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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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Shallow Thoughts, by Jon Weisman
2008-12-19 05:00
by Jon Weisman

Without giving this a tremendous amount of deep thought, I offer this: Ethics, as much as we might like them or believe them to be divorced from emotions, rarely are.

If it weren't so early in the morning, I'd have tried to make that funny.

If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mr. Brave Man, I guess I'm a coward.

Comments (389)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-12-19 05:27:23
1.   Dave60
0 I assume this is a Furcal reference, and an apt one. I've long acknowledged the knowledge version of this argument, "One's ability to grasp a new concept is inversely related to one's financial disadvantage from doing so." And it makes sense that there is an ethical corollary.

What is intriguing to ponder is the Braves and Dodgers fans have virtually the same information on the Furcal situation. If a poll was taken today, perhaps 80 percent of Braves fans would describe Kinzer as unethical, while only 20 percent of Dodgers fans would do the same.

Life is never as clearcut as we would like.

Happy holidays to all.

2008-12-19 06:07:44
2.   Gen3Blue
Jon, I don't remember many posts from you at this time of day, but with the year you have put in and your young brood I would guess you are no stranger to 5 am. I am just surprised that you wax philosophical at this hour, and I'm curious to know if this was indeed about the Furcal situation.
2008-12-19 06:11:21
3.   Dave60
2 Ahhh, you think perhaps I overthunk it? Could be, could be. Pre-caffeine profundity can sometimes seem silly in the light of dawn.
2008-12-19 06:23:39
4.   Jon Weisman
2008-12-19 06:37:14
5.   Howard Fox
I think, as much as we all try to make sense of what happens in sports these days, you can't make much sense of it anymore.

We have more mathematical indicators to tell us what should happen and how the players should perform, except when they don't. But it's ok if it's to your team's benefit.

We expect everyone to act morally and ethically, and they always do, except when they don't. But it's ok if it's to your team's benefit.

We expect loyalty to our team, or to our city, or to us, the fans. And when we don't get that, we are disappointed every time, we never learn. But it's ok if it's to your team's benefit.

The one constant here is baseball. Or as Norm once said (to paraphrase), you can't live with it...pass the beer nuts...

2008-12-19 07:31:25
6.   Gen3Blue
Wow, Andruw led the league in RBI's in 2005.
I almost fear he will be discovered to have some organic disease.
2008-12-19 07:31:57
7.   Ken Noe
Years ago, I had a handshake agreement to sell my house. We were moving and needed the cash for the new house. Problem was, the buyer already had walked away from other tables two or three times in the past. We held our breath until he actually signed the contract. Had he not, I would have been very upset, and probably would have called him unethical and worse. But it still would have been legal for him to do so. I'm not an expert in contract law, but until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that Furcal had the same right to get cold feet and not sign as the buyer of my old house did.
2008-12-19 07:34:05
8.   Dodger Jack
I see the Furcal "misunderstanding" as a legal issue, not an ethical one.

Furcal's agent says that the Braves made an offer and he responded with a conditional acceptance, that condition precedent being Furcal's approval. Furcal did not approve and, instead, accepted the Dodgers' offer.

Based on Furcal's agent's account, this was a routine, offer-and-acceptance scenario of the kind played out millions of times daily in sports and business.

Assuming that Furcal's agent's account is untrue -- that he accepted the Braves' offer unconditionally and that he was vested with the legal authority to do so -- then the Braves might contemplate a lawsuit. It would be silly for them to seek specific performance of the contract as this would force Furcal to play for the Braves against his wishes. In the alternative, the Braves could seek damages against Furcal and his agency.

That the Braves have not threatened legal action, that they have simply vowed never to deal with Furcal's agent again, suggests that Furcal's agent's account is true.

Whether that account is true or false, no Dodger fan need feel any pangs of conscience about the matter. There has never been any suggestion that the Dodgers conspired with Furcal to breach any oral contract he had with the Braves.

Our team offered Furcal a lot of money to play for them; Furcal accepted.

2008-12-19 07:36:12
9.   ChicagoDodger
I really don't understand why this thing (Furcal spurning the Braves) is getting so much attention.

I learned very early in life to believe that something is not going to happen, until it actually happens.

Did the Braves have Furcal signed, sealed, and delivered? No. So it never happened. Grow up and move on. Things happen in life.

And this whole "we won't do business with them anymore" is childish as well. You have a deal when the player is signed. Until then, you don't. End of story.

As to Howard's point. I would not feel any worse had it been the other way around.

Lastly, I keep reading where its the player who has the final say in negotiations. I kept reading in the transcripts of what transpired, that the agent said over and over again "I haven't heard back from Raffy yet."

Well, that should have been a red flag to the Braves and they should have waited till they had heard from Furcal that he was going to sign before they jumped the gun.

The bottom line is the Braves had their feeligs hurt publicly. And they don't like it. But to further the mess by acting childish isn't helping them.

2008-12-19 07:39:22
10.   Ken Noe
9 John Schuerholz is a crafty guy and was a great GM. I don't doubt that he's angry, but I expect there's some calculation in their response as well. This is a shot fired across other agents' bow.
2008-12-19 07:39:53
11.   fiddlestick
David Wells broke his "handshake agreement" with Jerry Colangelo years ago and it was never made a big deal of after it initially happened.
2008-12-19 07:50:04
12.   Howard Fox
7 the difference is that in real estate nothing means anything until there is a written signed agreement

the way it used to be, not too long ago, a person's word was his bond...I still remember when a handshake was all people operated on, that a deal was a deal, and you didn't need teams of lawyers and reams of legalese to have a deal

2008-12-19 07:53:37
13.   Bob Timmermann
I work in a library with nearly 220 years worth of Supreme Court rulings in print. And about 150 years worth of California Supreme Court rulings.

Somebody must have needed a lawyer.

2008-12-19 07:57:56
14.   Howard Fox
13 some think lawyers are the root of all evil...I don't think so...just saying...
2008-12-19 07:59:13
15.   Howard Fox
by the way, I am hearing libraries are quite the rage now, what with people not having money to buy books or DVDs anymore...
2008-12-19 08:00:21
16.   MC Safety
Gotta love being a human.
2008-12-19 08:00:24
17.   scareduck
13 - yes, this is exactly my (uninformed) gut feel on the subject. Frank Wren is a tyro GM, and might easily have missed the nuance that a signed (by ONLY one side) contract is still not a deal, verbal agreement or no.
2008-12-19 08:01:00
18.   Bob Timmermann
Disputes over which team's contract is valid have been an issue in baseball since they started signing players to contracts.

Branch Rickey, despite his reputed adherence to a strict moral code, used a rather dubious way to get George Sisler to play for him.

And that's just one example. It could go on and on.

2008-12-19 08:02:18
19.   Bob Timmermann
Don't forget about the 220 years of Supreme Court opinions. That's the big draw. Especially labor cases from the 1890s.
2008-12-19 08:05:24
20.   D4P
Yeah. Millions of Americans across the country are having to choose between keeping their Westlaw subscriptions or feeding their children.
2008-12-19 08:16:16
21.   Bob Timmermann
Sam DC does not have to make such decisions fortunately. Because of his job, he is able to go to the bowels of the National Archives and conjure up the spirit of John Marshall and ask the spirit for guidance with any sticky legal question.

The first time he tried this, he didn't have the spell correct and he was visited by an old and troll like creature. That turned out to be Roger Taney.

The second time he tried it, another troll like creature came out and it turned out to be one of the trolls that lives in the National Archives, making minimum wage organizing the Census Records from 1940.

The third time, the incantation worked. John Marshall told Sam, "The Nats don't have enough money to sign Mark Teixeira" and then disappeared in a column of fire and left behind a wake of slip opinions.

2008-12-19 08:19:16
22.   Bluebleeder87
The moral of the story is:

Don't count you're chickens before they're hatched...

2008-12-19 08:19:31
23.   D4P

My head

2008-12-19 08:22:03
24.   Howard Fox
23 that is funny
2008-12-19 08:22:51
25.   Howard Fox
21 so Marshall thinks he signs with the O's?
2008-12-19 08:27:30
26.   berkowit28
9 'Lastly, I keep reading where its the player who has the final say in negotiations. I kept reading in the transcripts of what transpired, that the agent said over and over again "I haven't heard back from Raffy yet."'

You seem to have missed the part, or are ignoring it, where the agent finally phoned and said "Raffy is good with it. Send the term sheet." See - eventually he said - "We have heard back from Raffy."

Now, because he said this in a voice mail message, not directly to a human being who could, confirm, query and receive a re-confirmation, it's not exactly the same as an old-fashioned handshake. That's what's missing here. It's neither in writing, nor a two-way verbal handshake. It's a one-way verbal one-hand-shaking.

2008-12-19 08:32:38
27.   Howard Fox
26 again, back to the old days...

people hired agents who "spoke" for it appears they are just messengers/ used to be that a deal with an agent was the same as a deal with his client

2008-12-19 08:40:11
28.   Gen3Blue
26 Rather like the sound of one hand clapping.

And incidentally, if one hand claps in a primeval forest, can a one eared man hear it. Or something like that.

2008-12-19 08:43:34
29.   Kevin Lewis
Indiana Jon,

I would definitely go with the older model and upgrade the RAM to 4GB. Crucial memory is a great place to upgrade the ram, and it would only cost about $40 more.

If you happen to have a discount or know someone that works/goes to Caltech, they are selling the exact same model for $1199 while supplies last. Yep, you saw that right. I lost the plea for the new laptop even with my Vegas winnings. Stupid 4 year old powerbook that doesn't need replacing.

2008-12-19 08:44:59
30.   scareduck
21 - Brilliant, Bob!
2008-12-19 08:52:26
31.   Eric Stephen
Brilliant, Bob!

No need for a comma there. :)

2008-12-19 08:59:47
32.   Indiana Jon
29 That's a great price, but I don't have any connections at Cal Tech. I can get it for $1399, no tax, no shipping, so I'll probably just go that route. I do plan to upgrade the RAM on my own after I get it.
2008-12-19 09:01:12
33.   oshea2002
Pretty negative article on the Dodgers and their offseason so far. I'd be more inclined to agree if the offseason was over.

2008-12-19 09:02:32
34.   Big Game
Are we sure they had a handshake deal? These days it could be a fist-bump or one-armed man hug deal.

Sounds to me like Raffy's agents had a deal with the Braves that they liked and agreed to it before talking to Raffy. When they did speak to Raffy and the issue of playing 2B came up, Raffy said no thanks.

I used to work as an A&R in the music industry...More often than not, the band's management and the band themselves had completely different ideas of what they wanted. I'd imagine player negotiations are no different.

2008-12-19 09:06:37
35.   Tripon
The A's have placed shortstop Bobby Crosby on outright waivers, major-league sources say, enabling a rival club to claim him and assume his entire $5.25 million salary.,-but-is-he-really-worth-it?

2008-12-19 09:07:05
36.   Big Game
27 I think that agents have always acted as a buffer between the player and management regarding the business side of playing the game. If an agent is just relaying messages and not actively advising the player, then why pay them 12%?

But you have to keep in mind that the agent works for the player, not vice-versa. So even in cases like this where an agent has a deal in place that they feel is solid, the player can come in and blow everything up.

2008-12-19 09:10:25
37.   Kevin Lewis

That is an awesome price. You will love it!

2008-12-19 09:15:37
38.   Eric Stephen
If an agent is just relaying messages and not actively advising the player, then why pay them 12%?

12% seems shysterish to me. I think agents typically receive something like 3-5% at least on contractual salary, and possibly more (~10% or more) on endorsements.

2008-12-19 09:17:40
39.   Kevin Lewis
Is it just me, or is Tex going to be way overpaid for his numbers at 1B?
2008-12-19 09:19:35
40.   berkowit28
39 Is what just you?
2008-12-19 09:20:52
41.   Big Game
38 It was a random number used for effect.
2008-12-19 09:23:13
42.   Eric Stephen
From that article:

But this particular team is a big market club with a substantially diminished payroll

It's unfair to criticize any team at this point since there are still so many free agents still to be signed. It's still fairly obvious that the Dodgers will sign at least one starter (and perhaps two).

