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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

'Alter My Lifestyle To Fit the Fast Lane'
2007-02-19 15:17
by Jon Weisman

Latka Gravas intently studies Playboy magazine, and he turns into Vic Ferrari. Now that's a transformation worth talking about.

Brett Tomko tinkering with his windup, or the annual Maury Wills tutorial of the baserunner/bunter who could use more help in every other area - that's about as exciting as teaching Latka how to be a better mechanic.

The Dodgers' most famous March tutors are Wills and Sandy Koufax. All adequate and good, but where's the legend who will wring a little more power out of this team? That's the classic I want to see over and over again.

Comments (185)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-02-19 15:50:05
1.   das411
....Eddie Murray?
2007-02-19 15:53:44
2.   Greg Brock
Jose Canseco.
2007-02-19 15:54:03
3.   underdog
What's Duke Snider up to these days?
2007-02-19 15:57:57
4.   trainwreck
The legend that is Luis Gonzalez.
2007-02-19 16:09:43
5.   StolenMonkey86
Olmedo Saenz as new head trainer
2007-02-19 16:35:54
6.   Andrew Shimmin
As they say in my country, the only thing that separates us from the animals are mindless superstition and pointless ritual.
2007-02-19 16:37:39
7.   Gen3Blue
What's the penguin doing these days?
2007-02-19 16:45:28
8.   Claire Malone-Evans
....Billy Manual Ashley?
2007-02-19 16:45:51
9.   Greg S
Well there current hitting coach has more home runs than anybody in Dodger history with the exception of Frank Robinson. But does anybody believe you can teach power?
2007-02-19 16:49:24
10.   Greg S
9. That would be the alternate spelling of the possessive "there".
2007-02-19 16:54:14
11.   Greg Brock
9 I don't know about the semantics, but you can certainly develop power where it doesn't exist. Developing a stronger lower body and arms, modifying the way you load your hands before swinging, changing your stride and balance...There are a bunch of ways to develop power. The only obstacle is that MLB players are probably very hesitant to modify their mechanics that drastically.

But I'd contend that "teaching" power isn't impossible. It's just drastic.

2007-02-19 17:13:49
12.   Marty
You can always take steroids too.
2007-02-19 17:22:11
13.   Bob Timmermann
Steroids are so 2002. HGH and EPO are the way to go.

Get with the times, Marty.

2007-02-19 17:26:30
14.   Marty
I guess I'm a Luddite when it comes to performance enhancing drugs.
2007-02-19 17:29:47
15.   Greg Brock
HGH and EPO are so 2006. Gene therapy is the way to go.
2007-02-19 17:32:08
16.   trainwreck
Cybernetic appendages are the real ticket to glory.
2007-02-19 17:33:23
17.   Greg Brock
The terrifying and undetectable future of cheating:

2007-02-19 17:36:21
18.   Greg S
11. I'd agree with that. I'd also add (even though I'm sure to be flamed by one poster who seems obsessed) that players these days are generally not much into listening to their coaches anyway. Kind of a shame especially when the coach speaks from experience.
2007-02-19 17:46:05
19.   twerp
How about more out of a certain power pitcher, like two good halves? From LA Times, Henson, Brad Penny analysis, confirming what some here thought...

..."A split-finger changeup Penny developed last spring gave him a devastating third pitch to go with his 96 mph fastball and sharp curve. But he stopped using the splitter at mid-season because he was afraid it might lead to arm problems.

"It's hard on the arm and I shied away from it," he said. "Then I had trouble with my curve for a while, so I was out there throwing one pitch. It's tough to get by just with your fastball."

Somewhere I saw that Penny threw more fastballs 95 or better than any other NL pitcher last year. But, as the cliche goes, it doesn't matter how hard you can throw it; these guys can hit it.

Earth to Brad: why not go back to the splitter and maybe get some tips on how not to hurt your arm throwing it? And more help on the curve? Don't the Dodgers have a pitching coach?

Dropping the split-finger alone could account for much of the daylight/dark difference in Penny over the two halves last season.

2007-02-19 17:48:35
20.   D4P
Finally, an explanation. Though not a very encouraging one...
2007-02-19 17:50:03
21.   Sam DC
Received the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition this week. I don't know if it's me, or the mag, but the thing is basically unogleable. When I was fifteen, that was really an overwhelming publication to receive in the mail. Now, its the size of a phone book, I can hardly find the fabulous babes between the reams of advertisements, and the whole thing is just overly busy and unthrilling.

I am looking forward to next week's haughty "what does this have to do with sports please cancel my subscription at once" letters, however.

2007-02-19 17:52:46
22.   Bob Timmermann
Sam's kids lunch boxes will be very popular at school now.
2007-02-19 17:59:40
23.   Sam DC
22 Married life definitely indicates a quick trip to the recycling bin for the swimsuit issue, so the next generation's lunch should be safe.
2007-02-19 18:12:29
24.   D4P
I've never been on the "trade Penny" bandwagon, but if our choices are "All fastballs" vs. "Arm trouble," then by all means, get rid of the guy.
2007-02-19 18:14:23
25.   Daniel Zappala
Sports Illustrated is the one sports magazine I've considered subscribing to, but it actually is a nonstarter with me due to the swimsuit issue.
2007-02-19 18:20:32
26.   D4P
The swimsuit issue is less risqué than the average "SFW"-designated material
2007-02-19 18:25:34
27.   Steve
It's one more pitch than Danys Baez has.
2007-02-19 18:27:12
28.   Daniel Zappala
15, 17 What I thought was a throw-away line by Greg Brock actually leads to a very interesting scientific article. Who knew he could play anything but the jester?
2007-02-19 18:27:26
29.   Sam DC
Dmitri Young says that his offseason problems last year were caused by untreated Type 2 diabetes.

The article also notes that he reported to Nationals' camp today wearing a Sanford and Son t-shirt.

2007-02-19 18:27:48
30.   Marty
Brad Penny has one more 'n' than Danys Baez
2007-02-19 18:29:14
31.   Greg Brock
28 Only a man of my intelligence could fake such stupidity...
2007-02-19 18:32:25
32.   Greg Brock
And yes, I stole that line from the great Bill Cosby.
2007-02-19 18:33:22
33.   D4P
Along with a few sweaters...?
2007-02-19 18:34:46
34.   Greg Brock
Filth Flarn Filth...
2007-02-19 18:38:18
35.   Steve
And one more "n" than Baez' real name, the Cuban Missile Crisis.
2007-02-19 19:03:23
36.   Gen3Blue
Been thinkin about Alex Rod. as a D. Trouble is the team that trades for him has to get rid of a SS, and the Yanks need to get a 3rd baseman and a pitcher. Can't see it happening and hope it doesn't.
2007-02-19 19:09:49
37.   trainwreck
A Rod is going to be a free agent after the season. We can think about him then.
2007-02-19 19:13:23
38.   Greg Brock
A-Rod isn't a Mustache-type player. He's just one of the top five all around players in the game.

