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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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Rooting for the Individual
2005-10-06 11:40
by Jon Weisman

San Diego at St. Louis, 1 p.m.
Houston at Atlanta, 5:15 p.m.

More than 13 years after his major-league debut, the Padres' Pedro Astacio makes his first career playoff start today. He pitched in relief in the playoffs for a total of five innings with the 1995-96 Dodgers, allowing only one baserunner while striking out six.

His opponent, the Cardinals, have outscored opponents in their past eight National League Division Series games, 50-23.

* * *

For your pregame entertainment, Craig Burley takes a look at the San Francisco Giants' unusual drafting strategy at The Hardball Times today.

Comments (251)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-10-06 12:07:35
1.   dzzrtRatt
Vote for Pedro!

As much as I hate the stinkin' Padres, I hope Astacio has a great game.

2005-10-06 12:12:42
2.   Midwest Blue
Did I miss any discussion on the Gane comments in yesterday's Orange County Register? If so, can someone recap the general consensus? Do people think that that will be enough to get McCourt to break the piggy bank for Dunn, Giles, AND Konerko?
2005-10-06 12:13:04
3.   Midwest Blue
2 Oops, meant Gagne.
2005-10-06 12:18:58
4.   regfairfield
2 I really hope we don't.
2005-10-06 12:23:03
5.   blue22
Konerko can go disappoint someone else. And I'll take one of Dunn or Giles. Both would be excessive.
2005-10-06 12:28:39
6.   Telemachos
In terms of spending money efficiently, it's a good concept up to a point -- but one still needs to spend money.

The Dodgers should have roughly $30 million (minimum) to spend this offseason. If Depo can get Dunn AND Giles for $20-25 million, I wouldn't mind that at all.

Or, looking more long-term, I'd be willing to over-pay Giles somewhat at the back end as long as it didn't lock us into a crazy, Kevin Brown-style contract.

2005-10-06 12:30:15
7.   popup
Remembering Sandy:

Making his first start after his masterful 2 hit, 14 strikout complete game shutout of the Cincinnati Redlegs, Sandy Koufax took the mound at Ebbets Field on September 3, 1955 to face the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sandy pitched another gem, blanking the Pirates in a complete game shutout.

Sandy was in a tight pitchers duel for most of the game. Entering the 7th inning the Dodgers had a 1-0 lead. Brooklyn added to the lead in the final innings, giving Sandy a 4 run margin at the end.

Sandy's pitching line was magnificent: 5 hits (all singles)over 9 scoreless innings, 2 walks, 1 hit batter and 2 walks. In the back to back shutouts his line was 18 innings pitched, 20 strikeouts and 7 walks. Mighty impressive for a 19 year old with no minor league experience.

Thanks to the New York Times, the book Koufax, written by Sandy and Ed Linn, and retrosheet.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-10-06 12:44:56
8.   dzzrtRatt
Gagne's bar is not too high. He just doesn't want to play for the Milwaukee Brewers or the Las Vegas 51s. We don't need McCourt to spend all his money to ensure that. We just need to reverse our injury luck and get one power-hitting outfielder, maybe an experienced #3-4 starting pitcher and make sure there bats like Saenz, Cruz, Jr., Ledee on the bench.

Per a column in today's NY Times, Arte Moreno makes it clear his goal is to displace the Dodgers as the #1 team in the market. He was willing to lose money for a few years to reach that goal (although I've read elsewhere the Angels broke even this year). Does Moreno's competitiveness motivate McCourt, or is he even in this game?

2005-10-06 12:45:20
9.   Bob Timmermann
Game 3 of the Padres-Cardinals series will start at 8 PM.

8 PM Pacific Time.

2005-10-06 12:45:46
10.   Midwest Blue
5 Blue, you don't have confidence in Paulie's 40 home runs and clutch hitting? Frankly, I was always curious how Carlos Delgado would have fit in this year. I also wondered why DePo couldn't insert himself into a trade with the Sox for Carlos Lee.

I too Gagne's comments to mean "Show us the money noe (in free agents) or Kent and I are out of here". $30 million should buy 2-3 nice big hitters. And you buy what's out there.

2005-10-06 12:47:40
11.   dzzrtRatt
"Redlegs." For those who are still young, that was the name the Cincinnati team adopted in the 50s because of the prevailing anti-Communist hysteria.
2005-10-06 12:48:47
12.   Bob Timmermann
Did the Giants draft Aardsma because they just took the first guy in alphabetical order?
2005-10-06 12:52:14
13.   blue22
10 - I think he's far too one-dimensional to deserve a $10M salary. Somebody will overpay for him.

I'd prefer to go Choi at first, and put that $10M to a starter or two. Earmarking the full $30M for hitters means the #4 and #5 starters will be Houlton and Holdyerbreath.

2005-10-06 12:53:08
14.   SMY
Where's Gagne going to go? Isn't he under contract for 2 more years? What's he going to do, refuse to enter games? Retire?

What Gagne said may have been true, but I don't think the organization (any organization, for that matter) should let their players have too much of a say over the direction it takes.

2005-10-06 12:54:16
15.   regfairfield
10 What kind of improvement does Konerko represent?

Dodgers first baseman this year: .264/.342/.483/.825 30 home runs

.283/.375/.534/.909 40 home runs.

Is 80 points of OPS worth the nine million extra dollars that Konerko will command?

Third base, left field, and the starting pitching need far more attention than first base.

2005-10-06 12:55:47
16.   Icaros
Gagne is under contract for one more season, then he is free to join the Yankees or Red Sox.
2005-10-06 12:57:19
17.   Bob Timmermann
You mean Gagne is free to join the Pirates...
2005-10-06 12:57:20
18.   blue22
14 - I think Gagne is a FA at the end of this year. Depo bought out his final two arbi-years this past offseason for $10M per.
2005-10-06 13:00:05
19.   Icaros
17 He'll only go there if Mota goes with him.
2005-10-06 13:00:44
20.   Eric L
Gagne's contract status:

Beth Harris, of the Associated Press, reports Los Angeles Dodgers CL Eric Gagne avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $19 million, two-year deal Tuesday, Jan. 18. Gagne will earn $8 million in 2005 and $10 million in 2006, while the Dodgers have a $12 million option for 2007 with a $1 million buyout. However, Gagne holds the right to void the option and become a free agent. If exercised, his buyout would then cost $250,000 to $1 million, depending on the number of games finished over the next two seasons.

2005-10-06 13:01:01
21.   LetsGoDodgers
RE: 8.

Arte's team plays in a ballpark that holds 20% less fans (45,050 vs. 56,000), yet the Dodgers out-drew the Angels by only 198,994 for the season. The Dodgers sold 79.4% of their seats while the Angels sold 93.3% of theirs.

If the Arte bought Dodger Stadium and moved it to Anaheim, the Angels would have theoretically drawn 4,232,088 fans this season. That figure would zip past the Yankees for #1 in the league.

Stats courtesy ESPN

2005-10-06 13:01:39
22.   Telemachos
Superstars can force their clubs' hands, if they're truly unhappy.

I think Gagne has a legitimate point. I think the Dodgers' payroll -- at roughly $90 million -- was acceptable this year. But it should remain near this level in future years.

Right now with all the dead contracts finally freeing up space, the Dodgers have $30+ million to spend if they have plans of being legitimate post-season contenders. If the money is spent and the off-season brings a power bat, a starting pitcher, and perhaps some miscellaneous pieces to the team, then McCourt and Depo are serious about building a champion. If at spring training time the payroll remains around $65-70 million and the team hasn't been appreciably improved, I will be very frustated.

Having lots of young talented players on the horizon is very exciting... but the Dodgers have more than enough resources to build a team of solid players and stars in addition to slowly introducing these new up-and-comers.

2005-10-06 13:02:43
23.   regfairfield
Dodger's difference in OPS versus the league average by position:

2B: +.126
CF: +.106
RF: +.011
1B: +.003
C: -.028
SS: -.044
3B: -.050
LF: -.193

2005-10-06 13:02:44
24.   dzzrtRatt
Let's face the music. Eric Gagne is Frank McCourt's business partner. "Game Over" has made the Dodgers a ton of money--maintaining high attendance during some mediocre years, generating additional food & beverage sales, TV revenues, etc. Gagne is the one irreplaceable asset on the team itself, the only draw they have that's comparable to Vin Scully, the Stadium, and Dodger Dogs. Until he loses his magic, Gagne's opinions have to be taken seriously.
2005-10-06 13:03:05
25.   SMY
Ah, OK, one season, possibly 2. Either way, I doubt the Dodgers pay him more than that when he's a free agent, so he's probably gone at the end of the deal anyway.
2005-10-06 13:06:01
26.   Telemachos
btw, I do agree that first base is not a high priority for the Dodgers, assuming the new manager agrees with either a Hee Seop/Saenz platoon or Hee Seop alone.

