Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Help
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Search
Google Search
Web
Toaster
Dodger Thoughts
Archives

2009
02  01 

2008
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2007
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2006
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2005
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2004
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2003
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2002
09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

A Plea
2007-09-01 05:38
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Be fair. Just be fair.

Twenty players in the National League have more walks as a No. 8 hitter in the lineup than Andy LaRoche.

LaRoche has 24 plate appearances with the Dodgers this year as a No. 8 hitter. The fewest plate appearance for someone with more walks than LaRoche as a No. 8 hitter is Rickie Weeks, who has 86.

Not a single No. 8 hitter in the NL has walked at a higher rate in 2007 than Andy LaRoche.

LaRoche won't continue to walk at this rate no matter where he bats in the lineup, but I remind you that to conclude his walks are a product of his batting in the No. 8 slot is a complete fallacy.

From Dodger Thoughts, May 19:

As more people have become aware of Andy LaRoche's preternatural walking ability since arriving in the major leagues, more people have written it off under the assumption that pitchers are working around him to get to the pitcher's spot.

So what's the explanation for LaRoche walking more often than any other No. 8 hitter in the National League? ... Take away LaRoche's four intentional walks, and he'd still have five walks in 19 plate appearances at No. 8 - and three walks in nine plate appearances as a No. 6 hitter. The guy's a rookie who was batting .235 in AAA - with 11 walks in a little more than 100 plate appearances. Is there a reason opposing pitchers would be more careful with him than any other No. 8 hitter? Why doesn't Andre Ethier, usually batting No. 7, have more than 10 walks in 138 plate appearances?

It's not as if LaRoche's ability to walk came out of nowhere. LaRoche walked 66 times in about 500 plate appearances in the minor leagues last year. That doesn't make him Ted Williams, but it counts for something.

In addition, the No. 9 hitter isn't always a Dodger pitcher - sometimes, it's Olmedo Saenz or red-hot pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit. Overall, Dodger No. 9 hitters are fifth in the NL in OPS and OBP, so there isn't much more reason to pitch around the team's No. 8 hitters than any other team's.

So let's not be in such a hurry to write off La Roche's walks. Yes, batting slot has played some part, and he won't maintain a .488 on-base percentage for the season, but the walks are something legitimate to tout. After all, he could be chasing bad pitches rather than taking those jogs to first.

Friday, LaRoche went 4 for 6 with two home runs at Salt Lake. He doubled and scored the tying run in the ninth inning, then hit a game-winning two-run home run in the 11th. For the season in the minors, his on-base percentage is .399 and his slugging percentage is .594. Even accounting for Pacific Coast League inflation, this is big stuff. Since returning from the disabled list, he is 9 for 26 with five walks - a .452 on-base percentage.

Nomar Garciaparra is ready only for pinch-hitting duties at best; his attempts to run "have been met with sharp pain," according to Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise. Shea Hillenbrand has shown average-to-below-average range at third base while posting a .271 on-base percentage and a .382 slugging percentage. Hillenbrand has had a few big at-bats for the Dodgers, but fewer than we have a reasonable reason to expect from LaRoche.

Let's not waste any more time. Let's give LaRoche his shot - the shot that will not only give him a head start into 2008, but that will also give the Dodgers more of a chance of salvaging 2007.

(I should note that Tony Abreu has a .397 on-base percentage and .518 slugging percentage for Las Vegas.)

* * *

Be fair. Just be fair.

In the top of the first Friday, Jeff Kent broke a baseball custom by making the final out of the inning at third base. In the bottom of the first, Kent could not get a glove on a slow-rolling Adrian Gonzalez grounder to right field, a play that if made would have forestalled Juan Pierre costing the Dodgers two more runs by losing a pop fly in the nighttime sky.

His presence in the first inning helped bring the Dodgers one run and cost them three. And the team lost by two.

I point this out not to denigrate Kent, who at age 39 1/2 has the second-highest OPS+ and VORP of any Dodger hitter this season. I point this out because the Dodger beat writers did not. Yet those same writers are all over Matt Kemp whenever he makes a mistake.

To excuse them in part, it might be because Dodger manager Grady Little and some of the coaching staff indulge them with numerous quotes about how much work Kemp has to do (though maybe the Dodgers are just trying for some tough love with a young ballplayer).

In any case, the perception from inside the Dodgers that Kemp is not a complete ballplayer has apparently prevented the offensively challenged team from playing its best hitter every day. He does play most of the time, now, but is there any reason to rest him at all?

Choose your weapon. No Dodger (other than Delwyn Young with 14 plate appearances) has a higher batting average, slugging percentage, EQA or OPS+ than Kemp. Heck, even if clutch hitting is your thing, no Dodger has more RBI per plate appearance than Kemp, and only James Loney has a higher OPS with runners on base.

Kent has been thrown out more than once on the bases this week. Kent was one of two runners thrown out on one play at the plate in the opening game of the 2006 playoffs. In general, Kent's declining physical ability fills most of his baserunning and fielding attempts with unpleasant suspense. Whatever limitations Kemp has in his running and fielding, Kent has more. This is an objective fact. It is also true that Kemp's baserunning outs have been characteristic of a bad week or two but not of his play the entire year.

And Kemp is the better hitter. Today.

We forgive Kent because the good still outweighs the bad. Can the press and the Dodgers themselves finally begin to do the same for Kemp?

Pierre flubs, however innocently or sweetly, and he's a lock to be in the lineup the next day - despite an EQA that, even with Pierre's recent hot hitting, is still 49 points below Kemp's and a batting average that is 40 points lower. Citizen-hero Luis Gonzalez sighs about being phased out by Kemp and Andre Ethier, and he's back in the lineup the next day.

Matt Kemp, the Dodgers' best hitter, gets thrown out on the bases, and he's the one who has to prove himself all over again.

Be fair. Just be fair.

Comments (184)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-01 06:24:29
1.   Greg Brock
I don't know why they'd start being fair now. But from your keyboard to Grady's/Ned's eyeballs.
2007-09-01 06:41:01
2.   Dodger Jack
Watching Hillenbrand strike out his first three times up last night, our thoughts naturally turn to LaRoche. What is Ned waiting for?

There is time left and lots can still happen, but last night's loss probably killed the Dodgers' post-season hopes. We could blame Pierre's miscue, as everyone on this site seems to hate him. But the real problem last night was the same that has plagued us all year long -- inability to get runners home. We had Cassell on the ropes nearly every inning. There are simply not enough RBI guys in our lineup.

We could field an all-prospect line-up next year and still have the same problem. LaRoche would certainly be a welcome addition but is he going to hit 30 dingers for us next season? Is Abreu? Hu? Young? My point is that Ned is going to have to find a big bopper. Unless that big hitter is a center fielder (extremely unlikely), he is bound to displace either Loney at first, or LaRoche at third, or Ethier in the outfield.

We are not going to be a consistently winning team until we can find at least one additional player who drives in runs. The all-prospect approach is fun but, ultimately, won't get us there.

2007-09-01 06:44:24
3.   bhsportsguy
Too tired to add anything, I'll just I agree and let's see how many times we see a combo of Loney, LaRoche, Kemp, Ethier and Martin.
2007-09-01 06:56:09
4.   bhsportsguy
3 See, I cannot even type a simple sentence.
2007-09-01 06:59:01
5.   Dodger Jack
You will probably see that combo during the remainder of this season but it isn't sustainable.

Kemp may well become a perenntial all-star. Martin is the best catcher in the NL. The "all-prospect team" is fun to watch. But we won't be a championship club until Ned brings in that Big Stick.

2007-09-01 07:01:55
6.   bhsportsguy
2 Who is out there that would replace those players?

You can have the demand but unfortunately, the supply is not available. We see that with starting pitching and even more with power. The only sure fire power bat that is apparently going to be on the market is A-Rod and I just can't see that happening.

2007-09-01 07:12:01
7.   D4P
Here's the big boppin' team I think the Dodgers should put together:

1B: Pujols
2B: Utley
SS: Ramirez
3B: ARod
LF: Bonds
CF: Kemp
RF: Ordonez
C: Martin

We're never gonna be a dynasty until this happens.

2007-09-01 07:12:01
8.   D4P
Here's the big boppin' team I think the Dodgers should put together:

1B: Pujols
2B: Utley
SS: Ramirez
3B: ARod
LF: Bonds
CF: Kemp
RF: Ordonez
C: Martin

We're never gonna be a dynasty until this happens.

2007-09-01 07:14:06
9.   Dodger Jack
Cute.

But I would settle for just one Big Bopper.

Any thoughts?

2007-09-01 07:15:46
10.   Disabled List
Posts like this make me wish DT was published in newsprint, so it could get a wider audience. There are a lot of Dodger fans out there whose opinions of the team are internalized based on the frames that the beat writers and sports radio hosts create.
2007-09-01 07:21:00
11.   Dodger Jack
True, the free agent market may not fill our need for a big hitter(s).

But a trade or two might. And I do not how you accomplish that without parting with one or more prospects.

2007-09-01 07:51:37
12.   jtrichey
Yes, this 2007 season will forever go down in my mind as the year when the Dodgers didn't try their hardest to field a winning team. From the starting gun all the way to September the best 25, the best starting 8, the best 5 man rotation was not on the field. Minnesota fixed their issues in June of last year and it led to the best post All-Star game record, and the playoffs. The Dodgers continued to make mistake after mistake and have had a poor post All-Star game record. It is completely infuriating, and if the same stuff happens again next year I don't know that I can take it. Make room for me on the D-Backs, Nationals, or maybe Tigers fan bus.
2007-09-01 08:04:54
13.   Howard Fox
2 I agree completely with you, but in my mind, a Mike Scioscia type manager would win with our youngsters.
2007-09-01 08:05:55
14.   tjshere
Is it not possible that Kemp and LaRoche could be the big sticks we're looking for?
2007-09-01 08:14:02
15.   Gen3Blue
This is not supposed to be about blame, but rather imagery. I am afraid I am stuck with an indelible picture etched on my mind, of poor JP out beyond second with hands uplifted as if to the gods, implying why does this always happen to me.
2007-09-01 08:15:09
16.   PDH5204
Jon:

LaRoche should be playing, but he does get extra walks from hitting 8th. It isn't his average that means anything but his power, and so he and Betemit get walked when hitting 8th, as they have the power that Cesar Izturis does not. The simple way of putting the matter is that one simply does not want the 8th hitter taking one over the wall with the pitcher on deck and LaRoche and Betemit have more of the ability to take one over the wall than does Cesar Izturis and his type.

