Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
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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
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with
The Dodgers' xx-xx record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of ... ________________.
* * *
Previously on Dodger Thoughts: Looking Back on 2006 (Fill in the Blanks)
(Note: last year, this was done a month earlier, in February.)
5. Inside Baseball
The Dodgers' 88-74 record in 2006 rested mostly on the shoulders of Nomar Garciaparra but it was the right knee of Barry Bonds that handed them the division title.
14. Daniel Zappala
88-74, Drew and Nomar having their best seasons in 3 years, and Tomko being dropped from the rotation in favor of Chad Billingsley after the All-Star break.
88-74 JD Drew and Jae Seo
I am trying to be optimistic with the Dodgers in my pre-season predictions.
8. Sam DC
The Dodgers' 88-75 record in 2006 rested mostly on the shoulders of young Jason Repko, whose inside-the-park homerun broke a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning of the one-game playoff that capped the San Francisco Giants' epic season-ending collapse. For the second time in three years, game-ending Dodger heroics erased the Giants' playoff hopes, and it will be a long offseason indeed for the Boys in Orange, as they nurse their wounds after dropping four straight -- including the playoff -- to close the Season at Chavez Ravine.
Here is my entry:
The Dodgers 90-72 record rested mostly on the shoulders of Hung Chi Kuo and James Loney who powered the team from May until the end of the season.
Sillier edition: The Dodgers 85-77 record rested on the shoulders of Luis Gonzalez who miraculously played 150 games and hit 30 HRs, and (more likely; copied from Daniel/2006 above) Tomko being dropped from the rotation in favor of Chad Billingsley after the All-Star break.
By the time the season was over with, Dodger fans were left pondering whether it was indeed 2007, or actually 1997. An era of bloated payroll, prospect trading, and general malaise had returned home to Dodger Blue.
The 1990's werent all bad, werent all good, just kinda average. For the 2007 Dodgers, it was a return to the good ole' days..er average ole' days.
A balanced lineup, in which only one starting position player OPSed less than .800 (Juan Pierre),
An improved defense in the outfield, anchored by the everyday presence of Juan Pierre, whose webgems made up the bulk of the Dodgers' exposure on ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," and
Derek Lowe, who became the Dodgers' first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez in 1990, Jason Schmidt, who went 10-1 with a 1.87 ERA in divisional games (his only loss coinciding with Brandon Webb's perfect game), Randy Wolf, who had a solid comeback year, and Chad Billingsley, who never gave back Brad Penny's spot in the rotation after Penny was suspended for 15 games for taking a swing at umpire Tim McClelland.
...JD Drew (.290/.405/.520, 145 games played) has opted for free agency and will rid the team of his albatross $33M remaining contract.
The Dodgers' 100-62 record rested mostly on the shoulders of Ned Colletti, who was able to acquire power bats Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn in a trade for Mark Hendrickson, Wilson Betemit, and Drew McCourt. Colletti also threw in 25,000 misprinted commemorative championship fleece blankets.
My Mom's Rule of Genetics of offspring of attractive women and less than attractive men is that girls of such couplings end up looking like Dad, while the boys look like Mom.
I can just picture the twins before they start nursing where each one will back up her head, pull at something on her hands, then move her head around a lot, and then finally start eating.
Is anything positive ever posted here that isn't sarcasm? Not trying to start a fight, really- I can't tell.
But I know where you can get a sarcasm detector.
87-75 is what all the cool kids pick.
It's about picture #7 and I couldn't help noticing Grady finds the joke a lot funnier than Loney.
Just so long as no one got egg on his face ;)
The Dodgers' 94-68 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf. Nomar Garciaparra staying fresh and Jeff Kent bouncing back from a disappointing 2006 led a surprisingly efficient offense.
I like this idea -- let's keep predicting it every year until it finally sticks.
Billingsley Replaces Tomko is the new The Braves Won't Win the Division.
Why are you asking? Are you just not noticing the positive comments, or is that anything the slightest bit critical is not tolerated?
I suspect that you're coming to this site with too high a level of distrust, or that you take criticisms of Ned Colletti to be criticisms of the entire Dodger organization. Though of course there are critical comments here - and why shouldn't there be - there is all kinds of praise being handed out every single day.
Gen3Blue and I both had the same prediction -- on a team racked by injuries, the young players fill in and point to a bright future -- except for record: he predicts 87 wins, I predict 84. If the Dodgers win 87 they have a great shot at the postseason; if they win 84, they likely don't. And we know that anything -- sort of -- can happen in the postseason.
87 or 84 -- either is equally likely today, of course. I don't know that I particularly have a point -- except that this has been a reminder that no matter how one constructs a team, even getting to the postseason is a huge crapshoot.
