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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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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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Well, At Least They're Making a Game of It ... Wait, They Might Just ... Oh, Oh Well
2006-04-03 18:24
by Jon Weisman

We weren't in our seats long at this Opening Day before we started thinking about last year's home opener. Down 5-0 in the first inning in 2005, down 4-0 in the first inning in 2006. Between that and UCLA-Gonzaga, I had it in me to hope for an unlikely comeback, and in a sense, we got one that was even more unlikely. The Dodgers fell behind 8-1 in the fifth before hitting a flurry of three-pointers, so to speak, only to fall short, 11-10.

Fifty-six thousand fans bought tickets and most braved the intermittent rain to enjoy the day, but pitching was a definite no-show for both teams - even Tim Hudson and the Braves. Go figure.

Thinking back to a year ago, it wasn't just the Dodgers I was rooting for. I was also rooting for an approach to constructing a baseball team that I believed in. "Moneyball" is the popular term for that construct, though I think it would be more accurate to simply call it "logical." Anyway, it was a double investment. I was rooting for them, and I was rooting for it.

This year, it's back to just rooting for them. That doesn't mean I'm rooting against any of Dodger general manager Ned Colletti's additions to the team (although I did wonder for a split-second about the possible implications of a three-run home run by Sandy Alomar, Jr.). It just means I'm not as invested in Colletti's approach, except to the extent that it intersects with what I believe in. Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn't. It's as if I'm at the school play and rooting for it to be good because I'm there and I like to be entertained. But it's not like my daughter's in it.

It wasn't a terrible day for Ned's newbies. The left side of the infield, Bill Mueller and Rafael Furcal, was fairly spectacular, or as spectacular as you can be without hitting a home run. Mueller in particular looked spry on defense.

At the same time, this will probably go down as the day that the first petal fell off Colletti's rose. With free agent signee Kenny Lofton already on the disabled list, another one, Nomar Garciaparra, was scratched from the lineup and perhaps ready to join him. There was talk that Garciaparra might try to pinch-hit, but despite three pinch-hitting opportunities with runners on base, Garciaparra never got to twiddle his batting gloves. (If J.D. Drew were in the casualty in question, people would be calling him the Coward of the County, but that's a side story for now.)

Instead of Garciaparra, Olmedo Saenz started and drove in two of nine runners on base ahead of him. Cody Ross and Dioner Navarro pinch-hit in key situations. With a 12-man pitching staff and Garciaparra day-to-day, a bench that was going to have six guys a week ago was down to four at the start of the game and down to one by the ninth.

The illusion that Colletti has constructed a deeper team than the Dodgers had in 2005 should be dissolving like scales from the media's eyes soon. A sudden turn of health or solid performances from the minor league callups can still preserve the Dodger season. But considering that some grotesquely impatient Dodger fans were booing in the first inning today, the current Dodger bench isn't going to fool people much longer.

Make no mistake - the intended starting batting order looked pretty great today. But that was only five guys.

And make no mistake, I came home feeling like I had a good day. The rain didn't bury us. There was a great comeback and suspense until the final out. The new seats in the stadium looked great and were much more comfortable than before (though I have to say, traditional or not, I find the newly old blue of the outfield wall bland to the point of being sleep-inducing). I was at a ballgame with my wife and brother and father, and we did just what I proposed this morning: We let everything else go, sat back and enjoyed it. All in all, our glass was 10/21sts full.

* * *

Update: The glass may less full for these two:

Olmedo Saenz, who used to get a call from his mother every opening day. Saenz's mother died last month, and he figuratively if not literally swung through tears Monday.

And, since people will be talking about it ... Derek Lowe. More details about Derek Lowe's tribulations have been found in the public record from the court depositions of Lowe and his estranged wife, Trinka. L.A. Observed links the original story from Ron Fineman's On the Record.

Comments (407)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-03 18:32:15
1.   Woody
GO GATORS, BEAT THE UCLANS. UCLA got it's share of national championshis in the Alcindor-Walton era. Let the SEC win one for a change. Besides, I haven't seen a "doo" like Noah's since my sister's Jewish girlfriends back in th 60's.
2006-04-03 18:34:34
2.   Sam DC
Wow -- can't believe the game I left at 4-1 ended up like this. I was musing at the Griddle last night about how, leaving aside questions of effectiveness, DePodesta's tenure was just more engaging to me than Colletti's, more interesting to ponder and watch. (Although hard to call today's game uninteresting.)

Anyhow, great comments on the game/season. Glad you enjoyed the day at the park.

2006-04-03 18:35:33
3.   Sam DC
1 Just FYI, there's a thread below where you'll find a crowd of hoopstalkers.
2006-04-03 18:37:21
4.   D4P
Is that "hoops talkers" or "hoop stalkers"?
2006-04-03 18:38:06
5.   Sam DC
Meanwhile, I'm very excited to be seeing the Dodgers this Sunday in Philly.


Doing my DC duty, Nationals fans too are experiencing a disturbing sense of deja vue today (not to mention crummy-baserunning-ja vue). Ball Wonk wrote a couple of really nice sentences about how this loss felt a lot like those of last year: "Well, hello, 2005 Nationals. What are you doing here? We thought you had retired. Really, you had a good run, but you deserve some rest. Please go away now, and let the 2006 Nationals play.

What's that, 2005 Nationals? You don't know who the 2006 Nationals are? Well, neither do we, not exactly, not yet anyway. But they're certainly not the team that manages to outhit, outpitch, outhustle, and downright outplay their opponents but still squander every meaningful chance and lose the game anyway until every Nationals fan's heart is as broken after a single game as a Red Sox fan's is in a year."

2006-04-03 20:10:10
6.   Woody
Sam DC-Please forgive my transgression. I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and trying to watch the basketball game (after a 12 hour shift at the hospital today), when the basketball thread got posted. I didn't notice it. I feel worse about the Dodgers losing today than good about the beating Florida is laying on UCLA. As a guy who grew up in the northeast I'm envious that you can see the Dodgers both in DC and Philly (and in a stretch NY) while I haven't seen the Dodgers (other than at Vero) since they played in St. Pete back in 2001. It kind sucks living on the Gulf Coast and having put up with the hometown, Mobile Bay Bears, except when the J-ville Suns come into town. Have fun in Philly and don't let the obnoxious fans get to you (I think Philly rooters are the worst - though my wife is from the "Main Line").
2006-04-03 20:16:05
7.   godvls
Jon, Nice summary of the day. I echo most of your sentiments about the day and the game. Mueller and Furcal looked great, but I don't think a team with Saenz starting and batting fifth is likely to put fear in the hearts of their opponents. Sitting in the right field pavilion for the first time in years, I had a nice view of the ballpark. The new color scheme looks great and brings back memories of childhood visits to the Stadium. The bleachers were full of Dodger faithful, making for a very enjoyable experience.....with one minor exception. I'm sitting alone in an aisle seat; my row is nearly empty until the bottom of the fourth. Finally, a group of six show up to sit in my row so I step into the aisle to give them easy access to their seats (or to avoid being stepped on by six sets of feat). They take the first six seats in the row including mine, as I stand next to them in the aisle. After waiting a moment I say " Excuse me, the end seat is mine" Response: "Are you sure? What's your seat number???" Eventually, after they take inventory of the tickets in their group they slide over and allow me to reclaim my seat. Anyway, just a minor inconvenience, but it struck me as quite rude and presumtuous.
2006-04-03 20:28:56
8.   Vishal
what a crappy sports day for me. dodgers get down big, rally and still manage to lose. ucla is going to cost me ten bucks. and my favorite pitcher (zito) gets bombed for 7 runs in a little over an inning in the A's home opener. he also happens to be on 2 fantasy teams of mine.

i think it's time to just call it a day.

2006-04-03 20:29:43
9.   Sam DC
6 wasn't at all trying to be a busybody; I actually thought there would be folks chatting up the title game in the other thread. Wrong! Guess folks are actually, like, watching the game with friends and family and whatnot, almost like real people.

not me, of course.

2006-04-03 20:36:39
10.   thinkingblue
My observations:

Furcal is worth every penny.

Mueller is a very good 3B.

Repko has improved.

Would anyone still prefer a Choi-Saenz platoon over a healthy Nomar?

Lowe was about as mentally tough as a school girl.

Kent is still Kent.

Cruz is a pretty solid player.

And Navarro doesn't look healthy at all.

2006-04-03 20:43:14
11.   GoBears
8 Vishal, let me help you out here. You're a Cal grad, right? Go Bears and all that? Well, that means you hate Ucla and your REALLY hate U$C. Zito went to $C. Conference loyalty? No such thing.

There, your day just got better. You're welcome.

2006-04-03 20:44:01
12.   CharlieBrown
Jon, you articulated quite well what I and I'm sure many other people are feeling about this year's team. I really wanted Paul DePodesta to succeed, because he seemed like a bright guy with a lot of interest in making thoughtful decisions (but gee, that Lowe signing didn't look too hot today...) Colletti has done some good things, but he is much more conventional and traditional, obviously. What are you really rooting for? There is nothing new, even if it works because the old guys somehow stay healthy. We all know that the Plaschke column would have been ready to go if DePo had signed Nomar and Lofton and they got hurt. Example 567906 that life is unfair.

Also, it does seem amazing that the team doesn't realize that the key to a good bench is a bunch of lefty hitters who either get on base or can hit homers. Or at least, it seems to me that is what a good bench is.

2006-04-03 20:46:33
13.   GoBears
10 I don't think we should update our assessments one way or the other after a single freakin' game.

But how can Nomar missing the game due to injury and probably hitting the DL possibly make you LESS likely to prefer a Choi/Saenz platoon?

Sure, Saenz was pretty bad today, but he's generally pretty bad against RHP. Hence the notion of a platoon.

2006-04-03 20:46:57
14.   D4P
Is it just me, or does Plaschke not seem to write about the Dodgers anymore?
2006-04-03 20:47:35
15.   natepurcell
Would anyone still prefer a Choi-Saenz platoon over a healthy Nomar?

yes, saenz still kills lefties. The point is, nomar wont be healthy.

2006-04-03 20:50:35
16.   D4P
Nate - Does Jared ever post over here?
2006-04-03 20:52:36
17.   natepurcell
no i dont think so, he should though.
2006-04-03 20:53:03
18.   GoBears
16. And is he still eatin' those Subway sandwiches?
2006-04-03 20:54:18
19.   Sam DC
16, 18 He was good in The Pretender.
2006-04-03 20:55:14
20.   D4P
I'm surprised that he doesn't. Maybe he likes posting where he feels like he knows more about baseball than other people...

I'm guessing he has upgraded his cuisine since making it big by getting smaller.

2006-04-03 20:57:32
21.   Steve
I'm guessing that CBS will be wishing they hadn't lost Two and a Half Men to the basketball game once they see the ratings.
2006-04-03 20:57:38
22.   Jon Weisman
14 - Plaschke has been with UCLA through today.
2006-04-03 21:05:19
23.   Steve
22 -- That makes me feel so sorry for them that I almost take back all the mean things I said about them.
2006-04-03 21:11:51
24.   King of the Hobos
Antonio Perez is playing SS for the A's right now. Apparently they trust his defense more than Tracy did
2006-04-03 21:19:23
25.   Steve
Jim Tracy used to play Repko in center. What makes you think he cared about defense?
2006-04-03 21:36:14
26.   D4P
Jim Tracy used to play Jason Phillips period. "" ""
2006-04-03 21:57:37
27.   King of the Hobos
Justin Upton is officially headed to center field, because the DBacks badly need more OF prospects (even if he's isn't much of a SS, they have Young ahead of him)
2006-04-03 22:11:10
28.   ToyCannon
Shouldn't that be put in perspective?
The A's were down by over a touchdown and the starting SS got hurt.
2006-04-03 22:23:01
29.   Uncle Miltie
Well Bradley went 2 for 4 today. Thank goodness we have Repko! Good baserunning by Bradley and the A's score their 2nd run.
2006-04-03 22:30:52
30.   natepurcell
repko ops= 1.000
bradley ops= 800


2006-04-03 22:31:25
31.   natepurcell
oops. i cant do math.

both have an OPS at 1.000

still, even trade off :)

2006-04-03 22:33:22
32.   King of the Hobos
28 But the A's have Scutaro, who seems like Tracy's ideal candidate to play SS in a worthless game. Remember, Tracy wouldn't let players play, even in the worst of situations (Choi and the last half of last season comes to mind)
2006-04-03 22:39:33
33.   thinkingblue

Because Saenz left 7 on base. And Nomar is a career .300 + hitter off Hudson. I don't wanna start another Choi conversation, but I will leave it at this, Choi has been placed on the DL, so he has not been better than Nomar at all.

At this point, I just really wanna see Nomar get on the field as soon as possible, after all, Kent showed today that ST stats are meaninless.

2006-04-03 22:40:49
34.   LAT
Would MB have caught Reneria's long double in the 6th? Maybe but probably not. Not sure if repko got a late jump or it was just a very dificcult play.

I though Kuo should have been able to finish out that inning. Even though he gave up two walks there were two outs and IIRC no one had hit the ball. I know one game means little but Yhancy does not inspire the confidence he once did.

Ironic how the first game of the season exposed what Jon and others have been saying for a while, that the 2006 Dodgers are not much deeper, if aat all, than the 2005 version.

Actually I was impressed with offense. 1 and 2 hitters go 7 for 11. While the 3-4-5 hitters pick up 8 RBIs. The Tomato hurt us but not everyone is going to come through. But the lack of bench power was glaring and the decesion to carry 12 pitchers was, as Jon said, arrogant. Apparently the extra pitcher we should not have carried was Lowe.

Nomar's injury is very disappointing and exposes the decision not to have JtD or the like available.

2006-04-03 22:46:18
35.   regfairfield
Can't blame Saenz. His job is to mash lefties, and he does it well. Not his fault his platoon partner got dropped for Ramon Martinez.
2006-04-03 22:48:37
36.   natepurcell
i will be okay with a loney+saenz platoon from here on out. probably be more productive then nomar anyways.
2006-04-03 22:50:22
37.   Uncle Miltie
Would MB have caught Reneria's long double in the 6th?
Yea, Bradley isn't stupid enough to leap for balls that are coming at him. He also made a great rolling catch today. Billy Beane robbed Ned blind.
2006-04-03 23:16:56
38.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
The illusion that Colletti has constructed a deeper team than the Dodgers had in 2005 should be dissolving like scales from the media's eyes soon.
From Gurnick's gamer: "Management's decision to carry 12 pitchers backfired in the later innings because Garciaparra's absence left a shorthanded bench even shorter."
Not much, but it's a start.
2006-04-03 23:17:49
39.   Eric Enders
Today, for the first time in my life, I find myself more depressed that basketball season has ended than I am excited that baseball season is starting. Not sure if that means anything, but, well, there it is.

But I do dig the new/old outfield fence color.

2006-04-03 23:20:56
40.   LAT
37. Miltie, I am willing to criticize Ned for a lot but I'm not sure MB is his fault. I believe Frank made it clear that MB had to go, thereby substantially reducing his market value. For me, the MB deal is on Frank, not Ned.

