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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Labrum Links
2007-06-20 22:15
by Jon Weisman

Jason Schmidt has fallen under the Dreaded Dodger Labrum Curse, reports Ken Gurnick of (and everyone else):

Dodgers right-hander Jason Schmidt is out for the season after surgery Wednesday to repair three separate areas of damage in his right shoulder.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic, in an arthroscopic procedure, repaired a labral tear, a frayed bicep tendon and cleaned up scarring in the bursa sac, according to trainer Stan Conte, who said he's hopeful Schmidt will be pitching by next Spring Training.

Although the club had said it did not know what to expect going into the exploratory surgery, Conte said the labral tear was not anticipated and was the most severe of the three injuries.

"It must grow back to the bone, so the rehab process slows down," he said. "We anticipated that the labrum did not need to be reattached, but it did."

The labrum is cartilage that forms a cup in the ball-and-socket shoulder joint, allowing the head of the upper arm a wide range of motion. The tear, common among pitchers, is at the posterior rim of the shoulder socket. The bicep tendon attaches into the shoulder socket and the bursa decreases friction between tendon and bone.

Conte said the bursa inflammation is the only one of the injuries that showed up conclusively on an MRI done in April, but the belief is that the combination caused Schmidt's dramatic loss of velocity from last year.

Schmidt can now check the Dodger Thoughts archives for previous labrum discussions.

"The Shawn Green of Old Will Not Return," October 19, 2003

"LaRoche Labrum Lamentably Lame," June 17, 2006

As far as Ned Colletti doing due dilligence before signing Schmidt, Gurnick reported him saying that Schmidt passed a battery of physical exams. "You look at the MRIs," Colletti said, "and they're almost identical if you go back a few years."

Update: Here's what I wrote on January 9:

On the pitching side, Jason Schmidt makes me a little uneasy because I feel he's a guy with wear and tear, but if he's on the mound he should be good, and he (along with Randy Wolf) adds to this depth equation. I don't know what the starting rotation will be or how much it will fluctuate, but I think that the odds are that the Dodgers will have five good starting pitchers.

I also consider as an offseason move the new hirings in the medical staff. I have no idea how this will play out, but the team's recent history this decade of rushing people back onto the field, only to see them get hurt again, has nowhere to go but up. So I'm hoping change is for the better. But again, we wait and see. If you've been reading this site for a while, you know that "maybe good, maybe not" is considered a better answer than being sure about something you can't really be sure of. Just consider it burnishing the cat. (You do the math.)

Update 2: Eric Enders reminds us of this 2004 Will Carroll article in Slate:

The leading minds in baseball medicine are flummoxed by the labrum. Doctors can't agree on how to detect a tear, don't know the best way to fix one, and aren't sure why, almost without fail, a torn labrum will destroy a pitcher's career.

Leading baseball surgeon Dr. James Andrews estimates that 85 percent of pitchers make a full recovery after an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, aka the once risky Tommy John surgery. (USA Today has even called the surgery the "pitcher's best friend.") But if pitchers with torn labrums were horses, they'd be destroyed. Of the 36 major-league hurlers diagnosed with labrum tears in the last five years, only midlevel reliever Rocky Biddle has returned to his previous level. Think about that when your favorite pitcher comes down with labrum trouble: He has a 3 percent chance of becoming Rocky Biddle. More likely, he'll turn into Mike Harkey, Robert Person, or Jim Parque, pitchers who lost stamina and velocity — and a major-league career — when their labrums began to fray. ...

Pitchers with torn labrums will have to wait a while longer for their Tommy John surgery. So far, the message from the nation's orthopedic surgeons is: We can't rebuild them. Dr. Anthony Tropiano, a top baseball arm doc, says the best available treatment option today is to do nothing. "We call it conservative treatment," he says, "but that's just a euphemism for a little rehab and a lot of prayer."

In other words, short of a breakthrough, the Jason Schmidt of old will not return. Just as was the case with Green, there's a difference between being done and being diminished. We don't know that Schmidt is done, but barring a breakthrough, he may well be diminished.

Comments (140)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-06-20 22:34:25
1.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Well, if they did and MRI in the physical, I guess this will have to be chalked up to just bad luck. At least Bills is ready to go.

It sounds like we're going to have to eat the whole contract, though, which really stinks. At least it's just three years.


2007-06-20 22:36:21
2.   Bob Timmermann
From the various reads I've done on labrum tears, it's hard to determine a problem from an MRI.
2007-06-20 22:39:29
3.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 2

But it's better than nothing, no? If I remember the info you posted correctly, the only sure-proof way is to actually do exploratory surgery, which is of course impractical as a routine diagnostic operation.


2007-06-20 22:40:41
4.   the OZ
I don't think most people realize just how muddy MRI images can be. Often, they just don't show what's really going on, or damage may be so slight that it's tough for the human eye to detect. Sometimes you just have to scope the problem area to see what's really going on.

We may not be far off from a time when teams won't sign contracts until they've had a chance to literally "scope" a pitcher out and see the condition of his shoulders.

2007-06-20 22:41:28
5.   Eric Enders
I think Colletti deserves a free pass on this one. At the time, even BP called the Schmidt signing the best deal of the offseason.

