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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Honus and Billy
2007-06-15 08:30
by Jon Weisman

Wednesday night, I found myself in the unexpected but amusing position of having to convince my 4-year-old daughter that Honus Wagner and Billy Wagner weren't related.

Almost as unexpected and amusing, I was forced to concede I was wrong.

The chat arose from an illustrated kids baseball primer that I bought over the weekend. Though my daughter doesn't have any hostility toward baseball and knows the Dodgers are her team, though she can even name Dodgers and on occasion wax rhapsodically about them, I can't say she shows much interest in watching a game - which is something of an inconvenience if not a disappointment for me, as you can imagine.

So, I bought the book - not intending to force it on her, but hoping it might click with her. To my pleasant surprise - it actually did. We read it Monday night and again Wednesday night. I've taken her to a few baseball games each year, but only now does she know where the bases are and where the fielders stand.

The 16-page book has a smattering of pictures from all eras - Christy Matthewson, Jackie Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Ozzie Smith and even Raul Mondesi trying to beat out an infield hit in a Toronto Blue Jay uniform. To tell you something about the time in which it was published, large pictures of Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds appear with no misgivings. Two pages each are devoted to the overall game, then catcher, pitcher, first base, second base, shortstop, third base and outfield. The book closes with Kenny Lofton chasing a fly ball on the final page, Cleveland Indians-style.

It was my daughter who noticed that two of the players in the book had the same last name, and as far as she was concerned, this meant they were related. Four-year-olds present you with a peculiar brand of intelligence but a firm set of convictions. I tried to explain the concept that people with the same last name weren't necessarily related, but she wasn't buying it.

And for all I knew, maybe the two Wagners, born 97 years apart, share some blood. Given the number of disagreements we face each day, mainly centered on wanting to have such-and-such then-and-there, was I going to make their disparate family trees my last stand? No.

So just so you know, Honus Wagner and Billy Wagner are related.

By coincidence, Wagner the Younger pitched against the Dodgers the night this conversation was taking place, and thanks to TiVo, I had the opportunity to show him to her Thursday. I told her I had a surprise for her, and she got excited.

Then when I showed it to her, she said with a smile of recognition, "Billy Wagner." And then: "That's not a surprise," as in, "That's not a good enough surprise."

Back to the books ...

Comments (224)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-06-15 11:33:48
1.   ToyCannon
Bluebleeder, check your email.
2007-06-15 11:37:29
2.   ToyCannon
Funny, I always read the last line 1st and so I thought it was going to end with you finding out after disagreeing with your daughter that they were indeed related but alas, you give in to common sense.
2007-06-15 11:37:56
3.   Bob Timmermann
To further confuse your daughter, you need to watch reruns of "It Takes a Thief", "Switch", or "Hart to Hart."
2007-06-15 11:41:14
4.   Jon Weisman
2 - You're like Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally.
2007-06-15 11:42:59
5.   Penarol1916
I'm still trying to convince my 4 year old that the Dodgers are his team. My 9-year old is trying to get him all confused and root for the Cubs.
2007-06-15 11:50:04
6.   ToyCannon
Would be an interesting household to have your kids become Giant fans. I think that indicator alone would signal some very tough teenage years as the rebellion gene would be very very strong.
2007-06-15 11:50:25
7.   jasonungar07
tiger tees off...He is on the first hole.

1 Nick Dougherty -2
2 Angel Cabrera -1
3 Bubba Watson E
T4 Olin Browne +1
T4 Pablo Martin-Benavide +1
T4 Jose Maria Olazabal +1
T4 Tiger Woods +1

2007-06-15 11:51:09
8.   Linkmeister
I know people stubborn enough to subscribe to in order to prove that the two Wagners were/were not related, depending on the side of the argument they're on.
2007-06-15 11:54:03
9.   Bob Timmermann
Honus and Billy are both from hardscrabble backgrounds. Tracking them through would be pretty hard.

I thought Honus was a second-generation German immigrant.

2007-06-15 11:54:06
10.   DXMachina
3 Even better, watch "It Takes a Thief" and "The Pink Panther."

When I started following baseball and the Dodgers in '61 I thought Tommy and Willie Davis must be brothers.

2007-06-15 11:58:36
11.   paranoidandroid
We are all at least 32nd cousins of Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed my brothers. Peace be upon them. And the Wagners.

I still think Honus, Billy, and their German cousin had a lot to offer the world, despite political differences. The story about Billy that Vin told about him breaking his right arm twice that forced him to throw with his left is a cool story. Not as well known is that his German composer cousin broke his right arm twice also, each time falling from a guard tower at Dachau.

2007-06-15 12:01:13
12.   CajunDodger
About 10 years ago, I tried to convince my mother that the fact that her maiden name and Troy Percival's were the same was a coincidence. She doggedly insisted that she thought she had heard "little Troy" mentioned years before at a family reunion.

She ended up being right and I ended up annoyed that she was right again.

2007-06-15 12:02:13
13.   Greg Brock
Wow. Big 24 hours for Wagners around here.

I can't imagine rooting for the Cubs. Spare that child a lifetime of disappointment (he says as his teams creeps near 20 years without a title).

2007-06-15 12:02:35
14.   CajunDodger
Where on earth does Vin get some of these stories, I wonder.
2007-06-15 12:05:03
15.   Eric Stephen
14 A lot are from media guides.

But, relating them to 1850s Irish playwrights? That's all Vin.

2007-06-15 12:05:27
16.   Sushirabbit
Back to the books... In my house we read before bedtime, usually three, sometimes four. I'm amazed by the quality of kids books. Some of which were clearly around when I was small.

Most recently my wife brought home two David Wiesner books. If you haven't seen them and you have a 4-6 year old, i highly recommend them. These two are Flotsam and Tuesday. They will appeal especially to former Art Musuem employees.

Also, I wonder if Betemit's recent revival had anything to do with Murray's departure? Along the lines of he quit listening to Murray?

2007-06-15 12:10:34
17.   CajunDodger
Random thought:

By my cursory inspection of Jon's salary information, we have about $44 million coming off the payroll next year assuming Kent is not offered a contract. That will be offset by about $10 mil of other vets increasing contracts, so we should have a net of about $25-30 million to spend this offseason.

2007-06-15 12:10:52
18.   Eric Enders
Media guides don't contain the kind of stories Vin tells. What the guy's parents did for a living, what kind of tattoos he has. You won't find that sort of thing in a media guide.

I know from reading a couple of old articles that Vin does a lot of research on the internet. Also, I've always been under the impression that he has a research assistant who will go and interview the players sometimes.

2007-06-15 12:11:27
19.   Bob Timmermann
Vin asks. He sits down with the visiting players and gets stories from them. He especially likes players from poor backgrounds.

He seemed disappointed once when he asked Olmedo Saenz about his background and found out that Saenz came from a very wealthy family in Panama.

2007-06-15 12:12:27
20.   Eric Enders
17 You should probably count Kent toward the 2008 payroll because he doesn't need to be offered a contract. He has one automatically as long as he reaches 550 PA, which it looks like he will.
2007-06-15 12:12:40
21.   Greg Brock
19 I eagerly await my Vlad story this week. He didn't do it last time.
2007-06-15 12:14:17
22.   Daniel Zappala
8 I'll raise my hand to that one. Except I get for free. Give me access to interview Billy Wagner and Honus Wagner's relatives, and I'll figure it out.
2007-06-15 12:15:19
23.   Suffering Bruin
15 You're right about a lot of that stuff being from media guides. Vin is a master story teller and, I believe, a natural one. He can take a piece of information and turn it into a story that you can't help but listen to. I tried it one summer in Alaska--reading the media notes, getting together with the players and getting background and THEN turning that information into stories to tell over the air.