Kreigel's criticism of the Dodgers' offer to Manny is weak, considering:

1) To date, the Dodgers are the only team to have made a contract offer to Manny, so why offer more?
2) Even if other teams end up bidding on Manny, the Dodgers can still improve their offer

If they re-sign Manny, the payroll will be somewhere in the $110-$120m range again. I won't mind an article like this from Kriegel in February, but it's way too early in the game for such criticism now.

2008-12-19 09:27:09
43.   Tripon

4chan strikes again. This time making up a rumor about Erin Andrews and David Wright, and seeing if anyone bites.

2008-12-19 09:27:50
44.   Kevin Lewis

Good point.

How about: does anyone else think Tex is going to be overpaid?

2008-12-19 09:32:35
45.   cargill06
44 No, I think he's worth every penny. Plays excellent defense, and top 3 offensively at his position.
2008-12-19 09:32:44
46.   JRSarno
The notion of ethics is rarely divorced from emotion? Woah. My mind is too tired this a.m. to deal with SWEEPING GENERALITIES!
2008-12-19 09:39:38
47.   Big Game
44 In relation to more noble professions, absolutely.
2008-12-19 09:39:48
48.   Dodger Jack
26. Even if Furcal's agent left a voicemail message that asked the Braves to "send the term sheet," this did not constitute a contract.

Furcal's acceptance of the terms -- in writing -- was required before there could be an enforceable contract.

My guess is that Furcal's agent may have been careless in his choice of words. A lot of dollars were at stake here. He should have personally delivered the term sheet and obtained Furcal's written acceptance.

But, again, I don't think this is an ethical question that should bother Dodger fans.

2008-12-19 09:42:50
49.   Tripon
My guess is that Furcal's agent may have been careless in his choice of words. A lot of dollars were at stake here. He should have personally delivered the term sheet and obtained Furcal's written acceptance.

I assume Furcal was in his offseason home in the Dominican Republic. Not the easiest place to get to whenever you want.

2008-12-19 09:45:05
50.   Eric Stephen
Is it just me, or is Tex going to be way overpaid for his numbers at 1B?

He's pretty sweet, both offensively and defensively.

His WARP1 the last few years, per Baseball Prospectus:

2005: 8.7
2006: 6.9
2007: 6.9
2008: 10.0

That's an average of 8.1 WARP1 per season.

I'm not sure what the updated value is for Marginal Value Over Replacement Player (MORP) from Baseball Prospectus, but for 2007 the value was $1.2m(WARP^1.5)+$380k. I changed the $380k to $400k since that is the minimum salary for 2009. Using this formula, an 8 WARP player is worth roughly $28m. A WARP of about 6.4 or so is worth approximately $20m.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-12-19 09:46:48
51.   Jim Hitchcock
Off topic (as usual) but:

I had my front tooth extracted yesterday. You know the rule about not drinking any alcohol for 24 hours? Well, the dentist didn't prescribe me any vicodin, so that rule went out the window.

So, I'm basically going to resemble Alfred E. Neuman for the next couple of weeks. But I'm going to make the best of it. I'm Going to my cousin Mark's place in Montreaux for Christmas. It's a real ritzi, gated community. And the gate guard is a real jerk name Larry. When I went there a year ago to pick up some furniture my boss was giving me, I had the temerity to ask Larry for directions. and he said "oh, yeah, I'm sure his highness would like to to have accurate directions!".

A couple of years before that, Mark's younger brother was going to Mark's place to do some work, and the same Larry wouldn't let him in the main entrance. "You'll have to go to the worker's entrance". "But I'm his brother!", Neil replied. "Doesn't matter", says Larry.

So. I'm hoping Larry is on duty Christmas. If so, I'm going to pull up to the guard shack and say: "Hi, I'm Jim Hitchcock, here for the Gunderson hillbilly reunion!", and give him the widest gap-toothed smile I can manage.

2008-12-19 09:54:00
52.   Kevin Lewis

Thanks for the breakdown, Eric.


That sounds fun. I can picture the grin already

2008-12-19 09:57:30
53.   ToyCannon
Hard to tell until we see the actual numbers. The numbers being bandied about regarding years and amount seem excessive. Not bad coin for a guy who only once finished in the top ten in MVP voting.
2008-12-19 10:02:24
54.   ToyCannon
No team could have helped themselves better then the Yankee's by acquiring Teixeira but instead they blew the coin on AJ.

Is Swisher the next Ben Grieve?

2008-12-19 10:04:44
55.   underdog
Now that the A's have cut ties with Crosby, I wonder if they're definitely going to hand the keys to Cliff Pennington and Petit, or if they're in the market for a SS. I would assume they wouldn't want Hu -- not that I'm trying to get rid of Hu -- but, hm, they do have pitching...
2008-12-19 10:06:12
56.   fiddlestick
Was Ben Grieve the next Phil Plantier or Kevin Maas?
2008-12-19 10:08:21
57.   Xeifrank
A quick and dirty calculation I did has Mark Teixeira at 5.05 WAR for 2009. Plugging this into my spreadsheet that takes inflation and aging (over the latter parts of a long term deal) into consideration, I came out with 8/$209Mil. I know Dave Cameron from USSM came up with something like 8/$196Mil.
vr, Xei
2008-12-19 10:09:30
58.   ToyCannon
Just because I found it interesting. James Loney in 375 plate appearances in 2007 had a VORP of 31. Teixeira in 335 plate appearances for Texas in 2007 had a Vorp of 26.

What would the Dodger payroll be based on 2008 WARP1 assuming Manny is a Dodger and they sign Randy Johnson?

2008-12-19 10:14:24
59.   Eric Stephen
Manny's WARP1 in 2008 was 9.8, and using the possibly-outdated MORP formula, his salary should be $37.2m. Although that might seem low to Boras, I'm guessing he can be had for less than that. :)

The Unit posted a 4.9 WARP1 last year, putting his salary in the $13.4m region.

2008-12-19 10:14:37
60.   bferb
55 Three of the A's four best prospects are pitchers. As for their MLB club, it seems like they're trying to make a real run at it this year and likely won't be dealing anyone like Duchsherer for example unless they are out of it by the trade deadline.
2008-12-19 10:30:12
61.   Humma Kavula
My suspicion here is that everybody acted in a manner that was both above board and slightly careless.

I have no knowledge or insight into the actual events, but consider this made-up scenario:

1) Agent deals with Braves, thinking they have the best package. Says he has to take it to Furcal.
2) Agent and Furcal talk in the middle of the night. The conversation is brief and perhaps shaded by the fact that both could be tired -- it's the middle of the night. But Furcal agrees to the dollars in Atlanta's deal.
3) Agent leaves voicemail asking to fax the term sheet.
4) It's the morning. Braves assume that means a) he's talked to Furcal and b) they have a deal. Term sheet is faxed.
5) Agent faxes term sheet to Furcal... who asks about his position (2B?) and/or whether agent ever got the Dodgers back on the phone after their initial offer.
6) So the agent calls the Dodgers. And yes, they can match the Braves' offer, and yes, Raffy can play short.
7) Agent says, oh, no, this is gonna be messy, and calls the Braves to update them.

Again, I made all that up, but it shows a situation where all four parties -- the Braves, the Dodgers, the agent, and Furcal -- all acted transparently and in good faith and ethically, and still, the hurt feelings are justified.

2008-12-19 10:32:54
62.   underdog
61 I heard that the events went something more like this:

(Or the Lego version:

2008-12-19 10:38:12
63.   Kevin Lewis
Warning: this will suck you away like Sporcle.

Bloon Tower Defense 3 is awesome

2008-12-19 10:42:42
64.   Tripon

Remember that brohaha over NBA players jumping ship to Europe? Well, it looks like they're jumping right back to the NBA.

2008-12-19 10:46:32
65.   silverwidow
The Cards are paying Pujols only $48M through 2011. The man has lost a ton of money on his current contract. A TON.
2008-12-19 10:51:04
66.   Xeifrank
65. Any doubt that when Pujols hits free agency that anyone other than the Yankees will be able to afford whatever it takes to sign him?
vr, Xei
2008-12-19 10:51:16
67.   silverwidow
If Ned was creative, he'd shop DeJesus to Oakland for one of their top pitching prospects (Anderson or Cahill). It's probably not enough, but worth going after.
2008-12-19 10:53:00
68.   Eric Stephen
I'd guess there's a decent chance Pujols ends up extending with the Cardinals before his deal is up. Who knows, though...3 years is a long time.
2008-12-19 10:54:53
69.   dkminnick
62 - Or maybe like this...
2008-12-19 10:55:08
70.   Marty
63 Play Protector
2008-12-19 10:59:42
71.   Tripon

Wolf wants to come back to the Dodgers.

2008-12-19 11:00:07
72.   Kevin Lewis

I really think he will give STL a discount to stay

2008-12-19 11:01:37
73.   Zak
If I was the Cards, I'd offer Pujols 10/190 right now. $19 million for him over ten years is a good deal for someone who will command about $25-27 million a year in 3 years. For Pujols, it's about security. Basically, he gets 7 more years after his current deal at $20 million per and he gets to stay "home".
2008-12-19 11:01:42
74.   Tripon
Teams that can afford Pujols true value:

Red Sox

I'm hoping with the last two. :(

2008-12-19 11:03:59
75.   Eric Enders
Love the Jack Handey ref. He's probably the most distinguished graduate of my high school, which of course doesn't speak too well of my high school.
2008-12-19 11:04:56
76.   Tripon
73 I can't see Pujols accepting anything less than $25 million per year in his next contract.
2008-12-19 11:11:07
77.   D4P
Jack Handey's a real person...?
2008-12-19 11:14:50
78.   Xeifrank
If Pujols was a free agent right now, I have him worth $280Mil over 8 years. That is taking into account aging, inflation and a 10% discount on long-term security. When he hits the free agent market in 2012 (correct me if I am wrong on this 2012 number), I have him getting about the same 8 year deal due to salary inflation (assuming 10% per year). Of course a lot could happen between now and 2012.
vr, Xei
2008-12-19 11:15:18
79.   Eric Stephen
If Teixeira signs for at least $20m per year right now, there's no reason for Pujols to accept anything less than that. I can envision Pujols giving St Louis a discount, but for him that means in the range of $20-25m per year.
2008-12-19 11:16:48
80.   Eric Stephen
If you meant 2012 in the sense that this is the 2009 offseason, then yes. Pujols is under contract through 2010, but has a $16m option for 2011, with a $5m buyout.
2008-12-19 11:19:22
81.   Gagne55
Pujols and Teixera aren't even close. Pujols should be looking at A-Rod type money.
2008-12-19 11:21:15
82.   Xeifrank
80. Thanks. I calculated as if his contract ran out at the end of the 2011 season. Barring a major drop in production, he'd be best not to take that player option in 2011. Of course, I'm not sure what the ethics police would have to say on that. :)
vr, Xei
2008-12-19 11:23:58
83.   Disabled List
The Yankees will give Pujols the first $300 million contract.
2008-12-19 11:24:04
84.   Eric Enders
77 Yep.
2008-12-19 11:24:10
85.   Eric Stephen
My bad on's a club option. The only way the Cards don't exercise that option is if they use that year to start Prince Albert's new deal.
2008-12-19 11:24:44
86.   DemRmyBums
I have noticed a number of comments that we need to go out and get a starting pitcher. Why? Let us evaluate our current starters and a couple of pitchers available on the free agent market.


Possible 4 & 5 from within organization.

Kuo - Would he be better as a starter? Perhaps less wear on his arm -- He did not make it through the 08 without a breakdown as primarily a relief pitcher.

Troncoso - Only 84.2 innings between the minors, LA and DWL. Excellent K/BB ratio 3:1, GO/AO ratio 3:1, worked in DWL as starter 15 innings in 3 games with a 1.80 era. Is it time to use him as a number 5 starter?

McDonald - Starter in the minors. Had 147 innings pitched this last year. Excellent performance in playoffs. Poor GO/AO ratio .65 (minors). Good K/BB ratio 2.66:1 (minors). Not enough innings to really evaluate ML performance. He should be an excellent 4 or 5 rookie starter.

