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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Dodgers at the One-Third Point: Yes, This Is Your First-Place Team
2007-06-02 15:50
by Jon Weisman

As you read this review of the Dodgers at the one-third point of the 2007 season, keep reminding yourself that they're in first place.

PA: plate appearances
EQA: According to Baseball Prospectus, EQA is "a measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EQA considers batting as well as baserunning, but not the value of a position player's defense." The average is .260.
OPS+: on-base percentage plus slugging percentage relative to the league, with 100 being average, according to
RC: According to the Hardball Times, "Invented by Bill James, RC is a very good measure of the number of runs a batter truly contributed to his team's offense. The basic formula for RC is OBP*TB, but it has evolved into over 14 different versions. We use the most complicated version, which includes the impact of hitting well with runners in scoring position, and is adjusted for ballpark impact."
IP: innings pitched
H/9: hits allowed per nine innings, translated by Baseball Prospectus to accommodate park factors
BB/9: walks allowed per nine innings, translated by Baseball Prospectus to accommodate park factors
SO/9: strikeouts per nine innings, translated by Baseball Prospectus to accommodate park factors
HR/9: home runs allowed per nine innings, translated by Baseball Prospectus to accommodate park factors
FIP: According to the Hardball Times, "a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible. The formula is (HR*13+(BB+HBP)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor (usually around 3.2) to round out the number to an equivalent ERA number. FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his fielders fielded."
ERA: earned run average
ERA+: According to the Hardball Times, "ERA measured against the league average, and adjusted for ballpark factors. An ERA+ over 100 is better than average, less than 100 is below average."
PRC: According to the Hardball Times, "The notion behind Pitching Runs Created is that a run saved is worth more than a run scored, and PRC puts runs saved on the same scale as runs scored. You can directly compare PRC to a batter's Runs Created to gauge each player's relative value to his team."
Statistics courtesy of Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus and

Russell Martin211132.31420.740
Mike Lieberthal2552.205-0.71
All hail Martin. After homering in this third consecutive game, Martin boosted his OPS to .879. The idea that this second-year catcher has become the Dodgers' most vital offensive cog is mind-boggling. Martin's OPS+ is only 18 behind that of Mike Piazza at the same point in his career (both were 24 years old in their second years in the majors) - and Martin's defense is superior by acclamation.

Martin's performance has Dodger fans on edge, wary of exploiting too much of a good thing. But little of the paranoia has been justified: Martin showed this week that he's not tiring yet, and Lieberthal today will give Martin his third day off inside of the past 10. Let's worry about Martin getting enough rest when he hasn't been. Lieberthal has yet to get untracked and certainly, the team will need more out of him later in the season. But for now, Martin has been the team MVP, mitts down.

Nomar Garciaparra21583.2530.334
Olmedo Saenz57100.2751.27
Marlon Anderson2042.213-0.61
Dodger fans might as well think of Martin as their first baseman and Garciaparra as their catcher, considering the respective offense they have provided. Garciaparra has been the equivalent of replacement value at first base, which means that while he hasn't been wholly unproductive as a hitter, he's been far below what you expect for a guy whose face is plastered on the side of a van in Dodger commercials.

It's maddening, then, that James Loney, who has a .336 on-base percentage and a .367 slugging percentage (a slugging percentage lower than his 2006 batting average) with AAA Las Vegas, hasn't made us feel worse about Garciaparra stealing his playing time. I asked 51s play-by-play announcer Russ Langer if he had any insight into Loney's struggles.

"The Vegas staff - manager Lorenzo Bundy in particular - thinks Loney is a better hitter than he's shown this season, but probably not quite as good as he showed last year," Langer said. "He says he doesn't buy the theory that Loney is bothered by the position change. He isn't playing as much outfield in recent games as he did earlier in the season anyway.

"Loney is a very level-headed young man. At the same time, it's entirely possible that there was some degree of letdown when he followed up his terrific '06 by hitting over .400 for the big club in the spring, and yet still did not make making the team. For his own part, Loney told me (Friday) that he feels good at the plate and is seeing the ball well, but has swung at more bad pitches than he would like."

As long as third base remains a revolving door for the Dodgers and Juan Pierre remains Juan Pierre, Garciaparra probably will continue churning at-bats at first base, especially if he gets the periodic RBI hit. Still, it gets easier to envision him dropping down in the batting order if the Dodgers fall out of first place.

Saenz continues to chip in - a 100 OPS+ is nothing for this team to sneeze at - though his use against right-handed pitchers (.504 OPS in 36 plate apperances) appears to be depressing his stats. His OPS against lefties in 21 plate appearances is 1.226. The differential is no doubt more than it will be by season's end, however.

Anderson has had seven innings in the field this season - we'll see if he has any impact after returning from injury.

Jeff Kent211115.28710.628
Kent looked solid at the plate and is on pace to match last season's home-run total of 14 by August. Overall, however, his offensive numbers are declining further from 2006, mainly in batting average, and the revelation in one defensive study this week that he is the most harmful defensive player relative to his position in the major leagues isn't soothing. Someday, we'll look back in amazement that this will-he-get-20-homers hitter was our cleanup man for two seasons, but from an offensive standpoint, he's just not near the top of the Dodgers' concerns.

Rafael Furcal20697.2738.227
Wilson Valdez5752.209-1.66
The recent hitting spree by Furcal boosted his stats meaningfully. If the power kicks in at any point - he hasn't had a slugging percentage as low as his current .370 since 2001 - so much the better.

Wilson Betemit10995.2701.213
Andy LaRoche5592.2900.85
Ramon Martinez6515.164-5.73
Tony Abreu2789.2580.64
Betemit has hit himself into a corner - and not the hot one. His production as a pinch-hitter (2.128 OPS) has so outshone his production as a starter (.549 OPS) that he has made it easy for the Dodgers to strand him on the bench. He's like the counter-evidence against the idea that more reps equals better hitting. But if Abreu slumps with the bat - and his stats are very batting-average dependent - Betemit may get another shot. As long as Abreu keeps his batting average near .300 with the occasional double and doesn't hurt the team defensively, we're looking at the status quo, barring a trade.

Valuing his walks, the Baseball Prospectus stats love LaRoche. But it's fine to let him be in Las Vegas, even though Martinez has reached base only 26 times since last year's All-Star break. At some point Martinez will get a meaningful hit, but his value is purely defensive now. LaRoche could fill his pinch-hitting shoes easily, with Abreu serving as the de facto backup middle infielder, but maybe it's worth keeping Martinez around if it allows LaRoche to continue his development. I don't know - I'm just trying to rationalize it all.

Luis Gonzalez201122.30312.229
Brady Clark5568.223-2.33
Right now, the Gonzalez signing has to be called a success. For the first two months, he has been the team's second-best hitter. His giving back some of that production defensively, but he has been a net positive. His 25-to-12 walk-to-strikeout ratio is something the Dodgers need more of. He sure doesn't look good to me on the field, and it doesn't really feel like he's in the thick of the Dodger victories, and maybe by season's end, we won't be thrilled at all. But he must be doing something right. It's hard to argue convincingly that Matt Kemp or James Loney would have had a better April and May.

The question for the Dodgers will be, if Gonzalez pulls a Garciaparra, will they respond appropriately - in terms of decreased playing time as well as making sure not to offer a 2008 contract. No doubt, the Gonzalez signing has run rings around the Boston Red Sox' J.D. Drew contract so far, but let's hope the Dodgers don't go double-or-nothing on Gonzalez like they did with Nomar.

After a decent start, Clark is 3 for 19 with one walk since May 1. He can do better than he has, but he has dissolved into a caddy - though a more useful one than Elmer Dessens.

Juan Pierre24869.2430.022
Wow, that's one poetic VORP for Pierre. Even allowing for a revival in the second two-thirds of the season, there's just no mistaking how uncomfortable the little guy's massive presence on the team is.

Andre Ethier18391.2551.321
Matt Kemp16149.3412.03
The lack of walks by Ethier have made him a borderline player, and the name "Todd Hollandsworth" is coming to mind for some. Ethier had an enormous batting average on balls in play for most of 2006, and nothing since September 1 has indicated that he wasn't benefiting from good luck during that period. He certainly wouldn't be the guy I would bench to make room for Kemp, but it's not as if Ethier's VORP is that much higher than Pierre's.

There's no greater urgency I feel with the Dodgers than to get Kemp in the lineup. Now OPSing .897 in Vegas, Kemp surely will look bad in some at-bats if he is recalled, but that will put him in good company on this team. In the meantime, he would provide the Dodgers with the one thing they truly seem to lack - a scary hitter. He will make a pitcher work, even if it's a strikeout. You have to be careful with him. Kemp needs to be given a chance to succeed.

Starting PitchingIPH/9HR/9BB/9SO/9FIPERAER2+PRC
Derek Lowe78 2/39.9
Randy Wolf719.
Brad Penny7010.40.42.5 5.42.942.0619642
Mark Hendrickson548.
Brett Tomko47 2/310.
Jason Schmidt1111.
It isn't 2003 all over again, but this team is absolutely pitching-dependent. Which doesn't mean it doesn't feel a little bit like the team's on the edge of a cliff. Lowe might stay within shouting distance of that ERA all year, but can Wolf keep it going? We've already seen Hendrickson and Tomko fall back to earth, but can Penny continue to walk among the clouds? Stranger things have happened than a pitcher having his first Cy Young-caliber year at age 29, but counting on Penny sort of has that vibe of hitting on 16 - it doesn't feel safe or secure, but what choice do you have when the dealer's showing strength.

In the Dodgers' favor is the fact that they have held first place with three potential above-average starting pitchers - Schmidt, Hong-Chih Kuo and Chad Billingsley - having gone untapped. In June, Kuo and Schmidt will step in (Tony Jackson just reported that Schmidt's recovery has gone so well, he will be activated in time to start Tuesday - fingers-crossed that the Dodgers didn't rush him), but consistency and durability concerns remain. The key down the stretch might be Billingsley, whose strikeout-to-walk ratio has improved from 1.02 in 2006 to 3.27 this season. You'll know (or hope) things have gone well if the Dodgers don't need to move Billingsley into the rotation.

I maintain that the Dodgers have the personnel to keep the pitching excellence going, but it's going to be a high-maintenance staff.

Takashi Saito23 2/
Jonathan Broxton289.
Joe Beimel248.
Chad Billingsley29 1/
Rudy Seanez26 1/311.
Chin-hui Tsao187.
Hong-Chih Kuo2 1/321.
Yhency Brazoban1 2/313.
Love 'em. Love 'em to death. They won't preserve a victory every time, but there is much less nervousness with this bullpen than most other fans have with theirs. Saito continues to be impeccable beyond my understanding and enjoyable beyond my deserving. Broxton has gotten hit hard a couple of times lately, but overall there's little to worry about. Beimel has escaped the left-handers-only trap, which isn't always the right thing to do, but it does increase the bullpen's overall depth. Seanez has exceeded my expectations to the point where I'm almost ready to admit a complete error about him, but I still think he's a timebomb. I'm eager to see Tsao get healthy - and Brazoban too, since he clearly has talent - just not his health. I feel that the Dodgers are deep enough organizationally in relievers that they don't need to hesitate to move Billingsley into the rotation.

