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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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Many Questions, Fewer Answers
2006-03-27 06:26
by Jon Weisman

Last year at this time, the Dodgers were enough of a mystery to me that I cautiously predicted at The Hardball Times they would win between 80 and 100 games - and I was still wrong. This year at THT, I was even less bold, or more boldless, as I discussed the state of the team heading into the 2006 season.

After a 2005 season as joyful as the courtroom of Kramer vs. Kramer, the Los Angeles Dodgers are a family again. The general manager likes the manager. The manager likes the players. The owner likes the owner.

Oh, the Dodgers might still be dysfunctional, but if so, it'll be in new and different ways! If they stumble, they will stumble as one.

And in the end, success might make friends with harmony. The Dodgers are the choice of several prognosticators to win the achy National League Western Division. If that is to happen, though, it will all depend on the answers to the following questions…

See what I mean by going to read the full story.

* * *

The major consequence of the news that Ramon Martinez has made the Dodgers as a backup (as Steve Henson of the Times reports), is that in a typical game against right-handed pitchers, four members of the Dodger bench will be right-handed: Sandy Alomar Jr., Olmedo Saenz, Jason Repko and Martinez.

If the Dodgers follow through with plans to keep a six-man bench, the other two bats would be Ricky Ledee and most likely Oscar Robles.

That is just not a lot of punch.

* * *

Rob McMillin of 6-4-2 points us to this Arizona Republic story about Mike Nixon, the former Dodger farmhand who has turned in his catcher's mask to become a 22-year-old freshman safety at Arizona State.

Nixon advanced quickly enough through the Dodger system, going from Rookie ball to AAA in four years, so even though he only OPSed a .579 in Las Vegas, reinforcing that he would not surpass Dioner Navarro or Russell Martin on the depth chart, it's not like his career had hit a dead end. So it must have been an itch for football that really pushed him out.

According to Jeff Metcalfe's article in the Republic, Nixon threw for a state record 8,091 yards in high school, but the Sun Devils need him more on defense.

* * *

Update: Just thinking out loud about the righty-lefty imbalance on the bench. Is the committment to the right-handed Martinez a sign that Jose Cruz, Jr. could be headed for the bench and Joel Guzman for the starting lineup? We haven't heard much about Guzman as a left field starter lately, so probably not. But perhaps that kind of move remains something that will happen soon after the season starts, rather than late.

* * *

Update 2: Bullpen news early this morning from Ken Gurnick at

  • The Dodgers affirmed they would start the season with 11 pitchers.

  • Showing how things have changed since Spring Training began, that list will not include lefties Kelly Wunsch or Tim Hamulack - in other words, no lefty specialist, period. In addition, righties Jonathan Broxton and D.J. Houlton have been optioned. Broxton, according to Gurnick, will pitch as a closer in AAA Las Vegas.

  • Gurnick suggests that lefty Hong-Chih Kuo has made the team, but that he will face right-handed batters as well - which is great news. Franquelis Osoria has all but survived the cuts as well. Yhency Brazoban has actually tumbled into the dogfight for the final spot in the bullpen with Aaron Sele and, back from the roster dead, Brian Meadows.

    Two possibilities. With Jae Seo spending some time in the bullpen, the Dodgers might not need a long man right away. That would favor Brazoban. On the other hand, Los Angeles might think Brazoban, who has been tender in March, will need more regular short-outing work in the opening weeks, and consider it better for him to set up things in Las Vegas.

    It's really hard to imagine Sele belongs on the roster. Meadows, at least, has been above or near average in ERA in recent seasons. Meadows also gets strikeouts more frequently, though at 5.3 per nine innings the past two years, it's nothing fantastic.

    Whatever happens in that No. 11 spot, be prepared for the bullpen to be in flux from the get-go. All kinds of pitchers remain possibilities for callups.

  • Comments (260)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2006-03-27 06:57:31
    1.   D4P
    The MSM liked to hold Depo accountable for putting together an injury-prone roster, without much of a backup plan in place to guard against the "inevitable" breakdowns of players such as Drew and Valentin.

    With that fresh in their minds, you might expect to see a MSM article or two making the same points that Jon makes (i.e. that virtually every position for the Dodgers is an injury timebomb).

    Yet, no such articles appear to be forthcoming. If anything, Colletti is given credit for putting together a roster of "versatile" utility players like Lucille II and Olmedo Saenz who can presumably play multiple positions.

    But is this year's crop of backups really so much better than last year's? Is Lucille II really going to outperform Robles, or even Edwards?

    2006-03-27 07:36:18
    2.   Daniel Zappala
    Squeamishize? John, you're going too far there.

    I am still optimistic that the praising of "veteran" players is happening because that's what we have for the short term. No need to badmouth your team. So far, Colletti has not given up the top prospects, and I think you're right that the plan is for Guzman to come in halfway through the season, unless the current outfield is doing very well.

    My hope is that the Dodgers win the division fairly easily, so that there is no pressure on management to make a dumb move, particularly at the trading deadline.

    The Dodgers and their management can both be viewed as half-empty and half-full right now.

    2006-03-27 07:57:40
    3.   bluetahoe
    Jon. C'mon now. Is that your quote, "That is not a lot of punch."?

    Saenz/Ledee as your primary lefty/righty pinch hitters have as much pop as any other 1/2 combo in professional baseball.

    3 thru 6. I'll give you that. Little pop. But really, how many teams have 'POP' 3 thru 6?

    And the rosters not cemented in stone yet. I still think Ned may trade for an upgrade over Repko.

    2006-03-27 08:20:08
    4.   Jon Weisman
    3 - Of course, if they improve the bench, I'll reevaluate.

    For now, my point is that against righty pitchers, which Saenz has a mediocre .723 OPS against over the past three seasons, the Dodgers essentially have one power shot off the bench in Ledee. I don't see how that could be anything else than "not a lot of punch."

    I haven't looked at many other teams' benches, but just within our division, I would guess that Arizona with Tony Clark and fill-in-the-blank has as much or more pop as Saenz/Ledee.

    But hey, if the Dodger bench named above is as good as any bench in baseball, that's great news.

    2006-03-27 08:20:09
    5.   Jon Weisman
    3 - Of course, if they improve the bench, I'll reevaluate.

    For now, my point is that against righty pitchers, which Saenz has a mediocre .723 OPS against over the past three seasons, the Dodgers essentially have one power shot off the bench in Ledee. I don't see how that could be anything else than "not a lot of punch."

    I haven't looked at many other teams' benches, but just within our division, I would guess that Arizona with Tony Clark and fill-in-the-blank has as much or more pop as Saenz/Ledee.

    But hey, if the Dodger bench named above is as good as any bench in baseball, that's great news.

    2006-03-27 08:34:11
    6.   dzzrtRatt
    Jon double-posting is like avian flu spreading from chickens to people.
    2006-03-27 08:35:17
    7.   crazy dumbsaint
    Yeah, but at least we got rid of that loser Choi. Take THAT, Billy Beane!
    2006-03-27 08:37:45
    8.   dzzrtRatt
    1 "this year's crop of backups" is not really the bench. This bench is mostly just role players, not guys who are truly #2 in the depth chart. To replace a starter with a prolonged injury, unlike last year's model, the 2006 Dodgers will be able to summon players from AAA who might actually take advantage of an injury opportunity and stick. I tend to look at the starting major league lineup (at least at CF, LF, 3B and 1B) as the insurance policy, and the AAA team as the Plan.
    2006-03-27 08:37:58
    9.   Daniel Zappala
    The Dodgers' potential health problems may be what keeps them from acquiring more "pop" for the bench. They will likely have some regulars hurt; they just don't know which ones. If that is the case, then they need utility players who can handle a lot of positions (e.g. Ramon Martinez), and these players usually don't have much power. You could on the other hand have someone with power (like HSC) who can't fill in well anywhere but first base. What if (knock on wood) Nomar doesn't get hurt, but someone else does?

    If the primary criteria is flexibility, then this may be the best Dodger bench we could get.

    2006-03-27 08:40:56
    10.   Vishal
    you could at least have repeated your 80-100 wins prediction, jon. 2nd time's the charm?
    2006-03-27 08:44:24
    11.   underdog
    Sounds like there's a chance Robles may be sent to AAA to start the season, but that's if they go with 12 pitchers. I guess he would be the next man to stay if they go with 11 pitchers, and you're right, not a lot of power on that bench, but not a bad bench hitting-wise, either. Things could change in a few months - Guzman (or fill in the blank) could get called up; Izturis comes off the DL and either plays, joins the bench (shuttling off Robles again, or Martinez if he struggles) or is traded, etc. I just don't see this coaching staff and mgmt as one to stay put if things aren't right.

    In other words, I don't see a Mike Edwards/The Big Grabowski/etc type bench either.

    Meanwhle, got the Street and Smith baseball preview, and they picked LA to finish second, which is fair 'nuf (behind the Giants). But then I sort of did a spit take when I saw Colorado at #3. Could happen I suppose, but a little hard to swallow. Then I saw that Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News wrote the NL West preview. Coincidence? I think not. They do have some good young players and could surprise I suppose... Still... ringolsby also characterized the West, when talking about how weak it was last year (true), as not having much hope for the future, which is false - when you consider the farm systems of Arizona and LA, as well as those young players on the Rockies and some of San Diego's good players - mixed in with some new veterans, it seems hard to believe it won't be on the upswing.


    2006-03-27 08:45:32
    12.   bluetahoe
    I never said I think the Dodgers have as good a bench as any in baseball. I think we're top heavy with Ledee/Saenz.

    I think Ledee/Saenz is as good as any 1/2 bench combo in baseball.

    2006-03-27 08:53:18
    13.   LAT
    and with each passing day that the team stays in contention, it becomes a little more likely that a few of those prospects will grow to help Los Angeles win.

    Jon, I hope you are right but my fear is that if the Dodgers are in contention ColletiCourt will deal some of those prospects for a title push.

    2006-03-27 09:10:05
    14.   Jon Weisman
    12 - In 3, you said no team was better than the Dodgers at the first two bench positions and implied that no team was better at the 3 through 6 slots. I admit I did extrapolate from that, so I'm sorry if I did so incorrectly.

    13 - Some would argue (in fact, all of us would if the deal were good enough, though I understand the pessimism) that that's the same thing.

    6 - Yeah, my finger quivered just as I hit "submit." It was weird.

    2006-03-27 09:12:43
    15.   Fearing Blue
    #9: I disagree. Having Hee Seop Choi on the bench plus someone like Robles really provides you a similar amount of flexibility. If Nomar goes down, Hee could play 1st base. If Mueller or Furcal goes down, Nomar could shift over to 2nd or 3rd, and that doesn't even count the fact that Robles could play either position. How many options do you really need at SS? Right now we have Furcal, Martinez, Robles, Nomar, and Izturis (starting in May). It seems excessive to fill your lineup / bench with 4 deep middle infielders. But they're all "gritty" and "proven" and "veterans", so we'll see how it works out. I'm expecting a 2003 repeat this year.
    2006-03-27 09:16:44
    16.   D4P
    I'm expecting a 2003 repeat this year.

    Hitting wise, pitching wise, or both?

    2006-03-27 09:17:48
    17.   Jon Weisman
    By the way, doesn't anyone else find it hard to believe that Robles couldn't play first base in an emergency?
    2006-03-27 09:25:27
    18.   Eric L
    17 My guess is that nearly anyone can play first base in an emergency (except Mike Piazza). They may not play it well, but filling in for a few innings here or there isn't going to hurt the team much.
    2006-03-27 09:36:09
    19.   Bob Timmermann
    I guess the Dodgers need a "natural" first baseman.
    2006-03-27 09:39:14
    20.   Kayaker7
    Before Bob points this out, I want to note that Nixon "threw," not "through." :)
    2006-03-27 09:45:52
    21.   Jon Weisman
    20 - Bob knows how embarrassed I am by errors and that I like them e-mailed to me. But thanks - that was a bad one.