Do they sell that in the same aisle as the gaydar machines?
In the playoffs, the underdog Wild Card Dodgers swept the Mets, riding the great performances of a pitching staff of Penny, Kuo, and Wolf.
Right before starting a NLCS series with the Padres, a earthquake striked Southern California pushing the fences at Petco Park out an additional 50 feet. The compelling series, which nobody in the rest of the country paid any attention to, went 7 games. In the final game, Juan Pierre walked, stole 2nd, went to third on the bad throw, and scored on a Nomar Garciappara sac fly. The Dodgers won 1-0 and advanced to the World Series where they faced the Yankees.
The Yankees, who spent the season breaking every team offensive record, swept the Dodgers convincingly. Tommy Lasorda is furious and after the series advised Frank McCourt to fire Ned Colleti for his emphasis on speed and defense, saying the Dodgers need old-school guys who could work a walk and hit for power.
The Dodger's 84-78 record rested mostly on the shoulders of new trainer Stan Conte, who was able to keep the team veterans on the field and off the DL.
But those 51's ..
Cool, thanks- yea I guess maybe im skeptical- seems like the main drivers here are:
1. Coletti is bad news and pretty much everything he does is dumb.
2. Jaun Pierre is bad news.
3. The guys in AAA are the answer to everything ( to the extent that Nomar or Gonzo getting hurt might be seen as good news)
I guess just not what I expected coming off a division winning (tying) season into one where were pretty commonly picked to be the team to beat. Probably those things stick out in my mind because they are so surprising to me. Deosn't make them wrong or right I suppose- im sure if counted they are in the minority. I guess criticism is a good thing, not sure beating a dead horse is though.
Lowe: 3 hits allowed in 2IP but no runs.
I predict the Tigers will win 95 games this year and make 3 times that many errors.
...I'm trying real hard not to do any more Pierre bashing here at DT.
Pierre bashing is not only welcome, but the entire point of juanpierreoutwatch.blogspot.com.
Take it there.
Of course, we still have Andrew to weigh in and bring us down.
On the shoulders of...
- Broxton's success in closing games after Saito was figured out by the rest of the league.
- The Killer Tomato continuing to feel sexy.
Pierre singled and has since been replaced in CF by Kemp.
Credit goes to Valdez's relay, Matrin's tag and Dane's Sardinha crazy slowness. And as I write this Ethier to Abreu to Betemit and Guillen is gunend out trying to stretch a triple.
The Dodgers' 91-71 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of a deep pitching staff, with Wolf and Billingsley the best 4-5 starters in the NL. Tomko was once again moved to the bullpen, but mostly for mop-up duties once Barazoban, Miller, and Meloan joined the club. With these callups, and strong performances from Saito and Broxton, the bullpen was among the best in the league. The offense was weak at times, with fairly balanced production from Furcal, Martin, Kent, Garciaparra, Ethier, and Loney, all of whom OPS'd between 800 and 850. Kemp, LaRoche, and Abreu were all called up at times but did not play major roles.
Thats asking people to ignore the giant elephant in the room.
I'm starting to have some pretty big fears about the game comments this season.
Wolf turns out to be the best 2007 FA signing in all of baseball.
No need to worry. By then there will actually be something to talk about rather than rehashing the usual.
See: Brinkly, Christie and Joel, Billy and daughter.
And I'm glad I was able to see almost all of the games here from San Diego, even though I don't have DirecTV, because MLB and InDemand were able to work out a deal on Saturday, March 31.
Also, don't forget the amazing comeback win in Arizona on June 26. Not quite 4+1, but memorable nonetheless.
wow, i've feel the same way at times, but can't comment for fear of getting a really well thought/written retort that I won't be able to respond back to.....anyways.
the 92-70 record rested mostly on the shoulders of the 2 leadoff guys batting over .300 and stealing over 40 bases respectively. Nomar and Kent both driving in more than a 100 runs without hitting more than 18-22 HRS due to the great number of runs scored on singles and LONG singles and an unusual amount of RBIs as a result of sac-flies, SLIGHTLY misplayed grounders(RF/JP on 3rd), wild pitches that most others wouldn't have been able to score on, other variety of errors that (again) others wouldn't have scored on....and yea, Gonzo getting less than 200 ABs due to his struggles and Kemp reaching his potential rather sooner than expected. (potential being the next Raul Mondesi, when he was w/the dodgers; w/a lttle more power).
no animosity whatsoever...i've learned so much about the sport since reading this site. So thanks GUYS!
