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It Was Never a One-Year Vision - Don't Make It So
2005-09-23 09:39
by Jon Weisman

Tonight's Game

* * *

Dioner Navarro might be a beacon as the 2005 Dodger season fades into night, and here's why.

Navarro's VORP rate, which Baseball Prospectus defines as the "runs/game contributed beyond what a replacement level player would produce," is .246. Paul Lo Duca's is .197. Jason Phillips' is .008.

Navarro has performed better than we had a right to imagine based on his 2004-05 minor league numbers. One calendar year after Lo Duca was traded, the Dodgers may have a better catcher at about 5 percent of the cost.

It can get tiresome to hear about cost savings when you aren't always sure where those savings are being allocated, but it's safe to say that saving money on a better player is a universal good thing. And Navarro, who has been away from the team this week to be with his ailing newborn son, may prove to have some heart and soul to boot. (And you can still be a fan of Lo Duca's and say that.)

But this brings us to a larger point worth addressing about Dodger general manager Paul DePodesta. The Dodgers are careening toward last place and are pretty much hoping the season's clock runs out before they get there, a condition that to me is as surprising as it is disappointing. Some want to make Dodger manager Jim Tracy the scapegoat, if not the fall guy, for this, others want it to be DePodesta with a sprinkle of owner Frank McCourt.

But the performance of Navarro serves as a reminder (not that it's the only one) of the fact that DePodesta has made his moves with much more than 2005 in mind. I've been saying this a lot to people offsite this week, but I need to say it here as well: You don't trade Shawn Green for four prospects and $6 million if your chief focus is 2005.

And the news on those prospects, in case you missed it in Monday's minor league escapade:

  • Beltran Perez had a 2.90 ERA in the second half of the season at Jacksonville.
  • Jacksonville pitcher William Juarez had a disappointing 4.59 ERA - though he made two starts in the postseason and held opponents to an ERA below 1.00.
  • Danny Muegge had a 3.38 ERA, albeit at age 24 in Vero Beach.
  • and then, there's Navarro, who might make the trade worthwhile by himself.

    I certainly don't think it was DePodesta's goal to out-and-out sacrifice 2005 for the future. But the disappointment of 2005 does not imply that DePodesta's vision for the future is off base.

    Of course, as has been discussed on 6-4-2 recently, the Dodgers have been incoherent as an organization. There's almost complete agreement that DePodesta and Tracy are not on the same page, with utter mystery as to what page the itchy, inscrutable and Sitrick-encased McCourt is going to turn to.

    DePodesta has politely preached the virtues of healthy disagreement with Tracy this season. That implies that Tracy has not been executing DePodesta's plan, but that DePodesta has tolerated it (as opposed to this deifying of Mike Edwards and Jason Repko being DePodesta's plan all along). DePodesta scores points in the "works well with others" category, but the time has come for him to become the heavy.

    In my freelance career, I sometimes find myself working for my brother, who has tremendous personal and professional esteem for me. He didn't hire me until I had proven myself elsewhere, and he is way too concerned about the quality of his work to carry me if I didn't produce to the level he wanted.

    Fortunately, we do find ourselves on the same page almost all the time, but there are times when we disagree. And when we do, it doesn't matter that we've been writing with each other for nearly 10 years or brothers for nearly 40. He's the boss. His way goes. And if he has to be blunt about it, he will be. It doesn't make me happy, but it's what professionals do.

    I don't want to hear any more about "healthy disagreement." Brainstorming is one thing - I don't ever want to think that the Dodgers censor ideas within the organization, because as Lucy Ricardo as my witness, you never know what crackpot scheme just might make sense.

    But the chain of command needs to be enforced.

    A manager can listen to all the arguments a player might have about whether he should bunt or not, but the manager ultimately makes that decision unless he has complete confidence in letting the player improvise. Either way, there's 100 percent support for the decision.

    A general manager can listen to all the arguments a manager might have about whether he should start Smith or Jones, but the general manager ultimately makes that decision unless he has complete confidence in letting the manager improvise. Either way, there's 100 percent support for the decision.

    Tracy has an out clause, but I'm increasingly unsure he will use it. Not because he wouldn't find another job - at a greater salary and with greater say in personnel matters - but because he has a vertiable cocoon of support among the Los Angeles print and broadcast media and perhaps even the McCourts. That is managerial gold, folks. Tracy is guiding a fourth-place team without a scratch on him. That is practically Walter Alston/Tommy Lasorda-level job security.

    It's hard to imagine Tracy not thinking that the burden of proof has been placed on DePodesta, and that a year from now, Tracy could be the last man standing.

    The only reason I can see Tracy leaving the Dodgers next month is if DePodesta (with the necessary support of McCourt) asserts his authority over Tracy. Then, Tracy becomes vulnerable, and has to face the idea that he might be looking for a job at the end of 2006, with no assurance that there will be as many openings then.

    But whether Tracy stays or Tracy goes, the next two years are about DePodesta. Not this year, which was clearly defined last offseason by the Green trade, the resistance to Adrian Beltre's charms, and the retention of prospects as a win-if-we-can, build-for-the-future campaign, a year in which the idea of letting Tracy have his way was still not only romantic, but plausible, a year in which the glow of the 2004 division championship wafted in the air before fading.

    This is a message for the fans, for the media, and for that matter, everyone in the Dodger organization. DePodesta should not be judged on this year alone. No general manager worth his cilantro works on a one-year program. And frankly, two years is too soon to judge as well, unless the general manager has Maloned the team into long-term contracts it will take half a decade to bail out of. J.D. Drew, Derek Lowe, Odalis Perez and Brad Penny - that's next to nothing compared to what Sheriff Kevin saddled the Dodgers with.

    But beginning this offseason, this has to become DePodesta's team. For real. If everyone is going to hold him under the microscope, he must make sure it's his cells they're actually scoping.

    It's my feeling that we will all be rewarded if this happens.

  • Comments (340)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2005-09-23 11:07:26
    1.   Bob Timmermann
    I don't ever want to think that the Dodgers censor ideas within the organization, because as Lucy Ricardo as my witness, you never know what crackpot scheme just might make sense.

    Jason Repko: "But Mr. Tracy, can't I be in the show tonight?"
    Jim Tracy: "Sometimes, Jason, you get me so .... [incoherent Spanish]"
    Jason Repko: "Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh"

    2005-09-23 11:12:41
    2.   Jon Weisman
    It all illustrates that the manager-GM relationship can't be a marriage in the modern sense - only in the caveman sense.
    2005-09-23 11:18:28
    3.   Marty
    Great post Jon. The offseason and next year will be illuminating. We'll see if the seemingly contradictory player usage is in fact approved by Depo.
    2005-09-23 11:31:56
    4.   jtshoe
    Maybe I'm way off base, but is it possible that Jim Tracy wants to get fired? I'm not saying that he wants to loose on purpose to get fired, just that he forces his style of play and wants the Dodgers to fire him. Other teams will want to hire him based on what he has done in previous years and they may like his style of managment for their players. I don't fully know his contract details, but from what I understand: If he uses his out clause, then he gets nothing, but gets a new job. If he get fired, he gets the same new job, plus a nice big chunk of change to go with it.
    2005-09-23 11:32:37
    5.   Bob Timmermann
    I have the sense that if the Dodgers season were a book, Tracy thinks the important part is on Page 150. DePodesta thinks it's on Page 300, but the real answer is on Page 250.

    Or in an appendix.

    2005-09-23 11:35:58
    6.   Marty
    I get to torture myself and go to the game Sunday to see the Buccos, my dad's hometown team. We have Stadium club passes. The beer is actually cheaper there (or was last year) than behind the stands.
    2005-09-23 11:39:31
    7.   Telemachos
    At this point, I really wish Tracy would play all the "young guys"... I'd like to see what a lineup with both Antonio Perez, Willy Aybar, and Dioner Navarro could do (it goes without saying that I'd like to see Choi as well).

    At this point, I'm getting even more frustated with Perez not playing than Choi. Robles is slumping, and has got to tired at this point. Why not give him a couple nights off? We know what we're going to get from him already.

    2005-09-23 11:39:40
    8.   Icaros
    Poor you, Marty. Don't get too miserable spending a Sunday afternoon in the Stadium Club with cheaper beer.
    2005-09-23 11:40:21
    9.   still bevens
    I love the Stadium Club. My friend has firm seats with Stadium Club so I get to take advantage for free. The upscale beer is cheaper than the draft beer in the stands and you get air conditioning and the game on nice plasma TVs. It was also a godsend when we went to the Clemens/Weaver game awhile back and it was a billion degrees outside. We eventually retreated back to the stands when our seats were in the shade.
    2005-09-23 11:40:22
    10.   Monterey Chris
    I agree with the patience argument. It takes several years for a GM to get things into place. We should see the DePo fruit a couple of years down the line. I think the ultimate test of a GM comes in 10 that point, a good GM should be producing competitive teams (without the massive turmoil of buying wholly new teams from free agency every year) every season.
    2005-09-23 11:43:06
    11.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
    Outstanding post Jon. Great writing and insight. Go Dodgers 2006.

    P.S. I still miss Dukie.

    2005-09-23 11:45:22
    12.   Howard Fox
    Great post Jon, one of your best.
    2005-09-23 11:47:19
    13.   Monterey Chris
    I'm still learning some of these stats. Does that stat mean that Navarro has been producing 1/4 of a run per game above what a replacement level player would produce?
    2005-09-23 11:47:48
    14.   DaveP
    Nice post Jon. It's so refreshing to see analysis like this after the drivel the Times puts out.
    2005-09-23 11:49:59
    15.   Telemachos
    11 Dioner looks kinda like a Latin Dukie, eh?
    2005-09-23 11:59:58
    16.   Sam DC
    14 Yeah, despite our swelling numbers, there's lot of Dodger fans out there who don't know what they're missing.

    A young actress -- Taryn Manning -- who was on the Jet Blue landing gear flight was quoted on "When the plane finally touched down safely amid a shower of sparks and smoke as its front tire disintegrated, Manning said passengers burst into a deafening round of cheers and applause. 'It sounded like Dodger Stadium in there,' she said."

    Well, in theory anyhow . . .

    2005-09-23 12:08:04
    17.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
    Anyone notice the Jason Phillip's highlight reel the past two nights.

    What a heck of a player! I hope the Dodgers bring him back next year to back up Navarro.

    I love the Green-esque double play groundouts.

    Lets not forget about the rainbow throws to second.

    And last but not least, the blazing speed he displays running to first.

    Here's a suggestion Phillip's, lean forward a little when you run.

    2005-09-23 12:17:01
    18.   DougS
    17 I think Phillips would make better time to first if he got onto a trolley and pushed off.

    10 Agreed. I would compare DePo's position to a college football coach who is just completing his first season. He's still dealing with recruits from the previous regime, and he hasn't remade the team in his own image quite yet. Once he's done so, then it's fair to pass a definitive judgment on him. But not before.

    2005-09-23 12:17:34
    19.   oldbear
    I dont think Jim Tracy is as highly thought of in baseball circles as the MSM reports. Tracy was basically lowballed into coming back last year. If he cant get a job after winning the NL West last year, what would make him so desirable now?
    2005-09-23 12:20:30
    20.   D4P
    Regarding "building the team in his own image": which inherited players has Depo yet to get rid of? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only players Depo didn't acquire or resign are Weaver and Cararra. Seems to me like the team is pretty much all Depo at this point.
    2005-09-23 12:25:55
    21.   Adam M
    As I recall, Billy Beane's first couple of years in Oakland were pretty miserable, weren't they? It's like putting bad gas in a car: it takes a while to get rid of it. Making things worse, right now there's a big gold Rolex clogging the line.