I do have a feeling Ned will get raked over the coals for this one, which will be undserved. But that's okay, because it'll even out the Pierre deal, for which he's gotten a free pass but deserved to be raked over the coals.

2007-06-20 22:43:51
6.   Greg Brock
5 We talked about this yesterday. I think a few people expressed dismay about the signing, but the general consensus was that the signing was okay and that Ned gets his free pass.

That's how I feel, at least. Bad luck.

2007-06-20 22:51:09
7.   Jon Weisman
On December 6, I wrote, "Schmidt is a talented pitcher, but he is surely expensive - that projected salary is almost twice what Derek Lowe makes - and does not come without risk. Turning 34 in January with nearly 2,000 career innings, Schmidt in 2006 saw his strikeout rate drop to its lowest point since 2000.

"But Schmidt is still above-average through and through, and might well help form a perfect bridge between the Dodgers' veteran starters and the up-and-comers like Billingsley, Kuo, Scott Elbert and Clayton Kershaw."

On January 9, I wrote, "On the pitching side, Jason Schmidt makes me a little uneasy because I feel he's a guy with wear and tear, but if he's on the mound he should be good."

2007-06-20 22:53:51
8.   GoBears
Well, if we don't care that Colletti (even if only through bad luck) wasted $47M of McCourt's money, then this could be a good thing. I say "could be" because it might mean that Billingsley will now get the rest of the season to show that he belongs.

But it might not. It's still before the trading deadline. Colletti might decide he needs another reprise of the Tomko/Hendrickson experience, or even worse, might trade for yet another mediocre veteran.

So why might we consider the $47M handed over to Schmidt a good thing at all? Well, maybe, just maybe, that sunk cost will constrain Colletti and force him to go with the cheaper option (young guys), thus making the right decision for the wrong reason.

I don't blame Colletti for Schmidt. It was a reasonable gamble, and the price was what the market demanded. But I've little doubt that had he whiffed on Schmidt, we'd have another Hendrickson/Tomko type wasting space on the roster, and I'm hoping that an unexpected bout of smallmarketitis (i.e., we can't spend Schmidt's money twice) might leave the door open for the kids.

2007-06-20 23:04:01
9.   trainwreck
The fact that we got Schmidt for only three years made it a good deal for me. In addition, I liked the idea of having a lot of pitching depth.
2007-06-20 23:07:06
10.   Xeifrank
I don't think Colletti deserves a "free pass" on the Schmidt signing/injury. $47 million for a 34 year old with some recent injury history is a big gamble. It's like investing alot of money in an older model used car. It can break down at any point. If it was a 29 year old pitcher, then I'd be more likely to give him a "free pass", but not a 34 year old. Colletti gambled and rolled snake eyes. Or you could say he crapped out ... twice. No "free" pass. I won't come down hard on him, but definitely no "free" pass. vr, Xei
2007-06-20 23:07:50
11.   natepurcell
Maybe thats a reason why Logan White drafted 6 pitchers in his first 8 picks.

We should have a decent stable of young arms in the lower minors percolating by this time next year if morris comes back strong and blair is signed.

2007-06-20 23:26:17
12.   Greg Brock
If Schmidt is done, that's gotta be the shortest tenure for any high-profile signing I can think of.

6 games, 25 innings pitched, 1 win, 47 million dollars.

Well played, Jason Schmidt. Well played, indeed.

2007-06-20 23:31:28
13.   Xeifrank
12. Are you sure his career is over, and not just his season?
vr, Xei
2007-06-20 23:35:29
14.   Greg Brock
13 From what Eric Enders linked to (primarily Will Carroll), complete tears of the labrum are the death knell to pitchers. He could come back and get lit up, and then retire, or he can completely buck the odds and be serviceable.

The odds certainly aren't in his favor.

2007-06-20 23:46:00
15.   das411
So that signing of the Wolfman now looks:

A) Very smart, isn't a big payroll nice?
B) Prudent, but I'd rather see Billz anyways
C) Ehh, he's now 1 for 2 signing FA pitchers
D) Bring me the head of Juan Pierre!

2007-06-20 23:47:16
16.   GoBears
Well, if Eric is right about the implications of a complete tear of the labrum (and I have no reason to doubt him), yeah, Schmidt is done. Like John Cleese's parrot. He is an EX-pitcher.
2007-06-20 23:48:36
17.   Greg Brock
16 He has ceased to be.

Or he's pining for the fjords.

2007-06-20 23:49:49
18.   Eric Enders
Schmidt doesn't strike me as the give-up-and-go-home type, so I wouldn't be all that surprised to see him work his way back and get lit up in a couple of starts, say, a year and a half down the road.
2007-06-20 23:50:31
19.   GoBears
Should have refreshed. Good point, other GB!
2007-06-20 23:50:54
20.   Greg Brock
Just so I get it spot on, here's what Eric said in the previous thread:

A partial tear is a different story, but one that still presents very long odds. We don't know yet if Schmidt's tear is a partial or complete one. In either case, I think we would have to be very pleasantly surprised if Schmidt ever pitches another major league game.

