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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Success Rate
2008-08-25 07:30
by Jon Weisman

I know it's not as popular an explanation as "he doesn't have a closer mentality," but Jonathan Broxton blamed a flaw in his mechanics for his command problems.

It's certainly plausible. One of three things usually happens when Broxton pitches in a save situation: he walks a batter, he gives up a cheap hit or he blows a hitter away. Opponents are slugging a mere .322 against him in these situations this season, thanks in large part to them achieving a .378 batting average on balls in play. (With the bases loaded this season, opponents are batting .500 on balls in play.)

In 135 plate appearances, opponents have six doubles and one home run. This does not describe someone who is getting hammered when there's a save to be had. The guy has not had great command or great luck.

For some, that's no excuse - a great closer isn't supposed to even allow bad luck to beat him. Broxton has been beaten; there's no doubt about that. But he has hardly been beaten consistently - he has 10 saves in 12 opportunities since Takashi Saito was injured, plus a win and another two losses in non-save chances, and a one-two-three inning in his other game. He has allowed a minuscule .567 OPS in that time. In 16 innings, he's allowed 21 baserunners while striking out 23. And by the way, he has successfully stranded all eight baserunners he has inherited from his teammates in that time. There is no fatal flaw - nor, if you argue for the fatal flaw, anything conclusive that it is mental not physical.

Is he the Dodgers' best closer for the moment? As you know, that's not really a question that interests me, since I rebel at confining your best relief pitcher to save situations in the first place. But sure, if you want to say Hong-Chih Kuo is better right now than Broxton, I'm not going to argue. I adore Kuo. But anyone who thinks Kuo would never blow a save either is living a fairy tale. And no one else in the bullpen is legitimately better than Broxton - they're allowing baserunners all the time.

In general, Eric Gagne and Saito raised the standard for Dodger closers to one almost impossible to match. Closers do blow saves. Rail against the fates all you want, but it's true. It's not knee-jerk defensiveness to say that for every argument that Broxton can't do the job, there's a counter.

A 25 percent failure rate in 16 games. That's your evidence that this 24-year-old righty can't close. He hasn't been as good as we'd like, but he's been pretty reliable, and only figures to get better if he can avoid getting tarred and feathered in the process.

To encourage a spirit of open-mindedness, I will try not to overreact to the notion of Andruw Jones playing first base - though I was sorely tempted to do a spit-take.

* * *

Update: A bigtime piece from Alex Belth today at Bronx Banter.

Comments (246)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-25 07:49:57
1.   Eric Enders
59 MC Safety "To be honest, I don't care how successful Broxton was in the 8th. When the pressure gets dialed up, (runners on base, save situation) Broxton folds. Use your eyes. Like ToyCannon knows Jeff Kent's defense at 2nd sucks, it's becoming evident Broxton is a different pitcher in the ninth. Closers don't walk Andy Tracy on four pitches, plain and simple."

I would imagine every closer who ever lived has walked an Andy Tracy-type hitter on four pitches at one point or another.

You're really going to pigeonhole a guy's career path based on four pitches? And justify it not with reason, but by saying "use your eyes"?


OK, so let's say I decide to "use my eyes." What am I supposed to be looking for as evidence that Broxton's "a different pitcher in the ninth"? Where are the scores of games that he's blown in that inning?Actually, it turns out that if one looks up those pesky facts, last night was the first time all year Broxton blew a save in the ninth inning.

(Sorry, I know I just said I wasn't going to be grumpy today, but...)

2008-08-25 07:51:24
2.   D4P
I can't for the life of me comprehend why Management would be going out of its way to get Andruw Jones back in the lineup.
2008-08-25 07:51:53
3.   Eric Enders
Why would Jones request to play first base? Does he think Loney will be easier to displace than Pierre/Ethier? Does he not realize that the only sliver of value he offers to a major league team is his defense in center field?
2008-08-25 07:52:07
4.   D4P
(Sorry, I know I just said I wasn't going to be grumpy today, but...)

Didn't you watch my video clip...?

2008-08-25 07:53:23
5.   Eric Enders
4 Yes! It worked. For a few minutes.
2008-08-25 07:55:29
6.   Jon Weisman
I updated this post just to add that Broxton has stranded all eight runners he has inherited since Saito was injured.
2008-08-25 08:02:26
7.   Eric Enders
And the Google Ad mocks us by asking "Youngest with 2 HR? In a game vs. New York?"


2008-08-25 08:09:34
8.   thinkblue88
Wow, that was some awesome writing. Thank you for putting all these numbers, facts, and observations together.
2008-08-25 08:16:41
9.   Gen3Blue
Darn it. LATed again. I got interupted writing my comment, and then took time to claen up most of the typos and what do I get--LATed. I'm not going to do anything about it. Now I'll read this one.
2008-08-25 08:17:24
10.   old dodger fan
Last night's game was frustrating for me primarliy because Arizona is beginning to pull away and we had a great opportunity to cut their lead to 2 games and we had a lead in the 9th.

As I watched Broxton struggle to find the plate I so wanted to see Sammy come running in to save the day (and the game).

Every close loss has a goat (or 2) just like every close win has a hero.

Thanks for the reality check. I always remember the failures because I expect perfection.

I'm sad that we are back to .500. I thought we had left it behind forever, or at least until next year.

2008-08-25 08:18:41
11.   Gen3Blue
PS.Jon, some of my LATed post was addressed to you so I hope you see it.
2008-08-25 08:19:11
12.   cargill06
I know everyone is fresturated about last night's game, but to come to the conclusion that Broxton can't do that job after a few blown saves is not only ridicolus it's annoying. We don't judge hitters on small sample sizes all the time, why are we doing the opposite for Jon? If you don't think that a guy who K's 11.1/9IP and doesn't give up HR's can't get the job done, I'm sorry it's just down right crazy. At some point Jon will stop getting singled to death, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.
2008-08-25 08:19:39
13.   D4P
It's at least possible that Broxton's mechanical problems (while ostensibly physical) are mental in origin. Having played a lot of golf in high school, I can attest that pressure, lack of confidence, nerves, etc. (all "mental" concepts) would often manifest themselves in swing flaws, putting "yips", etc.

I don't have an opinion either way, but I guess I reject the notion that the presence of a mechanical flaw rules out any and all mental considerations.

2008-08-25 08:21:34
14.   D4P
Last night's game was frustrating for me primarliy because Arizona is beginning to pull away

I tried to warn folks (more than once) that the schedule was about to deviate significantly in Arizona's favor. We had played something like 8 more home games and 8 fewer road games than they had, and it was very likely to be the case that we would start losing ground once the scheduled swung the other way.

2008-08-25 08:22:49
15.   Jon Weisman
13 - yes, that's true - but it's different than pronouncing like a death sentence rhat Brox doesn't possess the mental ability to be a closer
2008-08-25 08:24:36
16.   Jon Weisman
Starting Tuesday, our next 15 games are against Arizona and two last-place teams, the Padres and Nationals. The Dodgers very much control their destiny for the next two weeks.
2008-08-25 08:25:40
17.   old dodger fan
14 We have 3 with the Nats and 4 with the Pirates still ahead. We really need to take most of those. A win tonight and a sweep of the Nats would be not only sweet but doable.

If the D'backs show up in LA up 2 and we take 2 of 3 it will be a great September.

2008-08-25 08:27:30
18.   Jon Weisman
Not a good day for our Pedro:

2008-08-25 08:31:00
19.   CanuckDodger
I think Broxton has some arm strain -- nothing that a trip to the 15-day DL wouldn't cure (but we all know the Dodgers wouldn't do it, with Saito already out, and Broxton himself would say "Over my dead body"). People will say Broxton wouldn't be throwing so hard if I am right, but there was nothing wrong with the fastball velocities of Penny and Proctor before they were put on the DL. Lack of command was the symptom that something was wrong with Penny and Proctor.

We've been down this road before. Broxton said last year, near the end of the season, that his arm was hurting, but Grady Little kept sending him out to the mound and Broxton kept getting torched, especially with home runs. Not that long ago, after either pitching in games or warming up in the pen for nine consecutive games, Broxton said he was "tired." He got two or three days off and then right back into action, and with Saito and Wade down, and the Dodgers seemingly in close games all the time, both Broxton and Kuo are getting over-used. The thing that nobody is talking about, when it comes to Broxton and Kuo, is that they are not "rubber-armed" relievers. They aren't Paul Quantrill. Both guys are power pitchers who don't get guys out with finesse, and have shown that they falter when they don't get enough rest to recharge their batteries. If Torre is not careful, both of them are going to break and end up either done or like the post-effective Gagne.

2008-08-25 08:33:12
20.   gpellamjr
13 Sure-- but Jon's post shows that Broxton hasn't pitched badly at all. With his mental-weakness-induced mechanical flaws, he's had a .567 OPS against since Saito went down.
2008-08-25 08:35:04
21.   berkowit28
Management is not looking to get Jones time at first base in the big club. Jones wants opportunities to bat, and the two PCL teams playing yesterday were both NL affiliates so did not use the DH in the game. Jones asked to play first so he could get batting practice. Management were willing to risk him injuring himself at an unfamiliar position precisely because they're not counting on him for the ML club anyway. And he's a famous vet, so he gets what he asks for, within reason. It's no big deal. If he gets back some practice hitting extra base hits, that's all to the good, even if it's only against AAA pitchers and so may not mean anything. When he gets back to LA in September he'll be used for late inning replacement, pinch hitting, and in case someone gets injured.
2008-08-25 08:41:05
22.   D4P
Sure - but Jon's post also acknowledges Broxton's "command problems."

