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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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He's Just Not That Into You
2005-07-06 07:34
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

You'll find it on Hee Seop Choi's nightstand.

Choi is Jim Tracy's backup first baseman. It's time to recognize things for what they are. I don't agree with it. I feel that with bodies falling everywhere, you have to find a way to get him in the lineup regularly - not because he is so great, but because the alternatives are worse.

But Jim Tracy clearly doesn't feel that way. Choi only plays when Olmedo Saenz needs a rest. Does this make sense? Not to me, but I've given up waiting and wondering each day whether this will be the day Tracy comes around.

Saenz has the third-highest OPS on the team, behind only injured J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent. It's not as if Tracy doesn't have a reason to start Saenz. So we can end Choiwatch 2005: It's going to take a serious injury or a Cesar Izturis-like slump for Saenz to drop below Choi on Tracy's depth chart.

Some in the comments have asked why Paul DePodesta doesn't pull rank on Tracy and order him to play Choi. Some have even said that DePodesta's failure to do so is just that - a failure. My reply:

It's not like DePodesta is watching Tracy play Joe Shlabotnik at first over Choi. We know that DePodesta is not an iconoclast, that he works with people like Logan White. In a world where you pick your battles, it's understandable that DePodesta is willing to let this one go.

After the season, of course, perhaps that will factor into the future of Tracy and Choi as Dodgers.

It is something of a fluke that the Dodgers are deep at first base and thin in the outfield (at least until Saenz gets hurt). Personally, I would move an infielder to the outfield to adjust that.

But as much as I may disagree with Tracy about how much Choi should play, it's not like it's insane or evil to give Saenz at-bats. And it doesn't point to a failing on DePodesta's part that he doesn't order Tracy to do differently.

DePodesta is the one who signed Saenz for 2005. He has given Tracy this choice. Saenz's season-long production - however much it may be declining as we speak (he has a .601 OPS and no home runs since June 3, compared to Choi's .786) - has augmented this choice. And Tracy has made his choice. I don't like it - I would play Choi at least against righties - but I don't have to like it. I'm only me.

So Jim, you don't have to give us these tortured "I didn't want Choi to face the Sagittarius - it's not a good sign for him" explanations. We can all own up to reality.

Choi might get a start tonight, with Kent and Saenz aching. But it'll be a spot start. The Dodger manager is just not that into him.

* * *

Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu has the fifth-highest EQA in the National League and is the top right fielder in the league, according to Baseball Prospectus. Jack McCaffery of the Delaware County Daily Times wants to trade him, partly because of what the team could get in return, partly for other reasons.

"There would be the message a trade of Abreu would shout into the clubhouse and beyond," McCaffery writes. "Not that Abreu is a lazy player, but he is probably the most popular Phillie in the laundry room, for he has yet to submit a pair of trousers with a grass stain. And he is either unable or unwilling to back up to the right-field wall on a consistent basis to turn doubles into outs. An MVP candidate? His numbers say so. But should he lose that election, there should be no protest, for his defense is not likely to contribute to any victories."

Over at Mike's Baseball Rants, Mike Carminati adds that McCaffery isn't alone in questioning Philadelphia's love for Abreu, writing that "I can assure you that Abreu is about as popular with the local yokels as O.J. Simpson at a Brown family reunion."

The left-handed hitting Abreu is 31 years old and has had EQAs of over .300 for eight consecutive seasons. He is making $13.1 million this season, is owed $29 million for 2006-07 and has a $2.5 million buyout for 2008.

Those salary figures scare me, but for those of you who want to make a big splash this year and beyond ... well, you'd have to be prepared to say goodbye to your favorite Dodger pitching and hitting prospect.

Of course, the fact that McCaffery wants to trade him is almost certainly meaningless.

* * *

After missing 54 games with an ankle injury suffered on a slide at home, Jose Vidro of Washington returned Tuesday - and had to slide at home.

"I tried to get my legs up, my knee up, so that I wouldn't get anything stuck out there," Vidro told The Associated Press. "But it was so exciting. You don't know how much this means to me. I almost cried. I'm not going to lie. I was so emotional. I love this game. I love to be out there, put my uniform on."

Hard not to like this guy after that...

Comments (170)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-07-06 09:18:31
1.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
Breaking News: Jeff Kent is reportedly headed to the 15 day DL. Strained right hammy.

Chalk up another one boys.

We are officially a Triple A club now.
This is just sad now.

2005-07-06 09:29:01
2.   Vishal
if that book is on hee seop's nightstand, i can assure you that this is in his stereo:

http://tinyurl.com/dyjfs

2005-07-06 09:37:26
3.   fanerman91
This has been a thoroughly depressing last few weeks of Dodger baseball. So many injuries, and not even the chance to see Choi play regularly. Maybe with Kent on the DL, Saenz will be at 3B, Robles at SS, Perez at 2B, and Choi at 1B. One can hope. With the season's prospects getting worse by the second, my one last piece of hope to cling to is the chance that Choi can play regularly, even if Tracy hates him.
2005-07-06 09:38:25
4.   the OZ
2 - and this is in his DVD player:

http://imdb.com/title/tt0099422/

2005-07-06 09:40:07
5.   Steve
4 -- Too funny.
2005-07-06 09:40:22
6.   Steve
4 -- Too funny.
2005-07-06 09:40:25
7.   Jon Weisman
3 - I think we will see that lineup sometimes, and I think Saenz might wear down on his own in general. But I think we'll always know that Choi only plays by default. I'm sure there will still be days when the corner infielders are Saenz and Edwards.
2005-07-06 09:44:25
8.   jasonungar05
SO, what's the over/under on Phillips. Can we squeeze him onto the DL before the break or is there a limit on how many players you can DL?

Is he the last Dodger standing?

2005-07-06 09:47:35
9.   Jon Weisman
We haven't put a first baseman on the DL yet. That's the only position left.

What was the source for this morning's Kent news? It's not online yet.

2005-07-06 09:50:35
10.   fanerman91
9,
At this point, I wouldn't mind if Saenz "broke" sometime soon.

BTW... is there a way to get my commenting name changed without making a new account? Though I suppose that's not a problem.

