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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Last Call at Vero Beach
2008-11-18 09:35
by Jon Weisman

Dodger Thoughts reader Andrew Zicklin e-mailed last week following the final Dodger fantasy camp at Dodgertown in Vero.

Sixty-two players, including two women, spent the week with Tommy Davis, Maury Wills, Joe Pignatano, Rick Monday, Steve Yeager, Bill Russell, Jerry Reuss and Carl Erskine. Also along as instructors and coaches were John Shoemaker, Craig (Nacho) Bjornson, Garey (Chicken) Ingram, Marty Reed, Glenn Dishman and Casey Deskins.

It shows what kind of tradition and respect the Dodgers and the camp have when the guys that have moved on to other teams - Bjornson, Reed and Ingram - come back to hang with us campers.

The week started off rainy, games cancelled, so we were able to take advantage of the time and listen to the coaches talk about their specialties. Sunday, it was Yeager and Piggy on catching and Tommy Davis on hitting. Monday, we had Reuss and Erskine on pitching, Tuesday, Wills on baserunning.

We did get the games in, though: doubleheader on Monday, doubleheader on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we played nine innings, plus two innings in the camper/instructor game at Holman Field, which always ends with Jimmy Erskine, who has Down syndrome, hitting a ball pitched by Carl and running the bases. Then another nine on Thursday. You can see the stats and participants at

The evenings were spent with Monday and Reuss recapping the season and taking questions, Carl and Piggy with conference calls by Duke Snider and Ralph Branca talking about the Brooklyn days, and an evening with Bruce Froemming, who umpires games throughout camp and ran the kangaroo court, which Branca used to do.

All fines go to the Jimmy Fund, which helps families with special needs children. This tradition was started by a former camper who was moved by Jimmy Erskine's story. The campers raised about $5,000 for the fund this week.

Of course after dinner, the campers and instructors all headed over to the clubhouse bar, where we proceeded to self-medicate, seeking relief from the sore hamstrings, quads, knees and shoulders that we incurred during the day.

It was a bittersweet week. ... As far as I know, there is no other camp where the campers and instructors eat, drink and even dress in the clubhouse locker room together, and no other camp of a team that has relocated has kept the tradition of their former and current home so interconnected and strong as the Brooklyn and LA teams have.

A chapter has definitely ended.

* * *

Elsewhere ...

  • Rafael Furcal's agent, Paul Kinzer, said he probably talk to the Dodgers this week, reported Michael Becker of the Press-Enterprise.

  • Lisa Winston of has an update on Dodgers in the Arizona Fall League, led by Andrew Lambo.

  • Will Leitch has an exit interview with the writers of Fire Joe Morgan, which closed up shop last week.

  • Comments (230)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2008-11-18 09:44:22
    1.   Jacob Burch
    I can't believe VORP is actually arguing against my dislike of Dustin Pedroia. I feel betrayed.

    I need reg to tell me some defensive metric actually hates him or I'm doomed.

    2008-11-18 09:45:21
    2.   Jacob Burch
    What's the average VORP/Win share for a MVP winner? Am I insane in thinking Dustin looks very pedestrian?

    Granted, so did the last Dodger MVP, but still.

    2008-11-18 09:45:53
    3.   Eric Stephen

    AL VORP Leaders
    1) A-Rod - 62.4
    2) Sizemore - 60.7
    3) Pedroia - 59.8
    4) Mauer - 57.1
    5) Bradley - 56.2
    6) Hamilton - 55.9
    7) Huff - 55.6
    8) Kinsler - 53.7
    9) Youkilis - 53.4
    10) Quentin - 51.3

    Jacob, I agree with your first placers. Who was the --? Quentin & Mr. HR Derby might get some love too.

    2008-11-18 09:48:26
    4.   Eric Stephen
    I need reg to tell me some defensive metric actually hates him or I'm doomed

    According to Bill James Online, Pedroia went from -5 (25th in MLB) in 2007 to +15 (5th) in 2008.

    2008-11-18 09:50:14
    5.   fanerman
    Pedroia shows up as average with Dave Pinto's Probabilistic Model of Range:

    However, Bill James Online rates him as #5 in terms of +/- at +15. (Utley owns everybody else at +47)

    RZR (from the Hardball Times) has him at 6th.

    2008-11-18 09:50:48
    6.   Jacob Burch
    That was my line to put two candidates I don't think deserve it, but will get Lidge-esque votes anyways.

    I don't think Quentin will get a first place vote. Story Of The Year (I'm going to keep making up nicknames until one sticks) could get one, and I did take the over, so I may throw him in, but I'm sticking by my guess, in this order (of first place votes received):

    Longoria (St. Petersburg Times is officially put on my completely blank Obelisk if this happens).

    2008-11-18 09:51:47
    7.   Bumsrap
    I was LAT'D as well but then that's life. Instead of re-posting, I am going to ask for a bailout and nominate Ross Perot for car czar.
    2008-11-18 09:52:01
    8.   fanerman
    5 The top 2nd basemen according to BJO are:
    Chase Utley +47
    Mark Ellis +26
    Adam Kennedy +19
    Brandon Phillips +17
    Dustin Pedroia +15

    THT link:

    2008-11-18 09:52:50
    9.   Eric Stephen
    Because of his ink, maybe J-Ham (that one won't stick) could be "da plane."
    2008-11-18 09:54:04
    10.   Jacob Burch
    9 I'm sticking with SOTY. He's the rated R version of Henry Rowengartner.
    2008-11-18 09:54:55
    11.   fanerman
    6 Bob Timmermann has spawned a bunch of copy cats. If he were a shrewd businessman/sell-out, he'd open an Obelisk Store. I'm sure he'd sell one to you for less than you paid for the one you already have.
    2008-11-18 09:55:11
    12.   D4P
    While it's true that Pedroia out-VORPed Youkilis, it's also true that Pedroia had 105 more PAs.

    Youkilis comes out ahead if you look at VORP/PA.

    2008-11-18 09:55:58
    13.   Jacob Burch
    11 I already spent $50 on the Timmermann-approved score book, so I'm sure I'd shill out for such a stone.
    2008-11-18 09:56:29
    14.   fanerman
    13 Ch-i knows I would.
    2008-11-18 09:56:45
    15.   Jacob Burch
    12 Yes! A solution I can believe in!

