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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Whoa-Oh-Oh-Oh, My Love, She Comes In Colors
2007-06-12 23:00
by Jon Weisman




Matt Kemp's homer was crushed so hard, he deserves an encore.


And Kuo pitched sublimely. Another encore!


* * *

National League Leaders
36-27 New York
36-27 San Diego
37-28 Arizona
37-28 Los Angeles

Comments (131)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-06-12 23:06:56
1.   Eric Enders
Kemp's future is so bright, he needs shades. And for that matter, so do I.
2007-06-12 23:07:45
2.   Eric Enders
So, um, I love exuberance and everything, but how long will all text on the site be bright yellow? ;)
2007-06-12 23:07:54
3.   Jon Weisman
I think it's fixed :)
2007-06-12 23:08:14
4.   Jon Weisman
2 - You broke the five-minute rule.
2007-06-12 23:08:19
5.   Linkmeister
Yikes. No yellow, please; it's completely illegible.
2007-06-12 23:09:27
6.   Joshua Worley
I'm shocked that 9 up is good enough for best in the NL at this point.

Must have been a fun game to be at!

2007-06-12 23:09:28
7.   Eric Enders
4 Merely because I couldn't read the time of the post. ;)
2007-06-12 23:09:51
8.   Jon Weisman
Man, you guys are a buzzkill.
2007-06-12 23:11:01
9.   Greg Brock
Boy, a guy tries to get creative and Statler and Waldorf jump in.

But I laughed.

2007-06-12 23:12:07
10.   Linkmeister
Eric, you offended at Brock's wisecrack? I'm not sure whether I am or not. ;)
2007-06-12 23:14:07
11.   Eric Enders
So, this was maybe the most satisfying win of the year. Kuo pretty much dominates, and has no control problems. We homer on three consecutive pitches. The Bison runs roughshod over the plains. Broxton and Saito look like they're competing in the final round of the World's Greatest Relief Pitcher contest. Vin does accents. And even Pierre doesn't suck! What a night.

Who wants to bet that Lo Duca will start whining about Kuo's bat flip?

2007-06-12 23:14:09
12.   Greg Brock
I hold Statler and Waldorf in the highest regard :-)
2007-06-12 23:14:48
13.   Joshua Worley
How fast does Kemp look in person?
2007-06-12 23:15:23
14.   Eric Enders
Speaking of buzzkills, Nomar was the same old Nomar. Here's looking at you, Loney.
2007-06-12 23:15:57
15.   Linkmeister
12 Glad to hear it. ;)
2007-06-12 23:16:23
16.   T Money
I was at the game. Please - PLEASE - fill me in on the Vin accent thing...
2007-06-12 23:17:33
17.   Hallux Valgus
9 Statler and Waldorf were my boyhood heroes. Needless to say, I wasn't loved by my teachers.
2007-06-12 23:18:15
18.   Eric Enders
16 He did an impression of an old Scottish guy talking about hitting a golf shot into a sand trap. Hard to explain... you kinda had to be there.
2007-06-12 23:18:22
19.   Jon Weisman
13 - Very. Plus, he has the LOOK OUT factor. I would be scared to be the fielder in his way.
2007-06-12 23:19:58
20.   Bob Timmermann
Endersed again!

My research on when a drawing of Jim Murray stopped appearing with his column:

I was looking at old Murray columns in the Historical LA Times database and on February 25, 1971, a drawing of Murray accompanied his column, which was about A.J. Foyt.

Then the next day, Murray wrote about squash. There was no drawing. And it apparently never appeared again.

On 2/26/1971, the stories on the front of the LA Times sports section were written by:
Jim Murray
Ross Newhan (covering the PGA Tournament which was played in February that year)
Dan Hafner (on the Kings)
Bion Abbott (Santa Anita)
Shav Glick (motor racing)
Jeff Prugh (USC basketball)
Dwight Chapin (UCLA basketball)
Mal Florence (Lakers)

2007-06-12 23:25:45
21.   bhsportsguy
Its early and you never know how Ned and Grady will play it out but lets look at the current roster and see if it passes the DT test.

Starting rotation: Lowe, Penny, Wolf, Schmidt and Kuo. As long as Schmidt is healthy, it works for me and Chad is ready and waiting.
Bullpen: Tomko, Hendrickson, Seanez, Chad, Beimel, Broxton and Kuo. If you avoid putting Hendrickson and Tomko in high leverage situations, it is a good setup and we should be able to let Yhency and Tsao to fully recover before making anymore roster moves.

Infield: Nomar, Kent, Furcal, Betemit, Abreu, Loney, Saenz. Again given the contract situations not bad, lots of options and ability to make defensive and double switches in late innings.

Outfield: Gonzalez, Pierre, Ethier, Kemp. If it becomes a true 4 man rotation (which means not just Ethier and Kemp rotating), I think it works out well for the Dodgers.

Catcher: Martin, Lieberthal. Grady probably should give Russ more time off with all these games in a row but other than that, its fine.

It took 65 games but given the contracts and veteran status, I think we have the best roster that we can hope for the time being.

Sure, when Ramon Martinez and Marlon Anderson are healthy, it could mean some tough decisions but maybe the kids will be playing so well, it won't be so tough. But I am much more excited now than I was a week ago.

