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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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The Dodger Lineup, From A to M
2006-10-25 12:39
by Jon Weisman

Take a look at the Dodgers' current starting lineup and let me know if you're thinking what I'm thinking.

Pos. PlayerEQAVORPr
2BJeff Kent.297.317
SSRafael Furcal.286.292
RFJ.D. Drew.306.272
1B James Loney.299.270
LFAndre Ethier.288.204
CRussell Martin.276.186
CFMatt Kemp.260.093
3BWilson Betemit.257.021
*Wilson Betemit.285.241
*with Atlanta in 2006
Stats courtesy of Baseball Prospectus. VORPr measures runs per game beyond what a replacement player (at that position) would produce.

That's right - no last names in the second half of the alphabet. The lineup is entirely top-heavy!

On the bright side, the Dodgers can field a lineup of players under contract for 2007 that has no one with a below-average 2006 EQA (.260). Every player is above replacement value. Nonetheless, I suspect few are completely satisfied with the lineup, raising questions about where can the Dodgers improve the most.

Jeff Kent, Rafael Furcal and J.D. Drew all played solidly for most of 2006. Furcal, as has been widely observed, basically mashed the ball after May 1, and ended up trailing only Florida's Hanley Ramirez (not Hedy or Hedley) among NL shortstops in VORPr. The strength of Kent's numbers is rather startling, considering that his home runs declined from 29 in 2005 to 14 in 2006, but unmistakable. And Drew, with little media credit, put together a 1.145 OPS September - when it counted, as they say - to help carry the team into the playoffs.

James Loney is a mild wild card. Our snapshot of him potentially provides him a perception advantage that Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp don't have, capturing Loney at the height of a season-ending hot streak and before the National League has an opportunity to adjust to him the way they might have adjusted to Ethier and Kemp. Despite his .380 batting average in the minors, leading all of professional baseball, and his September mini-heroics, experience teaches us that Loney might have a rough patch sometime in 2007.

But first base is not a position the Dodgers need to solve. Kent's defense at second base looked so weak at the end of 2006, at least subjectively, that a prolonged Loney slump would probably give the Dodgers an excuse to move Kent's bat to first base (assuming Kent doesn't go off an offensive cliff himself, which is always a possibility). Olmedo Saenz is also around for spot starts. Overall, with a great eye for contact and a deft glove, Loney is a likely starter at first base, and it's reasonable to simply ask that the Dodgers give him the same opportunity to ride out any slump that they gave veterans like Kent and Furcal.

Martin, without necessarily being expected to play in the big leagues before September, emerged at age 23 as a top-10 catcher in VORPr in 2006. A sophomore slump is possible, but considering his role as catcher, it's one of the last things the Dodgers will worry about.

Ethier's late-season slump renewed questions about his game. Jokingly nicknamed "3.5" by midseason by Dodger Thoughts commenters because he rapidly proved himself better than a No. 4 outfielder, Ethier could have been called "1" the way he was performing through August. After September 1, he managed only seven hits in 53 at-bats, losing playing time to a red-hot Marlon Anderson, and he dropped back to "4" as far as manager Grady Little was concerned.

With Kemp next to him in the current outfield, Ethier stands as a "2." In all likelihood, however, Ethier will enter Spring Training as "3," with Anderson (presumably having lost his Superman cape) around as his backup. That's because Dodger general manager Ned Colletti won't be comfortable with Kemp as a starter, and will make it a top priority to have someone in his stead, at least when March comes around. Kemp will have to wrestle a starting job away from someone. He may well do that before 2007 is over, but as far as the current offseason goes, the team is an outfielder short, and this stands as the most logical place for the Dodgers to look to improve.

Should the Dodgers be worried about blocking Kemp? Not really. If somehow the Dodgers end up with four starting-quality outfielders, that just means that they can rest Drew at will and/or will have trade bait to boost their pitching. As for Kenny Lofton, I think Colletti was satisfied with his 2006 performance (offensively, not defensively) but will want a greater impact player, while I doubt Lofton feels ready to be a full-time reserve. I suspect Lofton will soon be filing his annual change-of-address forms.

For all the attention the Dodger outfield figures to get, however, the biggest mystery in the lineup might be Wilson Betemit. Betemit arrived in Los Angeles with a smash, belting home runs to help spark the Dodgers' 17-1 season-saving run. Unfortunately, Betemit tailed off in September, with a .636 OPS and five extra-base hits. Betemit doesn't walk much and, even more so than Ethier, depends on batting average and slugging percentage to make himself worthwhile, though there is the compensating factor that Betemit plays a more challenging defense position.

