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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Prediction Time Is Upon Us
2007-03-15 14:30
by Jon Weisman

Rich Lederer of Baseball Analysts previews the National League West with another of the world's greatest baseball writers, Joe Posnanski, at The Soul of Baseball:

Who do you think is the best everyday player in the division?

Rafael Furcal. Can that be? Wow, this division really is weak.

* * *

Update: Did Mark Hendrickson just banish Hong-Chih Kuo to the minors?

I've been feeling pretty adamant that Kuo would start the season in the Dodger starting rotation once it expanded to five pitchers, but like it or not, Hendrickson might have made the job his own to lose with five innings of shutout ball against the Cardinals today. Or did he merely increase his trade value?

Of course, it would be just like the Cardinals, who have treated the Dodgers so roughly in recent times, to sabotage Los Angeles by encouraging the Dodgers to pick Hendrickson. Remember, I sugested Hendrickson might have made the job his own to lose.

Kuo is next scheduled to follow Brad Penny on the mound Friday against Boston and Daisuke Matsuzaka. And Brett Tomko lurks.

For now, I'm standing by my Kuo prediction.

Comments (229)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-03-15 14:40:36
1.   Rick
Yes, so weak that it sent two teams to the playoffs last season ...
2007-03-15 14:42:56
2.   Jon Weisman
I think it gets down to the whole AL-NL thing. In the NL, the division isn't weak, but for all of baseball, it's probably below average.
2007-03-15 14:44:27
3.   bhsportsguy
Ironic, based on the discussions about shortstops.

Raffy is one of the few guys who has enough history to make safe outcome predictions but is also young enough where you don't expect any real swings up or down.

Otherwise you have old, declining players on one side and some young guys who may take a while to get adjusted.

I see this as a one year if not shorter reign for Furcal.

2007-03-15 14:47:13
4.   Sushirabbit
ESPN reports Bowie Kuhn dead.
2007-03-15 14:47:59
5.   bhsportsguy
The euphoria of winning often shades the memory, I watched a replay of the UCLA vs. Memphis game last night and on no level is that a watchable game, tons of missed free throws (majority UCLA but Memphis missed their share), poor shooting and lots of unforced turnovers.

However, two things were clear. Defense much tighter on the perimeter and Hollins was a force that UCLA does not have right now. (Whoever thought someone could type "Hollins was force" and mean it)

2007-03-15 14:48:48
6.   underdog
I think the NL West is Weak arguments will hopefully soon be a thing of the past (or, as I told a friend who roots for an AL team recently when he made the same comment, "That's so 2005!"!) Some of the best young players in baseball are now in that division and there's no bad team in it. Whether the top team(s) in the NL West are good enough to win the world series yet is not yet determined, but the fact that the Cardinals somehow won the WS last year gives us all hope and should also defy those obnoxious AL-cheerleaders.
2007-03-15 14:49:24
7.   bhsportsguy
4 Griddle broke free from its NCAA coverage to cover it.

BTW, is it proper to refer to it as Griddle, "The Griddle" is so East Coast.

2007-03-15 14:51:29
8.   underdog
I did like this, however:
"Who do you think is the best closer in the division?

Jonathan Broxton. Oh, wait, you mean actual closers? Trevor Hoffman."

2007-03-15 14:53:36
9.   Terry A
4 - In much better news, my son was born yesterday morning.

Eight pounds, five ounces, and a ton of red hair (the presence of which his mother has yet to sufficiently explain). :)

2007-03-15 14:55:23
10.   Jon Weisman
Yea, Terry!
2007-03-15 14:56:12
11.   Sushirabbit
Oops forgot Griddle (as usual).

I think Furcal would be a pretty good player for most teams.

Hey Twerp, you wanna go to any of the 51s games? I usually try and take my kid to at least two. I can usually get dugout seats for one game from my company (which I thought was your company, too). I just don't know which game it is till a week out.

2007-03-15 14:58:08
12.   twerp
Congrats! Another southern DT commenter. Our numbers might even build to 5 or 10 over time.
2007-03-15 14:58:22
13.   Jon Weisman
Update within this post up top.
2007-03-15 14:58:36
14.   Sushirabbit
9 Congratulations! My 2 month old has his mom's red hair.
2007-03-15 15:01:41
15.   Greg Brock
9 That's great, Terry. Heartiest of congratulations!

{awkward white guy high five}

2007-03-15 15:03:04
16.   bigcpa
Hey folks- reporting from Jupiter. Fun game today with the over-30's back at Vero. Kemp hit 3 balls HARD- two for hits. LaRoche missed a long grand slam by 10-15 feet in the first. Meloan appeared to be throwing 95+ but got behind Chris Duncan and gave up a long HR. The final out was also nearly hit out. Looking forward to seeing Matsusaka tomorrow.
2007-03-15 15:04:34
17.   CajunDodger
Can't have enough Southerners...
2007-03-15 15:05:10
18.   bhsportsguy
Congrats to all new Dodger fans and their parents.

As far as the pitching situation, unfortunately, depending on your point of view, the main guys involved, Tomko, Hendrickson, Kuo and Billingsley (before being sent to the pen), have pitched well recently so it makes the choice more difficult.

If only 3B could be this competitive.

2007-03-15 15:06:09
19.   Vishal
Who do you think is the best everyday player in the division?

matt holliday?

2007-03-15 15:08:15
20.   twerp
11 Sushirab, thanks for the thought. Appealing idea. My schedule will be weird, so I don't know how it might work out. Keep me posted.
2007-03-15 15:09:26
21.   trainwreck
Congrats Terry!

You are keeping the red hair gene alive.

2007-03-15 15:10:28
22.   CajunDodger
What about Pierre? ;-)
2007-03-15 16:10:23
23.   Xeifrank
Even with Hendrickson and Tomko pitching well, I think it's Guo's job to lose, which he very well may do. He needs to keep his walk rate down, otherwise I can't argue in his favor anymore. My glass half-full, is thinking this gives a bit of a boost to Henrickson's and Tomko's trade value (if that's possible). vr, Xei
2007-03-15 16:11:45
24.   Andrew Shimmin
Juan Pierre makes the big time over at FJM.
2007-03-15 16:14:11
25.   Andrew Shimmin
Even with his crummy walk rate, Kuo is better than Hendrickson. There is no excuse for letting Hendrickson start a game this year. It wouldn't be a good idea to give Tomko a start, but I think we need to differentiate between that pair. Tomko is not a good pitcher; Hendrickson doesn't belong on a major league roster.
2007-03-15 16:20:18
26.   twerp
Anyone interested in commentary on A-Rod and Boras and opt-out clauses and such (after he said yesterday he wanted to remain a Yankee?)

If so, check out the picture of Boras. He looks like he could use Preparation H.

2007-03-15 16:22:21
27.   trainwreck
The idea Kuo should lose his starting role because of spring training (and he has been good in spring training) bothers me so much.
2007-03-15 16:22:43
28.   trainwreck
Spring training is the reason Scott Erickson pitched for us.
2007-03-15 16:25:57
29.   Xeifrank
27. I agree, but if we can snooker someone into giving up something for the likes of Tomko then it deadens the pain a little bit.

Jon, can you provide any kind of link that shows that Guo is NOT out of options? Thanks.
vr, Xei

2007-03-15 16:27:06
30.   twerp
26. Also check out Nos. 1 and 2 on the writer's list of dumb owners who might bite.

Ned and Frank probably have had enough of opt-out clauses.

2007-03-15 16:30:59
31.   Dave
Congratulations Terry, that's great news.

The red hair may remain a mystery, it's hard to blame the milkman these days.

2007-03-15 16:31:15
32.   Andrew Shimmin
Kuo has been called up in two years 2005, and 2006. This will be his last option year. This link isn't about Kuo, specifically, but it gives an overview of roster rules.

