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McCourt Interview
2007-11-25 08:13
by Jon Weisman

Putting aside his idle notion that Jason Schmidt will be "healthier than ever," Frank McCourt's interview with the Boston Globe is pleasantly rational. Particular points for downplaying the clubhouse traumas.

Thanks to Ken Noe for the link.

Comments (229)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-25 09:17:42
1.   underdog
I think that's the most reassuring thing I've read all off-season! We'll see if it holds sway, but nice to read that perspective anyway, and from all the way in Boston. I've said it all off-season, sign another pitcher (or make a relatively minor deal for one), and go with what you have.

I had a dream last night (I swear) in which I was playing baseball (and was terrible in the outfield) and felt more sympathetic for Juan Pierre. But then also in that dream (not on my team) Pierre hurt himself and was out for the year and I felt both very happy, and a little sad for him. Why I was dreaming this I have no idea. I need better dreams. (There was another one with Cate Blanchett that I won't tell you about.)

2007-11-25 09:29:55
2.   immouch
Rough translation of McCourt:
"So, take that, Ned! And feel free to go to Cabo or something. Whatever. Just don't get on the phone and give away Kemp because he didn't kiss Jeff Kent's rear. Torre - not a stupid trade - is the solution. Got that?"
Of course, that's assuming McCourt was quoted accurately, was not experimenting with various elements of his medicine chest and was, in fact, McCourt (wonder if the reporter got I.D.?)... In any case, to the extent McCourt is capable of sticking to a plan for more than 30 seconds, I'm stoked by what I just read.
2007-11-25 09:32:48
3.   MC Safety
I feel this new sense of relaxation after reading that almost. I can get behind that. Finally a commitment to our young talent.

2 Very funny.

2007-11-25 09:38:43
4.   Jon Weisman
I certainly find McCourt's take on the clubhouse surprising, because in a way, it undermines the importance of the Torre hire.
2007-11-25 09:44:43
5.   ChicagoDodger
If this can be believed, this is fantastic news. Like MC writes, a feeling of relaxation. It would be nice to have complete understanding that the young players will not be dealt.

I'm sort of surprised they didn't come out publicly earlier regarding them. Why not just state to the public, these players are off limits. I think it benefits the young player (which should benefit the team), and at least for some of the fan base (the rational ones anyway) it benefits them as well. Haven't the Yankees done this with Chamberlain and Hughes?

Doing so simply tells the rest of the baseball world that you are smart enough not to trade them away. How would that be a bad thing?

2007-11-25 09:49:56
6.   ChicagoDodger
4 How so? He seems to be saying that the problems in the clubhouse last year should not take place this year because of Joe Torre.

How does that undermine the importance of the hiring? By all accounts, that was the single biggest reason for bringing him in. I don't think he was broght to LA for his in-game strategies.

2007-11-25 09:59:39
7.   rockmrete
By stating the kids are off limits it calms the nerves but also potentially increase their perceived value.
2007-11-25 10:00:47
8.   still bevens
I think bringing Torre in also has PR implications. It gives them a screen from the media for keeping the young players. Clubhouse issues with the kids? Torre will handle them. Youth not living up to their potential? Torre and his crack coaching team will mold them and make them better.

At least I hope so.

2007-11-25 10:20:19
9.   Brian Y
Does anyone else have a problem with the fact that the Red Sox can get Johan Santana for only 2 of Lester, Ellsbury, and Buchholz? OK so the Sox want Ellsbury who is a good player with very little big league experience this year and Clay Buchholz who threw a no-hitter and arguably is one of the best (if not the best) pitcher in the minors this year.

But why are the Dodgers asked for Kemp, Kershaw, and LaRoche in order to make a deal? How is a 19yr old lefty with staggering minor league numbers and K/rate who pitched in AA at the end of the year not comparable to Buchholz? Then there is the matter of Kemp and LaRoche vs. Ellsbury. I would rather have those 2 by far. In fact I would rather have Kemp than Ellsbury.

I don't understand why the Dodgers price for everything is so high when our 2nd rate talent is comparable to the best that another orginization has as their #1's

2007-11-25 10:23:33
10.   Xeifrank
Why can't the LA Times ever do pieces like this? vr, Xei
2007-11-25 10:24:35
11.   MC Safety
9 I would think they would wanna trade him to the NL as well if possible to save a little face.
2007-11-25 10:26:29
12.   Xeifrank
9. I agree, the only think I can think of is that Kershaw is further away from the big leagues than Buccholz. I would think it would be in the Twins best interest not to trade a pitcher like Santana to an AL powerhouse if at all avoidable.
vr, Xei
2007-11-25 10:42:14
13.   natepurcell
If the Brewers want bullpen help, lets do a Manny Parra for Meloan + Beimel swap.
2007-11-25 10:46:05
14.   jystakes
Good article, but the part that concerns me a little is this quote:

"We made the biggest move we needed to make in signing Joe. I don't anticipate any nonsense in that clubhouse. He gives us instant credibility and we're thrilled to have him."

Is Frank more concerned with "credibility" and the appearance of an effort to win, rather than winning a world series...NOW? In my opinion, he needs to be worried more about urgency and winning ANYTHING for this city sooner rather than later, rather than just "credibility."

2007-11-25 10:46:22
15.   MC Safety
13 Are they shopping Bill Hall?
2007-11-25 10:55:15
16.   willhite

This assumes that everything we read is accurate. Maybe the Twins have asked the Sox for all three but no one has bothered to correct the story.

Maybe the Twins have only asked for two of our three but Ned isn't correcting the story because he really doesn't want Cabrera but wants the fans to think he does.

Santana - I think whatever players we would have to give them coupled with a $125-150 million extension (assuming those stories are correct) is a huge risk, even for a HOF pitcher. I'd rather trade less and spend less for an Ian Snell, leaving us more trade chips and $ to swing other deals/sign other FA this year or next.

Give Andruw 3 years, pay someone to take JP, trade Hu and Meloan/Elbert for Snell and start 2008 with



2007-11-25 10:58:49
17.   Lexinthedena
9- I think it's because the Dodger "prospects" have in some ways already proven themselves in the majors, and have somewhat big names. It makes the other GM look good if he is able to pull known commodoties.
2007-11-25 11:02:42
18.   regfairfield
13 I've been thinking Broxton for Corey Hart for a while now. Doug Melvin's player evaluation skills don't impress me all that much and they're desperate for bullpen help.
2007-11-25 11:03:37
19.   Bleed Dodger Blue
I'd rather the Dodgers stand pat in the rotation ... Loaiza, while I'm not ecstatic about the acquisition, can still be an effective No. 5. And we still have guys to bring up for emergency starts.

For me, it's Andruw or bust this offseason. I'd rather not trust Coletti to swing a trade in our favor.

2007-11-25 11:06:55
20.   MC Safety
16 The pay someone to take JP part is the catch. I wonder what kind of value Ned has worked up for Delwyn Young if any at all. Who knows maybe some package of Delwyn, Hu/Abreu and Meloan gets us a decent arm.
2007-11-25 11:14:09
21.   willhite

Sometimes I wonder if we have a jaundiced view of what some of the rest of the GM's think of JP's skill set, based on the overwhelmingly negative views held about him at DT.

It only takes one GM with a hole in CF to decide that JP might work out. Yes, we'd probably have to pay half his salary, but to a small market team, needing a leadoff man and a fleet footed, hard-working, base-stealing, great clubhouse influence..................

Like I said, it only takes one GM.

2007-11-25 11:14:12
22.   MC Safety
18 How did you come to that conclusion on Doug Melvin's player evaluation skills?
2007-11-25 11:23:54
23.   Sub4Era
Beimel, Meloan, Pierre + cash for Hart?
2007-11-25 11:28:43
24.   Ken Noe
Wow. Let's review my weekend: Hokies beat arch rivals. Auburn beats arch rivals. McCourt says good things. LAT'ed. Plug from Jon. Clearly a satellite is about to fall on my house to balance things out.
2007-11-25 11:32:19
25.   natepurcell
has there been any pub on if Percival wants more than a one year deal?
2007-11-25 11:33:35
26.   MC Safety
Don't forget LSU losing. I have to admit that was great to watch.
2007-11-25 11:34:43
27.   willhite

Ned: I'll give you Beimel, Meloan, Pierre and $20 mil for Hart.

Doug: I don't want Pierre. Take him out of the deal and it's a go

Ned: You have to take Pierre

Doug: No

Ned: OK, Beimel, Meloan, Pierre, $20 mil, Kemp, Loney and Martin, but you have to take Pierre

2007-11-25 11:36:28
28.   regfairfield
22 He goes after some bad players fairly often. The Linebrink trade was pretty bad, as was the Estrada deal. His strengths are mainly on the player development side of things.
2007-11-25 11:36:45
29.   CajunDodger
For balance in the universe, I offer the following: LSU lost, our house escrow just got put off by 30 days, and my mother-in-law just told us that she is staying through the new year. That was my weekend.

Sounds like your house is safe.

2007-11-25 11:36:48
30.   goofus
You guys watch a lot of TV; Can anyone explain what happened to me last night? I have Dish Satellite. About 7 PM I turned the TV on and "From Here To Eternity" was just coming on and I decided to watch it. I didn't notice what channel it was but most of what I watch is on TCM so that is probably where it was. At 8 PM the TV changed channels to something I had previously scheduled to record (DVR). I quickly decided I'd rather continue watching the movie and 'killed' the recording. I go back (?) to TCM and it is in the middle of another movie. I go up and down the whole channel list, twice, and "From Here To Eternity" isn't showing on any channel! What happened? I wasn't drinking....
2007-11-25 11:40:18
31.   Eric Enders
I hate to rain on the parade, but I don't see a lot of evidence in the article that McCourt thinks the clubhouse problems were overblown. He's never directly quoted as saying anything resembling that.

