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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

The Ay-Yi-Yides of March
2007-03-05 21:00
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Well, Spring Training games have been going for under a week, and already three Dodgers will be right back after these massages.

Battling ailments that will no doubt take longer to recover from than we are initially being told are Marlon Anderson, Rafael Furcal and now Joe Beimel, according to Ken Gurnick at MLB.com. Just serves as the annual reminder that the 25-man roster you lay out in February doesn't hold up for long come March.

This is as good a time as any to remember that the first week of Spring Training is like Vegas: Whatever happens there, stays there - or it should if anyone has any sense. That means, wake me when Larry Bigbie is banging out three hits a game in April; sedate me when Wilson Betemit has more errors than hits in May. Past heroes of 21st-century Dodger Spring Training include Jason Romano and Terry Shumpert - need more be said?

Additionally, don't take the positioning of the Dodger starting rotation in April as an actual ranking of the starters. Given that the Dodgers have explicitly stated that they are arranging their pitchers to gain or avoid certain matchups with opponents, it's obvious that we shouldn't try reading between the lines. Basically, the Dodgers are lining up for their opening plays from scrimmage, like Bill Walsh in his heyday with the 49ers. First down, Derek Lowe right. Second down, Randy Wolf left. And depending on performance and offdays, they'll audible. The pitchers seem to understand this, so it's a non-story.

* * *

Many find it hard to understand how pitchers can walk batters in exhibition play, when they have nothing to lose by throwing it over the plate. But Spring Training is a time to get your groove back, Stella - and if you're in that groove, a time to experiment with your pitches without fear of the walks really meaning everything. Further, don't forget that walks come on a two-way street - batters actually can draw them, too. As I've stated in the past, during Spring Training, eyeballing performance can be more valuable than stats ...

How To Make Spring Training Stats Meaningful

... in just five steps.

Step 1: Include walks in box scores and batting statistics distributed by Major League Baseball and The Associated Press.

Step 2: Record and circulate play-by-play logs of Spring Training games.

Step 3: Compute a value, based on regular season statistics from the previous season or from previous seasons, to each player in the major league camps. With Win Shares, EQA, OPS+ and ERA+, the foundation is already there. Put Barry Bonds at 100 and Garth Brooks at 0.

Step 4: Adjust every exhibition statistic according to these values.

Step 5: Circulate these adjusted Spring Training statistics, which, while not perfect, would account for the vast differences in the caliber of competition of any exhibition game.

This process is long overdue, yet seems within reach.

And thus, we could prove such critical facts as whether Jason Romano's eyebrow-raising spring was merely something to be tweezed.

Longtime and even shortime readers of this site know that I put little credence in exhibition stats and am much more likely to evaluate Romano based on his regular season numbers throughout his career, which are pitiful.

The interesting thing about Spring Training at the outset of the Moneyball era is that Spring Training produces performances that are probably best evaluated by observation, rather than statistics. Spring Training leads people to use statistics in a most unsystematic manner – because the statistics are fundamentally flawed.

The time has come to improve Spring Training statistics so that they can be used as a compliment to observation. (And again, Moneyball advocates don't seek to eliminate observation, but encourage us to question what we are observing and place those observations in a quantifiable context.)

Until the statistical powers that be decide that Spring Training is worth the effort, however, I'd rather use regular season statistics, adjusted for level of play, to determine who the best prospects are.

* * *

Chavez Ravine Idol: The Dodgers and 93.9 FM are staging a contest to choose the National Anthem singer for Opening Night (Opening Night at Dodger Stadium being the first home evening game after Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, which is the first home afternoon game after Opening Day in Milwaukee. In other words, April 10.)

Emceeing the competition and playing Celeste Talbert to Ryan Seacrest's Lori Craven is longtime Los Angeles disc jockey Rick Dees. Fans in attendance on April 10 will also have the privilege of seeing Dees throw out the first pitch.

* * *

Finally, some of you might know Molly Knight from her participation in the Dodger Thoughts comments. Knight, a writer for ESPN the Magazine, has been dispatched to Florida to cover Spring Training and is also contributing to Blue Notes.

Comments (166)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-03-05 21:10:17
1.   trainwreck
It seems Grady and Ned also really value how a player acts in spring training. I think it may have been the reason LaRoche was never called up in September and from comments it seems Grady really likes Bigbie.
2007-03-05 21:10:49
2.   Greg Brock
I come to Dodger Thoughts for the baseball analysis, but I stay for the SoapDish analogies.
2007-03-05 21:11:29
3.   Suffering Bruin
I have to shout this as loudly as I can...

I MISS THIS SITE.

Nobody, but nobody, talks baseball in high school unless they're ten years older than me. And I ain't young.

2007-03-05 21:12:42
4.   Marty
Welcome to the Times family Molly.
2007-03-05 21:13:55
5.   Bob Timmermann
Last year, the Cardinals released Jeff Nelson in spring training despite him not giving up a run. Nelson was ticked off at Tony La Russa, but La Russa insisted that Nelson was just not pitching all that well and it wouldn't last.

Nelson lasted six games with the White Sox before injuries ended his career.

2007-03-05 21:14:09
6.   Steve
Sweep the leg, SB!

Brock avoided that post about the UCLA grad below quite adroitly. Hmmm...

2007-03-05 21:15:55
7.   Jon Weisman
We miss you too, SB!

Elisabeth Shue reference in this post triggers SB's return ... SB must again be thinking about what might have been.

2007-03-05 21:16:34
8.   Greg Brock
3 Suffering Bruin!

