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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Tag - You're No Longer It
2005-08-25 08:59
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The nominal tag on Milton Bradley is hotheaded, but he's moving further toward developing a second tag that could prove more damaging for him long-term: injury-riddled.

True, it hasn't stopped J.D. Drew from a big payday, but it's certainly going to slow Bradley down. Bradley, 27, is eligible for salary arbitration once again this offseason. The continued presence of hotheaded, injury-riddled Odalis Perez shows that Bradley's departure is no foregone conclusion, but there's certainly a question of whether the Dodgers will tender an arbitration offer to Bradley or relinquish his rights, and should they do the latter, his 2006 earnings will no doubt diminish from what he could have expected one week ago.

The Dodgers will need to make a baseball decision about Bradley, not a therapeutic one. But - and I'll apologize in advance for being soft on this one - if Bradley does leave, I'll be disappointed for non-baseball reasons. For all his problems, I have found Bradley's story so compelling ever since he became a Dodger, I don't want to see it play out somewhere else. I want to see the third act here. Not to gawk, but because I think there's value in the resolution. For all the talk about how difficult Bradley's presence has been in the Dodger clubhouse, I think that the team would become stronger, more cohesive, if they see this through. I think we'd all learn something.

And I know many have lost patience with him, and I don't begrudge that. But I'm still rooting for him. His emotions may not all be pleasant ones, but I just feel his struggle. I can't justify it beyond that; I can't be rational about it.

But the Dodgers will need to make a baseball decision. Bradley, to a lesser extent than Drew, is a good ballplayer when healthy. Despite playing only 75 games this year, he has been the Dodgers' fourth-most valuable player statistically, according to Baseball Prospectus. (Drew, at 72 games, is third behind Jeff Kent and Brad Penny.) And not only do I believe that Bradley and Kent can co-exist on the same team, I think they can make each other and the team better.

Bradley's 2006 salary has to factor in his health, however. And I'm not sure how that's going to go.

Update: Will Carroll on Bradley at Baseball Prospectus:

Let's see - they've tried holy water, sacrificing a live chicken, and Marie Laveau. I'm not sure what the next step for curse removal is for the Dodgers. Milton Bradley is headed for surgery on a near-full thickness tear of his patellar tendon and damage to his ACL, a significant injury that will end his season and likely impact him in 2006 as well. Bradley hurt his knee Monday on an awkward baserunning play, though this doesn't seem like an injury that just happened; it's more the type of thing where the hyperextension was the straw that broke the camel's knee. Was Bradley injured on his "you didn't score from second!" play? That's an interesting question. The other question is, could Bradley continue to play with this injury. Yes, he could, especially with bracing, though much of that would be determined by pain tolerance, risk tolerance, and unfortunately the perception of intolerance. Whether he will or not should be determined in the next couple days.

Update 2: Hank Waddles, who wrote a piece you might remember about a middle-school visit Bradley made this year, has more on Bradley at Broken Cowboy.

* * *

Say hello to D.J. "Bright Spot" Houlton. Since the All-Star Break, the 26-year-old is 0-5 but with a 3.48 ERA, a .227 opponents batting average, 45 hits-plus-walks allowed in 41 1/3 innings, and averaging 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Maybe pitching without run support somehow suits him - in the past eight games Houlton has pitched, the Dodgers have scored 14 runs.

Ideally, the Dodger rotation next season would be strong enough that Houlton would have to compete for a job rather than have one handed to him. But competition the 2006 rotation right now only offers staff ace Brad Penny, staff inconstants Perez and Derek Lowe, and the best of Edwin Jackson and the minor league Superfriends. Jeff Weaver, inning-eater, will almost certainly price himself outside of the Dodgers' interest, though you have to imagine that Paul DePodesta will bring in a front-line pitcher through a trade. That still leaves it plenty likely that Houlton will be counted on as a regular cast member.

By the way, Penny may miss a start as soon as next week, according to Ken Gurnick at MLB.com. "Penny also said he's been told his appeal of a five-game suspension will be heard in Chicago next week," Gurnick wrote. "Penny was suspended for arguing after umpire Rob Drake ejected him from a July 14 contest."

Update: Anyone headed to Arizona this fall? Dodgers playing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League (according to Baseball America) include Jackson, Chad Billingsley, Greg Miller, Tony Abreu, Andy LaRoche, Matt Kemp and James Loney.

* * *

Blame it partly on Six Feet Under, but this morning I found myself googling Jim Bertken, the first friend of mine to die young. It was an unexpected twist to an admittedly downcast week for me to find from the results that today is the 10th anniversary of his drowning. Dave Strege of the Register has a column about the tragedy.

Jim was also the first person in what I considered my generation with kids, and he was a great father. Jim was funny, and Jim was good. He was someone truly rich to know.

Comments (161)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-08-25 09:53:48
1.   db1022
Say what you will about Milton Bradley, but he seems to be first player in a looong time that truly takes pride in wearing the Dodger uniform (maybe LoDuca too).

It used to be that players wanted to play for the Dodgers, as one of the top 3 organizations in baseball. When I see Milton win one in the ninth, and go crazy at home, I get the sense that he loves being a Dodger above all else.

I'm not sure I can remember another player (at least one this talented) who acts as if wearing the Blue is a culmination of a life-long dream.

2005-08-25 09:56:48
2.   JSN
Count me in as someone who genuinely likes and roots for Milton Bradley, on and off the field.

Were Milt to play for another team, I'm sure I would see his story on Sportscenter and say, "What an idiot."

Yet, baseball players are not perfect. They are people that have insecurities, fears, problems, pasts, and sometimes that spills over into baseball. The line between personal life and profession is significantly blurred over the course of a 162 game season.

In this regard I believe that Milton has done a comendable job as Milton 2.0 compared to 1.0 and although there are some glitches, I think that Milton 3.0 is going to be a fantastic ballplayer, person, and sparkplug for whatever team he plays for. Here's hoping it's the Dodgers, rational or not.

