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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

Beating the Big Top
2006-09-11 06:45
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers are one of the best teams in the major leagues this season against the top 40 starting pitchers in baseball, posting a .571 winning percentage and scoring more than four runs per nine innings against them, according to David Pinto at Baseball Musings.

While this provides no guarantee that the Dodgers will make the playoffs (other top teams on the list include Arizona and Atlanta), it does provide some encouragement should they do so.

* * *

If you haven't read Alex Belth's Bronx Banter today, please do. It's so worth it.

* * *

Update: The image and story of sleeping Daily News reporter Tony Jackson no longer appears at Inside the Dodgers.

It's funny, there's a really unfortunate picture that a museum photographer took of me yawning in the galleries at LACMA a few years back. I would be bummed if that were posted on the Internet, even though, you know, everyone gets tired. The people here at work sure seemed to get a big kick out of it without causing me too much collateral damage.

Comments (222)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-09-11 08:56:30
1.   underdog
Man... I think I'm gonna cry. (About the BB posting, not Baseball Musings.)

And this doesn't want to make me cry but it does make me wonder:

Update on results of that Newsday poll:

Which pontential playoff team would you least like the Mets to play?

29.4%
Phillies (1429 responses)

2.8%
Reds (136 responses)

8.4%
Cardinals (408 responses)

27.5%
Astros (1336 responses)

11.4%
Dodgers (554 responses)

1.8%
Giants (89 responses)

18.6%
Marlins (904 responses)

2006-09-11 09:02:57
2.   Sam DC
Davey Lopes on a quixotic battle of his own.

http://tinyurl.com/rruc7

2006-09-11 09:03:37
3.   Bob Timmermann
The Phillies and Marlins got a lot of votes because the Mets fans have seen them. And Marlins pitchers hold an unnatural sway over people.

Presumably the Astros are considered some sort of dynamo with Pettitte and Clemens.

According to BP, the Astros have a slightly lower chance of making the playoffs than the Reds.

2006-09-11 09:07:12
4.   Benaiah
Crazy. I personally would rather face them than the Cardinals or the Padres in the first round.
2006-09-11 09:07:46
5.   Benaiah
4 - Since we can not possibly face the Dads in the 1st round, I should take comfort.
2006-09-11 09:08:11
6.   Bob Timmermann
2
I would side with Lopes on that. "Defensive Indifference" should only be charged if absolutely no play is made.

Activist official scorers!

Retrosheet's records showed that defensive indifference calls have gone way up in the past 10 years. Either the official scorers are marking those plays that way or players are just taking second base in the ninth inning of a game down by several runs more often.

2006-09-11 09:21:56
7.   Eric Enders
6 I'm one of those activist official scorers. I won't rule a play defensive indifference under any circumstances. You're asking the scorer to read players' minds in that case, which is something I don't think a scorer should presume to do. So whenever I'm scoring, it's always a steal no matter what. I don't know what the defense's intent is; I can only record the plays as they happen on the field.

Same with the sacrifice play where the guy is bunting for a hit. Many scorers will decline to credit the batter for a sac if he runs hard to first -- saying he was bunting for a hit because he chose to run hard. Again with the scorer trying to read minds. It's poppycock.

2006-09-11 09:25:08
8.   Bob Timmermann
Then your ultimate test, Eric:

http://tinyurl.com/mslll

Save or no save?

2006-09-11 09:26:00
9.   Jacob L
Bronx Banter was definitely a good read. However, the fact that it was Reggie on the phone definitely ruined the moment for me.
2006-09-11 09:27:16
10.   capdodger
While we're pointing out good (Yankee-related) reads, the Onion has a couple of good ARod articles.
2006-09-11 09:33:05
11.   still bevens
Whats the teams record against mediocre 4th and 5th starters? Im sure its not bad, but those are always the losses that stick out in your mind. See: getting beat by Jose Lima in KC last year.
2006-09-11 09:34:48
12.   Eric Enders
8 That's not asking me to read a player's mind, though; it's only asking me to make a judgment on whether he pitched effectively. Which, in my opinion, he did not. It's not a slam dunk either way though.

By the way, the first New York-Penn League game I was ever official scorer at was one where I ended up having to decide the winning pitcher on scorer's discretion. What are the odds of that?

2006-09-11 09:39:21
13.   underdog
Losing those games to KC last year period were the season's nadir for me - that's when I officially knew all hope was lost.

And it's true, the Met poll is skewed because of who the fans have seen the most and because of the region's proximity to Philly. I thought this weekend we might have scared them a little more but apparently not. If the season finished today wouldn't the Dodgers play the Cards and have home field edge for the series? IF... a big if. I think they can beat any team in the NL, and are a better team than the one that stunk it up against the Cards a couple of months ago, but matchup wise that may not be their best bet, still.

2006-09-11 09:39:44
14.   Bob Timmermann
12

You're either with me on this one, or you're against me. It's my litmus test issue.

2006-09-11 09:40:15
15.   katysdad
Eric, when were you an official scorer in the NY-P?
2006-09-11 09:43:27
16.   Bob Timmermann
The Mets record against the teams polled:

Phillies 11-8
Reds 4-3
Cardinals 4-2
Astros 4-2
Giants 3-3
Dodgers 4-3

They didn't ask about the Padres? Who are the Mets likeliest opponent in the Division Series?

2006-09-11 09:44:06
17.   Eric Enders
14 Hey, I'm in favor of the four-inning save in principle. But four runs in four innings?

15 I still am, sort of. I've never done it full time, but for the last 5-6 years I've subbed whenever the regular scorer is out of town or something.

2006-09-11 09:46:51
18.   Bob Timmermann
17

I don't believe anyone at Retrosheet ever discovered an instance where a pitcher since the introduction of the present save rule pitched that many innings in a win and was not given a save.

That game was a precedent!

2006-09-11 09:54:06
19.   Eric Enders
18 I'm not much for precedent. In fact, in the game I referred to above, I gave the win to the second reliever, who I judged to be more effective than the first one. This is what the rulebook says you have to do, but it still went against all precedent that I know of.

That game also featured a rundown play that went something like 7-2-5-1-6-2-5. And there is no instant replay in the NY-P league. It was quite an adventurous game.

I'm also something of a maverick in the awarding of errors. I don't follow the universal principle that a player actually has to touch a ball to get charged with an error. You blow a popup without touching it, you're getting an error in my book.

2006-09-11 09:54:07
20.   Gagne55
Seo's job in that game was to simply mop up 4 innings. He was able to do that. He should have gotten the save. >:o
2006-09-11 09:55:59
21.   katysdad
17 In 1988 the official scorer for Erie was an intern (like myself). After the season he went back to school while I was hired on as Assistant GM. One of my first duties was to respond to Howe Sport Data's request to clarify his game accounts. Erie played 39 home games and Howe had at least one question for every one of them. It took me several days to review these games and respond back to Howe. I actually enjoyed doing this (it beat sales work), but was amazed at the number of mistakes made by the scorer and the complexity of what goes on behind the scenes at Howe.
2006-09-11 09:56:05
22.   Gagne55
You blow a popup without touching it, you're getting an error in my book.

Eric, you need to score at the major league level. Except for your opinion on saves, that's what we need.

2006-09-11 09:56:19
23.   Eric Enders
20 What his job is is irrelevant in regard to whether he gets a save or not. The sole criterion in the rulebook is whether he pitched effectively. That's it.
2006-09-11 10:01:04
24.   Eric Enders
22 Thanks, but I'd probably get fired after about 2 games, for that very reason -- because I don't do things the same way everyone else does.
2006-09-11 10:05:56
25.   Bob Timmermann
My theory about Seo's "effectiveness" in that game is that I have a very low standard for that term. I think that if Seo had been ineffective, he would have been taken out of the game. He was effective enough for what he had to do.

And besides, I had already written "save" down in my scorebook!

2006-09-11 10:28:51
26.   Jon Weisman
Yep, Bob's right. I probably should have kept the supporting arguments I wrote for him in a handier place.
2006-09-11 10:29:04
27.   Jon Weisman
But Bob is still wrong about the fumblerooski.
2006-09-11 10:37:37
28.   Penarol1916
27. The more important question is, where does Greg Brock's Whig Party stand on the fumblerooski. While I like the play, the fact that it was used by Bobby Bowden to help Florida St. makes me dislike it.
2006-09-11 10:50:39
29.   capdodger
28. I want to know where the Whigs stand on the Triple Option. I feel that if you're going to play rugby with the pigskin, you should lose the ball when you run out of bounds.
2006-09-11 10:54:16
30.   Bob Timmermann
Since I no longer cover prep football, my opinion on the fumblerooski doesn't matter I suppose.
2006-09-11 11:00:31
31.   Daniel Zappala
I won't rule a play defensive indifference under any circumstances.

