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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Breaking Down Luis Gonzalez
2007-04-04 09:03
by Jon Weisman

I've been thinking for a while now that Luis Gonzalez could be this year's version of Fred McGriff 2003, an aging left-handed hitter with home-run notoriety that quite simply might not survive the season in the starting lineup.

So while it's unfair to Gonzalez to jump to any conclusions two games into the season, I'm writing about this today because 1) I was jumping to these conclusions before the season started, and 2) Gonzalez's poor hitting and fielding at the outset is on everyone's minds.

McGriff actually came to the Dodgers with better numbers than Gonzalez did - an EQA of .293 in his 2002 season, compared to .271 EQA by Gonzalez in 2006. For a short time in 2003, McGriff also defied complete hopelessness against left-handed pitching, which he had gravitated toward at the tail end of his career. And - something we should all keep in mind - after a .687 OPS in April, he heated up to .909 in May.

But then McGriff broke down. Due to injuries and ineffectiveness, he reached base 35 times over the season's final four months.

After Tuesday's game, when Gonzalez told Steve Henson of the Times "I'm not 21 either, but I go out there and play hard," it reminded me of this passage from Dodger Thoughts four years ago.

This weekend, Jim Tracy held a 20-plus minute meeting with the players to get them to refocus their hitting approach. Despite his four hits in Sunday's game, McGriff didn't profess to get much out of the discussion:

"It was the same thing that every manager says - we've got to play better," McGriff said. "We all know what we've got to do, you know what I'm saying? I know what I have to do. I have to play well and I have to hit. Other guys have to pitch well."

Fred also compared himself to Tiger Woods. He wasn't saying he was as good at ... well, anything, as Tiger Woods. But McGriff was saying that people need to be patient, because everyone has to make adjustments. Just like Tiger Woods.

Just like Zippy Chippy, too. No one really debates whether people have to make adjustments. The question is, can you make the adjustments?

Can Gonzalez?

Looking like the worst left fielder in baseball history isn't indicative of Gonzalez's true performance. He can still get hot - for a week, for a month, what have you. He'll have his "I told you so" moments. But there is reason for pessimism over the course of the season. Gonzalez is barely a league-average hitter. By his own admission, he is limited defensively.

We don't know for sure whether Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp or James Loney - whichever one isn't playing in left field or languishing in Las Vegas - would do better this season. We don't. And we do know that they could do worse. If you peg Gonzalez at, say, a .260 EQA for 2007, there's no guarantee the others will match that.

But I know which horse I wouldn't be backing for the stretch run.

This discussion is moot, of course. It's not as if Gonzalez will be benched in the first week of the season. Short of an actual injury - and don't start rooting for people to get hurt - these things follow a pattern. A slumping veteran with clubhouse cachet gets rested a day to get his head together. Then, if he continues to slump, another day. Then maybe a couple of days. Then, even if the young replacement hits, the vet gets put back in the lineup to see if he can rejuvenate himself. Lather, rinse, repeat. Only after a solid investment of time would a manager initiate the difficult conversation.

For Kemp and Ethier to play together in the Dodger outfield ahead of Gonzalez, they're going to have to do more than have potential. They have to do more than be as good as Gonzalez. They have to be measurably better. Otherwise, it's just not worth the angst for manager Grady Little to flip things around.

Out of 344 position players in baseball, the Dodger starting outfield Tuesday ranks in the bottom 10 in VORP, according to Baseball Prospectus. There's job security for the taking, if anyone wants it.

Comments (207)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-04 10:13:48
1.   Eric Enders
I wonder how many of the top 10 in VORP have hit the ball as hard as Matt Kemp has.
2007-04-04 10:20:04
2.   scooplew
Is starting 0-2 ominous? Over the 60 seasons from 1947 through 2006, the Dodgers have NEVER reached post-season play in any season in which they started 0-2. In all, they advanced in 21 of those seasons (47, 49, 52, 53, 55, 56, 59, 63, 65, 66, 74, 77, 78, 81, 83, 85, 88, 95, 96, 04, and 06). They started 2-0 in 13 of those years and 1-1 in the other eight. However, of the 39 seasons during this same period in which they failed to reach the post-season, they started 0-2 11 times. Footnote: The Dodgers did not start 0-2 in either of the two seasons in this period – 51 and 62 -- in which they were in painful pennant playoffs against the Giants.
2007-04-04 10:20:31
3.   jujibee
As much as I hate to see LuGo in LF, I doubt he's going anywhere for a while. I felt this was and will be one of Ned's poorer moves, and wonder what he was think when he did it, especially considering we gave up Elmer Dessens for Brady Clark, who I would rather see in LF. It seems like he pulled the trigger to early with this one rather than weigh out his other options. I give him til at least June before we see Bigbie, who I think is a better option as well, or Loney getting more playing time.
2007-04-04 10:22:38
4.   Dark Horse
1-Eric I wouldn't want your Arcade Fire suggestion to go unapplauded. Bravo!

Yeah, we simply have to pray Gonzalez goes down early and hard. I hate to say it, but so long as any uncaught ball hit to two-thirds of our outfield is de facto extra bases, it doesn't really matter if our rotation is decent because it won't look it, regardless. This would be a problem even if he could hit, but I don't think he can.

Would that someone would pin the above post on the backs of Ned Colletti's eyeballs.

2007-04-04 10:25:12
5.   Benaiah
2 - This is one of those random things that pops up all the time and is true until it isn't. Since I don't believe in curses, and I think 2 games isn't enough to tell anything about a team, I am not going to get too worried. I bet that until 2005, every Dodger team with that good a record through 14 games went to the playoffs. That was true until it wasn't too.
2007-04-04 10:25:56
6.   chazmac138
Jon- Thank you for not referring to him as "LuGo"...........some of us really appreciate that!
2007-04-04 10:25:59
7.   jasonungar05
Yeah when Vinny is saying, this is gonna be a problem during inning 4 of game 2 of 162, it's gonna be a problem. Our OF defense is horrendus and its not as if they are all mashers who will hit 35 bombs so u can live with it. Were a 100+ million dollar payroll that will be lucky to get 40HR from our starting OF.
2007-04-04 10:27:02
8.   underdog
Uh oh, that horse analogy makes me want to start looking around for glue factories... "Here, LuGo, here boy! We're going for a ride! C'mon boy!"

Sorry, that's terrible.

You know what's weird - I'd repressed all memory of Fred McGriff's Dodger days. Not that there were much memories, anyway. I always liked him but, yeah, they were about, oh, 7 years too late.

2007-04-04 10:27:19
9.   JoeyP
Its rather amazing that a club with the payroll of the Dodgers ($119 mils) can still manage to start both Juan Pierre and Luis Gonzales in the OF.
2007-04-04 10:27:25
10.   hernari
I think we're stuck with Gonzo until he's outplayed by those lower on the depth chart over a decent period of time (June?). I have a bit more faith in Griddle than Tracy in sitting the non performing player for some reason.

Then again, it may be too early to be dropping Gonzo off our collective fantasy teams (ha-ha) since it's only been two games.

2007-04-04 10:30:21
11.   Terry A
I'm, um, proud (?) of the Times for its coverage of the Outfield Follies thus far. I hope it doesn't Plasckhetize into a "Google Boy" name-calling debacle, but it's encouraging to read valid criticism of those who had, up to this point, been the Times' darlings.
2007-04-04 10:31:28
12.   Terry A
Plaschketize, not Plasckhetize.


2007-04-04 10:32:54
13.   natepurcell
this is for canuck from the last thread.

And yet I'm not hearing much about Moustakas as a draft prospect for this year, which could mean he has let scouts know he cannot be swayed from going to USC. doesn't even have him on the top 100.

speedy8, the mod over at the dodgers scout board said he has been attending chatsworth games over the last 2 years and he has talk to multiple dodger scouts who have been there watching Moustakas. Apparently they like him alot; although he didnt specify whether it was for him arm or his bat. Personally, i want him for his bat. Although he is currently a SS on their team, hes probably going to move to a corner spot.

