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'Zona Zoning In?
2007-08-20 12:30
by Jon Weisman

What will the order of finish be in the National League West? That was my question of the week at's Fungoes, and five bloggers from around the division replied.

Comments (374)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-08-20 12:42:23
1.   Eric Enders
Guess who was LATed again. Anyway, according to the Suns website, James McDonald's start is being skipped today and Kershaw is starting instead. No further info as of yet.
2007-08-20 12:45:41
2.   Eric Enders
"I'll stick with my preseason prediction of Arizona, San Diego, Los Angeles, Colorado and San Francisco because I'm stubborn that way."

And also because those are exactly the current standings... way to go out on a limb there, Geoff. ;)

2007-08-20 12:47:18
3.   Daniel Zappala
Jon, you need to fix that link so that it doesn't have "#comments" at the end.

I'm predicting the Dodgers come from way behind and take the division. They still have plenty of games left vs SD and Arizona.

2007-08-20 12:47:49
4.   paranoidandroid
I think the Dodgers will go on a tear and make everyone eat their words. I BELIEVE!!!! I need to believe. I want a miracle finish and a St. Louis '06 run through the playoffs. Roberto Hernandez can save every playoff game and Eric Stults can pitch a shut out in the World Series. I need this, I want this. Shea Hillebrand will be a monster clean up hitter and Ramon Martinez will get a few key pitch hits. Killer T will go yard five times in September. I BELIEVE!

Of course it reminds me of when I was caught masturbating and my father told me I'd go blind if I did that. I asked if I could just do it until I needed glasses.

I'll go down with the ship. But with 24 more games in our division, 6 more with the Snakes and 6 more with the Pads, I BELIEVE!

2007-08-20 12:49:28
5.   regfairfield
From the last thread:

If we acquired Wells we would pay the prorated portion of the league minimum, with San Diego paying the rest of the contract.

This is assuming Wells has been officially released.

2007-08-20 12:53:48
6.   Bluebleeder87

A spot start for James McDonald would do him well I wouldn't mind at all seeing him pitch in a ML game this year.

2007-08-20 12:54:46
7.   Daniel Zappala
4 Kids do read this site.
2007-08-20 12:55:30
8.   old dodger fan
5 If that was Vernon Wells I would say, "Let's pay it".

The only part about David Wells I understand is SD letting him go. In his last 4 starts he has lasted a total of 16 innings and given up 26 ER's. His BEST start was 5 IP; 5 ER. The other three were all much worse. Surely we can do better in house rather than going outhouse (pun intended).

2007-08-20 12:57:41
9.   alexx
5 Ah, thanks.
2007-08-20 12:59:26
10.   LogikReader
Why not just stick with a four man rotation? It seems to be working right now, plus that article I was referred to at BP indicates that it doesn't really make that much difference. Penny was equally effective on three days rest.
2007-08-20 13:02:01
11.   regfairfield
10 Penny walked a season high amount of batters, throw 110+ pitches in five innings and was bailed out by some sparkling plays.

Calling him equally effective is a stretch.

8 Don't let one bad stretch dissuade you. If the options are Wells, and four man rotation, I'd go Wells, since we obviously don't trust Houlton.

2007-08-20 13:02:05
12.   LogikReader
I am going to be so embarrassed if the Dodgers actually take the wrong Wells and put the man into the rotation.... I can already hear the other 29 teams laughing at us.
2007-08-20 13:02:28
13.   LogikReader
When you guys were bringing it up here in DT, I thought we were all just joking.
2007-08-20 13:03:10
14.   ToyCannon
I would have no problem giving David Wells a flyer. Always wanted to see Boomer in a Dodger uniform and if I can't have Boom Boom I'll take Boomer. You are talking about a rotation that has Tomko, Hendrickson, and Stults so I fail to see how giving Boomer a shot and saying good bye to Tomko is a problem.

Before Boomer got crushed in his last two starts for the Padres he dialed up 3 decent games in 4 starts against the Giants, Marlins, and Mets.

The Dodgers for whatever reason have little faith in DJ Houlton even though he outpitched Stults in AAA. We are beggars at this point, not choosers. Hendy should just stay in the bullpen where he seems to be more effective, and Tomko should just get released. Then the Padres can pick him up and it will be like we both traded bad contracts and they both get fresh starts.

2007-08-20 13:03:15
15.   LogikReader

It was the heat! =)

2007-08-20 13:04:04
16.   paranoidandroid
{7} your point is ... ?
2007-08-20 13:06:17
17.   ToyCannon
Kids don't masturbate anymore? Must be to busy playing video games. What has the world come to.
2007-08-20 13:08:07
18.   Eric Enders
And you guys thought the last thread veered off in a weird direction.
2007-08-20 13:12:15
19.   paranoidandroid
Let's not get into a weird direction. My point was the need to believe even when it just can bring me disappointment in the end.

I didn't imagine that we'd be going into battle with some of the guys we need to come through for us now. But it is a funny game.

The D-Backs got really hot and so can we, right? They aren't five deep in the rotation either, they picked up Byung Yun Kim, right?

We can still get this done. Webb is the real deal, but that bullpen is still suspect. The Pads have holes and injuries. This is not over.

And I NEED to believe...

2007-08-20 13:13:06
20.   Marty
Eric, you mentioned on the last thread that The Soul of Baseball blog was hanging it up. I don't see that anywhere on his blog, where did you hear that?
2007-08-20 13:14:14
21.   GobiasIndustries

I propose a contest.........

2007-08-20 13:15:51
22.   ToyCannon
He mentions it about 2/3 of the way down his post. Starting a new book project.
2007-08-20 13:18:34
23.   old dodger fan
Any update on Randy Wolf?
2007-08-20 13:20:12
24.   ToyCannon
Mike Piazza at #60 was the only Dodger to make Soul Of Baseball's top 100 offensive seasons since 1960.
2007-08-20 13:22:34
25.   Marty
Thanks Toy
2007-08-20 13:23:00
26.   Fallout
Arizona released Byung-Hyun Kim so there is a choice of not so good quality pitchers to choose from.
2007-08-20 13:28:22
27.   King of the Hobos
Chris Jaffe had an interesting article over at THT today explaining why the DBacks are doing so well despite their XW-L being so low. Often 1 run games are cited to explain discrepencies, but in the DBacks case, there's not that much of a difference. However, they 13-22 in "blowouts" (I don't think Jaffe defines what that is exactly) and 58-31 in all other games, due largely to the fact that while their pen has a good core, the long relievers have been very bad. He explains it better:

2007-08-20 13:31:31
28.   regfairfield
26 And Joe Kennedy!
2007-08-20 13:37:04
29.   ToyCannon
We have Shea at 3b, Juan Pierre playing every night while either Kemp or Ethier sit, Ramon Martinez finding playing time 3 or 4 times a week, Kent unable to play much to often, the Tomato flailing much to often, Tomko pitching much to often, and Meloan, Hull, D Young, and Betemit are on the wrong roster.

The only thing I believe is that we will get our hats handed to us during this road trip and I doubt we will even be worrying about the WC when we get back.

2007-08-20 13:42:29
30.   Jon Weisman
29 - And Joel Guzman is OPSing 429 for Tampa Bay this season :)
2007-08-20 13:43:18
31.   Jon Weisman
30 - That is, OPS+ing 429. He's OPSing 2.000.
2007-08-20 13:46:02
32.   regfairfield
Speaking of Guzman, I was talking with someone a couple days ago, and he mentioned Colletti acquired Lugo despite knowing he was hurt.

This was a bit confusing to me, but I looked it up and Lugo missed time due to a finger injury on July 25th. Did this ever come up in the "Kill Ned" firestorm?

2007-08-20 13:51:49
33.   old dodger fan
Just watched the last 2 outs of the Giants-Marlins game and I have never seen so many empty seats. How depressing it must be for the players.
2007-08-20 13:52:50
34.   Daniel Zappala
"Joel Guzman has been called brilliant, extraordinary, a genius."

Oops, that's from the bio of Joel Guzman, the accordion player.

2007-08-20 13:55:18
35.   dzzrtRatt
One theme of the SI bloggers Jon surveyed is that there is a latent upsurge in the Arizona offense -- a lot of young players who are due to break out, and once they do, Arizona will start winning because of them, not in spite of them.

Why shouldn't the Dodgers be viewed in the same way? Wasn't the fatal late July/early August swoon a product mostly of a teamwide offensive slump? And now that it seems to be over, the Dodgers look a lot harder to beat.

The other theme, that Arizona has built an insurmountable lead, seems way off. They had a good run at a good time, but they aren't going to play at the same pace the rest of the way.

San Diego, LA and Colorado are still in the race, as far as I'm concerned, because we're all still playing each other. Any team that gets hot like AZ got hot earlier this month can win the division. And while AZ looks formidable, I don't think you can call them consistent enough to be assured of maintaining their lead.

This is who LA needs to be able to count on to carry the team: Penny, Lowe, Saito, Broxton, Kent, Martin, either Furcal or Pierre and either Loney or Kemp. Proctor, Hendrickson, Seanez and Hernandez also need to hold firm. From Billingsley, Tomko and Stults, all we need is five decent innings. From whoever plays 3B, we just need them to take a lot of pitches before GIDP. From Sweeney, all we need is him to carry a calculator, or maybe a little radio so Rick Monday can tell him how many outs there are...oh wait!

2007-08-20 13:56:27
36.   paranoidandroid
19 As Rummy said, "You go to war with what you have, not what you wish you had."

I imagine we get most of those guys on the roster for the last 28 games. Betemit could have helped us if we didn't need an arm so badly, but Abreu and LaRoche both going down along with Nomar made a guy like Shea make sense for now. We also needed bullpen help and you have to give to get so....

I declare we need to go 24-14 and we can extend the season. If Penny, Lowe, and the good Bills show up 80% of the time, we are in about 21 of those games and just need to do what we did against Houston and Colorado offensively. That wasn't an explosion, but we got some key innings going and had better AB's. Take a walk, some running, an occassional ball in the seats, etc.

With Stults, Tomko, or maybe Wells or McDonald, we stay in another 10 of those games. We need the back end of our bullpen to come through, and Beimel, Proctor, Brox, and Sammy can do that.

Limit the times Roberto and a tired Seanez can hurt us, and we have a legit shot at this.

24-14 is realistic. The Pads and the Snakes have had runs, we haven't. We were solid in the first half and had a bad stretch in July and early August. Some breaks coming our way and some solid fundamentals and we can be the Cinderella team this October and maybe into November!


And I hope Jayson Werth doesn't make us pay the next three games. And there is always a guy like Jeff Weaver each season, someone who was given up on and came through big for a short stretch. Maybe Boomer wants to stick it to the Pads and he has a shot at that with us. Maybe. Believe.

2007-08-20 14:00:12
37.   Benaiah
32 - The "win now" crowd (which was once defined by Plaschke, but I guess he has come around to the kids) stresses that World Series are the only goal, so play for today and trade the kids for some marginal improvement. But since the sum total of Colletti's trading is zero World Series and Scott Proctor (and Ethier, though that is getting a kid not trading one), the probability of getting burned by one of the group of Betemit, Guzman, Jackson, Schmoll, Aybar et al approaches a certainty.

Colletti is like the prodigal son, wasting an inheritance he didn't earn while the good son(s)- Depo and Evans- are tolling away on the farm.

2007-08-20 14:02:46
38.   Benaiah
32 - The "win now" crowd (which was once defined by Plaschke, but I guess he has come around to the kids) stresses that World Series are the only goal, so play for today and trade the kids for some marginal improvement. But since the sum total of Colletti's trading is zero World Series and Scott Proctor (and Ethier, though that is getting a kid not trading one), the probability of getting burned by one of the group of Betemit, Guzman, Jackson, Schmoll, Aybar et al approaches a certainty.

