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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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The Big Things
2008-08-14 00:02
by Jon Weisman


Nah, you couldn't give up on this game. You can't give up on this team. Not until it's over.

When the Dodgers signed Andruw Jones, it set the stage for them to have one of the toughest lineups in the National League, one through eight. While they wouldn't have the best hitter in the league, they would have a bottom half that had no weak links.

That, clearly, didn't materialize - that is, until Manny Ramirez arrived. Not only did that push the Jones/Juan Pierre combination out of the lineup (after Joe Torre kindly ended his flirtation with keeping Pierre in over Andre Ethier), but it meant that, assuming they weren't using their third-string shortstop, the Dodgers' No. 8 hitter would be anything but an automatic out.

Think about it. Even if opponents pitch around Ramirez, who is now 21 for 45 with nine walks, three doubles and five home runs (1.430 OPS), when the next four batters are some combination of James Loney, Russell Martin, Casey Blake and Nomar Garciaparra, opposing pitchers never really get to relax. And just think if Rafael Furcal can play, even a little, even just to be Garciaparra's tag-team partner instead of Angel Berroa.

Ramirez has been a difference maker, to say the least. He is already fifth on the team in Value Over Replacement Player, measured against players who have been with the Dodgers all year. His EQA is more than that of Jones and Pierre combined.
Ramirez is fallible - he struck out twice tonight, and he'll not bat .485 on balls in play for long. But even once he tapers, he'll still be important for the Dodgers just by being a true threat.

This is a good lesson about the little things. I can guarantee you that teams weren't afraid of the Dodgers little-thinging them to death a month ago. The Dodgers needed someone powerful in the middle of the lineup. Eight months after signing Jones, they've got him.

* * *

Andre Ethier. Wow. Game-winning hit Tuesday, over-the-wall catch tonight, followed by a home run. He has also become tops among Dodger regulars in pitches-per-plate appearance (Jones notwithstanding). He is coming on, right when the Dodgers need him.

Meanwhile, has Jeff Kent been a (good and bad) streak hitter this year or what?

* * *

Reality check: When 12th pitcher Jason Johnson has two innings under his belt and you let him hit for himself after a two-out Russell Martin double in the fifth, then take him out after allowing one baserunner in the next inning, things still aren't quite right.

Those eating chowder while marching with Mark Sweeney will note that he has reached base four times in nine plate appearances since the All-Star Break. Putting aside whether that's a fluke, he was used to pinch-hit for Brad Penny in the third inning. Still, the fifth inning presented a situation for Pierre or even Pablo Ozuna. The one thing these guys can do with some regularity is hit singles. I realize that both Ozuna and Berroa are being saved to relieve Garciaparra and Kent, and there were certainly some pitchers I'd have left in, but trust me, the bigger risk tonight was not using a pinch-hitter in that situation. I would have used Ozuna.

I can't wait for rosters to expand.

* * *

With Penny, who gave up three home runs that Ethier couldn't catch, it's not the firepower. He was frequently in the 90s tonight. But he wasn't fooling anyone except Jimmy Rollins. What is causing his pitches to be so fat? It's something the Dodgers will have to answer.

* * *

Still, no way can you give up. These Dodgers, they find ways to lose, but they find ways to win. You just don't know with them. You just don't know until they go bust ... or boom! Nomar, we might be afraid (you too) you'll hurt yourself being lifted onto your teammates' shoulders, but no doubt about it - you've done it again.

Comments (172)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-14 00:07:04
1.   Eric Enders
Great post.
2008-08-14 00:09:28
2.   Tripon
Woo! We're two games over .500! We haven't seen this place in a while. Let's make three games, and then knock the Brewers block off!
2008-08-14 00:10:31
3.   Jon Weisman
I didn't want to make a big deal out of this, so I left it out of my main post, but listening to Monday and Steiner on my drive home from the game made it clear that they thought Romero gave up the homer to Nomar and they didn't realize Condrey was in the game.

1 - Thanks, Eric.

2008-08-14 00:11:35
4.   trainwreck
To Canuck from previous thread:

No, I have been meaning to get a region-free player, but I will see if I can check it out.

2008-08-14 00:12:17
5.   Tripon
3 Its going to be odd once Vin leaves the game for good.
2008-08-14 00:14:17
6.   Eric Enders
It should be noted, though, that Ethier's catch wasn't close to being over the wall. (Not that it wasn't a nice play.)

Personally, I'd be a little wary of using the past tense in the following passage: "Joe Torre kindly ended his flirtation with keeping Pierre in over Andre Ethier." I get the feeling Ethier's job is still hanging by a thread. If he goes 0-for-8, I'm guessing he's out of there.

Spotted pouting on the bench tonight: Juan Pierre.

Penny was in the low 90s with his fastball from the second inning on, but in the first inning velocity was a big problem. The pitch Howard homered on was an 88 mph fastball. That kind of stuff can't happen. The big bump in Penny's velocity in the second inning led me to wonder if perhaps he didn't get fully warmed up before the game.

Either way, the Dodgers can't really afford to mess around with finding out. Penny's SF start was a narrowly averted disaster, and this one was an unaverted disaster. He needs to go back on the DL and McDonald slotted in. If the Dodgers give Penny even one more start it will be a mistake. If they really think he's not hurt, let him prove it while filling the Jason Johnson bullpen role.

2008-08-14 00:15:12
7.   Neal Pollack
I just got done watching the game on TIVO delay. Wow. Tonight, for the first time in my memory, the Dodgers fielded the best batting lineup in the National League, and arguably the best one in baseball. It's just hard to believe.

That said, Jon, you're totally right about the fifth inning. Our bench is still thin. Get Delwyn Young and Blake Dewitt and Furcal on there...September is going to be awesome.