2005-08-25 09:58:42
3.   Telemachos
I share your sentiments about Bradley, Jon. I'm a huge fan of him; he plays his heart out on the field, and as he slowly matures, I can really see sparks of a fiery, passionate leader -- the kind the Dodgers haven't had in quite a while.

I get frustrated about his occasional outbursts... but I'm also feel that afterwards he truly does want to better himself and move past this.

2005-08-25 10:11:12
4.   Bob Timmermann
If Penny gets suspended after a hearing in Chicago, it shouldn't be too much of a problem as September 1 is rolling around and somebody from the minors can be plugged in and Penny forced to rest a day. If the suspension starts after August 30, then Penny wouldn't miss a start.

This assumes that there is an inexhaustible supply of major league ready starters in the minors for the Dodgers.

I think once Bradley goes on the DL, it will be time to say hello to Mike Edwards again. The Dodgers will have need of someone who can also fill in on the infield with Izturis having back problems.

2005-08-25 10:11:36
5.   db1022
Vin was freaking me out last night. I missed the first inning of the game, so I got my Milton update in about the 3rd inning.

He was being very cryptic, talking about the strange turn of events in this situation, etc etc.

I thought for sure he was released, or suspended with some sort of "irreconcilable differences" outcome to follow.

I was actually pleased when I heard it was "only" a major knee injury.

2005-08-25 10:13:26
6.   Jon Weisman
4 - inexhaustible, and as effective as Penny

Will Carroll update above

2005-08-25 10:13:48
7.   JSN
5 - Yea did anyone read Adande's article? His article in sum was "Good thing Milton had a major knee injury to save everyone the trouble of solving a problem. Good thing the fourth best player on the team is done."
2005-08-25 10:14:11
8.   grandcosmo
There is no way I would re-sign Bradley for 2006. Next season he will be 28 and in his 7th season in the majors. That is plenty of time for him to have matured. It is not a maturity problem with him, it is a pathology problem.
2005-08-25 10:20:36
9.   Kayaker7
I never found Milton's antics as off-putting as other prickly personalities in the game like Albert Belle or Barry Bonds. Milton always looks like he is trying to better himself as a person, and sometimes he fails to show himself in the best light. But the struggle is there for all to see. The other two I mentioned seem to be smug in their own sense of worth and ego, and have no intentions of ever trying to better themselves as people.

As for the UTK article, how the heck does one play though a near full thickness patellor tendon tear? Perhaps it is a matter of the angle of the tear. I keep imagining Milton's tendon just barely hanging on by 20% of the intact tendon.

2005-08-25 10:24:28
10.   db1022
9 - I agree. Seems completely unnecessary to force the issue by playing. With the current injury, he should be back by ST. If he were to play and tear completely, who knows how long the recovery would take.
2005-08-25 10:24:54
11.   Bob Timmermann
5
I didn't know J.A. Adande's computer can write a column with out having the word "Kobe" appear in it. I think he has it as preprogrammed function key.
2005-08-25 10:29:06
12.   the OZ
CTRL+ALT+K ?
2005-08-25 10:35:23
13.   db1022
12 - Hmm, I hit those buttons, at which point my Pentium chip demanded a trade to our Miami office, who gave me two Celerons and a coffee pot in exchange.
2005-08-25 10:36:13
14.   Howard Fox
13 hold out for a capuccino maker
2005-08-25 10:37:42
15.   Bob Timmermann
Much to my surprise, this is the sixth straight Adande column that doesn't mention Kobe Bryant. His last column that mentioned him was on July 13 and it was about the Clippers.

My LA Times database counts 436 different stories by Adande that mention Kobe Bryant since February 7, 1998.

In the same period, Plaschke had only 262 Kobe columns.

Simers had 227.

2005-08-25 10:38:49
16.   Howard Fox
the only time I mention Kobe, it is followed by beef
2005-08-25 10:39:39
17.   Bob Timmermann
16
You must have a large amount of disposable income then.
2005-08-25 10:43:18
18.   Howard Fox
17 that's one of my beefs
2005-08-25 10:44:13
19.   Peanuts in My Shoes
Quick poll: Milton, or Sheff?
2005-08-25 10:45:17
20.   Howard Fox
Kevin
2005-08-25 10:45:27
21.   Kayaker7
19 I'd much rather have Milton.
2005-08-25 10:48:15
22.   db1022
19 - What's the question? Who's the bigger headache, or who would I rather have on my team (actually that might be the same answer)?
2005-08-25 10:48:36
23.   Bob Timmermann
Sheffield has proven much more durable in his career than Bradley.
2005-08-25 10:51:05
24.   JJoeScott
Sheff, no doubt. One of the best 10 hitters of this generation.

We never should have signed Kent. Even without knowing how the team was going to break down throughout the year, this team was still too "young" for a Kent to co-exist upon. Maybe nobody else wanted him at the price he signed for?

2005-08-25 10:52:18
25.   db1022
23 - Not to mention exponentially more productive.

I like Milton, but this is really no contest.

2005-08-25 10:52:39
26.   Kayaker7
Sheff's the better player, but he comes with even more baggage than Milton.
2005-08-25 10:52:46
27.   Howard Fox
24 on the other hand, a veteran like Kent can teach young players by example as to work ethic, approach to the game, etc
2005-08-25 10:53:03
28.   JJoeScott
BTW, I'm sure "Kobe" was in the initial draft of Adande's column, but some at the Times must have edited out. At least that's what J.A. will say!
2005-08-25 10:55:19
29.   JJoeScott
27 A veteran-not-like-Kent could do that, methought. A veteran-like-Kent seems to work alongside other veterans. The Mets, say, would have been a better fit for him.