And I think the Dodgers will finish 85-77, missing out on the wildcard by two games. Schmidt, Wolf, and Penny will all miss a few starts with injuries, and Loney will have forced himself into the everyday lineup. In a sign that the Apocalypse is upon us, the Phillies finally make the playoffs, winning the wildcard.
This is from an AP story about Karim Garcia being released:
"Manuel isn't sure whether the Phillies will start the season with four or five outfielders. Burrell, Aaron Rowand and Shane Victorino are the starters with Jayson Werth coming off the bench."
Michael Bourn is expected to get the fifth outfielder job.
But what I like about DT the best, is it's not overly rah-rah & fan-boyish, or negative. To expand on the geek world analogy of fan-boyism, I think looking at the Dodgers as some do Nintendo or Apple (i.e. they can do no wrong)...or view them Microsoft bashers may (everything they do is evil) gets old real quick. I think Macs & Wii's are the better products, but I cringe when they get a lot of biased support because I think it reduces the merits they've earned vs. ones that are handed to them. And both products certainly have their pros & cons...just like the Dodgers.
When they do well, I cheer and celebrate as any fan. But there's always room for insight and ideas on improvement, and I come to DT to feed that need.
p.s. no animals were harmed in this post
Minor league depth + $115 mil dollar payroll.
I'd think anything less than 90 wins would be a failure. The mismanagement of funds/resources probably will ensure that happens.
No huge mid-season moves though rumours will start in June about a big deal for Andruw Jones.
Somehow Loney and Kemp will also be playing regularly during the middle months but how that happens remains to be seen.
Oh and they win the division by 2 games over Colorado.
But Nomar should have been a sure thing at either third or left field and not signed if Ned thought he was too fragile to play those positions. Loney should be the first baseman.
I am actually good with Pierre in CF for now and I think Gonzo makes for great insurance but should be just that for now.
As much as I like Kemp I would be willing to trade him along with LaRoche for Zimmerman or Miguel Cabrera. I would also trade Betemit and Kent maybe to the Angels for whatever and let Abreu play second now.
1) Limit Billingsley's innings by starting him in the bullpen, so he was fresh enough to win game 3 of the NLDS;
2) Give Loney two months to work on his outfield play so he could contribute steadily in LF when Gonzo's elbow gave out.
The contrarian in me comes to the surface.
I might agree but for the fact that the West will be the toughtest division in the NL and the unbalanced schedule may keep the Dodgers from winning 90 games. The Dodgers, Padres and D'Backs will all be in contention and the Rockies will not be as bad as usual making 90 wins a tough proposition for any team in the division.
(However, 90 losses may be reachable for the Giants--they should really suck.)
I'm in agreement in that I really enjoy the fact that this site does not see the boosterism that other sites, like ItD, see. I really don't want to feel obligated to make Go Dodgers! a signature of my comments.
Plus I like the non-baseball stuff we talk about as anyone who reads my comments knows. I probably comment on baseball maybe 10% of the time.
"The only other infielder with shortstop experience that's expected to make the club, Ramon Martinez, has started only one game at shortstop since Furcal was injured. Valdez and Abreu have started at shortstop twice each since the injury."
"seems like the main drivers here are:
1. Coletti is bad news and pretty much everything he does is dumb.
2. Jaun Pierre is bad news.
3. The guys in AAA are the answer to everything ( to the extent that Nomar or Gonzo getting hurt might be seen as good news)"
Yeah, but when everyone said that, we were only being sarcastic. In fact, most commenters here believe the opposite of each one of those statements.
I have no idea what this season will bring. Depends on whether the old brittle guys manage to stay healthy and perform, and if they don't whether the kids are used (and perform well) or are held back by more trades for proven vets.
This season will come down to luck with health for the whole division. Compared with last season, I think the Dodgers are a little worse, the DBacks and Rockies a little better, the Padres and Giants basically unchanged. So... I'll guess 85 or 86 wins and a battle for both the division and the WC. Better starting pitching, worse OBP and BA (we'll miss Drew, and revert to the mean on clutch hitting), and no more power.
My only critique of this site is that it sometimes gets in the way of my getting actual work done. ;-)
86 Yah, although I think even the Giants may fare better than they've been picked this season - though that's only if a lot of things (like health) go their way, which it probably won't, and they have no position depth, so never mind. But still, I don't expect them to be pushovers with Bochy managing. The division overall should be better this year and even better next year.
did anybody notice that, in addition to AL west rivalry games, the diamondbacks and giants have to play the yankees and red sox this year (the diamondbacks have the orioles twice and the devil rays), and the padres have the red sox as well (plus baltimore and tampa bay), while we only have the blue jays (twice) and the devil rays? even the rockies have to play the red sox and yanks, but we don't.