2008-08-14 00:19:56
8.   Eric Enders
I wasn't outraged at letting Johnson bat because I thought they might be trying to get two or three more innings out of him and save the bullpen. But if they were only going to let him pitch two-thirds of an inning more, then yeah, they needed to hit for him there.

If you say Johnson is a .100 hitter and Ozuna a .250 hitter, the difference is .15, so I guess there's about a 15 percent chance that hitting for him would have made a difference.

2008-08-14 00:23:03
9.   bhsportsguy
6 I think they'll see how is bullpen goes and then give him one more, its the one team he has beaten before (Colorado) and its at night and its at home.
2008-08-14 00:23:21
10.   xaphor

You'll also need it to play pal unless it is hooked up to an hd tv.

2008-08-14 00:23:29
11.   Eric Enders
It seems that for the third or fourth year in a row, the Dodgers will be in a position to benefit from September callups more than most teams. It'll be a big boost having McDonald, Elbert, DeWitt, and Young around, even if I don't completely trust that Torre will deploy them in a manner befitting their talents.
2008-08-14 00:24:10
12.   ToyCannon
I'd have let Johnson hit also. With Kent and Nomar in the middle of the infield I think he needs to hold back Osuna or Berroa and it was still early. At the game you totally felt that they would have plenty more chances to score and Johnson had been solid. He almost gave us one more inning.
Our bench is thin, to thin to be wasting a lousy hitter at that point.
2008-08-14 00:25:56
13.   ToyCannon
If he gets Werth then he finishes the inning so it was not like Joe was only planning on letting him pitch 2/3 of an inning.
2008-08-14 00:28:21
14.   Eric Enders
13 I understand that, but IMO it was only worth letting him hit if you were planning on pitching him two more innings.

You can't go through life assuming that Jason Freaking Johnson is going to retire the side in order.

2008-08-14 00:31:14
15.   CanuckDodger
11 -- Elbert is not on the 40-man roster. But he will have to be put on the 40-man after the season anyway, so I think the Dodgers SHOULD put him on the 40-man before September and give him a call-up when rosters expand. He K'd 5 in 2 innings tonight, no walks, one hit. He could be good out of our pen in September.
2008-08-14 00:32:26
16.   bryanf
Great points. I wonder if Penny just has no movement on his pitches.

Also, Kent has been streaky, but isn't there something to having Manny hit behind you? Let's not forget Kent's MVP season was while hitting in front of Barry...

2008-08-14 00:34:29
17.   bhsportsguy
The last time Manny and Nomar hit home runs in the same game, July 10, 2004 at home (Fenway) against Texas. Manny hit two home runs that day.

They actually hit home runs in the same game three times that year in a span of 19 days.

Nomar only hit 5 home runs for the Red Sox in his last season in Boston, he only played 38 games before being traded to the Cubs.

2008-08-14 00:35:42
18.   Eric Enders
15 Yeah, exactly. Some 40-man room can be made for him, especially since he needs to be on it soon anyway. Put Proctor or (hopefully not) Saito on the 60-day DL. DFA Sweeney, Ozuna, Berroa, Johnson, or Mario Alvarez.
2008-08-14 00:37:07
19.   Jon Weisman
14 - Especially the top of the Phillies' lineup.

I see the argument for leaving Johnson in, but I don't think you should sacrifice a run-scoring opportunity when you're down on the assumption that you'll need a defensive replacement to protect a lead. And worse comes to worse, you do the Ardoin-Martin-Blake hallelujah twist.

2008-08-14 00:38:12
20.   trainwreck
Thanks for heads up.
2008-08-14 00:44:23
21.   still bevens
16 Kent has also been due. Leading up to the Manny trade, Kent was positively smoking the ball, just right at people. His luck was due to change.
2008-08-14 01:25:08
22.   overkill94
It's absolutely embarrassing that our team is worried about burning a pinch-hitter in the 5th inning.

I realize the Pierre/Berroa/Ozuna caddy system works for the most part, but I think the fact that there was a runner in scoring position of a close game outweighs any small defensive advantage you might need later in the game.

Like many have said, September call-ups can't come fast enough.

2008-08-14 02:24:43
23.   The Dude Abides
Jon, I'm pretty sure that Penny's fastball was 88-90 in the first inning. He didn't start throwing it in the low 90s until the next inning, and Werth's HR in the 2nd was of course off a hanging curve.
2008-08-14 03:35:22
24.   Andrew Shimmin
Comment 355. Now I can go to bed. It's not as incendiary as I remember its being (it's tame for by Canuck standards), but this is the comment I was talking about. Two weeks later, DeWitt's hitting fell off the cliff.

2008-08-14 05:19:18
25.   Bluebleeder87
with Kuroda pitching tonight I'm fairly confident we can get the broom stick out... No matter what we've taken the series & that's a good thing.

Very happy things are turning for the better, since the all-star break really.

