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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

When Bonds Almost Became a Dodger
2006-05-09 17:20
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Yep, Dodger history's axis might have tilted bigtime if this one had gone through.

As Isi Baly wrote at Dodger Profiles, the Dodgers had trade talks with the Pirates during the 1989-90 offseason about acquiring Barry Bonds. You'll probably share Baly's amazement that Dodger third baseman Jeff Hamilton would have been a significant part of a Bonds-worthy package.

Today, I asked Claire what he remembered.

"I do recall we had an interest in Barry Bonds during the time period mentioned and did try to make a deal with the Pirates," Claire wrote in an e-mail. "I can't recall all of the details of the trade discussions but I know our interest in Bonds was high and we hoped to make the trade and have him play center field."

Thanks to Baly, here's an excerpt of what Ross Newhan wrote for the Times on December 22, 1989.

General Manager Larry Doughty has denied the Pittsburgh Pirates are about to deal left fielder Barry Bonds to the Dodgers for third baseman Jeff Hamilton and pitcher John Wetteland.

Doughty talked to Dodgers General Manager Fred Claire on Wednesday, but no deal was worked out.

"Fred Claire and I resolved that we didn't have a deal but that we would leave the lines open into spring training," Doughty said.

Wetteland, 23, was 5-8 with a 3.77 earned run average as a rookie last season.

"I really got the feeling that Fred Claire was not going to move one of his established pitchers," Doughty said.

If the Dodgers acquire Bonds, they would probably play him in center field, where he began his major league career. He moved to left field in 1987, when the Pirates acquired center fielder Andy Van Slyke from St. Louis.

The Pirates are interested in Hamilton so they can move third baseman Bobby Bonilla to right field.

The Dodgers' need for another outfielder lessened Thursday when they signed free-agent Hubie Brooks to a three-year, $6-million contract.

Baly added in his own post that "there was another article that stated (Tim) Belcher would be part of this deal, but I could not locate it tonight. Perhaps it was a Daily News article ..."

This is when I turn to Bob Timmermann for fast action. He found Matt McHale's Daily News article of December 22, 1989, which had much of the same news as Newhan's but added the following:

"Pittsburgh did not think John Wetteland was established enough," McHale wrote, "and wanted either Tim Belcher or Ramon Martinez, like Wetteland a rookie."

Martinez, of course, was on the cusp of several outstanding seasons for the Dodgers. He had a 3.19 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings as a 21-year-old in 1989 before blossoming in '90 with a 2.92 ERA and 223 strikeouts in 234 1/3 innings. Belcher had sub-3.00 ERAs in '88, '89 and '91 before being traded to Cincinnati with Wetteland in the ill-fated Eric Davis deal.

Bonds was coming off a simultaneously good but disappointing season in 1989 - 125 OPS+, 19 home runs - but would rev it up to become National League Most Valuable Player for the first time in 1990. Hamilton, most famous perhaps for being the losing pitcher in the Dodgers' 22-inning game in Houston in 1989, had for what it's worth his best season as a Dodger that year - 86 OPS+, 12 home runs - but played in only seven major league games in 1990, going 3 for 24, and was out of the majors for good by the end of 1991.

In retrospect, of course, almost no price seems to high to pay for Bonds circa 1989-90, but what are you gonna do? At least Martinez and Belcher pitched well for the team, for a short time (sigh). Had the deal gone through, however, this would have had a heck of a butterfly effect on Dodger and baseball history. Just one scenario: Bonds and Mike Piazza eventually in the same lineup, and with that, and with the Dodgers down a starting pitcher, maybe they wouldn't have been able to afford letting Pedro Martinez go.

And then Pedro blows out his arm two years later. Or something like that. It's always something.

Sleep well …

* * *

This is not the game chat thread. The game chat thread can be found below.

