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The Upside of Mediocrity
2005-05-05 08:59
by Jon Weisman

Imagine what catcher would have been like last September for the Dodgers if Brent Mayne had gone down with an injury after the trades of Paul Lo Duca and Koyie Hill, leaving the team with Dave Ross and not much else.

That's the picture at third base today with tolerate-him-or-hate-him Jose Valentin out for at least two months. Absolutely no production there now, with little hope for more to come out of Norihiro Nakamura and Mike Edwards.

On top of that, we get to spend the day wondering if shortstop Cesar Izturis will join Valentin on the disabled list, whether Antonio Perez or Oscar Robles would replace him, and whether this means general manager Paul DePodesta will pursue an outside solution at third base, or possibly turn to Olmedo Saenz, who would field the position like a baby grabbing at mounds of Cheerios.

And there have to be a few of you saying, "Forget about him becoming a free agent at age 27 - why not Joel Guzman now?"

Meanwhile, the Dodgers have lost eight of 13 - remaining in first place at 17-10 (.630), but playing with a gnawing mediocrity.

The reasonable expectation for the Dodgers this year was not to play .700 ball or .667 ball or .600 ball. A 95-win season yields a winning percentage of .586. If the Dodgers win at the modest pace of 11 games out of every 20 for the remainder of the season (.550), they would reach 91 wins, which at a minimum would probably have them contending to the season's final week.

No one wants to settle for such mediocrity, but it's important to recognize that the alternative to the exceptional isn't the regurgitational.

Now, as for whether the Dodgers can win even those 11 out of every 20, well, maybe a little doubt is good. Among other things, third base is a real problem, and the rotation doesn't figure to deliver five consecutive quality starts often, if at all. And no, when your No. 8 hitter can't buy a hit, a sacrifice bunt from your No. 7 hitter with the .284 batting average is not going to help.

But these problems have solutions. Let's give the Dodgers a chance to find them.

Comments (237)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-05-05 09:37:42
1.   Icaros
Olmedo Saenz, who would field the position like a baby grabbing at mounds of Cheerios.

LOL. It's worth it to send him out there now just so I can remember this image every time he boots one.

2005-05-05 09:41:01
2.   Eric Enders
I think there is little doubt that the best short-term solution is Joel Guzman, and that was true even before Valentin's injury.

However, the Dodger have to think in both the short term and the long term, and for that reason I don't think Guzman should be called up -- unless he's batting .400 at the all-star break or somesuch.

I continue to think Robles is a good temporary solution.

Some folks at BTF have suggested that DePo might be able to fleece the Phils of Polanco, who has playing time issues over there anyway.

2005-05-05 09:43:36
3.   Jon Weisman
The Phils of Polanco sounds like a wonderful place for a romantic getaway. I can easily imagine sipping wine on the veranda with my love as the sun sets behind the Phils of Polanco.
2005-05-05 09:43:50
4.   Eric Enders
BTW, for all the frustrations that come along with Jose Valentin, I absolutely love the hard-nosed way he plays the game.
2005-05-05 09:46:18
5.   Jon Weisman
Yes - hard-nosed but upbeat, not Kevin Brown hard-nosed.
2005-05-05 09:47:02
6.   Dr Love
Babies love Cheerios.

re: Polanco.

I don't see him getting dealt this early in the season. He's huge insurance for the Phils, and while Ed Wade is a complete moron, he's not dumb enough to trade him away at this point. But I would love to see him on the Dodgers. I can see him being moved at the end of the month though.

2005-05-05 09:49:06
7.   Rich Lederer
With regard to the 3B problem, if the Dodgers don't want to bring up Joel Guzman (and live with him striking out every third or fourth at bat), here are a few suggestions:

*If the Indians are intent with playing Aaron Boone at third, work out a deal for Casey Blake.

*DePo and his bud, Theo Epstein, might be able to reach an agreement on either Kevin Youkilis or Bill Mueller.

*In the absence of those two ideas, how about Mike Cuddyer or Tim Tiffee of the Twins?

*Although Mike Lamb might be reaching for Frosted Flakes, he is a better solution than Saenz grasping for Cheerios.

*Where is Jose Hernandez when you need him?

*Lastly, if not David Newhan, how about Ross Newhan? He can't be much worse than what they have to offer now.

*There's also this pinch hitter the Mariners just signed.


2005-05-05 09:49:25
8.   Eric Enders
BTW, interesting note in a Hardball Times review of a book called "Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers." Despite the lame title, apparently it's a quite in-depth and sophisticated statistical study of baseball history. One of the things the author did was study the impact each ballpark has on each individual statistical category. He reached the conclusion that Dodger Stadium, 1993-present, is the third-most-extreme park in history in terms of lowering batting averages.

The fact that it's the modern Dodger Stadium surprises me -- I would have expected the 1960s version.

2005-05-05 09:52:32
9.   Eric Enders
I'm not sure the Red Sox would be willing to part with either Mueller or Youkilis. Both Mueller and Bellhorn have jumped the shark this year, but if Bellhorn turns out to be the worse of the two, then Boston'll have to go with Mueller at 2B and Youkilis at 3B.
2005-05-05 09:54:44
10.   Eric Enders
I would be in favor of picking up Cuddyer. He's a good hitter who plays lots of positions well, but might be available because he's gotten off to a disappointing Choi-like start this year.
2005-05-05 09:57:15
11.   Suffering Bruin
Regarding 3b, this might've been ground already covered but Nakamura can't be this bad of a hitter. The guy was terrific in Japan, right? So was Ichiro, Matsui... is it too optimistic to suggest the guy might be slumping and will come out of it now that he no longer has to press? I'd be able to answer that if I knew anything about Nakamura before this season.
2005-05-05 09:58:14
12.   Suffering Bruin
#7 - the Greek God of Walks coming to LA? He'll fit right in!
2005-05-05 10:01:30
13.   Eric Enders
Bob T knows 1,000 times more about this than I do, but I believe the main difference between Japanese baseball and American baseball is that they generally don't have fastball pitchers over there. Pitching in Japan, from what I've heard, is generally an assortment of junk and breaking pitches, much like we saw from Livan Hernandez last night.

So while Nakamura might be successful against MLB pitchers like Hernandez or Kirk Rueter, I personally feel it's too optimistic to expect him to learn to hit a major league fastball. It's almost physically impossible with the swing he's got.

Again, I may be totally full of BS here. Bob, please advise?

2005-05-05 10:01:56
14.   Rich Lederer
Nakamura's swing is too long. Unless he changes it, he has no chance to succeed at the major league level on a consistent basis. Hard throwers will eat him up.
2005-05-05 10:02:34
15.   Jon Weisman
The problem is that even in his best days, Nakamura was no Ichiro or Matsui. And his best days are behind him.

2005-05-05 10:05:05
16.   Icaros

Re: Nakamura. I don't know if the comparison to other successful Japanese players is that simple. From the stats I've seen, he hadn't had a terrific season over there in about two or three years (partially due to injury, I know).

I'm also concerned by the fact that, besides the Mets deal that fell through a few years back, other teams really wanted Ichiro and Matsui, while there seemed to be no competition for Nori's services. And that oh man.

2005-05-05 10:06:03
17.   Icaros
What Eric, Rich, and Jon said. I'm too slow.
2005-05-05 10:12:48
18.   Icaros
Re: Placido Polanco. You guys might want to reconsider him, unless you're fully prepared to hear Vin pronounce his name "Po-LANK-o" all season.

It's almost (but not quite) as annoying as Steiner's "Juan En-cuh-nar-see-own."

2005-05-05 10:14:58
19.   Bob Timmermann
Eric and Jon are pretty much correct in their assessments of Nakamura.

A wrist injury also sent his numbers down. That and age and a lack of exposure to hard throwers has caused problems.

I bet though that if we look at the game chatter from the Dodgers home opener, we all loved Nakamumra. He doubled in his first AB at Dodger Stadium.

One thing about him is that he is going to try very hard to get out of his slump. There may not be enough times, although the bad pitchers of Cincinnati could the balm for this aching bat.

My balm is genuine Gilead Brand.

2005-05-05 10:17:48
20.   gvette
What's strange is that in Tony Jackson's Star News notes yesterday, Nakamura is quoted as saying that he abandoned the shortened swing that worked so well in Spring Training, saying he wanted to try it his old way. Huh??

Time to check Dan Evans'old rolodex to see if Tyler Houston or Jolbert Cabrera are available.

2005-05-05 10:18:46
21.   Howard Fox
I have been to a lot of games so far...not on $2 Tuesdays, thank G-d....

What I am seeing is a severe lack of fundamentals defensively, and little, if any of it has to do with the third base position...missing cut off men, not backing up throws, being out of position...

And this lack extends to the offense as well...granted, they aren't hitting well the past 2 weeks, but it has been almost a nightly occurrence them running themselves out of their only rally of the night...

I have always felt Tracy was better than people gave him credit for...but I am not so sure, and am now convinced he is not handling his pitching staff, in particular the starters, prudently, almost every evening leaving them in one inning too long...

Granted, the talent level is not what we would like, but these basics emanate from the manager and coaches...

