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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

It's Not About the Deadline Deals
2006-08-05 21:15
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The heroes of the Dodgers' eight-game winning streak have principally been the Dodgers who were here before the July trades. Not that the new guys haven't helped, but mostly, the existing crew has gotten its act together.

A simplistic recap:

July 28: Dodgers 13, Nationals 1

Andre Ethier: triple and homer
J.D. Drew: grand slam
Russell Martin: 3 for 5
Chad Billingsley: 6 IP, 1 R

July 29: Dodgers 7, Nationals 5

Martin: tiebreaking homer, tiebreaking double
Rafael Furcal: single, homer

July 30: Dodgers 4, Nationals 3

Wilson Betemit: 3 for 4
Jose Cruz, Jr.: game-tying homer
Cesar Izturis: two doubles (chop double in 8th drives in winning run)
Drew, Ethier: home runs

August 1: Dodgers 10, Reds 4

Furcal: two singles, double, 4 RBI
James Loney: two doubles, single
Betemit: single, homer

August 2: Dodgers 5, Reds 3

Kenny Lofton: single, triple
Ethier: single, double
Brad Penny: double, 6 IP, 2 R

August 3: Dodgers 3, Reds 0

Olmedo Saenz: two-run homer
Martin: double, two singles
Furcal: single, double
Greg Maddux: 6 IP, 0 R, 0 H

August 4: Dodgers 6, Marlins 2

Lofton: homer, two singles
Derek Lowe: 7 IP, 1 R

August 5: Dodgers 10, Marlins 2

Ethier: double, two singles
Furcal: single, bases-loaded triple
Chad Billingsley: 6 IP, 1 R

Summary

Ethier: four mentions
Furcal: four mentions
Martin: three mentions
Betemit: two mentions
Billingsley: two mentions
Drew: two mentions
Lofton: two mentions

By the way, the Dodgers have gotten above-average starting pitching in five of the eight games. Give all the credit in the world to Maddux for his no-hit performance, but Billingsley, Lowe and Penny (and to a lesser extent Aaron Sele and Mark Hendrickson) very much helped turn this beast around.

* * *

From Bob Timmermann with a pointer from reader Bluetahoe: The last team to follow an eight-game losing streak with an eight-game winning streak was the Chicago Cubs, who lost 8 straight from May 10 through May 18, 2001 and then won 12 straight from May 19 through June 1.

* * *

Update: Tony Jackson's Daily News game lead was really harsh on Billingsley. I know the guy has struggled some, but sheesh.

With a stiff wind at his back and the threat of a minor-league option hanging over his head, Chad Billingsley took the mound against another highly-touted rookie Saturday night. The only difference between him and Florida's Josh Johnson was that at times this season, Johnson had actually pitched like he belonged in the majors.

Billingsley's last five starts: 29 innings, 25 hits, eight runs (seven earned), 20 walks, 21 strikeouts (6.5 K/9), 2.17 ERA. Points deducted for the walks, but otherwise, that's pretty swell.

At the end, Jackson speculates (incorrectly, I think) that Mark Hendrickson could be cut when Jeff Kent or Nomar Garciaparra gets activated. Can you imagine? Dioner Navarro and Jae Seo for Toby Hall? I don't see that happening - especially when Hendrickson has pitched just about as phlegmatically as one would have reasonably expected (which is to say, at times like he belonged in the majors).

More likely, someone from the active roster gets stashed in Las Vegas or on the disabled list until the rosters expand in four weeks. Elmer Dessens' ankle or Giovanni Carrara's stomach, for example, would have qualified had Kent been ready today.

Regarding Kent, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com quotes Dodger manager Grady Little:

"This time around," Little said Saturday, "we'll make darn sure he's ready before we put him in. We gambled a couple weeks ago and lost the gamble. We'll make sure we have a better chance this time and hold off a day or two more -- Monday at the earliest.

This time around. Good thinking.

"He said he feels like he's ready to go. He's been talking about [returning] the last couple of days. If it's not by Monday, he'll probably come in the office with a shotgun, and it won't be a casual conversation."

Nonetheless, Little has reason to be hesitant. Kent originally suffered a strained oblique muscle more than a month ago on July 3. He missed six games leading into the All-Star break and returned to the lineup on July 13. He played five more games, went 3-for-16, then conceded the pain was increasing, and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 18. He was eligible to be activated Wednesday. If he returns Monday, he will have missed 24 games and played hurt in five more.

Little still believes Kent will return before Nomar Garciaparra, who is eligible to be activated from the DL with a sprained knee on Wednesday. Little said Garciaparra still isn't ready to make quick cuts required to run the bases, which might be an indication that he will require more than the original 15 days to return.

Comments (99)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-05 21:33:28
1.   Jonny6
I just read "Sarah's Take" on the Dodgers website. Fairly standard analysis and pretty much what I expected, but in the last paragraph she mentioned that Maddux has NEVER been on the disabled list in his twenty year career. If that is truly the case than I am sure that I've read that before, but it just didn't sink in. That is truly astounding, maybe more remarkable than Maddux' pitching stats.

I'm a couple of years younger than Maddux and I am already getting to the point where I'm pulling muscles getting out of bed. Twenty years without a turned ankle or tendinitis in the elbow - that's both impressive and extremely fortunate. Maybe Maddux should spend the off-season picking stocks or playing in the World Series of Poker.