Comments (112)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-05-09 17:33:33
1.   Jacob L
On the bright side, we might now be in the position of Giant fans, going through myriad contortions in order to justify continuing to root for the guy.
2006-05-09 17:35:48
2.   Jon Weisman
1 - Yeah, there's that. Do you think there's any possibility that Bonds would have been satisfied with possibly more notoriety in Los Angeles that he wouldn't have gotten involved with steroids? Slim chance?
2006-05-09 17:43:23
3.   PadreJeremy
If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, it would be Xmas in Dodgerland everyday.

Instead of wondering what would have happened had Barry "I wont sign a ball for any guy who is or looks white" Bonds been acquired, Id be more concerned about the lack of a decent start this year, what to do with Gagne when he returns, and at what point do you start trading prospects to get that player or two to take you to the top or in the adverse, realize that veterans need to be dumped to get some more prospects so the rebuilding with the great farm system can start taking place.

The Dodgers are a mess and combined with the other teams in the division being better then anticipated is going to make this a long year.

2006-05-09 17:49:03
4.   Jon Weisman
3 - At the risk of stating the obvious, 1) only a small portion of this post was hypothetical, and 2) talking about something in the past does not prevent one from also talking about matters of the present or future. You won't have to scroll down much to find many such options.
2006-05-09 17:51:33
5.   Jacob L
As long as we're dealing in alternate reality, sure. Its possible. If you believe "Game of Shadows," Bonds was motivated by his standing in the game relative to McGwire and Sosa. I don't think his being in LA changes that dynamic too much.

The other thing to keep in mind is that during the 1990s, most Dodger superstars ended up disgruntled at some point or another. Straw. Piazza. Sheffield. Mondy (if he counts). None of them were gruntled. I don't think LA was a great place for star players to thrive during the early Fox/late Lasorda era. Bonds may have ended up acting out for different reasons, or in different ways.

2006-05-09 17:56:12
6.   Jon Weisman
5 - True. There was low gruntling.
2006-05-09 18:16:19
7.   GoBears
5. Although, FWIW, Bonds likely would have hit many more HRs in Dodger Stadium than in Candlestick or the Big Splash. Which would have, for better or worse, raised his Q rating.

Or, he'd have played out his contract, and answered the siren song of Daddy and Willie after a couple of years anyway.

2006-05-09 20:15:34
8.   bigcpa
Add AROD, Ichiro and Unit to the 1990's near-miss list. But this Bonds non-trade might top them all.
2006-05-09 20:45:32
9.   underdog
3 I'd be more concerned with your lack of apostrophes, but it's fun to get lectured by Padre fans.

At any rate, giving up Wetteland and Jeff Hamilton? That would have been way too much. [grunt]

2006-05-09 22:06:59
10.   Nolan
I, for one, couldn't be more relieved that we didn't get Bonds. I don't think I could have lived with the shame of having to defend/root for someone of his character.

He's a disgrace to baseball and to America and I can't wait until he is indicted/suspended so that he'll be gone from baseball for good.

I wouldn't have traded Chad Fonville for him.

2006-05-09 22:13:25
11.   gpellamjr
I didn't get in in time to get in on the Dodger Year/Celebrity thread, and I don't know if he counts as a minor celebrity, but what about 1996/Bob Dole?
2006-05-09 22:17:55
12.   Jon Weisman
10 - You wouldn't have traded Chad Fonville for Bonds in 1989??
2006-05-09 22:19:32
13.   gpellamjr
11 hmm... now that I think of it, maybe Dole would only relate to the 1996 Brooklyn Dodgers.
2006-05-09 22:31:11
14.   Steve
I really, really liked Chad Fonville.
2006-05-09 22:36:00
15.   Nolan
12 - Yes, had we owned the rights to an 18-year old Chad Fonville (who at that time was a freshman for Louisburg College), I would not traded him for Bonds!!
2006-05-09 22:40:12
16.   Jon Weisman
15 - You must have had quite a crystal ball, then. As far as I know, the worst thing you could say about Bonds at age 24 is that he wasn't likely to be best man at your wedding.
2006-05-09 23:09:08
17.   Bob Timmermann
The worst thing I could have said about Bonds at age 24 was that he would never be in Howard Fox's kitchen.
2006-05-09 23:27:00
18.   Jon Weisman
Loved Veronica Mars tonight, but oh man, what are they doing leaving me with a loose end untied?
2006-05-09 23:32:27
19.   Bob Timmermann
Is Veronica Mars making the jump to the new network next year?
2006-05-09 23:35:38
20.   Joe
According to John Schuerholz, Bonds almost became a Brave, too.