    Further musings about the bench situation in a small update up top.

    2006-03-27 09:52:57
    22.   Purple Hippopotamus
    The Dodgers just reassigned Wunsch and sent Hamulack, Houlton, and Broxton to Triple-A.

    2006-03-27 10:02:12
    23.   Eric L
    22 I certainly hope this isn't an indication that Sele will remain with the team.

    Houlton wasn't very good last year, but I can't see Sele being any better than him at this point in time. They both stunk up the joint in the same fashion last season.

    Of course, Sele hasn't been very good since 2001. His ERA+s since then have been 89,74,91,76.

    2006-03-27 10:03:56
    24.   Jon Weisman
    22 - Thanks. I'll do an update up top as well.
    2006-03-27 10:07:05
    25.   OaklandAs
    12 I'm not sure what criteria you are using to say that Ledee/Saenz are among the best 1/2 bench combo in baseball. Just looking at the NL West, I think the Dodgers bench is weaker than the Giants (Mark Sweeney/Steve Finley/Todd Linden/Jason Ellison), Padres (Termel Sledge/Adrian Gonzalez/Eric Young/Mark Bellhorn), and D-Backs (Tony Clark/Jeff DaVanon/Scott Hairston/Damion Easley).
    2006-03-27 10:09:34
    26.   OaklandAs
    22 Sending down Wunsch and Hamulack means that Kuo has made the team, and Osoria has a spot too.
    2006-03-27 10:12:10
    27.   Marty
    Is it safe for Sopranos talk? Nice Godfather II reference by AJ last night.
    2006-03-27 10:12:16
    28.   screwballin
    OK, I'll take the bait, bluetahoe. Using BP's depth charts, we find:

    Red Sox bench
    Lowell or Youkilis
    Wily Mo Pena
    Adam Stern
    Dustin Pedroia
    JT Snow

    Their top two of probably Youkilis and Pena are WAY better than ours, I would say.

    Cleveland also jumps out at me:

    Jason DuBois
    Franklin Gutierrez
    Andy Marte
    Eddie Perez
    Jose Hernandez

    I think either of those benches will kick our bench's butt. Including their top two against ours.

    2006-03-27 10:12:41
    29.   Jon Weisman
    27 - Yes, it's safe.
    2006-03-27 10:14:47
    30.   tjshere
    22 Thanks for the link. I'm totally mystified by these moves. I thought sure Wunsch was going to be our Loogy again. Now it appears that we'll be without one all. And if they're wanting a long reliever, wouldn't Houlton be a better choice than either Sele or Meadows? At least he figures to get better.

    What, exactly, does "reassigned" mean?

    2006-03-27 10:14:49
    31.   Bob Timmermann

    Yes, ... it's safe...

    2006-03-27 10:16:43
    32.   Bob Timmermann
    Wunsch will likely be given the chance to go to minor league camp.

    He likely can turn that down and become a free agent.

    I'm feeling likely today.

    2006-03-27 10:16:56
    33.   Eric L
    29 I think I'll go downstairs and watch it now..
    2006-03-27 10:19:47
    34.   Marty
    Nice Marathon Man reference by Bob!
    2006-03-27 10:24:24
    35.   Bob Timmermann

    That was a movie?

    Man, I'm going to be really ticked off at my dentist.

    2006-03-27 10:24:48
    36.   Marty
    Paulie Walnuts stole last night's show.
    2006-03-27 10:31:31
    37.   underdog
    Speaking of bench power, Saenz just homered of Trachsel in grapefruit game vs. Mets.

    28 Has Gutierrez definitely made the Indians opening day roster? I'd initially heard he may start in minors because he regressed slightly last year, but could be wrong.

    I found none of the pitching moves today surprising, with the possible exception of deciding long reliever role - or at least, deciding against Houlton already. Frankly, I can't really choose between he, Sele, and Meadows, as they've all been erratic this spring. The only other possibility is that none of them make it and Brazoban claims the final spot. But then they really wouldn't have a legit long reliever except for Seo when they're not in a 5 man rotation...

    Anyway, whatever happens, I wouldn't expect it to be the way it will stand a few months later.

    2006-03-27 10:35:26
    38.   Jon Weisman
    I think there will be changes both to the Opening Day bullpen and the bench by the end of April at the latest.
    2006-03-27 10:38:05
    39.   the OZ
    While thinking about whether Sele will/should make the team, I wonder if GMs generally like bringing marginal high-risk pitchers on board just so they seem like geniuses if it pans out. There's nothing to lose for the GM if the pitcher is terrible since they were expected to be bad. However, if a guy like Sele or Erickson or Kenny Rogers pitches decently for the first part of the season, local and national writers may pick up on the story about a savvy GM that scooped up a solid pitcher off of the scrap heap. Then the pitcher predectably craters, but by that point nobody cares and the praise sticks.

    I wonder how often GMs are influenced by psychological incentives like that, and not just baseball logic. Same thing when CEOs push bad mergers (Fiorina and HP/Compaq come to mind) even though they work out terribly for the acquirer 75% of the time.

    2006-03-27 10:46:14
    40.   screwballin
    37 Those Depth Charts are updated regularly, but I'm sure there are still some positions up in the air.
    2006-03-27 10:47:41
    41.   regfairfield
    39 The team losing games is the consequence of bringing in a high risk player.

    In one of his columns Rob Neyer exmained the A's bringing in Karros in 2004. He was atrocious in 100 some at bats and they lost the division by one game. Had they used pretty much anyone else, the A's would have won the division. There's your risk.

    2006-03-27 10:58:16
    42.   underdog

    Yes, and I almost typed "I wouldn't expect it to be the way it will stand a few minutes later." [g]

    2006-03-27 11:03:39
    43.   screwballin
    42 I'm sure most teams still have unsettled questions about their bench. Even the Dodgers might look at what they've got, and, after the vomiting subsides, seriously start looking for other options.
    2006-03-27 11:03:55
    44.   MartinBillingsley31
    Awesome news that both kuo and osoria made it.
    Grady little could make games a 5 inning contest with osoria 6th kuo 7th baez 8th gagne 9th.
    Or 6 innings with 1 of the guys getting a day off and rotating it.
    4 VERY SOLID RELIEVERS, i'm liking the bullpen, but lets hope grady relies on kuo and osoria to get to baez and gagne, instead of relying on whoever the other 2 relievers are (carter and ?).
    2006-03-27 11:04:16
    45.   Inside Baseball
    Jon, I think you're right on the mark with your extension on the decision to keep Martinez over Robles to a possible decision on Guzman. It seems to me that they are heading in this direction with Guzman breaking with the club. At first he'll platoon with Cruz and play when Lofton is rested, then take over full-time if he doesn't look overwhelmed. I think they may be delaying the announcement to lower the expectations and pressure placed on him. I would be very excited about this occuring even though if I'm being objective, I know it's best to give Guzman more seasoning in the minors.
    2006-03-27 11:12:08
    46.   MartinBillingsley31
    If guzman can tear up AAA in the begining of the season, maybe he will get called up and move hopefully lofton but probably cruz to the bench and repko off the team.
    That bench that we are starting with is horrible.

    Guzman is definately the wild card.

    I wish billingsley had a chance to join the team sometime this season and move tomko to the pen as the long reliever with the awesome 4 (gagne baez kuo osoria) and carter/brazo.

    As much as i don't like tomko, i'll take him over meadows or sele or houlton.

    2006-03-27 11:13:06
    47.   Fearing Blue
    #16: Both. I like the pitching staff.
    2006-03-27 11:19:14
    48.   underdog
    Speaking of Tomko, maybe he's the extra power the bench needs:

    He just homered off Steve Trachsel.

    2006-03-27 11:21:39
    49.   Marty
    If Choi is Ortiz.2, who's to say Tomko isn't Ruth.2 :)
    2006-03-27 11:24:13
    50.   ToyCannon
    Couldn't help myself. I'm now the proud sponser of our own JtD at the cube.

    I love the fact that were going with Kuo and Osoria and that they have stated they will use Kuo against all comers. If they use him like the Twins used Santana in 2003 he is going to be very usefull if he holds up. Broxton needs work and I'm glad he's going to AAA. Guzman needs to go to AAA and get some at bats while we see which Cruz shows up. If it is the Dodger Cruz then we will be more then happy to play him in LF, if it is the Arizona Cruz then he quickly will find himself out of the lineup and replaced by Guzman or Ethier. Don't forget Werth when talking about the bench. He would add some nice punch if they rehabbed his wrist correctly this time. Not that I'm counting on him, just don't forget him.
    The bench does lack pop but this will change and the most important thing will be what our team looks like come July. I'm not happy that both Ramon and Robles are on the bench but with Izzy coming around faster then anyone expected that will change quickly. A nice package deal of Izzy/Broxton/Navarro or Martin could bring back quite a bit.

    Why would you not trade some prospects this year if the team is in contention? This isn't the Evans era where we had no prospects to deal above A ball except for EJ. If teams want to give us some dynamite during the summer for the likes of Broxton I'm all for it. The purpose of playing is to win not to accumulate the most prospects. Some will say that we are not a championship club and we shouldn't risk the future for the present. They would be wrong, this team is going to win. I was worried about JD and his surgeries but he's put those to rest for me and I'm expecting one of his best seasons which will make us a dangerous team. By August the combo of Kent/Drew/Furcal/Nomar/Mueller and the killer bullpen along with the youth infusion will propel this team to the West title. Our starting pitching is average but no one in the NL has great pitching and 1-5 were okay with no huge hole and help is just several hundred miles away. Our bullpen will make up the difference. My prediction is 91 wins but the team will be better in Aug/Sept thus making a run at the National championship a real possibility. JMO

    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2006-03-27 11:25:37
    51.   Eric L
    49 Well...

    Ruth was actually a better than average pitcher. I wonder what his gut told him?

    2006-03-27 11:28:39
    52.   underdog
    49 Or JeffWeaver.2.0 [g] Though I'm optimistic he'll actually be better, much to my own surprise.

    50 Wow, a hopeful post about the upcoming season! A trend, or an anomaly? I like it!

    2006-03-27 11:38:23
    53.   Bob Timmermann
    Tomko won't be JeffWeaver 2.0 until he starts giving up home runs to AL pitchers.
    2006-03-27 11:43:12
    54.   Fallout
    I think that they kept Martinez over Robles because of the history between Martinez and
    Colletti...(something Steve mentioned a month ago)

    But, where I do disagree with Steve is that good middle relief is important. If it is exceptional it can do what MartinBillingsley31 said at 44 but I wouldn't count on that happening very often.
    If Paul Shuey stayed healthy when the Dodgers had Mota and Gagne that was efectively a 6 inning game. Throw in Alverez and Quantrill and you have a great bullpen and a chance to win every game.