6 I had a real humdinger of a response, but I let restraint take over. Shame on me...

2007-03-05 21:16:47
9.   trainwreck
You're the best aroooouuunnnddd...
2007-03-05 21:20:10
10.   natepurcell
i went to molly knights blog and we kinda have the same taste in music.

what does this molly knight look like?

2007-03-05 21:35:28
11.   Greg Brock
Oooh, Oooh! I totally meant to post this like a week ago!

The entire original Karate Kid cast got together for this music video...It's about 47.6 kinds of awesome, even if the music is, er, not. But how cool is this? Directed by William Zabka!

http://www.retrocrush.com/archive2007/zabka/index.html

2007-03-05 21:36:51
12.   D4P
11
Like, totally dude
2007-03-05 21:39:46
13.   Greg Brock
Make your jokes, funnyman. Anytime the entire cast of the Karate Kid reunites for a music video, and Mr. Myagi is portrayed by Mr. Belding, the world is a better place.
2007-03-05 22:04:06
14.   D4P
Stories like this make me fear the future of the world, and make me glad I'm not significantly younger than I currently am.
2007-03-05 22:04:51
15.   D4P
http://tinyurl.com/2r443w
2007-03-05 22:10:31
16.   trainwreck
Man life will be pointless in the future.
2007-03-05 22:17:32
17.   trainwreck
People will totally not know who Cobra Kai is.
2007-03-05 22:19:04
18.   D4P
16
It's scary. Cloning will get out of control, people will be able to choose various features of their super-babies, Big Brother will read our minds and spy on us even more so than they already do, etc. etc. etc. The world is only going to get worse from here on out.

All these scientists are ruining the human element...

2007-03-05 22:20:36
19.   Greg Brock
17 D4P is already on notice. Do you really want to join the list? I mean sure, you're kind of pumped that Santa Barbara beat UCLA in the soccer final, but now you wanna side with D4P?

In the Shimmin/D4P Wars, I'm a Shimmin Warrior...And you're an analrapist.

2007-03-05 22:22:02
20.   Steve
Brett Myers has volunteered to close. In related news, Ryan Howard has offered to sell peanuts.
2007-03-05 22:24:18
21.   trainwreck
19
I am just saying it is sad in the future that no one will know who Cobra Kai is. Heck, there is even a chance they won't know who Mr. Belding is. That scares me.
2007-03-05 22:27:01
22.   Xeifrank
8-9 days until the Friends of DT has it's H2H and Roto fantasy baseball drafts. There are still a few openings left in each league. Feel free to email me if you'd like to join. vr, Xei
xeifrank@yahoo.com
2007-03-05 22:29:38
23.   D4P
Is there anyone else around here (besides me) who has never participated in any kind of sports fantasy league...?
2007-03-05 22:30:17
24.   Steve
SIX WEEKS for Heroes! What am I supposed to do for six weeks? Watch a bunch of UCLA grads get owned by fifth graders I guess.
2007-03-05 22:32:06
25.   Greg Brock
23 I've never participated in rotisserie baseball or fantasy football. I've never submitted a NCAA tournament bracket, except once in a Navy office pool. We all lost to a girl that picked schools based on uniforms.

I find the whole thing entirely too much work. I just like watching sports.

2007-03-05 22:33:39
26.   Greg Brock
24 I find your baiting both humorous and humorous.

I watched "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel tonight for the first time. Those crab fisherman are really tough. That's a lot of work. I would not like to do it.

2007-03-05 22:33:39
27.   D4P
I find watching sports entirely too much work. I just like reading box scores.
2007-03-05 22:34:35
28.   trainwreck
Just try it D4P. Everyone is doing it. You want to be cool don't you?
2007-03-05 22:41:06
29.   El Lay Dave
18 All these scientists are ruining the human element

Scientists also invented the technology that permits DT and the like to thrive, and for you to participate. You can credit/blame scientist for allowing you and Greg Brock to cross paths.

2007-03-05 22:42:17
30.   D4P
You want to be cool don't you?

What I want is to finish my dissertation. Watching sports is not conducive to said want. The conducivity of DT is debatable, in that it is both a time-suck and a needed diversion.

2007-03-05 22:42:39
31.   Eric L
Saw this story about JD Drew over at BBTF. Thought it was kind of interesting and sort of related to the thread that Jon started the other day.

Even though I've been reading almost every day, it's been a really long time since I've posted anything.

http://tinyurl.com/2t9v5s

2007-03-05 22:54:10
32.   El Lay Dave
23 {raises hand}
I have no desire to track statistics as a competitive activity. I have made wild stabs at bracket pools, but the Griddle's is the first contest I've tried - with first thought picks.

Geekily enough, I have, in the dim past, participated in Strat-O-Matic baseball leagues. (The 1986-based season, I drafted Pedro Guerrero and flipped him between 3B and 1B [defense be damned] with a wacky platoon of Jim Presley and Pete O'Brien. Lost our World Series. Ahh, innocent times.)

2007-03-05 22:57:50
33.   Andrew Shimmin
I've never played fantasy sports. Last year there was a DT march madness pool that I participated in. Finished near the bottom. Learned my lesson.
2007-03-05 22:59:36
34.   Andrew Shimmin
Actually, I learned two lessons. One was not to (earnestly) participate in pools. The other was not to listen to Steve's Pac-10 badmouthing.
2007-03-05 23:01:53
35.   trainwreck
Drafting is the funnest part of fantasy.
2007-03-05 23:02:52
36.   D4P
Drafting is the funnest part of fantasy

Assuming we're still talking sports, I can see that being the case.
2007-03-05 23:04:07
37.   Eric L
35 Heck, the best year I had in a fantasy league was because of a strong draft. We made a couple of moves during the season, but we drafted so well that no one was able to catch us.