I'm surprised that nobody has yet pointed out that the following line is 100% nonsense:

"When he took control of the franchise, the Dodgers didn't have much in their farm system; now they have some of the best young talent in the game"

When McCourt took control of the Dodgers, the farm system already included James Loney, Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Andy LaRoche, Chin-Lung Hu, Tony Abreu, and James McDonald.

2007-11-25 11:40:36
32.   Eric Enders
Oh, and, uh, that other guy. Russell Martin.
2007-11-25 11:40:54
33.   Ken Noe
Folks, what are your thoughts on Bill Hall, Manny Parra, and Carlos Villenueva, give the LA-BrewCrew rumors?

29 Sorry, but thanks.

2007-11-25 11:43:04
34.   trainwreck
Maybe you were watching an East coast feed or some other time zone and you could no longer find the channel.

Or the channel had some kind of issue.

2007-11-25 11:51:29
35.   dzzrtRatt
31 *I'm surprised that nobody has yet pointed out that the following line is 100% nonsense:

"When he took control of the franchise, the Dodgers didn't have much in their farm system; now they have some of the best young talent in the game"*

Hey, if it helps McCourt's ego to rewrite history this way, what's the problem? The net result is, he's protective of these players and wants to take credit if they succeed.

Sometimes I imagine Ned has the opposite reaction, thinking he can't put his stamp on this team if all he does is let draftees of the Evans and DePo years rise to the top.

2007-11-25 11:52:53
36.   Eric Enders
33 Bill Hall, in my estimation, is useful only as a utility player, not as a regular. At any position he plays, he's far below average either offensively (third base), defensively (shortstop), or both (center field).

Villanueva's a serviceable enough pitcher but not someone you would want to bother trading useful players for.

30 I'm guessing you had paused "From Here to Eternity" at some point and were watching it on a delay, and since you weren't recording it, the accumulated portion was lost when you changed channels.

2007-11-25 11:54:29
37.   imperabo
30 You probably weren't watching the movie live, but had it paused for a while and were watching a recording on your DVR. Then when you switch stations you lose the recording because you hadn't actually set it to record. DVRs record the station you're on as long as your don't change the channel so you can rewind or pause.
2007-11-25 11:57:04
38.   regfairfield
36 A super utility guy would be great for the Dodgers so that works.

His value is also pretty dependent on if he slugs .500 instead of .420.

2007-11-25 12:01:20
39.   therickdaddy
35 - McCourt didn't write the article.
2007-11-25 12:20:26
40.   bigcpa
36 A utility player that hits 35 HR with 63 BB?
2007-11-25 12:21:54
41.   gpellamjr
38 Is there any explanation for his 2007, which was significantly worse than is '05 and '06 seasons?
2007-11-25 12:26:12
42.   trainwreck
Keith Law said in one of his chats that he expects Hall to bounce back this year.
2007-11-25 12:28:48
43.   still bevens
42 I thought I was so smug picking him up for my fantasy team last year. My dear lord he was awful.
2007-11-25 12:30:07
44.   natepurcell
Hall could be a good buy low candidate. On offense, he is kinda like a poor man's Andruw Jones.
2007-11-25 12:30:26
45.   Lexinthedena
41- Didn't he spend much of the season hurt?
2007-11-25 12:37:39
46.   StolenMonkey86
The only thing that really stands out on Fangraphs for Bill Hall is his infield fly balls pct, at 11% in 2007. As a matter of fact, it was in that range for 2002-2004, but it dropped to 6-7% in 2005-2006.
2007-11-25 12:38:40
47.   StolenMonkey86
43 - My best move was trading Youkilis for Howard in early May. I forget the other players involved, but who cares.
2007-11-25 12:41:18
48.   regfairfield
47 Why on Earth would anyone do that?
2007-11-25 12:44:48
49.   StolenMonkey86
41 - Blame the hitting coach? Hall was 25 in 2005 when his OPS+ first jumped over 100, but dropped this year. Jim Skaalen was named Brewers hitting coach after the 2006 season, while the Brewers had the same hitting coach from 2003-2006.
2007-11-25 12:47:44
50.   StolenMonkey86
47 - actually, I think it was mid to late may. But remember, by June 1:

.353/.430/.557 - Youkilis
.217/.381/.483 - Ryan Howard

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-25 12:48:43
51.   StolenMonkey86
Youk also had more homers than Howard then, 14 to 9
2007-11-25 12:50:07
52.   Jon Weisman
31 - "McCourt feels media reports of the Dodgers' clubhouse being a mess were greatly overblown. There might have been a youth-vs.-veterans feud after a few choice words by veterans Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez, but for McCourt, the worst part was, "we kept waiting for our talent to get us through the tough times and it never kicked in. When that happens, frustration sets in ..."

Media overdid coverage of the clubhouse. Vets cited for causing disruption. Losing happened because talent, though it was there, couldn't rally out of the slump. Frustration followed losing.

2007-11-25 13:01:47
53.   trainwreck
The streak is over!!!

Raiders beat an AFC West opponent.

2007-11-25 13:11:26
54.   Bumsrap
"When he took control of the franchise, the Dodgers didn't have much in their farm system; now they have some of the best young talent in the game"

It is often not the inventor but the person that finds a great use for the invention that makes a difference. If McCourt makes great use of James Loney, Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Andy LaRoche, Chin-Lung Hu, Tony Abreu, and James McDonald he will have served Dodgers fans for a long time.

2007-11-25 13:21:01
55.   alex 7
yay raiders. Unfortunately I feel they just lost their shot at drafting Glenn Dorsey. Long should be a great consolation prize to start over Clemons. Or do you take Long the OT? I don't think you in essense trade Fargas, Bush, and one of the above three for McFadden.
2007-11-25 13:22:54
56.   trainwreck
Never had a shot at Dorsey. He will go number 1 to Miami. I think we are going to be in the range where we are looking at players like McFadden and Campbell.
2007-11-25 13:31:40
57.   Jason in Canada
Raiders Win! Raiders win! It's been so long I've forgot what that feels like. Now if we could just win two superbowl's poor Al Davis could finally retire!
2007-11-25 13:33:33
58.   KG16
14 - win now at all costs or build a legitimate contender that can sustain success? Issues of "credibility" are things that are actually needed to do the second. Sure you can go build a team of mercenaries to win a championship one year, but that's not a successful long term strategy.

Credibility can mean a lot of things, too. Credibility among major leaguers, making it more likely that top level free agents (or guys with 10/5 rights) are more willing to come to the Dodgers. Credibility among fans, meaning more tickets sold because people can get to know players and identify with the team. Credibility among other front offices, making it less likely that teams are going to try and snooker the Dodgers in a deal. Credibility among agents... I could go on, but I'll leave it there. The Dodgers, lest we forget are a business, and as a business owner, McCourt has to be concerned about things like "credibility".

2007-11-25 13:37:15
59.   KG16
So, anyone think Oklahoma is still 10 points better than the now #1 Missouri Tigers?

I really hope Missouri and West Virginia win out to save us from another Ohio State blow out loss.

2007-11-25 14:03:27
60.   scareduck
I'm having a hard time reconciling those who believe this interview reveals good thought processes from Frank McCourt when the following also appears in it:

McCourt feels media reports of the Dodgers' clubhouse being a mess were greatly overblown. There might have been a youth-vs.-veterans feud after a few choice words by veterans Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez, but for McCourt, the worst part was, "we kept waiting for our talent to get us through the tough times and it never kicked in. When that happens, frustration sets in, and we just couldn't get ourselves out of that."

"[W]e kept waiting for our talent to get us through the tough times" sounds an awful lot like he thought Ned had hitherto done a good job in the 2006/7 offseason, that is, that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the processes that arrived at this season's roster. McCourt isn't known for his introspection, and this interview confirms that.

2007-11-25 14:10:15
61.   dzzrtRatt
Leaving aside my hatred for Al Davis and my fury at their treacherous treatment of my hometown, I find it quaint that the Raiders still have such loyal fans. What's it based on? Nostalgia? Despite parity, the Raiders are now firmly ensconced in the lower rungs of the NFL and (based on Davis' latest comments that he won't resign til he wins "two more Super Bowls") won't even begin to progress until the Lord takes him.

Arizona, Detroit, Atlanta, Miami would love to have fans with the Raider Nation's devotion. For those teams, the formula of "not being good, ever" doesn't work nearly so well.

2007-11-25 14:18:44
62.   68elcamino427
61 A nostalgia factor like Jim Plunkett?
Where's the Snake?
Get LaMonica in here!
Madden, Madden, get Madden on the phone!
When did Al totally lose it, baby?
2007-11-25 14:21:06
63.   trainwreck
I will always root for the same teams.
2007-11-25 14:21:37
64.   dzzrtRatt
62 Right, but that was all sooooo long ago. The tradition has to connect to something in the present. In the Raiders' case, I see nothing other than Davis, who is not only revolting but completely out of touch with what winning football is about now.
2007-11-25 14:25:57
65.   thinkblue0
so many of these rumors completely hinge on what we're doing with Pierre. This has been discussed ad nauseum, but if Pierre is (somehow) dealt then it really opens us up to a lot of different options. Jones? Just put Young there? Trade partner?

In the meantime, if these rumors are out there, I would hope the Dodgers take a long look at the Brewers top pitching prospects to see if we could pry one for Beimel or (gulp) Broxton.

2007-11-25 14:26:56
66.   ChicagoDodger
60 sounds an awful lot like he thought Ned had hitherto done a good job in the 2006/7 offseason, that is, that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the processes that arrived at this season's roster.

