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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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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Man Underboard
2005-04-24 07:40
by Jon Weisman

Plus, April 24 Open Chat

So, count me among those who felt Jim Tracy should have pinch hit for Odalis Perez, down 7-4, with the bases loaded and two out in the fifth inning Saturday against Colorado.

And yes, this is part of a trend in which Tracy passes on a pinch hitter in order to extend a pitcher, even for an inning or less, and preserve his roster depth for later in the game.

Tracy has been correct in these occasions (also including the Game 161 event of 2004, before the Dodgers' seven-run ninth-inning comeback) that there have been opportunities to use pinch hitters later in the given game. But he is failing to accept that there might not be a need for those pinch hitters if he seized the initiative earlier.

He also appears to be making an assumption that his pitcher is going to get through the next inning unscathed, instead of putting the team in a deeper hole that forces the Dodgers to further tax their bullpen anyway, sooner than later.

Additionally, the weather reports indicated a better-than-average chance for rain today, which if nothing else is a reason to take an extra risk of being aggressive with the pen.

No one is saying that Tracy should pull his pitcher with a runner on first base and two out in the second inning of a game. But Tracy probably shouldn't be waiting so long to make this kind of move.

There's an important B plot to Tracy's decision as well, which is that the Dodgers went into Saturday's game without a full roster.

Pitcher Elmer Dessens has been injured since Tuesday, and it was clear before the Dodgers arrived in Colorado on Friday that he was headed for the disabled list. The Dodgers have held out placing him there until today or Monday, waiting for Brad Penny to be activated.

Most people disagreed with my April 11 assertion that the Dodgers should make a roster adjustment for the short term, based on the situation then of having two off days in one week. But I maintain that these kind of maneuvers are key. This past week, with a trip to demanding Coors Field, also called for a roster move.

By last Thursday, the Dodgers should have placed Dessens on the disabled list and called up another player for the few days before Penny came off the disabled list.

First, ask yourself why Jeff Weaver wasn't sent to Colorado the night before his Friday start, instead of arriving at 4 a.m. on the day he was going to pitch. Is it because the Dodgers felt Weaver was too important Thursday night as a pinch hitter or pinch runner? Instead of potentially relieving Weaver of those responsibilities by replacing Dessens with a healthy player, the Dodgers kept him in San Diego and possibly sabotaged his first Coors Field appearance. (Let me make it clear that the preceding paragraph is speculation.)

Tracy, by the way, also used a worst-case scenario come true like Jose Valentin's eighth-inning injury Saturday as a postgame justification for holding back a pinch hitter and keeping Perez in. Scenarios like this are of course a risk at any time - all the more reason not to enter a game a man short if you don't have to.

Beyond these issues, the Dodgers knew that Dessens would not pitch Friday and Saturday, nor would Penny, nor would D.J. Houlton, who was being held out for a possible start today. That means the 12-man pitching staff, so essential to so many people in the week of April 10 when the Dodgers only had five games in pitching-friendly Dodger Stadium, was down to 10 men for a trip to hit-happy Denver on Friday and Saturday without any preceding off days, and with either Houlton or Penny on a limited pitch count for Sunday.

So if the Dodgers weren't going to call up a batter to replace Dessens in the middle of last week, they certainly could have used a pitcher - a long man that could eat up innings in case the Dodgers ran out of pitchers, and who would allow Tracy to manage more aggressively earlier in the game.

I'm not suggesting that the Dodgers should manipulate their roster on a daily basis. But when you have the ability to adjust to a situation a few days ahead, for a few days at a time, you should take advantage. Keep in mind - the player in this situation doesn't even have to be particularly good. He can be expendable. He just needs to be a body.

The Dodgers have played, managed and general managed well almost the entire season. They started 2005 with 13 of their first 18 games on the road, and the fatigue is understandable.

With all that in mind, they played shorthanded Friday and Saturday. And it showed.

* * *

Today's Game

Comments (153)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-04-24 08:30:22
1.   Screwgie
I agree with your points, Jon.

I'll also add that I don't understand why the Dodgers are babying Penny. It's not like this is his first time pitching since his injury. It's not like he hasn't pitched in a similar launching pad in Vegas. At worst, if the weather is really crummy, why don't they just lower his pitch count, but trot him out for as long as he'll go?

In light of being short a man, I believe Penny becomes "the body" you outline in your post. The Dodgers should have planned on some combination of Penny and Houlton Sunday regardless of the weather. At least that may have lightened the self-induced bullpen burden Tracy's been playing under in Colorado.

2005-04-24 08:46:37
2.   DepoBall
For Tracy to make the moves Jon suggests, he'd have to believe he needed "less pitching" going to Coors Field. And that his hitting would disappear in the same venue. Neither is intuitive, especially given our pitching problems that our torrid hitting has bailed out almost every time.