If the Dodgers find a bonafide outfielder to join Drew and Ethier, then they can table worries about Betemit (as well as minor league third baseman Andy LaRoche, who is coming off surgery and figures to begin 2007 in AAA Las Vegas) and bat their third baseman eighth if they like. (Any power-hitting acquisition will almost automatically give the Dodgers one of the best top-to-bottom lineups in the game.) However, third base does provide a secondary place for the Dodgers to look for help if they are outbid on outfield improvements.

In a Strat-o-Matic world, I'd be thrilled to re-sign Nomar Garciaparra as a super-utility player, moving around in support of Betemit and Loney and even to rest Kent or Furcal. If I had a chance to interview Garciaparra today, I'd ask him whether he is willing to play any position besides first base anymore, and whether any amount of money could convince him to be a super-utilitarian – something at which he might really thrive. The reality, though, is that Garciaparra probably wants to be a full-time starter, and that another team besides the Dodgers will offer to make him one.

While it's possible that Colletti will do something that will utterly shock us, the difficulty of acquiring premium talent will limit what he can do to the lineup. One main thing I hope Colletti avoids is falling under the spell of a name, power-hitting veteran with hollow supporting stats – the Jeromy Burnitz type.

The Dodger lineup has its question marks, but it's nice to know that for the most part, few major changes are required.

Comments (75)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-25 12:51:24
1.   heato
At this point in his career, is Jim Edmonds considered a Jeromy Burnitz type?
2006-10-25 13:03:24
2.   Bluebleeder87
i find Jim Edmonds a very posible candidate at CF for us.
2006-10-25 13:04:33
3.   bhsportsguy
Buster Olney had some interesting points in his blog today, one thing that we may all thank DePo for is that based on the current baseball economy, the deals for Lowe, Penny and even J.D. Drew are not too bad considering what teams will have to pay out this year for equal or lesser talent that is available via free agency.

Keith Law also reviewed the new contract and he said the reason that MLB wanted to eliminate draft and follow draftees was that it was expensive for teams to scout and keep track of these players (of which, very few got signed) and also, this may lead to the amatuer draft becoming a one day event consisting of 25-30 picks.

2006-10-25 13:06:39
4.   bhsportsguy
2 Are the Cardinals marketing a new sports action figurine of Edmonds?

Think about this and sometime on the drive home tonight, you will bust up laughing.

2006-10-25 13:09:03
5.   blue22
Yay - the Edmonds train is gaining steam! Now there's just that little bit about StL cutting him to save $6M. Hmm...

His .280 eqa in 2006 shows that he's not quite ready to be put out to pasture. His CF play (to my eyes) seems to still be strong.

The benefit of Edmonds is that LA may only need him for a Lofton-esque 130 games in center. That seems to be a match on what to expect from him at this stage of his career.

2006-10-25 13:36:21
6.   Marty
I work with someone named Hedley. It takes all of my will power to resist calling him Heddy.
2006-10-25 13:36:43
7.   Uncle Miltie
Let's do the unthinkable, bring back Gary Sheffield, one of my least favorite players to ever put on a Dodgers uniform. Sheffield was injured last season, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him bounce back. Sheffield is capable of posting a 2006 JD Drew-like season, even at his age. Sheffield is still one of the most feared hitters in baseball. It's a low risk, high reward move. It also might make Kent re-think about retiring ;)
2006-10-25 13:37:17
8.   Robert Fiore
I don't think the Hedy/Hedley joke works unless the person's last name is LaMarr.

The trouble with bringing back Garciaparra is that he's likely to stand in Loney's way regardless of what the "understanding" is. A manager who has to win ballgames now as well as in the long term is always going to be tempted by what seems to be the sure thing.

2006-10-25 13:38:56
9.   Marty
My Hedley's last name is very close to LaMarr. It makes it even more tempting.
2006-10-25 13:41:03
10.   caseybarker
7 To play where, right field?
2006-10-25 13:42:07
11.   twerp
It's amazing how often I chime in right as Jon adds a new post, or right after, like now. So this repost from last thread is late. But 3 things RE Beimel---

1) If he's being scapegoated because the Dodgers lost, that's absurd. He might or might not have pitched well. But baserunning straight out of the 3 Stooges--who's on third... Anyhow?--a team ERA over 5, lack of timely hitting from several players, etc. override anything Beimel might have added. Given those problems, LA loses, Beimel or no, as most teams would.

