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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

My Heroes
2006-08-09 10:10
by Jon Weisman

A winning streak isn't just about games; it's about moments within games. It's a fine line between the penthouse and the outhouse.

This is how the battle of eviction went Tuesday night.

You must pay the rent! I can't pay the rent! I'll pay the rent!
Top 1stMaddux gives up two early hits.
Top 1stDP and K end jam.
Bottom 1stFurcal hits leadoff homer.
Top 2ndRockies score, Lofton bad throw.
Bottom 2ndDodgers load bases on Maddux single.
Bottom 2ndFurcal caught looking, strands three.
Top 3rdMaddux throws all strikes, no balls.
Bottom 3rdLofton doubled off first base on fly ball.
Top 4thTorrealba RBI single with infield in.
Bottom 4thBetemit gets second hit.
Bottom 4thMartin hits into DP.
Top 5thMaddux 1-2-3 inning.
Bottom 5thLoney out in rundown.
Top 6thHolliday triples past diving Drew.
Top 6th Torrealba taps out with two on.
Bottom 6thKent goes 6-4-3.
Bottom 7thBetemit blast ties game.
Bottom 7thMartin single.
Bottom 7thLoney's spinning line drive caught.
Bottom 7thSaenz pinch-hit RBI single for lead.
Bottom 7thFurcal Ks for third time, Repko CS.
Top 8thBroxton Ks Helton on three pitches.
Top 8thAtkins walk, Hawpe doubles.
Top 8thStrong Ethier throw holds Atkins at third.
Top 8thTorrealba fouling off pitches.
Top 8thBroxton Ks him.
Bottom 8thEthier RBI single for insurance run.
Bottom 8thFifth DP against Dodgers.
Top 9thSaito retires first two batters.
Top 9th.175-hitting Piedra fouls five pitches.
Top 9thCalled strike three – 11 wins in a row!

I know the hero doesn't usually come until the end, but this is how it felt.

Oh, and a quick message to the scoreboard folks - calling Andre Ethier "Andre the Giant" after a big at-bat doesn't work for me. I mean, I know what you're going for, and I'm not the most militant San Francisco Giants hater, but that's just putting the wrong image in my head.

* * *

Because of the Dodgers' winning streak, twisted my arm to get me to write about them:

"It is the same old story with the Dodgers these days," announcer Vin Scully remarked during Monday's game in Los Angeles. "You give them an inch, and they take a whole ballgame."

With another victory on Wednesday night, the Dodgers can swallow the entire foot. The once-lost, now-found team has won 11 games in a row, grabbed a share of the National League wild-card lead and closed to within a half-game of the first-place Padres. Given that their division is the oft-maligned NL West, one could say the Dodgers have taken the world by drizzle, but that doesn't change the fact that they have again become a group to be reckoned with.

Remarkably, the Dodgers' winning streak immediately followed an eight-game losing streak (not to mention 13 losses in 14 games), a fact that would have people searching for an explanation if there wasn't an obvious one right in front of them: The Dodgers' turnaround came right as they emerged as one of baseball's most aggressive teams at the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.

The Dodgers added two new players in the final hour -- pitcher Greg Maddux and infielder Julio Lugo -- days after acquiring infielder Wilson Betemit and pitcher Elmer Dessens.

Those moves made a lot of noise, but they're not the complete explanation. ...

Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus has more, pointing out how the schedule helps explain the Dodgers' changing fortunes.

Comments (276)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-09 10:15:44
1.   Robert Daeley
Didn't Steiner make a "My Dinner with Andre" quip recently?

And the less said about the 1994 movie named Andre, the better.

2006-08-09 10:17:12
2.   Bob Timmermann
I have the "My Dinner With Andre" action figures set.
2006-08-09 10:20:11
3.   Josh G
What is nice about this streak is that different players are coming up big at different times. Two nights ago it was Kent; Last night it was Betimet and Saenz. The team is not relying on one or two guys to carry them- production is coming from throughout the lineup.
2006-08-09 10:22:57
4.   bhsportsguy
I heard Vinny say after Betemit hit his tying home run (highlights on since I was at the game) "The Dodgers have made some pretty good deals during the year but getting Wilson Betemit is unbelievable."

And no, you can't say Vinny is only using a small sample size.

2006-08-09 10:26:30
5.   Jon Weisman
2 - When we saw "Waiting for Guffman" at (I think) the Nuart when it came out, they had a contest where they gave away "Remains of the Day" lunchboxes.
2006-08-09 10:27:24
6.   the OZ
Joe Sheehan tackles the Dodgers' streak at Baseball Prospectus today. He points to the schedule and ridding ourselves of Izturis as the primary causes for the turnaround. He notes that pitching has obviously been a factor, too. I wonder if facing the Nats, Marlins, and Rockies isn't helping the pitching as much as the pitchers helping themselves.

Hopefully the Dodgers can maintain their good play against better teams later this season.

2006-08-09 10:29:05
7.   the OZ
I should also point out that Sheehan thinks the Dodgers will continue to play well and win the West.
2006-08-09 10:32:25
8.   Disabled List
I had the exact same reaction at the "Andre the Giant" message on the scoreboard last night.

In my best Bill Walton voice: "That's TERRRRRRRIBLE!!!"

2006-08-09 10:34:13
9.   bhsportsguy
Nice column, could not have said it better, check your in box Jon, thanks.
2006-08-09 10:38:54
10.   JoeyP
I think Sheehan is correct. Its the schedule for the most part.

Of course, I think when the team lost 13 of 14, the schedule also played a big part there as well.

The Dodgers have beaten up on the bad teams, and lost to the good teams this year.
Just so happens this stretch of games is against some bad teams.

2006-08-09 10:40:54
11.   bluetahoe
I've come up with some super dandy odds.

Assuming the Mets and Cardinals are in the playoffs here are the percentage chances the rest of the teams in the NL will be in the playoffs.

Dodgers - 45.83%
Padres - 45.51%
Diamondbacks - 44.98%
Reds - 35.36%
Astros - 11.51%
Rockies - 4.78%
Giants - 4.66%
Brewers - 2.87%
Braves - 1.97%
Marlins - 0.94%
Phillies - 0.92%
Nationals - 0.64%
Cubs - 0.02%
Pirates - 0.01%

2006-08-09 10:42:17
12.   Jacob L
FWIW, I thought the pivotal, or at least most exciting, play last night was Broxton's strikeout of Torrealba to end the eighth. I could very easily have seen it unravelling at that point. Plus, Brox was bringing it. I was thinking to myself, "If he gets a breaking ball over, its strike three," but he managed to finish him off with more heat.
2006-08-09 10:46:11
13.   the OZ
Prospectus' playoff odds report says:

Padres 51%
Dodgers 55%
Snakes 22%

2006-08-09 10:46:36
14.   Jon Weisman
10 - I buy this somewhat, but I do feel that the difference between Florida/Washington/Colorado and San Diego/Arizona isn't a big one. I don't know what to say about St. Louis - who did they have their big recent losing streak against?
2006-08-09 10:48:37
15.   Robert Fiore
Is Ethier for real? I remember back when the trade was made every analyst -- and I mean every analyst -- seemed to have him pegged as no better than a fourth outfielder, and the trade a fire sale, at least based on raw talent. Were the analysts just wrong?
2006-08-09 10:49:23
16.   bhsportsguy
14 4 to the Cubs, 3 to the Phillies and then 1 to the Brewers, than they won 3 straight before losing last night to the Reds.
2006-08-09 10:50:07
17.   bluetahoe
I thought Sheehan's comment about the Dodgers facing the post Kearns/Lopez Reds was kind of funny. I guess if the Dodgers had faced a Kearns/Lopez Reds team we would have only won 2 of 3. But wait. Hold your horses. Didn't we face the Kearns/Lopez Nationals who were on a 6 game winning streak when they headed to Dodger stadium?

The Dodgers were playing their worst ball of the year by far after the break. We weren't hitting and Penny/Lowe were tanking. If we faced the Cardinals for another 7 over the next 2 weeks, we'd win 3 or 4, no doubt. This is a new Dodger team.

2006-08-09 10:51:18
18.   Bob Timmermann
The Cardinals lost eight straight:

4 at Chicago
3 vs Philadelphia
1 vs Milwaukee

Yep, that was a brutal schedule!

