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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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Loney's Star State
2006-12-11 09:08
by Jon Weisman

A detailed review (and preview) of James Loney's career comes from Chris Costancio of The Hardball Times.

The lows:

Loney was promoted to Double-A Jacksonville before his twentieth birthday, but suffered another setback when he broke his finger while sliding into second base during the first week of the season. Loney eventually needed surgery when infection set in, and he did not return to the Jacksonville lineup until late May. He struggled to get his timing down following the long layoff and admitted that he "lost a lot of strength" because he was not able to maintain his regular workout schedule while the infection healed. Loney also missed time due to a knee contusion later in the year, and he finished the season with a disappointing .238 batting average and only four home runs in 104 games in the Southern League.

The future:

In this year's Hardball Times Annual, I project that Loney has a 31% of becoming a star by age 25. What that means is that over 30% of players with comparable performances at Loney's age went on to achieve offensive production that would qualify them as one of the top-third of all regular first basemen in baseball during their prime. While most of his comparison players were only average big league first basemen or worse, a substantial minority went on to develop the kind of power that would make Loney a star in the major leagues.

Shawn Green's career trajectory is an appropriate model of what Loney's development might look like over the next few years. Like Loney, Green was a highly-regarded draft pick out of high school with a nice-looking swing and a surprising lack of home runs during the first part of his career. In Green's first three seasons as a major leaguer, he posted strong batting averages (between .280 and .288) but came under criticism from many individuals, including manager Cito Gaston, for his low home run and RBI totals. With the help of hitting coach Gary Matthews, a 25-year-old Green finally started to generate above-average power production in 1998. Green achieved notoriety for becoming a 30-30 player and driving in 100 runs that year, and he maintained a slugging percentage above .500 for three of the four following seasons.

Dodgers infielder Ramon Martinez might be an unlikely candidate to play the role that Gary Matthews did. During Loney's second stint with the Dodgers in 2006, Martinez suggested that Loney change his grip on the baseball bat. Loney returned to the National League in September, and he launched three home runs during the final week of the regular season. Is this just another flash of power, or a harbinger of home runs to come? If the Dodgers remain patient with Loney, he could evolve into a good-fielding first baseman with excellent on-base skills and strong power production. While this outcome is far from a certainty, the relatively strong probability of such development is exactly what makes Loney such a valuable baseball prospect.

Comments (283)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-11 09:36:09
1.   Sushirabbit
Paul and DP4, I put my rationale (if one can call it that) infield OPS for improvement at the bottom of the last thread. Basically, I expect more out of 3B as Paul suggested, but I don't think that's unreasonable. It's still not enough to make up for the switch of Drew for Pierre. Really, since Pierre won't get on as much, everyone's slugging could go down, right?

How do you go about figuring positional stats like third base? HRs is easy it's just a counting stat, but do you just manually do the math or what?

Do people think that Garciappara will get sat as much as Drew did last year, so that Loney will get more time?

I have to type a non-question paragraph.

One for Plaschke.

2006-12-11 09:52:59
2.   Paul Scott
The Loney analysis seems reasonable to me. I was never all that hot on him to be more than an adequate 1B (though an adequate 1B on the cheap is a good thing). I do expect him to be a better option over the next two years than would have Nomar, but that is clearly no longer a consideration. At this point, though, I don;t know what the Dodgers can do with him, other than possibly try an make him a corner fielder. Wasting his pre-arbitration years as a back-up with no real hope of giving him the playing time he'll need to develop seems stupid. Unfortuantely, his cache is probably not sufficient to get value for him (e.g. most GMs - Ned included - will undervalue his upside).

Sushi, while I expect you are overrating Betemit, 2007-08 should be his peak. So maybe we'll see something there. Kent and Nomar seem near certain to decline, however, and their backups project well below the possition numbers we got from 1st and 2nd in 2006.

The upside from 2006 is that starting pitching should be much improved.

2006-12-11 09:59:31
3.   gpellamjr
Comparisons to Shawn Green are encouraging. I sometimes forget how good Green really was for several years.

Was Green's decline as steep and sudden as it seems to me to have been? Or was it normal?

2006-12-11 10:01:30
4.   D4P

Some things never change...

2006-12-11 10:05:23
5.   Paul Scott
4 Would you want them to? ;)
2006-12-11 10:06:57
6.   jdm025
I wonder what is in Ned's head sometimes, but I think that Garciaparra will end up at second or third next year while Loney takes most of the playing time at first. Hopefully he can focus on hitting this year in the 80 or so games where he sees action and then focus on being a regular in 2008.
2006-12-11 10:07:24
7.   Paul Scott
3 Factoring his injury, yes his decline was normal. It (the hidden injury) just came at a really bad tome for the Dodgers, so it is often inflated in magnitude from our prespective.
2006-12-11 10:09:35
8.   PadreJeremy
The Dodgers would be foolish to trade Loney at this stage of his career unless overwhelmed. He is a nice young prospect who could really be productive relative to his salary and could easily develop into an above average 1b. Right now his value is probably its lowest on the trade market and he can easily blossom if given some time. A smart team would try to steal him from the Dodgers.

If kept and is relatively productive, he could be controlled for a number of years and would allow the Dodgers to justify paying for all those free agents.

He reminds me of Adrian Gonzalez and having a player like that cheap allows you to spend in other areas. The Padres got him for nothing and he is now a solid player for a cheap price.

Dont trade him for some overhyped pitcher or high priced hitter. Give him some time and it will be worth it.

2006-12-11 10:24:49
9.   caseybarker
I just got the 2007 Bill James Handbook. Reading Bill James 2007 player predictions--Kemp, Loney, LaRoche--excited me to no end.
2006-12-11 10:28:57
10.   jdm025
The guys in the organization I am most intrigued by are Greg Miller and Hong Chih Kuo. Any word on them?
2006-12-11 10:56:51
11.   Gen3Blue
I'm too late 9. I was just about to say that Loney,Kemp and LaRoche were the three bats in the organization that are really intriguing, depending on how Andy's shoulder turns out. They're all young, and its hard to see how you can deny any a good two year look unless some team with no payroll gives you a young bonafide star for one. And how is Greg Miller?
2006-12-11 11:07:23
12.   GoBears
6 I think that Garciaparra will end up at second or third next year while Loney takes most of the playing time at first.

I've read several commenters hoping (and now expecting) to see Nomar at 2b. I will be shocked (SHOCKED, I SAY) if that happens. First, other than the shorter throw on routine stuff, 2b is just as hard as SS. Second, I can't imagine Nomar being real good at taking throws from the left side, with his back to the baserunner, and then pivoting on DPs. Not with his leg and oblique problems. More to the point, even if he's a good enough athlete to do it well, I can't imagine the team wanting to risk it.

3b seems slightly more plausible, but only if he's the only option (if Betemit gets hurt and LaRoche isn't ready). Even then, I think a Colletti trade for a scrap 3bman would be more likely than a permanent shift of Nomar to the hot corner.

If Nomar starts as many as 10 games at any position other than 1b (or DH), I'll be really surprised.

2006-12-11 11:22:46
13.   Marty
12 I agree. After watching Nomar practically disintegrate last year when he only played first, I don't see how you can expect him to play any other position. If Nomar manages to stay healthy this year, Loney will not see much time I'm afraid, unless it's in right field.
2006-12-11 11:23:38
14.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
An encouraging forecast.
2006-12-11 11:23:47
15.   D4P
Since the acquisition of Pierre, I've read at least thrice that the Dodgers are excited at now having the option of moving Furcal into the #3 spot. Since I hate that idea so much, I'm going with it.

Without further adieu, I present to you your 2007 opening day starting lineup:

Pierre - CF
Gonzalez - LF
Furcal - SS
Kent - 2B
Garciaparra - 1B
Betemit - 3B
Ethier - RF
Martin - C
Schmidt - P

2006-12-11 11:25:01
16.   Marty

Now I know your old-fashioned. Which explains your woman-hating tendencies.

2006-12-11 11:26:13
17.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
You don't think Lowe would be the opening day starter?
2006-12-11 11:28:25
18.   paranoidandroid
12, 13

Ditto. I think some platoon thing will happen. Nomar might get some time at third, he's played there for the Cubs. Kent is at second and Anderson can play there too.

Loney will spell Nomar at first and be a late inning defensive replacement, perhaps playing right field and giving way to Repko when he moves into the infield late innings for Nomar.

2006-12-11 11:28:28
19.   D4P
I'm guessing Schmidt is considered the Ace™
2006-12-11 11:31:58
20.   Marty
How about that Nicole Ritchie? Driving the wrong way on the freeway on Vicadin and pot.

Sorta brings me back to my youth.

2006-12-11 11:33:53
21.   paranoidandroid

I heard Martin was being considered to slip into the two slot, like Tracy did with LoDuca.

Martin doesn't have the same plate discipline I don't think.

I also know that Grady seems to like the right,left, right line-up that makes the other team consider chewing up the bullpen.

If Furcal slips to third (I still think Nomar will hit there), then i think you hit Gonzo between Kent and Nomar. Pushing Nomar to the six slot doesn't seem right, so I go back to thinking that Furcal either hits second or leads off with Pierre hitting eighth (my preference).

However, I don't think you throw 44 million at an 8th place hitter and the Dodgers will likely have Pierre hit first or second, Furcal taking the other slot.

2006-12-11 11:35:44
22.   s choir

Don't forget the rumor that Martin will bat second.

I also think we'll see Nomar at 3B.

Pierre cf
Martin c
Furcal ss
Kent 2b
Nomar 3b
Loney 1b
Ethier rf
Gonzalez lf

2006-12-11 11:42:44
23.   Andrew Shimmin
It's strictly true that Martin doesn't have the same plate discipline as Lo Duca; Martin's is considerably better.
2006-12-11 11:47:49
24.   DougS
3 Considering the severity of the injury, how the surgery to repair it didn't really work, and how long Green tried to play through it, I'd have to say it put a severe crimp in his performance and certainly accelerated his decline.