There is no doubt that Broxton has very good stats, pretty much across the board. He strikes out a lot of hitters, doesn't walk a lot, doesn't give up HRs, and doesn't give up many hits.

2008-08-25 08:44:26
23.   ToyCannon
Well said, your worries echo my worries.
2008-08-25 08:45:31
24.   old dodger fan
Broxton in August (24 days)
11 appearances
10 2/3 IP
15 K's
Pitched 3 days in a row once (2 of them 1/3 IP)
Pitched 2 days in a row twice

Summary of 11 appearances:

Outs-------Hits + Walks
3 ------------ 0
3 ------------ 2
1 ------------ 1
1 ------------ 3
4 ------------ 4
3 ------------ 0
4 ------------ 0
3 ------------ 2
3 ------------ 1
3 ------------ 1
3 ------------ 3

2008-08-25 08:48:56
25.   ToyCannon
Pathetic story. Borderline HOF Darrel Evans doing a small bit home run contest in front of a few hundred fans.
2008-08-25 08:50:15
26.   CanuckDodger
24 -- If I am correct and Broxton is fatigued, pitching at all. right now, is "over-use." He needs a couple of weeks off.
2008-08-25 08:58:28
27.   MC Safety
26 Hmmm... That could possibly explain the disappearance of his slider, no?
2008-08-25 09:08:56
28.   Jon Weisman
Broxton threw a great 3-1 slider to Werth last night, did he not?
2008-08-25 09:08:59
29.   Bumsrap
Sequoia: It has been years since I have been there. I think entering there on 180, although it takes longer is preferable than entering on 198. 198 is too curvy. Evenings will be short in late September and cool to cold. Hike the Crescent Meadows loop trail, check out General Sherman Tree and leave. To view the Grizzly Giant Tree you take a loop trail that doesn't loop. Might be too much for very young kids.

Broxton: There is nothing wrong with Broxton that isn't solved by letting Kuo pitch the 8th and 9th when he pitches and when Kuo doesn't pitch, then let Broxton be the 9th inning guy. Pitching Kuo and Broxton in the same game should be avoided.

2008-08-25 09:09:24
30.   Gen3Blue
I will follow Jon's good example and not do a sarcastic rant about Andruw playing first.
The only thing I took as good news in that article was the fact that DeWitt seemed to still be getting time at second base in LV. From what I saw when he was up, Blake has some really good fielding instincts and reactions. No matter what, it won't hurt his chances to have more versatility.
2008-08-25 09:10:29
31.   regfairfield
Wasn't it decided last week that Broxton falls in love with his slider too much?
2008-08-25 09:13:08
32.   Jon Weisman
Great stuff from Alex today:

2008-08-25 09:15:46
33.   BlueCrew Bruin
18 Wow, kinda sad. I recently found some boxes of old baseball cards and have been going through them. It's still so strange to see my childhood Dodger favorites in other uniforms. Guerrero with the Cardinals. Hershiser with the Indians. General Soreness with the Red Sox. Heck, even Franklin Stubbs with the Astros. Of course, the mid-80s was the time in my life when each and every Dodger was a hero. Case in point, I came across a Len Matuzak a plastic sleeve! So glad I kept that one safe. :)
2008-08-25 09:25:57
34.   ucladodger
I said last night that Brox has trouble with his mechanics occasionally, an it was interesting to see him admit that. With a man that big with so much force out there, things tend to get out of whack on occasion. Keeping his front side in has been a problem of his and yesterday it was about as bad as it has ever been. That tells me 2 things- he has some type of nagging injury or as Canuck said, he is tired. Yes, his fastball is still ridiculously fast, but he has very little control of that pitch and even his other off-speed pitches. Hopefully this was just a one time deal and I'm wrong about both scenarios, but at least Broxton is guy that can get away with so-so control and fight through some mechanical flaws.
2008-08-25 09:26:35
35.   MC Safety
I saw one slider last night. The one to Werth. There was another pitch I remember seeing at 92 but I'm pretty sure it was an attempted change up.
2008-08-25 09:32:57
36.   JoeyP
We will have an answer 32 games from now, but even if we don't make the playoffs the moves to get Manny and Blake were solid

I disagree with this.

The team must make the playoffs this year to consider those trades as beneficial. They were made specifically for short-term gain.

Bc the moment the season ends, the Dodgers are back to a worse team than they were before the trades were made.

2008-08-25 09:35:57
37.   Jacob L
Hey Jon,

Just saw your query in the last thread, and, well, its funny you should ask.

The family and I are about to head off on a three nighter to Sequoia this weekend (camping). It'll be our first camping trip with the 1-year-old, and second for the big sister, who's got all of one night of experience under her elastic waist band. I'm pretty sure the type of itinerary we're planning is not what you've got in mind, but I'll let you know how it goes.

A couple of years ago, we stayed in the lodge in the park, and though a bit pricey, it would probably fit the bill for you. Nice dining room. The rooms are suites, so you can put the kids to bed without putting yourselves in the dark. Plus its very close to all the major attractions. I'll do some research for you when I'm there this weekend.

I know for a fact that our trip to the lodge was October 2006, because I remember watching the Cards beat the Tigers in the World Series, and UCLA blowing a lead in South Bend, Ind. I'll tell you this about mid-late October in the Sierras. Burr. Chilly.

2008-08-25 09:37:54
38.   Jacob L
36 Largely agree, but you can look at the draft pick compensation as a mitigating factor.

I can't imagine how, if the Dodgers fail to make the playoffs, Colletti can keep his job.

2008-08-25 09:39:49
39.   Bumsrap
Broxton might well wind up as a starter as soon as 2009. After he develops and becomes confident in an off speed pitch thrown in the low 80s/70s, he might again return as a closer in 2010. I fully appreciated hitters standing in against Broxton last night while he searched for the strike zone with a 100mph exploration pitch.
2008-08-25 09:46:02
40.   regfairfield
36 Especially Blake who has a 2.4 VORP and no defensive value.
2008-08-25 09:47:43
41.   D4P
No defensive value, or negative defensive value...?
2008-08-25 09:48:44
42.   Dark Horse
36- I completely agree with this. Unless the team makes the playoffs and does some damage therein, those trades are a negative. And I'm tempted to say that even if they do, this season's a catastrophe unless it leads to Ned's ouster. He has to go. The scariest thing I've read recently (and I can't remember where) was an article suggesting he's on solid ground with the McCourts and is unlikely to lose his job during the offseason.
2008-08-25 09:49:38
43.   regfairfield
36 What the heck are you quoting anyway?
2008-08-25 09:53:38
44.   regfairfield
41 For what it's worth, Blake is at +5 as a Dodger.
2008-08-25 09:56:23
45.   JoeyP
43--Toycannon's comment from the last thread.
2008-08-25 09:57:56
46.   Jacob L
37 This is the place I'm talking about -

2008-08-25 10:01:43
47.   underdog
While most of you have probably recovered from last night's game, I'm just now trying to get over it after watching the last few innings via Tivo (thankfully - or maybe unfortunately - I'd added extra time to the recording). I had a bad feeling about it in the 9th. Then the Dodgers blew a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 10th and when they didn't I figured it was over. Very frustrating, but it happens. This whole series feels cursed in various ways. We can only hope ThunderThighs comes through for us today. (ESPN2 game.)

Btw, I know booing's been overdiscussed here, and mostly focused on Dodgers fans, but are there more booing-er fans out there than Phillies fans? Everything gets booed, from pitch calls to tosses to first to Jimmy Rollins to a batter having a long at bat (see: Matt Kemp) and so on. I know they're passionate, I guess.

Okay, time to get my mind off baseball for the day 'til it's time to suffer with it again later.

2008-08-25 10:03:50
48.   underdog
33 Weird, I'd forgotten Stubbs was an Astro, too. I always pictured him as a Dodger only, and briefly, and then that was it.
2008-08-25 10:04:11
49.   CodyS
Even Broxton's pitches that achieved positive outcomes were nowhere near where Martin was setting up. He was not in control of the game at all. He was overwhelmed and reacted poorly. Again. He's obviously got the talent to be a good pitcher, but right now he is not someone that can be counted on. He achieves good outcomes fairly often anyway because his talent is so great. Complaining about this does not mean that I think someone else should be "the closer." It is just talk for the sake of sharing our suffering.

The Dodgers as a team have a lot of problems. This is one of them. Many of these problems have no solution. This is one of them. The 2008 Dodgers seem very unlikely to "put it all together" and be a good playoff team.

I remain hopeful, because that's what a fan does.

2008-08-25 10:06:39
50.   underdog
Btw, I, too, am not thinking too hard about Jones playing first in Vegas. It really does seem like a case of - why put more undue stress on his knees, when we know we can play the outfield just fine. It's his swing that's the problem. However he can work on that with less stress on his knees and less distraction on him, all the better. If he can play first and hit, who cares - if he still can't hit, he's not going to play anywhere for LA this season.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-25 10:13:16
51.   cargill06
47 WIll the game be blacked out on ESPN2 today in So. Cal.?

