Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
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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
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with
Jeff Kent has hit 20 or more home runs in nine consecutive seasons and was the best second baseman in the National League last season. But at age 38, most - if not all - figured that after this season, he would give way to the Dodger youth movement.
Instead, the Dodgers announced in a press release today that they have extended Kent's contract through 2007 with an option for 2008. (The implication was that this was a team option, though it's not immediately clear. Dollar figures were not yet disclosed.)
"I'm very happy with the direction the team is going and I'm looking forward to finishing my career in a Dodger uniform," Kent said in the release.
It's possible that Kent is one of those guys, like Roger Clemens, who is going to be performing at a high level past his 40th birthday. Nonetheless, the move comes as a shock, with the combination of age and recent wrist surgery raising questions about whether this would be the year Kent finally tails off, let alone 2007 or 2008.
Kent has a long way to go before he goes from boon to burden - his EQA last year was .306. (It's funny that 13 months ago everyone worried about his defense because he was replacing Alex Cora, but no one brings that up anymore.) So perhaps my fears for this season are fairly unfounded. Still, it seems like a strange time to extend the commitment. I imagine that this is in part to try to keep the prickly player a little more content for the coming 162 games, along with a true belief on Dodger general manager Ned Colletti's part that Kent is far from done.
On a different note, this definitely raises more questions about the future of Cesar Izturis and Willy Aybar in the organization. With Bill Mueller and Andy LaRoche at third base, Rafael Furcal at shortstop, Kent at second base and James Loney (and possibly Nomar Garciaparra) at first base from now through 2007, there isn't a place for both Izturis and Aybar, if either. Even if Kent were to move to first base in 2007, only one spot opens up.
It's interesting that this move comes on the day that Furcal suffered back spasms (and faces the unfortunate timing of a cross-country flight almost immediately thereafter). It underscores the fragility of the team and how an infield like this probably can't have too much depth. Neither Kent nor Furcal are the type you would call injury-riddled, but it's within the realm of possibility that for at least a couple weeks this summer you could see Izturis and/or Aybar subbing in. So even though a trade of at least one infielder seems in order, it's not automatic.
Ultimately, if Dodger owner Frank McCourt has the money to spend, there's no harm in locking up Kent, who really is a great player. I don't think Aybar is going to be better than Kent in the next two seasons. The extension caught me off guard, but maybe that says more about me than the extension. I don't think it means that the Dodgers will bury their bigger-name prospects, like La Roche, Loney and Joel Guzman. But Colletti definitely seems ready to stick with name players until they drop.
Update: Contract details from Ken Gurnick at MLB.com ...
Kent, who will earn $9.4 million this year -- the last of a two-year contract -- will receive a base salary of $9 million in 2007 with a $2 million signing bonus and plate-appearance incentives that could reach $750,000.
Kent's 2008 salary vests at $9 million if he has 550 plate appearances in 2007, and the Dodgers hold an option at $7 million with a buyout of $500,000. With the plate-appearance escalators and buyout, the deal could max out at $22.35 million for the two seasons or be worth a minimum of $11.5 million for one season.
Update 2: The Dodgers have released Brian Meadows and told Aaron Sele he will not be on the Opening Day roster, according to Dodger public relations director Josh Rawitch. Sele has the option of going to AAA Las Vegas or asking for his release.
Update 3: The Dodgers have changed their mind on left-handed reliever Tim Hamulack, Rawitch said. The team recalled Hamulack from the minors this morning, only two days after they optioned him. The bullpen still isn't set in stone, but now it looks like it might be a seven-man group: Eric Gagne, Danys Baez, Lance Carter, Hong-Chih Kuo, Franquelis Osoria, Yhency Brazoban and Hamulack. One can deduce that the Dodgers decided to go with two short relievers (including a second lefty) instead of a potential long man like Sele.
This also spells trouble for infielder Oscar Robles being in Los Angeles on Monday, but again, let's wait and see. There's still time for the Dodgers to option a reliever and keep Robles if Furcal is looking tender, or if Little remains concerned about having a short bench.
I still hate to go into the season with only one left-handed bat on the bench against right-handed pitchers. Here are the 2005 on-base percentages of the Dodger bench against righties: (Note - small sample sizes in many cases.)
Update 4: Dioner Navarro is in the starting lineup today, for the first time since injuring his hamstring more than a week ago.
Update 5: Ah. Jason Repko may now have to head to Las Vegas to make room for Robles, updates Gurnick.
Here are some quotes from Sele and Meadows:
"I signed to compete for the fifth starter job, then they traded for Jae Seo," said Sele. "All I could do after that was compete. I feel I threw the ball well. Maybe I caught the attention of another team."
"I had one real bad outing and that was pretty much it," said Meadows, a seven-year veteran. "I've done this job for years and seem to have done good in the past. They just didn't see me pitching for this team."
Update 6, count 'em, 6: Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus had this item about Dodger outfield prospect Matt Kemp:
People love Matt Kemp's athleticism and potential, as well as his .306/.349/.569 season at Vero Beach last year. But something about him scares the hell out of me. Vero Beach is the Florida State League's hitting paradise, and Kemp's home/road splits look like two completely different players.
(Split) AB HR AVG SLG
Home 219 22 .361 .749
Away 199 5 .246 .372
Is Vero Beach a hitter's paradise? I wasn't aware. In any case, that is one gigantic split for Kemp.
Lucky No. 7: According to The Associated Press, Kent actually said, "It's not about the money."
* * *
But with Ned at the helm, and the acquisition of proven vets who "know how to play the game and know what it takes to win," Kent evidently feels like Ned is committed to winning now.
The Dodgers get.....hmmmm.....older
In light of this news, I'll bet Caesar Izturis is on the phone with his agent pronto.
Look at what Steve Finley got as a 40-year-old outfielder after 2004.
I have to suspect Flanders has a personnel deal in mind and wanted to make sure he had Kent locked up before he makes it.
They usually aren't traded because teams don't want players that aren't hurt and want someone to produce right away, but there is no specific rule against it.
