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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
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

'Tempus Is Fugiting'
2009-01-13 10:07
by Jon Weisman

The headline above refers to a throwaway line that Vin Scully tossed during a Dodger broadcast last April. It's just the kind of thing that makes him so special to me. (Here's a clue if you need one.)

In that spirit, at the risk of making a daily habit of linking to The Daily Mirror, I pass along this remembrance of mid-20th century Times sports columnist Ned Cronin by his son, Jerry. It's really well worth the read.

Separately, here's a link to the Times 40-years-ago-today coverage of the Jets' Super Bowl upset over the Colts.

Comments (145)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2009-01-13 10:20:09
1.   kinbote
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
2009-01-13 10:24:22
2.   JoeyP
John Smoltz contract incentives are funny:

The incentives include $125,000 for his first day on the active roster, $500,000 if he is on the active roster on the last day of the season, and $35,000 for each day after June 1 that he's not on the disabled list -- up to $4.375 million.

So he gets $35,000 every day for just not being hurt....? Baseball players have the best job.

2009-01-13 10:24:22
3.   Rolex
Higher slugging % on the road last year: Juan Pierre or Michael Young?
2009-01-13 10:24:28
4.   Humma Kavula
From 58 in the last thread:

Why not give a younger player who posseses equal or greater talent the opportunity to perform?

Well, those younger players of equal or greater talent WILL get their opportunities, both in Spring Training and during the course of the long, long season. I believe that part of the nature of the bullpen beast is that if those guys have the talent, we will not be able to keep them out of the majors.

What's the upside of giving money to an old used up gut like Mota?

The upside is that you need to gather as many people as possible. The season is long, and the bet on Mota is small enough that even if there's only a 10% chance that he's got one last swan song in him, it's worth the shot. Bullpens are risky, and more bodies mitigates the risk.

I suppose that the counter argument could be that Mota's paycheck will keep him in the majors, but I don't know if I'm buying that.

2009-01-13 10:25:42
5.   regfairfield
From before.

I'm not a huge DeWitt fan by any means, but Young just doesn't do anything particularly well, and there's some things he's very bad at. Offensively there wasn't a huge difference between the two (91 OPS+ to 96) and Young's defense is so bad he probably shouldn't be a middle infielder. Young is 10 years older, and is making something like 70 million more than DeWitt.

2009-01-13 10:26:04
6.   68elcamino427
Vin Scully - The Greatest - Ever.

I will savor the Vin experience this season.

Tempus Fugit indeed {misty eyes}

2009-01-13 10:28:39
7.   Icaros

Yeah, but Young won an All-Star game or two. What did DeWitt ever win?

2009-01-13 10:30:01
8.   ToyCannon
Mota's paycheck will keep him in majors long enough to do damage if he indeed is done.

In the past I've mocked the complaining over spending a few million on a used up PVL but as D4P pointed out in the last thread that few million could end up costing us dearly.

Someone else said that Ned has done a good job of managing the bullpen since he arrived but I beg to differ. One of the first deals he made was to bring in Baez and Carter. Other then Saito falling in his lap the only other notetworthy relief pitcher was Beimel that was not handed to him by Logan White.

2009-01-13 10:30:43
9.   D4P
I'm not sure how else to do incentives, but paying people not to go on the DL pretty much encourages them to play while injured, which isn't always in the team's best interest.
2009-01-13 10:33:29
10.   GoBears
I'm just catching up, but this caught my attention from 2 posts ago:

And yes I used Google to confirm the speeling of "noogies."

You should have just asked me. That's my beagle's name (Noogie).

Oh, and you should have checked the spelling of "spelling" while you were at it. :)

2009-01-13 10:33:59
11.   68elcamino427
I respect your opinion - I just don't share it regarding Mota.

The performance history of players who were dependent on Peds and are now forced off is consistently an ugly one.

This is another Gary Bennett - Andruw Jones - waiting to happen - did it happen in the latter third of last season?

$1,600,000.00 is alot of money.
Why not "give it" to Russell Martin?

2009-01-13 10:34:45
12.   ToyCannon
Exactly, I could see Smoltz and Penny's contract biting Boston in the butt. We already know that Penny will pitch while hurt if his wallet is at stake. Has Bill James abandoned the Boston front office or is he being ignored because these incentive laden contracts just seem foolhardy.
2009-01-13 10:35:14
13.   Daniel Zappala
Every time I read Jim Murray's old stories I remember again how much I miss him.
2009-01-13 10:35:50
14.   ToyCannon
Always good for a chuckle.
2009-01-13 10:36:38
15.   Humma Kavula
8 Although it's a good point that D4P makes about the need for having a few million around, I'm not sure it's quite so easy to connect the dots between money spent on guys like Mota and trading guys like Santana. It could be that the budgets work like that, or it could be that the owner saw a number of highly paid players riding the bench and decided to cut the purse strings (at least for the time being), or it could be that an owner who was heavily invested in real estate got caught in the credit crunch, or it could be any number of other things. I get the point, but when the team has a payroll of over $100 million, I can't get too upset about a $1.5 million signing.

