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Outfield Gaps
2005-11-08 10:20
by Jon Weisman

Every year, you try to get at least 4,300 quality innings from your outfield: three outfielders x nine innings x 162 games. For 2005, Dodger general manager Paul DePodesta invested approximately $15.5 million to get his 4,300 innings. Based on past performance, what did DePodesta have the right to expect from his investment?

Here are the 2005 salaries for the Dodgers' six principal outfielders, followed by their most recent major-league statistics and what I think would have been a conservative preseason expectation for 2005 performance. (EQA is a league- and park-adjusted measure of offensive value, where .260 is average.)

J.D. Drew, $11 million
YearOutfield InningsEQA
2005 expectation925.306

Milton Bradley, $2.5 million
YearOutfield InningsEQA
2005 expectation925.285

Ricky Ledee, $1 million
YearOutfield InningsEQA
2005 expectation425.237

Jayson Werth, $337,000
YearOutfield InningsEQA
2005 expectation700.260

Jason Grabowski, $327,000
YearOutfield InningsEQA
2005 expectation200.230

Jason Repko: $316,000
YearOutfield InningsEQA
2005 expectation200.220

Now, here's a comparison between these rudimentary 2005 projections and the outfield's 2005 actual stats:

2005 PlayerProjected InningsProjected EQAActual InningsActual EQA

DePodesta appears to have been an outfielder short heading into Spring Training. Conservatively, he had about 2,550 innings of average to above-average outfield performance, leaving him 1,800 shy of what he needed in a lineup that was already carrying below-average hitting at catcher, if not at third base and shortstop as well.

Interestingly, thanks to Ledee's surprising .276 EQA, those preseason expectations were exceeded despite the widespread injuries. Overall, Drew, Bradley, Ledee and Werth gave the Dodgers 2,558 outfield innings of superior EQA. DePodesta had four good guys – he just needed one or two more. The Dodgers remained an outfielder short, although late in the season, Jose Cruz, Jr. helped matters by providing an additional 367 innings of .314 EQA.

In the end, DePodesta delivered the equivalent of two above-average outfielders for $15.5 million, or nearly $8 million each. That's not bad at all - the only problem, perhaps, is that he didn't invest (or wasn't allowed to invest) enough in the outfield. (Update: To be fair, as I noted in the comments below, I optimistically felt back in February that Werth would play about 150 games at about a .280 EQA.) To be sure, one must ask the question, even in their abbreviated seasons, where would the Dodgers have been without Drew and Bradley?

It's also possible to speculate that had DePodesta retained Dave Roberts (900 innings, .284 EQA in 2005) in the summer of 2004 instead of Grabowski, DePodesta might still be working for the Dodgers today. The Roberts trade, which brought only non-prospect Henri Stanley in return, was more costly for the Dodgers than trading Paul Lo Duca, Guillermo Mota and Juan Encarnacion for Brad Penny, Hee Seop Choi and Bill Murphy.

The now DePodesta-less Dodgers enter the 2005-06 offseason with continuing outfield questions. Ledee is an outfielder with flashes of talent that you can't count on. Cruz does more but also remains inconsistent. Werth looks to be average – maybe he can bump things up a bit. Drew is outstanding when healthy; Bradley (if staying) is solidly behind him. But again, these guys won't be enough. The Dodgers need a sixth solid outfielder – or they need to exchange one of the existing crew for a fifth who really can be counted on for 1,400 innings.

(Sources for 2001-2005 actual statistics: and Baseball Prospectus)

* * *

6-4-2 links to this column by Dave Krieger of the Rocky Mountain News in which DePodesta is discussed by Colorado's Dan O'Dowd, at once an ally of DePodesta's and a skeptic of the youth movement in the major leagues' general mangers offices.

"I think what's happening right now is that there are a lot of people being put into jobs that are really bright people," O'Dowd says. "But the biggest thing that I've learned about this job, and all the mistakes and growth that I've had here, is that you can be smart, you can have what you think is going to be a cutting-edge plan, you can surround yourself with a lot of intellectually stimulating people, but I'm telling you, without the ability to lead people, to handle confrontation in a productive way, to learn to deal with the media in a productive way, to learn to manage up and down in a productive way, to learn to handle adversity, which you're faced with on a regular basis, in a productive way, you have absolutely no chance to bring an organization together for a common vision.

"And there's no way at the age and the real-life experience some of these people are at that they can handle either those challenges or the challenges of immediate success, without any perspective on how to deal with it as you move forward. And I think that's a lot of what's happening in our game right now."

Good points - although another good point would be that it would be nice if the older folks in an organization were also team players and had the younger GM's back, instead of trying to undermine him.

O'Dowd is interested in hiring DePodesta in some capacity, according to the article.

Comments (290)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-11-08 10:47:24
1.   D4P
I must say, it's nice to see someone as respected in the Sabre-world as Jon acknowledge that the Roberts trade was a bad one for the Dodgers.
2005-11-08 10:48:57
2.   Vishal
so this pretty much seems to confirm that the outfield planning (except for grabowski) wasn't all that horrific, and that the number of injuries was just far beyond reasonable expectation, yes?

ps. my condolences to sam dc and strike4. losing a father is rough. mine is 77 and though he's in good health, i worry.

2005-11-08 10:51:52
3.   D4P
I never understood Depo's infatuation with Grabowski, and why he remained on the roster as long as he did. Of course, there's always the possibility that Grabowski had nude photos of Depo with his laptop, but that's just an unsubstantiated rumor.
2005-11-08 10:53:41
4.   Jon Weisman
2 - The outfielders played less than one might have expected but hit better than one might have expected. So I do think once can still argue that the planning was a little shy.
2005-11-08 11:02:41
5.   Sam DC
Thanks, Vishal, and, Strike4, my fellow traveler best wishes to you and your family.

On baseball, today's WashPost chat by Nationals beat writer Barry Svrluga has this sparse report on Kim Ng. Svrluga has been a good reporter all year, but of course it is hard to know what to do with this sort of unsourced and highly informal comment, particularly the last sentence:

Lost Springs, Wy.: What are the chances of Kim Ng becoming the first female GM?

Barry Svrluga: This is a really interesting case going on out in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers have to be given credit for considering Ms. Ng, who has been an assistant there as well as with two other teams. The Dodgers, it seems, are still pursuing John Hart, late of the Texas Rangers. But Ng's interview seems to indicate that her candidacy is legitimate. We might know by the end of the week.

The chat -- at -- also has a question about DePodesta or Epstein being brought to DC by new Nationals ownership, and does note that DePodesta grew up here (in Alexandria, VA).

2005-11-08 11:03:05
6.   Jacob L
I'm sure Depo's justification for dumping Roberts was to keep Tracy from continuing to play him over Werth. Still a debatable proposition, but with Finley coming in at the time, somebody was going to be pushed to the bench.
2005-11-08 11:08:30
7.   Sam DC
Looking back at what I posted (and to some extent vouched for) in 5, it's not accurate I think to say that Hart is "late" of Texas, right? Isn't he still there unless he makes a change?
2005-11-08 11:09:04
8.   Jon Weisman
6- Trading Roberts did not hurt the Dodgers in 2004. But considering that DePodesta had a better idea than anyone that Green and Finley might not return to the Dodgers for 2005, it was not a farsighted move. And again, it comes to the Roberts vs. Grabowski question, which seems so obvious now. If only Grabowski hadn't hit those home runs in May 2004 ...
2005-11-08 11:11:00
9.   Vishal
[5] man, i think it would be GREAT if depo goes to washington. i'll probably be living there at some point.

[4] well the problem is that the guys who exceeded expectations didn't play nearly enough. it looks like the big thing was that jason repko played 500 too many innings.

2005-11-08 11:13:31
10.   D4P
Yes, not only did trading Roberts mean keeping and using Grabowski instead, but it seemed to me that Depo didn't get equal value in return for Roberts. That sentiment was strengthened when I saw what the Padres gave up to get Roberts from the Red Sox (i.e. a few players and a few million bucks, if I remember correctly. That was clearly more than the Dodgers got for Roberts).
2005-11-08 11:13:42
11.   Sam DC
If only Grabowski hadn't hit those home runs in May 2004 . . .

channeling Steve . . .

2005-11-08 11:15:31
12.   bigcpa
I completely appreciate what O'Dowd has to say on the subject. I also find it puzzling that he is beginning his 7th year on the job. He inherited a team that led the NL in attendance for 7 straight seasons. Under his watch they've won 82, 73, 73, 74, 68 and 67 games and dropped to 14th in the NL in attendance. He signed the hideous Hampton and Neagle deals and the Helton contract which is not widely applauded. Meanwhile conventional wisdom says 20 months was plenty long to wait for DePodesta's plan to unfold.
2005-11-08 11:16:14
13.   Steve
but it seemed to me that Depo didn't get equal value in return for Roberts.

Yes, he did. He got Werth into the lineup. This is the fruits of having a dysfunctional manager, and I submit respectfully, one of the reasons to FJT.

2005-11-08 11:19:38
14.   Jon Weisman
12 - great points
2005-11-08 11:19:51
15.   Vishal
bah, colon got the cy. santana got gypped.
2005-11-08 11:19:54
16.   D4P
I either don't follow your logic, or don't agree with it. "Getting Werth into the lineup" could have happened regardless of what Depo got in return for Roberts. I don't see how getting Werth into the lineup should be thought of as "something Depo got in return for Roberts."
2005-11-08 11:21:04
17.   Vishal
[12] "not widely applauded", hahahah. isn't that just about the worst contract in sports?
2005-11-08 11:22:22
18.   Steve
"Getting Werth into the lineup" could have happened regardless of what Depo got in return for Roberts.

No, it couldn't, because as long as Roberts was on the roster, Tracy was going to play him. The evidence on this point is overwhelming.

2005-11-08 11:22:46
19.   Jacob L
12 Its apparent from O'Dowd's own comments that the secret to his "success" is that people like him. To be fair, I haven't really heard a reasonable plan for how to win in Colorado. Maybe Depo's got an idea. The thought of Depo working elsewhere in the NL west might keep me up nights.
2005-11-08 11:28:14
20.   D4P
You missed my point, but I won't belabor it.
2005-11-08 11:29:32
21.   Steve
I did. I read it again and caught it. It is entirely probable that DePodesta took the best deal for Roberts that was available.
2005-11-08 11:32:54
22.   Colorado Blue
19 - Its apparent from O'Dowd's own comments that the secret to his "success" is that people like him.

Nobody I know of likes O'Dowd... fortunately for O'Dowd, the only ones that seem to like him are Charlie and Dick Monfort.

I'm torn between wanting the rockies to do better than the other teams in the NL West besides the dodgers and being able to get really good seats when the Dodgers come to town for next to nothing.