Never? Ever? Even if the first baseman doesn't hold the runner, the catcher doesn't get out of a crouch and tosses the ball calmly back to the pitcher, and neither the second baseman nor the shortstop bothers to cover the bag? Even if the runner jogs into second base chanting "nanny-nanny boo-boo"? Surely at some point you can rule defensive indifference.

2006-09-11 11:14:21
32.   Eric Enders
31 No, I wouldn't rule that defensive indifference, any more than I would a home run given up by a pitcher who's throwing fastballs down the middle with a 9-0 lead.
2006-09-11 11:14:42
33.   Linkmeister
I hesitate to mention that Dick Tomey (of San Jose State these days) probably agrees that the fumblerooski should be legal. When he was at UH he used it at least three times a season, or so it seemed.
2006-09-11 11:33:20
34.   scooplew
As a young sportswriter, I was the official scorekeeper for a few games in the California League about 30 years ago. Remarkably, two of them were one-hitters. In one, the hit was clean and came early. In the other, Gil Rondon, who later pitched briefly for the Astros and White Sox, took a no-hitter into the 7th and final inning. (California League doubleheaders were two 7-inning affairs). The game was played in Monterey, and the second game was played later that day in Salinas. Rondon got the first out in the 7th, then got angry when the umpire called a very close 2-2 pitch a ball. The batter, Dave Machemer, hit the next pitch over the right-field fence. I was relieved. Machemer went on to play briefly with the Angels and the Tigers. I also remember the manager for the Bakersfield Dodgers disputing a hit/error call I had made by sending the clubhouse boy up to the press box to dispute it. I think I had ruled an error on the Bakersfield third baseman, but the manager -- I don't recall his name -- said it had taken a bad bounce.
2006-09-11 11:35:34
35.   Bob Timmermann
Dave Machemer would go on to the majors and hit a home run in his first at bat.

And never hit another.

2006-09-11 11:36:36
36.   Jacob L
33 Bringing up Dick Tomey's SJSU Spartans this week on Jon's website might be considered dirty pool. ;)
2006-09-11 11:37:53
37.   Jon Weisman
The San Jose what now?
2006-09-11 11:37:56
38.   the OZ
John Heyman has a delightful article up at SI.com about Billy Beane. Heyman argues that it's not Beane's reliance on methodologies or stats that make his teams good, but rather that he identifies and acquires players that - you guessed it - "know how to win."

The following quote is included to reinforce Heyman's point:

"The A's don't have anyone who stands out for talent, except maybe Frank Thomas. But they have a lot of winning players. Take Nick Swisher, for instance. He knows how to play to win."

http://tinyurl.com/l3swj

Just once, I would like to see a comprehensive list of players that know how to win so the Dodgers can acquire them instead of those pesky, expensive talent-type players.

2006-09-11 11:38:57
39.   scooplew
35 -- Remarkable. Thanks for that.
2006-09-11 11:42:48
40.   regfairfield
38

Know how to win:
Kenny Lofton
Russell Martin

Haven't a clue (when asked about how to win, mentioned something about "space burritos"):

J.D. Drew

2006-09-11 11:42:58
41.   Jon Weisman
The picture of sleeping Tony Jackson at Inside the Dodgers appears to have been removed.
2006-09-11 11:47:42
42.   the OZ
40 Tito's has the best space burritos in LA.
2006-09-11 11:48:49
43.   Marty
I've met Reggie Jackson in Las Vegas at a dice table. He was with the Maloof brothers and their entourage. He was not a pleasant person.
2006-09-11 11:51:40
44.   Eric Enders
41 Any guesses as to why?
2006-09-11 11:52:48
45.   scooplew
As this is a relatively quiet day, I will share one of my favorite stories about covering minor league baseball. Julio Cruz, who later played 10 years in the majors, was astrong player for Salinas, an Angels farm club in the California League in 1976. After a particular game in which he did something special like hit two doubles and a single, he learned he had been called up to Double-A El Paso. Delighted is an understatement. Interviewing him after the game, I asked him where he was from and he said Brooklyn. I remarked that I was born in Brooklyn, too. Without missing a beat, the effervescent Cruz then said, "You must be Jewish." Taken aback briefly, I remarked that I was, and asked him how he knew. "Oh," he said, "in Brooklyn, everyone is Puerto Rican like me or Jewish like you." True story.
2006-09-11 11:53:04
46.   Jon Weisman
44 - Guesses? Someone complained. But I have no information about it.
2006-09-11 11:56:13
47.   Eric Enders
45 I think the reason he was delighted to get called up to El Paso is because they had a tradition of passing the hat after home runs. The batboy goes through the stands with a batting helmet and everyone puts a dollar bill in. If you hit a home run on a Saturday night you could double your month's pay in one night.
2006-09-11 11:57:34
48.   Eric Enders
46 I guess what I'm really wondering is if a shot of him snoozing was enough to get him in trouble with the Daily News, which would seem a little strange.
2006-09-11 12:00:45
49.   Bob Timmermann
Jon and I have never fallen asleep during a Daily News assignment.

But there aren't too many high school football stadiums where you can catch a snooze.

2006-09-11 12:06:16
50.   Jon Weisman
48 - Well, the damage is already done, whatever it is, though I can't imagine it would be much.

The picture can still be seen at L.A. Observed for the time being, in its sports section.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-09-11 12:07:03
51.   Jon Weisman
49 - I once dozed off reading a bedtime story to my daugher. My wife caught me. That was interesting.
2006-09-11 12:08:39
52.   the OZ
Maybe Tony Jackson hates Billingsley so much because Chad interrupted one of his in-stadium naps?
2006-09-11 12:28:10
53.   katysdad
51 I had an "interesting" moment with my wife while putting my daughter to sleep a couple of years ago. I was rocking Katy in her bedroom while playing baseball on my GameBoy. My wife could hear the music and cheers coming from the game over the baby monitor and really let my have it when I came to bed. Katy was unfazed by the entire game-playing incident, watching the first couple of innings and sleeping thru the rest of the game.
2006-09-11 12:28:14
54.   ToyCannon
While it was funny to see Tony sleeping on the bench I thought it was classless of Inside the Dodgers to post the picture on the internet. It is one thing to pass around the picture to friends for a laugh, but quite another to humilate someone whose travel schedule probably warrants a few snoozes hours before gametime.

On another note Tony updates the Baseball America organization notes for the Dodgers and feels Hanrahan has rekindled his prospect status but the Dodgers may not have room for him on the 40 so he is expected to be lost in the rule 5 draft. Reading the quotes from Logan White and Kim it would seem that they might want to find a spot for him.

Dodgers Organization Report

Back On The Map
By Tony Jackson
E-mail this article
September 8, 2006 Print this article

LOS ANGELES--After a precipitous fall from grace two seasons ago, the result of a mysterious dead-arm ailment, righthander Joel Hanrahan has almost completed his long climb back onto the Dodgers' radar screen. But his future might not be with the pitching-rich Dodgers.

If he isn't added to the 40-man roster before December's Rule 5 draft--and he probably won't be--Hanrahan could be attractive to another club...

"I think it has been a three-part process," Dodgers scouting director Logan White said. "First, he has gained the maturity that comes from facing adversity for the first time. Second, I know he worked really hard in the offseason to be prepared. And third, I know (Las Vegas pitching coach) Kenny Howell and the other pitching coaches have done a great job of getting him back on track. He is throwing 92-93 again, and he is doing it pretty easily."

"Once his mechanics got straightened out, his velocity came back," assistant general manager Kim Ng said. "It started to come back at the beginning of this season. We shut him down a couple of years ago because he was tired or hurt, and when he came back, his mechanics were all screwed up."

2006-09-11 12:47:22
55.   blue22
54 - Wouldn't Hanrahan be a better option for a spot on the 40-man than DJ Houlton?
2006-09-11 13:08:06
56.   Gagne55
55 That would be interesting. A player aquired by the rule-5 draft being lost by the same.
2006-09-11 13:17:28
57.   Bob Timmermann
56
It's actually not all that uncommon.
2006-09-11 13:25:45
58.   Terry A
The thing about that Jackson photo is that it appears he's napping while everyone else is working. Did the other papers/sites represented in the photo have news/quotes from Little that Jackson missed? That might be worth a little research.