2008-08-14 05:41:15
26.   herchyzer
They scorin' some runs now, baby! Dodgers scorin' some runs!
2008-08-14 06:22:47
27.   Ken Noe
Take away a bad inning from Ox and an inning of bad defense, and these guys have won seven in a row. Heck, in reality they're 5-2 over the last week, and two over .500. Get Hu up here, maybe Furcal and Saito back....
2008-08-14 06:39:04
28.   Sam DC
Yes! It's probably an east coast thing, but there's nothing quite like falling asleep on the couch while a close game is on gameday and then waking up in the middle of night to a a frozen walkoff (sorry Bob) home run.
2008-08-14 07:19:06
29.   CanuckDodger
24 -- I do remember that comment, and DID remember it before, and it is not inconsistent with what I wrote in the last thread, which was "... you have confused me with somebody else if you think I elevated DeWitt over LaRoche AS A TALENT." I specifically chose the words "as a talent." In the comment back in May, I said DeWitt's "stock" had surpassed LaRoche's, and it had. It is STILL above LaRoche's, evidenced by the fact that the Dodgers cast LaRoche away and clearly PREFER DeWitt. The source of confusion here is my using the word "stock." I was making a stock market analogy, where publicly traded companies rise or decline in value based on economic activity that reflects PUBLIC perception. My own personal ranking of Dodger prospects has always been independent of what the Dodgers may think of their prospects, and we usually don't have a good idea of what the Dodgers are thinking anyway. But it was clear that the Dodgers were down on LaRoche for some time, and it apparently is not just the Dodgers. In his ESPN chat yesterday, Baseball America's Jim Callis said that scouts in general are just not impressed by LaRoche these days, suggesting that he has regressed rather than making progress. Could it be related to the injuries LaRoche has had? It could be. I said after LaRoche's trade that the only consolation I could find was the thought that perhaps the Dodgers know details about LaRoche's medical situation that make it unlikely LaRoche can keep himself on the field, or just unlikely he will perform at a level commensurate with the talent level he demonstrated before the injuries started plaguing him. If that is the case -- IF -- then the Dodgers surely sold LaRoche, if not exactly high, then at least before his stock completely bottomed out, like Joel Guzman's stock has bottomed out in the Rays' organization. Nevertheless, I am pulling for LaRoche to do as well as possible for the Pirates, for LaRoche's sake, but also because the next time the Dodgers are tempted to make a "win now" trade for a veteran, I would like the Dodgers to be sobered by the thought that the young player or players they let go might show them up, like Pedro and Konerko showed up past Dodger management teams, and that is not going to happen if the young players THEY let go end up as useless as Guzman has turned out to be.
2008-08-14 07:24:15
30.   Marty
28 Must. not. make. frozen walk-off. joke.
2008-08-14 07:26:41
31.   Bob Timmermann
You liked that better than the day I greeted you with news of Broxton blowing a save?
2008-08-14 07:33:22
32.   MollyKnight
When I was at DS a few weeks ago Johnson stepped in the box for batting practice before the game and Loney yelled out to everyone who was playing catch with his back to home plate to "Watch out! J.J.'s up!"

He's got a rep amongst the guys as hitting the ball real hard.

2008-08-14 07:36:15
33.   bhsportsguy
32 Hope you have even a better day today than yesterday.
2008-08-14 07:41:53
34.   Bob Timmermann
Jason Johnson has hit a home run at Dodger Stadium.
2008-08-14 07:42:57
35.   bhsportsguy
29 I don't think teams ever think that way.

I think fans think that way, I think writers think that way. But I don't think you can operate in the baseball operations side and worry about should I trade player A because he might be show me up later.

I do think you have all those considerations when formulating a deal but certainly once you decide to make it, its done.

And I really don't want the Dodgers to ever be afraid to deal any player if they think it can improve the team.

2008-08-14 07:48:33
36.   Bob Timmermann
Somehow after 29 , I expect someone to use the word "fungible."
2008-08-14 07:53:39
37.   Dodger Dawg
The Dodgers are now a fun team to watch. Before Manny they were boring, and you knew when they were down even 2 or 3 runs the game was over. Manny is a difference maker , and he's made everyone around him better, and made Dodger stadium electric. Also I've never seen so much Dodger coverage on ESPN until we got Manny. These reasons are why he has to be resigned, that and because otherwise we're looking at Pierre in left next year.
2008-08-14 08:02:45
38.   cargill06
Andre Ethier. Wow. Game-winning hit Tuesday, over-the-wall catch tonight

I don't think that was going to be a HR.

2008-08-14 08:09:32
39.   Greg Brock
Very nice write-up, Jon.
2008-08-14 08:13:49
40.   Jon Weisman
38 - At some point, I think his glove was over the wall. At some point, the ball was over the wall. Whether those two points intersected, I don't know :)
2008-08-14 08:20:50
41.   Jim Hitchcock
I'm thinking the upcoming DT picnic is drawing good karmic energy to Los Angeles.
2008-08-14 08:23:38
42.   cargill06
40 Ya, I guess I did put words in your mouth.
2008-08-14 08:26:41
43.   CanuckDodger
35 -- I am surprised by this comment. Of course GM's and other executives worry about giving up young players, prospects, who will turn out to be so good that the trade looks bad. Baseball people lose their jobs over trades like that.

And I am also surprised by the idea that teams SHOULD trade a player if it "helps the team." That is a prescription for ALWAYS trading prospects when you have a chance to get a major leaguer back who, unlike a prospect, can help IMMEDIATELY. That is foolish, short-term thinking. Billingsley, Martin, Kemp, Kershaw, Loney, Broxton -- ALL of these players were Dodger property for varying amounts of time during which they were doing absolutely NOTHING to help the Dodgers (because they were in the minors) while they could have been instantly "cashed in" in trades that would have given us major leaguers who helped the Dodgers right away. By your logic, all of those prospects should have been traded, every one of them. Why NOT trade a prospect? Because you know the prospect is going to help you more in the LONG RUN than what you get for him in trade. It is much the same rationale for why you should invest money instead of spending all of it on immediate gratification. DEFERRED gratification is the key to success in many areas of life.

2008-08-14 08:32:03
44.   Jon Weisman
I remember the Terry Whitfield Dodger era well.