Hey, this extension clearly increases the chances that Jeff Kent enters the Hall of Fame as a Dodger!
I like the extension. I think Kent is worth the risk.
Still wondering whether they'll get anyone for Cody Ross.
In his words, "McCourt has no money. They're in bad shape financially."
instead of trading energy, they trade live arms for middle relievers.
Also, it looks like a new page design at MLB.com; thankfully, it seems they eliminated that pop-up video window.
Usually, its the other way around.
Dodgers continue their descent into the abyss.
kind of pricey if you ask me.
There are worse places to put that money. Like veteran and former-Giant Russ Ortiz.
Right now I like another in the bullpen, though like Robles, I think he may be more a sentimental pick than a rational one.
It makes me feel better that martinez doesn't appear on the dodger.com 40-man roster. Sigh.
I bet it would be hard to come up with someone who would outproduce kent at 2b, except if you want to move someone allready on the team to 2b, but then you have a hole at the former position.
I was hoping the dodgers would re-sign kent to a 1 year with an option and that's exactly what happened.
As you know i'm not picky about paying a guy 1 or 2 million more than what he supposively deserves, so great signing.
I'm still shocked Kent got that much out of the Dodgers at his age. Unbelievable.
This also makes him pretty much non-tradable.
The Dodgers have limited funds available though. Its not that Kent isnt worth 11.5 mils (he may be he may not be), the issue is could they have made better use of the money.
11.5 mils for a 38/39yr old 2nd basemen is quite a bit, when there are noticeable holes in CF, LF, and 1st.
Personally, I'd have used Kent's 11.5 mils as a down payment for Derrick Lee and or a dominant starter.
This deal on makes sense if its on a team without a budget. However, the Dodgers are not the Yankees.
2yrs at 17mils vs 2yrs at 22 mils or 1yr at 11.5 mils.
Its significant when you factor in age. I only hope the difference in production isnt as much either.
We also don't know if the signing bonus is deferred, which would affect the real present value of the deal somewhat.
Consider also that many commentors here are enthusiastic about the arrival of our cheap minor-league stars. The money we save by playing rookies and second-year players in 2007-2008 has to go somewhere, and I'd rather it be Jeff Kent than the owner's pocket.
Think about the prospects tho, and there will be alot making nothing.
Plus mccourt needs to up the payroll to 115-120 million.
We are at 100 million right now and with a 120 million payroll we could have an ace starting pitcher(instead of tomko) and a power hitting oufielder(instead of lofton) and if we had those 2 i would be predicting the dodgers to win the world series this year.
If 15-20 million is the difference between just making the playoffs and a very good chance at winning it all you up the payroll to win it all.
I don't buy it that kent's contract hurts the dodgers.
"Because of Furcal's injury, the Dodgers now are more likely to option outfielder Jason Repko to Las Vegas than Robles."
Steve: There is a God.
Terrible move by Colletti. Kent is going to fall apart this year and his already bad defense should get worse. If Colletti really wanted to keep Kent, couldn't he have waited until the season was over? I can't think of any other team that would be willing to give Kent this kind of money after the season he had last year, let alone after the year he will likely have in 2006. Hopefully, some prospect will force his way to the majors and Colletti will have no other option than to trade Kent to open up a spot in the infield for our blossoming young superstar.
Nate- did you ever end up finishing your paper and were you up all night? I ended up going to bed at 4.
If the payroll is 115-120 mils, it doesnt.
If its 100mils, I think it does.
Information and certainy can be extremely valuable. I'm not arguing that the decision to extend Kent was a good one, but I feel compelled to rebut arguments that it was a prima facie mistake.
But i dearly love the dodgers, have loved them since 1979, so i'm not going anywhere even towards the red sox.
Decline, perhaps. Why do you think he will fall apart this year?
If Kent gets that, what do you think Drew will command?
I'm excited about our pen now that i know we have gagne baez kuo osoria.
Can you imagine that pen with an ace starting pitcher(instead of tomko, and a powerhitting outfielder(instead of lofton) with guzman waiting to take over if mueller or cruz go flat (mueller most likely, i think cruz is fine).
Dodgers should take some notes from the 2004 red sox.
Whether the perceptions are true or not, and the relative values of Drew and Kent, are up for debate. But I don't think the Kent extension suggests that Drew is a lock to find a contract any better than 3/33 after this year (Drew's 2006 peformance pending, of course).
I also predicted the red sox winning it all in 2004 BEFORE THE SEASON EVEN STARTED.
Haven't you heard? JD is going to win the MVP this year. Rob Neyer said so.
Off the top of my head, here are the Dodgers under contract for 2007 (excluding those who are not eligible for free agency)
Cruz, Jr. (team option for 2007)
Drew (player option for 2007)
Quick estimate 72M in guaranteed contracts with bonuses
Players not eligible for FA on projected 25 man roster
Home Runs- 1.62
Although, they didnt seem to effect Justin Orenduff.
Does it really or does it make 2007 more complicated ? If Kent's defense at 2b falls back more (it was below avg in '05 according to Dewan), then it makes sense to move him to 1st base in 2007. In which case, you have to spend $ 11.5 mil on a 1bman not likely (at age 39) to be much better than leag avg at his position. Having to find a spot to park an $ 11 mil obligation in 2007 reduces options rather than increasing them.
What is the more likely scenario:
A) Martin plays the whole year at AAA, picking awards like top ten prospect, invite to futures, game while Navarro and Alomar man the post in Chavez Ravine
B) The Dodgers dump Alomar and have the youngest catching duo in the Majors
C) Someone gets dealt
My gripe: Another example of poor negotiating by the Dodgers. The club is sticking out its neck for Kent, but what part of those contractual terms reflects some reciprocity on Kent's part?
I see zero reciprocity. Those look like open-market terms -- not a guarantee two years in advance.
It should be a quid pro quo when a club is willing to guarantee a salary for a player in that age demographic -- no matter how good the player.
For those dollars, the Dodgers are getting no sweetener from Kent.