http://tinyurl.com/ohnfb

2006-05-10 00:04:06
21.   regfairfield
19 I think so, my girlfriend has been following the merge pretty closely (hoping her beloved Smallville survives). I think the only desirable properties UPN has is Veronica Mars and Wrestling.
2006-05-10 05:52:13
22.   Midwest Blue
Wow, visions of Bonds, Piazza, and Sheffield (and sugar plums) dancing in my head.
2006-05-10 06:10:26
23.   Penarol1916
From what I've read Veronica Mars is in competition with Everwood and Related for one or two open spots on the network. The shows from UPN that are almost guaranteed to go forward are America's Next Top Model, Everybody Hates Chris and Wrestling. The one thing in Mars' corner is that the head of programing for the new network is from UPN and it would be kind of embarassing if all UPN brought to the table of the merger were 3 shows.
It will really stink about that cliffhanger if the show doesn't come back though.
2006-05-10 07:40:37
24.   Sam DC
Man, Plaschke has now resorted to writing a column about how Barry Bonds is now Babe Ruth. Incisive.

The LATimes article about sinking an old aircraft carrier to create a diving reef is pretty amazing, though.

2006-05-10 07:42:34
25.   LAT
If Bonds were a 1989 Dodger we would not have to defend him. He would have broken the HR record 2 years ago and be retired. Add back in the HRs lost at Candlestick and add considerably more for the cheapies he'd have over the short fence in right field at Dodger Stadium and he would have broken the record a while ago. Not to mention that the 73HR season would be the 80 HR season (even more ridiclious). If Bonds were a Dodger he would be Mark McGwire now, retired.
2006-05-10 08:00:12
26.   dodgerprofiles
Thanks for following up on the Bonds to LA deal that fell through.

It was interesting to see Claire's response.

However, don't you think Claire should have a greater recollection regarding these events? After all, Bonds would win MVP awards in three of the next four years (1990, 1992 and 1993).

2006-05-10 08:20:54
27.   Sam DC
Of course that should have been "not" in 24.

26 It often seems that people should remember things more clearly than they do, and I see your point about the follow-on MVPs. But I'm not at all surprised that the details would be fuzzy for Mr. Claire after all these years, particularly details of trade talk back and forth that likely occurred in person or over the phone. It's been a long time and a lot of talks since 1989.

2006-05-10 08:38:14
28.   dodgerprofiles
There were a lot of trade talks since 1989, but I just don't believe that this is something Claire could forget.

Claire was close to acquiring a player who would become MVP the following season, and he decides to not pull the trigger.

During the MVP awards ceremony in 1990, Claire has to be thinking about the deal he failed to make. He just has to...

You just don't forget something like that.

I couldn't forget it, and I wasn't involved in the trade talks.

(Anyway, I am just glad people are checking out my Dodger Profiles website and are finding some of the things I write interesting to read).

2006-05-10 09:27:47
29.   Jon Weisman
28 - It's still not 100 percent clear to me that it was Claire's choice not to complete the trade. Something tells me that Hamilton and a pitcher - whichever pitcher - still doesn't seem like enough to get Bonds in 1989. And if the asking price was two young major league pitchers (plus Hamilton), I think it makes things a little less crazy.

Really, even if he wanted to be more forthcoming, how much more is there for Claire to say? Seems pretty clear that he just wasn't comfortable giving what the Pirates were asking.