Re Kemp and Kent, I too wish that Kemp would play everyday, but it is simply wrong to compare Kent's baserunning with Kemp's. Kent was safe but just had his hand slide off the bag. No part of that play otherwise has anything to do with "declining physical ability". In contrast, Kemp has made some extreme mental errors while on the bases. Again, not saying that Kemp shouldn't start, but he needs to eliminate the extreme mental error on the bases.

Lastly, re better hitters, Kemp is usually batting in situations favorable to him, while Kent hits against all comers. To compare the numbers without that taking that reality into account isn't "objective" but instead rather subjective and says more about your rather apparent bias in favor of Kemp than it does about Kemp, Kent, and the rest of the team for that matter. Again, Kemp should be playing everyday, but to the extent that you claim "objective" and are not pointing out that Kemp is playing and hitting when the circumstance is best for him, well, then it isn't objective analysis but bias rearing its head. And, yes, Jon, we want Kemp to start, but he still does have much work to do [eliminating fielding errors at critical times and also the extreme mental errors on the bases]. And so you get the point, Kent not getting to the ball because he is old is one thing, but Kemp letting the ball roll under his glove is another, in other words, one no longer has the capacity to make the play, while the other has the capacity but didn't make the play. And that's what makes the Kemp error[s] worse and it is being fair.

2007-09-01 08:16:34
17.   Howard Fox
we were at the game last night, it was impossible to see the ball that Pierre lost, especially looking straight up into that sky...it might have been nice if he had signalled that he couldn't see it before it landed...Kemp wasn't that far away that he might not have had a chance on it...
2007-09-01 08:16:54
18.   CanuckDodger
We don't need a "big bopper" apart from Kemp and LaRoche, who are going to be 30-homer-a-year men soon enough if not next year. So many things have gone wrong with the Dodgers this year that have NOTHING to do with a lack of power -- from patchy pitching to suspect defense to periodic inability to hit even singles because worthless players are put on the field while better players sit on the bench or in the minors -- and yet, where are we? Still within spitting distance of first place in our division, and for most of the season we WERE in first. We will be a much better team in 2008 if we just let Kemp, Ethier, and LaRoche play nearly every game, get a healthy Schmidt into the rotation, have Billingsley in the rotation all year, and put Meloan in the bullpen in place of the series of weakest links we have had there throughout 2007. We don't need to bring in this mythical "big bat," and attempting to so will just screw us up in some other way.
2007-09-01 08:18:46
19.   Gen3Blue
14 It is possible, but I can't blame people for impatience as they wouldn't hit their stride for perhaps another year. A reason to make only a very well thought out trade, which introduces some fear.
2007-09-01 08:18:55
20.   Howard Fox
18 you are correct, with the exception that Schmidt will probably never pitch again...
2007-09-01 08:20:07
21.   Jon Weisman
Kemp, Kent, LaRoche, Loney, Martin and Ethier can all reach base at a .350 clip and slug at a .475 clip in 2008. If Furcal hit leadoff and Pierre batted eighth, I don't think the offense is going to be in crisis. There's room for improvement, of course, but the Dodgers will improve in part just by playing the right players. And we're talking about a team that is four games out of having the best record in the NL, playing in its toughest division.

Saying that an all-prospect approach won't get us there is true, but that's never been the goal, even of diehard fans of the prospects. We just want the best players possible, and more often than people seem to believe, the best options are in-house.

2007-09-01 08:21:30
22.   Jon Weisman
16 - I disagree with too much of that post to respond.
2007-09-01 08:22:49
23.   Howard Fox
21 what's wrong with Hillenbrand...Little said he was good for him in Boston...and Wells...Little remembers how good he looked on TV before he became a manager...and Loaiza...Little remembers how he hasn't been on the DL in over 3 weeks...
2007-09-01 08:25:35
24.   regfairfield
Eight hole hitters have the second lowest isolated patience overall in the NL, ahead of only seven hitters (and nine).

The main boost in patience for eight hitters seems to come from intentional walks, since they lead the league in that stat. If you shift over to only unintentional walks, eight hitters drop right next to seven hitters.

Plus if this preternatural boost that some people seem to be attributing to hitting eight is true, why didn't it help Tony Abreu (5 walks in 57 PA)

2007-09-01 08:26:44
25.   Howard Fox
but seriously folks, a look at how Stults is handled vs Wells/Loaiza is telling...

Stults is as good or better than both, is in-house, but is shuttled back and forth to AAA...the oldies are brought in at big bucks as our saviors, and in Loaiza's case, we are locked in for next year too...

its this that I don't get when considering Coletti's performance as GM

2007-09-01 08:31:16
26.   Howard Fox
not that I think the Dodgers would ever pull the string for an ARod, but the $8mm for Loaiza for next year is a start...
2007-09-01 08:33:21
27.   Howard Fox
our problem is not the way the young hitters and coddled and held back, its the way the young pitchers are held back and "groomed"

Wang from the Yankees, if he was in our system, would be AA, as would Jered Weaver, etc etc

2007-09-01 08:35:18
28.   Bob Timmermann
LaRoche had four intentional walks in his first six games. The DBacks announcers made a big deal of the fact that Justin Upton had two intentional walks in his first eight games.

But Wil Nieves was intentionally walked three times in his first seven games, including the first two.

Which leads me to believe that 24 has a lot of value.

2007-09-01 08:39:18
29.   Bob Timmermann
I would think Wang and Weaver would be on the Dodgers if they were in the farm system.

Philip Hughes is another matter if he were a Dodger.

2007-09-01 08:41:13
30.   CanuckDodger
And what is this talk of an "all-prospect approach?" Is somebody proposing that we field eight men just up from Vegas, and a similar starting rotation? Martin, Ethier, Billingsley, and Broxton are certainly not prospects by any definition. Technically, Kemp and Loney aren't either, but they started this year in the minors, so let us say thay can wear the tag for the rest of this season -- but going into next year, no way. And I am happy to have Penny, Lowe, Kent, and Furcal here next year, and am willing to tolerate the likes of Beimel and Loaiza. And of course I hope Saito chooses to return. So nobody has advocated relying on a team of "unproven" players. Right now, LaRoche and Meloan are the only two unproven players (prospects) I am saying we should rely on in 2008. TWO!
2007-09-01 08:45:54
31.   Howard Fox
I am just not clear why a pitcher needs several years of grooming and experience in the minors...I can understand most hitters requiring experience learning to hit oddball pitches, but pitchers??? if they have a live arm and good stuff, why the slow progression up the ranks...
2007-09-01 08:48:42
32.   CanuckDodger
30 -- Actually, Kemp didn't start the year in the minors, but that was just because of an injury situation. The Dodgers clearly started the year wanting Kemp to get more minor league seasoning, but if I am going to point that out, I also have to point to the fact that everybody knew it was a joke to put Loney back in Triple A.
2007-09-01 08:54:49
33.   The Mootz
If the Dodgers don't make the playoffs this year, will another coach be thrown under the bus like Eddie Murray was earlier this season?
2007-09-01 08:55:00
34.   Jon Weisman
I don't understand the mystery. I started both my posts by comparing LaRoche to every other No. 8 hitter in the non-DH league. LaRoche walks more often than any of them.

And as far the present is concerned, our current third baseman bats No. 8. So even if the fallacy were true, and the only reason LaRoche walked was because he batted eighth, what exactly would be the problem?

2007-09-01 08:55:20
35.   CanuckDodger
31 -- You're echoing the same sentiments some BP writer -- I forget which one -- expressed a few months ago. But it is a false assumption that a pitcher needs nothing but a live arm and good stuff to be successful in the majors. There is an art to pitching, and it takes time to learn it, especially when we are talking about kids drafted out of high school. Edwin Jackson wouldn't have struggled (until quite recently) in the show as much as he has for the last four years if a good arm and good stuff were sufficient.
2007-09-01 08:57:12
36.   regfairfield
34 Shea Hillenbrand did walk that one time, so maybe there is something to it.
2007-09-01 09:01:44
37.   Joshua Worley
This is something I wrote back on May 31, about LaRoche's walks:

One objection to LaRoche's walks is that they've all come with him batting eighth in front of the pitcher. But this just isn't true. Here is a breakdown of his 15 walks:

4 --- intentional pass with pitcher up next and first base open
2 --- pitcher up next; first base open
2 --- pitcher up next; first base occupied
5 --- non-pitcher next; first base open
2 --- non-pitcher next; first base occupied

At least 9 of these walks are legit, including the situations when either a man is on first or a non-pitcher is up next. I would argue 10 of them are, since one of the walks with the pitcher coming up and first base open was actually a bases empty walk with one out which set up the sacrifice and then a possible RBI situation.

If we remove the 5 suspect walks, then LaRoche still has 10 walks in 47 plate appearances. That's terrific plate discipline. Why won't the Dodgers play LaRoche more?

2007-09-01 09:12:27
38.   LogikReader
Hey guys

Sorry to interrupt, but what is the NCAA Football equivalent of Gameday?

2007-09-01 09:17:03
39.   Bumsrap
First off I want to give thanks to Jon for his top of thread wisdom and second I hope a key someone in the Dodger organization shares Jon's wisdom with McCourt.

Ned's and Grady's strategy for playing time has taken much of the enjoyment away from being a Dodger fan for me. I wanted to watch and cheer for Loney starting in game one and was denied that opportunity. I would have loved to watch and cheer for Kemp and was agreeable for him to play in only two-thirds of the first half and then finish full time if he was producing.