Colletti is like the prodigal son, wasting an inheritance he didn't earn while the good son(s)- Depo and Evans- are tolling away on the farm.

2007-08-20 14:03:08
39.   regfairfield
35 As I said in my part, coming back from even a two game deficit at this point in the season is pretty rare, and 7.5 games is almost insurmountable.
2007-08-20 14:03:55
40.   old dodger fan
37 The prodigal son realized his error and went to his father for forgiveness. Haven't seen that part yet.
2007-08-20 14:04:27
41.   Bob Timmermann
Mmmm....fatted calf....
2007-08-20 14:04:57
42.   Bob Timmermann
But Mike Myers is not on the table. The White Sox signed him.
2007-08-20 14:07:32
43.   Benaiah
32 - The "win now" crowd (which was once defined by Plaschke, but I guess he has come around to the kids) stresses that World Series are the only goal, so play for today and trade the kids for some marginal improvement. But since the sum total of Colletti's trading is zero World Series and Scott Proctor (and Ethier, though that is getting a kid not trading one), the probability of getting burned by one of the group of Betemit, Guzman, Jackson, Schmoll, Aybar et al approaches a certainty.

Colletti is like the prodigal son, wasting an inheritance he didn't earn while the good son(s)- Depo and Evans- are tolling away on the farm.

2007-08-20 14:10:29
44.   ToyCannon
Maybe he did and that is why Kemp, Ethier, Loney, La Roche, D Young, Billingsley, Broxton, Kershaw, and McDonald are still in the organization instead of playing for Texas.
2007-08-20 14:11:50
45.   paranoidandroid
Only ten games until rosters expand, we'll have a few more arms and legs to help us out. Believe. Down 3 games to 0 in the ALCS and coming back to win four in a row hadn't been done either.

We can do this. We aren't loaded and we have shown we are vulnerable, but we have talent and two and half very solid starters and a great back end of the bullpen.

Believe! We had fewer weapons in '88 and did it. If Lowe can dominate like Orel did (not likely I know), but if he becomes and automatic win, we can ride that momentum.

2007-08-20 14:12:31
46.   ToyCannon
Mmmmm....fatted calf.....
2007-08-20 14:13:19
47.   caseybarker
41 HA!
2007-08-20 14:14:17
48.   LogikReader
Honestly I'm looking at the Texiera trade that Atlanta made, and I don't see a ton of improvement for what they gave up. It hasn't really done much to improve their bullpen. The Braves don't seem to have made up that much ground in either the WC or the division.

Meanwhile all of those prospects could be sorely missed by the Braves eventually, I'd think Salty would be among them.

2007-08-20 14:14:53
49.   Bob Timmermann
The AP story says that the Marlins game had about 2500 fans.

But would you expect more than that for two bad teams playing on a day that was likely really hot and a workday to boot?

If Bonds had still been going for the home run record, there might have been more people.

Like 4500.

2007-08-20 14:15:02
50.   Benaiah
43 - Weird, I didn't push the button again, but I am having internet problems.

40 - Well, if our slide would have continued then maybe Colletti would have been forced to apoligize. Remember when Depo was absolutely crushed in the media for signed oft injured players like Drew with predictable results? Yet, there is no outcry even though two/fifths of the Dodgers opening rotation was a code red injury risk that has subsequently (and predictably) resulted in Hendko.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-08-20 14:15:16
51.   LogikReader

-- the point of saying that is: be thankful the Dodgers didn't fall into the trap!

2007-08-20 14:16:42
52.   Eric Enders
49 He was going for the home run record. I guess seeing record-setting HR #761 was unimportant to most people.
2007-08-20 14:17:29
53.   LogikReader
We'll be kicking back enjoying 2008 if NedCo is keen enough to go after Santana. plus if Schmidt makes a return (as Penny did) that will be a tough rotation for sure.
2007-08-20 14:23:08
54.   JoeyP
I urge everyone to go see the movie "Superbad".

Its IMO one of the best high school movies to come along in a long long time.

2007-08-20 14:25:17
55.   Jon Weisman
Ankiel homers again.

2007-08-20 14:29:01
56.   Eric Enders
53 We'll be kicking back enjoying 2009 if NedCo is keen enough to go after Santana. If we want him for 2008, we'd probably have to part with Kemp, Kershaw, and LaRoche, or something like that.
2007-08-20 14:29:29
57.   Daniel Zappala
52 Bonds didn't play yesterday or today, as was announced by the Giants earlier. Not that it would have made much difference.
2007-08-20 14:30:09
58.   dzzrtRatt
39 Coming back from a two-game deficit is rare? It's only August 20th.

I'd be curious if someone had a grid handy to demonstrate that a 2 games or more lead on August 20th is generally insurmountable.

Assuming it's true, I wonder whether there are offsetting effects from the current configuration of baseball -- greater parity, the division alignment, the WC, the greater emphasis on the draft, etc. And/or if the nature of the team ahead in the standings makes a difference. If it's an experienced team with past pennant races under its belt, perhaps that team holds onto a 2-6 game lead better than a team like AZ or Milwaukee, which is mostly riding raw young talent.

What Arizona's done is very impressive, to be sure. But I think their current lead is nothing more than a continuation of a cycle of ups and downs affecting four teams in the NL West that are basically evenly matched.

2007-08-20 14:30:53
59.   Fallout
37 Benaiah
So many bad points so little time.
1) Why can't Plaschke's crowd be right? At one time winning now made sense. At one time the Dodgers had a nucleus of players who they thought they could build a team around. Trading chips (a DePo saying) were available to improve the ML roster. Since then the roster has changed in several ways that trading the kids for immediate improvement does not make sense. Only a fool would not change course when things (personnel) have changed.
What things? Losing Drew, Nomar declining,
Kent staying healthy, the ups and downs of the pitching staff. The kids are now older and much closer to being an immediate help than they were only a year or two ago.

Besides, teams were demanding too many of the best prospects to make only one deal. Just because at one time you believed in winning now does not mean that you lose common sense and do whatever it takes to get a certain player when you know you are more than one player away.

2007-08-20 14:33:25
60.   Sam DC
54: Screen Jam agrees.

Folks wondering about the D-Backs and esp. their bullpen, the rumblings out here are that the Wily Moe Pena deal was actually a three way that will bring just-off-the-DL reliever Jesus Colome out west (with prospect Chris
Carter to the Sox).

Colome was having a real good year before he got hurt. With an infected bottom.

I assume he just wants to change teams to avoid getting heckled by his former teammates.

2007-08-20 14:33:40
61.   ToyCannon
A Yankee rotation of Santana, Hughes, Joba, Peavy, and Lowe is what I'm expecting in 2009.
2007-08-20 14:34:56
62.   regfairfield
58 I did the research a couple days ago. Over the last 10 years, four teams have set more than 1.5 games out of the playoffs on August 18th, then made it in.

There was a two game comeback, two four games, and a six and a half game comeback. It seemed strange to me to, but recent history has shown that teams don't lose comfortable leads after mid August.

2007-08-20 14:35:17
63.   paranoidandroid
Any Repko updates?
2007-08-20 14:35:43
64.   Kevin Lewis
"The Dodgers obviously don't want anything to do with the playoffs,"

That was painful to read.

I still have hope, but no matter what, I am enjoying the kids getting more and more playing time.

I was at the game on Saturday, and someone needs to work with Kemp on tracking flyballs/line drives. It was hard to watch that night.

2007-08-20 14:36:12
65.   ToyCannon
2007-08-20 14:37:43
66.   Jon Weisman
58 - Tangentially related, from August 2004:

With a lead of two games or fewer on September 1, the Dodgers have lost as many titles as they've won - three good, three bad. Out of seven September 1 leads of more than two games, the Dodgers have successfully closed out six. The biggest September 1 lead they have blown was 3 1/2 games, in 1962. (It was even worse than that, as you'll recall or see below. And 1973 was nothing to smile about, either...)

2007-08-20 14:38:49
67.   LogikReader

Enders is right... I've been Logikreader'd

2007-08-20 14:42:07
68.   Zak
I don't understand... how can 2,500 people have interest in going to a Monday afternoon baseball game between the Marlins and the Giants? Seriously, why?
2007-08-20 14:42:07
69.   Dodgers49
23. Any update on Randy Wolf?

We're due to learn more over the next few days:

Dodgers pitcher Wolf set to test shoulder

>> Wolf's left shoulder, which has kept him out of the Dodgers' rotation since July 3, is pain free, and Wolf will attempt to throw on the side next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday.

A pain-free session would be the first step toward a possible September return, but Wolf said that if he experiences any pain during or after the session, he will stop throwing and his 2007 season will be over. <<

2007-08-20 14:42:59
70.   delias man
Forget Repko. Any Laroche updates?
2007-08-20 14:43:29
71.   ryu
68 And Barry Bonds wasn't even in the lineup.
2007-08-20 14:43:37
72.   MJW101
Schmidt's shoulder surgery was very serious. Few, if any, pitchers come back to anywhere near what they were before injury, if they manage to come back at all. If he does come back it will probably be in 2009.

Lowe will not be back in 2009 so the GM better resign Penny for the $18M a year it is going to cost.

2007-08-20 14:45:35
73.   paranoidandroid
I don't know what I'd prefer, to be in the Giants situation or to be in it until the last weekend and miss out by a game. I think I want to ride it out until the end. But it kills me. I mean, I have to accept there are 30 teams and only one winner, and I have to accept that even if we have a tremendous season, we'll still lose at least 62 games. But it hurts when it happens and I can't figure out how I can't let it go.

2.5 games out of the WC. 16 out of 19 on the road. Too much time watching and thinking about this stuff. I need some Pepcid...

2007-08-20 14:46:04
74.   Zak
If there are only 2,500 people at the game, can they all move up to the field level or do the attendants frown on that?

Also, if they bring a beach ball, is that confiscated, or are people allowed to play with a beach ball under some kind of mercy rule?

2007-08-20 14:47:28
75.   screwballin
43 The "win now" crowd (which was once defined by Plaschke, but I guess he has come around to the kids) stresses that World Series are the only goal, so play for today and trade the kids for some marginal improvement.

Actually, I think the "win now" crowd is hoping for a little more than marginal improvement. ;)

So if the WS isn't the goal, what is?
I've been one who advocated judiciously trading prospects if the right deal can be found. That doesn't mean I want to dump them for some incremental benefit.

2007-08-20 14:48:28
76.   Jon Weisman
72 - I've seen nothing to indicate that Schmidt will not pitch in 2008. I don't know about the future quality of his pitching, but I've seen nothing to indicate he would be out for 15 months or more (dating back to this summer). Can you elaborate?

As for few, if any, pitchers coming back to anywhere near what they were before injury, if you just mean injuries in general, that's objectively false. Are you referring to Schmidt's injury in particular?

2007-08-20 14:50:02
77.   Zak
71 But Vinnie Chulk legged out an infield hit. Imagine the story the people in attendance will tell for generations to come.
2007-08-20 14:51:01
78.   Bob Timmermann
The Grass Roots said it best:
When I think of all the worries people seem to find
And how they're in a hurry to complicate their mind
By chasing after money and dreams that can't come true
I'm glad that we are different, we've better things to do
May others plan their future, I'm busy lovin' you

Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today
Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today
And don't worry 'bout tomorrow, hey, hey, hey
Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today
Live for today

2007-08-20 14:54:01
79.   Dodgers49
70. Forget Repko. Any Laroche updates?

As of this moment LaRoche is still on the 51's DL. So the Dodgers prediction that he would be coming off last weekend was apparently too optimistic. I haven't seen a later update so far.