2006-08-05 21:36:56
2.   Marty
Unfortunately the World Series of Poker is not in the offseason. It just ended.
2006-08-05 21:42:26
3.   Bob Timmermann
The Braves put Greg Maddux on the disabled list on April 5, 2002.

http://tinyurl.com/ko7zo

Or better:

http://tinyurl.com/f9jrn

and scroll down to April 5.

2006-08-05 21:55:28
4.   Bob Timmermann
This headline brings up a lot of imagery that I'd really rather not think about:

Streaking Dodgers Flog Marlins 10-2

Somebody on the AP copy desk was really feeling frisky.

2006-08-05 21:56:21
5.   Eric Enders
I don't think Maddux has ever had the slightest hint of an arm injury, though.

Tonight I read Sarah's Take for the first time all year and learned that "Izturis' defense prevented many more runs from scoring than any player could produce."

2006-08-05 21:57:17
6.   Eric Enders
4 Funny, I almost made a post about that in the last thread. Personally, I love any headline that reads "Streaking Dodgers Flog ______."
2006-08-05 21:58:08
7.   D4P
"Izturis' defense prevented many more runs from scoring than any player could produce."

There's simply no doubt about that. No need to show any numbers.

2006-08-05 21:59:01
8.   Robert Fiore
I suggest the Dodgers schedule lousy ballclubs for the rest of the season.

(There was an item in the Onion not too long ago about an imaginary football version of the Harlem Globetrotters who win all their games because they always play the New York Jets.)

2006-08-05 22:00:25
9.   Eric Enders
I suppose there's got to be some more demeaning job in America than playing for the Washington Generals, but it doesn't spring immediately to mind.
2006-08-05 22:03:02
10.   Bob Timmermann
There are now only four teams in the NL with winning records.

There are three teams in the AL with winning percentages over .600.

2006-08-05 22:05:28
11.   Eric Enders
So I take it we're not all that worried about Billingsley's K rate anymore?
2006-08-05 22:08:54
12.   Bluebleeder87
dude I'm hearing Benny Mardones, that song rocks!
2006-08-05 22:12:30
13.   Xeifrank
The "Killer Ls" did it again tonight. Way to go! And I continue not to shave until the Dodgers lose again. May my razor rest in peace. vr, Xei
2006-08-05 22:12:58
14.   Steve
Izturis' defense created many more undeserved superlatives than any other player could produce.
2006-08-05 22:14:52
15.   Steve
Never mind, I forgot about Furkel.
2006-08-05 22:15:30
16.   Xeifrank
Izturis may have prevented alot of runs, but Johnny Bench prevented more drips and errors.
vr, Xei
2006-08-05 22:17:32
17.   D4P
15
Oh good. You're calling him that again...?
2006-08-05 22:25:20
18.   Franklin Stubbs
Hi! I wanted to make a comment on today's game. It was the first game in a while that I have truly enjoyed. Now, it is always enjoyable to knock the opponent's pitcher out in 3 innings and score 10 runs. But seeing good performances from the young guys (damn I've wanted to root for some home bodies for awhile!) and some strong performances from the new guys (could Lugo be better than I expected??) Makes me feel like things might be working. What ever one wants to attribute the winning streak is ok with me. I personally think its the young guys finally coming into their own. But if Charlie Steiner and Jerry Reuss want to give credit to Maddux that is fine with me too. Maybe it is his doing!

Now...

Speaking of Steiner...his game calling drives me up the wall. From here on out I am going to call him Jerry Dogget after what I thought was the worst Dodger announcer. Charlie's giving him a run for the money. I mean Jerry Dogget is giving Jerry Dogget a run for the money.

I was watching the game today and doing some stuff around the house. I had my back to the tv on a couple of occasions and I was acutely aware that Jerry Dogget hadn't explained what happened. Ok so it is TV but if you aren't going to tell me what is going on Jerry, then why have a play by play guy? Why not just have a bunch of ex-athletes sitting around and having beers? And then -- THEN-- there was that 3rd strike wild pitch which Jerry Dogget only described in past tense after it happened and had fully played out. Exciting plays get no description. i used to love listening to Chick Hern call Laker games while I drove homefrom work. He'd do play by play AND color (much like Vin Scully does) while not missing much. I'm venting here but I almost felt like I was listening to a Buck/McCarver game. Yuck.

On a good note...I took the lady and the 6 week old baby out to Souplantation for dinner (I knowI know big spender!) and two of the guys working there wanted to talk Dodger Baseball with me. It made me think of what this town will be like in 3 years when our core of Ethier/Repko/Billingsly/Martin. Wowzers!

2006-08-05 22:29:00
19.   Bob Timmermann
Just to be clear about the winning streak/losing streak info, it was bluetahoe who gave me a clue as to where to look and then I found it in Retrosheet.

I still don't know what the record is or how to define what the record would be.

2006-08-05 22:29:41
20.   Eric Enders
"Why not just have a bunch of ex-athletes sitting around and having beers?"

Because that's what the KFWB broadcast is for?

2006-08-05 22:30:11
21.   Eric Enders
Bob don't need no stinking SABR.
2006-08-05 22:32:37
22.   Steve
21 -- That's what we chant ten times at every SA meeting.
2006-08-05 22:37:23
23.   Eric Enders
I was just looking through the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for tonight's game story and stumbled across what may be my favorite quote of the year:

"'Clearly this is an unusual set of circumstances with the suspect driving around naked, bleeding from the wrists and in possession of a handgun,' [a sheriff's spokesman] said."

