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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Dodger DL Holding a Spot Open for Repko
2007-03-16 09:46
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

To add to the speculation that the Dodgers might take March performances too seriously, today on his blog, Tony Jackson predicts that Jason Repko will open the season on the disabled list, thus opening a spot on the roster for ... Spring Training surprise Wilson Valdez.

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I have become convinced that Jason Repko will begin the season on the DL, even though his right groin gets better every day. Grady said last night that "it's going to be a while" before Jason returns. Well, camp breaks in less than two weeks. Jason still has to work his running program up to making "fast-twitch" movements, like sprinting from a dead stop to chase a fly ball. And -- this is the biggest thing -- Wilson Valdez continues to have an outstanding spring with the bat, and he is out of minor-league options. DL'ing Repko would buy the club time where Valdez is concerned and would allow Valdez to at least be on the club for the first couple of weeks of the season. Repko might need a minor-league rehab when he is ready to return, which would buy the club more time. But then, I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

Meanwhile, over at MLB.com, Ken Gurnick has a companion article on Andy LaRoche, who no one doubts has a higher ceiling than Valdez but who, for the second consecutive spring, has not impressed.

I don't think LaRoche's 2006 performance warrants guaranteeing him a spot on the Opening Day roster, but the Valdez talk strikes me as the kind of mischief that leaves you with guys like Jason Romano taking up space. Be forewarned - I have never seen Valdez play. But I can't see how someone who will turn 29 in May without having ever broken .760 in OPS in his minor-league career can be a meaningful contributor.

Two weeks of Valdez won't kill anybody, but Larry Bigbie (among others) stepping for Repko would seem to make more sense.

Other quick hits for the morning:

  • Kevin Baxter of the Times also got the Repko-to-the-DL hint.

    Repko, who spent 10 weeks on the disabled list because of a severe sprained ankle last summer, hurt himself making a running catch in a split-squad game against the Florida Marlins last Saturday. He has resumed batting practice and is stretching but said he isn't ready to start running yet.

    "I want to play, but I want to be healthy," he said. "So I'll do whatever [the trainers] tell me."

  • Greg Miller was optioned to the minors, but he left behind optimism about his future.

  • In a busy morning, Jackson notes that in a simulated game today, Brad Penny was "working on his release point, specifically to synchronize the release points on his fastball and splitter so that he isn't tipping his pitches, and Rick Honeycutt said he made considerable progress in a 72-pitch effort that was split into five innings." Yet another potential explanation for Penny becoming fortune's fool in 2006.

  • Lisa Winston of MLB.com takes a thorough look at the Dodger farm system, and makes a somewhat bold prediction: Delwyn Young as the Dodger minor league position player of the year.

    We'll go off the "obvious" board with this one, as Young heads back to Las Vegas to roam the outfield for a second season. Sure, Loney, Kemp and/or LaRoche could be the ones to put up Player of the Year numbers with a full season at Vegas, but any or all of them could and probably will spend significant time in the Majors. Young, on the other hand, puts up better than legit numbers every year, but there seems to be no spot for him in L.A. yet.

  • Jackson said rain threatened this morning's game against the Red Sox, featuring Hong-Chih Kuo against Daisuke Matsuzaka, but the game still might get in.

    Update: Kuo struck out Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis in a 1-2-3 first inning.

    Rafael Furcal had a leadoff double off Matsuzaka. Juan Pierre sacrificed Furcal to third base (maybe he was bunting for a hit?) and Marlon Anderson singled him home. After Olmedo Saenz singled, Andre Ethier and Russell Martin struck out.

    Second inning: Kuo gives up home runs to Willy Mo Pena and Jason Varitek before retiring the side.

    Third inning: Kuo, rather incredibly, issues a leadoff walk to Matsuzaka, then hits Ellsbury with a pitch. Kuo strikes out Youkilis a second time, but then Eric Hinske hits a three-run home run. And then, a rain brings the hook for Kuo - and the game. (Boxscore)

    Update 2: Mark Hendrickson's basketball connection is fairly well known, but Baxter reports that AA Jacksonville manager John Shoemaker has one of his own, "leading Miami of Ohio to one of the most shocking upsets in tourney history in 1978."

    Miami faced a double-digit deficit with less than four minutes to play when Shoemaker, relying partly on his acting ability, drew a flagrant foul from Marquette's Jerome Whitehead. That led to Whitehead's ejection, and when Marquette's bench protested, it was given a technical too.

    "We got some momentum," said Shoemaker, a two-sport star who was inducted in Miami's Hall of Fame in 1991. "The fans got behind us."

    Miami's 84-81 overtime victory over the country's third-ranked team only delayed the evitable, however, since Kentucky routed the Redskins, 91-69, in the second round en route to the national title.