2005-05-05 10:23:07
22.   Eric Enders
I think Tracy does a good job handling pitchers, notwithstanding the couple of times this year he's clearly left a starter in too long. I think he's rather brilliant in his use of the bullpen, too. Remember, if not for Tracy, Eric Gagne right now would very likely be a struggling starter for the Devil Rays or somebody.
2005-05-05 10:23:42
23.   FirstMohican
If only Hank Blalock would run away to LA
2005-05-05 10:28:23
24.   Howard Fox
As far as some of the players' productivity goes, I have never been a fan of platooning, that it breaks the continuity. To say that a player doesn't hit left handed or right handed pitching is a self fulfilling prophecy.

I think Nakamura can be a good, but never great player, if he plays every day. Choi? It isn't going to happen, no matter how much the fans chant his name.

This team, with Penny, Lowe, Perez and Weaver...then Brazoban & Gagne...can only thrive with good defense and good fundamentals...they should peruse the farm system and find the players that are defensive standouts, and not be so concerned with the hitting.

Just my humble opinion...

2005-05-05 10:29:11
25.   Howard Fox
Sorry, Eric, but Tracy looks to me sometimes to be a deer in the headlights.
2005-05-05 10:37:55
26.   Eric Enders
As far as some of the players' productivity goes, I have never been a fan of platooning, that it breaks the continuity. To say that a player doesn't hit left handed or right handed pitching is a self fulfilling prophecy.

No, it's an incontrovertible fact established by more than 100 years of baseball history.

As Bill James once said, "the platoon differential is real and universal." This isn't some theoretical mumbo jumbo. There are mountains of evidence -- both anecdotal and statistical -- establishing that lefties don't hit lefties well and vice versa.

2005-05-05 10:39:23
27.   Howard Fox
I still believe it to be a self fulfilling prophecy. If a major leaguer can't hit a side arm pitcher, he shouldn't be in the majors.
2005-05-05 10:42:33
28.   Eric Enders
But then there would be no players left. As we saw last week, not even Todd Helton can hit a sidearming lefthander.
2005-05-05 10:43:34
29.   Howard Fox
Unless he is hitting in Coors Field. He is a substantially better hitter at home than on the road.
2005-05-05 10:44:31
30.   Howard Fox
And anyway, the issue, at least for me, is the utter breakdown in fundamentals...
2005-05-05 10:45:03
31.   the OZ
We've seen DePodesta pass his first test as a GM - form a team according to his plan. How he deals with our injury depletions and 3B situation will probably be a better indicator of his real GM skill. Reacting to (or anticipating) adversity on the fly is much tougher than anything he's done so far, in my opinion.

I'm also curious to see how patient he is with an unproductive 3B spot, and what he'd be willing to deal to fix it.

2005-05-05 10:46:20
32.   FirstMohican
Platooning is intrinsically evil, the earth is flat, and we were on it because of intelligent design, Eric.
2005-05-05 10:46:45
33.   Jon Weisman
Let's take two players as an example.

Larry bats .300 against righty pitching and .250 against lefty pitching.

Rudy bats .300 against lefty pitching and .250 against righty pitching.

Would the gain that comes from playing one of these guys every day offset the loss of a .300 hitter achieved via platoon?

In other words, given the above numbers, would Larry or Rudy become a .310 hitter overall by playing every day?

Well, it would depend on age, etc. - but the answer in most cases is "probably not."

Which is not to say that there aren't sometimes reasons to commit to one guy over the other. But I certainly wouldn't throw platooning out as an option completely.

2005-05-05 10:47:31
34.   Howard Fox
I'd be surprised if he does a lot to fix 3B...I suspect he will be willing to develop what we have in the minor leagues.
2005-05-05 10:48:33
35.   Icaros
This team, with Penny, Lowe, Perez and Weaver...then Brazoban & Gagne...can only thrive with good defense and good fundamentals...they should peruse the farm system and find the players that are defensive standouts, and not be so concerned with the hitting.

We tried that in 2003. It didn't work.

2005-05-05 10:48:53
36.   Jon Weisman
Oz, since DePodesta has a couple of specific, obvious areas to focus on, rather than remaking an entire team into his vision while others tell him it doesn't need to be done, I would say that his biggest test is behind him, not ahead of him.
2005-05-05 10:49:01
37.   Howard Fox
I wouldn't throw platooning out completely, but I believe it is way overdone.
2005-05-05 10:50:02
38.   DXMachina
"I'm not sure the Red Sox would be willing to part with either Mueller or Youkilis."

I tend to agree. I suspect Mueller would be too expensive to be a stop gap in any case, and he isn't hitting all that well this year (.684 OPS) anyway. Youkilis would be fine, but I doubt Theo would let him go.

If you want to contemplate how much worse it could get, remember that last year the Red Sox had to start Doug Mientkiewicz at second on one occasion.

2005-05-05 10:51:31
39.   Howard Fox
Icaros, we also tried that in the early 60s and it seemed to work ok.
2005-05-05 10:53:47
40.   Jonny6
My grandfather, who was a scout for the Dodgers for 20 plus years and knew a hell of lot more about this game than I do, derogatorily called Tracy "the accountant" -making every one of his moves by checking his ledger. Obviously, it is critical that a manager understands the stats and how his team compares to his current opponent, but it just seems like Tracy has absolutely no "instinct". I realize that instinct and gut reaction is unquantifiable, but at some point in some game somewhere along the line doesn't a manager need to take a chance, go against the statistical analysis - such as using a hot hitter even though he has a mediocre track record against the current pitcher, likewise with keeping a relief pitcher in who happens to have electric movement that night even though the guy coming up has a good record against him.

Tracy is so incredibly, continuously formulaic it just drives me nuts sometimes.
I realize that you have to go by the numbers in most situations, but it's still a game with a certain level of unpredictability and you can't be afraid to occasionally go against the grain.

2005-05-05 10:54:18
41.   Eric Enders
I don't recall many recall many Gold Gloves being handed out to the 1960s Dodgers, and their pitching looked a lot better than it actually was thanks to ballpark illusions.

Those teams were not anywhere near as skewed toward pitching as people believe.

2005-05-05 10:55:20
42.   Icaros
I think Nakamura can be a good, but never great player, if he plays every day. Choi? It isn't going to happen, no matter how much the fans chant his name.

I cannot possibly imagine what you've seen or analyzed to make you think that Nakamura can be "good" while Choi "isn't going to happen."

The numbers certainly don't back that up, and I can't remember ever seeing a more hopeless swing and approach at the plate than we've seen out of Nori so far.

2005-05-05 10:55:28
43.   Howard Fox
Jonny6....and what's wrong with being an accountant?
2005-05-05 10:56:07
44.   Eric Enders
but it just seems like Tracy has absolutely no "instinct".

Eye of the beholder, I guess. To me, Tracy's "instinct" is about as good as any manager I've ever seen.

2005-05-05 10:56:13
45.   Howard Fox
re: Nori, my point on platooning exactly.
2005-05-05 10:56:40
46.   Eric Enders
Jonny6....and what's wrong with being an accountant?

And here I thought it would be bigcpa asking that question...

2005-05-05 10:57:30
47.   Howard Fox
He will too.
2005-05-05 10:57:34
48.   Icaros
Icaros, we also tried that in the early 60s and it seemed to work ok.

Uh, are you trying to compare any of our current starters to Koufax and Drysdale? I sure hope not.

2005-05-05 10:58:32
49.   Howard Fox
to who and who?? just kidding....
2005-05-05 11:00:15
50.   Jon Weisman
Do you feel that Tracy is making changes based on the numbers and formulas? I think there have been many times when he has gone against the book, for better and for worse.

I don't think there's a stat that would have suggested he leave in Erickson or Nomo or whomever as long as he has, or put in right-handed Steve Schmoll to face Quinton McCracken from the left side. Saenz is the backup first baseman, who pinch-hits for Choi against lefties, but then when Saenz starts against a lefty, he stays in the game even when a righty reliever comes in.

I think Tracy takes plenty of chances. I certainly don't want to speak for Steve, but I would guess he would argue that Tracy doesn't follow statistical probability enough.

I don't think the issue is that Tracy doesn't manage by instinct - I think it's whether his instincts are right or wrong.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-05-05 11:02:36
51.   Jonny6
Whoa, let's not take this the wrong way. I don't have anything against accountants when I need my taxes done, but I don't usually want my accountant managing my sports team.

In the interest of full disclosure, my wife is an accountant - and I can guarantee you that I don't want her managing the Dodgers ;)

2005-05-05 11:07:18
52.   Fearing Blue
I was just looking at our team pitching statistics. Since Jon posted on 4/29, our K/9 has gone from 5.12 to 5.65. Over the past 7 days, our K/9 is at 7.50 and our K/BB ratio is at 4.09. If we can keep those kind of numbers up, we'll win a lot of games even without significant production from 1B/3B.

Howard makes a good point about our play in the field. The defense has looked quite sloppy. Am I the only one who thought that Milton Bradley should have caught that flyball last night that turned into a double? It seemed like he was jogging for a while and then sprinted at the end to try and get to it.

To some extent, the numbers even back up Howard's and my subjective assessment. Our DER over the past 7 days is at .671 (assuming my calculations are correct), which is significantly lower than our season average of .701. The Dodgers have dropped from 2nd in the NL in DER the last time I checked (about a week ago) to 7th in the NL today (

So, overall, even though our pitching has been good recently, it's likely been better than the results would indicate.

I'll take a look at our batting a little later once my son goes down for a nap :).

2005-05-05 11:10:22
53.   Eric Enders
I think a lot of this is just overreaction to one particularly bad game, which is fairly natural. When the Dodgers go on a 4-game winning streak we'll be talking about how great their fundamentals are again.