    In fact, didn't Beane implode a team that was doing decently but had a low ceiling? I remember them having some mild success with guys like Bordick, Matt Stairs and Geronimo Berroa, then Beane rejiggered the whole team.

    2005-09-23 12:27:12
    22.   Steve
    I agree with 20, though you can add Izturis, Odalis Perez, and Gagne to the list.
    2005-09-23 12:30:24
    23.   D4P
    I had them on the list originally, but didn't Depo resign each of them? I was counting "resignings" as "Depo's guys."
    2005-09-23 12:31:38
    24.   Monterey Chris
    Re 20 and 22

    My guess is that DePo has both a short term and long term plan. Some of the players he has brought in now would be part of his short term plan and others part of his long term plan. In a couple of years we will be dealing fully with the long term plan.

    2005-09-23 12:34:51
    25.   Mark
    Tracy is not trying to get fired. If he did, you'd see him on Steve's site responding in the comments, "Yes please!"

    You look at the team, even without injuries, and you ask yourself, "at what positions do we need to improve?" You then answer...

    ..left field.. field..
    ..third base..
    ..first base..
    ..third starter..
    ..fourth starter..
    ..fifth starter..
    ..infield bench..
    ..long relief..
    ..middle relief..
    ..setup man..

    That is a ton of holes to patch. Even if we had Superman for our GM, we wouldn't be able to improve all of these positions in the offseason. It just isn't possible. Let's take the top five needs for next year:

    - Third starter
    - Fourth starter
    - Third base
    - First base
    - Left field

    Let's assume the DePodesta is able to improve at all five of those spots. So, assuming that, what's our record next year? .500? Maybe 85 wins? Let's face it, the Padres have a lot fewer holes to fill than we do, and there's no way the NL West wins the wildcard next year either.

    Maybe DePodesta has a five-year plan of greatness, I don't know. What I do know is that neither he, nor McCourt, have been very forthcoming with what their plans are. "We want to field the best team we can", wow, that's a newsflash right there! Throw us a bone, guys. The season is done anyways.

    2005-09-23 12:34:56
    26.   werthgagne31
    i don't think you can call some re-signings and trades as "depo guys", phillips,izturis,odalis perez are examples.

    i think 24 put it in a good way, a short term plan and a long term plan.

    2005-09-23 12:37:02
    27.   Adam M
    23 - Edwin Jackson is also on the list. You could also argue Green and Dreifort are the legacy of other GMs that DePo still has to deal with.
    2005-09-23 12:37:12
    28.   Buzby
    Okay DePo gets a a reprieve because its only been one year. I still think he will fail. Tracy on the other hand has had his chances. I don't know much about VSOPOBPRBI etc. etc. but I did go to 50 games and stayed till the end for every one. I can think of at least 10 times that Tracy did or did not make moves that would/could have saved the game (not counting last year). There are many many other times he did not make managerial moves that would seem obvious to anybody that I can't recall. If he can't squeak out a division win this year he never ever will do anything for this team. He has no situational skills, no leadership skills, no personality, nothing. He's dead to me. He's done. FIRE HIM. Anybody could do a better job.
    2005-09-23 12:39:28
    29.   D4P
    Maybe we can distinguish between "Depo's Short-term Guys" and "Depo's Long-term guys." As far as I'm concerned, if Depo signs a player, that player then becomes part of the team that Depo has built. I don't see how you can assign the responsibility to anyone other than Depo, unless you happen to know (for example) that McCourt forced Depo to sign a player against his (Depo's) will.
    2005-09-23 12:48:26
    30.   Steve
    A team that has Jason Phillips playing first base, or Mike Edwards playing third, or Jason Repko in the outfield (much less all of them in the same season) is experiencing a profound, system-wide mental breakdown. I'm not sure whether it matters who is a DePo Guy and who is not.
    2005-09-23 12:49:11
    31.   SiGeg
    25 What would be an example of something they could say that would be specific enough to satisfy you? I don't think any teams announce their specific plans. Directly revealing them just puts the organization in a weaker position for bargaining, trading, etc. -- not to mention the way it invites extra media harrassment.

    Great post, Jon. You make it seem so easy and enjoyable to be reasonable that I can't help but wonder why it's not more fashionable.

    2005-09-23 12:57:26
    32.   Mark

    "We would like to improve our defense."

    or "We would like to add some big name players to the roster."

    or "We are looking to our kids coming up in 07 and blowing everyone away, so hold tight and be a little patient."

    or "We are trying not to be the Pasadena 51s"

    I understand that if DePodesta comes out and says "We would like to get a new left fielder", yeah, that makes his bargaining weak, but here's the thing: he is already bargaining from a weakened position, because the team sucks so much.

    2005-09-23 13:00:18
    33.   Steve
    I think we should resign Jeff Weaver (Hi Mark!)
    2005-09-23 13:02:50
    34.   Penarol1916
    I think you may be missing the point of the long-term building plan. Whether a guy is a Depo-guy or not, what matters is whether he is in the teams long-term plans versus a stop-gap. A stop-gap, may not be as good as what you are giving up, but what you are giving up may keep you from getting something more reasonable in the long-term. Such as resigning Beltre for 5-years. That would give you better short-term production over the Depo guys brought in, but hurt the actual plan. To me Depo or non-Depo guy don't matter, what matters is, is this guy a long-term plan guy?
    2005-09-23 13:05:36
    35.   Telemachos
    25 Mark, I think the various relief sections of your list, and the infield bench, to some degree are because our "bench" is essentially now playing (or sitting because they only get pinch-hit appearances). In terms of our relievers, our middle guys are now our set-up guys, our set-up guys are our closers, and everything is out of whack.

    I think a bullpen with Gagne closing and Sanchez, Brazoban, Broxton, and Kuo as options for either middle relief or setup, is pretty solid.

    2005-09-23 13:07:29
    36.   Steve
    The question is not whether we will need a reliever or two (who doesn't?) but how to find the ones who will succeed given the barriers to determining predictable success in the relief pitching market. RAND has its top minds working on it.
    2005-09-23 13:08:17
    37.   Jon Weisman
    I guess I don't really have a problem with what Mark is advocating in 32. But I do feel this stuff is pretty implicit.

    #1 - does any team not want to do this?

    #2 - they did this a year ago with Kent, Drew and Lowe - any reason to think they won't continue to do so?

    #3 - obviously true based on the protection of the prosects

    #4 - take on faith, since they'd never say the opposite. Again, they didn't set out to be the 51s this year - injuries, forseeable or not, put them in that position. Signing Drew, Kent and Lowe is not an indication that their goal is to be the 51s.

    If you think DePodesta stinks, nothing he says is going to comfort you.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing Jim Tracy admit one mistake he has made since leaving Quantrill in that game too long two years ago. Unlike DePodesta, who has admitted to mistakes, I believe Tracy has justified every move he has made the past two seasons.

    2005-09-23 13:09:33
    38.   Penarol1916
    32. I'm sorry, but how does that fact that the team sucks make it's bargaining position weaker?
    2005-09-23 13:12:08
    39.   SiGeg
    32 Well, they have said they are trying to build a team that can compete for a championship every year, that will be continually fed from a rich farm system, and that they're trying to build this team while fielding "contending" teams right now rather than expecting to be bad in the meantime. Unless you want them to name the year in which they expect to win a World Series, that sounds about as specific as
    "We are looking to our kids coming up in 07 and blowing everyone away, so hold tight and be a little patient."

    Are you sure you're just unhappy with the results and decisions made so far, rather than unhappy with not being let in more on the details of the plan?

    2005-09-23 13:13:23
    40.   King of the Hobos
    20 Carrara is technically a DePo move. He started last year with Cleveland, was waived after ST, signedwith the Cubs, released, and then DePo signed him mid-year last year.

    25 The Padres have 12 FAs. 10 of them have been a signifcant part of the team this year. If they lose half of them, they could be in trouble. Plus they have other holes that need to be filled. Their FA list is: Joe Randa, Ramon Hernandez, Mark Sweeney, Damian Jackson, Eric Young (Team Option), Brian Giles, Trevor Hoffman, Pedro Astacio, Robert Fick, Andy Ashby, Chris Hammond, Rudy Seanez. Ashby and Astacio were the 2 guys that haven't done anything

    2005-09-23 13:14:38
    41.   SiGeg
    39 Are you sure you're not just unhappy etc., etc.
    2005-09-23 13:15:10
    42.   GoBears
    Part of Jon's point is that a team full of DePodesta signees is not sufficient to call this DePo's team. Not if the manager refuses to use players as intended, and if the junky part of the farm system (because the studs aren't ready yet) gets to play in front of the few healthy starters that DePo chose. The analogy to the 1st yr head coach who is stuck with his predecessor's recruits isn't the right one. It's more like a head coach who is ignored by his leftover-from-the-previous-staff offensive and defensive coordinators, and can't or for some reason won't fire them, because they're loved by the owner and/or the media.

    I still think that this was an 85-win team with only a normal dose of injuries. Not a great team, but better than .500.

    2005-09-23 13:18:07
    43.   Mark
    Steve apparently loves to torment me.
    2005-09-23 13:20:19
    44.   Bob Timmermann
    The Padres aren't likely to bring back Hoffman. They're sort of in the position that the Angels were last year with Percival. They've got good setup guys (Linebrink and Otsuka) who can take over the job.

    I think Randa will go. I can't imagine that they are going to give up on Sean Burroughs just yet.

    Bochy seems to love Damian Jackson. Ramon Hernandez was probably on his way out as Miguel Olivo played well when he first got there, but Olivo has turned psycho and makes weird mistakes.

    Brian Giles (aka the Padres offense) will get a lot of calls this offseason.

    2005-09-23 13:21:08
    45.   Kayaker7
    42 "Part of Jon's point is that a team full of DePodesta signees is not sufficient to call this DePo's team. Not if the manager refuses to use players as intended,"

    Exactly. It seems, this year, if Depodesta gave Tracy some eggs to make omelettes, tracy hardboils the eggs and wonders why the omelette did not turn out right.

    2005-09-23 13:23:30
    46.   Steve
    43 -- Unfortunately, I'd put pretty good odds on it at this point.
    2005-09-23 13:24:43
    47.   Howard Fox
    38 I agree with you, and actually, all but 6 or 7 teams suck in the no one has an unfair advantage or disadvantage when looking to fill holes...they all have them
    2005-09-23 13:25:16
    48.   D4P
    I agree with that reasoning, although I suspect that if Tracy's crappy lineups had been successful, at least some folks around here would have given more credit to Depo for acquiring the players than to Tracy for using them. But we'll never know.
    2005-09-23 13:25:19
    49.   Bob Timmermann

    But what if Tracy tried to make egg salad and instead cooked the eggs over easy?

    2005-09-23 13:26:37
    50.   Mark
    35 Yes, I understand, guys are playing in positions that they're unaccustomed to. But then you've got Ghame Lost, Throw-Your-Glove Sanchez, and I'm Retiring-No I'm Not-Yes I am Alvarez pitching, does it really matter where in the rotation these guys are? First it was, "Yhency can't pitch in save situations." Then it was "Yhency can't pitch in non-save situations." I think it's more of "Yhency can't pitch."

    37 Jon, I guess I'm spoiled-- I absolutely love transparency in an organization. To me, there's a difference between implying that we want to improve the infield defense (like every team does) and coming out and saying it to the press. To me, the latter implies serious commitment whereas the former doesn't necessarily. LA is a market, for better or worse, where if you aren't out rallying the troops in the press every day, you're viewed as apathetic.