But he lacks leadership, charisma, veteran presence, blah blah blah...

2007-02-19 19:20:22
39.   trainwreck
I think Mustache would like it, because he loves talking and being talked about. He would love to get a star like A-Rod.
2007-02-19 19:36:52
40.   StolenMonkey86
I can see Colletti picking up A-Rod and then asking him or Furcal to play 2nd.
2007-02-19 19:37:42
41.   Andrew Shimmin
Is ARod going to opt out? His rate is still higher than anybody else's. Should he really expect to be able to draw more than 27 million a year?
2007-02-19 19:38:25
42.   StolenMonkey86
Well on the one hand, you've got a point.

On the other hand, Jeff Suppan is getting $10 million a year.

2007-02-19 19:40:02
43.   Greg Brock
Who's a better hitter than Alex Rodriguez? Pujols, Cabrera, Hafner, Howard...And?

Whatever Rodriguez gets, he'll deserve it.

2007-02-19 19:41:08
44.   Bob Timmermann
A-Rod will opt out because he knows Derek Jeter doesn't like him. Such emotional pain can ruin a man.

I once cried nonstop for a week when I found out that Tom Prince called me a "weenie."

2007-02-19 19:57:27
45.   Andrew Shimmin
43- They've never been free agents, so their salaries aren't helpful. Whether he'd be worth it, or not, I'm only wondering whether he could get it, or whether he thinks he could. I don't know. After this year, he'll still have 3 years/$81 million dollars left, with a new pay day for his age 35 season. That's a pretty high bar.
2007-02-19 19:57:44
46.   StolenMonkey86
Andruw Jones will get $20 million a year. A-Rod hits for better average, drives in 130-150 runs, has gold gloves at shortstop, had a 40-40 year, and is a couple years older. A-Rod will not make more than $27 million a year - it may be as low as $20 million a year, but I could see it happening.

All he needs to do is "want to be a Dodger."

2007-02-19 19:58:25
47.   Daniel Zappala
How upset will DT readers be if the Angels beat out the Dodgers when A-Rod is a free agent?
2007-02-19 19:59:29
48.   StolenMonkey86
Depends on whether Nomar slides over to 2nd for Loney.
2007-02-19 20:00:37
49.   Greg Brock
45 Forget the years. He'll have 81 million on his contract. If he opts out, he'll get another 120 million. Whatever Soriano got, he'll get more.

A-Rod may not opt out, but he's dumb if he doesn't.

2007-02-19 20:02:48
50.   Greg Brock
Would you rather have 3yrs, 81 mil guaranteed, or 7/8yrs, 145 million guaranteed?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-02-19 20:09:55
51.   D4P
Fortunately, I'll never be faced with such a difficult decision
2007-02-19 20:12:31
52.   trainwreck
He has Boras as an agent. He will be a free agent.
2007-02-19 20:16:26
53.   Greg Brock
52 It's not about having Boras. It's about having an agent that can count. Any agent who advocated sticking with the old deal would be doing a great disservice to their client.
2007-02-19 20:27:02
54.   Jon Weisman
So, I got an e-mail on my Treo with an attachment from someone I know. I normally don't download attachments on it, but I tried to do so this time. The result was a disaster - some functions on the Treo now take a minute or more to execute, including answering the phone, which effectively means I can't answer the phone. I've spent hours trying to fix this, to no avail. Can anyone advise?
2007-02-19 20:27:33
55.   D4P
Belliard's agent could probably get him a non-roster invite to spring training...
2007-02-19 20:32:24
56.   StolenMonkey86
19 - I guess he didn't want to throw a cutter.
2007-02-19 20:33:48
57.   StolenMonkey86
how about a knuckleball for Penny? that's not hard on the arm at all. He could throw a 95 mph fastball and a 60 mph knuckleball.
2007-02-19 20:36:23
58.   Bob Timmermann
Can you resync the Treo to another computer? Do you have another computer with you (i.e., a laptop)?
2007-02-19 20:36:31
59.   Daniel Zappala
54 Perform a hard reset, then re-sync with your desktop to restore all your data.
2007-02-19 20:37:27
60.   Steve
Tell it to stop sulking.
2007-02-19 20:38:13
61.   Andrew Shimmin
You think he won't be able to get at least 5/75 in 2010? Getting a longer contract as soon as possible is the least risk averse strategy, but not necessarily the best one. Even if he only sticks out one or two of the three remaining years, I don't think it's a lock that he'll opt out.
2007-02-19 20:40:52
62.   Marty
Jon, did you do the obvious, like do a hard reboot? Treo's use Windows, right? Who knows what may have hit it then. I can ask someone on my staff who has one if he's seen anything like that. Is there a way to go back to the original settings?
2007-02-19 20:44:17
63.   Jon Weisman
How do you do a hard reset/reboot. And no, I don't have a laptop with me today.
2007-02-19 20:46:31
64.   Marty
On my blackberry, you do it by taking the battery out while it's turned on, then put it back in.
2007-02-19 20:47:02
65.   Bob Timmermann
Soft Reset

Soft resets are a kind of general purpose reset, like rebooting a pc. This turns your device off, clears out anything that might be hung, and starts it up again. It is a soft reset you experience when your Treo suddenly turns itself off and automatically restarts. Some applications cause a soft reset after installation. Some just restart, and some let you know they will need to restart, please tap the button.

A soft reset can be performed by simply removing the back cover and letting the battery lose contact for a moment. If this fails to reset your Treo 650, you can poke a paperclip into the reset hole found under the battery. Several utilities also offer a soft reset feature from the software including ZLauncher and Initiate.

Warm Reset

A warm reset is used when something is causing your Treo to act funny. You can sometimes use it to avoid That Endless Loop Thingie ("TELT"). A warm reset is like going into Safe Mode on your pc.