    Update 3: I know better than to microreport these things, but with the opportunity to do so, here's some more detail on Matsuzaka's at-bat vs. Kuo from The Associated Press:

    He took the first two pitches from Hong-Chih Kuo for strikes. The third pitch was close to the plate and Matsuzaka started to walk away, but umpire Ed Hickox called it a ball. Matsuzaka did the same on the next three pitches and found himself on first base with a walk.

    Ken Gurnick reports at MLB.com that the Dodgers told Kuo "he could pitch out of the stretch (which he did) if that felt more comfortable, after trying this spring to have him pitch out of a windup."

    "He just got a couple of balls up to the wrong guys and they hit it pretty good," (Dodger manager Grady) Little said of the home runs by Eric Hinske, Jason Varitek and Wily Mo Pena. "He struggled with his command. From the first day, he hasn't had any difficulty. I think he was due."

    Gurnick also quoted Little as saying that Greg Miller would be a starting pitcher in the minors when the season begins, not a reliever.

    He has a gifted arm and he'll learn more by starting and pitching more innings," Little said of Miller, who became a reliever after his surgery to protect his shoulder. "We feel he's not that far away."

  • Comments (142)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2007-03-16 10:17:21
    1.   Gagne55
    1. First Comment
    2. Wilson Valdez is a nothing. He's a poor man's Ramon Martinez at best. If Repko starts on the DL, it will likely be Bigbie getting his spot.
    2007-03-16 10:18:11
    2.   Greg Brock
    Wilson Valdez?

    Really?

    2007-03-16 10:19:45
    3.   D4P
    Only a matter of time before Valdez starts leaking oil
    2007-03-16 10:21:54
    4.   Steve
    Maybe that discussion wasn't irrelevant or distracting after all.
    2007-03-16 10:23:21
    5.   Jon Weisman
    First-inning update entered above.
    2007-03-16 10:31:29
    6.   D4P
    Back to back HRs for the Sox...?
    2007-03-16 10:44:10
    7.   Curtis Lowe
    Hello Mr. Tomdrickson?
    2007-03-16 10:44:38
    8.   Hythloday
    That boggles a bit. If they are basing judgments off of good springs wouldn't Bigbie be an automatic replacement for Repko?
    2007-03-16 10:47:03
    9.   D4P
    8
    Because Ned has a shortstop fetish
    2007-03-16 10:48:19
    10.   Hythloday
    9 - Is that like a footwork fetish?
    2007-03-16 10:50:45
    11.   still bevens
    Yeah Kuo is toast. Pack yer bags for Vegas.
    2007-03-16 10:55:54
    12.   Jon Weisman
    More updates above.
    2007-03-16 10:55:57
    13.   Greg Brock
    Xeifrank will not be happy about this...

    At all.

    2007-03-16 10:59:16
    14.   Steve
    Oh, to have three million dollars worth of excuses and a hypnotist.
    2007-03-16 11:00:09
    15.   Curtis Lowe
    Looks like Kuo pulled a Shrewt...
    2007-03-16 11:01:15
    16.   regfairfield
    Why on Earth are we doing all of this to protect Wilson Valdez? I might be able to see the logic in protecting him from the rule five draft, it's relatively easy to stash a utility guy on the bench. But it's becoming pretty clear that Colletti didn't think about the "out of options" thing and he's doing whatever he can to keep this guy on the team for some reason. I don't know why, no one would claim him off waivers.

    If you're going to release Ramon Martinez, fine, whatever, but keeping two utility guys who can't hit and Wilson Betemit on the team seems like a terrible use of resources.

    2007-03-16 11:04:37
    17.   Jon Weisman
    Keep in mind, Tony Jackson is just opining. Just like I was opining that Kuo would make the starting rotation in April.
    2007-03-16 11:06:10
    18.   Greg Brock
    15 Very nice.
    16 And you're surprised because...
    2007-03-16 11:10:33
    19.   regfairfield
    17 As long as there was no hint about this from Colletti, that's fine.
    2007-03-16 11:16:11
    20.   Jon Weisman
    Anyone listening on radio? Has rain taken over?
    2007-03-16 11:17:00
    21.   D4P
    I'm not listening, but the box score makes me think the game has been halted
    2007-03-16 11:18:34
    22.   Curtis Lowe
    They're going to give Kuo a do-over.
    2007-03-16 11:20:17
    23.   DXMachina
    Yup, rain delay.
    2007-03-16 11:21:14
    24.   saltcreek
    at least millers going to be starting in Vegas
    2007-03-16 11:21:48
    25.   bhsportsguy
    23 MLB.com is showing the game as postponed.
    2007-03-16 11:22:06
    26.   dzzrtRatt
    16 I think keeping Valdez is a ploy to psych out the trade market.