It just wasn't me. I can tell a very good story but I'm not Vin. I sounded like a pale imitation so I went back to doing play-by-play like every other announcer in the world; reacting to the information rather than acting on it. Vin's the only I know who can do it.


Can you tell my kids are taking finals right now and I'm just killing time?

2007-06-15 12:16:59
24.   Eric Enders
Honus Wagner's parents were Katrina Wolf and Peter Wagner. He was born on 2/24/1874 in Chartiers, PA, a town which no longer exists but is adjacent to Carnegie, PA (then called Mansfield).
2007-06-15 12:17:56
25.   Marty
When I started following baseball and the Dodgers in '61 I thought Tommy and Willie Davis must be brothers.

Me too! But it was in 1964

2007-06-15 12:18:10
26.   Bob Timmermann
But are Honus, Billy, and Leon Wagner all related?
2007-06-15 12:18:35
27.   Eric Stephen
Tiger (+1) is only 1 shot off the lead at Oakmont.
2007-06-15 12:18:51
28.   Penarol1916
6. I cut the 9-year old some slack since she was already a Cubs fan when I adopted her, but that does raise and interesting question about what I would have done if she was a Giants fan.
2007-06-15 12:19:36
29.   Sushirabbit
26, or more importantly Lindsay?
2007-06-15 12:23:25
30.   Bob Timmermann
Hiram Bocachica batting leadoff for the Padres in Chicago today.
2007-06-15 12:23:46
31.   fanerman
5 - To be perfectly honest, my biggest reason for wanting to stay in SoCal and have my kids grow up in SoCal (not that that's for awhile) is so I have Dodgers fans for kids.
2007-06-15 12:23:48
32.   Bob Timmermann
With the Cubs ahead 1-0 in the fifth.
2007-06-15 12:26:59
33.   weatherman
Kind of like how Leann and Busta are siblings.
2007-06-15 12:27:44
34.   fanerman
29 I only know who Lindsay Wagner is from those bed commercials she does.
2007-06-15 12:28:28
35.   ToyCannon
Vin, Jon, and Josh all spinning tales making this life a little easier to enjoy. How lucky are we?
2007-06-15 12:28:29
36.   bhsportsguy
23 It was a running gag at every UCLA football breakfast I attended that whenever the interviewer asked a question based on what was in the media guide, it would almost always be wrong.

And it was simple things like did the guy have sisters or brothers, what was his major (which is pretty hard to get wrong considering that it appears to me that there are only about 4 majors that players on the team take at UCLA, the only player I can think of who might differ from that is Alteran Verneer)

Of all the players I first read about when I was just a little older than Jon's daughter was Honus Wagner and I am sure that he would have been a favorite of mind if I had seen him play.

2007-06-15 12:28:34
37.   Bluebleeder87

i just e-mailed you back TC.

2007-06-15 12:30:21
38.   bhsportsguy
24 Eric, How much truth do you think is there in the story that Ed Barrow (great Yankee GM) saw Wagner throwing rocks by the railroad track and decided that guy was a baseball player?
2007-06-15 12:32:22
39.   paranoidandroid
I could listen to Vin read the phone book, but he does repeat stories over and over again. Surprised that the Billy Wagner story was new to me. He's been around over ten years and I never heard Vin spin that yarn.

I love Vin. I can't imagine what it will be like when he isn't announcing anymore. I grew up in Chicago with Jack Brickhouse and then Harry and I can't stand to listen to a Chicago broadcast now, it seems all wrong.

I miss Vinnie on east coast trips, but I know we'll get him when we come back west.

I'm not a Lakers fan but liked Chick. I guess icons can't be replaced easily if ever.

My daughter is a bit OCD and we have "Goodnight Moon" everynight. She now says goodnight to everything on the last page to stall. She even has to distinguish between the cow jumping over the crescent moon and the moon in the window. She says goodnight to the books and bunny picture too, they aren't even in the text. She makes a very short book quite long, but it is so totally precious I don't want it to ever stop. I don't even bring up the idea that we have other books we can read at bedtime.

2007-06-15 12:32:50
40.   MC Safety
i wonder if chase headley is gonna pull a brandon wood and go back when kouz is ok. that was an intersting move.
2007-06-15 12:35:05
41.   paranoidandroid
29, 34
The Bionic Woman. She graduated from the junior high I used to teach at. Washington Irving in Glassell Park, near Eagle Rock.

Richard Ramirez (Night Stalker) was also a graduate.

2007-06-15 12:35:30
42.   underdog
Hmm, interesting - reposting this link after seeing on Bronx Banter:
D-Backs leave scouting report on floor, reporter finds after Yankee series. Seems like their scouting report for pitchers didn't work very well.

2007-06-15 12:39:37
43.   Eric Enders
38 Don't really know, but if I had to guess I'd say it was a complete fabrication.
2007-06-15 12:42:54
44.   Doctor
Padres (# 2 by ESPN Power Rank) Lineup:OPS

1 .568
2 .796
3 .866
4 .698
5 .685
6 .698
7 N/A (0)
8 .576

AVG= .698

Dodger: OPS

Furcal .724
Pierre .641
Nomar .651
Kent .795
LuGo .844
Martin .816
Ethier .713
Betemit .837

Avg = .753

We can win with this, no?

2007-06-15 12:45:50
45.   Bluebleeder87
I know from reading a couple of old articles that Vin does a lot of research on the internet. Also, I've always been under the impression that he has a research assistant who will go and interview the players sometimes.

that's what i sense also, but reading Bobs post i guess he still does his own research.

2007-06-15 12:45:57
46.   Eric Enders
The Padres are also ranked 2nd in BP's power rankings. The Mets, whom we have a better record than while also playing in a much tougher division, are ranked fifth. The Dodgers are ranked ninth.
2007-06-15 12:49:23
47.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Vin does rely a lot on the producer of the telecast. He usually thanks the guy by name.
2007-06-15 12:52:35
48.   Eric Enders
45 The reason I thought he had an assistant doing his research for him is because he always tries to give the impression he's never met the player himself. "They tell me Vernon Wells' father is quite an accomplished artist," or "They tell me Jim Edmonds has a tattoo of a pentagram on his bicep."
2007-06-15 12:59:58
49.   bhsportsguy
43 Contents of Ed Barrow's HOF Plaque:

1894 TO 1945.




2007-06-15 13:06:51
50.   Eric Enders
Oh, I don't doubt that it was Barrow who discovered Wagner (sort of). I just doubt the rocks-by-the-railroad-tracks bit. Wagner was already playing for a minor league team when Barrow first saw him play in 1895 and purchased his contract for Wheeling. It would be sort of like a scout this week "discovering" Clayton Kershaw playing in the backwoods of Michigan.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-06-15 13:09:10
51.   Dave G
Kind of off topic... on-topic, love listening to Vin, especially watching those first three innings when he's simulcasting (so few broadcasters can do it, and he's just genius)...
but I'm wondering whether you guys see any horrific parallels (as I do) between Billingsley and Pedro. You know--young, promising Dodger middle reliever proceeds to be traded for a solid-but-unspectacular hitter who plays a couple years in a Dodger uniform before moving on, while said "middle reliever" becomes a great starter elsewhere... if anything we're fortunate that Billingsley doesn't have the same physical concerns that Pedro did, which makes it more likely that Ned will see him as a starter, but I'm still worried. Anyone else?
2007-06-15 13:09:32
52.   LogikReader
Just to close the "I Love LA" chat from the last thread, I ran a wiki on the song the other night. "I Love LA" is just pointing out how LA has two sides to it in Newman's typically sarcastic fashion. An article notes that Randy Newman does have a genuine fondness for LA, so I'm with 239 (previous thread).
2007-06-15 13:13:36
53.   twerp
38. Don't know about your specifics, but supposedly Fred Toney, one of the pitchers involved in the 1917 double no-hitter, was discovered by a baseball executive on a hunting trip.