2008-08-14 08:34:06
45.   Sam DC
No SF/Buster Posey jawdropping?
2008-08-14 08:36:14
46.   regfairfield
As noted in the True Blue LA Game Thread:

Sweeney: 9 for 72
Penny: 18 for his last 72

2008-08-14 08:36:33
47.   Disabled List
The Dodgers are now the slightest of favorites to win the division, according to BP's postseason odds:

AZ 49.03%
LA 50.18%

Strangely, even though the Phillies and Mets are also currently tied, BP has the Mets as big favorites in the east (I guess strength-of-schedule is the reason?):

NYM 53.35%
PHI 35.71%

2008-08-14 08:37:25
48.   regfairfield
45 I always love it when teams hand out major league contracts to draft picks. Let's hope they give him 15 at bats in A ball this year.
2008-08-14 08:37:29
49.   MollyKnight
I haven't been this excited about the Dodgers since Mike Pizza's rookie year. Related: I was 11.
2008-08-14 08:38:36
50.   regfairfield
47 That, and that the Mets third order record is three games better.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-14 08:42:27
51.   Daniel Zappala
0 Jon, the most amazing thing about that picture is that Martin is pretty much carrying Nomar by himself. How many reps does Martin do with Nomar each day?
2008-08-14 08:44:43
52.   Disabled List
49 You were pretty harsh on the team this past weekend when they were choking in SF. Do I remember some "I hate this team" posts?

It's ok, though. I'm right there with you on the love-them/hate-them rollercoaster.

2008-08-14 08:50:30
53.   Greg Brock
"Captain Fist Pump" Billy Sadler hit two batters with the bases loaded last night. Awesome.
2008-08-14 08:52:28
54.   Kevin Lewis
My wife and I had a blast at the game last night. Nomar's homerun went out so fast...I had no time to get really excited before it cleared the fence.

Didn't Penny say in the past that teams were able to read his pitches somehow? Maybe he is tipping his pitches again in his delivery.

2008-08-14 08:53:25
55.   Ken Noe
Peter Gammons thinks that Manny can be had for $40 million over three years--basically Jones money plus an extra year. With the forthcoming salary savings from Lowe, Nomar and Kent, (and maybe Penny), that seems doable to me. His presence sure changes that lineup.
2008-08-14 08:54:52
56.   cargill06
[47 divison odds
LA- 57.2%
AZ- 41.8%
2008-08-14 08:55:42
57.   Disabled List
55 That doesn't make sense. Manny had $40 million coming to him across two years with the club options that he demanded be withdrawn.

I don't think he's gonna sign anything less than a 4-year deal.

2008-08-14 08:55:52
58.   cargill06
55 I don't see that considering he has a 2 yr. 40 million dollar option that he demanded not to be picked up.
2008-08-14 08:57:36
59.   jasonungar07
Gammons is drinking bitter juice. Manny will get at least 3 years for 75 million..
2008-08-14 09:01:00
60.   StolenMonkey86
57, 58 - Boras hypnotized him into saying that with the glossy pages, because Boras gets a cut of a new contract that Manny gets, but not his current one.
2008-08-14 09:03:21
61.   regfairfield
I can guarantee that Manny will get more guaranteed money than Carlos Silva.
2008-08-14 09:06:21
62.   ToyCannon
Right, Gammons has lost all perspective when it comes to Manny. Every team who passed on him is looking at what he's doing for the Dodgers and wondering what they were thinking by passing on him.

I agree that Elbert needs to be put on the 40 man before Sept 1st.

2008-08-14 09:08:25
63.   CodyS
How can a pitcher lose movement but not speed? Serious question; what physical mechanism could be responsible for that?
2008-08-14 09:12:43
64.   cargill06
Man, how much more fortunate can we get this weekend? We miss CC, and Sheets, and we throw our 3 best pitchers. I expect 2 out of 3 at least this weekend.
2008-08-14 09:13:53
65.   Eric Enders
55 Yeah, that estimate is way, way low.
2008-08-14 09:19:56
66.   Eric Enders
It does seem like the Dodgers have done quite well this year at missing other teams' aces. We sidestepped Lincecum a couple of times, and there were some series with Arizona where we missed Webb or Haren or both. We've missed Lackey, Johan, and Volquez in various series as well. On the other hand, we've faced Peavy in every San Diego series.
2008-08-14 09:23:43
67.   okdodge
66 Did you see the posts not too long ago about the Dodgers facing former cy young winners in something like 13% percent of their games. The league average was only around 7%. I realize that not all former cy young winners are in their prime (zito), but they're still tough pitchers.
2008-08-14 09:23:46
68.   cargill06
66 If I'm not mistaken we've had 2 series against the Mets and faced Johan once. The reds twice and Volquez once.
2008-08-14 09:24:00
69.   Greg Brock
63 Arm slot or pitch grip.
2008-08-14 09:24:22
70.   KG16
$75m/3 yrs would be acceptable in my book. I was watching First Take this morning while getting ready for work, during 1st and 10, Skip Bayless said if Manny doesn't cut his hair, Joe Torre should go to McCourt after the season and tell him, "It's him or me." I wonder who Boston guy McCourt would take, a former Yankee manager or a former Red Sox player who puts butts in the seats and moves merchandise?

63 - likely grip, arm angle, and method of release.

2008-08-14 09:25:37
71.   StolenMonkey86
Just out of curiousity, who starts becoming arbitration eligible for LA next year? I'm guessing Kemp and Loney don't quite have enough service time, but Ethier, Martin, Saito and Broxton do?
2008-08-14 09:25:46
72.   Daniel Zappala
I'm still hoping the Dodgers find a way to get Lindsey on the 40-man with a September call-up.
2008-08-14 09:26:12
73.   ibleedbloo
The HR I was most impressed with last night was hit by Andre. I still have no idea how that thing got out. Off the bat I thought single. Then watching the outfielders I was thinking double rolling to the wall. When I didn't see it short hop the wall I was a bit confused but then the place went crazy and high-fives were had by all.

