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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Sunlight on a Sunday Evening
2005-06-26 21:25
by Jon Weisman

Is there any point in me saying the Dodgers aren't this bad?

Of course, they are this bad. They are what their record is, which is 35-40, a 76-win pace for the season. Their roster looks like this. Humpty Dumpty had an easier put-back.

Strangely, during their 9-14 June, the Dodgers have outhomered the opposition, 27-21. They have outwalked them, and have only three fewer hits. In OPS, they trail their opponents by only .715 to .705.

Nevertheless, the Dodgers have been outscored, 102-80. Almost exactly one run per game. And one run is all it takes for the knife to cut an arm here and a leg there.

A month ago, when allowing home runs was epidemic for Dodger pitchers, I wrote that the team needed to acquire better starting pitching, because the only other solution was to stop allowing home runs. And that seemed too wildly hopeful.

And yet the person who didn't believe this could happen is the same person who has been telling you (in the name of the flawed but talented Hee Seop Choi) that baseball is a game of adjustments. The Dodger pitching staff is not a Hall of Fame staff, but it was a more talented group than it had shown in May. I should have had more faith that the pitchers would find some sort of equilibrium - nothing fancy, to be sure, but something approximating the 4.08 ERA they have shown in June.

It's helped, of course, that Jim Tracy has had the restraint to keep Scott Erickson off the mound for all but 2 2/3 innings. But in general, pitchers have pitched closer to their capabilities, and that has made a difference. A forseeable difference that I did not forsee.

Now, it's the offense that isn't getting the job done. They are getting on base as much as their opponents and they are slugging as much as their opponents, but they're not generating the runs. I'd like to offer that it's forseeable - even likely - that this will change for the better. Which is not to deny that Antonio Perez's average might not fall below .300, and so on, but to accept that 1) players like Cesar Izturis (batting .114 in June) will find their modest levels again and 2) a failure to hit with runners in scoring position is not a permanent condition.

This does not presume, by the way, that Milton Bradley will be playing anytime soon. But if he does come back, that would only help.

In any case, the Dodgers have dug themselves a healthy hole. They are walking around in the cruel shoes. The offensive rebound might come too late to help. Or, it might coincide with another pitching slump, rendering the season completely out of sync. As I wrote last week, the Dodgers' margin for error is gone. For the playoffs to come in 2005, things have to start going right, right now.

So is there any point in me saying the Dodgers aren't this bad? Saying the Dodgers aren't this bad is not the same as saying that they will recover. Two very different things. And only the second one is relevant.

* * *

The theory, which most people have come to know by now, is that the general manager spends the first two months of the season evaluating the team, the second two months trying to improve it, and the final two months in a sprint for the title.

However, because the wild card keeps so many teams alive in the playoff hunt for so long, the reality is that even if you know exactly what your problems are on June 1 (and keep in mind, the Dodger problems have changed since then), there isn't much you can do about it. The reality is that you basically spend four months with the team you take out of Spring Training, and two months with the post-trade-deadline, fuel-injected crew.

The number of trades that have been made since Opening Day in the entire major leagues could probably be counted on one hand, and it figures to remain that way through at least the All-Star break. It's not any kind of defense of DePodesta's or Frank McCourt to say that it's not their fault right now. It just is what it is. No one's dealing. The Dodgers have payroll and prospects to use to salvage 2005 if they want to. But even if they do want to, they're bargain-hunters on Thanksgiving Day - the stores won't even be open until everyone's finished chowing down a long, stupifying meal.

This is the team right now. We don't agree on what the problems are, and we don't agree what the solutions are. But all we can do is spend our time watching them and enjoying what we can and ruing what we must.

I really am at peace with the whole thing. Sure, there are moments and decisions that truly make me furious. But the overall idea that 2005 is slipping away - I can deal. I believe this team has a bright future. I believe that the prospects will start to deliver in 2006 or 2007. I believe that DePodesta will continue to make more good moves than bad.

Three years ago, I took a job at a museum where I had no hope for advancement. Today, I'm still at the same job (a longer story than it sounds), but I have much else to celebrate. This website, for one thing. And that's how I feel about the Dodgers. The present has been a disappointment, a dip where progress might have been expected. But the future looks sunny. At the end of the

Update: On Baseball Analysts, Rich Lederer writes about Bob Keisser's pro-Tracy, anti-DePodesta column in today's Press-Telegram. Lederer notes that there might be a case to make on both counts, but Keisser fails to do so on either:

For whatever reason, Keisser obviously has an axe to grind here. I think this type of "analysis" is proof that (many of) the oldtimers are uncomfortable with the changing of the guard within the executive suites of major-league baseball. To say it is disappointing in the case of Keisser, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, is an understatement.

On occasion, Keisser has shown that he "gets it." But, more often than not, he reverts to criticizing DePodesta in a less than objective manner. He uses the cafeteria approach by picking and choosing his spots, pointing out the failures and ignoring successes.

It's hard not to agree with Lederer, especially when one sees that, for example, Keisser's article fails to mention the words "Jeff Kent" once. Didn't like it that Kent sat out most of Sunday's game? How would you feel if he were missing from the 2005 Dodger lineup for 162 games?

One of the many things I've noticed during the Dodgers' slide is the repeated observation that Tracy unfairly takes all the blame, while DePodesta hides from it in his office - during a period in which Tracy has gotten almost no actual blame for the slide in the press and DePodesta has taken all of it. Where, besides Fire Jim Tracy and the spillover onto the comment boards of this site, has Tracy taken any actual hits? And where hasn't DePodesta taken any? Where are the instances of DePodesta hiding, of ducking interviews?

It must simply be the vulnerability factor - that at the end of the season, Tracy would lose his job before DePodesta would. That's what makes it open season on DePodesta, while the mainstream press ignores or explains away Tracy's mistakes. It's not so much that Tracy is a hopeless manager. But he does get a free ride outside of the quarters I've mentioned above.

If Tracy is worth retaining as a manager - and I would sincerely (not sarcastically) like to see that proven, because who likes to see anyone truly be a failure - he should withstand the same scrutiny that DePodesta faces. Scratch that - they should both be held to fair scrutiny, not unfair.

Comments (190)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-06-26 23:06:25
1.   bokonon42
Have you thought about changing the name of the site to Dodger Zen? 8^)

The above is all a little too reasonable. I didn't see even one exclamation point. It's not like there hasn't been any good luck, it's just that the good luck is stuff like Perez out-performing Robles, whereas the bad luck stuff is. Well, everybody knows the bad luck stuff.

2005-06-26 23:18:44
2.   Mark
I'm sort of curious to see what record the Dodgers would have to get before Jon goes off on a FJT-like bunt-induced rage.

Well, at least we'll always have the urine... (uh, that didn't sound right.)

2005-06-26 23:25:25
3.   Bob Timmermann
I don't expect a miraculous healing in the week, I'm gone. Just the maintenance of hope.

That's all I want.

And an exit row seat on the flight to Tokyo. Or the sudden addition of 50,000 miles into my United Mileage Plus account when I wake up tomorrow so I can upgrade.

That's all I want.

2005-06-26 23:38:34
4.   heato
I have found my Tylenol in the form of the AA All-Stars of Jacksonville. As frustrating as it is to watch the Dodgers lose with a team nobody could have ever envisioned, it is equally exciting to watch players who might become future stars in Los Angeles.
2005-06-26 23:57:48
5.   Vishal
thanks, jon. this is the post i have been waiting and hoping for from you for a while. i still feel lousy about the dodgers, but at least it's not TOTALLY crappy. you know, you're like a nun that way. the patient might still die, but even if he does, at least there's a sympathetic hand to hold at the end.
2005-06-27 01:02:36
6.   rageon
In a sense, the "real" Dodgers aren't THIS bad. In the current roster's defense, they've been playing poorly, but had to deal with:

- No Bradley
- No Valentin
- No Drew, at least of late
- Choi barely playing, for some unexplained reason
- Werth coming back slowly from his injury

Those are essentially 5 of our top 6 hitters. Take 5 of the top 6 hitters from ANY team and I'm sure they would play just as sadly as LA has been. In fact, I'd venture a guess that most teams would be worse off, because teams like LA, OAK, and company understand the concept of cheaply/freely available talent. Imagine taking Edwards, Saenz, and Rose off the team, and things would be even darker than they are. The fact is, LA is basically playing their B-team, and are 5 games under .500. Oakland played their B-team for most of the first part of the season, and they've got the same record. Oakland is looking excited right now, LA is packing it in. Both teams still have a shot, but neither is going to do it without a healthy team.

Now, that's not to say that DePo isn't at fault. Just like hitting and pitching, staying healthy is a skill/talent that not everyone has. We knew going into the year that the team had some massive risks on it. Drew has a change to be a legitimate top-10 player if he could stay healthy, but let's face it, he's not going to. Getting 120 games out of him is what you pay for. Werth is always hurt. Yes, some of it seems flukey, like getting hit by a pitch, but different people respond differently to the same trauma. Look at Nick Johnson; I've given up on thinking he's just the most unlucky player in the world and accepted the fact that he breaks easily. (see generally Darren Dreifort) Bradley has been injury prone as well.

I'll just skip talking about Choi's situation, we all know what I want to say, so there's no sense in going over it again.

