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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Triangletable with Steve Henson and Bill Plunkett
2005-07-12 21:59
by Jon Weisman

The All-Star Break hasn't offered Dodger beat writers Steve Henson of the Times or Bill Plunkett of the Register much reason to sit around in front of their computers - there was plenty of catch-up time with the family and All-Star coverage to fill those hours.

But quite graciously, the two writers joined me via e-mail for this three-sided roundtable here on Dodger Thoughts. Here's how the chat went.

JW: So I'll start things off with this question: As we reach the All-Star Break, with all that we've watched and learned this season, did the Dodgers enter the 2005 season with what they needed to win the division on paper? In other words, are their problems mainly injury-related, or something more?

SH: Since Plunkett and I are usually better on paper than in person (trust me on that one), we are supremely qualified to address this.

BP: We'll never know, will we? The injuries have been so overwhelming that they are a ready-made - and accurate - excuse/explanation for why this season didn't/won't go as planned. Whether the team was poorly constructed (put me down for one of those) or not doesn't matter now.

That being said (I'm channeling DePodesta there for a moment), I have no doubt that "on paper" the Dodgers had enough to win the division because "on grass" the NL West is ragingly mediocre. Going into the season, I thought someone (SD, LA or SF) would win 90 games and win the division. Now, it looks like first one to 85 gets the flag. You could put together a much better team with all the DLed players in the division than anything the West teams are actually putting on the field right now.

Honestly, I thought the Dodgers' pitching would give them the edge but their starters were awful for a long stretch of May and that's really where things started falling apart. Now that they're pitching better, the wheels have come off the rest of the team.

SH: Paul DePodesta put together a team that, had it remained healthy, would have been just good enough to win the division. The playoffs could have been interesting for them (and conceivably still could be; we can't write them off yet, even on our paper) because Penny, Weaver, Lowe and Perez give them a chance in a short series.

But make no mistake, Paul did not put together the team he really wanted (he's said so several times) and came up one strong hitter short (he's never admitted this) of a World Series team. The injuries have been
devastating, we all can see that, but his instinct is to push forward as long as the team is within shouting distance of the Padres. In other words, he has to proceed as if the Dodgers are in contention as long as they are in contention.

JW: Steve, when you say that DePodesta came up one strong hitter short, is it because he was out-maneuvered or because he fell short despite a good effort? And do you either of you see things going positively for him between now and July 31?

SH: He wasn't out-maneuvered. He had a budget and chose to spend most of it on pitching. He didn't get the pitchers he really wanted - Radke and Clement - and found himself in a position where he had to overpay for Perez and Lowe. But he ended up with the hitters he wanted. If the budget was more, and he could have re-signed Beltre and done everything else the same, it would have been a banner off-season. Plug Beltre into a healthy Dodger lineup and it is transformed into something special: Izturis, Drew, Beltre, Kent, Bradley, Werth, Choi, Phillips. Or even flip-flop Izturis and Drew, who would made a top-flight leadoff hitter so long as there was ample power behind him. So much for that flight of fancy, though.

BP: I think one thing we should all keep in mind is - we really don't know what kind of player Paul wants. Honestly. You may think you do, but this is a guy who prides himself on seeing things differently. And
remember, he rose to GM pretty quickly and has only had his hands on a team for, what, 17 months? There is really not much of a track record there. Certainly he has often preached the virtues of "power and patience" as the ideal package he's looking for in a hitter. But to pigeon-hole him as an OPS-obsessed Moneyball-er (using the accepted stereotype of what that means) is just as wrong as pigeon-holing all scouts as addle-brained technophobes.

As for the hunt for help between now and the trade deadline ... I'm pretty sure Paul didn't get his Harvard degree by mail order. If he was paying attention in class, he's also smart enough to read the current situation for what it is and not "throw good money after bad" in a costly attempt to salvage something that may not be worth salvaging. And there seems to be a pretty thin market of available players out there this July. Paul has said more than once that "I'd love to make a trade but I have to have a partner." At times, it sounds as if he's building a paper trail with those remarks so that he can explain not making a deal by pointing the finger at other teams and saying it was their fault, not an unwillingness on his part. I don't see him making a big move(s) at the deadline unless (a) it doesn't cut into future resources in terms of talent or payroll and/or (b) it brings someone who fits into his plan going forward beyond this season. I know Adam Dunn is the popular name out there and he fits (b) ... but I don't think he fits (a).

As for the rest of the names being tossed around - Preston Wilson? Joe Randa? Joe Kennedy? Matt Lawton? - are any of them difference-makers? Heck, would all of them make a difference? Maybe. Unless they hurt themselves warming up for the game.

JW: Let's say the Dodgers do fall out of contention by August or September 1. Which noteworthy current players have a future in Los Angeles, which don't, and which are going to be on trial?

SH: DePodesta could trade anyone at any time, so it's hard to say who exactly has a future in L.A. I'd say the most secure for next season are Penny, Lowe, Gagne, Kent, Drew, Bradley and Ledee. Izturis, Odalis Perez, Houlton, Wunsch, Sanchez and Alvarez are reasonably secure either for performance reasons or contract reasons. I'd be surprised if Weaver is re-signed because I doubt if he'd take a cut and the Dodgers won't offer $9 million a year. Werth, Choi, Phillips, Repko and Antonio Perez are flawed but cheap. Expect some to be traded and some to remain as low-cost starters. I guess Edwards and Robles fall in that category too.

A big variable is which prospects are ready next spring. Most might still be a year away. I think we'll see Osoria and Schmoll taking over for some of the older bullpen guys. And it think at least one big hitter is due to check in via trade or free agency.

BP: I'd make that "flawed but cheap" category a little more crowded but wouldn't argue with Steve on most of those names. And I also think the chances of Jeff Weaver pitching in Dodger blue again next year are pretty small. "Hometown discount" is not in Scott Boras' vocabulary and I don't see DePodesta committing $10 million a year to a mid-rotation pitcher when he's already committed over $20 million next year alone to three (Penny, Lowe and Perez). The discussions Boras and DePodesta have had recently about a contract extension are probably more designed to humor Weaver (on both their parts) than actually reach an agreement.

The most important thing to keep in mind in all this is that you're following a franchise in a transition period. In a few years, we'll all look back at the change from Fox ownership to the McCourt/DePodesta era as an even more radical change in direction than going from the O'Malley ownership to Fox was (despite all the upheaval that followed that switch). The days of Fox's misguided overspending are over and a series of moves by Dan Evans and DePodesta has just about untied that albatross from around their necks (how many more paychecks for Darren Dreifort?).

Somewhere off in the distance is - supposedly - a wave of young homegrown talent. Guzman. Billingsley. LaRoche. Martin. Navarro. Tiffany. Broxton. Etc. Etc. Whether those prospects are players that DePodesta values for the players they can be ... or the players they can bring remains to be seen. And you can decide for yourself whether this is a positive (returning to the days of yore when the Dodgers built championship teams around players born and raised in the Dodgers system) or a negative (proving that McCourt is as cheap as the blowhards on talk radio have been saying).