2005-07-06 09:55:24
11.   fanerman91
8,

It's like a reality show. Survivor: Los Angeles Dodgers Edition. Each contestant suffers through a season where they try to avoid "freak" (though really planned by the Executive Producers of the show, DePo and Tracy) injuries. The last surviving key player (non-AAA) wins a date with Mrs. Scott Erickson, or so they're led to believe. It's really like the "Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire" thing, where the guy isn't really a millionaire. They don't date Mrs. Scott Erickson, but rather Mr. Scott Erickson. The final twist in the season finale.

I'm personally rooting for Philips. Philips and Erickson? Yum.

2005-07-06 10:02:48
12.   Sam DC
I was at the Nationals game last night and was telling my wife and four-year old how big a deal it was for the Nationals to have Vidro back when the fan behind me jumped in to offer his worry that a new guy like Vidro coming in might really foul the team's Chemistry. I smiled and nodded.
2005-07-06 10:08:58
13.   Steve
Missing Jamey Carroll yet?
2005-07-06 10:14:39
14.   Jerry
The dumbest thing I've read in a while, from the Abreu article cited above: "The Phillies should trade Abreu only for value -- for an overpowering young pitcher, or, better still, for an overpowering young personality who would add life and expectation to the clubhouse."

I guess "overpowering young personality" trumps top-notch offensive production every time.

2005-07-06 10:16:06
15.   fanerman91
How's Abreu's defense? What are some numbers?
2005-07-06 10:16:58
16.   Sam DC
Well, the very scrappy Carroll starts at short now that some overwhelmed fan pulled a Tonya Harding on Cristian Guzman, I mean, now that Guzman has gone on the DL. But one does wonder if the guys on the field are pining away for Junior Spivey what with this Vidro character horning his way into the lineup like he's all that.
2005-07-06 10:20:33
17.   fanerman91
Doesn't Garrett Anderson of the Angels have the same rep of not diving for balls? Isn't he well-respected among Angels fans, teammates, the press, etc, for being a veteran clutch hitter?

Maybe because Abreu is loved by so-called moneyballers and GA isn't, Abreu gets run out of his town while GA is loved by all. Or maybe it's just Philadelphia.

2005-07-06 10:20:50
18.   Steve
"overpowering young personality"

Tracy just found himself a new reason to play Repko every night.

2005-07-06 10:23:13
19.   Bob Timmermann
If Bobby Abreu wishes to come to LA and not get sufficiently dirty, I would welcome with him open arms. But he would probably break an ankle getting off the plane.

Garret Anderson just looks like he's not trying all that hard, but he definitely produces. Although he is not exactly a walk machine. And he doesn't get hit by pitches much. I think he had one of the longest stretches of not getting hit by a pitch of any player ever.

2005-07-06 10:24:41
20.   Steve
That's Ed Wade over there too. Brazoban and somebody else for Abreu.
2005-07-06 10:25:16
21.   fanerman91
Yes GA produces. I like him. I like watching him swing. He comes to work everyday but just doesn't like to dive (probably makes him a worse fielder, but in the world of likes and dislikes, player production is not that important). Abreu does not come to work everyday?
2005-07-06 10:25:33
22.   Jon Weisman
10 - if you would like to change your screen name, send an e-mail with your current and desired screen name to support @ baseballtoaster.com
2005-07-06 10:26:36
23.   Jerry
Abreu has provided eight years of .306/.413/.519 production. He could chill out in a lawn chair in left field for all I care.
2005-07-06 10:30:51
24.   the OZ
20 - If they want a young power arm and an overpowering young personality, how about Brazoban and Ashton Kuchar?
2005-07-06 10:32:40
25.   fanerman91
24,

Or slightly more realistically, Jason Repko.

2005-07-06 10:36:23
26.   Steve
If only we had resigned Alex Cora, Braz and Cora would probably have done it.
2005-07-06 10:37:53
27.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
Here's an interesting FACT.

The Angels have had more days spent on the DL than the Dodgers this year.

Bottom line is the Angels are getting it done with their prospects, and we are not.

Something needs to change.

2005-07-06 10:38:07
28.   Icaros
26 - Maybe we could work a three-team swap with Cleveland.
2005-07-06 10:41:49
29.   Steve
Cleveland gets -- Oscar Robles, Jason Repko

Philadelphia gets -- Alex Cora, Yhenzy Brazoban

LA gets -- Bobby Abreu

Where's the downside! :)

2005-07-06 10:42:19
30.   Jerry
27 - See the comments on 6-4-2. As I understand it, the Dodgers have lost more value to injury in terms of VORP, WARP, etc.
2005-07-06 10:42:31
31.   molokai
Jon I can understand the case for Saenz playing against LHP when were in a pennant race. I cannot make a case for a 35 year old journyman getting the most ab's in his career while the player we shipped our all-star catcher for sits on the pine. If Choi had been a complete failure then we could have some rationale but other then the low BA, I think Choi has done just fine. Fearing Blue brokedown the Choi numbers. I use a roto site called HQ that shows that based on his 1st half stats his XBA(Expected Batting Average) would be around 290 showing that he is hitting in tough luck. This XBA is very useufull as most players given time will climb or fall to the XBA.

# 27
The Angel's have prospects from AAA down to A so they were more ready to handle DL problems. Plus the bench that Stoneman created was much better then ours. Having a player like Figgins who can play 2nd/ss/3b/of and play them all well is a tremendous asset.

2005-07-06 10:42:55
32.   gvette
Not to rekindle yesterday's debate, but how does acquiring a good, but flawed 31 year old (Abreu) reconcile with the hard won consensus as to how far the Dodgers should go in trying to salvage the season? Would he cost as much, hypothetically, as a good but flawed 25 yr. old Dunn?

An injury of significance that takes Kent out of the lineup for more than 15 days, changes the whole equation for the Dodgers, and would make them sellers, not buyers.

2005-07-06 10:44:50
33.   bigcpa
Fearing Blue's LD% data yesterday got me digging. Choi doesn't quite have the PA's to qualify but if he did...