Yeah, Bradley should have gotten the ball last night. The fact that he didn't doesn't mean that he's a bad centerfielder. It means he made one bad play.

2005-05-05 11:14:04
54.   Mike Carminati
I don't see the Phils dealing Polanco until closer to the break. Ed Wade caught a lot of flak last year for doing nothing at the break. This year he is holding onto Polanco, Ryan Howard, and Marlon Byrd to make a good yet pointless trade at the deadline. Ed Wade is all about keeping his hinder in the GM chair for as long as possible now.
2005-05-05 11:14:33
55.   the OZ
Jon -

Your point #36 is well taken. My central point was this: DePodesta's intial decisions were (I speculate) relatively easy for him - he felt he could easily upgrade over Cora, Roberts, Hernandez, Green, Lima, Nomo, Ishii, Martin, etc. with players that were readily available, either as FAs or through straightforward trades where he generally didn't give up very much (LoDuca and Mota being the two most notable exceptions).

In the current climate, however, replacement players are not as readily available. The model for acquiring an impact player in-season isn't unlike the FA bidding process; a small number of teams scramble to put their best deal forward. Rather than money-and-time based negotiations as with FAs, money and prospects are bartered. I speculate that the "right" decision is less clear under these less-than-ideal circumstances.

My position isn't meant to detract from DePodesta's track record in LA thus far; I'm very impressed with the gutsy, focused approach he's taken, which certainly wasn't easy. I'm just saying that actions like offloading Green and signing Kent and Ishii-for-Phillips seem to be easier decisions to make with clearer upsides than "who can I acquire to play 3B for a reasonable price at mid-season?"-type problems.

2005-05-05 11:14:55
56.   Jon Weisman
Well, one bad game plus two consecutive games with injuries ... no one appears to be giving up the ship, anyway.

Eric - were you just making a point, or have you changed what I remember to be your old opinion on Bradley's defense?

2005-05-05 11:15:09
57.   Howard Fox
I like Bradley alot...always have...

The fundamentals have been off since the beginning....but scoring 7 or 8 runs a game hides a lot....

2005-05-05 11:15:14
58.   JSN
So far this is the worse day of the season for me. Lost last night, lost Valentin, waiting to hear on Izturis, no game tonight to be excited for AND it's stinking raining here. Blah.

I don't think that Depo is going to do much of anything outside of the organization at this early point of the season. I think he'll figure things out internally, settling for lowered production and wait until later on for something significant.

Today's Mantra, repeat indefinately: "Izzy's injury is all in your head...he's really ok"

2005-05-05 11:17:32
59.   gvette
#41 I don't recall many Gold Gloves being handed out to the 60's Dodgers...

Actually, IIRC Parker was a perennial winner, and Wills and Roseboro won a couple each. Willie Davis also won a couple, but that might have been in the early 70's.

2005-05-05 11:18:34
60.   the OZ
RE: Milton's near-catch:

Sitting behind home plate, it seemed like Milton ran a heck of a long way to even get close to that ball. A friend in a different part of the ballpark shared a similar sentiment after the game.

The ball came down in front of the 'Bud Light' poster in left-center, correct? It seemed to me that the play SHOULD have been made by Ledee, if anyone; Bradley was practically in left field when the ball came down - he had to go about 80-100 feet from his position shading the LH hitter to pull to get to the ball at all.

Based on my recollection fo the play, I put that one on Ricky.

2005-05-05 11:19:20
61.   Xeifrank
It's very difficult to score runs and put together any time of rally when you basically have two pitchers hitting in your lineup (Nokamura & Pitchers spot). It is almost as if any Dodger rally needs to start with the top of the order, if we make it to the #8 spot in the lineup the inning is pretty much over. Any time that Jason Phillips comes up with a runner in scoring position and one or more out, I'd just walk him and face the two Dodger pitchers. The Dodgers are putting themselves at a great disadvantage with two automatic outs in the lineup.



2005-05-05 11:20:34
62.   Fearing Blue
On the batting side, I'd like to quickly point out that our BABIP over the past 7 days is .246. A significant portion of that has to be luck, since the best DER in the NL is .720 by the Marlins. Our DER against would be .754 over the past 7 days. Our hits just haven't been falling and this will likely turn around.

My son quieted down for a couple minutes, but gotta go now...

2005-05-05 11:20:46
63.   Jon Weisman
Okay, Xeifrank, maybe everyone else knows this, but I have to ask: what is "vr"?
2005-05-05 11:21:20
64.   Marty
I'm not going to panic yet. Alavarez should be a nice boost to the starters. Gagne looks like he'll be back soon. Werth is coming along. We are still in first place while we do all this hand-wringing. Drew, Kent, Bradley and Choi have not hit much in the last few games. I don't look for that to continue. As long as all the batted balls are not hit to third, I think we may do ok.

Plus I have my lucky Team Depo shirt.

2005-05-05 11:21:51
65.   Howard Fox
so what do you suggest Xeifrank?
2005-05-05 11:23:02
66.   Xeifrank
Re: Re: Milton's near catch

After watching the instant replay on TV, both outfielders were playing very shallow. Yes, Bradley had a long long ways to go, but it looked like the angle that he took was a little off, as if he thought the ball was going to land a little deeper than it did. He also seemed to slow down his last couple of steps, then realized too late that he needed to turn on the afterburners and couldn't glove the ball. 20/20 hindsight says that he probably should've dove for the ball too. Oh well, nobody is perfect.



2005-05-05 11:23:52
67.   Xeifrank
vr = very respectfully.

And if I'm in a bad mood you may see a nvr. :)



2005-05-05 11:26:40
68.   Eric Enders
Eric - were you just making a point, or have you changed what I remember to be your old opinion on Bradley's defense?

Earlier this year there was a thread where I did a mea culpa regarding my comments on Bradley's defense last year.

I do think he's improved since last year, but I also think I was judging his overall defense unfairly because of one fundamental flaw in his game.

He's still a lousy judge of fly balls off the bat, but I've adjusted my opinion on the importance of that. I think his other defensive positives more than make up for that one glaring weakness.

2005-05-05 11:26:53
69.   Xeifrank
Re: #65

What do I suggest? Well, not being the GM I will defer to Mr Depodesta on that one. I suggest watching the situation very carefully and if Nokuhura continues his awful hitting, I would bench him, as simple as that. As to who I would then play at 3b, see sentence #2. From a fans perspective, I'd either like to see a trade or Joel Guzman get called up, but I know each one has complications.



2005-05-05 11:29:21
70.   Fearing Blue
I believe that Milton Bradley is a good if not great center-fielder. Overall, I've liked what I've seen from him in the outfield. On the play last night, it looked like Bradley assumed that it would be Ledee's ball. When he realized Ledee wasn't going to get there, he turned on the after-burners. The ball hung up a long time, and therefore the distance would have been manageable, but he started sprinting just a second too late.
2005-05-05 11:31:35
71.   Eric Enders
Actually, IIRC Parker was a perennial winner, and Wills and Roseboro won a couple each.

That is my recollection as well, but I don't think that's a particularly large number for a team over an entire decade. They had one perennial GG winner, but at the least important defensive position.

Wills won in an era when there was a dearth of good defensive shortstops in the NL; they even had to give it to Ernie Banks one year.

I don't think the '60s Dodgers were a bad defensive team by any means. They were probably somewhat above average -- just like this year's Dodgers.

2005-05-05 11:44:56
72.   Eric Enders
Earlier year I grew somewhat bewildered at the fact that comments on Dodger Thoughts stop suddenly every day at 2:45 p.m.

Then I realized in CA it's.... Wunschtime!

2005-05-05 11:47:39
73.   Bob Timmermann
NL Gold Glove Shortstops of the 1960s

1960 - Ernie Banks
1961-62 - Maury Wills
1963 - Bobby Wine
1964 - Ruben Amaro
1965 - Chico Cardenas
1966-67 - Gene Alley
1968 - Dal Maxvill
1969 - Don Kessinger

From the time the Dodgers moved out to LA in 1958, the Gold Glove winners other than first basemen (Gil Hodges won 2 and Wes Parker 6), the Dodgers got 2 GGs from Wills, 1 from Roseboro, and 3 from Willie Davis (71-73)

The Dodgers won 2 GGs in 1974-75 with Garvey and Messersmith.
Garvey won again in 1976-77 and Lopes got one in 1978.

2005-05-05 11:50:23
74.   Howard Fox
Bob, as ever, you are a wealth of knowledge.
2005-05-05 11:51:06
75.   Landonkk
Just thought I would chime in on Bradley's play on Chavez double. From my angle from the first base line - He did come a long way as he was shading quite a bit to the right side. By the time he got there he was at a weird angle pretty much negating any attempt at a dive or slide catch. Ricky, although maybe not his play, did seem to have the better chance at it off the bat. My problem is that Ricky botched a bloop single that should have been caught earlier in the game (or was it later?). He took 3 steps back and then had to charge in and came up short. I haven't been overly impressed by Ledee's defense and sure feel a lot more comfortable with Repko out there.
2005-05-05 11:52:41
76.   Howard Fox
it was later....
2005-05-05 11:55:18
77.   Marty
Funny, I don't remember Wille Davis' three gold gloves, but I remember his three errors in one inning in game 2 of the '66 series.
2005-05-05 11:55:43
78.   Bob Timmermann
In the 1960s, the NL 2B Gold Glove had "Mazeroski" etched on to it. The 3B one had "Santo" etched on to it. (Not that the Dodgers ever had outstanding fielders at those positions in the 1960s).

