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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Oh ... Oh No ...
2007-09-08 07:36
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

For all the consternation that one might have about some of Grady Little's decisions, for me Friday night's game was all about pure baseball highs and lows: The exhilaration of James Loney's second home run, tying the game in the ninth inning, nearly offsetting the spirit-melting depression I felt when Rafael Furcal made his seventh-inning error. I can't remember the last time I felt so knocked off my feet by a misplay - I guess I had gotten caught up in the fever of the Dodgers continuing their comeback up the standings this week and the sublime pleasure of watching Loney, Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley put the Dodgers in position to move another step closer to the wild-card lead. But with that low Furcal throw that Jeff Kent couldn't handle, everything seemed to just fall apart; MacArthur Park melting in the dark, all that sweet green icing flowing down. Not even Dan Ortmeier's game-winning homer for the Giants in the bottom of the ninth felt worse; that didn't take away a game the Dodgers had in the bag. The error, the error.

Comments (173)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-08 08:01:20
1.   Bluebleeder87
for what it's worth Dylan Hernandez (L.A. Times) has a nice read on Saito & Logan White's interview for the 'Stros gig.
2007-09-08 08:06:18
2.   Disabled List
I've seen errors... errors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a lousy fielder. You have a right to bench me. You have a right to do that... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for stats to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what bad defense means. Errors. Errors have a face... and you must make a friend of error. Errors and high ERAs are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies.
2007-09-08 08:10:32
3.   Zak
I still feel the loss in my stomach. This one really hurt because up until the bottom of the 7th, it really felt like a win in the bag. It felt like we'd be 1.5 games out of the WC this morning.

I won't bag on Grady for his moves last night. It's too easy and it's been overdone already. But I really don't understand his line-ups anymore. How can he justify not starting Ethier, Kemp and Loney everyday? They are the freshest and the best offensive players on our team right now. To sit Loney for Hillebrand or Nomar is inexplicable. Same for Gonzo for Ethier. I really want to like Grady and understand this, but by any measure, I can't.

2007-09-08 08:13:27
4.   Howard Fox
3 its easy to explain, really...

Little's belief is "these older guys came thru before, they can do it again" and "how can you rely on the young guys, they have no track record or experience in this kind of pressure"

2007-09-08 08:14:38
5.   Howard Fox
which is like saying "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"
2007-09-08 08:17:29
6.   Bluebleeder87
3

1.5 games sounds better than 2.5 but we're still very much in this thing, I'm just gonna sit back & enjoy the ride, weren't we like 6 games back 2 weeks ago.

2007-09-08 08:17:43
7.   D4P
Old guys "come through" because they're given the chance to do so.

Young guys don't "come through" because they're sitting on the bench.

2007-09-08 08:21:33
8.   Howard Fox
I'm not saying its right or wrong, I's saying the Dodger brass believes in the older players and have less faith in the younger ones, regardless of performance on the field
2007-09-08 08:23:06
9.   Howard Fox
I's = I'm
2007-09-08 08:27:00
10.   natepurcell
its 8am and in the last 12 hours I have:

-dressed up as kurt rambis with sweat bands, headband, short shorts and thigh high stripped socks
-pre-partied for a date dash
-went to a date dash
-got blitzed at the date dash
-probably caused sorority drama due to my, umm...philandering.
-got left behind at the date dash somehow.
-somehow got back to my house
-checked DT, saw loney hit two bombs billingsley pitched well and broxton gave up the GW homer. Oh and the inevitable loss of Logan White. so i drank some more.
-stared at my ceiling fan until 5am when i sobered up.
-walked and danced two miles to go pick up my car.
-drove around downtown in a daze.
-went to the westside to watch the sunrise over the city
-went to starbucks
-went to the driving range
-loaded the washer with laundry
-told everyone on DT my wonderful night when no one cares.
-about ready to do it again since its the first home football game of the year tonight!

2007-09-08 08:27:35
11.   Jacob L
I think its a little more nuanced than that. I think Grady feels there's intrinsic value in "spreading the at-bats around" and "keeping everyone involved." At least that's what I gather from the non-sense on post-game shows. There may, in fact, be value in those things, but certainly less than in "playing your best players."
2007-09-08 08:29:14
12.   natepurcell
Oh i forgot

soundtrack for my night:

Okkervil River-everything
Neutral Milk Hotel-in the aereoplane over the sea
The National- boxer

sleep is for suckers.

2007-09-08 08:29:15
13.   Howard Fox
11 that works during the grind of the long season, but not at crunch time...if the younger guys can go at it daily for the next 3 weeks and need rest now, they are in the wrong business
2007-09-08 08:29:51
14.   regfairfield
Similarly, waking up at work at two in the morning hung over is a sign that you're about to have a very bad day.
2007-09-08 08:31:11
15.   Andrew Shimmin
What's a "date dash"?
2007-09-08 08:33:15
16.   natepurcell
an event put on by sororities or fraternities in undisclosed locations that are themed.
2007-09-08 08:34:08
17.   Disabled List
10 That reminds me of a Prodigy video.
2007-09-08 08:34:34
18.   natepurcell
i cant believe people get up this early...on a saturday.
2007-09-08 08:35:33
19.   D4P
i cant believe people get up this early...on a saturday

Sleep is for suckers.

2007-09-08 08:35:49
20.   natepurcell
b-ref needs to update their stats. I want to see loney's current OPS+!
2007-09-08 08:35:53
21.   CarlosDeC
I think the error should have gone to Kent. He really needed to catch that ball. Furcal's throw was poor, but Kent clearly should have made the play.

Not to sound over negative, but that was an EPIC loss. Playoff teams dont make those mistakes. The Giants lineup is terrible, and we got a great game from our starting pitcher. That is a game we needed to win. What is the point of making the playoffs if we are going to play like that.