Looking forward to this weekend;

Fri- Petit vs. Kuroda
Sat- Davis vs. Billingsley
Sun- Haren vs. Lowe

I think with these match-up's we'd be favored to win the series, with a few breaks maybe we can even get a sweep. Us fans deserve it after last night and our last weekend in SF.

2008-08-25 10:14:34
52.   LAT
I had a barber like that for years. When I met Aldo he was in his mid-to-late 60s. First generation from an eastern block country and had three regular girlfriends who he each took dancing once a week. (Yes, they knew about one another--don'task me how he managed it, I can't imagine). We used to sit and talk about the ponies for hours. Aldo could squeeze more betting combinations out of $10 than anyone I ever met. And no one ever missed more huge pick sixs by a nose, or at least so he said. Aldo coninued to cut my hair into his 70s and then moved to the desert. Years later I wondered into the barbershop at Tamarisk County Club and there he was. He had an open spot, I didn't really need a haircut but got one anyway. We picked right up about how Kent Desormeaux doesn't ride his horses out (obviously before Big Brown); How Mike Mitchell is the best rainer on the West Coast and why we don'tlike Bob Baffert. About half way through I realized Aldo had grown much older and I began to worry less about the quality of the haircut and more about the well being of my ears. That was about five years ago. Notsure where he is now. If I'm in the desert this winter maybe I'll swing by Tamarisk to say "hi" and get a few tips. I may pass on the haircut though.
2008-08-25 10:15:23
53.   cargill06
51 Or if Arizona really wanted to try and bury us, they could move up Haren to Sat. (4 days rest) and Webb to Sunday (4 days rest)
2008-08-25 10:15:46
54.   D4P
However he can work on that with less stress on his knees

Maybe he should start by losing the 50 pounds of fat he's lugging around. But I guess that giving someone $18 million/year to perform athletic duties doesn't imply that they have any kind of responsibility to get/stay in shape for such duties.

2008-08-25 10:19:59
55.   cargill06
53 Now that I look ar their schedule why would they not do that? Than they can pitch Johnson, Petit and Davis in STL after that, than come back to LA and throw Webb, Haren, and Johnson.
2008-08-25 10:20:41
56.   Bumsrap
In the category of closing games I would include clutch defense and the Dodgers haven't had it for the last two weeks. DeWitt gave it to them while Blake hasn't so much. Subbing out Nomar and Kent late in close games for better defense is a weakness and their defensive play during the whole game is a weakness. Manny in left is a weakness defensively.

If the Dodgers are not going to score runs they would be better off with DeWitt at third, Hu at short, and DeJesus at second now and in 2009, not re-signing Manny, Blake, Kent, and Nomar. Add Furcal to the mix at third next year and Abrue at ss/2b, the Dodgers would have a speedy team playing good defense.

2008-08-25 10:21:12
57.   LogikReader
I have a tough time picturing Ned surviving 2008 if the Dodgers finish at or below .500 and miss the playoffs.

Because, let's face it, the Dodgers put all their eggs in one basket. If all they do is fall on their face, on what grounds has he improved the team? The Dodgers could easily be a .500 team without any extra help.

So knowing the potential consequences, I'm taking a back seat and going along for the ride.

2008-08-25 10:24:02
58.   twerp
Wasn't it Jay Howell who referred to himself and relievers like him as "brain-dead heavers?"

Not saying Brox doesn't think out there. But if heaving is all he's doing, overthrowing at that, he's going to walk folks and get hit at times when he mislocates. If he's right and locates well, he approaches unhittable.

A part of the mental makeup of any good athlete is staying within himself and not trying too hard. Broxton is young. He probably hasn't learned not to try too hard yet.

Can you imagine what a pitcher with Broxton's stuff and anything like Maddux's mental game would be like? Brox probably just needs more time and experience. No pitcher is perfect.

2008-08-25 10:27:38
59.   Bumsrap
If Jones plays some first base for the Dodgers this year that is going to take away opportunities for Sweeney to play there. And, what about Pierre, can't he play some first base? And if Blake can play second, perhaps Kent could get a few games in at first as well. And Nomar, he needs a few games in at first to give him a Martin type rest from the rigors of shortstop.
2008-08-25 10:30:48
60.   underdog
59 Heh. That would be a really crazy kind of shift they could employ, have four first baseman in at the same time and no one anywhere else. Sometimes it's hard to remember there's a short stop for the Dodgers anyway.
2008-08-25 10:39:08
61.   KG16
36 - the moves were made in the context of a pennant race, they were absolutely solid. If the Dodgers fall short, it doesn't mean the moves weren't worth it. Nor does it mean that the team is worse off then they were before. The Dodgers gave up one guy (two if you count Meloan) that is major league caliber right now. And LaRoche is struggling, right now. Blake is, in fact, playing better than LaRoche, right now. That will likely not be the case next year, or the year after (but it could also be the case).

The Dodgers probably have the inside track on resigning Manny. Which will leave us with a problem in the out field, unless Jones or Pierre are moved (and I suspect at least one of those two will be).

The only potential problem, which I think reg pointed out somewhere along the way, is that the Dodgers knew (or should have known) that they would have two holes to fill in the in field and the moves created a third for the off season. But then again, the Dodgers have trading chips and salary that is freeing up (Furcal, Nomar, Kent all come off the books - a whopping 30.5m based on Jon's chart to the right).

Again, the Dodgers are in a position to compete every year for the foreseeable future. There's probably a better than even chance that they can win a championship or two in that time. If they don't do it this year, it doesn't mean everything was a failure and that every transaction was terrible.

2008-08-25 10:39:39
62.   D4P
What do pitchers really have to think about? If the catcher is calling for a pitch in a certain location, all the pitcher has to do is try to throw it there. Nothing to think about.

Unless you want to argue that the pitcher (not the catcher) should be deciding the pitches and locations.

Which raises a question: is there any generally accepted rule of thumb in baseball that a pitcher shouldn't shake a catcher off "too much", and should accept the catcher's pitch recommendation "most of the time"...?

2008-08-25 10:40:11
63.   Neal Pollack
It doesn't matter how the Dodgers do this season, McCourt is not going to fire Ned. They drink the same Kool-Aid.
2008-08-25 10:44:49
64.   Sam PHL
47 The funny thing is that the Phillies fans are booing much more since being called out by Jimmy Rollins. I don't really get the point they're trying to make.

Hopefully Bills will give them more reason to boo their team tonight.

2008-08-25 10:47:09
65.   LogikReader
Believe it or not, I think the Dodgers are much better off than they were a year ago. I'd much prefer an outfield of Manny, Ethier, and Kemp over Gonzo, Pierre, and fill-in-the-blank.

Kemp is really looking solid now, as we all hoped.

The pitching rotation is much better than last year, thanks in large part to Lowe, Bills, and Kuroda.

With upcoming holes at 2B, 3B and SS, I think the Dodgers will really struggle in 2009, but I'll worry about that in 2009.

2008-08-25 10:52:17
66.   Bob Timmermann
With upcoming holes at 2B, 3B and SS, I think the Dodgers will really struggle in 2009, but I'll worry about that in 2009.

I again I must reply with one of my favorite songs.

2008-08-25 10:56:37
67.   dzzrtRatt
58 Nails it for me.

Broxton wasn't supposed to be this year's closer. He has a perfect "closer mentality" but like Kemp, Kershaw, DeWitt, Hu, Loney and even Martin and Billingsley, he is not yet who he is going to be. Maybe he will never be great, maybe none of our prospects and recent ex-prospects will be, but it is much too early to come to sweeping conclusions about any of them.

I don't see how the trades for Blake, Manny and Maddux add up to failure if we don't make the playoffs.

1. This team was not playoff-bound before we got Manny and Blake. I don't care what the standings looked like.

2. Manny and Blake came very cheaply. I cannot imagine a GM getting fired because he gave up Andy LaRoche of the sub-Mendoza BA for Manny.

3. Yes, we gained two offensive forces, but we lost Saito and Penny, who are arguably more important to the team's ultimate prospects. The buck doesn't necessarily stop with Ned with respect to those injuries.

4. Ned might be fired, but if he's fired it'll be because of his poor off-seasons, not the deadline deals. Jones and Schmidt are easy to second-guess and I'm sure Ned's expecting to have to fall on his sword for making those moves. However...

5. If the message of Ned's firing is for our next GM to be risk-averse, I'm not sure that's a plus. Nobody thought Jones and Schmidt would give us nothing. It was common to think they would probably underperform, but if they had merely continued to decline on their previous glidepaths, they would've had value.

I want our GM, whether it's Colletti or someone else, to be willing to wheel and deal to get us an OF of Kemp-Ethier-Masher. I want him to at least look at other options than DeWitt for 3B and 2B. I want him to be willing to resign Furcal, despite the evident risk.

Colletti's bad, but he and the Dodgers have also had an incredible bad luck streak. One of these years, the Dodgers will regress to the mean, luck-wise.

2008-08-25 10:56:41
68.   underdog
64 Maybe they're saying Boooo-rrell and Boooo-ollins. Hopefully they'll be saying Boooo-lingsly tonight, yes.
2008-08-25 10:59:20
69.   Howard Fox
Jon, interesting post, but you can generally tell what kind of outing Broxton will have after one or two can see it in his face, he either has it or he doesn't

if his first couple of pitches aren't what he would like, he looks like he gets a little frustrated, losing concentration, and he's finished

to be a great closer, he needs to have that mentality, to shut out a bad pitch, or bad luck on a ball that's hit...