Now, DePo took a chance with a team of injury prone players, and he lost, at least through the first 2/5 of the season. Maybe in the future he'll consider durability a little bit more than he did in the past. Who knows. But what DePo CAN do right now is fill the holes. Jon was right, most teams aren't dealing right now. Most. Couldn't we go and get Polanco? Yeah, yeah, Philly wanted a reliever, fine, find one and trade him to Philly. Wouldn't it be awfully nice to have him rotating around the infield when Izturis needs a few days off because he's not hitting, or Kent needs a day, or whatever. Why not call up Minnesota and ask for one of their 23 outfielders? Why not hire some goons to beat the hell out of Jim Tracy for not playing Choi?

LA's had a ton of bad luck so far. Short of Penny not coming back, everything that could have gone wrong...has. And yet we're only SIX AND A HALF games behind a mediocre San Diego team. Why what you say if you were told at the start of the year that in the first half of the year, we would be 6.5 out despite the following missing significant time: Drew, Choi (JT's stupity is like an injury, right?), Valentin, Bradley, Werth, Ledee, Bako, Penny, Alvarez, Gagne, Perez. Hell, if I knew that, I'd be pretty pleased.

And put it this way, it's CAN'T get worse.

2005-06-27 03:26:41
7.   Kilgore Trout
I certainly hope they're going to turn this around but how sure can we be that "it can't get worse"?

Dodgers' runs scored per game, broken into 20 game segments (last is for 15 games):

5.5, 4.8, 4.3, 2.5...

We haven't hit zero yet...

On the plus side, Dodger' runs given up per game, broken into 20 game segments (last is for 15 games):

4.4, 4.9, 4.8, 4.2...

2005-06-27 06:22:23
8.   Fearing Blue
#4: As have I. It was a lot of fun listening to the team that holds the future of the franchise. Here's the Jacksonville game schedule for the week in PST, for all of those who may be interested in listening in:

Monday - @ Huntsville (5:05 PST)
Tuesday - @ Huntsville (5:05 PST)
Wednesday - OFF
Thursdsay - Carolina (4:05 PST)
Friday - Carolina (4:35 PST)
Saturday - Carolina (4:35 PST)
Sunday - Carolina (4:35 PST)

All of the games are broadcast off of their website, Jon, if the mock-game is too much work for Thursday, I would be excited to do a Jacksonville chat.

2005-06-27 06:32:56
9.   Fearing Blue
I love Paul Byrd's quote regarding our lineup yesterday:

"The lineup out there, I wasn't, uh, too familiar with," said Byrd, who gave up four hits in seven innings. "They're a little banged up, but the guys they had were scrappy."

2005-06-27 06:53:07
10.   Steve
He said "crappy," but they misquoted him. Damn media.

My rages are not induced by illegal substances!

2005-06-27 07:53:44
11.   Ben P
I am definitely a Choi fan, and I share the same frustation most Dodger Thoughts readers have with the way Tracy is using him.

With that said, I'm starting to run out of patience with Hee Seop. At some point we -- and he -- need to stop blaming insufficient playing time for his troubles. In the last month he is 12-75 with 18 strikeouts and just five walks. Of those 12 hits, 7 were the home runs he hit June 10-14, and the rest were singles. Before that home run barrage, he had not hit a dinger in a month, and he hasn't hit one since one since the barrage ended. And to top it off, he has not hit a double since May 11.

Choi is not hitting for power or even making decent contact. He is not hitting the ball the other way and he is not being patient at the plate. I'd like to think that this is all Tracy's fault for not using him, or Wallach's fault for messing with his swing, but the bottom line is that Choi needs to be mentally tougher, and he needs to stop changing his approach at the plate every couple of weeks. Lots of major leaguers get unfairly criticized, and lots of them are used improperly by their managers. Choi is not a rookie, and he's not a child. A lot of this is his fault, and he needs to fix it himself.

2005-06-27 08:13:22
12.   db1022
BlueThinkTank offers up an analysis of 3B that could be available, and concludes that Morgan Ensberg and Joe Randa are best of the bunch. Fortunately both teams are out of even the wild card hunt, so "delusions of grandeur" shouldn't be an issue.

Joe Randa is intriguing in that we see Cincinnatti come up as a potential trade partner again. A package of prospects that fetches Dunn, Randa, and Harang could probably be agreed upon...

2005-06-27 08:28:48
13.   LAT
#6 *In a sense, the "real" Dodgers aren't THIS bad. In the current roster's defense, they've been playing poorly, but had to deal with:

- No Bradley
- No Valentin
- No Drew, at least of late
- Choi barely playing, for some unexplained reason
- Werth coming back slowly from his injury*

Bradley being out this long over a freak finger injury is unexpected. The rest is the GM's fault. Valentine was never the answer. He might help a little with the current team but he was never a season long viable 3rd baseman from an offensive or defensive perspective. At best Depo thought he could get away with a marginal player at 3rd. He was wrong.

No Drew. That was not hard to predict. Everyone knew it before he was signed to his ridiculous contract. Its just that he went down when we needed him most. Not a surprise if you listen to those who have played with him before.

Choi. So much has been said that I will limit it to these two things. There is a difference between being good and being good value. But whatever the case may be if Depo is unsatisfied with Choi's playing time or role, he certainly has the power to fix it.

Werth coming back from slowly from his injury. Werth was injured on the first day of spring training. His slow rehab was known for the next month before the season started. Again this was no surprise.

As Jon says we are not this bad at full strength but much of what has occurred has been predictable and seems like nobody made adequate contingency plans. These problems are plainly miscalculations by the GM.

2005-06-27 08:40:50
14.   scareduck
13: I'm beginning to wonder about DePo's abilities as a GM, though. Bradley had the "fragile" tag on him back in Cleveland, something DePo surely had to know about before he got him. Drew we also knew was an injury risk (though his injuries this year were unforeseeable). Penny was an injury risk. Even, to some degree, OP was an injury risk before he was re-signed. Werth had injury problems with the Toronto organization.

In other words -- I think LAT is right, but at the same time, I have no room to complain as I said nothing when these moves went down.

2005-06-27 08:48:12
15.   Monterey Chris
The line "Choi barely playing, for some unexplained reason" can be read in two different ways...the first dings Tracy for not playing him enough...the second dings Choi for barely playing even when he is in the lineup.
2005-06-27 08:52:57
16.   Howard Fox
Maybe I see things through rose colored glasses, but I still don't believe the Dodgers are this bad.

I knew the starters would be good over the long haul (Erickson notwithstanding), the bullpen is good (great with Gagne, good without), the starting lineup is good when healthy.

The problem is depth. Those in the minors are not yet ready, but are forced into action because we have a black hole called the bench.

This I attribute to DePodesta's inexperience as a GM. He has done well to bring down payroll, assemble a lineup that on paper, at least, has the makings of being good, put together good starters, and furthered the effort to strengthen the farm system. But while doing all this, he failed to keep role and bit players who could fill in short term through the rash of injuries.

Or maybe losing almost the entire lineup and half the pitching staff is just too much for any team to bear.

On the other hand, wait, there is no other hand...

2005-06-27 09:00:34
17.   stubbs
11,13, 14.

Could not agree with some of the comments more.

Depo constructed a team full of question marks. bradley and drew have each only played 140 games once. scott erickson? jose valentin? paul bako? these are guys he was banking on.

Choi-I hate the fact that he changes his batting approcach, what seems like every week. The OBA is down to .316 and the bulk of his production came one weekend against a team full of strike throwing soft-tossing righties and the epic blast against old man mulholland. If he is so cheap, young and talented, why did two teams give up on him before he was 25 yrs old. do they know something (and tracy) that we will all find out?

2005-06-27 09:16:03
18.   Jon Weisman
Stubbs - I don't think trading Choi for Derrek Lee or Lo Duca/Encarnacion/Mota can be called as giving up on him. Honestly. The fact that it took Choi to get Lee - even pre-2005 explosion - speaks volumes for how people felt about Choi.

Also, is Brad Radke a soft-tosser?

Beyond that, I think there is some common ground here between DePodesta's supporters and detractors. I think a lot of people on both sides would be pleased if DePodesta factored injury history into his plans a bit more.

That being said, not all the injuries were forseeable and every team gets them. DePodesta could do better but no one can fully plan to avoid the amount of injuries the Dodgers have had.

I think Antonio Perez and Ricky Ledee are examples of DePodesta having a contingency plan in place. But the injuries have just gone beyond that.

I mostly agree with Howard's comment in #16.

2005-06-27 09:21:35
19.   popup
There is an old axiom in baseball---- you are never as good as you look when you are winning and never as bad as you look when you are losing. Another axiom is pertinent as well--- you are going to win 60 games and lose 60 gemes; it is what you do in the other 42 that counts. The Dodgers have lost some of those 42 games, but I don't recall too many games this year that they have kicked away. This team has a chance. The Padres are not exactly the reincarnation of the Big Red Machine.

Stan in Tacoma

2005-06-27 09:26:38
20.   stubbs
Found this on some Cub site. Note how Choi had some similar things occur in his season in Chicago: a collision, the chants of hee-seop and platooning with a slow footed righty.

jon-he has been exchanged for talented guys...u think depo would trade him this year or next?

2005-06-27 09:27:20
21.   jasonungar05
maybe its just my view on things, but it sure seems like there are alot of dodger fans who are also anti-depo. Or pro Depo.