2006-05-10 09:53:48
30.   Bob Timmermann
Yeah, it's not like the Pirates were offering the Dodgers Bill Landrum too.
2006-05-10 10:00:17
31.   Jon Weisman
To me, there is only one Landrum and his first name is Tito. Everyone else is just a pretender.
2006-05-10 10:00:25
32.   Bob Timmermann
Yeah, it's not like the Pirates were offering the Dodgers Bill Landrum too.
2006-05-10 10:00:41
33.   Steve
By the way, Dodger Profiles Guy, feel free to write up Chad Fonville.
2006-05-10 10:01:02
34.   Bob Timmermann
Ahh double posting seven minutes apart...

Sorry, antihistamine hangover....

2006-05-10 10:06:57
35.   Jon Weisman
Namesake update: Jon Weisman has tied the Wayne State career home run record.

http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/stories/050706add.html

http://www.southend.wayne.edu/modules/news/article.php?storyid=2574

2006-05-10 10:12:08
36.   Bob Timmermann
The Wayne State Jon Weisman is one big dude. He's 6'5", 230!

And he's a southpaw!

2006-05-10 10:37:33
37.   Sam DC
I don't what sort of response von Clausewitz would recommend, but this -- from Bad Altitude -- seems like an affront: "(It's waaay to early to be scoreboard-watching, but Arizona and San Diego lost, too.)"
2006-05-10 10:41:39
38.   underdog
Apparently I (or someone with my name) led Div III college baseball in ERA in 1993, while at Aurora. I was ahead of someone named Billy Wagner, among other names.

Those were the days. Whatever happened to... me?

2006-05-10 10:42:27
39.   Sam DC
38 And you (or someone with your name) was also in one heck of a cartoon.
2006-05-10 10:45:39
40.   underdog
39 Right, that goes without saying (although I'm boycotting the upcoming film - feh). I meant my alter ego name, of course. Besides "Shoeshine Boy."
2006-05-10 10:46:45
41.   Marty
There's going to be an Underdog movie?
2006-05-10 10:47:15
42.   underdog
37 How about a simple, "Are you declaring the Dodgers and Giants irrelevant to the Rockies pursuit of the pennant? Just wondering." And then save that post and the response, for future reference, if applicable and desired.
2006-05-10 10:49:50
43.   underdog
41 Yep. With Jason Lee as Shoeshine Boy (which makes me like it a little better, but not enough to suspect it'll be another Rocky and Bullwinkle.)

http://www.comingsoon.net/news.php?id=10086
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0467110/

2006-05-10 10:50:38
44.   underdog
(I mean, not enough to not suspect... Er, sorry. Me fail English? That's unpossible.)
2006-05-10 10:58:41
45.   Sam DC
Busy day at The Griddle -- DT falls to the Toaster Sidebar Basement!
2006-05-10 11:00:46
46.   Jon Weisman
I'm pacing myself. :)
2006-05-10 11:03:56
47.   Marty
I saw that David Blaine goldfish imitation yesterday. What a waste of time.
2006-05-10 11:05:45
48.   Sam DC
Did this get any play last night/today: Bill James in Times 100 People who Shape Our World.

http://tinyurl.com/kn6nz

2006-05-10 11:10:57
49.   Sam DC
Hey Jon -- I linked this post at a Nationals chat site (local tie-in: Wetteland is now the Nationals bullpen coach). You received this praise (and I know how you feel about such things): "78: Fascinating. Weisman does great work." That comment actually left by the proprietor of this blog: http://federalbaseball.com/.
2006-05-10 11:27:47
50.   Jon Weisman
I hadn't even realized Wetteland was still in baseball. Wonder what impact he's having.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-05-10 11:32:42
51.   Bob Timmermann
I once tried to make some joke about Wetteland's ability to answer the phone, but it made absolutely no sense when it was in print. That joke bombed spectacularly.
2006-05-10 11:33:02
52.   Sam DC
Nationals also have Davey Lopes coaching. First base coach and bullpen coach are tough to assess for the casual fan, I'd say. At least with the third base coach, your average fan can holler and harrumph about sending or not sending runners.

Someone on a chat with the Post's Nationals' beat writer just suggested trading Jose Guillen to the Angels for prospects. It was a part of a larger question and really to my eye looked genuine.

