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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
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Gaping Generation Gap
2007-09-17 14:25
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The team's top two position players and top starting pitcher in September are 23 or younger. And so, of course, MLB.com gives us the following headline:

"Dodgers rely on vets in stretch run"

And, of course, Roberto Hernandez (eight outs recorded this month) gets mentioned in the second paragraph, which asks the question, "So what will prevent this team from fading into obscurity as the season winds down?"

And, of course, Luis Gonzalez is there in the fourth paragraph to make like Clarissa and explain it all:

"Playing long enough, you can see when the rope is slipping away. Guys start pressing and trying to do too much," said Gonzalez, who was eliminated from the playoffs last season in September as a member of the D-backs. "That's where you hope that experience that guys have takes over, because those guys have been there before and learned from it. That's what carries a team down the stretch."

And, of course, though the contributions of less experienced players are mentioned, Hernandez is able to put it all in perspective:

"This is where veteran guys like Nomar, Jeff Kent and Gonzalez step up and lead by example," said veteran reliever Hernandez, who has been to the playoffs four times in his career. "The good thing about the young guys is that they're hungry. Those kids are excited and this is their first time experiencing this. You can feel the energy."

Indeed, as the article goes on to concede, "The youngsters have provided a boost as well."

Is it not safe to say that the Dodgers wouldn't even have a stretch run to contemplate if not, first and foremost, for the September efforts of first- and second-year players Kemp, Loney, Billingsley and Takashi Saito?

There's actually a story here. It's not that some of the veterans aren't helping, but it's that the kids are clearly leading the way. But why report actual news when you can pass along a cliche?

Comments (254)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-17 14:44:26
1.   Dark Horse
My word, what ghastly "reporting" that is. Wouldn't have a stretch run? Without those players you mention, they'd be the laughing stock of the National League.

Has Roberto Hernandez actually recorded eight outs? That seems a high estimate indeed.

2007-09-17 14:47:08
2.   silverwidow
The reporter also notes that Kemp is a "rookie." He isn't.
2007-09-17 14:48:56
3.   underdog
"The youngsters have provided a boost as well." Hah hah, that cracked me up. Really? Do tell. Man, that's so poorly reported I don't know where to start...
2007-09-17 14:50:09
4.   Jon Weisman
3 - He says more about the kids than that, but I'm not wrong about where the emphasis went.
2007-09-17 14:50:56
5.   sporky
This dude makes Ken sound positively Shakespearean.

This article, when considered with Plashke's Grady piece, smells funny to me. The timing with the Dodger Talk brouhaha is also.. hmm.

Or maybe I'm just a cynical bastard.

2007-09-17 14:52:29
6.   LAT
Where is Bob Harvey when you need him?
2007-09-17 14:54:41
7.   El Lay Dave
From the last thread:

104. Bob Timmermann 2007-09-17 14:33:34
I think Richard Dawson could get a boost if he marries a younger woman.
http://tinyurl.com/2hd9e7

His current wife is 22 years his junior, a relatively young 53. Does he have to go even younger?

2007-09-17 14:56:43
8.   jasonungar07
Who is Arizona relying on? Tony Clark?

I hate this spin, but it's par for the course. We can blame the reporters but this is the attitude of dodger management. Both in words and in actions..

2007-09-17 14:58:29
9.   Bob Timmermann
7
I think he needs to go for a Tony Randall-type situation.
2007-09-17 15:01:06
10.   El Lay Dave
The youngsters have provided a boost as well. Loney, who has been on a torrid hitting streak, hit .542 (13-for-24) with two homers and 10 RBIs in the last six games.

If Loney wasn't an untested rookie who was "pressing and trying to do too much", he'd have been 20-24, with 4 HRs and 15 RBIs. If those were Kent's or Nomar's numbers, the article would (rightfully) be about how he was "carrying a team down the stretch."

(Loved Kent's veteran leadership in getting thrown out on the basepaths while down two runs with two outs and the base in front of him occupied.)

2007-09-17 15:03:03
11.   El Lay Dave
9 He is just about that age.

My grandfather was thirty years older than my grandmother. I wonder if I inherited any good old-goat genes? (Probably just the bad ones - the "hey you punk kids, get offa my lawn" variety.)

2007-09-17 15:03:06
12.   Sushirabbit
The thing about Nomar, Jeff Kent and Gonzalez and Hernandez is that you know they are temporary guys. If only Pierre was their age.
2007-09-17 15:03:57
13.   ImprobableImpossible
Off days = bad writing days
2007-09-17 15:05:01
14.   El Lay Dave
8 I heard a radio guy, maybe Steiner, used "veteran leadership" as a term in connection with Tony Clark. And don't forget Livan Hernandez - he's been there before!
2007-09-17 15:06:54
15.   JoeyP
I have never seen nor heard that money was a factor in not signing a free agent for this current regime at Chavez Ravine.

Eric Gagne?

I'm sure if the Dodgers had a larger budget, they would have been more willing to give him 5-6 mils.

If the Dodgers cant afford A-Rod---the veteran riff raff accumulated will take alot of the blame, and rightfully so.

2007-09-17 15:08:03
16.   trainwreck
You would think the Dodgers would do all they can to promote the players coming out of their farm system, but I guess they rather try to make their bad decisions look good.
2007-09-17 15:08:15
17.   LAT
I think the Dodger braintrust believes that marketing the vets over the kids is profitable. Its why articles like the one at MLB get written. Most fans come to see Nomar and Kent and Ganzo not realizing they are not what they once were. A marketing campaign focused on James Loney and Matt Kemp is not going to sell nearly as many seats. Plus, if the Dodgers lose after using all this famous vet talent most fans think "well it just wasn't our year" and move on to Laker talk. I think you have to be paying attention to know that Nomar, LuGo, JP and Furcal have hurt the team badly this year. Likewise you have to be paying close attention to know that Loney, Kemp Martin and Billingsly are responsible for the Dodgers having any playoff chance at all.

The marketing of the vets is not arbitrary. It is deliberate and intended to sell seats to the casual fan.

2007-09-17 15:10:32
18.   trainwreck
I doubt most casual fans know or care who Roberto Hernandez is.
2007-09-17 15:12:37
19.   Eric Enders
Okay, so I thought I'd spend a little bit of time trying to figure out exactly how many games the suppression of Matt Kemp has cost the Dodgers in the standings.

Kemp has been on the active roster for 96 of the Dodgers' 149 games this year. The average Dodger player this year has had 4.31 plate appearances per game, so we'll use this figure to hypothesize that playing full time since his recall, Kemp would have accumulated 413 plate appearances by now. Had he been on the team all year and playing full time, he'd have 642 plate appearances. In reality, he has 265.

In his 265 plate appearances, Kemp has accumulated 47 Runs Created, for 0.177 RC per plate appearance. At that rate, he would have accumulated 67 more RC if he'd been playing all year, or 26 more RC if the Dodgers had simply played him once he got called up.

How does that compare to the guys who were playing instead? For purposes of this exercise, we'll assume that two-thirds of Kemp's playing time would come at the expense of Juan Pierre, and the other one-third at the expense of Luis Gonzalez. This means the Dodgers would have lost 17 Runs Created posted by Gonzalez and 28 by Pierre. So by playing Kemp, the Dodgers would lose 45 runs and gain 67 for a net gain of 22 runs.

So we know the answer: The Dodgers would have scored about 22 more runs this year if they had decided to play Matt Kemp full-time. At a very conservative estimate, they also would have given up about 5 fewer runs due to the difference between Kemp and Gonzo/Pierre defensively. So all in all, the decision not to play Kemp this year probably cost the Dodgers 27 runs. This assumes that Kemp's performance level would have stayed the same with more playing time, which is admittedly an unknowable assumption.

So, 27 runs. How much has that cost the Dodgers in games won and lost? The Bisonian Dodgers hypothetically would have scored 700 runs and allowed 636. This comes out to a Pythagorean record of 81-68. So far this year the Dodgers' actual record of 79-70 coincides exactly with their Pythagorean record. So in the final analysis, it's fair to conclude that a Dodger team with Kemp playing full-time would have won only two more games over the course of the season.

Will two fewer wins mean the difference between making the playoffs and not making it? I guess we'll see.

Maybe if I have time tonight I'll do a similar calculation for Loney.