A power bat in the outfield and another solid starter are vital.

2005-10-06 13:07:22
27.   Icaros
22 What's the point of spending $30 million on the crappiest free-agent market in recent memory?

What's the point of trading away the future to appease a bunch of impatient fans and media dolts?

2005-10-06 13:08:26
28.   Bob Timmermann

What about the impatient dolts?

2005-10-06 13:08:28
29.   SMY
22 -- I agree with you. I just think there's a lot of hand-wringing over the payroll, when nobody knows what's going to happen and so far, we haven't gotten any indication that the team won't spend the money.

Except for Plaschke's incessant, "You promised us a 100 million payroll and only spent 90".

2005-10-06 13:08:34
30.   Icaros
What starting pitcher is available as a free agent this offseason who is worth the money he will command?
2005-10-06 13:09:09
31.   Icaros
28 Them too.
2005-10-06 13:09:48
32.   regfairfield
30 Depends on what you mean by "worth it".

I think Ted Lilly is the closest thing to that.

2005-10-06 13:10:00
33.   rageon
Getting Giles and Dunn are completely different stories. Giles is a FA, so all it would take would be overpaying for him. Dunn would require a pretty large package of players going to Cinci, but he would be cheaper over the same time period as Giles. I would personally rather take Dunn than Giles, because I think he's going to get better, while Giles is getting up there in years.

I had no clue Konerko had 2 straight seasons of 40+ HR until a day or two ago. Somehow I missed him quietly becoming quite the hitter. Either way, I don't have a lot of interest in him because I really don't think it's a smart idea to pay $12M for a firstbaseman, when you can pick up guys all over the place that can do an adequate job for next to nothing. And I still think Choi can put up respectible numbers.

But McCourt definetly needs to go and get a couple big hitters this offseason, that's for certain. I think it's mandatory that they bring in a bigtime corner outfielder. The team needs to show that it is spending money, and if the FA market isn't there, and the price in prospects is too high, we might want to just go and pick up a good player as part of a deal to take on a bad contract.

2005-10-06 13:10:20
34.   blue22
30 - "Worth" is obviously relative, but Burnett would be our best pitcher.

I think Ted Lilly could be something positive.

Other than that...

2005-10-06 13:11:13
35.   Linkmeister
Interesting story about branding and the Red Sox from Wharton. It ought to be required reading for sports team owners.

And when we gripe about "East Coast bias," remember this: "Seven Yankees-Red Sox games on ESPN during the 2005 season attracted a 60% higher audience than its average baseball audience."

2005-10-06 13:11:15
36.   blue22
32 - Reg, yikes. Get out of my head.
2005-10-06 13:11:21
37.   Icaros
32 You realize that Ted Lilly is no better than Jeff Weaver and Odalis Perez, right?
2005-10-06 13:13:39
38.   Icaros
Burnett would be our best pitcher.

Maybe, but compared to Burnett, Brad Penny's injury history is spotless.

2005-10-06 13:13:42
39.   oldbear
24. I think Arte Moreno may need better player personnel people, instead of just throwing money at the problem.

They have gotten career years out of Colon and Lackey. Another great year out of Vlad. The Molina bros had career years.

But... Garrett Anderson is way past his prime. Darin Erstad is done. Steve Finley is done. Chone Figgins isnt exactly an All Star.

How are the Angels going to replace Anderson, Finley, and Erstad? I dont see alot of players on the market they can go for.

Its almost like the 2005 Angels are like the 2004 Dodgers. Some players had career years, and they've rode it too a probable 1st round playoff exit. But do they keep the same group around for next year?

2005-10-06 13:14:11
40.   regfairfield
37 But he'll proably be cheaper than Weaver. In this free agent class, no better than Jeff Weaver puts you firmly into the top three avialable pitchers.
2005-10-06 13:14:51
41.   oldbear
37. He is when you factor in salary.
2005-10-06 13:14:58
42.   regfairfield
39 Their replacing Anderson with Anderson. I don't think anyone is going to want to eat that 48 million dollar monster.
2005-10-06 13:17:58
43.   Icaros
Because of the lack of options on the market, I'll be surprised if Lilly gets a lot less than Weaver.

Besides, forget money for a moment if the goal is to get better. Replacing Weaver with Lilly weakens the rotation.

2005-10-06 13:18:32
44.   Bob Timmermann
Erstad will never leave the Angels. He has magical hypnotic powers that make Bill Stoneman and Mike Scioscia think he is really good.

In reality, he's Doug Mientkiewicz. Except he plays more.

2005-10-06 13:18:52
45.   oldbear
42. The only thing that can bail out the Angels is trading for Barry Bonds and letting him DH for the next 2-3 years. Other than that, I think they are in some trouble.
2005-10-06 13:18:52
46.   rageon
30 How much is Matt Morris going to get? If it's Pavano-like money (40/4) I think it's too much, but if it's Perez/Benson/etc... money (25-30/3), then I think he would be a very good signing. For a guy who was a top prospect and has put up the numbers he has, I'm surprised he doesn't get more buzz. Then again, he could go and shut out the Yankees twice in the World Series and get himself a monster contract.

Anyone have an opinion/guess on what Furcal is going to get this offseason? The guy is far better than Cabrerra and Renteria, but I can't see him getting as much. I'd be willing to take him for a few years and move Guzman to RF now, rather than in two years when he's officially grown out of SS. (sorry Steve)

2005-10-06 13:20:03
47.   rageon
45 Last I checked, the Angels had one of the top farm systems. There are in no dangers of disappearing anytime soon.
2005-10-06 13:22:14
48.   DougS
I don't buy into Giles being a high priority for the Dodgers at this point. At his age, he will shortly enter the downside of his career, so signing him for more than 2 years would not be a great move. Yet, MLB being what it is and the free agent market being what it is this year, I have a feeling that someone will sign him for 3 or more at 10 mil+/year. Someone will overpay for him, and I don't want it to be the Dodgers. It's easy to throw $30 million around like a drunk at a strip club when it's not your money and you're not thinking past the next fiscal year.

Dunn is another matter; I think a persuasive case could be made for him. The Dodgers could use a home-run machine, and he's still young. But how much will Cincy want in return?

2005-10-06 13:22:22
49.   Telemachos
27 My point is simply that if you are a team with big-market dollars to spend, fiscal efficiency only matters if at some point the money is spent. Right now the Dodgers have plenty of money to spend and no major lingering contracts as albatrosses around the neck.

Matsui, Giles, Burnett will probably all end up being "overpaid" -- however, the teams that get them will probably be quite happy with them in terms of how they produce in the short term. So, there is no reason why the Dodgers can't be a major player for one of those three.

I pick their names arbitrarily as big-market big-name free agents. If the Dodgers end up with someone like Abreu or Dunn or something insane like Beltran, my point is the same: you spend money efficiently so that you have the ability to go after the stars that can dramatically help your club, especially in the short term.

It sounds like the Dodgers are still probably 1-2 years away from realizing the full fruit of their minor league studs. Endlessly filling the gap with cheap platooners only goes so far.

(I should also say that I think Depo will spend the money -- certainly his "big name" acquisitions of Kent and Drew showed he's not afraid of shelling out dollars for players that fit his system.)

2005-10-06 13:22:44
50.   oldbear
43. I think Lilly is better than Weaver. Higher K rate, less HR's. Ted Lilly just had a down year this year. From 2002-2004, he was very good.

I think we should buy low on him right now.

As far as Furcal goes, I'd like him but I'd rather get Dunn, Lilly, Bradley, Piazza, sewn up 1st.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-10-06 13:23:59
51.   regfairfield
Here's how I rank the pitchers this off season (there is a chance I'm forgetting someone)

Burnett (very injury prone)
Weaver (is Weaver)
Morris (Doesn't strike out enough people for my taste)
Lilly (yay!)
Washburn (God no)

I might have forgot someone, but this is how I see the ones I remember.

2005-10-06 13:27:10
52.   regfairfield
51 Whoops, inverted Lilly and Morris.
2005-10-06 13:32:01
53.   dzzrtRatt
39 The Angels have tended to defy all these tags about their players and keep contending and winning against much stiffer competition than we see nowadays in the NL West.