Major League LD% leaders (BABIP)

Brian Roberts 29.0% (.378)
David Wright 28.6% (.343)
Hee Seop Choi 28.4%(.241)
Derrek Lee 26.8% (.406)

Choi's predicted OPS based on his LD% etc is .932 vs. .787 actual. The 19% shortfall would make him the unluckiest hitter in the majors given the 2004 list. The 2005 list isn't updated. This fact is as astonishing to me as the Drew/Izturis/Kent DL trifecta in a week.

2005-07-06 10:44:52
34.   fanerman91
31

molokai,
What's the roto site?

2005-07-06 10:45:07
35.   Icaros
32 - We have nothing to sell. Everything in our showroom is broken.
2005-07-06 10:45:51
36.   Steve
The Angels are almost entirely a creature of their pitching staff and their corner outfielders.
2005-07-06 10:46:47
37.   Bob Timmermann
27,
Which prospects of the Angels are the ones that are producing? Dallas McPherson came up last year and he's injured anyway. Macier Izturis isn't exactly tearing up the AL.

Don't a lot of the Angel DL days include Tim Salmon?

Just who are the Angels prospects helping them out this yeaer?

2005-07-06 10:48:03
38.   Jerry
37 - Ervin Santana? The only one I can think of off the top of my head.
2005-07-06 10:48:08
39.   Steve
Macier Izturis isn't exactly tearing up the AL.

Just the Dodgers!

2005-07-06 10:48:13
40.   Jon Weisman
31 - I read your comment last night. I can't tell if you're arguing with me or with Tracy. As I've said many times, I wouldn't play Saenz this much.

As for Tracy ... Choi plays one position. Tracy thinks someone else plays that position better. Whether you like it or not, he can make that case.

And for that matter, unlike some of us armchair GMs, Tracy has every reason to manage like he's still in a pennant race.

2005-07-06 10:48:17
41.   the OZ
26 - I could be wrong about this, but I didn't think that Cora was perceived to be awesome by the media until immediately after he was released, so if we had kept him, he would actually have no value whatsoever.

32 - that's valid, but the real value in adding Abreu would be his presence on the 2006-2007 team. That would be a heck of an outfield.

2005-07-06 10:50:05
42.   Jon Weisman
37-38, If you read 6-4-2, Rob includes the still-young K-Rod.
2005-07-06 11:01:08
43.   Fearing Blue
#27: As of July 4th, Dodgers had spent 542 days on the DL and the Angels had spent 509. The raw days are a lot closer than the overall value lost. The Dodgers have lost 58.46 VORP and 11.00 WARP. The Angels have lost 51.36 VORP and 8.42 WARP.

You are correct about the Angels prospects being in a better position to contribute as their best prospects are currently in AAA.

2005-07-06 11:01:24
44.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
I'm talking prospects over the last few years combined.

Can we please get some prospects up that can produce at the major league level?

2005-07-06 11:03:07
45.   Fearing Blue
#38: With his sparkling 5.50 ERA :)
2005-07-06 11:05:04
46.   rageon
In a 7 game series, would the big league club beat a collection of our minor leaguers? or even Jacksonville?
2005-07-06 11:05:32
47.   Bob Timmermann
Changing gears, I'm watching a late 1950s "What's My Line" and John Daly referred to Don Ameche and he as being members of the "Toots Shor Marching and Chowder Society."

When Vin Scully retires, I imagine that phrase will permanently disappear from the lexicon.

2005-07-06 11:08:57
48.   scareduck
47: they retire the numbers of great players, great managers, and sometimes, as in the case of the Angels, the owners. What will the Dodgers retire when Vin retires? His yellow polka-dot tie?
2005-07-06 11:10:14
49.   the OZ
46 - Yes. Our pitching is better.

Also, I looked up the Angels' and Dodgers' injuries. If the Angels have lost more days to the DL, it's because of:

Salmon (60-day)
Hensley (60-day)
Merloni (60-day)
Prinz (60-day)

But I really don't want to turn this into a "Who's Hurt More" competition.

2005-07-06 11:13:19
50.   scareduck
37-38,43: I'm beginning to think the Logan White drafts are badly overrated. Dodger prospects have a pattern of getting to Jacksonville, doing well, and suddenly tanking. Some of this is due to injury (Greg Miller), some of it due to unreadiness (Edwin Jackson), but color me increasingly skeptical that the Baseball America approved draftees are really as good as they have appeared to be.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-07-06 11:15:52
51.   gvette
#47 Bob, I guess that means that Daly and Ameche spent a lot of time falling off bar stools at that Manhattan bar, back when the three martini lunch was the business day norm. No salad bar at Toots Shor's, or the lunchtime watering holes in LA like Edwards,The Windsor,etc.

What would happen if the Dodgers followed the Lakers example and hired a 26 yr. old play by play guy? Would he reminisce about the good old days seeing the The New Kids on the Block in concert?

2005-07-06 11:17:02
52.   LAT
10. At this point, I wouldn't mind if Saenz "broke" sometime soon.

Are you actually rooting for Sanez to get hurt just so Choi can play? We're getting a little irrational in our desire to see Choi play.

2005-07-06 11:17:26
53.   Bob Timmermann
When Vin Scully retires, the Dodgers are going to be in more trouble than the team is in now with all of its injuries.

Scully's cachet is such that the franchise will have to work very hard to maintain its status.

To think about this, consider this weekend's series in Houston, when the Los Angeles 51s take on the Astros with Charlie Steiner and Steve Lyons calling the action. It's going to be very depressing.

2005-07-06 11:21:06
54.   Linkmeister
I just Googled chowder and marching society and got 8000+ hits. I tried Wikipedia and found nothing. I tried Googling the phrase with "origin" and got zip on the first two pages, but I got lazy and didn't look beyond that.

Suffice to say that even when Vinnie retires the phrase will probably remain.

This etymological comment brought to you by the number 7 (currently on the DL with a broken wrist).

2005-07-06 11:21:18
55.   fanerman91
52,
I'm not rooting. It's more of a self-pity thing. You know. "Everybody's on the DL. Might as well get another starter injured. Feel sorry for us. Yay."