2008-08-25 11:02:35
70.   Jon Weisman
69 - What was the look on Broxton's face in his previous game, on Thursday, after he allowed a double to Ian Stewart on the first pitch and before he struck out the next three batters?
2008-08-25 11:04:35
71.   cargill06
69 I wish I had your ability to read faces at the poker table.
2008-08-25 11:06:22
72.   Howard Fox
70 he had a different look, I know its not scientific, but you can see it in his eyes...thank g-d for HD, I guess...
2008-08-25 11:06:39
73.   ToyCannon
Relief, when he realized that the next three hitters were Iannetta , Baker, and Tulowitzki.
2008-08-25 11:07:13
74.   Daniel Zappala
67 Very nice.

I'm always amazed at how different the story of the season becomes, compared to how I thought it would turn out in the beginning.

2008-08-25 11:07:24
75.   Howard Fox
71 its the eyes not the faces, that is why they wear those sunglasses, to hide their eyes, not to look cool
2008-08-25 11:09:25
76.   Zak
36 , 38 It should not matter what happens in the last two months of the season. Colletti's job security should be based on his entire body of work, and not if the team makes the playoffs or not. I think he should be let go whether we make the playoffs or not. That said, I fear that either way he will not be fired.

That being said, again, irregardless of the team making the playoffs, the trades were a very good idea. The trade gave the team a chance to improve substantially without giving up a lot. The core of this team is still intact for future years, despite giving up one arguably big piece. As far as judging the trade based on whether the team makes the playoffs, this sounds very shallow and revisionist to me. I mean, technically by the definitions thrown around, every year you don't make the playoffs, the transactions that year were not worth it. But you can't look at it that way, if the trades look good at that time. You could argue whether the trade was good or bad, but you cannot base your argument of whether the team makes the playoffs. The best any GM can do is try to win this year without giving up a lot of your future. To me, Colletti has at least done this well in July and August. It's funny to say that Colletti should keep his job had Broxton not blown any saves or something like that.

The optimist in me is going to say that the Dodgers will finish 8-10 games over .500. The schedule really opens up for us now. AZ is not playing really well and we are lucky to have had a good homestand before this miserable beginning to the road trip. Maybe we can still salvage a 5-5 roadtrip and head home where we have played really well lately.

2008-08-25 11:14:04
77.   JRSarno
At least Broxton is trying... I of course wanted to murder him last night... but compare his effort to Manny's throw from LF, in which he could have VISIBLY thrown out Vizcaino and changed the character of that inning. Just don't think it's fair to lynch Broxton for a game filled with many lost opportunities and some Manny underhand throwing B.S.
2008-08-25 11:15:26
78.   JRSarno
Vizcaino, Victorino, whatever. :)
2008-08-25 11:19:07
79.   Jon Weisman
73 - As opposed to Andy Tracy?

In any event, the point is that Broxton's habit is exactly what 69 demands - most times, he gets the job done even when in trouble. Even assuming that "the look" foretells his fate - and you'll have to forgive my skepticism on that point - then "the look" has only happened four times in 16 games since Saito's injury.

2008-08-25 11:19:45
80.   Howard Fox
77 granted, there should not have even been a save opportunity, but there was....
2008-08-25 11:20:16
81.   Zak
69 Not true. last week he gave off a leadoff double in the ninth to COL and struck out the next three guys. if you think you can tell, your eyes are deceiving you.
2008-08-25 11:23:05
82.   cargill06
77 It wasn't so much the throw, a perfect throw like that with a little less on it is much better than a strong throw off line. It was Manny drifting back towards the wall to feild a dying ball rather than rounding it and attacking the ball so him momentum would already be carrying him towards the base, making it a shorter throw, and getting to the ball sooner. Of course, if Victorino saw him doing this he'd have never gone. He decided to go when he saw Manny drifting back to field the ball.
2008-08-25 11:23:48
83.   Bob Timmermann
Eyes are the window to the soul. But perhaps Broxton sold his soul to Milhouse for five bucks.
2008-08-25 11:23:57
84.   Zak
81 Sorry, I did not see 70 . The ironic thing about all this is that the pitch Feliz did hit was actually a good pitch in a good location and to me, a part of the bad BABIP that Brox is going through. It was definitely good hitting in that instance and not bad pitching. Like most, I agree that the walk before was tough, but if Brox had gotten Feliz out, I wonder if people would have seen different things in his eyes.
2008-08-25 11:24:09
85.   ToyCannon
You the man Zak.

Nice, except for point 1. I'm still failing to understand the concept that we are not a playoff contender when the team we are chasing is as lousy as we are.

2008-08-25 11:24:45
86.   JoeyP
The Dodgers probably have the inside track on resigning Manny.

I dont think there's any "inside track" when a guy is a free agent.

Manny himself said that LA felt like a vacation, and after the season he'll see where he ends up. He'll go to the highest bidder, and I've yet to see the Dodgers ever outbid the Yankees. And NY is Manny's home.

2008-08-25 11:25:29
87.   ToyCannon
Humor Jon, humor.
2008-08-25 11:26:15
88.   Zak
83 At least he got something. Kuo sold the real estate between his legs to the Giants and got nothing.
2008-08-25 11:28:56
89.   bigcpa
I think Manny is at best 3rd on the Yankees wishlist behind Teix and CC. They don't want another Giambi albatross.
2008-08-25 11:29:20
90.   ToyCannon
Joey is right, any team that has a Boras client headed for free agency is not in the drivers seat when it comes to resigning them.
I would hazard a guess that less then 10% of teams resign a Boras client once they hit free agency.
2008-08-25 11:29:21
91.   Zak
You know, Jake Peavy really screwed us last week. He better make it up.
2008-08-25 11:30:18
92.   MC Safety
66 Staying in that era, I Gotta Get A Hold of Myself before I can think about 2009:

2008-08-25 11:31:05
93.   delias man
I say they were trying to walk Tracy. I wish there could be some confirmation of that.
2008-08-25 11:34:23
94.   cargill06
93 It's a possibilty, the discussion before the AB may have been... "See if he swings at balls, we'll go after the RH hitter instead of the lefty."
2008-08-25 11:34:51
95.   JoeyP
This team was not playoff-bound before we got Manny and Blake.


But if the team is still not playoff-bound, what was gained?

Manny and Blake came very cheaply.

I disagree, especially with Casey Blake.

Ned might be fired, but if he's fired it'll be because of his poor off-seasons, not the deadline deals

I agree. The off-season was enough to fire him. But I think the in-season trades were short-term gambles with long term risk.

And I am by no means a someone that wants to keep prospects at all costs. I just think if you want to win now, and build for the future---> you trade prospects for in their prime players that will be with the team in the future. Manny, Blake, Maddux arent that.

2008-08-25 11:34:51
96.   Kevin Lewis

Are you ready to laugh?

2008-08-25 11:35:03
97.   bhsportsguy
93 Why would they do that?
2008-08-25 11:36:22
98.   ToyCannon
Jay Howell was an enigma because I could never see his eyes when he pitched, which meant I had no idea what to expect. I like to know a head of time if I'm going to be disappointed.
2008-08-25 11:37:22
99.   Bill Crain
Broxton was getting better results before Saito's injury mostly because of better command, right? I guess that could be mechanical, like he said, and who am I to disagree with him?

But my impression is that he the fastball back then was topping out around 96. And he was throwing the slider much more often, using it as the out pitch. Like Lasorda is supposed to have said, "they can hit my curve if they want, but they'll have to hit it on a bounce."

And didn't the coaching staff--when they made him the closer--tell him to throw his fastball more and throw it harder? Which is great if you throw 99 and can locate it, and maybe he will in time, but right now, I never saw anybody who looked more obviously like he was overthrowing.

My opinion, the slider is his best pitch. I think somebody told him closing is different and he ought to pitch different, and that's the trouble.

Just to confirm my own prejudices, I'd really like to blame Larry Bowa.

2008-08-25 11:38:20
100.   Zak
90 The beauty of Boras is that GMs somehow get into bidding wars even when other teams are not involved. So many Boras clients end up getting contracts that are way bigger than what any other team would have paid for the guy. I'm afraid Manny will be like that. Also, I don't see Manny outside of the NY or LA teams, so that does increase the odds of him staying a Dodger. I hope the Dodgers realize this though.

Thanks by the way.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-25 11:40:27
101.   Strike4
Palm-reading was more useful than eye-reading with Jay Howell.
2008-08-25 11:41:08
102.   Jon Weisman
87 - I got the joke, but I'm not sure everyone else would, given the atmosphere in here where the good Broxton does is so easily dismissed.
2008-08-25 11:45:48
103.   Howard Fox
97 because he hasn't batted since 2004 and they felt bad for him?
2008-08-25 11:47:53
104.   Howard Fox
102 I never dismiss the good Broxton brings to the game, his wife is adorable
2008-08-25 11:55:19
105.   Linkmeister
I think my frustration over last night's loss has as much to do with getting beaten by two hits from a Punch n' Judy guy like Pedro Feliz. Giving up a home run in the 11th to Burrell or Howard or Utley would have allowed me to say "sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you." But Pedro Feliz?

Now I know how Red Sox fans felt when Bucky Freakin' Dent hit that fly ball over the Monster.

2008-08-25 12:03:06
106.   cargill06
Gurnicks latest mailbag.

Who figures on being the Dodgers' September callups?
-- Ted M., Willow Street, Pa.