I think he missed an opportunity to get a pinch-hit or two which might have changed the game, based on the logic that you'll start the clock on most of the players mentioned sometime this season anyway.

Maybe we should keep a running Tracy-stat: WARM, wins above replacement manager. Take a vote on how many wins he contributed to or took away by his moves - pitcher-swaps, rosters, pinch-hitters. have to normalize somehow....

Roster moves are certainly complex over the course of the season, yet i'm sure managed well they add a number of wins. Not something i've thought about much. Just part of my never-ending baseball education.

2005-04-24 08:47:25
3.   Woody
Jon - I agree completely about the decision to have Odalis bat in the 5th. In that situation it I felt as though the momentum was shifting (if you believe in momentum) and we could have been right back in game with a base hit. In his defense, Odalis almost did come through and it took a better than average catch to end the inning.
Of course giving up another run in the bottom of the 5th with 2 outs didn't help matters.
2005-04-24 08:53:37
4.   DepoBall
as far as penny goes, i'd heard the pace of his rehab was driven pretty much by himself - he struck me as afraid to push his arm. regardless, he is worth babying along as a big part of our expected rotation improvement over last year. Coors Field really messes with pitcher's heads. Fragile psyches need not apply.

I think his season makes/breaks the dodgers -- if he becomes a headcase out there due to lack of confidence or screwing his mechanics out of worry about his arm we'll remember our season start as the highpoint of this year.

2005-04-24 09:20:03
5.   Midwest Blue
At the time, I also considered whether to pinch-hit for Perez. The biggest question for me was bullpen freshness for Sunday knowing that Penny would be limited or not available.

It was a gamble by JT but I think the right one given the opportunities that presented themselves later in the game with so many men left on base (especially the ninth with the bases loaded and Kent up). If we were meant to win the game, Kent would have gotten the hit.

I don't blame Tracy for last night.

2005-04-24 09:52:47
6.   Suffering Bruin
Gotta race to work. I do not blame Tracy for last night and that will have to be that for me.



Constipation is not funny. No it's not.

This is the recipe for Hee-Seop Choi's favorite dish. He likes anything to do with eel and this is what apparently sends his taste buds over the wall:

1 x Eel
2 tbl Soy sauce
1 1/2 tbl Sugar
1 tbl Rice wine
2 tbl Water
Metal skewers

* (1) Place eel on chopping board and make head immobile with metal skewer. Insert knife through back and cut through to tail area. Remove intestines and bones and cut off head and tail. Cut large eel into 3-4 pieces and small eel to 2 pieces.

2. Put skewers through back end of eel piece.

3.Broil eel slightly, cooking first on skin side with skewers. Remove skewers.

4. Mix soy sauce, sugar, rice wine and water in saucepan and cook. When sauce boils, add eel pieces and cook over low heat about 10 minutes until all sauce is absorbed.

5. Place eel on serving dish and decorate with chrysanthemum.

* Note: Eel has a high content of protein and fat and is an excellent source of vitamin A. However, it is not recommended for patients and children to consume large amounts of eel since it takes a long time to digest.

2005-04-24 10:38:00
7.   Bob Timmermann
Right now (11:36 MDT), Denver is reporting a temperature of 43 and overcast.

Sounds like a wonderful day.

The Tigers were snowed out in Detroit for their second straight day.

Chicago is at 43 right now and windy. It's a great day for baseball. Let's play ....


2005-04-24 11:14:26
8.   Eric Enders
Thoughts on the Dodger starting pitcher quandary from Senior Baseball Analyst Bruce Springsteen:

"And go-cart mozart was checkin' out the weather chart
To see if it was safe to go outside..."

2005-04-24 11:20:53
9.   Bob Timmermann
The lineup posted on Yahoo has Penny as the starting pitcher.

With a lefty pitching today, Repko, Saenz, and Nakamura get starts in the 2, 6, and 8 slots.

2005-04-24 11:23:34
10.   Linkmeister
SB, where do you find this stuff? I don't doubt its veracity, but if there's a source out there devoted to finding obscure facts about baseball players, I think we should all know it. ;)
2005-04-24 11:27:01
11.   Bob Timmermann
I have three cans of broiled eels in my cupboard. They've been there a while. Since they're canned and preseved, I'm presuming they have a long shelf life.
2005-04-24 11:43:38
12.   Bob Timmermann
The last time the Dodgers played on the same day a Pope was formally inaugurated (coronated was what it was called at the time) was on September 3, 1978.

The Dodgers lost that day to the Mets at Dodgers Stadium, 8-5.

The Mets sent 11 batters to the plate in the second inning against Tommy John and scored 6 runs. Lee Mazzilli hit two home runs, a leadoff homer against John and another in the 7th off of Charlie Hough.

Six future major league managers played in the game: Lee Mazzilli, Bobby Valentine, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, Dusty Baker, and Johnny Oates.