2006-05-10 11:40:25
53.   Bob Timmermann
Guillen would pass the Angels test on having a low OBP, but he's not a good character guy.

Jose Guillen is the second coming of Alex Johnson.

2006-05-10 11:43:45
54.   Marty
The Angels had Guillen. They are the ones who dumped him on the Nationals, right?
2006-05-10 11:46:05
55.   Sam DC
54 Right, and last year after a brawl triggered when Guillen told Robinson that Donnelly was using pine tar on his glove, Guillen called Sciosia a "piece of garbage."
2006-05-10 11:49:59
56.   JROBB
aka Holy Hedgehogs. I am surprised that no one has made any comments about Hochever pitching in the Indy league on Monday. The Dodgers have until May 31st to sign him and I think thy will. Colletti will have a sit down with him and see what really happened. Pitching is at a premium and he will get more from the Dodgers than he will from anyone else in the draft.
2006-05-10 11:51:29
57.   Sam DC
he will get more from the Dodgers than he will from anyone else in the draft

Why do you think this?

2006-05-10 11:57:40
58.   Bob Timmermann
The Guillen-Robinson vs. Scioscia dustup last year put Robinson on top of my "Dead to Me" list. I don't think Robinson will ever move off of it.
2006-05-10 12:22:30
59.   JROBB
57, I think the Dodgers would still be willing to give him a 2 million dollar signing bonus. Who else other than the Yankees or B Sox will spend a 1st round pick on him and offer him that kind of money.

Whatever happened in the past should be forgotten and start over. Hochever is still a very talented pitcher and you can never have enough pitching prospects.

2006-05-10 12:25:04
60.   Jon Weisman
59 - As we did talk about yesterday, although the Dodgers should be willing to at least negotiate, they've given strong signs that they won't. Maybe that's a bluff, but I don't know how good they are at bluffing.
2006-05-10 12:44:56
61.   natepurcell
Annoyed by the fact that the live suns webcam for their homes games no longer works, I emailed the Suns asking why. I got a response and its because the independent contractor that has done it in the past does not have any sponsors/money to continue doing it this year.

I am going to find out how much they need to keep it running for the whole year and maybe we can set up a paypal account and help sponsor it as Dodger fans. I dont know, just brainstorming here.

2006-05-10 12:53:03
62.   natepurcell
From Allan Simpson's weekly draft column over at pgcrosschecker.com:
__________________
Former Tennessee righthander Luke Hochevar isn't a draft-and-follow in the true sense of the word, but he might be the ultimate wild card as this year's draft approaches. He remains property of the Dodgers, who drafted him as a supplemental first-round pick a year ago and are desirous of signing him even as the two parties reached a stalemate on contract negotiations last fall.
______________________

So he thinks the Dodgers want to get a deal done.

2006-05-10 12:54:24
63.   underdog
Maybe the Dodgers need to go Brokeback to the Future to get a deal with Hochevar done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfODSPIYwpQ

2006-05-10 12:56:58
64.   gcrl
22
i think piazza and sheffield are mutually exclusive in this "what might have been" scenario since they were traded for each other.
i would be interested in reading someone's analysis of a "what might have been" if the dodgers had been able to keep roberto "bob" clemente. has this been covered before?
2006-05-10 12:57:02
65.   Fallout
That joke bombed spectacularly.

I can relate to that...

2006-05-10 13:01:11
66.   natepurcell
jonathan mayo has his top 10 mock draft up.

http://tinyurl.com/eurxj

I am not a fan of our pick.

2006-05-10 13:05:01
67.   Andrew Shimmin
We should keep drafting Hochevar, year in, year out. Just for spite.
2006-05-10 13:09:22
68.   natepurcell
67

its going to end may 31st and hes going to be a dodger!

2006-05-10 13:14:03
69.   natepurcell
I really hope the Tigers dont draft Kershaw, he is my #1 guy!
2006-05-10 13:14:27
70.   Dark Horse
66--I'm not really a fan of Jeffress either. Nate, who would you rather we took instead, realistically?