2007-08-20 14:58:59
80.   Curtis Lowe
78 - Try "The Rokes"
2007-08-20 15:11:34
81.   MJW101
72 Yes. All this came out and was discussed by various writers & blogs after Schmidt's shoulder operation. A number of examples of injuries like his were reviewed and the prognosis for a full recovery was not good. However, on the bright side the newer techniques being used today may have improved his chances of pitching again. How well is open to speculation. After reading everything that was said post operation it did not look promising for a 2008 return. Possibly late 2008 or spring 2009 was more realistic. Schmidt is a tough cookie so he may fool the experts and make a full recovery sooner. We can all just hope he comes back at all.
2007-08-20 15:19:33
82.   Bob Timmermann
The Mets picked up Jeff Conine. The Reds got Jose Castro and Sean Henry, both of whom were at A-ball.
2007-08-20 15:19:38
83.   Benaiah
Only a fool would not change course when things (personnel) have changed.

The same kids that Plaschke says we protect are the ones he wanted to trade two years ago. The change is that we kept the kids, and so now we have a nucleus (unfortunately it is bit heavy with neutrons like Pierre, Gonzo and Nomar).

Just because at one time you believed in winning now does not mean that you lose common sense and do whatever it takes to get a certain player when you know you are more than one player away.

I guess you are a win now person? My point being, how much did Lugo contribute to the Dodgers triumphant march to the World Series in 2006? That ship has sailed and we are left with nothing, meanwhile Guzman has 7 years of eligibility. If there actually had been a World Series then maybe it would have been worth trading all those prospects, but instead nothing happened and many kids are spent.

75 - That is the point though, players like Lugo, Proctor and Hendrickson are at best marginal improvements. That is the ceiling: slightly better than nothing. I am not against trading prospects at all cost. If Miguel Caberra was available then see ya and good luck, but when you trade a lot of potential for the certainty of not much then eventually you are going to lose.

2007-08-20 15:22:19
84.   Eric Enders
83 Well, we're left with Chris Withrow and James Adkins for Guzman, not nothing. It's an open question whether you'd rather have them or Guzman.
2007-08-20 15:26:47
85.   Jon Weisman
81 - Yeah, few if any of the articles you're referring to said that Schmidt would be out all of 2008.

The issue is not the timing of his return, but his capacity.

2007-08-20 15:28:20
86.   Jon Weisman
Also this:

2007-08-20 15:32:31
87.   Marty
78 Was that featuring Creed?
2007-08-20 15:36:38
88.   Bob Timmermann
2007-08-20 15:38:02
89.   silverwidow
A Yankee rotation of Santana, Hughes, Joba, Peavy, and Lowe is what I'm expecting in 2009.

Peavy has an $8 million option for 2009, so ain't gonna be in there.

2007-08-20 15:39:58
90.   Eric Enders
Ian Kennedy will also be in the Yankee rotation by 2009 (if not 2008).
2007-08-20 15:44:00
91.   Linkmeister
87 History of The Grass Roots from All Music Guide:

Basically a bunch of studio guys; AMG sez there were at least three different "groups" which comprised The Grass Roots at different times.

I have their Greatest Hits album and wrote a blog entry about them once when I was doing Sunday music features two or three years ago.

2007-08-20 15:44:43
92.   nofatmike
84 Guzman the only guy we traded though.

2007-08-20 15:45:05
93.   nofatmike
wasn't the only guy*
2007-08-20 15:46:22
94.   Marty
88 They even put his name up on the video. You can actually recognize him too.
2007-08-20 15:50:03
95.   regfairfield
92 Yeah, but Pedroza wasn't really much of an asset. If he does anything, I'd be shocked. Hitting a lot of home runs at Vero Beach and striking out all the time when you're old for the level doesn't bode well.
2007-08-20 15:51:36
96.   Eric Enders
Pedroza's little brother is probably the better prospect, and we still have him.
2007-08-20 15:52:10
97.   screwballin
83 That is the point though, players like Lugo, Proctor and Hendrickson are at best marginal improvements.

You seem to be assuming that a "win now" person would necessarily agree with those trades. I'm only saying that the desire to win now and the desire to make only helpful trades are compatible, not mutually exclusive.

If there actually had been a World Series then maybe it would have been worth trading all those prospects, but instead nothing happened and many kids are spent.

Sometimes it seems as though nothing less than a certain trip to the WS will warrant trading a prospect, but there is nowhere near the certainly that the same prospect will guarantee any amount of victories later on. There's no certainty either way, so I'm not sure a staunch "keep the prospects" approach or a "win now" approach will ever be optimal. I think you've got to take it case by case, evaluate how winnable the league is year to year, and how special your prospects are. If a trade can help you in a winnable year like this one, you should do it. If you can only get "marginal improvement," you pass.

If that sounds argumentative, it's not meant to be. Just trying to express a respectful difference of opinion.

2007-08-20 15:54:16
98.   silverwidow
2008 rotation:


2007-08-20 15:56:09
99.   ucladodger

torn labrums take forever to get back to the previous level. Last year my buddy and I both had our tears fixed, and he actually had his surgery with the same doctor as Schmidt (which is why i knew Jason was having surgery 2 days before it was announced- my buddy was in the office when Schmidt saw the doctor). Before his surgery, my friend was throwing in the upper 80's. Now, around 15 months after surgery and on a strict rehab plan designed by Ellatraj, he's in the low 80's and still rehabbing. He plays for Northwestern, so if it takes a 19 year old that long to get even close to where he was, i dont want to imagine how long it will take Schmidt. As for me, i wasnt planning on playing ball in college, so i didnt attack rehab that hard. Over a year later, i can still only play catch for a few minutes at a time.

2007-08-20 15:57:47
100.   Eric Enders
If he doesn't sign a front-line pitcher, Colletti will almost certainly sign a couple of Tomko-like pitchers to fill the back end of the rotation in case Kuo and McDonald don't stick. I believe Russ Ortiz, who pitched for Ned in San Francisco, will be a free agent.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-08-20 16:00:25
101.   El Lay Dave
91 Apparently exhaustive blog entry on "Let's Live For Today", Rokes vs. Living Daylights vs. Grass Roots:

"Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today
And don't worry 'bout tomorrow, hey, hey, hey"

May be the worst rhyming attempt - that actually does rhyme - in the history of pop music. Hey, let's tack a "hey" at the end and it'll rhyme with "today"!

2007-08-20 16:02:03
102.   Benaiah
100 - Wow. Surely there is a rule against causing Bob's head to explode.
2007-08-20 16:02:57
103.   El Lay Dave
102 What if Eric had spelled it O-r-t-i-s ?
2007-08-20 16:03:56
104.   imperabo
Na, na, na
Gonna have a good time
Hey, hey, hey!
2007-08-20 16:04:08
105.   Eric Enders
I forgot to mention, Ortiz grew up in L.A. and has always wanted to be a Dodger. And we want players who want to be here.
2007-08-20 16:07:12
106.   Bob Timmermann
No taunting me! I'm feeling quite vulnerable now! I may just take my ball and go home.
2007-08-20 16:07:50
107.   Zak
100 What, Kirk Rueter won't be available?
2007-08-20 16:08:07
108.   Bob Timmermann
The Cubs lost, so if the Brewers win tonight they will be .0001 behind the Cubs.

Everyone will think they're tied except Xeifrank and I.

2007-08-20 16:10:23
109.   Zak
Schmidt, Ortiz, Rueter and Livan... then we can reach the World Series and lose to the Angels. Was Tomko part of the 2002 WS team?
2007-08-20 16:11:28
110.   Eric Enders
The Minotaur strikes out two, going 1-2-3 in the top of the first. He's throwing his curve for strikes tonight and his fastball is at 96 mph.
2007-08-20 16:12:22
111.   Jon Weisman
Not that she ever left, but she's back:

2007-08-20 16:13:25
112.   Bob Timmermann
Tomko was on the Padres in 2002.
2007-08-20 16:14:54
113.   Xeifrank
With the Dodgers current record, they'd be alone in first place in the NL Central. Amazingly, the Cardinals, once written off, are only three games out. I wonder if Eckstein can win the Mound City Cards another title.
vr, Xei
2007-08-20 16:16:23
114.   El Lay Dave
99 Depressing to think about. Schmidt will be 35 next spring.
2007-08-20 16:20:26
115.   Bob Timmermann
The Cardinals haven't announced a makeup day for Sunday's rainout. I assume it will be 9/10 when both teams have a common day off.
2007-08-20 16:20:51
116.   Zak
112 Thanks... I guess we can't keep him next year then.
2007-08-20 16:21:44
117.   Gagne55
The Dodgers would have to go 24-14 the rest of the way to match last year's record. Time to go on a run.
2007-08-20 16:23:51
118.   Bob Timmermann
Yeah, but I'll be 42 this winter!
2007-08-20 16:24:45
119.   Bob Timmermann
In case you were planning your evening, Texas at Baltimore has been postponed.
2007-08-20 16:25:35
120.   Zak
118 At least your shoulder is in better shape than Schmidt's.
2007-08-20 16:26:40
121.   Bob Timmermann
A brother of mine who is 46 has been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff.

Just simply from being old.

He's getting PT for it.

2007-08-20 16:27:36
122.   Benaiah
117 - The Dodgers have to go 7-31 to match their record in 2005.
2007-08-20 16:29:41
123.   Bluebleeder87

24-14 doesn't sound that far fetched I think it's doable, of course it doesn't mean we'll win the NL West (Wild Card hopes) but I'm just saying....

2007-08-20 16:33:32
124.   Jon Weisman
The Dodgers have only two more Monday games remaining in the season.
2007-08-20 16:33:50
125.   Eric Enders
The Dodgers have not had anything close to a 24-14 stretch at any point this year. They had three such streaks last year.
2007-08-20 16:34:03
126.   Bob Timmermann
24-14 is .632 ball. The Dodgers have had two stretches this season when they won 24 of 38 games.

They were Games 3 through 40 and Games 4 through 41.

2007-08-20 16:35:01
127.   Eric Enders
Okay, I guess I need to check my work better.
2007-08-20 16:35:25
128.   Zak
Sorry about that. That's no fun. I've had knee problems for the past ten years (ACL surgeries), so I sympathize. Lots of PT in that time too, and I definitely did not enjoy that.
2007-08-20 16:35:54
129.   Gagne55
Winning 88 again would likely give us another playoff berth via wild card. Unless you think one of the Braves/Phillies/Padres will go on a run.
2007-08-20 16:37:55
130.   Eric Enders
Kershaw gave up a double, a walk, and a balk in the second but escaped scoreless thanks to two more strikeouts.
2007-08-20 16:38:31
131.   Bob Timmermann
I think he also hurt one of his oblique muscles earlier in the summer.

But that was when he was playing "Capture the Flag" with my nephew and nieces.

That's the problem with uncles like us. We don't have the same exercise regimen as fathers.

2007-08-20 16:40:20
132.   Marty
So far the steroid shot I got Thursday has kept me ambulatory.
2007-08-20 16:41:49
133.   Zak
131 The key is to approach it like Football. You only play on Sundays, but you have to practice all week to get in shape for Sunday. Also, if you have a lot of nephews, you may have to work extra hard on your zone defense.
2007-08-20 16:46:58
134.   Eric Enders
Minotaur through 3
3 IP, 1 H, O R, 2 BB, 5 SO
2007-08-20 16:47:30
135.   Jon Weisman
132 - Ster-oids! Ster-oids!
Marty sucks! Marty sucks!
2007-08-20 16:49:20
136.   Bluebleeder87
& like the dude from SnakePit said, Zona's top 2 relievers are wavering a bit OF LATE so I still think anything can happen. The Padres like us have bottom of the rotation issues so like I said anything can happen.
2007-08-20 16:50:59
137.   Gagne55
Interesting article about the D'backs overperforming their un differentials.