Looking ahead

This team feels like my car. It's running, running smoothly at times, but there's this feeling that a breakdown will come, and you're just hoping it doesn't happen at the worst possible time. I truly think this team has the talent to play ball in October, but I don't know if that talent is going to be in the starting lineup or rotation.

Defense is also a major concern. Think how much lower this team's ERA would be if the players could field the ball. At certain positions, you just have to keep asking whether the Dodgers are getting the offense to justify the defense. (For example, a potential double-play ball in the first inning to benefit Kuo eluded Kent's reach for a single. Kent to first base, Nomar to the bench, anyone?)

In one respect, it's very appropriate that Kuo kicks off the second third of the season today with his first 2007 start. The Dodgers need a rookie to step up and say, "Yes, you can trust us." They need the players with the high-ceiling potential to establish themselves as, if nothing else, the lesser of two evils. I'm willing to believe that Gonzalez can have a 2004 Steve Finley-like positive impact on the team's fortunes. But it's just not fair for the Dodgers to only have faith in veterans, to only allow veterans to fail. If Kemp and Kuo and Billingsley and even Loney fail, let the (rested) veterans ride in to save the day. But these young players are too promising to be treated as a last resort.

* * *

Today's 4:05 p.m. game:


Retro Gameday

Comments (261)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-06-02 16:06:06
1.   LAT
Proctor and Youkilis about to go back at it with two men on.
2007-06-02 16:11:06
2.   overkill94
Where is everybody?
2007-06-02 16:13:47
3.   LAT
Mankavitch being carted off the field after collision at first base with Mike Lowell.
2007-06-02 16:16:47
4.   Andrew Shimmin
Lowell was the one who body slammed Cano, right?
2007-06-02 16:17:52
5.   overkill94
Dang, bad luck for Kuo so far, two dinkers and a bouncer through the infield
2007-06-02 16:17:59
6.   Jon Weisman
Not one of those first three singles was solidly hit against Kuo.
2007-06-02 16:26:50
7.   Andrew Shimmin
Oh sure, now it's a strike.
2007-06-02 16:27:24
8.   LAT
Nice write up Jon. I always enjoy you mid-season updates. But one question: With respect to Pierre's VORP, did you mean "poetic" or "pathetic"? I know you said you would edit later but I thought that was an ironic typo (if indeed it was a typo).
2007-06-02 16:27:33
9.   underdog
Argh. Yeah, this is a frustrating start for Kuo. I hope he can pick himself up after it. I didn't realize how bad his numbers were vs. the Pirates previously (in only 8 innings mind you, but 7 runs). Makes you wonder if this may have been the best place to give him his first start this year. But I have faith he can pick it up - even if he's now looking a little wild.
2007-06-02 16:28:14
10.   Jon Weisman
8 - Poetic.
2007-06-02 16:28:29
11.   underdog
Come on... {bite nails}
2007-06-02 16:28:49
12.   Vishal
this is so annoying. a couple of bloops and a bleeder and the wheels come off.
2007-06-02 16:29:07
13.   overkill94
Nice throw Andre!
2007-06-02 16:29:20
14.   Jon Weisman
Sanchez silly.
2007-06-02 16:29:22
15.   LAT
Nice throw by Andre.
2007-06-02 16:29:45
16.   Andrew Shimmin
Wadsworth, Shelley, Keats, Mya Ang-guh-loo, Juan Pierre's VORP--what do they have in common? Poetry.

Thanks for the last out Sanchez. Really; much appreciated.

2007-06-02 16:29:50
17.   underdog

Thank you, once again, Freddy Sanchez. Is their 3rd base coach as dense, er aggressive, as Donnelly? Or was that all Sanchez?

2007-06-02 16:31:11
18.   underdog
Nice throw, too, yeah. But that was just dumb. We'll take it! Two runs after that start isn't nearly as bad as it could have been. They'll need Snell, who I think is their best pitcher, to show some shakiness too.
2007-06-02 16:31:37
19.   LAT
That reminds of the old Mondisi days.
2007-06-02 16:33:57
20.   overkill94
I love how this is the glowing review of the starter the Nats are going with against the Padres today:

"Without any other options the Nationals have decided to give Levale Speigner another start.
Speigner, who has a 14.81 ERA in his three previous starts this season, will start Saturday's game against the Padres. This is a great game to have all your Padres players active."

Source: Rotoworld

2007-06-02 16:34:48
21.   overkill94
And Dmitri Young's quest for the record book ends as he grounds out in the 1st inning today
2007-06-02 16:34:58
22.   LAT
Poetic as in "There once was a man from Nantucket. . ."

Sorry, I'll leave it alone now.

2007-06-02 16:36:47
23.   LAT
Well there's a play you don't see everyday.
2007-06-02 16:39:48
24.   bigcpa
Jon- thanks for the milestone update. One thing that crossed my mind with Gonzalez- at what point does his solid play go from pleasant 2007 surprise to a possible 2008 signing? i.e. Nomar all over again.
2007-06-02 16:44:12
25.   LAT
Poor E. Jax getting hit again. 4-0 after two innings.

He is throwing 96 mph and just can't catch a break.

2007-06-02 16:44:39
26.   underdog
Btw, totally spot-on write-up, Jon. Agree with all of it - both the highs and lows, the things to be eager about and the worries. Although I'm a little less down on Ethier. Agree completely that Kemp needs to be back up, and if it was Ethier, Gonzo and Kemp (in center) I would be a lot less worried about their offense.

All I know is that the young 'uns are gonna make an impact this year - some already have. But given how tired and old some of the vets look already - Nomar, Kent, etc - I can't see how the young guys aren't going to get their cracks at some point.

My fingers are crossed this jalopy holds together through the season, but i do expect at least one trip to the shop being necessary.

2007-06-02 16:47:26
27.   underdog
The Pirates commentator just made the "Oriental" (rather than Asian) faux pas - or at least, dated terminology - when talking about Asian pitchers.

Gack, another bloop hit.

2007-06-02 16:48:27
28.   overkill94
As for a Kent plate appearance update - at the 1/3 way point he's at 207 not counting HBP, SF, etc.
2007-06-02 16:56:31
29.   CanuckDodger
27 -- There is nothing wrong with the word "Oriental." I think the word has aesthetic appeal. It just sounds pleasant to the ear, and is completely non-pejorative. It means "Eastern." The PC brigade's crusade against the word reflects badly on them.
2007-06-02 16:58:22
30.   Blaine
Now this wasn't at Dodger stadium and I think there were only a few college scouts there, but I was at a CIF championship game. It was the Division 3 girls fastpitch softball game. I am a youth pastor and one of my girls is the starter for Cal High in Whittier. They lost 1-0 on a run in the top of the 7th. Great pitched game. Great game overall.
2007-06-02 17:03:22
31.   underdog
It's more of a dated terminology than it is racist or anything, Canuck. It's generally not considered appropriate, nor is it considered all that inappropriate. It's just... dated. My Asian friends have mixed feelings about its usage, themselves, but no, the word itself is not pejorative. It is more the history attached to its usage of the years, how an innocent word was sometimes used in derogatory context. Anyway, don't want to get too political here, my point was more that it's a dated word to use.
2007-06-02 17:05:14
32.   underdog
We're gonna see Hull tonight, at the rate Kuo's going (pitch count wise).
2007-06-02 17:06:14
33.   underdog
Bobblehead this, says Kuo.
2007-06-02 17:07:09
34.   gpellamjr
29 A lot of derogatory terms are formed from Latin adjectives, that doesn't make them any less derogatory.

So Schmidt is to come back next week, eh? I suppose that depends on whether he has a fatigued groin.

2007-06-02 17:09:14
35.   D4P
A fatigued groin never prevented Lowe from pitching
2007-06-02 17:10:46
36.   CanuckDodger
34 -- You are saying "Oriental" is derogatory? There doesn't seem to be anything I can say in response to that other than "No, it isn't."
2007-06-02 17:11:01
37.   gpellamjr
I think I'm going to tell me teammates that I can't play softball next Thursday on account of my fatigued groin. "Fatigued groin", I just like saying it.
2007-06-02 17:14:19
38.   PDH5204
31 Dated? That would be news to the Orient-Thai Airlines, the Oriental hotel in Bangkok [located on Oriental Avenue], the Oriental Motor USA Corp., the American Oriental Society, the American Association of Oriental Medicine, the Oriental Insurance Company, Ltd., the Oriental Bank of Commerce [a government of India venture], the Grand Oriental Hotel [Sri Lanka], etc. So it isn't "dated", but as the one soul remarked, political correctness aka fascism run amok.
2007-06-02 17:15:05
39.   underdog
I strained my groin once and it was a pain to move around. It also inspired my g/f to mock me about it for awhile. "How's your groiiinn" she'd ask. I'm not sure what a fatigued groin is but there's even more room for joking about that one. (Sounds like a more fun injury than it really is.)
2007-06-02 17:15:24
40.   overkill94
How can they call it "most memorable Dodger moment" and only have one of the three options be an actual moment?
2007-06-02 17:16:36
41.   JoeyP
On MLB tv, there appears to be no commercials tonight. They are just staying with the field cam between innings. I hope this happens the remainder of the season.

Wouldnt, for a term to be derogatory, the person saying it would have to have intent to degrade?

If there's no intent to degrade, then a term cant be considered derogatory. If it is, then it says most about the person that has the problem with the usage, than the person using it.

2007-06-02 17:16:50
42.   twerp
When Kuo did well last year, Martin caught him.

Considering that and the natural jitters Kuo would have in his first start this year, wonder why Grady wouldn't use Martin tonight to help Kuo be as comfortable as possible, then Lierberthal tomorrow?

2007-06-02 17:18:25
43.   underdog
38 I was referring strictly to the use of the term when referring to PEOPLE - you know, "Those Orientals sure are smart." That kind of thing. Obviously the word is used frequently around the globe when it comes to locations and business. Like I said, it's not a racist term, but when it comes to talking about people in this country the term is considered out of date. If you disagree with me, ask any newspaper reporter. This doesn't mean the word itself isn't still used appropriately. That's all i was saying. But feel free to get riled up about political correctness if you like.
2007-06-02 17:19:15
44.   overkill94
Kuo has really settled down after that 1st inning. My ideal scenario is for both pitchers to continue to hold serve and Broxton end up getting the win when Martin comes in to hit a pinch-grand slam.