2007-04-04 10:33:59
14.   still bevens
9 And we're paying them roughly 20 million this season.
2007-04-04 10:34:04
15.   Jon Weisman
6 - I never use those nicknames, actually. I don't think I have even used Lucille II.
2007-04-04 10:35:44
16.   regfairfield
11 No, it's the usual stuff, it's just agreeing with our view point. Plaschke changed his mind on these guys in two days. That's analysis? Anyone can have two bad days. If Gonzalez goes three for four today, Plaschke will be extolling his virtues again.
2007-04-04 10:37:28
17.   Marty
I suppose we could refer to Gonzalez and Pierre as Flanders' Follies.
2007-04-04 10:41:49
18.   Eric Enders
15 I seem to recall a post with "Bison" in the title, though.
2007-04-04 10:41:55
19.   hernari
17. Why even have childish nicknames at all?
2007-04-04 10:43:14
20.   Terry A
16 - Plaschke has been pretty much the same (though he's changed targets), yes. But I expected the actual game coverage and notebooks to hand out free passes to the savvy vets over their mistakes/shortcomings, and that hasn't happened. Yet.
2007-04-04 10:43:57
21.   jasonungar05
I had never heard Vinny that troubled so early in any year about how teams will run all over us, how it will affect the pitchers and how the infield will have to change by getting way out there on cutoffs to help those weak arms and it's been 30 years of listening to Vin for me.
2007-04-04 10:45:06
22.   bigcpa
1 This tells the story:
2007-04-04 10:46:28
23.   hernari
20. I think Plaschke rips anyone. He's ripped Valentin, Drew, Gonzo, Depo, McCourt, etc etc.. . Why would he start to hand out free passes now?
2007-04-04 10:47:30
24.   ToyCannon
Are they also watching Matt Dominguez?

Miggy just gave a Hondo inpersonation with his blast into the 2nd deck. .

2007-04-04 10:48:06
25.   ToyCannon
You don't remember the Rudy Law era?
2007-04-04 10:52:19
26.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
Nice headline Jon. It's amazing how you can switch the places of the first pair of words with the second pair of words.

I remain hopeful, but certainly concerned.

2007-04-04 10:53:46
27.   Jon Weisman
18 - Oh yeah. You're right.

26 - It's all about whether you include a hyphen or not after the first word.

2007-04-04 11:09:19
28.   scooplew
5 -- It may well be random. Still, I found it interesting as I researched it.
2007-04-04 11:11:33
29.   KBL

I agree with that chart. I like Kemp's power, but I don't want him up there always swinging for the fence. A ball caught at the wall is still an out.

2007-04-04 11:13:41
30.   skybluestoday
Sigh. This is all making me wish we'd held onto Cody Ross (who just had a two-run shot for the Marlins).
2007-04-04 11:41:05
31.   Tangled Up in Blue
Jon, great post. I was thinking the same thing. It is still early but I have been thinking since the acquisition of LuGo that he would be a major liability so it isnt too early, in my mind, to be concerned. He appears to be another Shawn Green (after his shoulder injury).
2007-04-04 11:43:02
32.   regfairfield
Does anyone who has access to that sort of thing know what Plaschke wrote about Luis Gonzalez when we signed him? I'm at work so I don't have access to a library.
2007-04-04 11:43:11
33.   underdog
Cody's erratic (and I thought his fielding was a question, too? Though not his arm...) but I'd certainly take him over LuGo right now. Or Brady Clark or Kemp or Ethier, three guys we have on the team. But yeah, he's looking better and better. Imagine if Shane Victorino had blossomed as has when still a Dodger? (I'll admit, I didn't think twice when they let him go, though.)

Hey, this is wishful thinking, but I don't suppose there's a tivo-like function on MLBTV is there? Sure would be nice to watch games rerun later.

2007-04-04 11:44:37
34.   Marty
32 I do, let me see what I can find
2007-04-04 11:45:47
35.   Bob Timmermann
Jon Garland had a pitch that had a muzzle velocity of 79.5 mph and was travelling at 71.5 mph and it had a pFX of 12.8" and a Break of 9.2" at 26.7 degrees.

It was also known as ball two.

2007-04-04 11:47:04
36.   scareduck
Reading that 2003 quote reminds me of how long I've been reading and enjoying Dodger Thoughts. Time for an out-of-band shout-out of appreciation.
2007-04-04 11:47:07
37.   Bob Timmermann
Plaschke was on leave during the offseason to write a book and didn't write about any of the Dodgers offseason acquisitions.
2007-04-04 11:51:25
38.   regfairfield
37 Blast, thanks anyway Bob and Marty.
2007-04-04 11:54:09
39.   underdog
37 He should write books more often. Even if they're never published.
2007-04-04 11:54:26
40.   Vaudeville Villain

Actually, I think Cody Ross was rated as one of the best defensive outfielders in our system a year or so ago.

Random Observation: The Florida Marlins have a lot of useful players.

2007-04-04 11:54:58
41.   Terry A
Especially if they're never published.
2007-04-04 11:57:56
42.   Marty
He wrote this on December 10:

Without a power hitter, Luis Gonzalez is just another old guy with warning-track power.

With a power hitter, he can be a clubhouse leader and late-inning hero.

It's the only mention of Gonzalez before today's

2007-04-04 11:59:40
43.   stevesaxarm
The Dodgers' 95-67 record in 2007 rested mostly on the shoulders of the deep fly ball hit into the gap in left field by Barry Bonds. Pierre and Gonzalez both tore their ACLs in the collision while trying to make the catch and were inactive for the remainder of the season.


2007-04-04 12:00:21
44.   D4P
What is it about having a "power hitter" that would render Juis no longer an "old guy with warning-track power"...?
2007-04-04 12:02:56
45.   Marty
The column was basically a plea to trade some kids (Ethier, Kemp) along with Penny for a "proven" power hitter.
2007-04-04 12:03:21
46.   capdodger
40 Shhhh! Don't give Ned any idea. He might misdial and get Tampa Bay instead.
2007-04-04 12:04:23
47.   capdodger
44 The fact that no one would notice him until it came time for post-game interviews?
2007-04-04 12:06:16
48.   Daniel Zappala
Here I have gone and given up reading any Pla----e columns forever, and you post him on DT. Thanks, guys. Since it is posted, my immediate reaction is the same as D4P's -- how does the acquisition of a power hitter change Luis Gonzalez's impact or role?
2007-04-04 12:11:28
49.   screwballin
Looking for a reason to hope? I know this has been touched on before, but I find a lot of hope in the fact that Furcal is on the DL right now.

That may sound stupid, but he was injured last April also, and they just kept running him out there to put up a very weak first half. If Conte has them finally realizing that it's best to let injuries heal sometimes, that could make a huge difference.

I may be reading too much into one roster move, but it's better than dwelling on our lousy start. :)

2007-04-04 12:16:50
50.   Jon Weisman
36 - Thanks, Rob.

49 - I was thinking about writing about that too. Very good point.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-04 12:19:20
51.   Michael D
I know a lot of people blame Little for benching Ethier instead of Gonzalez, but you guys have to remember Little has a boss. If Little's boss signs a guy for $7 million to be our starting left fielder, he isn't getting benched on the second game of the season. Little surely wants to keep his job more than he wants to find one for Matt Kemp. Little's hands are tied. His boss gave Gonzalez a lot of money to be out there every day. Little is going to need a lot of reasons to bench Gonzalez, or as Jon mentioned, it just won't be worth the headache.
2007-04-04 12:22:51
52.   underdog
40 Was he? Hmm. Why'd we let him go again? Oh yeah, because he wasn't yet a "veteran".