2007-08-20 16:52:14
138.   ryu
124 It would've been nice if you inserted "Rick" between "more" and "Monday."
2007-08-20 16:52:49
139.   Eric Enders
Two-run homer for Blake DeWitt.
Suns 2, Mississippi 0
2007-08-20 16:55:00
140.   Bluebleeder87

I don't know but in the back of my mind (way way in the back of my mind) I wouldn't mind getting a steriod shot just to see how much harder I could throw a ball or how much farther I can hit a ball. "But I'll probably just stay in Aurora" :o)

2007-08-20 16:55:13
141.   Bumsrap
DeWitt, that's the guy I rank above LaRoche.
2007-08-20 16:55:28
142.   Sam DC
That thing about the D-Backs bullpen I linked earlier wasn't right. It does appear they will be getting a reliever from the Nationals org, but not Colome and not anyone on the Major League roster.
2007-08-20 16:56:41
143.   Bumsrap
140 - Remember it makes your cap size bigger and your cup size smaller.
2007-08-20 16:57:19
144.   Zak
138 I listened to a lot of Dodgers games on the radio this week, and I noticed that Monday was almost going out of his way to mention scores two or three times EVERY HALF INNING. Now granted, I wasn't scientifically counting, and I was tuning in and out a lot, but I never went long without hearing the score.

He was even doing stuff I've neved heard him do before. Like, "2 balls and 2 strikes, the Dodgers are up by 3 in the top of the 7th" instead of the usual "2 balls and 2 strikes, and back to my story about the time when I was bowling with 2 balls and had 2 strikes".

I thought about Jon's recent vent on DT about Monday not mentioning the score and am almost willing to bet someone saw that and said something. I bet they hired an intern who only job is to periodically come in front of Monday when he is commentating and hold up a poster reminding him to mention the score mid-inning.

Anyone else notice this at all?

2007-08-20 16:59:05
145.   silverwidow
141-I don't see how; he has no plate discipline.
2007-08-20 16:59:57
146.   Eric Enders
Maybe it's all a conspiracy to render the screen name "Tell Me the Score Rick Monday" irrelevant.
2007-08-20 17:01:34
147.   jasonungar07
Dodger OPS leaders: top 5.

Matt Kemp
Jeff Kent
Wilson Betimit
Russell Martin
Andre Ethier
James Loney

1 vet.
4 first or second year players.
one guy on the yankees....

2007-08-20 17:02:01
148.   Bob Timmermann
your cup size smaller

A lot of women have surgery for that.

2007-08-20 17:06:32
149.   Eric Enders
Listening to the solid J.P. Shadrick tonight reminds me: It's pretty sad when both your AA and AAA play-by-play announcers are better than your major league ones.
2007-08-20 17:08:18
150.   Eric Enders
Thru 4:
4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K
Suns 2, Braves 0
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-08-20 17:09:49
151.   Marty
135 It was cortisone, still a steroid but...

If I remain pain-free I will be come a steroid spokesman.

2007-08-20 17:12:12
152.   underdog
So would it be right to assume that if Kershaw continues on the upswing here, and starts next season in AA again, that we could see him in LA sometime next year - Sept 1 call up at the least?
2007-08-20 17:18:02
153.   Bob Timmermann
If cortisone were a prohibited substance, then baseball and most other sports would never be played.
2007-08-20 17:20:24
154.   ssjames
152 I would assume that to be the case, if he gets his control under command, I would not be terribly surprised to see him July-Aug even.
2007-08-20 17:23:52
155.   silverwidow
152-He might even be invited to big league spring training.
2007-08-20 17:31:44
156.   SFRefugee
Sure would be nice to have Texeira's 9 homers and 25 rbi since he joined the Braves...
2007-08-20 17:32:19
157.   FirstMohican headline: "Pierre not bothered with perceived OBP issues"

Guess we haven't definitively established whether or not Pierre's OBP'ing at the reported .325 clip.

2007-08-20 17:33:52
158.   underdog
OBP how can I explain it
I'll take you frame by frame it
To have y'all jumpin' shall we singin' it
You down with OBP (Yeah you know me)
Who's down with OBP (Every last homie)
2007-08-20 17:34:00
159.   El Lay Dave
I wonder how old the Juan Pierre quotes in this article are?

I'd like to be surprised that articles like this still get written, but I read FJM too often not to know better.

2007-08-20 17:34:30
160.   El Lay Dave
157 D'oh!
2007-08-20 17:36:43
161.   Eric Enders
6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K

Shadrick reports "Kershaw in a little bit of pain as he leaves the mound."

2007-08-20 17:37:18
162.   ssjames
Want a lump in your throat? Well, according to the announcers, Kershaw just left the mound after the 6th and it looked like he was in pain.
2007-08-20 17:38:22
163.   trainwreck
Maybe he felt bad for how much he was destroying them.
2007-08-20 17:40:24
164.   El Lay Dave
161 As Charlie Brown said, "AAUGH!"

As thus why he is the Minotaur.

2007-08-20 17:40:58
165.   underdog
Argh. The Minotaur's supposed be indestructible! Hopefully it's just a minor twinge of some sort. {gulp}
2007-08-20 17:43:45
166.   Marty
159 That article is a hoot:

Pierre's lack of walks isn't because he's an undisciplined hitter. In fact, he rarely chases balls out of the strike zone and more often than not, pitchers challenge Pierre because they don't want to give him a free pass knowing how disruptive he is once he gets on base.

Pierre has a theory to why he doesn't walk as much as other guys. He said pitchers know, first of all, that he isn't going to hit the ball out of the park and secondly, they don't want to give him a free pass because they know he'll probably end up at second base, so to a pitcher a walk to Pierre is like giving up a double.

"I think moreso they know I'm not going to hit the ball out of the park and that's why they're not afraid to throw a fastball right down the middle when they fall behind 2-0," said Pierre, who has stolen 18 consecutive bases without being caught. "What am I'm going to do, go up there and take all the time? I feel I have a better chance getting a hit than a walk, and the number's show that."

How many times can the writer write the same paragraph?

2007-08-20 17:44:43
167.   PDH5204
24 So no love for Reggie's '77 season. Figures...
2007-08-20 17:47:48
168.   El Lay Dave
166 I feel a bit like a dead-horse beater, but that article is chock-full of hilarity.

When [Pierre's] hitting well, he's in the leadoff or No. 2 slot, but when he's slumping, manager Grady Little hasn't hesitated putting Pierre in the seventh or eighth slot.

2007-08-20 17:50:39
169.   Zak
Man, this Juan Pierre article is really funny. I am not good enough to hit home runs, and they don't want to walk me because I can steal bases. So the pitchers challenge me more and throw me fastballs down the middle on 0-2 pitches. That's why my OBP is not as high as other lead off hitters. But, it is what it is and I won't change my game.
2007-08-20 17:52:50
170.   Zak
I also like this paragraph

"When I'm hitting good, my on-base percentage is high and that's just the way it is," Pierre said. "The Dodgers knew that before I came here. It is what it is. I just go out there and play the game, and I don't get caught up in all of this."

2007-08-20 17:54:35
171.   El Lay Dave
167 I don't know what you mean by "Figures...", but there is a argument to be made that 1977 is only Reggie's four-best season after '69, '73 and '80, in no particular order. Not that '77 isn't a plenty fine season.
2007-08-20 17:54:44
172.   ssjames
The Jacksonville announcers have now stated that it looked like Kershaw had some pain near his hip. They could have said this at the start instead of giving us all heart-attacks.
2007-08-20 17:55:47
173.   Eric Enders
More details on Kershaw... apparently he walked off the field clutching his right side in pain. Doesn't appear to have anything to do with his arm. Hopefully it's just a cramp.
2007-08-20 17:56:17
174.   Bluebleeder87
Man, I gotta tell you the Texas little league team looks very very impressive (very polished hitters & pitching) I'll be very surprised if they don't take it all.
2007-08-20 17:57:21
175.   El Lay Dave
172 Perhaps at the start they had only facial expression to go on? Hip - I still don't like it.
2007-08-20 17:58:01
176.   Jon Weisman
Did we learn nothing from the Natepurcell incident??
2007-08-20 18:03:53
177.   Eric Enders
Speaking of which, they haven't said why McDonald's turn was skipped. It's probably one of those scheduled skips that Watson is doing. Either that or he's starting against the Phillies tomorrow.
2007-08-20 18:06:08
178.   PDH5204
171 '77 - .307/.427/.576

'77 represents the high-water mark for Reggie in OBP and SLG. Was also his career year in HRs with 32. And he walked 104 times [he never had so much as 80 walks in any other year].

2007-08-20 18:15:53
179.   King of the Hobos
I'm really happy that Reggie Willits starts for the Angels now, so he can finally prove that there still exists guys like Raines that completely counter the drivel found in 166 (the quoted stuff, not Marty).

In 1983, despite having little power (.131 ISO) and lots of speed (90 SBs), Raines managed to walk 97 times! Willits this year (and pretty much his entire minor league career) has showed the power of his grandmother (.048 ISO), and good speed (25 SBs), yet has manged to walk 3.5x more than Pierre.

2007-08-20 18:16:07
180.   Bluebleeder87

It's a Tommy Lasorda-esque type move, I love it. It beats having the likes of David Wells wearing Dodger blue.

2007-08-20 18:17:59
181.   natepurcell
DeWitt, that's the guy I rank above LaRoche.

May I ask what are your reasons for that? I would love to hear some arguments for that instead of just "gut instinct".

2007-08-20 18:19:00
182.   natepurcell
Kershaw's outing today was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't really expecting any outings for the remainder of the year where he didn't walk 5 guys.
2007-08-20 18:20:14
183.   Indiana Jon
178 Up until you threw those stats out, I assumed you were talking about a different Reggie. I think El Lay Dave did too when he mentioned those other three seasons.
2007-08-20 18:20:24
184.   natepurcell
So shouldn't we be hearing some Bryan Morris news about now?
2007-08-20 18:22:28
185.   Eric Enders
184 He's back throwing all his pitches now and is going to be pitching in Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League, according to an article the other day on
2007-08-20 18:24:41
186.   natepurcell

sounds good. maybe i'll take a scouting trip up to phoenix and see him pitch.

2007-08-20 18:27:57
187.   PDH5204
183 Sorry about that, but that other Reggie doesn't exist for the Dodgers fan [well, maybe he does, but only in our nightmares].
2007-08-20 18:32:51
188.   Gen3Blue
Was Reggies highest HR total 32! I find that hard to believe.
2007-08-20 18:33:01
189.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
Teixeira's box score line today 4 AB, 4 R, 3 H, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 2 HR, 1 2B
2007-08-20 18:35:10
190.   Eric Enders
Teixeira's box score line today: 4 AB, 4 R, 3 H, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 2 HR, 1 2B
Kershaw's box score line today: 6 IP, 2 H, O R, 2 BB, 8 K

I know which one I'd rather have.

2007-08-20 18:36:00
191.   Gen3Blue
Teixera Socks.
2007-08-20 18:36:23
192.   regfairfield
189 Texiera's VORP with the Braves: 7.5

Assuming Loney has been replacement level this month (which seems about right) the Dodgers would have seven more runs right now. How much would that really help?

2007-08-20 18:37:19
193.   PDH5204
179 I'm not saying that this serves to excuse Juan's OBP as it doesn't, but he is right. In the year that you speak of, Raines hit 11 homers. Pierre has never hit more than 3. In other words, there is no power, and then there is no power. And so no reason to paint the black with Juan, let him put the ball in play and see if your defense can record the out.
2007-08-20 18:38:07
194.   El Lay Dave
187 et al. Reggie Smith was a stud for the LAD, but just to compare, the 99th place season on that list is 2006 David Ortiz:
.287 .413 .636 54 HRs, 119 BB

100th and last is 1992 Frank Thomas:
.323 .439 .536 24 HRs, 122 BB

I'd hazard a guess that 1977 Reggie Smith falls close behind.

2007-08-20 18:38:45
195.   Gen3Blue
So in 2004 Beltre hit 1 1/2 times as many as Reggie ever hit? Incredable.
2007-08-20 18:43:04
196.   Gen3Blue
And I'm suprised it looks like Reggie only reached 100 RBI once. I'm surprised.
2007-08-20 18:44:51
197.   El Lay Dave
193 Willits, though, has a Pierresque .347 Slg%, with no HRs.