Show some negotiating acumen. If you must extend him, make it for a lower guarantee. If Kent says no, say no hard feelings and let it play out.
The Dodgers act too often like the player is doing them a favor by sticking around.
Kent must play 2nd base for this extension to make any sense.
No reasonable person would give Kent 11.5mils to play 1st base in 2007.
And if i remember correct, the world series was boston vs st. louis.
Boston was #1 in team ops in all of baseball
St. louis was #3 in all of baseball and #1 in the NL in ops
Boston was #2 in all of baseball and #1 in the AL in team whip
St. louis was #1 in all of baseball in team whip
The yankees were #2 in all of baseball in team ops but #13 in team whip in 2004
All the above is a classic case of what i consider winning baseball (high ops and low whip)
And boston spent that extra little bit to put them there.
Is their bullpen deep enough, with Seo added to it?
Kent said that he loves L.A. and grew up a dodger fan.
He said he wanted to end his career as a dodger WELL BEFORE BIG NED CAME ABOARD.
But i do love the signing.
Free baseball, as it were, in Vero.
MB31: I've really enjoyed your comments over the past few months (not to mention your decision to start using capital letters and punctuation!), but this comment returns us to the werthgagne days when you kept reminding us that all McCourt needed to do was crank up the payroll. Unless your secret plan is to bankrupt the guy and force him to sell (in which case, Amen) you have to realize that it's a lot easier for us to spend McCourt's money than it is for him to come up with that money. At this point, I have to believe that he's maxed out on payroll, and that every expensive decision will have real tradeoffs.
Maybe Colletti convinced him to overpay for short-term deals to veterans now, and recoup that money when the kids replace them, but this Kent signing would seem to defy that logic a bit. More importantly, it makes one wonder why it's combined with such a fetish for lousy backup infielders. If you're going to extend an expensive veteran, pick a position where we don't have any prospects. And no, that doesn't mean Kenny Lofton.
Anyhow, Sergio Garcia with a first pitch eagle off Gigantor ends it in the bottom of the 10th.
Teams are comprised of players.
I should have phrased it differently. I just wish he'd post his Dodger hate elsewhere. It gets tiresome.
Maybe Colletti convinced him to overpay for short-term deals to veterans now, and recoup that money when the kids replace them, but this Kent signing would seem to defy that logic a bit. More importantly, it makes one wonder why it's combined with such a fetish for lousy backup infielders. If you're going to extend an expensive veteran, pick a position where we don't have any prospects.
But what or which prospects would outproduce kent at 2b.
And we could trade those 2b prospects for something else.
To me and only me, we only have guzman, laroche, martin, and maybe loney and ethier as good position prospects. I'm not high on any of our middle infielder prospects except maybe dewitt and he hasn't seen AA yet(i think).
Or am i missing what you are trying to say?
They extend Kent for his age 39 season at higher rate than he is getting paid now. Would Kent get that much on the open market next offseason? As each year goes by, the chance that Kent is going to decline because of age becomes more likely. It might not be inevitable, but the chances for it happening are better.
I may or may not agree with OB, but his comments were hardly hating on Jeff Kent.
The teams I've gotten through so far have been the Mets, Marlins, Padres, and Mariners. I can think of a couple of players who have played for three of those four (Piazza, Cameron) but have there been any Dan Miceli slash Mike Morgan types who have played for all four?
"Dodgers continue their descent into the abyss."
If you don't think a comment like this isn't Dodger hating then I don't know what one is. I generally ignore oldbear when he gets into his hate talk. Sometimes I feel compelled to respond though.
It's not hate talk. Oldbear wouldn't be here unless he was a Dodger fan. It's his OPINION that he's stating. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean it's "hating" on the Dodgers.
Also, telling someone to go post somewhere else isn't very cool. The best part about this site is its various points of view. The difference between people here and on the official board is that people here can discuss the Dodgers logically whether they agree with each other or not...that doesn't happen on the official board.
I'm not saying whether I agree or disagree with oldbear, but just because you don't agree doesn't mean it's hate....and at least he posts his opinions clearly and backs up the reasons he feels that way which a lot of posters on the official board fail to do....
Oooh, ooooh! (Raises hand feverishly)
What do I win?
Lenny Harris is another 3 of 4 guys.
Maybe I should try to get some work done today.
See, that's the great thing about this site. We can argue about moves because we all understand that the Dodgers can't build a dream team (hey, Ned's an idiot - why doesn't he just trade Aybar for Pujols?!) and that there are lots of different ways to assess all of the tradeoffs (present vs. future, uncertainty with upside vs. known quantity with none, defense vs. offense). No GM will get every decision right, and knowing that, we can be optimistic, pessimistic, or just plain analytical about each one.
It is by no means Dodger-hating to argue that the GM made what looks like a bad decision. This is not a place for Kool-Aid drinkers, whether it's DePodesta flavored or Colletti flavored. And it is no measure of one's ardor as a fan that one must be only optimistic about every decision made. There's no contradiction between rooting hard for the team on the field and also opining that the team could be better (or could have been better) if not for some poor GM decisions.
I'm wondering the same thing
If you want to come back and play by the rules next week, that's fine. If you find it too hard to be tolerant of others and want to stay away, I also understand.
77 was in response to 75.
I gather that his posts on the official board are qualitatively different. That's for the other board to worry about. If it's true, it's not reflected here. I couldn't care less what happens at the other place. I choose not to go over there precisely because I'm not interested in shouting matches. Same reason I don't pay any attention to talk radio, Jim Rome, or even most of ESPN radio these days. Posturing is boring.
What do you win? Hmm....how's about 10+ posts that aren't about Brett Tomko or Mister Ned? :)
This could actually be an interesting game, if Jon approves...I guess we would have to stipulate MLB games though to avoid any "Canseco = Expos" type debacles...
and FYI, I did get an "alright I don't HATE the sport, I just don't like it" out of her, so mission accomplished!
