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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

Missing the Point
2006-07-30 16:18
by Jon Weisman

In a move that crushes all those Dodgers fans who would rather have a good farm system than a good team, Ned Colletti trades one kid for a better kid. How dare he try to win this year!

- Bill Plaschke

"Those Dodger fans" ...

  • are not against acquiring kids, much less "better" kids.

  • don't want a good farm system instead of a good team - they want a good farm system that leads to a good team.

  • are generally thrilled with the part of the trade that sent Danys Baez away.

  • noticed that the guys who have led the Dodgers to their victories over Washington are the kids, and couldn't be happier.

    The argument some people are making is to not trash the future to try to win this year. That's all. It's fine to contest that, but making an opposing argument into something it's not doesn't do a whole lot of good - and being snide about it is just plain insulting.

  • Comments (318)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2006-07-30 16:32:44
    1.   Greg Brock
    I have to believe that Plaschke is trying to be ironic, and not just a condescending jerkface. I have to believe that.

    Yes, I'm fooling myself.

    2006-07-30 16:33:43
    2.   Steve
    Exploiting freaks like this for ratings is beneath you, Jon.
    2006-07-30 16:36:23
    3.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
    He's awful. Enough said.
    2006-07-30 16:38:50
    4.   Benaiah
    2 - I miss your site Steve. Nothing was beneath you.
    2006-07-30 16:44:07
    5.   DodgerHobbit
    Maybe Plashke was emotionally drained after his emotional piece on Moon he let Simers fill up the rest of his space on the bottom.
    2006-07-30 16:53:35
    6.   Bluebleeder87
    I know nothing about football (yes I'm ashamed about it but what can I do about it) My bestfriend was all city & captain of the football team in high school though.
    2006-07-30 17:00:43
    7.   GMac In The 909
    Plaschke had never even heard of Wilson Betemit until Friday.

    And I still say Betemit looks like Kanye West.

    2006-07-30 17:03:26
    8.   Bluebleeder87
    my little nices love Kanye West.
    2006-07-30 17:06:30
    9.   Greg Brock
    Kanye West doesn't care about Third Basemen.
    2006-07-30 17:11:15
    10.   StolenMonkey86
    Wilson Betemit's secrets to success:

    I started as a shortstop," said Betemit, who was blocked in Atlanta at that position by Furcal. "When they moved me to third base, I added about 20 pounds. I feel comfortable playing there now. The first time, it was a little confusing. The ball gets there quickly."

    2006-07-30 17:12:08
    11.   Bluebleeder87

    Kanye West is a fool.

    2006-07-30 17:15:29
    12.   GMac In The 909
    11 -- And some of his plaques still say Kane.
    2006-07-30 17:15:55
    13.   LAT
    11. So does that make Plaschke and Kanye West the same person.
    2006-07-30 17:23:40
    14.   Steve
    4 -- There have been many, truly unearned LOLs around here in the past week, which makes this one all the more genuine. LOL.
    2006-07-30 17:30:08
    15.   dsfan
    I know Izzy isn't a kid anymore, so he's not as interesting as the likes of Loney and Ethier, but here's why I believe that Izzy, 26, will be a better hitter than many here seem to believe (and I know that's like saying he's faster than a snail).

    While I don't believe he'll ever be a good hitter -- and let's be clear on that point -- I can see him making solid gains, somewhat like Ozzie Smith did. When you factor in his splendid defense, those gains could be crucial for whoever employs him.

    Jon and others here often point out that Izzy has a career OPS of .630 or so. Factoring in his dreadful .627 OPS in the minors (including an abysmal .294 OBP)it seems a good bet that this is the exasperating, sinkhole of hitter Izzy will be from here on out. And he might get worse should he lose some footspeed, which many middle infielders do in their late 20s.

    As Jon has observed, Izzy is very singles-reliant and can't leg out many hits, adding to the problems.

    But my belief is that Izturis is an evolving hitter, and that a .730-plus OPS is within his grasp in his prime years -- 26-28. At worst, given a full season next year, I see him as a .675-710 OPS guy, as he was in 2004, and that's about average for a No. 8 hitter in the NL right now.

    My belief is he has always had good hand-eye coordination as a hitter, partly evidenced by his low K ratios at all levels, but that he simply lacked the strength to do anything with it.

    Entering 2004, Izturis had already made some 600 PAs in the majors. He had posted a brutal career OPS of .582.

    About that time, Wallach and others spoke of how Izturis had virtually no strength, that his bottom hand needed to get a lot stronger. The improvement was pretty interesting, if not provably correlative.

    In 2004, at the age of 24, Izturis OPSd at .710. Not all that great on its own, but considering what he had done in his prior 181 games -- .582 -- a large step forward.

    And though Tracy didn't want to do it, he asked an incredible amount of Izturis in 2004. Playing SS is grueling enough. Izzy played it more than nearly everyone else in the majors (still led all SSs in zone rating, .881; accrued more ABs -- 670 -- than any Dodgers SS since Wills, 1962).
    He was also batting leadoff, which is more taxing than, say, eighth, for a team that went through a rugged race. In all, quite a load to carry. A year to greatly respect, too.

    Fast forward to 2005. Izturis' at-bats in April and May were solid. He was showing just enough power to create some holes. He was getting better at fouling off tough pitches.

    Was he producing over his head? Sure, but perhaps not quite as much as commonly assumed.

    Anyway, about the time the hamstring started to go in early June, he had an OPS of about .800-.810. Then he blew out the elbow.

    Presently his OPS is something like .620.

    My belief is he can and will do better, even with the pitcher (or, perhaps worse, Hall) hitting behind him. One X factor is the effect TJ surgery has. Pitchers say their strength one year after TJ surgery is good, but it takes two years to have the sure, consistent coordination and feel they had prior to the surgery.
    I also believe the challenges of playing 3B and rust from a year off should have been viewed as potential mitigating factors.

    Anyway, that's my take on Izzy the hitter, and I believe that Izzy the 2B immediately upgrades the Dodgers pitching staff.

    2006-07-30 17:41:05
    16.   thinkblue0
    But my belief is that Izturis is an evolving hitter, and that a .730-plus OPS is within his grasp in his prime years -- 26-28. At worst, given a full season next year, I see him as a .675-710 OPS guy, as he was in 2004, and that's about average for a No. 8 hitter in the NL right now.

    you say .730 OPS but have nothing to back it up. The rest of us are looking at what he's produced. It's not as if the guy is only in his first or second year.

    He was also batting leadoff, which is more taxing than, say, eighth, for a team that went through a rugged race. In all, quite a load to carry. A year to greatly respect, too.

    You're really, really stretching it here. I don't buy the argument one bit that he is at a disadvantage for hitting lead off.

    I also believe the challenges of playing 3B and rust from a year off should have been viewed as potential mitigating factors.

    I don't see what the challenges of playing third base have anything to do with his hitting.

    The bottom line with Izzy is that he's never been a good hitter. Lots of people point to his .288 in '04 and my response is always: so what? .288 with no power, no speed, and doesn't draw walks.

    The problem is that a lot of Dodger fans give Izzy a free pass just because they like him. I don't have anything against him personally, but the guy is simply not a good hitter, nor will he ever be. I'm not about to believe that he's miraculously going to start hitting in the next year or two when we have numerous years of evidence that prove otherwise.

    Someone who is only a singles hitter basically has to rely on luck. If his flares fall in and his ground balls have eyes, we're golden. The problem with this is that the majority of the time those flares are caught, and the ground balls don't have eyes. Someone like Furcal at least has some power, draws walks, and makes up for a lot of his singles with steals. Izzy doesn't have any of that. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Izzy is basically Royce Clayton. I have a hard time believing so many people would be sticking up for Royce Clayton this much so the only explanation is that everyone likes Izzy simply because he's a Dodger.

    2006-07-30 17:41:54
    17.   Bluebleeder87
    dsfan-- I'm jelous that you can right so good, great points.
    2006-07-30 17:48:49
    18.   Bluebleeder87

    JMO, but try playing the position, as a matter of fact try playing it & winning a glove glove & batting .288, one better try getting the admiration/loyal fallowing Izzy got. no disrespect just my point of view.

    2006-07-30 17:49:45
    19.   Benaiah
    16 - I disagree with you in that the average SS isn't much of a hitter, and so Izzy could be at least an average hitter at SS which is only to say 700-710 OPS.
    2006-07-30 17:50:14
    20.   regfairfield
    I'm a fan of Izturis, and I have no problem with Izzy the punch and judy shortstop, especially on a team where you had power from six or seven positions like in 2005. Between 2004 and 2005, I have faith that he could, at least prior to his injury, put up a non team ruining .710 OPS.

    Unforunately, Izzy the third baseman doesn't cut it, especially on a team that lacks power. Furcal is simply better than Izturis, and you can't afford Izturis' bat anywhere but in the middle infield. I think he's a step above the Neifis and Claytons of this world since his defense is better (according to Dewan) and he still has youth on his side.

    Izzy is a decent option, but there's no place for him on this team.

    2006-07-30 17:50:27
    21.   Steve
    Please address all Izturis correspondence to:

    J. Bowden
    RFK Stadium
    Washington, DC 00666

    2006-07-30 17:51:20
    22.   thinkblue0

    I played third base in high school, was drafted, and played third base in college.

    I don't care about "admiration/loyal following"...that doesn't make someone a good player.

    Betemit is clearly a better ball player than Izzy, so if Ned doesn't give him up in the next day it's going to be interesting to see what happens when Kent comes back.

    2006-07-30 17:51:47
    23.   Gen3Blue
    Jon, I must admit your heading scared the shirt off me. I thought we had traded some more kids. But being an east coast fan who has followed the D's since Brooklyn, I am not as quick to get this apparent jerk of a LA sports writer. I sense a good era coming if we don't "sell the farm". I also am so old I don't know anything about "fantasy ball" . While I never would be dumb enough to think good fantasy ball guys would not know how to adjust to be excellant real ball stratagizers, I have just been blind to them. This is a great way to experience ball, one I was largely denied. I finally realize, though I rarely argue, I have been arguing with some guys with much experience as "fantasy managers". We just see things differently, and its not worth bickering.
    Last time I talked with friends, it seemed defense was not as heavily wieghted as offense, and I'm not sure if pitching is completely integrated.
    Anywho, I see a great era coming with our young guys, and I have seen wonderful things in the Koufax and Fernando days and beyond.
    2006-07-30 17:51:57
    24.   regfairfield
    The average shortstop had a .697 OPS last year.
    2006-07-30 17:53:04
    25.   thinkblue0
    Unforunately, Izzy the third baseman doesn't cut it, especially on a team that lacks power.

    Exactly. Maybe if our lineup looked like the Mets or Yankees I could deal with it, but not with our lineup.