Now that I have said it they will probably win the division.
maybe his secret is signing vets to make the fans who want names happy, but to be careful to select vets that will break down early and for whom we have ready replacements, to make the "let's go kids" crowd happy. maybe it's all just elaborate politicking.
I'd be very surprised if he were cut. He has to be out of options by now right?
If the team was scared of losing Wilson Valdez bc of options...no way they'd risk Betemit.
...and raise ticket prices.
Joey what is your point? Betemit is our starting 3b, who cares if Gurnick doesn't have him listed as someone who can play SS.
Is this along the same lines as the Werthless info you posted yesterday?
Like McDonalds, Im lov'n it.
I'd be very surprised if they didnt finish at least .500 if Cain/Zito stay healthy. Those two IMO are the best two starters on any NL team. Now 3-5 could be a problem.
Every year it seems they stack that team with garbage around Bonds..but the Bonds effect on the lineup as a whole causes them to score more runs than you'd think they would. I dont think they'll win the division, but if Cain/Zito throw 70 starts between them--they should win 80 or so.
Loney enters the lineup in LF to stay by May 10 when Gonzo's arm turns to spaghetti and Loney proceeds to hit .315 with 17 dingers and 84 RBI's. Dodgers face the wild-card Cubs in the first round winning 3-1 with solid pitching cooling off the Cubs bats. Dodgers go the distance before losing to the Mets in 7 in the NLCS when Glavine's off-speed stuff frustrates the hitters in a 2-1 loss.
77-85 on the frail shoulders of no hitting, Bonds brooding, and zero investment in minor league position players since the 1980s.
I know some expect Loney to develop his power, and maybe he will. But in a winnable division, could we really afford to get only a handful of dingers out of our 1b this year?
the bullpen was solid, bolstered midseason by the additions of meloan and miller.
on offense, matt kemp led a second-half charge, replacing the injured luis gonzalez, while russell martin and andre ethier each had solid sophomore campaigns.
In the playoffs, the dodgers took five games to defeat the braves in their first-round series before falling to the phillies in the nlcs.
Eric Neel audio tribute to Dodgertown Vero Beach
Maybe Ned's truest act of competence would be to trade Loney now, because I get a nagging feeling that his value may never be higher.
Its the love of the home grown players I think. I suspect if Loney hit 16 HRs and 52 Doubles this year in with a slightly higher avg (same OBP) than LuGo in left field folks would be swinging from the chandeliers with joy.
Who though? It was a tough year for FA power. I don't know if we wanted Soriano for that money. Lee maybe?
The offensive had its plusses and minuses in 2007. Both Rafael Furcal and Juan Pierre veered back to the mean, posting identical .352 OBPs, an improvement over last season for the much-criticized Pierre, but a 17-point decrease for the Dodger shortstop. Jeff Kent mashed 24 more HRs this year, and walked 79 times to boot, despite two trips to the DL that limited him to 523 PAs. Nomar Garciaparra's twins must have provided him extra conditioning as he stayed relatively healthy all year and contributed 65 extra-base hits in 145 games. Russell Martin and Andre Ethier saw slight sophomore slumps in 2007, but not precipitous drops, and Ethier's late-season platoon partner Matt Kemp provided another teasing glimpse into the Dodger future with six September home runs, including the game-winner pinch-hit HR on a Barry Zito hanging-curveball, in the aforementioned Billingsley outing. Luis Gonzales followed up a mediocre April with a woeful May, while James Loney learned to shag flies and kicked the major-league door in in Las Vegas by posting a .426 BA in. Loney made the vast majority of LF starts and posted offensive number remarkably similar to Ethier's rookie campaign.
A fellow can dream, can't he?
(So watch something weird happen, like a trade of LaRoche, Penny and a middle reliever for Miguel Tejada, who signs an extension to play 3B for the next 3-4 years.)
The point with Loney is, I hate to say it, the same as it was with Choi. Not that either is a future HOFer, or even an ideal 1st baseman, but that each is(was) better and cheaper than the player ahead of him. Loney is a better hitter than Choi - I don't mean to damn with faint praise. But the key here is that Loney>Nomar and Loney+Nomar's salary >> Nomar.
And I like Nomar. The beef isn't an overrating of Loney. And it's not a fetish for the home-grown. It's that when a simple choice arose, it seems to many that the GM chose the lesser of two options.
Who knows? Maybe Colletti meant it when he said that part of the reason to re-sign Nomar was his willingness and ability to change positions, and that it's Little who doesn't want to move Nomar to another spot. The only REAL problem here is that both guys apparently can only play 1b, and there's no DH in the AL (Nomar would be a good DH - that's why I figured he'd be an Angel this year).
