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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

Do We Really Need This Level of Stupidity?
2007-09-20 07:13
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Still?

Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments of 2007 is how little progress the Dodgers have made in reducing their macho, injury-inducing culture.

From Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise:

(Jonathan) Broxton revealed he's had some soreness in his right arm after appearing in his 80th game -- the fourth-highest total in franchise history.

"I won't back down," said Broxton, who surrendered his second homer in as many days and his fifth this month. "I'll go until I get hurt."

This, a day after learning that Rafael Furcal's back problems are the result of him compensating for the bum ankle he hasn't rested in months.

Sheeeeeesh.

Comments (110)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-20 07:22:24
1.   StolenMonkey86
The fruit of veteran leadership.
2007-09-20 07:23:33
2.   D4P
Quien es mas macho:

Los Dodgers o los otros equipos?

Is it your contention that the Dodgers's culture is relatively macho and injury-inducing in comparison to other teams in the league?

2007-09-20 07:24:31
3.   Jon Weisman
2 - I don't care about comparing it to other teams. I care about comparing it to what's right.
2007-09-20 07:29:03
4.   D4P
3
Fair enough. I just wonder, though, if this is more of a baseball culture thing than a Dodger culture thing. But you're right in that the Dodgers can act independently and don't have to follow the crowd.
2007-09-20 07:29:10
5.   Bluebleeder87
I was LAT'ed on the last thread

I couple of things I (as a fan) wanna get out of my chest.

1)I'm on neutral terms with Ned, His PVL leanings have driven me that way

2)Grady Little is an american league manager, Tommy Lasorda had it right when saying (on the behind the glory, designated hitters) that American league managers aren't good strategist & after 2 years of Grady I've come to terms with that, hearing him in interviews he doesn't seem like an observing manager (maybe he puts a different face when being interviewed to be fair to him) I'm no genious but at least I'm observing & Broxtons mechanics just don't look right of late, HECK! his #'s will tell you that as well!!

2007-09-20 07:29:54
6.   DodgerBlueBruce
"We took a knife to a gunfight"
That's sad but I'm afraid Dr. Jobe will be taking a knife to Broxton's elbow.
2007-09-20 07:32:41
7.   D4P
I'm on neutral terms with Ned, His PVL leanings have driven me that way

Do you mean that Ned's PVL leanings have driven you from "positive" to "neutral", or from "negative" to "neutral"...? If the former, what drove you to "positive" in the first place?

2007-09-20 07:36:42
8.   Disabled List
1 Obviously, we need more PVL on this team.

Bull needs to be shut down. He's given up five homers in his last ten appearances, after giving up one in his previous 70. That's not just a bad streak, or regression to the mean. There's something wrong with him.

And if he want to be butch and keep pitching until he rips his labrum, then it's up to Grady to take him aside and say, "No offense, but you suck right now. So you're not appearing in any more games until you stop throwing BP."

2007-09-20 07:39:17
9.   Humma Kavula
Reading through last night's thread, looks like I made the right choice: The New Pornographers rocked the house! One of the very best concerts I've seen.

If you like the New Pornographers, they play again tonight...

2007-09-20 07:39:48
10.   Bumsrap
But Grady is protecting Meloan's arm as if it were a Chess King.
2007-09-20 07:41:34
11.   Bumsrap
Conte sure has been a big help this year.
2007-09-20 07:41:56
12.   Wilbert Robinson
This is interesting in light of the fact that the Red Sox have shut Okajima down for a while even though they are in a pennant race.

Okajima 67 IP ERA+ 200
Broxton 78 IP ERA+ 163

2007-09-20 07:43:08
13.   caseybarker
There has to be a concerted effort by management to get the point across to the players that minor injuries show up as losses.

Do you think Little is not in tune with the trainers, or that players are just afraid of losing their jobs?

2007-09-20 07:46:10
14.   shamrok
Well alright then....Go Angels!
2007-09-20 07:47:03
15.   Eric L
I think this little story is a good example of the macho culture thing that happens at all levels in baseball..

I got spiked at practice one day during winter league. The gash on my ankle was bad enough that I had to have it stitched up. I decided not to play in the games that Sunday because the gash was still a little nasty and I figured it wasn't worth the risk. Besides, the games during winter league were essentially scrimmages and it was in between the high school season.

