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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

Handball, Domestic and International
2007-11-30 08:42
by Jon Weisman

Though it has nothing to do with the Dodgers, I've been hanging onto this to write about for a couple of months. Back in October, Marcia C. Smith of the Register wrote a column describing how Jake Plummer left the NFL at age 32, despite the constant call for healthy and somewhat able quarterbacks, for the shinier but lower-profile pastures of handball.

He announced his retirement on the Jake Plummer Foundation Web site, met a few minutes with Denver reporters and disappeared into the pro sports backwoods of his family's Idaho home, never to be seen or heard from again.

Until last Thursday, which was like Any Given Thursday.

"What's your name?" the silver-haired, yellow-highlighter-wielding woman asked this above-average-sized handball player — 6-feet-2 and an oak-trunk 212 pounds — in T-shirt, cargo shorts and slip-on shoes at the Simple Green U.S. Open of Handball at the Los Caballeros Sports Village in Fountain Valley.

"I'm Jake Plummer," he told the woman at event registration. She found his name, handed him some tear-off paper boxed-meal tickets and quickly shifted her attention to the next participant in line. …

The Associated Press wrote more about this back in March.

Now, the reason I brought this up is not because I have a handball story, but because I have an international handball story. And though I realize those two sports really have nothing to do with each other, I don't know when I'll have a better excuse to tell my international handball tale.

I spent the fall quarter of my junior year of college overseas in Tours, France. It was a wonderful time, one of the highlights of my life, as I loved both being in France as well as the opportunity to travel around nearly every weekend (not to mention for the four weeks prior to classes). I could go on and on about it, but one of the few downsides (other than having an experience remarkably similar to this one) was that I became a little starved for sport. Basketball, softball, ultimate Frisbee, mud football – these are not popular sports on the streets of the Loire Valley.

So when I saw a flyer saying that they were people were gathering to play international handball at a local gym, I urged my friends to join me and go. I had never played, but I knew the rules from having been something of an Olympics nerd at the time. It seemed like it would combine elements of hoops and ultimate, and if nothing else, let me shake out the sillies (to quote a future line from Newsradio.) I even proactively indulged dreams that if I took to it, who knows, maybe I could seek out an Olympic future – after all, how many Americans actually played the game?

Most of my memories of how the game went are sketchy. We went down there, and teams were divided up in pickup fashion. The sport, perhaps predictably, perhaps not, was harder than it looked. The dribbling isn't quite dribbling a basketball, and it was awkward trying to exploit the extra step you can take without dribbling (imagine if all the uncalled traveling you see in the NBA were actually legal). And there is a strategy to the game which I had really no idea about. Nonetheless, I was having a reasonably good time.

And then going for a ball, my friend Jim White knocked heads with a Frenchman, and two little objects flew out of his mouth.

What was supposed to be a night of plain ol' fun turned into a quest to save Jim's two front teeth from international oblivion – taking him to the emergency room, trying to find a dentist, all that nervousness and distress about being injured thousands of miles from home.

The teeth were salvaged, but not my dreams of Olympic glory.

Jake Plummer, may you have better luck in your latest endeavor.

Comments (196)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-30 09:48:08
1.   Jon Weisman
ToyCannon, regarding your latest TrueBlue post, does a 10D ranking imply a 9A ranking as well?
2007-11-30 09:52:21
2.   underdog
I always respected that Jake said, "Enough!" and left to go do something more fun, leaving behind a lot of money to be a backup somewhere so he could follow another dream on his own terms. That's cool.

Not sure if this was mentioned in previous thread, but since people were talking about Dan Haren (and I can't believe the A's would trade him) an the A's, Jeff Passan has a new column on how it's harder for Beane to fleece other GMs for their young prospects these days:

>>Not too long ago, Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane could count on his peers to make him look smart. An entire book was written about Beane's brilliance at attacking market inefficiencies while his brethren waltzed with tradition, and Moneyball resonated because that premise, by and large, was sound.

So to hear Beane talking from his office Thursday was to hear a man who recognizes the seismic change baseball has undergone in this financial boom era. No longer is the hoarding of quality young players – baseball's equivalent to the minimum-wage worker – the domain of well-managed low-revenue teams such as Oakland and Minnesota.

"People are actually understanding the economics of the game," Beane said. "There are a lot of smart guys running clubs. Properly valuing the assets you have is really part of the business now."<<

2007-11-30 09:52:24
3.   natepurcell
Derick McKamey in essence: The Dodgers system still kicks ass.
2007-11-30 09:54:09
4.   regfairfield
1 I can't believe that's true. Delmon Young seems like a good example of a 10D, but he certainly has less than a 90% chance of being an elite player as well.
2007-11-30 09:54:55
5.   Bob Timmermann
I didn't know that people played handball that much anymore. I thought the last person to play it was Dennis Becker.
2007-11-30 09:55:58
6.   natepurcell just posted their top 50 prospects compilation.