As for the NL outfield, Willie Mays was guaranteed a gold glove and pretty much Roberto Clemente too. Eventually Curt Flood joined the trio.

SS was the only NL position where it seemed to change much. And for the most part, those were some terrible hitters who were winning too.

2005-05-05 11:57:26
79.   Steve
I would need some understanding of the nature of the "formula" allegedly being used. If the formula is w+x+y=b, where:

w = overusing veteran pitchers with 83 mph fastballs
x = zealously playing "matchups" until Hee Seop Choi is involved
y = Jason Grabowski's plate appearances

b = my sanity

then, yes, Jim Tracy is wedded to his formula.

2005-05-05 11:59:11
80.   Eric Enders
I think part of the problem may have been that relatively few NL teams in the '60s even had a regular shortstop. Seemed to be a lot of stopgaps, platooning, etc. going on.
2005-05-05 12:01:18
81.   Suffering Bruin
Bill James has an excellent breakdown of the 60's Dodgers in his book "Whatever happened to the Hall of Fame?"

He hired Rob Neyer to a ton of research on Don Drysdale and it led to some interesting conclusions. In his '86 historical abstract, James said Drysdale was a HOFer. After the research, he concluded otherwise.

But about the 60's Dodgers, my late grandfather's favorite team, James writes the following, IIRC:

1. They were a fine team overall.
2. Much better offensively than given credit for.
3. Could really catch and throw the pill.

The low offensive output was attributed to Dodger Stadium being a mother of a pitchers park. Koufax was great everywhere but he was otherworldly on the home hill.

2005-05-05 12:05:08
82.   popup
I saw the Dodgers play mostly on the road in the 60's and I can assure you that Mr. Koufax was not an illusion, though often his pitches were difficult to see. As far as third base goes, the Dodgers could move Kent over there. When Beltre went to Seattle, I figured that they would keep Cora at second and have Kent play third. There are plenty of people in Seattle who would be more than happy to send Beltre back to LA.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-05-05 12:05:46
83.   Adam M
OK, let's go "Out in the Field" (?) here for a second. My other favorite team, the Mariners, has a logjam at 3B. Their #1 guy needs no introduction, but behind him they have:

*Scott Spiezio. Currently waaayyy overpaid, and not that great a fielder at 3B, but has hit decently in the past. The M's are desperate to get rid of him (an OF prospect and some cash should do it), and he could blossom with a change of scenery, especially to sunny SC (just tell him he got traded to "that Los Angeles club"). A decent 11th-hour replacement in the Jason Phillips mold, and might be useful as a PH since he switch-hits.
*Justin Leone, a minor-league star who played OK in a late-season callup last year and is now almost as useless to Seattle as teats on a boar. Still has some value to them as a backup. Can also fill in at SS, 2B and possibly the outfield.
*Greg Dobbs, another minor-league star who got a cup of coffee and is back in a AAA holding pattern because of Beltre. He hasn't hit as well as Leone, but the organization seems to love his "grit". Plays some 1B as well. Don't have his #s handy, but he maybe has more power compared to Leone, who's got better plate discipline.

Better options are probably out there, but as rentals, they could all be decent.

2005-05-05 12:07:40
84.   gvette
Actually, I think Roseboro won 2 Gold Gloves,61 & 66. So the 66 team had 3 Hall of Fame starting pitchers and 4 regulars who won GG at some point in their careers, but only scored 2 runs in getting swept in the WS that year. And the 66 team was a better hitting team than the 65 World Champs.

Pitching and defense is great, but like 2003 showed, somebody better drive in the runners.

The 2004 team looks like they're one, maybe two hitters short right now. Let's see what Werth looks like after his rehab.

2005-05-05 12:08:19
85.   Howard Fox
with his .238 batting average, they may want to unload a big 3B contract....
2005-05-05 12:09:23
86.   Howard Fox
and gvette, how does the 2005 team look?
2005-05-05 12:09:50
87.   Eric Enders
There are plenty of people in Seattle who would be more than happy to send Beltre back to LA.

I know that comment wasn't serious, but... I think the first day you can trade a newly-signed free agent is June 1. DePo has repeatedly said he has room to add more payroll midseason.

Dare we even dream of the possibility? Naah, I guess not.

2005-05-05 12:13:16
88.   Howard Fox
sounds like a match made in heaven...we take Beltre and they pay us something to defray his salary...that way we get back some of what we paid AZ to take Green
2005-05-05 12:14:07
89.   Howard Fox
then we can all criticize Beltre as being a one hit wonder and overpaid, and pine for the days of Kevin Malone....
2005-05-05 12:16:30
90.   molokai
Yeah, I was always surprised by how Drysdale made it into the HOF so easily while a pitcher like Bert Blyleven isn't getting a sniff.

On a different note, since this is an open date, does anyone have a favorite pitcher who they thought was headed for the HOF until they blew out their arm. Mine was Frank Tanana and to have the 2nd career he had pitching with the crap he had was amazing.

2005-05-05 12:18:41
91.   Howard Fox
Blyleven might have gotten a sniff....oh, sorry, we aren't talking about drugs in this thread...
2005-05-05 12:18:42
92.   gvette

HOW MANY TIMES have I asked my secretary...err... professional assistant to change my damn office calendar!

2005-05-05 12:19:13
93.   Eric Enders
By the way, I think it must be some sort of sick joke that my two favorite Dodger third basemen of all time are now both on the roster of the Seattle Mariners.
2005-05-05 12:19:25
94.   Howard Fox
gvette, I am always saying the same thing...
2005-05-05 12:20:05
95.   Howard Fox
Eric, and both of them are having banner years...
2005-05-05 12:23:18
96.   molokai
If the Yankee's lose tonight to the DevilRays they will fall into a last place tie with the Devil Rays. How sweet is that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe in a fit of rage, George decides that AROD is the problem and trades him for Jeff Weaver and Yhancy Brazoban:)

2005-05-05 12:24:07
97.   Adam M
The M's have something about poaching from the NL West: for about a 7 year stretch in the late 80s early 90s, their starting LF on opening day was the Giants starting LF the previous Opening Day: Kevin Mitchell [shudder], Jeffrey "Penitentiary Face" Leonard, Mike Felder...
2005-05-05 12:24:19
98.   Howard Fox
and then ARod can only bat against perfect
2005-05-05 12:25:18
99.   Howard Fox
as long as we don't have to part with Yhency, I'd be up for that trade
2005-05-05 12:27:31
100.   brendan glynn
Apologize for going off topic but had to post the first two paragraph's of the Long Beach Press-Telegram regarding fans at Dodger Stadium

By Rich Hammond, Staff Writer

In the middle of the game, in the top row of Dodger Stadium's right-field pavilion, a group of young men plays craps. Dollar bills change hands as the dice hit the ground, and the young men seem oblivious to the baseball game being played before them. A boy, perhaps 5 years old, watches from two rows away.

Abusive language fills the air, within earshot of many children, and it isn't always directed at opposing players. Two young girls briskly walk away from their seats to avoid catcalls from grown men.",1413,204~28987~2852589,00.html

At first I laughed because I thought it was overly dramatic but now I'm having second thoughts. wouldn't want my daughter there.(If I had one)

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-05-05 12:32:31
101.   Howard Fox
I told my friends to keep their voices down....
2005-05-05 12:36:33
102.   brendan glynn
I guess they roll the savings from the $2 tickets into the craps game.
2005-05-05 12:38:11
103.   Howard Fox
it is a shame that they won't sell beer in the pavilion but they do sell dice
2005-05-05 12:42:28
104.   brendan glynn
A comedy skit would have them rolling the fuzzy dice from their rearview mirror
2005-05-05 12:44:06
105.   Howard Fox
you say that on Cinco de Mayo???
2005-05-05 12:46:09
106.   DougS
Well, no good deed goes unpunished, I guess. The Dodgers try to do something nice for the fan base by cutting ticket prices, and they just wind up drawing troublemakers who have no real interest in baseball. Sheesh.
2005-05-05 12:47:20
107.   Bob Timmermann
Ahh yes, now I see Roseboro's 61 GG. Broke up Del Crandall's stranglehold on it. Crandall won from 58-60. Roseboro in 61. Then Crandall again in 62 and then Johnny Edwards for 63-64.

In 1965, Joe Torre won the GG at catcher!

Aside from Willie Davis, the Dodgers have 3 1/5 GGs from Outfielders.
Dusty Baker won in 1981.
Raul Mondesi won in 1996 and 1998.
Steve Finley won in 2004.

2005-05-05 12:47:44
108.   brendan glynn
I imagine the pavilions as a black market. You can gamble, visit a house of ill repute and buy knock off merchandise and fake Rolex's all while you enjoy the game. You want it;the Right Field Pavilion has got it(or can get it)
2005-05-05 12:48:36
109.   brendan glynn
ok, I'm done. Happy Cinco De Mayo
2005-05-05 12:57:25
110.   Icaros
I got a pretty nice lap dance out there once, but I think that was more a product of the seats being so close together.
2005-05-05 12:59:27
111.   brendan glynn
Nice, Icaros.
2005-05-05 13:18:59
112.   Suffering Bruin
#110 - LOL
2005-05-05 13:25:01
113.   molokai
Gotta love the chutzpah to be playing craps in the pavillion. I'm sure the ushers were to busy making sure that no one had their arms over the railing to worry about what else is going on.
You can curse, throw peanuts, taunt other fans but don't ever ever put your hands over the railing.
2005-05-05 13:44:48
114.   GoBears
LA Times had a story today about all the misbehavior at DS this season, with some acknowledgment by team officials that they're "looking into it." That's a start, anyway.