When I got back to school on Monday, one of the guys asked me where I was on Sunday. I told him I had decided not to play because of the ankle. He gave me a bunch of crap for missing a game because of a cut on my ankle. Of course, he didn't mind missing games to go to the beach but my cut wasn't a big enough deal to miss a game.

If it was a regular season game that meant something, I would have been there. I figured that getting the wound all nasty and dirty for a scrimmage game might be a dumb move in the long run.

If you take precautions in sports, I think you are looked down upon by other players.

2007-09-20 07:49:48
16.   D4P
Salary dollars per win:

LA: 1,376,007
SF: 1,350,284
SD: 693,281
CO: 680,300
AZ: 605,437

I don't think this is a perfect reflection of how well a GM has performed, but I would certainly take it under advisement if I were an owner.

2007-09-20 07:50:06
17.   Bluebleeder87
7

I was in good terms with him & now I'm on neutral terms. plus he signed Pierre so that magnifies my neutrality towards him.

2007-09-20 07:53:03
18.   D4P
17
If Ned's PVL leanings and his Pierre signing are only sufficient to bring you down to neutral, you must have some very strong positive feelings for him otherwise.
2007-09-20 07:55:10
19.   Sushirabbit
15 .. my friends and I used to always say we were pissing blood. That's still a joke to this day.
2007-09-20 07:56:58
20.   caseybarker
15 If that is the case, and peer pressure is really driving the "play 'til your arm falls off" attitude, these professionals need to get some thicker skin.
2007-09-20 07:57:03
21.   Paul Scott
Players won't do it. Generally. It's up to management and unfortunately it is a difficult job.

We all knew about the decision made with Furcal. That one was not about machoism. It was a considered decision made by management at the beginning of the year.

Broxton is harder is discern (though that is no longer true). Even last night I was still merely wondering if the HR bug was bad luck or if something had gone wrong - well now I know. Of course, you would hope that the Dodger's management would have a lot more information than me - both in terms of their expertise and in terms of their exposure to Broxton.

So I agree that getting knowledgeable and perceptive people in management to help curb this problem is essential, but I think it's too much to expect it from the players. The same drive that makes them want to play when hurt is also part of what makes them good players in the first place.

2007-09-20 08:02:43
22.   Bluebleeder87
Did you guys hear Dodger Talk yesterday? everybody (I'm thinking all the veterans) were questioning Grady for inking in La Roche the other day instead of Nomar or Hillenbrand, A. Martinez reported. I've played on new teams (were people look at you weird) I can only imagine how bad La Roche felt, I'm sure he was getting sour eyes from people, but still you gotta go out there & earn your respect & with some of the stories written about him lately, hopefully it only does him good.
2007-09-20 08:05:21
23.   Bluebleeder87
21

Nice write up Paul Scott.

2007-09-20 08:08:21
24.   Michael Green
22, were these the veterans who didn't come through when we needed them or those who did?

As to Jon's point about macho-ness, it would be nice to bring Don Drysdale back to life and have him talk about pitching with broken ribs, then ask him when and how his career ended: a blown-out shoulder at age 33. 33!

A question: shouldn't the eminently capable (and I'm not being sarcastic there, much) training staff be able to detect some things, what with cameras, their eyes, and supposed advances in all things medical and technological?

2007-09-20 08:12:09
25.   D4P
Have the veterans been clamoring for Lieberthal over Martin? How bout Hernandez over Saito? And what of Saenz/Sweeney over Loney?
2007-09-20 08:13:55
26.   Wilbert Robinson
There is a great post about the Dodgers in Cardboard Gods featuring this quote:

But then the Red Sox had to go and give the Dodgers Grady Little. This seems to have aroused decades-old enmity from the Dodger gods. You give us this Wooderson-voiced nincompoop to run our club, we'll give you a plague of apathy and incompetence.

2007-09-20 08:28:40
27.   old dodger fan
16 Maybe they will come up with a VORGM (Value over replacement GM) stat. I wonder if any owners would pay any attention.
2007-09-20 08:32:59
28.   Marty
Ned: Broxton is killing us right now. I wonder if he's hurt?
Grady: Well, he's probably got a little dead arm going on at least.
Ned: We should probably shut him down for the rest of the year.
Grady. Can't do that after a bad performance. It'll kill his confidence.
Ned: OK, let's wait until he has a good game, then we shut him down.

Repeat above scenario each game.

