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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

The Latest Shuttlebutt
2006-04-20 15:35
by Jon Weisman

Though and City News Service report that a proposed shuttle to Dodger Stadium from the Metro Gold, Blue and Red lines has been deemed too expensive to operate by Los Angeles' Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the estimated deficit is less than Ramon Martinez's salary: from $500,000 to $670,000 per year (based upon a $4 individual round-trip fee).

According to the report, the MTA has not ascertained the Dodgers' interest in the shuttle. But if the team and its fans did find such a service worthwhile, it would seem possible that the dollar gap could be bridged. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich apparently suggested as much, requesting the MTA to "look into partnerships with private companies to subsidize some of the cost," the report said.

As many of you know, a bus shuttle service for Friday night games from Union Station to Dodger Stadium came and went in recent years. Though many people don't have convenient access to the subway in Los Angeles, those that do might certainly enjoy taking advantage of a regular shuttle service, given the proximity of the stadium to three different subway lines.

The key would be to ensure that enough shuttles would be running so that people wouldn't grow impatient with the service. The staffing issues surrounding this concern could put the operations cost out of reach. And given that Dodger attendance is as high as it is, there might not be much incentive for the team to contribute to this cause. In a sense, though the hypothetical deficit seems somewhat small, it's possible that in reality it would be much larger.

I guess I'm left wondering why is it so expensive for the MTA to increase its service. When push comes to shove, isn't this simply just another route? Is there something about this route that gives it a particularly exorbitant cost? Maybe someone with more expertise can enlighten.

Update: Comments below indicate there are several reasons why this specialized service is more difficult to finance. Basically, because of the inconsistent scheduling and ridership, it's not just another route.

* * *

In other news, Forbes magazine reports (via The Associated Press) that the Dodgers have the fourth-highest value of any Major League Baseball franchise, at $482 million. The Yankees were first at $1 billion, though they reported an operating loss last year.

Update: Dodger Thoughts reader Steve - he's like Cher at this point, no last name required - provides this link to Forbes' chart and nudges us to look at the Debt/Value column.

While we're at it, here's how the MLB teams rank by one-year value change. Washington and Kansas City - you're in the top three!

* * *

Rafael Furcal, who hasn't exactly been too healthy himself, has deprived the Cubs of Derrek Lee for six weeks to three months by colliding with the All-Star first baseman. Lee has two broken bones in his right wrist.

* * *

Las Vegas at Fresno, 7 p.m.

Comments (300)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-20 16:10:07
1.   Steve
Who's "leveraged?"

2006-04-20 16:15:38
2.   Jon Weisman
1 - Thanks. I added that to the main post.
2006-04-20 16:17:05
3.   Blu2
Great. Let's sell Martinez and put up the money for the shuttle.
2006-04-20 16:19:26
4.   Marty
Steve was like Prince a minute ago. Now he's like Cher.
2006-04-20 16:23:07
5.   Marty
I think MTA will be trying to get a rate increase shoved through soon. They may also still be under that consent decree to add busses in certain areas. I don't know what any of that has to do with the cost of adding a few routes.

They certainly found the money to build their version of the Taj Mahal for a transit center though.

2006-04-20 16:23:48
6.   Jon Weisman
4 - Revising on the fly. Don't you like Cher better?
2006-04-20 16:26:38
7.   Marty
6 It's better than Charro :)
2006-04-20 16:27:09
8.   Marty
or Charo or something...
2006-04-20 16:28:37
9.   Jon Weisman
And suddenly I'm transported to the Love Boat, Marty. This is getting better and better.
2006-04-20 16:29:27
10.   Bob Timmermann
I invited Steve to live in my apartment and he decorated it with all of his symbols.

As for the shuttle, I think the costs are:
1) procuring buses (I don't believe they used full-sized ones)
2) paying drivers ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$)
3) paying for the fuel ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$)

Since the service wouldn't be run regularly, but just about 80-85 times a year, you would need to be able to tweak the schedule by hiring more drivers to cover the time needed.

I don't know who pays for the Hollywood Bowl Park N' Ride (I assume the County and the LA Phil chip in to pay the MTA), but that's the model that the Dodger Stadium shuttle would follow.

Would a shuttle using the Gold and Red Lines as they are presently constituted ever get more than 1000-2000 riders per game?

I'm not a transportation expert and I make no guarantees and only wish to engage in speculation.

2006-04-20 16:31:08
11.   Vishal
i would trade ramon martinez for a bus any day of the week.
2006-04-20 16:39:20
12.   Eric L
10 I don't know how strict the rules for how long a bus driver can drive (or for how many hours a week), but I would assume that some of the cost must be not hiring extra drivers but paying overtime to the existing drivers.
2006-04-20 16:43:17
13.   Marty
Nomar at first for the 51's I presume.
2006-04-20 16:50:43
14.   Adams
What's the over/under on number of innings before Nomar gets hurt again?
2006-04-20 16:55:11
15.   tjshere
12 Unfortunately, I know somethng about this, assuming bus drivers are governed by the same rules as truck drivers.

On duty: 15 hours in a day, max.
Driving: 10 hours per day, max.
60 total working hours per week, max.

But, trust me, these regulations are a joke. Totally unenforceable.

2006-04-20 16:59:50
16.   Jon Weisman
Bad, bad news for the Cubs: Derrek Lee has two broken bones and is out 2-3 months.
2006-04-20 17:00:11
17.   Jon Weisman
2006-04-20 17:03:31
18.   deburns
In a former incarnation, I got involved with a school bus company. Because the drivers are only needed for eight or nine months, they could attract only the least desirable drivers (you can imagine). You would think that we would not want the worst drivers to bring our kids to and from school, but that is not the way it works. If the overtime issue can't be worked out, the fallback position might not be very desirable.
2006-04-20 17:12:04
19.   D4P
I'm assuming that debt/value percentages close to 100 are not a good thing...
2006-04-20 17:30:44
20.   Linkmeister
I didn't see that play during which Lee got hurt, but it's a shame. Furcal's a lot smaller than Choi, and Lee's bigger than Rolen, so how could that happen?
2006-04-20 17:31:27
21.   Humma Kavula
My debt/value percentage is undefined!
2006-04-20 17:31:49
22.   FirstMohican
LAX-Union Station Flyaway: Unprofitable public service. 44 Trips to and from Union Station and LAX per day, 7 days a week. $3 a one-way ticket.


The City of LA Dept. of Transportation operates the DASH service for 25 cents at a huge overall loss. Extending the DASH to offer trips to and from Union Station and Dodger Stadium wouldn't stray from the spirit of the DASH program. It's alleviating congestion around downtown and encouraging public transit.

It's a public service and it shouldn't have to be profitable.

2006-04-20 17:34:01
23.   Humma Kavula
Maybe I'm nuts, but it seems to me that the #1 reason why the shuttle system could never really take off is that Frank gets $10 per car. It's not in his interest to see that this happens, and if he doesn't fight for it... but maybe that's irrelevant.
2006-04-20 17:34:28
24.   Vishal
[21] are you saying you have zero value?
2006-04-20 17:34:52
25.   Humma Kavula
24 That's precisely what I'm saying.
2006-04-20 17:35:28
26.   LAT
I know Bud relaxed the debt/value ratio for Frank, but was there any mandate that the Dodgers had to comply with the ratios by a date certain or can they be run at 87% indefinitely?
2006-04-20 17:38:45
27.   underdog
For those of you who were worried about Norihiro Nakamura after he was released from LA last year, he's doing okay back in Japan.

3R HR yesterday... (or is that today, or tomorrow? I can never get Japanese time down.)

As for transportation to and fro Dodger Stadium, it sure would be swell to have an option other than car, even in (gasp!) LA. People would feel less stressed about leaving early, about traffic, etc. A tram system, something, anything would help.

2006-04-20 17:38:50
28.   trainwreck
Well one of my fantasy teams just ate it.
2006-04-20 17:39:25
29.   Vishal
[25] aw, i'm sure that's not true.
2006-04-20 17:41:55
30.   Humma Kavula
[29] It's what my boss tells me...
2006-04-20 17:49:54
31.   LAT
Bonds out of the line-up again.
2006-04-20 17:51:28
32.   natepurcell
uh oh, kazmir looks like he felt something funny in his elbow...
2006-04-20 17:54:33
33.   sanchez101
32. That sucks, wonder if they want Baez back for him.

hey, nate, what do you think TB will do with Upton?

2006-04-20 17:55:17
34.   trainwreck
Oh great, he is on my team too uggghhhh.
2006-04-20 17:55:42
35.   natepurcell
hey, nate, what do you think TB will do with Upton?

ruin him.