2005-11-08 11:35:36
23.   Jacob L
The main thing I take away from your post, Jon, is the question - how many guys do you need to have to play 3400 innings? Don't forget that we Edwards and Valentin starting games in the outfield as well. Normally, your fifth outfielder (Grabs) stinking the joint up isn't going to hurt that much. Our outfield corps went at least 8 deep, with the number 6 guy (Repko) getting lots of playing time.
2005-11-08 11:35:54
24.   Bob Timmermann
When O'Dowd spoke at the SABR convention in Denver, he did remind of Ned Flanders' parents who were trying to discipline him as he discussed the influence of altitude on the players.

"Doc, we've tried nothing and we're all out of ideas."

2005-11-08 11:36:35
25.   Mark
21 I find it supremely unlikely, to the point of absurdity, that Henri Stanley was the best deal available at that point heading into the playoffs.
2005-11-08 11:40:21
26.   Steve
Why wouldn't he take, like, a better deal then? He went through his stack of twenty offers for Dave Roberts and picked the last one off the stack?
2005-11-08 11:41:07
27.   Jon Weisman
23 - You need as many guys as you need.
If you have three healthy, talented players, you need three guys. If you have three unhealthy, talented players, you need more guys.

Believe me, I didn't forget about Edwards, Valentin or anyone.

2005-11-08 11:42:31
28.   D4P
Maybe he didn't make the effort to build a stack of "twenty offers". Maybe he just took the first one that came along without looking for a better deal.
2005-11-08 11:44:51
29.   blue22
26 - Maybe Depo recognized how much Tracy liked Roberts, and took a bad deal just to spite him.

No, that doesn't sound like Depo. What kind of person would make roster decisions just to spite another person in your organization that you don't see eye to eye with, even if it was counterproductive to the success of the ballclub? I mean, who would do something like that?

2005-11-08 11:46:54
30.   blue22
27 - So would it be bad form to try to get someone like Geoff Jenkins from Mil, who is sort of a poor man's JD Drew - solid production if not completely reliable?
2005-11-08 11:49:40
31.   Steve
I'll concede that it could have happened your way if you concede that it could have happened my way. Our disagreement now is based on our relative view of Roberts' worth.
2005-11-08 11:50:18
32.   Bob Timmermann
Obviously Theo Epstein's can IM faster than the other GMs, so when DePodesta's screen flashed

"Message from TheoBosoxGM", DePodesta clicked on it and replied.

Epstein probably used a very apropos smiley as well.

2005-11-08 11:52:22
33.   D4P
Concession granted.

Regarding Roberts' worth, I might argue that the Red Sox-Padre deal indicates that Depo didn't get enough in return for Roberts, while you might argue that the Padres gave up too much.

2005-11-08 11:53:50
34.   dzzrtRatt
15 Santana didn't even finish second.

The Cy Young award seems to have morphed into Most Valuable Pitcher. The Angels and Yanks could not have won their divisions without Colon and Rivera. Santana's flashy numbers didn't make a difference on a non-contending team. For Santana to overcome the Twins' lousy year, he would've had to be even better--Steve Carlton good.

2005-11-08 11:53:56
35.   Vishal
[27] "you need as many guys as you need" is kind of a hindsight argument, isn't it? if depo could have accurately predicted which guys would get injured and for how long, well... well, he can't, because it's impossible.

all you can do is make an estimate based on what one could reasonably expect. nobody expects EVERYTHING to go wrong, and no plan can afford the redundancies required of planning for every contingency.

2005-11-08 11:55:51
36.   Mark
26 I'm guessing the same reason that 90% of people purchase the very first car they look at when they go out shopping for cars. "Shiny object!!!" syndrome.
2005-11-08 11:56:34
37.   blue22
34 - Santana's 16 wins would've been historically low for a Cy Young winner, and while I considered him the best pitcher in the league, he wasn't lights out this year. He also was being compared against his 2004 season, which was lights out.

You can only expect so much from the voters.

2005-11-08 11:57:41
38.   dzzrtRatt
33 What I recall is that Roberts' performance had declined steeply during the '04 season. He started the season as the uncontested starter, but due to injuries and, seemingly, age, he lost his job and wasn't giving us much. Tracy really wasn't playing him that much in the weeks before he was traded. There was little outcry at the time of his departure. It was his decisive role in the Red Sox' championship--despite not even having an at-bat in the post season, IIMR--that made Dave Roberts into a LoDukian type of icon in retrospect. When the Pads traded Payton for him, that seemed crazy to me at the time, although I guess it worked out fairly well if you take the season as a whole.
2005-11-08 11:59:39
39.   Steve
33 -- Who says we can't all get along?

The Padres trade, I think, actually is evidence of your point. With the way baseball thinks, it is reasonable to believe that there was some idiot GM out there who would have given up the farm for Roberts. In fact, I think I see the forest now. It's not the relative merits of the Roberts trade; it's what DePodesta could have rooked some poor bastard for.

Interesting take.

2005-11-08 12:00:12
40.   Vishal
[34] the angels and yanks would have won their divisons more handily if they had santana than if they had colon and rivera.

from aaron gleeman, this is what the twins' offense was like this year:

(rankings out of 14 AL teams)

14 13 10 13 12 7

steve carlton, bob gibson, pedro martinez circa 2000... none of those guys individually could have carried the twins to the playoffs. the fact that santana went 16-7 ANYWAY is pretty damn remarkable.

2005-11-08 12:09:04
41.   socalcardfan
I think the Padres were trying to a)dump salary in getting rid of Payton and b) improve their outfield defense - in that order.

The Red Sox didn't keep Payton around for too long, either, so it wasn't like they robbed the Padres of anything valuable. They could afford to take on a bad ontract like Payton's.

2005-11-08 12:14:28
42.   Jon Weisman
35 - Vishal, I don't think it's a hindsight argument. My point is that even if things went according to expectations, DePo was a man short in the outfield. If he expected to get 130 good games each from Werth, Drew and Bradley, and have Ledee and others fill in the gaps, wouldn't that be a case of him expecting everything to go right?

I agree with those critics who suggested that an outfield that was mainly Drew, Bradley, Werth and Ledee was a man short. Where I disagree with some DePo critics is how easy it would have been to find that extra man (i.e. Finley was not the answer) - and perhaps more importantly, that I think Drew was part of the solution, not part of the problem.

2005-11-08 12:27:58
43.   Scanman33
My 2 cents on the Roberts trade:

If Roberts was indeed dealt so that Tracy wouldn't be tempted, I wish Depo had done the same thing with Phillips, Saenz, etc. when it came to the 1B situation this season. Someone could have used a "clutch" hitting catcher like Phillips and Mike Rose could have backed up Navarro for the 5 or 6 games he ended up not catching the rest of the year.

With everything that was going on 7/30 and 7/31, I just don't think finding the "best deal" for Roberts was a priority, taking him away from Jimbo was. What did it ultimately cost the Dodgers to not find a better deal? 2 marginal prospects instead of one?

Citing the Red Sox trade of Roberts as rationale for the idea that the Dodgers could have got more for Roberts is also inherently faulty. The diving force behind the Payton-Roberts trade was SD getting rid of Payton's salary. Roberts salary somewhat offsetting Payton's was more of a driving force than Roberts's inherent value. Ramon vasquez was subsequently traded for Alex Cora and Dave Pauley is nothing of note. SD also sent cash along to pay some of Payton's salary. The package for Roberts was not an indicator or a "better deal" or Roberts's was a salary dump.

A friend of mine who covers MLB for told me that it is widely felt that Roberts will never play more than 110 games because of his hanstring issues and any team that expects more out of him than that is cutting their own throat. A 34-year old player with cranky hamstrings who relies primarily on speed isn't something you need littering your roster...

Unless you know for sure he would be used as a 5th OF over a lesser talent, which brings us full circle to Grabowski. The problem with Grabowski is that he's only good when he gets regular playing time. Since he stinks in the limited time he does get, he's never going to get a full-time shot unless he stumbles into a situation where all the other OF's on the roster are injured or just as bad as he is (KC, Colorado, etc.). Given enough plate appearances, I think Grabowski could perform at about the league average. I'm not a fan of Grabs by any means and don't support him being on the roster, but given a full-time gig (which he hasn't earned), he would be alright.

2005-11-08 12:28:58
44.   dzzrtRatt
42 Most teams would have at least one AAA outfield prospect who could have been counted as that extra guy, who would have won a spot on the roster in Spring Training, or at least been in-waiting in Vegas. The Dodgers had Jason Repko and Jason Grabowski.

In so many ways it was the Malone prospect hole that doomed this season. It was like you and your wife coming home from a long day at work and finding out that you both had forgotten to buy groceries. Not one Dodger AAA prospect was really ready to step up (excepting Navarro, who DePo had to trade for). If you're DePo, and you're counting on Drew (injury history), Bradley (injury history), Werth (injured) and Ledee (injury history) to keep you from having to reach down to Repko, Grabowski, Edwards, or Ross to fill out your outfield, you are relying way too much on luck.

2005-11-08 12:30:32
45.   slackfarmer
I always had the feeling the Roberts trade was Depo doing Theo a favor and Stanley was just a warm body. The favor was repaid later on with Cruz.

As for Grabs, aren't the rumors that Lasorda thinks he has great upside? I can't imagine why Depo wouldn't have sent Grabs packing unless his hands were tied.

2005-11-08 12:33:19
46.   D4P
See #3 above.
2005-11-08 12:36:22
47.   Scanman33
Grabowski reminded Lasorda of a young Mike Vail or Ed Amelung.
2005-11-08 12:39:22
48.   Bob Timmermann
Mike Vail's lone hit as a Dodger: July 6, 1984
DODGERS 12TH: Scioscia walked; Allen threw a wild pitch
[Scioscia to second]; Allen threw a wild pitch [Scioscia to
third]; Stubbs was walked intentionally; Bailor was walked
intentionally [Stubbs to second]; VAIL BATTED FOR HOWELL; LAHTI
REPLACED ALLEN (PITCHING); Vail singled [Scioscia scored, Stubbs
to third, Bailor to second]; 1 R, 1 H, 0 E, 3 LOB. Cardinals 2,
Dodgers 3.
2005-11-08 12:40:41
49.   molokai
Just got back from the AFL where I saw 5 games in 3 days while attending the HQ sponsered 1st pitch fantasy conference.

Dodger Prospects:
1. Tony Abreu - saw him play 2 games at 2nd and one game at SS. The game at SS he made the play of the game going deep in the hole and throwing out the runner with a strong throw. Was surprised he had such a strong arm considering that 2nd is his normal position. A scout told me that he had the arm for SS and could make a nifty utility player. The lack of taking a walk could hold him back from being more then a utility player. Very fast and smooth in the infield. His bat was not impressive but another scout said he has shown nice power during batting practice.