To perform a warm reset, initiate a reset (via software, or removing the back cover), and hold the up arrow on the 5-way navigation pad as the Treo turns back on. (Note that on the 650 and other NVFS devices, YOU MUST HOLD THE UP BUTTON PRIOR TO INITIATING THE RESET). Hold the up button the entire time until the main Phone screen is displayed. At this point you can check the 377 error log and remove the software causing you problems if you know what it is.

NOTE: When using Treo following a warm reset, the home key and built-in launcher might be inaccessible. Therefore, you may need the use of an uninstallation app, an alternative launcher and/or file management tool to delete the problematic file.

Hard Reset

When all else fails!!! A hard reset will erase everything you have on your Treo (excluding what's on the ROM, or what you have on your SD card). Do this only as a last resort and ensure that you have BACKED UP your data beforehand.

To perform a hard reset, start your reset in any of the ways mentioned above. This time, press and hold down the red phone button until the Palm screen appears. When the Palm screen appears, let go of the red phone button. You will then be prompted (in many languages) to press up to erase all data, or down to abort. You will want to press the UP to complete the Hard Reset. Your Phone will reboot and start up with the Language Selection.

2007-02-19 20:50:28
66.   Bob Timmermann
As Jon tries these various methods, we are like the people in NASA in Mission Control waiting to see if the capsule makes it through the ionization blackout.

"There will be no communications for two minutes. Then we'll know ..."

2007-02-19 20:52:20
67.   Greg Brock
Jon's Treo slips the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of Choi.
2007-02-19 20:53:07
68.   Bob Timmermann
Go Jon go!
2007-02-19 20:53:58
69.   Greg Brock
Let's light this candle!
2007-02-19 20:54:49
70.   Marty
On a similar note, does any of the posters who live in L.A. county know a reliable watchsmith? I have an heirloom watch from the 40's that needs at least a crown replacement and don't have a watchsmith I trust with a valuable watch. I'm willing to travel.
2007-02-19 20:55:21
71.   D4P
I'm on the edge of my seat! And I don't even know what a "Treo" is!
2007-02-19 20:57:03
72.   Bob Timmermann
I heard about a guy named Sylar who was handy with watches, but he's based in New York.
2007-02-19 20:57:07
73.   Jon Weisman
I may be stupid for not realizing that taking the battery out would fix the problem, but at least I have friends online.

God bless the Internet, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems!

2007-02-19 20:57:29
74.   Bob Timmermann
A Treo is a PDA/cellphone that is Windows based.
2007-02-19 20:58:05
75.   Greg Brock
70 I would say Allen and Gary's Jewelers in Old Town Torrance, but I heard they were closing after thirty years.

If they're still open, I can't recommend them enough.

2007-02-19 20:58:18
76.   D4P
No man is a failure who has friends online
2007-02-19 20:58:30
77.   Steve
But he's willing to travel if you're on the list.
2007-02-19 20:58:55
78.   D4P
Now I'm really excited! And I don't even know what a "PDA" is!
2007-02-19 20:59:03
79.   Jon Weisman
And a hearty LOL to 72.

I'm back in business, baby!

2007-02-19 21:00:46
80.   Bob Timmermann
Personal Data Assistant
2007-02-19 21:03:14
81.   D4P
Personal Data Assistant

Oh, I guess I still call those "secretaries," just like I catch myself saying "stewardess" instead of "flight attendant"

2007-02-19 21:04:01
82.   Greg Brock
We fixed his gadget for all mankind.
2007-02-19 21:04:06
83.   Bob Timmermann
Excuse me, Personal Digital Assistant
2007-02-19 21:05:19
84.   Marty
75 Thanks! I'll see if they are still around. I use to live in Torrance, so I know the area. I used to use this old Norwegian guy in Glendale that had piles of parts lying around in his shop and he wore these coke-bottle glasses from years of squinting at small watch parts. He was great, but he died awhile back. My watch is one of those old-fashioned ones that's square and has a separate second dial at the bottom. I'm reluctant to take it to just anyone.
2007-02-19 21:06:53
85.   Bob Timmermann
Now when Jon's car has problems, he'll open the hood and take out the battery. Much hilarity will ensue.
2007-02-19 21:07:26
86.   Bob Timmermann
Did he have his head sliced open and the brain removed?
2007-02-19 21:08:59
87.   Marty
86 Only after I'd gotten everything I needed from him.
2007-02-19 21:09:46
88.   Steve
Jim Tracy had piles of parts lying around his shop?
2007-02-19 21:12:02
89.   Jon Weisman
85 - I've done worse.
2007-02-19 21:13:26
90.   Greg Brock
84 My contacts in Torrance are running covert ops right now, but there's a very good chance that the store is closed down. I'll know more tomorrow.

It's a shame, because it was one of the great jewelers/repair/small businesses in town.

2007-02-19 21:16:02
91.   Greg Brock
I have an old Hamilton watch from the 1920's that belonged to my great-grandfather. Allen and Gary fixed it. It's also one of the old square watches with the separate second dial at the bottom.

The watch has a great story that nobody would care about.

2007-02-19 21:17:20
92.   Daniel Zappala
I once had my car break down on the eastern edge of Culver City. It was late at night and I was a student, so I didn't bother having it towed to my apartment. The next morning I had a friend take me to a parts place to get the replacement for the hose that had burst, and I returned to my car. Discovered that my window had been broken and both my battery and stereo were stolen. I did manage to replace the broken hose all by myself though!
2007-02-19 21:17:54
93.   Marty
Mine's a Mido. It's Swiss. It was a first anniversary gift from my mother to my father.
2007-02-19 21:19:16
94.   Marty
Mine doesn't have near the story that Bruce Willis' watch did in Pulp Fiction.
2007-02-19 21:20:42
95.   Greg Brock
My watch didn't spend any time in cavities, but it did spend a Winter under three feet of snow in Depression-era Iowa.
2007-02-19 21:23:16
96.   D4P
under three feet of snow in Depression-era Iowa

In a religious compound on the outskirts of Des Moines...?

2007-02-19 21:27:10
97.   Greg Brock
96 It belonged to my great-grandfather, Orvis Irwin, who (I hear) is a pretty big deal in the field of infant development and child psychology. He wrote a couple books, and is cited a ton in journals.

He was also a mailman, where our story takes place...

2007-02-19 21:27:27
98.   Marty
I have a friend from Fort Dodge Iowa, and LAT has a wife from there.
2007-02-19 21:34:46
99.   berkowit28
74 NO. You are misinformed. A Treo is not (necessarily) Windows-based. The Windows Mobile OS is a new option for the Treo 700. To begin with the Treo was only Palm-OS based. Palm OS Treos can sync to either Windows or Macs.