Erstad has been "done" in some minds for years, but somehow seems to be in the middle of most winning rallies. Anderson is 31--not "done" unless done is a synonym for injured. If he recovers, he's likely to be a great player--and he's contributing now. It goes on and on: Cabrera is overpaid (true, but so what?). Figgins shouldn't be doing whatever. Scioscia is an awful manager, a bunter, a little ball believer in the productive out. And I guess the next spin will be, yeah Lackey and Colon had "career years," but they're done too. K-Rod's no Percival. Shields is done. Molinas-both done. Guerrero swings at pitches he shouldn't. He's done.

Sometimes, sabre-fans fall a little too in love with their own biases. It starts to become a case of "Who are you going to believe, me or your own two eyes?" Betting against the Angels nowadays is a losing bet. They do everything "wrong" except they win.

2005-10-06 13:34:27
54.   Bob Timmermann
I think the Angels will be good because of their farm system, but I really want to know why Darin Erstad is considered good.

Garret Anderson's biggest worry is that he has started to develop arthritis and that may impact his career.

But I would need some better evidence about what good Darin Erstad provides, especially at first base.

2005-10-06 13:40:01
55.   Bob Timmermann
Erstad sported a VORP last year of 9.0. Guerrero was at 72.0. Casey Kotchman was slightly higher at 9.2

Even Choi got up to 14.1 for VORP.

2005-10-06 13:40:25
56.   regfairfield
53 The Angels success solely stems from their pitching.

Coming into the season, I said that the Angels only had one player that would be above league average in hitting, and I was pretty much right (Bengie Molina has emerged as a real hitter the last couple of years).

Their pitching, however, saved them. Lackey emerged as a legitmate pitcher (who is not done), Colon, who was a very good pitcher, had a great year (also not done), and Byrd was a great pickup.

The only one of those pitchers who is done is Washburn, who is quite bad at everything, yet somehow managed to do well.

I don't think anyone said Vlad is done, or that K-Rod is worse than Percival. The Angels had a bad offense that got some lucky runs (21st in OPS, 11th in runs scored), but their pitching staff, who I don't think anyone had an issue with, came through.

I just don't see them getting any better next year.

2005-10-06 13:41:38
57.   King of the Hobos
Does anyone know when Elias reveals the various Types of the FA players? I'm curious what Cruz and Saenz are
2005-10-06 13:43:49
58.   Jon Weisman
Ben Johnson, actor
Ben Johnson, football player
Ben Johnson, .213-hitting right fielder starting for the Padres?

The third one isn't working for me.

2005-10-06 13:44:13
59.   Bob Timmermann
I would think the rankings come out right after the World Series ends. The teams need that info in order to figure out what they want to do about arbitration.
2005-10-06 13:45:03
60.   Jon Weisman
Pedro is through two!
2005-10-06 13:45:21
61.   Bob Timmermann
What about Ben Johnson, World's Fastest Man!

(for a while...)

2005-10-06 13:49:30
62.   dzzrtRatt
55, et. al. I realize that Erstad fails to impress numerically, and don't discount that. But they keep putting him out there, and, dare I say it, he's a "clutch" performer, both as a hitter and fielder.

That said, I do think the Angels should start next year with Kotchman at first, Erstad and Figgins sharing center, Anderson at DH (which he supposedly hates), and Finley DFA'd. Washburn will be gone, but the pitching will still be good, maybe better with Santana and Saunders farther along. McPherson--they have to find out about him. And they'll have to get a LF. Maybe they'll be in the bidding for Giles and Dunn, too. If they think Mathis is ready, they could trade Bengie and probably get a lot back for him.

2005-10-06 13:52:52
63.   Mark
Wow. I am having a really hard time reading everyone bag on the Angels, when they're the ones with 2 wins left to advance against the Yankees and we have lost 91 games. Arte Moreno is laughing all the way to the bank.
2005-10-06 13:53:26
64.   King of the Hobos
62 Bengie is a FA, and likely gone. Resigning Molina seems no different than signing Cabrera, although the Angels may enjoy blocking prospects, I'm not sure
2005-10-06 13:53:55
65.   rageon
55 Are there still people who think Erstad is a "good baseball player." I've just accepted that he's kept around to be the rah-rah guy more than anything. A rich team can afford to keep a guy around for "intangibles", like the Sox and Varitek.

57 I suppose you could go and look at the stats of the players from previous years and see what kind of numbers put a player in a given chategory. If I had to guess, they are probably Class B players. But worse players have ended up in the Class A ranks. I wish I could remember the name of who I'm thinking of, he was a utily/pinch-hitter type that I think was signed by the Rockies. Anyone remember who?

2005-10-06 13:54:02
66.   Bob Timmermann
I wouldn't ask any reasonably erudite Angels fan about Erstad's "clutchness". I think Rob McMillin would come by and tell you otherwise.

Erstad does hit better with runners on than with the bases empty.

Of course, Erstad would be better used in CF. But hey, you can't discount Steve Finley's ability to lay down a bunt that the opposing pitcher can make a bad throw on.

For the record, I don't dislike the Angels. I just dislike their fascination with Darin Erstad.

2005-10-06 13:57:47
67.   Bob Timmermann
Arte Moreno is laughing all the way to the bank.

I think Arte just lives inside a bank.

2005-10-06 13:59:08
68.   rageon
65 Terry Shumpert, that's who I'm thinking of. He was a Type-A guy, although he signed, presumably because no one was going to give up a 1st round pick for him.
2005-10-06 13:59:24
69.   Bob Timmermann
Matt Welch had a good article about the Angels in the Hardball Times.

2005-10-06 14:01:10
70.   rageon
68 Then again...I could be on crack and have this completely messed up. So I'll just go back to my statement that those guys are likely Type-B guys and leave it at that.
2005-10-06 14:03:21
71.   molokai
53Couldn't have said it better myself. The Dodgers will need to improve to compete with the Angels because the Angels are not going to be coming down to our level unless Stoneman completely mismanages his talent. Kotchman will become a solid and possibly great 1st baseman. Howie Kendrick & B Wood are incredible middle infield hitting prospects and Willie's brother Eric Aybar is another top prospect. If you all think Choi is the answer at 1st base then you can't disrepect McPherson because he's the same type of player except he can play 3b. The Angels are loaded and the Dodgers need to step it up or the Angels will own LA.
2005-10-06 14:08:21
72.   Telemachos
Astacio is in loads of trouble at the moment.

Bases loaded, one out, and Pujols up.

2005-10-06 14:11:56
73.   rageon
71 As much as I've always hated the Angels, it's exciting to know that barring absolute stupidity by both teams, the Dodgers and Angels are going to be two pretty great teams in the same city within a couple years. I truley believe that the Dodgers will go on an amazing 5 or so year run starting in 2007, and I haven't been able to say anything remotely close to that in many years, if ever.
2005-10-06 14:12:32
74.   Icaros
The Angels are loaded and the Dodgers need to step it up or the Angels will own LA.

Oh yeah, what are the Angels going to do, name the city after themselves or something?

2005-10-06 14:15:23
75.   dzzrtRatt
69 I have nothing to add to that article. His final point, about how the Angels manage against Moneyball as if it's just one of many styles of play, was a brilliant one. My point in all this taunting about Erstad was to try to figure why they're a good team, what they're doing right, when everyone tends to focus on what they're doing wrong, overlooking that they are a very successful team of late. Welch answers my questions, even the ones I didn't ask. I'll go sit down now.
2005-10-06 14:16:51
76.   dzzrtRatt
72 just judging from Game Day, it looks like Astacio threw a productive base on balls to Pujols.
2005-10-06 14:16:52
77.   Steve
We can't even manage to walk Pujols with a base open.
2005-10-06 14:18:44
78.   Marty
Man, on Gameday one second there were no outs, the next there were 3. St. Louis must be really good..
2005-10-06 14:20:22
79.   Marty
Mark Grdzlkgfhinfshykes still has a goofy look on his face.
2005-10-06 14:22:23
80.   Icaros
Grud just labeled a "gamer" by EK.
2005-10-06 14:23:08
81.   Marty
Too bad Grdchkfkeryodigk doesn't play for the Angels. Hudler could plead with him to "get gruddy with it"
2005-10-06 14:23:41
82.   Romyrick
71. you know they will screw it up.

never underestimate poor ideology.