As well as one future GM: Tom Grieve.

That same day, the second place Giants swept a doubleheader from Philadelphia to move one game behind the Dodgers in the standings.

The Dodgers then proceeded to sweep an odd 2-game home series from the Giants that was played over three days (they played on Labor day, took a day off, then played the second game Wednesday) and the Dodgers were on their way.

2005-04-24 11:51:39
13.   mikethinksblue
anyone else watching Dodger Dugout? They showed a weird cartoon of Vin explaining the term "can of corn" to Steiner and others using Milton Bradley as a prop. Now, Vin is speaking broken Japanese to Nori.

Odd stuff indeed.

2005-04-24 11:55:16
14.   hart01
Although I agree with Jon,the Rockies anouncers(Colo.feed) agreed with Tracy's move.I assume they have seen a lot more pitching staffs eaten up by Coors than we,and,Odalis wasnt pitching particularly badly at that point.
By the way Odalis hit the ball as hard as any Dodger that inning and ALMOST ripped it down the line.
2005-04-24 12:03:35
15.   joekings
It looks like Penny is getting the start.
2005-04-24 12:05:34
16.   Steve
If the Rockies announcers thought it was a good idea, it was almost certainly a terrible idea. Those guys are as dumb as stumps.
2005-04-24 12:07:27
17.   joekings
what's the over under for LOB today?
2005-04-24 12:11:14
18.   Art H Tracy
From the LA Daily News regarding Weaver not heading to Denver a day early:

" After playing a Thursday night game in San Diego, the Dodgers arrived at their downtown hotel here at about 4 a.m. Club officials offered to fly Weaver in Thursday so he could rest up for his start, but he declined, a decision he stood behind even after getting raked.

"We had been winning with everybody together, and I didn't want to change anything," Weaver said. "I didn't think the time we arrived would have any effect, and it didn't."

Pitching coach Jim Colborn didn't second-guess Weaver's choice."

2005-04-24 12:12:26
19.   Bob Timmermann
Penny has pitched at Coors three times. He's 1-1 with an ERA of 4.00 in 18 innings
2005-04-24 12:13:30
20.   mikethinksblue
at least Drew wasn't LOB
2005-04-24 12:16:59
21.   Bob Timmermann
Gameday app says its 46 degrees.
2005-04-24 12:17:37
22.   Vishal
one thing about weaver: he genuinely seems to be an enthusiastic teammate, really emotionally engaged in his desire to see the dodgers win. when odalis lined out with the bases loaded yesterday, they cut to weaver in the dugout, and he was visibly upset (and exclaiming the f-word) when the ball was caught.
2005-04-24 12:22:42
23.   molokai
Thought Tracy did the right thing and OP really smacked the ball. He had righted his ship, his batting in the 5th did not cost us the game. Leaving 13 others baserunners on base cost us the game. Weaver may not have been correct in traveling with the team but you have to like his desire to hang with the "team".

On the bright side E Jackson threw a gem yesterday against Sacramento shutting them out for 6 innings and collecting 6 K's.

2005-04-24 12:24:54
24.   Steve
John Baker agrees that Odalis had righted his ship.
2005-04-24 12:27:58
25.   Bob Timmermann
Since the first game of the road trip, the Dodgers have lead at the end of 2 of the last 48 innings they've played.

Fortunately, two of those innings where they led were the 10th inning.

2005-04-24 12:43:08
26.   joekings
at the rate penny is going he'll only be around for four innings. i was hoping he could at least go five.
2005-04-24 12:43:45
27.   Bob Timmermann
It's now 2 of the last 49 innings that the Dodgers have lead.
2005-04-24 12:57:31
28.   Bob Timmermann
2 of the last 50.
2005-04-24 12:59:23
29.   joekings
great inning for penny, he really needed that.
2005-04-24 13:01:16
30.   Vishal
4-pitch inning!

on the other hand, it was 3 fly balls.

2005-04-24 13:02:43
31.   Aug C
Jeff Kent is apparently determined to swing at EVERY first pitch this year. I'm not complaining about it or applauding him, just observing.
2005-04-24 13:09:22
32.   Aug C
Another observation: Jeff Francis looks like he's literally 16 years old. A tall 16 year-old, but nonetheless a 16 year-old.
2005-04-24 13:15:20
33.   Vishal
the rockies' starting rotation seems to inspire vinny to create descriptive nicknames. he calls francis a "babyface lefty", and jason jennings is "thunder thighs". did he come up with anything for chacon?
2005-04-24 13:21:09
34.   Bob Timmermann
2 of 51 innings.
2005-04-24 13:24:14
35.   gregsmokler
check out this great feature following up on moneyball and the steroid craze by Michael Lewis in the cover story of today's NY Times magazine:

2005-04-24 13:28:25
36.   Bob Timmermann
Repko had lost track of the outs there. He was breaking back to first base after Helton caught Drew's liner.