    And I don't think DePodesta sucks -- actually scratch that, I do think he is in over his head and could use a bit of help, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as long as he's a little bit more vocal than he has been. That makes me unhappy with the results of the 2005 season, who isn't?, but I'm concerned that even with all of our guys healthy next year we won't be a real contender.

    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2005-09-23 13:27:20
    51.   Howard Fox
    49 then he would have an outfield of Edwards, Repko and Ledee...
    2005-09-23 13:27:55
    52.   Adam M
    44 - Wow, this is now the 3rd team that's encountered this problem with Olivo. Ben Davis deja vu.
    2005-09-23 13:29:39
    53.   misterjohnny
    44 I think they will re-sign Hoffman. They will probably get a nice home-town discount. I don't see Hoffman as a guy who will leave town for an extra million. Randa gets re-signed if the money is right. Otherwise they find another free agent. I think they have given up on Burroughs. If they could get something of value, they would. Sean needs to go see Barry's pharmacist.
    2005-09-23 13:30:31
    54.   Steve
    First it was, "Yhency can't pitch in save situations." Then it was "Yhency can't pitch in non-save situations." I think it's more of "Yhency can't pitch."

    I happen to think that Yhency can still pitch (crossing fingers and toes), but if Yhency can't pitch, then this is a key point.

    2005-09-23 13:35:41
    55.   Howard Fox
    54 that argument follows Tracy's re: Choi and arm angles and such...
    2005-09-23 13:56:18
    56.   jasonungar05
    It's scary how much I always agree with you Jon. Top notch post.

    The only thing is, why sign Lowe, Odalis and to a much lesser extend Drew if we werent playing for 05?

    2005-09-23 13:59:09
    57.   D4P
    You can add Kent to that list.
    2005-09-23 14:05:45
    58.   Marty
    49 Choi help us if Tracy is trying to make a souffle
    2005-09-23 14:18:54
    59.   Penarol1916
    57. To me Kent makes more sense as a stop-gap since he is only signed for two years, as for the others, in a large market, the media will never stand to go into pure rebuilding mode, of course when you go that route, you end up looking like the Knicks.
    2005-09-23 14:24:54
    60.   Bob Timmermann
    So JD Drew = Allan Houston?
    2005-09-23 14:26:09
    61.   the OZ
    56 -

    Those guys (minus the Kent amendment in 57) are on 3, 4, and 5-year deals. They're clearny built into the long-term plans.

    If anything, the past offseason and this upcoming offseason illustrate that what you can't always get everything you need. As a result, you have to 'stock up' on players when they are available, instead of finding a dearth of them available at any one time and being totaly screwed.

    2005-09-23 14:26:19
    62.   GoBears
    56. Well, Drew makes sense because he's younger and better than Shawn Green, and we have no outfield prospects. Lowe makes sense because he's younger and better than any of Ishii, Nomo, or Lima, at least one of whom he replaced. If he was overpriced, well, that was the market so no he wasn't, and the Dodgers could afford it. Perez was, again, seemingly the best available at the time, and is also pretty young. So to me only Kent and Valentin were obviously stop-gaps, until the kids are ready, and one worked out and the other didn't.
    2005-09-23 14:27:33
    63.   oldbear
    Is Delwyn Young as impressive as Royster makes him out to be? I've perused his minor league #'s and his age. He looks average to me.
    2005-09-23 14:35:21
    64.   Todd
    Great post Jon. You're absolutely right that PDP needs to put the foot down a litl bit and decide whether JT is someone he wants to play ball with. The fact that youth is being served would certainly indicate that PDP needs a bit more time. To me, although this season is not ending on a nice note, the abilities of some of these youngsters (says the 31 year old man...) are fun to watch. To me, the failure of JT to play Perez and Hee Seop Choi would have had Jim Tracy in my office for some serious chats if I was PDP. And the other day, he had Repko batting 8th, Werth 7th, Robles 3rd, Hee Seop 2nd. Anyway, to me it seems clear that Jim and PDP really need to have a serious chat and if they're not on the same page, then JT needs to go. Right now, as I've read upthread, it's obvious JT just doesn't know how to prepare omelettes.
    2005-09-23 14:44:37
    65.   dzzrtRatt
    Jon, bravo on the thoughtful and enlightening post today.

    My only question is: How much evidence do we really have that DePodesta and Tracy aren't on the same page?

    That may seem like a dumb question to take to this crowd, but it seems like the primary disagreement comes down to the usage of one player. (I'm somewhat dubious that DePo really sees AP as a starter.) And even then, who knows how strongly DePo really feels in opposition to Choi's benching? Saenz has had a better year than was expected. Phillips at first might have been merely an experiment; perhaps DePo said 'okay' to it, and maybe, for all we know, it was his idea. Tracy has been completely obedient to DePo's interest in seeing substantial playing time given to other projects like Navarro, Aybar, Brazoban, Broxton and Houlton. Since Aybar arrived, for example, how many games has Edwards played at third base? How many games has Phillips caught that Navarro could have caught? You can't just blame Tracy for his use of Erickson and Valentin--DePo brought them here.

    I know the Times had a mention or two of "creative disagreements" and "brainstorming" about Perez and Choi. Is it possible we at DT have turned these shreds of cabbage into a tub of sauerkraut?

    My point in raising this is-- it's at least arguable that everything you say DePo is trying to do to build the team is completely supported by Tracy in principle, as well as in fact, with the exception of one player. Tracy might have Alston/Lasorda-like job security as the team sinks in the west because stability is something DePo values over lock-step comformity; and because DePo knows as well as anyone that 2005's Dodgers were a flawed and unlucky team.

    This is not a defense of Tracy--just an alternate hypothesis of the internal Dodger dynamics.

    2005-09-23 14:46:17
    66.   GoBears
    Many of us have speculated (and that's all it is) that PDP is hamstrung because Tracy has McCourt's support. That may be, but remember that McCourt inherited Tracy too. He CHOSE DePodesta, and I thought it was a pretty bold choice at the time. McCourt may be oversensitive to the media love affair with Tracy, but it seems to me that he should prefer to have DePo win out in the end (unless DePo has done something that flies in the face of McCourt's expectations of him, and he sure seems like the guy I expected him to be so I don't know how that might have happened). In that case (that McCourt wants his choice of PDP to be vindicated) wouldn't his PR machine be making some efforts to express dissatisfaction with Tracy through the media, to prepare the ground for the divorce?

    I'm more inclined to believe that McCourt really has left the choice up to DePodesta, and that DePo now is deciding whether or not he can live with one more year of JT's "old school" lunacy, since the target is probably 2007 anyway. In a sense, it'd be easier to hang JT if he were to fail with a healthy team, and when it would mean not re-signing him, as opposed to actually firing him mid-contract.

    2005-09-23 14:47:31
    67.   DougS
    At the risk of pushing a flawed argument, I would alter it somewhat by asserting that DePo still has some overhang from past regimes, even if most of the guys on the 40-man roster were signed or re-signed by him. Ditching Green's contract helped, but to my mind he won't truly be free and clear of the legacy he inherited until Dreifort's contract expires.

    Monterey Chris made the point more subtly when he spoke of the long-term plan v. the short-term plan. Clearly, we are treading water until the Jacksonville Kids are ready, and we can't judge the wisdom of doing so until they've made it all the way to LA.

    2005-09-23 14:56:49
    68.   Steve
    How much evidence do we really have that DePodesta and Tracy aren't on the same page?

    Not a dumb question at all. In fact, it's the $64,000 Question.

    2005-09-23 14:57:47
    69.   Steve
    As an example, on July 4, Steve Henson told Jon that Tracy didn't like Phillips, and three weeks later, Phillips was starting at first base over (at least) three different superior options.
    2005-09-23 14:58:37
    70.   GoBears
    65 dzzrtRatt asks a good question. I would agree that we've run with the "different pages" hypothesis beyond what the evidence describes. Here's my take on it: We think we understand DePodesta's approach. He's a SABR-type, and we think we know what that means. His role in Moneyball gives us more evidence of how DePodesta thinks. We then observe as Tracy continuously makes decisions that are contrary to that vision. Ergo (we conclude) JT and PDP must be at loggerheads, or at least "not on the same page," even if they haven't argued about it explicitly.

    If we're right about what we believe to be DePodesta's vision, then we're right that Tracy either doesn't understand it as well as we do (we're geniuses, after all), OR we're right that Tracy is insubordinate, OR we're right that DePodesta hasn't 'splained it well enough (to return to Jon's Lucy/Ricky metaphor).

    If we're incorrect about DePodesta's view of the world (or that he even has a coherent one), then dzzrtRatt is right to be skeptical that the problem is a GM/Manager mismatch.

    2005-09-23 15:01:17
    71.   King of the Hobos
    65 "Since Aybar arrived, for example, how many games has Edwards played at third base?'

    7, plus 6 in LF. Aybar has started at 3B in 12 games

    2005-09-23 15:01:50
    72.   dzzrtRatt
    69 Right. Phillips is just so obnoxious of a player that maybe we associate him with Tracy on a "birds of a feather" theory.

    Perhaps DePo & Tracy thought Phillips would hit better if he didn't have to play catcher. Tried & failed. You've got Tracy's stupid comment about Phillips and RISP, but he might've gotten that stat from DePo's computer.

    2005-09-23 15:04:22
    73.   Steve
    Maybe we've been playing for the draft pick all year.
    2005-09-23 15:05:22
    74.   dzzrtRatt
    71 7 starts at 3B for Edwards? I'm not doubting your numbers, but it seemed like once Aybar got here, he's played almost every day.
    2005-09-23 15:05:31
    75.   alex 7
    Oldbear, I think Young could have been an impressive offensive 2nd baseman. But now that he's being moved to the outfield, his 20 HR power will be average. Not sure how high his ceiling is with OBP, but you're right that his stats and speed may not jump out enough to make one think he'll be that much above average.
    2005-09-23 15:07:27
    76.   Steve
    74 -- He plays in left field too.
    2005-09-23 15:08:58
    77.   Joon
    65 No, it's not just one player.
    When Aybar came up, he was first used as a pinch hitter and 2B late inning replacement. It wasn't until Dodgers lost a crucial game to Padres did Tracy show any sign that he knows Aybar can even play 3B. When Navarro was first called up earlier in the season, he didn't play at all.

    Broxton got sent down after his best outing in the Florida game; Kuo pitched to what, 4 hitters? in the first 2 weeks he's up. They were not used as DePodesta suggested they would.

    All of these decisions are defendable, but looking at all of them does suggest Tracy hasn't been "completely obedient".

    69 When Henson said Tracy didn't like Phillips, I had a feeling it was compared to Bako. There were rumors that Bako was going to get more playing time before he got hurt.
    So Bako > Phillips > Choi. Not a contradiction at all. Phillips didn't start at 1B regularly until after Tracy "vouched" he wouldn't start Saenz on consecutive days. So in fact, it was anyone > Choi in Tracy's mind.

    2005-09-23 15:13:58
    78.   Matt Welch
    "A team that has Jason Phillips playing first base, or Mike Edwards playing third, or Jason Repko in the outfield (much less all of them in the same season) is experiencing a profound, system-wide mental breakdown."

    Ding ding ding!

    Also, the whole don't-call-it-a-one-year-plan thing, while understandable, ignores DePo's (and McCourt's) oft-professed sentiments -- that they want to win now, WHILE rebuilding the farm system and setting up for the future. DePo has stressed previously that profound system change can only be purchased with the currency of wins. He fell far short this year.

    Also, his five-year plan is rapidly filling up, with overpriced question marks like Lowe and Drew. I still like him, but the most important point is Jon's -- the GM & manager need to be on the same page in terms of player development & deployment, or else this organization will become a joke.