Yea.... I guess. Ill buy right into that when I see Loney hit > 12 HRs (for the first time in his big league career). Man, I hope he does.... but I don't like seeing Ned trashed for not making that leap of faith. Which, like it or not, it is.
He's younger, bound to be more healthy, a far better fielder, and will most likely continue to improve and develop power as he ages. He's left handed. We control his rights for a long time. He's ready.
I'm willing to hear arguments for Nomar, whom I really like as a person and player. Just not at first base...
Btw, I'd be okay with a Penny, La Roche and (middle reliever) trade for Cabrera - not so sure about Tejada at this point. But the former would be highly unlikely, especially for that package.
"big league" = minors also. I guess I should have said "professional" career
Especially if you were planning to try and get Schmidt and another starter.
Outside of the debate about the 5th starter, the starters are the strength of the team followed by the bullpen.
Basically it comes down to whether or not Ned should have gone with Loney at first base and Kemp in one of the two outfield spots (the Dodgers were always going to get someone whether it was Pierre or Luis Gonzalez, they tried to get Soriano, once Drew opted out).
The money part, while nice for a DT debate, there still is no evidence, at least to me, that it has been issue when signing guys.
But basically I think the issue with Loney and Kemp is what this is all about and I think that they will still important parts for the success of this team, just not in April.
Different situations perhaps and the Angels don't get dinged about it as much perhaps because what they did was based on what Greg says in his post.
And there will be those here that are willing to take that chance however the Angels have had trouble scoring runs for the last 2 years and one reason is the lack of production at 3B and McPhereson's injuries aganist Troy's relative good health and production is a reminder that life does not always follow PECOTA.
His .872 OPS last year ranked 13th out of 24 first baseman (with enough PAs to qualify for the ranking).
At shortstop, an .872 OPS would have ranked 4th out of 19.
At third base, an .872 OPS would have ranked 7th out of 22.
And if Nomar's not healthy, then Loney fills in anyway, no?
That, of course, leaves out the middle ground where Nomar is just healthy enough to show up but not healthy enough to produce, aka fall '06. But here's hoping that they'll see Loney as a good enough alternative that they won't let that happen again.
Kids don't do it until they've done it. If we're afraid Loney will fail or get hurt, then let's never play him. Again, it's not about Nomar, who would be a dandy 3rd baseman, or even a left fielder (he's bound to outproduce Gonzo, right?). Loney is ready to play 1st base. He's done all that has been asked of him, and he's ready.
Loney "professional" (5 years in the minors) OPS = 0.802
Again, I reiterate- I like Loney a lot. Just seems things have gotten 1 sided.
He took a lot of heat in his last year in Boston for his subpar SS defense, and I don't think it's gotten any better in the 5 years he's been doing other things.
I agree that kids have to play to see what they got and I think Loney (and Kemp) will get their chances this year, it just wasn't going to be right now.
I'm not even gonna do this becouse I know @ the end of the season it's gonna end up making me look bad (Jon is sneaky that way)
BTW Greg, a little UCLA OT (Trainwreck too), how much chance do you give the Bruins on Saturday, I just don't have a good sense about that game.
Honestly, I want Florida to lose more than I want UCLA to win.
I think he would outperform Luis Gonzales. I didn't say he'd be the prototypical left fielder.
OK, I'll try again. "Ned" is not being "trashed" for this one decision. The reason this decision has produced the reaction it has hereabouts is because it's piled on top of a whole bunch of other, very similar decisions.
Well, at least Jason Repko's surgery went well, sounds like. Poor guy.
Don't get me wrong, the kid has a beautiful swing, and I think he'll have a good career. But I just don't think he has "beaten the door down."
Where are you getting 6 home runs?
However I think we may be getting the cart before the horse in the way we consider 1st base. We expect 1b to be a power position for a team. The reality is first base is a place you can hide a guy with old baseball skills and old legs and range. The fact is, if a young guy is good defensively, can really hit, and is left handed, and beyond this costs absolutely nothing, there are other positions a team can get power from. You are right in pointing out that the D's don't have other power. Damn, I'm sick of defending Loney, you are right-its not a big deal.
As far as our team, let's not go off the deepend of the lake just yet. Yes, I personally don't see the lineup in April as the best 25 with Loney not part of the 25, but sometimes things have a way of working themselves out. I am not ready to either deify or crucify Ned Colletti. Let us wait and see as it is a long season. Patience my friends.
Among 1Bs, he ranked 16th. So his offense would be farther below average for a LF than for a 1B, which surprises me.