2006-04-20 18:00:25
36.   Andrew Shimmin
32- ESPN's crew seems to think it was just cramps. So, whatever that's worth.
2006-04-20 18:05:57
37.   sanchez101
35. sounds about right
2006-04-20 18:08:20
38.   regfairfield
Your elbow can cramp up?
2006-04-20 18:10:55
39.   natepurcell
must have been the forearm.
2006-04-20 18:11:13
40.   Andrew Shimmin
38- They were saying hand cramps. I don't know what they based that on, though. I didn't look up in time for a replay, so I have no idea what it looked like.
2006-04-20 18:13:14
41.   FirstMohican
23 - I promise you that McCourt can get more than a $810 return on each parking stall per year with that land.

And it shouldn't have to be the Dodgers taking the lead on a shuttle project.

2006-04-20 18:13:57
42.   Steve
But Zambrano pitches on! Steve Phillips is a genius!
2006-04-20 18:15:22
43.   FirstMohican
34 - Mine too. Having a player on my team is a curse. Sheets, Hermanson, Lugo, Halladay.. and more. Maybe next time I log on i'll have come by Derek Lee.
2006-04-20 18:15:35
44.   regfairfield
Dan Duquette.
2006-04-20 18:24:24
45.   Steve
Wait a minute, are you telling me that the Mets GMs have been so dumb, Steve Phillips didn't even make that trade?
2006-04-20 18:24:32
46.   LAT
41. Its only a matter of time before Frank builds a multi-level parking structure and develops the freed-up parking lot. Think Disneyland. Imagine what a nightmare getting out of that structure will be.
2006-04-20 18:27:53
47.   Bob Timmermann
I've always found it pretty easy to get in and out of Disneyland by car. Even on crowded days. Those people are good at moving cars.

I don't think the Dodgers will hire people that good.

But I think McCourt wouldn't mind hooking up with Caruso to create "Chavez Grove".

2006-04-20 18:40:18
48.   Linkmeister
47 I can't fit "Dodgers" into "It's a Small World" in any way to make it scan.
2006-04-20 18:49:22
49.   Sam DC
I don't know why, but 11 just really cracked me up.
2006-04-20 18:51:26
50.   sanchez101
funny 'cause its true
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-20 18:52:07
51.   LAT
I have not had a problem getting out of Disneyland, even as recently as two days ago. But that is in part because people leave at various times during the day--not all at once like most would at DS. Moreover, Anaheim is built to handle the traffic. The exit from the parking lot is close to the freeway entrance and the streets are wide. Chavez Ravine, not so much. Actually, not at all.

When they do build the DS structure instead of being parked in the Mickey or Daisy section you can park in the Koufax or Drysdale section. That would be cool the first time or two. If they have a breakdown lane it can be called Dreifort Way.

I agree Frank would like to develop the property but I have a hard time seeing a high-end, Grove type project in Chavez. But then I have very little vision. Just ask my wife. When she asks "do you like this dress?" I say "I don't know. I have to see it on." Then I say I like the dress. I'm not stupid you know.

2006-04-20 18:55:51
52.   LAT
The handicap spots would be named after Kevin Brown.
2006-04-20 18:58:26
53.   LAT
Ouch. Rough start for Claudio Vargas in the first in AZ. Five runs on five hits without giving up an HR.
2006-04-20 19:00:12
54.   Marty
The current circular lanes around the stadium should be called Repko Ave.
2006-04-20 19:03:06
55.   LAT
Good one Marty.

Of course the the far right lane, i.e. the slow lane or passing lane is call the Jason Phillips Expressway

2006-04-20 19:03:28
56.   Sam DC
Latest 411 on Nationals' Ownership:

Lerner group has added Rod Slater(former Sec. of Trans), and a DC-based African American banker named Mitchell. That group is also now confirmed to include James Brown (CBS) and Paxton Baker (BET). Presumably, this resolves the mlb concern on this issue leaked last week.

Selig and DuPuy have scheduled further meetings next with Lerner group and Malek group. Presumably, the Malek meeting will not be over dinner.

(from article at

Not at all clear to me why you'd need more meetings at this point. Could be (1) want to let the losers down in person, (2) want to force one of these groups to take on Jeff Smulyan, Reinsdorf's buddy, or (3) want to force the two leading groups to merge.

To be continued . . .

2006-04-20 19:07:35
57.   LAT
And the safest place to drive. . .Jason Grabowski Road. Why, you ask. Because there is never any contact.
2006-04-20 19:12:03
58.   ToyCannon
Uncle Miltie nice call on Brandon Philips. Maybe he just needed some steady playing time.

Would be funny if Chicago ended up making a minor deal to get Choi from Boston to fill in at 1st while Lee is on the DL. Two years in a row a collision at 1st base knocks out an oppossing teams big stud. I'd suggest the opposition start getting out of the way of our hard charging base runners.

2006-04-20 19:12:16
59.   LAT
Presumably, the Malek meeting will not be over dinner. Very funny Sam but maybe Bud is just looking for another free meal.

As you all can see I'm very bored tonight without a game.
2006-04-20 19:15:30
60.   LAT
Randy Winn is hitting .382 with 8 RBIs as a leadoff hitter. Would someone please remind him he sucks. He's about to go on the list.
2006-04-20 19:18:14
61.   Jon Weisman
Sorry - had a bad link on the Vegas game. Now fixed. Garciaparra led off the game with a double, and Aybar doubled him home.
2006-04-20 19:18:36
62.   capdodger
57 *rimshot*
2006-04-20 19:25:28
63.   Sam DC
I helped a friend move out of his office at the pentagon recently. Amazing place if you're into the history thing. They have a section of haunting black and white photographs of the medal of honor winners, and each picked a quote to go with his picture. Very moving. I spent about fifteen minutes looking for Sadao Munemori until my buddy pointed that it only included those living when they took the portraits and installed the exhibit. Munemori fell on grenade and so was not pictured.

Just wanted to give LAT a little more to fill his time.

2006-04-20 19:28:54
64.   LAT
Jamey Wright has loaded the bases and has had 5 base runners in less than two innings without giving up a hit.
2006-04-20 19:30:51
65.   LAT
and Vargas hits into a DP to end the inning. Nothing like giving up 5 in the first and killing your teams rally in the second. What do you do for an encore?
2006-04-20 19:33:39
66.   Andrew Shimmin
There's a story up on Baseball Crank (and, now that I notice, all over the place) about an L.A. Times blogger posting pseudonymous comments on his own blog (and others) agreeing with himself, in the third person.

All this by way of saying: anybody else find it a little, um, funny, how quickly Sam DC came up with Suri with the fringe on top, yesterday?

2006-04-20 19:34:09
67.   King of the Hobos
Jamey Wright appears to be trying his best to replicate AJ Burnett's no hitter. 4 walks through 2 innings, but no hits
2006-04-20 19:36:21
68.   Sam DC
66 I resemble that remark. Or something.
2006-04-20 19:40:09
69.   Ken Arneson
66 Hmmm...this could mean trouble.
2006-04-20 19:40:43
70.   Score Bard
69 I agree completely.
2006-04-20 19:41:24
71.   Score Bard
70 And double.
2006-04-20 19:43:10
72.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm not sure what it matters, anyway, given that we're all figments of Hee Seop Choi's autistic imagination.
2006-04-20 19:44:03
73.   Steve
One Little...Two Little...Three Little Indians...
2006-04-20 19:44:15
74.   natepurcell
wow Ethier is playing CF tonight. I like it!
2006-04-20 19:44:33
75.   trainwreck
Kazuo Matsui with a in the park home run. Every season he has led off the year with a home run.
2006-04-20 19:44:51
76.   trainwreck
2006-04-20 19:49:03
77.   Marty
66 The blog in question has been suspended. See LA Observed.
2006-04-20 19:50:14
78.   natepurcell
lol, nomar's seen two pitches, swung at both of them. double and single so far.
2006-04-20 19:51:02
79.   underdog
Yep, Nomar just ripped another pitch into the outfield. "Like he's taking batting practice" said the 51's announcer.
2006-04-20 19:54:16
80.   LAT
Never been to the Pentagon. Must be very imressive. Probably too big to take in. Did you get to go to the restored part after 9/11? I would imagine that would be eerie.
2006-04-20 20:01:02
81.   Sam DC
80 We didn't. My friend was on crutches, which constrained our touring. A hard place to work while on crutches, let me tell you.
2006-04-20 20:07:46
82.   Uncle Miltie
The Dodgers really need to send Loney down soon, so he can reach his .300 BA 5 HR 100 RBI projections. What are the chances that Willy Aybar reaches 100 RBI batting leadoff and/or 2nd?

Bob (or anyone) have a list of leadoff hitters who had 100 RBI seasons? I know Soriano did it, but a few of the RBIs might have come from batting in a different spot in the order (or as a pinch hitter).

2006-04-20 20:11:27
83.   D4P
lol, nomar's seen two pitches, swung at both of them. double and single so far.

As long as he doesn't use up any of his 9 HRs.

BTW: how many doubles is he supposed to hit this year to accompany his 9 dingers and 100 ribbies?