And it will now be 2 of 52 innings.

2005-04-24 13:34:52
37.   Jim Hitchcock
Let's get some dadburn runs...
2005-04-24 13:35:23
38.   mikethinksblue
what's the number of innings it takes to make it an official game? 5 or 6? I'd hate to waste this decent start from Penny (except for that homer) due to rain...
2005-04-24 13:37:42
39.   Jim Hitchcock
5 1/2.
2005-04-24 13:38:20
40.   Jim Hitchcock
More. More.
2005-04-24 13:39:06
41.   Jim Hitchcock
2005-04-24 13:40:03
There we go, good hitting.
2005-04-24 13:40:13
43.   Jim Hitchcock
Cue Eric Clapton (Let It Rain).
2005-04-24 13:40:17
44.   joekings
Jim, I thought it depended on whether the home team was winning or not. If the home team was winning it was 4 1/2, if it was losing 5.
2005-04-24 13:41:15
45.   Bob Timmermann
It would be 4 1/2 if the home team is ahead. If the rain came down right now and the 6th inning could not be completed, the game would be suspended.
2005-04-24 13:49:17
46.   joekings
i don't think you could have asked much more of penny under the circumstances.
2005-04-24 13:53:19
47.   joekings
vin just said that foul out was infield fly rule, i thougth the infield fly rule only applied if the ball was fair.
2005-04-24 13:54:27
48.   Bob Timmermann
The infield fly rule does only apply on fair balls. The umpire put up his arm and would say "Infield fly, if fair" to alert the runners.
2005-04-24 13:55:27
49.   Bob Timmermann
2 of 53 innings.
2005-04-24 14:16:13
50.   fanerman91
We REALLY need this win...
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-04-24 14:20:39
51.   Bob Timmermann
2 of the past 54 innings.
2005-04-24 14:27:12
52.   Odysseus
Now there's no way to know what Wallach said. And I have no idea what statistics say about this. But it sure SEEMS like the umps have had a quick trigger finger so far.
2005-04-24 14:29:52
53.   Odysseus
Kim. Hopefully he brought his gas can.
2005-04-24 14:31:36
54.   Jim Hitchcock
Got dem ole hematoma blues...
2005-04-24 14:34:44
55.   fanerman91
Tie game.
2005-04-24 14:34:44
56.   joekings
leave him in,
leave him in
2005-04-24 14:34:51
57.   Odysseus
2005-04-24 14:34:53
58.   Bob Timmermann
That was a very typical Coors Field hit by Saenz. The RF has to play so deep that it's hard to come in on an opposite field dunker like that.
2005-04-24 14:35:37
Thats like Saenz specialty- poking balls outside the strike zone for bloop hits.
2005-04-24 14:37:33
60.   fanerman91
Is there a pitching change?
2005-04-24 14:38:06
61.   fanerman91
Go Philips! 6-5 on a double.
2005-04-24 14:38:09
62.   joekings
i love colorado's bullpen.
2005-04-24 14:38:15
63.   Odysseus
LoDuca would have cured cancer with that pitch.
2005-04-24 14:38:20
64.   Steve
We don't have a hit to left field the entire game.
2005-04-24 14:38:37
65.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers need two more HBPs to tie the record for most in a game.

The Yankees got hit 6 times in a game vs. Washington in 1913 and Louisville got his 6 times by St. Louis pitchers in 1897.

The record in an inning is 4 by Boston against Pittsburgh in 1893.

The 1937 Philadelphia Athletics got hit by 5 pitches. FOR THE WHOLE YEAR. Apparently, Connie Mack collected a bunch of guys who were good at ducking.

2005-04-24 14:38:43
66.   joekings
2005-04-24 14:39:00
67.   fanerman91
Why did Choi leave? For Saenz?
2005-04-24 14:39:29
68.   Fearing Blue
Phew.. this is what should have happened last night.
2005-04-24 14:39:46
69.   Albert in Hong Kong
Let's be glad it's happening now
2005-04-24 14:39:58
70.   joekings
choi pinch hit for sanchez
2005-04-24 14:41:16
71.   Bob Timmermann
Saenz started with a lefty starting. Choi struck out as a pinch hitter.
2005-04-24 14:41:45
72.   fanerman91
Oh I see. He never was meant to substitute anybody.
2005-04-24 14:42:50
73.   Bob Timmermann
Choi pinch hit in the home opener and got hit by a pitch.

Nakamura did a decent enough job in that rundown to let Izturis get to second.

2005-04-24 14:43:44
74.   Jim Hitchcock
Can we have a group sigh of relief?
2005-04-24 14:43:51
Nakamura looks so happy, he must of have been really down about his slump. I think we should have pinch hit for Carrera and sent Schmoll in for the eighth.
2005-04-24 14:45:18
76.   Borchard504
Great to see the Dodgers hitting. Thanks to whomever told to me use RealPlayer instead of Windows Media on .