But, thinking about it as I type this, I'm not sure anyone save for the Astros and Dodgers actually had a need for him to play 2B. And didn't we sign him to play 3B? ;-)

2005-08-25 10:57:04
30.   Nagman
Somebody refresh my memory, but didn't most of the trouble with Sheffield start only after the Dodgers didn't give him a long term contract? Didn't he want to retire in LA (granted, at the time)?

He's abrasive, but maybe that contract would've been a bargain.

As far as MB, for some reason Depo didn't convince me when he said he hopes Bradley is on the team next year. To me it sounds like they are tired of it. In a way, I am too... I don't want to have to worry next season when and what kind of meltdown is going to happen.

2005-08-25 10:58:14
31.   JJoeScott
I'm with #1 above - I hope Bradley stays.
But we still need an OF next year, either way.

And a first baseman.
And probably someone to replace Kent.
And a third baseman.
And some relief help.
And another starter.

And yet we still might win the division this year.

2005-08-25 10:58:41
32.   Howard Fox
29 I think you may be underestimating the importance of Kent's work ethic
2005-08-25 11:01:49
33.   Formerly R
I too would like to see Milton fulfill his potential as a Dodger. But how many injury risks can you have on one team? Of the three OFs who were supposed to play the bulk of the innings this year -- Drew, Milton, Werth -- all have spent significant time on the DL.

One injury risk in the outfield (Drew) is enough for me thanks.

2005-08-25 11:02:22
34.   db1022
And a first baseman. - Meet Hee Seop Choi.
And probably someone to replace Kent. - I'm not trading our MVP, are you?
And a third baseman. - Patience, help is on the way.
And some relief help. - Things will look much better when Gagne is back to settle the bullpen down.
And another starter. - Ditto from 3B.
2005-08-25 11:04:20
35.   Marty
Jon, I'd forgotten about the Bertken story. I can't believe it's been 10 years. I'm sorry he was a friend of yours. I knew his wife slightly when she worked for the Santa Monica Outlook. That column brought out parts of the story I hadn't remembered. It sounds like the crew was horrible and not too sympathetic to Louise. I'm sure that was typical of the charter industry. Thanks for the link to the story. It's never easy to lose a friend.
2005-08-25 11:05:16
36.   Howard Fox
I see Bradley and Drew staying, and Werth leaving, and hopefully his replacement is able to play a few days in a row without getting a boo-boo...

Who knows, maybe we are due for a change of luch finally, and maybe Cruz Jr becomes half of what he used to be...

2005-08-25 11:08:47
37.   Howard Fox
Personally, I still like Repko, and remember when Tracy let him play a few days in a row, he seemed to start hitting. As long as he remembers to catch with two hands, he is an excellent defensive outfielder.
2005-08-25 11:09:23
38.   JJoeScott
32 - I personally would like playing with Jeff Kent for that reason. But looking at the Dodgers' makeup of odd personalities and other possible fractions - Lowe, Bradley, Drew, Phillips, high number of non-English speakers, et. al. - Kent's work-ethic act seems out of another team's clubhouse.
2005-08-25 11:10:03
39.   Jon Weisman
The Kent signing is an unmitigated success. Whatever his clubhouse problems might be, the 2005 team would be a true disaster without him.

I honestly don't know how you can compare Sheffield and Bradley.

2005-08-25 11:11:34
40.   Jon Weisman
35 - Louise was a wonderful person too. I'm sorry to say I've lost touch with her.
2005-08-25 11:12:06
41.   JSN
Let's not forget that Depo will take advantage of any inefficiencies he finds in the market or on the team. MB is a relatively cheap, young and talented outfielder and his injury/personality stigma will only help lower his value. I'm pretty sure he will be a Dodger next year.

And as much as people use the term "injury-risk" everyone is an injury risk. That term doesn't apply until someone is having chronic problems with the SAME injury. Unless i'm mistaken Bradley has never had this knee problem before and Drew getting struck with a ball on the wrist is purely luck. The other way someone is an injury risk is if they are chronically sitting because of pain and I think MB and Drew have both proved they are willing to play with pain if they can.

Because these injuries are not recurring it's just as likely, luck wise for MB and Drew to both play 140+ games next season. Add one FA outfielder and that's pretty impressive outfield, especially at the steal we'll pay Bradley.

I guess I just don't believe in judging a player on their number of injuries, only on chronic reccurring ones. As much as we talk statistically here, isn't it possible that Drew and Bradley might have their injuries clustered over the first part of their careers and could just as easily play until 40 with no more major injuries?

2005-08-25 11:14:39
42.   Howard Fox
38 if the Dodgers are much younger next year, as they may be if the changes in the landscape of baseball as we know it are promoted from Jacksonville, his lead by example modus operandi gives the Dodgers a coach on the field...

as far as the other players you mention, Drew is in his own world, Lowe is only thinking about his next conquest, and Phillips is still running out his last single...

2005-08-25 11:16:41
43.   grandcosmo
You would only want Sheffield if you are willing to settle for twice as much production.
2005-08-25 11:17:12
44.   Nagman
Hmmm, how does this incident affect our "importance of chemistry" debate from earlier this season?
2005-08-25 11:17:37
45.   Howard Fox
41 you may be right, but it seems to this casual observer that players who tend to have physical problems seem to keep having them, even if none of them are ever their fault
2005-08-25 11:18:40
46.   CanuckDodger
I am not sure why Jon seems so certain that DePo is going to bring in a new pitcher through trade. We have three expensive starters under contract for next year, Houlton has shown that he can outright replace Weaver, or be even better than him frankly, and Edwin Jackson and his 97 MPH fastball have spent enough time in the minors. It is time for Jackson to spend his first full season in the majors, even if it means that like Greg Maddux or Brett Myers in their first full MLB seasons he has an ERA over 6.00 (a worst-case scenario that I REALLY doubt would happen). All that Jackson needs to be a front-of-the-rotation guy is confidence (so he will stop "nibbling"), and he is not going to get that confidence any other way than pitching against major leaguers.
2005-08-25 11:18:52
47.   Howard Fox
44 chemistry comes from success on the field...

if the Dodgers were winning, Kent's prodding is no problem...when they are losing, it is annoying

2005-08-25 11:23:27
48.   JSN
45 - I totally understand that perception because I've had it too. I'm just questioning that and suggesting that we think that way simply when injuries happen to be clustered over a couple year time span. For example if we call Drew an injury-risk and then fast forward to when he is 38 and look at his career, what will we see injry-wise? A consistent trend of injury or clusters of injuries over say 4 early years and then very few.