Saenz is also one of our more tradable commodities (if we turn into sellers), especially to AL teams. His "breaking" probably wouldn't help us much.

But with a roster full of AAA players, what do we expect? Somehow they hold the fort until Kent, Bradley, Izturis (well, not so much him) come back? I'm as hopeless on the season now as I've been on a Dodger season in a long time. Granted, I'm not in a good mood all around.

2005-07-06 11:22:42
56.   Jon Weisman
27, 44 -

The Angels are getting it done with prospects? On their roster, they have the following players below the age of 26:

Francisco Rodriguez (9.7 VORP)
Macier Izturis (6.5 VORP)
Dallas McPherson (5.1 VORP)
Jake Woods (1.7 VORP)
Ervin Santana (negative 1.1 VORP)
Casey Kotchman (negative 2.5 VORP)

For the Dodgers:

Antonio Perez (10.2 VORP)
Cesar Izturis (DL) (6.6 VORP)
Duaner Sanchez (6.1 VORP)
Derek Thompson (minors) (4.6 VORP)
Yhency Brazoban (2.5 VORP)
Franquelis Osoria (2.0 VORP)
Steve Schmoll (minors) (negative 0.5 VORP)
Cody Ross (negative 2.4 VORP)
Jason Repko (negative 2.9 VORP)
D.J. Houlton (negative 3.8 VORP)

The Dodgers are better if you go one deep, two deep, three deep, four deep, five deep and six deep.

2005-07-06 11:23:21
57.   Bob Timmermann
But has anyone heard anybody other Vin or another Dodgers fan use the phrase "Marching and Chowder Society" in the last 20 years?
2005-07-06 11:25:27
58.   fanerman91
57,
Do you have a history of that phrase with Vin? It's unfamiliar to me. I don't even know how it's used.
2005-07-06 11:27:22
59.   Fearing Blue
#50: Logan White didn't draft Edwin Jackson. Jackson was a 6th round draft pick in 2001. Other than Greg Miller, who as you mentioned stalled due to injuries, who else fits this "pattern"?

The following Logan White prospects are getting their first shot at Jacksonville this year:

Russell Martin
Delwyn Young
Andy LaRoche
Jonathan Broxton
Justin Orenduff
Carlos Alvarez

The following Logan White prospects spent half a season in Jacksonville last year:

James Loney
Chad Billingsley
Eric Hull

Other than perhaps James Loney, it seems incorrect to suggest any of the others have stalled.

2005-07-06 11:27:51
60.   Linkmeister
fanerman, it's a colloquialism equivalent to "so and so's fan club." It denotes admiration of the individual (or group, I suppose).
2005-07-06 11:28:15
61.   fanerman91
Addendum to 55,
What I meant as I was typing that, with seemingly nothing to play for other than the future, might as well play the future. I don't wish Saenz to be injured, but if Choi found his stroke because Tracy was forced to play him, I wouldn't mind that either. Choi is much better than his numbers indicate (check the peripherals). I'm just very frustrated with the Dodgers right now.
2005-07-06 11:29:13
62.   Bob Timmermann
58,
Last night, Vin might have said, "For those of you in the JD Closser Marching and Chowder Society, that was Closser's third home run of the season."

He usually uses the phrase to describe an imaginary ad hoc fan club.

2005-07-06 11:29:22
63.   bigcpa
Elias better get cracking to see when the last time 7 of 9 Opening Day starters hit the DL in one year. The 2005 team may have just joined the 2003 team in eternal infamy.
2005-07-06 11:31:37
64.   fanerman91
60,62

Thanks for the info guys. I'll be trying to incorporate that into my regular but not-so-daily language.

2005-07-06 11:32:33
65.   Yakface
63,

How about check to see the last time 7 of 9 were disabled at the same time before the allstar break. And dont forget Gagne.

2005-07-06 11:33:08
66.   Icaros
59 - But none of those guys are up here now, so they are failures. Good players don't need AA and AAA.

Release them all!

2005-07-06 11:35:37
67.   stubbs
Now that the season is pretty much over, i think u got play Saenz everyday at 3B, Choi at 1B (if Tracy is so certain he will fail, lets let him prove it) and move Perez to LF (he cant be as bas as Edwards). if saenz breaksdown, as Tracy thinks he will and I agree on this point-who cares? Choi will prove to be an average player and then Depo can start making plans for next year, with our infield looking like this:
ss-Izzy
2b-Perez
1b-Kent
3B-Stop gap or Laroche or Guzman.
c-Navarro

Edwards, Phillips and Saenz on the bench.

2005-07-06 11:37:21
68.   Xeifrank
33. Are Choi's unlucky BABIP numbers partly due to hitting too many fly balls? I haven't looked at his Fly Ball/Ground Ball ratio. I would tend to agree that Choi is one of the unluckiest players in baseball, unlucky in the fact that Buntermaker is his manager. :)
vr, Xei
2005-07-06 11:39:25
69.   Fearing Blue
#59: As an addendum, here are the two Logan White prospects who have made it beyond AA:

Eric Stults (AAA)
Steve Schmoll (AAA)

2005-07-06 11:40:44
70.   bigcpa
Guess it's impossible to pin down teams' planned Opening Day rosters historically. When you total DL time you get the Bako factor. I guess avg. seasonal Win Shares lost to DL would work. Prospectus will nail this in next year's book.
2005-07-06 11:42:28
71.   Bob Timmermann
The video highlight on Dodgers.com from last night's game is "Dodgers manufacture a run".

Ugh.

2005-07-06 11:43:37
72.   Icaros
71 - Better than "Dodgers Hit Situationally."
2005-07-06 11:44:28
73.   Fearing Blue
#68: Not particularly. That was another theory I had, but he hits a tremendous number of line drives (28.4% of his balls in play) and a reasonable split of flyballs (36.1%) and groundballs (35.5%).

Among regulars (100+ PAs), Saenz (38.1%), Ledee (40.4%), Kent (42.4%), and Repko (47.3%) all get a higher percentage of flyballs on balls in play.

