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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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The Dodgers Do Not Need To Trade for a Reliever
2007-07-17 09:05
by Jon Weisman

The Dodger bullpen needs better PR. Because even though it is one of the best in the game, even though it has been both consistent and effective, too many people don't realize it. In fact, some want the Dodgers to sacrifice a minor-leaguer – or, amazingly, a frontline regular – to shore it up.

Here's why the Dodgers shouldn't panic over their relievers.

Off the top, the team can't possibly improve the late-game tandem of Takashi Saito and Jonathan Broxton. Those two have been remarkable.

I doubt that I need to sell people on Saito at this point, but Broxton's June 7 collapse against the Padres seems to loom in people's memories. Aside from that game, however, he has been almost untouchable. Sunday's game against San Francisco marked only the second time since June 7 that he allowed more than one runner to reach base in an inning. He has also not allowed an extra-base hit since June 7.

Overall, since June 7, Broxton has pitched 16 2/3 consecutive shutout innings, allowed one inherited runner to score, and allowed seven singles and six walks while striking out 19. Opponents' OPS in that time: .343.

Could Broxton and Saito wear down by the end of the season? No more than any pitcher from any other team will have. There's no improving on these two. The late innings aren't a problem.

However, people have said that the Dodgers are having trouble bridging the gap between the starting pitchers and the late-inning specialists, ever since Chad Billingsley joined the rotation.

Those observers seemed to have missed the fact that the lefty-righty combo of Joe Beimel and Rudy Seanez have a combined 3.32 ERA over 81 1/3 innings. They're not infallible, but again, infallibility isn't the standard. The question is, can you improve on this group with an outsider? It seems unlikely.

Of course, I've been waiting all season for Seanez to melt down, so it wouldn't be fair of me to turn around and say that can't happen now. But if he did get hurt or wear down, there are few better candidates in baseball to replace him than Jonathan Meloan, who has allowed 41 hits and walks combined in 43 2/3 innings at AA Jacksonville while striking out 65.

That just leaves the back-end relief, currently occupied by recent callups D.J. Houlton and Eric Stults. Neither is an ace; both figure to be inconsistent. It's certainly possible to improve upon these two. But how much improvement, and at what cost?

Stults and Houlton are rarely pitching in critical situations. Those games that seem to be lost by a bad performance by the team's worst reliever in the fifth inning or the 12th inning are painful but also rare. They should not cause a disproportionate reaction.

The Dodgers are currently in a situation where Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko (or Stults or Houlton) could form the back end of the starting rotation for an indefinite period. If the Dodgers want to worry about something, they can worry about that – with the same caveats that they should make sure what they acquire is worth the cost and better than what they have. (Think about it: The kind of pitcher the Dodgers could end up with in trade could look very much like what Hendrickson and Tomko looked like when they were originally acquired.)

In the meantime, if the Dodgers can't resist the urge to tinker with their bullpen, they should call up Roberto Hernandez or Meloan from the minor leagues immediately and find out whether they can be assets. There's no reason to play a guessing game with the trade deadline two weeks away. See what these guys can do for you now. It's very likely that Meloan on the team, the Dodgers will realize they have all the relief pitching they need, and they can focus on other things. Like the fact they have the best record in the National League and more talent waiting to come up from the farm system.

* * *

One other important thing to note is that the Dodgers have already strengthened their late-inning run-prevention skills by improving their late-inning defense. With James Loney now at first base, Tony Abreu or Ramon Martinez often subbing in for Jeff Kent or Nomar Garciaparra in the infield and Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier taking over for Luis Gonzalez in left field in the late innings of close games, the Dodgers have made it that much harder for opponents to score.

Comments (270)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-17 10:22:17
1.   mehmattski
Take our Kyle Farnsworth... please!
2007-07-17 10:26:06
2.   bhsportsguy
This issue stems from what ToyCannon said at the end of the last thread.

Right now, you can only point to Lowe and Penny as getting you into the 7th inning with any consistency. Hopefully Chad could be that guy as the season goes on.

But Wolf is pretty much a 6 inning guy and whomever pitches that last spot isn't much better.

Memories of the 36 games in 38 days and the short outings of all the starters lingers in the memories of Ned and Grady and unless we are going to start scoring 5-6 runs every night, they will need to feel comfortable enough with a 3 run lead to use someone else besides Beimel, Broxton and Saito every night.

Luckily or unluckily, they will finish their longest consectutive game streak this month so they will have an idea of where they stand with the pen.

I too think that Meloan is a viable option and once Wolf comes back, they will have decide if Tomko can do anything else besides pitch on the road in the mop up role.

2007-07-17 10:26:25
3.   regfairfield
I was about to say that I wouldn't mind Rowdy Kyle Farnsworth if it cost nothing, but what happened to that guy's strikeout rate?
2007-07-17 10:27:09
4.   regfairfield
From the last thread:

True, but this is the bullpen we're talking about. Unless we're getting a true lights out arm, how much of a difference can one pitcher make in 20 innings versus a guy like Eric Hull?

According to VORP, the difference between Saito and Seanez at this point is only six runs, I imagine the gap between Dotel and Hull would be even less over the course of two months, even without counting the general randomness of middle relief.

2007-07-17 10:28:21
5.   Greg Brock
Please let this trade deadline pass quietly through the night.
The next two weeks may drive me crazy.
2007-07-17 10:31:51
6.   ToyCannon
Per Jon's request.

It will be easier to find a high quality RP then a starting pitcher. Other then Millwood/Bush I don't see one possible SP who is better then what we have for the price that is available. So we will have to live with the rotation options that we currently have, which means we will only be getting about 5 innings 2/5 of the time. Thus it would behoove us to make the bullpen bulletproof. If we can lock down games from the 6th inning on it can only help. Just because it is a strength today does not mean it will be a strength tomorrow if we leave it alone. Meloan could very well be the answer so I'm not advocating a trade but I am advocating getting bullpen help however necessary. Without Billingsley and Tsao and the drop in production due to the impending injury to Seanez I don't see the bullpen as that much of a strength for the middle inning work that is going to be needed as we hit Aug/Sept.

We know what Hernandez can do, some years he's solid, other he's not but we need to know right now what Meloan can do. Is he ready for the bigs or is he just a big boy when dominating AA players. It would seem that the 6th/7th would be the perfect time to see what he's got.

2007-07-17 10:34:27
7.   Jon Weisman
The Dodgers have about 70 games left. In a best-case scenario, the Dodgers will lose about 25 of those games. In those games, Saito, Broxton and Beimel will hardly appear at all, based on Little's usage patterns.

The Dodgers essentially just need bullpen innings eaters to get them through the heavy part of the schedule. And that, they have.

In any case, the idea of focusing on bullpen help to solve a starting pitching problem seems off on its face. If you can get a reliever for nothing, fine. But my sense is that it's much more likely that a team will overpay for a reliever than get one for nothing.

The games in which a Dodger starter exits in under six innings are the games the team are least likely to win, and therefore the games least worth worrying about. Your chances of making a good trade for a reliever who will do more than Eric Stults in a 4-4 game in the fifth inning are so, so slim.

2007-07-17 10:36:44
8.   Jon Weisman
At a minimum, is anyone arguing that the Dodgers should acquire an outside reliever before testing out Meloan?
2007-07-17 10:37:46
9.   ToyCannon
Six runs could be meaningless or it could be 3 wins or do I not understand how those runs gained or lost can be spread out over the final 70 games?
2007-07-17 10:39:16
10.   hotblackdesiato
Great article, Jon. Sometimes I get the feeling Flanders actually checks this blog for roster advice, given all the callups and positional shifting of late and the general high profile of the site. In which case, I hope he reads this posting well.

PS, Ned: Danys Baez and Lance Carter.

2007-07-17 10:40:17
11.   ToyCannon
Not me, but the time is getting short to find out.
2007-07-17 10:41:11
12.   blue22
8 - I'm not against using Meloan in a trade for a starter, and possibly bringing in another arm for the pen if necessary. Does that count?
2007-07-17 10:41:14
13.   bhsportsguy
8 No, I think Meloan should be the guy, if not Eric Hull who is on the 40-man and saving games in Vegas. I think they shuld explore the guys in the system unless they decide that the Mike Megrews and Zach Hammes have no value and they will not protect them next year.

I am not advocating they move those guys either, heck let them all try up here before you go outside the system. But they will have some 40-man roster issues to address so they might need to figure out if they are worth keeping now.

2007-07-17 10:41:27
14.   Greg Brock
8 Nobody around these parts.

I wonder why the Dodgers are hesitant with Meloan. he's a year and a half older than Broxton was when he came up. Putting him in high leverage situations in September would be foolish without seeing what he can do now. Gauging his ability before the deadline would really help the team know what it needs to do.

This Meloan thing is slowly starting to irk me.

2007-07-17 10:44:22
15.   ToyCannon
"The games in which a Dodger starter exits in under six innings are the games the team are least likely to win, and therefore the games least worth worrying about. Your chances of making a good trade for a reliever who will do more than Eric Stults in a 4-4 game in the fifth inning are so, so slim"

This I don't agree with. Maddux left many games last year after 5 innings that were winnable. I think Chad will pitch a few games this year where his pitch count will hit 100 before the 6th but that we will be in the game. With our improving offense we may not be out of any game except blowouts.