Stultz - He is 29 years old. He pitched inconsistently last year. Torre appeared to loose confidence in him after he gave up
3 runs in 3+ innings in Colorado, However, his ML era was only 3.49. His K/BB ratio was 2.3:1. He only averaged
5.4 innings per ML start(7). Torre appeared to have a very quick hook on Stultz when compared to other starters. He is
a good hitting pitcher.

Schmidt - He is on the roster but will he be ready? Not many think so and even if he is will he be better than our other

Possible Free Agents

Sheets - For the last five years his ERA has been under 4.00 - 2.7, 3.3, 3.8, 3.8, 3.1 (rounded) he has been injured a number of times, in 2005 and 2006 he had only 156 and 106 innings pitched. iIn 2008 he pitched 198 innings, however; he had arm problems at the end of the season. His GO/AO ratio is 1.03:1. His WHIP for his career is a very respectable 1.2 and his K/BB ratio is 3.85 (career) also an excellent ratio. The question is the same as it is for all pitchers will he stay healthy?

Johnson: At the end of his career. Looking to get enough wins to reach 300 (needs 5). Started slow last year but was effective later in the season. 3.91 ERA with 30 games started and 184 innings. His WHIP WAS 1.24. His K/BB ratio was 3.93. He is 45 years old. He pitched in a hitter's park. Pitching at Dodger stadium should be a plus for him.

The problem with rookies is you never know what you are going to get.

The problem with free agents is you sometimes get damaged goods (Schmidt) and they cost a lot of money as well as blocking your ability to evaluate your young talent. Other than Brown for a short period big name free agent pitchers have not done well in LA - especially those from the American League.

As for trading: If you trade for prospects you are taking a chance. compare who you might get with what we have on our 40 man roster and that above is it that much better? Trading just to be doing something is generally counter productive. If we have a hole to fill and there is no help in house then trading makes sense. If we can get a super player like a Koufax then yes it should be considered. Or we should just do what many of us have been screaming for -- develop from within. Historically when the Dodgers have won the world series they have been teams that were built in the farm system. There are some exceptions : For example when the Dodgers Got Olsteen and he helped them win in 65.

2008-12-19 11:28:29
87.   Xeifrank
86. I missed the Kersner signing! :)
vr, Xei
2008-12-19 11:29:57
88.   silverwidow
Is there anyone in MLB, now or in the immediate future, capable of hitting .330, 35 HR, with far more walks the strikeouts? Pujols is peerless, right?
2008-12-19 11:29:58
89.   Eric Stephen
I hear Clayton Kersner dropped the "h" from his name because of all the negative letters received by his mother Mia, thanks to her semi-regular role as a villainess on 24.
2008-12-19 11:30:17
90.   Gagne55
Huh. From age 21-27, Pujols' most similar batter was Joe Dimaggio every year. Dimaggio didn't have an age 28 season and Foxx took over most similar at 28. So I'm surprised that his most similar batter through age 28 has Dimaggio 8th and not first. Although the missing age 28 season could be the big factor there.
2008-12-19 11:30:22
91.   silverwidow
88 *than strikeouts
2008-12-19 11:31:33
92.   Eric Stephen
A potential person capable of that has a trial set to start on March 2.
2008-12-19 11:31:51
93.   DemRmyBums
My left hand never knows what my right is doing. -- Kershaw and thanks
2008-12-19 11:33:34
94.   Eric Stephen
You'll feel left out during the Patty Cakes portion of next year's Dodger Thoughts picnic.
2008-12-19 11:34:37
95.   Gagne55
"Other than Brown for a short period big name free agent pitchers have not done well in LA"

The Lowe signing was a spectacular success.

2008-12-19 11:34:51
96.   Xeifrank
86. It's a huge risk to go "in house" to fill the last two spots in the starting rotation. I could see those "in house" names fighting for the 5th spot, but better yet imo fighting for the 5/6th spot. I know one of the names I am going to mention is not the most popular one, but I would recommend signing Garland (probably get him on a three year deal, or 2+Option) and RJ on a one year deal. Chances are the "in house" gang will get their fair share of starts and the young guns can limit their innings by pitching out of the pen primarily in 2009. I am not really sure what to say about the Hunch Arm of Taiwan, other than he is a great pitcher and I endorse any role that keeps his chances of pitching healthy high and that his innings are used in med+ leverage situations.
vr, Xei
2008-12-19 11:37:15
97.   Ken Noe
Heard part of a Steve Phillips piece on ESPN, essentially defending Furcal's agents. He related how the same thing had happened to him once.
2008-12-19 11:37:24
98.   Eric Stephen
the Hunch Arm of Taiwan

I like that nickname

2008-12-19 11:37:31
99.   Harold M Johnson
If the Dodgers are unable to sign Manny I think it makes them more likely to sign a more expensive FA pitcher, maybe Oliver Perez? It's a risk but he is young and surely talented. If they do sign Manny maybe they'll target a short term bargain like Johnson or maybe even Pedro Martinez?
2008-12-19 11:38:18
100.   DemRmyBums
94 I live in Souteast Arizona but I have been a Dodger and only a Dodger fan since 1958 when they moved to LA (I moved to LA in '57.) I have moved around most of my life as a soldier so I have never been able to catch many games in person.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-12-19 11:39:01
101.   Bluebleeder87
We need a quality hitter & a quality arm.
2008-12-19 11:39:15
102.   underdog
69 Heh.
"Is this the five minute argument or the half hour?"

86 I feel like the Dodgers need to bring in one more pitcher because as we've learned you can never have too much starting pitchers due to the inevitable injuries that take its toll over the course of a season. As much as I like our kids, too, they will have their ups and downs in the growing process. There are definitely a lot of in-house options, you're right, but I wouldn't mind one more pitcher for stability.

And yeah we have no idea what Schmidt will bring if anything. If he's healthy and effective, that's a pleasant surprise at this point and we'll take it. The more the merrier.

I've been an advocate of signing Randy Wolf so I'm pleased to hear it's at least a possibility.

2008-12-19 11:40:01
103.   Ken Arneson
55 The A's haven't cut ties with Crosby. They made him available to steal. If no one steals him, he's still on the team. It's the same thing the Red Sox did with Manny a few years ago, and no one bit on that, either.
2008-12-19 11:40:14
104.   Eric Enders
95 And Kevin Brown did well for a pretty long period.
2008-12-19 11:41:44
105.   Bluebleeder87
Will Caroll has a great "Top 10 Albums of 2008" blog post.
I always enjoy those year end posts of theres
2008-12-19 11:42:10
106.   Xeifrank
103. In other words the A's are begging someone to please rid them of this bad contract. In other other words the A's are willing to trade him for nothing. Right?? vr, Xei
2008-12-19 11:42:24
107.   silverwidow
I wonder if they'd consider signing Wolf AND RJ? Three lefties a bit much?
2008-12-19 11:43:45
108.   Eric Enders
107 It would probably take those two combined to fill a rotation spot for the whole year.
2008-12-19 11:44:06
109.   DemRmyBums
95 Lowe never seemed to want to be a Dodger and it seemed the only times he really pitched well was when we added Maddux.
2008-12-19 11:46:06
110.   bferb
103 106 Why haven't we made Pierre and Druw Jones "available to steal"?

(Aside from the obvious that likely no one would steal them, but nevertheless?

2008-12-19 11:49:07
111.   Gagne55
The Dodgers definitely should get another SP. I don't mind too much relying on McDonald, but Stults is AAAA. Perhaps the Dodgers will find someone to fill the Daal/Alvarez/Lima role, but you can't count on it.
2008-12-19 11:51:16
112.   Bluebleeder87

If I had a choice I'd go with Wolf...
RJ (at his age) is an injury risk...

2008-12-19 11:51:24
113.   Xeifrank
106. My guess is the primary reason would be that it would make our GM look bad. Secondary reason would be that he had some use until we signed Manny (albeit, heavily overpaid use).
vr, Xei
2008-12-19 11:52:10
114.   DemRmyBums
The point I am trying to make is that sure we can go out and get Free Agent pitching but at what cost? It reminds me of the attitude when we lost Drew we had to get someone so we ended up with Pierre and last year we had to get a middle of the order power hitter and we got Jones. Now we "have to get pitching" so how much is it going to hurt? I personnaly like the idea of getting Johnson but I think it will hurt the team in the long run. We had Wolf once already why do we need to go down that road again?
2008-12-19 11:54:11
115.   Gagne55
113 Beane put Crosby on waivers to make our GM look bad? I suppose it worked with Loaiza.
2008-12-19 11:56:50
116.   Icaros
Lowe never seemed to want to be a Dodger and it seemed the only times he really pitched well was when we added Maddux.

Lowe pitched four excellent years for the Dodgers, and the numbers back this up. Maddux was his teammate for less than four months total.

2008-12-19 11:59:34
117.   Icaros
If I had a choice I'd go with Wolf...
RJ (at his age) is an injury risk...

Yet, the year we had Wolf, when he was two years younger, he missed half the season with an injury.

2008-12-19 11:59:35
118.   Eric Enders
109 It may have seemed that way, but it wasn't what actually happened. Lowe was excellent before Maddux, during Maddux, and after Maddux.
2008-12-19 12:00:25
119.   Bluebleeder87
To be honest I don't know how Troncoso would work out as a starter (I love the idea though) I really like his arm delivery & the movement it generates. It's gonna be insteresting to see how that developes...

I really like the idea though.

2008-12-19 12:00:54
120.   Eric Enders
110 I think by most accounts we've done exactly that, but nobody has been desperate enough to want them.
2008-12-19 12:01:13
121.   trainwreck
Yeah, haha. Ned says he won't go after Randy or Sheets, but he goes after Wolf, who gets hurt a lot.
2008-12-19 12:02:22
122.   Bluebleeder87
It's a picture'esque day here in L.A!
2008-12-19 12:02:49
123.   DemRmyBums
What I expect to happen will be that we will go out and get free agent pitching and they will provide average to poor results which we could probably get from within but our young pitchers will be vanquished to the bullpen or AAA. Nothing is a guaranteed for any of them. Torre likes his veterans.
2008-12-19 12:03:24
124.   Tripon

Juan Rivera officially-ish re-signs with the Angels.

2008-12-19 12:04:41
125.   Tripon
Bret Tomko is still a free agent!
2008-12-19 12:05:50
126.   Eric Enders
It's kind of interesting how Troncoso was basically treated as chopped liver throughout the season, but now during the off-season so many people suddenly seem to be think he has a bright future and might be a good addition to the rotation.

I approve, incidentally. I just wonder what's bringing so many people around.

2008-12-19 12:07:31
127.   Bluebleeder87

That's true. The crazy thing also is that RJ has had back issues since I was a young teen & still manages to rack up innings!

2008-12-19 12:07:45
128.   Harold M Johnson
124 Does that officialy-ish means they're out on Manny? Don't they have 4 OFs/DH under contract?
2008-12-19 12:07:47
129.   Xeifrank
114. Of course cost is important. I would hope our starting pitching holes are filled with nobody signed to a contract length greater than 3 years, given what is available.

115. No. Pierre was not put on waivers because it would make our GM look bad. Sorry if what I wrote was confusing.

vr, Xei

2008-12-19 12:08:05
130.   Eric Stephen
Lowe never seemed to want to be a Dodger and it seemed the only times he really pitched well was when we added Maddux

Lowe actually did pitch better with Maddux, but he pitched well without him too. I looked up the numbers, and they are quite startling (although it's silly to think Maddux is the main reason for the pitching improvement):

Lowe w/o Maddux: 116 starts, 41-46, 3.90 ERA, 0.91 HR/9, 2.37 BB/9, 6.06 K/9.

Lowe w/Maddux: 20 games, 19 starts, 13-2, 1.79 ERA, 0.21 HR/9, 1.64 BB/9, 5.36 K/9.

2008-12-19 12:08:09
131.   Icaros
I just want Randy. He's tall.
2008-12-19 12:09:39
132.   Xeifrank
126. Fangraphs wrote an article about him.
vr, Xei
2008-12-19 12:10:37
133.   D4P
I hadn't read a Stephen King novel since high school, but I picked up "Duma Key" on the way back from Paris a few days ago and pretty much couldn't put it down until I finished it a little while ago.

C'est bon.

