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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Flag Day Fever
2007-06-14 08:45
by Jon Weisman

It's happening.

And you might say, "What took so long?" but with four months of baseball left, it's probably happening more quickly than we expected.

The kids are getting their chances. Nine players on the 25-man roster are 25 years old or younger. All nine are playing significant roles for this Dodger team.

While the Dodgers aren't completely turning over the keys to guys that would have some trouble legally renting a car, the vets look like they'll get more rest (or "rest") than ever.

Here's a rundown of the team, position-by-position:

Catcher: It's Russell Martin's world; we just live in it. That being said, this past stretch of games was the first in which I felt Martin didn't get enough rest. He has started 11 days in a row, playing 95 innings in that time. With the Dodgers losing frequently last week and no one producing, Dodger manager Grady Little probably felt he needed every inch of Martin until the cavalry arrived. Well, as we'll see below, the cavalry has arrived. The Dodgers have two off days in the next five - after that, it's straight baseball from June 19 to July 8. Martin should get at least one day off a week.

First base: Despite James Loney's 3-for-9, one-homer season debut, we still shouldn't get too excited about production from this position, relative to the rest of the league. Not yet, anyway. Nevertheless, just to have an option beyond the slumping Nomar Garciaparra (who is struggling defensively as well, according to today's Hardball Times) is a relief. A recent article quoted Little as saying Loney would get a couple of starts per week. That's a fairly huge committment given Garciaparra's reputation. If Loney produces, he'll get more of a presence (and maybe the added rest will help Garciaparra). If he doesn't, the Dodgers aren't worse off than they were before. A huge slump from Loney would probably send him back to Las Vegas once Marlon Anderson is ready to be activated from the disabled list, but if Loney could even just OPS 800 or so, that's gonna help.

Second base: More rest for the weary (and cranky). With Wilson Betemit re-emerging at third base, especially as a power threat, the Dodgers can afford to play Tony Abreu at second a bit more often and rest Jeff Kent as they just did. Kent isn't ready to ride off into the sunset - this Times interview with T.J. Simers indicates Kent will probably play next year if the Dodgers don't win the World Series - but Kent's OPS+ has been sliding toward 100 of late. He's still productive, but it's nice that he doesn't have to be the cleanup hitter every day.

Shortstop: Rafael Furcal's power-outage, probably a result of his bum ankle, may plague the Dodgers for a while - though he's still an asset at shorstop. Though no one has voiced explicit plans for it, perhaps all the added bench strength should be manipulated to give Furcal more time off. Let Abreu play some shortstop too.

Third base: I get several things wrong, but I think I might have gotten Wilson Betemit right. No, he's never going to be Miguel Cabrera, but there was too much ability in him to give up on. He continues to produce mainly against right-handed pitching (which is fine - that's mostly what the Dodgers face), and though I'd be willing to let him develop against lefties as well, there's a slam-dunk platoon here to be had with Abreu, minor leaguer Andy LaRoche or, hello, Olmedo Saenz. A start against lefties every two weeks isn't going to crush the Tomato. But for all the revolving-door talk at this position, it has actually been producing.

Outfield: Four outfielders, all demanding playing time, but some deserving that playing time more than others. Luis Gonzalez has been a success story this season, though the Hardball Times reminds us in that article linked above about his poor defense. Meanwhile, since being recalled from the minors, Matt Kemp has displayed simply astonishing ability. The Bison's power and speed are such that I think I feel the earth rumbling every time he's up. On some tailing pitches, he lays off; on others, he swings and still manages to put more force on the ball, even when he doesn't hit it square, than Juan Pierre does at his finest. Kemp will have his strikeouts, and he might not play every day, but I think he's established himself as a starter here at least until free agency. His mere presence is the game-changer that Pierre's was touted to be.

Though I've been adamant that Pierre should be benched, the fact that Kemp is now in the lineup has taken some of the edge off. There's still no doubt in my mind that Andre Ethier deserves to play more than Pierre. Even though Ethier's season has been something of a disappointment - .311 on-base percentage, 88 OPS+, .251 EQA - Ethier is still an superior all-around player to Pierre (.310, 71, .244). And as we've said before, I'll take my chances on Kemp's defense in center if he only has to live up to Pierre's. (Kemp's arm alone should make up for any Pierre-like miscues.)

I pushed for a Kemp callup, and I'll push for Ethier over Pierre. Pierre's ironic stature in this game should keep him in the lineup for a while, but at the same time, I don't think Little could look at this team and think that only Gonzalez and Kemp are deserving of rest. One of these days, Pierre won't start. And then another. And then one day, there won't be a sensible opportunity for him to enter as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement, and the consecutive-game streak will end, and then if nothing else, the spell will be broken. Pierre will join Ethier in limbo, perhaps as not a true fourth outfielder, but a 3.5. (Or, okay, a 3.25) It is possible, and that's perhaps the most astonishing news of 2007.

Pitching: The current starting five is Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Randy Wolf, Jason Schmidt and Hong-Chih Kuo. Of those five, only Lowe escapes questions about whether he'll pitch the second half of the season much like he pitched the first. So while Chad Billingsley has had to bide his time in the bullpen (and how has he bided! 130 ERA+, 40 baserunners, one homer allowed against 39 strikeouts in 33 innings), if the worst thing that happens is that the starting five pitches so well that they don't need him in the rotation, we should thank our lucky stars. Little's eagerness to get Kuo in the rotation and his quick trigger (yes, it's true) on yanking Brett Tomko and Mark Hendrickson strongly hint that if Billingsley is needed, he will get the call. Little has never said that Billingsley would be in the bullpen all season.

Coming off the worst week of the season, the Dodgers are halfway through what could be their best week. In fact, this could be the week that trivia buffs turn to years from now - the week that James Loney and Matt Kemp first homered on consecutive days, playing with Russell Martin, playing with Hong-Chih Kuo, playing with Tony Abreu, Wilson Betemit, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton and Andre Ethier. Some of us have been demanding it with a great sense of entitlement or desperation or even arrogance, but as I sit in the middle of it, it still feels a bit like a gift.

Now, let's just try not to get swept by the Angels.

* * *

Because people have had some trouble with Paypal, I'm extending signups for the July 21 Dodger Thoughts Day to 8 p.m. tonight. If you want to go but are having Internet trouble with the payment, e-mail me, and we'll hold a spot for you. Otherwise, I hope to get the ticket-purchasing process going starting Friday.

Comments (340)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-06-14 08:59:48
1.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Who knows how the front office makes its decisions, but I at least get the feeling that we should all thank Grady for getting Ned to let the kids play. And Ned for being willing to listen to his field manager.


2007-06-14 09:02:20
2.   bhsportsguy
Nice writeup Jon.

Just wondering what will happen when Ramon and Marlon are ready to come off the DL?

2007-06-14 09:06:28
3.   Eric Stephen
1 I agree with that sentiment. The fact that Ned & Grady have a productive working relationship is a huge net positive for the club.
2007-06-14 09:07:17
4.   bluegold
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. What a conniving and hypocritical name. That in itself is enough to fill me with disdain. That's like something called a "juice/drink," and you look carefully at the label and it contains .001% real juice.
2007-06-14 09:09:56
5.   jasonungar07

I agree as well that it's nice to see them have a good relationship.

I am curious as to why you think it was Grady getting Ned to let the kids play and not the other way around. I am not disagreeing with you I really have no clue, just curious...

2007-06-14 09:10:31
6.   Eric Stephen
2 Just a guess, but I think Abreu will get demoted if/when Lucille II comes back, since Lucille II can play SS.

I think Marlon's comeback (probably sooner than Martinez) will push one of Tomko/Hendrickson/Seanez off the roster.

This may be a pipe dream, but Brazoban & Tsao coming back could mean all of Tomrickseanez is off the roster.

2007-06-14 09:17:09
7.   Branch Rickey
Nice write up Jon. And it is certainly fun to take a stand here and be right, especially when few agree with you. So take your bows on Betemit. I'm sure it'll be pointed out when you take a stand and you're wrong!
I think Tomko found out his role last night. I believe his next role will be an "assignment".
2007-06-14 09:21:44
8.   Daniel Zappala
4 The Los Angeles Angels were a PCL team from 1903 until 1957. The name has been around a long time and has a great history behind it. Not to mention the Angels themselves were the LA Angels from 1960 until 1965. They were named the California Angels from 1965 until 1996, then renamed the Los Angeles Angels again in 2005. The "of Anaheim" is merely there to fulfill the terms of their contract with the city of Anaheim.

From Wikipedia:

Autry named the new franchise the Los Angeles Angels. The origins of the name date back to 1892, when it was first used by a Los Angeles franchise in the California League. The Angel moniker has always been natural for Los Angeles teams, since The Angels is a literal English translation of the Spanish Los Angeles. It was also a nod to the long-successful PCL team that played in Los Angeles from 1903 through 1957. O'Malley still owned the rights to the Angels name even after moving the team to Spokane to make way for the Dodgers, so Autry paid O'Malley $300,000 for the rights to the name.

Finally, I'll add that the term "Los Angeles" is often used to broadly refer to the entire area encompassing Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties, particularly in the rest of the country. I always tell people I'm from LA originally, though I was born in OC and only later lived in LA proper for 7 years.

2007-06-14 09:24:09
9.   Daniel Zappala
Jon, I don't know that I've ever taken a "stand" on Betemit, but I will definitely give you props for sticking by him. Looking back on who we've used at 3B this year, of the three I'd say I'm most comfortable with Betemit for this season and would love to see Saenz there for some lefties.
2007-06-14 09:27:48
10.   kent
Last night on Dodger Talk a caller said that Derek Lowe has been ripping Dodger fans as unsupportive. Whats that about?
2007-06-14 09:29:06
11.   Daniel Zappala
From the interview with Kent in the Times:

I was there in 2002. We [the Giants] were six to seven to eight outs away from winning the World Series. They had taken the plastic off the lockers and brought the champagne in. The guys on the bench were giddy, going back and forth to the clubhouse and it was all taken away from us by the Angels.

I had no idea the Giants were tempting fate by slipping into the clubhouse and getting ready for the celebration. I am so so happy the Angels stuck it to the Giants in such wonderful fashion.

2007-06-14 09:31:07
12.   Penarol1916
4. Actually, there is a standard amount of real fruit juice that a product must contain in order for the label to read juice. That is why Ocean Spray always sold "Cranberry Cocktail" as it was only 15% cranberry juice and the rest was high fructose corn syrup. Northland trumped them by saying that they sold 100% cranberry juice, but what they did was use the same 15% cranberry juice and the rest was pear and apple juice. The drinks you are talking about are usually referred to as fruit drinks.
2007-06-14 09:33:40
13.   Branch Rickey
10. Quoting DodgerTalk callers on Dodger issues is like quoting kindergarden students on educational policy. If it appears in the press there's a 50% chance it's true. If it's from a caller on DodgerTalk, there's a 2% chance it's true and a 70% chance that the caller dialed the wrong number or was actually referring to Terrell Owens.
2007-06-14 09:33:47
14.   Penarol1916
10. Maybe you misheard and he said that the offense was being unsupportive.
2007-06-14 09:35:57
15.   ToyCannon
The only Angels in Los Angeles are dead Dodgers.

Saw it on a TShirt last night. Made me laugh. Arte's deal must be working if we have to make T-Shirts to remind people that LA is only big enough for one team. I hope one team takes two of three and that we don't have a sweep at either teams expense.

We have a pitcher in the bullpen whose minor league nickname was "Sugar Britches". A guy who played with him in the minors yelled it at him and he busted up laughing and then came over and talked for a few minutes.

2007-06-14 09:37:24
16.   weatherman
How difficult is it to keep a core of players together these days? I look back at the stability of the 1970's and wonder whether or not we are coming into a group similar to what we had then. I guess 2B is up in the air, but certainly Martin, Loney, Furcal, and Betemit have the potential to hold their positions for years to come.

I loved rooting for the Piazza, Karros, Mondesi tandem back when they were all playing together and wish we could put together something similar with these guys. Is this an unrealistic dream?

2007-06-14 09:40:46
17.   ToyCannon
We are unsupportive. I was taught only to boo lack of effort, never results for your home team. The player feels bad enough about subpar results, they don't need booing cascading on them to remind them that they didn't do the job.
2007-06-14 09:42:45
18.   Joshua Worley
Brilliant write-up, Jon

Catcher: Martin played 10 straight days earlier in the season, but he did have a half day off in there during a blowout. The Dodgers have an off-day in each of their last three weeks of the season, so if Grady will just give him enough rest now, as in one day off a week ( counting team days off ) as you say, he might be able to start the last 20 games or so during the stretch drive.

First Base: I think it was easy to bench Nomar the first two times, because he had played so much before that. I think it's going to be harder and harder to bench him 2-3 times a week from now on, especially if he starts grumbling a bit. And yet young Loney needs at least 3 starts a week, really more. I think this is the most fascinating human drama to be played out over the next few weeks.

Second: I'm souring on Kent a bit, maybe not so much for this year, but definitely for next year. Another reason to win the World Series!

Short: Yeah, Furcal needs some days off.

Third: Is there any good reason for Betemit to ever sit against a righty starter again?