2. Andy LaRoche - saw him play 2 games at 3b. Very unimpressive in the the 1st inning that I saw him. Hit a groundball to SS and trotted to 1st ala Eric Karros. 1st ball hit to him in the infield he threw 5 feet over the 1st basemans head. This is the end of the AFL and all the players were talking about going home so the concentration level and fatigue factor could be playing a big part at this point. Dodger fans may need to bring down the expectations for LaRoche. No one seemed to think he'd be an ELITE 3b but some thought he could be a good 3b with 25-30 home run power. Everyone said that Marte was the better prospect.

3. James Loney- saw him play 1 game. He started in RF and then moved to 1st later in the game. I don't know if his start in RF was something the Dodgers wanted or it was a way to get Bangston to play 1st base. He caught easy fly balls but was unable to run down one ball that landed about 3 feet fair down the line. As expected he showed a good arm since he was a highly celebrated high school pitcher but I didn't see a great arm. He moved to 1st later in the game and in one inning dove for a ground ball and had it bounce off his glove. He came into that game in a hot streak but failed to hit the ball hard in any of his 4 appearances. One scout told me that his bat speed may not be upto snuff for a successfull Major League 1st baseman.

4. Matt Kemp - easily the most impressive of the Dodger prospects during the games I saw. That is not to say he's a better prospect then LaRoche. He is a big man. Not Dave Parker big but still a big man. He's got the big butt, big legs. He played RF and not CF and most scouts said his future is in RF not CF. His swing is ugly but when he makes contact the ball has life. Hit a bases loaded triple 410 feet off the CF wall in one game and then a long LF home run in the last game. Has good speed at this point but with his size I can't imagine him keeping that speed as he matures. Showed a good arm. Plate discipline is his achilles heel at this point. He was young for the league. He evidently has only been playing baseball a short time and was a basketballer in high school. Since he's only 20 that gives hope that he still has to time to work on his swing and plate discipline.

5. Eric Hill - saw him pitch the 1st game I went to. He was very effective for 5 innings.

Logan White Info
Logan White attended that last game I went to and was talking to Jim Callis from BA and a Toronto scout. I later learned the trio spent the night talking until 2:00 am. As expected they talked alot about Dodger prospects and how he goes about his job. Since the time he was an area scout he keeps a file on every player he ever scouted so that he can look and see if he was right or wrong on what he expected that player to accomplish. He is very stats oriented and pointed out many sabermetric numbers during his talk to support his contention that James Loney will be successfull at the Major League level. He thinks Matt Kemp will become a star. This is notethworthy because while I was impressed with Kemp one scout told me that he felt Kemp would merely become a starting outfielder on a bad team or a 4th outfielder on a good team. Sounds like he was talking about Craig Monroe to me. All of this information came from either Callis or the scout but I was not a fly on the wall and did not participate in the conversation so you can't ask me anthing else because I don't know.
Jim Callis considers Logan White to be one of the top people in his field.

2005-11-08 12:41:25
50.   Jon Weisman
44 - I basically agree.

I guess to be fair to Vishal's comment about hindsight, I didn't forsee this problem back in April. I was down on Ledee, but I actually thought Werth would be a 150-game, .280-EQAing outfielder. Maybe DePo thought the same thing.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-11-08 12:42:33
51.   slackfarmer
46 I think Lasorda's interference is much more likely than the laptop-sex blackmail thing, but both are intriguing ideas.

I wish Depo would do a tell-all interview so we can hear some of the good dirt. Of course we will probably have to wait until after Depo gets his next job, the McCourts go broke and sell the club, and/or Lasorda goes to meet the great Giant in the underworld.

2005-11-08 12:46:41
52.   D4P
Yeah, I don't expect Depo to ever spill the beans. I don't think we'll ever know all that went on behind the scenes, and I don't think McCourt will ever reveal why Depo was fired.
2005-11-08 12:49:00
53.   Bob Timmermann
DePodesta definitely won't have a big tell-all interview as long as:
1)he's getting paid by the McCourts
2)he's working in baseball

Wait until he retires. Around 2045 I guess. I'll be 80 then.

2005-11-08 12:54:24
54.   dzzrtRatt
53 Unless he has an affair with Judith Miller. Then the McCourt story will be on the front page of the NY Times, attributed to a former Cleveland Indians intern.
2005-11-08 12:59:26
55.   D4P
Regarding Dodger prospects and our expectations of their future success, as far as I'm concerned they're all Billy Ashleys until they prove otherwise.
2005-11-08 13:02:16
56.   Jon Weisman
It's no healthier to assume all Dodger prospects will be Billy Ashleys than it is to assume they will all be Pedro Martinezes.
2005-11-08 13:03:41
57.   Bob Timmermann
So it's Ashley until proven Pedro?
2005-11-08 13:05:11
58.   D4P
I'd rather be pleasantly surprised by players who exceed my expectations than unpleasantly disappointed by players who fall short.
2005-11-08 13:05:49
59.   D4P
I prefer "Delino until proven Pedro"
2005-11-08 13:08:58
60.   Bob Timmermann

That was my mother's philosophy toward life in general.

She was a rather pessimistic type.

2005-11-08 13:10:02
61.   Vishal
[44], [50] all right, i'll buy that. it's fair to say he was one OF short until he got cruz. but remember there were also other things which affected the outfield. it's possible/likely that jose valentin could have plugged some OF gaps if he wasn't injured(as he did a little bit at the end of the season), with perez/robles or whomever covering third for a little while. but not only valentin but izturis was also injured, meaning we needed people to plug in at short and third and outfield all at the same time... way too much went wrong this season to lay the blame on one particular issue.
2005-11-08 13:10:22
62.   D4P
It's my strategy for "dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers and baseball."
2005-11-08 13:12:20
63.   blue22
58 - So are you in favor of parting with some prospects for proven ML-talent?
2005-11-08 13:14:04
64.   Sushirabbit
If anyone could succeed in Colorado, I think Depodesta could. But then, I thought they'd be somewhat better than they were this year.

I don't know why Ng would want the GM job with the Dodgers. I mean (in a very general way) what's the difference between her position and Epstein's position? If it makes sense for Epstein to wait, why wouldn't make sense to wait for her... unless she feels that she has some edge over the (them Crazy) McCourts in the almost certain political machinations that would occur if she gets the job. If she's has good as has been established, it's not like she won't find another job.

I'm glad she is, by appearances, in the running.

2005-11-08 13:15:31
65.   D4P
That always worries me. The Dodgers have been burned too many times.
2005-11-08 13:18:23
66.   Jon Weisman
"it's possible/likely that jose valentin could have plugged some OF gaps if he wasn't injured"

Nah - Valentin would never hit enough to justify an outfield spot. He was an emergency outfielder at best.

DePo was unluckier on the infield - a rotation of Choi, Kent, Izturis, Perez and Saenz, with Valentin in the Ledee role and Robles helping later on, was a decent plan, and one that cost only about what, $16 million or so?

2005-11-08 13:18:30
67.   Vishal
[65] hahah so let's get this straight... your official position is "damned if you do [wait for prospects to come up], damned if you don't [trade them away]"? :)
2005-11-08 13:20:32
68.   sanchez101
37. I hate the notion that we cant or shouldnt expect much more from the MVP/CyYong voters. These people are supposed at the top of their field, excellence should be the expectation, not semi-ignorance. As far as im concerned the Gold Gloves are completely pointless, when I hear that a player is an x-times Gold Glover, it means about as much to me as where that player was born. The Cy Young and MVP awards are probably at that point. Unless the selection is painfully obvious (think Barry Bonds) the voters screw it up more often than not.
2005-11-08 13:21:41
69.   D4P
Yes. I never claimed my official position was rational...:)
2005-11-08 13:22:20
70.   Jon Weisman
64 - If you've never been a GM, it's a lot harder to be picky about which GM job you take. It's not impossible, but it's harder.
2005-11-08 13:24:39
71.   sanchez101
65. Im not sure your points have any coherency to them. The Dodgers dont get burned for trading prospects anymore than the average organization, if anything its less because the Dodgers rarely traded prospects for so long. Other than Lasorda's idiotic Konerko/Shaw deal, and Pedro/Delino, which wasnt a bad trade just a trade that turned out badly, I cant think of too many prospects that were traded that the dodgers regretted.
2005-11-08 13:25:11
72.   Vishal
[66] so if the choice was between

scenario A: perez at 3rd full time and valentin covering for a 2nd injured starting OF (ledee being the first reserve),

or scenario B: keep the valentin/perez platoon in place at 3rd and use one of repko/grabowski/edwards in the OF

you choose B?

this is assuming izturis is still healthy.

2005-11-08 13:26:11
73.   Sushirabbit
70 Yeah, true. And going through the meat grinder can be a good thing in the end. I worked someplace like that once and thought I was in hell. Then when I'd been around a bit, I made all sorts of contacts that had been through the same place... it was like instant credibility.
2005-11-08 13:29:22
74.   D4P
Again: I'm not claiming to be rational. Keep in mind that my expectations and predictions are completely irrelevant to anyone other than myself. If I were a GM (or even a fantasy league manager), then clearly I would have to be more "coherent" in my thinking and choose either to keep or trade prospects. As it is, I am only a fan who doesn't get paid enough to make that choice.
2005-11-08 13:32:28
75.   blue22
71 - The old John Franco and Sid Fernandez deals come to mind.

Henry Rodriguez.

John Wetteland.

Who else? Of course, many other teams have laundry lists of prospects that made good elsewhere, but it isn't as fun to think that way.

2005-11-08 13:34:42
76.   Penarol1916
74. Your pessimism seems much more humble than it used to be.
2005-11-08 13:34:59
77.   Linkmeister
73 There are a couple of companies out here which seemingly have employed 1/2 of the available work force over the past 15 years; you run into "veterans" all over the place. If you wanted to hold a reunion you'd have to hire a hall.
2005-11-08 13:38:11
78.   Eric L
70 Wasn't DePo picky about his first GM job? I seem to remember that he was the front runner for the Toronto job but decided he wasn't ready or something like that.

Hindsight being what it is, it seems like taking the Toronto job would have been best for him. Ricciardi has been given alot more rope.