Was that a baserunning error by Nakamura?

2005-04-24 14:47:53
77.   Bob Timmermann
No, Nakamura was pretty much dead once the third baseman caught the ball.
2005-04-24 14:48:01
78.   joekings
i don't think so. Many runners on third go on the crack of the bat.
2005-04-24 14:48:51
Not yet Jim
2005-04-24 14:51:06
80.   Aug C
I'd rather see Jim LaRussa than Let-pitchers-hit-for-themselves Tracy. Trace, this is Colorado! A three run lead isn't untouchable.
2005-04-24 14:51:22
81.   Jim Hitchcock
Yeah, what was I's Coors Field, fercryinoutloud.
2005-04-24 14:51:58
82.   bigcpa
Does anyone feel comfortable with Gio out there? He's not topping 88 through that thin air. I'd rather see Houlton but I guess he's got tenure.
2005-04-24 14:54:20
83.   Jim Hitchcock
Yes! Drew!
2005-04-24 14:54:32
What a throw
2005-04-24 14:54:36
85.   joekings
nice throw!
2005-04-24 14:54:37
86.   Albert in Hong Kong
2005-04-24 14:54:40
87.   Borchard504
Great throw by JD Drew. Wow.
2005-04-24 14:54:41
88.   Odysseus
Don't test Drew (or Bradley)
2005-04-24 14:55:21
89.   Linkmeister
After that throw I'll forgive Drew for wearing Yeager's number.
2005-04-24 14:55:42
90.   Bob Timmermann
The last time an NL team got hit 5 times in a game was 7/2/1969 when Gerry Arrigo and Pedro Ramos of Cincinnati hit 5 Atlanta batters.

And those two guys managed to hit 5 guys in the first 3 innings.

And on May 1, 1974 Dock Ellis of the Pirates hit Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Driessen to start a game. However, he was trying to do that.

2005-04-24 14:56:19
And Nori was so pumped after making the tag he reminded me of Gagne and his fist pump. Ok maybe less Gagne and more Tiger Woods, but still he was pumped.
2005-04-24 14:57:58
92.   mikethinksblue
the throw was great, but it also looked like Nakamura did a good job blocking the bag
2005-04-24 15:00:04
93.   Jim Hitchcock
So, saving that eel for Thanksgiving?
2005-04-24 15:00:37
94.   Aug C
It also looked like the tag was not in time, but heck I'm not going to complain.
2005-04-24 15:00:55
95.   Bob Timmermann
Maybe I'll open up a can tonight. It's already broiled and seasoned. Just need to cook up some rice.
2005-04-24 15:01:31
96.   Steve
Do the Dodgers have a plane to catch or something?
2005-04-24 15:02:28
97.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, the Dodgers do have a plane to catch. It's a long walk from Denver to L.A.
2005-04-24 15:03:05
Yhency better throw strikes early in the count. I only get nervous when he gets down in the count to the first batter he sees.
2005-04-24 15:03:11
99.   Steve
Maybe the bus driver gets paid by the hour then.
2005-04-24 15:03:50
100.   bokonon42
How many HBP are they going to take before any Dodger reliever defends his teammates?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-04-24 15:04:58
101.   Borchard504
Gio sure was doing it with smoke and mirrors. Mid 80's fast ball, at Coors Field scares the you know what out of me. Very lucky to get out of that last inning.

Disturbing to see all the hit batters by the Rockies. I guess the Dodgers thought they were all unintentional.

96 mph fastball by Brazobahn. Now we're talking.

2005-04-24 15:05:02
102.   Steve
If Brazoban starts defending anyone here, someone's going to have to defend him from me. It's a long season, and we play them ten times at Dodger Stadium.
2005-04-24 15:05:44
103.   Albert in Hong Kong
2 down, 1 to go!
2005-04-24 15:06:18
104.   dzzrtRatt
Was that pitch deliberate?
2005-04-24 15:06:34
105.   bokonon42
Ha! Ask and ye shall recieve
2005-04-24 15:06:39
106.   Jim Hitchcock
Somebody needs to send a Ghame Over T-shirt to Yhency.
2005-04-24 15:06:42
107.   Borchard504
bokonon - I agree. Either they think they were unintentional, or are gonna retaliate when the game is not so close. Sometimes paybacks come down the road aways. That's all I can figure.
2005-04-24 15:06:51
108.   mikethinksblue
nice job yhency
2005-04-24 15:06:53
109.   KAYVMON
that sent a message at least
2005-04-24 15:06:59
110.   dzzrtRatt
Good move not to get swept on the day the New York Times discovered the Dodgers.
2005-04-24 15:07:09
111.   bokonon42
sorry; i before e except after c.
2005-04-24 15:07:10
112.   Albert in Hong Kong
YES a win

4-3 road trip... thank goodness no sweep by the rockies, coors field or not

2005-04-24 15:07:40
113.   bigcpa
Where's our TM'd catch phrase? Is Bob in the men's room?
2005-04-24 15:07:51
114.   tomA
now able to breath
2005-04-24 15:08:35
115.   Fearing Blue
Nicely done Yhency.