Outfield: As long as Pierre keeps on with the multiple on-base games, I don't think he'll sit. If he has another oh-fer-pop up series, then he probably will. But I'm not convinced that management is convinced Kemp or Ethier can play center more than occasionally. Ethier really seems like the odd man out here. Kemp is superman!

Pitching: Even with Schmidt maybe struggling, I'm so happy with the pitching now. I think a lot of teams would be happy with Tomko or Houlton as their fifth starters, and they're what, the seventh and eighth options right now? And I love never having to worry that a game I'm attending will be started by a dud pitcher.

2007-06-14 09:45:13
19.   Eric Stephen
If I had to wager, I'd bet D.J. Houlton never wears an LA Dodger uniform again.
2007-06-14 09:47:37
20.   blue22
Great, great game last night. The most fulfilling, if not most dramatic game, I've watched this season. Loney's homer off Wagner was the capper to a wonderful night.

Kemp looked flat out awesome. Furcal was hitting for extra bases, even if they weren't roped. Pierre played well, both in the field (a couple of nice catches, including the nice adjustment he made on that laser over his head) and at bat (appreciated the hustle on his 2-out hit even though he was thrown out at 2nd. He knows he needs to get into scoring position for Singlin' Nomar, and it's too hard to steal a base with him at the plate).

And go Boom Boom Betemit! Lovin' him.

2007-06-14 09:54:26
21.   fordprefect
With you all the way on that. Ya gotta play the game on the field, not on paper or in ESPN recaps. The 2002 Giants forgot about that.
2007-06-14 09:54:56
22.   GobiasIndustries
I think as far as the upcoming Angels series is concerned, as long as our pitchers keep us in the game, we'll have more than ample chances to win all three games. Not enough can be said about how great it is that we finally have all of our "boys" up with the big club. The impact has been immediate and positive and let's all hope it stays that way. The Angels are a good team, not great or a force to be reckoned with but a good team. Everyone knows that they have a great pitching staff and a great bullpen, but so do we. Beyond Vlad though they are significantly weaker top to bottom (offensively) than the Dodgers and a lot of AL clubs. Gary Matthews Juicer and Orlando Cabrera have been playing over their heads for the last few weeks and are destined to fall back in line with what their career numbers dictate that they actually are. Mediocrities. So if we can keep Vlad in check or at least minimize the damage, we have a better than average shot of winning these games. But as we all know it all comes down to which pitching staff is going to "step up" and dominate. I'm hoping it's gonna be our starting three but something about the former Dodger run Angels always gives me an uneasy feeling.
2007-06-14 09:56:15
23.   Bob Timmermann
The baseball gods did not want Dusty Baker to give Russ Ortiz the game ball when he left the mound in Game 6.

The 2002 World Series had the potential to be:
1) won by the Giants
2) with Russ Ortiz getting the win
3) with Shawon Dunston getting the game-winning hit

2007-06-14 09:56:27
24.   Joshua Worley
Defensive runs above or below average, according to the Hardball Times link Jon provided:

Pierre +8 (!)
Ethier +4
Gonzo -12 ( dang, he gave back all of the good work of the other two )

Nomar -8
Kent -4 ( Only -4? )
Furcal +3

LaRoche +2
Abreu -1
Betemit -4

Those third base numbers can't mean much. Even the other numbers are only two month samples.

2007-06-14 09:58:53
25.   Bob Timmermann
Shawon Dunston's OPS+ in 2002, his final season in the majors, was 47.

But Dusty Baker loved him!

2007-06-14 10:00:11
26.   GobiasIndustries

Oof! Those were all ugly propositions. God bless Scott Spiezeo wherever he is.

2007-06-14 10:01:27
27.   ToyCannon
I'm just glad all my Boom Boom's weren't in vain. I've been yelling Boom Boom all year and everyone was mocking me. Now they are high fiving me and everyone is yelling Boom Boom when he comes up.

Looks like last Thursday was the bottom.

2007-06-14 10:04:02
28.   ToyCannon
Scott Spiezeo has a shrine at my house. Even my cats were wearing red goats for a week.
2007-06-14 10:05:43
29.   GoBears
From the last thread:

458. ToyCannon
Sure is amazing how many have jumped back on the Boom Boom train. Six weeks ago it was about as light as Nomar's bandwagon is now. I think I'm the only one left on Nomar's.

I agree - and as someone who has had high hopes for Betemit all season, I say "welcome aboard."

I've been able to ride all season on the BoomBoomWagon in part because I watched the Nomar parade go by the day it became clear that he'd be the permanent 1st baseman, before last season. I was tempted by the first half he had last season, but never believed it could last -- hence my "bet" with TC that he'd finish the year with an OPS under .800 (or whatever it was).

Lest I be accused of only pointing out my good guesses, I must admit that Gonzales has been a pleasant surprise so far. I thought he was done.

2007-06-14 10:09:01
30.   Eric L
29 The only thing that scares me about Luis Gonzales having a good year is that it the temptation for Ned to resign him will go through the roof.

Of course, Luis having a nice year and helping the team this year is more important.

2007-06-14 10:09:09
31.   Humma Kavula
How can Pierre be 8 fielding runs above an average center fielder? That is shocking.
2007-06-14 10:09:11
32.   Eric L
29 The only thing that scares me about Luis Gonzales having a good year is that it the temptation for Ned to resign him will go through the roof.

Of course, Luis having a nice year and helping the team this year is more important.

2007-06-14 10:14:19
33.   GobiasIndustries
Lest I be accused of only pointing out my good guesses, I must admit that Gonzales has been a pleasant surprise so far. I thought he was done.

I agree wholeheartedly. I thought the Gonzo signing was terrible and have never been a fan of his. Now I find myself rooting for him when I swore at the time of his signing I would never! I felt the same way about Ricky Ledee and Jose Hernandez in the past but I came around as those years progressed too.

2007-06-14 10:14:37
34.   Branch Rickey
31. Sometimes the only conclusion is that the stat is not good. Any stat that says Juan Pierre is a better than average center fielder is as flawed as Pierre's defense.
2007-06-14 10:14:40
35.   Jacob L
Jon, I know you've been wary of the "Martin needs rest" talk, but since you brought it up . . .

You've seemed to suggest that the off days are just as good as the days off. While I partially agree that Grady can use the schedule to help spread out the workload, its the total number of games and total number of innings, that come September, concern me. I'm not sure that the spread of that workload matters that much. I have to give the usual caveat that I have no empirical information to back up this viewpoint. Also, to hear Grady talk about, the amount of deference he gives to the player in determining his own fitness is troubling to me. He's the manager. Its his job to manage the workload.

I hope, as we all do, that better production from the rest of the offense will diminish the need to have Russell out there game after game.

2007-06-14 10:20:07
36.   Jon Weisman
Eddie Murray has been fired and replaced by Bill Mueller. More to come.
2007-06-14 10:21:50
37.   underdog
36 Whoa. And just after I stopped wondering if Murray's job was in danger. (Not that a few days of decent hitting should make everyone stop worrying about the offense, but it sure made us worry less. And not that the hitting coach should be blamed for all that, but I figured if anyone would, it'd be Murray.)

Mueller? Wow, I would have predicted Mike Easler.

2007-06-14 10:24:04
38.   Jon Weisman
New post up top on Murray, but comments continue here in this thread.
2007-06-14 10:24:54
39.   ToyCannon
We either have to look at all the defensive numbers and shake our heads and not feel they are worth anything or admit that JP is better then we think. For me, I've given up on defensive rating. I can't cherry pick the ones I like and ignore the ones I don't so I'll just ignore them all and rely on my subjective opinion which seems to be just as worthwhile as these inconsistent numbers.
2007-06-14 10:27:04
40.   ToyCannon
Just shocked.

Maybe Mueller has been coaching Nomar all along and that is why his power has gone AWOL.

2007-06-14 10:27:15
41.   underdog
I do think the approach Dodger hitters have often taken this year wasn't always the best, both in (not) working pitch count and in improving swings to fit each hitter's style and potential, and some of that lies with the coaches I guess. Maybe Murray's communication style isn't a plus either?
2007-06-14 10:27:19
42.   Doctor
Id like to see Martin DH a few games on the next road trip. Liberthal is still a good hitter, I think he can contribute if he gets a few more ABs. He probably isn't much of a step below the other DHs we will put out there and its something of a free day off for Martin.
2007-06-14 10:28:15
43.   underdog
So if Mueller's the interim coach, do you think Easler might be considered for long term?
2007-06-14 10:28:48
44.   ToyCannon
You would think a patient hitter like Murray preached a patient style.

Mueller was also a very patient hitter. I feel better having him as a hitting coach then Mickey Hatcher.

2007-06-14 10:31:15
45.   Bob Timmermann
Branch Rickey is going to be very angry.

The DT version of Branch Rickey, not the dead guy.

2007-06-14 10:32:08
46.   ToyCannon
I won the OPS bet but you won the whole bet because it was based on him playing a certain number of games which he didn't do.
If your going to the DT game I'll be happy to buy you the beer unless you want to make it double or nothing that Nomar has on OPS over 800 from now until the DT game?
2007-06-14 10:32:11
47.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers swept the Mets because of superior urban and regional planning!
2007-06-14 10:34:01
48.   ishXdavid
Great write-up.

When a switch-hitter's performance is as historically disparate as Betemit's, what are the chances of the player settling down on one side of the plate? I used to always wonder why Cesar Izturis insisted on switch-hitting when he couldn't hit a lick from the left side. Betemit is a completely different hitter left-handed than he is right. I know it's too late to do it mid-season, but maybe it's something he can work on in the offseason.

2007-06-14 10:34:54
49.   Daniel Zappala
Many here have previously proposed moving Nomar to third to make way for Loney --- but do we want him taking time away from Betemit?

22 Don't forget Kotchman, who is a 950 OPS at 1B, and Kendrick is coming on, plus Figgins has been hot lately, and Napoli is no slouch. I think this could be an even series if the Dodgers pitch well, but it could also be an Angels sweep because their pitching doesn't take a day off.

2007-06-14 10:40:19
50.   Jon Weisman
Updates to the Murray post above.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-06-14 10:41:47
51.   JoeyP
With Mueller being a former switch hitter himself that took lots of pitches---Hopefully the approach improves a little, if the results do not.
2007-06-14 10:42:35
52.   ToyCannon
Nice of the Yankee's to stomp all over the Diamondbacks.

Last year at this time is when Ethier went off on the Angels. I wonder if he'll even play this weekend. No Lackey bodes well for the Dodgers. We can handle Santana/Weaver/Escobar. Escobar is coming off that 14 K night so we should shell him.

2007-06-14 10:44:06
53.   Marty
I think Easler's coming. With Abreu, Loney, Kemp up here it makes sense to have a familiar coach with them.
2007-06-14 10:46:51
54.   GobiasIndustries
You're right I did forget to mention Krotchman. Chone Figgins (hot or not)= Juan Pierre (hot or not) which both = less than zero. Napoli is no Russell Martin (at least not at present anyway). Another sweep by the Angels is a stretch to say the least. I'd be willing to bet just about anything that that doesn't happen. As I said before, it's all gonna come down to who's staff blinks first. Just a thought, but if the Angels staff never takes a day off, wouldn't they be like 66-0 right now?
2007-06-14 10:50:18
55.   Eric Stephen
This might help the team, but that doesn't make me less sad that my favorite player is gone.

I'm going to pour a 40 on the curb for my homey tonight. Preferably a neighbor's curb.

2007-06-14 10:54:02
56.   dsfan
As someone here who has found it odd that Dodgers hitters so seldom have spoken of Murray in the press, it is less surprising to learn that Murray was fired. What's more, though I probably read too much into it, I did find it striking how gushing Kemp was in his praise for Easler.

As for Mueller, he seems to be very close to Ned and that may have been a factor.

2007-06-14 10:54:48
57.   Disabled List
Santana/Weaver/Escobar are the same three pitchers that stifled the Dodgers a couple of weeks ago. The Anaheimians aren't playing as badly as the Mets are, either.

A couple of nights ago, we were being swept by Toronto for our 5th loss in 6 games and facing the prospect of nine straight games against the Mets, Angels and Blue Jays. The Dodgers played well against NY, but I can't shake the feeling that that sweep had more to do with the Mets' lousy play (they're slumping badly, and looked absolutely terrible in that series).

I hope I'm wrong. I'd at least like us to improve on that 19-4 aggregate score from the last Freeway Series.

2007-06-14 10:56:09
58.   Bob Timmermann
Now we'll never know if Vin Scully ever says the name "Eddie Murray."
2007-06-14 10:56:38
59.   GobiasIndustries
2007-06-14 10:58:01
60.   Branch Rickey
You're right Bob. I'm not very happy. I don't think it was necessary or appropriate to fire a guy in mid-June with the team in first place and coming off a sweep of the Mets.
I don't have a lot of insight and I'm pretty unhappy about it at the moment so maybe I'll write more later. I will say this much: It probably came down to communication. Eddie has an old school attitude about teaching players. If they don't want to listen, he's not going to repeat himself too many times. Many of the players on our team (and around MLB) have an attitude you might be disappointed and even shocked by. He was not one to cater to the modern player and in the end, that's probably why he's gone. He's a good guy and one of the greatest hitters of all time. But times are different and he might just not be a good fit as a coach to current MLB players. It's sad and I think it's disrespectful to one of the few HOFers to be associated with this team.
2007-06-14 11:00:13
61.   kent
17- What Lowe is supposed to have said was; "As long as things are going well Dodger fans are fine but the minute things go wrong they jump off the bandwagon".