Brett Butler had a .377 career OBP with a .376 Slg%. (BB averaged 4 HRs season; JP's career high is 3 HRs, twice, but still, BB is a popgun, power-wise.)

2007-08-20 18:50:13
198.   Johnson
Teixeira's box score line today: 4 AB, 4 R, 3 H, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 2 HR, 1 2B
Kershaw's box score line today: 6 IP, 2 H, O R, 2 BB, 8 K

I know which one I'd rather have.

I would add:
Teixeira: Age 27, soon-to-be-expensive
Kershaw: Age 19 (third ever start at AA), cheap for years

2007-08-20 18:55:41
199.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
193 Pierre has a point. Comparing his career stats to those of Maury Wills shows that both average 2 HRs for 162 games. Wills averaged 46 BB/ 162 G, Pierre averages 40 BB/162 G.
2007-08-20 18:58:22
200.   El Lay Dave
Teixeira is a stud, but consider this.

Atl before Tex (through 7/31): 56-51, 3.5 GB the Mets, 1.5 GB in WC
Atl since Tex: 10-8 (66-59 overall), 5 GB, 1 GB in WC

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-08-20 18:59:23
201.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
190 198 Are you certain that Kershaw was a deal-breaker? Are the Dodgers now a poorhouse team that can't match the big-market organizations and compete for the best free agents?
2007-08-20 18:59:28
202.   PDH5204
190 So do I, Tex's. If Kershaw otherwise makes it, and there is no guarantee that he will, but if he does, he will only affect 1 in 5 games. Tex can affect every game and so he had 2 homers yesterday as well and carried his team to victory. We could otherwise replace Kershaw by signing Johan when he becomes a free agent.

192 He's been less than replacement value. He has 3 RBI's and 2 runs scored this month, with but a single multi-hit game. That is wretched. He also had 9 RBI for the month of June. Even more wretched. He had an 8 game hot streak the last week of June or so, but since then, he's seen his AVG drop from a high of .478 down to .307. So that's about a .175 drop in AVG in a month and half. Wretched. There might also be a problem with your VORP, since Tex is a tad bit more than 7 runs beyond one James Loney as of late. More specfically, there's 19 RBIs in August to 3, 7 HR to 1 [the HRs very nearly swallow whole the claimed VORP difference all by themselves], and need I go on? The VORP may be right, but if so, that only means that Loney is playing at a non-MLB level right now and so we see Saenz and Sweeney playing in his stead.

2007-08-20 19:06:05
203.   King of the Hobos
199 Neifi! has higher career OPS than Wills. I know a lot of people fondly remember Wills (He retired 16 years before I was born, so I have no attachment), but in today's terms, he just was not a very good player.
2007-08-20 19:11:16
204.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
203 1 MVP, 5 years an All-Star, 2 Gold Gloves. People back then were just dumb, I guess.
2007-08-20 19:12:54
205.   CanuckDodger
201 -- No, Kershaw wasn't a deal breaker. The Rangers' trade demand was ridiculous even before they got to mentioning they wanted Kershaw too. The Rangers wanted three players of the Dodgers' choice off a five-man list of Billingsley, Kemp, Loney, Broxton, and Ethier, and they wanted Kershaw IN ADDITION to those three players. Teixeira doesn't come close to being worth any possible three-man combination off that list, and that is not just going by "future value." The 2007 Dodgers would unquestionably be a much worse team WITH Teixeira but WITHOUT any three of those five players.
2007-08-20 19:14:34
206.   King of the Hobos
204 No, he was a good player, just not by today's standards (steroids, small parks, etc).
2007-08-20 19:16:33
207.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
205 And you believe that meeting that "demand" was required to beat the offer the Braves made?
2007-08-20 19:16:50
208.   silverwidow
In high school, Kershaw pulled an oblique. Maybe it's a re-injury.
2007-08-20 19:19:43
209.   dzzrtRatt
So...what's Loney doing wrong?
2007-08-20 19:19:58
210.   natepurcell

what do you think we could have gotten Tex for?

2007-08-20 19:22:46
211.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
209 Last 7 days: 3/21 0 HR, 1 RBI; Last month: 20/88 2 HR; 8 RBI
2007-08-20 19:24:51
212.   King of the Hobos
207 Quite possibly. The Rangers liked what the Braves were offering. They knew we have lots of good prospects, and they wanted as much as they could get. If we weren't willing to give them what they wanted, they could just take what the Braves were offering.

DBacks down 6-0 after 1.5 innings in Arizona.

2007-08-20 19:26:22
213.   gpellamjr
Arizona's Pythag record will take another hit tonight.

I'm back on the hope-for-the-division bandwagon.

2007-08-20 19:26:56
214.   El Lay Dave
204 The Dodgers league rank in Runs scored per game during Maury Wills first tour, during his prime years (1960-1966*):

3, 2, 2, 6, 8, 8, 8

* 1960-61 out of 8 teams, other out of 10 teams

2007-08-20 19:27:59
215.   gpellamjr
Wait a minute. Tomko is starting tomorrow? What was the point of Penny's moving up a game if we aren't going to skip Tomko?
2007-08-20 19:32:11
216.   Indiana Jon
Where's Bob? Looks like Owings is coming up as a pinch hitter in Arizona.
2007-08-20 19:32:43
217.   El Lay Dave
Atlanta's cost for Teixeira plus a LOOGY:

C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
SS Elvis Andrus
RHP Neftali Feliz
LHP Matt Harrison
LHP Beau Jones

That's the offer the Dodgers would have had to match or beat. What's a comparable haul from the Dodgers? Loney, Hu, Kershaw, and ?

2007-08-20 19:33:10
218.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
212 Fair enough. We'll never know I suppose.
2007-08-20 19:34:15
219.   Gen3Blue
Arizona is behind the Brewers in the second.6-0!
I have read a few well reasoned articles about how the D-backs, who have scored less runs than they have allowed, will not revert to the mean. But you know how hard I am wishing that at the end of the year, I can write a piece called "The Pythagorean Revenge".
2007-08-20 19:34:15
220.   CanuckDodger
207 -- We're the Dodgers. Other teams always hold out for more from us when they will take any old thing from some other team. The difference between what the Rangers wanted from us and what they got from the Braves is huge, but even the Braves would not have got off as cheaply as they did if they hadn't ended up nearly the only team that wanted Teixeira enough to stay in the running long enough. The fact is, Teixeira was always a better fit for the Braves than he was for us. Our first baseman was James Loney, the Braves' was Julio Franco. And the best player the Braves lost was a prospect completely blocked by Brian McCann, so it is not like the Braves will ever feel that loss.
2007-08-20 19:35:22
221.   Gen3Blue
Owings is. And he walks!
2007-08-20 19:39:20
222.   PDH5204
197 Maybe so far it's just a case of Willits looking like he's a lot more physically imposing than he is, I mean, he is a semi-big man while Pierre doesn't look physically imposing at all [Pierre's the kind of guy that even if you never saw him play before, as soon as he comes up, you and your two outfield buddies come in and never mind the coaching staff having to tell you to do so]. I would suggest that we wait and see until the pitchers in the AL realize that Willits doesn't hit his weight in power [as it were], and then we'll see how much he walks.

209 I don't know, though I wish I did, as it has become painful to watch. The danger here for Loney is that Shea outhits him until Nomar comes off the DL and then maybe Grady leaves Shea at 3rd and moves Nomar back to 1st.

2007-08-20 19:41:38
223.   King of the Hobos
What are the thoughts on Steven Johnson? IIRC, he was signed to an over slot contract in the 13th round in 2005, but was considered a legitimate talent. After doing well in Ogden last year, he struggled to start the year for the Loons but has been pretty good in August (4 starts, 26.2 IP, 19 hits, 2 ER, 8 BBs, 17 KS). Plus even when he struggled to begin the year, his FIP was much lower than his ERA. He doesn't strike out a lot of guys (58 in 72 IP this year, although 86 in 78.2 last year), and allows a lot of fly balls (even if only 2 have been homers this year), so I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm really hoping he can become something good.
2007-08-20 19:44:18
224.   Johnson
219 Of course, reversion to the mean would only suggest that they will revert to their current Pythagorean expected record for the final 37 games of the season, not that their season record would be dragged all the way down. Their expected win percentage is currently 48%, so reverting to the mean they would go 18-19 for the rest of the season and end up at 89-73. In order for Arizona to drop to their current expected win percentage, they'd have to go 6-31 the rest of the way, and even Pythagoras isn't that vengeful.
2007-08-20 19:45:34
225.   KG16
202 - do you really expect any ballplayer to maintain a near-.500 batting average for a season? A .307 batting average for a player with less than one full season of Major League experience is not "wretched". It's actually rather good.

CanuckDodger is right, the cost of obtaining Teixeira highly outweighed the benefit, short term and long term. Growing pains are, by definition, painful. But the benefit of sticking it out with guys like Either, Kemp, and Loney - who have all shown flashes of brilliance - can (and likely will) outweigh the cost of stumbling through this season.

2007-08-20 19:45:59
226.   natepurcell

he's still very young. I think this is his age 19 season. I also think the results from most of his starts this year have been skewed by being injured or trying to come back from injured. He missed a significant chunk of time earlier in the year to an injury Although I don't remember what exactly was wrong with him.

2007-08-20 19:47:19
227.   Gen3Blue
Regarding Teixera and my post 191. I dont want to affect the discourse wrongly because some people don't realize how cynical I am (and this can be my fault for being vague). But I was evaluating what T. cost and what they asked in return from us and because of DT's rule#1(I think) I used a different vowel than I meant. And it wasn't sacks!
2007-08-20 19:47:21
228.   CanuckDodger
223 -- Johnson was plagued by shoulder soreness earlier in the season. Given what Johnson has done in August, I assume he is healthy now, and that his poor ERA before August is attributable to pitching at less than one-hundred percent.
2007-08-20 19:49:21
229.   King of the Hobos
222 While I suppose Willits could regress, the guy has a history of walking a lot without power. In 1596 ABs in the minors, he hit .301/.397/.397, which isn't all that different than his stats this year (.299/.398/.347).

Assuming he is physically imposing, are pitchers really that uninformed? The guy has never hit a homer in the majors, and has hit less than 1 per 100 ABs in the minors.

2007-08-20 19:56:09
230.   Bob Timmermann
Willits has the second longest homerless streak (in ABs) in the majors now behind only our own Juan Pierre.
2007-08-20 19:57:43
231.   scooplew
203 As one who was born 11 years before Wills broke in, and remembers the day he was brought up -- I was in the 6th grade at Hancock Park Elementary School in L.A. -- you had to have been witness to what he did to appreciate and understand his greatness. Not only did he return the stolen base to the game, he terrorized pitchers, was the vital cog in an often impotent Dodgers offense, and allowed those who followed him in the lineup to see plenty of fastballs. Look at Tommy Davis' marks in 1962 and 1963, for instance. In 1962, when Wills set his record of 104 stolen bases, he had more steals than every team in the National League (with the exception, of course, of the Dodgers). But before Wills arrived, no National Leaguer had stolen more than 40 bases in a season since Kiki Cuyler had 43 with the Cubs in 1929.
Prior to Wills, the list of the top 15 base stealers in major league history had not changed in nearly 30 years. In fact, all 15 at the time, with Hall of Famers Billy Hamilton, Ty Cobb and Eddie Collins at the top of the list, had retired before Wills was born. Wills also opened the way for Lou Brock, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Smith, Joe Morgan and many others to follow. I know it is not cool to value the stolen base today, but in Wills' day it was significant tool for the Dodgers, in part because no one else came close to him. Wills gave the club incredible life and gave of himself without holding anything back. He played in all 165 games -- including the three playoff games -- in 1962 -- a mark likely never to be broken. In his first eight years in the league, 1959 through 1966, the Dodgers won four pennants (59, 63, 65 and 66) and three World Series (59, 63 and 65), and lost the pennant once in a playoff (62). I know his OBP is not good, but that criterion was not even born when he played. Wills should be in the Hall of Fame as one of the most significant players in the 1960s. His stats compare favorably with the six other shortstops in the Hall of Fame who played most or all of their careers since 1950 -- Robin Yount, Ernie Banks, Phil Rizzuto, Pee Wee Reese, Luis Aparicio, and Ozzie Smith.
2007-08-20 20:01:36
232.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
214 Not sure how that's an indictment of Wills. Ron Fairly, Wally Moon, Willie Davis and Tommy Davis were also on those teams. In those 7 years, the Dodgers won 3 pennants and 2 World Series Championships.
2007-08-20 20:02:05
233.   El Lay Dave
222 Willits is listed as 5'11", 185. Juan Pierre, 5'11", 180.
2007-08-20 20:03:16
234.   PDH5204
229 Maybe it isn't a case of being uniformed but a case of the visual cortex not quite believing what the cerebral cortex is saying about the man's record of not hitting the long ball [I mean, really, how many guys are there his size who hit so few homers?].