2) If you wouldn't cut a superstar Pujols for the same offense, the argument loses steam. We all know a Pujols wouldn't be cut. The team would lose too much. He might be traded, so a team could "make a statement." But the team would get back enormous value for him, so it really wouldn't be sacrificing to make its "statement."

3) Let any of us who have not been given a second chance after fouling something up cast the first stone/insist Beimel be cut loose...especially if he hasn't had other incidents.

But if he comes back and there's another similiar incident, that's different.

2006-10-25 13:43:27
12.   blue22
7/10 - If Drew becomes the fulltime CFer, LA's options increase dramatically (allowing them to go after a corner OF). I'm not sure what the club and JD's opinion of that is though.

LA's OF defense is very weak outside of JD. Ethier is a LFer. Kemp could play RF with his arm, but his routes would be uncomfortable to watch in CF.

2006-10-25 13:47:54
13.   caseybarker
11 I saw it. I think your right about #1, but we'll never know the impact of Beimel's loss. We can rationalize that it was big or small, but we'll never know how big or small.

#2 Winning usually trumps all, and the fans (attendance) want a winner.

#3 No comment.

2006-10-25 13:50:42
14.   caseybarker
I was commenting in 9 on the fact that Sheefield probably wouldn't be a good right fielder. So if Kemp is out, the Dodgers will probably search for a CF/RF. Of course, Loney has some experience in right...
2006-10-25 14:03:25
15.   bigcpa
My hitter shopping list:
1) Burrell - eat the contract and give up next to nothing
2) Dunn - if Ned ever grasps the buy low concept now is the time
3) A Jones - Boras says he's staying put but he'd make a nice 1-year rental.
4) V Wells - probably way too expensive for a 1-year rental.
5) Edmonds - only FA on the list. Would be great in an OF with Burrell or Dunn.

My lineup:


Bonus- everyone still falls in the first half of the alphabet.

2006-10-25 14:04:24
16.   blue22
Sheffield's numbers show him to be slightly below average, but above replacement level, in right. Even if he slips a bit more, I'll take a .280/.380/.500 line from a slightly below average defensive right-fielder.
2006-10-25 14:06:44
17.   bhsportsguy
Jon - You may want to post just to calm down Logan White fans.

From Tony Jackson's article in today's Daily News.

Watson and scouting director Logan White, who was involved in the interview process and whose department is credited with stocking the Dodgers' system with all that promising talent, know each other well.

"The thing that excites me is that he is really positive with the players," White said. "He has a good scouting background and was a good scouting director, and he has been around the development side and been around a lot of good people."

The article also said that Watson plans to hire a minor-league field coordinator, a role Collins filled himself but for which most farm directors hire someone else.

2006-10-25 14:23:39
18.   D4P
I heard a rumor that you can't pick up the KFWB signal in Ontario
2006-10-25 14:27:34
19.   LAT
If you play the name "Gary Sheffield" backwards on a record player you can hear Paul McCartny say "Terrell Owens."

I don't want to ever see Shefield in Dodger Stadium again. Not as a Dodger, not as a visitor, not even as a spectator. Anyone who threatens to intentioanlly loaf unless his contract is renegotiated is, well, insert your own word here. Like TO, Shefield's BS jsut isn't worth it, and TO is in his prime. Shefield is over teh hill and has less to offer than he ever has.

2006-10-25 14:27:35
20.   blue22
15 - Based on that, I'd assume there is a new member of the starting rotation where Andre Ethier's locker used to be?

There better be, because Pat the Bat is still due $14M and $13M the next two years. That leaves very little leftover to upgrade the real weaknesses on this team - namely two of the first three slots in the rotation.

2006-10-25 14:28:59
21.   ToyCannon
Sorry for the long post but here is my take on the possible centerfielders which is the only flaw I see in our lineup at the moment. Options are:
Jim Edmunds if available would seem to be a good fit if he takes a two year deal. He would need a platton partner(Werth, Repko, Kemp) as his splits against lefties are Lofton like. He still pounds righties and his 947 OPS shows it. His overall numbers dropped to a 822 OPS because of his < 500 OPS against LHP. Of course his dramatic drop against LHP this year might be due to injuries as his 2002-2005 split against them is solid with an OPS of 841 but you'd have to expect some dropoff given how old he is. He can also play 1st base if needed.

Gary Matthews Jr had his career year at age 32 playing in an offensive park. He's had his ups and downs but his 3 year trend in power has been on the upswing. He's got much more power from the right side but he's not a cipher from the left side. He takes a walk, has some speed once on base, and can hit with some power. The power might be an illusion of Texas but his road slug% split this year was 480 so it just might be his power is for real.