2005-07-06 11:45:28
74.   dzzrtRatt
During my lifetime, I've been a member of several Marching and Chowder Societies including:

-- The Ursula Andress Marching and Chowder Society
-- The Charlie Watts Marching and Chowder Society
-- The Ron Swoboda Marching and Chowder Society
-- The Preston Sturges Marching and Chowder Society
-- The William Faulkner Marching and Chowder Society
-- The Louis Armstrong Marching and Chowder Society

I also understand when they named Grateful Dead followers "Deadheads" that "The Grateful Dead Marching and Chowder Society" came in a close second.

I'd be happy to see "marching and chowder society" make a comeback if we could forever banish the use of "yo!" and "bling-bling" which are much lamer.

2005-07-06 11:56:35
75.   Linkmeister
Faulkner? He lost me in "As I Lay Dying" with that single-sentence chapter: "My mother is a fish."

I was a junior in high school and didn't understand allegory very well.

2005-07-06 11:58:17
76.   fanerman91
He should have kept it on a bevel.

Or something like that.

2005-07-06 12:08:15
77.   bigcpa
68- Choi's GB/FB rate of .84 puts him 30th out of 32 1b's with 150 pa's. But the guys around him have had far better luck on BABIP:

           G/F BABIP
Teixeira     0.9 .289
Saenz      0.88 .331
Tracy      0.85 .330
Konerko   0.85 .247
Choi       0.84 .241
Giambi      .78 .336
Ortiz       0.66 .333

2005-07-06 12:08:55
78.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
It's time to trade Edwin Jackson while we can still get something worthwhile for him.

Every day he spends in AAA he's losing value.
Face it, the guy didn't live up to the hype.

Get rid of him now.

2005-07-06 12:09:18
79.   dzzrtRatt
If the AA future stars aren't ready yet--and surely they cannot be rushed--I think the direction to pursue is to put the AAA players into the DL slots and see how they do. The wise guys say Chen, Edwards, Ross, Rose, Thurston and Nakamura have missed their chance to become contributors at the major league level. Why not promote them now and find out for sure? What do we have to lose? This team is going to sink anyway so why not use the rest of the season to see what kind of assets we've got for 2006? I'd call up Navarro and Aybar along with the aforementioned players, and see what happens. It would keep us all talking anyway.

I'm not opposed to trading for Dunn, but the point of that trade would be to invest long-term in a young outfielder, since our minor league system is a little short in that department, but overstocked with infielders and pitchers. This is not a trade likely to influence the outcome of 2005. No combination of trades makes the Dodgers a contender in '05. There is little doubt in my mind that this team will finish fourth or fifth this season. I'm not sure .500 is a realistic goal, much less the pennant. 2004 was a long time ago.

We should be playing Choi and trading Saenz before he gets hurt, while his value to a contender is still perceived as high. If Ledee recovers, he's trade bait, too; Carrara too. To me, the only veteran untouchables are Kent, Drew, Penny, Lowe, and Gagne, because we clearly need them next year. I also would keep Brazoban and Bradley, optimally, and probably hang onto Phillips as insurance in case no one else is ready to play catcher by next year. We could rent out Weaver and resign him after the season if we thought he was still worth it.

2005-07-06 12:13:08
80.   Steve
Maicer has the same VORP as Cesar. That cracks me up. Maybe if Cesar can't play in the All Star Game, we can just send Maicer in his uniform.
2005-07-06 12:14:32
81.   jasonungar05
so THIS is why there are no names on the back of the Jerseys.

How forward thinking of Frank.

2005-07-06 12:15:11
82.   Ben H
Regarding Choi, I looked at his hit chart at Dodger stadium (I didn't go through the others) on mlb.com and it appears that he basically does not hit balls down the lines, either for outs or hits. There are a couple of homers and a couple of doubles close to the right field line, but that's about it. Compare him to Roberts (Orioles), who sprays the ball in every possible direction. Could this be affecting Choi's ability to get base hits, because he is effectively reducing the size of the playing field?
2005-07-06 12:24:43
83.   dzzrtRatt
#75 -- I don't think "my mother is a fish" was allegory. Due to poor carpentry, her casket had fallen into the river, so from the point of view of her young son, she became a fish.

A good new book that, like "As I Lay Dying" uses multiple narrators: Nick Hornby's "A Long Way Down." Hornby's the author of the book "Fever Pitch" which was sorta kinda the basis of the recent Jimmy Fallon movie of the same name (except the book is about British soccer fans, while the film is about Boston baseball fans).

2005-07-06 12:29:35
84.   Fearing Blue
#77: The difference in the numbers is due to the fact that I only looked at balls in play (i.e. removing homeruns) and I included line drives in the breakdown.
2005-07-06 12:32:02
85.   molokai
On the other point that Jon brought up if Abreu is on the Market then I'd rather have him then anyone else. There is not a prospect we have that I wouldn't trade for Abreu. The fact that he never gets dirty coincides with the fact that he never gets hurt while putting up HOF numbers. Yes, HOF numbers. Putting up consistent offensive numbers is such a huge + over the occasional great catch into the fence causing shoulder/elbow/kneee injuries. Sure it gets the fans riled up but so does the home run or key stolen base that he can do if healthy because he didn't challenge the fence. He's expensive but he's worth it. JMO
2005-07-06 12:34:45
86.   Linkmeister
#83, You may be right. I don't remember it all that well, but I remember being told it was an allegory.

"A Long Way Down" sounds interesting, at least from the interview Hornby did with Terry Gross on "Fresh Air." Multiple narrators with suicidal tendencies on a high-rise? That's one of those "why on earth did he think of that?" stories.

2005-07-06 12:35:02
87.   Fearing Blue
#82: Possibly, though as you mentioned Choi does have 2 doubles and 3 homeruns right down the line. I tried to visually compare to Adam Dunn, and it seems Dunn uses a little more of the right field line, but not much.
2005-07-06 12:35:25
88.   regfairfield
Abreu is probably the second best player in baseball, behind Pujols.

Assuming Kent gets DLed, the payroll of the Dodgers roster will be $34,745,500, good for last in baseball.

2005-07-06 12:44:07
89.   dzzrtRatt
re #88 How much of the difference between $88MM and $34.7MM is covered by insurance?