Reportedly noticed a boy had 3 dead squirrels but no gun. Inquired. Was told the boy threw rocks to kill them and knock them out of trees.

Figured boy had future as pitcher.

Story has good description of the double no-no, mentions legendary Jim Thorpe, who played a role in its outcome.

2007-06-15 13:14:58
54.   blue22
51 - Billingsley needs another crack at the rotation before he'd consider trading him. I think it's obvious to Ned that starting pitching and power bats are the two most difficult things to acquire, so I just can't see him dumping Billz without being convinced he won't make it as a starter. I also don't think Billz being in the pen right now is any indication that he is down on him as a starter.

I'm not concerned in the slightest that Billingsley will be traded for Troy Glaus (for example).

2007-06-15 13:16:38
55.   bhsportsguy
50 And I'm not saying that Barrow didn't do it either, and I'm sure that if that was the biggest stretch of the truth on any HOF plague, that would be a big surprise.
2007-06-15 13:17:19
56.   still bevens
40 I hope it blows up in their faces.

46 I wouldn't read too much into it. The Padres offense is just as bad as ours (and ours is getting better), and their pitching has got to come down to earth at some point. That kid they brought up from AAA can't spot a 2.00 ERA all year.

2007-06-15 13:18:34
57.   Eric Enders
The Dodgers have made it absolutely clear that they see Billingsley in the long term as a starter, not a reliever, and Colletti hasn't really shown any willingness to consider trading him. (DePo, on the other hand, did trade him for Randy Johnson only to have the deal fall through.)

Pedro was an oddball case that will never happen again. I mean, he's the greatest pitcher in baseball history, by far. What are the odds that Chad Billingsley, if we trade him, will turn into the greatest pitcher of all time? Probably pretty slim. I'm not too worried about it. Colletti so far has shown that he has a pretty good sense of which prospects he should trade (Guzman, Navarro, Jackson, Tiffany) and not trade (Kemp, Broxton, Martin, etc).

2007-06-15 13:20:08
58.   blue22
54 - I guess I should also add that I'm far more concerned that Billingsley never sees the rotation again since he's been lights out in the pen. The more successful he is, the less motivated they could be to have him start again. Stupid double-edged sword!
2007-06-15 13:25:24
59.   weatherman
I'm sorry no one got my LeAnn and Busta joke.

My wife tells me to stop telling it, but I do love it so.

2007-06-15 13:28:12
60.   paranoidandroid

Hmmm.... if Schmidt has trouble again tomorrow, do we go to DJ Houlton before Bills? I imagine we might. Bills isn't stretched out enough. But he can get there if given a shot. He might only go five the first time out, but if he does enter the rotation, then I don't think at this point in the season we send him to AAA to make a few starts. He belongs in the bigs and I still think the plan might be to plug him into the starting five before we are done with the season.

Should we get into the playoffs, we don't need more than four starters and it is obvious we'd go with the four most effective in Sept.

2007-06-15 13:29:33
61.   paranoidandroid
My worst joke just to make you feel better:

Why does Snoop Dogg always carry an umbrella?

Answer: (I apologize ahead of time)

Fo' drizzle.

2007-06-15 13:29:45
62.   ToyCannon
Not worried. Chad will be with us for a while. If Elbert had done his natural progression instead of surgery and Schmidt hadn't developed his problems then I'd be worried but I think the last thing they would do is deal Chad since he's next in line and that call could come any time.
2007-06-15 13:29:56
63.   Eric Stephen
59 I got it! It's because their last names have the same sound. They...oh, what is the word?
2007-06-15 13:30:26
64.   blue22
60 - I am almost hoping that they just keep him where he is for now, and stretch him out during the off-season (like Adam Wainwright except without the "getting lit up as a starter" part).
2007-06-15 13:30:48
65.   ToyCannon
Made me laugh, I always wanted to busta move on LeAnn.
2007-06-15 13:31:50
66.   ToyCannon
Wainwright seems to have gotten straightened out.
2007-06-15 13:36:15
67.   blue22
66 - Absolutely true. He's looking much better, and I believe Billingsley was a higher-rated prospect than Wainwright at their same points in respective development. Would you say that?
2007-06-15 13:39:16
68.   Doctor
4-1 Cubs.

I hope who ever is closing for them now doesnt blow up.

2007-06-15 13:41:07
69.   fanerman
59 I got the joke! I even chuckled a bit. I was just too lazy to make a post about it.
2007-06-15 13:47:27
70.   JoeyP
(DePo, on the other hand, did trade him for Randy Johnson only to have the deal fall through.)

When did this happen?
So you seriously think DePo was going to trade Penny/Billingsley for 2 months of Randy Johnson?

2007-06-15 13:52:09
71.   Eric Stephen
Not Penny, but Werth, Mota, Billinsgley & Tiffany for the Unit.

2007-06-15 14:04:30
72.   underdog
And the Cubs don't blow it! D's in first place, at least temporarily...
2007-06-15 14:05:24
73.   ToyCannon
I'd done that deal at the time. Maybe we'd have won more then one playoff game but more then likely Randy would have pitched the Lima game and the end result would have been the same.
2007-06-15 14:06:47
74.   dzzrtRatt
Jon, this is a funny story. I like the way your daughter thinks.

Would be an interesting household to have your kids become Giant fans. I think that indicator alone would signal some very tough teenage years as the rebellion gene would be very very strong.

In my case, my son identifies much more with his Bay Area cousins than with me. The three kids up there are fanatical Giant fans. Every picture I have of them from the past 7 years, at least one of them is wearing Giants' gear. They are indefatigable. And so my son, sniff, goes along with it.

It's a tolerable problem because my son really isn't into baseball that much. I'm much more likely to get my wife to watch a game with me than him. He likes going to Dodger Stadium because he thinks it's a beautiful place, and they sell things he likes to eat.

2007-06-15 14:10:31
75.   ToyCannon
Tim Brown on Juan Pierre and the future we have to look forward to.
2007-06-15 14:11:42
76.   Bluebleeder87
I got the joke! I even chuckled a bit. I was just too lazy to make a post about it.

i happen to do that a lot also, Than you come off as some giggling idiot or something.

2007-06-15 14:11:43
77.   Greg Brock
What to do when someone you love becomes a Giants fan. Sad.

I hear there are camps you can send them to. They say they can "fix" it, but I don't know...Maybe some cult-deprogramming or something.

It's the kind of stuff you only think happens to other people.

2007-06-15 14:14:14
78.   natepurcell
how is Sammy so good? I still cant believe it.
2007-06-15 14:18:14
79.   Bluebleeder87
When center fielders Torii Hunter and Andruw Jones and Ichiro Suzuki come on the market, the Dodgers will have four more years of Pierre. When Matt Kemp is ready to play a big-league center field, the Dodgers will have 3½ more years of Pierre.

that's starring at Ned right in the face, but if Kemp figues it out in the outfield we can put Pierre in LF & Kemp in CF right?

2007-06-15 14:18:37
80.   weatherman
61 - Yes! That and the "How does Snoop Dogg clean his whites?" joke are two of my faves.

63 - "homophones" perhaps?

2007-06-15 14:19:04
81.   mankatododger
Anyone ever been to a summer wood bat league game? I know the Cape Cod League is the most famous but Mankato has a Northwoods team. The composition of the team will change dramatically over the next week as teams get eliminated from the CWS. It is a cheap way to watch some mediocre baseball and some future major league players.
2007-06-15 14:19:06
82.   weatherman
Please forgive me for typing the word "faves".
2007-06-15 14:21:07
83.   hotblackdesiato
79 - Pierre in LF would make him even less valuable.
2007-06-15 14:21:36
84.   jasonungar07
75 I just threw up in my own mouth a little.