Now if you want to talk lack of depth, orginality or why we are the retirement home for the Giants. . .then we're talking Ned.

2006-04-03 23:23:09
41.   CanuckDodger
34 -- We ARE deeper than we were last year, though the reason has litle to do with Colletti and is all about our young players being one year older and more experienced than they were in 2005.

Considering the three factors of ability, age, and health (all of which are related, really), it is entirely possible that we can get more production out of a full year of Repko and Loney playing center field and first base respectively than we could get out of Lofton and Garciaparra playing all year in the same positions.

Of course I doubt very much that Lofton and Garciaparra will be out of action that long, but frankly, I find myself wishing they WERE hurt worse than they are. Jon recently said that spring training stats are meaningless. I think it would be more accurate to say those stats CAN BE misleading, as all stats can be. What I think this spring training's stats ACCURATELY reflect is that Repko performed much better than Lofton and is probably more capable right now than Lofton, and Loney's stats show that he outperformed Garciaparra and is likewise, right now, a superior player to Garciaparra, given Garciaparra's physical fragility. Repko is in his physical prime, and Loney has yet to even come close to reaching his but is on the upward slope. Lofton and Garciaparra, conversely, are on the decline, have been for some time, and their acquisition amounted to a gamble on Colletti's part that they have not quite reached bottom yet, much like Evans took a gamble that McGriff had one more year in him and lost his bet.

2006-04-03 23:29:19
42.   Louis in SF
I just watched the tape of the game, unfortunately lost the end of the 8th and 9th. For those who think the Dodger bench is not much better than last, I agree but do believe and hope that Las Vegas willbe seen as the extension and be used more agressively. I know there are option issues but it strikes me thatwith some of these young guys being so close, you error on the side of bringing them up sooner rather than later.

Sutcliff throughout the game said he thinks Nomar is not the hitter he was, and if he is as fragile and not the power hitter he once was, keeping Martinez over Choi will end up being a big mistake. I hope the Dodgers bring up either Guzman or Looney, however if those two are not ready, what may make more sense is to bring up Either

2006-04-03 23:31:42
43.   oldbear
Would anyone still prefer a Choi-Saenz platoon over a healthy Nomar?

This mythical 'healthy' Nomar hasnt appeared since 2003.

Which is why just 'hoping' he'd appear in 2006 was not smart planning.

What are you really rooting for?

I'm rooting for a team that can someday be dominant. In order to be dominant, you need superstar level expensive players, and high upside cheap youngsters...What the Dodgers have given me this year is something different...Something boring...Something in which there's little interest in watching develop, bc there's very little deviation on what might occur this year.

If Guzman, Billingsley, Martin and Aybar all come up and start, I'll have something to be interested in. If Werth comes back, it'll be interesting to see what kind of player he is or could possibly be in CF.

But watching Mueller, Saenz, Lofton, Ramon Martinez, Nomar is just plain boring.

2006-04-03 23:43:44
44.   LAT
44. Its only one game but at least Mueller was exciting. 4-2 with some very nice defensive plays.
2006-04-03 23:45:35
45.   oldbear
What I think this spring training's stats ACCURATELY reflect is that Repko performed much better than Lofton and is probably more capable right now than Lofton, and Loney's stats show that he outperformed Garciaparra and is likewise, right now, a superior player to Garciaparra, given Garciaparra's physical fragility.

The question isnt Repko vs Lofton....or Nomar vs Loney.....

The question should be whether Repko, Lofton, Nomar, or Loney are good enough to begin with???

I dont think any of them are, nor were good bets enterings this year.

Sure, I'd rather have Dave Roberts than Jason Grabowski patrolling the OF. But honestly, I wouldnt have either guy on my team.

I feel that same way about Loney, Repko, Nomar, and Lofton.

The whole attitude about "Well he may stink now but he could get better bc he's young", was applied to Cesar Izturis. To me, Loney and Repko are getting the Izzy treatment. Players that couldnt hit in the minors, but have a defensive reputation, and the defenders claim they are improving. Nevermind if 'improving' means going from a terrible player to a merely below average player. Nonetheless, I dont want a player on the MLB roster if they cant prove their worth at the minor league level first.

Repko, Loney, Izturis do not belong on the Dodgers roster IMO.

2006-04-03 23:48:00
46.   oldbear
44. Thats true I did like our lineup 1-4.

Its 5-9 that makes me want to take a nap.

2006-04-04 00:01:46
47.   Bob Timmermann
2006-04-04 00:22:37
48.   Eric Enders
Would anyone still prefer a Choi-Saenz platoon over a healthy Nomar?

Assuming a healthy Choi too, then yes.

2006-04-04 00:28:07
49.   CanuckDodger
45 -- Actually, the question IS Repko or Lofton, and Garciaparra or Loney? That OldBear does not LIKE the question, or any of the limited number of possible answers to the question, is irrelevent, isn't it? I am not trying to pick a fight here, but in all good spirits I think it has to be said that OldBear's opinions about what constitutes a good baseball player are approximately a universe away from the opinons on the same subject entertained by the people who actually RUN the Dodgers. OldBear knows that, and that is why he is angry. He is perfectly entitled to be angry. If I had his beliefs, I would certainly be angry. The Los Angeles Dodgers have never been, for any amount of time worth mentioning, a "power and patience" baseball team, and they certainly won't be that team under Colletti. A few years ago OldBear's whipping boy, Dan Evans, said "You're not going to out-slug people in this park (Dodger Stadium)." That was practically a summation of the "Dodger Way." DePodesta's appointment as Dodger GM was a kind of French Revolution, as philosophically he represented a redudiation of the Dodger Way, the ancien regime. He tried to make the Dodgers fit the power and patience model, but he was not here long enough to carry out the full Revolution. Now, with DePo's neck having been fed to the guillotine as surely as Robespierre's was, the Restoration has occurred, and since when are friends of revolutions SUPPOSED to be happy with what comes with a restoration?
2006-04-04 00:34:29
50.   Bob Timmermann
Derek's just misunderstood I guess:
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-04 00:52:23
51.   oldbear
That was a good post Canuck. I agree with the comparison. I guess since the Dodgers are going to be ran a certain way, I might as well root for the lesser of two evils, rather than neither...?


2006-04-04 00:53:28
52.   Bob Timmermann

Is Ned Colletti the Thermidorian Reaction?

2006-04-04 00:58:11
53.   Strike4
It seems odd to be despairing the offense after a 10 run opening day. Tho even Vin concluded that today's problem was all the LOB's. My concern is the starting pitching staff that puts more fear into Dodger fans than into opposing batters, and gives up 7 earned runs in 5 innings.
2006-04-04 01:06:27
54.   regfairfield
53 Much like Derek Lowe won't be that terrible every day, the offense also isn't going to get 15 hits every day.
2006-04-04 01:15:33
55.   CanuckDodger
49 -- For the record, I think "redudiation" should be a real word, because it has a nice ring to it, but I meant to say "repudiation."

Jon, I say we need an edit feature for posts AFTER they have been posted, for those of us for whom proof-reading doesn't work until the post is posted, for some reason. We're people to.

2006-04-04 01:22:25
56.   CanuckDodger
Has anyone noticed that Tony Jackson says in his Daily News piece that ANDY LaRoche hit a three-run homer for the Braves on Monday? I guess if we WON'T use our own prospects in the majors, other teams WILL. lol
2006-04-04 01:24:32
57.   CanuckDodger
55 -- That should be "too." Damn it, Jon!
2006-04-04 02:31:20
58.   Steve
Please clean the guillotine. We need it for Derek Lowe today.
2006-04-04 06:11:50
59.   MartinBillingsley31
I know ace starting pitchers are hard to come by, but man we need an ace starting pitcher.

Also, i wondering if repko would outperform lofton, i'd rather have neither, but...

Wild cards for this season are guzman, billingsley, martin, broxton, and werth.
If they can all get it together, we can start replacing some slackers.

Nomar is a big question mark, or should i say 1b is a big question mark, if nomar can't get healthy we have a problem at 1b.
Especially since guzman is our replacement for lofton/repko (or at least my opinion guzman is the replacement for lofton/repko).

2006-04-04 06:19:55
60.   Colorado Blue
Hey all, it has been quite a while since I've been motivated enough to post; but I'm always lurking!

Two plays that stick out in my mind that led to the Dodgers demise yesterday: 1) Lowe's lapse after the Kent error (which, by the way, on the replays looked like the last hop took a "scrappy" jump) and 2) Repko's fantastic castatrophe in CF.

In regards to 2), obviously project BROTHeR needs to be reinstated.

All-in-all, I followed Jon's advise and sat back and took it all in. It was nice to see the near-comeback.

Jon, you're absolutely correct: the bench is thin and I believe it will be our Achille's Heal all year. I propose getting rid of the 12th pitcher, promoting Guzman and Ethier, and optioning Repko. Put Drew in CF, Guzman in LF, keep Cruz in RF, and Ethier can be the 4th/5th guy with Lofton. I'd rather watch them get experience than experience the sinking feeling I get everytime the ball is hit Repko's way.

2006-04-04 06:45:44
61.   dzzrtRatt
55 Please don't add an edit-comments feature!

Might I remind you that if Jon had that feature, none of us would be burnishing the cat right now?

2006-04-04 07:11:57
62.   D4P
In his deposition, Derek Lowe acknowledged that the Red Sox thought he had a drinking issue but that he disagreed.

"I don't have a drinking problem...I have a drinking solution"

The more I learn about Lowe, the better I feel about a society that rewards a guy like him with $36 million.

2006-04-04 07:19:58
63.   Sam DC
It's Not Quite Chavez Ravine Watch. Lovely article from the Post about the Navy Yard gay clubs that shuttered over the weekend to make way for ballpark construction:

"No amount of Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton and Mariah Carey songs could mask the pain. One by one, until the wee hours Monday morning, the reigning drag queens of Half Street SE descended the stairs at Ziegfeld's cabaret to strut their last, blowing kisses to admirers and making a few more sweepingly glamorous gestures -- all of it a farewell to the shabby but perfect place they called home for three decades.

Ziegfeld's, and four other establishments on the same forsaken industrial block at Half and O streets, closed yesterday in a cruelly predictable high school metaphor: The jocks win."

2006-04-04 07:41:11
64.   D4P
Lowe would get drunk last season in the Dodgers clubhouse with clubhouse manager Dave Dickinson, Trinka contends.

1. Nothing like "chemistry" in the clubhouse.
2. Looks like Derek gets bombed on and off the field.

2006-04-04 08:18:22
65.   Marty
What disturbs me the most is Lowe's definition of "American".
2006-04-04 08:20:14
66.   D4P
Do you mean to tell me that there are Americans who aren't white...?
2006-04-04 09:13:20
67.   Terry A
I'm getting an early start on disliking Grady Little. In his Daily News quotes, he essentially pinned the loss on Kuo and Osoria.

None of those wily veterans had a hand in this, right Grady? It was the rookies' fault. I'm sure they won't feel pressure to be perfect the next time out.

2006-04-04 09:14:39
68.   D4P
And his old Red Sox buddy Lowe had nothing to do with it, of course.
2006-04-04 09:15:17
69.   FirstMohican
It's going to be hard rooting for Lowe after reading that.

Re: 64.2 - Zing!


A few comments about opening day:

The pavillion is getting worse, and the LAPD seem to be pretty relaxed, if not moreso than the ushers. Also, a $2 increase in ticket prices only gets you a new paintjob.

I'm a fan of the seats, but the peach and banana yellow are hard to differentiate when they're full of people (don't know why that's worth mentioning, shrug). I'm not a fan of the outfield wall, either, as it makes the ads stand out even more. Generally, the stadium feels brighter.

I can't remember the last day game I came into Dodger Stadium through Elysian Park, but the off-peak hour parking on Sunset is killer. It took 20 minutes to get from Westchester to Downtown, and 40 minutes to get from 3rd & Beaudry to the parking lot.

2006-04-04 09:53:58
71.   Humma Kavula
67 I'm glad you pointed that out. I was wondering if I was the only one who'd notice...


You've just lost your opening day game 11-10. Which of your first three pitchers do you blame?

a) The Proven Veteran starter, who gave up 8 in his five innings;

b) The rookie reliever, who got 2 quick outs, then walked two;

c) The wily pitcher who took over for pitcher b, giving up a big double and allowing both those runs to score

If you said b, then you, too, could manage a Major League franchise!

2006-04-04 10:00:54
72.   blue22
Painfully obvious yesterday that LA needs another lefty on the bench. If Loney is indeed coming up to replace Nomar, then another move that should be made is to replace Ross with Ethier.

An Ethier/Repko rotation should be able to hold down the fort until Lofton is ready.

2006-04-04 10:05:48
73.   D4P
An Ethier/Repko rotation might be better than Lofton.

Then again, it might not.

2006-04-04 10:17:02
74.   blue22
73 - Slight correction:
Ethier/Repko better than Lofton/Repko.

Not sure Lofton gets many AB's versus lefties.

2006-04-04 10:17:51
75.   screwballin
Is everyone really that hyped about bringing Loney up? He's 22, hit .284/.357/.419 at AA and has never played at AAA. Seems to me he needs to impress in Vegas before they should even consider him.

Let's not rush him until he looks ready.

2006-04-04 10:23:45
76.   blue22
75 - The alternatives would be:

- to sign Carlos Pena for a short term solution

- play Olmedo fulltime

- move Kent to 1st, sub in Ramon or Oscar at 2nd

- bring up Loney to platoon with Olmedo

Looking at it this way, why not give Loney a shot?

2006-04-04 10:32:18
77.   underdog
I was busy burnishing the cat, or admonisning the bishop, just dropping in on this now...

Saenz playing full time is not an option, period. So bringing up Loney (or Guzman) for now is fine by me. Honestly, I like Nomar and hope he contributes this year but wasn't counting on him that much. Still really early in the year to be judging this move, of course. I was a little more disappointed about Lofton, actually, because, despite his age, he's always been in great shape, and always at least starts the season healthy. We'll see...

Meanwhile, you can ask Ned Colletti about this yourself with a chat on today at 2pm.

Or, if you can't make it, I'll preview the questions for ya:
"Ned, here's the sixteenth question about Nomar's status..."
"Ned, are you going to replace Derek Lowe with Chad Billingsley for the next start?"
"Do you miss Milton Bradley?"

Poor guy...

2006-04-04 10:34:21
78.   D4P
I think Ned needs to stand before the American people and explain his decision to cut ties with a cheap, popular, left-handed, power-hitting first baseman.
2006-04-04 10:36:28
79.   bigcpa
For those of you who recall my in-game Jim Tracy updates yesterday, here's his eerie explanation for the early hook of Oliver Perez (93 pitches, 9k, 3h, 1er) that may have cost Pittsburgh the game:

"Could Perez have continued? The answer is definitely yes," Tracy said. "However, when you've got a guy with a pitch count as high as he's been since we began spring training, and now Lee is the go-ahead run, you've got a pretty good guy out there to put the inning down."

Perez "fanned six of his final eight batters and trailed in the count to only one."