2007-03-15 16:31:23
33.   Jon Weisman
29 - It's only his second season in the majors - Kuo is not out of options. They have only used one on him.
2007-03-15 16:32:00
34.   Jon Weisman
Oh - I forgot about 2005. I defer to Andrew.
2007-03-15 16:48:27
35.   sanchez101
I wouldn't have a problem with Hendrickson taking a few starts in April.

For one, while he was not as good as his ERA in TB looked (and I think its silly to think that Colletti actually thought Hendrickson was 3.81 ERA good), he was not as bad as his ERA in LA was.

Contrary to what many believe, he is a legitimate starting pitcher. Its just that he's only a fifth stater. His PERA the last three years are 4.40, 4.62, and 4.62 in TB and 4.10 in LA in 2006. In LA he was partly a reliever, but your still looking at a mid-4's ERA pitcher.

I think the reason Dioner Navarro and Jae Seo were the necessary price to pay for Hendrickson was not that Colletti was overestimating his value, but because Colletti was shopping for a SP in May. There isn't much of a market for starters that early in the year so you are going to pay a premium. That is why Hendrickson cost more than Maddux.

On the same theme, couldn't the Dodgers wait for some team looking for starting pitching in April/May and get them to pay us a premium for Hendrickson's services?

I don't think Hendrickson is going to make or break the Dodgers season if given 3-5 starts - and it allows LA to limit the workloads of Kuo and Billingsley.

2007-03-15 16:52:59
36.   Bob Timmermann
Red hair?

Time to have those alleles examined.

2007-03-15 16:53:33
37.   Greg Brock
I don't think Hendrickson is going to make or break the Dodgers season if given 3-5 starts.

If we lose the division by a game, and Lurch went 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA, I will not be a happy panda.

2007-03-15 16:56:12
38.   Andrew Shimmin
213 Pitchers projected to have at least 100IP this year, by PECOTA, rank higher than Hendrickson in projected PERA.
2007-03-15 16:57:33
39.   Bob Timmermann
The St. Patrick's Day parade in L.A. will be tomorrow.

It starts at Olvera Street. Robert Patrick is the grand marshal.

2007-03-15 16:58:44
40.   still bevens
Dear Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday,

Your comment during the March 15, 2007 spring training game regarding Rafael Furcal's lack of seeing pitches is erroneous. In fact, Furcal was in the top 5 of the national league hitters in pitches seen.

A fan

ps: Tell Tanya Roberts I say hello.

2007-03-15 16:59:37
41.   still bevens
Wow this warm weather is resulting in bunch of home runs.
2007-03-15 17:03:24
42.   sanchez101
38. point taken, but your still looking at a guy that over the past three years has consitently been fifth starter material.

My point is that over something like 20 innings a pitcher like Hendrickson could put up an ERA of 7.00 just as likely as he could put up an ERA of 3.00. If he's stinks, he goes to the pen and eventually to the minors or another org. If he survives, you trade him for more than he's worth and he becomes another teams problem. Hendrickson's upside isn't that he'll be a solid starter, it's that he'll have a few good outings and garner the Dodgers something more usefull than Hendrickson.

2007-03-15 17:04:15
43.   Bob Timmermann
These pretzels are really making me thirsty!
2007-03-15 17:11:44
44.   El Lay Dave
Hendrickson made 12 starts for the Dodgers last year.

Two were definitely good:

7/15 6.7 5 1 1 2 4 1

8/22 6 5 1 1 0 4 0

One was weird, a lot of baserunners but only two runs:

8/11 7 10 2 2 4 3 0

Two were mediocre (at best - one with SEVEN walks!), but there was enough "run support" that the Dodgers won:

7/30 6 6 3 3 7 3 0
8/6 6 6 3 3 2 4 0

The other seven starts were BAD:

7 games 32.7 54 33 28 10 18 6

2007-03-15 17:19:31
45.   El Lay Dave
39 Does it head from Olvera St. to Chinatown?
2007-03-15 17:21:04
46.   twerp
If a blockbuster trade could be put together sending Hendrickson, Tomko, and Penny--THREE starters--to a team desperate for starting pitching, who might that team be and what could the Dodgers expect to get back?

Seems like providing 60% of a team's rotation would be a very big bargaining chip and should reap an All-Star caliber player as centerpiece of whatever came back.

Are there teams desperate for pitching that have impact players who'd fit on the Dodgers? Who?

2007-03-15 17:24:58
47.   Jim Hitchcock


2007-03-15 17:25:11
48.   Greg Brock
46 The same teams that are always desperate for pitching...Texas, Chicago, Milwaukee, Tampa, Baltimore, Pittsburgh...

They don't have many players we want, unless you look at Tampa...And Steve might start taking hostages if we deal with them.

I'd take Jason Bay or Mark Texeira!

2007-03-15 17:25:49
49.   Jim Hitchcock
Robert Freakin Patrick?
2007-03-15 17:27:35
50.   bhsportsguy
You do have to wonder if they had to do it all over again, would they have purchased Kuo's contract in September for a team destined to finish how they did.

I will forever blame the Padres for not closing the door earlier, it could have solved a lot of roster questions left unanswered and since Tracy and DePodesta both got canned anyway, would it have hurt them to make some deals when they could have.

I guess Weaver gave us Morris and Mattingly so it wasn't all bad.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-03-15 17:30:03
51.   sanchez101
46. No team is looking for three starters. I don't think that ever happens.

What you're looking for is some team with playoff aspirations that find themeselves desperate for a starter due to injury. Pretty much the exact situation the Dodgers were in 10-11 months ago. It also helps if the GM has one year left to accomplish something or face dismissal.

The Cubs are one obvious potential fit. The problem with them is that they have so many young pitchers to look at before going outside the organization.

The Reds have some crap in their rotation, but also have Homer Bailey waiting in the wings. The Astros don't have a SP prospect ready for the majors and Woody Williams is their #3 pitcher. The Mets and Braves are a possibilities.

2007-03-15 17:33:49
52.   trainwreck
When the Mets realize they have no dependable pitching we can give them pitching for Milledge : )
2007-03-15 17:37:57
53.   sanchez101
52. It seems like we've been talking about trading pitching for Milledge for a long time. Hopefully this is the year. I like the sound of Ethier, Milledge, Kemp in the OF. If Colletti can get Milledge that writes Pierre's ticket out of town.
2007-03-15 17:54:42
54.   El Lay Dave
46 The Nats, but they wouldn't give the Dodgers Zimmerman, would they?
2007-03-15 17:55:07
55.   Greg Brock
Everybody has traded for Milledge. He's been traded to the A's about sixteen times by now.
2007-03-15 17:55:30
56.   trainwreck
Even Jim Bowden is not that stupid.
2007-03-15 17:56:40
57.   trainwreck
Paulus trying to start a fight.
2007-03-15 17:57:02
58.   trainwreck
wrong thread lol
2007-03-15 17:58:51
59.   Bob Timmermann
I remember when Alex Escobar was being traded all the time.

I don't think anybody is all that eager to have Alex Escobar on their team.

He's been in and out of the lineup in spring training for Washington because of injuries.

2007-03-15 18:00:57
60.   thinkblue0
jumping in late here...

I just can't see any logic behind having Hendrickson in the fifth spot. Does one shutout spring training game negate what we've seen from him in the past? I'm not here to bash Hendrickson by any means, but having him in the rotation over Kuo (if it happens) really makes zero sense.

As far as the comment about the weak division...I find these statements amusing. Sure the NL West isn't the AL East or anything, but this is a really good divsion with a lot of GREAT young players all around. The Dodgers, Dbacks, Pads all have good pitching staffs and some really talented young players.

2007-03-15 18:02:52
61.   thinkblue0
If we lose the division by a game, and Lurch went 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA, I will not be a happy panda.

exactly. These games in April count just as much. If they don't want to start Bills...fine. But to give the job to Hendrickson over Kuo (and even Tomko for that matter) just doesn't add up.