2008-12-19 12:11:54
134.   Tripon
129 And trying to sign center fielders left and right doesn't make Ned Coletti looks bad?
2008-12-19 12:13:13
135.   bhsportsguy
I believe the issues with Sheets is health, money, length of contract desired and very far back, draft choices (if that is considered at all). Johnson, the main issue would be health, I would guess he would want only one year.

Randy Wolf could want more than one year, which again the Dodgers may not want to do.

I would put the choices for another pitcher as Johnson (performance-based 1 year contract); Wolf, if he'll sign a one year deal, after that, a whole lot of NRIs.

2008-12-19 12:13:45
136.   Eric Enders
129 We have no way of knowing for sure, since it's not public info, but Pierre was almost certainly put on waivers last year, just the revocable kind. Almost all MLB players are put on revocable waivers every August as a sort of smokescreen to disguise the guys that teams are actually trying to sneak through.
2008-12-19 12:14:46
137.   bhsportsguy
129 Pierre, along with most of the veterans was probably put on waivers back in August.
2008-12-19 12:15:15
138.   bhsportsguy
136 Great minds, etc.
2008-12-19 12:15:21
139.   DemRmyBums
116 Yes Lowe put up some very good numbers. For the 4 years he managed to win 6 more games than he lost. Now winning and losing are not always the pitchers fault. His ERA was in the range of 3.24 - 3.88 over those years good numbers and it means that he kept the Dodgers in a lot of games. So you may include him with Brown as good free agent signings if you want. I just classify his as OK.
2008-12-19 12:16:27
140.   Tripon
136 137 Those are a different sort of waivers meant to spur trade discussions, with the potential of the Dodgers receiving compensation somehow.
2008-12-19 12:17:19
141.   underdog
103 Ah, yes, good point. Thanks for clarifying.

Where do you think they'll go, between he, Pennington and other options?

I'm waiting for the Catfish Stew post! ;-)

2008-12-19 12:19:14
142.   Eric Enders
139 The thing is, if your standard for success is "better than Derek Lowe," then there's no way to meet that. That would mean there are almost no successful free agent signings, ever, by any team.

Lowe is probably among the 12 or 15 most successful pitcher free agent signings in the history of baseball.

2008-12-19 12:20:16
143.   jasonungar07
Can you believe the nerve of this guy: (lol)

"Pittsburgh Pirates SS Jack Wilson thinks the team needs more players to have a chance to compete next season"

2008-12-19 12:21:11
144.   bhsportsguy
140 Also. it really is up to the club to release that information, waiver information is not available to the media or public as far as I know.
2008-12-19 12:21:44
145.   Eric Stephen
I just classify [Lowe] as OK

Derek Lowe has the 5th best ERA+ by a starter in LA Dodger history (minimum 400 IP). He was an absolute, unqualified, no-doubt-about-it successful signing.

2008-12-19 12:22:55
146.   bhsportsguy
142 Well, Lowe was better than Dave Goltz.

There have been a little over 30 years of free agency, off the top, Greg Maddux is my best guess as the most successful free agent signing.

2008-12-19 12:23:38
147.   Eric Enders
143 "And they can start by getting rid of me!"
2008-12-19 12:23:50
148.   Eric Stephen
I just did a double take noticing that Tim Belcher's Dodger ERA+ (118) was higher than Orel Hershiser, and many others.
2008-12-19 12:25:00
149.   Tripon
148 Tommy Lasorda hates his pitchers.
2008-12-19 12:25:50
150.   bhsportsguy
146 Roger Clemens and to some extent Nolan Ryan would be in the top 5.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-12-19 12:27:17
151.   Eric Enders
146 Maddux is a good pick. Randy Johnson won four Cy Young Awards during his free agent contract. Clemens won two.
2008-12-19 12:27:17
152.   DemRmyBums
130 Both times we got Maddux we were making a run for the playoffs. It appears that Lowe concentrated a little more and truly performed up to his potential. If you feel that a 3.90 era for a staff ace are good numbers then he was good when Maddux was not with the Dodgers. During those periods I feel that he was performing at a 2 or 3 starter level especially when you consider half his starts were in Dodger Stadium and while it is not the pitcher's paradise it once was it is still good to pitchers.
2008-12-19 12:27:36
153.   Eric Stephen
I think Randy Johnson is an easy #2 choice. 4-year deal, 4 Cy Youngs, 164 ERA+, 1 championship

Maddux's 5-year deal included 3 CYA, a 198 ERA+, and a championship.

2008-12-19 12:33:25
154.   Eric Enders
152 Again, it's a matter of unrealistic expectations and standards. Jon has gone blue in the face making this point before, but there are 30 teams in baseball, so by definition there should be 30 #1 starters. Is Lowe one of the 30 best pitchers in baseball? Yes, without question.

Another thing is that you're discussing Lowe's "Maddux" time as if it deserves an asterisk, or shouldn't count in his favor. It should. Even if the Maddux effect was real, Lowe still pitched those games and won them. The games did occur and the team did derive a benefit from them.

2008-12-19 12:36:28
155.   silverwidow
What's Pedro's ERA+ with Boston?
2008-12-19 12:37:47
156.   Eric Stephen
Take a look at the best starters from 2005-2008, as ranked by ERA+ (minimum 600 IP):

Let's assume for a moment that the Dodgers only got the non-Maddux Lowe. So he pitches at a 3.90 ERA for all 4 years. Over that time period, the league ERA adjusted for league and Dodger Stadium was 4.38 (I got this looking at Lowe's overall 3.59 ERA as a Dodger and his 122 ERA+).

So the non-Maddux Lowe would be at a 112 adjusted ERA+.

Take a look at that list again. There are only 25 pitchers ahead that have achieved a higher ERA+ over that time span.

Even if you take it year by year, here are the number of pitchers with a 112 ERA+ while qualifiying for the ERA title:

2008: 46
2007: 40
2006: 31
2005: 42

That's an average of 40 pitchers per year achieving Maddux-less Lowe's level of success. Since there are only 30 teams, by definition the non-Maddux Lowe was at worst a upper-to-mid #2 starter. Which of course is extremely valuable.

2008-12-19 12:37:54
157.   Tripon

Heyman says the Mets are targeting Lowe, and Oliver Perez after Tex signs with somebody. And then Wolf if they can't sign either of them.

2008-12-19 12:38:08
158.   DemRmyBums
It appears that I have offended a number of individuals on this site due to my classifying Lowe's signing as merely OK. In my opinion an OK or good signing will make you competitive that is what Lowe did. A great signing will win you the World Series, which No LA Dodger free agent pitcher has accomplished.
2008-12-19 12:38:23
159.   Bob Timmermann
Pedro Martinez joined the Red Sox as part of a trade if that's what you're getting at.

He's only signed as a free agent with the Mets.

2008-12-19 12:38:34
160.   Eric Stephen
190 over 7 seasons. But of course, he wasn't a free agent. :)
2008-12-19 12:39:17
161.   Gagne55
152 Are you penalizing Lowe for pitching his best down the stretch in seasons where the division title was on the line (and won)?

148 And Billingsley has the same ERA+ as Koufax.

2008-12-19 12:39:24
162.   Eric Enders
155 It's spectacular, but the problem is the only team Pedro has ever signed a free agent contract with is the Mets.
2008-12-19 12:39:57
163.   Eric Enders
Wow, really late on that one.
2008-12-19 12:40:51
164.   Eric Stephen
I don't think you have offended anyone; some just think you are wrong.
2008-12-19 12:42:05
165.   Eric Enders
158 You haven't offended anyone; you've caused them to disagree with you, which is a very different thing.
2008-12-19 12:42:19
166.   Eric Enders
2008-12-19 12:42:56
167.   Eric Enders
I am now going to stop replying to things until Eric Stephen leaves forever. ;)
2008-12-19 12:44:07
168.   Gagne55
The progression of 162 through 166 made me lol.
2008-12-19 12:44:49
169.   underdog's Ben Reiter picks the most underrated free agents this off season.

He sort of lost me at "Mark Hendrickson..."

2008-12-19 12:47:06
170.   DemRmyBums
Got to go now. Catch you all tomorrow. Interesting conversation is what makes being a baseball fan fun. Good Luck and God Bless.
2008-12-19 12:47:08
171.   Eric Stephen
I will say this: I was really mad when the Dodgers signed Lowe. The contract seemed excessive (4/$36m) at the time, and Lowe looked like he imploded in 2004 (before the 3 postseason clinching wins of course). Before the 2005 season began, I talked myself into thinking it wasn't too bad of a signing, but I probably still would have classified the move only as high as "not terrible."

Lowe's success as a Dodger was a welcome surprise.

2008-12-19 12:48:13
172.   Ken Arneson
141 Sorry, I've outsourced all my thoughts on the shortstop problem to Billy Beane.

Not impressed with Pennington. I'd rather watch Petit than Crosby. I think Beane makes a trade.

If I were to propose an A's-Dodgers trade, I'd say gimme Andruw + DeJesus for Crosby. Gives us a SS for the future, and gives you money to sign Manny. The A's only have six players making over minimum wage, so they can afford to eat someone else's salary.

And then you'd say, not DeJesus, but you can have Hu. And then I say, you're lucky I didn't ask for both.

2008-12-19 12:48:40
173.   trainwreck
I was mad, not because I did not think he was good, but because of his crock chop at the A's in the playoffs.

Now I can go back to not likely him.

2008-12-19 12:49:34
174.   silverwidow
OK, so Pedro was traded for Carl Pavano. I seemed to have forgotten that. Pavano was apparently the #9 prospect in baseball at that time.
2008-12-19 12:49:39
175.   trainwreck
*crotch chop I meant.

I need to eat some food.

2008-12-19 12:51:11
176.   Andrew Shimmin
167- He should, at least, be forced to wear some kind of bell. Regfairfield, too.
2008-12-19 12:52:14
177.   Eric Stephen
I seem to remember Miguel Tejada's Rule 1 violating reaction to that being caught by a microphone and aired on live TV.

When I first heard of the Lowe signing, I was in Oakland, near the airport, about to board a BART train. Not sure why I remember that.

2008-12-19 12:54:52
178.   Ken Noe
So does the Rivera signing take the Angels out of the Manny race, assuming they were ever in it?
2008-12-19 12:55:19
179.   underdog
172 Yeah, I'd rank Petit tops, too.
And I hope the Dodgers don't make that trade. I'd rather be stuck with Jones and keep DeJesus than be stuck with Crosby, that would be pointless from the Dodgers standpoint, even with some money off the books. I'd rather do Hu for a pitcher, but you will in turn say, no way, and then we agree to part company realizing neither of us are GM.
2008-12-19 12:57:17
180.   Eric Enders
Eric Stephen has probably covered this already, but in case the Mets sign Lowe, where does he rank on the Elias list compared to K-Rod?
2008-12-19 12:58:15
181.   trainwreck
2008-12-19 12:58:18
182.   Gagne55
171 Yeah, I also thought it was a terrible deal at the time. And then there was a stretch from June 11- July 15 when he was awful, though not as bad as I remember him being looking through the gamelogs and was like "well, look at that, Lowe sucks mightily again. what a terrible deal." but he turned it around and pitched very well after that.
2008-12-19 13:01:28
183.   trainwreck
Back then, I assumed every deal DePo did was a good one. Even Odalis Perez. Now, I want nothing to do with soft tossers.

Jamie Moyer be damned.

2008-12-19 13:05:24
184.   Gagne55
183 I thought Odalis Perez was good when he was signed because of his performance in '02 and '04. Jose Valentin's deal on the other hand I hated the day it was signed.
2008-12-19 13:10:13
185.   Sam DC
Tom Boswell's in Adam Dunn's corner: "I don't think Dunn gets enough respect for a guy who has hit 40 homers five years in a row and has a top-10 on-base percentage. he made $13M last year."

2008-12-19 13:14:26
186.   bluegold
Let's get one stipulation out of the way: the money McCourt spends is not "our" money, unless one of you are his child.

My next question is, what do you want out of following Dodger baseball? I'll answer that first. I want the Dodgers to be a realistic annual contender and win a World Series now and then, the sooner the better.

I get no pleasure out of watching mediocre Dodger teams, while waiting for the "pieces" to come together down the road. My "down the road" is now, because I have been waiting since way back then.