49 Definitely true. I was thinking what a difference a year makes, with Conte now you know they're not gonna rush people back stupidly. Now if Conte could only find something wrong with Gonzalez worthy of a stint on the DL then he'd really be my new hero.

2007-04-04 12:25:17
53.   Jon Weisman
51 - For anyone who is doing the blaming, I think it's been much more directed at Colletti than Little.
2007-04-04 12:28:01
54.   ToyCannon
Sure glad I'm also an Angel fan so I have Vlady to fall back on after a Dodger loss. Now that Sheehan has picked the Angels to be lousy this year it gives me even more incentive.
Billy Beane has traded Bonderman & Harang the number one pitchers for each team. An A's team of Harden/Haren/Bonderman/Harang would be very formidible so when cranking on Ned for his deals, remember even the best has some skeletons to hide.
2007-04-04 12:31:43
55.   capdodger
54 Must you remind us of Vlady? Every time I see him in red I just thing of what could have been.
2007-04-04 12:39:14
56.   s choir
Just because Ethier sat for one game doesn't mean he's been benched in favor of Gonzalez. Just because the Dodgers lost the first two games of the season in a stadium where they don't usually play well doesn't mean the team needs to be revamped immediately.

We all need to take a deep breath and see what happens before we write off a season that's only two games old. If the Dodgers are still struggling like this by mid-May, then we can panic.

2007-04-04 12:41:07
57.   Bob Timmermann

Sorry, I had cracked open some skulls and was feasting on the goo inside.

2007-04-04 12:42:24
58.   Benaiah
54 - Ugly. Harang plus two other guys for Jose Guillen. Bonderman plus some guys from Lilly, who was eventually traded for Bobby Kielty. So Harang and Bonderman became a sub 800 OPS OF, 200 IP at ~4.4 ERA and 170 ABs from Guillen (at a 770 OPS). The Guillen trade is inexplicable. Oh well, he also made those Mulder and Hudson trades.
2007-04-04 12:44:43
59.   Fallout
I do not see how the Dodgers can survive fielding two OFs with very weak arms. Teams will be running them off the field. Anything hit from center to left is a potential extra base. They need strong arms in both left and right field to minimize Pierre's weakness.

I do not think that comparing Luis Gonzalez to Fred McGriff is the same thing. Gonzalez came to the Dodgers with diminished skills already. McGriff had put up very good numbers b4 he signed with the Dodgers. If I remember correctly, he got injured and tried to play with the injury causing his demise.
If McGriff had the same injury at age 30, he would have come back and been a star again. With Gonzalez, you have what you saw last year plus a year older.

2007-04-04 12:48:18
60.   ToyCannon
The Mulder heist is one of the best of the 21st century but he has zero to show for Hudson.

Don't forget Teahen was part of the 3 year deal for Beltran when Beltran went to Houston. KC has two regulars out of that deal. What did Oakland get for Teahen who turned into a run producer last year? I don't remember off the top of my head.

2007-04-04 12:48:24
61.   gibsonhobbs88
51 - Isn't a manager supposed to put what he feels is his best lineup on any one day to try and win? When you bench Ethier who hit lefties better than righties when you have a lefty starter going in Capuano, what message are you sending him? Ethier should have been left in at RF and Kemp should have been in left. That leaves just one noodle arm in Pierre in your OF. At least Pierre can run down and catch some fly balls, Lu-go seems capable of neither. I also thought, what is Ned thinking? He basically outbid himself, it wasn't like a plethera of teams were clamoring for him. My fears were echoed by Vinnie regarding the amount of baserunners that will take liberties on Pierre and LuGo's noodle arms. You won't see teams taking the same chances on the Angel's outfield.
2007-04-04 12:51:30
62.   Indiana Jon
Why don't we focus on the positives so far from this year. Hendrickson is off to a good start, Kershaw pitches tomorrow night, Wolff's arm didn't fall off, and Russell Martin finally got out of the eighth spot. Wow, that might be bad if that's all I could come up with.
2007-04-04 12:52:17
63.   trainwreck
The A's got Octavio Dotel.
2007-04-04 12:53:12
64.   Jon Weisman
56 - Who wrote off the season? Have that many done so?
2007-04-04 12:54:37
65.   Vaudeville Villain

So, yeah, not a great trade.

In Beane's defense, Teahen was blocked by Eric Chavez at third base.

2007-04-04 12:57:40
66.   trainwreck
Bonderman never had a chance with the A's. He was like a symbol for all things Beane hated at the time. Now the A's are more risky with their top draft picks.
2007-04-04 12:58:04
67.   still bevens
The Angels game just started and already Matthews Jr. has robbed Young of a HR and scored a run. I hate that the Matthews Jr. signing is making our Pierre signing look even stupider. I guess it might not hold up over the 4-5 years, but man does it bug right now.
2007-04-04 12:58:13
68.   s choir
59 JD Drew's arm was nothing to write home about last season, either. Neither was Lofton's.
2007-04-04 13:00:04
69.   s choir
64 Sorry, I was exaggerating to make a point. I'm just trying to be optimistic.
2007-04-04 13:00:10
70.   Vaudeville Villain
Speaking of Eric Chavez, talk about underperforming players. I didn't even realize this, but he has two straight years of sub-800 OPS offense. That signing's not looking particularly good at this point.
2007-04-04 13:00:38
71.   Jon Weisman
59 - I meant that I have foreseen Gonzalez having the kind of year McGriff ended up having. I didn't predict McGriff would do badly when he arrived. Know what I'm saying?
2007-04-04 13:01:31
72.   Vaudeville Villain

Yeah, but Drew had better range than Gonzalez, and Lofton gives you better OBP than Pierre. Just sayin'.

2007-04-04 13:01:35
73.   Benaiah
60 - Dotel I think. Teahen broke out last year, but if you look at his stats that wasn't really expected. He had no power until last year (20 career home runs in 1300 minor league ABs, 18 last year in 393 ABs).

As for the Hudson deal, Thomas was decent for one year for them and they got Brad Halsey for Juan Cruz. Meyer is just a disappointment, but he isn't that old (25) and more than anything he seems like a victim of the PCL. His HR/9 numbers are off the chart there.

2007-04-04 13:03:12
74.   Eric Enders
A couple points:

1. I don't think the fact that Gonzalez started yesterday is necessarily an indication that he will start all the time against lefties. Because it's the second game of the season, Little probably wanted to play his veterans no matter what kind of pitcher it was, just to make it clear who the regulars are going to be. I expect we will soon se an Ethier-Pierre-Kemp OF against LHP.

2. It might be for the best that Gonzalez is showing his incompetence now, rather than treading water right now only to tank later. The fact that it's happening now will give the Dodgers the opportunity to address and correct the problem earlier in the season. Also, I think it's important to let Gonzalez prove he can't play, rather than have Little decide beforehand that he can't play. Veterans like Gonzalez are almost always the last ones to realize that their skills are gone. The way the first two games have gone, even Gonzalez himself has to be coming to the realization that he's not what he used to be, and that will make him less likely to cause a problem when the inevitable benching happens.

2007-04-04 13:03:36
75.   ToyCannon
Dodger friend of mine and I think that when Furcal comes back that Martin would make a nice 3 or 5 hitter when facing LHP. I think Grady likes him enough for that to happen.
2007-04-04 13:04:08
76.   Eric Enders
Remember, the Braves don't really have anything to show for the Hudson deal either.
2007-04-04 13:05:48
77.   Eric Enders
67 "the Matthews Jr. signing is making our Pierre signing look even stupider. I guess it might not hold up over the 4-5 years..."

Or weeks.

2007-04-04 13:06:50
78.   ToyCannon
Angels are on fire.
2007-04-04 13:09:11
79.   ToyCannon
Sure but at the time he was a number one in the eyes of the baseball world. Just saying if he's going to get all the plaudits for Mulder he also has to take some heat for the zero return on his other ace.
2007-04-04 13:09:26
80.   Fallout
71 Jon Weisman

Got it. It's too bad McGriff's career ended the way it did.