Though Jackson's nap is ridiculously innocent, from a PR standpoint it really looks bad. "While everyone else is on the job, our reporter snoozes."

2006-09-11 13:33:16
59.   gibsonhobbs88
Thoughts from the weekend! I was happy getting a split against the Mighty Mets even realizing we were maybe 1 critical pitch from maybe taking 3 of 4. Coming into the weekend I was scared the Dodgers would bottom out but they showed some spunk. Let's hope it carries over into Chicago. 2 of 3 will get us a .500 road trip, I can live with that.

I am still wondering why they made Maddux walk Beltran with one out and a runner on 2nd in the 6th on Saturday? You were essentially conceding putting the tie-breaking run on base without making him earn it. Beltran is having a great year, granted but I still think you make him earn his hit in that situation. When David "Mr. Clutch" Wright came up with 2 out and runners at 2nd and third, I got a nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach. All year long, Mr. Wright has delivered one clutch hit after another, he was the last guy I wanted to see up there where a hit means two runs. Oh well, that's baseball!

2006-09-11 13:41:44
60.   gibsonhobbs88
Any word on Billingsley and if he might pitch in Chicago? I know the compelling story of his ill father and if Bills was healthy, I thought maybe they could start Bills on Thursday in Chicago and Kuo can start the weekend against the Padres.
2006-09-11 13:42:45
61.   Eric Enders
Billingsley is pitching Saturday. All he'll get to do in Chicago is pitch a simulated game tomorrow.
2006-09-11 13:45:32
62.   jelmendorf
Setting aside whether Hanrahan should be on the 40-man roster, the article seems odd. I mean, if the team is thinking about leaving him off and exposing him to the Rule 5 draft as Jackson suggests, why would Ng and White talk him up to the press?
2006-09-11 13:49:25
63.   Eric Enders
62 Only one player per team can be snatched per Rule 5 round. So maybe they are talking up Hanrahan so he'll get taken instead of somebody they'd actually like to keep. Clearly Hanrahan is not in our long-term plans at this point.

Speaking of not in our long-term plans, what do you guys make of Spike Lundberg? He's always been considered a non-prospect, but a 15-2 record and the Southern League ERA title are pretty impressive regardless. Does he have a future, or not?

2006-09-11 13:50:28
64.   50 years a Dodger Fan
I know where a spot on the 40 man roster can be made available: The one presently and unprofitably occupied by Hendrickson. Surely we have no more use for him...
2006-09-11 13:50:40
65.   Eric Enders
61 I shouldn't have said that's all he'll get to do. Presumably there will also be some painting of the horse's balls.
2006-09-11 14:09:04
66.   DodgerHobbit
64 Gagne can be transferred to the 60 day DL to open up another 40 man roster spot.

63 I watched Lundberg get absolutely torched in his start in vegas...he was the minor league version of Odalis Perez. It was kinda sad because alot of his family was there and cheered him when he was announced...nobody else cheered because nobody else knew who the heck he was. He is an organizational pitcher.

2006-09-11 14:10:24
67.   King of the Hobos
63 Are you sure about that? In 2004, the Dodgers lost 3 players in the first round of the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft (Victorino, Merricks, and Carvajal).
2006-09-11 14:10:56
68.   Bluebleeder87
I didn't know the fat guy in the picture was a reporter if i'd of known i would have made fun of it as well.
2006-09-11 14:17:16
69.   King of the Hobos
Further evidence for 67: In 2003, 5 of the first 6 players chosen in the MLB round were taken from the Pirates. Did several teams get around the rule mentioned in 63? Have I misinterpreted 63?
2006-09-11 14:18:48
70.   Eric Enders
67 I'm not sure of that, no. That was from an explanation I read years ago but I guess it might have changed with the more recent CBA's.
2006-09-11 14:27:34
71.   King of the Hobos
Is anyone familiar with the rules for 6-year minor league free agents? This is Hanrahan's 7th year with the organization, although he spent a few years on the 40-man roster. I read earlier this year that he was eligible for free agency at the end of this year if not added back to the 40-man roster, but that could be incorrect.
2006-09-11 14:28:02
72.   Linkmeister
36 Why do you think I prefaced it with "I hesitate..."?
2006-09-11 14:42:44
73.   ToyCannon
63
It is not clear at all that he is no longer in the Dodger plans until he's left off the future 40 man presented to MLB before the rule 5 draft. He was not on the current 40 man so they didn't want to make a move just to have him sit on the bench this Sept. You can lose many players during the rule 5 draft, just ask the Pirates.
2006-09-11 14:44:08
74.   Jon Weisman
I meant to write this up top, but the Dodgers have a bigger playoff cushion than the Tigers now.
2006-09-11 14:46:17
75.   underdog
I was wondering about Spike Lundberg, too - didn't he just win a AA pitching award (ERA? or player of the year?) While his name makes him sound like some 60s TV comedian, I was more curious about his long-term prospects and figured since the Dodgers' haven't talked him up much, his numbers bely his promise...? But keep in mind Eric Stults has flown under the radar a lot, too, partially of because who else was around him in Jacksonville and Vegas (not that he's assured of a long, successful career based on one start in NY, but stil...)

And yeah, there may be a limit to how many players a team can lose in Rule 5 draft, but it's not 1 any more. I would be frustrated to see Hanrahan be lost and then have a great career elsewhere but wish him well regardless and trust the Dodger scouts. (Still, I'd save him over Houlton, too.)

2006-09-11 15:03:07
76.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers may have a bigger playoff cushion, but the Tigers have a lower magic number to clinch a playoff spot. The Tigers are at 15 and the Dodgers are at 16.
2006-09-11 15:14:16
77.   Icaros
I was surprised to learn from the picture at Inside the Dodgers that Tony Jackson is apparently the alter-ego of self-help guru Tony Robbins.
2006-09-11 15:15:01
78.   scooplew
75 From the Jacksonville Suns web site:

"Suns right-hander Spike Lundberg was honored as the 2006 Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher. Lundberg is currently leading the league with a 2.36 ERA and is second in the league with 14 victories. He put together an 11-game winning streak from May 1 through August 16 and has held opponents scoreless in five of his starts. Opponents have only managed a .227 batting average against Lundberg, who has recorded 105 strikeouts against just 41 walks while allowing only 121 hits and three home runs. Lundberg is the most experienced player on the Suns roster with nine minor league seasons under his belt. The Surpize, Ariz., native was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the twenty-sixth round of the 1997 draft and has also been a member of the Cardinals', Phillies' and Blue Jays' organizations."

He ended the Southern League season with a league-leading 2.27 ERA and tied for first in wins with 15. His WHIP was 1.10. He's 6-1, 185. Promoted to Las Vegas, he started and lost all four of his games and had a 7.17 ERA.

Full name of David Darrell Lundberg. And he is 29. Late bloomer?

2006-09-11 15:20:26
79.   Bluebleeder87
54

IMO, that's worse i hope the guy dosen't take him self to serious. i laugh at alot of dum things i do. laugh a little it's good for the soul & body.

2006-09-11 15:23:05
80.   DodgerHobbit
Spike pitched well.
Spike gets promotion.
Spike pitch bad.
Spike get demoted.
Spike pitch well again.

Spike isnt challenged by AA but got pounded by AAA hitters.
They need to create a AA 1/2 league for Spike.

2006-09-11 15:29:54
81.   natepurcell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTelhP_0bJQ

doesnt that juse make you wanna do some "illusions"?

2006-09-11 15:40:52
82.   underdog
I still think we should promote Spike Milligan first, then Lee, then Lundberg.

29 is young in life, but old in the minors - he does seem like a career minor leaguer, but perhaps he deserves one more shot somewhere. At least he has an award he can put it on his mantel, if nothing else.

