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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

Hey, Maybe the Dodgers Could Field the Ball
2008-11-05 10:37
by Jon Weisman

In a bit of a turnabout, the 2008 Dodgers ranked in baseball's top 10 in defense based on one measure, David Pinto's tongue-twisting Probabilistic Model of Range at Baseball Musings.

Basically, for each fieldable (non-inside-the-park home runs) ball put in play, six parameters are used to determine how difficult it was to field the ball. A probability of turning the ball into an out is calculated, and those probabilities are summed. That gives us expected batted balls turned into outs. We turn that into a predicted DER (defensive efficiency record), compare that to the actual DER and calculate a ranking. ...

Note that a team can post a poor DER during the season, but do well in this model if the balls put into play were extremely difficult to field. ...

Basically, Pinto's system finds that the Dodgers performed better than expected on the balls in play against them. The Mets, for example, had a higher DER, but mainly as a result of an easier group of balls to field.

Over the coming weeks, Pinto will break down individual performances so that we can see where the strengths of the Dodger defense were under his system.

Comments (73)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-11-05 10:47:50
1.   regfairfield
I'm curious since the only great position we had according to +/- was third (DeWitt +11, Blake +6)
2008-11-05 10:54:17
2.   Eric Stephen
Tony Jackson reported that, "if the Dodgers reject Pablo Ozuna's option ($1.2M, $200k buyout), he'll file too."

I thought for sure the White Sox were responsible for the buyout of Ozuna's option. Ozuna became a free agent when he refused an assignment to AAA after being DFA in July. The Dodgers were only on the hook for a pro-rated minimum salary for Ozuna (making him more expensive, money-wise, than Berroa or Blake).

This should be similar to when the Dodgers released Tomko in 2007, they were still responsible for his 2008 option buyout, even after he signed with SD (for pro-rated minimum).

2008-11-05 10:57:36
3.   Jon Weisman
2 - Well, perhaps the Dodgers will reject the option even though they're not on the hook for it?

Or, perhaps they won't reject the option, for the reasons you cited?

2008-11-05 11:00:29
4.   wronghanded
Possibilities for this offseason:

Dream Scenario:
-CC, Hudson, Furcal

Nightmare Scenario:
-Dempster, Cabrera/Wilson, Crede

On the Fence Scenarios:
-Manny for more than 3 years
-Any combination of one or two of the dream scenario guys with one or two of the nightmare guys.

Prediction: We get Manny for 3 years, Furcal at a reasonable cost and a Dempster-esque pitcher that winds up being a bust ala Tomdrickson circa '07.

2008-11-05 11:01:41
5.   Eric Stephen
I thought the option was rejected once he was released, and the buyout became responsibility of the releasing team (White Sox).

It would be different if Ozuna was claimed off waivers or traded to the Dodgers.

2008-11-05 11:05:33
6.   kinbote
4 Could I get the Dream Scenario but substitute steamed rice for the chow mein?
2008-11-05 11:07:11
7.   wronghanded
6 If you get the chow mein, I'll have to take Furcal off the plate and give you Wilson :)
2008-11-05 11:09:40
8.   ToyCannon
If Furcal wants four years he is gone. To many teams need a SS and his April/May will trump his health history. I agree with McCourt on this. If he couldn't stay healthy during his prime years, there is no reason to think he'd stay healthy in his plus 30 years.

Hu you gonna call.

2008-11-05 11:09:46
9.   Harold M Johnson
4 I think your prediction is right on but I'll bet it's Manny for 4.
2008-11-05 11:13:49
10.   wronghanded
8 I personally don't mind seeing Hu get a fair shot, but what are the chances that Ned doesn't sign either Wilson or Cabrera if we lose Furcal?
2008-11-05 11:15:49
11.   kinbote
10 Wilson is still under contract. Cabrera & Renteria are free agents. Then there's always old friend Julio Lugo.
2008-11-05 11:17:43
12.   wronghanded
11 Yikes, you're right. Although Renteria and Wilson are basically the same player at this point.
2008-11-05 11:19:05
13.   wronghanded
Dylan Hernandez is reporting that Coletti met with Furcal's agent and that they couldn't see eye to eye so he is on the open market.
2008-11-05 11:20:14
14.   kinbote
Jack Wilson is set to make $7.25 mil in 2009. Before the trade deadline, we were rumored to be targeting him. I like his defense, but I don't see why we'd give up much of value for him when other options are right there. Then again, we did trade Michael Watt for Greg Maddux, so . . .
2008-11-05 11:23:55
15.   ToyCannon
Going back to the other thread if the majority of baseball fans were not interested in unfounded rumors, would not have become the behemoth it has in the baseball blogging world. The hot stove world has always been part of the baseball culture since I could 1st throw a ball and most of you were years away from being pushed through the crease of life. The only difference now is that the internet has brought all of this rumor mongering into our lives as soon as the writer hits post.

