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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Fate of Dodger Offseason Rests Greatly on Little
2007-01-09 20:30
by Jon Weisman

So Alex Belth and I just gave interviews to Big League Baseball Report: Belth talked mainly about the Randy Johnson trade, and I talked mainly about the Dodgers.

A word of warning: Chips, as you may know, are an important ingredient in computers, and it so happens that in my interview, you can hear the chips. Weird, I know, but just one of those things...

Anyway, in describing how I would evaluate the Dodger offseason, I passed along my intention to reserve judgment until I see how Dodger manager Grady Little uses the players he's got. There's nothing wrong, in the absence of having a true superstar, with having depth at almost every position, if you let the best man win. The team clearly had money to spend, and if, for example, you're hoping for James Loney, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to have big years but Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzalez and even Juan Pierre are insurance against that, that's fine. On the other hand, if the idea is you're going to play the vets until they get hurt, regardless of how mediocre they are, that's a problem. Given that Little was willing to demote Brett Tomko, Aaron Sele and Mark Hendrickson during 2006, I'm a little encouraged - though it took longer than some would have liked.

Part of the reason I dislike the Juan Pierre signing is that it clearly goes against the spirit of option A: he's expected to play no matter what. There's such a limit with him - there's no "if he stays healthy, he can be great" like Garciaparra or "if he matures, he can be great" like the kids. He's just a true mediocrity that really wasn't worth pursuing at any price.

But a thought does occur to me that it will be more palatable for Dodger fans and/or management to insert a kid in place of a slumping veteran than to carry a kid through an April slump. Sure, I have no trouble carrying that kid, but many would. So if the plan is for the April lineup to be one that remains provisional, I can get behind that.

(This is not to imply that veterans don't have the right to snap out of a slump, but that the tolerance shouldn't go on indefinitely.)

On the pitching side, Jason Schmidt makes me a little uneasy because I feel he's a guy with wear and tear, but if he's on the mound he should be good, and he (along with Randy Wolf) adds to this depth equation. I don't know what the starting rotation will be or how much it will fluctuate, but I think that the odds are that the Dodgers will have five good starting pitchers.

I also consider as an offseason move the new hirings in the medical staff. I have no idea how this will play out, but the team's recent history this decade of rushing people back onto the field, only to see them get hurt again, has nowhere to go but up. So I'm hoping change is for the better. But again, we wait and see. If you've been reading this site for a while, you know that "maybe good, maybe not" is considered a better answer than being sure about something you can't really be sure of. Just consider it burnishing the cat. (You do the math.)

The Dodgers should contend for a division title in 2007, and if they make the playoffs, it will probably mean that enough things went right that they should have a chance to win the World Series. Unlike in the past, I just worry about getting to the playoffs now. I want the best team possible, but we've seen so often in recent years that the best team in October isn't necessarily the best team in April, July or even September.

By 2008, I'm optimistic that there will be less uncertainty with the team: we'll have much better ideas of what to expect from players like Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Andy LaRoche, Chad Billingsley and Hong-Chih Kuo. There will be maybes - the Scott Elbert watch will be on, for example - but more players whose major-league skills are obvious. This offseason hasn't been perfect, but I still feel that this is a team that is ascending.

Comments (241)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-09 20:55:29
1.   Greg Brock
The Philosopher King sounds nothing like I thought he would. It's almost like listening to a young Lou Rawls.

Also, I'm betting Ruffles.

2007-01-09 21:00:32
2.   Jon Weisman
A young Lou Rawls sang with Sam Cooke on "Bring It on Home to Me." It doesn't get any better than that.
2007-01-09 21:02:13
3.   Greg Brock
Jon Weisman on Juan Pierre: "He does his thing"

Indeed he does, Jon. Indeed he does.

2007-01-09 21:06:32
4.   Xeifrank
A fan meets Griffey Jr on vacation. vr, Xei
2007-01-09 21:09:06
5.   D4P
I just got to the chips...
2007-01-09 21:11:50
6.   D4P
Those chips are loud!
2007-01-09 21:15:06
7.   Greg Brock
It's really hard to talk about the Dodgers. There are a ton of players, we have no idea who is going to play, and no idea how to project how the younglings are going to do.

The PK did as good a job projecting the Dodgers as one could possibly do. Good job, Jon.

2007-01-09 21:17:40
8.   Xeifrank
Nice write-up Jon, I think you nailed it. I would like to add though, I don't think the team is ascending. I think it took a baby step backwards this year, but put itself in the position to take a large(r) step forward next year. Pierre, Gonzo and the lack of position flexibility of Nomar block some pretty good young players. In the starting rotation Wolf is probably filler, until we know if Kuo is ready to repeat his September domination. I think when the young-ins step in next year, the Dodgers will be ascending. I am just worried about where the run production will come from in 2007. I don't think the Padres improved either, but the DBacks certainly look like they are ascending. vr, Xei
2007-01-09 21:19:41
9.   Greg Brock
And then they attack Vin Scully and I am ready to fight somebody.
2007-01-09 21:31:51
10.   D4P
Five for fighting!
2007-01-09 21:42:56
11.   scareduck
8 - I share your skepticism about the "ascending" part. Despite the fact that the Dodgers have managed to get to the postseason twice in the last three years, what bothers me is the feeling of gross incompleteness that seems to accompany every season. In 2004, it was the rotation-full-of-number-three's if not number four's; in 2006 it was the rotation and the offense; and to "fix" all of the above, the Dodgers are building yet another dodgy rotation.

All of this is just another way of saying that the Dodgers have gotten into the postseason by virtue of the NL West being peculiarly weak for several years running. The Giants can be counted out next year, likewise the Rockies, leaving the Pads and Snakes as competition. This season will be rather brutal, and I don't think there's an obvious division winner; the Dodgers' young players still really have to prove themselves as regulars at the major league level. I'm not saying that can't happen, but it does strike me that this is anywhere from a second-place team to another first-round-and-out division or Wild Card winner. I just don't see the Dodgers, as currently constituted, as World Series champs, not over the best the AL has to offer. As the Cardinals proved last year, time and chance happeneth, but it's still unlikely.

2007-01-09 21:44:50
12.   D4P
The Cardinals had one thing the Dodgers don't:

2007-01-09 21:57:11
13.   Berkeley Doug
Who is eating the chips? And do I hear a baby crying in the background?
2007-01-09 22:11:22
14.   das411
The Cardinals also had...

2007-01-09 22:15:37
15.   Andrew Shimmin
12, 14- No. No, no, no.

2007-01-09 22:17:10
16.   Greg Brock
D4P vs. Andrew is turning into the Ali vs. Frazier of our time.

Except neither one is, you know, likeable.

2007-01-09 22:19:10
17.   El Lay Dave
Part of the joy of blogging must be the opportunity to write one's own headlines. Nice job.

Yankees get an average middle reliever and two future middle relivers - or am I missing something about these 24-year old AA pitchers? - and dump $14 million in salary. D'backs take a big risk that Johnson isn't finished and can generate more than $26 million extra income for them over two years.

Haven't reached Jon's part of the audio yet.

2007-01-09 22:20:09
18.   Jon Weisman
11 -

2006 standings
NL East - 10 games over .500
NL Central - 65 games below .500
NL West - 1 game below .500

The NL West was nearly the best division in the league. Plus, of the Dodgers' 15 interleague games, 12 were against the A's, Angels and Twins, who averaged 93 wins. I don't think you can say, if I'm reading you correctly, that the Dodgers backed into the playoffs.

I don't disagree with the notion at all that they might finish second in '07 - I could see them finishing as low as fourth if things break wrong, because I think the division is quietly building strength relative to others. But the fact is, the Dodgers have every reason to forsee improvement in '07: they have only added pitching, and on offense, the loss of Drew and the aging of Kent and Garciaparra should be mostly if not completely neutralized by the improving young players, if they are allowed to play and if they deliver. And 2008 is more promising.

The team isn't ascending like a rocket ship - more like a Segway doing a slight incline on a decent charge. But I don't see them moving backwards, even in the short term, unless Kent, Garciaparra and Gonzalez die a prolonged, painful death on the vine.

Anyway, like I said, my main point is that they can be an ascending team, but they need to be managed (and general managed) correctly. If that doesn't happen, nothing I can do.

2007-01-09 22:21:30
19.   Jon Weisman
17 - That's funny - I wasn't going for any double entendre, if that's what you were complimenting. It didn't even occur to me.
2007-01-09 22:28:37
20.   Greg Brock
Can the Dodgers get to the World Series?
Me: Ha ha ha. Not even close. What a joke
PK: Yes.
Me: Wow.