Curious note: The Dodgers had 21 HRs in 16 games leading up to this series. They only had 1 HR in 3 games at Coors.

2005-04-24 15:08:39
116.   Borchard504
Cheers everyone. Gio got the win. Verrry lucky.
2005-04-24 15:10:00
117.   Bob Timmermann
So now on the day that Pope Benedict XVI got elected and the day that he was inaugurated, the Dodgers won both days 8-6.
2005-04-24 15:10:56
118.   Bob Timmermann
As matter of fact, I did go to the bathroom as soon as the game over.
2005-04-24 15:12:21
119.   Jim Hitchcock
I think bigcpa was hoping for a different Benediction, Bob.
2005-04-24 15:14:07
120.   Bob Timmermann
I just don't want to be one of those guys who's forever associated with a catch phrase. I don't want to be the "Where's the Beef?" Lady of Dodger Thoughts.
2005-04-24 15:16:23
121.   mikethinksblue
Giants are down 7-4 to the Brewers in the bottom of the 7th...
2005-04-24 15:26:03
122.   bigcpa
How many solid starts from Penny will it take before we give him an extension? The '05 free agent class sucks and he's gonna fetch $9-10M per on the market.
2005-04-24 15:26:34
123.   Fearing Blue
Even though the Diamondbacks are currently in second, I've been rooting for them to beat the Padres.

Could I be rooting for the wrong team?

The Diamondbacks have three good starters (Vazquez, Ortiz, and Webb). Their fourth and fifth starters are likely to be pretty bad over the course of the season, though Halsey has been pitching very well so far.

Their offense should be strong as long as Glaus, Gonzalez, and Green stay healthy.

And, I think their bullpen could be good once everyone gets healthy. Lyon, Villareal, Valverde, Koplove, Aquino.

Should we be worried about these guys?

2005-04-24 15:33:01
124.   Bob Timmermann
Vazquez and Ortiz probably aren't as good as people think. The DBacks bullpen needs a lot of help.
2005-04-24 16:05:14
125.   molokai
"You always like to get off to a fast start, but I got off to a real slow start this year," Michaelis said. "I've been working with [Suns hitting coach] Steve [Yeager] and we've made some adjustments in the swing that's helped. I feel considerably more comfortable now.

Steve Yeager is the hitting coach for our AA Jacksonville team????? I could understand if he was helping Russ Martin learn the nuances of catching, but hitting coach. Wasn't Joe Ferguson available?

2005-04-24 16:05:54
126.   Bob Timmermann
With still some games to be finished today, but as of right now the Dodgers are tied with the Red Sox for most runs scored in the majors with 107. The Red Sox have played one more game. The Orioles have 106 runs and the Yankees 105.

The Dodgers also lead the majors in HBP with 13 and are tied for second in SF with 11. The White Sox have 12.

The Dodgers have faced more pitches than any other NL team.

And they have the highest team OPS in the majors at 827

2005-04-24 16:48:43
127.   Suffering Bruin
Without comment, the boys from Baseball Tonight on constructing the ultimate leadoff hitter:

HR: The key to me is not on-base percentage, a lot of people are talking about that for a leadoff hitter—if you don't score runs it doesn't matter and walks, if your not going to put pressure and help everybody through the lineup out, it doesn't help anyway.

Harold detailed his three keys: ability to steal bases (like Brian Roberts), ability to handle the bat (like Juan Pierre) and knowledge of the game (like Derek Jeter). His ultimate leadoff hitter is Rickey Henderson.

Karl Ravech chimed in with this gem:

KR: And one of those fallacies about on-base percentage and the whole slugging thing is you as leadoff hitter if your coming up ninth and you need to move a guy to second base you lose your—your not getting on base, your not slugging, your sort of sacrificing yourself in those situations which goes to knowledge of the game and ability to handle the bat so a lot of those statistics can be misleading.