2006-04-04 10:37:14
80.   Jacob L
Great post as usual, Jon. I, too, went through the game feeling less invested than usual, but I'm not sure the GM change is the only factor. We took our 10-month old daughter. Making sure she's fed, gets a nap, not too cold/wet etc. tends to put the ballgame more in the background. All in all, it was fun, despite the loss. Plus where others see "proven veterans" I guess I see placeholders and retreads. If the team is a winner, though, I'm on board.

Couple other comments on the experience - confiscating umbrellas at the gate was just ridiculous. I'd think the ushers can keep people from opening them in the seats, but how can they require people to get soaked walking back to their cars? Literally thousands of people just discarded their umbrellas yesterday.

I really liked the new color scheme, including the outfield wall, which I guess isn't the consensus view here. It just looks more like Dodger Stadium to me, and all in all, the sense of shabbiness that pervaded the last few years is gone. The only thing is, you always used to be able to tell people where you were sitting by color (I'm in orange). Do you now say "I'm in salmon" or "I'm in toothpaste?"

2006-04-04 10:46:36
81.   Humma Kavula
76 Actually, I kind of prefer the Carlos Pena option (and isn't Durazo available, too?).

We need a stopgap; Loney's probably not ready and there's no reason to start his clock; Pena or Durazo is probably the best hitter, at the moment, of the available options.

Until we know more about how long Nomar will be out, getting one of those guys doesn't seem like the worst thing Colletti could do.

2006-04-04 10:48:42
82.   blue22
81 - What happens with Pena when Nomar comes back? I think LA just released a big lefty 1B because there was no place for him in the organization.

If only there were 10-day contracts in baseball.

2006-04-04 10:49:02
83.   LAT
80. Jacob, they took the umbrellas because later in the season they are going to have "Dodger Umbrella Give-A-Way Day." Its an inexpensive way to add another promotional day.

As for the stadium, Jamie said its "Robin Egg Blue" not "toothpaste." So just tell all your manly friends you are sitting in the Robin Egg Section.

Seriously, the one part of the remodel that looks terrible is the multicolored wall behind the Dugout Club. Its looks like a carnival or funhouse entrance. I guess its appropriate because there are clowns sitting in the owners box.

2006-04-04 10:50:22
84.   Steve
Remember, all the replacement has to do is get 9 homeruns and 100 RBIs.
2006-04-04 10:51:41
85.   screwballin
79 Much as I hate to do it, I've got to agree with Tracy on this one. The most Perez had pitched in ST was 5 1/3 innings; you've got to protect your young star pitcher this early in the season, and you've got to have the confidence in your bullpen that it'll do the job.

Tracy's decision to let him hit in the previous inning with the bases loaded, however, was unforgivable if he was worried about pitch counts.

2006-04-04 10:53:55
86.   Jacob L
Are robin eggs actually that color? That's neat.

Or perhaps they've named all the colors after discarded team names - Superba Peach and Bridegroom Blue.

I also like the circus wall behind the plate, but just because it resembles the old dugout section.

2006-04-04 10:54:05
87.   LAT
Can someone explain to me why we kept Lowe, an apparently serious drunk, an adulterer and a potential raciest, yet Frank determined Bradley had to go because of character issues. Huh?
2006-04-04 10:54:08
88.   screwballin
81 Durazo is supposedly pretty brutal with the glove.
2006-04-04 10:57:34
89.   Marty
You can't bring an umbrella into the stadium on a rainy day?? What's with that?
2006-04-04 10:58:22
90.   Humma Kavula
[82] [88] Hey, none of the options is good. There was a good option -- a backup plan, in case this happened, which was forseeable. The backup plan, the good option, was waived.

Of the bad options, I like Pena or Durazo the best.

2006-04-04 10:59:30
91.   D4P
Don't forget Kent and Furcal.
2006-04-04 11:01:40
92.   Steve
One of Tracy's more enduring charms is his tendency to paint himself into a corner then complain he is wearing his good shoes.
2006-04-04 11:01:49
93.   Steve
One of Tracy's more enduring charms is his tendency to paint himself into a corner then complain he is wearing his good shoes.
2006-04-04 11:02:58
94.   Humma Kavula
92 "enduring charms"... i like that.
2006-04-04 11:03:17
95.   Vishal
[86] i vote that we call it Blushing Bridegroom and Superba Gold.
2006-04-04 11:05:46
96.   blue22
90 - I'm all about Loney. Wasn't this supposed to be a strength this year - that the kids would be able to contribute this year if needed? Well, he's needed.

It doesn't seem like this is a long-term injury for Nomar, so I don't see the danger in bring him up for some at-bats. Olmedo gets the at-bats against lefties, so this should be a comfortable, low-pressure tryout.

2006-04-04 11:06:51
97.   underdog
Potential racist?

Anyway... the decision to release Choi will always be second guessed, particularly in a situation when the starting 1B goes down so early. I'd certainly like to have Choi on the team right now at this very moment - and maybe they do too (hindsight is 20-20) but with one or two 1B in the minors just about ready, several other people who can play 1b already on the team, they felt they didn't have room for him. If Nomar is out for a few days or a couple of weeks and then comes back feeling fine, signing a first baseman will make no sense. If it appears he can't go longer, then it might behoove them to make a move.

Keep in mind Izturis may be back sooner than they'd originally expected, which could conceivably mean Kent to first, Izturis to 2nd. IF Nomar is more seriously hurt than this sounds. Let's check back in a few weeks and see how things look.

Or let's just ask Ned in a few hours... ;-)

2006-04-04 11:08:46
98.   Blu2
There are probably 36 million reasons, or as much of that money that is still owed. Bradley was relatively cheap so he was desireable to other teams. It is hard to impossible to trade players at Lowe's salary level unless you want to cover part of that money, Remember the ten million dollars of Green's salary we had to pay last year. And Iishi...
2006-04-04 11:08:51
99.   underdog
Or, what 96 said.
2006-04-04 11:11:25
100.   Steve
If they are doing their jobs, and Logan White is as smart as everybody thinks he is since DePodesta was fired, there will be prospects to replace these prospects. It's time to either commit to the program, or admit there is no program.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-04-04 11:25:49
101.   Penarol1916
97. Yeah, he should have left the potential out of that statement, perhaps he was just being kind and assuming it was a one-time screw-up by Lowe.
2006-04-04 11:31:08
102.   D4P

I wasn't sure whether 97 meant

Potential racist? or Potential racist?

2006-04-04 11:33:28
103.   Christina
101 My take was that he was being kind. After all, maybe Lowe was drunk while being questioned...
2006-04-04 11:33:51
104.   blue22
How about alleged racist.
2006-04-04 11:39:16
105.   Penarol1916
104. That works too.
2006-04-04 11:54:53
106.   Andrew Shimmin
88- Well, okay, but how were his Spring training numbers?
2006-04-04 11:54:55
107.   tjshere
How hilarious would it be to work a trade with the Red Sox to acquire the 1st baseman they claimed off of waivers a few weeks ago?
2006-04-04 11:56:39
108.   D4P
I love it!
2006-04-04 12:00:32
109.   ToyCannon
I don't see any parallel between Lowe and Milton. If Milton had kept his mouth shut when asked to by Depodesta and Tracy he'd still be on the team. What he did was a firing excuse. Being a jerk and a drunk during off work hours and an adulterer are not firing offenses if you still do your job. Ignoring your boss is. This was an issue that HAD to be handled in house before it got to big. It wasn't, it got to big and were still paying for Milton's immaturity.
2006-04-04 12:03:52
110.   D4P
Being a jerk and a drunk during off work hours and an adulterer are not firing offenses if you still do your job.

I suppose some would question whether Lowe is "still doing his job" or not.

2006-04-04 12:06:42
111.   ToyCannon
Durazo or Pena are the same better options that Choi/Saenz would have been.
If the Yankee's are smart they would pick up one of the two so they have some backup when Giambi gets hurt. As bad as Durazo is with a glove he might even be better then Giambi. I never saw Dick Stuart play 1st base but I've heard he was the worse defensive 1st baseman to ever play the game but I have to think Giambi could give him a run for the title. What a hack.
2006-04-04 12:09:04
112.   underdog
I was surprised Lowe looked so bad yesterday, after he'd looked sharp all spring (and I know spring training and regular season are two different kettle of fish, but he did look pretty good, and looked better later in the year last year, too) - so I wonder if off the field distractions are again a problem, or if it was just an anomaly. I really would urge people not to judge Lowe based on one bad game or a few other problems, so early in the season. If he continues to look like crap, then we can start to worry more officially. At least we have Billingsley in the waiting room.
2006-04-04 12:13:43
113.   LAT
I said potential racist because Lowe apparently thinks on white people are Americans. I added the "potential" to cut him some slack in the event he merely misspoke or was being careless with his words.
2006-04-04 12:14:33
114.   Bob Timmermann
The worst you could say is that Lowe is a possible racist, which is a statement that applies to everybody. You can also say that he doesn't really think before he speaks or realizes the ramifications of what he says, but it happens to all of us.

However, I'm not overly sympathetic with Lowe and his various problems.

2006-04-04 12:16:54
115.   ToyCannon
What do Zambrano, Zito, Lieber, Harang, Kazmir, and Hudson have in common with Lowe?

I wonder if their fans are wondering if they will be crappy all year based on one start.

2006-04-04 12:17:21
116.   subclub
Can you seriously say with a straight face that we would be a weaker team with an "immature" Bradley in CF instead of Repko? Me neither. It seems like it would be worth dealing with his "issues" (which IMO were blown out of proportion) in exchange for his bat (not to mention superior defense).

The most frustrating part for me: at the end it seemed like Bradley was making a real effort, but McCourt/Flanders/Kent weren't willing to try to find a way to make it work. I hope he shines in Oakland.

2006-04-04 12:22:16
117.   Fallout
Ironically Choi would be on the DL too. He has a bad hamstring.

The Dodgers lost that ballgame because of the booted ball by Valentin. Oh, that was last year.

How can you complain about the offense when it scores 10 runs? How can you complain about the lack of a bench when Garciaparra was scratched just B4 the game? The wisdom of carring 12 pitchers and a smaller bench is always a question. But, yesterday's problem was that they did not have 25 players.

2006-04-04 12:22:33
118.   LAT
Didn't Boras and/or the Red Sox have a duty to disclose their knowledge regarding Lowe's drinking problem? (If they did, then Depo's a fool.)

If you bought a house and the seller and the broker know the foundation is rotted by termite damage you would be entitled to rescind the transaction or to damages.

2006-04-04 12:24:25
119.   ToyCannon
Where did I say we'd be a weaker team with Milton???????????????
Learn to read before writing a rebuttal.
2006-04-04 12:25:28
120.   Penarol1916
114. To my mother, his stating that Latins aren't Americans would probably be the bigger offense. Of course that's primarily because she always yelled at us whenever we referred to Americans as strictly people from the US.
2006-04-04 12:25:38
121.   regfairfield
117 Because, ultimately, that game doesn't mean much.

Much like I'm not going to throw under the bus, I'm not going to look at this one game change my opinion that this is an average offense, plus J.D. Drew.

2006-04-04 12:26:33
122.   MartinBillingsley31

How can you complain about the offense when it scores 10 runs?

Keep in mind that the braves bullpen is considered by many the worst bullpen among the contending teams this season.

2006-04-04 12:26:38
123.   ToyCannon
No way Depo did not know about Lowe's drinking problem. It has been common knowledge for years. He signed Lowe because he knew that drinking and baseball go hand in hand and many players still perform at a high level even if they are hard drinkers. Mantle/Ford are just a tiny example but the HOF is full of hard drinking ballplayers.
2006-04-04 12:26:46
124.   regfairfield
Dang, actually previewed that one. Throw Lowe under the bus I mean.
2006-04-04 12:29:04
125.   Steve
One start?
2006-04-04 12:29:13
126.   LAT
What do Zambrano, Zito, Lieber, Harang, Kazmir, and Hudson have in common with Lowe?

I guess its the starters turn this year. Remember the first week of last year when nearly every established closer was getting lit-up. They settled down and I suspect the starters will too. But these revelations about Lowes drinking are unsettling. Makes me wonder about Carolyn Hughes. As the risk of playing junior shrink, what happened in her life to draw her to a guy with a serious drinking problem. Maybe it was the $36M that made him attractive. Boy, am I cynical today. I think its time for lunch.

2006-04-04 12:29:18
127.   Fallout
114. Bob Timmermann

Thank you Bob. My feelings exactly. I do not like it when I hear the word "racist", especially when used in a vague context.

2006-04-04 12:30:20
128.   subclub
I didn't say you said anything; I was posing a rhetorical question to illustrate how it might have been worth dealing with Bradley's "issues". Take it easy.
2006-04-04 12:38:04
129.   Bob Timmermann
Looking at the schedules for the Dodgers and Braves, if tonight's game is rained out, there aren't a lot of good options.

There could be a doubleheader Wednesday, but I somehow think that McCourt would hate that. Hate to the extreme.

The Dodgers are off Thursday, but the Braves will be in San Francisco.

Atlanta does make a second West Coast trip (its last one of the year) in late May to San Diego and Arizona. The Dodgers and Braves are both off on May 25 and they could make it up then, but the Braves have to play a day game in Chicago the next day, so it would have to be a day game.

2006-04-04 12:40:29
130.   underdog
So... 161 games to go.

{{This reminder was brought to you by Bufferin PM and by Maalox}}

2006-04-04 12:42:01
131.   Bob Timmermann
And there is also the outside possibility that the Dodgers would have to make up any extra games in Atlanta.

Frank would really (x10) hate that.

2006-04-04 12:43:47
132.   blue22
I take it this is the Braves only swing through LA then?
2006-04-04 12:44:51
133.   Vishal
[117] Ironically Choi would be on the DL too.

how do you know that? i thought he pulled his hamstring playing for boston. unless you think hamstrings are like ticking timebombs which will go off regardless of circumstance, i find it hard to presuppose that hitting against a different pitcher, in a different city, on a different baseball field, with a different batted ball that choi would have had the exact same injury at the same time regardless.

2006-04-04 12:45:06
134.   Penarol1916
127. How is saying that only the white players are American vague?
2006-04-04 12:46:53
135.   Penarol1916
133. If he was still in LA, not only would he have not been hitting against the same pitcher in a similar situation, he probably would have been sitting on the bench that day and not injured his hamstring.
2006-04-04 12:46:58
136.   Vishal
[134] exactly. as a non-white american, that totally rubs me the wrong way.
2006-04-04 12:48:23
137.   Marty
This is the only trip to L.A. for Atlanta.

The Daily news has Camille Johnson saying the current plan is for a doubleheader tomorrow if we are rained out tonight. They are still trying to decide about making it a traditional one-admission doubleheader or whether to empty out the stadium after the first game and charge admission again.

They don't know what they will do if Wednesday is rained out too.

2006-04-04 12:51:15
138.   Christina
136 As a white American, it rubs me the wrong way too.

Even if Lowe was speaking without thinking, or possibly drunk, I'll still find it hard to root for him from now on.