Kershaw is getting insane hype...from all corners of the prospecting community.

2007-11-30 09:56:32
7.   popup
Looks like I was posting my comment to the last thread as Jon was putting together this post. To repeat what I said: I too want to wish Vin and Ross a Happy Birthday and to thank them for all the enjoyment they have provided me over the years. The trio of Vin, Ross and Don Drysdale was one of the best radio play by play booths of all time. The duo of Vin and Jerry was terrific too.

Stan from Tacoma

2007-11-30 10:00:16
8.   Daniel Zappala
6 Purely a figment of their imagination.
2007-11-30 10:00:56
9.   JoeyP
From Ken Rosenthal--

The Astros likely will insert Matsui, a switch-hitter, into the No. 2 hole behind their newly acquired leadoff man, Michael Bourn. The addition of an offensively skilled second baseman virtually ensures that the team will retain Adam Everett, a weak hitter, at shortstop.

How can Kaz Matsui be considered offensively skilled?

Career: .272/.325/.387

The mainstream baseball media is just flat out lazy. Or ignorant. Or Both.

The Astros current GM has no concept of building offense.

2007-11-30 10:02:23
10.   ToyCannon
A 10E would be closer to a 9A. I'm sure it is very subjective at that point.

Being one person he does not have the ability to see everyone he writes about. However he is based in the midwest so he was able to watch our Midwest Low A team quite a bit. Others from HQ also took in quite a few Loon games. The love they have for Kershaw knows no bounds.

2007-11-30 10:02:46
11.   KG16
2 - the last line of your quote is interesting, "Properly valuing the assets you have..."

That implies, at least in my mind, re-signing players who have performed well and project to perform well in the future. The A's haven't really done that in the last few years.

I get the "low revenue" argument, but there is an old business proverb: you've got to spend money to make money. Put together a good team, show commitment to keeping good/great players, and the fans will come and revenue will increase. It seems to be a chicken and egg paradox. I suspect that while the baseball operations of most teams have gotten better, the business operations of most teams is still terrible... looking at the "advertising" of the Angels and Dodgers the last few years (LA Angels of Anaheim vs "This is LA baseball" and choosing the wrong guys to build marketing campaigns around - Nomar, Kent, Hendy).

2007-11-30 10:02:55
12.   underdog
9 It's just Ken Rosenthal's weekly wrong-headed statement. Pay it no attention.
2007-11-30 10:04:57
13.   Josh Wilker
We played team handball in gym class for a few days when I was in 9th grade; I thought it was pretty fun. One kid who had never distinguished himself athletically at anything else turned out to be a good team handball goalie. He even started bringing in special team handball gloves (actually just his snowmobile gloves, I think).

Dirk Nowitzki initially planned to follow his Olympian father into team handball; he thought basketball was for girls.

2007-11-30 10:07:53
14.   Jon Weisman
13 - Now that I think about it, we might have tried it in high school a few times too.
2007-11-30 10:10:25
15.   D4P
he thought basketball was for girls

...with good fundamentals.

2007-11-30 10:14:00
16.   ToyCannon
When he stops playing like a girl maybe the Mavericks can beat the likes of the Warriors in the playoffs.
2007-11-30 10:16:21
17.   JoeyP
Mets just traded Lasting Milledge for Ryan Church/Brian Scheider.

Its not linked, but it looks like a done deal. WFAN reporting it in NY.

2007-11-30 10:17:50
18.   ToyCannon
Jon, did you have fun playing the sport before your friend lost his teeth? It always looked like fun when I've watched it during the olympics.
When I look at sports that other countries have I would have loved to play Rugby when I was a kid.
2007-11-30 10:18:30
19.   Benaiah
At this point the Dodgers would rather have Kershaw than Hochevar. How about that turn of events!
2007-11-30 10:19:20
20.   Jon Weisman
18 - I liked Ultimate more, but I was having fun.
2007-11-30 10:19:42
21.   regfairfield
17 So, how is that not a terrible idea?
2007-11-30 10:20:41
22.   ToyCannon
Nice, Bowden has really had a nice couple of years since he made the mistake of not trading Soriano.
An outfield of Kearns/Milledge/Wily Mo built with spare parts.
2007-11-30 10:20:42
23.   natepurcell

Kazmir for Zambrano!!!

2007-11-30 10:20:52
24.   JoeyP
Looks like teams are giving up on their free-swinging no-plate discipline youngsters rather soon nowadays...
2007-11-30 10:21:23
25.   natepurcell
Seriously, Milledge is good (or will be good). I don't understand this.
2007-11-30 10:22:02
26.   natepurcell

That description of Milledge is not true at all.