2007-07-17 10:46:00
16.   regfairfield
9 In general, 10 runs saved equals a win.

You can argue about things like leverage but then it gets a little weird. Saito is worth about 2.7 more wins that Seanez this year according to WPA, but that stat is unfair to Rudy, since he gets used in low leverage situations, so it's not a good point of comparison.

Unless you can guarantee the guy you are bringing in will always throw in high leverage situations (not likely, or recommended), I'd just stick with the 10 runs per win conversion.

2007-07-17 10:47:41
17.   Greg Brock
10 runs per win seems high. I'm not disputing it, but that's a lot of runs.

Okay, I am disputing it a little bit.

2007-07-17 10:47:44
18.   silverwidow
OT: I think the Reds were a bit careless in rushing Jay Bruce to Triple-A this year. Stud prospects like that need all the seasoning they can get in Double-A (although he dominated, it was only in 60+ ABs).
2007-07-17 10:52:20
19.   bigcpa
Another reason to get Meloan up here is to prep him for the 8th inning role in 2008 should Saito head home.

Two buy-low candidates I think would excel in L.A.: Dave Bush and Scott Baker.

2007-07-17 10:52:59
20.   regfairfield
17 If you score 700 runs and allow 700 runs your pythagorean record is 81-81 (.500)

If you score 710 runs and allow 700 you jump to 82.1-79.9.

720 and 700 jumps you to 83.2-78.8. And so on.

Basically 10 runs equals a win, unless your team plays a lot of low or high scoring games.

2007-07-17 10:55:08
21.   bhsportsguy
Just a general observation of our discussion thus far.

I hope that this is the type of conservations that take place at Chavez Ravine, all options explored, looking within before figuring out if Scott Proctor can adjust to the National League.

Anyways, enough platitudes, now back to our scheduled programming.

2007-07-17 10:58:53
22.   Jon Weisman
15 - As a Dodger, Greg Maddux left four games before the sixth inning.

8/25/06: Left leading 6-3 after five innings. Dodgers lost 9-7 in the 15th. That's one for you.

9/4/06: Left with one out in the sixth inning, trailing 4-3, with bases loaded. Giovanni Carrara allowed two inherited runs to score. Dodgers lost, 6-3. That's two for you.

9/9/06: Left with two on and one out in the sixth, leading 2-1. Brett Tomko allowed both runs to score. Dodgers lost, 3-2. That's three for you.

9/20/06: Down 3-0, Dodgers pinch-hit for Maddux in the bottom of the fifth and scored two runs. Aaron Sele gave up three runs in the seventh; Dodgers lost 6-2. That's four for you.

Frankly, that's pretty stunning to think the Dodgers could have won the division by winning half those games.

The question is, can the Dodgers make a good trade that would turn those results around, without over-costing the team in other areas. I'm still dubious.

Again, note what I've written. I didn't say the Dodgers shouldn't boost their bullpen. I just want them to try doing from inside the team. How much would Octavio Dotel - at the price he costs the team - help? It's not as if he can't get hit.

2007-07-17 10:59:22
23.   ToyCannon
The 2005 draft was loaded:
Justin Upton
Alex Gordon
Jeff Clement
Ryan Zimmerman
Ryan Braun
Troy Tulowitzki
Mike Pelfrey
Cameron Maybin
Andrew McCutchen
Jay Bruce
Brandon Snyder
Jacoby Ellsbury
Matt Garza
Colby Rasmus
Travis Buck
Clay Buchholz

In hindsite we could have nabbed Buck or Buchholz instead of Luke. Buchholz is now considered the top pitching prospect in the minors but I expect Yankee fans will clamor that Joba is.

2007-07-17 11:01:43
24.   D4P
Which of the following seems most likely:

1. Ned considers the bullpen to be a bigger problem than Nomar/Pierre, and thus more worthy of addressing

2. Ned considers the bullpen to be a smaller problem than Nomar/Pierre, and thus easier to address

2007-07-17 11:04:02
25.   Dave G
Jon: perhaps it need not be said after so long, but thanks for your typically well-reasoned, thoughtful, and objectively-toned analysis of the bullpen situation. Just one guy's opinion, but I think it's posts like this that make DT the best blog around.

Substantively, completely agreed on the Meloan situation... but here's the thing--maybe they're not calling him up because they don't want to start his major league service clock ticking and want to keep all his options, and bring him up next year instead? Given the 'pen's strength I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. And of course, if they really need help there (say Broxton or Saito gets injured, heaven forfend) then yes, they might as well call up Meloan.

2007-07-17 11:04:38
26.   Jon Weisman
24 - 1.

Because whatever one's opinion of Nomar/Pierre is, they are already addressed. Either the right guys are playing or the right guys are ready to play.

2007-07-17 11:06:02
27.   Kilgore Trout
Since many of you appreciate wacky game stats:

In the Israel Baseball League today, our home team, the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox beat the Netanya Tigers 17-3 in the first game of a doubleheader.

The 17 runs were scored on a total of 5 hits.

The Blue Sox did benefit, however, from 12 walks and 7 hit batsmen.

To the best of my knowledge, neither Bruce Kison nor Rick Ankiel pitched in the game.

2007-07-17 11:06:45
28.   Jon Weisman
25 - Thanks for the compliment. The service clock argument occurs to me, but I don't see the cost benefit being much compared to the cost of an outside veteran reliever. If anything, even if Meloan's service clock starts sooner, he might still be cheaper in the long run to use now.
2007-07-17 11:09:06
29.   regfairfield
25 In terms of service time, there's no real difference in bringing him up this year, and bringing him up next April.

The option thing might be a problem, but it wouldn't take much imagination to keep him on the active roster.

2007-07-17 11:12:04
30.   Greg Brock
20 Right. Understood. Over the course of 162, factoring total run production and run prevention, that works.

But relievers are a different kettle of fish. Blown leads or blown saves are leverage situations with outcomes you can register. I'm not going to be able to explain my point of view without a 600 word megapost, but you get what I'm saying (I hope).

2007-07-17 11:12:47
31.   ToyCannon
He's 24 and a relief pitcher. I don't think service clock time has ever factored into the decision not to bring him up. He's a solid prospect for us but it is not like he's a stud. He's 24 in AA, he should be dominating if he's any good.
2007-07-17 11:15:31
32.   still bevens
21 My beef with Proctor is that he's the only reliever Joe Torre can trust so he trots him out in games seemingly every day. I dont want him to break down on our watch because he's been abused by the Yankees.
2007-07-17 11:15:31
33.   stubbs
I agree Jon. The upside of dealing for bullpen help is very minimal considering Meloan and that Billingsley could very well be back in the bullpen during the postseason depending on Wolf/Kuo's health and matchups i.e. if we play the Mets.
2007-07-17 11:17:33
35.   Dodgers49
Pitcher, nota slugger, on L.A. wish list

>>> "I think our offense has shown great improvement in the last month," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "I am not as concerned with that as I am with making sure we have enough pitching, whether it comes internally or from the outside." <<<

### Roberto Hernandez, the veteran reliever whom the Dodgers signed to a minor-league contract last week, was slated to make his debut for Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday night against Portland. Little hinted that Hernandez might be the leading candidate for a callup if the Dodgers go back to 12 pitchers, something they probably will do soon because they are four games into a stretch of 17 games without a day off. ###

2007-07-17 11:19:58
36.   Jon Weisman
34, edited -

34. screwballin
So the Times seemed to say that the home crowd booed Penny after 9 pitches last night? I missed the first few innings; can anyone verify or debunk that?

Assuming it's true, what is wrong with people who would boo their Cy Young front-runner during a winning streak who might be a little rusty because of the All-Star break? Sheesh.

2007-07-17 11:20:06
37.   Robert Daeley
27 One of the players for the Ra'anana Express is writing a blog of his experiences playing in the IBL -- catcher Jesse Michel, who is from California and a Dodger fan:

2007-07-17 11:20:25
38.   Greg Brock
I hope to Choi that Roberto Hernandez earns a call up. If only to keep the trade wins at a minimum. If Meloan is gonna waste away in AA, then Roberto is our man.

Roberto Hernandez is the key!

2007-07-17 11:22:08
39.   Jon Weisman

2007-07-17 11:23:11
40.   Jon Weisman
38 - Let's call them both up. Send Houlton back to the minors, where he keeps working as a starting pitcher if/when Tomko falters, Wolf doesn't recover, or Hernandez or Meloan doesn't do the job.
2007-07-17 11:25:41
41.   silverwidow
31-Meloan just turned 23.
2007-07-17 11:26:23
42.   bigcpa
31 Meloan turned 23 last week.
2007-07-17 11:26:57
43.   bhsportsguy
38 Ah Greg.

Eric Hull's last month and a half in Vegas.

16 games 22.1 IP 20 hits 7 ER 2 HR 8 BB 30 K 2.82 ERA 1-1, 5 saves

2007-07-17 11:27:08
44.   bigcpa
39 You're toeing the line of Rule #1 there buddy.
2007-07-17 11:29:59
45.   Greg Brock
43 I talked to my friend about runners being a "distraction" and all that jazz that we discussed yesterday. His answer was very intriguing. It will take a megapost, which I do not have in me, because I have to take my nephew to a play-date.