2007-04-04 13:09:40
81.   Vaudeville Villain
Nice to see that Mike Scioscia is still the king of running his team out of an inning. Good times.
2007-04-04 13:11:46
82.   Curtis Lowe
74- Good post.
2007-04-04 13:12:22
83.   Bumsrap
Personally I think the Dodgers are better for having Gonzo and Pierre backing up the prospects Loney, Kemp, and Ethier. When push comes to shove being able to insert those two for brief periods to give mental breaks to the prospects is a luxery worth having.

Now if Ned and Grady will take advantage of their high premium insurance policies when they are needed instead of before they are needed we can get the season started.

2007-04-04 13:12:29
84.   chazmac138
I despise all things Angels!
2007-04-04 13:16:16
85.   Bumsrap
84 I was going to buy you a rally monkey for Christmas.
2007-04-04 13:16:31
86.   Jon Weisman
80 - I agree. I always rooted for him.

And though fate conspired against it in a number of ways - they were never teammates here, for one thing - a McGriff-Saenz platoon around that time would have been awesome.

2007-04-04 13:19:55
87.   Bumsrap
Ned is submitting a claim before the crash. Not even prophets are aloud to do that.
2007-04-04 13:22:59
88.   Benaiah
76 - That is a little bit strong. Hudson has thrown 410 innings for the Braves, about half of those were ace quality (3.5 ERA), the other half (4.86 ERA, were much worse). Hudson still gets a lot of ground balls, and I but his ERA will be closer to 4.0 than 5.0 over 200 innings. That is worth 8-10 million a year in this market.
2007-04-04 13:25:06
89.   philmc78
Bottom line: If LuGo can't get to routine base hits quick enough and get the ball in on time, Grady HAS to have a short leash with him. When Bill Hall stretched that single into a double last night, alarms should've been going off in the collective minds of the Dodgers coaching staff. That sort of thing is unacceptable.
2007-04-04 13:28:49
90.   D4P

Pierre, CF
Martin, C
Nomar, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzalez, LF
Betemit, 3B
Ethier, LF
Martinez, SS
Schmidt, P

2007-04-04 13:30:12
91.   Jon Weisman
Again, I remind: People took advantage of Lofton's arm and bad reads all last year. But Lofton OBPed .360 when he played and wasn't required to hit for power. If Gonzalez hits, or if Kemp fails to set the world on fire this season, I expect they'll tolerate Gonzalez's defense.

The question is, do they have unrealistic expectations for his hitting?

2007-04-04 13:30:27
92.   ssjames

That lineup makes sense, Ethier should play left with Gonzalez so that at least we have one capable fielder out there and then we just make Pierre cover center and right, he is fast after all.

2007-04-04 13:30:54
93.   chazmac138
Already got one. And thunder sticks too...

I was at Game 6 of the 2002 World Series (compliments of a company I used to do business with, otherwise I never would have been there) and when the Angels came back to beat the Giants that place was nuts. Actually when Scott Speizio hit that homer to start the rally in the seventh inning, that's when the place started getting crazy.
Anyway it absolutely ate at me for two plus years that the single greatest ball game that I had ever been a part of was a freaking' Angels game. And I didn't even want to be there! Flash froward a few years........
Then came that fateful second to the last day of the season when Finley hit the walk off grand slam, the Dodgers won the division for the first time in what seemed like an eternity, and EVERYONE went nuts.That instantly became the greatest game that I had attended. So my hatred for the Angels subsided somewhat, but not that much. I still can't stand em'!

2007-04-04 13:31:18
94.   underdog
Never mind the Dodgers, the Loons are playing today!

(Was already mentioned that Kershaw was pitching today, but I just felt like plugging the Loons again.)

2007-04-04 13:31:32
95.   Dark Horse
90-And as with last night, I find myself wishing baseball required only a six-man lineup.
2007-04-04 13:33:24
96.   Vaudeville Villain

That lineup says that Ethier and Gonzalez are both playing left field.

2007-04-04 13:34:12
97.   underdog
90 Yeah, the team has two left fielders which is sort of like having two left feet. Sigh, now if it was only Clark or Kemp instead. Maybe LuGo will show us something different tonight. I hope Schmidt is on his game, though.
2007-04-04 13:38:22
98.   Michael D

Sure it's Little's job to put the best team on the field. But what do you think would have happened if he would have said Gonzalez just became the most expensive 4th outfielder in the game? Said hey it's nice he got all that money but I'm going with this Kemp kid? Little has a boss, and the boss wouldn't be happy if the guy he gave $7 million to and promised was going to be a starter was riding the pine.

2007-04-04 13:40:52
99.   Daniel Zappala
93 You should have given your ticket to someone who wanted to be there. Me, for example.
2007-04-04 13:42:11
100.   Daniel Zappala
Speaking of the Angels, Jose Molina just reached on a bunt single to third, and I wish I could have seen that.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-04-04 13:43:45
101.   Jon Weisman
98 - Presumably, they have a relationship where they can talk this out, perhaps more productively than the Dodgers had in 2005. These decisions don't have to be made unilaterally, and I don't suspect they are.
2007-04-04 13:52:35
102.   ToyCannon
How about that comeback by the Nat's. Sam must be beside himself. To bad Julio isn't doing that implosion thing for the Diamondbacks.
2007-04-04 13:52:45
103.   chazmac138
I would've given it up in a heartbeat. In fact I tried. Unfortunately everyone I associate with knows the difference between right (Dodgers) and wrong (Angels)and I couldn't GIVE the tickets away. Nobody cared about the Angels until that World Series and stupid monkey. Going to an Angel game was bad before all that, now it's just downright unbearable (with the exception of Vlad).
2007-04-04 13:54:32
104.   Andrew Shimmin
Is anybody watching the Angel game? I just turned it on, and saw a replay of a force at second. Kendrick was trying to turn a double play, but the runner broke it up by (while sliding into second) grabbing Kendrick with his right hand. That can't be legal, can it? Hud was explaining why Kendrick's footwork was dangerous, but seemed indifferent to the tackle.
2007-04-04 13:59:52
105.   Marty
I think the Angels are actually a fun team to watch this year. With Kendrick, a healthy Kotchman, Vlad and their pitching, that is a good team.

They're a lousy team to listen to though.

2007-04-04 14:00:03
106.   berkowit28
Take a look at the Blue Jays-Tigers scoreboard. Toronto got 8 runs in the 3rd and picked up a couple of others to lead 10-2 at the end of the 7th. Then Detroit makes 7 runs in the 8th, but not quite enough. Blue Jays win 10-9. Must have been exciting to watch.
2007-04-04 14:02:33
107.   Andrew Shimmin
Kendrick just stole second on a fake to third, throw to first play. He was on the bag at second right about the time the throw got to first.
2007-04-04 14:04:01
108.   Jon Weisman
Bhsportsguy mentioned at Screen Jam that the director of "A Christmas Story" and his son were killed this morning - by an alleged drunk driver.

2007-04-04 14:05:15
109.   Benaiah
I just noticed that the D-Back benched Chris Young because he had a bad spring and instead are starting a Catcher in RF. Wow. What an idiotic move.
2007-04-04 14:05:23
110.   bhsportsguy
If anyone is going to Opening Day and want to meet somewhere and carpool, here is a special deal by the Dodgers (note no discount on parking).

In order to accommodate as many fans as possible, the Dodgers are offering an Early Bird Parking/Carpool Special to fans that carpool (at least 4 fans per automobile) and park in Lot 15.

These fans will receive a free ticket for each passenger to a future game if they arrive at Dodger Stadium at 9:30 a.m. and park in Lot 15, which is the lot located above the Think Blue sign.