2005-10-06 14:23:50
83.   Icaros
Ben Johnson=Ryan Klesko
2005-10-06 14:26:44
84.   King of the Hobos
83 Except he's right handed and 24. Smell a platoon?
2005-10-06 14:27:04
85.   Marty
I hope the Game Day guy has Grdzkhglfkg's name saved on the clipboard.
2005-10-06 14:29:01
86.   Icaros
84 I was just commenting on the lousy defense he exhibited there.
2005-10-06 14:29:40
87.   Adam M
Bear in mind that even in one of the worst years in recent memory, the Dodgers broke attendance records and turned a profit for the first time in a long while. McCourt's no dummy, he's trying to both create a winning team and make that team profitable - as is DePodesta, whose responsibilities encompass not just assembling a baseball team but making that baseball team work well as a business. The fact noone at LAT will acknowledge, even though they've been making it for years before McCourt, was that the Dodgers weren't just poorly managed as a team the last few years, they were poorly managed as a business. McCourt, when he signed on, knew he was getting waste deep into the Dodgers problems, and so far, onfield performance and meathead relations notwithstanding, he's doing a great job - the team is profitable, they're climbing out from under their awful contracts, and they laid the foundation for long-term success without any whining about rebuilding or how they can't compete without a shiny new stadium.

As long as the Dodgers don't stay in the toilet for the next 4-5 years, they won't lose huge numbers of fans to the Angels. The hardcore LA fans are hard to convert, while the more bandwagony group will remain turned off by the Angels traditional handicaps of distance and awful highway traffic. Moreno could be much more successful in prying away LA fans if he were able to get a new stadium in, say, Carson, and part of me still thinks he's got that ace up his sleeve, but he might alienate a huge swath of the OC fanbase by doing that. Then again, the "LA A of A" move didn't seem to turn off huge numbers of jilted OC fans.

And either team could clean up bigtime if they would bother to emulate the Yankee model and build a cable channel with one of the other teams (Dr. Buss? Mr. Anschutz?). Although YES' programming is abysmal outside of games (imagine 16 hrs. of documentaries about Phil Rizzuto, interrupted by a few flashback game replays), the Yankees have made enough money on it that their payroll can double (triple?) the Dodgers. But I doubt that will happen unless they tailor it to the LA market - as mentioned above, there isn't enough of a hardcore watch-every-game contingent like the Yankees have or that Boston has with NESN.

Aside from those types of moves, there aren't many other plays on the board for this chessgame. If there's a lesson here, it's that the Dodgers shouldn't take the LA fan for granted. To his credit, McCourt didn't start that trend, and he seems to be taking serious steps to reverse it. Moreno's done a lot of things right, but his strategy hinges on a lot of balls falling into place: the Latino market supporting the Angels in large numbers, LA fans converting, and the recent surge of fan interest being sustained over the long-termand sufficient to support the contracts he's paying out. Ironically, for all the talk of McCourt buying his team "on credit," Moreno's strategy may be more leveraged. Barring 3-4 more years of catastrophe, LA will remain Dodgertown.

2005-10-06 14:29:53
88.   King of the Hobos
Successful squeeze, and Larussa is a genius yet again? What if Eckstein had singled? And I'm sure the Cards are desperate for runs
2005-10-06 14:31:31
89.   Marty
Scrappy squeeze by Ecky
2005-10-06 14:32:13
90.   stubbs
55-bob i respect your opinion but did u not watch the game last night? Erstad saved figgins on about 4 throws, all at critical times.
2005-10-06 14:39:13
91.   Marty
Boy, Eric Young can't be so young anyomre.
2005-10-06 14:42:43
92.   Jon Weisman
87 Interesting post, Adam.
2005-10-06 14:45:05
93.   John A
87 #92 beat me to it, but yes, good post.
2005-10-06 14:58:00
94.   Adam M
92-, 93- Hey thanks - I'm a little surprised this analysis hasn't been raised before, because it seemed so obvious. Business problems were what caused Peter O'Malley to sell the team in the first place, and set off the whole chain reaction that so upset Plaschke. If O'Malley had been a little more business-savvy, the Dodger Way might have remained an unbroken chain. The continued survival of the idea that baseball teams are just playthings for billionaires and that the key to long-term success is merely "deep pockets" astounds me. Nobody on Earth is rich enough to waste a $100-200M payroll year after year.
2005-10-06 15:07:18
95.   Bob Timmermann
I'm not discounting Erstad's fielding. He's just not fielding the right position for someone of his hitting ability.

It's quite possible that Kotchman would have made the same catches, Erstad could have been in center field, and Finley been put out to pasture.

2005-10-06 15:08:34
96.   Bob Timmermann
Boy, Eric Young can't be so young anymore

Eric is younger than me!

And younger than Steve Finley and Torey Lovullo!

2005-10-06 15:09:10
97.   Romyrick
Is anyone falling into the trap of getting behind Torey Luvollo (SP)? because you've never heard of him, he's extremely young and you assume he has to be extremely intelligent to get an interview so early in his career.

I know its not an indication of his value but its being twisted in my mind as something brilliant.

2005-10-06 15:09:49
98.   Bob Timmermann
I just like to type Torey Lovullo.
2005-10-06 15:13:18
99.   Marty
96 You also fixed my spelling error
2005-10-06 15:15:02
100.   Bob Timmermann
Well, I didn't want to embarrass you. Or have Xeifrank get on my case.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-10-06 15:18:35
101.   Icaros
100 I think Xeifrank would get on your case for doing exactly what you did.
2005-10-06 15:19:59
102.   Marty
Xeifrank would not have enjoyed the latter part of yesterday's thread.
2005-10-06 15:20:40
103.   Jon Weisman
97 - As I've said, I'm leaving it completely in DePodesta's hands. So I'm not falling in or out of love with anyone until I hear wedding bells.

First comes marriage
Then comes love
Then comes Hee Seop's golden glove
(the last line is there for meter)

2005-10-06 15:20:57
104.   Icaros
vr, Icaros
2005-10-06 15:30:59
105.   Marty
Anybody who put money on the Padres can safely tear up their betting slips methinks.
2005-10-06 15:31:46
106.   Bob Timmermann
Peavy says he can pitch Game 5. Of course when my brother talked to him, Peavy said his ribs only hurt when he breathed.
2005-10-06 15:33:35
107.   rageon
97 I don't know enough about him to give an opinion one way or another. I get the feeling that DePo is interviewing him because he gets the impression that he is going to be managing at some pint in the near future, and if he really is a rock-star, then he shouldn't let him get away.
2005-10-06 15:37:24
108.   Icaros

I just saw that you came in last place in the Baseball Toaster Preseason Prediction Derby.

I still believe in you.

2005-10-06 15:38:05
109.   Romyrick

Terry Collins isnt sexy

2005-10-06 15:39:06
110.   Bob Timmermann
Icaros believes in Jon, but he wants to kick my butt because the DBacks finished ahead of the Dodgers.
2005-10-06 15:41:03
111.   Adam M
OT, complete the analogy: Jason Giambi getting Comeback Player of the Year is like __________________.

Thank God it's a meaningless award, oherwise I'd be more upset that Richie Sexson didn't win.

2005-10-06 15:42:49
112.   overkill94
"The Angels had a bad offense that got some lucky runs (21st in OPS, 11th in runs scored)"

I hate to go against the DT flow, but don't these stats seem to give some ammo to the smallball philosophy? I've been a bit of a quiet oppositionist this year about the bunt since I've always found it as a valuable tool in the right scenario. The Dodgers this year (like the Angels) didn't have a ton of home run power, so the need to manufacture runs becomes more important.

On the other hand, a team like the Yankees should hardly ever bunt because they have so much firepower in their offense that it's worth it to wait for the 3-run homer.

Go ahead, start crucifying me.

2005-10-06 15:42:52
113.   Icaros
110 You broke a promise, Bob, Jon didn't.
2005-10-06 15:44:09
114.   Icaros
Tying run at the plate for SD!
2005-10-06 15:44:32
115.   OaklandAs
Torey Lovullo has been pretty successful as a minor league manager. He was named Eastern League Manager of the Year this season (81-56), and was the Carolina League Manager of the Year in 2004 (88-50). His teams have made the playoffs in all three years that he was the manager.
2005-10-06 15:46:23
116.   Bob Timmermann
We only crucify people during Lent.

The Angels Pythagorean record exactly matched their actual record. The Angels had an efficient offense. I don't know if the number of extra runs they scored because of bunts can be accurately counted or the number of runs they gave up by making outs on the basepaths.