The Dodgers are in fantastic financial shape. They can play monster rookies and young guns, and use the savings to sign marquee players. While Kemp, LaRoche, Billz, and Martin make nothing, the team can go out and sign some good hitters

But this Dodger squad is nothing close to a WS team.

2007-01-09 22:32:13
21.   El Lay Dave
18 Weren't Segways recalled? Ouch.

19 Somehow that makes it even better.

Roll the dice: Schmidt, 3 years for $16 million per or the Big Unit, 2 years for $12 million per (Yanks pony up $2 mil)?

I love chips, yum.

2007-01-09 22:33:19
22.   gpellamjr
18 "general managed"? "generally managed"? "general-managed"? This will haunt me. Not one of them sounds right.
2007-01-09 22:36:57
23.   El Lay Dave
22 As long as they're not generally mangled.
2007-01-09 22:37:30
24.   El Lay Dave
I'm now reading DT and listening to Jon discussing DT on audio. Semi-surreal.
2007-01-09 22:39:13
25.   Jon Weisman
22 - general-managed.
2007-01-09 22:41:06
26.   Jon Weisman
20 - If we agree that the Dodgers can make the playoffs, I don't quite understand why you don't think the Dodgers can go 7-5 in the NL playoffs, given that they could easily do that in any season series against any NL team.
2007-01-09 22:42:11
27.   gpellamjr
25 Zeus, father of gods and men, nods and Olympus shakes.
2007-01-09 22:47:40
28.   El Lay Dave
9 Jon, thanks for your dead-on defense of Vin Scully (as if HE needs one) against the obviously barbaric heretic.

Dodger Dogs = "reason for being" ! Only if grilled. And without ketchup (catsup).

2007-01-09 22:54:10
29.   Greg Brock
26 I don't believe that this Dodger team, as currently constructed, can take the National League West, let alone the entire National League. If your argument is that the playoffs are a complete crapshoot, and that inferior teams have a 50/50 shot of winning the pennant, I guess you're right.

The sad thing is that the Dodgers are positioned for a decade of dominance like no other team in baseball. A farm system unmatched in baseball, the ability to spend 100 million dollars on payroll, trade chips that would make Warren Buffett jealous, and a fan base matched only by the New York Yankees.

I don't think you're assessment of the Dodgers as World Series team is ridiculous. I just think you underestimate the incompetence of Ned Colletti, and an organization that thinks Juan Pierre is worth 5/45.

(Just to be clear,I vehemently disagree with Jon, but still consider him the best blogger on Earth)

2007-01-09 22:57:57
30.   D4P
In other news, the Lakers go on the road and lose to Memphis, a team that was 8-27 coming into the game.

The Grizzlies won the 3rd quarter 46-22.

Radmanovic and Turiaf fouled out in a combined 30 minutes.

2007-01-09 22:58:31
31.   Jon Weisman
29 - Bring on the disagreement. Why don't you think the Dodgers can win the NL West? What team is so much better?

28 - Confession #2. When he asked that one, I thought he said "Dodger Thoughts." Only after hearing the recording did I realize he said "Dodger dogs."

2007-01-09 23:00:06
32.   D4P
I don't think folks realize just how detrimental it will be to give Juan Pierre 700+ PAs next year.
2007-01-09 23:00:55
33.   trainwreck
Count me as another person surprised by Jon's voice.

All the Juan Pierre comments were hilarious. It seemed like you were trying so hard not to just totally bash him as a player.

I agree that it comes down to injuries and when the Dodgers will realize that the youngsters need to play.

2007-01-09 23:02:46
34.   Icaros

I've chosen to take solace in the fact that the Lakers three-peat teams lost to last place teams all the time.

2007-01-09 23:04:13
35.   trainwreck
If I remember correctly, when the Bulls won 72 games they lost to the expansion Raptors twice.
2007-01-09 23:06:51
36.   Greg Brock
31 Do you really believe this Dodger team is strong enough to win the National League Pennant? Really? Come on, Jon. I love my Dodgers, Jon, but there is no way it happens.
2007-01-09 23:08:14
37.   El Lay Dave
29 Inferior playoff teams have a 41.7% shot at winning the pennant.

31 Not that I have the authority, but you are forgiven - the guy had a mouthful of half-chewed chips.

32 I keep hoping against hope that Grady will bat Jean Pedro 8th - would that be about 600 PAs?

33 I thought Jon sounded just like a writer.

2007-01-09 23:08:25
38.   saltcreek
29. From looking at depth charts and zips there isnt really a team in the nl west that I would consider a clear favorite. I see no reasons why the dodgers couldnt take the west.......Also does anyone know what our farm system is ranked this year? I would think it would have dropped off a bit from last year after all the promotions
2007-01-09 23:09:01
39.   trainwreck
Not like the NL is that good. Mets and Cardinals both lack pitching and almost every other NL team. The Marlins may be the darkhorse challenger.
2007-01-09 23:09:14
40.   El Lay Dave
36 Do you think the Padres are a lock?
2007-01-09 23:14:40
41.   Greg Brock
Terry Ryan could take this combination of talent an payroll flexibility and turn it into a World Series team.
2007-01-09 23:15:03
42.   Jon Weisman
32 - Dodger CFs had a .343 OBP/.743 OPS in CF last year with weak defense. 362 TB + BB + SB - CS.

Juan Pierre had a .330 OBP/.718 OPS in CF last year with, I hear, weak defense. 341 TB + BB + SB - CS. That's a 20-base difference over 162 games, or one base every eight games.

There will be a slight decline, the position will continue to be a bummer, but I think we may be overestimating the negative impact his presence will have compared to '06.

Or Pierre finally blows a gasket, Kemp takes over and everyone's happy!

2007-01-09 23:16:13
43.   Jon Weisman
36 - I've already answered this question - meanwhile, you didn't answer mine in 31.
2007-01-09 23:24:56
44.   Andrew Shimmin
The chips I didn't mind so much. Having the barbaric heretic potted thirty decibels north of Jon irritated me considerably. Aside from that it went well. I hate word association, too. So, aside from that, and the mixing miscalculation. And, thinking about it more, the chips.

Huh. I guess I'm really not all that likable, am I?

2007-01-09 23:24:56
45.   D4P
Dodger leadoff hitters last year:


Other than BA, no way Pierre comes close to that.

2007-01-09 23:26:55
46.   D4P
Greg wasn't content to sit by and let the D4P-Shimmin rivalry grow more captivating everyday: he had to got out and create his own, taking on none other than the Philosopher King himself.
2007-01-09 23:29:49
47.   Greg Brock
43 There are so many arguments against the Dodgers in 2007, it's hard to boil it down to a select few.

They don't have any power. While scraping three hits for every run surely mollifies the David Eckstein set, you can't win baseball games when you need three hits for every run. The Dodgers have ZERO power, and that kills the team.

Juan Pierre will bat leadoff. I'm not going to get into analysis, because you and I both know that this is an absolute joke.

Luis Gonzalez is an 8 million dollar replacement player.

Nomar Garciaparra is a below average offensive first baseman.

Wilson Betemit is an above average platoon player masquerading as a starting third baseman.

Jeff Kent is a fossil

I hope this quick analysis is enough.

2007-01-09 23:30:53
48.   Andrew Shimmin
46- If you were in a bar, and one loudmouth was spouting off about Vin Scully, and another was slandering Jon, and you could only pop one in the nose, which would you hit?
2007-01-09 23:33:52
49.   Jon Weisman
46 - Naw, Greg and I are cool. I still remember when he made the cover of The Sporting News.
2007-01-09 23:35:12
50.   Xeifrank
I for one believe that the Dodgers can win the NL West but won't be the favorites. I believe the probable favorites, won't be heavy favorites. I believe that any team that makes the playoffs can win the W.S., and I do believe that the playoffs are a crapshoot for the most part (perhaps 80% crapshoot?). Therefore, I conclude that Dodgers can make playoffs => Playoffs are crapshoot => Dodgers can win W.S. I don't think Jon should be laughed at for thinking the Dodgers could win it all. If it were the Pirates or Rockies he was saying had a chance to win it all, then...
vr, Xei
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-09 23:35:22
51.   Jon Weisman
47 - Well argued. All I can say is that the Dodgers made the playoffs last year, added Jason Schmidt, lost J.D. Drew, have some old players getting older and some young players getting older. To me, that's not enough to count them out.
2007-01-09 23:35:27
52.   trainwreck
At least Gonzo, Nomar, and Kent are all likely to get injured allowing our youngsters to play.
2007-01-09 23:37:08
53.   trainwreck
We had Cesar Izturis at third base for part of last season and we still got in.
2007-01-09 23:38:09
54.   D4P
Seeing as how I'm a lover, not a fighter, I would pursue a kindler, gentler approach than popping one in the nose.