BTW, "play-dates" are the dumbest things ever. Gary Cooper never went on a "play-date"

2007-07-17 11:30:26
46.   ToyCannon
41 42
Subtraction/Addition used to be so easy for me.
2007-07-17 11:30:31
47.   Jon Weisman
44 - :)

Believe me, if people try to use that as a curse word, I'll delete it faster than Matt Kemp goes from first to third.

2007-07-17 11:30:36
48.   Gen3Blue
I agree with Jon's bit completely and will go further, saying it is irrational to trade anything but a middle reliever for a middle reliever. Middle relievers ( not Saito or Broxton type late men) are down on their luck starters, AAAA guys, wire pickups, camp invitee's or emerging minor leaguers etc. Any time you consider something beyond that you are asking for a Baez experience at best IMO.
2007-07-17 11:31:33
49.   Dodgers49
38. Roberto Hernandez

Las Vegas

Hernandez (H, 1) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00

2007-07-17 11:31:48
50.   Jon Weisman
45 - My wife and I find playdates to be lifesavers sometimes. That being said, I don't know if we have Gary Cooper genes in our family.

But he's an overrated, wooden actor anyway. Give me Gregory Peck any day.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-17 11:32:28
51.   Greg Brock
Middle relievers ( not Saito or Broxton type late men) are down on their luck starters, AAAA guys, wire pickups, camp invitee's or emerging minor leaguers etc.


2007-07-17 11:34:23
52.   dkminnick
36 - I heard those boos last night. I want to hang my head in shame that this is happening in Dodger Stadium nowadays. Dodger fans used to be among the classiest - now they boo Dodgers all the time.

There is a new trend to boo when opposing teams hit a home run. I'm not sure what their thinking is. Maybe they are booing the hitter, kinda like throwing the ball back on the field (which they don't do) - but it sure sounds like they are booing the pitcher. Embarrassing.

I do my part by shooting dirty looks at anyone near me who is booing inappropriately.

2007-07-17 11:34:29
53.   ToyCannon
What's going on in Vegas? Forgotten prospect is hitting the snot out of the ball, power challenged SS is smacking home runs as though they were Ernie Banks, middling relief pitcher is channeling Goose Goosage, and top prospect are regaining their luster. Keep it up boys.
2007-07-17 11:35:06
54.   D4P
Middle relievers ( not Saito or Broxton type late men) are down on their luck starters, AAAA guys, wire pickups, camp invitee's or emerging minor leaguers etc.


2007-07-17 11:35:47
55.   blue22
54 - The other thing.
2007-07-17 11:36:01
56.   Greg Brock
50 That's only because Atticus Finch is the awesomest protagonist of all time. Peck is great, but that's like hitting between great 3 and 5 hitters. You are going to get fat on fastballs down the middle.

Gary Cooper would have been a solid Atticus Finch.

2007-07-17 11:37:11
57.   underdog
The more I think about this, the dumber the idea of trading for a reliever becomes. We have: Hernandez, Hull and Meloan, any one of which would be at least as good as whoever the team tries to acquire. Look for another starter if you must (and that scares me too, but at least I understand that one), or otherwise, keep that finger off the trigger, Ned.
2007-07-17 11:37:27
58.   Greg Brock
54 Yes, that.

Off to a play date. Hooray!

2007-07-17 11:40:15
59.   underdog
Gary Cooper was kind of fun in Howard Hawks' Ball of Fire, though. And, c'mon, he makes you tear up in Pride of the Yankees, admit it. All that said, Peck was always one of my favorite actors, bar none.
2007-07-17 11:41:25
60.   Jon Weisman
56 - Just compare Roman Holiday with Love in the Afternoon. No contest.
2007-07-17 11:42:57
61.   SG6
45 - Vin gave Pierre credit for Kent's HR last night - or more correctly, credit for Moyer's horribly placed Change-up which Kent crushed.
2007-07-17 11:45:31
62.   D4P
I appreciate Chris Young's philosophy of essentially ignoring baserunners and focusing on the hitter
2007-07-17 11:45:41
63.   bhsportsguy
60 Also loved "The Gunfighter" much more than "High Noon."

Gary Cooper will always be "Tanglefoot." But I am thankful that due to "The Pride of The Yankees," I got my first glimpse of the lovely Teresa Wright.

2007-07-17 11:46:50
64.   El Lay Dave
58 Watch out for those, um, cougar-moms.
2007-07-17 11:49:33
65.   El Lay Dave
27 "The Blue Sox did benefit, however, from 12 walks and 7 hit batsmen."

The Netanya Tigers better watch out in the next Blue Sox game. An eye for an eye and all that.

2007-07-17 11:51:05
66.   Humma Kavula
Teresa Wright is good in Pride of the Yankees, but in Shadow of a Doubt.... awesome.
2007-07-17 11:53:10
67.   Benaiah
64 - The first time I ever heard the term "cougar" was in a T-Mobile commercial this year, but now it is everywhere. Did that commercial introduce the word into the popular patois or am I just the last person to get to the party?
2007-07-17 11:55:30
68.   El Lay Dave
Colletti likes options. Acquiring another arm before July 31 gives him that. Assuming Meloan, Hull, Houlton, Stults, etc. aren't part of the deal - big assumption, I know - Ned will still have all the choices he had before, plus one. Let's just hope the price is very low.

In the "questions" thread a few days back, I predicted Meloan gets called up sometime before 8/31 to see what he does at the top level and to have easy placement on the playoff roster as an option. I'll stick with that.

Is there any reason the Dodgers haven't pulled Meloan up to Vegas to see what he can do at a level where there are (presumably) more experienced and more patient batters? (He'd also be conveniently closer there.)

2007-07-17 11:58:59
69.   Penarol1916
50. I think the problem is more with the term "playdate" rather than an actual playdate. I'm sure even Gary Cooper as a kid went on what would be recognized as a playdate, even though it was not thought of as such.
2007-07-17 12:00:20
70.   underdog
67 I think you and I are tied for last in awareness of that term; my cluelessness about it was discussed here yesterday. I guess it had a better ring to it than "mountain lion."
2007-07-17 12:01:45
71.   El Lay Dave
64 When was it written into the Oceans 13 script? I think principal filming started a year ago.
2007-07-17 12:01:54
72.   Kevin Lewis

I was sitting near the most booing that took place in the first inning. It was over by the right field flag pole. At first I thought everyone was booing Brad, but the fans in that area were booing/yelling at Phillies fans who were celebrating after Rollins scored. These were the same fans who celebrated runs 2 and 3 later on in the game as if they were on a comeback rally.

Oh, and lets stop doing the wave when we are on defense. It obviously was not helping Brad, so cut it out.

2007-07-17 12:02:42
73.   Gen3Blue
I'm an optimist, so I'll take, "This" "That" and even "The other thing" as expressions of partial agreement.
2007-07-17 12:03:36
74.   Marty
I'm partial to The Westerner, but Walter Brennan is huge in that one too.
2007-07-17 12:05:28
75.   bhsportsguy
68 Maybe the parent club doesn't really think this way but Jacksonville has been a very successful club for the Dodgers and I think they really trust Shoemaker and his staff so I think they like to keep guys their support their efforts to compete for the playoffs.

Tony Jackson answered back re the Kershaw callup and said it was not happening but Greg Brock and I discussed this and we both thought that, hey if he's ready, why not but then we would miss him in California so maybe its all for the best.

Anyway, back to Meloan, I think he may stay until August, he's still a year away from having to be protected but he is certainly one of their top prospects as we sit here today.

2007-07-17 12:05:43
76.   Sushirabbit
I think we need RA Dickey. :-) It'd be a good way of forcing rest on Martin as the smartest thing would probably hook Lieberthal up with the big mitt.

Also, Ankiel's not pitching. In fact, I'd take him over Pierre. I think he's the current PCL HR leader.

2007-07-17 12:08:56
77.   ToyCannon
As much as a minor league relief pitcher can be anyone's top prospect.
2007-07-17 12:12:04
78.   El Lay Dave
73 I'm an optimist

Wait...I read yesterday's posts. ;)

2007-07-17 12:18:16
79.   Doctor

sounds familiar....huh?

2007-07-17 12:19:07
80.   Gen3Blue
Nice to know someone reads enough to see this awful contradiction. But I truly have been told by friends I am a very cynical person with an overall positive outlook.
Its hard to explain, and maybe it's just self delusion.
2007-07-17 12:21:07
81.   screwballin
36 Sorry to force you to edit, Jon, but this booing trend makes me want to violate rules.

And I honestly thought WT* was accepted webspeak.