Probably James McDonald, Blake DeWitt, Chin-lung Hu and Jason Repko. They'll also need a third catcher and it could be Lucas May, who is on the 40-man roster, or A.J. Ellis, who is not. One player they wanted to call up, but who is not on the 40-man roster, is left-handed pitcher Scott Elbert. Anyone expecting the Dodgers to call up a boatload of young players just to see them in a Major League uniform will be very disappointed. The current Dodgers management utilizes every loophole in the book to work around the 40-man roster limit and retain a surplus of players, most often by placing injured players on the 60-day disabled list, where they don't count against the 40-man roster. Current Dodgers on that list are Tony Abreu, Jason Schmidt, Rafael Furcal, Gary Bennett, Scott Proctor and Brazoban. To activate any of them, a corresponding player must be taken off the 40-man roster

2008-08-25 12:05:05
107.   cargill06
Now I know how Red Sox fans felt when Bucky Freakin' Dent hit that fly ball over the Monster.

I hope you're saying the tounge in cheek.

2008-08-25 12:08:20
108.   regfairfield
106 We've got four guys: Johnson, Sturtze, Berroa and Sweeney who can be painlessly DFAed and two others in Alvarez and Orenduff who we wouldn't particularly miss either. We can still call up whoever we want pretty much.
2008-08-25 12:16:31
109.   Linkmeister
107 What makes you ask that? Granted the circs aren't as life-threatening as the playoffs, but getting beaten by a banjo hitter. . .
2008-08-25 12:28:32
110.   Kevin Lewis
Just read the update:

I wish I had a barber like that. Are there any in Pasadena?

2008-08-25 12:30:05
111.   Harold M Johnson
Apologies if this has already been answered but where is the game being shown today? What channel and what time? Lineups out yet?
2008-08-25 12:35:57
112.   El Lay Dave
60 ...have four first baseman in at the same time...

Reminds me of games in the mid-80s when the starting lineup might include Greg Brock, Mike Marshall, Franklin Stubbs AND Pedro Guerrero.

2008-08-25 12:36:43
113.   cargill06
111 TV Guide is showing Canyon Country will be airing the ESPN2 telegast of the game.

2008-08-25 12:43:11
114.   underdog
111 Yep, ESPN2.

112 Yah, or our shortstop-heavy infield that popped up a couple of years ago, right?

108 Agreed. Could be some DFA's coming at that point, with no great losses. SHOULD be, anyway. And I would think Alvarez won't be long for the 40 man, either, at least by the time the off season rolls around.

2008-08-25 12:52:47
115.   trainwreck
We were disappointed in last year's call ups from what I remember and we were not even really in the race then. Can't imagine that will change with us in the race this year.
2008-08-25 12:59:41
116.   Eric Stephen
Last year's callups were Moeller, Hu, Meloan, and Houlton on 9/1. LaRoche was called up one day later. Abreu, Hull, Stults, Valdez & Young were called up 9/6 after the AAA season concluded.
2008-08-25 12:59:56
117.   bhsportsguy
Since Jacksonville is not going to the playoffs, I wonder why the Dodgers are making this move right now, could we see a righty/lefty combo coming from Jacksonville for the pen?

From PE Dodger Blog.

The Dodgers have promoted 2008 second-round draft pick Josh Lindblom from Class A Great Lakes all the way to Class AA Jacksonville. In eight starts for Great Lakes, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound right-hander has a 1.86 ERA and tossed five no-hit innings in his last outing.

2008-08-25 13:04:35
118.   Bluebleeder87
Well I for one can't wait to play the Nats.
2008-08-25 13:17:53
119.   silverwidow
117 Diamond also reported that Andrew Lambo has been promoted to Jacksonville.
2008-08-25 13:18:47
120.   dzzrtRatt
85 I don't think Arizona is lousy. They hit the skids for a good long while, giving the Dodgers an undeserved opening. But Webb and Haren are the best 1-2 in the majors this season. They've got a pretty good, flawed but capable team behind them. If Ned had done nothing, I expect Arizona would've pulled away while the Dodgers sank below .500, just like last season.
2008-08-25 13:18:54
121.   jasonungar07
I don't know why I do, but I do. Searching for Bobby Fischer was on the new HD channel I get just as I put my son down for a nap. 2 hours later I am crying like a baby.
2008-08-25 13:22:33
122.   trainwreck
2008-08-25 13:30:10
123.   fanerman
A little late but...

I Believe in Jonathon Broxton

2008-08-25 13:32:14
124.   JoeyP
Good to see Lambo in AA.

Guess he's going to skip the Cal league next season.

2008-08-25 13:37:49
125.   underdog
Lambo! Awesome. At that rate maybe we'll see him get a peak in LA a year from now (i.e., next September).
2008-08-25 13:38:22
126.   Eric Stephen
James Loney will be on "Rome is Burning" in a few minutes, on ESPN.
2008-08-25 13:40:23
127.   jet
28 - My impression of that slider was that Broxton hung it. The pitch was right down the middle of the plate, belt high, with no sharp bite. I thought that, (and even Joe Morgan had the same assumption -- and I never thought I'd ever be looking to him for backup), the mere fact that Broxton even threw a slider on a 3-1 count froze Werth who was looking dead red, 'as the players say.' When I saw the pitch I had this split second reaction of 'Oh no', and was amazed and happily surprised when Werth just looked at it. Reminded me of his days in blue.
2008-08-25 13:40:57
128.   trainwreck
Thanks for heads up. He is on now.
2008-08-25 13:41:20
129.   scareduck
61 - the moves were made in the context of a pennant race, they were absolutely solid. If the Dodgers fall short, it doesn't mean the moves weren't worth it. Nor does it mean that the team is worse off then they were before.

Ask the Mets about that Scott Kazmir trade some time. That the Dodgers perceived themselves to be in a pennant race is in itself insufficient.

2008-08-25 13:43:50
130.   ToyCannon
Talking about a straw man argument.
2008-08-25 13:44:20
131.   trainwreck
James Loney interviewing as Manny Ramirez. This is awesome.
2008-08-25 13:51:20
132.   ucladodger

That was really just a "get me over" slider. Werth was 100% sitting dead red (how can anyone blame him there) and anything with a wrinkle he would take or take a weak hack at. It wasnt a particularly good slider with terrible location, but it wasnt intended to be a sharp, biting breaking ball. I'd really like to see Jon start off more hitters with the slider. Obviously he cant hang them (like the pitch to Ian Stewart opening up the count), but it doesnt have to be perfect. Hitters go up there looking dead red, and stealing a first pitch strike is huge for Broxton.

2008-08-25 13:57:19
133.   jet
I'm still agnostic on Broxton. He's young and learning, and clearly has the potential to be a great pitcher. What no one here talks about at all, is his (to mix body part metaphors) potential Achilles Heel -- which is his gut. I think the massive amount of weight he's carrying already effects him to some extent, especially when he's used multiple days. He sometimes looks like he's just chain smoked three packs of filterless Camels after only about ten pitches. This is simply too much weight to be carrying, not only for an ordinary human being, but especially an 'athlete'. An observation: most of the overweight pitchers I've seen over 50 years of watching baseball are junkballers. I can't remember a power pitcher proportionately this heavy who had any longevity. Maybe someone else can...
2008-08-25 13:58:27
134.   delias man
97 I do not have a reason - I just do not think he could have thrown 4 balls that wide to him in a row... I hope.
2008-08-25 13:59:39
135.   still bevens
133 I guess Jencks is just as huge but I wouldnt consider his career to be filed under 'longevity' just yet.
2008-08-25 14:01:06
136.   trainwreck
Mike Fetters.
2008-08-25 14:02:53
137.   trainwreck
You never said they had to be good.
2008-08-25 14:11:28
138.   scareduck
86 - agreed on Boras clients, but I'm not convinced he will go to New York. The complaint Manny has always had about Boston is that his life there was a fishbowl; why would that be different in NYC?
2008-08-25 14:12:40
139.   scareduck
133 - Roger Clemens.
2008-08-25 14:13:21
140.   Zak
129 That is an incredibly weak argument. I cannot think of any possible way how that argument compares. Which trade are you even bashing with that reference, Blake or Ramirez? And the Dodgers did not perceive themselves in a pennant race, they were in one. I would think you would know the difference.
2008-08-25 14:14:00
141.   preacherroe
What about Peewee on the September callup list?
2008-08-25 14:15:30
142.   scareduck
130 - it's extreme, but not a straw man. The grandparent (61 ) didn't bother to qualify it otherwise. It is not sufficient to be in a pennant race; one has to have a reasonable hope of winning that pennant race. And there's a very good argument that if both Manny and Blake leave (and even if they just manage to re-sign Blake!) that the Dodgers will be even worse next year.
2008-08-25 14:17:05
143.   scareduck
140 - A team that's struggling to keep itself above .500 is "in a pennant race". Huh. That's not a very good team, and not the kind of team where you make extreme moves like the ones that the Dodgers made to get Manny and Blake.
2008-08-25 14:23:09
144.   Zak
143 I feel like you are bashing the Dodgers for no good reason by using exaggerated terms. Extreme moves?? What move was extreme? You may be high on Class A catchers, but trading one for a good 3B in the ML is not extreme. Nor is trading a future reliever with him. LaRoche for Manny is extreme?