Here's a Will Carroll article on labrum tears:

2007-06-20 23:51:28
21.   Eric Enders
For the love of god, will somebody please figure out Bob's interleague riddle already? It's driving me nuts.
2007-06-20 23:57:05
22.   Eric Enders
I should really point out that I know nothing about labrum tears except what I read on the internet. I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

That said, here are a couple of relevant passages from the article in 20:

"If pitchers with torn labrums were horses, they'd be destroyed. Of the 36 major-league hurlers diagnosed with labrum tears in the last five years, only midlevel reliever Rocky Biddle has returned to his previous level. Think about that when your favorite pitcher comes down with labrum trouble: He has a 3 percent chance of becoming Rocky Biddle. More likely, he'll turn into Mike Harkey, Robert Person, or Jim Parque, pitchers who lost stamina and velocity—and a major-league career—when their labrums began to fray."

"Pitchers with torn labrums will have to wait a while longer for their [version of] Tommy John surgery. So far, the message from the nation's orthopedic surgeons is: We can't rebuild them. Dr. Anthony Tropiano, a top baseball arm doc, says the best available treatment option today is to do nothing. 'We call it conservative treatment,' he says, 'but that's just a euphemism for a little rehab and a lot of prayer.'"

2007-06-21 00:01:42
23.   GoBears
21. What was it? I just popped over to the Griddle but didn't see it.

Not that I have any hope of getting it right if present company couldn't.

2007-06-21 00:04:16
24.   Greg Brock
'We call it conservative treatment,' he says, 'but that's just a euphemism for a little rehab and a lot of prayer.'"

Dr. Tropiano doesn't know about the "no euphemisms" rule on DT. And that makes zero sense. Schmidt has dropped down to 83-85 mph. He rehabs and prays, but still won't gain any velocity back. Thus, after all this rehab, he'll still sit at 83-85 mph on the gun.

For all intents and purposes, Schmidt is done.

2007-06-21 00:04:24
25.   das411
Did anybody else catch this on Deadspin today, in the thread on the Mets' Julio Franco problem?

"When asked to comment on the reported racial divide, Omar Minaya denied that any such rift existed and announced a blockbuster trade
- Wright, Glavine, LoDuca, Greene, and Maine to the Dodgers for Rudy Seanez, Omedo Saenz, Luiz Gonzalez and 10 cans of beans."

2007-06-21 00:11:50
26.   Eric Enders
23 On the most recent Griddle post, figure out why each player is representing that particular team.
2007-06-21 00:19:59
27.   GoBears
Ouch. I think I tore my brain labrum.
2007-06-21 00:26:28
28.   Greg Brock
27 Ouch. I think I tore my brain labrum.

GoBears isn't dead. He's just restin'. Beautiful plumage...

2007-06-21 00:57:33
29.   dan reines
mo vaughan in an angels uniform keeps flashing into my mind...
2007-06-21 00:57:48
30.   xaphor
Well! Schmidt never wanted to do this in the first place. He wanted to be...

A Lumberjack!

2007-06-21 01:03:30
31.   Greg Brock
29 Mo Vaughn is a very good call. That was bad.

30 Does Schmidt have suspenders and a bra?

2007-06-21 01:09:03
32.   Andrew Shimmin
Even if Schmidt won't give up, wouldn't it probably be more prudent for the Dodgers to? I guess it depends on the way the insurance policy on Schmidt's contract was written, but it would be pretty silly to burn up what can be gotten back out of the deal by letting Schmidt pull a Bagwell.
2007-06-21 01:11:46
33.   Eric Enders
Do we know that there was indeed an insurance policy? And more to the point, do we know what the payout is?
2007-06-21 01:18:43
34.   Jon Weisman
I've often found fans assuming an insurance policy when none exists.
2007-06-21 01:21:28
35.   Greg Brock
Who would cover a policy with a 34 year-old pitcher with a history of injuries and a consistently decreasing velocity?

I would be shocked if there was coverage on Schmidt. He's done, we're paying for it, and that's that.

2007-06-21 01:30:12
36.   Andrew Shimmin
Didn't occur to me that they might not have insured the contract. It seems weird that they wouldn't have, but I guess I don't know anything about it.
2007-06-21 01:37:03
37.   PDH5204
Re labrum tears:

2007-06-21 01:45:18
38.   Greg Brock
The underwriter who decides to cover somebody like Schmidt would be fired. Or killed. Or fired and killed.

I'm pretty sure they'd be fired first. Firing somebody who has already been killed would be completely pointless.

2007-06-21 02:00:48
39.   MC Safety
so it looks like the consensus here from what ive read, is schmidt is done. boy is that sad news. what was the problem with colon's shoulder last year, was it a labrum issue? i know he took the " conservative approach ". so outside of rocky biddle, there are no recent success stories?
2007-06-21 02:05:21
40.   Andrew Shimmin
Dreifort was insured. If you're an idiot, and willing to pay the premiums, you can get your idiot teenaged son insured to drive a Porsche. Insurance companies know how to do math. They never get hurt so badly that their appetite for collecting lots and lots of free money from other people is whetted.

I guess we'll find out soon enough. I can imagine not insuring Pierre, since, who cares. But, the same reasons Schmidt would be difficult to insure are the ones for why he ought to have been. like I said, I don't actually know anything about this.

2007-06-21 02:18:05
41.   Greg Brock
If Schmidt is insured, I would very much like to find out who insured him. They are very likely the same people who insure cities built below sea level.