2007-09-17 15:12:47
20.   Curtis Lowe
17 - I agree with that and can't wait for the marketing emhpasis to focus on Martn,Billz,Loney,Kemp and Andre. Then one day people will question any over the hill veteran acquisition.
2007-09-17 15:13:27
21.   underdog
4 Oh, I know, he expands on it there, but, you're right in saying the emphasis of the piece is all backwards.
2007-09-17 15:13:47
22.   Lexinthedena
5- Can you bring me into the loop?...I have been very busy lately, and away from the Dodgers lately....what is this DodgerTalk stuff you speak of?.....Did they finally get tired of Bob Harvey being honest?
2007-09-17 15:14:38
23.   El Lay Dave
Gonzo does not appreciate the Clarissa reference - a mere rookie at life shouldn't be explaining it all, that's a job for veteran parents like Marshall and Janet.

BTW, Melissa Joan Hart turned 31 earlier this year.

2007-09-17 15:14:39
24.   trainwreck
17
I disagree, because Russell Martin is our most popular player. There is a reason why he was the starting All-Star catcher.

The team just does not market the other youngsters as well.

2007-09-17 15:15:32
25.   underdog
19 That's well-thought out and convincing, to me.

I assume you took into account his injury at the beginning of the season and subsequent DL and recovery time?

And his baserunning errors! (I'm kidding. We probably lost a couple of games in the standings on veteran baserunning errors, and another few on the noodle arm of the centerfielder.)

2007-09-17 15:15:53
26.   trainwreck
Hi, I am Luis Gonzalez and I am completely bitter about the Diamondbacks getting rid of me for young players.
2007-09-17 15:16:56
27.   Chris H
Reading this article reminds me of the Iraqi Disinformation Minister.

"Proven Veteran Leaders will carry the day. Young players are unworthy to carry their jock straps!"

2007-09-17 15:18:42
28.   Wilbert Robinson
Please don't do this for Loney. I don't want my head to explode.
2007-09-17 15:19:08
29.   Wilbert Robinson
28 is in reference to 19
2007-09-17 15:19:43
30.   Eric Enders
Okay, so I thought I'd spend a little bit of time trying to figure out exactly how many games the suppression of Matt Kemp has cost the Dodgers in the standings.

Kemp has been on the active roster for 96 of the Dodgers' 149 games this year. The average Dodger player this year has had 4.31 plate appearances per game, so we'll use this figure to hypothesize that playing full time since his recall, Kemp would have accumulated 413 plate appearances by now. Had he been on the team all year and playing full time, he'd have 642 plate appearances. In reality, he has 265.

In his 265 plate appearances, Kemp has accumulated 47 Runs Created, for 0.177 RC per plate appearance. At that rate, he would have accumulated 67 more RC if he'd been playing all year, or 26 more RC if the Dodgers had simply played him once he got called up.

How does that compare to the guys who were playing instead? For purposes of this exercise, we'll assume that two-thirds of Kemp's playing time would come at the expense of Juan Pierre, and the other one-third at the expense of Luis Gonzalez. This means the Dodgers would have lost 17 Runs Created posted by Gonzalez and 28 by Pierre. So by playing Kemp, the Dodgers would lose 45 runs and gain 67 for a net gain of 22 runs.

So we know the answer: The Dodgers would have scored about 22 more runs this year if they had decided to play Matt Kemp full-time. At a very conservative estimate, they also would have given up about 5 fewer runs due to the difference between Kemp and Gonzo/Pierre defensively. So all in all, the decision not to play Kemp this year probably cost the Dodgers 27 runs. This assumes that Kemp's performance level would have stayed the same with more playing time, which is admittedly an unknowable assumption.

So, 27 runs. How much has that cost the Dodgers in games won and lost? The Bisonian Dodgers hypothetically would have scored 700 runs and allowed 636. This comes out to a Pythagorean record of 81-68. So far this year the Dodgers' actual record of 79-70 coincides exactly with their Pythagorean record. So in the final analysis, it's fair to conclude that a Dodger team with Kemp playing full-time would have won only two more games over the course of the season.

Will two fewer wins mean the difference between making the playoffs and not making it? I guess we'll see.

Maybe if I have time tonight I'll do a similar calculation for Loney.

2007-09-17 15:20:05
31.   Eric Enders
OK, problems with the Back button there. Sorry.
2007-09-17 15:20:35
32.   D4P
30
Since you had time to run the numbers on Kemp twice, why didn't you just do Loney the second time...?
2007-09-17 15:22:12
33.   Sub4Era
Honestly.. is it that people arn't giving the younguns credit or is it more that people just arn't watching Dodger baseball on the east coast? Watching Dodger games on Fox normally make me cringe with their love for "everything" Nomar, Pierre and Gonzo are doing and the side note of rookies and sophs hitting OPSing over 800. I really think its less vet love than it is people just not knowing what the hell they are talking about.
2007-09-17 15:22:20
34.   Eric Enders
25 The above calculation is done as if Kemp had played all year. I also ran it with the time missed due to injury and it still came out the same -- two wins -- since Kemp actually missed only eight games due to the injury.
2007-09-17 15:22:29
35.   das411
23 caught it before me, but all I really have to contribute to this one is this:

Melissa Joan Hart = awesome.

and totally waved at me the one time I got to go to Nick Studios and we saw her getting hair/makeup done.

That is all. Carry on.

2007-09-17 15:24:15
36.   regfairfield
19 You do point out the one big flaw there, that Matt Kemp would continue to play the way he has all year. I think the analysis would be far more fair if you assumed he would hit his PECOTA projection (something like .290/.350/.500, I forgot the exact number) for the rest of the season, especially considering how high his BABIP is right now.
2007-09-17 15:28:09
37.   jasonungar07
I assume you took into account how many times Kemp would be thrown out running the bases....lol
2007-09-17 15:28:25
38.   jasonungar07
I assume you took into account how many times Kemp would be thrown out running the bases....lol
2007-09-17 15:34:25
39.   LAT
24. Sorry, I disagree and in fact that is the point. How can Martin NOT be the focus of every marketing campagin undertaken by the Dodgers? The only answer is selling what people know. Unfortunatly, That's Nomar, not Martin. I would guess that if you went "Jaywalking" you would find a lot more Angelinos who know Nomar is a Dodger than Martin. BTW, Frank and the marketing folks know they are going to get Martin's fans out to the Park. They are using Nomar as recognition bait for the casual fan.
2007-09-17 15:34:28
40.   underdog
33 I think word has spread about guys like Kemp and Loney, even to the (New)EnglandSPN and the like. Plus, it's just more distressing when a Dodgers beat writer seems to ignore the facts too.
2007-09-17 15:41:28
41.   ImprobableImpossible
The Dodgers did "market" the kids, at least to the media last year.

The cover of last season's Dodgers postseason media guide was a painting of six of the "kids" overlooking the Stadium field -- Ethier, Kemp, Broxton, Billingsley, Martin and Loney.

It was an interesting choice at the time. It seemed like a message from the Dodgers front office saying, "We may not be ready to do damage in the playoffs now, but wait until next year when our kids arrive."

The Dodgers had the correct answer for 2007 last October. But they (namely, Ned) got nervous, played it "safe" and unnecessarily blocked most of those kids with veterans.

I used to look at that painting and smile. Now it just makes me sad, because the Dodgers have no one to blame but themselves if (when?) they miss out on the playoffs this year.

2007-09-17 15:41:57
42.   Eric Enders
36 Admittedly, regression to the mean is the fly in this particular ointment. However, I tend to believe that BABIP for hitters is less telling than it is for pitchers, and for reasons we've discussed before (that he hits lots of grounders that are really more like line drives), I don't necessarily believe Kemp's BABIP is too artificially high anyway.
2007-09-17 15:42:27
43.   trainwreck
39
I think winning is what gets the casual fan or the fairweather fan or people who just go for the scene.
2007-09-17 15:43:47
44.   sporky
22 - If you mosey on over to ItD, Josh tries to get his side of the story out. From what I've heard, Dodger Talk has been much more unforgiving of management (as of late), and openly criticizing Grady/Ned.
2007-09-17 15:45:33
45.   Johnson
41 That painting is still my computer desktop at work. At least it looks like they'll all have starting roles (aside from Brox being the setup man) next year, so there's room for optimism! (Plus, the artist is gone, so that's something.)
2007-09-17 15:45:51
46.   Bob Timmermann
The difference in what a casual fan knows about Luis Gonzalez or Matt Kemp is practically negligible.

But I believe from reading the comments that the Dodgers haven't played their younger players enough.

I was unsure of that until today.