Carlos Gomez? yes.

2007-11-30 10:23:50
27.   KG16
yeah, but he gives fans high fives after good innings, you can't have something like that going on. I mean, the next thing you know, fan will actually like guys on your team and want to see them play, even if they're younger guys who have yet to break the door down, rather than the PVL so many GMs are willing to run out there.

Wow, the rain as apparently kicked up my snark gland.

2007-11-30 10:25:25
28.   regfairfield
24 Milledge hit .306/.380/.480 in the minors.
2007-11-30 10:26:18
29.   Terry A
"I... knew the rules from having been something of an Olympics nerd at the time."

Do Olympic nerds have crushes on Mary Decker Slaney? This "Olympic nerd" comment needs to be fleshed out, Jon. Sounds like an under-reported part of your life.

2007-11-30 10:27:26
30.   JoeyP
Milledge isnt Delmon Young level of hacking, but in terms of drawing walks Milledge is still probably only average.

He's really only had 1 good season in that regard--his AAA year in 2006.

His mlb line so far: .257/.326/.414
350 Abs
25 bbs/81 ks.

2007-11-30 10:27:48
31.   ToyCannon
I remember watching Milledge in the AFL in 2005. Man he looked good.

Anyway I asked Deric about the questionable 40 man roster decision the Dodgers made in relation to Mario Alveraz and this was his reply.
That was a bit strange, especially when they outrighted Zach Hammes, who I think is a way better pitcher, off the 40-man to accomodate him. The only thing I can see is that they like his athleticism and velocity. His secondary pitches (curveball and change-up) are marginal at best and has always been very hittable. At best, he top-out as a middle/short reliever.

2007-11-30 10:28:20
32.   regfairfield
How's Milledge defensively? If he's any good, it's quite possible he's already better than Church.
2007-11-30 10:29:46
33.   regfairfield
30 That's still an isolated patience of .079, the average right fielder was .070 last year.
2007-11-30 10:31:16
34.   JoeyP
Milledge hasnt shown much home run power, and he's not a base stealer by any means.

Maybe the Mets think his ceiling isnt very high, especially with the lack of home run power.

2007-11-30 10:31:28
35.   Bob Timmermann
No one who has ever met Mary Decker would maintain a crush on her.
2007-11-30 10:32:27
36.   Jon Weisman
29 - No, I just had a fixation about minor sports. One of my screenplays has a biathlete as the main character.
2007-11-30 10:33:34
37.   ToyCannon
Funny how Kemp was the after thought in 2005 and Milledge was the hot shot and only two years later, Milledge is traded for a defensive catcher and a 4th outfielder, while Kemp is the centerpiece of every deal that involves Miggy, Johan, Haren, and Bedard.

Church is a nice player and I am surprised that Moreno wanted him. He would certainly be an upgrade over Shawn Green but so would have Lasting.

2007-11-30 10:35:11
38.   natepurcell

the average right fielder also wasn't around 22 years old.

2007-11-30 10:35:15
39.   ToyCannon
If he wanted Church couldn't he have just signed Brad Wilkerson and kept Lasting, or use Lasting as a chip for Blanton or Haren?
2007-11-30 10:35:51
40.   still bevens
Has there been a ritual suicide scheduled for all the BTF Mets fanboys? Or has their messiah been replaced by Carlos Gomez?
2007-11-30 10:37:04
41.   JoeyP
It is amazing how fast these guys lose their buying power.

If the best thing Milledge can fetch is Church/Schneier, I only hope Kemp maintains his buying value if we do trade him.

Although, trades like this set up the inevitable excuses for trading Kemp and not getting back as much as we want---"Well, look the Mets only got back Church for Milledge...thats the market, etc etc..."

2007-11-30 10:39:12
42.   natepurcell

Was Kazmir's value only of a Victor Zambrano?

GM's do stupid things sometimes.


Not yet! I am anxiously waiting for the thread.

2007-11-30 10:39:44
43.   Ken Arneson
Team handball is very popular in Scandinavia. I played it quite a bit during P.E. when I went to school there.

The sport always looked really, really lame to me, mostly because Europeans, well, they throw like Europeans. I think if you took a group of Americans who grew up both playing basketball and pitching in Little League, you could go over there and compete pretty well.

2007-11-30 10:40:43
44.   regfairfield
39 Church is much better than Wilkerson. Wilkerson hasn't been good since 2004.
2007-11-30 10:41:44
45.   CanuckDodger
Delmon Young and Milledge being traded in the same week, at age 22, is really amazing considering that in the year up the the 2003 draft there was a huge debate about who was the best HS player in the country, Young or Milledge.
2007-11-30 10:43:50
46.   natepurcell

I agree. This has been a really interesting week for prospect followers.