Where did the .275 number come from?
Luis Gonzales had a .265 EqA last year.
In warm mile-high air, who among us couldn't take Mesa deep? :)
1. Loney at 1B and Nomar in LF
2. Nomar at 1B and LuGo in LF
the fairly obvious choice (from an offensive standpoint, at least) is #1.
We basically have to play as well as we did against Kansas and need Florida to be over confident and too careless with the ball. Florida has been averaging a lot of turnovers, so we have to take advantage there. Going to need some good luck when it comes to Green and Humphrey shooting threes.
BTW, on ESPN right now is McDonald's All-American Jam Fest. Kevin Love is participating in the team shoot out. The McDonald's Game follows right after. The West squad is absolutely loaded. Probably the best high school team you will ever see.
As a new guy here, I accept that I will be reprimanded or rebuffed and disputed on this on this but I have to say it anyhow. I suspect if we really get into the nitty gritty (real facts) of the rest of the "similar decisions" they may not really be that questionable. Some are questionable, sure. But how many are REALLY bad when you know the whole story behind each one. How many are "criminal" or should lead to a firing? Really.
LuGo was quite good actually (+2 in 153 games). Loney was similarly bad (-3, though in only 38 games worth of data).
I don't know. How many?
(Those shoulders were, of course, all injured, thus giving way to Tony Abreu, Hong-Chih Kuo, James Loney, Matt Kemp, Greg Miller, and BJ Lamura to end the season successfully.)
In ML news, the Devil Rays GM was named GM of the year for his astonishing trade, getting Kemp, LaRoche and Elbert for Fred McGriff who was not in the Devil Rays roster.
On a more serious note, I like Ned but wish he would not answer the phone when TB calls. Were I McCourt, I would hire an assistant to knock the phone off Ned's hand anytime he tries to talk to TB: "Bad Ned! NO!".
Also resting on a surprisingly good year from Nomar, 28 home runs from Kent, a repeat of last year with Furcal, and Pierre tripping on a beach ball and requiring knee-ending mediocrity replacement surgery, which will allow Kemp to come up and hit 25 home runs from May-September.
Then next year, LaRoche could replace Nomar in that mix.
One thing we'd better not see at all this year except in an emergency is Kent at 1b. Or worse, Ramon Martinez at 1b. Yeesh.
America--who will leave Idol tonight. If you besotted,credit ridden fools will watch fifty minutes of our most powerful marketing, you will find out who got voted off Idol by your own status quo beaten votes! Allehluhia!
I think Betamit will at least do better against lefties. The over/under for him to make it(at least for a while) ----21 Hr.
There can be a good first baseman as opposed to a well hidden power hitter. It is a morally superior position!
Dodger transactions tend to be analyzed and dissected here in a fair and reasoned manner. If Dodger management screws up it is pointed out. If they make a good deal or trade it is acknowledged as such. As you know all sites are not run this way. Some tend to be homer centric where Dodger management can do no wrong and anyone disagreeing is ostracized.
His wife (Stein's daughter) just left him.
Oooh, US-Guatemala on TV, second half just started. Byeeee.
Neither does controlling interest in a major league franchise. Move over, Astronaut Nowack, there's a new gal in town...
Unattractive is not one of them
Captital Punishment (Sam DC's favorite)
Where have you gone Andy Van Slyke (For a Jim Tracy fix)
McCovey Chronicles (for a place to tease Giant fans)
I don't mean to pick nits, but the spelling is important there. Or else Chris Needham's pun goes for naught.
The only thing that has changed is that Loney knocked the snot out of the ball this spring. He also did that as a 19 year and then promptly became injury prone and went into a 3 year slump or is everyone forgetting the nagging injuries. What if we did just give the job to Loney and not sign Nomar and he did get one of those nagging injuries that plagued him from 19-21 years old. It is not like we have any replacements for one of the most important offensive positions on the team. I don't like many things Ned has done, but signing Nomar to be our 1st baseman with Loney ready to step in is not one of them. I like hedging our bets.
--Lowe said he does remember a time when he handled Sheffield effectively.
"PlayStation," he said.
An interesting piece in that column, too, on Maury Wills's advice to James Loney.
I didn't have a problem with signing Nomar. It's where he's playing that bothers me. I don't hang Ned for that one.
Eight Men Out
Field of Dreams
A League of Their Own
Bad News Bears (original)
Other (comment below)
I hate baseball and baseball movies, nyah!
Anything without Kevin Costner in it.
Try to watch it without getting choked up. Really makes me wish we hadn't sold out and headed to AZ. Great pictures of Jackie Robinson, Campy, Maury Wills, Koufax et al, and a decent (albeit amateurish) voice-over as well.