That bit it the last paragraph about Ramon Martinez is interesting. Maybe that sheds some light on why Ned made it a priority to retain him?

2006-12-11 11:48:23
25.   natepurcell
Martin doesn't have the same plate discipline I don't think.

You're right, Martin's plate discipline is leaps and bounds above lo duca's.

2006-12-11 11:48:47
26.   natepurcell
oops, andrew beats me to the punch.
2006-12-11 11:50:43
27.   Linkmeister
24 If it's true, I think it bodes well for Ramon's chances as a coach when his playing days are over.
2006-12-11 11:53:26
28.   GoBears
15. Absent any other roster moves, I agree that this is the likely lineup. Maybe the batting order will be a little different than that, but it won't matter.

I think the best projection for Furcal is a slight decline. Yes, he had a bad, injured start, but he was on fire after that. He's past his prime, and I'll be surprised if he improves any more.

Nomar, Kent, and Gonzales should all be worse than last year (or Gonzales, even if better, will still be bad). Pierre is just not very good.

You'd expect the kids to improve just because they're kids, but I'm not sure Martin and Ethier can play much better than they did. Maybe Martin will benefit from a little more rest.

I'd say the team's only hope for improvement offensively is if the old guys play (improbably) at the top end of their projections AND get hurt often enough to cede hundreds of ABs to the likes of Kemp, Loney, LaRoche, Betemit, and Ethier.

The pitching should be better. But just to find the dark cloud for that silver lining, recall that the pitchers were pretty healthy last year. Schmidt, Kuo, Penny, and Wolf are not the poster-boys for perfect health.

2006-12-11 11:59:42
29.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
You'd expect the kids to improve just because they're kids, but I'm not sure Martin and Ethier can play much better than they did.
Huh? Last season, Martin was 23 and Ethier was 24. History shows us there's no reason to believe they've peaked.
2006-12-11 12:02:53
30.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
I'd say the team's only hope for improvement offensively...
Last year's team ranked 4th in runs and 5th in OPS+. You make it sound as if we're coming off the 2003 campaign.
2006-12-11 12:10:20
31.   GoBears
29. No, that's right. That's what I meant by "because they're kids." But watching the two last year, either they're going to be stars, or they played over their heads. In this case, I guess what I'm saying is that the scouts didn't predict stardom for either, and since normal improvement would imply that, I'm being conservative and thinking that they won't get much better than they played last season. They seem like two prime candidates for sophomore slumps just because their rookie years were so unexpectedly terrific.
2006-12-11 12:11:07
32.   Uncle Miltie
"We're not in a panic mode. If people think we're up here pulling our hair out and taking cyanide pills because we didn't get who we wanted, that's not the case. This is just a part of the game you go through."
Haha, great quote from J.P. Ricciardi.

I would be very surprised if Loney ever becomes the offensive player that Shawn Green was. I don't expect him to be that good offensively, nor does he have to. His defense is fantastic and hopefully he'll accumulate enough extra base hits to post a decent slugging percentage.

2006-12-11 12:13:34
33.   GoBears
30. Exactly my point, GSfRB. When a team plays unexpectedly well one year, and when there are more players who seem likely to decline than there are who seem likely to improve (and when the best hitter on the team is replaced by a guy we expect to be the worst hitter on team, the best guess is an overall offensive decline.

If we were coming off 2003, I'd be predicting an improvement (nowhere to go but up).

2006-12-11 12:13:37
34.   jdm025
If Gonzo is better than last year, how is he still bad? We are all predicting that his doubles total will decrease and his homers and OBP will drop slightly. If he has more than his 70 extra base hits, hits better than .270 and his OBP is above .370, how can that possibly be a bad thing?
2006-12-11 12:14:21
35.   paranoidandroid
How does Martin have better plate discipline than LoDuca? I like the kid a lot, he is a better defensive catcher, but LoDuca could go to right and move a runner along with the best of the best in baseball. He also doesn't strike out much. He was an ideal #2 hitter. Not sure Martin is the same mold, but seems a bit similiar.
2006-12-11 12:16:57
36.   Benaiah
The Dodgers somehow had the 8th lowest ERA in baseball (4th best in NL) last year and the 9th best offense (4th best in NL). The Dodgers had the 7th best run differential in baseball and distant 2nd best in the NL. The run prevention shocks me because I seem to remember having Tomko, Sele, Hendrickson in the rotation, Brad Penny having a 6+ ERA after the all-star break and a three man bullpen. My point is that a) how many runs do you think are lost from last year and b) how many more runs will be prevented with the (presumably) improved rotation?

My guess is that the Dodgers lost far more runs than they will prevent, but I have nothing to back this up. There is an outside chance that the Dodgers might have one of the 2-3 best ERA in baseball and still not make the playoffs with 1-2-3-4-5 of Pierre, Furcal, Nomar, Kent and Gonzo.

2006-12-11 12:17:06
37.   GoBears
What was his OPS last year? I think it can improve a bit a still be bad, esp. for a corner OFer. 52 doubles are nice, but not if that's all there is.

And I don't expect him to improve. He's moving from Chase to DS. He's even older.

2006-12-11 12:19:33
38.   Uncle Miltie
but LoDuca could go to right and move a runner along with the best of the best in baseball. He also doesn't strike out much. He was an ideal #2 hitter. Not sure Martin is the same mold, but seems a bit similiar.
Lo Duca had good bat control, not good plate discipline. He's a good contact hitter, but he often goes out of the strikezone to chase pitches. Unlike Lo Duca, Martin works the count, draws a fair number of walks, and doesn't usually chase pitches out of the strikezone. They are similar in that they both have very good bat control and hit to all fields. Martin is a better all around hitter than Lo Duca, from what he showed last season.
2006-12-11 12:19:39
39.   natepurcell

your definition of plate discipline seems to differ from mine. what you are talking about, is more like "bat control" to me then actual plate discipline. Lo duca rarely walks, he swings at almost everything. Martin was a walking machine in the minors and had a good ISO last year as well.

2006-12-11 12:20:47
40.   natepurcell

i get beat once again. i'll leave now.

2006-12-11 12:21:24
41.   GoBears
36. Word.
2006-12-11 12:25:14
42.   paranoidandroid
Bat control is not plate discipline. I get it. I was using the wrong terminology. Still LoDuca fit the 2 slot and if you are getting offensive production from a catcher, you should be very happy.

Do you think Martin walked a lot more because he hit 8th often last year? He moved up in the order in September, but was hitting 8th most of the year.

2006-12-11 12:27:55
43.   GoBears
Colletti really painted himself toward the corner with the Pierre signing, and then finished the job (and closed the windows) with the Gonzales debacle. He can't undo either mistake until at least mid-season (and add Nomar to that).

So now, the only ways to improve the offense are in RF (assuming LG in left, and JP in center) or at 3b. But either option means more wasted time for the kids, or trades of same.

He's locked into this team now, and unless Little is willing to bench whichever old farts are slumping as quickly as he would rookies, or else to commit to platoons at CF, LF, 3b, 1b, and maybe even 2b, I just don't see a lot of upside potential for this lineup. They are what they are, which is basically what they were last year, only with Pierre in for Drew.

2006-12-11 12:28:15
44.   D4P
and his OBP is above .370, how can that possibly be a bad thing?

2001: 429
2002: 400
2003: 402
2004: 373
2005: 366
2006: 352
2007: XXX

XXX = "above .370"...?

2006-12-11 12:31:28
45.   GoBears
42 if you are getting offensive production from a catcher, you should be very happy.

Well, you should be happy with the catcher, but with this team, it's not so much luxury as dire need. The Dodgers need offense from their catcher. Lots of teams don't.

The point about Martin hitting 8th is a good one, but it's still nice to know that he'll take the walks they're offering him. Lots of guys basically refuse to walk.

2006-12-11 12:32:21
46.   Benaiah
43 - I think the problem isn't simply that he painted himself into a corner, which he did since there is no upside to giving bats to Gonzo or Pierre, but that he views them as contributing members of the team. He isn't going to fix those mistakes at mid-season, and in Pierre's case he might not fix it for a few years. He values numbers like 35 doubles and 40 steaks, I don't, you don't, oh well. I hold out hope that somehow it all comes together and we are saved, but to my thinking that probably involves a year ending injury to a couple of players followed by a rookie coming up and more than replacing their production. In other words, I am hoping for God and luck to take the reins away from Colletti.
2006-12-11 12:32:54
47.   caseybarker
10 No Kuo or Miller in James.
2006-12-11 12:33:01
48.   Benaiah
46 - Obviously that was supposed to be steals, not steaks. Though maybe steaks has some old time baseball meaning.
2006-12-11 12:33:06
49.   GoBears
44. Wow. That's pretty hard to dispute. Can you say "trend?" Thought you could.

And moving from Chase to Chavez won't help.

2006-12-11 12:33:53
50.   D4P
He values numbers like 35 doubles and 40 steaks, I don't, you don't, oh well

Not so fast there. I'm pretty sure Andrew's a big meat-eater...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-11 12:35:10
51.   Penarol1916
42. I don't believe Martin batted 8th very often in the minors and he built his reputation on his outstanding plate discipline and all of his walks there.
2006-12-11 12:36:50
52.   Linkmeister
48 Well, it is lunchtime.
2006-12-11 12:38:38
53.   rockmrete
Too many lefties in a row to end the line up.


2006-12-11 12:39:41
54.   Benaiah
52 - Not for me. I am trying to get down to a healthy Nicole Ritchie 85 pounds. Though since I have a foot on her I guess I should add a few pounds to my goal. How about I shoot for an even 100?
2006-12-11 12:44:48
55.   paranoidandroid
Do you know what you call Nicole Ritchie with a yeast infection?