If loudmouth #1 was spouting off about Vin's propensity to spout off about some infant in the crowd, well I might just have to buy the mouth a drink...

2007-01-09 23:40:01
55.   Xeifrank
51. Well argued? :)
Look at #15. How can you complain from offense at 1B?? vr, Xei
2007-01-09 23:40:22
56.   saltcreek
45. It really does make the most sense to bat gonzo 7th and pierre 8th....but it will never happen. Hopefully Pierre will go back to playing like he did in florida when he went 326/374/407/781 in 04.
2007-01-09 23:56:41
57.   trainwreck
If Loney and LaRoche have very good spring trainings, we will learn a lot about the direction of this season. Do they give the job to the player that deserves it or at least give them good playing time. Or do they just go with the veterans and make us all suffer.
2007-01-09 23:57:46
58.   Andrew Shimmin
55- Nomar OPSd 842, about a hundred points lower than the Dodgers did overall at 1B. He'd have been 44th on the list, by himself; still good, and I'd be surprised if it really were below average for a 1B, but not so good as that chart makes it look.
2007-01-09 23:58:27
59.   CanuckDodger
Juan Pierre already has one World Series ring, and he earned it playing in an organization more "traditional" than Colletti probably is. Clearly, the hatred of both Colletti and Pierre is going to make some of the posters here write off the Dodgers, and I never assumed they would do anything different, but I for one am really looking forward to the up-coming season, and I do think we can get to the playoffs. And once you are in the playoffs, anything can happen. We overcame two better teams in the 1988 playoffs to win the World Series, and just how good we will be in 2007 really is a question mark, given how many young and veteran players we have whose performances are not easy to predict at this point. I agree with Jon that decisions Grady Little makes about certain players' playing time could have a big impact on our season.
2007-01-10 00:08:46
60.   Xeifrank
58. The chart shows that the Dodgers got ALOT of production at 1B last year. That given, I don't see how offense at first base can be part of any argument about Dodger weaknesses. I barely agree with the Juan Pierre leading off is a weakness argument also. If the argument were that he was signed for 5 years and possibly blocking Kemp then I'd bite. Lineup construction has minimal impact on run production.
vr, Xei
2007-01-10 00:26:43
61.   Andrew Shimmin
I don't understand. Brock's complaint about "production at 1B" was specifically limited to complaining that Nomar was an offensively below average 1B. Saying that team production at 1B last year was very good doesn't rebut that. Offense from 1B might be a problem if Nomar regresses, or gets more ABs than he did last year, or if, for some reason, Saenz doesn't OPS 1120 from the 1B spot again, in 2007. But, again, that's not what the argument was.
2007-01-10 00:33:50
62.   Andrew Shimmin
It wasn't just Saenz. Loney was 1017 as a 1B. Kent was 1182. Ramon Martinez was 1000! Everyone of his fill-ins out-OPSd Nomar, in his spot.
2007-01-10 05:31:55
63.   Steve
Nobody has taken into account the five games the Giants have in hand based on Barry Zito v. Jason Schmidt. And Tim Brown worked so hard on that too.
2007-01-10 05:50:16
64.   Bumsrap
If we were to look at what the Dodgers have done in the last 15 years we see that not only did they have bad teams but also were an organization that made consistently poor decisions.

And with most of the recent past there was little expectation that the next year was going to be better. Nor were there minor league players that fans could look forward to seeing in the near future.

The Dodgers are ascending not because they will have a better record next year than they had in 2006, or that they may or may not have a team that should be able to reach the world series in 2007.

They are ascending because they now have players in their system that fans are excited about and fans can look forward with anticipation that the next 10 years will be very competitive ones.

2007-01-10 05:50:55
65.   Bumsrap
If we were to look at what the Dodgers have done in the last 15 years we see that not only did they have bad teams but also were an organization that made consistently poor decisions.

And with most of the recent past there was little expectation that the next year was going to be better. Nor were there minor league players that fans could look forward to seeing in the near future.

The Dodgers are ascending not because they will have a better record next year than they had in 2006, or that they may or may not have a team that should be able to reach the world series in 2007.

They are ascending because they now have players in their system that fans are excited about and fans can look forward with anticipation that the next 10 years will be very competitive ones.

2007-01-10 07:27:37
66.   ToyCannon
Why is everyone assuming bullet head will have a subpar season? He could easily have a 2003/2004 season in which he hits 300-320 with an ob of 350-365. While over 5 years I think we all agree he will not live upto his contract, on a year to year basis your all making the assumption that he will have another 2005 season headed into 2007.
2007-01-10 08:07:13
67.   Marty
I think we've found our nickname for JP.
2007-01-10 08:46:33
68.   D4P
Lineup construction has minimal impact on run production

Given that Pierre is in the lineup, simulations suggest that to be true. However, the point is not "We will score fewer runs with Pierre in the leadoff spot than with Pierre in the 8th spot"; the point is "We will score fewer runs with Pierre in the lineup than with Pierre not in the lineup."

2007-01-10 08:49:33
69.   Sushirabbit
I'm hoping that more power develops around Betemit, Ethier, Kent and Martin. Maybe Saenz, Furcal, and Nomar repeat last year or career avg and Loney contributes. If Kemp plays at all it bumps CF up from zero.

Maybe it's a stretch, but if it works out that way, it is much better than zero power; it's just distributed around like it was last year.

2007-01-10 09:03:08
70.   Benaiah
68 - I think a lot of people are hung up on Pierre leading off, but consider that Pierre is replacing Lofton, not Furcal. Lofton mostly hit second and the Dodgers got .280/.353/.402 with 8 HR, 29 SB and 9 CS out of the two hole last year. Now Pierre will definitely not get 8 Home Runs, but his career line is .303/.350/.377, with the caveat that his last two years are both well below that. If Pierre reaches his career average then he makes up 96% of the offense the Dodgers got from their number two, only he does it in maybe 20 extra at bats over the course of the year.
2007-01-10 09:13:32
71.   Benaiah
Check out the Dodger batting order from last year:

1 .297/.366/.441 16 HR
2 .280/.353/.402 8 HR
3 .282/.365/.465 26 HR
4 .278/.382/.478 24 HR
5 .311/.385/.537 25 HR
6 .273/.341/.419 13 HR
7 .296/.348/.462 20 HR
8 .265/.341/.401 13 HR
9 .192/.233/.275 8 HR

The fifth spot was far and away the most productive and somehow there were as many HR in the pitchers spot as the 2nd spot. Who batted fifth usually? Kent and Ethier?

2007-01-10 09:16:52
72.   D4P
Who batted fifth usually? Kent and Ethier?

2007-01-10 09:20:27
73.   Sushirabbit
70, and as much as I hate to say it, it's hard for me to believe Pierre will be as bad as Lofton was defensively.

69, we might even get a bump in power from Lieberthal who had 9 HRs in 209 ABs, as opposed to Hall's 8 in 221.

2007-01-10 09:26:55
74.   D4P
we might even get a bump in power from Lieberthal who had 9 HRs in 209 ABs, as opposed to Hall's 8 in 221

The fate of the entire season rests on this distinction

2007-01-10 09:27:32
75.   Sushirabbit
Can't believe getting the 3B numbers was that easy. ESPN stats are pretty cool!

.253/.323/.414 20 HRs (but 90 SO)

One thing about Betemit is that he strikes out alot, so I think he matches the line but will strike out more. Maybe Murray will teach him some patience. :-)

2007-01-10 09:29:27
76.   Benaiah
72 - I was right. Kent did a good job in the five hole (891 OPS), but getting 250 ABs at ~1000 OPS from the combo of Ethier, Drew, Saenz and Aybar (!) sure helped.

Dodger Center Fielders last year:.281/.343/.400 (though there also was a stellar 37-5 SB-CS and 9 Home Runs). Pierre's worst year (2005) was 276/.326/.354 which is 92% of what the Dodgers got from the position last year. How crazy is it that Pierre got MVP votes twice?

2007-01-10 09:30:38
77.   Sushirabbit
74, yep! Fate of Dodger Offseason Rests Greatly on Little

The removal of the tickler is what will propel the Dodgers to the WS.