2007-03-15 18:03:26
62.   trainwreck
Rockies have good young players too. The Giants have some nice young pitchers, but their offense will probably be garbage.
2007-03-15 18:07:22
63.   Bob Timmermann
The Giants have nice young pitchers like Russ Ortiz.
2007-03-15 18:07:56
64.   thinkblue0


2007-03-15 18:13:36
65.   thinkblue0

But is anyone going to take Pierre and his contract?

2007-03-15 18:18:56
66.   twerp
44, 60, others. Hendrickson didn't get a lot of relief innings but did post very good bullpen numbers toward the end of last season. That's after he started using the sports physchologist.

Given that his last 3 spring starts show 10 IP,7H,2R,1ER, 2BB, 7SO, 0 HR following the good numbers at the end of last year, and given that he's a lefty who apparently can start AND relieve, is his value ever going to be higher than now?

Maybe, IF he keeps pitching like this. That he never has sustained pitching well is no guarantee he won't--at least for a while--but odds are he reverts to his usual mediocre self. If he reverts, it'd be outstanding if he did it for some other team.

BTW, how many Cardinal regulars were in the lineup he controlled today?

2007-03-15 18:22:30
67.   Bumsrap
Trading Penny, Tomko, Hendrickson leaves a rotation of Lowe, Schmidt, Wolf, Billingsley, and Kuo. Kuo and Wolf need to prove they can pitch a full year with repaired arms. Billingsley needs to prove he won't tire at the end of the season as well as consistently get past the fifth inning.

I would love to have Zimmerman but for now I would rather have Nomar at third and Loney at first. I think the Dodgers need to wait.

But I have to think the Dodgers could make an offer that can't be refused that could include those three starters, Betemit/LaRoche, Young, Houlton and Figerora for Zimmerman.

2007-03-15 18:23:28
68.   thinkblue0
and given that he's a lefty who apparently can start AND relieve, is his value ever going to be higher than now?

probably not. With our depth, now is the time to deal him.

2007-03-15 18:25:49
69.   thinkblue0
But I have to think the Dodgers could make an offer that can't be refused that could include those three starters, Betemit/LaRoche, Young, Houlton and Figerora for Zimmerman.

there is absolutely NO way they'd do that...try mroe like Bills and Kemp and even then they'd probably refuse.

2007-03-15 18:28:30
70.   sanchez101
There probably isn't a price the Nats would ship Zimmerman for ... he's their marquee player (he's from Virginia), not to mention very good and very, very cheap. He's as untouchable to them as Martin is to us. What would someone have to offer the Dodgers to pry Martin away?
2007-03-15 18:29:48
71.   thinkblue0

Honestly? Someone like Hamels or Alex Gordon. Even that would be tough to pull the trigger on.

2007-03-15 18:33:21
72.   sanchez101
I guess if the Twins offered Santana, or the Indians offered Sizemore. But that's my point, the only way you get Zimmerman is by trading another 'untouchable' player. Gordon hasn't seen a day in the majors, is the same age (or younger), and plays the same position. Hamels, not even close - he has ace potential but a scary medical resume. Felix and Cain are the only young pitchers I would put into that kind of category - the rest have serious question marks.
2007-03-15 18:35:41
73.   Greg Brock
I wouldn't give up Zimmerman for Santana. Never. One year service time vs. two years till free agency.

Not a chance. And I want to have Santana's children, but it would be really stupid.

2007-03-15 18:35:42
74.   thinkblue0

Right, I pointed those two out since they fit what you're saying: one untouchable for another...simply put, the Nats aren't going to trade Zimmerman unless some team offers up an absolutely insane package.

2007-03-15 18:35:52
75.   trainwreck
Felix's mechanics are so bad that he is an injury waiting to happen.
2007-03-15 18:41:52
76.   sanchez101
73. I wouldn't either.

75. I haven't heard that before. It wouldn't be out of character for the Mariners, though.

2007-03-15 18:53:50
77.   regfairfield
66 Any G.M. who looks at three Spring starts and 10 innings out of the bullpen and think "wow, that 33 year old has gotten much better" deserves to be fired immediately. That would be even worse than, say, picking up a 32 year old pitcher whose stunk his whole career than thinking he turned it around after 15 starts.
2007-03-15 19:02:21
78.   El Lay Dave
77 And any G.M. who looks at x Spring appearances and thinks "wow, that 34 year old has gotten much better than his 10-year career of less than mediocre performance" also deserves to be fired immediately.

That said, Bill Bavasi is still employed.

2007-03-15 19:03:47
79.   Gen3Blue
And Bills had a couple of nice innings. I've lately been able to gather that Billingsley and Elbert are guys with incredible stuff who need to gain more control and command through experience. Bills may be starting to get it. It was when scouts contrasted them with Kershaw that they were forced to make this distinction. They seem to feel Kershaw already has the command.
2007-03-15 19:09:53
80.   Gen3Blue
I know I'm getting a bit euphoric here, but we could almost field a team of old guys and a team of young guys. We should only trade from a position of great strength. I seem to remember some similar speech from Pulp Fiction (a favorite). Some biblical thing about GREAT VENGEANCE maybe?
2007-03-15 19:10:34
81.   sanchez101
Billingsley kept the walks down in 2005 in AA and last year in AAA as well. Billingsley's problem in the majors last year was that he 'nibbled' too much - that is he was throwing too many pitches just off the plate that he was hoping were strikes. He just needs to show the aggressiveness within the strikezone that he displayed in Las Vegas and in August(1.50era).
2007-03-15 19:13:02
82.   Greg Brock
Billingsley was pretty frustrating in the majors, but he was darn good. No, he doesn't have perfect command, but he's not Mark Hendrickson or Brett Tomko.

What a waste. I am really bothered by this.

2007-03-15 19:14:09
83.   caseybarker
55 LOL
2007-03-15 19:15:52
84.   Gen3Blue
If from this bounty of pitching we trade for anymore Baez's and Hamulack's I'll cry because I can't realistically commit suicide or storm the Front office!
2007-03-15 19:18:59
85.   Gen3Blue
66 I admit it looked like rather few.
2007-03-15 19:20:20
86.   sanchez101
I think the key thing is that Billingsley's command is ready for starting at the major leagues. Elbert, not even close.

82. There is no reason to think Kuo is out of the running, he'll take his first start tomorrow against the Boston and DiceK. Even if he doesn't get into the rotation on opening day its no reason to get worked up.

The Dodgers won 88 games last year with 60, read that 60, games started by Tomko, Hendrickson, Perez, Sele, and Seo. Hendrickson or Tomko getting a handful of starts in April isn't the end of the world.

2007-03-15 19:23:45
87.   Greg Brock
Hendrickson or Tomko getting a handful of starts in April isn't the end of the world.

They all count, my friend. You have two pitchers who are younger, stronger, and better. You start two L-screens because they are "veterans" or some such nonsense. They get lit up like a Christmas tree, and you lose the division.

Just go with the best players from the get go. If they get hurt, then you can put in the batting practice pitchers.

2007-03-15 19:30:27
88.   sanchez101
Ya, they all count. But it's a 162 game season between 25-player teams. The key thing is that, yes, over 32 starts the difference btw Billingsley/Kuo over Tomko/Hendrickson is very large, something like 4-6 wins in the standings. But over 3 or 4 starts. Like I said, they all count, but there are some things worth getting worried about (like, what are the Dodgers going to do if one of Furcal or Kent is injured or how soon in Kemp ready to be a force in the middle of the lineup or will Loney ever hit for power). This isn't one of them.
2007-03-15 19:34:39
89.   El Lay Dave
87 Those BP pitchers have to be kept somewhere. If you trade both Tomko and the tall guy, K/Guo is #5, and Bills is still in the pen, is Houlton, Stults and whoever enough in the farm? Inevitably, pitchers will go down. Also, that #5 starter can be skipped some early. There is some sense to hiding some young pitching in AAA for a little while, I think.
2007-03-15 19:35:07
90.   Greg Brock
I agree that four or five starts may be marginal. But even if I only had a year, and age or contracts or free agency didn't matter, I'd still want Billingsley or Kuo. They're just flat out better pitchers.

