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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
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Sea Legs
2005-04-17 08:19
by Jon Weisman

With four straight victories and eight in their first 10, this Dodger vessel is looking more seaworthy on the rough oceans of the media. Tossed about through much of the winter and on the verge of capsizing at both their road and home openers, the Dodgers should find the media waters more forgiving even if they tilt a bit much to starboard at some point. They've bought themselves a little time.

(Impressive paragraph, isn't it - considering my entire knowledge of sailing comes from Gilligan's Island.)

With that in mind, there's one point that might be made without taking away from the Dodgers' early-season achievements. If there is something the team could have done during Spring Training to prevent Eric Gagne from injuring himself as seriously as he has been - Tony Jackson of the Daily News writes in his latest update that Gagne is still about a month from returning - let's hope the Dodgers have learned to do it for the future.

2005-04-17 08:52:06
1.   borndodgerblue
The ship is righted and seaworthy for the time- being. I'm just enjoying the ride...P.S. Kent has a presence.
2005-04-17 09:34:06
2.   DXMachina
You really do have to wonder what the Tracy, Colborn, and all the rest of the guys who work with the pitchers in Vero were thinking about when they allowed Gagne to take the mound and screw around with his mechanics to accomodate the knee. Surely some of them have heard of Dizzy Dean.
2005-04-17 09:41:42
3.   Stephen Bright
In the past the Dodgers were often more like a race car that was not running properly. When pitching was good, the hitting was absent; when the offense was scoring lots of runs the pitchers were allowing even more.

Now, eventhough we are still not running on all 9 cylinders, the pitching and especially the hitting has really been in synch.

Also, in past years the Dodgers have really had a terrible bench. Esp. during the Claire years, our bench consisted of mostly marginal players. Last year we really had a bench that could contribute, and that has been evident this year as well.

Individual hot streaks are also important in a team surge, and this year we have also had several exceptional individual starts (Izzy, Kent, Ledee), and some of our pitchers seem more focused than in the past. I.e., Odalis had a great mound presence on his last start - his body language was really saying he was going to get everybody out. (I've long noticed that trait in Pedro).

So even though Drew and Choi got off to a slow start, the others are doing well to pick up the slack. It is a very exciting start, especially with those come-from-3-runs-behind wins. A teams ususlly has 1-2 of those a year, and we've had 2 in our first week. Baseball players are at least as superstitious as sailors, and those comebacks have to be felt by the players as a very good omen, indeed.

2005-04-17 09:54:10
4.   LAT
If there is anything we have learned this winter and the first week of the season its that the media follows, not leads. Watching Baseball Tonight they just did a whole piece on the success ofthe Dodgers. This after months of trashing them and tabbing them for the cellar in the NL West. Even though the season is only two weeks old and the Dodgers are not going to finish with a .800 percentage, the media is irrelevant. Ignore the media and their bandwagon jumping and enjoy the ride while it lasts.

BTW, I cast Steve Smoll as Gilligan, Wison Alverez as Skipper (altough David Wells is better) and Frank as Mr. Howell. . .NOT!!!

2005-04-17 09:55:24
5.   Woody
After 10 games I couldn't be happier. Considering all the injuries, I think we have even more to anticipate, if all can get healthy. After watching last Wednesday night's game on ESPN, a good season would be twice as sweet, just to shut up guys like Joe Morgan. I'm starting to sense cohesion among the players, and have liked some of the moves that Jim Tracy has made which gets all the guys into the lineup.
Hopefully, a month or two down the road we'll still feel good about this team.
2005-04-17 09:57:40
6.   Eric Enders
DePo has to be the Professor, obviously.
2005-04-17 10:15:00
7.   LAT
How did I miss that one?
2005-04-17 10:15:17
8.   LAT
How did I miss that one?
2005-04-17 10:16:20
9.   Jerry
The LA Times is the shipwreck.
2005-04-17 10:17:05
10.   Icaros
Kim Ng as Maryanne?
2005-04-17 10:18:04
11.   Nolan
Most disturbing about the article was the bit about Grabowski playing first...I guess we are only going to allow Choir to hit against junk-balling righties...I don't understand why we aren't giving him a chance to play...
2005-04-17 10:21:21
12.   dzzrtRatt
DePodesta is at his best when he moves quickly and doesn't think too much. Jason Phillips for Kaz Ishii is a big factor this spring, just as the Milton Bradley trade paid off last year (and seems to be a work of genius so far this season). These were both trades of opportunity rather than extensive calculation, i.e. the Mets suddenly needed an experienced starter, the Indians needed to remove the "cancer" Milton Bradley, and DePo pounced with an offer the other team couldn't refuse. With Choi and Drew both off to poor starts, creating a big hole in the front of the lineup, it's been crucial that the 4-8 slots have consistently delivered. With Bako batting 8th instead of Phillips, we're not 8-2.
2005-04-17 10:23:34
13.   Dodgerkid
Chin Feng Chen is tearing up AAA.
2005-04-17 10:24:30
14.   Nolan
CFC deserves to be with this club instead of Repko...
2005-04-17 10:28:29
15.   Vishal
so is jose flores.
2005-04-17 10:28:41
16.   Dodgerkid
Tracy must have a thing against asian position players. Chen is good, and Choi is too. Choi also had a pretty decent spring training. He lets Drew hit under 200, let Choi as well. I think Tracy has bought into the rampant belief that Choi's swing is too slow for him ever to be a good hitter.
2005-04-17 10:31:20
17.   DodgerJoe
Re LAT#4
I also saw the piece on this morning's Baseball tonight. But, the credit that Steve Phillips was giving the Dodgers was somewhat backhanded.