Disclaimer: Snell, Broxton, and Martin are all on my fantasy team

2007-06-02 17:19:24
45.   Michael D
It's good to see Kuo settle down. I just hope Hull and Tomko can shut them down for a couple innings while we wait for the offense to show up.
2007-06-02 17:19:38
46.   D4P
As I understand it, "Oriental" is appropriate for things (e.g. rugs), but not so much for persons.
2007-06-02 17:21:26
47.   underdog
41 I noticed that, too. It sure beats commercials, although I don't mind the MLB TV Pac Man break or whatever that is. Argh, spoke to soon. They just aired an ad. Oh well.

Rats, I have to leave soon. Hope the Dodgers' offense perks up this inning before I go, to give me a small semblance of hope.

2007-06-02 17:21:38
48.   PDH5204
43 I'm not riled, only disappointed that with no K last inning, Kuo's K/9 is now below 9.00 [and since I'm in a tight race in one fantasy league in that category, I am counting Kuo big time today].
2007-06-02 17:21:47
49.   Andrew Shimmin
43- Stop oppressing me with your speech codes!
2007-06-02 17:22:48
50.   dsfan
It seems close to unaminous among posters here that Kemp should be recalled ASAP. While I wouldn't oppose it, I think it is entirely reasonable that the benefits of keeping him with Vegas have outweighed the benefits of bringing him here. And I think, barring injuries up top, that will continue to be the case for at least 2-3 more weeks. The trial and error of working under Easler in Triple-A should pay off for Kemp, increasing the chances that Kemp will be more prepared to succeed after he returns to the Dodgers.

At this point, maximizing Kemp's development, giving him a firm foundation for the years ahead, is more important to the organization than the benefits Kemp would bring to the major-league club.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-06-02 17:23:11
51.   LAT
42. Grady said he wants to rest RM tonight becaue Snell is a RHP and Sun and Mon are LHP which RM hits much better.
2007-06-02 17:23:41
52.   JoeyP
Kuo's at 77 pitches.
The Pirates top of the order is due up in the bottom of the 5th.
I'd have pinch hit, especially since Kuo probably only has 1 more inning left in him.
2007-06-02 17:25:57
53.   JoeyP
50--I doubt getting 200 ABs this year in Vegas, as opposed to say 150Abs in LA as the 3rd/4th OF'er is the difference in Kemp developing his skills for the future.
2007-06-02 17:28:07
54.   LAT
A good friend called me a "kike" once but he had no idea it was a derogatory term. When I explained what it meant he was appalled and embarrassed. I didn't mind because he had no idea. If he used it again I would be offended.
2007-06-02 17:28:15
55.   gpellamjr
41 I prefer the field cam between innings (and the occasional chatter one might here between the announcers), but on the other point, I'd say you just described all human language. No word or grammatical construction has inherent meaning (Noam Chomsky might tell me I'm wrong). The symbols provided by the speaker, have a certain meaning to him. Those same symbols have some meaning. These meanings can't be precisely the same, because every person has an inherently different experience.

I love 38's equation of political correctness with fascism. They are precisely the same thing. There can be no differentiation made.

2007-06-02 17:30:13
56.   Marty
Orient encompasses more than just Asia, so I would think when speaking of a person from Taiwan, Asian is more accurate.
2007-06-02 17:31:33
57.   gpellamjr
54 An ex-friend recently called me in the context of an argument a "Iudaeofututor" (I can't translate it literally due to the rules, but it involves inferences about my activities based on my being married to a Jew).
2007-06-02 17:32:53
58.   MJW101
42 - Grady would have to put some ACTUAL THOUGHT into developing his lineup for Martin and Kuo to play at the same time. It may be my imagination, but there usually seems to be a disconnect when Grady puts together his lineups. He must use some unusually esoteric criteria that I am not privy to.
2007-06-02 17:35:22
59.   fordprefect
We're trying to get tix for the 6/16 game and as it's a 4-hr drive, we're planning on staying somewhere (no, not your couch, but thanks for offering) maybe downtown. Maybe not the right forum for this, but any recommendations? And anyone know if any public transport goes directly to DS?
2007-06-02 17:35:22
60.   gpellamjr
It is truly a shame that Rick Monday's discussion of the merits of Martin's all-star candidacy is limited to BA/HR/RBI/SB. Martin wins out either way, but LoDuca's BA is deceptive.
2007-06-02 17:36:53
61.   gpellamjr
Martin is a stud. I haven't decided whether I will vote. Do I really want him catching innings that don't count?
2007-06-02 17:38:37
62.   overkill94
58 Martin vs. RHP - .282/.355/.420
Martin vs. LHP - .373/.458/.686

Good enough for ya?

2007-06-02 17:39:04
63.   Marty
Props to LuGo for that play.
2007-06-02 17:39:13
64.   JoeyP
Nice catch Gonzo.
That ball went about 400 feet.
2007-06-02 17:39:57
65.   underdog
Wow. We all worry about Gonzo's defense (rightly so quite often) but that was a superb play, especially considering how weird the outfield fence is in Pittsburgh. He never gave up. Props indeed.
2007-06-02 17:40:13
66.   overkill94
Kuo must have been on a fairly strict pitch count to be removed one out before he might have the chance to get the win (I realize we would have to score a couple in the top of the 6th).
2007-06-02 17:41:32
67.   Sam in SC
what an annoying night! my power was out until just a few minutes ago. I wanted to see Kuo's start, and it comes back on just in time to see freaking tomko.
2007-06-02 17:41:33
68.   Marty
59 I recommend you consider Pasadena rather than downtown. It's very easy to get to the stadium from there, using the Academy Road entrance. If money is no object, the Ritz Carlton Huntington hotel is fantastic. On a budget? There is a Hilton and and a Sheriton close to Old Town Pasadena.
2007-06-02 17:41:53
69.   overkill94
After Edwin Jackson's outing today, his ERA stands at lucky 7.77 - obviously an homage to his days in Las Vegas
2007-06-02 17:42:42
70.   underdog
I wish Kuo could have gotten one more out but I think it was smart to swap him out, he looked really tired there. Pitch count was really high. Good move taking him out. And now, I have to leave, alas. Buena suerte.
2007-06-02 17:45:04
71.   Andrew Shimmin
In the future every big league team will have some ridiculous version of the Milwaukee sausage race, for no reason anybody can figure out.
2007-06-02 17:45:58
72.   JoeyP
Since the Dodgers are at the mid 1/3 point, it'd be something if Nomar ended up with this line:

.295/3HRs/96 RBI's--Dont think I've ever seen that before.

2007-06-02 17:47:29
73.   k0b3
nomar has become a slap hitter who gets singles with RISP...i would never had predicted that gonzo would be having a better offensive year than nomar if both were health

Colletti better be on the phone to get Teixiera

I'm okay with the idea of having abreu play 3rd base but his future is at again shows the problem with managment when batting avg is the sole reason that LaRoche was sent down but hopefully he gets hot and is called up to take 3rd later in the year.

2007-06-02 17:49:23
74.   JoeyP
It'd be nice if Grady would rest Martin against the crappy starters that the Dodgers face. They really miss his bat against the good ones, and Ian Snell is a good starter. Gorzelanny tomorrow will also be a challenge.
2007-06-02 17:49:51
75.   gpellamjr
Rick Monday: "And the Dodgers, Ian Snell has them hitting out of his hand."
2007-06-02 17:49:52
76.   PDH5204
55 Here's how mind-numbingly fascist it truly is. According to some, we can use the word for place but not people, on the other hand, the same some have no problem with America, the place, and Americans, the people. So say "hello" to Newspeak and that certain thought process known as Ingsoc.

In other news, well, everyone seems to be making a rather big deal about Lincecum, yet that kid named Germano with the Madres has now started five games and after 30.2 innings pitched, his ERA is 0.88 and his WHIP comfortably below 1.00.

2007-06-02 17:50:29
77.   LAT
71. I was just thinking, credit to Frank and the Dodgers for resisting the sausage race.
2007-06-02 17:51:23
78.   Michael D
Tomko up to his old tricks in the pen. It will be nice to not see him around next year. His wife however can stay.
2007-06-02 17:52:07
79.   LAT
As mentioned in 51, there is some logic to Grady's decision to rest Martin tonight.
2007-06-02 17:52:55
80.   underdog
It's my fault for bringing this up in the first place, however innocently it was intended, but I hope people can keep in mind rule #5 here because it's there for a reason. If not, well, I'm leaving now anyway. Play nice! ;-)

I hope Lieberthal hits a home run tonight, just so we worry less about a Martin-less Dodgers team, but boy, they sure miss his bat every time he's out.

2007-06-02 17:52:59
81.   k0b3
this offense, regardless of what people may say, is not great at all. They seem to have 0 chance against decent pitchers and eat up lesser pitchers to pad the offensive stats. Even decent offense have a CHANCE against decent to good pitchers but it seems when someone even like Snell comes in on a losing streak, the dodgers have no chance.

It also doesn't help when tomko is tomko

2007-06-02 17:53:19
82.   gpellamjr
76 You may want to define fascism for the purpose of that argument. I can hardly follow your logic. I'm sure I'm the limited one here.
2007-06-02 17:53:47
83.   StolenMonkey86
81 - It helps even less when Tomko is Bombko
2007-06-02 17:54:13
84.   fordprefect
Forgot to mention budget. In the Hilton range, roughly. In fact, we've stayed at the Pasadena Hilton. Thinking about something slightly different, New Otani maybe. (We have a 14-yr-old who's suddenly sushi mad, and it seemed an ideal locale for post-game noshing)
2007-06-02 17:55:35
85.   k0b3
hopefully tomko is demoted when Schmidt is back...i can only wish
2007-06-02 17:56:51
86.   Frip
Camera man has never watched baseball before.
2007-06-02 17:56:58
87.   D4P
The Pirates seem to have trouble scoring from second on a double.
2007-06-02 17:56:58
88.   overkill94
Why was LaRoche not going as soon as that ball was hit? Pretty heads-up play by Raffy though.
2007-06-02 17:57:09
89.   Marty
The New Otani is also fine. A lot of out of town people I do business with stay ther. The Omni on Grand is also a nice hotel, but not in Little Tokyo.
2007-06-02 17:58:33
90.   Andrew Shimmin
Perfect. The position without a reasonable backup. Excellent.
2007-06-02 17:59:27
91.   k0b3
wow..pirates are pitful
2007-06-02 17:59:33
92.   overkill94
90 Abreu?
2007-06-02 18:00:18
93.   Sam in SC
the second I get the power back, bombko goes fallujah.


2007-06-02 18:00:38
94.   T Money
Man oh man. Jim Tracy's "gritty, smallball" approach is so much more palatable now that he's not managing the Dodgers.
2007-06-02 18:00:38
95.   Andrew Shimmin
Jim Tracy says, "hey Sanchez, you think you're hot stuff? Watch this. Nobody tops the T-man."