    Then again, I'd be rooting for a baseball player I may actually dislike more in Youk. I can't win. I'm jumping on the Mauer boat.

    2008-11-18 09:57:26
    16.   fanerman
    12 While that is true, I feel that the MVP should be given based on counted value and not rate-value. I may have made up those terms.
    2008-11-18 10:00:03
    17.   Eric Stephen
    Isn't health a skill, at least to some extent? Pedroia played in 12 more games than Youk, and started 14 more times. That doesn't account for all the PA difference (maybe half).
    2008-11-18 10:01:41
    18.   Eric Stephen
    Youkilis is harder to hate because of two things:

    1) "The Greek God of Walks" nickname
    2) His goatee

    That said, he's more on the "hate" side of my personal spectrum.

    2008-11-18 10:01:45
    19.   D4P
    I understand why you feel that way, but such a system rewards players based on their position in the lineup, which a "good" system wouldn't do.
    2008-11-18 10:02:33
    20.   fanerman
    16 To expand a bit, most valuable player should be the player who contributes well, the most. Not the one who WOULD contribute the most if they played the most games but didn't.

    Wouldn't Man-Ram have won the NL MVP if he we were going by value/PA?

    2008-11-18 10:03:01
    21.   Eric Stephen
    Henry Rowengartner

    The Rangers may have been better off with Gary Busey making some starts for them on the mound.

    2008-11-18 10:06:36
    22.   D4P
    I agree with you about distinguishing between players who were in the lineup vs. out, but I don't think players should be rewarded for batting higher in the lineup.
    2008-11-18 10:07:51
    23.   Jacob Burch
    I thought I remember there being a lineup-position-dependent VORPy thing out there. Am I making this up?
    2008-11-18 10:08:03
    24.   fanerman
    Baseball Prospectus calls Pedroia the "Sabermatric Fave."
    2008-11-18 10:09:10
    25.   El Lay Dave
    The official BBWAA rules for MVP voting includes the criterion "Number of games played", which provides some basis for VORP over a VORP rate.

    So ARod's season looks similar to Youkilis' to me, other than the playoff team thing, and he plays a tougher position.

    2008-11-18 10:10:11
    26.   fanerman
    22 I agree. But at the same time I feel not accounting for batting order is less egregious than not distinguishing between players in the line-up vs. out. 23 would be nice. I have no idea if it exists though.
    2008-11-18 10:10:30
    27.   El Lay Dave
    22 Generally, don't they bat higher in the lineup because they are more valuable (hitters)?
    2008-11-18 10:11:37
    28.   D4P
    not accounting for batting order is less egregious than not distinguishing between players in the line-up vs. out

    That depends in large part upon the disparity in time spent out of the lineup. If the disparity is small, then batting order matters a (relative) lot.

    2008-11-18 10:11:51
    29.   Jacob Burch
    24 You're not helping my (irrational?) loathing of all things Boston.

    That said, it's not like either Youk or Pedroia is a likable villain, ala Bonds or MJ. I don't get that grin you get when you prepare to jeer someone, or that belly laugh when someone three row behind you comes up with a particularly funny fourth grade insult against the guys. I think of them and they just frustrate and annoy me.

    2008-11-18 10:11:59
    30.   fanerman
    BP is listing the top 7 VORP guys all being in the NL. I think. It's having a hard time loading.
    2008-11-18 10:12:29
    31.   D4P
    Generally, don't they bat higher in the lineup because they are more valuable (hitters)?

    If we're looking at #4 vs. #7, then probably so.

    But probably not if we're looking at #1 vs. #4.

    2008-11-18 10:12:48
    32.   Tripon
    Kevin (Philly): Hey Rob, what do you think of the underhanded tactics employed by some Pujols voters to ensure that he won the MVP award? Knocking Howard way down on their ballots, or even leaving him off completely so he can't close the first-place gap with secondary votes... I think it's disgraceful. Such writers should have their voting privileges revoked.

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Ummm, do you have some sort of proof of this, Kevin? Because a reasonable person could make a reasonable argument that Howard wasn't one of the 10 best players in the league. I'm just saying.

    2008-11-18 10:12:51
    33.   El Lay Dave
    The criteria listed on the MVP ballot:

    1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
    2. Number of games played.
    3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
    4. Former winners are eligible.
    5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.

    No. 3 allows for a lot of wiggle room.

    2008-11-18 10:13:56
    34.   D4P
    It's actually snowing here right now.
    2008-11-18 10:14:22
    35.   fanerman
    28 How low would a typical MVP candidate bat? Where was Youkilis batting for most of the season?
    2008-11-18 10:15:14
    36.   Jacob Burch
    33 I always laugh when I read the original rules. I read them with a Conan-Cranks-and-Birds type voice and add on one or two archaic things like "Fraternizing with Unwed dames is cause for dismissal, unless you're Steve Garvey"
    2008-11-18 10:16:02
    37.   Eric Stephen
    17 starts batting 2nd
    8 GS batting 3rd
    48 GS batting 4th
    22 GS batting 5th
    47 GS batting 6th
    2008-11-18 10:16:20
    38.   Jacob Burch
    35 4th or 6th, with a little bit of 5th.
    2008-11-18 10:17:12
    39.   fanerman
    Someone should just swoop in and show us a line-up independent VORP number.
    2008-11-18 10:18:04
    40.   D4P
    Where was Youkilis batting for most of the season?

    ABs by position:

    Batting #1: 2
    Batting #2: 69
    Batting #3: 33
    Batting #4: 174
    Batting #5: 86
    Batting #6: 174

    2008-11-18 10:21:35
    41.   blue22
    My case for Joe Mauer:

    first in WPA (
    second in VORP
    second in OBP
    batting title (yay)
    damn fine catcher

    2008-11-18 10:23:07
    42.   Jacob Burch
    DT ranting about NedCo comes up on page two of a google search for "baseball stat lineup position independent"

    11am can't come soon enough!

    2008-11-18 10:23:47
    43.   blue22
    41 - make that 4th in VORP
    2008-11-18 10:23:56
    44.   Eric Stephen
    How low would a typical MVP candidate bat?