2007-06-12 23:29:16
22.   bhsportsguy
19 I told Greg Brock on Sunday, he is the fastest guy on the team from the right side, Wright never had a shot. But man, his power, wow, can't wait to see the replay in about 10 minutes on Prime Ticket in LA.
2007-06-12 23:42:53
23.   Branch Rickey
Man, the Dodgers have what seems to have been one of the best nights of the year and where am I? In Tucson watching the 51's. And let me tell you, the 51's without Kemp or Loney are not exactly a powerhouse. But minor league baseball is a kick. Walked up to the gate 5 minutes before game time and bought two tickets in the 2nd row behind 51's dugout ($9 each). Not much to report; who do you care about? I can tell you Marlon Anderson was playing 2nd base and his arm does not look nearly ready to be in a game. La Roche, Valdez... blah blah. They lost 2-1 and rightfully so.
2007-06-12 23:43:46
24.   LAT
Great game tonight. The Kuo HR was shocking, to say the least. His slugging % bloated to a Barry-like 1.330. It was amazing how fast the three HR went--what was it four pitches, five at the most? I was just glad I wasn't getting food at the time.

After the game we saw Loney leaving and I yelled very loud in a crowded spot "James, take that job from Nomar!!!" He gave me a very nervous smile in response.

2007-06-12 23:44:22
25.   paranoidandroid
Very good analysis. Just got home from the game. I lost Kemp's ball as I followed it and just couldn't imagine it landing in the loge so I first thought it went over the bullpen and the tent store.

He also looked great working the count and getting a walk. Looked a bit like last year swinging at the breaking balls on the fourth at bat, but still, had a great game.

He was very quick on the ball hit to third, but not only was the throw not strong enough, the ball was hit too deeply to get almost anyone with average speed I think.

I debuted my Slappy McPop-up tee shirt to very little recognition, but I was happy to see our Number Two (punny, eh?) get on base twice.

Betemit with two hits deserves another start tomorrow along with Mr. Kemp. Great win. Well pitched game. Tied for first after stumbling a bit with SD and Toronto. I'm optomistic and pleased.

No need to go get Glaus or Dunn Ned. Let's see what the kids can do for a few weeks first. Bills in the rotation if Schmidt can't get it done is a good option to have and with that starting five: Lowe, Penny, Wolf, Kuo, Bills and the back end of the pen of Big Ox and Sammy, I really like our team.

A two game win streak against a struggling team makes everbody feel good!

2007-06-12 23:45:10
26.   coachjpark
I was sitting in the LF Pavilion... I turned my head and a Betemit's bomb was coming my way, then I see a blast into the left field loge and then finally I actually see Kuo hitting the third bomb.

Here's a picture live from FSN2:

2007-06-12 23:47:20
27.   paranoidandroid
Delwyn? I know the family. Great people. Would love to see him surprise everyone and have a chance in the show. I just don't think he fits into the Dodgers plans, but maybe someone like KC or Washington would give him some playing time.

I guess he is an outfielder only now. He used to play second. He was the best high school athlete I ever got to watch in person, I can only imagine what a Matt Kemp was like at age 17.

2007-06-12 23:48:47
28.   paranoidandroid
Did you get the ball?
2007-06-12 23:50:22
29.   bhsportsguy
25 Thanks. Seeing Kuo and Kemp (and Betemit who really should be our 3B at least for this year) do well is exciting.

BTW looking at Green play RF, I still can't believe he made that play on Martins' ball in playoffs.

2007-06-12 23:51:06
30.   Branch Rickey
27. Yes, he was playing left field. Didn't do much. Choo Freeman is bigger than I would have guessed by his name. Looks like a ballplayer. Didn't know the guys on the Sidewinders (D-Backs AAA) but they all seem to be hitting .310+
2007-06-12 23:51:21
31.   LAT
Coach, it looked like there was huge brawl in the LF Pavillion. Everyone was standing and yelling and security came rushing in. What happened? Was it a brawl?
2007-06-12 23:52:33
32.   bhsportsguy
30 You coming back for the Angel series?
2007-06-12 23:54:51
33.   paranoidandroid
I upgraded myself to the 104 section of the loge, was ten rows back just to the right of home plate. The guys on the reserve level kept throwing cups and drink holders down and there were a few guys who considered running upstairs to start a fight. Security was very slow to deal with it, but eventually the four on reserve level were removed. There was a lot of middle fingers and machismo staring.

Never noticed anything in the LF pav area though.

2007-06-12 23:55:57
34.   Branch Rickey
32. Don't know. I'm either back on Friday night or Saturday. Sunday is father's day. If I'm back on Friday night I might be able to get out on Saturday.
2007-06-12 23:57:38
35.   Branch Rickey
33. How do you upgrade from pavillion to Lodge? Sounds like the kind of trick I used to pull when I was a kid.
2007-06-13 00:00:15
36.   coachjpark
28 I'm the Korean dude in the blue Los Altos gear on the right hand side. Wish I got to it, but I didn't even see the ball hit, so I had no shot at it. Organized a small group of 60 students to go to this game for my graduating Seniors who, some of whom are in the picture.

31 Just seemed like the regular rowdy crowd in the LF Pavilion. It's kind of distracting if you're actually wanting to watch the game. I moved up from Row X to Row C partly because of all the side things that are going on in LF Pavilion.... didn't notice any arrests or any brawls

2007-06-13 00:01:40
37.   xaphor
I had barely got through replying to my gf on her improbable request for a third shot when the ball was in the air and headed to the stands. All I could do was laugh and applaud. The Mets fans were pretty despondent after that and Kuo ensured they had no reason to perk up with a less flashy but solid and economical seven innings. The Bull and Saito were just untouchable.

Was that Richard Lewis on the kiss cam?