2007-06-02 18:00:45
96.   trainwreck
Did Furcal get hurt?
2007-06-02 18:00:59
97.   Sam in SC
the pirates just can't execute, though.
2007-06-02 18:01:25
98.   k0b3
lol i love how tomko walked off the mound...he was like "yea i'm good"
2007-06-02 18:01:28
99.   Sam in SC
96 - he was hobbling around at the end of that rundown . . .
2007-06-02 18:01:34
100.   JoeyP
You gotta love Jim Tracy---if you're on the opposing team.

You got Brett Tomko on the mound--and you're giving up outs.


Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-06-02 18:02:16
101.   Andrew Shimmin
96- Looks like he twisted his ankle.
2007-06-02 18:03:23
102.   D4P
The Pirates are a stupid, stupid team.
2007-06-02 18:03:48
103.   DXMachina
That was one ugly inning.
2007-06-02 18:04:17
104.   JoeyP
Jim Tracy should thank Eric Gagne's consecutive saves streak as a reason he's employed.

He's horrible.

2007-06-02 18:04:43
105.   Branch Rickey
Both of those rundowns were poorly executed. Especially the 2nd one where Lieberthal threw back to 3rd despite the fact that there was one runner going back in that direction and a 2nd one standing there already.
But the Pirates are bad and hopefully we can play poorly and still beat them.
2007-06-02 18:06:06
106.   StolenMonkey86
Maybe Abreu plays short and LaRoche is told to hop back on the plane. Or Betemit plays short. Or Betemit plays third.

Or Furcal will be ok by tomorrow or Monday.

2007-06-02 18:07:25
107.   Branch Rickey
Andy LaWho?
2007-06-02 18:07:59
108.   Sam in SC
watch betemit split the gap . . .
2007-06-02 18:08:40
109.   Sam in SC
or maybe not.
2007-06-02 18:09:00
110.   k0b3
wilson betemit...with his .193 avg..has a higher OPS than nomar

well he struck out so this inning is over because pierre is up

2007-06-02 18:09:02
111.   overkill94
Ugh, sometimes Wilson just looks clueless at the plate
2007-06-02 18:09:44
112.   Branch Rickey
108. On the bench between Martinez and Saenz?
2007-06-02 18:09:47
113.   Fallout
46 D4P

LOL. That's a classic.

2007-06-02 18:10:04
114.   JoeyP
Juan we need a blooper.
2007-06-02 18:10:23
115.   Frip
Steiner: "Mendoza line"

Racist facist pig xenophobe homophobe and probably a jerk.

2007-06-02 18:11:28
116.   Marty
The girls behind the shot of left-hand hitters are starting to look a little tipsy.
2007-06-02 18:11:33
117.   Michael D
Escape hatches sure are expensive.
2007-06-02 18:11:46
118.   Sam in SC
The Player didn't go around on that pitch. but it was in the dirt, for heavens sake . . . .
2007-06-02 18:12:35
119.   Michael D

I'm sure the guy with them is going to have fun tonight when they get home.

2007-06-02 18:12:52
120.   Ricardo
For a guy that came with the fame of being hard to strike out, JP is striking out too much.
2007-06-02 18:13:05
121.   JoeyP
Snell was hitting 97 mph even after 100 pitches.

Jimbo usually kept pitchers in too long though, so the Dodgers still got a chance.

2007-06-02 18:14:24
122.   overkill94
Ruuuudyyyy can't fayal!
2007-06-02 18:15:00
123.   StolenMonkey86
coming into tonight's game:
Pierre's career K%: .062
Pierre's 2007 K%: .079
2007-06-02 18:15:46
124.   trainwreck
Thanks for the info.
2007-06-02 18:16:02
125.   Jon Weisman
Political correctness does not invent things out of thin air to make your lives miserable. It comes out of somewhere of substance, and I don't think it's for the people who aren't targeted by the language to decide that it's not deragatory.

I don't think this is the place for this discussion.

2007-06-02 18:16:36
126.   Ricardo
It´s strange but the Dodgers almost never sweep,even weak teams like Nationals.How many sweeps does the Dodgers have this year? 3?
2007-06-02 18:18:09
127.   alexx
Penny's HR/9 should be zero, shouldn't it?
2007-06-02 18:19:23
128.   Sam in SC
125 - we have a rule about his, no?
2007-06-02 18:22:01
129.   StolenMonkey86
I don't think this is the place for this discussion [political correctness].

Agreed. Nice K there by Seanez.

2007-06-02 18:22:12
130.   underdog
(Still waiting for my darned cab... grrr... and the Dodgers are still losing... grrr....)

128 Yep, and I tried to remind about that in 80. Though Jon said it better than I did, above.

2007-06-02 18:22:18
131.   k0b3
dodgers need to be much more selective at the plate...the reason they had a solid offense last year was because of patience and OBP..this year everyone (kent, nomar, pierre) is just hacking away
2007-06-02 18:24:37
132.   underdog
So, three-way tie for first again? This is gonna be a tight race for awhile.

So, when's Kemp and/or Loney getting called up again? {Beat dead horse, ON}

2007-06-02 18:25:14
133.   LeeLacy
And if Big Jonathan makes an appearance, should we make reference to The Guns of Broxton?
2007-06-02 18:26:18
134.   k0b3
geez kent is swinging at ANYTHING
2007-06-02 18:26:30
135.   JoeyP
Nomar that was a foot outside and low.
Dont swing.
2007-06-02 18:28:22
136.   underdog
Kent has warning track power all of a sudden. Spacious park in places, too, sure, but still...
2007-06-02 18:30:32
137.   JoeyP
Snell's at 109 pitches through 8.
He may get the complete game tonight.
2007-06-02 18:30:41
138.   cdbavg400
Jon, nice review of the team. After looking at these new stats I'm personally unfamiliar with, and your corresponding legend, I was wondering if you could include what exactly VORP is. I think it's fair to say that a 0.0 VORP is bad, but what's a good one? Thanks.
2007-06-02 18:31:54
139.   Branch Rickey
134. All three pitches he swung at were strikes so I'm not sure what you mean by "ANYTHING". Betemit, Pierre and Nomar on the other hand all swung at pitches out of the strike zone.
2007-06-02 18:36:38
140.   StolenMonkey86
131 - IMO Nomar's problem seems to be that he's not nailing as many first pitches as he usually does - seems like he's either swinging and missing or fouling them off. But he's up to 3.89 P/PA, which is very very high for Nomar (he usually sees like 3.1 or so, less than Pierre).

Nomar's a career .371 hitter (over 1.000 OPS) on the first pitch, making contact 19.9% of the time. This year, he's hitting .419 (.871 OPS), making contact 14.4% of the time.

Intuitively I'd say Kent is too trigger happy.

2007-06-02 18:38:25
141.   PDH5204
82 Sorry for the belated reply, but I was called away for a bit. For your answer: it is that part of the fascist thought process that does not allow one to see the obvious contradiction, here, Orient good, Oriental bad, but America good, Americans good. In another context, well, what finally ended up being the only thing written on the barn wall of Orwell's Animal Farm? All animals are equal; some animals are more equal than others. So too with respect to deriving name of people from name of place, or so it seems.

The State of Washington now has a law that prohibits the use of the term "Oriental" in official government documents. So we can safely say that the State of Washington will never have any relations with the people who inhabit that string of islands called the Republika ng Pilipinas. I mean how does the State of Washington correspond with the people who live in Davao Oriental, Oriental Mindoro, Oriental Negros, Misamis Oriental, etc. How does the State of Washinton even address the envelope, considering that the address is: Municipality of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines?

Oh, and here's the giveaway re the fascist nature of it, from an article in New Media America, describing the Washington legislation in question:

"Many Asian Americans are unaware that the term "Oriental" is offensive because the term is often used in their home countries to refer to its citizens..."

And so after colonialism and imperialism ended, which are the two usual rationales used to relegate "Oriental" to the dustbin, those "Orientals" in the "Orient" still use the word and its derivation to describe themselves and the place in which they live.

Now, if the men in blue could only score two or three or four more runs...

2007-06-02 18:38:41
142.   Sam in SC
cool inning by seanez. and he isn't exactly my favorite player.
2007-06-02 18:39:01
143.   JoeyP
Seanez with 5Ks in 2ip.
2007-06-02 18:39:31
144.   Sam DC
I stayed at the Bonaventure once recently and it was quite affordable though I don't know if I looked into some or other deal.

I find the Bonaventure really cool, though it's quite dated and the rooms are on the small side if you've got a passel of anything with you.

Other people find the Bonaventure one step cheesier than Disneyland.

And someone mentioned Levale Speigner above -- things did not go well for him and it's not likely he'll start again any time soon for the Nationals. Not being able to hold a spot on the Nationals weak-to-start-and-now-injury-depleted pitching staff is saying something. Joel Hanrahan has just come off the DL and is likely to get Speigner's next spot.

2007-06-02 18:40:41
145.   Branch Rickey
141 meet 125
2007-06-02 18:41:17
146.   Andrew Shimmin
Really the most outrageous thing about this is that it's diluting D4P's brand identity. He's the fascist, not Pellam. Pellam is the softball playing, Latin enthusiast. Keep up, people!
2007-06-02 18:41:59
147.   Sam in SC
as a newbie, one of the things that draws me to DT is that it is a pure baseball blog.

I appreciate and abide by the rules, because those rules keep it a pure baseball blog.

this is just an observation.

2007-06-02 18:43:05
148.   Sam in SC
I really dislike the pirates' broadcasting crew.
2007-06-02 18:43:44
149.   StolenMonkey86
This year, Kent is hitting .200/.194/.457 on the first pitch, with 2 homers and 1 GIDP, with 17.1% of his plate appearances ending after the first pitch.

For his career, Kent is hitting .317/.325/.559 on the first pitch with 65 HR and 49 GIDP, with the first pitch split covering 15.3% of his plate appearances.

2007-06-02 18:44:18
150.   D4P

That's my brand identity. Don't wear it out.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-06-02 18:45:00
151.   JoeyP
Another 3 way tie for 1st place.
2007-06-02 18:45:12
152.   Fallout
Jon-I enjoyed reading your analysis.
My thought on Kemp is where do you put him? Gonzalez is hitting better than either of the other two OFs. Kemp's defense is not good enough to play CF and besides you are not going to see the Dodgers bench their $44M player. That only leaves Ethier who is not tearing it up. But, who knows how well he'll hit if given a few years experience. Few players develop as quickly as Russell Martin.
Maybe we'll see Ethier in a trade for a third baseman and Kemp will be plugged into RF.
Since you brought it up,This team feels like my car. It's running, running smoothly at times,... are you still driving a Saab?
I didn't want to say anything when you had the car problems and make some stupid joke.
2007-06-02 18:45:38
153.   StolenMonkey86
"2007: The Year of Rudy Seanez." - DodgerBlues headline
2007-06-02 18:45:44
154.   D4P
Kent's OPS is now an even .800. Seems like it was just up near .900 not that long ago.
2007-06-02 18:48:34
155.   Andrew Shimmin
154- It dipped under last Saturday. He's had one hit and zero walks since.
2007-06-02 18:48:48
156.   JoeyP
If Pierre were to get hurt, who do you think would play CF for the Dodgers though?