    Marty Marion won the 1944 NL MVP. I don't have play-by-play data for that season, but he batted 7th in all six games of the World Series.

    Marion, however, was not your typical MVP. He probably batted the lowest of them all.

    2008-11-18 10:24:05
    45.   Tripon
    Craig (ShysterBall, Blogosphere): Wait, you're free now? On behalf of free-bloggers everywhere, I must go on record saying that I do not like this unnecessarily field-levelling development.

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: I'm not sure exactly why, when, or how. But yes, I seem to have been freed. Eat it, Blogger Boy!

    2008-11-18 10:26:31
    46.   Jacob Burch
    45 I still cannot fathom for the life of me how Rob Neyer wrote that "Best 50 players over the next 10 years" piece that had Melky Cabreara in it, with only one AL West player (and I think only half a dozen NL West). I just don't understand it. He was supposed to be our Jeter-hating equalizer.

    He is, however, rather prompt on email. It only took him a day to get back to me regarding lowest PA before an IBB. I forgot the answer, but it was 0 PA.

    2008-11-18 10:29:12
    47.   fanerman
    Pedroia played in 12 more games and had 100 more PA than Youkilis. If Youkilis played 12 more games, how many more PA would he have, about? 50?

    Factoring in Pedroia playing a harder position (2B) than Youkilis (mostly 1B and some 3B) and playing it better (according to +/-), would that overcome Youklis's better VORP/PA and Pedroia's lead-off "handicap"?

    2008-11-18 10:29:31
    48.   cargill06
    453 Even with a $140 payroll they still managed to give 453 PA's to a .249/.301/.341 line (68 OPS+). Who does he think he is? Juan Pierre?
    2008-11-18 10:30:08
    49.   cargill06
    48 was supposed to be for 46 , and the player I was referring to was Melky.
    2008-11-18 10:33:10
    50.   El Lay Dave
    47 FWIW, Pedroia batted 2nd primarily, 132 starts there.
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2008-11-18 10:34:41
    51.   El Lay Dave
    I hope KG16 and family are doing OK with the OC fires.
    2008-11-18 10:47:45
    52.   Tripon
    Xander (Philly): You're just a Phillies hater. Musta been hard for you to watch them dominate their way to the World Series title.

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: It's even harder for me to watch Chase Utley get screwed by the MVP voters every year. Cheers! And until next time, don't forget: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."

    2008-11-18 10:52:15
    53.   Jon Weisman
    Heidi game coverage in the Times, 11-19-68:

    2008-11-18 10:54:05
    54.   Travis08
    46 A few players were intentionally walked in their first career plate appearance, the last being Luis Lopez with Toronto in 2001.

    2008-11-18 10:55:15
    55.   regfairfield
    Sizemore was probably the most deserving MVP candidate, but there's nothing wrong with Pedroia, it was a pretty weak ballot.
    2008-11-18 10:57:47
    56.   kinbote
    Anyone can have an obelisk. What's truly impressive is to have an oubliette.
    2008-11-18 10:59:24
    57.   Jacob Burch
    55 Funny how a team can have the most valuable starter and hitter and have the supporting cast weigh them down as bad as the Indians did.

    54 Lopez was his answer, thank you! And to think it came in the AL...

    2008-11-18 10:59:25
    58.   cargill06
    55 I'll take Sizemore, higher VORP, better baserunner. But it's so close, I'm sure an argument can swing me to DP15
    2008-11-18 11:00:46
    59.   Eric Stephen
    DP wins.

    Only 5 players with 1st place votes. Boo.

    2008-11-18 11:00:57
    60.   Eric Stephen
    2008-11-18 11:01:58
    61.   Jacob Burch
    And DP15 it is. Only 1 for K-Rod! None for SOTY! None for Longoria! St. Pete is saved!
    2008-11-18 11:02:10
    62.   Eric Stephen
    Raul Ibañez got a 10th place vote.
    2008-11-18 11:02:41
    63.   Eric Stephen
    Holy crap, Jason Bartlett got a 5th place vote!
    2008-11-18 11:03:13
    64.   Jon Weisman
    K-Rod got an MVP first-place vote?
    2008-11-18 11:04:00
    65.   Eric Stephen
    Of the Delmon Young / Matt Garza trade, I would have given large odds that Bartlett would be the first in that trade to receive MVP votes.
    2008-11-18 11:04:00
    66.   Jacob Burch
    64 There was speculation he could get even more than that. Probably not more than 2-3, but.
    2008-11-18 11:04:02
    67.   cargill06
    Morneau 2nd over Mauer LOL
    2008-11-18 11:09:45
    68.   Eric Stephen
    Pedroia was actually left off one ballot altogether:

    16 1st place votes
    6 2nd place
    4 3rd
    1 4th
    1 11th or worse

    Kind of weird.

    2008-11-18 11:11:10
    69.   Jacob Burch
    68 Peter Gammons is on it and will not rest until the man is no longer allowed in the city of Boston.
    2008-11-18 11:11:51
    70.   Jacob Burch
    And someone needs to pay the BBWAA a little money to redesign their website. How atrocious is that eyesore.
    2008-11-18 11:13:30
    71.   kinbote
    I thought the MVP was Joe Maddon's inspirational T-shirt?
    2008-11-18 11:13:52
    72.   D4P
    Pedroia was actually left off one ballot altogether

    Probably the same ballot that gave the 8th place vote to Mike Mussina.

    2008-11-18 11:18:16
    73.   cargill06
    I was really hoping Manny would get some votes.
    2008-11-18 11:19:28
    74.   Eric Stephen
    Me too. That would have been amusing.
    2008-11-18 11:19:39
    75.   D4P
    I was really hoping Manny would get some votes

    So was Boras.

    2008-11-18 11:23:08
    76.   Bob Timmermann
    See, I'm passe.

    And I couldn't get to work early because I carpool and I couldn't tell the other people that I needed to come in earlier because a half dozen people on a blog want to see what I post for the AL MVP award.

    I tried it once.

    2008-11-18 11:23:17
    77.   Tripon

    Comparing Kuroda to free agent Kawakami.