My beef with the Natural is they did a complete 180 degree turn on the ending from the book. Roy Hobbs is supposed to fail at the end.
I like both the movie and the book. I think both work very well, and I don't think the change in and of itself - call it a betrayal if you want - should render the movie an abomination.
Interestingly, though, I just read that a director's cut of the movie is being released next week - supposed to be significantly different - though I assume it ends the same.
I can't believe that a baseball fan doesn't enjoy the original Bad News Bears.
Coincidentally, Redford was in my building today. Filming a movie starring Meryl Streep (also there) and Tom Cruise.
I didn't get a glimpses of any of them.
And I love The Natural. Both the book and the movie. Different endings, but both great.
I loved the book Shoeless Joe and found parts of the film adaptation irritating (but other parts did get me).
By the way, there's also a nice little doc coming out next week (what a coincidence, all these baseball movies out next week!) called Bottom of the Ninth that I recommend checking out.
I will watch the original Bad News Bears any time it's on. The remake left a sour taste in my mouth.
Bull Durham is still my personal favorite.
How do I know? Among other things, I hate Field of Dreams. And I know it's because of Costner. Put anyone else in the lead role, and it's a decent movie. Not great (trite is right, Jon), but decent enough.
I enjoyed the Natural but I never the read the book so I can understand Marty's feeling when a good book is changed when put on the big screen.
Do you hate Kevin Costner because of the movies he's made or the person?
A League of Their Own might be my favorite baseball movie but I've never seen a movie that seemed to catch the essence of baseball. I think I'd have to vote for Ken Burns documentary as a movie and go with that.
241 I enjoyed the heck out of that one but definitely not for all tastes. An even less realistic depiction of its titular sport than was found in Shaolin Soccer.
I like the hokey baseball movies for the most part.
Angels in the Outfield (the original with Paul Douglas)
It Happens Every Spring (Ray Milland plays a scientist who creates a substance that makes a baseball unable to be touched by wood.)
The Winning Team (Ronald Reagan as Grover Alexander)
Rhubarb (a cat inherits a baseball team with madcap results!)
Big Leaguer (Edward G. Robinson plays Pirates scout Hans Lobert trying to give some young players a tryout. Features Al Campanis playing himself!)
Bang the Drum Slowly (the original version for TV with Paul Newman as Henry Wiggen and Albert Salmi as Bruce Pearson, it's very good if you can find it.)
The Pride of St. Louis (Dan Dailey as Dizzy Dean and Chet Huntley playing Chet Huntley)
The Kid from Left Field (preferably not the Gary Coleman version, but anothe Dan Dailey film.)
Long Gone (excellent film about minor league ball starring William Petersen and Virginia Madsen)
Pastime (little seen film from 1991 also about the minor although set in the 1950s)
How about The Babe Ruth Story, 1948? :) It is probably the last baseball movie I've seen. When I was 12 I really liked it. (No, I wasn't 12 yrs old in 1948)
And quotable. Especially Harris and Cerrano.
I loved Rhubarb when I was a kid - saw it on TV one time when I was home sick from school. Doesn't the cat inherit the Brooklyn Dodgers or am I "misremembering" that?
What about The Babe with John Goodman, the one where he plays a talking pig, er, I mean, Babe Ruth... Or Cobb, with Tommy Lee Jones? Actually, I remember those both being rather uneven. Never mind.
Shaolin Soccer was great first time I saw it. Then people kept watching it and I started to think this movie is really stupid. Of course, being sober changes one's perspective.
Who was a worse Babe Ruth: William Bendix, Stephen Lang, or John Goodman?
Jackie Robinson played himself in "The Jackie Robinson Story", but Ruby Dee played Rachel Robinson. For someone who never acted professionally before, Jackie Robinson acted like a guy who had never acted before, although the scene of him petting the black cat thrown on the field to taunt him is interesting.
I didn't think Cobb was as bad as most people did, but I wouldn't call it a "good" movie. It's a movie with actors and a director and stuff.
There is a scene where Rhubarb has to be rushed to a game at the Polo Grounds and the cop in Manhattan helps saying that he doesn't mind that even though his beat is in Manhattan, he lives in Brooklyn.
Remember also that in 1951, you could just say "Brooklyn" and it got laughs. Lots of jokes of that era seemed to involve Brooklyn.
Then comedians discovered swearing.
NCAA rules were a bit more lax then.
Until Keaton fans say he's the greatest and that's that and everybody else is just flat wrong. Good times.