I didn't get that at all. I read it as, the team at one point had the best record in baseball, and led the NL West for a good portion of the season. The team had to have "some" talent to have acheived that. Neither Arizona or Colorado ran away and hid in the playoff race, so talent comparisons to those two are also plausible.

Did the Dodgers have weaknesses? Of course they did. But it certainly wasn't a stretch to beleive they could have won the division with the team they had, were they to have played better.

2007-11-25 14:27:05
67.   68elcamino427
52 We Kept waiting for runs to be scored in August.
Gonzo kept leaving runners in scoring position.
Grady kept having pitchers go to bat late in the game with runners in scoring position, to only record an out, and then be lifted a few pitches latter.
Constant lineup juggling.
Few runs scored, few wins recorded.
Many found this very frustrating.
2007-11-25 14:31:25
68.   68elcamino427
64 I feel that you see my point completely.
2007-11-25 14:32:57
69.   gvette
Since the McCourts view the world through the prism of their bottom line,Frank's willingness to go for the kids is understandable;

After all, he can get increasing production from, but pay less than market rate salaries for upcoming players like Martin,Loney and Kemp for years. That's why he won't let Ned trade the farm for rent a players like Cabrera, or Santana.

He should at least make a run for Andruw Jones, but the Boras factor will scare Ned off.

2007-11-25 14:33:36
70.   68elcamino427
4 I see it as Joe being placed on a very, very high pedestal.
2007-11-25 14:33:40
71.   Dodgers49
10 Why can't the LA Times ever do pieces like this? vr, Xei

Probably because the LA Times is not a favorite newspaper of The Parking Lot Attendant or Frank's Old Lady. And may not be for as long as it employs T.J. Simers.

2007-11-25 14:35:23
72.   68elcamino427
10 That also was my initial reaction.
2007-11-25 14:38:48
73.   Lexinthedena
If the Dodgers don't make any big moves, I wonder if the local media will come down on them for not doing enough...
2007-11-25 14:42:24
74.   68elcamino427
71 Great Observation.
However, this column has alot of other good content and is presented in a way that we rarely see in the Times. I signed up for the Globe immediatedly.
2007-11-25 14:42:45
75.   thinkblue0

They might, but it's pretty clear that most of the local media has no idea what they're talking about. They love the big names like Cabrera and Santana, but don't think of how it would effect the team long term.

2007-11-25 14:47:49
76.   gpellamjr
75 Don't worry, they won't effect the long term. The long term will happen with or without Cabrera or Santana.
2007-11-25 14:56:43
77.   Daniel Zappala
gpellamjr! affect, not effect!
2007-11-25 15:00:04
78.   dsfan

I'll bet anyone a case of Presidente that if the Angels get Cabrera, the local press will drool over how the Angels showed they are "serious about winning" and juxtapose it against the Dodgers, who "came up empty handed" and haven't improved a fourth-place club.

2007-11-25 15:01:41
79.   thinkblue0

I'm not taking that bet.

2007-11-25 15:08:58
80.   dsfan
Funny that it's reassuring when the man in charge speaks with a shred of logic and doesn't come off like a buffoon. You'd expect more from someone granted stewardship of what should be a crown-jewel franchise. I'd rather hear him talk about a fanatical devotion to excellence at all levels and less concern over "credibility." It's too much to ask, but I'd love an owner who is committed to intelligent process. The PR will take care of itself if there's dedication to being smart and thorough. Kraft of the Patriots is that way. So are Henry and Lucchino of the Red Sox. The McCourts seem to still be finding their way. I don't sense clarity of process or purpose. I don't see great leadership. But to some extent, they appear to have learned from some mistakes.
2007-11-25 15:09:40
81.   68elcamino427
69 Great Observation!
The seats are full, the beer is flowing, the parking lot is full, and the money is flowing in!
Add a pitcher now as insurance for the rotation, wait and see how Schmidt and Loaiza really come around.
May till Trading deadline make changes if necessary/possible.
We did have the best record in baseball at the All-Star break!
Resign myself to JP in Left, for now.
As a businessman, with this scenario, would you plunk down Ten$ of Million$ on a steroid generation player like Jones?
Especially when you have all of this young outfield talent running around?
Jones, career .263 hitter with alot of strike outs.
2007-11-25 15:10:45
82.   Bluebleeder87

That will happen only IF we have another horrible year, something I doubt will happen plus we're on to the Plaschke's & Simers of the world to "play that game" in other words we know better.

2007-11-25 15:34:55
83.   dsfan
Actually, it's not just the local press that would depict the Dodgers as losing out to the Angels if Cabrera goes to Anaheim. Rosenthal has been been banging those drums, even said something to the effect that the Dodgers would be embarrassed or humiliated by their crosstown rivals.

What a bunch of rubbish. The Dodgers need to concern themselves only with intelligent process. With their resources, if they are smart and thorough and creative, the Angels will not be an obstacle.

2007-11-25 15:37:43
84.   68elcamino427
83 Miggy to SF as mentioned in the above article?
2007-11-25 15:41:38
85.   natepurcell

Unless they plan on trading Lincecum, I don't know if they have the package to get Cabrera.

Cain is only one year away from arbitration, I don't know if the Marlins would want him.

2007-11-25 15:46:56
86.   thinkblue0

It reminds me a lot of what Theo Epstein said a couple years ago. He talked about he wasn't concerned with what the Yankees do, he's concerned with putting together a team that's going to win 90-100 games without deal with one upping the other guys.

Stick Nomar on the bench, try like heck to trade Pierre, and stick with that.

2007-11-25 15:48:57
87.   68elcamino427
83 Pitching, Intelligent Process.

Lowe's contract expires 2008?
Penny's contract expires 2009?
Schmidt's contract expires 2009?

Other contracts:

Nomar 2008
Kent 2008 (if we see him)
Furcal 2009
JP 2011 (Big Gulp!)

2007-11-25 15:54:17
88.   dsfan

My case for offering Jones $20 million for one year or $36 million for two and thinking very hard about offering him a mutual option for a third year at $18 million:

1) Good bet to hit 20-40 home runs more than last year's CF.

2) Good bet to return good defense at premium position, thereby bolstering the pitching staff and taking pressure of young corner OFs Kemp and Ethier. Though he isn't the great defender he used to be, Jones was rated the best CF in 2007 by the Fielding Bible.

3) Fair bet to outproduce the average NL center fielder in both defense and offense (as measure by onbase plus slug).

4) Under a short contract, he's got a ton of extra incentive to get in shape and produce. If has a solid year, he'd have extraordinary leverage on a FA market that won't have as many CFs as it does this year.

5) (Very small perk) You don't have to give up a draft pick to sign him and could get two draft picks for him if he has a typical Andruw Jones season or seasons and departs as a FA.

6) Dodgers have nothing coming up their farm system in CF.

My hope is that Furcal is selling Jones on the Dodgers.

As for the Steroid Era concerns, yes, it would be wise to do due diligence in anticipation of the Mitchell report. Nothing would surprise me there. But let's not forget that Andruw Jones was bashing home runs in Yankee Stadium at age 19 or 20 in the 1996 World Series. I doubt he's some sort of PED wonder.

He's consistently shown himself to be an extraordinary talent, notwithstanding the maddening habit of trying to yank low and outside pitches out of the ballpark.

I think he's a classic buy-low candidate, a rare buying opportunity. He's consistently produced at an above-average level offensively and defensively, at a premium position. Mind you, buy-low doesn't equate to inexpensive , but I see it as a rare opportunity to get a borderlineHall of Fame talent on the rebound at age 30 without overly threatening future payroll flexibility.

Sure, maybe the Nationals or someone will offer Jones five years and $80 million, but the Dodgers should go as aggressively as possible to get him at a short-term deal.

2007-11-25 15:57:01
89.   natepurcell

If Penny has a comparable year next year and shows that he can pitch close to 200 innings consistently and the declining k rate isn't going to hinder his results, they should tear up that team option and extend him at something like 4yr 58mil with vesting 5th yr if he pitches 180IP in the 4th.

2007-11-25 15:58:28
90.   dsfan

Intelligent processs should be the goal, and the McCourts/Ned, as you point out, have a ways to go in that ear. It's entirely possible they are incapable of intelligent process, that, like many clubs, they will go about things in a random, reactionary, haphazard and cliched way, short on discipline and industriousness, long on PR and credibility pushes and buy-high purchases. Sort of the Cubs/Mets west.

2007-11-25 16:04:15
91.   alex 7
I root for the Raiders because, like trainwreck said, I will always root for the same team. Went California to Oregon, so no local teams competing for my loyalty. I was wondering if it's even possible to switch allegiances and become emotionally invested in a new team. Has anyone done this? Or can emotions really just be invested in that first "loved" team?

The Raiders drafts haven't been great the last few years, yet they kept taking players that most assumed would do well - Robert Gallery was supposed to be the safest bet of the draft. Jake Grove was considered one of the top centers coming out of college that year. Ditto Napoleon Harris, Philip Buchanon, and Michael Huff. I guess QB play is one of the main things (Browns/Cowboys this year, Patriots, Eagles the last 5 years, Saints, Steelers, Colts), so time will tell if the Raiders and JaMarcus Russell will be contenders again soon.

2007-11-25 16:09:41
92.   68elcamino427
88 Your presentation is excellent.
During this past season, I visualized Furcal doing that selling. Everytime we watched a runner take an extra base, which was often, for runners with above average speed.

I saw in a recent Perry article that Druw was having problems with his shoulder and required cortizone treatment for it.
During the season it seems like I heard that he was having trouble with his wrists.