2007-06-13 00:04:59
38.   LAT
37. Yes--refusing to participate.
2007-06-13 00:05:33
39.   paranoidandroid

I didn't start out in the pavillion, I was on reserve level and took the elevator down to club level, then escalator to loge.

Can't give away my secrets or I'll jinx myself or someone else will put an end to it, but I move around quite freely there. However, I don't think it is possible to get to and from the pavillion, it isn't connected.

My next game is Friday. I'm undefeated this year, but I think Schmidt is up Friday, right? Not too confident in him after Sunday. Maybe Lowe is opening the series though with Wolf going next and giving Schmidt Sunday? That means Kuo on Tuesday, we can actually skip Schmidt with two off days coming up.

2007-06-13 00:10:28
40.   paranoidandroid

It wasn't even the kiss cam, it was the smile cam and he indeed refused to participate. Who cares? He was always a Seinfeld coattail and he shows up the day after Seinfeld was out there? Never the bride...

I remember being at a Bulls/Atlanta Hawks game and the big celeb was Grandpa Munster. They even flashed his real name on the jumbo tron, Al Lewis, RIP. What talent, he played a grandpa vampire. We are a strange culture when you consider who recognize as VIPs.

2007-06-13 00:11:23
41.   Andrew Shimmin
21- There's no situation I can think of where Hendrickson is to be preferred over any of half a dozen minor leaguers, so, as far as I'm concerned, he can't be dumped too soon. And I can think of one OF plan that beats a four man rotation.

"She Comes in Colors," is the second best song in which that phrase appears. Unless there are more than two, in which case, I don't know.

2007-06-13 00:12:08
42.   coachjpark
40 I'm pretty sure it was the Kiss Cam. He got booed.
2007-06-13 00:12:45
43.   T Money

Wasn't it the Kiss Cam? I'm fairly certain it was...

2007-06-13 00:13:06
44.   LAT
40. For those of us living in NYC in the late '80s, early '90s Al Lewis had an interesting second career on cable TV.
2007-06-13 00:17:06
45.   paranoidandroid
I could be wrong. I saw old people smooching and turned away. There was a few cam things going between innings. I thought he was up there well before the kiss people. He looked indignant about the whole thing.

Gotta try to sleep. I'm a bit pumped up still. Fun game. I've never been present at back to back to back homers. Kuo tossing that bat aside was just the icing, he crushed that thing like Prince Fielder last month. Halfway up the pav. Struck out twice after that, but he doesn't need to hit if he pitches as well as he did. I think he was under 90 pitches through seven.

2007-06-13 00:17:35
46.   bhsportsguy
41 Now Andrew, you know I qualified my analysis with the given the contract status, blah, blah, blah. Hendy is probably the last guy up if the game is close and he may yet have some trade value down the line.

In the outfield, its the best we are going to do for the time being, I do think that Grady will ease Pierre into taking a day off now and then.

2007-06-13 00:18:32
47.   paranoidandroid
I could be wrong. It could have been the kiss cam. Whatever it was, it was at near end of the whole cam thing, right?
2007-06-13 00:20:09
48.   bhsportsguy
45 For a moment, it was 4+1 all over again. Certainly not the energy like that September night but Kemp's bomb was similar to Drew's in the sense it was killed and Kuo was the shocker. For a brief moment, I thought I could have been present for two rare moments but I'll take another Kemp homer (my third) anytime.
2007-06-13 00:22:25
49.   paranoidandroid
I hope Pierre steals a big base as a pinch runner in a big playoff game like Dave Roberts did for Boston. That would make the $44 million tolerable if he does something that gets us to the Series.

I think Big Bird has some trade value, at least some teams might take his 4 mil contract (or what is left) knowing that he can be controlled for a couple more years.

If Schmidt is really healthy, I see little need for both Big Bird and Tomko. Neither or them if Tsao and Yhency are really healthy too. Not much return on trading them but somebody else might pick up some contract money. Tomko struck out four in two innings the other night.

2007-06-13 00:32:15
50.   bhsportsguy
49 I'll be there on Friday night too.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-06-13 00:37:48
51.   Andrew Shimmin
Hendrickson makes less than Brady Clark. If Clark could be dumped, by a team that is legitimately OF-light, there's no reason Hendrickson can't be, by a team that has more long relief pitchers than can be healthy. Plus Houlton and Stults, and Ch-i knows who else, on the farm.
2007-06-13 00:49:00
52.   bhsportsguy
51 Part of that equation may be that they would rather give those guys regular innings than have sit up here. I think that philosophy works for pitchers also.

I think the difference in Clark and Kemp, Clark was rarely going to play and never start. Kemp has started twice since he has been back and Loney started twice, hopefully this is foretelling the current situation.

If Schmidt is healthy and give the Dodgers 6+ innings, then the need for a long man decreases even more and then you can think about replacing Hendrickson with Tsai, Brazoban or someone else in Vegas.

2007-06-13 01:41:40
53.   Andrew Shimmin
Houlton turns 28 this year. Stults turns 28 this coming off season. They're probably not going to get better. They're more than adequate replacements for Hendrickson who does not serve a useful purpose at this point. Tomko and Billingsley are on the 25 man. There are plenty of spare parts if they're needed. Clark shouldn't have been dumped; Hendrickson should have been. What's the confluence of events that have to befall this team for it to be a good idea to use Hendrickson in any capacity save garbage time mop up?

The time for dumping Hendrickson is now. It was actually before he was acquired, like Pierre, but it's never stopped being a good idea.