I just thought there might be a connection between that and his saying that he wasn't planning to stay with the Dodgers after his contract runs out.

2007-06-14 11:00:29
62.   Xeifrank
8. Being from and living in Vta County, I will not tell people within the country that I am from LA for convenience. I may say that I live near LA, if their California geography is not up to snuff. I shudder at being lumped in with LA geographically. I will only say I live in LA, when travelling overseas, because it's one of only a few US cities that they will know. I like living near LA, emphasis on the near. vr, Xei
2007-06-14 11:07:56
63.   dsfan
I think the youth movement was fueled by several sources. The recent series in San Diego may have been a case of short-term bad, long-term good. The team appeared old. Particularly Nomar and Kent on defense when they badly failed Broxton. I also think the brutal schedule is a factor. Not much rest after today and Monday -- something like 20 consecutive games going into the break.

I am in the minority here in that I commend the Dodgers not just for promoting the kids, but equally so, for waiting as long as they did. Teaching needed to be done, in my view, and the best classroom was Triple-A, especially for Kemp. I really like that Kemp got another 150 ABs to work with Easler in a league filled with 4A types/former major leaguer who can manipulate a younger hitter. Also great that he played CF in a less pressurized environment. I have no idea whether he has become more adept against the breaking ball or at covering the outside part of the plate, but if Kemp is going to have a good career, he certainly needed to improve in those areas. Remember, Kemp didn't play a lot of showcase baseball as an amateur because he was busy with basketball. I think the extra developmental time was the way to go there. I feel the same about Loney, though not quite as strongly.

2007-06-14 11:08:22
64.   Daniel Zappala
I think the only game the Dodgers have a clear advantage with starting pitching is Lowe vs Santana, who has struggled on the road. Schmidt vs Weaver and Wolf vs Escobar are both in the Angels favor.
2007-06-14 11:09:29
65.   Xeifrank
64. Santana sure has given up a boatload of home runs so far this year.
vr, Xei
2007-06-14 11:11:00
66.   GoBears
46 I won the OPS bet but you won the whole bet because it was based on him playing a certain number of games which he didn't do

Ah, yes. That's right. My point in bringing it up wasn't so much to say I've been right all along about Nomar, but to say that I've been pessimistic all along about him.

If your going to the DT game I'll be happy to buy you the beer unless you want to make it double or nothing that Nomar has on OPS over 800 from now until the DT game?

Can't go, unfortunately. Let's just call the original bet a push.

2007-06-14 11:11:22
67.   Eric Stephen
58 Maybe Vin will start the game Friday by announcing that the Dodgers have fired "the hitting coach".

On the outside, Vin is a stoic professional, never one to let his rooting interests leak out.

On the inside, he bleeds Dodger Blue, and will never forgive "the hitting coach" for the double play in 1997, and announces a game while sticking needles in his Brian Johnson doll.

2007-06-14 11:13:52
68.   Jon Weisman
Eric Enders said that Vinny not mentioning Murray's name was a myth.
2007-06-14 11:15:38
69.   Eric Stephen
68 I agree, but it's fun to let my imagination think of Vin Scully in non-Scully situations.

For instance, front row at a Korn concert.

2007-06-14 11:16:51
70.   bluegold
If Murray is to be blamed for Pierre, Kent, etc., he should also be credited with Gonzo's resurgence. What gives?
2007-06-14 11:17:45
71.   still bevens
64 I'm not afraid of Weaver. Rob pointed out on another thread that he's had back problems and hasn't been too convincing in proving that he can avoid the DL. Weaver is also less effective against lefties, which we have in spades.
2007-06-14 11:17:55
72.   GobiasIndustries

I'll say Lowe/Santana, Dodgers have the edge.
Schmidt/Weaver is a wash. That game can go either way as both pitchers continue to lie about being hurt or at least up to par. Wolf/Escobar is a tough one because Wolf has been less than stellar his last few outings so he could have a rebound game. Escobar is coming off a stellar start (14k's) or something close to that, so he could either have a huge let down game or continue to dominate. But considering his last game was an aberration and not the norm, I'd say he's in for a let down type game. Pure speculation of course...

2007-06-14 11:19:14
73.   D4P
Our offense hasn't lived up to our expectations and no one person is responsible for the results we've had this season

But we're gonna go ahead and place the blame on one person by firing him.

2007-06-14 11:21:27
74.   bluegold
73. Then shouldn't Colletti fire himself?
2007-06-14 11:22:05
75.   GobiasIndustries
San Diego up 3-0 in the top of the 8th.

Arizona down 4-1 in the bottom of the 4th.

If anyone cares..

2007-06-14 11:22:59
76.   Branch Rickey
68. It wasn't. Can one other peson here truly remember him doing it? Even once?
2007-06-14 11:26:02
77.   jhurtado
Can we please fire Rich Donnelly now too?
2007-06-14 11:26:14
78.   Xeifrank
Homer Bailey got off to a rough start but settled down nicely. Not too many Ks.
vr, Xei
2007-06-14 11:26:23
79.   Eric Stephen
76 I thought I heard Vin mention Murray during last night's game, but I didn't record it.
2007-06-14 11:27:29
80.   GobiasIndustries

Didn't he say his name the other night when Gonzo tied and then passed him for the doubles record?
I still have the game on my Tivo, so I can check for sure when I get home tonight.

2007-06-14 11:28:45
81.   D4P
Then shouldn't Colletti fire himself?

Everyone knows that if you acquire crappy players who don't play very well, it's the coaching staff's fault.

2007-06-14 11:30:13
82.   Branch Rickey
80. No. Nor, when Gonzo kissed him coming into the dugout. And if that isn't the perfect example I don't know what is.
2007-06-14 11:31:04
83.   weatherman
Check out Mike's Baseball Rants. Of the four regular players without a homer yet this year, half are Dodgers. I'll let y'all guess who they are.
2007-06-14 11:31:52
84.   Bob Timmermann
The Kiss of Death! I knew Eddie Murray shouldn't have gone fishing with Ned Colletti in Lake Tahoe last night.
2007-06-14 11:33:20
85.   Disabled List
The person to be blamed for our offensive problems is the person who childishly pouted when our best hitter opted out of his contract, then panicked and signed a declining injury-prone first baseman to a 2-year deal, blocking our best young hitting prospect. This would be the same person who also signed a below-average centerfielder to a ridiculous 5-year contract, thereby blocking our best young slugging prospect.

This person did not get fired today.

2007-06-14 11:34:26
86.   trainwreck
We scored a lot of runs last night, because we finally played the right people. I guess it is Eddie Murray's fault for that.
2007-06-14 11:35:55
87.   bhsportsguy
Sound familiar?

"It's not just about right now, it's just about what we feel is best for our ballclub today, the future and long term."

"From an offensive standpoint, I feel we can do better. But it's not just about Eddie Murray. I just felt that we needed to make a change and I felt this was best for our ballclub."

Eric Wedge said this just a little over two years ago when Cleveland fired Murray as their hitting coach. Coincidentally, they went from hitting .243 as a team (though most of that was due to a poor April, in May they began to perk up) as they hit .283 from June to the end of season with a very good OPS.

2007-06-14 11:36:16
88.   D4P
Seems to me that the only players who have really underperformed offensively this year are Pierre, Furcal, and Nomar.

Pierre: Wasn't Maury Wills designated primary responsibility for working with him this season?

Furcal: Injured.

Nomar: Hasn't really changed his hitting approach, has he? He's swinging at everything, just as he has always done. The ball just isn't going as far.

I don't see any of this being Eddie Murray's responsibility.

2007-06-14 11:36:56
89.   Daniel Zappala
Weaver's splits are not that big for lefties vs righties. More HRs against righties, higher OBP versus lefties. He has had some injury concerns, but I'd give him at least a slight edge over Schmidt in that regard, especially with Schmidt's velocity problems. Weaver at least has an ERA near 4.

Escobar has been great all season, not just in his last start. ERA of 2.89 and WHIP of 1.11 are both better than his career, but reports have been that the pitching coach (Butcher) has really helped him this year.

2007-06-14 11:38:00
90.   Daniel Zappala
The big thing that can help the Dodgers is if Kemp and Loney continue to play and perform well. The Angels already have a young player (Kotchman) helping out Vlad, with some great OBP from the top of the lineup.
2007-06-14 11:38:17
91.   Hallux Valgus
87 And the Indians were a team bringing up a lot of their young guys, just as we are now.
2007-06-14 11:38:48
92.   bhsportsguy
BTW to followup what Branch Rickey said, the reports after he was fired in Cleveland said that Murray would never seek out players, he would wait for them to come to him.

Not sure if this fits with being in touch with the modern day player but I am sure Eddie's style didn't change while he was here.

2007-06-14 11:39:15
93.   Marty
I think Branch Rickey is right. I'll bet Eddie can't relate/communicate with the kids. And I'm wondering if Martin was somehow asked his opinion, since he's sort of the leader now.
2007-06-14 11:40:57
94.   Branch Rickey
I believe that coaches in the major leagues are not hired for fired because of their talent as a coach. Are Alfredo Griffin and Mickey Hatcher the best coaches that Scioscia could find or are they long time friends? You get hired because you know somebody. You get fired (usually) because the team is currently not performing. I wrote above what I think it was in Eddie's case this time.
2007-06-14 11:41:04
95.   blue22
Yovani Gallardo, the next "Next Great Pitcher", is finally getting called up by the Brewers today.
2007-06-14 11:41:25
96.   Eric Stephen
87 I have a feeling Murray's abrasive, Kent-ish personality can be grating at times, and over a period of time gets old.

Maybe the position itself is just volatile, and needs to be changed often just to "spark" teams.

That said, I'm sure there are some hitting coaches that are more than just ex-players; their teaching and nurturing (perhaps more important with the youngish roster the Dodgers are fostering) skills are as important, if not more, than their name or reputation.

2007-06-14 11:41:34
97.   D4P
I'm guessing Eddie didn't mingle much at the Christmas parties.
2007-06-14 11:42:54
98.   D4P
I believe that coaches in the major leagues are not hired for fired because of their talent as a coach...You get hired because you know somebody

Same goes for GMs, in many/most cases.

2007-06-14 11:43:15
99.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 5

Jason, I think Grady's the kids advocate, because he managed in the Atlanta organization, which of course has done very well with developing young players. Also, Ned's background with the Giants organization, and his own track record, indicates a preference for veterans. I've heard a lit bit about Grady from BoSox fans, and although even before the Pedro episode, he had a rep for staying with a starter too long, I never got the feeling that he was overly wedded to veterans. Although the fact that the Red Sox farm system was weak during his tenure as manager makes that a difficult comp. Kevin Kennedy, though, did have a rep for preferring veterans, much like Dusty Baker.

This is even more speculation, but in all due honesty, I've always got the feeling that Grady, beneath the aww... shucks act, is actually quite flexible and adaptable in his management style. Not to say Ned is completely rigid--the Furcal signing was quite creative, I thought--but I think Ned is much more strictly conventional in his approach to personnel and player evaluation. Although Grady isn't at all sabermetric--one of the reasons why he might have been fired by the stat-heavy Boston front office even without the Pedro episode after 03--I do think he's by nature flexible and adaptable, and that would make for a willingness to play young players who will be rough around the edges.


2007-06-14 11:43:50
100.   JoeyP
Tiger shot 71 today.
He's 3 back of the leader.

US Open really didnt play too difficult today. Lots of pretty good scores, especially for a US Open.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-06-14 11:45:07
101.   D4P
US Open really didnt play too difficult today

They always talk up the difficulty before the tourney starts, saying it's the toughest course they've ever played and such. Then they go out and shoot pretty much the same scores they always shoot at US Opens.

2007-06-14 11:45:38
102.   Branch Rickey
97. That's probably true. Now who on this team do you think does?
2007-06-14 11:47:15
103.   D4P
I think we can all agree that the players you acquire/call up from AAA/etc. are more important than how they are coached. I have to think you're better off with good players/bad coaches than bad players/good coaches.

What is most irksome about Murray's firing for me is that Ned gets no assignment of blame, and certainly no kind of punishment.

2007-06-14 11:47:40
104.   Bob Timmermann
Only five guys are on the happy side of par today. Is there some other definition of "tough" we're using for golf now?
2007-06-14 11:47:53
105.   blue22
Walt Hriniak is the only hitting coach that comes to mind that was known for actual results on the field, and that was mostly because he taught his players to finish with that exaggerated follow-through by letting go of the bat. It seems to be a pretty high turnover position, with minimal standards on accountability.
2007-06-14 11:49:47
106.   Bob Timmermann
Pitching coaches, hitting coaches, and managers have been getting fired for the flimsiest of reasons for the past 50 years. (And even longer for managers.)

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

2007-06-14 11:49:54
107.   DougS
58 I believe that is a myth. I distinctly recall Vin speaking the name at least once this season, when the camera lighted on Murray in the dugout.