    2006-03-27 11:48:40
    55.   regfairfield
    54 To quote Jon: "You need good middle relief to make the playoffs, but you can't plan for good middle relief."
    2006-03-27 11:52:26
    56.   Brendan
    is Broxton going back to starting in the minors? Not a real big need for him as a reliever on the big club(IMO) so I hope he will.
    2006-03-27 11:53:33
    57.   Eric L
    56 Jon's update seems to indicate that Broxton will be the closer in Vegas.
    2006-03-27 11:57:29
    58.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
    Isn't there a clever roster trick in which, if JtD spends April in Vegas, his service clock starts a month later, meaning he isn't eligible for arbitration and free agency for a year later than if he breaks camp with the big club?
    I recall BPro mentioning it as a way small-budget teams can maximize their talent base.
    2006-03-27 11:59:19
    59.   Jon Weisman
    58 - Yeah, that's probably a consideration.
    2006-03-27 12:07:56
    60.   Jon Weisman
    Repko is 4 for 4 today.
    2006-03-27 12:09:21
    61.   Jon Weisman
    The board posted this Gameday link:

    It's the middle of the sixth, and the Dodgers have 13 hits and six walks.

    2006-03-27 12:10:19
    62.   Jon Weisman
    And ... Robles has moved over to play first base.
    2006-03-27 12:11:16
    63.   Brendan

    see what happens when you skim?thanks

    2006-03-27 12:26:45
    64.   bluetahoe
    With Baez being Baez and with Carter being unhittable thus far, is it too early to say Ned pulled a fast one on the Rays GM?

    I thought the trade was good when it happened, now I'm upgrading it to great!

    2006-03-27 12:30:22
    65.   GoBears
    64. Yes. It's way too early. First off, ignore ST stats. They are nigh on meaningless. Not only because of small samples, but also because they are not a true reflection of real games. Different and varied levels of talent, different goals (working on stuff, not winning) for some players, teams. Just meaningless, other than, perhaps to see if someone is healthy.

    Second, you can't evaluate a trade that involves prospects until you see how the prospects pan out. This may well turn out to be a good trade for the Dodgers, but if it does, it won't be because Baez and Carter surprised anyone. It will be because Jackson and Tiffany ended up as flops. And for that, it's way too early to tell.

    2006-03-27 12:34:23
    66.   MartinBillingsley31

    Basically what 65 said.
    Plus i'll add that baez is only signed for 1 year, and that starting pitching is way more valuable than relief pitching, and that carter's peripheral stats aren't that great, h/9 and w/9 are good but hr/9 and k/9 aren't.

    2006-03-27 12:36:17
    67.   bluetahoe
    Good points gobears, but one thing I want to add. If a team trades prospects for vets and those vets help the team win a WS title, I think you have to call that trade a success, even if the prospects you traded away go on and become perennial all stars in the future.
    2006-03-27 12:37:19
    68.   regfairfield
    64 How on Earth is Baez being Baez a good thing? Guys who strike out six per nine with 2:1 K/BB ratios aren't exactly a valued commodity. (Well, maybe they are as long as people keep trading Jason Michaels for Arthur Rhodes.)
    2006-03-27 12:38:28
    69.   MartinBillingsley31

    If a team trades prospects for vets and those vets help the team win a WS title

    But does anyone think the dodgers have a shot at a world series title this season?
    I don't.

    2006-03-27 12:39:56
    70.   Jeromy
    Thanks, Jon, for the link to Gameday. I've been itching to follow a game this Spring.

    Interesting inning for Brazoban. 2 outs with only one pitch each. 1 4-pitch walk to Milledge. Then, he overpowers (?) Self into a 3-pitch strikeout.

    It makes you wonder what he was trying to do with Milledge.

    2006-03-27 12:40:50
    71.   bluetahoe
    I can almost see Edwin Jackson being another Jaret Wright. Great, toils from organization to organization as a mediocre pitcher, something 'clicks' and he puts it all back together in one season.
    2006-03-27 12:42:04
    72.   regfairfield
    69 So long as you have a shot at the playoffs (which the Dodgers clearly do, even if it is by default) you have a shot at the World Series. Granted, it's a long shot, probably 5%, but it's still a shot. However, Baez and Carter don't contribute to this in any meaningful way.
    2006-03-27 12:42:43
    73.   Jeromy
    Who is Cole Bruce?
    2006-03-27 12:43:13
    74.   regfairfield
    71 I'll trade Baez and Carter for a mediocre pitcher who makes the league minimum any day.
    2006-03-27 12:44:03
    75.   Bob Timmermann
    Cole Bruce is a man who is cursing his parents for reversing his first name and surname.
    2006-03-27 12:45:30
    76.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
    69 - I don't recall the White Sox being high on anyone's list of WS contenders a year ago.
    2006-03-27 12:46:21
    77.   Eric L
    71 To be fair to JW, injuries played more of a factor in his mediocrity than anything else.

    Edwin may have injury problems as well, but I don't see any comparison between the two of them at this point.

    2006-03-27 12:47:09
    78.   bluetahoe
    Now now MB. There you go being a negative nelly again. There's no reason not to expect us to win the division, and once you get to the playoffs it can be a crap shoot.
    2006-03-27 12:47:26
    79.   MartinBillingsley31

    I don't recall the White Sox being high on anyone's list of WS contenders a year ago.

    3 words, dominant starting pitching.

    2006-03-27 12:52:01
    80.   MartinBillingsley31

    There's no reason not to expect us to win the division

    I totally agree 100%.

    and once you get to the playoffs it can be a crap shoot

    I disagree, and get alot of responses from disagreeing with this.

    2006-03-27 12:52:42
    81.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
    79 - Thanks for explaining how the White Sox won.
    But the point was, in the preseason very few expected the White Sox to contend, dominant starting pitching or not.
    2006-03-27 12:55:42
    82.   Jeromy
    Rough inning for old friend Duaner Sanchez against some names who won't start the season with the ballclub: Borders, Rohan, Raglani, Ruggiano, Cole Bruce, and Cody Ross.
    2006-03-27 13:00:49
    83.   Bob Timmermann
    Prior to the 2005 season, most people expected Minnesota to win the AL Central because it was felt that its pitching was better than Chicago's. The White Sox were considered to be a team full of rifts caused by Guillen's mouth. There were doubts about whether Frank Thomas would play. There were also doubts about whether the team would create enough offense since Konerko had been off in 2004.

    The bullpen for the White Sox was a big question mark coming into the 2005 season. In a sense, it still is.

    2006-03-27 13:06:26
    84.   Eric L
    81 Other than the White Sox seemingly coming out of nowhere to win the WS, what does it currently have to do with the Dodgers? Are the teams constructed in a similar fashion?
    2006-03-27 13:09:36
    85.   blue22
    I'm not sure you would've had consensus going into last year that the ChiSox had "dominating starting pitching". Buehrle is good, but Contreras had been all over the place, Garland hadn't done anything (and many people think his last year was "fluky"), Freddy Garcia is not the same pitcher he was in his first two or three seasons in Seattle, and El Duque is 175 years old.

    Strange things happen once the season starts. It just takes Odalis or Seo having a Garland-like breakthrough (which I guess means pitching fortunate enough to win your first 13 starts or so without being overly dominant).

    2006-03-27 13:13:49
    86.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
    84 - Read 69 and 76.
    The point is, in the preseason it's usually pointless to make sweeping declarations of a team's chances or lack thereof.
    2006-03-27 13:17:18
    87.   Eric L
    86 You are certainly correct on that point.

    Can we say that it is highly unlikely that the Dodgers are a WS team at this point?

    2006-03-27 13:18:09
    88.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
    2004 W-L and ERA+ for the White Sox's top 2005 starters
    Buehrle: 16-10, 126+
    Garcia: 13-11, 121+
    Contreras: 13-9, 85+
    Garland: 12-11, 100+
    Hernandez: 8-2 136+ but in 84-2/3 innings. This was the fourth straight season he hadn't reached 162 IP.
    2006-03-27 13:21:03
    89.   blue22
    69/87 - 69 - Who are your favorites in the NL this year then? I think its a down year for the league as a whole.

    The easy one is StL, but I think their starting pitching is shaky, especially if Mulder continues his downward trend. They are also facing the same type of old, injury prone lineup that LA may be facing. Differences would be Carpenter at the front of the rotation and Pujols in the 3-spot in the order. Those two can cover a lot of weaknesses, but this isn't the 2004 Cardinals.

    2006-03-27 13:22:19
    90.   GoBears
    Leaving aside the question of whether the Dodgers are WS contenders this year (I don't think so), I'll answer bt's question in 67 by saying, "it depends." It's not obvious to me that a WS win surrounded by mediocre years (because of a short-term strategy) is better than a perennially good team that might or might not win it all. For the GM, of course it's better to win a WS at least once. For me, I'm not sure. I think I'd rather be a Braves fan than a Marlins fan, even if Atlanta's only won a single WS.

    There's no right answer here - it's a matter of taste. So, EVEN if Baez and Carter contribute this year to a WS champion, and we agree that Tiffany and Jackson could not have contributed this year, it's still not necessarily a good trade to me.

    Now, add in the low likelihood that Baez and Carter contribute much at all to the high likelihood that even if they do, this team is not a contender, and I like the trade even less.

    But, sorta like the HSC dump, the trade doesn't bother me so much for the principals involved as it does for the principles, as it were. It reveals something about Colletti's preferences that I find disagreeable.

    2006-03-27 13:23:25
    91.   Jon Weisman
    Going back to 64, Garciaparra is 10 for 48 with one walk and no homers. Lofton is 5 for 37 with one walk and no extra-base hits. Is it too early to say these free agent signings by Colletti are flops?

    Yes. Ignore Spring Training stats, period. Whatever conclusions one draws, these stats have no value at all.

    2006-03-27 13:28:40
    92.   blue22
    90 - So, EVEN if Baez and Carter contribute this year to a WS champion, and we agree that Tiffany and Jackson could not have contributed this year, it's still not necessarily a good trade to me.

    I could agree with you in certain extreme situations, like when the kid goes on to become a HOFer and icon for a new team (Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz comes to mind), but if Baez and Carter play vital roles for LA this year, leading to a WS title, I'm giving Ned a pat on the back on that trade.

    2006-03-27 13:32:32
    93.   screwballin
    BP had an article addressing why everyone missed the boat on the White Sox, and their conclusion was that dominant DEFENSE (which helped all of the starting pitchers' ERAs, of course) was a big factor.
    2006-03-27 13:32:37
    94.   Jon Weisman
    I tend to agree with 92. I was against the trade and tend to doubt that Baez and Carter will play vital roles, but I'm keeping an open mind.

    Put it this way - if Delino DeShields had helped the Dodgers to a 1993 World Series title, our memories of the trade would be much less bitter. We'd probably still regret it, but it'd be a whole different story.

    I don't think Edwin Jackson is Pedro Martinez, but at the same time, I'm not sure Danys Baez is even Delino DeShields.

    2006-03-27 13:33:04
    95.   Humma Kavula
    92 I agree. It depends.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but: even if Buckner makes the play, Jeff Bagwell-for-Larry Andersen is still a bad trade.

    2006-03-27 13:36:05
    96.   blue22
    I should note that, yes the '87 Tigers didn't win a WS, but Doyle went 9-0 for them, a major contributor down the stretch to their 98 wins.

    They were WS faves, until Kirby and Frank Viola had other ideas.

    2006-03-27 13:37:31
    97.   Humma Kavula
    Wait, I'm an idiot.
    2006-03-27 13:38:37
    98.   blue22
    95 - Ha! Ask RedSox Nation that...especially if you were to ask pre-2004.

    And Larry Andersen didn't exactly play a vital role for them (did he?).

    2006-03-27 13:39:01
    99.   blue22
    97 - Wait. So am I. ;-)
    2006-03-27 13:41:46
    100.   Marty
    Well, we're all idiots on this bus from time to time :)
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2006-03-27 13:47:28
    101.   GoBears
    Yeah, I see the BoSox, ChiSox, even the Angels, as slightly different cases. When fans are at the point where they'll sell their souls for a championship, then by all means, go for it.