Wouldn't a team want the better players to play? What's the point of starting Tomdrickson? They're not better pitchers than the two kids that we have.

It may not kill the team over four or five starts, but that doesn't mean it makes any sense. You see where I'm coming from?

2007-03-15 19:37:37
91.   Greg Brock
89 I would be willing to DFA Hendrickson and eat three million dollars if we can't deal him. That's how damaging I think he can be. I would deal him for a ham sandwich, and chuck him if we couldn't.

We have better arms. Everywhere.

2007-03-15 19:41:09
92.   regfairfield
89 If you're desperate to keep Hendrickson around, then just bury him in the bullpen like we buried Erickson.

Hell, I don't see much harm in DFAing him. If we end up needing our eighth starter, just pray that Elbert's ready. If he isn't, I don't see how much worse Houlton or Stults would be.

2007-03-15 19:53:31
93.   sanchez101
90."You start two L-screens because they are "veterans" or some such nonsense."
"Just go with the best players from the get go. If they get hurt, then you can put in the batting practice pitchers."

They wouldn't start because of they're veterans. They would start because Billingsely/Kuo need more time in the minors or aren't ready for a 30 start season. One of the two getting hurt is no small matter, that's the number one thing they're trying to avoid. Also, you're treating these two young pitchers like they're sure things. Young pitchers struggle too, if anything they're more inconsitent.

The last time the Dodgers gave a rotation spot to a green pitcher out of spring training was Edwin Jackson, who was a better prospect at that time than Billingsley or Kuo have ever been. How'd that work out?

The Dodger's brass knows full well how good Billingsley and Kuo are (otherwise why were they starting stretch-run games last year?) and they know full well how mediocre Hendrickson and Tomko are (which is why they were in the 'pen while the youngins were starting). They have more info than we do and are a lot smarter than us. At some point you just have to relax and trust the experts.

2007-03-15 19:57:22
94.   sanchez101
93. that should read '...the last time the Dodgers considered giving a rotation spot ...'
2007-03-15 20:01:03
95.   Greg Brock
93 Chad Billingsley isn't Edwin Jackson. Chad Billingsley is ten times more polished than Edwin Jackson ever was.

And I don't accept your assertion that the Dodgers front office is smarter than I am. Or Bob, or Steve, or Sam, or Andrew. They're probably smarter than D4P.

People move up in MLB by being in MLB. They make contacts, they network, they say the right things. Baseball is no different than any other corporate structure where patronage and friendship and connections and "dues paying" help you advance.

I don't trust people in positions of power because they've gotten there. I trust what they've done once they've been in power. And Ned scares the bejeezus out of me.

2007-03-15 20:04:17
96.   trainwreck
I don't know anyone on this board that would have traded for Hendrickson and signed Juan Pierre to that deal.
2007-03-15 20:04:57
97.   sanchez101
If you think random DT posters would do a better job running a major league team than the pros, well, I guess I can't help you.
2007-03-15 20:06:02
98.   Steve
I guess I can't help you.

Well, that part is true.

2007-03-15 20:06:48
99.   trainwreck
Come on, you got to at least picks any of us over Bill Bavasi.
2007-03-15 20:07:17
100.   trainwreck
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-03-15 20:09:41
101.   regfairfield
Do I think I would do a better job than Ned? Probably not. Could I do a better job than Dave Littlefield? Most certainly yes.
2007-03-15 20:09:51
102.   Greg Brock
97 Not random DT posters. Very smart people with a track record of smart decisions who have predicted mistakes and watched them as they've happened.

I'm just not the type of person who says, "Well, X is in power, so he must know what he's doing." X is, very often, totally incompetent. Kevin Malone was X. So was Fred Claire. Bill Bavasi is X because daddy was a legend.

I'm not saying that any of us could do the job. I'm just saying that dumb is dumb. Some of the things that our general manager have been really dumb.

2007-03-15 20:12:42
103.   Greg Brock
If I had parents who gave me their money and let me intern for a few years and paid my way, I'm sure I'd be in baseball somehow. I know scouts who are scouts because Daddy was a baseball player and they played college baseball and they didn't want to get a degree.

Baseball is hardly as tough to get into as you may think it is. It's a big time boys club times ten.

2007-03-15 20:14:03
104.   Gen3Blue
Though I appreciate that this discussion has two farily different but thoughtful positions, I am more concerned with what I think is the D's most recent position that they need to trade for relief pitching. Is this ridiculous. Maybe this is a fiction, for I can't remeber where I read it.
2007-03-15 20:15:28
105.   Indiana Jon
If random DT posters are soon going to be running the team. I would like to be in charge of concessions and bobblehead night scheduling.
2007-03-15 20:21:12
106.   Bob Timmermann
If I were put in charge of the Dodgers, I would spend all my time plotting the end of Russ Ortiz's career and how would that help the organization?

I don't even know why scouts rate skills on a 2-8 scale.

I would make the Dodgers put up a marker of some kind commemorating the team's 1889 American Association pennant.

2007-03-15 20:21:30
107.   Icaros
Don't be surprised when A. Martinez is replaced by A. Shimmin on the fan trivia board, or when Bob Timmermann serves you your next Dodger Dog.

Wait a minute, who's that? Why it's our very own D4P dragging the infield. Guess he never did get that interview...

2007-03-15 20:22:07
108.   Gen3Blue
105 you got it! But I hear J.Pierre's head won't bobble, so be careful
2007-03-15 20:23:09
109.   El Lay Dave
Sorta playing devil's advocate earlier. Dodger's may think K/Guo needs a little more seasoning - not that many innings in minors/majors.

11 pitchers started for the Dodgers last year. Of course, they sort of represent only 8 pitchers or so, Seo traded for Hendrickson, Maddux acquired after Perez was dumped etc.

Edwin Jackson was rushed - he's still only 23. But Bills had the third-most starts on the staff last year, 16.

The Dodgers also can't afford for Tomdrickson and Dessens to be 50% of their bullpen either. On the fourth hand, no middle reliever will pitch as much as a fifth starter, plus all starts are meaningful, some relief appearances are mop-up.

2007-03-15 20:24:47
110.   trainwreck
If Andrew were in charge, D4P would be Jeff Kent's personal verbal punching bag. Or real punching bag.
2007-03-15 20:25:57
111.   trainwreck
Thank you. Everyone seems to think Edwin's career is over.
2007-03-15 20:27:44
112.   Indiana Jon

Unfortunately Juan won't be on the bobblehead schedule this year. Too many other Dodger greats that need their night. I have scheduled Rudy Law, Jeff Hamilton, Dave Goltz, Jose Gonzalez and Larry Barnes for April.

2007-03-15 20:31:59
113.   Greg Brock
If I were Jon, Bob, Steve, Andrew, Sam, D4P, Icaros, BHS, SB, Gen3, Regfairfield, or El Lay Dave (I can't name everybody), and somebody asserted that Ned Colletti or Jim Bowden was smarter than I was, I might shoot myself in the face with a bazooka. They're not. Most baseball people are not brilliant.

Most baseball people are there because they're there. They're in the game...They've been around, they've scouted, interned, or come up through playing. Dad was a scout. It doesn't make them smart. It makes them present.

2007-03-15 20:34:23
114.   Bob Timmermann
I quite rightly assume that I'm smarter than Ned Colletti and I'm damn sure I'm smarter than Jim Bowden.

I would not presume that I could do their jobs without a lot more training.

2007-03-15 20:53:05
115.   Icaros

That's why we're starting you in Dodger Dogs. Now make mine a grilled, please.