About the second point, right, he got Baez and Carter. Not so good. But before the season was out, he had jettisoned both. And "Saito falling into his lap" makes it sound like some sort of accident -- and while I don't think anybody expected him to be as good as he was, the design of the plan was to gather as many people as possible and hope that some pan out, and that has worked. In the case of Saito, it worked quite splendidly.

2009-01-13 10:37:04
16.   68elcamino427
I miss him too.
2009-01-13 10:37:46
17.   bhsportsguy
8 I think that's a little harsh, he's also successfully used Rudy Seanez and Chan Ho Park in the past few years as veteran guys who have lots of experience while still shifting the pen to its now mostly farm system generation.

Again, especially in the beginning, Ned was conscious of trying to have backups (and in fact was right to bring in another closer since Gagne was not healthy.)

2009-01-13 10:41:48
18.   Eric Stephen
Per Tony Jackson on his blog:

As of right now, the pecking order is Broxton in the ninth, Kuo and sometimes Wade in the eighth and Mota in the seventh. But that's just a rough template that could change on a nightly basis depending on the situation

2009-01-13 10:43:40
19.   Humma Kavula
11 And I respect everybody else's opinion about it. Look, I'm not expecting anything out of Mota. I bet he'll make the opening day roster, I bet he'll be lousy, and I bet by, oh, end of May, mid-June, he'll either be on the DL, in the minors, or traded (or out of the game, I suppose). It is very likely that you guys are right about what to expect from him.

But for the bullpen specifically, and for a contract the size of this one, I just can't get upset about it.

I'll drop this now.

As for why not giving it to Russell Martin: well, yes, of course. And Kemp, and Broxton, and Billingsley, and Kershaw. Dodgers haven't made any deals with their talent yet. This is bothersome. But you're implying that Guillermo Mota is getting that money, and I just don't see that connection.

2009-01-13 10:46:37
20.   Eric Stephen
Oh, and you should have checked the spelling of "spelling" while you were at it. :)

Ha! Oops.

2009-01-13 10:47:05
21.   OhioBlues12
15 - Totally agree with this. Colletti's approach to the bullpen, at least the last couple of seasons, has been a good one. He hasn't spent a ton of resources on the pen. Load up on live young arms and see what sticks. We have Broxton, Kuo, Wade, and Mota who will surely have spots then consider that we have names like Elbert, Stults, McDonald, Miller, Vargas, Lindblom, Brazoban, Chick, and Strickland that could be available. I am content as long as we stock up on arms with some upside. Mota is a veteran presence and I wouldn't be surprised to see Reyes brought in to allow Elbert to start AAA.
2009-01-13 10:48:58
22.   68elcamino427
The inference of my implication is exactly as you have described re: Martin - Kemp - et al.

Mota isn't taking anything away from anyone other than McCourt - and us the paying fans.

Hey maybe I'm wrong - I'm always prepared for that :)

2009-01-13 10:50:37
23.   68elcamino427
22 err ... for
2009-01-13 10:51:24
24.   bhsportsguy
19 Because you don't have to give it to these players right now (well Martin, Ethier and Broxton will get raises).

Baseball, and in most cases, works this way where business profits by paying lower salaries to the least experienced.

And for a lot of players, the first 3 years is where the teams get the chance to lower overall team costs.

The more and more I see deals like Bill Hall got in Milwaukee, the more I wonder if the Dodgers are not better off going year to year. I mean year to year only hurts if the player explodes like a Fielder, Howard, Utley, Wright, Hanley Ramirez or Ryan Braun.

And right now, you can't say that any of the young Dodgers will ever be that good in the near future.

2009-01-13 10:54:35
25.   El Lay Dave
0 ...when the Hollywood Stars played the crosstown rival, the Los Angeles Angels. It was an insane atmosphere. In one game, the Angels manager promised a cashmere suit to the first Angels player to start a fight with a member of the opposing team. If you were a witness to this mayhem, it was the best entertainment in the city. By the fifth inning the fans were drunk and huge fights would erupt right underneath the press box. People would hurl cups of beer into each other's faces. It doesn't get any better than that.

50+ years later and the LA baseball fan experience is exactly the same. ;)

Thanks for linking the Daily Mirror Jon, that is a gold mine.