For me Pierre would have been someone that could have been an insurance policy should Ethier and Kemp proven they were not ready or capable of playing full time but he played as if promised full time status if he would just sign a contract.

I don't think young starting pitchers, under 24 years old, will pitch with strength in September and need to be groomed longer than a position player. But a pitcher like Hull should be on the team at mid-season and stay on the team.

2007-09-01 09:17:24
40.   Bob Timmermann
38
ESPN and Yahoo and CSTV all have applications that work with varying degrees of efficiency.

During the first week, they can be really bad. The stringers sometimes forget which yard line the ball is on and guys gain -47 yards or they don't pick the right player when two guys have the same number.

So you'll see fifth-string quarterbacks carrying the ball and stuff like that.

They also update very slowly, which I don't understand why since football plays are all fairly straightforward.

2007-09-01 09:20:36
41.   Bumsrap
Grady, please stop wearing that night gown and wear a regular Dodger jacket.
2007-09-01 09:20:57
42.   PDH5204
Oh, and Jon, I'll post it again, since you and some others seem insistent on trying to reduce the value of a player to a single number:

http://tinyurl.com/2u76ey

And, Jon, from some wise soul on the web:

"I think too many people try to mold statistical correlations into actual opinions without realizing that potential for warped analysis. Bill James has commented on this several times.

He's acknowledged that as new sophisticated statistical models became more prevalent (models that he helped define and push for their use), many people didn't stop and realize that more complex mathematical models are heavily reliant on how well they are constructed, and can be equally biased/limited as more simple statistics. In short, they "overvalued" the previously "under recognized" traits they were designed to illustrate (his words)."

Now let us look at Bill James' Runs Created itself:

"One goal of sabermetrics is to find good measures of hitting and pitching performance. Bill James (1982) compares the batting records of two players, Johnny Pesky and Dick Stuart, who played in the 1960's. Pesky was a batter who hit for a high batting average but hit few home runs. Stuart, in contrast, had a modest batting average, but hit a high number of home runs. Who was the more valuable hitter? James argues that a hitter should be evaluated by his ability to create runs for his team. From an empirical study of a large collection of team hitting data, he established the following formula for predicting the number of runs scored in a season based on the number of hits, walks, at-bats, and total bases recorded in a season.

(HITS + WALKS) (TOTAL BASES)
RUNS = ----------------------------
AT-BATS + WALKS

This formula reflects two important aspects in scoring runs in baseball. The number of hits and walks of a team reflects the team's ability to get runners on base. The number of total bases of a team reflects the team's ability to move runners that are already on base. This runs created formula can be used at an individual level to compute the number of runs that a player creates for his team. In 1942, Johnny Pesky had 620 at-bats, 205 hits, 42 walks, and 258 total bases; using the formula, he created 96 runs for his team. Dick Stuart in 1960 had 532 at-bats with 160 at-bats [should be "hits"], 34 walks, and 309 total bases for 106 runs created. The conclusion is that Stuart in 1960 was a slightly better hitter than Pesky in 1942 since he created a few more runs for his team."

Do you see the immediate problem here? Pesky "created" 96 runs? Now note the number that is left out, to wit, Pesky actually scored 105 runs in 1942. Physicists would otherwise say that Pesky created at least 105 runs in 1942 as the historical reality, observed by all who saw Pesky's every game that year, is that Pesky did indeed score 105 runs.

The other noticeable problem here is that Pesky's lifetime OBP over 10 seasons is .394. Stuart's OBP over his 10 seasons is .316. For the respective years under review, well, Pesky's OBP in '42 was .374, while Stuart's was .317. And so Stuart was never worth more to a team than Pesky. Oh, sorry, one more. Pesky's OPS+ in '42 was 119, while Stuart's was 114. And remember here also, from my prior discussion with Andrew and some other soul whose name escapes me now, but we also need to make sure when calculate OPS, well, how much do we factor in OBP? Is it straight up? Is it 1.2xOBP? Or is it 1.8xOBP, as the one soul suggested? As you can see, given the huge difference in OBP, if we weight OBP more than a straight up 1 [as it were], then Pesky becomes even "better" than Stuart.

Sorry, one more, and please note that James "cherry picked" his stats. He used Pesky's lowest OBP year between '42 and '51. Why didn't he use Pesky's '49, '50' or '51? Is that because Pesky's OBP's for those years were, respectively, .408, .437, and .417? And, again, note here the "weighting" issue, since if OBP counts as 1-plus some multiplier, Stuart gets left even farther back in the dust if we use Pesky's '49, '50' or '51 for comparison purposes with Stuart.

Sorry, even one more, but re the "big bat", sorry, but that isn't the problem, as we could have some singles that would have scored some more runs with men on and even Juan Pierre can hit singles with RISP. The problem with have this year is, well, with respect to the single number as all-defining issue, I have one, and I don't use it for comparison purposes per se, but my number is OBP and all that I will say is that if one's OBP was .370 or higher for the year, then one did indeed have a truly good year at the plate. And so our problem this year is that neither Furcal nor Pierre has an OBP of .370 or higher. Furcal is at .344 and Pierre at a wretched .322. Kent would probably have more than a 100 RBIs already if both Furcal and Pierre had OBP's of .370 or higher.

2007-09-01 09:27:03
43.   Bumsrap
My comments in 39 were aimed at Kemp's playing time and not LaRoche's walks. I am yet to be a LaRoche believer.
2007-09-01 09:35:04
44.   berkowit28
Question: Since LaRoche was not called up before Sept. 1, does that mean that even if he excels in September he would not be available for the playoffs short of one of the pre-existing (Aug. 31) 25-man-roster players being injured? Or does the fact that he is already on the 40-man-roster as of Aug. 31 somehow mean that this exclusion does not apply to him?
2007-09-01 09:35:56
45.   Icaros
I used to believe in LaRoche, but the other day I caught my mom putting a dollar under my pillow in exchange for a tooth I just lost.

Very disappointing.

2007-09-01 09:37:29
46.   Some Guy in San Diego
Jon,
I think your post is completely fair and also dead-on.
I'm not sure why some are taking such great exception to the concept that the young players should be allowed to make mistakes, just like veterans, without being punished with a loss of playing time.
I never read in your post that you were arguing Kemp vs. Kent, it seemed that you were just comparing the two and asking for an even handed approach by the staff and media. Why is this so inflammatory for so many here?
And how are the kids going to get better without playing time?
Kemp is simply to powerful, to fast, and too exciting to leave on the bench. I will live with the growing pains to see the spectacular. I also believe those mistakes will be offset by very real production, and that the Dodgers would only be better now, and in the future for running Kemp out there every single day.
As for the "getting a big bat" approach? No, thanks. It screams "reach, overspend" in this marketplace, and I'm not just talking dollars (A-Rod), I'm talking what it would cost in prospect.
The Dodgers future has not looked this bright in decades, in my opinion, thanks to the current influx of young talent.
Loney, Kemp and Martin, as others have mentioned, are far from prospects.. they're players. LaRoche and Abreu have shown some ability at the Major League level and should be given more chances to prove themselves worthy. I'm all for either one getting the vast majority of AB's at 3rd the rest of the season.
2007-09-01 09:43:24
47.   jtrichey
42 I am just not seeing where you are going with this. 1. What is the 1 number that Jon is relying on? Seems like he is a big picture kind of guy.
2. Are you picking apart a 1982 Bill James article on runs created comparing Johnny Pesky and Dick Stuart for any particular reason? I must admit I am lost on this one. James runs created is supposed to approximate how many runs somebody is SOLELY responsible for. Most runs scored and RBI are not one man shows, so if Pesky had 105 runs scored, and credited with 96 runs created, it can still make sense. I just can't figure where you are taking us with these comments.
2007-09-01 09:45:39
48.   underdog
45 - You're thinking of the Minotaur. He also leaves gifts under the tree. Don't let your mom tell you different.
2007-09-01 09:47:19
49.   be2ween
20 Is 'Schmidt' German for 'Dreifort'?
2007-09-01 09:47:40
50.   underdog
I agree with Jon's post 100% and hope someone in management reads it. Who knows...? But the bigger question is, what would kgibson think about it?

(Sorry.)
More importantly, from Diamond Leung:

>>The Dodgers are expected to call up infielder Chin-lung Hu and relief pitcher Jonathan Meloan tomorrow from Class AAA Las Vegas for their major league debuts when the roster expands to 40. Catcher Chad Moeller will have his contract purchased, and pitcher D.J. Houlton will be recalled.<<

It's a start. LaRoche, I would bet, will be with them for the Cubs series.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-01 09:48:55
51.   underdog
I wonder why Hu first, before Abreu and LaRoche? Are they waiting for that all important 51s-SLC series to conclude, rather than have them for this meaningless Dodger-Pads series?

Lovely to hear about Meloan though.

2007-09-01 09:51:32
52.   Icaros
48

My family doesn't do the tree. My dad usually digs a system of catacombs under the house during Minotaur season.

2007-09-01 09:55:48
53.   underdog
52 Yours, too, huh? Our family loves Labyrinth Day every year. Oh yeah, I forgot your dad was Daedalus. Or was that Icarus?
2007-09-01 09:59:13
54.   Gen3Blue
I can't remember where to find an explanation of How BP obtains it's "Hit List" power rankings. Any kind of info much appreciated. Thank in advance.
2007-09-01 10:00:08
55.   King of the Hobos
I don't think Leung's report necessarily precludes Laroche, or anyone else, from coming up. Unless the team releases the players names well before game time, we'll find the final verdict on Laroche around 5 o'clock, when the Vegas lineup should be released.
2007-09-01 10:01:57
56.   underdog
55 {fingers crossed}
2007-09-01 10:03:19
57.   King of the Hobos
54 A quick glance tells me that XW/L is very important, although I'm sure there's other factors, otherwise the Dodgers would be a bit lower.
2007-09-01 10:05:53
58.   Gen3Blue
57 That makes sense and helps.
2007-09-01 10:06:27
59.   silverwidow
44 -- If you remember Loney's situation last year, he was sent down in mid-August only to be brought back in September. Of course, he was on the playoff roster.