But let me ask you this, from the best of your recollection, in his average at bat, how many pitches out of the zone does Pierre see? It may just be my visual cortex, but it doesn't seem to me that he gets to let pass all that many pitches out of the zone. But as I otherwise said, I am not trying to excuse his low OBP as he and his OBP are what they are and if they aren't good enough then they aren't good enough and we need to find a replacement. It doesn't otherwise truly matter to me since it isn't his low OBP that makes him unnacceptable to me, I mean, even if he had an OBP of .370, he'd just be like the guy with the .333 OBP given that he'd need all those extra runs coming from the extra .047 in OBP just to make up for all the extra runs scoring as a result of all those souls taking that extra base on his arm.

2007-08-20 20:04:24
235.   Gen3Blue
Well THT's theory looks good---The D-backs are getting thrashed tonight and pouring gas on with a junk reliever. They save their core of good relievers for close games.
2007-08-20 20:06:42
236.   Sam DC
Great recollections, lew.

I'm not sure it's fair to say it's not "cool" to value the stolen base today. I think many of the folks who criticize basestealing these days are focused more on success rate than anything else. But it's a small point; I enjoyed reading your comment.

2007-08-20 20:07:27
237.   PDH5204
233 Willits looks bigger than Juan Pierre to me, though maybe that's just illusion.
2007-08-20 20:08:02
238.   gpellamjr
I don't think it matters why Pierre's OBP is bad. If there's nothing he can do about it, then he shouldn't be an MLB regular. If he can improve it, then he should, but if he can't, put him on the bench.
2007-08-20 20:08:23
239.   Gen3Blue
5'11', 180 is a pivatol size. I have seen guys with these stats who are incredably imposing or amazingly small looking.
2007-08-20 20:08:45
240.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
231 Hear, hear! It was an amazing thing to be in Dodgers Stadium and hear the crowd of 52,000 chant in one voice "Go, Go, Go!" All of us knew Wills would go, and he didn't disappoint us. Few have had such a dramatic effect on the way the game is played as Wills had.
2007-08-20 20:09:16
241.   oldfan60
You put it very well. Wills was often the only offense the Dodgers had. He was a terrific ballplayer.
2007-08-20 20:09:16
242.   gpellamjr
234 & 248 Whoops, you made my point before I did. Sorry.

But seriously, does it matter why a guy isn't performing? Pierre just doesn't cut it.

2007-08-20 20:13:24
243.   scooplew
236 Sam DC, thanks very much for your comments. That is part of a letter that I have written to the Hall of Fame in support of Wills' candidacy. I also have talked with Wills over the years, starting with when I played on his team at the Dodgers Fantasy Camp in Vero Beach a few years ago. He is an interesting, reflective, gracious man, aware of the mistakes that he made in his life. . . . "Cool" was not the right word to use regarding the stolen base; I should have said that it is not valued much these days. . . . Presuming that DC stands for District of Columbia, Wills was born there. His observations about playing baseball as a boy -- without any shoes -- are an interesting part of the recent book "After Jackie," which details in stunning fashion the racism that black baseball players experienced in the minors and majors long after Robinson broke the color barrier.
2007-08-20 20:15:03
244.   Sam DC
I'm very excited for comment 248, I can tell you that much.
2007-08-20 20:15:59
245.   El Lay Dave
232 If the leadoff hitter's ultimate job is to score runs (by being driven in by the other guys, admittedly), why didn't the Dodgers score more? One factor - not the sole factor and not the primary factor - low OBP from leadoff.

(I didn't list 1959, Wills first year: Dodgers were 4th in runs/game. Don Zimmer played more SS than Wills, but was an offensive black hole.)

Dodger ERA ranks (1959 - 1966):
3, 1, 6, 3, 1 (2.85), 1 (2.95), 1 (2.81), 1 (2.62)

The three best ERA are the pennant years.

2007-08-20 20:16:13
246.   King of the Hobos
David Eckstein is listed at 5'7", 175. That height looks fine, but 175? I weigh 150 and I look bigger than him.
2007-08-20 20:16:32
247.   Gen3Blue
231 Hear him, Hear Him!
2007-08-20 20:18:57
248.   El Lay Dave
245 The three best ERA are the pennant years of the 1960s.
2007-08-20 20:21:21
249.   El Lay Dave
242 It does matter if the problem is correctable.
2007-08-20 20:23:55
250.   Sam DC
248 is a fine comment/clarification, but I'm not sure what you were hoping for Pellam.

And yes, DC is Dist. of Columbia. I had forgotten Wills was from here. Wonder if the team can get him to appear at the youth baseball academy -- like the one in Compton -- that is to open here.

That was not a valuable stolen base attempt by Phillips with the top of the order coming up in the NYY/ANA game.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-08-20 20:26:37
251.   Fallout
111 Jon Weisman
At the end it almost sounded like she was quoting the Bible. "Never lose hope. Have faith. Find compassion. And know we are all in this together."

1Co 13:13 So these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the best one of these is love.

2007-08-20 20:32:14
252.   El Lay Dave
I believe the value of the stolen base is related to expected slugging percentages. The more power a team has, the less valuable the SB is, since the would-be basestealer will score from first on a lot of doubles and on all homers. In 1965, the league Slg% was .374; an average team hit 132 HR. In 2006, .427 and 178. Overly simplistic leap to conclusion: Maury Wills' SB were more valuable than Juan Pierre's.
2007-08-20 20:35:12
253.   LogikReader
Just an off topic reminder: After seeing Kevin Garnett on the Celtics, I need to remind everyone here, I HATE THE CELTICS! and I never stopped, even as bad as they've been for 20 years.

Back on topic: With such a low on base percentage, it's really remarkable how Juan Pierre is running away with the stolen base crown. For tomorrow, I think the Dodgers have a pretty decent shot to beat the Phils in the series, but it could go either way, even for Tomko's start.

2007-08-20 20:35:51
254.   Sam DC
Neither the Angel or the Yanks are running Maury Wills out there tonight.

(Was actually an outstanding play by both Posada and Cano to get Figgins there. Unbelievably close.)

2007-08-20 20:37:52
255.   Bob Timmermann
I will be the Maury Wills Devil's Advocate. I think his role in popularizing the stolen base is overplayed. Luis Aparicio was stealing 20+ bases in his rookie year of 1956 and in 1959 he stole 56.

Aparicio's teams got to two World Series and won one of them (Baltimore, 1966).

Wills had two monster seasons in steals, 62 and 65 (104 and 94).

I think Wills will have trouble making it into the HOF in part because of his disastrous year trying to manage Seattle while under the influence of several different illegal substances.

2007-08-20 20:39:56
256.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
245 Let's compare apples with apples. Let's take a great year for the Dodgers, 1963. Wills had an OBP of .355. The NL average that year was .306. How did the other NL leadoff men do? Flood (StL) .345; Kuenn (SF) .358; Taylor (Phil) .330; Rose (Cin) .334; Maye (Mil) .329; Brock (Chi) .300; Schofield (Pitt) .333; Spangler (Hous) .355; Hickmen (NY) .291.
2007-08-20 20:41:11
257.   underdog
254 Yeah, excellent tag there by Cano.

Also: Rick Sutcliffe sounds like he's been hitting the sauce again. I feel like I need to stick a babel fish in my ear every time he speaks just to help me understand what he's talking about.

And I can't believe anyone here's spending time arguing about Juan Pierre when you could be watching the new Flight of the Conchords again - if you'd Tivo'd it.

2007-08-20 20:42:01
258.   Bob Timmermann
It's probably simpler to correlate the value of a stolen base to the number of runs scored rather than slugging.

Tony Womack led the NL in steals in three straight seasons with OBPs of 326, 319, and 332.

2007-08-20 20:44:04
259.   scooplew
250 Wills works for the Dodgers. I expect that if the club were approached about the youth baseball academy in DC, he would be glad to come. He is a fine speaker, and the event would have special significance for him and, perhaps, the DC area media. . . . By the way, one reason Wills' stolen base total of 104 in 1962 was so important was because he was caught stealing only 13 times. He was thus successful on 88.9 percent of his attempts.
2007-08-20 20:44:40
260.   trainwreck
It is replaying on HBO right now, so you do not even need a Tivo.
2007-08-20 20:45:17
261.   Jon Weisman
I just read that Pierre article. It is so tortured.

Here's my old Maury Wills take.

2007-08-20 20:46:05
262.   El Lay Dave
257 ... and if you were paying for HBO.
2007-08-20 20:46:41
263.   Sam DC
Alex Rodriguez is pretty good.

257 Well I'm tempermentally not inclined to use such strong language or to float such a sharp accusation, I too had been thinking that Sutcliffe seems really disjointed and confusing. And he's really repeating himself again and again and again.

2007-08-20 20:47:09
264.   Bob Timmermann
Well, I won't be the target of scooplew's ire now.
2007-08-20 20:49:16
265.   Sam DC
Tulowitzky CS on a strikeemoutthrowemout in the bottom of the tenth in Colo.

With Todd Helton coming up behind him.

Again, that is why I question reckless basestealing. Unless you're real sure you're gonna make it, it's a real bad move to take yourself off the bases with Todd Helton coming up.

(And I wasn't watching, so it might have been a botched hitnrun and not a CS.)

2007-08-20 20:50:17
266.   Bob Timmermann
You're talking about Clint Hurdle here.

Do the math.

2007-08-20 20:51:24
267.   Sam DC
Helton walked.

And I've now done the math.

2007-08-20 20:54:54
268.   Sam DC
With runners at 1st and 2nd, and two outs, Hurdle just PH'd Jamey Carroll for Brad Hawpe.

(looks it up)

Wow, Hawpe's not even batting .200 against LHP this season. Ouch.

2007-08-20 21:00:16
269.   Sam DC
Sutcliffe now riffing about how he wanted to hit Reggie Jackson in the head or the face after Reggie once hit a homer and didn't get running quick enough against him.
2007-08-20 21:04:39
270.   Exick
Hey! 'Atta way, Pirates! Thanks Trace.
2007-08-20 21:07:32
271.   PDH5204
268 The inability to hit lefties is what keeps Hawpe from being one of the game's elite hitters. His line against righties: .328/.427/.620. If only Betemit had the same number against righties, well, if he did, he would likely not have been traded.
2007-08-20 21:07:58
272.   scooplew
255 264 Bob, your points on Luis Aparicio are well taken. He returned the stolen base to the American League. He did, in fact, steal 56 bases in 1959, the year Wills was called up in June. Overall, Aparicio stole 40 or more bases 5 times, 50 or more 4 times. His highest mark was 57. Wills had 40 or more 7 times, 50 or more 5 times . . . and 94 or more twice. . . . I think Aparicio is rightly in the Hall of Fame. A few reasons why Wills should be there also: He had a higher batting average than Aparicio -- .281 to .262, had more hits per game, 1.10 to 1.03 (admittedly, my own self-serving statistic), scored 100 or more runs twice to never for Little Looie, and had more stolen bases, 586-506. Wills reached the majors a few months shy of his 27th birthday and played 14 seasons; Aparicio was 12 days shy of 22 and played 18 seasons.