JW: The mythology of home-grown teams of yore gets in the way of the fact that Dodger fans ultimately only care if the team is winning. No one turned up their nose at Kirk Gibson for being a free agent or Eric Gagne winning a Cy Young with a bargain of a contract.

BP: Either way, there is a bridge to build between the two eras. That has been a major factor in DePodesta's team-building choices and will be for another year or two. Spend on pitching now (and for two or three years) while you wait for the young ones to arrive. Get a core of position players (Werth, Bradley, Choi, Izturis) that are cheap now and young enough to fit into that future roster without holding any of the prospects back - or can be let go via free agency when they get too expensive because cheap replacements will be on the way.

JW: The future certainly looks brighter than the present. Something tells me that the next three months at Dodger Stadium aren't going to be too pleasant. The fans have become a group willing to boo at the second sign of misfortune or failure, and there's going to be a good deal of it in the second half. It's just not a very tolerant crowd these days. Many Dodger Stadium attendees are casual and care only that the team is losing, not why the team is losing. Others will understand the role injuries played, but from that group some will lay the blame for the health-challenged roster directly on management. In any case, it's going to get a little toxic. Perhaps with each game the Dodgers drop below .500, beer sales should cease an inning sooner.

So when the offseason begins, DePodesta's detractors are going to be armed and dangerous, expecting him to show them something they like. Of course, who knows whether his transactions between now and April 2006 will be any more digestible to that group than his moves to this point have been - even though many of those moves were without question the right moves.

But I can't help feeling positive about the promise of the team in 2006. The core of talent that looked like a potential division winner in 2005 will return with fewer holes to fill. The minor league crop will be that much more seasoned. While the Dodgers have to bank on a certain amount injuries every year, the number in 2005 has simply been beyond the pale. Do you think, as I do, that a year from now, Dodger fans will be happy with the team on the field?

SH: Let's assume that the team is healthy, that Gagne, Drew, Bradley and Wunsch come back and play at their previous levels. The team still has the same serious holes at first, third and catcher that it had going into this season. McCourt needs to spend for one more top-flight hitter. My fear is that he will, but with the money that went to Weaver this year. So the rotation might weaken. He needs to spend the money that is going to Dreifort and Green on payroll. If that happens, there can be serious upgrades in the rotation and either an infield corner or left field. Thus - happy fans (except for the numerous punchers and punchees in the pavilion).

I included catcher because although Phillips has shown an ability to drive in runs, opponents run all over him. That can't go on for another year. Yes, much of it is the pitchers' inability to hold runners, but Phillips is also slow to second. And Navarro might not be the answer.

But back to happy fans. Cut beer prices in half, upgrade the food options by offering better Mexican food and some barbecue, and not only will the fans be happier, but so will Plunkett and I!!!

BP: As I sit in the press workroom deep in the bowels of Comerica Park (an unpleasant image right there) looking forward to a boxed lunch that I believe may have been boxed by Kenesaw Mountain Landis himself ... barbecue sounds like the key to baseball success.

JW: Mmm ... barbecue. That seems like a tasty place to sit back and wrap this up. My only other question would be, do either of you have a thought about Tracy's future? Though the injuries give him an excuse to stay another year, is it possible he would want to use his escape clause and leave Los Angeles of his own will? Perhaps for Cincinnati (closer to home)?

BP: I know his strategy is confounding at times but I think Jim Tracy has to be given credit for what he has managed to squeeze out of flawed rosters in each of his seasons as manager. This season included. His team could very well be in a much deeper hole.

That being said (one more time) at the end of the day (hang on) going forward (the DePodesta trifecta there) - I don't see Tracy and DePodesta co-existing much longer as MGR and GM. There is just too wide a chasm in their philosophical differences. Tracy goes to bed at night dreaming of sound defense, playing to get a lead and then handing it over to the back end of the bullpen to shorten the game. Obviously, those are not the same things that DePodesta values. Communication between the two is also an issue.

Whether that means another season or two or exactly when ... I can't tell you that. But I would wager the Dodgers' next manager is someone completely off our radar right now, someone Paul met during his days as an advance scout for the Cleveland Indians - or shooting T-shirts into the crowd at AHL games - who shares his unique vision. Or at least knows he will have to play along.

Now, I have a question for all of you - should I go with the soggy-looking mess labeled "Italian Sub" or the space-age polymer trying to pass for ham and cheese??

JW: Don't eat lunch by the book, Bill, Leave the soggy sub for Tracy, dish the space ham to DePodesta and sign a multi-meal contract with some above-replacement level steak.

Steve - your thoughts on Tracy?

SH: Jim Tracy is as good a manager as there is. Which is to say most managers are pretty much the same. Tracy lacks the cache of the few guys who were really good players - Torre, Piniella, Robinson, Baker, Alou, even Garner - but that doesn't matter when it comes to developing a philosophy and managing games accordingly.

Tracy does develop biases for and against players and wears them on his sleeve. He's not a big Choi guy (as Jon has pointed out many times), nor is he high on either of the Perezes or Phillips. His failure to buy into some of the players DePodesta has brought in might be his undoing, and so might his insistence to use the bunt the way it has been used for 100 years. He's likely to stay through the season because Paul recognizes the PR fallout that would occur if Tracy were fired, and because Paul also recognizes that Tracy is a good manager in most respects. A change could very occur during the off-season, although I'd be surprised if Tracy left for Cincinnati. That organization is a mess that no manager can easily fix, and Tracy is well aware of that. If he took a job there, it would be for family reasons.

And for family reasons - this is a rare day off - I am signing off. It's been a pleasure. Dodger Thoughts is a tremendous gathering place for followers of the team. To me, its strengths are a refreshing civility and an excellent institutional memory of the team. And also Jon's excellent writing. Thanks for letting me add a few thoughts.

JW: Thanks again, Steve. Enjoy the family day. Really appreciate this from both of you.

Hope everyone enjoyed triangulating about the Dodgers on Dodger Thoughts. The team may be down, but this was a treat. Thanks to Bill Plunkett and Steve Henson for fitting this into their schedules - so enthusiastically at that.

Comments (132)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-07-12 22:14:20
1.   Bob Timmermann
Steve - your thoughts on Tracy?

SH: Jim Tracy is as good a manager as there is.

That's Steve Henson talking there? Right?

2005-07-12 22:14:59
2.   natepurcell
somehow, bill plunkett kept transforming to "bill plaschke" in my head and couldnt realize he was actually being intelligent and polite.

then it clicked it was bill plunkett and i woke up from the dream.

2005-07-12 22:27:21
3.   Bob Timmermann
I enjoyed the conversation immensely. I wonder if the All-Star sandwiches were the ones left over when I was a volunteer at the Rose Bowl for soccer at the 1984 Olympics.

Ahh, the glamorous life of the baseball beat writer!

2005-07-12 22:32:05
4.   Steve
"He's not a big Choi guy (as Jon has pointed out many times), nor is he high on either of the Perezes or Phillips."

There is a lot of good stuff in this interview, but this is one of the choicer bits. Phillips? Why does he keep hitting cleanup then?