2007-03-15 20:54:39
116.   Gen3Blue
113 Two thoughts on this. Most of the people mentioned may not be smarter than some baseball people, but I guarantee they are smarter then many of the CEO's of large American* corporations, or many politicians. I feel a deep intuition that this is true.
* perhaps multinational should be substituted here, because the people mentioned here are either unclear or totally clear on this point.
2007-03-15 21:01:43
117.   Greg Brock
116 See, that's my entire point. My Mom got into Harvard, and instead spent two years in Brazil and went to UCLA. She couldn't afford it, and didn't have the contacts.

We all know brilliant people who never wanted to kill on their way to the top. Just because you're a baseball insider doesn't make you a smart or competent guy. My best friend was all-state baseball at Harbor College, and smart as all get out, and he quit sports to teach English.

If you think baseball GM's are the best of the best, well, they're not. They just had the money or contacts or luck to stay in the game when other people decided to do something else. The fact that Ned Colletti is the GM of the Dodgers doesn't impress me. I can think of a lot of people who would be far better...They're doing other things.

2007-03-15 21:03:41
118.   D4P
"Knowing a guy" can get you pretty far in the world
2007-03-15 21:08:05
119.   El Lay Dave
118 Just ask Anna Nicole. Wait....
2007-03-15 21:08:20
120.   Gen3Blue
It's getting late on the East Coast and I almost veered into politics, but you are right on the money Greg(at least about Bowden.) or was that Bob. Good-nite to all.
2007-03-15 21:08:49
121.   Greg Brock
I mean really, is there anybody here that believes Ned Colletti is smart? When you hear Ned talk, do you say, "Wow, that's a really intelligent guy?"

If you think most baseball executives are smart...Wow...Just...Wow.

2007-03-15 21:08:57
122.   Icaros

Yeah, and getting to know a lot of guys has never really appealed to me.

2007-03-15 21:10:06
123.   El Lay Dave
I know I'm smarter than Ned because I know better than to have a mustache like that.
2007-03-15 21:11:26
124.   Icaros
I hope Sad Panda will be sharing these Colletti Reflections with his pais at Inside the Dodgers soon.
2007-03-15 21:14:39
125.   El Lay Dave
I've had many a boss (and boss's boss, and ...) who were clearly not any smarter than I was, and in a lot of cases clearly less, but they were smart enough and A LOT more ambitious.

I claim they were all significantly taller and all had good hair, but that would be straying into Scott Adams' territory.

2007-03-15 21:15:18
126.   El Lay Dave
I'd claim ...
2007-03-15 21:19:43
127.   Greg Brock
I mean really...I hate to sound like an elitist jerk, but how many Dodger Thoughts posters thing Ned is a really smart, 110+ IQ guy?

If a bunch of you think that Ned is smart, contemplative, analytical, and contemplative, please let me know.

Is it bad that I think the General Manager of the Dodgers is not smart? Do I sound like a jerk?

2007-03-15 21:22:41
128.   Greg Brock
Yup, I said "contemplative" twice. I think it's really important.
2007-03-15 21:27:42
129.   trainwreck
I could care less what his IQ is. I just want him to make good baseball decisions.
2007-03-15 21:30:28
130.   trainwreck
Or be like Billy Beane and hire geniuses to work for you.
2007-03-15 21:32:01
131.   Icaros

I'd go so far as to bet you couldn't care less, even.

2007-03-15 21:33:14
132.   Greg Brock
129 I just wondered if DT though Ned was a smart guy. That's all. Beane seems smart...Gillick is a smart guy. Theo, Alderson and Dombrowski all seem pretty sharp. I'm just curious if the Dodger Thoughts crowd thinks that Ned is a smart guy.
2007-03-15 21:36:32
133.   trainwreck
That too.
2007-03-15 21:36:37
134.   El Lay Dave
Do you think Frank McCourt thinks Ned is a smart guy?
2007-03-15 21:37:18
135.   deburns
Fay Vincent made the comparison between the film industry and baseball that the film people were a lot brighter and a lot more venal. Makes you ponder the venality point.
Any more people going to be at the Bosox-LA game tomorrow? I'm supposed to meet up with Vishal and his friend in the left field berm area.
2007-03-15 21:40:50
136.   trainwreck
Frank just likes how much Ned talks ; )
2007-03-15 21:44:26
137.   trainwreck
Chad Billingsley's spring training scoreless streak continues.
2007-03-15 21:54:54
138.   Greg Brock
I think it's a pretty fair question. Do we have an inquisitive general manager? The kind of guy that will really dive into stats like EqA, VORP, WHIP, OPS+, FRAA, etc. I mean, these stats are out there...Other teams are, I'm sure, using them. I wonder if the Mustache looks into that stuff, or is interested in the new metrics used in baseball analysis.

There must be some sort of chat where the casual baseball nerd can ask him...

2007-03-15 21:57:42
139.   D4P
Ned has made some derisive comments re: new-fangled stats
2007-03-15 22:02:52
140.   Greg Brock
139 But has any nerd really had the chance to sit down and talk with him?

Look, I think Ned is as dumb as a bag of hammers. That's why I'd love to have a stathead sit down and interview him. Maybe his position is more nuanced than we think (doubt it). Maybe Ned isn't as bad as we think.

That's why I ask.

2007-03-15 22:04:24
141.   trainwreck
2007-03-15 22:06:34
142.   D4P
Ha! That's me! My "head" is a "stat." I have a stat where my head should be.
2007-03-15 22:08:54
143.   Andrew Shimmin
I don't think there's way to gauge Mr. Ned's intelligence, since anything he says publicly is infected with PR. PR always sounds dumb, but it doesn't necessarily mean the PRer is dumb, just that he thinks the people listening to him are. And, on that point, they make more than they miss.
2007-03-15 22:09:20
144.   Greg Brock
At some point, the Philospher King will post a What would you do thread.

Each of us will have a chance to list the starting nine, and the five man rotation.

I look forward to that thread...Jon?

2007-03-15 22:10:09
145.   Greg Brock
143 Granted. But if you had to gauge Ned's smarts...?
2007-03-15 22:10:37
146.   Marty
Hell, I'm usually the smartest guy in the room. But I'm still a f*-up in most things.
2007-03-15 22:13:47
147.   Greg Brock
146 Yeah, but you don't count. I can't think of a single Dodger Thoughts poster that doesn't adore you.

I mean, D4P is smart, but we all hate him. You're smart and great.

2007-03-15 22:16:43
148.   das411
IF the Dodgers win the 2007 World Series by trading, say, Kemp and Loney for Johan Santana, will that make Mr. Ned "smart"?
2007-03-15 22:16:58
149.   Marty
Geez, I'm going get all weepy :)
2007-03-15 22:17:28
150.   Andrew Shimmin
145- I'd expect he was within a standard deviation of the mean. The TB trades could easily be explained by a drinking problem. Or maybe he has a crush on their receptionist.

I do think the team would project to be marginally better if Colletti had been kidnapped by Basque terrorists in October, and held hostage till last Tuesday. So, there's that.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-03-15 22:20:09
151.   Greg Brock
148 You can't posit that scenario without saying that you'd agree with it.

Would winning the 2007 World Series by trading Kemp and Loney be okay with you?

2007-03-15 22:20:21
152.   trainwreck
Yeah, I disagree with moves Ned makes, but I tend to disagree with moves most GMs make.
2007-03-15 22:20:24
153.   Steve
Bob, I want your Andy Barker review, post haste.
2007-03-15 22:22:03
154.   Greg Brock
153 How many episodes have you seen?

I've watched three. But I'm not Bob.

2007-03-15 22:24:10
155.   Steve
One, I'm taking them week by week.

OK, give me your review.

2007-03-15 22:28:53
156.   Greg Brock
155 It's not gonna make it.