2005-11-08 13:47:52
79.   King of the Hobos
I started thinking when I read 43, what would a new GM do with Phillips? DePo had said he wanted Bako back, meaning Phillips would be gone. After the tumultuous off season so far, I completely forgot that he's still on the team
2005-11-08 13:49:42
80.   D4P
I had a chip surgically removed from my shoulder, and no longer feel compelled to defend myself or convert others.
2005-11-08 13:50:18
81.   King of the Hobos
And whoever the new GM is, they can't sign Neifi, who signed a 2 year, $5 mil contract to stay with the Cubs. Compared to that, Cruz was an excellent signing. Knowing Neifi won't be on the 2006 Dodgers is almost as good as yesterday's news of Bowden not being on the 2006 team
2005-11-08 13:52:26
82.   natepurcell
thanks molokai for the prospect report. do you have anything else to add about logan white? did you have a long conversation with him? did you ask him about the current upper management chaos happening over in LA? i hope his job is safe.. say for... the next 10 years? Out of all of this, i would absolutely hate it if we lost logan white.
2005-11-08 13:54:30
83.   Vishal
[79] oh wow i totally forgot we still have phillips too. what do they call that again? repressed memory syndrome?
2005-11-08 13:55:34
84.   Jon Weisman
72 - I can't see any relevancy to the choices, but I guess I'd pick scenario B/Repko for his defense. Valentin would never be my No. 5 outfielder.

Valentin himself was injured all year, so it's hard to pencil him in anywhere.

2005-11-08 14:02:36
85.   trainwreck
Thanks for the great analysis Jon. I always thought we were that one player away on the field and then all the injuries came and ended that. I am worried about our outfield for next season as we could see a Werth, Drew, Cruz outfield which will definitely not meet the numbers we need to succeed.
2005-11-08 14:05:54
86.   Vishal
well, he's played the OF credibly in the past. it'd be a move down the defensive spectrum for him anyway, and sure, he didn't hit, but he wouldn't have even been signed if he wasn't expected to hit well enough to stay in the lineup. maybe that's an assumption of depodesta's that should be questioned. but i'm just not sure if lack of depth is necessarily such a great place to criticize.

and the point of the scenarios was that when you're planning at the beginning of the year, there are only a certain number of simultaneous injuries that you can really account for if they happen. maybe you personally don't like valentin in the OF, but it was another option anyway, until he too got injured.

2005-11-08 14:15:28
87.   Borchard504
(85)- I am with you - great post Jon. I for one, would love to have MB back next year, but then, maybe he doesn't want to be a part of this organization.
2005-11-08 14:19:55
88.   bigcpa

Not to drive everyone bonkers, but Tom Verducci still calls Bowden "a strong contender for the Los Angeles job."

2005-11-08 14:20:10
89.   Jon Weisman
86 - Well, okay. In a sense, in April 2005, this was your outfield:

Starters: Drew, Bradley, Werth
Reserves: Ledee, Grabowski, Repko, Valentin
Minors; Edwards, Ross, Chen, etc.

I guess my point is that Valentin was offensively a questionable choice for the infield, but at least he played a more important position there. If your outfield plan includes Valentin playing there on anything besides an emergency basis, you need a better plan. That's why I don't find a debate between him and Grabowski/Repko/that ilk relevant.

I've said this before, and I don't know that it's true, but I'm disappointed that no one besides me ever raised the issue that Valentin might have been a character/chemistry signing. Valentin is very bright (owns a franchise in winter ball, if I'm not mistaken), a clubhouse cheerleader type (not like Lima, but the next level down), and his best playing days were behind him. Everyone was trying to understand why DePodesta signed him, but no one seemed to consider that DePo was taking a chance on a guy who was good for the clubhouse, could mentor the young infielders and might chip in with an occasional walk or HR. Is that so implausible?

2005-11-08 14:20:37
90.   scareduck
78 - "Hindsight being what it is, it seems like taking the Toronto job would have been best for him. Ricciardi has been given alot more rope."

That's easier to do when (a) you're dealing with a team that's not exactly burning up the division, and (b) the currency you get from your customers in is appreciating relative to the currency you pay your players in...

2005-11-08 14:24:52
91.   Bob Timmermann
Bowden has now said on TV that he is going to interview for the Boston job. And I assume he would rather have that job than the Dodgers job.

John Henry is a GM-stealing man!

2005-11-08 14:25:38
92.   trainwreck
I think that was part of it. A good person to mentor Perez as well. I really think he expected a Perez/Valentin combo all season at third. Valentin perhaps could play solid defense with some pop, while Perez gets a good number of bats and is given time to improve defensively at the position instead of being rushed to play everyday. Valentin was obviously seen as a clubhouse leader in other clubs and a good guy so I think that did play a part. Plus Valetin had been on a winning team before so that experience can be valuable.
2005-11-08 14:29:26
93.   D4P
That sounds implausible because Depo's supporters have been so adament about the irrelevancy of intangibles such as clubhouse chemistry, character, leadership, etc.
2005-11-08 14:31:51
94.   bigcpa
Hey dzzrtRatt- just noticed we're neighbors.
2005-11-08 14:33:26
95.   trainwreck
I do not think it is dumb to have them on the team I think it is dumb to continue to play them if they are not performing. If a player has those qualities but is not an everyday player then restrict them to occasional play and pinch hitting duties.
2005-11-08 14:34:07
96.   jasonungar05
88In the, did you really need to remind me department.

Remember, the Dodgers had reached agreement with free agent outfielder Vladimir Guerrero two years ago, only to have McCourt decide he didn't want him

2005-11-08 14:34:33
97.   D4P
But is it "dumb" to acquire them because they have those qualities?
2005-11-08 14:34:54
98.   Jon Weisman
93 - I think those intangibles are overvalued, not that they have no value. DePo might very well feel the same way. Just because you think something is overrated doesn't mean you think it's worthless.

But I guess you could argue that he would have kept Cora as a backup if what I laid out there regarding Valentin had been his motivation.

2005-11-08 14:39:37
99.   trainwreck
You made need them on the team. Say your team is full of offensive firepower but is young; I would say it is a smart move to hire a veteran on the team just to give the players some guidance. You do not need to necessarily play the guy but the players can listen and relate to them. The A's often like to hvae a veteran or two on the team who seemingly fits that mold.
2005-11-08 14:39:54
100.   D4P
Either way, I think Depo saw Valentin's "30-HR power" as a means of helping to replace Beltre's production. I'd be surprised if Valentin's signing had anything to do with intangibles. If it had, you'd think Depo would have made a point to communicate that to the media in an effort to address some of his critics and throw a bone to fans who value intangibles.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-11-08 14:41:24
101.   Sam DC
91 But if Bowden doesn't get the job in Boston, has he said anything to indicate he wouldn't be interested in LA?

93 I don't think it's fair to say that Depo's supporters are adamant that the traits you list are irrelevant. For one, I don't think all of DePodesta's supporters are of one mind. For two, I think that people are more likely to question how to predict and value traits like leadership and character than they are to simply assert that those traits are irrelevant. For three, in my opinion, it is pretty different to say that a player is a smart, experienced veteran who can mentor a younger player and set a good tone/example in the clubhouse than it is to say that someone is a gamer with heart. The "intangibles" in the first example are actually pretty tangible and relate pretty directly to the goal they are supposed to achieve (mentoring the younger player, creating a healthy clubhouse). The intangibles in the second are much more subjective, and in my opinion don't relate as directly to the goal they are supposed to achieve (performing better on the field).

2005-11-08 14:41:41
102.   Jon Weisman
99, 100 - I certainly don't want to get in the position of advocating character signings in place of talent. I feel very strongly if someone's principal value is character or mentoring, that person's name should be "Coach."
2005-11-08 14:48:26
103.   trainwreck
When I was writing my response I was thinking hey this seems to fit a mold of coach or manager more, but perhaps younger players can relate to their teammates more than their coach. The A's have had vets around since their rebirth such as Ron Gant, Randy Velarde, Mark McClemore, etc. These guys had some value but I think veteran leadership was also a reason they were on the team. Robin Ventura is a good example of this to me. He had the veteran leadership abilities but he was a valuable pinch hitter and could play occasionally or replace someone for defensive reasons. I think having a player like that on the roster (especially in the NL) can be valuable.
2005-11-08 15:08:08
104.   underdog
96. And I don't know about you guys, but for me, the loss of Vlad Guerrero, when it seemed all but a done deal, is something I've never forgiven the McCourt regime for - and that was basically their first (non-)move. I get a Homer Simpson-ish drool going on when I think of an OF of Guerrero, Bradley and Drew (of course, we might not have signed Drew had we signed Vlad, but can't a man dream??)
2005-11-08 15:08:25
105.   SiGeg
100 - I'd be surprised if Valentin's signing had anything to do with intangibles. If it had, you'd think Depo would have made a point to communicate that to the media in an effort to address some of his critics and throw a bone to fans who value intangibles.

I'm not sure he did this at the time of the signing, but when he was interviewed on KPCC a few months ago, he did in fact say that one of his motivations for signing Valentin was that he was a great guy to have in the clubhouse, a leader, etc. Maybe he was making it up, saying it just because he thought it would help his image. But, I tend to see no reason not to give him the benefit of the doubt and I assume that he did appreciate these qualities in Valentin.

2005-11-08 15:14:41
106.   bigcpa
I think you guys are overanalyzing the Valentin signing. He's a statistical find all the way... low avg, great power, underrated defense and a HUGE platoon split. I drank the kool-aid all the way that he and Perez would combine for a .800 OPS with solid D.
2005-11-08 15:21:06
107.   jasonungar05
We may not have traded for Bradley either. It's funny how in hindsight, one event could change so many others.

Otherwise known as the Vlad Effect

2005-11-08 15:28:49
108.   molokai
Got the new Bill James handbook for 2006. The park effects for Petco are just amazing. If I'm a pitcher I am telling my agent to get me there ASAP.

I thought I made it clear that I didn't talk to Logan White. All the information I have from the conversation I mentioned came via the Toronto scout or Jim Callis who were giving a presentation at the conference I attended.
I'm not sure why he is not being considered for the GM job if Kim NG is. I would be much more comfortable with him as GM then with Kim.

2005-11-08 15:32:34
109.   underdog
I think the Dodgers are better off if Logan White remains scouting director... Why muck up the one thing in the organization that is genuinely working smoothly? imho. Also, like most sane people, he may not want it! ;-)
2005-11-08 15:32:35
110.   Bob Timmermann
I know they are two different sports and I've brought up before, but here goes again.

Is it fair to draw any parallels between the Terrell Owens situation in the NFL and the Milton Bradley situation?

Is the situation with Owens more that he just can't get along with his teammates (sort of like Alex Johnson except he's better) and Bradley had problem with one teammate, but also seems to have issues off the field?

Which player is considered a greater detriment (or credit) to his team?

2005-11-08 15:38:15
111.   jasonungar05
well I have yet to hear one player come out and say anything wrong about Bradley. Maybe they don't want to I don't know.