I definitely could understand the logic behind the Delmon for Garza trade but this one....I guess I'm glad we have Colletti?

2007-11-30 10:56:40
47.   CanuckDodger
46 -- But did Omar really want to do this? I see some Mets fan at BTF is blaming the Wilpons, and he says he has long thought the Kazmir trade was on the Wilpons' order too. I think we overestimate the autonomy of GM's sometimes. And I am not sure Colletti has suddenly decided he loves youth as much as McCourt is keeping him on a bit of a leash when it comes to trading away our young talent.
2007-11-30 10:59:01
48.   Benaiah
46 - While it is early enough in the offseason that we don't know his master plan, it is clear that Ned has changed his approach quite a bit from the years past. He has always favored having backup-backup plans, but everything is pointing towards him letting the kids play this year. The biggest move of the offseason might be made in spring training if the Dodgers let Laroche show what he can do at 3B. I haven't crunched the numbers, but that might improve the team as much as an Andruw for Pierre swap.
2007-11-30 11:07:07
49.   old dodger fan
I saw Milledge play several times in AAA and was sure he would be an instant MLB star. I guess that's why I'm not a baseball scout.
2007-11-30 11:16:35
50.   underdog
Where would people put Milledge with Guzman, as far as once rising stars that faded? (in the eyes of their original teams anyway) Does Lastings still rank ahead of Joel? I'm just curious. It's clear to me that LM still has a world of talent, but that the Mets had also soured on him - fair or not. It's similar to Guzman at least in that a player that once could have been the centerpiece of a big trade instead only a short time later becomes part of a mediocre trade.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-30 11:21:19
51.   LogikReader
Walt Jocketty would not have done this: old friend Izturis signed to replace Eckstein

2007-11-30 11:23:10
52.   regfairfield
51 For one year, I think it's a good deal. The massive improvement in defense should make up for the loss of offense.
2007-11-30 11:23:33
53.   old dodger fan
I think Milledge is 22 years old. Way too early to give up on him.
2007-11-30 11:25:12
54.   D4P

Heart + Offense >>>>> Defense

2007-11-30 11:37:14
55.   Benaiah
50 - Guzman's stats are way less impressive than you think though. He had a great power hitting season in high A (.307/.349/.550/.899) when people though he might make it as a SS. But his numbers went down in AA (.280/.325/.522) and it became obvious he wasn't going to stick there and he was free falling before we even realized it. He can't hit for average and he doesn't take a walk, but that flukey .300 batting average in A+ made it seem like he could be a .900 OPS guy. I don't think Guzman is in a funk, he was just way overrated because of his dubious position and his pedigree.

On the other hand, Milledge has hit for average throughout his career, he can take a walk and there is a good chance he can play a premiere defensive position. His floor is Andre Ethier with more patience, less power, and his ceiling is something like the good Johnny Damon.

2007-11-30 11:41:18
56.   underdog
55 Thanks.
To be clear, I was actually not as high on Guzman as some, but was curious how the two of them compare, given they seem to have met similar fates with their original teams. Sounds like the Mets gave up too much for too little (though I kinda like Ryan Church).
2007-11-30 11:42:58
57.   Jon Weisman
55 - But AA is more of a pitcher's environment than A. Hitting .280 in AA does anything but make his .307 average in A+ "flukey."

I still think Guzman, though overrated a few years back because of the lack of walks, is underrated now. The position switch has cost him value, but he's a 22-year-old (23 last week) coming off nearly two years of AAA experience. He's still playing at an advanced level for his age, and I think he can still have a decent career.

2007-11-30 11:46:39
58.   Benaiah
57 - It isn't just that his average went down in AA, but that it has never cracked .300 again before or since. His career minor league batting average is .267. The only other time he got close to .300 was batting .297 in the PCL.
2007-11-30 11:51:15
59.   regfairfield
57 His BABIP was .367 , so it probably was a bit fluky.
2007-11-30 11:54:35
60.   Jon Weisman
58 - .297 is pretty darn close to .300. And he did that as a 21-year-old. And he did it only one year ago. I mean, not that BA should be the measuring stick at all, but you're splitting hairs.

Remember, Loney hit .279/.345/.382 in AAA this season. Now he's practically untouchable.

It's one thing to say that Guzman was overrated, but I don't think his performance in A ball was a fluke. I think it was misinterpeted by people who chose to ignore his lack of walks and the inevitability that he would change positions.