But yeah, drafting is the most fun part of a fantasy league.

2007-03-05 23:09:27
38.   Steve
It took a March Madness pool for you to figure out not to listen to me?
2007-03-05 23:11:30
39.   trainwreck
37
Trades rarely go through in fantasy because people only like to do lopsided deals. It is like they are the GM of the D-Rays.
2007-03-05 23:13:33
40.   Andrew Shimmin
If I'd known about your love of Full House, sooner, it wouldn't have.
2007-03-05 23:14:08
41.   Eric Enders
10 "i went to molly knights blog and we kinda have the same taste in music."

Same here. And yet I always thought my tastes were very dissimilar to Nate's. You never struck me as a Josh Ritter/Wilco kinda guy, Nate.

2007-03-05 23:17:58
42.   Steve
Spoken like a true Two And A Half Men fan
2007-03-05 23:20:10
43.   Bob Timmermann
Boras: Well, men are only men. That's why they lie. They can't tell the truth, even to themselves.
Coletti: That may be true. Because men are weak, they lie to deceive themselves.
Boras: Not another sermon! I don't mind a lie if it's interesting.
2007-03-05 23:21:08
44.   Andrew Shimmin
Tough, tough talk for a guy who's been trying to scare up a conversation about Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?, all night.
2007-03-05 23:24:19
45.   D4P
"Kick his ---, Andrew!"
"Kick him in the nads, Steve!"
2007-03-05 23:25:51
46.   Steve
I just thought it interesting what happened when a UCLA grad ran into a bunch of fifth graders as opposed to a bunch of 4th place ACC/SEC teams. Although, admittedly, the term "UCLA grad" doesn't really apply to the basketball team.
2007-03-05 23:26:41
47.   Greg Brock
I am really enjoying arguing with people at BTF. They're complaining about the media's mistreatment of Paul DePodesta.

As if this some new story.

2007-03-05 23:26:49
48.   Andrew Shimmin
RIP, Ivan Safronov.
2007-03-05 23:28:32
49.   Greg Brock
46 Questions asked of a BYU Grad:

The Earth is:

A) 4,000 years old
B) 6,000 years old
C) 7,000 years old
D) Make of a creamy carmel filling

2007-03-05 23:30:59
50.   StolenMonkey86
37 - I'd go with picking up players off the scrap heap that are awesome as the funnest part of fantasy ball. I did that with Verlander, Kazmir, and Liriano.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-03-05 23:31:17
51.   Steve
That's only one question.
2007-03-05 23:33:09
52.   Greg Brock
51 And the answer to that one question is...
2007-03-05 23:33:35
53.   regfairfield
This might seem like an odd question, but the people here can answer anything.

How much of the MLB's stats are in the public domain? I'm trying to start a site that will let you browse the results of every pitch in the last three years, but I'm not sure how much I can get away with. For example, this is what I've pulled from one at bat:

Batter: 408213
Pitcher: 451491
Inning: 8 Balls: 2 Strikes: 2 Outs: 1
Desc: Hank Blalock flies out to left fielder Craig Monroe.
Batted Ball Type: 1 Result: 1
Pitch 0: x: 116.74 y: 131.24 Quadrant: 8 Result: 1
Pitch 1: x: 73.82 y: 170.96 Quadrant: 14 Result: 3
Pitch 2: x: 87.55 y: 125.20 Quadrant: 2 Result: 4
Pitch 3: x: 132.19 y: 94.12 Quadrant: 21 Result: 3
Pitch 4: x: 115.02 y: 133.84 Quadrant: 8 Result: 5

I know that simple things like batting average are freely available, but will the MLB be unhappy with me if I start posting the exact locations of every pitch?

2007-03-05 23:35:56
54.   Steve
It's also caramel.
2007-03-05 23:36:35
55.   Bob Timmermann
53
We're people who comment on a blog, we're not intellectual property lawyers.
2007-03-05 23:36:35
56.   Greg Brock
54 And the answer is...
2007-03-05 23:37:27
57.   trainwreck
I do not see how they would get angry about that, but at times it does seem MLB hates their fans.
2007-03-05 23:37:51
58.   regfairfield
55 I've seen far more obscure question answered on here. I have asked more official sources, if it makes you feel better. I'm just waiting for a response.
2007-03-05 23:38:10
59.   D4P
Hate the fan, love their money
2007-03-05 23:40:38
60.   trainwreck
If they complain, tell them you know the real Karate Kid and he makes house calls.
2007-03-05 23:41:29
61.   Steve
And the answer is...better discussed elsewhere
2007-03-05 23:43:32
62.   Greg Brock
61 And you say that the Pac-10 is soft.
2007-03-05 23:45:21
63.   Steve
Touche
2007-03-05 23:45:57
64.   Greg Brock
61 Kidding, Steve. I'm kidding. You know you're one of my favorite posters. I just took the easy shot.
2007-03-05 23:48:30
65.   Steve
ACK! Bad form to apologize after getting in a zinger. Sure, it's honorable, but what of the thrill of victory!
2007-03-05 23:49:20
66.   Andrew Shimmin
MLB.com's Terms of Use Agreement. Basically, they own everything, and you're breaking the law just looking at any of their stuff. But, the good news is, they've got their lawyer's name and contact info right on the page. So, you pay one hobo a little money, and you can keep them off your back for a while. . .

http://tinyurl.com/3ymh6n

2007-03-05 23:52:00
67.   D4P
Didn't Greg learn anything from Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell?