    2006-07-30 17:53:35
    26.   Steve
    The average shortstop is extremely lame as a result of circular reasoning. The average shortstop's output is wholly irrelevant.
    2006-07-30 17:54:15
    27.   MMSMikey
    I dont believe Plaschke can possibly be this absent minded. I think the only reason he wrote that artcile was to get a reaction, he cant possibly think that.
    2006-07-30 17:54:28
    28.   Steve
    It's like saying that Major League pitching is so bad that Russ Ortiz and Jeff Weaver have jobs.
    2006-07-30 17:57:46
    29.   Steve
    That said, we should trade Fur-kel for a lot of stuff and play Izturis at shortstop.
    2006-07-30 18:04:23
    30.   Bluebleeder87
    22 I don't care about "admiration/loyal following"...that doesn't make someone a good player.

    so do you think "Furcal" is a better fielder than Izzy?? how many games has Furcal lost with his glove? (the glove never goes into a slump remember that & you can build around a glove)

    2006-07-30 18:04:24
    31.   Bluebleeder87
    22 I don't care about "admiration/loyal following"...that doesn't make someone a good player.

    so do you think "Furcal" is a better fielder than Izzy?? how many games has Furcal lost with his glove? (the glove never goes into a slump remember that & you can build around a glove)

    2006-07-30 18:04:50
    32.   Bluebleeder87
    Oops sorry, "my bad"
    2006-07-30 18:09:21
    33.   regfairfield
    30 Furcal was one of the best fielders in baseball prior to this year (according to every defensive metric I know) and he crashed and burned this year. It's almost as though his glove went into a slump.
    2006-07-30 18:09:50
    34.   gpellamjr
    31 No one is saying that Furcal is a better fielder than Izzy (at least, I haven't seen anyone say that, with or without quotation marks). The question, I think, is whether Izzy's offense is, or ever will be, good enough. I think Furcal's offense is just that much better than Izzy's that it makes up for his inferiority defensively.
    2006-07-30 18:10:37
    35.   Bluebleeder87
    13,000,000.00 million for a guy that hits, what (out of my head) 280-290 career??? come one!!! & thinks he's a 25 Home run type players??

    sorry I rather take Izzy & build around him.

    2006-07-30 18:12:43
    36.   Bluebleeder87

    my heart is pumping faster than normal & I don't like it.

    2006-07-30 18:14:26
    37.   regfairfield
    35 Colletti overpaid Furcal so we wouldn't have to do a longer contract. Would you rather he stick around for five years?

    Besides, if he repeated last year where he had Ozzie Smith like defense, 13 million is a bargain.

    2006-07-30 18:14:44
    38.   Gen3Blue
    What baffles me from any point of view, is why someone would want to try to gain either offense or power from the shortstop position where it is reasonably the most expensive. If it falls in your lap(ie. a youngster from your org.) take joy of it. Or if you have a 200mil payroll stockpile it at SS and 3rd and wherever. But don't be surprised if some conflicts result.
    Like the stupidest thing you could do is own Furcal and Izturis and go after Tejada.
    If you need power for itself, which rings of fantasy, get it at 1st base or the corner outfield pos. where it is cheapest.
    2006-07-30 18:17:04
    39.   thinkblue0
    so do you think "Furcal" is a better fielder than Izzy?? how many games has Furcal lost with his glove? (the glove never goes into a slump remember that & you can build around a glove)

    no one has ever said he's a better fielder. But his bat makes up for a lot of it. How many has Furcal lost with his glove? I'm going to say not many. How many games has Izturis won with his glove? again, not many.

    13,000,000.00 million for a guy that hits, what (out of my head) 280-290 career??? come one!!! & thinks he's a 25 Home run type players??

    Let's see, he has some power which izzy doesn't. He can take a walk which izzy can't. He can steal a base, which izzy can't.

    What you don't seem to realize is that Izturis is an awful hitter, and his defense doesn't make up for it. How many more erros does Furcal make, and in turn, how many of those errors turn into runs that lose the game? Not many at all. Yet, Furcal at least can produce runs on the offensive side which is something Izzy can't do.

    2006-07-30 18:17:16
    40.   Bluebleeder87
    13,000,000.00 is what makes my heart pump faster then I'd like it too.

    Furcal (notice I do't call that guy fuky,furry, or what ever other's call him)

    ps Izzy makes Furcal look like me in a game.

    2006-07-30 18:18:05
    41.   Gen3Blue
    33 I looked at Furcals fielding and thought 04 and especially'05 were quite above his usual.
    2006-07-30 18:21:02
    42.   regfairfield
    41 You're right. Furcal was a little above average prior to 2005, where he was amazing.

    It seems like defensive stats flucuate a lot more than offensive ones, which runs contrary to the "defense never slumps" theory.

    2006-07-30 18:21:28
    43.   Bluebleeder87
    Let's see, he has some power which izzy doesn't. He can take a walk which izzy can't. He can steal a base, which izzy can't.

    I was in the believe that "saber" guys don't like stolen bases?

    are you telling me that a 290, hitter is worth 13,000,000.00 dollars??? Ned droped the ball period

    2006-07-30 18:21:52
    44.   thinkblue0
    13,000,000.00 is what makes my heart pump faster then I'd like it too.

    if you feel he's overpaid, then fine.

    But if you think Izzy is a better player, then you're flat out wrong.

    2006-07-30 18:21:55
    45.   Steve
    Furkel is an awful hitter too. There is no way he is worth more than izturis when you consider how overvalued furkel is even in this goats vomit year furkel is having.
    2006-07-30 18:22:16
    46.   Bluebleeder87
    don't get me wrong I love Ned, but he really really really PO'ED me with that one.
    2006-07-30 18:23:05
    47.   thinkblue0
    are you telling me that a 290, hitter is worth 13,000,000.00 dollars???

    I don't believe David Ortiz is hitting .290 this year...oh, and neither is Arod.

    2006-07-30 18:23:32
    48.   StolenMonkey86
    Just checked the box score, and found something shocking.


    2006-07-30 18:24:51
    49.   Bluebleeder87
    44 But if you think Izzy is a better player, then you're flat out wrong.

    well you are kind of right there, but Izzy makes "Fuzzy" (ugh!!!!!!) look like a child when it comes to difence period

    2006-07-30 18:25:21
    50.   Steve
    Furkel : ARod :: Plaschke : Common Sense
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2006-07-30 18:26:13
    51.   Sam DC
    00666 HEY!
    2006-07-30 18:26:56
    52.   Bluebleeder87
    in the LITTLE WORLD, I'm a Furcal type of player, I guess that's why I admire Izzy so much.
    2006-07-30 18:27:18
    53.   Benaiah
    45 - He had a big slump to start the year, but over the past month he has been producing at an above average rate for any position. His season offensive numbers are more or less in line with his career averages. Furcal is overpaid sure, but the contract was designed to overpay for his peak years without paying for his later years.
    2006-07-30 18:27:21
    54.   regfairfield
    49 I know you don't believe in stats, but when every defensive metric says there's not much difference between Furcal and Izturis defensively, shouldn't you think there's something to that?
    2006-07-30 18:27:52
    55.   StolenMonkey86
    50 - you're saying Furcal lacks a rod? Or Bill Plaschke is not common sense? I'm not following you
    2006-07-30 18:28:01
    56.   twerp
    There's talk that LA still needs 'pen help. G. Mota may have pitched himself into semi-oblivion in Cleveland--but might he be a good Dodger retread like Dessens (so far)?

    Has Mota totally lost "it," or could he get some of "it" back where he had the most success--especially if worked back in to setup, where he excelled?

    Have seen a lot of his Cleveland troubles attributed, right or wrong, to loss of confidence.

    Hasn't done a lot since leaving LA but career #s show 502 IP, only 440 hits, 402 Ks. His away ERA even this awful season 3.86, but home ERA a bit over 8...which might lend weight to the confidence loss angle.

    At least if there's a G. Mota II, he should come back cheap...if picked up, try him in LV a bit, bring him up if warranted?

    2006-07-30 18:29:10
    57.   DougS
    23 Bill Plaschke is so well known around here for letting his mouth run well ahead of his brain that it's never actually been proven that he has a brain.

    Plaschke writes something utterly inane; dog bites man. It's not much of a story.

    2006-07-30 18:29:50
    58.   Gen3Blue
    39 some sense but did you say furc can steal bases and Izzy cant?
    2006-07-30 18:30:08
    59.   Steve
    too bad the year isn't one month long.
    2006-07-30 18:30:34
    60.   bigcpa
    Nickname for your consideration...

    Wilson "can't find a" Betemit

    2006-07-30 18:31:37
    61.   overkill94
    Uh oh, Steve Phillips is saying the Dodgers' interest in Soriano has spiked and that they're in talks for Maddux. This could turn out to be a disaster...
    2006-07-30 18:31:42
    62.   thinkblue0


    Furkel : ARod :: Plaschke : Common Sense

    I was trying to prove a point. He said that a 290 hitter isn't worth 13 million. period.

    I'm not saying I don't think Furcal is overpaid...but anyone who honestly thinks that this same lineup would be better with Izzy in place of Furcal is smoking wacky tobacky.

    2006-07-30 18:32:22
    63.   Bluebleeder87
    I know you don't believe in stats, but when every defensive metric says there's not much difference between Furcal and Izturis defensively, shouldn't you think there's something to that?

    no. (unless you go out there & do it you're self then I'll respect it) Izzy has the best hands/can read a ball better than any Dodger I've seen. I'm not saying I'm right I'm just saying I love watching him dance.

    ps Furcal is a tool

    2006-07-30 18:33:54
    64.   StolenMonkey86
    54 - fielding percentage?
    2006-07-30 18:34:33
    65.   regfairfield
    63 Okay. I give up.
    2006-07-30 18:34:57
    66.   Bluebleeder87
    54--I know you don't believe in stats

    I actually do believe in stats, but for diffence?? can you prove it's accurate?(thinking outloud no disrespect)

    2006-07-30 18:34:58
    67.   thinkblue0
    well you are kind of right there, but Izzy makes "Fuzzy" (ugh!!!!!!) look like a child when it comes to difence period

    See, again, you're wrong. Try looking at defensive numbers. They are a lot closer than you'd think.

    You don't have anything to back up your argument. Any time someone knocks Izzy you just bring up the 13 mill to Furcal. Give me some numbers to back up your assumption that Izturis is a better player than Furcal.

    2006-07-30 18:35:35
    68.   regfairfield
    64 Fielding percentage isn't a good metric.
    2006-07-30 18:35:38
    69.   Steve
    The lineup would not be better for izturis in it. The organization would be better off if it took this one month respite, sold furkel at his peak, and got the going prospect rate for overpaid mediocre shortstops. Of course, if bowden would rather have izturis, then I'm not complaining. And if we can trade them both, we might actually have something here.
    2006-07-30 18:37:40
    70.   Steve
    That rate of course, being Andy Marte.
    2006-07-30 18:37:52
    71.   thinkblue0
    I actually do believe in stats, but for diffence?? can you prove it's accurate?(thinking outloud no disrespect)

    If all you're going to do is disregard stats that don't prove your own point then there's really no point in talking about it anymore.

    2006-07-30 18:38:05
    72.   StolenMonkey86
    ps Furcal is a tool

    So you think that he's "Something regarded as necessary to the carrying out of one's occupation or profession"*?

    * -

    2006-07-30 18:38:21
    73.   popup
    For the total bucks Furcal is getting he should be on a five year contract.