2007-09-08 08:36:13
22.   D4P
-probably caused sorority drama due to my, umm...philandering

BTW: This is begging for more explanation.

2007-09-08 08:37:02
23.   regfairfield
21 Money?
2007-09-08 08:37:57
24.   natepurcell
19

heh nice.

you should do yourself a favor and check out those bands i mentioned.

2007-09-08 08:40:23
25.   natepurcell
22

They weren't feeling the prospect talk so I had to switch to plan B.

2007-09-08 08:43:07
26.   CarlosDeC
And can somebody PLEASE explain to me why Grady loves to not pitch hit for a pitcher late in the game with runners on base, but then will yank him after one batter in the following inning! Either the pitcher is strong enough for the inning, or he is not. How is a pitcher any less capable of closing an inning after one batter?!? Billingsly is a better pitcher then Scott Procter! Even in the 7th inning!
2007-09-08 08:43:09
27.   natepurcell
so why is this the case....

loney away: 391/439/719

loney home: 244/303/290

2007-09-08 08:43:48
28.   Indiana Jon
16 What was last night's theme?
2007-09-08 08:44:58
29.   natepurcell
"when it was cool"
2007-09-08 08:45:33
30.   Jon Weisman
21 - Every playoff team will have made those mistakes.

But I agree that I thought Kent could/should have been given the error.

2007-09-08 08:49:07
31.   natepurcell
so jason frasor has turned into a really solid middle reliever.
2007-09-08 08:49:21
32.   Zak
I don't think last night's loss was debilitating to our playoff hopes. It was just an opportunity to get closer to the top. We'll have some more in the next three weeks and we just have to make sure we take most of these chances. But it ain't over by a long strech.
2007-09-08 08:49:49
33.   Louis in SF
Sat in the bleechers last night behind Barry with a number of people from SF who are part of the DT community. The Game through the top of the 7th was great and was fun in the top of the 9th. I hope Broxton finds himself real soon. But over the course of the year he has been amazing.

I have seen many critical Dodger Giant games over the years in person, and the sting is still fresh from last night, I still see in this team a resiliency that some of the other Dodger teams did not have. I hope there can be a great breakthrough this weekend that will continue to the San Diego series. There is still hope.....Grady give Nomar a rest today and put in La Roche

2007-09-08 08:50:02
34.   Howard Fox
26 maybe.....because he can?
2007-09-08 08:52:11
35.   Howard Fox
33 and advantage to us for the SD series is the use of Peavy on short rest the other day...that may throw off their rotation...any advantage is gladly accepted
2007-09-08 08:55:30
36.   Zak
If the Dodgers go 13-8 the last 21 games, they are approx 58% to make it to the playoffs. It's amazing how much one game more or less skews that percentage. 12-9, they're 27% to make it... 14-7, they're 84% to make it. I think 13-8 should be enough. Especially if six of those thirteen are against SD :).
2007-09-08 08:56:04
37.   Zak
Oh, 36 is from http://www.sportsclubstats.com/MLB/National/West/Dodgers.html.
2007-09-08 08:56:41
38.   Indiana Jon
Who would everyone like to see replace Grady of he was fired? I for one would like to see Hershiser get a shot, but I would like to hear other opinions out there.
2007-09-08 08:57:23
39.   natepurcell
38

logan white....for every position

2007-09-08 08:58:48
40.   kngoworld
Second basemen love to catch that double play ball from the shortstop while moving. Kent was already at the base standing idle when the throw was made because of Furcal's bobble of the ball. It is much more difficult to have to reach down for a ball while standing idle then to use your momentum from running to lower your whole body. Especially for a veteran (old man). If Furcal would not have bobbled the ball, I believe Kent would have had a much better chance at catching it.
2007-09-08 09:00:24
41.   Howard Fox
40 that is funny...Kent is excused from having to catch the ball cause he had time to set himself to catch it...
2007-09-08 09:02:28
42.   Indiana Jon
I think it's been 20 years since we have had the Dodgers on the game of the week here. If anyone wants to know the exciting details of the Marlins vs. Phillies, let me know. I'll be watching intently.
2007-09-08 09:03:03
43.   Bluebleeder87
And can somebody PLEASE explain to me why Grady loves to not pitch hit for a pitcher late in the game with runners on base, but then will yank him after one batter in the following inning!

Well said Sir, that's my Pet Peeve with Mr. Grady Little as well.

2007-09-08 09:03:55
44.   Zak
If there was ever a situation where two players should get an error, this is it. I can't see how either of them was at least partly at fault here. Furcal hesitated, made a bad throw. Kent should have still caught it for at least one out. Maybe they can get 0.5 errors each, like sacks in football.
2007-09-08 09:04:04
45.   kngoworld
41 When practicing the double play flip, the player catching the ball at second base plans on receiving the ball right as he approaches the bag while turning toward first base to complete the play. The play is never intended to have a player standing still at second base awaiting the throw.
2007-09-08 09:04:25
46.   Howard Fox
43 its called the pedro syndrome
2007-09-08 09:05:05
47.   Howard Fox
45 thanks, I have seen that video too
2007-09-08 09:07:39
48.   kngoworld
Mechanics of the game are very important as plays become very habitual. The slightest change in the routine can make the play all the more difficult.
2007-09-08 09:12:55
49.   Howard Fox
48 hence the advantage of using more experience players who know to adapt, especially in these pressure filled days of the pennant race........or........another argument for the use of the younger players who aren't yet so mired in the routine of years of doing it
2007-09-08 09:16:12
50.   Bluebleeder87
46

With runners on & a possibility of scoring some more insurance runs, would you do what Grady Little did? I'd go with a pinch hitter, I will say that Billz had Bonds coming up & he made him look foolish, So I guess I can see Gradys thinking there, a little bit.

ps But Beimel makes Bonds look bad ALL THE TIME, so there you go...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-08 09:16:49
51.   kngoworld
46 You are absolutly correct. That game changed Grady more then he will ever know. Now he second guesses every pitching decision he makes, it must be a mess inside of his head.