2006-09-11 15:43:40
83.   bhsportsguy
Another off-day topic but on the 40 man roster issue -

Players who have 2007 contracts or are under the team's control:

Pitchers: (17)
Joe Beimel
Chad Billingsley
Yhency Brazoban
Jonathan Broxton
Elmer Dessens
Jose Diaz
Tim Hamulack
Mark Hendrickson
D.J. Houlton
Hong-Chih Kuo
Derek Lowe
Greg Miller
Franquelis Osoria
Brad Penny
Takashi Saito
Eric Stults
Brett Tomko
Catchers: (2)
Toby Hall
Russell Martin
Infielders: (9)
Marlon Anderson
Wilson Betemit
Rafael Furcal
Jeff Kent
Andy LaRoche
James Loney
Bill Mueller
Oscar Robles
Olmedo Saenz
Outfielders: (6)
J.D. Drew
Andre Ethier
Matt Kemp
Jason Repko
Jayson Werth
Delwyn Young

Prospects who have to be added to 40-man roster in 11/06 (Rule 5 concerns):
Tony Abreu
Chin-ling Hu
Justin Orenduff
Mike MeGrew
Cory Dunlap
Mark Alexander

Free Agents to play "offer arbitration, hope they refuse and get signed by another team":
1. Nomar Garciaparra
2. Julio Lugo

Free Agent to offer minimum contract:
1. Eric Gagne

Now, if Mueller decides to retire between now and November, then that will free up a roster spot. Hendrickson and Hall both are arbitration eligible not sure what Ned will do with those two, of the two, it would be more likely they would keep Hall only because there are no catchers in the system.

Diaz, Houlton and Osoria would be my guess as the most likely to be released from the roster, maybe they would keep Houlton only as backup. Of course the roster would have to be flexible enough for potential free agent signings.

2006-09-11 15:45:33
84.   underdog
Sorry if this was mentioned before, but I just saw this new piece on ESPN - this could be the first time ever that all four teams originating from New York made the playoffs in the same year:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?id=2582775

For what that's worth.

Obviously, the odds are still against it.

2006-09-11 15:47:30
85.   bhsportsguy
83 I am assuming that Drew will not opt out of his contract, I can't see he and Boras thinking that he can more that 3 years at 11M a year if he were to leave. Also Boras has a pretty busy off-season and he may want to keep the Dodgers in play for Zito, if Drew were to opt out, the Dodgers would probably go on the market for someone like maybe Carlos Lee instead of a pitcher like Zito.
2006-09-11 15:49:50
86.   Bob Timmermann
84
The Dodgers and Giants both making the playoffs would be a tough trick to pull off because of those last three games of the year between the two teams. The Padres would have to go in to a real tailspin and likely be swept four straight in L.A. to be removed from contention.
2006-09-11 15:50:15
87.   Marty
This is kind of interesting:
http://www.baseballrace.com/

"It is an online application that allows you to view any Major League Baseball season, split by league or division (even wild card races), as an animated, date-by-date race between the various teams you choose.

It was designed to bring a historical season to life more so than mere standings or graphs. With BaseballRace.com, you can experience an entire season "live."

The data goes back to 1901, and includes every game of every season up through yesterday (9/10/2006). "

Except for the annoying Giants-like color scheme, I find it kind of fun.

The first year I tried was 1973. It really brought home how badly LA collapsed that year.

2006-09-11 15:51:15
88.   Clive Clements
81 Look at post, nate:

Clive love video!

2006-09-11 15:52:49
89.   DeucesAreWild
If anyone is interested in the nap photo in question, Google still has an older version of Inside the Dodgers in its cache:

http://tinyurl.com/rzl9s

2006-09-11 15:58:39
90.   Bluebleeder87
88

i was watching the Steve Henson napping while listening to the music. i'm a dog but i needed my chuckle fix. :o)

2006-09-11 16:06:23
91.   Gagne55
83 I thought Mueller retired. And who is Jose Diaz? I didn't see him on either Jacksonville or Las Vegas' rosters.
2006-09-11 16:06:55
92.   regfairfield
91 He's on Vero.
2006-09-11 16:10:24
93.   the OZ
One possible practical reason for the removal of the 'Napping' photo and article is that it had drawn so much attention and inbound web links. The MLBAM people might have considered it a bandwidth problem and deep-sixed it.
2006-09-11 16:11:06
94.   Gagne55
http://www.myspace.com/billy_ballgame

This claims to be the real Bill Mueller, and in his blog, he says he's retiring.

2006-09-11 16:12:37
95.   Gagne55
92 Why is a roster spot given to a guy in A-ball? Is anybody going to rule-5 a guy who isn't even AA worthy?
2006-09-11 16:16:19
96.   ToyCannon
83
Nice write up just disagree about Dunlap and Hall. Dunlap only played in High-A this year and while his OBP was high nothing else stood out. Can't imagine anyone taking a chance on him and sticking them on their major league roster for a full year. He is after all just a 1st baseman with a terrible reputation for conditioning and nothing you'd kill your major league roster for.

Players who I think are in danger of dropping off the 40 man are:
Robles, Diaz, Houlton, Osoria, Mueller(retiring?). Nomar and Lugo as free agents and while Hall is arbitration eligible I see no scenario where he accepts arbitration since he wants to catch fulltime or at least find a shared platoon and sitting behind Martin is not going to work for him. Plenty of 2nd tier catchers we can find to replace him since he will only be catching once a week. Plus we will need to keep an open spot for when Ned signs Schmidt.

2006-09-11 16:21:45
97.   ToyCannon
95
Johan Santana was a rule 5 after only pitching A ball for the Astro's. Not that Jumbo Diaz is worthy enough to be mentioned in the same space as Santana, just answering your question.

Wonder how many time the Houston exec who said they didn't need to protect Santana wakes up in a cold sweat. Given his numbers I understand why they didn't. Twins are goldminers.

2006-09-11 16:24:51
98.   underdog
I still think Jason Schmidt goes to Seattle next year and we make a pitch for Zito.

Agree that we'll probably drop Houlton, Osoria, Diaz, Robles, Dunlap, maybe Alexander, and maybe Mueller if he's really retired.

2006-09-11 16:26:34
99.   King of the Hobos
Lundberg is an extreme groundball pitcher. His 53.4% GB rate is about the same level as Hensley or Carpenter, who rank 10th and 11th respectively in GB%. In Jacksonville, he had Hu and Abreu playing up the middle, which combined with his GB rate, a favorable Jacksonville ballpark, and his experience caused him to have an unusually good ERA. When promoted to Vegas, his HR/FB rate jumped from 3.4% to 20.0%, which as we learned with Lowe last year, means bad things for a sinkerballer.
2006-09-11 16:28:00
100.   King of the Hobos
95 He throws really, really fast, which intrigues a lot of clubs. He also was expected to pitch at AA all year, he just struggled.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-09-11 16:29:27
101.   JoeyP
Izturis is back in the lineup for the Cubs.

For the Cubs series its:

Lowe vs Marshall-- should be a win but Marshall is a lefty and Lowe could be due for a bad game. Although, against the Cubs thats not likely.

Penny vs Guzman-- should be a Dodgers rout

Kuo vs Miller- Kuo should dominate the Cubs bc the Cubbies have no patience at all at the plate. Lee/A-Ram are the only threats. Miller used to be a good pitcher tho.

2006-09-11 16:32:28
102.   Bob Timmermann
Since no reputable news site has carried news of a formal retirement by Mueller, I would assume that he's still on the payroll.

As recently as August 20, Mueller was quoted in the LA Times as saying he was still trying to see if he could get himself healthy enough to swing the bat and at least pinch hit, 1988 Kirk Gibson style.

The Myspace page linked looked highly suspicious mainly because under "Bill Mueller's interests" there was no mention of religion and he's a deeply religious person.

2006-09-11 16:33:50
103.   King of the Hobos
Anibal Sanchez managed to pitch 1.2 more innings before giving up a hit, a homer to Floyd.
2006-09-11 16:35:21
104.   JoeyP
while Hall is arbitration eligible I see no scenario where he accepts arbitration

If Hall is interested in money, then he'll accept. Its very doubtful that any team offers him more money than he's already making (2.5) mils this year. Its not likely he'll get an arbitration decrease either.

2006-09-11 16:35:38
105.   the OZ
98 I am doubtful that Schmidt will go to Seattle. Beltre, Washburn, Sexson, and Ichiro take up quite a good chunk of salary in 2007 (roughly $45M combined). Even though they need pitching, I don't expect they'll be able to match any serious offers that Schmidt will almost surely draw from other high-payroll clubs.
2006-09-11 16:38:33
106.   regfairfield
96 Problem is I can't think of any team that would want Hall to start for them.
2006-09-11 16:39:41
107.   JoeyP
Cody Ross hit a 3-run HR for the Marlins in the 1st. I'm wondering why they dont play Ross in CF, with Willingham/Hermida in the corners.

Girardi has put Amazega/Abercrombie both in CF ahead of Cody Ross. But when Cody Ross was in the LA system, I thought I heard how he was the best defensive CF'er they had?