2006-08-09 10:51:30
19.   Nagman
4 - I can remember Vin gushing about Betemit when the trade was announced... and after last night's comments, I can only conclude: Vin REALLY likes Wilsom Betemit.
2006-08-09 10:52:44
20.   bluetahoe
If Ethier develops a little more power he has an MVP in his future.
2006-08-09 10:52:51
21.   Bob Timmermann
But Vin also really likes Pedro Feliz.
2006-08-09 10:56:29
22.   bluetahoe
I'm a bit perturbed about something. Our boys make an eastern swing the 1st part of September. The 1st game of that trip takes place in Milwaukee on Labor Day. It's a 1:00 eastern game, which makes it a 10:00 AM game western. Our Dodgers play at home Sunday, they'll catch a flight after the game and play a 10:00 AM game to their internal clocks on Monday.
2006-08-09 10:56:48
23.   hedgemytickets
Martin's stolen base on the pitch out was another "I'll pay" moment.
2006-08-09 11:02:13
24.   Penarol1916
17. That only makes sense if you believe that the Nationals and Reds, outside of Kearns and Lopez are the exact same team.

Also, I have to let bigcpa and Midwest Blue know that I was unable to get anymore tickets for any of the Dodger/Cub games. The guy I know is planning on taking people to the game, but if anything falls through, I'll let you know.

2006-08-09 11:02:27
25.   JoeyP
The Dodgers are 1-15 vs the Cardinals, A's, Twins, and Mets.

Those just so happen to be the best teams they've faced this season (record wise).

2006-08-09 11:05:34
26.   bhsportsguy
15 The question was his power, until last year in the Texas League (AA), he had not hit many home runs and while 18 is not a lot of home runs, it was a marked improvement. Also, since he was a college player (i.e. "older prospect"), there did not seem to be as high a ceiling than a younger player in AA ball.

Here is a quote from Baseball America after the trade was made in December.

"Ethier is a gifted hitter, but average speed and a below-average arm limit him to left field. With just average power at best, scouts are mixed as the Ethier having enough offense firepower to profile as an everyday corner outfielder in the big leagues."

It has been reported that a Dodger scout told Ned when he heard that Ethier was available to do anything to get him, Ethier did play with the rest of the Dodger prospects in the Arizona Fall League so they did get a chance to see him up close last fall.

Funny, this is a situation where he was voted by those who saw him as Player of the Year in the Texas League and yet there were 5 other players who were graded as better prospects than Ethier and certainly from a statistical analysis, you might not find a lot to go on that would predict his success.

So, I don't think the analysts were wrong, its just that Ethier has forced Grady to play him everyday (and now even against LH pitchers), so that is a credit to him, he still does not hit for a lot of power but he has been a pleasant surprise for Dodger fans in 2006.

2006-08-09 11:07:31
27.   Greg S
25 The good news is that none of those teams are in our division and the post season is 1) a crapshoot 2) a long time away from the days what we played those teams.
2006-08-09 11:08:13
28.   JJ42
It reminds me of a spring training telecast early this year when we played the Braves. Vin was going on and on about Betemit, lamenting how he doesn't get any playing time with the Braves even though he had a great bat and a steady glove. From what I remember, Betemit had a big hit in that game.
2006-08-09 11:11:21
29.   Telemachos
25 The Dodgers are 1-15 vs the Cardinals, A's, Twins, and Mets. Those just so happen to be the best teams they've faced this season (record wise).

That's quite true, and it remains to be seen how well the Dodgers will hold up against the better teams the rest of the season.

However, I remember that when we played the Cards, A's and Twins, each of those teams were currently on big win streaks -- momentum was as much in their favor as it is for the Dodgers right now. That doesn't excuse or fully explain the Dodgers losing all those games, but it is a partial explanation, I think.

2006-08-09 11:12:13
30.   Jon Weisman
New non-Dodger post below this one, but above the Piazza post.
2006-08-09 11:16:17
31.   Jon Weisman
26 - In my view, Ethier's arm is better than his rather average outfield speed and judgment. Have I missed his arm being below average?
2006-08-09 11:16:43
32.   bluetahoe
I'm trying to remember this off the top of my head but....

of those 15 losses doesn't Odalis have 3 of them? Baez with 1. Seo with 1.

Penny and Lowe took some of them losses when they were obviously pitching with their poorest stuff of the season.

2006-08-09 11:20:36
33.   bigcpa
I've been perplexed trying to find a comp for Betemit- the 2006 version with pop. Lo and behold...

Betemit 2006
.285/.346/.515, 8.5% bb/pa, 19.6 ab/hr

Bradley 2005
.290/.350/.484, 8.0% bb/pa, 21.8 ab/hr

Career OPS
Betemit .786, Bradley .782

Career EQA
Betemit .267, Bradley .270

If Betemit ends up at 2b then he should be as VORPie as Bradley in CF. The hole in his offensive game to this point is from the right side where he's only had 140 career pa's.

2006-08-09 11:21:26
34.   FirstMohican
I didn't care for "Andre the Giant", moreso because it isn't nearly as funny as playing "Panama" when Olmedo comes to bat (which of course is only funny if I can convince myself Olmedo had never heard the song before).
2006-08-09 11:21:57
35.   JoeyP
If Betemit ends up at 2nd base, he'll be one of the tallest 2nd basemen to ever play professional baseball. The guy is 6'3.
2006-08-09 11:25:17
36.   twerp
Saenz, Saenz....cloggin' up the pitching, breakin' their backs....

Um, not quite how that old song went, I guess.

But maybe it works as the Dodgers' version, like last night...

2006-08-09 11:26:41
37.   JoeyP
If you want to extend out the "Dodgers record vs their best opponents".

The Dodgers are 3-8 vs the Padres this year.

So overall they are 4-23 vs Padres, Mets, Twins, A's, and Cards.

2006-08-09 11:26:48
38.   bigcpa
35 Ryno was 6'2"!
2006-08-09 11:29:15
39.   bluetahoe
The Dodgers are 2-4 vs the Mariners and Cubs.
2006-08-09 11:30:58
40.   Jon Weisman
37 - I have to say, I like 54-32 in almost any permutation. Can I just ignore the other part?
2006-08-09 11:31:48
41.   Bob Timmermann
Dick Hall played seven games at second base in his career and he was 6'6"!
2006-08-09 11:33:44
42.   twerp
Let's try again...

Saenz, Saenz.... everywhere Saenz, cloggin' up the pitching, breakin' their backs.... etc....

(Good thing the Dodgers are having more success winning than I am trying to be funny.)

2006-08-09 11:36:38
43.   Greg S
If you want to extend out the "Dodgers record vs their best opponents"

No thank you. La la la la.

2006-08-09 11:41:25
44.   bhsportsguy
Observations from behind home plate (thanks to my pal, great seats)

1. Crowd was buzzing early, I could tell it was going to be a larger than normal Tuesday night crowd by how full the reserved level was getting.

2. After Maddux gave up two hits to the first two batters, someone nearby yelled he's a bum.

3. From my view, it appeared that Maddux did not have the same movement on his off speed pitches but outside of 2-3 hits, most were bloops and ground balls. Only had 3 3 ball counts, one walk was intentional.

4. One of dumbest plays a batter can make against Maddux is to try and bunt on him, his follow through puts him in good fielding position and he reacts off the mound very well.

Now for some narrative,

Once Betemit got the tying homer and Russ Martin got to second base, the crowd was really into the Killer Tomato's at bat and once he hit that ball into the outfield, everyone got pumped up waiting to see what would happen.

What would happen is that in the top of the 8th, after two out and a runner on first, Haupe hits a sliced double down the LF line, Ethier made a good play and throw to hold the runner on third and then Broxton went to work on the Torrealba, who had driven in all the Rockie runs so far.

Once Broxton got 2 strikes, some of the people around me started to stand up and start cheering and clapping, something I have not seen at the Stadium this year. When the Ox blew that fastball by to get out number three, the crownd let out a "Gagnetype" hollar.

I would of thought that at this point, the crowd would begin to leave. Some left but many stayed and even after ROY candidate, Andre Ethier drove in the Dodger's fourth run, the crowd wanted to see their team get win eleven in a row.

Lucklly for me, Saito had an uneventful ninth but striking out the last 2 sent the crowd into "I Love L.A." land and dreams of going for number 12.

The last time I was at a game with that atmostphere was in late September 2004 when the Dodgers pulled out a late inning comeback on their way to the division, after last night, I would say baseball is back and the crowd loves this team. It should be a great last 7 weeks of the season. I gotta go buy more tickets.

2006-08-09 11:42:36
45.   DXMachina
Danny Ainge played second base when he was with the Blue Jays, too.

Somebody (maybe Steiner) used "Andre the Giant" when Ethier had one of his first really big games, and I hated it then. Still do.

2006-08-09 11:43:23
46.   Bob Timmermann
The Tigers are 5-11 against the Red Sox, Yankees, and White Sox. They are 10-4 against the Twins, with a lot of those wins coming at the beginning of the year.

The Cardinals are 3-10 against the Cubs and 3-7 against the Reds.

2006-08-09 11:46:06
47.   bigcpa
44 Thanks for the recap- the crowd energy came across on TV. Broxton and Saito's inning ending fist-pumps had a late September feel.