2006-04-20 20:14:09
84.   Uncle Miltie
Anyone remember how I wanted Brandon Phillips?

He's 3 for 4 today with 2 HR 6 RBI. That's 13 RBI on the season. He'd probably be our #4 hitter. Ned really put together a pathetic lineup.

2006-04-20 20:18:22
85.   D4P
Ned really put together a pathetic lineup.

I'm sure most of us have evaluated the lineup according to our own criteria, but has anyone tried to evaluate the lineup based on Flanders' stated criteria (e.g. speed and athleticism)? Is this a "speedy" and "athletic" team?

2006-04-20 20:24:48
86.   Bob Timmermann
Didn't Nomar have a 100 RBI season as a leadoff hitter?

1999 perhaps?

2006-04-20 20:27:34
87.   thinkingblue

It is way to early to judge our line up. Let's see what happens when Nomar gets back in.

On this day last year, the dodgers beat the pads 3-1 to improve to 12-2. Then went 59-89 the rest of the way. So lets wait.

BTW, how is Nomar batting tonight?

2006-04-20 20:28:01
88.   ToyCannon
84 See 58
2006-04-20 20:28:23
89.   Uncle Miltie
Yea, when I think of "Speedy" and "Athletic" I think of Bill Mueller and Sandy Alomar. If Ned's goal was to lead the league in stolen bases, then I guess he might be able to achieve that goal. Personally, I'd rather lead the league in runs scored.
2006-04-20 20:30:53
90.   Jon Weisman
For what it's worth, I was pointing out ages ago that despite the public spin, the team wasn't much speedier under Ned than before.

This really made me laugh:

Especially the part about "Moneyball." Fresh material, I promise.

2006-04-20 20:33:03
91.   beLITTLED and maligNED

I don't know about "speedy" and "athletic", but the lineup was definitely scrappy last night, especially with #17 in LF. Don't forget that old man Kent supplies the leadership.

2006-04-20 20:33:25
92.   Uncle Miltie
88- did not see that, I'm glad you remembered.

I also wanted Fernando Rodney last year. I also thought that Bill Hall would develop into a nice player. I've been wrong about some players though, like Carlos Pena.

I'm really going to hate Nomar's short at bats.

2006-04-20 20:33:27
93.   natepurcell
BTW, how is Nomar batting tonight?

2-3 2b,1b,groundout.

first pitch swinging in all the ABs.

2006-04-20 20:34:31
94.   natepurcell

The team will also have enough energy to last the whole game due to the ample supply of KeLories.

2006-04-20 20:34:54
95.   Steve
83 -- The radio guy didn't say, but I got the idea that the 100 RBIs were going to come by force of personality.
2006-04-20 20:35:59
96.   D4P
Yea, when I think of "Speedy" and "Athletic" I think of Bill Mueller and Sandy Alomar.

And here I thought I was the only one...

2006-04-20 20:36:19
97.   thinkingblue

Did the team itself even steal 4 bases in April last year?

2006-04-20 20:38:41
98.   Steve
Mr. McFeely is faster than Sandy Alomar.
2006-04-20 20:40:09
99.   Steve
Not that that makes any difference to the guy who took over Glenn Hoffman's body and inherited his windmill.
2006-04-20 20:44:46
100.   Marty
That windmill was perfected by Lasorda when he was third base coach. We used to call him "Wave em Home Tommy".
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-04-20 20:54:19
101.   Steve
Did we just trade last year's 51 team to Fresno?
2006-04-20 20:56:26
102.   Eric L
90 I especially like this quote:

I form my own opinions because I played the game and have 40 years of experience in the game. There isn't much that others can teach me about the game.

I would like to bust the "that's just powerful stupid" Bill Maher line, but I think that Joe's response is more a combination of arrogance and ignorance.

2006-04-20 21:03:45
103.   natepurcell
nomar has been PH for.
2006-04-20 21:15:00
104.   MikeB
20. I was at last night's game. Seats were four rows up from the Cubs dugout, about even with first base.

Furcal bunted down the 1st base line. The pitcher went for the bunt, flopped on the ground to snag it, and then flipped the ball wildly in the direction of 1b. Lee tried to catch the ball by crossing over the bag towards foul territory. Like a car trying to beat the train at the crossing, he got hit by Furcal who was running full speed down the baseline. From my vantage point it looked like Furcal's helmet struck Lee's wrist. It was unfortunate, but the pitcher made a bad play, and Lee made a poor decision trying to catch the throw in a dangerous spot.

As for Dodgers, they were victims of squib hits, seeing eye popups and bad luck.

Kent looked very uncomfortable all night at the plate, but made a couple of nice plays on DP's. Then, in his final at bat he smoked a liner in the 5-6 hole but the SS, Cedeno made a great play to catch it and end the game.

Baez was throwing OK. Plenty of velocity. IMHO he'll prove to be an asset in the long run. Penny was dominating and pitched smart.

The worst decision by a manager during the game IMHO was Baker's letting Marshall bat with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth. Marshall struck out on 4 pitches. No contest. Dusty got lucky as far as the final score is concerned, but the loss of Lee is going to really hurt the Cubs lineup.

Without Drew in the lineup, the Dodgers were pretty toothless. I really hope the extra day off this week gives Kent the opportunity to shake off the remaining cob webs.

Lofton looked very good in CF. Very fast and ran great routes to fly balls. If he stays healthy he'll either help us win games, or be a terrific chip to bargain with in July.


2006-04-20 21:21:06
105.   ToyCannon
You didn't by chance get nailed with Cedeno's throw did you:)
That throw reminded of Steve Garvey's days at 3b.
2006-04-20 21:24:58
106.   MikeB
105. The throw cleared the Cubs dugout roof by a few inches and was caught on the fly by a fan in the front row . . . wearing a first baseman's glove. The look on the Dodgers 1B coach was priceless. They replayed the play on the LF video screen but the camera shot was too high and wide to show the catch in good detail. Easily the best defensive play in the game by a spectator.
2006-04-20 21:39:13
107.   LAT
Things are getting interesting in AZ. D'Backs come up with 4 runs in bottom of 8th to tie game. Giants have two on in top 9. Bonds PH. IBB to load the bases.
2006-04-20 21:42:03
108.   LAT
With 2 outs in top 9 AZ walks in go-ahead run
2006-04-20 21:44:42
109.   LAT
I'm guessing Brian Medders is wishing the D'Backs waited two more days to call him up from the minors.
2006-04-20 21:48:57
110.   Bob Timmermann
It's Brandon Medders. The DBacks have two Brandons now in Medders and Lyon.

AZ started out the season pitching so well. Their good pitching must have been like the Dodgers good hitting.


2006-04-20 21:49:17
111.   LAT
Say goodnight Gracie. Visciano gives up 2 run single. Giants 9-6.
2006-04-20 21:55:32
112.   LAT
Its soon to be "Minor League Medders"
2006-04-20 21:58:31
113.   LAT
Chad Tracy HR, there are still breathing.
2006-04-20 21:59:38
114.   Bob Timmermann
No they're not.
2006-04-20 21:59:56
115.   LAT
No more life. 9-7 Giants final. I hope the series with the D'Backs is this exciting. I'm going Fri and Sun.
2006-04-20 22:03:15
116.   Bob Timmermann
I also went a long time without stating my objection to calling the Gold Line a "subway". It's not underground. The Blue Line is underground only at its northern terminus. The Red Line is a true subway.

Per Petula Clark's advice, I don't sleep in the subway.

(Although she was referring to a different meaning of subway.)

2006-04-20 22:15:03
117.   natepurcell
ethier triples off merkin valdez.
2006-04-20 22:20:36
118.   Marty
116 Ha! I was listening to "Don't Sleep in the Subway" just this past weekend.
2006-04-20 22:20:42
119.   gcrl
brandon webb?
2006-04-20 22:21:00
120.   natepurcell
broxton's back in for the 9th for a two inning save. lets see if he can do it.
2006-04-20 22:22:56
121.   Uncle Miltie
Is Merkin Valdez still a prospect? I remember when he was one of the Giants "untouchables".
2006-04-20 22:23:32
122.   thinkingblue
Nate, they didn't take Nomar out cuz of injury right?

And Ethier looks really impressive huh? A lot better than everyone's "4th outfielder" projections for sure right now.

2006-04-20 22:23:54
123.   Bob Timmermann
Forgot about Webb. That makes three Brandons on Arizona. They also have two Greens (Shawn and Andy).
2006-04-20 22:25:38
124.   King of the Hobos
122 In early rehab it's not unusual for a player to only play half the game. He was batting leadoff so he'd get 3 ABs quicker, at which point he'd be removed.
2006-04-20 22:25:46
125.   natepurcell
and broxton succeeds. going 1-2-3 in the 9th, striking out the last batter.

line for the season.