2006-09-11 16:39:44
108.   regfairfield
98 Considering their connections, I see Seattle the front runner for Matsuzaka.
2006-09-11 16:40:16
109.   underdog
105 You may be right though I guess I naiively expected that a) Schmidt might offer a slight home town discount since he's expressed great desire to pitch there, and b) that they maybe could pawn one of those other high(over) priced players on another team in the off season. There was talk that Ichiro may want out... But maybe they're still unlikely to sign Schmidt. We'll see.
2006-09-11 16:41:06
110.   regfairfield
107 Because Ross has a .660 OPS for the Marlins.
2006-09-11 16:42:36
111.   underdog
The Reds should have kept both Rosses.
2006-09-11 16:43:49
112.   JoeyP
Amazega is at .683
Abercrombie is at .609

I'd play Cody Ross ahead of both of those guys. Especially if he's the better CF'er.

2006-09-11 16:44:26
113.   Xeifrank
isn't there a highly touted Japanese pitcher coming over to the US next season? Perhaps Bob has some info on this/him. I would assume that the Yankees would probably have first dibs on him and pretty much any other free agent. vr, Xei
2006-09-11 16:45:14
114.   bhsportsguy
96 I can see them protecting Russ Mitchell if they are going to convert him to catcher (though that would be at least a 2 year process) instead of Dunlap.

For next year, assuming they start in AA,,
Scott Elbert and Blake DeWitt do not have to be put on the 40 man roster until the end of the 2007 season. Jonathan Meloan would also have to go on the 40 man roster after the 2007 season. Of those three, while I suppose anything is possible, my hunch is that Meloan will start in AA as a starter but be on a faster track than Elbert due to his age. That's not to say that Elbert won't move up to AAA next if he dominates it early.

Actually, Elbert may have to be put on the 40 man this year because he turned 19 a few days prior to the draft (BD 5/31/85, drafted in 2004).

2006-09-11 16:45:45
115.   Xeifrank
108/113. Ok that's his name. How good is he suppose to be? How old etc??
vr, Xei
2006-09-11 16:45:47
116.   JoeyP
I guess it comes down to Girardi playing Amazega ahead of Hermida.

That makes no sense to me.
Even though Hermida hasnt had that great of season, he's still the best option for the present and future.

2006-09-11 16:49:50
117.   Bob Timmermann
Daisuke Matsuzaka has pitched 163 1/3 IP. He's 15-4, 2.04 ERA, 179 Ks, 30 BBs, 119 hits, 13 HRs. He turns 26 on 9/13.
2006-09-11 16:49:59
118.   King of the Hobos
107 Hermida's injured. Because of the expanded rosters, there's no reason to put players on the 15-day DL, hence Hermida is on the regular roster.
2006-09-11 16:52:02
119.   the OZ
115 On Wednesday, Matsuzaka turns 26 years old. However, he's thrown 417,000,039 pitches so far in his high school and pro career.
2006-09-11 16:52:05
120.   blue22
115/117 - MVP of the WBC this year, if I recall correctly.

Much has been made of his infamous 250-pitch start in high school, and his potentially overworked arm.

Lotta miles on that 25-year old.

2006-09-11 16:53:47
121.   blue22
Not to mention, it'll take about $20M just to win the bidding for his services. After which, you get the unenviable task of negotiating with Scott Boras (said to be seeking a 5-year, big dollar deal).

Pass with enthusiasm.

2006-09-11 16:54:58
122.   Xeifrank
Jeff Passan's column rates the top 15 playoff contenders schedules, one thru 15.

http://tinyurl.com/ncw22

The Dodgers are #14 (2nd easiest), with the White Sox the toughest, the Padres are 9th and the Mets are 15th. Of course the NL teams will rank easiest. But within the NL the Dodgers schedule still looks good.
vr, Xei

2006-09-11 16:57:56
123.   Xeifrank
121. The Dodgers could raise Dodger Dog prices to $40 a pop or have a new weekly promotion where they mug the first 40,000 fans (to pay his salary). vr, Xei
2006-09-11 17:01:43
124.   blue22
123 - As fun as that sounds, and as much fun as the awkward Zito/Penny/Milano love triangle would be, my vote is for Jason Schmidt as the primary offseason target
2006-09-11 17:03:43
125.   bhsportsguy
104 Hall cannot leave if the Dodgers offer him arbitration, he will have only a little over 5 years service time at the end of the 2006 season. Its always possible that they could non-tender him but I think the lack of a catching prospect in the system will make them offer arbitration.
2006-09-11 17:04:30
126.   gpellamjr
The Mets are playing sloppy baseball today. Makes the Dodger wins this weekend a little less sweet.

The Marlins annoucers are being very obnoxious. They were critcizing the NY media for calling Russ Martin a ROY candidate. Apparently his numbers are "Nowhere near Hanely Ramirez's numbers. Nowhere near!"

Martin: 291/360/442 8hr 54RBI
Ramirez: 284/353/459 13hr 49RBI

I don't see a big difference.

2006-09-11 17:06:04
127.   blue22
125 He makes $2.25M, and stands to get a raise.

That's awfully spendy for 100 or so at-bats from a backup catcher with no discernible talent.

2006-09-11 17:09:01
128.   ToyCannon
116
Ross was considered an excellent right fielder and he has a strong arm but CF was a reach, still I'd be playing hin over the likes of the players you mentioned. To bad about Hermida, I think he's the player I'm most dissapointed in this year. Expcected a solid year. Just amazing the Marlins are in contention with the worse OF in baseball but that is what pitching and Miggy can do for you. Normally I'd be rooting for the Phillies for the wild card but how can anyone not root for a team with a salary smaller then Arod to make the playoffs no matter how much a boob the owner is?
2006-09-11 17:10:02
129.   ToyCannon
125
Why would them want to pay a backup catcher 2 million per year who would prefer to be elswhere and could easily develop into a cancer on the team?
2006-09-11 17:10:06
130.   Gagne55
Jason Schmidt...Giant...Ned Colletti...ex-Giants...somehow these are connected
2006-09-11 17:11:18
131.   ToyCannon
126
They are counting Hanley's stolen bases and errors as counting stats:)
2006-09-11 17:12:25
132.   Gagne55
"but how can anyone not root for a team with a salary smaller then Arod to make the playoffs no matter how much a boob the owner is?"

Very easily. I h8 the Marlins as a franchise. Two, soon to be three, World Series victories, each time getting buried in their own division. The biggest disgrace to baseball.

2006-09-11 17:14:17
133.   ToyCannon
I find them innovative, I'll take 2 world series and two rebuilding projects over what we've accomplished in the same amount of time with quadruple the resources.

Good thing we didn't trade the farm for Smoltz.

2006-09-11 17:18:09
134.   Bob Timmermann
I find the Marlins 6-0 postseason series record to be one of baseball's more delightful oddities.
2006-09-11 17:22:06
135.   King of the Hobos
What's Uggla's current cycle situation according to Bob's system? He just needs a triple, and the Marlins are currently in the bottom of the 4th, and he's due up in the 5th.
2006-09-11 17:22:51
136.   ToyCannon
You gotta like a franchise who only goes to the postseason when they feel they can go all the way:)
2006-09-11 17:23:30
137.   Benaiah
News on espn.com:

Gagne re-ups for $26M \

Shock!

whew. It is some hockey player...

2006-09-11 17:24:14
138.   Marty
I'm glad I didn't do it, but I would have bet money the Cubs were going to beat the Marlins the last time.
2006-09-11 17:24:24
139.   Goiter
Here's a scenario: What if (and its a big IF) Kuo and Stults keep pitching well enough into next year to stay in the rotation? That would fill the entire rotation (Penny, Lowe, Billingsley, Kuo, Stults).

While this is possible, I don't find it probable. Kuo I could see keeping this up, Stults though I'm still not sure about.

Of free agent pitchers available soon, I like Ted Lilly as an option as well as those mentioned by others previously.

2006-09-11 17:26:22
140.   dzzrtRatt
If Florida "holds on to any part of its lead" vs. the Mets, they will be all alone in second place in the Wild Card race.

Otherwise, there are no games of any real consquence in the NL tonight.

132 I'll tell you who really hates the Florida Marlins: SF Giant fans. 2003 was supposed to be their year, and the Marlins snatched it away from them. Giant fans still can't figure out how such a lowly team could leave Barry, Jason & co. on the curb. Therefore, I like the Marlins. I root for the WC to come down to SF and Fla. That last weekend, hopefully the Dodgers clinch by Friday, then take two out of three against the Giants to push them out of the Wild Card and the Marlins in. Just b/c it will enrage the SF fan base the most.