If he will perform as you describe, which is not far fetched, your argument is very compelling.
Win now. Pay now ... and you get to leave the kids alone.

Maybe the A's would let Haren go for pitching prospects and JP(subsidized) as a #9 in the order?

2007-11-25 16:13:43
93.   trainwreck
The A's would never want Juan Pierre.
2007-11-25 16:13:55
94.   68elcamino427
87 Very nice! One down, Lowe to go!
What's your opinion of 92?
2007-11-25 16:15:11
95.   68elcamino427
93 they liked Scutaro (who killed us)
2007-11-25 16:15:50
96.   trainwreck
Scutaro was a backup infielder making no money.
2007-11-25 16:16:39
97.   68elcamino427
91 Dare to be a Front Runner! It's only football, not BASEBALL!
2007-11-25 16:19:19
98.   68elcamino427
96 OK! OK! Even though I will probably have to, I'd rather not resign myself to JP!
2007-11-25 16:21:23
99.   Linkmeister
91 "I was wondering if it's even possible to switch allegiances and become emotionally invested in a new team."

Yep. I grew up a Redskins fan during the Bobby Mitchell, Sonny Jurgensen, Billy Kilmer era, but moved away from NoVa to Guam, Arizona, Japan, Kwajalein and Hawai'i. I lost most interest in them during that period.

When they got to the Super Bowl and Doug Williams had that fantastic first half in January 88 I rooted for them, but by that time my allegiance had shifted to the 49ers. The Niners were closer, Hawai'i has a large SF fan base (even for the Giants, heaven help us!), and I just liked watching the Bill Walsh offense.

Now I suffer with the rest of the Niners fans; I couldn't tell you what the Skins' record is this year.

2007-11-25 16:36:03
100.   Bluebleeder87
Looking at Andruw Jones I really like his '06 #'s a lot more than his '05 #'s. I don't know if I'm right or wrong on him but I've always loved his defense plus he has great power so I wouldn't mind the Dodgers getting him at all.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-11-25 16:44:55
101.   Andrew Shimmin
85- The Giants bought out Cain's arbitration years. He got $9 million for 2007-2010, and there's a team option for 2011.
2007-11-25 16:46:08
102.   alex 7
congrats Link! Was rooting for the 49ers so the Raiders don't slip too far in the draft after that win. Rams let me down. Seems like Alex Smith in that offense is a square peg / round hole thing.

Good article yesterday on espn about how Turner leaving is now sinking two franchises.

2007-11-25 16:46:14
103.   goofus
73 The 'Media' is in a can't lose situation. If the Dodgers don't make any trades and do poorly, they're criticized for it. If they do well, the 'Media' agrees it was a wise move. Same thing if they make trades, whatever happens the media says, "I told you so", and jumps on the band wagon.
2007-11-25 16:50:56
104.   Daniel Zappala
CajunDodger vs Linkmeister: ESPN is predicting the Sugar Bowl will be LSU vs Hawaii.
2007-11-25 16:57:18
105.   68elcamino427
104 Please call them up and suggest BYU vs. Hawaii and LSU vs. USC.
2007-11-25 16:59:07
106.   silverwidow
6) Dodgers have nothing coming up their farm system in CF.

Xavier Paul (who was just added to the 40-man roster).

2007-11-25 17:17:36
107.   Linkmeister
104 , 105 ...LSU would be scary. BYU would be a rematch of a really heated rivalry from the old WAC. People out here really didn't like BYU, mostly because they beat the tar out of UH so often. It was sweet revenge to beat them by 50-something points the last couple of times they played.

Even in baseball it was heated. A kid named Peter Kendrick won both halves (!) of a doubleheader against UH in the NCAA regionals in 1981 (I think) to keep them out of the CWS.

2007-11-25 17:23:13
108.   Daniel Zappala
107 That's funny, because BYU also has a campus in Hawaii.
2007-11-25 17:37:49
109.   dsfan

I like Paul a little bit, but he's not a solid CF prospect.

2007-11-25 17:43:53
110.   underdog
The 49ers should thank me and send me flowers for getting them out of their woeful offensive doldrums. I added the Cardinals as my fantasy football defense this week, which, of course, meant that they would be terrible. (Even the Niners defense, which gave up 500 yards in passing, would've been a better option with more turnovers.) So, you're welcome Niners fans!

Just as Bears fans should thank the Broncos (and one horrible call by the refs) for gifting them the game today. Shouldn't have even been as close as it was.

At least (the rest of) my fantasy team had its one big weekend of the season.

When's baseball season start again?

2007-11-25 17:52:02
111.   68elcamino427
Weis Distraught After Tainted Win


Charlie Weis was inconsolable after being informed that his team's win over Stanford wasn't real.
Weis was told that members of the Stanford Band had somehow gotten into players uniforms and snuck onto the bench and into the game during the waning moments of Saturday's contest.
The Band Members, posing as receivers, participated in both of Stanford's last two offensive plays.
Running perfect routes that the Notre Dame defenders found impossible to stop, The Band Members/Receivers actually ran their now famous "No Hands" stunt, intentionally dropping perfectly thrown passes that would have resuslted in a touchdown and set the Stanford team up for a possible last minute win with a successful two point conversion.
The Band members, who remain unknown, said they ran the stunt to protest certain Allumni for referring to thier proud team as a "Club Team". "We wanted to show them what a real club team looks like!", said one.
Weis was inconsolable, "Even when we win, we can't win!"
Coach Harbaugh could not be reached for comment.

2007-11-25 17:54:08
112.   Marty
110 I only saw the last 3 minutes plus overtime of the game. Those were 3 fun minutes. Rextacy looked good.

What was the bad call?

2007-11-25 17:56:51
113.   Bluebleeder87
I've heard Andruw Jones defense has faltered the last few years (I'm sure some of it has to do with his weight) the guy is only 30 years old I think with the enthusiasm of a new team he will re-dedicate him self & be an elite player again I don't know I just think he's a huge gamble with great rewards type player & I hope Ned Colletti inks him this spring. The weird thing is that there is literally no rumors of him coming here though.
2007-11-25 18:17:40
114.   Bluebleeder87
Here is a tid bit from MLB Trade (man, I hate there colors over there black & white, it messes with my eyes bad!!) oh well, but check this out>>>10. Andruw Jones - Dodgers. This is a questionable match given Ned Colletti's feelings about Scott Boras. And Juan Pierre in left field, ugh. But I could still see this happening for, say, four years and $64MM. Colletti has been willing to overpay a bit to keep the term shorter.
2007-11-25 18:28:07
115.   underdog
112 Touchdown that tied it near end of the game. Berrian caught the ball at the edge of the end zone (and it was a great effort, no doubt about it), one leg hit the ground, then his butt landed out of bounds as he slid. They said his other foot had touched the grass first but that was questionable and he didn't have possession at that moment. It seemed clear to me but maybe I missed something. Broncs blew it in other ways though, can't focus on just one play I guess.

Go Lakers!

2007-11-25 18:29:13
116.   Marty
That looked like a good catch to me all the way. I'm not a Bears fan, so I'd like to think I'm unbiased :)
2007-11-25 18:53:23
117.   Eric Enders
Paul has been heralded as a prospect for a while, but to this point in his career he hasn't shown he's anything but, at best, the next Todd Hollandsworth.
2007-11-25 19:01:56
118.   dsfan
Hah! Just as some of us predicted, the press, in this case Rosenthal, is back at it with the tired lament that the Dodgers need to "do something" and look at how those Angels are "committed to winning."

The gist of this one is that the Dodgers are a cash cow and need to throw more of the loot to marquee guys, and even refers to the Hunter contract as some sort of benchmark for smart investing.

Basically, Rosenthal appears to be shilling on behalf of his primary sources -- player agents.

2007-11-25 19:08:44
119.   BlueCrew Bruin
118 Yep, and this is the kind of Kevin Malone thinking that can hamstring a franchise for years:

The lowly Reds, for goodness sake, are not content with the hiring of a big-name manager, Dusty Baker. They're trying to sustain their momentum and build a better team. Signing free-agent closer Francisco Cordero to a four-year, $46 million contract doesn't exactly qualify as shrewd, but at least it demonstrates commitment.


2007-11-25 19:15:10
120.   dsfan
119 -- Great point.

I'm losing respect for Rosenthal. Really, in the interest of his readers, he needs to disclose that he is a schill for agents.

If he wants to attack the Dodgers for not leveraging their financial clout, he should take aim at their thin investments in the draft and the international markets.

I made a case for why Andruw Jones -- on a short-term deal -- is a buying opportunity. But Rosenthal is all over the map here.

2007-11-25 19:17:16
121.   gpellamjr
118 He does seem rather desperate to make something happen, doesn't he?
2007-11-25 19:18:51
122.   Eric Enders
120 That implies you had some respect for Rosenthal to begin with?
2007-11-25 19:26:29
123.   bigcpa
Rosenthal a month ago:

The free-agent market is terrible. OK, the Dodgers could sign third baseman Alex Rodriguez now that he has opted out of his contract with the Yankees. They could sign Andruw Jones or Torii Hunter to play center field and move Juan Pierre to left. But Torre would be a much bigger bargain.

Managers, even expensive managers, are far cheaper than players. The Dodgers could give Torre a two-year, $14 million contract — the approximate terms he wanted from the Yankees — and trumpet him as their big off-season acquisition.

and today:

Shame on the Dodgers if Joe Torre is their biggest move.