No apologies!

2007-03-05 23:54:19
68.   regfairfield
Well, that's not good.
2007-03-05 23:54:27
69.   Steve
Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell

Well, someday we're all going to look back on this night, and all we'll remember is that D4P added a Top Gun reference to his already questionable repetoire. This is worth another week of comedy gold. D4P is truly, at heart, a uniter.

2007-03-05 23:55:17
70.   Greg Brock
There is no thrill of victory. Zingers against Steve serve no purpose, other than honing my skills. To "get" Steve is to battle the ninja...My victory is short lived, while enemies exist elswhere. Your Pacific Ten japes may bother me, but they serve a purpose...I am forced to become a better fan.

Oh, and BYU sucks.

2007-03-06 00:01:19
71.   Bob Timmermann
I just think the question of who owns all of the stats from a baseball game is very tricky.

The stats regairfield cites are not ones he could have gathered on his own. Obviously someone else used some technology and put some work into it.

But what is a fact?

What is truth, said jesting Pilate?

2007-03-06 00:03:01
72.   trainwreck
According to Gammons, Jeff Francoeur confronted A-Rod for trashing a clubhouse kid who brought him the wrong sandwich.

I have new respect for Jeff Francoeur.

2007-03-06 00:04:37
73.   Bob Timmermann
72
Did you ever think about this from the sandwich's point of view?
2007-03-06 00:05:02
74.   Greg Brock
And Top Gun is slightly less heterosexual than Harvey Fierstein dancing with Andrew Sullivan at a Tony Kushner play.
2007-03-06 00:06:14
75.   Andrew Shimmin
You might be able to sell your aggregator to them. And then pay thirty dollars a month to use it. Once they make it available to the public. In ten years.

Or you could give it to Zappala, and he could claim that since it was for Academic purposes, it was fair use.

Or you could move to Sealand and hope that there's enough aluminum foil in the world to protect you from MLBAM's laser-armed satellite fleet.

2007-03-06 00:12:57
76.   regfairfield
The existence of minorleaguesplits.com gives me hope. I'm pretty sure that they pull their data from minorleaguebaseball.com, and they haven't been shut down yet.
2007-03-06 00:26:33
77.   Andrew Shimmin
76- Huh. Well, looky here; from their website FAQ:

"Where do you get this data? The Minor League Baseball official site publishes game logs of every Minor League game. I wrote a program to parse those logs into something that closely resembles Retrosheet game logs. I wrote another program to generate these stat tables from those game logs."

And it doesn't say anything about a licensing agreement. So, I could be completely wrong.

2007-03-06 00:30:28
78.   Andrew Shimmin
Anyway, good luck. It looks like a very cool toy.
2007-03-06 01:05:05
79.   Greg Brock
Over at BTF, I just finished a conversation on why East Coast baseball writers are ten times more brilliant than West Coast writers. I heard arguments on behalf of Jay Marriotti, Bill Conlin, Dan Shaunessy (not checking spelling), Mike Lupica, Richard Justice, and Dan LeBetard.

I wonder if East Coast baseball fans realize how stupid they sound. I doubt it.

2007-03-06 01:54:22
80.   Andrew Shimmin
If you're still trying to make friends over at ItD, Brock, the spring training jerseys are now for sale.

http://tinyurl.com/2l76u6

2007-03-06 02:01:52
81.   Greg Brock
I'm busy engaging in East Coast vs. West Coast baseball journalism over at BTF. But I'll drop the link at ItD.
2007-03-06 06:13:52
82.   Vishal
[10] hah! i totally had the same thought.
2007-03-06 07:50:50
83.   Hythloday
81 - Is this along the lines of Tupac and Biggie or more of a Rob Burgundy throw-down?
2007-03-06 07:51:12
84.   Hythloday
Ron Burgundy that is.
2007-03-06 08:12:54
85.   Penarol1916
83. Neither, it is a case of someone starting a fight that wasn't there. It appears that none of the posters insulted the whole of West Coast sports writing, just the poor, and uninformed coverage of the Dodgers as an example of poor baseball coverage in general and the only place they seem to like baseball writers is in Kansas City and St. Louis. And nobody seemed to mention those sportswriters that Greg mentioned in 79. except to make fun of them. Not exactly our friend's finest hour on the internet.
2007-03-06 08:48:39
86.   Benaiah
I didn't really like "Heroes" last night. It had its usual "how am I going to wait until the next episode cliffhanger" endings, but for the first time the show had a truly terrible special effect (the shape-changer, who just disappears and reappears as someone else) and a lot of it just felt like a step back from last episode (Claire is whining like she doesn't understand why she needs to leave after her dad got shot just so she could go). Still, the cliffhangers were great and I will be paying rapt attention this week.
2007-03-06 08:49:18
87.   D4P
And Top Gun is slightly less heterosexual than Harvey Fierstein dancing with Andrew Sullivan at a Tony Kushner play

There's nothing gay about it in their eyes. It's guy love, between two guys.