I am with the scout on this one.

2007-06-15 14:21:54
85.   weatherman
79 - I thought left field was for players that were defensive liabilities but good sluggers. While, JP is certainly a defensive liability, I would hesitate to accuse him of being a good slugger.
2007-06-15 14:22:58
86.   blue22
74 - Just's not your fault.
It's not your fault.
It's not your fault.
It's not your fault.
2007-06-15 14:23:40
87.   Greg Brock
I keep typing and deleting responses to the Brown article. Good piece, but man...It's like systematic desensitization. I don't even notice the guy's on the field anymore. He really is almost Fredo.

Denial is a wonderful thing.

2007-06-15 14:24:53
88.   Greg Brock
84 Jon doesn't like that particular phrase very much. In fact, I think it almost became a "Thank You For Not..."

Just letting you know.

2007-06-15 14:26:21
89.   Bluebleeder87

from what i've read he trully does his homework on the hitters cople that with a 92-94MPH fastball,splitter (or 2 seamer?) & a slider with pin point control & wah lah!

ps he seams to hide the ball really well also cause the hitters are very late on his pitches it seems. my 2 cents i could be wrong.

2007-06-15 14:28:15
90.   blue22
Guys, guys. Didn't you read the article? Pierre did this same thing last year. With a little luck and mental fortitude, he could still finish the season with the .249 eqa and 81 OPS+ he had last year.

See, that's good news.

2007-06-15 14:29:21
91.   bojangles
13. Along those lines, was amazed at the tidbit last night the D's sweep of the Mets was first since mid 90's in LA. Some powerful awful Met teams have made those trips, which might be a clue about the general altitude of the organization since miracle '88.
I'm not positive, but seems to me pre-acquisitive little girls are about the most enjoyable beings on the planet to speak with, their quirky and spontaneous little dances to observe.
Not to risk coals on previous fires, but tuned to Red Sox/Rockies on MLB last night, and Drew was up, bottom sixth, two on, one out, I think, and I said to mate, "Watch J.D. take a called third here with chance to get Sox back in game. He does it time after time." J.D. takes the called third on next pitch. Mate, one of those previously-mentioned little darlin's (who, at least to
now, God Bless, has never gone thru the acquisitive phase) is an honorable sort, and so, when re-telling the tale of my magnificent prescience, will not distort my testimony by saying, "...and he had just finished saying Drew does that all the time..."
May all the Little Girls (and their Fathers) grow up students of the game, wiser for its general lessons, and unfettered by overwhelming and limiting devotion to the generally shallow and way-unfinished little boys who play it....
2007-06-15 14:30:35
92.   ToyCannon
The thing with Sammy is that his stuff is actually good. How he was a journeyman in Japan is beyond me. I'd lost my 100$ if you had bet me last July that he'd still be closing by this July.
2007-06-15 14:32:37
93.   bryanf
Jon, this was just a great post. So many chuckles to myself. I don't have children yet but I really can't wait to share the game with them when I do. Thanks for this little anecdote.
2007-06-15 14:33:10
94.   Eric Enders
70 "So you seriously think DePo was going to trade Penny/Billingsley for 2 months of Randy Johnson?"

The Penny part, I'm not sure about. Billinsgley I do know he tried to trade. Billingsley told me that management even called him to notify him he was being traded. Then the deal fell through.

2007-06-15 14:38:57
95.   silverwidow
If DePo tried to trade Bills, that pretty much proves he didn't give a flip about Logan White's opinions. For that, I'm happy Ned is here.
2007-06-15 14:39:06
96.   underdog
Boy, there's some silly smacktalk going on in the conversation thread attached to that Dodgers vs. Angels Eric Neel article.
2007-06-15 14:42:18
97.   LAT
Brock, if you are out there can you email me at Thanks
2007-06-15 14:42:58
98.   weatherman
Re: Honus and Billy

So I have searched long and hard for another instance of a person named Honus and another named Billy sharing a last name. I understand that Honus' real first name was John, but that would have been no fun.

Anyway, there is a fellow named Honus Schmiege who pitches in the CBL. In 2002, he even tossed a no-hitter against the Toronto Turtles. Furthermore, I did stumble upon some references to a William Schmiege, but could not find a working link.

Also, I do have a lot of time on my hands.

2007-06-15 14:45:45
99.   twerp
92, 89,78.


Saito closed for two seasons in Japan and had 47 saves, but he said he's now a better pitcher at age 37 than he was there with a younger arm.

"Over here, being in the Major Leagues has brought something out of me I didn't know I had," he said. "It's raised my game to another level. Why I didn't play this way in Japan, I don't know. Maybe it was the competition."

So he can't explain it very well either.

There's talk from time to time how Tomko and Lurch can't get it together because it just doesn't happen to plus-30 pitchers. Well, it did for Sammy, and he has a few on both of them.

But it's very unlikely for the other two. Lurch probably gets about all out of his ability that could be expected. Tomko is another matter, with his "stuff."

But he seems to be his own worst enemy. For whatever reasons, Tomko's destinty seems to be the Hall of Mediocrity.

2007-06-15 14:45:52
100.   Greg Brock
97 Done and done.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-06-15 14:46:59
101.   blue22
95 - You have to remember that this was nearly 3 years ago. Billingsley had just been drafted the season before, and LA had Edwin Jackson and (I believe) Greg Miller ahead of Billingsley in the system. Plus, I don't think it was his mission to trade Billingsley, but it was necessary to get the Big Unit.

I was trying to find LA's top-10 prospect list before and after 2004, but to no avail. If anyone has access to that, it might be an interesting list to revisit.

2007-06-15 14:49:03
102.   Zak
95 I saw a green apple at the market today. That pretty much proves that there are no such things as red apples.

Sorry for being snarky, but how does trying to trade Billz preety much prove anything? Did Logan White declare Billingsley untradeable at any cost? Wasn't Billingsley exactly the type of prospect you would trade to acquire an ace for a playoff bound team? If I recall, and I could be wrong, he was behind Jackson and Miller as the #3 pitching prospect for the Dodgers. That's untouchable?

2007-06-15 14:50:40
103.   CajunDodger
I sometimes wonder about Vin's ability to find obscure trivia. But I think that one takes the cake. Kudos...
2007-06-15 14:52:01
104.   blue22
Here's BA's top-10 released just before the '05 season:

1. Joel Guzman, ss
2. Chad Billingsley, rhp
3. Edwin Jackson, rhp
4. James Loney, 1b
5. Andy LaRoche, 3b
6. Russell Martin, c
7. Greg Miller, lhp
8. Blake DeWitt, 3b
9. Jonathan Broxton, rhp
10. Chuck Tiffany, lhp

This was the beginning of Greg Miller's freefall. And JtD, we do miss you.

2007-06-15 14:52:29
105.   Zak
Jon, I really loved your post today. I have a two and a half year old and he is already really into baseball (more into playing it than understanding it)... but I can sit him down for 15 min streches easy to watch a game with me, which thrills me. Of course, he cheers when anyone gets a hit, irrespective of whether they are Dodgers or not. And he'll yell charge at the TV if he hears the organ playing. But anyway, excellent post and I can relate. And sorry to everyone whose kids are Giants fans. I think I would have to reword the will if that happened.

I laughed at the Busta/Leann joke too, but now I'm a little ashamed to admit it.

2007-06-15 14:54:02
106.   natepurcell

from that list, it seems to be a 50% success rate...

2007-06-15 14:55:40
107.   CajunDodger
I was never a huge fan of DePo, but he certainly was right about trading for a difference-making pitcher for the playoffs. I know that Penny did not work out that year, but Johnson would have been a great acquisition at the time.