Dave Roberts is now 35 but if given a choice between Lofton and Roberts I'd take Roberts because they are similiar offensive players but Roberts can still play defense. Not someone I'd target but someone I could live with.

Stud Availability:
Andruw Jones - still just 29 entering the last year of his deal with the Braves. Will the Braves trade him? If so we should be players. His defense may not be in the class of Mays anymore but it will do.

Vernon Wells - Also entering the last year of his deal with the Bluejays. He's only 27 and just had his best year since 2003 but that followed two very mediocre seasons in 2004/2005. If you knew you were getting 2006 I'd deal for him but the reality is that you may not be getting more then what Mathews could get you at a fraction of the price. He is sure to get 10Mill at least per year in his walk year. I'm not convinced he's that kind of player after watching him muddle through 2004/2005.

Non Studs but attactive nonetheless:

Ryan Church - for whatever reason the Nationals don't like him. I haven't seen him play enough defense in CF to know if he can handle the position but from an offensive standpoint I'm interested. From HQ "-Is anyone interested in a 27-year old OF with a 177 PX, 14% bb% and an .877 OPS in 166 ABs? Clearly WAS Mgr Frank Robinson isn't, as Ryan Church (OF, WAS) sat again Friday nigh"
The man can take a walk, hit with power and has decent speed.

Rocco Baldelli- I'm one of the few here who is a big fan. Probably cause of the name but HQ sees some underlying factors that they also like "Baldelli's PX shows that he's capable of driving the ball with great authority. Also, his plus speed lets him take advantage of ground balls, which helped him in August. In September, he began to boost his fly ball rate, resulting in a 261 PX! The sample size is small, but there are signs of elite power here. While it's true that Baldelli could stand to grow his plate patience, his power/speed skills enable him to overcome that flaw. He will be prone to slumps based on hit rate, but he's capable of putting up some monster numbers given a full healthy season."

Corey Hart - he's basically Werth circa 2004 without the injuries. Tall, lanky with good speed and can play all 3 outfield positions and 3b or 1st. Brewers have Mench, Jenkins, Clark, and Hart in the OF at the moment. He might be available but probably not. Another favorite of mine.

Aaron Rowand - Victorino might have made him expendable. Solid and sometimes a spectacular fielder he's not much of hitter. The 2004 season looks to be an aberration.

Jeremy Reed - Once the feather in the White Sox farm system his value has plunged due to injuries and lack of production. He could be a possible buy low candidate that may still be able to bring back the promise he once showed. The Mariners look to have given up on him as they plan on moving Ichiro to CF. Remember this is the team that gave away Carlos Guillen to make way for Rich Aurillia.

2006-10-25 14:30:18
22.   Sushirabbit
15 I like Burrell, alot, too. But I think Ethier is going to have a great career, and I hate to let go of that sweet swing. Plus Kemp figures to be ready somewhere in 2007. But that still leaves Repko, Anderson and Werth to deal with. To me Edmonds is the right mix of defense, bat, and age/health risk-- Sort of like a Lofton upgrade, that would allow you to hang on to the cheaper/younger outfielders.

Maybe it seems easy to be a GM most of the time, but I'd hate to have to deal with Gagne, Saito, Beimel, Garciappara, Werth, AND getting a starter, another bat, and maybe even have to get another closer. Still it's better than alot of teams (giants!).

2006-10-25 14:35:03
23.   ToyCannon
I'm confused Larry. You want to give Beimel a 2nd chance, a run of the mill pitcher but you won't give an elite hitter like Sheffield another chance? I'm with Miltie when Sheffield played for the Dodgers it was a dark time for me but that was because of who they traded him for. At this point I think Sheffield has matured and would be a solid addition to this team. Moving JD to CF and putting Sheff in right would solve alot of this teams problems. Sheffield didn't burn any bridges with the current administration so I don't think that would be a hurdle. Ned has worked with Bonds, he surely wouldn't be gunshy about working with Sheffield.
2006-10-25 14:41:50
24.   LAT
Heck, someone had to do it. . .