I don't know if any research has every been produced on this topic and I don't really have the chops but what does everyone think, especially those of you that have memories of specific players that span many more years then mine?

2005-08-25 11:23:40
49.   Nagman
47 I tend to think this would've happened regardless. It seems unlikely that Bradley would've continued to brush off Kent's comments... but perhaps with more at stake, there is more effort to keep it in the clubhouse.
2005-08-25 11:24:10
50.   Jon Weisman
46 - Penny, Lowe, Perez, Houlton, Jackson? I just don't think DePodesta is going to be comfortable with that. I could be wrong.

44 - doesn't affect my feelings at all.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-08-25 11:27:48
51.   the OZ
I'm not so sure that Milton will be back to 100% by next April. Knees can be tricky, plus there's the vaguely reported additional issue with his other knee ligament (was it the anterior?). Assuminbg he has surgery Sept. 1, to be fully ready by spring training '06 requires a 6-month recovery.
2005-08-25 11:28:10
52.   Howard Fox
I suspect DePo is okay with Penny, Lowe and Houlton. I would imagine he would be looking for 2 other starters to fill out the rotation.

I see Jackson as trade fodder. I am rooting for him to do well in September so he gets us more in return. I see Perez going for the best we can get, but going nonetheless.

2005-08-25 11:30:32
53.   the OZ
51 (cont) - recovery not just from the patellar repair, but from whatever other procedures are done to the other ligaments, if necessary.

It's funny how docile we are, accepting Milton's injury. Any other year, we'd be howling at our terrible luck for losing a starting outfielder for the season. Now, it's kind of an, "Oh. Milton's out for the year, too."

2005-08-25 11:31:41
54.   Howard Fox
49 if things aren't going well for a person, pointers and advice make you edgier until you can't take it anymore

if things are going well, you see them as helpful and inspiring...

I can't imagine that the Dodgers aren't down and frustrated, I can't see them responding well to being prodded about now...I know at this point I wouldn't want to hear it if it was me in that situation...

2005-08-25 11:34:48
55.   Bob Timmermann
I don't know, if someone other than a boss of mine comes to me and tells me that I need to do some part of my job better, I can get pretty ticked off.

Sometimes it's constructive criticism and it's hard to accept. Sometimes it's just criticism for criticism's stake. And that ticks me off.

2005-08-25 11:37:44
56.   Howard Fox
55 you are probably right, I just enjoy ticking people off...one of the benefits of my profession
2005-08-25 11:37:58
57.   the OZ
Off-topic, but the word "Schilling" currently appears 5 times on ESPN.com's hompage, with no scrolling required to see all of the instances.
2005-08-25 11:38:03
58.   Nagman
55 does it matter how your day is going?
2005-08-25 11:38:04
59.   Jacob L
A distant cousin of the denial/acceptance issue, the last couple of days have caused me to change this season's official designation from "fun" to "not fun anymore." At the most, this is the third time in my life as a Dodger fan that a season has become "no fun." One was the 1996 Butler/Busch season. 2000 also stunk. I actually enjoyed 1992.

I've been periodically taking stock of reasons to root for this team, including Choi (never plays), Bradley (done now), this wacky division race (not really in reach any more with players still going down). Weigh that against reasons not blow this season off, constantly changing cast of characters with few really compelling stories, persistent line-up mismanagement, personal animus among players (Kent/Bradley) and two bit sideshows (Lowe/Hughes). Anyway, for me the balance has tipped in favor of "no fun." Not that I won't watch anymore. Rather that I'll look to see if something better is on.

2005-08-25 11:39:03
60.   Howard Fox
57 ESPN = east coast bias network
2005-08-25 11:42:35
61.   Howard Fox
59 its always fun, frustrating maybe, but always fun...winning would just be funner...

there is never anything better on...only reruns

2005-08-25 11:46:02
62.   Jacob L
61 Howard, we've spent a lot of time here recently talking about TV shows. How could I not conclude that I've been missing a lot of good TV by watching the Dodgers?
2005-08-25 11:48:05
63.   Howard Fox
"good TV", by definition, is an oxymoron
2005-08-25 11:51:30
64.   Jon Weisman
Oh, Howard.
2005-08-25 11:53:02
65.   Howard Fox
thought you'd like that one...but Jon, you'll realize what a waste of time TV is when your kids grow up and you see how much time you have spent watching the boob tube
2005-08-25 11:53:37
66.   Monterey Chris
Howard...I'm with you.

No matter what season it is and no matter the won-loss record, Hollywood has never offered up anything to compete with Vin Scully and Dodger baseball. In my mind and my heart, the Dodgers win everytime.

2005-08-25 11:56:44
67.   Bob Timmermann
I challenge anyone here to match my lifetime television viewing.

And I really don't think that it's affected me negatively at all.

I don't think we need to make judgments about who makes better use of their spare time than others, unless someone is using their spare time to commit crimes.

2005-08-25 11:58:36
68.   Jon Weisman
See update above: Jackson, Chad Billingsley, Greg Miller, Tony Abreu, Andy LaRoche and James Loney to play in the Arizona Fall League.

65 - nothing I can do about it now.

67 - until the kids came along, I would have said, "try me."