2007-01-10 09:49:54
78.   ToyCannon
Snide comment aside, it could if Martin goes down. Having a quality backup like Leiberthal is nice. You never know where the fate of a season resides. Who knew that Marlon Anderson would have been been the player to propel us to a pennant.
2007-01-10 09:55:06
79.   D4P
Who knew that Marlon Anderson would have been been the player to propel us to a pennant

Who was to say

2007-01-10 09:56:05
80.   Sam DC
17, 19: Hmmm . . . does "double entendre" only cover dirty second meanings or any second meaning type play on words.

Cause I read a play on Grady Little, but I can't twist it into anything dirty.

I mean, I'm trying.

2007-01-10 09:58:52
81.   Benaiah
Looking at 2003 where Pierre (98 OPS+) was 10th in the MVP (he did have 65 steals and was only caught 20 times), he beat out Andruw Jones (122 OPS+ and a Gold Glove at the same position as Pierre!), Richard Hildalgo (142 OPS+), Jim Edmunds (162 OPS+ in only 132 games played) and Rafael Furcal (109 OPS+ at SS). Not only did he beat them, but he crushed them with more points (39) then all of them put together (29). These are the same people who vote for the Hall of Fame.
2007-01-10 09:59:01
82.   Hythloday
From Webster Online:

double entendre:
1 : ambiguity of meaning arising from language that lends itself to more than one interpretation
2 : a word or expression capable of two interpretations with one usually risqué

2007-01-10 09:59:42
83.   D4P
I think 17 thought "Greatly on Little" was a play on "Grady Little"
2007-01-10 10:00:23
84.   D4P
It's almost as if the MVP voters don't consider OPS+...
2007-01-10 10:21:38
85.   MartinBillingsley31
Juan Pierre: He's just a true mediocrity that really wasn't worth pursuing at any price.

Amen to that, and that will be the key to the dodgers season.
Pierre is an obvious benchwarmer, but unfortunately he's taking a spot away from a number of young guys.
Its Lofton all over again.
Can't we use those speedy and nothing else guys for their speed late in the game in a tight game as a pinch runner to try to steal a run?
I guess not because Lofton and others before him found themselves in the starting lineup every friggin day.

But on the bright side, i'm excited about the pitching, it will be way better than last season.

2007-01-10 10:25:56
86.   Jon Weisman
83 - I just thought it was the combo of opposites "great" and "little"
2007-01-10 10:28:58
87.   Sam DC
That's funny; I read it as D4P does.

Now, the double entendre is more obvious in the banner headline running at about the USC football program:

"A Booty Full View."

Um, yeah.

2007-01-10 10:41:41
88.   Xeifrank
Nice analysis on the Garvey HOF failure over at the Hardball Times. vr, Xei

68. Hey, you are preaching to the choir.

2007-01-10 11:03:53
89.   Greg Brock
Bullet head is so awesome. ToyCannon wins.
2007-01-10 11:11:14
90.   bigcpa
I can't believe OBP Juan Kenobi didn't stick. I need to work on my material.
2007-01-10 11:40:42
91.   katysdad
Great post, Jon. And great job with the interview as well. Anytime you can use the word moxie you're doing a good job.

Did the sound of crunching chips remind anyone else of the Family Guy scene in which Peter is in the attic with Anne Frank eating chips while the Nazis are searching the house?

2007-01-10 11:42:13
92.   Daniel Zappala
Kenobi would be appropriately obscure and "inside Dodger Thoughts".
2007-01-10 11:55:48
93.   Jon Weisman
90 - Just takes too long to type. 92 has a possible solution if you want it.
2007-01-10 11:56:35
94.   Benaiah
The chips would be funny if anyone other than our fearless leader was on the show. It is the most unprofessional thing I can imagine, short of being obviously drunk. You can't move the mic/phone away from your face while you crunch down on some pringles (They sound more like Ruffles)?

Jon, you sounded like you got more comfortable as the interview went on. Not that you were tight at the beginning, just that you had some really good lines as it went on ("I pity you").

2007-01-10 12:00:59
95.   ToyCannon
I love spring training but I hate seeing player decisions made based upon them. Other then the Joe Thurston disaster how many spring training decisions make sense? The Scott Erickson type decisions just continue to irk the crap out of me. If Ned makes any decisions based upon how the kids do in ST it will be only luck if they turn out to be good decisions. I can understand a kid starting out slow and getting him into AAA so he can get into a groove before making him face Major League pitching but making long term roster decisions based on ST seems undefensible to me.
2007-01-10 12:04:13
96.   regfairfield
96 Wasn't the choice between Erickson and Edwin Jackson? Jackson got demolished that Spring, and had Minor League options so Erickson won pretty much by default.
2007-01-10 12:07:19
97.   Jon Weisman
94 - Maybe I'm like Hong-Chih Kuo, and I need to get in the groove.
2007-01-10 12:08:38
98.   Greg Brock
97 Do you pitch exclusively from the stretch?

I don't know why that bothers me so, but it does. Get a windup already!

2007-01-10 12:09:38
99.   D4P
How would you feel about a pitcher who pitched exclusively from the windup?
2007-01-10 12:11:32
100.   Greg Brock
99 Oscar Robles would still get thrown out by a foot.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-01-10 12:12:00
101.   Greg Brock
And cue the D4P feet jokes.
2007-01-10 12:15:13
102.   dagwich
As for the Juan Pierre nickname, of the suggestions I've read I like "Professional Outmaker" the best. In my head I turned it into "The Human Out Machine" which is how I think of him.
2007-01-10 12:18:06
103.   D4P
Hey, that foot just picked up the ball and through Robles out at seco...Oh, never mind
2007-01-10 12:22:49
104.   Bumsrap
I always dislike it when teams are compared player to player and they match defensive positions and then use offensive stats to do the comparison.

Leadoff hitters should be compared with leadoff hitters, etc. that way Lofton(cf) does not get compared with CF Duke Snider(cf).

So the earlier comment saying I think a lot of people are hung up on Pierre leading off, but consider that Pierre is replacing Lofton, not Furcal in my way of thinking is wrong. If Pierre leads off he is replacing Furcal and to make matters worse, Furcal would be replacing last year's produdction from the third hitter which was either Drew or Nomar.

So hitters #1 and 3 will be weaker in 2007. And if Martin turns out to be ill suited for the #2 hitter spot, that spot in the lineup is weakened as well.

If Gonzo hits sixth he is not replacing Drew because Drew hit in the #s 3, 4 or 5 spots.

The defense is generally weaker from the throwing perspective and Ethier will be weaker than Drew defensively in all categories.

Maybe that is all good news. Until a hitter gets to be 27 or 28 they are still learning and therefore performing at a level that is less than they will ultimately achieve. If the older players Ned has collected were just a little better, the young guys might have to wait two or three years to get consistent play.

2007-01-10 12:25:35
105.   Bumsrap
103 Hey DP4, did that play leave a very big hole in Robles?
2007-01-10 12:29:45
106.   D4P
Oops, "threw." I make that mistake a lot...
2007-01-10 12:32:50
107.   D4P
Love me, love my "through" instead of "threw"
2007-01-10 12:36:35
108.   Greg Brock
D4P likes to visit the Warren G. Harding Memorial Through-Hole.
2007-01-10 12:44:04
109.   Bumsrap
Warren G. Harding "Memorial" Through-Hole?

I must have missed the 30 day funeral on my radio, so he's dead is he?

2007-01-10 12:47:30
110.   Benaiah
104 - From my knowledge, it is only a passing fancy that Furcal will bat 3rd. Probably he will bat 2nd, and so we go from Furcal, Lofton last year to Pierre, Furcal this year. Under that scenario it is fair to say Pierre replaced Lofton. Furcal will lose ~20 ABs to Pierre over the course of the season due to that demotion, and it remains to be seen whether Pierre will remain as lead off hitter should better options emerge.

The spot that will really suffer is #4 as it will now be manned by someone who is indubitably not as good a hitter as Drew, since no one on the current team is as good a hitter as Drew (barring new levels of production or an outstanding debut). That isn't really Pierre's fault though.