8IP .75whip 12K

2006-04-20 22:28:12
126.   natepurcell
And Ethier looks really impressive huh? A lot better than everyone's "4th outfielder" projections for sure right now.

he's playing really well. I always liked ethier and was glad that he, and not kirk saarloos was the player we were getting in return for bradley. If ethier can play CF, his value would be tremendously higher.

2006-04-20 22:29:25
127.   King of the Hobos
123 And they have 2 Orlandos, El Duque and ODog
2006-04-20 22:31:50
128.   thinkingblue

Who do you think is a better defensive CF, Kemp or Ethier?

2006-04-20 22:34:57
129.   Uncle Miltie
126- that's a big if. I don't think he'll hit enough to be a regular corner outfielder. As a center fielder, he'd be fine (hitting wise). I'd only play him if his defense in center is above average. I value defense more than some other people who post here, especially up the middle.
2006-04-20 22:35:13
130.   King of the Hobos
128 I'd say Kemp, easily. Ethier is more of a corner OF who can play CF when needed. Kemp is more athletic and a better overall fielder, thus the better choice for CF
2006-04-20 22:35:57
131.   natepurcell
Who do you think is a better defensive CF, Kemp or Ethier?

I honestly have no clue because I have never seen either play on a consistent basis and there are not any good defensive metrics for the minors.

I think speed wise, they are the same with kemp probably getting the nod due to his athletic background. Kemp has the stronger arm. I dont know how they compare route wise and reading the ball off the bat.

Thats a good question, something probably Callis or Manuel from BA could answer better if you ask them in a chat or something.

2006-04-20 22:38:45
132.   natepurcell
can anyone real quickly give the MLB average per each outfield position for last year? BA/OBP/SLG would be good.
2006-04-20 22:41:51
133.   natepurcell
i would do it myself, but i dont know where to go to do that.
2006-04-20 22:43:06
134.   thinkingblue

That's why I think Kemp is our future CF, and Ethier in left. The person I'm not sure about is Guzman. Entering today's game, he has struck out 15 times, and walked only 1 time ( I know Kemp's K/BB ratio isn't that good, but at least his OBP is decent at .359), with a .328 OBP. I'm really not sure where he is going to play on the field.

2006-04-20 22:45:10
135.   Jon Weisman
116 - What do I know? I've never ridden the subway in this town.

122 - Nomar was scheduled for six innings tonight, nine innings Friday.

2006-04-20 22:45:22
136.   natepurcell
I'm really not sure where he is going to play on the field.

That's going to be the Marlins problem. :)

2006-04-20 22:45:55
137.   thinkingblue


2006-04-20 22:46:37
138.   thinkingblue

You think we're gonna trade him?
2006-04-20 22:47:50
139.   Jon Weisman
Here's the wrap on the big prep game tonight:

2006-04-20 22:47:59
140.   thinkingblue
adding to 138

If we were to trade him, I think an AL team would like him better because he can DH, so we might be able to get better value from him there.

2006-04-20 22:48:16
141.   regfairfield
Nate -

These aren't exact (I just took the AL and NL numbers and averaged them) but I pulled them off BP initially. They changed their format so I can't find them anymore.

LF - .275/.341/.446
CF - .271/.330/.421
RF - .270/.339/.454

2006-04-20 22:49:43
142.   thinkingblue
I think Ethier has a good shot at being far above that average.
2006-04-20 22:49:59
143.   sanchez101
132. BP's old stat page used to have those numbers. I dont remember ba/opb/slg, but I do remember that the average corner outfielder had a .270 EQA, and the average CF had a .265 EQA. I assume a starter at those position would be about 5 points higher. Hope that helps
2006-04-20 22:52:07
144.   Andrew Shimmin
From SS to DH in thirty days? I suspect Morgan Spurlock is involved. . .
2006-04-20 22:53:25
145.   regfairfield
142 He'd better start working on his isolated power then, and patience if you want him to be "far" above that.
2006-04-20 22:54:01
146.   natepurcell
If we were to trade him, I think an AL team would like him better because he can DH, so we might be able to get better value from him there.

Guzman's athleticism and his ability to play multiple positions makes him have good value to NL teams as well.

re 141

thanks. those numbers seem about right. A 275/.341/.446 LFers line is very doable for Ethier IMO. Which wouldnt make him a 4th outfielder, but an average starting LF.

2006-04-20 22:56:10
147.   sanchez101
140. I think we should trade him to an NL team, in paticular to an NL team that can give the Dodgers Miguel Cabrera. He's having the career Adrian Beltre should be having.
2006-04-20 22:56:56
148.   regfairfield
146 Keep in mind that an "average" left fielder isn't the 15th best, but more like the 20th best. The league average brings in things like Mike Edwards at bats along with the at bats that real left fielders took.
2006-04-20 22:58:44
149.   natepurcell

as of now, Ethier's ISOp is a solid 236.

last year, the two highly touted dback prospects- conor jackson and carlos quentin put up ISOp's of 199 and 219.

2006-04-20 22:59:14
150.   Bob Timmermann

Good job by that editor in putting the wrong name of El Camino Real High in the headline.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-04-20 23:01:16
151.   sanchez101
146. I would think he would have to do better than those numbers since they include starters and backups. Robb Quinlan for example has a career 296/343/452 line, and he's been a 4th outfielder his whole career in favor of Garret Anderson and Darin Erstad. Then again, maybe the Angels arent as smart as Rex Hudler thinks they are.
2006-04-20 23:01:20
152.   Andrew Shimmin
148- If you're trying to say that Ethier will be Juan Encarnacion good, well, that's very exciting.
2006-04-20 23:03:33
153.   natepurcell
If you're trying to say that Ethier will be Juan Encarnacion good, well, that's very exciting.

except his OBP will probably be 50 points higher.

2006-04-20 23:05:40
154.   Andrew Shimmin
153- I'd have to look it up, but doesn't Encarnacion have an OBP of 1.000?
2006-04-20 23:05:43
155.   regfairfield
As of now Sandy Alomar Jr. is hitting .478 (yes , Ethier has more at bats, just trying to make the sample size argumement.)

Right now, I'm looking at the .178 ISOp from 2005 in a hitters league. I don't know what league Arizona's AA team is in, so I don't know how it compares. Plus, I'm sure Vegas is inflating Ethier's stats even further.

If he can prove the patience he displayed in the AFL wasn't a fluke, I'll hop on the Ethier bandwagon. Give me until the end of June to make a decision.

2006-04-20 23:05:49
156.   sanchez101
149. it will be very interesting to finally be able to compare our prospects to the DBack and Angel prospects on an even playing field
2006-04-20 23:07:20
157.   King of the Hobos
After reading 134 I looked at all the minor league teams and realized BB/K is not a strength of our system at all (I knew it wasn't a strong point, but it's been bad this year). The "good" ones so far are Laroche (11/7), Ethier (7/6), Martin (6/7), Aybar (6/8), Hu (9/13), Pedroza (7/8), and maybe Ruggiano (7/12). The bad seems far worse: Guzman (1/16), Kemp (5/13), Abreu (5/12), Carter (2/17), Paul (4/12), Hoffman (5/13), Denker (1/8), Apodaca (2/9), Soto (1/14) and Perez (4/13). A lot of the bad ones are questionable prospects, but not a particularly impressive start for some guys (Guzman, Denker)
2006-04-20 23:09:13
158.   sanchez101
155. Sample size caveats obviously apply to Ethier and everyone else in baseball right now. But Ethier has been hitting so well that no amount of park adjustments can characterize his success as anything but awesome. He went 2 for 5 today and his batting average went DOWN. Thats a great start, nothing more and nothing less. Lets hope he become Billy's biggest blunder.
2006-04-20 23:12:30
159.   das411
147 - I think we should trade him to an NL team, in paticular to an NL team that can give the Dodgers Miguel Cabrera.

But this, as did the Marte for Renteria trade, will ruin my plan for "NL East 3Bmen" to become the old "AL East SSs" and have the four best in the league (five if not for Dallas Green) play against each other in EVERY inter-divisional game!

Wow, an NL East circa 2008 with Marte, Miggy C, Wright, Zimmerman, and Rolen would have been truly incredible. There are whole decades that don't see that much talent at one position!

151 - And it took until this post for someone to mention Rex Hudler on this particular date. That is what separates DT from every other baseball blog!

2006-04-20 23:12:43
160.   King of the Hobos
155 DBacks AA team is in the Southern League. The home ballpark has a rating of 1.02 with 1.20 for homers, all other hits are below 1.00 though
2006-04-20 23:13:30
161.   natepurcell
Right now, I'm looking at the .178 ISOp from 2005 in a hitters league. I don't know what league Arizona's AA team is in, so I don't know how it compares.

when arizona had their AA team in the texas league, jackson's and quentin's ISOp were 155 and 176.