2006-04-04 12:55:56
139.   Fallout
134. Penarol1916
How is saying that only the white players are American vague?

Did he really say that?

2006-04-04 12:56:48
140.   Bob Timmermann
"Racism" is a very strong term and has a lot of ramifications. "Stupid" or "incosiderate" doesn't have as many. And I think you can only convict Lowe of the latter two., not the first one.
2006-04-04 12:57:10
141.   MartinBillingsley31
Get over the racist stuff.
EVERY race has racists in it.
Are you going to say there are no black racists?, i don't think so.

Separate race from baseball, and get over it.

Sorry but i'm not politically correct in what seems like an overly politically correct culture we have now.

I'm so sick and tired of people accusing other people of being racist, JUST GET OVER IT.

2006-04-04 12:58:40
142.   Fallout
138. Christina
Even if Lowe was speaking without thinking, or possibly drunk, I'll still find it hard to root for him from now on.
(You left off the depression)

Well, I can understand why he is so inconsistant.

2006-04-04 13:01:55
143.   Blu2
Ridiculous to try to blame the Red Sox, WE SIGNED HIM AS A FREE AGENT!!! And Boras? Agent/client privelege. He is legally restrained from releasing negative information on his client.
2006-04-04 13:06:00
144.   Penarol1916
141. That doesn't even make sense as a defense of Lowe. If Milton Bradley said that he considered only black guys to be Americans, then yeah, I'd consider him a racist. Honestly, it's not an attack on white guys, just Derek Lowe.

139. Fallout, read the LA Observed article that Jon linked to above for that quote.

2006-04-04 13:09:56
145.   Vishal
[139] the exact quote was:

Lowe said that he went out to "team dinners" several times last season, his first in L.A. Asked if all 25 players attended, he said: "No. The American people, white people..."

it certainly seems like he meant "american" and "white" synonymously. whatever, it's trivial but stupid nonetheless. it's not worth getting up in arms about, and i'm not going to get into any debates about "racism", but it's a dumb thing to say and something that merits some attention being called to it.

2006-04-04 13:11:09
146.   blue22
144 - I think Fallout is asking if that was what he really said, as I think many are interpreting his words without necessarily quoting him.

He did not say that only whites are american. He said "the American people, white people...". What I take that is as double-qualifying the group he is referring to. It was the American whites that hung out together.

Stupid and clunky, but not racist in my honest/humble opinion.

2006-04-04 13:11:18
147.   Andrew Shimmin
It's entirely possible that he was saying that the only Americans (not a popular definition, perhaps, but an accepted one) on the team were white people, not that only white people can be Americans. It's still stupid (and, you know, wrong), but it's not racist. Also, I never trust anybody with ellipses; for all we know, he explained exactly what he stupidly meant.
2006-04-04 13:11:39
148.   Curtis Lowe
126- What makes you assume something happened in Carolyn Hughes childhood to make her fall for a man with a dirnking problem? Maybe her definition of drinking problem is different than yours. Any man that drinks alcohol and still makes 12 mil per year doesn't really sound like drinking is too much of a problem in their lives. And I think Bob put it best when he said that Lowe's response to the question was inconsiderate and stupid but not racist or hateful. Also, who on the team last year was not white but still from the US? Bradley is the only player I can think of and he was probably busy being hurt and wasn't invited.
2006-04-04 13:13:13
149.   MartinBillingsley31

Honestly, it's not an attack on white guys, just Derek Lowe.

So if lowe is a racist, then big deal, get over it, who cares.
Just like if bradley is a racist, then big deal, get over it, who cares.

There are racists everywhere, so what, get over it.

I just don't really care if anyone is a racist.
And i'm SO SICK AND TIRED OF THE RACE CARD BEING PLAYED for anything and everything.

There i'm done with this subject.

2006-04-04 13:13:45
150.   overkill94
As far as the Americans comment, the ellipses makes me think he explained it better than the quote is leading on. Sure he may sound ignorant in the quote, but I don't think it means he doesn't truly think Milton Bradley is an American.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-04-04 13:16:45
151.   Curtis Lowe
150-Also Bradley was hurt. Maybe he didn't want to go out.
2006-04-04 13:16:49
152.   Christina
148 - it's perfectly possible to make a lot of money and still have a drinking problem. They aren't exclusive.

I don't know if Lowe is a racist or not. But he's not someone I'd want to hang out with. Do I advocate he be tossed off the Dodgers? No, at least not for this - his pitching, on the other hand...we'll have to see if yesterday was an anomaly.

2006-04-04 13:19:00
153.   Steve
Any reason to hate Derek Lowe more is enough.
2006-04-04 13:20:34
154.   Steve
By the way, Roderick's last paragraph is a great back-handed slap at Plaschke. Read it again if you missed it the first time.
2006-04-04 13:21:23
155.   Curtis Lowe
152- There's a difference between drinking alot and having a drinking problem. It becomes a problem when you start to hurt yourself or those around you but if you can maintain then how is drinking too much a problem?
2006-04-04 13:21:48
156.   Marty
Ozzie ball is losing 8-2 in the eighth. Aaron Boone is 4-4 with a homer and 4 RBI. Thome hit another homerun today. All-around sparkplug/tablesetter Podsednik is still batting .000
2006-04-04 13:22:20
157.   dzzrtRatt
149 I understand the frustration with the race card when it is played, as OJ's lawyer admitted, "from the bottom of the deck." But Lowe was the one who made the comparison between "whites" and Americans. I have no idea if he's a racist, but he sure sounds like a dumb-ass.

Just curious, Martinbillingsley, what you would have done about John Rocker?

2006-04-04 13:23:29
158.   Fallout
144. Penarol1916

I did read it. He did not say, "Only the white players are American." That is how you interpreted it.

Sure he may have forgotten Bradley. But it's not a racist statement unless you move the words around.

2006-04-04 13:24:27
159.   Jon Weisman
On the one hand, I don't want to extend the discussion of racism here much further. Racism is one of those subjects that is too important and too personal for people, that is in a sense too big for this site.

On the other hand, I think there is a way for us to move on without dismissing racism as is done in 149, which intentionally or not, reduces racism to a mere annoyance that people need to just get past. The comment lumps together all accusations of racism, no matter how serious, and essentially tells the people pointing it out that they're the troublemakers. That's hard for me to swallow.

But again, we might want to let the racism debate go by here, not because the issue isn't worth talking about, but because I don't have faith that a discussion here will do it justice.

2006-04-04 13:24:43
160.   Bob Timmermann
The scariest ramification of Lowe's statements about "Americans" means that I'm lumped into the same category now as Scott Erickson!

And (gulp) Derek Lowe!

The 2005 Dodgers had just one player born in the U.S. who was not white and that was Bradley. Edwin Jackson I assume was born on a military base in Germany.

Speaking as someone who has stuck his foot in his mouth and offended his fair share of people in his day, the fact that Lowe's statements bothered some people, then they are offensive.

If you say something that upsets people, but then try to work your way out of it and try to cover up for the error in what you say, some people may forgive you. Some may not. That's not "political correctness". It's human nature.

2006-04-04 13:25:35
161.   Bob Timmermann

And I'll drop the issue.

2006-04-04 13:27:45
162.   Christina
155 I pretty much agree with you that the line is whether someone is at the point where he's hurting himself and/or the people around him. My point is that making millions isn't something that precludes having a drinking problem. All we know about it is that Lowe is financially self-supporting - it doesn't mean he's not hurting himself and the people around him in other ways. Nor does it mean that, either. The fact he makes money doesn't prove anything either way, and it's a dangerous mistake to assume that because someone can get up in the morning, go to work, and pull a paycheck, he doesn't have a drinking problem.

And for the record, no, I don't know if Lowe has a drinking problem or not.

2006-04-04 13:28:56
163.   Vishal
[149] And i'm SO SICK AND TIRED OF THE RACE CARD BEING PLAYED for anything and everything.

who is playing "the race card"? the race card is when you blame something bad that happened to you on racism. nothing bad happened to anyone here, unless you count missing out on dinner with derek lowe et al. something bad, which i don't.

secondly, nobody called lowe an actual racist. i believe "potential" is as strong as it got, and most people wouldn't even be that strong in their characterization.

and finally, if he IS, i certainly don't care. you're right, there are a lot of them out there. but that doesn't mean that it's okay or condonable or that people shouldn't be called out for their racially-tinged statements.

2006-04-04 13:29:15
164.   MartinBillingsley31

Just curious, Martinbillingsley, what you would have done about John Rocker?

Nothing, because i don't care.

I just hate when people whine about race.

I can't stand political correctness.


2006-04-04 13:31:19
165.   Penarol1916
158. I disagree, but in the end, I'm having such a hard time gearing up for the season this year, I need something to get me to care about this year's team. I feel so blah about his year's Dodger team I haven't even bought tickets to any of their games at Wrigley. Maybe I was just looking for something to hate about this team rather than feeling complete indifference for the Dodgers for the first time in my life.
2006-04-04 13:31:58
166.   Christina
I'm going to follow Jon's advice and bite my tongue, because I agree with him that a discussion of racism here likely isn't going to do it justice.

In fact, change that "likely" to "almost certainly not".

2006-04-04 13:32:36
167.   D4P
Maybe I was just looking for something to hate about this team rather than feeling complete indifference for the Dodgers for the first time in my life.

I have found plenty to dislike about the Dodgers for a least a decade now.

2006-04-04 13:34:08
168.   Curtis Lowe
162- Good point.

164- Are you a fan of Carlos Mencia? I really enjoy how he brings races together through laughter and instead of running from differences in cultures he mocks them and shows the world we really aren't all that different.

2006-04-04 13:34:18
169.   Adam
One of the surest signs of alcoholism is that other people think it's a problem and try to intervene. The fact that Lowe doesn't agree is pretty meaningless. If the reports are true, then I think it's clear that he has a problem and needs help. Alcoholism and depression are serious diseases, and they require treatment. While it's lots of fun to mock him for his vices, I don't think we'd do the same if he was a smoker diagnosed with lung cancer. As a person, I hope he gets the help he needs and gets better soon.

As a pitcher, though, I hope he starts getting some outs. I don't think we can blame his terrible performance on any off-field problems, as he's been pretty consistently awful for several years now. There's no point in blaming Depodesta for not knowing about the off-field stuff. The major complaint about stats oriented analysis is that it discounts off-field behavior in favor of the on-field performance, and Lowe was severly lacking in the latter. Depo should be roundly criticized for signing him, based solely on the fact Lowe has pitched exactly as poorly as he had in the past.

2006-04-04 13:35:55
170.   Andrew Shimmin
Anybody read Simers, today? What would have had to go wrong in a person's childhood for him to stand in the parkinglot, after opening day, waiting to get an autograph from Frank McCourt? I guess if you figure that half of the "small crowd" were process servers. . .
2006-04-04 13:36:31
171.   Christina
167 - my number one reason for disliking the Dodgers, right now, would be Brett Tomko.

Objectively, there are no doubt better reasons for dislike, but because I live in SF and have had to endure endless mocking of that particular acquisition from Giants fans who know just how awful Tomko is, he's number one on my personal list.

2006-04-04 13:39:05
172.   Penarol1916
167. But at least the dislike is a feeling. You know what they say, the true opposite of love isn't hate, it is ambivalence.
2006-04-04 13:40:26
173.   Curtis Lowe
165- I don't understand how you and a few other posters can feel so blah about this season. I understand that major things have changed since last season some good and some bad but isn't rooting for your team enough to get excited about? Maybe I am just blinded by my own homerism but I can find many things about this years team to be excited about. Penny should be fully recovered from his nerve injury and should be interesting to watch, Furcal is killer at SS and a great lead off hitter, Jas Seo could blossom into a great pitcher, we have all these kids that will make appearences this season.
2006-04-04 13:41:57
174.   Fallout
I think that people who take a murky statement and state that it is potentially something else are "sensitivist".
2006-04-04 13:42:30
175.   D4P
My feelings are a combination of dislike and indifference. It used to fun to root for the Dodgers. It really isn't anymore. But I'm still interested in seeing how things play out, though more from a "scientific" point of view than from that of a partisan, emotionally-invested fan.
2006-04-04 13:44:03
176.   bigcpa
Fireside Chat with Ned about to begin. I just submitted a sarcastic question regarding the 1b situation. Let's see if it gets past the screener. :)
2006-04-04 13:44:31
177.   Curtis Lowe
175- Thats usually how I feel when a relationship I'm in is about 2 miles from splitsville.
2006-04-04 13:45:48
178.   oldbear
we have all these kids that will make appearences this season

And my limited optimism will return, should that time come. Until then, this season is just a major blah....

Never been a fan of the average grizzled vet...

2006-04-04 13:46:04
179.   Bob Timmermann
I find that I have no sense of connectedness with this Dodgers team. I think that's because the Dodgers added a couple players I have loathed before (Tomko and Lofton), a guy I never really liked much (Furcal) and then many of them hardly appeared at all during spring training.

I've never felt like there was a cohesive plan for the 2006 season. Just grab a bunch of players who look apparently good and then hope for the best seems to be the theme.

2006-04-04 13:46:33
180.   D4P
I broke up with the Dodgers some time in the mid-90s, and was single until we got back together again when Lo Duca was traded. But our relationship has been tepid...
2006-04-04 13:48:10
181.   D4P
I concur. It's hard to root for guys you used to root against when they played on teams you don't like (e.g. Giants and Braves).
2006-04-04 13:49:22
182.   D4P
Wait a second: is that Depo's laptop?

2006-04-04 13:50:36
183.   Vishal
[174] oh whatever, dude. the quote was what it was. there might be SOME ambiguity there but if you want to call people "sensitivist" for taking it one way, then what are the people who claim it's the other way? apologist? "double-qualifier", indeed.
2006-04-04 13:51:16
184.   Vishal
bah. sorry jon, i got annoyed.
2006-04-04 13:52:26
185.   Christina
178 I fall with oldbear on this. I'll be a lot more interested and enthusiastic if/when they bring up the kids, as I think their development is the only really worthwhile thing about this season.
2006-04-04 13:52:30
186.   GoBears
I've never felt like there was a cohesive plan for the 2006 season. Just grab a bunch of players who look apparently good and then hope for the best seems to be the theme.

Exactly. The big open question, then, is whether this "seat of the pants" approach is just for this year, while the prospects get a little AAA seasoning, or whether this is just Colletti's (and McCourt's) approach to running a team, period. I'm betting that Nomar pays for himself in tickets and merchandise even if he manages fewer than 100 games and less than .800 OPS. A mediocre team full of "proven vets" is probably a good short-term business strategy. And the LA MSM aren't smart enough to disagree.