2007-11-30 11:57:23
61.   Benaiah
Guzman was 19 and a SS in A+ with almost a .900 OPS. That is amazing, but Vero is a crazy good hitters park (especially for home runs). Once you realize that Guzman is a corner outfielder his numbers don't seem that impressive. Kemp OPSed .917 there with 27 home runs, Laroche OPSed 1031 with 21 home runs and Martin hit 15 home runs there (he never cracked double digits anywhere else in his minor league career). They were one or two years older, and those are all really good players, but Guzman was hyped as the best of them all and it took a long time for it to dawn on us that he wasn't that good. I am not saying he is done, but I do think he was always overrated.
2007-11-30 11:57:56
62.   Jon Weisman
59 - Which year?
2007-11-30 12:00:34
63.   Sushirabbit
The winter meetings are here in Nashville? What rock have I been under?!

Maybe I can go and have a chat with the GM. :-) At this point I'm interested in if Yhency threw a session and what he looked like.

2007-11-30 12:00:36
64.   Benaiah
60 - The sad truth is that Loney probably didn't try very hard in AAA this year. Or at the very least, he was distracted to the point that I don't think his numbers are indicative of anything. His performance in AAA this year is completely out of whack with what he had been doing for the year before and the rest of the year when he came up.
2007-11-30 12:02:51
65.   regfairfield
62 His age 19 year in high A.
2007-11-30 12:03:57
66.   Jon Weisman
64 - "The sad truth is that Loney probably didn't try very hard in AAA this year. Or at the very least, he was distracted to the point that I don't think his numbers are indicative of anything."

In other words, Loney maybe was in a funk. Not that they're the same ballplayer, but maybe Guzman was too.

2007-11-30 12:05:07
67.   Jon Weisman
65 - Was it high in Jacksonville too? An .847 OPS there is strong as far as I know.
2007-11-30 12:06:01
68.   Jon Weisman
Basically, the bothersome thing for me with Guzman is that so many people have trouble (not necessarily you) accepting a middle ground on him. He was either great or he sucks.
2007-11-30 12:07:11
69.   regfairfield
67 No, for some reason he actually got his strikeouts under control there for the only time in his career.
2007-11-30 12:08:31
70.   Benaiah
66 - I think you are right that Guzman is in a funk right now. There is no way that he is a sub-.700 OPS player. I think the way he was dumped might have been a huge blow to his confidence. On the other hand, unlike Loney, he has never proven anything on the major league level so he better snap out of it soon or it's going to slip away.
2007-11-30 12:08:44
71.   Robert Daeley
"Giants question Marlins' demands for Cabrera deal"

''I hate to speak to somebody else's business, but you wonder if they really want to trade the player or if they absolutely, positively have to win the deal in such a one-sided fashion,'' San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean said during a conference call Thursday with reporters. ``Maybe they're not going to get something done. I don't know.''

2007-11-30 12:09:38
72.   still bevens
66 I think Loney got a pass because he performed well in his call up while Guzman didn't. Small sample size disclaimer and all that.
2007-11-30 12:10:45
73.   regfairfield
71 I can't really think of any deal involving the Giants organization for Cabrera that would be that unfair. Maybe Cain and Lincecum and Lowry, but that's about it.
2007-11-30 12:11:57
74.   Benaiah
68 - At this point I see a player with a lot of power potential (16 homers this year), but no contact skills and no patience. He is at an advanced level at a decent age, but I wonder if he couldn't use a trip back down to AA to concentrate on making good contact and working the count.
2007-11-30 12:12:12
75.   blue22
68 - Maybe that comes from the fact that Guzman never really put together a "middle ground" year. He's either been an 800+ OPSing SS young for his league, or a 650 OPSing man without a position that can't control the strike zone. His 85 games in '06 at AAA, where he OPS'd 814 while playing the OF and 1B is about the only time he's been close to an "average" player.

I think '08 is a make or break year for him.

2007-11-30 12:15:30
76.   bhsportsguy
70 He was dumped? He wasn't dumped, he was part of a trade. There are minor league prospects dealt every year and they have to accept the fact that they are the currency in baseball. Its harsh but that is what it eventually comes down to in the end.

How do we know what kind of player he is, certainly Delmon Young performed better at Durham, Longoria too, and there are probably several players who were not as highly ranked as they advanced who have adjusted and played well in AAA.

Joel Guzman has time on his side but as he sits on his last option year, he will need to show something in 2008.

2007-11-30 12:16:04
77.   Jon Weisman
70 - Well, you can't do it without a chance. Loney wouldn't have seen the majors before September if Garciaparra hadn't tanked.
2007-11-30 12:16:35
78.   Benaiah
72 - If Laroche had 7 home runs in 50 at bats, or whatever it was that Kemp had, or if he had 9 RBI in one game then he would already be the 3B. Instead he showed incredible patience but no flash and he still has to unseat Nomar. It is unbelievably unfair that young players are expected to be good right away, but it is what it is.
2007-11-30 12:17:28
79.   Jon Weisman
75 - That indicates to me that people have been looking at him in too much what-have-you-done-for-me-lately fashion.
2007-11-30 12:18:15
80.   Jon Weisman
78 - "It is unbelievably unfair that young players are expected to be good right away."