87 I've heard it said before that great players (in any sport) don't necessarily make the best coaches/managers because they find it hard to relate to the average player. I recall that Pete Rose was once asked whether or not he communicated with his players, and he replied, "Why should I? My manager never had to talk to me."

2007-06-14 11:50:28
108.   Bob Timmermann
How soon they forget Charlie Lau? He had a tour de force in "Max Dugan Returns."
2007-06-14 11:51:01
109.   GobiasIndustries

Forgive me if I'm off base here, I am new to this site and am not familiar with all the regulars yet but, from what I've read thus far you strike me as more of an Angels fan than a Dodgers fan. Am I wrong? Do you have mutual affinity for both teams? Maybe for one more than the other? Just wondering.

2007-06-14 11:52:12
110.   blue22
108 - Wasn't Hrinak a disciple of Lau? I thought Hriniak was the more recent of the two, though I noticed that Lau wasn't as old as I had first thought.
2007-06-14 11:52:41
111.   Bob Timmermann
Daniel Zappala, ToyCannon, and scareduck are fans of both the Dodgers and Angels.

I would describe myself as one also.

And Jon doesn't hate the Angels.

I believe I'm not misrepresenting anyone there am I?

2007-06-14 11:53:46
112.   D4P
Only five guys are on the happy side of par today. Is there some other definition of "tough" we're using for golf now?

That's not uncommon for a US Open. For one thing, the USGA commonly converts at least one (if not 2) par-5s into par-4s, thus automatically reducing par and the number of players on the happy side of it.

2007-06-14 11:55:41
113.   GobiasIndustries

Thanks for the 411. And I like anyone who references a classic like "Max Dugan Returns". Excellent stuff.

2007-06-14 11:56:44
114.   Jon Weisman
Just something I wanted to mention in passing: I believe Kip Wells goes after his 11th loss today for St. Louis. He's fallen off the 30-loss pace, but this would get him on track for 28.

I think if Murray's firing were performance-related, then Colletti should be part of the conversation. But if the firing were related to old-school communication issues independent of Colletti, as Branch seems to think (and I don't have reason to doubt him) - then the good and bad of Colletti isn't as germane.

And keep this in mind about Colletti. While he shouldn't get credit for Kemp, etc., being in the organization, he should get some credit for calling them up, even if he had to be beaten over the head. He didn't have to call them up. He could have ridden out the vets rain or shine. However stubborn he might be, he isn't that stubborn.

Define "some credit" however you like.

2007-06-14 11:57:12
115.   Greg Brock
I need a ruling from the commentariat:

ISP dead. No connection. Tech support no help. Maintenence crew coming...Whenever.

Neighbor has unencrypted wireless network. Am I a bad person if I hop on it for a day or two? I don't know the inner workings of wireless network etiquette.

Thanks. May not be able to read the responses, but let me know.

2007-06-14 11:59:47
116.   Jon Weisman
111 - for me, you can change "doesn't hate" to "likes/roots for"
2007-06-14 12:00:07
117.   ToyCannon
While a big fan of both teams, other then the Brown/Sheffield years I would have rooted for the Dodgers over the Angels in a World Series but sometimes I like to wear my Angel hat to a Dodger game just to witness the stupidity of Dodger fans.
2007-06-14 12:01:48
118.   Benaiah
115 - If you have unprotected wireless internet then you have put a "welcome" mat on your connection. In big cities especially, everyone steals internet so protect it or just assume that others are using it. This doesn't get to the ethics of exploiting such lazy ignorance, but suffice to say my wireless router is down and yet I am responding to you.
2007-06-14 12:02:13
119.   Disabled List
115 If you think you're also a bad person for listening to the music on someone else's stereo that's blasting through an open window, then don't do it.

Otherwise, hop on.

2007-06-14 12:02:29
120.   old dodger fan
Things I have learned about baseball this week:

Unwritten rules:
1. Don't yell "mine" while rounding 3rd.
2. Don't steal signs while on 2nd base.
3. Don't let go of the bat with one hand when hitting home runs.

Any more this week?

2007-06-14 12:02:36
121.   trainwreck
Well, I know a lot of people do that. At least you are only doing it for a little while.
2007-06-14 12:03:30
122.   ToyCannon
I'd older self says to ask permission, my younger self says go for it. I'm often conflicted.
2007-06-14 12:05:40
123.   ToyCannon
Don't peek to see where the catcher is setting up.
2007-06-14 12:06:33
124.   trainwreck
The fact you even asked anyone if it is right shows your nobility. Now do the noble thing and get online.
2007-06-14 12:06:35
125.   Bob Timmermann

He'd say go for it.

2007-06-14 12:07:20
126.   blue22
120 - 2. Don't steal signs while on 2nd base.

I didn't follow last night's comments. Is that the presumed reason for Green and Penny's little conversation?

2007-06-14 12:07:54
127.   Bob Timmermann
Unwritten rules:
Don't get into a battle of wits with a Sicilian when death is on line.
2007-06-14 12:08:16
128.   jasonungar07
I think the pin placements will be key. They can really make that course a bear. Add any weather elements to it along with the pressure over the weekend and my take now is that the tourney will be won at +2


Wayne, thank you. I agree with you. Thanks for the explanation.

2007-06-14 12:08:26
129.   DougS
112 And doesn't USGA tell the host course to let the rough grow out for the OPen?
2007-06-14 12:08:41
130.   JoeyP
If Sandy Alomar Jr can fetch BJ LaMura..I wonder what Brady Clark will command?
2007-06-14 12:09:18
131.   Benaiah
122 - Asking permission is tough though. If they say no then it is a sticky situation, and no matter what it is awkward.

If you are contentious about what you do with their internet (stay away from high bandwidth activities) they probably won't notice the difference anyway. Besides, if they were savvy enough to monitor who is using it then it would be protected int he first place. So I say no harm, no foul.

2007-06-14 12:10:26
132.   DougS
115 That happened to a friend of mine a while back. He took his laptop and walked up and down the halls of his apartment building in case one of his neighbors had an unsecured wireless connection.

When you needs Internet access, you needs Internet access.

2007-06-14 12:11:07
133.   Bob Timmermann
The USGA likes its rough long and its greens fast.

I still think weather makes everything worse. I would not have wanted to play at Pebble Beach the year Tom Kite won.

2007-06-14 12:12:34
134.   Don Tordilla
Article on the Murray firing by Tim Brown:

2007-06-14 12:13:33
135.   old dodger fan

"I was a little mad at the time," said Penny. "[Green] was giving pitch location to the hitter from second base in the first inning. When you do that, and you have a reputation for doing that, people are watching you and you take a chance of getting yourself or your team where you shouldn't be."

2007-06-14 12:14:55
136.   Greg Brock
Thanks for the advice, gang. I went over to ask, but dude is at work (Munce: Ha ha!), so I feel okay with it. I'll ask when he gets home.

So much going on. PayPal nightmares, dead ISP, painting, DT Night Tickets. It's like that line from Five Towns, my favorite show: "It ain't just happening over here...It's happening over there, over there, and over there."

Also, Betemit turns into a beast, Murray gets fired, US Open. I can't keep up. It may be nap time.

2007-06-14 12:21:40
138.   Eric Stephen
130 They difference is that Sandy Alomar, Jr wasn't designated for assignment first.

Unless there is a huge demand for Clark, no one is going to give up anything to have a player they can have for league minimum once the 10 days is up.

2007-06-14 12:23:43
139.   Bob Timmermann
The tinyurl in 135 works, so I deleted 137.
2007-06-14 12:24:40
140.   tjshere
125 What Would Alfonso Soriano Do?
2007-06-14 12:25:13
141.   Eric Stephen
Isn't that an unwritten rule of blogging to not delete posts from a another man's blog?

(Similar to never touch another man's stereo)

2007-06-14 12:25:32
142.   Greg Brock
140 I was thinking Alvey Singer.
2007-06-14 12:25:59
143.   Bob Timmermann
Jon knows where to find me.
2007-06-14 12:28:21
144.   JoeyP
138--Good point. Considering Clark's salary, I dont think anyone is going to touch him.
2007-06-14 12:28:25
145.   Eric Stephen
Bob's going to look up from his desk as someone enters his library, then next thing you know, fade to black!
2007-06-14 12:28:37
146.   Benaiah
131 - I meant "conscientious" but spell check guess "contentious" which means the opposite of what I intended. Annoying.
2007-06-14 12:32:35
147.   Xeifrank
Interesting comments at Metsblog about the Penny/Green incident. FYI, SFW.
vr, Xei
2007-06-14 12:41:55
148.   underdog
142 Alvy Singer!
"Great, I'm standing here with two guys named 'Cheech.'"
That Charlie Lau cameo in Max Dugan has to be the best appearance by a real hitting coach in a fictional film that I can think of. Ever!

Fwiw, I'm not a fan of the Angels, but I stopped hating them awhile ago. I'll hate them less if they don't sweep the Dodgers again this weekend. It goess back to high school, and having friends who were Angels fans and obnoxious about it. Also relates to my general distaste for all things Orange County (sorry to offend), I mean, serious distaste. But I like their young players and it's hard to hate them at this point.

2007-06-14 12:46:44
149.   Doctor
I loved seeing grouchy 250lb penny snarling at Green yesterday and I loved stomping on the Mets while they are down. Yesterday might have been my favorite game this year. Lets carry some of that edge into the Angles series.
2007-06-14 12:47:11
150.   underdog
PS: Greg, if it works, I would totally hop on your neighbor's wireless. It's free and open. Just try not to do any secure transactions (er, except you need to do that PayPal one huh? That'd be my only worry), and check your settings to lock up/secure anything on your computer you want secured (on the Mac this is easy; dunno about Windows). But I've done this before when needed. The connection speed may be up and down though, depending on if they're using it too, or anyone else, and how far away they are...
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-06-14 12:48:40
151.   underdog
147 I stopped reading the comments there after the third one wishing Green had hit Penny. (Not that I can completely blame them for feeling that way, but...)
2007-06-14 12:50:05
152.   KAYVMON
With the decline of production from Dodger veteran hitters and the existence of so many young players in the lineup, I think it is really difficult to analyze if the 07 Dodger offense is overacheiving or underacheiving.

However, I do think Murray's firing is unfair simply because he clearly did a great job last year. Remember, the Dodgers had a very productive offense last year despite the team's lack of "run producers." The fact that the Dodgers hit great with runners in scoring position can be attributed to luck, but some of those results have to be attributed to the Dodger's hitting approach last year, which Murray is somewhat responsible for.

If the Dodgers had replaced Murray with the Triple A coach it would have made sense considering the team's success is now so dependant on those rookie hitters. However, Murray, whose past performance as the Dodger hitting coach was 70% great (last year) and 30% unknown (this year), is being replaced by someone without any track record. If Murray was fired based on his style of coaching rather than his results, I think its a very short-sighted decision. How can you speculate that his coaching style was wrong for this team if it was great for last year's team? It is not as if the roster has a completely new set of personnel from last year. Therefore, I think the decision-making here was bad, but it is hard to critize decision-making when the people who made the decision do not articulate their reasoning behind it.

2007-06-14 12:50:21
153.   mikey swansong
I've been doing an interesting comparison between Luis Gonzalez and JD Drew this season.

Gonzo's BA is 48 points higher than Drew's. 284 to 236.

Gonzo's OBP is 27 points higher than Drews's. 371 to 344.

Gonzo's SLG is a whopping 120 points higher than Drew's. 472 to 352.

Gonzo's OPS is an eye popping 156 points higher than Drew's. 852 to 696.

2007-06-14 12:56:03
154.   ToyCannon
Nice to see Shields and Frankie get used today. The less we see of them this weekend the better.
2007-06-14 12:59:28
155.   Benaiah
I can't see visiting Metsblog very often. At least most people were ok with the Kuo bat flip which was entirely innocuous.
2007-06-14 13:00:58
156.   still bevens
It'll be interesting to see if Mueller stays as the hitting coach. If true, in a way this is just a way to ease Mueller into his new job and justify us paying him all that money.
2007-06-14 13:03:44
157.   Eric Stephen
The best thing to come of the Murray firing is the Bill Mueller hiring. By paying the new "interim" hitting coach $4.5 million, the highest salary for a hitting coach in major league history, I think this can put to rest all the fears that Frank McCourt is a penny pincher looking to cut costs.
2007-06-14 13:03:57
158.   Xeifrank
yeah, a visit to MetsBlog after a game like last night gives you appreciation for the great site Jon has managed here at DT.
vr, Xei
2007-06-14 13:05:16
159.   Xeifrank
157. Perhaps Juan Pierre can be the highest paid base running coach, or assistant base running coach in MLB. vr, Xei
2007-06-14 13:09:00
160.   Daniel Zappala
109 I root fervently for both the Dodgers and Angels.

Dodgers: I hated Reggie Jackson for (what I thought) cost the Dodgers the 1978 series by using his hip to deflect Russell's throw. My favorite player when I was a kid was Reggie Smith. I tuned in from the Bay area via a transistor radio and a weak signal from Las Vegas to listen to Hershiser's scoreless inning streak. I leaped off the couch and yelled for hours when Gibson hit his home run and saw the clinching game 5 in person.