Eric, I thought I read in Simers article yesterday that the option for next year is mutual, but now that I think about it, I remember something about a PA provision in there too. Can anyone out there shed light on Kent's contract?

2007-06-15 14:57:35
108.   Zak
104 Wow, 5 of those players have been on our ML team this year, and 3 have been key players for us. We still have hope for Miller, but, it's waning everyday. Jackson's career seems to have really slided off... he'll be lucky to end up being a serviceable middle reliever at this rate. I haven't heard much about Guzman and Tiffany lately.

Is DeWitt still considered a prospect for us? What level is he at now?

2007-06-15 14:58:14
109.   Eric Enders
107 You actually took T.J. Simers' word for something?

I read it too, actually. And I know he quoted Kent saying it, but... he's wrong.

"The deal contains a $9 million team option for 2008 with a $500,000 buyout, and the option would become guaranteed if he has 550 plate appearances in 2007."

2007-06-15 14:58:38
110.   Dodgers49
Hu-to-Abreu a work in progress

>>> All indications are that Hu will move up to Las Vegas soon - possibly around the time of next month's All-Star break. A September major-league callup probably is a long shot for Hu, who still isn't on the Dodgers' 40-man roster and doesn't have to be until next spring. <<<

2007-06-15 14:59:08
111.   silverwidow
102-Bills was Logan White's best prospect in mid-2004 and was pitching extremely well as a 20-year-old in the Southern League. There's no way he would've signed off on that trade if given the chance.
2007-06-15 14:59:17
112.   CajunDodger
I think DeWitt is still in Jacksonville...
2007-06-15 14:59:38
113.   Eric Enders
108 DeWitt's at high A, where he is having a decent enough season but nothing to get excited about. He's been raking recently, though. He's at the point where he needs to have a bust-out season this year to still be considered a top prospect.
2007-06-15 14:59:43
114.   blue22
107 - Kent gets his $9M option picked up automatically at 550 PA's.

There's a team option should he fail to reach that PA figure for $7M.

2007-06-15 14:59:59
115.   screwballin
57 Pedro was an oddball case that will never happen again. I mean, he's the greatest pitcher in baseball history, by far.

I hear that Clemens guy is pretty good...

2007-06-15 15:02:06
116.   natepurcell
im trying to come up with this years top 10 prospect list and im having alot of trouble actually.
2007-06-15 15:02:19
117.   SG6
I somewhat recall a story from Saito: He was playing in Japan (obviously) as a weak-hitting shortstop. He came up to bat in a key situation - RISP. His manager, and I guess this is common technique in Japan, yells at him, "If you don't get a hit, I'm making you a pitcher." Well, Saito grounded into a DP, and was thus converted to a pitcher.

He loves this story because it represents how one can turn failure into success. His dream had always been to play in the MLB, and quite likely, if he didn't fail at the plate, may have remained a light-hitting SS in Japan.

2007-06-15 15:02:40
118.   CajunDodger
He sounded pretty despondent yesterday in the article. I wonder if Kent will retire this offseason despite the time left on his contract...

That said, we still have the means to make a huge splash in the offseason and replace our spare parts (Anderson, Martinez, Tomko) with cheaper, better, younger players.

2007-06-15 15:04:03
119.   blue22
111 - Unit, though 40 in 2004, had a 2.90 ERA to go with his 290 K's (against 44 BB's!) in 245 IP that year. I'm not certain Logan White is against acquiring players of this magnitude, even if it means giving up on his draft picks. LA's system was loaded at that time and was thinking playoffs.
2007-06-15 15:04:56
120.   Humma Kavula
Maybe somebody can ask him.
2007-06-15 15:05:20
121.   CajunDodger
I also hear there is a guy with a double chin and a poorly fitting uni in San Diego who strung some pretty good seasons together with the Braves in the '90s.
2007-06-15 15:05:55
122.   natepurcell
Lambo (i think hes going to have a pretty good opening season)
2007-06-15 15:06:11
123.   Eric Enders
115 Clemens is real good. He's also nowhere near Pedro. Of course, YMMV. It depends on whether you value longevity more, or Koufax-type brilliance.

I will toss out a couple of numbers.

Career leaders in ERA+. One of these is not like the others:
1. Pedro Martinez 160
2. Lefty Grove 148
3. Walter Johnson 146
3. Dan Quisenberry 146
3. Hoyt Wilhelm 146
3. Joe Wood 146
7. Ed Walsh 145
8. Roger Clemens 144
9. Jim Devlin 143
9. Johan Santana 143

2007-06-15 15:06:35
124.   twerp
Weatherman, is AutoZone park as nice as it's said to be?

I grew up in West TN 80 miles or so from Memphis but don't get back that way much. It's not that far from Nashville but just doesn't seem to happen.

I hope to take in a game there sometime and stop off at the Rendezvous for ribs. Couldn't miss a chance at that.

2007-06-15 15:08:01
125.   blue22
122 - Is Elbert disqualified?
2007-06-15 15:09:15
126.   JT Dutch

... With Tomko, it's pitch-to-pitch concentration that's lacking. Brett reminds me of another Dodger pitcher; a guy they got in the 90s from Minnesota. Not Trombley, just a sec -- ah, there he is. Willie Banks. GREAT stuff, and his first several starts were OK. But his concentration and focus would fall off at various points in his starts, and he ended up getting sent off to Florida after only 6 or 7 starts for the Dodgers.

2007-06-15 15:09:26
127.   natepurcell

the shoulder surgery is a setback.

2007-06-15 15:10:52
128.   blue22
127 - To say the least. Would you say this is more damaging than TJ surgery would be?
2007-06-15 15:11:56
129.   natepurcell

the outcome of shoulder surgeries are far more unpredictable then TJ surgery.

2007-06-15 15:14:16
130.   Eric Enders
122 Here's my two cents:

1. Kershaw
2. Loney (still technically a prospect: 120 PA)
3. LaRoche
4. Meloan
(This is where it gets tricky)
5. Elbert
6. Hu
7. Bell
8. Withrow
9. McDonald
10. Mattingly

2007-06-15 15:14:53
131.   ToyCannon
Can't agree. Randy was still an ace. Chad was just a 20 year old who could become an ace. Some of those guys visit Dr Andrews. Just ask Mr. Elbert.
2007-06-15 15:16:45
132.   Eric Enders
124 AutoZone park is absolutely gorgeous. Its location is great, too -- it's right across the street from the landmark Peabody Hotel, and within walking distance of Beale Street.
2007-06-15 15:16:59
133.   natepurcell

Loneys definately going to pass prospect status. so who would you put at 10 since everyone else moves up a spot?

2007-06-15 15:19:15
134.   Eric Enders
133 Maybe Dejesus. Maybe D. Young. Maybe Paul, although I don't think as highly of him as everyone else seems to. I'd have to see how Lambo does with a wood bat before I'd put him on there.
2007-06-15 15:19:30
135.   fanerman
It's a little ironic that if DePo made the Bills-Johnson trade, the media would probably have loved him, while some of us may have hated him. But instead, from the LoDuca-Penny trade, it became sort of the reverse.
2007-06-15 15:20:37
136.   Bluebleeder87
Nate i'm curious to know your thoughts on Saito?
2007-06-15 15:23:12
137.   natepurcell

hes awesome. there really isnt much else to say.

2007-06-15 15:23:48
138.   CanuckDodger
131 -- A 40-year-old pitcher's injury risk is worse than a 20-year-old's, and Johnson would have been an incredibly expensive short-termer while Billingsley owed six cheap years of pre-free-agency sevice time. And Miller was already-down with a career-threatening injury and Jackson was falling apart in Triple A. Billingsley at that time was definitely our best pitching prospect. I had always hoped that the rumor about Billingsley almost being traded by DePodesta was false, but Eric's confirming it is just one more reason why DePo being fired was a good thing, despite my hating it at the time it happened.
2007-06-15 15:24:27
139.   Eric Enders
134 Also, maybe Brent Leach, who has dominated every level he's played at despite not being considered much of a traditional prospect. He's got the heat. I think he could be more than a LOOGY.
2007-06-15 15:25:07
140.   screwballin
123 I think when you're talking best ever, longevity has got to be part of the discussion.