2009-01-13 10:55:42
26.   scareduck
4 - I suppose that the counter argument could be that Mota's paycheck will keep him in the majors, but I don't know if I'm buying that.

The counterexample during the Ned era being, who?

2009-01-13 10:56:11
27.   Eric Stephen
And right now, you can't say that any of the young Dodgers will ever be that good in the near future.


2009-01-13 10:57:39
28.   silverwidow


2009-01-13 10:58:28
29.   Icaros There is just no way I'm the same species as people like this.

2009-01-13 10:58:35
30.   ToyCannon
Didn't Ethier kind of explode in 2008? He did have the 3rd highest OPS+ for NL right fielders last year.
You don't think Kemp could explode in 2009 or that Martin could pull a 2008 McCann?
2009-01-13 11:02:10
31.   68elcamino427
Ethier OPS+ 130 for the season 2008.
In his 26th year.

Carreer OPS+ 116.

2009-01-13 11:04:17
32.   Humma Kavula
26 The counterexample during the Ned era being, who?

As I said, Baez. Carter too. Ned got both to anchor his bullpen, and when it was clear that neither was helping, he got rid of both of them.

Even Andruw Jones is a good example. I was in favor of giving the guy every shot to perform, every chance to show it was just a slump. When it became clear that it was not just a slump, Colletti traded for Ramirez. He benched the highest-paid player in franchise history four months into that player's tenure with the team.

2009-01-13 11:07:54
33.   blue22
So Atlanta ain't looking too bad now at all, so long as you don't look at their outfield. Heyward and Schaeffer can't come fast enough if you're a Braves fan.

Lowe and Javy Vazquez should be great additions to the rotation, and you have to really like that IF/C group they have.

2009-01-13 11:09:00
34.   Tripon
Dodgers sign Claudio Vargas, and Shawn Estes. And then they sign Mota. Obviously the Dodgers don't think either Vargas or Estes will make the team, but why bring in either if the Dodgers goal was to sign Mota all along?

I guess you can make the argument that the Dodgers want as many veteran bullpen arms that they can get, but its already a crowded bullpen with Wade, Broxton, Kuo, Troncoso, and Stults, and now Mota. What if Vargas or Estes pitches well enough to make the club, are the Dodgers going to cut Greg Miller(as somebody pointed above.), are they going to cut Stults out? Are they going to put Troncoso at AAA so they can make room? It just seems unneeded.

2009-01-13 11:09:01
35.   ToyCannon
What was his career OPS+ before the 2008 season? Comparing his career OPS+ after adding in the excellent 2008 season doesn't seem like apples to apples. Since he had 113 and 103 I'm going to figure around 110. So a move of 20 points in OPS+ seems like quite a move to me but maybe I'm wrong.
2009-01-13 11:10:09
36.   Eric Stephen
The Javier Vazquez deal seemed so long ago I already forgot about it! You're right, that is a pretty nice rotation they have now.
2009-01-13 11:10:41
37.   Brendan
I'm happy for Lowe. He finally can get out of laid back L.A. and back into an intense east coast baseball town. derek lowe sweating in august with the electricity that is the Atlantan baseball market will be something special to experience.
2009-01-13 11:10:48
38.   blue22
One interesting thing from the HOF vote yesterday I just read on Deadspin: no newly eligible player received enough votes to even make it to next year's vote (Rickey excluded, obviously). Pretty light year.
2009-01-13 11:11:37
39.   Tripon
32 To say that the Dodgers traded for Manny so they could sit Andruw Jones is a bit of stretch, because Jones got first crack at starting with Manny. And they still couldn't convince Andruw Jones to go back to Triple-A to rehab his knee until weeks after Manny came and he went to the bench.

Heck, they even gave rehab bats to Andruw Jones on the major league level! If anything, Ned was way too soft on Jones.

2009-01-13 11:11:59
40.   Daniel Zappala
34 I think it's pretty clear that the Dodgers will stash whomever in AAA if one of the minor league deals pans out. That's what they've tended to do in the past -- use veterans while they have something left to give, then bring up the younger arms as needed. They like to have options.
2009-01-13 11:12:11
41.   Eric Stephen
The most likely scenario for Stults is to start in AAA, at least to begin the year.

As for Miller, he's such a longshot anyway. If he pitches well enough to make the club, great. Otherwise, he'd be gone no matter who we signed.

2009-01-13 11:12:37
42.   ToyCannon
I'm all for bringing in arms but there are arms and there are arms. Every year someone will bring in an arm that really makes a difference. We bring in Jason Johnson.