I just don't seem to recall this much my side vs your side when evans was the GM or anyone else before him.

I shutter to imagine what our 2003 or 2001 or 1999 Dodger record would be right now if those teams had the same amount of injuries.

2005-06-27 09:27:32
22.   MSarg29
11 - Ben P - I agree with many of your thoughts about Choi. Many know I'm not a believer of his and I think your comments about production are valid. The constant complaining about his usage seems to absolve Choi of any responsibility when he doesn't produce.

About Radke, he doesn't get people out with his velocity which is generally in the 88-90 range. He also gives up a good amount of homers since he pitches to contact.

This year he has already given up 20 hrs, last yr he gave up 23 and in 03 he gave up 32 home runs.

2005-06-27 09:31:19
23.   dzzrtRatt
Jon, not only are you a superb nun, you are a great writer. You manage to make a 100-year-old craft, writing about baseball's miseries, seem fresh. All I can come up with are comments worthy of Bill Russell, if not Jim Tracy:

"Injuries are part of the game." -- The posts above declaring the alleged fragility of Werth, Drew and Bradley and thus their inferiority forget that it's the 162-game player who stands out. Baseball is a game that mommy-oriented states and cities (Los Angeles and California especially) would have banned if it was invented today. The ball is hard, the protective gear woefully insufficient, the turf and dirt areas seldom up to code. Not to mention the stress and exhaustion, with little time to recover. It's thought that football is a more rugged game, but those players are pampered compared with baseballers. A whole week off between games! Padding from head to toe, safety-tested on dogs and chimps.

"There no substitute for experience." The Dodgers are a young team. Other than Kent and Drew (and Valentin), most of our starting eight were kids. Choi, Phillips and Werth, even Izturis and Bradley for that matter, are yet to reach their prime, and will have periods of flailing ineptitude as they try to adapt to the hardball competitiveness of the majors. Never been a coach, but I've been a boss--give me a guy with the goofy enthusiasm and passion of a Hee Seop Choi, or the raging pride and intensity of Milton Bradley, or the steady, incremental maturing of Cesar Izturis and Jayson Werth -- give them enough time, and they'll get out of their own way, and excel. Tracy, you could say, has failed so far with Choi, but not with Bradley, Izturis and Werth. He's got to get some of the credit for molding those guys into solid players.

"The luck evens out." Regression to the mean is the ruling force in the universe. Note that Phil Nevin is going back on the DL; Dave Roberts is cooling down; Jake Peavey has become a little less intimidating as the season's worn on. The Padres could've run away with it, but did not do so, and I predict they're going to regret blowing their chance.

2005-06-27 09:31:55
24.   stubbs
22-you beat me to the punch. The Twins staff is notorious for throwing strikes and giving up HR's. Radke, Silva esp.
2005-06-27 09:33:02
25.   Jon Weisman
20 - I don't know what DePo will do with Choi after this season. No idea.

21 - I would say there have been plenty of wars about every Dodger general manager, particularly Evans, but also Claire, Campanis, and so on back into the night. Perhaps only Kevin Malone elicited a relatively unanimous reaction (negative).

2005-06-27 09:35:10
26.   Steve
Well, Plaschke liked Kevin Malone, but other than him...
2005-06-27 09:35:40
27.   Howard Fox
20,25 - it just might come down to a decision by DePo after of the season of something resembling Tracy or Choi

my vote in that case would be neither

2005-06-27 09:35:48
28.   db1022
#17 - "against a team full of strike throwing soft-tossing righties" -

Those pitchers seem to be doing something right. Why can't the rest of the league hit them the way Choi did?

And, strike against Tracy with that point, as he decided to sit Choi against Brian Lawrence, one of those "soft-tossing strike throwers".

2005-06-27 09:37:45
29.   Steve
28 -- yeah, those rotten Twins pitchers. Glad we're not stuck with them.
2005-06-27 09:38:01
30.   Howard Fox
28-yes, but Choi has a history of hitting poorly against pitchers older than he is who pitch for teams further to the south than his team, whose names begin with 2 consonants
2005-06-27 09:40:05
31.   Steve
30 -- (chuckle) -- he's 1-9 with an HBP against pitchers in that category. Very significant.
2005-06-27 09:42:29
32.   Monterey Chris
DePo will not pick a .233 lifetime hitter over Tracy.

I don't think it is an after-season question. Choi is probably on the radar for a July deal.

2005-06-27 09:45:23
33.   Howard Fox
32-is that why they have been showcasing him of late?
2005-06-27 09:47:01
34.   db1022
#32 - The only guy that will see value in Choi is Beane. They've got an awful lot of Choi-types waiting to play though (Johnson, Barton). Choi is ours until we decided not to re-sign him.

And Tracy is sooo gone in the offseason. Only a Houston-like run for the playoffs can save him (and it can't be helped by a Depo move - its got to be all Tracy-instilled heart, baby!).

2005-06-27 09:49:05
35.   Steve
The "Fire Jim Tracy Mob" demands human flesh!

Or at least a one-way ticket to the Reds. Not much difference.

2005-06-27 09:55:50
36.   Monterey Chris
Yeah, right. I went over to the "Fire Jim Tracy" website. Most posts get 0 comments...a few get up to 4 (if politics is the topic, many more comments than that). The Fire Jim Tracy "mob" is looking a little bit like a small recovery group.
2005-06-27 09:57:36
37.   Vishal
36. yeah, that's the joke. there was a recent newspaper article referring to the "fire jim tracy mob", which is funny considering it's mostly just steve and a few recent converts.
2005-06-27 09:58:15
38.   Steve
Our irony meters are not on today.
2005-06-27 10:00:21
39.   JJoeScott
The issue IMO is that we've a lineup of other team's minor league castoffs or major league rejects, a cagey veteran in Kent, and Izturis. These guys have some talent, sure, but the flaws outweigh the benefits on the whole. Would a trade help at this point? It wouldn't hurt, but we'd give up minor leagues (which is fine) ... for what? A stopgap third baseman?

What we need is Sheffield or Manny or anyone that strikes some fear into opposing foes.

Plus, we need a 3B.

Plus, we need a #2 OF (we have a roster full of 3rd and 4th OF'ers, if you count Drew as a #1 guy.)

Plus, we need a catcher who can throw better than Todd Hundley.

Maybe those guys are in Jacksonville, I don't know. But the guys who are in Los Angeles, injured ones included, just don't fill the holes we have.

In my opinion, of course.


2005-06-27 10:00:33
40.   fanerman91
I don't think that it's that DePo didn't factor in the injury risk of some players. I think it's just that he didn't think we'd have so many injuries at once.

Regarding the fielding of this 2005 team, I get the feeling that he really didn't build it to contend. I don't think his plan for 2005 (and 2004 as well) really was to build a good team, but rather to build a "good enough" team until the prospects were ready.

Any holes the team has had (3B, SP, OF depth, C) were filled with one goal... get as decent a player possible without sacrificing the future.

I don't think DePo's ready to throw this season in the tank, but if it comes down to it, he may not do too much because he may not be willing to mortgage the future (take on contracts, trade too many prospects, etc.)

I just hope the future means next season and not 2007.

Of course I could be seeing through rose colored glasses.

2005-06-27 10:03:03
41.   Howard Fox
39-I'm sure the Red Sox will take Choi for Manny, and the Yankees Ledee for Sheffield

wait, they already had Ledee, well then maybe Repko

what other world crises can I solve for you now?

2005-06-27 10:03:27
42.   Jon Weisman
There's an update above linking to a post by Rich Lederer at Baseball Analysts.
2005-06-27 10:05:44
43.   stubbs
The Choi support on this site is heartwarming yet a bit strange. Choi has provided power, but without any consistency (not tracy's fault, choi has always been a part time not just in LA). That being said, we need a huge homestand from the big guy until Drew and Saenz are back.

If it comes down to a Tracy-Choi choice, I think McCourt-Depodesta go with Tracy for the mere fact he makes 200,000 more. Tracy holds the fort until 2007, when we all agree is our best chance to win. At that point his contract is up and Depo can create some sort of contract squabble to set up bringing in his own guy.

How painful is it to watch Vlad play knowing we had him signed?

2005-06-27 10:06:30
44.   db1022
#40 - We have a lot of prospects. Many of them play the same position (or at least project to). We also need to start clearing some room on the 40 man for them too, so trading some of them could be perceived as building for the future. The right kind of trade can help you now, and in the future, without mortgaging the team.

Say what you want about Depodesta, but he's not Omar Minaya, Jim Bowden, Steve Phillips, Kevin Malone, et al. His moves might not work out short term (see this year) but he's shown the ability to make over the roster without long term financial sacrifices (except Drew).

2005-06-27 10:06:58
45.   Steve
Lots of silly media nonsense this week. The cocoon is closing again. Even obscure, unread websites aren't safe.
2005-06-27 10:07:17
46.   Howard Fox
43-we had Vlad signed? wow!
2005-06-27 10:07:39
47.   Jon Weisman
43 - re: Vlad - For me, it's perhaps the most painful aspect of any of the stuff we discuss.
2005-06-27 10:09:07
48.   Steve
43, 46, 47 -- But we can get Preston Wilson!
2005-06-27 10:10:01
49.   Howard Fox
re: Vlad

could have been more the fact that MLB put the clamps on the Dodgers until they got around to approving the sale of the team, which may or may not have been a deliberate thing...I for one do not put that non-signing on McCourt or DePodesta

hey, I'll blame Tracy for it!