Quarter Pounder with Cheese

2006-12-11 12:45:52
56.   paranoidandroid
Will Toby Hall be non-tendered? I can't see him on the roster next year and there hasn't been a market for him yet. Unless Tampa takes him back in our annual trade with the Rays.
2006-12-11 12:52:02
57.   rockmrete
Rotoworld says the Rays may want to reaquire Big Bird...Maybe we can get them to reverse all the deals we made with them last year, and to throw in Crawford to sweeten the deal:)
2006-12-11 12:52:19
58.   Benaiah
56 - He will be traded for nothing on the dollar I bet. He is a proven big league catcher, surely someone will throw something of limited value in for him.
2006-12-11 12:55:09
59.   blue22
58 - Or they could just wait until he's released. The trading team would have to absorb Hall's contract, correct? Should he be released, a team can sign him for a more Lieberthal-ish contract.

The upside to trading for him means you don't have to deal with him in an open market, but you'll be committing to a higher salary for that privelege (not to mention whatever non-entity is sent to LA in return).

2006-12-11 13:00:16
60.   regfairfield
I've always used "steaks" to mean RBIs, since RBIs = Ribeyes = Ribeye Steak = Steaks. I think I heard Piazza or Karros use the term at some point.
2006-12-11 13:00:21
61.   Benaiah
59 - That is quite a risk, since you have no way of guaranteeing that you will get him. Plus, I don't think he makes much, so it is only a matter of getting a C level prospect together to throw to the Dodgers. By the way, don't you wish that teams could trade draft picks? I would love to trade Toby for a 3rd or 4th round pick.
2006-12-11 13:04:34
62.   bigcpa
Joe Sheehan has an odd take on Gonzalez in his Winter Meeting wrapup-

"Gonzalez is a good OBP source off of the bench who can play every day for two weeks—on the off chance Nomar Garciaparra has to miss time with a nagging injury—without hurting you."

Where did he get the idea Gonzalez will be a bench player? And he hasn't played 1b since 1990 when he had 2 gms there.

2006-12-11 13:13:11
63.   Andrew Shimmin
If Flanders signed Gonzo, but plays Loney in RF, anyway, that'll be interesting. When Nomar goes down, Loney moves to 1B, Ethier over to RF, and Gonzo in to LF. It's what I'd rather see happen, but then I lose the I-told-you-so I've been storing up for Canuck, who said there was no way Flanders was going to get another OF, if the Manny deal didn't go through. Since it was Canuck, it's safe to assume that the way in which he said it demanded that it be interpreted as an insult to the intelligence of any one who disagreed.

Over a mighty 13 PA, Martin failed to out ISOd himself in the 5th spot, but in the sixth and seventh spot, he was ISOd'ier than in the eighth. So, it wasn't just about hitting in front of the pitcher. He really does walk more than Lo Duca.

2006-12-11 13:17:42
64.   blue22
61 - I guess I just have a hard time believing Hall is a $3M player (which is what his salary will probably be should he go through arbitration after being traded). If he's released (er...non-tendered) any team can sign him for any amount, which I assume would be for less than $3M.

Then again, the Cubs gave backup Henry Blanco a 2yr/$5+M deal this offseason, so maybe Hall is actually priced correctly.

2006-12-11 13:18:02
65.   s choir
53 Too many lefties in a row to end the line up.

Ethier hit lefties better than righties last year.

2006-12-11 13:18:43
66.   Daniel Zappala
Where's Bob? The Angels have signed Darrin Oliver. Stop the presses.
2006-12-11 13:20:53
67.   Benaiah
63 - What are the odds that Anderson is in right and none of the Ethier, Kemp or Loney starts Opening day?
2006-12-11 13:21:12
68.   sanchez101
I think Martin can be the player Bill Plascke thought Paul LoDuca was. The biggest difference between Martin and LoDuca is that at Martin's age, LoDuca was 'hitting' .246/.338/.302 in AA and wouldn't see a regular gig at the majors for 5 years. Martin will be a free agent at the same age LoDuca produced his magical 2001 season.
2006-12-11 13:23:15
69.   sanchez101
67. Assuming no trades or injuries, all three would have to be terrible in spring training. No way Anderson starts ahead of a healthy Ethier. Put it this way; if I'm Ethier, I'm more afraid of Kemp than Anderson.
2006-12-11 13:25:04
70.   Andrew Shimmin
67- They've got to be low. If it happens, I expect it will be because Merlin really has figured out how to hit like Bonds, which, if so, score! There's the solution to our power problem, too.
2006-12-11 13:25:15
71.   blue22
67 - Or how about Ramon Martinez at 3rd base and Repko in right against a lefty starter on opening day (against Milwaukee, Capuano could be your starter)?

Pierre - CF
Martin - C
Furcal - SS
Nomar - 1B
Kent - 2B
Gonzalez - LF
Repko - RF
Martinez - 3B

2006-12-11 13:31:19
72.   Benaiah
69, 70 - I will assume no trades or injuries, but I think that all it would take is a good Spring Training from Anderson. If his numbers (average, home runs, a big hit or two) are comparable (not even better, just comparable) to Kemp and Ethier's, then he will start. Kemp is going to start in AAA, Loney is a backup and Anderson was starting over Ethier at the end of last year, so if Ethier doesn't take his job back he won't get it back. In other words, I say there is a 35-45% chance of that scenario happening, though if Anderson didn't hit well during the season Grady would bench him fast.
2006-12-11 13:35:51
73.   Bob Timmermann
I try to post important news.
2006-12-11 13:37:13
74.   WellsforKemp
I know most are sick of Pierre talk.
But, has the idea been brought about that his defense may better than what we believe it to be and better than it may appear on paper? when you consider wind factors at Chicago, playing more times than most in an oddly shaped CF of Houston, and again the same applying to Florida to some extent...............
Im atleast just trying to figure out a way so that I can pencil in an upgrade in CF next year.
2006-12-11 13:44:38
75.   sanchez101
74. I think his defense is not to much above or below average. He's not exactly an asset in the field, nor is he a problem. I know I'm in the minority here, but not unlike Scott Podsenick for the 2005 White Sox, I think Pierre could have just as much, if not more value as a LF because his defensive value would move from average to plus. His WARP would improve, at least. (This is all assuming Vernon Wells would be the one moving him to LF)
2006-12-11 13:47:17
76.   Benaiah
74 - I don't think he will be much worse than Lofton, on defense anyway. To go from Lofton to Pierre only hurts in that now the Dodgers are stuck for five years with someone who replaces 95% of the offense from the 36 year old 7th or 8th best hitter in the lineup.
2006-12-11 13:48:26
77.   Benaiah
75 - No his WARP would go way way down, because a replacement LF is much better than a replacement CF. He would go from being a below average CF, to being a far below replacement level LF.
2006-12-11 13:52:19
78.   jasonungar05
For what it is worth I heard an interview with Gonzo and he told Joe Mcdonnell that Ned told him that he was playing LF and Ethier is the starting in RF unless they get other players. So I agree with those who say our big bat will be a RF or a 1B if we get that bat at all. Possibly 3B. I don't see it happenning. As I have stated before, I am a big beliver in Defense in any sport and I think our defense as it stands now is shaky at best. Our outfield Defense is really awful. I don't think we have a PLUS defender at any spot on the Diamond.
2006-12-11 13:53:22
79.   jdm025
Better late than never. I do not think that he will have an OBP of .370, but the quote I was addressing said that even if he is "better, he will still be bad". I did not think a .018 jump in OBP was too much of a stretch if he did improve.

I personally think that he will be about the same as last year, but his home run total will increase to about 18-20. Just a feeling...

2006-12-11 13:54:33
80.   WellsforKemp
I think his defense is not to much above or below average

your right its not bad its average.

Although, considering his talent of having speed and being one of the fastest guys in the majors to only be average I guess would mean your defensive ability, (what ever that exactly means) is pretty below average

2006-12-11 13:56:20
81.   blue22
74 - For what it's worth, Juan Pierre led NL CFers in "zone rating" last year.
2006-12-11 13:56:39
82.   dzzrtRatt
Jon's (rare) typo in the first line inspired me to recall some Old English poetry:

Loney is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ seed and bloweþ med
And springþ þe wde nu,
Sing cuccu!

2006-12-11 13:57:28
83.   WellsforKemp
I don't think we have a PLUS defender at any spot on the Diamond.

actually we do...... he's just not at 1b, hopefully at this point he will be in the outfield though.

2006-12-11 13:58:28
84.   jdm025
Sometimes, I don't think that I'm smart enough to participate in the discussions here. Maybe I should head over to the FoxSports site...
2006-12-11 13:58:39
85.   Andrew Shimmin
79- Do you like to gamble? I'd be willing to bet forty steaks on this; and not little pansy steaks, either. When I talk steak, I'm talking pounds, not ounces.
2006-12-11 13:59:07
86.   sanchez101
77. WARP's hitting component, BRAR, is not adjusted for position. His BRAR would be the same, but his FRAR would improved by moving positions.

Case in point, Podsednik moved from CF to LF when he was traded to the ChiSox from Milwaukee. His offense was improved somewhat, but despite less playing time, his WARP1 improved from 3.2 to 4.0.

2006-12-11 14:00:45
87.   sanchez101
83. Furcal and Martin are both plus-defenders.
2006-12-11 14:04:54
88.   Benaiah
86 - I was thinking of VORP, which I assume is adjusted since Jeter had such a high VORP even though Hafner had the best hitting stats (in a runaway). At any rate, it is a bad idea to put someone who is a mediocre to bad hitter for his defensive oriented position, in an offensively oriented position. LF is the 2nd least defensively challenging position, while CF is the 3rd most challenging. This reminds me of Phillips playing 1B, though that was the epitome of a defensive switch, as he went from most challenging to least.
2006-12-11 14:06:07
89.   Benaiah
87 - Two most important position on the diamond too. Our IF should be ok, Nomar is average to slightly above average and so is Betemit. Kent is a stiff, but that is one in five. The outfield will be a circus.
2006-12-11 14:07:02
90.   GoBears
79 If Luis Gonzales hits 52 doubles, or even 42, playing half his games in Dodger Stadium, I'll eat my hat.