This year it is Estes. Vargas and Mota are not insurance, they are going to be on the 25 man roster. Estes will take innings away from Stults, he is not damage free. Juan Castro is not damage free, there is a price to be paid when crappy players get roster spots. I didn't use to care about the 25th players but I've changed my tune.

2009-01-13 11:13:56
43.   Tripon
Takashi Saito's contract with the Boston Red Sox is worth as much as $15 milliion

Wow, that's some crazy incentives in that deal.

Saito will earn $500,000 if he appears in 50 games, an additional $500,000 for every five games he pitches thereafter, up to his 70th game. He'll also earn $500,000 for every 30 days he spends on the active roster.

2009-01-13 11:14:54
44.   68elcamino427
To me - he's earned it the hard way.
Why give him a negative weighting?
Conversely - perhaps the 130 is a more accurate reflection of what he is capable of producing with more consistent playing time (like last season) and a more mature - stronger body.
He will be 27 years old this season and entering his "prime" years.
He will show us.
2009-01-13 11:16:15
45.   OhioBlues12
42 - I didn't think Estes and Vargas were major league deals. I was under the impression that they were minor league deals with a spring invite, in which case I would have a hard time believing that either would make the team out of ST.
2009-01-13 11:16:23
46.   D4P
Saito will earn $500,000 if he appears in 50 games, an additional $500,000 for every five games he pitches thereafter

I have a hard time believing that Management completely ignores this kinda stuff when making in-game decisions.

2009-01-13 11:16:57
47.   JoeyP
43- Its 5mils. Dont those internet blogs have editors?
2009-01-13 11:17:47
48.   Eric Stephen
Vargas was a major league deal, MLB minimum of $400k with up to $1.4m in incentives.
2009-01-13 11:17:50
49.   68elcamino427
Great Post
2009-01-13 11:19:18
50.   JoeyP
I didn't use to care about the 25th players but I've changed my tune

Plus, its easier to care when the entire team is across the board mediocre. If the Dodgers were loaded with superstars, I doubt many would care who the 25th guy was.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2009-01-13 11:19:42
51.   Tripon
45 Estes is a minor league deal, Vargas is a non guaranteed major league deal. Which I guess means the Dodgers can cut him if he sucking enough.
2009-01-13 11:19:51
52.   OhioBlues12
48 - OK, I was mistaken. Still, Estes getting a 25-man spot seems like a real longshot.
2009-01-13 11:20:21
53.   bhsportsguy
27 I should have prefaced that comment by saying if Billingsley repeats his 2008 year but even with that would you give him a Danny Haren Oakland A's type deal now?
2009-01-13 11:21:22
54.   68elcamino427
Gotta leave the basement for awhile.

Just in case you didn't know.

This IS the finest site on the planet!

2009-01-13 11:21:52
55.   Tripon
47 You're missing the option year for Saito becoming guaranteed if he pitches well enough.
2009-01-13 11:21:56
56.   Eric Stephen
It's $15m total, potentially, because Saito gets $1.5m base, plus $1m for being on the active roster at any point, plus the $5m in possible incentives. That's $7.5m for 2008, and his option for 2009 will be for the total achieved in 2008, so potentially another $7.5m.
2009-01-13 11:22:27
57.   kinbote
Somewhere off in the distance Eric Stults barked.
2009-01-13 11:22:56
58.   Jason in Canada
29 I lived in Mexico for 4 years volunteering at an orphanage. It was a horrible experience knowing just how common this is within the indigent migrant farm working culture. We had many young girls living with us that had been sold to older men as young as 9-10 years old.
2009-01-13 11:23:34
59.   Eric Stephen
Yes, I would sign him ASAP, because every inning he pitches his value goes up. Lock him up now while only a select few realize he's one of the best starters in MLB. Don't wait until it's relatively common knowledge.
2009-01-13 11:23:36
60.   ToyCannon
Estes always ends up on the major league roster.
2009-01-13 11:23:49
61.   JoeyP
Does Saito have to meet all of the incentives in order for his option to get picked up?
2009-01-13 11:25:01
62.   Eric Stephen
I'm living in the past (classic Raider fan move). I meant 2009/2010, not 2008/2009.
2009-01-13 11:25:21
63.   Humma Kavula
39 Jones got first crack at starting with Manny.

Technically, this is true. On August 1, Manny and Jones both started.

Jones's next start was August 8. And then September 9. Three games started once Manny arrived. He had a few other appearances in there, but off the bench.

I'm sure you're wondering about Pierre. He started on August 2 and 3, August 7, August 12, August 15, and August 20. Six games started after Manny arrived.

While I haven't checked, I believe that the starting outfield in all games other than those nine was Ramirez-Kemp-Ethier.

I don't think I'm out of line to say that they got Ramirez to bench Jones.