    I didn't say my way of thinking was the right one - I think it's a matter of taste. I prefer a team that's almost always in the playoff mix to one that usually stinks but puts together a single championship season.

    Now, one might say that the Dodgers are looking more and more like the BoSox/ChiSox/Angels every year. 1988 was a long time ago (longer for those of you who are younger than, say, 30). So I can see why a "prospects schmospects, let's win this year" attitude might gain some traction.

    So now, try to explain to me why Baez and Carter help toward that goal.

    2006-03-27 13:49:54
    102.   MartinBillingsley31

    I have the same taste as you.

    2006-03-27 13:55:11
    103.   blue22
    explain to me why Baez and Carter help toward that goal.

    Not why, if. :-)

    2006-03-27 13:57:57
    104.   D4P
    So now, try to explain to me why Baez and Carter help toward that goal.

    Well, between Baez's 40 saves and Gagne's 40 saves, that's 80 easy wins right there...!

    2006-03-27 13:58:11
    105.   Bob Timmermann
    Since the Bagwell for Andersen trade was in 1990, Bill Buckner's fielding problems in the 1986 World Series are not germane.
    2006-03-27 14:06:14
    106.   blue22
    105 - The self-proclaimed idiots here thank you for the clarification, Bob.
    2006-03-27 14:08:13
    107.   Bob Timmermann
    Remember that I wasn't laughing at you. Just toward your general direction.
    2006-03-27 14:09:31
    108.   Kayaker7
    Choi just had the game winning RBI for the Red Sox...via a BB. :)
    2006-03-27 14:09:40
    109.   Jon Weisman
    106 - Yes, I believe 105 gets 15 yards for piling on.

    But by the way, it means 95 and 98 are completely accurate.

    2006-03-27 14:12:59
    110.   blue22
    I prefer laughing over what the French soldier from Monty Python/Holy Grail was doing in my general direction.
    2006-03-27 14:13:55
    111.   Jon Weisman
    Most trivial trivia question of the day/week/month/year:

    If you a traded from a Grapefruit League team to a Cactus League team, do your former Spring Training stats carry over to combine with your new Spring Training stats?

    2006-03-27 14:14:13
    112.   dsfan
    I'll keep an open mind on Martinez, but he sure appeared washed up the last two years. That's why I figure someone else had to get hurt for him to make the team.
    2006-03-27 14:15:18
    113.   Bob Timmermann
    I apologize. I really didn't see the earlier corrections.

    Pedantry is a demanding mistress to serve.

    2006-03-27 14:16:24
    114.   Jon Weisman
    113 - No need to apologize - the whole thing was quite funny.
    2006-03-27 14:18:26
    115.   D4P
    I'll keep an open mind on Martinez, but he sure appeared washed up the last two years.

    I don't think Martinez was ever the opposite of washed up (dirty down?).

    2006-03-27 14:24:14
    116.   Eric L
    111 Can we count Jae Seo's WBC stats for spring training stats? They are both equally useless.
    2006-03-27 14:35:35
    117.   Andrew Shimmin
    I've got a pair of six year old work boots that I bought at Target for twenty bucks. If Danys Baez is the difference between winning, or not, a WS this year, I'll eat them. Publically if there's any interest expressed. Any reasonable metric which demonstrates that Baez (heck, I'll throw Carter in, too) was likely the difference will suffice.
    2006-03-27 14:52:51
    118.   dsfan
    I'm not enthralled with middle relievers as a rule or Baez/Carter in particular.

    But sometimes it pays off to invest a little more than you'd like in such a player.

    The 2003 Marlins are an example. Lampooning the likes of Fox, Looper and, to a lesser extent, Urbina, was easily done -- but they were critical to the team's wild-card berth and World Series title.

    Obtained in a sellers market for closer, Baez was a hedge against Gagne's elbow. You could have sat out that market and gone with Broxton. Maybe he's the next Jenks. Maybe not. For me, Baez's closing experience has some value. I fully understand the criticism of the trade, and the proofs that middle relievers are fungible. But I think there can be more value gleaned in some instances. Maybe this will be one of them -- and that's not a World Series prediction.

    2006-03-27 15:03:11
    119.   D4P
    The problem with this quasi-experiment arises from generating a reasonable counterfactual.
    2006-03-27 15:06:08
    120.   natepurcell
    but baez's shortarm throwing motion is like a T-rex trying to throw a baseball :(
    2006-03-27 15:06:45
    121.   GoBears
    118. I agree that one added reason to get Baez was as Gagne insurance. And if one or the other gets traded during or after this season, then I'll believe that Colletti actually had that reason in mind.

    But insofar as I believe that "closer" is a social construct - a myth invented by the false prophet LaRussa, and passed down like so many other myths, I don't believe that it makes a dime's worth of difference in which inning a reliever plies his trade - the question is whether the difference between reliever A and reliver B is worth trading starter prosects for.

    That is, closer or not, let's just agree that Gagne is the best pitcher in the bullpen (if he's recovered). Is Baez better than the replacement arm (Sanchez? Broxton? Kuo? Osoria?) and even if he is, is the difference bigger than the difference between Jackson/Tiffany and Houlton/whomever?

    It's not that middle relief doesn't matter. If it stinks, you never use your "closer." It's that the group of guys shoved into that role are pretty indistinguishable. And not worth wasting valuable aspects in trade.

    Or something like that.

    2006-03-27 15:14:33
    122.   D4P
    Which of the following statements is true:

    1. All pitchers would become indistinguishable if shoved into middle relief

    2. Those pitchers who end up being shoved into middle relief are those who are not good enough to be starters/closers, and thus are already relatively indistinguishable before entering middle relief.

    2006-03-27 15:17:58
    123.   Jon Weisman
    122 -

    2) is closer. I think I could spot Pedro Martinez in middle relief. (Besides 1991, a certain 7-inning no-hit relief performance in the postseason comes to mind, unless my memory is playing tricks on me.)

    I think the biggest common characteristic about pitchers who end up in middle relief is that they are inconsistent pitchers. It's not that they're always mediocre, it's that they're sometimes great and sometimes awful.

    That's why it's so hard to plan ahead for great middle relief. It's not that middle relief doesn't matter; it's just an easy spot where expensive spending can go awry.

    2006-03-27 15:18:10
    124.   Andrew Shimmin
    119- You think I'm volunteering to eat my old boots without knowing that I won't have to? What am I, crazy?
    2006-03-27 15:21:50
    125.   Blu2
    Post 111 is missing a verb...
    2006-03-27 15:23:17
    126.   D4P
    I think the biggest common characteristic about pitchers who end up in middle relief is that they are inconsistent pitchers. It's not that they're always mediocre, it's that they're sometimes great and sometimes awful.

    Is this really so different from other pitchers? I'm not doubting you, just wondering if there are some stats that show that starters and closers are more consistent than middle relievers.

    2006-03-27 15:24:46
    127.   Jon Weisman
    What a year for Wayne State's Jon Weisman. He was just named GLIAC Player of the Week. And he is OPSing 1.181!

    2006-03-27 15:26:36
    128.   blue22
    126 - just wondering if there are some stats that show that starters and closers are more consistent than middle relievers.

    Is "average salary" a stat?

    2006-03-27 15:28:45
    129.   Daniel Zappala
    125 Not if you read it with a Boston accent.
    2006-03-27 15:31:18
    130.   Jon Weisman
    126 - I guess I can't answer that.

    As far as closers go - I'm not getting into the role itself. I agree with those who bristle at how closers are often wasted. Baseball today tends to use its best relievers in the ninth inning, even when that's not always the crucial evening. Nothing I can do about that.

    But as far as starting pitchers go, putting aside that some people might be miscast in their roles, I just have to suspect that a starter who was moved to middle relief would be more consistently great, and a middle reliever converted to starting would be more consistently bad.

    But no, I don't have stats to back up the assertion, so take it for what you will.

    2006-03-27 15:31:58
    131.   Jon Weisman
    125 - Just two-thirds of a verb.
    2006-03-27 15:36:50
    132.   King of the Hobos
    Anyone catch this in today's Gurnick mailbag?

    The Dodgers lost Hee-Seop Choi on waivers. Couldn't they at least have gotten a player in return?
    -- Chris L., Monterey Park, Calif.

    The only player the Red Sox were willing to trade for Choi was believed to be Tony Graffanino. With Ramon Martinez, Robles and Willy Aybar fighting for utility jobs, the last thing the Dodgers needed was another one, especially one with a $2.05 million salary.

    2006-03-27 15:40:17
    133.   das411
    132 - Once again, thank you Jim Tracy. what are all of these "protests" going on in LA these days?

    2006-03-27 15:40:25
    134.   D4P
    What if that "another one" was also a "better one"?
    2006-03-27 15:41:03
    135.   dzzrtRatt
    Have you already linked to this week's LA Business Journal piece on Frank McCourt?

    Not much news. It continues McCourt's "rectifying mistakes" theme-of-the-week.

    McCourt thinks the ballpark renovation is key to his goal of 4 million attendance. I think he's wrong. That's only going to happen if the team regains the cachet it has only had during Fernandomania, and perhaps during the Koufax/Drysdale years.

    It's nice he's repainting the ballpark and buying new seats, but those issues have never deterred fans, nor lured them. Old Comiskey this was not.

    I do think, however, that he does have one practical obstacle: Parking. Specifically the difficulty of getting to and leaving a sold-out game. 4 million fans equals a lot more sellouts, equals a lot more people taking the Yogi Berra route -- "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." McCourt needs to work out something with the city to build a dedicated shuttleway that will get more fans into the stadium without cars, similar to what the city does with LAX. It's too easy now to say screw it, I'll watch it on TV. The driving experience does deter my attendance.

    2006-03-27 15:46:02
    136.   ElysianPark62
    Re: #28, Jose Hernandez is no longer an Indian. He's been reunited with Jim Tracy. And Franklin Gutierrez was sent to the minors this weekend. But I would certainly agree that the Dodgers' bench is concerning.
    2006-03-27 15:46:04
    137.   Strike4
    113- I didn't find your info showy at all. Us AA-level DT'ers sometimes benefit from background data, with apologies to the site's aficionados.
    2006-03-27 15:46:54
    138.   Marty
    133 Protests against an anti-immigration bill in Congress. I almost got caught in the one today. A bunch of high-schoolers, came streaming out of the subway exit where I was waiting for a light to change. It looked like they were enjoying missing class more than protesting.
    2006-03-27 15:47:49
    139.   Eric L
    135 Once I am out of the parking lot and "safely" on the freeway, I can make it home in about an hour (live in the IE). I don't mind getting home at about 11 or so on a weeknight. Chances are, I'm going to be up anyways.

    It's a different story when the lot is jammed. There have been a couple of times that I've made it home closer to 1am. I'm a night owl, but even that is a bit much.

    2006-03-27 15:54:45
    140.   tjshere
    With a fairly deep bullpen and the closer and set-up man roles already well defined with Gagne and Baez, it seems like this would be a good time to try out Kuo in a "smoke jumper" role rather than simply committing him to pitch the 7th inning. I think the smoke jumper has a lot of merit and with Kuo's effectiveness against both left- and right-handers he seems like a logic choice for the job. Carter or Orsoria can always pitch the 7th if need be.

    I wish I could remember who came up with the smoke jumper idea last year. Kudos to you, whoever you are.