It's not like Jason Schmidt never had injury problems. And it's not like Schmidt is 27 years old. Show me the underwriter who approved Jason Schmidt coverage, and I'll show you a terrible insurance salesman.

I can't imagine being an insurance salesman. Now imagine being bad at it. Wow. When you can't even be good at selling insurance, it might be time to give up breathing.

2007-06-21 02:30:10
42.   Andrew Shimmin
I meant sated, by the way. Their appetites are always whetted. Never sated. It's late.
2007-06-21 02:41:24
43.   Andrew Shimmin
If you can ignore the sub-heading, this article will give you hope!

2007-06-21 02:56:06
44.   xaphor
Found this, which while a little dated has some choice quotes from Conte.

"DL payroll keeps swelling"
Injuries hurt the bottom line for most teams
August '02

The Giants are the envy of baseball, logging a mere 400 player disability days per year compared with a league average of 914 in 2001. With that kind of record, the team has decided not to insure its players, preferring instead to pay disability out of normal operating expenses.

Much of the Giants' success avoiding injury can be traced to team trainer Stan Conte, who devised a strength and conditioning regimen that emphasizes hitting rather than home-run hitting, despite the fact that the team has one of the game's most prolific power hitters in Barry Bonds.

"Our objective is not to hit the ball farther, but to get the batter to the batter's box 600 times a season," said Conte. "Our objective is not performance enhancement. We hope that performance enhancement is a nice side effect of injury prevention."

2007-06-21 03:17:35
45.   Chiron Brown
They never should have allowed pitchers to throw overhand. I'm not too big on fielding mitts either.
2007-06-21 04:51:23
46.   D4P
Just for fun, let's assume Schmidt's injuries couldn'ta/shouldn'ta been detected prior to giving him $47 million. The question still remains: was Schmidt in pain, and did he suspect he was injured, when he signed the contract?

I'm going with "Yes".

2007-06-21 06:23:37
47.   Vishal
[38] killed and then fired would add insult to injury.
2007-06-21 06:55:36
48.   Doctor
Didnt Pedro have a freyed or torn Labrum in.... maybe 2002/3 and recover most of what he had before?
2007-06-21 07:04:36
49.   bluegold
Who in 2008 decides if Schmidt can still pitch? Dodgers or Schmidt himself? And does he get the $47million in either case?
2007-06-21 07:19:06
50.   weatherman
Optimism Time!

From nw on successful labrum reconstruction will be refered to as "Jason Schmidt" Surgery.

Doesn't ring quite like "Tommy John", does it? Oh well.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-06-21 07:20:13
51.   weatherman
Maybe "Schmidty" surgery.
2007-06-21 07:38:49
52.   Bumsrap
38 - The underwriter who decides to cover somebody like Schmidt would be fired. Or killed. Or fired and killed

Why would this logic not carry over to Colletti?

Insurance companies are now only covering the first 3 years of contract. If Colletti could not get insurance should he have offered the contract?

2007-06-21 07:43:38
53.   D4P
I can't say I'd be surprised if we find out someday that Colletti and Conte are Giant moles.

2007-06-21 07:44:30
54.   Bumsrap
I like the current L.P.W.K.B. rotation. The main harm of Schmidt's surgery is that it probably prevents the Dodgers from including Penney in a trade.

If the Dodgers are going to rely on pitching and defense maybe they should put their best defense on the field.

2007-06-21 07:49:23
55.   Daniel Zappala
Considering the way the insurance industry operates, I wouldn't be surprised if the Dodgers had insurance on Schmidt, with a clause that provides an exception in case of a labrum injury. This is what they do in all other areas of insurance -- figure out what may cause them to lose money (eg flooding from a hurricane, earthquakes), then offer insurance that promises to pay for any damages except in the case of those catastrophic events. You can then of course get the extra insurance for these events with a very steep premium. The insurance industry knows how to play the game better than you do.
2007-06-21 07:50:29
56.   Hythloday
54 - But then we won't get extra runs for degree of difficulty.

I like the current rotation in theory. In practice though it is more inconsistent than it would have been with a healthy Schmidt (which is a theory too).

We know that Wolf and Kuo are talented inconsistent and it remains to be seen how Billz handles starting. That's a lot of rotation to be uncertain about.

2007-06-21 07:51:35
57.   ToyCannon
On the optimistic side, the Will Carrol story is 3 years old so here is hoping this new surgeon who is now all the rage has found a procedure that works better then what they were doing in 2004. So far with 1/3 of the season done it has not been a banner year for the Dodger pitchers outside of actual production which has been stellar.
1. Schmidt done
2. Elbert done
3. Orenduff and McGrew scuffling upon returns from arm surgery
4. Greg Miller doing his best Ankiel imitation without the bat to fall back on.
5. Yhancy came and went so fast we'd have missed him if he hadn't gotten so fat.
6. Tsoa was brilliant and then back to the DL. Maybe he'll return as good or not
7. Kuo put up a lousier line then Tomko or Hendrickson have ever put up in their lives.
2007-06-21 07:53:35
58.   Daniel Zappala
I'm going to refrain from the opinion that Schmidt's career is over. As far as I can tell, no news report has used the term "complete tear" or given other details regarding the type of labrum tear he suffered. The descriptions sure sound like a SLAP, and it sounds pretty bad, but even those are graded on four levels of severity. Bottom line, I don't think we have enough information to assume he is done until someone decides to release more details on the exact extent of the injury.
2007-06-21 07:54:09
59.   dkminnick
If labrum tears are so final, that's bad news for our boy LaRoche.