Would it be Kemp?
Or Ethier?

I'm wondering whats preventing Ethier from being considered to play CF.

2007-06-02 18:51:10
157.   Sam DC
147 Well, baseball and Delaware-related conspiracy theories, but your point remains a good one.
2007-06-02 18:55:40
158.   Fallout
156 JoeyP
If Pierre were to get hurt,...

Excellent question. But, I never thought about it since he never gets hurt because he is a rubber band. (Oh please, let their not be a derogatory meaning there)

2007-06-02 18:58:16
159.   fordprefect

Thanks, Sam. The Disneyland comparison helps quite a bit as we're three-time "veteran" visitors (!)

No tickets right now, so everything's on hold anyway.

2007-06-02 19:14:38
160.   Jon Weisman
152 - Kemp should play ahead of Pierre. If that can't happen, I'm willing to see him play ahead of Ethier for a while to see what happens. Abreu makes it okay to cut Martinez to make room.

I still drive the Saab and it is running great, but I just spent $800 repairing it so I'm a little gun-shy.

2007-06-02 19:15:14
161.   Jon Weisman
If I had the energy to delete all its antecedents, I'd delete 141.
2007-06-02 19:17:07
162.   overkill94
133 It's about time someone got the Clash reference, good lookin' out dawg
2007-06-02 19:30:34
163.   imperabo
Not only will Kemp not be put in front of Pierre, the Dodgers would be stupid to do it. Signing a player to 5 year big dollar deal and then replacing him in the first season when he's doing almost exactly what you expected him to do is just bad business. Even if it increases your odds of winning games it undermines the fans' confidence in the team.

The goal of the game is to sell tickets. Winning doesn't sell tickets, the expectation of winning sells tickets. Flashing a giant neon sign to your fans that you have no idea what you're doing diminishes that expectation more than playing a marginal center fielder who most fans think is a scrappy slappy havok-maker.

2007-06-02 19:42:50
164.   Andrew Shimmin
Assuming Kemp doesn't bust, do you really think fans are going think, "Man, these people don't know what they're doing," every time Kemp hits a ball a million miles? Or throws out a runner, ever? It's my considered opinion that fans only get chippy about wasted money when the team is losing. Sort of like bad character guys only ruin teams that happen to be under .500.
2007-06-02 19:45:33
165.   Andrew Shimmin
How much do you think McCourt rents out Dodger Stadium to commercials for? I figured the California Lotto one, last year, was greasing somebody's wheel, but now there's the State Farm one, so it seems like it must be a revenue enhancement strategy.
2007-06-02 19:54:41
166.   Branch Rickey
163. I disagree with your entire post. Also, it implies that the people who would put Kemp ahead of Pierre (this includes Jon) are stupid.
You've made this argument before- that winning doesn't sell tickets and that teams are more worried about what fans think than they are about winning- so I will not get into it again. I just don't think it has any merrit whatsoever and I can't imagine why you believe otherwise.
2007-06-02 19:54:42
167.   Bob Timmermann
The Ducks are going to lose because they can't count to five.
2007-06-02 20:00:30
168.   JoeyP
that winning doesn't sell tickets and that teams are more worried about what fans think than they are about winning

With regards to the McCourts, I think they are very image conscious and do put what the media thinks ahead of winning. Thats a primary reason why DePodesta was fired. It was more image, and bad press than results. In 2005 the team set an attendance record and 2004 they won their first playoff game since 1988. But the image was bad, and therefore he was removed.

2007-06-02 20:02:03
169.   Branch Rickey
165. My only somewhat educated guess is $20K-50K.
But it happens on while the team is on the road and takes no effort on their part. Easy money!
2007-06-02 20:05:57
170.   Branch Rickey
168. With all due respect, I think that is a big oversimplification. Do you think that he thought that Depo would take them further than the next guy and fired him anyway? I don't know McCourt but I was around him the night we clinched a playoff spot and he was nearly tearful with joy. Not saying he didn't take image into consideration (I personally don't think he did) but there seems to be zero evidence that he put image agead of winning. That just doesn't seem to make any sense.
2007-06-02 20:13:32
171.   Marty
162 I got it. But you used it for Seanez, my least favorite Dodger, so I decided to remain silent at the time.
2007-06-02 20:17:56
172.   Marty
I'm in complete agreement with Jon on his views of language usage. But I just realized the biggest downside is we'll never be able to nickname any Asian pitcher with a good fastball "The Orient Express"
2007-06-02 20:20:38
173.   CanuckDodger
168 -- Nonsense. McCourt's public image was dealt a huge blow by firing DePodesta, and McCourt couldn't have expected anything less. Even the anti-DePodesta media piled on McCourt for that, because McCourt looked silly firing his hand-picked Golden Boy so soon after canning Evans and after allowing DePo to fire Tracy. Things like DePo bringing Milton Bradley and his craziness into the organization, picking Terry Collins (the Anti-Players' Manager) to manage the Dodgers, and forcing Logan White to draft Hochevar, plus DePo's stand-offish personality, had a cumulative effect, making McCourt question DePo's leadership.
2007-06-02 20:26:32
174.   Bob Timmermann
Didn't the O'Malleys still own the Dodgers when "Naked Gun" was filmed at DS and made out to be Anaheim?
2007-06-02 20:31:04
175.   Jon Weisman
163 - "Signing a player to 5 year big dollar deal and then replacing him in the first season when he's doing almost exactly what you expected him to do is just bad business. Even if it increases your odds of winning games it undermines the fans' confidence in the team."

If that were true, we'd still have New Coke, which tasted just like the Coca-Cola expected to, but which did not have the effect they expected it to have.

I have yet to see a business that didn't benefit from an honest reevaluation of its strengths and weaknesses and a mea culpa to the public for any misjudgments.

I do not think that Pierre has majority support among Dodger fans. The majority has already concluded that the signing was a mistake. Certainly, it's possible that Pierre will improve as the season goes on, but not benching him out of fear of what the fans would think is wrong-headed on at least two levels.

As the fans did, rightly or wrongly, after Colletti was hired, they would see benching Pierre as a sign that the Dodgers were getting their act together.

"Winning doesn't sell tickets, the expectation of winning sells tickets."

I'm not sure I can parse this, but I sure know that whatever tickets are sold by "the expectation of winning" in April, they are trumped by the ticket revenues of "winning" in October.

2007-06-02 20:31:08
176.   Branch Rickey
Not even necessary (or palatable) to get into whether Depo should have been fired. But I think it is clear that it is certainly plausible and even likely that in McCourt's mind, there were reasons (other than image) to fire him. To assume he fired him without reason other than image and that he did so when he thought it would decrease our chances of winning is a leap I can't imagine anybody making even with a rocket on the back of their motorcycle.
2007-06-02 20:32:56
177.   rockmrete
OffTopic a little...

The Little League team I manage just won our Championship game today!

2007 Rolling Hills LL Champions
Intermediate Dodgers

2007-06-02 20:33:18
178.   Andrew Shimmin
So Alan Alda's sporting a beard and Robert Bork is cleanly shorn? I seem to have gone through the looking glass without noticing. This world frightens me.
2007-06-02 20:33:38
179.   Marty
The Times is bringing in a couple million dollars a year letting studios shoot inside the building. It's about our only revenue growth!
2007-06-02 20:36:19
180.   Branch Rickey
177. Congratulations! 7-Up for everyone!
2007-06-02 20:36:31
181.   Marty
177 Congratulations! Will you be coaching the all-star team?
2007-06-02 20:37:08
182.   Jon Weisman
175, cont. - I don't want to imply that I expect the Dodgers to bench Pierre tomorrow. But if people ask me what the Dodgers should do with him, I'm not going to suggest they play him when hardly anyone's left who wants to see him out there.

Now, as I implied in my conclusion to today's post, if Kemp came up and just tanked, and Pierre emerged as the lesser of two evils, then the singing is better justified. In the meantime, you've got a player who is as bad a defensive outfielder as Kemp is made out to be, without the potential offensive benefit.

I heard businessmen are supposed to be tough but (and) fair. This thing with Pierre is anything but confidence-building for the Dodger business. Which is too bad, because they are doing some good things.

2007-06-02 20:39:39
183.   rockmrete
No Allstar team duties for. We do continue on to a King of the Hill tounament. Thanks you guys.
2007-06-02 21:14:56
184.   CanuckDodger
175 -- But, Jon, what happened to the Coca-Cola company executives responsible for the New Coke debacle? The company recovered, sure, but I don't imagine things turned out quite so well for the men behind New Coke.

If Colletti were fired tomorrow and a saber-inclined GM came in as his replacement I don't doubt the new GM would try to do SOMETHING about Pierre, but Colletti's self-interest very much depends on trying to put lipstick on the Pierre pig. Colletti has shown that he will correct his own mistakes when it is cheap players involved, but he spent $44 million of his boss's money on Pierre, and he can't admit it was a mistake without consequences to his own standing with McCourt. It is much the same story with the $20 million he gave Nomar in the off-season.

2007-06-02 21:18:20
185.   Xeifrank
Missed the game, was at the SB Zoo and stopped at the beach along the Rincon and just got home a little while ago. I was worried about Grady resting Martin for Guo's start. Looks like Snell pitched a heck of a game and hats off to him. Looks like Guo was a little unlucky and didn't give up any extra base hits, all singles and a few walks. His achilles hill, "pitch count" haunted him in this game more than anything. He needs to work on getting ahead in the count, and hopefully he will get a few home starts, with the lineup at full strength in the coming month(s). Can't say I am sorry that I missed the Dodger announcers butchering his name.
vr, Xei
2007-06-02 21:29:44
186.   Jon Weisman
184 - Colletti needs his team to win. There is no scenario where playing Pierre is more important than that. If he thinks Pierre equals winning, Pierre should play. If he's playing Pierre to save face, he's only hurting himself.

McCourt won't care one wit if Pierre is benched if the Dodgers play in October.

2007-06-02 21:35:50
187.   underdog
James Loney went 4-5 today with a double. That's nice to see.

Slugger Wilson Valdez hit a 2 run home run.


185 Xei, the Sta Barbara Zoo? Wow, I haven't been there since I lived there as a teen, but heard they made some improvements to it since then. Can't beat the setting. It's also the place where a gibbon monkey stole my dad's pipe and refused to give it back.