I like Joe Sheehan, but calling this a ho-hum 12-13 run is weak sauce!

2006-08-09 11:47:53
48.   Bob Timmermann
More properly, Danny Ainge was written into Toronto's lineup with a "2B" after his name. I think may Blue Jays fans would prefer to forget about Mr. Ainge.

As a basketball fan, I would like to forget about Danny Ainge on general principles.

2006-08-09 11:48:41
49.   Blu2
45 Let's make that an automatic Andre the Giant Killer.
2006-08-09 11:50:51
50.   the OZ
47 In fairness to Mr. Sheehan, my summary of his piece didn't include a lengthy bit about how the Dodgers are a very good OBP team, etc., capable of scoring runs even when Kent and Nomar are down.

What's funny is that if the team had alternated wins and losses since the Break rather than streaking, I doubt people would be very pumped. The psychology of the streak is fun and interesting.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-09 11:54:43
51.   bluetahoe
Between the dates of 7/17 - 7/19 of this season Julio Lugo posted the following stats...

BA - .154
OBP - .154
SLG - .154
OPS - .308

2006-08-09 11:55:34
52.   JoeyP
The Dodgers have 15 games coming with Giants/Marlins/Giants/Padres/DBax...

While the Giants/Marlins arent very good, they each have good pitching and sometimes if you catch a hot pitcher you'll lose.

If the Dodgers get through the upcoming stretch near 1st place, they'll have a very good chance bc outside of 4 games vs the Mets in Sept, the schedule in Sept is very easy. 6 games alone vs the Cubs/Pirates.

2006-08-09 11:56:57
53.   bhsportsguy
50 During the losing streak (and I can't believe it was much higher in the other 5 losses), the Dodgers batted .182 with RISP.

I agree with your statement,with a win tonight, they will be 13-13 since the break.

The streaks make that record a story but lets hope that they are on their for a great run for the rest of the year.

2006-08-09 11:57:31
54.   JoeyP
51. Thats a good point you bring up about Lugo.

Betemit has outplayed him, and when Nomar is healthy I'd be very surprised if Lugo started ahead of Betemit.

Unless Lugo plays CF, it looks like the Dodgers traded Joel Guzman's career for about 30 bad AB's of Julio Lugo.

2006-08-09 12:00:07
55.   bigcpa
54 Wait, did he actually make a point?
2006-08-09 12:00:35
56.   bhsportsguy
52 I could hear you and the rest of regulars thinking out loud in the 7th, Loney probably has not laid one sacrifice bunt this season, there is no way Grady would have him bunt.

I thought that a hit and run play was the way to go, Loney has not struck out a lot this year let alone since his call up.

But once he squared, I told my friend, oh, I know how this is playing out on DT.

2006-08-09 12:00:38
57.   the OZ
54 Hey, it wasn't just about getting Lugo. We managed to dump Pedroza's salary in that deal, too!

51 Small sam....oh, nevermind!

2006-08-09 12:04:49
58.   JoeyP
55. He gets a point for bringing up the name "Julio Lugo". Its like the ACT where you get points for spelling your name right, if anyone just types Julio Lugo, they get points.
2006-08-09 12:07:14
59.   Fallout
My feeling is that besides the name sucks for baseball,(should we be stealing from wrestling to get a nickname?) it's already taken by someone else. How about 2.5? Would you believe Andre the Dodger? Nah.
2006-08-09 12:07:27
60.   bluetahoe
Between these dates (8/2 - 8/5), Wilson Betemit wasn't so good.

BA - .067
OBP - .125
SLG - .267
OPS - .392

2006-08-09 12:13:54
61.   bluetahoe
Andre 'the meteor' Ethier.
2006-08-09 12:14:31
62.   bluetahoe
Andre 'the meatier' Ethier.
2006-08-09 12:14:49
63.   bhsportsguy
60 Albert Pujols - 6/2/2006 - 6/22/2006
.091/.091/.091 .182 OPS

Of course, aside from the three games he played, he was on the DL during this time.

2006-08-09 12:20:19
64.   Uncle Miltie
Betemit is a beast. He has unbelievable bat speed, possibly the 2nd best on the team (behind Nomar). Betemit is a 4 tool player (he lacks even decent speed). Betemit has looked terrific at 3B. He has made some spectacular plays, but he also makes the routine ones. When he came over here, I thought he had the potential to be a 25 HR player. I'd bump that up to 30 now. He has good power to all fields (when batting left handed) and could be a doubles machine too. LaRoche has an excellent arm, but isn't a great defensive player. If the Dodgers are worried about Betemit's height at 2B, they could always move LaRoche over to 2B. Would Ned really be willing to have a team with no veteran leadership (tm) in the lineup?

C Russ Martin
1B James Loney
2B Andy LaRoche/Wilson Betemit
SS Rafael Furcal
3B Wilson Betemit/Andy LaRoche
LF Andre Ethier
CF Matt Kemp
RF JD Drew

With all of these minimum salaried players, Ned would be able to invest more money into the pitching staff.

2006-08-09 12:23:25
65.   scooplew
News Flash -- Cincinnati just acquired former Dodger ROY Todd Hollandsworth (1996) from Cleveland. The Reds will be Hollandsworth's seventh team since the start of the 2002 season. Cleveland recalled former Dodger farmhard Franklin Gutierrez, who went to the Indians in the Milton Bradley trade.
2006-08-09 12:24:09
66.   Daniel Zappala
Jon, I loved this line:

Given that their division is the oft-maligned NL West, one could say the Dodgers have taken the world by drizzle...

2006-08-09 12:25:33
67.   bhsportsguy
64 Not far off but unless someone makes him an offer he can't refuse (which I don't see), sorry folks, Jeff Kent will be out there somewhere in 2007.
2006-08-09 12:26:01
68.   Humma Kavula
64 That is the lineup I'm hoping for. Realistically, I know it's not going to happen -- Kent's still around and if Nomar plays well (and is healthy) these next seven weeks, it's easy to imagine our 1B getting a deal.

Still, a boy can dream of his all-rookie lineup...

2006-08-09 12:28:01
69.   Uncle Miltie
65- the pennant is theirs, sigh
2006-08-09 12:29:44
70.   savetheblues
Strangely enough, stats have Ethier rated as an above average left fielder...
What Ethier's skill seems to be is putting a lot of balls in play with only decent power and average speed, meaning that he'll never hit for a higher average than he does this year. Meaning that unless he gets some huge power surge, he'll probably never hit for a higher slugging than this year. But at the very worst, with 292 PA this year, we've probably seen enough to know that he'll be an .850-.900 OPS corner outfielder which I think any of us would take.
2006-08-09 12:30:10
71.   Bob Timmermann
You need to work on your flashes.

2006-08-09 12:30:10
72.   Disabled List
Wilson Betemit's bat is actually Thor's hammer.

Wilson Betemit appeared on the front of a Wheaties box in utero.

The US Navy retired its fleet of battleships because they are useless against Wilson Betemit.

Wilson Betemit just won the Connecticut Senate primary.

Wilson Betemit could stop global warming if he wanted to, but he likes it a little toasty.

Wilson Betemit really came to Earth from the planet Krypton.

Wilson Betemit ate Matt Kemp's lunch, then he ate Matt Kemp.

2006-08-09 12:30:17
73.   GoBears
51/60 I think those posts would constitute the definition of "baiting other commenters." Stop it. It's gone way beyond quirky or even provocative. Now it's just boring.

65. I saw the Hollandsworth news too. Apparently, Cincy realized it needed another bat after giving away Kearns for nothing. I guess Hollandsworth was the best they could do.

2006-08-09 12:33:50
74.   bhsportsguy
Note in today's Inside the Dodgers that Frank McCourt and a few players are going to L.A. Children's Hospital for their annual visit to see some children.

One of the players going is Chad Billingsley who has his own experiences with serious illness in his family.

Here is a small excerpt of a story from Baseball America from June 2006.

Billingsley has seen his share of adversity--and then some. By the time Chad was 8, his father Jim was battling cancer. By the time he was a freshman at Defiance (Ohio) High, his father suffered a stroke. Jim was put on disability from his supervisor's job at the local General Motors plant and had to go through chemotherapy.

"Seeing him after his chemo treatments broke my heart, but also showed me how much heart he had," Billingsley said. "He went to my brother's (Shaun) junior high football games or went out to the backyard and play catch with me. He never let the pain show because he didn't want to scare us. He just kept on fighting and never let it get him down. That's what I learned from him, and it's still with me to this day"

I hope Chad's dad and the rest of his family gets to see him pitch soon but I am sure he will have a lot of empathy and personal connection to those kids he sees today at the hospital.