2006-04-04 13:52:50
187.   Curtis Lowe
Isn't that also the same as wanting to know every other partner your significant other has had? It's one of those things you have to get over in order to fully enjoy what you have. What you have is a baseball team that needs you just as much as you need it.
2006-04-04 13:53:21
188.   Penarol1916
173. Honestly, there are a lot of reasons besides what happened this offseason why I am so blah. First, the only other Dodger fan that I'm friends with in Chicago moved back to DC, so I haven't really had anyone to talk with about the team for real. The Hoyas' loss to Florida on that fluke play has left me drained as a fan. Also I have a severe irrational dislike of Colletti, that has nothing to do with DePodesta, which counteracts my love of the Dodgers. It could also be the fact that I've gotten rid of cable and thus the only baseball highlights I've seen are of the Cubs and White Sox.
2006-04-04 13:53:37
189.   Adam
179 I don't think that's so much the problem for me. I always loathed Jeff Kent but have had not problem rooting for him now. I change player loyalty very easily. I rooted for Sheffield and booed him when he left, but if he came back I'd cheer again as long as he could still hit. I think it's difficult to root for guys you hated when you think that their best days are well past them. I don't want guys to be successful with the Giants (ie Tomko) and then come here to die. That's my problem with this team, too many guys who I didn't like when they were in their prime who are now here to gasp through their last couple seasons.
2006-04-04 13:54:27
190.   bigcpa
182 It is but McCourt had the hard drive formatted. Ned posed for this photo op and then scurried back to his clipboard, stopwatch and bag of Red Man chaw.
2006-04-04 13:54:28
191.   ToyCannon
I agree, I find nothing about this team blah. Furcal will be the best leadoff hitter in 40 years, Kent is on his way to the HOF and still performing at the top of his game for his position, Mueller is a pleasure to watch game in and game out(having watched many RedSox games), JD Drew is going to have an MVP caliber season, trying to see if Nomar will hurt himself during his silly pre-pitch ritual, Repko crashing into walls, grounds, bases, and Lowe getting whiplash as he watches balls rocket out of the stadium. I could go on and on but blah is not any of my emotions.
2006-04-04 13:54:50
192.   Vishal
[187] as chris rock says, "just be happy you're [with] her now".
2006-04-04 13:56:15
193.   oldbear
Dodgers I despise: Tomko, Martinez, Lofton, Repko, Nomar

Dodgers I like: Kent, Furcal, Drew, Navarro, Seo

Dodgers I'm indifferent about: all the rest of the guys.

Choi, Bradley, Werth, Antonio Perez had me interested bc there was the possibility that each could become something greater than what they currently were. Could Choi turn into David Ortiz-lite? Could Bradley turn into Jim Edmonds? Could Werth hit 30HR's? Could Perez be a hitting SS?

Thats interesting baseball, watching players grow into their roles.

There's nothing for Saenz, Nomar, Mueller, Lofton to grow into. And Repko/Cody Ross might get better but I have no optimism or interest since I see the chances of them being productive players as 1 percent.

2006-04-04 13:57:42
194.   ToyCannon
If the Dodgers play a doubleheader tomorrow and it is a classic doubleheader in that one admission gets you both games how would they handle the person who has tickets to both Tuesday and Wednesday but in different seats. Which ticket would trump?

Seems to me they have to do two seperate games with two admissions.

2006-04-04 13:58:21
195.   Adam
Ohh, and as a followup to my last comment, that's also how I feel about Colletti. I really don't want this guy who was such a big part of the Giants' success the last 10 years to come here and stumble along. It's bad enough to suck on our own, but when we suck while being run by some Giants has-been it's even worse.

I'm sure a lot of this will change when/if the Dodgers start doing well again. But, until then, the excitement will have to wait.

2006-04-04 13:59:06
196.   bigcpa
193 Agree with you almost 100%. I do think Tomko could have a Loaiza-type breakout in at least 1 season with us.
2006-04-04 13:59:28
197.   Marty
Apparently the chat is down. Also, the picture of Flanders next to the chat window makes me think he's sporting a toupee. That's very disappointing to me if that is the case...
2006-04-04 13:59:44
198.   Curtis Lowe
186- What would you rather have Colletti have done this off season? Nothing? Just throw the kids in the fire? It seems like Vet's was the only option to immediate improvement over last season, since this is what I think am I a stupid LA MSM?

193- So if Werth gets healthy and is productive will you smile?

2006-04-04 14:02:23
199.   Adam
Does anyone know, is it forcasted to rain all day?
2006-04-04 14:04:05
200.   Marty
I keep hearing that it's going to rain off and on for the next three days.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-04-04 14:06:44
201.   oldbear
If Werth plays CF and hits for power the way he did in 2004, then yes I'd be interested again.

30HR caliber CF'ers make baseball interesting, for me anyways.

As for Colletti, he either needed to sign the best free agents possible (Giles, Millwood, Burnett caliber), or just play the prospects. No in between.

And I think simply by keeping Choi, Bradley, Werth, AP, Aybar, Guzman, Martin, Navarro up with the club, that those young guys entering their primes could have just as much success as the 'vets' that Ned ended up signing.

If were gonna win 80 games, I'd rather do it with kids than vets. And I see the team Ned put together this year winning 80. I think our prospects could have done that.

2006-04-04 14:06:45
202.   Uncle Miltie
If you've heard Derek Lowe talk and if you judge him by his past behavior, you'll realize that he's not the most intelligent person in the world --- I take that back, he's probably the dumbest person in baseball. If Lowe couldn't play baseball, he'd be working a minimum wage job. What I think he meant was that he went out with all the white players and he's probably dumb enough to think all white people are American. I'm sure Gagne was one of the people he went out with. Lowe does a very poor job of articulating his thoughts. I've always hated the guy ever since he made an obscene hand gesture to Miguel Tejada in the playoffs. The guy is an idiot and a jerk, but I doubt he's a racist.
2006-04-04 14:07:40
203.   bigcpa
LOL- someone just asked him when he's going to "take off the damn Giants ring."
2006-04-04 14:07:58
204.   Vishal
Q: When are you going to take off the damn Giants ring?

A: The Giants ring is off.

2006-04-04 14:07:58
205.   Curtis Lowe
When are you going to take off the damn giants ring?


The giants ring is off.

2006-04-04 14:08:08
206.   Bob Timmermann
If you have a ticket for tomorrow's game and it's a regular doubleheader, you are the lucky winner.

If you have a ticket for tonight's game, you would be able to exchange it for a future game.

Split doubleheaders have to be approved by the players

2006-04-04 14:08:13
207.   King of the Hobos
Colletti's Nomar update: As far as Nomar is concerned, we're going to until he arrives at the ballpark and then we will reevaluate him. Chances are that a DL might be likely and hopefully we caught this early so that it won't be longer than two weeks.

Not really much of an update

2006-04-04 14:09:25
208.   Steve
Home plate is going to be Lake Navarro. There is no way they can play tonight.
2006-04-04 14:10:32
209.   Steve
he's probably the dumbest person in baseball.

Second dumbest...

2006-04-04 14:10:50
210.   Fallout
198. Curtis Lowe

Exactly. Colletti had to fill a lot of holes.

2006-04-04 14:11:26
211.   oldbear
Its still 5 hours till game time and according to Eric Karros, DS has 'excellent drainage'...
2006-04-04 14:12:18
212.   Vishal
okay, colletti just gave a total non-answer to the question "who do you think is our best prospect?"
2006-04-04 14:13:24
213.   Vishal
...and then he followed it up by naming six guys.
2006-04-04 14:17:20
214.   jasonungar05
Oldbear, I totally disagree with you. I think it will be interesting to see:

Saenz- can he play 100+ games at first base again. He got a head start yesterday.

Nomar-I had the first trip to to DL over/under on June 1. Boy was I wrong. So now the over/under is, will we see him play on or before June 1? (keep in mind the dodger injury chart)

Mueller- It will be interesting to see how long it will take Plaschke and the like to crown Mueller as the king-you know to go from solid major leaguer to dodger sage, dodger grit champion and emotional leader. A "nice" Jeff Kent type. I give it one more week tops.

Lofton- Dl'ing your CF cause its cold is hilarious, so what other things will get him DL'ed. My guess is he does his Willie Mays Hayes Impression and Grady says, you used to be able to run like the wind but you currently hit like bleep and then Kenny will go nuts and "fire" himself up. When will the fiery leader turn into a club house cancer? July 15 is over under.

Repko-will this defensive wizard catch a ball that matters?


2006-04-04 14:17:25
215.   bigcpa
His response to the trade deadline question was very good... "what are the chances that the new player will with us beyond this season." Wish he would have thought longer about that issue before the Baez deal.
2006-04-04 14:17:48
216.   Bob Timmermann
Dodger Stadium may drain well, but it's supposed to rain even harder later in the day.
2006-04-04 14:18:24
217.   Uncle Miltie
209- who's first?
2006-04-04 14:19:28
218.   Curtis Lowe
217- Bowden?
2006-04-04 14:19:45
219.   Vishal
[217] the pirates' manager.
2006-04-04 14:21:04
220.   Vishal
[218] ooh, good point. there's a lot of competition for this position, isn't there.
2006-04-04 14:22:06
221.   Marty
And if you can't open an umbrella, who would go?
2006-04-04 14:23:10
222.   Vishal
hey, my left-handed power bat question got in!!

and his answer totally pretends like we didn't have one a couple of weeks ago.

2006-04-04 14:23:33
223.   Curtis Lowe
Why dont they invent special gloves with special sticky grips for playing in the rain?
2006-04-04 14:23:50
224.   bigcpa
Ha! Someone got through a stealth Choi question just like mine.

"Do you think we need a power LH bat off the bench?"

2006-04-04 14:24:13
225.   regfairfield
Ned Colletti is never, ever allowed to complain about the lack of a power bat.
2006-04-04 14:24:34
226.   Curtis Lowe
222- You should have asked "Do you feel we need a Korean left handed power bat?"
2006-04-04 14:24:51
227.   Adam
Yeah, dumbest person in baseball is a competitive and constantly evolving position.
2006-04-04 14:24:53
228.   D4P
2006-04-04 14:24:55
229.   Bob Timmermann
There are more than a few stadiums that don't allow people to bring in umbrellas, most famously Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
2006-04-04 14:25:44
230.   bigcpa
Haha you go Vishal. Yours was more stealthy than mine. I said something about "we know Saenz can't play everyday so don't we need a Lefthanded 1b bat?"
2006-04-04 14:26:35
231.   bigcpa
For those who missed the disingenous response:

"I think you can always use an additional power bat, whether it's on the bench or in the lineup. Power hitters are one of the rarest commodities these days and few teams have an excess. It certainly has been a consideration of ours this offseason and as we move forward through this season, it'll be a type of player that we would like to acquire."

2006-04-04 14:28:00
232.   Vishal
[228] i'm sharing an account with someone; i didn't pick the screen name.
2006-04-04 14:29:51
233.   Humma Kavula
Second part of Colletti's "LH power bat" answer:

That said, it's a seller's market and there are few teams that have that type of player available.

Yeah, these guys don't just show up on the waiver wire.

2006-04-04 14:30:24
234.   Adam
231 Does that mean they've already started the JT Snow discussions?
2006-04-04 14:31:00
235.   jasonungar05
we can also use a very offensive type SS/2nd base guy, but man they are tough to find. Tougher than lefthanded power off the bench, thats for sure. And nothing, not even those two compare to how tough it is finding 5 tool CF's under the age of 30 who are MLB proven.
2006-04-04 14:31:30
236.   ToyCannon
Thanks Bob. I was always curious how that scenario played out.

I have no problem with the one year vets instead of the kids this year for several reasons. I believe just about everyone of the kids needs more time and I'm not interested in starting the clocks early if they are going to be impact players. I'd rather do the Oakland model where the players are productive by the time they are given their major league jobs instead of learning on the job and eating away service time which is so important these days. Sure Billingsly, Guzman, and LaRoche could play this year, but I'm not interested in watching them struggle because they weren't given enough time to be ready. The Braves got lucky last year with McCann and Francouer, that is not the norm with AA players. Our prospects are good but they are not at the level of Hermida and Cabrerra so to expect them to be impact players right now is expecting to much.

2006-04-04 14:32:21
237.   LAT
You guys are being hard on Ol' Ned. The market is very limited when you are confined to ex-Giant players.
2006-04-04 14:33:07
238.   Humma Kavula
I have tickets for tomorrow's game! Including 2 that are currently going unused. Anyone interested?
2006-04-04 14:34:40
239.   Telemachos
If Proven Veterans(tm) actually perform, aren't they fun to watch? Or, put another way: isn't any player on your team -- who performs well -- fun to watch?

I've always liked Bill Mueller, for example. Even liked him when he was on the Giants. If he can put up the stats that traditionally he has (.290ish BA, 15 homers or so, etc) why wouldn't you like watching him play?

Conversely, if he does poorly, no matter how much I like him, it's going to be a struggle not wanting him benched and another option put in place at third.

I don't understand the instinctive resistance to ANY veteran player, even an average one, particularly when the salary involved isn't enormous. Mueller's contract is perfectly decent -- I think he's a good signing.

There is no guarantee that Joel Guzman (for example) won't hit .220 with a billion strike-outs when he first comes up. I happen to be very excited about him because of his potential, but potential doesn't mean guaranteed performance.

2006-04-04 14:35:13
240.   ToyCannon
Ned answered the question about Kuo that was simliar to the one I asked. Good to see that they realize his potential as a starter and aren't married to keeping him in the bullpen.
2006-04-04 14:37:18
241.   ToyCannon
Thanks for articulating exactly how I feel.
2006-04-04 14:37:29
242.   Steve
Pittsburgh has the same problem as we had last year. Who's dumber: the dummy or the guy that hired him?
2006-04-04 14:38:07
243.   Bob Timmermann

See, there could be a letup in the rain, but that big mess of green stuff further north is not a good sign.

2006-04-04 14:40:59
244.   oldbear
If Proven Veterans(tm) actually perform, aren't they fun to watch

Not if by 'performing', that they are only good enough to win 80-85 games.

2006-04-04 14:45:09
245.   Telemachos
244 That's your opinion, of course, but if Mueller and Lofton and Garciaparra all perform according to their historical averages (even including a bit of an age drop-off and perhaps some minor injuries) then we should win more than simply 85 games.

If Loney, Guzman, etc are all promoted and perform like many promising rookies (ie they show a great deal of potential but struggle as well) we may not win more than 85 games either.

2006-04-04 14:45:14
246.   bigcpa
239 Because the chances of finding the next "whomever" are greatly diminished when you don't give the under-26 guys 500 pa's. It's not so much what you get this year with guys like Bradley/Choi/Werth. It's the hope that a star could be born under our contractual control for 6 years.

And I enjoyed Jeff Kent's performance very much last year. The scary thing is that 8 Jeff Kent types are unaffordable but 8 Lofton/Nomar/Muellers are affordable. I'd rather have 3 $10M guys and 3-4 specs on the field.

2006-04-04 14:46:43
247.   ROC
Looks like the chat is over. My three ?'s may not have been stealthy enough:
1) Why is Drew not in CF w/Lofton out?
2) Do the Nats look like good trade ^coughryanchurchcough^ partners?
3) This is not as loaded as it sounds...have you read Moneyball? For fun at least?

Oh well...

2006-04-04 14:51:29
248.   Curtis Lowe
I'm sad that he didn't answer my questions.