Angels: When I got A's in grade school I got free tickets to see Bobby Grich, Doug Decinces and company at Anaheim stadium. Saw Nolan Ryan toss his last game against the Angels. Loved Mike Witt and Jim Abbott. Suffered for many years, including 1986 and the 1995 debacle in Seattle when they lost a 13 1/2 game lead and then lost the one-game playoff in miserable fashion. All the grief was erased when they won the 2002 series against the Giants.

Lots of good memories with both teams.

2007-06-14 13:10:36
161.   Greg Brock
If Murray wasn't communicative enough, then he needed to go. Hitting coaches are just there to talk anyway, really. That's why all the young Rangers hitter rave about Jaramillo.
2007-06-14 13:13:47
162.   old dodger fan
160 It is nice to root for teams that are in the hunt regularly and win it all now and then.

I work with a guy who is a Cubs fan. I think the only way he can stand it is he is also a Celtics fan and is old enough to remember the glory days.

2007-06-14 13:15:03
163.   D4P
You gotta wonder what Eddie thought his job entailed if not talking to players about hitting.
2007-06-14 13:15:10
164.   Xeifrank
I'm a big Angels fan too. Just not quite to the level of being a Dodgers fan. Not living in the metro LA area, or O.C. area I am not conflicted by the rivalry that the two areas seem to have. I would even root for the Padres or A's in the world series if they weren't playing the Angels or Dodgers. I would never root for the Giants though.
vr, Xei
2007-06-14 13:16:21
165.   old dodger fan
164 I would root for anybody playing the Yankees.
2007-06-14 13:17:46
166.   Branch Rickey
163. Those players listening?
2007-06-14 13:18:31
167.   Daniel Zappala
By the way, the Angels are off to their best start in franchise history, at 42-25. Kotchman is now at .324/.404/.549.
2007-06-14 13:24:06
168.   paranoidandroid
It had to be a situation other than performance related. In my few experiences speaking with major leaguers as a fan, I've been left feeling angry three times. Once by George Bell at a spring training game when he was with the Cubs, another time with Dwight Smith of those same Cubs at a spring training game, and the third time was with Eddie Murray when he was finishing his career in LA.

He ignored kids who wanted an autograph, and had a look of total distaste for the fans while throwing a ball around during batting practice and before a game. He took a ball that was overthrown and right in front of kids begging for it, looked right at them and tossed it towards the backstop with the intent of being hurtful to kids. He had this smirk of content when a kid started to cry.

If he's a good communicator and a good coach, he has a job. My guess is his insulent attitude at times wasn't fun to be around and he didn't communicate well. It is only a guess, but with limited experience being around him, I can't say for sure but I suspect he isn't a very friendly guy. He has a reputation of being stoic.

I would think Ned and Grady figured there are bigger things to accomplish then to focus time and energy on this situation and make the move now and go forward with the season. I suspect we won't hear anything from Murray in the press, he doesn't speak to them, right?

My only regret is that I always see him at Clippers games and I want to like him. He looks like he appreciates a good athlete and I want to be able to like him but I simply have this image of him teasing those kids and I can't seem to forgive him for it.

2007-06-14 13:24:56
169.   Xeifrank
165. Yeah that too. Yankees vs SF Giants in the World Series would be very painful.
vr, Xei
2007-06-14 13:28:55
170.   Branch Rickey
He had this smirk of content when a kid started to cry.
Really? Did he kick a kitten or rape a nun as he as doing this? Seriously dude.
2007-06-14 13:31:41
171.   bhsportsguy
Communication is the keyword for the Dodgers.

Mueller said the first thing he wants to do is build a rapport with each player individually.

"I feel like once that starts to happen, everything improves," he said. "First will be the relationship with each guy, to build from there, to see where each guy is mentally as well as physically."

2007-06-14 13:32:47
172.   D4P
It seems weird to me that Ned/Grady hired Eddie Murray in the first place. It's not as if his "character" issues were unknown to them beforehand.
2007-06-14 13:34:10
173.   trainwreck
I hate the Angels, because I am also a fan of the A's.
2007-06-14 13:35:58
174.   Marty
Greg, is it AT&T? I went through 2 months of hell with them until I finally switched to cable.

My intro rate with the cable company just ended so I have to brow-beat them into lowering my bill again.

2007-06-14 13:36:14
175.   kngoworld
I hate the Angels because they are not the Dodgers.
2007-06-14 13:36:35
176.   GobiasIndustries
Looking at the Metsblog just made me think less of NY fans than I already did. New Yorkers with that whole "What!? You think you're better than me!?" attitude just makes me laugh. I find it so comically entertaining that I will probably return to the blog somewhat frequently after Met losses. Sorry if my New Yorker stereotype offends anyone but I have witnessed it first hand more than once and never ceases to please.
2007-06-14 13:38:05
177.   Curtis Lowe
174 - I work for said cable company. What city do you live in, maybe I can help you out.
2007-06-14 13:38:06
178.   trainwreck
I just assume New Yorkers are jerks to everyone because they have to live on top of one another.
2007-06-14 13:38:10
179.   Dark Horse
170-What's so hard to believe about this, I wonder? Is it because athletes are all such nice people? Or is it insufficiently Pollyannaish to imagine Eddie Murray--who was certainly a good baseball player--might be a jerk? I've seen athletes, and others, do things like that before.
2007-06-14 13:38:10
180.   Eric Enders
Late to the party here, but that was an excellent post, Jon. Let's hope this is indeed the week trivia buffs point to.

As for Murray, well, I always kind of liked him, although like everybody else I don't have much of an idea what he was doing as hitting coach because neither he nor anyone else talked about it to the press. From what I can gather, he seemed like the kind of guy who would cater to veterans. He was probably the kind of hitter who never liked a hitting coach hounding him to try this or that approach, and so when he became a hitting coach himself, he became the laissez-faire type. That may have been the wrong kind of coach for a team with (a) so many young hitters, and (b) so many hitters unable or unwilling to diagnose their own faults, like Nomar and Pierre.

Incidentally, I would like to point out the following completely nonsensical quote by Shawn Green:

"I was working on my shin guard, and there he was," said Green. "He said I was giving location of pitches from second base, which wasn't true. A little bit of paranoia on their side. If you think someone is stealing signs, you change the signs. It's that simple."

Okay, Wally. Why did you change the subject to sign stealing, when the accusation was tipping location, which doesn't involve stealing any signs? And how would you suggest a team go about changing its signs to prevent tipping pitch location?

The sheer stupidity of the denial makes me believe that Green was actually doing what Penny said he was. They used to play together, so Penny would probably know. I am so glad Green is grounding out to second for somebody else's team now.

2007-06-14 13:40:31
181.   JJ42
I despise the Angels and I went to high school in Orange County and worked the past 8 years in Garden Grove, near the stadium. Most Angel fans I've encountered were bandwagon after 2002, have no idea who the players are, and are obnoxious about them. I've even been the target of some racist comments at Angel Stadium so needless to say I look forward to beating them this weekend.
2007-06-14 13:42:16
182.   GobiasIndustries
I am so glad Green is grounding out to second for somebody else's team now.

Funniest thing I've read all day! Classic.

2007-06-14 13:46:06
183.   Eric Enders
In my view the Angels have always been like Canada. Sometimes annoying, but mostly harmless and an incredibly easy target for making fun of. The Padres, on the other hand, are like Cuba, the neighbor who eternally thumbs its nose at the larger, superior nation to the north and yet seems to imitate that nation in often uncanny ways, pulling off the difficult feat of simultaneously displaying both envy and extreme disdain.
2007-06-14 13:46:12
184.   Greg Brock
Marty, it is AT&T. I would switch to DirecTV's DSL service if it didn't cost waayyyyy too much money.
2007-06-14 13:47:17
185.   Branch Rickey
179. Intentionally make little children cry and then smile about it. You've seen that? Whatever. I'll try to stop reacting to ridiculous posts like these but suffice it to say, Murray is not that guy and I doubt anyone so diabolical would be able to hold a job.
2007-06-14 13:48:32
186.   Xeifrank
182. We found somebody else to do that job (much better) for him. vr, Xei
2007-06-14 13:49:51
187.   Eric Enders
185 I saw LaRoche do a similar thing in Vero Beach this year. He caught a fly ball in LF to end the inning and as he was running back to the bench, he faked like he was going to toss the ball into the stands, then stuck it in his back pocket. That earned him a loud chorus of boos, which almost never happens with the geriatric-laden Vero crowd.
2007-06-14 13:53:02
188.   Marty
177 I'm a Charter customer in Altadena
2007-06-14 13:53:03
189.   trainwreck
Lebron named his son Maximus. That is what my friend named his pit bull.
2007-06-14 13:56:29
190.   Terry A
189 - Interesting. That's also what I named part of my gluteus.
2007-06-14 13:58:42
191.   Marty
The title of this post finally sunk in. I totally forgot today is flag day
2007-06-14 14:01:29
192.   Curtis Lowe
188 - Unfortunately, I work for the other evil entity.
2007-06-14 14:02:07
193.   D4P
ESPN's article makes the Murray firing sound results-based.

2007-06-14 14:03:17
194.   Disabled List
I can't stand the Angels. The franchise and their entire fan base became insufferably obnoxious after 2002.
2007-06-14 14:03:57
195.   GobiasIndustries
Lebron should've named his kid Norbel James ala Ramon/Nomar. He seems that egotistical to me.
2007-06-14 14:04:25
196.   Daniel Zappala
183 If the Angels were in the NL, you'd consider them a bigger threat than Canada. :-) I think that's the main difference between them and the Padres. The Angels will continue to be good for a long time. They have a good team this year, a good farm system for the future, a great owner, and a great manager. I'm thrilled that both they and the Dodgers look to be good for a long time. Maybe an Amtrack Series is possible.
2007-06-14 14:04:36
197.   Dark Horse
185-My point is that (it may be a pedant's point, but I don't think so) he didn't say Murray clapped his hands and emitted a diabolical laugh, merely that he smiled at someone's disappointment. People do that all the time, unfortunately, and while it doesn't make Eddie Murray the devil, it's a perfectly plausible description of someone's experience. Maybe he didn't "smirk," maybe he half-smiled, maybe the poster's eyes were deceiving him, but even so it wouldn't make the post ridiculous. It doesn't sound like paranoidandroid is sharpening an axe, merely recounting an event. Accurately or not, I doubt it's ridiculous. That's all I'm sayin'.
2007-06-14 14:06:43
198.   Daniel Zappala
194 entire fan base

You need to meet some long-time Angels fans who have more perspective. Maybe you can meet me, Jon, Bob, ToyCannon, et al. at a DT function and realize we're not all bad.

2007-06-14 14:09:52
199.   Dodgers49
Dodgers fire Eddie Murray

>>> "Bill Mueller will serve as a very solid bridge as we look for our next hitting coach," Colletti said in a statement. <<<

This statement gives the impression that the firing was a sudden move without any advanced planning. That maybe something happened within the last few days that brought about this decision. Otherwise, why would we need a bridge?

2007-06-14 14:12:12
200.   Disabled List
No offense was intended to present company. My perception of the Angels fan base is colored by the experiences with the several fans in my personal orbit.

And just, you know, general feeling.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-06-14 14:12:43
201.   Telemachos
199 I don't think it gives that impression.... perhaps they simply thought Mueller might well be the next batting coach but wanted to keep their options open. Or maybe Mueller wanted some time to see if he liked the job. It's not uncommon for someone who's new to a particular position to be given an interim title even if they end up permanently there.
2007-06-14 14:15:04
202.   D4P
Colletti said the move had been considered for some time.

"We don't do anything here quick or without a lot of thought and a lot of compassion," he said during a telephone conference call. "We feel like there's a lot of the season left and the offense can be a lot better than it is. We decided to do it now."

2007-06-14 14:15:26
203.   bigcpa
REPORT: Murray replaces Betemit as Dodger scapegoat.

Colletti: "With Betemit's recent power surge, we felt it was necessary to make the change. Mueller will act as a bridge until we find our next smoke screen for The Player and the clutch 1b."

2007-06-14 14:15:53
204.   ToyCannon
Can't imagine why Dodger fans would make fun of the Angels considering they have the better owner, better manager, better star, and usually the better team. It has been a long time since the Remy popgun teams. Oh and they tend to win at least one game every playoff series not to mention they own the Yankee's.
2007-06-14 14:17:27
205.   Eric Enders
If nothing else, hiring Mueller puts a bit of extra dough in the Kyle Blair fund since they don't have to pay the salary of a new hitting coach.

Mueller also becomes, I would imagine, the highest paid hitting coach in baseball history.

2007-06-14 14:17:48
206.   ToyCannon
You guys sound like every kid whose ever wanted an autograph is some sacred cow. Eddie was just doing them a favor in getting on with their lives instead of doting on someone else's accomplishments.
2007-06-14 14:18:42
207.   willhite
Grady and Ned are all about communication. Murray seems to be about as non-communicative as a coach could be.

The surprise isn't that they fired him, it is, as D4P mentioned above, that they hired him in the first place. Of course, that was during Frank's big purge and bringing in an ex-Dodger HOFer was probably considered a smart fan move.