2007-03-06 08:54:40
88.   Benaiah
87 - The only funny part of that episode. I was watching an episode of "Scrubs" from season 2 last night and it was so much better. Real characters, reality bending jokes and Dr. Cox was still a tough guy instead of the weaker less prone to long speeches shell of himself that he has become. Nevertheless:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/03/06/television.scrubs.reut/index.html

2007-03-06 09:24:08
89.   D4P
88
Yep. I feel the same way about Scrubs that Andrew feels about The Simpsons. It's just not as good as it used to be, but it's still good for a few laughs. The most recent episode (a "clips" episode) was quite the cop out.
2007-03-06 09:29:14
90.   old dodger fan
mlb.com has an article on the best starting rotations. They rank them as follows:

1. Tigers
2. Indians
3. Angels
4. Padres
5. White Sox

Regarding the Dodgers they say: "The Los Angeles Dodgers' trio of Derek Lowe, Schmidt and Brad Penny combined for 43 wins and more than 600 innings last season, but behind those three, there are potential health (Randy Wolf) and youth (Chad Billingsley) questions."

2007-03-06 09:43:25
91.   FirstMohican
Maddux and Wells as integral parts of a starting rotation a larger "youth quesion".
2007-03-06 09:45:17
92.   FirstMohican
Is... is...
2007-03-06 09:46:45
93.   D4P
Question... question...
2007-03-06 09:54:32
94.   dsfan
Whether further enriching Drew would have been prudent remains to be seen.

More important to me is integrity of process. Here, Ned deserves an F. He failed to stay up to speed. He failed to communicate. He failed to be proactive regarding a core player.
It is inexcusable for any GM to have so little clue as to what's going on with his own player, to not even bother to talk to him. Further, Ned obviously didn't have a feel for where the market was going.

That Ned got "surprised" was his own fault. Back in June he should have been talking to Drew. Information is power and Ned was derelict at getting it. For him to then to depict Drew as a religious hypocrite reflects poorly on Ned.

The real story here is failed process, followed by a childish, mean-spirited tantrum by a person in a leadership position. Maybe Ned was emulating the McCourts.

Independent of where Drew ended up and the sum he is getting from Boston, does Ned fully realize how badly he goofed? That's the followup story for this spring. Will we read it? You be the judge.

2007-03-06 09:56:59
95.   Bob Timmermann
Ack! It's Election Day here in South Pasadena. I almost forgot. I better get going and exercise my franchise!
2007-03-06 10:01:03
96.   Vishal
hmmm. sabathia is solid and sowers is a good prospect, but westbrook and lee both had ERAs over 4 last year... i don't think the indians have the 2nd best rotation in baseball, sorry.
2007-03-06 10:01:24
97.   Xeifrank
94. Ned dropped the ball and as any mature adult would do, he burned someone else in effigy. vr, Xei
2007-03-06 10:02:50
98.   Xeifrank
90. Did Sarah write that?
vr, Xei
2007-03-06 10:06:18
99.   natepurcell
41

not so much wilco, but arcade fire, some rilo kiley, ben kweller, stuff like that. I listen to a wide range of music though.

2007-03-06 10:09:33
100.   old dodger fan
94 I would have prefered Ned to have said either:

A) I felt that considering his health etc, that 3 years and $33 million was fair and all we could do. Good luck to him.

or

B) Wow did I mess up. I wasn't minding the store. I am sorry and it won't happen again.

Either of those would have been OK. Blaming JD and questioning his character for exercising an option in his contract reflected more poorly on Ned than on JD. Let's hope it gets better.

Regarding his deals, I like the Schmidt and Wolf deals. Much as I hated to see them go I understand the Gagne and Maddux decisions. Pierre is a little tougher one to understand but I want to reserve judgement for a bit. I sure wish we still had Edwin Jackson and Joel Guzman though.

This post turned out longer than I thought it would. Just some stuff I have been thinking about.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-03-06 10:10:17
101.   StolenMonkey86
Josh links to a good article in the Press-Enterprise about Kuo. A lot of it you'd likely already know, but there were a few good bits that were news to me.
2007-03-06 10:10:24
102.   Benaiah
99 - I thought you really dug hard-rock. Like metal. Molly really likes the Decemberists and that was my favorite album of last year.
2007-03-06 10:10:26
103.   natepurcell
if anyone cares, the new Aereogramme has already taken my album of the year award.
2007-03-06 10:12:10
104.   kinbote
i have a question:

why is kemp seeing so much spring time in centerfield?

i thought we had established that he couldn't play there. i'm confused . . .

2007-03-06 10:12:11
105.   natepurcell
102

well i do. Im actually really picky about the specific bands in each genre i like. but the range of genres is really large. Im actually a huge decemberists fan as well. The crane wife did get alot of play in my ipod last year but still not as much as picaresque.

2007-03-06 10:13:58
106.   StolenMonkey86
96 - Exactly what I was thinking. Maybe they blame everything on Martinez.
2007-03-06 10:16:40
107.   overkill94
Welp, time for me to head out to Florida to see what these boys are made of. I'll be going to the next 5 games so I'll try to get some sort of write-up on everyone significant. Not sure how much internet access I'll have, but I'll give updates as often as I can and hopefully one big wrap-up once I get back.
2007-03-06 10:17:19
108.   Benaiah
105 - I loved picaresque and Castaways and Cutouts (but somehow I never have listened to Her Majesty) but the Crane Wife was easily my favorite album of last year. It hit all the right buttons for me.

When I was in high school I was really into hard rock, though probably only in a limited way (I wasn't goth and I didn't go to concerts), but now I can't stand it. But I listen to Wilco, Ryan Adams and the Decemberists so obviously I have softened in my old (23) age.