I am a well known "Nomar Hater" in my section and last night it finally cost me. In his third AB I offered the guy who sits in front of me ice cream if Nomar hit a home run…I was safe. Then, getting cocky, I told all of my seat neighbors I'm buying ice cream if Nomar hits a walk off. All I could say as the ball was in flight is "I'M BUYING ICE CREAM!" It looks like the Dodger venders will be getting my money tonight…well worth it for last nights win.

I still say that Russell should not be batting 8th, especially not be hitting behind Nomar.

2008-08-14 09:26:26
74.   KG16
70 - Bayless's argument was basically that Torre was "losing respect in the clubhouse the longer Manny defies his rules".

For the record, the hair cut rule is stupid. at least he hasn't had the facial hair rule that was in place in New York (also, incredibly stupid).

2008-08-14 09:27:03
75.   Bumsrap
I thought Manny wanted out of Boston more than he wanted out of Boston's money in 2009 and 2010.
2008-08-14 09:27:24
76.   ToyCannon
Russel Martin looked Golden again last night. I can't say enough about how much I like our 1 - 8 right now no matter what order Torre puts them in.
2008-08-14 09:27:39
77.   StolenMonkey86
55 - Even if Boras is happy just to get paid, Manny won't get anything less than 3 years $55 million.
2008-08-14 09:28:01
78.   regfairfield
71 That's the list. There's a really, really small chance Bills is too.
2008-08-14 09:28:43
79.   Bumsrap
If Manny really wants to play in Los Angeles, he might settle for the larger offer between the Angels and the Dodgers and those offers might be less than some are thinking here.
2008-08-14 09:29:29
80.   StolenMonkey86
74 - I don't see why Torre can't just say you're exempt if you're in the 500 home run club.
2008-08-14 09:30:15
81.   Bumsrap
Torre: "Those guys seem to know pretty much what they [want to do], you know, look for a pitch, I think that's the thing," Torre said. "We've seen Jeff Kent do it, I think he did it in Houston [on July 1], get up there and look for a pitch and hit a home run. It's just something the veterans because of their experience have a little clearer vision of what they want to do."

It is bad enough that he thinks this way does he really have to say it.

2008-08-14 09:30:33
82.   ToyCannon
Maybe you haven't noticed but when he's played Nomar has the highest OPS+ for the non dreadlock players. Batting a head of Martin should be no big deal. Other then Manny most of these guys are interchangeable right now.
2008-08-14 09:31:19
83.   StolenMonkey86
78 - ok, so we've got a bit more wiggle room than I thought, because I was estimating $3,000,000 for Kemp next year.
2008-08-14 09:33:38
84.   KG16
81 - I'm not even sure what to make of that. It almost sounds like Torre thinks it's ok to swing for the fences - which is ok in certain situations - only if your a veteran (which is an insane qualifier). Torre would have made a good lawyer.
2008-08-14 09:34:25
85.   ToyCannon
Who cares what Skip Bayless has to say? Does he have any more insight into what Torre is thinking then Joe Blow on the street.
2008-08-14 09:34:32
86.   StolenMonkey86
According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, KC is paying Berroa this year and paying for his buyout. So not every player that we're not paying is good.
2008-08-14 09:36:22
87.   Harold M Johnson
I don't know if there's any connection, but Andre Ethier seems like a player tailor-made to be tutored by Donnie Baseball.

Any insights into what Mattingly has or hasn't done with Ethier (and others) this year?

2008-08-14 09:36:35
88.   Bumsrap
I think Manny should shave his head, wear a snug uniform, and learn to switch hit.
2008-08-14 09:37:42
89.   cargill06
73 I thought the same thing, when he first hit it I said, "get down". Hoping it would bloop in between 2B and RF.
2008-08-14 09:39:34
90.   Jon Weisman
66 - Did you say that knowing that the Dodgers should miss Sabathia this weekend?
2008-08-14 09:39:35
91.   BiggO
88- that's funny

Did anyone else notice the major murph Martin gave Nomar the picture in the LA Times site has it. classic

2008-08-14 09:39:58
92.   ToyCannon
The home run by Andre was bizarre. I was right behind home plate and when he hit it I was just hoping it would fall between the outfielder, I was shocked it carried into the bleachers.

3 of Nomars last 16 home runs have been walk offs.

2008-08-14 09:43:21
93.   Eric Stephen
Proctor will also be arb-eligible, as will Brazoban and Repko (although both are probably non-tender candidates).

Billingsley will have 2 years, 110 days service time. Kuo actually has 4 more days under his belt. I believe the lowest ever Super Two had 2 years, 127 days, so it's highly unlikely either of them will be eligible.

2008-08-14 09:44:20
94.   UVaDodger
91 Yes. And that's exactly why I don't play major league baseball and hit walk-off home runs. Too much risk.
2008-08-14 09:44:35
95.   Eric Stephen
So not every player that we're not paying is good

You narrowly missed the rare triple negative there!

2008-08-14 09:44:47
96.   Bumsrap
91 - I noticed and it goes quite well with the look on Nomar's face.
2008-08-14 09:46:05
97.   StolenMonkey86
I'm guessing $5,000,000 for Martin for arb year 1. Should that be higher or lower?
2008-08-14 09:46:22
98.   Eric Stephen
70 ,85
I think the rule is, if Skip Bayless disagrees with you then you are on the right path.
2008-08-14 09:46:39
99.   regfairfield
93 I think we keep Repko around because we'd go down to six big league ready outfielders without him. Young and Pierre and Jones aren't going anywhere, so there's no room for a free agent signing on the bench. We can stash Repko in AAA for cheap.
2008-08-14 09:47:26
100.   StolenMonkey86

Not every player that we're not paying is not bad?