2006-08-05 22:40:30
24.   Jon Weisman
19 - So, no SABR?
2006-08-05 22:41:26
25.   Eric Enders
Maybe we'll follow the pattern established by the 1916 Giants. They lost 12 out of 13 and then reeled off a 17-game winning streak.

Then, later in the year, they had a 26-game winning streak.

And still somehow managed to finish in 4th place.

2006-08-05 22:48:22
26.   Jon Weisman
I made the correction.
2006-08-05 23:06:41
27.   das411
25 - Maddux did break Mathewson's walk-less innings streak a couple of years ago, no?
2006-08-05 23:17:15
28.   Claire Malone-Evans
I remember listening to Jerry Dogget as a young kid. I thought he was quite good ; he sounded just like my grandfather. I can't complain about the current announcers since a horrible nightmare I had a few weeks back. I dreamed that McCourt fired the existing announcers and replaced them with Chris Berman, Ted Lightner , Ron Fairly, and Vic Jacobs.
2006-08-05 23:18:01
29.   Eric Enders
27 There, too, Maddux showed a certain selflessness when it came to personal records. His streak ended on an intentional walk.
2006-08-05 23:18:26
30.   underdog
ESPN.com must read Dodger Thoughts, or Retrosheet. The lead story on the home page right now is: "The '06 Dodgers will share this with the '01 Cubs: Both won eight straight after losing eight straight. The streaky L.A. story continued to shock with Saturday night's 10-2 victory over the Marlins."

Of course, they also have a link to the results of the World Bratwurst Eating Championships on the home page.

2006-08-05 23:20:25
31.   Jon Weisman
First of all, everyone, it's Doggett.

Second of all, let's nip the gimmick of calling Steiner by the name of Doggett in the bud. The payoff ain't worth it.

2006-08-05 23:23:33
32.   Eric Enders
Just read the update, Jon. Wow. That Jackson quote is misguided, bordering on irresponsibility.

Unlike, you, though, I wouldn't be all that surprised if Hendrickson gets cut. I suspect most of us are in agreement that he should be the one who gets cut, so it all comes down to whether we think Colletti is prepared to admit to a huge mistake so soon after making it.

Perhaps he isn't, but then again, having already jettisoned Seo, Baez, and Carter, perhaps he is.

My own personal pipe dream is that we actually find someone who wants to trade for Jesus. I hear the Rockies have a particular fondness for him...

2006-08-05 23:27:19
33.   Eric Enders
For whatever reason, I really don't have any memories of Jerry Doggett. I know I listened to him as a small kid, but I really don't remember anything in particular about him except the white shock of hair. I also remember the tribute they paid to him on the postgame show the day he broadcast his last game. There was some sort of giant cake involved. But about the man's broadcasting style, I could tell you next to nothing.

I have much clearer memories of Drysdale. Who was quite good, I thought.

2006-08-05 23:28:46
34.   Steve
Tony Jackson makes Buster Olney look like a progressive idiot.
2006-08-05 23:29:54
35.   Eric Enders
And, really, people, Steiner isn't that bad. He's not Vin, but he's not bad. Monday brings out the worst in him, but when he's with Lyons or by himself I find him OK to listen to.

You want really bad, go listen to the broadcasters for other teams. Mark Grace. Michael Kay and John Sterling. Bill Schroeder. George Frazier. Steiner ain't in their league, not by a longshot.

2006-08-05 23:33:51
36.   Jon Weisman
32 - With Hendrickson, it's just too soon and too close to September to cut him. His ERA is 1.08 above his ERA with Tampa Bay. I have to think Colletti had more margin for error in his trade than that. Hendrickson could certainly be replaced by Sele in the rotation if he (Hendrickson) were to get hammered, but I just can't see them cutting him.

33 - I remember Doggett pretty well - he was pretty worn down by the end, but enjoyable for a while. Stan from Tacoma has sent me some tapes where I could hear Doggett in the 50s.

Neither Doggett nor Steiner are the worst Dodger broadcasters in history.

2006-08-05 23:36:31
37.   underdog
I agree about Steiner - try listening to the White Sox announcers sometime and you'll appreciate Steiner more. They're the worst kind of provincial, homer-ish, dumb announcers. I like Steiner's knowledge and sense of humor - I only find him annoying in his voice intonations sometimes, especially whenever the Dodgers are doing badly. He doesn't have the level of excitement I'd like when something.. .exciting happens (as compared to the way Vin calls it, for instance). But compared to most of the other guys out there, he's still pretty good. Jerry Dogget I have a nostalgic affection for but he really was a pretty poor announcer. Especially compared to Vin and to poor Ross Porter.
2006-08-05 23:46:50
38.   Eric Enders
This mistake in Jackson's story also jumped out at me:

"...when he loaded the bases by throwing a wild pitch on what should have been a strikeout of Miguel Cabrera..."

Though in this case I give equal blame to the copy deak for failing to catch it.

2006-08-05 23:47:23
39.   Eric Enders
38 Umm, yeah... the copy deak. Can you tell I used to work on one?
2006-08-05 23:48:53
40.   Eric Enders
test
2006-08-05 23:51:21
41.   Eric Enders
Ignore 40, please. The toaster was eating my posts. Or, more metaphorically, burning them and setting off the smoke alarm.

And now I must depart, and postpone my bumbling shenanigans in this thread until tomorrow.

2006-08-06 00:06:07
42.   Bob Timmermann
Without getting all Lloyd Bentsen on people, I would say that Charlie Steiner is no Jerry Doggett and he is much better than Doggett.