If Peter Gammons wants to postulate that Martin is available because he heard from a Dodger scout that management was unhappy with him, he can and should report it. If he made it up, that is a different story but I don't think anyone is saying that Gammons made the story up. Only that the head honcho of the Dodgers has denied it as though that means anything.

This is baseball which falls under entertainment which means it gets the same reporting requirements as actors do. Are you offended when Brad Pitt is rumored to be attached to Captain America based on what an agent said or offended when it doesn't happen. Come on, this is baseball. A game

2008-11-05 11:31:21
16.   JRSarno
13 - Yeah, Furcal situation sounding not so good here. Awesome... potentially lose Manny, AND lose infield talent. Looking GOOD thus far!
2008-11-05 11:31:41
17.   blue22
12 - Renteria is a better bat, Wilson is a better glove. If you're going to compare, Wilson is closer to Cabrera I think.

Renteria isn't much with the glove these days (anyone have +/- numbers handy?), but his bat could really pick it up in the NL.

2008-11-05 11:31:52
18.   fanerman
15 Brad Pitt shouldn't play Captain America. Derek Jeter IS Captain America.
2008-11-05 11:34:14
19.   JRSarno
There is a Master plan at work in all of these negotiations. And it's called "McCourt doesn't have money."
2008-11-05 11:34:49
20.   Bumsrap
Things heard on XM MLB

Bobby Valentine has a good chance of becoming Seattle's Manager.

Dodgers and Padres trade talk re Peavey is heating up. (could Martin be part of discussion?)

Dodgers do not have a budget yet because of the unknown affect of the economy on 2009 revenues.

2008-11-05 11:36:10
21.   Jon Weisman
15 - I said in my earliest comment that I understood rumors were popular. I don't have any problem with a site that specifically says it traffics in rumors.

Peter Gammons doesn't write for MLBtraderumors. He writes for

Any entertainment journalist who is regularly wrong, I would stop taking seriously and I would hope (though not expect) others to as well.

"It's always been this way" is not a very convincing argument for me. Meanwhile, neither you nor anyone else answered my question in 55 of the last thread.

2008-11-05 11:38:03
22.   fanerman
20 Who said that? Specifically the Peavy talks.
2008-11-05 11:46:20
23.   JRSarno
IF IF IF (and this comment is premised on the IF) they are in talks with Peavy, again... it would be another dangerous, interpretational situation of moving existing parts in order to acquire pitching. I'm all for obtaining a front line starter, especially if they buy out Penny and let Lowe walk. Pitching is key. But, it's blatantly evident to me, that amidst financial concerns, IF they do this -- they'll be taking (in my opinion) the more frightening approach of sending off existing personnel to get a Peavy, rather than save our players and find dollars to sign a Sabathia.
2008-11-05 11:51:45
24.   ToyCannon
21 - 55
I get no satisfaction from rumors, I just find it pointless to rail against them as Canuck did. I will rail against an organization that does nothing to combat the rumors that impact the value of your players. Someone is leaking information, the question is are the leaks planned? Gammons is simply the messenger of the misinformation being leaked by someone within the organization.

On occasion I have made rude comments about Rosenfeld but that is because he comes across as a creepy oil salesman and not so much about what he says but how he says it.

2008-11-05 11:52:41
25.   Bumsrap
20 - Sorry, I don't remember who was saying it (Peavy), just that I heard it while half listening, driving, and thinking about other things.

Jon, let me be annoying by answering your question (As readers, I would just ask yourselves, what do you gain out of this? Say one were to concede that false Hot Stove rumors do no real harm. What do you gain from them?) with a question, "What do you gain from spending 3.5 hours watching a baseball game?

2008-11-05 11:57:07
26.   silverwidow
O.C. and Renteria are simply not worth surrendering 1st round picks for, since they're Type A guys.
2008-11-05 11:57:17
27.   Jon Weisman
25 - I gain the kind of pleasure I can't get anywhere else.

Conversely, you don't need journalists to spitball about a possible trade. Watch:

"Hey, the Dodgers might trade Chad Billingsley. They were unhappy with his NLCS performance. What do you think about that?"

There you go.

Good journalism provides something that can't be replicated by any guy on the street. Spreading rumors is something anyone can do.

2008-11-05 12:00:08
28.   Eric Enders
27 "Good journalism provides something that can't be replicated by any guy on the street."

Okay, Buzz.


2008-11-05 12:02:31
29.   Jon Weisman
28 - :) I actually thought about that as I wrote it. But it's true ... I just don't make the assumption about who can and who can't that Buzz does.
2008-11-05 12:09:31
30.   Eric Enders
I hope this isn't a Rule 5 violation, and if it is go ahead and delete it, but it is Dodger-related. Rachel Robinson weighs in on last night's events.