    2008-11-18 11:23:24
    78.   Eric Stephen
    The White Sox move to Glendale in 2009 (to share the spring training facility with the Dodgers) was approved today by the Pima County Board of Supervisors:

    2008-11-18 11:35:21
    79.   Jacob Burch
    Dandy Warhols were going to make a song about Bob, but didn't think it was edgy enough for the kids.

    I should write the lyrics to the unfinished song.

    2008-11-18 11:40:42
    80.   cargill06
    Raul Ibañez got a 10th place vote.

    How do you the squigally over the "N"?

    2008-11-18 11:43:57
    81.   Eric Stephen
    Hold down "Alt", and type 164, and you get ñ, aka the tilde.
    2008-11-18 11:45:59
    82.   regfairfield
    Somewhat related. I need some test cases for a project I'm working on. What's are some common names that have a ñ in them, or some accent marks.
    2008-11-18 11:49:06
    83.   cargill06
    82 When you say accent marks, do you mean squigallies?
    2008-11-18 11:49:11
    84.   Eric Stephen
    Gagnè (according to his jersey)
    2008-11-18 11:49:24
    85.   trainwreck
    2008-11-18 11:49:36
    86.   Jacob Burch
    81 The tilde is the mark above it, not it with an N.

    On an apple, option+n will get you a tilde pre-mark, type any tilde-taking letter afterward to get the full letter.

    Many names I can think of have accents that tend to get anglosized out. Esmé being a personal favorite.

    There's always Björk.

    2008-11-18 11:51:00
    87.   trainwreck
    Now Mike Moser is down to UCLA and USC all of a sudden.

    He must be trying to anger D4P.

    2008-11-18 11:52:55
    88.   Eric Stephen
    The tilde is the mark above it, not it with an N

    I think I knew that at one time, but somehow forgot.

    I don't know if I'd ever use the tilde feature more than a couple of times, but it seems like a cool selling point for a Mac. :)

    2008-11-18 11:53:46
    89.   Jacob Burch
    88 It's also easy to do on another certain Apple product.
    2008-11-18 11:56:13
    90.   bhsportsguy
    Scott Boras will not be bringing up Teixiera's AL MVP vote total when discussing his next contract, a single 10th place vote for a total of 1 point for the Angels' mid-season pickup. This is despite Teixiera leading the AL in OPS during his two month stop for the Angels. His 1.081 OPS, .358 average, 13 home runs and 43 RBI were not enough to even put him first among Angel position players in the AL MVP game.
    2008-11-18 11:57:48
    91.   kinbote
    86 . . . with love and squalor.
    2008-11-18 11:59:44
    92.   Jon Weisman
    84 - Gagne has the accent going the wrong direction on his jersey?
    2008-11-18 12:00:50
    93.   Eric Stephen
    The key, as is often the case in MVP voting, is to be on a team that is not great, but rather just good enough to barely make or narrowly miss the playoffs.

    Even though Tex was amazing with Anaheim, nobody thought he was the reason the Angels made the playoffs, as they basically had the division won at the time of the trade.

    2008-11-18 12:00:54
    94.   Jacob Burch
    91 Yes, you're on the correct track. I'm usually very good at calming my inner English, graduate, but not when it comes to the short works of Salinger.

    Going back to the last post, if I am ever blessed with a daughter, it would take a hell of a fight from the Misses to not name her Esmé.

    I can't think of any wonderful, awe-inspiring male characters in Salinger that don't have really, really dorky names though. Elf actresses have taken whatever masculinity was left out of the name Zooey.

    2008-11-18 12:01:56
    95.   Jacob Burch
    92 I'm guessing Eric didn't want to deal with the trial-and-error hell of Alt + Numpad and went with the first accented E he found.
    2008-11-18 12:02:08
    96.   Eric Stephen
    Détails, détails.
    2008-11-18 12:03:45
    97.   Eric Stephen
    I actually only remembered è because it is Alt+138, and since Gagné's number was 38 I had a little memory association thing going.
    2008-11-18 12:04:52
    98.   El Lay Dave
    94 Elf actresses have taken whatever masculinity was left out of the name Zooey

    I doubt Jim Carrey's upcoming movie is any good, but I'll always say yes to Zooey Deschanel.

    2008-11-18 12:06:02
    99.   cargill06
    93 Exactley, or you can be rewarded if you were so awful early in the year, that you put your team in a hole. Than surge in Sept. and if your team barely makes the playoffs. (IE Delgado/Howard)
    2008-11-18 12:06:17
    100.   trainwreck
    At least it has Murray in it.
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2008-11-18 12:07:06
    101.   Eric Stephen
    Yes Man doesn't look too different from Liar, Liar, but I'll probably go see it anyway. At a matinée price of course.
    2008-11-18 12:08:52
    102.   Tripon
    K-Rod: 1 first place vote, and 143 points.

    Cliff Lee: no first place votes, and 24 points.

    I don't even like Cliff Lee, but that seems really screwy.

    2008-11-18 12:09:38
    103.   El Lay Dave
    82 Muñoz
    2008-11-18 12:09:39
    104.   trainwreck
    Dempster has officially agreed to the deal with the Cubs.
    2008-11-18 12:10:51
    105.   Jacob Burch
    98 100 I did find the simularities odd.

    Zooey is in my top three actresses for sure, though at times she looks strikingly like an ex of mine, so my heartstrings can ruin it.

    2008-11-18 12:11:31
    106.   underdog
    0 ...Garey (Chicken) Ingram?
    2008-11-18 12:12:14
    107.   Jacob Burch
    I used to have a Man-crush (used to?) on M. Ward, so the fact that they're...whatever it is they're doing outside of producing fun albums makes it even more difficult.
    2008-11-18 12:12:24
    108.   underdog
    Zooey had me from "All the Real Girls" on...


    So who allowed Peter Gammons to vote 20 times in the MVP voting? Ah well, was a weak year, guess he deserved it as much as anyone.