2007-09-17 15:46:17
47.   sporky
I figure the day dodgers.com starts selling Martin/Kemp/Loney jerseys (as opposed to customizable ones) is when they'll be actively supported by the management/organization.
2007-09-17 15:47:34
48.   D4P
46
Go buy yourself a smoothie. It looks like you could use one.
2007-09-17 15:47:48
49.   Branch Rickey
19 I know what the suppression of Kemp AND Loney cost. It cost Eddie Murray his job. Can you imagine this offense without Kemp and Loney? Well, that's the offense that Murray had to work with. And HE was the one who got fired?
2007-09-17 15:48:34
50.   El Lay Dave
Randy Hills offers a differing viewpoint in "Youngsters could have saved Dodgers":
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7235996

Unfortunately, franchise management failed to trust the development capacity of its own minor-league system.... Lining up for most of the credit are general manager Ned Colletti and dugout skipper Grady Little, two guys who still walk 12 miles to old school.

While this article discusses decisions regarding Loney and Billingsley, it is noticeably absent of the word "Kemp". Eric Enders, among others here, could make/have made this same point in more convincing fashion.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-17 15:49:22
51.   sporky
In direct contrast to the dodgers.com article

Youngsters could have saved Dodgers

http://tinyurl.com/yskkqv

2007-09-17 15:49:30
52.   Wilbert Robinson
41 45 Brett Tomko painted that.
2007-09-17 15:49:50
53.   Bob Timmermann
48
But I won't get one sponsored by Nike.
2007-09-17 15:50:02
54.   sporky
50 - Durnit. I blame tinyurl :)
2007-09-17 15:52:48
55.   Bob Timmermann
48
And why can't I be grouchy? Everybody else gets to be grouchy? Why do I have to be pleasant all the time? It wears on you. I want to wake up some morning spitting nails.
2007-09-17 15:54:33
56.   trainwreck
"Clarissa Explains It All" made me want to get a pet alligator, then I found out it was illegal in CA.
2007-09-17 15:54:59
57.   Curtis Lowe
47 - For my birthday in june I asked for a Billingsley jersey. One could not be found unless it was special ordered online. While at the Dodger store at the universal city walk the store employee did not even know who Billingsley was and suggested either a Gonzalez jersey or a throwback Koufax jersey, I almost opted for the Sandy but ended up getting one of those big puffy wind breaker jackets instead.

I still haven't worn the jacket.

2007-09-17 15:55:43
58.   regfairfield
To be fair, everyone on the Dodgers except Martin and Furcal have been stinging the ball this September.
2007-09-17 15:56:39
59.   bigcpa
I'm listening to the podcast now- whoa. In my mind Harvey has beaten around the bush most of the year, but he's pretty direct in his criticism here. Even more telling is he not offering the slightest defense of the org to the series of disgusted callers. I think Harvey is doing the Dennis Hopper scene in True Romance when he realizes he's about to get whacked so figures why not have some fun with it.
2007-09-17 15:58:46
60.   Eric Enders
57 When I went to the Dodgers shop in Vero Beach this spring, by far the highest quantity of jerseys available was good ol' No. 9. I have no idea if it was because that's what was in demand, or that's what was left over because nobody was buying them.

The second-easiest to find jersey was Nomar and after that it was Lowe. There was no Martin or Ethier or Penny to be found and certainly no Kemp, Loney, or Billingsley.

2007-09-17 15:59:30
61.   ImprobableImpossible
47 and 57
I saw Dodgers name-and-number T-shirts featuring Loney 7 and Kemp 27 at the Top Of The Park store for the first time last week.

Back on Opening Day, I noticed they had T-shirts for Billingsley.

They read "BILLINGSLY 58"

2007-09-17 16:00:21
62.   Eric Enders
61 There are probably a few posters here who would buy that last one. ;)
2007-09-17 16:02:27
63.   Humma Kavula
They had Kemp and Loney t-shirts at the loge level left field store a month ago.

I'll be buying a Kemp shirt when I attend my last game.

2007-09-17 16:02:36
64.   StolenMonkey86
51 - I didn't realize that the D-backs had a losing run differential. They're on the opposite end of the luck scale of the Indians last year.
2007-09-17 16:03:10
65.   underdog
55 Meh, spitting nails is overrated. I did it at Burning Man and found it incredibly unsatisfying. And I had to get a tetanus shot, too.

Just get a Jamba Juice smoothie with a free Bad Mood Boost.

2007-09-17 16:03:43
66.   sporky
Add bobbleheads to that. The only reason why Martin got one is because the fans voted for him. When they get the kids get their own bobbleheads, they'll be everyday players.

Has Pierre had one? I wonder if they're to scale...

2007-09-17 16:04:12
67.   Bluebleeder87
(Loved Kent's veteran leadership in getting thrown out on the basepaths while down two runs with two outs and the base in front of him occupied.)

That's exactly what popped into my head when reading Jons opening to the thread.

2007-09-17 16:04:25
68.   Linkmeister
63 "when I attend my last game"

Um, of the season, or have you got an unnamed illness?

As to the original article quoted in the post, conventional wisdom is not solely the province of political pundits.

2007-09-17 16:05:20
69.   sporky
66 - Ugh, grammar isn't my strong suit today.
2007-09-17 16:06:59
70.   Eric Enders
I was actually wondering why they didn't do a Martin bobblehead in 2006. I know they make up the schedule before the season starts, but they had a bobblehead date that was "TBA" for a long time and later turned out to be somebody other than Martin.

Of course, in fairness, there were Kemp and Loney bobbleheads given away this year. Problem is they were given away in Jacksonville.

2007-09-17 16:10:40
71.   Eric Enders
67 I haven't looked at the game thread, but can I presume there was also consternation when Kent almost got himself thrown out trying to go first to third, down by five runs in the bottom of the ninth? A situation in which you should never, ever, ever try for the extra base?

The guy has turned into a one-man baserunning blunder machine. I don't remember that being a problem of his in previous years, except for the infamous play against the Mets.

2007-09-17 16:11:43
72.   KG16
It's strange, we were all pretty optimistic at the beginning of the season about the Dodgers, given the make up of the team and the division. The vets have under performed, the pitching rotation has been hurt, and the kids have been blocked.

Meanwhile, the D-Backs have played well above what the numbers would suggest (that, as they say, is why they play the game). The Padres have continued to play just above average baseball and dominate within the division (incredibly important with the unbalanced schedule).

While I know it ain't over until it's over... I'm looking ahead to next year and I think we can figure the Padres will be good again next year and the Rockies and D-Backs are going to continue to improve. That means that the Dodgers are going to have to improve a great deal.

Two projected wins aren't going to be enough.

Third base is going to have to be addressed. Center field should be addressed. And someone has to have a sit down with Kent to discuss just exactly what his future is going to be.

As far as marketing goes, I think the Dodgers were once pretty good at marketing their kids. They did it in the 90s, they probably did it in the 70s. Of course, these Dodgers aren't at all like those Dodgers when it comes to the front office. When it comes to the old guys, I'm guessing Nomar is the only one that casual fans would know of the vets because he's got a certain celebrity value (from the A-Rod/Jeter/Nomar triumvirate days)

2007-09-17 16:12:28
73.   Branch Rickey
I missed out on the "chemistry" conversation. I agree with most here that it is overrated and that winning fixes everything including chemistry. That said, there is little to no camaraderie on this team (can't speak for other teams). I listened to one veteran left fielder (who used to play for AZ and his initials are L.G) bemoan the fact that in his day he had to get beers and light cigarettes for the vets while they sat in the clubhouse and talked baseball. On this team, everyone is out of the clubhouse ASAP and not to hang out with each other. Perhaps that's all teams in 2007 but it is definitely this one.
2007-09-17 16:13:31
74.   dzzrtRatt
46 I'm going to agree with Bob and take it a step further.

Who has the most influence over what fans think of the Dodgers? It's not a newspaper writer, not a blogger, not a front-office person. It's Vin Scully, by about 1,000 miles.

Scully is even-handed, perhaps a little too fair at times, but entirely credible and honest. He is old but he is not old school in the sense that Joe Morgan or Rex Hudler are active proponents of an old-school set of beliefs. He goes game by game. He will tell you when someone's hot and when someone's not, and doesn't seem to ever play favorites.

The Dodger marketing people might believe the fans worship Nomar and Kent (the commercials produced in the pre-season but still on the air obviously show that), but Vin Scully has cued the fans to support players I think most of the commenters here also support: Martin, Loney, Billingsley (as long as he keeps his pitch count low!), Broxton, Saito, Ethier, Penny.

Okay, he doesn't hate Pierre, but that's explainable by the fact that Pierre is exciting, if he gets on base, and all broadcasters are drawn to drama. But Scully has been critical of Pierre's arm and pointed on on many occasions that opposing teams go from first to third on him and LuGo.

When Gonzalez, Nomar, Kent and for that matter Saenz and Hendrickson do good things, he shares in the excitement. But he never shies away from criticizing them, and he never questions their absence from a particular game.