49 I choose the latter...

2007-09-08 09:19:22
52.   Howard Fox
51 I too choose the latter, but Little and Coletti apparently don't see things as I do....I see with clarity, they see from a point of view of...well, I don't know how they see it, it makes no sense to me
2007-09-08 09:21:33
53.   Howard Fox
50 that is called the national league mentality...Little is an american league manager...
2007-09-08 09:22:05
54.   Jon Weisman
http://www.dailynews.com/ci_6835156?

Tony Jackson takes up the Grady messed-up cause.

On his blog, Jackson also was surprisingly optimistic (for him) after the loss.

2007-09-08 09:22:07
55.   Bluebleeder87
51 ,52

o.k. o.k. so you guys a perfect then!?

2007-09-08 09:26:30
56.   scooplew
I hope that Jonathan Broxton's brief channeling of Tom Niedenfuer, who was a great pitcher for several years, is now over.
2007-09-08 09:26:32
57.   Howard Fox
55 what??
2007-09-08 09:29:03
58.   Jon Weisman
If I'm not around, game chat thread should open automatically around 12 noon.
2007-09-08 09:32:46
59.   Bluebleeder87
well, watching Zitos splits is pretty encouraging, I'm sure glad he ain't wearing Dodger Blue.
2007-09-08 09:33:01
60.   Reddog
One thing for sure is that Kemp and Loney need to be in the lineup every day.
2007-09-08 09:33:29
61.   D4P
54
Grittle on Billingsley:

"He had done such a good job for us, and he wasn't going to be left out there to get into too much trouble at that point in the game," Little said. "Not at his age (23), and not with what he had done so far at that point in the game.

2007-09-08 09:36:00
62.   Howard Fox
in other words, had he been older, he would qualify to be left out there to twist in the wind
2007-09-08 09:36:11
63.   kngoworld
61 He contradicts himself, what had he (Billingsley) done so far at that point in the game to deserve to be pulled after giving up just a base hit?
2007-09-08 09:39:34
64.   LogikReader
Loney is expected to sit out today's game. Vin said early on in yesterdays game that Loney will get a well deserved rest. LaRoche could still play, either way.
2007-09-08 09:41:18
65.   D4P
64
I doubt Loney needs to rest. Not at his age (23).
2007-09-08 09:43:21
66.   Reddog
I really hope we have a new manager next season. But unless we replace the GM, I am sure we will be stuck with Little.

And I really hope Nomar is a benchwarmer next season. Fat chance of that, though.

2007-09-08 09:46:02
67.   Greg Brock
38 Bobby Valentine
2007-09-08 09:47:36
68.   Bluebleeder87
64

I can't possibly see that happening, not after yesterdays performance.

2007-09-08 09:57:21
69.   LogikReader
When does ItD usually release the lineup card? Is it usually an hour before game time, or a little earlier?
2007-09-08 09:58:21
70.   Bob Timmermann
"Black glad to have Tomko available"
http://tinyurl.com/ynqtvx

"Manager Bud Black wouldn't commit to his plans for Brett Tomko yesterday. But he said he believes the right-hander returns to San Diego on a mission.

"He has something to prove here the last few weeks of the season," Black said of Tomko, 34."

2007-09-08 10:01:38
71.   Jon Weisman
69 - Now:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Kemp, RF
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Hillenbrand, 3B
Wells, P

2007-09-08 10:02:40
72.   Eric Enders
69 For home games it's usually 3 1/2 hours before. For road games it can range anywhere from 3 hours prior right up to game time itself.
2007-09-08 10:03:44
73.   Eric Enders
So it's a terrible lineup, but not as terrible as I anticipated. This should make me.... I don't know, moderately pleased, I guess?
2007-09-08 10:04:18
74.   Bob Timmermann
That reduces the potential tarring and feathering to just tarring, but no feathers.

Or possibly just drawing, but no quartering.

The former Navy guys are holding out for keelhauling I imagine.

2007-09-08 10:05:08
75.   regfairfield
This Shea Hillenbrand thing is drifting dangerously close to Jason Phillips territory. Never thought I'd say this, but why not Nomar?
2007-09-08 10:05:09
76.   LogikReader
What's to prove? He isn't that good no matter what team he's on.

Last night, Tomko did all right, with 3 scoreless innings at Coors. The Padres lost the game anyway, but maybe he needed the change of scenery.

2007-09-08 10:05:32
77.   Andrew Shimmin
CSPAN2 is running a program with a Ralph Ellison biographer opposite the start of the Dodger game. In case anybody's looking for something different to watch.
2007-09-08 10:06:00
78.   Bob Timmermann
Eric, being from Texas, will opt for the "For Sale" sign on Grady Little's lawn.
2007-09-08 10:07:53
79.   LogikReader
Andrew, they also have this thing called "foot" ball. It's going on as we speak.
2007-09-08 10:08:34
80.   Eric Enders
Also, because I'm in sort of a crucify-Grady mood today, I think he needs to be raked over the coals a little more for the quote in 61 . I mean, is he trying to sound as if he's had a lobotomy? The fact that Billingsley's pitching was so dominant is not a reason to take him out! It's exactly why he should have been left in. You know, he's a big boy. He's pitched lots of games in his life. Even in the extremely unlikely event that he blows that lead, I think his psyche will emerge intact.
2007-09-08 10:09:19
81.   Bob Timmermann
Eric can watched his beloved Sooners playing on ABC right now.
2007-09-08 10:10:46
82.   Eric Enders
78 Being from Texas, I would like for someone to explain to me why the only two games I'm interested in watching today (Texas-TCU and Texas Tech-UTEP) have the exact same starting time.
2007-09-08 10:12:53
83.   LogikReader
By the way, what's with the kibosh on LaRoche lately?
2007-09-08 10:13:10
84.   Icaros
80

Did you hear that his next plan is to start pinch-hitting for the younger guys, mid at-bat, once they have two strikes on them? Grady feels it'll damage their emotions too much to get a third strike at these tender ages.