Bradley also, to my knowledge has ever said anything negative about a teamate. Now of course this does not include Kent. What Bradley was saying about Kent, I could not disgaree with (the leader part, not the racist part, Kent does not know how to talk to anyone, color does not enter the picture, at least IMO).

Sheffield reminds me more of Owens. The things he said about Karros, Green, Driefort etc. Like it's only about the Benjamins for them.

2005-11-08 15:45:31
112.   Bob Timmermann
I suppose Bradley has never said "The Dodgers would be a lot better if they had kept Player x on the team."

Of course, Jim Tracy pretty much got away with saying stuff like that and he was considered a martyr by the press.

2005-11-08 15:45:41
113.   natepurcell
did anyone just see sportscenter? they just had a simulated Cubs press conference with steve phillips as GM talking about their offseason plans and next year.

i think its a pretty neat little segment, does anyone know if they are doing this for all the teams? tomorrow, phillips be pretending to be the astros gm and will have a press conference thingie.

2005-11-08 15:46:13
114.   D4P
One relatively unique feature of the Bradley situation was that he was acquired by a team that had a player on it with whom Bradley had had a previous on-field altercation. And, that player was among the most popular on the team at the time.
2005-11-08 15:47:11
115.   molokai
And one is the best player at his position while MB is just another ballplayer. If MB was the best CF in baseball then were not even wondering if he would be coming back.
2005-11-08 15:50:36
116.   D4P
Hmmm...I don't think we're talking about the same player...
2005-11-08 15:52:56
117.   Bob Timmermann
I don't believe there were any reported flare-ups between Lo Duca and Bradley during their tenure on the Dodgers.

But what is going to be the one thing that tips the scales in favor or against MB? The 911 calls? The blowup with Kent? Fear that Bradley is going to throw a bottle at a seat again?

The only thing that is clear in the whole MB situation is that nothing is clear.

With Owens I think that his fight with a team official is a bigger deal than any of his public statements.

2005-11-08 16:00:45
118.   Mark
Owens is just an idiot. Bradley, on the surface, appears to be a relatively smart guy who has anger management problems. That said, I think Ng should trade him ASAP.
2005-11-08 16:06:51
119.   still bevens
113 They did the same with Boston on Sunday night. I was too tired to stay up for it.
2005-11-08 16:07:02
120.   Xeifrank
Aren't most outfields, or if not the outfield the infield always short a few players. Don't all teams have holes/flaws?, even the teams that spend over $200 mil per year in salaries? Didn't the White Sox have one of the least talented benches in baseball? When two of your three best hitters are outfielders and both get injured, it's going to take alot of makeup and some sexy clothing to make your outfield offensive stats look good. vr, Xei
2005-11-08 16:08:12
121.   Xeifrank
Bob, which H.S. football game are you covering this week? Could be some soggy fields this week! vr, Xei
2005-11-08 16:12:55
122.   das411
111 - Oldie but goodie:

117 - With Hugh Douglas, the official team "bad-ass-ador"? Andy Reid has a Tracy-esque fascination with him for some reason...

2005-11-08 16:17:57
123.   John A
Just entered the building so this is late but...#49 was fascinating--thanks Molokai.
That was more good info on Dodger prospects that I saw in the L.A. Times all season.
I guess there really is something left for the McCourts to screw up: Logan White and his scouting department. Let's hope they somehow pull out of their nose dive before that happens.
2005-11-08 16:19:06
124.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
Curious, when did "VeteranLeadershipAbility" become one word? I think it's a common misconception that you gain leadership abilities just by putting in a few years of major league service. I hear this all the time, but the most egregious example was a Pirates announcer saying Mondesi was giving the team the kind of veteran leadership it needed. Yes, that's RAUL Mondesi, who has been booted off of just about every team he's ever played for.
2005-11-08 16:20:28
125.   Jon Weisman
120 - Sure. I think that pretty much goes without saying. The point I'm trying to make is that in early 2005 there was a forseeable hole in the Dodger outfield - a hole that people, including myself, missed. There was a need, and continues to be a need, for another outfielder. Whether or not that outfielder can be brought in, I don't know.

The news, if you will, is this:

One group of people has argued that the Dodger outfield was flawed from the get-go, and that Drew was a bad signing.

Another group has argued that on paper, the Dodgers were fine in the outfield but got unlucky.

My analysis - and I'm not saying I'm alone on this - leads me to think that Drew was a good signing, but the Dodger outfield was still probably in trouble from the start of 2005.

2005-11-08 16:47:19
126.   Linkmeister
113 So far ESPN has had Phillips do simulated press conferences as Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs GMs; tomorrow it's scheduled to be Astros. I don't know how long it's gonna go on.
2005-11-08 17:06:09
127.   jasonungar05
Does anyone know where I can get some Rick "Mondayisms"?

I need a little pick me up.

Or where can I find transcripts of ANY radio broadcasts of dodger games?

2005-11-08 17:11:52
128.   Bob Timmermann
I'm scheduled now to cover the epic tilt between Calabasas and Agoura (at Agoura). Calabasas will be looking for its 32nd straight loss.

After watching Calabasas last week, I have no reason to think they won't get that. I think Calabasas has the longest current losing streak in the Southern Section.

Of course, it's supposed to be sunny Friday, but most of the games have been moved to Thursday because of Veterans Day. Stupid Germans. Why didn't they surrender on November 8? I could be home today!

2005-11-08 17:27:02
129.   Mark
Bob, on November 8 the German army dissolved support for the Kaiser. You could say that technically, that was the day the war ended.
2005-11-08 17:33:12
130.   Bob Timmermann
So can I go home now?
2005-11-08 17:37:25
131.   Linkmeister
Nah. Somehow "the 11th hour of the 8th day of the 11th month" just doesn't have the right ring to it.
2005-11-08 17:42:27
132.   D4P
So you can resume posting on the Dodger Thoughts board...?
2005-11-08 17:44:14
133.   Bob Timmermann

Yeah, I never post from work .... Nope. Never. Wouldn't think of it. Not on my radar. Too ethical.

2005-11-08 17:46:00
134.   D4P
I "know" a lot of people who "never" post from work...Some of them "never" post all day long...
2005-11-08 17:54:23
135.   Bob Timmermann
I can neither confirm nor deny where I am right now.
2005-11-08 17:59:19
136.   D4P
Take a look around. Do you see a lot of books?
2005-11-08 17:59:47
137.   Bob Timmermann
That would be true both at work and home.
2005-11-08 18:08:32
138.   D4P
I'd like to continue this little game, but I ran out of material.
2005-11-08 18:09:39
139.   Bob Timmermann
You forgot to ask about what sort of smells around.
2005-11-08 18:11:41
140.   D4P
Do your workplace and home have similar smells or something?
2005-11-08 18:15:18
141.   Bob Timmermann
Thankfully, no!
2005-11-08 18:16:43
142.   D4P
I take the workplace odors are unsavory. Can I assume mustiness?
2005-11-08 18:19:07
143.   Bob Timmermann
I only wish the workplace odors were mustiness. Mustiness would be an improvement.
2005-11-08 18:22:01
144.   D4P
Patron stench?
2005-11-08 18:24:45
145.   Bob Timmermann
I can neither confirm nor deny the source of the stench.
2005-11-08 18:27:11
146.   Bob Timmermann
Isn't there anybody else around besides us?

Or did we miss the Dodger Thoughts complimentary meal that everyone else is getting?

2005-11-08 18:29:10
147.   D4P
Looks like everyone else went home from work...
2005-11-08 18:34:16
148.   fanerman
Iqm here for a quick sanity check, but I have to go again.
2005-11-08 18:36:15
149.   Sam DC
Maybe everyone is out voting?

Bob -- I read a book a while back called Island of the Lost Maps that was very depressing about a low-rent map dealer who would go to fine research libraries and slice historic maps out of landmark atlases. Then I just recently read an article in [something, New Yorker?] about another guy -- a well respected map dealer -- who was doing the same thing.

It really bummed me out. I hope your employer, and probably more so the LA Universities, have good security.

2005-11-08 18:36:17
150.   Vishal
too bad bob didn't go home from work yet :P

really though, i hope bob wins humbugardy. what's the score, anyway?

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-11-08 18:40:15
151.   King of the Hobos
I was busy doing the Humbugardy. That was a huge success
2005-11-08 18:43:58
152.   Uncle Miltie
Bob, you're a plumber?
2005-11-08 18:44:59
153.   dzzrtRatt
My work follows me around. But I've been concentrating especially hard the past few hours.

Besides, at the point where I said (yesterday) that Kim Ng should turn down McCourt's offer, I realized that maybe my relationship with the team has reached a crisis. I just don't know if I can tolerate the McCourts. I'd like to think with Spring's arrival, I'll just forgive and forget and resume rooting for the team.

But the fact that it's even in doubt has left me a little bit speechless. Should Milton Bradley stay? I really don't care. It might be better for him if he didn't. Should Guzman continue to play shortstop? What's better for him? Could be the best thing to happen to him would be to get on Tommy Lasorda's bad side for some unexplainable reason and get traded to Boston for some crappy pitcher that we'll DFA in three months. Matt Kemp? The Angels could use him. Maybe we can get Darin Erstad for him. Tommy'd love that guy.

See? I'm not sure I should be posting right now, unless you want to talk about a different topic.

2005-11-08 18:47:46
154.   Sam DC
Well, Ratt, did you ever hear of the sad case of Glibert Bland. Used to break rare maps out of landmark atlases, removing them forever from public access and study. A violation of our basic obligations to human history.

Does that cheer you up?

2005-11-08 18:48:12
155.   D4P
My relationship with the team reached a similar crisis at some point in the 90s, and I've been relatively indifferent toward the team ever since. The Dodgers will always be my "favorite" team, but my emotional attachment was severed and has not become reattached.

I'm kinda surprised this hasn't happened to more Dodger fans. Maybe it has and I'm just not aware of it.

2005-11-08 18:49:50
156.   Vishal
the dramatic divison championship didn't do anything for ya, d4p? maybe once they win the series...
2005-11-08 18:54:01
157.   D4P
Well, Finley's grand slam was kinda fun, but I "knew" they wouldn't get past the Cardinals anyway so it was an empty celebration. I'm one of those fans who thinks of the Dodgers as one of the foremost franchises in the league, who "shouldn't" be happy with merely winning division titles. Giant fans can cheer division titles and homerun records; Dodger fans should have higher standards.

But, I'm realizing that the Dodgers' place in the league hierarchy might be changing, and not for the better. Maybe I SHOULD be happy with just making the playoffs once in a while.