Here's an excerpt of a 2002 article on BP by Keith Woolner and Jonah Keri, in which they tried to settle the argument of who's the greatest living pitcher:

Let's whittle out the pretenders first.

It's not Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez. Though each can claim one of the top peaks in history, neither has shown enough longevity to rival the very best. Check back in 2005 or so and we'll see how far they've progressed.

It's not Steve Carlton or Tom Seaver. Both fare well in both career and peak rankings, just not well enough.

Guys like Phil Niekro and Don Sutton lag behind the leaders by a fair margin.

Nolan Ryan apologists have little to stand on. Ryan's noted longevity amounted to only the 19th all-time rank in career VALUE. You won't find him anywhere in the top peaks list.

We're down to Spahn, Maddux and Clemens.

We'll let Spahn duel with Carlton for Best Living Lefty status. Spahn's 18th rank in peak VALUE negates his top spot in career VALUE.

So, Maddux or Clemens?

Clemens' peak VALUE wins by 0.139. Maddux's career VALUE wins by 0.274. Too close to call.

However, Clemens edges Maddux in career RA+, RAA and RAR, falling short only in innings totals, which netted him the lower career VALUE total.

So by the slimmest of margins, we'll take Clemens.

But with Maddux three and a half years Clemens' junior and the Rocket's durability finally taking a hit this year, Maddux's future ranking looks a little brighter. He could pass Clemens as early as next season, or toward the end of the duo's careers.

2007-06-15 15:29:57
141.   Bluebleeder87

i've also heard he had back issues for a while in Japan.

2007-06-15 15:30:45
142.   Eric Stephen
101 Here is the 2004 Top 10 Prospect list from Baseball America:

1) Edwin Jackson
2) Greg Miller
3) Franklin Gutierrez
4) James Loney
5) Joel Hanrahan
6) Chad Billingsley
7) Xavier Paul
8) Andy LaRoche (listed as "2B/SS")
9) Koyie Hill
10) Reggie Abercrombie

BA had them ranked #2 out of 30 teams.

Is it wrong that I'm watching "The Natural" on Women's Entertainment network?

2007-06-15 15:31:20
143.   screwballin
Depo just wanted to win some playoff games. I think there's little question that The Unit would have done that for us.

Would we give up what was then some very unproven prospects for a serious run at the World Series? I can respect either answer to that question, but for me it's a definite yes.

2007-06-15 15:32:21
144.   CanuckDodger
139 -- Leach is injured and has been for a while. Depending on what the injury is, Leach's prospect status will be proportionately affected.
2007-06-15 15:33:46
145.   underdog
I wouldn't have Elbert on that list at the moment until we get a better sense of his prognosis... and, yeah, Loney's about to come off it. With no Loney or Kemp the list becomes a little harder to fill out. I like having McDonald on there at this point. Seems a little early to have Lambo on there but maybe you're right, Nate. I don't know much about the Dodgers young Latin players at this point other than what Logan White and DeJon have recently told us, but a couple of those guys could soon be added to this list.

What about Lucas May?

2007-06-15 15:35:16
146.   Eric Enders
142 You have to break that question down into two parts: "Is it wrong that I'm watching The Natural?" and "Is it wrong that I'm watching the Women's Entertainment Network?" Independently of each other, the answer to each question would be a definite yes. Combined, you could defend yourself with the notion that you're only watching for the absurdity of it all.
2007-06-15 15:35:22
147.   blue22
140 - the Rocket's durability finally taking a hit this year 2002, Maddux's future ranking looks a little brighter

Or not. Rocket added a Cy Young in '04 (when Unit was robbed) and a 3rd place in '05.

Meanwhile Maddux has...well, pitched better than Jeff Weaver, I guess. He hasn't posted an era+ higher than 113 since '02.

And Randy Johnson has been a pretty dominant starter for about 17 years now. I think we can stop discrediting him for not doing it long enough.

2007-06-15 15:36:30
148.   underdog
Ramon Troncoso's been pretty impressive at Inland Empire... 10 to 1 K to BB ratio.
2007-06-15 15:37:51
149.   Eric Enders
144 Leach hasn't pitched since May 12. He has a strained back, which doesn't sound like the sort of thing that would affect his long-term status, though anything's possible, I guess.
2007-06-15 15:40:30
150.   Bob Timmermann
At lunchtime, I was reading a book that quoted Bob Broeg describing Frankie Frisch as "a player who knew the difference between Richard Wagner and Honus Wagner."
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-06-15 15:40:57
151.   CanuckDodger
143 -- Trading the future in an effort to serve the present is ALWAYS a bad move, and is born from desperation, not logic. That is my philosophy. The short run is always more dependent on luck, while in the long run, young talent tends to will out. There is nothing that any team can do at any time to ensure that they will win the World Series within a year. The Yankees keep finding that out.
2007-06-15 15:43:49
152.   Eric Enders
Kyle Orr is another one we shouldn't forget about. It seems unfortunate, though, that it's already more than a year since he was drafted and he has yet to actually play a game.

Bryan Morris is another guy who could jump back onto these lists next year.

2007-06-15 15:46:31
153.   CanuckDodger
148 -- Troncoso has been in Jacksonville for a while, and he is doing well there. He is another top relief prospect in our system. Our bullpen is going to be outstanding for a long time if we play our cards right.
2007-06-15 15:50:06
154.   Bluebleeder87
And Randy Johnson has been a pretty dominant starter for about 17 years now. I think we can stop discrediting him for not doing it long enough.

i just looked at his #'s & i think he's had a great 16 year run but i pretty much agree with your thoughts. when you think about it he had great offense to back him up with seattle & NY or else we could probably shorten his great years to probably 12 to 14 great years.

2007-06-15 15:51:14
155.   Dark Horse
99-So basically, Sammy's saying pitching here has roused the innermost fires that lay dormant in his soul, and he's been able to face the opposition with the zeal of a challenger?
2007-06-15 15:51:56
156.   Humma Kavula
142 146

Warning: Do not read this post if you have never read "The Natural" by Bernard Malamud.



I once had the opportunity to talk to Mark Johnson, who produced "The Natural." I said, "You know, I have a friend who calls that the best book-to-movie change of all time."

He said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Early on, we were at a story meeting at the studio. We got to the end of the story -- he's at the plate, he's bleeding... he looks into the stands... he swings, and the umpire calls, 'Strike Three,' and we fade to black."

He paused, then said, "You could hear a pin drop."

2007-06-15 15:52:06
157.   screwballin
151 If it were as clear cut as "trading the future," I might agree with you. But when you trade a prospect, you only trade the "possible future," to coin a really clumsy term.

I mean, check out the list in post 142. Any of those guys you'd trade now for one of the top pitchers in the league? About half of them have shown they may never be productive major leaguers. And Bills, as much as he impresses me, is still hardly a sure thing even now, never mind 3 years ago.