2005-08-25 11:59:47
69.   Howard Fox
67 and exactly what is wrong with committing crimes??
2005-08-25 12:01:20
70.   Jacob L
Besides, if you were to ask my wife, watching the Dodgers and watching tv are more or less the same thing.
2005-08-25 12:01:47
71.   Howard Fox
70 mine too
2005-08-25 12:02:01
72.   Monterey Chris
67

Talk about denial... :)

2005-08-25 12:24:35
73.   JSN
What does that mean since they are playing in the fall league? I'm just unfamiliar with it. Does it suggest the major league club is thinking that given that extra practice they might be up on the big club somtime next year? Do they decide to play or does the team, etc.?
2005-08-25 12:26:52
74.   Bob Timmermann
It's unlikely that Jason Grabowski will get asked to report to the Arizona Fall League.
2005-08-25 12:30:52
75.   Bob Timmermann
They Must Have Been Giants

The White Sox led the Twins 1-0 with 2 outs in the 9th and Dustin Hermanson gave up a game-tying double to Michael Ryan.

2005-08-25 12:47:08
76.   dzzrtRatt
Before I'd consign Jeff Weaver to Dodger history, I'd want to know what front-line pitchers DePo expects to be able to get, and who he'll have to give up to get them. I know Weaver has been a pincushion on this board many times, but he's been consistent two years running: An inning-eater, usually a winner, wobbly in the first half, but more dominant in the second half.

Year-over-year consistency has not been the hallmark of most of the big-name starting pitchers that were acquired this season. Of the top 30 ERAs in '05, only two are pitchers who changed teams: Pedro and, way down the list, Hudson. (Penny's the only Dodger making that cut, and just barely.) True front-line pitching is so rare and much-desired, I would want to know the market before giving up on a guy who has done well for us, wants to stay, and won't cost us prospects.

2005-08-25 12:50:47
77.   bigcpa
Jon-
Thanks for the tip on the AFL. I found a nice visitors' guide for last year at About.com: http://tinyurl.com/96f66

- $5/game GA with no advance sales
- Home games at the Cubs HoHokam facility
- games played last year from Oct 5th to Nov 18

2005-08-25 12:55:15
78.   db1022
76 - We have one of those in Derek Lowe, and it's being (mistakenly, IMO) called one of the worst signings of the offseason.

Why would signing Weaver to an overpriced contract be any different than signing Lowe to an overpriced contract? (Though I may have just made the argument that we should pay up for him, considering I don't think the Lowe signing was a disaster).

2005-08-25 13:03:06
79.   Howard Fox
If we can keep Weaver for not more than what Lowe is getting, I am okay with keeping him.

Then we only need to find one additional starter to go along with him, Lowe, Penny and Houlton, after we get rid of Perez.

2005-08-25 13:06:50
80.   Howard Fox
Come to think of it, if we get rid of Perez and his $3mm per year, sign Weaver, then put a rookie in the 5 spot in the rotation, our salary structure for the starters may even be livable for the Dodgers.
2005-08-25 13:06:54
81.   db1022
79 - Weaver most likely comes with a 3 year contract (minimum) unless he accepts arbitration.

If no arby, that means we've got Lowe, Penny, and Weaver for 3 more full seasons, and OP for another 2.

Is that too much guaranteed on one staff, esp. considering the kids that should be ready in 2007?

2005-08-25 13:08:12
82.   db1022
Perez and his $3mm per year

If only that were true. He averages over $10M per year for the next two years.

2005-08-25 13:11:16
83.   Howard Fox
I suspect one of the touted kids will be ready next year. That pitcher, with Houlton, gives us an inexpensive 40% of the starting rotation.

Thus you have them, along with 3 veterans who give us innings, we are set there.

With Gagne back, Sanchez appears to have really gotten it all of a sudden, Wunsch, Schmoll, Brazoban...the bullpen is looking pretty good too.

2005-08-25 13:11:55
84.   Howard Fox
82 even better....leaves more on the table for Weaver if Perez is gone...
2005-08-25 13:14:03
85.   db1022
83 - I really hope that Weaver accepts arbitration, though that is becoming increasingly unlikely.

I agree, love the bullpen next year:

Gagne
Braz
Sanchez
Schmoll
Wunsch
Dessens (?)

Broxton can go back to starter, or can be the closer in Jax and be emergency fill-in for the pen.

2005-08-25 13:16:15
86.   Howard Fox
85 yeah, the pitching for next year is really taking shape, in my opinion...

a hitter or two along with some health, 2006 looks pretty good to me

2005-08-25 13:18:39
87.   db1022
84 - Also makes it that much more difficult to trade him. We'll most likely end up having to pick up and solid chunk of salary if he goes somewhere (Wilkerson for Odalis and $8-10M???)
2005-08-25 13:20:04
88.   Howard Fox
87 maybe the Yankees?
2005-08-25 13:23:23
89.   King of the Hobos
Chacon won the Chacon-Chacin game. When the Yankees got him, everybody regarded him as a mediocre pitcher in the image of Leiter, Nomo, and Small. Now he's the Yankees ace since the trade. I wonder if the Yankees notice that. After the 7.11 ERA season, who predicted a 3.28 ERA from Chacon in 112.2 IP?
2005-08-25 13:26:25
90.   King of the Hobos
87 I'd do that. This is Jim Bowden (assuming there's not a new GM), so we could throw in Repko (Bowden loves him a toolsey OF) and get another decent player (is Patterson too much to ask?). As for Wilkerson, he's exactly like Giles, a very good OF who would be heavily undervalued thanks to his home park
2005-08-25 13:29:41
91.   Jon Weisman
You guys seem to be describing a near-carbon copy of this year's starting rotation, which is one of the league's poorest. I don't know why anyone would be happy with that.
2005-08-25 13:29:52
92.   Bob Timmermann
The Yankees front office was going with "Let's throw all this against the wall and see what will stick" method of roster improvement.