Doggett was a very typical announcer of the 1950s and 1960s, who was steady and workmanlike. He wasn't flashy. He just sort of was there. To me Jerry Doggett represented Innings 4-6 growing up. Those were the innings, Scully would take off. Once Ross Porter joined the crew, the Doggett was on radio more and would only appear on TV when Vin was off doing football or taking a trip off.

2006-08-06 00:31:04
43.   Linkmeister
I don't think Steiner's all that bad, although I wish he'd learn to watch the outfielder on fly balls.

Face it, folks. We've all been very lucky to have Vinnie; imagine if there were no Dodgers and L.A. had nothing but the Angels and their announcers. Ken Brett, Al Conin, Rex Hudler, etc. Shriek!

2006-08-06 00:47:48
44.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers have had one Angels announcer in Drysdale.
2006-08-06 00:49:15
45.   Icaros
I misread the last line of 43 and thought that Linkmeister was listing Shrek as one of the Angels announcers.
2006-08-06 00:57:57
46.   lukemccain
I grew up listening to Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett. I was never really happy when Jerry would come on in the middle innings but he did a journeymanlike job. Nothing flashy, just the facts. Vin and Jerry almost always worked alone. Maybe if Steiner worked alone he would not be so annoying. It is his sense of humor that seems so stilted that bothers me the most. I think he is trying too hard to be entertaining. Like when he has a mock argument with Louis Gossett as the umpire in the Hollywood Stars game. He was trying to be funny but it just came across weird.
2006-08-06 00:58:31
47.   GoBears
I'll join in. I like Steiner just fine. Sure, the fly ball thing is odd, but it's not really a problem. There are two things I appreciate about him. First, I always know the game situation within a few seconds of listening. Can't say that for Monday. Second, and this is important - he sticks to play by play, and otherwise, lets his analysts analyze. Not his fault if they don't do so in a manner you like.
What I really can't stand these days is play-by-play guys who want to show how smart they are by analyzing as they go. Joe Buck is the poster child for this (in football too), but locally, compare Steiner to Physioc on this dimension. Buck can't just describe an intentional walk - he has to judge it, and not in a questioning way either. He KNOWS baseball, you see. Feh.

Mostly, I watch with the sound off unless Vinnie is doing the game. On DVR, I sometimes like being able to watch at 1 step faster than regular speed, and still follow every pitch and play perfectly well, while enduring less between-pitch and between-batter dead time. I'll slow to regular speed to get an explanation of a weird play/call, but that's about it. It's not like I really need an announcer to tell me what I'm seeing.

2006-08-06 01:00:35
48.   GoBears
46. I agree. I'd like to hear Steiner work alone. None of Reuss, Monday, or Lyons really bother that much as analysts (I can't figure why they let Monday do play-by-play), but they're extraneous. Steiner can handle the gig. Maybe he prefers the 2-man booth. Less strenuous, I'm sure.
2006-08-06 01:01:22
49.   Sub4Era
Compared to the normal regional announce teams I hear for other teams, id rank LA's in the top half when Vin isnt on air, obviously higher when he is...
2006-08-06 04:48:27
50.   bluetahoe
From Bob Timmermann with a pointer from reader Bluetahoe

I've got a mind like an iron trap.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-06 04:58:02
51.   bluetahoe
From 8.
I suggest the Dodgers schedule lousy ballclubs for the rest of the season.

I'm on record yesterday as stating I think the some posters actually want the Dodgers to lose. I'm not stating the person that made this quote wants the Dodgers to lose but I don't get the quote. And I'll be the 1st to admit my reading comprehension isn't so good but on the plus side my mathematical and accounting skills are phenomenal.

OK. The Dodgers have won 8 in a row. Why think negative right now? I can understand not getting overexcited but to undervalue this 8 game winning streak is wrong in my opinion.

First off, the NL is scrubby.

Secondly, the Nats had won 6 in a row before we swept them, then proceeded to win 3 of 4 after they left Dodger stadium. I don't see how those facts can be dismissed.

Thirdly, we went into Cincinnati and swept them. The Reds had the 4th best record in the league and are leading the wild card race. I REALLY don't see how that sweep can be brushed off.

Fourth, we've taken the 1st 2 from Florida in Florida. Coming into the series the Marlins had gone 33-22 in their last 55. THATS A .600 WINNING PERCENTAGE OVER 1/3 OF THE SEASON. Not to mention we lamblasted the NL's ERA leader.

2006-08-06 05:54:47
52.   moodhairboy
From 51

excellent post reminding us all of the accomplishments of the last 8 games. Personally, bring I want to see the Cardinals again as we cannot seem to beat them.

BTW, how does anyone afford to live in california? I'm thinking of buying a business and the real estate prices for homes has me rethinking the purchase.

2006-08-06 06:16:20
53.   MartinBillingsley31
All you gotta do is look at the amount of runs our pitching staff has given up per game in this 8 game winning streak.
That right there tells the whole story.
Pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching.
This team has enough offense (i would like a little more power tho) and this team will have enough offense next year even with nomar leaving.
Ned's #1 priority in the offseason = pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching.

penny
lowe
billingsley
?
?

broxton
saito
dessens
?
?
?

I wouldn't mind ned keeping a couple/few relievers on the team currently that aren't mentioned above for next season if they are still cheap, but those 2 spots in the starting rotation need to be filled by legit good starting pitchers.