Also, I was kinda surprised at the general support here for the Schmidt signing. Many folks see a 32 year-old position player as entering a stage of rapid decline, yet the signing of a 34-year old pitcher was met with general optimism.

I guess we all wanted to see it work.

2007-06-21 07:59:56
60.   Retire 55
I would really like to hear a definitive report on whether or not there's an insurance policy.

In the previous thread, Greg Brock said that a labrum tear would have showed up on a physical so I'm certainly not going to take his word for it.

59, labrum tears are final for pitchers, not position players.

2007-06-21 08:01:00
61.   ToyCannon
How about them Angels?
2007-06-21 08:08:53
62.   Doctor
This was ignored, because I suspect were in a bad mood today, understandably. Im in a bad mood. BUT Pedro Martinez had some very fine seasons after being diagnosed with a "small tear" in his Labrum at the age of 30. He rehabbed with conditioning, not surgery, but it's not a for sure death nail for Schmidt. Now its time for the younger guys to step up anyhow.
2007-06-21 08:13:48
63.   Jon Weisman
53 - Rodents of unusual size? I don't believe they exist ... aagggh!
2007-06-21 08:15:22
64.   Jon Weisman
Just as was the case with Shawn Green, there's a difference between being done and being diminished. We don't know that Schmidt is done, but barring a breakthrough, he may well be diminished.
2007-06-21 08:20:26
65.   Greg Brock
60 Schmidt may very well be insured. But the person who backed that policy is nuts. 34 year old pitcher with previous injuries? At 47 million dollars?

I just said I'd be shocked if he was insured. And I would be. I didn't claim to know for sure. But insuring Schmidt sure looks pretty dumb now, doesn't it?

2007-06-21 08:22:12
66.   regfairfield
65 Maybe they can bring in Banacek to solve the situation.
2007-06-21 08:24:58
67.   ToyCannon
Not really, don't they have to retire because of the insured injury before a payout happens. I remember with the Bagwell saga he didn't want to retire but continue to play as a crappy player but the Astro's needed him to retire to collect the insurance. I could easily see Schmidt scuffling for the next two years with the insurance company being completely off the hook.
Before we do much more conjencture we really ought to let the insurance experts make their voices heard instead of those who just think they know how the insurance industry works in the sports community.
2007-06-21 08:33:50
68.   Sushirabbit
Strength to be there. Not strength to help out, strength to payout after years of premiums, strength to do the right thing.

Can you tell who I work for?

2007-06-21 08:36:00
69.   Greg Brock
[sigh] Didn't say he wasn't insured. Just said the person that decided to insure him was a moron. Said I'd be shocked if somebody was that dumb.

Never claimed to be an expert.[/sigh]

2007-06-21 08:45:14
70.   Marty
As God is my witness, I thought I'd never see a Banacek reference.
2007-06-21 08:46:01
71.   dkminnick
59, 60 - Do we know that labrum injuries are not as serious for position players as for pitchers? LaRoche hasn't shown the same power since his injury - I'm just worried that it may never return.
2007-06-21 08:46:54
72.   ToyCannon
Golds Gym?
2007-06-21 08:47:10
73.   Jon Weisman
Will Carroll has a live chat at 10 a.m. today.
2007-06-21 08:47:18
74.   Jon Weisman
2007-06-21 08:47:47
75.   Jon Weisman
70 - I'd bet that Steve or Bob made one in the past.
2007-06-21 08:51:09
76.   jasonungar07
What big free agent pitching signing in the last 10 years has worked out in all of baseball? I am trying to think of one.
2007-06-21 08:51:13
77.   D4P
Which begs the question: will Steve make one in the future...?
2007-06-21 08:54:29
78.   underdog
Don't worry so much. There IS a solution.

Jason Schmidt: pitcher. A man barely alive.
Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Jason Schmidt will be that man. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster.

2007-06-21 08:54:58
79.   underdog
76 Derek Lowe?
2007-06-21 09:01:19
80.   Hallux Valgus
76 I guess it depends on how you guage success. Colon brought home a Cy Young.
2007-06-21 09:05:55
81.   Bob Timmermann
If Banacek were on the case, we'd all find out Jason Schmidt never really existed. That's how the bad guys almost always stole the incredibly large objects that were in public display.

However, I've seen Jason Schmidt in a Dodger uniform and playing. Last year, I had a rare Bill Mueller sighting.

And I'm using a ticket with Jason Schmidt's picture on it as a bookmark right now.

2007-06-21 09:06:59
82.   ToyCannon
Escobar might be a better example but then he and Lowe might not qualify as a big free agent signing.

Greg Maddux when he went from the Cubs to the Braves. More then 10 years ago but quite successful.

Your premise is accurate, it takes a lot of digging to find any real success stories that show a pitcher earning his money every year of the contract, big ticket free agent pitching disasters like Hampton seem to be more of the norm then success like Lowe and Maddux.