Apparently, Chacon has stuck to the wall.

I hope Al Leiter struggles more. He's turning into the lefty version of Russ Ortiz.

2005-08-25 13:29:58
93.   King of the Hobos
Anyone see this quote? "I feel like an old man," he [Izzy] said. "I can't bend over. I can't do anything."

Another player to the DL? And Carrara and Ledee are barely healthy it seems. Jacksonville may have a hard time in the playoffs

2005-08-25 13:34:47
94.   Jon Weisman
As Bob sort of alluded to regarding Penny, with rosters about to expand, placing players on the DL is rapidly becoming irrelevant - unless it's the 60-day DL.
2005-08-25 13:37:34
95.   the OZ
93 -

Unfortunately, Izturis' symptomology is identical to that of my good friend who has endured a terrible bout of health problems with his back. He had terrible lower back pain and stiffness, which spread down his right leg. He had surgery recently to correct an slipped disc, or something. It was pretty serious. In my friend's case, he also got a bad staph infection that totally ate away the disc, and was very painful. The doctors hope/think the 'exposed' vertebrae will fuse together naturally with no problems.

The point of this story is that I doubt Izturis will be playing any more ball this season.

2005-08-25 13:45:34
96.   Marty
Izzy's problem sounds like a bad case of sciatica. I've had that and it can be excruciating. I agree with OZ, he could be gone for the year.
2005-08-25 13:48:36
97.   SiGeg
I think Jon 91 is right on here. In fact, I'm much more concerned about the pitching next year than the hitting. This year, without soooo many injuries -- and with the right people put in the lineup -- I think we would have had a decent offense. But to win, we need pitching, pitching, pitching. I don't know how we get it by 2006. The offseason will be another interesting one to watch DePo.
2005-08-25 13:49:02
98.   the OZ
The more I think about it, the more I wonder if Izturis' back is the reason his defense hasn't been quite as good as last year. While Cesar's merits have been recently debated on this site, this injury makes it unlikely that he'll be able to perform even as well (or as poorly, depending on your POV) into the future as he has in the past.
2005-08-25 13:49:43
99.   Bob Timmermann
Remember that the CW says that the Dodgers can't win without Izturis in the lineup.

I'm trying to sound more like Mickey Kaus.

2005-08-25 13:49:47
100.   oldbear
95. That may explain Izturis's poorer defense this year, but it doesnt explain his 'swing at everything even though i have no power" approach.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-08-25 13:51:47
101.   Jon Weisman
100 - maybe he wants to go lie down sooner.
2005-08-25 13:53:03
102.   GoBears
95 Could be back spasms. I had them a couple times a year for the past 12 years or so. When they're bad, you're completely immobilized. But they go away with rest and muscle relaxants. The worst are the glutes, which are big and deep, and hard to loosen up, and the pain feels like it's in the lower back. Just guessing.

91 You're right, Jon. But unless there's something better out there, I think we might have to go with the same 5 (more Houlton, less Erickson) and hope that Lowe figures out his HR problem (otherwise, he's been as advertised), and OP bounces back. IS there anything better out there? Any underrated (perhaps about to become expensive to small-mkt teams) starters out there, and would Weaver, Lowe, or Perez be over-rated by someone else? Even then, it would probably take a 3-way trade (someone to take on our albatross, send something to the small-mkt team with the promising pitcher, and the Dodgers).

2005-08-25 13:55:07
103.   Howard Fox
91 97 you are kidding, right?

the way Houlton has pitched, the way Penny and Weaver have pitched, the way the bullpen shapes up with Gagne and Wunsch in and Gio and Alvarez gone...I see very good things for our pitching staff next year...

with even minimal offensive support, how good a record could Penny and Houlton have? how many times have excellent pitching performances been wasted, last night's included...

2005-08-25 13:59:15
104.   fanerman
If we're getting a bat, we need to get somebody better than Wilkerson. We're at least solid at nearly every position offensively. I'm not sure if Wilkerson is any better than Ledee/Cruz/Werth.

Even if Jackson is ready, he won't be more than a #3 or 4 starter. I don't think Billingsley will be ready until at least midseason. Our rotation will still help. I wouldn't mind keeping Weaver for another year or 2. But that, as Jon said, just leaves us with about the same rotation as we have now. We still need another front of the rotation guy. Billingsley could be the guy in the future, but probably not next year.

2005-08-25 14:02:06
105.   GoBears
103: Well, last time I checked, both Penny and Lowe were getting an average of 5+ runs per game in support. The real unlucky one has been Houlton, at least lately.
2005-08-25 14:03:39
106.   Howard Fox
105 I don't know, but how many of those runs of 5+ are while they are pitching and how many are those scored in the game, including after they left...
2005-08-25 14:05:29
107.   Jon Weisman
102 - Certainly, that was the problem going into 2005 - there wasn't much better out there to choose from (and what there was didn't want to come). I just think that based on how badly the rotation performed in 2005, DePodesta is going to work hard to get more.

103 - You've still only named 3/5ths of a rotation for me. And you're assuming Weaver will to pitch well with a fresh new contract. Beltre detractor that you are/were, I'm surprised you'd assume that.

I really feel confident that other teams will want Weaver more than DePodesta does. I think the fact that DePo got the Penny extension done but not Weaver's just might be a clue.

2005-08-25 14:11:43
108.   Howard Fox
107 first of all, you have a very good memory (Beltre)

Weaver has been eating up innings for ever, he hasn't done anything this year that he hasn't done in prior year...he is consistent year to year

Beltre had one great year inconsistent with his performances in prior years or the subsequent year

We have Penny, Lowe, maybe Weaver, Houlton and another youngster, be it Broxton or someone else...that is my 5...