2009-01-13 11:26:19
64.   JoeyP
53- A 5yr/45 mils dollar deal would be a contract I'd offer Billingsley - but I doubt he'd take it.
2009-01-13 11:26:43
65.   Eric Stephen
Hernandez reports a club option, but also has this confusing quote:

"The club option will be guaranteed for Saito's total 2009 earnings and will retain any incentive clauses he didn't meet in his first year of the deal."

I think it's just the value of the option that fluctuates, but I could be wrong.

2009-01-13 11:27:02
66.   Ken Noe
Seems pretty obvious to me now that Ned expected to get Hoffmann, and when he didn't, said "well, what other veterans are still out there? I gotta sign somebody, the pen is too young."

Meanwhile, as someone who attends some Braves games every year, 37 is hilarious and yet so true. When they were good, they couldn't sell out playoff games.

2009-01-13 11:32:05
67.   Jacob Burch
D. Young's IMDB Page is my official link of the day. If it's been brought up here at all before, I apologize, but "Pee-Wee" getting in there made me laugh.
2009-01-13 11:34:30
68.   ToyCannon
I wonder how Lowe will like it when Chipper goes down and they start bringing up all those awesome prospects to play instead of trading them. Or maybe they will trade them, they didn't seem to have a problem moving five of them for 1 1/2 years of Teixeira.
2009-01-13 11:38:44
69.   Eric Stephen
2009-01-13 11:39:02
70.   Tripon
68 Andruw Jones will join Derek Lowe with the Braves.
2009-01-13 11:39:58
71.   Humma Kavula
70 Is that a prediction or is there news to report?
2009-01-13 11:41:17
72.   Jon Weisman
67 - I missed the backstory on that one. Not the nickname, but his film appearances.
2009-01-13 11:43:04
73.   ToyCannon
I agree, comeback player of the year.
2009-01-13 11:43:38
74.   Jon Weisman
Diamond says Hu and Kuo out of WBC.

2009-01-13 11:44:58
75.   Tripon
71 Its a joke, but Andruw does want to go back to the Braves.

73 I wouldn't care if he wins the MVP next year, its obvious now that he would never be a productive player for the Dodgers.

2009-01-13 11:45:55
76.   silverwidow
Jim Callis has his Top 10 NL Prospects:

1. Pedro Alvarez, 3b, Pirates
2. Madison Bumgarner, lhp, Giants
3. Colby Rasmus, of, Cardinals
4. Buster Posey, c, Giants
5. Tommy Hanson, rhp, Braves
6. Logan Morrison, 1b, Marlins
7. Jason Heyward, of, Braves
8. Dexter Fowler, of, Rockies
9. Cameron Maybin, of, Marlins
10. Mike Stanton, of, Marlins

2009-01-13 11:46:39
77.   bhsportsguy
Asking Eric Stephen if the Dodgers should hurry up and sign Chad to a deal buying out his arbitration years is like asking Rickey Henderson if Rickey is his favorite ballplayer?
2009-01-13 11:49:04
78.   Tripon
76 Any reason why Alvarez rates higher over Posey? I would think the 'NL version of Joe Mauer' would rate higher than an 3rd baseman with average defense, despite his hitting potential.
2009-01-13 11:52:27
79.   Jacob Burch
72 No real back story, I was googling around to get his BR page, and by habit typed Peewee instead of Delwyn. Top hit was

2009-01-13 11:53:57
80.   jasonungar07
Young will get you 200 hits, be a veteran presence and get on base an awful lot. He's an extremely hard worker. What's not to love? LOL just kidding
2009-01-13 11:55:10
81.   Jim Hitchcock
79 Oh, man...Damon and Kinnear in one of the worst movies ever.
2009-01-13 12:00:51
82.   Tripon
Micheal Young's first comp on his B-R page is Jose Vidro. Yikes.
2009-01-13 12:01:55
83.   Eric Stephen
If Chad starts referring to himself in the third person, he passes Eddie Murray in my eyes for the all-time #1 spot. :)
2009-01-13 12:03:21
84.   Tripon
Pitchers, the Dodgers should work on signing long term deals, ASAP.

Chad Billingsley
Clayton Kershaw
James McDonald
Cory Wade
Jon Broxton

2009-01-13 12:05:20
85.   trainwreck
I wonder if Maybin will live up to the hype.
2009-01-13 12:08:50
86.   Eric Stephen
Cory Wade...umm no way

James McDonald...let's see how the kid does in his first major league start first.