    2005-09-23 15:14:02
    79.   Steve
    77 -- That's probably the right way to read that. At the time, it probably had never occurred to Henson (or any of us) that Phillips would ever spend any time worth mentioning at first base.
    2005-09-23 15:22:06
    80.   Todd
    And what of the persistent use of Phillips? Surely his constant usage, after tailing off since his star burned out in, oh, mid-May? Surely this is not the sort of player that PDP would really endorse. Again, speculation, but given his preference for guys with good OBPs and SLG. %, surely not completely unreasonable..
    2005-09-23 15:40:31
    81.   GoBears
    78 To be fair, the management mantra was that they wanted to COMPETE now, while focusing on the future. And I maintain that had they not lost more offense to injury than any team in recent memory (Kent was the only expected starter to stay healthy, and the healthy half of the 1b platoon was benched inexplicably), as well as 1 starting pitcher, 2 swingmen, and the closer), this team would have won the West rather easily, and hence made the playoffs. That's most people's definition of "compete." I think everyone understood in April that this team was not likely to challenge St. Louis very seriously, but most thought that the 2005 product would be good enough to make the playoffs. Obviously, some disagreed for the wrong reasons (the loss of Beltre, Lima, Cora; or that the Giants or Padres were actually going to be good) and others for what turned out to be the right reasons (injury-prone starters), but I think it's wrong to say that DePo's plan ruined the Dodgers in the short term or tied their hands for the medium term.
    2005-09-23 15:42:13
    82.   King of the Hobos
    74 As Jon said, Aybar didn't play for 2 weeks after his call up, he was a PH/2B defensive replacement. Then he started a game (Sept 10 I believe), and hasn't sat since. Edwards has never played a game at 3b replacing Aybar

    77 Navarro wasn't called up the first time to play. He was on the roster, and DePo needed to delay bringing up Rose for some reason (I can't rememebr exactly). When Navarro was called up to actually play, he did play regularly.

    Navarro and Repko seem to be the only rookies that had a considerable amount of playing time after he was called up, although with all the rookies, I could be forgetting someone

    2005-09-23 15:44:54
    83.   Bob Timmermann
    Navarro was brought up initially instead of Rose because it was thought that Bako would only be out for a short period of time. Once it was clear he was out for the year, Rose was brought up.

    The theory was that Phillips would play most of the time and Navarro wouldn't gain any experience sitting on the bench.

    2005-09-23 15:52:58
    84.   Jon Weisman
    I've been open to the argument, originated by Steve, I think, that DePodesta and Tracy are in fact on the same page (de facto or by design). I've been open to it, but I'm not convinced by it.

    Let's just say this. I don't know if it's the case or not. I understand the possibility (or the fear). But I don't think that argument is any more plausible than the argument that DePodesta has simply decided to be deferential to Tracy for the first year - out of respect, insecurity or what have you.

    I also believe that starting in 2006, the question becomes as irrelevant for all of us as it has already become for Steve. This will be the second year in a row in which DePo and McCourt have the opportunity to weigh in on Tracy, after a year in which his warts have been more clearly exposed than ever before. If Tracy comes back, we have to consider everything he does endorsed by top management.

    I don't think we can know yet what really happened in 2005. But the question becomes irrelevant in about 10-20 days.

    Postscript: the question extends beyond starting lineups. It also concerns the whole aspect of J.D. Drew bunting, false platooning (i.e., Saenz pinch-hitting for Choi when a lefty enters the game, but not vice versa), etc.

    2005-09-23 15:58:16
    85.   Monterey Chris
    I think that a lot of the blame given to DePo is premature. He hasn't had the chance to succeed or fail yet. However, if Tracy is not managing in the DePo mold that is DePo's fault. Evans worked hard to get players who fit Tracy's managing style (that was his stated goal). DePo either needs to get players who fit JT's managment style or he needs to get a new manager. Here is the bottom line: DePo is the one who signed Tracy to a two year deal. And at that point, Tracy was not an unknown commodity. DePo knew exactly what he was getting into. If JT and DePo are on different pages, it is either because DePo hired the wrong person or DePo gave Tracy the wrong players for him to succeed with. Either way, that would be DePo's fault.
    2005-09-23 16:00:18
    86.   GoBears
    84 Yup. I guess my fear is that DePodesta will call Tracy in for a chat during that week after the season ends, and that after injuries are blamed on both sides, that Tracy will promise to give the DePo plan a more serious try next year, and save his job. At which point, he'll just go ahead and do whatever the heck he wants next year, knowing that he's bloody unlikely to be fired during the season, and that he's a lame duck in any case. DePo's only recourse then will be to take away all the dangerous toys and make the team Tracy-proof. And Choi's job will be to have a blazing April, a la Aybar this last few weeks, to get the media on his side, so that he becomes hard to bench.

    Believe it or not, I actually thought about ending this post after the initial "Yup." HA!

    2005-09-23 16:01:09
    87.   dzzrtRatt
    84 Re: your postscript. How does a GM or an owner handle the question of poor in-game decision making? If they decide to keep the manager, do they give him an employee review and tell him he bunts too much, leaves Jeff Weaver in too long, and tell him specifically to alter his tactics? And, if they let Tracy leave and bring in someone else, how do they assure themselves they won't be hiring another manager who has the same bad patterns?

    The near-universality of dumb managerial decisions that appear obviously wrong to us mere fans also makes me think there is something inherently confusing about being a baseball manager that leads to regular cerebral breakdowns. I just don't remember ever following a team, even a very successful team, where the manager didn't make bafflingly stupid decisions frequently enough to notice. Tracy's made his share, but can DePo replace him with any confidence that he's getting something better? Unless you watch a manager day to day, how could a GM even know what he's getting?

    2005-09-23 16:01:16
    88.   Steve
    Jon -- it's not really an argument that they're on the "same page," it's more of a hypothetical possibility. Frankly, I have no idea what the hell the Dodgers are thinking. I don't think that they are thinking.
    2005-09-23 16:01:51
    89.   Jon Weisman
    85 - "DePo is the one who signed Tracy to a two year deal. And at that point, Tracy was not an unknown commodity. DePo knew exactly what he was getting into."

    Isn't it possible, though, that a manager might manage differently in the first year of a deal than he did in the last year of a deal? Especially if he feels the winds shifting against his boss?

    If it can happen to players, why can't it happen to managers?

    Again, that's why I think it's very plausible that DePodesta didn't originally see a problem with giving Tracy a lot of rope.

    2005-09-23 16:04:12
    90.   Steve
    DePo either needs to get players who fit JT's managment style


    2005-09-23 16:04:50
    91.   dzzrtRatt
    89 Boy, if I were DePo and I thought Tracy was managing in defiance of my wishes precisely because "the winds (were) shifting," he'd be gone, and I'd make sure every other GM knew why. Screw that.
    2005-09-23 16:06:10
    92.   Monterey Chris
    89--Yes, that is certainly possible. But the bigger issue is whether DePo and Tracy have the same philosophical approach to the game. Do they see the same stats as being important or are they looking at players from two different (and possibly contradictory) points of view? A GM like DePo must have a manager who shares his philosophical approach.
    2005-09-23 16:07:50
    93.   Monterey Chris
    90--You're an A's fan...what do you care?
    2005-09-23 16:07:55
    94.   Bob Timmermann
    Sorry, offtopic but MLB decided to pick a tiebreaker spot for the NL West ... just in case ...

    If the Giants and Padres tie, the tiebreaker will be played in San Diego.

    The Phillies would host Atlanta in a tiebreaker and the Red Sox would host Cleveland.

    2005-09-23 16:10:33
    95.   King of the Hobos
    90 I'm going to assume Tracifying the team would not be given Steve's approval.
    2005-09-23 16:11:32
    96.   Howard Fox
    even though I expect 2006 to be similar on the field as was 2005, it will be DePodesta's make or break year with respect to his relationship with Tracy and McCourt...

    Tracy will have to toe the line and do things DePo's way, with DePo asserting his authority....

    or, Tracy will do whatever he wants, fly in the face of DePo, and get away with it, thus inferring McCourt's support for him over which case, we should be looking for a new GM (in this case, DePo should resign if he has the backbone to stand up for his principles & beliefs)...

    then again, Tracy may opt out now for Pitt or Cincy...

    2005-09-23 16:12:45
    97.   Jon Weisman
    88 - Understood.
    2005-09-23 16:35:43
    98.   Jon Weisman
    Bob Timmermann has found himself in today's Dodger press notes, thanks to his correction on their erroneous team HBP record announcement.

    2005-09-23 16:43:29
    99.   Jon Weisman
    This will be the game chat thread.
    2005-09-23 16:49:32
    100.   Bob Timmermann
    Sniff, if only my parents were around to see that.... I wish I could hang around tonight for the game, but the allure of $60 to be made while watching two mediocre football teams duke it out in the wilds of Tujunga is too much to pass up.
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2005-09-23 16:53:25
    101.   Bob Timmermann
    Only four more left. Collect the whole set!

    Random Dodger Game Callback

    September 23, 1927

    Rookie pitcher Ray Moss, in just his second major league game, had a triple and a sacrifice fly to help Brooklyn earn a split in a doubleheader against Cincinnati at Redland Field. Cincinnati won the opener 6-3 and Brooklyn won the nightcap 4-3. With the season nearly over, Brooklyn was stuck in sixth place with a 62-86 record, 28 games behind first place Pittsburgh.

    Former Giants star George Kelly was the hero for Cincinnati in the opener. Kelly hit a bases-loaded single to score three runs off of Brooklyn starter Jumbo Elliott, and later came around to score after an error. Kelly would single again in the seventh, steal second and come around to score again. Brooklyn first baseman Babe Herman had two triples in a losing cause.

    In the second game, Brooklyn manager Wilbert Robinson turned to Moss, who had pitched one game before in the majors back in 1926. Brooklyn scored three times in the fourth inning. Herman singled and two batters later third baseman Johnny Butler walked. Catcher Hank DeBerry tripled in two runs and Moss followed with another triple to score DeBerry. It would be the only triple Moss would hit in 149 major league at bats. In the sixth, Butler tripled and Moss scored him on a sacrifice fly. The Dodgers hit seven triples in the doubleheader, three by Herman.

    The Reds scored a run in the seventh and two more in the ninth. So Robinson turned to Watty Clark to get the last two outs of the game, retiring Kelly as a pinch hitter to end the game.

    Brooklyn would finish the 1927 season with a 65-88 record, 28 ½ games behind the first place Pirates.

    The 1927 squad was not very distinguished. Herman led the team with 14 home runs, but it hit only 39 overall. Herman batted .272, second best on the team. Center fielder Jigger Statz led the team at .274. Statz would achieve more fame as a player for the PCL Los Angeles Angels. Harvey Hendrick batted .310 coming in off the bench frequently.

    Hall of Famer Dazzy Vance was the pitching star, as expected. Vance went 16-15 with a 2.70 ERA and led the NL with 184 strikeouts. Rookie Moss would get a regular job with the Dodgers in 1928 and would pitch in the majors until 1931. He passed away in 1998 at the age of 96.

    Thanks to the New York Times and Retrosheet.

    2005-09-23 16:59:14
    102.   Bob Timmermann
    Teams that can be eliminated from the playoffs tonight:

    Cubs, if the Cardinals win
    Dodgers, if the they lose and San Diego wins

    The Brewers and Mets will be alive until Saturday at least because the Astros already lost today.