2006-09-11 17:26:55
141.   Bob Timmermann
Needing a triple, Uggla is Condition Orange.

Florida is a good triples park.

2006-09-11 17:26:57
142.   Xeifrank
The Marlins 6-0 postseason series record and two WS titles goes to show what a crapshoot the baseball playoffs really are. That being said, the Marlins should quit while they're ahead (know when to walk away, know when to run). Just fold the organization up, cash in the chips, buy a retirement home and move to humid florida. :)
vr, Xei
2006-09-11 17:28:41
143.   Gen3Blue
126.128 Sort of enjoying watching the Marlins and Ross and Uggla and Anibell beat up on the Mets, but I agree it takes some of the shine off the D's effort. When I think of the youngsters coming up in the two Florida teams, It reminds me a bit of the D's. But look at the empty seats and the general Org. and I think the D's have nothing to fear.
2006-09-11 17:29:29
144.   Bluebleeder87
130

2 Year deal, if Grady can work his magic 1 year deal.

2006-09-11 17:30:06
145.   dzzrtRatt
139 Yeah, but isn't Ted Lilly now officially declared insane?

I'm with whoever is pushing for Schmidt. I love Zito as his best, but I think Schmidt will age better.

I think you can assume Maddux has supplanted Nomar as the veteran Colletti is most likely to keep.

Lowe
Schmidt
Penny
Billingsley
Maddux/Kuo

2006-09-11 17:31:02
146.   Bluebleeder87
144

i mean if Ned can work his magic. sorry peeps.

2006-09-11 17:31:16
147.   Bob Warth
looks like it will be a rainy day in chicago tomorrow. if the game is postponed, any guesses on when it gets played? wednesday or thursday? wednesday afternoon's forecast doesn't look much better. so maybe an old time afternoon doubleheader for thursday?
2006-09-11 17:31:44
148.   Xeifrank
145. That might very easily be the best starting 5/6 rotation in the NL next year if it were to come to fruition.
vr, Xei
2006-09-11 17:32:17
149.   Goiter
I'm also puzzled as to whom the Dodgers will pursue for offense this winter. If all of the free agents do not return, this would be the scenario:

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
SS - Furcal
3B - Betemit/LaRoche
LF - Ethier
CF - Kemp
RF - Drew

Let's say the Dodgers sign Soriano. Where would they put him? At 2nd? Kent is there. You could put Kent at 1st, but where would Loney go? Back to AAA? You could put Soriano in the OF, but that would force a trade/demotion for Ethier/Kemp.

So who do you think the Dodgers will pursue and what position will they place him/them at?

2006-09-11 17:32:39
150.   Paul Scott
143 But FLA is competition for us to get into the post-season. NY is not. You have to cheer for the Mets to sweep.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-09-11 17:33:14
151.   Xeifrank
147. Are they day games? Is it likely to rain the entire day?? If they are day games, I would hope they could get the game in eventually without too soggy of an outfield. vr, Xei
2006-09-11 17:34:27
152.   Bob Warth
151. tomorrow and wednesday are night games (at least here in illinois); thursday is in the afteroon.
2006-09-11 17:36:25
153.   Xeifrank
149. I think it looks just the way you have it with Saenz platooning at 1B. I would think we'd need some depth in the OF though. Two youngsters (one kind of proven the other not) and a gimpy RFer at times. I'd spend the Nomar money Schmidt if the bidding doesn't get astronaumical. Just my $1/50
vr, Xei
2006-09-11 17:38:46
154.   King of the Hobos
Uggla got a hit, but it was a single off the pitchers mound. Had he attempted to leg out a triple off the hit, he would have failed.
2006-09-11 17:42:11
155.   gpellamjr
140 I'd say the StL/Hou game is important for the Dodgers. It will be big to get that #2 spot for the playoffs. If Houston wins, the Dodgers will be 1 game up over StL.
2006-09-11 17:47:16
156.   Jacob L
140 Funny, I never thought of Giant fans holding a grudge against Fla from 2003, but I'm from a Chicago family.

Lets face it, the 2003 post season spread misery and devastation across the land. But I'm sure Marlin fans were happy. Both of them. For however many days between the WS win and the next Dolphins game.

2006-09-11 17:48:25
157.   dzzrtRatt
155 I suppose you're right, plus Houston is still technically a player in the WC, only five back and 4 1/2 if they win. I guess I look at things the old fashioned way. No NL west contenders, no Philly, and with St.L. and NY pretty much locks... But you're right, we're in a seeding world now.

I'm just old. Sorry. I still look at the Padres as an expansion team and I'm always caught short when I realize the Brewers are no longer in the AL.

2006-09-11 17:50:32
158.   Vaudeville Villain
I don't see what's not to like about Florida. If you're going to be bad, might as well develop the young players while you do it. No sense in wasting ABs with veterans. Their GM also seems pretty smart. Every trade they made this off-season looks good. (At least every trade I can remember.)
2006-09-11 17:51:57
159.   dzzrtRatt
Many Bay Area fans in my family. They hate the Marlins much more than they hate, say, the Angels. They think the Angels beat them fair and square in '02, and that it was also their own team & manager's fault. But they think the Marlins were lucky bastards who had no right to send a far superior Giant team home early.
2006-09-11 17:53:49
160.   ToyCannon
Dodger fans sure are snooty cause of their fan base even if 10,000 of those ticket sales never actually step inside DS on any given weekday night cause it is to much of a hassle to get to DS after work.
2006-09-11 17:55:40
161.   Marty
157 Funny. I also still think of the Padres as an expansion team. They've only been around for 37 years or so right? They're still babies.
2006-09-11 17:57:29
162.   Gen3Blue
149 My mother had one-don't feel bad.
But your question is best and most pertinent. I think Loney,Kemp and Laroche/Betemit must playand may have shaky spots. But they should improve over the next year or two and have plenty of ceiling.
I think The D's should spend their money an pitching! And onlyt pitching.

By the way, Cody Ross just hit his second.--five RBI's for the night--and he is not a bad fielder. What can you do.

2006-09-11 17:59:20
163.   Uncle Miltie
It's 90 degrees and I just got back from my 4 mile run. I hate this weather!

Here's a list of some proven winners
Marlon Anderson
Greg Maddux
Aaron Sele
Kenny Lofton*
Ramon Martinez**

Now the list of gritty veterans
Mark Hendrickson
Toby Hall
Julio Lugo
Brett Tomko
Einar Diaz
Jeff Kent
Ramon Martinez**

Guys who need to learn how to win
Brad Penny- two world series victories not withstanding, it's hard to calculate how much value Penny brings to the team. It took a special player and person in Lo Duca to acquire Penny. Penny also might be hurting the clubhouse chemistry with his fiery outbursts.
JD Drew- the main guy who is bringing the Dodgers down. You won't see Drew pumping his fist, doing an elaborate handshake with a teammate, or even making a facial expression that resembles happiness or joy. Drew is a very gloomy person. You won't see him on the field if his arm is coming out of his shoulder socket. Kirk Gibson he is not.

*K Loft spreads his Klores (sp?) like a leprechaun
**It takes a special kind of player to make both lists, but Lucille brings things to the clubhouse that don't show up in the box scores

2006-09-11 18:06:09
164.   thinkingblue
126.

LOL, east coast bias. And I hear they're even talking about Wagner as the CY Young, even though Takashi Saito has been clearly superior, and it shouldn't go to relievers.

2006-09-11 18:06:22
165.   Jacob L
158 It has nothing to do with their baseball philosophy or business approach. I have to channel my Cub fan recessive genes to try to fully spell out the Marlin issue.

Our basic function as sports fans is to want and hope that our team wins. When and if they do win, then, it reflects back on our belief and faith and determination to stick with them through whatever it took to get there. Mumbo-jumbo, yes, but mumbo-jumbo that we have to buy into, in some way, to be sports fans.

I look at Florida as a team that is essentially "un-affiliated" baseball players. Not that there aren't Marlin fans - I'm sure there are, and I'm sure some of them are quite passionate. But I remember watching them in 2003 and thinking this is just a baseball team - no history, no baggage, little pressure, and their winning means very little to very few.

So they win 2 world series in 6 years. The lesson is that you don't get rewarded for the loyalty and faith in your team. You get punished. And you could take some solace in feeling happy for the other guy, but you've poured your life into this thing, and the other guy probably tuned some time in mid-September.