2007-07-17 12:23:06
82.   Gen3Blue
73,78 Perhaps an even better response would be,"I'm an optimist this afternoon".
2007-07-17 12:25:21
83.   ToyCannon
In 2005 Mark Alexander saved 26 games had a ERA of 0.96 and struck out 72 batters in 47 innings for Jacksonville. He was then promoted to AAA and got hammered. Broxton in 2005 was converted to relief and also dominated Jacksonville about at the same level that Meloan is doing in 2007. Upon his promotion he showed flashes of his future dominance but the end result was a 5.93 ERA with a 1.83 whip in low pressure situations since the team was a sinkhhole.
2007-07-17 12:26:34
84.   Jon Weisman
81 - I have stricter standards than accepted webspeak. That being said, I have long been appalled at the booing trend at Dodger Stadium and really wish it would change. But cursing (even acronym-style) doesn't seem like an appropriate antidote :)
2007-07-17 12:30:57
85.   Jon Weisman
From the press notes:

"The Dodgers have logged 85 hits over the last six games, their largest six-game hit output since they had an astonishing 97 hits from Aug. 9-15, 1970 against the Reds, Pirates and Cubs."

2007-07-17 12:32:57
86.   Greg Brock
Okay, I take it back. Play dates rock. I took the kid, the panoply of moms took him, my sister told me I could leave the kid there, and I filed the kid and got back here in about an hour.

As Penarol said, we gotta come up with a better name for these things. Because the concept is great, but the name is just know.

I think we should call them "scrums" or something.

And there were cougars galore.

2007-07-17 12:33:02
87.   Jon Weisman
83 - Interesting. Here's Broxton's 2005 game log:

2007-07-17 12:36:48
88.   bryanf
One of my favorite of Jon's DT/SI articles seems pertinent at this juncture:

I can see ZERO advantage to acquiring relief help from another team at this point. At a minimum, try to fix this from within, but really, I'm not even sure it's a huge problem.

2007-07-17 12:38:42
89.   bryanf
From that article:

"Finding a relief pitcher you can count on is like a dartboard toss. Track records are almost completely useless. When you think about it, it makes sense -- with only a few exceptions, relief pitchers are failed starting pitchers, showing at some point in their careers that they lacked the repertoire and/or consistency to survive a series of lengthy appearances. A move to relief pitching is a way of making lemons out of lemonade -- temporarily."

2007-07-17 12:40:59
90.   NorCalDodger
We can obsess ourselves over and over about trades that the Dodgers don't make, but who honestly believes that the way to win the West (and the NL I hope) by NOT making a move? Calling up players might bolster the bullpen, but the rotation and lineup are still a bit shaky.
2007-07-17 12:42:12
91.   Hythloday
I think there is a technical distinction between cougars and Mothers I'd Like to Get to Know (MILGK?). Unless they are single mothers and then the line gets blurry.
2007-07-17 12:42:32
92.   Greg Brock
90 We'd all like to improve. It's the cost of doing business that has us concerned.

If we can trade a side of rice pilaf for a starter, great. But not LaRoche, Kershaw, Kemp, Meloan, etc.

2007-07-17 12:42:50
93.   bryanf
90 While I do feel like no news is good news as far as this trade deadline goes for the Dodgers, I don't disagree there are weaknesses, but I think the general consensus here is, if we can improve them via a trade, at what cost?
2007-07-17 12:44:18
94.   Penarol1916
86. I just call it taking the kids to ____'s house, or to the park, or to wherever they are going, "play-date" is just too fru-fru for my tastes.

83. In all fairness, pretty much everyone who was paying attention to Mark Alexander said that his stuff was never going to be good enough to play above AA. I remember, because he was a student of my dad's at the University of Missouri and he thought he was a great kid so I kind of herassed all of the Dodger prospect mavens.

2007-07-17 12:52:50
95.   screwballin
84 I remember a debate at the Times where the editors were deciding whether to run a photo of a guy wearing a T-shirt that nothing on it but that same 3-letter epithet. So, your standards are even more strict than the venerable LAT. :)

And I've read your rants about the booing, just wanted to voice my agreement. This, and the fan rowdiness, have kept me from taking my kids to Dodger Stadium for a few years now. I guess that's why they're Angel fans, which really bothers me.

2007-07-17 12:53:21
96.   Hythloday
Not that I'm endorsing any trades per se, but there are other trade pieces that might have value to others, but who might seem limited to us at the moment: Young, Mattingly, DeWitt.
2007-07-17 12:54:09
97.   NorCalDodger
I don't know, I'm not sure I'd forgo a playoff appearance by not trading away a prospect, especially when the NL is so wide open this year.
2007-07-17 12:56:23
98.   Greg Brock
96 I wouldn't have a problem trading those guys. Then again, I'm not very high on any of them. The one guy on that list who could really get us something is DeWitt. And I'd love to dish him while he's hitting this well (while repeating a level with a butcher's knife for a glove).
2007-07-17 13:05:48
99.   Humma Kavula
With all this trade talk, I still don't know what I'd like to trade for. Three weeks ago, the pitching looked rock solid and the offense was 25th in baseball. The injuries to Wolf and Kuo have changed the picture somewhat, and the emergence of Loney and Kemp and Pierre's hot streak have the offense clicking, and that's also changed the picture somewhat.

If I were the GM, I don't even know what I'd be looking for.

2007-07-17 13:06:11
100.   Eric Enders
97 Nobody here is suggesting foregoing a playoff appearance. I would suggest that trading a prospect for a middle reliever would improve our chances of making the playoffs by about 1 or 2 percent at most, and might actually hurt our chances if the reliever acquired is worse than, say, Meloan would have been.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-17 13:07:47
101.   screwballin
92, 93 The cost worries me too, but I can't get past thinking that we have an opportunity here. The NL seems there for the taking, and if we strengthen our hand wisely we could be the ones doing the taking.

I know "wisely" is the key term there, and I have serious doubts that Ned will make the right move. But so far he's traded only prospects that have fallen flat, no? I think he deserves some credit for that, and I kind of assume Logan White is helping him make the right call on those.

So, I guess I'm saying that I'll be disappointed if the trade deadline passes us by. And that I'll probably be disappointed if it doesn't.

Maybe that makes me not much of an optimist this afternoon.

2007-07-17 13:09:44
102.   trainwreck
I agree with Canuck. I really do not want to make any trades. I would rather call up Meloan and go from there.
2007-07-17 13:10:51
103.   screwballin
101 In other words, what 97 said, except longer...
2007-07-17 13:11:04
104.   underdog
99 If I were GM, I'd be looking for a reliable starting pitcher and nothing else. I'd do other things, like trade a less reliable starting pitcher in Brett Tomko for a side of pilaf and a cougar, or whatever. But that's about all I'd look for, SP, and I wouldn't give up all that much to get it. Some of those 2nd tier prospects who are hot right now would be the extent of what I'd deal among the youngsters; if they want to take a veteran off our hands, so be it.
2007-07-17 13:11:27
105.   Eric Enders
83 "Broxton in 2005 was converted to relief and also dominated Jacksonville about at the same level that Meloan is doing in 2007. Upon his promotion he showed flashes of his future dominance but the end result was a 5.93 ERA with a 1.83 whip in low pressure situations since the team was a sinkhhole."

That's technically true although quite misleading. Broxton just needed a few games to get his sea legs that year. Once he stopped trying to strike everybody out, he did just fine.

Broxton pitched 14 games for the Dodgers in 2005.

First 7:
6.1 IP, 6 ER, 12 IK, 9 BB, 8.53 ERA

Last 7:
7.1 IP, 3 ER, 10 K, 3 BB, 3.68 ERA

2007-07-17 13:13:47
106.   Marty
There's a lively discussion going on over at Humma Kavula's blog. Not text-safe for work.
2007-07-17 13:17:52
107.   xaphor
I think it is important to make the distinction between booing a player ala Bonds or Kings' fans with Rob Blake, to booing a play or series of plays. I doubt many people were booing Penny, but rather booing Penny's performance and while that seems irrelevant it is often inferred as disrespecting the team when it stems instead from a feeling that the team is disrespecting you by not playing up to a certain standard.

Personally I'm not one to boo my own team no matter the circumstances as I take on the team and its play as a vicarious reflection of my love for the game and will defend it flaws and all. But to others at the stadium in search of entertainment above all else the game becomes a mere show and one that encourages fan participation. Combined with the declining respect for the players and the integrity of the game and you have a large set of people more than willing to boo anything not providing them with an adequate return of their dollar.

While I don't agree with their actions I cannot bring myself to reprimand such disrespect when the league and union has done such a poor job at respecting their fans. Class from the field emanates into the stands.

2007-07-17 13:22:53
109.   jasonungar07
I agree with 104 because it's possible that Tomko or Henderickson could be our game one playoff starter and not sure if anyone wants that. I can see our race going down to the wire and we might be using Penny and Lowe then. Also, I will believe Wolf can pitch again when he is pitching again.

We have a good team here, one that could represent the NL in the WS. Let's not be foolish of course but a starter with some talent and post season expierence is something they should look into.

I would look into Woody Williams. He has strong numbers at DS and at Petco. There are better players than him of course and it's all dependant on what we give up but that's where my intention would be.

2007-07-17 13:24:39
111.   Eric Enders
107 "Combined with the declining respect for the players and the integrity of the game and you have a large set of people more than willing to boo anything not providing them with an adequate return of their dollar. While I don't agree with their actions I cannot bring myself to reprimand such disrespect when the league and union has done such a poor job at respecting their fans."