2007-09-08 10:13:10
85.   Vishal
hey jon, i'm gonna take the blame for the error. it was my fault; as soon as the grounder was hit to furcal, i said "double play" out loud in kind of a taunting voice to annoy all the giants fans sitting around us. tsk, tsk. i don't know what i was thinking; i totally jinxed it.
2007-09-08 10:14:08
86.   Eric Enders
83 I don't know. He's short. He needs a haircut. He walks too much. His eyeblack looks silly. He might actually catch the ball cleanly. Take your pick.
2007-09-08 10:15:49
87.   JoeyP
Gonzo in for Ethier.
Hillenbrand in for anyone.

Thats just bad baseball no matter how you cut it.

2007-09-08 10:16:58
88.   Icaros
Apparently management really didn't like something about the game-breaking, opposite-field double LaRoche hit in his last at-bat. It's been pine ever since for Andy.
2007-09-08 10:17:20
89.   regfairfield
86 That last one is the other part that gets me. Even if you assume the guy can't hit, the defensive improvement alone is enough to start him over Hillenbrand.
2007-09-08 10:17:25
90.   Andrew Shimmin
I like it that Miami is getting beaten up, but it's enough for me, just knowing that it's happening. I don't really have to watch it.
2007-09-08 10:17:43
91.   underdog
Hey guys, I posted my DT North Night recap on the previous thread, and it's not worth repeating here ;-) but thanks for the company! The game was the epitome of everything I love and everything I hate about baseball. I was also realizing later that the Dodgers were definitely due to lose one in SF - hadn't they won all the previous games here this year? Small comfort, I know.

I'll be taping today's game so while you can't blame me if they lose you can blame my Tivo, I guess.

2007-09-08 10:17:47
92.   Jonny6
I've found a temporary solution to Dodger induced depression, put on Ozomatli's new album, crank it up, feel better. Not sure if it's their best album but it's their best for cleaning the house and putting Grady's maddening decision making from last night well in the past. Enjoy....and hope for a better outcome today.
2007-09-08 10:19:25
93.   underdog
Huh. The only good thing about the line-up is that Grady indeed changed his mind about sitting Loney today after his two homer game, so at least he's in there after all. Nomar definitely needs to ride the pine after looking so feeble last night.
2007-09-08 10:21:30
94.   regfairfield
To continue ripping on Hillenbrand, is it possible that he's a zero tool player? He can't hit for average any more, doesn't have much power, terrible D, he's slow, and he doesn't have a noteworthy arm?.

Is there anyone else out there that could be considered a zero tool player? How about one that's getting starts for a contending team?

2007-09-08 10:21:54
95.   Vishal
73 really? how could it reasonably be much worse?
2007-09-08 10:22:28
96.   Vishal
94 well, he IS a tool, does that count?
2007-09-08 10:24:15
97.   underdog
96 Heh. I'm glad I'm not there for today's game - Giants fans will welcome Hillenbrand back with open arms and I would probably be right behind them.

92 My cure today is similar - go to the park to hear Michael Franti/Spearhead. And probably get second-hand stoned by accident, too.

2007-09-08 10:24:35
98.   Andrew Shimmin
95- It could have been Hillenbrand at 1B, Nomar at 3B, as we were expecting.

I don't think Grittle is as bad as some here. But it does seem like a problem that the team would be better off if terrorists kidnapped a third of his starting lineup on any given night.

2007-09-08 10:25:04
99.   Eric Enders
95 Well, Vin announced last night that Hillenbrand would be playing first base. So here is how it could be worse...

SS Furcal
CF Pierre
3B Nomar
2B Kent
LF Gonzalez
1B Hillenbrand
C Martin
RF Ethier
P Wells

2007-09-08 10:26:05
100.   Icaros
97

Right...by accident.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-09-08 10:27:51
101.   Eric Enders
Underdog was winking when he made that post. We just couldn't see him.

Always stay away from second hand smoke, kids. It's nowhere near as good as the real thing.

2007-09-08 10:30:20
102.   underdog
{ahem} {cough}

And I do agree, I give Grady props for at least changing his mind about sitting Loney. If nothing else. I guess there's always something to carp about in the lineup - today it's Hillenbrand and Gonzo. What will it be tomorrow? Anyway, hope those guys prove me wrong and the Dodgers win today. Otherwise I may have to get firsthand stoned.

2007-09-08 10:32:29
103.   Icaros
102

I'm now getting some ideas for the karma ritual you and I need to perform. An exorcism, if you will.

2007-09-08 10:34:31
104.   Benaiah
99 - Do you like Loney forced his hand? Playing Hillenbrand over Laroche is idiotic, but at least there is the questionable excuse that Laroche hasn't hit well so far in the majors (though I would point out that he has hit quite a bit better than Hillenbrand has). But Hillenbrand over Loney is change for the sake of change, he is worse than Loney in every imaginable way but hey, what the hell? Maybe we get lucky. Mix it up and probably no one will complain because the kid hasn't been around long enough to have earned his at bats.
2007-09-08 10:36:07
105.   imperabo
I hate to get all rule sixie, but I'm getting so disgusted with the leadership on this team that it's overwhelming what should be an enjoyable pennant race for me. Maybe my desire control my environment makes me a poor sports fan as I get on in years. Bad decisions annoy me more than losing. Last night was the first time I ever said that a manager should be immediatly fired. And I'm getting weary of trying to find a reason to excuse our GM for signing you-know-who.
2007-09-08 10:36:32
106.   Eric Enders
So what is the best and worst lineup we've fielded this year? Here are my picks...