2007-03-06 10:19:51
109.   old dodger fan
Of Cleveland they say:
"Three lefties and two right-handers. Five guys who answer the bell, with the fewest missed starts of any team in baseball last year, and a proven ability to succeed at the Major League level. The Indians have all that in C.C. Sabathia (12-11, 3.22 ERA, 192 2/3), Jake Westbrook (15-10, 4.17 ERA, 211 1/3), Cliff Lee (14-11, 4.40 ERA, 200 2/3), Paul Byrd (10-9, 4.88 ERA, 179) and Jeremy Sowers (7-4, 3.57 ERA in 14 starts last year)."
2007-03-06 10:20:44
110.   Vishal
are we now seriously arguing about who is the most musically compatible with molly? come on guys.

i think the arcade fire is probably the single most overrated indie band of the past few years.

2007-03-06 10:21:55
111.   overkill94
90 The Indians??? Are they serious?

Sabathia's a nice anchor to the rotation, but after that you have a soft-tosser with one good year (Westbrook), an inconsistent but promising lefty (C. Lee), a total has-been (Byrd), and a youngster with even more question marks than Billingsley (Sowers). I don't think they'd even make most top-10 lists.

2007-03-06 10:22:02
112.   natepurcell
108

Im around two years younger then you and it seems im heading in that direction already. But then I put in my old botch and converge albums and im right back in high school with a smile ear to ear.

2007-03-06 10:23:42
113.   bhsportsguy
As Michael said to Sonny, "It's business Sonny, not personal."

I don't think there was any way that Drew was going to give up the option to opt out given the contract.

Most here, hate any deal that involves a no-trade clause and that is what both Drew and Boras said they wanted from the Dodgers though ultimately they made a deal with Boston that only allows them the chance to veto a trade to 2 teams. Now Boras has said that there is no way that Boston deals Drew but how can he be sure and if so, why not get in writing.

Did Ned say somethings maybe he shouldn't have said, sure but I think its really a non-story.

2007-03-06 10:24:07
114.   overkill94
110 Bite your tongue, Funeral was probably the best album of the last five years. Unfortunately, their upcoming album is supposed to be a letdown.

BTW, who is Molly?

2007-03-06 10:24:44
115.   D4P
108,112
You've got another 8-10 years before you've moved on to Dido
2007-03-06 10:24:52
116.   natepurcell
110

I think we all want a girl who listens to good music, loves sports (especially the dodgers), and writes for espn the magazine.

2007-03-06 10:27:06
117.   D4P
116
And it would be nice if her skirt is short and her jacket is long
2007-03-06 10:28:20
118.   regfairfield
Top five rotations is a pretty interesting question once you start normalizing for defense and park factor. Here's what I'm thinking:

1. Angels
2. Red Sox
3. Marlins
4. Tigers
5. Dodgers

2007-03-06 10:28:56
119.   Steve
are we now seriously arguing about who is the most musically compatible with molly?

When the answer is so obviously going to be D4P?

2007-03-06 10:33:41
120.   D4P
Torii Hunter with a double. Oh for the days when we joked about having Torii in centerfield...
2007-03-06 10:36:20
121.   robohobo
120. Pierre feels robbed if he hits a double. He doesn't get the opportunity to steal second.
2007-03-06 10:40:59
122.   still bevens
110 I'm with you on this one. Capable indie band from Canada makes capable album, world salivates. I don't get it.
2007-03-06 10:41:19
123.   kinbote
that rotation article is terrible. i think boston HAS to be included, and the dodgers should also make the top five based on depth alone.

if it were me:

1. boston
2. detroit
3. philly
4. dodgers
5. angels

2007-03-06 10:46:17
124.   Vishal
[112] yeah, i'm 25 and i still love me some converge and blood brothers. but it's true, these days i usually find myself listening to softer music, like stars and neko case.

for sheer enjoyment factor though, minus the bear beats all.

2007-03-06 10:47:48
125.   kinbote
[answering own question]

maybe kemp is seeing time in cf because we're giving actual thought to carrying him on the bench instead of repko.

or we're shopping him.

or we're planning on moving pierre to lf next year :)

2007-03-06 10:50:10
126.   Steve
The clucking! It's working! Hendrickson just laid waste to a bunch of minor league fodder! No 63.00 ERA indeed.
2007-03-06 10:50:53
127.   D4P
126
I guess he can get better after all. In your face, Nate Silver!
2007-03-06 10:52:27
128.   natepurcell
124

indeed, minus the bear can be listened to any time. love those dancy grooves.

2007-03-06 10:55:46
129.   Benaiah
From today's Dodger mailbag:

Last year and again this spring, when Matt Kemp and Jason Repko are both in the lineup, Little plays Kemp in center and Repko in right. This positioning seems backwards to me -- can you explain Little's reasoning?
-- Don C., Goshen, Conn.

My best explanation is that, because it's Spring Training, he wants to see if Kemp can play center field. He already knows that Repko can. If it continued to real games, I'd agree with you. I don't see Kemp as a center fielder. Pierre is signed for five years and center field is his position; however, maybe the long-range plan is to move Pierre to left because of his throwing arm and put up with Kemp's flaws in center because of his potential.

God help us all if that is the plan.

2007-03-06 11:10:40
130.   FirstMohican
115 - Ned might be on the same page as Michael Scott: "Of course it's personal. Business is the most personal thing in the world."
2007-03-06 11:12:30
131.   Steve
Maybe we'll try quacking like a duck next time.
2007-03-06 11:17:46
132.   CajunDodger
129
Here are my ETAs on our prospects and when they will be ready

LaRoche: Now
Loney: Now
Billingsley: Now (bullpen)
Kuo: Now (Starter)
Miller: 2008 (SP/RP)
Kemp: 2008
Meloan: 2008
Elbert: Mid 2008
Kershaw: 2009

We only have 25 roster slots. Where are we going to put all of these guys? I think that the ranks should be thinned a bit (though Kershaw, LaRoche, and Kemp should be considered untouchable unless A-Rod is involved) to bring in Carl Crawford or a hitter of similar skills.