As far as pennant race, just because the Dodgers are around .500, they have no chance to winning the pennant? Wasn't this just proven wrong recently, like a couple of years ago? And won't the eventual NL West winner not be that far over .500 anyway?

But again, the point remains, you may want to not call them a good team, but they're close to the best team in their division. And their moves have not been as extreme as your dislike for said moves.

2008-08-25 14:26:11
145.   ToyCannon
Why is the record relevant? Were the Rockies any better at this stage last year? Only the fact they are in a pennant race seems to be relevant, not their record.
They had an average record because they had an offensive hole at 3 positions. In one week they tried to fix all three holes going forward. The past record is not indicative of the future record when you remodel the team. After 3 straight loses you can point to the fact they are no better then before the trade, but let us take a look at the end of the season before making such grandiose comments about this teams ability.
I won't argue that we don't have some serious flaws, but I could make the case of serious flaws for all the teams in the NL pennant races. Including the Cubs whose RF went Andruw Jones on them.
2008-08-25 14:26:30
146.   trainwreck
As Andrew G. has said many times, Manny was only going to give us one or two extra wins.
2008-08-25 14:29:55
147.   Zak
146 I'm not disagreeing with that. But by that token, how many wins is LaRoche this year plus next year over whatever replacement 3B we find next year. And are we going to blindly make the leap that LaRoche would have been very good after that too? Again, not trying to rehash that argument. But to say the Dodgers are only perceiving themselves to be in a pennant race and that they are making extreme moves, it seems very inaccurate at the least.
2008-08-25 14:31:40
148.   scareduck
144 - LaRoche for Manny is extreme?

When he's the best starting 3B you have, he could be under team control for years more, and the position has been a rotating hole for years, that's absolutely extreme. Booting a guy described in some quarters as the best catching prospect in the minors only compounds that.

As far as pennant race, just because the Dodgers are around .500, they have no chance to winning the pennant?

The division title or the NL pennant? If you're talking about the 2006 Cards, you'll have to explain how their story in any way aligns with the 2008 Dodgers; they had a number of first-rate players on the DL most of the year (Scott Rolen in particular, but others as well), a division that refused to put them away, and yes, some luck. But stories like the 2006 Cardinals and 1988 Dodgers are rather few and far between. In fact, you could really argue that the 1988 Dodgers have wrecked the franchise subsequently, in that the team's brain trust believed they could wheedle another title out of a bunch of nondescript position players, an ace starter or two, and some pixy dust.

2008-08-25 14:32:15
149.   Zak
And the initial argument stands. This is nothing like the Kazmir trade, both in terms of what was given up and what was received. And if I recall correctly, the Dodgers have a better shot in the standings than the Mets did then, but that is just from memory. This is nothing like the Kazmir trade. We did not give up Kemp or Kershaw. It's time to stop pretending we did every time they don't win.
2008-08-25 14:32:47
150.   cargill06
146 And if they would've finished 1 or 2 GB of Arizona we'd be wishing that move was made.

Look, until Andy LaRoche or Bryan Morris start to perform at this level you can't really complain. There have been "can't miss" prospects that have missed (just assuming), so until we start sorely missing LaRoche or Morris you can't really complain about the deal.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-08-25 14:39:26
151.   Disabled List
Has a Scott Boras client ever re-signed with his previous team?

Last year, A-Rod had to basically fire Boras in order to re-sign with the Yankees.

2008-08-25 14:39:34
152.   regfairfield
We didn't trade a better, younger player for someone useless so this definitely isn't the Kazmir trade.
2008-08-25 14:40:47
153.   regfairfield
151 Lohse did this year.
2008-08-25 14:40:56
154.   still bevens
151 Varitek
2008-08-25 14:43:34
155.   Zak
148 And the Dodgers don't have first rate players on the DL? Penny, Furcal and Saito jump right out to me. Heck, even LaRoche was hurt the first month of the season or his story could have been different. It's kind of pointless arguing if you argument is that the 2006 Cards team had first team players out on the DL, they were in a weak division and they got lucky, but none of this applies to the Dodgers because they are a wrecked franchise since 1988.

As far as using arguments like best 3B we have and best catching prospect we have are really distorting facts. One, he was not the best 3B on the team when traded. That would be Blake. He was still a prospect, but on a ML level, he was not our best 3B. But to ignore that our best catching prospect is in Class A, only became a real prospect this year and is blocked at the ML level is just trying too hard to make a weak argument.

2008-08-25 14:44:37
156.   El Lay Dave
142 Furthermore, 61 does NOT claim that ALL trades made in the context of a pennant race are "solid", only that "they" (the Ramirez and Blake trades) specifically were "solid", within the context of a pennant race. Kazmir for Victor Zambrano was not solid in any context.
2008-08-25 14:46:09
157.   Alex41592
We have the players in place to win. If they don't win the division at least it's all on them. Our offense is just so boring right now. They need something to get them going and it's just been an awful week. It's just a bad stretch and it happens to everyone. They'll break out of it.
2008-08-25 14:48:02
158.   Terry A
151 - Darren Dreifort.
2008-08-25 14:48:54
159.   JoeyP
144 -

You may be high on Class A catchers, but trading one for a good 3B in the ML is not extreme.

I dont think Casey Blake is a "good" 3b. I'd consider him average, and the Dodgers gave up alot more upside in (santana/meloan) for 2 months of probable sure-fire "average".

Manny for LaRoche/Morris is easier to defend, but the large hole the Dodgers have at 3b entering 2009 looms large.

2008-08-25 14:49:14
160.   Zak
157 Exactly. When they went 6-1 the week before, they weren't automatically the best team in baseball and going 1-5 last week does not make them the worst team in baseball. They are a good team, with flaws and are lucky to be chasing a team that won't pull away for now. Again, looking at it on paper, isn't our schedule more favorable to Arizona's from here on out. I think the combined winning percentage of teams we have to face from now on should be like .420-.430, right?
2008-08-25 14:51:00
161.   Alex41592
160 - It is more favorable with the teams we face over them. But, we have more games on the road. So, it sort of balances out.
2008-08-25 14:53:18
162.   scareduck
155 - And the Dodgers don't have first rate players on the DL?

And the Cards' players actually came back and contributed. The same cannot be said for Penny, nor frankly is there any reason to think he will, either.

2008-08-25 14:54:03
163.   El Lay Dave
134 As 94 pointed out, perhaps to get to a right-right match up with Feliz. The question we want the press to ask is "What did Torre come out to the mound to discuss as Tracy came to bat?"
2008-08-25 14:55:46
164.   scareduck
160 - They are a good team

Amazing. And said with a straight face, apparently.

The Dodgers have exactly one winning month all year.

2008-08-25 14:55:46
165.   Zak
159 First, Blake had an OPS+ of 117 when he was traded. That is not average, it's pretty good. Considering the Dodgers were way below average at 3B this year, that's a big upgrade. And Santana is mashing pitching right now, but it is still Class A pitching and he is not a can't miss prospect on anything like that yet. But again, my point is that no matter how you lean on the Blake trade, it is not an extreme move. Santana has a long way to go before he becomes a very good MLer and the odds that we will miss him are low.
2008-08-25 14:56:42
166.   jujibee
148. Santana, while being a great offensive catching prospect, was not that great a defensive prospect. Scouts say that pitchers were afraid to throw low balls to him because he wasn't a great blocker. In an interview after the trade Ned said that the Indians would have to move him to a corner outfield or first base because his skills behind the dish were poor. He mentioned that the Indians had a tough choice to make in regards to giving him more time behind the plate to see if he would perform better defensively, or move him to a more natural position for him to handle and have him concentrate on his bat. There was also mention in an article I read that his power would translate into doubles power with 15-20 bombs at the major league level, which for a catcher is great, but we already have a corner outfielder and first baseman who can do that and are getting better. I'm not saying that I wasn't disappointed with giving up on this guy too early, in my opinion anyways, I'm just saying that we value our prospects in high regard, much like any other fans do theirs. I will still follow him, but if he falters, does that make Ned's trade more or less credible? If Bryon Morris turns out to be the next Pedro, do we stand in the corner for the next 20 years with our mouths dropped and drooling in the thought that we once had him? For the record, I'd be happier giving Santana and Morris up for Manny and keeping Laroche, but it's not up to me.
2008-08-25 14:56:46
167.   Lexinthedena
159 It is a potential hole at 3b next season. We don't know how well DeWitt will do, assuming Blake (casey) isn't re-signed.
2008-08-25 14:59:53
168.   scareduck
145 - Why is the record relevant?

Wow. Now I have to explain that, too?

Did I just wake up in cloud-cuckoo land?

People are justifying the acquisition of Manny and Blake based on what happens if the team magically catches fire and goes on a historic 20+ game win streak. This is not a high probability outcome, people.