2005-07-12 23:35:57
5.   Dodgerkid
Wow, that was easily the best most informative article I have read about the Dodgers this year. Why don't these guys write these things in their columns? Absolutely incredible the wealth of knowledge stemming from this blog entry. Too much stimulus, might explode!!!!
2005-07-12 23:41:04
6.   rageon
I find it interesting that everyone has stopped trying to find some logical reason for Choi not playing more, and just accepted the fact that Tracy, for some apparantly irrational reason, doesn't want to play him.

I'm not complaining, because I'm doing it too. Otherwise, it just makes my head hurt to try to understand it.

2005-07-12 23:44:26
7.   Suffering Bruin
After a very long day exercising the neurons and building the dendrites for teacher training (8a-5p every day plus ample homework), may I just say that this was a very pleasant read. Thanks for that, Jon.

Back to homework... fun, fun, fun.

2005-07-12 23:44:33
8.   Vishal
steve henson was pretty good, which wasn't a surprise. however, i did walk away from this post with a newfound appreciation for bill plunkett. i also like his tendency for clever understatement(i.e. "adam dunn is a popular name out there", "i know his strategy is confounding at times"... indeed).

oh, and i'm gonna second the request for better mexican food at chavez ravine. i would LOVE to munch on a satisfying burrito at the ballpark. barbecue's okay too.

2005-07-12 23:46:57
9.   Vishal
actually i think that should be e.g., not i.e.

anyway, thanks to JW, SH, and BP for a very enjoyable discussion.

2005-07-12 23:54:23
10.   Jim Hitchcock
Why don't these guys write these things in their columns?

I'd guess that it's because they're paid more to report than to display their well thought out analysis, as they did here. Could be that's why Jon left the news racket for the joys of the blogosphere :)

2005-07-13 00:01:20
11.   chumsferd
Nice Triangletable.

It's nice to hear intelligent baseball conversation from people in the media. it gives readers hope. I agree with the poster above who was distracted from the BP. Henson came across as more knowledgable than I anticipated.

I think Tracy does like Phillips, though.

2005-07-13 00:01:36
12.   chumsferd
Nice Triangletable.

It's nice to hear intelligent baseball conversation from people in the media. it gives readers hope. I agree with the poster above who was distracted from the BP. Henson came across as more knowledgable than I anticipated.

I think Tracy does like Phillips, though.

2005-07-13 00:33:30
13.   natepurcell
henson probably posts here. i wouldnt doubt it!
2005-07-13 01:20:21
14.   Strike4
Nice article, best thing to come out of the all star break including the game itself. All three's cogent comments and entertaining styles remind why big league writers are big league writers... probably no editing required either.

Would've liked to hear their take on the McCourt-Depodesta relationship. Is our Bobby Fischer safe to ruminate meddle-free as long as attendance stays up and the payroll budget is adhered to?

Even with an entirely healthy team, we might win the West but certainly lose in the playoffs unless Penny and Lowe could go back to back to back to back...

JW, maybe time for a mid-season assessment of your five questions, answers and predictions from April 4th?

2005-07-13 04:19:44
15.   Langhorne
Awesome, Jon. Thanks for making that happen. It's just another reason why I come here for my Dodger fix. Maybe we should rethink the DT motto: Dodger Thoughts--Even when the team is lousy the conversation is good.

Now it's 4 a.m. and I'm craving barbecue.

2005-07-13 04:40:47
16.   jpeace
I agree with the mention of better, cheaper food. The losing and toxic atmosphere at DS could be relieved if fans could afford to fill their stomachs with some better Mexican food.
2005-07-13 05:17:27
17.   CT Bum
Excellent piece Jon! Thanks for making this happen. I agree with Dodgerkid, definitely the best article on the Dodgers this season.
2005-07-13 05:38:38
18.   scareduck
"Tracy lacks the cache of the few guys who were really good players"? Well, now for sure we know two things:

(1) this team is being run by computer
(2) that computer isn't fast enough because it's not got enough cache.

Or did he mean, "cachet"?

2005-07-13 05:50:34
19.   oldbear
Not sure where Steve Henson gets this bit:

" But he ended up with the hitters he wanted. If the budget was more, and he could have re-signed Beltre and done everything else the same, it would have been a banner off-season. Plug Beltre into a healthy Dodger lineup and it is transformed into something special: "

Has Steve Henson gotten amnesia as to what Beltre did his 1st 7 years in LA or what he's done this year in Seattle?

Plugging Beltre into the lineup wouldnt have done anything.

Its all moot because when our lineup was healthy, we were 3rd in the league in runs score. Runs scored wasnt the problem. The pitching was the problem.

2005-07-13 06:09:57
20.   al bundy
Thanks for triangulating, Jon. Your site is excellent and informative.
2005-07-13 06:35:26
21.   Fearing Blue
That's a tremendous piece, Jon. Thank you, Steve, and Bill for the effort.
2005-07-13 06:45:41
22.   Steelyeri
Wow, I don't think i could put in to words just how pleasant that was. An intelligent, fun, and stimulating dodger conversation by members of the media isn't something you come across everyday. Thank you Jon. That was great!
2005-07-13 07:52:34
23.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
A nice reminder that not everyone in the mainstream press is a T. J. Simers clone.

I doubt Henson intended his comment about DT and civility to be a swipe at Simers, but I certainly felt it was one.


2005-07-13 08:04:58
24.   Colorado Blue
Thank you Jon, Steve, and Bill... it seemed to me a very objective piece for the most part. There was no finger pointing at individuals and the analysis seemed very intelligent.

I agree that Tracy will probably not be back next year. I'm more concerned about having Colburn around... with the fragile nature of our SPs, losing him might make them curl up in the fetal position with their non-pitching hand thumbs in their mouths. Anyway, I think all the pitchers respect him and are probably very comfortable with his tutelage.

What dismayed me the most was the take on the Dodger fans... sad to know that they don't understand why the team is suffering. They should be rallying behind all the young guys who are in way over their heads. Nothing like trial by fire. It will pay off BIGTIME next year...

2005-07-13 08:17:36
25.   Fearing Blue
Minor League Update
Statistical summary format is AVG/OBP/SLG for hitters and ERA/IP/K/BB for pitchers.

Las Vegas 51s (AAA):
No game scheduled. The AAA All-Star game is on tonight at 10:00pm EST on ESPN2.

Jacksonville Suns (AA):
No game scheduled. The AA All-Star game is being played today, but is not televised. Does anyone know if there is video webcast available?

Vero Beach Dodgers (High-A):
The Dodgers won 7 - 4 over Clearwater.

The Dodgers were led by another good night at the plate for right fielder Matt Kemp. Kemp went 2 for 4 with a double, a homerun and 2 RBIs (.279/.316/.575). At only 20 years old, Kemp now leads the Florida State League in slugging amongst active players (Andy LaRoche and Brett Harper are ahead of him, but have since been promoted). Kemp was selected by the Dodgers in the 6th round of the 2003 draft out of Midwest City High School in Oklahoma, and ranked as the Dodgers 28th best prospect coming into the season. Here is what Baseball America had to say about Kemp in the May 25th edition of "Ask BA":

"From a pure tools standpoint, Kemp takes a backseat to few minor leaguers. He has a great body (6-foot-4, 215 pounds), tons of bat speed and raw power, average arm strength and average speed once he gets going. To make the jump to elite prospect, he needs to show more consistency. Kemp has played baseball full-time for less than two years, and it shows. He's still raw when it comes to controlling the strike zone (30 whiffs, six walks in 2005), which inhibits his ability to hit for average (.258), and his defense could stand some improvement as well."