But it just seems that there are many here who watch McCourt's payroll like it's their own money. For example, I want Manny back. We have no realistic chance without him. If it takes a 4-year contract to get 1 or 2 good years of realistic WS chances, so be it. I say do it, most of you say don't.

But it just seems that the prevailing sentiment here is for the Dodgers to save its money, make safe and conservative roster changes, watch the "youngsters" mature, hope for more wins than losses, watch other teams play the WS, come back the next season and do it all over again.

Last Sept/Oct were a magical Dodger time, thanks to Manny. Yet I got the distinct feeling that not all here were thrilled about his presence. Manny seemed to threatened their safe and predictable baseball world.

We should be unanimous in wanting Manny back at any cost to McCourt, but opponents outnumber proponents by a wide margin. And that prompts my question: exactly what do you want out of Dodgers baseball?

2008-12-19 13:18:57
187.   El Lay Dave
186 You can't blow the bankroll on Manny ("at any cost") like a drunken sailor on shore leave and meet the annual part of your stated goal.
2008-12-19 13:22:53
188.   bluegold
187. So, what do YOU want out of Dodgers baseball?
2008-12-19 13:24:06
189.   Andrew Shimmin
I think I speak for everyone here when I say: we want ponies.
2008-12-19 13:24:11
190.   bhsportsguy
186 There are lots of ways to enjoy something, for some it is how a baseball team is constructed.

Certainly, all things being equal, I would have no problems signing every player that would help the Dodgers (or any team I follow win). But, right now, it does appear that the offer the Dodgers made over a month ago to Manny is the only one he has received and unlike CC, Burnett or Tex, there really hasn't been alot of rumblings about anymore offers.

I support your enthusiastic support and I agree, last August and September saw some great moments (and I witnessed several) with Manny and I would proudly wear a Manny t-shirt if and when he is signed up.

I think you misread the sentiment here, the main thing I have gathered in my years reading and posting on DT is that for the most part, DTers want to Dodgers to win and to do things smartly and effiecncy.

From where I sit, this might be the first off-season in a couple of years where the vast majority have had no major complaints thus far.

2008-12-19 13:24:33
191.   herchyzer
139 . I'll take an "okay" Lowe signing again, if I can get it. Still waiting for my Manny!
2008-12-19 13:24:42
192.   bhsportsguy
189 I thought you just wanted a new box of pens.
2008-12-19 13:27:54
193.   bhsportsguy
190 I really need to spell check my longer posts.

I think you misread the sentiment here, the main thing I have gathered in my years reading and posting on DT is that for the most part, DTers want to Dodgers to win and to do things smartly and efficiently.

From where I sit, this might be the first off-season in a couple of years where the vast majority have had no major complaints thus far.

2008-12-19 13:28:19
194.   El Lay Dave
86 Historically when the Dodgers have won the world series they have been teams that were built in the farm system. There are some exceptions : For example when the Dodgers Got Olsteen and he helped them win in 65.

The Dodgers have only won two WS in the free agency era ('81 and '88). The 60s still had the reserve clause, no arbitration, and no free agency, which makes a big difference.

The Dodgers teams that made the WS or playoffs in the FA era may have featured homegrown talent (e.g., the famous 70s infield) but outside acquistions played huge roles in the success as well: Wynn, Messersmith, John, Hooton, Baker, R. Smith, Gibson, Reuss, Downing, etc.

2008-12-19 13:32:59
195.   Andrew Shimmin
192- There you go taking the McCourts' side again, company man. I want a pony. You can't buy me off with a box of pens!
2008-12-19 13:35:14
196.   D4P
Giving a pen to Andrew is like giving a golf ball to Tiger Woods.
2008-12-19 13:35:43
197.   bhsportsguy
194 There is probably a middle ground here, very few teams that win it all are solely home grown or filled with a acquisitions.

The '81 team had 5 position players (not counting Pedro Guerrero who was acquired while still a minor leaguer) and its pitching staff outside of Fernando was made up veteran pick ups sprinkled with some youngsters.

In '88, there were more vet pickups, Marshall, Sax and Scioscia were the key home-grown guys with Orel and more farmhands in the pen.

Certainly, this current core group is more like the '70s teams but they will need to have additions from other organizations to win.

2008-12-19 13:37:50
198.   silverwidow
I want a competitive, largely homegrown team. A team with a GM that makes savvy, under-the-radar moves that help reach their goal. Basically, the Rays model.
2008-12-19 13:38:23
199.   Eric Stephen
In '88, there were more vet pickups, Marshall, Sax and Scioscia were the key home-grown guys with Orel and more farmhands in the pen

I remember when Orel got the save in Game 4 of the NLCS!

2008-12-19 13:40:30
200.   El Lay Dave
194 I was trying to establish that "middle ground" also with "featured homegown" combined with "acquisitions" having "huge roles"; not trying to argue they were heavily made up of acquisitions. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-12-19 13:43:29
201.   ToyCannon
130 Amazing

If we hadn't signed Loretta I would have traded A Jones / Hu / Josh Bell for Crosby. The 12 million saved would go a long way to improving this years team and Crosby could have fought it out with DeWitt for the lions share of the time at 2nd base. For example with the $12 Million you could sign Sheets and the trade is really A Jones / Hu / Josh Bell for Crosby and Sheets with plenty of money to sign Manny and keep the payroll right around $115 Million.

However we have Loretta so another scenario but not as good for me is to deal A Jones / Hu to the Reds for Arroyo. We get back around $8 Million in that scenario and that gives us enough to sign Manny without taking the payroll over $110 Mill. Arroyo is no Sheets but he will eat innings and he's only under contract until 2010 with a small $2Mill buyout for 2011. Arroyo had a dreadful 1st half in 2008 due to his home run rate and command. In the 2nd half he cut his home runs in half and improved his command by dropping his dominance. The Reds need a CF as Bruce is really a RF and while they may not be looking to add payroll they would enjoy the flexibility of losing A Jones in 2010 and not have Arroyo on the books.

For us to add Manny and a pitcher we are going to have make some kind of deal where we say good bye to A Jones. I expect A Jones will be easier to deal because of the one year deal left on his contract compared to Pierre.

2008-12-19 13:47:55
202.   ToyCannon
Ohio has been suggesting the Pierre/Arroyo deal for a while. I just modified it for my own purposes.
2008-12-19 13:48:29
203.   fiddlestick
The "Rays" model involves being horrible frequently enough to get players like Longoria, Price and Upton. It also involves getting extremely lucky on reclamation projects like Carlos Pena. And it also involves getting even more extremely lucky to be able to fleece GM's out of players like Kazmir and Navarro for nothing.

The Ned Special Contract (tm) is a fantastic strategy for a large market budget with a cost-controlled talented player core. It's just been applied to the wrong players.

2008-12-19 13:52:13
204.   delias man
I do not believe in the Rays model yet. Convince me with 2 more years of success. If I had to watch 10 years at that level of horrible baseball to get one run at it, I would pass.
2008-12-19 13:54:47
205.   ToyCannon
Amazing how much luck went into turning around the franchise. I guess they were also "lucky" that Shields turned into a stud, that Iwamura could play 2nd base, that Hinske had something left to offer, and that Garza just happened to blossom with them. Love that luck.
2008-12-19 14:00:24
206.   Harold M Johnson
I don't know if the Rays have a "model" so much as they have a good executive team and a plan. The Dodgers would be well served to have a similar team combined with their excellent revenues. The reason the Rays don't spend a lot of money is not because they don't want to, it's because they can't.
2008-12-19 14:03:18
207.   ToyCannon
Times are changing. None of the top 4 prospects for the A's went to college.

Cahill, Anderson, Inoa, and Cardenes. Inoa wasn't drafted out of high school because he's only 16. How did the A's end up signing the best international prospect in baseball? Anytime the Yankee's don't get these guys I root for them. I liked it when the Yankee's kept spending money on the Cuban defectors.

2008-12-19 14:03:34
208.   fiddlestick
205 Not sure if you're being sarcastic, I assume you are. I'm not saying they haven't made good decisions along the way or that they've been able to see something in players other org.'s may have not, but do you not agree that their 2008 success is at least equal parts shrewd moves and the benefit of drafting the best player available + some extremely fortunate acquisitions that required the incompetence of a separate party?
2008-12-19 14:07:34
209.   scareduck
201 - If we hadn't signed Loretta I would have traded A Jones / Hu / Josh Bell for Crosby.

Given Crosby's recent offensive and injury history, I wouldn't trade him for Hu straight up. Hu right now is a better glove, and is much, much more likely to stay healthy.

2008-12-19 14:08:21
210.   scareduck
205 - add to your list of "lucky" things happening for the Rays: Chuck LaMar is no longer GM. Huh!
2008-12-19 14:08:38
211.   silverwidow
This guy calls Billingsley a #3:

2008-12-19 14:11:11
212.   ToyCannon
Sure, I just don't call it luck when you out smart an opponent. Is it luck to beat an opponent in chess if they are inferior to you? Luck was having the Pirates pick Bullinger instead of Upton.
2008-12-19 14:12:03
213.   ToyCannon
Skills are not being factored in. In that scenario it is strictly a salary dump to remove A Jones off the payroll.
2008-12-19 14:14:31
214.   scareduck
2008-12-19 14:16:20
215.   D4P
It's too late to really get revenge on Andruw Jones for what he's done, but we can at least embarrass him a little bit by making him sit on the bench for the entire 2009 season without playing a single inning or logging a single plate appearance.
2008-12-19 14:21:14
216.   fiddlestick
212 Fair enough. But even the very best, reasoned decisions have some that don't work out. Everything the Rays touched turned to gold at the same time. I'm not willing to chalk it all up to genius.
2008-12-19 14:21:58
217.   bhsportsguy
215 Since he would still be collecting approx 100K a day to sit there, I don't think it would be much revenge.
2008-12-19 14:27:08
218.   D4P
I know. But he's gonna get paid no matter what, so the best we can do is make him come to the park everyday, suit up, and then sit on the bench all game, every game, with that stupid looking grin on his face.
2008-12-19 14:30:47
219.   Prescott Pete
Andruw can be our bat boy.
2008-12-19 14:31:24
220.   D4P
Even more degrading.

I like it.

2008-12-19 14:32:39
221.   fanerman
We should make him boil Dodger dogs at a concession stand, but forbid him from eating them. Ironic punishment.
2008-12-19 14:32:40
222.   ToyCannon
At the moment they probably have some of the brightest bulbs working for them. Not everything turned to gold. They traded Lugo for JtD and got zip and even lost out on some draft picks. I'm sure that is one deal they wish they hadn't made. The idea they have fleeced Ned everytime we have traded should be put to rest. Most of the time, but not every time.
2008-12-19 14:33:46
223.   Eric Stephen
Damn those Sports Hub LA writers who write about the Dodgers! Damn them all!
2008-12-19 14:34:12
224.   ToyCannon
Or he could play, hit, and catch like he's being paid to do while giving us that big grin that I like.
2008-12-19 14:35:24
225.   ToyCannon
I thought it was funny since I had asked in an earlier column if anyone knew what an ace was in this town. Evidently they still don't.
2008-12-19 14:37:10
226.   D4P
At this point, letting him play is letting him win.

Actually, he's gonna win either way. But we can at least reduce his victory a little bit by shaming him in front of the nation for 162 games.

2008-12-19 14:41:04
227.   fiddlestick
Sitting Andruw for a year would be the kindest thing to do to him. His prospects for his next contract are better off with a bottom full of splinters rather than another year's worth of results.
2008-12-19 14:42:37
228.   ToyCannon
Why do you follow sports if overpaid athletes bother you so much? I know plenty of people who stopped following sports because of the salaries but they don't spend their time on baseball blogs.
2008-12-19 14:42:56
229.   Gen3Blue
I'm a bit bewildered here. Unless things change I can't see anyone taking Jones in a trade unless we paid his full salary. Come to think of it, I can't think of anyone playing him even if we paid his salary and threw in more cash. What am I missing?
Of course he could recover some ability, but that would take a while to demonstrate.
2008-12-19 14:46:34
230.   D4P
To the extent that I still follow sports (which is much less than I used to), I do so to be entertained.

Entertainment can take on many forms (e.g. joy, grief, humor, annoyance, bemusement, etc. etc. etc.)