2008-08-25 15:00:37
169.   regfairfield
165 Casey Blake's career numbers peg him as a .780ish OPS third baseman with below average to very poor defense, and 35 year olds don't suddenly improve. This is a below average player.
2008-08-25 15:01:27
170.   ToyCannon
How does it loom any larger now then it did before the trade or is LaRoche not a question mark?
2008-08-25 15:01:58
171.   Zak
164 If you are going to quote me, don't quote me out of context. I said they are a good team with flaws and are lucky to be in it. It is not my fault that you make weak arguments with sensational words. As far as you making this personal, the only thing it does is show how weak your arguments are. Well it shows other things too, but I'll pass.
2008-08-25 15:02:21
172.   Alex41592
Kemp, CF
Ethier, RF
Kent, 2B
Manny, LF
Loney, 1B
Martin, C
Blake, 3B
Berroa, SS
Billingsley, P

Rollins, SS
Utley, 2B
Burrell, LF
Howard, 1B
Victorino, CF
Werth, RF
Feliz, 3B,
Coste, C
Myers, P

2008-08-25 15:04:15
173.   jasonungar07
What would be the argument against batting 3rd?
2008-08-25 15:04:41
174.   jasonungar07
Manny hitting 3rd
2008-08-25 15:05:23
175.   regfairfield
168 I don't think that's true. We have a better chance of making the playoffs with Manny that without him. No one's saying we need a 20 game winning streak, we just need to be a couple games better than we were.
2008-08-25 15:06:17
176.   JoeyP
165-- First, Blake had an OPS+ of 117 when he was traded.

Right, but if you look at his age, and his entire career--a reasonable projection would be that he'd cascade downward to his normal career numbers (which scream "average").

Its like dealing for a Hendrickson thats having a career year, and expecting him to continue to do it. Probably not happening.

Now, is average 3rd basemen production better than Blake Dewitt? No question. But I think people here argued that if given a chance, that LaRoche could approach "average" this season. But even in the event that he couldnt, bringing in someone that would---> would not make enough of a difference over 2 months of the season to warrant dealing Santana/Meloan.

2008-08-25 15:07:10
177.   Eric Enders
127 , 132 My impression was also that it was a hanging, get-me-over slider. The reason it wasn't clobbered is because it was thrown in a count where it was completely unexpected. So it's a great pitch, unless the batter actually swings at it.
2008-08-25 15:07:43
178.   ToyCannon
Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about coo koo land but in a different context.

Please explain for me Mr Rob so that I might understand that of which I do not grasp. Hopefully it won't include a Zambrano/Kazmir reference.

2008-08-25 15:08:03
179.   Zak
169 But if you are going to look at career numbers, then isn't it more likely that Santana is having a flash in the pan type of season too? I do understand the argument that with minor leaguers the more recent seasons weigh heaviers, but doesn't that apply to a guy like Blake who did in fact peak late. His OPS+ was 114 two years ago, 101 last year and 117 when we traded him this year. Does this not put him the above average category. As far as Santana is concerned, would you say that the odds are in favor of him being a stand out ML catcher who we will regret giving up, or someone who might become a decent ML IF/catcher who we won't miss or even worse? I am not being facetious with that question. I really do value what you think about him long-term.
2008-08-25 15:08:19
180.   JoeyP
167--Unless Dewitt develops power that he has never had in his minor league career, I think its safe to reason that 3b will be a hole if he has to play the position.
2008-08-25 15:08:40
181.   scareduck
171 - I said they are a good team with flaws

In what universe is a .500 team a good team? Seriously?

There's nothing I quoted of yours that's out of context, end of story. Your assertion that this is a good team is wholly indefensible.

2008-08-25 15:09:15
182.   El Lay Dave
168 A team doesn't need a "historic 20+ game win streak" when the team is only two games behind after play ends July 31. They only need to outperform the team ahead of them slightly to win the division. You can only write off the Dodger's chances if you believe the Diamondbacks are certain to run off a long streak of their own, yet they were only 56-52 (.519) the morning of 8/1, and only 12-10 since.
2008-08-25 15:10:04
183.   Zak
178 Why would you expect a coherent argument now, all of a sudden. The career trend is clearly downhill.
2008-08-25 15:10:11
184.   JoeyP
179--> Its certainly possible. Santana's numbers could be just a guy having a career year. But I'd still rather have the chance he could be something above average, rather than accept 2 months of Casey Blake's PVL average-ness.

How many legit World Series contenders are left saying "We were only a Casey Blake away from winning the entire thing"?

I just dont see him as being as influential of player to reason giving up 2 guys with upside.

2008-08-25 15:10:56
185.   regfairfield
179 Career numbers are way more relevant for a 35 year olds than a 25 year olds. If he's a true talent 105-110ish OPS+ guy with a bad glove, then he's not an average player.

I'm not too torn up about giving up Santana, he could very well be a sell high guy, it's the fact that Casey Blake isn't that good of a player (and he's traditionally a first half hitter) and we went out and got him.

2008-08-25 15:11:20
186.   Alex41592
I do not mean to call anybody out in particular I'm just asking a question. Do Andy LaRoche's numbers in Pittsburgh make anybody miss him this season? 36 OPS+ in 18 games. Including starting 11 games in a row before being benched.
2008-08-25 15:12:49
187.   Zak
181 I will admit that you should be the authority on indefensible arguments. We need a 20 game winning streak? Our trades are like the Kazmir trade? Give me a break. Look in the mirror before you start throwing at glass houses.
2008-08-25 15:13:24
188.   regfairfield
186 It's safe to assume he's going to improve on a .120 BABIP.
2008-08-25 15:13:47
189.   Alex41592
188 - If they play him.
2008-08-25 15:14:13
190.   JoeyP
Nobody misses LaRoche this season.
Its 2009 and beyond that his absence will hurt.

LaRoche's numbers look bad in Pittsburgh, but part of it is extreme bad luck of not finding holes. Its not like he's k'ing much. He puts the ball in play and just hasnt gotten many hits.

I really doubt the Dodgers record would be much worse if LaRoche was still playing 3b everyday in August. Its hard for 1 guy to make an impact (positive or negative) over 20 or so odd games.

2008-08-25 15:14:14
191.   Zak
184 Again, I am not sitting here advocating the move for Blake or saying Santana won't pan out. All I am saying is that this does not fall in the category of extreme moves. It is a reasonable move that is certainly open to criticism. I have never denied that.
2008-08-25 15:14:15
192.   ToyCannon
Which average 3rd baseman would have been available for a cheaper price. Remember that Blake's salary was what made the price expensive, so it would have to be a cheap average 3rd baseman made available by his team. How many cheap average 3rd baseman are teams making available?

I certainly was in the camp that would have liked to see LaRoche get those at bats and hold onto Meloan/Santana but it is looking like that would not have been such a good idea.

2008-08-25 15:15:25
193.   El Lay Dave
181 In what universe is a .500 team a good team? Seriously?

Entering play on August 25, 2007, the Colorado Rockies were 65-63 (.508). ;)

2008-08-25 15:16:30
194.   fanerman
We should draft this kid:
2008-08-25 15:17:53
195.   Alex41592
Andy is in the lineup tonight and batting 7th.
2008-08-25 15:18:29
196.   cargill06
180 He was a +7 this year at 3rd, and is OPS'ing .850 this year in AAA, if he could be in the high 7's with that defense I wouldn't really call that a hole.
2008-08-25 15:18:57
197.   El Lay Dave
188 Only if he improves his 3.8 Line Drive %. (Three point eight, no typo.)
2008-08-25 15:20:38
198.   regfairfield
197 It still projects to .158 :).

His PrOPS is .732.

2008-08-25 15:21:01
199.   Kevin Lewis
Anyone up for a round of Kumbayah?
2008-08-25 15:21:22
200.   cargill06
186 After about 250 ML PA's your line .194/.319/.303 you have at least start to get worried.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-08-25 15:22:10
201.   scareduck
187 - Nonsense. The only reason I brought up the Kazmir trade is to point out that giving up potential for current ability has the tendency to backfire, and that "we're in a pennant race" is not a sufficient justification therefore, something I made clear in 142 .
2008-08-25 15:23:20
202.   Zak
181 In any universe where a good team does not include a good team with flaws. But again, it must be hard to see clearly standing on your slippery soap.

Someone less than two days ago posted the OPS+ and ERA+ of our starting lineup and pitching roster. You should look at that. A lot of objective people not looking to bash a team would think that the Dodgers are a good team with flaws. Your hypocritical arguments about why the Cards were a good team and the Dodgers aren't say enough about what your agenda here is. As far as hanging on to your weak argument that the team's record is the sole indicator of whether a team is good or not, irregardless of any additions to team, etc., I'm pretty sure you will change your tune the next time the Dodgers win a series. Reactionary embelishers are part of what make the internet a colorful landscape.

2008-08-25 15:23:38
203.   trainwreck
Plus he has a great name.
2008-08-25 15:23:39
204.   scareduck
193 - well, alrighty, I'll be right here waiting for that 20-game winning streak, any day now. But as I've said before, it's not a very likely outcome. "I'll win the lottery" is not a very good retirement plan.
2008-08-25 15:23:44
205.   Kevin Lewis
It is kind of sad that Ianetta is putting up these numbers .267/.379/.514 with 14 home runs and 49rbi and he is splitting time behind the plate.
2008-08-25 15:26:52
206.   scareduck
202 - you have a low threshold for success.
2008-08-25 15:28:58
207.   Eric Stephen
Remember the picnic? That was awesome.
2008-08-25 15:29:29
208.   regfairfield
205 Should give Andy some hope.
2008-08-25 15:29:48
209.   Harold M Johnson
I think one piece of this which isn't being discussed is that people in the Dodger organization were/are very high on Blake DeWitt. Why aren't DT posters (for the most part) as high on him? Is it because there was so much interest in LaRoche's potential that DeWitt was seen as just a distraction?

I'm somewhat afraid that DeWitt's the kind of guy that managers, coaches, and GMs love because he "looks like a ballplayer" and doesn't pan out, but at the same time I am hopeful that he could be the everyday 3rd baseman next year.