2007-06-14 14:18:43
208.   Disabled List
Can't imagine why Dodger fans would make fun of the Angels considering they have the better owner, better manager, better star, and usually the better team.

Mr. Zappala, were you looking for evidence of "insufferably obnoxious"? I get that TC was being tongue-in-cheek here, but this is the attitude of pretty much every Angels fan I've met.

But only since 2002.

2007-06-14 14:20:09
209.   Dodgers49
180. Incidentally, I would like to point out the following completely nonsensical quote by Shawn Green:

Doesn't seem all that nonsensical to me since these days catcher give signs for BOTH the pitch and the location.

2007-06-14 14:23:21
210.   natepurcell
If nothing else, hiring Mueller puts a bit of extra dough in the Kyle Blair fund since they don't have to pay the salary of a new hitting coach.

the 325k they got for Mitch Jones should also be stashed away in the nontaxable, interest free kyle blair fund.

2007-06-14 14:26:09
211.   LAT
Watching the video, Green seems cought completly off guard by Penny's accusations. Green's "deer in the head lights" look suggests to me he wasn't stealing signs or pitch locations. I also wonder if it was Dlegado or Manny or someone a little bigger than Green whether Penny would have come on him so aggressivly.
2007-06-14 14:27:57
212.   bhsportsguy
210 I seriously doubt that any of that matters when it comes to signing players.

They have a budget for this year's draft and if that fits with what Blair wants, then it will work. If he ends up wanting Top 10 money, than maybe not.

Also, I am sure Eddie is getting paid his whole salary for the year and if they hire within, maybe they bump up a little and then they will have to hire someone else perhaps but in the end, I can't imagine it costing more than 250K.

2007-06-14 14:30:12
213.   paranoidandroid

He was toying with the kids trying to get a ball and when the kid got upset, he indeed smirked more than once as if satisfied that he could get under our skin as adults urged him to give the kid a ball. He was not pleasant in the least. It isn't/wasn't his job to do anything other than play the game, but he was not a good ambassador. He treated the fans with disdain that day. Not sure if that was all the time, I tried to explain I had limited exposure to him, but you seemed to think that my post was ridiculous for some reason as if it couldn't happen. It indeed did. The kid was in tears. He was about five or six. Murray held the ball out, looked at the kid, and tossed it to the backstop side of the batting cage and then continued throwing with a ball boy while his big back was ten feet from those of us standing there. He would look back with a smirk from time to time, he could care less what anyone thought or said. This went on for over five minutes. He was a total jerk about the whole thing. Then he jogged away with a ball in his glove and went into the dugout.

The quantum leap to raping a nun is strange to me. Are you implying I made it up? That I was saying he was plotting evil? He was simply not nice and didn't care what the fans thought of him or that a kid was upset.

My point is that whether the Dodgers hitters performed or not, he was likely let go because of his personality issues. Are you defending his character or attacking mine in some way? Be clear about what you are saying Mr. Branch.

2007-06-14 14:32:54
214.   ToyCannon
Green doesn't seem to be hitting to many GB's to 2nd base these days. That has been reserved for Delgado. It is an interesting development this year that these two ex-sluggers(Green & Gonzo) who Arizona couldn't wait to get rid of are both having a renaissance while Quentin is on the pine for non-production.
2007-06-14 14:33:01
215.   bluegold
I used to be indifferent to the Angels, but their abrupt change of team colors, combined with their perceived need to have "L.A." as part of their name, turned me against them. Both are signs that they are still insecured about their identity. Furthermore, red is usually associated with the devil and therefore inconsistent with their team name.
2007-06-14 14:36:28
216.   dzzrtRatt
I think it is the rare HOF-level player who makes a good coach or manager. I couldn't believe how many teams were willing to put up with Frank Robinson as manager. He had no idea what to do with a mediocre (or "league-average" is the current term) player, because he never was one.

What could Eddie Murray teach anyone about hitting? He was a genius at it. None of today's Dodgers approach what Eddie could do just rolling out of bed. I doubt he suffered much during his rare slumps. He knew it would fix itself. He's Eddie Murray!

But if a player didn't listen to him, he could go all Christopher Walken on him: "I'm just a guy who puts his pants on one leg at a time -- and hit 500 home runs!"

Mueller is more like it. He wasn't good enough to have an attitude. He probably benefited from coaching, and took less for granted.

2007-06-14 14:37:22
217.   Marty
Is Nate around any sharp objects?:

Before this afternoon's encounter with the San Francisco Giants, the Toronto Blue Jays designated catcher Sal Fasano for assignment and called up right-handed reliever Lee Gronkiewicz from Double A New Hampshire.

2007-06-14 14:42:49
218.   Penarol1916
206. There was only one person who said they didn't like that what Murray did and that was the original poster. Which other post are you referring to when you say you guys? The only other posts about it are Branch Rickey's overreaction to the original post Dark Horse trying to figure out why Branch Rickey found the original post so astonishing.
2007-06-14 14:44:33
219.   underdog
Yah, I think someone's observations about how Eddie Murray behaved in front of them shouldn't have been so snidely dismissed here. I say this as someone who also saw Murray - when I was younger refuse an autograph from a kid leaning over the railing before a game and roll his eyes as he walked away. Now in defense of Murray, from what I've seen of him - quiet demeanor, doesn't like talking to press, more comfortable only talking to veterans or people he knows, it's possible he's actually slightly (or more than slightly) sociophobic. At the very least, he's aloof. Which definitely isn't the worst crime in the world. He's probably much nicer to people he knows, and there's obviously a reason he was rehired despite problems in the past with communication. But as someone said here above, it does make you wonder why they hired him in the first place if this is so important. I guess what I'm saying is I've never disliked Murray because I liked the way he approached the game as a player and he was never a showboat, but I've also seen him in person and he's generally really unfriendly. Isn't there a reason Vin Scully never mentions his name? Anyway, so I don't think it's fair to attack someone here for saying what they'd observed about him, and think the Dodgers could do better to have a coach who can better communicate with - and cheer on - the younger players. This is my opinion. This is a recording. This posting will self-destruct in 30 seconds.
2007-06-14 14:44:48
220.   paranoidandroid
My distaste for the Angels started after the World Series championship when the bandwagon fans started coming out and wearing the red. Then when we lost Vlad to them, the whole LAA thing too. Mostly though, it started for me with friends I work with disliking the Dodgers or poking fun at our anemic offense (2002,03) and then McCourt and DePo for things like Choi and Jim Tracy. Now I hear about Slappy all the time. I felt I needed to give it back to them so while not doing it outwardly or vocally, I started to really hope the Angels would lose just to shut them up. I think Moreno is smart and in the long run, he'll build a really marketable franchise that is worldy like the Yanks and Dodgers are.
2007-06-14 14:46:38
221.   willhite
217 -

Now the Jays need to get Mark from the Royals to play second and find Jayson to play first and we'll have a chance to see a great double play from Gronkiewicz to Grudzielanek to Grabowski.

Tony Jackson seems to think, as posted on his blog, that the Dodgers will name a permanent hitting coach within the next month and it's likely to be Bill Robinson, Easler or Gene Clines.

2007-06-14 14:47:29
222.   jasonungar07
"Guess what! I got a fever, and the only prescription... is more BISON!"
2007-06-14 14:47:46
223.   Daniel Zappala
208 No, I wasn't looking for evidence of obnoxious Angels fans -- I grant they exist in every fan base. I was asking you to consider that other fans exist outside the scope of your circle of friends that are not so obnoxious. Using the term "entire fan base" is what got me. If you had simply said "all the fans I meet" that wouldn't have bothered me.
2007-06-14 14:48:28
224.   Bob Timmermann
Et tu, Marte:

2007-06-14 14:51:34
225.   paranoidandroid
Thank you and Dark Horse for understanding my point and not dismissing my post as an attempt to portray Murray as a monster or child killer or something.

He struck me as someone who just didn't get the human element of kindness or compassion and if young players see that in him, they'll not want to have him as an instructor. I have been a teacher for 19 years and have seem some very smart people who simply can't relate to students. It isn't a stretch that someone with Murray's demeanor isn't nice to be around.

I find it hard for Vin to dislike anyone other than Sly Stallone. Not sure what people mean about him not mentioning Eddie's name, I think I recall him talking about him from time to time. But if Vin really doesn't like him, that would tell us all someting.

2007-06-14 14:54:13
226.   paranoidandroid

Kemp, Kemp, Kemp. I say we are allowed to type his name once each day for each time he gets on the base the day before.

Enjoy the rest of the off day people. I'll be out there manana. Lowe going for a complete game WIN.

2007-06-14 14:56:08
227.   ToyCannon
You were painting a fairly nasty portrayal of a friend of his, how would you expect him to react. Pat you on the back?
2007-06-14 14:56:25
228.   Eric Enders
"I think it is the rare HOF-level player who makes a good coach or manager. I couldn't believe how many teams were willing to put up with Frank Robinson as manager. He had no idea what to do with a mediocre (or "league-average" is the current term) player, because he never was one."

So wouldn't the inverse also be true? Walt Hriniak (or whoever) would have no idea what to do with a major league caliber player, because he never was one.

The notion that star players make lousy managers or coaches is one that is often repeated, but is never backed up with any evidence of its truth. We're just supposed to accept it as self-evident. Why?

John McGraw was a Hall of Fame caliber player. Casey Stengel was, while not a Hall of Famer, a star player. Joe Torre was one of the greatest hitting catchers in history. Hughie Jennings, who won four pennants as a manager, was one of the five best shortstops in baseball history. Frank Chance and Fred Clarke, who each won fistfuls of pennants, were both Hall of Fame players. Bill Terry, the last National Leaguer to bat .400, won three pennants as a manager. Dusty Baker, a star player, was named NL Manager of the Year three times, whatever you may think of his strategies. Lou Boudreau, Joe Cronin, Bucky Harris, and Leo Durocher, all star infielders, all won pennants as managers. Al Lopez, a catcher who received MVP votes in 7 different seasons, made the HOF as a manager. Cap Anson, the greatest player of his century, won five pennants as a manager. Lou Piniella, an outstanding player for 18 seasons, has won four division titles. Miller Huggins, an all-star caliber second baseman, won five pennants as Yankees manager. Frankie Frisch, Red Schoendienst, and Rogers Hornsby all made the Hall of Fame as Cardinals infielders, and also managed the Cards to World Series victories. Felipe Alou was an outstanding player and a very successful manager. Gil Hodges -- well, you know that story.

2007-06-14 14:59:27
229.   Penarol1916
227. Ah, so those were the only two options that he had, either equate the observation withe claiming that he raped a nun, or patting him on the back.
2007-06-14 15:00:07
230.   ToyCannon
I find it a bit comical that DT posters complain about Angel fans being obnoxious. Cause you know, you guys are so even keel about your love for your team that I'm sure you don't rub it into every Giant fans face you ever meet when your on top and they are on the bottom.
You wouldn't be here if your weren't a little overboard about your team.
2007-06-14 15:01:35
231.   underdog
227 Well, I'm sure he didn't realize the friend connection, not many people here do, I would think?

I still think my portrayal of Murray - which, granted, is not as close to the vest - is not too far off, and I do still like the guy because of how he played, but obviously there are at least "personal style differences" here that make this, perhaps, just not the right fit at this time. I mean I wonder if Murray himself is sort of relieved by it. (Maybe not, too.)

2007-06-14 15:02:13
232.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think everyone should judge star players as managers using the Ted Williams standard.
2007-06-14 15:04:20
233.   underdog
230 "sure you don't rub it into every Giant fans face you ever meet when your on top and they are on the bottom." I'm living proof that we don't all do this. Given I have two close friends plus one office mate who are all huge Giants fans and I actually talk to them sympathetically about their team being in last place and listen to their rants about it (not that I don't also enjoy it...) I'm done hanging out here today. It's the Dodgers' off day and I'm gonna take the day off from them now, too. Cheers!
2007-06-14 15:07:43
234.   dzzrtRatt
228 I think the notion is oft-repeated because it tends to be true, although you have a pretty good list of exceptions. I realize that's not the whole list of exceptions, but if you add up all the seasons of all the major league teams, you'd have to admit the exceptions listed represent a tiny fraction.

And even those are subject to challenge. Before either of them joined the Yankees, neither Torre nor Stengel were successful major league managers. It's probably not a coincidence they suddenly became geniuses when handed a Yankee payroll. Stengel didn't keep his streak going with the Mets. Both of them clearly learned a few things from all their prior failures, too.

Piniella, Baker and Hodges were outstanding players, but weren't the kind of natural talents that Robinson and Murray were. (And Hodges really only had one great year as a manager. He didn't live long enough to get a chance to repeat his 1969 success.) And speaking of Hodges, what about Yogi Berra? Love the guy, but he wasn't a good manager.

I'm not saying lousy players make the best managers. I'm saying great players have a hard time translating that success when they're forced to manage a team of not-Frank Robinsons and not-Eddie Murrays.