2007-09-20 08:38:09
29.   jtrichey
This is completely not as funny now, but this is a fake article that I made up late last night:

Here is the headline I am expecting to see float down the wire in about 3 days:

Broxton to go under the knife

AP (Los Angeles)-Setup man Jonathan Broxton is scheduled for Tommy John surgery for Monday, which will put him out for the entire 2008 season. Grady Little said, "Well Jon said something about some arm stiffness a couple weeks ago. I kept asking him if he could pitch through it and he always said that he could. Golly, this is going tio be a big blow to next year's team. I'm starting to think I may not be here to see it." Stan Conte, head trainer, stated, "All we can go on is what the player tells us. Yes he did tell us that his arm was stiff, but what does that really mean? He didn't tell us that his ulnar collateral ligament was about to snap, so I don't know what you expect from me. I didn't think it was that unusual for a pitcher to go over a year without giving up a HR then to give up 6 in one week." Roberto Hernandez signed a 1 year extension for 3 million dollars and is expected to carry the load left by Broxton's abscence. Ned Colletti states, "Hernandez has been there before, he's been through the wars. He might be able to even share the closing duties with Saito, who has really only been at this for a year and a half."

2007-09-20 08:44:19
30.   CajunDodger
29
5.5 back in the Wild Card, 6.5 back in division, 4th place. To save ourselves from horrific effects to next years club, shouldn't the lineup be:

Pierre
Ethier
Kemp
Loney
LaRoche
Hu
Abreu
Lieberthal

Give LaRoche some rope to either establish himself of hang himself (Do your exercises moron).

2007-09-20 08:47:34
31.   old dodger fan
Broxton (80) and Beimel (79) are 2nd and 3rd in MLB in appearances but there are 31 guys with 70 or more relief apearances.

Innings pitched in that group range from 86 to 44. Brox has 79 and Beimel has 64.

While I am fully in favor of playing every game to win until eliminated it makes no sense to risk injury to such a key player (or any player for that matter) at this point in the season. It is time to see what some of the recent call ups can do.

2007-09-20 08:48:45
32.   Kevin Lewis
Jon,

Thanks for sharing the article. I got all "terabithia" eyed over it. Very touching story.

2007-09-20 08:57:55
33.   CarlosDeC
11. I agree. Ever since Conte arrived last year our injuries have been awful. I know he is supposed to be "one of the most respected in the game" but he is NOT producing in his job. Pitchers come back too fast, or stay injured too long. Furcal's ankle lasts a whole season! I think he has to be part of the problem.
2007-09-20 09:00:21
34.   ToyCannon
21
Paul is dead on.

Just for fun, new poll over at
http://www.truebluela.com/poll_vote/1190302786_eQHzQYrZ

2007-09-20 09:04:51
35.   Bluebleeder87
I was just watching the Alisa Milano tour of Dodger Stadium (mlb.com), I'm pretty sure they left out a lot of stuff from the tour judging on how quick the tour was.
2007-09-20 09:14:55
36.   Bluebleeder87
34

I voted for Joe Girardi & was pretty shocked that I wasn't on the minority there. I wouldn't be to surprised if Ned ends up firing Grady even though he's stated publicly that he intends on rehiring Grady, it's gonna be an interesting winter I think.

2007-09-20 09:15:40
37.   briano
5
Grady is not even an American Leaugue manager. He is a minor leaguer at best. He is over his head. Why does anyone think Mike Scioscia has done what he's done with Anaheim. He's a true blue National League Dodger manager. Something the Dodgers will not have until they rid themselves of Little. The pitching and hitting problems are a result of bad coaching and a lack of inspiration. Too laid back. Too much Little.
2007-09-20 09:16:17
38.   Wilbert Robinson
34 Torey Lovullo
2007-09-20 09:21:50
39.   The Mootz
11 & 33 Maybe he's still on the Giants payroll. SABOTAGE!

Either that or he's an overrated trainer.

2007-09-20 09:24:24
40.   D4P
I'm not allowed to suggest that Ned's decision to hire Conte was influenced by their San Francisco connection, in the absence of which he might not have been hired.
2007-09-20 09:33:51
41.   Jon Weisman
For ToyCannon:

"Hard-to-believe this Carlos Pena stat of the day: He has more home runs (40) than Red Sox (20) and Yankees (14) first basemen combined. Add his other former team, the Tigers, (seven), and he trails his last three employers' first basemen by only one."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/jon_heyman/09/20/thursday.scoop/1.html

2007-09-20 09:35:49
42.   Kevin Lewis
37

I know it probably wasn't possible, but it makes me sad that Scioscia is not our manager.