2005-10-06 15:47:15
117.   Marty
Jason Giambi getting Comeback Player of the Year is like Lindsey Lohan winning a public service award.
2005-10-06 15:49:35
118.   Dark Horse
112--I wouldn't crucify you for so saying, myself.

Truthfully, I love this site (and glean a lot from it,) but I think saber-orthodoxy is as ridiculous as its opposite: to imagine one should never bunt is as foolish as the Plaschkes of the world grumbling about dem newfangled 'puters, heart soul & so on. There was an interesting (if fraught with bland corporate-speak) interview with Schuerholz in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, where he said more or less the same thing. So yeah, bunt away...on occasion. Just don't ask JD Drew to do it, maybe.

2005-10-06 15:50:23
119.   Jon Weisman
108 - I came in last because I picked the Pirates to win the NL Central because of a tornado in the Midwest. Instead we got the Cardinals and a hurricane in the South.
2005-10-06 15:50:52
120.   dzzrtRatt like George Bush getting the Nobel Peace Prize.
2005-10-06 15:50:53
121.   Bob Timmermann
At least we don't have to put with the Viagra ad on for the Comeback Player of the Year.

Most annoying ... ad ... on ... web ... ever

Ken Griffey was a good choice in the NL for the award.

2005-10-06 15:51:58
122.   regfairfield
112 The Angels weren't that impressive at smallball, despite the hype.

They stole bases at a break even 74% rate, and were 4th in the AL in sacrifice bunts. Unless Erstad was collecting lots and lots of Olneys the Angels weren't really smallballing.

2005-10-06 15:53:39
123.   dzzrtRatt like the Pope becoming a celebrity spokesman for Viagra.
2005-10-06 15:56:21
124.   Midwest Blue
121 and 123 were close:

Jason Giambi getting Comeback Player of the Year is like Rafael Palmeiro getting into the Hall of Fame.

2005-10-06 15:57:24
125.   Icaros
Ken Griffey was a good choice in the NL for the award.

Yeah, he managed to delay his yearly season-ending surgery until the last week this time around.

2005-10-06 15:58:59
126.   Bob Timmermann
Erstad had 109 Ks and he grounded out 173 times, but in all instances there was a runner on second and the guy moved up...

Ichiro led the AL in grounding out. He did it 236 times. Derek Jeter was second. But both of those get a lot of hits and bat leadoff.

Third in the AL in groundouts was Jason Kendall, who contributed something to Oakland this year, although experts are still trying to determine what it might have been.

2005-10-06 15:59:10
127.   Icaros
119 The Pirates will be a good pick next season with The Ohio Nightmare at the helm.
2005-10-06 16:05:48
128.   Midwest Blue
127 Didn't know Ken Macha's nickname was so eloquent ;-)
2005-10-06 16:06:02
129.   King of the Hobos
So will Woody Williams pitch a shut out in Game 3?
2005-10-06 16:06:02
130.   overkill94
122 Their SB rate may only be 74%, but isn't the important smallball stat the 159 steals they attempted leading the AL? I have a feeling if Olneys were a stat the Angels would be toward the top as well, or maybe it's because Hudler blows his wad every time someone does it.

118 My thoughts exactly. Not only should the amount of bunting be based on the overall team make-up (big hitters, good bunters, good speed), but on individual hitters. Jeff Kent and JD Drew shouldn't bunt because their high OPS makes them more valuable as hitters. Hee Seop shouldn't bunt because I'm pretty sure he sucks at it. Izturis, Repko, Robles, etc. should bunt in normal bunting situations (runner(s) on with no outs, maybe a close game in the 7th or 8th with 1 out and someone good coming up). Pitchers should bunt whenever possible.

2005-10-06 16:08:20
131.   Icaros
129 I don't know. Can he sing any salsa tunes?
2005-10-06 16:30:40
132.   Eric L

Earl Weaver only liked to bunt with guys like Mark Belanger or his pitchers. I'm sure the guys you listed are Belanger type hitters, but I think he still believed that bunting was a "weapon" to be used unless it was absolutely necessary.

2005-10-06 16:31:20
133.   Eric L

I should add to my 132 that Weaver bunted with his pitchers prior to the DH and in WS play before someone calls me on it.

2005-10-06 16:33:14
134.   Telemachos
I'm not so sure about a batter with little power bunting regularly; though if I were a hitter like Repko, Izturis, etc I'd want to make sure I could bunt like Brett Butler -- it's just another weapon in the arsenal. Not only do you increase your chances of bunting for a hit, by forcing the third and first basemen to play in, you increase your chances at slapping a ball past them. Of course, this is bunting for a hit, not necessarily a sacrifice.

In terms of stealing bases, I'm all for building team speed, simply because it puts extra pressure on the other team. When you apply pressure, often you'll force the opponent into mistakes. And, like bunting, stealing is a skill that you need to be really good at before you start going crazy trying to implement it. Speed to me means scoring from first on an extra-base hit or taking the extra base when possible, moreso than simply stealing.

2005-10-06 16:34:38
135.   Steve
Actually, Choi is pretty good at bunting.
2005-10-06 16:38:10
136.   blue22
134 - But when that "speed" comes at the expense of putting a guy with a .300 OBP and no power at the top of the lineup...
2005-10-06 16:45:31
137.   rageon
135 You must have missed the memo about Choi not being able to do much of anything on the baseball field. Apparantly he lacks baseball savy, or something like that. And only scrappy players can bunt effectively.
2005-10-06 16:46:28
138.   molokai
I went to go vote for the comeback player of the year and noticed Tony Clark was missing so I left. I don't subscribe to a comeback player if his numbers went down because of injury as was the case with Griffey. Tony Clark was missing in action for a number of years after a very promising career in Detroit. What he did in Arizona this year was amazing.
2005-10-06 16:46:43
139.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
For those wanting to sign a free agent 1b, consider these numbers:

Player 1 .270 AVG, .388 OBP, .495 SLG
Player 2 .289 AVG, .377 OBP, .506 SLG

Player 1 is Choi for the first half of 04, which is the last time a manager allowed him to play full-time. Despite these numbers, he came to LA and got benched.

Player 2 is Jeff Kent '05, the guy who carried our team all season.

Give the kid a chance to play and he should be good. Then spend the money we save on a LF.

2005-10-06 16:48:15
140.   Steve
137 -- I keep forgetting that he's a tall Asian without facial hair, which works against him in the scrappy department.
2005-10-06 16:53:05
141.   Bob Timmermann
Who is more likely to maintain their marks from a surprising 2004?
Randy Winn
Tony Clark
2005-10-06 16:53:06
142.   rageon
140 "tall Asian without facial hair"

Does that count as 3 strikes against him with Tracy?

2005-10-06 16:57:05
143.   King of the Hobos
141 2004?

As for 2005, Winn, except it will be more akin to his Seattle '05 numbers rather than cumulative

2005-10-06 16:58:11
144.   Telemachos
136 Speed should not be given precedence over OBP. The primary function of a leadoff hitter is to get base. Period.
2005-10-06 17:00:11
145.   blue22
144 - You may want to communicate that to the Mets. And Joe Morgan, for that matter.
2005-10-06 17:01:44
146.   King of the Hobos
Does Nomo's sideburns count as facial hair? Or is he just not tall enough? (I have him at 6'2")

On that note, anyone know what's happening with Matsuzaka? And chance he gets poseted? I don't really have a good source for this information...

2005-10-06 17:04:21
147.   molokai
Hopefully Randy Winn = Carlos Perez
2005-10-06 17:07:04
148.   Bob Timmermann
2004, 2005, 2006

They all look the same to me.

2005-10-06 17:08:27
149.   Bob Timmermann

Try the forums at

There is lots of talk about NPB players there and whether or not they will go to MLB.

2005-10-06 17:21:55
150.   Mark
139 Oh come on, Choi's bat speed is slower than the 405 at 5:01pm on a Friday.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-10-06 17:25:30
151.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
53 I put the Angels right after the Dodgers on my list of favorite teams, and it just kills me to know that they probably would have wrapped up the division in August if they were getting ANY offense out of 1b. Even IF we accept that Erstad is involved in a lot of late-inning rallies, there would be fewer of those needed if the Angels had a 1b who slugged more than .380.

118 I don't think most Sabermetric guys truly believe teams should NEVER bunt. It's more accurate to say that they think an out is a precious thing that should never be wasted. And most teams waste far too many of them with bunts.

Baseball Prospectus, a prominent Sabermetric site, had an interesting analysis a few months ago, and it concluded that there are a few situations where bunting gains you an advantage. Just never when you have a batter who can actually hit.