    2006-03-27 15:55:56
    141.   Marty
    Ratt is right. There has got to be a shuttle service implemented, and from more sites than just Union Station. Frank loses parking revenue at the stadium, but I'd like to think they could work out deal to share revenue from parking at the remote sites and/or shuttle service fees. I'd be happy to pay parking or shuttle fees if it meant I can get home quicker.
    2006-03-27 15:58:26
    142.   GoBears
    135 I agree. 4 million means roughly 50,000 every night. No way.

    Another deterrent to braving the sellouts: On TV, you get to listen to Vin Scully. That's not going to be true forever. At this point, I figure I have a lot more chances to see games in person than I have to listen to Vinny, so other things equal, I'll pull up a chair at home.

    Plus: sellout crowds (we know from giveaway days) are qualitatively different from smaller "hard core" crowds, and not in a good way.

    Plus plus: I'm not giving McCourt any money this year. At least that's the plan in March.

    2006-03-27 16:05:27
    143.   Jon Weisman
    140 - I want to say it was me ...

    ... although I mention it there only in passing.

    2006-03-27 16:06:12
    144.   Bob Timmermann
    The Dodgers didn't run the shuttle from Union Station last year.

    I don't think there are plans to restore it this year either.

    But you can still take the Metro bus and wait around on Sunset.

    2006-03-27 16:08:59
    145.   LAT
    Would you pay $50 bucks (the cost of valet parking at a Laker game) to park in Lot 1 (closest to the field level entrance) and have a dedicated lane just for you and your rich friends to egress in and out of the Stadium?

    I wouldn't do it often but I would on a sold out Sat night. Especially if I was with friends. I would make all of us kick in $13 each. Sitting in traffic for 1-2 hours would ruin the entire night.

    2006-03-27 16:09:13
    146.   ToyCannon
    Current odds have the Dodgers the favorite to win the NL West at 6/5. Giants are 2nd at 9/5.

    Season win total over/under is 85.

    I think last year it was 81 and I thought it was a gimme. After we started 12-2 I thought it was a lock. I wish I had my house back:)

    2006-03-27 16:12:07
    147.   dzzrtRatt
    What I'm talking about would be a lot more ambitious than just having a bus at Union Station. One of the ingress/egress points needs to have a dedicated lane just for the buses. The buses have to be able to come from different areas of the Dodger market -- not just downtown, but WLA, South Bay, Valley, Glendale/Burbank, Pasadena, San Gabriel Valley so that the parking for 50,000 fans is more distributed. You could charge people exactly what you charge them to park at the Stadium. Even more, perhaps, because of the time saved. Plus the buses should be part of the "Total Fan Experience" (ah yes!) Videos playing, Dodger Dogs, Nerf balls, programs free for everyone, etc.
    2006-03-27 16:12:12
    148.   Jon Weisman
    Look: There's anti-Choi media in Korea:

    2006-03-27 16:15:41
    149.   tjshere
    143 - Whoops. Sorry, boss. I plead old age.
    2006-03-27 16:18:21
    150.   Jon Weisman
    149 - Don't worry - I'm still not 100 percent sure myself. I was hoping Bob would step in to answer.
    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2006-03-27 16:21:32
    151.   ToyCannon
    You should send your idea to McCourt. I was pleasantly surprised with action on an email I sent to him last year.

    You have a good idea and if implemented correctly would enhance the Dodger experience for many fans. With all the new parking lots created by the metro system they would have plenty of area's for park and ride programs throughout the city.

    2006-03-27 16:22:02
    152.   Bob Timmermann
    Bob needs a nap.
    2006-03-27 16:27:13
    153.   trainwreck
    Choi getting no love. Choi (much like I think Edwin Jackson) seems to be another person ruined by getting far too much advice. I think he has been told so many ways to do things that he is so fixed on the advice that it takes away from his natural ability.
    2006-03-27 16:27:17
    154.   Marty
    147 is what I was trying to get at, a whole network for getting people into and out of the stadium. The idea of making the shuttle part of the "experience" is good too, but I'd stop short of having beer concessions on the buses/trams.
    2006-03-27 16:29:50
    155.   Jon Weisman
    I'd sort of be interested in having the people of Dodger Thoughts craft the perfect public transport plan for Dodger Stadium - a plan that is bulletproof (I mean that figuratively, though literally would be nice too) - and presenting it for them to read.

    Right now, to sum up, what would you say are the key bullet points? What can we all agree on, and what is worth debating?

    2006-03-27 16:37:19
    156.   Kayaker7
    153 There is a fine line between being open to suggestions and listening too much to advice. I think Choi is too "coachable." Maybe his reply to Kim Inshik is a sign that he's beginning to man up. Ultimately, it's his career. Advice givers will gladly take credit when you do well, but when you don't, they never say that they gave bad advice.
    2006-03-27 16:40:00
    157.   LAT
    The answer is obvious, expensive and probably impracticle: subway.
    2006-03-27 16:45:35
    158.   GoBears
    158. I'd say light rail is considerably more likely. and buses even more so. Subways in LA, as we now know, are a really bad idea.
    2006-03-27 16:45:37
    159.   still bevens
    There's a dodger stadium stop on the map of the proposed metro system (estimated time of completion: 2999). Still always nice to dream.
    2006-03-27 16:50:22
    160.   dzzrtRatt
    First of all, McCourt has to establish a goal. Something like: From the moment you leave your seat, it should not take anyone more than xx minutes to leave the parking lot. A second goal would be: XX percent of arrivals be in vehicles that hold 10 or more passengers.

    Then he has to figure out, who's responsible? Is it all on the Dodgers to pay for? Or is the city and county such a beneficiary that they should subsidize part of the costs, and perhaps share in any revenues? Is this something that could be sponsored by a private company? What would the hook be? (One idea: Get BP to sponsor it, and have all the buses run on some kind of clean fuel that BP produces.)

    LAT suggests some kind of Ambassador Club pricing for parking. A dedicated lane for people willing to pay more, kind of like the FastPass on the 91. This could also be a perk for Season Ticket holders. I like it in (classical economic) theory, but LA is already too stratified by class.

    Instead, let the wealthy hire a comfy shuttle-limo that would qualify for the bus lane by holding 10 or more ticketholders. The entitlement should be given based on how many parking places your one vehicle saves, not how much money you're willing to pay Frank.

    Those are a few bullets.

    2006-03-27 16:51:57
    161.   MartinBillingsley31
    A nice writing about looking ahead to 2007 at dodger math.

    2006-03-27 16:53:29
    162.   MartinBillingsley31
    Adding to 161.

    What he said doesn't make me wanna look forward to 2007.
    There has to be better options than he pointed out.

    2006-03-27 16:54:06
    163.   bigcpa
    146 Last year's win line was 84. It moved to -130 after Bonds injury got worse. I got in on the over and was doing the same dance at 12-2.

    My pick of choice this year is Boston at over 90.5. I don't see how they're 5 wins worse than last year adding Beckett, a healthy(ier) Schilling and a vastly better bullpen.

    2006-03-27 16:54:52
    164.   ToyCannon
    It is easy to come up with suggestions but how to actually engineer the suggestions into a meaningfull action plan would take a blue print of the Dodger stadium parking lot system.
    1. Need a dedicated bus lane ala the Orange Line that the buses will use to take them out of the parking lot. To get people to use the bus it has be a more satisfying experience then driving.
    2. Park and Ride locations should be used that utilize the Orange/Blue/Red/Gold parking lots. Most of these lots will be emptying from the work day as Dodger fans use them for the game. This way you can either take mass transit to get to your Dodger bus or you can drive to your Dodger bus pickup location.
    3. Use Green buses. Keep the smell of diesal and gas to a minimum. Many people can't ride buses because of the fumes.
    4. Smoke free buses and smoke buses. Family buses and non family buses. You don't want to take your family on a bus full of Dodger drunks. Give riders options until you find out which buses aren't worth the effort.
    5. If you were to take mass transit the cost would be 3.00. I don't have the numbers to know at what point the buses can turn a profit or how much they might be willing to lose per bus so how much to charge for said service is just guesswork without any numbers to use as a guideline.
    Just a few thoughts.
    2006-03-27 16:56:08
    165.   bigcpa
    Darn Boston is now 91.5. Oakland 90 is tasty as well.
    2006-03-27 17:03:03
    166.   ToyCannon
    Boston has to many ? marks for me. The whole infield is a crapshoot.
    1st - Will Youklis hit enough to warrant playing 1st base.
    2nd - Loretta on the surface looks like an upgrade but you have to wonder why the Padres let him go so cheaply and was 2005 about what he's going to do the rest of his career. He's not young.
    SS - Alex Gonzeles is an improvement on defense over Renteria but even as bad as Renteria was offensively, Alex is no improvement.
    3b - Lowell??? He could just be done.
    RF - Nixon can never seem to stay healthy anymore which is why it was nice to pickup Wily Mo.
    CF - Crisp should equal Damon
    LF - Manny is Manny

    Given that Toront/Baltimore/Tampa are all improving the RedSox may not have as many gimmee games and while they have lots of pitching none of it scares anyone. They should win 90 games but I wouldn't bet on it. I'd bet the under on the Yankee's before I'd bet the over on the RedSox. The Yankee rotation is just bloody awful and the best hitters are just getting long in the tooth.

    2006-03-27 17:07:23
    167.   thinkingblue
    think the Dodgers bench is weaker than the Giants (Mark Sweeney/Steve Finley/Todd Linden/Jason Ellison), Padres (Termel Sledge/Adrian Gonzalez/Eric Young/Mark Bellhorn), and D-Backs (Tony Clark/Jeff DaVanon/Scott Hairston/Damion Easley). <<

    Steve Finley? LOL, Repko is better then him now. No, The dodgers bench is better for sure. Ledee and Saenz are better than any of those players.

    Strike out Bellhorn? LOL. No, we are definitely better than that bench, and we are better than the D'Backs when you get past Clark.

    I am sorry, but there is versatility, some pop with Ledee and Saenz (and Werth, when he comes back), and there are enough infielders.

    Also, the Indians bench isn't that good. Too many prospects.

    I'd say the Red Sox have the best bench in baseball, but the dodgers bench isn't that bad.

    Now, as for Jon's "BOMB" concern, Ledee, Saenz, and when Werth returns, that is enough pop.

    2006-03-27 17:11:12
    168.   Jacob L
    155, 164, etal,

    As a planner, I favor big, permanent infrastructure linking the stadium to the existing Gold Line stop in Chinatown, which, as the crow flies is less than 1/4 mile away. A walking promenade with shops, etc. A moving sidewalk/escalator, etc. A new freeway bridge.

    Recognizing this will never happen (even though its a million times more practical/cost effective than building a new ballpark anywhere in town), I'd also point to a more short term, less investment intensive model -

    The Hollywood Bowl. The Bowl gets 20,000 people almost every night in the summer, and almost none of them drive to the venue. There's a well established system of park and rides around the LA Basin. Most importantly, the priority of the entire traffic control system before and after events is to get the busses in and out. If you sit and watch, its so efficient and sensible that its hard to believe its taking place in LA.

    The only catch for the Stadium is that, with the relative abundance of on-site parking, a park and ride bus would have to be not only quicker than private car access, it'd have to be considerably cheaper.

    We talked about all this a couple of years ago on DT. I think I got shouted down a bit on my Chinatown idea, but as I said, it'll never happen, so I'll never be proven wrong.

    2006-03-27 17:12:34
    169.   Strike4
    Brainstorm ideas to improve Dodger drive time while increasing attendance:

    1. Suggest to the Dodgers that they sponsor a competition for best sports transportation improvement plan among team submittals from Southern California colleges. Have the judging committee composed of reps from the Dodgers, LA City, Caltrans and whoever else makes sense. Include access to Dodger and transportation officials.