2006-04-20 23:16:50
162.   regfairfield
161 Sounds good so far, how old were they?
2006-04-20 23:17:43
163.   King of the Hobos
Did the DBacks move from El Paso to Tennessee after 2004? I don't have park factors for El Paso, but I'm sure it's favorable to hitters. The ISOp in 161 are not particularly impressive
2006-04-20 23:17:44
164.   natepurcell

according to that, Midland (ethier's home AA park), was very much a pitcher's park as well. The HR factor was .80

I cant find El Paso's park factors (dbacks old AA club). Maybe im blind, but it doesnt seem to be there.

2006-04-20 23:19:15
165.   King of the Hobos
162 22. They're both younger than Ethier, but only by a few months each
2006-04-20 23:20:02
166.   sanchez101
Ive always thought Jackson and Quentin (and along with Drew) are overrated. Part of that is becuase they hit in hitters parks, part of that is that I really, really hope theyre overrated because I dont want to see them become stars for a division rival. There was a time when Erubial Durazo and Travis Lee where putting up monster numbers for Arizona in El Paso and Tuscon.
2006-04-20 23:20:29
167.   natepurcell
Jackson and Quentin were 22 in their AA years.

All 3, Jackson, Quentin and Ethier were all drafted in the 2003 draft (jackson and quentin first round, ethier first round supp). The difference in their development is that Jackson And Quentin advanced to AA in the middle of their 2004 season whereas Ethier played the whole year in high A.

2006-04-20 23:20:50
168.   regfairfield
164 Interesting. An article that I read on BP (which I vaguely remember, so I can't dig it up) said that Ethier's 18 home runs were a mark against him. Where's that statement come from, unless the entire league is massively inflated.
2006-04-20 23:21:10
169.   Uncle Miltie
What is going on with Hu? Maybe he just didn't like Depodesta, so he was showing his defiance by being aggressive at the plate. If Hu's newfound plate discipline isn't a flash in the pan, then he can be an extremely valuable asset. Edgar Renteria bat with Izturis' defense or am I being too optimistic?
2006-04-20 23:23:12
170.   oldbear
But this, as did the Marte for Renteria trade, will ruin my plan for "NL East 3Bmen" to become the old "AL East SSs" and have the four best in the league

I think Edwin Encarnacion of the Reds will be a top 3 3rd basemen by 2008. Behind David Wright, Miguel Cabrera but ahead of Zimmerman, Rolen, and Marte. He destroyed the Int'll league, then came up to the Reds last year and had good ISO numbers. This year I think he's putting it all together.

2006-04-20 23:23:22
171.   sanchez101
El Paso's park factors in 2002, 2003, 2004: 1098, 1102, 1109
2006-04-20 23:23:36
172.   natepurcell
Modesto, Ethier's high A club, has a hr factor of .69
2006-04-20 23:25:28
173.   Uncle Miltie
170- I like Encarnacion too, but I've heard that his defense isn't very good. I'm a bigger Marte fan, but Encarnacion is safer bet to have a solid major league career.
2006-04-20 23:25:58
174.   oldbear
Edgar Renteria is one the few players that actually performed better at the MLB level than he did at the minor league level. His minor league numbers were weak at all levels.

Maybe Loney will follow that path, although I doubt it.

2006-04-20 23:26:39
175.   natepurcell
I like Marte and Zimmerman over Encarnacion. That isnt a knock on encarnacion, its just that there are a ton of really good young 3b.
2006-04-20 23:27:26
176.   King of the Hobos
169 I'd like to think Hu could hit better than .288/.345/.399, but some cross of Renteria and Izturis probably isn't too far off. I'll admit I doubt he can keep slugging .425, he's just so small. He may hit more like Eckstein (.282/.351/.362) simply because of his size
2006-04-20 23:29:49
177.   natepurcell
If Hu can hit 280/350/400 he will be really valuable.

for how small he is, he packs a punch with the bat.

2006-04-20 23:30:24
178.   regfairfield
For my fantasy teams sake, I hope Encarnacion works out, because I just traded Hafner to get him play time. (Of course, getting Johan in return does soften the blow if Edwin fails.)
2006-04-20 23:31:03
179.   King of the Hobos
172 The Rockies probably didn't help themselves by switching to Modesto then, as the park factors change real quick after that
2006-04-20 23:44:35
180.   Izzy
Nomah looked great tonight. For the life of me, Ethier was nothing like what I saw the other night at the plate. He was constantly fooled by off speed stuff, and pulling his head off the ball. Totally weird, but young players do that I guess. Plus, by the third game, the Grizzlies are probably figuring out how to pitch him. So, that's the real test usually. Stultz was not that great, but I wouldn't write him off yet. Martin is struggling at the plate, but he did still get a walk and scored. He missed one throw down when he dropped the ball pulling it out of his mitt. The other one, they probally let him go, but he double clutched. He will be a catcher though. He has twice the arm of either of the Grizzlies catchers. Is Wilson Valdez really a prospect for us??? His pants size must be about a 24 or something. Aybar made a great play going out of bounds at third and threw the runner out from the hot dog stand. I left a little early, so I may have missed something good. Broxton was pitching the eighth and got out of it with no runs. I am hoping Billingsley is pitching tomorrow night.
2006-04-20 23:50:09
181.   King of the Hobos
180 Valdez isn't a prospect. He's in his late 20's and specializes as a AAAA defensive SS, and he's only here because no one else could play SS
2006-04-20 23:57:46
182.   the OZ
In light of the new Forbes franchise valuations, I thought I'd share a theory I've been mulling about McCourt and his Dodger ownership. I'm late to the party and bet that everyone has gone home by now, but here goes anyway:

I think it's possible that McCourt will sell the team in 3 years. Here's why:

- The high level of debt. In the 80s, LBO funds would take over diversified firms with steady cash flows, run up a ton of debt on them for the tax shield, then sell off the components for a profit. McCourt has taken on additional debt, I'm assuming, to finance the stadium renovations that have taken place each of the last two offseasons. This is in addition to the debt he has taken on just to buy the team. He is able to write off the interest expense from his income (the Dodgers are currently organized as an LLC, which is a change from when Fox ran them as a corporation). The fact that he has undertaken so many renovations in such a short time with such a high debt level may indicate an intent to sell in the near future.

- McCourt hasn't taken a long-term strategy to operating the team. This may be due solely to managerial incompetence, but very few of the decisions the team has taken seem to have a distant horizon in mind. For example, he fired Depodesta because he really didn't care where the team would be in 5 years since he was always planning on selling by then. He hired Colletti because he hoped goodwill from the media and fans would translate into greater Dodger brand value and better operational cash flows until he sold. Hiring and firing various front-office managers, repeatedly, may be a symptom that he just isn't in it for the long haul and is seeking quick change for the reasons I've discussed above and below.

- Some kind of 5-year depreciation rule. This is a weak point in my argument because I can't remember the specifics, but I recall reading something about a 5-year window and accelerated depreciation schedules. I believe Fox owned the team for 5 years (I could be wrong about that). One of the reasons they sold when they did is that the 5-year window for an unnamed depreciation advantage closed and owning the team was less attractive (plus they had already accomplished their strategic goal of launching a local cable network and keeping Disney out of that market). McCourt may be able to depreciate his new Dodger assets at some kind of advantage as a new owner. The depreciation totals can be used as a tax writeoff much like the interest expense discussed above. This would be particularly valuable to McCourt since he sold millions of dollars of Boston real estate this year and large interest and dpereciation expenses would save him a ton of money on taxes resulting from the sale; it would be difficult to run up expenses suitably large unless he took on an asset such as a baseball team.

Again, I'm just speculating. I invite and CPAs or finance professionals to comment and critique my assumptions of accounting regulations and practices, because I'm not 100% sure of how all of this stuff works. Still, I think there are some dominos in place that, to me, explain things about the McCourt ownership that are very odd outside of any other perspective other than a short-term sale especially when looked at in conjunction with the timing of his sale of Boston real estate assets.

2006-04-21 00:08:19
183.   Uncle Miltie
The new South Park is on. I missed it on Wednesday night.
2006-04-21 02:16:27
184.   KAYVMON
If Im 21, can i reasonably expect to see a subway, or train like line, from santa monica to downtown before I die? downtown being defined by walking distance to staples.

public transportation to dodger stadium can be something my future kids can dream about, i suppose.

2006-04-21 07:05:50
185.   Vishal
[182] that was a fascinating post. and if your assumptions are correct, it has the ring of plausibility as well.
2006-04-21 07:58:21
186.   Gen3Blue
Steve and Oz have bracketed an interesting line of thought.
BTW Who's in Washington.
No. Hu's on SS.
2006-04-21 08:06:58
187.   Marty
184 If you are 21, then I think you can reasonably expect a line from S.M. to downtown by your 40s. It may not be underground, and you may need to make a couple line switches but I suspect it will be in place. The Exposition line, Downtown to Culver City is already in the works and should be up in 8-10 years. The Gold Line extension to East L.A. is under construction.

I think the priorities should be a line to Santa Monica and the Gold Line extension east to Montclair.