2007-06-02 21:37:55
188.   Branch Rickey
186. Exactly. Winning fixes everything. Winning is everything. There is not bigger goal. Dodgers win- Colletti's job safe. Dodgers lose- Colletti's job in jeopardy. Simple as that.
2007-06-02 21:44:07
189.   Xeifrank
I think both sides have some very good points in this Pierre/Colletti debate. I think as long as the Dodgers are doing well, Colletti can get a free pass on Pierre. Not that I would give him one, but the MSM, ownership and the casual fans will and they are the ones driving the cash cow.
Moo, Xei
2007-06-02 21:44:17
190.   Bluebleeder87


2007-06-02 21:46:42
191.   Bluebleeder87
i feel you on Pierre Jon.
2007-06-02 21:47:25
192.   Michael D
Big shakeups don't happen when teams are in first place. So long as the Dodgers keep winning Colletti has zero incentive to face the music about Pierre. If the Dodgers make the playoffs this year, the Pierre thing is just something Colletti can sidestep. It takes losing for people to seriously ask the tough questions.
2007-06-02 21:47:41
193.   Xeifrank
187. Yeah, we have an annual pass to the SB Zoo, now that our almost to be three year old likes going to the zoo. It's less than an hours drive, so it's not too bad. The Gibbon monkeys are still there, shrieking up a storm. We usually take a picnic as the SB zoo is a great setting for such an outing. Can't compare with all the animals at the LA or SD zoo, but it's definitely one of the most scenic zoos this former Gaucho has ever been to.
vr, Xei
2007-06-02 21:49:34
194.   JoeyP
Do you think that he thought that Depo would take them further than the next guy and fired him anyway?

I think McCourt cares more about public relations than winning. How else can you rationalize Nomar at 1st base?

2007-06-02 21:55:35
195.   Jon Weisman
194 - McCourt doesn't influence personnel decisions during the season. He expects the GM to bring him a winner. I agree with 192. Winning protects Colletti from dealing with Pierre. But if the Dodgers don't win, McCourt will ask why.
2007-06-02 21:58:19
196.   Branch Rickey
194. I just can't believe that you believe that. Winning IS public relations. Nobody loves a smart loser. Everybody loves a dumb winner.
2007-06-02 22:02:13
197.   bojangles
Re: the opening piece: much agreement, some dis-.

Luis already better than I thought, but I fear the second-half, old-timer's retreat.

Wolf the only off-season signing I liked, 'cause I thought there was some chance (can't even give an honest percent)
he would be a happy surprise. Share your fears. (I take it back - I also liked the Bigbie and Tsao signings).

Pen: would not worry about Broxton if his bad outings had been in April, rather than recent. That recency is cause for concern.
Don't think Tsao or Yhency will be well, now or later...and if Penny reverts, Jason goes short stints, the offense continues just short of stinkin' up the joint, they will be worn out, like last year's gang.

Agree wholeheartedly about Kemp. He needs his intro at-bats, his learning-curve games, and since, unlike you, I don't think this team has talent for October (unless the standard is the playoff-pretenders of '04 and '06) - they are committing sports crimes by unreasonable loyalty to oldsters. (I didn't like the understandable Nomar re-signing; I liked the first Kent contract, rued the second;
and this might be a good moment to interject I sense much internal contradiction in the "will-he-be-a-twenty-
homer-guy?" sentence. He is cause for genuine concern in his current role, given how much his defensive charity has accelerated. He's a lesser Dave Kingman.)

For a site that prides itself on a "show-me-the-evidence" stance, the continued blind faith that the let-go-by-the-rarely-wrong- Braves Betemit is now, or ever might be ready for an every-day job fails almost every locally-cherished test. On the other hand, tonite's feeble effort (against a top-quality starter on his game) as a PH notwithstanding, his contributions in that part of the game are equal parts amazing,
celebratory, and downright confounding! More!

One more of Constant Cautions on the Can't Miss. The D-backs have a kid up from AA who looked mighty impressive in Philly this week, continuing a gaudy debut at 3B of a few weeks and counting. No Dodger youngster of the overly-heralded Jacksonville bunch of two years ago has come as close to looking like the real deal (a la David Wright when he came up with Mets - raw as the dickens, but easily identifiable as genuine ML goods). And one of those J-ville darlins just got sent back, again (and, yes, I agree he might have deserved a fuller and longer look - maybe the D-backs have a better method in that regard?).

Mike L's signing one more note to me that Dodger ML scouts are a generally unimpressive bunch going back to Fred Claire. I don't expect his game to elevate much.

'Bout the only thing I had to say pre-season was that the six clubs in the biggest metro areas seemed to be getting a lot more praise than warranted. I said, if pressed, I would choose the Dodgers (picked by many "experts" to go deep in the playoffs, and to the Series by some) and Yankees and Cubs as the least likely to fill expectations. It's early still, but the kind of clown ball played by the Yanks today (and often) and the Cubs in the last two weeks, gives me no reason to think they'll be much better in August. I haven't seen much of the Dodgers since April, and they are the only one, record-wise, doing better than my sense of the
roster, and the point re: Schmidt-Chad-Kuo
is excellent - if on a shaky medical foundation. Still think this offense might get worse, and have little confidence that current front office will do anything but get another questionable piece or two from a losing (or all-too-willing-to-let-another-Can't-Miss-go) franchise. So far, obnoxious Red Sox only team to me that looks sorta/kinda whole (and the Anaheim Angels, otherwise intriguing if the pitching holds, seem to save their worst brand of ball for them!?!).

Check for double-negs: "He's like the counter-evidence against the idea that more reps equals better hitting." (He's the counter-evidence in re the idea, i.e., counter-evidence "for" the idea that....
he's the "evidence" (not the "counter...")
against that idea. Capisce? Where's Timmerman?

Bye a while....

2007-06-02 22:06:52
198.   Branch Rickey
Jon, thanks for the analysis post. Loved it and agreed with most of it. But I still disagree with you and with many here who seem to say the Dodgers only trust veterans and won't put faith in the youngsters. Martin, Broxton, Ethier, Billinsley, Abreu, now Kuo and perhaps even Saito qualify as recently unproven youngsters. The Dodgers are putting all their faith in this group already. It seems like as soon as a youngster wins his spot on the team we stop defining them as youngsters and so the argument is always maintained.
2007-06-02 22:07:41
199.   Gen3Blue
One of my sons best friends got married tonight, and I hate ceremonies. 70 miles away and I just got home and checked the score. This presages my sons roast by a few months, so I will go through it again soon. But the most important and worst part is the heart of the order 1 for 14 and the D's lose. Although I notice the 8th batter was 3 for 4 with two doubles. I hope we do better on my son's night.( maybe try batting Abreu second or third)!
2007-06-02 22:07:50
200.   JoeyP
I just happen to believe that McCourt is one of those owners, whom if there's a fan favorite---wants that player to be retained. Thus, Nomar Garciapparra was brought back and given a 2yr contract. IMO, the Loduca trade created such a backlash for McCourt--one of which he didnt anticipate--that it changed the whole way he conducted business, or allowed business to be conducted. In fact, I think Camille Johnston was hired that very off-season to help with PR. Thus, the Dodgers are managed much more image/media consciously, than before. That also helps explain why "name" veterans are given jobs ahead of 'no-name' rookies. Its image.

If putting Nomar at 1b, Pierre in CF, and not letting some of the rooks play are actually baseball decisions and not at least in some part--public relations driven--then I really really have to question Colletti's baseball acumen. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and hoping some of the bizarre roster moves are being facilitated by upper management. If this has all been Colletti--then he should be gone at the end of the season IMO.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-06-02 22:08:44
201.   Gen3Blue
Seems like it this should have been 200. Oh well
2007-06-02 22:12:37
202.   bigcpa
192 Big shakeups don't happen when teams are in first place.

They did in '04! Assuming Colletti "gets it" it's a shame the fan base can't understand moves intended to make a good team great. If this is the sad reality I'd rather see us slide into 3rd place, pull a few rotting teeth, then kick it in gear for the stretch run.

2007-06-02 22:13:34
203.   imperabo
166 "You've made this argument before- that winning doesn't sell tickets and that teams are more worried about what fans think than they are about winning"

No I didn't.

2007-06-02 22:14:48
204.   Jon Weisman
Did you really just end a 700-word comment by criticizing my word economy?

I'll just address one of your points. I have offered all kinds of staistical evidence that Betemit, while no All-Star, is deserving of as much faith as his current rivals for third base. You can disagree with the interpretation, but calling it blind faith is unfair.

2007-06-02 22:14:49
205.   JoeyP
Winning IS public relations.

It'd be great if it was.
Unfortunately, with regard to the McCourts, I think the Loduca trade changed that notion.

The team did win after that trade, in 04'. And still got bad press, and bad PR.
I think that one time occurrence had a lasting effect on McCourt, and the lasting impact is being felt today by the way the team is managed and built.

2007-06-02 22:17:35
206.   Summer Saint

I actually worked at the zoo this past summer, as one of the train conductors. My favorite part was making up puns about the animals we would ride past, as well as telling kids that there were zombies in the bird refuge. I think the giraffes were my favorite--they would often come down to the fence between them and the train tracks and check us out as we went past.

Regarding the stats that Jon posted, is there anywhere I can find the spread for the standardized figures like EQA and ERA+? I want to be able to know just how good, for example, a 122 OPS+ is compared to the rest of the league.

2007-06-02 22:24:21
207.   Jon Weisman
206 - Read the legend at the top of the post.
2007-06-02 22:28:45
208.   Xeifrank
206. We've been on the train ride three times this spring so far and the train conductors pretty much say the same tired old jokes every time. They should hire you back. vr, Xei
2007-06-02 22:32:11
209.   Michael D

The annoying part about that is the kids will become fan favorites if they produce. Look at Martin. Already on our way to becoming our franchise player. Fans will get behind just about anyone who produces as long as they don't have uh glaring personality problems.

2007-06-02 22:32:55
210.   Branch Rickey
200. I think I get what you're saying... that Pierre in CF and Nomar at first are such bad moves that they must be motivated by something else- PR. But if that is what you're saying, I just don't think it's supportable. Sad fact is that Pierre was just a stupid signing. And perhaps you're right that Ned should be fired for it. Nomar at first wasn't so indefensible especially in the wake of Drew opting out unexpectedly. And keeping him there for at least a couple of months of blah is defendable too. If they both stay there all year and we don't go deep in the post season, Ned should probably get fired. But in the end, those will just be bad baseball moves and nothing else. Nomar and Pierre do not sell nearly enough jerseys to make up for what not winning will do to revenue. The Dodgers (McCourt, Colletti, the peanut vendors) know that.
2007-06-02 22:33:00
211.   imperabo
As much as I dispise marketing, those folks are correct to believe that perception is the only thing that matters. Look at the Cubs: they never win, but they create the perception of hope by signing and retaining the type of players that most fan think create wins. Winning creates attendance boosts AFTER you win. Sure, you get some benefit from a postseason, but it's really the next season that you see the attentance boost because fans have the expectation of winning.