Truly. Especially when certain organizations' operating premise is that they can't/won't be good right away.

2007-11-30 12:26:24
81.   Benaiah
Now that I think about it, Ethier had a really hot start also. Betemit, Choi, Ross, et al started out slow and so they could never shake their reputations as mediocre options at their positions. Young players that don't break the door down eventually get their chances, but every option in front of them must be exhausted first.
2007-11-30 12:37:49
82.   Jon Weisman
I thought Betemit hit a lot when he first came to the Dodgers in '06. And yet that didn't help him much at the start of '07.
2007-11-30 12:43:38
83.   jasonungar07
I am not used to having a GM who trades for players and then in less than a year trades them again for other players.
2007-11-30 12:46:59
84.   rockmrete
With Lastings in hand, do the Nats pass on A Jones?
2007-11-30 12:53:27
85.   underdog
I guess it takes a Milledge to raise the Nationals.

84 Presumably. I wonder what the latest is with Jones. Will his asking price keep him from getting a deal over the winter meetings?

2007-11-30 12:56:02
86.   Ken Noe
Sorry if a repost, I just read this in a Milledge article: "One of the most publicized episodes came in the town that will be his new home. In September 2006, a sign was posted in Milledge's locker in the visiting clubhouse at RFK Stadium that read: 'Know your place, Rook. Your teammates.'"

I don't remember Kent being with the Mets then.

2007-11-30 12:57:24
87.   Robert Daeley
85 (Golf clap.)
2007-11-30 12:57:48
88.   underdog
86 Hahhah, I just read that, too, and thought the same thing!

He also was chided for participating in a rap CD with offensive lyrics.

At least he didn't deign to move a trash can.

I guess the Mets are being run by Marge Schott these days.

2007-11-30 12:58:44
89.   underdog
88 The preceding post was formatted by BillPlaschke Web Formatting, Inc.™
2007-11-30 13:05:07
90.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
At, Bill James says Pierre is not clutch.
2007-11-30 13:07:43
91.   dsfan
Can the case be made that Rowand would be a prudent investment? I don't think so, but if someone wants to make it, I'd be interested. Ten days from now, we might hear Ned extolling Rowand's character and scrappiness after guaranteeing him $60 million.
2007-11-30 13:10:08
92.   D4P
Can the case be made that Rowand would be a prudent investment?

One year, $350K contract? Prudent.

Five years, $60 million contract? Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture.

2007-11-30 13:13:38
93.   GMac In The 909
78 I always felt like Billy Ashley never got a fair shake.
2007-11-30 13:21:23
94.   Bill Crain
That article is amazing.
2007-11-30 13:26:37
95.   still bevens
86 Know you place, stay off our lawn.

The Mets

2007-11-30 13:27:30
96.   Eric Stephen
The enduring Billy Ashley image for me is when he took a ball of his face in Pittsburgh (it may have been a bad hop) as the winning run scored.

Wow that was a long time ago. Bonds was a Pirate!

2007-11-30 13:28:04
97.   regfairfield
Someone brought up the point at BTF that the Milledge trade doesn't even fly from a PR stand point. Someone who once said "I said, like, Jewish people, they don't believe in Jesus. Does that mean they're doomed? Jon nodded, like, that's what it meant. My ex-girlfriend! I was like, man, if they only knew. Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word." Probably isn't going to get a warm reaction in New York.
2007-11-30 13:30:35
98.   Bob Timmermann
RIP, Evel Knievel.
2007-11-30 13:35:32
99.   D4P
One thing Bill James appears to omit in his "clutch" analysis is a comparison of players's stats in "clutch" situations with their stats in "non-clutch" situations.

To say that David Ortiz is clutch and that Juan Pierre isn't may simply be a reflection that Ortiz is a good hitter and Pierre isn't.

2007-11-30 13:43:43
100.   Bill Crain
I take it you're not really suggesting James hasn't thought of that.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-11-30 13:49:12
101.   LogikReader

The world's greatest stuntman is now dead. May he rest in peace.