2009-01-13 12:09:45
87.   trainwreck
Scott Pioli going to the Chiefs. Awww man, our division is getting better.
2009-01-13 12:11:34
88.   Tripon
86 Well. I was joking a bit with Wade and McDonald, and well, Kershaw too. I can't imagine Kershaw liking to sign a deal that eats up his arbitration before he can set his true value. As for Wade, if you can set his arbitration years with a salary between 1 and 2 million, I think you should take it. But still, unlikely.
2009-01-13 12:13:33
89.   Eric Stephen
Wade pitched quite well last year, but his x-FIP was only 4.07. Not horrible, but nothing to write home about. Let's just wade through the next few years at minimum salary, and see if he's worth anything going forward, or if we have to dispose of him like the SNL Bathroom Monkey.
2009-01-13 12:15:18
90.   Tripon
89 We're going to pay Mota something like $2 million this year. Even if Wade never pitches this well again, he's a better bet to outproduce other relievers that we bring from the outside.
2009-01-13 12:15:18
91.   bhsportsguy
76 Without much investigation and research I am going to take a wild stab that Hanson and Morrison are first two players drafted in the 22nd round of any draft (in this case both in 2005) to ever make a top ten list. So when over 660 players are drafted ahead of you, I will say that everyone missed on these guys.
2009-01-13 12:16:24
92.   silverwidow
"Cory Wade, is that you?"

This is a running joke at my office, since I was directly involved with this misquote by Plaschke.

2009-01-13 12:20:54
93.   Eric Stephen
But there's little cost to simply wait until Wade is at least arbitration eligible to commit to that. Wade should be a Super Two at the end of 2010.

Just because we are burning $2 million on Mota doesn't mean we should do so with everyone.

2009-01-13 12:21:18
94.   GoBears
75 I wouldn't care if he wins the MVP next year, its obvious now that he would never be a productive player for the Dodgers.

I'm not sure how seriously to take this statement. It seems obvious to me that IF Andruw Jones were to win MVP next year (or, heck, even be a productive player), then he likely would have been a productive player for the Dodgers as well. Because it would mean that he figured something out that eluded him last year - a hitch in his swing or something.

Either you think Jones is done or you think he can bounce back. It seems nonsensical to suggest that one fate is obvious in LA but another is possible in Atlanta. At least not at the extremes of "MVP" vs. "unproductive."

Perhaps you were just using hyperbole, but I'm not sure of the point. I believe in park effects and even a little in attitude changes that result from a "comfort zone," but not to the point that it makes the difference between a terrific year and a horrible one.

2009-01-13 12:21:30
95.   underdog
Weird, I was just editing a piece that had Patrick Fugit in it and for a second thought this post was about him.

76 - Man, I know I'm biased against the Giants, but the bits I've seen of Madison Bumgarner on the web make me wonder what I'm missing about him. I don't see him as the next Lincecum or even Cain. Hopefully I...won't be proven wrong.

2009-01-13 12:21:34
96.   bhsportsguy
91 Tommy Hanson was the key prospect that the Braves would not include in a deal for Peavy. On the one hand, I could applaud them for trying to not deal their top guy but on the other, its not as if they had invested that much money into Hanson and certainly when they drafted and signed him, to think that he could be used in a deal to get Jake Peavy would have never been thought to be possible.
2009-01-13 12:24:13
97.   trainwreck
I am sad that Rickey did not talk in the third person during the hall of fame news conference.
2009-01-13 12:28:48
98.   GoBears
75 94 As a follow-up, of course we can never know, because we won't be able to run 2009 twice, once with Jones as a Dodger and one as a Brave. But I bet that if Jones DOES go to Atlanta or elsewhere and have a great year, most of us will NOT believe that had he stayed in L.A., it would have been 2008 all over again. Rather, we'll think "oh man, just our luck that he figured it out AFTER being a Dodger!"
2009-01-13 12:31:50
99.   Tripon
95 Maybe the Giants get stupid and moves a player like Cain to make room for Bumgarner.

94 Well, its not as if the Dodgers were going to give Jones many more chances. It got to the point where they explored the possibility of voiding the contract. At least with the Braves, he's going to get a chance, however small to prove he can still play.

The Dodgers aren't going to give him that chance.

2009-01-13 12:32:10
100.   trainwreck
Fuuuuuuuudge!!! UCLA just lost their most important football recruit to Cal.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2009-01-13 12:34:57
101.   bhsportsguy
100 I heard about it earlier but wanted to spare you the bad news.
2009-01-13 12:36:08
102.   Tripon
100 They lost Richard Brehaut?
2009-01-13 12:37:07
103.   trainwreck
Stan Hasiak, offensive linemen.

UCLA needs offensive linemen badly and looks like we are not going to get any elite ones.