2005-08-25 14:19:07
109.   Jon Weisman
Weaver's ERA, even including his so-called hot run of late, is 4.41. His strikeouts are down, his home runs allowed are up. No one's happier about getting him and Brazoban and money in exchange for Brown than I am, but Weaver is simply a thoroughly mediocre pitcher. And he's going to ask for about $9 million a year probably. It doesn't make sense to me.

I will admit that better usage by Tracy might have kept Weaver's ERA lower.

2005-08-25 14:20:19
110.   Yakface
108- What about odalis Peanut? Is he gone in the off season? If so, than who do you think would want him? I for one hope that Depo realizes that as with anyother job Attitude is key to job performance.
2005-08-25 14:22:53
111.   fanerman
I'd rather keep Weaver than OP, if I could choose between them.
2005-08-25 14:22:54
112.   fanerman
I'd rather keep Weaver than OP, if I could choose between them.
2005-08-25 14:23:30
113.   Yakface
Odalis Perez = Old Peanut.
2005-08-25 14:26:49
114.   Marty
I'm fed up with Odalis. I really don't want to see him in a Dodger uni next year. I wouldn't mind Weaver back, but as Jon points out, it will be very expensive. I'd love to know what pitcher's contracts are up after next year. Those are most likely the trade prospects. Is that info readily available somewhere?
2005-08-25 14:27:31
115.   GoBears
109 I agree with your assessment of Weaver, Jon, but who's better at the same price or equivalent at a cheaper price? And available?
2005-08-25 14:28:21
116.   GoBears
Kip Wells?
2005-08-25 14:30:16
117.   Jon Weisman
Odalis Perez has a three-year contract. The only way he's not back is in a salary dump.

Yakface, I'm sorry, but that Peanut thing for Odalis just seems so feeble to me. Maybe it's that you're pushing at it so hard - it's not just that you do it in passing, but like in 113, you have to keep reminding us. I feel like you're forcing it down our throats a bit.

I don't mean anything against you personally, but I just don't think it's working.

2005-08-25 14:30:55
118.   Jon Weisman
115 - I think that's why it's going to have to come through trade. I don't think it's going to be obvious.
2005-08-25 14:31:17
119.   Howard Fox
115 I agree with you on the price...what is out there and what is the prevailing pricing structure? For the same price, I take what I am familiar with...109 but that goes back to the discussion about Tracy and his handling of the team in general...
2005-08-25 14:32:57
120.   Yakface
117- You probably have'nt tried it out yet but for the sake of the great information I get from you wise men I'll stop with the Odalis = Peanut posts.
2005-08-25 14:34:44
121.   Jon Weisman
120 - Thanks. I'm already feeling bad about it, but I appreciate it.
2005-08-25 14:38:48
122.   Marty
117. Sigh. I'm sure you are right. Two more years of the occasional good outing, calling out teammates for lack of support/respect, and disappearing during crucial games. Aack, he's my least favorite Dodger. He's going to be up there with Offerman, Deshields, etc. in my book.
2005-08-25 14:47:23
123.   Bob Timmermann
I tried "Mr. Microphone" for Oscar Robles, but it didn't get anywhere.

We're only allowed one nickname or catchphrase per person all year and I used mine up in spring training with Brazoban.

And I wore the Ghame Over shirt yesterday and a guy wanted it!

2005-08-25 14:51:00
124.   JJoeScott
KSPN is reporting that Joe McDonnell's sources say Milton Bradley has played his last game as a Dodger. Ever.
2005-08-25 14:51:50
125.   JJoeScott
add to my 124 - (Which probably means that someone told Tom Lasorda, who told Joe.)
2005-08-25 14:51:53
126.   Monterey Chris
123

And you got to see Ghame Over pitch.

2005-08-25 14:53:20
127.   Bob Timmermann
126
And he got his man! OK, so a run scored. And Helton was safe at the plate. And it should have been called dead after the ball hit the security guard.

But, it was amazing to watch!

I noticed that Todd Helton runs really funny.

2005-08-25 14:54:03
128.   popup
For what it's worth, I went to Arizona in November 1994 to see the Fall League. It was interesting, though a bit disorienting going from the winter gloom of the Northwest to the bright sunshine to see baseball being played in November. It might not be as big an adjustment for someone from Southern California.

I remember seeing Nomar Garciaparra and a fellow who was trying to go from being a basketball player to a professional baseball player. The crowds were very small, though there was a decent crowd for the one game I saw Michael Jordan play.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-08-25 14:56:03
129.   JJoeScott
I'd like to see us sign Nomar to play 3B next year.
2005-08-25 14:58:13
130.   Nagman
129 after this season's experience, I would prefer we find a third baseman to play third base.
2005-08-25 14:59:25
131.   gvette
ESPN 710's incumbent Dodger hater Big Joe McDonnell reported this afternoon that his Dodger sources indicate that the Dodgers are done with Milton, and will cut him loose in the off season, by trade or otherwise.

For the most part, Big Joe represents everything that is screwed up about Sportstalk radio, BUT he has great sources, and is usually right in his reporting.

2005-08-25 15:05:08
132.   Bob Timmermann
I would rather see Milton Bradley on the team than Nomar Garciaparra. Milton is the picture of health compared to Nomar.

And neither guy is particularly warm or fuzzy. What Mia Hamm sees in Nomar is puzzling, but Ms. Hamm isn't exactly a charmer either.

2005-08-25 15:06:31
133.   popup
#130, I would like to see Aybar with the Dodgers now and playing third base. I saw him play when Vegas was in Tacoma recently. Good glove and a line drive bat; he looked like a decent player.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-08-25 15:06:57
134.   King of the Hobos
123 Robles seems to be accepted as the Hitman. Although one who has limited power and works for the Mexican mafia
2005-08-25 15:10:32
135.   Jon Weisman
131 - "usually right in his reporting."

He is?