2006-08-06 06:49:01
54.   MartinBillingsley31
Add to 53

I forgot about tomko, he's signed thru next season and i wouldn't mind if ned kept him in the bullpen if we can afford his contract, meaning if it doesn't get in the way of getting 2 legit starting pitchers, which by my calculations it won't get in the way.

2006-08-06 07:22:52
55.   Eric Enders
43 The Angels did have one excellent broadcaster in there. Maybe they can hire him back whenever he gets fired as Yankees manager.
2006-08-06 07:25:03
56.   Sam DC
Jon's got his thumb in the dike this morning, I see.

I'm pro Steiner, in that sense that I think he is a good deal better than what most folks in most cities are stuck with. I got XM radio last year so I hear random broadcasts a decent amount, and I'd estimate that two-thirds of the announcers I hear sound not much better than chalk scratching down a fingerboard.

2006-08-06 07:40:48
57.   mountainmover
It seems like people get offended when I say something like "if you believe that you are a moron." and then come back with "why don't you say anothing important?"

Oh, Well! Usually those kinds of responses indicate they disagree, but have nothing to prove why...

I read the posts on this board quite frequently and gain a tremendous amount if information (also Mis-information, but it's a free word). I maintain a great deal of respect for Jon. His insights are awesome!

I have been very liberal in proclaiming my dislike of DePodesta's time as a GM and I think he now is in his perfect job. I also feel that stats alone are less than 50% of the equation. This board places a great deal of reliance upon a plethora of statistical calculations which I read and consider. But, there's much, muich more to it!

Statistically speaking, the 1988 Dodgers were bums, Jonas Salk would have never made the discoveries he did (statistically speaking), as he once admitted "my greatest strength lies solely in my tenacity," Thomas Edison would have been regarded a failure (statistically speaking-1 out of 10,000), and the Miracle on Ice would have never occured!

It seems to me that many people loathe Colletti on this board and worship DePodesta. If I am wrong, my apologies! To wit: Jon wrote: "Not that the new guys haven't helped, but mostly, the existing crew has gotten its act together."

That seems to me to be a swipe at Colletti by saying that the guys we already had finally did the job and the guys Ned got had little impact. Well, the stats show the impact, but there are more things at work here that can't be measured, such as:

1. The players attidude at management's willingness to make changes, which shows their committment to winning NOW and yet keeping the future intact!

2. The message that is sent when other players are acquired - "If I don't get busy, I can be replaced."

3. The effect that more good bats in a lineup give other hitters more good pitches to hit (i.e., fastballs when runners are on base).

The teams that made the most trades seem to be doing the best right now and the teams that didn't, really seem to be sinking, and again, I assert that it has been the mental effect as much as the addition of talent! We haven't lost since the trades (not that we won;t ever lose again).

The stat geeks said that adding an impact player would only mean an extra win or two. People were advocating that we should be "seller" not buyers. All such observatins fail to consider the power of the human spirit or the power of the collective spirit (soul) of a team.

I find Ned's approach refreshing, fair and balanced and I respect the fact that he admits mistakes. Look, he has been unwaivering in his reluctance to give up our top prospects (the Dodger braintrust no longer regarded Guzman, E-JAX and Tiffany as "top prospects"), so he has had to make some mores that were risky (not expensive) and being saddled with some bad contracts (Perez, Drew) some moves were made with financial constraints. Seo, Baez, Carter, Hammulack, et al were bad. Hendrickson has pitched like a #5, which he is. Ned didn't have many better options without giving up the farm.

Also, Hendrickson isn't going anywhere right now and it's not Ned's reluctance to admit mistakes - we need him! Jackson is a moron if he believes Hendrickson is going away anytime soon!

Sorry if I offended anyone. I just speak my mind (which according to some is a very short story).

2006-08-06 07:45:49
58.   Eric Enders
For me, it took moving away to college to appreciate Ross Porter. Previously, I'd only thought of him as Vinny's untalented sidekick. Then I heard the broadcasters for a bunch of other teams, and suddenly Ross Porter became a good broadcaster by comparison. I think my whole childhood I held it against him for not being Vin Scully. Sorry, Ross.

Since I've had the Extra Innings and Gameday Audio for a few years now, I've come up with quite an extensive list of broadcasters, past and present, I either like or dislike.

LIKE

Vin Scully
Jack Buck
Kuiper and Krukow
Jon Miller
Jaime Jarrin (when I was a kid the only Dodger games we got on the radio were in Spanish)
Bob Uecker when not on Big Fox
Steve Lyons when not on Big Fox
Joe Buck when not on Big Fox
Joe Torre (back in the day)
Don Drysdale
Jim Kaat
Al Leiter (already shaping up to be one of the best color guys ever)
Tony Gwynn
Kyle Peterson
Daron Sutton
Florida's TV team... Tommy Hutton and some guy I don't know
Harry Kalas
Harold Reynolds as color commentator (not studio talking head)
Mike Piazza (is going to have a great career at this)
Orel Hershiser

DISLIKE

Bill Schroeder
George Frazier
George Grande (simply awful)
Ken Harrelson (my vote for the worst of all time)
Rick Monday (should be thankful for Ken Harrelson's existence)
Michael Kay
John Sterling
Suzyn Waldman
Rex Hudler
Rick Sutcliffe
Jeff Brantley
Harry Caray (though I only heard the senile drunken version)

I've also heard good things about people like Denny Matthews, Herb Carneal, and Bill King, though I haven't had the opportunity to really listen to them.