That just sounds silly. :)

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-14 09:47:38
101.   regfairfield
97 Around there, I was thinking six. Probably 2-2.5 for Ethier and 1.5 for Brox.
2008-08-14 09:48:01
102.   Ken Noe
Was Boras going to profit as much if Manny and the Red Sox (or Dodgers) simply went the option route?
2008-08-14 09:48:10
103.   Neal Pollack
My excitement level about this team is higher than it's been in...I don't know when. I distinctly remember a game in 1988 when Franklin Stubbs hit a grand-slam to beat the Cardinals, and I thought, "these guys are gonna DO IT." The last couple of days, I've had the same thought. Suddenly, this team is a legitimate World Series contender.
2008-08-14 09:48:11
104.   regfairfield
99 No we can't, he's out of options. He's gone.
2008-08-14 09:48:43
105.   CodyS
69 Well assuming Penny hasn't forgotten how to hold a baseball, is his arm slot different?
2008-08-14 09:48:53
106.   El Lay Dave
0 From the linked LAT article in the middle of a couple paragraphs regarding Penny (cue dramatic logo music in a minor key): The clubhouse was closed longer than usual after the game, with General Manager Ned Colletti and team physician Neal El Attrache seen walking in.

Also from Dylan Hernandez:
"There's no pain so I'm feeling better about my chances," Saito said. "But the reality is that I hurt my elbow." ... After two weeks, he will be examined by Dr. Neal El Attrache, who will determine whether he can pitch off a mound.

Gary Bennett...said he hasn't run in two weeks and that he will undergo an MRI exam today on his injured left foot.... [he] said he has been told by doctors that he might be forced to undergo surgery

2008-08-14 09:48:54
107.   Eric Stephen
I don't have my list with me, but isn't Repko out of options next year? I believe he has used options in 2005, 2006 & 2008.

He might clear waivers to get to the minors, but he can also elect free agency if he doesn't make the club.

2008-08-14 09:49:21
108.   UVaDodger
102 The options were negotiated by Manny's former agent, so Boras profits more if Manny signs a contract for a nickel than he would have if the options had been used.
2008-08-14 09:51:04
109.   StolenMonkey86
107 meet 104
2008-08-14 09:52:08
110.   Eric Stephen
Brazoban will also be out of options in 2009.
2008-08-14 09:52:20
111.   StolenMonkey86
"so Boras profits more if Manny signs a contract for a nickel"

Boras would get a haypenny!

2008-08-14 09:53:33
112.   SG6
74 - is the "clean cut" rule Torre or Dodgers? I recall facial hair issues with Gary Sheffield, no?
2008-08-14 09:54:14
113.   UVaDodger
111 "A haypenny will do"
2008-08-14 09:57:43
114.   El Lay Dave
103 Sweet game that was, indeed.
2008-08-14 09:58:06
115.   Jon Weisman
Tom Meagher wrote about the Dodgers for the Hardball Times.

2008-08-14 09:59:26
116.   ibleedbloo
82 Its just the "Nomar Hater" in me coming out. I would love for him to go on a tear until the end of October, I just can't buy into him doing anything long term besides sitting on the DL.

92 That may be a more impressive stat if it didn't date back to 2006. And if I'm not mistaken, without looking it up, its the first since the last home game of 2006.

2008-08-14 10:00:25
117.   El Lay Dave
It seems insane that the marketing department rush-ordered Manny-dread wigs to sell but Torre is still going to insist that he's telling Manny to get a haircut. Colletti needs to get this organization aligned from top to bottom! (I think Torre should drop it; the players are not so dim as not to understand that rules bend for stars.)
2008-08-14 10:02:23
118.   evenatriple
FYI -- Suffolk University, which is in Boston, just released a survey of voters in Massachusetts. After asking questions about the presidential race and some ballot measures, they concluded the survey with these two questions:

1) Will the Red Sox win the WS this year? 29% say yes and 58% say no, with just 13% undecided.
2) Did the Red Sox do the right thing by trading Manny Ramirez? 72% say yes, 15% say no, 14% not sure.

I believe that is another way of saying "Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Manny."

2008-08-14 10:05:54
119.   El Lay Dave
116 The Dodgers as a team had four in '06, two last year, and last night's was the first this year, so Nomar has three of the last seven. It's not like it happens a lot.
2008-08-14 10:07:36
120.   regfairfield
116 Nomar has actually been productive (.286/.340/.484) since the last All Star Break over a significant number of PA. The problem is that he's never healthy.
2008-08-14 10:09:38
121.   ToyCannon
Paul has the look of a perfectly acceptable back up outfielder if we need one. I'd take him over Repko that is for sure.
2008-08-14 10:09:40
122.   Eric Stephen
103 ,114
Outside of Game 2 of the 1988 WS, that Stubbs game is my favorite Dodger game I've ever been to! The Stubbs salami capped a 7-run 8th inning rally. I was at the game with my brother, and it was my Dad's birthday (a little over a year after he died). Special game indeed!
2008-08-14 10:09:44
123.   El Lay Dave
119 Meant to add: Seven game-ending HR out of 370 total HR, under 2%. The 3 of 16 in 92 is 18.8%.
2008-08-14 10:12:49
124.   regfairfield
121 I'm not sold yet. He strikes out too much for a corner outfielder who can only have an isolated power of .150 at Vegas.

I guess I just don't like only having six outfielders on the 40 man.