Chin-lung Hu did not play in last night's game, and hasn't played since July 7th. Tony Abreu again started at shortstop, going 1 for 5 with a double and a run scored (.321/.348/.435). First baseman Cory Dunlap went 0 for 2 with a hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice fly (.280/.380/.370). Recently promoted center fielder Jamie Hoffman went 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI (.261/.250/.261). Hoffman was signed as an amateur free agent in 2003. At 20 years old, Hoffman still has some prospect potential and was performing well in Columbus prior to his promotion. In 321 at-bats with Columbus, Hoffman was hitting .308/.383/.414 with 39 walks and 73 strikeouts. Left fielder Anthony Raglani went 2 for 3 with a triple, a run scored, and an RBI (.292/.394/.448). Raglani is 22 years old and was drafted in the 5th round of last year's draft out of George Washington University.

Beltran Perez and Casey Hoorelbeke combined to pitch 6.1 innings of scoreless relief, with Perez receiving the win. Perez pitched 3.1 innings allowing 3 hits while striking out 3 (3.45/31.1/30/12). Hoorelbeke pitched 3.0 innings allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 1 (1.92/56.1/40/27). Orlando Rodgriguez, a 24 year old lefty, pitched a scoreless 9th for the save, allowing 1 hit with 1 strikeout (4.15/17.1/25/9).

Columbus Catfish (Low-A):
No game scheduled.

Nineteen year old pitcher Javy Guerra is scheduled to undergo elbow surgery in the near future. Guerra is hopeful that he will not require Tommy John surgery, but he will at least be out until next season.

Ogden Raptors (Rookie):
The Raptors lost 5 - 4 to Helena.

Outfielder Sergio Pedroza was promoted to Columbus prior to the game. Without Pedroza's bat, the Raptors only managed to score 4 runs on 11 hits and 2 walks, leaving 9 men on base. Shorstop Juan Rivera went 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored (.313/.403/.388). Second baseman Jesus Soto went 0 for 4 with a walk and 2 strikeouts (.315/.358/.517). First baseman David Sutherland went 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs and 2 strikeouts (.444/.526/.494). Third baseman Russell Mitchell went 2 for 5 with an RBI (.330/.340/.670). For an amusing comparison, Mitchell's ISOp (AVG - SLG) is .340 and Sutherland's ISOp is .050. Catcher Juan Apodaca went 0 for 4 with a strikeout (.349/.379/.651). Center fielder Adam Godwin went 2 for 4 with a run scored (.290/.371/.355).

Starting pitcher Brent Leach broke the 20 inning scoreless streak to start his professional career. Leach pitched 5 innings for the loss, allowing 4 runs (all earned) on 6 hits (1 double and 1 homerun) and 3 walks while striking out 3 (1.77/20.1/18/7). Twenty-four year old right-hander Aaron Klusman pitched the final 3 innings, allowing 1 run (earned) on 2 hits while striking out 3 (1.93/14/11/1). Klusman was signed as an amateur free agent in 2003 and is repeating the Pioneer League.

GCL Dodgers (Rookie):
The Dodgers lost 6 - 1 to the GCL Nationals.

In what is fast becoming an organization philosophy, the Dodgers only managed 1 run on 11 hits and 3 walks. Every Dodgers regular managed a hit in the game, but only shortstop Ivan DeJesus had a multi-hit game. DeJesus went 3 for 5 with a double, an RBI and a strikeout (.289/.319/.333). Third baseman Carlos Santana went 1 for 5 with 2 strikeouts (.375/.421/.563). Designated hitter Josh Bell went 1 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout (.286/.340/.367). Second baseman Adolfo Gonzalez went 1 for 5 with a double (.341/.356/.477).

Starting pitcher Josh Wall made his professional debut with the Dodgers. Wall pitched 3 innings, allowing 2 runs (both earned) on 4 hits (1 homerun) and 1 walk while striking out 2 (6.00/3.0/2/1). Wall was the Dodgers 2nd round pick this year and recently signed for a reported $480,000. Here is what Baseball America had to say about Wall prior to the draft:

"Wall had a chance to go in the first round based on his early performance. He struck out 12 in a heavily scouted 2-0 loss to Aaron Thompson in April, and at that point he had been regularly working with a 90-93 mph fastball and a solid curveball. Wall's stuff dipped toward the end of his season, though, and he pitched at 86-88 mph and had a less effective curve. He kept winning, allowing one earned run in two playoff games as Central Private capped a 38-1 season with a championship in the Mississippi Private School Association (which includes teams from both Mississippi and Louisiana). While Wall probably will go in the second round now, he's still one of the most projectable pitchers available. He has a lot of room for to add muscle to his frame, and when he does should have more success maintaining a plus fastball. Wall's size also makes him a power threat at the plate, as he tied a school record with 19 homers this spring."

In the 4th inning, reliever Christopher Hobdy was oddly pulled after getting two straight outs. Wilfredo Diaz and Eduardo Quintana combined to allow 4 runs (all earned) over the final 4.1 innings of relief. Eighteen year old left-hander Diaz pitched 2.1 innings, allowing 2 runs (both earned) on 2 hits (1 homerun) while striking out 2 (3.12/8.2/8/4). Twenty year old right-hander Quintana pitched 2.0 innings, allowing 2 runs (both earned) on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 1 (2.19/12.1/13/10).

2005-07-13 08:53:47
26.   fanerman
Count me in among the pleasantly surprised. Good read.
2005-07-13 09:08:55
27.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 25

Is Hu hurt?


2005-07-13 09:35:39
28.   Benaiah
Great job (as usual) Jon. Very insightful analysis, which is so out of place by a LAT writer. That said, Jim Tracy isn't as good a manager as there is. I would take a Bobby Cox over a Tracy without a second to think about it. It could be worse, but lets not act like the fact that there are awful managers means that Tracy is a good one.
2005-07-13 09:36:56
29.   Bob Timmermann
Paging Abbott and Costello.
Paging Abbott and Costello.
Please report to Post 27.
2005-07-13 09:45:24
30.   Vishal
29. LOL
2005-07-13 09:45:37
31.   Fearing Blue
#27: That would be my guess, but I don't have any information. It's not promotion related as Guzman is playing SS above him.
2005-07-13 09:47:39
32.   Steve
31 - Damn straight
2005-07-13 09:49:54
33.   gvette
Jon, nice job. It's great to hear from the beat writers without the usual nonsense from their paper's columnists. (For example, check out Steve Dilbeck's silliness on "team chemistry" in today's Star News.)

#29 Hu's on first? Looks like Cory Dunlap was there according to Fearing Blue's always informative summary.