2005-06-27 10:10:36
50.   stubbs
Not to throw salt in our wounds, but he is the type of player that can carry you as the injuries mount. Last years team with Beltre and Vlad...that deserves a wow!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-06-27 10:11:13
51.   Howard Fox
50-well thank you...

oh, you didn't mean I deserve a wow??

2005-06-27 10:12:06
52.   fanerman91
Yeah I should have added to that one.

It was mostly in regard to the roster we have now, and the ability to make trades in the off-season.

As the trade deadline looms, we can in theory get the players that will help us now and in the future (like how the Lo Duca was supposed to work, though it kinda did). Up until then, people aren't willing to deal, like Jon said.

I mean to say, DePo did what he could for this team during the off-season (where a lot more teams have hope to win in 2005) and I don't think we'd have a better roster right now without screwing ourselves in the future. However, if there are more dealers near the trade deadline, I hope and expect DePo to be able to make a deal that will help us now and later.

2005-06-27 10:13:23
53.   stubbs
I just like to save my wow! for big things. Having Vlad on the squad,winning divisions, beating tim stauffer.
2005-06-27 10:14:38
54.   db1022
The difference between LAA and LAD, between Scioscia and Tracy, between bunt-and-run and wait-and-walk, 1st place and 3rd place, which team really is "LA Baseball", "Small Ball" and "Moneyball" is the fact that they have Vlad and we don't.

Case closed.

2005-06-27 10:16:10
55.   Colorado Blue
I have been out-of-touch with DT for a few days. I did see parts of all 3 games this weekend... it is difficult to watch so many golden opportunities go down the drain. However, the season is not yet half over and if the Dodgers have to keep going with a AAA lineup; hey, they may just start to ball some ball! I'm not ready to throw in the towel AT ALL on this season.

Nice work on the trade analysis Jon. I hadn't looked at it in the current environment and you shed some good light.

2005-06-27 10:17:00
56.   Howard Fox
54-case closed? never new baseball was so simple
2005-06-27 10:17:25
57.   Steve
54 -- well there's that and they have the best staff in the Major Leagues.
2005-06-27 10:18:21
58.   MSarg29
The Vlad debacle still makes me sick. I have some very unhealthy thoughts about Bud Selig because of it. It makes one of my coworkers who is a Brewers fan happy and a little scared.
2005-06-27 10:18:43
59.   Jon Weisman
Team walks-per-game in June:

2.92 Dodgers
3.05 Angels

2005-06-27 10:23:09
60.   Steve
59 -- This requires further explanation.
2005-06-27 10:24:54
61.   JJoeScott
On the one hand, Vlad IS that guy you have to pitch around. We don't have anyone like that. Even Beltre last year -- they kept right on pitching to him in September.

On the other hand, the Angels still have Garret Anderson and Bengie Molina ...

2005-06-27 10:27:46
62.   Howard Fox
the Angels have a lineup of clutch veteran players, we are AAA

The Angels won the World Series with basically this team, minus Vlad, 3 years ago

we made the playoffs last year, barely

Vlad would be of no help to us currently, sorry to say

2005-06-27 10:28:55
63.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
Another note on BELTRE:

The team trainer and doctor of the Mariners are thinking about reinserting the bone spurs back into Beltre's left ankle.

They said this should help him stay back on the ball. Beltre is considering the operation.

This is not a joke.

2005-06-27 10:29:24
64.   Jon Weisman
59 - In case it isn't clear to others ... The Dodgers are getting grief for having a walk-based element to their philosophy. The Angels are getting praise for their go-go style. Meanwhile, no one seems to looked beyond the hype to see what's really happening. The Dodgers aren't hurting because their philosophy is wrong. They're hurting because they're not executing their philosophy. They're walking less than a team that isn't trying to walk.
2005-06-27 10:29:39
65.   natepurcell
ken rosenthal has an article up saying burnett might be dealt to the Orioles for haydenn penn, jorge julio and larry bigbie if they take encarnacion as well.

so what im thinking is, outside of burnett, is jeff weaver the next best pitcher available?

if so, and that burnett deal falls through, depo should see if he can dump weaver on them for haydenn penn, john maine and bigbie.. they dont want to take encarnacion in the deal.

2005-06-27 10:31:06
66.   Howard Fox
and to add to that, Beltre said he is barely able to feed his family on the salary he is currently getting, how could he have survived on the pittance the Dodgers offered...
2005-06-27 10:32:29
67.   Steve
59 -- oh, of course. I thought you were talking about the pitching staffs!
2005-06-27 10:38:01
68.   heato
One more area to credit Depo...

How would everyone feel if we had Mr. Reversion to the Mean at third right now while LaRoche was tearing it up in the minors?

2005-06-27 10:41:45
69.   Ben P
Re #59, it's true that LAD and LAA have been walking at almost the same rate. Unfortunately, that's where the offensive similarities end. In June:

Dodgers -- .241/.307/.393
Angels -- .311/.365/.456

Also, it doesn't really make sense for anyone to criticize the Dodgers for their "wait and walk" philosophy, since we really haven't been walking that much. In June, we're 14th in the majors in walks. Not bad, but not great.

2005-06-27 10:42:42
70.   JJoeScott
Re: #62. I started running the teams in my head position by position. I had a tough time finding a spot where we are better ...

1B - Erstad vs. Choi. Heart vs. Hope. I think you've got to take Erstad (but at a reduced salary).

2B - Kennedy vs. Kent. Hall of Famer vs. The Guy Traded for Jim Edmonds. Gotta take Kent, of course, but whither intangibles.

SS - Izzy vs. Cabrera. Pick 'em.

3B - McPherson vs. ???. If ??? is Guzman, then it's a pick 'em. But right now, edge to Scioscia's platooning of McPherson with Figgins/Izzy/etc.

LF - Anderson vs. Werth. Not even close.

CF - Finley vs. Bradley. Bradley here, for the short- and long-term.

RF - Vlad vs. Drew. No comment needed.

SP - Colon/Lackey/Washburn/Byrd/Santana vs. Lowe/Weaver/Penny/Perez/Dessens. I guess a bleeding-blue Dodgers fan could make a case for a pick 'em here, but it would be hard to argue against LAA on this one. As I see it, we have the "other" Weaver.

RP - Even with a healthy Gagne, Shields/Donnelly win this one.

It's little wonder that Moreno is going for the jugular in attempting to take over "Los Angeles." I just wish McCourt/DePo would respond with some on-the-field moves, rather than just having Charley Steiner call the Angels "Anaheim" all weekend.

2005-06-27 10:44:59
71.   Jon Weisman
69 - That was my point.
2005-06-27 10:47:31
72.   Steve
Oh man. Izturis just got a pick 'em with Cabrera. And I agree with it...


2005-06-27 10:50:20
73.   JJoeScott
#72 - To be fair, the pick 'em is notwithstanding Cabrera's ridiculous salary.
2005-06-27 10:50:54
74.   natepurcell
hypothetically, what could cesar fetch on the trade market?
2005-06-27 10:51:04
75.   natepurcell
hypothetically, what could cesar fetch on the trade market?
2005-06-27 10:52:33
76.   Steve
73 -- I do rather prefer desperate mediocrity at half the cost.

My own hope is that Guzman can stay at SS, with LaRoche a huggin' third.

2005-06-27 10:54:05
77.   natepurcell
if derek jeter can be a GG SS, i think guzman can stay at SS and be effective.

besides, his bat as a SS is just so valuable.

2005-06-27 10:55:50
78.   mcrawford
Werth's OBP and SLG are about the same as Anderson's. Werth is a much better fielder. Anderson hits for a higher batting average, that's about it. Werth (252/328/441), Anderson (312/333/461).

I'd say that's a pick-em, but of course Anderson has that "veteran tough-player magick".

2005-06-27 10:59:47
79.   Howard Fox
78-you are saying Werth is as good as Anderson?
2005-06-27 11:00:07
80.   alnyden
Great comments as always, Jon.

For me, one of the most frustrating elements of this season is that we won't have any satisfying resolution to the great Depodesta debate. How can we, with half of his team not playing? When we look at the win-loss record at the end of the season, it won't be so much of a reflection of his moves since and incuding LaDuca, but how many players went on the DL for how much time. In general I think you can't blame injuries, but in this extreme case, you can't overlook it.

In some ways, I almost feel like, why even analyze the team's performance, why ask if they are better than their record, why try to figure out what they are doing wrong, and how can we expect them to perform without Gange, without Bradley, without Perez, Alverez, and with Werth, Penny and now Drew missing large chunks of the season?

Love him or hate him Paul D. took a division winning team and almost completely dismantled it. In some says the most interesting question waiting to play out this season was -- would he be redemed or vilified for doing it. I know with all the debate on both sides, I was hoping for some closure on the question. Unfortunately, we may not get an answer for a long time to come.

2005-06-27 11:01:44
81.   stubbs
78-When people are starting to say Werth and Garrett Anderson are a pick em, it may be time to take a deep breath with the stats and just go on observation.
2005-06-27 11:05:03
82.   Howard Fox
80-you kind of have to give a GM a few years to see if his philosophy pans out

if it does, great

if it doesn't, you suffer for a while after that

he hasn't had his few years yet

2005-06-27 11:10:18
83.   Jon Weisman
"78-When people are starting to say Werth and Garrett Anderson are a pick em, it may be time to take a deep breath with the stats and just go on observation."