    Stan from Tacoma

    2006-07-30 18:38:59
    74.   StolenMonkey86
    68 - maybe not, but it does show Furcal is a lot more error prone than Izturis, and has been for a while.
    2006-07-30 18:39:29
    75.   Greg S
    I'm curious as to why Plashke is so hated around here while Simmers slides by, usually unmentioned. They are two sides of the same coin. They both write with no insight or common sense and both seem to exist only to evoke emotion. Plashke usually warm and fuzzy and Simers usually vitriol and hatred. I don't like either but I find Plashcke to me mostly harmless while I think that Simers makes the world a worse place to live in. Why do you guys seem to have more of a problem with Plaschke?
    2006-07-30 18:39:35
    76.   thinkblue0

    if there's any chance they would take Furcal back for Soriano I'd do it in a heartbeat, then you've got money opened up to re-sign him.

    Of course, that isn't going to happen.

    2006-07-30 18:40:09
    77.   Bluebleeder87
    Give me some numbers to back up your assumption that Izturis is a better player than Furcal.

    do you know what Vinnie says about that???

    ps I love Vinnie :o)

    2006-07-30 18:40:34
    78.   StolenMonkey86
    73 - yep, but he wouldn't have left Atlanta for that. I think I remember reading after he got the Dodgers' offer, he told Bobby Cox, and Cox just said seize the oppurtunity
    2006-07-30 18:40:35
    79.   Steve
    Furkel is a tool. I don't understand this defense of him. He has been horrible at virtually everything.
    2006-07-30 18:40:50
    80.   thinkblue0
    Why do you guys seem to have more of a problem with Plaschke?

    I think it's because he is probably just more visible and more people know him. But you're right, both stink.

    It honestly blows my mind that one of the biggest newspapers on the planet has a guy writing it's Sports that shouldn't even be writing for a high school paper. It's honestly mind boggling.

    2006-07-30 18:42:03
    81.   StolenMonkey86
    75 - my observation is that Simers isn't as serious a writer, and is generally more laid back and joking around. Plaschke is serious.
    2006-07-30 18:42:13
    82.   thinkblue0

    Exactly. You can't.

    2006-07-30 18:42:52
    83.   StolenMonkey86
    Kind of like, you laugh with Simers, but laugh at Plaschke
    2006-07-30 18:44:08
    84.   Bluebleeder87

    can you annocently say Furcal is a better fielder than Izzy??.

    2006-07-30 18:44:22
    85.   Steve
    75 - a long time ago, it was decided that Simers doesn't metaphysically exist. Like a black hole. Or furkel's contribution to the team.
    2006-07-30 18:45:22
    86.   Bluebleeder87
    78 he told Bobby Cox, and Cox just said seize the oppurtunity

    I remember that, I wish he wouldn't have.

    2006-07-30 18:46:44
    87.   Steve
    Can I see some of these magic defensive numbers?
    2006-07-30 18:46:46
    88.   thinkblue0

    if you're not going to back up your assessment with anything other than Izzy is better because you THINK he's better and "Furcal is a tool" then there's really no point in discussing it with you at all.

    My advise: look at some numbers.

    2006-07-30 18:46:52
    89.   Linkmeister
    The impression I have is that Plaschke is like a scab many of us keep picking at, while Simers is like a gnat we all ignore.
    2006-07-30 18:47:02
    90.   Bluebleeder87

    I like that.

    2006-07-30 18:50:08
    91.   Greg S
    85. If only it were so.
    And Steve, you are clearly bright and insightful unlike either of the writers at the Times. So perhaps you can give your opinion without the name calling. Obviously you can do whatever you like, just my two cents that your opinion comes through much stronger that way.
    2006-07-30 18:50:20
    92.   Bluebleeder87

    so you're telling me that Furcal is better than Izzy, D, wise?? (#'s wise)

    2006-07-30 18:52:33
    93.   Steve
    91 - nope.

    I still haven't seen any defensive numbers.

    2006-07-30 18:53:06
    94.   OaklandAs
    87 In 2005, Baseball Prospectus has Furcal at +20 Fielding Runs Above Average. He was +3 in 2004.

    ESPN has Zone Rating stats on their web site. Furcal was #6 out of 30 SS in 2005.

    Furcal only had 15 errors all of last year, while making lots of plays. He hasn't played well defensively for the first half this year, but he definitely did play well in 2005.

    2006-07-30 18:53:52
    95.   StolenMonkey86
    In both of their limited careers, Furcal is a better fielder than Izturis.

    At second base.

    Now, we're talking small sample sizes here, but let's look at these:

    Shortstop career stats
    Furcal: .964 FP, 4.85 RF, .832 ZR
    Izturis: .980 FP, 4.40 RF, .861 ZR

    Second Base Career Numbers
    Furcal: 255 INN, .993 FP, 4.76 RF, .885 ZR
    Izturis: 309 INN, .988 FP, 4.98 RF, .797 ZR

    2006-07-30 18:55:10
    96.   Bluebleeder87

    Career #'s please!!??

    2006-07-30 18:55:59
    97.   Suffering Bruin
    If Jon weren't such a reasonable fellow given to seeing the best in everyone, he might've titled his column, "You talkin' to me?" and not change a word. I think Plaschke was building a straw man at our expense, ladies and gentleman. We've made the big time.
    2006-07-30 18:56:05
    98.   thinkblue0

    I never said he was BETTER defensively. Ive never denied IZzy's defense...I'm saying he's the better player.

    2006-07-30 18:56:22
    99.   Bluebleeder87
    I know that Furcal is a better hitter/runner, but I think Ned could have "invested" better with those 13,000,000.00. no??
    2006-07-30 18:56:22
    100.   StolenMonkey86
    Kent's career 2B stats
    .981 FP, 5.12 RF, .826 ZR
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2006-07-30 18:57:09
    101.   Steve
    +...3? What is it in the year in which these alleged gifts have accrued to the Dodgers, as opposed to some other team that didn't resign him?
    2006-07-30 18:57:15
    102.   OaklandAs
    Baseball Prospectus has Izturis at +10 FRAA last year. My personal observation was that Izturis did not play as well defensively as earlier years (maybe because of the injury), and that Furcal had an outstanding season defensively last year.
    2006-07-30 18:57:19
    103.   Bluebleeder87

    & vise versa!!

    2006-07-30 18:57:46
    104.   thinkblue0

    Their SS career stats are close. Yet, everyone around here would like to think Izturis is the best SS of all time.

    2006-07-30 18:58:37
    105.   Bluebleeder87
    I'm still bummed we lost Piazza for 13,000,000.00.
    2006-07-30 19:01:57
    106.   Bluebleeder87
    Their SS career stats are close. Yet, everyone around here would like to think Izturis is the best SS of all time.

    I wouldn't strech it that far, better than alot is a better way of putting it.

    2006-07-30 19:02:34
    107.   OaklandAs
    Career wise, here are Furcal's Fielding Runs Above Average, according to Baseball Prospectus:
    2006: -8
    2005: +20
    2004: +3
    2003: -9
    2002: +7
    2001: +6
    2000: -3
    Career : +17 (and +145 Fielding Runs above Replacement)

    2006: -1
    2005: +8
    2004: -8
    2003: +11
    Career: +4 (+90 FRAR)

    2006-07-30 19:03:33
    108.   Bluebleeder87

    I don't know what that means?? (I'm not joking)

    2006-07-30 19:04:36
    109.   Greg S
    All hyperbole aside, Izturis is as good defensively as any shortstop I have ever seen in my life. That includes Ozzie Smith. Flame me all you want but this is my opinion and I know of Major League coaches who agree with me.
    2006-07-30 19:04:39
    110.   Bluebleeder87
    don't hold that against me please.
    2006-07-30 19:04:42
    111.   OaklandAs
    105 Piazza? Furcal had nothing to do with that. Piazza did not want to be the backup catcher. He wanted to be the #1 catcher, and SD gave him that.
    2006-07-30 19:05:54
    112.   Benaiah
    I don't think it is even debatable that Furcal is overpaid, but I don't think it is his fault and I think the team is better with him than without him. Much much better. He is significantly better than Izturis with a bat, while it is debatable whether or not Izturis has been better with a glove.
    2006-07-30 19:06:04
    113.   popup
    Do defensive numbers make any sense? What goes into those numbers? Putting a number on something doesn't give me any confidence that the number accurately measures anything.

    Staan from Tacoma

    2006-07-30 19:06:56
    114.   Bluebleeder87
    All hyperbole aside, Izturis is as good defensively as any shortstop I have ever seen in my life. That includes Ozzie Smith. Flame me all you want but this is my opinion and I know of Major League coaches who agree with me.

    & I think Furcal is a good hitter, but I'm of the nochen that a great SS can get you over the hump (building around him ofcourse)

    2006-07-30 19:07:50
    115.   thinkblue0

    not to mention we have no need for Piazza with Martin

    2006-07-30 19:07:53
    116.   Steve
    107 - which is a long way of saying that all of furkel's defensive value is wrapped up in 05, which we already knew.

    By the way, izturis is no great shakes either. But there will be little appreciable shortterm effect from trading furkel for his perceived value and moving izturis back to shortstop, unless grittle moves him back to leadoff again, in which case we should just burn down dodger stadium and become giants fans.

    2006-07-30 19:08:40
    117.   StolenMonkey86
    And I'm of the opinion that if Izturis and Furcal are both on the club Tuesday, that Izturis and Furcal should switch, with Furcal at 2nd and Izturis at short.
    2006-07-30 19:10:00
    118.   thinkblue0
    SS can get you over the hump (building around him ofcourse)

    Izturis is about the last guy in the majors you want to build around.

    Would you build around Royce Clayton?

    2006-07-30 19:10:27
    119.   OaklandAs
    107 Fielding Runs above Average is a stat to estimate how many runs a player saves compared to an average player at his position. There are many ways this can be calculated. The most crude ways look at things like Range Factor,(Putouts + Assists)/Game. Better versions use zone ratings, which counts the rate at which a player gets an out on balls hit to his zone. The best versions use actually play-by-play data to use ground ball/line drive rates in each zone.
    2006-07-30 19:10:50
    120.   overkill94
    107 Did Izzy really win a gold glove in his worst defensive year? Those metrics seem a little screwy.
    2006-07-30 19:11:57
    121.   StolenMonkey86
    Defense is largely a matter of appearances, as it is hard to quantify effectively. Good defense has largely unseen, mental effects.

    After all, 90% of this game is half-mental.

    2006-07-30 19:12:00
    122.   Bluebleeder87

    I 2nd that thought.

    what do you mean by that??? do you have inside sources??

    2006-07-30 19:12:17
    123.   Greg S
    117. I would agree that without a move, having them switch would make the team the best it could be. I asked this question about six weeks ago but didn't get many answers... If Lofton and Furcal are not batting 1 & 2, who is? I can see Martin batting 2 but who leads off?
    2006-07-30 19:14:46
    124.   Steve
    120 - even though I think he is overrated I find it hard to believe he cost us eight runs. Somethings rotten in the state of Denmark.
    2006-07-30 19:15:14
    125.   StolenMonkey86
    120 - Not only that, but if you look at Zone Rating, there's not a whole lot of difference between Orlando Hudson and Jeff Kent. Rate2 is suspect. Fielding percentage just tells you how often a player bobbles the ball.