And if he does, it will only be because he hits even FEWER HRs. But given DS's park factors, I'd bet on the doubles being the diminished stat.

The only way in which the Gonzales signing is not worse than the Pierre signing is that it's only for 1 year (tho, as we saw with Nomar, that might only mean "1 at a time"). What makes it worse, however, is that Gonzales is an even worse player overall, at a more important offensive position, and,most importantly, that it happened with Pierre already in the fold. One or the other would have been unfortunate. Both is malpractice.

2006-12-11 14:07:22
91.   blue22
The Gonzo signing reminds me of the Fred McGriff signing. Lots of "if he can just keep this stat trend up" and "improve just a little here, he can be ok".

But at the end of the year you've got an old man posting a .249/.322/.428 line.

2006-12-11 14:11:18
92.   Jon Weisman
82 - Typo? What typo? :)
2006-12-11 14:11:28
93.   Jon Weisman
(By the way, that typo was worth it.)
2006-12-11 14:12:18
94.   sanchez101
91. the difference is that we got Kemp behind Gonzo while we had Daryle Ward and Mike Kinkade backing-up the Crime Dog in '03. $7m is an appropriate price for Gonzo.
2006-12-11 14:12:31
95.   WellsforKemp
The only way in which the Gonzales signing is not worse than the Pierre signing is that it's only for 1 year

I dont really hate the signing if and a big if hes a part time player. Not only can he be a decent platoon but, most importiant it allows Kemp and Loney to play more.this is the only way it probably would have happened.

2006-12-11 14:13:13
96.   Peanuts in My Shoes
90 One or the other would have been unfortunate. Both is malpractice.

Well put.

2006-12-11 14:25:23
97.   Marty
Andrew still has that Snook fixation.
2006-12-11 14:33:06
98.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm considering adopting snook as the past participle of sneak. Sneak, snuck, snook. Looks right to me.
2006-12-11 14:43:04
99.   jasonungar05
27 errors from our SS and thats good? come on. Fancy stats aside thats 23 more errors that Vizquel had.

I am with you guys on Martin and Loney, those guys are good.

2006-12-11 14:53:14
100.   blue22
99 - There's more to defense than just limiting errors.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-12-11 14:54:07
101.   StolenMonkey86
99 - basically that just said Furcal bobbled the ball a lot. The good points about his defense were that he got to the ball rather effectively, which actually gave him more oppurtunities to bobble the ball.

That's sort of how Maddux described his defense from when they were both in Atlanta.

2006-12-11 14:56:53
102.   Benaiah
99 - Errors are part of the defensive process, but only a small part. 27 out of 788 Put Outs + Assists, leads to a 96.6% fielding percentage. In other words, what a shortstop does in those other 95%+ of the time determines far more of his defensive worth than how many errors he makes. Using errors as the sole judge of defensive worth would be like using hits as the sole judge of hitting. If I told you that someone had 147 hits last year, what would that tell you? Not much.
2006-12-11 14:58:17
103.   blue22
102 - In other words, stating that "Furcal makes a lot of errors" is akin to "That Pierre sure gets on base a lot"?
2006-12-11 14:58:41
104.   Andrew Shimmin
84- By the way, I wouldn't take it too hard. dzzrtRatt is like Harrison Bergeron after the equality devices came off. The thing to do is design a system for canceling out his advantage. If you're quick about it, that could be your niche when the revolution comes. My niche will be picking the Rose Bowl teams. And I'll be the Surgeon General, because that must pay well, even though it's not a real job.
2006-12-11 15:04:23
105.   Andrew Shimmin
103- No, Furry really does make a lot of errors. Most years, anyway; he didn't in 2005. Saying that because Furry makes a lot of errors, he's bad defensively is like saying that Pierre's speed means he's a good CF.
2006-12-11 15:07:35
106.   jdm025
I kind of agree with this line of thinking. I kind of like the Gonzo signing if he starts no more than, say, 115 games and puts up a similar batting line as last year. Most seem to think that is a big if, but I do not think that it is too much of a stretch. That gives Loney some ABs backing up Nomar and Gonzo and allows Kemp to get some ABs in Vegas.

I am a little confused where Ethier, Anderson, and Repko will fit in, though. If I had to guess, Repko will be traded for bullpen help at some point (Cubs?).

2006-12-11 15:16:24
107.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
I would be content with these numbers from Gonzo: 277/360/459/819. That's his '06 line vs. RHP. At this point in his career, he needs to be platooned.
2006-12-11 15:17:23
108.   twerp
101 IIRC, many of Furcal's errors were throws. He usually got to the ball just fine...then sometimes just heaved it somewhere in the general direction of the fielder.

Also IIRC, if Nomar hadn't adapted to fielding first as well as he did, Furcal's error total would have been quite a bit higher.

2006-12-11 15:17:57
109.   Andrew Shimmin
Iggy Pop's contract rider. It's like it was written specifically for the Smoking Gun audience.

"We need: one (1) monitor man who speaks good English and is not afraid of death.
(Only joking... or am I?)."

2006-12-11 15:19:52
110.   Andrew Shimmin
107- If only we had a RH outfielder who wasn't Repko. Like if Nomar could play a little outfield. . .
2006-12-11 15:21:54
111.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
108 - Didn't an early-season injury have something to do w/this? From what I remember, anyway.
Retrosheet doesn't have the '06 season done yet, otherwise I'd answer my own question.
2006-12-11 15:23:39
112.   twerp
I don't think this has been mentioned. Apparently charges, countercharges, rumbles, and other nastiness may ensue if the Dodgers file tampering charges vs. Boston.

Nugget at end: According to a GM not involved in the Drew matter, the belief among GMs at the winter meetings was split regarding whether the Sox may have tampered. "Actually, most GMs feel it was a stupid sign and they did the Dodgers a favor," he said.

Full story:

2006-12-11 15:27:51
113.   jasonungar05
I know that Furcal gets to alot of balls. But so do alot of players. There wasn't that many plays last year that I saw (and I watched every second of every game for the most part) where I said, wow no way Izturis would have gotten that. In fact I can't recall any really. I am sorry, Izturis was a plus defender, Furcal is average to above average. And I can think of at least 10 errors that Nomar saved due to Furcals Arm.

But for argument sake, we have a good SS. Now what? a pretty good catcher, a bad OF, an avg at best 2b (being kind) and 1b/3b back ups who have better gloves than the starters. (Loney and I assume Laroach cause I can play 3b as well as Wilson)

2006-12-11 15:29:13
114.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Izturis = more range
Furcal = stronger arm
2006-12-11 15:30:29
115.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
113 - Kent in '06: 292/385/477/862
That's average at best?
2006-12-11 15:32:09
116.   Sushirabbit

for some reason makes me think of Frar Blucher.

2006-12-11 15:34:30
117.   adraymond
Despite Kent's age showing, he is still an above average second baseman. Of the 27 second baseman with at least 450 at bats, he was fourth in OPS. So he may not be the Jeff Kent of old, but he's well above average.
2006-12-11 15:35:07
118.   adraymond
Great minds..., my fellow GBV fan.
2006-12-11 15:35:08
119.   ssjames
115 I believe he means defensively, but those numbers for a 2B are obviously not average at best.
2006-12-11 15:37:19
120.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
118 - You know Robert Pollard pitched college ball, right?
2006-12-11 15:37:47
121.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
2006-12-11 15:40:39
122.   paranoidandroid

Very well put. As far as defense goes, Izturis could cover ground. Furcal has a gun.

What makes Furcal a major upgrade is his offensive production. While I don't think of him as a three hitter, I think he can do it and drive in runs. Izturis was a streaky hitter, better from the right side than the left side of the plate. And when he was going bad, he hit a lot of week dingers in the air.

Furcal drives the ball consistently from both sides of the plate and has power. If asked, I think he could put up 20 homers. But that would be at the expense of overall productivity.

If I'm Ned, I ask Furcal to sign an extension NOW. Not that it will get done by either side, but let him know that we want him and that we are committed to him as a centerpiece of our future. Gee, if we can give Pierre five years, why couldn't we have given Furcal that last year?

2006-12-11 15:41:26
123.   adraymond
I had no idea. Warming up with a croquet ball is wicked.
2006-12-11 15:43:34
124.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
122 - Furcal in the three spot reminds me of Tom Herr, c.1985.
2006-12-11 15:47:33
125.   Marty
Iggy Pop is one of my heroes
2006-12-11 15:54:41
126.   Bob Timmermann
If the Dodgers only had Vince Coleman and Willie McGee batting in front of Furcal.

Or at least younger versions of them.

2006-12-11 15:57:46
127.   paranoidandroid
124/I still don't think he'll be in the three slot, I think Nomar is there. Maybe Furcal when Loney starts instead of Nomar, Loney hitting second.

I think Martin could hit second but I think he is best used to drive in runs in the 6,7 the slot. Either can drop to 8th in my opinion. I really don't know.

Just talked to the ticket office, ticket prices up again this year.

2006-12-11 15:58:56
128.   paranoidandroid
127/typos! crap. Ethier!
2006-12-11 15:59:01
129.   bhsportsguy
126 Phone home Bob, phone home. And leave the fireworks at home.
2006-12-11 15:59:08
130.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
126 - I think Coleman and Pierre are fine comps.
In Coleman's RoY season, his OPS+ was 85. With McGee-Herr-Clark hitting behind him, Vincent van Go managed to score only 107 runs.
2006-12-11 15:59:16
131.   thinkingblue
I think the NL west might be like SEC football next year, 2-1 and someone manages to win.
2006-12-11 15:59:44
132.   Jon Weisman
125 - Because of his reaction to the Candy Maldonado trade?