261 I respect Jon's opinions and piece from 2003 about Wills. I just disagree.

2007-08-20 21:09:36
273.   Dodgers49
Commentary: Dodgers masters at teasing their fans

>> The Dodgers don't trust their fans to sit through a rebuilding year, even when it is desperately needed.

Rather than tear down a team, slash payroll and start over - which rivals in San Diego, Arizona and Florida have done with great success - the Dodgers patch up a flawed roster, roll it back out there the next April and wait for their 3 million wide-eyed rubes to pass through the turnstiles. <<

2007-08-20 21:10:25
274.   Gen3Blue
As much as I'm enjoying the Brewers and the Pirates, it's past midnight and I'll prob. say goodnight before I know for sure.
2007-08-20 21:13:16
275.   El Lay Dave
256 1963 was Wills' career year in OBP. It was also his third highest BB/PA ratio, behind 1961 and, strangely enough, 1969. His .340s OBPs from '60 to '62 are decent, but close to the league averages of .319, .327, .327, respectively.
2007-08-20 21:14:38
276.   underdog
Nice praise for the Dodgers' bullpen from the Rockies' announcers just now - particularly Saito and Broxton - when comparing to the Rockies' woes.

Wow, the Rockies lost at home in a game that Matt Morris started.

2007-08-20 21:16:19
277.   underdog
So how much does losing 9-zip affect the DBacks' win expectancy?

260/262 - True, and true. You can watch some of their videos on the HBO site, at least.

2007-08-20 21:17:35
278.   El Lay Dave
275 I meant to write "closer" - not "close".
2007-08-20 21:18:03
279.   underdog
Er, Pythag I mean. But never mind, about 12 other people here mentioned it before me.

Would be fun - or scary - to have Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe in a broadcasting booth together.

2007-08-20 21:18:39
280.   Gen3Blue
Pittsburgh wins! Brewers are close. GN
2007-08-20 21:19:54
281.   underdog
And now Jeff Cirillo is pitching for the DBacks.


2007-08-20 21:20:14
282.   underdog
Mark Grace is loving this.
2007-08-20 21:21:39
283.   underdog
And Cirillo strikes out Counsell with a sinker!
2007-08-20 21:25:17
284.   Gen3Blue
Unbelievable --Snakes pitch Jeff Cirillo to save pen in blowout.
2007-08-20 21:25:58
285.   Dodgers49
Dodgers' desperate moves pay dividends

>> Martinez took three pitches, then lined a 2-and-1 fastball from Jeremy Affeldt into center field to score Andre Ethier and Martin for a 4-3 lead. Martinez raised his average from .167 to .180 with two hits Sunday.

"I was watching (Jeff Kent's) at-bat and I noticed that (Affeldt) wasn't throwing a lot of strikes," Martinez said. "I wanted to take a strike and make sure I got a pitch to hit.

"I've been working hard. I've been going through a little slump - all year, I guess - but I've been working hard with Manny (Mota) and Billy (Mueller) and it paid off in that at-bat, I guess." <<

2007-08-20 21:30:26
286.   Gen3Blue
Looks like the D's could use Cirillo to pitch their first innings.
2007-08-20 21:31:58
287.   PDH5204
Villanueva is otherwise going for the 3 inning save.
2007-08-20 21:32:13
288.   Bob Timmermann
Yankees fans hold Chone Figgins in the same regard as Greg Brock has for David Eckstein.
2007-08-20 21:37:23
289.   Dodgers49
>> Matt Kemp batted third in five of the Dodgers' last six games and was seven for 16 with two home runs and five runs batted in.

Manager Grady Little wouldn't make any assurances about Kemp's staying in that spot, but said, "You'll see him there a lot. We like the way he's getting after it day after day."

Kemp said that he was seeing better pitches to hit as a result of batting behind Juan Pierre and in front of Jeff Kent. Because Pierre is a threat to steal (he has 50 stolen bases), Kemp says he sees more fastballs when the center fielder is on base.

"You get a good chance to get some RBIs," Kemp said. <<

2007-08-20 21:51:11
290.   Bluebleeder87
I logged back in to say, it must be pleasing for Scareduck to see the Angels beating the Yanks but it's all tide up now 6-6, oh well.
2007-08-20 21:58:38
291.   Bob Timmermann
Villanueva got just the sixth 3 or more inning save by an NL pitcher in an NL game this season.

Two have been by Brewers pitchers (Villanueva and Wise) in games in which they beat Arizona by 9.

There have been 4 in AL games and 2 in interleague games, one by an NL pitcher in an AL park and one by an AL pitcher in an NL park.

2007-08-20 22:05:36
292.   Eric Enders
And Betemit's defense at first base saves the game for the Yankees.
2007-08-20 22:06:05
293.   jujibee
289. Maybe Juan will listen about his OBP needing to be higher if Kemp let's him know that tid-bit about getting better pitches to hit when JP's on first. I imagine that Kemp sees more FB and less junk, but this only happens when JP makes it to first.
2007-08-20 22:15:23
294.   Xeifrank
This is going to be a HUGE series vs Philadelphia the next couple of days. With two consecutive wins the Dodgers would "most likely" be trailing only the Padres in the wild-card hunt (may still trail Hotlanta). This is the type of difficult series you want, because you can make up ground head to head. The Mets series is the kind you don't like, because the games are tough and there is no difference in the standings in beating the Mets vs someone like the Nationals. The Phillies like the Dodgers have alot of injuries. The biggest seems to be the loss of Chase Utley. Their offense is still pretty tough, especially the top half. I am not impressed with their bullpen. Myers is the only one that impresses me at all. If we can turn these games into bullpen vs bullpen, we have a good shot. Especially if we can get to Broxton in a tie game. With Tomko pitching, a win may be difficult, wednesday's game will be more even. Hope the Mets can help us.
vr, Xei
2007-08-20 22:22:33
295.   Bob Timmermann
My big fear is that the Phillies will hit about six home runs in each game.

The Dodgers will counter by getting 10 singles in each game, but no more than 2 in any one inning.

2007-08-20 22:23:54
296.   El Lay Dave
293 But that's conventional baseball wisdom. One imagines JP already assumes that.
2007-08-20 22:31:00
297.   A Dodger expatriate in Pennsylvania
275 I was responding to your post of 245 in which you argued that the league rankings of the Dodgers in scoring runs during Wills's prime years were due to the low OBPs of Wills, their leadoff man. I took a year in which they were 6th in runs scored and found that Wills was 2nd in OBP.
2007-08-20 22:40:18
298.   King of the Hobos
282 That reminds me of Mark Grace's pitching performance, which was awesome. As I recall, David Ross hit his first major league homer off Grace's exaggerated Mike Fetters impersonation.
2007-08-20 22:52:39
299.   underdog
298 Oh, don't think they neglected to mention that in the broadcast - Grace's partner reminded him of it a couple of times. Grace was clearly pulling for Cirillo.
2007-08-20 22:58:55
300.   Bob Timmermann
The Bronx Banterers are more upset than DTers ever were during the recent 4-14 stretch.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-08-20 23:00:45
301.   das411
and with good reason! TERRIFIC ending up in Anaheim, and I think many of us will agree, there's just nothing else quite like an October-style ballgame in the middle of the summer. Hopefully this upcoming Phils/LAD series will provide us with a couple of 'em...
2007-08-20 23:06:29
302.   El Lay Dave
297 I concede '63 doesn't fit that hypothesis. In '64-'66 the NL's OBP was .311 - .313, Wills was .318, .330, .314, and the Dodgers were 8th in runs all three years.

However, there seems to be correlation with Slg%; the '63 - '66 Dodgers are 8th or 9th is Slg% every year, bettering only the expansion Mets and/or Colt45s.

So maybe when Wills' OBP was highest ('63), partly due to his above-norm walk rate, he helped pull the runs scored up, when his OBP was closer to average, the impotent offense was completely exposed for what it was.

(I may be wandering close to a rule 4 violation.)

2007-08-20 23:58:45
303.   fracule
I liked the entries in this week's Fungoes. They act like they've never seen the NL West before.
Take a look at the standings on 8/20/06 and compare to 10/01/06. The Diamondbacks lost 12 games to the Padres in 40 days!! 12 Games!! It ain't over until October. Peace.
2007-08-21 00:01:12
304.   underdog
Delwyn Young hit his 17th HR for the 51s tonight.

Old friend Brady Clark, playing for Portland, went 2-4 with 2 runs.

2007-08-21 04:39:08
305.   overkill94
Greetings from Japan!

Someone asked earlier, but I don't remember seeing an answer - why did Penny get moved up in the rotation if Tomko's starting today? You risk injuring your best starter by having him go on short rest and now you unleash a flyball pitcher in a bandbox that houses the NL's best offense. Am I missing something here?

2007-08-21 06:59:44
306.   CanuckDodger
305 -- Beating Colorado is, in theory, more important than beating Philadelphia, because we are trying to get/stay ahead of Colorado in our division, and a win for us against Colorado doesn't just mean a win for us, it means inflicting a loss on Colorado.
2007-08-21 08:01:55
307.   ToyCannon
Got in last night about 12:30 after going to the Yankee/Angel game. Easily the best game I've seen all year. Great atmosphere and it looked like 95% of the fans were still in their seats when Budde got the game winning hit.

Surrounded by Yankee fans they seemed resigned to losing the game, even when they took the lead on the Posada HR. Strange to hear the fans talk about a team having their number and then watch it unfold just like they said.

Girls in Yankee garb for somer reason look hotter then girls in Angel garb.

2007-08-21 08:17:23
308.   LogikReader
It's the pinstripes!
2007-08-21 08:23:41
309.   ToyCannon
Betemit looks good in pinstripes.
2007-08-21 08:24:47
310.   Daniel Zappala
I love beating the Yankees. Bronx Banter is astounded they lost to a team they "should have beaten". They have this amazing arrogance that they should be able to beat every team, every year. I'll just never get over their sense of entitlement. They are far overdue for a streak of 10 years below .500.
2007-08-21 08:31:38
311.   Bumsrap
307 - Girls in Yankee garb for somer reason look hotter then girls in Angel garb.

308 -It's the pinstripes!

309 - Betemit looks good in pinstripes.

311 - Therefore Betemit is hot.

2007-08-21 08:35:43
312.   Jon Weisman
SOSG may not realize it, but they are paging Bob over there.
2007-08-21 08:49:19
313.   Gen3Blue
I assume Penny is about to go on the DL if he can't make a regular start in this important a sitch. I've been busy and haven't read anything so if I missed it, sorry. Gotta run now too.
2007-08-21 08:50:19
314.   Gen3Blue
313 Should of said Lowe, not Penny.
2007-08-21 08:55:51
315.   Sam DC
For Jon: "On my Verizon phone, for example, I'm told I have an unheard new message three times before the message is actually played. ("You have one unheard message. The following message has not been heard. First unheard message.")"

2007-08-21 08:55:52
316.   Sam DC
For Jon: "On my Verizon phone, for example, I'm told I have an unheard new message three times before the message is actually played. ("You have one unheard message. The following message has not been heard. First unheard message.")"

2007-08-21 09:26:28
317.   Bob Timmermann
Hey, I just woke up.
2007-08-21 09:27:52
318.   Jon Weisman
316 - Isn't it ridiculous?
2007-08-21 09:28:55
319.   xaphor
Finally, a good excuse to get that stripper pole for the house.