The loophole is that we are able to "replace" players on the 60-day DL with anyone in the organization as of August 31 (as long as they play the same position).

In other words:

Schmidt (60-day DL) = Meloan
Repko (60 day-DL) = LaRoche

2007-09-01 10:09:14
60.   CanuckDodger
Hu, Meloan and (to my knowledge) Moeller are not on the 40 man roster. Where is the roster space coming from?
2007-09-01 10:10:06
61.   PDH5204
47 "Solely responsible" for? Unless you are counting only homeruns, there is no reliable measure for runs "solely created". And, no, it does not make any sense whatsover to say that a guy who scored 105 runs and had 51 RBIs somehow had only 96 "runs created". Your statement of "Most runs scored and RBI are not one man shows" otherwise shows the absurdity and futility of even engaging in the exercise of trying to determine how many runs any given player "solely" created. Lastly, in '42, Pesky was involved in creating at least 156 runs [105 runs scored plus 51 RBIs].

Re your no. 1, I wasn't limiting the one/single number criticism to just Jon but "others" as well. I will readily admit that Jon is more inclined to see the big picture than some others, but he still places too much reliance on the one number [whether the one number be OPS+, EqA, or VORP].

22 Nice try, Jon, but avoiding a discussion on that ground is disingenuous at best. The point that I was otherwise trying to make re Kent and Kemp is that we have no better 2nd baseman than Kent and what is otherwise wrong with Kent can't be fixed, unless of course, Ponce de Leon was right and there is a fountain of youth out there somewhere, and so what is or would be the point of the media commenting on any limitations on Kent's part? On the other hand, Kemp can fix his mistakes, so there is no real purpose to be served by implying that the media gives Kent a free pass while jumping all over Kemp for his "limitations".

2007-09-01 10:10:39
62.   King of the Hobos
60 Tsao, Brazoban, and Hamulack.
2007-09-01 10:11:37
63.   silverwidow
60 -- I'm assuming Brazoban, Wolf, and Tsao will all be placed on the 60-day DL today to make room for Hu, Meloan and Moeller.
2007-09-01 10:11:45
64.   King of the Hobos
62 cont. And Wolf as well, probably before Hamulack.
2007-09-01 10:13:37
65.   DavidS
My first post although long time reader so be kind.

So a couple of thoughts - nothing too new but trying to cramb two years worth of reading and thinking into one post :)

I like the mix of strong vets and young guys. (agree Ned does love the garbage heap) I wish Schmidt had not got injured because I think he would have been dynamite in Dodger stadium on a full time basis. That said I think Billingsley has proven he should have been in the rotation in April.

Drives me crazy that Pierre is out there every day. But I am okay 5-6 days a week. I think we have a strong team of complimentary players but unless you have Koufax and Drysdale pitching every night when you can't take advantage of Cassals or whatever his name was you won't be playing in October. My assessment:

Martin - best catcher or with McCann best catcher in NL
Loney - looks like Mark Grace, nice piece of the equation but not a guy who is going to 900+ OPS
Kent - nice #5 hitter and Abreu is never going to hit like this. Love his snarly old dog attitude in this mix of young guys
Furcal - strong lead off man
Laroche - looks like a thirdbase version of Nick Swisher to me - .250 ish good on base and maybe 25 homers in good year. A Ron Cey / Santo type guy but Grady will have to be patient with the 0 for 25 weeks as they will come as often as 2 homer games.
Ethier - sadly I think a 4th outfielder. I would be playing Gonzalez more - Ethier should be playing 2-3 times per week until he hits .320 or starts hitting for more power. I am disappointed at how often he is a key factor in important games. This is where I think we can add some quality this winter.
Pierre - lots said about him but we have him and like him as part of 4 man outfield rotation and he has been strong in August in 2 hole.
Kemp - he is one guy who has that big bopper - Manny / Vlady - type potential but it is likely 2-3 years away from being fully realized.

There off the chest - don't need to post for next 50 weeks or so.

2007-09-01 10:16:34
66.   regfairfield
156 You say that Pesky was responsible for creating 156 runs, but he was not solely responsible for them. For the most part, he needed someone else's help to generate those runs, either they had to be on base, or they had to drive him in. That's how you can create 98 runs while you're "responsible" for 156.
2007-09-01 10:17:49
67.   underdog
I can't believe Hamulack is still on the 40 man roster. Thank dog we don't have to see him this September. Yeah, I think clearing roster space won't be a problem.
2007-09-01 10:18:00
68.   rockmrete
The frustration is showing itself a little here...Me Too.

Kent is still one of the Top 2nd baseman in Baseball.

Kemp is showing that he can become a star.

Everyone is saying the same thing here. The season is comming to an end and last nights loss was a huge one.

At the begining of the season we didn't know the kids would get enough playing time even though we thought they deserved it. And even though managment has not done everthing we want them to, the kids have played.

This year, and next year Pierre has been the problem. Yes he has done what was expected of him by management, but thats the problem. With as many potent kids that can do what he brings to the table (at the least) he creates a deficit with his salary, defense, and playing time. He needs to become a fourth OF at best, traded if possible.

Maybe he can be moved, or Furcal can be to open up funds for AROD (just wishfull thinking)

2007-09-01 10:20:11
69.   underdog
61 Not to put words in his mouth but I don't think Jon was arguing against Kent in any way - he's clearly still important to the team's offense. The point is more the free passes the veterans get when they make mistakes vs. the young players who sometimes seem to get benched after they make a goof on the basepaths, no matter what else they may have done to contribute to the game. And that the press in general seems to go along with that mentality. (Though Tony Jackson was critical of Pierre and Seanez in his blog post about the game last night)
2007-09-01 10:22:52
70.   regfairfield
If Shea Hillenbrand starts at third base tonight over LaRoche (or Abreu, or Hu) we deserve every terrible thing that happens to us.
2007-09-01 10:28:37
71.   underdog
70 - They probably wouldn't be with the team 'til tomorrow, I'd guess, but I could be wrong. At the worst, one of 'em better be in the lineup tomorrow.
2007-09-01 10:30:55
72.   regfairfield
71 If we wait until tomorrow to kick Shea Hillenbrand out of the lineup we deserve every terrible thing that happens to us.
2007-09-01 10:31:53
73.   Icaros
71

Shouldn't be hard to make it from SLC to San Diego for a night game, should it?

2007-09-01 10:32:22
74.   Icaros
too, damnit.
2007-09-01 10:33:22
75.   Icaros
Man, too early I guess. Disregard 74 .
2007-09-01 10:36:07
76.   PDH5204
69 The problem is with the "free pass". Is the media giving Kent a "free pass", or instead, not bothering to comment on his errors because we have no better replacement and what is otherwise wrong with Kent can't be fixed, and so why bother commenting on his non-fixable [as it were] failures? Jon would have been better served by using LuGo and/or Pierre for comparison purposes, since Kemp can replace one or the other.

66 No, I said that Pesky "was involved" in creating 156 runs [and not that he was "solely responsible" for creating 1565 runs]. My statement is simply unimpeachable as scoring 105 runs and having 51 RBIs means that Pesky "was involved" in creating 156 runs [and that by definition of runs scored and runs batted in]. The irony here otherwise is that for those who use OPS+ as the all-defining number, well, as I posted, for the respective years under review, Pesky had an OPS+ higher than Stuart and so was more valuable [which is the conclusion opposite that of Mr. James], and so Bill James and OPS+ give different results. I tend to think that there is a lesson in that disparity, but then again, what do I know?

2007-09-01 10:37:45
77.   Bob Timmermann
65
Welcome!
2007-09-01 10:37:55
78.   Marty
How is Kent getting thrown out at third excused because he "can't be fixed"? In my mind, both Kent's and the Bison's base running mistakes are mental. And both are "fixable". If Kent doesn't have the tools to run the bases as he used to be able to do, then his mind should tell him not to try to stretch a double into a triple. Particularly with two outs. Kemp would have been crucified for doing that.
2007-09-01 10:43:14
79.   still bevens
78 If you want to get on Kent's case 100% you could also argue that he wasn't hustling once the ball came off the bat. If he had been going for it the whole way as opposed to taking his time getting to first and only turning it on when he approached second, he wouldn't have had to slide right off the bag, he could have trotted into third standing up.
2007-09-01 10:44:14
80.   PDH5204
78 Kent's hand slipped off the bag. Can you say that if we had the same play 9 more times that his hand doesn't stay on the bag all 9 times? Kemp got, to use Greg Brock's words, back-picked off third, which is a mistake of a whole other nature. And, yes, there is simply nothing to be gained in any sense or respect, by criticizing someone for not accomplishing something that is beyond her or his capacity. And so if Kent's age means that he has no range, then he is what he is, and there's simply no point in saying that Kent gets a "free pass" for not accomplishing that which he cannot accomplish. And so you get the point, nothing in the immutable laws of physics required that Kemp get back-picked off third, whereas the immutable laws of physics might tell us that Kemp no longer has the range to get to AGo's "slow roller" and so the comparison is invalid and/or improper ab initio.
2007-09-01 10:44:31
81.   Howard Fox
78 oh, they can all be fixed alright...its called replacing Donnelly as 3rd base coach
2007-09-01 10:46:36
82.   regfairfield
76 OPS (and OPS+) is a nice stat when you want to see how good of a hitter someone is without breaking out a spreadsheet. Runs Created is just as fragile, but it takes longer to calculate. Stats that more accurately value various events (like VORP and EQA) are better when you want to see who truly is better.

Are you sure he was comparing Stuart in '60 to Pesky in '42, because Stuart was absolutely terrible in '60 (albeit in a much worse offensive environment). If he was using the runs created formula, which doesn't adjust for era, there's no way Stuart would beat Pesky.

I could rip into OPS+ and ERA+ for a while, but I don't think anyone cares.

2007-09-01 10:47:23
83.   PlayTwo
Not playing Kemp allows the opposing pitcher to exhale when checking the starting line-up.
2007-09-01 10:48:30
84.   Howard Fox
83 I dont think he brings that reaction, he may in the future, but not yet
2007-09-01 10:54:09
85.   Icaros
Kent's hand slipped off the bag. Can you say that if we had the same play 9 more times that his hand doesn't stay on the bag all 9 times?