That's a stretch worthy of Willie McCovey. You'd have a very hard time convincing me that those complex thoughts were running through the mind of a single person who booed last night.

I have a simpler theoretical explanation: Beer.

2007-07-17 13:26:10
113.   Hythloday
107 - You have me until the last paragraph which seems like a specious argument. I am hard-pressed to think of anything occurring on the field on a regular basis that would have the effect of improving fan behavior. On the other hand fans expecting the price of admission includes bread and circus (or beer and booing as the case may be) seems spot on.
2007-07-17 13:28:20
114.   ToyCannon
Woodie Williams is exactly the kind of guy I don't want to trade for.
2007-07-17 13:33:13
116.   Daniel Zappala
14 years of marriage today. About the only bonus with your wife having back surgery is that this makes it a lot easier to determine what to do for an anniversary. "How about I bring you dinner in bed from your favorite restaurant and we watch a movie?"
2007-07-17 13:34:51
117.   D4P
14 years of marriage today

16/14 = ~1.14

2007-07-17 13:39:31
118.   ToyCannon
Congratulations. I have a picture in my mind of your wife with two kids hugging her knee's, two kids in arms resting on her hips, another sitting on the kitchen counter, another crawling between her legs, the phone tucked underneath her chin and the other 9 running amok around the house while Daniel camly types away on DT.
2007-07-17 13:41:28
119.   Gagne55
117 =~ Pi - 2
2007-07-17 13:45:38
120.   trainwreck
Apparently the D-Backs are close to trading Conor Jackson to the White Sox.
2007-07-17 13:48:04
121.   ToyCannon
Win Win for the Diamondbacks if it happens. They get some ptiching and they get to move Tracy over to 1st base. Plus they got Davannon back today.
2007-07-17 13:49:39
122.   Marty
120 For who(m)?
2007-07-17 13:50:24
123.   trainwreck
Rumors of Garland or Danks.
2007-07-17 13:51:54
124.   Daniel Zappala
118 For the record, I have 3 kids. The 16 is a hyperbole/joke that has perhaps gotten way out of hand. They are all old enough to mostly take care of themselves these days, but still young enough to give Andrew fits.
2007-07-17 13:55:39
125.   Bob Timmermann
Sheesh, Daniel, my brother has four kids!

But he adopted two of them.

They would all kill Andrew and they would maim Greg Brock.

2007-07-17 13:58:25
126.   Greg Brock
124 Three kids? That's it? Heck, I probably have three kids running around this earth somewhere. Really? Three?


2007-07-17 13:58:26
127.   Daniel Zappala
The worst my kids would do is knock on your door and ask to sell you a bag of apricots. 10 for $1.
2007-07-17 14:00:29
128.   Daniel Zappala
We do have thirty kids in our cul-de-sac, so it certainly feels like 16 kids running through our house at times.
2007-07-17 14:00:46
129.   Bob Timmermann
I have a "don't sell me pitted fruits" warning sign etched in my door frame.
2007-07-17 14:01:58
130.   ToyCannon
You have no idea how disapointed I am. I came from a family of brothers and I really thought you did have your own baseball team. It was so preposterous that I felt it was true. You are off the pedestal.
2007-07-17 14:03:33
131.   Penarol1916
127. I used to think my kids were that good, then last night, my 4-year old starts yelling at this overweight teenager walking in front of us that she is too fat.
2007-07-17 14:06:32
133.   Eric Enders
I actually thought Daniel had a bunch of kids too.

Next you'll tell me that Greg Brock isn't really Greg Brock!

2007-07-17 14:06:34
134.   Humma Kavula
131 Oy. What did you do?
2007-07-17 14:10:20
135.   Hythloday
134 - I think the proper response is to say, "you're right, but usually we only whisper those things."
2007-07-17 14:12:15
136.   Dodgers49
It appears Martin will get a scheduled day off on Wednesday.

>>> For his ninth start on July 3, teammates decorated his locker with congratulatory balloons and flowers. His 10th start will come on Wednesday, when he'll call signals while trying to retire his old friends.

"That will be exciting," said Lieberthal. <<<

2007-07-17 14:15:07
138.   Daniel Zappala
133 ... and that astronaut lady wasn't really wearing a diaper, and now we find out Jim Morrison actually died of a heroin overdose in a nightclub. The revelations are piling up.
2007-07-17 14:17:47
139.   Eric Stephen
I love Grady Little; his slow drawl is captivating. I would listen to him read from the phone book.

I'm a little worried though that he may be channeling Jim Tracy. In today's Times, Little had the following quote: "Am I comfortable with 11 pitchers? Not totally."

Would I like this trend of question answering to continue? No, I wouldn't!

2007-07-17 14:19:16
140.   Bob Timmermann
Cass Elliott died of a heart attack.
John Wayne did not have 40 lbs of undigested meat in his colon when he died.
Oswald acted alone.
2007-07-17 14:20:55
141.   Marty
139 Interesting. I can't stand listening to Grady's voice. It's sounds very monotone to me which drives me up a wall. It's like the southern equivalent to Ben Stein's voice, which I also hate.
2007-07-17 14:21:35
142.   Marty
Yikes, two "whiches" in one post.
2007-07-17 14:22:11
143.   Eric Stephen
141 Who should be the hitting coach? Mueller, Mueller...
2007-07-17 14:24:18
144.   Jon Weisman
139 - It's not as if Jim Tracy is the only one who ever does that. I do it, for that matter. Tracy just seemed to do it a lot.

141 - Grady's voice just doesn't seem real, frankly.

2007-07-17 14:27:18
145.   D4P
The 16 is a hyperbole/joke that has perhaps gotten way out of hand

I like to call the joke "16 Daniels"

2007-07-17 14:27:50
146.   Penarol1916
134. He had to apologize for being mean, then I took him home while his mom, brothers and sister got to keep going on the walk. He also learned to never talk about someone being fat ever again.
2007-07-17 14:28:19
147.   Eric Stephen
141,144 Grady's voice is like someone doing a bad, over the top impression of Forrest Gump.
2007-07-17 14:29:38
148.   Humma Kavula
Rumsfeld did it, too, of course.

You play a baseball season with the team you have, not the team you want!

2007-07-17 14:32:43
149.   Eric Enders
Next time we invade San Diego, we'd better be equipped with the proper batting helmets.
2007-07-17 14:38:08
152.   Bumsrap
What have you done lately should be Ned's mantra if he looks to make a trade for a veteran pitcher or position player that may have jacked up their stats with roids prior to 2006.

That once great pitcher underperforming on a losing team who just needs to be on a championship caliber team to get them back in the groove may need more than a full stadium to get that spark back.

Show/Hide Comments 153-200
2007-07-17 14:40:42
154.   bryanf

Do I ever ask myself a question and then answer it? Yes I do.

Is Jim Tracy the only one to ever do it? No he's not.

Did Jim Tracy do it a lot? Absolutely.

2007-07-17 14:41:31
155.   Greg Brock
Did anybody see this in the Times today:

"Derek Fisher...May be past his prime as a player, but intangible factors may make him a bargain."


2007-07-17 14:45:39
156.   Greg Brock
Actually, I'm pretty pumped about intangibles being important, because my tangibles suck.

Yay, stuff we can't quantify at all but might be important somehow!

2007-07-17 14:46:10
157.   Bumsrap
Folks say that you've found someone new
To do the things I used to do for you
Just call my name, I'm not ashamed
I'll come running back to you
2007-07-17 14:47:08
158.   Ken Arneson
Rule 3, corollary 1: thank you for not discussing violations or violators of rule 3.
2007-07-17 14:47:36
159.   bhsportsguy
155 Derek Fisher > Smush Parker.

Nothing beats a Grady Little Jiffy Lube commercial.

Jerry Yang (no, not that Jerry Yang) has played very agressive poker, to take a huge chip lead at the Final Table of Main Event at the World Series of Poker.

If he wins, there will be numerous references to the fact that he is not that Jerry Yang. It would be the same if someone named Bill Gates or Mike Dell won the WSOP.

2007-07-17 14:48:35
160.   El Lay Dave
When speaking on the record, might it be a useful technique to repeat the question as heard, so that the answer can be understood in that context? Why, yes, it might be.

I might need to try this technique with Mrs. Dave.

2007-07-17 14:49:30
161.   Hythloday
If time spent on one's back is an intangible . . . well I suppose I shouldn't go there. But there are other ways to satisfy Kobe's need for companionship that don't count against the salary cap.
2007-07-17 14:50:46
162.   D4P
Does signing Derek Fisher prevent/make it difficult for the Lakers to sign other players?
2007-07-17 14:51:27
163.   El Lay Dave
161 What's Pedro Martinez's little-person friend up to these days?
2007-07-17 14:51:51
164.   Daniel Zappala
145 Oddly, it started as 13, I think, then somehow got bumped up to 16. I could never keep track of how many I was supposed to have.
2007-07-17 14:52:39
165.   Greg Brock
160 I always thought the more effective way to answer a question was to restate it in terms that work in your favor. Example:

Q. Why isn't Kemp playing every day?

A. Well, that's not really important. The bigger question is, do we have enough quality to mix four or five guys in and out of the rotation? We do, and I'm very thankful for that.