I have a Treo 650 I swear by. It is Palm-based, and syncs with my Mac G5.

2007-02-19 21:52:15
100.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks for the clarification.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-02-19 23:03:36
101.   D4P
FJM pointed me to this Pierre update in the LA Times.

A few gems:

Pierre has led the league in times caught stealing four years in a row, so there is room for improvement

Wait, they keep track of failed stolen base attempts? Does Ned Colletti know this?

Wills is encouraging Pierre to steal third base more often

The problem with stealing third is that it requires getting to second

"With the Cubs last year, he was by himself as a base stealer," Wills said. "They play in a small park and like to wait for home runs. So there was more pressure on him to make it every time. He'll be more relaxed at Dodger Stadium."

I guess he'll run faster without that pressure

Pierre is a proficient bunter, accumulating 135 bunt hits since 2001, 50 more than any other major leaguer

Pay that man $44 million...!

"He does the little things well," Wills said. "He knows that you have to bunt the ball before you start running. So many guys are moving before they make contact. And he knows to bunt only pitches he can handle, even if they are a little off the plate."

Um, anyone know the best way to clean vomit off a laptop...?

"I'd be willing to bet [Pierre] bats leadoff," he said. "He's a natural leadoff hitter."

I got nothing

2007-02-19 23:04:30
102.   das411

Nice article about Mike Lieberthal in the Phila paper today (let me know if the link works):

"We needed a veteran catcher who can still catch and still play. And understand that Russell Martin is the No. 1 catcher, but also understand that on any given day, Mike Lieberthal could be the No. 1 catcher," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "One foul tip later, one collision later, Mike Lieberthal's the No. 1 catcher.

2007-02-19 23:22:17
103.   Greg Brock
The Pierre signing was stupid. People that defend it are stupid. The idea that Juan Pierre is anything close to an above average player is stupid. The fact that FJM finally got around to mocking it means nothing.

I love the FJM guys, but making fun of Juan Pierre is like making fun of kids with Muscular Dystrophy. Sure, it's easy, and in some sick part of your soul it may be fun, but it's not challenging.

If we're being honest, we all hope the 44 million dollar man tears his ACL and MCL, and roots for the team from the dugout. He's terrible, the contract is terrible, and Ned is a joke for signing him.

2007-02-19 23:22:49
104.   trainwreck
I nominate D4P as the head of the Juan Pierre Effigy Fan Club.
2007-02-19 23:24:31
105.   Greg Brock
And please, don't ask "Who else could play centerfield?" The answer is anybody. Any replacement level player off the scrap heap is just as valuable. Anybody can play the position. So before you ask the question...The answer is "anybody."
2007-02-19 23:26:34
106.   D4P
At the very least, anybody named Ja(y)son
2007-02-19 23:45:54
107.   Greg Brock
Supporting Juan Pierre is like supporting Severus Snape or Draco Malfoy, or believing that Sirius will come back.

Am I right? Right? Who's with me?


2007-02-19 23:55:38
108.   underdog
Sorry, Greg, I won't defend the Pierre signing but nor will I root for him to tear his MCL or ACL. While I will definitely hope to see Jason Repko get his fair number of innings out there in CF, I just don't see the satisfaction in rooting for someone who is by all intents and purposes a good - if overpaid and overrated - guy to suffer a painful injury. Nope.


2007-02-19 23:57:57
109.   Greg Brock
Good point. I kind of feel bad for saying that. I never root for injuries, and I shouldn't root for an injury in his case.

Shame on me.

2007-02-19 23:58:00
110.   underdog
Speaking of injuries, will the Lakers have anyone left in the front court soon? Sheesh. It's like an Agatha Christie story there. "And then there were none."
2007-02-19 23:59:02
111.   underdog
109 It's all right. It's late, you were cranky, half-asleep, visions of bad throws from centerfield dancing in your head. Say a few hail marys and you are forgiven, my son.
2007-02-20 06:13:41
112.   Bumsrap
I have gone years, decades, without twisting my ankle by stepping in a hole in my front lawn. And how many people have separated their shoulder by slipping on ice or was he actually washing his truck but didn't want to admit it.

Wasn't it Bobby Gritch of the Angels that hurt his back doing some repairs on his air conditioner as if he couldn't hire someone to do those kinds of things for him.

At least Cook gets to take more shots now. Or will Kid's team trade him for a players that come with a sling and a crutch.

2007-02-20 06:37:45
113.   stevesaxarm

Just starting this season....serious players only...

5x5 roto
Home Runs (HR) Runs Scored (R)
Stolen Bases (SB) Slugging Pct (SLG)
On Base plus Slugging Pct (OPS)

Strikeouts (K) Walks plus Hits Per Innings Pitched (WHIP) Saves (SV) Quality Starts (QS)
Holds (HD)

Snake Draft will be March 7, 2007 at 6 pm PCT....

5 keepers

If interested, pleaase e-mail me


2007-02-20 07:03:10
114.   Sushirabbit
I nominate Greg as head of the Juan Pierre March in and Turn him into Chowder Society.
2007-02-20 07:23:59
115.   StolenMonkey86
ItD reports that Derek Lowe will be the opening day starter.
2007-02-20 07:50:25
116.   DodgerBakers
Maybe it is just me, but is anyone uncomfortable with the Dodgers giving away spots before spring training really gets under full swing? Not that Lowe isn't capable, but it just seems a little early.
2007-02-20 08:25:49
117.   Greg Brock
Nate Silver at Prospectus ranks the third base prospects. All these guys are labeled as "Excellent."

1. Alex Gordon, Royals (23) 276.4
2. Evan Longoria, Devil Rays (21) 206.8
3. Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres (25) 154.2
4. Andy LaRoche, Dodgers (23) 144.0
5. Billy Rowell, Orioles (18) 120.5

Those are all monster scores.

2007-02-20 08:35:06
118.   underdog
112 Yeah, as one who was just in Park City and very nearly slipped on the ice myself, I can empathize with Radmanovic. Especially if you're not used to walking on the ice... Still, you almost get the feeling they should all stay at home when they're not playing. I do like Turiaf, and Cook's a good player (if a bit moody), both are better than Radmanovic, but more depth there would be nice.

117 Apparently Kouzmanoff is already annointed starter this year for the Padres, too? Wonder if he's ready for that. Guess we'll see!