2005-04-24 17:02:52
128.   joekings
I just saw that too, busted out laughing. I wouldn't mind that kind of talk if there was another person there to argue the counterpoint, but of course there never is.
2005-04-24 17:04:06
129.   Kevin Maxwell
How did Penny look today?
I didn't join the game until the 8th.
2005-04-24 17:08:52
130.   Borchard504
Suffering Bruin - I watched the same exchange. I missed the Ravech 'gem', but HR and Kruk were excellent I thought. Kruk dissertated on why the Astros need to unload Bagwell and Biggio after this year and HR dissected Ken Griffey's swing, which I thought was great (living here in Cin.). Kruk has improved 100 fold since he first was hired by ESPN. And Harold Reynolds is top notch in IMO. Got that TV back yet? :)
2005-04-24 17:09:43
131.   GoBears
Wow. Karl Ravech is really REALLY stoopid. Who knew? I love HR's bit too. First he says that power and OBP are not important in a leadoff guy, then he names the best power/OBP guy ever to lead off as his ideal. Yeah, he stole a lot of bases too. But that's not why he was the best.
2005-04-24 17:15:33
132.   Suffering Bruin
Borchard, bless you for asking! The wife and kid are in San Clemente enjoying a beautiful day while I stayed home in the apartment to watch the Dodgers. I think I got the better of the deal.
2005-04-24 17:17:22
133.   Suffering Bruin
129 - he had five IP and four earned, numbers which belie the fact he pitched very well after the first inning. Well, at least I thought he looked good.
2005-04-24 17:27:07
134.   Kevin Maxwell
Thanks SB,
I was looking for the opinions/impressions
the box score couldn't tell me.
2005-04-24 17:28:42
135.   Bob Timmermann
Penny had very good command for being out for so long and pitching in the cold. Let alone Coors Field.

Two infield singles spelled his doom in the sixth.

2005-04-24 17:36:34
136.   dzzrtRatt
Penny also has a new facial hair style that makes him look like Jason Schmidt's biker cousin. Much meaner looking than last year. Pitching in shirtsleeves in 42 degree weather. He seems like he's on a mission, and looked genuinely aggrieved that he got taken out of the game, even though he'd passed his pitch count.
2005-04-24 17:43:56
137.   Kevin Maxwell
That's good news. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that he is able to stay healthy. I hope we sweep AZ.
2005-04-24 19:14:45
138.   DougS
Re: #125
Molokai, those who can't do, teach. :-)

Seriously, I'm kind of glad that Yang is in the Dodgers organization. It still bums me a bit that Scoscia and Hershisher are high-ups for other teams.

2005-04-24 19:48:52
139.   DXMachina
#127 "HR: The key to me is not on-base percentage, a lot of people are talking about that for a leadoff hitter—if you don't score runs it doesn't matter and walks, if your not going to put pressure and help everybody through the lineup out, it doesn't help anyway.

"His ultimate leadoff hitter is Rickey Henderson."

Of course, one of the reasons Rickey is the greatest leadoff man in history is because his career OBP is .401. His career batting average is only .279. Rickey took a LOT of walks, which gave him way more opportunities to get those stolen bases Reynolds is so fond of than batting average alone would've gotten him.

2005-04-24 19:49:51
140.   DXMachina
Or, what GoBears said in #131.
2005-04-24 19:57:02
141.   Aug C
Just taking a look at the most prominent fruits of our system at the two highest levels...

Joel Guzman: .316/.394/.579 (20K in 65AB!)
Russell Martin: .333/.468/.438
James Loney: .241/.313/.448
Chad Billingsley: 3.86 ERA, 20 K, 8 BB in 18.2 IP

Willy Aybar: .364/.426/.600
Dionner Navarro: .265/.350/.441
Edwin Jackson: 9.64 ERA, 5K, 7 BB in 9.1 IP

Looks like Jackson isn't successfully making it past the injury nexus. I think DePodesta was being overly optimistic when he said this winter that Edwin Jackson would be the first pick out of the draft at this time had he gone to college. But can you imagine how well off we will be if Aybar can take over for Kent in two years while Guzman slots into third?

Looking forward to 2006, I've got to believe that Brad Penny will be extended, but I doubt Weaver will be back next year. He's obviously overpaid now, and I doubt Scott Boras will be looking to sign for less than he's already getting. With all our hot pitching prospects, do we extend Weaver, giving us 4 starters signed through at least 2007? What if Billingsley and Tiffany (and maybe even Jonathan Broxton) are ready by '06 or '07? Don't mean to sound like Jim Tracy and all, but I just don't know.

2005-04-24 21:01:37
142.   YaleLaw05

jon, i've assumed you've read this. any thoughts from you or anyone else on the board? another continuation of moneyball i guess---interesting read

2005-04-24 21:21:24
143.   Chris H
"What if Billingsley and Tiffany (and maybe even Jonathan Broxton) are ready by '06 or '07?"

Having too much good starting pitching is a problem we can deal with when it actually happens.

2005-04-24 22:45:37
144.   Vishal
from ken rosenthal's "inside dish":

Padres G.M. Kevin Towers says Dodgers hitting coach Tim Wallach deserves credit for the team's run production. "The at-bats these guys have are such quality at-bats," Towers says. "The Dodgers never used to hit. They would pitch well but couldn't score runs. Now they come up with timely hits. They get into good hitters counts and take solid passes at the ball." . . .

2005-04-24 22:53:52
145.   Eric L
Aug C,

For some reason, the Minor League Baseball website and the 51s site hasn't updated Jackson's stats.