How can you say that it doesn't? As comment 79 points out, had Kent been running hard the whole way, like a true veteran always does, he wouldn't have overrun the bag. Bottom line, his was a mental screw up on the bases, and he has had a few of them this year. From my recollection, at least as many as Matt Kemp.

2007-09-01 10:59:12
86.   Marty
85 Which brings us full circle. We tend to like the fancy-smancy stats like OPS and VORP not because it's perfect, but because it's a better barometer for judging players than the "gut instinct" and "who's to say" method.
2007-09-01 11:02:22
87.   GoBears
76. Your rant has become quite tiresome. And mostly it shows the value of the new stats, not their shortcomings. Phrases like "involved in" are so vague as to be unhelpful. In this case, it's also inaccurate (as opposed to "unimpeachable"). Pesky was not involved in exactly 156 runs - he scored or drove in (or both) 156 runs. Mostly likely, he advanced some runners with outs, or forced some and vultured their runs. Without counting those sorts of events, "involved in" loses what little meaning it had.

You're just being contrary, and the only thing worse than being contrary for its own sake is to do so AND be wrong.

As for the difference between Kent and Kemp, I guess it comes down to whether one believes that all players should be held to the same standards, or whether rookies and veterans should face different standards, or, alternatively, whether standards ought to vary by talent/potential. My general bias is for the first, but I can see arguments for the others.

For example, maybe rookies are treated more harshly because management thinks they'll benefit in the long run from the learning experience/accountability, whereas there is no long run for vets. Trouble with that logic is that its hard to teach a kid a lesson that he can see a vet violate with impunity.

Finally, I agree that the Dodgers haven't fielded their best avaialable players consistently. But I'm more and more convinced that this is NOT because they're not trying to maximize their chances of winning. Instead it's because they don't know (or at any rate, don't agree with me about) who their best players are. They actually believe that Pierre is an elite player. They actually think Hillenbrand is better than LaRoche. And so on. I think they're trying to win - they just way over-value the marginal win-expectancy effect of PVL.

2007-09-01 11:09:28
88.   dsfan
The press in San Diego pinned it on Kent and Pierre:

"Pitching as a visitor in Petco for the first time, Wells got off to an unlucky start. Defensive inadequacies by his Dodgers teammates opened the door to three runs for the Padres in the first. With two outs, Gonzalez hit a slow grounder and it went through for an RBI single because second baseman Jeff Kent's 39-year-old legs appeared to be moving in quicksand. Greene followed with a lazy fly ball; it went for an RBI double because center fielder Juan Pierre lost it in the twilight and ran some 30 feet in front of it."

2007-09-01 11:12:04
89.   caseybarker
Your statement of "Most runs scored and RBI are not one man shows" otherwise shows the absurdity and futility of even engaging in the exercise of trying to determine how many runs any given player "solely" created.

So we stop trying to evaluate a player's individidual contribution to his team because it's hard?

2007-09-01 11:12:32
90.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
The one-RBI season of Mike Lieberthal, put into perspective.
www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/Kj2z
2007-09-01 11:13:22
91.   Icaros
87

Thank you.

2007-09-01 11:19:46
92.   underdog
I think we should argue about stuff more! Takes our mind away from the really important things. Like why Rob Zombie made a Halloween remake, and who will win FIBA?

87 Do you really think they think Hillenbrand is better than LaRoche? Maybe they do, but I thought SH was a stopgap because LaRoche was hurt and Nomar was hurt.

2007-09-01 11:22:09
93.   KG16
My take on Kent is simple: he has reached a point in his career where, if he is to continue, he will have to be a DH.

I take nothing away from him, he is a Hall of Famer, but at this point, his defense is incredibly suspect. And I can't help but wonder if his on base adventures are part of him trying to make up for his defensive lapses (total and complete speculations, I will admit).

As frustrated as I am with some of Colletti's moves, I still think this team is fundamentally well built. The major question facing the Dodgers in the next year or two is who will play second. The next question is can they do something about center field. Finally, there is the question that everyone faces in reliable middle relief and the back end of the starting rotation.

I'll also admit, there is a part of me that says the moves to make this off season are: get A-Rod, play him at SS, move Furcal to 2B, then trade Pierre straight up for Werth. As for the rotation, Penny, Lowe, Billingsly, Kuo, and Lozia wouldn't be too bad, if it can stay healthy.

2007-09-01 11:22:46
94.   PDH5204
87 First off, I could care less and so wasn't asking for any "editorial" comment on your part as to whether or not you find what you call my "rant" "tiresome". I otherwise didn't say "exactly". In my first post, I said, "at least". And, yes, a run scored could be an RBI if a homer was concerned, but then again, how many homers did Pesky have that year? Do you even know?

Lastly, for good reason, the law otherwise presumes you to be incompetent to testify as to my state of mind, and so why don't you just have the good grace to refrain from commenting on what you posit as my mental state. Thanks.

2007-09-01 11:22:58
95.   Howard Fox
92 Hillenbrand is there because Little remembers how well he played for the Red Sox a few years back.
2007-09-01 11:23:10
96.   Reddog
I would suggest that everyone here take the time to write a brief letter to McCourt asking him to read this site. If we all do that, I am positive that he would indeed regularly read this site. And I believe that would go a long way towards altering the team's focus on old vets.
2007-09-01 11:28:04
97.   dsfan
Laroche's injuries have to be considered. They were serious. It took him quite some time to regain his form after the shoulder injuries. After the back injury, seemed reasonable to get him right in Triple-A.
I like that he was allowed to get hot in Triple-A before he will be recalled.

What's more, he has a high-effort swing, making it that much more prudent to allow him several at-bats in Triple-A to put his back through the paces and make sure his back responds favorably.

I want him to have an optimal opportunity to succeed when he gets here. Remember, he flopped in front of Little the past two spring trainings. He's going to have enough stress trying to show what he can do. The recent results in Triple-A are very encouraging. I don't necessarily buy that he could have been doing that here. I've been strong in my pro-Laroche comments here, but you want the kid to be in peak physical form and to be coming off a productive stretch, if at all possible.

Peavy would be a very difficult matchup for him, of course, but as the No. 8 hitter could he do any worse than Hillenbrand did last night?

2007-09-01 11:28:43
98.   fanerman
96 Email or muggle post?
2007-09-01 11:30:55
99.   Icaros
96

We already did as much in person. He says he doesn't have time.

2007-09-01 11:35:18
100.   Bob Timmermann
OK, everybody. Take a breath. Step away from the keyboard.

People are headed toward Rule 2, 3, and 4 violations.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-09-01 11:36:08
101.   immouch
Jon:
Great post today. But so is post 16. It seems a bit, I dunno, lazy, to offer a great starting point for a discussion - as you have - and then dismiss opposing points of view with "I disagree too much to comment" or somesuch. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Should Kemp be playing every inning? Stats and our eyeballs all scream a resounding "yes." But should LaRoche be hailed as the next Walking Man based on 53 major league plate apperances? Seems absurd, frankly. If he'd gone 2 for 53 or something, I guarantee you'd be the first to point out the limited sample, statistically speaking.
Also, did I mention Juan Pierre should double as his own bobble-head? My teeth are still grinding from last night's fiasco.
2007-09-01 11:50:26
102.   underdog
100 Which leads to a rule 8 and finally, a rule 11 violation. Or vice versa.

I'm just excited that some of the kids are going to be joining the team shortly and will enjoy that. Hope others find it in themselves to enjoy it, too.

2007-09-01 11:51:19
103.   dsfan
Hard to glean much of anything from LaRoche's walk total as a No. 8 hitter. As I recall, Laroche was still trying to regain his form in the wake of the shoulder injuries. Purely speculative, but he may have been unusually patient partly out of necessity -- swinging would have exposed him for what he was at that time: a hitter searching for his swing after a major injury.

It's a peripheral issue, at best.

I am far more interested in seeing whether Laroche can cope with the advanced accuracy of major league pitching, once major leaguers have a sense of what he can and cannot do.

On pitches from the middle in, Laroche already projects as a dangerous hitter by major league standards. He's high-effort in his swing, but he impresses scouts with how he gets to these pitches.

But there real questions about his ability to read the good breaking ball and to cover the outside corner. In the minors, these weak areas were seldom exposed, but obviously in the majors, those flaws can be attacked far more often.

For a comparison, think Andy Marte. Among stats-intensive analysts, he was thought be virtually a slam dunk -- but he had similar problems in reading breaking balls and covering the outside corner. Major leaguers were able to exploit those flaws. Marte is still trying to make the necessary adjustments. I hope he does. I like that Laroches has already gotten his debut out of the way. Should take away some of the anxiety that comes with unfamiliarity.

2007-09-01 11:52:16
104.   underdog
Old friend Edwin Jax isn't doing so hot today in the Bronx. 4 runs in 3 innings, hit pretty hard. Ian Kennedy's making his debut and looks a little shaky, too, but the DRays look shakier .
2007-09-01 11:53:38
105.   Eric Stephen
101 Jon is not claiming LaRoche should be "hailed as the next Walking Man." He's saying his stats shouldn't be discounted just because he batted 8th often.

From Jon: "LaRoche won't continue to walk at this rate no matter where he bats in the lineup, but I remind you that to conclude his walks are a product of his batting in the No. 8 slot is a complete fallacy"

LaRoche should be called up not because of his 55 PAs in the majors. He should be called up because he's done nothing but hit over the last 3 years. He is their best hitting prospect in quite some time.