2007-02-20 09:00:25
119.   Hythloday
117 - How are those scores calculated and what do they mean (roughly)? I'm not at all familiar with them, but it seems odd that they are all monster scores and that Gordon's score is nearly twice LaRoche's.
2007-02-20 09:20:21
120.   Greg Brock
119 I can give more detail during lunch, but it has to do with performance above league-average during a player's pre-free agency years.

Score above 100 is awesome.

2007-02-20 09:26:10
121.   Greg Brock
119 Here you go:

2007-02-20 09:33:37
122.   ToyCannon
Alex Gordon will have twice the career of Laroche while Kouzmanoff will end up an outfielder. The next 10 years will be the greatest era of 3b in history with Arod / Cabrerra / Wright / Zimmerman / Gordon / B Wood / LaRoche / Longoria / Rolen / Chavez / Beltre / Marte. It is quite possible that LaRoche could have a career as great as Ron Santo and still never see an all-star game.

Anyone notice the Padres signed Robles?

I can't wait for the 1st game of the year and watch JP bunt for a single, steal 2nd, go to 3b on a Furcal gb and then watch Nomar score him on a 1st pitch SF as we win 1-0 behind Schmidt/Billingsly/Broxton/Saito.

2007-02-20 09:33:43
123.   Andrew Shimmin
119- The numbers listed are five cumulative years of PECOTA projected "upside."

"UPSIDE is determined by evaluating the performance of a player's PECOTA comparables. If a comparable player turned in a performance better than league average, including both his batting and fielding performance, then twice the number of runs he contributed above average is counted toward his UPSIDE."

2007-02-20 09:53:49
124.   Xeifrank
Friends of Dodger Thoughts fantasy baseball league signups are taking place. We have both a 5x5 Roto league and a 5x5 H2H league. Since we had a few people signup early last year and never login, I am having people email me for the login info. It will be a live draft using Yahoo, the date and time have yet to be determined. vr, Xei
2007-02-20 10:07:06
125.   Gen3Blue
In the recent "Choo Freeman signs-- story at his picture looks a lot like Danny Glover looking puzzled at Mel Gibson. Could be a tag?--"Glover"
2007-02-20 10:16:06
126.   Bob Timmermann
So you want to go back to 1966?

Or perhaps an era that never existed?

2007-02-20 10:39:27
127.   ToyCannon
No, just back to 4/16/04.
2007-02-20 10:40:10
128.   bhsportsguy
According to Tony Jackson's blog @ the Daily News website, everyone is in camp except Jeff Kent. He still has a few hours left today to report without being late. The Dodger's first full team workout is tomorrow.

116 I don't think its a bad idea, in about 2-3 weeks, they will start lining their pitching up for the start of the season and as we talked about earlier, barring any rainouts, the Dodgers don't have a lot of off days.

Here is my first prediction of the year re starting rotation, however, I am not ready to predict the 5th starter so that will be blank for now.

April 2nd @ Milwaukee - Derek Lowe
April 3rd @ Milwaukee - Jason Schmidt
April 4th @ Milwaukee - Brad Penny
April 6th @ San Francisco - Randy Wolf
April 7th @ San Francisco - Derek Lowe
April 8th @ San Francisco - Jason Schmidt
April 9th Colorado - Brad Penny
April 10th Colorado - Randy Wolf
April 11th Colorado - 5th Starter
April 13th San Diego - Derek Lowe
April 14th San Diego - Jason Schmidt
April 15th San Diego - Brad Penny

Jason Schmidt pitches so well at AT&T Park that since he would be on sufficient rest, it would make sense to pitch him there and despite Penny's last outing in Colorado in 2006, he owns the Rockies so he makes sense to open up again Colorado and then you line up the top 3 guys in the first series against the Padres.

2007-02-20 10:42:15
129.   Bob Timmermann
Except Dave Roberts and Jason Schmidt have switched sides now.
2007-02-20 10:46:31
130.   Hythloday
Thanks all who responded, that helped quite a bit. Does that mean that (as a projection of course) they are saying that Gordon is roughly 28 runs contributed above average while LaRoche is only around 14 runs above average (Divide by 5 years and twice the runs)? Am I reading all of that right? Thanks.
2007-02-20 11:04:23
131.   ToyCannon
And that is a good thing. Just saying with JP and Furcal at the top of the lineup and not much pop I expect to few more games like that.

Regardless of my sabermetric leanings, when it comes to watching a game at the stadium I love to watch speed in action and would much rather watch a player work his way around the bases then see a solo home run. That is just me and I understand I'm in the minority and that JP is not the ideal CF or even an outfielder that I wanted but he's here so I'm going to try to have fun watching him play a key role in the Dodger 2007 season.

2007-02-20 11:10:02
132.   Marty
I'm with ToyCannon. I'd rather not have JP on the team, but he's there and I'll root for him to do well.
2007-02-20 11:11:43
133.   Greg Brock
Jon, are you writing the Dodgers team preview for Deadspin this year?
2007-02-20 11:16:26
134.   Jon Weisman
133 - Not that I know of.

Toy and Marty, I'm with you. Expectations are one thing, but in the moment, I'll be pulling hard for Pierre or whomever.

No bites on Taxi, huh?

2007-02-20 11:18:00
135.   Pepperdine
Just for fun I made some predictions about the season. Maybe a bit optimistic, but like I said it's just for fun:

2007 NL West Standings

1. Dodgers (91-71)
2. Padres (87-73)
3. Diamondbacks (84-78)
4. Giants (78-84)
5. Rockies (67-95)

Schmidt, Lowe, and Penny (Billingsley if Penny's traded) combine for 45 wins; Randy Wolf has mediocre success (11-9, 4.21 ERA)

Broxton has a sub 2.25 ERA, 70+ IP

Andy LaRoche gets 250+ PA, hits at least 10 HR (1:25 ratio)

James Loney hits .310+ in 400 PA

Juan Pierre stinks and no one likes him and he takes his $44 million and cries in a corner.

2007-02-20 11:21:14
136.   rockmrete
70 Marty

Vilicich watch, and repair in old San Pedro. Pat is a friend of mine, and they work on antiques as well as high end stuff.