2005-10-06 17:26:29
152.   Bob Timmermann

If that's the case, I'll take the hill when Choi comes up to bat to see if I can strike him out.

I've topped 45 mph on the radar gun.

If this ever comes to pass, please make sure I make a will out ahead of time.

2005-10-06 17:28:09
153.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
150 How does a guy with such terrible bat speed rack up nearly a .900 OPS against major league pitching?

I guess his bat is scrappy or something.

2005-10-06 17:29:58
154.   Mark
Bob, I am convinced that if you threw him 45mph high and inside, you'd get him to at least 0-2.
2005-10-06 17:30:15
155.   Eric L
153 He should have let Repko borrow his scrappy bat.
2005-10-06 17:38:11
156.   Telemachos
150, 153 To my eye, Choi's bat doesn't seem terribly fast either. However, he has a good eye and guesses/spots pitches well enough to hit a reasonable amount of line drives and even home runs. I don't think his swing is a thing of beauty, but I can't argue too much with the results (at least for what they cost).
2005-10-06 17:41:51
157.   Mark
153 Well, let's see, he racked up 52 walks in 281 AB, which tends to juice your OBP a bit. How did he rack up those 52 walks? Well, when you have Alex Gonzalez hitting behind you, that isn't exactly a whole lot of protection...
2005-10-06 17:42:13
158.   LetsGoDodgers
The LA A fo A offensive philosophy is to take advantage of opponents' fielding miscues by "forcing the issue" time and again. Make that outfielder rush his throw to 2nd base. Steal on that pitcher with the slow windup. Bunt on that 3rd baseman with the stone hands. A lot of AL fielders seem to take outs for granted because so many teams play station-to-station baseball. You can't ask a team to play better defense because they're playing the Angels.

Great pitching also helps.

2005-10-06 17:46:43
159.   LetsGoDodgers
Watching the Dodger batter strike out with a runner on 2nd and no outs is a Rolaids moment.

Watching the Angel batter make an Olney to advance the runner sucks as well, until the fielder throws the ball away and the run scores.

2005-10-06 17:48:17
160.   Telemachos
157 Aren't those walks a positive thing? In the #2 spot in the lineup, Choi's not being asked to be the Dodgers main RBI guy, just get on base and have some pop in his bat.

158 I think the LAAA philosophy isn't necessarily bad, just that it's taken to ridiculous extremes occasionally. Sending Benji Molina on a 3-2 count with less than 2 outs is tempting fate, for example.

2005-10-06 17:53:23
161.   Eric L
160 With the relatively low scoring offense the Angels had this year, playing small ball wasn't exactly a bad idea. Who knows if laying off the small ball stuff would have netted more runs for them. They scored enough runs to win alot of ball games this year.

I can't let an Angels post go by without saying that it didn't hurt the pitching was fantastic and prevented a whole lot of runs as well.

2005-10-06 17:55:02
162.   Mark
160 Absolutely walks are a positive thing. But it isn't like Choi has some magic eye for them. Alex Gonzalez was batting behind him, so of course pitchers aren't going to throw him good pitches.

Look at it this way -- he had 40 more at bats this year, and 18 fewer walks. That creamed his OBP. And I absolutely refuse to believe that the number of walks he generated suffered because he wasn't playing full time. Dave Hansen agrees with me.

2005-10-06 17:56:39
163.   Eric L
162 Just throwing this out there, but it did seem for a time that Wallach (and maybe Tracy) were trying to change his approach at the plate. I'm not sure how much it affected BB total though.
2005-10-06 18:00:34
164.   D4P
I've heard quite a few people conjecture that Choi was told (by Wallach, Tracy, ???) to be more "agressive" at the plate. Those people generally think that his performance at the plate suffered as a result of swinging at pitches that Hee previously would have taken, and not doing anything good with them.
2005-10-06 18:05:19
165.   Adam M
Nicely struck, young man!

163 - Late in 2004, there were stories where Tracy expressed disappointment that Choi didn't hit "like a first baseman." Choi then said some things in spring training that he was adjusting his approach to be more of a bopper.

2005-10-06 18:13:54
166.   Eric L
165 Looking at some stats, it's odd that Choi was seeing about the same amount pitchers per PA, but his BB/PA was quite a bit lower than at any other point in his career.
2005-10-06 18:14:56
167.   Icaros
Personally, I hope Wallach isn't back in LA next season. In an article on The Fourth Outfielder in August, Paul Scott examined the declining walk rates for Hee Seop Choi, Milton Bradley, and Cesar Izturis under Wallach's supervision.

I remember very well the reports this spring about forcing Choi to be more aggressive. Wallach himself was a player with terrible plate discipline, so it isn't much of a surprise. I also think he got a lot of undeserved credit for Beltre's fluke season in 2004.

2005-10-06 18:15:58
168.   Telemachos
162 However, taking the flip side of less walks, and looking at Choi's impressive OPS batting #2 (in front of Drew and Kent) means more fastballs and hittable pitches, and a resulting spike in average and slugging percentage.
2005-10-06 18:46:21
169.   Steve
Mark, would you oppose another platoon set-up, given a manager who would carry it through?
2005-10-06 18:55:25
170.   Bob Timmermann
I can read Eric Neel's article on Vin Scully now. I found a copy of ESPN the magazine underneath my car (run over a couple of times) at the supermarket.
2005-10-06 19:09:12
171.   Vishal
i thought it was a very nice article. a little bit more on the personal side than i was expecting, but still a good article.
2005-10-06 19:09:53
172.   Bob Timmermann
I'm waiting until after dinner. The magazine will last just long enough for me to read it I think....
2005-10-06 19:30:06
173.   Bob Timmermann
Neel's article was a great dessert for me!
2005-10-06 19:30:53
174.   Marty
It seems to me a weird argument to first say a guy's bat speed is horrible, therefore pitchers have nothing to worry about. Then argue that he walks a lot because there is no protection, therefore the pitchers DO have something to be concerned about. If his bat speed was so bad he would walk far fewer times I think. Is my logic flawed (it has been before)?
2005-10-06 19:32:04
175.   Marty
Bob, is the article online yet? I looked on the newstands last weekend but Vroman's didn't have it yet.
2005-10-06 19:32:53
176.   Sam DC
Padres 10 hits 2 runs.
Cardinals 6 hits 6 runs.

I guess it just sucks to be the Padres.

2005-10-06 19:33:36
177.   Bob Timmermann
I don't know if ESPN puts the whole magazine online or not.

It obviously got delivered to someone's house. The issue I found had most of the address crossed off.

2005-10-06 19:35:15
178.   Bob Timmermann

We'll likely hear now of how bad the NL West is because of 2004 and 2005, although the NL West won the World Series in 2001, came within five outs of winning in 2002, and the NL West champ in 2003 won 100 games.

2005-10-06 20:08:05
179.   dzzrtRatt
174 Not every hitter uses 'bat speed' to generate power, at least not in ways apparent to the naked eye. Even when Shawn Green was going good, his swing had a kind of lazy swoosh to it. But when he connected with his arms fully extended, he'd hit it a long way. The contrast in watching Green and Sheffield when both were here was interesting. Choi's swing is more like Green's, which is no surprise since he's built more like Green.
2005-10-06 20:18:02
180.   Mark
169 Steve, I'd love a platoon! Konerko for 153 games, Myrow for 9 games.
2005-10-06 20:21:17
181.   dzzrtRatt
178 Almost all of the NL West teams went thru phases in the late 90s and early 00s of grasping for costly proven talent and neglecting their farm systems. There always seems to be a hangover period when a team does that, and it appears that all five NL West teams are experiencing their hangovers in the same 2-3 year period. I think it's already starting to correct itself. The Padres' minor league system has sent up some good players recently, the Rockies suddenly seem to have a lot of young hotshots, and...Jacksonville!
2005-10-06 20:27:51
182.   das411
178 - But wouldn't a good chuck of those 100 games be against...all together now...bad NL West teams?

Gotta point out here though that four different teams have won that division in the last four years. That is pretty damn cool. Almost like the current NL pennant winner streak that has me rooting like crazy for the Astros.

2005-10-06 20:28:31
183.   das411
chunk or number or portion or percentage. not chuck.
2005-10-06 20:29:19
184.   Icaros
Scouting report on Konerko from STATS INC. (ESPN):

Konerko goes through painful contortions in the on-deck circle and sometimes looks wooden at the plate. Yet he gets solid plate coverage from a high-maintenance swing that requires constant work in the batting cage. He has good strike-zone judgment but sometimes lacks the bat speed to catch up with good fastballs, especially when they're in on his hands. Konerko hit 29 of his 41 homers at U.S. Cellular, which has become a bandbox since the fences were brought in after 2000.