2007-01-10 13:00:18
111.   Benaiah
110 - The Dodger lineup (with 2007 ZIPS):
CF Juan Pierre* (.299/.342/.385, 3 HR)
SS Rafael Furcal (.286/.358/.431, 13 HR)
1B Nomar Garciaparra (.288/.354/.469, 14 HR)
2B Jeff Kent (.272/.352/.473, 18 HR)
LF Luis Gonzalez (.248/.342/.412, 14 HR)
RF Andre Ethier (.296/.366/.463, 16 HR)
C Russell Martin (.279/.359/.432, 14 HR)
3B Wilson Betemit (.262/.328/.451, 15 HR)

That isn't Gurnick's lineup (but what does he know anyway), but that is my best guess based on where everyone usually hit last year. That would be worse than last year at 1,3,4 and 5 but better at 2,6,7 and 8 and that doesn't include whatever affect the bench might have. This is so rough as to be nonsense, but considering that only 3 players started both opening day and the first game after the all-star break for the Dodgers last year, it is fair to say that we don't know what will happen anyway.

2007-01-10 13:02:40
112.   Greg Brock
Reason #6072 why all boys should be locked in closets from ages 13-25:

2007-01-10 13:06:59
113.   Andrew Shimmin
I'd start the closeting at six, instead of thirteen--that way you stunt their growth enough that they're always easier to handle.
2007-01-10 13:07:33
114.   D4P
Should all boys come out of the closet at age 26...?
2007-01-10 13:09:08
115.   Curtis Lowe
111- Why is it hard to believe that Kent will return to 2005 form? If he manages that then I don't see any problems with the 4th spot. I think this years team will have more power than last years.
2007-01-10 13:10:56
116.   Benaiah
115 - I just used Zips, I think Kent will OPS 850+ with statuesque defense.
2007-01-10 13:14:22
117.   jasonungar05
Gosh, are these ZIP#s based on 162 games or how many games that player is projected to play?
2007-01-10 13:14:32
118.   Gen3Blue
112 It would solve terrorism also--though you might have to extend it to age 50 or so!
2007-01-10 13:19:53
119.   Daniel Zappala
112 I just assumed you were less than 25 years old, and therefore supposed to be in a closet.
2007-01-10 13:21:07
120.   ToyCannon
One of the reasons I don't have kids is that I was afraid I'd have a boy who behaved like me and I'd have to exterminate it.
2007-01-10 13:25:14
121.   overkill94
112 One time in high school someone put Anbesol on my world history teacher's thermos cup. That's about as zany as it got at Mt. Whitney High.
2007-01-10 13:25:38
122.   Xeifrank
117. Games played are also projected. I believe Kent's stats are projected with 117 games played. vr, Xei
2007-01-10 13:26:41
123.   Andrew Shimmin
119- Brock is 29. That I know this makes me deeply suspicious that I'm wasting my life.
2007-01-10 13:28:57
124.   Xeifrank
ZIPS correlated very high with their pitching stat predictions last year, but not that well with their hitting stats. There are a couple different projection systems out there, ZIPS, PECOTA, CHONE, Marcel to name a few. Some are very complex (PECOTA) and some are very simple (Marcel). vr, Xei
2007-01-10 13:29:21
125.   Benaiah
117 - Projected, here are the games played and at bat projections:
Andre Ethier* lf 155 520
Nomar Garciaparra 1b 104 399
Jeff Kent 2b 117 427
Rafael Furcal# ss 155 626
Russell Martin c 153 495
Wilson Betemit# 3b 136 359
Luis Gonzalez* lf 143 517
Juan Pierre* cf 160 663
2007-01-10 13:34:06
126.   Curtis Lowe
125- How are the number of games played projected?
2007-01-10 13:38:17
127.   still bevens
125 Whats the # of AB's Kent has to reach to get his vesting option for 2008? Please be 500.

In reality I would prefer it was 600, but I dont make the dumb contract clauses I just post about them on the intarweb.

2007-01-10 13:45:20
128.   Benaiah
126 - Zips is a computer program, so I imagine it look at how many AB and games played the player has had in recent years and then regresses that to some mean.
2007-01-10 13:46:10
129.   D4P
John Thomson was surprisingly candid Wednesday about one of the reasons he chose the Toronto Blue Jays over the Mets: He didn't want to pitch to New York catcher Paul Lo Duca.

2007-01-10 13:47:03
130.   Andrew Shimmin
127- 550 PA.
2007-01-10 13:54:20
131.   Jeromy
If Either's numbers will be that good, why isn't anyone talking about moving him up in the lineup? 2nd or 3rd?


Looks good to me. Of course you could swap Furcal and Either and/or Martin and Betemit. I would really like to see Kent in the 5 spot and Gonzalez 6. Nomar doesn't have the power of a typical 4 hitter, but who does in this lineup?

2007-01-10 14:00:43
132.   Daniel Zappala
My preferred batting order, assuming Pierre has to bat first, would be:


but I don't think it matters that much.

2007-01-10 14:02:26
133.   Xeifrank
131. Wait until you see Kemp's numbers. You will then want him batting third too! :)
vr, Xei
2007-01-10 14:04:34
134.   overkill94
129 Thomson obviously doesn't value heart and soul as much as he should
2007-01-10 14:14:44
135.   Bumsrap
2007 hitting order posibility

2007 hitter / replacing

1 Peirre / Furcal
2 Martin / Lofton
3 Furcal / Nomar
4 Nomar / Drew
5 Kent / Kent
6 Gonzo / Ethier
7 Betemit/ Betemit
8 Ethier / Martin

1, 4, hitters downgraded
2 hitter improved maybe
3, 5, 6, 7, 8 remain equal

2007-01-10 14:17:11
136.   Curtis Lowe
I dont understand the games played projection because Kent hasn't played less than 130 games since 1997.
2007-01-10 14:17:32
137.   ssjames
A couple of notes for those who are interested: For the poster who asked where our farm system ranked relative to previous years. Jim Callis, one of the big-wigs at Baseballamerica said that the Dodgers still have the No. 4 farm system in his (not necessarily BA's) eyes in an chat today.

Secondly for those who don't realize how much better our pitching is than last year, just look at the rotations for the start of the years in question:

2005: Lowe, Penny, Odalis Perez, Tomko, Seo

2006: Schmidt, Lowe, Penny, Wolf, Billingsley, Kuo

I dare anyone to argue that Schmidt, Wolf, Billingsley/Kuo is worse than Odalis/Tomko/Seo.

We are so vastly improved in starting pitching from the start of last season to this season, you almost can't see one from the other.

2007-01-10 14:22:42
138.   regfairfield
The Dodgers ideal lineup, according to the lineup analysis tool:


Interestingly, the tool suggests every team should hit the pitcher eigth and have the best hitter in the two slot.

2007-01-10 14:25:50
139.   ssjames
138 What if that pitcher is Carlos Zambrano, should he then hit 2nd?
2007-01-10 14:34:37
140.   Xeifrank
138. Didn't LaRussa do that one time in Stl and got laughed at. vr, Xei
2007-01-10 14:38:20
141.   regfairfield
139 Since I have no sense of humor, I did check this out, and Zambrano does still in the eight spot. His .220 on base percentage killed him.
2007-01-10 14:38:52
142.   Benaiah
I think Ethier is a wait and see player. ZIPs is high on him because his over all numbers look good from last year and he did well in the minors (ZIPS doesn't do month by month I think), but obviously Ethier is no safe bet to hit those projections. However, unless he hits below the Mendoza line in Spring Training, he should get at least a couple hundred at bats to see if he can pull it together. I would much rather give PAs to a high risk/high reward youngster than a no risk/no reward vet (hello Luis Gonzales).
2007-01-10 14:55:29
143.   Hythloday
If a player is no reward doesn't that make them high risk by definition? I don't see why Gonzales should hit higher than 7th. If the Dodgers are going to play him they should at least try to minimize the maximum damage that he can do (same with Pierre).

If the goal is to get to the playoffs those two players intoduce significant risk albeit a different kind of risk than Ethier or Kemp.

2007-01-10 14:56:50
144.   D4P
Risk implies some level of doubt. We don't doubt that Gonzalez is "low reward," therefore there's no risk involved.

That's not the same as saying, however, that he won't hurt the team. Rather, we know he'll hurt the team.

2007-01-10 15:04:00
145.   Xeifrank
He probably means there is a higher variance on the younger players (less predictable), thus higher risk. Gonzo with a longer track history, would have a lower variance (more predictable stats). Of course none of this may be correct, but it gets us one post closer to the magic 150, where confetti falls from the ceiling and all Wal*Mart shoppers get an extra 10% off if they mention DT.
vr, Xei
2007-01-10 15:04:16
146.   Hythloday
144 - Fair enough, I'm splitting hairs really. I guess I'm split between little picture risk (what doubts do we have about this player's ability to produce?) and big picture risk (how does that affect our chances to make the playoffs?). Gonzales and Pierre may be lower risk in the little picture, but they seem to be higher risk in the big picture.
2007-01-10 15:16:49
147.   Greg Brock
FJM just FJM'd Jayson Stark's Hall of Fame article, and it is hilarious. I highly recommend it.