Sergio Garcia, Jacksonville, 5-10, 175, 3/20/80: At 25, he's got a tough road in in this infield-heavy system, but had his best season with a .773 OPS.
Jeff Kent actually said in the AP story today, "It's not about the money."
Great name, huh?
So the true tests of Colletti will be:
1. Does he extend Gagne at Boras rates (hope not)
2. Does he jettison Tomko as soon as a better option presents itself (Billingsley) mid-season or next year, despite the foolish deal he gave the guy?
3. Does he re-up any of these ostensibly short-term veteran deals if they have a good season? I can swallow hard and take Nomar or Alomar or Lofton for a year, or Mueller for 2, etc., but if any of these declining, replaceable, and overpriced vets get renewed at the expense of the young guys, I'll know we're heading for Giantsland (only without the Bondsian reason for ignoring the future).
So Vero is a home run haven, and Casey allowed no home runs there?
Where are you guys hearing about Navarro being sent down?
And I thought that last sentence was going to end with something about "...and the Sunshine Band."
145 No offense meant [g] useless only when trying to differentiate words and phrases, not names. I have the same initials as Carl Pavano but we otherwise have little in common.
Didn't Kent basically say that playing baseball WAS all about the money in an article last year?
Oh wait, I started it.
Good point. I remember Kent saying something to the effect that he really doesn't even like playing baseball.
NAVARRO SENT DOWN, MARTIN CALLED UP
Colletti, after reading DodgerThoughts: "Hey, That's a Good Idea"
1. It's not about the money.
2. Just between you and me...
3. To be honest with you...
4. No offense, but... (and "nothing personal.."
6. I'm not a racist/homophobe/sexist but...
7. I'm sorry, but...
Anyone else want to play?
<-----makes a mental note to stop using 1,2,3,4,5, and 7 in future job interviews.
It's good for you...
This hurts me more than you...
It's not you, it's....
159 Not only that, it does give the ML coaching staff a chance to see some of these guys. I doubt that they'll see them play that much live (if at all) until next ST.
While the Jacksonville rotation doesn't look very good (Orenduff and not much else), they look to have a nice bullpen. Hoorelbeke should join Jumbo Diaz, Greg Miller, Carlos Alvarez, Alvis Ojeda, Justin Simmons, and Mark Alexander.
Ohhh yeah, I remember...(Dave Magadan)!
Another clutch hit by...(Bobby Abreu) :)
Just seemed logical that Coletti was keeping Kent around for awhile.
I feel like Chris Mortensen right now: One prediction (of about 100) correct! ;-)
On the other hand, I did get one Final Four team correct.)
What about a combo of Ross, Repko, and Brazoban? Too much? Too little? Do I ask a lot of questions?
Stop me if you've heard this before.
I don't need a microphone.
I'm a great singer.
My comments will be brief.
This was my first time.
The doctor will be right with you.
I can take a joke as well as the next guy.
The Dodgers would be short a RH-hitting OFer even if Repko stays. At least if you put any emphasis on any part of the phrase other than RH.
Blasted plastic card era.
Church (27, L) .287/.353/.466 in 102 games last year, .288 EQA
It's funny that their EQAs were the same. Obviously, Church has more of a future and is cheaper.
I really don't know much about Church. No one thinks he's a fluke?
The one that really sticks in my craw in internet forums is the ubiquitous and disingenuous "IMHO." Yeah, right. Real humble.
No, I'm kidding. They're doing this for Pat Borders, actually. [crosses self]
For example: IMHO, I think Choi would have 25 home runs if he were to get 500 at bats. Clearly that's my opinion, and it's obvious that because I'm saying it, I also think it. But you can't just say "Choi would have 25 home runs if he were to get 500 at bats" because you sound like a know-it-all.
My biggest problem with Lofton is that last year's numbers aren't indicative of where his career had been going.
His previous few years are average at best, and I think it's highly unlikely that he hits .330 this year. In other words, I just feel that last year was an anomaly. Of course I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I will be.
Just seems like Church could be had on the cheap and it would be nice to have him in case Lofton or Cruz stinks up the joint....because I really, REALLY don't want to see Repko or Ross in the lineup what-so-ever.
But it's the "H" in IMHO that bugs me.
Then again, I'm not the arbiter of discourse, nor the judge of whether someone's statement of humility is sincere or disingenuous. I guess I just like it when people think about what they write and try to be precise.
Clearly, I shouldn't grade papers and comment on Jon's blog at the same time. My red pen has taken on a mind of its own.
Would it surprise anyone if Church was back in the bigs before May rolls around?
Or, like mentioned previously, platoon Lofton and Cruz, and find another fulltime guy. Maybe by June, that guy is Guzman.
Of course, if he lets the vets go when their contracts expire, in favor of kids we already have (with this Kent deal an exception) that's good too. But I'd be shocked if he actually were to make a trade along those lines.
That was DePodesta's most important accomplishment - purging those big contracts. While Colletti may not be the anti-Depo in that regard (the contracts he's signed have been short ones, for the most part) he's clearly got a different plan.
Do the braves have anyone that could be available offensively that we might be interested in.
Lofton= Marquis Grissom
194. That'd be a good test: if Colletti were willing to trade Izturis for a young, MLB-ready OFer, I'd be surprised and impressed. If anyone is going to overvalue Izzy, it's Bowden. And I guess the one thing Church would have over Ethier is that he's a righty, and so could platoon with Lofton. But then, the Dodgers will have Guzman and Werth by mid-season...
Lofton= Marquis Grissom
Yeah, only older and not as good.
Right now, there doesn't seem to be a need for Colletti to be clever and make a trade for an unappreciated talent. He doesn't need to watch kids go through growing pains.
By the way, techincally, the Bradley/Perez-Ethier deal made the Dodgers younger and cheaper, for what that's worth.
Picture postcard day at UCLA
I dont see Izturis going to Washington, they have too many infielders as is and trading for Izturis would be admitting his mistake in signing Guzman. I think the most likely destinations for Izturis are New York and Chicago. The Mets have a big hole at 2nd and the Cubs are starting a rookie at SS and Todd Walker at 2nd, how long do you think Dusty is going to let that last? Izturis to Chicago for Sean Marshall or Rich Hill would be awesome.