This offer is limited to the first 600 automobiles. Lot 15 is a special access parking lot that is only utilized during sold out games. Fans will need to enter via the Academy Gate (off of Academy road across from the Police Academy) between 9:30 am and 10:15 am.

In addition to the free ticket for a future game, fans that carpool and park in Lot 15 will have early access to Opening Day batting practice via the Left Field Pavilion.

Otherwise, here are the opening times for Monday.

11:10 a.m. - Parking lots open to fans
11:10 a.m. - Left Field Field Level and Left Field Pavilion open to fans
11:40 a.m. - All remaining gates open to fans

Now 3 1/2 hours is a long time to get there plus the normal Monday morning start time but if anyone is up for this, email me @

I am willing to buy breakfast for those who want to watch Matt Kemp hit some BP.

2007-04-04 14:06:22
111.   bhsportsguy
108 I know a lot of Screen Jam fans enjoyed that movie but I wanted to put that note in the write place.
2007-04-04 14:07:06
112.   Benaiah
Actually, that is totally incorrect. Sorry, that is just what it said in their depth charts. Who puts those together?
2007-04-04 14:09:15
113.   ToyCannon
I probably like the Angels more then the Dodgers. If I lived in Orange County it would a no brainer but the drive is not worth it except for the weekends.
2007-04-04 14:11:28
114.   Frip

Michael D mentions that managers feel pressure to treat with kid gloves a player whom his boss just signed for a lot of money.

How real is this?

2007-04-04 14:13:08
115.   Frip
Sorry didn't see it was already addressed again.
2007-04-04 14:13:30
116.   ToyCannon
The Dodgers seem be doing some innovative things lately. I guess it does take a Rocket Scientist to do marketing right.
2007-04-04 14:15:07
117.   Jon Weisman
111 - Yes, thanks. With Screen Jam in operation today, that was a good call.
2007-04-04 14:16:34
118.   screwballin
103 everyone I associate with knows the difference between right (Dodgers) and wrong (Angels)

To me, it's right (Dodgers) and less right, but still right (Angels). I think it's totally acceptable baseball practice to have an NL team and an AL team. Especially if you live in OC. ;)

Make no mistake about it, though: The hat on my head right now is blue, not red. And that will never change.

2007-04-04 14:21:30
119.   underdog
106 Berk, you actually got that backwards. The Tigers had the big lead and then nearly blew it. I should know because my Tigers fan co-worker was freaking out towards the end, where he was calmly happy for the first few innings. (He has MLBTV and still somehow get his work done.)
2007-04-04 14:21:31
120.   bhsportsguy
114 I don't think it so much that as managers are going to give veterans a lot more time to work things out than they will younger players.

Being out here and not reading the NY papers on a regular basis, I am surprised that I did not hear more about the Mets and their signing of Alou even though Lastings Milledge would appear ready. Now he is still on the MLB roster but the Mets, like the Dodgers, are only carrying 11 pitchers right now, it they decide to add another pitcher, I would think Milledge would go down, especially if he is not getting many at bats.

Now back to the Dodgers, Grady has already said that he believes this team should be ready to go at the start and even though Furcal being out hurts them, if this team is better with Kemp and Loney playing, I think they will make the move.

I agree with whomever said above that it would be better probably for the team as a whole if Gonzalez recognizes his own shortcomings (I think he does) but we shall how the next month plays out.

2007-04-04 14:22:05
121.   Bob Timmermann
I believe David Aardsma is so wild now for the White Sox that the fancy pants pitch trajectory equipment in Chicago can't pick up the pitches or else he did throw a pitch behind Casey Blake's head.
2007-04-04 14:24:15
122.   Frip
I live in Upland, 25 minutes north of Anaheim, and most of the bars out this way have Angels games on, rather than Dodgers. So though familiarity if nothing else, I decided it was more fun to be for them than against them. How are you supposed to root against a guy like Scioscia anyway?
2007-04-04 14:24:54
123.   Jon Weisman
103 - I'm pro-Angels.
2007-04-04 14:24:56
124.   chazmac138
118. Make no mistake about it, though: The hat on my head right now is blue, not red. And that will never change.

Amen brother.

2007-04-04 14:25:12
125.   Daniel Zappala
105 Imagine Abreu at second and Loney at 1B, and the Dodgers could be just as interesting as the Angels are (with Kendrick and Kotchman). This is why I don't get the push for vets -- good, young players are very exciting. Sure, they may fail, but their upside is far higher.
2007-04-04 14:26:02
126.   D4P
Life is frageelay. You can be minding your own business, doing nothing wrong, and at any moment someone can swerve into your lane and boom, you're dead.
2007-04-04 14:26:32
127.   underdog
Tony Jackson's latest post mentions a special promotion at Dodger Stadium next week. Y'all should take advantage if you can. Carpooling for...

"a free ticket to a future game for each passenger. But there are several catches: first, you have to arrive at the stadium between 9:30 and 10:15 a.m. (game time is 1:10 p.m.), you have to park in Lot 15 (a farflung lot that is used only for sellouts), and the offer is limited to the first 600 cars."

2007-04-04 14:28:14
128.   Daniel Zappala
103 Nobody cared about the Angels until that World Series

Lots of people cared about the Angels before that, you just weren't one of them. I grew up watching Grich, DeCinces, Baylor, Witt, Abbott, and a lot of other great players for the Angels. At the same time I reveled in Reggie Smith, Guerrero, Garvey, Ceys, and Lopes. That's the wonderful thing about growing up in Southern California -- you get to root for two great baseball teams. I was thrilled to see the clinching game of the 1988 World Series in Oakland, and I would have died for 2002 Series tickets.

2007-04-04 14:29:14
129.   Bob Timmermann
127 meet 110
110 meet 127
Uma, Oprah
Oprah, Uma
2007-04-04 14:29:59
130.   capdodger
110 discount on parking...

That is, Other than the ~75% off that you could get if you picked up three people you don't know.

2007-04-04 14:30:19
131.   berkowit28
119 Right - backwards was I. Thanks for the correction.
2007-04-04 14:32:53
132.   Frip

No one / lots of people, cared about the Angels before the World Series.

A simple attendence comparison would clear this up.

2007-04-04 14:37:29
133.   underdog
110 Oops, sorry - and I even scrolled through all the messages before posting that! All except one, apparently.

I still wish there was some better kind of public transportation to go to the stadium, but that's a long ways off I guess.

Hey, does anyone know if the Dodgers are coming to San Francisco directly, so here on Thursday, or are they going home first? I just wonder if I'll, like, see Russell Martin hanging out in North Beach or something.

2007-04-04 14:41:04
134.   s choir
133 I think you're more likely to see Joe Beimel playing bingo and downing Bud Lights (out of plastic bottles) at the Knockout on Thursday night.
2007-04-04 14:41:15
135.   Michael D
I'm not a fan of the Angels, but that has a lot to do with me absolutely despising their announce crew, especially after listening to Vin all these years. I just can't stand the total homer announcers, and I hope we don't get some like that after Vin is gone.

I'm probably the only one who doesn't mind Steve Lyons, and he doesn't go around calling the other team the enemy, so if he's the fulltime color guy when Vin is gone, that's fine by me (thought not most of you).

2007-04-04 14:48:21
136.   Bob Timmermann
All I want is to make sure that the Dodgers don't hire Matt Vasgersian after Vin Scully retires. I would start weeping.
2007-04-04 14:49:41
137.   Eric Enders
132 "A simple attendence comparison would clear this up."

Maybe people cared about the Angels, just not enough to, you know, go to the games.

Question for Angels fans: Over the years, have you generally been enthused about, put off by, or indifferent toward their often desperate attempts to siphon off Dodger fans? (i.e., signing guys like Fernando, hiring an entire coaching staff composed of Dodger World Series winners, having a Bavasi as the G.M., etc.)