1. Are you concerned about the effect Vegas will have on Billingsly?

2. How do you feel about giving every player a cute nickname like they do in anaheim?

3. Whats the size of a quarter and if put in a barrel makes it lighter?

2006-04-04 14:52:32
249.   regfairfield
Better than my:

Jeff Kent is going to be worth 11 million in 2007? Seriously?


Hey, do you remember when the Dodgers had a left handed power bat two weeks ago?

2006-04-04 14:53:26
250.   GoBears
239 Good distinction, Telemachos. Veterans aren't inherently boring or awful, obviously. Furcal, Kent, and Drew, not to mention most of the pitchers, are all good bets. It's vets who are likely to be injured, thereby leaving us in the same pickle as last year (Nomar, Lofton, Mueller), vets who are clearly well past their peaks, such that health might actually be a bad thing (Lofton, Tomko, Alomar Jr) and vets who were never any good, but somehow get jobs ONLY because they've been around for a while (Martinez, Carter, Tomko) who are so infuriating. As oldbear put it, if you're likely to get the same performance from kids with upside, use the kids. But if you really do think that Lofton would outplay Guzman this year (probably false), or that Mueller is better than LaRoche right now (probably true), then it's smart to bridge 2006 with the vets.

My big concern, which I've expressed several times, is that we don't know that the kids will ever get the chance. It might be Lofton, Mueller, Nomar, Tomko this year, and some other group of average vets next year. That certainly has been the Giants formula. My hope is that Colletti realizes that we don't have a Bonds type here who makes that strategy the best one until he retires. Kent is good, even great for a 2bman, but he's no Barry Bonds.

The jury is still out. We won't know whether Colletti is going with the "bridge to the kids" plan or the "short term deals to proven vets forever" plan until our prospects either get dealt, played, or old in the minors in 2008 or so.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-04-04 14:55:10
251.   ToyCannon
4 FREE tickets to tonights game. I can't go as my car is a convertible without a top at the moment so I'm taking the subway to the Clipper game instead. Loge section 167(2nd section), Row C, seats 5,6,7,8(seat 8 ends at the bullpen fence). You can pick them up in the West Valley(Woodland Hills) or I can email them to you. Email me at, put Dodger Ticket in subject line. I'll be gone by 05:30 so if your interested respond ASAP.
2006-04-04 14:55:48
252.   oldbear
If Loney, Guzman, etc are all promoted and perform like many promising rookies (ie they show a great deal of potential but struggle as well) we may not win more than 85 games either

Very true. But my attitude is basically there's no points for 2nd place. So winning 85 or winning 70 is the same to me. If in the end, the team doesnt make the playoffs it doesnt really matter how many they win in the regular season.

So when people say, "how can you stand for another 71-91 season?" I say, missing the playoffs is missing the playoffs. It doesnt really matter "how" they missed the playoffs, whether winning 88 or 70.

If the Dodgers go 85-77 and miss the playoffs by 1 game this year, to me thats just as bad as 71-91.

Each season should be about 1 of 2 things:
A. Making the playoffs in the current season
B. Getting prospects experience for following seasons.
C. Both of the team is lucky

I dont see the Dodgers team this year doing either.

2006-04-04 14:56:35
253.   Telemachos
246 Why is it scary that Bill Mueller is affordable?

I'm very excited about our prospects, btw. I eagerly look forward to seeing them play (and hopefully play extremely well) for the Dodgers. But I don't think it's wise to throw a bunch of them into the mix at once; not if you're trying to win that year (especially in such a winnable division).

Why does it have to be an extreme either/or option? Why not have several above-average veterans (Drew/Kent/Furcal), a few affordable but reliable PVs (Mueller, for example) and, say, one (or maybe two) prospects?

At this point, Ned's ultimate plans aren't completely known. If he continues to stockpile older veterans at the expense of young talent, I will be very disappointed. I just don't think it's clear that's what he will do... or even that this is what he's done.

2006-04-04 15:00:53
254.   Bob Timmermann
You do know that the Blue Line stop by Staples Center is above ground and not very well-covered, so you still need to be ready to get wet.
2006-04-04 15:02:14
255.   bigcpa
253 It's only scary if Ned is tempted to field a team of 8 Bill Muellers. I like the Mueller signing in a vaccuum (I even like the signing while vaccuming.). It doesn't have to be an extreme either/or but in dropping Bradley/Choi/Perez for Lofton/Nomar/Ramon Martinez it appears to be a big swing in what oldbear and I consider the wrong direction. That is proven mediocrity in lieu of youth and upside.
2006-04-04 15:02:53
256.   Vishal
[252] you don't think we're likely to make the playoffs? in this division??
2006-04-04 15:06:28
257.   oldbear
Why does it have to be an extreme either/or option?

My attitude is to always go with the player that is above average, or has the potential to be.

2006-04-04 15:08:33
258.   ToyCannon
Yes, but should we really by worrying about what Ned might do next year? I plan on enjoying this year, and then as the season unfolds we will see what kind of in season GM Ned is. Guessing on what Ned is going to do in the future based on his 1st winter seems a pointless task. Who would have thought after Depo's 1st year that he would be throwing silly money at Lowe and OP and letting Erickson pitch himself on to a 25 man staff based on spring training stats?
2006-04-04 15:08:59
259.   jasonungar05
Well really we can talk prospect vs veterans all day, but were not going anywhere with this starting pitching.
2006-04-04 15:09:47
260.   thinkingblue

I wouldn't mind if we brought up Billz or Martin. However, Guzman is clearly not ready, and for the last time: MUELLER IS BETTER THAN AYBAR! Mueller went 2-4 with a walk, saved some runs at third with his D, and got a clutch hit (something Saenz couldn't do).
2006-04-04 15:10:22
261.   ToyCannon
I've taken it around 20 times and I get off at 7th and walk down. I don't mind getting wet but I can't let my car get wet which is a whole different story.
2006-04-04 15:10:41
262.   Curtis Lowe
252- The difference between winning 88 games and only 70 games but still missing the playoffs is that the team that wins 88 games has less holes to fill in the offseason while the 70 win team has an amazing assortment of holes that need filling.
2006-04-04 15:12:21
263.   oldbear
Speaking of starting pitching, I'd be interested if Billingsley and Orenduff were both promoted. Broxton was moved back into a starter's role. And Guzman was playing SS. But that ship has sailed.
2006-04-04 15:12:22
264.   Christina
262 Not necessarily true, not if the 88-wins team is made up of a bunch of aging vets held together by duct tape.
2006-04-04 15:14:43
265.   Curtis Lowe
264- Touchee.
2006-04-04 15:14:44
266.   Telemachos
255 Bradley/Choi/Perez for Lofton/Nomar/Ramon Martinez

I agree that all those combined names are a net negative for the Dodgers -- however, Bradley is sort of a separate situation. If he hadn't had issues, I don't see any sort of trade happening, either from Ned or from a decree from McCourt.

Nomar/Choi: I'm a big Choi supporter but also don't necessarily mind paying Nomar an incentive-laden contract to see if he works out. Getting rid of Choi entirely was a poor move though.

I'm not a fan of Ramon Martinez at all, and frankly that's a good example of a position that could probably be filled with a solid prospect (assuming said prospect could fill the same variety of holes that Martinez does).

2006-04-04 15:14:55
267.   Vishal
[260] mueller should put up about an .800 OPS and decent defense. perhaps that's a little better than aybar, but is that difference worth almost $9 million more than aybar is getting paid for two seasons?

and what if mueller gets hurt, as he's been in the past?

i'm glad mueller went 2-4 with a walk and some good plays yesterday. it's encouraging. but it's only one day. we've got him for two years.

2006-04-04 15:15:07
268.   Bob Timmermann

That is wise. As long as you know what you're getting into. That Blue Line station at the end is a joke if you're heading north.

2006-04-04 15:18:44
269.   Telemachos
263 We have no idea if Orenduff is ready for the majors yet. We have no idea if Broxton is capable of being a starter at a high level. We have no idea if Guzman would outperform Furcal as a shortshop -- now.

All these are possibilies, but they're also fraught with total disaster. Why try to draw an inside straight on all those positions simultaneously?

There's a good chance that Orenduff will be ready soon -- let him prove it in the minors. There's a possibility Broxton can switch back to being a starter -- let him get some quality starts in the minors. Guzman? Even DePo was planning on shifting him around to other positions... and Furcal at this point in his career is a major positive.

2006-04-04 15:18:59
270.   oldbear
To be fair, Nomar's contract isnt entirely incentive laden.

Its 6mils base + incentives for plate appearances. I think if he PA's 500 the salary goes up to 8.5 mils or so.

2006-04-04 15:20:55
271.   thinkingblue

Great defense, long at bats, OBP, high average, clutch hitting, and so on. Believe me, he is WAY better than Aybar.
2006-04-04 15:21:40
272.   spacebrother
I liked Jon's comments, but he missed mention of something that really irked me. Saenz seemed to swing at everything until he hit that run-scoring single his 4th time up. The other batters seemed to realize that Atlanta's staff was on the ropes and we got a few decent full-count walks out of the deal, and some eventual runs, as I recall.

And they finally fixed my seats! Section 52 (now 48) RowAA, seat 3 always felt as if sitting on it was an imposition and would try to slide me out (or whoever I brought to the game.) Apparently my complaints over the last 3 years caused Mc Court to replace ALL of the seats.

2006-04-04 15:21:40
273.   Telemachos
267 If Mueller gets hurt, then Aybar's chances of being promoted get that much better (though my pessimistic side says it just means a lot of playing time for Ramon Martinez).

In terms of his two-year contract, I think it's reasonable to plan on Mueller being a solid productive presence this year and perhaps becoming more of a platoon candidate next year. I also think there's value in having a veteran player able to mentor a youngster along, and Mueller strikes me as being able to do that for Aybar or LaRoche or whoever.

2006-04-04 15:22:07
274.   ToyCannon
Why would you be intersted if Orenduff was promoted? His upside is Tomko, he's no big deal, at best he'll be an innings eater. The grass is greener outlook is very naive when dealing with prospects, especially 2nd tier prospects.
2006-04-04 15:22:39
275.   Vishal
[271] oh, okay then.
2006-04-04 15:23:30
276.   bigcpa
266 How about retaining Saenz vs. Choi as a backup to Nomar? Saenz was signed a week before Nomar. Was Choi already the 26th man at that point? That was a poor choice for 2006 and as Theo hopes, an even worse one for 2007-2009.
2006-04-04 15:23:40
277.   thinkingblue

But lets not forget his defense, he snared a couple liners, and robbed a hit down the line yesterday.
2006-04-04 15:25:33
278.   oldbear
We have no idea if Orenduff is ready for the majors yet. We have no idea if Broxton is capable of being a starter at a high level. We have no idea if Guzman would outperform Furcal as a shortshop -- now.

You're exactly right. I'm not arguing those points. But when someone asks me why I'm apathetic about the Dodgers this year, its precisely related to the above.

I'm not sure how good Bills, Broxton or Orenduff would do. But I do have a pretty good idea of what Tomko, Lowe, and Seo will do. And honestly, those 3 do not excite me that much. Billz and Orenduff, we dont know what were gonna get. So there is an interest there.

Its like.. If i said Pitcher A was in his 30's and was going to be 8-10 with a 4.30 ERA.

And Pitcher B was 22, a great prospect in the minors, but had very little experience.

Just on a game by game basis, which guy are you going to tune in to see?

I'm going with Pitcher B on an interest level alone.

If Russ Martin was the starting catcher tonite instead of Sandy Alomar, would that interest you more? It would me.

2006-04-04 15:25:33
279.   Telemachos
276 Yes, that would've been my Choi-ce.


2006-04-04 15:27:11
280.   oldbear
274. Orenduff isnt a second tier prospect. Look at his K/rate and his HR/allowed while pitching at Vero Beach.

They were outstanding.

Do not equate Orenduff to Tomko bc Tomko cant strike anyone out and gives up homers.

2006-04-04 15:28:03
281.   thinkingblue

Seo had a 2.59 ERA last year, I'm pretty excited about that.

2006-04-04 15:29:03
282.   thinkingblue

Class A and the majors are two VERY different things. Also, maybe you should look at his stats in AA.
2006-04-04 15:32:16
283.   regfairfield
281 And I'll eat my hat if he does that again.
2006-04-04 15:38:29
284.   Mark
Just so everyone knows, I'm going to create a Greasemonkey script for Firefox that erases every comment on the site with the word Choi in it.


He's gone.

Stop hurting America.

2006-04-04 15:38:51
285.   LAT
Cannon, did your seats have a 12 inch space between two fo them. I also have loge, row c, seats 5-8 but my seats were in sets of two with about a foot space between the pair. It was great you could put your beer or anything else there without fear of it getting knocked over. It also made for more leg room. Of course that space is gone with the remodle but it was nice while it lasted.
2006-04-04 15:40:32
286.   LAT
a Greasemonkey script for Firefox

And I thought I had no clue when Nate is talking music.

2006-04-04 15:42:20
287.   Blu2
Mueller is a switch hitter, isn't he? How about platooning him and Saenz at first? If they're up against a lefty, Saenz on first, Mueller on third; right handed pitcher, Mueller plays first, Robles (recalled) plays third.
2006-04-04 15:42:44
288.   rjc41276
Not sure if anyone mentioned this yet (haven't had time to read the entire thread), but there are also financial/business implications that go along with promoting all of these minor league players up to the major league level. The faster they get promoted, the faster their service clock starts and the faster they become eligible for free agency down the line. For example, if the Dodgers had waited a couple more seasons to promote Adrian Beltre instead of forcing him up to the majors at 19 years old, he'd still be playing first base for the Dodgers this season AND he would've been playing for a relatively cheap salary. Just makes me think a little harder before saying "promote this guy" or "promote that guy".
2006-04-04 15:42:48
289.   ToyCannon
Maybe you should check out what Tomko did in A ball.
Orenduff is a college pitcher repeating A ball, of course he dominated. Check out the difference between his A ball and AA stats. I don't know of any prospect analyst who considers Orenduff a top prospect. He'll be an average major league pitcher at best, pretty much what Tomko turned into. Of course he'll be cheap for a few years which gives him value but he'll be no more exciting to watch pitch then Tomko will.
2006-04-04 15:43:37
290.   rjc41276
first base = third base
2006-04-04 15:44:18
291.   Telemachos
oldbear, it depends on whether I think the prospect is major-league ready or not. It also depends on whether I think the player they're replacing is average, or below-average, or better-than-average. Aside from any curiosity over how a much-lauded prospect would do at the major-league level, I want to see the Dodgers field a team that gives them the best chance at winning. If that means an average veteran pitcher as a fifth starter (for the time being), so be it. I don't want to see such a player continually kept in that position when a prospect is ready to go, but that doesn't mean I want the Dodgers to treat a season like an extended spring training.

I'm excited about Russ Martin, as well as seeing what Dioner can do in a full season. However, I understand the desire to have at least one veteran catcher, and I don't even mind seeing said veteran catch opening day.

For whatever reason, Sandy Alomar is better in my eyes than Paul Bako -- I have no idea why and it's certainly not a rational, logical argument. But there it is.