2007-06-13 06:39:21
54.   jtrichey
Pierre and Nomar currently rank #1 and #2 on the team in plate appearances. Together they use up 21.7% of our PAs. Hong Chi Kuo now had as many HRs as the two of them combined.

(Imagine the preceding being read by Norm MacDonald, it's more effective that way).

2007-06-13 06:58:01
55.   D4P
Hong Chi Kuo now had as many HRs as the two of them combined

Kuo + Schmidt > Pierre + Nomar + Furcal

2007-06-13 06:58:04
56.   Jon Weisman
41 - ""She Comes in Colors," is the second best song in which that phrase appears."

This is true.

2007-06-13 07:32:38
57.   Hythloday
I know some on here have said that lineup order has a minimal short term effect (reg, xei?), but do you think there is some benefit to bunching our young power hitters at the end of the line-up rather than dispersing them throughout the line-up? Would Martin, Betemit, Kemp in that order perform just as well higher in the line-up?
2007-06-13 08:15:34
58.   Benaiah
57 - The ideal lineup is just best OPS to worst OPS in that order. Barring that, it would be nice to start out with high OBP guys and then get to the OPS guys, which is Kemp, Martin, Kent, Gonzo and Betemit. An ideal lineup would be:


I think Betemit is going to leapfrog Kent and Gonzo, but he is still only hitting .212. His BABIP is .242, but his expected BABIP is only .249. He needs to get that LD% up from 12.9% or he is the bankrupt man's Adam Dunn.

2007-06-13 08:23:28
59.   Benaiah
58 - Now that I look at it, Gonzo should bat fourth and Kent or Betemit could go after him. Left/Right would be Gonzo, Kent, Betemit.
2007-06-13 08:25:06
60.   Gagne55
High OPS to low OPS would result in:


2007-06-13 08:30:36
61.   Sam in SC
another interesting factoid from last night:

"Kuo became the first Taiwanese player in major-league history to hit a home run."

2007-06-13 08:30:54
62.   Hythloday
58 - That makes sense to me except for Loney. I guess he's a bit of an unknown quantity at this point, but I like him a lot. I wouldn't mind seeing Furcal, Loney, Martin, Kemp at the top.
2007-06-13 08:36:04
63.   ToyCannon
After some 56 games Furcal is hitting 280/350/345. If you took away his hot streak from 5/12 - 5/15 when he went 14/18 with 13 singles, 1 double, and 1 walk you have one of the worse hitters in baseball. His line with his hot streak is nothing to brag about what with his slug% below the 350 level. In the other 52 games you have a hitter who in 214 ab's has a 238/316/299 line. A 615 OPS from your lead off hitter and yet I only hear JP and Nomar getting blamed for the lethargic offense. When your number 1,2, and 3 hitters are all terrible and have combined for one home run while also producing unacceptable on base rates it is a complete wonder that we are in 1st place. I'm only pointing this out to show how one simple 4 game hot streak changes the whole perspective. Furcal is having a terrible year but no one seems to be noticing at the same level they notice JP and Nomar.

The future sure looks good to me. If these 3 guys are all underachieving and were still in 1st place our chances of winning this division look very good to me. With the new roster changes, the replacements of Tomko/Hendrickson in the rotation, the coming of age of Billingsley, and the expectation that our top 3 will move closer to their normal production everything is lining up for a Blue summer.

2007-06-13 08:37:18
64.   D4P
Another interesting factoid:

When the lineup begins Furcal, Pierre, Nomar, it is simultaneously beginning with three sub-.700 OPS guys.

I like to call them "The Sub-.700 Club"

2007-06-13 08:41:02
65.   Hythloday
Well no wonder their OPS is sub .700. It is really difficult to swing a bat when 3 guys are simultaneously swinging at the same pitch.
2007-06-13 08:43:17
66.   Suffering Bruin
Pretty colors! Best not tell us how you did that, Jon. We'll make this board look like Salvador Dali after a Zoloft bender.

That bat flip by Kuo was cool. Kemp is cool, Loney is cool... I'm ready for these guys to get more playing time.

2007-06-13 08:44:26
67.   ToyCannon
Per Baseball HQ they are loving Randy Wolf

Ctl Dom Cmd HR/9 DOM/DIS
==== === === === ==== =======
Last 7 2.4 8.6 3.5 0.2 28%/ 0%
Last 11 2.7 9.6 3.6 0.6 36%/ 0%
Season 2.6 9.1 3.5 0.8 36%/ 0%
"These are elite levels for a starter, and if it weren't for some unfortunate luck, Wolf could be even better—normalize his 34% Hit Rate and it contributes to an xERA of 3.57 and probably three or four more PQS-Dominant starts. Hit rates regress to 30% (not always within a season, but it's a bet worth making), so Wolf actually has room to improve his numbers. "

2007-06-13 08:47:56
68.   ToyCannon
That bat flip was one of the best I've ever seen. Last night was a great game and it all took place within 25 seconds.

Games like that and the stories of Josh Hamilton and Rick Ankiel is why I love this game.

2007-06-13 08:49:48
69.   Hythloday
Is there video of this bat flip anywhere?
2007-06-13 08:50:18
70.   Bob Timmermann
I would assume it would be on
2007-06-13 08:50:51
71.   D4P
The highlights on show the flip.
2007-06-13 08:51:14
72.   Bob Timmermann

2007-06-13 08:54:40
73.   Gen3Blue
63 A lot of truth here. I had noticed Furcals lack of contribution but that seems to have been a constant with injury, cold, then hot streaks and I attributed a lot of it to his health.
I am also optimistic that we have guys(particularly the first three) who are going to improve, and less who candrop back toward the mean.
2007-06-13 08:55:34
74.   Jon Weisman
63 - What you did there was what people did to Choi two years ago - take a player's best four games, then compare that player to the rest of the league with their best four games intact. Furcal does not have a .615 OPS. Furcal shouldn't be penalized because his best four games came in a row. They mattered.