2006-08-09 12:34:52
75.   bhsportsguy
73 They should have claimed Ricky Ledee.
2006-08-09 12:38:26
76.   StevieK
You must pay the rent!!
But I can't pay the rent!!
I'll pay the rent!
My hero!!!

Did you learn this at a Dale Carnegie class Jon? I recognize this from one.

2006-08-09 12:39:47
77.   ddger
Can this team go 28-21 in our last 49 games? This would put us at 86-76 which is reasonable to win this division.

How many wins will it take to win our division this year?

2006-08-09 12:41:46
78.   Penarol1916
74. I don't remember seeing that story, thanks for posting it. Billingsley seems like a good kid with a good head on his shoulders.
2006-08-09 12:45:51
79.   bhsportsguy
77 I try not to get to ahead of myself when trying to figure out how many wins they need, I have a number that I want the team to reach this month, if they do that, perhaps your number is doable.

Baseball Prospectus predicts 84-85 wins as being enough to win the NL West.

2006-08-09 12:46:50
80.   underdog
Maybe some kind of seal reference would work for Mr. Ethier?

2006-08-09 12:47:30
81.   still bevens
78 And a serious amound of chaw wedged in his jowels.
2006-08-09 12:47:38
82.   GoBears
CBS Sportsline has the "trade-deadline-champ" Dodgers as their lead story, with a picture of Julio Lugo, the Dodgers' "new weapon."


2006-08-09 12:48:28
83.   underdog
One old friend replaced another in Cleveland as Franklin Gutierrez was called up to replace Hollandsworth. Remember when Gutierrez was considered one of the Dodgers top position prospects?
2006-08-09 13:00:06
84.   bluetahoe
I'm in the early stages of some in depth analysis of the remaining schedule and boy am I ever excited.

The Padres have 6 left with the Reds, and get this, the Padres-Dbacks still have 13 games head to head.

2006-08-09 13:01:27
85.   Christina
82 Along those lines, check out today's Ray Ratto article on

No mention of Wilson Betemit - instead, the resurgence is entirely due to Lugo and Maddux, apparently...

2006-08-09 13:04:53
86.   BlueCrew Bruin
I really like that starting 8, although I'd consider moving Drew to CF and Kemp to RF.

Does anyone know if there's a chance Ethier could get enough ABs to qualify for the batting title? I could probably do a little research and find out but I thought I'd try the lazy way first.

2006-08-09 13:07:00
87.   ToyCannon
Today is the annual visit of Childrens Hospital by the Dodgers. Last year Jeff Weaver, Milton Bradley, and Jose Valentin showed up and spent quite a bit of time with Sean. This year McCourt, Chad, Martin, and Furcal showed up. He's been in the hospital since April 24th and was only able to attend a few games this year. We got him a pennant last night so the Dodgers could sign the balls on the pennant. Strange how he's fighting for his life yet Dodger baseball continues to be his main interest. Channel 9 was there so they might do a little article on him tonight as they spent some time talking to him.
2006-08-09 13:08:05
88.   bluetahoe
Has anyone noticed Paul LoDuca hasn't tanked in the 2nd half so far. I was watching the Mets-Padres game yesterday and they mentioned he had been playing really well the last couple weeks.

Pre all star

Post all star

2006-08-09 13:12:17
89.   Christina
86 Someone crunched the numbers in a DT thread about a week ago, I think. The short answer was: Virtually impossible. The PA/game number needed is too high given that he doesn't bat at the top of the order.
2006-08-09 13:17:50
90.   Bob Timmermann
With his five wins this season, Danys Baez is tied for fourth among Braves pitchers this season in that category.

Smoltz and Hudson both have nine.

Reliever Oscar Villareal has eight.

2006-08-09 13:19:08
91.   the OZ
88 The only explanation is that he bet heavily on himself at the All-Star Break.
2006-08-09 13:19:41
92.   BlueCrew Bruin
Ah, thanks!

I knew the lazy way would pay off. Now I have time to take care of some chores around the house. The wife will be so happ...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

2006-08-09 13:22:23
93.   Uncle Miltie
87- sorry to hear about your friend(?) I hope he's doing better.

Did you meet Bradley? He's the complete opposite of what you'd expect him to be like. Really soft spoken, calm, intelligent and a bit shy.

2006-08-09 13:30:23
94.   bluetahoe
Beginning Friday we have 47 games left while San Diego has 48 left.

Now for the easy balancing part.

Head to head, 7 games left.
Each with 7 games against SF.
Each with 6 games against Colo.
Each with 6 games against AZ.
Each with 3 games against Pit.
Each with 3 games against Cin.

Now for trying to equate the rest of schedule.

While we play 3 with Milw., SD plays 3 with Hou. (Advantage LA)

While we play 3 with the NYM, SD plays 3 with St. L. (Advantage SD)

While we play 2 with SF and 1 with NYM, SD plays 3 with Cin. (No advantage.)

While we play a pair of 3 games series verse Fla and ChC, SD plays 7 against AZ. (Heavy advantage LA.)

2006-08-09 13:31:36
95.   Nagman
Sandy Alderson is on the Padre flagship right now and in response to whether the trades sparked the Dodgers, he said that how the clubhouse chemistry is affected by personnel changes varies from team to team.
2006-08-09 13:37:27
96.   natepurcell

That comparison is valid. I honestly think Betemit has more power potential then Bradley though but Bradley is better at working the count.

also, 2005 was Bradley's age 27 season, this is Betemit's age 24/25 season.

2006-08-09 13:39:29
97.   JoeyP
Dodgers have 20 easy games left- (Rockies, Cubs, Marlins, Brewers,Pirates).
Dodgers have 4 hard games left- (Mets)
Dodgers have 25 medium games left-

Padres have 9 easy games- (Rox/Pirates)
Padres have 5 hard games- (Mets/Cards)
Padres have 36 medium games

DBax have 19 easy games- (Nats,Marlins, Rockies)
Dbax have 4 hard games- (Cards)
Dbax have 26 medium games

From the schedule, it looks like a Dbax/Dodgers race till the end.

2006-08-09 13:39:32
98.   bluetahoe
Beginning Friday we have 47 games left while Arizona has 48 left.

Now for the easy balancing part.

Head to head, games left.
Each with 6 games against SF.
Each with 6 games against Colo. (Az actually 7)
Each with 7 games against SD.
Each with 3 games against Fla.

Now for trying to equate the rest of schedule.

While we play 4 with NYM, Az plays 4 with St. L. (Advantage Az)

While we play 3 with the Milw., Az plays 3 with Fla. (No advantage.)

While we play a pair of 3 games series verse SF and Cin., AZ plays 6 against SD. (Advantage LA.)

While we play a pair of 3 games series verse Pit and ChC, AZ plays 6 against Wash. (Advantage LA.)

2006-08-09 13:41:46
99.   Telemachos
94 What are the home/road situations for those series? Seems like that's really the "edge" in this case.
2006-08-09 13:43:07
100.   JoeyP
I think the only way the Padres stay in the race, is if they continue to whip up on the Dodgers. Their schedule is brutal compared to the Dbax/Dodgers.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-08-09 13:44:26
101.   Christina
99 That, and pitching matchups.
2006-08-09 13:45:07
102.   regfairfield
99 Home games left

Dodgers: 24
Padres: 22
Diamondbacks: 24
Rockies: 27
Giants: 22

2006-08-09 13:45:33
103.   bluetahoe
The Padres haven't faced THIS Dodger team yet this season.
2006-08-09 13:45:46
104.   Bob Timmermann
Doesn't Arizona figure into the pennant race?

Even the Rockies and Giants still have a chance.

Remember, everybody has been in first and everybody has been in last this season in the NL West.

2006-08-09 13:46:04
105.   scooplew
71 -- So much for scooping you. Change "News Flash" to "In other news from around the diamonds." Is The Griddle your baby?
2006-08-09 13:47:07
106.   natepurcell
Can we have a limit on the amount of bolding usage?
2006-08-09 13:47:48
107.   Humma Kavula
104 Remember, everybody has been in first and everybody has been in last this season in the NL West.


2006-08-09 13:47:54
108.   Mark Linsey
We've beaten up on them really badly, but are the Rockies really an "easy" team? Their third-order adjusted winning percentage according to Baseball Prospectus is higher than the D'Backs, Reds, and Cardinals(!). Although again the Cardinals apparently incredible luck makes me wonder if there is something that W3 isn't capturing...
2006-08-09 13:48:35
109.   JoeyP
Yes, but in exchange I'm going to have ask you to start referring to Betemit as 26.
2006-08-09 13:48:50
110.   bluetahoe
104 - I've taken the liberties of including Arizona. Livan has been red hot. I'm really worried about Az picking him up.
2006-08-09 13:49:42
111.   bhsportsguy
Can we at least wait until September before figuring out who has the easiest schedule.