    2. Suggest to the Dodgers that they have consultants design and implement a bus feed system based on learnings from the Hollywood Bowl approach, which strikes me as the most used of the public venue systems.

    2006-03-27 17:18:31
    170.   dzzrtRatt
    I like the Chinatown idea. The Gold Line has been a white elephant so far. This would help it pay for itself. It's should definitely be part of the plan. You could have a Universal Citywalk kind of thing there, not at the stadium itself.
    2006-03-27 17:24:10
    171.   blue22
    165 - I was in Vegas 2 weeks ago, and got 10:1 odds on LA reaching the WS, and 9:1 on Oakland reaching the WS.

    Easy money.

    2006-03-27 17:32:13
    172.   ToyCannon
    I love the Gold line idea but I wouldn't use it. The problem is that it is one location. To get to DT from the West Valley using only mass transit I'd have to take the Orange line to the Red line to Union station then take the Gold line one stop to your Chinatown departure point. When I take the Blue/Red/Orange to get home from a Clipper game it takes me 1 1/2 hours. So I'm figuring to get from DS to your Chinatown destination it would take 1/2 hour, then probably 2 hours from Chinatown to get home since I have to catch 3 systems(Gold/Red/Orange). I'd rather drive to a Orange Line stop (Warner/Balboa/Reseda) and take a direct bus to DS.

    I'm unfamiliar with the Hollywood Bowl bus system. If it can work there it should be able to work for DS>

    2006-03-27 17:33:47
    173.   Fallout
    130 Jon Weisman
    I just have to suspect that a starter who was moved to middle relief would be more consistently great, and a middle reliever converted to starting would be more consistently bad.

    That makes sense to me. A starter who can't go 7-8 innings but can put it out for 3-5 innings would make a good middle reliever. I would say that most middle relievers are there because they either lacked stamina or didn't develop a 3rd or 4th pitch.

    2006-03-27 17:36:37
    174.   Marty
    The chinatown solution would also get rid of that Little Joe's eyesore.

    We can't even build rail to the airport, so a light rail stop at DS will never happen. A combo of something like Jacob's promenade from Chinatown and buses from other points of departure are probably ideal. Doubling/tripling current Dodger stadium parking rates may be an incentive to take any new shuttle service that is devised. And would make up for some of the lost revenue for Frank.

    2006-03-27 17:37:08
    175.   ToyCannon
    I do like the Oakland line. They have their most balanced team since the Giambi/Tejada teams. They are my pick for the American WS. Not to downplay the Angels but I love the pitching staff of Harden/Haren/Blanton/Loaiza and the bullpen with Street/Dutchboy. Think they made a mistake in letting Cruz go as I love arms that miss bats but with the Oakland defense Halsey might be okay there.
    2006-03-27 17:44:30
    176.   trainwreck
    I think the Angels take a step back. They are finally playing some of their young guys which will help them long term, but Vlad is pretty much by himself. Kotchman will perform well but, who else is there? Garret Anderson, Erstad, Kennedy, Jose Molina, and Figgins (this is not fantasy baseball) are not very good. I do not expect much from Mathis or McPherson. Their pitching will still be good and Lackey is a dark horse Cy Young, but I think their bullpen will be a little worse, from overuse over time.

    I think Texas finishes second in the AL West. Anaheim will be a force next year with Kendrick, Wood, and other prospects making big contributions.

    2006-03-27 17:53:09
    177.   GoBears
    173 The thing is, middle relievers don't pitch more than 2 innings very often either. Only when a starter is pulled very early due to injury or sucktitude do you see a several-inning relief appearance. And in those cases, the game is often a blowout. The only thing "swingy" about swingman any more is that he can spot start. So middle relievers aren't low-pitch count starters. They're bad starters or bad closers. Or, too rarely these days, Santana- or Pedro- or BHKim-type FUTURE starters. You'd like to think that maybe Kuo or Broxton will go that route, but these days, you don't see too many guys move from the pen to the rotation on a full-time basis.
    2006-03-27 17:53:09
    178.   trainwreck
    I should say that Figgins playing third is not very good at all. Figgins playing CF is alright.
    2006-03-27 17:53:55
    179.   Bob Timmermann
    As someone who patronizes the Gold Line, I would hate to depend on it to go to a Dodger Game. I don't know how they could increase the capacity needed for a big event.

    Did anyone try it for the Rose Bowl or Rose Parade?

    Staples Center has a Blue Line stop pretty close.

    When you leave the game, here's the experience.

    1) Wander around until you figure out which direction you're headed so you can find the station.

    2) Stand at said platform. Hope that the weather is good because it's outdoors with minimal shelter.

    3) Wait for train. At night, the trains run about every 20 minutes.

    4) Board train that takes brief ride to 7th/Fig station. Then you can transfer to the Red Line.

    5) Find Red Line platforms. If you're like me, you're just looking for the Union Station trains, so you won't have to wait long. But if you want to go the other way, you have to hope that either a North Hollywood or a Wilshire/Western train (they alternate) comes by. They run about every 15-20 minutes at night.

    6) If you're at Union Station and you want to go back on the Gold Line, you exit the Red Line. You either take a long escalator ride or walk up a long staircase (I like the exercise).

    7) Then you walk in to Union Station and try to navigate your way to the Gold Line station. If you've done it right, you've exited the Red Line into the Old Union Station part and you're relatively close to the Gold Line tracks. If you went the other way, you've got a long walk.

    8) Walk down corridor to tracks. Find Platforms 1 and 2 where Gold Line trains leave. Walk up another flight of stairs. Wait for train to come (it's not covered there either and it's outdoors). Then take a leisurely jaunt through Chinatown, Cypress Park, and Highland Park before you get off in South Pasadena. Which doesn't call its stop South Pasadena. It's called Mission. Why? Who knows?

    You also get to experience things like getting change back in Sacajawea dollars and then finding that the ticket machines don't take the Sacajaweas to purchase tickets much of the time because they are jammed. Maybe you can charge your ticket.

    Except the ticket machine card readers haven't been activated yet. When that will happen is unclear.

    And there are also the mysterious "TAP cards" which have their own machines. They are accompanied by signs that say "No TAP cards accepted."

    Why don't I just move to a place with better planned transportation? Heck, sometimes Houston seems attractive at times!

    2006-03-27 18:02:25
    180.   dzzrtRatt
    All the talk about middle relievers... is this the category to which you're consigning Osorio and Kuo? It seems like they're examples of good young pitchers who need experience and it's felt they can contribute, but aren't at the point yet where they could take a regular starting job. Maybe Gio Carrara was a more classic, in-the-mold middle reliever, but these guys are in more of a showcase role. Is that wrong?
    2006-03-27 18:09:20
    181.   trainwreck
    Just my opinion, but I think Kuo's ceiling is as closer and should stay in the bullpen. Osoria I think could be an average MLB starter or a very good set up man. I think Osoria will always be a guy that relies on his defense to get guys out.
    2006-03-27 18:13:52
    182.   GoBears
    180. I hope that's right, Ratt. I just doubt it.

    If I were running the team, I might have guys like that split starts. Not alternate, but plan, a la Spring Training, to give each 3-4 innings. Plan to hit for the starter in his second or 3rd PA, and actually use the whole bullpen, instead of overtaxing 2-3 guys.

    2006-03-27 18:18:30
    183.   natepurcell
    someone said this earlier, but i think osoria's ceiling is paul quantril circa 2002-2003 with probably a higher gb/fb ratio.

    molokai advocated this earlier and i agree with it regarding kuo. Have him work out of the bullpen this year and spot start, and if his arm holds up over 80 or so innings, try him as a full time starter in 2007.

    2006-03-27 18:24:40
    184.   natepurcell
    little on sparky

    "I like the way he plays defense," said manager Grady Little. "Even if it's an adventure, it's being aggressive. He had an outstanding day at the plate."

    come on grittle!

    2006-03-27 18:30:03
    185.   CanuckDodger
    Read an interesting article on Broxton today. It seems the Dodgers were disappointed that he did not report to camp in batter shape. Broxton got married in the off-season, so there has apparently been a lot of joking in camp about how Broxton spent the winter physically exerting himself, but in a fashion that was not really conducive to getting himself prepared to play baseball.
    2006-03-27 18:31:23
    186.   natepurcell
    re 185

    sexy, article link?

    2006-03-27 18:33:54
    187.   CanuckDodger
    185 -- That should be "better" shape.
    2006-03-27 18:34:46
    188.   natepurcell
    i do agree with the dodger brass that broxton's weight is a concern. the guy is 6'3 280 or so. thats fricken huge. Itd be one thing if the mass was all muscle in the butt and thighs like billingsley, but that mass isnt all muscle.
    2006-03-27 18:35:22
    189.   CanuckDodger
    186 -- It's at, a pay site.
    2006-03-27 18:46:20
    190.   cdbavg400
    So according to Gurnick, Martinez hasn't made the team yet. So who's right, Henson, or Gurnick?
    2006-03-27 18:50:53
    191.   apsio
    Help me please!

    I've recently moved to San Diego and I'm trying to find a way to watch the Dodgers regularly.

    I'm told Extra Innings will blackout Dodger games even down here, and Time Warner Cable San Diego doesn't carry KCAL. What is PRIME (listed on schedule)? Also, DirecTV isn't an option either as I have NO view of the proper sky (had an installer check) from my apartment.

    If any San Diegans who like the Dodgers (or even you don't :-P) can let me know how they watch the Blue, I'd be most appreciative.

    MLB.TV isn't an option either as their blackouts mirror Extra Innings...sigh. Any help?

    2006-03-27 18:51:33
    192.   blue22
    175 - Although clearly the better team, Oakland has a much tougher go of it in the AL. If LA can get it together this year, I don't think there are many quality teams out there to hurdle into the WS.

    190 - LET'S GO GURNICK!!!

    2006-03-27 18:51:34
    193.   Fallout
    187. CanuckDodger

    or was that "butter shape"?

    2006-03-27 18:59:34
    194.   CanuckDodger
    193 -- The Dodgers were disappointed that Broxton did not come to camp in "butter shape?" Don't think so. Anyway, he is not sphere-shaped like C.C Sabathia. Broxton's frame is large enough that he really doesn't look bad at all. Anyway, a team that hasn't had a problem with Gagne's shape really shouldn't be getting in high dudgeon about Broxton's extra pounds. I certainly don't expect a reliever to be in the same sort of condition as a starter, which is why I think Sabathia is a disgrace who really should be ashamed of himself.
    2006-03-27 19:01:24
    195.   Bob Timmermann
    PRIME is what FSN 2 becomes next week. It's the same network.

    If it's any consolation, you can't see Padre home games on Extra Innings because they have a really screwy cable package.

    2006-03-27 19:01:44
    196.   natepurcell
    have you seen broxton lately canuck? the boy is huge.

    he came into camp around 6'3 1/2 and 288 lbs. Apparently, hes down to 175lbs or so. Gagne was never that big.

    2006-03-27 19:06:15
    197.   D4P
    Sounds like he's The Biggest Loser.
    2006-03-27 19:14:47
    198.   Icaros
    he came into camp around 6'3 1/2 and 288 lbs.

    288!?! Good god. Who's he facing at Wrestlemania this year?