    Defense just doesn't have an easily quantifyable effect.

    2006-07-30 19:15:22
    126.   Bluebleeder87

    yeah, I like Martin batting 2nd, he takes alot of pitches, I'd like that.

    2006-07-30 19:18:00
    127.   OaklandAs
    Gold Gloves are based mostly on past performance, and on not making many errors.
    2006-07-30 19:18:43
    128.   Steve
    Rate2 is on notice.
    2006-07-30 19:19:27
    129.   StolenMonkey86
    You might scream sample size, but look at this

    Ethier really likes the middle of the lineup

    2006-07-30 19:19:39
    130.   Bluebleeder87

    that's why (IMO) if you play the position you just have a better love for what they do.JMO.(I play in a dopy league by the way)

    2006-07-30 19:19:45
    131.   tjshere
    Steve - Time to update the title of your blog.
    2006-07-30 19:20:10
    132.   Greg S
    Someone here used that stat earlier in the year to point out why Nomar wasn't playing very good first base this year. I've pretty much disregarded it ever since.
    2006-07-30 19:21:11
    133.   Bluebleeder87

    Ethier is from Canada right?

    2006-07-30 19:21:47
    134.   StolenMonkey86
    Also, anyone notice that Izzy has more BB than K thus far?
    2006-07-30 19:22:47
    135.   StolenMonkey86
    133 - I think his grandparents are, Adande mentioned it in his column in May
    2006-07-30 19:24:01
    136.   StolenMonkey86
    From Adande's 5.26.06 column

    "I'm Andre," said Ethier, whose grandparents are from Quebec. "I'm not going to hit 50 home runs, but I might score 80."

    2006-07-30 19:24:44
    137.   Steve
    131 - I'm afraid to ask you to explain.
    2006-07-30 19:25:20
    138.   Bluebleeder87
    I wonder if they do a "before the majors" on him? they did to Martin & now Gagne.
    2006-07-30 19:26:21
    139.   capdodger
    BB87 -
    Though no one has mentioned your "Sabers don't like stolen bases"-joke, I feel it's important to note that, well, you're wrong. What the stat inclined person feels is important is to pay attention to the SB:CS ratio, as well as not stealing in situations where it would be harmful to vacate first base (Down 3 in the ninth; down one with a 2002 Barry Bonds up; Etc.).
    2006-07-30 19:27:32
    140.   overkill94
    I think what gives people the perception that Izzy is the god of all things defense while the metrics disagree to a certain extent is that while he is incredibly smooth and makes a lot of highlight reel plays, his range just isn't that great, especially compared to someone like Furcal. Since Izturis hardly ever looks bad, it's easy to be impressed, but the metrics attempt to take into account things that the untrained eye can't discern.
    2006-07-30 19:29:03
    141.   tjshere
    137 Baez has been fired. Mission accomplished.
    2006-07-30 19:29:06
    142.   Bluebleeder87

    what do you think of Izzy vs. Furcal diffenbly?

    2006-07-30 19:32:20
    143.   Bluebleeder87

    I like you're argument (makes me think) but even a ball hit streight to Furcal gives me the willies!!. Do you really trust Furcal over Izzy in the D. department??

    2006-07-30 19:32:53
    144.   Steve
    141 -- You scared me. I went running to ESPN to find out what terrible fate Flanders had consigned us to.
    2006-07-30 19:34:53
    145.   das411
    Hahahaha, has anybody here seen "Firewall"?? Harrison Ford is to action movies as Julio Franco is to the National League! Terrific!!
    2006-07-30 19:35:50
    146.   overkill94
    143 Most of Furcal's errors seem to be of the throwing variety, which doesn't scare me much unless it turns into a Knoblauch syndrome. He seems to have settled down recently, though I haven't been playing close enough attention to know for sure.

    Bottom line is that I think they're both excellent defensive shortstops, so this whole argument is splitting way too many hairs for my taste.

    2006-07-30 19:37:28
    147.   Steve
    Furkel to the Toronto Blue Jays for everybody on the team under 30 except for Jason Phillips.
    2006-07-30 19:39:12
    148.   Bluebleeder87
    just answer me this question overkill94, who has more arrors in there career? simple fielding question.(catch ball question)
    2006-07-30 19:41:05
    149.   CanuckDodger
    Anybody care to take a guess which of our prospects won't be with the Dodgers after the deadline tomorrow? I can't shake the feeling that Guzman is out of here, and I am worried about LaRoche, what with Betemit being installed at 3B now. Given the big fat load of nothing that the Yankees had to surrender to get Abreu, it's okay for Colletti to still be looking to make a deal or two, as long as he isn't offering to give up anything more than Izturis, Tommy LaSorda's belly-button lint, and an 8-track copy of Supertramp's Breakfast In America album.
    2006-07-30 19:41:24
    150.   Jon Weisman
    I have quietly been ignoring Rate 2 for Fielding Bible whenever I can, ever since I got the impression that Rate 2 doesn't use actual play-by-play data but just does estimates.

    I know that's not the greatest rationale, so I'm willing to listen to counterpoints.

    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2006-07-30 19:43:01
    151.   Jon Weisman
    149 - As longtime readers of this site might recall, my mother bought the last 8-track player sold in the universe. And we neither owned nor ever purchased an 8-track tape. But we did have a "Breakfast in America" cassette.
    2006-07-30 19:43:24
    152.   LAT
    I am amazed that there have not been any trades announced in the last few hours. I expected after most of today's games ended there would be a flurry of activity.
    2006-07-30 19:43:26
    153.   Bluebleeder87
    what are the chances of us signing the Cuban guy??
    2006-07-30 19:43:36
    154.   overkill94
    145 That movie was horrible. There were so many ridiculous plot points that I couldn't help but laugh at things that weren't supposed to be funny.
    2006-07-30 19:44:32
    155.   Terry A
    I thought we just traded the Cuban guy.
    2006-07-30 19:44:54
    156.   overkill94
    148 I don't know
    2006-07-30 19:48:04
    157.   Marty
    Man did I hate Supertramp when they were being played all the time. Boston too.
    2006-07-30 19:48:19
    158.   LAT
    what are the chances of us signing the Cuban guy??

    I knew Ned could'nt stay away from aging useless veterans. Going after Fidel is a new low for Ned.

    2006-07-30 19:48:43
    159.   Bluebleeder87

    I don't either. but Izzy loooks better.

    2006-07-30 19:49:30
    160.   LAT
    158. But I hear he can light a fire under people. He is a team chemistry guy.
    2006-07-30 19:50:14
    161.   Marty
    Fidel has a beard that Nate might like too.
    2006-07-30 19:54:13
    162.   JoeyP
    156 comments arguing about Izturis and Furcal.

    Izzy= Neifi Perez, Royce Clayton, Juan Castro
    Furcal= Better than Izzy, but when Tejada and Furcal make virtually the same amount of money, it illustrates just how overpaid Furcal is.

    The only way Nedusa can rectify the situation is to trade Furcal for Tejada.

    Izzy right now I could care less about. The season is over, so if they want to play him at 2nd base, does it really matter? Not really.

    2006-07-30 19:54:58
    163.   overkill94
    With all the hatred around here when a player sits on the bench (i.e. Aybar), it's a good thing we're not Ranger fans.

    Rod Barajas - .258/.292/.415 in 260 AB
    Gerald Laird - .347/.380/.579 in 121 AB

    and that's before Laird went 3-5 in today's game.

    2006-07-30 19:55:48
    164.   scooplew
    Just musing. In the Giants' 4-3 loss to the Pirates on Saturday, Steve Finley, 41, pinch-ran for Moises Alou, 40. I wonder if it's the first time one player in his 40s has pinch run for another.
    2006-07-30 19:56:41
    165.   bigcpa
    Latest from ESPN Rumor Central...

    A baseball executive told ESPN The Magazine's Amy Nelson that the Dodgers are the hottest team on Greg Maddux, and that the Cubs and Dodgers are haggling over prospects. The deal would be two L.A. prospects for Maddux; one would be a position player, the other a pitcher. And both would be high-level, likely coming from their loaded Triple-A team in Las Vegas.

    2006-07-30 19:56:57
    166.   overkill94
    I should have added something like "for a less-talented hitter" after "sits on the bench".
    2006-07-30 19:57:14
    167.   Jon Weisman

    Bruce Jenkins, SF Chronicle:

    "As for Benitez, the man is simply a joke, a parody of himself. The Giants acquired him not because of his postseason reputation -- which was bloody awful, forged with the Orioles and Mets -- but for one brilliant season in the relative obscurity of Florida. Right now, the Giants' fans should almost hope their team does NOT reach the postseason, because if it gets that far, Benitez will set the whole thing in flames. "

    and ...

    "Cesar Izturis could use a change of scene. After undergoing elbow surgery, he watched the Dodgers sign Rafael Furcal to play shortstop, where Izturis had been one of the best in baseball. When Bill Mueller got hurt, Izturis was asked to play third. When his wife required a caesarian-section birth, Izturis was at her side for nearly a week, irritating certain members of the organization (who should all be shot, by the way). Now, with Wilson Betemit acquired from Atlanta to play third, Izturis is being asked to play second base in the absence of injured Jeff Kent. Somewhere, there's a team that could use Izturis at short."

    2006-07-30 19:58:21
    168.   overkill94
    165 Alright, they can have Jeff Duncan and DJ Houlton for Maddux, but that's our final offer!
    2006-07-30 19:58:25
    169.   Bluebleeder87
    158 *what are the chances of us signing the Cuban guy??

    I knew Ned could'nt stay away from aging useless veterans. Going after Fidel is a new low for Ned.*

    I love coming here.

    2006-07-30 19:59:28
    170.   Terry A
    165 - Fine. Wunsch & Robles. Done and done.
    2006-07-30 20:00:27
    171.   JoeyP
    165. Yep, I'm sure Greg Maddux #4 starter quality will be just what it takes to play .630 ball over the last two months.

    Giving up anything for Greg Maddux makes absolutely no sense at all.

    2006-07-30 20:01:22
    172.   Jon Weisman
    165 - "A baseball executive ..."

    No indication if this executive is even with one of the two teams mentioned.

    I really find it hard to believe that Colletti, whatever you think of him, would spend two high-level prospects for two months of a 5 ERA pitcher.

    I think I'd rather rely on LAT for information. At least he provides names.

    2006-07-30 20:02:28
    173.   Terry A
    If my choices are Furcal @ $13M at shortstop or Izturis at $3M, I go with Izturis.
    2006-07-30 20:04:21
    174.   Steve
    173 -- Exactly. This is easy.
    2006-07-30 20:08:16
    175.   JoeyP
    I'd rather have Furcal.
    As long as the player is above average, I have no problem with how much money they make. That doesnt mean Furcal isnt overpaid. But the goal is to put the best 8 guys in the lineup regardless of salary.
    2006-07-30 20:08:44
    176.   Marty
    Fine. Wunsch & Robles. Done and done.

    I'm fine with Robles, but make it Carter instead of Wunsch. Proven veteran and all that.