Too bad, looks like he doesn't pass Mark's test.

2005-10-06 20:30:09
185.   King of the Hobos
Looks like Laroche is not another BJ "play me at SS, or don't play me at all" Upton. In his journal thing today, he said the following:

"I'd say somewhere in the infield, probably short or second. That's where I'd be most comfortable. But I'd play anywhere to get me up there. If they want me to play outfield or catch, I'd do that. Heck, if they want me to pitch. ... But I'll just keep playing every day, and I'll leave that to them."

"If [Aybar]'s better suited for the job, then it should be his. Whatever's best for the team"

The whole journal can be found here:

2005-10-06 20:34:38
186.   Bob Timmermann
but sometimes lacks the bat speed to catch up with good fastballs, especially when they're in on his hands.

Isn't that the EXACT same thing said about Choi?

However, checking the same source for Choi, those words don't appear.

2005-10-06 20:42:19
187.   Romyrick
186 You probably already know this but i thought it was interesting looking at his scouting report for defense.

185. Hobos doesnt Laroche have a myspace?

I've never thought much about Bobby Cox either way but listening to this press confrence i've gained alot of respect for him, small sample size and all.

2005-10-06 20:42:32
188.   Adam M
You just need to watch one inning of Jamie Moyer to realize that "lacking the bat speed to catch up with good fastballs" is and old trope that belongs in the trash heap - you will see plenty of guys with great batspeed who fail to catch up the feathers he's throwing. The ball travels 60'6" and there's plenty of time to pick it up. Hitting is much more about reflexes and timing. Guys who can't catch up to fastballs with "something extra" on it just don't adjust properly.

Another example is Edgar Martinez, who had "minus bat speed" for pretty much his entire career, and yet managed to hit just fine right up until his last season by switching to a lighter bat, standing differently in the box, etc.

2005-10-06 20:45:36
189.   Adam M
187 - You should read the ESPN profile about Leo Mazzone. The guy sounds like something close to the ideal boss: hardworking, doesn't need to be the center of attention, lets players handle things their own way, and doesn't overmanage or micromanage.
2005-10-06 20:46:50
190.   Romyrick
Vlad to my eyes seems to lack bat speed...

This might say something about people making judgements with thier eyes.

2005-10-06 20:55:25
191.   Bob Timmermann
A few years back, ESPN had a gizmo that tracked bat speed. I believe the three fastest guys they recorded were Bonds, Belle and Sheffield.

When I took up golf (which I haven't played) in a while, someone took me to a pro shop and they had something to measure the speed I could move the club head and I was surprisingly fast for a very poor golfer. It was around 90 mph.

Not that the ball ever went straight.

Of course baseball bats don't move quite like a golf club.

2005-10-06 20:58:28
192.   Steve
I think Mark was kidding...I think...
2005-10-06 21:00:46
193.   Bob Timmermann
Perhaps Mark was typing with a strange arm angle.
2005-10-06 21:05:17
194.   Vishal
[184] lol

i just read andy laroche's diary. what on earth does he mean when he is referring to russ martin's "hose"? is that his throwing arm?

2005-10-06 21:06:44
195.   Icaros
194 I hope so.
2005-10-06 21:08:03
196.   Icaros
192 I don't think so. He's been anti-Choi since The Trade.
2005-10-06 21:09:29
197.   Sam DC
Random Crosscurrents of Life Alert: Mongolian throat singing on Letterman tonight. (Admittedly, just a BYU kid who learned it, presumably on mission, in Mongolia.) Jon Stewart on too.
2005-10-06 21:12:01
198.   Mark
196 Actually you can drop that "since The Trade" portion of your sentence.
2005-10-06 21:12:35
199.   Bob Timmermann


Official cataloger of Dodger Thoughts attitudes.

2005-10-06 21:23:33
200.   Mark
196 199 Here's your convenient Mark Dodgers cheat-sheet.

Weaver: sucks
Choi: sucks
Phillips: sucks
Valentin: sucks
Saenz: sucks
Werth: sucks
Izturis: bat ninth
Grabowski: words fail me
Brazoban: could be good with help
Repko: could be good with help
Drew: needs titanium exoskeleton
Bradley: gone for 06
DePodesta: may be in over his head, benefit of doubt for 05
McCourt: at least he isn't Carl Pohlad

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-10-06 21:24:38
201.   Steve
Can't say much bad about Konerko. That's one darn fine Smallball year he had this year. But two years ago, the love was not forthcoming. A cautionary tale.

Meanwhile, BYU is a haven for all manner of villainy.

2005-10-06 21:25:12
202.   Steve
2005-10-06 21:25:16
203.   Icaros
199 Only when they are repeated more than 100 times :-)
2005-10-06 21:27:08
204.   Vishal
[200] hey, that's not too far off from my opinion! just switch the assessments of repko and choi, add "hope he isn't" in front of bradley's comment, and switch saenz to "not bad for a role-player", and it would be my sentiments exactly.
2005-10-06 21:27:23
205.   Mark
202 If Repko would learn how to hit the ball the other way with any sort of consistency, he'd be a good fourth outfielder. The assist he had in the (last? next to last?) game was pretty nice to watch.
2005-10-06 21:27:42
206.   King of the Hobos
Saenz sucks? As a PH/(very) occasional starter, I wouldn't say he sucks. And I have similar thoughts as 202, unless he can do something about hitting
2005-10-06 21:29:12
207.   King of the Hobos
205 I'm willing to handle that. Being Kennedy and naming him starting '06 CF, I'm not willing to handle
2005-10-06 21:29:56
208.   Steve
You mean when he threw out the catcher?
2005-10-06 21:32:12
209.   Romyrick
The assist he had in the (last? next to last?) game was pretty nice to watch.
thats how it starts.
2005-10-06 21:32:43
210.   Mark
Admittedly, but that was a hell of a throw from left center.
2005-10-06 21:34:25
211.   natepurcell
i dont know how someone can say saenz sucks and repko does not suck...

is this subjectivism at its worst?

2005-10-06 21:35:38
212.   Vishal
[211] maybe he's opening a clothing company. repko could sell some jeans :)
2005-10-06 21:36:41
213.   Mark
211 Age-ism.
2005-10-06 21:37:56
214.   natepurcell
maybe for the next 5 years, you can make a valid argument that you would rather have repko than saenz, but for this year, saenz was clearly superior to repko.
2005-10-06 21:41:26
215.   Romyrick
Are we going to get compensasion from Saenz?
2005-10-06 21:42:15
216.   Vishal
[214] next year too. repko is not a prospect.
2005-10-06 21:43:08
217.   Icaros
Repko made six errors in limited playing time this season. That's quite a lot for an outfielder, and doesn't count the other flyballs he misjudged.
2005-10-06 21:44:40
218.   natepurcell
oh yea. for all this talk about how good repko is in the outfield, he sure has a huge hole in his glove. how come no one ever talks about that? just because he is scrappy, do people automatically assume hes great defensively? he has serious mental lapses out there.
2005-10-06 21:47:58
219.   King of the Hobos
215 Not sure yet, although we'd almost certainly not get a 1st rounder. Maybe a sandwich pick (Type B), or 2nd round sandwich (Type C), or nothing (like Ledee)
2005-10-06 21:49:09
220.   Icaros
218 Many of his "highlight plays" are a result of him getting a lousy read and using his speed to compensate.

But I've said enough about the young man this year. I'm done.

2005-10-06 21:51:55
221.   Icaros
I think Saenz will be back. He said he doesn't want to go anywhere else.

If used correctly (not everyday) he's a valuable part.

I don't see him leaving unless some AL team offers him the moon to DH.

2005-10-06 21:55:53
222.   Steve
The problem with Repko's age is it gives the Dodgers an excuse to let him hang around for the next decade or so. In his case, I would rather he was 42.

If Saenz comes back, then no problem at first base. Go fix the outfield and your basket case of a pitching staff.

2005-10-06 21:56:37
223.   FirstMohican
221 - Agreed. I don't see why you wouldn't want to keep a Choi/Saenz platoon. For the first half of last year it was one of the best 1Bs in OPS. If Choi got the majority of the playing time and wore Jason Phillips' glasses.
2005-10-06 22:01:30
224.   Icaros
Go fix the outfield and your basket case of a pitching staff.

Any ideas on how to do these things, Steve? I'm curious.