    If we trade Tomko to somebody, their fans will say "All you got is flippin' Tomko?" GMs will shy away from a trade like that. BUT: Offer Tomko and Valdez, then it's like, "we got two guys who can help us." Still dumb, but some fans will fall for it.

    By keeping Valdez, we raise his perceived value, and we can do a 'more than the sum of its parts' trade with a gullible GM.

    15 "Who knows where words...come from?

    2007-03-16 11:23:50
    27.   natepurcell
    game doesnt count. give kuo a do-over.
    2007-03-16 11:25:21
    28.   Jon Weisman
    26 - Maybe so. Although the inability to get anything for Cody Ross makes me think you can only boost Valdez so much. Can we convince people that he is the next Eckstein?
    2007-03-16 11:28:26
    29.   D4P
    Pierre loses a sacrifice, but I have faith he can get that back
    2007-03-16 11:32:37
    30.   saltcreek
    28. If only Valdez could shrink to 5-7
    2007-03-16 11:38:56
    31.   Bob Timmermann
    Saying that what happened in today's exhibition game "didn't count" because it was rained out is disingenuous.

    Obviously, Kuo and Matsuzaka did something that their respective coaching staffs could evaluate.

    It's not like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones walked up to Grady Little and Terry Francona and made them stare into a pen-like object that erased their memories.

    2007-03-16 11:43:38
    32.   bhsportsguy
    I think the 40 man roster moves at the end of last year should not be viewed in the same light as years before because MLBPA and MLB changed the rules on how long you can protect players.

    While I think some of the pitchers that were added would still have been considered, we would have had to put Abreau, Hu, Orenduff on the roster and I don't know if they would have risked losing Cory Dunlap, Brian Akin, Xavier Paul, or Mark Alexander.

    Putting Valdez there was basically a move to keep him for ST but I don't think it will be as big a factor as others might speculate.

    2007-03-16 11:44:55
    33.   natepurcell
    It's not like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones walked up to Grady Little and Terry Francona and made them stare into a pen-like object that erased their memories.

    that's exactly what happened and if you don't follow the company line.. well, don't say i didn't warn you.

    2007-03-16 11:45:47
    34.   bhsportsguy
    31 If they could, I think Will would be nice and say, Grady, its the 8th inning and you were just about to bring a reliever for Pedro when the phone rang and Theo told you to keep him in until his arm falls off.
    2007-03-16 12:03:20
    35.   Greg Brock
    34 That would be nice for Grady.

    Sometimes I wish they didn't keep stats in Spring Training. Just go out and watch the guys you think will make the team. If Wilson Valdez were to make the roster based on ST, it would be very Ericksonish.

    2007-03-16 12:04:44
    36.   El Lay Dave
    Ouch. On ItD somebody referred to him as "Bomkuo" (Bomguo?). I'm not going to get overly excited about spring training, but doesn't Hong-Chih need to show some good command at least?
    2007-03-16 12:12:43
    37.   trainwreck
    Read an interesting article from Catfish Stew that says there may be correlation between hot Aprils and players who hit 5 homeruns or more and have good bb/so. Players who did not hit that many homeruns and had bad bb/so ratios tended to have bad Arpils. This was all based off numbers from last year. Most players fell in between.
    2007-03-16 12:12:43
    38.   trainwreck
    Read an interesting article from Catfish Stew that says there may be correlation between hot Aprils and players who hit 5 homeruns or more and have good bb/so. Players who did not hit that many homeruns and had bad bb/so ratios tended to have bad Arpils. This was all based off numbers from last year. Most players fell in between.
    2007-03-16 12:22:56
    39.   CanuckDodger
    Greg, thinking about what you said last night about liking some of the conservative writers I like, I wonder if you might want to check out something I published ages ago. Google the words "The Tempting Of Richard Posner Independent Review" and you will be able to access something you might -- or might not -- find interesting reading (you'll need Acrobat Reader to read it, though).
    2007-03-16 12:27:44
    40.   dzzrtRatt
    Has anyone addressed the story about Jonathan Meloan in yesterday's Press-Enterprise?

    Headline: Dodgers reliever Meloan dumped Air Force for baseball

    Most offensive line: "Besides the devastating sliders and curves Meloan throws, what set the 22-year-old on the path to becoming a top relief pitching prospect was reneging on a commitment to attend the Air Force Academy, where he would have trained to become a pilot while pitching."