2007-09-20 09:40:19
43.   fanerman
Oy Mr. Broxton. The PVL's aren't doing their job. Or maybe they are and they're telling Broxton to tough it out. Maybe they're a bad influence.
2007-09-20 09:42:55
44.   Paul Scott
37 If you have a complaint about Little that makes sense, then state it (as I did for every year of Jim Tracy's tenure). Otherwise all you are doing is venting about the bad season (and really, given the offense our GM put together - was it actually a bad season? I am not so sure).

Blaming Little for lacking the "inspiration" to make Pierre a better player is just foolishness. Pierre has a long history of performing poorly and he once again performed poorly. That was not Little's fault. you are acting as if all our players have records demonstrating that they are better than they actually played this year and it was only due to Little's lack of ability to motivate them that caused our downfall (He should bring in the Emperor. Perhaps he can find new ways to motivate them).

2007-09-20 09:43:03
45.   KG16
I was thinking of commenting about this injury thing, but I think I said all I had to say the other day and don't want to repeat myself.

42 - I think it was possible, but the ownership at the time did not understand - I'm convinced the O'Malleys would have hired Scioscia, but that's just because I like to believe the organization was run differently then. Ultimately, I blame Dick Rirdon - if he lets O'Malley campaign for a football team, he doesn't sell the Dodgers and history is perhaps a little different.

2007-09-20 09:44:38
46.   screwballin
42 His team can be hard to watch sometimes, for me. They give away lots of unnecessary outs on the bases, and they generally swing at anything.

I really appreciate the mastery it must take for a hitter to really work a pitcher to get a good pitch to hit, but that's not a prized still in Anaheim. And I think it's Scioscia's philosophy that drives that.

2007-09-20 09:46:13
47.   D4P
given the offense our GM put together - was it actually a bad season? I am not so sure

I was just thinking of this very thing. People are generally disappointed with the season, but I have to wonder: did we underperform? Is our 79-72 record really that bad relative to what it "should" have been?

2007-09-20 09:49:01
48.   Bluebleeder87
I know it probably wasn't possible, but it makes me sad that Scioscia is not our manager.

this post would have been perfect for yesterdays thread, regarding A-Rod, Pedro Martinez, Roberto Clemente, Vlad Guerrero etc..

2007-09-20 09:49:24
49.   Vishal
44 mr. little seems to have no clue about when to take a pitcher out or when to bat for him in crucial game situations. his ability to fill out a lineup card with the best players on it and hitting in the proper lineup spot is also lacking. seeing as how these two essential functions are arguably two of the most important baseball managerial skills, i'd say he's not doing a very good job.
2007-09-20 09:52:39
50.   LogikReader
D4P, I wonder what the BP preseason projection was for the Dodgers this year?

You're probably right, I remember hearing they'd finish no higher than 4th and they're doing exactly that. Why was I so bitter then?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-20 09:54:51
51.   ToyCannon
Last I looked it was the manager who:
1. Benched Betemit after his April slump
2. Gave Tomko and Hendrickson start after start before putting Chad into the rotation.
3. Started Wilson Valdez in LF for one game
4. Put Abreu at 3rd over Betemit and La Roche
5. Couldn't find a way to get Betemit's power/walk ability into the lineup after he broke out of his April slump even though the Yankee's had no problem playing him at every position in the infield.
6. Made out a lineup that had Juan Pierre in it every single game while juggling the 3 best options in and out of the lineup.
7. Was given an extended bullpen on Sept 1st but neglected to use the quality pieces given to him.
8. Game management related to pinch hitting for his pitchers just seemed to elude him.
9. Didn't give DJ Houlton a chance to start even though he was probably the better pitcher then Tomko/Stults/Hendrickson when he was up with the club.
10. A lineup that always featured the two fastest players at the top of it, even while they had the smallest OBP on the team.

That's my top 10 list.

2007-09-20 09:55:03
52.   regfairfield
33 Have they? This year seems no worse than most. Everyone we've lost has been pretty injury prone anyway, and a lot of things can be chalked up to chance.