I restate questions all the time. It's a cheap yet effective tactic.

2007-07-17 14:53:41
166.   Greg Brock
163 He's busy being dead.
2007-07-17 14:54:23
167.   Hythloday
163 - He's dead; so he's available I think. Less talkative though.
2007-07-17 14:54:32
168.   Daniel Zappala
162 They used most of their mid-level exception, so from that perspective, it does prevent them from signing someone else in that slot. On the other hand, that slot has not been particularly kind to teams in the past few years, so it's not like there was someone great ready to sign for that amount. Basically, the other Laker contracts have been poorly managed, which prevents them from signing anyone good and simultaneously gives them a very poor trading hand. This is why many are upset with Kupchak.
2007-07-17 14:55:25
169.   El Lay Dave
91 The cougar just has to be an agressive woman older by some years than her prey. There may be some implication that a cougar can be openly agressive however, which may rule out some/most moms. Or so I infer from usage.
2007-07-17 14:55:28
170.   overkill94
I'd do Delwyn Young for Dotel if the Royals were willing, but I doubt they are. They'll probably get someone with worse bullpen woes like the Indians to give them a little more.

I like the Woody Williams idea because NL West retreads seem to do well when they come back to the division. Someone like that who would only require a C-level prospect are the guys I'd be happy to get.

2007-07-17 14:56:13
171.   jasonungar07
141,144 Grady's voice is like someone doing a bad, over the top impression of Forrest Gump.


Or Sling Blade.

I like them French fried potaters.

2007-07-17 14:56:21
172.   Daniel Zappala
165 Restating the question usually requires that you be a step ahead of your questioner. I'll leave this remark at that.
2007-07-17 14:56:28
173.   El Lay Dave
165 That does NOT work with Mrs. Dave, though.
2007-07-17 14:57:36
174.   El Lay Dave
166 167 All the easier for him not to disagree with Kobe. Could be perfect. Might fit in a carry-on, no check-in.
2007-07-17 14:57:43
175.   Greg Brock
169 You should come see my buddy's band play some time. It's classic rock, so the cougars come out of the woodwork. I think some of them use Homer's makeup shotgun.

I swear it's like the Angeles National Forest some nights.

2007-07-17 14:59:16
176.   El Lay Dave
173 172 One of the many reasons why.
2007-07-17 14:59:46
177.   Greg Brock
173 I find the best way to end an argument with a woman is to just call her a name and then apologize three days later.

Why, yes, I am single. Why do you ask?

2007-07-17 14:59:57
178.   D4P
They used most of their mid-level exception, so from that perspective, it does prevent them from signing someone else in that slot

That's what I was afeared of. Hard to look at the team the last few years and conclude that it's primary weakness was whatever Derek Fisher brings to the table.

2007-07-17 15:00:25
179.   Hythloday
169 - I can live with that distinction I suppose. Would that make Mrs. Robinson a cougar then?
2007-07-17 15:01:01
180.   jasonungar07
yeah I am not exaclty the president of the woody williams fan club but these aren't bad numbers to add:

3.38/1.18/.243 25 games at Petco
2.96/1.07/.216 10 games at Dodger stadium

2007-07-17 15:02:12
181.   D4P
Before I got married, I never thought I would argue with my wife. Why? Because I never argued with anyone else, so why would I argue with her?

Young fool. Only now do I understand the power of the dark side.

2007-07-17 15:02:33
182.   El Lay Dave
177 As if a man gets to choose when to end the argument.
2007-07-17 15:03:06
183.   bhsportsguy
180 Watch it, you are entering why signing Brett Tomko was a good idea.
2007-07-17 15:03:19
184.   El Lay Dave
179 Mrs. Robinson is both.
2007-07-17 15:03:56
185.   Hythloday
175 - See there's my problem, I was thinking of the cougars as hot older women, and the hot part is a separate issue. And btw the makeup shotgun is excellent imagery.
2007-07-17 15:08:19
186.   Hythloday
184 - I'd always thought of Mrs. Robinson of a MILGK with the added bonus that she was aggressive.
2007-07-17 15:08:21
187.   fanerman
178 - Well, there aren't really other "desirable" players in the MLE range. One of the Lakers' biggest weaknesses was point guard play (particularly defense). Farmar and Crittenden appear to be the future, and Farmar is/will be a good defender. They just need someone to step right in as a back-up to bridge the gap to the future. No free agent could step into the triangle as effortlessly as Fisher.

The Lakers need another frontcourt player and they can still afford Mihm, and he would certainly help. The bigger problem is a frontcourt shotblocker, but that would only come through trades I think. Nobody for the MLE would help there (that I can think of at the moment, anyway).

I think "intangibles" are more important in basketball than baseball, and Fisher brings those, apparently.

2007-07-17 15:08:42
188.   Eric Stephen
Is there a source for the Woody Williams talk? I think he would be an awful pickup. He has averaged just a tick under 6 IP/start, and he has been terrible this season (4-11, 5.37 ERA, 81 ERA+, 1.66 HR/9). Plus, he is 40 years old. To top it all off, his contract:

2007 - $6m (probably $2.6m or so remaining)
2008 - $6.25m
2009 - $6.75m option ($0.25m buyout)

Woody is not any better than Hendrickson or Tomko.

2007-07-17 15:09:53
189.   fanerman
186 What does GK stand for? Is that something that could be said here?
2007-07-17 15:11:26
190.   Hythloday
189 - Get to Know
2007-07-17 15:12:53
191.   Daniel Zappala
I think in basketball "intangibles" means some combination of: (a) he is smart enough to understand our playbook, (b) he runs the playbook rather than doing what he wants, (c) he teaches the younger players (who can actually show significant improvement over subsequent years), (d) he plays hard every play (many don't in basketball), (e) he gets along with everyone (again important in basketball, since otherwise people don't pass the ball to each other or run the right play).

Quantifying defensive capabilities is also hard in basketball, and some have argued that Fisher increases team defense overall when he is on the court.

2007-07-17 15:12:53
192.   D4P
Get to Know

Which is short for "Get To Know In The Biblical Sense", or


2007-07-17 15:14:54
193.   BlueCrew Bruin
Re: the booing...

I completely agree that the Dodger Stadium crowd has become way to quick with the boos. My friend and I were commenting on that at the game last night. When Houlton gave up those couple of runs the crowd started getting on him, which we both thought was nuts being up 10-3 at the time.

Perhaps getting booed by your home fans can be a motivator but I kind of wish the DS crowds would treat all the Dodger players like they treat Nomar. Even with as bad as he's looked at times this season, every time Low Rider blares though the speakers he gets support from the crowd...and I think that's great.

As far as Penny getting booed, it seemed to me that the boos in the first inning were directed at the home plate ump rather than at Penny. From where I was sitting (top deck, right behind home plate) it looked like Penny was getting squeezed on the first couple of hitters and I think the rest of the crowd felt the same.

Sorry for the long post. I guess that was pent up from the many weeks of not posting. :)

2007-07-17 15:16:20
194.   Greg Brock
191 Right. But those are all things you can identify and assess. They are tangible things.

The misuse of the word bothers me as much as anything. Defense, playbook knowledge, teaching the game. These are things he can do. We've identified them. They are not intangible.

2007-07-17 15:23:22
195.   Daniel Zappala
194 Yes, but we don't typically have a measured scale on which we rank a basketball player's knowledge of the game and cooperation with his teammates. In business terms, these would be called "intangible assets", and since these are businessmen running a team, perhaps that is a term familiar to them.
2007-07-17 15:24:56
196.   Hythloday
194 - The triple post offense works best when you have four guards on the floor too. They'll be able to trot out Kobe, Fisher, Farmar, Crittenton, and Odom. That is an unstoppable starting 5 right there.
2007-07-17 15:26:05
197.   Greg Brock
195 Yeah, I guess I'm just being nit-picky. I could also be wrong. That happens a lot as well. I told you, my tangibles are weak.
2007-07-17 15:27:38
198.   Daniel Zappala
197 And you teach kids for a living? :-)
2007-07-17 15:29:46
199.   Greg Brock
198 I'm a brilliant faker. In fact, I'm a 46 year old Asian woman. But you could never tell.

Fooling a bunch of 15 year old kids is simple.

2007-07-17 15:29:48
200.   trainwreck
I hate the Fisher deal. They have around a million dollars left to offer another player and they are stuck with Fisher for three years. He will probably be a bench player this season. The Lakers badly needed defense and Fisher is just not a good defender. His shooting percentage has also been going down, so I really see nothing to gain from this, aside from taking away playing time from Farmar and Crittenton.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-07-17 15:30:09
201.   natepurcell
checking out various Royals boards, they really think they can get either kemp or loney for dotel. I try not to laugh at them since hope is the only thing fueling their tanks these days.
2007-07-17 15:31:35
202.   Kevin Lewis

I agree some were booing the umpire in the first, and later in the game when the Phillies scored some more runs, a lot of the booing was at the Phillies' fans who stood up, turned their back to the field, and attempted to heckle the Dodger fans. I felt like yelling at the guy "people have been shot in our parking lot, sit down you idiot"

2007-07-17 15:32:52
203.   underdog
201 It's tempting to comment, isn't it?