    Unless I'm misreading the story, Meloan didn't "renege," which implies he received some benefit for making a commitment and then didn't live up to his end of the bargain. (Like a prominent current president I won't name.) Nor did he "dump the Air Force."

    Meloan had an opportunity to attend the Air Force Academy. And then decided not to go.

    I think a retraction is in order.

    P.S. Tiny URL won't let me make a Tiny URL of it, perhaps due to outrage, so here's the whole URL:

    http://www.pe.com/sports/baseball/dodgers/stories/PE_Sports_Local_D_dodgers_15.405ff29.html#

    2007-03-16 12:36:17
    41.   Jon Weisman
    40 - It makes me think of another much-debated "commitment" in the Dodger universe, but I don't want to go there.
    2007-03-16 12:38:37
    42.   El Lay Dave
    40 It's that octothorpe on the end of your URL that's the problem.

    Leung's e-mail is at the end of the column; you can write him. I don't think you have to have "received some benefit", not fulfulling a commitment is reneging. I don't know the fact on Meloan though.

    2007-03-16 12:42:15
    43.   CanuckDodger
    40 -- Didn't the article state that the Air Force people told Meloan he was "too big" to be a pilot? It sounds like the Air Force didn't want to give Meloan the pilot training he was interested in in the first place.
    2007-03-16 12:50:50
    44.   s choir
    I see value in trying to hold on to Valdez. Utility players are most valuable in extra-inning situations, where the Dodgers were abysmal last year. Ramon Martinez is also the emergency catcher, and who knows whether Anderson is going to have another setback?

    Especially if the training staff has durability concerns about Repko and Anderson (and I think those concerns are justified), it makes sense to hedge by keeping Valdez around awhile, at least until we see how April shakes out on the injury front.

    2007-03-16 12:51:32
    45.   dzzrtRatt
    40 Ugh, I hate octothorpes, especially when they crawl inside your underwear!

    I wrote Leung already. If Leung got someone at the AF Academy to say, "man, he left us in a lurch, we were one short all year thanks to Meloan," I'd see Leung's point. But there is nothing to indicate that.

    Did no one else but Meloan win acceptance to the AF Academy then turn them down? Sought-after colleges depend on a certain percentage of their accepted freshmen to decide to go elsewhere. Is the AF Academy different in that regard? If my kid got accepted to UCLA, and then found out he got into Harvard (I can dream, can't I?), would he be regarded as "reneging" on UCLA?

    The impression Leung leaves is that Meloan did something unpatriotic. Given the times we live in, I wish he'd've been been more careful.

    2007-03-16 12:51:38
    46.   capdodger
    42 Unless he had signed his papers, there is no commitment. Sounds to me like he thought about it, talked with the AFA people and decided it wasn't for him. That's not reneging. That's reconsidering.
    2007-03-16 12:53:52
    47.   bhsportsguy
    40 Jon certainly knows better than me on this topic but the writer of the article does not choose his headline, that is the editor's job.

    I thought it was a strange headline myself but once you read the article (which is the point of the headline anyway), you understand what happened.

    2007-03-16 12:58:59
    48.   dzzrtRatt
    47 The word "renege" is in the story. In this context, I think the headline ("dumped")is actually less objectionable than the story itself.
    2007-03-16 13:03:03
    49.   El Lay Dave
    48 That is the important point. "Renege" has a very specific meaning, and accusing someone of not honoring a commitment, as opposing to choosing not to accept an offer, is pretty serious.

    Anyone find the true story of Meloan and the USAF? I can't find one.

    2007-03-16 13:08:06
    50.   Xeifrank
    Guo bombed!? I'm not happy about this, not happy at all. vs, Xei
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2007-03-16 13:08:29
    51.   Greg Brock
    39 I will most certainly check it out.

    And just to weigh in on this Meloan thing, if he applied and was accepted and signed his contract/commitment, he reneged. If he didn't, he simply changed his mind and Leung should issue a clarification/retraction. Accusing somebody of being dishonorable towards a service academy is not something one should just throw out there. Not cool.

    2007-03-16 13:15:15
    52.   bhsportsguy
    Just think, you could get two Daisuke Matsuzakas for what is pictured here:

    http://tinyurl.com/2komjy

    2007-03-16 13:19:57
    53.   saltcreek
    I guess the crappiest thing about Kuos outing was that he walked Matsuzakas, even though it was well known he wasnt allowed to swing at a pitch.
    2007-03-16 13:20:34
    54.   Jon Weisman
    Update to this post above - fun story about minor league manager John Shoemaker drawing a memorable flagrant foul while playing in March Madness.
    2007-03-16 13:30:42
    55.   trainwreck
    Vlade Divac would be proud.
    2007-03-16 13:39:26
    56.   Curtis Lowe
    Looks like Kuo is only good down the stretch...
    2007-03-16 13:43:37
    57.   Curtis Lowe
    Was kuo pitching from the windup or stretch when he gave up those bombers?
    2007-03-16 13:48:17
    58.   El Lay Dave
    57 The three-run jack had to be from the stretch, you'd think. The other two were solo shots, so presumably from a windup, but an eyewitness would have to testify.
    2007-03-16 13:48:50
    59.   saltcreek
    i think the stretch for 1 of them
    2007-03-16 13:50:48
    60.   still bevens
    Steiner and Monday were talking about how Kuo was pitching from the stretch from the outset of the game..
    2007-03-16 13:58:00
    61.   Curtis Lowe
    60- that's interesting considering how everyone was making a big deal about how he abandoned that approach at the outset this spring.
    2007-03-16 14:36:57
    62.   natepurcell
    While scouting another Houston-area star named James Loney, Dodgers assistant general manager of scouting Logan White also was impressed by the kid from Katy, Texas, challenging the Dodgers' eventual 2002 first-round pick.

    i didnt realize meloan had been on white's radar since his prep days.

    2007-03-16 14:41:03
    63.   JoeyP
    Bad start for Kuo.
    Why wouldnt Larry Bigbie make the team ahead of Wilson Valdez?

    I'd think they'd replace Repko with an Of'er.

    2007-03-16 14:47:41
    64.   JoeyP
    no one else but Meloan win acceptance to the AF Academy then turn them down? Sought-after colleges depend on a certain percentage of their accepted freshmen to decide to go elsewhere. Is the AF Academy different in that regard? If my kid got accepted to UCLA, and then found out he got into Harvard (I can dream, can't I?), would he be regarded as "reneging" on UCLA?

    It doesnt quite work like that with the US Military academies. IIRC, all students that attend a US Military academy, must be appointed there by their congressman. They basically need a very high ranking letter of recommendation to be accepted into any of the service academies--Navy, Air Force, West Point.

    If MeLoan got appointed to Air Force by his congressman or another high ranking official, and then decided not to go--then yes that could be considered renegging. If you're serious about joining a military academy, and you get appointed there...You better not just decide to not go. It looks really bad.

    2007-03-16 14:59:16
    65.   Hythloday
    There is also a difference between a high school kid reneging on a college commitment and an adult reneging on a commitment (no matter what goes into the application). Kids change their mind all the time. Trying to tie some larger meaning to it is a bit silly.
    2007-03-16 15:00:38
    66.   trainwreck
    64
    I think that is dumb to expect so much out of kids choosing colleges. They want to have as many options as possible. I could care less if they get into a service academy and then decide not to go. Maybe a dream school came along and finally accepted them.
    2007-03-16 15:32:24
    67.   das411
    Has anybody reported this at all here? Saw a mention of it over at DRaysbay:

    "During a meeting with Korean reporters at the team's camp in St. Petersburg, Florida, on February 26, Choi Hee-seop revealed that, "If I am not able to make it to the big leagues this year, I will consult my agent Mr. Lee Chi-hoon and look for a place where I can play my best.""

    http://tinyurl.com/ywnkeu

    2007-03-16 16:02:42
    68.   Andrew Shimmin
    There's no good reason to guess whether he reneged. I'm sure he knows whether he signed papers or didn't. If only there were a way whereby someone, a reporter, say, could ask him whether he'd signed papers. . .

    Poking around the AFA website, there's this: "When you arrive at the Academy, you'll sign an agreement. . ." I don't think this can be quite right, since cadets go through BT before going to the Academy, right? And there'd have to be some kind of contract before going to BT; it's never been my impression that basic training was a potluck sort of affair.

    2007-03-16 16:09:36
    69.   Xeifrank
    I guess everyone is "Griddling" today?
    vr, Xei
    2007-03-16 16:25:00
    70.   Jon Weisman
    More on Kuo - see above.
    2007-03-16 16:28:23
    71.   Bob Timmermann
    Hey, I even posted baseball material on the Griddle today!
    2007-03-16 18:06:40
    72.   Bumsrap
    It is my understanding that White has thought for the last several years that Meloan might wind up being the best pitcher in the organization.

    I posted this before, that I watched Abreu play short in the AZ instructional league and he was exciting and very good with a strong arm. The guy can definitely play shortstop.