2008-11-05 12:20:24
31.   silverwidow
Diamond hints the Colletti/Boras meeting didn't go well.
2008-11-05 12:28:16
32.   D4P
Does a GM/Boras meeting ever go well from the standpoint of the team?
2008-11-05 12:31:02
33.   Eric Enders
32 I was just about to say the same thing but then I figured there was probably a meeting around July 30 this year that went well for the team.
2008-11-05 12:35:30
34.   underdog
And I hope this isn't a violation of some sort either but this cracked me up. I was reading Patton Oswalt's blog on the Comedy Central Indecision 08 site last night and like him noticed the same thing about Nate Silver. Patton wrote:

"I love Nate Silver, and his website -- -- but what puts me over the top for him is that he looks like he's on the GREATEST METH EVER MADE."

It was funny to finally see Silver, whom is quite the admirable statistician both for sports and politics, in person. Looking crazed. But interesting.

2008-11-05 12:35:57
35.   CajunDodger

Boras: For my iconic player, I'm going ask for 4 years $100 million. For Manny I'm thinking 6 years $180 million.

Colletti: Wait...Who's the iconic player?

Boras: Oliver Perez or Varitek...take your pick. Both will, after all, pay for themselves.

Colletti: You really should wear a hat to hide those three sixes on your forehead.

2008-11-05 12:36:29
36.   underdog
Man I've been so busy with work and other things this week that I hadn't checked in here for too long, even considering it's the off-season, but... hi!
2008-11-05 12:39:28
37.   scareduck
RIP, Michael Crichton.
2008-11-05 12:45:25
38.   Ken Noe
31 I think Ned slipped up and told the truth the other day--he really wants pitching and the left side of an infield, not Manny. But we must go through this dance so as to not tick off the souvenir dreadlocks owners.
2008-11-05 13:01:51
39.   Eric Stephen
Dylan Hernandez had a different take on the Boras/Colletti summit.

Colletti said the Dodgers were interested in both Manny and Lowe. Boras called it a "kick the tires" meeting.

2008-11-05 13:09:47
40.   JRSarno
39 - Seems to me ANY meeting with Boras would be a "kick the tires" meeting, as all of his client's are invariably over-inflated.
2008-11-05 13:11:31
41.   Eric Enders
Coincidentally, Boras's nickname for Colletti is "Tires."
2008-11-05 13:16:13
42.   Eric Stephen
Diamond Leung sort of made the front page of Yahoo's MLB page (he's one of the reporters around Boras).
2008-11-05 13:22:47
43.   Eric Stephen
NL Gold Gloves
C Molina
1B A.Gonzalez
2B Phillips
3B Wright
SS Rollins
OF Beltran
OF Victorino
OF McLouth
P Maddux (#18)

2008-11-05 13:23:03
44.   Eric Enders
BP released the results of the Internet Baseball Awards. Dodger finishes:

NL MVP: Ramirez 8th, Martin 28th, Ethier 34th, Billingsley 40th, Furcal 42nd, Kemp 47th, Loney 51st.
CY: Billingsley 11th, Lowe 14th, Kuo 20th
ROY: Kuroda 5th, Kershaw 7th, DeWitt 9th, Young 19th, Wade 20th
MANAGER: Torre 3rd

Winners were Pujols, Lincecum, Soto, Piniella.

2008-11-05 13:23:56
45.   Eric Stephen
The catching Molina is Yadier.
2008-11-05 13:24:05
46.   trainwreck
Lowe feels disrespected by the club.

Guy is always whining about something.

2008-11-05 13:26:50
47.   Jon Weisman
Jackson says the Dodgers have declined Penny's option.

2008-11-05 13:27:09
48.   Eric Stephen
GG Winners, and Plus/Minus Numbers
1B A.Gonzalez -6 (25th in MLB)
2B Phillips +17 (4th)
3B Wright +3 (16th)
SS Rollins +23 (1st)
OF Beltran +24 (2nd in CF)
OF Victorino +10 (7th in CF)
OF McLouth -40 (35th in CF!!!)
2008-11-05 13:34:06
49.   ToyCannon
I hope Canuck and Camino are right about this but I think this will bite us in the butt. Man our starting pitching is thin, and the cost of pitching is expensive in either dollars or players.

We have now lost our number 1 and 2 pitchers that we entered the 2008 season with.

2008-11-05 13:35:17
50.   regfairfield
McLouth? McLouth?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-11-05 13:38:11
51.   scareduck
50 - doing the Pirates a favor.
2008-11-05 13:38:28
52.   CajunDodger
Man...Isn't that 13 now?


Wow...the sheer volume of Colletti's job is just setting in. We're in deep doo doo.