Our starting nine has been healthy pretty much all year, and I don't see how losing Randy Wolf or Hong-Chih Kuo can be seen as much of a shock.

2007-09-20 09:55:34
53.   regfairfield
50 82-80, with Nate Silver saying that was probably a little low.
2007-09-20 09:56:48
54.   Vishal
46 well, i used to be much more anti-scioscia until i read an interview with him where he said something to the extent of, "you have to develop the ballclub's approach in a way that matches the skill set of his players". it made me think that scioscia is adaptable enough that if he had a bunch of players with plate discipline and power, he wouldn't do so much stealing and sacrificing. but i could be projecting a little.

as it is though, the angels' scrappy smallball style is really infuriating to watch. even moreso because they have the pitching staff to support it and let them win anyway.

2007-09-20 09:58:40
55.   Vishal
51 yeah, wow. putting it all out in list form like that makes for a pretty scathing indictment.
2007-09-20 10:01:27
56.   shamrok
49.

I can't help but think there is some (read: quite a bit) amount of Ned involved in the lineup card.

2007-09-20 10:01:28
57.   kinbote
47 - i think we did underperform. even when we got off to a decent start, i had a feeling of "we should be doing better." it's hard to blame injuries, because those that did occur didn't necessarily cripple us. it's been [rightly] said on this site all year long that for long stretches of the season, the wrong players were playing. who knows where we'd be if loney & kemp played a full year. maybe we would've had a bigger first-half lead and been better able to withstand a second-half slump. tomko, hendrickson, pierre, nomar . . . this year, upper management deserves all the blame.
2007-09-20 10:01:33
58.   Vishal
and that doesn't even touch:

*the loney/nomar business
*never starting mike lieberthal and running russ into the ground
*roberto hernandez in close games
*ramon martinez getting several starts

...i'm sure there were more, too.

2007-09-20 10:02:12
59.   ToyCannon
52
Given the number of innings that Schmidt had racked up prior to this year how was he "injury prone?
2007-09-20 10:06:52
60.   ToyCannon
58
I can't blame Grady for the Loney/Nomar business. As soon as Ned gave Grady Loney, he put him in the lineup and never strayed, even when he hit his slump in August.

Nomar at 3b was adequate until his injury. I just have this big problem with this debate about if Betemit could play 2nd and then boom the day he's traded he's playing everywhere. I guess when your used to watching Jeter play SS, and Cano 2nd, then Betemit doesn't look so bad. Just drives me nuts that we have the worse defensive 2nd baseman in baseball and people were wondering if Betemit could play 2nd.

2007-09-20 10:07:06
61.   KG16
46 - I'll admit, I've been focused on the Dodgers this year moreso than the Angels, but when I have watched the Angels, they tend to work counts and put the ball in play (Vlad is really the only guy who's strike zone is from his eyes to his toes). Sure, they lack power, but as I said the other day patience≠walks. Actually, according to baseball reference, only two teams in the AL have struck out less than the Angels.

54 - their scrappy smallball style has been good enough to score the 4th most run in the AL and 5th most in the Majors.

2007-09-20 10:08:46
62.   regfairfield
51 While some of those are fair, the things like Valdez in left one time happen to every single team. Let's just randomly take the Padres. Black has started:

Geoff Blum in left
Geoff Blum at first

How about the Diamondbacks?

Robbie Hammock got two starts at catcher
Robbie Hammock started in left
Alberto Callapso started instead of Carlos Quentin

Basically, most managers are one step away from poking berries up their noses, so little things like that need to be forgiven.

2007-09-20 10:10:10
63.   regfairfield
59 Okay, that one was sort of unexpected (he wasn't exactly guaranteed to be healthy, but he wasn't Wolf or Kuo level), but doesn't every team need to deal with one or two catastrophic injuries?
2007-09-20 10:12:01
64.   regfairfield
61 It works really well when multiple guys play way over their heads (Chone, Original Confidence, Willits).
2007-09-20 10:12:44
65.   ToyCannon
Just to head off any criticism when I said Nomar was adequate of 3b.
His OPS as a 3b was 779, it was as a 1st baseman he sucked royally with sub 700 OPS

Betemit had a 715 OPS as a 3b. His higher OPS is a result of incredible numbers as a pinch hitter.

Both hitters suffered terrible slumps. Betemit's was in April, Nomar's was in May.

2007-09-20 10:15:48
66.   CajunDodger
58
I guess the most frustrating part of this whole business is that I do not seeing us making the changes necessary to win next year.