2007-04-04 14:50:20
138.   ToyCannon
I don't thank anyone is saying the Angels have had the same following as the Dodgers over the last 45 years but to say no one cared about the Angels until they won a World Series is just nonsense and simplistic.
Were not talking the Lakers and Clippers here.
2007-04-04 14:51:39
139.   Jon Weisman
For those who have listened to him, what's your opinion of Russ Langer? ToyC, I think you said you liked him.
2007-04-04 14:52:24
140.   underdog
134 I volunteer to be Beimel's entourage when he's in SF to make sure he doesn't pull that kinda thing again. "Here, Joe, let me show you some of my favorite coffeehouses. Why, no, they don't have a license to serve alcohol, why do you ask? And then we'll go to the library for awhile."
2007-04-04 14:52:41
141.   Eric Enders
135 I think Lyons and Steiner are an alright TV team. FOX has tended to pressure guys like Lyons and Uecker into being nothing more than annoying jokesters on the network broadcasts, but get those guys on a team broadcast and they'll show you they actually know a thing or two about baseball.

Lyons on the radio is worse than Lyons on TV, but better than Monday on the radio.

2007-04-04 14:53:54
142.   Eric Enders
139 I'm a fan. Not that he's Vin Scully or anything, but he does his homework and he's not annoying.
2007-04-04 14:54:03
143.   bhsportsguy
133 I believe they are traveling after the game so they will spend the off-day in San Francisco, their hotel in San Francisco is the Hotel Nikko San Francisco
222 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

I would guess that you will find them wandering around the downtown/Union Square area, though I wouldn't put it past them to be dining in North Beach either.

BTW, the hotel information is readily available in their media guide, which you can also view on the Dodgers website if you know where to look.

2007-04-04 14:54:37
144.   ToyCannon
I think you'd have to ask those Angel fans who don't like the Dodgers. I was thrilled when Scoscia was given the managerial job. In the past I never gave it a 2nd thought when they hired ex-dodgers. The Angels would have to be idiots to not try to increase their presence in LA since the population numbers are greater in LA. Or was before they leveled the hills and created Irvine.
2007-04-04 14:56:43
145.   underdog
143 Thanks BH! That's really helpful. I definitely don't want to stalk them but it would be cool to run into somebody here. Although, for their sake, hopefully not in this terrible area that I work just off of Civic Center.
2007-04-04 14:58:20
146.   Marty
145 you may run into Blue Tahoe though. He used to talk about hanging out at Dodger hotels on road trips.
2007-04-04 14:59:14
147.   Michael D
I'll take Steiner and Lyons over Rex and Phys any day. I'd be pretty happy if thats what we end up with for the full time tv broadcast after Vin. After checking out the Extra Innings free preview, sadly the two of them would be way better than what I've been hearing from other teams.
2007-04-04 15:02:00
148.   Andrew Shimmin
122- Upland to Anaheim in 25 minutes?

I have two questions:

1. Do you have a jetpack?

2. Can I borrow your jetpack?

2007-04-04 15:02:21
149.   bhsportsguy
My cousin moved to Orange County in the 1970's so through him, I became an Angel fan too.

Loved those teams between 1979-1986, the loss in 1986 was one of the hardest I ever felt because it was the last chance for a lot of those guys, DeCinces, Grich, Downing, Jackon, etc. The last playoff baseball game attended before last year Dodgers vs. Mets game was Game 3 in 1986 AL Championship and my cousin and I walked out in the 9th inning only to hear them come back and tie it, we ran back in and saw them win the game and afterwards could barely order some food at Del Taco because we had yelled so much.

And I enjoyed seeing them beat Barry and Giants in 2002.

So while the Dodgers are my team and sometimes Fizz and Hudman get on my nerves (and can we retire "Just another Halo victory."), I will never really root against them unless I have a fantasy pitcher going up against the Halos.

2007-04-04 15:02:32
150.   ssjames
The Dodgers used to stay at the St. Francis in Union Square, I know, because I actually saw them when I was staying there once. I am not familiar with the Hotel Nikko, but would doubt if it is as nice as the St. Francis.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-04-04 15:03:10
151.   ToyCannon
Bob Costas and Vin would be my ideal broadcast partners.
2007-04-04 15:04:41
152.   Vishal
ugh, i don't like the angels at all. having grown up in orange county, and having elderly parents who, though dodger fans as well, did not often have the energy to drive all the way to dodger stadium all that often, as well as through attending school and boy-scout type outings, i sadly found myself at anaheim stadium more often than dodger stadium as a kid. it's surprising that it didn't kill my enthusiasm for baseball; back then anaheim had a dull, staid multipurpose bowl, with a boring, not very good team, and a mostly uninterested, not very lively audience. basically the opposite climate as diverse, enthusiastic dodger stadium. i didn't actively dislike the angels at that point, but i always thought the A's were far more interesting and exciting, with eckersley, the bash bros., dave stewart, et al. my dislike has grown since then, as in the past several years i've learned more about different philsophical approaches to baseball and found that the angels embody pretty much the opposite of most of the things i believe in. oh yeah and then there's the two-headed monster of phys and hud. and now that they have a lot of talented players, they're giving the A's (whom i formally adopted as my AL team after going to school in the east bay) a hard time in the AL west, AND on top of that they're trying to claim the dodgers' rightful title as LA's team. i was happy they beat the giants in '02, but that's only because i dislike them less than SF.

it just makes sense to me to dislike your regional rival and sympathize with the regional rival of your division rival. liking the dodgers and the A's makes sense. it's like, symmetry.

2007-04-04 15:05:45
153.   bhsportsguy
145 Not the T-Loin? I walked through that area last year when I went to the Asian Art Museum and just to the edge of it when I was last there when a friend wanted to go to Citizen Cake.

San Francisco is interesting in that way that you can have these nice neighborhoods right next to ones where people tell you stay away from but because the city is so compacy and not car friendly, you end up having to travel through them anyway.

2007-04-04 15:06:38
154.   Frip
Lyons and Steiner make a very good team. They should rightly take over for Scully in time.

Scully is overrated and if you're in the wrong mood, monotonous.

Last night during a fairly critical at bat, he kept right on talking about some player's mom's kitchen. He either couldn't clue in to what was happening, or thinks baseball should never get in the way of a charming story.

2007-04-04 15:07:13
155.   Claire Malone-Evans
Lets move Pierre to 2nd, Kent to 3rd, Nomar to Shortstop, Loney to 1st, Furcal to center,Betemit to left and Gonzalez can help Bill Mueller with his difficult tasks.
2007-04-04 15:07:17
156.   screwballin
137 It's all a matter of how you interpret those moves, I guess. Some of the moves you call desperate, I would call pretty savvy, since the players/coaches came with a built-in local fan base.

To me, it's absolutely their job to try to attract as many fans as they can, so I can't blame them for making a run at the other competing team down the road. I like how Arte has been aggressive about taking on the Dodgers, and I think all fans benefit. (Parking at Angel Stadium, for instance, is still $8, and I'm sure Arte is enjoying the contrast).

2007-04-04 15:09:06
157.   bhsportsguy
152 I think the difference for me is that they never played each other when I was growing up so they were really not rivals in that way.

Now today, since they are really no different than the Phillies or the Braves because we play those guys 6 times a year too, I would probably make a choice between the two if I was just starting to follow the game.

2007-04-04 15:11:58
158.   Jon Weisman
154 - It's not Scully's fault if you're in the wrong mood.

Steiner's fine by me, but I haven't found any mood to really enjoy some of the others.

2007-04-04 15:12:40
159.   Eric Enders
155 You forgot Pedro Guerrero catching.
2007-04-04 15:13:04
160.   bhsportsguy
154 I am not sure what kind of DT alert that type of comment trips up but preferring Steiner and Lyons over Vin, hmmm.