2005-11-08 18:59:27
158.   slackfarmer
There was some discussion in the comments to yesterdays post about boycotting games and driving attendance under 2 million. I looked at what drives Dodger attendance and I don't think attendence will plummet like that unless the team stinks it up for many years in a row. Here's my analysis:
2005-11-08 19:02:52
159.   Bob Timmermann
Where I work there are a lot of rare maps, but they are pretty hard to steal because the guy in charge of them (not me) only takes them out by request. And if they're really expensive, he stands over you like a hawk waiting for a rat to die. Especially the pictorial maps.
2005-11-08 19:04:52
160.   Steelyeri
Don't know if anyone else saw this, found it kinda funny, and kinda disturbing...

"Customers surveyed: The Dodgers are surveying randomly selected ticket buyers in which some of those telephoned are being asked if they can identify the owner of the team and, if so, what their perception of McCourt is.

While that would seem in keeping with the obsessive nature with which McCourt and his wife, team president Jamie McCourt, monitor public perceptions of them, a team spokesperson said Monday that it is part of a list of 60 questions, of which only a handful are chosen for each call.

"There is a difference between corporate ownership and family ownership," said Camille Johnston, the Dodgers vice president for communications. "Our goal is to determine how many of our customers know that we're a family-owned organization." "

2005-11-08 19:05:59
161.   D4P
slackfarmer - Are the attendance figures you use the (1) number of tickets sold, or (2) the number of people who actually show up?
2005-11-08 19:07:20
162.   Bob Timmermann
That seemed to make sense, but your math is about six levels ahead of mine. But it sounded good!

I would think over variables such as weather, quality of giveaways, economic conditions of the area, all play a part in attendance.

I would be stunned if attendanace dropped below 3 million in a full season unless they have Sarin Gas Night.

2005-11-08 19:07:51
163.   Bob Timmermann
They surveyed me.
2005-11-08 19:11:45
164.   Steelyeri
163- Really? would you be willing to share what your response was to the "perception of McCourt" question?
2005-11-08 19:15:57
165.   Bob Timmermann
"Most unfavorable"

That was only one part. A lot of the questions were about how many games I was planning to attend, what would get me to go on certain days, which starting times are better. Those questions made a lot more sense.

I didn't get a chance to comment on the seats. I liked the position of where my seats in the Blue section were. But those were literally bad seats. They were horribly uncomfortable.

2005-11-08 19:18:44
166.   socalcardfan

Bob, do hawks really wait for rats to die? I thought they just swooped in there and nabbed them.

I have this image now of Andre Dawson waiting for the ball to stop rolling before he picks it up.

2005-11-08 19:20:27
167.   D4P
Regarding the "obsessive nature with which McCourt and his wife, team president Jamie McCourt, monitor public perceptions of them", since when did public opinion become so important to them? Why did they allow Depo to trade all of the "favorite" Dodgers (e.g. Lo Duca, Roberts, Green, etc.) if they were so concerned about how fans would react? And given that they allowed Depo to make those moves without stopping him, why do they now hold Depo responsible?
2005-11-08 19:22:18
168.   Bob Timmermann
I suppose you're right. That was the best metaphor I could come up with. The guy is more like a hawk than a vulture.

But if anyone needs to see a harcopy edition of a Sanborn Fire Insurance Atlas, I can hook you up.

2005-11-08 19:27:40
169.   molokai
Only the PR firm hired by the McCourts would try to hold a phone survey in the middle of an election when sain people stopped answering their phones days ago.
2005-11-08 19:34:06
170.   Bob Timmermann

The very nice woman asked for Bob so I assumed she was a friend of mine.

She wasn't, but it was interesting.

2005-11-08 19:36:52
171.   D4P
It's tough to hang-up on very nice women who know your first name.
2005-11-08 19:41:09
172.   dzzrtRatt
"Our goal is to determine how many of our customers know that we're a family-owned organization."*

Camille, this matters why? Can you identify even one person who is more likely to buy a ticket or a piece of Dodger merchandise because of "family ownership"?

God, the stupid things PR people talk their clients/bosses into spending money finding out.

Also: Doesn't it depends on the family? Not all families are equal. Are we talking about the Corleone family? The Huxtable family?

I gave the McCourt family the benefit of the doubt for two years. As a family, they stink. I would not want them as neighbors, and if I had a daughter, I would not want her to marry into them. Camille, does that help?

2005-11-08 19:42:35
173.   D4P
I don't know if that helped Camille or not, but I (for one) enjoyed it.
2005-11-08 19:45:13
174.   dzzrtRatt
I am appalled that any serious collector or aficianado of maps would steal them from place of public access and trust for their own personal collections. The only way to deter this behavior is to take the maps (or any other works available in library volumes) away from the public. Sick and disgusting, and I hope the perp is locked in a cell with a guy whose wife left him for a cartographer.
2005-11-08 19:46:40
175.   D4P
What did the "guy whose wife left him for a cartographer" do to get locked up?
2005-11-08 19:52:47
176.   dzzrtRatt
He hacked into the Auto Club's data base and secretly added the Slauson Cutoff to all their maps of LA.
2005-11-08 19:53:58
177.   dzzrtRatt
176 P.S. If you are too young to have ever watched the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, that reference will be puzzling. Sorry.
2005-11-08 19:56:39
178.   Bob Timmermann
He shot a man in Reno just because he didn't like Jermaine Dye.
2005-11-08 19:56:53
179.   D4P
Yeah. I was going to respond with

What you said

My head

(PS: I did watch Johnny Carson in the late 80s)

2005-11-08 19:59:24
180.   CharlieBrown

I wanted to note two things with you.

(and apologies if anyone already said this--I was too lazy to read all the prior comments before dumping in my two cents)

First, is it just me, or have your posts become more and more DePo supportive over time? Perhaps you are feeling a reaction to the increasingly negative mainstream portrait of him over time and compensating. Or maybe you genuinely have started to feel differently. Or maybe this is all in my imagination. Anyway, it was something I have noticed and wondered about.

Second, perhaps relatedly, have you become more sabermetric in your statistics use? Have you dumped OPS for EqAv? I noticed your exclusive use of EqAv in your excellent comment on the Dodger outfield.

Anyway, my sense of your more favorable view of DePo and the interesting comments by O'Dowd only confirm my desire to learn more facts. What is the real story of his firing? Did he really have all these leadership problems like people are saying? Or was he just doomed to failure in the face of people determined not to let him succeed? But my hat is off to you for your (if this does not sound snotty) increasingly perceptive writing. Thanks.

2005-11-08 20:04:28
181.   dzzrtRatt
As Art Fern, in the running bit, "Teatime Movie," giving directions to an auto dealer: "How do you get there? Let me tell you friends, how do you get there! You take the San Diego Freeway to the Ventura Freeway. You drive to the Slauson Cutoff, get out of your car, cut off your Slauson, get back in your car, then you drive six miles till you see the Giant Neon Vice-Squad Cop."
2005-11-08 20:05:26
182.   D4P
That didn't help.
2005-11-08 20:08:59
183.   Vishal
[180] i thought today's post actually seemed to be a mild criticism of depodesta for not adequately stacking the roster with capable outfielders.
2005-11-08 20:13:55
184.   D4P
And there was a mild criticism of the Roberts trade.
2005-11-08 20:17:47
185.   Jon Weisman
180 - I have never been anti-DePodesta, so I don't really know how to respond. And I've been using EQA since before DePo got hired, though sometimes I will use OPS out of convenience or when I don't need a park-adjusted figure.

And 183 and 184 are correct - I actually was sensitive to the fact that I was pointing out a possible DePodesta flaw.

As far as your last paragraph, it's probably safe to say that if DePo went along with what became the current Dodger executive groupthink in October, he'd probably still be there.

2005-11-08 20:29:04
186.   Steve
Free agency just isn't what it used to be.
2005-11-08 20:55:38
187.   overkill94
167 I think at first the McCourts were content handing over the reins to their intuitive new-hire at first, hoping that he would make them look like geniuses.

They were more than likely ecstatic after winning the division, but quickly soured after the disastrous 2005 season. They were willing to take the PR hit last year while the team was winning, but once the tables turned and people were STILL talking about their PR-damaging LoDuca trade they figured a change was needed to help clean the slate.

2005-11-08 21:38:51
188.   underdog
There's a nice piece on Kim Ng in The Sporting News online at

I also like the quote in there from Jean Afterman about being a woman assistant GM... " I have to drop a profanity as soon as I come in there. I probably have a worse mouth than anybody else in my department."

2005-11-08 21:51:34
189.   slackfarmer
161 D4P - I'm pretty sure the attendance figures are tickets paid, not actual number of fans that showed up. If you watched some of the games on TV near the end of last season you could tell the stands were much emptier than the official attendence numbers.
2005-11-08 22:52:14
190.   coachjpark
My theory has been that McCourt ordered the trade so that Boston would have a stronger team and have a better shot at beating the Yankees, since McCourt's favorite AL team is clearly in the city of Boston. Sounds somewhat ridiculous, but it wouldn't surprise me if McCourt was somehow behind this very questionable move to send DRob to Boston for essentially nothing. Doesn't seem like a move that an econ major from Harvard would make.
2005-11-08 22:52:46
191.   Xeifrank
Just ran a Dodgers vs White Sox sim using my baseball sim program on my laptop. Here is the boxscore. Dodgers lost 8-6, Buerhle beat Houlton, Jenks the save.

Los Angeles 6
Chicago White Sox 8

Player Name AB H 1B 2B 3B HR BB OPS
Antonio Perez 5 - 2 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1.
HeeSeop Choi 5 - 2 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 1.6
Milton Bradley 5 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .4
Jeff Kent 3 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1 - .5
JD Drew 4 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .
Jose Cruz 3 - 2 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 1.75
Dioner Navarro 4 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .5
Oscar Robles 4 - 2 - 2 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1.
Pitcher 4 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .5

Player Name AB H 1B 2B 3B HR BB OPS
Scott Podsednik 4 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .5
Tadahito Iguchi 4 - 1 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .75
Jermaine Dye 4 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 1.25
Paul Konerko 4 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .5
Aaron Rowand 4 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .5
AJ Pierzinski 4 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .
Joe Crede 3 - 2 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 2.3333
Juan Uribe 2 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 1 - 2.3333
Pitcher 3 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - .

2005-11-08 23:04:18
192.   slackfarmer
188 Thanks for the link to the article about Ng. As much as I'd like her to get the job, I can't see how McCourt can hire her without eating a bunch of crow. Which means that if Theo doesn't come in to save us, we will likely be stuck with Hart or Bowden.
2005-11-09 00:12:30
193.   dzzrtRatt
Ng will get hired because she's the last person standing. Tomorrow's Times story makes it appear quite possible that there are no other candidates who even want to be in the same room with Frank McCourt. Not Hart, not Theo, not Bowden.