    2006-03-27 19:28:45
    199.   GoBears
    So what's up with the switch to PRIME? Did Fox sell the stations? It was Prime Ticket or Prime Sports before it was Fox. Same PRIME? Or just a coinkydink?
    2006-03-27 19:35:16
    200.   CanuckDodger
    196 -- Gagne is shorter than Broxton and he is not as broad in the shoulders. (I have seen Broxton is some sports highlights on TV this spring.) I still remember Gagne as a starter without all the weight; his body was pretty sleek. Gagne looks more out of shape than Broxton. Fitness is not just about a number on a scale, given all the different body types there are.
    Show/Hide Comments 201-250
    2006-03-27 19:35:31
    201.   Bob Timmermann
    It's just a branding thing. Fox doesn't want you to think the stuff on FSN 2 is less important than what's on FSN. On my cable system, ESPN and FSN have a higher number than their "2" brethren.

    Unlike C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, and C-SPAN3 which are scattered all over the place.

    The Angels still haven't finalized their deal to put nearly all of their games on FSN. KDOC is standing by.

    2006-03-27 19:36:21
    202.   Marty
    Mission station is called Mission station because it is on Mission Ave. Why they call Heritage Square station, Heritage Square Station is beyond me since Heritage Square is closer to Lincoln/Cypress station than Heritage Square Station. Lincoln/Cypress Station could be called Old L.A. City Jail Station if you ask me.
    2006-03-27 19:38:23
    203.   dzzrtRatt
    196 "he came into camp around 6'3 1/2 and 288 lbs. Apparently, hes down to 175lbs or so."

    Wait, Broxton lost 113 pounds just since Spring Training started? What, did they remove a giant cyst?

    This sounds like a future documentary on The Learning Channel.

    2006-03-27 19:42:33
    204.   trainwreck
    I doubt Broxton is 288 or 175 hahaha.
    2006-03-27 19:57:23
    205.   Bob Timmermann

    But why name the station in South Pasadena after a street that doesn't even go very far, although it does have several businesses along it.

    2006-03-27 20:02:39
    206.   Bob Timmermann
    Stanford comes up just short of going to the women's Final Four. They had a shot at the end, but Wiggins got called for charging.
    2006-03-27 20:05:09
    207.   Barkin
    I didnt know Chief Wiggum plays women's college basketball?
    2006-03-27 20:11:00
    208.   underdog
    203 Hah!

    Re: public transportation to stadiums - I hate the Giants but I do like the fact that you can get to their stadium very easily on public transport (I live in SF) unlike Dodger stadium. When I lived in LA it was such a royal pain and it was a matter of which secret side streets do you know about to avoid some of the traffic backup. (Candlestick Park was sometimes like that for baseball, too.)

    206 Saw the end of that. Sorry Jon. I was rooting for Stanford. And even more so because my stepmom is friends with Brooke Smith's family; I felt bad for her with her bloody lip - right as she was about to shoot free throws she had to come out.

    2006-03-27 20:13:31
    209.   underdog
    Another way to look at that EJ/Tiffany trade for Baez and Carter is that the Dodgers had pitchers in the farm system who had passed those both by, or that they expected to pass by - for Tiffany, as a LHP, Scott Elbert is much higher in their estimation these days. Jackson I still root for to do well, but I can understand why they were a little frustrated with his progress, and why they wanted some relief pitcher insurance in case Gagne couldn't go. I've actually been more impressed with Lance Carter this spring than I expected to - and I know spring stats are meaningless, but just from the couple of times I actually saw him pitch on TV. I think he may be more solid than some of ya may expect.

    just my two cents...

    2006-03-27 20:18:27
    210.   ToyCannon
    These are the pitchers who started out in relief and are currently starters:
    Kelvin Escobar
    Heilman(assuming he makes it as the 5th starter)

    Very few indeed but lots of quality there except for Kim. Francisco Liriano and probably Andy Sisco will be in relief this year but I wouldn't be surprised if both of them aren't in the rotation by the end of the year. I don't see why Kuo can't follow the same path. He only pitched a few innings last year because he still had to build up his arm strength. They are really giving him innings this spring and he's responded big time. I need a new favorite Dodger and right now it's him. Of course that is probably not a good thing if he wants to stay a Dodger. From the Toycannon to Piazza to Beltre to Milton my favorites don't stay long.

    2006-03-27 20:20:07
    211.   trainwreck
    I never understood the Elbert has passed Tiffany as best lefty in the system so he is now expendable. How does that make him expendable? Should try to keep as many left handed starters (really starters in general) in the minors since we have no idea what could happen in the future. Remember when Greg Miller was our best prospect? Tiffany was a good pitching prospect and we should have kept him around. I did not know teams should only have one lefty.
    2006-03-27 20:21:09
    212.   trainwreck
    *I never understood...expendable argument.
    2006-03-27 20:29:15
    213.   ToyCannon
    In 2003 Lance Carter was a good relief pitcher. His ERA of 4.33 was about 1.00 higher then it should have been due to strand rates. His command and dominance have fallen off considerably since then. In 2003 it was 47/13
    2004 36/21
    2005 22/14
    I'm removing intentional walks if anyone is wondering why the walks don't add up to their ESPN numbers. 22 strikeouts in 57 innings is terrible. If he can get his dominance and command back to the 2003 level he will be good, if not we have better options.
    2006-03-27 20:29:33
    214.   dkminnick
    Last year the Dodgers offered a shuttle from Union Station on Friday or Saturday nights. Did anyone ever take this and if so, how was it? How long was the wait (to and from)?

    Assuming it wasn't a total mess, I'd like to see them offer this for every game. For me, it would offer a chance to have an extra $25 dollar beer or two (what's McCourt charging this year?), rather than solve a time problem.

    You can exit Dodger Stadium in five minutes if you plan your route and timing. It's a total breeze if you park near an exit, and get out as the third out of the ninth is recorded. I mean be at the top of the stairs with your stuff, view the out, and turn and GO. Don't start picking up your stuff, then get on the stairs and walk up with everyone else. It's way too late by then. Every second counts.

    Don't tell this to anyone else, of course...

    2006-03-27 20:47:56
    215.   Daniel Zappala
    206 I was literally yelling "noooooo!" when that charge was called. Stanford bows out again. I count myself lucky that I was able to see them win it all in person.
    2006-03-27 20:48:39
    216.   Bob Timmermann
    The shuttle was offered in 2004, not 2005. It was only available on Friday nights and on Opening Day. I believe it cost $3.

    It was NOT offered last year.

    No explanation was given officially. Presumably, it didn't make money for the Dodgers or the MTA.

    2006-03-27 20:53:32
    217.   dkminnick
    216 - Oh. Coulda sworn it was last year. Thanks for the clarification. Time does fly.
    2006-03-27 20:53:57
    218.   underdog
    212 Good points to consider. But I don't know if the Dodgers really found him expendable or disposable so much as his value was higher than they thought of him internally at that point, whereas they were very high on other pitchers in the system. And Miller has too many question marks at this point, yes, but that also made him less tradeable. I guess LA thought they needed to give their bullpen more depth this year after it was more of a weak spot last year than anyone predicted, and were willing to part with two prospects who had high trade value but again, that they weren't as high on anymore within the organization. Is all...

    Doesn't mean I agree with it 100% either, just that it makes more sense to me than it does to some people here. I hate giving up prospects as much as anyone, but the odds of EJ and Tiffany both turning into solid pros are really small. Sorry.

    A scouting report in Street and Smith's on the Dodgers (from a rival scout) said "if Gagne is healthy that bullpen should be something special."

    2006-03-27 21:02:46
    219.   das411
    210 - TC, I was going to ask if His Unitness belonged on your list but then I looked him up and he did indeed start out as a SP.

    There is still Pedro though...or are you only using a certain timeframe?

    2006-03-27 21:06:25
    220.   Bob Timmermann
    Here was the MTA press release from 2004 about the shuttle:

    The MTA recently had its own Julio Franco retire:

    2006-03-27 21:08:48
    221.   trainwreck
    It certainly is a double-edged sword. Yes, the odds may not be on their side to be solid pros, but that also means maybe we should keep as many prospects as we can since so many will fizzle.

    I understand the Dodgers rationale, I just think it is dumb and horribly near-sighted.

    2006-03-27 21:10:24
    222.   Louis in SF
    WIth Martinez making the club for reasons I am not sure I understand does this mean that Aybar is gone? According to the Steve Henson article Robles is the player on the buble.

    While I am happy that Choi will get more at bats in Boston than he would have with the Dodgers, his power off the bench would have been a nice addition. The Tigers released yesterday a once promising prospect formally of the A's Carlos Pena...I don't want to sound paranoid but when we keep Martinez instead of Choi or doing something more creative as far as a trade goes,this is where I wonder about Ned and that Giant connection.

    2006-03-27 21:17:35
    223.   Andrew Shimmin
    191- The CBS webcast of the NCAA tournament had a "provided by MLB" tag. Their blackouts could be defeated using foreign proxy servers. I'd be surprised if was any better at stopping that sort of chicanery. Unless you're looking for a way to watch Dodger games without violating the terms of your service, in which case, I can't help.
    2006-03-27 21:25:13
    224.   Eric Enders
    All you need to defeat the blackout is a friend who (a) has a credit card, and (b) lives outside Southern California.
    2006-03-27 21:33:12
    225.   Bob Timmermann
    Sounds like Eric will be somebody's "friend" for the right price.
    2006-03-27 21:37:32
    226.   Andrew Shimmin
    168- The Hollywood Bowl gets ~5,000 almost every week night. They get 10k-12k most weekends, and sell out at ~17,000 once in a while. Their park and ride set up is pretty fantastic, but I don't know if it could be scaled up as much as it would need to be, successfully.
    2006-03-27 21:52:24
    227.   Andrew Shimmin
    Completley off topic: Don't buy a Whirlpool water heater. Lowes sells them at what look to be very good prices. Until you get 18 months in, and find that the pilot light gets choked off because of the way the engineered their vent. So, when it can't light, on the sixth try, or whatever, it blows a fuse. This is relatively easy to replace ($15 for the part, at Lowes; since it's under warranty, Whirlpool will reimburse for the part, but not the labor), so long as the guy who installed it didn't strip the thermal tube nut (if he did, you're completely screwed).

    Anyway, better to save yourself the headache in the first place.

    2006-03-27 21:59:34
    228.   King of the Hobos
    The White Sox have announced they are carrying a reliever that has pitched 5.1 innings above Rookie ball on their 25 man roster. Boone Logan was drafted one year out of college in 2002, but has pitched exclusively for the White Sox Rookie League team, until being promoted to A ball for 5.1 innings (where he was far from impressive). Despite continually struggling against Rookie League hitters, they're carrying him thanks to his 0.87 spring ERA (he wasn't invited to camp, they just kept him in major league camp after he struck out Thome), yet he has only 4 Ks in 10.1 IP. He's 21. Someone want to explain this to me? True, he has more upside than Aaron Sele, but I just don't see the sense here. Schmoll made this team last year out of nowhere, but at least he had established himself as a good reliever in A and AA ball
    2006-03-27 22:04:49
    229.   Bob Timmermann
    Boone Logan is cursing his parents for not giving him a first name.

    I would not be surprised if he lasts about as long as the Black Mike Ramsey did with the Dodgers.

    2006-03-27 22:06:55
    230.   D4P
    Who's to say he won't have a great year...?
    2006-03-27 22:10:46
    231.   dkminnick
    220 - Bob, did you ever take that shuttle or know anyone who did?

    Guess it didn't get much traffic or it would still be running.

    I gotta stop procrastinating one of these days.

    2006-03-27 22:11:19
    232.   ToyCannon
    He's never been above A ball but he has pitched for 4 years. The story is that he changed his arm angle/delivery near the the end of the year out of frustration and lo and behold he added velocity and command. Would be a great story if he can keep it up once the big lights come on.
    2006-03-27 22:12:26
    233.   Bob Timmermann
    I never took the shuttle even though I live along the Gold Line. Since there were so few days it ran, I just never bothered.