2007-03-06 11:21:25
133.   StolenMonkey86
132 - So you're saying get a good player from Tampa Bay?
2007-03-06 11:23:49
134.   regfairfield
Just using your time table:

LaRoche: 3B (Betemit becomes utility, Martinez is DFAd)
Loney: 1B/OF
Bills: Rotation/Bullpen
Kuo: Rotation/Bullpen
Miller: Bullpen (replaces Beimel)
Meloan: Bullpen (replaces Dessens)
Elbert: Rotation (replaces Hendrickson)
Kershaw: Rotation (replaces Lowe)

So, plenty of room avaialable.

2007-03-06 11:28:11
135.   still bevens
Ned sounds like Brando on gameday audio.
2007-03-06 11:31:24
136.   old dodger fan
132
25 roster spots and pitchers will be 12 of them by the 3rd week if not earlier.

13-24 (not in any order except that I think barring injury they will be on the roster)
13 Martin
14 Lieberthal
15 Garciaparra
16 Kent
17 Furcal
18 Ethier
19 Pierre
20 Gonzalez
21 Anderson
22 Repko
23 Saenz
24 Betemit

25 Martinez, Loney, La Roche, Kemp, Young (pick one)

If you like more than 1 guy in the 25 spot you have to get rid of someone above them. No fair picking Pierre because it isn't going to happen.

What would you do?

2007-03-06 11:31:35
137.   Eric Enders
135 I was just thinking he sounds exactly like Bill Pullman in "Spaceballs."
2007-03-06 11:34:38
138.   bhsportsguy
137 He sounds a lot (I mean a lot) like Brian Sabean, Giants GM.
2007-03-06 11:41:21
139.   Benaiah
136 - I pick Loney, because I think he is as ready as ready gets. I don't understand why we need a 12 man pitching staff though, so I would put Kemp on the team too (though Martinez will be hard to unseat).
2007-03-06 11:45:06
140.   Eric Enders
136 11 pitchers, Loney, and Martinez.
2007-03-06 11:45:11
141.   bhsportsguy
For those who think these types of comments are important, on the webcast, Ned says he is has been impressed by Greg Miller and Andy La Roche so far this spring.
2007-03-06 11:51:56
142.   Benaiah
What happened? How did we score 4 runs?
2007-03-06 11:54:41
143.   Eric Enders
Steiner's rusty, he missed a great opportunity. He just said "Hu is aboard" instead of "Hu's on first."
2007-03-06 11:54:58
144.   D4P
142
3.5 and Lucille each hit 2-run singles
2007-03-06 11:56:27
145.   Eric Enders
142 A homer for Wilson Valdez, then a rally fueled by our young hitters. Ethier, LaRoche, Kemp and Loney all reached base in the inning.
2007-03-06 12:06:51
146.   Snowdog
Re: Drew and the thought that Ned should have been talking with him since June. Consider the fact the JD himself says he had no thoughts of opting out until Boras called him after the season ended. From the LATimes today:

Although Drew, 31, said he was aware he had an option in his contract, it wasn't until he was approached by agent Scott Boras after the season that he considered invoking it.

"I honestly never thought about that," he said. "I kind of laughed it off thinking, 'We're happy in L.A., we're not really thinking [along] the lines of leaving.' [Boras] said, 'I need you to seriously consider this' and he kind of laid out some options for me and said, 'Hey, this is what I think could happen. With a young family and thinking about having additions to that family I want you to have some job security. I want you to be able to kind of dictate where you're playing for a few years.' "

Drew said he and his wife, Sheigh, agonized over the decision for two days before finally agreeing to exercise the contract option Nov. 9. That was two days before the deadline but three days after Boras told Colletti over lunch that his client could be leaving."

No hard feelings to Drew from me - he did what was within his right, but I can see that Ned let his emotions out a bit much, but moreso toward Boras, than anything Drew did. Did Boras have a buyer in place before JD opted out? We'll never know, but there is a slight stink to things since the rumor at the time was Boston, and that's where he ended up.

2007-03-06 12:06:52
147.   Steve
Eric Karros reports that Mark Hendrickson is thrilled with his performance today. He then began to moo uncontrollably.
2007-03-06 12:13:58
148.   Dark Horse
146-This is how it seems to me too. To imagine that Ned did something 'inappropriate,' or 'unprofessional' or unmanly in venting his feelings (which struck me, as he did it, as being pretty mild) is like abusing Drew for not being a gamer, for being oft-injured, for being dispassionate. They're two sides of the same coin, both erroneous and not nearly as revealing as people seem to pretend.
2007-03-06 12:16:35
149.   regfairfield
He should be. He dropped his Spring ERA by 50 points.
2007-03-06 12:17:12
150.   Steve
Your prediction came true!
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-03-06 12:30:56
151.   Andrew Shimmin
Slate's Mickey Kaus launches one over Bob's bow.