Are you having a laugh? Is he having a laugh? {adjusts glasses} {grins stupidly}

2007-07-17 15:33:14
204.   natepurcell
in regards to dbacks/white sox rumors, I dont know if trading Jackson for Garland is a good idea. Although Jackson for Danks would be a good move for them. I wonder why they have soured on jackson; hes basically doing what his minor league record would indicate, his BABIP is just down a bit.
2007-07-17 15:35:11
205.   ToyCannon
Dodger snob. Gordon/Butler/Teahen/DeJesus are a nice core to build around.
2007-07-17 15:35:36
206.   silverwidow

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Loney, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Nomar, 3B
Kemp, RF
Lieberthal, C
Hendrickson, P

2007-07-17 15:35:37
207.   Jon Weisman
201 - Go ahead and laugh at them. Such a trade would be immoral - and immoral hope serves no one.
2007-07-17 15:36:02
208.   D4P
In fact, I'm a 46 year old Asian woman. But you could never tell

Holy cow! I would have never guessed you were 46.

2007-07-17 15:37:01
209.   ToyCannon
Because they need pitching and your not going to get value unless you give up something of value and they can easily move Tracy to 1st. I said they would trade some of their blue chips for pitching because they are playing for this year.
2007-07-17 15:38:08
210.   D4P
I guess it means something different to Management when Nomar gets some hits than when Betemit does the same.
2007-07-17 15:46:28
211.   Bob Timmermann
J.D. Durbin's longest outing this year has been 4 2/3 innings against the Mets on June 29. He gave up six runs.
2007-07-17 15:47:01
212.   jasonungar07
Nomar hits at home is the new tag line.
2007-07-17 15:48:09
213.   underdog
Wait, I thought Lieberthal's start was supposed to be tomorrow? No big deal, just a little surprised. Kemp's starting again, and why not? The Bison's rolling.

Have no idea how to predict tonight's game, so I won't.

2007-07-17 15:49:52
214.   Eric Stephen
From the Grumpy Gurnick's mailbag about the Dodgers new hitting coach: "But the early returns are nonetheless impressive and if Mueller (and Manny Mota) can turn around Wilson Betemit, that alone would indicate the move worked." (emphasis mine)

Turn around Betemit? Gurnick must get the 1983 TV feed of the game, where the only stats shown are AVG-HR-RBI. Then again, it wouldn't take a genius to see Wilson's 10 HR among the team leaders!

Plus, a quick look to see if Mueller has started "turning around" Betemit:

Betemit under Murray: .223/.362/.476
Betemit under Mueller: .216/.310/.514

2007-07-17 15:50:09
215.   silverwidow
213-Lieberthal has never caught Billingsley, so this is the right call.
2007-07-17 15:50:12
216.   natepurcell
i want loney to hit a homerun. thats about it.
2007-07-17 15:50:57
217.   Bob Timmermann
I heard that Wilson Betemit kept getting on the freeway going the wrong way and Bill Mueller corrected this problem.
2007-07-17 15:56:20
218.   Gen3Blue
90 I'm not sure the Key to winning the west lies with "a move". But I am pretty sure a very healthy future for 2-8 years lies in not making one. Just my forecast :o). I admit to being a conservative in this respect.
2007-07-17 15:56:23
219.   natepurcell
Laroche has hit 5homeruns in his last 39ABs. Maybe his shoulder isn't completely shot after all.

crosses fingers

2007-07-17 15:58:13
220.   Eric Stephen
217 Didn't Betemit almost hit your Prius?
2007-07-17 16:01:45
221.   Eric Stephen
219 Gurnick also mentioned "LaRoche hasn't hit as expected." Did the Dodgers expect much more than the .295/.378/.520 line he's putting up in Vegas?
2007-07-17 16:01:56
222.   alex 7
Betemit wasn't driving his friend's car, thus he missed three times.
2007-07-17 16:04:52
223.   silverwidow
221-Yeah, Gurnick has made it pretty clear that he isn't a LaRoche fan for whatever reason. I remember him harping on Andy's "unimpressive" spring trainings for the longest time.
2007-07-17 16:07:08
224.   jasonungar07
Wilson has hit 5 in his last 52 MLB abs so does it matter?

Of course it does, don't answer that.

2007-07-17 16:08:43
225.   natepurcell

Gurnick isn't a fan of prospects. I remembered all the trade Loney propaganda this winter.

2007-07-17 16:09:03
226.   ryu
The LA Times online sports section has a pool of who is the biggest sports icon in our city's history.

Over forty-percent of votes went to Magic Johnson. Vin Scully got 12%.

Guess how many percent Chick Hearn got? Zero. He was not even listed.

2007-07-17 16:12:28
227.   bhsportsguy
206 Lineup is getting much closer to what I want to see.

At some point, maybe we can discuss whether there should be any thought to moving Russell out of the third spot (there are some who say he should bat 2nd, okay at least one I know of, though I could live with that).

I think Loney maybe the best combo third place hitter, I like Kent at cleanup, at some point move Kemp 5th, Gonzo/Ethier could hit 6th, whoever is playing 3B, bat 7th, and then you know who could bat 8th.

2007-07-17 16:12:52
228.   ssjames
I believe that LaRoche has finally decided that he doesn't want to play in the minors any longer and is putting up numbers accordingly. Since June 1, these are LaRoche's AAA numbers:

.373 BA, .466 OBP, .720 SLG for a nice little 1.186 OPS.

2007-07-17 16:16:33
229.   trainwreck
Seen as how Gurnick apparently hates the Dodgers, maybe he just wants us to trade away our prospects so we will fail.
2007-07-17 16:17:19
230.   underdog
I wonder if we can trade the red-hot John Lindsey for anyone.

Yesterday: The 30-year-old first baseman doubled in two runs in the first inning, then walked and scored in the third. He blasted a two-run homer in the sixth and went deep to left field with his 10th homer of the season for the 51s.

Or maybe he can get a Roy Hobbs-ian call-up in September.

2007-07-17 16:20:31
231.   alex 7
off topic - Vick's been indicted.
2007-07-17 16:26:22
232.   ishXdavid
Jon Heyman wrote that the Dodgers could be possible suitors should Dontrelle Willis hit the market. How valid is this claim, and what kind of package of prospects are we talking about to acquire the D-Train? Are Kemp, Loney, and Broxton considered "untouchable" yet? What about Kershaw?
2007-07-17 16:29:03
233.   ishXdavid

I love Chick (RIP), but the fishwrap probably wanted to limit the choices to those who are still alive. I voted for Magic. He's the only true LA athlete who's considered one of the top 5 players ever to play the game.

2007-07-17 16:29:23
234.   underdog
232 "Are Kemp, Loney, and Broxton considered "untouchable" yet? What about Kershaw?"


Also, Dontrelle's a fun pitcher to have around but he's incredibly overvalued at this point. The Marlins are looking to sell while he still has a reputation left, so they can get more than they should. I hope the Dodgers stay away, particularly with the asking price where it likely is.

2007-07-17 16:29:24
235.   natepurcell

I don't see a match.

2007-07-17 16:33:44
236.   bhsportsguy
232 All of these articles are as a factually based as you or I writing that Texas will deal Texeria for a package of Loney, Billingsley and Josh Bell.

Seriously, that's how much thought goes into these things.

2007-07-17 16:34:16
237.   Marty
235 I'd light a match if any of those players moved.
2007-07-17 16:35:22
238.   blue22
235 - I agree; Florida's two positions of need from what I can tell are centerfield and catcher, which are probably the two biggest deficiencies in the LA system.
2007-07-17 16:36:26
239.   Humma Kavula
If Pierre has anything to say about it, Dontrelle will be a Dodger soon.

It all depends on whether he's got Colletti's ear.

2007-07-17 16:37:57
240.   bhsportsguy
237 Another boring final table at the World Series of Poker, the Yahoo namesake is steaming over players right now. But now, each person left, five players, will get at least one million dollars in prize money, top prize is over eight million.

The guy who is winning got his seat by winning a $250.00 entry fee tournament at Pechanga Casino down near San Diego.

2007-07-17 16:38:14
241.   bigcpa
Somehow Willis' most similar pitcher to date is Jake Peavy. Guess I never need to look at those again.
2007-07-17 16:38:31
242.   CanuckDodger
While we are going gaga over what LaRoche, or Young, or Hu, are doing in Vegas, it has to be noted that hitting stats there this time of year are inevitably much more inflated than they are earlier in the season, when the air is not as hot or thin. Hu hitting 3 HR's in about four games is, shall we say, a bit telling. All of this is what makes me super-impressed over Eric Hull's recent performance. He's keeping runs off the board under impossible conditions. Add in the fact that Hull is already on the 40-man roster and Meloan isn't, and it adds up to my advocating that we call up Hull right now, or very soon.
2007-07-17 16:42:49
243.   jasonungar07
I'll be missing the game tonight.

Tuesday Night is the night that we usually go to your Mothers place and teach her to use the video machine again.