    2005-09-23 17:02:05
    103.   alex 7
    A bases loaded, base clearing single? Must have been Jason-Phillips-slow. Then he stole a base. That staff must have been even worse at holding runners than our current one.
    2005-09-23 17:07:59
    104.   Steve
    I wonder if DePodesta ever Jigger Statz on his laptop.
    2005-09-23 17:09:57
    105.   GoBears
    Here is the bottom line: DePo is the one who signed Tracy to a two year deal. And at that point, Tracy was not an unknown commodity. DePo knew exactly what he was getting into.

    Here's where I give DePo the benefit of the doubt, and where I think most of us did, in that we didn't think that re-signing Tracy was a bad idea at the time (well, 'cept for Steve). The story then was that JT "got the most out of his players" by "putting them in a position to succeed" or some similar blather. JT's style/philosophy worked with the type of team that he had. What we didn't know was whether or not he could adapt to a different kind of team. There was every reason to give him a shot to do so (unless he had vowed to have JD Drew bunt), and we only know now that JT is not adaptable to his personnel, but has a single style that doesn't fit the team as currently constructed. So now we know. Now the question is whether DePo can (1) convince the leopard to change his spots, (2) put up with the mismatch for another year, sacrificing Kent's usefulness, but otherwise just holding on for the kids, or (3) replace him with a manager who either IS more adaptable or is already, somehow, similarly enlightened.

    Thus, I don't think giving JT a shot was a bad idea - we really didn't know he'd get the least possible out of this sort of team. But if he's rehired, and doesn't change his ways, then it's an admission that 2006 will look a lot like 2005 (only healthier, one hopes).

    2005-09-23 17:18:00
    106.   Kayaker7
    105 Yeah, I agree. I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams that Tracy would have made some of the decisions that he did. None of his previous years presaged what was to come this year.
    2005-09-23 17:21:49
    107.   Bob Timmermann
    Rockies jump out ahead on the Giants 1-0.

    Royals got a leadoff homer from Chip Ambres and lead Cleveland 1-0. But it's Lima Time tonight in KC.

    No score between Minnesota and Chicago yet.

    2005-09-23 17:29:17
    108.   Bob Timmermann
    3-0 Pale Hose in the first on a Jermaine Dye homer.
    2005-09-23 17:34:03
    109.   Kayaker7
    108 Playing that Smallball again.
    2005-09-23 17:36:09
    110.   King of the Hobos
    Now 3-0 Rockies on an Ardoin homer
    2005-09-23 17:36:53
    111.   King of the Hobos
    And the Indians have tied it 1-1
    2005-09-23 17:37:12
    112.   Bob Timmermann
    Cleveland ties KC 1-1 on an RBI single by "old friend" Jose Hernandez against "old friend" Jose Lima.

    Cleveland fans were puzzled that Hernandez got the start against a righthander.

    Danny Ardoin hit a 2-run homer and the Rockies lead the Giants 3-0.

    2005-09-23 17:37:34
    113.   Bob Timmermann
    I was being too friendly.
    2005-09-23 17:40:56
    114.   dzzrtRatt
    113 I know a good lawyer for that.
    2005-09-23 17:50:32
    115.   Bob Timmermann
    The chances of needing that NL West tiebreaker game are getting more remote.
    2005-09-23 17:55:02
    116.   Monterey Chris
    Colorado scored 1 in the 1st, 2 in the 2nd, and 3 in the 3rd (so far). At this rate, the final score will be 45-0. At hitter friendly Coors field, the Giants only hit is by their pitcher Kinney.
    2005-09-23 17:55:22
    117.   Steve
    115 -- The BBTN team is going to have to re-write all their copy. Break out the crayons!
    2005-09-23 17:58:43
    118.   Bob Timmermann
    Back when the Giants were discussing activating Bonds, a Giants on BTF said that the Giants should be favored to pass the Padres.

    I took exception to that. Giants fans have an odd way of viewing the quality of their team.

    2005-09-23 17:59:06
    119.   Bob Timmermann
    Now it's really LIMA TIME!
    2005-09-23 18:03:17
    120.   Bob Timmermann
    And with Cleveland up 5-1, I bid you folks adieu until later tonight.

    No radio for me tonight for those who were eagerly awaiting another appearance!

    2005-09-23 18:19:19
    121.   dzzrtRatt
    Six run lead at Coors after three innings? That's hardly a lead at all.
    2005-09-23 18:31:18
    122.   Robert Fiore
    Let's be fair here: Jason Phillips IS a replacement-level player.

    If McCourt inherits Tracy and hires DePodesta, how does Tracy become McCourt's guy?

    Exactly what has to happen before you can blame your performance on injuries? A team plane crash?

    The Dodgers organization had transparency during the O'Malley years? The only guy Walter O'Malley was transparent to was Superman.

    Looking on the bright side, you probably don't have to worry about J.D. Drew taking that second year out clause . . .

    2005-09-23 18:42:33
    123.   GoBears
    122 Good points by Robert. I disagree with the last one, however. If Drew has a 2004-level 2006, then he might opt out, and 2005's truncated season won't matter to anyone (b/c he'll have shown he's over the injury).
    2005-09-23 18:45:18
    124.   King of the Hobos
    Guess who are SS is today. You'll never guess it

    3B Aybar
    SS (if I say his name, I'm afraid it won't come true)
    2B Kent
    1B Saenz (Maholm is a lefty)
    RF Cruz
    C Navarro
    LF Edwards
    CF Werth
    P Houlton

    2005-09-23 18:51:11
    125.   Steve
    Wow. Not only that, but in an unholy convergence of running DT themes, LoDuca just popped a bunt up for a double play with runners on first and second and no one out.
    2005-09-23 18:51:52
    126.   werthgagne31
    2005-09-23 18:57:08
    127.   Steve
    Having given away the Top of the 8th, McKeon comes to get Alfonseca after two batters, trying to avert doing likewise to the bottom.
    2005-09-23 19:06:50
    128.   Steve
    Didn't work
    2005-09-23 19:06:56
    129.   Vishal
    124 wow, i never thought i'd see the day. i hope he's solid in the field tonight or else he may never again see the light of day.

    in case any of you are wondering, robles has been hitting .242/.278/.333, which is an OPS of .611, for the past 30 days.

    2005-09-23 19:09:41
    130.   Vishal
    129 - by the way, over that month or so, robles has accrued 120 at-bats, and antonio perez has had 29. he hasn't done all too well in those 29, but that's hard when you're mostly pinch-hitting. he has had 8 starts in that period, and hit safely in 7 of them.
    2005-09-23 19:12:32
    131.   Vishal
    (correction: those 8 starts cover his last 36 at-bats, a little over a month)
    2005-09-23 19:16:47
    132.   King of the Hobos
    With 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th in a tie game, Frank Robinson allowed the pitcher, Majewski, to bat for himself with a chance to win. He grounded out. And now, he has given up a 3 run homer to Beltran in the 10th, and he's not done yet
    2005-09-23 19:32:18
    133.   Jon Weisman
    124, 125 I feel like Halley's Comet just landed in the Bermuda Triangle.

    I don't know what that means, but that's how I feel.

    2005-09-23 19:32:47
    134.   Uncle Miltie
    I think it's just a case of Tracy giving Robles a day off. DJ Houlton is a flyball pitcher, so it's a good time to play Perez at SS. If Edwards wasn't playing this would almost be the perfect lineup (offensively).

    How many announcers are worse than Duane Kuiper

    2005-09-23 19:34:46
    135.   Jon Weisman
    Apparently technical difficulties are preventing me from seeing the beginning of the game. Guess I should wash the mountain of dishes after all.
    2005-09-23 19:42:00
    136.   Steve
    121 -- take a bow. right again!
    2005-09-23 19:42:49
    137.   King of the Hobos
    Perez fields the first out well enough
    2005-09-23 19:47:49
    138.   King of the Hobos
    Navarro decides to make Bay imperfect in running. Good to have him back, I can't believe it's too easy for him to play right now though
    2005-09-23 19:50:10
    139.   Uncle Miltie
    138- I don't think that counts as caught stealing because he tried to advance after the pitch got away from Navarro.

    Nice piece of hitting by Aybar.

    2005-09-23 19:51:54
    140.   Uncle Miltie
    Antonio will play tomorrow after that productive out
    2005-09-23 19:52:34
    141.   clopez
    these are the situations Kent tends to NOT come through in.
    2005-09-23 19:53:03
    142.   Uncle Miltie
    141- I could see him popping up
    2005-09-23 19:53:16
    143.   clopez
    weird, that.
    2005-09-23 19:53:39
    144.   Uncle Miltie
    nope weak groundball because he tried to pull an outside pitch
    2005-09-23 19:53:48
    145.   clopez
    i was thinking pop-up too
    2005-09-23 19:54:39
    146.   Uncle Miltie
    Good piece of hitting by Saenz (even though it was right down the middle
    2005-09-23 19:58:35
    147.   Vishal
    vinny says he was "caught trying to advance", which is not a CS. bay's still perfect.
    2005-09-23 19:59:55
    148.   Xeifrank
    Off to China.. flight leaves at 1AM. Will be an interesting flight and trip with a 15 month old! Hopefully when I come back, Tracy will have opted out. Thanks for the great season everyone... especiall Jon.
    vr, Xei
    2005-09-23 20:08:03
    149.   Jon Weisman
    Goodness - good luck on the trip with the toddler. Thanks for being with us all year and check in when you return.
    2005-09-23 20:14:35
    150.   Kayaker7
    Why is Saenz still playing? The season is over for goodness sake.
    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2005-09-23 20:20:07
    151.   Kayaker7
    Another homer? Geez. At least the bases weren't loaded this time.
    2005-09-23 20:21:03
    152.   Uncle Miltie
    150- 2nd place. Jim Tracy doesn't want his career record to get any worse than it already is. He's not interested in developing young players.
    2005-09-23 20:23:16
    153.   Uncle Miltie
    Aybar just swung 2-0.
    2005-09-23 20:23:22
    154.   Kayaker7
    152 He must be trying to impress his future employer.
    2005-09-23 20:24:17
    155.   Kayaker7
    Just heard from Vinny that Jason Phillips is out with a sprained right wrist. Apparently from diving into first base.
    2005-09-23 20:24:41
    156.   Uncle Miltie
    Phillips has a sprained right wrist
    2005-09-23 20:31:00
    157.   Uncle Miltie
    Willie Stargell?
    2005-09-23 20:41:15
    158.   Steve
    Apparently from diving into first base.

    That play drew a veritable Greek chorus from DT last night.

    2005-09-23 20:43:21
    159.   Kayaker7
    Charlie Steiner just commented that Smallball is successful on a team level, but it does not pad individual stats.
    2005-09-23 20:43:42
    160.   Vishal
    rick and charlie are currently extolling the unsung virtues of the bunt in these flashy times of sportscenter and the longball. gag me.
    2005-09-23 20:44:15
    161.   Nagman
    That swing by Werth wins Worst Swing of the Season.
    2005-09-23 20:46:35
    162.   King of the Hobos
    161 It beats Robles swinging at a pitch out? I guess Robles shouldn't be entirely blamed, he was trying to protect the runner on a hit n run
    2005-09-23 20:47:38
    163.   Steve
    161 - Werth and Repko are like the Lost and Desperate Housewives of the Worst Swing of the Season Category.
    2005-09-23 20:47:54
    164.   Kayaker7
    162 Robles is the guy who got a hit on a bounced pitch.
    2005-09-23 20:48:12
    165.   Vishal
    haha, charlie steiner is now talking about possible candidates for the pittsburgh manager job. he talks about macha, leyland, and art howe. no mention of tracy, however. (western PA and ohio are not that far apart!)
    2005-09-23 20:48:32
    166.   Steve
    Charlie and Rick were not watching the Marlins/Braves game.
    2005-09-23 20:49:48
    167.   Nagman
    It was like his lower half had its own brain, saying "I better get out of the way", but his cranium said "That's a sweet pitch to hit."
    2005-09-23 20:50:25
    168.   stubbs
    "unless the general manager has Maloned the team into long-term contracts it will take half a decade to bail out of. J.D. Drew, Derek Lowe, Odalis Perez and Brad Penny - that's next to nothing compared to what Sheriff Kevin saddled the Dodgers with."