Will Loney really hit .330 next year (see Robinson Cano)? Can Kemp/Ethier/Loney in the lineup every day make up for the fact that we probably will not get ARod (though hope still abounds)?

Without an offensive centerpiece to go with our youngsters, I am not sure we are much better next year, though we will be in the hunt.

This is venting in its classic form, but my feeling is that Ned will try to "fix" the team with at least one, perhaps two of the following: Jermaine Dye, Bobby Abreu, Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter, Mike Lowell. WE NEED AN OFFENSIVE CENTERPIECE, NOT A COMPLEMENT FLANDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Oh, and we can't trade Pierre because doing so will allow Pierre to demand a trade the following offseason because of his status as a traded first-year free agent.)

2007-09-20 10:17:40
67.   Terry A
56 - You bet there is. And nowhere is it more evident than the name that always appears in the two-hole. It will take a couple of seasons for the MSM guys -- perhaps three or four seasons for the Jacksons and Plaschkes -- to look back and realize that there is no way Pierre deserved to be in the lineup every single game, much less in the Tujol the vast majority of that time.

It is, as you said, the GM setting the lineup.

2007-09-20 10:18:33
68.   Vishal
61 well, i'll admit, i try not to watch the angels lately. so my perceptions could be dated by a year or two. interesting that they've scored so many runs.
2007-09-20 10:20:17
69.   bhsportsguy
I think it is just a fact that unless medical staffs can read minds, players are not going to take themselves out unless they physically can't perform.
2007-09-20 10:20:19
70.   KG16
64 - isn't that the case with any philosophy?

It's rather interesting, looking at the teams' numbers for the year:

R/Gm: Dodgers 4.55, Angels 5.20

HR: Dodgers 119, Angels 114

Hits: Dodgers 1430, Angels 1495

BB: Dodgers 484, Angels 474

SO: Dodgers 796, Angels 810

Hitting Dodgers .274/.337/.405, Angels .287/.347/.422

SB/CS: Dodgers 130/47, Angels 134/50

Can't say I'm surprised that the Angels are going to the play offs and the Dodgers are going home.

2007-09-20 10:21:09
71.   Eric Enders
65 Isn't intentionally reducing the sample size by including only certain positions sort of counterproductive? Shouldn't guys be judged by their overall hitting stats rather than just one position? Betemit was a better hitter than Nomar this year. That's all that really matters.
2007-09-20 10:22:08
72.   regfairfield
66 At least Jermaine Dye won't be there. Plus, Andruw Jones seems like he'd be a nice upgrade over Ethier. His BABIP is an absurdly low .249 this year, so he'll bounce back.
2007-09-20 10:22:12
73.   ToyCannon
63
Sure, but it is about timing. In 2007 we could ill afford to lose 3/5 of the starting rotation because we didn't have the backups. Chad filled in but then the key guy that most of us expected to be helping in July was Elbert who was also gone. He was on the exact same path that had Chad helping in the summer of 2006.

They had an option in DJ Houlton that they never utilized.

Just like in 2005 when Depo had the string if injuries the kids weren't quite ready to help out. In 2007 that was what happened to the rotation.

In 2008 I wouldn't be surprised to see significant contributions coming from McDonald, Kershaw, Meloan, Hull, Wade, and hopefully Elbert.

Still I can't defend the fact it was foolish to count on quality innings from Tomko/Hendrickson but headed into spring training they were both just insurance. Lousy insurance but how many teams can load up a roster of quality insurance pitchers?

2007-09-20 10:22:18
74.   Vishal
65 does position really affect hitting that much? if a guy is OPSing 700 as a first baseman, does that really justify starting him at another corner of the diamond?
2007-09-20 10:24:36
75.   CajunDodger
70
What really sticks out to me is the R/Gm despite how close most of the stats are. That tells me that the Angels are superior at running the bases (not stealing) and moving players with productive outs, especially when you consider we strike out less and walk more.
2007-09-20 10:26:10
76.   Bluebleeder87
(Vlad is really the only guy who's strike zone is from his eyes to his toes).

It's actually from HIS NOSE TO HIS TOES™ that's a Hud original there.