2007-11-25 20:07:26
124.   Lexinthedena
Have sportswriters always been such clowns?.....watching around the horn, PTI, and reading Rosenthal and PLashke makes me's an embarrassment.
2007-11-25 20:18:14
125.   silverwidow
The line that gets me is when he tried to play the "what if" game with Kemp and Kershaw, comparing them to Guzman and Jackson. Truly ridiculous considering Kemp's credentials at the ML level and Kershaw's status as the best LHP prospect to come along in ages.
2007-11-25 20:18:22
126.   Bob Timmermann
I would say in the past, sportswriters were worse. If you read sportswriting from the early 20th Century, a lot of it is terrible. But the style was much different. People were reading game stories because they didn't know what happened. And every writer tried to write a great work of literature, loaded with laughably obscure metaphors.

When "The Chipmunks" (younger reporters who focused more on personalities and game strategies) took over after World War II, the writing changed. But there were still famous writers who were terrible. Larry Merchant rode Dick Allen out of Philadelphia. Dick Young got Tom Seaver traded out of New York.

The sportswriters of today are quite a bit different because TV and sports radio have co-opted them. So the writers are becoming "personalities" and they are marketed for their "personality", instead of their writing ability.

ESPN has helped turn sportswriting into a profession where the most successful writer is judged by who yells loudest (see Kornheiser, Tony or Paige, Woody.)

I think Rosenthal suffers from a severe case of "Gammons envy." (Freud wrote about it in one of his later works 'Baseball and its Discontents') Rosenthal, with Fox's blessing and encouragement, wants to be viewed as "the guy" for inside baseball information.

However, Gammons has Rosenthal beat by a wide margin in the number of contacts he has and also Gammons writes a lot better.

2007-11-25 20:24:22
127.   dzzrtRatt
124 Maybe it's just what survives the decades, but my impression was that sportswriters of the past had literary ambitions. Nowadays, they seem more like political reporters to me -- always aligned with one faction or another, getting scoops in exchange for using them the way the source wants them to.

91 I'm not ashamed to say I was a NY Mets fan when I was a kid growing up in a suburb of NY, remained a Mets fan for many years thereafter, but after living in LA for a few years started paying attention to the local team, and found myself gradually drawn into their vortex starting in '74, cemented in '76. Meanwhile, the Mets' ownership did a number of stupid things, especially trading Tom Seaver, and I got disgusted with them. They still own a little piece of my heart and it comes out occasionally, but I've been a Dodger fan a lot longer now.

It's obviously much easier to stay in touch with your home team now than it was in the 1970s. If I was me 40 years later, I could have used the net to stay in as close touch with the Mets as a local, so maybe my loyalty wouldn't have drifted.

2007-11-25 20:26:55
128.   scareduck
66 - Did the Dodgers have weaknesses? Of course they did. But it certainly wasn't a stretch to beleive they could have won the division with the team they had, were they to have played better.

It wasn't the "played better" part that was an issue with the 2007 Dodgers, it was that they played at ALL. Wolf and Schmidt going down with long-term debilitating injuries wasn't at least partially predictable? Olmedo Saenz and Nomar Garciaparra (Nomar especially) turning into pumpkins? Predictable.

2007-11-25 20:28:25
129.   dzzrtRatt
124 Was it Dick Young, or was it Dick Young working as a mouthpiece for the Mets' stingy ownership? Regardless of how much hatred Young tried to foment against Seaver, the fans were horrified by the trade. As with Piazza, ownership trying to make a great and popular player look greedy in order to build public sentiment to justify a trade tends to backfire.
2007-11-25 20:31:49
130.   Sam DC
Nick Buoniconti weeps.
2007-11-25 20:34:21
131.   dzzrtRatt
Here's proof of a point discussed a few days ago as to the Dodgers' interest in Hunter.

According to USA Today,

"I was sure I was going to Chicago," Hunter said. "It was going to be strange, because those guys were always the enemy. I just wanted to hear what the Dodgers were going to do. I was supposed to fly out Sunday to L.A. and meet (manager) Joe Torre and the Dodgers."

Meaning today.

2007-11-25 20:36:46
132.   natepurcell
whats the link to that rosenthal garbage?
2007-11-25 20:39:30
133.   Bob Timmermann
If Dick Young were around today, the vitriol he would have directed toward him on the 'net would exceed the combined hatred toward Plaschke, Mariotti, and Conlin.
2007-11-25 20:40:51
134.   dzzrtRatt
Here's another irritating comment from Rosenthal:

Some in the industry believe McCourt is unwilling to spend big dollars, a charge the Dodgers deny. Others believe that McCourt is too heavily influenced by assistant GM Logan White, who discourages trading the young players he drafted and signed as scouting director, which the Dodgers also deny.

There's only one way to quash such talk: Fix the team.

Because, of course, that's the goal of every professional sports franchise. To "quash talk" from anonymous industry insiders with a financial interest in keeping one of the richest teams at the table for all free agent and trade discussions.

Whether he intended it or not, McCourt's comments in this morning's evidently are being taken as bad news by a lot of GMs and agents hoping to use mythical dumb Dodger offers to get more players and more money respectively from other teams.

2007-11-25 20:44:12
135.   Lexinthedena
126- Thanks for that Bob...I'm still in my twenties, and don't have much of a scope of reference. Sportwriters today remind me of bad gossip columnists....
2007-11-25 20:44:47
136.   das411
Eagles 28, Patriots 24, Referees 7.


129 - but Dzz, the Mets' stingy ownership never had to trade Piazza! ;)

2007-11-25 20:53:12
137.   Ken Arneson
"Gammons writes a lot better."

Speaking as the a person who has probably analyzed Gammons' sentences and paragraphs in greater detail than anyone else on the planet, I can only respond to that statement with a "huh?"

This actually goes to one of my big pet peeves about blog discussions about rumors. Besides all the things that Jon mentions in his guide to the hot stove, I really get annoyed when people rip into writers like Gammons and Rosenthal for their rumormongering.

Nothing NOTHING NOTHING generates more traffic than rumors. Nothing. Nothing is even remotely close. People LOVE LOVE LOVE rumors. They crave it. They desire it above all other content in the whole wide baseball world. And to generate those rumors takes an extremely rare and difficult skill: to create connections and trust within the industry to get people to tell you stuff. Rosenthal and Gammons (and Will Carroll for that matter) work their butts off to bring you these rumors that people CRAVE CRAVE CRAVE more than anything else. I could never in a million years pull off what they pull off; I just don't have that kind of networking skills. Few people do.

And then, when they report something that you disagree with or don't want to hear or some rumor they report doesn't actually come true, people go and rip these reporters to shreds. Argh!

There's no justification at all for putting Rosenthal in the same sentence with Plashke. Plashke is a lazy idiot who writes the first stupid idea that pops into his head without any research or effort at all. Rosenthal probably works 64 hours a day, nine days a week to provide the "insider reporting" service that is desired more highly in baseball reporting than any other.

Now maybe you disagree with Rosenthal that the Dodgers need to do something--fine. But to lump him in with the rest of the journalistic opinion dreck is ridiculous.

It annoys me to no end that people crave this service so much on the one hand, and then disrespect the people who work their tails off to provide them exactly what they want on the other.

Sorry. End rant.

2007-11-25 20:57:45
138.   Bob Timmermann
I still think Gammons writes better than Rosenthal.
2007-11-25 21:02:42
139.   gpellamjr
137 You say some interesting things, but that post doesn't sound like it's responding to "Gammons writes a lot better."

I don't think anyone here is upset at Rosenthal for suggesting that the Dodgers are in on the Cabrera trade rumors (unless I'm missing something). This is an article in which the guy is trying to pressure McCourt into making a move. I don't see what that has to do with anything you're saying.

2007-11-25 21:03:14
140.   Eric Enders
126 Historically sportswriting has kind of gone in circles, but basically Bob is right -- in the past, it was even more terrible than it is now.

The earliest America sportswriting, like that in publications like "Spirit of the Times" and "The Sporting Life" in the 1800s, definitely had literary ambitions. Publications covering sports would almost always contain poetry, and the articles would be written in a pseudoliterary, almost faux-Dickensian style. There was a lot of emphasis on writing style, but very little reporting actually going on. They weren't after hard-hitting news stories.

After Hearst and Pulitzer and the yellow journalism revolution, sportswriting became a much more lowbrow endeavor, and the most famous writers usually wrote in a folksy style that was both easy to understand and often also vaguely insulting to its audience. Sportswriting from the 1920s through the 1950s wasn't considered "serious" journalism; in the view of publishers, the sports page had more in common with the comics than it did with the news section. Thus, sportswriters weren't hesitant about simply making up facts and even quotes. People like Ford Frick would ghostwrite columns for famous athletes and not even make a pretense of being truthful. Beat writers would also cover up anything scandalous because their duties involved promotion as much as, or even more than, journalism. This was the heyday of paid junkets for reporters and other unethical means of manipulation. Sports pages of this era were marked by exaggeration, hysteria, and lowbrow pandering.

In the seventies and early eighties, after Ball Four and the Boys of Summer and Woodward and Bernstein, journalism in general, and sports journalism along with it, became seen as a more noble endeavor and began to draw better and more principled writers. People like Jim Murray and Roger Angell and Peter Gammons flourished. "Investigative sports journalism" ceased to be an oxymoron. In many ways, this era was the peak of American sportswriting.

Eventually, that gave way to the era we're in now, where newspapers and magazines found themselves gradually fading toward irrelevenance and becoming unable to compete successfully with TV and the internet. An era where made-for-TV personalities like Stephen Smith and Jay Mariotti masquerade as newspapermen as a not-so-subtle pretext for landing highly visible on-camera gigs.