2007-07-17 16:43:00
244.   ishXdavid
Thanks for the insight! My heart drops whenever I read about trade rumors involving our prospects. I should be more circumspect regarding these rumors, but I've already seen too many bad deals in my short life.
2007-07-17 16:43:48
245.   underdog
My mother? You leave my mom out of this!
2007-07-17 16:48:07
246.   bhsportsguy
244 Also, as a reminder, most deals that Ned has made have not been advanced by the media, they tended to just kind of sneak up on us.
2007-07-17 16:48:15
247.   NorCalDodger
The problem with Gurnick is that he isn't a fan of trades either. He feels that the only trades that will work are of the "Cabrera for Martin, Loney, Kemp, and Billingsley" variety.

Yeah Right.

2007-07-17 16:55:26
248.   El Lay Dave
Third start ever for Loney in the 3 spot.
2007-07-17 16:56:50
249.   bigcpa
Accd to Tony Jackson the White Sox like Hu. I would put Hu in a package for Vazquez although I recall he has some phobia of playing on the west coast.
2007-07-17 16:57:22
250.   NorCalDodger
Also, how do Delwyn Young's numbers compare with guys like LaRoche and other Las Vegas guys? I really wouldn't like it if we lost him, despite what Gurnick says about having no spot for him in the majors. I don't think an outfield with Pierre and a Kemp/Ethier/Young "platoon" is all that bad.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-07-17 16:59:52
251.   NorCalDodger
Vazquez, as in Javier Vazquez, who wanted a trade from Arizona to be closer to Puerto Rico, and ended up in Chicago? I think LA is closer, right?
2007-07-17 17:00:26
252.   imperabo
I think for everything he's done for us and for the huge discount he gave us signing here we owe it the Road Runner to bring his buddy to town.
2007-07-17 17:01:08
253.   natepurcell
Great Lakes update

Bell homers again (12) and greatest LOOGY ever pitches another scoreless inning (1H 0bb 2k).

2007-07-17 17:03:15
254.   ishXdavid
Off-topic... but all I could think about when I saw Miguel Cabrera bat in the ASG was, "DAMN, he got FAT!!!". I know he's not the same 20 year old kid he was when he broke into the bigs, but you shouldn't gain that much weight from 20 to 24 without the aid of a college diet and online gaming. Maybe he's been hanging out with Bartolo Colon in the offseason.
2007-07-17 17:03:39
255.   CanuckDodger
Hu should be, and probably is, untouchable. I wouldn't mind trading Furcal in the off-season, frankly. Whether it is 2008 or 2009, Hu IS our shortstop of the future. And forget about Vazquez. The resources spent on big name starters Schmidt and Wolf already looks foolishly spent. We got to get away from the whole "vetern acquisition as savior" mentality.
2007-07-17 17:07:06
256.   NorCalDodger
Going to be hard for the veteran-lover Colletti to steer clear from.

Hmmm... lineup of the future...

C Russell Martin
1B James Loney
2B Tony Abreu
3B Andy LaRoche
SS Chin-Lung Hu
LF Delwyn Young
CF Matt Kemp
RF Andre Ethier

well, I don't mind at all.

2007-07-17 17:07:40
257.   Lexinthedena
I agree that the Dodgers don't really need to make any trades for a reliever...but a starter would be nice...Hendrickson and Tomko are not who I want to see sharing a spot in the rotation, and who knows what's up with Wolf.....Young is a nice chip, and I would love to see him get a shot in the bigs...Hu's value is as high is it is gonna get IMO, but I would wait on dealing him, as we don't knof if Furcals ankle issues are going to affect his future....

I don't see any big trades happening anyway....all the GM's are afraid of getting burned...

2007-07-17 17:09:50
258.   NorCalDodger
Dotel's numbers do look good though...

Eh, Colletti could be GM of the year if he trades for the right pieces without giving up the 8 players above plus Billingsley and Kershaw.

2007-07-17 17:11:20
259.   Greg Brock
254 .325/.396/.603

Those are the only measurements I care about. Eat away, fatty!

2007-07-17 17:12:50
260.   ishXdavid
Did Matt Kemp play CF in the minors? He's always looked more like a corner outfielder to me with the routes he takes to fly-balls. I don't doubt he has the athleticism to play center, but that cannon of an arm seems to project more for right field.
2007-07-17 17:14:04
261.   NorCalDodger
hmmm, I read somewhere that he would be a center fielder, but that was a year ago i think. can Young play center?
2007-07-17 17:14:10
262.   natepurcell

He played plenty of CF in the minors. Although Fukudome should be our CFer next year :)

2007-07-17 17:14:42
263.   regfairfield
258 I don't know, I think that's a little too protective of the prospects. Sure, don't trade the big guns, but protecting Delwyn? Ethier? Even Abreu?

The Dodgers have the resources where they don't have to put the 45 million dollar team out on the field. Because of this, getting overly protective of low ceiling players seems unnecessary.

If the Dodgers can make the playoffs at the expense of one of those guys, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

2007-07-17 17:14:44
264.   natepurcell

Young cannot play CF.

2007-07-17 17:15:01
265.   Lexinthedena
259- All those arepa's are gonna catch up to his joints when he enters the "prime" of his career...he's still only like 24 years old....

Another thing no one is tlaking about is that Miggy might be injestine a little more than just pastelles de pollo....A lot of juicers get really bloated when for whatever reason the roid's cause them to "hold water"...

2007-07-17 17:16:02
266.   Greg Brock
262 Yeah, but Jon has dropped a preemptive strike on the fun stuff we can do with the name.

So, whatever. I am, however still waiting for Alberto Bastardo to come up.

2007-07-17 17:17:29
267.   bhsportsguy
While I doubt it has anything to do with saving his home runs for AT&T, Bonds is out again in their game against the Cubs.
2007-07-17 17:18:26
268.   NorCalDodger
I forgot about Fukudome, eh yeah maybe Delwyn or Abreu.

By the way, I can't get over how similar Kemp and Pujols's swings are, besides Pujols's crouch and ability to hit offspeed stuff.

2007-07-17 17:20:32
269.   Lexinthedena
268- Kemp's hitting reminds me nothing of Pujols, and everything of Manny....

Either when he is locked in has that same perfect balance that Poo-Holes has...obviously not the same hitter...

2007-07-17 17:28:18
270.   D4P
Jon has dropped a preemptive strike on the fun stuff we can do with the name

Those don't work. They just make the strikees angry, and increase their desire to do whatever it was you hoped to prevent by preemptively striking.

2007-07-17 17:30:14
271.   natepurcell
in his second AB, Josh Bell goes yard again.
2007-07-17 17:30:50
272.   Lexinthedena
270- A Fukedome insurgency will evolve and be bolstered by a strong sense of identity...a subsiquent quagmire will parylize the board...
2007-07-17 17:30:58
273.   Jon Weisman
Game thread is open.
2007-07-17 17:33:21
274.   Bluebleeder87
Gurnick isn't a fan of prospects. I remembered all the trade Loney propaganda this winter.

yeah i remember Gurnik hinting there was something wrong with Loneys knees at one point, just cause the guy walks kind of goofy doesn't mean theres something wrong with his knees.

2007-07-17 17:37:31
275.   ishXdavid

I think the playoffs are a realistic goal without a significant acquisition. The question is whether or not any potential deal can get us over the Mets and ultimately over any of the loaded AL teams? If not, then I don't advocate giving up our prospects for the sake of winning one playoff game or series in the short-term. Of course, I'm only speaking of our core youngsters (Martin-Loney-Kemp-Billingsley-Broxton-Kershaw). I think the Indians have done an exceptional job with their core of Sizemore-Sabathia-Hafner-Westbrook-Martinez-Peralta-Lee in an ultra-competitive division. I think we can bring along our touted youngsters and just infuse them with some veterans here and there to bring them along. It seems as though Colletti was doing the opposite with his group of veterans and spot youngsters.

2007-07-17 17:40:46
276.   ishXdavid
269 - Kemp doesn't drive balls oppo like Manny. Kemp reminds me of a polished 2002 Beltre.
2007-07-17 19:26:05
277.   Gen3Blue
To restate my feelings about a trade for a middle reliever. If you feel the need to trade a real prospect or starter for pitching, you find a way to get a good starter who might upgrade your rotation. The kind of guy who part of the time will pitch a scoreless first and second. Then your no. 5 starter becomes a middle reliever. If the trade doesn't work out, which is often, then you have another candidate for middle reliever.
2007-07-17 19:26:59
278.   Gen3Blue
And I am an optimist.
2007-07-17 19:36:07
279.   Gen3Blue
Nice at bat from Loney, helps break the tendency for a nice lead to turn a Durban into a Drysdale.
2007-07-17 21:45:45
280.   Louis in SF

Agree with you and others. We don't need another reliver who can only pitch an inning at a time, rather we need a starter in the mold of Wilson Alvarez, who could give you a great 6 innings one day and then two days later give you an inning or two.

In his next couple of starts I think it is very important that the Dodgers try and push Billingsly past the 6th inning, so we don't constantly have to use the entire bullpen to finish a game-a part of the game that I hate to see, but it has become the norm....Any thoughts on the Pirates Shawn Chacon or Kyle Lose of Cincy. Any update on Kuo

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