It shouldn't reflect on their players or management or whatever, but in my mind, that's "what's not to like about the Marlins."

2006-09-11 18:16:50
166.   Paul Scott
155 I am not sure it is that simple, at least if we assume the goal is to get the WS (and then win it, but NL games have nothing to do with that last bit).

I'll start with a couple assumptions:

1. The Mets are the "best" team in the NL. That is, in any head-to-head single game competition, the odds of the Mets winning is greater than 50%.

2. The Dodgers are the second best team in the NL.

Both, especially #2, are debatable. But they are a reasonable place to start.

Is it actually better to be 2nd or is it better to be 4th (WC)?

Clearly, it is more likely for an inferior team to win a 5-game series than it is to win a 7-game series.

Clearly, then, the best possible situation is that we come in second, we win and the Mets lose their 5-game series to the WC team. We then play our 7-game series against that WC team (which at this point would have to be Cin or SD, otherwise the Mets would have played St.L. in the 5-game round). But, also clearly true in this case is that if we come in second, our most likely second round, 7-game series opponent would be the Mets.

It is probably still better that way, given that the odds of the non-Eastern Division WC team beating the Mets in a 5-game series is still pretty good. So if we come in second there is a decent chance we don't face the Mets at all. But there is at least something to the idea that it might be better to face them in the first round when we only have to win 3 of 5.

A Monte Carlo play out of the two scenarios would be interesting to me.

2006-09-11 18:18:38
167.   Bluebleeder87
fire fighters are driving thrue our streets & people are waving at them, it's the 2nd time they past by my block it kind of gave me chills because my little nefous were waving at them & the fire fighters waved back.
2006-09-11 18:20:34
168.   GoBears
Forgive me if this was mentioned upthread (I'll catch up) but did anyone else notice this ESPN.com headline and do a spit-take?

"Gagne re-ups for $26M"

2006-09-11 18:20:42
169.   Gagne55
I'm with Jacob in 165
2006-09-11 18:21:00
170.   GoBears
Thankfully, it refers to hockey player Simon Gagne, of the Flyers.

Phew.

2006-09-11 18:21:05
171.   Bluebleeder87
they don't pass by here all that often but i just took another peek out the window & my next dore neighbor is the one that called them because there talking to him at the moment.
2006-09-11 18:24:25
172.   Gen3Blue
Cody Ross w/ no. 3. All of them decisive drives without a doubt. These begin to add up. He may be an unusual hitter.
2006-09-11 18:31:42
173.   GoBears
168/170. OK, I was repeating an earlier post. Sorry 'bout that, Benaiah.
2006-09-11 18:32:20
174.   Bob Timmermann
Pirates stay alive with a 4-3 win over the Brewers!

Cardinals pounding the Astros 7-0.

2006-09-11 18:36:30
175.   Bluebleeder87
any Padre updates or are they off as well?
2006-09-11 18:47:35
176.   overkill94
Anybody else think it might be a better idea to (gasp) trade some of our young stud hitters to acquire quality pitching and then spend the free agent money on hitters? Ethier's value will probably never be higher, would it be possible to acquire someone like Scot Olsen for him? Florida's fairly thin in the outfield and has a glut of young starting pitchers. Then to fill the gap in the outfield we could pay someone like Soriano the big money to mash and play LF, thus minimizing the risk of having too many young hitters and adding another young stud pitcher to the stable.

Certainly sounds better than paying through the nose for Zito or Schmidt.

2006-09-11 18:56:24
177.   JoeyP
Cody Ross is 4-5 with 2hrs, and 7RBI's.

Last time he did something like that he was released!

2006-09-11 18:58:07
178.   Gen3Blue
176 Too complicated-and more chances for management to blow it--Why not keep the position players and spend the money on pitchers. I t is really no different, only simpler. And simpler is less chence for mistakes.
2006-09-11 19:00:46
179.   Gen3Blue
177 Cody has 3 HRs. Even more like the last time.
2006-09-11 19:02:24
180.   dzzrtRatt
Bluebleeder is on a spelling roll!

Nephews = Nefous

Door = Dore (which is amazing because his next word was "neighbors," which is ostensibly harder to spell, and he spelled it correctly.)

(Now I hope he knows I'm posting this out of love.)

2006-09-11 19:06:05
181.   JoeyP
Or make that 3Hr's.
Ross has had two very good games this season.
2006-09-11 19:06:24
182.   william
Saw the front page news link on ESPN that "Gagne re-ups for $26m". I was thinking, hmm, if that's for three years, that might be a fair contract. Then I clicked and found it was Simon Gagne of the Flyers. Misleading.
2006-09-11 19:10:13
183.   Bluebleeder87
180

no harm no foul i'm cool with it. :o)

2006-09-11 19:11:26
184.   Fallout
157 dzzrtRatt
I'm always caught short when I realize the Brewers are no longer in the AL.

What? The Brewers are in the AL anymore? No wonder I can't find them!

Seriously, this is one of the reasons why I don't like pro football. Nobody is in the city they s/b in. When the Baltimore Colts become the Ravens, it was too much...

2006-09-11 19:43:30
185.   Sam DC
Soriano with one caught stealing so far tonight.
2006-09-11 19:46:17
186.   Sam DC
Nationals have no hits, no runs, but five walks, through three.

Quixotic battle alert. Gameday seems to be crediting Soriano both for getting picked off first and for getting caught stealing second on the same play: "With Felipe Lopez batting, Alfonso Soriano picked off and caught stealing 2nd base, pitcher Claudio Vargas to first baseman Conor Jackson."

In the offensive stats section, it also says:

"CS: Soriano (14, 2nd base by Vargas/Snyder).
PO: Soriano (1st base by Vargas)."

That doesn't seem right.

2006-09-11 19:50:28
187.   das411
Wow, hard to believe you guys are more psyched than I am about Simon Gagne being re-upped! That's three posts already and none of them were from me...or DT Hockey Fan #2, Bob Timmermann!

156 - "...the 2003 post season spread misery and devastation across the land."

Let's count: Phillies, Giants, Braves, Chubs, Red Sox, Twins, Yankees. And don't forget the Mariners won 93 games and missed the playoffs while the Marlins only won 91 and then ran the table...and the 'stros missed the NL Central by 1 game and the Cards by 3...yeah 2003 was pretty much the awesomest playoffs I can remember!

184 - What?!? You mean these Cleveland Browns aren't the same lousy Cleveland Browns that have always been there?? What are you going to tell me next, that we haven't always been at war with EastAsia?

2006-09-11 19:50:57
188.   natepurcell
Anybody else think it might be a better idea to (gasp) trade some of our young stud hitters to acquire quality pitching and then spend the free agent money on hitters? Ethier's value will probably never be higher, would it be possible to acquire someone like Scot Olsen for him?

I honestly probably would do that. Scot Olsen is going to be awesome.

2006-09-11 19:53:35
189.   King of the Hobos
I can't tell if 186 violates #9 or not, especially as the Nats immediately had a 3 hit rally in the 4th. There would have been significant problems if Vargas had thrown a no hitter though, Burnett style or not.
2006-09-11 19:57:14
190.   Bob Timmermann
186

That's correct.

Vargas is credited with a pickoff, which is one category.

Soriano is credited with a caught stealing, which is another category.

The weird thing is that Chris Snyder is credited with catching a runner stealing even though he didn't catch the ball on the play. But I'm sure he provided moral support.

2006-09-11 19:58:14
191.   Bob Timmermann
I'm also assuming that when Soriano was picked off, he made a half-hearted run toward second and Jackson tagged him out?
2006-09-11 20:12:19
192.   Sam DC
191 I'm gameday only -- wife watching Tao of Steve.

I see what you're saying, but I still feel like Soriano should either have been picked off or caught stealing but not both. One outcome per person per play!

2006-09-11 20:14:09
193.   StolenMonkey86
163 - I have to call you on a couple things:

1) Brad Penny was only in 1 World Series.

2) JD Drew has put up the following line since August 1:
.278/.385/.486

and he's the main guys bringing us down?

2006-09-11 20:19:13
194.   Benaiah
193 - I think he meant he has two wins in the world series he played in.
2006-09-11 20:33:48
195.   StolenMonkey86
194 - true
2006-09-11 20:43:01
196.   natepurcell
go vikings :)
2006-09-11 21:38:10
197.   overkill94
178 Scot Olsen has a very good chance to produce as well (if not better) than Zito or Schmidt during the tenure of their contracts, so instead of paying for aging pitchers, you're paying for a hitter still in his prime with no injury history. When paying out the big bucks, I'd rather it be for a hitter rather than a pitcher due to the risks involved.
2006-09-11 22:22:25
198.   Greg Brock
In a day filled with sad remembrance, a simple shining light brings joy to the masses.