    Jon, as bad as Malone was, can you back this up with a comparable 140 million spent by Malone? Right off the bat Kevin Brown was one of the top pitchers in the league for us. Drew did what some of us here thought he would do (and were lambasted by the bulk of posters here) , Lowe was a #4 starter when it counted, Penny was fine (a debacle if he is hurt again) and Odalis might prove to be the equal of his cousin.

    Drew: Driefort
    Odalis: Carlos Perez
    Lowe+Penny: Brown and Ashby

    2005-09-23 20:51:20
    169.   King of the Hobos
    Despite aKC comeback, Cleveland scared a run in the 9th to win 6-5. The remain 1.5 behind the Sox, who also won

    The Giants pulled out a win, and the Padres are holding onto a 3-2 lead in the 7th to keep the Giants 5 back

    2005-09-23 20:52:28
    170.   Kayaker7
    167 Maybe it was like an elephant's reaction to a mouse. Eek! A pitched ball! Let me just whack it away.
    2005-09-23 20:53:05
    171.   Steve
    Yes, yes we know. You thought Drew was going to get hit by a pitch. Remember, all psychics must get a permit from City Hall.
    2005-09-23 20:53:55
    172.   King of the Hobos
    Perez did a good job as the middle man on that DP. Good thing he's mistake free (I haven't missed anything have I?), or he would be lucky to get an AB the rest of the season
    2005-09-23 20:55:51
    173.   Louis in SF
    Jon, nice post as usual and as I watch and listen from San Francisco it is so painful to see the Giants still alive and far closer than the Dodgers. However, when I saw them both in the first series at SBC, I said to a friend that both teams were bad and we shouldn't expect much. My prediction was San Diego and Arizona. For most of the year with the exception of the first month the Dodgers have been bad and it is only this month that the Giants have been close to decent.

    While most on this site continue to hose Tracy for playing people like Edwards and Robles, I understand the feelings about Perez and Choi and I agree with most of you on those two not playing enough. However, with the injuries in the DOdger outfield, Edwards has become the most viable candidate. Remember Ledee has been almost day to day for the past month. As an added point Werth has now struck out for the 100th time in a little over 300 at bats. Once Drew went down it was clear the Dodger outfield was not a big hitting outfield and when Bradley went down shortly after, any chance the Dodgers had even in a bad division was based on picking up a good bat. Cruz was a good pick-up, but the Dodgers really needed a bat one month earlier. They also need one with a larger impact.
    The Dodgers couldn't get anyone or didn't want to and when that happened Tracy's position in the organization increased.

    At some point McCourt has to decide how much he wants to spend DePodesta has to have more power and Tracy has to decide if he can work within the DePodesta plan and the three need to figure out real quickly after the season ends.
    My prediction is we have another year of the same. The reason being is McCourt is cheap.

    2005-09-23 20:56:14
    174.   Kayaker7
    Hatteberg just bunted Kielty to second.
    2005-09-23 20:56:17
    175.   stubbs
    171-its amazing how delusional you are with JD Drew. The guy has played ONE full season (and at that had to sit out 20 games). Please join reality at some point.
    2005-09-23 20:57:08
    176.   oldbear
    Scott Hatteburg just sac bunted with the A's down 2-1 in the 7th.

    Has the world gone mad?

    Is there any baseball team I can still root for, that will play the game the right way?

    I'm losing hope.

    2005-09-23 20:58:05
    177.   Steve
    It was all a delusion? Thank God. I thought JD Drew was hit by a pitch and out for the year.
    2005-09-23 21:01:09
    178.   Vishal
    175 so if i pelt you on the wrist with a 90+ mph projectile, should i expect you to be perfectly fine?
    2005-09-23 21:01:59
    179.   stubbs
    In you alternate universe, with the dodgers in a playoff chase, does JD fight through the injury and play or do what he did this year?
    2005-09-23 21:03:24
    180.   stubbs
    178-one of you stat geeks can probably figure out how many players were hit on the wrist or hand this year and how many were out half the year. My guess is J.D. doesnt have much company.
    2005-09-23 21:04:30
    181.   Vishal
    and what did he do this year, exactly?

    how do you "fight through" a broken wrist? if you can't swing the bat, you're useless to the team.

    2005-09-23 21:04:51
    182.   Steve
    Vargas walked seven guys and the Padres only scored three.
    2005-09-23 21:05:18
    183.   Kayaker7
    Steiner just said that Saenz is well respected in the clubhouse, because he plays with all sorts of aches and pains. Sheesh...he shouldn't be playing then; the Dodgers are out of it.
    2005-09-23 21:05:28
    184.   King of the Hobos
    179 A broken wrist is a broken wrist, you can't really "fight through it." And even if he had, he wouldn't have done much, look at Werth
    2005-09-23 21:06:42
    185.   Steve
    C'mon you guys. He's just trolling.
    2005-09-23 21:06:48
    186.   capdodger
    179 No. He recognizes a brushback pitch .1 seconds earlier and takes it in the ribs. He has a bruise, is listed as day-to-day for a week and then comes back and continues as the second-best or possibly best hitter on the team. As a side benefit, he robs the scrappier hitters of at bats.

    It was a random event. The "injury-prone" argument has traction if the guy went out for bad knees or somethign like that. Fact is, he didn't. He's out because he tried to hit a fastball with his wrist.

    2005-09-23 21:08:23
    187.   Vishal
    well, the human body is not perfectly symmetrical. often times a few millimeters in one direction or the other makes a difference in how bad the injury is. like if you get shot and it happens to hit an artery, then you've got big problems, but if it's a few millimeters off, it's just a flesh wound, and it's not so bad. since i don't know that jd drew has a history of breaking a lot of bones all over the place, i'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.
    2005-09-23 21:08:32
    188.   Steve
    Hernandez singles in Roberts -- 4-2 Pads.
    2005-09-23 21:08:37
    189.   Kayaker7
    180 If we're stat geeks, what are you? Smallball geek? Traditionalist geek?
    2005-09-23 21:09:20
    190.   Steve
    Love that 'Zona bullpen. Except against us.
    2005-09-23 21:09:43
    191.   Kayaker7
    A's lose an opportunity to score.
    2005-09-23 21:10:17
    192.   oldbear
    I hate baseball.

    Jason Kendall in the 3 hole? Why?

    Hatteburg sac bunts in front of Swisher who has like 3 hits in september.

    Mark Ellis swings at ball 4 that would have loaded the bases.

    Kotsay does the same things...

    What team can I root for that does things the right way? Do the Indians bunt? I think they have almost 7 or 8 guys in their lineup that all OPS over .800 May have to switch allegiance to them.

    2005-09-23 21:10:38
    193.   Steve
    A's lose an opportunity to score.

    Is there, like, a macro for that so I only have to type one button rather than repeat it over and over again?

    2005-09-23 21:10:40
    194.   capdodger
    On a side-note, DJ's having a decent night. Yeah, it's the Pirates and all, but that's a QS, isn't it? If only he had some run support.
    2005-09-23 21:11:52
    195.   Uncle Miltie
    What happened to the game? It just blacked out on my computer.
    2005-09-23 21:12:14
    196.   capdodger
    180 That's a job for Bob.
    2005-09-23 21:12:55
    197.   capdodger
    195 It's back.

    I guess it was declared unfit for the Internet.

    2005-09-23 21:13:03
    198.   King of the Hobos
    180 Werth spent 2.5-3 months on the DL (I'm not sure the exatc day he was hit, early March to May 25th). However, he had a rehab assignment, Drew could not have one. That's a huge problem right there. And look how effective Werth has been, he clearly was activated too early. Drew has been out 2.5 months, about the same as Werth. He would not have had the other surgeries if we had a fighting chance
    2005-09-23 21:14:08
    199.   Steve
    I don't like Kendall hitting third, but that's just a bad-hitting lineup. Hatteburg is done, Payton's soul is now not his own, Kotsay's hurt, and Swisher will be good, but he's young. I like where they're going, but this is not their year. They are going to have to take solace in out-playing expectations.
    2005-09-23 21:14:41
    200.   oldbear
    Dionner seems to be just as good batting RH as he is batting LH.

    He's killing LHP in only 20 at bats.

    Show/Hide Comments 201-250
    2005-09-23 21:15:30
    201.   Steve
    We activated Alvarez? For real?
    2005-09-23 21:15:46
    202.   Uncle Miltie
    200- he has more power as a RHB
    2005-09-23 21:17:08
    203.   stubbs
    198-Somewhere the math is wrong. Werth will end up playing over 105 games and Drew will end up in the low 70s.
    2005-09-23 21:17:21
    204.   capdodger
    We've had a Robles sighting.
    2005-09-23 21:18:27
    205.   Uncle Miltie
    Werth gets an, it's been a long time.
    2005-09-23 21:18:29
    206.   capdodger
    203 Because Werth missed about 30 spring training games. The math is left as an excercise for the reader.
    2005-09-23 21:19:15
    207.   King of the Hobos
    203 It's called spring training
    2005-09-23 21:19:16
    208.   Kayaker7
    Robles. Pinch hitter extraordinaire.
    2005-09-23 21:20:33
    209.   Steve
    Robles has virtually no split.
    2005-09-23 21:20:48
    210.   Uncle Miltie
    Good baserunning by Edwards not to get doubled off.
    2005-09-23 21:21:50
    211.   Vishal
    203 well a month of his injury was in spring training.
    2005-09-23 21:22:07
    212.   Kayaker7
    AP's time to shine.
    2005-09-23 21:22:38
    213.   Nagman
    Only the Devil Rays coulda done that...
    2005-09-23 21:22:52
    214.   King of the Hobos
    Perez gets the start at SS, now he needs to get some runs to show Tracy what he can do (apparently Tracy hasn't watched him in the past)
    2005-09-23 21:23:01
    215.   capdodger
    Yep. Hopefully, AP will do better with his chance to shove it in Tracy's mug than Choi did a week ago.
    2005-09-23 21:23:55
    216.   Kayaker7
    Perez comes through...
    2005-09-23 21:24:29
    217.   King of the Hobos
    Better than Robles leaving men on everytime Kent is on deck late in games
    2005-09-23 21:24:31
    218.   Uncle Miltie
    Perez loses maybe 2 RBIs, could have been a double down the line.
    2005-09-23 21:24:49
    219.   Kayaker7
    209 That implies that Tracy looks at stats.
    2005-09-23 21:24:53
    220.   capdodger
    Let's go Kent! Get some padding for you and Tracy's records!
    2005-09-23 21:25:30
    221.   oldbear
    Bad game for Mark Ellis. That A's look done.
    2005-09-23 21:27:10
    222.   King of the Hobos
    From the notes:

    To make up for that light workload, Perez plans to pitch extensively in winter ball.

    "I want to go there and pitch at least 60 to 70 innings to go and reestablish," Perez said, later adding, "If I do the right things, I know I can be better."

    Tracy said the Dodgers will monitor Perez over the winter, but aren't opposed to him pitching winter ball. Perez said he usually gives himself at least one month off during the winter.

    And more importantly...

    "The situation with his little boy, it seems as if the kidney situation -- which seemed like it was the most serious situation -- is kind of stabilizing itself, and they're trying to get him on a regular feeding pattern," Tracy said.