    2006-07-30 20:09:05
    177.   Terry A
    Another easy call: Wow, is Mike Scioscia fat. No wonder he was so good at blocking the plate. He could block the sun.
    2006-07-30 20:09:19
    178.   regfairfield
    Since people seem to be asking what drives rate2, I'll do my best to answer that.

    Rate2 is, at its heart, range factor - putouts plus assissts. This is a good start, but it is inherently unfair. For example, Manny Ramirez plays half his games in Fenway Park, where there is very little territory in left. Balls that would ordinarily get caught get counted against Ramirez through no fault of his own. Other factors, like whether or not the pitcher is a ground ball pitcher affect the stat as well. Rate2 makes adjustments for all these things, converts it into runs, then gives a result.

    Dewan system is as follows (description stolen from Hardball Times)

    For each year, Dewan finds the probability of fielding a ball based on where it went (distance, direction), the batted ball type (fly ball, line drive, etc.), and whether the ball was hit hard, medium, or soft. So if on a hard ground ball to Vector 17, the shortstop only has a 10% chance of making a play, and he does, then he is credit with 1 -.1 = .9 plays above average. If he does not make the play, he is credited with 0 - .1 = -.1 plays above average. Dewan runs this analysis on every ball put into play in each of the past three seasons, and adds up the results for every player in the major leagues. The resulting rating is the player's plus/minus.

    2006-07-30 20:09:46
    179.   bhsportsguy
    173 My choice is Raffy Furcal. Once a player is signed, the money simply isn't a consideration to me.

    172 It has been my impression that you usually don't hear much about deals that Ned makes until the deal is made.

    The deal with Atlanta was never mentioned as a possible rumor, whereas ESPN reported the Padres as going after him for days.

    2006-07-30 20:10:47
    180.   Bluebleeder87
    I really thouhgt the Dodgers would unload Cruz or Ledee.
    2006-07-30 20:11:47
    181.   Jon Weisman
    179, part 2 - exactly. There is too much misinformation out there - accuracy is too rare to allow one to pay any attention to the rumors.
    2006-07-30 20:16:38
    182.   scooplew
    His playing weight is listed as 200 or 220, depending on the source. He's probably put on some weight since retiring. Whatever he weighs, I'll never forget the two-run homer he hit off Dwight Gooden in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 1988 playoffs, tying the game at 3-3. We won the game in extra innings, then the pennant and then the World Series. If I ever meet him, I'll offer to buy him a meal.
    2006-07-30 20:16:53
    183.   StolenMonkey86
    When his wife required a caesarian-section birth, Izturis was at her side for nearly a week, irritating certain members of the organization (who should all be shot, by the way).

    A little harsh, but a good point.

    2006-07-30 20:17:22
    184.   bigcpa
    Rotoworld says Jon just got sent to 6-4-2 for cash considerations. Dang that blog is loaded!
    2006-07-30 20:18:07
    185.   MartinBillingsley31
    I'll weigh in on the izturis, furcal defense debate.
    In my opinion there isn't a valid defense stats, so anyone arguing that this player is better than that player at defense is irrelevant.
    Another thing to think about is how many times does an error actually cost a team the game, and one can argue that if an error actually did cost a run that maybe the pitching or better yet the hitting should have done better in the game, thus preventing the team from getting into the position that an error can make the difference in the game.

    That being said, since we acquired betemit who has played shortstop in the past and is his natural or first position he played in the majors but was moved to 3b because furcal was blocking him, i think ned should obviously trade izturis who should have been traded a long time ago, but also i think ned should trade furcal and his bloated salary to free up more money for pitching, you know the stuff we are thin on in the minor leagues as well as on the big club.
    Therefore betemit our future ss.

    Oh and furcal is a waaaaaaaay better hitter than izturis, and betemit is a better hitter than furcal.

    Now will ned do all of this?, i highly doubt it since we are talking about the guy that loves speed, defense, athleticism.

    2006-07-30 20:18:31
    186.   StolenMonkey86
    trade rumors:defensive statistics::plaschke:simers ?
    2006-07-30 20:19:09
    187.   regfairfield
    184 I can't compete with 6-4-2's market size. I demand revenue sharing.
    2006-07-30 20:19:53
    188.   Marty
    The Angels are a good team at the moment.
    2006-07-30 20:20:33
    189.   Terry A
    177 was more observation than criticism. I haven't seen (so) much of him lately, and when he waddled out to argue a call in tonight's game on ESPN, I was startled.

    I liked Scioscia and hated that he left the Dodgers, especially the way it went down.

    2006-07-30 20:22:24
    190.   StolenMonkey86
    177 - Imagine Broxton behind the plate . . .
    2006-07-30 20:23:42
    191.   bhsportsguy
    175 OMG, it must be the beer I am drinking.

    Some observations from the game.

    The good:

    Wilson looked really good at the plate and his one fielding chance, he came in well on the ball and even double clutching, threw out Soriano pretty easily.

    Loney, got the key double but made a play in the field where he took a grounder and made a nice controlled throw that almost turned into a double play, looks smooth around the bag.

    Tomko, threw hard, and seems to be getting adjusted to the throw hard for one inning gig.

    Broxton battled back and got the groundball, boy is Ward slow, I was watching through my binoculars and I saw Izzy make a nice feed to Raffy and then when I looked up to see where Ward was, he was just 2/3 down the line, so it was an easy DP.

    The bad, at one point the Dodgers were 9-11 with the bases empty and 0-11 with runners on base. They still probably finished 1-15 or so with runners on.

    Hendrickson, on the one hand, he battled through it and the Dodgers did him no favors leaving those guys on base during the early part of the game but most of his troubles were self inflicted but aside from the walks, they didn't get many hard shots off him.

    The miraculous - Cruz's homer, it was a no doubter when it left the bat but no one was more surprised than me when he it.

    2006-07-30 20:23:52
    192.   regfairfield
    185 Don't you at least believe in a simple stat like defensive efficency?

    Isn't it preferable to catch the ball?

    2006-07-30 20:26:14
    193.   bhsportsguy
    180 Those guys should pass through waivers so no problem dealing them after tomorrow.

    It is highly unlikely our prospects would pass through waivers (impossible would be my guess) so if they don't get traded by tomorrow, we are safe until the off-season.

    2006-07-30 20:26:23
    194.   Bluebleeder87
    I like watching curb your enthusiasm.
    2006-07-30 20:29:32
    195.   Bluebleeder87
    All I know is that Izzy looks better fielder the ball.(don't hold that against me)
    2006-07-30 20:30:47
    196.   bhsportsguy
    On Simers vs. Plaschke, Simers is a smart aleck whos loves to irritate athletes, coaches and ownership because he just thinks that this all a bunch of nonsense and we (the fans, players, etc.) take this much too seriously. This doesn't make him something I like too read but that is his viewpoint.

    Plaschke sees himself as some spokesman for the fan and thus as this arrogance that is a lot harder to take.

    Just my opinion, but that is why people tend to rag on Plaschke here than Simers.

    2006-07-30 20:32:16
    197.   MartinBillingsley31
    looks better

    And there is no proof behind "looks better"
    Again there is no proof (no stat) that can tell anyone that this guy is better at defense than that guy.

    2006-07-30 20:35:06
    198.   overkill94
    188 It's no coincidence that Howie Kendrick has been getting more playing time lately.
    2006-07-30 20:38:54
    199.   Terry A

    The Cardinals trade today is somewhat puzzling, in that they traded a player (Luna) who, given the opportunity, could replicate the numbers of the player acquired (Belliard). But Belliard has been to an All-Star Game, costs a little more and is a free agent at season's end, while Luna is a lowly Rule 5 pick.

    I daresay the Cardinals wouldn't be crazy about Belliard's production if they platooned him with Aaron Miles.

    2006-07-30 20:39:27
    200.   MartinBillingsley31
    Just to clarify things, i don't think defense is irrelevant.
    An example is if there were 2 guys that play the same position that put up very similar offensive numbers and were the same age and had the same contract and i had to choose one or the other, i would chose the guy that seems to have better defense.
    (Seems) because there is no valid defense stat.
    Show/Hide Comments 201-250
    2006-07-30 20:39:59
    201.   JoeyP
    Isn't it preferable to catch the ball?

    Of course.
    Run prevention however starts with accumulating pitchers that do not yield walks, HR's, keep the ball on the ground, and take the ball out of play on their own (strikeouts).

    Defense seems about as over valued (theoretically) as middle relief pitching, even amongst SABR types I think now. Its just that you can have the greatest middle relievers in the world, but that doesnt matter if your starters and offense both stink. Same thing applies with defense.

    Defense can never be a foundation of a team. Its secondary to everything else.

    The Red Sox have the fewest errors in the league. Thats sort of what I'd expect from my defense, if I cared about it after accumulating all the players. Just make the routine plays. Thats it.

    Basically, great pitching/great hitting can make up for bad defense. Good defense cannot make up for great pitching/great hitting.

    Defense cant prevent home runs. Thats the key.

    2006-07-30 20:41:31
    202.   JoeyP
    Oops. Good defense cannot make up for anemic offense.
    2006-07-30 20:48:53
    203.   Terry A
    Hmmm. Now Marquis for Heilman, that makes sense.
    2006-07-30 20:49:42
    204.   Bluebleeder87
    Defense can never be a foundation of a team. Its secondary to everything else.

    I agree with you (somewhat) but diffence is a HUGE part of baseball, I can't stand watching bonehead plays by fielders!.

    2006-07-30 20:50:53
    205.   regfairfield
    I think defense has become popular recently due to the insanity of the starting pitching market.

    Why break the bank with starters when you can find some bargain guys who can keep the ball in the park and then let the defense make them look good.

    2006-07-30 20:52:15
    206.   StolenMonkey86

    I don't have the details yet, but it appears leadoff hitter Lastings Milledge was pulled from the Norfolk Tides game tonight after one at-bat (a strikeout). Does that mean he's Oakland-bound? I'll look into it.

    UPDATE: Never mind, he was ejected. False alarm.

    2006-07-30 20:55:00
    207.   regfairfield
    203 What?
    2006-07-30 20:55:26
    208.   Bluebleeder87

    I don't like it when people play with my immotions. :o)

    2006-07-30 20:56:13
    209.   Bluebleeder87
    can you imagine how players feel during the trade deadline? wow.
    2006-07-30 20:58:16
    210.   imperabo
    I'm as numbers oriented as anyone, but I believe that defense is the one area where the "eyes" have it. Watch enough games and you can get a good sense of whether a batted ball is going to be a hit or not almost as soon as it leaves the bat. Some fielders can turn balls that look like hits into outs. Those are the good fielders. Bad fielders turn balls that look like outs into hits. You don't have to argue that someone like Izturis looks good fielding, you can argue that he makes good balls look bad. I think that's an observable objective fact.

    I long for the day where we have defensive statistics that are a better measure than the eyeballs of an experienced observer, but I don't think we're there yet.