2005-07-13 09:50:54
34.   Fearing Blue
#28: Bobby Cox does some strange things as well. Kelly Johnson, the Braves rookie outfielder, was batting third for about a week (July 8th - July 15th) during which time his OPS ranged between .198 and .504.
2005-07-13 09:56:09
35.   Fearing Blue
Time to start talking AJ Burnett rumors. According to

" According to the Miami Herald, the Marlins have stepped up efforts to shop right-hander A.J. Burnett and are in trade discussions with at least six teams about deals that would net Florida a top reliever in return. The White Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Padres, Angels and Dodgers are all in the Burnett sweepstakes. "We're sensing that, based on the interest conveyed through the media, that there are a lot of suitors," agent Darek Braunecker told the newspaper.
Baltimore is offering a package centered on reliever Jorge Julio and have taken 24-year-old right-hander Daniel Cabrera off the table, instead offering 20-year-old Hayden Penn, as well as a left-handed-hitting outfielder, probably Larry Bigbie."

In terms of Dodgers prospects, would an equivalent offer be Werth, Brazoban, and Thompson? Thompson has a lower upside, but Werth and Brazoban both have higher upsides and longer eligibility than Julio and Bigbie.

I would consider that trade if Burnett agrees to a 3-year extension. Then, we could turn around and trade Weaver to Baltimore for Larry Bigbie and Hayden Penn :).

2005-07-13 09:57:36
36.   Fearing Blue
#33: I was thoroughly amused by Dilbeck's piece. Why should he try to do any intelligent analysis when his editor lets him print that garbage? It probably took him 20 minutes or so to cut-and-paste.
2005-07-13 10:03:33
37.   LAT
Jon great piece. A real pleasure to read and informative. Enjoyed the frankness of both writers. Nice to actaully get conformation that Depo and JT are not on the same page but seem to have mutual respect for one another.

Also goes to show, you never know who's lurking around. Clearly Henson is a DT regular.

Keep up the good work. DT may be the only bright spot of the second half.

2005-07-13 10:07:45
38.   Steve
Jon, if you ever interview Dilbeck, be sure to use short words.
2005-07-13 10:10:13
39.   fanerman
Okay, so if Steve is Ross Porter, which one of you is Steve Henson? Hmm... maybe "Steve" pretended to be Ross Porter so we won't suspect that he's really Steve Henson. How diabolically clever.
2005-07-13 10:17:58
40.   Vishal
34. so you're saying he improved that week by 300 points? and the following few weeks he went from .504 up to .853, so maybe cox knew what he was doing after all :)
2005-07-13 10:31:43
41.   Jon Weisman
Feel free to continue open chat here, but please see new post above about a 2005 Dodger draft pick who has been found to have cancer.
2005-07-13 11:23:18
42.   everett
Accidentally clicked on The Griddle and found out that even though Jon can really write, he can't pick a division very well...

dead last for all toaster predictors in the NL and AL&NL combined... :P

"Jon putting the Cardinals fourth and the Pirates last is almost entirely responsible for his singled-division worst total of 40.5 in the NL Central"

... hopefully this sounds like a good natured jab ... :) thanks for the great site jon.

2005-07-13 11:37:20
43.   franklin
#34, #40: Given Johnson's performance in 44 games at AAA this year (.310/.438/.581) and the fact that he couldn't really be much worse than Mondesi or Jordan were enough for Cox to keep him in the lineup through the slump.
2005-07-13 11:59:37
44.   Fearing Blue
#43: I have no problem with Johnson being in the lineup, but it seems similar to batting Repko second back when he wasn't hitting.
2005-07-13 12:02:02
45.   Jon Weisman
42 - The system Cliff used really penalizes you for going out on a limb. I'm in fine shape with the other five divisions but you make one Pirates pick and it ruins the whole thing ...
2005-07-13 12:16:30
46.   Steve
but you make one Pirates pick and it ruins the whole thing

That would seem self-evident.

2005-07-13 12:26:39
47.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 35

Considering how thin the free agent SP market is, I can't see Burnett not testing free agency. I wonder, though, if he and Penny still keep in touch--maybe that would help, if DePo did really want to do a trade paired with an extension.

Penny-Lowe-Burnett-Odalis-DJ/Jackson/? would be a nice rotation.


2005-07-13 12:30:35
48.   JSN
Just want to say well done Jon, that was a great piece. I also however want to express my appreciation to Fearing Blue for the minor league updates. I'm beginning to wait for them anxiously each day, given the problems with the major league team. Thanks for taking time to do that.
2005-07-13 12:36:41
49.   dzzrtRatt
"Something tells me that the next three months at Dodger Stadium aren't going to be too pleasant. The fans have become a group willing to boo at the second sign of misfortune or failure, and there's going to be a good deal of it in the second half. It's just not a very tolerant crowd these days."

This made me feel like I've been rooting for the Dodgers too long. I remember when the Dodger crowd was excoriated for its apathy, its Southern California mellowness. (Steve Garvey's crediting "the 10th man" to the contrary. That always seemed like wishful thinking.) He's right, of course. The crowd nowadays is much more like an East Coast crowd -- thrilled at success, harsh on failure.

One problem I've been meaning to mention is the Dodgers' feeble presence in the media. Other than the games themselves, the team is almost ignored by sports talk radio. The Angels own 710, and 570 and 1540 are obsessed with the (tedious) doings of the Lakers, even in the offseason. Dodger Thoughts has replaced the radio chat I used to enjoy, but until Jon, Bob, Steve, LAT, Fearing Blue, natepurcell and the rest of top-level commentators can get a drive-time show, I think our fan base is not getting the news they need to follow the team for what it is--especially now, since McCourt took off the names.

2005-07-13 12:42:18
50.   Bob Timmermann
I can imagine few things duller than listening to me on the radio.
I think I'm sort of the anti-Jim Rome.

"Don't have a take, please!"

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-07-13 12:49:18
51.   Steve
I would spontaneously combust before the first commercial break.
2005-07-13 12:52:36
52.   Marty
but you make one Pirates pick and it ruins the whole thing

That line is very close to the punch line of a really dirty joke, that I can't repeat here.

2005-07-13 12:56:47
53.   Jim Hitchcock
I would spontaneously combust before the first commercial break.

That would really only work on T.V.

2005-07-13 13:18:23
54.   fanerman
And boy would it work.
2005-07-13 13:23:53
55.   Jon Weisman
It worked for Spinal Tap.

I'm all for the radio show, by the way. The anti-er Jim Rome, the better. When do we start?

2005-07-13 13:28:53
56.   fanerman
I'm all for it as long as it's broadcasted for free on the internet. Otherwise I'd have a bit of a hard time tuning in.
2005-07-13 13:29:21
57.   dzzrtRatt
One option might be to take the live-blogging during games and turn that into a separate show on a digital track during radio broadcasts. Respectful silence during Vinny's three innings, and then have at it the rest of the way. Like the directors' comment track on a DVD.
2005-07-13 13:30:24
58.   Bob Timmermann
Should I set up a Podcast of my RDGCs?
2005-07-13 13:31:45
59.   fanerman
That may work. Those director commentaries are pretty fun to watch. Well, I've never seen an entire movie that way, but I've seen every "commentaried" West Wing episode.
2005-07-13 13:49:37
60.   natepurcell
OT- what does everyone think of the potential kwame broen for caron butler deal?
2005-07-13 13:55:38
61.   natepurcell
2005-07-13 14:01:00
62.   Fearing Blue
#61: Can either of them play left field or third base?
2005-07-13 14:01:36
63.   fanerman
While the risk may end up being worth it... it's still a pretty big risk. I generally agree with Kurt at Forum Blue And Gold, but if it does happen I won't hate it. I'm just skeptical. I don't know much about Brown's situation in Washington. ie, how much of a "cancer" he is or how much he just needs a fresh start. I also don't know how high his basketball IQ is and how much he's willing to work hard. Still, it could be worth it.