    2007-03-16 19:23:50
    73.   Gen3Blue
    64 or really smart!
    2007-03-16 19:26:45
    74.   Gen3Blue
    72 If Abrue can really play SS, he is very valuable.
    2007-03-16 21:48:56
    75.   underdog
    On second thought, maybe the Dodgers shouldn't move to the Cactus League where all their division rivals play.

    http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/10064663

    2007-03-16 22:16:10
    76.   Icaros
    "I told him [Tony Abreu] to be careful, because a middle infielder can't get too big and lose his flexibility," Duncan said. "I want the kid to be a complete player. He should be stealing more bases, bunting more. He can be a perfect No. 2 hitter, but sometimes he tries to lift the ball and he needs to hit line drives."

    Can we trade Mariano Duncan back to the Reds?

    2007-03-16 22:21:20
    77.   Greg Brock
    I told him, don't get big and strong. Those guys have power, and we HATE that. Run into outs. Bunt for outs. We value the out here.

    What we really need out of Abreu is for him to not be very good. Mariano has been tasked with making it so.

    2007-03-16 22:21:52
    78.   D4P
    "I told him [Tony Abreu] to try to hit bunt doubles, not line drive or fly ball doubles"
    2007-03-16 22:22:51
    79.   D4P
    "I told him [Tony Abreu] that even if you hit 50 HRs, there's still going to be another 500 ABs where you don't hit HRs"
    2007-03-16 22:24:02
    80.   Greg Brock
    Strikeouts are boring. Besides that, they're fascist.

    Throw ground balls. They're more democratic.

    2007-03-16 22:31:13
    81.   Jon Weisman
    Bunting aside, I don't see anything wrong with saying "hit line drives." That's a huge difference from telling him to be Juan Pierre. Are we that convinced that Tony Abreu should be aiming for the fences?
    2007-03-16 22:33:01
    82.   natepurcell
    abreu has finally gotten my attention with his recent power surge (winter ball and ST). the last couple of years, i really havent given abreu alot of love and i might just have to eat crow for that.

    i wonder if its for real. hopefully it is and he keeps improving his plate discipline. He could become a useful player.

    2007-03-16 22:34:31
    83.   natepurcell
    who is scheduled to pitch tomorrow? since its going to be on tv and all...
    2007-03-16 22:39:49
    84.   Greg Brock
    I don't think it's a matter of aiming for the fences. Everybody tries to get the best swing plane to square the ball up and hit line drives. It's the base stealing and bunting that caught my eye. And "not bulking" up. Yeah, don't get fat, but putting an extra few pounds of muscle never killed anybody.

    It's not like Pujols or Bonds try to hit fly balls or anything. The just square up and put line drive swings on the ball and it backspins into outer space. They're just really strong.

    2007-03-16 22:43:24
    85.   Greg Brock
    Maybe Abreu could get some flaxseed oil...
    2007-03-16 22:43:29
    86.   Icaros
    81

    Line drives are great, and I don't think Abreu should be "aiming for the fences." In fact, there are very few players I would trust with that objective in mind.

    But Duncan does seem to be discouraging Abreu's power development by telling him to instead focus on stealing bases (maybe if he's really good at it) and bunting (no thanks).

    2007-03-16 22:44:47
    87.   Icaros
    Next time I'll just hire Brock as my representation.
    2007-03-16 22:45:15
    88.   bigcpa
    Scouting report from Vero today... Pierre was by no means bunting for a hit to move Furcal to 3rd with 0 out. And boy did he get a rousing hand for that 1-3 putout. Lasorda was in uniform- not a pretty sight. WM Pena's HR was an absolute rocket about 12 feet off the ground opposite field. Matsusaka from the stretch balked on every pitch he threw. I don't know why the umps didn't just call one to help the guy out. He comes set, lifts his left foot a bit, stops, then starts his motion. The Matsusaka walk was a riot- after the 4th ball he looked to the dugout like "uh oh, now what?" Ortiz waved him to first and had a huge grin. After he got a baserunning reprieve with the HR he was cracking up walking back to the dugout.

    Funny fanboy story- Kemp signed a ball for me in Jupiter yesterday- on the sweet spot per my request. Got Loney on there too. Today I got LaRoche to sign, but first he started examining my ball. Then he shows it to Abreu and says something. I'm asking him what's the deal- he says "why did Kemp sign it right here?" So he calls Kemp over and says "why would you sign the guy's ball in this spot?" Must be an inside joke. So I asked Kemp why LaRoche is giving him crap and he said something to the effect "Man he just trippin." I advised Kemp that the sweet spot is the prime location and he should be flattered. End of fanboy story.

    2007-03-16 22:46:40
    89.   Greg Brock
    87 Sorry about that.

    I misspoke. Not everybody tries to hit line drives. Some people slap or beat the ball into the five/six hole and scream down the line, praying for a single. Some of them even make 44 million dollars.

    2007-03-16 22:53:45
    90.   Icaros
    89

    You have a lot of things to apologize for, but that's not one of them.