"Candy, Candy, Candy - I can't let you go ..."

2006-12-11 16:03:08
133.   Uncle Miltie
Lofty to the Rangers for 1 year $6 million. A much better deal than Pierre for 5 years/$45 million.
2006-12-11 16:05:30
134.   D4P
In 1986, Vince Coleman stole 107 bases, while getting caught only 14 times.

Then there's this:


2006-12-11 16:08:58
135.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
134 - 670 plate appearances, and 487 outs.
2006-12-11 16:12:00
136.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Of course, this was 1986 when leadoff batters were more Omar Moreno than Kevin Youkilis.
2006-12-11 16:13:34
137.   jasonungar05
Oh yes, I am ONLY talking defense. I would take Furcal over Izzy every day and then some. Same with Kent over other 2B.
2006-12-11 16:17:00
138.   jdm025
On a similar note, my brothers and I are doing a 2 division fantasy league next year (since there are only 4 of us) and unanimously decided not to choose the NL West because the league would generally suck.

The hitting in our division is truly putrid in terms of power. Pretty good pitching though.

2006-12-11 16:25:39
139.   StolenMonkey86
137 - I'd rather have Chase Utley, but he's not available.
2006-12-11 16:26:27
140.   das411
So Brock. I was walking down the street from class this morning and happened to cross paths with two of our Lady Lions volleyball players.

The two are a combined 12 feet 5 inches tall.

It's not every day one gets to talk to a young lady that's six inches taller than I am...the one's height could almost be described as "Timmermann-esque"...

133 - Noooooo!! There goes my proposed Rowand and Lieber for Wilkerson and Otsuka trade! Jon Daniels has outsmarted me again!!

2006-12-11 16:35:07
141.   Bob Timmermann
That's very odd since I believe you've never seen me in person.

I would wager that those two women have far better posture than I do. I don't do posture.

2006-12-11 16:41:13
142.   Bob Timmermann
Rotowire reports that the Phillies are interested in Toby Hall. This is apparently part of some odd catcher/prisoner exchange deal.
2006-12-11 16:41:43
143.   Uncle Miltie
141- you don't discriminate against girls taller than you, right Bob?

With the way Kaman has been playing, the Clippers could probably use her.

2006-12-11 16:49:44
144.   Sushirabbit
And Greg, when you show up take up the slack on the Young Frankenstein allusion, would you? I'm guessing Mel Brooks is to you what Iggy Pop is to Marty.
2006-12-11 16:50:09
145.   Bob Timmermann
Chris Kaman lives near where one of my brother's lives and we were on the same flights from LA to Grand Rapids.

Kaman flew first class.

He is a very, very, very large man.

2006-12-11 16:52:43
146.   Bumsrap
And to think the Dodgers could have moved Furcal to center where he could have used his speed and arm strength and kept Izturis at short instead of signing Pierre.
2006-12-11 16:52:46
147.   Robert Daeley
145 When I first saw your post, I read the name as "Chris Kattan", creating quite the disconnect at the end. :)
2006-12-11 16:52:53
148.   Sushirabbit
142, nah, that's just being floated so we get more from the D-rays... I think the Dodgers want Dan Miceli.
2006-12-11 16:57:15
149.   Marty
"Would the doctor care for a brandy?"

"No, nothing, thank you"

"Some warm milk, perhaps?"

"No, thank you, nothing."


"No, thank you. I'm a little tired."

"Then I will bid you good night."

2006-12-11 17:04:07
150.   Greg Brock
Tall and tan and young and lovely
The Lady Nittany Lions go walking and
As as they pass
our man das
goes owwwwwwww.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-12-11 17:08:34
151.   Greg Brock
And as for Mel Brooks, I say...

"Let 'em all go to hell, except cave 76"

2006-12-11 17:12:49
152.   dsfan
The point about the NL West being short on power is a good one. The Dodgers should keep this in mind. As weak as their OF appears to be, no need to force a power bat into that rotation. The Dodgers have enough overall talent to still be right in the thick of the NL West race come June, July. By then maybe Kemp will have figured out a few things in Triple-A. Let's say he does, and let's say Ethier slugs at .480, .490 -- Ethier/Pierre/Kemp would be a slightly above average OF defensively with decent offensive returns. My hope is that Grady will finesse Gonzo out of the lineup.

Werth's return to full function would be a nice surprise -- a RHB/OF who has some pop and can play all three spots.

2006-12-11 17:16:27
153.   Sagehen
82, 92 Getting in here late ... The typo is that those lines are in MIDDLE English.

Old English would be: Hwaet we gardena in gardegum (just off the top of my head, so please forgive any spelling errors).

2006-12-11 17:17:40
154.   AlmostGagne
148 - I'd rather have Tony Micelli
2006-12-11 17:25:23
155.   D4P
Great stocking-stuffer:

2006-12-11 17:26:33
156.   xaphor
Rotowire reports that the Phillies are interested in Toby Hall.

Guess we now know who was behind the "Dodgers will be better off without Drew" line.

2006-12-11 17:29:04
157.   StolenMonkey86
155 - This offseason is so crazy this is all you can get for $145 now.
2006-12-11 17:29:37
158.   xaphor
Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.5 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 15.20 ounces

Are they sending us a life size Eckstein replica with every purchase. :)

2006-12-11 17:33:57
159.   Andrew Shimmin
Anybody know why so many Ecksteins have kidney problems? The first couple of articles I'm reading about it have tried to convince me that three of five siblings, plus now at least two cousins is just bad luck. But that seems impossible to believe.
2006-12-11 17:37:46
160.   Steve
151 - Well played.
2006-12-11 17:37:46
161.   Andrew Shimmin
157- You can get it directly from the publisher (or whomever) at Ecks's website, for only $22.45 (including shipping; faster delivery is a little more)! Just click the Buy Now button at the top.

2006-12-11 17:44:14
162.   Benaiah
Thanks for posting that Vonnegut short Andrew. I had read it in 9th grade, but a) hadn't read it since and b) didn't know it was by my main man Kurt. It is a cool story for sure.
2006-12-11 17:57:36
163.   Andrew Shimmin
162- Aims to please. It was part of the test I had to take to skip High School Freshman English. Which was a very bad choice, I think. I know self-esteem is the bestest thing in the world, but does anybody really need a dozen thirteen year olds wandering around thinking their genius is being stifled by The Man? Having to read Nietzsche to get that feeling is pretty useful, for everybody, really.

Same question, more or less, about my sociology class's screening of The Handmaid's Tale. Preternatural threadjacker that I was, I derailed the conversation in to a discussion of in vitro fertilization and cloning. The grad student running the lesson was not pleased.

2006-12-11 17:57:45
164.   Jon Weisman
From the "What Will You Do With All the Money You Save" Dept.

Lofton's contract: one year, $6 million.

2006-12-11 17:57:53
165.   das411
150 - One of 'em wasn't really tan. And the other was sitting. But yah, pretty much!

156 - Can't we just blame this on Rex Grossman too?

2006-12-11 18:12:51
166.   Marty
Anybody out there who has Charter cable internet service? I'm getting it tomorrow. AT&T ran out of chances.
2006-12-11 18:13:33
167.   Benaiah
163 - When I took classes and the Professor promised a quiz at the end of the class I would always try to drive the conversation in such a way as to waste time and prevent the quiz from happening. When this backfired, the Professor would give the quiz with less time than he or she had planned. The problem with learning is that the whole concept of testing and grading is adversarial and makes people want to "win" not necessarily learn.
2006-12-11 18:17:22
168.   Robert Daeley
159 Genetic disorder.
2006-12-11 18:18:12
169.   Gen3Blue
I'm beginning to appreciate Lofton. I wish we could have him one more year and try to develop or trade for a real center fielder.
Except for his uncanny ability to turn the wrong way for one hit deep over his head he wasn't bad, and offensively he was OK in terms of OBP and hitting. But we are set at center for 5 or 6 years and I'm not sure why. So we have to look elsewhere for upgrades.
2006-12-11 18:19:38
170.   D4P
The problem with learning is that the whole concept of testing and grading is adversarial and makes people want to "win" not necessarily learn

When I started graduate school, I made a decision to take all of my classes pass/fail, specifically so that I would focus 100% on learning and 0% on my grade. It worked out great, and I highly recommend it. That's not to say that getting good grades precludes learning, but good grades don't really require learning either.

2006-12-11 18:22:21
171.   D4P

1. Ned's decision to sign Lofton in the first place, and
2. the fact that Ned couldn't possibly have been disappointed with Lofton's performance, and
3. that there will be a number of free agent centerfielders available next year,

it's surprising that Ned didn't pursue another one-year deal with Lofton for 2007.

2006-12-11 18:25:27
172.   Icaros
Vernon Wells isn't even that great if you take him out of centerfield (career .828 OPS). Look at his pedestrian seasons in 2005 (.320/.463/.783) and 2004 (.337/.472/.809).

I don't see this guy making much difference, especially if he moves to a corner so The Great Pierre can stay in center.

Plus he's already 28. Good player, but I'd pass unless Toronto would give him for Penny straight up. J.D. Drew is better.

2006-12-11 18:26:07
173.   Benaiah
170 - Exactly, I don't remember very much about a lot of classes I got good grades in. Meanwhile some classes that I really struggled in I learned a lot. After Freshman year most people figure out how to play the "game" and never get that bad of grades. A few nights of hard work a semester and getting the notes from someone who lived on your floor freshman year, maybe an extension from a professor or two. Whatever. I hated curriculum requirements because I felt I should be allowed to take classes I would want to learn in, rather than cursory classes that would "broaden" my horizons. Certain departments, cough romance languages cough are entirely supported by who have to take the classes to graduate.
2006-12-11 18:26:41
174.   Andrew Shimmin
171- 4. He could have offered Lofton arbitration, then, even if he didn't get Lofton back, and still decided to sign Pierre, he'd have gotten something out of it.
2006-12-11 18:27:01
175.   D4P
I'm not high on Wells, either. Or Andruw, for that matter. They're all overrated.
2006-12-11 18:31:50
176.   bhsportsguy
171 I will agree that there will be some CFs available but how good they are and how much money they will want, well

Adrian Brown
Eric Byrnes
Mike Cameron
Brady Clark
Torii Hunter
Andruw Jones
Corey Patterson
Aaron Rowand
Vernon Wells

2006-12-11 18:32:09
177.   Uncle Miltie

The McCourts actually received an award (and it's a positive one!) When I first saw the picture in the story, I thought "That guy on the left looks an awful lot like Al Gore". Well, it is. Didn't the Dodgers hire Tipper's spokeswoman for some PR position?