Lets just say that probably not an opinion that most will agree with here but hey that's why they sell Dodger Dogs and Super Dogs at the Stadium.

2007-04-04 15:14:39
161.   Marty
I've stayed in the St. Francis. It's a nice hotel.
2007-04-04 15:15:48
162.   Curtis Lowe
154- hmph.
2007-04-04 15:16:06
163.   Greg S
154. My good sir, I wish to discontinue my subscription to your newsletter.
2007-04-04 15:16:20
164.   screwballin
To those who hate the Angels because of the announcers, you should get and listen to some of the other teams' announcers. There are maybe a handful of them that I can even tolerate at all. Rex and Phys aren't good, but sadly, they're not much worse than average, I think.

We've been seriously spoiled by Vin.

2007-04-04 15:17:48
165.   Vishal
lyons is okay but occasionally makes a really dumb remark. steiner is pretty decent but he has some annoying quirks which take some getting used to. neither are exactly inspired choices to succeed vinny though.
2007-04-04 15:17:55
166.   Marty
Hudler makes my ears bleed.
2007-04-04 15:18:29
167.   Greg S
150. They still do.
2007-04-04 15:19:41
168.   bhsportsguy
154 My easiest prediction will be is if DT is still here when Vin decides to put away the microphone, that thread will break any game thread or transaction discussion and Toaster better get the server ready.

I believe Vin is signed through 2008 so we still have time.

2007-04-04 15:20:04
169.   Vishal
[164] it's true that most of them are bad, but the only person i've found to be clearly worse than the angels' duo is the white sox guy... harrelson, i think his name is? i guess what really annoys is their blatant and almost juvenile-sounding homerism.
2007-04-04 15:21:08
170.   Andrew Shimmin
Three things Vin Scully is, surprisingly, responsible for:

1. The tides (The Moon just has a better PR agent)
2. Decreasing infant mortality rates world wide.
3. All that is Good and Right with the world.

A side note, I find it odd that anyone with a jetpack should ever be in a bad mood.

2007-04-04 15:21:39
171.   Bumsrap
Let me imagine how this works. A story about a Mom's kitchen or "the pitcher is in his windup, he throws the ball, the hitter takes it for strike 1, bring the count to 2 and 1, the catcher now throws the ball back to the pitcher, who catches it, walks behind the mound, now steps on the rubber, looks in for the signal, goes into his windup.....
2007-04-04 15:21:47
172.   D4P
The Cardinals guy is horrendous too
2007-04-04 15:22:22
173.   Daniel Zappala
137 Indifferent. I care about the moves the Angels have made more recently simply because they have worked. Moreno is a great owner. I like Scioscia as a manager. I like Stoneman insofar as he has not traded away the young players, though I do wish he had held onto Edmonds and Glaus. I dislike Hatcher as a hitting coach, but only because he has publicly supported the idea that players don't need to walk. He has moved away from that a bit this year, so that's good.
2007-04-04 15:23:28
174.   Greg S
150/167 My bad. You're right. They are switching this year from the St. Francis to the Nikko.
2007-04-04 15:29:28
175.   Greg S
170. Matt Kemp temporarily took over those responsibilities for a couple of weeks last summer but he handed them back to Vin.
2007-04-04 15:30:31
176.   screwballin
I know Hudler is wildly unpopular around here, but I think his enthusiasm for the game is genuine, and I find that kind of refreshing.

And you know what? My kids love him, maybe because he acts like a kid himself. So if he's attracting new fans to the game and getting them to love the sport as much as he obviously does, more power to him.

2007-04-04 15:30:32
177.   bhsportsguy
173 Stoneman gave away Alberto Callapso, who may yet make the D-Backs as a utility guy, last year for a relief pitcher who the Angels DFAed this spring.

I am just saying that while Ned did move more young players since he has been here, both have been pretty conserative about keeping their very top guys.

And Stoneman hasn't exactly wowed anyone with his signings of Finley and Weaver over the past few seasons.

2007-04-04 15:30:34
178.   gibsonhobbs88
What is the matter with rooting for both Socal representatives in their respective leagues? I call the Angels my AL team along with the Red Sox and the Dodgers are still first in my heart. I root for the day we will get a Freeway World Series, that way one SoCal-LA area team will win a title. I still root for the Dodgers when they face the halos. I don't hate the Angels and refuse to boo them even at Dodger Stadium. They beat the "Hated Ones" in the Series in 2002! That was fantastic!
Scioscia was one of my favorites in the 80's and the Angels were smart enough to give Scioscia a chance. One of the best moves they ever made. I wish the "Sheriff" wasn't our GM, as Scioscia would be the Dodger manager.
2007-04-04 15:37:15
179.   Vishal
[178] because it's not for the angels to represent socal. that's the dodgers' duty. :) i guess the angels specifically represent orange county to me. that's probably also part of the reason i don't like them.

honestly, i'm a bit surprised at the number of "dual-hat" people here. most of the baseball fans i know in socal are either/or. they're an angel person or a dodger person. not both.

2007-04-04 15:38:18
180.   underdog
153 Right across Market St. from the 'loin. Off of 7th St., near where the new Federal Bldg is. It's fine 2 blocks from here but depressing right here. Hopefully things will never be so bad that the Dodgers have to stay in the "beautiful" Renoir Hotel here across the street. Actually that may be fine inside, and the Brazilian place downstairs is awesome, but the area's horrible. Yup, I'm going for drinks at the Nikko on Friday, just to make sure Beimel's not there.
2007-04-04 15:38:44
181.   bhsportsguy
Homerism in LA/So Cal. Team broadcast (1-10, 10 being highest)

1. Padres Radio(9 - 9.5)
2. USC Football (9, 10 if Arbogast puts on a Hawaiian shirt)
3. Angels TV (7.5)
4. Clippers TV (7)
5. UCLA (7)
6. USC Basketball (7)
7. Angels Radio (6.5)
8. Clippers Radio (6)
9. Lakers TV (6)
10. Lakers Radio (6)
11. Kings (6)
12. Dodgers non-Scully (5.5)
13. Dodgers Scully (5)

No Ducks because I have no experience with their broadcasts, really the Padres and USC Football are far above anyone else in the area.

2007-04-04 15:40:21
182.   underdog
I'm with Vishal, I grew up loathing the Angels partially because of the Orange County association (and partially because I knew some obnoxious and insecure Angels fans growing up who liked to rag on the Dodgers for whatever reason). I actually like some of the players now, and Scioscia, and have liked some of the players in the past. But just can't let go of my loathing - and Moreno's "We're an LA team, too" thing didn't help.

The Giants-Angels world series was torture for me. Torture!

2007-04-04 15:40:25
183.   D4P
I think there's a bigger gap than 0.5 between Steiner and Scully
2007-04-04 15:43:32
184.   Uncle Miltie
Lyons and Steiner make a very good team. They should rightly take over for Scully in time.
Scully is overrated and if you're in the wrong mood, monotonous.

April Fools?

2007-04-04 15:51:29
185.   Disabled List
179 honestly, i'm a bit surprised at the number of "dual-hat" people here. most of the baseball fans i know in socal are either/or. they're an angel person or a dodger person. not both.

I hear ya. I don't know anybody IRL who openly roots for both teams. My friends who are Angels fans (and I'm ashamed to admit I have a few) hate the Dodgers, and my fellow Dodger fan friends are hardcore partisans who detest that banana team from OC.

Personally, I think there's been entirely too much Angel Thoughts on DT today.

2007-04-04 15:53:16
186.   Frip
Scully is overrated only in the stifling way Legends typically are, through silent decree, which forbids utterance of anything less than glowing about them.

And yea, it wouldn't hurt if he took a breath now and then.

2007-04-04 15:54:12
187.   underdog
Who are the Angels again?


2007-04-04 15:57:11
188.   bhsportsguy
183 Well I can't say Vin doesn't care who wins the game but maybe Steiner and company should be a 6.