People are more likely to attend games when they think the team is a winner. One way (the best way) to create the expectation of winning in to have won games in the past, but that expectation is undermined if the team trades away or benches the players that the fans think were responsible for past success. I absolutely believe that Depo was fired because he didn't know how to manage fan perceptions. The LoDuca trade was dead right from a "winning" perspective, but very debatable from a PR perspective. By trading away the player that most fans thought was responsible for the team's success, Depo reduced the expectation of winning.

Should winning be the number one priority? Absolutely. Should you make a move that will slightly increase your chance of winning and dramatically decrease fan perception of the likelyhood of winning? Absolutely not.

2007-06-02 22:34:55
212.   Jon Weisman
198 - I agree with you somewhat. Kids have played. But look at your examples - they only play when injuries or utter ineffectiveness force the issue. The Dodgers turn to the kids out of desperation, not out of faith.
2007-06-02 22:34:59
213.   Summer Saint
I did. I mean, I see the averages. What I want to know is how the distribution is shaped. Things like the variance or standard deviation. Is it a (reasonably) perfect bell curve, or skewed in one direction?

Alas, they don't pay enough. I'll be making almost double what I got at the zoo by doing a paid internship this summer instead, and I won't have to be working out in the sun.

2007-06-02 22:36:56
214.   Jon Weisman
210 - There was never any inherent PR value in Pierre. He was signed because Colletti thought he would bring wins. But Ned shouldn't be fired for it any more than he should be tenured if he got one single decision right.
2007-06-02 22:37:21
215.   Xeifrank
211. The LoDuca trade would've been dead right, if Depo had swung a simulteneous deal to bring in a half way decent catcher to replace him. vr, Xei
2007-06-02 22:39:59
216.   Xeifrank
214. I'm not sure what to make of the Pierre signing and what may have been going through Colletti's mind on that one. I just have no idea... no tengo la mejor idea.
vr, Xei
2007-06-02 22:41:04
217.   Jon Weisman
211 - I can't believe you're citing the Cubs as evidence of your "expectation of winning" breeds attendance argument. The Cubs get fans because it's a religion out there. There is almost never an expectation of winning.

"Should you make a move that will slightly increase your chance of winning and dramatically decrease fan perception of the likelyhood of winning? Absolutely not."

Agreed. But Pierre does not fit in this category. Benching Pierre would not harm fan perceptions. Only an attentive Dodger fan even knows who Pierre is. He has no cachet. He's not Nomar. And most attentive Dodger fans think he stinks. Disapproving of Pierre is not one of those insular Dodger Thoughts phenomenons. I read the comment boards at other sites and talk to non-DT readers. Almost no one defends Pierre anymore. There is no PR value in him at all.

2007-06-02 22:46:48
218.   JoeyP
Should you make a move that will slightly increase your chance of winning and dramatically decrease fan perception of the likelyhood of winning?

Thats a good question.
I think you need an absolutely committed owner, that will endure a PR hit, in exchange for having a better chance at winning to pull of those sorts of moves.

Mark Cuban, is one of these owners IMO. He allowed Steve Nash to leave, because he knew in the long run he could better allocate his resources. He was taking a risk, but he believed in his system and I think has been proven right (tho they still havent won a ring yet).

The guy that owns the Tigers--is it Mike Illitch still?---endured just an awful season with a bunch of rooks in 2003--but it paid off in the long run.

I dont think McCourt would ever allow the Dodgers to take a step back in the short term, in order to take 4-5 steps forward in the future bc he just cant stomach the PR. He seems to think more short term and PR. Its unfortunate, bc he sounds like he's invested in the Dodgers for a long time--but who knows maybe he'll sell in the next 5 yrs.

2007-06-02 22:48:08
219.   imperabo
217 In this case, it's not the popularity of the player that's the issue, it's the credibility of management. Can you imagine the mileage the press would get out of benching a big signing like this early in the contract when he's doing pretty much what he did before they signed? Can you even think of another case where that's happened? I think it does decrease the expectation of winning for fans to have proof positive that their team is run by monkeys. Most fans like to complain that their team is, but I don't think they want to see definitive proof.
2007-06-02 22:49:46
220.   Branch Rickey
219. 211. I think you must be under the mistaken impression that individuals buy baseball teams because they think it is the best investment of their money. You must have a very cynical view of how front offices work. They want to win. Badly. More badly than you want them to win.
2007-06-02 22:49:59
221.   Jon Weisman
211 - "By trading away the player that most fans thought was responsible for the team's success, Depo reduced the expectation of winning."

By the way, Dodger attendance did not go down after Lo Duca was traded. It tapered in the second half of 2005, when the losing began. If Russell Martin had been around in 2005 and/or the Dodgers won the division that year, Lo Duca would have been all but forgotten.

That being said, I think I do understand your point better. I just think you underestimate how much a team's actual record in a given moment plays into the "expectation of winning."

If the Dodgers began a season with a bunch of no-name players, attendance might dip. But if those players led to a winning team, the fans would learn their names, fall in love with them and start coming. Nothing contributes to an expectation of winning more than winning itself.

2007-06-02 22:53:42
222.   Jon Weisman
219 - I'm going to sleep, because it's late, and because we're going in circles. I can't convince you. But here's an example for you: Dave Goltz.

Benching one player, however big a deal his signing was, while the rest of the team is doing well, will not undermine fan support. It just won't. No one would ever say, "The Dodgers won the pennant, but I'm staying away from attending because they admitted they made a bad signing."

2007-06-02 22:54:34
223.   imperabo
220 You don't think McCourt needs the money?
2007-06-02 22:54:35
224.   Branch Rickey
But if those players led to a winning team, the fans would learn their names, fall in love with them and start coming

See Indians 1994 and Tigers 2006.

2007-06-02 22:56:13
225.   JoeyP
I can't believe you're citing the Cubs as evidence of your "expectation of winning" breeds attendance argument.

Actually, a newly hired college football coach almost always has this effect, at least in the short term.

However, I still dont believe the Dodgers should ever be concered about attendance bc it seems the always draw no matter how good/bad the team is, or how the roster is filled out.

2007-06-02 23:02:50
226.   CanuckDodger
197 -- "No Dodger youngster of the overly-heralded Jacksonville bunch two years ago has come as close to looking like the real deal..."

A particularly choice morsel from a cascade of annoyingly semi-literate ramblings. Arizona's Mark Reynolds has enjoyed a nice big league debut, but 16 games-worth of stats in hitters' havens doesn't vault Reynolds over the guys from the 2005 Jacksonville team -- like Russell Martin -- whom you apparently don't think are the "real deal." Martin, Billingsley, Broxton, Loney, Kuo, LaRoche, Guzman, Young, Stults, and now Eric Hull have made it to the majors out of the 2005 Jacksonville team, so no, that team was not "overly-heralded." And while not all of those guys have made the same mark in the majors that Martin has, Martin is not alone in that group in proving more in the majors over a longer period of time than Mark Reynolds has in three weeks in parks like Coors Field and whatever the hell they are calling the D-Backs' park these days.

2007-06-02 23:03:20
227.   Branch Rickey
220. First, make no mistake; the "parking lot attendant" is filthy rich. Does he "need" every last dollar he can make in the short term at the expense of winning? Absolutely not. Not saying he's happy to lose money but if you think he bought the team thinking it was his best financial investment, than you know nothing of the history of baseball ownership. Do you think he doesn't "need" to be the owner of a winning team?
2007-06-02 23:08:38
228.   imperabo
It's a good point that owner ego must be taken into consideration, but it's a pretty dicey assumption that a business man isn't motivated primarily by profit.
2007-06-02 23:13:48
229.   natepurcell

keith laws mock has dodgers taken beavan...

The Dodgers go for impact players in the draft, taking high-ceiling guys with greater risk instead of higher-probability players. Beavan has one of the best arms in the draft, clocked repeatedly as high as 96 mph and working in the low-90s with good movement and a low arm slot. Some teams are a little scared by his unusual arm action, and the Dodgers could opt for Alderson, who threw up to 97 in a workout the other day.

its interesting to note that the two pitchers mentioned in connections with the dodgers here (beavan and alderson) are both mammoth right handers with impeccable control. Beavan only has like 4 walks this whole year and Alderson 10 walks the last two years.

2007-06-02 23:16:56
230.   Andrew Shimmin
Whatever the merits of this point (and I'm dubious) it's not my problem. Colletti's Q rating doesn't interest me. Whether the Dodgers sell as many tickets as they might (and we can't possibly be talking about that many tickets; most of the tickets that will be sold this year, have been; nobody seems to be arguing that people who don't expect this team to win without Pierre--which is a little bit mind blowing, no?--will continue expecting it not to, after it does) is not my problem.
2007-06-02 23:18:39
231.   Branch Rickey
228. There are many good book on the history of the baseball business. I recommend you read a couple and you'll find that baseball ownership has always been at odds with profit motivated behavior. The owners have never been able to put profit ahead of winning which is the basic reason the players association kicked their butt in every showdown. McCourt wants to win more than anything. Bet your bottom dollar.
2007-06-02 23:21:03
232.   Branch Rickey
Nate, are you going to be in Tucson 11th -13th of this month? 51's are in town and I was thinking of coming out and going to the games. Tix are on me if you want to go (assuming I make it out there!).
2007-06-02 23:21:47
233.   CanuckDodger
229 -- BA has confirmed that the Dodgers really like Beavan, so if he is available, I assume he is the guy. But I am still skeptical he will be on the board at 20. And what is this talk about Alderson? I just don't see it. I can understand that the Dodgers might see Beavan's mechanical issues as being fixable, and though I know you like Alderson's delivery, I just can't see White liking a "herky-jerky" pitcher. Too out of character for him.

Anyway, who are you targeting tomorrow for the five rounds of the mock draft?

2007-06-02 23:22:53
234.   underdog
You might appreciate this article, Nate.

"College Players Worth a Second Look"

Doesn't seem like something White and co. are yet interested in adhering to, but I guess we won't know for sure til next week.

"None of the three high school players chosen in the top 10 a year ago has even advanced beyond Class A ball in the minor leagues. The most successful of the three, pitcher Clayton Kershaw, was chosen seventh by the Los Angeles Dodgers and has been lights-out in the minors. But he's still only in Single-A ball, because it would be silly for the Dodgers to promote him to a level higher than Double-A.

Will Kershaw be a terrific major league pitcher one day? Probably. Will he make the same type of impact in his first season that Lincecum, who still hasn't lost a game with the Giants, has made this year? Maybe. But his debut is still at least two, and probably three, years away. Why draft a pitching prospect whom you'll have to groom for a few years, when you can select a nearly finished product from school who can help your big-league club in a year or two?"

2007-06-02 23:24:02
235.   JoeyP
226--Reynolds dominated the A+ California League as a shorstop last year, but he was also a little old for the league.

Still a ton of production so far for a 16th round pick in 2004.