    2005-09-23 21:28:41
    223.   Uncle Miltie
    Good job by Kent, not trying to pad his stats.
    2005-09-23 21:28:46
    224.   King of the Hobos
    Linebrink K'd a DBack run in, 5-3 Padres (officially, there was a WP)
    2005-09-23 21:28:52
    225.   popup
    #160. Vishal, actually it should be Steiner and Monday who should be gaged instead of you. Extolling the virtues of a bunt are not their most serious crimes though. There is nothing either of them bring to a baseball broadcast. I wish they would at least make a stab at describing what is going on in the game once in awhile. The worst aquisition the Dodgers have made this year is Steiner. What was one of the best broadcasting booths in baseball is now one of the worst. If Steiner is going to be the heir apparent to Vin I think I will gag. I certainly won't listen.

    Stan from Tacoma

    2005-09-23 21:30:27
    226.   Uncle Miltie
    Olmedo chokes
    2005-09-23 21:30:38
    227.   Steve
    Joe Table!
    2005-09-23 21:31:08
    228.   Tommy Naccarato
    Stan, I couldn't agree more.
    2005-09-23 21:32:08
    229.   King of the Hobos
    226 I don't know if he choked as much as he hit it hard down the line, and Mackowiak was able to block it and recover to throw him out
    2005-09-23 21:32:53
    230.   oldbear
    Tracy let Choi hit against all RHP. No need to continue using Saenz at this juncture of the year. Unless the plan is too have Saenz pad his stats enough into Level A free agency....?

    We may offer arbitration to Saenz, who knows?

    2005-09-23 21:33:08
    231.   Steve
    Joe Table gets lucky again
    2005-09-23 21:33:33
    232.   Vishal
    hahah, robles stays at short and perez goes to the bench. figures it couldn't last the whole game.
    2005-09-23 21:34:02
    233.   Tommy Naccarato
    Which cheerleaders in the FOX commercial look better, USC's or UCLA's?

    That Trojan one on the left looks pretty good, (very nasty looking in a good way) although as a group, I think UCLA's win hands down.

    2005-09-23 21:34:11
    234.   oldbear
    Just let Antonio Perez finish the game at SS. My word...
    2005-09-23 21:35:53
    235.   Uncle Miltie
    234- this way, Tracy doesn't have to use Choi as a PH and Robles gets another AB.
    2005-09-23 21:36:06
    236.   Kayaker7
    Tracy's lineups not only change on a daily basis, it changes on an inning basis. He makes in-game lineups shuffles for no apparent reason.
    2005-09-23 21:37:43
    237.   Tommy Naccarato
    If your still up, really good read above. Yes, I like Navarro being a LoDuca of Earl fan. I think he does have a lot of heart & soul. A lot of these young guys seem to have that.

    Way to go Shmoll!

    2005-09-23 21:37:59
    238.   Vishal
    225 i'm with you. monday is absolutely insipid, and charlie seems bitter and cynical for no good reason. i just thought it was funny that they were saying, more or less, "where is the love for the bunt??" as if smallball wasn't a league-wide fixture and talking head fetish already.
    2005-09-23 21:38:17
    239.   Nagman
    Wow. 3-4-5 hitters. Impressive.
    2005-09-23 21:38:25
    240.   oldbear
    Schmoll's best major league inning ever. We should bring in the Bull during the 8th, and go for 6 consecutive strikeouts.
    2005-09-23 21:38:41
    241.   King of the Hobos
    I think Wilson's power and ability to hit lies in his hair. Clean shaven + long hair = good, but short hair + beard = bad

    And Schmoll made the SS position in general useless in that inning anyways

    2005-09-23 21:40:26
    242.   Steve
    Gotta take hope from innings like that, even if it was Pittsburgh
    2005-09-23 21:42:06
    243.   Kayaker7
    Cruz can't be this good.
    2005-09-23 21:42:50
    244.   oldbear
    Angels are going to be 4 games up on the A's.

    When the A's start sac bunting, they deserve to lose.

    2005-09-23 21:43:03
    245.   Tommy Naccarato
    Cruz likes that right fiel line doesn't he? He seems to pull the ball alot, which is pretty a pretty good thing to have a player that can do that.
    2005-09-23 21:43:40
    246.   Kayaker7
    Steiner: All Dionners has to do is hit the ball on the ground to the right side. Anything beyond that is gravy.

    Smallball thrives!!

    2005-09-23 21:44:45
    247.   Steve
    243 -- He's only OPS +.800 once in his career
    2005-09-23 21:45:07
    248.   Vishal
    bah, the angels are winning now too.

    i give up.

    2005-09-23 21:45:14
    249.   Kayaker7
    244 The A's have far exceeded pre-season expectations. People's expectations were raised after they came back from the dead.
    2005-09-23 21:45:25
    250.   Uncle Miltie
    Non-productive out alert
    Show/Hide Comments 251-300
    2005-09-23 21:47:36
    251.   King of the Hobos
    247 That was also the only year he hit above .250. A .791 OPS from a .250 hitter is not that bad (ignoring Dunn)
    2005-09-23 21:47:41
    252.   Kayaker7
    The concept of productive outs only make adherents feel smarter than the rest of the people.

    I'd like to see a study done on how productive trying to hit grounders to certain directions is, versus just hitting the ball solid, regardless of direction.

    2005-09-23 21:50:52
    253.   Steve
    True. Cruz is useful despite a low BA. But Werth is at, what, .740? Cruz will be 34.

    Cruz would be a handy part of a full outfield contingent. I don't think he gets us all the way where we want to be as, say, next year's starting LF

    2005-09-23 21:51:11
    254.   Uncle Miltie
    Excellent play the Pirates CF. Werth hit that ball very hard and it looked like he had at least a double there.
    2005-09-23 21:51:34
    255.   Uncle Miltie
    2005-09-23 21:53:41
    256.   oldbear
    Cruz career OPS is .793

    He must have been hovering around the .800 mark many of those years.

    2005-09-23 21:53:41
    257.   Uncle Miltie
    Horrible play by Saenz, good play by Schmoll
    2005-09-23 21:53:51
    258.   Steve
    Padres win
    2005-09-23 21:53:58
    259.   King of the Hobos
    See, Tracy isn't the only one who PHs for his good young 1B
    2005-09-23 21:54:23
    260.   capdodger
    Old Friend Alert

    And Jimbo goes out for Kuo.

    2005-09-23 21:54:32
    261.   Steve
    256 -- He's fairly consistent.
    2005-09-23 21:54:58
    262.   Uncle Miltie
    Kuo, who is not a LOOGY, is being used as a LOOGY by Tracy.
    2005-09-23 21:55:58
    263.   oldbear
    Loogy mania time.

    Kuo vs Darryl Ward

    2005-09-23 21:57:41
    264.   Uncle Miltie
    The game just went to a fantasy football show...
    2005-09-23 21:57:50
    265.   DaveP
    Kuo isn't throwing very hard.
    2005-09-23 21:58:05
    266.   capdodger
    What the heck? Miltie, did your feed just cut over to a fantasy football show?
    2005-09-23 21:58:50
    267.   capdodger
    Hmm... That reminds me, I need to fix my starting line up for this week.
    2005-09-23 21:59:18
    268.   King of the Hobos

    "It would be nice to use him for an inning, then see how he'd bounce back for a hitter or two so you could visualize it during the season rather than the Grapefruit League," said Tracy, envisioning Kuo for the situational left-hander role. "We have to be mindful of the history with his arm."

    2005-09-23 21:59:36
    269.   Uncle Miltie
    Carrara coming in for Kuo. Tracy is a great manager.
    2005-09-23 21:59:46
    270.   oldbear
    Jim Tracy is out of control. Its a meaningless game, and he's bringing in Gio Carrara instead of Brox or Kuo.


    2005-09-23 22:01:02
    271.   King of the Hobos
    This really should be Osoria's time to shine
    2005-09-23 22:01:21
    272.   Uncle Miltie
    270- he's Jim Tracy. He doesn't want to develop young players, he wants to come in 2nd place.
    2005-09-23 22:01:52
    273.   capdodger
    I would have liked to have seen if Kuo could have worked it out, but whatever.
    2005-09-23 22:02:52
    274.   Steve
    If you wanted to finish in second place, bringing in Carrara is a good way to do it.
    2005-09-23 22:03:08
    275.   King of the Hobos
    Carrara is really helping
    2005-09-23 22:03:21
    276.   D4P
    Tracy doesn't consider this game to be meaningless. He said the other day that finishing 2nd is better than finishing 3rd (and implied that finishing 3rd is better than finishing 4th). Like I said yesterday, Tracy seems to be managing with "his personal W-L record" in mind, rather than the 2006 Dodger team.
    2005-09-23 22:03:21
    277.   natepurcell
    we really need wunsch for next year so tracy cant use kuo as the loogy.
    2005-09-23 22:03:25
    278.   capdodger
    Come on Tracy... Kuo could have done that.
    2005-09-23 22:03:33
    279.   Uncle Miltie
    Geo the Great (85 MPH fastball and all) walks the first batter.
    2005-09-23 22:03:55
    280.   DaveP
    it's possible Tracy didn't like seeing Kuo at 89-90 mph when he was at 92-96 last night. I'm sure they're pretty paranoid about his arm falling off.
    2005-09-23 22:03:58
    281.   Uncle Miltie
    we really need wunsch for next year so tracy cant use kuo as the loogy.
    No we need a new manager
    2005-09-23 22:04:14
    282.   oldbear
    So glad were using this garbage time to develop Giovanni Carrara. I'm sure the Dodgers are benefitting now and in the future from him getting these innings of work.
    2005-09-23 22:04:33
    283.   D4P
    Tracy just doesn't like left-handed Asians.
    2005-09-23 22:04:40
    284.   DaveP
    I'd rather see Broxton in this situation, though.
    2005-09-23 22:04:42
    285.   Uncle Miltie
    Osoria pitched 2-3 innings last night. I don't see why Broxton couldn't come in for an inning.
    2005-09-23 22:05:17
    286.   Steve
    284 -- Bingo.
    2005-09-23 22:07:04
    287.   natepurcell
    it's possible Tracy didn't like seeing Kuo at 89-90 mph when he was at 92-96 last night. I'm sure they're pretty paranoid about his arm falling off

    that would be the only justifiable reason for what he just did.

    2005-09-23 22:07:30
    288.   King of the Hobos
    280 That's really a good point, and if that's the reason, I'd take him out too

    285 That was Wednesday, but I understand your point, and I retract my earlier statement

    2005-09-23 22:09:32
    289.   Uncle Miltie
    Geo barely gets out of it. Hopefully Tracy takes Geo with him wherever he goes (kind of like what Dusty Baker did with his favorite veterans)
    2005-09-23 22:11:12
    290.   oldbear
    The should let Broxton close the game.

    Who doesnt want to see a guy that has pitched 9.2IP w/ 17K's

    Thats Gagne-esque without the control. But once that comes, wow.

    2005-09-23 22:12:10
    291.   capdodger
    280 Lots of pitchers seem to have less velocity when they come to Dodger Stadium though. Broxton was being clocked around 100 in JAX and then lost 4-5 mph in LA. I've also noticed it happening with other pitchers (LA and otherwise) coming off of road trips (particularly to SF).
    2005-09-23 22:14:20
    292.   King of the Hobos
    289 Add in Phillips, and "youngsters" Edwards and Repko. Think the Reds would give us the younger Valentin for that quartet, just to please Tracy?
    2005-09-23 22:14:29
    293.   oldbear
    Tracy just hates Choi. There's no justification for this anymore.

    Tracy will bring in Repko and Robles for 'defensive' purposes, but not Choi for Saenz???