2007-02-20 11:25:34
137.   ToyCannon
From BP, worse contracts in history:
Player Year Salary Years WARP MORP CPI BAD BADr
Mo Vaughn 1999 $88,000,000 6 10.1 $7,023,315 .88 -$91,671,718 -$15,278,620
Mike Hampton 2001 $121,000,000 8 18.3 $17,207,490 .96 -$108,399,488 -$13,549,936
Chan Ho Park 2002 $65,000,000 5 8.8 $6,567,329 .94 -$62,030,436 -$12,406,087
Albert Belle 1999 $65,000,000 5 11.6 $12,361,525 .87 -$60,365,224 -$12,073,045
Darren Dreifort 2001 $55,000,000 5 4.0 $2,233,612 .92 -$57,479,726 -$11,495,945
Jeff Bagwell 2002 $85,000,000 5 21.4 $31,019,487 .94 -$57,304,154 -$11,460,831
Juan Gonzalez 2002 $24,000,000 2 5.1 $3,749,912 .90 -$22,500,098 -$11,250,049
Mike Piazza 1999 $105,000,000 7 35.2 $39,005,017 .90 -$73,678,609 -$10,525,516
Ken Griffey Jr 2000 $116,500,000 9 27.7 $29,348,726 .95 -$92,169,385 -$10,241,043
Denny Neagle 2001 $51,000,000 5 6.3 $4,947,730 .92 -$50,165,872 -$10,033,174

Kevin Brown just missed the cut or we'd have 4 Dodgers on the list. Two we signed and two we let go.

2007-02-20 11:29:00
138.   ToyCannon
Frank "Hondo" Howard?
Frank Robinson?
Len Gabrielson who led the team in homeruns in 68
2007-02-20 11:29:50
139.   Curtis Lowe
135- I have a prediction that Juan Pierre actually excells in dodger stadium as the lead off hitter and does indeed cut down his caught stealing rate. comment 103 is then the stupid one ashes ashes we all fall down.
2007-02-20 11:42:12
140.   saltcreek
115. I dont get it. Why not split up the 2 power pitchers with a sinkerballer. Plus Lowe doesnt have much luck on opening day.
2007-02-20 11:53:13
141.   Andrew Shimmin
134- I bit in 6. At least, I think I did. I've never seen the show, but that line was purported to be one of Latka Gravas's (I came across it while looking up the reference).

I demand full credit!

2007-02-20 11:56:50
142.   Andrew Shimmin
130- That's about right, except for the 'only.' A team comprised of players as good as BP expects LaRoche to be, at each position, with average pitching, would expect to win 94 games a year; nothing only about that! Though a team of Gordon's would win 106, so I guess the only make sense in comparing the two. Still!
2007-02-20 12:19:30
143.   bhsportsguy
134 Did not want to get into it with Bob but here are 5 of my favorites:

1. Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey:
When you could tell a joke about drug use and of course the age old question, "What does a yellow light mean?"

2. Elaine's Strange Triangle: Alex at a gay "Studio 54" disco dancing the night away.

3. Zen and the Art of Cab Driving: "And tonight we will be featuring a Sinatra retrospective."

4. Jim the Psychic: I will leave this to Bob but keep the green sweaters and catcher's mask hidden.

5. Alex's Old Buddy: Elegant Iggy, the Latka/Simka stories are better episodes but the last scene with Alex and Buddy's leash always gets me.

2007-02-20 12:32:39
144.   bhsportsguy
See what happens. Post some TV talk and everything stops.
2007-02-20 12:38:05
145.   Benaiah
I posted this at the Jam too (hopefully that catches on), but can someone tell me why Babel is being hyped as a darkhorse Best Picture favorite? It won the Golden Globe, but like 30 Europeans vote on those, and it isn't favored to win any other major category. Has their ever been a best picture winner that didn't win in any other category?
2007-02-20 13:10:42
146.   Daniel Zappala
Jon, it took me a while, shortly after you posted the entry, to discover that you were making a Taxi reference. Had to do some googling. I have never seen the show, so it sadly had no resonance with me.
2007-02-20 13:44:55
147.   jasonungar05
137 how many on that list are Boras clients? It looks like 6 to me.
2007-02-20 14:32:40
148.   Dodger Jack
Enough bashing of Juan Pierre already.

He came to camp early, takes his role seriously, and actually knows how to bunt. Who was the last Dodger we could depend on to execute a good bunt? Brett Butler? It is a lost art.

The Money Ball Doctrine seems to be what is driving the attacks on Pierre. We've been though this before, but a lot of posters maintain that stolen bases have no impact on the game. Do these posters really believe that pitchers can throw as well with a stretch or a slide step with runners on? They lose focus and velocity. That leads to hits, walks and scoring.

Posters attack Pierre for his weak outfield arm. But if these folks really do drink all of the Money Ball cool aid, then they must conclude that fielding, too, has little impact on the game.

My hunch is that Pierre will hit near .300 and steal 50 bases this season. His speed and Furcal's will create tremendous havoc for pitchers. When was the last time we saw that kind of base stealing threat from two or more players on the same team?

Would I have preferred for Ned to have picked up a power hitter? Sure. But none were available at prices Ned was willing to pay. Did management pay too much for Pierre? Not sure. Ned countered an existing offer from the Giants. I don't worry too much about what managment pays ballplayers. It ain't my money!

2007-02-20 15:03:25
149.   bhsportsguy
148 Somehow, I don't think this will be the final word on this though many of us echo the thoughts expressed here. 134
2007-02-20 15:11:16
150.   Fallout
135 Pepperdine

Is your last name "Waves"?

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-02-20 15:14:10
151.   Hythloday
148 - I haven't commented on this before so I think I can avoid rule 8, but the Money Ball Doctrine as I understand it is:

1) Maximize value by investing in players who are undervalued.

2) Use statistical analysis to determine which players are undervalued.

Given that $45M for JP seems to be minimizing value by investing in overvalued statistics.

That being said I agree with the general sentiment of your post. Hating JP is a moot point now. We are now firmly entrenched in the wishful thinking portion of the year and so I hope he does well and helps the team win the World Series. He can do that starting or off the bench and frankly I don't care which. I wish him the best.

But the doctrine itself is sound. It is no different than the stock market.

2007-02-20 15:15:52
152.   Pepperdine
150- something like that.
2007-02-20 15:22:15
153.   bhsportsguy
Here are the good Ned moves based on what I have seen on DT (2006-2207 offseason).

1. Signing Jason Schmidt.
2. Signing Mike Lieberthal

Here are the so-so, I am not going to war about it moves.

1. Signing Randy Wolf for one year.

Here are the Ned's holding prospects hostage moves.

1. Resigning Nomar for two years.
2. Signing Luis Gonzalez for one year

Here are the head scratching what did the agent have on Ned moves that will be debated throughout 2007 and beyond.