2007-06-21 09:13:50
83.   Humma Kavula
Pedro Martinez worked out okay for the Red Sox. Just about 10 years ago...
2007-06-21 09:15:20
84.   Hallux Valgus
Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte were pretty successful. Roger Clemens was as well.
2007-06-21 09:20:11
85.   Humma Kavula
Sorry, I guess Pedro was traded from Montreal to the Sox. I regret the error.
2007-06-21 09:21:44
86.   Marty
Don't forget Dave Goltz and Don Stanhouse. Oh wait, nevermind.
2007-06-21 09:23:41
87.   ToyCannon
They traded for Pedro and then extended him so it doesn't count.
Yankee's traded for Clemens but his deal for Toronto before he was traded would certainly go in the plus column. Not sure about the Astro contracts given the price.
Pettite was not very succsesful for the Astro's given the price and production.
Mussina, average but hard for me to put him in the plus column.
Randy Johnson in the beginning was a huge plus for Arizona but he was so overpaid they gave him away to NY at the end of the deal.
I thinnk Jason was looking for someone who finished his contract and was worth the whole contract not just the first few years but maybe I'm just putting words in his mouth.
2007-06-21 09:25:13
88.   ToyCannon
Nice little story on a new Dodger but without any real prospects for his future given his age. Still Plaschke must be drooling if this kid can make it all the way.

2007-06-21 09:26:04
89.   ToyCannon
I thought we weren't allowed to mention "fullpack".
2007-06-21 09:30:26
90.   Kevin Lewis
I am mildly depressed by all this news, but at the same time, I haven't even considered Schmidt as part of the team this year. Now I am definitely concerned about our pitching and frightened about our offense. The only thing that could brighten my Dodger day would be for Bills to go out and pitch 5-6 shutout innings with 8+ strikeouts.

Oh, and I would like to see Kemp and Ethier in the corner spots today.

2007-06-21 09:31:08
91.   Greg Brock
Stanhouse talk is verboten at the Brock house. Dad wouldn't harm a fly, but would probably make a run at Stanhouse if he had the chance.
2007-06-21 09:36:07
92.   Penarol1916
59. People were fine with the contract despite the age because it was only for 3 years. I think people would be fine with signing a 32-year old position player for 3 years as well, it is when you start talking about 7 or 8 year deals that people get angry.

69. I don't think it is dumb at all. In order for the Dodgers to collect on the Dreifort insurance, he had to be completely unable to pitch for the entire year, any attempt lost them that year's payout. It is extremely rare for that to happen, but you know that they will occur, so as long as you have your portfolio structured correctly, it doesn't really matter if you have to pay out for 1 or 2 years of Schmidt. You are looking at it from a one-off basis (and the complete dismissal of people who sell insurance is pretty jerky, especially since it is an absurdly complex industry, even from the sales and underwriting side) rather than a portfolio basis.

2007-06-21 09:36:46
93.   ToyCannon
What kind of an idiot signs this guy to be a closer:
IP Walks K's
72.2 51 34

Can you even imagine the DT day after if this happened today. It would make the JP caterwauling seem mild by comparison.

2007-06-21 09:39:49
94.   jasonungar07
Derek Lowe is a good one. He seems to be the best one I couldn't think of!!
2007-06-21 09:43:10
95.   Jacob L
91 Still, he had the best knickname of any Dodger I can think of. Plus, he was arguably not as bad as Goltz.

92 Schmidt and Zito were supposedly the top FA pitchers this offseason. The contrasting merits of the 2 were, rougly,
-Zito - in his prime and durable, consistent if unspectacular
-Schmidt - better overall pitcher, commands shorter overall deal and less money, moderate to major injury risk

I think a lot of people liked Schmidt's deal, starting with the premise that it'd be nice to have one of those 2 guys, and probably better not to have Zito, given the type of deal he got.

2007-06-21 09:44:41
96.   underdog
Stanhouse and Goltz are EternalSunshined from my brain, too. My Dad and I were together when Stanhouse ignored my request for an autograph (on autograph night!!) I was obviously desperate for someone's autograph and couldn't find any of the real players. I was ten. I hate him. God, Campanis did some idiotic things.
2007-06-21 09:45:25
97.   LAT
For better or worse, my professional lot in life is representing insurers and policyholders in coverage disputes. I know very little about the market for insuring professional athletes but generally a carrier will enter a market based on a class of risk, not individual risk. For example, The Hartford, I believe insures professional baseball players. As such, they will typically insure any professional baseball player because they want to remain competitive in that market. As such, its not a matter of whether they would insure Schmidt but for how much. I am sure the carrier would write it--its just a matter of whether the Dodgers would pay the premium. We will never hear from the insurer whether Schmidt is insured--only the Dodgers and I think the Dodgers would be reluctant to release that information because if there is no insurance they look foolish and if there is everyone will want them to spend the insurance proceeds on a new player. (For what its worth, Irell represents the Dodgers in these coverage disputes--or at least they did with Driefort's claim.) As for underwriters, they will write anything for the right price. I have seen policies to industrial manufacturers without pollution exclusions and polices to religious organizations which are much in the news without abuse exclusions. Its all about the amount of premium and how long the insurer can hold on to it.
2007-06-21 09:45:53
98.   underdog
Does anyone even remember the show reference in 78 or am I dating myself? Or maybe they could make him hot, like Lindsay Wagner.
2007-06-21 09:48:32
99.   twerp
Quite a few folks here wanted Kguo and Bills in the rotation. But this is a tough way to get the second part of that.