Furcal's absence of power has been discussed at length. It's hurting the team. But considering his overall OPS and the position he plays, he is not the problem that Pierre and Nomar have been this year.

2007-06-13 08:55:54
75.   bhsportsguy
Another (soon to be) former Dodger outfielder may get his mail forwarded to Petco Park.

Another thing I noticed from the last two games is how many Dodgers worked the count, there was only one really low pitch inning (guess who came up) but even JP saw at least 5 pitches per at bat.

My hunch is that Luis and Nomar now have defensive caddies and it would not surprise to see Abreu play for Kent for similar reasons, especially next week when they play on turf in Toronto and Tampa Bay.

2007-06-13 08:56:10
76.   Jon Weisman
74 - should say, "take out a player's best four games"
2007-06-13 08:56:21
77.   Hythloday
Thanks all. That was pretty sweet. Flipping at the top of swing is so much better than brining it down and flipping it once you start running. Doesn't Manny do a Chris Rock inspired bat drop? If so I approve of that one too.
2007-06-13 09:01:40
78.   bhsportsguy
76 Last night, best game you went to this year?

For me, the Jackie Robinson night game was pretty cool but for overall enjoyment, last night might be the best in terms of quality of pitching and of course back to back to back. But also, as I said, I thought the approaches were good last night and there were not any horrendous mishaps on the field.

2007-06-13 09:02:03
79.   Xeifrank
Ron Darling, a Mets color commentator was pissed about Guo's bat flip and was calling for John Maine to brush back Guo on his next at bat. The New York media tried to make a big deal about the bat flip in their post game interviews of Mets players, but none of the players really took the bait. LoDuca on the otherhand was complaining about Jeff Kent bunting with a 3 run lead and a man on second base. Thought that was odd/funny.

61. covered by GuoMania blogspot
72. Great video.
vr, Xei

2007-06-13 09:02:52
80.   Gen3Blue
Bob that youtube clip is better. The other cuts off before the bat toss from some angles. It' great even!
2007-06-13 09:03:49
81.   still bevens
56, 73

This blurb from the Hardball Times agrees.

Rafael Furcal (SS, LAD)
The past four seasons, Furcal has averaged roughly 14 home runs per year. That's a nice little bit of power to go along with his 35 to 45 stolen bases. So what's up with the zero home runs in 191 at-bats so far this season?

He suffered a sprained left ankle late in spring training and began the season on the disabled list. Furcal and the Dodgers speculate that's the reason he is not driving the ball so far this season. Because Furcal does not have the upper body strength to drive it out of the ballpark, he must use his legs to drive toward the pitcher and generate power by using his entire body.

How long until his ankle is strong enough so he can revert to his normal hitting stroke of last season and generate more power? According to one veteran Dodgers observer, Furcal's ankle may not bounce back until the second half of the season. While we have focused on his lack of power, his stolen base totals have suffered as well. He has only six steals so far, off the pace of last season.

2007-06-13 09:09:43
82.   GobiasIndustries
Seeing Matt Kemp homer last night in person took me back to June 1st 2006 vs. the Phillies. I was at that game with a close friend of mine when Kemp stepped up. I had just finished telling him how Kemp is the next Andrew Jones and so on, when he whacked his first career homer off the foul pole in left. I went ridiculously crazy and my buddy thought I was the smartest man alive, more importantly, we gained another Kemp disciple. Just found it a bit coincidental that the two home runs I've seen Kemp hit in person were both the first of the respective seasons for him and both enigmas in the sense that the 06 homer was high off the foul pole (which you rarely see at Dodgers Stadium) and last night's was in the left field loge section (which you almost never see). First career homer was definitely a highlight for me, but last night's blast was mammoth. I love Matt Kemp.
2007-06-13 09:12:20
83.   Sam in SC
79. the mets aren't taking the bait at all. from the ny post:

Kuo then took his turn, cracking Maine's first pitch into the right-field stands, flipping his bat after the 412-foot blast.

"Guess he was excited," said Randolph of Kuo's celebration.

Randolph also called it "pretty stylish."

2007-06-13 09:12:27
84.   D4P
Go buy us some coffee...!
2007-06-13 09:17:37
85.   GobiasIndustries

HA! lol

2007-06-13 09:18:56
86.   ToyCannon
Sorry Jon I disagree. The season is 162 games not one mini hot streak. Furcal's hot streak mattered but it was only 4 games out of 56. If he helped the team in 4 games but didn't in 52 I think that says something.
Not looking at how he's done in 92% of the games he's played doesn't make sense to me.

I forgot this is a pet peeve of yours so I'll defer but I don't agree.

2007-06-13 09:29:27
87.   Greg Brock
There is a Gobias Industries guy now?

That was my NCAA bracket name!

2007-06-13 09:32:45
88.   FirstMohican
Pierre OPS+ 70
Furcal OPS+ 87

Add defense to the equation (however you choose to do it) and I think it becomes pretty obvious that Furcal is having a better season. If you take away 4 games worth of hits from Furcal, then take away hits from Pierre too. Otherwise, why compare?