Hedley Lamarr: Repeat after me: I...
Men: I...
Hedley Lamarr: ...your name...
Men: ...your name...
Hedley Lamarr: [to himself] Shmucks.
Hedley Lamarr: ... do pledge allegiance...
Men: pledge allegiance...
Hedley Lamarr: Hedley Lamarr...
Men: Hedy Lamarr...
Hedley Lamarr: That's Hedley.
Men: That's Hedley

2006-10-25 14:43:43
25.   bigcpa
22 If we could pencil in 825 runs a year without retooling I would say keep Ethier. But Burrell is the kind of bat that would prevent us from sagging back to the usual sub-750 run level. Krivsky has openly said he wants AVG over HR/K (i.e. Dunn). Seems like Ethier and an arm is the perfect match. Maybe he's even kooky enough to take Tomko or Hendrickson back.
2006-10-25 14:45:14
26.   ToyCannon
Would everyone be upset if the Dodgers started the 2007 season with the same rotation that ended 2006?
Lowe, Billingsly, Maddux, Kuo, and Penny with Elbert playing the Billingsly role in 2007. You'd have Hendrickson and Tomko in the bullpen for injury replacement to any of the starters. I'm just not sold on any of the free agents. They are either going to be to expensive for what you get or not much of an upgrade from what we currently have.
2006-10-25 14:53:45
27.   blue22
26 - Overhauling the (2nd) most potent offense in the league, while standing pat with a maddeningly frustrating and/or incompetent starting rotation?!?

Ya know, it's just crazy enough to work... ;-)

2006-10-25 14:53:59
28.   Jon Weisman
26 - I plan to post about the starting pitching soon. My quick answer: I think the Dodgers can definintely look for opportunities to improve the rotation, but better to stick with what we have than flail at the Tomko/Hendrickson types.
2006-10-25 14:55:23
29.   Jon Weisman
27 - LOL :) But it should be said, even with the offense being a strength relative to the pitching, it still may be easier to improve the offense, given the dearth of pitching available.
2006-10-25 14:58:24
30.   D4P
better to stick with what we have than flail at the Tomko/Hendrickson types

Tomko/Hendrickson types = what we have

2006-10-25 14:59:52
31.   ToyCannon
Except they are now fall back pitchers instead of rotational pitchers. Big difference.
2006-10-25 15:00:10
32.   blue22
29 - I'm actually just being tongue-in-cheeky. I do agree with that philosophy. Upgrade where you can, maximize your available resources.

I wasn't in love with the offense this year. Fun to watch, but you had the feeling that it might not carry year-over-year. But to carry through with that plan, I think you really have to believe in Penny and his ability to bounceback to #2 or 3 status. That staff could go wrong in a hurry.

2006-10-25 15:00:49
33.   D4P
better to stick with what we have

In modern parlance, "Stay the course"

2006-10-25 15:00:58
34.   Bluebleeder87
I work with someone named Hedley. It takes all of my will power to resist calling him Heddy.

i admire your will power

2006-10-25 15:04:39
35.   LAT
Cannon, Joe is twenty something years old and screwed-up, albeit big-time. He was immature and used bad judgment going out after curfew thinking no one would ever find out. I'm sure he never dreamed he could be hurting his team and if he had to do over again I am sure he wouldn't. I don't believe there was any malice involved.

I don't think I can say any of those things about Sheffield. He has always put himself above his team. Admittedly he has been quieter in the last few years but that is because he is on the downside of his career. He has shot his mouth-off making antagonistic comments about his teammates and his organization. He is an admitted juicer (although I think many were, including Dodgers). He has always been a "me first" guy and I don't think that changes. And on top of it all he is now injury prone. I'm not saying Ned couldn't deal with him. If Ned can handle Barry he can handle anyone. I'm just saying I don't like Sheffield and what he brings to the table now is no longer that special. Not enough to put up with his history or reward his numerous past transgressions. When Beimel demonstrates repeatedly that he is a jerk who intentionally seeks to hurt his team I'll rail against him too but for now it was a just very immature incident.

2006-10-25 15:06:21
36.   bigcpa
26 I'm for that plan except I'd rather substitute a $6-7M horse-type for Maddux e.g. Meche or Padilla. Both avg'd 100 pitches/start and throw gas.
2006-10-25 15:12:51
37.   Bluebleeder87

out of those two i like Padilla maybe because i haven't seen much of the other guy.

2006-10-25 15:13:36
38.   ToyCannon
I understand your point and two years ago I'd have agreed completely but since Sheffield fired Boras he moved up my list. Then he volunteered to play 1st base this summer and that was a team move. So he moved up again, enough that I would not be against having him come back to LA. He is the type of hitter who I think can still contribute at a high level for a few more years. I'd rather have him then trade for Burrel or Dunn but that is just my preference.
2006-10-25 15:20:35
39.   scareduck
23 - I'm confused Larry. You want to give Beimel a 2nd chance, a run of the mill pitcher but you won't give an elite hitter like Sheffield another chance?