If Bills lives up to his potential, Schmidt may become a relatively minor footnote--but a pricey one.

2007-06-21 09:48:59
100.   Greg Brock
I think the Six Million Dollar Man is pretty universal, even for the young pups like me.

Plus, we have a new Bionic Woman show in the works next year.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-06-21 09:50:38
101.   Jon Weisman
98 - I'm not responding until I get some love for 63.
2007-06-21 09:53:27
102.   Bob Timmermann
"Banacek" was Ralph Manza's tour de force.
2007-06-21 09:54:33
103.   D4P
we have a new Bionic Woman show in the works next year

If there's one thing I hate, it's remakes of old TV shows. I wish people weren't stupid enough to render such endeavors profitable.

2007-06-21 09:56:55
104.   Blaine
101 Anybody want a peanut?
2007-06-21 10:04:02
105.   Humma Kavula
103 Remakes have been with us for a long time. If I'm not mistaken... the famous 1941 film "The Maltese Falcon" is actually the third film version of that story.

With remakes, it's all about what you bring to the table. If you're doing it for cheap nostalgia value, then you're right, it's pointless. If you believe that you can tell the story in a new way, or that the old story has a special relevance to the current times, a remake can be a great thing.

2007-06-21 10:06:17
106.   ToyCannon
Come on, you would have more credibility if you started out with "If there's one thing I enjoy" since you seem to hate just about everything. Your to young to be such a curmudgeon.
2007-06-21 10:07:17
107.   Jacob L
Hey, Jon - a long and informative post from LAT just appeared at 97. Must be time for a new entry up top. ;)
2007-06-21 10:09:16
108.   Penarol1916
103. Even when it is a remake of an old British TV show? Has there been a TV show that is a remake of an old show that has been a success? I'm not even sure how many TV movies have been successful outside of "The Fugitive".
2007-06-21 10:11:20
109.   Greg Brock
108 Battlestar Galactica disagrees with you.


2007-06-21 10:11:57
110.   LogikReader
Does "The Office" count?
2007-06-21 10:12:24
111.   Humma Kavula
108 I don't know if you want to consider it a remake, but the new "Doctor Who" series has been very good.
2007-06-21 10:12:28
112.   LogikReader


2007-06-21 10:13:23
113.   LogikReader

Oh wait, you meant the other way around... Star Trek, of course!

2007-06-21 10:13:59
114.   Bob Timmermann
2007-06-21 10:14:09
115.   Jon Weisman
107 ... New post ... at Screen Jam (which is now functioning, by the way).
2007-06-21 10:14:31
116.   ToyCannon
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means
2007-06-21 10:15:45
117.   Jon Weisman
"Dodger Director of Medical Services and Head Trainer Stan Conte has been named to the National League All-Star training staff," the Dodgers announced today.
2007-06-21 10:15:55
118.   Humma Kavula
Successful TV movies... others know more than I do about this, but back in the day, TV was a great place for writers and directors to do interesting things. Robert Altman got his start on TV. "Twelve Angry Men" was first written for television. So were "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and "Marty" and many others.
2007-06-21 10:16:18
119.   Bob Timmermann
Stan Conte was named as one of the NL All-Star trainers today!
2007-06-21 10:16:54
120.   regfairfield
Milton Bradley DFA'd

I know that Ned would never actually pick him up. But in my fantasy world, Pierre is on the bench and Bradley is in center.

2007-06-21 10:16:54
121.   Bob Timmermann
Rats... But at least I got the Milton news first.
2007-06-21 10:17:16
122.   Penarol1916
109. I knew I forgot something, although, I'm not sure if I would consider its ratings to translate to being successful, although it is basic cable, so probably.

110. That is what I was referring to in the first sentence about British TV shows (also All in the Family and other Norman Lear shows).

112. That is actually the one category I didn't refer to. I referred to TV shows made from old TV shows and movies made from old TV shows, but not TV shows made from movies.

2007-06-21 10:18:32
123.   Jon Weisman
114 - Beat writer Susan Slusser:

"The A's have just sent out a release that they have designated outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment and have called up infielder Kevin Melillo from Triple-A Sacramento.

There is no further information yet; GM Billy Beane is expected to talk to reporters later today. One possibility is that the A's believe that Bradley will clear waivers (very possible, considering his injury history); another is that they have a possible deal in place to trade Bradley; or perhaps, with some roster crunches looming, the team has just decided to part ways early with a player who has spent much time on the DL and who will be a free agent next season.

There are any number of possible reasons, really. It's tough to speculate. The one thing that has been the case during Bradley's A's tenure: He repeatedly has said how comfortable he feels in the clubhouse and how much he enjoys playing for the A's. If this is a situation in which he does move on, for whatever reason, he cannot be too happy about it. Oakland has been a nice spot for Bradley."

2007-06-21 10:19:48
124.   Greg Brock
Using a fake name and fake location, I got my question answered by Will Carroll:

Mike (SLO, California): Will, do you know if the Dodgers got insurance on Schmidt?