I'd rather we sign him for the MLE as a free agent and not lose anybody, but that probably means no Daniels, who would help us a lot, too.

2005-07-13 14:07:28
64.   natepurcell

i was the same way. but then i looked more closely at kwame's situation in washington and it was really apparant that it was a terrible environment. and i cant help but compare kwame in washington to jermaine oneal in portland. and the fact that every player that has left washington, went on to become very good players (rip hamilton, ben wallace, chris webber, etc)

i also read this article. it was very insightful.

2005-07-13 14:07:48
65.   fanerman
Re: the straight up free agent thing
Of course there's a chance he gets traded before then or he signs somewhere else.
2005-07-13 14:08:33
66.   fanerman
#64 - Nate,
I'll take a look. Most of my skepticism comes from my uncertainty of his situation.
2005-07-13 14:38:31
67.   Langhorne

You could get a spot on Farm Film Celebrity Blow Up. In fact, so could the Dodgers.

"They blowed up real good!"

2005-07-13 14:49:10
68.   db1022
#60 - I like it. I think Butler is a decent player, though he doesn't excel in any one facet of his game (average D, average jump shot). He's also an unnecessary luxury for the Lakers considering the glut of SF's they had on their roster last year (which didn't even include likely starter at the 3 this year, Odom).

Not too excited about Brown - he's a risk, but could payoff big. He could also continue to disappoint and move the Lakers even further in the hole.

As far as the comparisons to Jermaine O'Neal, he was chained to the bench in Portland and only when he got to Indiana did he get a chance to play any minutes. Kwame has gotten plenty of chances to succeed.

I still like Chris Wilcox from the Clippers better.

2005-07-13 14:50:38
69.   mcrawford
*BP: I think one thing we should all keep in mind is - we really don't know what kind of player Paul wants. Honestly. You may think you do, but this is a guy who prides himself on seeing things differently. And
remember, he rose to GM pretty quickly and has only had his hands on a team for, what, 17 months? There is really not much of a track record there.*

I think this is key. So many people jump all over DePodesta for what he's done and what we "know" he's doing. But we really don't know yet.

Just last weekend I was listening to a radio program where the guy was interviewing Fred Claire (maybe this was already commented on here, I don't know). The guy kept asking Claire, "What do you think of DePodesta's Moneyball strategy to build a team where OBP is the most important thing?" Which is wrong on so many levels, it's infuriating.

2005-07-13 14:57:06
70.   fanerman
What did Claire say?
2005-07-13 14:58:40
71.   mcrawford
#18 - that "cache" line threw me for a loop too. But I don't understand "cachet" either. I didn't know what cachet meant so I looked it up. Are you using it to mean "2. fig. Stamp, distinguishing mark, 'sign manual'."? Nothing else makes any sense at all.

"Cache" is listed as an obsolete spelling of a certain type of Indian or Chinese money "cash":
A name applied by Europeans to various coins of low value in the East Indies and China: esp. a. The basis of the monetary system which prevailed in Southern India up to 1818; in this system 80 cash = 1 fanam, 42 fanams = 1 star pagoda (about 7s. 8d.).

So maybe he just meant that Tracy doesn't have as much $$$ as great ex-players. Sure, that's it.

2005-07-13 15:07:47
72.   mcrawford
#70 - I was too aggravated to remember exactly. He said that he (Claire) liked to look at many different aspects of a player, including all his statistics, plus his makeup, demeanor, and so on.

The other thing Claire said that got me riled up is that he didn't understand why DePodesta didn't stick with the "very good team" the Dodgers had last year. It riled me up because I don't understand who he would have wanted to keep, other than maybe Green and Beltre. Steve Finley is horrible; he's hitting about as well as Repko. Ishii is horrible. Lima is worse than Erickson! Alex Cora isn't even a starter anymore. We wouldn't be winning with those guys either.

2005-07-13 15:18:09
73.   Jon Weisman
71 - It's "cache" - with an accent mark I suppose, or spelled as cachet - as in prestige.
2005-07-13 15:23:45
74.   JSN
" McCourt needs to spend for one more top-flight hitter. My fear is that he will, but with the money that went to Weaver this year. So the rotation might weaken."

I would love to see that money spent on Burnett. Then add a big bopper picked up either through a trade, and/or the difference we have monetarily between 100million and what we're currently spending plus the Green/Dreifort money. It's no secret Burnett has the stuff to be a great pitcher if his arm remains healthy.

On another random note I've come to believe that the season(meaning a reasonable chance at a playoff berth) hinges on the amount of time it takes to get Bradley back on the field coupled with some trades (such as a Dunn). We can make all the trades we want for an outfielder but it's just treading water without getting Bradley back in the lineup. (I would say "or Drew" but we know he's out for at least a couple months.). If Bradley takes too much longer, stick a fork in it and unload at the least Weaver, and maybe a couple others.

2005-07-13 15:37:58
75.   Fearing Blue
#74: There likely isn't enough money in next year's budget for two premier players. The Dodgers payroll this year, including payouts for former players (Green and Ishii) and estimated insurance payment for Dreifort (~$6 million) is right around $90 million. The estimated payroll for next season after raises and arbitration is about $75 million. Burnett or a big slugger (Dunn, Giles, etc.) will eat up $10 - 11 million of the $15 million available. I'm pretty sure Henson is right that it's an either or situation. Personally, I'd prefer the money be spent on pitching, because otherwise we could be looking at a rotation with Derek Thompson and DJ Houlton for 2006.
2005-07-13 15:39:49
76.   stubbs
Jon-Thanks for this, it was the best read since I discovered DT.

I would love to see Tracy get a shot with a fully loaded gun. These Dodger teams of the Tracy era have been seriously flawed. Last years 94 win team was a modern miracle. One thing I thought of when reading the article was that guys like A. Perez, Choi, Phillips and to an extent Werth are guys that are fully capable of putting up solid numbers but are the types that always seem to play for losing teams. If Depo can unload some of these guys after they put solid 2005 seasons (statistically) we will be so much better for it next year.

Guys I severe ties b/t now and 2006 opening day:
-Phillips (possibly back as a Rookie's caddy)
-Perez (trade him while value high now)
-Choi (i choose Tracy)
-Weaver-trade him now for something rather than after 2005 for nada.
-Saenz-tough one-value at deadline versus top pinch hitter next year.
-Brazoban-With all of our young arms and Gagne, should be the centerpiece of whatever big trade we make. Every team needs bullpen help.