(Did Larry Beinfest pull himself out and I missed it?)

If Ng does get the job, will she be kept on a tight leash like I believe DePodesta was? Or will her status as the front office equivalent of Jackie Robinson give her a measure of independence and leeway that no male GM could get from these McCourt people? I'm sure if Paul had been Pauline DePodesta, McCourt wouldn't have dared fire her after just 20 months.

If Ng comes in with a bulletproof jacket, she'd probably be the only GM who could possibly succeed in that dysfunctional organization now running our team.

2005-11-09 00:49:59
194.   natepurcell
i guess we have made contact with konerkos agent. oh joY!!
2005-11-09 01:24:56
195.   Thomas Naccarato
I talked to a source tonight (don't know if he's credible or not) that said that by Thursday, if not as early as tomorrow, Kim Ng will be announced as the new Dodger GM.

Then, I just got done reading Tim Brown's latest column and saw that Jim Fergosi is interested in the Dodger job.

I've been to several games where Fergosi literally was sitting right in front of me or behind me depending on where they gave him and the rest of his scouting team tickets. He told me even back then he wished he was affliated with the Dodgers, even back when he was a player.

2005-11-09 02:31:52
196.   fanerman
195 - I hope you're right about Ng.
2005-11-09 05:58:10
197.   SMY
Steve Phillips predicts the Dodgers will end up with Nomar, Kenny Rogers, Bill Mueller, and Joe Randa. I don't know why he thinks they would need both Mueller and Randa.
2005-11-09 06:38:51
198.   Terry A
195 Maybe the clouds will part Thursday. The Dodgers are supposed to make a decision on Hershiser by then as well.

197 For the same reason the Mets needed Mo Vaughn.

2005-11-09 07:20:37
199.   King of the Hobos
Also from the LA Times article: "The Yankees are among several teams that have spoken to the Dodgers about the availability of outfielder Milton Bradley"

Newsday also reports the Padres and Rangers have discussed a Soriano/Nix for Eaton/Loretta swap. Considering Soriano's stats away from Arlington (.224/.265/.374) last season, and he'd be going to Petco, I'm really hoping this gets done. It also further destroys anything behind Peavy in the rotation

2005-11-09 07:21:41
200.   Bob Timmermann
Tim Brown's story just says that Fregosi is interested in the Dodgers job, not vice versa. Fregosi usually calls about every vacancy.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-11-09 07:25:59
201.   Bob Timmermann
I had 12 things to vote on in yesterday's election and I picked the winner 11 times.

I'm taking the day off and heading to the track!

2005-11-09 07:43:32
202.   SMY
199 Why on earth would the Padres do that? I thought they wanted to improve their defense. And Nix is worthless. I agree, I hope it gets done.
2005-11-09 08:06:03
203.   LAT
Depo will hire Ng. Not becase she is the best person for the job (which she is) but becasue it will be good PR move (and we all know what a PR whore Frank is). It will be hailed as a ground-breaking forward thinking move in the great tradition of the Dodgers and No. 42. There will be mention of the fact that they had no game plan or that no one else wants what was once the most coveted position in all of sports.

Then when Frank fires her in a year or two, he will claim he is all about equality because he fired her just like all the men before her.

Ironically, her style will probably be a combo of Depo and Evans, something Plaschke and many mainstream fans will endorse.

Boy, I wish one of those survey people would call me.

2005-11-09 08:07:57
204.   LAT
Sorry, that should read "There will be no mention of the fact. . .
2005-11-09 08:11:31
205.   blue22
202 - Maybe the Padres think that with their ballpark, they can stick any warm body on the mound and be successful.

Trading Loretta seems on par with the trading LoDuca from a "heart and soul" standpoint (the obvious difference is that Loretta is productive). For the record, "heart and soul" guys that can actually hit are my favorite kind of "heart and soul" players.

2005-11-09 08:12:00
206.   molokai
"Depo will hire Ng"

Cool, I knew Depo was still running things:)

2005-11-09 08:12:34
207.   deburns
201 I went 8 for 8. You might be able to guess my votes given my zip code is 90210.
Here's hoping Frank goes for Ng and Hershiser, both on some merits and because they would not be very expensive, thus theoretically free up money for the few options realistically available in the market this winter.
2005-11-09 08:17:43
208.   dzzrtRatt
The only sticking point in the negotiations will be Camille Johnston's insistence that Ng change her last name to "McCourt." Then they're going to concoct a story that she was an orphan girl in the streets of Hong Kong that the compassionate Frank and Jamie adopted and raised with their commitment to a winning tradition.

That idea polled really, really well.

2005-11-09 08:31:31
209.   Sam DC
On right now, there is a headline "A look at this season's best NHL fights." Now, I'm no pollyanna, or even if I am, that just shocks me. I understand that the NHL has fights, and fans consider it part of the experience, but aren't the respectable media supposed to at least pretend that they are a downside to the sport?
2005-11-09 09:14:46
210.   LAT
206. Damn. I guess its true, you should never type when angry.

Ratt, your post-Depo era posts are great. I read them and think, that's how I feel only he said it much better and much funnier. There is a Buck Henry quality to them.

2005-11-09 09:16:12
211.   LAT
209. the respectable media = oxymoron
2005-11-09 09:38:48
212.   SMY

But remember, it's MY mind, so something might be screwy.

He's right. It is.

2005-11-09 10:07:21
213.   blue22
212 - Broxton for Torii Hunter? Eww.

I hope that's not what we're in for going forward.

2005-11-09 10:10:45
214.   blue22
212 - Guess he's a MIN fan though (or is confusing Torii Hunter for Kirby Puckett circa 1987), since they get Howie Kendrick, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis for Hunter.
2005-11-09 10:33:05
215.   slackfarmer
Agreed. Why give up Broxton for Hunter at $10 million a year? I'd rather keep Broxton and sign Giles for the same or less $.
2005-11-09 10:34:43
216.   SMY
Not to mention Hunter is coming off a broken ankle, and really isn't all that great a hitter.

He also had Derek Thompson going somewhere in that trade...didn't he have TJ surgery this year?

2005-11-09 10:35:49
217.   SMY
On the other hand, I am somewhat impressed he knew who Broxton and Thompson were (or at least that they might have value).
2005-11-09 10:36:16
218.   dzzrtRatt
LAT, thanks. A very high compliment. Perhaps one day I'll write a movie about the McCourts in the style of "To Die For."
2005-11-09 10:40:48
219.   Penarol1916
218. Are you going to seduce Drew McCourt in order to get him to kill his parents?
2005-11-09 10:50:43
220.   regfairfield
217 He does have the Dodgers spending an extra five million dollars to get worse in centerfield. Considering the Twins should be willing to let Hunter go for nothing, he's not exactly singing the praises of Broxton and Thompson.
2005-11-09 10:53:55
221.   dzzrtRatt
219 That's Kim Ng's job.
2005-11-09 10:55:21
222.   SMY
220 Yeah, but he thinks Hunter's an elite center fielder.
2005-11-09 10:56:51
223.   blue22
220 - I'd like to figure out a way for LA to cut Torii Hunter out of this, and just send Broxton and Thompson in exchange for Kendrick, Gonzalez, and Youkilis. That'd be a heck of a trade (impossible I know, but that's what he is equating Hunter's value to).
2005-11-09 10:57:42
224.   Bob Timmermann

Torii Hunter knows how to win. Look at how often the Twins went to the playoffs with him on the squad.
He's hard nosed. Ask that catcher on the White Sox who got smushed by him.
And he can rob Barry Bonds of home runs!

What's not to love?

Or are you asking about actual abilities?

2005-11-09 10:58:43
225.   regfairfield
I also was very confused by the part where he said the Blue Jays wouldn't want to swap Hillenbrand for Overbay. Wouldn't you do that in a heartbeat? (Unless one of them has some obscene contract.)
2005-11-09 11:05:13
226.   blue22
225 - Somebody find SkyDome's park effects on doubles! He's predicting Overbay could hit 60 doubles there - a mark that hasn't been reached since 1936!
2005-11-09 11:07:22
227.   Sam DC
224 I thought only the Lakers Smushed people.
2005-11-09 11:07:34
228.   dzzrtRatt
Do you think the Yankees would trade us their unique 'rights' to Hideki Matsui for Bradley? Or a sign & trade type of arrangement?

(I'm not suggesting a straight-up trade. I'm sure the Yanks would want more than just MB for Matsui.)

2005-11-09 11:09:40
229.   blue22
225 - Speaking of Overbay, if Choi is not in the long term plans anymore, he'd be a guy I'd take a look at. Milwaukee has Prince Fielder queued up to play first next year I think.
2005-11-09 11:12:12
230.   natepurcell
Newsday also reports the Padres and Rangers have discussed a Soriano/Nix for Eaton/Loretta swap.

as a dodger fan, i fully endorse that move. soriano is trash away from arlington and move him to petco!?!?! hes going to be sooo badddd. anyways, kevin towers... do the trade.

2005-11-09 11:14:19
231.   Mark
224 Because 5 straight Gold Gloves in center field in the AL doesn't actually mean anything, right?
2005-11-09 11:14:22
232.   Colorado Blue
Skydome's park factor in 2005 for doubles was 1.183 which was 6th in the MLB.

Miller Park ranked 19th with 0.945. Doesn't seem like a huge difference given that the biggest park factor for doubles belonged to McAfee (A's) at 1.605.

2005-11-09 11:16:37
233.   Bob Timmermann
Gold Gloves? You really want to bring that award into the discussion?
2005-11-09 11:22:09
234.   Vishal
[231] and this comment comes a mere 24 hours after bartolo colon of the 3.48 ERA wins a cy young award over johan santana.
2005-11-09 11:22:38
235.   Bob Timmermann
Bobby Cox and Ozzie Guillen won Manager of the Year awards in their respective leagues. Cox is the first manager to win the award two straight years.

Jim Tracy received no votes.

2005-11-09 11:23:58
236.   Mark
I'm sorry, perhaps you think that this list is made up of a bunch of scrubs:

2005-11-09 11:24:28
237.   Bob Timmermann
Frank Robinson actually received two first place votes for Manager of the Year. He must have threatened those two guys with bodily harm. La Russa got the other first place votes.

Guillen got 17 first place votes. Wedge had 6. Torre had 4 and Macha received 1.

2005-11-09 11:25:30
238.   Bob Timmermann

Might as well go after Bernie Williams then.