I actually like Garret Anderson - I'm frankly biased toward him, for reasons I've mentioned on this site before.

But what does "go on observation" mean? You're taking stats off the table - so what is it you're observing?

Or are you really debating which stats should be observed?

2005-06-27 11:12:46
84.   fanerman91
I've seen several bloggers speculate that "Garret Anderson is so overrated that he's underrated." I've taken a liking to him as well but for no real reason.
2005-06-27 11:13:19
85.   the OZ
81 -

Not that I necessarily agree Werth is the better player, but as long as we're "going on observation" Werth hit 3 HRs, while Anderson had 4 hits and 1 HR in the recent series. So who do we decide is 'better' based on that observation?

That's why relying on selective observation can be dangerous.

2005-06-27 11:14:17
86.   Steve
83 -- Yeah, when you're "observing" people, aren't you just observing people making stats?
2005-06-27 11:15:25
87.   Fearing Blue
Relevant to this topic, here is the updated NL West injury impact assessment (ignoring the Rockies). I used WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player) instead of VORP, since WARP takes into account defensive contributions. The format is (Expected Games Missed) * (WARP-rate / game) = (Total WARP Lossed). I also calculated the daily WARP loss for players still on the DL, to see how the current DL situation is affecting each team. The Dodgers are first in total WARP lost as well as daily WARP lost, though the Padres are currently being hit pretty hard by their DL situation as well.

Brad Penny: 3 * 0.156 = 0.468 Total; 0 Daily
Odalis Perez: 8 * 0.142 = 1.136 Total; 0.031 Daily
Eric Gagne: 21 * 0.055 = 1.155 Total; 0.025 Daily
Wilson Alvarez: 20 * 0.052 = 1.04 Total; 0.021 Daily
Elmer Dessens: 8 * 0.098 = 0.784 Total; 0 Daily
Darren Dreifort: 0 * 0 = 0 Total; 0 Daily
Dodgers Pitchers = 4.583 Total; 0.077 Daily
Milton Bradley: 27 * 0.055 = 1.485 Total; 0.055 Daily
Jose Valentin: 36 * 0.033 = 1.188 Total; 0.025 Daily
Jayson Werth: 39 * 0.043 = 1.677 Total; 0 Daily
Antonio Perez: 18 * 0.044 = 0.792 Total; 0 Daily
Ricky Ledee: 8 * 0.025 = 0.2 Total; 0.01 Daily
Jason Grabowski: 5 * 0.01 = 0.05 Total; 0 Daily
Paul Bako: 8 * 0.028 = 0.224 Total; 0.008 Daily
Dodgers Hitters = 5.616 Total; 0.098 Daily
Dodgers Total = 10.199 Total; 0.175 Daily

Woody Williams: 6 * 0.152 = 0.912 Total; 0 Daily
Adam Eaton: 2 * 0.144 = 0.288 Total; 0.032 Daily
Tim Redding: 6 * 0.07 = 0.42 Total; 0 Daily
Padres Pitchers = 1.62 Total; 0.032 Daily
Mark Loretta: 33 * 0.054 = 1.782 Total; 0.051 Daily
Ramon Hernandez: 9 * 0.038 = 0.342 Total; 0.036 Daily
Khalil Greene: 19 * 0.031 = 0.589 Total; 0 Daily
Phil Nevin: 6 * 0.026 = 0.156 Total; 0.025 Daily
Dave Roberts: 10 * 0.04 = 0.4 Total; 0 Daily
Geoff Blum: 6 * 0.021 = 0.126 Total; 0 Daily
Eric Young: 25 * 0.007 = 0.175 Total; 0.002 Daily
Freddy Guzman: 7 * 0.033 = 0.231 Total; 0.003 Daily
Padres Hitters = 3.801 Total; 0.117 Daily
Padres Total = 5.421 Total; 0.149 Daily

Brandon Lyon: 18 * 0.036 = 0.648 Total; 0.016 Daily
Greg Aquino: 27 * 0.015 = 0.405 Total; 0 Daily
Jose Valverde: 11 * 0.033 = 0.363 Total; 0 Daily
Oscar Villarreal: 21 * 0.032 = 0.672 Total; 0.01 Daily
Russ Ortiz: 2 * 0.099 = 0.198 Total; 0.022 Daily
D-Backs Pitchers = 2.286 Total; 0.048 Daily
Jose Cruz Jr.: 22 * 0.028 = 0.616 Total; 0 Daily
Luis Terrero: 9 * 0.016 = 0.144 Total; 0.009 Daily
Jerry Gill: 7 * 0 = 0 Total; 0 Daily
D-Backs Hitters = 0.76 Total; 0.009 Daily
D-Backs Total = 3.046 Total; 0.057 Daily

Jason Schmidt: 3 * 0.163 = 0.489 Total; 0 Daily
Armando Benitez: 24 * 0.038 = 0.912 Total; 0.017 Daily
LaTroy Hawkins: 4 * 0.03 = 0.12 Total; 0.014 Daily
Al Levine: 5 * 0.007 = 0.035 Total; 0 Daily
Giants Pitchers = 1.556 Total; 0.031 Daily
Barry Bonds: 66 * 0.103 = 6.798 Total; 0.093 Daily
Moises Alou: 12 * 0.038 = 0.456 Total; 0 Daily
Edgardo Alfonzo: 12 * 0.026 = 0.312 Total; 0.025 Daily
Marquis Grissom: 20 * 0.015 = 0.3 Total; 0.011 Daily
Giants Hitters = 7.866 Total; 0.129 Daily
Giants Total = 9.422 Total; 0.16 Daily

2005-06-27 11:16:16
88.   regfairfield
78 - Two years ago, it would be ludicrous to compare Anderson to Werth. Since he got hurt, however, he has turned into every other player on the Angels, a slap hitter who doesn't walk.

A .313 average doesn't help your team all that much when you combine it with a .333 OBP. Observations are what tell you that Alex Cora is better than Jeff Kent. Statistics reveal what actually happened.

2005-06-27 11:16:43
89.   Fearing Blue
Werth - $340,000
Anderson - $9,000,000

If I was building a team from scratch, I'd rather have Werth.

2005-06-27 11:19:10
90.   Colorado Blue
Garret Anderson is 33, Werth only 26
GA makes +6.2 Mil
JW makes +300 K

GA career .299 .329 .477
JW career .255 .329 .461

I'll take Werth for the long haul...

2005-06-27 11:19:32
91.   Howard Fox
Werth over Anderson? I can't believe any of you...
2005-06-27 11:19:46
92.   Steve
Observations are what tell you that Alex Cora is better than Jeff Kent.

Isn't that unreasonable biases and ideology that tell you that Alex Cora is better than Jeff Kent? It scares me that someone could watch Alex Cora and actually conclude he was better than Jeff Kent.

2005-06-27 11:20:04
93.   heato
If the Dodgers do indeed become sellers at the deadline, why not package Weaver with Phillips. Phillips is cheap this year, but he will reach arbitration next year. The Orioles could use both Weaver and Phillips since Javy Lopez has been hurt. When Lopez comes back, Phillips would be great as their backup catcher.

If the Dodgers do decide to go with Navarro next year, it would be great if he could get used to catching the staff before Spring Training. I wouldnt't be worried about starting his clock early because Martin is right behind him.

2005-06-27 11:21:37
94.   natepurcell
phillips is a good/cheap backup catcher. we should keep him.
2005-06-27 11:22:22
95.   regfairfield
92 - Don't you remember that one time that Alex Cora made that diving stop, then flipped the ball out of his glove to Izturis to turn the double play? Or how about that 18 pitch at bat, huh?
2005-06-27 11:22:57
96.   Fearing Blue
#87: I'd also like to point out that the Dodgers planned to start the season with four starter-quality outfielders (Drew, Bradley, Werth, and Ledee) and 6 starter-quality infielders (Kent, Izturis, Choi, Valentin, Perez, and Saenz). The infield depth has proven very valuable, but it seems 5 would have been a better number of starter-quality outfielders. It was optimistic, though not entirely unreasonable, to expect a good 5th outfielder to come from one of Jason Repko, Jason Grabowski, Cody Ross, or Mike Edwards. Unfortunately, none of them have stepped up thus far, and it doesn't look like they will any time soon.
2005-06-27 11:23:09
97.   Jon Weisman
Well, there are two different debates going on here - who's the better player, and who's the better bargain.

Seems safe to say that Werth is the better bargain. Who's the better player today? I think the point is only that it's closer than their reputations would lead one to believe.

2005-06-27 11:23:41
98.   Steve
Weaver and Phillips? Rosenthal says that the Blue Jays just turned down Ryan Howard for Ted Lilly.

Ted Lilly!

Who's Ted Lilly?

I think we're stuck with Weaver.

2005-06-27 11:24:13
99.   JJoeScott
#78 - I accept that DT readers are enamored with Choi (I disagree, but accept), but I don't understand why the love for Jayson Werth. It's like everyone accepts that Werth is our solid, everyday LF and I just don't see it.