2005-07-13 15:51:52
77.   mcrawford
#73 - I think it has to be "cachet". The definition for "cachet" that means (figuratively) a distinctive mark or seal is the only one that's even close, as in "1840 THACKERAY Paris Sk.-bk. (1885) 69 All his works [pictures] have a grand cachet: he never did anything mean." The OED doesn't list anything for cache that would be even remotely close.

In the French dictionary on-line that I'm looking at, cache' means to conceal (similar to the English cache) and cachet means sign or mark.

If you think of prestige as coming from something distinctive, then I guess cachet could mean prestige.

2005-07-13 15:57:24
78.   Jim Hitchcock
I took it to mean `cachet'. But what's really been eating at me is whether `Mmm' is spelled with three or four `M's'... :)
2005-07-13 16:08:10
79.   Jon Weisman
"Prestige" is in fact one of the dictionary definitions of cachet in Webster's.
2005-07-13 16:16:34
80.   the OZ
I would love to see Tracy get a shot with a fully loaded gun.

So he can shoot himself in the foot 6 times? Or in the case of a magazine-fed weapon, 30 times? Do we really need Adam Dunn bunting the runner to third with no outs?

Sorry, I haven't seen Steve on the board and I couldn't resist filling in for him. I actually don't want to debate Tracy's merits or shortcomings.

2005-07-13 16:20:56
81.   fanerman
I'd rather just keep Choi. If only because he probably has no value to anybody other than to Beane or Epstein (though of course, I'm a pretty strong Choi supporter). Of course the Choi/Tracy dilemma may prove to be somebody's undoing, but I'm not going to say anything about that.
2005-07-13 16:22:29
82.   fanerman
I said "of course" two times in a row. "Of course" I'm an idiot.
2005-07-13 16:22:54
83.   Eric Enders
From Webster's Unabridged:

2 a : a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige or distinction or inspiring respect regarded the possession of T land as a cachet of respectability G.W.Johnson b : high status : PRESTIGE being a guard gave you a certain cachet New Yorker few read them but those who do acquire cachet Bernard De Voto

2005-07-13 16:23:33
84.   Eric Enders
Uh, I didn't mean for those segments to be bold... those are Webster's asterisks.
2005-07-13 16:36:26
85.   bigcpa
The Marlins are supposedly interested in Mark Redman. So how about Weaver and a guy for Burnett? But if it's just a 2005 rental we'd be better off with Weaver's compensatory draft pick. We need to play .675 to win 90 games. Na ga happen.
2005-07-13 16:41:29
86.   jpeace

Cox does do some strange things, but he seems like one of the few managers that would communicate questionable moves to his players. Players seem to like him, and want to play for him. I know I would want to play for him!

Tracy on the other hand, i can't figure out. I don't think the players can either. Bunt?! Swing?! Who knows? I don't understand what Henson and other's see in Tracy.

2005-07-13 16:42:27
87.   jpeace
2005-07-13 16:43:13
88.   Eric Enders
At this point, does anyone have any idea whether Weaver will be a type A or B free agent? These things seem to be only vaguely related to performance, so the fact that he sucks won't necessarily prevent him from being a Type A.
2005-07-13 16:49:28
89.   natepurcell
weaver will be a type A free agent. you have to be in the top 30% of players of your position for the last 2 yrs to be a type A FA.
2005-07-13 16:50:14
90.   the OZ
Have any of our draft experts formed an opinion about the quality of the 2006 class? Is there a chance to nab a top talent toward the end of the first round?
2005-07-13 16:50:25
91.   fanerman
How do they decide what top 30% is?
2005-07-13 16:54:52
92.   Vishal
salary? hahah
2005-07-13 16:56:33
93.   natepurcell
How do they decide what top 30% is?

its usually satistitical. with hitters, they use the basic stats- BA, RBIs, runs scored, homeruns.

with pitchers- era, wins, etc

2005-07-13 17:15:45
94.   Fearing Blue
In Columbus, Christopher Malone has a little Grabowski going throug 4 innings with 7 strikeouts. Pedroza is 1 for 2 so far in his first game since being promoted.
2005-07-13 17:20:34
95.   db1022
"The Red Sox got some bullpen help on Wednesday when they received reliever Chad Bradford from the Athletics in exchange for outfielder Jay Payton and cash considerations."

Kind of surprising given Bradford was one of Beane's personal faves in Moneyball. But it's been known this year that he really coveted Payton (wonder what #'s he's looking at?).

2005-07-13 17:35:39
96.   natepurcell

AA all star game. guzman, martin, young and weber both in it.

everyone see JtD play shortstop. hes made some good plays. so he aumotically stays there forever.

2005-07-13 17:41:55
97.   natepurcell
wow. josh johnson just owned guzman... but he also owned delmon young.
2005-07-13 17:49:04
98.   natepurcell
guzman just turned a hell of a DP. what a cannon wow.
2005-07-13 17:53:46
99.   dzzrtRatt
Re #72, bear in mind, Steve Finley has been injured since the second day of the season, but only went on the DL a week or so ago.

I know Finley doesn't fit the player-type profile that a lot of writers on this site tend to favor, but he's not "terrible." The 2004 division title doesn't happen without him. When he gets off the DL, I have no doubt he will help the Angels a lot.

Face it, as this team sinks closer to 4th place, a lot of fans are going to ask why a division winner was broken up. The only answer that doesn't take 20 minutes to explain is: "Money." To some fans, merely mentioning the fact that a baseball owner has financial considerations is like breaking wind in church. That's the real reason "Moneyball" is so divisive. To sabre-fans, factoring in salary and payroll in assessing a player's worth makes the game more interesting. It's one more variable. But to others, it ruins the game.

2005-07-13 18:00:35
100.   Eric Enders
*93. natepurcell
How do they decide what top 30% is?*

It's a proprietary statistical formula owned by Elias. The results never, ever make any sense.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-07-13 18:07:59
101.   Fearing Blue
#99: I don't think that's necessarily true. When I was back in LA, I spoke with some friends who were really bitter about the offseason changes. I told them that when you have a team whose success is based on a number of career years, you're pretty much guaranteed worse performance the next year. It was clear that the dice weren't going to come up double-sixes to years in a row. It's not that hard of a message, it's just not the way the newspapers want to write it.
2005-07-13 18:46:10
102.   dzzrtRatt

You probably have friends who are smart and will give you a moment to explain one or two statistical theories (i.e. "careers years are almost always followed by regression") that underpin baseball analysis. I just wonder how many of the fans who've had to sit through 3-4 games in which Shawn Green of the D-backs dismantled Dodger pitching stopped booing long enough to consider the wisdom of letting him go. Especially when their biases are confirmed by 90 percent of the baseball broadcasters and sports talk hosts out there. I don't think I've heard Joe McDonnell or Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton echo these thoughts during the many hours they bloviate on the air. Nor has a certain former HOF second baseman who shall not be named been helping make DePo's case for him lately. Most fans don't like excuses, even when they're valid.

2005-07-13 18:46:59
103.   popup
Jon, thanks for the high quality dialog in the feature story and Dodger Thoughts posters thanks for the consistently high quality of the comments on this site.