    Then he gives Myrow the shot to pinch hit in the 9th.


    2005-09-23 22:15:47
    294.   D4P
    Why is Myrow ahead of Choi on the depth chart? I just don't get it.
    2005-09-23 22:16:55
    295.   King of the Hobos
    Anyone think DePo has told Tracy to PH with Myrow often to see if he can carry the second lefty PH role next year? I have doubts there will be enough room, but you never know
    2005-09-23 22:17:01
    296.   Uncle Miltie
    Myrow walk, DP for Kent
    2005-09-23 22:18:21
    297.   natepurcell
    myrow has looked decent at the plate in his view ABs he has gotten. his swing reminds me of adam laroche.
    2005-09-23 22:20:18
    298.   oldbear
    I just want Tracy to be consistent. If you bring in Repko, and Robles into the game for defense purposes, you MUST do it with Choi/Saenz.

    Although, I dont care so much that Choi isnt used a pinch hitter. He's just not a good pinch hitter and Myrow's done an ok job so far.

    The minute a lefty starter is taken out, that should signal the end of a worn out slumping Olmedo Saenz night.

    2005-09-23 22:24:19
    299.   oldbear
    Duaner's quickly ruining any positive feelings I might have mustered about his performance lately.
    2005-09-23 22:24:38
    300.   King of the Hobos
    I still cannot figure out why the Padres made the Giles deal. I know Giles has been good for them, but the Pirates managed a steal on that deal
    Show/Hide Comments 301-350
    2005-09-23 22:26:52
    301.   Uncle Miltie
    Kevin Towers is their GM
    2005-09-23 22:27:40
    302.   King of the Hobos
    299 Cintron took a bad pitch deep, not really Sanchez's fault. And Jason Bay is Jason Bay.

    Myrow is now 3-7 with 2 BBs and a 2B (1.126 OPS) as a PH. Obviously a very small sample size, but not bad. If he can keep that up, keeping him as a PH next year could be justifiable

    2005-09-23 22:28:50
    303.   LAT
    Will anyone here give Tracy for perhaps saving this game? If he doesn't put Robles in at SS as a defensive replacement, it is unlikly that Perez makes the play on Jack Wilson's pop-up. That would have put a man on when Bay came in and hit his HR and it would be 4-4.

    I know someone will tell me Tracy is at fault for bringing Duaner in in the first place. But by now, we know Tracy always brings a pitcher back after blowing a game. Read: kept bringing Yhancy back until it was clear he had lost it and many here didn't object to that.

    2005-09-23 22:29:11
    304.   Uncle Miltie
    Sanchez just wanted to get Tracy another 1 run victory
    2005-09-23 22:30:11
    305.   Steve
    What's wrong with bringing Sanchez in?
    2005-09-23 22:30:24
    306.   Steve
    And Perez has better range than Robles.
    2005-09-23 22:30:40
    307.   King of the Hobos
    Jason Bay is 4th in the league in VORP. If the Pirates could get any offense around him, they could be a force with their young pitching very soon.
    2005-09-23 22:31:42
    308.   oldbear
    303. I think finding out if Antonio Perez can make those plays, is more important than the end result of the game. At this juncture of the season anyways.
    2005-09-23 22:33:00
    309.   capdodger
    303 No. Not really. It wasn't that great of a play. The only thing that made it look hard was Scrappy coming flying in from center.
    2005-09-23 22:38:19
    310.   LAT
    Steve, I have no prob with bringing in Sanchez. It was really in respose to whoever said it should be Broxton. I don't know if Perez has more range that Robles, but Tracy thinks Perez a defensive liability there.

    My only point is, it turned out to be the right move, maybe Perez makes the catch but we will never know. Will Tracy get any credit for the move?

    2005-09-23 22:45:58
    311.   LAT
    308. I have no problem with that if we are prepared to likely lose every remaing game. I agree there is no reason not to. Fourth place is really no diffrent that second. But I doubt, Sitrick Frank and the PR Whiz Kid agree with that. I imagine they are still looking for second (they are, of course, dreaming)so next season's marketing campaign would be about us just missing the division title, making it seem closer than it ever was.
    2005-09-23 22:46:53
    312.   Steve
    310 -- Robles has a Range Factor of 2.89 at third and Perez a 2.85, but Perez .852 zone rating, compared to Robles .798. This latter number, if I understand it correctly, means that Perez gets to more balls than Robles does. Robles has a much higher ZR at shortstop than Perez, but Perez has only started five games, so that is a sample size phenomenon so far, and you can't take much from it.

    We do know that Robles is not much faster than Phillips. :)

    2005-09-23 22:49:17
    313.   Steve
    Frankly, looking at it again, even at 30 games each there is a sample size problem. Saenz has similar numbers at third too, and I guess that could be possible. I guess.
    2005-09-23 22:59:54
    314.   LAT
    312. Can't disagree with your last sentence. There is the mistaken impression (not you) that our regular SS is fast but he isn't. Not sure about the diffrence between range factor and zone rating. I agree this team needs a GM in line with Depo, and Tracy is not that guy. But I think Tracy gets blamed for everything and gets credit for nothing. I am just suggesting that he should get some credit for a move that works out. (and comments like 283 really annoy me.)
    2005-09-23 23:00:11
    315.   Steve
    I have no problem with that if we are prepared to likely lose every remaing game

    Why would playing Perez instead of Robles make it more likely for us to lose every remaining game? I mean, I like Robles, as far as that goes, but Perez doesn't appear to be a huge step down from Robles to the point that it would suggest a surrender of the season.

    2005-09-23 23:02:41
    316.   LAT
    this team needs a GM in line with Depo

    Idiot, Depo is the GM. I assume he is in line with himself. Should read "this team needs a manager in line with Depo"

    2005-09-23 23:05:41
    317.   LAT
    316. You are right. I was just (as Frank would say) ass-u-ming OldBear was suggesting we play all the kids all the time and he did not say that.
    2005-09-23 23:08:40
    318.   Steve
    Nice to see you, LAT. You are a becalming influence. You are also right that whatever Perez would have done, Robles actually did do it, and we were very fortunate that he did.
    2005-09-23 23:18:28
    319.   LAT
    A "becalming influence," I know more than a few counsel who would disagree with that, but thank you. Have you started work yet? If so, how's it going?
    2005-09-23 23:57:07
    320.   Uncle Miltie
    Can't disagree with your last sentence. There is the mistaken impression (not you) that our regular SS is fast but he isn't.
    If you are referring to Izturis then you are correct in your assessment that he is not fast (like Furcal, Reyes, and Rollins), but he does have good speed. This year has been a complete disaster for Izturis. I think a lot of it has to do with bulking up. He needs to lose the muscle because it's hurting his flexibility which affects his defense and speed.
    2005-09-24 00:00:26
    321.   Steve
    319 -- I have not, but the hour is nigh. I have shut down my own enterprise as a result.
    2005-09-24 08:59:44
    322.   LAT
    312. Well then enjoy your last few days of vacation. As for shutting down you own enterprise, perhaps JT will take another position obviating the need.
    2005-09-24 09:04:34
    323.   LAT
    320, Miltie I was really referring to the fact that this season he has confused himself with Dave Roberts. Agreed about the bulking up. In the begining of the season when he went on that tear, I thought wow the added size really helps him hit, but it was a red herring.
    2005-09-24 09:20:06
    324.   LAT
    I have 4 tickets to tonights game I can't use. Anyone here want them, free, of course. They are Lodge, Asile 135, Row C, Seats 1-4. (Just inside 3B) and Parking Pass. The only thing is you will have to meet me somewhere on on the Westside to pick them up. Surely someone out there wants to see a couple of last place teams duke it out. (Not much of a sales man am I, but they are pretty good seats).

    If you want them just post something here and I will check back.

    2005-09-24 09:26:42
    325.   Bob Timmermann
    Hey, that's a last place team versus a fourth place team!
    2005-09-24 11:49:19
    326.   LAT
    325. Yes, but for how much longer. . .
    2005-09-24 12:07:57
    327.   Bob Timmermann
    The Dodgers magic number to avoid last is 5.

    And with the Rockies going on the road for the last week, I think the Dodgers won't sink lower than the fourth.

    I actually believe they will finish third because I think the DBacks won't play as well here in L.A. (although they have won 5 of 6 at Dodger Stadium) and the Dodgers will finish up in San Diego against a Padres team that should have already clinched the division.

    Which means no Peavy or Eaton.

    2005-09-24 14:18:28
    328.   Bob Timmermann
    Guess everybody is wrapped up in the Notre Dame-Washington tilt....
    2005-09-24 14:41:15
    329.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
    Root, Root, for ol' Notre Dame.......
    2005-09-24 14:45:56
    330.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
    Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame
    Wake up the echoes cheering her name,
    Send the volley cheer on high,
    Shake down the thunder from the sky,
    What tho the odds be great or small
    Old Notre Dame will win over all,
    While her loyal sons are marching Onward to Victory.
    2005-09-24 15:05:47
    331.   dzzrtRatt
    The rapidly fading A's have the tying run at the plate with no outs in the bottom of the 7th. CJ Wilson hasn't thrown a strike yet this inning.
    2005-09-24 15:29:17
    332.   Bob Timmermann
    The Cubs have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with an 8-3 loss to Houston.

    The Dodgers can only make the playoffs if they win 10 straight games. One of which would be a tiebreaker against either the Padres or Giants. The Dodgers cannot tie for first with Arizona.

    2005-09-24 15:35:07
    333.   dzzrtRatt
    Oakland has now gone ahead of Tejas in the 8th, 6-5, still batting. Angels magic number is still six, unless Oakland's pen can't handle the Rangers' #8, #9, and #1 hitters. Texas hasn't used any of its bench, though.
    2005-09-24 15:52:23
    334.   King of the Hobos
    Texas got a run back, but the A's managed to win 7-6
    2005-09-24 16:06:32
    335.   Bob Timmermann
    The Brewers and Mets must also win today to avoid playoff extinction.
    2005-09-24 16:16:07
    336.   Bob Timmermann
    After 3 batters, Cleveland leads KC 2-0.
    2005-09-24 16:49:36
    337.   King of the Hobos
    The White Sox took a 1-0 lead, but Ford just singled in Morneau to tie it 1-1

    The Indians have a 2-1 lead, Guiel homered in the first for KC's run...

    2005-09-24 16:58:00
    338.   Bob Timmermann
    I'm listening to the Red Sox-Orioles game at work. Camden Yards has sort of a mid-1990s Anaheim Stadium sound to it. That is, not many fans of the hometown team there. The crowd is predominantly pro-Boston.
    2005-09-24 17:16:05
    339.   ElysianPark62
    Jon, DePodesta made telling comments in an interview shortly before Opening Day. I don't remember the source. However, DePodesta effectively was cautioning Dodger fans not to expect too much this year. He did not sound overly excited about this team's chances, acknowledging how difficult it was to repeat, and he emphasized that they were playing for beyond this year.

    I wish I could remember his exact words, but I was rather surprised at how clearly his message came across.

    2005-09-27 14:13:40
    340.   carmiguel
    Jon: I see I'm 340 on the list, so you might have heard this kudos many times over. I have not seen this type of thoughtful analysis anywhere in the LA Times, LA Daily News, Orange County Register, Riverside Press-Enterprise, Peter Gammons, etc...
    I'm still a little uneasy about Tracy though. I don't think he's as good as last year's playoff season, nor is he is as bad as this year's injury-riddled season.
    One advantage for DePo is that he will have Dreifort's money to play around with. This is a HUGE advantage. (I think if Malone were still GM, Hochevar would have been signed at his asking price).

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