    2006-07-30 20:58:28
    211.   Terry A
    Will Carroll and Bernie Miklasz reporting Jason Marquis could be traded for Aaron Heilman.
    2006-07-30 21:04:35
    212.   Bluebleeder87
    gotta go Cocktail is on (yay!!) the movie.
    2006-07-30 21:05:57
    213.   StolenMonkey86
    210 - well said.
    2006-07-30 21:07:17
    214.   Steve
    Who's our Jason Marquis? C'mon we gotta have a Jason Marquis stashed somewhere. Mark Hendrickson could be Jason Marquis in his sleep.
    2006-07-30 21:07:24
    215.   JoeyP
    some bargain guys who can keep the ball in the park

    There arent many of these types around.
    Jamey Wright and Doug Davis might qualify.

    Most of the bargain guys that keep the ball in the park, havent been through free agency yet. Blanton, Willis, Jason Jennings etc..

    2006-07-30 21:09:22
    216.   StolenMonkey86
    Hendrickson gets a game score of 44 for today, his second-highest as a Dodger
    2006-07-30 21:12:19
    217.   Jon Weisman
    While no single defensive stat is definitive, there is no reason that you can't take a look at a number of defensive stats at once and draw conclusions from those.

    If five different defensive stats with different (though not mutually exclusive) methodologies say the same basic thing about a fielder, I think it would be naive to assume they're all wrong. Feel free to include naked-eye observation in there too. But you don't need to throw the numbers out.

    It's only if the defensive stats are in big disagreement that you a) have to decide if you prefer one over another or b) have to throw them out entirely.

    2006-07-30 21:13:22
    218.   Terry A
    I hope points were added to Hendrickson's score for that lovely fall-balk.
    2006-07-30 21:14:48
    219.   StolenMonkey86
    Nope, official scorer said that was an earned run.

    2006-07-30 21:16:19
    220.   Terry A
    So a "game score" has no place for style points? What sort of useless metric is this?
    2006-07-30 21:19:59
    221.   regfairfield
    We have to be able to beat Marquis for Heilman.

    215 You can just pull up some AAA guys then, like Houlton or Hanaran. Move them from suck to average.

    2006-07-30 21:21:34
    222.   Daniel Zappala
    I think Odalis Perez was our Jason Marquis.
    2006-07-30 21:24:30
    223.   natepurcell
    If its just Marquis for Heilman, Colletti NEEDS to get in on that. Hendrickson is lefty handed, come on!
    2006-07-30 21:25:59
    224.   natepurcell
    Kemps K:bb ratio in vegas is 10:8 in 57ABs

    good stuff.

    2006-07-30 21:27:06
    225.   Steve
    [Derek Lowe plus one billion dollars]
    2006-07-30 21:27:38
    226.   StolenMonkey86
    224 - that's really good. he walked twice in a game the other night; how did the 51's fare today?
    2006-07-30 21:28:16
    227.   D4P
    And we'll pay all of Lowe's salary.
    2006-07-30 21:28:24
    228.   natepurcell

    they lost (who cares)

    Laroche homered and Kemp had 2 hits. Guzman didn't play (uh oh).

    2006-07-30 21:31:32
    229.   D4P
    So, which pitching prospect will accompany Guzman in the Maddux trade...?
    2006-07-30 21:31:43
    230.   StolenMonkey86
    they lost (who cares)

    I don't, but -

    Laroche homered and Kemp had 2 hits. Guzman didn't play (uh oh).

    THAT's what I wanted to know.

    2006-07-30 21:32:26
    231.   StolenMonkey86
    229 - Houlton?
    2006-07-30 21:34:18
    232.   popup
    #201, Errors are, in some cases at least, a matter of opinion. I went to a triple A game in Tacoma today. The right fielder was given an error in the first inning (rightfully so in my opinion) and not an error later in the game for what looked like an identical play.

    By the way Nomar's brother, Michael, is playing for Tacoma. Has many of Nomar's habits too. He does the toe tap in the batter's box. Oddly,he does not wear batting gloves, so he does not have that routine going. He is super aggressive at the plate. He has a 340 B.A., though I don't think he hits the ball as hard as Nomar.

    Stan from Tacoma

    2006-07-30 21:34:29
    233.   MartinBillingsley31

    I still wouldn't put stock in it, especially when we are talking about a far superior hitter in furcal vs izturis.

    But what you said in your post can be part of what i was saying here:
    An example is if there were 2 guys that play the same position that put up very similar offensive numbers and were the same age and had the same contract and i had to choose one or the other, i would chose the guy that seems to have better defense.

    Meaning if offense, contract, age were the same and i had to choose between the 2 players i would take a look at the defense stats even tho i don't think they are valid.

    But bottom line, defense is an extra to me.
    Its like a car, a good ops is the same as a car that runs, a bad ops is a car that doesn't run, and good defense is the same as having power windows/cd player/air conditioning/sun roof.

    Now which car would you rather have, the one that runs without all those extras, or the car that doesn't run but has all those extras?

    Bottom line people make too much out of defense, its an extra people, and something you can live without.

    2006-07-30 21:34:57
    234.   StolenMonkey86
    How about a 2003 all-star?
    2006-07-30 21:35:02
    235.   D4P
    Houlton? one billion dollars.

    2006-07-30 21:36:49
    236.   StolenMonkey86
    232 - when you say aggressive, does he swing at the first as much?
    2006-07-30 21:37:10
    237.   twerp
    FWIW (maybe not much)==

    C. Izturis: 54 errors, 2631 total chances, error rate 0.0205245

    Ozzie Smith: 281 errors,12905 total chances, error rate 0.0217745

    R. Furcal: 152 errors, 4341 total chances, error rate 0.0350149

    2006-07-30 21:38:20
    238.   Paul Scott
    210 The problem is not the "eyes" (or its not mostly the "eyes"); the problem is the brains to which they are attached.

    Can someone recognize a bad defensive play? If it is bad enough, of course.

    Can someone recognize a good defensive play? Again, though harder, if it is good enough, then yes they can.

    But to know whether someone is a good or bad defensive player is an entirely different matter, especially given that everyone that plays professional baseball is a very good defensive player - the worst of the worst that make it to the professional level are not more than 80% worse than the best of the best.

    To know if someone is a good or bad defensive player requires witnessing, and understanding, thousands of situations. That is something a human looking with his or her "eyes" just can't do.

    This in turn leads to systematic biases and "shortcuts". Spectactular looking plays (like the kind Jeter routinely makes) stick out in the mind. Actual errors - especially if they look bad enough - stick out in the mind. Slightly sub-optimal possitioning, slightly off foot work, poor judgment, slow hands, half-second delays on a jump - these things are rarely noticed (nor are the "good" side of those by good defenders).

    Additionally, since the brain is incapable of data processing sufficently, reputation starts to substitute for analysis. Finally (for now), because subtle differences in "routine plays" are not recognizable, with the eyes we generally can at best (if the other flaws are overcome) tell who is spectacular and who is terrible. Telling the difference between a player whoes defense is worth 1 win over average and whoes defense is merely average is impossible.

    Defensive meterics have progressed nicely over the last decade and they continue to progress. They are certainly more flawed than offensive and pitching stats - especially offensive stats. But they are also still a lot better than relying on "eyes."

    2006-07-30 21:39:14
    239.   CanuckDodger
    Maddux (2006 version) is worse than every single member of our current starting rotation. Chicago should give US prospects just to be rid of the last two months of his salary. I have been expecting Guzman to be traded for somebody (Tejada, Soriano, that kind of player), but he better not be netting a has-been we shouldn't even want and have absolutely no use for.
    2006-07-30 21:40:06
    240.   Claire Malone-Evans
    The Giants now have 7 players who are 38 years old or older. Their Triple A team is beyond wretched, the local media here in Fresno refuses to cover them. The next few years should be bleak for Giant fans.
    2006-07-30 21:40:47
    241.   Steve
    227 -- And we'll promise never to do it again.
    2006-07-30 21:41:15
    242.   regfairfield
    237 Mark Grudzielanek leads 2nd basemen in fielding percentage.
    2006-07-30 21:41:59
    243.   natepurcell
    Astros made Oswalt available to trade. apparently one was close for Tejedad but Astros backed out.

    I cant believe Oswalt was available.

    2006-07-30 21:43:09
    244.   Paul Scott
    Bottom line people make too much out of defense, its an extra people, and something you can live without.

    This cannot be true. Perhaps what you mean is "we don't know enough about defense to be confident that a +5 win offensive SS with -2 wins defense is worse than a +1 win offensive SS with +3 wins defense."

    That I agree. Offensive analysis is more important because it is more reliable as a predictor of worth. But the game is ultmately RS-RA and if you can reliably know the effect of any one player on either RS or RA then they are equally important.

    2006-07-30 21:45:14
    245.   MartinBillingsley31

    That's pretty much what i meant, i guess i worded it bad.

    2006-07-30 21:45:47
    246.   dzzrtRatt
    Plaschke is also wrong about Ervin Santana.

    I predict the Angels stand pat. If the A's let go of Zito, the Angels win the AL West going away.

    Starting pitching is almost everything. It's what's wrong with the Dodgers, and what's right with the Angels.

    I'm a fan of Izzy, but I hope we trade to someone who can add another decent pitching prospect into our system. All the Kemps, Loneys,Ethiers and LaRoches on the planet can't help the Dodgers if we keep having to throw bad starters up there and hope they eat innings before the innings eat them.

    2006-07-30 21:48:27
    247.   sanchez101
    Ive been absent from many of these discussions lately, mainly because of school and other commitments, but I'd just like to say two things;

    1) Matt Kemp's development as a hitter has me very excited. Not because of his power or speed or batting average. I've been following prospects since about 2003 when Kemp was drafted, and he's certainly showed his ability to hit for average, power, and displayed his speed with aplomb prior to this season. But in 2006 Kemp has become a more disciplined hitter. If you only know Kemp from his days in a Dodger uniform you may find that odd, but his K:W:PA ration (IMO the best measure of "plate discipline") is much better this year in AA and so far in AAA than it was in previous years, so much so that I would compare him favorably to Vernon Wells at the same age. Oh, and Martin is now (and I said he would be) everything Bill Plascke thought Paul LoDuca was.

    2) Who in the world still reads Bill Plascke's articles? If I wanted to hear inconsitent, illogical babbling I'll talk to the homeless people that live in Isla Vista.

    2006-07-30 21:48:44
    248.   MartinBillingsley31
    All the Kemps, Loneys,Ethiers and LaRoches on the planet can't help the Dodgers if we keep having to throw bad starters up there and hope they eat innings before the innings eat them.

    That's why i keep saying ned's #1 priority should be starting pitching and i mean legit starting pitching not the tomko and hendrickson's of the world.

    2006-07-30 21:49:38
    249.   Daniel Zappala
    246 Those are opinions I can agree with.
    2006-07-30 21:50:33
    250.   D4P
    I get the impression that our GM isn't particularly interested in plate discipline.
    Show/Hide Comments 251-300
    2006-07-30 21:51:22
    251.   Daniel Zappala
    I haven't read a single Plaschke article this season.
    2006-07-30 21:55:07
    252.   Paul Scott
    247 - his K:W:PA ration (IMO the best measure of "plate discipline")

    What does a K have to do with discipline? Player A with a .250 BA and .350 OBP, but who has a K/BB ratio of 1 is less disciplined than Player B with a .250 BA and .280 OBP but a K/BB ratio of 0.2? Clearly not.