.414/.470/.776 in 58abs.
He could be a flash in the pan, but it could also be the Dbax are a better team with him at 3b rather than Chad Tracy.

2007-06-02 23:29:32
236.   imperabo
230 It is if you think winning in anyway correlates with payroll, payroll with revenue, and revenue with attendance.

I do agree that it's more fun from our armchair perspective to ignore those mundane realities though.

2007-06-02 23:31:56
237.   natepurcell

i actually drove back home to socal today and probably wont be back in tucson until mid august.

The Alderson talk comes from Mayo and Law so far from what ive read in print and in some email exchanges with Mayo. I actually hope we draft Alderson in the real draft. Hes the type of prospect that would be really interesting to follow as he progresses through the minors. As for tomorrow, i actually made an 80 player draft board 2 nights ago and a rough list of 10 or so players i like at 117, 147, and 177 i think. in my top 20, there are only 6 college players though.

2007-06-02 23:32:39
238.   JoeyP
Justin Upton is tearing up the AA Southern league.
He's only 19yrs old, and is hitting
.375/.430/.819 in 72 ABs. He started the year in Single A.

Does Chris Young move to RF, when Upton is ready? I'd be surprised if the Dbax promote Upton to the majors this year, but it could be a Miguel Cabrera situation in which the guy is so good that you have to.

2007-06-02 23:35:11
239.   CanuckDodger
235 -- Reynolds' home park in A+ last year had a park factor of 1096. Since his call-up this year, he has played mostly in Arizona's hitter-friendly park and he made a road trip to Colorado. Let's see what he does at sea level before he is anointed a messiah. But I have no problem saying he has provided outstanding value for a 16th rounder.
2007-06-02 23:40:11
240.   CanuckDodger
238 -- Now Upton may well be better than all of our young talent, but what do you expect when you are talking about a #1 overall draft pick who cost over $6 million just to sign as a teenager? If the Dodgers want to finish a season with the worst record in baseball, we too might be "lucky" enough to get an Upton.
2007-06-02 23:44:03
241.   natepurcell

we did but the league rules handed us DL Darren instead.

2007-06-02 23:45:07
242.   Andrew Shimmin
236- You haven't come anywhere near establishing, as a reality (mundane or otherwise), this theory you've invented tonight. It's also circular reasoning, since the increased revenue and payroll don't help win if it's spent on Pierre. And Pierre can't be moved because the money was spent on him, and, if he were moved there won't be enough money to spend on him again.
2007-06-02 23:48:28
243.   CanuckDodger
Nate, are you targeting Chris Withrow or Nevin Griffith with our pick at 39? I want one of those two.
2007-06-02 23:48:29
244.   natepurcell
mattingly has picked it up lately.

last 40ABs

325/357/625 7XBH 8k

2007-06-02 23:50:02
245.   natepurcell
withrow is 27 on my big board, griffith is 59.
2007-06-02 23:59:32
246.   natepurcell
are the people from last year who were worried about billingsleys lack of ability to strike out major league batters still worried now?

that cutter of his is turning into a plus plus pitch.

2007-06-03 00:00:16
247.   Andrew Shimmin
242 continued- You're not even estimating a scope to this effect you've hypothesized. How much money will benching Pierre cost? Assuming Kemp is better (not too much to ask, I don't think), and therefor helps the team win more games than it would with Pierre, how many tickets won't be sold that might have been by virtue of the city of Los Angeles revolting against the madness of the front office? You don't really believe that the team's revenue base will turn into Kansas City's over night, right? And it would just be for this year, right? In the long term, it's pretty easy to see L.A. getting attached to Kemp.

The whole thing reads like backwards reasoning to find some way of rationalizing keeping Pierre in the lineup. It's progress, of a sort, that we're no longer arguing over whether he's useful for winning games. Now it's just about maintaining the confidence of presumably highly strung fans who will also stop wanting to go hit a beach ball and do the wave if they suspect Colletti is a goofball.

2007-06-03 00:03:03
248.   natepurcell
the latimes article gives the impression that the dodgers are planning on sticking with kuo in the 5 spot.
2007-06-03 00:05:19
249.   bhsportsguy
Nothing like seeing two games from the front row behind home plate at Dodger Stadium.

Okay, not quite the front row, that's where Tommy sits but at today's CIF High School championship games at Dodger Stadium, ToyCannon and myself sat in first row in the field level behind home plate and on the aisle and watched Granada Hills play Westchester in the L.A. City Final and then Chatsworth High take on Cleveland.

The games started about an hour later than their "start" times and were both pitchers' duels.

Westchester held on to win the City Section but it was the Chatsworth game that brought ToyCannon and myself to the game. Both us wearing our blue Dodger Thoughts game and UCLA caps were eagerly awaiting to see future First Rounders, Matt Dominguez and Mike Moustakas try to lead their team to the title and set a new season record in home runs by a high school team.

After Dominguez made a very nice play to start a double play in the top of the first, the mostly Chatsworth crowd settled in to see their team pound the ball.

Instead, batter after batter popped up, grounded out or were struck out by Brodsky and only a very nice play by right fielder Bobby Coyle, making an over the shoulder catch on a twisting fly ball limited Cleveland to one run.

And, as if Chatsworth became the team that regularly plays at Dodger Stadium, they scraped out two runs, the second on controversial balk call. Those runs held up and in some sort "Twilight Zone" experience, both Dominguez and Moustakas attempted to bunt in their final official at bats as teammates as they tried to get an insurance run late in the game. As ToyCannon remarked, If Nate could see this [watching these sluggers attempt to bunt] he would go crazy.

But it was a nice way to spend the afternoon, ToyCannon met an interesting guy who made some interesting claims, I am not ready to talk about them now, we'll see if they pan out. But I did get a laugh as he and I talked about his "friend" and my former Jr. High and High School classmate, Damon Farmar and we laughed about the change in how you were supposed to pronounce that last name since his son Jordan was at UCLA and now the Lakers.

2007-06-03 00:07:36
250.   JoeyP
I'm wondering if Nate knows any of these Arizona softball babes?

They got one good looking team.
Its on ESPN.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-06-03 00:08:55
251.   natepurcell

haha i am actually watching it. and yea, i know a couple of them.

2007-06-03 00:12:13
252.   natepurcell
But it was a nice way to spend the afternoon, ToyCannon met an interesting guy who made some interesting claims, I am not ready to talk about them now,

you cant tease me like that. anyways, wheres the dominguez scouting report? :)

2007-06-03 00:14:47
253.   imperabo
242 I just invented the theory that people are more likely to support things they believe in?

And it's not circular reasoning because at no point did I ever or have I ever defended the Pierre signing. That money is already flushed. The issue is the best course of action given the present circumstances. Surely you're not implying that I just invented the theory that greater payroll leads to more wins, ceteris paribus.

Perhaps part of the issue here is that I don't see Pierre as the massive liablity that some others do. I just think he's overpaid. If I thought we could substatially upgrade our chances of making the postseason by benching him then I would say the PR hit is worth it.

2007-06-03 00:17:21
254.   natepurcell
the hottest softball player ive seen is that tall, thin, tan pitcher for LSU. She looks like a supermodel.
2007-06-03 00:22:30
255.   Andrew Shimmin
253- Sorry I wasn't more clear: the theory you invented is that benching Pierre would cost the team so much as one nickel.
2007-06-03 00:23:57
256.   imperabo
247 I don't think it's a safe assumption at all that Kemp would be better than Pierre for the rest of this season. I'm not going to resume the debate of Pierre's lack of absolute suckatude, but he's not as bad offensively as people think (at least given the historical sample).

I have no way of quantifying the revenue lost from a complete loss of fan confidence in the Dodger brain trust, but someone smarter than me could easily quantify the expected differnce in wins for the next 2/3 of a season between Pierre and Kemp, looking at his minor league numbers. If it's greater than 1 win I'd be shocked. What are the odds that 1 win will be the differnce in making the playoffs? What is value of not using up Kemp's service time until he's ready to contribe at something approaching his potential?

2007-06-03 00:33:36
257.   bhsportsguy
252 Moustakas had one nice swing as he hit a solid line drive into right field for a single, Moustakas also showed nice range on some pop ups into short left field. Matt Dominguez showed soft hands at 3B, made some nice throws but mostly shows a quiet confidence when he has out on the infield.

As the score indicates, 2-1 Chatsworth, there wasn't a lot of hitting in that game and I think a lot of the Chatsworth hitters were swinging for the fences and for their efforts, popped up or hit a lot of groundballs. Dominguez didn't look that great at the plate but I have only seen him this one time.

On the guy that ToyCannon and I met, he's seems like a pretty good guy, an actor (he's playing in the Hollywood Stars Softball game) and he went to school with a member of the Dodger front office.

That's it for now, I will be keeping one eye on the game tommorrow and another on the draft on

2007-06-03 00:42:12
258.   Andrew Shimmin
Using Kemp's weighted PECOTA mean, multiplied by 2/3, he could be expected to be worth 3.6 wins over a replacement player, for the rest of this year. Pierre's a replacement level player, right now.

Assuming Pierre rights his ship, and plays like his weighted mean for the rest of the year he's worth 2.4 wins over a replacement player for the rest of the year, so it's only 1.2 wins that are, hypothetically, being wasted.

The Dodgers are strong contenders for a play-off spot, in a division with two other teams who can reasonably be expected to contend. Each of these wins are worth significantly more in ticket sales than wins that aren't likely to matter in a playoff race. I haven't got the book (Beyond the Numbers, by the BP crew) handy that ran the statistical regressions on what each win is worth, and I don't remember the dollar value they came up with, but I'll see if I can't ferret it out of Google. At any rate, if we're not going to put any limit on the hypothetical cost of benching Pierre, it doesn't make a lot of difference if those 1.2 wins (in the Pierre turns it around projection) are worth 2 million dollars in projected extra ticket sales (plus concessions, parking, etc.), or fifty. It's all arguable if benching Pierre might cost eleventy trillion dollars. And, as I'm content to maintain the cost is virtually nothing, I don't know where that leaves us.

2007-06-03 01:12:52
259.   Andrew Shimmin
Also, an illustration of what 1.2 wins worth of WARP over the next four months look like: Saito's straight-line projection (expecting him to continue doing exactly what he's done so far for the rest of the year) is 1.9; Rudy Seanez's is 0.7. How much hypothetical money would it be worth losing to replace Seanez with another Saito?
2007-06-03 03:10:34
260.   overkill94
250 I sat next to some UCLA softball players on a plane from LA to San Jose a few months ago - they were hot because they were freshmen, but in general the team was split between husky power hitters and fairly attractive players (pitchers, slap hitters, etc). I can only imagine what Arizona can produce though...
2007-06-03 10:18:48
261.   goofus
231 If McCourt wants to win so badly, why doesn't he jettison Colletti and hire a good GM????

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