Man, would I be happy if we did indeed sign Hochevar, though.

2006-05-10 13:14:57
71.   sanchez101
66. Mayo's list is almost identical to what Kevin Goldstein said last week. What's your problem with Jeffress?
2006-05-10 13:19:48
72.   caseybarker
Its strikes me that Mayo would tell us Drew Stubbs' high OPS with the caveat that its only that good when he makes contact.
2006-05-10 13:23:01
73.   Xeifrank
I have to make a major admission and say that I enjoyed reading the Plaschke article on Bonds in today's LA Times. I guess the old saying "The enemy of my enemy is my friend", has some truth to it. vr, Xei
2006-05-10 13:23:59
74.   sanchez101
73. Mayo never says anything of real value, its just kind of a repeat of what people at baseball america and other places have been saying. I dont think Ive ever seen Mayo write anything terribly new or interesting.
2006-05-10 13:24:23
75.   Bob Timmermann
64

What position would the Dodgers have put a young Roberto Clemente at? They had Snider in center and Furillo in right and they were both very good at those positions. LF for the Dodgers was not a strength in Brooklyn.

Once the Dodgers got to L.A., they got a good run out of Wally Moon and Tommy Davis in left. Frank Howard eventually took over right and later it was Ron Fairly.

Would the Dodgers have kept Clemente or eventually just tried to trade him? Clemente didn't become a star until 1960. His first few years weren't anything special.

Clemente had Mondesian K-BB figures, although he had fewer of his Raul's endearing personality features.

2006-05-10 13:24:52
76.   King of the Hobos
Sorry if this has already been posted: Jeff Sackmann at BrewCrewBall created a program to track the game logs of the minor league games, much like people do with Retrosheet. The result is splits, BABIP data, and batted ball data for all minor leaguers.

http://www.brewcrewball.com/special/milb+teams#Lad

2006-05-10 13:33:29
77.   Clive Clements
11, 13 Best part of this, for me, is that he said that at my high school.
2006-05-10 13:50:28
78.   Bob Timmermann
I hated the Plaschke column so much that I posted about it on the Griddle.
2006-05-10 13:52:24
79.   Jon Weisman
61 - As long as you're handing out money ...
2006-05-10 14:00:12
80.   underdog
I like Cal's Brandon Morrow, partially because I've actually seen him play (on TV) and think he'd fit the Dodgers well. He could still be available at 7, you never know... Since this is a weaker year for high schoolers, the Dodgers could confound expectations and go college early. Again, you never know.
2006-05-10 14:00:15
81.   Bill Crain
My two cents on Bonds: Considering everything - on and off the field - and my own selfish interest in rooting for the team, I would still be glad the deal wasn't made if the price had been Hamilton and Bob Timmerman.

But then, I've been living the past 30 years uncomfortably close to
BigPhoneCompany Park. (And I never had the chance to put a Jugs gun on Bob's fastball.)

2006-05-10 14:12:51
82.   natepurcell
I'm not really a fan of Jeffress either. Nate, who would you rather we took instead, realistically?

Either Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Kyle Drabek or maybe Colten Willems

What's your problem with Jeffress?

I dont have a problem with him personally, i just dont think he warrants a top 10 pick. He is a fireballer and his only plus pitch is his explosive fastball. His breaking pitch is inconsistent and fringe right now and he is still pretty raw.

with a top 10 pick im expecting a prep player to have some relative polish to him.

2006-05-10 14:13:44
83.   natepurcell
re 80

I'm not a fan of Morrow. He as well lacks a consistent breaking ball and he is too lacks polish. He walks too many guys and alot of scouts project him to the bullpen.

I guess I'm picky.

2006-05-10 14:14:29
84.   natepurcell
79

I got an email back, the Jaxsuns guy said its going to cost between 4-6 grand. That seems like a lot. oh well.