The Raiders got shut out on Monday Night.

Goodnight everybody!

2006-09-11 22:49:12
199.   gpellamjr
166 Well, what I am saying is that it's best in a situation where the Ds play the Cardinals, it's batter for them to have the better record, that they may have home field advantage in a series. I would also rather run the risk of playing the Mets in a 7 game series, while hoping they get eliminated by the Padres or whoever in a 5 game series before the Dodgers have to face them. Ugh. I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore.
2006-09-11 23:29:20
200.   Uncle Miltie
193- I broke Jon's rule about sarcasm. I thought this line gave it away:
You won't see him on the field if his arm is coming out of his shoulder socket.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-09-11 23:43:37
201.   trainwreck
Thankfully the Dodgers are not like the Raiders :(
2006-09-12 01:20:54
202.   StolenMonkey86
200 - Well, first I apologize for not paying too close attention.

Secondly, I guess that's why that rule's there.

This might have been mentioned earlier, but Ramon Martinez has apparently helped to employ some useful veteran leadership (tm). From the Daily News on Monday:
Loney said it was a chance conversation with infielder Ramon Martinez at the batting cage midway through that second stay with the Dodgers that might have turned around his season.

"He said I was gripping the bat too tightly," Loney said. "He said I should just hold it loosely in my stance, and when I went to swing, my hands would tighten on it naturally. I tried it in batting practice, and I immediately felt the ball come off the bat differently."

Martinez said he told Loney that by squeezing the bat in the early part of his stance while waiting for the pitcher to deliver, he was fatiguing the muscles in his arms. The results speak for themselves. But the immediate future hasn't spoken yet.

2006-09-12 01:21:47
203.   StolenMonkey86
ok, it's actually I guess from the Tuesday edition. It was posted 9/11/06 at 10:46 PM PDT
2006-09-12 01:43:33
204.   Uncle Miltie
202- there's a reason why he is the only player to make the proven winner and gritty veteran lists ;)
2006-09-12 05:59:15
205.   Eric Enders
Tony Jackson proving that dozing off doesn't impede his ability to write dumb articles.

"Will the club re-sign Nomar Garciaparra? Is James Loney ready to take over on an everyday basis? Is Jeff Kent willing to move there if he is asked? The short answers are probably not, probably not and probably. The long answers require a little more investigation, beginning with the Garciaparra issue, which no one on either side is willing to touch so far with the Dodgers in the midst of a pennant race."

I don't see how any reasonable person comes up with that answer. You have a player here who leads all of professional baseball in hitting this year. Clearly if he's ever going to be good enough to play, he's good enough now. Loney has nothing, zero, zip, left to prove in the minors. He is as ready as it is possible to be. So by saying he's not ready, what Jackson is essentially saying is that Loney will never be a viable major leaguer.

Which is a big limb to go out on. Have fun when it snaps, Tony. I'm sure your brain-dead suggestion to sign Sean Casey instead will be met with the appropriate snickers from the front office.

Is it a rookie thing? First Billingsley was the irrational object of his poison pen, and now Loney.

2006-09-12 06:28:46
206.   Benaiah
Correct me if I am wrong, but we are actually trailing the Cards right now, since they beat us head to head this year. Thus, we would not have home field advantage if the season ended today and we have to pick up a game against the Lou if we want to get it.
2006-09-12 07:43:10
207.   Terry A
205 - I agree completely. I couldn't finish Jackson's latest "work" when I realized he seriously thought the team should pursue Casey over Loney. Maybe Jackson's just a fan of the loquacious Casey, dating back to their days together in the Reds clubhouse.

And for the record, I believe Choi was the first recipient of Jackson's printed scorn.

If Jackson took more naps -- especially during working hours -- I think we'd all be happier.

2006-09-12 07:44:43
208.   gpellamjr
206 You are correct. That is precisely why I so wanted the Cardinals to lose last night.
2006-09-12 08:11:53
209.   Jon Weisman
205/207 - Just to be clear, Jackson brings up Casey and dismisses him in the same sentence.

I'm a little surprised at the harsh reaction to the story. While he may be overreacting to Loney's lack of power (then again, maybe he's not, considering the low amount of homers the Dodgers hit), Jackson doesn't end up suggesting that there are any better options for the money than Loney, and ends the story on a fairly positive note: the power isn't there yet, but meanwhile, Loney learned a lot this year.

2006-09-12 08:34:42
210.   Terry A
So you're saying I should've read the whole thing before forming such a harsh (and apparently uninformed) decision?

Where's the fun in that?

2006-09-12 08:37:22
211.   Gagne55
I read the article. Is your problem with this line?:
"Detroit's Sean Casey is available, but he is already making $8.5 million, and his career number don't compare favorably to Garciaparra's"

That sounds like he's just mulling over options and saying that Sean Casey is around, which is true, but makes no claim the Dodgers should sign him.

2006-09-12 08:38:22
212.   Gagne55
210 Yes. And the fun is in showing people that didn't read it that they're wrong about it.
2006-09-12 08:50:29
213.   CanuckDodger
209 -- My interpretation was that Jackson wants Kent to move to first base next year, which he said was doable right after shooting down the prospect of Nomar re-signing and pronouncing Loney unlikely to be ready for the job.

In reply to Eric, who wonders what Jackson thinks Loney has to prove, I think it was plain that Jackson thinks Loney has to prove he has the home run power usually expected of a first baseman. That is the position of more than a few Dodger fans, specifically JoeyP and MartinBillingsley, the latter of whom has not posted here for a long time. What I wonder is why people who aren't complaining about Nomar hitting with below-average HR power for a first baseman are so sure that Loney can't be permitted to be the kind of first baseman that Nomar is this year. Nomar and Loney are actually very similar at the plate: high-average doubles hitters with only occasional over-the-fence pop who rarely strike out and draw an acceptable number of walks, but not a great number of walks. At least Loney doesn't have a swing-at-the-first-pitch fetish that I know about.

2006-09-12 08:59:53
214.   Gagne55
Loney is gonna be awesome. I <3 James Loney.
2006-09-12 09:04:17
215.   Bob Timmermann
206
You are correct. The seeding is listed on the sidebar on the Griddle with an explanatory note.
2006-09-12 09:13:03
216.   Jon Weisman
213 - And in turn, Kent has fewer HR than Garciaparra this year.

Slugging percentage in 2006: Garciaparra .509, Loney .506, Kent .473

EQA in 2006: Garciaparra .297, Loney .284, Kent .280

2006-09-12 09:23:18
217.   blue22
Anyone concerned about power production from first base shouldn't be looking at Casey anyway.

He's topped a .450 slugging percentage only once in the last 5 years, nice guy or not.

2006-09-12 09:35:27
218.   Benaiah
216 - I think that this is the tragedy of trading Guzman, say what you want about his head, defense, contact skills ect. he had prodigious power potential (I love the alliteration). Meanwhile, what did we get for him and a catcher who hit 20 home runs? A backup utility player with a good bat, for a short stop, and eventually two draft picks, which if we are lucky, will translate into... someone with good power potential who will be 5 years from the show instead of ready at any moment.
2006-09-12 09:40:11
219.   regfairfield
Speaking of Guzman, here's what Kevin Goldstein of BP had to say about him today:

"The Dodgers realized that Joel Guzman was not only no longer a shortstop, but that he had moved all the way across the defensive spectrum to the first base/left field side of things, so his offensive profile quickly went from pretty good to pretty bad. Luckily they were able to flip him to Tampa Bay, who normally knows better."

So, how does a guys stock drop that hard in one year?

2006-09-12 09:52:03
220.   Benaiah
219 - I know. The guy goes from a top 10-20 prospect who almost makes the team out of Spring Training (remember when he was hitting the cover off the ball and the press was hyping him as the savior in ST?) to someone who the Dodgers were lucky to pawn off (with another prospect) on the DRays for a one year rental. He didn't have a great year (297.353.464 in Vegas) but he is a 21 year old in AAA and apparently already a bust.
2006-09-12 09:54:50
221.   Jon Weisman
219 - He was a little overrated in the Spring; he's probably a little underrated now. But the difference between the expecations for a shortstop and a first baseman is large, as we all know to well.
2006-09-12 09:55:14
222.   Jon Weisman
New thread up top.

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