http://www.slate.com/id/2160585/&#pushypriuses

2007-03-06 12:40:19
152.   Benaiah
1148 - Those comments reveal that Ned was unprepared for an event that everyone else knew about (at least everyone here in obsessive Dodger land, where I would assume the GM of the Dodgers has a residence) and that further, an event Ned had special information about (his conversation with Boras). In an offseason where Ned was widely criticized (in mainstream sources like ESPN, not just here on the tubes among Google-boys and slide-rule fetishists) for a signing that would have been unnecessary (by Ned's admission in the LAtimes) if Drew had stayed, don't you think it is telling that Ned not ignored the possibility of the option, but then he made angry comments after the fact? If Ned simply wouldn't give Drew more money, I understand (I don't agree, but I understand). However, when the best paid (and arguably best in general) player on the team has an option that might take him off the team, surely you call and find out what he is thinking about that option, and maybe encourage him to stay if that is what you prefer. Supposedly they had a good relationship, so even in the macho baseball world is that too much to ask? Figure out what Drew wants, and if it is 5 years and 70 million, then see you wish him good luck (and file a tampering suit later), but maybe it is something more palatable. Ned didn't do a very good job, and then he flipped out to the press because Drew had made his life difficult by doing what was best for himself.
2007-03-06 12:40:19
153.   Sam DC
Overhead at the Nationals' game chat:

The only disappointing thing about not having Frank around is that with this pitching staff, he'd likely, by May, go out to the mound and kill one of the pitchers with his bare hands.

Nats losing 9-6 to the Braves.

2007-03-06 12:42:24
154.   Sam DC
Really, if you want to see a horror show, scroll down to the entry Pitching Pool and see the submissions people have made trying to guess the first five pitchers to get starts for the Nationals this year.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/

2007-03-06 12:46:07
155.   robohobo
154. Here in one vote for Joel Hanrahnahanhananahan
2007-03-06 12:49:41
156.   Eric Enders
I'm crossing my fingers for a Twins rally. I want to listen to more baseball this afternoon.
2007-03-06 12:50:16
157.   Eric Enders
Right as I hit submit, the game ended. Good guys win 7-4.
2007-03-06 12:51:11
158.   jasonungar05
It seems that NED wanted Drew to opt out.

It seems that Drew was not going to be a Dodger in 2007 no matter how it would have played out. Either by trad or opting out cause 152 is right; you don't treat your most talented player like that unless you didnt want him.

2007-03-06 12:53:37
159.   Sam DC
Don't miss the Buck O'Neil book excerpt up at Bronx Banter.

Really.

Go read it right now.

2007-03-06 12:54:14
160.   El Lay Dave
154 Brett Tomko or Mark Hendrickson.

Or both.....

2007-03-06 13:02:37
161.   Sam DC
What, no poem?
2007-03-06 13:03:24
162.   Jon Weisman
158 - Much less impressive new post up top.
2007-03-06 13:24:02
163.   Dark Horse
152-Not everyone 'knew about it,' since as I recall here at DT, many, many of us were surprised when Drew opted out and had been inclined to believe his remarks about loving LA and intending to stay. (Drew himself appeared to believe them, per this morning's Times article; there's no criticism in that.) To imagine that Colletti had "special information" seems far-fetched too. Who knows what Boras told him? We'll never, that's for sure. To be clear: this is not Colletti's proudest moment, but it doesn't in any way seem to me inept or even especially careless. And while I'm neither a "slide-rule fetishist" nor an EPSN lout--somewhere in between maybe--I betray my own bias by suggesting, while I'd far prefer Drew to Pierre to put it mildly, I'd bet you dollars-to donuts still that the new Drew contract proves far worse for Boston in the long run than the Pierre contract will for us. I know, I could get crucified for such heresy, but we might just wait and see.
2007-03-06 13:55:10
164.   Benaiah
163 - Everyone here knew about the option itself, and Colletti had the special information that Boras informed him of the option and asked him to restructure the contract (none of us knew about that). The whole thing was handled poorly, which will happen, but to publicly criticize Drew for something that seems to be your own fault is both inept and unprofessional (to me anyway).

I would take that bet any day of the week because I firmly believe that Pierre is a net negative and five years of him will be so detrimental that Drew will only have to have to be healthy every other year to be a bargain by comparison. I would rather pay Drew an extra 5 million any day of the week, because at least you get something back. Plus, since Boston has injury provisions in the contract it is less risky (less money on the line) for infinitely more reward.

2007-03-06 14:18:53
165.   thinkblue0
164-

The whole thing was handled poorly, which will happen, but to publicly criticize Drew for something that seems to be your own fault is both inept and unprofessional (to me anyway).

I agree...and the fact of the matter is, we'll never know exactly what went on between Ned/Boras/Drew. But, as a fan, the one thing that irked me is that during the season Drew alluded to the fact that leaving wasn't really an option for him. If he just shut his mouth, or even said he wasn't sure, then I wouldn't be irritated at all because he has the clause in his contract and it's his right to opt out...but don't mess with the fans like that.

Completely agree on Pierre...but that horse has been beaten to death, brought back to life, and beaten to death again. I'm just hoping to god Pierre can play some pretty good defense and get his OBP up.

2007-03-06 14:19:59
166.   Dark Horse
I stand corrected, viz the first part of your post (insofar as you're right, Boras did inform him as such) but am serenely--OK, almost serenely--confident Pierre's contract will not nearly be the albatross we all believe it is, just as I am inclined to suspect Drew will be no great bargain or benefit to Boston. Why do I believe such things? I do not know. I like Drew; I do not like Pierre. It is, probably, mere fan foolishness. Yet time is going to tell and residual alarm over losing JD Drew of all people--not Matt Kemp or Russell Martin--seems wasteful to me. That's all.

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