(The insurance salesman who landed the Dodger account is probably so fired by now.)

2005-07-06 12:45:55
90.   regfairfield
Haven't a clue, just pulled those numbers from the salaries that ESPN listed.
2005-07-06 13:00:55
91.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
Who sings the Dodgers victory song after a home win? And what is the artists name?
2005-07-06 13:10:39
92.   the OZ
Randy Newman and "I love LA" is the artist and song, I think.
2005-07-06 13:10:42
93.   Humma Kavula
91 - you mean "I Love L.A.?"

That's written and performed by Randy Newman.

2005-07-06 13:11:08
94.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
Does anyone know the song title and/or artist that plays after a home win?
2005-07-06 13:11:42
95.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
93-Thanks.
2005-07-06 13:19:04
96.   Jacob L
91-95, Why, did he get hurt, too?
2005-07-06 13:24:47
97.   dzzrtRatt
That song's use is highly ironic. The lyrics are basically a sarcastic jab at life in the city, and he deliberately uses geographic landmarks that suck. "Rolling down Imperial Highway with a big nasty redhead by my side/Santa Ana winds blowing hot from the north, and we were born to ride." The name-checked streets toward the end are the illustrious Century Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard and Sixth Street ("we love it!").

However, back in 1984, Nike started using the song to associate its products with the Olympics, and the mayor's office also embraced it as a theme for the big tourist infusion. The lyrics were ignored and/or bowdlerized. By now, I think most people assume it's a city booster song like "Chicago," "New York, New York," or "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." One more example of how tweaked it is to live in this town.

2005-07-06 13:26:39
98.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
97-Great info. Thanks.
2005-07-06 13:27:09
99.   FirstMohican
89 - I know Drieforts insurance policy has the insurer paying his portion (7 mil?) if Drief plays less than X games this year.

Assuming that if the Dodgers have policies on their other players and assuming that the policies are similar, I'd say only the ~7M of the DL'd salary is covered by insurance.

2005-07-06 13:31:29
100.   Sam DC
Anyone hear this Lou Pineilla business about opening the game with his relief pitchers than bringing in his "starter" after a few innings? He must read Dodger Thoughts.

http://tinyurl.com/82bwn

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-07-06 13:32:58
101.   fanerman91
100,
Somebody famous championed that, but I don't remember who. Have a reliever start the game. Pinch hit for him at the first opportunity. Then have the starter go "start."
2005-07-06 13:34:37
102.   Icaros
I don't see the purpose in this case, though, since pitchers don't hit in the AL.
2005-07-06 13:36:18
103.   fanerman91
Yeah. In this case, it seems like Pineilla's just trying to shake things up or something.
2005-07-06 13:38:31
104.   MSarg29
100 - You beat me to it. I was just entering the link in Tinyurl myself.
2005-07-06 13:38:54
105.   Steve
"The eighth inning is just like a jinx for us -- I don't know what it is." -- Aubrey Huff, on his team's inability to hold leads heading into the eighth

Yeah, that's a real head-scratcher.

2005-07-06 13:39:52
106.   the OZ
The "starter" would still be in line for a win since the reliever that pitched the first couple innings would need to pitch at least 5 innings to get a decision.

The only downside is that writers and Cable TV pundits will say you're an idiot if the first pitcher ever allows any runs. The logic will be "he's not used to pitching in the 1st inning. That's not his environment."

They will also say/write this if the first PH fails to reach base.

2005-07-06 13:43:47
107.   Xeifrank
100. It's a very well known "sabermetrics" type of strategy, but like others have mentioned it's for NL teams only and you are suppose to pinch hit for the pitcher on his first at bat. It gives you an extra non pitcher at bat. It does burn a pinch hitter early in the game though. Pinella employing it in the American league is strange indeed. I believe I read about the strategy in the "Numbers Game" book.
vr, Xei
2005-07-06 13:44:54
108.   dzzrtRatt
What could DePo get from the Rays for Carrara? Piniella could "start" Gio 4-5 days a week. He could do a lot worse.
2005-07-06 14:11:31
109.   Humma Kavula
97 - I wish I could remember who said it, but somebody once described "I Love L.A." as "a mock anthem for a mock city," which is about right.
2005-07-06 14:23:51
110.   Fearing Blue
Baseball America did a profile on Andy LaRoche as part of today's Daily Dish:

http://tinyurl.com/crc6j

2005-07-06 14:33:12
111.   natepurcell
i have a plan that will make us instant contenders in 2006. i wont reveal it yet until after my meeting with depo.
2005-07-06 14:34:25
112.   Steve
111 -- Does it involve our density...I mean...destiny?

LoDuca's OPS is sub-Ecksteinian. Of course, so is Piazza's.

And it's July...just wait until the September swoon. Yikes.

2005-07-06 14:36:13
113.   natepurcell
yes steve... it does.

but it involves others as well. i could share it with you guys. but it has to be a secret.

it also involves trading our lord and plenty of positional depth :(

2005-07-06 14:36:38
114.   molokai
I love my flawed city. Spend a day on the subway exploring and you will be surprised by what you find.
2005-07-06 14:38:32
115.   Marty
I do too Molokai. I often take the subway to get to great places to eat. Funny thing about "I Love L.A." is it's probably Newman's worst song.
2005-07-06 14:40:37
116.   Icaros
115 - Worse than "Short People"?
2005-07-06 14:40:39
117.   scareduck
115: what is Newman's best song?
2005-07-06 14:42:48
118.   Steve
Dixie Flyer
2005-07-06 14:44:58
119.   Suffering Bruin
117 - I would nominate "Sail Away".

100 - The A's tried this several years ago when they were so far out of the pennant race they couldn't even hear it rattle. LaRussa was still there and they tried using the starters three innings at a time, rotating who gets the first three innings. The idea was the starters would pitch more effectively in short bursts and they would pitch more often.

They tried it but it didn't work. The pitchers didn't like it and LaRussa junked it. I read about in one of Bill James' books.