And, yeah, I said "with the exception of the Bradley deal..." in 193. Although, now that I think about it, since Perez and Bradley took two spots on the 25-man roster, it's not clear that swapping them for a AAA guy made the MLB team younger or cheaper. They turned into Lofton and Ramon II. Maybe still cheaper, given that Bradley was due a payday.
There's nothing to suggest that the $11.5 million he's getting would automatically be spent if he didn't re-sign, nor that it would be spent well. This is one of those instances where I think it's worth spending to get a known value than to wait and see. Even with an age decline, Kent should do just fine... and these days players seem to hold onto their offensive abilities longer than they used to.
Wow, go out for a few hours and miss a lot.
Moral of the story: never leave DT!
Nice photo of Casey. He looks different than he does in his other shots.
It was spring break so the campus was relatively empty. There were high school students walking around taking tours.
I don't recall:
1) having anyone give me a tour of campus before I started (except for my brothers)
2) having my parents accompany me. They just sort of put me in a car, drove me to the dorm, carried my stuff to the room and said "See you on Friday." (I had to go work at my dad's store on Friday nights.)
There was a dearth of "Final Four" merchandise at the store. The only "Final Four" t-shirts came in only one size. That size could best be described as: One That Would Not Fit Bob.
At CAL, the campus would be abuzz with a win over San Jose State. Beating UCLA in '86 or '87 (I forgot) to end the 26-year drought almost caused a riot.
Then, one year, I had a student tell me that the UCLA football team really sucked that year, as evidenced by their 1 loss so far. Spoiled kids! I had to explain that real love comes through shared pain, and a secondary bowl game does not constitute "pain." It's true for marriage; it's true for sports fans.
I think they call them "helicopter parents"...hovering over their kids and making sure everything goes alright. They tend to drive the faculty batty.
Then again, it's hard to get UCLA fans into a celebratory mood about anything. I think that UCLA will definitely have the least amount of fan support in Indianapolis.
UCLA is not exactly a sentimental favorite. I doubt Florida is going to have a lot of crowd support either with warm and fuzzy Billy Donovan coaching them.
Where is his Jason Schimdt and Barry Bonds going to come from? And steroid cream could help also...
It wasn't as if they didn't care. I came home practically every weekend, so it wasn't like they missed me. They also figured I was old enough to figure out what to do. I don't even recall my parents asking me what sort of classes I took. They knew I was a history major and that was enough for them.
At some point he's going to have to go with rookies. If the team misses the playoffs in 2006, is Ned going to take that same strategy "cant go with kids or will get fired..must make playoffs* into 2007?
You gotta either sign the premier/in their prime free agents (Derrick Lee), or committ to the kids. I dont think there is an in between.
But it seems at least this year, Ned has done the "in-between". What will the reaction be if he does that next year?
Not actively dumping all the prospects counts as "in between?" Hmm, I guess maybe if Kuo and Osoria really do make the team, then there'll be a couple kids in the mix.
Problem with your "no kids in 2007 if no success in 2006" scenario is that success in 2006 might lead to a "don't change anything" attitude. Remember how DePo got raked over the coals for "breaking up a division winner?"
Good things can still happen. I'm just more and more wary of this carpetbagger from the North.
Hopefully those good things entail going with young players entering their primes, or signing superstar/above average level free agents.
So far, I see a late 1990's-early 2000's type of team. The names have changed, but the cost-benefit problem is still very apparent.
Signing the low upside low downside 'safe' vets is the 'in between'. The Mueller, Nomar, Lofton, Tomko, Cruz, Carter, Alomar...
i finished at 7am. went to bed around 8, woke up at 1130 and spent the rest of the day at school doing pointless work. what a great day!/sarcasm
If Denker continues to outslug Dewitt it will mean Dewitt is not breaking out. I feel Dewitt will pull away from Denker myself, and Denker has no solid position or talent in that direction. But he is a good indicater of how DeWitt is progressing.
i believe dewitts going to break out as well. A lot prospect analysts, sickels, john manuel, jim callis, etc, all believe dewitt is going to have a huge offensive year this year.
In reference to denker, he outhit dewitt at columbus but when he was promoted to vero, he absolutely fell apart. Now the sample size may be too small to judge something of it, but it is worrisome. Then again, i look at what laroche did at vero when he was called up in 2003 and compare it to his 2004 year, and my worries drift away a bit.
the big thing with denker is that he must improve defensively. it seems to be a consensus with scouts is that he has fringe range, stiff movements and an average arm.
1. Looting the farm.
2. Signing clearly crappy, no-upside, huge-downside, expensive vets to long term contracts.
3. Signing the guys he did sign, only to long-term deals.
So, OK, he didn't do any of those things. But I do see zero upside and lots of downside with Lofton (age, reversion to previous mediocrity) and Mueller (injury), and even Furcal (younger, but both decline from career year and injury are likely), I see upside with Nomar, if not huge, and downside risk with Seo (career year, right?).
And I just don't see the point of Tomko or Ramon II. More expensive, older, crappier versions of what we already had, again, with no upside potential. The only thing "safe" about those two is that Colletti knew them and liked their character, I guess.
No, I take it back, the only thing "in between" about Colletti's signings is that they're short term. And as I said above, the real test is whether they stay short term (i.e., go away after a year or two) or become longer term (are extended). On that, we know nothing except that Kent just got extended. Gagne is next up, right?
I see your point, though, about a cost-benefit problem; Colletti doesn't seem to have been exposed to the theory that money should only be spent on top-level players, and not average veteran fill-ins.
Let's at least be accurate. he didn't sign Cruz and he didn't sign Carter he traded for him. The players he signed were Furcal, Mueller, Nomar, Lofton, Tomko, Alomar, and now Martinez.
Denker was moved to 3b according to the BA interview with Roy Smith.