    2007-03-16 22:55:18
    91.   Icaros
    And I'm glad that I'm house-sitting and away from my NBA League Pass on a night when Kobe scores 65.
    2007-03-16 23:12:13
    92.   King of the Hobos
    83 Tomko and Mays
    2007-03-16 23:22:46
    93.   Andrew Shimmin
    92- You drop in for the first time in I can't remember how long, and it's for that?
    2007-03-16 23:26:45
    94.   StolenMonkey86
    85 - http://tinyurl.com/2ycs85
    2007-03-17 07:35:38
    95.   Jon Weisman
    84, 86 - I was responding to 78.
    2007-03-17 08:15:46
    96.   Bumsrap
    It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers create experience for Abreu, Hu, Dewitt between now and the time Furcal leaves after the 2008 season and Kent after this year.

    Could Miller be reminding everybody of Sandy Koufax by the end of this season? Good fastball and overhead delivery and wild in his youth. Operative word = remind not cloned.

    2007-03-17 08:20:19
    97.   Bumsrap
    If Wainright switches from closer to starter successfully for Cardinals, is it posible that Meloan becomes a starter along side Miller for the Dodgers? Or does Broxton get traded when the Dodgers believe Meloan can take his spot?
    2007-03-17 08:42:14
    98.   Andrew Shimmin
    Just a reminder: while today's game will be on television, it doesn't count against the 810 games that will still be left on Juan Pierre's contract. It's a good news, bad news situation.
    2007-03-17 10:00:36
    99.   Andrew Shimmin
    Vin's at the game!
    2007-03-17 10:08:32
    100.   Andrew Shimmin
    Martin and Ethier out, Lieberthal and Loney in; other than that, it's the expected opening day lineup. Except for the pitcher. One hopes.
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2007-03-17 10:11:11
    101.   dzzrtRatt
    Re: Meloan

    I got a very gracious note back from the reporter, Diamond Leung. I think it's okay to reprint it here:

    Hi John, thanks for the feedback. I definitely see where you're coming from, and I probably should have done a better job of being more clear in what I meant. By the word commitment, I was referring to the "verbal commitment" term that is commonly used in college sports reporting. For example, Greg Oden verbally committed to Ohio State. If he had gone to Arizona, he would have reneged on that oral commitment. I should have realized that the lingo I used could be interpreted the way you did. Hope that explains it, thanks again for writing in.

    Diamond Leung

    ----

    In short, I think he's saying it comes down to semantics and context. He's acknowledging the military context loads the word "renege" in a way it wouldn't be if we were just talking about civilian colleges. I appreciated his reply.

    2007-03-17 10:13:56
    102.   Andrew Shimmin
    That throw made me laugh. I expect when it happens in a real game, it will be less funny.
    2007-03-17 10:22:08
    103.   D4P
    Vin just said the Dodgers have stolen 13 bases and "only" been caught 6 times, a "good percentage
    2007-03-17 10:22:35
    104.   Andrew Shimmin
    Pierre doubles, the slacker non-bunt way, and Furry scores, even though he should have been out.
    2007-03-17 10:48:04
    105.   D4P
    I see that MLB.com is giving Pierre a triple. Didn't he go to third on a throw to the plate...?
    2007-03-17 10:49:21
    106.   Andrew Shimmin
    Ham and chicken skin, I think he meant.
    2007-03-17 10:49:31
    107.   D4P
    Pierre is now hitting .483
    2007-03-17 10:51:37
    108.   Greg Brock
    If Pierre hits .483, he could almost cobble together a pretty good slugging percentage for a leadoff hitter.
    2007-03-17 11:16:30
    109.   Andrew Shimmin
    Time for a 3-2 pickoff play!
    2007-03-17 11:17:51
    110.   natepurcell
    first dodger telecast and we get stuck with tomko and mays. oh the joy.
    2007-03-17 11:22:35
    111.   Andrew Shimmin
    Ooh! Hunter Pence comes in for the Astros.
    2007-03-17 11:23:26
    112.   Icaros
    110

    Could be worse, you could be stuck in the Bay Area suburbs listening to Charile and Rick on MLB Audio, like someone I know very very well.

    Wait, Charile just said the Dodgers are wearing green? I'm glad I can't see.

    2007-03-17 11:26:01
    113.   Andrew Shimmin
    112- Yeah. It's not great. And the hats are a different shade of green from the uniforms. JP is wearing a longly sleeved blue shirt under his green jersey. It's just not great.
    2007-03-17 11:26:27
    114.   Icaros
    111

    You know, I thought you'd have been a little more appreciative when I offered you A. Martinez's job the other day.