2007-06-13 09:33:59
89.   GobiasIndustries
Yes I am new. Lifelong Dodgers fan though, just got turned onto this site by a friend of mine who is an avid reader but doesn't say much. As for my screen name, I've been GobiasIndustries on just about every site that requires a screen name. I thought I was "original" but apparently not. I wasn't clever enough to come up with something Dodgers related so I took the easy way out.
2007-06-13 09:35:28
90.   Eric L
If you take out a player's best stretch of games, isn't fair to also take out their worst stretch of games as well?
2007-06-13 09:37:56
91.   Joshua Worley
If you take away Russ Martin's best 4 games, he goes from

0.297 -- 0.364 -- 0.466


0.272 -- 0.345 -- 0.401

That's still good for a catcher, I guess, but not all star level. Russ doesn't have any 4 hits games to take away, though.

Is Furcal penalized because his best 4 games came in a row, or because they were an exceptionally good four games?

2007-06-13 09:39:05
92.   Branch Rickey
I've always believed that to be a great team it is almost necessary to have a great defensive shortstop and center fielder. If Pierre hit like he does and played stellar CF, I'd be okay with him (as long as he batted 8th). But he doesn't. He's almost as bad defensively as he is offensively. Furcal is a rock at shortstop so although I'd like to see him turn up the offense (and we know he can) he gets no venom from me.
2007-06-13 09:40:29
93.   Greg Brock
89 Oh, the name is great. Big fan, as is D4P.


2007-06-13 09:40:37
94.   Xeifrank
90. Why not just take out all games played, then everyone is equal and I am a major leaguer. vr, Xei
2007-06-13 09:41:26
95.   Hythloday
90 - I would agree. In a 162 game season it might make sense to measure performance by dropping the best 8 and worst 8 games. This doesn't mean that you discount the other measures but it would tell you something different. I don't know if there is a more advanced stat out there that does something like this.
2007-06-13 09:41:51
96.   Jon Weisman
86 - All you have to do is take the best four games out of everyone else's season, and it's fine. The only distinction is that the four games were consecutive.

"If he helped the team in 4 games but didn't in 52 I think that says something."

Is this statement any more or less true if the four games aren't consecutive? I simply don't understand.

Take out 14 hits in 16 at-bats from Nomar, as you basically are doing with Furcal, and Nomar's batting average drops to .229. Why shouldn't that be factored into the discussion?

I'm not trying to be combative - I just don't get the rationale.

The other factor in the Furcal-Nomar comparison is the track record. Nomar is older and his slump is longer.

Now, I'm not someone who is saying Nomar should be cut or anything like that. But the idea that Furcal is as big a concern as Nomar, especially when you factor in defense, doesn't track.

2007-06-13 09:44:17
97.   underdog
I do think it's important to not overlook the injury recovery thing with Furcal. It takes longer to get the stride, speed and stroke back after an injury like that - which is of the nagging variety. He's picked it up a few times but is clearly not playing as well as he could, or as well as he often did last year, but I really feel like he's gonna pick it up for the second half. And that may be key to the Dodgers season.
2007-06-13 09:44:44
98.   GobiasIndustries
Thanks, appreciate it. Always glad to meet fellow fans too.
2007-06-13 09:45:03
99.   Xeifrank
95. It seems like just a measurement of variance. Something that should even out over time/a larger sample size. Does it really matter how a players hits are distributed throughout the season? It probably does, but it is just dumb luck. You can't cherry pick which games and which at bats to put a players hits at.
vr, Xei
2007-06-13 09:45:21
100.   Jon Weisman
Is the belief that if you just took those four games from Furcal and sprinkled them over four weeks instead of four days, without changing his overall numbers, that somehow makes him a more valuable player?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-06-13 09:45:42
101.   Hythloday
94 - The point would be evaluating a player based upon most common outputs and reject outliers. I think it would be an interesting measure. That is not to claim that it is the best measure of a player's performance. It would simply be a different one.
2007-06-13 09:47:42
102.   Joshua Worley
The only way I can agree with not looking at the four game hot streak is if we ignore that AND everything before it.

Furcal has been having a very rough start to June. Nevertheless, since his hot streak of 4 games ended he's batting 0.265 with a 0.333 OBP.

Scuffling a bit, but not awful. And it's only about a month of play. Furcal should improve as he gets healthier, if he gets healthier.

2007-06-13 09:48:06
103.   Hythloday
99 - I see what you're saying about sample size. But is there some value to having players with less variance in their performance? Is this something we should care about?
2007-06-13 09:53:33
104.   Xeifrank
103. I doubt it is something that most players can control. If you flip a coin enough times, you are going to see heads come up 8 times in a row. vr, Xei
2007-06-13 09:59:53
105.   Jon Weisman
New post at Screen Jam: Ken Levine on "What if the Sopranos aired on a major network"
2007-06-13 10:18:12
106.   jasonungar07
Excellent..It shouldn't be too much longer before we have the most exspenive bench in baseball.
2007-06-13 10:18:41
107.   bluegold
It was not so long ago that we often heard that LoDuca = heart and soul of Dodgers.

Just curious, was there any one thing he did to deserve the current level of disdain?