2007-09-01 12:00:46
106.   GoBears
93. I don't know how old you are, KG16, but I'm a few months older than Kent. My guess as to his baserunning mistakes is that he hasn't quite come to grips with just how far his skills have diminished. He was probably more surprised than everyone watching that it took him that long to get where he was going. Getting older is continuously humbling from a physical standpoint, and I'm just a regular guy. I imagine that an elite athlete almost has to live in denial as he creeps ever closer to 40.
2007-09-01 12:00:51
107.   regfairfield
I've always have had a problem with the LaRoche has a hole in his swing theory. If he did, wouldn't he strike out a lot more often? Marte, the example you gave, struck out about once every four at bats in the minors. LaRoche has struck out once every 6.5 at bats in AAA, and the only time strikeouts were even remotely an issue was during his first stint at Jacksonville, and even then, it still wasn't terrible (a little over once every four at bats). He even kept up this same strikeout rate with the Dodgers (once every 7.5 at bats, albeit in a small sample).

It seems like a lot of the criticism of LaRoche is based on his brief appearance with the Dodgers, and people are inventing flaws to downplay his abilities.

2007-09-01 12:04:07
108.   still bevens
I just want LaRoche to get some playing time so I can listen to his awesome intro music at Dodger stadium one more time.
2007-09-01 12:07:00
109.   GoBears
94. I made no comment on your mental state - just on your behavior. And that you don't care that several other participants view your continued violations of rules 3, 4, and 6 as tiresome is basically my point.

That said, I'm clearly not helping here, so I'll bow out. There are better things to do than allow myself to be annoyed by poor manners. Have a good day, everyone.

2007-09-01 12:09:13
110.   PDH5204
82 Re the Runs created, the piece from the one university's math department reports "1960" as the year and I am assuming that they are taking that from James and otherwise got the year right. As I otherwise believe that I have said here before, I am not averse to looking at and using the "new math". However, as always, I simply would like all to realize that we have yet to invent any single number concerning any human endeavor comparable to hitting in baseball that does not also come with much that is hidden, distorted, and/or simply not taken into account, and never mind that while the correlation might be exact there is still the possibility that (a) the correlation is simply the artificial artifact of the construct of itself with no "real" existence outside the particular construct, and (b) just as with Ptolemy's model of the solar system, we might indeed be able to find Mars in the sky 500 years from now, but Ptolemy's model is still physically wrong as Mars makes no "epicycles" on its journey around the sun, and so the correlation can be exact but the model wrong.

My only real concern for today, well, it would be nice to see Kemp, but as some said, what with the righty Peavy, we probably won't, and so my concern is that we see the September Lowe of fame and lore who outpitches one Jake Peavy. I'd have to ask Bob to expound on all the tiebreakers, but from things like head to head, within the division, etc., it looks the Pads would prevail in any tiebreaker, though Bob could enlighten me if he provided the tiebreakers [hint, hint...].

2007-09-01 12:10:03
111.   Eric Enders
Perhaps one of the reasons Jon declined to comment on 16 is because the post does a fine job of crucifying itself, and piling on would be unnecessary. It has a good point about LaRoche, but the part about Kemp and Kent is, to put it charitably, misguided.

I think one of the reasons people keep defending LaRoche by pointing out his walks is because he keeps being attacked by people pointing out his poor major league performance. People are raking him over the coals using an aberration of small sample size, so heck, why not defend him using another aberration from the same small sample? But what it all comes down to is this:
1) LaRoche's walks in the majors were helped in some small part -- but only in small part -- by the fact that he was hitting eighth, as Joshua proved in post 37 . He would have still drawn most of those walks even batting in some other spot in the order.
2) Even so, LaRoche's major league stint was a small enough sample that we shouldn't really draw any conclusions from it, either positive or negative.
3) LaRoche has excellent plate discipline as proven by his previous track record. He has increased his walk rate five years in a row now.
4) LaRoche is the best all-around major league third baseman currently in the Dodger organization, and it isn't close.

The stuff in 16 about Kemp and Kent is really not even worthy of a detailed response. Players are judged by what they can and can't do. We're not running an old folks' home or a sociology department here. It doesn't matter why Kent is a worse baserunner and worse defensive player than Kemp. It only matters that he is. And as Jon noted, that point is pretty much beyond argument. Nobody's saying Kent should be benched or anything. But it would be nice if all players on the Dodgers were accorded the same room for failure by fans, the media, and management, instead of the whopping double standard that currently exists.

2007-09-01 12:10:47
112.   PDH5204
109 I didn't ask you to leave, so please don't.
2007-09-01 12:12:56
113.   immouch
105
agreed.... but i'm not weighing in on whether jon or the guy who posted number 16 (and others) is right. just pointing out that both positions are well considered, and to shut down any well reasoned p.o.v. seems against the spirit of this board. as for laroche... i'm not sure i've discerned any strong criticism of him, eiither here or by reading between the lines of the dodgers' often bizarre roster moves... earlier this year laroche wasn't ready, probably because he wasn't healthy. so - walks or no walks - he got sent down. i don't think it warrants the breathless "plea" we have before us today.
by the way, i'll be stoked if laroche gets to the bigs instantly and plays in games that matter. i believe someday he could become the no. 4 or no. 5 hitter this team will need next year and beyond, and the experience of the next few weeks is critical to that development.
2007-09-01 12:17:19
114.   KG16
106 - I'm working through the last few months of my 20s. And I'm well aware of what getting older does to one's physical skills.

I'll admit, I didn't see a lot of Kent before he came to the Dodgers. But what I have seen of him, I can't say I've ever seen him to be the type that can stretch a double into a triple; nor the type that can score from second on a routine basehit - perhaps in his early 20s he had these abilities, but I've not seen them during his tenure with the Dodgers. It seems lately that he is pushing the envelope quite a bit on the basepaths. In the last few weeks, I've seen a lot of times where he's rounding third and I'm just thinking "he's going to be out by a mile." He's been somewhat lucky because of bad throws and/or missed tags, but I wouldn't want to rely on those.

While I generally like aggressiveness on the basepaths, I still think you have to be smart about it - which is why I don't want to see Kent and Olmedo going on a double steal.

And again, I think Kent can extend his career a couple of years as a DH who occasionally plays second, and I think he'd be incredibly effective in that role.

2007-09-01 12:24:45
115.   Lexinthedena
So I had too much of a good thing last night....and now the head is pounding and it may be time to call earl....

I need some DT hangover advice pronto....

2007-09-01 12:27:06
116.   dsfan
107-

My scouting report on Laroche had nothing to do with his performance in the majors. He has difficulties with certain pitches that are more apt to be exploited by major leaguers. Marte had a similar problem, perhpas more acute, but definitely similar. Marte also played in minor league venues and leagues less conducive to hitting than Laroche did.

2007-09-01 12:29:15
117.   Eric Enders
16 Also, the notion that Kemp's numbers are better than Kent's because Kemp plays only when the situation is favorable for him while Kent does not is, I believe, completely false.

With the exception of those who play every single day like J.P., all players are played in the games which the manager feels are most conducive to their success. The 21 games Kent has missed have been either because (a) the Dodgers are facing a pitcher he tends to be unsuccessful against, or (b) he is injured -- both of which might interfere with his success. He is being protected from failure in the same manner Kemp is.

2007-09-01 12:30:20
118.   PDH5204
115 Take a B-supplement. Alcohol is notorious for sapping the B vitamins from your body. To avoid such a fate in the future, take a B vitamin when you last eat before drinking, take one while drinking, and take one after drinking, and also after, some water as well [for the alcohol induced dehydration].
2007-09-01 12:30:31
119.   rockmrete
I like both Kent, and Kemp.

In the the end they were both just as out as the other...BUT.

Being overly aggressive on the basepaths is completely different from making mental mistakes ala Sweeny, and yes Kemp.

And get rid of the windmill.

2007-09-01 12:34:35
120.   Eric Enders
"Being overly aggressive on the basepaths is completely different from making mental mistakes ala Sweeny, and yes Kemp."

Misjudging where the ball is in relation to your own footspeed is a mental error. So is beginning your slide late enough that your momentum propels you past the bag.

2007-09-01 12:35:14
121.   PlayTwo
It's September. These are our boys. Hang on.
2007-09-01 12:35:28
122.   Eric Enders
I like both players, too, by the way. But Jon's right. Hold them to the same standard.
2007-09-01 12:36:02
123.   PDH5204
111 Sorry, Eric, but Kent is simply not being protected from unfavorable matchups in the same manner as is Kemp. The only conceivable manner in which your statement could be considered correct would be if we both first acknowledged that Kemp is the poorer hitter and so needs to be protected more than Kent, and so Kemp has appeared in fewer games than Kent while both have been with the team.
2007-09-01 12:40:30
124.   Reddog
I just want to make the point that I know if you mail a letter to McCourt, he reads it. And it can make a difference. Not e-mail, but a real letter.

Earlier this season I wrote him a letter imploring the team to call up Kemp and Loney. Perhaps coincidently, they were both called up within a week of sending the letter. And he sent me a reply, thanking me for my thoughts.

2007-09-01 12:41:54
125.   PDH5204
118 Almost forgot, but heavy alcohol consumption results in low blood sugar. To kill two birds with that one stone, make yourself a banana shake [sugar, some vitamins, and some magnesium and potassium as well]. Enjoy.
2007-09-01 12:43:49
126.   natepurcell
minor league question...

organizational pitcher of the year? Kersaw or Mcdonald?

organization hitter of the year? ....????

2007-09-01 12:48:37
127.   Joshua Worley
Kemp and Kent both have an OPS of 0.878. They are exactly equal! ;-)

Russ has an 0.863 OPS right now, by the way. I've been hoping all season he could reach 0.900. By a rough calculation he'd have to OPS 1.100 in September to reach that, though, which is probably asking a bit much of a catcher.

I don't buy any of this stuff about Kemp being put only into favorable situations. However, while I am a huge fan of Kemp and want him to start every day, I'm not sure I agree that he's the Dodgers best hitter, though he is getting some great results. He's striking out in 22% of his plate appearances, which is a bit high if he's going to keep up a batting average of 0.325, yes?

2007-09-01 12:48:41
128.   Eric Enders
McDonald and D.Young would be my picks.
2007-09-01 12:50:40
129.   Eric Stephen
126 Hitter has got to be Delwyn Young, if anything because he has 200 or so PAs more than LaRoche.
2007-09-01 12:54:48
130.   rockmrete
Misjudging where the ball is in relation to your own footspeed is a mental error. So is beginning your slide late enough that your momentum propels you past the bag.