For instance, by the time the Dodgers play the Mets, the Mets could be real close to clinching their division/best record so their regulars may get more rest, Pedro could be skipped to get ready for the playoffs.

Anyways, I am just trying to take this one day at a time.

2006-08-09 13:49:46
112.   Jonny6
Not only is "Andre the Giant" an awful nickname, Ethier is so young he's probably never heard of the wrestler (whose original nickname was the "8th Wonder of the World" fwiw). Does anyone know what nationality/ethnicity Ethier is? If it starts with an "A" than we could get a cool alliterative nickname going. How about Andre the Azerbaijani Assassin? Or Andre the Armenian Ace?
2006-08-09 13:49:56
113.   JoeyP
Can we have a limit on the amount of bolding usage?


ok that was too easy...

2006-08-09 13:50:16
114.   natepurcell

Nope, too much contrary info to go back now!

Even if he is 26, this is his age 25 season anyways.

2006-08-09 13:51:40
115.   King of the Hobos
97 How is the team with the VORPingest rotation in the NL an easy team? They also have a better record than a medium team
2006-08-09 13:52:06
116.   Humma Kavula
112 It's possible that he's Arcadian, but I doubt it.
2006-08-09 13:53:55
117.   bluetahoe
115 - I thinks it's because we have owned them this season.
2006-08-09 13:54:46
118.   Humma Kavula
116 It's also possible that I type the letter r when I don't mean to. Acadian. It's possible that Ethier is Acadian, but I doubt it.
2006-08-09 13:55:33
119.   JoeyP
Its just personal opinion.
I think the Giants/Astros are going to be better than the Rockies down the stretch.
2006-08-09 13:55:41
120.   Bob Timmermann
I'll drive over to Arcadia and see if there any Ethiers anyway just to be sure.

A lot of the residents are Chinese though.

2006-08-09 13:57:45
121.   Telemachos
"The Padres haven't faced THIS Dodger team yet this season."

But when the Dodgers invariably come off this crazy high, who's to say the Padres won't be the ones who're hot?

As exciting and fun as these last 11 games have been, all they've done is essentially put us back in the hunt. (not to be all negative or anything)

2006-08-09 13:58:26
122.   bluetahoe
Ethier looks to have a small bit of an oriental background.
2006-08-09 13:58:44
123.   Vaudeville Villain
I think the lack of love for Colorado is mainly due to the "Clint Hurdle is Terrible Factor".
2006-08-09 13:59:40
124.   JoeyP
Bad teams: (Rockies, Pirates, Cubs, Brewers, Nats, Braves, Marlins)

Medium teams: (Dbax, Giants, Dodgers, Reds,Phillies,Astros, Reds)

Good teams: Cards/Mets

2006-08-09 13:59:59
125.   Underbruin
We can't count out the possibility that he's Antarctican, can we?
2006-08-09 14:04:39
126.   Bob Timmermann

Andre Ethier:

Could be!

2006-08-09 14:04:55
127.   JoeyP
Zito's gotten lit up today.
4 homers in 5 ip.
2006-08-09 14:05:24
128.   Blu2
112 Canadian is very possible, and by extension, Louisiana. He was born in Phoenix, AZ. I see nothing wrong in simply calling him Andre, but if you insist...
Cajun Crusher
Cajun Cowboy
Andre the Dependable
Andre the Dodger
2006-08-09 14:09:08
129.   Blu2
128 Add Andre 3.5
2006-08-09 14:09:14
130.   gibsonhobbs88
112 - I was going with something the nickname giver, Chris Berman would come up with using pop culture as a reference. My wife and I call him "My Dinner with" Andre Ethier. "Andre the Giant" is just bad, coming from a Dodger fan perspective who can't stand the battery chuckers. Game was great last night!! Enjoyed the atmosphere with my fellow members of Blue Heaven.
2006-08-09 14:12:30
131.   natepurcell
Has Andre grown out of the 3.5 nickname or something?
2006-08-09 14:13:41
132.   Telemachos
3.5 is a very cool nickname.... but also very niche. :)
2006-08-09 14:14:04
133.   Jon Weisman
131 - I still like 3.5. I think it works even if he becomes a 1. But that's me.
2006-08-09 14:17:34
134.   natepurcell
Saenz needs to start somewhere tonight.
2006-08-09 14:21:58
135.   Terry A
134 You mean like Kansas City or Pittsburgh?
2006-08-09 14:24:15
136.   natepurcell
and with Alex Gordon or Jason Bay starting somewhere in the Dodgers org? Yea sure that would be swell.
2006-08-09 14:24:42
137.   Bob Timmermann
Jay Payton with a bad throw for the ages. From CF at Oakland into the dugout.
2006-08-09 14:25:17
138.   Steve
Bowden-gate is cracking me up.
2006-08-09 14:26:24
139.   bhsportsguy
134 Don't see it happening, Nomar is coming back and I think Grady would rather have Betemit or Lugo (I'm guessing Lugo) playing 3B with Lowe pitching.

My guess lineup

Furcal SS
Lugo 3B
Garciaparra 1B
Kent 2B
Drew RF
Ethier LF
Martin C
Repko CF
Lowe P

2006-08-09 14:37:12
140.   Vaudeville Villain

I doubt Grittle would sit a guy who just went 3 for 4 with a home run. Replace Lugo with Betemit and that's a solid lineup.

2006-08-09 14:37:59
141.   Sam DC
3.5 gets better and better the better and better he becomes. I'll never change.

Maybe I've finally turned, but I knew Majewski had arm problems and had been grievously overworked before the trade so I'm a little confused about how Wayne Krivsky could have not known that.

That said, if he asked questions and was lied to, that's obviously very bad. But it's not real clear if that happened or not.

2006-08-09 14:38:31
142.   bhsportsguy
We may be diehard fans but here's another story featuring a favorite former Dodger and the reason why he will never go hungry in New England.

2006-08-09 14:39:16
143.   D4P
If you replace Lugo with Betemit in that lineup, Grittle wouldn't know who to bat #2. He'd probably end up putting Repko there, but not feeling good about it.
2006-08-09 14:40:07
144.   bhsportsguy
140 Its possible that Lugo could play CF and Betemit play 3B, I just did not think they would do that yet and it was reported that Lugo took groundballs at 3B yesterday afternoon.
2006-08-09 14:41:31
145.   underdog
140 What VV said. Ditto. Second that emotion.

Hey, when the Dodgers start losing a few games here and there (not being a naysayer, just realistic), can we make a pact: We'll continue our discussion about programming ideas for the new Dodger cable station rather than harping on the negative?


2006-08-09 14:42:27
146.   Samuel

I wouldn't mind if Ethier took over Adrian Beltre's spot as the latest Dodger to live in Arcadia...

2006-08-09 14:49:55
147.   Jon Weisman
76 - I feel like I picked it up from some Saturday morning television or something along the lines of a Brady Bunch episode, but I can't really say.
2006-08-09 14:50:47
148.   the OZ
146 Speaking of Beltre, he has a HR and single so far today to raise his season OPS to .769 (good for 19th among MLB batting-title qualified 3B).
2006-08-09 14:54:35
149.   bhsportsguy
The Dodgers have played the fewest (by one next to the Cubs) one run games in the National League. Only the Twins and Blue Jays have played fewer than the Dodgers who have 24 games (9-15) decided by one run.

I have no idea how that relates to their season, style of play or just plain luck but I did find that interesting.

2006-08-09 14:56:00
150.   underdog
76 147
Or an old comedy routine from way back:
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-08-09 14:58:25
151.   xaphor
[150] Thank You, it was driving me crazy.
2006-08-09 14:59:13
152.   xaphor
[150] But who made it famous?
2006-08-09 15:02:42
153.   underdog
No clue - it's basically a Vaudeville routine that is often forced upon young acting and improv students and was probably in a Silent movie somewhere ages ago. Maybe it was in a sitcom, too...?
2006-08-09 15:04:47
154.   Sam DC
I feel like I picked it up from some Saturday morning television or something along the lines of a Brady Bunch episode, but I can't really say.

I'm wondering if I know anything that couldn't be described this way.

2006-08-09 15:06:01
155.   Christina
14-0 Texas against the A's...and Bradley tossed for arguing with the plate umpire.

Yesterday at one point, Milton was so steamed about making an out that he ran right out to the OF and Ellis had to chase him to give him his cap and glove.

2006-08-09 15:11:13
156.   xaphor
It was performed in John Cassavetes' A Woman Under The Influence

2006-08-09 15:14:00
157.   Jon Weisman
154 - Do you know of anything that can be described this way?