What is Furcal besides being the best SS in the NL last year?
Exactly. With as good of farm as we supposedly have now, the 'average fill-ins' should come from the farm, which would then allow for enough cash to acquire the top-level players. Colletti had an advantage here that DePo didnt. He has those 'average-fill-ins' already on the 40-man roster, but has decided to either not go with them or trade them away. DePo had to go out and acquire those average inexpensive fill-ins (Navarro, Choi, Bradley, Werth, Perez) bc there werent any on the farm to begin with.
Ned had the advantage of both but did nothing with it.
I thought DePo's 2nd worst move was giving Gagne a 2yr deal and avoiding arbitration. It just seemed like an unnecessary 'thank offering' for Gagne's services.
Now that new mlb rules are in place, I hope Gagne is not re-upped for anything more than 9mil a year. I'd probably wait to see how he performed this year too before extending an offer.
If he is extended at a high rate, I hope the McCourts are planning to go with a 115-120 mil payroll to alleviate the cost-benefit problem.
06- high A vero
07- AA jax
08- AAA vegas
09- mlb LA
the kent signing was made so that dewitt would not be rushed but also made that if dewitt developed faster then the normal developmental curve set above, the dodgers will be able to cut ties with kent after 2007 and have dewitt be the starting 2b in 2008.
IMO, dewitt will advance to AA at midseason and be called up to the majors in sept of 2007; which will make the 08 yr of kent's contract obsolete.
Of course, they could just be smart enough to celebrate without having to destroy things and getting arrested.
I agree, it was one of Depo's biggest mistakes.
It may also have been made with the idea that they expect to promote Loney in 2007 and having a solid hitting 2nd baseman would help as Loney breaks in. It would have been hard to start 2007 with Loney and Aybar on the right side.
My problem is that I like to dwell on the farm system and don't relate it to the ML team which should be really important. I guess I picked up this habit from being constantly frustrated when prospects did not turn out to help the team. While we had that huge run of rookies of the year in the nineties, I'm afraid I was more influenced
by the negatives resulting from bad luck and overhype. Do you remember---
Jose Offerman was going to be the next Maury Wills; A string of first round pick pitchers who blew out their arms before the Majors? there was a guy named something like Opperman-one of a long string that led to Driefort; Ramon Martinez brothers Pedro and Jesus who were sposed to do us some good; Paul Konerko,Dave Yokum,Ben Diggins and many many more.
I'm finally enjoying the prospects and our minor teams again, but I fear that we are weak again in our lower level teams-
If we don't get Holchevar, at least we have 3 picks in the first 31 this draft.
This minor league obsession is obviously a mechanism for avoiding the major league team, and why I am trying to cure myself through Dodger Thoughts!
I went to the Taste of Chaos tour last night. Pelican, As I Lay Dying, are bands you should check out if you have not already. Deftones were great of course. Thrice just played garbage from the last two albums, they really have lost their edge when it comes to performing live.
pelican is literally, top 10 favorite bands of mine.
im not a fan of ASID, i think the metalcore they play is pretty generic.
but pelican, ahhh, what a beast of a band.
The only (ONLY) Colletti upgrade that I see is Furcal. Maybe Mueller will be a little better than Aybar/Perez would have been, but I don't see that as obvious. And I see downgrades in CF and 1b and that more than outweigh the Furcal benefit. Even if one disagrees, and calls all the changes a wash, the increased number of wins will be a function of good fortune, not good planning.
No doubt. But committing 11.5 mils to Kent for 2007 may have taken us out of the Derrick Lee sweepstakes.
And to me, Aybar is closer to being an average MLB 2nd basemen, than Loney is an average MLB 1st basemen.
I'd have let Kent go and used the money to sign D Lee.
But, maybe the Dodgers can end up signing both if the McCourts want to spend.
Imagine signing D Lee, Kent, Furcal, and then selling the farm for Miguel Cabrera...I'd rather Ned do that and go all out for a championship (acquiring true different making players), rather than do what he's currently doing.
there is going to be no derek lee sweepstakes i think. the cubs have money and will lock him up before the season is over with no viable backup in sight.
if anything, its going to be the barry zito sweepstakes this winter.
a 2007 rotation of
is something i wouldnt mind at all.
Yeah, Pelican was amazing. The funny thing is that no one gave them love. Everyone (mostly emo kids) just look dumb founded (Hey dude where's the singer man and why are these songs so long). Myy friend and I were seemingly the only ones cheering loudly or even into the band. They definitely seemed out of place, but that was a very good thing for me.
I don't mean to imply that there are no hard workers or really terrific students. There are some who are really a pleasure to teach. But there are fewer than there used to be. Trust me - I just turned in my grades.
It could be different in the hard sciences - I don't know, because I rarely see those students.
I would bet that the average UCLA undergrad steps foot in a library less than once per academic year. If they can't find something in a 5 minute Google search, it apparently doesn't exist (and we all know that everything on the Internet is reliable).
That would be nice nate.
I'd probably spend it on Zito.
The pitcher I want is Carlos Zambrano, but I'm not sure when he's gonna be a free agent. I'm not sure if the Cubs can afford Aramis, DLee, Wood, Prior-extension, Zambrano-extension...?
old man gloom
mouth of the architect
cult of luna
I would incline to agree with the "L.A. is a big place" kind of town for the lack of any kind of celebration.
It's not like USC students went wild after they won a couple of national championships in football either.
The only time I can recall any sort of big spontaneous celebration in L.A. that was destructive was after the Lakers first championship at Staples.
And that happened:
1) at night
2) in an area where it was easy for pedestrians to gather
3) where people could watch the game on video screens outside the stadium
4) the team appealled to a wide spectrum of the population
5) it had been a few years since an L.A. pro team had won anything
There are a lot of people who root for USC and UCLA. Not many root for both teams.
Of the Dodgers five World Series wins, four of them had the final game on the road. Only 1963 ended at Dodger Stadium and that was during the day.