2007-11-25 21:04:25
141.   Jason in Canada
I know I'm late, but can I still join the "Ken Rosenthal is a clown" club?
2007-11-25 21:06:12
142.   Ken Arneson
138 Well, I agree that Gammons, in his heyday, provided more compelling content. But he certainly didn't provide more grammatically coherent sentences. Gammons' columns were loaded with misspellings, run-on sentences and dangling clauses.
2007-11-25 21:08:14
143.   Bob Timmermann
gpellamjr would tell you that everything I write is loaded with misspelling, run-on sentences, dangling clauses, and I have a cavalier attitude toward pronoun antecedents.
2007-11-25 21:09:39
144.   Eric Enders
142 "Gammons' columns were loaded with misspellings, run-on sentences and dangling clauses."

Of course, that could just be a reflection of their respective copy editors. I bet somebody like Josh Wilker could make even Plaschke readable.

2007-11-25 21:13:22
145.   Eric Enders
143 On the other hand, he did have something of an "emperor has no clothes" moment up in post 76.
2007-11-25 21:17:13
146.   D Money
From Rosenthal

Then again, the same was said of former Dodgers phenoms such as Joel Guzman and Edwin Jackson, and neither came close to fulfilling his hype.

Um if i remember correctly, we traded did that turn out?

doesn't that prove we should try a different approach with this crop of young studs?

who i feel are better than those 2?

2007-11-25 21:17:52
147.   ChicagoDodger
137 You did not answer the response that Rosenthal was not providing rumors in his latest piece, but rather he was providing "his" opinion on what the Dodgers should be doing.

The problem I have with that is he offers not a shred of intelligience in what he says. He has NO idea how these young Dodger players will turn out, and they may very well be much better then "anything" the Dodgers could acquire.

Where is the evidence that "standing pat" is the wrong path to take?

Since the obvious answer is there is No evidence, then why are so many quick to give their opinion that it is?

I think more of us would have respect for Rosenthal if he stuck to providing the rumors and kept his opinions to himself.

At least I would!

2007-11-25 21:21:45
148.   Xeifrank
Live by the Kobe.
Die by the Kobe.
vr, Xei
2007-11-25 21:23:10
149.   D Money

here here!

the only opinions i respect are Jon's, the DT faithful, and sometimes mine...

in that order.

2007-11-25 21:33:22
150.   CanuckDodger
117 -- Eric, you are easily one of my favorite commenters at DT, but calling a Dodger prospect the "next Todd Hollandsworth" strikes me as akin to Dodger fans skeptical of the value of prospects bringing up Billy Ashley. Hollandsworth's minor league stats and ages relative to league make him impossible to compare with anyone in our system today. I would probably restrict Hollandsworth analogies to any Dodger MLB's who, in the future, come up from the farm and look a bit promising in their first full year but then suffer a career collapse, and we don't know if that is going to happen to anybody.

Note how Paul's 2007 performance compares with that of some other players who played as 22-year-olds in the Southern League:

Xavier Paul: .291/.366/.429

Matt Holliday: .276/.375/.391

Garrett Atkins: .271/.345/.406

Aaron Rowand: .258/.321/.438

Shane Victorino: .282/.340/.368

Torii Hunter never played in the Southern League, but he did play in Double A at 22, in the more hitter-friendly Eastern League, where he hit .282/.329/.438.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-11-25 21:33:45
151.   dzzrtRatt
137 I don't think I ever said Rosenthal was lazy. I compared him to political reporters and they aren't lazy. What they are is hungry for tidbits to feed their editors. Smart flacks know how to play reporters to get them to print stuff they want printed about their candidate or the opposing candidate. Smart GMs, agents and their flacks know how to get Hot Stove beat reporters to print stuff they want to see printed. It's a back-scratching arrangement. Rosenthal might know exactly why he is being used as a mouthpiece for, say, a GM who wants to see bigger offers on the table for his superstar on the block, or for, say, an agent who's hoping the current high bidder starts wondering if another higher bid might come in. Or he might not. Either way, he's being used. What does he get out of it? Just like political reporters, the thing they have to have: Access. If Scott Boras tries to plant a story through a reporter and that reporter doesn't bite, Scott Boras will, of course, remember; and next time will give his tidbit to someone else. That's a survival calculation for Rosenthal of which Boras is keenly aware. I just think we as readers ought to be in on it too. Never read a story like that -- regardless of what section of the paper it would go into -- without asking why, why now, who benefits, etc.

I erred in calling this "unethical" a few days ago. That's too strong of a statement to make in a generalization. But there is a subtext. There is something the writer is hiding. There is a motivation he or she knows about and isn't telling.

2007-11-25 21:39:38
152.   Bob Timmermann
Or as Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar wrote:
Well that's the real question, isn't it? Why? The how and the who is just scenery for the public. Oswald, Ruby, Cuba, the Mafia. Keeps 'em guessing like some kind of parlor game, prevents 'em from asking the most important question, why? Why was Kennedy killed? Who benefited? Who has the power to cover it up? Who?
2007-11-25 21:46:02
153.   Eric Enders
150 Fair enough. For what it's worth, I wasn't comparing their minor league careers, just saying that Paul's ceiling seems to me to be about what Hollandsworth's MLB career ended up being. Paul, like Hollandsworth, appears to be a good athlete with medium power, medium speed, and mediocre plate discipline who will probably never be better than a fourth outfielder for anybody.

You bring up some interesting comparisons, but the one thing those guys have in common is that after being nothing special in the Southern League, they later blossomed from middling prospects (or non-prospects, in Victorino's case) into useful major leaguers. I hope Paul does the same. But it's not something I'm banking on. And having seen Paul play, I came away with the impression that as an athlete he's not in the same class with Rowand, Victorino, or Hunter.

But, of course, that's just one dope's opinion. I do seem to be in the minority regarding Paul, so there's obviously something people are seeing that I'm missing.

2007-11-25 21:46:56
154.   Eric Enders
152 As Nate said a bit earlier, it's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a mustache.
2007-11-25 21:53:23
155.   Dodgers49
132 whats the link to that rosenthal garbage?

2007-11-25 21:53:51
156.   Jon Weisman
The only thing I would disagree with in Ken's 137 is that it takes incredible skill to generate rumors. Clearly that isn't the case, because every Tom, Dick and Evan has been doing so ad nauseum.

Perhaps Ken meant "credible rumors." But even this oxymoronic phrase is dubious. I don't think Rosenthal has been some kind of sage, correctly gaming the Hot Stove.

Like I said recently, I don't even read Rosenthal unless I'm pointed to him. There's no doubt he's tireless. But to what end? Much of what he writes is worthless except to generate page views - great for his employer but meaningless for us. As an analyst, he might be spread too thin to be effective. Certainly, his piece today was hopeless.

But at this point we go back to one of the many truths of Ken's comment: the national audience craves these rumors. People like Rosenthal basically use tall tales as currency (they're not the liars of origin, but they can pass on the lies), and the currency has value because so many want it - or fail to realize its fallibility. Comment 9 in this thread is an example - it gets angry or frustrated based on the premise that the Red Sox can get Santana for two players. To me, that's unfortunate. But I guess it's a victimless crime.

2007-11-25 21:56:38
157.   Eric Enders
"every Tom, Dick and Evan"

That one made me chuckle out loud.

2007-11-25 22:00:27
158.   gpellamjr
145 I don't know what that means. But 76 was meant to be a joke. A very very bad joke, which is all I'm capable of lately.
2007-11-25 22:02:37
159.   CanuckDodger
153 -- When did you see Paul play? BA's Alan Matthews says that Paul made big strides this year, according to people who saw him this year.

Obviously Paul is going to have to do well in Triple A in 2008, much like Loney had to do well in Vegas after hitting .284/.357/.419 in Jacksonville. And I think Paul has better tools than Hollandsworth had, and has "plus" speed, not medium speed (something that doesn't always show up in SB stats), with a great arm, so he can probably stick center, which is what will likely make the difference between Paul being an MLB starter or an underpowered "corner guy." Paul's biggest weakness may be he doesn't hit left-handed pitching well, so that could limit him to a platoon role, but obviously the lefty half of a platoon role is still pretty good.

2007-11-25 22:06:13
160.   Eric Enders
159 I saw him in HWB last winter. And honestly, my first reaction upon seeing him run and throw was, "THAT'S the guy I've been hearing so much about?!"
2007-11-25 22:06:17
161.   capdodger
136 Oh please.... Where was the Moss's PI in the endzone? That poor DB was falling out of his shoes.
2007-11-25 22:14:04
162.   Bob Timmermann
For entertainment purposes only:
Oklahoma -3 vs Missouri
LSU -7.5 vs Tennessee
Cal -13 at Stanford
Washington +13.5 at Hawai'i
Pittsburgh +28.5 at West Virginia
VA Tech -3.5 vs Boston College

USC-UCLA and the Civil War are off the board as nobody knows who the heck is going to play QB for UCLA and Oregon.

2007-11-25 22:15:34
163.   68elcamino427
[159-160] Is is safe to say that Paul will not perform at the same level as Jones or Hunter?
2007-11-25 22:20:33
164.   68elcamino427
162 Is there anyone that really has a strong desire to be the UCLA Quarterback in this contest, considering what we saw the USC defense do to Arizona State?
2007-11-25 22:25:13
165.   Bob Timmermann
The lastest word is that UCLA is planning an offense that would use multiple quarterbacks throughout the game.

The USC D-Line will treat that like a salad bar.
Two of that one.
One of that one.
Three more of the other guy.