Werth looks to be a nice 4th outfielder or good platoon partner, a solid roster part. I don't think he's a you construct a lineup around the way (right or wrong) that Scioscia does around Anderson.

2005-06-27 11:24:56
100.   fanerman91
Jon, you have a knack for explaining things I'd like to explain in a manner clearer than I could possibly come up with (this sentence being an example).
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-06-27 11:25:00
101.   natepurcell
jays still think they can win or something.
2005-06-27 11:25:20
102.   Colorado Blue
92 - I agree whole-heartedly! Observations are usually a combination of one's own perceptions and what the gang on BBTN (or Plashke) is spouting off as gospel!
2005-06-27 11:28:45
103.   Colorado Blue
95 - C'mon; 2 nice plays and Cora's the man?
97 - Again, observation would tend to tilt the scales in favor of Anderson. A bit of detachment and pragmatism might favor Werth. Age, Salary, and upswing DEFINITELY favor Werth.
2005-06-27 11:29:20
104.   Fearing Blue
#91: Howard, if you had to take contract considerations into account, who would you rather have on your team (salaries in millions)?

Anderson (age 33) - $9.0 (2005); $10.0 (2006); $11.0 (2007); $12.0 (2008); $3.0 (2009 buyout).

Werth (age 26) - $0.3 (2005); $0.4 (2006); Arbitration Eligible (2007 - 2009).

Information from Hardball Dollars.

2005-06-27 11:29:30
105.   JJoeScott
#96. Looking at it differently: I read the 10 starter-quality names you list, but see only four starter-quality guys (Drew, Bradley, Kent, Izzy.) (Ok, Maybe Werth, too, I suppose!) Which, I submit, is the heart of why we're below .500 now.
2005-06-27 11:29:31
106.   regfairfield
Were I an Angels fan, I'd be incredibly depressed that we'd waste a corner outfield slot, and the cleanup hitter, on a guy with a sub 800 OPS and eight home runs.

Again, Anderson has not been the .300, 30 home run, 100 RBI guy he was before he got hurt. We only have about a season and a half to base this on, so it could be an outlier, or GA's best days may be behind him.

2005-06-27 11:31:00
107.   regfairfield
103 - My terminal illness also got cured by watching Alex Cora.
2005-06-27 11:32:25
108.   Colorado Blue
107 - sorry... missed the humor the first time :)
2005-06-27 11:33:34
109.   Steve
I actually think "observations" themselves are pretty critical, and I would suspect that the most hardcore of Moneyballers (Billy himself) would agree. Re-read the part about Swisher. Remember, the "What's up with Chuck Finley's Old Lady" story. All Billy (and Lewis) talked about for several pages was Swisher's "makeup" all of which was derived by observation.

Even in our own situation, this can apply. Grabowski and Repko have combined for nine home runs (or one less than Shawn Green), but no one would seriously argue that either of them would hit. Because we've seen them.

I think sometimes people (yest, the BBTN group and Plaschke) only "see" that which they wish you to believe they saw.

With that said, I'll reserve judgment on Werth. Everything we've said about Werth over the last two weeks could be said about Repko in April, or Grabowski when he went on his home run (relative) binge.

2005-06-27 11:37:30
110.   fanerman91
I really hope this is Werth getting out of "Spring Training Mode" and not a "home run binge"... but only time will tell.
2005-06-27 11:38:03
111.   Mark
99- Don't be so quick to judge the DT readership. I am enamored with Choi about as much as I am enamored with West Nile. (Can you imagine the Ravine chants? "WEST... NILE... VIRUS! WEST... NILE... VIRUS!")
2005-06-27 11:39:25
112.   heato
94 -- Phillips would be a good backup catcher next season, but he would not be a cheap one. I would have a hard time paying someone $3 million to work twice a week. I think that he will make close to that after going through arbitration over the upcoming offseason. If Navarro is any good, why not spend the money somewhere else?

99 -- If the Orioles want a starter and get turned down in their attempt to get AJ Burnett, Weaver might start looking pretty good to them.

2005-06-27 11:40:51
113.   jasonungar05
#78 -

that was my point once. i'll take it further and use your own guy that you dislike (choi)

guess who is who: choi or werth. one is considered a starter and the other is considered an albatross

2004: .270/.388/.495/.882
2004: .262/.338/.486/.825

2005-06-27 11:41:02
114.   heato
whoops, I meant 98 not 99
2005-06-27 11:41:16
115.   fanerman91
We're all "enamored" with Choi because we're not very "enamored" with Mike Edwards and Jason Philips at 1B. With Choi, it's all because of a lack of a better option. Not necessarily because we think he's the savior. He gets a double standard that Izzy does not.
2005-06-27 11:42:38
116.   natepurcell
phillips wont make 3 mil in his first yr of arby. 1mil at the most.

i would trade weaver to the orioles.

2005-06-27 11:44:43
117.   Steve
Don't misunderstand. I would trade Weaver to anyone. I just don't understand why he would have any value.

Maybe the Phils will give us Ryan Howard.

2005-06-27 11:44:58
118.   jasonungar05
above comment was suppossed to be to Gretzky (99)..

not..hmm..who wears #78 in all of sports besides a O-lineman!

2005-06-27 11:46:21
119.   Colorado Blue
116 - Agreed... from what I've "observed", Weaver is a good pitcher with thin skin. As soon as the going gets a little tough he "appears" to succumb to various degrees.
2005-06-27 11:47:39
120.   natepurcell

howard isnt that good. he is only 1 yr younger than choi and his learning curve will be larger than choi because has had even less major league at bats.

i would see if we can get some pitching and outfield prospects for weaver.

2005-06-27 11:53:59
121.   Fearing Blue
#120: The only way I'd take Howard is if we could immediately spin him off. I'd rather have Gavin Floyd from the Phillies even though he has not had a good year thus far.
2005-06-27 11:56:43
122.   natepurcell
i agree. howard isnt someone i would keep.
2005-06-27 12:24:06
123.   Steve
Weaver's not that good.
2005-06-27 12:24:44
124.   Howard Fox
I can't believe there is still talk about Werth or Anderson, with a basic toss up prevailing over who you would rather have.

If you are playing for your team to win now (this season), you take Anderson. If you are planning for your team to win in the future (next season or beyond), you take Werth.

If the issue is who is the better player, right this minute, regardless of the team around him, and which direction the team may be heading right now, then the question is: game on the line, runners in scoring position, which would you rather have at bat?

2005-06-27 12:26:04
125.   Jon Weisman
Right, Howard. I don't understand why you're so surprised, since most people seem to agree with you.
2005-06-27 12:28:04
126.   Howard Fox
then I missed a few comments then, cause it seemed to me everyone tends to like Werth
2005-06-27 12:30:26
127.   Howard Fox
125-between this and my comments earlier...."today is my best day"
2005-06-27 12:34:10
128.   fanerman91
I agree 100%.
2005-06-27 12:46:33
129.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
Who had a better throwing arm at 2nd
Steve Sax or Chuck Knobloch????
2005-06-27 12:51:29
130.   Howard Fox
Sax could throw it further.
2005-06-27 12:52:44
131.   Colorado Blue
124 - I guess the bottomline is that I would not take Anderson over Werth now if the goal was take the division this year. I'm not sure Anderson is head-and-shoulders better than Werth right now that he would make the difference.

Of course, having both would be helpful.

2005-06-27 12:53:33
132.   Colorado Blue
130 - Sax could throw it further.

Which row in the stands did he hit?

2005-06-27 12:57:43
133.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
LOL-132 I remember a game at Dodger Stadium. I think it was 1985 or 86, Sax hit a lady in the head about 14 rows up and a little left of the dugout.

I was rolling, I still remember the dumbfound look on Saxy's face.

2005-06-27 13:02:53
134.   db1022
#132 - Yeah, but didn't Knoblauch hit Keith Olberman's mom in the stands once? When Olberman was the studio host for Fox in that game?

Let's see Sax do that.

2005-06-27 13:04:18
135.   db1022
#124 - How about this - I wouldn't want Anderson, but I want an OF good enough that Werth is my 4th guy.
2005-06-27 13:04:35
136.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
134-LOL, now that is hillarious.
2005-06-27 13:07:33
137.   fanerman91
Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap

Off topic, but do you really start every one of your posts with "Jockstrap?"

2005-06-27 13:08:27
138.   heato
I think that the Dodgers can get something good for Weaver. If they are to trade Weaver, however, Depo is better off acting sooner rather than later. The Giants are getting worse by the day, and regardless of what he is saying, Sabean must be thinking about trading Schmidt now that his value has increased with his past couple of starts.
2005-06-27 13:10:51
139.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
137- No the website brings the "jockstrap" down for some reason. Too long for one line.
2005-06-27 13:16:27
140.   Xeifrank
Was listening to sports radio this morning on the drive in to work. One of my least favorite sports radio personalities (are there any favorites?) was going to interview one of my least favorite LA Times sports writers, TJ Simers. The radio host was none other than Vic "The D&ck" Jacobs. Before the interview started he went off about DePodesta and how his computer couldn't measure heart, and this team didn't have any, and that DePodesta ruined the team with stupid trades and signings blah blah blah... Then Simers came on the air and Jacobs asked about Drew not playing hurt and how he should suck it up and play. Simers actually gave a good answer and said that when a man says he's too hurt to play, you have to take him for his word. Jacobs got upset and poked a few more digs at Drew and DePodesta. Simers basically told Jacobs he was wrong, and I found new respect for Simers. Not much, but I squeezed out what I could.
vr, Xei
2005-06-27 13:17:39
141.   db1022
#138 - Weaver is just another average pitcher that could be moved, same as Redman, Harang, Lilly, etc. Guys that could provide a push to the playoffs, but then would be relegated to the pen come October.