2007-06-15 15:52:07
158.   blue22
151 - I certainly respect that standpoint, and am very happy that trade wasn't made in retrospect (well, unless LA wins the WS that year) but LA's rotation headed into the playoffs was Weaver, Odalis, Ishii, and Lima (I seem to recall Penny being a part of the Unit deal). I can certainly see how Depo may have wanted to upgrade that rotation with the best pitcher in the league.
2007-06-15 15:53:47
159.   Dodgers49
Murray no hit with Dodgers

>>> There is a strong possibility the new hitting coach will be someone already employed by the organization. Roving minor-league hitting instructor Bill Robinson, triple-A Las Vegas hitting coach Mike Easler and roving outfield/baserunning coordinator Gene Clines all would be logical candidates. Although neither Colletti nor Little mentioned any of them by name, it was obvious from one Colletti comment that he and Little are leaning strongly in the direction of the club's player development department. <<<

2007-06-15 15:56:24
160.   oswald
142 speaking of xavier paul, the boy is playing quite well down in jacksonville. he's still only 22 and logan white recently called him a prospect to watch in the future. beyond all that, he's a cf (i still don't think kemp is a cf) and he's being trained to bat at the top of the order.

so ... your 2009 la dodgers


it's morning at chavez ravine!

2007-06-15 15:58:07
161.   blue22
159 - I had a chance to see Easler in person when I took in a Vegas game recently. If they're looking for upbeat, friendly, communicative, and overtly enthusiastic, then Mike Easler is your man. He's an even better choice if the young'ns already have a good rapport with him.
2007-06-15 15:58:25
162.   screwballin
DePo also followed at least a decade of LA suffering through timid GMs who never seemed to make the in-season moves needed to put them over the top. I remember my reaction, upon hearing about the Unit trade, being that FINALLY someone was going to identify our weaknesses and do something about them. Whether you liked his moves or not, I think he deserves credit for that.
2007-06-15 15:58:37
163.   Humma Kavula
160 your 2009 la dodgers

Who did Pierre get traded for?

2007-06-15 15:59:17
164.   blue22
160 - I think Furcal's a free agent after '08.
2007-06-15 16:00:36
165.   CanuckDodger
157 -- A judgment has to be made about what a particular prospect will give you, obviously, but my opinion of Billingsley was high then, and is high now. And it has to be said that veterans also represent only "possible futures," not sure things. You can't predict if a vet acquired at mid-season will do what Lugo did for us last year, or what Anderson did. Like I said, it's all luck in the short run, while in the long run its more about true talent.
2007-06-15 16:02:14
166.   Bluebleeder87

it wasn't a trade, we actually threw money at him.

2007-06-15 16:03:42
167.   Dodgers49
Commentary: Hall of Famer never fit role

>>> Given his history, it's difficult to understand how the Dodgers could be shocked by Murray's inability to communicate with individual players, or their failure to seek him out. <<<

2007-06-15 16:03:52
168.   Humma Kavula
166 Ah, the Dodgers will throw more money at him to make him go away! I like it!
2007-06-15 16:03:57
169.   blue22
166 - Pierre's missing from his 2009 lineup. Ever the optimist, that oswald is!
2007-06-15 16:04:04
170.   Bluebleeder87

i feel you Canuck.

2007-06-15 16:04:14
171.   oswald
163 pierre on the bench as ph/pr. i know he makes big money, but consider this: loney, martin, kemp, all of whom hopefully will be very good by that time, will be severely underpaid. that's why i don't worry about bad signings now - we're a big market that will have a team that is comprised of young, underpaid talent.

164 i've been telling anybody that will listen that ned should be talking to furcal about extending NOW.

2007-06-15 16:06:48
172.   blue22
171 - talking to furcal about extending NOW

Will he allow to be extended for less money than he's currently making? If not, would you want Furcal making another $13M per year for a few more years? Furcal's annual salary only makes sense if it's for the short term. Extending him defeats the purpose.

2007-06-15 16:06:50
173.   Humma Kavula
171 Are you sure? I mean, I know Furcal was likely the Dodgers' MVP last year (unless it was Drew or somebody else that I'm forgetting about)... but this year, with his power gone, is he still the same player?

I will accept that the answer to that question might be "yes" and thus would be worthy of an extension.... just would like to hear the case made.

2007-06-15 16:07:55
174.   Sammy Maudlin
Does anyone consider Edurado Perez a top prospect? His stats are actually a little better than Bell for the Loons.
2007-06-15 16:09:17
175.   screwballin
165 Fair enough, and BA agreed with you on Bills. They liked him almost as much as they did Edwin Jackson, Franklin Gutierrez, Hanrahan and Greg Miller.

Agreed, Randy Johnson wasn't a sure thing back then, but there weren't many things surer. How often has he taken the mound in the playoffs and NOT been dominant?

Anyway, I respect your point. I would still trade a little distant future for a bigger slice of October, under the right circumstances. 18 years is getting tough to stomach.

2007-06-15 16:12:25
176.   oswald
furcal has always been a second half player, so his production thus far is irrelevant. and in the current market, and only 30 y.o. when his current contract expires, furcal is absolutely worth $13 mil for three more seasons.
2007-06-15 16:13:48
177.   twerp
155 That, or maybe the samauri outfit did it...
2007-06-15 16:21:45
178.   twerp
115,123,140, etc--

There's a guy in Texas with 7 no-hitters--18 years from first to last--and 5714 strikeouts who probably thinks he belongs higher in great pitcher discussions. But he doesn't seem to get a lot of props in them.

I used to think that if I had to put together an all-time rotation for one season--pitchers at their peaks--it'd probably be Koufax, Ryan, Unit, Clemens, Pedro, and Carlton (not necessarily in that order after Koufax). Still kind of like that group on that basis.

Three lefties, three righties for balance. Yeah, yeah, it's a six-man rotation. So?

There'd be a whole lot of hitters who wouldn't argue much after they faced it. That group would strike out unimaginable numbers and probably have equally astounding numbers for fewest hits allowed.

And yeah, I know some stats might not agree. Usual YMMV disclaimer.

2007-06-15 16:23:43
179.   kngoworld
Tonights via ITD

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Nomar, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Martin, C
Betemit, 3B
Kemp, RF
Lowe, P

2007-06-15 16:27:31
180.   screwballin
178 Walter Johnson can't even beat out Steve Carlton.

I think the time/space continuum just ruptured.

2007-06-15 16:27:49
181.   jasbo
I'd give some attention to Travis Denker near the bottom of that prospect list. A .411 OBP, .898 OPS, 25 BBs and 24 Ks. He's always played in DeWitt's shadow, even though his stats are generally better. He constantly outperforms expectations.
2007-06-15 16:27:53
182.   blue22
179 - Is there any other team whose 5-8 so consistently out-produce their 1-4? I mean, it isn't even funny anymore.
2007-06-15 16:29:52
183.   natepurcell

not last year and the second half of 2005 when he basically hit a brick wall when he advanced to A+ ball.

2007-06-15 16:30:23
184.   Humma Kavula
182 Well, it's still funny. Just not funny ha-ha. Funny does-this-taste-funny.
2007-06-15 16:31:34
185.   kngoworld
How many games has Ethier started on the bench in a row now?
2007-06-15 16:31:59
186.   natepurcell

Perez is already 22 which is old for A-ball but he is a switch hitter and he is hitting for power. He should probably be promoted to Inland Empire pretty soon.

2007-06-15 16:32:30
187.   CanuckDodger
170 -- Hey, I think Blubleeder87 just made a pass at me. We'll have none of that sexy talk 'round here!:) Or I suppose Michael Scott would say "That's what she said!"
2007-06-15 16:33:26
188.   blue22
185 - 3. He started Game 1 of the Mets series.
2007-06-15 16:35:14
189.   Marty
185 Great way for Grady to sugar-coat it.

"Oh, you're starting. On the bench, but you're still starting"

2007-06-15 16:37:29
190.   Dodgers49
179. That's the lineup I expected to see. We're facing a long list of righthanders but I figured Little wouldn't change what just worked against the Mets. In fact, as long as Kemp continues to hit at his current pace I think Either is in trouble even though he bats lefthanded.
2007-06-15 16:38:55
191.   fordprefect
2007-06-15 16:41:43
192.   Eric Enders
178 "There's a guy in Texas with 7 no-hitters--18 years from first to last--and 5714 strikeouts who probably thinks he belongs higher in great pitcher discussions. But he doesn't seem to get a lot of props in them."