I can easily imagine another broadcaster taking a different tack. But Scully lets performance speak for itself, and then uses his broadcasting magic to transform talented performers into stars. So now, in part thanks to Scully just doing his job, the crowds cheer Martin, Loney and Billingsley at least equally as loud as they do Nomar and much more than the other veterans.

If Colletti and Little are looking for reasons not to play the kids and to let the PVL's take the reigns now that the games are crucial, they are doing so in the face of public opinion opposing them. I truly believe the fans know a lot more than we give them credit for about Loney, Kemp, Martin, etc., and want to see them because they are great players for today, not just the future.

Shorter version: If Colletti and McCourt think playing the veterans is better PR/marketing, they are demonstrably wrong and way out of touch with the messages fans are getting from the broadcasts. This is perhaps why Josh is so shocked at the tone of Dodger Talk. The callers are probably a good representation of the current beliefs of fans.

2007-09-17 16:15:37
75.   Bob Timmermann
74
You mean you agree that I'm in a bad mood?
2007-09-17 16:15:56
76.   Daniel Zappala
55 Today the role of Bob is being played by his understudy, Steve.
2007-09-17 16:19:00
77.   underdog
73 I thought some of the younger players hung out with each other, if not in large groups then at least in smaller pairs and trios? At least that's what I've heard from a couple of sources. (And, hey, Penny and Martin used to be roomies. Though maybe they got sick of each other.) But if you mean, the younger players don't hang around the older ones much, then I wouldn't be surprised. (Yah, read the previous thread for more discussion on this, if you're bored.)
2007-09-17 16:19:43
78.   Branch Rickey
74. As usual, you are dean on with this post. Scully tells everyone what to think and everyone is probably right for listening to him. His influence is greater than all of the rest of the media combined.
2007-09-17 16:24:59
79.   Curtis Lowe
I wish Scully would tell me if the promotion in Ontario is worth the extra commmute.
2007-09-17 16:25:19
80.   dzzrtRatt
75 I was so busy writing my novel in 74 I didn't realize the discussion had shifted to what kind of day you're having. I just thought you were making sense.

The TV ads and souvenier jerseys are lagging indicators because the production cycle is slow. I am confident a big ship full of Loney jerseys is chugging its way to San Pedro as we speak, just in time to fill the stores and the online sales for Christmas.

2007-09-17 16:27:22
81.   trainwreck
Brian Price finally gets to play for UCLA this weekend. That is something to look forward to when it comes to UCLA football.
2007-09-17 16:27:37
82.   Bob Timmermann
Can Vin Scully tell me which part of the family I should spend Christmas with?
2007-09-17 16:27:47
83.   underdog
Btw, sorry if this point has been made (and I'm sure it has) but wouldn't a Juan Pierre Bobblehead Night be kind of redundant?

Man, I hate off days.

2007-09-17 16:28:11
84.   D4P
I want to wake up some morning spitting nails

If you want to wake up spitting nails, spend your evening getting hammered.

2007-09-17 16:28:30
85.   Bob Timmermann
80
Well, I was making some sense. Unlike my attack on LAT last night.
2007-09-17 16:28:35
86.   underdog
82 Only if your family includes Eric Byrnes.
2007-09-17 16:29:46
87.   dzzrtRatt
82 Whichever part is most likely to play "Celery Stalks at Midnight," on the victrola, and knows how to cook goose.
2007-09-17 16:30:53
88.   bhsportsguy
22% up

That is the rate of cumulative growth of ticket sales since the end of the 2003 season.

And as much as some thought it was a silly idea, the All-You-Can Eat pavillion has to be one of the great marketing campaigns in the last few years.

2007-09-17 16:31:42
89.   Jacob L
The Chicago costume ball had to contribute to some of the ill will allegedly affecting the Dodgers. Rookie hazing, I know, is widespread and accepted in the majors. In the case of the Dodgers, though (as I'm sure somebody said on DT at the time) it's virtually every good player on the team being hazed by virtually every bad player on the team.
2007-09-17 16:33:25
90.   Ricardo
67. I had the impression that Kent blamed Loney for the mistake.Right now the Dodgers aren´t a good team to be a rookie, unless you play really well, and that´s frustrating because the veterans have much more chances. Will Meloan ever pitch again? Will the managament ever give a decent chance to LaRoche?
2007-09-17 16:34:05
91.   Bob Timmermann
87
Looks like I'm staying home then!
2007-09-17 16:35:06
92.   Bob Timmermann
To me, rookie hazing borders somewhere between barbaric and Stone Age.
2007-09-17 16:36:06
93.   D4P
91
If you do stay home, don't buy any of that focaccia mix for Christmas. It's not worth the risk.
2007-09-17 16:36:43
94.   goofus
I've enjoyed reading the posts at ITD. I'm glad I never had a job like Josh's where you have to lie for your boss I wouldn't have done it. I wanted to comment there but they won't allow my registration, keeps saying try again later. I know some of you guys here post on there; would you please post a comment for me? Not just today but for several weeks some of the posters seem to be just too much in sync with management. I think 'someone' has created some 'shill' accounts to make it seem the management position has supporters out there. Their posts seem to be just too agreeable. It would be interesting to see if Josh's lips are moving....
2007-09-17 16:38:09
95.   bhsportsguy
90 No team in any pro sport is going to be a good place to be a rookie and how veterans treat rookies is pretty much universal. In the NBA, a rarely paid vet bench player will have his gear carried by a lottery pick. Who knows what goes on in NFL training camps.
2007-09-17 16:43:00
96.   bhsportsguy
94 Josh isn't lying for his boss. Josh has a job, his job is to promote the Dodgers.

His job isn't to let anonymous posters insult his employer, tell the manager who to play and the GM who to keep. If fans want to express a point of a view and be respectful, its one thing, if they want to end every post with FIRE GRADY or FIRE NED, then he has every right to speak on behalf of the team.

In my very limited dealings with him and having met him on DT day, I have found him to be very nice and accomodating and certainly understands the fans and their point of view.

But to say that he would be involved with some type of shennagins without any evidence is just wrong and I think it is very unfair.

2007-09-17 16:43:41
97.   Johnny Nucleo
There's been a lot of competition for jobs (1B, 3B, LF/RF), and Ned seems to like it that way to keep people sharp. When jobs are in flux, people are insecure, there's bound to be clubhouse tension. So if "poor clubhouse chemistry" is really a problem, it may not necessarily a consequence of the personnel that Ned chose, but of the way they are being used. There's a distinction there.
Still, in the big picture I think it's likely much better to have a team with depth than worry about these intangible issues.
2007-09-17 16:44:07
98.   Dodgers49
71. I, for one, was in absolute disbelief when Kent went to 3rd base in the 9th rather than just go station-to-station. Had he been thrown out at 3rd for the final out of the game while down by 5 runs it would have been the worse blunder of the year (of which there have been many). And it's not as if he is a speed demon on the basepaths. A perfect throw might have actually beaten him on that play had they decided to go after him. What in the world was he thinking?
2007-09-17 16:44:36
99.   El Lay Dave
I agree 100% with 96 .
2007-09-17 16:47:04
100.   underdog
96/94- Yah, as much as I don't like sifting through "shill" postings, I also don't enjoy sifting through hundreds of redundant postings written in all caps repeating their calls for the manager and GM's head. Frankly, both sides get old quickly there. I've posted my beefs with management there before, and have written positive things as well, but I just couldn't take sifting through the non-stop redundancies, both among haters and praisers. (Especially since most of us probably sit somewhere in between).
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-09-17 16:47:43
101.   Ricardo
95. Yes you are right but the problem is how managament treats the rookies in my opinion. Would the Dodgers be patient like the Padres were with Kouzmanoff or like the Red Sox were with Pedroia? That´s my question.
2007-09-17 16:48:41
102.   El Lay Dave
71 98 I found that odd also. I don't think it would even have required a perfect throw. When Chris Young fielded the ball in CF, it seemed like he was tempted, but realized that it was far more important for him to throw to second base and not be concerned with Kent - almost like he was a savvy veteran or something.
2007-09-17 16:49:01
103.   ryu
Life figures to be pretty miserable for me in the next few months.

The Dodgers are barely hanging on to slim playoff hopes.

UCLA just got spanked by an 0-2 team from the Mountain West.

The Clippers will not have Elton Brand for a good part of the season, at least.