Schmidt is clearly a cut above the rest, and I think the Giants should try to move him for that reason.

It's unlikely that other 1st tier guys like Wood, Oswalt, or Clemens are going anywhere.

2005-06-27 13:53:41
142.   stubbs
Some Stuff:
-What about dealing Weaver for prospects and going after AJ Burnett (locking him for an extension).

Listening to sports radio today in the car. Some interesting things:

-John Ireland complaining about Drew not pinching hitting for Edwards.
-Tony Jackson from the Daily News saying Tracy will not be fired this year but doesnt think he will last long term due to his philosophical baseball differenes with DEPO.
Also Jackson said he did not think the Penny-Choi trade was a bad trade, but thought that trading Dave Roberts for vitually nothing was a bad move... as our lack of depth has hurt us this year.

2005-06-27 14:06:59
143.   heato
I may be wrong, but didn't Simers play a role in Malone getting fired? I thought that he wrote some story about Malone getting into an altercation with a fan in San Diego that helped lead to Malone's departure.
2005-06-27 14:07:35
144.   fanerman91
What's Kevin Malone up to these days anyway?
2005-06-27 14:09:42
145.   jasonungar05
The Orioles, a team in search of a No. 1 starter, could prove a match for the Marlins if they are willing to give up either righthander Daniel Cabrera or Hayden Penn, reliever Jorge Julio and outfielder Larry Bigbie, with the Marlins likely sending them outfielder Juan Encarnacion

is that Edwin, Werth, Brazo? (in comparison)

2005-06-27 14:12:32
146.   Colorado Blue
145 - If the Dodgers actually ever lead a game late, they'll need Ghame Over if they're serious about a run for the division.
2005-06-27 14:12:51
147.   the OZ
Malone is the Director of Fundrasing or something at The Masters College in Santa Clarita. I think.

I was at the game in SD when Malone got into it with a fan, but I didn't know about the incident until the next day when I read about it.

2005-06-27 14:19:49
148.   natepurcell
burnett is too much of an injury risk for me to give up a lot for or even sign him for big money long term.

sure he has electric stuff, his his elbow might explode (again) soon.

2005-06-27 14:20:45
149.   Howard Fox
I'd be okay parting with Brazoban in the right deal.

I like Duaner alot and think he has a bright future ahead of him.

2005-06-27 14:21:32
150.   the OZ
This is what it says in Malone's bio page at The Master's College web site:

"Kevin Malone retired in April of 2001 from his position as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and a 17-year career in professional baseball. Malone was responsible for the overall baseball operations of the club. His work focused on the restoration of the major league team, but he emphasized the rebuilding of the minor league system through scouting and player development."

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-06-27 14:22:19
151.   natepurcell
with broxton, kuo, alverez and some others in the jax dominant bullpen, brazoban could be dealt i guess.
2005-06-27 14:22:20
152.   Fearing Blue
#149: I very much agree with that Howard.

Additionally, the Dodgers are going to have a glut of potential bullpen arms next season, so I'd rather trade Brazoban while his value is highest.

2005-06-27 14:23:03
153.   Fearing Blue
#151/152: Beat me to the punch by exactly one second.
2005-06-27 14:23:31
154.   Steve
148 -- This is what I can't understand. We get all these lectures about DePo and people with injury histories, and then we start talking about giving big money to AJ Burnett.

149 -- I like Duaner a lot too. Duaner the Beloved.

2005-06-27 14:24:49
155.   Steve
150 -- My irony meter just exploded. I think I'm going to need a new one. No one say anything sarcastic for at least an hour and a half. Thanks.
2005-06-27 14:25:35
156.   natepurcell
i didnt like duaner until he developed that change up. that change up is beginning to be a damn good out pitch.

duaner the beloved indeed.

2005-06-27 14:25:48
157.   fanerman91
Wow. An irony meter. That sounds like a useful device.
2005-06-27 14:27:21
158.   Howard Fox
further, the way Mota flamed out, the Marlins need a set up man or closer now...maybe for Burnett???
2005-06-27 14:28:28
159.   Howard Fox
154-you don't understand the rationale...we are trying to put an entire starting lineup and rotation on the DL at the same time
2005-06-27 14:30:51
160.   Howard Fox
sort of like, our DL can beat your DL
2005-06-27 14:32:08
161.   Howard Fox
although JD isn't on the DL, he is only month to month
2005-06-27 14:33:49
162.   Fearing Blue
#145: I think your comparison is pretty accurate:

1) Penn is worth more than Jackson, since Penn has been pitching well.
2) Werth is worth a little more than Bigbie, since he has an extra year of arbitration and a higher upside.
3) Brazoban is worth more than Julio, since he has two extra years of arbitration and a higher upside.

2005-06-27 14:34:03
163.   Steve
158 -- That's just what the Marlins will want from us. The next Guillermo Mota.

159 -- Would it just kill fate to put one of Grabowski, Repko, or Ross on the DL? Just one of them. Leave Drew and Bradley alone and just once take one of those guys?

Bob compared them to the Redshirts on Star Trek, but it's not quite so. If the Dodgers were Star Trek, Kirk and Spock would have been killed in the first five minutes, and the red shirts would be running the ship.

2005-06-27 14:35:26
164.   Fearing Blue
#156: I think it's really cool that Gagne taught / is teaching Duaner the circle-change. It has certainly made him much more effective.
2005-06-27 14:36:19
165.   Howard Fox
163-and this season would be the episode "Spock's Brain"
2005-06-27 14:36:34
166.   Steve
I don't know. If we consult the conversion chart:

DePodesta has used "optimistic" to describe both Drew and Gagne. Will Carroll (this from over at 6-4-2) has ominous things to say about both. Month to month on Drew might be, shall we say, "optimistic"

2005-06-27 14:36:53
167.   Howard Fox
164-yes, they have been working on it together daily since Friday
2005-06-27 14:38:01
168.   Howard Fox
wasn't Polish Boy already on the DL?
2005-06-27 14:38:34
169.   Steve
167 -- Duaner with a change could be very effective. Duaner with that icky slider deserved his fate. But he's still young and developing on the go too. Wasn't he Pirate waiver fodder?
2005-06-27 14:39:25
170.   Steve
168 -- oh yeah! Grabowski on the DL and Grabowski off the DL are very similar, and I had forgotten.
2005-06-27 14:39:54
171.   fanerman91
When did Duaner start incorporating the "Vulcan Change?"
2005-06-27 14:40:15
172.   Steve
And of course, you also have to believe that Grabowski had an "injury" of some sort, which is I suppose possible.
2005-06-27 14:41:29
173.   Howard Fox
170-as they always say "never forget"
2005-06-27 14:42:01
174.   Howard Fox
171-when he shortened his pants
2005-06-27 14:42:24
175.   fanerman91
The logical next question.
When'd he shorten his pants?
2005-06-27 14:43:05
176.   Howard Fox
when MLB told him to
2005-06-27 14:43:39
177.   Howard Fox
about the same time Bob Watson told him he shouldn't wear his pants like a plumber
2005-06-27 14:44:36
178.   Howard Fox
with apologies to the plumbers amongst us
2005-06-27 14:52:07
179.   Steve
The Irony Meter repairman just came over.

He told me that Kevin Malone made him a millionaire.

2005-06-27 15:15:38
180.   Fearing Blue
I did an analysis of the top-50 free agents from last year (based on The goal was to see how DePodesta has stacked up.

I'm just going to post the summary, since a spreadsheet doesn't lend itself well to this formatting.

With regards to hitting, the average price other GMs paid per WARP (Win Above Replacement Player) so far is $2 million. Here are DePodesta's moves:

Jeff Kent: 4.5 WARP; $8.5 million salary; $.87 million / WARP
J.D. Drew: 3.7 WARP; $11 million salary; $1.38 million / WARP
Jose Valentin: .4 WARP; $3.5 million salary; $4.05 million / WARP
Total: 8.6 WARP; $23 million salary; $1.24 million / WARP

With regards to pitching, the average price other GMs paid per WARP so far is $2.11 million. Here are DePodesta's moves:

Derek Lowe: 2.0 WARP; $9.00 million salary; $2.08 million / WARP
Odalis Perez: .8 WARP; $8.00 million salary; $4.63 million / WARP
Total: 2.8 WARP; $17 million salaary; $2.81 million / WARP

Overall, the average price other GMs paid per WARP so far is $2.05 million. Here is DePodesta's summary:

Total: 11.4 WARP; $40 million salary; $1.62 million / WARP

Feel free to take this however you would like. If you'd like me to post the raw information (details on all 50 free agents), let me know.