"Other clients include the Dodgers, Clint Eastwood and the cast of "Desperate Housewives"

2006-08-09 15:16:07
158.   TheRedMenace
155- It looks like Texas was a little upset about the ending to last night's game. Either that or Zito had a very late night. Halsey too.
2006-08-09 15:18:19
159.   scooplew
Coming up with a nickname for Andre is Ethier said that done.
2006-08-09 15:20:46
160.   scooplew
155 -- Bradley was thrown out with the A's trailing 13-0.
2006-08-09 15:24:49
161.   Robert Daeley
If you are under a certain age or a music fan, you might get my Andre 3.5-thousand nickname. ;)
2006-08-09 15:26:11
162.   xaphor
Andre the Arizonian Arbalest or Triple A for short :)
2006-08-09 15:28:46
163.   underdog
159 Thank you, Daffy Duck!

Meanwhile, hasn't anyone here seen "Slap Shot"?

Andre "Poodle" Ethier works for me, but probably only me.

2006-08-09 15:29:49
164.   the OZ
161 I was imagining that headline if/when Ethier gets his 3,000th hit. Of course by then, the reference might be arcane.
2006-08-09 15:30:05
165.   bhsportsguy
157 Putt, putt.
2006-08-09 15:32:45
166.   underdog
If/when and Ethier/or. Ahh, that joke never gets old. Well, yes, it does. But still...
2006-08-09 15:32:46
167.   bhsportsguy
Correctemundo, I win the self awarded prize for predicting today's lineup with the small flip of Drew and Kent in the lineup so if you want to take it away on that technicality, so be it.

Per Josh:

Furcal, SS
Lugo, 3B
Nomar, 1B
Drew, RF
Kent, 2B
Ethier, LF
Martin, C
Repko, CF
Lowe, P

2006-08-09 15:39:14
168.   Christina
167 I was going to suggest you play the lottery today, but if your luck had the same sort of technicality with the Mega ball versus one of the "regular" numbers, that technicality would mean you win something like $100 instead of millions...could you stand it?
2006-08-09 15:39:57
169.   bhsportsguy
Betemit had started every game since he arrived, he is 1-2 lifetime against Jeff Francis.

Drew, Kent and Nomar are a combined 8-16 with 3 doubles and 3 RBI, Furcal is 0 for 3 and Repko is 1-5. Lugo, Martin and Ethier have never faced Francis.

2006-08-09 15:40:37
170.   Telemachos
Points away for no Betemit, but added because of no Lofton.
I do understand that Grady doesn't want Lugo to get multiple days off in a row, though.
2006-08-09 15:40:40
171.   bhsportsguy
168 My luck is that I would find my ticket the day after it expired.
2006-08-09 15:41:35
172.   Vaudeville Villain

Wow. Lugo over Betemit? I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

Betemit right now is tied for the team lead for home runs on our team.

2006-08-09 15:49:22
173.   overkill94
I think we're bound to see a platoon situation at 3B with Betemit sitting against lefties. He has a career .638 OPS against them compared to .840 versus lefties.

Lugo, on the other hand, has a very similar career OPS against righties and lefties, but is hitting lefties better this year (.896 versus .835).

I don't think it's as much a knock against Betemit's ability to hit lefties, just a way to get everyone enough playing time.

2006-08-09 15:49:34
174.   King of the Hobos
166 We could have a great combo if Kyle Orr reaches the majors with the Dodgers.
2006-08-09 15:50:26
175.   Jon Weisman
I think just about any reaction to Betemit sitting out his first game as a Dodger would be an overreaction.
2006-08-09 15:50:26
176.   overkill94
173 that should be versus righties at the end of the first paragraph.

and I think it's only for the remainder of this year, he should play everyday next year.

2006-08-09 15:50:46
177.   bhsportsguy
My guess is that Betemit is going to platoon with Lugo (Betemit has 100 point difference in BA and almost 350 pts in OPS batting right vs. left).

The Dodgers will also face two more lefthanders on the homestand, Willis (who has never pitched well against the Dodgers) and Noah Lowry, who pitches Friday night. But I would expect Betemit to play the other days, Drew will probably get a day off, maybe even Furcal who has only not played in 2 games this year.

2006-08-09 15:51:11
178.   njr
Lugo over Betemit bothers me less in the context of not sitting Lugo too long. If it truly is that Grittle can only see one kind of hitter in the two spot (I still vote for Martin sometimes) than it's a little more troubling.
I'm going to the game tonight for the first time in a few weeks. If they lose I will feel personally responsible since I was out of town all weekend and unable to follow much less attend the majority of the streak. At the same time maybe Betemit not starting will be the reason why they don't win.
Ofcourse now that I've said it out loud I think maybe it will reverse jinks it and they'll win.
There's really no winning with this superstition stuff.
2006-08-09 15:53:44
179.   Steve
2006-08-09 15:57:35
180.   D4P
If it truly is that Grittle can only see one kind of hitter in the two spot (I still vote for Martin sometimes) than it's a little more troubling

Grittle seems determined to start every lineup with at least two "leadoff" hitters, if not three.

2006-08-09 15:58:41
181.   Sam DC
157 Only through the magic of google.
2006-08-09 16:01:48
182.   bhsportsguy
Over under on total attendance this weekend against Barry and the Giants, 150,000 for me.
2006-08-09 16:04:22
183.   overkill94
182 over
2006-08-09 16:04:53
184.   bhsportsguy
Dodger/Giant Pitching matchups:

Friday Night - Battle of the Lefthanders:
Hendrickson vs. Lowry

Saturday Afternoon - Ace vs. "Future" Ace
Penny vs. Cain

Sunday Late Afternoon - Future teammates?
Maddux vs. Schmidt

2006-08-09 16:07:10
185.   underdog
Who's this Nomar fellow who's playing 1st tonight? Some rookie?
2006-08-09 16:08:44
186.   underdog
184 The "Shoulds" for those games (which means none of this will come true):

Friday should favor the Giants slightly but Lowry's been erratic too.
Saturday should feature a lot of strikeouts.
Sunday should feature very few runs.

Those are my only predictions and I'm not sticking to them.

2006-08-09 16:09:08
187.   bhsportsguy
Florida/Dodger matchups:

Monday Night - Two guys that have World Series rings
Lowe vs. Willis

Tuesday Night - Youngsters on the mound
Billingsley vs. Sanchez

Wednesday Afternoon - I've got nothing but hopefully it won't be too hot
Hendrickson vs. Johnson

2006-08-09 16:10:24
188.   Jon Weisman
180 - I know what you're getting at, but if you were to define leadoff hitter as high OPS guys, and then stack your top-two high-OPS guys in the first two spots, that would make sense to me - especially if they were low on power/high on speed.

The only problem is when the so-called leadoff hitters are all-speed but low-OBP.

2006-08-09 16:12:54
189.   bhsportsguy
For Brad's benefit I hope Saturday's forecast of 83 degrees comes true. He should like it much better in San Francisco the following week, where he will be lucky if the temperature is above 60 at game time.
2006-08-09 16:14:09
190.   ToyCannon
Welcome back Nomar:)

Lugo stars offensively tonight, defense who knows since he's never played 3b. With Lowe going I am a bit surprised that he's benching Betemit and not putting Lugo in CF for his 1st start since Lowe would be the perfect pitcher for Lugo to play CF.

2006-08-09 16:16:00
191.   bhsportsguy
The Rockies have been pretty agressive the last two games, looking to swing in early counts, if I was making out the game plan, nothing but hard sinkers and let them ground themselves out to the game.

No cutters that flatten out and head f or the seats tonight Derek.

2006-08-09 16:16:10
192.   Sam DC
Anyone ever run across a 70s baseball anthology called "Baseball I Gave You The Best Years of My Life"? Toddler swining a baseball bat on the cover. Oversize (Best of Dodger Thoughts size) softcover.

Wife picked it up (very used) for me. It looks, well, odd.

Has some poetry.

2006-08-09 16:17:57
193.   ToyCannon
Mark DeRosa - Who knew, nothing in his career suggested he could pull this kind of year out of his posterior. Another reason I love this game, every year somebody surprises on a large level.
2006-08-09 16:18:46
194.   Xeifrank
178. The Dodgers won't lose tonight. The "No Shave" fest continues. Show respect for it, and do not mock it. For those who mock can destroy it. Please join the "No Shave Winning Streak", as the streak grows larger it takes more people to carry it. Mel Gibson and I are only two people.
vr, Xei
2006-08-09 16:21:00
195.   D4P
I'm torn between wanting "table-setters" at the top of the lineup vs. wanting to give the best hitters the most PAs.
2006-08-09 16:21:49
196.   Blu2
161 Glenn Miller Pennsylvania 6-5000
2006-08-09 16:21:58
197.   Telemachos
193 I'm eternally happy I decided to grab him as my utility infielder on my fantasy team. He's been fantastic filling in for Kent (and others). :)
2006-08-09 16:22:28
198.   Xeifrank
As far as lineups go, give your best hitters (XR, 2OBP+SLG, OPS... pick your poison) the most at bats. 162/9=18 less at bats per season for every spot in the lineup you drop. If that's too confusing then by some darts. vr, Xei
2006-08-09 16:22:45
199.   Steve
Lugo should be setting tables tonight.
2006-08-09 16:22:49
200.   regfairfield
193 I've been desperately trying to trade the guy in my fantasy league (mainly to the person who accepted my Gary Matthews for Dan Haren trade), but after this massive home run binge he's been on, I might hold on to him for the rest of the season.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-08-09 16:23:37
201.   Jon Weisman
195 - Right now, say our best hitters are Ethier and Garciaparra. Would you bat them 1-2? You could, but I don't think I would.
2006-08-09 16:23:53
202.   Humma Kavula
1-0 Mets.
2006-08-09 16:24:05
203.   Greg S
Mel Gibson and I are only two people

So you yourself are two people?