Again this is only a rating of the degree of homerism of these broadcasts.

Having listened to Langer both during spring training and his Las Vegas broadcasts, he isn't that bad, I like him.

2007-04-04 15:58:56
189.   s choir
I love listening to Scully, but I think Jon Miller is the best baseball announcer still working. It's too bad Miller has such awful broadcast partners, both on ESPN and on local Giants broadcasts.
2007-04-04 15:59:32
190.   Vishal
[186] have you only been listening to scully recently? i'll admit that in his dotage he's acquired a few bad habits, and he makes mistakes (mixes up names and details) at a noticeable rate now, but those flaws are forgivable because his style is so smooth and excellent and also because of all the years of enjoyment and dedicated service he has already provided to us.
2007-04-04 15:59:44
191.   regfairfield
177 They also traded Alexi Casilla for J.C. Romero. Casilla is now PECOTAs favorite shortstop prospect.
2007-04-04 16:05:06
192.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
189 That is crazy talk. Jon Miller is awful, and not only because he (a) likes to emphasize his own ridiculous pronunciation for every player's name (particularly those of Dominican or Hispanic descent), and (b) he insists upon calling the type of every pitch, even at the expense of the play in action.

He is horrible, and I can't listen to him. He deserves Joe Morgan AND the Giants.

2007-04-04 16:05:11
193.   Daniel Zappala
178 I don't think it's fair to say the Dodgers represent Southern California, when that area includes Orange County and San Diego County, where there are two other teams. If it is valid for the Dodgers to grab fans from Riverside County and Orange County, then it is fair for the Angels to attract fans from LA and San Bernardino Counties.

Really, who can be upset about the Angels wanting to get fans from LA County? The drive is not that bad, and they are like any other business seeking to expand their reach. The radio stations all cover the same territory.

2007-04-04 16:06:40
194.   Daniel Zappala
I won't apologize for Angels Thoughts when we've had Nationals and Devil Rays Thoughts numerous times. :-)
2007-04-04 16:08:15
195.   bhsportsguy
Okay back to Dodger baseball.

Pitching matchups for the home opening series against the Rockies:

Jason Schmidt vs. Jeff Francis
Brett Tomko vs. Rodrigo Lopez
Brad Penny vs. Josh Fogg

Francis will be the third LH since the first game against the Giants (they will see Lowry, Russ Ortiz and Zito over the weekend).

I wonder if we will see some sort of change between who sits and plays in the outfield by then. My hunch is that Olmedo will get a game at first base against one of Giant pitchers.

2007-04-04 16:11:13
196.   underdog
There's nothing wrong with the Angels wanting to grab fans from neighboring counties. My own problem with their marketing efforts is that it extended into changing their name to be geographically a lie, irritating both their home base of Anaheim and the real LA team, the Dodgers. (Yes, the Jets and Giants are no longer in New York, but they were once, and there are no other New York football teams to compete.) But they can certainly market as far as they feel they need to; all teams do that.

Meanwhile, back to the Dodgers (remember them?) an hour before game time, and for all my "It's only two games of 162" and "don't worry" and all that, I'm both nervous and likely to feel increasingly, irrationally desperate if they don't win this one.

2007-04-04 16:13:51
197.   Daniel Zappala
But the Angels were in Los Angeles once, too, and they actually used to be called the Los Angeles Angels. It is not a stretch at all to go back to a name they previously used, especially since the alternative was "California" and they can hardly lay claim to the entire state. Using Anaheim in their name was a mistake and happened only because of Disney ownership.
2007-04-04 16:13:58
198.   bhsportsguy
193 Just a guess but I wonder if the majority of folks who go to Angel games out of the immediate (lets say 10-15 miles) area, go to root for the other team, especially when its a traditional AL rival team (Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Indians, Orioles and White Sox).
2007-04-04 16:15:20
199.   twerp

Roster stats: The 25-man roster has seven second-year players (Ethier, Saito, Martin, Kemp, Billingsley, Broxton, and Valdez). The average age is 30.88 years. Three players are 22 -- Kemp, Billingsley and Broxton. Two are 39 -- Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez.

{Insert your own witty comment here...}

2007-04-04 16:15:30
200.   Daniel Zappala
My Dodger comment for the day: even if the Dodgers start 0-10 or 3-12, I won't start worrying until the All Star break.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-04-04 16:16:28
201.   Daniel Zappala
198 Some do, but not the majority. 42,000+ fans per game is a lot.
2007-04-04 16:16:37
202.   Frip
"and [the Angels] are like any other business seeking to expand their reach"

Sort of like Shania with her fake country? Or more like Taco Bell with it's "Mexican" food? Or do you mean Al Gore pretending he's a Courtney Love fan?

2007-04-04 16:20:02
203.   Jon Weisman
Since I've made it clear that I'm pro-Angels, why wouldn't Angel Thoughts be welcome here. Given that I let you people talk about the UFC and South Park, I think it's legit.

Game thread is open.

2007-04-04 16:29:32
204.   underdog
197 You know, that's true, Daniel, they were the LA Angels once upon a time. I'd completely erased that for some reason. Well, I'm slightly biased, as I've said, so this isn't completely rational. Some of this stems from childhood trauma... ;-) and hatred of Orange County.

Btw, from an earlier thread, in defense of the Brewers' fans for not packing 'em in last night (or presumably tonight) like they did the first game, the sour turn in the weather could also have something to do with it. Sounds kind of bad out there today.

2007-04-04 17:06:33
205.   mankatododger
I am about 400 miles west of Milwaukee. We got snow and wind today and it was a little worse for them but nothing that would keep you off the road or away from a stadium with a roof. The weather has created more calls for a retractable roof for the new Twins stadium though.
2007-04-04 17:08:43
206.   Vishal
[193] hehe, it wasn't a rational argument based on fairness or best business practices. it was purely based on my own sensibility regarding the two teams, which, though reasonable, isn't entirely rational.

sure it makes sense for the angels to try and expand their market share, but that doesn't mean i have to like it :)

2007-04-05 03:20:09
207.   bojangles
Good points about the bind Grady is in. And couldn't agree more that the first few games in Milwaukee aren't necessarily a script. But one questionable move after another (for me) this offseason (just like Jon's response to Luis when it happened) suggested to me that good-Ned bad-Ned from last season was more bad-Ned, that he hadn't seen how much Sleazeball's successful marriage with steroids covered a multitude of bad moves the Giants made over the years with players like Luis. (I was never a great Dan Evans fan, but I wonder what he would have done with a payroll approaching $120 millions?).
The Milwaukee series was just too close to my sense of a bad-Ned season for comfort, and in less than a year-and-a-half, his bad-move list is getting mighty impressive. (No, I am not a Depo fan, though I thought he had the best chance to change the way the Dodgers have done business since the late eighties.
Thought Drew's arrival was his over-reaction to fans' overreaction to Adrian leaving; thought Luis' arrival Ned's over-reaction to Drew's leaving.
I was a kid when Vin was getting coffee for Connie Desmond and Red Barber at Ebbets. Like Harry Carey, he's had more than a fair run. Give some guy young as he was once his turn, like we learned in kindergarten. The play is the thing, not Vin's often unusual
and self-centered version of it....(few years ago, Hollandsworth, 'bout four feet short of the wall in right-center, makes a nice running catch (but one a big-leaguer should almost always make). The rest of the game, every time he comes up and more, we hear about this extraordinary defensive gem [again, nice catch, no gem] and the "stolen"
home run. Watched the replay a few times to be sure of my version - and simply a matter where the ball would have struck the wall -
no way it was ever close to going over, unless one of those rare deals where it hits the top of the glove and gets a beneficial carom. Vin had access to the same painfully obvious evidence - never changed his story.
He's been gettin' away with that kind of amateur-hour stuff for years.)

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