    2008-11-18 12:14:02
    109.   trainwreck
    Zooey Deschanel and Kate Perry are the same person.
    2008-11-18 12:14:46
    110.   Jacob Burch
    Except for the quality of music produced. Give one to the actress-singer!
    2008-11-18 12:15:29
    111.   trainwreck
    Yankees going to offer Burnett 5 years and $80 million according to Newsday.
    2008-11-18 12:20:21
    112.   Eric Stephen
    I just looked at Zooey's IMDB page, and I realize the only one of her movies I have seen are Elf and The New Guy. I fully expect scorn for this.
    2008-11-18 12:20:26
    113.   Daniel Zappala
    82 Zappalà
    2008-11-18 12:21:01
    114.   DaDoughboy
    I used to be high on her as well. Until she decided to do the debacle that was 'Tin Man'. Ouch.
    Does anybody know exactly when Spring Training tickets go on sale?
    2008-11-18 12:22:00
    115.   trainwreck
    Do not waste your time watching the Happening.
    2008-11-18 12:23:22
    116.   Jacob Burch
    She's not in many films worth seeing. But you can safely listen to her music or see her live. I promise!
    2008-11-18 12:25:06
    117.   Eric Stephen
    Does anybody know exactly when Spring Training tickets go on sale?

    Last year spring training tickets went on sale December 21.

    2008-11-18 12:26:50
    118.   underdog
    Don't forget she was the voice of Mary in the "Apocalypse Cow" episode of the Simpsons! And Lani Aliikai in Surf's Up.

    And Trillian in Hitchhiker's Guide, of course, and Kat on Weeds.

    111 But they're still after Sabathia and Lowe? I still am amazed at the championship they are trying to buy, with a $300 million payroll.

    2008-11-18 12:27:42
    119.   trainwreck
    Gammons says the Dodgers are starting to outline a proposal with CC.
    2008-11-18 12:28:25
    120.   underdog
    Kawakami vs. Kuroda: A comparison

    Kinda interesting...

    2008-11-18 12:28:33
    121.   Eric Stephen
    The only "happening" I watch starts with "What's"
    2008-11-18 12:29:16
    122.   underdog
    119 Hope they go with a real diamond and not a cubic zirconia, and for god's sakes, take him somewhere quiet and fancy, with rich desserts and a good wine list!
    2008-11-18 12:29:29
    123.   D4P
    Kat on Weeds

    That's the only thing I've seen her in. She was good.

    2008-11-18 12:29:34
    124.   trainwreck
    Gammons says it is between Dodgers, Angels, and Yankees for CC. If either Dodgers or Angels come near Yankees, he will go to them

    He says the Yankees will sign two guys out of CC, Burnett, and Lowe.

    2008-11-18 12:29:59
    125.   underdog
    121 Hai, hai, hai! Give me a quarter, or I'll tell mama.
    2008-11-18 12:30:41
    126.   D4P
    The fact that CC hasn't yet accepted the Yankees's record-setting offer would seem to suggest he's open to signing with other teams for less money.
    2008-11-18 12:30:50
    127.   underdog
    So the question is, can the Dodgers afford both Manny and CC? Guess we'll find out.
    2008-11-18 12:31:54
    128.   El Lay Dave
    115 Oh man - that's 1.5 hours of my life I want back. Someone really needs to cast her in a good 20s to 40s period piece.
    2008-11-18 12:32:13
    129.   Tripon
    126 I do not believe the players association is open for C.C. to accept a lower bid.
    2008-11-18 12:32:14
    130.   trainwreck
    Gammons said Dodgers seem to be shifting focus to CC and if they get him, then they won't even attempt to re-sign Manny.

    He then said maybe Manny would be a Giant or Boras would try to help Detroit move money around to sign him.

    2008-11-18 12:32:20
    131.   JoeyP
    If the Dodgers miss out on CC & Manny, I hope they at least make a bid on Tex.

    It'll be interesting to see who signs 1st of those 3 players.

    2008-11-18 12:32:26
    132.   regfairfield
    126 I would think it's because it's entirely reasonable for him to hold out for 175 or 200.
    2008-11-18 12:32:58
    133.   El Lay Dave
    120 , meet 77 .
    2008-11-18 12:33:28
    134.   cargill06
    and for god's sakes, take him somewhere quiet and fancy, with rich desserts and a good wine list!

    It won't take much to top the resturants the Angels take potential FA's to sign.

    2008-11-18 12:34:18
    135.   JoeyP
    If you're the Dodgers, would you offer CC 3yrs and 100 mils?

    And if I'm CC, I think I take that deal knowing that he could hit free agency again at age 30.

    2008-11-18 12:35:17
    136.   El Lay Dave
    116 I always thought her live show sounded interesting; never seen one though.
    2008-11-18 12:40:33
    137.   mwhite06
    130 I hadn't heard the Tigers were interested in Manny. Signing Manny would result in them needing to unload Sheffield I guess.
    2008-11-18 12:42:30
    138.   Ken Noe
    I hope Gammons is right, but imagine what will happen the first time Manny the Giant beats the Dodgers. Ned has found himself a no-win situation.
    2008-11-18 12:43:37
    139.   trainwreck
    Gammons talked about them dealing Magglio (I assume for pitching).
    2008-11-18 12:43:51
    140.   cargill06
    I know Ned doesn't like him (Dunn), but CC, Dunn, Furcal would be a fantastic off-season. I think that'd be less than $55 million for those 3 in payroll.
    2008-11-18 12:44:19
    141.   Tripon
    131 If we're going to pay obscene amounts of money to a 1st baseman, we might as well wait for Albert Pujols hits the free agent market.

    And by then we'll know what exactly is Loney's ability is.