And the time I spend on this baseball blog is done more for entertainment than for baseball talk, though those two are not mutually exclusive.

2008-12-19 14:48:20
231.   Bleacher Seats
Regarding Lowe - He should have been a 20+ game winner last year. He is a ground ball pitcher who had the misfortune of having a bad infield - so he naturally ended up with a higher ERA. Awhile back I looked at the games he lost this past year and I think there were about eight games that he lost by one run - and that was with the Dodgers scoring 2 or less runs in all of those games. So he lost 8 games by a 3-2, 2-1 or 1-0.

Can someone do a check on this - I'm not positive about these numbers.

2008-12-19 14:48:42
232.   Eric Enders
"I know plenty of people who stopped following sports because of the salaries."

I really don't get that. The game is still the same. Who cares how much someone makes? They get whatever the market has decided their services are worth. So what?

They really liked sports so much better when Walter O'Malley was hoarding all the money instead of giving the profits to the people who actually made them?

2008-12-19 14:50:43
233.   bferb
156 After scanning that list, I find it so interesting how much money Burnett is getting for being the 25th best pitcher in baseball. SP have become so valuable its unbeleivable
2008-12-19 14:51:21
234.   ToyCannon
I've never understood it myself. If they stopped playing hard because of the money I could understand but everyone still plays to win no matter how much they make. Maybe it is just an excuse they use when the magic of the game has lost the luster it once had for them as kids.
2008-12-19 14:53:02
235.   Eric Enders
231 Derek Lowe's 48 losses as a Dodger:

The Dodgers scored
0 runs 10 times
1 run 16 times
2 runs 8 times
3+ runs 14 times

2008-12-19 14:55:39
236.   Marty
I suspect the average Joe Sixpack liked the fact that major league players had to get Winter jobs back in the day. It made them closer to equal. Now, with everyone getting millions there's no comparison. Hence the resentment.
2008-12-19 14:55:53
237.   underdog
According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds are now focused on three outfielders: Jerry Hairston Jr., Rocco Baldelli, and Willy Taveras. They had some interest in Juan Rivera but didn't want to do three years.


If they sign any of those guys there goes our fantasy of trading them Juan Pierre. Taveras' availability made that idea in general a bit harder but once he signs somewhere they can hone in on a few teams perhaps.

2008-12-19 14:56:07
238.   Prescott Pete
I respect huge dollar players who stay in shape. Andruw, not so much.
2008-12-19 14:56:12
239.   underdog
(Especially if they sign Manny.)
2008-12-19 15:01:43
240.   Bleacher Seats
235 - In 2008 in Lowe losses
Dodger scored:
2 runs 2 times
1 run 6 times
0 runs 2 times
2008-12-19 15:02:02
241.   fiddlestick
235 That's page #18 on Scott Boras' Derek Lowe binder.
2008-12-19 15:06:47
242.   Eric Enders
I wonder how much of that is due to the manager's tendency to play a better defensive infield (less Jeff Kent, more Chin-Lung Hu, etc) when groundballer Lowe pitched.
2008-12-19 15:16:13
243.   scareduck
232 - hear, hear. (Or is it, here, here?)
2008-12-19 15:16:59
244.   trainwreck
I do not remember much of a defensive change when Lowe pitched. Jeff Kent played all the time unless he was hurt.
2008-12-19 15:17:45
245.   scareduck
234 - maybe, having already made millions, he has decided baseball isn't that interesting.

Of course, if he's like everyone else, he's probably lost 30-40% in his portfolio over the last year, so maybe he's huffing and puffing in the gym as I write this.

2008-12-19 15:19:06
246.   scareduck
245 - "he" = Andruw Jones.
2008-12-19 15:23:57
247.   Bluebleeder87
I love guavas
2008-12-19 15:31:41
248.   KG16
202 - I'd take Arroyo for Pierre in a heartbeat. I think Arroyo's numbers are skewed pitching in that abomination of a park and having a less than stellar defense behind him. Moving to a division with pitcher friendly parks would do him well.

Plus, no Pierre.

Also, I don't just want ponies, I want magic flying ponies.

2008-12-19 15:32:48
249.   fordprefect
There, there.
2008-12-19 15:33:31
250.   delias man
211 That guy needs more research. Sabathia took Park deep, not Chad. Chad beat CLE the next day.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-12-19 15:36:02
251.   Bluebleeder87
I can't remember another super star falling off the face of the earth like Jones.

I heart strawberries as well.

2008-12-19 15:36:25
252.   Jim Hitchcock
248 Well, at least you didn't ask for the impossible, like unicorns.
2008-12-19 15:36:50
253.   bferb
248 The trouble is, the Reds won't do Pierre for Arroyo in a heartbeat.
2008-12-19 15:38:59
254.   fanerman
253 He asked for flying ponies, not unicorns.
2008-12-19 15:44:26
255.   KG16
oh, oh, oh, the Reds only have three outfielders on their 40 man roster, we can send them two that we aren't using...

magic. flying. ponies.

2008-12-19 15:45:08
256.   El Lay Dave
250 Mind if I add that to the comments over there?
2008-12-19 15:46:16
257.   El Lay Dave
248 Magic flying ponies? Maybe if you tried Mexican Coke?
2008-12-19 15:50:26
258.   Gen3Blue
243 I once would have said here!,here! was correct but from English Lit. and in particular Patrick O'Brien, it seems a common exclamation of agreement was hear him !, hear him!. Therefore now I would go for Hear!,Hear!. But I'm sure in this illustrious forum we will soon have confirmation one way or the other.
2008-12-19 15:51:40
259.   bferb
How about for Arroyo we send Pierre, Jones and one of those Princess Unicorn dolls Dwight was selling on The Office last week? That should appease everyone
2008-12-19 15:52:06
260.   silverwidow

(Sorry, game thread withdrawal).

2008-12-19 15:55:34
261.   Jim Hitchcock
254 Er?
2008-12-19 15:57:34
262.   ToyCannon
True Blue is proud to announce that Eric Stephen is going to be blogging at True Blue starting some time tonight. I look forward to a litany of Vorp, Morp, and Warp.
2008-12-19 16:05:14
263.   arborial
259 is the doll of the light skinned or the dark skinned variety?
2008-12-19 16:08:15
264.   Indiana Jon
Eric, you didn't give up on your 1987 Donruss blog did you?
2008-12-19 16:11:32
265.   Eric Stephen
No sir, I've just been busy, I mean lazy this week. I'll probably post something on both sites tonight.
2008-12-19 16:15:17
266.   CanuckDodger
262 -- When will an announcement be made that Andrew is no longer associated with the blog? Not that he IS associated with it anymore, but I think we need a formal declaration of what is already a fact in order to move on.
2008-12-19 16:15:36
267.   Eric Enders
251 "I can't remember another super star falling off the face of the earth like ..."

... Ed Delahanty?

2008-12-19 16:16:12
268.   Indiana Jon
265 I plan to look for some of those 1977 Topps that you need this next week when I'm at my mom's. Is there an updated list?
2008-12-19 16:17:35
269.   Eric Stephen
I'm down to only 13 needed now, thanks to the awesome Garvey Cey Russell Lopes blog. I will update that as well tonight.

Thanks a lot!

2008-12-19 16:19:43
270.   Jim Hitchcock
So long, Mark Felt.
2008-12-19 16:20:26
271.   Indiana Jon
I finally took the plunge just now and bought a MacBook Pro. If I like it, then I plan to thank everyone here for their words of advice. If I hate it, I plan to blame Bob.
2008-12-19 16:20:42
272.   bferb
263 Whichever kind Walt Jocketty prefers
2008-12-19 16:20:50
273.   ToyCannon
For the salary you are getting paid I thought we had exclusivity. Didn't Kinser read you the term sheet.
2008-12-19 16:23:03
274.   Eric Stephen
The post on the 1987 Donruss blog will be something to the effect of "for more of my ramblings, point your browsers to True Blue LA." I hope the servers can handle those extra 4 readers!
2008-12-19 16:25:03
275.   Indiana Jon
274 Extra 3 readers. I already read both.
2008-12-19 16:28:28
276.   herchyzer
236 , 234 , 232 . I think part of the "resentment" is that it appears unseemly to some of us lesser-waged mortals when young millionaires complain that they're underpaid. Having more of an effect than actual resentment, though, I would think, is a kind of dislocation we feel toward our favorite clubs as their best players move on sooner, or at least appear to move on sooner, than in the past.

The old days when players were mistreated economically by the owners were, in some ways, more fan-friendly. At least that's an arguable point, I think. I don't wish them back, because it wasn't right.

2008-12-19 16:29:09
277.   Kevin Lewis

I can get behind that

2008-12-19 16:31:21
278.   Eric Enders
276 Fair enough. I think the key point you make is that the best players only seem to move around more often than they used to, because that impression is for the most part incorrect.
2008-12-19 16:37:22
279.   Eric Stephen
This might come as a shock, but a day after the Red Sox were out of the Teixeira stakes, it looks like they're back in (cue Godfather III Al Pacino):

2008-12-19 16:38:58
280.   Eric Enders
Eric Stephen's first demand as a True Blue L.A. writer should be to have his name spelled correctly in the post introducing him. Aim high!
2008-12-19 16:46:21
281.   LogikReader
My program guide says the Lakers game starts at 5pm on ESPN... but at 5:30 on KCAL. What gives?
2008-12-19 16:50:38
282.   KG16
271 - you're really becoming part of the community here.
2008-12-19 16:52:21
283.   ToyCannon
I finally read your link. For some reason after every quote I think of Andrew Shimmin which is strange because I don't think of Shimmin as funny but I'm LMAO right now.
2008-12-19 16:54:15
284.   Eric Stephen
Classic KCAL tape delay for east coast games. Higher ratings for them. More anger for Angelinos.
2008-12-19 16:55:07
285.   silverwidow
Why are the Dodgers wasting a roster spot on Brent Leach? He sounds like a low ceiling 26 y.o. LOOGY.
2008-12-19 16:56:05
286.   Eric Enders
I like Leach okay. Who should they have protected instead?
2008-12-19 16:57:17
287.   ToyCannon
He could come in handy this year when we need a Loogy, as Eric said we didn't have anyone else that needed to be protected.
2008-12-19 16:57:33
288.   silverwidow
286 I've heard good things about Javy Guerra's fastball, but he seems to be a RH version of Greg Miller in terms of control.
2008-12-19 16:59:03
289.   Bob Hendley
Oh no, the ponies have raised their ugly heads here again:

Mom: Dear, we would love to get you a pony, but it just wouldn't fit in the basement.

Dad: Son, now that you are 45, perhaps you could get your own place, and I'll throw in a pony.

Now, if D4P got a pony, he would put it on his yacht and ride it around the deck.

2008-12-19 17:00:01
290.   Eric Enders
Leach played college ball in the same conference with my brother, so I've followed him more closely than most guys. His K rates indicate someone possibly more dominant than a mere LOOGY.
2008-12-19 17:00:02
291.   Indiana Jon
282 I'll try anything, even Life cereal.
2008-12-19 17:00:56
292.   trainwreck
Well this is kinda scary. From a board.

"The gang situation is a problem at USC a lot bigger problem for the players then what people are led to believe or what gets out publically. Hazelton for example has had a few run-in's with them, as have severaal other players such as Allen Bradford. Fans hear what is reported you don't always hear the stuff that is swept under the rug." From Bob Lichtenfels.

2008-12-19 17:03:41
293.   ToyCannon
I'm always amazed why anyone would choose USC over Texas if they visited both campuses.
2008-12-19 17:03:49
294.   D4P
Now, if D4P got a pony, he would put it on his yacht and ride it around the deck.

I've used that line here before, right...?