I couldn't disagree more. When Kent saw Cameron bobble the the ball he made the decision to attempt to strectch it out. He was wrong, but not by much, and had he been going out of the batters box initially like it was mentioned earlier it would not have been an issue.

Although I do aggree that the age factor is catching up to Kent.

And I am not trying to bash Kemp, He is one of my favorite players, but just because I like him dosen't mean I can't also be critical of him.

2007-09-01 13:00:43
131.   Frip
According to Joe Morgan during the Dodger ESPN game, the only Dodger player with any power is Jeff Kent, so I don't know where Jon gets off sighting Kemp's higher slugging percentage. That's like, nitpicking.
2007-09-01 13:03:04
132.   PDH5204
131 There isn't a position that Joe Morgan isn't comfortable with taking, even if it's one that conflicts with his position of just before the last commercial break.
2007-09-01 13:05:49
133.   silverwidow
Pitcher: James McDonald
Player: Chin-Lung Hu
2007-09-01 13:08:23
134.   Eric Enders
It's nice having a farm system again. We get to tell the #6 prospect in all of baseball: "Oh, by the way, our organizational pitcher of the year award? You're second."
2007-09-01 13:09:49
135.   Lexinthedena
115, 118- Thanks...
2007-09-01 13:11:17
136.   Lexinthedena
Delwyn Young all the way...he has been dominant all year....
2007-09-01 13:14:55
137.   Eric L
When Kent saw Cameron bobble the the ball he made the decision to attempt to strectch it out.

Isn't decision making a thought process? If you make a bad decision, it's a mental error.

2007-09-01 13:16:27
138.   Eric Enders
Jonathan Meloan, D.J. Houlton, Chad Moeller, and Chin-Lung Hu have been removed from the Las Vegas roster at MiLB.com. Young, LaRoche, Abreu, Valdez, Stults, and Hull are still listed.
2007-09-01 13:20:27
139.   rockmrete
137

YES.

But come on, you don't see the difference between that, and let's say Sweeny not knowing there are two outs, or only one? Or kemp on second base with nobody on first and the ball is hit to the shortstop on your (Kemp's)right side? It's a little league NONO.

2007-09-01 13:20:32
140.   regfairfield
107 But again, if he has difficulty with those pitches, why didn't he strike out more often.

138 Unbelievable.

2007-09-01 13:25:59
141.   Johnny Nucleo
110 The 1982 Abstract was talking about Stuart's 1961. There was a typo in the article you pasted.
Pesky, 1942: 331/375/416 (2HR)
Stuart, 1961: 301/344/543 (35 HR)

In the 1982 Abstract, using Runs Created, James concludes that Pesky's 1942 and Stuart's 1961 were essentially of equal value. The point is not to compare their careers 42 , but to try to show a unifying measure for comparing the value of different offensive skill sets. James also has a whole set of caveats regarding Runs Created and its flaws. But in the early 1980's people were commonly using batting average as "The One Great Number" (TOGN). I think you cannot disagree that Runs Created, EQA, and VORP represent an improvement, the caveats in "The Average is Not the Territory" notwithstanding.
2007-09-01 13:26:37
142.   silverwidow
138 -- Yeah, I was just going to post that. VERY excited to see Meloan.
2007-09-01 13:37:24
143.   Andrew Shimmin
Wouldn't it be great if Matt Kemp were even better at baseball than he already is. That would be some kind of sweet.
2007-09-01 14:03:13
144.   PDH5204
141 Thanks for your response, as my only "difficulty" has always concerned the failure to remember the caveats. Well, maybe it's a little more than that, but let the failure to recall the caveats suffice for now. I don't otherwise know how we can fairly compare Pesky and Stuart as they were two different types of hitter. I also don't see them standing opposed [as it were] but as complimentary souls, in the sense that the team would be better off having one of each rather than two of the one or the other. But if we must compare, well, beyond the caveats, we need to decide how we weigh OBP in calculating OPS, since if we weight OBP as OBP plus some multiplier, then Peskys' OBP "overcomes" some of the disparity with respect to his and Stuart's slugging and so maybe a tad bitter better than "equal" [at least if one uses a weighted OPS and not Runs Created as the diagnostic criteria].
2007-09-01 14:04:00
145.   PDH5204
143 That's our daily prayer.
2007-09-01 14:05:50
146.   dsfan
140 --

minor league pitching.

2007-09-01 14:13:02
147.   Jon Weisman
It's funny; if I had said nothing, no one would have had a problem. But I said in 22 that I disagreed too much to respond, and that got some people up in arms.

I didn't shut down the debate or declare myself superior. I said I disagreed. Why didn't I elaborate? Check the time of this morning's post. Check the time of the comments. It's no secret that I have other obligations besides this blog. To take the time to write a thoughtful response to 16 was more time than I had to offer, especially considering the time I had spent already. I did have time to shoot off a couple of quick comments, otherwise, I have not been at the computer.

So, I thought it would be okay to agree to disagree - I didn't know that was a problem. It didn't seem to occur to those taking shots at the comment that maybe I just didn't want to get hooked up in a long discussion on a Saturday. But, if you want to explain to my wife and kids that I can't be with them because it would be disingenuous at best (I hate to think what the worst would be) for me to not elaborate on a comment at 8 in the morning, be my guest.

I'm not bearing any grudges, but come on. I didn't take any shots at anyone; I don't see any need to take shots at me.

There - I just spent 10 minutes explaining. Hope that helps.

2007-09-01 14:28:31
148.   PDH5204
147 Remember, as always, that no comment I ever send in your direction is said to mean or imply that you are some lesser human [if it seems otherwise, remember that any comment respecting "integrity" goes to "integrity" of the argument and not the person]. But you didn't give as your reason that you had others matters to attend to [I would have understood as I am usually in the same predicament]. What you did say was: "I disagree with too much of that post to respond." To me, that reads, well, as Eric said, my argument must apparently crucify itself and so no need to respond. That's how I read your brief reply. If that wasn't what you meant, then we have misunderstanding and again, re things disingenuous at best, that goes to integrity of the argument and not the person.
2007-09-01 14:34:55
149.   Jon Weisman
61 - "Nice try, Jon, but avoiding a discussion on that ground is disingenuous at best."

If this isn't insinuating that I'm trying to duck the debate/get away with something ... I just don't know how else to interpret it. I addressed your post. You addressed me personally, not my argument, and called me disingenuous at best.

2007-09-01 14:44:55
150.   Bob Timmermann
Yellow alert for Marlon Byrd in Anaheim.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-09-01 14:58:52
151.   gpellamjr
150 Man, it's too bad the Dodgers let him get away to the Mets.
2007-09-01 15:06:58
152.   PDH5204
149 Perhaps you need to be a lawyer to understand the distinction that I am trying to make. I don't consider myself "disingenuous", but in terms of things professional, I've "bowed out" many times when there really was no defense or reply to be had, and for irony, in doing so I have on occasion said just about what you said [the better termed reply is, Your Honor, Mr. X might as well be asking how many angels can dance on the had of a pin for all that it matters...]. And I've been called on it too. The other distinction here is that we all tell lies occasionally, but not everyone is a liar, but tell enough lies, and you become a liar. Put in today's terms, me insinuating that for a single time you ducked a debate doesn't make you a disingenuous soul, it just means that you tried a single time you engaged in the disingenuous act of ducking a debate.

Perhaps it would help for you to know that if I truly beleived that you are a disingenuous soul, well, then were would simply be no moral reason for me to reply to anything you say and so I would not have replied at all to your thoughts, and not just today, but not ever. Lastly, I was otherwise trying to get you to reengage in the discussion [there's usually no more certain way to get someone reengaged than by saying that they are ducking the thing]. A word from you re other pressing matters would have otherwise stopped that desire on my part, well, at least temporarily.

Now, when you have the time to respond, can you tell me why you chose Kent? He isn't even competing with Kemp for playing time. More to the point, we can criticize Kent all we want for his lack of range and so his failure to corral AGo's grounder, but nothing we say, either constructive or destructive, will improve his range, so what would be the point of any criticism on our part? Personally, I don't agree with Grady not playing Kemp, but I can see some "defense" for Grady, I mean, maybe Grady believes that while Kemp possesses all of the physical tools, he also believes that Kemp's errors derive from a lack of concentration or focus, and maybe Grady thinks that he can improve the circumstance by having Kemp sit on the bench watching others play while he reflects on his lack of concentration or focus. Again, I don't agree with that, but if true, at least it is a rational thought on Grady's part. The argument to be made here, well, as I see it, first, forget the media, since I doubt that Grady pays the media critique[s] any mind at all [the media types and we here are all just Nintendo and fantasy baseball playing morons as far as Grady's concerned], and second, one can readily establish that Kemp is superior to Pierre, LuGo and Ethier and so should play everyday, and never mind one Jeff Kent's "limitations".

2007-09-01 15:18:23
153.   Eric Stephen
152 Perhaps Jon chose Kent because he made a baserunning error last night, and it was barely even mentioned, if not ignored, in all game stories. Yet, Kemp was raked over the coals for baserunning errors over the last 1-2 weeks.
2007-09-01 15:27:46
154.   PDH5204
150 He now has one more AB. And for things bizarre, see the "bat flap" here:

http://tinyurl.com/ypacp5

2007-09-01 15:28:54
155.   Jon Weisman
I chose Kent because he was the one who had the rough inning and didn't get called out on it like Kemp has been. If Coco the Flying Monkey had been the one, I would have chosen Coco the Flying Monkey.

I truly, truly feel that my post addressed, in advance, .most of your questions. I will say that I disagree with the notion that Kent's shortcomings are all physical. He, like every ballplayer, makes mental mistakes. My point, which I believe to be clear, is that in evaluating ballplayers, young or old, the whole package should be considered.

The idea that I decide the value of ballplayers based only on a single number is absurd, and this morning's post should only be more evidence.