Will Carroll: I hinted at this before ... more of a joke than a hint. I don't believe they did, though I do not know for certain. I do know that his shoulder was a pre-existing condition, so it's very unlikely that it was covered.

So my non-expert guess wasn't so stupid.

2007-06-21 10:21:24
125.   D4P
I do know that his shoulder was a pre-existing condition


2007-06-21 10:24:53
126.   madmac
101 nice reference to the fire swamp in the classic Princes Bride.
2007-06-21 10:25:20
127.   D4P
Actually, I'm guessing that most of Schmidt's body parts were pre-existing.
2007-06-21 10:25:29
128.   Bob Timmermann
Doesn't every pitcher have a pre-existing condition with his shoulder?
2007-06-21 10:27:48
129.   Retire 55
Carroll doesn't know either... Hey Jon, do us a favor and call the Dodgers' press office and ask!
2007-06-21 10:28:34
130.   Greg Brock
Ken's Milton Bradley post is about 46.8 kinds of awesome.
2007-06-21 10:30:41
131.   underdog
Jon, I'm always up for a Princess Bride reference, thought that went without saying. In fact, I think it's in my contract.

Wow, the news about Bradley is... crazy. Yeah, definitely read Ken's post about it.

Gosh, in a more perfect world, he'd be playing center for us, and, uh, not with so many emotional problems or injury issues. Er, well at least Juan doesn't have either of those.

2007-06-21 10:31:09
132.   Jon Weisman
130 - You mean Philip's?
2007-06-21 10:34:10
133.   twerp
85.   "Sorry, I guess Pedro was traded from Montreal to the Sox. I regret the error."

YOU regret the error? Wonder how the Expos felt? ;-)

I don't know the details, but as a small market team maybe they felt they wouldn't be able to afford him anyhow. Montreal paid him $3,615,000 his last year with them, more than a 10-bagger from the previous year's $315K . His first year with the RedSox the tab went to $7.57M, with much more to come.

But the Expos could have had a clue what might happen, tho maybe not to the degree it did. His last year as an Expo he went 17-8, 241 IP, 158 hits, 305 SO, 1.9 ERA, +221 ERA, .0932 WHIP.

Montreal traded him for Carl Pavano and a PTBN, aka Tony Armas. If there had been an ExposThoughts blog over the next few years, maybe they would have had a CT (Carl & Tony)4P commenter. But then he probably wouldn't have compared to DT's D4P.

Pedro's Dodger salary in '93 was $119,000.

2007-06-21 10:34:28
134.   D4P
Milton gets hurt a lot. And yet:


Bradley: 5.4 in 71 PAs
Pierre; 0.8 in 304

2007-06-21 10:35:21
135.   Greg Brock
Oh, man. That was Philip's post. Yes, yes, Philip did a great job. It's pretty hilarious.
2007-06-21 10:37:32
136.   underdog
I meant Philip, too.
Quite clever.

Gosh, do you think Beane's trying to trade Bradley? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

2007-06-21 10:37:53
137.   Jon Weisman
New stuff up top.
2007-06-21 10:43:53
138.   bluegold
I'm reading newspaper summaries of yesterday's blow-out. The Dodgers "highlight" was the fact that they didn't have to use Hendrickson, so that he will be available to mop up for Billingsley today if needed.
2007-06-21 11:29:37
139.   bojangles
I never joined General Consensus's army. So notes like, "We all thought..." or, "That's
easy to say in hindsight" are generally lead balloons. Schmidt highlights the ongoing struggle to identify just how much the "science" of baseball decisions can augment the "art' of same.
Ned, if I can trust a quote I read in today's LAT, seems to seek refuge in the artless, "...
the MRIs looked essentially the same." Words from his worst PR self. If a faraway witness like I am had serious negative reaction to the possibility of this signing (and, once made, used it to stay away from any nonsense about the "best starting staff in the NL"), and if Jon could make a list of cautions about the guy's key body parts, and if Stan Conte (oooo
oooops!!!!), then Ned can't get away with the consequences of this awful deal anymore than previous Dodger (or current Met) GMs can, with regard to the term "fragility" which will often, ironically, be easily pierced by art, especially pre-surgery. Add this to Ned and Company's growing list of negative transactions, though I do like the train of thought (since I took a ride on my own) that there's a potential silver lining - the essentially dead contract may be enough of an anchor to keep said company from more foolish mistakes, and give the youngsters a chance to reinvigorate Saint Logan's listing canonization
I read from a poster who, I think, cosistently believes in the augmenting science too much, thus discrediting it when it might gain, the Yanks and Giants and Cubs should, by New Baseball Alchemy, have a handful more wins than they do. Having seen all these Too-Much-T-ball squads in action this season, and the kind of pratfall-ball they bring, play after play, inning after inning, it's only amazing they don't have more losses than the record swears.
Luck is not much a player there...
Langwitch: Between is for two, among is for more than that. Notwithstanding is only one...
2007-06-21 20:26:26
140.   Andrew Shimmin
139- I think it's more or less accepted that, to the extent it's been used at all, the construction (or ones like it) "We all thought. . ." refers only to what was written here. I actually poked through every thread returned in a google search of this site for your name and Schmidt's; no hits. Not that you had any obligation to speak up, but, anyway, you didn't.

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