2008-12-19 17:06:26
295.   LogikReader
Laker Game on on KCAL! I stand corrected.
2008-12-19 17:07:16
296.   Eric Enders
Was that a Lyle Lovett reference?
2008-12-19 17:07:47
297.   scareduck
289 , 294 -- Lyle Lovett references are welcome at all times, at least by me.
2008-12-19 17:09:10
298.   scareduck
271 - blame me too, please! I hate it when I'm not one of the cool kids.
2008-12-19 17:12:07
299.   scareduck
296 - I think this is why you're confused:

If I had a boat
I'd go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I'd ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

2008-12-19 17:12:22
300.   StolenMonkey86
294 - Jon used that as a post title last year.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-12-19 17:13:30
301.   Eric Stephen
Deep Thoughts were great. My favorite is the Disneyland one. My inner-Shimmin always laughs at children crying.
2008-12-19 17:14:34
302.   oshea2002
292, 293 - examine the source, both the writer and where he got it from. Old Bob has a very big ax to grind. Just be glad it wasn't ucla that had to deal with the nightmare that is Vidal and Dexter Hazelton.
2008-12-19 17:15:24
303.   D4P
When I worked at an office before moving to NC, I used to put up a daily Deep Thought outside my cubicle. My co-workers loved it.
2008-12-19 17:16:13
304.   StolenMonkey86
Doesn't have anything to do with ponies, but would Michael Barrett be a worthwhile pickup as a backup catcher?
2008-12-19 17:18:39
305.   trainwreck
I have no idea who that guy is.
2008-12-19 17:22:58
306.   Eric Stephen
I seem to remember some Padres' pitchers not being his biggest fans. Also, there was his fight with Big Z in Chicago.

That said, if he can be had for under $1m I wouldn't mind him.

2008-12-19 17:23:10
307.   68elcamino427
Fight On!
2008-12-19 17:24:11
308.   oshea2002
305 - you don't have the full context of the quote. It's from an article about Vidal. He's specifically referring to stuff Dexter Hazelton told him, the father of recently departed Vidal Hazelton. Bob L used to be the Penn State mod, and spent weeks claiming that Vidal was going there b/c of Dexter's quotes, he didn't and Bob L was essentially rendered irrelevant as a recruiting expert.

Anything else involving the Hazelton's and USC probably isn't for this board, but I'm just saying the Hazelton's and Bob L have axes to grind.

2008-12-19 17:25:45
309.   trainwreck
I just saw that quote on a board and I knew I could get feedback from SC fans I respect here.
2008-12-19 17:26:17
310.   KG16
the pony on a boat is also a Jimmy Buffett reference, i think he covered the lyle lovett song, but he's also got another one, fairly recently.
2008-12-19 17:31:50
311.   trainwreck
Randall Carroll apparently did not answer the door for Rick's in-home visit.
2008-12-19 17:34:27
312.   Bob Timmermann
Did he call ahead of time? Maybe Rick Neuheisel shouldn't go recruiting while carrying around copies of "The Watchtower." People won't want to open the door.
2008-12-19 17:36:08
313.   KG16
Quinten Richardson is on notice. i play you over Ariza and Odom, you better not put up an 0-18 night from the field.
2008-12-19 17:38:38
314.   trainwreck
No one can solicit like Rick.
2008-12-19 17:41:06
315.   oshea2002
311 - he should bring a limo
2008-12-19 17:42:18
316.   oshea2002
311 - Carroll is gonna be a close call. His coaches are really pushing Cal.
2008-12-19 17:43:35
317.   trainwreck
That is where I heard he favors.

I know Cal is getting new facilities soon, but if any recruit actually saw them now, they would never go there.

2008-12-19 17:45:50
318.   oshea2002
317 - I'm not sure it's where he favors, but it's certainly where those around him favor. I've heard two very opposite things, both plausible, on where he's leaning.
2008-12-19 17:56:30
319.   oshea2002
FYI in case anyone is interested, De La Salle plays Centennial at 8 on Prime Ticket for the D-1 State title, possibly a better game then tomorrow night's open division game.
2008-12-19 17:58:38
320.   trainwreck
Where is it being played at?
2008-12-19 18:00:20
321.   Bob Timmermann
I believe all the games are in Bakersfield.
2008-12-19 18:01:31
322.   oshea2002
320 - Home Depot
2008-12-19 18:14:23
323.   Gagne55
Yay! Other people who are interested in CIF Bowl games!
2008-12-19 18:16:41
324.   Gagne55
Btw, I was looking at tickets on the Home Depot Center's site and it said $15. Does anybody know whether that is per game or for all three?
2008-12-19 18:28:56
325.   El Lay Dave
324 A post-season football game at the "Home Depot Center" should be called the "Dust Bowl".
2008-12-19 18:49:32
326.   Sam DC
I dunno if anyone ever watches the (marginally hokey guilty pleasure) show Don't Forget the Lyrics, but it's especially guilty and pleasureable tonight.


2008-12-19 18:59:35
327.   Sam DC
Lakers game -- less guilt, less pleasure.
2008-12-19 19:03:56
328.   Gagne55
Hamilton scores a TD! Now they're only down by 52.
2008-12-19 19:06:38
329.   Gagne55
5 minutes left. I bet St. Margrets kills the clock here. Their offensive line is dominating.
2008-12-19 19:09:48
330.   berkowit28
Gurnick has a post on that Furcal is officially signed with Dodgers, having passed his physical.

The physical must have been interesting. Gurnick mentions that Gurnick "suffered setbacks both before and after July 3 surgery for a bugling disk". I wonder who played the bugle. Or the bug.

2008-12-19 19:11:15
331.   berkowit28
320 Gurnick mentions that Furcal "suffered setbacks...bugling". Serves me right for not previewing...
2008-12-19 19:13:15
332.   berkowit28
331 Ah, crap. Should have referenced 330 , not 320. But you knew that. I just have to get there first (after the horse has bolted).
2008-12-19 19:16:14
333.   Gen3Blue
So Gurnick can sympathize with back problems.
I wonder what physical tests are used on ones back, and if they can really tell much of anything. I'm pretty sure a physical still means "stick out your tongue", and "turn your head and cough" and "OK, get out of here".
2008-12-19 19:18:00
334.   Gagne55
Another win for So Cal!
2008-12-19 19:20:41
335.   El Lay Dave
333 These days doesn't it also always include "pee in this cup"?
2008-12-19 19:26:39
336.   Marty
I found this amusing:

2008-12-19 19:26:49
337.   Gen3Blue
335 I would hope so. And maybe how many fingers am I holding up?
2008-12-19 19:27:21
338.   LAT
"We hope that once emotions have subsided, the Braves will act in a manner consistent with not only their obligations under the collective bargaining agreement and the National Labor Relations Act, but also the best interests of the franchise," he said. "In short, we would not want this incident to color their better judgment."

Forgive me if this was discussed above, I have not read the thread. I understand how the CBA can prohibit a team from boycotting a particular player but how can that apply to the agent. For example, Braves relief pitcher Peter Moylan is a Wasserman client. Can't Schuerholz simply say I will negotiate directly with Moylan but not with anyone from Wasserman? That shuld not run afoul of the CBA.

I'm sure this horse has been kicked to death but adding my two cents, the Braves got screwed. Yes, they did not have a contract. Yes, it was stupid to fax the term sheet. But I believe Kinzer and Tellem shopped the term sheet to up the Dodger offer. Scum bag move.

2008-12-19 19:31:37
339.   oshea2002
Wade is out of his mind tonight.
2008-12-19 19:37:50
340.   Tripon
Forgive me if this was discussed above, I have not read the thread. I understand how the CBA can prohibit a team from boycotting a particular player but how can that apply to the agent. For example, Braves relief pitcher Peter Moylan is a Wasserman client. Can't Schuerholz simply say I will negotiate directly with Moylan but not with anyone from Wasserman? That shuld not run afoul of the CBA.

Moylan would wonder why the heck the Braves are going to him to talk about any contract or extension, that's why he has agents.

2008-12-19 19:48:31
341.   Sam DC
Gah -- how far down did that shot go before climbing back out?
2008-12-19 19:58:53
342.   Sam DC
Re Agents, Article IV of the CBA says:

"If the Association has notified the Office of the Commissioner that a Player has designated a certified Player Agent or Agents to act on his behalf for the purposes described in this Article IV, no Club may negotiate or attempt to negotiate an individual salary and/or Special Covenants to be included in a Uniform Player's Contract with any Player Agent(s) other than such Player Agent(s)."

So I don't think they can negotiate with a player in lieu of his agent.

Whether or not a particular team can refuse to deal with a particular agent is a different question.

My non-expert guess is that an arbitrator would find that a team cannot formally blackball an agent because it would interefere with the players' right to choose whatever agent they want. That is a right given in the CBA: "Player, if he so desires, may designate an agent to conduct on
his behalf, or to assist him in, the negotiation of an individual salary and/or Special Covenants to be included in his Uniform Player's Contract with any Club."

CBA here:

Now if a team informally decides not to deal with a particular agent, it'd be hard for the players to prove a violation of the agreement, I'd guess. But what Atlanta is talking about here seems pretty problematic to me.

2008-12-19 19:59:10
343.   I Love LA
The stupid Lakers Suck and are way overrated. Boston will destroy them on Christmas day. Orlando will win tomorrow and so will New Orleans. The lakers won't even be in 1st in the WC after next week.
2008-12-19 20:00:17
344.   I Love LA
341 - It was pretty much in but just had to spin out. But the lakers didn't deserve it anyway, they were playing terribly, they have been playing this badly for the past 3-4 weeks.
2008-12-19 20:15:33
345.   Gagne55
343 Rule 6?
2008-12-19 20:16:35
346.   Tripon
Losing a tough game on the road isn't unheard of.
2008-12-19 20:21:14
347.   Tripon

As for the Atlanta mess, Furcal said he had no idea how the situation unfolded because he was in the Dominican Republic and just waiting to hear from his agents—he said "we were always going back to the Dodgers," probably meaning that he had instructed the agents to check back in with L.A. to give the Dodgers a chance to match any offer from Atlanta, though this wasn't clear.

"I'm so happy to be a Dodger again," Furcal said. "I know the Braves are a great organization, but I'm so happy to come back to the Dodgers and be a Dodger again, and that's what I can say. I'll let my agent talk to you guys about (the Atlanta situation). ... I wanted to come back here because with the team we have, we can make it this year.

Said Colletti: "As far as I know, it was above board. I don't have any idea what transpired with any other club."

Sorry for the huge quotes, but I wanted to show that Furcal's going to let his agent take the blame, accurate or not.

2008-12-19 20:24:53
348.   dzzrtRatt
338 "But I believe Kinzer and Tellem shopped the term sheet to up the Dodger offer. Scum bag move."


What's the ethical difference between showing the Dodgers a document displaying the terms and merely telling the Dodgers what the Braves have offered? Aren't the FA negotiations structured kind of like an auction, where the idea is to top the last offer? Most agents shop around their other offers, or what they claim to be other offers. The only difference here is Furcal's agents had documentary proof of their last offer, but even if they hadn't, they could have described it to the Dodgers.

That's why I said, way up the thread, that while the faxing of a term sheet might have some secret-handshake sort of customary meaning, it is not a contract, especially if Kinzer explicitly told him Furcal was "sleeping on it," an idiomatic phrase that means, "my client wants one more day to make a decision."

Many times I've told someone I have to sleep on a decision, and then come back and said, "no." To "sleep on it" means the decision is not yet made, the sale isn't closed. The Braves are acting as if it meant "yes, but I just don't want to say so yet." Like it was some kind of superstitious ritual. But that's not what Kinzer meant, clearly.

2008-12-19 20:32:25
349.   I Love LA
346 - Right but the way the lakers have been playing is pretty bad. 21-4 is really an overrated record, lets see how they fare at Orlando, at New Orleans and back home vs Boston. The Lakers might be 22-7 after xmas day.
2008-12-19 20:37:59
350.   berkowit28
348 "Many times I've told someone I have to sleep on a decision, and then come back and said, "no." To "sleep on it" means the decision is not yet made, the sale isn't closed. The Braves are acting as if it meant "yes, but I just don't want to say so yet." Like it was some kind of superstitious ritual. But that's not what Kinzer meant, clearly. "

That's simply not true. You're about the 5th person (at least) here to ignore the fact that, after several iterations of Kinzer saying "I haven't manged to reach Raffy yet", he then phoned one last time to say (in a voice mail, since it was the middle of the night) "Raffy is good with it. Send the term sheet." At least according to Wren.