The other news (I was in the doctor's office, which is why I even looked at the paper) is that Valentin's injury is 3 partially torn ligaments. Last night, thinking it was just 1, I guessed at least 8 weeks. Now they're saying at least 10.

I've decided to avoid giveaway days and $2 Tuesdays, and limit myself to weeknights only, to see if the experience at the Stadium improves. If not, I'm quite content to watch on TV and listen to Vinnie spin yarns.

2005-05-05 13:49:36
115.   GoBears
The Beltre return won't happen, but it would be hysterical. If DePo could get him back with enough Mariner salary help to make him less expensive than even what the Dodgers offered him in the off-season, then of course, Plascke et al. would excoriate him for (still) overpaying a guy who has had only one good (OK, great) year. Because of course Beltre's regression to the mean would be blamed entirely on how he was jerked around and how is feelings were hurt.

Someone suggested Cuddyer. I just read on the Batgirl blog that he is being referred to in Twinland as Cud-error when he "fields" and Cudd-aver when he "bats." Which is to say, he might not be the best solution.

2005-05-05 13:51:35
116.   Jon Weisman
Nick Christensen's review of Edwin Jackson's latest start:

2005-05-05 13:53:02
117.   Howard Fox
its good that he is getting it together just as the rest of the major league staff is coming together
2005-05-05 13:58:02
118.   LetsGoDodgers
I think we're going to get an extended look at Antonio Perez playing 3B, unfortunately. He's got all the skills to be a very talented hitter, but is no great shakes in the field, even at his "natural" position.

Our best bet would be to trade Nakamura and a minor leaguer to Cleveland for one of the players mentioned in #7 above. That being said, DePo would probably get raked over the coals trying to acquire a player so early in the season with nearly every team still in contention.

Oh yeah, and promoting Guzman is a horrible idea; anybody want to compare the quality of off-speed pitches he has seen in the minors (to date) vs. the quality of off-speed pitches he would see in the majors?

As much as the impending demise of the Dodger infield is difficult to stomach, any moves DePo could do involving other organizations would be short-sighted. DePo should take a page out of the old Pat Gillick GM's Manual and stand pat (pun intentional).

2005-05-05 14:04:54
119.   Robert Fiore
It's a tribute to how our estimation of Izturis has grown over the years that you get worried when it looks like he's injured.

At the risk of getting on my hobby horse again, one thing you might consider is whether the new "youth friendly" atmosphere at the stadium feeds into it. If the message you're sending over the public address system is "let's all get rowdy with our rap and our death metal" there always is the possibility that people are going to get rowdy.

Of course, this is a progression that's been going on for years. Initially you had your classic Dodger fan of the 60s and 70s who applauds politely when the visiting team makes a good play, then from the 80s on you heard progressively more about the crowds getting progressively nastier.

I never really knew why people got so puritanical about beach balls, but if there's so many of them floating around that they're becoming a nuisance, you have to start kicking people out of the park for throwing beach balls, don't you? Broken Windows courtesy of the 99 cent store, you might say.

2005-05-05 14:10:39
120.   Howard Fox
What I am most impressed with is that we are able to cheer and make noise when instructed to on cue....I, for one, would not know the right moment to cheer for the old team....
2005-05-05 14:14:48
121.   LetsGoDodgers
The upside of mediocrity comes from having a tremendous record in April, so treading water at "11 out of 20" for May through September nets you a divisional title (especially when those "11" wins come against the Giants, Padres, D'Back, and Rockies).

Those who think the wins matter only in September probably work for Fox.

2005-05-05 14:17:22
122.   Bob Timmermann
Two guys in Section 19 of the Blue yesterday started a "Go Dodgers" cheer all on their own last night.

It was just hard to find anything to cheer about.

2005-05-05 14:19:15
123.   dzzrtRatt
I'm just logging on now and have only seen a few posts, but has anyone mentioned Aubrey Huff as a possible solution? I really like that guy, and think he'd be worth a name prospect or two or three. Solid hitter, plays 3rd, 1st and OF. Tampa Bay might be a willing seller. I don't see a pennant drive in Tampa Bay's future.
2005-05-05 14:23:44
124.   Howard Fox
"Those who think the wins matter only in September probably work for Fox."

they don't work for me....

2005-05-05 14:24:45
125.   Fearing Blue
A couple notes about the 51s.

1) Jackson didn't pitch very well last night. He gave up 5 runs and 4 earned in 6 innings. The point the article was making was that he fought through it to put up a 0 in his final inning, which is admirable, but doesn't negate the 5 prior runs he allowed.

2) I just realized that there's a play-by-play game log on the 51s site. Using the log, I found out that Perez was removed for a pinch runner after being HBP. There wasn't a note in the article about him being injured so hopefully there are no concerns.

3) After tonight's game, the 51s will have played 8 games in a row against the Fresno Grizzlies, the Giant's AAA team. Weaver mentioned that it was hard to face a team twice in a row. Well, that proved true for Matt Cain and Edwin Jackson. Here are their pitching lines for their first and second starts:
Cain (4/28) 7.1IP 1H 0R 0ER 1BB 10K 0HR
Jackson (04/29) 5IP 4H 1R 1ER 2BB 5K 0HR

Cain (05/03) 5.2IP 5H 5R 4ER 6BB 7K 1HR
Jackson (05/04) 6IP 8H 5R 4ER 3BB 4K 2HR

Jerome Williams, on the other hand, pitched poorly both times. Here are is his pitching line for the two starts combined:
Williams (04/29 & 05/04) 9.1IP 17H 13R 12ER 7BB 6K 0HR

2005-05-05 14:29:57
126.   Howard Fox
and the most important note on the 51's???

I have one of their hats....

2005-05-05 14:32:00
127.   Howard Fox
Aubrey Huff?...oh, you mean Betty Jo Bialovsky....everyone knew her as Nancy...
2005-05-05 14:35:59
128.   dzzrtRatt
What about Ralph Spoilsport?
2005-05-05 14:41:02
129.   Suffering Bruin
119 - Rap?? Death Metal??

Last night before Choi came up with the bases juiced, I thought I heard Carl Orf's "O Fortuna".

Got me fired up but Choi popped out.

2005-05-05 14:43:06
130.   Fearing Blue
Huff was mentioned as a possibility in a previous thread. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of interest if the Rays decide to trade him. He's not very good with the glove, but he more than makes up for it at the plate.

Standing pat is definitely the right long-term call. If we did bring someone in, I wouldn't want them much beyond this season. Baseball America rates 3B as our deepest position with 3 of our top 10 prospects having a chance at playing there (Joel Guzman #1, Andy LaRoche #5, and Blake DeWitt #8). Guzman is the closest to contributing, but the All-Star break next year seems like a reasonable target.

2005-05-05 14:47:36
131.   Robert Fiore
Carmina Burana is the death metal of classical music. Note its use as the soundtrack for the trailer of every action movie that hasn't been scored yet.

It fits perfectly into the theme: Overbearing and obnoxious.

2005-05-05 14:51:34
132.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
"O Fortuna" was used in the Jackass movie.
As to how this affects the Dodgers, discuss...
2005-05-05 15:04:39
133.   Fearing Blue
Does anyone know what the deal is with Jose Flores? He was hitting well at AAA, but I read somewhere that he's currently on the DL. Unfortunately, I can't find where I read it.
2005-05-05 15:10:55
134.   Icaros

I grew up listening to death metal. I have studied death metal. I have recorded and performed death metal professionally.

What is played at Dodger Stadium is anything but death metal.

I will agree that Carmina Burana is the death metal of classical music, though.

2005-05-05 15:15:16
135.   Suffering Bruin
Swear to all that is holy, I called up a buddy who

a) has seen many a film and

b) has forgotten more about music than I'll ever know.

His words: "Carmina Burana is to classical music what death metal is to popular music."


"It's been in every action movie ever made."


"Orf was a Nazi."

That last one I didn't know about but I swear your all in the same club. I gotta bone up on my pop culture.

2005-05-05 15:23:32
136.   Steve
You mean, "that" Jose Flores? The same Jose Flores that made his ill-conceived debut at Coors Field so many months ago? I thought we released him.
2005-05-05 15:26:50
137.   Howard Fox
just read the article on the game last night on the Dodger website....

more good news for the old team...

Izturis is quoted as saying the last time he hurt his ankle just like he did last night...he was out for 21 days...

2005-05-05 15:28:04
138.   Icaros
Yeah, Jose Flores. As I recall, the guy's a pretty good bunter :-)
2005-05-05 15:33:07
139.   Langhorne
Yeah, I support standing pat at the moment. Let Nakamura play third. As long as his defense is okay I'm fine with that. How many NL teams have anyone batting 8th whose average is over .250 or .230 even? Most teams have a couple of players, there for defense, who can't hit and aren't expected to. Izzy was ours for a couple of years. The reason the home stand didn't go better is that our #'s four and five hitters weren't hitting. When things aren't going well offensivly you don't blame your weakest hitters, you look at your strongest. I would also consider moving Choi to fifth or sixth and bat Bradley second.
2005-05-05 15:40:24
140.   DodgerJoe
I have always thought that we should have gotten Shea Hillenbrand in the Shawn Green deal. Now, he is DH'ing in Toronto.