2006-08-06 07:54:43
59.   Eric Enders
53

SP Penny
SP Lowe
SP Billingsley
SP Maddux? (Offer him arb. Maybe we get a 41 yr old pitcher, maybe we get a draft pick, maybe we get nothing. Worth a shot.)
kuo?
SP Elbert?

RP Broxton
RP Saito
RP Dessens
RP Hull
RP Tomko (think we're stuck with him and like him in the pen.)
RP Hendrickson? (what's his contract status?)
RP Beimel? (has earned another spring training invite, at least)
RP Wunsch?
RP Miller?
RP Gagne ????????
RP Brazoban?
RP Osoria?

2006-08-06 07:58:56
60.   Bob Timmermann
58

According to my mom who grew up listening to Harry Caray, there was only the drunken version of Harry Caray, even in the 1940s and 1950s.

When Caray became the Cubs announcer and reached iconic status, she was baffled by the whole thing.

According to a brother of mine who lives in Michigan, Jim Price is a horrible announcer for the Tigers on the radio, but he is beloved there.

On Extra Innings, the only Cardinals guys we get to hear are Dan McLaughlin and Al Hrabosky because they do the cable games. They aren't any good. Wayne Hagin calls the games on the over-the-air channel and he isn't very good. And Mike Shannon is utterly incomprehnsible on the radio.

I used to hate Skip Caray, but he can be pretty funny among his boosterism. Pete Van Wieren is solid. We don't hear them as often on Extra Innings since the Braves are migrating to a Fox Regional channel and using guys like Jeff Torborg.

2006-08-06 08:00:46
61.   Andrew Shimmin
I like Steiner without reservation. He'd be much better without a sidekick, as would just about everyone. I think he has been working on his little fly ball problem--yesterday (or the day before, I forget now) he completely missed that one fly ball left the park. So, if you average that with the balls that nearly get to the warning track. . .

51- That quote you pulled does not indicate at all, in any way, that the poster wishes the Dodgers would lose. There's no reasonable way to interpret it as such. There isn't anything even negative about it. It's a straight forward joke.

Secondly, and this is not directed at you, mostly: I don't see what trying to prove that everybody but oneself is a jerk gets anybody. Trying to prove them wrong, I get; it's trying to prove that they're bad that's beyond me. It's irritating how much millage board bashing is getting here, lately. It's irritating, and dull, and the solution is too obvious to even need pointing out.

2006-08-06 08:03:48
62.   MartinBillingsley31
59

This is what i'm hoping for:
zito
schmidt
penny
lowe
billingsley

broxton
saito
dessens
tomko
kuo
last spot who cares, anyone cheap.

I'd let maddux and hendrickson walk, and especially gagne.
Elbert's not gonna be ready.
I like how the dodgers have kuo as a starter in the minors to get his stuff figured out, but i'd rather go after 2 legit starting pitchers (yes we can afford it, the only question is convincing them to sign).

Offense:
c martin
1b loney
2b kent
ss furcal
3b laroche
lf ethier
cf kemp
rf drew

Bench: saenz, betemit, repko, and 3 cheap guys including a backup catcher.

2006-08-06 08:04:08
63.   Andrew Shimmin
Millage? Jeez.
2006-08-06 08:07:25
64.   Eric Enders
57 "It seems like people get offended when I say something like 'if you believe that you are a moron.' "

Gee. I wonder why that would be.

"Statistically speaking, the 1988 Dodgers were bums."

False. Statistically speaking, the 1988 Dodgers had the second or third best hitter in the league, the best pitcher in the league, several more outstanding starting pitchers, and one of the best bullpens in baseball history.

"The stat geeks said..."

Well, this stat geek, anyway, says that if you were genuinely interested in a dialogue you probabably wouldn't call the other side names like geeks and morons. Speaking only for myself, mountainmover, it's not your opinions that bother me but the bombastic talk-radio way in which you sometimes express them.

I do agree with some of your actual opinions, particularly this one:
"I find Ned's approach refreshing, fair and balanced and I respect the fact that he admits mistakes."

2006-08-06 08:09:30
65.   Eric Enders
58 I just realized that I included Sutton's kid in #58 and somehow forgot to include The Don himself. I think he's very, very good.
2006-08-06 08:19:23
66.   Bob Timmermann
63
"Millage" is a word. It's a type of tax rate.
2006-08-06 08:21:24
67.   Andrew Shimmin
66- Right; if it hadn't been, my Firefox Beta spellchecker would have alerted me. It's a perfectly fine word, it just isn't mileage, which is what I meant.
2006-08-06 08:29:13
68.   Bob Timmermann
Perhaps there will be a DT millage imposed. That could make Jon a very wealthy man, but I believe the state of California has not granted him taxing power as of yet.
2006-08-06 08:30:11
69.   Eric Enders
I'd rather have seen the word "millage" on the list in 62.
2006-08-06 08:45:41
70.   Sam DC
(sorry in advance for long response/comment - if I had more time, I'd make it shorter)

mountainmover: I agree with Eric's response that folks react a lot more strongly to harsh tone than to any -- any -- opinions you have expressed. I also think that, while plenty of folks on this board strongly and vocally value the use of modern statistics, you are far from alone here in arguing that there is can be an overreliance on such things. Certainly, you are not alone in feeling that Colletti has steered just the right course re protecting top prospects but trying hard to win now. (I don't particularly feel that way, but many do.)