1. Signing Juan Pierre for 5/45 million.

Now, Luis Gonzalez might fall into this category but it is only for one year so the damage, if any, is minimal.

2007-02-20 15:28:33
154.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
I'm with those who don't expect much from Pierre, because he really isn't that great a player, but are pulling for him, and find the razzing on him a bit much. That being said, I can certainly understand the frustration with that contract. But like it or not, he's on our team, and he's a Dodger. We just have to hope for the best... I think we would all agree on that as Dodger fans. But I think different fans need to work out their frustrations in different ways. For those who don't see Pierre as really all that talented, that is either hopeful resignation (what I have) or letting off a bit of steam at how we're utterly powerless with regards to Ned's decisions.

BTW, RE: 148 Dave Roberts of course was a great bunter, and would have been far more valuable to us if he had been able to stay healthy as a Dodger. Most importantly, unlike Pierre, he could work a walk, and had some power. He also had a great SB success percentage. DePo himself later regretted giving him up to the BoSox for next to nothing. Now that I think about it, I wouldn't have minded a short term deal to bring Roberts back, but I think Ned was probably scared off by his age and injury history, and I do think he genuinely likes Pierre's skill set.


2007-02-20 15:29:47
155.   Xeifrank
Some of the more recent studies I've read show that stolen bases have a very slight negative correlation with runs scored. I think the use of statistics is a very powerful tool in baseball. I liken it to the person who plays blackjack and tries to mathemetically increase his or her odds of winning by playing the percentages vs the person who just hits or stands based on what he or she feels in his gut.

Being fast is great. Being able to steal a base is great too. Being able to get on base, hit for power and not make outs are even better.

I'm not happy Juan Pierre is on the team, especially given the length of his contract. But I will root for him, because I am a Dodger fan. I just hope he is able to somehow increase his OBP, not get thrown out stealing so often and learns how to count cards.
vr, Xei

2007-02-20 15:37:53
156.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm sure at some point I'll have seen more Pierre slagging than I was interested in reading. I assume. I mean, my appetite for that sort of fare can't really be endless, can it?

I'm not going to root for Pierre to be better than he is (because then I'd be wrong, and I'd rather not be wrong), but I'm willing to root for him to get all of the hits he'll get in clutch situations. That way I still get to be right, and we get to fight over whether his clutchiness is chance or force of will.

2007-02-20 15:47:49
157.   Daniel Zappala
Someone who has actually read the Moneyball book could maybe answer this question for me -- doesn't the whole premise of investing in players that are undervalued work only when everyone operates from an equal budget? Then my $60 million payroll will "go farther" than your $60 million payroll. But if I can spend $120 million, then I would bet that a "good" investment of that money will beat a "great" investment of $60 million every year.
2007-02-20 15:58:37
158.   underdog
128 I'm thinking of getting tix for the Dodgers Saturday game here in SF. I think it could still be the fifth starter instead of Lowe in that one, but I'll be happy either way. Either I get to see Derek, or Chad or Kuo. Unless Tomko wins the 5th starter role, in which case, after I'm done vomiting, I'll tear up my tix if it isn't Lowe.

135 Speaking of standings predictions, the Street and Smith preview has the Rockies finishing 2nd. 2nd! Nothing against the Rox but I think that seems a year or two too early. Who wrote the NL West section you ask? Tracy Ringoslby of the Rocky Mountain News. Just sayin'. (Dodgers were predicted 1st, which is probably a jinx.)

2007-02-20 15:59:23
159.   Vishal
i bought my plane tickets: i am now officially going to spring training. now i just need to figure out where to stay. i'll probably stay one night close to vero, but the other two can be up or down the coast a little.
2007-02-20 16:01:15
160.   D4P
I don't think anyone is arguing that, given the "correct" strategy, $60 million can always beat $120 million. From Oakland's point of view, however, they don't get to choose to spend 120; they (in our example) only have 60. So, the question then becomes not how to necessarily beat the 120 teams, but rather how to field the best team possible with 60.

With that in mind, the task then centers on identifying stats that make a greater contribution to (e.g.) scoring runs/preventing runs than is widely believed at the time (with these beliefs being represented in players' salaries).

2007-02-20 16:01:30
161.   underdog
Favorite Taxi quotes (of many, many):
Ignatowski: You know, you really need to clean up those bathrooms.
Alex: You just came from the kitchen.
Ignatowski: Thank God.
Louie: Ignatowski's got a father? There goes my spore theory!
2007-02-20 16:06:43
162.   Andrew Shimmin
157- Except for the reserve clause and dumb luck. It's possible to spend $120 million wisely and still finish worse than a team spending $60 million wisely if the $60 million team has more, better, pre-FA players, and if the $120 million team gets hurt, or otherwise has a bad luck season. But, for the most part, if all teams were equally smartly run, the higher payroll teams would be much more likely to outperform the lower payroll ones. The Wild Card comes in to play, though, since a team only has to be better than any other second place team to make it in. There aren't very many $120 million teams.
2007-02-20 16:07:53
163.   regfairfield
157 This is true, but when a team wastes 44 million on Juan Pierre, and someone else gets better production out of a rule five draft pick, then the cheaper team has a chance to compete when they have no right to. If we spent our money optimally, then the Padres and Diamondbacks would have pretty much no chance.
2007-02-20 16:09:05
164.   Ken Arneson
157 That's probably truer with true free agency. But MLB teams get players for six years at below market prices, without free agency, and those six years usually include one or two years at the peak ages of 27-28.

The team with the $120 million only gets to spend that extra money on players who have started to decline. If free agency typically happened at age 25-27 instead of age 28-30, the Moneyball philosophy would be much less effective. Instead, a $60 million team can field a roster full of players at the peak of their careers, and the $120 million dollar team can't do anything about it.

2007-02-20 16:09:13
165.   Gen3Blue
151 "The Doctine is sound", but only to a certain extent. Right now, to call it a Doctrine has to link it to the A's and their success.
2007-02-20 16:11:03
166.   D4P
For example, dumb GMs pay for things like BA and SBs from hitters, and Wins and Saves from pitchers.
2007-02-20 16:22:49
167.   bhsportsguy
166 Again, despite what we might hope, those are stats that most fans and media look at and are easy to sell.

Also, the I have to yet to see a team filled with with VORP/OPS/EQA projections actually win in the end. Often after the fact, you will find that its the teams filled with players who broke out, vets who squeaked out one more good year and some breaks with injuries ultimately win it all, that is what makes baseball great. Trust me if there was a formula, "Moneyball" or whatever that was predictable, a lot of people would be on it.