    2008-11-18 12:44:42
    142.   Eric Stephen
    Those Dempster contract details are in. 4/$52:

    $4m bonus
    2009: $8m
    2010: $12.5m
    2011: $13.5m
    2012: $14m

    2008-11-18 12:47:33
    143.   Eric Stephen
    If at least the early part of the rescinded offer to Manny comes to fruition ($15m in 2009), it will be less than $55m for CC, Manny, and Furcal too.
    2008-11-18 12:47:50
    144.   blue22
    130 - Well, if Boras is up for brokering a deal, moving Andruw Jones out of town would go a long way towards LA throwing big money at Manny. It might also help Andruw re-establish some value in a walk year for him.
    2008-11-18 12:50:35
    145.   regfairfield
    141 There's no way that the Cardinals are going to let him walk.
    2008-11-18 12:52:25
    146.   El Lay Dave
    142 Dempster should write Bill Bavasi a thank-you note for the Carlos Silva contract.
    2008-11-18 12:52:39
    147.   cargill06
    CC in 53 PA's had a line of .235/.235/.392 and a VORP of 5.8 at the plate last year. What does that translate to over 80-90 PA's in terms of additional runs compared to the average hitting pitcher?
    2008-11-18 13:00:06
    148.   Eric Stephen
    Or Kyle Lohse.
    2008-11-18 13:03:13
    149.   Tripon
    145 Unless they're willing to give Pujols $25 million a year for the next ten years, Pujols is going to test FA.
    2008-11-18 13:03:48
    150.   Jim Hitchcock
    115 Yeah, sure, you tell me ;)
    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2008-11-18 13:06:01
    151.   regfairfield
    149 And the Cardinals would be fools not to.
    2008-11-18 13:07:10
    152.   Eric Stephen
    That might not be a bad deal for Pujols.

    Besides, Pujols is a full 3 years from free agency. My guess is the Cards sign him to a long-term deal before his 2011 option year, giving him a big raise on the $16m he's scheduled to earn that year. The Cards have their new stadium, and he's the biggest draw that just happens to be the best player in MLB.

    2008-11-18 13:08:38
    153.   Eric Stephen
    Actually, it would be cool if Pujols in July 2010 forgets which knee is hurting, and is traded to the Dodgers with the condition that his 2011 option is declined.
    2008-11-18 13:09:16
    154.   D4P
    Loney was only 26 RBIs behind Pujols last year...!
    2008-11-18 13:11:33
    155.   Tripon
    Quick question: did Billy Beane knew what he had in Andre Ethier when he was traded him away for Milton Bradley?
    2008-11-18 13:13:25
    156.   trainwreck
    A's liked Ethier, but I do not think they expected him to put up the numbers he did last year. They saw him and Buck as very similar players.
    2008-11-18 13:15:05
    157.   regfairfield
    Bradley has also been way more productive than Ethier since the trade, so it's possible the answer is yes.
    2008-11-18 13:16:53
    158.   trainwreck
    I believe in an interview (after Ethier's rookie year) on Athletics Nation, Beane said they could not foresee Ethier producing so quickly.
    2008-11-18 13:17:30
    159.   Tripon
    157 If you ignore all the playing time Bradley missed, sure.

    Bradley only played 115 games for the A's, and then Beane cut him after he was rehabbing from an injury. If Beane really did value him, he'd find a way to keep Bradley, even with his salary demands.

    2008-11-18 13:20:06
    160.   Jacob Burch
    156 And Milton really did have an aberration of a bad, hurt year that year. Still short, but hind, sighted.

    If Pujols took the original extension that he did, I can't see the Cards not locking him up. They're not the Yankees, but they're not the A's either, and it seems like too smooth of a working relationship. At least I hope. I respect no ball player more than Albert Pujols, and outside of a half a dozen Colts, no sportsman more. I really hope he spends every PA of his career as a Card.

    He's also the only athlete--including NFL and NBA players--to send me into shivers when I saw him up close in person via the Dugout Club. I have probably mentioned this a hundred times, but it's a moment that will never leave me.

    David Eckstein's next at bat helped shake me loose, though. He really is that tiny!

    2008-11-18 13:20:40
    161.   regfairfield
    159 Bradley has much much higher VORP over the last three years.

    There's also a good chance that Billy Beane isn't quite the tactical genius he's hailed as.

    2008-11-18 13:21:21
    162.   D4P
    Ethier is basically a platoon player.
    2008-11-18 13:21:25
    163.   kinbote
    160 I agree on Pujols. He's not even dead and he looks like a statue.
    2008-11-18 13:22:54
    164.   Tripon
    Beane: He projects nowhere with us now. (laughs) We thought very highly of Andre. The opportunity to get a player like Milton was there. And understand, Milton is only 27. We all hoped a guy like that would become as good as Milton is now. But it wasn't easy. We wanted Milton, we felt he was a great fit. We drafted a player in Travis Buck who was very similar to Andre.

    Found it.

    2008-11-18 13:24:37
    165.   trainwreck
    Woo hoo! I remembered correctly.
    2008-11-18 13:29:41
    166.   Tripon
    162 So you see a platoon situation between Andruw Jones and Andre Ethier? :)
    2008-11-18 13:31:09
    167.   CanuckDodger
    162 -- So is Prince Fielder, and frankly, about every left-handed hitter in baseball who isn't supper-elite.
    2008-11-18 13:32:18
    168.   Tripon
    167 Like Ryan Howard? ~_~
    2008-11-18 13:33:28
    169.   D4P
    So you see a platoon situation between Andruw Jones and Andre Ethier?

    You mean, a situation in which Andre shoots Andruw and leaves him for dead, and then, when Andruw runs out to jump on the chopper, Ethier has the pilot take off, leaving Andruw to get shot some more by Charlie?

    Sure: I can see that.

    2008-11-18 13:34:23
    170.   regfairfield
    As a whole lefties had a 77 point OPS gain against righties. Ethier's splits were gigantic this year (258) but it's more reasonable over the course of his career.
    2008-11-18 13:35:17
    171.   Eric Stephen
    That is my all-time favorite D4P comment. Well done, sir.
    2008-11-18 13:39:53
    172.   Icaros

    The strange colon usage in the last line is my favorite part. I am also humming "Adagio for Strings" at this moment.

    2008-11-18 13:40:52
    173.   trainwreck
    You had me until you said Andruw would run and jump.
    2008-11-18 13:40:56
    174.   Bob Timmermann
    Albert Pujols is an investor in a possible St. Louis area MLS franchise. He also went to high school in Missouri. He might actually like St. Louis.

    Go figure.

    2008-11-18 13:41:50
    175.   CanuckDodger
    170 -- And that measurement does not say anything about hitting lefties in absolute terms; the better the player hits against righties -- and Ethier was a MONSTER against righties this past year -- the more like a "platoon player" he is going to appear. The fact is, what Ethier did against lefties this year was good enough for an EVERYDAY left-handed hitter, given the standards everyday players are judged by.
    2008-11-18 13:44:16
    176.   underdog
    Who starts, Willem Defoe or Tom Berenger? I think Charlie Sheen comes off the bench.