2005-10-06 22:02:35
225.   Steve
There wasn't really a problem at first base this year, outside the Phillips debacle. The irony (yet another) is that their numbers were no worse than a certain lanky gazillionaire put up similar (if not worse) numbers in the years before he was unceremoniously sent to the desert.

Who put up the stat that our left fielders were 200 points under the average OPS? The average!

2005-10-06 22:09:37
226.   Romyrick
Anyone else worried about the lack of qaulity FA's in the market this year?

I dont see any reason why the payroll would be 100 million.

2005-10-06 22:11:52
227.   Icaros
226 That's what I've been saying, but there are a lot of people who feel that a $100 million payroll is the only way to show a "commitment to winning."
2005-10-06 22:12:36
228.   Steve
225 -- That sentence was written by a drunk. Work sucks.

224 -- If they don't resign Bradley then it's goodbye '06. I hear stuff like Jacque Jones and I want to throw up in my mouth. If that's the option, then just throw Repko out there to die and then give Adam Dunn a billion dollars in 07.

The problem with the pitching is that with the market so inefficient, you're basically throwing darts. The teams with successful staffs were the teams that got performances from guys like Paul Byrd, Matt Morris, and Kevin Millwood. (Last year, Lima for us) He should be trolling the bottom looking for those guys, because the upside of AJ Burnett, or God Forbid, Jeff Weaver, at 50 million, (.500 pitching, constant risk of injury, etc.) is no different than the upside for some of the guys who will command far less. Sure, you might only get those guys for a year, but we're all familiar with the downside of long-term contracts at this point.

The relief pitching is no different, the key to success is to either grow your own or get lucky year to year. The Cardinals have nothing but Who Dats in their bullpen. The Braves have Dan Kolb in their bullpen.

It's not satisfying, and it doesn't make for good sound bites, but pitching isn't something that is easily planned for. Which is why I generally oppose spending tons of money on it.

2005-10-06 22:15:14
229.   Screwgie
"just because he is scrappy, do people automatically assume hes great defensively? he has serious mental lapses out there."

I agree about Repko and also I always felt that way about Alex Cora too. He looked graceful doing his thing sometimes, but there were many times where his thing included booting a ball --- playoffs anyone? Plus, if I recall correctly Cora wasn't a very good shortstop either, hence management felt it necessary to aquire a more solid fielder in Izturus. I was actually taken aback when I first heard Scully praise the Izturus/Cora combo as the best he's ever seen. Cora?

Amazing what a good word from Scully can do for one's reputation. But then again it's not really amazing... sorta' a foregone conclusion.

2005-10-06 22:16:39
230.   Steve
Repko has a mental lapse every minute that he isn't seeing a fastball down and in.
2005-10-06 22:20:09
231.   Icaros
228 Agree on Bradley. The name Jacque Jones should be banned from this website.

I also don't like any of the big free-agent pitchers. Some have mentioned Ted Lilly, and he'd be okay, but I wouldn't sign him to more than a two-year deal, and I think he'll probably get more than that elsewhere.

I actually think the bullpen, with Gagne healthy, will be good, provided Giovanni Carrara is no longer around and Yhency Brazoban is forced to earn his way out of the mop-up role.

2005-10-06 22:25:14
232.   Screwgie
Yes Bradley is the key. I think he was the key this year as well and his lack of playing time due to his finger and knee injuries really sunk the team. Obviously, they could not afford to lose both Drew and Bradley and it's ironic with all this talk about Drew being fragile, Bradley is the one who seems to get hurt more often and in more ways.

Headcase? Signing him and losing him to injuries is what worries me the most.

2005-10-06 22:25:48
233.   King of the Hobos
231 No need to ban it, as I hope to one day say on this board "the Padres have signed Jacque Jones to replace Giles"
2005-10-06 22:26:59
234.   Romyrick
Repko needs to go with how fragile our OF'ers are because there will be plenty of oppurtunities to play him.

Werth and Delwyn Young as the Drew and Bradley insurance, this is assuming we have a different LF next year.

2005-10-06 22:28:34
235.   Steve
I don't know about Bradley. Basically, whatever the Dodgers do, it will be wrong. And I'm not just saying that because they will take criticism from whoever disagrees. Take it quite literally. Whatever they do, it will be wrong.
2005-10-06 22:30:25
236.   Steve
I had forgotten about Young. If it's Drew, Ledee, Werth, and Bradley comes back, maybe Young will beat out Repko and we'll at least be able to AAA Repko until May, when Drew perforates an eardrum and Bradley gets an infection of his navel ring.
2005-10-06 22:32:46
237.   Romyrick
Well according to Jerry Royster, Delwyn Young is better than... well everyone.
2005-10-06 22:33:23
238.   Screwgie
235 Well I can't say I disagree with that. Ha. That sounds like a Jim Tracy answer:

Taken quite literally, will whatever the Dodgers do be wrong? I can't say I disagree with that assessment.

2005-10-06 22:36:06
239.   Romyrick
I might be holding on to a pipe dream but do you think theres any chance we make a run at Dunn?

He seems to be under appreciated by the front office and the manager over there and those K's might bring his price tag down around the league.

or maybe thats a justification for really wanting to get him here.

2005-10-06 22:40:58
240.   Bob Timmermann
Plaschke's sob story in Friday's Times will be about Scott Spiezio is out of a job and how much he misses playing for the Angels.



2005-10-06 22:53:27
241.   Vaudeville Villain
Bradley's loss would be pretty bad for the offense, but how about the sorry state of our left field? We may HAVE to overpay for someone or trade for someone to make up his production. (If Depo wants to give any illusion he intends to compete next year.)

If we keep Bradley, I would still like to see a Dunn deal happen, but I wouldn't mind a more low-key move like low-tier prospects to KC for Emil Brown. His stats were pretty nice last year, he's cheap, and he's probably under-valued among most MLB GM's. He's 30, so not likely to progress offensively, but noone's saying he's the future of the franchise. He'd be a nice stopgap.

2005-10-06 22:55:28
242.   Vaudeville Villain

Sorry, that reads like crap. The second sentence is referring to the situation if Bradley left.

2005-10-06 23:05:57
243.   dzzrtRatt
240 I have to admit, I liked one phrase in Plaschke's column today, the one about the Angels rediscovering their "inner gnat."
2005-10-06 23:18:28
244.   natepurcell
soo, can depo just hire lovullo so we can move on?
2005-10-06 23:24:41
245.   Eric L

I thought their "inner gnat" was leading off for St. Louis.

2005-10-06 23:28:18
246.   das411
Someone said during the game today that Astacio had the third-most games in MLB without a playoff appearance until today. I think I also heard that Traschel has more, which is the most for a pitcher...any idea who the mystery #1 is?
2005-10-06 23:29:21
247.   dzzrtRatt
I guess Cabrera is Gnat 2.0.

Who got the best of last season's shortstop-go-round among Boston, LAA and St. Louis?

2005-10-07 00:01:56
248.   alex 7
I'm hoping enough baseball GMs look at the following stats on Dunn:

.247 average, 134 hits, 40 HRs in a tiny park, 168 strikeouts, and below average defense.

These GMs would then undervalue him as a Rob Deer-type player.

Meanwhile, a few teams, including ours, will see his 114 walks, .387 OBP, .927 OPS, and 75 extra-base hits out of 134 total hits.

A team that might surprisingly give us a run for Dunn would be the Padres. Dunn hit 3 bombs there in 14 at bats. I could see the Padres simply swapping Giles salary for Dunn's.

2005-10-07 00:40:13
249.   Eric L
247 With value taken into consideration, the Cardinals got one of the steals of the offseason with Eckstein.

In regards to this season, he was a better offensive player than either Renteria or Cabrera.

Over his career, Renteria has been slightly better offensively than Eck, while Eck has been a little bit better than Cabrera.

If you believe in UZR, Eck has been better than the other two.

I'm sure there are other ways to look at it, but at least this season, Eck was better than the other two guys.

More importantly, did Plaschke write any "heart and soul" articles when the Angels non-tendered Eckstein?

2005-10-07 00:53:17
250.   Uncle Miltie
Some roiders crash and burn. I guess that's what happened to Spiezio
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2005-10-07 08:30:29
251.   Adam M
240 - Jesus, did the Mariners not give Sandfrog enough rope?

This was the last big article about him as a Mariner ("What Scott Spiezio Does With His Money and Free Time"), and I think it had something to do with why they cut him loose:

The phrase "$1 million per hit this season" makes an appearance.

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