2006-04-21 08:22:30
188.   Sam DC
Random question. I have family including a baseball-mad 10-year old cousin in town (he's actually like a third cousin or something but whatever). He lives in Laguna Beach. Anyhow, he's been saying how they put in new seats at DS but even though they are right by the field they are horrible - no slope so you just look at the head of the guy in front you, etc. So, am I right that this offseason those were all ripped out and rebuilt?

We're supposed to go to Nationals/Braves tonight but it's expected to pour. I'm sure I'll have an easy rescheduling 7 seats for a rainout game . . .

2006-04-21 08:25:18
189.   Gilgamesh
This morning I read in the paper that Cruise/Holmes new baby is named Suri. Now I get it!
2006-04-21 08:26:22
190.   Gen3Blue
I used to be interested that Andy Laroche
got all that power from a not so big frame.
This is not all that rare. Still I think its a good thing that in the last two years he's gone from 5'11"/185 to 6'1"/215.
While he was only 19 or 20, making this just barely possible, how much is probably statistical inflation? Is this normal?
2006-04-21 08:35:48
191.   ToyCannon
Or if want to be on the cutting edge instead of waiting 20 years, move to the new NoHo lofts and you'll have the subway to take to Downtown.

Jon, I'm surprised you've never used the LA subway/lightrail system. Kids love it, especially the ride on the blue line to the aquarium. Once they get the line running to USC/Kids Science Center/Natural History Museum they will make school field trips so much easier. My wife's 4th grade class takes the Amtrak from Chatsworth to Union Station every year and they talk about it all year.

2006-04-21 08:37:49
192.   Sam DC
When I lived in Claremont I commuted 4 days a week to UCLA: Metrorail to the subway to the RTD (or MTA I guess) to either a longish walk or another RTD.

I think structuring this public trans commute in LA is one of more substantial achievements.

2006-04-21 08:39:25
193.   Steve
192 -- Did that work well for you?
2006-04-21 08:42:46
194.   Marty
Sam, what is the weather forcast for D.C. in the next 5-6 days? I'll be there starting Sunday evening.
2006-04-21 08:50:36
195.   Sam DC
Marty -- looks pretty variable -- mid sixties to mid seventies, some rain. Here's a link to the NOAA page for DC. . I'l be gone all next week for work, unfortunately. There's a 1:05 pm nationals game v. the reds on wednesday if you can sneak away.

Steve -- It was what it was, about 2 hours end to end, more predictable and I could get a lot more schoolwork done than if driving. An interesting slice of LA folks to immerse in. Couldn't cope with it now with kids, etc. Train commuter culture is interesting everywhere. Lots of unwritten rules to figure out.

I really am bummed to have good seats tonight with fun group of family to see Patterson/Smoltz and 90% chance of rain.

2006-04-21 08:54:58
196.   Marty
Thanks Sam.

With $3 gas, I notice an increase in Gold Line ridership.

2006-04-21 08:56:42
197.   Marty
If the Nats are in town, I'm hoping the Post will put something together for the group and get out to a game. In Dallas a couple years ago for the same conference the Morning News had an outing to a Ranger game that I couldn't make.
2006-04-21 09:26:31
198.   Sam DC
Today's Washington Post baseball history lesson: Linked is an article be columnist Les Carpenter on efforts to preserve the house of Hall of Famer James Henry O'Rourke, described as the first player to get a hit in the National Leauge and the oldest player to get a hit in the National League. (Julio Franco still has 7 years to go to catch him, if I'm counting right.) O'Rourke also attended and earned a degree from Yale Law School during the offseason.

2006-04-21 09:38:08
199.   Bob Timmermann
Jim O'Rourke will stop by the Griddle on April 27.
2006-04-21 09:53:04
200.   Sam DC
Lost in space?

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-04-21 10:06:16
201.   oldbear
If Frank McCourt was a stock, his price would be declining. How many highly leveraged firms, that do not generate much income, are highly thought of?

Essentially, McCourt is playing the same game with the Dodgers as real estate speculators do. Its the basic premise of a "get rich quick" scheme.

#1. Borrow money. Use borrowed money to buy asset. Sell asset for profit, thereby recouping interest expense + a nice profit margin.

Its really no different than buying real estate.

Say you buy a house with a $100,000 mortgage. You sell it within two years at $150,000. 50,000 profit, and you never spent a dime of your own money (other than whatever mortage payments you made while you're fixing it up for those two years, say 10,000)

However, its not that easy turning over a baseball team as it is real estate. Real Estate is a fairly liquid asset, especially with a large housing bubble currently. A professional baseball team is not a liquid asset. How many people want to own, or have the money to buy a professional team? Not many.

The McCourts, with their highly leveraged financing, small current revenue streams (which finance the interest expense), and illiquid assets they own really cant be in great shape.

Lots of Debt + non-liquid asset + small revenue streams= poor financial state

2006-04-21 10:40:28
202.   Penarol1916
201. Actually, a baseball team isn't all that illiquid an asset compared to real estate, especially to someone involved in commercial real estate for much longer than the last 5 years. Honestly, it strikes me as more of a classic LBO than an attempt at a real estate flip. The EBITDA seems middle of the pack for the major leagues and the year over year appreciation is pretty decent for a business. Did McCourt over-lever? I think so, but I think your reasoning is a little simplistic.
2006-04-21 10:45:12
203.   Humma Kavula
somewhat OT: I read somewhere that Nomar's Vegas Vacation is for two games -- presumably last night and tonight, right? Does that mean he'll be starting at 1B for Saturday's game against the D-Backs? I've got tickets and wondering who'll be on first...
2006-04-21 10:54:56
204.   Vishal
[203] Hu plays shortstop. first base? I Don't Know. i think you'll find out... Tomorrow.
2006-04-21 11:24:12
205.   Howard Fox
201 I find it interesting to hear people pontificate on the McCourt's financial stability. None of us have a clue as to what is really going on, we only know what is required to be disclosed, which is the tip of the iceberg.

I don't know the particulars any more than anyone else, but I suspect they are doing just fine.

2006-04-21 11:25:21
206.   the OZ
201 202 Again, I think the key point is that the leverage on the Dodgers plus any depreciation advantage coupled with the sale of his real estate assets in Boston provide an enormous tax advantage and potential motive for acquiring the team. In fact, it's possible that the depreciation/debt tax shield from the acquisition of the Dodgers offsets most of the tax he would have owed on profit from the sale of his "parking lot" assets.

Plus, buying a baseball team is a relatively fun way to get a huge tax shield.

Years ago in Hollywood, there were tax accounting rules that allowed wealthy professionals to take tax savings greater than the amount they had invested in securitized film projects. Those loopholes were changed, but the principle is somewhat similar.

2006-04-21 11:33:07
207.   ToyCannon
If Nomar passes tonights test he should be starting Saturday night.

I expect everyone here would be very happy to change places with Mr McCourt and his leveraged finances. I guess Dodger fans would be happier with the owner of the Twins who is one of the richest owners in baseball and does nothing to help his team instead of an owner who had to risk everything to realize his dream of owning a baseball team and continues to make capital improvements while keeping the payroll at the highest level for his division. He's made plenty of mistakes but unless your kidding yourselves everyone makes mistakes in the beginning of any enterprise that they are unfamiliar with. I'm glad McCourt owns the team because I'd rather have a leveraged owner who is passionate about baseball then a well heeled fat cat where the team is just another write off on his massive ledger sheet. Sure he will have to do some things that might offend fans because he will need to increase the revenue stream but don't think that O'Malley wouldn't have had to do the same thing if he still owned the team.

2006-04-21 11:42:12
208.   ToyCannon
Nice article on Kuo from the Orange County Register.
2006-04-21 11:44:50
209.   Howard Fox
207 on the one hand, I would love to own a baseball club, to be a member of such a small club

on the other hand, I wouldn't want to be a member of a club that would want me as a member

2006-04-21 11:50:17
210.   natepurcell
thanks for the kuo article. it was a good read!
2006-04-21 11:52:38
211.   Bob Timmermann
I still demand that we all pronounce with a "G" sound at the beginning.

I doubt I will get far except with xeifrank.

2006-04-21 11:52:50
212.   PHilldodger

Not asserting that Pohlad is a great owner or a great man, but you really want to compare him to McCourt?

Pohlad may not like to spend money, but he does get out of the way of his baseball people and lets them run things. He's not changing the entire executive suite at the first sign of trouble.

Twins won the AL Central from 2001-04.

2006-04-21 11:53:29
213.   natepurcell
haha, this snippet made me laugh.

"One time in Vero Beach when he was hurt, he said to me, 'Acey, I was a good hitter. Maybe you could try me as a hitter,'" said Acey Kohrogi, the Dodgers' director of Asian operations. "I said, 'Shut up, Kuo. You have a golden left arm. Just stay with it.'