2006-12-11 18:32:11
178.   Robert Daeley
173 Yes, because no one speaks romance languages anymore, right?
2006-12-11 18:32:16
179.   D4P
If I'm the rest of the league, I make Ned pay for his stupidity for the next 5 years and refuse to take Pierre of his hands via trade.

5 years! What the inferno was Ned thinking?

2006-12-11 18:34:50
180.   Greg Brock
The further away you get from the Pierre signing, the more baffling it is.

No, wait, it was just as ridiculous then as it is now.

Carry on.

2006-12-11 18:35:34
181.   gpellamjr
173 Oh the glories of the Gen ed requirements! I hated them as an undergraduate, but now they pay my tuition and all my bills!
2006-12-11 18:39:49
182.   Icaros

Ned has a thing for crooked hats. That's why he was asking Florida about Dontrelle.

I've heard it mentioned that when Pierre bats this season, Colletti will turn his hairpiece sideways in a show of team solidarity.

2006-12-11 18:50:07
183.   Bob Timmermann
I'm waiting for a football player to wear his helmet a cocked angle.

It may not be as effective.

Or maybe a hockey goalie can wear his helmet with the cage facing the other direction.

2006-12-11 18:53:30
184.   Icaros
I've seen a football player go crooked. He looks out the ear hole.
2006-12-11 18:53:49
185.   D4P
And why not wear the "covered ear" on a batting helmet over your ear that faces the backstop rather than the pitcher...?
2006-12-11 18:54:01
186.   bhsportsguy
BTW, if you look at the contract lengths, outside of Pierre (I have a feeling that there will be a lot of qualified statements from now on starting off with something like "Outside of Juan's contract."), here is a breakdown of the contract situation of the players on the team.

Schmidt (2009, no option)
Lowe (2008, no option)
Penny (2008, mutual option)
Wolf (2007, with vested option for 2008)
Tomko (2007, with team option for 2008)
Billingsley & Kuo (2012 FA status)
Dessens (2007, no option)
Hendrickson (Arb. eligible; 2008 FA)
Broxton (2012 FA)
Saito (2011 FA)
Beimel (Arb. eligible; 2008 FA)
Brazobahn (Arb. eligible in 2007, FA 2010)
Martin (2012 FA)
Lieberthal (2007, team option for 2008)
Hall (Arb. eligible, 2007 FA)
Garciaparra (2008, no option)
Kent (2008, no option)
Furcal (2008, no option)
Betemit (arbititration in 2007, 2010 FA)
M. Anderson (2007)
Saenz (2007)
R. Martinez (2007)
Pierre (2011, no option)
Gonzalez (2007, no option)
Ethier (2012 FA)
Werth (Arb. eligible, 2009 FA)
Repko (Arb. eiligible in 2007, 2010 FA)

Kemp and Loney would have to play most of 2007 to become FAs in 2012 otherwise 2013 for them, LaRoche, Miller, etc. are longshots to make the opening roster at this time.

So, you could look at this roster and say that this is a team built to win 2007-2008, with only Schmidt and Pierre signed beyond that time, players like Martin, Ethier and the 3 pitchers (Brox, Chad and Kuo) would still be one year away from automatic arbitration, though it is likely that several of them could be in that Super 2 category at the end of 2008. Ned would be wise to explore granting contracts before then to some if not all of these players.

2006-12-11 19:10:33
187.   Steve
182 -- So if he turns it crooked, does that make it straight?
2006-12-11 19:14:44
188.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
The problem with learning is that the whole concept of testing and grading is adversarial and makes people want to "win" not necessarily learn.

I'm sorry guys, but learning generally involves some drudgery. Grades are one useful means of pushing students through the necessary drudgery. Exams have a wonderful way of focusing the mind.


2006-12-11 19:15:03
189.   Vishal
we don't have control of saito till 2011, do we? not that we would want him that long anyway.
2006-12-11 19:19:11
190.   Icaros
So if he turns it crooked, does that make it straight?

Depends on which way the wind is blowing.

2006-12-11 19:35:39
191.   overkill94
186 I know it's dumb to luck too far ahead, but realistically what will we be looking for in the free agent market a year from now?

Barring the unforeseen, we should have:
C - Martin
1B - Nomar/Loney
2B - Dewitt?, Betemit?
SS - Furcal
3B - Betemit?, Laroche?
LF - Ethier
CF - Pierre
RF - Kemp

SP - Schmidt
SP - Lowe
SP - Penny
SP - Billingsley
SP - Kuo?, Elbert?

RP - Broxton
RP - Saito?
RP - Brazoban
RP - Meloan

Of course certain factors will change things (injuries, trades, ineffectiveness), but it looks like there won't need to be much change after this year.

(Sorry for looking so far into the future, I'm just tired of talking about our current offseason)

2006-12-11 19:39:55
192.   StolenMonkey86
170 - I'm really buying the theory that the primary purpose of education as the system is designed is for signaling.
2006-12-11 19:41:51
193.   overkill94
To elaborate on my previous post, it seems that 2B might be the only weak spot, depending on the development of Betemit and Dewitt. Any quality options on pace to be on the market next offseason? If Ethier truly becomes Mr. 3.5 we might need another corner outfielder as well.
2006-12-11 19:50:23
194.   natepurcell
Any quality options on pace to be on the market next offseason?

Marcus Giles...i guess.

2006-12-11 19:51:22
195.   Andrew Shimmin
Assuming Kent doesn't hit his automatic contract extending AB quota. What is it, again, 450?
2006-12-11 19:53:30
196.   thinkblue0
with all the talk of Ned going after a power bat it leads me to the question of where to put them?

Are we operating under the assumption that eithier would be benched? I just don't see any place to put another bat at the moment.

2006-12-11 19:54:11
197.   Andrew Shimmin
550 PA in 2007. It could easily be a hole, though.
2006-12-11 19:56:50
198.   overkill94
196 I would assume Ethier would be part of the package to get said power bat, though if it's someone like Kemp instead then yes, I guess he would be benched.
2006-12-11 20:06:59
199.   Greg Brock
I love BTF, but the Loney article is the perfect example of most commenting sections over there.

Article: James Loney/Dodgers
Commenter: Blah blah Mets David Wright.
Commenter #2: Something somthing D-Backs Conor Jackson.

2006-12-11 20:08:56
200.   Johnson
197 Remember that even if Kent's '08 doesn't vest, the team still holds an option at $9M. If he doesn't drop off significantly this season, I wouldn't be surprised to see the option picked up, even if it doesn't vest.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-12-11 20:09:57
201.   delias man
overkill... get the spanish package on your cable provider and watch some DR games on espn deportes. tony abreu is way ahead of dewitt. he looks like izturis, but with more pop in his bat. turns dp's barehanded, batting .310 in a league where everyone seems to bat .220. dont forget about abreu!!
2006-12-11 20:18:34
202.   natepurcell
I love BTF, but the Loney article is the perfect example of most commenting sections over there.

i totally agree. every thread turns into a mets thread or the one arizona fan mentioning some dback player.

it happens, all the time.

2006-12-11 20:19:01
203.   popup
I would be satisfied if Loney ends up being as good as Wes Parker. Parker was a good outfielder and a terrific defensive first baseman. I would rather see Loney get a chance in right rather than trade for Adam Dunn or Pat Burrell.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-12-11 20:31:59
204.   El Lay Dave
First time poster - wish me luck.

203 I'm hoping for more from Loney. I did have a Wes Parker poster on my wall when I was in grade school, but Wes was good field, not so much hit (.351/.375/.726, OPS+ 111). Admittedly half his career was played in the not-so-offensive 60s. Did a little acting though. I also heard Wes had some of the smallest wrists of any major leaguer.

2006-12-11 20:36:55
205.   dzzrtRatt
179 Not only will other GMs not "punish" Ned for signing Pierre, most will covet Pierre. That's the one silver lining in this deal to me. Pierre is likely to be very tradeable, even this salary. He's the kind of player almost every GM thinks is great.

The Ned-bashers should be reminded of what Winston Churchill said about democracy: It's the worst form of government, with the exception of all the others. Ned might not measure up to your standards, but compared with the other MLB GMs, he is surely above average by any measure. He just signed the best FA starting pitcher available to a contract of only three years. Do we really have a problem here?

You might hold it against him how he got rid of all our prospects and young players, and I understand that. The only ones left after his massive housecleaning are Kemp, Loney, LaRoche, Broxton, Kuo Billingsley, Elbert, Meloan, Kershaw and DeWitt. Now we're really screwed.

2006-12-11 20:38:16
206.   Gen3Blue
A cautionary tale: Though I won't try and give actual dates for fear of seeming ancient, as a young idealist, I took my colleges offer and took one course (or was it curse) pass/fail in the spirit of good faith and liberal education. About ten years later wouldn't you know I had to discover what that grade actually was either as a prerequisite for some independant course or to qaulify for Grad school--I truly forget which. I actually had to find an old dried up organic chemistry prof I really desparately wanted to forget and find what my grade actually was. I forget what happened but it must have been OK.
2006-12-11 20:41:41
207.   Bob Timmermann
BTF exists solely to give Mets and Red Sox fans a chance to complain.