2006-05-10 14:16:15
85.   underdog
Maybe... he looked better than that when I saw him on TV, but admittedly I didn't watch the whole game. Even if he projects to the pen, that's not terrible given the Dodgers needs and lack of depth there in the minors right now. Also, there's a knock of some sort on just about every projected top 10 to 20 player this year. Still you may be right, Morrow may not quite be worthy of such a high pick. At any rate, I hope the Dodgers take a pitcher.
2006-05-10 14:17:00
86.   dagwich
58 -- Bob, just out of curiousity, who else in on that list (the one restricted to sports, I suppose). I know anybody associated with Duke basketball is on it, and I would guess Coach K probably tops the college basketball enemies list.

As an NC State fan, Herb Sendek was making my list -- and he was the coach! I was a supporter of his until this year, when he really wore out his welcome. Now I wish him good luck at ASU in the far-away PAC 10.

2006-05-10 14:21:19
87.   dzzrtRatt
Reading the Jane Leavy biography of Koufax right now provides a pretty stark reminder of what an unsuccessful baseball organization the Dodgers have been. They've won two world championships in their entire history without Koufax on the roster. They are routinely associated with the great franchises, and from the standpoint of making money, building a loyal fan base, and serving as the broadcast home of Vin Scully, they are a great franchise. But if Koufax had followed through on his desire to quit after his early, unhappy years under Alston's mismanagement, Dodger history would be pathetic indeed.

This comes to mind in light of the trade-for-Bonds discussion, which is a classic lose-lose proposition. Of course Claire blew it by not figuring out how to get him when he was available. And of course, if we'd gotten Bonds, he would've been a source of unending misery. And so it goes.

2006-05-10 14:24:03
88.   King of the Hobos
Joel Guzman:
Home- .393/.409/.607, 61 ABs
Road- .236/.283/.436, 55 ABs

Delwyn Young:
Home- .167/.200/.250, 48 ABs
Road- .396/.467/.623, 53 ABs

Sample sizes are very small, but does anyone else find this odd?

2006-05-10 14:25:57
89.   caseybarker
87

They have certainly been unlucky in the playoffs (I'm talking more about the 1970's and 1980's). In the 1990's, they just ran out of hits in the playoffs.

2006-05-10 14:27:44
90.   blue22
87 - of course, if we'd gotten Bonds, he would've been a source of unending misery

How so? How many Giant fans are miserable due to the Bonds era? He's a classic "love him if he's on your team" player (maybe moreso than anyone in recent history). If he had been a Dodger this whole time, don't you think we'd be sticking up for him too?

Or are Giant fans just that lame?

2006-05-10 14:29:48
91.   Daniel Zappala
88 Which road parks are considered hitters parks for the 51's? One of their road parks is here in Salt Lake and I wouldn't consider it a pitcher's park by any stretch.
2006-05-10 14:30:08
92.   Curtis Lowe
90- Giants fans are just that lame.
2006-05-10 14:30:52
93.   blue22
92 - Fair enough, I can live with that.
2006-05-10 14:31:08
94.   Marty
Would they not have won in 1959 without Koufax?
2006-05-10 14:31:50
95.   Curtis Lowe
90- That's like saying if Hitler would have been American we would have loved him.

sorry godwin.

2006-05-10 14:32:49
96.   dagwich
Bob, you are not alone! Here's an excerpt from Barry Svrluga's chat on the Washington Post web site. They are catching on:

Metro Center: In one of last week's games against Florida at RFK, Robinson pinch hit Joey Eischen for Livan Hernandez before bringing Eischen into the game to pitch. The Nationals were losing, but not blown out of the game at that point. Particularly because Livan can (and did that night) get base hits, why on earth would Robinson have made that move with a bench full of capable players who are paid to be able to pinch hit? At the time, we thought he was trying to get himself fired.

Barry Svrluga: It was, indeed, a baffling move, and I probably should have included it in my game story. Robinson's philosophy is that he doesn't want to burn his bench players too early because he might need them later. (Yes, it's a debatable strategy, but I'm just passing on what he says when quizzed on this stuff.)