(old fogey alert)
Why back in my day (1983-87), UCLA students didn't get much worked up over sports either. They might get worked up a bit more now than they did 20 years ago. There wasn't a big pep rally/bonfire before the USC football game like there is now.
Also, UCLA's football games take place over 20 miles away from campus.
(/old fogey alert)
I have a coworker who can tell you about UCLA students burning Zenon Andrushyshyn in effigy though.
I likely misspelled the guy's name. I'm sure he is one of Marty's favorite UCLA players.
But in the Dodger experience prospects are worthless. Our few superstars,say Piazza, Hershiser, Venezuela, Gagne were never in the top 50 prospects--please tell me I'm wrong. Could prospects be bull-shoot?
i personally would go zito. He is just a horse on the mound with no significant injury history. he is also younger. by a couple of years.
i saw dillinger this past october. they were pretty intense live. the singer is absolutely nuts and climbs up on speaker towers like a baboon. the drummer light his drum set on fire during the last song. the pyrotechnics were way cool
Zito should get Pedro type of money I think.
But Mulder i see in the D-Lowe range.
hr/9 allmost identical
whip zito better 1.22 vs 1.30
k/9 zito better 7.03 vs 5.80
zitos career gb/fb ratio is .87
now, does that make up some of the difference betwene their k rates?
arizonas 5 star recruit is chase budinger and hes playing. hes 6'7 white guy with extreme hops and larry bird esque outside shot. hes going to be a stud!
The only descention into abyss was crafted by Mr. Paul DePodesta, and it gave us 71 and bleeping 91.
Also, please, it is a 1 year + OPTION. That is, if the dodgers feel he'd pull a Steve Finley in 08, they can choose not to sign him.
Plus, does it really matter with money when we are talking about an LA team? Should the second biggest media market really care about getting labor cheaper? C'mon, it doesn't matter that we pay Kent maybe 1 million or so extra, he has proven that he is worth it.
And he has played in the games no? I think his wrist is fine. Remember, he's actually hit better in this spring than last spring.
This is a great move, it lets us trade Izzy, gives us assurance for 07, and much more.
Just random as all get out, esp. as he would seem to have caused most of the bizareness himself (other than the WBC, I guess). And doesn't the middle line about having been through springs like this before sort of negate the part about this spring being the most bizarre ever? I'm just saying . . .
What possible stats can you give me that shows ANY indication that Kent will fall apart this year?
He has not declined at all the last couple of years, and will not fall apart. That opinion is pure emotion, and sour grapes over DePo and Miltion leaving.
funny story about keefe... i know him. he went to my HS.
I believe the Dodgers view BOTH Tony Abreu and Blake DeWitt as potential major league regulars at second base, and Abreu won't be ready till 2008 and DeWitt won't be ready till 2009. So with the Dodgers never seriously entertaining Aybar as an option, and depending on what happens with the option year, the Kent extension either bridges a gap to 2008 (Abreu) or 2009 (DeWitt). Thus the Kent extension REASSURES me that the Dodgers are thinking ahead with our plans for prospects in mind. If Kent left after this year, and knowing Aybar was never going to get a chance, I have been worrying what sort of panic move Colletti might make to fill a hole. Signing Soriano to a long-term deal? Shudder. Trading for an established second baseman? That might not only block Abreu and DeWitt, we would have to give up prospects just to make the trade. Let Izturis play second? Frankly, I expect Izturis to be traded long before we get to 2007.
So the bottom line is that I like the Kent extension. I think it shows that we are planning on going with a prospect at second starting in 2008 or 2009, plus locking up an expensive vet for 2007 makes it easier for Colletti to justify going with cheap youth at some other position in 2007.
71-91: See worst run of injuries EVER. The 27 Yankees wouldn't have made the playoffs with those injuries. When are people going to stop blaming the GM for broken wrists on HBPs?
Yes, money matters. Even in LA. It's not LA's money - it's McCourt's. And it's not unlimited. Moreover, it now appears that he shortchanged DePodesta. Colletti's budget is much bigger.
Please, how does this sort of post help the conversation? There've been 250 posts, mostly about this question. Why not address the complex debate about opportunity costs, prospects, and the like, and not stop thinking after
1. Kent was excellent last year.
2. Money is no object.
3. Age doesn't matter.
4. Thereofre we should spend money on Kent.
I think a lot of us here think this is an OK move by Colletti, but worry that it might have costs beyond the mere price tag. Let us know WHY you disagree, not just THAT you disagree.
eh. depends on what you are expecting from him. He really needs to work on his mid range shots. He is a beast on the boards though. he could be a really good 4 for ucla.
On to other things:
- If Jeff Weaver can easily pull down $8.5 million/year, Mulder will get $10+ million on name/past performance recognition alone. No one will be able to get him for $6-8 million unless he has a major injury and his health is an unknown factor.
As to Derrick Lee -- is everyone convinced he is now and will continue to be a super-stud? I think he's good, but I need to be convinced last year wasn't a fluke year.
Yes it does. The Dodgers have a budget. If they pay Jeff Kent 11.5 mils bucks, its not likely they'll have enough to pay for Derrick Lee.
Kent's birth certificate would be a good place to start.
I've seen more excitement about UCLA sports from the 25-30 year-olds in my grad program than from undergrads this year, and our admissions are more competitive than theirs. I don't know if I agree with the "too smart to follow sports" theory.
There's an organized effort among undergrads on campus to make sports a bigger part of campus life. For example, there was a basketball season kickoff-type event held last fall (similar to a midnight madness, but during the afternoon) that was pretty sparsely attended. My friends and I had a great time, but there wasn't a real buzz around the event. With some effort and smart planning, it should be possible to translate a Final Four appearance (perhaps national championship?) into Duke-level student frenzy for next basketball season.
For all your injury talk, we were only second in the NL in man games lost, to the nationals, who won 10 more games than us.
I never said age doesn't matter, but Kent has proven that he is not on the decline.
I really don't see much of a downside, I think that spending this money on one player shows that we will again have money to spend this offseason.