I really like the show. Andy is so corny and ill-prepared and hilarious. He has a kind of innate PI skill...It's almost like he's a great detective trapped in an accountant's body. Tony Hale (Buster!) is fantastic, as is his PI mentor (The dad from Fargo).

I really like the show. But it's not gonna make it. NBC didn't put all six shows online for no reason.

2007-03-15 22:31:35
157.   Steve
I reject your premise. Long live Andy Barker!
2007-03-15 22:32:02
158.   CanuckDodger
Greg, it seems to me that you have a pretty narrow conception of what it means to be "smart." You are a teacher, so naturally you think that being smart is about having the attributes that make one a good academic. DePodesta had those kinds of smarts, which is why you and so many others liked or even loved him as a GM.

Colletti is not the academic type, but he is "savvy" in ways DePodesta clearly wasn't. Colletti is not dumb. He reminds me a lot of lawyers I know -- good lawyers. People like DePodesta don't become lawyers, they become law professors, and they are the last people on earth anybody with sense would entrust with practical legal affairs, like a lawsuit or a trial.

2007-03-15 22:36:24
159.   Jon Weisman
Scrubs will go to ABC, 30 Rock will move timeslots on Thursday, and Andy Barker will fill the gap. That's my prediction.

Andy Barker has gotten universally good reviews, and NBC is rebuilding itself as comedy night done right. It will be back.

2007-03-15 22:37:08
160.   Marty
It's just hard to think of people being smart who are so insecure that they need to wear such a bad rug.

I mean, really, that thing is hideous.

2007-03-15 22:38:01
161.   Jon Weisman
And as far as being online, that (plus 40-Year-Old Virgin) is how The Office got its jumpstart.

Just my opinion, without seeing tonight's ratings.

2007-03-15 22:41:52
162.   Steve
Upside: garners enough of a following to have a run, gets kicked around the lineup and abused by TV newtwork Pinheads, I end up owning all five seasons on DVD (i.e., NewsRadio)

Downside: Andy Richter Controls The Universe

2007-03-15 22:42:44
163.   CanuckDodger
160 -- It isn't the most natural looking hairpiece, but Colletti would look a lot worse bald, and there is nothing wrong with choosing to look "better" as opposed to "worse." And the hairpiece itself is far from Jim Trafficant (is that spelling correct?) territory.
2007-03-15 22:43:11
164.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm so savvy, I don't trust lawyers about anything.

Colletti went to Northern Illinois U. U.S. News ranks it as a fourth tier school. Doesn't prove anything, of course, but it's evidence for the prosecution.

2007-03-15 22:43:54
165.   Jon Weisman
I adored Andy Richter Controls the Universe. How I wish that would come out on DVD.
2007-03-15 22:45:07
166.   CanuckDodger
165 -- Ditto.
2007-03-15 22:45:40
167.   Steve
As did I. I meant only its vestigial place in the ratings.
2007-03-15 22:46:25
168.   Greg Brock
158 Well, since I don't think we've ever agreed on a single thing, I'm not surprised. The day that ToyCannon or Canuck agrees with me is the day that the four horseman descend on the planet :)

Here's what I was trying to say. There are certain people, in certain fields, that you listen to. I read Christopher Hitchens, because he is brilliant. I don't agree with him, but I respect how unbelievably smart he is, and how much depth lies within his wrtiting. I disagree with George Will a lot, but I always read his stuff, because he is beyond any doubt, a really smart dude. I like great thinkers...I despise poseurs.

Ned is not smart...Using any metric, on any scale, in any environment. Billy Beane is smart. Bill James is smart. Will Carroll, though I find him arrogant and offputting, is really smart.

I don't put a lot of faith in "street smarts" or "experience" or "savvy" or whatever you'd like to call it. I just don't.

You can talk about practicality, and that's fine. But I teach, and I live in a world where ideas carry the day. Ned be very passable. Ned may be an average General Manager. But Ned doesn't bring new ideas, or advance the game, or challenge orthodoxy, or redefine the position.

To me, Ned is nothing. He's just another automaton doing a job, skating by on his connections, making no difference.

2007-03-15 22:46:34
169.   trainwreck
I agree. I liked Andy Richter Controls the Universe, it made me realize how attractive Paget Brewster is.
2007-03-15 22:48:08
170.   Jon Weisman
I pretty much caught all the breaks as a kid (except for success with girls), from solid family to access to education. I have then watched people from so-called lesser schools fly past me on the career ladder - justifiably. I wouldn't trade my education for anything (except for more success with girls when I was young), but it stopped meaning a whole lot a while ago as far as judging people's qualifications.

Not that I don't have pride or anything.

2007-03-15 22:48:32
171.   Marty
163 As a bald person, no one looks better in a piece IMO. But, that's only my opinion. :)
2007-03-15 22:50:15
172.   das411
151 - Of course I would do it but my Phightins do not really have a Kemp and Loney to trade ;)

Seriously though, would winning a championshp make him "smart" even if it risks a Braves-esque run of close but not quite seasons afterwards? Or is the only way for a GM to be considered "smart" these days to go all 1949-64 Yankees on the league?

165 - "I adored Andy Richter [in his seven seasons on Conan]. How I wish that would come out on DVD." - fixed!

2007-03-15 22:51:14
173.   Steve
As for this other topic, he did some good things (trading for Ethier), some bad things (signing Pierre, Tampa Bay trades), some who cares things, and some debatable things. That is the record, and the debate should be about the record. All this other stuff about who is smarter than who and who can run a team better is distracting and irrelevant.
2007-03-15 22:51:21
174.   D4P
I don't put a lot of faith in "street smarts" or "experience" or "savvy" or whatever you'd like to call it

I wish I had more of that stuff, the lack of which is largely what made me think academia would be a better place for me than the "real world." As it turns out, I'm learning that academia is realer than I thought...

2007-03-15 22:52:14
175.   Greg Brock
170 You watched kids from "so-called lesser schools" fly past you. And you went to STANFORD.

They kids who flew past the top kids must have gone to the University of Perfect Genius.

2007-03-15 22:56:34
176.   trainwreck
Or they just cared more or kissed more butt, etc.
2007-03-15 22:57:15
177.   berkowit28
158 Very good.
2007-03-15 23:00:16
178.   Andrew Shimmin
Not everybody who went to Stanford is smarter than everybody who went to San Diego State or Florida International. But, if offered a bet on the relative intelligence of any random Cardinal, vs. that of any random Aztec, I know where I'd put my money. If Richard Herrnstein were still alive, he'd agree with me.
2007-03-15 23:02:20
179.   D4P
Some people couldn't afford to go to fancy schools, and didn't even bother applying to them
2007-03-15 23:06:02
180.   Andrew Shimmin
179- Hernstein's ghost would explain that by insisting that the poor people were dumb to begin with. Bad stock.

I was much more fond of The Bell Curve before I was poor. And therefor doomed to being stupid, marrying badly, and raising dumb children.

2007-03-15 23:06:03
181.   trainwreck
I got into Cal, but went to UCSB. That will probably hurt me a lot in the job market.

I just wanted to get away from home.

2007-03-15 23:06:33
182.   Bob Timmermann
I liked "Andy Barker", but I was waiting to see what the DT zeitgeist was. I'm not a cultural barometer. I'm just a cultural anemometer.
2007-03-15 23:07:49
183.   Greg Brock
In the street smarts vs. book smarts debate, I know quite a few Navy shipmates that I would take over bookworms.

But we withstood punches in the gulliver and socks full of nickels and beatings that were just terrible.

But the Stanford guys were still smarter. God, I should have just gone to college instead of enlisting. What a mistake.

2007-03-15 23:11:48
184.   D4P
before I was poor. And therefor doomed to being stupid, marrying badly, and raising dumb children.

I'm poor, but married "up" from a social class perspective, and am not planning on raising children (dumb or otherwise).