WORST
Wed, 4/18 at COL (L 7-2)
Pierre CF
Furcal SS
Garciaparra 1B
Lieberthal C
Ethier RF
Clark LF
Betemit 3B
Martinez 2B

BEST
Sun, 9/2 at SDP (W 5-0)
Furcal SS
Pierre CF
Kemp RF
Kent 2B
Ethier LF
Martin C
Loney 1B
LaRoche 3B

2007-09-08 10:38:59
107.   Vishal
106 didn't pierre bat 8th a few times?
2007-09-08 10:40:56
108.   imperabo
106 I know we live in a uncertain universe, but is there any doubt that the Dodgers would be leading the NL with that second lineup all season, which is the lineup that everyone on this board would have chosen given what was knows a year ago? (minus Pierre) Is there any possible excuse for Colleti's existence given that information?
2007-09-08 10:40:58
109.   Icaros
Maybe my desire to control my environment makes me a poor sports fan as I get on in years. Bad decisions annoy me more than losing.

This has become the case for me in recent years. Even if the dumb move luckily works, I'm usually shaking my head about it more than I'm cheering for it.

2007-09-08 10:41:15
110.   Bob Timmermann
105
This doesn't sound good for your physical or mental health.
2007-09-08 10:44:01
111.   Bob Timmermann
108
Yes, there is doubt. You can't control the environment that much.
2007-09-08 10:46:56
112.   regfairfield
108 There's doubt. Loney and LaRoche were terrible in the first half, and Luis Gonzalez was probably our best hitter until the end of June. I would have gone with something resembling that lineup, but I don't know how much better it would have been in hindsight.
2007-09-08 10:48:03
113.   Eric Enders
108 We've used that second lineup exactly once, by the way.

I think all the times Pierre batted eighth also featured other distasteful aspects, like Kemp absent or Nomar playing.

2007-09-08 10:49:15
114.   imperabo
112 You could argue that they were terrible because the were demotived by being unfairly overlooked.
2007-09-08 10:49:47
115.   KG16
What annoys me more than bad decisions is seeing bad decisions rewarded... perhaps it's the poker player in me. What is frustrating about the way this team is constructed has been discussed for 135 games this season, and Colleti is being rewarded for his poor construction by being in the middle of a pennant race. Conversely, while Depodesta made fewer poor decisions (and he did make some), he was punished with a last place team.

I know, "that's why they play the game", but still, it's frustrating.

2007-09-08 10:50:19
116.   regfairfield
114 True, but it's not the 100% slam dunk that was claimed.
2007-09-08 10:51:31
117.   imperabo
I guess I should learn humility because I was so sure about Choi and was wrong about that. And because I thought there was no way hot water could freeze before cold water in the same conditions. That still freaks me out.
2007-09-08 10:53:06
118.   LogikReader
What frustrates me, regarding NedCo, is that I have never seen him trade for prospects. It's always the other way around. There is only one such trade I can remember:

Bradley for Ethier

2007-09-08 10:54:33
119.   Eric Stephen
88 LaRoche started Thursday, but was lifted in the 9th in favor of Ethier's GW HR.

107 ,113 Pierre has batted 8th twice (June 9 & 10 in Toronto) and 7th four times. If you factor in the Canadian exchange rate, he actually batted 6th!

2007-09-08 10:54:36
120.   PlayTwo
Nothing is certain when the Dodgers play the Giants especially when post season hopes are in play. Fortunately, yesterday's gone and the Boys in Blue are still in the mix.
2007-09-08 10:55:14
121.   imperabo
118 Of course, isn't Ethier better than all the prospects he's traded away put together? That's gotta count in his favor. Nobody contradict me here, I'm trying to talk myself back from the ledge.
2007-09-08 10:55:30
122.   LogikReader
-- that said, as long as we ride the rest of this year out, we should be OK for next year. Gonzo should be let go, and that will at least end the debates over the outfield.

And of course Furcal heals his ankle, Loney and Kemp prove themselves for starting jobs, etc etc.

2007-09-08 10:56:49
123.   Reddog
105
That's the problem. It's hard to just relax and enjoy the season - we're in a pennant race after all - because we have to suffer idiotic management.

Why would Little plan on playing Hillenbrand at first for Loney? Now he can't do that because after Loney nearly hit 3 home runs last night, even Little realizes that sitting Loney for Hillenbrand would make him look like a moron.

Billingsley probably could have pitched the 7th and 8th with no problem - he was shutting them down. Then Saito closes it.

This constant juggling of lineups can't be good for the players' heads. Nomar should stay on the bench, along with Hillenbrand.

Almost everyone here could do a better job managing this team than what we have to suffer with Little.

The same goes for Colletti. Loney totally deserved to be our starting first baseman coming out of spring training. But we are stuck with Nomar. And we're apparently stuck for 4 more seasons with a center fielder who has no power, not even gap power, and no arm. Then he keeps signing mediocre over-the-hill vets, primarily ones even the Giants cast off. Geez.

2007-09-08 10:58:48
124.   Eric Enders
122 "we should be OK for next year. Gonzo should be let go"

Is there any doubt that he will be replaced by another "proven veteran" who's at the end of the line? Probably somebody like ex-Giant Moises Alou. Except he's having too good a year. Sammy Sosa perhaps?

2007-09-08 10:59:29
125.   regfairfield
117 How soon we forget the immortal Sandy Alomar for B.J. Lamura deal.

Ooh, and Cody Ross for former top 100 prospect Ben Kozlowski.

2007-09-08 11:00:12
126.   LogikReader
124

Yep, that's what I'm afraid of too, Eric. It reminds me of a wreck on the freeway that's 900 feet away from you. You know you can easily avoid it, but your steering wheel is broken.