I take some offense to two points however. Any suggestion that fans who believe satistical analysis is a critical or even the best way to evaluate players and try and predict future performance don't also appreciate the "human spirit" is just unfair. Jon's posts, and the comments of this board, are seeped in emotional stories and celebration of the human spirit. Jon still talks about Pedro Astacio based on one game he attended. Suffering Bruin wrote an encyclopedia to Hee-Seop Choi (and if you were lucky enough to read it, you know that was not because of his sexy OBP). Folsk round these parts are getting ready to build a second Taj Mahal across the river for his Matt Kempness based on his first three weeks as a Dodger. When Chad Billingsley was called up, Nate wrote a comment like a worried mom sending his kid off to the first day of junior -- "Guys, if he doesn't do OK at first, you're going to be nice to him right?" Eric has stopped wearing his Dodger hat, people cringe at jinxing no hitters, and people seemto like Russ Martin's dad as much they do Russ himself. You should go back and read Jon's posts and the comments from October 2004 -- and especially the Finley game that clinched -- if you think folks who contribute here lack or don't appeciate heart and the emotion of it all.

(And that screed was really not directed just at you; the "no spirit" thing pops up from time to time and just bugs me).

On the narrower point that relying heavily on statstics to evaluate player transactions is flawed because they don't measure heart/spirit/magic, the responses are familiar. Some folks feel that, while those things are real, they tend to show up in the statistics themselves. On the other hand, if they don't, then how are you supposed to try and plan for them? Miracles On Ice are why many of us love sports, but do you not try and build the strongest team so that its eventual wins are more thrilling? To me, spirit and chemistry and just the magic of it all come naturally to the game; you don't plan for them, but you celebrate them. Maybe, as with luck, they are somewhat the residue of good design.

(one more point coming in a further comment)

2006-08-06 08:55:36
71.   gpellamjr
70 Hey, Sam, great job. I think you should save this and post it preemptively once a month and when needed. It might save us trouble.
2006-08-06 08:57:17
72.   Sam DC
Finally, I don't think many people loathe Colletti or worship DePodesta, and I certainly don't think Jon falls into that camp. His comment that you quote regarding the leading contributions of pre-deadline players was not even about DePo players -- Ethier acquired by Colletti was featured prominently in the capsules he wrote.

Anyhow, the stat versus soul thing has obviously been bouncing around baeball for a long while. But -- while I really doubt the McCourts intended it -- bringing in DePodesta, giving him quite free rein for a while, then turning on a dime to Colletti, has sort of unavoidably turned the Dodgers into a major theatre of engagement on the subject. Sure would be nice, though, to manage some kind of cease fire. There's just not a lot new under the sun on that subject.

2006-08-06 08:57:40
73.   Jon Weisman
51 - The posters here don't want the Dodgers to lose. Nate Purcell sometimes jokes about wanting to get high draft picks, but that's about it. Skepticism about the Dodgers' quality is not the same as wanting them to lose.

57 - The headline and text of my post should make it clear that the "new guys" refers to the deadline acquisitions, and the "existing crew" includes earlier Colletti acquisitions.

2006-08-06 08:59:43
74.   Jon Weisman
Thanks to 61, 64, 70, 72.
2006-08-06 09:00:55
75.   Sam DC
On 72, I should say, I don't mean to deny that there are strong feelings about both GM, but "hate" and "worship" are just in almost all cases too much. Both have fans, detractors, and both get treated unfairly at times. But (lord help me) I read near every comment posted on this web site, there just is not the stark and extreme divide you describe.

Unless we're talking about Scott Erickson.

2006-08-06 09:10:24
76.   D4P
Your attention please:

Now batting, for the Los Angeles Dodgers, #18, right-fielder, Ramon, Martinez.

2006-08-06 09:11:47
77.   D4P
Today will mark Lucille II's first career foray into right-field.
2006-08-06 09:13:16
78.   Gen3Blue
62 MB31, its amazing how many things I agree with you on. There used to be a few places we disageed (rather vehemently) but I think Iz was the last thing and thats over.
I guess its quite possible, but I have trouble believing the Giants will let Scmidt go, espec. in a way where the D's might snap him up.
I also thought I was getting a bit far out there dreaming that we could insert Loney, Laroche, and Kemp all at once on top of sophs Martin and Ethier. But seeing you put it on paper so to speak, makes me feel like why not.
2006-08-06 09:14:53
79.   MartinBillingsley31
Adding to 62

When i said this: Bench: saenz, betemit, repko, and 3 cheap guys including a backup catcher.

It would be nice if guzman and navarro could be 2 of those 3 cheap guys.
And to me hendrickson and lugo were unnecessary trades because i don't think the dodgers can win the world series this season and guzman/navarro were given up for those unnecessary guys.

2006-08-06 09:15:04
80.   Eric Enders
Loney is at the point where he's not going to learn anything more in the minors, I think. We need to either make him our first baseman or trade him for something good while he's still at the peak of his value.
2006-08-06 09:15:15
81.   Sam DC
71 Thanks, although the idea of "saving us trouble" sort of implies a "not us" and makes me a little uncomfortable. Everyone who comments here is "us."

Anyhow, I realize that's likely not what you meant to imply, but once I get a good head of ranting steam up it's hard to slow back down to 55.

2006-08-06 09:16:40
82.   Eric Enders
79 "i don't think the dodgers can win the world series this season"

That part, I disagree with. I'm not saying it's likely to happen, but the playoffs are such a crapshoot that if you can win the division, you can also win the World Series. And clearly, we can win the division.