In this instance, with Hernandez not going to return to the game, he didn't want to send Livan up and risk him pulling a muscle or something while batting in a game in which he wasn't going to continue pitching.

Make sense? I didn't think so.

2006-05-10 14:37:20
97.   King of the Hobos
Salt Lake, Tucson, Colorado Springs, and Albuquerque all have park ratings well above 1.10. Most of the other parks are neutral or pitcher friendly
2006-05-10 14:38:14
98.   Bob Timmermann
86
My lists are on the Griddle sidebar in the links section.
2006-05-10 14:41:03
99.   regfairfield
94 Almost certainly. The difference between Koufax and Stan Williams that year was less than one win. Considering the Dodgers lost the one post season game Koufax started, it's hard to say that he made much difference.
2006-05-10 14:44:27
100.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-05-10 14:48:41
101.   dzzrtRatt
90 Giant fans have accepted Barry's horrible attitude and selfish play because he's the big fish and what is still really a small pond. I don't think the LA media or fans would've tolerated his big-timin'.

There's something about superstars and the LA Dodgers that just don't mesh, for some reason. Everytime we get one, they blow up in some fashion. We traded away the greatest catcher in history. In return we got one of the best hitters of our era, but couldn't hang onto him because of bad vibes. We get a guy like Strawberry, only to find out he's on drugs. Others are good for a year then get hurt (Gibson) or we get them but only in their declining years (Kent), or we develop them and then send them to star elsewhere (Pedro). We're good at developing above-average players who have some memorable seasons for us, like Wills, Garvey, Valenzuela and Hershiser; but other than Koufax, we seem allergic to having HOF-level players on our roster in their prime. I don't know why, but there must be some reason other than sheer chance.

2006-05-10 14:49:07
102.   caseybarker
If you base success on world championships, and you accept that the postseason involves a certain amount of luck, ie. if the White Sox and Astros played 10 WS in 2005, maybe the Astros win three of four of them, then you have to say that success is largely born out or luck.
2006-05-10 14:50:57
103.   dzzrtRatt
99 I wasn't giving Koufax credit for '55 or '59, but it so happens he was on both rosters, which was my point. Actually, in '59 he contributed somewhat to the Dodgers winning the pennant. It would be interesting if someone who knew how could calculate Koufax's win shares by season.
2006-05-10 14:53:36
104.   blue22
101 - Hershiser and Gagne - where do they fit?
2006-05-10 14:54:57
105.   blue22
104 - Sorry, I see Orel. I guess you're saying the Dodgers are superstar-crossed?
2006-05-10 14:56:30
106.   caseybarker
Fernando Valenzuela was certainly something as well.
2006-05-10 14:57:44
107.   caseybarker
...better than average
2006-05-10 14:58:29
108.   caseybarker
In 1993, the M's got A-rod, we got dreifort. Go figure.
2006-05-10 15:07:17
109.   Fallout
If he had been a Dodger this whole time, don't you think we'd be sticking up for him too?

Good question. It's kinda like the Kobe situation. But, the Bonds' problem never goes away.

2006-05-10 15:10:41
110.   dzzrtRatt
I love Orel, Fernando and Gagne, and mentioned two of them. Jury is still out on Gagne's long-term prospects, but if he's like Orel and Fernando, he'd be another potential superstar, who put up superstar numbers for a very few years, but whose injuries prevented him from an HOF-level career.

Really, that's true about Koufax too, but since his great years were so astronomically great, beyond compare almost, he was a lock despite the premature end to his career.

2006-05-10 15:11:05
111.   blue22
109 - With Bonds though, I get the sense that nearly 100% of the Giant fanbase supports him (at least until "Shadows" came out).

With Kobe, that number isn't nearly as high among Laker fans.

2006-05-10 15:53:01
112.   sanchez101
101. 87. I think one untold story concerning the Dodgers over the years is the terrible "luck" when it comes to free agents. The Dodgers have historically been able to produce more that their fair share of useable baseball talent, but who is the most successful Dodger free agent?

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