2005-11-09 11:25:49
239.   Mark
234 Colon may not have deserved the Cy Young, but that does not make him a bad pitcher. But somehow the Gold Glove makes Hunter a bad outfielder?
2005-11-09 11:26:42
240.   Mark
238 Bernie Williams in 2000, the last time he won the award? HELL YES I would take him!
2005-11-09 11:28:54
241.   Bob Timmermann
My point is that Hunter isn't really as good as his reputation warrants.
2005-11-09 11:32:00
242.   Mark
Ah, but given the choice between Torii Hunter in center and JD Drew in right, or JD Drew in center and Jason Repko in right...
2005-11-09 11:32:13
243.   dzzrtRatt
235 Not even a vote from Bob Keisser?
2005-11-09 11:34:14
244.   Vishal
[239] nobody's saying that hunter is a bad outfielder, but gold gloves are about perception and showmanship as much as cy youngs are about win-loss record. remember, steve finley was as late as last year (and is even still, probably) thought to be a good defensive centerfielder by most casual and traditional baseball watchers, and the truth is that he is pretty bad nowadays.

now, i'm not saying torii's a BAD outfielder, but looking at some stats, i'm more inclined to think that torii is probably a lot closer to average defensively than his reputation would lead you to believe.

2005-11-09 11:34:38
245.   dzzrtRatt
I guess after Katrina and Rita it's bad form to comment on mere rain. But it's really coming down here on Southern California.
2005-11-09 11:38:50
246.   dzzrtRatt
244 This is a serious suggestion: Maybe the way to make both the sabre-thinkers and the trad-thinkers happy is to add some new awards, i.e.

Most Scrappiest Player
Most Heart and Soul
Guttiest Pitcher
Best Clubhouse Guy

Voters for these awards would be instructed to rely solely on their subjective judgements. If voters cite even one stat, their vote is disqualified.

2005-11-09 11:39:55
247.   blue22
246 - Now this is sounding like the ESPY's.
2005-11-09 11:43:34
248.   Steve
Baseball Reference says that Hunter's three most similar hitters (making no reference to his fielding) are:

Jacque Jones (951)
Juan Encarnacion (946)
Preston Wilson (946)

He's getting how much?

2005-11-09 11:43:57
249.   Blaine

Where's the rain? I am squinting at the sunshine pouring into my office in Whittier.

2005-11-09 11:50:12
250.   dzzrtRatt
Near the coast. It's coming your way.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2005-11-09 12:04:52
251.   regfairfield
Hunter has a career 101 rate2 and is nine fielding runs over replacement for his career. He is very much an average center fielder.
2005-11-09 12:09:52
252.   fanerman
In Hunter's first 3 seasons as a regular (99-01), he had rate2's of: 108/108/112

Since then, he's had rate2's of: 87/97/100/102

Did something happen to him between 01 and 02?

2005-11-09 12:16:46
253.   Sam DC
From current article on Bowden's plans to improve the Nationals:

"Lawrence, who logged 195 2/3 innings in 2005, is coming off his worst season, but the Nationals believe his pitching should improve at RFK Stadium, which is larger than San Diego's PETCO Park."

So, Molokai (108), is RFK likely to be an improvement over PETCO?

2005-11-09 12:18:21
254.   Mark
Rate2 is not park adjusted? I'm not certain what the effects of FieldTurf are, but up until 2004 Hunter was playing on that hideous cement surface that allowed balls to rocket to the wall in the gaps.
2005-11-09 12:21:03
255.   regfairfield
254 Rate2 is adjusted for most factors, and then adjusted for all time I believe.

253 Does it really matter if Lawrence improves? Lawrence was an utter steal.

2005-11-09 12:22:06
256.   LAT
218. Ratt, I was actually thinking along the lines of Get Smart. Lord knows the Dodgers are now run like KAOS. Frank is Siegfried and Jamie is Shtarker. (Plaschke would have billed Depo as Hymie.)
2005-11-09 12:37:16
257.   molokai
2005 Park Indices
If your a RH power hitter your screwed in Petco.
With 100 being neutral
Runs 77 - Last
LHB - AVG - 88 - Last
LHB - HR - 90 - 11th, PacBell is the worse
RHB - AVG - 93 - 15th, RFK last
RHB - HR - 51 - Last place, next closest is Florid at 63.

Runs 87
LHB - AVG - 92
LHB - HR - 99
RHB - AVG - 86
RHB - HR - 76

Dodger Stadium
Runs 93
LHB - AVG - 95
LHB - HR - 85
RHB - AVG - 97
RHB - HR - 93
Doubles 103
Triples 102

3 year average for DS for doubles is 97 and triples is 71. The trend is for higher doubles and triples after the reconfiguration. May just be a one year anomoly only time will tell.

2005-11-09 12:37:40
258.   blue22
253 - Lawrence for Castilla feels like Phillips for Ishii. Just getting Castilla out of the lineup is justification for the trade. Whatever Lawrence gives is gravy.
2005-11-09 12:40:20
259.   molokai
I used to hold Towers with some respect. The deal to get Castilla is one of the worse Padre trades in my memory. Bowden just jumped a notch, to be able to unload Castilla and to get a body much less a starting pitcher was remarkable.
2005-11-09 12:43:08
260.   blue22
259 - Bowden did trade away Ohka for Spivey last year. I'd say this trade cancels out that one.
2005-11-09 13:06:57
261.   Sam DC
Thanks Molokai. Apparently Bowden also got cash, which is just bizarre since most viewed Castilla's contract as already overly expensive. I also think was a highly beneficial trade for the Nationals; I just think it's funny to justify it based on an exepctation that the pitcher will improve by leaving PETCO.
2005-11-09 13:07:48
262.   Vishal
[259] if he can somehow dupe someone into taking cristian guzman in exchange for something useful, i might be willing to think he's turned over a new leaf.

i still don't want him anywhere near the dodgers though.

unless he wants to trade for a jason.

2005-11-09 13:38:37
263.   natepurcell
ot- smush parker is awesome.
2005-11-09 13:40:44
264.   Jon Weisman
Tangent while we wait for actual news ...

UCLA and USC play each other in basketball this season on January 18 and then not again until ... January 19. Strange, huh?

UCLA then hosts No. 15 West Virginia on January 21.

Of course, you really want to know when Stanford comes to town. It's early this year: December 29.

2005-11-09 13:45:32
265.   Bob Timmermann
In the old days, USC and UCLA would play each other on back-to-back nights. It would make sense from a scheduling standpoint for all the Pac-10 schools to do this, that way they can free up an extra weekend for nonconference games or exams.
2005-11-09 13:48:09
266.   Bob Timmermann
And I really don't want to know when Stanford comes to Pauley Pavilion because Stanford has usually won when playing UCLA at Pauley the last several years.
2005-11-09 13:48:56
267.   Jon Weisman
Oh wait - ESPN's schedules are all screwed up.

They have four games scheduled.

2005-11-09 13:51:36
268.   Bob Timmermann
It's 1/18 at Pauley and 2/19 at the historic Sports Arena!
2005-11-09 13:53:22
269.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA has not beaten Stanford at Pauley since 1997.
2005-11-09 14:06:29
270.   blue22
263 - Kobe is pretty good too.
2005-11-09 14:07:01
271.   Jon Weisman
269 - Yea!
2005-11-09 14:09:03
272.   blue22
269 - Are you kidding me? That's 8 straight losses at home to Stanford?
2005-11-09 14:09:55
273.   dzzrtRatt
Has there been anything to solidify the rumor Tommy picked up about Ng being the GM, and the announcement coming imminently?
2005-11-09 14:10:41
274.   Vishal
do they play stanford at home every year, or is it every other year?
2005-11-09 14:12:42
275.   dzzrtRatt
Don't let Steve anywhere near today. If you value his life. Or yours.
2005-11-09 14:16:38
276.   gcrl
actual captions for pictures at

"star prospect joel guzman could end up as part of an offseason trade for a big bat"

"Prying Adrian Beltre away from Seattle and back into a Dodgers uniform this winter could be a solution to improving the offense."

i don't believe what i just read.

2005-11-09 14:17:30
277.   fanerman
275 - NOOOOOOO. Not JtD! Hopefully it's just rampant speculation. All we have to do is overbid for Giles. Everybody wins if we overbid. Even the McCourts.
2005-11-09 14:17:32
278.   Jon Weisman
275, 276 - I'm about to post on that.
2005-11-09 14:18:35
279.   blue22
275 - I wouldn't be surprised if Guzman gets sent packing this offseason for a big bat or pitcher. He'd be my choice if the team wanted to make a BIG trade.

"Todd Helton, Jim Thome, Aubrey Huff and Adrian Beltre" were not the names I would be expecting though.

2005-11-09 14:19:02
280.   fanerman
Ng or Smith wouldn't do it. They wouldn't! Say it ain't so!

"This week's meetings probably will not clarify the Dodgers' situation at first base, where the Hee-Seop Choi experiment could end with the departure of his biggest supporter, former general manager Paul DePodesta..."

Choi's gonna have a breakout season. I know it.

2005-11-09 14:22:29
281.   Bob Timmermann
In 1997 UCLA had lost to Stanford at Maples 109-61. And when Stanford came to Pauley, UCLA won 87-68.
2005-11-09 14:22:52
282.   dzzrtRatt
Well, the trends certainly indicate that everything that makes sense doesn't happen, and everything infuriating, does. So why not? Joel Guzman to the Padres for Vinny Castilla.
2005-11-09 14:23:00
283.   natepurcell
my ultimatum to the dodgers:

if JtD goes, I go!

2005-11-09 14:24:33
284.   Bob Timmermann

In the Pac-10, all the teams play home-and-home in basketball.

2005-11-09 14:24:40
285.   dzzrtRatt
283 Even if Adrian Beltre comes back?
2005-11-09 14:25:24
286.   King of the Hobos
280 I don't see why they would deal Guzman. Ng has seen firsthand what the farm can do with the Yankees, and under Evans and DePo, she hasn't exactly publically campaigned for trading prospects. Not sure about Smith, but he was hired by DePo. Unless it involved someone named Albert Pujols, or possibly Miguel Cabrera
2005-11-09 14:27:42
287.   Jon Weisman
281 - The Massacre at Maples. Only one other time have I been as rewarded for flying up for a game - the 1990 Big Game at Berkeley.
2005-11-09 14:28:57
288.   natepurcell
as much as i want to believe that beltres 2004 season was his turning point in his career, his 2005 season smacked me back into reality.
2005-11-09 14:30:19
289.   bigcpa
Signing Konerko would be such a non-DePo move and of course it would be received with wild praise in LA.

Baseball Analysts' take on Konerko:

"Smart teams don't overpay for 1B/DH, especially those who will be 30 years old on Opening Day. Konerko already has the skill-set of an older player and one has to wonder how well he will age."

2005-11-09 14:34:48
290.   Jon Weisman
The new post is up.

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