2007-06-14 15:08:36
235.   trainwreck
All the Angels fans I have met are attractive women, so I cannot really say anything bad about their fans.
2007-06-14 15:09:14
236.   Branch Rickey
To be clear, I have not attacked the notion that he could be unfriendly; that is clearly the case. But to say that he intentionally made little children cried and then laughed about it is ridiculous. I've never seen anyone do such a thing. As I've made clear, I've been around him a lot. He has two daughters. He absolutely loves children. While it's true that he could be dismissive of fans he is not an evil person and he does not make kids cry for his entertainment. Anyone who suggests otherwise, misunderstood the situation. And thank you TC. If someone made such a nasty accusation about a friend, I hope any of you would stand up have your say.
2007-06-14 15:12:44
237.   underdog
235 Yowsa - I want that sample size. Okay, no, really, I'm getting back to work now, really.
2007-06-14 15:13:37
238.   ToyCannon
When did Sweet Lou become an outstanding player for 18 seasons?
2007-06-14 15:15:09
239.   SG6
228 - That manager down in Los Angeles of Anaheim had a decent career in Los Angeles of Los Angeles.
2007-06-14 15:15:18
240.   Dark Horse
236-Thank you, Branch. I really didn't mean to (seem to) single you out, nor Eddie Murray even. That guy is--was--one of my favorite baseball players ever, someone I loved as a Dodger and otherwise. My adjacent point was that anyone can misbehave, or appear to misbehave (I don't think we begin to know what it's like to be athletes either, and to have everyone looking at us imploringly or screaming insults and so on) on any given day. That's all. I do apologize if I sounded in any way snide.
2007-06-14 15:15:33
241.   trainwreck
How many people are actually good managers? Always seems to be about the players not the managers.
2007-06-14 15:15:46
242.   Greg Brock
I don't mind the Angels. They're an AL team, which makes them sort of a non-factor to me. They beat the Giants, which is nice. They have a bit of a nouveau riche feel to them, but not in an overly annoying way. Angels Stadium is consistently filled with ridiculously hot blondes, so the bird-dogging is nice. Yeah, the Angels are okays by me.

That's all I got.

2007-06-14 15:18:20
243.   Eric Enders
238 "When did Sweet Lou become an outstanding player for 18 seasons?"

Well, YMMV, I guess. But he had a career OPS+ of 109, won Rookie of the Year, received MVP votes in four seasons, finished in the top 10 in batting four times, and also at various times ranked among the league leaders in hits, total bases, doubles, triples, and extra base hits.

2007-06-14 15:19:19
244.   blue22
242 - Hud and Phys? The Rally Monkey? Those things get a pass in your book?

Some things are just deal-breakers for me.

2007-06-14 15:19:56
245.   Eric Enders
So Piniella was basically a slightly better version of Garret Anderson. Does Anderson meet our standards of a "star player"?
2007-06-14 15:23:48
246.   Marty
If I remember my Ball 4, Lou was the best player on the Pilots.
2007-06-14 15:24:28
247.   DaveP
236 - But to say that he intentionally made little children cried and then laughed about it is ridiculous. I've never seen anyone do such a thing.

I almost never post anymore, but figured I'd let you know you're indignation here is possibly off base. I worked very closely for a couple of years with a Hall of Famer with a reputation for being unfriendly. He was every bit the jerk he was made out to be and actually liked to tell stories about doing stuff similar to what is attributed to your buddy. he thought it was pretty funny. it does happen and sometimes the guys are big enough jerks to recount the stories themselves.

2007-06-14 15:24:53
248.   Greg Brock
244 The Angels really go for that wholesome, fan friendly/kid friendly package, and Hud fits into that (getting caught with a bag of yoda at the airport not withstanding). Hudler sets hearing back 100 years, but I don't watch many Angels telecasts. Phys is alright.

The Rally Monkey...Yeah, that's a toughy. Is that thing still around?

2007-06-14 15:24:57
249.   KAYVMON
168, 213- I have no reason to not believe your story, so I will accept for now that Murry was not a nice guy. However, that is not reason enough to fire him. He is not on the field, he is in no way a face of the franchise, and his recent actions have not hurt the reputation of the franchise.

Let us create a somewhat hypothetical situation: Let's say the #1 purpose of the Dodger franchise is to make as many kids smile as possible. Let us assume that Eddie Murray's presence is the most dangerous force to kids smiling in baseball. He still deserves to be the Dodgers' hitting coach. Why? Because his proven ability to help the Dodgers be a better team and win more games, indirectly helped kids smile. He would have to come into direct contact with more kids than the number of kids rooting for and watching the Dodgers. That's impossible.

A good analogy is an organization, whose mission is to promote healthiness, firing a productive employee because they smoke. In order to determine whether that firing is justified, forgetting the legality and politics, one has to include in thier analysis 1) how public of a figure that employee was and 2) the effect that employee has on the other employees. I dont think Murray was enough of a public figure, especially considering he excused himself from interacting with the media, to be justifiably fired for his personality. And, using last year's offense as my evidence, I would argue as I did in post 152 that Murray was productive in his job role and made other employees of the Dodger organization more productive. Now, that still does leave room for the argument that Murray would influence others in the organization to be less friendly to kids, but I don't think anyone is going to go there.

In the end, I think if Murray was fired for his personality, Dodger management is outthinking itself. Management is speculating that he will not be productive with these new younger players, but the new players have not worked with him long enough for there to be a significant enough set of evidence to support this idea. I think Murray deserved the chance to see if he could work well with these players considering he had done a good job for the organization until now.

2007-06-14 15:25:38
250.   dzzrtRatt
245 I think in my original note, I specified "HOF-level players." And no, Anderson's not one of those, nor is Scioscia.

Scioscia is a more typical model for a successful manager. A catcher. A smart player. Not super-gifted, but learned his trade and did well for himself. Been around winning teams and losing teams.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-06-14 15:26:01
251.   ToyCannon
Not to be picky but it was because you said 18 seasons. He played 18 seasons, he was not outstanding for those 18 seasons. Without looking at the stats I never considered GA to be a star player. I considered Tim Salmon to be one. The numbers may show otherwise I don't know.
2007-06-14 15:26:38
252.   Eric Enders
So the ESPN story linked earlier in this thread strongly implies that Mueller has been offered the permanent hitting coach position, but hasn't decided yet whether he wants it.
2007-06-14 15:26:42
253.   Dodgers49
219. Yah, I think someone's observations about how Eddie Murray behaved in front of them shouldn't have been so snidely dismissed here.

Right. I remember observing something similar with another ballplayer that turned me off. I was sitting in the right field pavilion and there were half a dozen kids (ages from around 6 to 12) leaning over the fence trying to get several pitchers in the Cincinnati bullpen to come over and give an autograph. Rob Dibble came over and pretended he was going to give an autograph, then stepped back at the last minute and began to make fun of them. "What are you going to do if you don't get an autograph? Are you gonna cry? Huh? Are you gonna cry?"
I thought it was so childish. I haven't liked Dibble since. And now I see him all over ESPN. And whenever I do it always takes me back to his childish behavior that day.

2007-06-14 15:27:30
254.   MC Safety
160-doug dicenses is a distant second cousin! hes the only reason ive ever rooted for the angels. i wonder if he talked to his old pal murray today.... it would be nice to get some sort of basic explanation... ahh the life of a major league hitting instructor...
2007-06-14 15:29:44
255.   trainwreck
Is Yoda a well known nickname? I have never heard it before.
2007-06-14 15:30:46
256.   Hythloday
249 - I think you're misconstruing his argument. The linkage was, I believe, not about how nice he was, but how personable. That is, how much did he reach out to the hitters he was supposed to be helping and if his treatment of those kids was any indication of that ability. I have no evidence either which way, but I don't think either side should be dismissed out of hand.
2007-06-14 15:30:57
257.   Eric Enders
255 Naïve you are, hmm?

Actually, I hadn't heard that one before, either.

2007-06-14 15:34:30
258.   Hallux Valgus
255 I've never heard it, but I'm pretty sure I like it. I'm going to try it out at my poker game tonight to see if my friends think I'm cool. I bet they will, they're pretty easily impressed.
2007-06-14 15:34:35
259.   blue22
248 - I go in phases with the Angels. The California Angels were pretty cool. Rod Carew, Bobby Grich, Wally Joyner, Gene Autry. The Jim Edmonds gang was usually pretty fun to watch.

I guess it was when they became Team Disney that they started getting annoying. They beat the Giants, which as you say was good. But that introduced a whole wave of bandwagon Angels fans that got on my nerves. The Rally Monkey, the announcers, the name change, the team color change, Eckstein/Ersty/Figgy, all that added up to the Angels becoming my least favorite team (non-Giants category).

But if they continue to build around Lackey, Kendrick, Kotchman, Napoli and other young, likable guys, I could see myself lightening up a bit.

2007-06-14 15:35:06
260.   Greg Brock
255 Ask your pals at the next Norcal Ultimate Frisbee tournament. Hippie.
2007-06-14 15:36:46
261.   blue22
255 - Green, wrinkly, white hairs all over. It works.
2007-06-14 15:37:41
262.   Eric Enders
It would work better if the real Yoda had red or purple hairs.
2007-06-14 15:42:42
263.   trainwreck
I actually met more true hippies in Santa Barbara. Hilarious people.
2007-06-14 15:45:13
264.   GobiasIndustries
I don't think paranoidandroid is fabricating anything. Well I have never had any personal interaction with Eddie Murray, a good friend of mine did, more than once in the early 90's. As a teenage kid who used to show up to the Stadium early to watch BP and try to get autographs, he encountered Murray and his questionable personality numerous times. He doesn't like Murray to this day because he would never give him or anyone around him an autograph. He didn't say if he reveled in not being accommodating though that I can remember. Another player of note who my buddy idolized was Mike Piazza, until he met him. He gave him the Murray treatment more than once too and one time was just being a general jerk to everyone around him for no particular reason. Everyone has bad days, and that's understandable but when you're a public figure the magnitude of your actions are magnified to the hilt. And sometimes, just like a child's game of "telephone" the story gets passed on and passed on and over time reaches mythic proportions. I don't think that is the case in what paranoidandroid had to say at all. I don't find his story to be the least bit offensive or dishonest in any way. It seems to be an eye witness account of what happened that day, much like a witness at a trial. I find the negative reaction and the comparison to violating a nun to be much more reprehensible and offensive than that of the original comment.
2007-06-14 15:45:57
265.   Branch Rickey
240- Thanks.
2007-06-14 15:50:25
266.   Greg Brock
259 You know, that's right on. I lurvvved those Downing/Schofield/Jack Howell (!) teams, but I didn't know any better. Then the silly periwinkle uniforms and Mo Vaughn and Team Disney. Now, they're just kind of blahh. Good teams, but I don't really care.
2007-06-14 15:54:00
267.   underdog
Yeah, but can the Angels claim Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham as a fan? I think not!
2007-06-14 15:55:41
268.   Eric Enders
267 Well, there's one point in the Angels' favor, at least.
2007-06-14 15:56:45
269.   Bob Timmermann
So, two players on the happy side of par at the US Open.
2007-06-14 15:59:33
270.   still bevens
One of the main things that makes me forever aggravated about the Angels is listening to Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc refer to Vlad Guerrero as 'Big Daddy Vladdy'. Has to be the worst nickname for a ball player ever.
2007-06-14 16:01:39
271.   Hallux Valgus
270 I think Big Papi is the worst nicname ever. It's a romantic term of affection from a woman to a man, and it's used by crusty old men to talk about a fat guy. eww.
2007-06-14 16:01:44
272.   Bob Timmermann
Then you would have hated it when Leon "Big Daddy Wags" Wagner roamed the outfield for the Halos.
2007-06-14 16:01:53
273.   Eric Enders
270 It's actually not bad. It rhymes, and it also has a disturbingly accurate double meaning, in the Elijah Dukes/Shawn Kemp sense.
2007-06-14 16:03:13
274.   GobiasIndustries
Agreed, but what would you expect from a guy nicknamed "Wonderdog" and a guy who calls every play like it's the seventh game of the world series?
There's only one Wonderdog in my book and that was Mark Harmon's in Summer School.
2007-06-14 16:05:14
275.   GobiasIndustries
oops. now that I really think about it, I think the dog's name was Wondermutt. Oh well, you get the point.
2007-06-14 16:07:48
276.   MC Safety
yeah overall there is a whole childish feeling you get when watching the angels. you get to hear great nicknames like big daddy vladdy, figgy, and my personal favorite orlando " the wizard of OC " cabrera.....on a totally unrelated note, a good friend who knew weaver at LB state, said he was way big on what you guys hilariously refer to as yoda. i also heard he is really good at sports video games also.
2007-06-14 16:08:59
277.   Greg Brock
274 That was Wondermutt.

"Look! Wondermutt! It's Bob!!!"

2007-06-14 16:09:45
278.   Greg Brock
277 Hey, me...Learn to refresh, jerkface.
2007-06-14 16:12:47
279.   Eric Stephen
270 I think baseball needs more nicknames. And not just the "add a 'y' sound to the end of a name" type (Greenie, Ersty, Loneyey, etc).

I think the nickname should have a story behind it. Marcus Giles was "Frenchy" in Atlanta; I have no idea why, but that is an awesome nickname.

As much as I megaloathe Hawk Harrelson (although I'll admit to liking his announcing style at least on a comedic level), his nickname of "Big Hurt" for Frank Thomas is great.

What are the nicknames of the Dodgers?