2007-09-17 16:51:10
104.   KG16
92/95 - I always wait for a Chan Ho Park story about hazing (he was the one that got in a locker room fight because someone cut up his suit, right?), I'd love to see a younger player tell the vets "#@*& off, carry your own bags". I'm honestly surprised that there isn't at least one fist fight a year because of this stuff. Probably a good thing that I never made it past little league.
2007-09-17 16:51:52
105.   jasonungar07
101 No. You don't need to ask the question. Wilson is in NY for example.
2007-09-17 16:54:24
106.   D4P
Management appears to have more "patience" with players who have "proven they can perform" in the majors than with players who have not, regardless of how long ago the proof was provided.
2007-09-17 16:55:36
107.   Bob Timmermann
101
The Padres were patient with Kouzmanoff because they didn't have any other options. And they tried using guys like Blum at third and then acquiring Ensberg before he finally got hot.

I think the Red Sox were patient with Pedroia in part because they had a big lead. And Julio Lugo was worse, so Pedroia looked like Frankie Frisch in comparison.

The Dodgers have put up with slumps from Loney and Martin this year. And a lot of that is because the alternatives aren't great.

2007-09-17 16:56:31
108.   Dodgers49
90. That appeared to be the case from watching on TV. And, if so, Kent's attitude didn't really make much sense. The ball got away on the 3rd base side. Loney would have looked like an idiot getting thrown out at 3rd on that play. Loney isn't much faster than Kent so it would have been a huge gamble and not worth taking. Kent had no business straying far enough off 1st to get picked off. Just a bad day for PVL.
2007-09-17 16:57:45
109.   D4P
Dodger fans are in a yucky position tonight of having to root for the Cardinals, Giants, and Jim Tracies.

Yuck!

2007-09-17 16:58:29
110.   Bob Timmermann
104
Park was very upset because he said the suit that was ruined was a gift from his mother.

Granted, he could afford another one, but I can understand his anger. It wasn't like the Dodgers were showing a lot of sensitivity.

2007-09-17 16:58:30
111.   regfairfield
104 I'd think that any player in the bigs is plenty used to hazing.

Is it really that big of a deal to have to wear a disco suit?

I don't even think Park got in a fight, he just sulked.

2007-09-17 17:00:36
112.   D4P
Have the Dodgers tried the "eye-black in the cap" thing again since Gibson? If not, maybe they should...
2007-09-17 17:03:45
113.   dzzrtRatt
I suspect the issue we're all talking about really comes down to Grady Little and how he handles complaints from veterans who come into his office and say, "WTF, Grady, I've been on the All-Star team, I've been in the World Series, and you're handing my job to some beardless hayseed just because he got a few hits? I'm insulted!" My sense is Grady thinks he's got to appease the vets, and it's turned his job into a giant juggling act. Which is not good. He needs to make a decision, explain to the respective players what their roles are, and close the subject. Hopefully, he'd pick a lineup that I'd like, but whatever he does, he's got to be more decisive.
2007-09-17 17:03:56
114.   Bob Timmermann
June 20, 1996 LA Times by Bob Nightengale

In a span of perhaps 20 minutes Wednesday afternoon, Chan Ho Park went from pitching savior to hitting hero to clubhouse goat.

Park (5-2) pitched three hitless innings in relief for the victory. And he drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the 13th inning to account for the game-winning run. But in the aftermath of the celebration, it all went awry, leaving his teammates fuming.

Park was sitting in front of his locker, talking about his heroics to reporters, when he suddenly noticed his suit. It was ruined, the pants legs and jacket sleeves cut off. And hanging in its place was a funky disco outfit.

It's a traditional stunt that the Dodgers, as well as most other teams, pull on every rookie. They did it to Hideo Nomo last year. They did it to Mike Piazza. They did it to Eric Karros.

Park lost it. He threw his plate of mushrooms into the air. He demanded to know who had ruined his clothes. He slammed a chair against his locker.

He screamed obscenities, then sat in front of his locker, seething. He put on his sunglasses, tossed the disco outfit into the trash and sat staring straight ahead.

Suddenly, it was no longer funny to the rest of the Dodgers. They became upset because he wasn't playing along. Piazza talked to him, telling him he had to wear the outfit, that it was tradition. Manager Tom Lasorda talked to him.

But Park left for the team charter flight wearing the uniform pants he had worn during the game, along with his warmup jacket and sunglasses.

On a day the Dodgers should have been celebrating, having won for the eighth time in the last 11 games and with a 1 1/2-game lead in the National League West, the incident ruined the mood.

"We talk about camaraderie, then you see this," Piazza said.

"It's sad. It's like tradition is gone. I don't care if you understand or don't understand, you got to do it. Everybody does it. I did it. I remember walking through the terminal {in the disco outfit} and having everybody laughing at me. What's the big deal?

"I don't have that many years in the league to talk, but you know as a rookie to keep your mouth shut and respect the veterans on the team. You do what you're supposed to do. You don't do something like this."

2007-09-17 17:04:24
115.   Branch Rickey
And along the lines of Scully telling us who to like... did you hear him go on and on about Clayton Kershaw about a week ago? He basically told fans "keep your eyes open and when you hear this name, pay attention". I've never heard him prime us for someone this far down the line.
2007-09-17 17:07:40
116.   underdog
111 But what if it was a Parisian Night Suit?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kMkBcoxTxo
(safe for work, if sound is headphoned)

2007-09-17 17:07:58
117.   bhsportsguy
113 But again, we are only talking about the 3 for 2 outfield rotation, everywhere else, the lineup has been set.

Third base has been an adventure but if Nomar is healthy enough, he plays and while he may not want to sit out, he certainly knows that his situation is based on his health.

Also while he did not fall into a severe slump, after Loney's very hot start, for two months he hit .270 with a .700 OPS, unfortunately he like the rest of team has a horrible August.

2007-09-17 17:10:14
118.   Bob Timmermann
June 22, 1996 Tim Brown - Daily News

Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Chan Ho Park said Thursday that the suit his teammates shredded the day before in Chicago had great sentimental value, and that is why he became enraged at the practical joke.

Park has since been apologetic, and said he intends to tell his teammates as much.

Parksaid he did not immediately understand such a baseball ritual.

To review, Park pitched three scoreless innings Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs, and was the winning pitcher in a 13-inning, 4-3 victory. He also drove in the eventual game-winning run with a bases-loaded walk. Afterward, Park found that his suit -- apparently his favorite suit, at that -- had had its shirt sleeves and pants legs snipped.

He threw a plate of food, spouted profanity and threw his chair against a row of lockers. When he settled down and stopped throwing things, Park was inconsolable. He even wept, while all around him his teammates expressed disgust at his reaction.

The flight home from Chicago didn't get much better for Park, who insisted that airlines officials retrieve his luggage from beneath the plane so that he could change into another suit. While Park changed from his baseball pants and jacket into a new suit, one teammate commandeered the plane's public address system to announce that changing on the airplane was not allowed. Park ignored the humor.

By Thursday afternoon, Park was considerably more contrite. He said that he had misunderstood the playful intentions of the prank.

"Now I understand the situation," Park said. "And I'm happy they like me.

"I didn't know. So I was mad."

The fact is, Park's teammates still aren't too sure about him. Many suspected he was somewhat aloof all along and has been coddled by the organization, and this confirmed it for them. It also was said that Park refused to participate in previous initiation rites and therefore brought extreme measures upon himself.

2007-09-17 17:12:18
119.   Wilbert Robinson
{114] Park lost it. He threw his plate of mushrooms into the air.

I can't get over how funny that is.

2007-09-17 17:13:10
120.   Ricardo
113. I´m frustrated but believe that this season mistakes are going to make Grady a better manager and Ned a much better GM. I changed my opinion and I believe they deserve at least two more seasons with the Dodgers.
2007-09-17 17:13:23
121.   D4P
118
I'm glad I'm not a professional baseball player. I wouldn't fit in.
2007-09-17 17:14:40
122.   Humma Kavula
118 "We only cut up your suit because we like you! Oh, and hey, did you see that hottie behind home plate? I think I'll go pull her hair so she knows I think she's pretty!"
2007-09-17 17:15:08
123.   dzzrtRatt
119 Whitey Herzog would say the mushrooms spelled doom for Park's career. He liked his players to eat red meat.
2007-09-17 17:17:27
124.   Disabled List
Hazing rookies is part of the culture of sports. Making the kids dress up in goofy costumes is pretty harmless, and being able to take it good-naturedly shows a lot about their character.

Not coincidentally, the Chan Ho Park incident occurred right around the last time people were talking about lousy chemistry in the Dodger clubhouse.

2007-09-17 17:19:18
125.   Jacob L
123 My favorite Chan Ho Park anecdote (so many! how to choose??!) was the end of a Spring Training when he said (paraphrased):

"It was a good Spring. There were a few things I was working on that are coming together. Now, I'm just excited to get to LA and have some Korean food."

Which almost certainly involved red meat.