    And since I live about 10 minutes from the stadium, it never seemed like a great idea.

    2006-03-27 22:16:32
    234.   ToyCannon
    Just current starting pitching rosters. It was so long ago that Pedro pitched in relief that I forgot, or I just erased all memory of his time here in LA. It is easier that way then to realize we gave away the greatest right arm in Dodger history and yes that includes Orel/Sutton/Drysdale.
    2006-03-27 22:17:07
    235.   Bob Timmermann
    They've actually managed to find a replacement for Edgar on "24" that even Chloe thinks is more socially maladjusted than her.
    2006-03-27 22:20:51
    236.   Linkmeister
    What happens at the Hollywood Bowl every night during the summer that draws so many people?

    Remember, I don't live in Southern California.

    2006-03-27 22:29:29
    237.   Andrew Shimmin
    236- Concerts. It's the sumemr home of the L.A. Philharmonic. Tuesdays and Thursdays are classical music, Wednesdays are Jazz (more or less), weekends are special events--lots of music from movies. I think John Williams gets his own weekend every year. Many of the weekend concerts end with fireworks.
    2006-03-27 22:36:07
    238.   natepurcell

    concerning broxton. he came into camp at 288lbs. he is around 275lbs now. not 175.

    sorry, i took a nap before i realized the mistake.

    2006-03-27 22:38:23
    239.   Bob Timmermann
    I would go to the Hollywood Bowl more but it's a pain to go there.

    But I do have a 3-concert subscription for a box.

    Once you sit in one of those, you'll never sit on a bench again.

    2006-03-27 22:49:17
    240.   jeepseats
    The trade of EJ & Tiffany for Baez & Carter was motivated, I believe because Colletti probably has no intention of spending what it will take to re-sign Gagne after this season. I think the Dodger brass is projecting Broxton to take over as closer in 2007/2008, but since Gagne's rebounding from surgery, Baez not only provides Closer insurance this year, but he will also likely be inexpensive to re-sign as a Closer for 2007 if Gagne has a healthy season, and Broxton isn't yet ready for the pressure next year.

    As mentioned in 209, EJ/Tiffany while still showing promise, had been surpassed by some other prospects (Elbert, Orenduff) by the brass, which made them relatively expendable. Sure, you hate to give up on potential stars, but when you have a perceived hole in the bullpen, if you're going to fill it shouldn't you deal from strength?

    I agree that starting pitchers are more valuable than relievers, but you can't allow your team to enter the last 3rd of a close ballgame without confidence. I remember a few years ago I would cringe every time we played the Giants, if we were losing in the 7th inning we had to face Felix Rodriguez & Rob Nenn, and we rarely won those games. And every time we brought Alan Mills in to pitch, it was like a preview of Giovanni Carrera. If you're the manager, you've got to have confidence in your bullpen - especially with Grittle's history.

    I like Kuo & Osorio in the pen. I think we'll be looking pretty good. I especially like the idea expressed earlier of "smoke-jumping." I've often been befuddled when our opposition has their biggest hitters coming up in the 7th or 8th inning of a close game, and instead of using our strength (Gagne) against their strength, we hold back our Closer for the ninth inning to face their 7-8-9 hitters IF we haven't given up the lead.

    2006-03-27 22:54:09
    241.   Linkmeister
    237 Thanks, Andrew. Funny, in the mid-1980s I spent an awful lot of summer weeks in LA (an awful condo on the 14th floor of some tower on Century Park Blvd and Olympic) and didn't realize the Phil was giving concerts. I guess I didn't read the LA Times entertainment sections closely enough.
    2006-03-27 22:55:19
    242.   underdog
    Speaking of the Devil Rays, they had a game break out during their kickboxing match with the Red Sox today. The always calm and meditative Julian Tavarez punched TB OF Joey Gaithright in the chin after a close play at home plate.

    Hee Seop Choi walked home the winning run in the game.

    In other ST news, non-roster invitee Scott Ericksen, out with back issues, had a bullpen session a few days ago and could pitch next week. The Yanks could have Tanyon Sturtze and Ericksen in their bullpen. Not to mention Kyle Farnsworth. And you thought our bullpen was solid!

    2006-03-27 22:55:28
    243.   natepurcell
    but he will also likely be inexpensive to re-sign as a Closer for 2007 if Gagne has a healthy season

    i think inexpensive is really relative. if bj ryan gets 5 yr 55 mil, i am cringing at what some desperate team will throw at baez in monetary terms.

    2006-03-27 23:11:55
    244.   Andrew Shimmin
    I'm surprised Bob has trouble getting there, it seemed relatively easy (for driving in L.A.), but it's been five years since I was there last. Everything else has gotten worse, so it would make sense that it has, too. Were you taking the 210 to the 134? I always exited Forrest Lawn, and took that over to Barham. Under an hour (usually 45-50 minutes) from the IE.

    241- I worked there a few summers, as a teenager. If any of you were smoking along the east side during intermission (1995-1998), I was probably the guy who chased you off. We had a draconian no-smoking-outdoors policy way before those posers in Calabasas thought up theirs.

    2006-03-27 23:13:28
    245.   Eric Enders
    Maybe some desperate team like us.
    2006-03-27 23:15:03
    246.   Andrew Shimmin
    243- So long as the Dodgers aren't the desperate team, I'm fine with it. He's worth two draft picks if when he doesn't come back, right? It's only bad if Colletti makes another Baez related mistake. He's 0-1 on Baez related matters, so, that's a bad sign; but I'm willing to chalk it up to sample size.
    2006-03-27 23:28:05
    247.   jeepseats
    If Gagne's healthy, then Baez won't be closing, and I think his perceived value will be low if he has 5 saves or less.

    Before Colletti made that deal, there were several teams that wanted Baez. Even now, if our bullpen shows depth, Colletti could use Baez as a bargaining chip if he needs to fill another hole. There are still a few teams going forward without proven Closers.

    2006-03-27 23:34:51
    248.   Eric L
    200 When I saw Gagne handing out magnet schedules on Opening Day 2004, I thought he was remarkably smaller than he looked on TV.

    I'm 6'3 and average about 260 (i yoyo quite a bit, but I'm stay pretty much in the same range). Gagne looked way smaller than me.

    I think the pajamas that he wears on the mound make him look bigger than he is. People used to give me crap for looking like him and aside from the goatee, glasses, and hair, they used the size thing too. After seeing him up close, I can pretty much say that Gagne and I didn't seem to be similar in size.

    That isn't to say that Gagne isn't bigger than he should be, but he isn't as big as people think he is.

    2006-03-27 23:35:42
    249.   LAT
    241. Small world, Link. I presume you are referring to 2160 Century Park East. I lived on the 17th floor overlooking Olympic. Everytime a bus came up that hill on Olympic, which was every five minutes, it sounded like it was driving through our living room. My wife and I were there during the 1994 Northridge Quake. The way that building was swaying was scary as hell. I was sure it was coming down. She was eight months pregnant and we had to walk down 18 flights of stairs in the dark. She never went back in. I had to move us out and it was Marina living after that.

    Small brush with fame for those of us watching TV in the 70s. Our next door neighbor was Dennis Cole. Things were pretty interesting when he was married to Jacqulin Smith. More interesting when he was having an affair with Candy Spelling, Aaron's wife. Dennis Cole was a very nice guy.

    Other piece of trivia, (better than the first) Don Agent 86 Adams lived in the other tower. Used to see him all the time about an hour before post time. He played the ponies a lot.

    2006-03-27 23:45:46
    250.   natepurcell
    hahaha i just saw the play where sparky like floyd's line drive fly over his head.

    and people think hes a good outfielder?

    Show/Hide Comments 251-300
    2006-03-27 23:46:56
    251.   GoBears
    Colletti could use Baez as a bargaining chip if he needs to fill another hole.

    Maybe he can find a left-handed power-hitting first baseman with a good eye for the strike zone. Nah, those players are impossible to come by......

    2006-03-27 23:49:36
    252.   natepurcell
    like= let
    2006-03-27 23:54:36
    253.   jeepseats
    251 - Erubiel Durazo or Calos Pena? LOL
    2006-03-27 23:56:06
    254.   Barkin
    231 - I took the shuttle a few times in 2004. It was fantastic. I live in the valley, and my father works in North Hollywood. So on some fridays, we would meet at the Universal City station, pay a small fare to get to Union Station, than pay $2 round trip to ride the Dodger Stadium Shuttle. The Shuttle was a ton of fun too. Some old schoolbus has been converted into a Dodger Bus with blue all over the outside, some murals, and no ripped seats. It was great conversing with other Dodger fans and messing around with opposing fans. And it was really convinient too. It was at Dodger Stadium in 10-15 minutes and took a seperate line right up Stadium Way and Into the Stadium. Got their about an hour-45 minutes prior to game time. Shuttle dropped us off right outside the bleachers and ticket booths.

    As it was explained to us by the security guy on the bus as we were exiting, the shuttle would take us back whenever we want. He said we could go in, get a rally towel and a Dodger Dog, and they would take us back to Union Station no questions asked. The Shuttle ran for a bout an hour after the final out was recorded, so you didnt need to try to beat the rush getting out. You could lounge around, walk around, hit the top of the park store, watch the grounds crew clean-up, use a practically empty bathroom, and than head out to the shuttle, and they'll take you back.

    Dont know why more people didnt use it. It was really convinient, didnt cost anymore than parking, and got you in and out very quickly.

    2006-03-27 23:59:11
    255.   jeepseats
    Tomorrow is a Seo/Kuo day
    2006-03-28 00:37:20
    256.   dzzrtRatt
    I can never figure out how to do those Seo/Kuo puzzles everybody's doing.
    2006-03-28 06:41:40
    257.   Daniel Zappala
    The Hollywood Bowl is one of my all-time favorite LA spots. For us it was really easy getting there if we took the shuttle (not so fun otherwise). But then, I always lived right in LA (Westside, downtown, and Beverly Hills, believe it or not), so the shuttle stops were nearby. I always sat on the benches; should have been friends with Bob.
    2006-03-28 07:00:13
    258.   dkminnick
    254 - I live in the Valley, too, and your experience with the Dodger Stadium shuttle describes what I had hoped it would be.

    I'm gonna drop an e-mail to the Dodgers asking for a re-launch of that shuttle. It makes sense, but you've got to let people know it's available, then give it time to catch on.

    2006-03-28 08:12:15
    259.   Marty
    Caspar Weinberger is visiting Lynn Nofziger.
    2006-03-28 09:28:31
    260.   Jacob L
    If, as Bob suggested, the demise of the shuttle is related to revenue, either for MTA or the Dodgers, that's the root problem right there.

    The Dodgers should view a public transit program not as a revenue enhancement, in and of itself, nor as a replacement for lost parking money. They should view at as a way to get more people to the park. The MTA is a public agency with a mission to get people to their intended destinations.

    My brother lives in Long Beach and took the shuttle several times in 04. He spoke highly of it.

    If enough people didn't ride the shuttle, assuming the service is as good as I've heard, its because they didn't market it enough, and because of the inane decision to only offer it only on Fridays. Think about it - of all the times when I might get caught in a post game traffic jam, Friday night is when it bothers me the least. I don't work on Saturday morning. Plus, how are you going to build up a customer base when people have a handful of chances to use the service over a whole baseball season?

    And the Tiffany/Jackson - Baez/Carter trade was a bad deal, no matter what. The only way Ned makes it right, as far as I'm concerned, is by flipping Baez for something we actually need, like a utility infielder.

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