Kemp - Bison
Pierre - My personal favorite is "Juan Away"
Martinez - Lucille II
Saito - Sammy
Martin - Turtle

I can't think of any others, off the top of my head.

2007-06-14 16:17:45
280.   neuroboy002
What's the deal with ESPN's choice of cover stories on their baseball website. Beane getting an extension in Oakland, Michael Barrett getting some time off and Murray getting fired are all page headlines, yet nothing about LA sweeping the Mets. I thought that would be more significant. I bet if the Mets did the sweeping (the sweepees?), that would have been worth cover space. Oh, those people on the East.
2007-06-14 16:18:22
281.   GobiasIndustries
Ive heard they call Rafael Furcal "Fookie".
2007-06-14 16:19:44
282.   Eric Stephen
I guess "Frenchy" is for Jeff Francoeur, not Marcus Giles. I could have sworn I heard otherwise, but I could have been distracted as Eddie Murray and I were laughing about all the crying children and dead puppies in his wake.
2007-06-14 16:19:54
283.   GobiasIndustries

Pronounced " Fu Key" not like cookie with an F in front. Just for clarification.

2007-06-14 16:21:26
284.   Daniel Zappala
I know the Angels have Hudler and the Rally Monkey, but I always thought the Monkey was kinda cool/unique, and from a TV perspective I liked the banging sticks, though I'm sure it would have been annoying in person.

Regardless, how can you not root for a guy like Tim Salmon or Troy Percival to get a ring?

2007-06-14 16:21:31
285.   Eric Stephen
Even weaker, Marcus Giles' nickname is apparently "Gilly" (pronounced "Jilly").

Another "add a y" nickname!!!

2007-06-14 16:22:00
286.   blue22
280 - (the sweepees?)


Old friend Koyie Hill figures to get a bump in playing time as a result of Michael Barrett having to take a time-out in the corner until he can play nice with the pitching staff.

2007-06-14 16:22:09
287.   Daniel Zappala
Enough Angels for today, though. Kemp is rapidly becoming my most favorite player since Reggie Smith.
2007-06-14 16:22:14
288.   Eric Enders
279 It was actually Adam LaRoche who was called Frenchy in Atlanta. For obvious reasons.

Other Dodger nicknames
The Bull
Lucille II
The various mocking nicknames for Juan Pierre
We've never been able to come up with a consensus nickname for Martin. I always liked Blue Trane but it never stuck.

2007-06-14 16:23:57
289.   Bob Timmermann
I still don't understand all the dislike for the Angels. After all, they're in the other league. The Dodgers and Angels play each other just six times in a season and the chances of them playing in the postseason aren't all that great.

Personally, I like to have a rooting interest in each league.

Worrying about a Dodgers-Angels World Series is about as useful as worrying about UCLA playing Cal in the BCS Championship.

2007-06-14 16:24:19
290.   underdog
I guess in perspective the banging sticks are less annoying than the Tomahawk Chop in Atlanta, for what that's worth.
2007-06-14 16:24:20
291.   Greg Brock
I do have a soft spot for backstop bacon.

Don't forget 3.5 for Ethier. I used to call Jae Seo "Fredo" after the bases loaded, extra inning walk, because he was dead to me. But I'm thinking of calling The Player "Fredo" from now on.

2007-06-14 16:25:32
292.   fanerman
I thought Russell Martin's nickname was "The Canadian Mountie Of Walks.... and HEART"
2007-06-14 16:25:42
293.   Eric Stephen
288 I like "Blue Trane" for Martin, but apparently a lot of teammates are calling him Turtle, after his resemblance to the Entourage character of the same (nick)name.
2007-06-14 16:26:53
294.   Greg Brock
289 But my AL team was the Red Averages for my whole life. And then their fans turned into insufferable backwards hat wearing goofballs after the WS, so I've really cooled on them. I'm kind of flirting with the Athletics, but they just don't seem that into me, so I don't think I'll call them back.

Right now I'm kind of into the Devil Rays. They've got nice gams and a solid personality.

2007-06-14 16:27:00
295.   blue22
288 - I still prefer "Russ Almighty" for Martin. I'm surprised that one didn't take off.

And are you sure it wasn't Francouer who was Frenchy?

2007-06-14 16:27:57
296.   Eric Stephen
288 According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Francoeur was indeed Frenchy.

2007-06-14 16:29:38
297.   Humma Kavula
I've meant to ask... what is the origin of "The Player" for Pierre?

1) Just simply to avoid typing his name over again?
2) "He Who Must Not Be Named?"
3) "The Player... to be named later?"
4) Something else?

2007-06-14 16:29:48
298.   Eric Enders
Well, banging sticks together does seem to be the appropriate intellectual excercise for Angels fans.


[no, i don't mean the other silly anaheim team]

2007-06-14 16:30:13
299.   Bob Timmermann
JD Drew batting leadoff for Boston tonight.
2007-06-14 16:30:31
300.   Eric Enders
5) His remarkable physical resemblance to Tim Robbins?
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-06-14 16:30:50
301.   Eric Stephen
297 Probably a combo of 1 & 2, with a dash of Bill Parcells thrown in (he frequently called TO "The Player" rather than refer to him by name)
2007-06-14 16:30:51
302.   trainwreck
Francouer is Frenchy, from what I have heard.
2007-06-14 16:31:01
303.   Humma Kavula
298 Breaking news: Manny Ramirez is wearing his socks high in Boston.
2007-06-14 16:31:18
304.   Humma Kavula
Did not mean to reference any post there. Sorry.
2007-06-14 16:31:35
305.   Eric Stephen
Possible Jeff Kent nickname: "Jim Dangle"?
2007-06-14 16:31:45
306.   Vaudeville Villain

First of all, my dad is a Giants fan and we get along great talking about baseball, and no, not everyone who posts on this site is "overboard" about his team. Some of us come here because their particular circle of friends don't give a crap about baseball, let alone talking about it.

2007-06-14 16:31:51
307.   Greg Brock
297 I just refused to say or type his name anymore. The next step is Fredo.
2007-06-14 16:32:08
308.   Eric Enders
295, 296 [slaps forehead]

303 But the real question is, does he have an MP3 player in them?

2007-06-14 16:33:46
309.   Humma Kavula
308 Maybe. There is a bulge in his left cuff where it is tucked into the sock. Mere extra fabric? iPod? You be the judge.
2007-06-14 16:34:44
310.   Eric Enders
Could be a shiv.
2007-06-14 16:34:48
311.   Humma Kavula
307 So, choice (2) then.
2007-06-14 16:35:58
312.   Humma Kavula
2007-06-14 16:36:25
313.   trainwreck
I don't think we will see Kent in those shorts.
2007-06-14 16:37:07
314.   Greg Brock
311 It came from Parcels, as Eric said.
2007-06-14 16:37:09
315.   Nagman
The talk of nicknames that don't stick reminds me of the DT'er who years ago kept calling Odalis Perez "Peanut", and tried so hard to get it to stick. Finally Jon had to tell him to give up because it was not working.
2007-06-14 16:38:37
316.   Eric Enders
Sort of like Bob with his nickname for Shawn Green, which I think only he and I used.
2007-06-14 16:38:44
317.   Humma Kavula
314 Yeah, I figured -- just kidding around based on your response.
2007-06-14 16:39:38
318.   Nagman
316 What was that, "The Cheater"?
2007-06-14 16:39:41
319.   Eric Stephen
316 What was the Shawn Green nickname?
2007-06-14 16:40:07
320.   Bob Timmermann

I forget what that nickname was for Green.

2007-06-14 16:41:34
321.   Kilgore Trout
The timing of the Murray firing clearly indicates that it was a scapegoat thing, and a change just for the sake of making a change.

He had the exact same personality last year. If there were "character issues", the logical thing would have been to fire him during the off-season.

2007-06-14 16:42:27
322.   Bob Timmermann
Man, I wish I could write a lead to a story like this one:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- John Daly and his wife called a truce Tuesday after dueling court claims of drunken rampage, knife wielding and sexual assault.

2007-06-14 16:43:45
323.   Eric Stephen
321 I think it was more of an expiration date for Murray. Maybe it wasn't so bad in the offseason, but he got "stale" as this season continued.

The timing seems odd, but it was probably in the works for some time it just happened to coincide with a mini hot streak.

2007-06-14 16:46:48
324.   Eric Enders
320 So I guess I'm the lone holdout. I actually used it already way earlier in this thread. Wallace Shawn.
2007-06-14 16:47:03
325.   Greg Brock
My buddy used to call Shawn Green "Linus" because when all his power was gone after the shoulder thing, he looked liked he dragged his bat behind him like the eight hitter in Little League who really didn't want to play. Total Defeat.

The bat was like Linus and the blanket. I still get a kick out of that.

2007-06-14 16:47:15
326.   Eric Stephen
That nickname is inconceivable.
2007-06-14 16:48:38
327.   Bob Timmermann
Ahh, that rings a bell.
2007-06-14 16:53:18
328.   Telemachos
My personal Martin moniker of choice is "Destroyer of Worlds"... with "Golden God" in second. Admittedly, neither of them have a clever connection to him (or the Dodgers).

Bison and 3.5 are delightfully inspired names.

2007-06-14 16:55:28
329.   Greg Brock
328 Yeah, Bison is an inspired name.

+ many to the person that coined it.

2007-06-14 16:57:03
330.   Dodgers49
"Eddie did a great job. Eddie's a great hitting coach, Eddie had a great career.

... Grady Little

WOW! Sounds like just the guy we're looking for. :-)

2007-06-14 16:57:40
331.   Eric Enders
329 "+ many to the person that coined it."

That was Don Sutton. Actually, I think he said "Kemp looks like a big buffalo out there," but it was decided that the nickname should be technically correct.

2007-06-14 16:59:41
332.   bojangles
236. y'got a serious blind spot. Kinda remind me of those "neighbors" who say so-and-so, while in a moving car, would never have snatched the lady's purse and not let go and dragged her three blocks with predictable and terminal consequences, 'cause they "knew" him, and he was a "good kid." Now, the driver, on the other hand.....
As for "awful" New Yorkers - once more, with feeling: the stereotypes (as all do) come from observable and repeated behaviors. And behaviors diametrically opposed to those, are authored all the time by folks who live and work in the same precincts. Who are the "real"
New Yorkers? And to the extent your story stash comes from personal, touristy experiences, and are borrowed from other touristy folks, please remember that hundreds of thousands of citizens presently living on Manhattan Island are not native to the place.
We Dutchmen moved on long ago, and left its
story-telling apparatus to folks from Lafayette, and Lansing, and Lincoln and Los Angeles!!!! Most natives live in the boros!
But to the real mission: caution and crows.
When Wilson first got here last year, there was much titillation and palpitation because his batted balls occasionally reached the seats.
If memory serves, one of the more lionized of the regulars here had him going to the HOF at three different infield positions (he would have been far and away the largest second baseman in that unhallowed hall in history, no?)
But, alas, that week or two passed, and Wilson went back to being the guy the usually astute
Braves had found wanting for several years in several positions - and let go for a very small bit of player capital from Ned. And started this year even worse than that....until the amazing ALL-TIME-PINCH-HITTER routine, which has now finally, and mostly against a team playing an impressively inept brand of ball (kudos to the others who've reckoned the Angels won't be that easy), bled into his last handful of starts. Full faith and credit to those who maintained their faith in strugglin' Wil.
Maybe we're seeing the beginning of another player profiting from Grady's couch-style. Hope so. But hearken to that whole string, part of which says, "...his last handful of games." Hits against the Mets were timely, impactful, and part of wins. They were also confined to what, in baseball terms, is a breath or two. Let's see it (and I sure hope we do, with what's left of my Dodger heart) take place for good, consistent stretches the rest of the season, and I'll add the rest of the bird to those nourishin' parts of the crow I'm downin' right now....

D-rat. Yup and yup and yup.

2007-06-14 17:00:46
333.   underdog
I thought Bison was a group effort, with many of us coining it almost simultaneously. At least that's what I'd like to believe.

I like Ox or Blue Ox for Broxton.

2007-06-14 17:01:36
334.   trainwreck
I call him M. Bison because his name is Matt and because Street Fighter is great.
2007-06-14 17:02:32
335.   Humma Kavula
333 As I recall, "Ox" was considered and then Bob asked us to let him keep his manhood.
2007-06-14 17:03:50
336.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-06-14 17:05:25
337.   fanerman
334 That's awesome. I'm gonna call him M. Bison, too.
2007-06-14 17:06:48
338.   underdog
Wilson "Getamitt" or Bettermit? Anyone? Bueller? Er... The WB?

Wilson always makes me think of the volleyball in "Cast Away"...

335 Hm, you're right, I'd forgotten that an Ox was... er, il castrati. So, Bull, then? Works for me.

2007-06-14 17:07:09
339.   underdog
Whew, saved by the NPUT.
2007-06-14 17:08:17
340.   Johnny Nucleo
I like calling Broxton "Beef", but I think I'm the only one.
2007-06-14 17:31:15
341.   Bluebleeder87
Another player of note who my buddy idolized was Mike Piazza, until he met him.

i've heard stories about him being moody at times, but a close friend of mine met him during a rock concert & said he was really cool with him & his girlfriend just chatting like regular people.

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