Alert me when Joe Beimel demands the team renegotiate his contract after the ink is barely dry. Remind me when Beimel has ever loafed on the field, or threatened to, in order to force a trade. Please. Gary Sheffield was a great player, once upon a time. He's also the closest we have in the modern era to Hal Chase. Pass.

2006-10-25 15:24:04
40.   scareduck
35 - agreed completely. Sheffield is a DH waiting to happen.
2006-10-25 15:24:23
41.   LAT
38. Ok firing Boras is a big step-up. But the first base thing not so much. He is older. With age his options and utility decrease. He has to agree to play other positions if he wants to keep playing. Would have agreed to do these things when he was 30. I'm struggling to remember the JFK quote about making sacrifices when times are hard not when they are easy. Of course he is conciliatory now. Its in his own interest.

Don't worry, as I write this I am realizing my dislike for the guy is dispropionate. I'll let go of it now. There are worse things Ned could do. . .

2006-10-25 15:25:29
42.   bigcpa
Famous Hot Stove Moments in Dodger History- Feb. 2001:

"I'm getting less than Dreifort? I'm getting just $3 million more than Carlos Perez? It's not my fault they signed Perez to that stupid contract. It's not my fault they gave Eric Karros a no-trade clause when he's got no value. It's not my fault they gave Greenie (Green) all that money. They give out all of these dumb contracts, and when it comes to me — nothing."

2006-10-25 15:40:05
43.   regfairfield
42 If I had to single out one reason why I hate Sheffield, that would be it.

It should be noted that when he signed his contract, he was the higest paid player in baseball.

2006-10-25 15:45:03
44.   ToyCannon
Yeah, I guess I'm now in the Twilight Zone when I'm the one defending the Dodger player I disliked the most in my lifetime. I'll bow out of this debate and hide my head in shame for putting any words on paper that were in his behalf.
2006-10-25 15:46:02
45.   ToyCannon
Other then the selfish part his tirade was accurate.
2006-10-25 15:47:12
46.   twerp
26, others....

At the very least a repeat of the final 06 rotation would be markedly better than the one that started 06.

Much improved IF Lowe picks up anywhere close to where he left off, IF Penny can get well/can get his act back together, IF Bills keeps improving, IF Maddux keeps pace with the lower ERA than he had with the Cubs, IF Kuo's arm holds up.

Lots of ifs, but really probably not more than with other pitchers.

And for sure check into any upgrades where possible. But, please, limit any humongous contracts for pitchers. IIRC, in the Dodgers' history with free agent pitchers, only Lowe has worked out fairly well with a big contract. Penny may.

2006-10-25 15:51:14
47.   bigcpa
45 Yeah I was thinking I've read worse in some of the BPro player comments. But they don't have to abide by Jock's Honor.
2006-10-25 16:03:25
48.   twerp
26 thru 32 One thing that might be a brighter spot next year....Lurch left a bad taste with a lot of folks, but if you focus on how he finished you see things like this...

"Mark Hendrickson was a bust as a starter after his acquisition from Tampa Bay, but he pitched his way back into next year's plans by what he did after he was demoted to the bullpen in early September.

"The 6-foot-9 left-hander had a 0.82 ERA, allowing one earned run in 10 2/3 innings in relief, and he didn't let the pressure of the postseason change that, as he allowed only one hit in 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

"Hendrickson credited the hiring of a sports psychologist at the time he was taken out of the starting rotation for helping him get back on track."

Whatever works.

2006-10-25 16:06:48
49.   ToyCannon
Don't know if this was posted before but I was reading up on BA's top prospect per position and thought I'd post how we did.
C - Nobody in top 10
1st - Loney is number 2
2nd - DeWitt is 1st, however he's having a terrible time in the HFL. Tony Abreu is 8th.
3b - Laroche is number 3 behind two of the best prospects in baseball.
SS - Hu is 9th
CF - Kemp is 5th
Corner OF - no top 10 prospect
RHS - Nobody in the top 20
LHS - Elbert is 2 and Kershaw 3
2006-10-25 16:22:31
50.   Andrew Shimmin
If we're going to play amoraler than thou, why not sign Barroid? He'll probably outproduce Shef. His defense, by some metrics, is still pretty good. I fully expect to see Sheffield in hell. That'll be soon enough.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-25 16:23:53
51.   Linkmeister
48 That's it. I'm gonna hire me a sports psychologist. If it gets me more clients who pay their bills on time, I'm up for it.
2006-10-25 16:29:24
52.   Bluebleeder87
Liriano may requie surgery on his pitching elbow.
2006-10-25 16:31:33
53.   twerp
OT, but many DT folks follow college football and might get a charge from this--

At the UT-Alabama game Saturday UT mascot and bluetick coonhound Smokey IX bit an Alabama player during pregame. Drew blood, confirmed Tide coach Mike Shula.