2007-09-08 11:07:03
127.   Bluebleeder87
D4P or Nate should do an OVER UNDER on how many bone head plays Hillenbrand will make today.

in there spirit I'll set it at 2.

2007-09-08 11:10:04
128.   Greg Brock
127 O/U's should be set at 1/2 marks.

If we set it at 1.5, I'll take the under.

2007-09-08 11:11:32
129.   Eric Enders
128 I don't think the house would like that arrangement very much. But since Brock isn't pulling his weight in the pessimism category this morning, I'll take the over.
2007-09-08 11:13:21
130.   LogikReader
What would the over/under be for how many times Joe Morgan says "consistent" tomorrow?
2007-09-08 11:16:30
131.   Vishal
130 13.5
2007-09-08 11:16:35
132.   dzzrtRatt
I'm going to have to assume Hillenbrand bullied his way into the lineup by drawing an obscene picture of Grady Little wearing a captain's hat on the team blackboard. He seems like the kind of guy who would turn into a clubhouse cancer, even for a team that rescued his defunct career.

When Jim Tracy kept playing Jason Phillips despite his clear incompetence, that struck me as a man-crush thing. Dr. Melfi might even go further and see it as displaced emotion for his real crush, Heart and Soul LoDuca. But I think Grady gets afraid of delivering bad news to players. He doesn't want to be disliked.

2007-09-08 11:17:10
133.   Greg Brock
129 There is no point in being pessimistic. When your team lineup is apparently run by a magic 8-ball, why get pessimistic?

Just laugh at the insanity.

2007-09-08 11:20:51
134.   Vishal
133 my sources say yes. check back later.
2007-09-08 11:21:10
135.   Eric Stephen
Nebraska is not helping USC's strength of schedule today. They are currently down 17-13 to Wake Forest in the 3rd.
2007-09-08 11:22:12
136.   Frip
The thing with Little is that you're tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt due to the sense of mystery he conveys. One feels that he must have some secret strategy or insight.

He creates this feeling simply because he doesn't say anything. He gives 3 word bovine responses.

Someone in the press needs to stop being tentative and flush him out. Pepper him with annoying questions. Then maybe he'll be riled into actually expressing himself like a human being instead of a cow with lockjaw.

He's been making poor decisions since Boston. We have a right to know who we're dealing with.

(Then again, it may be that he has nothing to say, simply because he has nothing to think. And his exterior blankness really is a reflection of his mind. Scary.)

2007-09-08 11:22:16
137.   dzzrtRatt
122 , 124 I heartily and optimistically disagree. LuGo was "a bridge to Kemp." Ethier and Kemp will be pencilled in as starters next season, straddling Le Trou Noir.

If Colletti brings in a bum, it'll be a bum fourth outfielder. I'm sure he was eyeing Randy Winn last night. Is Jeromy Burnitz still active?

2007-09-08 11:23:20
138.   underdog
133 Reply hazy. Ask again later.
2007-09-08 11:23:51
139.   underdog
D'oh. Magic 8 Ball says "hit refresh."
2007-09-08 11:24:49
140.   RELX
The complaining about Little and Colletti has gotten a little ridiculous and one dimensional. The recent calls for Little's firing, the constant expressions of anger every time Gonzo or Hillenbrand or Nomar is in the lineup, not to mention the Pierre bashing, has gotten a bit over the top in recent weeks.

While I am not surprised at the odd decisions by Little, considering the fact that he did the same things with the Red Sox, the simple fact is that most managers in baseball suck. If Little were fired, who would you replace him with? I live in NY, and watch Willie Randolph and Joe Torre, both well-regarded managers, make the same stupid decisions that Little does. Even if you go back over Dodger history, which of our past managers would you want in Little's place? Tracy or Lasorda, both of whom get plenty of brief on this site? Bill Russell? Even my grandfather, who was a huge Dodger fan, told me that he thought Walter Alston was an idiot. While I do not support many of decisions that Little makes, (and would have left Billingsley in the game last night) he does things that I have seen other, well-regarded managers do. Frankly, I do not expect much out of managers, so nothing Little does really upsets me, especially since I do not think he is worse than most of the managerial lot.

As far as the line-up, since Colletti took over, Martin has become entrenched behind the plate, Loney is our regular first basemen, Kemp has pretty much become the everyday RF, and Ethier starts 80% of the time. In addition, Billingsley is now part of the rotation and Broxton has been allowed to blossom in a set-up role. After years of watching the Dodgers lack of home grown talent, I am pretty happy with the developments of the past two years. And, even though he didn't acquire or draft most of the talent, Colletti hasn't traded any of it away, as some people keep expecting him to do any day.

Finally, as much as people go crazy when a veteran starts over a young player, LuGo has had some good games in recent weeks, and Ramon Martinez won a game for us a few weeks ago as well. The fact is that the Dodgers are not going to bench Pierre, and they are not going to completely stop playing LuGo, and they are not going to play an all-rookie lineup the rest of the season.

I understand that we are all passionate fans, and when we lose we express our frustrations in sometimes angry and irrational ways--fire the manager, DFA this veteran--but the fact is the Dodgers are probably not going to make the playoffs this season because Wolf and Schmidt got hurt. Now, maybe that is all Ned's fault too, but if you had a healthy Schmidt and a healthy Wolf, you would not have had Tomko and Hendrickson in the rotation for such a long time, and just 3-5 more wins would have made us a first place team.

Please my friends, don't despair--in 2008, I guarantee that James Loney and Matt Kemp and probably Andre Ethier will play everyday, and that Shea Hillenbrand will not be on the team.

2007-09-08 11:28:10
141.   Eric Stephen
140 Well said.
2007-09-08 11:30:59
142.   NorCal-Dodger
140 UR right to the point...but if we lose again today..the Fire Ned and Grady cry will be replayed until tomorrow, or until there is no more tomorrow.
2007-09-08 11:31:12
143.   Greg Brock
140 It's not the small, day to day decisions that irk everybody. It's that these small, day to day decisions reflect an overall philosophy that will be detrimental in the long term.