    If it's about leaving the house, we can set you up with a satellite, so you can work from home.

    2007-03-17 11:37:36
    115.   Andrew Shimmin
    114- I didn't read it until it was too late to revisit. Let's just say, I'm intrigued. Is he on the Dodgers' side of the ledger, or is KFWB paying his salary? I don't want to take any job that ends with my reading the weather six times an hour, forever, starting this winter.
    2007-03-17 11:47:01
    116.   Andrew Shimmin
    66% of Carmax poll takers are dumber than the basic subset of people dumb enough to pay money to vote in a meaningless poll. Which is pretty impressive.
    2007-03-17 11:48:51
    117.   Icaros
    115

    The beauty of having that job in LA, though, is that you can record the weather once and just replay it for the rest of the year.

    Besides, do you really want to be owned by the McCourts? That could end with you rubbing lotion on Jaime's feet.

    2007-03-17 11:53:02
    118.   natepurcell
    why is joe mays still on this team?
    i'm already sick of him.
    2007-03-17 11:55:21
    119.   Andrew Shimmin
    You don't be givin' [Frank McCourt]'s new bride a foot massage.
    2007-03-17 12:03:59
    120.   Greg Brock
    Kemp in for Pierre
    2007-03-17 12:16:54
    121.   Andrew Shimmin
    Looks like Abreu hurt himself getting caught stealing.
    2007-03-17 12:17:39
    122.   Icaros
    Thanks, Mariano.
    2007-03-17 12:18:57
    123.   Andrew Shimmin
    Still on the ground. Looks like a left shoulder dislocation.
    2007-03-17 12:19:21
    124.   natepurcell
    so stupid, argh.
    2007-03-17 12:21:45
    125.   Icaros
    Oh nice, shoulder injury. There goes the power.

    Now he can be that two-hitter we need so badly.

    2007-03-17 12:22:49
    126.   Greg Brock
    Well, at least if he hurt his shoulder he won't be able to bulk up by lifting weights. We don't need that.
    2007-03-17 12:24:25
    127.   natepurcell
    greg and icaros, stop mirroring each other.
    2007-03-17 12:27:13
    128.   Icaros
    He's supposed to be distracted by college basketball right now. I don't get it.
    2007-03-17 12:29:09
    129.   Icaros
    The return of Wunschtime to DT!
    2007-03-17 12:40:36
    130.   Greg Brock
    128 I glanced over here and saw that Abreu got hurt on a steal. The joke wrote itself.
    2007-03-17 12:51:26
    131.   Bob Timmermann
    130
    Sort of like when Maggie and Bart wrote an "Itchy and Scratchy"?
    2007-03-17 12:55:10
    132.   Greg Brock
    Everything in the universe is analogous to:

    The Simpsons
    The Godfather
    Baseball

    2007-03-17 12:57:26
    133.   bhsportsguy
    132 Don't forget Jazz and the Civil War.
    2007-03-17 12:58:33
    134.   Bob Timmermann
    So Ken Burns is going to do a long documentary series on "The Simpsons"?
    2007-03-17 13:03:30
    135.   Greg Brock
    134From the Simpsons:

    Ken Burns: a film about Ken Burns...by Ken Burns

    Ken Burns is a filmmaker and a jazz musician with a debatable haircut...

    QED

    2007-03-17 13:13:51
    136.   bhsportsguy
    134 Zoom in on pencil sketch of Bart Simpson.
    [Voiceover], generic '80s pop music

    It started innocently enough, Jim Brooks from the Mary Tyler Moore show and comedienne Tracy Ullman, were developing a sketch show and they wanted some animated shorts to break up the skits.

    Jim brought in a cartoonist, whose work included a weekly cartoon in a Los Angeles paper known for its liberal views and kinky personal ads.

    2007-03-17 13:15:39
    137.   Gen3Blue
    Houlton looks lights out right now. I wonder if he's figured something out. I know-small sample size. We'll see what we have at Vegas.
    2007-03-17 13:15:53
    138.   Greg Brock
    I don't know if I could watch a Burns documentary without the dulcet tones of John Chancellor.
    2007-03-17 13:49:36
    139.   Gen3Blue
    I'm suspicious of this ST run of one run and 9th inning victories. I'm trying to rationalize this as a result of having a line-up that can hit all the way 1-8. Its likely, however we are using a run of lucky outcomes at a time of meaningless games.
    2007-03-17 14:49:45
    140.   Jon Weisman
    132 - The Office
    2007-03-17 14:58:21
    141.   Jon Weisman
    Noop oatsupped op!
    2007-03-17 15:14:07
    142.   DXMachina
    138 - Eh, David McCullough will do.

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