2006-04-21 12:03:26
214.   Vishal
kuo = my new favorite dodger.
2006-04-21 12:13:02
215.   Vishal
[211] i'm going to spend the summer learning mandarin... from what little i know so far, i suspect it's probably not a hard K sound OR a hard G sound, but something soft and in between.
2006-04-21 12:13:12
216.   Bob Timmermann

You gave the Twins one too many championships there. They finished 6 games behind Cleveland in 2001 in second place. That was a 16-game improvement over 2000.

2006-04-21 12:13:52
217.   Bob Timmermann

When I heard it said, I could not repeat the sound. It's not an English phoneme.

2006-04-21 12:34:45
218.   Curtis Lowe
Anyone catch Tony Jackson on Saito?

An interesting quote by Colletti where he refers to "Sammy" as

" A savvy Veteran "

2006-04-21 12:35:12
219.   Curtis Lowe
Also according to Josh Ratwich "Sammy" was coined by Ethier.
2006-04-21 12:37:50
220.   Curtis Lowe
Last post for a few hours.

For anyone interested in Transformers

The Movie has been Cast.

2006-04-21 13:00:20
221.   ToyCannon
If Kuo would stop walking hitters instead of going right at them he'd still be my favorite Dodger but until he gets some command he is going to be maddenning. Maybe we could bring back the Stanhouse moniker and call him Fullpack.
2006-04-21 13:03:38
222.   Marty
I turned to Sabes Sabes?

ToyCannon, if you value our electronic friendship, please never mention Stanhouse again :)

2006-04-21 13:04:42
223.   ToyCannon
Why does Dodger Thoughts get so many posts compared to other Toaster bloggers? Is it because Jon's columns are thought inspiring or do we just have that many more people interested in the Dodgers? Just curious what the group thinks.
2006-04-21 13:06:23
224.   ToyCannon
You mean that doesn't bring back fond memories of our 1st foray into the big buck free agent world that was almost always disapointing until Kirk Gibson changed everything.
2006-04-21 13:07:43
225.   Curtis Lowe
I think it's the laid back LA mentality of being at work but trying to do things besides what we're paid for. That might just be me.
2006-04-21 13:13:14
226.   Marty
224 Ahh, yes. I remember. We'll buy a pennant. Yeah, that's the ticket. We'll get Stanhouse and Goltz and be unstoppable. What could go wrong?
2006-04-21 13:14:25
227.   trainwreck
Angels may be calling up Howie Kendrick.
2006-04-21 13:15:00
228.   natepurcell
if they call up kendrick, they will never send him down.
2006-04-21 13:16:51
229.   ToyCannon
It did get us the most exciting 3 game series in LA Dodger history. If Stanhouse and Goltz hadn't been signed we would have won in a cakewalk and been deprived of the thrilling series.
2006-04-21 13:19:39
230.   natepurcell
could this be the dodgers first pick in the 2006 draft?

Clayton Kershaw is a name to remember.

2006-04-21 13:28:03
231.   trainwreck
I noticed how Morrow from Cal has continued to rise on draft boards. I read about how he has an upper 90's fastball, but lacked control. Any thoughts on him?
2006-04-21 13:55:35
232.   natepurcell
Im not a big fan of Morrow. he has a great fastball, good splitter, but his breaking ball isnt very good. His control also stinks and scouts project him as more of a reliever then a starter.

I personally dont really like a lot of the college arms this year, they all have too many questions on them.

2006-04-21 14:01:54
233.   Michael G
I am afraid that the Angels will release Alfonso to make room for Kendrick because I know Colletti is dying for another former Giant and washed-up backup infielder.
2006-04-21 14:07:28
234.   trainwreck
Well Nate has pretty much covinced me on Drabek. He sounds like Harden, a hard thrower who is not getting love from everyone because of his short height. I am hoping for Drabek and Cody Johnson right now. I do not really remember where we pick aside from #7 and I have no idea if we have any chance of getting both those guys, but that is what I am hoping for.
2006-04-21 14:11:25
235.   natepurcell
in that Callis BA article i posted, it seems there are concerns about drabeks makeup.

Yet Drabek and Kiker may not go as high as their talent alone would warrant. Scouts have expressed worries about their makeup, both on and off the diamond.

"(Drabek) will still go in the first round . . . but you better do your homework on him. Kasey Kiker, too," a second AL scouting director said. "On the mound, they're both top 10 picks. But with all the other stuff, it's hard to pick those guys."

I wonder what "all the other stuff" means.

2006-04-21 14:11:55
236.   trainwreck
Actually, Drabek is not as short as I thought. He is 6 feet tall.
2006-04-21 14:13:09
237.   trainwreck
Yeah, I noticed that. I frankly could care less, because if it was something really bad we would have heard about it.
2006-04-21 14:14:37
238.   underdog
Ack, Don Stanhouse, please don't mention his name! When I was a little kid, my dad and I asked him for his autograph - on autograph night no less! - and he refused. Too tired or something. A little kid! Too tired of sucking, I'm guessing.
2006-04-21 14:15:33
239.   underdog
Btw, one of Yahoo's Fantasy Sports guys wrote this about Bill Mueller this week (despite his temporary slump):
"Bill Mueller, 3B, Dodgers – He's not a power hitter and he's not really exciting to own, but Mueller usually carries a solid batting average, and he's 2B-eligible in some groups. And what's wrong with a .327-2-11 start, along with 12 walks? The Dodgers should consider hitting this guy higher in the lineup – he looks like a perfect No. 2 man to me."
2006-04-21 14:22:25
240.   natepurcell
Yeah, I noticed that. I frankly could care less, because if it was something really bad we would have heard about it.

well i heard an unsubstaniated rumor that drabek was doing roids. But again, it was from a guy who had a friend that goes to drabeks high school. Haha, nothing concrete at all.

I'm sure logan white will do his homework though.

Cody Johnson has been raking this spring.

2006-04-21 14:35:25
241.   King of the Hobos
THT tried to define some baseball announcer commentary today. Some of interest:

When they say: "He's a scrappy ballplayer" what they mean is: "He's a white kid that the fans like for some inexplicable reason."

When they say: "We have a veteran club this year." what they mean is: "Tell the trainer to stock up on Polygrip, Depends, Geritol, and prune juice and make sure the guys on our Triple-A club keep their bags packed."

When they say: "There's nobody warming up in the bullpen" what they mean is: "That's why you don't diss your manager in the press, he'll take revenge on your ERA."

When they say: "He has great fundamentals" what they mean is: "He can't hit, he doesn't walk, he can't field, but he always throws to the cutoff man."

When they say: "Welcome to FOX's coverage of the World Series" what they mean is: "Unless Tim McCarver gets laryngitis, your choices are the mute button or jamming an ice pick into your ear drum."

2006-04-21 14:48:26
242.   natepurcell
here a "whos hot, whos not" list from perfect game on the prep prospects.

cody johnson's numbers as of april 17th were:
.500 (29-58) with 13 HR, 6 doubles, 38 RBI, 40 R, 24 BB, 7 K, and 10 SB.

2006-04-21 14:53:25
243.   underdog
Anybody in the college ranks people here would like to see the Dodgers consider drafting?
2006-04-21 14:53:47
244.   Uncle Miltie
The Kuo article was great. I don't see why the Dodgers would want to mess around with him next year, trying to convert him into a starting pitcher. I'd rather just keep him as a solid reliever. He's probably my favorite player on the Dodgers right now.

Anyone see the article on Izturis in today's LA Times? Ned still wants to move him to the outfield, but Izturis doesn't want to. "The Communicator" is going to have to work this out soon.

2006-04-21 15:06:11
245.   LAT
Did you say the Times had a story about Izturis or Soriano?
2006-04-21 15:16:02
I read that & I have to admit I DON'T LIKE THE WAY THIS IS BEING HANDLED. Izzy is a good classy guy (not to mentioned a GG treat him with respect man!!!)
2006-04-21 15:16:23
247.   Bob Timmermann
The LA Times story is about Izturis but references Soriano.
2006-04-21 15:22:37
248.   trainwreck
Well roids is a red flag. If someone takes them at such a young age, they are very prone to injuries later on. In addition, I am sure it helps him throw harder. That kind of worries me.
2006-04-21 15:22:44
249.   D4P
"The Communicator"

Aka "The Talking Ned"

2006-04-21 15:29:51
250.   Marty
aka Midas. He needs to turn Izzy into gold.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-04-21 15:36:28
251.   oldbear
I dont think scrappy means much in terms of racial guidelines. I think it has more to do with false hustle, and size.

I've heard many latino ballplayers described as scrappy. However, most if not all were middle infielders.

2006-04-21 15:38:16
252.   oldbear
Ned still wants to move him to the outfield, but Izturis doesn't want to.

I want to see Izturis play the OF, bc I doubt I've ever seen a player as short at Izzy play the OF.

Let Izzy play OF and the 6'6 destroyer at SS. I'd be interesting to watch at least.

2006-04-21 15:39:16
253.   D4P
I doubt I've ever seen a player as short at Izzy play the OF.