2007-11-30 13:50:08
102.   LogikReader
I still remember when George Carlin said "I'm getting IN the plane. Evel Kn-IEVEL can get on the plane!" He probably would have too.
2007-11-30 13:51:48
103.   ToyCannon
JtD's age 19 year old season with the Suns' during the 2004 season was the reason he was rated so high. His MLE at that point showed a 500 slug% in the major leagues for a 19 year old. Even if he wasn't going to be a SS the power was intriguing. The thing that has struck me about JtD is that we knew he had plate discipline problems and was prone to strikeout but we also had first hand knowledge of his "light tower" power. Where has the game time power gone? He is just turned 23 on Saturday.
Many are asking the same of Delmon Young, by the age of 19 he had hit 51 minor league home runs. As many have documented it is not only his plate discipline that is a worry but his drop in power. He's only 21 but most of the hype about Delmon was based on his age 18 and 19 year old seasons.
2007-11-30 13:55:33
104.   trojanmansaki
Assuming that Elbert returns to perfect health, is he closer to the majors than Kershaw?
2007-11-30 13:56:43
105.   underdog
97 More on that here:

I'd forgotten he said that.
The dude's from my hometown! Yeah, will be interesting to see how he does in NY.

2007-11-30 14:10:28
106.   Andrew Shimmin
Ryan Church is responsible for all the wars in the world.
2007-11-30 14:11:17
107.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
That's a funny quote, but it's hard to tell if Church was being serious (he must have thought about the difference between Christianity and Judaism before).

I'm mormon, so I'm used to people telling me I'm going to hell.

2007-11-30 14:14:54
108.   Eric Stephen
That's a tough call. Elbert has pitched more innings at AA than Kershaw (76 to 24.2).

Elbert in AA has averaged 11.84 K/9 & 6.39 BB/9 (10.25 / 5.04 in his minor league career).

Kershaw in AA has averaged 10.58 K/9 & 6.20 BB/9 (12.28 / 4.08 in his minor league career.

Basically whomever develops his control first (assuming both are healthy) will first make the majors.

2007-11-30 14:17:52
109.   D4P
I take it you're not really suggesting James hasn't thought of that

I'm sure he has, but he didn't mention it, which makes me unsure of whether it was part of his clutchness measure or not.

2007-11-30 14:21:21
110.   Eric Stephen
Also, both Elbert (22) and Kershaw (20 in 2008) saw their HR rates rise in AA.

Elbert gave up 0.60 HR/9 before AA, and jumped to 1.30 HR/9 in Jacksonville.

Kershaw went from 0.49 HR/9 to 1.46 HR/9 in AA. (Futures Game doesn't count!) :)

2007-11-30 14:29:11
111.   underdog
108 Not a bad choice for the Dodgers to have to make. Hopefully we'll see them both before too long.
2007-11-30 14:33:34
112.   SG6
Hmmm: (re: Santana) It is believed the Twins requested top pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw and outfielder Andre Ethier but were rebuffed by the Dodgers.'s Jon Heyman

Maybe it's that 7 year / $150m extension he wants.

2007-11-30 14:34:01
113.   trainwreck
That Green Team thing is great, by the way, underdog.
2007-11-30 14:34:34
114.   trainwreck
Has to be more than those two. Heck, I would even do that.
2007-11-30 14:36:52
115.   Humma Kavula
112 If the Twins would really take a pitcher who doesn't exist and a third-and-a-half outfielder for Santana, and if Santana would sign that 7/$150 extension you mention...

...then that transaction would have the Humma Kavula endorsement and seal of approval.

2007-11-30 14:37:44
116.   Eric Stephen
I wonder if that's all the Twins asked for. Because if I'm asked to give up just Kershaw & Ethier for Johan, I say "Yes, no take backs!" to seal the deal immediately.
2007-11-30 14:38:13
117.   bhsportsguy
114 Nice Daily Bruin article. Eric Scott tells a very funny story about the infamous Price visit.
2007-11-30 14:39:24
118.   Humma Kavula
114 , 115 , 116

Yeah, it can't be just those two. Who wouldn't make that trade?

2007-11-30 14:39:52
119.   Jim Hitchcock
98 Bicycling accident?
2007-11-30 14:40:33
120.   trainwreck
It is quite a funny story, from what I have heard.
2007-11-30 14:41:24
121.   Eric Stephen
And in steps Paul Westhead to take the reigns as America's Stuntman™
2007-11-30 14:41:59
122.   Eric Stephen
Yeah, I'd find a Del Taco pronto.
2007-11-30 14:42:19
123.   hernari
Kuroda rules out returning to the Hiroshima Carp.

2007-11-30 14:50:01
124.   trainwreck
If that is all it takes to get Santana, I will chip in 20 bucks to get him signed.
2007-11-30 14:53:30
125.   silverwidow
I wouldn't be surprised if Kershaw is on the same "tier" as Billingsley in the Dodgers' eyes.

That's why I refuse to believe he'll be going anywhere.

2007-11-30 14:59:20
126.   Sushirabbit
104,108, etc

If it's a control thing, and you're talking about middle innings, wouldn't Adkins be just as likely to get the call up? I don't think there's alot to go on with him yet, and I seem to think more of him than some here, but I could see him helping out later in the year if he moves to AA early and does well there.