I wrote several hundred words at 4 in the morning. If someone commented that they disagreed with it too much to respond, my reaction would have been, "Okay."

I do not see how disagreeing with someone obligates them to debate, especially when a point of view has previously been stated.

And I really have nothing more to add.

2007-09-01 15:30:30
156.   Eric Enders
"maybe Grady believes that while Kemp possesses all of the physical tools, he also believes that Kemp's errors derive from a lack of concentration or focus, and maybe Grady thinks that he can improve the circumstance by having Kemp sit on the bench watching others play while he reflects on his lack of concentration or focus. Again, I don't agree with that, but if true, at least it is a rational thought on Grady's part."

Yes, it would be a rational thought on Grady's part. But rational thoughts can be dead wrong.

If Grady is indeed thinking in the manner you speculate he is, then he is knowingly sacrificing the 2007 season based on the probably specious hope that "reflecting on the bench" might help Kemp to be a headier player in the future. Because there is no possible baseball-related reason for keeping Kemp on the bench. As far as the 2007 pennant race is concerned, it's very clear that his mistakes, such as they are, are more than counterbalanced by his hitting. (As, to a lesser degree, are Kent's.) Personally, I find it difficult to believe that Little's thought process involves punting the 2007 season so that Matt Kemp might make five fewer baserunning outs in 2008.

As for the notion that Kemp might become less mistake-prone by sitting on the bench, that's blind wishcasting at best. What reason is there to believe that would be the case? Doesn't it make more sense that a young player might better learn the fundamentals of baseball by actually playing baseball? Is learning the fundamentals of outfield defense by sitting and watching Juan Pierre play actually a positive thing?

I agree with you here on the possibility that rational thought is going on in Grady Little's head. I do not, however, see how one can posit that this rational thought has led him to the right conclusions. (And I gather that you yourself don't think they are the right conclusions either.)

2007-09-01 15:32:39
157.   Gen3Blue
If I gave my view on our trade position again, I would be close to a rule 8 long term violation.

That said, if we continue to build around our internal options we are one of the teams that could survive Andrew Jone's cold spells well enough to benefit from his marvelous defense and power. Would JP and a good prospect get us close. If Atlanta is on a budget it would. By the way, does anyone know who his agent is.

2007-09-01 15:35:41
158.   Eric Stephen
157 Andruw Jones is a free agent after this season (no need for a trade), and his agent is Scott Boras.
2007-09-01 15:36:48
159.   Eric Enders
I wonder if A. Jones would get through waivers right now based on the way he's playing this year. For that matter, I wonder if JP would?
2007-09-01 15:37:55
160.   Jon Weisman
152 - "me insinuating that for a single time you ducked a debate doesn't make you a disingenuous soul, it just means that you tried a single time you engaged in the disingenuous act of ducking a debate."

Here's another option: You could have just given me the benefit of the doubt. Just like the person who called my comment "lazy" for not responding more after I had already written hundreds of words.

"Lastly, I was otherwise trying to get you to reengage in the discussion [there's usually no more certain way to get someone reengaged than by saying that they are ducking the thing]."

And this, by the way, is a explicit violation of rule 3 on the sidebar.

2007-09-01 15:40:12
161.   Jon Weisman
By the way, I have to completely concede to JoeyP that he was right about Hillenbrand. To not even call up a healthy LaRoche on Sept. 1 and to let Hillenbrand and Martinez own third base for even a day rocks my world.
2007-09-01 15:42:05
162.   Bluebleeder87
Really nice Saturday write up Jon, enjoyed reading it.
2007-09-01 15:42:06
163.   Eric Stephen
Still no official word on the callups yet. I can't fathom why LaRcohe is not up yet, if he is in fact not one of the ones up today.

Also, if Hu is up today but not Abreu, is this an indication that Abreu's future in LA is limited at best?

Both LaRoche are Abreu are healthy enough to be playing in AAA right now; there is no reason they should not be up today with the big club.

2007-09-01 15:45:07
164.   Marty
Georgia Tech 26 Notre Dame 3 in the 4th. How is Charlie Weis going to genius his way out of this one?
2007-09-01 15:45:51
165.   Eric Stephen
Off topic, but does Visa (I think it is Visa running these commercials, anyway) really believe that it is quicker to pay with a debit card than cash? Cash is clearly quicker! Now that's disingenuous. :)

I think Ned still pays with a check, however.

2007-09-01 15:46:34
166.   Eric Stephen
164 Weis is going to have his lawyers sue to have this loss overturned.
2007-09-01 15:48:20
167.   Eric Stephen
164 I should add that, by keeping this game close, Notre Dame will probably rise to around #14 or so in the polls. :)
2007-09-01 15:50:42
168.   Marty
The Lloyd Carr retirement party invites started going out today as well.
2007-09-01 15:51:13
169.   underdog
If LaRoche isn't called up for tomorrow, then I'll be more peeved. I don't see a huge difference between today and tomorrow - and yes, I know this is a huge series, and I'd prefer him to Hillenbrand, but I don't think it's worth getting that upset over if they're calling players up in waves. (Though I do find it a bit odd that Hu gets the call first, over LaRoche. Don't quite understand that.) But he better be there tomorrow.
2007-09-01 15:51:27
170.   Bob Timmermann
I set up a whole college football thread for you people.

And this is the thanks I get.

I'm going to compose a 513-word post.

2007-09-01 15:53:08
171.   PDH5204
160 So that I might "avoid" any "explicit" rule violations, if you are able, please cancel my "membership" on the Toaster. Thanks.
2007-09-01 15:55:59
172.   Bluebleeder87
163

Eric Stephen, is there a special website we have to go to so we can find out who the Dodgers called up? or will it be on the Dodger site.

2007-09-01 15:58:31
173.   Eric Stephen
172 I was just checking both "Inside the Dodgers", the LA Times, and the P-E blog. Eric Enders reported earlier about Meloan, Hu, Houlton, and Moeller no longer being on the Vegas roster on MiLB.com.

"I" hope LaRoche "gets" called "up" today.

2007-09-01 15:58:52
174.   Jon Weisman
171 - Wow. I mean, you push and push for me to respond to you, and when I do, that's your response? I'm just confused. It makes calling me out on 22 that much harder to fathom.

But if that's how you feel, what can I say? I accept it.

New post up top.

2007-09-01 16:00:21
175.   natepurcell
Today was probably McDizzle's last outing.

3IP 3H 0ER 1bb 5k

his AA numbers conclude at:

52.2IP 1.71 ERA

7.17 H/9IP

2.73 bb/9IP

10.93 k/9IP

.85 hr/9IP

4:1 k:bb ratio

those numbers are pretty awesome.

2007-09-01 16:05:16
176.   Gen3Blue
I think Hu could be a more integral part of this team than some other prospects. This in no way disparages other prospects who are more advanced or talented offensively than Hu, it just suggests if he hits SS average his defense will be extremely valuable.
2007-09-01 16:05:46
177.   underdog
McDizzle? I like it, though I wasn't at the last meeting for the official Dodger Minor Leaguer Nickname Committee, so I didn't get a vote. I guess calling him "Old" doesn't work.
2007-09-01 16:10:46
178.   underdog
176 Oh I think so too, or at least could see that. I just wonder why he gets the call without LaRoche, since the Dodgers have more of a need at 3rd than at SS, but obviously this should be moot in a day anyway.
2007-09-01 16:14:09
179.   Chiron Brown
155 I totally want Coco the Flying Monkey on our team. Would flying from first to second be considered out of the basepath?

165 Thank you. As a bartender I can attest that cash is much easier. If you want to run a tab for a while a credit/debit card is great. If you're paying as you go, bring cash.

2007-09-01 16:19:19
180.   Fallout
I say that Kent is the best all around hitter on this club. Against poorer pitching, Kemp is just as big a threat at the plate as Kent. But,in the play-offs, in a big situation, I'll take Kent over any other player on the team.
I cannot get many Dodger games on TV but I can tell you that when I watched the game against the Mets last(?)weekend I knew that Kemp was over matched when he pinched hit against Orlando Hernandez. I really could not figure out why he was used in that spot.
I wanted to make a comment on this site to say that Hernandez was too clever for Kemp and probably strikeout b4 he came to the plate, but my computer was not on.

As far as Kemp's base running, he needs help. Fortunately it's available from the base coaches if he would use them. I saw that hit and run play with Kemp taking off from 1st and doing his musical chairs thing with 2nd base. It was so painful to watch that I do not understand why he should not be criticized for it...not to mention being picked off 3rd in the same game. I would never use him to pinch run unless there were 2 outs.
(At this point in his career)

2007-09-01 16:27:03
181.   MJW101
With all the grief that Kemp gets about his baseball skills it is rarely if ever mentioned that he is the YOUNGEST position player on the Dodger 40 man roster.

With the few years of baseball experience that he has had and as young as he is the man is an amazing talent. Why cannot everyone just appreciate that they are seeing the beginning of a great career.

2007-09-01 16:34:26
182.   Gen3Blue
178 Yeah--in terms of immediate need, there is no excuse for LaRoche not being hear yesterday.
2007-09-01 17:25:34
183.   MJW101
With all the grief that Kemp gets about his baseball skills it is rarely if ever mentioned that he is the YOUNGEST position player on the Dodger 40 man roster.

With the few years of baseball experience that he has had and as young as he is the man is an amazing talent. Why cannot everyone just appreciate that they are seeing the beginning of a great career.

2007-09-02 18:44:20
184.   bcorig
You are all smarter than me and this is my first post.
I have not agreed with all of Colleti's moves but I think we need to look at what the current lineup has to offer:
Nomar is out and should remain out - he no longer hits for power nor in the clutch.
Gonzo - likewise - an older Shawn Green, can't cover the ground.
Kemp and Loney are the future, even though they don't hit for power. Give them their place and play them.
Kemp and Loney are at the bottom of the second OPS tiers respectively but, but look at the first tiers - could we get any of them?
Maybe next year we should trade Furcal, drop Kent Nomar and Gonzo and take the $$ and get A Rod. RIGHT!!!

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.