2007-01-10 15:22:42
148.   JJoeScott
125 Still hazy on the games-played projection; seems out of whack some. Martin won't play more than 120 G (with Lieberthal around); same with Gonzo. At the same time, Furcal is just as likely to play 160 as Pierre.

Anyway, can you maniplate the numbers to recalculate, or is it just "it is what it is"?

2007-01-10 15:24:34
149.   ToyCannon
I've seen 3 projections so far this winter, Bill James, Zips, and Baseball HQ. Most of them have been very favorable toward our kids. James had everyone with > 800 OPS.
Below is the HQ projection which is less favorable then the other two projections for Kemp and Ethier in 2007.
Name / hr/ ba / ob / slug / ops
Martin 8 / 284 / 364 / 413 /777
Nomar 19 / 308 / 356 / 501 / 857
Loney 6 / 291 / 347 / 460 / 806
Kent 17 / 295 / 370 / 501 / 871
Betemit 20/ 273/ 334 / 472 / 806
Furcal 15 / 294/ 360 / 452 / 813
Gonzo 9 / 260/ 347 / 409 / 756
Ethier 10 / 286/ 343 / 440 / 784
Repko 1 / 248/ 309 / 379 / 688
Pierre 2 / 299/ 338 / 378 / 715
Kemp 4 / 277/ 324 / 433 / 756

LaRoche has a plus 800 OPS but only 90 projected at bats. Given the complete lack
of power in the OF it wouldn't surprise me to see LaRoche or Loney get some decent time in the OF if Betemet wins the 3b job and Nomar stays healthy. The signing of Gonzo is much more of a puzzler to me then Pierre though the lengths of the Pierre deal still make both of them a head scratcher. I would have no problem with the Gonzo deal if he was brought into to backup the kids but he says he choose us because we'd start him. I'm thinking the good clubhouse guy will become a problem just like in Arizona if he hits this projection and is benched in favor of Loney.

2007-01-10 15:25:20
150.   El Lay Dave
83, 86 - The juxtaposition of "Greatly" and "Little". I didn't notice until you mentioned it that "Greatly on Little" sounds a bit like "Grady Little".

138 Interestingly, the tool suggests every team should hit the pitcher eighth and have the best hitter in the two slot. Because the frequency of PH for the pitcher makes it more productive that #8 candidates? But I haven't the wildest theory for best in #2 - not that batting orders matters.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-01-10 15:31:17
151.   Xeifrank
If you could turn back time, which OF signing would you erase? The Gonzo or Pierre signing? Keep in mind that their starting spot would have to be replaced by somebody already in-house or the equivalent of what another FA signed with for another team afterwards (I get to make the rules). It's easy to say a signing was bad, but you need to come up with an alternative solution that would work.
vr, Xei
2007-01-10 15:37:10
152.   Greg Brock
It's easy to say a signing was bad, but you need to come up with an alternative solution that would work.

Since both players are replacement level or below, the alternative solution would be to grab any average major league baseball player and not pay them 7-9 million dollars. Click on any team and look at their roster, pick a player at random, and that's the alternate solution. I'm not being snarky (okay, a little bit), but that's the solution. Picking a random outfielder and not paying them 9 million dollars.

2007-01-10 15:40:35
153.   El Lay Dave
150 ... which is strange because if something bothers the Dodger manager, I - like thousands of others, I'm sure - like to say it "grates on Little".
2007-01-10 15:41:18
154.   Andrew Shimmin
The solution doesn't have to be in house. But once you start suggesting trades, it becomes immediately more fantastic. I like Melky Cabrera in CF, and would have liked to see Colletti make a play for him. I wouldn't have signed Pierre, even if it meant dealing with the hole in house. I'd have been happier to see Ethier playing probably below average CF, with Loney in RF, and Gonzo, or somebody else, in LF, if I was limited to currently in house options.
2007-01-10 15:46:49
155.   blue22
152 - I'd have brought back Lofton rather than Pierre, but I'm not sure Lofton can play for a team two seasons in a row.
2007-01-10 15:52:17
156.   Greg Brock
Steve Phillips, Sean Salsbury, Jamal Mashburn and Barry Melrose are all on ESPN talking about the "Clutchiest" players in sports.

My television just punched me in the adams apple and turned itself off.

2007-01-10 15:55:45
157.   Xeifrank
152. Nope, you broke the rules! :) You have to pick one that was available (a free agent) when Pierre was signed or somebody in-house. Who would you have replaced Pierre with? Matthews for 5 years? Lofton for 2? I'm not trying to defend the Pierre signing, just saying you have to come up with a reasonable alternative. They are probably out there, but cherry picking a player already under contract with another team is not one of them. vr, Xei
2007-01-10 16:00:56
158.   Greg Brock
Pierre OPS+: 81
Anonymous player: 84

Pierre OBP: .330
Anon: .345

2007-01-10 16:01:24
159.   Hythloday
157 - Do nothing was a reasonable alternative at that point. The ZIPS projections (to the extent that I can understand them) seem to bear out that it was likely a safer bet to do nothing. You all know more about baseball than I do, but if I had a funny moustache I would have stood pat rather than sign either Gonzales or Pierre.
2007-01-10 16:03:01
160.   Greg Brock
Pierre EQA: .249
Anon: .255
2007-01-10 16:04:53
161.   blue22
158 - Anon = Scrappy in-house candidate that hits from the right side?
2007-01-10 16:06:53
162.   Greg Brock

And I just picked the first name that popped into my stupid little mind. I didn't even know he was better. And he makes 400,000 dollars.

2007-01-10 16:07:10
163.   Xeifrank
158. Yes, I know there are better offensive players out there than Pierre, but you also have to take their contract too. Who would you replace Pierre and Gonzo with? Kemp? Loney? Anderson? Repko? Lofton for two years? Matthews for five?

159. Stand pat is fine, but who do you then use in CF and LF? and who is your backup??
vr, Xei

2007-01-10 16:09:38
164.   blue22
163 - I would've preferred Moises Alou to Luis Gonzalez in the "veteran outfield presence" category. At least he plays right-field.
2007-01-10 16:16:03
165.   Sushirabbit
Coletti could have offered Drew more money, too.

(uh, was that just the equivalent of a Choi grenade?)

... sushi heads for the door very respectfully

2007-01-10 16:21:19
166.   Xeifrank
163. Ok, Alou 1 year at $8.5mil instead of Gonzo with club option for 2nd year. You'd keep Pierre then? vr, Xei
2007-01-10 16:25:06
167.   Greg Brock
Xeifrank, Jason Repko is a better baseball player than Juan Pierre. He was last year.

Think about that one.

2007-01-10 16:34:20
168.   Jon Weisman
Jolbert Cabrera lives!

2007-01-10 16:35:55
169.   blue22
Repko was better last year because he drastically increased with walk rate:

2005 - 15 BB's in 303 PA's
2006 - 16 BB's in 151 PA's

Can he keep it up? His minor league numbers don't invoke a lot of optimism.

He has been near the club lead in pitches per plate appearance both years though. Only last year did that translate into walks however.

Repko is also the proud owner of a .242 career eqa in 400+ AB's. Pierre sits at .249 last year, and .256 for his career.

2007-01-10 16:41:38
170.   Greg Brock
Pierre EQA from 2004-2006

The ship be sinkin'. And Repko is getting better (And Leon's getting laaaaaaaaarger!).

2007-01-10 16:45:57
171.   Xeifrank
167. So is Repko your answer? Don't sign Pierre and use Repko as your primary CFer and (pulls teeth) then who'd be your backup? vr, Xei
2007-01-10 16:46:07
172.   trainwreck
Anyone a master at creating voodoo dolls?
2007-01-10 16:47:10
173.   trainwreck
Use Repko and then we should have re-signed Jose Cruz Jr. Then we just wait for Matt Kemp to be ready.
2007-01-10 16:49:13
174.   jasonungar05
Only 5 more years of Bullet Head Bashing.

The games haven't even started in 07 and the guy is already buried as our dodger CF.

Oh Joy.

2007-01-10 16:49:23
175.   Greg Brock
171 I'm not following. Giving Juan Pierre 5/45 was okay because without him we wouldn't have Jason Repko as a backup centerfielder?

Also, dude, "Pierre" is not the preferred nomenclature. "Bullethead" Dude.