In other words, there's hope for you. Assuming you've quit smoking, of course.

2007-03-15 23:13:26
185.   Andrew Shimmin
184- Unless you got her from a prison for the criminally insane, you married up from any perspective.
2007-03-15 23:16:18
186.   Greg Brock
I always D4P married up...Way up.

Andrew is too busy weaponizing nerve gas to get married.

2007-03-15 23:22:27
187.   D4P
Sure, make jokes at my expense...
2007-03-15 23:26:07
188.   CanuckDodger
168 -- I find it hard to believe we haven't agreed on anything. Except when you start swooning like a teenage girl at the glimpse of a Boy Band when the name "Miguel Cabrera" comes up, you seem to want to avoid trading our home-grown youngsters and want to build around them, so we must agree on that, at least.

You mention writers, serious writers, to contrast with Colletti? A GM of a professional sports franchise is not an "idea man." A GM is like a publisher (as opposed to a writer) or a university president (as opposed to a professor). Idea men become writers and teachers because they have what it takes to do those jobs, and as a rule DON'T have what it takes to do the job of a GM, a job that consists mostly of schmoozing, negotiating, PR work, and hiring, firing, and supervising employees, be they employees who work in the office or play on the field.

You also mentioned Billy Beane. Billy Beane is not smart in the way you want to define the word. He is an ex-jock who -- very likely BECAUSE he never went to college -- is intellectually insecure enough that he has more appreciation for the "baseball nerds" in sabermetrics than most baseball men do, so he keeps those people around and lets their work inform his decisions. But at bottom Beane is a GM because he has savvy, just like Colletti. I know you have read Moneyball, so you will remember just how big a contrast there was (in that book) between the meek, mild DePodesta and Beane, the larger-than-life back-slapper who could really "work a room" and trusted in things like "make-up." DePodesta failed as a GM because he really wasn't like Beane at all, or at least in the WAYS THAT ACTUALLY MATTER. DePodesta couldn't handle the media, couldn't manage a staff, couldn't play office politics, and couldn't sell a team owner on HIS agenda (and yes, that is a skill a GM has to have, if for no other reason than to keep being a GM).

2007-03-15 23:27:19
189.   Andrew Shimmin
He swoons like a teenage girl at the glimpse of a Boy Band when he glimpses a Boy Band, too.
2007-03-15 23:33:54
190.   Icaros
God, boy band is so 2002.
2007-03-15 23:35:50
191.   bhsportsguy
I was going to write a brillant commentary but I am watching the comely Teresa Wright in "Mrs. Miniver."

Comely, there's a word that you don't hear to often anymore.

2007-03-15 23:37:01
192.   trainwreck
They just morphed into over-dramatic rock groups that cry about their girlfriends breaking up with them.

Like My Chemical Romance.

2007-03-15 23:47:49
193.   Andrew Shimmin
188- Most of the problem I have with this position is that, if one were to shave an ape and stick him behind Colletti's (or Josh Byrnes) desk for the next five years, there's a pretty good chance the chimp would win a division or three. Even if his table manners were atrocious and he couldn't glad-hand worth a fig.

Has Colletti's boisterosity been worth anything to the team? His FA negotiating tactic is to outbid other teams, which is sound enough, but not an endorsement of his personality. Having sportswriters like you isn't worth anything in the standings. And, while it's integral to keeping a job, talking a feckless owner into compliance is external to one's value as a GM.

If the team had come around, which, it was likely to, given the position of strength they had, and have, growing on the farm, the press would have too. Maybe DePo really would have been a crappy GM, but I don't think the sample we have is sufficient to say so.

2007-03-15 23:52:51
194.   Greg Brock
Canuck, I think you know how much I like you (a lot), but you're description of Beane is simplistic and disappointing. You act as if being an athlete precludes one from being an intellectual. Beane is both a former baseball player and an intellectual. Sandy Alderson or Bill Beane would probably never describe themselves and intellectuals, but they are. They consitently challenge baseball orthodoxy, and look to new and refreshing ways of analyzing performance. In my mind, the ability to break with orthodoxy and develop new ideas about any given field is the very definition of an intellectual.

We like George Will because he presents traditional Goldwater Conservatism with exciting ideas and depth. He takes old ideas, and builds on them. So many people may hate Conservatism, but we appreciate the intellectual exercise. Will isn't everybody's cup of tea, but he takes fundamental principles and builds upon them. Beane and James and the whole "stathead" crowd do the same thing.

Obviously, when it comes to baseball, the term "intellectual" doesn't carry the same cache that it does in economics or sociology or philosophy, but people like Beane, James, or DeWann are "intellectuals" in the baseball sense.

2007-03-15 23:55:15
195.   Greg Brock
I guess my basic point is that I'm rubber, and you're glue, and everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.
2007-03-15 23:58:07
196.   CanuckDodger
193 -- But in asking whether Colletti is really benefitting the Dodgers you are taking the discussion into a direction that really matters, as opposed to the question Greg wanted to explore, which was completely irrelevent. Is our GM intellectually inquisitive? Is the latest Playboy centerfold a PH.D? The answer to both questions is, surely, nobody -- except Greg -- gives a damn.
2007-03-16 00:01:51
197.   trainwreck
I disagree about Colletti's worth to the team when it comes to FA tactics. Obviously, I do not like the Juan Pierre and Luiz Gonzalez signings at all, but Ned showed intelligence with his bids on Furcal and Schmidt. The growing trend in MLB had been to give players long deals with huge money attached to them (thank you the Kevin Malones of the world). Ned went with the shorter deal, but with a lot more money attached to it. Baseball Prospectus has written often on how the length of contracts is what really damages a team. So Ned has shown some worth when it comes to free agency.

Of course, it makes you wonder how much glue he was sniffing when he decided to do the Pierre deal.

2007-03-16 00:02:11
198.   Andrew Shimmin
I don't care about Greg's point as much as he does. Being smart is mostly good for getting people in more trouble than they'd have been able to manage if they weren't quite so smart. Until you get into the geniuses, where that's still probably more true than not, but it's worth more. I swoon like a Brock over geniuses. Except kid geniuses, who just irritate me.
2007-03-16 00:06:50
199.   Greg Brock
196 You can be dismissive if you want. You can even insult me. That's fine. But EqA and WHIP and OPS+ matter, and I wonder if our GM is smart enough or informed enough to care about those things. When the man says that Juan Pierre "Gets on base an awful lot," I wonder what he is looking at, and how competent he is.

You don't care, that's fine. Let's focus on batting average and wins. Saves are really cool too. Hell, I hear that sacrifice bunts are the wave of the future.

2007-03-16 00:18:07
200.   CanuckDodger
194 -- Greg, being open to abstract ideas is not enough to qualify one as an intellectual, even if it is an admirable characteristic, and something that can benefit a baseball GM's decisions. Maybe I should say that Moneyball could have been wrong in the way Beane was depicted -- because Beane certainly believes he was painted inaccurately -- but I came away from my reading of Lewis's book thinking Beane is VERY typical of the jocks I have known in my life, but for one small quirk about him -- an interest in "nerdy" ideas in baseball -- that could easily be explained by his psychological "issues" over having turned his back on college for a pro career that fizzled badly. If Lewis misrepresented Beane, then I apologize to Beane, if he is reading this.

And by the way, Greg, I preferred -- when I was more interested in politics -- William F. Buckley to George Will, but Will is good too. I have seven of Will's books.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-03-16 00:19:13
201.   Greg Brock
Look, Colletti strikes me as the type of guy that fawns over counting stats. He looks at hits, HR, and RBI. He really doesn't understand how percentages and plate appearances matter. I guess I'm trying to say the I think Ned is really dumb, and that the Dodgers will always suffer as long as he's the General Manager. I don't like the man. He free agent signings have been twelve kinds of retarded. His public statements are as articulate as as a stutterer having an epileptic fit.