2007-09-20 10:27:23
77.   regfairfield
73 I'll agree to that. I think the idea that the Dodgers had rotational depth was overstated this year. Yes, their four, five and six were great, but the 7-8-9 options were no better than anyone elses, people just had heard of Tomdrickson before.
2007-09-20 10:28:23
78.   KG16
76 - and another reason I tend to watch the Angels on mute with my iTunes playing.

75 - Two more fun numbers:

2B: Dodgers 263, Angels 316
3B: Dodgers 31, Angels 22

2007-09-20 10:29:25
79.   D4P
The Angels score so many runs primarily because they get on base an awful lot. And they get on base an awful lot primarily because they hit for a high batting average.
2007-09-20 10:29:36
80.   CajunDodger
72
The only problem that I have with Jones is the cost and the fact that Ethier has not been given the shot to start every day. I really would like to see what Ethier could batting in the 2/6 hole for 130 games or so. I bet a batting line of .285/.345/.450 would be realistic.
2007-09-20 10:30:25
81.   caseybarker
70

I don't see anything in your statistics that explains a 0.65 run per game differential.

2007-09-20 10:30:45
82.   Vishal
72 interesting. i just looked up jones' stats on THT, and they're pretty weird.

his BABIP in 2005 was also low, .248.
his LD% that year was even lower than this year (16.0% vs. 16.6% in 2007).
he hit more groundballs and more infield flies in 2005 than 2007.

yet his HR/F ratio was 25.5% in 2005, whereas this year it's only 14.1%, so his GPA in 2005 was .299, whereas this year it's .248.

anyone got any explanation as to what's going on?

2007-09-20 10:32:01
83.   regfairfield
80 Yeah, and that's below average for a left fielder (.276/.347/.453 was league average this year). Jones would be a great upgrade, especially when you consider that there's really nothing else we can spend the money on.

Now benching Pierre for Jones would be even better, but that's not happening.

2007-09-20 10:32:11
84.   ToyCannon
77
Remember how much rotational depth the Phillies were supposed to have. Now look at the rotation, and with that hitting it might be good enough to get them in.
2007-09-20 10:33:12
85.   CajunDodger
82
I am too lazy to look this up, but I thought I had heard that his Avg. w/RISP in 2006 was something like .230 or something and his RBI totals had a lot to do with his HR and not timely hitting.
2007-09-20 10:34:12
86.   briano
44

I don't need to list a definitive critique of everything Little has failed in. His baffling managerial moves speak volumes. Grady does need to inspire and get the best out of his players. Read 70 and notice the numbers. The Dodgers have performed this year but they lacked the fire needed and the managerial maneuvers that would have given them at least ten more wins than they have now. I agree with you that Ned has to take part of the blame but all you have to do is look at Arizona or the Marlin teams of the past to see a manager is there to manage and motivate. Those two things go a long way in the Majors.

2007-09-20 10:34:56
87.   JoeyP
Just like in 2005 when Depo had the string if injuries the kids weren't quite ready to help out. In 2007 that was what happened to the rotation.

I wouldnt say that. Given the payroll, there's no way this team should have performed so poorly.

Just a very poorly constructed offense (we all knew that in the off-season, as did Baseball Prospectus), did the team in. It wasnt necessarily the starting staff.

As for Broxton, it just goes to show you that in the end--he's still just a middle reliever. A good reliever, no doubt, but still just a reliever. I'd rather he be starting, than making 80+ appearances though.

2007-09-20 10:35:09
88.   Vishal
85 his "clutch" numbers also fluctuate wildly, yes. i wonder if anyone who watches him regularly has any insight on the numbers that are based on visual observations.
2007-09-20 10:35:44
89.   ToyCannon
83
You'd rather have A Jones at 15 Million, then A Ethier at about 1 Millon?

A Jones is all about power since he's not really an OB guy and if his power was enhanced, and this is the best he can do in his walk year do you really want to take a chance on 2007 being a fluke bad year?

2007-09-20 10:36:16
90.   Vishal
87 re:broxton... what "goes to show you"? the fact that he has a sore arm proves that he is a reliever?
2007-09-20 10:36:32
91.   regfairfield
86 I'd really like to see you prove that. Fire would have given them 10 wins? Really?
2007-09-20 10:36:35
92.   Jon Weisman
ITD has been updated ... apparently, conspiracy theories are exploding over there.
2007-09-20 10:36:44
93.   briano
51

Nice work Jimmy Wynn. Can't argue with any of your top 10. Unfortunately, that list could have easily been the top 50.