2007-11-25 22:26:21
166.   Strike4
The lead article was more revisionist spin from McCourt, but with a glimmer of positive this time. The nonsense was "when Torre became available, said McCourt, Little agreed that he had to go in that direction." So McCourt's new version of the management transition is that Little stepped aside when he found out Torre was available. Another one, referring to his frustration with the 2007 results, "it wasn't so much that we didn't win it all - which is our goal...every year, but...that we didn't fulfill the potential we had." If his goal is to win it all then the frustration should be that they didn't win it all. The positive is that the sycophantic treatment from a Boston Brahmin source no less may be the real acceptance and credibility that McCourt needs, and we can hope it encourages him to sit tight until Spring Training.
2007-11-25 22:26:33
167.   CanuckDodger
159 -- In Hawaii Winter Ball? I think that is almost like a vacation for many players. I know the folks at BA are always saying don't judge players by fall and winter league performance. Some young players have nothing more to give after having put everything on the field during the regular season.

163 -- I don't think that is "safe to say." Paul is a very interesting guy to me right now, because I think his future can go in so many different directions depending on what happens in the next year or two.

2007-11-25 22:30:00
168.   68elcamino427
165 The salad bar! Thats hilarious!
In My Three Sons I remember that there was a lazy susan on the kitchen table.
2007-11-25 22:30:51
169.   bhsportsguy
165 After watching this group of players for the last 3 years, I still don't know if there are inherent problems with UCLA that no coach could solve without changes made by the administration (assistant coaches pay and admission standards) and if a coaching change with the same players would make a big difference.

I just don't think a coaching change by itself solves everything.

2007-11-25 22:32:20
170.   bhsportsguy
167 You know, some of these guys are bound not to be as good as the 2002-2003 draft picks.
2007-11-25 22:34:29
171.   Eric Enders
Good thing Paul was drafted in 2003 then. ;)
2007-11-25 22:34:51
172.   68elcamino427
169 Coaching can make a big difference.
Why else would Dorrell have a parade of assistants rolling through?
Coaching seems to have made a difference at USC.
2007-11-25 22:35:00
173.   Ken Arneson
156 "the currency has value because so many want it - or fail to realize its fallibility" That, but for one word, the very source of my peeve: so many want it, and fail to realize its fallibility.

There is no reporter out there with the networking skills of Peter Gammons, the analytical skills of Nate Silver, and the writing skills of Roger Angell. That beast does not exist. As far as I can tell, these traits might even be self-contradictory. So expecting great quality analysis and writing from rumormongerers is, IMO, silly.

So take the rumormongerers for what they are. They're your connection to the network. Respect them for that, but don't expect the output to be great analysis or writing. The point of rumormongering is to trigger the joy of speculation with some information that is somewhat plausible. If you want 100% reliable, accurate data coming out of the network and/or the networkers, you should just do as Jon does and wait until the rumors aren't rumors anymore. I, for one, fully enjoy the rumors and speculation, and because I enjoy them, I appreciate those who compile these rumors, but shooting the messenger for these inherently unreliable messages makes little sense.

BTW, the source of my peeve derives more from years and years of Gammons/Rosenthal/Carroll-bashing over at BTF than any of the comments in this particular thread. This was just a small little straw that broke my back.

2007-11-25 22:39:58
174.   68elcamino427
169 It doesn't seem that it was that long ago that the situations of USC and UCLA were the reverse of the present and UCLA was getting all of the top recruits and dominating.
2007-11-25 22:42:14
175.   bhsportsguy
172 Coaching and having Heisman trophy winning players.

Also you cannot compare the main criteria I talked about, admission standards at USC vs. UCLA and salaries paid to coaches.

I am not advocating the current coach stay but unless other things are changed, folks in Westwood will continue to be disappointed.

2007-11-25 22:45:40
176.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA handled USC in the 1980s and 1990s not because Terry Donahue and Bob Toledo were all that great, but more because guys like John Robinson, Ted Tollner, Larry Smith, and Paul Hackett weren't very good at their jobs at all.

A USC fan will scream like Maynard G. Krebs at the sound of the word "work" if you say "Quarterback Rob Johnson."

2007-11-25 22:48:58
177.   68elcamino427
173 What's the hot stove without rumors?
Pre Curt Flood, it was more just great talk.
Today, there are millions of dollars, tens of millions of dollars involved.
Malone, bidding against himself for the services of Kevin Brown?
McCourt in the bidding for Miggy, Jones, and the like.
It seems that people may be attempting to gain a competitve advantage, using any and all means possible.
2007-11-25 22:50:52
178.   trainwreck
A lot of people mention how they post or used to post at BTF. Is that Baseball Think Factory?
2007-11-25 22:51:55
179.   Greg Brock
Way to skew to the youngsters there, Bob. Could a 77 Sunset Strip reference be far behind?

BTW, Did you like Razor? I'm really thrilled you like BSG...It's a great show.

2007-11-25 22:55:26
180.   68elcamino427
176 I attended the USC game where they are supposed to honor the seniors, the last year that Tollner "coached". When the players gathered after the game for their "recognition" they we roundly booed.
It was very sad and it made me sick, but the fans were really venting at Tollner, at least that's what I want to believe.
2007-11-25 23:03:17
181.   trainwreck
I think if a coach is successful enough that it would help to change the culture a lot.

This time the hiring is all on DG.

2007-11-25 23:04:16
182.   68elcamino427
176 Yeah, those were some down times for USC.
2007-11-25 23:05:18
183.   CanuckDodger
179 -- You weren't asking me, but I liked Razor; just didn't love it. It was a side story, covering ground that is already in the past (and because we had been "told" about things that Cain did before, there was no surprise, let alone shock, when she killed her executive officer, or ordered the deaths of civilians, or ordered the mistreatment of Gina). I am eager to see the BSG story carried "forward," but it looks like we have a long wait.
2007-11-25 23:07:04
184.   Greg Brock
183 Agree. Liked it, didn't love it.

We only have to wait until April. Not too bad. Ten episodes are already in the can, so we're in good shape.

2007-11-25 23:09:00
185.   68elcamino427
Is the talent level of the kids really that much different?
We will see how much coaching can make a difference this year with the Dodgers.
Isn't that the premise of today's article/topic?
2007-11-25 23:13:54
186.   68elcamino427
181 Does the coach change the culture, or does the coach create the culture?
2007-11-25 23:17:30
187.   JRSarno
151 makes a good point about looking beneath the diatribe at the ultimate motivation in the piece, be that homage to Boras, or homage to the need to generate thousands of clicks. Either way, it's fair to say that Rosenthal is a rabble rouser and serves little purpose in the functionality of dispersing relevant information. To render a conclusion about Torre being the "only" move the Dodgers would make is temporally insignificant. The Winter Meetings are still on the horizon, and the only major moves out there have been the Angels signing Hunter, and ARod re-ingratiating himself with the Yankees. Far as I've seen, Jones, Rowand, Cabrera, Santana are all out there. Sticking with youth and home-grown talent speaks more to the ultimate disposition of the McCourts, and not to whether or not Rosenthal thinks its the correct move. He's just trying to stir the pot, and in the process, lambast the Dodger organization due to a perceived lack of progress... whatev.
2007-11-25 23:30:19
188.   LAbits
179 Yah, baseball rumor reporting is like Cookie combing his hair, incessant and mostly just for show.
2007-11-25 23:36:50
189.   Bob Timmermann
"Razor" did not have me at the edge of my seat as the regular episodes did. It was good though.

There is a review of the Plaschke bio of Lasorda up on the Griddle now.

2007-11-25 23:47:03
190.   Ken Arneson
189 Gah! I had it in my head that Razor was going to be on Sunday, probably because the show was on Sundays last year. So I missed it.

Oh, well. I guess they'll replay it at some point.

2007-11-25 23:53:50
191.   Bob Timmermann
It's already been released on DVD.
2007-11-26 00:21:47
192.   overkill94
Reading the comments from that Rosenthal article may be hazardous to your health. Please consult a physician if you are exposed to any of the idiocy.

"bringing in pierre was a smart move, he only led the team in hits by about 39, played every game and oh yea stole 64 bases not bad for a lead off where he should have been the whole year ahead of furcal"

2007-11-26 07:25:08
193.   Bumsrap
How much free publicity have the Marlins received merely by announcing Cabrera is available? They also get a message to Cabrera from everywhere that he is maybe lazy and eats too much.
2007-11-26 08:18:30
194.   regfairfield
193 Is it really good publicity to say that you're dumping your best player before age 25? Not that the Marlins could lose any more fans.
2007-11-26 08:57:56
195.   Bob Timmermann
In a less interesting rumor, but interesting to me, the DBacks are looking at Mark Sweeney to replace Tony Clark.

This means Sweeney would finally play for all five NL West teams.

2007-11-26 09:11:46
196.   Number 4
Hello Jon and others,

One of my big hopes for 2008 is that Jason Schmidt will be back and as good as his Giants days. Is there medical history for Schmidt or for his type of injury that says this not possible?

2007-11-26 09:12:40
197.   JRSarno
What's holding up Kent's decision? Is he waiting for Larry King to finally emulsify on national television? No, no, on second thought, he's probably out skeet shooting with Matt Kemp.
2007-11-26 09:14:27
198.   regfairfield
196 Labrum's used to be career ending enjuries but recent advances have made recovery possible. However, since the new treatments are only a few years old, there's not all that much precedent for pitchers coming back from labrum surgery at full strength.
2007-11-26 09:24:24
199.   KG16
So, what happens in Westwood if the Bruins beat the Trojans? I'm guessing that Dorrell keeps his job? And how exactly does UCLA get a Rose Bowl berth with a win and an ASU loss, when they lost to Arizona State?

It's been a fun year in college football, it's a shame that Hawaii didn't end up higher in the polls, but all the big schools have been ducking them lately. And here's hoping that Mizzou can beat Oklahoma this time around and save The Ohio State the embarrassment of being beaten in the title game again by many many points.