2008-11-05 13:42:06
53.   underdog
52 Of that list:

The Dodgers may re-sign Manny and Furcal. And of those on that list, only Lowe, Manny and Furcal, and Beimel, are the ones I'd miss at all. Most of those guys can be replaced by worthy in-house minor league/young options. Not that Ned won't try to replace a few of them with less worth, out-house options, mind.

2008-11-05 13:42:58
54.   regfairfield
The rotation right now: Bills, Kuroda, Kershaw, McDonald, Stults.

We'd better get CC.

2008-11-05 13:43:08
55.   trainwreck
lol I hope the draft is not the highlight of our year.
2008-11-05 13:44:03
56.   Tripon
52 Not to mention all the arbitration cases that the Dodgers have to do with the younger players. I expect Park and Berroa to be back. And in a mild upset, Nomar to come back on a reduced salary to be a bench/super-utility player for the Dodgers next year. Kinda what Ozuna was supposed to be, but this'll actually work this time because Nomar can actually hit and field.
2008-11-05 13:44:51
57.   underdog
I guess I just don't see how Penny has any more promise to contribute next season than does Jason Schmidt, so why try to keep both of them? Schmidt may even contribute more next season than Penny, if you can imagine that...
2008-11-05 13:45:09
58.   Bob Hendley
52 - ? Much of it (volume) is the doo doo that he accumulated in the first place.
2008-11-05 13:45:53
59.   kinbote
I guess it's Sabathia or bust:

1. C.C.
2. Bills
3. Kuroda
4. Kershaw
5. McDonald/Schmidt/Stults

I'm officially onboard the bandwagon. At least he'd provide some LH pop.

2008-11-05 13:46:26
60.   underdog
56 I wouldn't mind bringing Nomar back as a sub/PH at all. Though he'd be kinda pricey for that role. But having a solid veteran hitter on the bench who is worth a lot more than Mark Sweeney and can fill in the field once in awhile wouldn't be a bad thing. Just can't expect him to contribute much more than that, and again, only at reduced salary...
2008-11-05 13:46:32
61.   ToyCannon
Not that we care a whit about Berroa, Ozuna, Kent, Nomar, Sweeney, Bennett.

Replacing the others will be a sweet task.
Lowe - McDonald
Penny - Stults until something better comes along
Maddux - Schmidt until something better comes along
Furcal - Hu, in 2007 wanted it, now we got it.
Ramirez - Juan Pierre or Andruw Jones
Blake - Abreu
Biemel - Elbert
Park - Orenduff

Deep Do Do doesn't begin to describe the current team but it will get better once real players replace the fill ins.

2008-11-05 13:49:16
62.   ToyCannon
One has had two surgeries in the last 24 months the other hasn't had any. Of course that does not mean he won't be having his own surgeries. I just have little faith that we ever make the right decision when letting players walk but that is probably just Nov talking.
2008-11-05 13:49:28
63.   trainwreck
Funny, I figured our offense needed Manny or bust.

So we need CC and Manny?

Well I guess we are about to bust.

2008-11-05 13:52:18
64.   Tripon
60 I'm thinking like 2 years/$5.5 million. A bit pricey, but worth it if Nomar can produce. And he isn't as likely to run into health problems if he isn't playing everyday. I took my shots against Nomar in 2008, but he just wasn't that healthy, and he was a good option to spell Loney against right handers. The Nomar we saw in Sept. is the Nomar I want.
2008-11-05 13:54:22
65.   Eric Enders
I don't trust Torre to recognize that Nomar should be a part-time player and even if he does, I wonder whether Nomar would be able to accept that.
2008-11-05 13:54:43
66.   trainwreck
There has got to be another Upton somewhere that we can sign.
2008-11-05 13:58:47
67.   Eric Stephen
Broxton is now a lock to be the longest tenured Dodger in terms of MLB debut.

Only Kent, Repko, & Brazoban stand in his way.

2008-11-05 13:58:49
68.   Harold M Johnson
Does anyone here feel like Bills is a true Ace?
2008-11-05 13:59:23
69.   Eric Stephen
2008-11-05 14:00:29
70.   Bumsrap
I would like to see Elbert compete for rotation spot. I am OK with the young rotation if there were depth backing them up.
2008-11-05 14:01:11
71.   trainwreck
He is Motorhead approved.
2008-11-05 14:02:53
72.   Jon Weisman
2008-11-05 14:12:08
73.   CajunDodger
Crap you're right, Maddux makes 14...

I actually worry about quantity now. If we go with that lineup, we have ZERO minor league depth to address any injuries. Even with us signing Hudson and one of the Cabrera/Furcal/Renteria crowd, our organization is dangerously thin.

Looks like we are going to need all of those picks...

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