With apologies to whomever mentioned it earlier (perhaps in another thread), Jackson pitched 6 innings on Saturday night, allowed 3 hits, 3 walks, and struck out 6 without allowing any runs.

After yesterday, his line should like more like this:

5.87 ERA, 11Ks, 10BB, 14H, 15.1 IP

Not great, but at least he pitched a nice game last night.

2005-04-24 22:57:26
146.   fanerman91
That's good news. What's been up with Edwin anyway? I know he's been struggling for what seems like forever, but I don't really know why.
2005-04-24 23:08:52
147.   Eric L
My best guess on Edwin (not an expert or anything) is that he has had command problems.

For example, in 2003 he walked 53 guys in 148 innings at J-ville. Last year, in Vegas, he walked 55 guys in 91 IP.

I imagine that being injured had something to do with it. My own personal opinion is that the guy has pitched 427.1 IP as pro up until this point. He is far from a finished product. IIRC, the Dodgers drafted him as a pitcher, but he didn't pitch a whole lot during high school.

2005-04-24 23:29:40
148.   Vishal
also, gleeman recounts the dr. jekyll/mr. hyde syndrome that has seemed to follow jeff weaver for his first four starts in 2005. he doesn't come up with any explanations, but he does examine exactly what happened in each of the starts.
2005-04-25 05:30:12
149.   timely2base
"another continuation of moneyball i guess---interesting read"

I know he has a sequel to Moneyball in the works. He said at the time of Moneyball's release that there was 2 books there...the first examining the A's philosophies and style of operation, the second following up with a lot of the characters in the book (A's draftees and other prospects) and seeing how they progress and if Beane and Depo were on the money or not. I'm sure this piece comes from his work on that book, and may end up being a chapter.

2005-04-25 08:14:55
150.   Colorado Blue
I was at the games Friday and Sunday... I have to completely agree with Jon: the starters should have been forwarded to Denver at least a day before the series. Coors Field, no matter how nice a day in denver, gets cold enough at night to hamper the West Coast teams.

I didn't think Weaver ever looked comfortable out there. And you could see where the hitters were affected by the cold as well.

I missed Saturday's game completely as I had other commitments, but Sunday was much more encouraging. It was wet and cold pretty much the whole time, but Penny obviously was comfortable enough to go sleeveless. He looked a bit rusty early on, but after the 2nd he looked pretty darn good for a guy who's been de-activated for a while and rehabing in the heat of the desert.

Anyway, any team that can afford to should send their starters to Denver early... let 'em sit in the stands if they have to, but they should understand that Spring in Denver is no picnic. Obviously, the everyday players adjusted by Sat. and Sun., but never saw too many LA pitchers comfortable with the exception of Penny and 'Ghame Over'.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-04-25 08:33:54
151.   Suffering Bruin
Colorado azul (and by extension Jon, I guess),

Remember the Bull Durham line: Never #$%& with a winning streak!

I came across an article saying the Dodgers left it up to Weaver and he decided to stay behind. The team was winning by staying together and he implied he didn't want to screw that up. He added that he didn't think arriving early would've made much difference.

I think that last part was wishful thinking but there it is.

2005-04-25 09:11:07
152.   dzzrtRatt
A slightly McCarthyite moment from the Michael Lewis NY Times mag story:

"Ron Shandler, who has worked as a statistical analyst for the St. Louis Cardinals and publishes Baseball Forecaster, an annual survey of major- and minor-league players for fantasy leaguers, expresses his suspicions another way: he flags players who acquire power the same season that they've come back from vacation 20 pounds or more heavier. For instance, Shandler has noted that last season Adrian Beltre, in his final year with the Dodgers before becoming a free agent, reportedly showed up 20 pounds heavier than the year before. Beltre, whose career up to that point had been a story of unfulfilled promise, blasted 48 home runs, 25 more than he had ever hit in a single season -- for which he was rewarded, by the Seattle Mariners, with a new five-year, $64 million contract. (When a Tacoma, Wash., reporter asked if he had used steroids, Beltre laughed in denial.)"

2005-04-25 14:47:18
153.   Colorado Blue
#151: "I came across an article saying the Dodgers left it up to Weaver and he decided to stay behind. The team was winning by staying together and he implied he didn't want to screw that up. He added that he didn't think arriving early would've made much difference."

I guess it's hard to argue with that logic given the natural superstitious-ness of ballplayers... it is also hard to pull yourself away sometimes; like being at a good social gathering. It really is a different animal here in the Spring, though: one day it is 70 and sunny, the next 40 rain/snow.

Having said that, another POV would be he gets here on Thursday, which was fairly nice, and doesn't get the full cold-effect anyway. The Dodgers probably figured it was 3 games in April and not worth the fuss.

Although arriving at 4am of gameday may have been more of a factor...

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