2008-08-14 10:14:02
125.   regfairfield
And yes, I realize that he's playing center but he was the worst center fielder in the minors last year.
2008-08-14 10:15:39
126.   El Lay Dave
121 And he's on the 40-man roster using up option years anyway. At this point, is Repko - who will be 28 this winter - more than a AAAA OF like some of this spring's NRIs, e.g, Lombard, Griffin?
2008-08-14 10:17:51
127.   ChicagoDodger
103 I distinctly remember a game in 1988 when Franklin Stubbs hit a grand-slam to beat the Cardinals, and I thought, "these guys are gonna DO IT."

It's funny you say this. I remember feeling the same way when this happened. I was listening here in Chicago as the St. Louis signal faded in and out. When it went out, I too had the feeling maybe this will be their year. I think this was also the year the Dodgers won all 5 games (due to rainouts) in a series against Chicago and feeling that too was a signal it might be their year.

Last night kinda makes one think that too, although memories of last Saturday & Sunday still linger. I still can't beleive as I walked out of the Giants park last Friday that they were going to lose the next 2. Not to that club. And certainly not the way they did it. Last 2 nights are trying to make up for it.

2008-08-14 10:18:09
128.   El Lay Dave
119 to 126 , excluding 122 : Is this DT or TBLA?
2008-08-14 10:21:15
129.   Doctor

Good read. Not a Dunn fan, but it's hard to imagine he doesn't improve the snakes.

2008-08-14 10:21:31
130.   ToyCannon
Your not sold that he can't be a backup outfielder? What are your requirements for such a position?
2008-08-14 10:22:50
131.   Tripon
70 I don't think Torre even cares that much about the hair thing. Its a minor annoyance if anything.
2008-08-14 10:24:14
132.   Tripon
130 Unless we move Pierre and Jones, its unlikely Repko's going to be on the team next year. Of course I'm including Manny resigning next year, silly me!
2008-08-14 10:24:14
133.   regfairfield
130 I guess with our current guys filling the position he's fine, but when I think backup outfielder I think ~.770 OPS if the guy can't handle center. Maybe that's unrealistic.
2008-08-14 10:30:40
134.   Kevin Lewis
I saw something pretty funny last night at the game. On one of the home runs, a fan threw it back. The second base umpire tossed it to Blake, who then tossed it to a fan next to the dugout. So, a fan sitting on the third base line could say they got a home run ball.
2008-08-14 10:34:18
135.   Ken Noe
108 This Hokie says thanks.

Franklin Stubbs was a Hokie, by the way.

2008-08-14 10:36:27
136.   KG16
112 - with Sheff, that was a Davey Johnson rule. Lots of Dodgers have had long hair and facial hair over the years - Piazza, Karros, Gagne.
2008-08-14 10:36:36
137.   Ken Noe
DePo really likes Falkenborg:
2008-08-14 10:36:54
138.   bhsportsguy
Apparently Peter Gammons' opinion about Manny has spread to other colunmnists at

2008-08-14 10:37:29
139.   MollyKnight
Oh, I am absolutely on the love/hate rollercoaster with this team. I think my excitement about the team's potential is what makes me so upset when they blow games to crummy teams.
2008-08-14 10:38:35
140.   Eric Stephen
I didn't know that about Stubbs. You learn something new everyday!
2008-08-14 10:38:37
141.   ToyCannon
That was excellent, thanks for the link.
2008-08-14 10:40:38
142.   bhsportsguy
102 Boras would not have collected any commission if Boston had exercised their options because he wasn't the agent who represented Manny at that time.

The only way for Boras to collect a commission was to have Manny get a new contract.

That is why you have complaints about Manny's behavior which led Boston to make a trade but the only way they could trade Manny was to have him waive his no-trade rights (10 year service time/5 years with the same team) and the only way he would do that was to have Boston remove the team options from the contract.

2008-08-14 10:40:42
143.   Disabled List
115 Typical Tom Meagher composition: verbose and stat-heavy, but insightful and interesting. This passage is dead-on, and it bothers me more than anything else about the team right now:

L.A.'s apparent refusal to add any payroll is remarkable, as the team is making win-now moves ostensibly to boost their 2008 income but is unwilling to invest monetarily in the endeavor; the franchise is trading tomorrow's talent (almost exclusively) for today's dollars (almost exclusively), not exactly an encouraging development.

2008-08-14 10:41:08
144.   Jim Wilson
Great Post John!

Obviously I don't know the ebbs and flows of personalities, injuries, personal or familiy problems, etc. within the dugout or clubhouse, but I have seen too many bonehead decisions this year. With as much experience as Torre, Bowa, and Honeycutt have under their belts, I don't understand how and why a majority of these moves are made.

I am losing faith in the shot callers running this team. From a fan's perspective in the stands or living room, this team underachieves due to the men who do not play the game anymore.

Let the gamers play the game and the mediocre players, Sweeney, Jones, Pierre, Proctor, etc. sit and watch the energetic producers get it done.

I say run Nomar out there every day until he runs out of gas. Park him for a few days and run him again. Your right again John, two players you can count on being injured several times throughout the year, Nomar and Scott Rolen.

2008-08-14 10:45:12
145.   delias man
138 It is interesting that he thinks we should care what he did in Boston. More jealousy. At least for now, management looks genius.
2008-08-14 10:45:22
146.   Tripon
"He wouldn't play for me," the exec said. "I'll tell you that. I might cost my team a chance to go to the World Series. But we work too hard to put a team together to take on a guy like that. As soon as you open the vaults for him, you'll wind up with the same problems Boston had."

I find this odd. The NBA had problems like this for a while, (VINCE CARTER). If you really think Manny's hurting your team by dogging it, cut him lose. Otherwise, don't worry about Manny, and after he hits a crucial HR off of you just remember you're the one who decided you didn't want Manny.