2007-06-13 10:21:53
108.   kegtron
33. There was a fight in the LF pavilion. Two Met fans were walking up towards their seats and were taking a lot of heat (not that it matters but they were about mid 30's with fake tans, bleached hair and ear rings). A Dodger fan got in one of their faces as they walk by, one of the Met fans grabbed the Dodger fans hat and tossed it (BIG no no). Dodger fan pushed Met fan, Met fan stumbled back, Dodger fan started pummeling on Met fan for a good 30-45 seconds before it got broken up. It would have been broken up faster but security was too busy trying to confiscate all the Taiwanese flags from the pavilion.
2007-06-13 10:25:04
109.   Jon Weisman
107 - It wasn't so much what he did, as how much his importance was inflated. After the trade, he suddenly went from being a good player to being a saint. So a backlash came. I still like him.
2007-06-13 10:34:00
110.   jasonungar07
107 Well for me, it's just that he never deserved the title in the first place.

If he was the heart and soul of the team then it was the heart and soul of dodger teams that never made it to the playoffs.

I thought at the time he was the first guy on camera and that was about it. After Karros was traded he was the first guy to say, "it's only June, we still have time, no reason to panic" Did he hustle? yeah and it's always cool when career minor leaguer makes it big... but if I am gonna be sad about the dodgers trading any catcher it's Piazza not a light hitting, light defending, one year wonder.

I speak for myself when I can't understand why anyone would think trading Loduca (a year before free agency) for Brad Penny is or WAS a bad thing.

2007-06-13 10:37:16
111.   Bluebleeder87

ESPN reported that he had a very cranky elbow when the trade came down, I always liked Lo Duca cause of the underdog factor & i still like watching him hit.

2007-06-13 10:37:45
112.   regfairfield
107 I never liked LoDuca after he publicly called out Karros. Plus that whole completely disappearing in the second half thing.
2007-06-13 10:41:06
113.   gpellamjr
I get irritated with LoDuca's playing with a chip on his shoulder attitude. He gets too much love and too much money to pretend like the world's out to get him.

Didn't he have some nasty words about the Dodgers after the playoff series last year?

2007-06-13 10:43:39
114.   Doctor
Furcal clearly is playing hurt, he is good enough to pull it off and not hurt the team too much, but I wonder if sitting him down for a week wouldn't make some sense. Or pick a weekend series like this one where he could miss 3 games and get 5 days off. He is a guy we can win games without for a few days. Noticeable limp late in games- he looks bad.
2007-06-13 10:44:24
115.   D4P
At the time of The Trade, I had paid virtually no attention to baseball for quite some time and had no idea about the stat revolution that had occurred over the previous decade or so. The Trade really got my attention, though, primarily because of the timing. I was shocked^2 that a GM would trade "the face of the franchise" in the middle of the season when the team was in first place. I had never heard of such a thing.
2007-06-13 10:44:39
116.   bryanf
107 I loved P-Lo (that was my nickname for him in the same vain as "A-Rod" or "J-Lo", but alas, it never caught on with the masses). I was one who was up in arms when he was traded.

Of course, in retrospect, I don't really miss him that much...especially with the emergence of R-Mart (okay that's a stretch). I was particularly turned off to him after I found out he cheated on his wife, who may be the hottest Dodger wife of all time.

2007-06-13 10:45:42
117.   SG6
Frequent reader, infrequent poster, and totally off-topic, but I wanted to share this story with fellow Dodger fans.

A friend of mine went to the first game of this Mets/Dodger series because he heard that Maury Wills was going to be there. He has some friends that work for the Dodgers who alert him to these sort of things.

Anyway, he tells me that in 1969, Maury Wills gave him a game bat. So he brings this bat to the game (he sneaks it in the employee entrance and goes to a specific girl, who doesn't check his bags).

He finds Maury, and says, do mind signing this bat?

Maury is staring at the bat and says, "This is my game bat." My friend says, yes, you gave me this bat in 1969. Maury continues staring at the bat and repeats, "This is my game bat." Maury tells him how he has his own Dodger Shrine at home, complete with MVP award, WS ring, uniform, everything but his game bat. My fried then says, Hey it sounds like you could use this much more than I can, and offered to give him the bat in return for a Maury Wills-signed non-game bat. Maury immediately signs a few balls for him, and gives him his cell phone number to call and arrange for him to get him a signed bat.

I think that is a great story and had to share. This was my friend's most exciting moment in baseball, and he's had a few good ones. He was a photographer for the Herald in the 60s, and has this cool signed photo of Koufax in his windup that he's promised to give me when his time in this life is done.

2007-06-13 10:48:00
118.   Marty
117 That is a great story. You've got a nice friend there.
2007-06-13 10:48:10
119.   Joshua Worley
Wait a minute ... I'm not a huge LoDuca fan, but he didn't ever just disappear in the second half of seasons, nor was he a light hitter for a catcher.

He's had a plus 0.700 OPS every year since his monster year. His post all star OPS the last three years is 0.742 ( 0.761 pre-all star )

He's no Piazza, nor even a heart and soul, but he is a slightly above average hitting catcher.

2007-06-13 10:50:09
120.   Xeifrank
107. Last year after they beat the Dodgers, he was heard saying Four Letter Word-The Dodgers. I didn't care much for that.
vr, Xei
2007-06-13 10:51:55
121.   underdog
111 "I always liked Lo Duca cause of the underdog factor & i still like watching him hit."

You rang?

I guess I always liked him because of that, too, and he always hit well against the Giants, which adds bonus points in my book, but he also consistently had that second half fade which detracted those same bonus points. The biggest - and only imho - problem with trading him when they did is that they didn't have a good backup plan in place for replacing him. David Ross has since shown some power but isn't gonna scare anyone, and he was putrid that year. Paul Bako? Russell Martin was just a glean in everyone's eye back then. But other than that... Anyway, I think it's just backlash, and also he had some revengeful feelings and a little smugness vs. the Dodgers that were obvious last year when he played them in the playoffs. I don't think Dodger fans enjoyed that much. But I don't hate him for it.