Nor should he. Ryan belongs nowhere near a discussion of history's greatest pitchers. History's most intimidating pitchers, absolutely. History's most unique pitchers, definitely. History's greatest pitchers, not on your life. Look at his actual record. Even if you're arguing for the value of his longevity, Ryan only had 12 full seasons as an outstanding pitcher (110 ERA+ or better). Bert Blyleven, just to pick one guy at random, had 14.

2007-06-15 16:42:46
193.   Dodgers49
190. Make that Ethier. :-)
2007-06-15 16:48:39
194.   twerp
180 I started to add that there were no real old timers on the list, just guys from the modern era that I knew a bit about.

Other than all-time stats, there's probably not much way to compare today's guys with the era of Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, etc.

Those guys may have been just as good as the ones I named. But as time goes on and athletes get better and better, I'd think the edge probably would go to the more modern guys--if that better-and-better process has gone on since the sports began.

Be great to have a time machine and plug in a few of them along with Ruth and Cobb and a few others in today's MLB and see what would happen.

2007-06-15 16:54:56
195.   natepurcell
so far....

bell 1-2
mattingly 2-2 2rbi
van slyke 2-2 2b, hr 4rbi

2007-06-15 16:56:39
196.   fordprefect
We try to make a half-dozen or so day games every summer --San Luis (Obispo) Blues. Cheap and fun.
2007-06-15 16:57:18
197.   ToyCannon
Best Names in our system:
Lizarraga, Francisco
Santana, Carlos
Guerrero, Pedro
Paul, Xavier
Lundberg, Spike
Norrito, Giuseppe
Villalobos, Andrick
2007-06-15 17:01:48
198.   CanuckDodger
197 -- How could you not have "Alberto Bastardo?" Easily the best. Norrito goes by "Joey," unfortunately. For a while, Ramon Troncoso was called "Landestoy Troncoso." That name is just beautiful to my ear. Uncomplicated but lots of syllables.
2007-06-15 17:09:44
199.   Eric Enders
Were it not for the family history, "Preston Mattingly" would sound like a guy in a bow tie who serves you high tea.

Hey Nate, what's your take on Van Slyke? Still a legit prospect?

2007-06-15 17:11:25
200.   jasonungar07
How about moving Pierre into the three hole?

His slugging percentage for the year is creeping. By the end of today it very well might be higher than Nomars. Entering tonight he is down a point .331 to .332

But he is slugging 100 points+ higher than Nomar in June .341 to .225.

The van air brushed man has 3 extra base hits in his last 42 games.

I know alot of you guys have preached patience (toycannon), but how much longer??

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-06-15 17:11:28
201.   Humma Kavula
199 That's just because of the name Preston. Preston Smith. Preston Jones. Preston Enders. Preston Sturges. All of 'em work, in my opinion.
2007-06-15 17:11:30
202.   natepurcell
Hey Nate, what's your take on Van Slyke? Still a legit prospect?

definately. 6'5 195lbs, the power has a good chance of coming on in a year or two.

2007-06-15 17:12:07
203.   ToyCannon
Yeah, if I had reviewed the pitchers he'd be on the list.
2007-06-15 17:13:13
204.   Eric Enders
201 Billy Preston?
2007-06-15 17:13:51
205.   Lexinthedena
198- Bert Bastardo?...that's terrific...I truly hope he makes it to the show...a jersey I would buy.....
2007-06-15 17:16:21
206.   Lexinthedena
Pierre has to be gotten rid of at all way to overstate what a horrible signing that was(as much as we all try)...When will Ned admit the mistake and make it happen....
2007-06-15 17:17:48
207.   Eric Enders
I'm just disappointed that in the recent Cleveland-Cincinnati series, we never got the literary pitching matchup of Fausto vs. McBeth.
2007-06-15 17:18:56
208.   twerp
192 My list was intended as a rotation of those pitchers at their peaks to go thru one season--not as a history's greatest list.

But a couple of them probably belong in that kind of group also.

2007-06-15 17:19:00
209.   Lexinthedena
I once saw a pitcher named Bautista throw to a batter named Castro....come to think of it, it was Juan Castro when he was a Dodger facing some Giants stiff....
2007-06-15 17:21:51
210.   Eric Stephen
Humma Kavula, those were very well-written questions on Diamond Leung's blog.

2007-06-15 17:26:27
211.   Dark Horse
207-I gotta go with Fausto Carmona as the best name in the bigs right now. Though if Jetsy Extrano ever arrives, look out!
2007-06-15 17:27:35
212.   Marty
I love the comments on Humma Kavula's blog.
2007-06-15 17:28:18
213.   Lexinthedena
211-What about Ambriox Burgos?
2007-06-15 17:28:48
214.   Andrew Shimmin
So that's what LAT means.
2007-06-15 17:30:06
215.   Humma Kavula

Gentle readers, the comments on my blog violate several Dodger Thoughts rules, including, but not limited to, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11.

Rule 9, so far, has not been violated.

2007-06-15 17:31:19
216.   Megaballs
There's resistance to the obvious.

Until Pierre starts hitting line drives and occcassionally walking, he must bat 8th. Get on, let pitcher take pitches to steal and/or bunt...last 3 innings pinch hit/double switch.

Too obvious.

And until Nomar hits for power, drop him down the lineup. Or Play his "defensive back up" much more.
Over a season, the top 3 or 4 hitters get many more ABs. Thats why your best hitters should bat at the top of the lineup.

Let Nomar and Pierre hit their way back, like Betemit is doing...

2007-06-15 17:32:24
217.   ToyCannon
I've preached patience but I would have moved him out of the 3 hole weeks ago. Really no way to sugarcoat how bad he's been, why he is still hitting 3rd is a mystery. Even more of a mystery since Kemp is up. I'd want to get him as many at bats as I could.
I understand why everyone is tired of him, who wouldn't be, he's terrible right now. I have more faith that the lot of you will be telling me "I told you so" then the other way around. Just trying to keep the faith that he's not pulling a Brett Boone on me.
2007-06-15 17:45:36
218.   Bluebleeder87
thanks to TC i'll be heading out to Dodger Stadium & watching Matt Kemp start (woo!) hopefully he'll hit another one at the Loge section, but regardless it will be cool just being there. I'll be wearing my blue DT shirt cause last time i went the Dodgers won on a Seanez dinger in the 10th inning. o.k. late i'm out!!
2007-06-15 17:48:03
219.   Eric Enders
217 "Really no way to sugarcoat how bad he's been, why he is still hitting 3rd is a mystery."

Unfortunately, there is a way to sugarcoat it, and that's probably why he's still batting there. He's "driving in runs." He's "hitting with runners in scoring position." He's "helping his team win."

2007-06-15 17:52:22
220.   El Lay Dave
Just as I was getting out of the car just now, I heard someone on 710 ESPN Radio drop a "Slappy McPopup" and mention that he has the T-shirt. Now, who was that here? Was it underdog?
2007-06-15 18:00:51
221.   Eric Enders
For a second there I thought you meant that Slappy McPopup had the t-shirt. Now that would be something.
2007-06-15 18:11:33
222.   Jon Weisman
Eric wins again. NPUT.
2007-06-15 22:01:07
223.   underdog
I believe I did coin the phrase "Slappy McPop" for Pierre - but didn't call in ESPN Radio, no. Someone else may have practically come up with it here too, and it was probably inspired by another similar monikker, so I think I should get credit but shared with the rest of the class. Do I win that t-shirt?
2007-06-16 22:12:57
224.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
JW, what is the name of the illustrated baseball primer, and who wrote it? I'd love to get a copy.

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