He made it seem that the Dodgers were winning despite themselves. And that the defense was still poor. Yet, they have only given up three unearned runs so far this year.

And he also mentioned that other teams in the past got off to fast starts, then faltered like the Royals a couple years back.

The media is still not giving credit where credit is due, with Depodesta and Tracy.

BTW, Tracy is doing a great job giving all 25 guys at bats and playing time.

2005-04-17 10:58:11
18.   Linkmeister
Kind of an interesting story in today's NYT about hot/cold starts for players: do they matter?

2005-04-17 11:14:10
19.   ryu
Pop quiz -- which Dodger leads the club in five offense categories?

AVG .405
HR 3
RBI 12
R 14
SB 2

Answer is ... Jeff Kent.

Source: Yahoo! Sports.

2005-04-17 11:35:42
20.   LAT
Kid, I hope you are kidding suggesting that Tracy is not playing Choi or Chen because they are Asian. The reason not to stick with them as long as Drew is their respective track record. Choi has now stunk up the joint last season and this one. Chen continues to tear up the minors but everytime he comes up for coffee he disappears. Drew is off to an awful start but his long term track record sugests its an aberation and he will eventually breakout. (Think Jeter 2004) There is no evidence that Choi or Chen can or will do the same. At any rate to suggest race is a factor is very unfair to Tracy.
2005-04-17 12:01:30
21.   Bob Timmermann
Jeff Weaver's career ERA in day games is 5.39. It is just 4.09 in night games.
2005-04-17 12:08:14
22.   Mulder
The great thing about this start is that with all the pitching coming back (Gagne, Penny, Alvarez) he should be able to withstand a bit of a decline in offensive that is likely to occur over the coming weeks. We should probably expect Kent, Valentin, and Izturis's bats to cool. 4 strong starting pitchers should allow us to withstand extended losing streaks. I am optimistic that we make the playoffs again.
2005-04-17 12:09:12
23.   Dodgerkid
Obviously I don't think Tracy is a racist, it was a joke. At the Klan meeting last Wednesday, Tracy usually only participates in half the ceremonies, and goes home before the final cross burning. We rib him about it all the time.
2005-04-17 12:53:11
24.   bill cox
Chen has had lots of fruitless chances on the big club compounded by the fact he's not a good outfielder with a weak arm.Repko is solid in the field(probably the best outfielder on themajor league roster.Additionally Repko hit his way unto the club in the spring while Chen disappeared.
Choi has had chances,but looks bad.He needs to prove he can a productive hitter,Drew plays because he makes 11,000,000 dollars a year.
2005-04-17 13:28:07
25.   LAT
Kid, I assumed your were kidding about Tracey but the question you raised about why Choi and Chen are not given the same consideration as Drew seemed sincere.
2005-04-17 14:16:23
26.   Vishal
re #24

i didn't realize that a grand total of 17 plate appearances in 12 games scattered over three whole years constitutes "lots of fruitless chances" at the major league level.

and chen's spring wasn't so bad either, though he only had 20 at-bats there as well. but he still had 2 doubles and 2 homers in those 20 at-bats (that's a .600 slg% compared to repko's .525 in 80 AB)

2005-04-17 22:32:59
27.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
Choi was actually pretty good last year before he came to the Dodgers. Didn't he lead the majors in dingers at the end of April? In 281 ABs with the Fish he hit .270/.388/.495, which at the time was better than any 1b in SoCal (Ventura, Erstad, even Nevin). But when he got here he played less regularly, and maybe he lost a little confidence. If he keeps playing sporadically, I'm not sure how he'll find it again.

And the Sunday night crew of Baseball Tonight went on again about the Dodgers, saying "these guys are better than we realize" and adding that DePo obviously made some good moves.

Stephen, I think you're on to something about the bench. I used to cringe every time we had to go to the bench in the past, but not now. It's been said that Oakland's success under Beane is due in no small part to his strong collection of bench players. DePo seems to be doing the same thing here, and it looks like he's come up with the deepest Dodger team I've seen in ages.

2005-04-18 02:08:58
28.   Robert Fiore
The main uncertainty is that we're at the beginning of the year, so we don't really know if this is a hot streak or a true reflection of the team's ability. That they're doing it without significant contributions from their ace closer and what figured to be their best starting pitcher and best hitter is extremely encouraging.

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