2007-09-17 17:22:37
126.   Jon Weisman
I cringe rereading those stories.
2007-09-17 17:23:04
127.   trainwreck
I love how they think they have a right to be mad at a guy who is so sad and enraged by something that he is crying.
2007-09-17 17:24:57
128.   Bluebleeder87
Howard hits a dinger 1-0 Phil in the 2nd.
2007-09-17 17:28:11
129.   D4P
127
Baseball players are jerks.

Except for Choi.

2007-09-17 17:29:45
130.   Wilbert Robinson
I think Tim Wallach, Brett Butler and Kevin Gross are going to do a great job this year.
2007-09-17 17:30:20
131.   Dodgers49
118. Why couldn't the Dodger players have just hidden Park's suit? I would have been upset with what they did even if it had not been a gift from my mother. So I really never blamed Chan Ho.
2007-09-17 17:30:50
132.   trainwreck
These are all the stories and information I missed growing up in the Bay Area and not having the internet.
2007-09-17 17:31:17
133.   Bob Timmermann
I real fail to see what good comes out of hazing. I don't see it as being good-natured teasing. I see it as a power play by the older players in an attempt to humiliate the younger players.
2007-09-17 17:33:56
134.   trainwreck
133
Why I hate frats and all that junk.
2007-09-17 17:34:54
135.   CanuckDodger
Did anybody else raise an eyebrow when it was noted that the costume Delwyn Young had to wear was "Snow White"? There were plenty of white players who had to dress up in other costumes, but a black guy gets Snow White? The first thought that crossed my mind was how the Marine drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket gave a black recruit the nickname of "Snowball."
2007-09-17 17:35:36
136.   Bob Timmermann
134
I was told by my parents that they would not pay for me to go to college if I joined a frat.

I was allowed to join Phi Beta Kappa.

2007-09-17 17:35:43
137.   D4P
133-4
Agreed.
2007-09-17 17:37:29
138.   goofus
It can get downright disgusting, I don't remember who it was or where I read it but one well-known player dumped a t--- on the post game snack table one time. He wasn't a HOF type player but was extremely popular...
2007-09-17 17:37:39
139.   NoHoDodger
Actually, my favorite Chan Ho story was when he got in a fight on the field with an opposing pitcher (forgot his name). If I recall correctly (and I may not) Chan Ho bunted the ball and the pitcher tagged him kinda hard. Pushing ensued and Chan Ho gave the pitcher a Karate Kick. It was classic.
2007-09-17 17:37:46
140.   Bluebleeder87
118

You know what man you can kind of see Parks side of this, he probably sincerely didn't know the traditions of baseball & if that's the case I can definitely see his side of the story.

2007-09-17 17:41:08
141.   Wilbert Robinson
139 That would be Tim Belcher.
2007-09-17 17:41:49
142.   trainwreck
136
I know nothing about the Greek system. What is Phi Beta Kappa like?

I am guessing it has smarter people than your average frat.

2007-09-17 17:43:10
143.   Humma Kavula
It's not a frat at all. It's an honor society. My wife is a member.
2007-09-17 17:44:54
144.   underdog
The Cardinals appear as if they'll be about as helpful to the Dodgers' cause as the Giants were.
2007-09-17 17:45:53
145.   fanerman
I was part of an honors society at Cal. We were classified as a frat, even though we weren't.
2007-09-17 17:46:45
146.   underdog
Whew, but the Phillies had 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs after a ground rule double saved the Cards, and then didn't score. So it's still 1-0. The Cards' pitcher doesn't look long for this world, however.
2007-09-17 17:47:23
147.   Humma Kavula
145 Hm. Maybe it's just that my wife joined Phi Beta Kappa at Brandeis, where we have no (sanctioned) fraternities or sororities.
2007-09-17 17:48:23
148.   Humma Kavula
By the way: I was not smart enough to be invited to join Phi Beta Kappa.
2007-09-17 17:49:27
149.   underdog
C'mon, fess up, some of you were Lambda Lambda Lambda and Omega Mu pledges. Clap your hands everybody, and everybody clap your hands.
2007-09-17 17:52:35
150.   fanerman
147 By classified, I mean from the University. I have no idea if that had any actual repercussions in our daily/weekly activities.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-09-17 17:55:13
151.   MollyKnight
Can someone please give me a rundown of which overpriced veterans we can cut ties with after this season ends? I want to know how much $$ we'd be able to give to Alex Rodriguez.
2007-09-17 17:56:29
152.   Eric Enders
My disdain for all things Greek led me to throw even the Phi Beta Kappa mail in the garbage unopened.

Re the Park situation, I think the two sides were talking past each other all along. Park's teammates were upset that he didn't dress in the silly clothes, while Park was upset that they ruined his nice suit with sentimental value attached. It seems to me that Park would have gladly participated in the ritual had they not shredded his clothing. Cutting up a man's suit, especially when it's likely his only one, is a little extreme.

2007-09-17 17:57:22
153.   King of the Hobos
151 Gonzo, Roberto, Seanez, Wells, Hillenbrand, Saenz, and Sweeney are all free agents. Wolf, Lieberthal, and Martinez all have options.
2007-09-17 17:58:45
154.   underdog
And now it officially is 3-0 Phillies. Sigh.
2007-09-17 17:59:13
155.   D4P
C'mon, fess up, some of you were Lambda Lambda Lambda and Omega Mu pledges

So sad: Bob doesn't even know what you're talking about.

My disdain for all things Greek led me to throw even the Phi Beta Kappa mail in the garbage unopened

I didn't join because I thought it was a scam to be rewarded for academic achievement by being allowed to pay someone else money. They should be paying me money.

2007-09-17 17:59:31
156.   Eric Enders
151 Gone if we want 'em to be: Wolf, Lieberthal, Martinez, Hendrickson, Saenz, Hillenbrand, Sweeney, Seanez, Wells, Hernandez

Stuck with: Kent, Pierre, Schmidt, Nomar, Loaiza

2007-09-17 18:01:18
157.   D4P
151
You've got to go to Oregon, Molly. I think you'd like it.
2007-09-17 18:01:34
158.   MollyKnight
I don't want Lieberthal to be gone. He gives a hometown discount, and isn't discontent about playing once every ten days. Plus, he usually goes 1-for-3.
2007-09-17 18:03:44
159.   underdog
158 I agree, and I think he actually will be back, and I think the other names listed there will all be gone. I guess Wolf is the only one who I could see coming back even after they decline his option, which they will. But the others, gone, except Lieberthal. Still, wouldn't you have to multiply all those guys times ten to get close to an A-Rod salary?
2007-09-17 18:03:55
160.   Curtis Lowe
152 - How can you have disdain for a Gyro or Kufte or big fat weddings?

BAKLAVA! BAKLAVA!

2007-09-17 18:04:44
161.   KG16
127 - yeah, it's like, "so what if we completely destroyed your personal property for absolutely no reason, you're suppose to take it in good humor. You should be glad we didn't key rookie in your car door."

Park's reaction would probably be considered subdued compared to mine. But then again, I've never been one who was known to play well with others.

As a side question, did the Marlins have this kind of stuff going on when they were all young and winning the World Series?

2007-09-17 18:04:51
162.   underdog
155 Oh, I'm sure he's seen the movie. Just too grouchy to admit it.
2007-09-17 18:06:06
163.   Sam DC
An LA area Congressman told me this tonight, in response to the question, are the Dodgers going to pull it out: "Having to count on Wells and Loaiza to pitch you into the playoffs is not good. It could happen. But it'd be pretty tough."
2007-09-17 18:07:14
164.   regfairfield
151 My current count is the Dodgers start next offseason at about 95 million in payroll once options and arbitration hit.
2007-09-17 18:08:20
165.   D4P
Just Another Rally-Killer for the Phillies
2007-09-17 18:11:45
166.   Andrew Shimmin
Maybe next time, instead of (or in addition to) t-shirts, the DT logo could be silk-screened on these:

http://manolomen.com/2007/09/14/kilt-tough/

2007-09-17 18:13:04
167.   bhsportsguy
Was he worth it?

Sure he is only 6-6, but since the day that Clemens started against Pittsburgh, the Yankees, if they win tonight will be 60-31. If the Boston score holds up, the would have gained 7 games on Red Sox and 8 games on the Tigers during this period, to be 3.5 games out of first place of the division and to lead the Wild Card by 2.5 games.

2007-09-17 18:13:32
168.   Disabled List
133 et al. I'm kinda surprised to see all the disdain for mild hazing. I think a little humiliation teaches a little humility. These are pro athletes who will have the rest of their careers to be treated like princesses. For one day in their lives, they can walk through an airport in a clown costume.