2007-06-13 10:53:23
122.   bryanf
Ya know what else? I think part of it may have been that he was as shocked as anybody. Most players give some version of the "it's part of the game" or "I'm looking forward to helping my new team" speech. Lo Duca didn't really do that:
2007-06-13 10:54:00
123.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-06-13 10:57:19
124.   Branch Rickey
117. The whole Maury Wills story is a nice one. He is a very nice guy who went through a very tough time and is now doing great. Amazing golfer too. No spring chicken and a low single digit handicap. Thanks for sharing that story. Nice when people relay the good ones.
2007-06-13 10:58:11
125.   regfairfield
119 It's actually kind of odd to realize that Lo Duca only had three seasons after the All Star break with the Dodgers. He got worse in 2001, but was still solid, but his numbers in 2002 and 2003 were really bad.

2002 Post All Star - .233/.268/.341
2003 Post All Star - .226/.282/.293

121 Brent Mayne seemed like he would replicate Lo Duca's usual post All Star break futility at least, he just, well, didn't.

2007-06-13 11:03:36
126.   Joshua Worley
125 ---

Well, I stand corrected. Those numbers do qualify as disappearing.

But if those are disappearing, what does one call what Kendall has done so far this year?

2007-06-13 11:08:05
127.   Jon Weisman
117 - Good story.
2007-06-13 11:08:20
128.   hotblackdesiato
Holy crap, Kuo has a pretty swing. If he never gets that control together, maybe he should think about pulling an Ankiel.
2007-06-13 11:10:32
129.   ToyCannon
So let me get this straight. La Duca isn't liked because:
1. he hustles and plays like he enjoys the game
2. didn't lead his team into the playoffs because it was his fault that he played on lousy teams
3. cheated on his wife because you know SO FEW ballplayers actually do such a thing
4. had 2nd half fades even though he was just about the smallest catcher in baseball and was usually worked very hard by his manager in the 1st half

I love this stuff, sometimes I feel I'm in a circus.

2007-06-13 11:15:32
130.   Andrew Shimmin
Justin Upton's Wikipedia entry update: The clown business has not returned.
2007-06-13 15:31:44
131.   bojangles
24. The calling out in public to a young ballplayer in a sensitive jam - that a boast or a confession?
54. nice angular take...
63. good stuff. agree with all, 'cept optimism that the lagging three old guys will necessarily improve second half; also skeptical young guys (who I thought should play from April on this season) will be there for impressive stats if playoffs are on table in September; league and fatigue will catch up. Think (was he 2-36 one stretch, do I recall correctly?) Kemp is getting the same relatively free ride as
the shortstop. Poster boy for flexible lineups (no it's only partially and not majorly luck - that extended two-fer did not include many atom-balls, seems to me). Number threes and fours in recognizable slumps kill ya in those spots.
Concept stretched: y'can be the Great Ned of two teams: one (experiencing extraordinary good luck on even-numbered days :-)) has every position player get two hits of varying kind
on said days. Score average of eight runs those days, spread, generally, from five to
twelve. On odd-numbered days (extraordinarily unlucky team) one or two or three guys scratch out infield hits, get bloop singles. Score average of a run those days, spread from zero to two. Second conceptual team has roughly the same team BA at season's end - but hits average nine a game, spread, generally, seven to twelve, scoring five to seven tallies a majority of days.
Which team are you gonna choose? Eight-nine runs followed by one-two, or consistent five-seven?
That Furcal shouldn't be "penalized" for his bunches is a good point. That he's made so little winning impact in too many games overshadows it, and makes the case for consistent productivity at the top. The fifties' Brooklyns were notorious for streak hitters, from Snider on down thru Campy in even years, and Billy Cox in odd ones (when the notoriously "lucky" Campy was winning mvp awards in '51, '53, and '55, and often batting four or five-hole) - but were relatively stable at the top (Jackie and
the Colonel for some of it, then Junior and same). Give me two hits every day, rather than four one and none the next.
99. fifty years of actually watching what goes on in a ballgame moves me to say I couldn't disagree more. The Phillies had a wonderfully lucky win today, but most of their wins will be decided by guys with talents employing them with intelligent design and purpose. Chase is sometimes lucky; Chase is almost always diligently good. (Something about "residue" here?)
Tangent: Watching Martin and Reyes the last ten days or so would give you no clue of their overall worth. Watching either earlier in May might cause you to overestimate same (I know I was thinking of Jose in mvp terms). Doesn't look to me that either is experiencing "bad luck." They are just going thru patches all good ballpayers
go thru when they can't/won't let the talent shine, and are stinkin' up the joint...and Martin is still "young" as a catcher, with many detectable flaws in arm, and approach to smothering difficult pitches. Hold the HOF votes.
Flip: withya, Jon....a guy who's genuinely surprised and delighted by a batted ball flipping his bat doesn't bother me; and not that much was made of it by the collection of reporters and commentators back here (Ron Darling has a distinctive vision, not always a representative one).
I would caution resident seers about definitive statements regarding the mind-set and thought-flow of a kid from a differeent generation and culture. ("I'm SURE so-and-so was thinking SUCH-AND-SUCH"). Almost as misleading as misquoting....
If the flip came from a guy who is paid to hit home runs, then it bugs me.
Best thing about Kemp's home run was the apparent ease and fluidity of his swing. Watched replays. Amazing flight from such control!

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