2006-04-04 15:44:24
292.   LAT
288 he'd still be playing first base for the Dodgers

Third base?

2006-04-04 15:44:56
293.   ToyCannon
No I didn't have that space. Sound nice, are the new drinkholders on the back of the chair in front of you where you smack your shins as you navigate to your seat or are they on the armrests?
2006-04-04 15:45:46
294.   Mark
286 Firefox is a web browser, Greasemonkey is an add-on for the browser that allows you to run code whenever you view a certain site/page/whatever. That code can change your view of the webpage, so you can remove content (a la Choi posts), change content (a la change the font size of comments, change the Scrubs link in the sidebar to point to Firefly), and all sort of crazy things.
2006-04-04 15:47:04
295.   LAT
293. They are on the back of the armrest in from of you but they are pretty low so you don't smack your shins on them. They actually put them in the right spot.
2006-04-04 15:47:08
296.   Uncle Miltie
Steve never answered my question...anyways, I meant the dumbest player in baseball.

ToyCannon- have a good time at the game. Are you a Clippers fan? I'm not a big fan of Sam Cassell. He reminds me too much of Jeff Kent with his "veteran leadership". He's also a poor defender (like Kent) and take ill-advised shots early in the shot clock (Kent swings at pitches out of the strike zone in order to try to pick up RBIs)

I'm off to class now.

2006-04-04 15:51:40
297.   screwballin
Jon really nailed it for me: When DePo was hired, I was excited by the prospect of seeing a team assembled though unconventional thinking instead of using the same old tired formula. It works for Beane on a shoestring, I figured, so a team with a real payroll could succeed wildly. And I've been fascinated by the Sabermetric approach since I stumbled across Bill James' abstracts a few decades ago. The OBP-hating Dodgers were hard to watch through that lens, and I couldn't wait to see that change.

When they pulled the plug on DePo prematurely, that was my most deflating moment as a 30-year Dodger fan. When Jack Clark homered, that didn't kill the future, just the present. If McCourt's about face really DOES reinstate what I consider outdated ideas about putting together a team, well, I've had about enough of that.

And there's another part of this for me, which someone touched on earlier: It's tough to get excited about our terrific prospects when the team has established that it will turn against a young player with excellent credentials (yeah, I mean Choi) for no apparent reason. If they'll scrap him because of a two-week cold streak, why bother wondering what LaRoche, Guzman, Martin et al will do?

2006-04-04 15:52:47
298.   ToyCannon
Season tickets for 16 years so yea I'm a fan.
2006-04-04 15:58:37
299.   Telemachos
297 For better or worse, Choi was invariably seen as the guy we got for Beloved Dukie. So there was an entirely unfair bias against him -- a bias that isn't there with the rest of the homegrown up-and-comers.

Furthermore, the way Tracy handled the Choi situation was dreadful, and while the jury is still out on Little, I'm not sure he would have done the same thing.

Dumping Choi was a disappointment, but I don't see how you can necessarily and automatically equate it to the rest of our prospects. If LaRoche, Guzman, and Martin, etc follow the path of Antonio Perez, then yes, then I think it's time to start screaming for Ned's head. Until that point, the new regime has exactly one game officially under its belt -- it's hard to say what their legacy will end up being at this point.

2006-04-04 16:00:49
300.   Telemachos
Whoops.... forgot to add that I likewise shared the excitement and interest in having a young GM with challenging and dynamic ideas brought into the Dodger fold, and the return to a more generic mindset is dulling. However, intellectual interest aside, I still find it exciting to root for the Dodgers, however I wish they would've been the trend-setters instead of the traditional followers.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2006-04-04 16:02:02
301.   D4P
It works for Beane on a shoestring, I figured, so a team with a real payroll could succeed wildly.

In theory, that makes sense. In practice, however, I suspect a "Moneyball" approach with a big budget faces unexpected obstacles that don't impede Moneyball on a small budget.

On a small budget, you are not able to overpay for players like Beltre, Gagne, Nomar, etc. You must find cheaper substitutes. But in a place like LA, there is an expectation that you will "spend like the Yankees," or at least "kinda like the Yankees." You're expected to overpay for "superstars" like Nomar rather than underpay for players like Choi.

Even if you can withstand that pressure and hold your ground by refusing to overpay, public opinion can be enough to destroy you.

2006-04-04 16:03:02
302.   thinkingblue

What has he shown you in ST that doesn't say that he will have an ERA no higher than 3.5? I know it is not likely he will have a 2.59 ERA, but he should be solid.
2006-04-04 16:06:04
303.   underdog
I like Aybar, believe me, I'd love him on our bench - but I can't believe there's any rational discussion at all about Aybar vs. Mueller. I'll take the gutty, 2-time batting champion Mueller, who flies under the radar every year but is consistently one of the best hitters in the league. I'm so glad he's on the team this year, is all I can say. I do like Aybar, too, and would prefer him on the roster to Martinez, but not enough to keep me up at night.

Yes, I look forward to all the prospects making their mark. Some this year, others in another year or 2. As someone said above, better not to mix them all in at once, though.

2006-04-04 16:07:14
304.   thinkingblue

One time BC. But I agree, Mueller is much better than Aybar.
2006-04-04 16:08:54
305.   ToyCannon
Maybe the fact that as recently as one year ago he couldn't even make the pathetic Met pitching staff. I'm looking for good stuff from Seo but his history is inconsistent enough that we don't know what we will get. I thought it was a great trade and he is a player that I'm excited to watch pitch but still the future is murky as it is with all the Dodger starting pitchers. It is as a group a very inconsistent set of pitchers. If they all perform to their historical best it could be a solid staff, if they perform to their historical worse we will be in deep baby waste.
2006-04-04 16:09:20
306.   underdog
Oops, one-time former batting champion, I think I meant. (Nomar won it twice.) .292 lifetime BA isn't bad.

I'm stoked, btw, the sun has come out here and I'm going to the Yankees-A's game without worry of catching pneumonia (I hope). Would rather be watching the Dodgers play tonight though, even if it was rainy.

2006-04-04 16:09:24
307.   screwballin
That's a good point, D4P. But I think the fans will accept an approach that spends money wisely instead of just spending money.

And I didn't mean to prejudge the Ned Era, Telemachos. I'm just saying that we probably don't have any innovative thinking to look forward to, when a little bit of that could lead us to years of dominance.

2006-04-04 16:12:24
308.   Telemachos
301 I think the best way to apply a "Moneyball" aspect towards a big-market team is to acknowledge your point somewhat: there's definitely a strong push towards acquiring "name players". The key, IMHO, would be get players who will produce, even if you end up overpaying to some degree. In other words, maximizing your resources is probably more important in a smaller market, but using the principles gained to target "Moneyball" players could work fantastically well -- targeting OPS, pitches seen per at-bat, plate discipline, power, etc -- rather than simply batting average and RBIs.
2006-04-04 16:13:36
309.   thinkingblue

That was the mets fault, he was their second best pitcher last year.

2006-04-04 16:13:51
310.   ToyCannon
Signing Furcal to a 3 year deal and stealing him from the Cubs was very innovative. If Depo had done it everyone would still be talking about how smart he is.
2006-04-04 16:14:39
311.   Telemachos
307 I agree about the innovative thinking and wish we will had DePo. However, I don't think the situation is quite as gloomy as others do.

(Remember DePo had his share of mysterious non-moves as well -- Grabowski and Erickson being the most painfully obvious).

2006-04-04 16:14:40
312.   D4P
Colletti, Dodgers committed to winning

Phew, that's a relief.

2006-04-04 16:15:31
313.   Jon Weisman
I didn't mean to imply in my original post that I no longer care about the Dodgers. I very much do. There was just an added dimension the past two years that is gone now.
2006-04-04 16:16:49
314.   thinkingblue

Mueller seems to fit PSPAB, and plate discpline. Nomar has been an OPS machine through his career (.911), and Furcal is very good, I know he is not a "moneyball" type player, but anyone watching the game yesterday, should agree he is worth every penny.

I think I'd rather see a good traditional team on the field, than a bad "innovative" one, and I'm not sure why that would bore you.

2006-04-04 16:16:58
315.   TheRedMenace
What part of the "Moneyball" approach was it that allowed Depo to arrive at the conclusion that giving Lowe 36 million dollars was a reasonable idea?
2006-04-04 16:18:58
316.   Vishal
[306] but a lifetime .798 OPS isn't all that great either, is all i'm saying. i agree he's probably better than aybar, but i don't think anyone has demonstrated that he is $9 million better over 2 seasons. could that money have been spent more productively?
2006-04-04 16:19:11
317.   regfairfield
315 Dodger Stadium supresses everything but home runs. Derek Lowe doesn't allow home runs. Ergo Derek Lowe+Dodger Stadium = good times.

Could anyone predict Lowe would allow 35 or however many home runs he allowed last year?

2006-04-04 16:19:19
318.   ToyCannon
True, but as recently as 2004 he was below average and was actually lucky as his ERC was above 5.00. He doesn't have enough of a track record to just catagorically state he will post a sub 3.50 ERA. I agree that he will be good but I wouldn't bet on it as oppossed to betting that Nomar will post a > 800 OPS when he plays.
2006-04-04 16:21:19
319.   regfairfield
318 Plus, his perhiprials are terrible and he's an extreme fly ball pitcher going to Dodger stadium.

Then again, the Mets have screwed their actual second best pitcher again this year, so maybe it could be that it's just a bad organization.

2006-04-04 16:22:31
320.   MartinBillingsley31

Loney called up.
Nomar on DL.

2006-04-04 16:23:25
321.   dzzrtRatt
315's wise comment suggests that "Moneyball" cannot work except in a budget-limited situation. Signing Lowe for $36 mil is a deal Beane would not have made, because he wouldn't have had the money for it. Necessity is the mother of invention. Beane wouldn't have found any better pitcher than Lowe, but he would've found a way to get the same production for a lot less money.

Moneyball is not a panacea for winning. It's just a way to increase your odds of success to a degree greater than you increase the size of your budget. The A's have been successful lately mostly because of good drafts and good luck with developing pitchers. They've plugged holes successfully using Moneyball, but Moneyball doesn't develop stars.

2006-04-04 16:23:29
322.   Steve
I think it's snowing outside.
2006-04-04 16:24:01
323.   regfairfield
320 And now I'll know what it's like to root for a team with Erstad as its first baseman.
2006-04-04 16:24:09
324.   ToyCannon
D Lowe was one of the worse pitchers in baseball in 2004 other then the postseason. Even BP was bizarred out by Depo signing Lowe. They tried to rationalize it but in the end they couldn't. However given the cost of pitching in the winter of 2006 it turns out that Depo may have known that the cost of pitching was going to get very expensive. If Lowe had been a free agent in 2006 and based on his 2005 season he would have walked away with the same contract without anyone saying it was a bad deal.
2006-04-04 16:25:14
325.   thinkingblue

If you watched the game yesterday, you saw where he is worth 4.5 million dollars.

2006-04-04 16:26:25
326.   thinkingblue

How about we see him before we delcare him Erstad?

2006-04-04 16:26:35
327.   ToyCannon
That was funny. Watch the games and maybe you'll find some joy in watching a defensive whiz though I have to admit I've found Loney's defensive rep overrated in the games I've watched him play. Hopefully it is well deserved because he's not going to bring alot of offense.
2006-04-04 16:27:17
328.   thinkingblue

Godspeed to Nomar, and I hope Loney is in the line up today, as I will be at the game.
2006-04-04 16:27:40
329.   MartinBillingsley31
Man, i was hoping it would be guzman called up to play 1b temporarily, to give him a taste of the bigs, oh well just loney.
2006-04-04 16:28:28
330.   thinkingblue

Well, he hit well in the AFL, and in ST, so I think we should reserve judgement, he is well put together, he can hit for some power.

2006-04-04 16:29:09
331.   TheRedMenace
317 - That specific prediction, no. Could anyone, and everyone, predict that Lowe wasn't worth that deal- yes.

More importantly, the problem with Depo, in my mind, was that Move A and Move B never seemed to have any relationship to each other. Why the hell would you sign a groundball pitcher for almost 40 million and then put a defensive stiff like Kent in the middle of your defense? Why, considering you have a fragile flower like Bradley in your outfield, would you drop 55 million on another fragile flower like J.D. Drewfort?

I think Depo gets a huge pass from some for the debacle that was last offseason. It's not that the Dodgers were bad last year, a lot of that was due to injuries, the problem was that at the conclusion of 2004 the Dodgers were finally close to getting out from under the aggregate contract mess of Brown, Green and Dreifort. So what does he do, he drops 150 million on another collection of stiffs, therbey handcuffing the team for the next few years.

If that's Moneyball, though I don't believe it is, no thanks.

2006-04-04 16:29:14
332.   thinkingblue

But he was just in left, so I don't think we should confuse him .
2006-04-04 16:30:08
333.   MartinBillingsley31

he can hit for some power.

Maybe gap power.

2006-04-04 16:30:13
334.   regfairfield
Loney hit .284/.357/.419 in AA last year. If he matches those numbers, we'll be okay.

Players generally don't match their AA production in the bigs.

2006-04-04 16:31:09
335.   Vishal
[325] but what if i happen to watch a game where he goes 0-4 and makes an error?
2006-04-04 16:32:01
336.   thinkingblue

Don't forget about having Valinetin at third.

I think he was doing moneyball. He believed in having power, and ignored whether the moves made good sense with eachother. That is the problem with "moneyball" or at least the way DePo ran it.

2006-04-04 16:32:59
337.   Steve
335 -- That's ok. We all know you don't watch any games anyway, computer boy.
2006-04-04 16:33:07
338.   Telemachos
323 How is this the case? One is an elderly veteran playing out his days with diminishing power and skills, the other is a young player developing into them.
2006-04-04 16:33:13
339.   thinkingblue

Yes, but he showed some improvement this AFL and ST. Lets just see him today before we decide on how good he will be.

2006-04-04 16:33:18
340.   TheRedMenace
324 - If it wasn't for deals like Lowe's, pitching would be as expensive as it is.
2006-04-04 16:35:30
341.   TheRedMenace
Take 2.

324 - If it wasn't for deals like Lowe's, pitching wouldn't be as expensive as it is.

2006-04-04 16:35:32
342.   regfairfield
338 While one is improving and the other is declining, their skill set is approximately equal right now.

340 I had Lowe at a 4.20 ERA last year, and he even went under that (is RA is another story, I'll admit). The choice was a large contract for Lowe, and Kaz Ishii. I'll take Lowe.

2006-04-04 16:36:18
343.   screwballin
314 I think I'd rather see a good traditional team on the field, than a bad "innovative" one, and I'm not sure why that would bore you.

You're putting words in my mouth. If this team is good, I'll be as happy as the next fan. But if the team doesn't update its thinking, its chances of being a good team will continue to be minimal.

And I never said the team bores me, only that a new approach added a level of excitement.

321 Beane doesn't have to make a Lowe-type deal because he has managed to stock the farm with studs. That's partly through trading his big-money free agents, but also through recognizing players that other teams undervalued. DePo didn't have much chance to rebuild the farm, so it was either overpay for Lowe or choose someone even worse.