That said, the Braves, Twins, A's, and Cards have been successful over the last few years by being able to bring in new talent while not having the biggest payrolls. The Yankees, Angels and Red Sox have done it the other way, spending a lot while getting a little help from the system.

Also, just for those who long for past days in CF, take a look at 3-Dog, Willie Davis' stats in CF, while he hit more homers, his other offensive stats are not dissimilar to Juan Pierre, all the Dogers did with 3-Dog was win a couple of titles and three pennants.

2007-02-20 16:27:20
168.   Bill Crain
It's not about Moneyball. It's about Bill James. It's about being smart and not being dumb. Myself, I'm not interested in razzing Juan Pierre, here or elsewhere. He's only a baseball player after all, and he's now a member of the team I root for.

Ned Colletti, on the other hand, deserves every bit of nasty, vicious criticism we can dump on him. He needs to be beaten daily with a Plaschke stick.

I rooted for Maury Wills, too. He was a pretty good player. Now, however, he's proven himself to be an idiot. He's fair game. Just like Ned and Plaschke and Joe Morgan and all the "Moneyball" deniers who are the enimies of reason.

2007-02-20 16:30:25
169.   Greg Brock
Willie Davis career OPS+: 105
Bullethead OPS+: 86

Davis EQA: .276
'Head EQA: .256

2007-02-20 16:32:21
170.   Greg Brock
I don't know what Willie Davis ever did to bhsporstguy, but that was uncalled for, man.
2007-02-20 16:32:59
171.   regfairfield
167 2004 Red Sox were pretty much the three true outcomes all stars.
2007-02-20 16:39:41
172.   delias man
Dodger Jack is right on. All of the JP haters are beginning to look like those stupid Indian fans in the outfield on the "exciting" Major League trilogy.

Dont cry to me if his steal sparks a game 7 rally in a playoff series.. Repko would trip over himself and get a high ankle sprain.

2007-02-20 16:41:55
173.   underdog
Well now there's no need to slap Repko to praise Pierre! We came here to praise Pierre, not to bury him. Well, some people came to bury him, some to praise him, and some to put him up on a very tiny, precarious pedestal.
2007-02-20 16:45:33
174.   El Lay Dave
167 all the Dogers did with 3-Dog was win a couple of titles and three pennants
But this team's pitching staff doesn't start with Koufax and Drysdale atop a 15-inch high pitching mound.

For what little it's worth, Willie Davis had a better stolen base success rate too (75.2% vs. 73.6%).

2007-02-20 16:54:07
175.   El Lay Dave
148 I don't worry too much about what managment pays ballplayers. It ain't my money!
But you should. Given that the payroll dollars are finite, you should, as a fan, have some concern on how those resources are allocated in order to place a team on the field that has the best chance of winning now and in the near future. Tying up about $9 million a year in Jean Pedro is not the best use of those resources. (As a fan, I will hope against hope that we get more OBP .361 and up seasons [he has three out of six full-time] than OBP .332 and down seasons [he has three also] and that he has an 85% or better success rate stealing bases, but realistically, I'm far from expecting it.)
2007-02-20 17:01:14
176.   Gen3Blue
170 Is that sarcasm--I'm lost.
2007-02-20 17:02:15
177.   Dark Horse
168-I love reason. It's my favorite shibboleth. Especially when it's used to prop up outrage & vitriol.

Really, we can dump on Pierre all we want to. The part that seems funny to me is that it's an awful contract--and it is, there's no question--yet I have an odd suspicion Pierre will be helpful, and will contribute meaningfully to the team's success. (There's no 'reason' involved there, so I'll take 20 lashes with the Plaschke stick and deserve every one of them.)

Gonzales, alas, will be useless. Hopefully he'll do little more than spell Loney or Kemp.

2007-02-20 17:05:52
178.   Jon Weisman
Stop the vomit references!

New post will be coming up top.

2007-02-20 17:06:54
179.   underdog
If nothing else, Gonzales was voted "Best Teammate" and "Biggest Prankster" by Street and Smith's. Maybe the Dodgers should've hired him as a bench coach? Well, he may be on the bench soon enough.
2007-02-20 17:07:50
180.   underdog
178 Are Taxi references still cool? I have a few more up my sleeve.
2007-02-20 17:09:26
181.   Greg Brock
176 It certainly wasn't meant to be. I hope bhsportsguy didn't take it that way. bhsportsguy is one of my favorite posters.

I was just comparing 'Head and Willie Davis in response to an earlier statement. But it wasn't meant to be sarcastic, at all, just a lame line.

2007-02-20 17:09:33
182.   Daniel Zappala
160 Yes, given a certain budget, it certainly pays to spend that budget wisely.

162 That's what makes baseball so great. Drafting well, luck, injuries, the wild card -- there are so many variables. I love it that the Yankees haven't been able to magically spend their way to a WS win these past years.

163 Agreed. Bad contracts sink a higher-payroll team down into the muck with everyone else. Inefficiency can kill you if it happens enough. I'm still optimistic that the Dodgers have spent wisely enough (or not badly enough) that their free agents + minor leaguers will make them the team to beat in the NL.

164 But everyone gets the chance to draft well, so that evens out somewhat, despite long term differences in draft order. After a series of bad drafts or trading away young talent, then, yes, you find yourself like the Yankees and unable to always beat lower payroll teams. But if they had played the drafting and payroll game smarter they would have an inherent advantage.

[Sorry, but the professor in me says I have to respond to everyone's comments.]

2007-02-20 17:11:16
183.   Andrew Shimmin
If Willie Davis hadn't been as good as he was, he would have been more like Juan Pierre.
2007-02-20 17:20:57
184.   Bill Crain
When his stats are properly adjusted for context, Willie Davis turns out to have been one of the most productive offensive outfielders of his generation. He doesn't belong in any discussion of Juan Pierre.

There are people who actually study the game. They use numbers to illuminate the issues, not to buttress their own prejudices. That is to say, they're reasonable people. Some of them are smart people. They don't hate Juan Pierre; they just don't think he's very good. In fact, objectively speaking, he's lousy.

Ned and Plaschke and Jim Tracy and their ilk aren't interested. They are the enemies of reason. (I know I'm repeating myself, but I wanted to keep going until I got the right spelling.) In a word, the problem is they're dumb.

2007-02-20 17:31:33
185.   shmolnick
Oh come on Jon, spring training just started. How about a little love for our bums?

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