2007-09-20 10:40:22
94.   screwballin
81 One stat that might explain the difference is the 500+ at bats they've gotten from their DH.

Just think, if the Dodgers had the DH, they could have gotten a few hundred more ABs from Hillenbrand!

2007-09-20 10:41:08
95.   StolenMonkey86
43 - The PVL's aren't doing their job. Or maybe they are and they're telling Broxton to tough it out. Maybe they're a bad influence.

Nomar and Kent really come to mind here

2007-09-20 10:41:53
96.   regfairfield
89 Yep. We have enough young players that I care less about cost efficiency than simply putting out the best nine players possible.

Can I guarantee that this isn't a fluke? No, but the numbers really suggest that it is.

2007-09-20 10:42:21
97.   caseybarker
LaRoche is in again today. It'd be cool if he relaxed and got 5-6 extra-base hits before the end of the year.
2007-09-20 10:43:23
98.   KG16
81 - the 65 more hits that the Angels have isn't enough?

The Dodgers have 1642 PA w/RISP; the Angels have 1696 PA w/RISP. In those PAs the numbers are .280/.362/.399 for the Dodgers, and .285/.355/.400 for the Angels. More hits in more opportunities with runners in scoring position.

2007-09-20 10:44:56
99.   CajunDodger
83
I just don't see Jones as an upgrade since he has authored a .221/.314/.419 line this year and his career numbers are .263/.342/.498 when he is 30 and Ethier has not turned 25 yet.

He will also undoubtedly cost $14-17 million for at least 4 years. When Ethier will cost around $15 million or so total for the next 4 years.

If we were talking about Pierre, then I, like you, would have not a single objection.

2007-09-20 10:46:39
100.   Howard Fox
the Angels score alot because they are able to consistently "get em on, get em over, get em in"

their manager has a philosophy that they all buy into, and that they are able to follow thru with...they do the little (no pun intended) things necessary at the plate

they also play steady to very good defense throughout

they have a pretty set lineup, barring injuries

when their hitters get into a rhythm, they don't get benched after 2 or 3 big games for a rest or cause of some arbitrary rotation

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-09-20 10:46:49
101.   shamrok
67.

Looking at a lot of the arguments against Grittle, a vast majority of them are lineup based. Yeah he works Martin too much and his pitching (and pinch hitting) decisions are questionable, but the biggest problems I have with this team are lineup related....so I don't have as big a problem with Grittle as others.

New on the other hand...

2007-09-20 10:46:50
102.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-09-20 10:47:05
103.   shamrok
New=Ned, oops
2007-09-20 10:47:16
104.   regfairfield
99 Yes, and those numbers both:

Are better than anything we could expect from Ethier.
Don't account for the fact that he's been hitting for more power recently.

He's a better player than Ethier is, ergo, he makes the team better, especially when you consider that we can spin Ethier for a decent starter (maybe Scott Baker or someone similar).

2007-09-20 10:47:57
105.   ToyCannon
87
Can't argue, given the payroll this team should be in the playoffs if it had been spent on the right players.

Hard for me to use hindsite about the construction of the rotation without being hypocritical. I fully expected Kuo to have a break out season and that Penny was the guy I was worried about. I felt sure he was nursing an injury last summer and that we'd find out about it this spring. My expecation was that Tomko/Hendrickson wouldn't get 10 starts, because I thought the opening day rotation was going to be Schmidt/Penny/Lowe/Wolf/Kuo with Chad taking up the slack when Penny went down. I wasn't worried much about the rotation.

2007-09-20 10:48:18
106.   Howard Fox
95 Nomar and Kent deliberately sabotaging the health of the youngsters? I doubt that
2007-09-20 10:51:01
107.   Vishal
98 65 honestly doesn't seem like a lot over the course of a season. the angels had 4.5% more hits over the season, yet they scored 13.2% more runs. or, put another way, those 65 hits somehow accounted for 92 more runs.

with the rest of the numbers so similar, i wonder what the difference was. maybe better execution of sacrifices or something.

2007-09-20 10:51:38
108.   Vishal
102 d'oh, LAT'ed
2007-09-20 10:56:45
109.   Frip
New post up top? This evening? Before Christmas? Next year?
2007-09-20 12:44:34
110.   MollyKnight
It seems like the Dodgers are doing their best to get Ned and Grady fired.

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