But your point is taken.

2007-09-08 11:31:30
144.   underdog
All I know is since the once beloved, perfect manager Joe Torre has been reviled by many in NY this year (until he wasn't, until he was again, etc), and some of the other guys I once thought were perfect managers have also made some oddball decisions this year - like my once beloved Mike Scioscia, and Bud Black - I'm also convinced that there could be no manager that would make us all hold hands and say kumbaya every day he was behind the Dodgers' helm. I'm not saying Grady hasn't driven me crazy this year - especially the last few weeks when I feel like he's either losing his mind or on something - but I guess I'm cynical enough about managers and about baseball fans here and elsewhere, that I can't picture a manager who wouldn't often drive us nuts with some of their decisions.

That said, maybe the best thing for this team's future would be a younger manager who would relate to the younger players more directly. (Not to say the young guys don't like Grady, because I think at least some of them still do, but that would probably be a better fit for the future.) But I still like Grady personally, and hope he figures out that consistent lineups with the best players will lead to the team winning, more important than the egos of veterans.

Fingers crossed...

2007-09-08 11:33:03
145.   underdog
Again, if I'd hit 'refresh' I would've seen RELX's post first.

Funny, I'm all about consistency, but I remembered this quote from Aldous Huxley that made me wonder: ""Too much consistency is as bad for the mind as for the body."

Oscar Wilde also said consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. But then Oscar Wilde and Huxley never managed a baseball team!

2007-09-08 11:33:35
146.   imperabo
140 I guess it all depends on if you get your enjoyment from thinking along with the team or feeling along with the team. I can't stop myself from thinking along with the team at least partly, and that part of me takes no comfort from anything you said.
2007-09-08 11:36:44
147.   RELX
144. I know that Little is very popular with his players--does anyone know if that goes for young players as well as vets? There is certainly a lot less player sniping than there was under Tracy.
2007-09-08 11:37:48
148.   Greg Brock
140 Also, "DFA this veteran" is not an irrational rant, since the team did, in fact, DFA the veteran everybody wanted gone.

They just did it too late.

2007-09-08 11:38:14
149.   LogikReader
oooooooooooooh. Cody Ransom broke up a Glavine perfect game with a single in the top of the 6th. Bummer. The Mets have yet to record their first ever no hitter.
2007-09-08 11:39:09
150.   underdog
148 There's still at least one more on my DFA to-do list. (Well, a few more, but one very obvious example, also a pitcher like the other veteraneverybodywantedgone.)
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-09-08 11:39:51
151.   kngoworld
Morgan Earp: I say we just kill 'em all.
Doc Holiday: You know Morg, Wyatt Earp is my friend, but I believe I'm beginning to love you.
2007-09-08 11:41:32
152.   NorCal-Dodger
148 Problem is we DFA a certain veteran and pick up others that are just as useless.
2007-09-08 11:42:50
153.   Eric Stephen
Back to today's game, Zito has pitched well over his last 8 games (7 starts + 1 relief appearance in SD):

46.2 IP, 2.31 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 35/12 K/BB, opponents hitting .186/.240/.317.

2007-09-08 11:43:28
154.   underdog
152 I'd take Wells and Loiaza over Tomko any day (hopefully not jinxing today's outing), but I see your point. My favorite veteran that should be DFA'd has a name that rhymes with Shmoberto Blahnandez.
2007-09-08 11:43:48
155.   Icaros
149

What's great about the Mets is that they've had quite a few pitchers on their team throw no-hitters with other teams later on: Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, and David Cone.

Did I miss anyone?

2007-09-08 11:44:38
156.   RELX
146. It's funny that you bring the "thinking" vs. "feeling" thing up. Even when I was younger and more emotional as a fan, I was always loathe to doubt the management of the team. Part of this probably came from being a fan of a team like the Dodgers that was the epitome of stability, a team that had two managers in 40 years, the same starting infield for eight years, the same owner, etc. As a kid, it was sacrilege for me to think that maybe Tommy Lasorda was a blow hard phony, or that Bill Russell couldn't field, or that Fred Claire wasn't a very good GM. Maybe my emotional blind spot is a yearning for that childhood stability, that desire to have Grady and Ned run the team for twenty years, to believe that Frank McCourt is going to become a great owner. I should call it Paul LoDuca Syndrome--I loved LoDoca when he was a Dodger, hate him now that he is a Met.
2007-09-08 11:44:55
157.   Andrew Shimmin
The fact that there are lots of good things about this team actually makes it much more frustrating to have Hillenbrand get any playing time. It's the difference between a new door ding on a 2008 Porsche 911, and a new door ding on my already horribly disfigured garbage scow.
2007-09-08 11:45:50
158.   RELX
148. I should have written, "DFA ALL the veterans!"
2007-09-08 11:46:02
159.   underdog
Not to obsess about it too much more here, but I also wonder sometimes if Grady's main problem is he's too nice. He wants everyone to be happy in the clubhouse - which I can understand - but sometimes I think he just spreads the wealth too much so nobody grumbles about playing time and it's a "team effort." If there's a philosophy problem, I wonder if it's that, stemming from being too nice...
2007-09-08 11:47:05
160.   dzzrtRatt
Yeah, I'm not a Grady-basher. I think he's better than average. He's seems pretty good at keeping the team on an even keel emotionally, and that's a factor in how the Dodgers climbed back into contention.

But like everything in life, a virtue becomes a vice when pushed too far. The main chit Grady has to offer is playing time, and too often his decisions seem to be influenced by a desire to look like he's being fair to everyone, and to keep anyone from becoming disgruntled.