Matt Kemp is projected to be the third or fourth best CF in the NL...Kuo and Billz are great, Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko are veteran jokes, and I hate their presence on the team...Loney is ready. Giving Nomar two years was beyond dumb.

I just hate everything the guy is doing with the team.

2007-03-16 00:21:24
202.   Greg Brock
[200} My cat's name is Buckley. You don't have to sell me. Goldwater, Buckley, Will. Once upon a time, Conservatives weren't insane.
2007-03-16 00:28:29
203.   trainwreck
I put some blame on Frank McCourt, because he fired the guy he wanted to build his reputation on after two seasons and only one of them was a failure. That causes some crazy paranoia and Ned thinks he has to do whatever he can to win every year, so that means not risking playing the youngsters. Obviously, I think Ned has a flawed approach, but I also think McCourt is unreasonable.
2007-03-16 00:31:15
204.   CanuckDodger
199 -- I didn't mean to insult you. I have said before this board needs some smiley face emoticons. But I do believe asking if Colletti is "smart" is a fig leaf that obscures more direct ways of inquiring if Collett has what is takes to be a GOOD GM, and at the same time insinuates that a GM with a different philosophy than sabermetrics must be stupid. If you want to debate how important it is for a GM to believe in sabermetrics, you can raise that question without making those of us who have a different answer than you do to the question feel like you think we are not too bright.
2007-03-16 00:34:10
205.   trainwreck
I am watch E Boulevard of Broken Dreams and they have a piece on Mitch Hedberg. This is really making me sad.
2007-03-16 00:34:27
206.   trainwreck
2007-03-16 00:39:46
207.   Andrew Shimmin
I hadn't heard of him, when he died. Now I own two of his albums. He was hilarious.
2007-03-16 00:42:43
208.   Greg Brock
204 Very valid. I just think there are some basic premises with which we should agree. Getting on base matters. Strikeouts don't matter any more than any other out. Walking is really good. Hitting home runs is pretty important.

When it comes to pitching, strikeouts matter. Missing bats is so huge.

Really, how can you sign Juan Pierre when Matt Kemp destroys his power and patience projections. I mean, that move is so beyond stupid that I want to curl up and cry. How can a major league GM be that dumb? How? It hurts.

Signing Nomar for two years when Loney is beyond ready. Banking on Betemit when La Roche is one of the top 5 third base prospects in the game. Giving Hendrickson 3 million dollars. Taking a top 5 starter pitching prospect in all of baseball and puttin him in the pen.

Am I supposed to believe in The Mustache. He's done exactly what to gain my trust? Dude, I just absolutely hate everything he's don with the team. And Matt Kemp...It might hurt most of all.

2007-03-16 00:44:47
209.   trainwreck
Glad, I saw him in his last year of life.
2007-03-16 01:18:46
210.   Andrew Shimmin
Finally a good reason to become a teacher. Or student.

2007-03-16 07:07:21
211.   JoeyP
I dont like Ned either.

But he's not even the worst GM in LA.
That honor belongs to one Mitch Kupchak.

Maybe next season instead of giving 10 million to Phil Jackson to sleep on the bench, he'll use that money for a player that actually plays on the court.

And also--if you ever get another Shaq, dont trade him. You'll always lose on that deal.

2007-03-16 07:26:03
212.   Hythloday
It may be that Ned's saving grace is that he knows that he isn't that smart. He does seem to value the input of some of the people that DT respect and admire (White and Ng for example). Good managers know their own limitations and rely on the insights provided by their underlings. I think the result that we see is Ned battling his own demons. He wants to be the Decider, but he isn't very good at it. He is a good manager and a terrible decision-maker. Finding one GM with both of those skill sets seems to extremely rare.

What we need is to build a hybrid Ned Depodesta. Maybe Depo just needs a better 'stache.

2007-03-16 08:24:03
213.   Jon Weisman
I definitely want an intellectually inquisitive GM, and I suspect that Ned, though willing to listen, has a great deal of self-confidence in his baseball acumen. And that the buck stops with him.

At the same time, I suspect some of the more popular members of the Dodger front office have supported Colletti moves that have been criticized.

2007-03-16 09:05:46
214.   Bumsrap
White values a players family and values and would not let stats override his concern about a players values.

Ng is the stat person on the team.

Ned is the guy that seems to listen to both but in the end prefers to play it safe by making sure his team does not rely on potential alone, likes depth, and is willing to blend in potential if there are enough veterans present.

My fear is that Ned will go too far with veterans and trade the potential away, or not sufficiently use veterans as backup to the riskier kids instead of the other way around.

Oh, if I read between the lines I think some posters are also calling White dumb because I don't hear White talking stats either.

2007-03-16 09:07:14
215.   Bumsrap
I am also guessing that Nomar is a McCourt thing more than a Ned thing.
2007-03-16 09:09:21
216.   Greg Brock
I guess the impression that Logan White is a pretty smart guy.
2007-03-16 09:09:56
217.   Greg Brock
Grrr. "Get" not "Guess".
2007-03-16 09:27:58
218.   still bevens
215 Without a doubt. He's far and away the most popular player on the team next to the ascending Russ Martin. When it comes to Loney vs. Nomar, Frank aint looking at the stats, hes looking at the thousands of people in the reserve section wearing No. 5 jerseys.
2007-03-16 09:31:41
219.   saltcreek
I also thought it was brought about by Ned wanting to quickly patch up the Drew wound with someone who really wanted to be a dodger.
2007-03-16 09:35:01
220.   still bevens
That all dovetails well with the strategy I think. I wouldn't be surprised if McCourt panicked when J.D. left and decided that there would be no way he would let two major pieces of our playoff team walking away, especially the most popular guy on the team.
2007-03-16 09:46:16
221.   Jon Weisman
214 - I think you're misreading. I don't think anyone here, on any side of a debate, has ever called Logan White dumb. I also don't think anyone here is equating merely talking about stats with knowledge.
2007-03-16 09:51:06
222.   Greg Brock
Pat Gillick isn't a sabermetrics guy. He makes a lot of moves that make me scratch my head, but the guy always builds winners and understands baseball about as well as any GM in the last twenty years.

And if you get the chance to hear him, Pat Gillick is an unbelievably smart dude.

2007-03-16 09:56:00
223.   goblue1
All this Ned bashing is a completely misplaced. He has helped turn the team around and hasn't given away the really solid prospects.
Lets let the season progress a little. It's a looong grind.

Make the young players force their way into playing time by being ready to dominate. Make the Hendricksons and LuGos of the team bench players when someone is clearly better... Nothing wrong with that strategy, is there?

Its great to say Kemp is forecast to be the # 4 CF in the NL by some formula, but the reality is that he misplayed several balls in the OF last year and since mid June he has been in about 60 games (including the Dominical winter league and Spring Training, maybe more like 70) and has what 2 HRs in that time? He isn't ready. When he can regain his power, while maintaining his BB/K ratio in decent shape- he will be in the line up.

2007-03-16 09:56:58
224.   Ken Arneson
208 I only agree with the premise that strikeouts "don't matter any more than any other out" when (a) nobody is on base, or (b) there are two outs. Late in a tie game with a runner on third and one out, I want contact. Context matters.
2007-03-16 10:04:11
225.   Greg Brock
224 I'm talking long haul, over 500+ plate appearances, and the total impact on your team over 162. But yes, in the situation you brought up, I would also like contact. Preferably a home run :)
2007-03-16 10:06:41
226.   Jon Weisman
Clang clang clang went the trolley
Ding ding ding went the bell
2007-03-16 10:13:23
227.   goblue1
Kuo needs to step on big today, 5 Innings etc... to maintain his shot at the 5.
2007-03-16 10:16:00
228.   goblue1
1 IP, 0H, 0BB, 2K
2007-03-16 10:21:21
229.   Jon Weisman
That was code for new post up top, by the way :)

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