2006-08-09 16:24:41
204.   Jon Weisman
199 - You mean like at Canter's?
2006-08-09 16:26:08
205.   Telemachos
Anyone have stats on Lugo's pitches per appearance? Anecdotally, I'm guessing it's pretty decent -- he seems to take a lot of pitches, he fouls off a fair number, and he doesn't swing at a lot of first pitches (from what I remember).
2006-08-09 16:26:14
206.   njr

You're right. I should respect the scruff. I hereby pledge not to shave as long as this streak continues. If they keep it up this could be detrimental to my career but hey-- Anything for the Dodgers.

On a separate note: Do any of the youngster around here remember being a member of the Blue Crew Fan Club when they were younger? I was remembering fondly the Koala Mascot and the strange gear I used to have.

2006-08-09 16:27:02
207.   Greg S
I'm off early to the game tonight (my friend is taking his 7 yead old son who for some reason wants to get Rockies autographs- go figure).
Have fun tonight and do whatever you need to do to keep this going. I'll try to do my part.
2006-08-09 16:28:11
208.   Bob Timmermann
The Angels have five hits into two innings in Cleveland.

And no runs.

2006-08-09 16:28:12
209.   Marty
How many on this board too young to shave?
2006-08-09 16:29:56
210.   bhsportsguy
A quick, okay not so quick look at the schedule tells me that at most after Willis pitches on Monday, the Dodgers could face 11 more games with lefthanded startes. The Padres and Arizona don't have a lefthanded starter (Arizona does not have a lefthanded pitcher)

Projecting out the next road trip, Lowry was not going to pitch against the Dodgers in San Francisco, so the next time the Dodgers could face a LH was against the Reds.

Here's the breakdown.

Reds (1 LH starter)
Colorado (1 LH starter)
Milwaukee (2 LH starters)
Mets (1 LH starter)
Cubs (1 LH starter)
Pitt (3 LH starters)
Colorado (1 LH starter)
Giants (1 LH starter)

Now its possible even probable that they will miss some of these starters but that leaves 32 games for sure with right handed starting pitching.

2006-08-09 16:30:59
211.   bhsportsguy
204 Steve is so wry. But can I get another plate of pickles, please.
2006-08-09 16:31:31
212.   Bob Timmermann

I was in the Dodger Pepsi Fan Club. Six bottle cap liners and some token amount got you free tickets to six games. And you got a t-shirt. And we didn't have any koalas!

2006-08-09 16:32:40
213.   Bob Timmermann
Cardinals lead the Reds 4-0 on an Edmonds slam in the first.
2006-08-09 16:32:59
214.   Robert Daeley
Old Friend Navarro "learning the ropes" according to an article on

2006-08-09 16:33:31
215.   bhsportsguy
207 I actually had a joke that was probably blasphemous but it had something to do with having them sign a certain book that they apparently read a lot and you can find in any fine hotel room across the country.
2006-08-09 16:34:44
216.   bhsportsguy
212 Me too, I remember getting tickets to all three games of Helmet Weekend, which eventually became Helmet Night to now just a distant memory.
2006-08-09 16:37:00
217.   Steve
215 -- I got hooted last night for a similar joke. I'm still standing by it though.
2006-08-09 16:38:07
218.   Jon Weisman
212 - I was in the New Mickey Mouse Club Club. I once won a very spooky Cubby doll in a contest.

I can't remember the chronology, but on weekday afternoons in the mid-70s, Channel 11 showed original MMC reruns (Annette, Jimmy, Spin & Marty, etc.) and then sometime after, I think, new MMC original episodes, featuring future Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel and my favorite new Mouseketeer, Pop.

2006-08-09 16:38:16
219.   bhsportsguy
205 You can that any other fun stats at, Lugo average 3.96 pitchers per appearance in Tampa Bay and 3.85 in Los Angeles.
2006-08-09 16:38:49
220.   scooplew
Take a look at
and at (This is a SABR site; search for Grossinger here)
2006-08-09 16:39:02
221.   bhsportsguy
217 I have never read it though I hear good things.
2006-08-09 16:40:08
222.   bhsportsguy
217 See Steve, we can find somethings in common, now about that Lugo/Guzman trade........
2006-08-09 16:41:51
223.   Marty
217 Yes, we found out last night that apparently USA Today has a crusade against the Rockies.

That, or the story is true.

2006-08-09 16:42:04
224.   GoBears
188 The only problem is when the so-called leadoff hitters are all-speed but low-OBP.

Or, even worse, when he's no-speed and low-OBP. I won't mention any names, but his initials are Cesar.Izturis.

2006-08-09 16:42:38
225.   Bob Timmermann

The old Mickey Mouse Club shows were on before the new one replaced it.

Today is Wednesday.

That means "Anything Can Happen ... And It Usually Will...."

2006-08-09 16:43:26
226.   Gen3Blue
Ahhh, this Francis is becoming a formidable pitcher, But a close look shows he could be vulnerable. He's just the kind of guy the D's in their losing streak would have made look like Whitey Ford in his prime. But with a good line-up, they could now have him!
2006-08-09 16:44:23
227.   Jon Weisman
I think Thursday was Circus Day. Circus Day was elusive for me, because it took place during an afternoon that I went to Hebrew School for the one year before I flunked out.
2006-08-09 16:45:35
228.   trainwreck
I would have no problem with Ethier hitting second.
2006-08-09 16:46:10
229.   Marty
What day was Annette day?
2006-08-09 16:46:16
230.   Bob Timmermann
Circus Day was a good day to miss, but Friday's talent roundup was pretty awful too. Especially if it was just Cubby playing the drums.
2006-08-09 16:46:41
231.   Steve
now about that Lugo/Guzman trade........

Yuck. Any guy who would make that trade should be setting tables too.

2006-08-09 16:50:31
232.   trainwreck
I thought they were going to bench Drew tonight and stick Lugo in the outfield.

We have too many players. Which is a good problem to have.

2006-08-09 16:50:48
233.   Bluebleeder87
On a separate note: Do any of the youngster around here remember being a member of the Blue Crew Fan Club when they were younger?

my buddy was in one of those fan things, just picture a mini-Valenzuela & you have a mental picture of my friend. I use to secretly be jealous of him, but his dad was really cool, he'd always take us to ball games.

2006-08-09 16:51:16
234.   Telemachos
"Lugo average 3.96 pitchers per appearance in Tampa Bay and 3.85 in Los Angeles."

Geez, he should definitely be batting leadoff then. We'd be deep into their bullpen in no time!

(Thanks for the ESPN stats heads-up)

2006-08-09 16:54:15
235.   Steve
I guess one idea is to send him up to the plate without a bat.
2006-08-09 16:57:55
236.   DXMachina
229 Every day was Annette day for me when I watched MMC as a kid. I had such a crush.

163 "Not Poodle?"

2006-08-09 16:58:21
237.   Paul Scott
Right now, say our best hitters are Ethier and Garciaparra. Would you bat them 1-2? You could, but I don't think I would.

I am not sure I agree with the hitters assessment, but perhaps you meant "right now" to imply "over the last few months" - or something to that regard.

At any rate, here is the reality of batting orders and "the book." I start by accepting that most people that matter (owners and their close advisors) don't really have a clue about the game (while I also think that is true of most players, managers and GMs - that might be contentious and doesn't matter to my point). I also start with the case that over a single season, a lot of baseball is luck.

Given those two things, the incentives for a manager (assuming he had a clue) to go against "the book" on something that if optimized would expect - on average - to gain at most 1-3 wins over a season are just not there.

In a vacuum, I would bat my highest (true) OBP guy first and then bat the rest of my order by descending (true) OPS. If I had a guy like Bonds - who dominated my team in both catagories - I'd bat him second and do the rest of the order by the abov rules.