2007-11-26 09:31:29
200.   CajunDodger
As I have been catching up on what I missed since last night, I find the sportswriter commentary some of the most interesting conversation we have had here at DT for a while. I just want to put my two cents into the hat:

For guys like Rosenthal, their value lies mostly in their ability to be manipulated by agents/GMs to play teams, players, and agents against one another. After 5 years of studying offseason Hot Stove talk, I have come to the conclusion that teams go out of their way to find guys like Rosenthal and provide them with (mis)information to play side A against side B. He has little or no value as an opinion writer because he is inconsistent in his views (as demonstrated in 123 ) and does not provide adequate or insightful defense to his opinions.

Peter Gammons (announced in public as "Hall of Famer Peter Gammons") provides meaty content and tends to focus on reporting rather than rumormongering. He is similar to SI's NFL guy Peter King in that GMs/players/agents always answer his phone calls and provide him information that goes beyond rumors. He is certainly not immune to the spread of rumors, but he is, to me anyway, about 10-15 notches in quality above Rosenthal. He is not a gifted writer, but he is an immensely gifted reporter.

As far as guys like Plaschke, Simers, and even Dan Shaughnessey, they fall into the category of entities that really fall outside the reporter spectrum. They are sellable personalities who are employed because of their ability to sell copy and cater to the casual fan rather than diehards like the ones here at DT. Really, have any of us taken Simers/Plaschke piece seriously during the last couple of years? The only influence they hold over us is fear that their irrelevant opinion seeps into the minds of Colletti and McCourt and influences them in some way.

For my part, I tend to gravitate more to Tim Brown and Buster Olney. They are dedicated to the craft of reporting and tend to have consistently good insight into teams regardless of geographic location.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-11-26 09:35:50
201.   regfairfield
100 I totally agree with the difference between Rosenthal and Gammons. I remember in Moneyball that Billy Beane actually bothered to take a call from Gammons because he might have some reliable information that he didn't know. There's nothing Rosenthal has done to show that he has that kind of credibility.
2007-11-26 10:28:06
202.   Bob Timmermann
If UCLA beats USC and the unnamed school beats ASU, then the Pac-10 will finish with a four-way tie
It will either be: USC, UCLA, ASU, and Oregon at 6-3 or USC, UCLA, ASU, and OSU at 6-3.

In scenario one: the first tiebreaker is record among tied teams in head-to-head games. UCLA would be 2-1. ASU would be 1-2. USC would be 1-2. Oregon would be 2-1. ASU and USC drop out and then it comes down to UCLA vs. Oregon and then the tiebreaker is head-to-head and UCLA wins that.

In scenario two: UCLA would be 2-1, USC would be 2-1, ASU would be 2-1, OSU would be 0-3. The Beavers drop out and then you proceed as if it's a three-way tie. All three teams left (UCLA, USC, and ASU) would be 1-1. Then you go down to record against the team in fifth (since there was a four-way tie). The fifth place team would have to be Oregon (at 5-4) in this case. UCLA is the only team among those three to have beaten Oregon, so the Bruins would be declared champions.

In either scenario, people are standing by with a defibrillator to bring me back to life in the case of UCLA making it to the Rose Bowl.

2007-11-26 10:29:29
203.   Bob Timmermann
For entertainment purposes only:

UCLA +20 at USC

2007-11-26 10:31:41
204.   Andrew Shimmin
Scorebard and Robothal, sitting in a tree. . .
2007-11-26 10:33:24
205.   LogikReader
Would you all agree that DT overall is largely pro-UCLA (and a little Stanford)?

It's all in good fun though so I enjoy it, anyhow.

SC is not going to cover 20, that line is too big, even for entertainment purposes.

2007-11-26 10:36:15
206.   Bob Timmermann
DT isn't pro-UCLA as much as there are just a lot of UCLA alums who post. It's mainly pro Pac-10.

Eric Stephen and Marty wave the cardinal and gold banner, although I don't know if either person attended the school. I know Marty didn't.

There are also Oregon, Cal, BYU, Virginia Tech, LSU, and Pomona-Pitzer fans.

2007-11-26 10:39:17
207.   KG16
206 - don't forget Long Beach State, not that we have a football team... but now that the more important college sport season has begun, it's ok.
2007-11-26 10:39:28
208.   CajunDodger
Just for the record, I am an LSU fan, but I like the style and entertainment value of the PAC 10 more than the SEC.

Is there some law that says that a conference can not hold a title game without 12 teams? If not, why can't the PAC 10 divide into a North-South configuration and stage one?

2007-11-26 10:42:58
209.   KG16
208 - NCAA regulations say you have to have at least 12 teams to hold a championship game in football. Thus the reason that the Big 10 (11) wanted to get Notre Dame to join their conference. Of course, lately, I haven't heard much about ND joining them.
2007-11-26 10:43:11
210.   Bob Timmermann
You have to have 12 teams to be stage a conference championship game. There is no requirement that a conference do so however.
2007-11-26 10:43:13
211.   Eric Stephen
206 I am a UCSD alumnus, but a USC fan (liked them growing up). UCSD doesn't have Division 1 sports (and were only D-3 when I attended) so I kept my sporting allegiance to USC.

176 I actually liked Rob Johnson, but I was probably blind to his flaws (namely, holding on to the ball too long). I always wished the Bills would have preferred Rob Johnson over the pure evil of Doug Flutie more often.

2007-11-26 10:43:14
212.   ChicagoDodger
Count me in as a USC fan, though there is that team in South Bend and a couple of childhood friends (they love the Irish) that are the cause of that.

I am not so sure they won't cover the 20 this weekend, though I didn't see the loss coming last year, so what do I know?

In the end, they are just 18-22 year-old kids, so anything can happen.

2007-11-26 10:45:46
213.   CajunDodger
Then I have to say that adding BYU and Hawaii/Utah makes sense. Has there been talk?
2007-11-26 10:46:07
214.   Eric Stephen
For the record, I like that the Pac-10 now has a 9-game conference schedule and that every team plays each other.
2007-11-26 10:48:28
215.   Bob Timmermann
I doubt the Pac-10 would want to add any more schools. The conference likes its current football and basketball schedules too much.
2007-11-26 10:48:49
216.   KG16
213 - we've talked about it here before, but that's about it. I personally prefer a system where everyone in the conference plays everyone else, like the Pac-10 does. (I also despise conference tournaments in basketball, but that's another story.) Plus, given the Pac-10's tradition in basketball, I really think that whoever gets added has to be credible in both football and basketball.

And given the way so many big schools have paid lots of money recently to avoid playing Hawaii, I can't see the Pac-10 teams agreeing to play them all the time.

2007-11-26 10:56:48
217.   Penarol1916
216. The Pac-10 has a great basketball tradition? I see a history of up until the mid-90's of a succession of one dominant program (Cal, UCLA, Arizona) and a bunch of others. Kind of like a more interesting version of the SEC in the same sport, since that conference only had one program for the same time period.
2007-11-26 11:03:26
218.   Bob Timmermann
Every Pac-10 team except Arizona State has made the Final Four at some time in its history.
2007-11-26 11:14:37
219.   ChicagoDodger
Dodgers a possibility for Kuroda? The article says his close ties to Saito may help.

Of course the same article said (this very morning) that Kerry Wood was unlikely to return to the Cubs, so take it (like all rumors) for what its worth.

Anyone have any info or thoughts on Kuroda?

2007-11-26 11:25:06
220.   Andrew Shimmin
The Royals' ZIPs are up. Bad, bad team. Okay bullpen. I think they're undershooting on Alex Gordon. Understandable, but I continue to believe Gordon will hit 100 HRs this year. I predicted that last year, too, but I don't consider that projection wrong so much as premature.
2007-11-26 11:25:41
221.   LogikReader

That's my story too. When I was in high school I started to follow college football and I was faced with a choice. Even though UCLA was a far better football team at the time (Toledo/McNown) I went with SC on the advice of a friend.

USC was really really bad back in the late 90's. Back then I hoped they'd get better, but I never thought they'd be this good.

By the way, I went to Cal Lutheran for college, a Division III school.

2007-11-26 11:26:19
222.   Bob Timmermann
Kuroda and Saito must have been united by pitching for bad teams in Japan.

Does anyone know the park factor for Hiroshima Municipal Stadium? It's very small (fences down the lines are under 300'), but the ball doesn't carry well there.

Kuroda would probably love Dodger Stadium's size and having a better defense. Not that the Dodgers defense is great, but just about every MLB team has a better defense than an NPB team.

2007-11-26 11:26:58
223.   Marty
I've been a USC fan since 1964. OJ was a boyhood hero. I still resent Gary Beban to this day.
2007-11-26 11:31:19
224.   LogikReader

I also have friends and family who work at USC or went to school at USC. So I have that going for me as well.

Yes, all of them graduated ;)

2007-11-26 11:31:34
225.   bhsportsguy
223 I like Gary Beban for the simple reason that when they play "Who Am I" at the Rose Bowl and they list the fact that he won a Heisman Trophy, you always know that the answer is Gary Beban.

He also tends to get interviewed during this week.

2007-11-26 11:32:15
226.   Penarol1916
218. But how many of those teams made all of their Final Four appearences before the '60's when the NCAA wasn't even the tournament that mattered?
2007-11-26 11:33:17
227.   bhsportsguy
224 I have friends who went to both schools. Its pretty hard though not impossible to solely have contact with alumni from just one of those schools.
2007-11-26 11:33:30
228.   Jon Weisman
New post by an old man up top. Older men are free to remind me that I'm not so old. Younger men can cackle.
2007-11-26 11:34:34
229.   Jon Weisman
226 - By that standard, how many other conferences have a great basketball tradition?

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