Bada Bing Club Selling 'Sopranos' Items (SFW)

2007-08-21 09:32:18
320.   ToyCannon
I like transplanted Yankee fans. Just like the young Dodger fans who have never tasted success, the young Yankee fans have never, not be in play for a World Series. Why wouldn't they be arrogant about their team?

Those of us old enough to have enjoyed the Dodger World Championships are the same age of the Yankee fans who remember the lean years. You sit at a ballgame with an older(30+) Yankee fan you better know your stuff because they have been the most knowledgeable fans I've ever sat with.

2007-08-21 09:35:39
321.   JoeyP
So is Chamberlain or Lincecum going to be the pitcher drafted from the 2006 draft?

Looking at Joba's stats at Nebraska, they really werent that eyepopping. Amazing what he's done this year.

2007-08-21 09:37:35
322.   Robert Daeley
"Wells unlikely to pitch this year"

2007-08-21 09:44:02
323.   Daniel Zappala
D4P, you owe a thank you card to Phil Knight.
2007-08-21 09:45:11
324.   Bob Timmermann
They are also like UCLA basketball fans who are in the 50s. They expect the team to go 30-0 every year.

Or maybe like the little kid I saw last year leaving the Rose Bowl who was very upset that USC lost to UCLA. I realized that he was about 10 and he likely had never seen USC lose to UCLA, especially where he knew what was going on.

2007-08-21 09:45:37
325.   Penarol1916
320. I've found Pirates fans as a group to be the most knowledgeable. The '80's weren't lean enough for the Yankees to lose all of the bandwagon fans from the '70's.
2007-08-21 09:48:40
326.   ToyCannon
Never meant a Pirate fan.
2007-08-21 09:50:03
327.   ToyCannon
So have the 90's and the 21st century been lean enough for the Dodgers to lose all those "bandwagaon" fans from the early 60's?
2007-08-21 09:51:18
328.   silverwidow
Colletti & McCourt will be in Jacksonville tonight for James McDonald's start.

Ned also had some GLOWING praise for Kershaw in this article:

2007-08-21 09:59:19
329.   ToyCannon
Dad telling it like it is.
"His consistency and his approach to hitting, from what I have seen, has been pretty bad this year," said Andy Van Slyke. "You can't be 6-5 and be a singles hitter, that is just the way it is."
2007-08-21 10:00:34
330.   Greg Brock
The cheerleader gal from Heroes turned 18 today.

And I turned 30.

2007-08-21 10:01:38
331.   Bob Timmermann
I'm 6-5 and I think of myself as more of a doubles/gap hitter.
2007-08-21 10:02:52
332.   Greg Brock
328 "We don't have any interest in letting players of that character wear anything but a Dodger uniform," said Colletti. "I saw his first start in Jacksonville a couple of weeks ago. He is going to be a real good pitcher, a big-time, big-league performer."

Yeah, it's Kershaw's character. That, and the 94 mph fastball. But mostly the character.

2007-08-21 10:05:58
333.   ToyCannon
Happy 30th, 8 more good years:)
2007-08-21 10:07:30
334.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think Colletti was referring to personality with "character." I think it was a more global description of Kershaw's overall abilities, including his psychological makeup.
2007-08-21 10:07:31
335.   ToyCannon
I would like to hear scout's define character but I think it has more to do with work ethic then good/evil character issues.
2007-08-21 10:11:23
336.   Greg Brock
334 Fair enough.

By the by, Pedro should be back in about two weeks. It'll be interesting to see how he looks.

2007-08-21 10:11:48
337.   Jon Weisman
Greg Brock - you're in your prime!
2007-08-21 10:12:13
338.   ToyCannon
I've always felt "character" equated to work ethic in scout speak.
2007-08-21 10:13:28
339.   ToyCannon
Sorry about that, thought I'd lost the 1st post when I refreshed and didn't see it. Didn't mean to make the same point twice.
2007-08-21 10:14:33
340.   Greg Brock
337 It's the new 20!
2007-08-21 10:14:45
341.   Bob Timmermann
Greg Brock will be in his prime when he's 31. And then not again until he turns 37.

I'm in my prime at 41 and I'm look forward to my birthday in 2008 when I'll be in my prime again.

2007-08-21 10:16:56
342.   bhsportsguy
330 For the sake of my job, just forget about her.

Happy Birthday GB, give me a call later.

2007-08-21 10:18:15
343.   Bob Timmermann
Of course in the Dr. Emilio Lazardo scouting reports, "Character is what you are in the dark!"
2007-08-21 10:19:51
344.   Greg Brock
342 I'm more of a divorced 37-year-old kind of guy. That's my wheelhouse.

Tony Jackson sure likes to complain on his web based log type thing. Elevators, cookies, Philadelphia.

It's like reading my grandmother's blog, if she had one.

2007-08-21 10:20:40
345.   bhsportsguy
324 Pretty hard to find those Cubs fans who lovingly remember Tinker to Evers to Chance. Of course, they would have be around 105 to be credible.
2007-08-21 10:30:57
346.   twerp
Not a lot new in this, but a rival GM reportedly applauds the Dodgers for holding onto the youngsters (tho there probably aren't too many here who disagree).

"Last July, Colletti was able to grab Greg Maddux, Julio Lugo (caution to self: refrain from various DT rule violations at mention of that name) and others with deals for prospects, but so far this summer they've only made smaller deals, adding reliever Scott Proctor and infielder Shea Hillenbrand as well as Sweeney.

"Still, it's hard to second guess them for playing it cautious with top young players such as Kemp, Ethier, Loney and Kershaw, who some view as one of the two or three best pitching prospects in the minors. "They absolutely did the right thing," one competing GM said.

2007-08-21 10:38:38
347.   ToyCannon
A lot of fans last night were telling me the Dodgers should have traded Ethier for pitching. I asked them who was available that we could trade Ethier for. They were unable to answer the question.
2007-08-21 10:38:54
348.   Bob Timmermann
And yet no one ever mentions the shrewd pickup of Toby Hall.
2007-08-21 10:41:59
349.   Sam DC
Happy Birthday Greg Brock.
2007-08-21 10:44:31
350.   SG6
332 - is it grammatically correct to say: "He is going to be a real good pitcher"? Or should one say, He is going to be a really good pitcher?

"Real Good" sounds so grating to me.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2007-08-21 10:45:25
351.   Greg Brock
349 Maybe our Nats will reward me with a win tonight against the hated Astros (do we hate the Astros? Who do we hate?).
2007-08-21 10:46:43
352.   Bob Timmermann
I have sold four games of my extra pair of UCLA football season tickets.

I have UCLA-Oregon and UCLA-ASU left over and if anyone wants them for face value at $35 each ($70 for two), you can drop me an email.

The BYU tickets are headed to Lindon, UT and the Washington tickets are headed to Snohomish, WA.

Snohomish beats Lindon in the "cool name for a city" contest.

2007-08-21 10:46:48
353.   regfairfield
350 Real well pitcher.

347 There's a very good reason for that.

2007-08-21 10:47:54
354.   Humma Kavula
350 He's just acknowledging that the Minotaur doesn't actually exist yet. The writer missed that and left out the comma:

"He's going to be a real, good pitcher."

2007-08-21 10:48:06
355.   Bob Timmermann
My new rule is that I will not comment on anything about English grammar unless I learned it from watching "Grammar Rock."

So, remember,

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly
Get your adverbs here!

2007-08-21 10:48:12
356.   Sam DC
351: We hate the Phillies, the Angels, and the Padres.
2007-08-21 10:49:37
357.   fanerman
353 Very good reason or real well reason?
2007-08-21 10:55:43
358.   bhsportsguy
355 You'll need a nice little jazz combo to make this feel right.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
He cut loose the sandbags,
But the balloon wouldn't go any higher.
Let's go up to the mountains,
Or down to the seas.
You should always say "thank you",
Or at least say "please".

2007-08-21 10:57:20
359.   Humma Kavula
355 What about "The Electric Company?"

You're wearing your squeaky shoes
And right there taking a snooze
Is a tiger, so how do you walk on by?
Silently ... silently ... silent ... L-Y

This has been noted on this blog, but: Tom Lehrer rules.

2007-08-21 10:57:22
360.   Greg Brock
356 I can get on board with all of those. This Nats thing is looking like a match made in heaven.

Go Nats!

2007-08-21 11:01:44
361.   Sam DC
And tonight you get to root for Joel Hanrahan!

He's taking his 1.429 OPS out for a ride in Houston, and needs just a single and home run to get his season cycle in.

And he's been pitching OK, too.

2007-08-21 11:07:52
362.   gpellamjr
I hope Kershaw is both real and well. We know he's good.
2007-08-21 11:10:04
363.   Daniel Zappala
352 I don't think you should sell the tickets to the folks from Lindon. Lindon was supposed to be spelled Linden after the linden tree, but a spelling mistake was made when the post office was approved. This can't possibly meet your approval.

Incidentally, the city was originally called Stringtown because all the houses were built along one street.

2007-08-21 11:17:58
364.   Sam DC
We have NASA TV in my office. The part where the space shuttle lands is cool. The part where the space shuttle sits on the runway all afternoon and lots of trucks drive up and park next to it is less compelling.
2007-08-21 11:18:36
365.   Robert Daeley
355 "Did you know your last name is an adverb?"
2007-08-21 11:19:05
366.   JoeyP
346--I hope the Dodgers accurately gauge Ethier/Loney/Abreu upsides and react accordingly.

The top end guys they need to hold onto (Kershaw, Kemp, Billingsley).

Everyone else should be available for the right price.

2007-08-21 11:19:38
367.   bhsportsguy
364 Sam DC, have the replace Jim Bowden calls started yet?
2007-08-21 11:24:03
368.   Gen3Blue
306 makes some sense.

That said, I don't think many managers would start Tomko here. The stretch run is all important, and this is messing with at least 3 of your rotation's schedule to make sure you get your fifth starter an additional start. I this not mostly true?

2007-08-21 11:28:55
369.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, but the people of Lindon are paying above face value for the tickets so they are my friends.
2007-08-21 11:35:32
370.   Sam DC
367: No, he's actually upped his stock across most categories of fans (except those who are focused on character and/or not being a jerk).

He's made some well received trades -- Kearns/Lopez last year, Vidro this offseason (which today has essentially boiled down to Vidro for Wily Moe), a spent Vinny Castilla for Brian Lawrence (even though Lawrence then broke down). And he hasn't made any real bad ones. He's brought a lot of young pitchers into a depleted system. And he seems to have hire a good team -- esp. getting Mike Rizzo from AZ. There is a sense he asks for too much to get deadline deals done, but at the same time, most folks have felt its better not to make a trade you'll regret and reports are that the deadline offers he was getting were just not very compelling (no one really knows of course).

It was odd for him to sign Young and Belliard to extensions this year, and sabr-type fans questioned those moves, but casual fans and traditional sportwriters liked the signings.

And they have done a good job getting their draft picks signed.

He's a blowhard of the highest order, and I don't agree with all his moves (I would have really pushed to trade Rauch at the deadline, for example), but most fans, including me, think he's done OK.

2007-08-21 11:38:10
371.   stevesaxarm
2007-08-21 11:46:57
372.   Dodgers49
Lieberthal still Philly fanatic

>> Making this visit even more special is the fact it might be Lieberthal's last as a player. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said last week he hasn't given much thought so far, either one way or the other, to Lieberthal's option, and Lieberthal says he will retire if the Dodgers don't exercise it.

"I really don't want to play anywhere else," he said. "If there was a chance somewhere to catch every day and see if I could still do it, maybe, but that isn't going to happen." <<

2007-08-21 11:50:24
373.   regfairfield
When the Devil Rays do 70s Disco Night, they go all out.

2007-08-21 11:58:01
374.   Jon Weisman

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