Or a player who hit as poorly.

2006-04-21 15:40:33
254.   King of the Hobos
253 I'm guessing you've never seen Corey Patterson?
2006-04-21 15:41:37
255.   underdog
Did you guys realize that the Dodgers have lost 8 in a row to the Diamondbacks? (From last season, of course.) They were 5 and 13 overall against them last year, including getting swept twice at home.

Here's to turning that awfulness around...

2006-04-21 15:42:00
If Izzy dosn't get injured I almost garantee that Ned Colletti woulda loved his style of play, I know one of the knocks on Izzy was that he couldn't steel bases but I think with time he woulda learned.
2006-04-21 15:42:49
257.   Bob Timmermann
Four loge tickets to tonight's game have "mysteriously" ended up on my desk at work from an "anonymous" donor.
2006-04-21 15:43:50
258.   Uncle Miltie
252- you've never seen Kirby Puckett or Brian Giles?
2006-04-21 15:43:53
259.   D4P
If I have, I've managed to purge the memory from my mind.
2006-04-21 15:44:37
260.   D4P
Are you "planning" on "using" them?
2006-04-21 15:45:56
261.   Marty
It's all fairly academic at this point with Izzy anyway. Gagne was supposed to be right on schedule with returning and we know how that turned out. I'd like to see Izzy throw in the minors for about a month before I even considered putting him back in the lineup whatever the position.
2006-04-21 15:45:58
262.   natepurcell
I know one of the knocks on Izzy was that he couldn't steel bases but I think with time he woulda learned.

how about this knock: he cant hit.

2006-04-21 15:46:29
263.   Marty
Brian Giles makes me think of Billy Barty.
2006-04-21 15:47:06
264.   Bob Timmermann
At least one of them. So far my cloning plan has not been successful. All I have been to able to produce is a goat that sounds like a parrot.
2006-04-21 15:48:27
265.   deburns
OT, but Jonah Keri at Baseball Prospectus noted that Adrian Beltre is one of the worst hitters in baseball as of now, with a VORP of negative 6.1, with a lot of strikeouts both swinging wildly at balls in the dirt outside (remember that?) and taking pitches down the middle. Four years to go on a $64 million contract. Give DePo some credit for not going for it.
2006-04-21 15:49:31
266.   D4P
Perhaps you could invite the hand...

2006-04-21 15:50:36
257 are you going to the game with those ticks!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????
2006-04-21 15:51:59
268.   oldbear
Izturis is really really small. I dont think I can compare him to Giles or Puckett.
2006-04-21 15:52:20
262 I take it you like Furcal more right? Furcal is a good player but he can't stand next to Izzy when it comes to D.
2006-04-21 15:55:05
270.   oldbear
I'm drawn to the side show aspect of entertainment.

Things I'd like to see:
Izturis at Catcher.
Guzman at 2nd base.
Navarro in CF.

2006-04-21 16:00:40
I can name atleast two games that were LOST BECAUSE OF ERROR'S I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about. those two games can make a huge difference during CRUNCH TIME.
2006-04-21 16:01:50
272.   trainwreck
I am just hoping Kent does not get hurt because that means no trading Izturis.
2006-04-21 16:03:48
273.   Kayaker7
270 Watching Mark Grace pitch, even imitating Mike Fetters, was high comedy.
2006-04-21 16:07:47
274.   oldbear
Probably wasnt funny to David Ross tho.
2006-04-21 16:08:43
275.   underdog
Furcal was signed because: The Dodgers needed to improve their leadoff spot hitting and he's a good leadoff hitter; because he's a better hitter in general than Izturis; and because Izturis was originally going to be out for at least half a season.

There's no question Izzy's a great fielder, so moving him to the OF does seem odd given his main plus is his fielding at SS (not that he's a bad hitter, either). The Dodgers also obviously really like the guy and want him to stay, but he could become the odd man out. I think they'll back off on making him try the OF, see how his rehab goes, try to squeeze him into being their main backup IF'er (which still means a good amount of playing time given the likely need to rest Kent and surely Nomar, too, as well as possibility Furcal gets hurt at some point, too - hope not) - and then try to trade him.


2006-04-21 16:09:43
David Ross hit that thing along way though.
2006-04-21 16:13:00
277.   Marty
Getting back to ToyCannon's 223, I think for a lot of reasons one partisan blog becomes "the" (or THE to some posters :-)), blog of choice for followers of that team. Like USS Mariner and Athletic's nation. For Dodgers followers, it's this one. And it's a no-brainer.
2006-04-21 16:13:06
278.   thinkblue0

I take it you like Furcal more right? Furcal is a good player but he can't stand next to Izzy when it comes to D.

why does everyone think Izzy is the end all be all on defense? Sure, he IS a really good defensive player. Yet his last few FPCT are as follows: .979, .977, .985, .977. Those numbers are better than Furcal's, but not enormously better. For example, last season Furcal had a better Fielding percentage, RF, and Zone Rating.

Let's not forget the fact that Furcal is MILES ahead of Izturis when it comes to offense. I'm sorry, but I'll take the guy who makes a couple more errors but can actually hit and get on base than the guy who is slightly better defensively, but couldn't hit water if he jumped out of a boat...

2006-04-21 16:13:38
Don't get me wrong People Furcal is a Dodger now so I'll root for him.
2006-04-21 16:18:18
280.   underdog
Definitely - Furcal is a good fielder, too. so when you put the whole package together, it's a no brainer. I'd still love to see Izturis remain with the team, but it could end up being better for him and the team if he gets traded.

Meanwhile, whither Cody Ross?

2006-04-21 16:20:22
281.   thinkblue0

there really isn't a place for him on the team, and that's probably for the best. We're having a hard enough time scratching across some runs as it is, so why do we want ANOTHER guy who can't hit in the lineup? It's bad enough watching Navarro try to hit....

2006-04-21 16:21:55
282.   Uncle Miltie
278- fielding percentage is one of the ways to judge a defender. Career wise, Izturis is a better defender. Furcal had a great year defensively, last season. Furcal is a much better hitter though.
2006-04-21 16:22:31
283.   oldbear
Which player would they ax off the roster to make room for Izturis? Something tells me Ramon Martinez will be here all year.

So who could it be, assuming perfect health at that time?

2006-04-21 16:22:37
284.   underdog

Though I'd rather have Izturis than Robles, and rather have Robles than Martinez, and so on... meaning, if he could replace those guys, then it's one thing. But, yes, how many light hitting middle IFers do we need?

2006-04-21 16:26:44
285.   oldbear
But, yes, how many light hitting middle IFers do we need

Martinez, Robles, Izturis, Alomar, Saenz, Repko will be our ultra versatile bench.

2006-04-21 16:27:22
286.   Marty
Why Martinez is on the team perplexes me. They won't play him, but they won't cut him.
2006-04-21 16:28:05
287.   LAT
Hopefully for his sake Derrek Lee does not have the same wrist Dr. as Jason Werth. Is that guy ever going to play again?

Izzy to the OF is a flat out stupid idea.

2006-04-21 16:28:36
288.   Marty
So where's Jon? Like, working?
2006-04-21 16:32:41
289.   Linkmeister
288 Gosh, I hope not.
2006-04-21 16:35:11
290.   thinkblue0

he's still in shock that we finally threw out a baserunner.

I know I am.

2006-04-21 16:38:18
291.   Bob Timmermann
Jon has reproduced a Dodgers concession stand in his home and he is trying out various methods to see how people can be served faster.

I believe the problem is that he just has wife and kids as test subjects and his kids are barely able to see over the counter or even pronounce the name of the food they want.

And I don't think his 3-year old daughter is enjoying drinking all that beer.

2006-04-21 16:38:47
292.   LAT
257. Bob, I guess you'll get to see old friend "Shawn Green" tonight.
2006-04-21 16:39:34

I was thinking that exact same thing.

2006-04-21 16:39:44
294.   King of the Hobos finally has video (no audio) up for the Jacksonville games. Unfortunately, it appears that the camera is focused on a parking lot. Currently, there are no cars
2006-04-21 16:40:33
295.   oldbear
They won't play him, but they won't cut him.

He's the Jack Haley of the Dodgers. Just without a Dennis Rodman to babysit.

2006-04-21 16:41:21
296.   Uncle Miltie
282- *worst
2006-04-21 16:42:05
297.   Jon Weisman
Jon is sleepy. But he's a fighter. Meek new post up top.
2006-04-21 16:43:54
king of the hobos that's a really bad feed on
2006-04-21 16:50:45
299.   underdog
290 And it was by Alomar, too. I'm still in shock as well but knew this day would come...
2006-04-21 17:36:03
300.   Blu2
Maybe he and Ned are REAL GOOd Friends from their San Francisco days...

Or maybe it's like Tracey and Choi last year: The GM says he's on the team, the Manager says,"Get a close relationship with that bench..."

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