2007-01-10 16:58:38
176.   ToyCannon
1. Posted by ToyCannon
Fair question, I don't have a problem with Pierre managing CF in 2007 just with him playing it for the next 5 years. If it was going to take 5 years Ned should have said no. The options in CF were terrible this winter but I'd have just stuck Kemp out in CF once Edmunds was off the table. I know Kemp is not much of a CF but most of the league has crappy CF's these days. Losing JD is quite a blow cause it was my understanding they were going to move him to CF and we'd been sitting pretty. It is with Gonzo that I really have a problem. He is toast offensively and defensively for a corner outfielder and he wants to play everyday which is a terrible combo. If he came in with Lieberthal's attitude that his job is to backup the kids then I wouldn't have a problem. I think the Gonzo production could easily be replaced by any number of the following inhouse free agent combinations:
1st - Loney/Saenz LF - Nomar
1st - Nomar LF - LaRoche/Loney
1st - Nomar LF - Loney/Craig Wilson
1st - Nomar LF - Loney/J Werth
1st - Nomar LF - Loney
1st - Nomar LF - LaRoche

I just don't see Gonzo adding any upside to this team whatsoever. If he is insurance then great, if he's penciled in for 400 at bats then yuck, cause not only is he going to be a cipher offensively but also defensively. I think Ned got scared when it looked like his outfield would consist of freshman and sophmores. He may be right but we'll see when Arizon trots out Quentin, Young, and Hairston when Byrnes gets hurt. Just getting rid of Gonzo improves them, then coupled with the fact we now have him and you have the reverse of the Shawn Green dump in 2005. I'll be surprised if Arizona doesn't kick our butt this year with the current configuration of the teams.

2007-01-10 16:58:56
177.   Xeifrank
175. The excercise was if Juan Pierre and or Gonzo were bad signings, what would you have done instead to fill the two outfield spots. ie - what specific player would you have signed as a free agent, or found in-house to use instead of. For example, someone said to use Repko and sign CruzJr as his backup until Kemp was ready. Your response was to pick a player at random off of any roster. Your answer didn't come close to answering the question. :)
Bullethead? No thanks.
vr, Xei
2007-01-10 16:59:04
178.   Bob Timmermann
Find Jolbert Cabrera in this photo!

2007-01-10 17:00:03
179.   blue22
Ethier / Lofton / Alou left-to-right, with Loney and Repko getting ample playing time as backups.
2007-01-10 17:03:42
180.   Greg Brock
177I gave you a player on the Dodgers roster who is already a better offensive player than Juan Pierre and makes 8.6 million fewer dollars per year. The Dodgers have any minor league outfielder can be a backup centerfielder. Kemp can play left, and I will guarantee that he puts up better rate stats than Juan Pierre.

I'm comfortable with my answer. How Jason Repko doesn't answer your question baffles me.

2007-01-10 17:06:52
181.   Xeifrank
180. You said you weren't following, so I'm baffled too. :) I still would like a name for your backup CFer, because Repko wouldn't likely come close to playing 162 games out there. vr, Xei
2007-01-10 17:12:37
182.   Greg Brock
181 If you can sign any player to be a backup centerfielder from free agency, who cares? Sign a ham sandwich. We talking' 'bout backup CF. Sign anybody. Don't make me google some random name to pick out of the free agent scrap heap. That's the point.
2007-01-10 17:16:04
183.   Greg Brock
Rondell White. I would rather have Rondell White's decomposing body than bullet head.
2007-01-10 17:16:50
184.   Andrew Shimmin
How about Werth as the backup CF?

The problem with this game is that it artificially limits the options. Trades are fair game. We have more SPs than any of us can shake a stick at (bounce thirty beachballs and nobody pays any attention, but you try shaking one little, if pointy, stick at Hendrickson or Bombko, and all of a sudden the Dodger Stadium SWAT team has you face down with too-tight plastic hand and leg shackles. . .) and Carl Pavano is still in the Yankees' presumptive rotation.

2007-01-10 17:20:36
185.   Bill Crain
For nickname I'm finding it hard to let go of "Juan Away."

And I'm definitely going to have to try and save a recording of the first time Vinny says "Juan up, Juan down."

2007-01-10 17:23:10
186.   Greg Brock
Ricky Ledee. Trot Nixon. H.R. Haldeman. Stephen Hawking. Rance Mulliniks.
2007-01-10 17:26:16
187.   Andrew Shimmin
186- A paperback copy of Middlemarch?
2007-01-10 17:30:05
188.   El Lay Dave
I forgot that LuGo II is Type A and cost two picks. (As was Alou for the Mets.) That hurts. How about no-comps Cruz, Jr. and Craig Wilson for cheap (and easily released) OF depth/insurance instead of LuGo II? Bonus: they're not pushing 40.
2007-01-10 17:30:56
189.   trainwreck
I think Mr. Hawking's chair has to count as a performance enhancer.
2007-01-10 17:31:31
190.   El Lay Dave
188 ... to go along with the suggestion of playing Repko in CF and not signing Jean Pedro.
2007-01-10 17:35:43
191.   Bill Crain
Juan now officially has more nicknames than the entire roster of the Ruppert Mundys.
2007-01-10 17:36:04
192.   Andrew Shimmin
Type A's only cost one pick, but they're worth two (the one from the other team and a compensation round pick) to the team losing the player. But wasn't Gonzo not offered arbitration? There would have been much outrage of that signing cost us a pick.

When is Steve going to come by to mourn the loss of Yvonne De Carlo?

2007-01-10 17:40:00
193.   El Lay Dave
192 Oh yeah, you're right - same for Alou. My old brain can't remember all these arcane details anymore. They both still cost too much.
2007-01-10 17:44:38
194.   jujibee
I would have made a play for Josh Hamilton/repko/werth as CF/ backups. I think those 3 would outproduce Pierre. Then I would've tried for a trade for Church or Rios to replace gonzo. An outfild/backup outfeld of Ethier/Werth/Repko/Hamilton/Church or Rios would've been exciting, but there's not a whole lot of veteran presence there....So I would've thrown a bone to Alou if that's the way I wanted to go.
2007-01-10 18:00:53
195.   ToyCannon
Now that Lugo is with Boston I think the deal may turn out to be solid. If Lugo had given us just 80% of his Tampa Bay production it would have been a bonus. Getting Boston's 20th pick in the 1st round and a 1st round sandwich pick should more then make up the loss of JtD and Ruggiano and Pedroza. It made signing Schmidt much easier to take since we gave the Giants our number one.
2007-01-10 18:02:09
196.   ToyCannon
Tuff news about Murcer. He was one of my early baseball heroes.
2007-01-10 18:04:18
197.   El Lay Dave
It's the 5 years part of Jean Pedro's contract that kills me the most. That saddles us with him until the remainder of the contract is palatable enough for management to swallow - the last two years are $10 and $8.5 million, I think. Better to scuffle through this year and see what might be done for CF next year. (I hear that a certain big-bat, gold-glove caliber, but Boras-agented [I think], CF might be a FA then.)
2007-01-10 18:06:11
198.   El Lay Dave
196 Indeed. That doesn't sound good.
2007-01-10 18:12:33
199.   Steve
I would have signed the corpse of Yvonne De Carlo to play center field. More power, can take a walk, can't waste outs stealing second, stronger arm.
2007-01-10 18:12:36
200.   D4P
When is Steve going to come by to mourn the loss of Yvonne De Carlo?

The ninja strikes when you least expect it

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-01-10 18:13:13
201.   trainwreck
Or we could make a good trade for once with the D-Rays and get one of their talented outfielders.
2007-01-10 18:13:19
202.   D4P
See what I mean? I was not expecting him to post a mere 3 seconds before me...
2007-01-10 18:16:24
203.   Greg Brock
The ninja knows when you will post. And he will get you every time.

Fear the ninja.

2007-01-10 18:28:52
204.   Marty
191 Nice Bill.

Who's left from the cast of the Munsters? Eddie?

2007-01-10 18:32:50
205.   Bob Timmermann
Pat Priest is 70. Beverley Owen is 67. Butch Patrick is 53.
2007-01-10 18:56:32
206.   Marty
Singleton is looking for a sports editor for all his L.A. newspapers. The bad news is it's Singleton. The good news is it sounds like a nice gig.
2007-01-10 18:58:06
207.   Daniel Zappala
Note to DT posters: if you are going to abbreviate "because" to "`cause", then you can't forget the "`".
2007-01-10 19:01:05
208.   El Lay Dave
207 I prefer " 'cause ". And mustard.
2007-01-10 19:27:24
209.   Andrew Shimmin
Does "cuz" take an apostrophe?
2007-01-10 19:37:11
210.   D4P
Lakers at home > Lakers on the road
2007-01-10 19:56:55
211.   Xeifrank
Does Juan Pierre have a no trade clause?
vr, Xei
2007-01-10 20:01:02
212.   D4P
Does Juan Pierre have a no trade clause?