    (Wait, no, he comes out of the bullpen. No wait, that's a different movie.)

    Wait, what was I talking about?

    What position does Zooey Deschanel play?

    Er, don't answer that.

    2008-11-18 13:45:12
    177.   underdog
    Ethier is not basically a platoon player, btw, he certainly won't be next year.
    2008-11-18 13:45:46
    178.   regfairfield
    I guess a better question is that if we're supposed to expect a sub .700 OPS from a lefty against a lefty, should we be using platoons a lot more?
    2008-11-18 13:47:32
    179.   Eric Stephen
    For anyone who watches Kitchen Nightmares, Sammy -- the owner from the 1st episode last Thursday -- is unintentionally hilarious. After a customer complained that her lamb was put in a microwave after a complaint (it was), his response to her was classic: "How do you know so much about microwaves? Do you work for a microwave company?"

    That's one of the greatest customer service lines ever.

    2008-11-18 13:49:50
    180.   trainwreck
    I wish John McCain's brother was involved in customer service.
    2008-11-18 13:52:28
    181.   Eric Stephen
    I think the Dodgers have to hope both Loney and Ethier improve against lefties. 2008 was a down year for both against LHP, relative to their careers:

    Either: .699 OPS 2008 / .736 career
    Loney: .664 2008 / .744 career

    Both are young enough to improve and should still be given the chance to do so at least in 2009.

    2008-11-18 13:54:40
    182.   Eric Stephen
    To expand, there is definitely a point at which the Dodgers should decide to platoon, but in the case of Loney and Ethier I don't think we are there yet.
    2008-11-18 13:55:33
    183.   ToyCannon
    I'd say yes, never understood why baseball puts up with such small production against LHP by LHH.

    Regfairfield did you retire from writing and neglect to tell anyone?

    2008-11-18 14:01:49
    184.   trainwreck
    Two kids are doing a documentary on Bill Plaschke.

    They must be the two most boring teenagers on Earth.

    2008-11-18 14:02:34
    185.   D4P
    As a whole lefties had a 77 point OPS gain against righties. Ethier's splits were gigantic this year (258)

    Rats. 258/77 = 3.35. I was hoping it was 3.5.

    2008-11-18 14:07:21
    186.   JoeyP
    183- I kept checking truebluela for the value added batting runs chart and it was nary to be found.

    Maybe Reg's lost his drive from the DePo for President days.

    I think as everyone gets older, arguing baseball becomes increasingly meaningless.

    2008-11-18 14:09:45
    187.   oshea2002
    184 - that is hilarious.

    Apparently Mike Moser will announce tomorrow at 5 between USC and UCLA.

    2008-11-18 14:10:00
    188.   bigcpa
    Minor League Career:
    Pedroia .308/.391/.454
    LaRoche .294/.380/.517

    MLB debuts:
    Pedroia 27-147 (.184/.211/.272)
    LaRoche 33-152 (.217/.348/.316)

    No I'm not still bitter. Pedroia is a great case of a smart team giving a talented guy a prolonged shot. I don't recall the Red Sox blocking him with Shea Hillenbrands and planting stories about his work ethic.

    2008-11-18 14:10:10
    189.   underdog
    184 Unless that doc is called "The Worst Sportswriter on Earth" then I'll assume it's either a joke or pretend it doesn't exist.
    2008-11-18 14:16:52
    190.   Jon Weisman
    Lucas May and Eric Young, Jr. are finalists for the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award.

    2008-11-18 14:17:05
    191.   Jim Hitchcock
    180 So he could call 911?
    2008-11-18 14:17:37
    192.   Kevin Lewis

    I could see Pujols taking less than that. He really loves St. Louis and is heavily involved in the community. And, part of me wants to believe that there is a ball player out there willing to take a little less to stay with a team he loves and to allow them to be more competitive in the future.

    2008-11-18 14:21:02
    193.   bhsportsguy
    188 I believe Andy was hurt when the Dodgers moved Hillebrand up from Vegas. Andy certainly didn't enhance his reputation by his early work habit reports after he became a Pirate.

    It will be interesting to see if Andy LaRoche is able to finally relax and play well in Pittsburgh, of course he has a big time prospect right behind him who is costing the Pirates a lot of money, so we'll see how long Pittsburgh is patient with Andy LaRoche.

    2008-11-18 14:21:29
    194.   Zak
    planting stories about his work ethic

    OK, for one thing, the Dodgers are not the only team who "planted" stories about LaRoche's work ethic. The Pirates basically traded Bay for him and within a month were, at the very least, disappointed about his work ethic.

    Maybe this is just a great case of two infielders with talent, but one works hard and the other doesn't. And I say maybe because I don't presume to know.

    2008-11-18 14:21:47
    195.   Jacob Burch
    192 180/8 gets it done, and I'd guess that's around the deal he gets one of these years. Maybe more in the 150/6 range, but I'll stand by the first.
    2008-11-18 14:23:21
    196.   Kevin Lewis
    For the record I love to watch Pujols play.
    2008-11-18 14:26:08
    197.   bigcpa
    193 As I recall there was a stretch in August 2007 where LaRoche was healthy and stranded in Vegas after hitting 12 HR in July. Then late May this year he was healthy and stuck in AAA. Then called up in June but benched behind DeWitt until the eventual "showcase" series in Colorado.
    2008-11-18 14:27:47
    198.   bhsportsguy
    Two things I will never forget about Pujols, his hitting a home run off Odalis Perez in extra innings to win a game and Jonathan Broxton striking him out in Broxton's first MLB appearance.
    2008-11-18 14:29:53
    199.   Tripon
    197 This year was a case of just preferring DeWitt over LaRoche.

    LaRoche may be a big time prospect but he simply didn't produce this year.