Wren got that message in the morning, construed it, as anyone would, that Furcal had finished sleeping on it and had given it the OK. In my view, it was stupid of him to rely on a voice mail as gospel. He should have phoned Kinzer back to verify that this really and truly was confirmation. And then ask for it in writing. Nevertheless, IF that's what Kinzer had said, then it's natural to take it at its word.

It's very true what most people have said - that it's not legally binding until it's in a legally proper, written, signed contract. Nevertheless, if Kinzer and Tellem wanted to maintain any credibility, they shouldn't say "Raffy is good with it", if they're still shopping around. Of course they'd want to present it tp teh Dodgers, if that's where Furcal prefers to play. So they should say "We've just got to offer it to the Dodgers - we'll get back to you." Or at least "Raffy's still thinking about it. We'll get back to you."

By saying (if he did) "Raffy's good with it. Send the term sheet." Kinzer ensures that no one will believe anything he says in future. Which makes it a little harder to negotiate, so he shouldn't be surprised if other agents beat him to the punch. But since he'll still sometimes have players in demand, GMs will go on working with him, and won't believe what he says until it's written. As Wren should have done too.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-12-19 21:20:48
351.   Tripon
Pirates righthander Bryan Morris had surgery to repair a ligament in his right big toe and will miss at least the first month of the 2009 season, Pirates correspondent John Perrotto reports. The 21-year-old Morris joined the organization at the 2008 trade deadline in the three-team deal that sent Jason Bay to the Red Sox and Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers.

2008-12-19 21:37:48
352.   kinbote
351 I knew he was spending too much time with Andy "The Curse" LaRoche.
2008-12-19 21:40:46
353.   Tripon
352 We couldn't send Carlos Santana in the Manny trade, and Andy LaRoche in the Blake trade? I feel sorry for the Pirates, and the Indians don't need Santana.
2008-12-19 21:43:54
354.   kinbote
Ned getting Furcal for $6.5 mil next year is pretty smooth.
2008-12-19 21:51:14
355.   KG16
342 - can't negotiate with any other player agent, the player as the principal is free to negotiate on his own behalf, as I read it.

344 - you've been missed around here, man.

2008-12-19 21:51:47
356.   KG16
353 - no, we couldn't have because the Red Sox would have figured out a way to get Santana.
2008-12-19 21:52:26
357.   jasonungar07
Par for the course. Braves are just crying. He got an offer letter (actually he didn't even get an offer letter he4 . He didn't sign it. His recent employer matched it and he signed that one. The agent is not gonna be hurt at all. Him saying he is "good with it" just implies that he considers it a quality offer. It's on Wren, all he had to do was say I am only authorized to send you something in writing if you intend to sign it...
2008-12-19 21:53:14
358.   kinbote
0 My favorite:

Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over here, looking through your stuff.

2008-12-19 21:57:01
359.   Tripon
355 The Red Sox would have wanted Andy LaRoche too if they could have gotten him.
2008-12-19 21:57:16
360.   dzzrtRatt
Well, "Raffy's good with it" and "Raffy wants to sleep on it" are flatly contradictory statements. If we're even in agreement with what "good with it" means. If there were two messages with those statements in them, I don't care what time they came in, Wren absolutely should've nailed it down with a personal call to Kinzer asking for clarification. I would've been confused.

'Send the term sheet' sounds to me like a customer saying 'send me a memo outlining your proposal.' But maybe in Baseballtown, those words constitute a kind of secret handshake. Perhaps Kinzer violated a customary understanding by continuing to negotiate with another team after saying those magic words. But an outsider like me who brings general business experience to bear on judging the situation has a harder time seeing what Kinzer did as "scummy." From my perspective, Wren should've sought clarification because Kinzer was not making what I would've interpreted as a clear declaration of his client's intent. There's a long distance in the non-baseball world between: "I like you, your terms are fair" and: "We have a contract."

2008-12-19 22:04:18
361.   Bob Hendley
355 - LA is not represented in the NFL.
2008-12-19 22:08:19
362.   ChicagoDodger
I was accused this morning of missing or ignoring the part where Furcal said he was "good with it", or ready to sign with the Braves. So I include the so-called scenario below.

After everyone has had a chance to read it, could someone please show me the part where Furcal says he's good to sign or agrees with the contract terms and will sign with the Braves.

Because, again I don't see it.

I do see the part where the agent says he has not yet heard back from Raffy, but that "we're good". I don't think you need to be a rocket scientist to understand that if the agent hasn't yet heard back from the player, he can't possibly know if the player is "good with it".

I also read the part about Wren receiving a voice-mail asking to put a term sheet together, but again, nothing that says the voice-mail relayed that Furcal was "good" with it.

The only think I can gather in all of this is that perhaps the Braves felt it was "understood" that asking for the term sheet meant the player was good with it.

Well, all I can answer to that is to use the line from George Kennedy in the movie Cool Hand Luke:

"You may be good at writing checks and passing bad paper and all that, but us country folk ain't entirely stupid! When it come to the law, NUTHIN is Understood!"

Here is Wren's take. What did I miss or ignore?

*According to Wren, this is how the situation played out:

Wren reached agreement on the terms of a contract with Furcal's agent, Paul Kinzer, on Monday night, pending the approval of Furcal. (Kinzer works for an agent group headed by Tellem.)

Between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday, Wren spoke with Kinzer three or four times, negotiating the dollar amount, the years and terms of the vesting option, and other contractual details.

Wren and Kinzer spoke again around midnight Monday. Kinzer told Wren that he had not yet heard back from Furcal, but that Furcal was excited and that "we're good." ????

On Tuesday morning, Wren woke up to a voicemail from Kinzer telling him to put a term sheet (the standard baseball term for an official contract offer) together.
Wren went into his office in Atlanta, put the term sheet together and signed it.

Shortly thereafter, Kinzer began "backpedaling," saying he promised the Dodgers he would talk to them.*

2008-12-19 22:17:18
363.   delias man
just got done watching druw in dr league. He still stinks. 0-3 2BB swinging right through fastballs, 3 weak groundouts to right side.
2008-12-19 22:18:24
364.   delias man
left side.
2008-12-19 22:19:21
365.   Tripon
Anybody else think that Kuroda can produce what Lowe did in 2008? The way I see it, Kuroda can step up and become the 2nd starter, and we need somebody to replace our 4th or 5th starter, now that we missed C.C.

The Kuroda signing might be even better than the Lowe signing was for the Dodgers.

2008-12-19 22:19:44
366.   Tripon
363 ESPN Deportes?
2008-12-19 22:28:46
367.   Tripon
Huh, Furcal has a limited no trade clause in his new contract. (Which would only be active for the first two years, the 3rd year would be covered by Baseball's 10-5 rights) Does 10-5 rights activate at the end of the 2nd year, or at the beginning of the 3rd year for Furcal?
2008-12-19 22:41:25
368.   dzzrtRatt
362 On Tuesday morning, Wren woke up to a voicemail...

Here's another thing I don't get. What's Wren doing sleeping during the final hours of a negotiation as sensitive and important as this one? That conveys an absence of vigilance. If he really needed some shuteye, he should've had his cell phone next to him in bed.

If he wasn't available to take a call from Furcal's agent at that point, I tend to discount everything else he says about their communications, and find myself suspicious that Wren might be what you call a b.s. guy, a "dog ate my homework" kind of executive. Maybe Wren should be working at a bank.

2008-12-19 22:48:37
369.   delias man
Yeah. Espn deportes
2008-12-19 22:54:18
370.   Tripon
Would anyone be in favor of trading DeWitt over DeJesus?
2008-12-19 23:03:02
371.   CanuckDodger
370 -- Are you assuming one of them has to be traded? Since the Dodgers seem to consider DeJesus about a year away from being ready for the majors, no decision has to be made on that till next off-season, and by then we will know what DeWitt did in a full MLB season at 2B and what DeJesus did in a full Triple A season. Heck, it might even be possible to trade Casey Blake then, move DeWitt back to 3B, and put DeJesus at 2B.
2008-12-19 23:19:17
372.   silverwidow
Michael Jordan put up a .555 OPS in the Southern League. I'm wondering what a tremendous athlete like Lebron could do if given the same chance.
2008-12-19 23:24:41
373.   larry slimfast
For weeks, I've been reading article after blog after article after blog about the off-season, the hot-stove league, free agent signings, etc. It's both as interesting and frustrating as it always is but after a while I really only want to know one thing... just what is Manny Ramirez's IQ?
2008-12-19 23:27:51
374.   Tripon
Wren claimed that Kinzer left him a voice message later that night and asked him to fax over a term sheet, which Wren said is customarily done only when an agreement has been reached. Kinzer said on Tuesday that he told Furcal to "sleep on" the offer.

"I never said anything," Furcal said.,0,2750336.story

2008-12-19 23:34:14
375.   silverwidow
Ouch, Rosenthal mentioned Juan Cruz as interesting to the Dodgers. Horrible idea. He's a good reliever, but not close to worth a #1 pick.
2008-12-19 23:40:29
376.   Tripon
375 Doubt it. The Dodgers don't seem interested in paying for relief pitchers. The largest salary for a relief pitcher was Saito last year for $2 million. Juan Cruz probably wants at least $4 million per year.
2008-12-19 23:53:04
377.   Eric Stephen
Thanks to reaching a few incentive clauses for games pitched, Joe Beimel beat Saito by $45,000 last year.

I agree though, I don't see Juan Cruz as an option for LA. I can see the club spending on a Trevor Hoffman, which would cost more money but of course without surrendering a draft pick.

2008-12-20 00:21:52
378.   Tripon
377 Cruz would also probably want multiple years, while Hoffman would likely be content with one year.

I guess it depends if we sign a starter, or a relief pitcher with where a pitcher like McDonald ends up next year. We sign Randy Johnson, McDonald likely ends up in the bullpen. Sign Hoffman, and McDonald has the inside track to the 5th spot.

2008-12-20 00:23:00
379.   Louis in SF
One thing that I think may have been missed in much of the analysis of the Furcal deal is the simple fact that Furcal, if the money was close wanted to play for the Dodgers. Different than the Beltre signing for the Mariners, was the simple fact that Furcal's agents said they would give the Dodgers the last crack-they did and he came back. Very different than the Beltre deal where there seemed to be very little conversation at the end and both the Dodgers and Beltre seemed to have missed each other.
2008-12-20 00:34:51
380.   LogikReader
Hey everyone. Anyone still up?

Wow... I just made a winning bid for two Laker Tickets here:

It says row one... for a 1/19 game against the Cavs... I have a nagging voice that says I can't afford it. What to do..?

The cost was the equivalent of two Dugout Club seats. I pulled a "Big Bang Theory Time Machine Bid". Hoo boy...

2008-12-20 00:43:15
381.   Eric Stephen
Well, you picked a good game. Those seats look sweet!
2008-12-20 01:04:01
382.   jasonungar07
Well I am glad were on the same page here and have our priorities straight....(

"The Yankees, having made CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett wealthy, would enhance their lineup with Teixeira in front of Alex Rodriguez, but even they have some limits. In their ideal scenario, Teixeira returns to the Angels and Manny Ramirez goes back to the Dodgers. "

2008-12-20 01:05:19
383.   LogikReader
Hey Eric,

They really are... I could literally throw a piece of paper at Jack's head. Kinda scary if you think about it.

My guess is, I'll give StubHub a ride and see if any Real Estate Tycoon will bite. I'll spend some time to think about it.

2008-12-20 01:14:17
384.   El Lay Dave
Via The Griddle, RIP Dock Ellis, an LA native.
2008-12-20 01:19:37
385.   El Lay Dave
I know there was some 10/5 discussion recently, but was it about Furcal? Doesn't he become a 10/5 guy after the 2010 season and therefore will have no-trade rights for the last year (and the option year) of this new contract?
2008-12-20 01:33:18
386.   bhsportsguy
385 It was about Furcal, and yes, after the 2010 season, he will be a 5/10 man.
2008-12-20 02:18:42
387.   trainwreck

May you trip balls in the afterlife.

2008-12-20 03:07:33
388.   bhsportsguy
387 I thought you might be heading down here for a possible b-ball game?
2008-12-20 06:56:52
389.   D4P
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti acknowledged the risk involved, but said team doctors are convinced Furcal is healthy.

At this point, Stephen Hawking would probably pass a Dodger team physical.

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