    The best measure of "plate discipline" alone is probably P/PA. The most useful (to an offense) measure of plate discipline is IsoD (OBP-BA). Players with excellent discipline come in both players with excellent K/BB (Bonds, Helton) and those with Terrible K/BB (Dunn).

    2006-07-30 21:57:00
    253.   sanchez101
    246. "Starting pitching is almost everything. It's what's wrong with the Dodgers, and what's right with the Angels."

    Starting pitching is important, but it can't be more than half the game. Hitting is pretty important. Dont forget that the Angels somehow won 99 games and the World Series with a rotation of Jarrod Washburn, Ramon Ortiz, Aaron Sele, Kevin Appier, and John Lackey/Scott Schoenweis (Lackey was a rookie call-up). You can win without a dominant rotation, you can in-fact win with a bad rotation in the same way you can win with a bad offense.

    2006-07-30 21:57:58
    254.   StolenMonkey86
    239 - worse than Hendrickson?

    How much more homer-prone is Wrigley than DS? I would tend to think a good bit.

    His K/9 is 5.35, which isn't great, but his K/BB is about 3.52, which is still pretty good. His homer rate hasn't been great this year, but it's down a bit at 0.93 HR/9. His opponent's batting average, though, is at .284, the highest it's been since it broke .290 back in 1999.

    I think Greg Maddux could be a useful addition to the team, but I'd want to either trade very little for him, or get him as a free agent to a 1 year deal with an option for 08.

    2006-07-30 21:58:04
    255.   natepurcell
    he most useful (to an offense) measure of plate discipline is IsoD (OBP-BA).

    Eh maybe unless that player is a HBP machine which could greatly increase his ISOd.

    2006-07-30 22:01:12
    256.   Paul Scott
    Pitching, particularly starting pitching, is overrated because of it's disproportionately obvious effect on a 7 game series.

    During the regular season pitching is less than half the game - half is hitting and half is a combination of pitching + defense. Pitching is about 70% starting pitching and 30% relief, so starting pitching is 70% of something less than 50%.

    During the playoffs, things change, since your starters go from a 5 man rotation to a three man rotation and because they can push harder. The offense, oth, does not improve much.

    2006-07-30 22:01:25
    257.   D4P
    The best measure of "plate discipline" alone is probably P/PA

    It might be possible to improve this measure if someone started keeping track of whether pitches thrown were balls or strikes. For example: does discipline refer more to "taking balls" or "taking strikes", or does it refer equally to both? If one or the other, then it might be nice to know, in addition to P/PA, how many of those Ps (on average) were pitches in the strike zone and pitches outside the strike zone, as well as (and I think this is key) how many were foul balls. Seems to me that players shouldn't get credit for being "disciplined" if a big chunk of their P/PA ratio comes from foul balls.

    2006-07-30 22:02:15
    258.   natepurcell
    *The Astros, according to a major-league official with knowledge of the discussions, feared that the Orioles would flip their most prized acquisition for Tejada — Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt — to Houston's cross-state rival, the Texas Rangers.
    The Orioles, according to the official, intended to trade Oswalt to the Rangers for a package of three players — third baseman Hank Blalock, Triple-A shortstop Joaquin Arias and one of the Rangers' top pitching prospects.*

    what is that comparable to us? Laroche, Elbert and Hu?

    2006-07-30 22:02:24
    259.   Paul Scott
    255 if you can do it reliably - and some have - then it is a perfectly valid addition to the offense.
    2006-07-30 22:02:39
    260.   caseybarker
    Nate-The Astros pulled Oswalt back only because they were afraid that he would be flipped to the Rangers. Amazing.
    2006-07-30 22:03:35
    261.   Daniel Zappala
    253 Ooh, don't denigrate the Angels rotation in 2002. Here are their ERA+ numbers:

    Appier : 111
    Ortiz: 115
    Washburn: 138
    Sele: 89
    Lackey: 119

    Don't forget the bullpen with Percival, Donnelly, Weber, Shields was fantastic.

    The staff was #2 in ERA in the AL. They were #4 in the AL in runs scored.

    2006-07-30 22:06:09
    262.   StolenMonkey86
    257 - Seems to me that players shouldn't get credit for being "disciplined" if a big chunk of their P/PA ratio comes from foul balls.

    You just didn't like Alex Cora at all, did you?

    2006-07-30 22:06:16
    263.   Daniel Zappala
    By the way, the Angels would have swept Boston in Fenway except for a couple of bloop hits yesterday.
    2006-07-30 22:07:09
    264.   dzzrtRatt

    The '02 Angels rotation sounds pathetic now, but without looking it up, it's my recollection that they pitched pretty well in the second half. Washburn in particular pitched better than he ever will again. They also had a great pen, almost totally reliable after the sixth inning. K-rod's emergence at the end of the season was electrifying.

    But having Glaus's power didn't hurt, that's for sure. This was also Anderson's last good year.

    2006-07-30 22:07:22
    265.   natepurcell

    I honestly dont know what Oswalt was on the table anyways. Pettite is old and has like a 17mil option next year and Clemens is also old and year to year. They honestly dont have anything much after Oswalt. Oswalt is a clear cut ace and the right side of 30.

    2006-07-30 22:07:26
    266.   Paul Scott
    257 Why the issue with foul balls? The ideal hitter will never swing at a ball and will swing and foul off every strike except those strikes he can drive (preferably out of the park). Being able to foul off pitches that are strikes, but are not the pitch the hitter is looking to hit is an extremely valuable skill and one that should be considered as part of "discipline."
    2006-07-30 22:07:31
    267.   regfairfield
    255 I don't know how reliable isolated patience is for minor leaguers. Manny Ramirez has good patience, but Manny swings at a lot of balls out of the zone. The reason why he walks so much is that no one is willing to put pitches in the zone, so he walks.

    This effect drips down to the minors. Take Matt Kemp as a pure hypothetical (I'm not disparging his abilities as an example). In the minors, he's the best hitter on the team, so he doesn't get a lot of pitches to hit. In the majors, however, his the fifth or sixth best hitter, so he has to actually dsiplay pitch selection to show he can hit.

    It's bad if the patience isn't there, but isolated patience in the minors might not directly become discipline in the majors.

    2006-07-30 22:07:31
    268.   sanchez101
    252. If plate discipline is equivalent to "walk rate" then you'd be right. But you're not. Walk Rate implies a players ability to draw walks. "Plate Discipline" implies someone's ability to control the strizezone (which might be a better term), ie. not get called strikes AND hit. As in get singles, doubles and homeruns. A .250/.350 hitter is ok, but power is important too, as is batting average (if power and walks are 'secondary skills' wouldn't average be the 'primary skill'?). Guys that strikeout a lot tend to hit for low average and the low contact rate takes away from their ability to accumulate extra base hits, the fundamental aspect of SLG%. Hee Seop Choi, a favorite of mine, has always had good walk rates, but has failed as a major league power hitter because he dont make hard contact often enough. That is why BB:K:AB is such a key stat, especially for prospects, just ask John Sickles. I generally agree with Don Mattingley's assement as it was portrayed in Moneyball: "Tell me how many walks and strikeouts a hitter has had, and I'll tell you what kind of season he's had."
    2006-07-30 22:09:02
    269.   popup
    #236, Yes, Michael does swing at lots of first pitches, at least in the games I have seen. He did get two walks today. One of them was on a full count. Interesting player. From what I understand he did not play all that much baseball as a kid, he was a soccer player primarily. The Mariners drafted him #1 a few years ago.

    Regarding the comments of some that defense is not that important, try telling that to the starting pitcher for Oklahoma City today. The centerfielder for OK City didn't get a good jump on a flyball all day long. The guy played center the way Lofton does. All those outs not made added up to extra pitches as well as extra runs.

    Stan from Tacoma

    2006-07-30 22:09:12
    270.   StolenMonkey86
    265 - this is what happens when you don't sleep for two weeks
    2006-07-30 22:12:49
    271.   gibsonhobbs88
    15 hours and counting to the trade deadline. I am sure we are not going to hear much until we wake up in the morning and of course through the morning tomorrow until 1 p.m. Will the Dodgers scrap the master plan and get old again? I don't see how they should give up top prospects for a great pitcher on the downside of his career, even as much as I respect Maddux's professionalism and baseball acumen. Are all these trade rumors just that, or is something big really going down?

    On a lighter note, The HOF induction ceremony was interesting today, but how can the people that vote for the special inductees from the Negro leagues show their faces in public after overlooking wonderful Buck O'Neil. That man is such a wonderful ambassador for baseball and life in general, and not to have him inducted is a crying shame! He's a character to be cherished and I would love to see him enshrined while he is still alive to enjoy the experience. His humor, spirit and love of humans and the human race made me laugh and cry at the same time.

    2006-07-30 22:14:21
    272.   D4P
    Yeah, but my point is that P/PA doesn't distinguish (1) foul balls from pitches taken, and thus also does not distinguish (2) foul balls that were in the strike zone from foul balls that were not in the strike zone.

    So, for a given P/PA ratio, we don't know much about where the pitches were thrown, and thus don't know much about what kind of pitches the hitter is taking and swinging at. I'm simply saying it would be nice to know this information. Then we could know (for example) whether the hitter was fouling off strikes or balls. If a hitter is fouling off a lot of balls, his high P/PA ratio makes him look "disciplined," when in fact I don't think we would consider a hitter who swings at a lot of pitches outside the strike zone to be showing "discipline."

    2006-07-30 22:14:25
    273.   natepurcell
    from notes

    Colletti said he is not actively trying to trade Cesar Izturis

    [Depodesta] said he is not actively trying to trade [Shawn Green]

    2006-07-30 22:18:40
    274.   caseybarker
    Yes, I laughed when I saw that. It's like when he said that he was not trying to trade Odalis.
    2006-07-30 22:19:18
    275.   Paul Scott
    272 Sure. I agree with that, though people fouling off a lot of balls don't generally make it very far in this game. Either way, simply subtracting out all foul balls (per post 257) won't control the problem you are looking to control - and I am really not sure it is that much of a problem anyway.
    2006-07-30 22:19:24
    276.   mruther
    Is Soriano staying in LA after the sweep??? I saw a couple hot rumors on this site:

    2006-07-30 22:19:54
    277.   StolenMonkey86
    269 - Very interesting, and I'm not surprised that he was a soccer player. Nomar, after all, almost played soccer in college, but he got more money for baseball at Georgia Tech. Michael's pick in the first round was no doubt influenced by the fact that Nomar had just won the last two AL batting titles. Very interesting, and I'd like to see what he does in the majors.

    Thanks for the info.

    2006-07-30 22:22:24
    278.   Paul Scott
    In 275, if the context was not clear, my first use of "balls" was meant "as opposed to strikes".
    2006-07-30 22:24:23
    279.   StolenMonkey86
    276 - see 186
    2006-07-30 22:25:23
    280.   D4P
    Isn't the entire notion of "discipline" that a hitter does not swing at balls outside the strike zone? If so, why not just have a simple stat that is equal to the number of times a hitter swings at a pitch outside the strike zone divided by the total number of pitches thrown to that hitter outside the strike zone? This would require the stat keeper to make a judgment call as to whether the pitches were inside or outside the strike zone, but there's no reason to believe that these judgments would be any worse than those made by umpires.