    2008-11-18 14:30:02
    200.   Zak
    197 No one is saying that the Dodgers gave LaRoche a proper shot. For whatever reason, there is no doubt that the Dodgers were not as patient with LaRoche as they were with the other kids. Now, those reasons may or may not be justified. Either way, it is unfair to say that the Dodgers planted that story about LaRoche. That would make zero sense considering they wanted to trade him and wouldn't want to lower his trade value. Plus, there is the thing where another team also questioned his work ethic.
    Show/Hide Comments 201-250
    2008-11-18 14:30:28
    201.   trainwreck
    I just saw the Plaschke kids.

    They look like straight goobers.

    2008-11-18 14:33:00
    202.   bhsportsguy
    197 I'm not saying that Andy never got the extended time that Pedroia got in Boston but at least during Grady's tenure as manager, no young player really never got a shot unless he performed right awaay (and even that wasn't always a guarantte).

    BTW, another top prospect, Brandon Wood was released from his Dominican club after a poor start, the Angels GM said this will not impact his standing but this is now two years in a row where Wood has been let go by his Winter League team.

    2008-11-18 14:34:06
    203.   Jon Weisman
    I haven't done this in a while, but here are my latest for Variety:

    2008-11-18 14:36:14
    204.   Zak
    203 Rourke definitely did his research on you, Jon. To throw in a Springsteen reference, why, that's brilliant. :)
    2008-11-18 14:38:57
    205.   Jacob Burch
    198 The game I got to go to the dugout club to see Al up close was Broxton's first career game/strikeout. I remember being the only one among my friends who had heard of him when he started to warm up. I think all I said was "He's huge and he can bring the heat."

    Pujols also hit a homerun in the game, as did Ricky Ledee!

    2008-11-18 14:39:05
    206.   Zak
    203 I read about the Slumdog movie somewhere, but forgot where. This is where the contestant has to come back the next day to answer the million dollar question? And there is some kind of lost-love backstory?
    2008-11-18 14:40:35
    207.   scareduck
    204 - I don't normally scan XM channels for content, but post-Sirius merger, they've had a lot of things I didn't expect (their classical channels keep scooting around). There is an E-street Radio channel (channel 58) that's all Springsteen, all the time.
    2008-11-18 14:41:44
    208.   Jacob Burch
    203 How was The Wrestler? It's along the list to see before the year ends alongside Slumdog Millionaire and Che. Can't think of much else to add, other than possibly Synecdoche. I agree with Ebert on his Four Star films about 90% of the time, so I'm willing to dive deep.

    Got to see Ballast last weekend and it was a great experience.

    2008-11-18 14:42:57
    209.   trainwreck
    Yahoo did a feature article about the movie and the lead actress.
    2008-11-18 14:43:03
    210.   cargill06
    198 "I've been treated like a trash"
    2008-11-18 14:46:00
    211.   Zak
    209 That might be it.
    2008-11-18 14:50:36
    212.   scareduck
    201 - does illiteracy run in the family?
    2008-11-18 14:54:47
    213.   Humma Kavula
    The Pujols home run off of Odalis was one of only two moments I have successfully predicted while paying attention to a ballgame.

    I was driving home -- alone in the car. Pujols came up. I said, out loud, to no one, "He'll hit the home run here. This game is over." And then it was true.

    The other moment I successfully predicted came during a Dodger game in 2007. Juan Pierre came up with a runner on first, and I predicted that Pierre would attempt to bunt for a hit, get thrown out, and get credit for a sacrifice.

    As for that latter one... well, even my then-unborn daughter, at the time but a collection of cells in her mother, could be heard to say, "Well, duh. Whatcha gonna predict next, Nostradamus?"

    2008-11-18 14:55:54
    214.   trainwreck
    Naw, these are the kids that are doing the documentary on him.
    2008-11-18 14:56:54
    215.   D4P
    You've never correctly predicted an Andruw Jones strikeout...?
    2008-11-18 14:58:52
    216.   Kevin Lewis


    2008-11-18 14:59:44
    217.   Humma Kavula
    215 I am one of those people for whom hope sprang eternal when it came to Jones. "Maybe this time," I would say to myself, "he'll get a hit."

    After all, Jones had shown once upon a time that he could hit. Getting back there all starts with one at bat. And I kept thinkin and wishin and hopin and prayin that I was watching that at-bat.

    With Pierre, whatcha saw was whatcha got.

    2008-11-18 15:02:06
    218.   Jacob Burch
    213 Does sometime after T-day work for you for a day of festivities and Jason Molina?

    Still waiting for Icaros' email so I can send him an e-version.

    2008-11-18 15:02:20
    219.   trainwreck
    They talked about it and showed them on Around the Horn.
    2008-11-18 15:04:02
    220.   trainwreck
    I really wish they did not give the characters such stupid names in the Wrestler.
    2008-11-18 15:04:31
    221.   cargill06
    Another reason to hate soccer

    2008-11-18 15:14:08
    222.   Icaros

    Sorry. It's coming, Jacob. I've been distracted the past week devouring all the Iron & Wine I can find. What a great writer/singer.

    2008-11-18 15:14:27
    223.   Kevin Lewis

    I am trying to figure out how that would possibly work with a penalty kick, especially when the defending is the team that normally lines up to block it.

    2008-11-18 15:15:58
    224.   Jon Weisman
    204 :)

    208 - I liked The Wrestler and liked Slumdog more.

    I'll put up a movie post at some point.

    2008-11-18 15:17:12
    225.   D4P
    ESPN has a new Eckstein to gush over:

    We can't confirm that Dustin Pedroia's head reaches a listed 5 feet, 9 inches into the atmosphere. But Boston's spark plug did reach out and snag a big prize, winning AL MVP honors Tuesday

    2008-11-18 15:18:01
    226.   cargill06
    225 Except DP15 is good.
    2008-11-18 15:28:27
    227.   Jacob Burch
    224 Were you able to catch Ballast on its brief run here? Hoping it gets a bigger push around iTunes/DVD time.

    222 I think I mentioned it before, but I also have an intense amount of Iron & Wine (read: entire discography + a few bootlegs + half a dozen live shows) I could ship your way.

    2008-11-18 15:33:26
    228.   Jon Weisman
    227 - No, haven't seen it yet.
    2008-11-18 15:35:19
    229.   Jon Weisman
    2008-11-18 15:46:44
    230.   underdog
    Slumdog Millionare is great, don't miss it.

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