He would be a great fit.

2005-05-05 15:50:51
141.   Fearing Blue
For all you haters out there :), I'll post Jose Flores' numbers in AAA this year: .346/.477/.519. For comparison purposes, here are Aybar's numbers: .344/.406/.556. Flores' numbers last year in AAA were also quite good and he can play all the infield positions IIRC. When he gets healthy, he doesn't seem like a worse proposition than Mike Edwards.
2005-05-05 15:51:17
142.   Robert Fiore
I stopped trying to keep up with what's current in popular music when I realized that London Calling was ten years old, which was about 15 years ago. If not death metal then the common denominator tends to be loud and agressive.

From the Wikipedia entry on Carl Orff:

While Orff's association, or lack thereof, with the Nazi party has never been conclusively established, Carmina Burana was hugely popular in Nazi Germany after its premiere and received numerous performances (although one Nazi critic reviewed it savagely as "degenerate" — entartet — implying a connection with the contemporaneous, and infamous, exhibit of Entartete Kunst). Carmina Burana was so popular that Orff received a commission in Vienna to compose music for Midsummer Night's Dream, to replace the banned music by Mendelssohn. Orff began working on the new incidental music, but he did not complete it until 1964.

2005-05-05 15:52:52
143.   Fearing Blue
#139: If Izturis is out for any extended period of time, I would move Bradley to the top of the lineup. Also, I think someone should have a conversation with him about how he used to walk occasionally and that was a good thing.
2005-05-05 15:54:15
144.   GoBears
You mean Shea "never saw a pitch he didn't like" Hillenbrand? He's the last player DePo would go after.

You're right about Carmina Burana. I knew it was in every other movie trailer (and lots of commercials). Don't watch enough movies to have known that it's just a place holder until the score is done. That actually makes me feel better. I wonder how many movies I've avoided because that song implied cliche-city, and I was predisposed to hate the product involved.

2005-05-05 16:02:01
145.   Steve
I would bat Choi leadoff and Bradley second just to piss off Joe Morgan.

Jose Flores was an innocent victim of circumstance. But I did think we released him.

2005-05-05 16:02:44
146.   Suffering Bruin
I first heard Carmina Burana in the movie theater. I was watching "Excalibur." Arthur is riding off to his final battle. As "O Fortuna" hits its peak, flowers strated to fall around the galloping knights.

The audience laughed with derision.

2005-05-05 16:05:04
147.   Icaros
What a bunch of snobs...I love that part of Excalibur.
2005-05-05 16:09:24
148.   DougS
I gotta side with Icaros on this one. I think Excalibur is the only movie in which O Fortuna! is used well in a serious, rather than an ironic, context.

On the other hand, you guys sent me scurrying for my copy of The Record Shelf Guide to the Classical Repertoire (by Jim Sjveda of KUSC), in which he says of Carminia Burana: "... we are thoroughly convinced that this is music that a gland would write, if only it could."

Now I gotta get up out of my chair and put the book back. Thanks a lot....

2005-05-05 16:19:25
149.   Suffering Bruin
A gland would write it if only it could? WTF??

By the by, I was not one of the guys laughing at Excalibur. Fine movie but nowhere near as enjoyable as reading The Once and Future King.

Personally, I'm with Icaros. Laughing derisively during a dramatic movie is the absolute definition of snobbery.

Unless it's Keanu playing Don Juan in "Much Ado About Nothing". Then it's required.

2005-05-05 16:22:33
150.   Jonathan
You can't call them snobs for missing the point.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-05-05 16:25:21
151.   molokai
What a bunch of snobs...I love that part of Excalibur.

Damn straight. That was the 1st time I heard "Carmina Burana" and loved it. I have to agree that now it is played to death, but the 1st time like anything is the best.

2005-05-05 16:48:52
152.   gvette
"Laughing derisively during a dramatic movie is the absolute definition of snobbery."

Hey wait a minute! I defy anyone to sit through that 80's melodrama where the usually fair skinned Robby Benson was done up like a gang banger, and not start laughing like hell.

Same with those Lifetime Channel chick flicks with women imperiled by their crazy boyfriends/husbands that my wife can't get enough of.

2005-05-05 16:56:47
153.   brendan glynn
and the most important note on the 51's???
I have one of their hats....

Which one Howard? Home or road? I looked at buying one but I just couldn't see myself wearing a hat with that alien head/face on it. It doesn't even say Vegas or the 51's on it. The road hat has a 51 and the nasa swirl thingy(technical language, sorry)

Couldn't get myself to buy either one of them but maybe I'll go with the road hat.

2005-05-05 17:02:34
154.   brendan glynn
Oh by the way, all out of state Ghame Over shirts have been mailed. Plus a couple to the VIP'S.
I just couldn't do any more today. The rest will get out tomorrow. I don't know how people with a home based business do it. I lost my mind after the 10th package.
2005-05-05 17:05:05
155.   brendan glynn
Umm, let me guess. everyone just left work for home? ok until tomorrow
2005-05-05 17:26:14
156.   Bob Timmermann
The UCLA marching band plays "O Fortuna" quite frequently. But they describe it as "The Theme from 'Gladiator'"


2005-05-05 17:31:12
157.   aloofman
Re the early '60s Dodgers:

It wasn't until 1964 that the Dodgers had a worse-than-average offense. The 1960-61 teams were decent hittting teams. In 1962 they had one of the better offenses in the league, albeit one that was heavily dependent on Tommie Davis and Maury Wills. And considering what an extreme pitchers' park Dodger Stadium was then (far more than now - and of course it dragged down the opponent's offense too), those Dodger teams hit pretty well.

It was really the 1964-68 Dodgers that were offensively impaired, when their top home run hitter was Ron Fairly and the starters eked out many low-scoring wins.

2005-05-05 17:43:41
158.   molokai
1967 or 1968 had to be lousiest LA Dodger teams in history and that is when I started rooting for them. I think Len Gabrielson led the team with 10 home runs in 1968.
2005-05-05 17:46:55
159.   fernandomania
Hey Brendan: Thanks!!! I can't wait to get my Ghame Over shirt.
2005-05-05 18:15:59
160.   LAT
Goin' 11 for 20 over the next two weeks ain't gonna be no picnic:
Our pitchers are gonna get all they can handle

3 with Cinci (easy, 7 game losing streak)
4 with St. Louis
3 with Atl.
3 with Fla. (Maybe LoDuca can kick our butt again.)
3 with the other LA team.

I would be ecstatic to go 8-8 but I don't see it happen'.
Even if the pitching holds up Dodgers better find some runs fast.

2005-05-05 18:18:51
161.   franklin
re: 139 - How many NL teams have anyone batting 8th whose average is over .250 or .230 even?

nine of sixteen teams have produced a BA at or above .250 from the eight hole.

stats courtesy of

Batting #8 (Through May 4, 2005)
Nationals .306/.361/.418
Astros .286/.347/.385
Marlins .282/.340/.447
Mets .279/.421/.500
Pirates .277/.306/.585
Braves .266/.337/.479
Giants .258/.324/.515
Padres .258/.351/.340
Diamondbacks .253/.336/.394

Rockies .225/.303/.337
Phillies .221/.302/.295
Reds .218/.327/.299
Cardinals .215/.247/.258
Cubs .208/.245/.323
Brewers .148/.257/.170

guess which line is #8 for LAD (unfortunately all three are from the 2005 lineup)...

ps. could i get a reminder on the bold type trick, thanks

2005-05-05 18:29:50
162.   Bob Timmermann
The D-Backs are shooting for a share of first tonight at home against the Pirates.

Shawn Estes taking on Dave Williams. Shawn Green is getting a rest tonight, so the only former Dodgers starting are on Pittsburgh in David Ross and Daryle Ward.

2005-05-05 18:29:54
163.   Steve
Those numbers are just depressing. .181 must be the sixth spot, given the higher OBP. The eighth spot has to be the .178 line. Nakamura and Grabowski and Bako and bad Choi have been down there. The two spot is .206?
2005-05-05 18:31:51
164.   GoBears
re: 161: Even if batting average is the best measure here, this early in the season, we shouldn't fixate on the 8th spot. Eventually, that's where the weakest hitter ought to end up, but only a month in, a hot start by one guy and a cold start by another could mean that the least productive hitter so far is somewhere else in the lineup. To answer the spirit of the question, I suppose the best way would be to look at #8 hitters last year, or to look at "weakest hitters" so far this year.

asterisks on either side of the wannabe bold word will do the trick.

2005-05-05 18:33:10
165.   Jim Hitchcock
Asterisk preceeding and following the text you want to, uh, embolden, spaces.

I grew up listening to death metal. I have studied death metal. I have recorded and performed death metal professionally.

No wonder nobody wants you as a flight attendant, Icaros...might try pilot training, instead :)

2005-05-05 18:42:48
166.   GoBears
I defy anyone to sit through that 80's melodrama where the usually fair skinned Robby Benson was done up like a gang banger, and not start laughing like hell.

Anything not called "Bill and Ted" with Keanu Reeves deserves derisive laughter, either at the suits for hiring him, or at oneself for being suckered into the theater. I was actually furious when I first saw "Dangerous Liaisons," a very good John Malkovich / Glenn Close / Michelle Pfeiffer movie, when he showed up near the end and almost single-handedly ruined it.