Also, if documentaries are allowed, When It Was a Game and Ken Burns' Baseball aren't to be missed.
People in New York played baseball.
Occasionally people in Chicago did too.
For a long time, blacks could not play with whites.
Babe Ruth was famous.
You could also get me started on the "magic of the bases being 90 feet apart."
But then I would start screaming.
D--- you Doris Kearns! It's all your fault!
Put me in the "hates the Natural" camp too. And I also think Bingo Long is an unfunny, patronizing piece of nonsense.
A few I actually like:
Eight Men Out
The Stratton Story
Pride of the Yankees
The Cameraman (Buster Keaton silent -- friggin' amazing)
Bang the Drum Slowly
The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson
Most baseball movies are really pretty bad.
The scene in Field of Dreams that gets me is when Burt Lancaster has to cross the line to save the little girl and becomes an old man. Now that's a lump in the throat moment.
"Win one for me one day, will ya boys?"
"Hey Rookie...You were good."
That's a nice scene.
It's one of Kurosawa's noir films and the denouement is a 25-minute suspense scene in which the cops try to track down the killer at a Tokyo Giants game. It was filmed "Medium Cool" style, with the actors acting out their roles in the stands at a real Giants game, with 30,000 or so people in the stands around them and the game going on in the background. Really amazing stuff.
The only problem with that scene in The Natural is that he came across the baseline to do nothing more than beat the little girl on her back. Hardly a medical procedure. If anyone else there would have known the Heimlich (sp) procedure, he could have had a few more ab's before being optioned to the minors.
This list was easier than the best basketball movie poll I had to compile a week ago. (For March Madness.) The winners of that poll were, in order, Hoosiers, Hoop Dreams and White Men Can't Jump (my personal favorite). The last one is also one of the better Jeopardy movies.
I remember enjoying Damn Yankees when I was a young 'un.
BTW. The people who made the remake a few years ago should have been arrested and thrown into bad movie prison.
And yes, I am aware how obvious that is.
How do you feel about UFC taking over PRIDE? Even though it might mean we get to see bouts we otherwise wouldn't have, I don't feel very good about it. I'm not sure why, but it makes me uneasy.
Monopolies are not good, but at least we get the dream matchups. Hopefully it is more like the NFL and not like the WWF or some other horrible monopoly.
The irony is that, now that the dream matchups are possible, a lot of them have lost their lustre. Wanderlei vs. Chuck doesn't mean much now that Wanderlei has lost twice in a row. Rampage vs. Chuck was already going to happen anyway. As much as I like Randy, him beating Tim kind of screwed up the heavyweight situation. CroCop was supposed to beat Tim and then face Fedor. Now, I don't really want to see Randy face either of those guys.
That's because Steve Phillips is a-
I have never seen a sports movie that I've liked, except for White Men Can't Jump, and that's only because of the great Main Source song on the soundtrack.
And because of Rosie Perez, God bless her annoying, annoying, voice.
PRIDE's extraneous stuff (e.g. the grand entrance with the music and the lights and the smoke and the costumes and all that stuff) is kinda cheesy, but once the fighters make it into the ring, it seems really professional and authentic. UFC doesn't have as much of the buildup, but the octagon makes it seem kinda hokey.
The offense isn't going to be very good at first. The Dodgers are going to need a decent year from Betemit (.270/.340/.450 20 hr). Hopefully Kent is productive, yet doesn't accumulate enough plate appearances for his 2008 option to be picked up. Ethier will have an ok year, but probably slightly below average for a corner outfielder. I expect Matt Kemp to come up part way through the season and get a lot of playing time. Juan Pierre will post at least a .350 on base percentage. Andy LaRoche is going to have a huge year at Vegas and will be called up at some point in the year.
The pitching staff is going to be very good. Randy Wolf is going to quietly win 15 thanks to pretty good run support and his ability to go at least 6 innings most starts. If Rudy Seanez is going to be part of a nasty 1-2-3 punch along with Saito and Broxton. Opposing teams are going to see some serious heat for 3 straight innings.
Grady Little is going to grow a thick mustache. Think Pistol Pete Maravich and Steve Prefontaine.
Having to give up Chad Billingsley, Greg Miller, Wilson Betemit and Matt Kemp was tough, but the steady bat of James Loney filling in for the injured Nomar Garciaparra made Loney untouchable. Also, the resurgence of ageless Rudy Seanez bolstered the best bullpen in the league. With LaRoche in Las Vegas showing power, a steady eye, and a decent glove in left field, the Dodgers felt that moving Kemp in exchange for Cabrera was a risk they were willing to take. Now to lock those studs up to a long term deal is the defending champs main off season challenge.
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