Obviously, there's a very fine line between mild hazing and abuse. I remember an outcry when some NFL rookies were taped to goalposts and left to bake in the sun for hours during training camp. And I also remember a while ago there were some high school football players who were basically assaulting some of the younger players. When hazing is taken too far, then yes, it demonstrates nothing more than power over a lesser person.

But dressing up in an embarrassing outfit is harmless, especially when it's a gag that everyone (including the rookies) is in on and can have fun with. At SoSG there's a picture of the Cincinnati rookies dressed up in Hooters girls' outfits, and they all look like they're getting a big kick out of it. We're not talking about Code Reds here. Gentle hazing like that builds character in the players and camaraderie among teammates.

And no, I was never in a fraternity.

2007-09-17 18:14:13
169.   D4P
166
I like my garments bifurcated.
2007-09-17 18:14:30
170.   Sam DC
Is The Singing Bee kind of amusing?

(Ducks)

2007-09-17 18:15:17
171.   trainwreck
167
He has not produced to the level of what he is getting paid, but the Yankees will definitely need him in the playoffs.
2007-09-17 18:23:25
172.   Eric Enders
168 During my first few weeks of college, one of my fellow freshmen was found dead floating in the river. He was found to have died of alcohol poisoning after being forced to consume an ungodly amount of liquor as part of the fraternity hazing process. What little regard I had for frats disappeared right there.

At my school, fraternities were (and for all I know still are) rigidly segregated and populated almost entirely by spoiled, racist rich kids who were mostly there to snort their inheritance up their noses, or drink it down. They weren't the kind of people I felt comfortable sharing the same earth with, much less the same living quarters. And besides, what's the point of paying people to be your friends?

2007-09-17 18:26:50
173.   Disabled List
172 I couldn't agree with you more, especially with your opinion of fraternities. Please don't think I was defending that kind of behavior, I went to great pains to qualify my statement in 168 . There's a big difference between dressing in a funny get-up and forcing someone to injure themself.
2007-09-17 18:27:31
174.   trainwreck
172
That describes the UCSB frats pretty well. Only one of my friends bothered to join a frat at SDSU and his frat was pretty much the exact same way too.
2007-09-17 18:30:21
175.   King of the Hobos
Anyone see the Olney post that is referenced in this link? Nonetheless, I find myself at least somewhat more impressed with Brian Bannister now.

http://tinyurl.com/2p7xza

2007-09-17 18:40:39
176.   MollyKnight
164-With a $95 payroll, the Dodgers could certainly afford A-Rod. He'll get $30 mil a year, which would take it to $125. That's gotta be do-able, right?
2007-09-17 18:43:12
177.   Bob Timmermann
Does anyone know how good Michigan State is supposed to be this year in basketball?
2007-09-17 18:47:36
178.   El Lay Dave
177 Those Big-10 Networks ads are working on you? MSU's BB prowess will make or break you on the purchase?
2007-09-17 18:48:18
179.   King of the Hobos
I believe Josh Anderson has now reached base for 9 consecutive plate appearances.
2007-09-17 18:48:23
180.   trainwreck
177
Pretty good. They added three high quality guard recruits to go with Neitzel. They are probably the best team UCLA will face in the regular season.

I am guessing that is why you are asking.

2007-09-17 18:48:25
181.   El Lay Dave
176 Plus whatever is paid to fill in the remainder of the roster.
2007-09-17 18:51:28
182.   Eric Stephen
After reading the linked article regarding "vets" being relied upon, I decided to look at the offense & pitching.

All Dodger non-pitchers have hit .281/.344/.413 this season. I broke it down into completely arbitrary categories:

Age 25 & younger: .295/.365/.470 (2064 PA; 38% of total)
Age 26-34: .271/.320/.343 (2127 PA; 39%)
Age 35 & older: .275/.352/.438 (1266 PA; 23 %)

All Dodger pitchers have a collective 3.99 ERA & 1.32 WHIP

Age 25 & younger: 16-11, 3.50 ERA / 1.28 WHIP (244.1 IP; 18.3% of total)
Age 26-34: 52-52, 4.24 ERA / 1.36 WHIP (905 IP; 67.7%)
Age 35 & older: 11-7, 3.45 ERA / 1.15 WHIP (188 IP; 14.1%)

2007-09-17 18:52:49
183.   Sam DC
Nationals 12-4 over the Mets.

Obviously.

2007-09-17 18:53:14
184.   MJW101
The Dodgers have a number of decisions to make before the 40 man roster is set for the rule 5 draft.

This fall is going to be interesting from a roster management point of view. Ned and Co have not shown themselves to be very good at this aspect of baseball management.

This postseason is a critical one because a fairly large number of decent to very good prospects will be needed to be protected or be exposed to the draft.

To alleviate some of this problem Ned could offer Wolf a minor league contract with an NRI to ST. The minor league contract would stipulate that he could become a FA if he was not added to the 25 man roster by May 30th. If he was added to the 25 man after ST he would make a base salary of $5M plus $250K for every start after the 15th (16-32) thus allowing him to collect $9M for a healthy productive year.

2007-09-17 18:53:54
185.   King of the Hobos
Giants have a 1-0 lead over the Dbacks after the first inning.
2007-09-17 18:54:41
186.   Bob Timmermann
180
Actually, I'm thinking of going out to Michigan to visit my brother in the winter and I was wondering if it would be worth the expense to go on StubHub looking for tickets to see Michigan State play.

He doesn't live too far from there.

2007-09-17 18:55:34
187.   Eric Stephen
181 The non-ARod $95m does include filling out the rest of the roster.
2007-09-17 18:55:40
188.   trainwreck
175
Well that helps reinforce my thought that we should re-sign Wolf if we can get him for pretty cheap.
2007-09-17 18:55:41
189.   D4P
182
I did something similar earlier today. I looked at the correlation between age and BA, OBP, and SLG for the 2007 Dodgers. I found negative correlations for each, with the OBP and SLG being significant at a 0.10 level of significance.

In other words, on average, as your age goes up, everything else goes down. (Yes, I'm still talking baseball stats).

2007-09-17 18:56:57
190.   Bob Timmermann
183
Chance for the first big league win for Jonathan Albaladejo?
2007-09-17 18:57:19
191.   D4P
Good grief. The Phillies are really good at that thing where you hit the ball in the air over the outfield wall.
2007-09-17 18:58:07
192.   D4P
Oh well. Always nice to see the Cardinals lose, the surly lot.
2007-09-17 18:59:37
193.   Bob Timmermann
192
I am not allowed to comment on the Cardinals.

I can say Ryan Howard is from St. Louis and the fans there really cheer for him when he comes to visit.

2007-09-17 19:00:18
194.   King of the Hobos
The NL East has collectively scored 44 runs thus far today.
2007-09-17 19:00:46
195.   LogikReader
Speaking of "that thing where you hit the ball in the air over the wall," ok Bob it's all yours:
2007-09-17 19:01:14
196.   MJW101
The Wolf contract situation I mentioned in 184 was to mainly preclude the necessity of using a roster spot to keep Wolf. I did not think I made that point as clearly as I should have.

The same situation applies to Tsao and Brazoban.

If they all showed they were injury free and effective our pitching staff would have an abundance of quality choices.

BTW - Houlton and Kuo are out of options and would have to be on the 25 man or be lost.

2007-09-17 19:05:08
197.   Eric Enders
193 And yet for some reason they don't show the same love for the Bill Mueller-coached Dodgers.
2007-09-17 19:10:47
198.   Bob Timmermann
Four more errors for the Mets today and they are they are three outs away from ceding the best record in the league to Arizona.
2007-09-17 19:10:49
199.   D4P
I am not allowed to comment on the Cardinals

Are you violating Rule 12...?

2007-09-17 19:13:17
200.   LogikReader
198

That wasn't it. Hopper for the Reds is a HR away from the cycle.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-09-17 19:13:46
201.   Bob Timmermann
197
You mean "Southwest Missouri State star Bill Mueller?"

You need to learn proper St. Louis Post-Dispatch style.

Although Howard went to the same school, he's usually referred to as "Lafayette High's Ryan Howard."

2007-09-17 19:14:15
202.   Bob Timmermann
200
That would be an orange alert.
2007-09-17 19:15:04
203.   Bob Timmermann
The alert level has been lowered to yellow as I realized that Hopper has no homers this year, despite playing in Cincinnati.
2007-09-17 19:16:01
204.   Sam DC
202 Has Hopper ever hit a home run before?
2007-09-17 19:16:46
205.   Bob Timmermann
Furthermore, it's Jeff Keppinger who is the subject of the alert. And it's orange for him.

Jeff Keppinger and Norris Hopper are easy to distinguish on the field. One is an infielder and the other guy was over at the Art Institute of Chicago trying to get people to believe he painted "Night Hawks."