But my favorite for unintentional comedy is Shatner. Star Trek was supposed to be campy, so that only sort of counts. But the apex of Shatner playing an acTOR was, IMO, "TJ Hooker." A&E shows reruns at 1am on DirecTV, and I frequently find myself laughing my a$$ off. He's just SO into it, it's hysterical. Count how many times he inappropriately touches the character his talking to. Good stuff. It's not so much derisive laughter as mere amusement, though, because about 10 years ago, Shatner himself got the joke, and started parodying himself in guest roles and commercials. That made him more likeable.

My wife disdains SciFi and groans whenever I watch a little Trek, but she gets teh joke. The other night, a very young and svelte Bill S. showed up on a Twilight Zone rerun (he was in at least a couple), and after 1 minute or so, she contributed "well, at least we know he didn't LOSE his talent along the way..." Ouch.

2005-05-05 18:48:56
167.   LAT
This is off subject but: Today, I called the Dodgers about switching my Firm's seats which are in the new section, 3rd row, first base side ($70 face), that Plaschke wrote about last week. When I called the season ticket office I asked for Marty Greenspun because he is the Dodger official quoted in the article. The person on the phone said he didn't know who that was. I explained that he is the Dodger's Chief Operating Officer. I guess with all the front office turnover it s difficult for the receptionist to remember who is in charge (assuming anyone is). I was then transferred to Seth Bluman, supervisor of season tickets. Mr. Bluman was very accommodating and was determined to make sure that we were happy. We scheduled an appointment for me to come out tomorrow so he could show me what my other options are. I asked if there were a lot of returns and he said they had received many comments and some people have requested to move but most people are willing to stick it out until next year when they fix the problem. Mr. Bluman suggested that they will take some rows out and elevate some others and they will be great seats. While I'm sure they will be better, I think I've heard that before. Frankly, I'm not sure if they can fix the seats unless there is significant elevation which would interfere with the old seats behind the new section. At any rate, it was encouraging to have someone care about our account and I'm looking forward to seeing what's out there.
2005-05-05 18:58:00
168.   Bob Timmermann
They could lower the field, but I would think that would be a significant engineering task with all the irrigation pipes.

What do you about seats in the regular sections that have seen better days. Most of the seats in my row in the Blue are on their last legs.

I wonder what generation of seats they are on at Dodger Stadium. At least the second. They originally weren't molded plastic, but rather heavily lacquered and painted wood.

2005-05-05 19:03:12
169.   Jim Hitchcock
GoBears, I'm sure you've heard Shatner's rendition of `Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds'. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Well, maybe the Lorne Greene Christmas album. I'm pretty sure Bob T could make you a tape of that one...

2005-05-05 19:04:14
170.   franklin
and the envelope please...

Dodger Lineup (through 5.4.05)
#1 .333/.381/.410
#2 .259/.325/.545
#3 .278/.410/.515
#4 .320/.438/.588
#5 .312/.356/.477
#6 .181/.316/.319
#7 .298/.387/.415
#8 .206/.275/.299
#9 .178/.235/.256

sorry, somewhat of a trick question by including the pitchers spot. Point intended was that, 1/6 of the way into the season, production at #9 is not that far off from #6 or #8 (or vice versa). For the astronomical .316 OBP at #6, I must commend Valentin for taking 15 of his 16 walks. His 96 BB pace impresses considering his career one season high is 66, but he won't be doing much walking in the near term.

will need to take a little more time to track down past years contribution my lineup slot.

2005-05-05 19:07:00
171.   gvette
"Anything not called "Bill and Ted" with Keanu Reeves deserved derisive laughter..."

The worst was the one he made with Patrick Swayze where they were surfing, skydiving bankrobbers. A classic of its kind,ranking with Swayze's own Citizen Kane, Roadhouse.

Watching the Twilight Zone episode where Shatner freaks out because a stunt man in a monkey suit is attacking the wing of his airliner is truly a howler.

In the meantime, isn't Dave Ross finally about to be sent to AAA when Santiago comes off the DL in a few days?

2005-05-05 19:07:15
172.   franklin
will need to take a little more time to track down past years contribution by lineup slot.

i don't recall ever playing for the dodgers.

2005-05-05 19:07:33
173.   LAT
One of the Dodger sales people told me they were planning to replace all the seats over the next couple of years and make them one color, presumably dark blue, like the new sections. While the seats do need to be replaced in many areas, I like the colored tiers. When talking to most people if you say you are in the loge or reserve section they haven't a clue. When you say I'm sitting in the orange or blue section they know exactly what level you're on.
2005-05-05 19:08:26
174.   franklin
Watching the Twilight Zone episode where Shatner freaks out because a stunt man in a monkey suit is attacking the wing of his airliner is truly a howler.

wasn't that Jon Lithgow?

2005-05-05 19:14:31
175.   Jim Hitchcock
Lithgow was in the movie version. It was actually an improvement over the series version, IMO...The flying creepy wagging his finger at Lithgow for shooting at him was pretty funny.

BTW, that Swayze/Reeves movie was based on a true story.

2005-05-05 19:14:58
176.   Bob Timmermann
The trend in baseball stadiums is to have all the seats be one color. When Angels Stadium had its last renovation, it became all green, which is the most common color scheme I've seen.

Coors Field has green seats except for one row in purple which is supposed to be 5280' above sea level.

When I read an old Roger Angell piece about the 1963 World Series, he commented on Dodger Stadium (presumably it was the first time he had seen it) and he thought the multiple colors gave the park a somewhat circus like appearance.

2005-05-05 19:16:14
177.   gvette
wasn't that John Lithgow?"

Lithgow was in the ill fated movie version; Shatner in all his bug eyed, pre Kirk glory was in the original 60's TV version.

2005-05-05 19:16:57
178.   franklin
"Want to see something really scary?"

sorry, Jo*h*n Lithgow. Jon Weisman has unduly influenced my spelling of the name.

2005-05-05 19:21:21
179.   Bob Timmermann
The Swayze/Reaves film is entitled "Point Break" and it's one of my guilty pleasure films. It is so dopey that it's good.
2005-05-05 19:24:08
180.   Jim Hitchcock
Kind of like `Red Dawn', eh, Bob.
2005-05-05 19:24:24
181.   franklin
since we're lingering in the twilight zone of DT...the link takes you to a bizarre Shatnerization of Elton John's "Rocket Man"

2005-05-05 19:26:22
182.   gvette
The Roger Angell piece on the 62 NL playoff in The Summer Game didn't show much affection for Dodger Stadium.

I believe he compared it to a suburban supermarket, which I would guess isn't a compliment coming from a writer for The New Yorker.

2005-05-05 19:26:40
183.   Bob Timmermann
2-2 DBacks and Bucs in the bottom of the 3rd.

5-3 Padres over the Cards in the top of the 8th.

2005-05-05 19:31:35
184.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks for the correction on when Angell wrote his piece. He has the general NY attitude toward things L.A. Did anyone else check the op-ed piece in the NY Times from one of the editors who is living out here while teaching at Pomona? It was about driving on the freeway and the feelings of power and danger encountered during this apparently massive crime wave we are experiencing.
2005-05-05 19:34:39
185.   franklin
as much as I love Point Break, too bad it was filmed prior to the current trend of towing into 100 foot waves because the climatic "100 year storm" footage at Bell's Beach is too lame. Otherwise, "surfing bankrobber" or "bankrobbing surfer" is up there on the list of desired alternative entries for "occupation".

Speaking of Australia (Bells), do the Dodgers have any Australians in the system? Seems like they were on the fore front of bringing guys out from Oz. Perhaps the talent didn't materialize, although Craig Shipley did slug .475 for the 1994 Padres.

2005-05-05 19:48:13
186.   Bob Timmermann
4-2 Bucs in the 5th. Homers by Bay and Wilson (Jack even!)
2005-05-05 19:55:25
187.   Steve
Lots of whiners at Pomona.
2005-05-05 19:55:42
188.   gvette
That exiled NYT editor can encounter all of the danger and power he can handle by driving a few miles off campus into certain areas of downtown Pomona. No need to drive the freeways looking for random violence.
2005-05-05 19:56:58
189.   Bob Timmermann
He's actually in Claremont at Pomona College.
2005-05-05 20:04:28
190.   gvette
Claremont's just a few miles north of the badlands of Pomona, he can take surface streets. Foothill to Holt, then grab his flak jacket.
2005-05-05 20:05:15
191.   Eric Enders
Back in the day, I always had an affinity for Australian LHP Kym Ashworth, mostly because he was the first player ever in the Dodger system who was younger than I was. He was quite a prospect there for a while.

"Organizations also have to educate their personnel about foreigners. 'Some of our people think Kym Ashworth just eats kangaroo all day,' says [Dodger scout Jim] Stoeckel, referring to the Dodgers' prize 17-year-old Australian lefthander."
- Baseball America, Nov. 23, 1993

2005-05-05 20:10:34
192.   Jim Hitchcock
'93 qualifies for back in the day?
2005-05-05 20:11:16
193.   Steve
That's what I mean, lots of whiners at Pomona.
2005-05-05 20:23:42
194.   gvette
BTW Steve, Claremont's favorite son, Snoop has a car at my auto restoration mechanic's shop in the area for repairs. Lowered 69 Buick with "tasteful" airbrush paintings of the Family Snoop on every fender.