2005-06-27 15:18:38
181.   Fearing Blue
#180: A couple comments on the method I used to determine WARP cost. First, I used the average annual salary over the course of the contract to avoid giving extra-credit for back-loaded contracts. Second, I prorated salary based on games played to determine salary to-date. WARP cost is equal to the salary to-date divided by the WARP.
2005-06-27 15:26:14
182.   fanerman91
How does that stack up against other GM's? I mean, did you bother with which GM's did better/worse?
2005-06-27 15:53:31
183.   Fearing Blue
Here are the overall results for each team sorted by the WARP costs:

1) STL: 1.4 WARP; $2.5 million salary; $0.83 million / WARP
2) CLE: 4.3 WARP; $10.35 million salary; $1.08 million / WARP
3) WAS: 3.9 WARP; $9.8 million salary; $1.16 million / WARP
4) PHI: 4.3 WARP; $11.6 million salary; $1.27 million / WARP
5) SFN: 5.6 WARP; $17.48 million salary; $1.43 million / WARP
6) FLA: 3.9 WARP; $13 million salary; $1.48 million / WARP
7) BOS: 9.6 WARP; $31.25 million salary; $1.49 million / WARP
8) HOU: 5.4 WARP; $18 million salary; $1.5 million / WARP
9) CHA: 2.7 WARP; $9.08 million salary; $1.54 million / WARP
10) LAA: 5.8 WARP; $19.75 million salary; $1.56 million / WARP
11) TEX: 1.4 WARP; $5 million salary; $1.61 million / WARP
12) LAD: 11.4 WARP; $40 million salary; $1.62 million / WARP
13) MIN: 2.1 WARP; $9 million salary; $1.93 million / WARP
14) CHN: 2.9 WARP; $13.25 million salary; $2.09 million / WARP
15) NYM: 7.9 WARP; $37.75 million salary; $2.21 million / WARP
16) ARI: 3.4 WARP; $16 million salary; $2.24 million / WARP
17) SEA: 4.3 WARP; $25.3 million salary; $2.69 million / WARP
18) BAL: 0.4 WARP; $2.75 million salary; $3.18 million / WARP
19) TOR: 0.5 WARP; $5.67 million salary; $5.32 million / WARP
20) NYY: 1.3 WARP; $18 million salary; $6.41 million / WARP
21) DET: 0.6 WARP; $21 million salary; $15.56 million / WARP
22) KAN: -0.7 WARP; $2.5 million salary
23) CIN: -1.3 WARP; $12.6 million salary

The Dodgers are in the middle of the pack, but are spending more this season on free agents signed in the offseason than any other team.

2005-06-27 16:01:33
184.   mcrawford
The Werth vs. Anderson debate has passed me by, but yes, I like Werth as much, or almost as much, as I do Anderson. The original post said that it was no contest, and I definitely disagree with that.

Last year, Werth was a more productive hitter than Anderson, because Werth has a lot more power. They got on base at the same rate, because Anderson doesn't walk. Werth is obviously much younger, and should still be improving, whereas Anderson is obviously on the downslope.

This year, their statistics are about the same again.

Werth is a much better fielder than Anderson.

So that leaves Anderson with a higher batting average, and that "veteran World Series experience magick." I'll take Werth's comparable production and superior defense for a fraction of the cost (to be clear, I think that if the cost were equal, it would be almost a toss-up -- certainly not no contest).

2005-06-27 16:02:05
185.   mcrawford
Oh, and that leaves Anderson with "aw, but just look at them, I know Anderson is better." Which isn't worth a whole lot in my book.
2005-06-27 16:11:23
186.   stubbs
185-the observation difference over the weekend in which Werth outplayed Anderson in the stats game, is that GA hit a two-rbi game winning double and werth struck out in both abs he had where the game was basically on the line. There is no doubt Werth is the better value at 9 million less and GA is the guy I'd rather have money aside.
2005-06-27 16:19:02
187.   Robert Fiore
I haven't checked this, but it seems to me that June would have been at least break-even if the Dodgers had won every game where they were tied or led in the late innings; some of those games turned into blowouts. This would indicate that a large problem is middle relief, and middle relief is easier to find than starting pitching.

I think the only thing you can potentially fault DePodesta on is assuming that Drew's injury-prone days were over, but even that's not proven yet; the problem with Drew is not that he gets injured but that he's having a sub-par year for him. I think the criticism of the team lacking "depth" is silly; how many teams can stand losing two-thirds of their outfield and having the other third hobbled by injury? The only way you have enough depth to overcome that is if your bench is composed of top-level prospects who are ready to step into full time jobs.

Didn't Perez and company fill in adequately for Valentin, at least offensively?

I think this year might be analogous to 1958, where the Dodgers had a terrible year, kept their nerve and didn't make huge changes over the off-season, and won the World Series the next year, though I think for these Dodgers championship pay may be two years away rather than one.

2005-06-27 16:26:06
188.   Fearing Blue
#187: Even though Drew is having a sub-par year, he is still a much better value than most other free agents we could have signed:

1) Omar Vizquel: 2.8 WARP; $3.68 million salary; $0.6 million / WARP
2) Placido Polanco: 3.5 WARP; $4.6 million salary; $0.62 million / WARP
3) Jeromy Burnitz: 3.1 WARP; $5 million salary; $0.74 million / WARP
4) Vinny Castilla: 1.9 WARP; $3.1 million salary; $0.76 million / WARP
5) Jeff Kent: 4.5 WARP; $8.5 million salary; $0.87 million / WARP
6) Tony Womack: 0.9 WARP; $2 million salary; $1.03 million / WARP
7) Moises Alou: 2.7 WARP; $6.63 million salary; $1.12 million / WARP
8) Jason Varitek: 3.9 WARP; $10.25 million salary; $1.2 million / WARP
9) Jermaine Dye: 1.9 WARP; $5.08 million salary; $1.22 million / WARP
10) J.D. Drew: 3.7 WARP; $11 million salary; $1.38 million / WARP
11) Orlando Cabrera: 2.4 WARP; $7.75 million salary; $1.48 million / WARP
12) Carlos Delgado: 3.9 WARP; $13 million salary; $1.48 million / WARP
13) Richard Hidalgo: 1.4 WARP; $5 million salary; $1.61 million / WARP
14) Troy Glaus: 2.2 WARP; $10.25 million salary; $2.21 million / WARP
15) Adrian Beltre: 2.2 WARP; $12.8 million salary; $2.66 million / WARP
16) Steve Finley: 1.2 WARP; $7 million salary; $2.66 million / WARP
17) Richie Sexson: 2.1 WARP; $12.5 million salary; $2.72 million / WARP
18) Jose Valentin: 0.4 WARP; $3.5 million salary; $4.05 million / WARP
19) Carlos Beltran: 1.9 WARP; $17 million salary; $4.14 million / WARP
20) Edgar Renteria: 1 WARP; $10 million salary; $4.57 million / WARP
21) Corey Koskie: 0.5 WARP; $5.67 million salary; $5.32 million / WARP
22) Christian Guzman: -0.4 WARP; $4.2 million salary
23) Magglio Ordonez: -0.2 WARP; $15 million salary
24) Nomar Garciaparra: -0.2 WARP; $8.25 million salary
25) Juan Gonzalez: 0 WARP; $0.6 million salary

2005-06-27 16:27:06
189.   Fearing Blue
I'll post the pitchers as well to complete the loop:

1) Esteban Loaiza: 2.4 WARP; $2.5 million salary; $0.48 million / WARP
2) Bob Wickman: 2.3 WARP; $2.75 million salary; $0.54 million / WARP
3) David Wells: 1.4 WARP; $2.5 million salary; $0.82 million / WARP
4) Matt Morris: 1.4 WARP; $2.5 million salary; $0.83 million / WARP
5) Paul Byrd: 2.2 WARP; $5 million salary; $1.04 million / WARP
6) Matt Clement: 3.3 WARP; $8.5 million salary; $1.18 million / WARP
7) Kris Benson: 2.3 WARP; $7.5 million salary; $1.51 million / WARP
8) Roger Clemens: 5.4 WARP; $18 million salary; $1.5 million / WARP
9) Kevin Millwood: 2 WARP; $7 million salary; $1.58 million / WARP
10) Pedro Martinez: 3.7 WARP; $13.25 million salary; $1.66 million / WARP
11) Brad Radke: 2.1 WARP; $9 million salary; $1.93 million / WARP
12) Derek Lowe: 2 WARP; $9 million salary; $2.08 million / WARP
13) Russ Ortiz: 1.2 WARP; $5.75 million salary; $2.28 million / WARP
14) Orlando Hernandez: 0.8 WARP; $4 million salary; $2.28 million / WARP
15) Steve Kline: 0.4 WARP; $2.75 million salary; $3.18 million / WARP
16) Troy Percival: 0.8 WARP; $6 million salary; $3.33 million / WARP
17) Jon Lieber: 0.8 WARP; $7 million salary; $4.1 million / WARP
18) Odalis Perez: 0.8 WARP; $8 million salary; $4.63 million / WARP
19) Carl Pavano: 0.9 WARP; $10 million salary; $5.14 million / WARP
20) Armando Benitez: 0.1 WARP; $7.17 million salary; $32.74 million / WARP
21) Paul Wilson: -0.5 WARP; $4.1 million salary
22) Jaret Wright: -0.5 WARP; $6 million salary
23) Jose Lima: -0.7 WARP; $2.5 million salary
24) Eric Milton: -0.8 WARP; $8.5 million salary

2005-06-27 16:29:05
190.   Fearing Blue
There are only 49 players from the top 50 list because Tony Batista (#40) signed a deal in Japan.

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