We are not in a vacuum. If I did that and I got unlucky that year (or extreemly unlucky like 2005 Dodgers), there is a good chance my choices (which actually increased our chances of winning) would be blamed. I might get fired. If I just play by the book and get unlucky, then my odds of being fired are decreased. Since the potential gains in messing with "the book" on batting order are so small, it's not exactly where I would want an intelligent manger to start bucking the system - he can start with the 4 man rotation and abandoning the closer - since htose are likely to pay real dividends.

2006-08-09 16:59:50
238.   King of the Hobos
209 I shave, but very rarely. I could go a month with barely any hair appearing. If not shaving helps the Dodgers, I could easily go months without anyone noticing, at least at this time.
2006-08-09 17:01:01
239.   Telemachos
238 As befits your nickname. :)
2006-08-09 17:02:42
240.   bhsportsguy
Is this jinxing it to say 4-1 Cardinals over Reds and 2-0 Mets over Padres. I hppe not.
2006-08-09 17:02:45
241.   Jon Weisman
237 - Thanks for that. Ethier and Garciaparra were just hypothetical choices to give names to the conversation.
2006-08-09 17:03:16
242.   gibsonhobbs88
Mets 2 Padres 0 in the 3rd! Good news so far from Flushing!! Cards 4 Reds 1 - Good news from Cincy also so far. Do you smell it? First place is in the air!! Will the Blue smell it tonight as well?
2006-08-09 17:06:05
243.   Jon Weisman
240 - I predict those scores may well change now.
2006-08-09 17:06:52
244.   Humma Kavula
Yep, it's 3-0 Mets now.
2006-08-09 17:08:24
245.   bhsportsguy
Sorry about that Chief.

Would you believe 100 Army Rangers massing outside your office.

How about 25 crack FBI agents,

An old traffic cop and a toothless police dog.

2006-08-09 17:09:44
246.   Humma Kavula
4-0 Mets.
2006-08-09 17:12:08
247.   Marty
245 Funny, I was reading one of the threads from last year this morning and it was the day Don Adams died. Everyone was doing jokes like that.
2006-08-09 17:12:13
248.   overkill94
I haven't shaved since Friday, but that's just par for the course for me. Unfortunately, I have to shave later because I've got a it's getting itchy.
2006-08-09 17:15:25
249.   Xeifrank
237. Agree for the most part. That lineup method would be fine by me as long as you took LH/RH splits into consideration. 2-3 wins by optimizing the lineup, another 2-3 wins by using your best relief pitcher (closer) optimally and perhaps another 1 win by not bunting your two best hitters (or similiar dumb move) all add up, especially in the NL West. I am not saying that those 2-3 wins figures are correct, just that optimizing in all possible ways begins to add up. Too bad we don't have a Mark Cuban type owner in MLB who would be willing to (hire people to)throw the book away and do things the right way. vr, Xei
2006-08-09 17:16:35
250.   trainwreck
I would have to shave twice a day to have very little stubble on my face.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-08-09 17:18:18
251.   bhsportsguy
247 I am waiting for the day the DVDs finally come out, though that show really jumped the shark once Max married 99.
2006-08-09 17:20:58
252.   Paul Scott
249 Yeah. I completely agree. I thought we had that of sorts in McCourt - who in a letter to a poster here talked about DePodesta's vision and preached patience - until 2005 that is.

I would love it if a young billionaire with balls had bought the team and would allow both GM and Manager to abandon the book and really min/max everything. Such a thing, however, is a long way from happening, if ever.

2006-08-09 17:26:51
253.   Mr Customer
250 Some of us have stubble by the time we finish shaving.
2006-08-09 17:27:20
254.   Bluebleeder87
I would love it if a young billionaire with balls had bought the team and would allow both GM and Manager to abandon the book and really min/max everything. Such a thing, however, is a long way from happening, if ever.

you think Mark Cuban would do that, he's cool enough to do that no?

2006-08-09 17:29:14
255.   Bluebleeder87
Some of us have stubble by the time we finish shaving.

that's true but only to my beared (sp?)

2006-08-09 17:30:10
256.   bhsportsguy
249 I'm not sure Mark Cuban is a good example, he has his hands on everything related to the Mavericks. Sure he does not call the plays or conduct practice but on constructing the team, I think he has a lot to say on who stays and who goes. It took Avery Johnson to preach a foreign concept called defense to his team to advance farther than they ever did.

Again, I understand the theory but I don't think there is any owner of a professional sports team that really is a hands off owner.

A lot depends on the people they hire and can they stand up to them when they need to.

If I ever bought a team, the only way that I could be hands off was if I knew nothing about the game, like soccer or to some degree hockey. Otherwise, I certainly would have some opinions, not that they have to be followed but I would still voice them.

2006-08-09 17:31:03
257.   bhsportsguy
249 But, again I realize that talk like this is meant for dreaming and not for the reality that is Dodger Thoughts.
2006-08-09 17:36:56
258.   Steve
Sam, it can't be comforting to know that even after Bowden was basically handed Lopez and Kearns for the cost of three plane tickets, tonight's 6-7-8 hitters are still Alex Escobar, Damian Jackson, and Brian Harper. I mean, I'd probably walk the bases loaded and take my chances too.
2006-08-09 17:38:54
259.   bhsportsguy
258 Its Jason Phillips, Mike Edwards and Oscar Robles all over again (though I like Oscar)
2006-08-09 17:40:52
260.   Sam DC
Yeah, I did hear that sometime soon they're going to get a major league baseball team in Washington, D.C.

(in fairness, if you had vidro back and Church in center, you can run out a pretty deep lineup with the Nationals. which is important, cause you're looking at needing to score about six runs a game to have a shot at winning with the pitching they throw out there these days.)

And Brandon Harper is quite offended.

2006-08-09 17:42:39
261.   Sam DC
Jackson, of course, is the one who was recently on the DL with esophagal spasms.
2006-08-09 17:43:04
262.   bhsportsguy
Meanwhile, Shawn Chacon is wondering why he has to pitch to pitchers again.

Welcome back to the National League.

(That's right, go check out why I said that yourself)

2006-08-09 17:44:14
263.   Robert Daeley
249 Now this would be an intriguing lineup, by descending order of OPS. Check out the handedness taking care of itself.

1 LF Ethier L
2 1B Garciaparra R
3 3B Betemit S
4 C Martin R
5 RF Drew* L
6 2B Kent R
7 CF Kemp* R
8 SS Furcal S
9 (pitcher)

* Or Drew in CF and Kemp in RF.

Note: Missing from this is Saenz (who is 3rd in OPS), Repko (9th, but we have OF covered), Loney (10th, ditto 1B), Lofton, and folks not on the active roster. Furcal is actually 14th.

2006-08-09 17:44:24
264.   Steve
262 -- The Pirates are paying his salary.
2006-08-09 17:46:16
265.   Bluebleeder87

dude how do you do that? (the underline thing)

2006-08-09 17:49:25
266.   Humma Kavula
With his second home run of the night, old friend Mike Piazza has made it 4-2 Mets.
2006-08-09 17:51:42
267.   Steve
Use underscores ( _ ) around whatever you want to underline. But the better question is how one could possibly pay Shawn Chacon's Salary.

Steps To Paying Shawn Chacon's Salary

1) Scalp self.

2) Remove brain from head; use as pencil holder.

3) Call Brian Cashman.

4) Talk to Brian Cashman.

2006-08-09 17:52:32
268.   Jon Weisman
I would like to invite you to Jon's Game Thread Dance Party. It's upstairs in the penthouse. Amble past the velvet rope and enjoy...
2006-08-09 17:56:47
269.   skybluestoday
Re: 218

Boy, I haven't thought about that (old) New Mickey Mouse Club -- the 70s disco version -- in a very long time. My goodness. I was personally quite fond of Kelly (Parsons?), the older blonde girl. Of course I was 9 years old at the time, so it wasn't like I was being a dirty old man!

2006-08-09 17:58:54
270.   Bluebleeder87
testing testing 123

(___testing testing 123________)


2006-08-09 18:00:10
271.   Bluebleeder87

little help please

2006-08-09 18:05:46
272.   Steve
[underscore]whatever it is you would like to underline[underscore]

The key you are using is right. Just put that around whatever you are trying to underline.

Just like using the asterisks for bold -- same way.

Dave Littlefield is an idiot.

Julio Lugo is redundant.

Like that.

2006-08-09 18:08:02
273.   GoBears
248 Unfortunately, I have to shave later because I've got a it's getting itchy.

If she can't appreciate the importance of a streak-beard, then she's not the gal for you, ok94. Well, at least you shouldn't marry her, but perhaps that's not the point.

2006-08-09 18:17:24
274.   Bluebleeder87
Test 1,2,3,
2006-08-09 18:18:11
275.   Bluebleeder87

thanks Steve

2006-08-09 18:40:20
276.   Icaros
Steve is president of the Society for the Appreciation of Shortstops.

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