltalamacchia would tie it.
2008-08-05 13:47:35
187.   MC Safety
182 Swingyandamissy.
2008-08-05 13:47:53
188.   Bob Timmermann
Yellow alert for Alfonso Soriano in Chicago. This is a yellow alert.
2008-08-05 13:48:00
189.   regfairfield
So would Van Landingham and Hollandsworth.
2008-08-05 13:51:08
190.   scareduck
188 - missing the triple.
2008-08-05 13:51:37
191.   Deuce
170 Agree that the more open-minded we are re "old" or "new" stats, the better. I don't think RBI's should be regarded as more important than runs scored, however. Both are dependent on each other. Great top of the order hitters (Henderson, Raines, etc.) are no less valuable then the middle of the order bashers.
2008-08-05 13:52:36
192.   cargill06
188 I didn't know Soriano was a terrorist.
2008-08-05 13:56:02
193.   Ken Noe
183 A lot can change in two months, but I don't think McCourt lets Manny get away, win or not. But that means cutting payroll every other way possible, including signing no one else (bye CC) and moving JP along for a partial savings. My guess is that in 2009 LA starts an infield of Loney, DeJesus, Hu, and DeWitt at third.
2008-08-05 13:57:53
194.   Jon Weisman
2008-08-05 13:58:15
195.   regfairfield
193 My day was going bad enough as it is...
2008-08-05 13:58:19
196.   underdog
184 Yeah, that works for me. It seems obvious Hu's eye problems are better. Whether he can suddenly hit ML level pitching much better than he did at the beginning of the season remains to be seen, but he seems readier this time around. Berroa's been just fine with the glove, but I still trust Hu more there, too.
2008-08-05 13:59:19
197.   delias man
I figure it may be Ozuna leaving. Last week, on defense in 8th, they had Blake at 2b, Berroa at ss, Russ at third. If they continue that in order to D up at the end, I see Ozuna leaving for nose.

Let's be realistic here... Sweeney will be here until the bitter end. Making the last out in the 9th inning where ever the end of the line may be.

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