2006-04-04 16:36:21
344.   regfairfield
339 I don't know, I'd rather evaluate a player using a large set of data rather than seeing if he goes 2 for 4 tonight.
2006-04-04 16:36:33
345.   thinkingblue

Actually, Lowe was one of DePo's last choices for a pitcher.

2006-04-04 16:37:52
346.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Players generally don't match their AA production in the bigs.
Context, please.
2006-04-04 16:38:47
347.   Fallout
322. Steve
>>>I think it's snowing outside.<<<

As long as it's not snowing in your room...

2006-04-04 16:39:36
348.   thinkingblue

You make way too many excuses for DePo. Like theredmenace said, most of his moves had nothing to do with each other.

Getting a groundball staff, then turning around with Kent and Valinetin.

Believe me, I like Kent, but he completely ignored how these moves made sense together.

2006-04-04 16:40:10
349.   Vishal
[337] haha, you caught me, i confess. i've never seen a baseball game in my life. is the playing surface round or square?
2006-04-04 16:41:33
350.   Blu2
305 Our experience with Jim Tracey's treatment of Choi should remind us that ANY young players potential or performance can be greatly affected by how his manager used (or didn't) him.
Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2006-04-04 16:41:35
351.   Telemachos
331 Possibly because Kent isn't a "defensive stiff". Possibly because Bradley was an absolute steal in terms of price. Possibly because Valentin was planned as a platoon with Perez.

All of those deals made sense to me at the time -- though I pretty quickly soured on Valentin.

He offered $60 million for Beltre... it was when he suddenly decided to sign with Seattle that he picked up the best available hitter on the market (and no, I don't think Drew warrants the "Drewfort" comment).

Not to say DePo was infallible... far from it. But his errors have been better documented by Steve (among others) rather than the (IMHO) tired "Kent sucks defensively" and "he should have known Bradley and Drew would get hurt" arguments.

DePo positives:
- getting Bradley, Kent, snagging Jose Cruz Jr for nothing.

DePo negatives:
- keeping Erickson and Grabowski on the ML roster.

2006-04-04 16:41:56
352.   thinkingblue
If he goes 2-4, and we win, I'll be fine.
2006-04-04 16:43:16
353.   Steve
DePo's best friends are his worst enemies.
2006-04-04 16:43:41
354.   jasonungar05
yah for me with the dodgers this year, I feel like it's 1991 and we traded in our Nirvana tickets to go see Van Halen instead.
2006-04-04 16:43:53
355.   thinkingblue
Perez or Valinetin at third? What's the difference?

And Kent over the past 4-5 seasons, has been second only to Soriano in 2b errors.

2006-04-04 16:44:16
356.   subclub
Is there any way the game tonight is going to happen? It's coming down pretty steady here in Pasadena.
2006-04-04 16:44:54
357.   Steve
Case in point.
2006-04-04 16:44:59
358.   regfairfield
352 And if he keeps that pace up, he'll win the batting title and be the MVP.

Players generally don't put up mediocre numbers in AA and then turn around and replicate or improve upon those numbers the next year at MLB level. If Loney is good, great, I'm happy. There's just nothing that indicates he's good right now other than "Logan White said so." Be honest, if he wasn't "first round pick" James Loney, would anyone care about him?

2006-04-04 16:45:14
359.   Vishal
[354] wow. i'm blown away by the awesomeness of that analogy. especially since nirvana is one of my favorite bands ever and i hate hair metal.
2006-04-04 16:45:37
360.   TheRedMenace
342 - Wow. And to think I always thought that the best choice between two bad pitchers was neither.

The fact remains that the deal was bad. If Depo didn't like any of his pitching options, he should have signed a short-timer or signed no one and taken the hit so as not to detroy the club's ability to make future deals.

345 - So we shouldn't deride the guy as a moron even though he made a move that, to his own mind, was bad.

2006-04-04 16:45:49
361.   Fallout
351. Telemachos
He offered $60 million for Beltre...

Is that true? I've heard diff stories from diff people.

2006-04-04 16:47:22
362.   Steve
I hope McCourt is ready to spring for hot chocolates for dragging everybody to the ballpark for no reason tonight.
2006-04-04 16:48:37
363.   TheRedMenace
351 - Are those all of the negatives in your scorebook?
2006-04-04 16:49:32
364.   thinkingblue

Examples of why players have to be the bomb at AA to be good in the bigs?

2006-04-04 16:49:56
365.   screwballin
348 most of his moves had nothing to do with each other.

I could do a thorough debunking of that statement, but you'd just say I was making more excuses. I'll just add that I could see the logic in almost everything he did, which I haven't been able to say about a Dodger GM in at least 20 years.

Now I think I'll drop this and go enjoy the amazing Johan Santana on my free preview of Extra Innings. Lots of ball to be watched.

2006-04-04 16:51:09
366.   thinkingblue

Story on is that the show will go on tonight!

2006-04-04 16:53:34
367.   godvls
354 - Any relation to Al?
2006-04-04 16:53:41
368.   Telemachos
363 I was neutral on Lowe at the time. That hasn't turned out well, though I (to some degree) understood the reasoning behind it. I would've been more into the signing had it been a year or two less.

I'm not really inclined to go scour the web for all of DePo's moves to determine whether they get the thumbs up or not, frankly. There may be one or two more that I also think are negative, or there may be some I consider positive. I think largely that he made some good moves, a few poor moves, and I was very interested in seeing how his 5-year plan went, especially since I considered his '05 team to be somewhat of a holding pattern until the kids got ready.

2006-04-04 16:54:09
369.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
And Kent over the past 4-5 seasons, has been second only to Soriano in 2b errors.
Please tell me you aren't using errors as the end-all be-all metric for measuring defense.
Also, over the last four seasons (not including yesterday) Kent had 50 errors, and Soriano 86. Not even close.
2006-04-04 16:54:56
370.   Bob Timmermann
At this moment in Downtown L.A. (I was just outside), it is not raining. However, it's cold , wet, and windy and the weather is fit neither man nor beast.

Or even Brad Penny.

2006-04-04 16:55:15
371.   ToyCannon
Uh, maybe cause he's facing AA pitchers of which only a tiny % will become major league pitchers while once he's in the majors, loh and behold, he's facing major league pitchers every game. Just a wild guess on my part. If you can't dominate bad pitchers, it is not likely you will succeed against better pitchers but stranger things have happened. That is why they play the game and I'll be rooting for Loney but not expecting much.
2006-04-04 16:57:27
372.   Bob Timmermann
Latest radar:
2006-04-04 16:57:38
373.   regfairfield
364 Common sense? Yes, maybe James Loney made the leap this year, and he'll tear up the MLB. If this is true, he would have torn up AAA pitching as well.

People don't do average against crappy minor league pitching and then are good against good major league pitching. It simply doesn't make sense.

2006-04-04 16:59:25
374.   Telemachos
ABC7's DOPPLER! 7000! +! system (yes, they pronounce it with the !s) shows that the weather system is starting to clear -- all the rain seems to be pushing north into the valley.

Whether 2 hours is enough time for things to dry up enough remains to be seen, I guess.

2006-04-04 16:59:32
375.   jasonungar05
Thanks Vishal. I tried hard on that one, and I loved Van Halen! We know Nirvana wasn't perfect nor did everyone like them, but there was no denying their sound and the freshness of them. And then we all saw the writing on the wall for VH, except for Eddie of course.

367 Al is my dad!! Really.

2006-04-04 17:00:13
376.   trainwreck
Never would have guessed I would be cheering for Kuo and Loney on the Dodgers before the other big prospects.
2006-04-04 17:00:18
377.   Steve
Also, over the last four seasons (not including yesterday) Kent had 50 errors, and Soriano 86. Not even close.

You also have to find second basemen who have played the last four full seasons, which at first glance, is harder than it appears.

2006-04-04 17:00:22
378.   MartinBillingsley31
The thing that i liked about depodesta is that he revealed his philosophy and i agreed with it.
Ned hasn't (unless i'm in denial) revealed his philosophy and i'm nervous about him.

Now did i agree with all of depodesta's moves? no.
But i also saw that some of his moves (the bad ones) were out of necessity.

With ned it wasn't necessary to get a 1b, it also wasn't necessary to get lofton, alomar, and martinez.
Choi, guzman, martin, aybar could have filled those spots.

2006-04-04 17:00:44
379.   regfairfield
374 This has always buged me. What improvement does the Doppler! 7000! Make on the standard Doppler Radar?
2006-04-04 17:03:20
380.   oldbear
yah for me with the dodgers this year, I feel like it's 1991 and we traded in our Nirvana tickets to go see Van Halen instead

Best comment I've ever read on DT.

If that doesnt go in Jon's next book, I'll be shocked.

2006-04-04 17:03:22
381.   TheRedMenace
379 - It goes to 11.
2006-04-04 17:04:14
382.   regfairfield
381 Why not just make 10 louder?
2006-04-04 17:04:45
383.   Telemachos
It has 7000+, which is better than old out-of-date 7000, which is lightyears beyond plain old radar!

What does the 7000 indicate? I have no idea.

2006-04-04 17:04:52
384.   Eric L
382 But this one goes to 11...
2006-04-04 17:05:33
385.   TheRedMenace
382 - Because this one has 11.
2006-04-04 17:06:27
386.   Steve
A polar bear just ate seven pedestrians outside my building.
2006-04-04 17:07:36
387.   King of the Hobos
Jeff Francoeur hit .275/.322/.487 at AA, and .300/.336/.549 in the majors last year (335 and 257 ABs respectively). It proves nothing obviously, but it's not like someone must hit worse in the majors than at AA. Plus Loney had a full offseason to improve. I don't see it as a given that he'll be an Erstad-clone, even if it is fairly likely for his rookie year
2006-04-04 17:08:36
388.   Johnson
343 321 I know I'm a bit late here, but I'd argue that Beane HAS signed a Lowe-type contract:

Career: ERA WHIP K/9 Age Contract
_Lowe: 3.87 1.29 5.9 32 $9M, 4 years
Loaiza: 4.60 1.41 6.0 34 $7M, 3 years

Now, Loaiza's contract may not have been quite as bad as Lowe's, but his career numbers certainly aren't any better, and he's 2 years older than Lowe (3 considering Lowe's deal was signed a year earlier). These deals are in the same ballpark in my eyes.

2006-04-04 17:09:37
389.   Andrew Shimmin
379- [Looks over shoulder for Bob] It's all about SWAGGER!
2006-04-04 17:10:48
390.   Steve
It has been way too long for anyone to discuss Moneyball "types." There are no Moneyball "types." There are only market inefficiencies. Moneyball is not nearly as prejudicial as its critics are.
2006-04-04 17:11:07
391.   Telemachos
386 Have you spotted the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 46 anywhere nearby? Or possibly 108?
2006-04-04 17:12:28
392.   Christina
388 Although, you do have to factor in that Loiaza was signed to be the A's 5th starter, while Derek Lowe is supposed to be the Dodgers' 2nd starter.

And Loiaza as the A's 5th starter is going to beat pretty much any other team's 5th starter hands down - on most teams he'd be the #3 starter - which is why Beane signed him. The A's are going for it all this year.

2006-04-04 17:12:46
393.   Telemachos
By the way, as I follow the Toronto-Minnesota game on Gamecast, it sure must be nice to have a stud pitcher who doesn't melt down with runners on base or in scoring position.
2006-04-04 17:14:05
394.   TheRedMenace
388 - The better argument is that the Loaiza signing is actually worse, much worse. Not only does Loaiza project to be the A's fifth starter (at best) but now the A's have more than 10% of their payroll committed to their worst starter. I know some want to claim Loaiza is the third starter, but thats all fan-boy stuff, the guy is below average and the rest of the staff probably won't be.

At lease Depo could argue that Lowe would be a better starter than most of his existing staff, Beanne has no such argument.

The worst part, if the A's wanted Loaiza, they could have had him last year, younger and at half the cost.

2006-04-04 17:14:59
395.   Andrew Shimmin
If you watched innings 2, 3, and 4 yesterday, what's there not to like about the Lowe contract?

Sean Casey just hit a homerun. Jim Tracy is a bleeding genius.

2006-04-04 17:15:27
396.   GoBears
Clearly, we need a DePo FAQ, so that all rehashes of the same, tired arguments can be referred there, and we can get on with new discussions here.

Maybe we just need a conventional-wisdom-is-often-wrong FAQ. There, we can lay out the evidence surrounding such chestnuts as "Kent/Choi/Perez/Aybar is horrible defensively," "Izturis is fast," and other goodies about injury histories, "clutch hitting," "mental toughness," etc.

It'd take a group effort to write it all up, probably, but it would be well worth it, especially for those debates where all the evidence is available.

2006-04-04 17:16:22
397.   Steve
Pittsburgh's playing, and I'm listening to Minnesota/Toronto?
2006-04-04 17:19:29
398.   bigcpa
As uninformed as it sounds when you hear Moneyball=OBP, I still think it's true to some degree. No matter how expensive OBP gets in the free market for hitters, Billy Beane is never going to field a team of Randall Simons. As much as everyone says he's on to the next frontier, lo and behold he's got an OBP all star team again. There are still the teams that know how runs are created and the productive out crowd.
2006-04-04 17:19:44
399.   Steve
Bengie can run as slow as he wants when he does that.
2006-04-04 17:20:24
400.   Bob Timmermann
Bengie go boom!
Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2006-04-04 17:21:57
401.   trainwreck
Anyone watching Bonds on Bonds? Or watched it already?
2006-04-04 17:22:04
402.   Johnson
392 We only spent $4.5M a year on our fifth starter! ;-)

Well, I guess he's actually our fourth. Our fifth is cheap. Honestly, I don't think that the rotation slot is that important of a "number" when you consider salary, except insofar as you expect a fifth starter to get fewer starts, in which case you should definitely not overpay for a fifth starter. If Loaiza only makes 25 starts instead of 30+, that should factor into the value of his contract, too.

2006-04-04 17:22:12
403.   Jon Weisman
New thread open up top.
2006-04-04 17:25:43
404.   GoBears
I don't think there's any chance this game gets played tonight. Not unless they're willing to spend 6 hours to do it. It's 5:30, and raining cats and dogs right now in West LA. In fact, this is the hardest it has rained all afternoon. Unless this part of the storm magically misses DS, I'll be shocked if they pull this off.
2006-04-04 17:30:44
405.   Steve
398 -- Agreed, but that's truth that transcends market inefficiency. One theory of why the A's have topped out is that the book closed down the inefficiency.
2006-04-04 18:02:40
406.   bigcpa
405 How can you say they've topped out when people have them at 101 wins this year? The 2006 A's should, at least in part, be measured against the 2006 Reds, Tigers and Twins not against the 2003 A's. I don't consider them missing the playoffs to a $100M team by 2 wins the last 2 years much of a mark against Beane.
2006-04-04 18:59:27
407.   TheRedMenace
406 - They missed the playoffs by seven games last year.
2006-04-05 06:25:32
408.   godvls
367 - I know your dad from work. Is he in Boulder right now?

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