There are only two D-Backs fans there, but what they lack in numbers, they make up for in volume.

2006-12-11 20:46:40
208.   Gen3Blue
199,202 How true.
205 as sad as it is, the Pierre deal will probably look like a bargain in a few years.
With the current insanity this argument looks good for years to come!
2006-12-11 20:47:01
209.   tjshere
166 Marty, I've been using Charter for several years now. I have no real complaints. They certainly aren't perfect, but overall I've been happy with them. Good luck!

And how's the pooch these days?

2006-12-11 21:02:27
210.   Greg Brock
204 Nice to meet you. Mark Grace with a little more power. That's all I want Loney to be, especially with the ridiculous glove he has at first base. Hit a bunch of doubles, maybe 25 homers, and keep that slick glove at first base.
2006-12-11 21:31:20
211.   WellsforKemp
whats BTF?.......
2006-12-11 21:32:38
212.   Bob Timmermann
2006-12-11 21:39:35
213.   Uncle Miltie
Nice to meet you. Mark Grace with a little more power.
And without the chain smoking :)
2006-12-11 21:42:08
214.   Greg Brock
Mark Grace always said he needed to write an autobiography because he had the best title for a book (and he's right)...

Doubles: I hit 'em and I drink 'em

2006-12-11 21:49:12
215.   Bob Timmermann
I've been told to not welcome newcomers by saying "we're not that bad."

I think we need a prospectus to hand out or something like that.

2006-12-11 22:02:13
216.   LAT
183/184 I'm waiting for a football player to wear his helmet a cocked angle.

When I was in high school our football practices were held in a pit with the coach standing on top of the hill barking out orders. One day we all decided it would be funny to put our helmets and jerseys on backwards and run backwards. It was about fifteen minutes until the coach realized it. He was so pissed he made us keep our helmets on that way all practice and run, run, run. It was so worth it. My buddies and I still joke about it today.

2006-12-11 22:05:29
217.   El Lay Dave
210 Thanks. Mark Grace with more HR? I'd take that in a heartbeat! Your talking around .375/.500 there, I think.

214 A popular-with-the-fans Cubbie must have a lot of stories, not all publishable.

204 I saw that. If newbies do the appropriate amount of lurking first, they get the drift. Listen first, speak later - that's what my father taught me.

2006-12-11 22:07:43
218.   Greg Brock
Just remember that Jon went to Cal and Bob loves his Notre Dame Fighting Irish and you'll be okay.

{runs away}

2006-12-11 22:19:56
219.   El Lay Dave
218 newbie does not necessarily equal rube! I do know what Jon's alma mater is; however, I am a little unsure of Bob's allegiances.
2006-12-11 22:21:48
220.   Icaros
I wasn't given an official welcome when I was a first-time commenter.

Back then we just butted into people's conversations with a barrage of stats and one-liners.

2006-12-11 22:27:55
221.   LAT
217. Listen first, speak later - that's what my father taught me.

My father's variation on the same theme: "Keep your eyes and your ears open and your mouth shut!"

Other one liners included:

"Why don't you go play on the freeway." and "Why don't you go read the phone book."

2006-12-11 22:46:05
222.   Vishal
[219] i'm pretty sure bob went to ucla and then cal for grad school.

i think greg brock is a trojan, though. i remember he feels very passionately about usc.

[220] are we hearkening back to the good ol' days? good to see your name, man.

2006-12-11 22:53:58
223.   overkill94
201 I'm not a prospect nut like Nate or Canuck, but I just thought I remembered seeing that Dewitt has the higher upside and is already starting to show budding power. If Abreu is such a slick fielder and can be solid line-drive hitter, that would be awesome too - one less position on the diamond to worry about!
2006-12-11 22:56:31
224.   LAT
222. All this time Icaros has been hiding out in Bob's apartment drinking his booze. I guess Bob's bar finally ran dry. :-)
2006-12-11 23:02:00
225.   trainwreck
I swore on my first post here so I got welcomed and told not to swear.
2006-12-11 23:05:04
226.   Greg Brock
I am very passionate about USC. That would be a true statement.

Of course, passion is a rather nebulous term.

2006-12-11 23:09:45
227.   Bob Timmermann
I still have some soy milk.
2006-12-11 23:12:01
228.   El Lay Dave
226 I won't hold it against you. Let's just say, however, that this is my tenth consecutive day without wiping the grin off my face.
2006-12-11 23:15:37
229.   Greg Brock
My passion for USC would not be considered positive.

I am a Bruin and the child of two Bruins.

2006-12-11 23:17:29
230.   Greg Brock
With the exception of Marty, this is a pretty pro-UCLA crowd.

When trainwreck isn't sabotaging our men's soccer team, he's a UCLA fan as well.

But he's on probation.

2006-12-11 23:19:35
231.   Bob Timmermann
Greg Brock and I are going to have a lot of credit cards soon I fear.

2006-12-11 23:22:13
232.   Vishal
i was being very tongue-in-cheek there. greg hates 'sc with the heat of a thousand suns.

i'm very usc/ucla neutral, personally.

2006-12-11 23:23:44
233.   Greg Brock
231 Wonderful. First the DoD, now UCLA.

I think they're gunning for me. I knew I should have joined the syndic...I've said too much.

If you'll excuse me, I have some files to encrypt.

2006-12-11 23:28:31
234.   StolenMonkey86
Sarah Morris has a new one at Here's a highlight:

Maddux usually can't last longer than five or six innings, putting more stress on the bullpen. Earlier this offseason, I recommended the Dodgers re-sign him because I thought they could get him for $8 million for one year, and this is reasonable for a quality starter. Giving a 40-year-old pitcher a two-year contract worth $20 million is absurd. I applaud Colletti for keeping his head.

2006-12-11 23:36:51
235.   Greg Brock
Plaschke's article on Sarah Morris is the rare piece from him I can truly say I enjoyed. And that gal is amazing.
2006-12-11 23:38:41
236.   Icaros

I think she finally found Dodger Thoughts. She's had some quality stuff lately.

2006-12-11 23:40:35
237.   Icaros
And for the record, I used to "hang out" at Bob's because when we went to a game one time (and saw HSC almost take one over the pavilion) he made it sound like there were a lot of females hanging around his place.

Turned out he was just a cat person. I'm allergic to cats, so I decided to only hang out there when Bob was at work, that way I could do with his cat as I please.

2006-12-11 23:51:48
238.   Vishal
[234] sarah's writing is getting better, but that almost read like a love letter to flanders.
2006-12-11 23:53:10
239.   trainwreck
Dang my alma mater's success.
2006-12-11 23:54:12
240.   trainwreck
If only D4P was awake. UFC made a major business move.
2006-12-12 06:42:22
241.   Bumsrap
Now that all you 11th hour posters are all tucked into bed and sleeping in we await the morning posts.

Greg Brock and Trainwreck are night owls, as are Icaros and Visha, not to mention stolenmonkey86 and Bob Timmerman.

Morning posts don't seem to start until 9.

Cal Poly Broncos need to get mentioned a few times in DT for reasons I am still contemplating. Oh I remember now, because it is getting close to New Years day and we have the best Rose Parade float.

2006-12-12 06:59:19
242.   Vishal
i actually get to be both a night owl and a morning owl, but not much of a, um, daybird(?) due to the 16-hour time difference. but that'll all change in a month.
2006-12-12 07:05:59
243.   D4P
as sad as it is, the Pierre deal will probably look like a bargain in a few years.

The problem with the Pierre (raw) deal is less about the $44 million than the 5 years. 5 years of Juan Pierre in the starting lineup for free would still be a bad deal. While it may be tempting to hope that Ned intends to trade Pierre, keep in mind that Ned is the one who signed Pierre to a 5-year contract in the first place. Ned is the one who thinks Pierre gets on base an awful lot, and as long as Pierre keeps getting his 200 hits (in 700 ABs), I don't see why Ned would change his mind.

If only D4P was awake. UFC made a major business move.

I haven't been awake much lately. Today is day 9 of my ongoing battle with pneumonia, which (among other things) has kept me in bed roughly 20 hours or so each day. But I see that the UFC bought some contracts, including Rampage.

2006-12-12 07:10:04
244.   Benaiah
Furcal was amazing last year, even more so if you consider how bad his first half was. However, he had the highest AVG and SLG of his career and the second highest OBP, behind his rookie year when he put up a disgusting .394, with an ISOpatience of .099. Do you think he is due for some regression, or do you think that this is just him hitting his peak? I think he might be even better than last year, because hopefully he won't have another 2 month slump.
2006-12-12 07:11:29
245.   katysdad
124 Tommy Herr batted fifth in 151 games for St. Louis in 1985 (he batted third in two games).

Whenever Furcal batting third is mentioned, I think of Roberto Alomar (702 games batting third, 2,654 at bats, .321, .397, .496, .893) and think it might just work. Furcal's career highs are .300, .394, .445, .839. A little lacking in power, but somewhat close if Furcal has a career year (not likely, at 29).

Then I checked Furcal's similar batters and saw these names:

1. Jimmy Rollins
2. Julio Lugo
3. Ray Chapman
4. Fred Dunlap
5. Carlos Guillen
6. Fernando Vina
7. Michael Young
8. Placido Polanco
9. Dickie Thon
10. Ron Belliard

Plus, Tony Fernandez is Furcal's most similar by age.

Now when I hear Furcal mentioned as a third-place hitter I don't think of Roberto Alomar anymore. I just think it would be a bad idea.