That's the only explanation I can think of for starting Hillenbrand today, or at any point for the rest of the season. LaRoche, Nomar and Ramon Martinez are all ahead of him on the depth chart. But Grady likes everyone to love him. I sometimes wish we had a manager like Casey Stengel, who said:

"The secret of successful managing is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the four guys who haven't made up their minds."

And:

"Son, we'd like to keep you around this season but we're going to try and win a pennant."

And:

"You gotta lose 'em some of the time. When you do, lose 'em right."

2007-09-08 11:48:09
161.   Greg Brock
155 A.J. Burnett was a Met farmhand before being traded to Florida in the Piazza deal.
2007-09-08 11:48:25
162.   Eric Stephen
155 Nomo pitched a no-no for Boston in 2001, after he had briefly pitched for the Mets in 1998.
2007-09-08 11:48:55
163.   Bob Timmermann
155
Octavio Dotel started with the Mets and later pitched one inning of a combined no-hitter for Houston at Yankee Stadium. Billy Wagner, now on the Mets, completed the no-hitter.
2007-09-08 11:49:33
164.   dzzrtRatt
159 Underdog said what I said better in fewer words. Man I hate that!
2007-09-08 11:51:47
165.   Icaros
161 162 163

Well done, men.

2007-09-08 11:57:00
166.   trainwreck
Yesterday was the ultimate of highs and lows. It did not help that I was at a bar full of Giant fans.

I could not contain myself and I was just going around saying, "I love James Loney."

Then pure sadness.

2007-09-08 11:57:58
167.   underdog
164 Heh. Combine our two posts and you have a newspaper column on the subject!

Maybe something in between Grady's niceness and Lou Pinella's Incredible Hulk would be the best bet for a manager.

2007-09-08 11:59:50
168.   underdog
I'd forgotten til the other night when ESPN had a mini salute to Japanese players in the Majors, that Nomo pitched two no-nos. Always remember the one for the Dodgers of course, but had forgotten the other one. Very impressive. Even though the guy tailed off the last couple years of his career, he had a pretty remarkable run as the first Japanese pitcher here.
2007-09-08 12:10:25
169.   Bob Timmermann
If you looked at a baseball manager's job as if he were a manager in the business world, the job would be impossible. You have to try organize personnel who all respond differently to motivation.

You could divide the players into three classes in two different ways:
By role:
1) starting pitchers
2) relief pitchers
3) position players

By status:
1) well-paid veterans
2) younger, lesser-paid playes
3) fringe players just happy to have a job

Starting pitchers you only have to worry about one out of every five days. The relievers have to be told what to expect everyday. Position players all want to play, but there are just 8 or 9 spots (depending on the league).

By economic class, the veterans expect a certain amount of respect because of their status. The younger players want a chance to prove themselves, so they can become members of the upper class of veterans and collect the big checks. The fringe players just like getting the paychecks and they have to worry that they can be cut off with little warning.

Peter Drucker would have a hard time coming up with a theory of management for all that.

2007-09-08 12:11:25
170.   underdog
Game thread open above, btw (since Jon may be gone). I'll be missing most of the game myself, so... good luck!
2007-09-08 12:12:02
171.   Connector
Hi everybody -
One of the factors affecting the pennant race which I haven't heard discussed is the fatigue factor: How many rest days remain for each team? How many time zones must teams travel though in these last 3 weeks? There is quite a difference between team schedules. For example, while the Dodgers and the D-Backs have 3 days off, the Pads only have one day (Sep 10!). The Dodgers, also, do hardly any traveling, while both the D-Backs and the Pads are earning lots of frequent flyer points.

Another factor is the home/away winning % combined with the winning % against each division. The Diamondbacks, for example, are only .479 against western division teams.

Still another factor is the home field advantage which plays a huge role in the last week of the season: Where does each competing team finish the season? At home? or away? The Dodgers finish the season with 6 home games, while the D-backs are away for 6, and the Pads are away for 7.

I did some research before Friday night's game and the results, I believe, are surprising, and even exciting.

METHODOLOGY TO DETERMINE FATIGUE FACTOR: I gave one win per each rest day, and one loss per each 5 times zones of required travel
METHODOLOGY TO DETERMINE WIN FACTOR: I multiplied the number of home games remaining by the current (Sep 7, am) home win%, ditto the away games by the away win%, and averaged that sum with the # of games and win% against each division

METHODOLOGY TO DETERMINE HOME FIELD ADV
I gave one win for each final-week series at home, and one loss for each final-week series away (max. 2 wins or 2 losses).

from Fri 7 sept till end of season:

DODGERS:
Win factor: 11.5 wins
Rest factor: 2.6 wins
Home field factor: 2 wins
record Sep 7 till end of season: 16-6
final record: 90-72

D-BACKS
Win factor: 10.5 wins
Rest factor: 1.6 wins
Home field factor: 2 losses
record Sep 7 till end of season: 10-11
final record: 88-74

PADRES
Win factor: 12.9 wins
Rest factor: 0.2 loss
Home field factor: 2 losses
record Sep 7 till end of season: 11-12
final record: 87-75

ROCKIES
Win factor: 12.1 wins
Rest factor: 1.8 wins
Home field factor: 1 win, 1 loss
record Sep 7 till end of season: 13-10
final record: 85-77

I calculated the wild card teams,too:
Phillies: 13-10, so final record 86-76
Brewers: 14-9, so 85-77
Cardinals: 9-16, so 78-84
Cubs: 11-12, so 82-80
Braves: 10-12, so 81-81

Needless to say, these estimates are based upon past performance, only, and do not take individual performance or streak-quirks into account.

2007-09-08 12:15:06
172.   imperabo
169 Interesting points, but I'm not sure it's really so different from business. Every management role is unique, and flexibility and situational leadership are always paramount.
2007-09-08 12:18:34
173.   underdog
172 True, but you don't have millions of other people literally judging your every move in most other management roles, on top of all the rest...

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