2009-01-13 12:37:13
104.   ToyCannon
Then again that was just conjecture since you have told us many times that the gulf of difference between reality and rumors is grand canyonish.

Eric Davis age 30 on the Dodgers 85OPS+
Eric Davis age 34 back with the Reds 139OPS+

2009-01-13 12:37:41
105.   Tripon
Before the Portland Trail Blazers resorted to a threatening email to frighten rival NBA teams from signing Darius Miles, team officials late last week made a brazen bid to claim the forward off waivers only to be stopped by the league, multiple front-office sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Wow, the team has some gumption.;_ylt=Apf.y5RvZ_yWypiIIAWKKNG8vLYF?slug=aw-milesupdate011209&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

2009-01-13 12:45:52
106.   Bob Timmermann
Gumption! I thought Blake DeWitt had cornered the market on gumption. He is easily the gumpiest Dodger ever.

The scouts rated him at 80 on gumption.

2009-01-13 12:45:53
107.   bhsportsguy
104 So true, I guess my point was that if you can deal a 22nd round pick for a number one starter, you should really take a big picture look at it.
2009-01-13 12:46:57
108.   bhsportsguy
103 Although, there are several 4 or 5 star OL recruits who don't make it.
2009-01-13 12:49:47
109.   Disabled List
104 My favorite:

John Tudor, 1989 with Dodgers: 0-0, 3.14 ERA, 14 IP
John Tudor, 1990 back with the Cardinals: 12-4, 2.80 ERA, 146 IP

2009-01-13 12:50:08
110.   trainwreck
I think Tracy needs to post a suicide hotline number. ; )
2009-01-13 12:50:16
111.   Humma Kavula
106 Scouts! It says here that DeWitt was below league average in Gumption Above Replacement Player (GARP). He also doesn't look good in Gump Shares.
2009-01-13 12:52:02
112.   bhsportsguy
110 Tracy's white whale is Josh Shipp. Its like mentioning HSC back in the day.
2009-01-13 12:53:43
113.   cargill06
"Go to the adventure section and pick out a book Bobby. Anything about a boy with gumption should be fine."
2009-01-13 12:53:45
114.   trainwreck
Can't say I like Shipp much myself.
2009-01-13 12:54:08
115.   PalmdaleSteve1
Anyone have news on Jason Schmidt and his status? This is the last year of his deal, so is he done, or is there some glimmer of hope that he'll return?
2009-01-13 12:56:37
116.   Icaros

He's being released so he can return to SF and win the Cy Young.

2009-01-13 13:00:30
117.   Dodger Jack
Do we get a draft choice from the Braves for their signing of Lowe?
2009-01-13 13:02:57
118.   willhite
Hope this wasn't mentioned above, but I would like to advise Mr. Timmermann and all other interested parties that the Astros have signed Russ Ortiz to a one-year minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Looks like quite a battle shaping up for Comeback Player of the Year between Mr. Ortiz and Mr. A. Jones.

2009-01-13 13:03:15
119.   Jacob Burch
117 Their round 2. Check out Eric's excellent write-up on the matter at TrueBlue LA
2009-01-13 13:03:58
120.   ToyCannon
2009-01-13 13:04:09
121.   Jacob Burch
119 Caveat: It could be a lower pick if they go out and sign any other Type A.
2009-01-13 13:04:38
122.   GoBears
104 109 Those are good examples of players bouncing back, but my point is that if a player can bounce back, he can bounce back, and that our expectations of his likelihood of doing so should be contingent upon the color of his uniform. This is baseball - it's not like a player has to be with the right teammates or system to thrive.

Tripon qualified his claim. Now it appears that what he means is that EVEN IF Jones were to "figure it out," he'd never be allowed to prove it in Dodger Blue because the team wouldn't give him a chance. I don't believe that. If he were on the roster, and started to hit, even in limited time, like the Jones the team thought it was getting (let alone, at MVP levels, as imagined in 75 ), his PT would increase accordingly.

So my claim wasn't that players can't bounce back, and that there isn't evidence of that for players who have switched teams. It's that our expectations should not be conditional on the change of team, except on the margin (and the difference between MVP and unproductive is not the margin.

Davis and Tudor bounced back. My contention is that, had they stayed in LA, the same thing would have happened.

2009-01-13 13:05:44
123.   ToyCannon
I'm stunned that Russ Ortiz is not attempting his comeback with us. Imagine Ortiz and Estes going into battle against Lincecum and Cain. Epic
2009-01-13 13:07:42
124.   Icaros

Similar to when people would argue that had he stayed in LA, Beltre would not have regressed in 2005.