2005-07-06 14:49:11
120.   Jim Hitchcock
117 - His best `beat you over the head with a stick 'till you die' song would have to be `Rednecks'. It was `I Love L.A. without the subtlety.
2005-07-06 14:55:54
121.   Suffering Bruin
As Choi's self-professed number one fan, I'd like to weigh in on the issue of the day.

Statistically, there is no reason Choi should not be a regular player. He has a proven ability to get on base and to hit the ball hard.

Intangibly, if that's even a word, Choi should play. Every one who has ever dealt with him says the same thing--nice guy, hard worker, wants to succeed.

But he sits. There's something else going on.

I think the coaches and the players have accepted it as fact that Choi is not ready for prime time. This will sound strange but I think the idea has taken hold that Choi is not yet a ballplayer like, say, Jeff Kent. Kent is known as a guy who makes plays, knows the game. Choi is known for many things but not that.

You think this is a frivolous reason? I agree. But I'm not in that clubhouse. There are a dozen reasons that players and coaches count on player A more than player B that have nothing to do with stats. Something like that is at work here and so, our hero rides the pine. It's sad but that's also the game.

2005-07-06 14:56:06
122.   Bob Timmermann
You know it was 2-0 Twins the last time I remembered.

Now it's 5-3 Twins. I'm guessing that I dozed off. Or else I went into a hypnotic state and committed a series of crimes as the work of an evil genius.

I'm betting on falling asleep.

2005-07-06 14:57:05
123.   Suffering Bruin
I remember Paul Simon saying that all songwriters wish they could write like Randy Newman.
2005-07-06 14:58:19
124.   Fearing Blue
Have a good night all. I'm heading up to Denver for tonight's game. I'm hopeful that Penny will us a nice pitching performance.
2005-07-06 14:59:17
125.   Suffering Bruin
Fearing, whatever you do, do not bring any of the Dodger karma! It's not working too well right now...
2005-07-06 14:59:29
126.   Marty
117. Sorry, work got in the way. I hate that.

Short people is pretty bad. Just about anything on Sail Away is great. The title song, Lonely at the Top. You can leave your hat on.

2005-07-06 15:02:51
127.   Suffering Bruin
126 - Ah... "You Can Leave Your Hat On!"

I prefer the Joe Cocker version but then again, I was listening to that with company (ahem).

2005-07-06 15:03:34
128.   Marty
I think SB is on the right track about Choi. It seems like they don't think he can handle first base. A few shots got under his glove, then that botched bunt play where Choi was way out of position and forced a wide throw to Kent. I think that one play may have sealed his fate. Kent got in his face and I think the coaching staff agreed.

I also may be reading way too much into it.

2005-07-06 15:14:05
129.   natepurcell
should i go play over the line with buddies around 5 and miss most of the 51s play the rockies, or watch penny pitch and (hopefully) choi hit homeruns?
2005-07-06 15:15:25
130.   Jim Hitchcock
Wonder if Randy's uncle's middle initial is `E'?

Then there's this from his bio:

As a teenager, Randy Newman was invited by a girl to a country club Cotillion, and then subsequently asked not to come by the girl's father, who told him this was because no Jews were allowed. After hanging up the phone, Newman then had to go and ask his father what a Jew was.

Gotta love the guy...

2005-07-06 15:17:15
131.   bokonon42
Political Science was Newman's best song:

No one likes us
I don't know why.
We may not be perfect
But heaven knows we try.
But all around even our old friends put us down.
Let's drop the big one and see what happens.

We give them money
But are they grateful?
No they're spiteful
And they're hateful.
They don't respect us so let's surprise them;
We'll drop the big one and pulverize them.

2005-07-06 15:18:25
132.   Bob Timmermann
Randy Newman has joked that he would have graduated from UCLA, but he couldn't find a place to park.
2005-07-06 15:22:05
133.   Marty
I was at Rae's coffee shop on the west side back in 1985 or 86 and saw Newman there. He was having a fight with his wife/girlfriend.
2005-07-06 15:22:58
134.   fanerman91
natepurcell,
With our luck, Penny's nerve injury will resurface and Choi will play but then break his hand being hit by pitch/struck by lightning/tear up his knee (or hit 3 home runs in his first 3 at-bats, only to be pinch hit for in the 7th for Mike Edwards since the new pitcher is left-handed).

Anyway, just go do whatever it is you would do if you weren't watching the Dodgers.

2005-07-06 15:24:10
135.   fanerman91
^^
(knocks on wood in vain)
2005-07-06 15:24:28
136.   Marty
Burn On. "While the Cuyahoga River goes smokin in my dreams". I never had a desire to see Cleveland after that song.
2005-07-06 15:24:50
137.   FirstMohican
Randy Newman was the mastermind behind the 1973 assassination of democraticly elected Chilean President Salvador Allende
2005-07-06 15:25:56
138.   FirstMohican
I think one needs to simply point to Fred McGriff when discussing the Dodgers' luck with injuries.

Thank God for Cal Ripken's sake that he never played in a Dodgers uniform.

2005-07-06 15:26:19
139.   Jim Hitchcock
Meanwhile, any further word on Glenn Hoffman?
2005-07-06 15:29:18
140.   Jim Hitchcock
137 - Are you sure? I have it on good authority that Newman thinks Pinochet is a French wine.
2005-07-06 15:29:26
141.   Christina
128 - let's not forget that the day Choi hit three home runs, Brad Penny predicted that Choi would hit four. Bradley was mugging with Choi in the dugout after one of those HRs. And pretty much the team was very affectionate with him two nights before that when he hit the walk-off HR that won the game.

Does the team think Choi is a Gold Glove at first? Obviously not. But they've watched him hit some important home runs and draw some key walks, and he's very rarely the one who kills a rally by getting the third out. Offensive power makes up for defensive mistakes in many people's eyes. Given that the team does know their biggest problem has been scoring, and that Choi is one of the very few power bats left, and that it's perfectly possible to start Choi AND Saenz AND Perez without having to bench anyone who's more proven than Choi, I find it hard to believe that many on the team think that it's really a good idea to have Choi benched, especially now.