2006-08-06 09:18:00
83.   Marty
I used to hate Doggett because he was always correcting himself. "There's a flyball to Center. Check that, it's a grounder to the shortstop". Then after meeting him in the 70s I found out he had been having increasingly poor eye sight, so I eased up on the complaints to my friends. Now, after hearing Monday, Jerry would be a breath of fresh air.

Also, people forget that the Angels once had a great play-by-play man in Dick Enberg. He's just a notch below Vin in my book. But he still couldn't make me like the Angels back then.

2006-08-06 09:18:11
84.   Bluebleeder87
I'm a couple of years younger than Maddux and I am already getting to the point where I'm pulling muscles getting out of bed. Twenty years without a turned ankle or tendinitis in the elbow - that's both impressive and extremely fortunate. Maybe Maddux should spend the off-season picking stocks or playing in the World Series of Poker.

eating habits & conditioning play a big part no.IMO.

2006-08-06 09:20:25
85.   Eric Enders
Over/under on Sele's entrance into today's game: 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th.
2006-08-06 09:20:51
86.   Steve
Olsen is pretty rough on lefties. I don't know if I would carry it far enough to put Lucille in right field, but there you go. He'll probably go 3 for 4.
2006-08-06 09:24:08
87.   Bluebleeder87
85

I say over the 5th, but you never know (Hendrickson had a good game last time out)

2006-08-06 09:25:24
88.   MartinBillingsley31
I guess its quite possible, but I have trouble believing the Giants will let Scmidt go, espec. in a way where the D's might snap him up.

That certainly is a possibility, and i would like to clarify that i'd only give schmidt 3 years plus an option year, if he doesn't go for it then fine, go with maddux or kuo or something else.
But i believe zito is well worth 5 years.

I also thought I was getting a bit far out there dreaming that we could insert Loney, Laroche, and Kemp all at once on top of sophs Martin and Ethier. But seeing you put it on paper so to speak, makes me feel like why not.

My philosophy is everything revolves around starting pitching, if you can shore up your starting pitching as well as have a couple relievers you can count on, you can "take a chance" on rookies in the offense, if you even consider kemp, laroche, loney as "taking a chance".

Take a look at how our pitching has performed in this 8 game winning streak and you will see that indeed, everything revolves around starting pitching (along with a couple reliable relievers).

and last, thank you for the nice words.

2006-08-06 09:25:58
89.   bhsportsguy
Today is interesting because Grady is going on two thoughts first he saw this pitcher in Southern League last year and second he is determined to have right handed bats in the lineup.
2006-08-06 09:26:23
90.   gpellamjr
81 Ouch, you're right. But what I meant was an us that included everyone, those who would be informed by your posts and those who would be happy to see their own ideas so nicely put into words.
2006-08-06 09:27:10
91.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
BPro's current chances for the Dodgers to reach the postseason: 37.5 percent, and 42 percent (PECOTA version).
Nine days ago, those percentages were 5.6 and 7.2.
2006-08-06 09:27:39
92.   Jon Weisman
86 - Yeah. I decided not to make an issue of Martinez starting. Clearly, Drew is not playing every day - it's just a fact of life. This is as good a day to experiment as any.
2006-08-06 09:27:52
93.   Jon Weisman
Game thread is open.
2006-08-06 09:29:09
94.   Marty
Nice comments Sam. Spot on, as our friends across the pond say.

I was just looking at the Gameday drawing of Dolphin stadium. It confirms what I thought I saw yesterday. It's a big park. You really have to lay into one to hit it out in left center.

2006-08-06 09:31:28
95.   Eric Enders
94 Ethier hit 2 balls on Friday night that would have been homers had they been hit the previous day.
2006-08-06 09:35:07
96.   bhsportsguy
88 While I agree with you that you need good starting pitching, I do think that in some ways you can't have your starting pitching represent a significant part of your budget.

We just got out of some huge contracts for starting pitchers (do the names Kevin Brown and Darren Dreifort ring a bell) thus, while I certainly think that Zito or Schmidt are worthy targets, 25M for the two is a lot of money. I would go for one, and frankly, I'm not sure which one it would be right now.

Hard to believe but I do think that Loney and Kemp have pretty good shots to come into the starting lineup next year, They'll know by the end of November or so what Drew is doing, Betemit gives them some flexibility on LaRoche (I think they will watch his progress this year and see how or if his injury reoccurs)

I think the question is, do they offer arbitration on Maddux and Garciaparra this year, that will be interesting as this season develops.

2006-08-06 09:35:22
97.   Sub4Era
Everyone keeps talking about us possibly picking up Schmidt in the offseason. I like the guy but hes 34, and chances are he wont take a 3 year deal. If he does great! Grab him in a heartbeat. But if hes fishing for that 5-7 year deal is he still as interesting?
2006-08-06 09:59:48
98.   Franklin Stubbs
83 - fair enough. While I was on a snarky kick with my first post (hey chastized by Jon W for the first time!!) I do have a problem with how Steiner does not pronounce names with what I assume is the correct ethnic pronunciation. It took him months to pronounce Ceasar Izturis correctly and last night he said Rafael Furcal 1000 times like he was K Cal 9 instead of Fur-call. It's grating.

However I used to love Steiner when he was more of a national sports guy. I guess I'm just bitter they fired Ross Porter. I liked him almost as much as Vinny.

2006-08-06 15:23:51
99.   3upn3down
Phlegmatically - Having or suggesting a calm, sluggish temperament; unemotional.

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