2009-01-13 13:09:21
125.   ToyCannon
Tell that to Giovanni Carrara.
2009-01-13 13:11:21
127.   Jacob Burch
Tangent: I think the first 'unstated' observation I ever had about the Dodgers that I saw repeated often on this blog that Gio Carrarra was the slowest pitcher I may have ever seen. There was no better time to visit the trough than when he came out.
2009-01-13 13:11:32
128.   Bob Timmermann
You must really hate me.

You are the cruelest man in the world.

2009-01-13 13:12:46
129.   ToyCannon
I don't really agree. So much of the game appears to be mental and I can site many instances where a change of scenery did wonders for a players career. Maybe it is the coaches, the atmosphere, the ladies, the men, but for whatever reason, sometimes when a players changes clubs they feel revitalized.
2009-01-13 13:13:22
130.   willhite
No sweat-------we've got Mota in the bullpen.
2009-01-13 13:17:39
131.   GoBears
123. Nice. Thank Colletti for small favors.

125. Certainly a weird case. For a reliever, I wonder if park effects explain a lot of it though. Do we know if Carrara was the sort of pitcher that would benefit from the ways in which DS suppresses offense? I don't remember.

Carrara might be the exception that proves the rule (which expression I never understood until I discovered that the original meaning of "prove" is "test," as in "proving ground"). IOW, either Carrara's "Dodgers only" abilities are just random fluctuation or else they can be explained.

2009-01-13 13:19:26
132.   Daniel Zappala
The Russ Ortiz sponsorship page is open at Baseball Reference. You could sponsor it "In the name of Bob Timmermann". I'm just saying.
2009-01-13 13:19:29
133.   Jon Weisman
Without looking, guess the age difference between Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice.
2009-01-13 13:19:51
134.   oshea2002
Hasiak is a blow, no doubt. Down year in state for OL hurts too.
2009-01-13 13:20:28
135.   oshea2002
133 - 7 years?
2009-01-13 13:20:44
136.   bhsportsguy
6 years
2009-01-13 13:20:49
137.   ToyCannon
Rice came up in 75, I think Rickey is 48. So I'm going to say they are both 48.
2009-01-13 13:22:28
138.   OhioBlues12
129 - I have to agree. I think it would be extremely difficult for Jones to revive his career in LA and I believe he probably has a couple more productive seasons left in him. The pressure is too great and the views of him are too tainted here. He would stand a better chance in Atlanta, Texas, or Cincinnati.
2009-01-13 13:23:25
139.   ToyCannon
Wow, a Christmas baby.
2009-01-13 13:25:26
140.   GoBears
I can site many instances where a change of scenery did wonders for a players career.

Actually, no you can't. I get what you're saying, but all you can cite are instances where a change of scenery was correlated with a change in performance. You can't prove causality. Other than instances in which a player got a chance to play after riding pine (Brian Giles, for example), there's just no way to infer causation. Not without a lot more evidence than the performance itself.

For example, if a player says that a new coach taught him a new pitch, or fixed a delivery or a swing, then sure. And while I said I do believe that psychological factors matter, my initial reaction to Tripon's 75 was over his claim that even if Jones were to win the MVP next year, he would continue to believe that Jones in LA in 2009 would have been more of the same from 2008. My reaction was that that's logically inconsistent without invoking magic.

2009-01-13 13:30:05
141.   El Lay Dave
137 If that was true, Rice would have be 14/15 at his debut!

Guess Rice is 55, Rickey 49, so six years difference?

2009-01-13 13:30:30
142.   bhsportsguy
136 I was right when Rice was born since I just saw yesterday when he was drafted by the Red Sox but I was off by a year when Rickey was born, I thought he was a year younger.
2009-01-13 13:37:55
143.   Jon Weisman
2009-01-13 13:38:40
144.   blue22
Russ Ortiz just signed with Houston (minor league deal). Guess he got sick of waiting for Ned to call.
2009-01-13 13:40:03
145.   ToyCannon
So true, we are both left with our opinion.

Would Joe Morgan have become Joe Morgan if he never got out from under the Astrodome? He was very mediocre the last three years with the Astro's before he exploded into stardom with the Reds.

I tend to believe that circumstance is very important, not as important as skill but some players may only thrive in a certain type of environment. Maybe it takes a winning environment, or maybe it it something else but I certainly wouldn't agree that a player would hit 330 no matter what team he was playing for. Maybe for most of them, but not for enough that you cannot make a blanket statement that skill will win out no matter what the environment is.

2009-01-13 21:27:18
147.   LAbits
Tempus fugited
p.74 of EE Doc Smith's Triplanetary. I'd read this blog earlier this evening and when I turned the page and read those words it was like a bell went off in my head. Whoa, that was a weird coincidence. Weirder than someone reading Triplanetary in 2008.

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