2005-07-06 15:32:48
142.   FirstMohican
Newman: "I don't see why my French Wine wouldn't be fit to stand trial??"
2005-07-06 15:33:51
143.   FirstMohican
Does anyone else think saying "Choilmedo" out loud is pretty fun?
2005-07-06 15:36:15
144.   Bob Timmermann
133,
The IMDB states that Newman divorced his first wife in 1985, so having an argument with a woman around that time makes a lot of sense.
2005-07-06 15:41:31
145.   JJoeScott
#141 - Using my softball team as a real-world example, I know that you can be a teammate and be very excited about someone's success - even deliriously so (Bradley - and still prefer seeing someone else was playing instead of that player. That also describes how I feel about Choi.

Anyway, I tend to think that #121 - the intangibles element - is a big part of it. And didn't I see something posted here (or maybe in the Times?) with a veiled reference to teammates preferring that Kent play first base over Choi?

2005-07-06 15:42:29
146.   Marty
I was at the next booth, trying to concentrate on my biscuits and gravy...
2005-07-06 15:43:22
147.   natepurcell
if you guys are bored, there is a great article posted on baseball primer. its an interview with joe morgan and his passionate hate for sabermetrics.
http://www.sfweekly.com/Issues/2005-07-06/news/feature_1.html
2005-07-06 15:45:32
148.   Humma Kavula
I always thought that Randy Newman's best song was "Feels Like Home," but "Dixie Flyer" is a close second.

It's not his best song, but about "The Great Nations of Europe," he said, "This is the only song I ever wrote that has no lies in it." I liked that line.

2005-07-06 15:46:16
149.   Jim Hitchcock
Just think, Marty...if you had chosen that time to ask for an autograph, you may have changed history :)
2005-07-06 15:46:17
150.   Steve
Combined with his refusal to even appear in Cooperstown while Fellow Idiot Ryne Sandberg is enshrined in Morgan's Holy House, this has not been a good media day for Joe Morgan. And of course, all the Times gave us was another thumbsucker last month.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-07-06 15:46:53
151.   Steve
Dixie Flyer. Clearly Dixie Flyer.
2005-07-06 15:46:59
152.   Humma Kavula
Of course, "The Great Nations of Europe" does have a lie in it.... the Canary Islands are not named after the bird.
2005-07-06 15:48:42
153.   Marty
What? And let my biscuits get cold??
2005-07-06 15:48:42
154.   Bob Timmermann
Chile is not named after food.
2005-07-06 15:49:55
155.   Marty
Just getting started on that Morgan article and already a great quote. On Moneyball:
Why would I wanna read a book about a computer, that gives computer numbers?
2005-07-06 15:51:23
156.   Christina
145 - sure, if there's a better bat available that's sitting because Choi is starting regularly.

But that isn't the case here. It really isn't an issue of Kent vs. Choi, or even Saenz vs. Choi or Perez vs. Choi. It's perfectly possible to start all of those guys in the same line-up. We're talking about the guys like Edwards or Robles or the Jasons vs. Choi, on a team that's hitting poorly and has key bats Drew and Bradley on the DL, and Choi being second in HRs.

2005-07-06 15:52:17
157.   Humma Kavula
Turkey is also not named after food.

Hungary is not named after hunger.

2005-07-06 15:52:32
158.   Steve
"How do you think we got Enron?"

He couldn't get to Hitler? What, he's running for office now?

2005-07-06 15:53:07
159.   natepurcell
that article is a classic. morgan comes across as the most ignorant, close minded person in baseball. the funy thing is, morgan as a player, is the opposite of what he currently preaches.
2005-07-06 15:53:20
160.   Jim Hitchcock
154 - Of course not. It's named after the weather.
2005-07-06 15:53:29
161.   Jon Weisman
158 - that's my favorite line. I'm referencing that Morgan article in my game chat thread ... that was the part I pulled out of many to choose from.
2005-07-06 15:56:56
162.   Xeifrank
155. I'm ashamed to say that Joe Morgan went to the same college as me. Of course his major was nowhere as tough as mine. Yes, we were there at the same time. Joe as an adult night student and me as a young whipper snapper skirt chaser.
vr, Xei
2005-07-06 15:57:28
163.   fanerman91
What school was this?
2005-07-06 15:57:35
164.   Bob Timmermann
Rex Hudler was talking about how Moneyball advocates don't like sacrifices. He said this after Figgins bunted Kennedy over to second. On the next play, Kennedy drifted too far off second and got tagged out.

Moneyball and Smallball advocates don't like runners making stupid plays either way. But the Angels won 7-6.

2005-07-06 15:58:17
165.   Bob Timmermann
Joe Morgan went to Cal State Hayward, which I believe is now called Cal State East Bay.

I think he went to college after he retired from baseball.

2005-07-06 16:03:29
166.   Marty
I think the one nice story about Morgan is his going back to college after baseball because he promised his mother he would.
2005-07-06 16:04:45
167.   dzzrtRatt
Randy Newman has many many great songs, and almost as many bad ones. I can't think of a singer/songwriter who can hit such highs and such lows.

"Rednecks" might be a little too 'on the money,' but the album it's from, "Good Old Boys," is my favorite. "Marie," "Louisiana 1927," "Guilty" and "Rollin'" are all beautiful, rich ballads. "Sail Away" and "12 Songs" were also great albums.

As he got older and richer, he started picking on more obvious targets and he started to sound like a West LA snot. Now he writes too many Disney movie theme songs; he seemed for awhile to have a permanent role in the Oscars singing some bad song about an animal or a toy.

2005-07-06 16:16:41
168.   Xeifrank
165. Yes, Joe Morgan and I are both Pioneers. I'm also part Gaucho.
vr, Xei
2005-07-06 16:47:17
169.   Linkmeister
#165 Ha. I'm a Wildcat-nuthin'-Sea Warrior (U of Guam, where I went for a semester while stationed out there, apparently has no nickname, probably because it sure doesn't have any intercollegiate athletics).
2005-07-06 17:32:06
170.   bokonon42
167- Granted, he's gotten older and less edgy. But a couple of the tracks from his last album were great. Oops, I mean, great. "When you fall in love with someone who doesn't love you, it ramifies your head".

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