2008-08-14 10:45:46
147.   MonkeyBlue
138. Would these GM state their name because, I'm sick of these anonymous GM talking crap about Manny, and yet if I see them after the season go after Manny.
2008-08-14 10:46:53
148.   Eric Stephen
Brad Lidge, who has not appeared in this series at Dodger Stadium, warmed up six times during the All-Star Game!! He had never warmed up more than once in a game.

2008-08-14 10:48:57
149.   GiantturnedDodger
Not sure if it was mentioned here but does anyone think Penny hit Utley on purpose in the first last night? Utley smirked on the way to first like he thought so. It followed two straight games of Manny getting doted. I remember a number of years back Kevin Brown plucking a Rockie (Helton?) in response to Shef getting hit once or twice. A truly professional job after which everyone went about their business.
2008-08-14 10:51:44
150.   ToyCannon
Does he mean those two world championship problems?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-08-14 10:51:52
151.   Tripon
149 Utley gets hits by pitches a lot though, and Penny wouldn't hit Utley on purpose just to let Howard hit a two run HR off of him.
2008-08-14 10:52:03
152.   Eric Stephen
I for one would love to have "the same problems Boston had."
2008-08-14 10:55:15
153.   bhsportsguy
Usually I tinyurl links but I thought Jon would get a kick out of this one.

2008-08-14 11:01:01
155.   GiantturnedDodger
Jon, this site has turned into my travel companion as I've been on the road a ton lately. Whatever the time zone I can always stay in touch with the Dodgers with Dodger Thoughts. Does anyone know how to refresh this site on a BlackBerry and or page down on the comments? The comments are not segmented in blocks on the BlackBerry and it's a lot of work to thumb down hundreds of comments. I guess I'm somewhat of a novice Dodger Thoughts/BlackBerry user.
2008-08-14 11:02:14
156.   El Lay Dave
154 I would imagine it's Victorino, not Utley, that says "brah".
2008-08-14 11:03:11
157.   bhsportsguy
155 That is why DT is a favorite among the I-phone group.

Seriously, Bob would probably know the best.

2008-08-14 11:04:43
158.   El Lay Dave
146 Fermenting the sour grapes into a fine whine.
2008-08-14 11:05:02
159.   Disabled List
155 Download Opera Mini. That works for me.
2008-08-14 11:07:41
160.   Eric Stephen
Seriously, Bob would probably know the best.

No matter the topic.

2008-08-14 11:08:58
161.   regfairfield
156 Isn't Utley from here?

Does anyone else think it's awesome that we have a javelin thrower named Bro?

2008-08-14 11:09:20
162.   Bob Timmermann
I concur about Opera Mini. Although sometimes you still have to scroll through a lot of stuff.

Sometimes the comments show up after the sidebar. So then you have to go to the bottom of the page and work up.

2008-08-14 11:09:45
163.   El Lay Dave
148 Mike Lieberthal...was in attendance last night. He chatted before the game with Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. Dodgers security apparently did not recognize Lieberthal and would not let him on the field [initially].

Security still taking their cues from Grady Little still. Given that Lieberthal played in only 17 home games last year, it's understandable that he was unrecognizable on the field.

2008-08-14 11:09:55
164.   Jon Weisman
160 - You know, I am in the room :)
2008-08-14 11:10:55
166.   bhsportsguy
Gammons is throwing love at Kemp right now.

Saturday will be another reunion of sorts.

2008-08-14 11:16:27
167.   Bob Timmermann
Chase Utley, Pasadena born, Long Beach bred, UCLA educated.

What a guy!

2008-08-14 11:18:03
168.   Jon Weisman
2008-08-14 11:18:30
169.   bhsportsguy
167 I have yet to hear Vin say here comes Geoff Jenkins, the pride of USC.
2008-08-14 11:19:01
170.   MC Safety
156 I believe that Vin mentioned one time Victorino never surfed growing up, though. Either way, 154 bombed.
2008-08-14 11:20:14
171.   El Lay Dave
161 I'm old (school). Brah is Hawaiian pidgin, brah. {insert shaka icon here}
2008-08-14 11:22:41
172.   Zak
Jayson Stark is a moron. I knew that and this article proves it. First, it is disingenuous of him to write this article without mentioning that the Red Sox were participants in the whole JD Drew opting out of his contract with LA fiasco, one day after saying he would not be opting out. I had no problem with Drew opting out, just like I have no problem with Manny leaving Boston. The Red Sox have run their own stars out of town and now that the tables have turned, they are crying foul.

But that's not the point. The article starts off by chastizing Dodgers fans for rooting for Manny. Are you effing kidding? Dodgers fans are not supposed to root for a guy who is OPSing 1.350? We should show restaint because you and five dentists think that Manny was bad and should be only given year-to-year deals? Seriously?!

And enough with the using unnamed GMs. How do I know you are not just talking to wooden soldiers from your toy box? I can understand using one unnamed source to enhance a point you have coherently made. But an entire article resting on what these five GMs think but are too afraid to attach their name to it? Come on! Who are these GMs? Boston? Arizona? Pittsburgh? That's a lot of grumbling, man.

Anyway, that's enough of my rant. Maybe.

2008-08-14 11:25:11
173.   Bluebleeder87
167 & fiercely competetive, don't let that smile fool you...
2008-08-14 11:25:31
174.   bluegold
My opinion only, but it seems like there are still people here just waiting to yell out "I told you so!!" to the Manny deal. Just waiting and waiting. I, for one, am enjoying Manny as a Dodger and everything that he brings. Among which, I hope, is a deep run into the post-season. Opposing teams fearing Dodgers hitting -- what a refreshing change.

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