Apparently the player accidentally ran over the dog going after an overthrown pass. And shouldn't have.

Tennessean column about it mentions that back in '68 handlers for Smokey III kept steering the barking dog near 'Bama players before the game. Tide QB Scott Hunter had enough and kicked at the dog. Whereupon Bear Bryant said, "Scott, we've got enough problems up here without you kicking their dog."

In '94, Smokey VII was involuntarily retired after biting the same trombone player in the UT band in consecutive home games.

If interested in more:

Also, IIRC, an earlier Smokey heisted his leg on Auburn coach "Shug" Jordan years back.

2006-10-25 16:32:56
54.   bhsportsguy
Dave Duncan had to make a deal with the Devil because there is no way he could have expected this type pitching during the playoffs based on the last two months of the season.
2006-10-25 16:45:53
55.   Bluebleeder87

They turned it around when they had too, great timing if you ask me.

2006-10-25 16:50:59
56.   trainwreck
I would definitely like to see a LaRoche/Betemit platoon at third base and I think eventually LaRoche would take the job. One of them could always backup Loney and Betemit could back up Kent.

I would look to see if I could get Carl Crawford or Vernon Wells offering Ethier as the centerpiece of the deal. Then I would sign a stop gap outfielder till Kemp is ready to take over the position. Try getting Alou,Dellucci, Jose Guillen or Nixon to sign a one year deal. I know injuries could be a concern, but we have some depth with Anderson, Repko, and Kemp. If I could not get an impact CF then I would not have a problem giving Edmonds a one year deal.

As for pitching I would go after Lilly or Padilla and see if I could get them at a reasonable price. I would make an offer to Zito and a shorter offer to Schmidt and see what their demands are and their interest level in the Dodgers. If not I guess we could bring back Maddux and basically wait for Elbert.

2006-10-25 17:00:13
57.   Uncle Miltie
42- thanks for reminding about that. Has there ever been a more accurate quote from a player than this:
"It's not my fault they gave Eric Karros a no-trade clause when he's got no value."

My least favorite past/current Dodgers
1. Jeff Kent
2. Eric Karros
3. Gary Sheffield
4. Kevin Brown
5. Terry Mulholland (nothing personal, he was just terrible)

Honorable mentions: Carlos Perez, Jeff Shaw

As you can see, I dislike Sheffield immensely, but when healthy, he's still one of the most feared hitters in baseball. JD Drew is probably a better player than Sheffield now, but pitchers aren't nearly as intimidated by Drew as they are by Sheffield. Sheffield brings that "special" presence to a lineup. Sheffield might be the best hitter I've ever seen play for the Dodgers (Piazza is up there).

21- I've always like Matthews, but now he's overvalued and will likely be overpaid. I'd take a flyer on Edmonds. Vernon Wells tops my list. I'd pass on Reed, Roberts, and Rowand.

Baldelli is overrated by traditionalists and underrated by the sabermetrics community. Baldelli's power appears to be developing and he should be a pretty consistent 25-30 HR type player. I'd worry about his speed since he messed up his Achilles (I think). I don't think Baldelli will ever run as well as he did when he first came up. To steal a line from Borat, he's the "vanilla faced" Torii Hunter.

Corey Hart is extremely talented and I can't see the Brewers giving up on him. Church is an underrated hitter, but I haven't seen him play enough center to be able to evaluate his defense. He's a good buy low candidate.

2006-10-25 17:04:23
58.   twerp
42 "Carlos Perez? It's not my fault they signed Perez to that stupid contract."

Seems the Dodgers have a history of signing pitchers named Perez to stupid contracts. See Kansas City roster, wonder if part of ODP salary still being paid by LA could be used better elsewhere. Kick self for stupid question.

Ask Ned to run, not walk, away from pitchers named Perez. ; )

2006-10-25 17:10:41
59.   trainwreck
I like Sheffield but I am not trading away anything for him.
2006-10-25 17:12:29
60.   trainwreck
Anything the Yankees would want I should say.
2006-10-25 17:17:40
61.   bhsportsguy
56 Buster Olney expects pitchers like Ted Lilly to get offers of 4 years/$40 million, if you thought the Russ Ortiz type contracts were outrageous, wait until this off-season.
2006-10-25 17:17:57
62.   blue22
56 - a LaRoche/Betemit platoon at third base

The 23-year old stud third baseman of the future should not be forced to sit 5 days a week as the RH-portion of a platoon. Especially when his platoon mate is a 26-year old switch-hitter.