It is only a 1 year extention, + an option, but we would only take the option if he has another great year, and we don't think our prospects are ready.
Thats about the only arguement you can come up with. And it is a pretty weak one at that. Kent still has his bat speed.
when i was a senior, he was only a sophmore and he didnt have carry the scoring load because we had a loaded team that year. Keefe can do the dirty work for a team. Great defender, great shot blocker, great rebounder. He can finish around the basket but his jump shot mid range extended requires work.
hes a good compliment player to Affalo and farmar.
i dont know if you can say that with full confidence. he just had wrist surgery this offseason and we dont know how much of a toll that takes on his game. Thats another reason why i wish this extension was done midseason and not now. better to wait a little bit more and make sure his wrist is okay and it can handle a full season.
"Sea World was fun. I saw a sea lion that was almost as big as me."
Really good point.
How fast is his speed these days? I haven't seen any reported times.
Didn't know that, but it's not the relevant measure, either. The proper measure is not man-games lost, but VORP lost (or some other measure of value). It's not just how many guys get hurt for how long, but which ones. The Dodgers lost every starter for extended time except Kent (he missed a few games, but not that many) Choi (who missed time because he was benched) and Phillips (who should have missed time). They also were without starters (Perez, Alvarez, Penny) and relievers (Gagne, Dessens, Wunsch).
Smarter than Alex Cora?
Adam Keefe was a pretty darn good player at the college level, but didn't really have a pro game. Hung around a while, but never really "made it."
But white, and not from Cameroon.
He has slugged at a good rate this spring, and when he hit a home run, the commentators remarked that his wrist looked fine there.
Have you seen any of the games? His bat speed has looked fine, besides, he's a veteran who knows how to get ready for a season. He hasn't failed yet. So great hitter, until proven Finley.
Have you watched any of the games on Kcal 9?
keefe looks atheletically outmatched on the court with the other mcdonalds all americans.
Well, how has Kent looked to you? To me, he still has his bat speed.
If Arthur does sign with Arizona, hopefully Lute will eventually kick him off the team : )
Too bad, there's a really good major league team you're missing.
thats national championship caliber lineup right there.
its just spring training. going a littl overboard there i think.
"Also, who's to say what will come to light between now and when ballots are mailed out later this year?"
You didn't hear that from me. My lips (and fingertips) are sealed.
BTW: I take it there has been no reconciliation to this point...
In any event, I have said in the comments twice that he's welcome back. He has an open invitation. I just wanted him to take a breather because I felt he was taunting me. But I can completely understand if he doesn't want to come back. Frankly, I'll miss his contributions, but I can understand his impatience with the situation.
But I have a philosophy here and I'm not ready to give up on it. It may be proven untenable. But for now, I'm not ready to kick out people just for having opinions I don't like.
However, as my dealings with Steve and Bluetahoe indicate, I will be getting less tolerant of people who violate the rules.
I'm tempted to try my hand(s) at mediation, but I guess that's really not my place. I just don't like to see this kind of thing happen.
wow i am super excited about next year now.
If he could grow a couple inches by Saturday it would help tremendously too.
There's something very soap opera about this discussion. And there's something very Lost about the inhabitants of this Dodger Thoughts island. The original bunch, the back half of the plane whom we want to trust but we're not quite sure about. Is that stranger good or one of the Others?
b) a joke
c) info from someone on the East Coast?
Maybe there's no animosity, but the separation is itself regrettable.
I don't watch Lost, but (in other TV news) I see that Mitch Hurwitz has evidently decided that he doesn't have the creative energy to continue with AD. From what I read, Showtime had agreed to pick up the show, but Hurwitz decided that he's done.
Back to the DT drama: our dearly departed friend is fashioning himself into a Phantom-of-the-Opera like character, confining himself to the dark catacombs of his blog.
I try to tell myself that it's better to go out on top than to stick around too long, leaving when the show has declined in quality.
But myself responds that he is willing to take that risk if it means getting to watch more of GOB and George Michael. And Franklin.
I've pretty much decided that I won't be watching any AD cast members in any subsequent roles.
Great minds think alike.
I'm watching "The Closer" right now.
Kyra Sedgwick does not resemble Eric Gagne very much.
No Lost talk until probably 11 o'clock, probably.
Don't forget about Radenovich for next year either, he has definitely taken a step forward in the second half of this year.
Yes, I went to UCLA but cheer for Arizona basketball, sue me (though you're mistaken if you think I'm not enjoying the Bruins' current run).
If I went to USC I would still cheer for UCLA. Of course, that would not make me very popular at the school. I remember we played UCLA women in volleyball or something important and I cheered for UCLA haha.
By the way, Utah made the Elite 8 has a 5 seed and that was the highest seed to ever make the elite 8. People complain about MLB being the haves and the have nots.
Oh me! Oh my!
he said if he made it in two, it would have been a 60.
Cartman in San Francisco on South Park tonight. This is going to be good.
Pitching Wednesday on back-to-back days for the first time, Gagne struck out two in a scoreless inning, although most of his fastballs didn't reach 90 mph on the Dodgers' generous radar gun.
Uh oh. At least he struck out two guys, but there is a good chance they were minor leaguers anyways.
Malum consilium quod mutari non potest
Update on the girl I was trying to bug with all of the t-shirts: "I decided which baseball team I like...the Pirates!"
...do I tell her?
I wonder what the real hangup is on the deal? It doesn't seem like a wise idea to not have the Angels on TV when you are trying to take over the market.
Please Frank and Jamie, its been so nice not hearing from you for the last three months don't ruin it now by speaking.
The Yankees were better when they did the little things right. Teams that don't beat themselves usually win. Big slugging and mediocre pitching doesn't equal post-season success. The Red Sox didn't win in '04 until they got better defensively. Small ball is a time honored tradition (where this idea came from, I don' know).
The article vaguely hits at run prevention but doesn't really complete the thought. Nowhere in the article (you can say it hints at it I guess) does it say that teams who score more runs than they allow generally win.
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