2006-12-12 07:27:29
246.   Benaiah
178 - My problem with the romance language department are many. First, Duke required 3 years of foreign language, which meant that if you started at a beginner level would get you to the point where you wouldn't really know anything, but if you tried really hard you could read the menu (but not know what it said, just pronounce it) and find the bathroom. Second, all the classes are taught by imported native speakers who usually didn't speak English. I understand the value of immersion, but 50 minutes a day of being talked out does not make one fluent. Three classes is roughly 9% of all the classes I took in college. I basically wasted my time in those classes, but I funded the romance language department (one of the biggest departments in the school) when I could have "voted" more money to art classes by using those three classes as art electives.
2006-12-12 07:41:18
247.   Bumsrap
246. Benaiah
178 - My problem with the romance language department are many. First, Duke required 3 years of foreign language

Here is another opportunity to promote the bliss that is Cal Poly. Engineering majors when I was there did not have to take foreign languages nor speech. In it place were three hour labs attached to way too many classes not to mention the one unit stand alone three hour lab classes.

I can't read a French menu but I can order frioles because I took Spanish in High School--four years of it in fact.

2006-12-12 07:47:00
248.   Benaiah
Eh, when you order French food I just drop all letters that look discordant and end everything with a soft sound. I love French food, and I probably butcher some menu items, but I doubt the staff really mind. When I worked at an Asian restaurant no one pronounced anything right, it goes with the territory.
2006-12-12 07:54:49
249.   Bumsrap
245-Dave Concepcion wound up hitting third in the Reds lineup.

I miss the days when Duke Snider, Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle defined the third hitter role. They struck out alot, ran fast, and hit with power--sounds like Kemp if you ask me.

Joe Morgan was a different type of third hitter. He walked much more than he struck out, hit twenty homeruns, hit for average, and stole a few bases. Furcal could do that.

Pete Rose for a leadoff hitter didn't steal bases nor was he fast. He hit mostly singles but I don't remember him being a slap hitter. If Rose was one of the best leadoff hitters it shows that on-base-percentage is more important than steals not to mention being able to get a two out hit with runners in scoring position. Martin would come closer to Rose than Pierre.

2006-12-12 08:01:03
250.   Andrew Shimmin
Doesn't the fact that nobody outbid Colletti for Pierre's services mean that nobody wants him as much as Ned does? I expect he will be tradable (seems to be the preferred spelling of what may not be a word), eventually, maybe at a loss. My biggest problem with Pierre isn't the money or the contract length; it's that he could be what Colletti wants. We're still working with a relatively very small sample of his moves, trying to divine what he wants in a player (I'm pretty sure ignoring his public statements is the proper step zero in this endeavor). He's aborted many of his already few moves (some were stillborn, to begin with), so it's a smaller sample, still.

The list of prospects he hasn't traded for Julio Lugo is fine, but it's a little like praising Greg Brock for peeing in the sink, instead of on the rug.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-12-12 08:06:15
251.   D4P
I'm pretty sure ignoring his public statements is the proper step zero in this endeavor

I think we can believe him when he says he cares about stuff like character, experience in the big game, clubhouse presence, etc.

2006-12-12 08:13:52
252.   Andrew Shimmin
251- Could be. Always sounds like marketing, to me. I haven't noticed if anybody's beaten the good character, big gaminess, drum for Schmidt. What I've read about him has been how he's a good pitcher.
2006-12-12 08:16:36
253.   D4P
I don't think character et al. is necessary, but it appears to be sufficient.
2006-12-12 08:49:09
254.   fordprefect
Begging your indulgence for an off-topic post, but it seems like some posters here would like to know of the UCLA database hack--haven't discovered yet if I'm on the list, but definitely in the category.

ps-241- bumsrap- When did the Mustangs become the Broncos? You from out of town?

2006-12-12 08:56:35
255.   Benaiah
D4P, how much time do you have left at Duke?
2006-12-12 08:59:17
256.   D4P
I'm a student at UNC, I just live by Duke. I'm hoping to finish by the end of this school year.
2006-12-12 09:00:32
257.   Benaiah
256 - Thats right, and you take or took some classes at Duke. I remember now. Are you going to leave the glorious triangle for parts unknown? I highly recommend not coming to Chicago. The weather sucks.
2006-12-12 09:07:49
258.   D4P
Yes, we are leaving the glorious triangle as soon as we can. Actually, Chicago is a possibility, simply because there's an opening there. But I think I would probably hate the weather there too. Worst of both worlds: hot and humid in the summer, then really severe winter as well. At least in NC, the winters aren't that bad.

But we can't be too picky.

2006-12-12 09:15:21
259.   jdm025
One of the wild cards to Coletti's tenure is that we really do not know who has his ear. Is he the type to trust his own instincts over others' advice, or is there someone (Ng, White) in the organization whom he trusts when figuring out who to go after? I have the feeling that it is the former on FAs and White when a trade for our youngsters comes into play.
2006-12-12 09:19:16
260.   Benaiah
258 - The winters defy description. On my birthday it was 14 degrees outside with gusts of wind up to 30 MPH that brought the temperature into the negatives. My face was barely showing but it still stung and I couldn't open my eyes all the way. Plus, I could barely walk because it was so windy. I mean, I came here because it made sense financially (NYC is expensive), but it is only early Dec. and I am sick of winter.
2006-12-12 09:22:33
261.   jujibee
Gagne going to Rangers for 8 mil. At least we don't have to see him pitch for SF.

2006-12-12 09:26:37
262.   D4P
I hate the humidity here, but I've never lived any place really cold. I'm not sure which is worse. I don't think I could stand either for very long. We hope to settle down some place mild someday.
2006-12-12 09:30:46
263.   Benaiah
262 - Ecuador would be perfect, if it wasn't for the commute.
2006-12-12 09:31:08
264.   Bob Timmermann
Well, I cared! But I put it in French on the Griddle. It seems classier.
2006-12-12 09:32:27
265.   Bob Timmermann
Ecuador is extremely humid. You would hate it.

If you want nice weather in South America, I sugggest Chile. Especially along the coast, like Vina del Mar.

2006-12-12 09:47:29
266.   Benaiah
265 - Yeah but humid and 70 every day is pretty livable.
2006-12-12 09:53:27
267.   Sam DC
Hey everyone, meet Nate's roomate, Bruce:

Bruce (Tucson, AZ): Rob, Why did the Dodgers invest $7 million in Luis Gonzalez? Wouldn't it have been better for the franchise to play Matt Kemp and James Loney, who are both ready and cost $700K combined? Also, does the signing of Schmidt mean Penny is on his way out?

Rob Neyer: (12:30 PM ET ) The Gonzalez contract is one of the sillier of this silly off-season, for exactly the reasons you cite. And yes, I think Penny's available if not expendable.

2006-12-12 09:57:20
268.   Bob Timmermann
Well, it turns out that Quito, Ecuador, which is up in the Andes has pretty good climate.

2006-12-12 09:57:23
270.   natepurcell
Bruce is an interesting name.
2006-12-12 09:57:33
271.   Sam DC
And then here's how Neyer ended the chat:

I'm feeling a bit peaked today, my bodily humors in a state of flux, so I'm going to let you get back to your lives a bit sooner than usual. I hope to see you next week, and until then don't forget: "History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again."

2006-12-12 10:02:07
272.   Sam DC
270 You don't say.
2006-12-12 10:07:02
273.   D4P
I can see Nate liking the sound of pornstache names like Bruce and Lance
2006-12-12 10:08:53
274.   bearlurker
Thanks for posting. I'm in the database that was compromised, so I guess it's off to Equifax for a fraud alert. 800,000 people? Great job Bruins.
2006-12-12 10:10:05
275.   Bob Timmermann
I blame Reggie Bush.
2006-12-12 10:15:54
276.   bearlurker
Well, everything is Bush's fault so I guess that makes sense.
2006-12-12 10:26:15
277.   Xeifrank
I don't see a way that Beijing is going to be ready for the Olympics from a smog standpoint, unless they just shut every factory, power plant and car down for a month. As Vishal can attest to, the city is wonderful, the food a delight and the historical sites a marvel, but the air itself smells like a campfire without the marshmellows. vr, Xei
2006-12-12 10:27:49
278.   D4P
Smog is just a hoax. And even if it exists, human activities have nothing to do with it.
2006-12-12 10:41:23
279.   Xeifrank
278. You are probably correct. Smog is a ploy used by the auto makers to get the lemming public to buy hybrid cars. Bob took the bait. Jokes on him! He probably recycles too. vr, Xei
2006-12-12 10:43:06
280.   D4P
Recycling: just a ploy used by recycling companies to get the lemming public to pay for those $5 dollar recycling bins.
2006-12-12 11:16:51
281.   Benaiah
280 - Um no. Recycling is way to keep homeless people busy collecting bottles and cans, as an alternative to the traditional asking for money to get home because your car ran out of gas. The homeless economy is a significant and overlooked demographic. For instance, 12.7% of the gross domestic sales for Old English malt liquor came from the homeless, or domicile challenged rather.
2006-12-12 11:25:56
282.   Benaiah
281 - Now I get to be the guy who hates the homeless almost as much as D4P hates women. But the female homeless.... that is another story all together.

True story: I once talked to a female crack addict for 20 minutes about not doing crack anymore before giving her five dollars, presumably to go buy more crack. Not my proudest moment.

2006-12-12 12:04:04
283.   Bumsrap
254 ps-241- bumsrap- When did the Mustangs become the Broncos? You from out of town? Actually I assummed it was understood it was Pomona and not Sanluiiabysspo.

Cal Poly Pomona, which won NCAA Division II championships in 1976, 1980 and 1983 under legendary coach John Scolinos, has now posted winning records in five of the past six years and won 30 or more games three times in the past five seasons.

Baseball Quick Facts
Institution: Cal Poly Pomona
Location: 3801 W. Temple Avenue, Pomona, CA, 91768
Nickname: Broncos
Colors: Green and Gold
Affiliation: NCAA Division II
NCAA Appearances: 7 (1976, '79, '80, '83, '85, '88, '93)
NCAA Championships: 3 (1976, '80, '83)

Baseball Facility: Scolinos Field (500)

2006-12-12 15:35:49
284.   fordprefect

Sanluiiabysspo! Ya sound just like a native! ;)

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