He starts, whether it's in LA or Vegas I'm not sure of.

2006-10-25 17:17:59
63.   Jim Hitchcock
If you play the name "Gary Sheffield" backwards on a record player you can hear Paul McCartny say "Terrell Owens."

Thanks, LAT...that was truly inspired.

2006-10-25 17:20:34
64.   trainwreck
I do not believe you have to go strictly righty/lefty in a platoon.
2006-10-25 17:22:54
65.   trainwreck
10 million a year for Lilly? I really wish we signed Hochevar.
2006-10-25 17:26:53
66.   trainwreck
I just saw on the news that CA is expected to pass Wisconsin as America's leader in cheese. Hooray!!
2006-10-25 17:36:38
67.   bhsportsguy
65 With the luxury tax threshold going up to almost $150 million next year and even higher after that, teams are just going to spend a lot of money and guys who have some type of track record will get the money.

The Hochevar deal to me is like the HSC debate, there is nothing you can do about it now and very likely we would not have Kershaw had we signed Luke and maybe some other guys like Kyle Orr would not have been signed for budgetary reasons.

2006-10-25 17:47:41
68.   ToyCannon
Still think the biggest mistake of Ned's tenure so far was not in signing Hochevar the moment he took over as GM. If losing Logan White was the result then Logan thinks to much of himself. I'm really hoping for Luke to fail but this should have been a no brainer considering what pitching goes for these days. If he really didn't want him in the Dodger organization he could have traded him once he was signed and had proven his worth. If McCourt couldn't sign Kershaw and Orr because they signed Hochevar would mean the KC has more money available for draftee's then the Dodgers and I doubt that is the case.
2006-10-25 17:58:02
69.   bhsportsguy
68 They probably would not have been able to draft Kershaw because KC would not have had the chance to draft Hochevar and would have had to draft Miller, the Tigers draft Kershaw and the Dodgers draft Morris in the 7th spot.

Again, if a guy says he is going to sign and then he backs out and then makes accusations about you, why would you go back and pay his price and reward him for his backing out.

There was a reason why he was passed over by every team and the first part of the supplemental draft and I don't think all of it was about the money.

2006-10-25 18:27:35
70.   ToyCannon
Didn't notice anyone passing on him in the last draft and yes it was all about money in the 2005 draft otherwise he's a top 5 pick and he's pitching in Colorado.
2006-10-25 20:39:07
71.   caseybarker
Nevertheless, he displayed his childishness to the Dodgers. He reneged on a contract, and he and his agent threw Logan White and the organization under the bus.

Good riddance, buddy. We got rid of Mondesi for less.

2006-10-25 22:50:46
72.   dzzrtRatt
60 Isn't Sheffield effectively a free agent? The yankees will not pick up his $13 mil option with the surplus of OF/1B/DH bangers and their need for a Schmzito-level pitcher.
2006-10-25 23:07:59
73.   Andrew Shimmin
69- How sure are you that the Dodgers take Morris at seven, if Hochevar's off the board? Didn't they like Kiker, too, or was that just Nate? Anyway, the strictly objective way of evaluating the Hochevar non-signing is: will Kershaw be worth more than Hochevar plus some non-Kershaw first round pick in the hands of the greatest draft genius in the history of the world? Well, maybe not the strictly objective way. . .

As has been pointed out, it's not particularly useful crying over this spilt milk, but I don't see what was gotten by not signing Hochevar. He still got his money, he still got his major league contract. He had to spend a year in Fort Worth, but that's not exactly punishment. Did the Dodgers get anything (besides the difference between Kershaw and an unknown first round draftee) by not signing him? Have they proven themselves unrollable? I doubt it. So, he's a jerk who didn't suffer much for it, and the Dodgers are righteously (marginally) poorer for it.

Kansas City could have an actual team in a couple of years, between Hochevar, Gordon, Huber, and a few others. Not that they couldn't blow it.

2006-10-25 23:21:46
74.   ToyCannon
The word on the street is that the Yankee's are going to pick up his option given that other sluggers like Carlos Lee may get that kind of money and a healthy Sheffield is better then any of them. He is suppossed to be the 1st baseman next year with Giambi moving to DH so he will stop embarrassing position players.

Agree completely.

We got Shawn Green for Mondesi, we didn't give him away, we came away with the best left handed slugger since Duke Snider for a few sweet years.

2006-10-26 07:43:10
75.   tjshere
Re: Sheffield -

Personally, I want no part of him.

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