Bet the local cops would have a field day analyzing the remnants of various substances in the carpet, and ashtray.

2005-05-05 20:27:35
195.   GoBears
Yup, that's the Shatner episode I'm talking about.

Shatner's spoken word "music" is the best. Have you seen the "Family Guy" where Stewie does his version of Shatner doing "Rocket Man?" Hard to parody a parody, but they managed.

FWIW, Petco's seats are all blue. Kinda neat, given the proximity to the blue blue water.

2005-05-05 20:42:33
196.   molokai
Have to say I enjoyed about 1/2 of his latest album "Has Been". His take on "common people" with Joe Jackson is just a great song.JMO
2005-05-05 20:46:54
197.   franklin
here's the Australian talent not materializing for the Dodgers:
Craig Shipley
Jeff Williams
Luke Prokopec (but thanks for Paul and Cesar!)

Only 18 Australians have seen major league action in the 12 seasons since Shipley debuted.

courtesy of "Flintoff and Dunn's Australian Major League Baseball" website. Further proof that there is a webpage for everything.

2005-05-05 20:54:51
198.   LAT
Franklin, nice obscure piece of info but becareful you are close to invading Bob T's turf.
2005-05-05 20:55:42
199.   Xeifrank
Could someone please point out what is wrong with the new seating section. Sounds like there isn't enough elevation between rows, is that it? Tough to see over the head in front of you?




2005-05-05 20:57:44
200.   Xeifrank
Anyone as happy as me to see the Yanks lose to the DRays tonight, slipping into a last place tie in the AL East at 11-18. I would be nervous if I was in Yankee management and I saw Donald Trump roaming the halls.



Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-05-05 20:58:27
201.   Steve
I wonder if Jim Tracy's car has airbrushed pictures of the Tracy family on it.

I like the Common People song, I must admit. The trick to Shatner is playing to that self-aware novelty element, and Boston Legal does it perfectly too.

2005-05-05 21:00:21
202.   the OZ
200 posts on an off-day. To borrow a phrase from McDonalds, "I'm Lovin' It."
2005-05-05 21:01:22
203.   Jim Hitchcock
Doubt Steinbrenner would allow Trump the fun, XF.
2005-05-05 21:09:21
204.   Bob Timmermann
My oldest brother went to Pomona. He doesn't whine.
2005-05-05 21:12:47
205.   franklin
i'm flattered. now, seriously, how can anyone compete with Bob T. He's a DT legend and the entire LA County library system has got his back. And, if I remember correctly, he's about 8% taller than I am. If size can be correlated to brain mass then my spongy canteloupe is no match!
2005-05-05 21:18:24
206.   LAT
Xeifrank re #199: The seats, which are as much as $100, are slightly below grade and lack elevation. Thus, a tall guy in front of you completly obscures your view. In addition, you spend most of the game looking to your left (assuming 1st base side) and even if you are in the third row you still have to look over numerous rows and rows of people to your left. Finally the first base coach is in your line of sight to the batters box. I am 6'5" and they are ok for me but my wife and kids could not see a thing. On the plus side you are ridicliously close to the field and in prime foul ball territory. In fact, you are in "incoming duck!!! " foul ball area. But this does not come close to compensating for the shortcomings.
2005-05-05 21:18:57
207.   Bob Timmermann
Actually, I work for the Los Angeles Public Library (city, not county).

A colleague suggested we go the Ohio State route and call ourselves THE LOS ANGELES PUBLIC LIBRARY.

Make "The" mandatory!

2005-05-05 21:19:57
208.   franklin
good friend is a Yankee fan. He won't even answer the phone when I call.

Anyone know if the Yankees have ever had a worse record than the DRays in May or later?

2005-05-05 21:23:09
209.   franklin
My apologies for the error Bob. Was a best guestimate. I believe my wife raised money for (T)the LA Public Library's Adult Literacy Program a few years. Does that program ring a bell?
2005-05-05 21:31:36
210.   Bob Timmermann
I think the Adult Literacy thing was more of a County deal than a City deal.

I've worked for both. I'm a man comfortable in many different bureaucratic settings.

2005-05-05 21:34:05
211.   Bob Timmermann
The only time the Devil Rays have had a winning record on May 5 was in 1999 and they were 15-14. The Yankees were 17-9 then.
2005-05-05 22:07:23
212.   franklin
With a little help from baseball-almanac, a Devil Rays win coupled with a Yankee loss would mark the first time that Tampa Bay has ever been ahead of NY in the standings in May or later. Damn shame they have to do it against Johan Santana.

source: baseball-almanac

2005-05-05 22:10:13
213.   Steve
My wife doesn't either. But they're there.
2005-05-05 22:23:54
214.   Fearing Blue
Hey Steve, are you sure Flores was released? He was in the lineup for AAA as of 4/25:

He was pulled for a pinch runner, and I read somewhere that he went on the AAA DL. Has he been released since then?

2005-05-05 22:27:04
215.   Fearing Blue
Just checked the 51s box score. Perez did not play after being HBP and pulled for a pinch runner yesterday. Please someone tell me that everything is alright with Perez.
2005-05-05 22:31:16
216.   Steve

No. I am not sure at all. I thought we had released him after the season was over, but it appears that I was wrong and he's hitting .350 in Las Vegas.

2005-05-05 22:41:47
217.   Fearing Blue
#215: I realized that my post was not clear. Perez was not in tonight's lineup for the 51s, so I'm concerned that something's wrong.
2005-05-05 22:47:57
218.   Fearing Blue
#216: Steve, from what I understand of park adjustments for Las Vegas and the PCL, we may have released him and he could still manage a .350 batting average.
2005-05-05 22:52:23
219.   Linkmeister
So if Bellamy Road wins the Derby tomorrow does Steinbrenner replace Torre with Nick Zito (the horse's trainer)?
2005-05-05 22:56:20
220.   Eric Enders
218 was laugh out loud funny.

(If I didn't have such a distaste for cyber-acronyms, I could have saved myself a lot of typing in that last graf.)

2005-05-05 22:57:58
221.   Linkmeister
Eric, have you gotten any sleep yet?
2005-05-05 23:10:09
222.   Eric Enders
Yeah, and I'm about to get some more.

Final tally was 67 hrs.

2005-05-05 23:20:34
223.   Linkmeister
Whatever you got after that stretch was insufficient.
2005-05-05 23:31:42
224.   the OZ
Congrats on the 67 hours. I had one similar streak a few years ago, and somehow managed to spend the last few hours staying awake in a dark theater during a student film festival.
2005-05-05 23:35:08
225.   Eric Enders
I'm not sure it's anything to be congratulated on, but thanks.

I do this kind of thing more often than I should, but I think the 67 was a record. Unfortunately, I have the funkiest sleeping habits of anyone I know.

2005-05-05 23:43:35
226.   LAT
Eric, I have one word for you: !!!AMBIEN!!!
2005-05-05 23:53:29
227.   Jim Hitchcock
Been there, tends to screw with a daily schedule.
2005-05-05 23:58:38
228.   Bob Timmermann
I wonder how Steiner and Lyons will comment about Reds reliever Joe Valentine or later in the year when the Reds come to town, how Vin will comment. I'm sure he won't.

I got the link from the Fourth Outfielder.

2005-05-06 00:00:24
229.   Robert Fiore
I read an article where Tom Seaver, discussing ballparks, called Dodger Stadium "sterile." My thought at the time was that "sterile" must be the New York word for "clean."

I think the bright color scheme of the seats goes better with the bright Los Angeles sunshine than dark blue would.

2005-05-06 00:02:16
230.   Icaros
Lyons might pull his pants down.
2005-05-06 00:33:38
231.   Eric Enders
Rick Monday will probably refer to Joe Valentine, but mean Jose Valentin.

Too bad Jose's injury will deprive us of witnessing probably the first at-bat in baseball history where the batter's and pitcher's names are exact translations of each other.

In all seriousness, I would bet large amounts of money that none of the Dodger announcers says anything about Valentine's parents.

2005-05-06 00:35:11
232.   Eric Enders
Also, you guys can rag on the McCourts all you want, and maybe even be right most of the time -- but this is very, very cool:

2005-05-06 02:23:37
233.   Jim Hitchcock
Well, now we know how the D'Backs are going to pay all those defrayed salaries. You, too, can throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the BOB
for a measly $4000.

Wotta deal.

2005-05-06 07:01:50
234.   Suffering Bruin
Good morning! Fun reading, this thread is. Sorry--the kid and I were playing Lego Star Wars and I'm into the Yoda-speak. It'll pass.

ESPN has a "stat package" for tonight's game that's pretty darn cool. In it, they provide a score sheet with a primer on how to keep score. The example lineup seems to be an editors choice of best players in history by position. I think they got seven out of nine right.


I prefer Musial but understand the selection of Williams. Ripken was wonderful but not in the same zip code as Honus Wagner. Koufax? We all love Koufax but Walter Johnson is a better selection.

In the example scoring, Koufax singles and steals second base, something he never did in 12 seasons of play.

2005-05-06 07:46:47
235.   Sam DC
SB -- So, when you get in line for Episode III?
2005-05-06 09:12:07
236.   Vic
Any word on Izzy's status yet?
2005-05-06 10:53:59
237.   Bob Timmermann
The Daily News reports today that if Izturis can't go for longer than a day or two, Jose Flores will be called up from Las Vegas or Robles will be purchased from his Mexican League team.

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