2008-08-25 15:30:03
210.   Kevin Lewis

That was handled poorly on both sides. If the league is meant for beginners, than I see no problem with telling the team and the parents that he needs to move up a level. If no one can hit him, it is bad for the other teams and for his own development as a player.

2008-08-25 15:30:11
211.   Zak
201 Nonsense. Your Kazmir argument was not that "we're in a pennant race" but more along the lines of the Dodgers perceive themselves to be in a pennant race. Now you are not even in sync with what you first wrote. There is a big difference in reality and perception. The reality is that the Dodgers are and have been within 1-3 games of the DBacks for at least 2-3 months now.
2008-08-25 15:31:08
212.   Kevin Lewis

Ahh the picnic. Back when times were simpler. All we had to worry about was whether or not the tri-tip was done and if we would have enough wiffle balls to keep on playing.

2008-08-25 15:31:16
213.   cargill06
Hopefully, Chad will step up and stop the bleeding and finally get some national recognition. If he doesn't I'm in some trouble, one of my buddies (Dodger hater) is already bagging on Chad because of his W-L record this year and can't be an ace becuase of it. Which talking to him about it has taken at least 2 years off the back end of my life. If he gets the loss tonight I'd almost certainly hear something along the lines, "An ace would never let his team lose after that many losses in a row."

So, please for some sanity in my life, let's go Chad.

2008-08-25 15:31:55
214.   El Lay Dave
204 Exactly what the wink on 193 was for. The point remains that AZ led LA by 2 games at the end of July and here, 3 1/2 weeks later, by exactly one game more. The Dodgers (may be / are) flawed, but so are the Diamondbacks, if they aren't putting this race away. Why was it anything close to a certainty on July 31 that AZ would significantly outperform LA and make any "pennant-drive" type move a moot point? Again, the Dodgers don't necessarily have to be good-to-great to win the division; they have to be better than Arizona.
2008-08-25 15:32:40
215.   Zak
206 You would somehow come to that conclusion. Good luck with your silly arguments.
2008-08-25 15:32:58
216.   scareduck
202 - Your hypocritical arguments about why the Cards were a good team and the Dodgers aren't say enough about what your agenda here is

They would be hypocritical if I were excusing poor play on the part of the Cards.

2008-08-25 15:34:01
217.   El Lay Dave
212 And catching a foot in a gopher hole.
2008-08-25 15:34:25
218.   Jacob Burch
Journey! I remember the journey!
2008-08-25 15:34:41
219.   scareduck
215 - You would somehow come to that conclusion.

What else was I supposed to conclude? A .500 team is good with flaws? That's ridiculous on its face.

2008-08-25 15:34:50
220.   Eric Enders
209 The reason there's not as much hope for DeWitt is that his performance in the majors and minors has never given much reason for hope. He simply isn't a good enough hitter to be a major league third baseman. The people who like him are hanging their hopes on the possibility that he will someday take a "great leap forward" and drastically improve. Which is possible, but unlikely.

He'll be the next Todd Walker, if he's lucky.

2008-08-25 15:35:36
221.   Kevin Lewis
It seems like we are treading on rules 2 and 4 here.
2008-08-25 15:35:43
222.   scareduck
209 - I think one piece of this which isn't being discussed is that people in the Dodger organization were/are very high on Blake DeWitt. Why aren't DT posters (for the most part) as high on him?

Lack of power production in the minors.

2008-08-25 15:36:08
223.   Eric Enders
210 Speaking of things that are being handled poorly on both sides...
2008-08-25 15:36:10
224.   Kevin Lewis
and rule 8
2008-08-25 15:37:06
225.   Zak
216 This is what you said about the Cards team that was barely above .500.

they had a number of first-rate players on the DL most of the year (Scott Rolen in particular, but others as well), a division that refused to put them away, and yes, some luck.

That is excusing their record and pretty hypocritical on your part.

2008-08-25 15:38:24
226.   trainwreck
We need a dominant win tonight more than ever.
2008-08-25 15:38:44
227.   Jacob L
What troubles me about DeWitt is not so much DeWitt as the team's recent track record on bringing young players along. The team could be absolutely convinced that he is the long term answer at third and still spend the next three years flirting with the likes of Casey Blake (or Scott Rolen, or whoever else) before actually giving him a real chance. Basically, it restarts the whole process.
2008-08-25 15:39:21
228.   Zak
226 That would be nice, but I'll take a 2-1 with a Broxton save.
2008-08-25 15:40:33
229.   El Lay Dave
224 Probably rule 3 also.
2008-08-25 15:40:45
230.   Alex41592
The Orioles and White Sox are completing a suspended game at Camden Yards that started in Chicago. The White Sox are wearing their road uniforms but are the home team. It's in the bottom on the 13th tied at 3.
2008-08-25 15:43:01
231.   OaklandAs
209 The reason many DT posters are not high on Dewitt is that his minor league batting numbers are not very good. Playing in Jacksonville (AA) last year, he had a .306 OBP and a .466 SLG (.772 OPS). In 2006, he had a .320 OBP and a .399 SLG (.719 OPS), split between High A and AA.
2008-08-25 15:43:03
232.   Eric Stephen
Let's focus on positive things, such as James Loney's funny Manny Ramirez impression on Rome is Burning today.

The whole interview (as Loney) was pretty dry, and Loney barely cracked a smile, even as he made some jokes. He seems like someone with a great but very dry sense of humor.

2008-08-25 15:43:10
233.   Zak
221 , 224 and 229 I'm sorry. I admit that it could not have been fun to read.
2008-08-25 15:43:25
234.   underdog
I'm sure I'm missing something, including intended hyperbole, but since when do the Dodgers need to win 20 in a row for this season to be a success or for them to make the playoffs? If that was required, I would definitely give up on this season, but fortunately it isn't. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Dodgers are not a bad team and they're currently not a very good team, but with just one or two more key players coming back from the DL (Saito, Furcal, Wade, Penny, yes even Jones, plus depth with Hu and DeWitt -- most of those players will not come back and/or help very much but even 1-2 of them will) -- they could in turn become that much elusive "good" team and be deadly dangerous in the playoffs. Right now they're too inconsistent, but they also have too much talent both currently and potentially to dismiss out of hand either.
2008-08-25 15:44:09
235.   underdog
232 Will that be rerun at some point? Sorry I missed it.
2008-08-25 15:45:19
236.   El Lay Dave
228 I'd take any win, but this is the fourth game in a hitter's paradise and in the first three, the offense has put up 1, 2, and 2 runs. An offensive explosion would be help the mood immensely - mine at least, if not the team's.
2008-08-25 15:45:51
237.   Eric Enders
Why are the 2006 Cardinals even part of this discussion? They were 58-46 at the trading deadline.

One of the many reasons the Kazmir reference was inappropriate is that the 2008 Dodgers were actually in a pennant race, while the 2004 Mets only perceived themselves to be in a pennant race. When they traded Kazmir they were in fourth place in the NL East, 7 games out. They were in ninth place in the Wild Card, 17 games out.

When the trade was made, they had perhaps a one-half of one percent chance of making the playoffs. Which adding Victor Zambrano probably decreased.

2008-08-25 15:46:19
238.   El Lay Dave
232 So THAT'S what happened to Steve.
2008-08-25 15:46:39
239.   trainwreck
Check the ESPN site that is your only hope.
2008-08-25 15:47:19
240.   trainwreck
Yeah, I meant more for DT's benefit.
2008-08-25 15:47:55
241.   ToyCannon
I'll take Todd Walker production. Other then some elite 3rd baseman, it is not exactly manned by great hitters these days or maybe I'm missing the value in Kouz, Castillo, Rohlinger, Bautista, Wiggington, Hall, Counsel, Encarnacion, Cantu, M Reynolds, Feliz, Buscher, Hanahan, Beltre, Gordon, Lowell, Crede, Mora, and C Davis.
2008-08-25 15:51:02
242.   Jon Weisman
I can't believe no one mentioned rule 6.

Anyway, new post up top.

2008-08-25 15:52:06
243.   cargill06
230 I wonder what would happen if, let's say the game was suspended with Thome on 2nd and the last bench player they had when they go to complete the game Thome had been traded to another team.

It will probably never happen.

2008-08-25 15:52:49
244.   Eric Stephen
I would imagine the ESPN2 crew will bring it up during tonight's game. There is also a video site for Rome's show ( but it hasn't been updated in a few weeks so it might be a while before it's up on the interwebs.

Maybe You Tube will have it within a few days.

2008-08-25 16:10:18
245.   Physics DR
Thank You for connection to the retired barber.
When I growing up, Davie was my barber from birth through college until Vietnam.
Davie Jr. (who has 4 years younger than I) joined the Long Range Recon unit that I was a member of during my second tour in "nam".

In the middle of that tour he asked to switch R&R assignments with me so he could see his family in Hawaii. he did not return from that recon and still listed as MIA to his family.

Years later I always tried to return to him for haircuts. However they were sad occasions. He had this POW/MIA flag in front of the barber shop and died in 90's still missing and still honoring his son.

I always wondered if we had not switched assignments. However it always good to remember old friends.

2008-08-26 07:58:28
246.   Bluebleeder87
Casey Blake had one of those days (series) that I can understand, Kent (I didn't watch the last few innings) from what I read in the comments, could have made a play but didn't.

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