2007-09-17 19:16:52
206.   LogikReader
SF/AZ: Here we go again with Angel Hernandez' trademark "baby strike zone". Arrrrrrgh!
2007-09-17 19:16:59
207.   Sam DC
I wish the comment preview thing showed you the comments preceding your proposed addition.
2007-09-17 19:19:30
208.   Sam DC
Grabowski principle in play in AZ.

In the first inning.

2007-09-17 19:19:42
209.   Sam DC
190 He got it.
2007-09-17 19:19:58
210.   Bob Timmermann
And actually there are no more Southwest Missouri State stars as the school is just called Missouri State now.
2007-09-17 19:21:35
211.   Sam DC
208: Second inning. And though that GP loaded the bases, it led to zero runs.
2007-09-17 19:25:23
212.   King of the Hobos
204 In 3689 ABs in the minors and majors, Hopper has hit 4 home runs.
2007-09-17 19:25:52
213.   bhsportsguy
Why do I get the feeling the the Wild Card team is going to be from the NL East and its not going to be the Phillies.
2007-09-17 19:25:52
214.   PlayTwo
The MLB piece is a cliche. It is as if the quotes were bought in a can.
2007-09-17 19:28:36
215.   Bob Timmermann
213
Go Braves!
2007-09-17 19:29:49
216.   Bob Timmermann
213
And now the Cardinals have cut the lead to 12-5 and loaded the bases with none out for Pujols in the seventh.
2007-09-17 19:30:30
217.   Eric Stephen
Jose Mesa in to face Pujols with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 7th, after the Cards have cut the Phillies' lead to 12-5.
2007-09-17 19:32:17
218.   Eric Stephen
Pujols doubles in 2. 2nd & 3rd, none out, 12-7!
2007-09-17 19:32:25
219.   El Lay Dave
187 Hmmm, I must have lost track during the discussion.

I'm still fascinated that NY's best offer exists only before the opt-out, with Texas' $21.3 million in the package. If they offer a four-year extension, the Yankees' offer can be $3 million/year less than anyone else's and still have equal total package dollars.

2007-09-17 19:33:49
220.   Bob Timmermann
It's down to 12-9, but the bases are now empty with two outs in St. Louis.
2007-09-17 19:34:36
221.   Eric Stephen
A couple of Olney's make it 12-9 with 2 outs, bases empty.

But Ryan Howard is due up next inning, so the Phillies will add at least one more run. Howard is almost Loneyan in his production!

2007-09-17 19:36:50
222.   KG16
219 - one almost gets the feeling that the Yankees aren't incredibly interested in bringing A-Rod back. I find it hard to believe that the richest team in American pro sports can't afford an extra $3m/yr for the best player in the game.
2007-09-17 19:37:51
223.   Bob Timmermann
Mike Maroth in for the Redbirds to pitch. His OBA is .405!
2007-09-17 19:39:57
224.   Bob Timmermann
222
Why spend all that money when you can just write "Betemit" in the lineup at a fraction of the cost?
2007-09-17 19:40:13
225.   King of the Hobos
The Giants have the bases loaded, no out in the 4th against Brandon Webb. Game tied 1-1.
2007-09-17 19:40:16
226.   bhsportsguy
219 Boras won't do an extension, he will cut A-Rod loose and see how much someone will pay him on the open market.
2007-09-17 19:41:56
227.   KG16
226 - I'm still trying to figure out if Boras is good or bad for baseball. My instincts tell me bad, but I'm not sure.
2007-09-17 19:46:08
228.   Izzy
Oh Boras ins't bad for baseball. He's just plain old bad.
2007-09-17 19:46:36
229.   Eric Stephen
219 Just to get excited (even though I don't think the Dodgers will go after A-Rod), the lineup of:

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
3B - A-Rod
SS - Furcal
LF - Ethier
CF - Pierre
RF - Kemp

has produced a collective hitting line of .298/.365/.469 in 2006.

2007-09-17 19:47:09
230.   El Lay Dave
226 I suppose that seems likely, especially since he only needs two serious bidders out of: Red Sox, Yankees, Giants, Dodgers. Maybe the Cubs?!

But the Yankees can preemptively offer Boras/ARod what they think they can get on the open market AND effectively throw in Texas' $21.3 as gravy on the deal, if they negotiate it as an extension. No one else can do that.

2007-09-17 19:47:14
231.   trainwreck
As of right now, I think A-Rod ends up a Yankee or Tiger. Maybe the Angels get into the mix if they have trouble scoring in playoffs.

I think the Red Sox will sign Lowell for short term and look for a young third baseman for the future.

2007-09-17 19:48:27
232.   trainwreck
Actually, I think Lars Anderson can play third for Sox, so he is their future third baseman.
2007-09-17 19:49:07
233.   Eric Stephen
The Padres broadcast just mentioned that this is the 15th straight losing season for the Pirates, and that is the longest streak of losing seasons for a franchise since the Phillies from 1933-1948. Yikes!
2007-09-17 19:49:46
234.   Bob Timmermann
Cardinals announcer:
"Branyan with a chance to haunt his old team."

Branyan played seven games for the Phillies.

2007-09-17 19:55:35
235.   Wilbert Robinson
229 That would be ok by me but I may be crazy person because I would actually rather have:

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Abreu
3B - LaRoche
SS - Hu
LF - Young
CF - Ethier
RF - Kemp

2007-09-17 19:55:41
236.   regfairfield
233 Yeah, but they have a long way to go before truly matching that futility. The streak was broken up by something like an 82-80 season, then they had about 12 more losing years (Bob would be much better at this).

I could see the Pirates being a half decent team in four years if they hire a good GM.

2007-09-17 19:56:25
237.   regfairfield
229 You're a crazy person.
2007-09-17 19:58:12
238.   Eric Stephen
12-11 now. Pujols up with a man on 1st & 2 outs in the 8th.
2007-09-17 19:58:22
239.   Bob Timmermann
Phillies 12, Cardinals 11. 2 outs in the 8th with a runner on 1st for Pujols.
2007-09-17 20:00:28
240.   Bob Timmermann
The Phillies went 14 losing seasons. Then 78-76 Then 15 losing seasons.

Then they were good for a few years.

2007-09-17 20:03:15
241.   Eric Stephen
Albert Raised A Kane. Pujols walks, bringing up Ludwick with 1st & 2nd, 2 outs.
2007-09-17 20:03:50
242.   underdog
Pujols walks. Wow, what an outrageous game this has turned out to be. Did the Phillies bus in the Orioles bullpen for the game?
2007-09-17 20:04:45
243.   bhsportsguy
Has anyone looked at the game log for Pittsburgh's starter, who now trails 3-0 after Greene hit a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 4th.

He could very well be the worst starter the Padres face all year.

2007-09-17 20:06:02
244.   Eric Stephen
That was a very adventurous route by Aaron Rowand to catch a flyball in the gap to end the 8th inning. 12-11 Phils, heading to the 9th.
2007-09-17 20:06:24
245.   underdog
Man, that was crazy. Rowand caught one at the warning track, and fell for no apparent reason as he did.
2007-09-17 20:07:13
246.   trainwreck
245
Real cool wannabe Eric Byrnes.
2007-09-17 20:10:24
247.   bhsportsguy
Ramirez triples home 2 and now its 6-6 in the bottom of the 9th.
2007-09-17 20:11:01
248.   KG16
235 - I'd give Furcal one more season at short and let Hu and Abreu compete for the job at second. I'm not sold with La Roche at third, but I'll take a flyer on him over any one not named A-Rod
2007-09-17 20:11:24
249.   underdog
And the Crash Test Dummy Wannabe goes deep, 13-11 now. Beautifully pitched game so far.
2007-09-17 20:13:25
250.   bhsportsguy
247 Cubs score 3 in the bottom of the 9th and maintain their 1 game lead in the NL Central.

Ron Santo may have to take tomorrow off.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-09-17 20:15:20
251.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2007-09-17 20:22:25
252.   Gen3Blue
As misguided as some articles are I am watching the Carrds try and beat the Phils, though behind 13-11. But my cousin-now deceased- never let me forget the Phillies team( must have been 20's or 30's) on which everyone hit more than .300. He claimed this was unique. Was it Bob?
2007-09-17 20:33:38
253.   Gen3Blue
Darn-Phillies win
Can SF hold on to beat the snakes. I hope so, as wierd as it feels rooting for SF.
2007-09-17 21:13:04
254.   Gen3Blue
Lord it looks like the Snakes are going to beat the Giants, and perhaps go to the play-offs. Then we will see if Pythagorous has any deep meaning.

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