I hope DePo can trade Weaver for a useful part for the 06 Dodgers in much the same way he traded for Brad Penny last year. A durable outfielder who can hit would be a welcome addition given the injury history of Drew, Bradley and Werth. Maybe DePo could take a page from a Dodger GM of the past and make a trade to strengthen the broadcast crew too. In the late 40's Branch Rickey traded a catcher to bring Ernie Harwell to Brooklyn as a play by play broadcaster. I know most Dodger fans are concentrating on Adam Dunn but maybe the Reds could be persuaded to part with Marty Brennaman too. Steiner, Monday, Downing and a microphone to be named later for Marty would be a trade that would put every Dodger fan solidly in DePo's corner

Stan from Tacoma

2005-07-13 18:52:42
104.   Fearing Blue
#102: The friends I was explaining the situation to weren't "big nerds" like me :). I just think the issue stems from the media rather than the lack of ability of fans to understand. If talk shows, newspapers, and ESPN would be a little more rational, the fans would likely get it. Of course, I believe the same is true with all news media. I'm not holding my breath.
2005-07-13 18:57:53
105.   Fearing Blue
Steve, please do not read.

In the AA All-Star game, Guzman has made a couple of bad plays in the field so far. He let a slowly hit broken-bat ground ball roll through his legs, missing a potential double-play opportunity. He was charged with an error that led to the undoing of his teammate, reliever Luis Gonzalez. Then, later in the game, on a 4-6-3 double-play attempt, Guzman threw about 5 feet over the first baseman's head. No error on the play since they got the lead runner.

2005-07-13 19:13:15
106.   Bob Timmermann
Self-Immolation averted

The rumored Preston Wilson to the Nationals deal went through.

Zack Day has been exiled to Colorado.

2005-07-13 19:15:50
107.   Steve
Damn bananas don't work.
2005-07-13 19:16:38
108.   Fearing Blue
#107: I gave you fair warning.
2005-07-13 19:17:17
109.   Fearing Blue
#106: The Dodgers could theoretically still trade for Encarnacion. I'd fly to Utah to watch that response.
2005-07-13 19:18:51
110.   Bob Timmermann

Marty Brennaman is a diehard Cincinnati guy and a local legend there. I doubt he would leave. Although the Reds are doing their best to alienate many of their fans.

2005-07-13 19:19:16
111.   Fearing Blue
The Northern League had a combined 6 pitcher no-hitter going through 6 innings. The no-hitter was broken up on the first hitter in the 7th.
2005-07-13 19:24:42
112.   Bob Timmermann
It's just the North, not the Northern League.
2005-07-13 19:28:33
113.   Fearing Blue
#112: Duh. It's North vs. South for the Southern League All-Star game. I was confused because tonight's AAA All-Star game is the Pacific Coast League vs. the International League.
2005-07-13 19:30:34
114.   Marty
110. He does have a cool name though.
2005-07-13 19:32:16
115.   Bob Timmermann
Knowing the way the Dodgers choose their announcers, they'd try to hire Thom Brennaman. UGH.

I was wondering why an independent league was playing against a AA league!

2005-07-13 19:41:27
116.   Bob Timmermann
Mets farmhand Jason Scobie is getting hit really hard in the AAA All-Star game. It's 5-1 in the first and the inning isn't over. Gerald Laird hit a grand slam.
2005-07-13 19:43:03
117.   Fearing Blue
In the Southern League All-Star game, an umpire had to be pulled from the game because of dehydration. The announcers, who clearly didn't realize they were still live, were postulating that someone may have been hitting the sauce a little too hard the night before :).
2005-07-13 19:44:24
118.   Fearing Blue
#115: Ok. Keep rubbing it in smarty-pants :).
2005-07-13 19:45:39
119.   Bob Timmermann
As the Beatles once sang "It's only a Northern League..."
2005-07-13 19:57:43
120.   Bob Timmermann
I wonder if I will be able to stay up to see if Joe Thurston makes an appearance in the AAA All-Star Game.
2005-07-13 20:05:45
121.   Bob Timmermann
Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick to Oakland for Eric Byrnes, Omar Quintanilla and cash.
2005-07-13 20:14:28
122.   Bob Timmermann
Posting for the cycle, the AAA All-Star Game now features the man who gave us the Grabowski Principle:

Kevin Jarvis.

2005-07-13 20:52:26
123.   Benaiah
122 - Do you have to get 1,2,3 and 4, or just 4 in a row for the posting cycle? I only ask because I never check about the 2's and 3s.

121 - Combined with the Deal to the nationals I really like what the Rockies have done. Get rid of Wilson and replace him with Byrnes who should be a slight upgrade. Get rid of Kennedy and replace him with a pitcher who was decent last year and at least has more upside than beaten in Joe Kennedy. Depending on how the dollars work out this seems like good work all around. I wonder what Beane sees in Kennedy? He was very good last year, but I wonder if Coor's has really gotten to him. Coor's doesn't fully explain a 7 ERA.

2005-07-13 20:59:18
124.   Steve
$2 million! Let's go to Disneyland!
2005-07-13 21:00:49
125.   Eric Enders
I think the A's will soon regret losing Omar Quintanilla in the Kennedy trade, though.
2005-07-13 21:02:29
126.   bill cox
#23-DT is a pleasant place to hang and incredibly civil compared to the asylum known as the ESPN Dodger message board.There are some good folks there,but many blowhards and boneheads.
2005-07-13 21:17:37
127.   Steve
I'm missing what Billy gets out of this, although it may be the case that nobody is getting anything out of it.
2005-07-13 21:20:22
128.   Fearing Blue
#125: They certainly could as there aren't many defensive middle-infielders with plate discipline and pop. But, at 23.7 years old, Quintanilla is having a down year in AA (.293/.347/.395). Thus, I would say he's a lot more likely to be good than great, though in Coors field he may appear great.
2005-07-13 21:26:38
129.   Fearing Blue
#127: Well, he replaces Chad Bradford with Jay Witasick which is probably a slight improvement since Witasick is pitching very well and Bradford is coming off an injury. He replaces Eric Byrnes with Jay Payton, which is probably a wash. And last he adds Joe Kennedy, who at 26 years old, still has a lot of potential and will be under team control for another two years. With pitching going at such a premium, taking a risk on Kennedy makes a lot of sense for a team like th A's. Worst case, Kennedy can help out as a situational lefty and long reliever in the bullpen.

In the end, the only risk is Omar Quintanilla, who may turn out to be a good major league regular. The upside for Byrnes and Bradford is pretty apparent already.

2005-07-13 21:39:54
130.   Bob Timmermann
Hmm, warm weather, nice couch, and fighting off the remnant of a virus led me to fall asleep from the 4th through 8th innings.
2005-07-13 21:52:18
131.   Bob Timmermann
I missed Joe Thurston!

Oh well.

2005-07-14 08:19:30
132.   fanerman
I saw Thurston (well, one at-bat). He didn't look that great. He swung at just about every pitch he saw before he popped out to one of the outfielders (it was a bit of a bloop, the outfielder had to make a running catch). I wasn't paying that much attention. I had to wash dishes.

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