2005-08-25 15:13:37
136.   gvette
132- But acquiring Nomar would help McCourt fufill his fantasy of owning the Red Sox. First Lowe, then Nomah, then...
2005-08-25 15:14:25
137.   Bob Timmermann
136
Can't we acquire any of the Red Sox players who are good?
2005-08-25 15:14:45
138.   Jon Weisman
136 - Babe Ruth? He's a free agent and former Sock.
2005-08-25 15:15:36
139.   Bob Timmermann
I won't believe any news about Bradley until I see it in the most unimpeachable source there is:

Rotoworld.

2005-08-25 15:16:43
140.   Bob Timmermann
I suppose Ted Williams could be brought back. He's in a little better shape than the Bambino.
2005-08-25 15:18:28
141.   gvette
135-Well,if you grade on a curve, and use Hacksaw and Vic "The Brick" as comparisons, Big Joe is the Edward R. Murrow of Sportstalk.
2005-08-25 15:19:19
142.   Telemachos
141- Of course, Ted is sans head at the moment.

I also have my doubts about Joe McDonnell and his sources. The more emphatic he gets about how 100% sure he is, the less I believe him. I'll wait until the LA Times announces we're not offering Bradley arbitration, or DFAing him, or trading him, etc etc etc.

2005-08-25 15:21:00
143.   Bob Timmermann
142

I think there have been more than a fair share of Dodgers playing without a head this year.

2005-08-25 15:21:27
144.   popup
Bob, I agree with you about Nomar. I have stated my thoughts about Weaver previously; a 2006 team with Weaver, Nomar and Jeff Kent would be very difficult for me to have much interest in rooting for. The way Nomar behaved with the Red Sox last year was enough for me. If DePo gets Nomar, he might as well bring back Kevin Brown. If there would be too many players I dislike on the Dodger roster, I am sure I would not be a Dodger fan. As I said the other day, I have no interest in Barry Bonds ever playing for the Dodgers.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-08-25 15:22:03
145.   Marty
We seem to welcome the clueless on the team. Why not the headless?
2005-08-25 15:23:11
146.   Marty
Though, with Weaver, we do have a Head on the team
2005-08-25 15:24:23
147.   JJoeScott
Damon is a free agent Sock.
2005-08-25 15:24:23
148.   Jon Weisman
Bob T. wins. Mike Edwards has been recalled, according to the press notes.
2005-08-25 15:27:40
149.   JJoeScott
Mueller is also a f/a Sock.
2005-08-25 15:28:21
150.   Bob Timmermann
What do I win? The approval of my peers? A year's supply of Turtle Wax?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-08-25 15:28:47
151.   Jon Weisman
New game chat thread is open up top.
2005-08-25 15:29:05
152.   gvette
146 Jeff Weaver = Jeff Spicoli?
2005-08-25 15:30:05
153.   Howard Fox
150 don't knock Turtle Wax, it gives a hard shell finish
2005-08-25 15:30:19
154.   bokonon42
From today's "press pass": Dodger outfielder Jason Repko will sign autographs for fans tomorrow from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Staples in Downtown L.A. (1701 South Figueroa St.)
2005-08-25 15:32:22
155.   King of the Hobos
148 I was hoping for someone more exciting, but he made the most sense with Izzy out.
2005-08-25 15:34:33
156.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Yhency Brazoban was at Macy's in Glendale this morning and Oscar Robles was at the one downtown.
2005-08-25 15:36:04
157.   FirstMohican
156 - Shopping or autographs?
2005-08-25 15:37:54
158.   Bob Timmermann
157
A little of both. I think Yhency needed some new socks.
2005-08-25 15:51:45
159.   dzzrtRatt
131 I hope that with a little distance, that "source" of Big Joe's will change his mind about Milton Bradley. We won't get two sticks of gum for him after all the bad publicity.

I think the last thing the Dodgers want to be doing this offseason is making trades for any significant players, such as a starting outfielder or #1 pitcher. As with this summer, everyone is going to demand one or more of: Martin, Guzman, LaRoche, Navarro, Billingsley, Jackson.

The Dodgers have money, so we can spend it on a FA pitcher if one comes up, or use it to pay part of the salary of a player we dump (Lowe or Perez). But, I guess it seems like we're digging an even bigger hole for ourselves if we dump Weaver and expect to improve that slot through a trade, and then dump Bradley with the same thought in mind.

Another semester of 'anger management' plus the patience required to rehab a major injury might bring us a mellower Bradley. Or Weaver could get him in touch with his dealer.

2005-08-25 15:53:37
160.   FirstMohican
Or Weaver could get him in touch with his dealer.

...and pray that it is NEVER EVER EVER laced with PCP.

2005-08-26 11:14:53
161.   bojangles
"The Dodgers will need to make a baseball decision about Bradley, not a therapeutic one."
Of such unrealistic Abstract-World distinctions has your young GM made his roster moves. The convenient parsing has no correlative flesh and blood, if a good real-word decision is coming.
With regard to the qualifier-laden opening about Bradley's label, I mentioned it when he first came here; I've included it when I speak of his shortcomings, and I group him with J.D. and others when charging Paul with a blind spot regarding assessment of bodies sufficiently strong and pliable for the job's
demands.
Yes, it's conceivable neither Milton nor J.D. would ever have another serious break or tear. And highly unlikely. Their relatively young instruments have already played the likeliest refrains...
Ironic that in failing to satisfy Jeff's criteria for hustling, Milton may have been practicing a wise economy vis-a-vis the
body nature/nurture has provided, with its serious limits, and gotten himself hurt trying to meet the demands of a guy blessed with a design more suited to the everyday tasks.
Last: 140 games per seems an awfully low threshold for a 55-million dollar man. That's just one reason this contract struck me as a particularly podestian effort last spring.
In and out (ain't that merciful?) and at the tag end of yesterday's news, as usual. Be well, Blues!

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