I haven't heard that he does, but it probably doesn't matter anyway. He'll do everything Ned signed him to do: amass high Hit and Stolen Base totals. Ned won't see any reason to trade him.

2007-01-10 20:02:52
213.   Greg Brock
Juan Pierre probably won't even be here in year 3. But we'll be paying for him, in many ways.
2007-01-10 20:06:16
214.   D4P
Unless Ned undergoes a major paradigm shift in player evaluation, I see no reason to expect him to trade Pierre. Remember: he "gets on base an awful lot."
2007-01-10 20:07:35
215.   Marty
Way off topic, but I'm listening to the Replacements. Paul Westerberg is great....

Please continue the main focus of this thread.

2007-01-10 20:07:50
216.   Bob Timmermann
On notice:

People who use the phrase "paradigm shift"

2007-01-10 20:09:55
217.   Andrew Shimmin
Paradigm shift is a perfectly cromulent phrase.
2007-01-10 20:10:43
218.   Steve
Plus, using the patented Tim Brown Method, Dave Roberts is five wins better than Juan Pierre. And Lance Niekro is five wins better than Nomar. And Ray Durham is five wins better than Jeff Kent. Et. al., etc., QED.
2007-01-10 20:10:45
219.   D4P
Which do those people take the place of:

# Odalis Perez
# Juan Pierre
# Joe Morgan
# Mets fans
# Red Sox fans
# "Team chemistry"
# Jim Tracy
# Epson printers
# Jimmy Clausen

2007-01-10 20:12:52
220.   Bob Timmermann
This is a separate "on notice" list.
2007-01-10 20:15:14
221.   Greg Brock
My file on Bob indicates three separate "on notice" lists.
2007-01-10 20:15:51
222.   D4P
How do items on the "separate" list compare to those on the original list with respect to propinquity to "Dead to Me":

1. Closer
2. Farther
3. Equidistant

2007-01-10 20:27:15
223.   Bob Timmermann
The lists are apples and oranges.
2007-01-10 20:28:57
224.   bobmac
I e-mailed a (who do you think you are) comment to Joe Aiello about his statement concerning Vin his reply he apologized for the Chips sounds...but didn't back off of Vin...we must throw him to the wolves.
2007-01-10 20:30:40
225.   overkill94
Did I really see a Josh Hamilton sighting a few posts back? The same guy who hasn't played baseball in like 4 years? I think it's safe to say Juan Pierre could outplay him.
2007-01-10 20:33:10
226.   Greg Brock
Josh Hamilton and Toe Nash are two of my favorite crazy baseball people, right up there with Elijah Dukes.

The Devil Rays crazy kids. They're good for what ails ya.

2007-01-10 20:36:46
227.   D4P
All right then. Does "People who use the word 'cromulent'" show up on any of your various and sundry lists...?
2007-01-10 20:42:57
228.   overkill94
226 Jeff Allison is easily jumping into that list with his antics, unfortunately he comes from the other Florida team.
2007-01-10 20:45:58
229.   regfairfield
225 The Reds rule fived him, and he's one injury away from a starting job on that team.
2007-01-10 20:50:16
230.   Bob Timmermann

I am OK with "cromulent". I LOVE "cromulent." People who use "cromulent" are the bestest people in the world.

2007-01-10 20:52:01
231.   Steve
think it's safe to say Juan Pierre could outplay him.

This line is drawn at Jason Grabowski. Juan Pierre can outplay Jason Grabowski. I don't know which side of Jason Grabowski Josh Hamilton falls on.

2007-01-10 20:52:27
232.   Greg Brock
Andrew has had a good deal of successmanship with the word "cromulent."

Forfty percent of all people know that.

2007-01-10 20:53:03
233.   trainwreck
I am the leader of the lets trade for Elijah Dukes campaign.
2007-01-10 20:54:06
234.   Greg Brock
233 Elijah Dukes will thank you...By punching you in the face and bashing your windshield with a fungo.
2007-01-10 20:54:23
235.   overkill94
229 I find it hard to believe that a 25-year old with a career .807 minor league OPS and 50 professional at-bats since 2002 could start for any major league team next year...but I have been fooled before.
2007-01-10 20:55:27
236.   trainwreck
I do not have a car so the jokes on him.

Besides, we all know that punch is heading towards Jeff Kent's face.

2007-01-10 20:56:50
237.   regfairfield
235 I lost the last sentence of that: so we'll see if he's better than Juan Pierre.
2007-01-10 20:58:24
238.   trainwreck
You see what happens Elijah...

Do you see what happens Elijah...?

2007-01-10 21:37:33
239.   Brian Y
What happened with Toe Nash? I just remember the Gammons story on him years ago. He is probably back in jail but what can you do.

And to be honest, the Dodgers could "probably" make a trade for anyone in the game as could most teams but we would have to A) overspend and B) give up players that teams want such as LaRoche, Kemp, Broxton, Loney, etc. That's the nature of the beast. To get established value you have to give potentially more valuable inexperienced players.

2007-01-10 21:39:59
240.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-01-12 14:45:08
241.   BLUEFAN
There are two players off the top of my head that I had an interest in acquiring for the CF position prior to our signing JP.

1. Jeremy Reed - Seattle Mariners

He is a local product, who plays an above average CF and could platoon with Repko in the #2 spot if they played up to potential or down at #8. He has been injured for the past couple of years and with Ichiro moving from RF to CF this year, he is out of a starting position. The Mariners starting OF consists of Raul Ibanez in LF, Ichiro in CF and Jose Guillen in RF. I figure do to his health concerns (and Seattle need for pitching) that we probably could have acquired him for a inconsequential pitching prospect, i.e. DJ Houlton, Eric Stults, etc …

Everett Herald (Washington)
By Kirby Arnold
Reed report: Jeremy Reed goes into the off-season without a position and the very real possibility that the Mariners will trade him.

At least he has his health.

Reed broke his right thumb on July 3 and didn't play another game, then became a center fielder with no place to play after Ichiro Suzuki said he would play center in 2007.

Reed spent 2 weeks working with Mariners minor league coach Terry Pollreisz at the team's fall instructional league in Peoria, Ariz., and left with a strong hand and a solid swing.

"He told me his hands feel better than they have in well over a year, maybe two years," Pollreisz said.

Pollreisz, hitting coach for the Class AAA Tacoma Rainiers, believes Reed can become a solid major league hitter, something he didn't show in two seasons with the Mariners. Injuries to his wrists and hands have hurt Reed's swing significantly the past two years, he said.

"He was the minor league player of the year (with the White Sox) before he came to us," Pollreisz said. "He's shown splurges here and there of being that and we'd like to have that kind of Jeremy Reed."


2. Chone Figgins - Anaheim Angels


2004 .296 .350 .419 .769 34 SB/13 CS - 72.3% 44 XBH (22 2B / 17 3B / 5 HR)

2005 .290 .352 .397 .749 62 SB/17 CS - 78.5% 43 XBH (25 2B / 10 3B / 8 HR)

2006 .267 .336 .376 .712 52 SB/16 CS - 76.5% 40 XBH (23 2B / 08 3B / 9 HR)

3YR .284 .346 .397 .743 49 SB/15 CS - 76.6% 42 XBH (23 2B / 12 3B / 7 HR)

244 213 1918.0 590 573 9 8 3 .986


2004 .326 .374 .407 .781 45 SB/24 CS - 65.2% 37 XBH (22 2B / 12 3B / 3 HR)

2005 .276 .326 .354 .680 57 SB/17 CS - 77.0% 34 XBH (19 2B / 13 3B / 2 HR)

2006 .292 .330 .388 .718 58 SB/20 CS - 74.4% 48 XBH (32 2B / 13 3B / 3 HR)

3YR .298 .343 .383 .726 53 SB/20 CS - 72.4% 40 XBH (24 2B / 13 3B / 3 HR)

Fielding (Career)
998 956 8541.1 2368 2317 29 22 11 .991

As you can see, their numbers over the last 3 years have been very similar. Figgins however is a whole lot cheaper (dollar wise), a switch hitter and more versatile. I would have offered Betemit and a type "B" arm for him.

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