    Hitters with high ratios would be shown to be undisciplined, and hitters with low ratios would be shown to be disciplined.

    2006-07-30 22:27:21
    281.   StolenMonkey86
    Why not just have a martial-arts style belt designation? It would range from

    Jeff Francouer - White Belt


    Bobby Abreu - Black Belt

    2006-07-30 22:27:43
    282.   popup
    #277, You are welcome. I will try to keep you posted. He is like Nomar as well in another not so good way. Michael missed about a month or so to the DL. He is just a few games back from the DL.

    Stan from Tacoma

    2006-07-30 22:35:13
    283.   Uncle Miltie
    The Washington Post says the Angels, Astros, Twins and Marlins are currently involved in the bidding for Alfonso Soriano.
    The Marlins? Florida is reportedly willing to part with young pitchers Yusmeiro Petit, Renyel Pinto and Jason Vargas to land Soriano. It would seem to be the height of foolishness on their part, but if it's a serious offer, they can't be completely discounted. The Dodgers and another team or two still could be involved as this one goes right down to the 4 p.m. EDT deadline.

    Are the Marlins insane? The Marlins aren't going anywhere. I don't think it's true because the Nationals would have already accepted that package.

    I fear that Delwyn Young is going to be traded for Greg Maddux

    2006-07-30 22:37:03
    284.   StolenMonkey86
    I fear that Delwyn Young is going to be traded for Greg Maddux

    "Snakes on a Plane", you've got nothing on this one.

    2006-07-30 22:39:14
    285.   Benaiah
    283 - While I would hate to give up even a batboy for the well done choice ground beef that is the cubs #5 pitcher, at least if we trade Delwyn Young, we didn't trade Joel Guzman. Unless of course, Flanders is insane. I am going to kneel by the bed and say my prayers tonight: "Lord, please don't let Ned trade Guzman/Laroche/Elbert or any of the kids that are up right now. Amen."
    2006-07-30 22:42:19
    286.   StolenMonkey86
    285- I think Rich Hill is the Cubs' #5 right now
    2006-07-30 22:44:49
    287.   StolenMonkey86
    I wish I could have seen the Hendrickson fall. I'm hoping it makes PTI tomorrow.
    2006-07-30 22:46:25
    288.   Paul Scott
    280 I don't think that captures enough of the picture. Discipline is ultimately about either drawing a walk or "getting your pitch." There are a ton of undiscplined hitters with both low K rates and low walk rates. They swing, and put in play, all sorts of strikes. This sort of undiscplined hitting is really what defines those "scrappy" slap hitters. Just looking at non-strikes swung on vs. non-strikes thrown to won't capture the essence of discipline. P/PA is probably the best thing we have for exclusively measuring a hitter's patience. It has flaws, but it works well within the basic construct of the game. The pitcher is trying to place the pitches in such a way as to cause the batter to make an out. In that sense, every pitch the pitcher throws that does not result in an out is a victory for the batter. Maybe a better stat for discipline would be (P-Outs)/PA. To make it meaningful (e.g. such that the higher the number the better the batter), Outs may require multiplication by some constant.
    2006-07-30 22:52:12
    289.   natepurcell

    best. move. ever.

    2006-07-30 22:55:52
    290.   Uncle Miltie
    288- agree. Miguel Cabrera draws a lot of walks, but he doesn't have great plate discipline. He doesn't control the strike zone, even though he's a great hitter. Jason Kendall, who isn't a very good player anymore, has great plate discipline. His OBP has always been high and a lot of that has to do with him getting hit by a lot of pitches. He does not walk a ton, but he controls the strike zone. He waits for his pitch, has long, quality at bats. Bobby Abreu is an example of a guy who walks a ton and has great plate discipline. He's always among the leaders in P/PA. I think P/PA is a stat that Depodesta looked at. I think it's part of the reason why he signed Jose Valentin. Valentin has never been a big "walker" but he has a history of wearing down pitchers. I think Depodesta's goal was to build a lineup consisting of disciplined hitters who could work the count, therefore wearing down the starting pitcher and getting to the opposing team's bullpen.
    2006-07-30 22:56:47
    291.   D4P
    You seem to be suggesting that, in addition to "not swinging at bad pitches," "swinging at good pitches" is part of being disciplined. But how is the latter measured? How do we know that any particular pitch was a "good pitch"? The fact that a hitter got a hit doesn't necessarily mean that the pitch was a good one to swing at. And, the fact that a hitter made an out doesn't necessarily mean that the pitch was a bad one. In other words, determinations of discipline should be based on where pitches were thrown and whether or not the hitter swung at them. Anything else seems to be measuring something other than discipline, which is fine, but it should be called something else. Just looking at the number of pitches a hitter sees doesn't tell much at all about where those pitches were thrown, which to me seems like a critical piece of information when trying to determine discipline.
    2006-07-30 23:01:11
    292.   caseybarker
    Perhaps the batted ball data of Baseball Prospectus could be used as part of the analysis. For instance, line drives could be the result of plate discipline whereas popups and groundouts would be the results of a lack of plate discipline.
    2006-07-30 23:02:06
    293.   Steve
    Juan Pierre is the Cubs' #5 pitcher.
    2006-07-30 23:02:18
    294.   StolenMonkey86
    289 - nice. I'll add a language warning for the end of the clip though
    2006-07-30 23:03:08
    295.   StolenMonkey86
    293 - Juan Pierre is giving Lofton a run for his money
    2006-07-30 23:04:19
    296.   Uncle Miltie
    2006-07-30 23:14:50
    297.   StolenMonkey86
    Chuck Norris

    2006-07-30 23:17:06
    298.   bigcpa
    Rosenthal is pulling an all-nighter... background on the Tejada/Oswalt coulda woulda:
    2006-07-30 23:20:20
    299.   King of the Hobos
    298 You forgot to mention "The Dodgers are not actively pursuing Tejada, other sources say."

    I've been away the last few days, what are the current rumors surrounding the Dodgers? And have we decided what the plans for Betemit/Laroche/Izzy/Kent are? Yes, I'm too lazy to read everything I missed, but feel free to direct me to a specific conversation.

    2006-07-30 23:23:18
    300.   natepurcell

    My plan would be Betemit playing 3b this year, going to winterball to learn 2b. Next season have Laroche be the starting 3b, with izzy traded, kent at 2b and Betemit become a Bill Hall like supersub at 3b, 2b, and ss. He could get 400 ABs easily (especially with Kent being so old).

    Show/Hide Comments 301-350
    2006-07-30 23:25:36
    301.   StolenMonkey86
    Something family friendly and awesome:

    Because Animaniacs is awesome

    2006-07-30 23:26:03
    302.   bigcpa
    The only 2 names the Dodgers are linked to lately are Maddux (competing with SD) and Soriano (trailing 4 other teams). See my 165 re: Maddux.
    2006-07-30 23:29:12
    303.   LAT
    ESPN now says Mets and Giants may be working on a deal for Schmidt. Its an Insider story and I don't subscribe.

    That's good news for the Dodgers in the short term. Not having to face Schmidt 3 or 4 more times can't hurt. In the long term, having to face Lasting Millage may be tough.

    2006-07-30 23:30:51
    304.   LAT
    Another headline on ESPN Insider says Maddux will only be dealt if he wants to go to a contender. Isn't everyone a contender in the NL West?
    2006-07-30 23:31:12
    305.   Uncle Miltie
    301- not as cool as captain planet
    2006-07-30 23:32:26
    306.   Steve
    The last time we were competing with San Diego at the trade deadline, it was for Joe Randa. It was a dark, dark day when we lost that battle.
    2006-07-31 00:15:22
    307.   StolenMonkey86
    305 - what?
    2006-07-31 00:17:42
    308.   StolenMonkey86
    Crunch time. 12 hours, 43 minutes to go.

    Colletti wouldn't comment on specific players, saying, "Probably one deal still has some life to it and a second deal still has a touch of life."

    2006-07-31 00:23:42
    309.   StolenMonkey86
    From the Daily News

    Colletti remained steadfast that he would not part with top young players such as Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Russell Martin and said the Dodgers don't necessarily need to make a trade in order to win.

    2006-07-31 00:29:34
    310.   StolenMonkey86
    Finally, from DodgerBlues

    Cruz, by the way, should have been traded before he even finished circling the bases. His value has never been higher, and the Dodgers should accept a set of colored pencils for him while they can.

    2006-07-31 00:38:03
    311.   StolenMonkey86
    The IQ Test that unfortunately Jim Bowden may be able to pass

    Kenny Lofton - a great leadoff man who has veteran leadership skills
    Jose Cruz - a gold glove outfielder and once a 30-30 guy
    Lance Carter - he was an all-star in 2003


    Alfonso Soriano - an inexperienced outfielder whose defense appauled you at second base

    2006-07-31 03:06:06
    312.   overkill94
    Here's some expert analysis of the Betemit trade from the main guy at Rotoworld:

    "I've disliked the majority of Ned Colletti's moves to date, but picking up Betemit from the Braves for Aybar and Baez was a clear winner. Betemit hasn't even turned 25 yet -- his listed age of 26 dates back to when Atlanta signed him before his 16th birthday -- and he now has 450 at-bats over the last two seasons that say he's a fine hitter. I expect continued improvement over the next couple of years, though he may continue to struggle against left-handers. He's set to play regularly at third base for the rest of 2006, so expect something like .275-8-28."

    2006-07-31 05:53:35
    313.   tjshere
    Apparently there was no action in the wee hours. Flanders watch at T-minus 7 hrs. 7 mins.
    2006-07-31 07:41:26
    314.   Daniel Zappala
    Sean Casey to the Tigers for a minor league pitcher, according to Ken Rosenthal.
    2006-07-31 08:01:56
    315.   Bluebleeder87
    from what I hear Sean Casey is a really good guy, I hope he get's a taste of playing in the playoffs.
    2006-07-31 08:08:50
    316.   Daniel Zappala
    For those interested (or not) in Willis, the ESPN podcast this morning says that he can't be traded until after the deadline because he was placed on procedural waivers. So he could be dealt after the deadline if he clears waivers but not before.
    2006-07-31 08:15:28
    317.   Jon Weisman
    Another no news (is good news?) post up top.
    2006-07-31 08:17:50
    318.   MartinBillingsley31
    Impreesive numbers for kemp in AAA so far, its only 57 at bats but still.
    And the thing that most people were complaining about him when he was on the big team was his lack of patience and a lot of strikeout, well it looks like he is working on that.

    8 walks 10 strikeouts 463 obp 614 slg 1077 ops

    On pace if he had 570 at bats 80 walks 100 strikeouts.

    I can definately see him as our starting cf next year if ned doesn't go bezerk.

    Pitching, pitching, pitching, ned get some pitching in the offseason, or now only by trading mediocre veterans if possible (izturis, lofton, cruz, ledee ect).

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