2007-11-30 15:02:10
127.   KG16
I wouldn't trade Kershaw and Ethier for Santana, even with the 7 year deal. But I'm likely in the very small minority on that.
2007-11-30 15:07:26
128.   SG6
124 - you mean $20 million, right? That will get almost a year of the seven he's seeking in extension.

Is Johan worth 7 / $150? Compared to Zito, sure, but jeez that's a lot of money and length.

2007-11-30 15:08:31
129.   regfairfield
128 If Torii Hunter is worth 5/90, Johan is worth way more than 7/150.
2007-11-30 15:09:34
130.   Sushirabbit
127, no I am with you. I think long term free agent pitching contracts are more risky than free agent hitters. You have Billingsly and Kershaw and the possibility (albeit slim) that Schmidt returns to be decent if not better. Why not get an autographed photo for Pierre and sign someone else? I'd rather take the chance on Jones if he'd settle for a 3 year plus some option on a 4th.
2007-11-30 15:16:26
131.   LogikReader
Boy, Ryan Church would be a great fit for the Rockies.

Where is this Eric Scott article everyone refers to? So far the Daily Bruin has provided nothing.

2007-11-30 15:22:21
132.   driches
i can't believe ned wouldn't pull the trigger on kershaw/ethier for santana, but 7/$20million just feels a lot like the Kevin Brown contract...
2007-11-30 15:26:25
133.   SG6
129 - Torii is NOT worth 5/90. On an OBP/$ basis, Pierre looks like a steal. On a OPS/$ it's a wash (although Torii is much better defensively).
2007-11-30 15:27:37
134.   Bob Timmermann
Most players in Japan have ruled out playing for the Carp. They are Japan's answer to the Pirates.
2007-11-30 15:27:49
135.   jystakes
127 Why not? I know you acknowledged you were in the minority, but seriously? The best pitcher in the game in his prime for a AA prospect and a above-average OF? We should be so lucky to get that deal. It's not like we're the Royals or A's or Indians and need to sit back and pray our prospects pan out (which they seldom do). We're a big market team and we should be going after all the available proven guys, especially at this price (if true).
2007-11-30 15:29:58
136.   blue22
132 - Santana is younger (will be 30 in '09, vs. 34 for Brown when he signed), better (Brown had a couple of top-3 Cy Young seasons to his credit; Johan has two Cy's, two top-5's, and a top-10 in the last 5 seasons), cleaner health history and has thrown less career innings than Brown when he signed his contract.
2007-11-30 15:32:21
137.   regfairfield
133 Player value is exponential. A six or seven win player is worth far more than twice as much as a three win player. A three win player shouldn't cost anything while a six win player is worth shelling out a decent amount of money.
2007-11-30 15:33:12
138.   rockmrete
Kershaw, Ethier, and Pierre...Deal.
2007-11-30 15:39:58
139.   blue22
138 - This gets you...Scott Rolen?
2007-11-30 15:40:09
140.   Eric Enders
I'm not big on giving up Kershaw, so I don't think I would have pulled the trigger on the deal. But it would have taken me about two seconds to say "hell, yes" to a 7 year/$20 mil Santana deal. I don't understand why so many people are skittish about such a deal. The guy is the best pitcher in baseball. The best pitcher in baseball comes on the open market, what, once a decade or so? You don't hem and haw over that. You don't fuss and worry. You don't express doubts. What you do is jump on the deal the first chance you get. Money should not be the obstacle here; giving up Kershaw should.

Santana is an amazing pitcher, and lingering fears of Dreifort II aside, there's no reason to believe he won't continue to be an amazing pitcher for a long time. There is no precedent in baseball history for a team signing a superstar pitcher to a long-term deal and getting burned. None. The Santanas of the world are exactly the kinds of pitchers you give those deals to -- the future Hall of Famers. Even the Kevin Brown signing, often cited as an example of free-agent excess gone awry, turned out to be a spectacular success for the Dodgers because Brown, when he was healthy, was SO good that he earned every penny of the deal and then some. Hall of Fame pitchers do not become pedestrian pitchers overnight, and they do not suffer injuries that last seven years. When they get hurt, they generally come back and pitch at a still-outstanding level. The fear of a total breakdown on Santana's part is 100% irrational and without precedent in the history of the game.

2007-11-30 15:40:31
141.   ryu
Why would anyone name their team "Carp?" It's one typo away from "Crap."
2007-11-30 15:44:03
142.   regfairfield
140 Thank you for putting that so much better than I could.

Do those of you who fear Santana suddenly exhausting himself think there's also a good chance Kershaw becomes Greg Miller? Because I'd say the latter is a far more likely scenario.

2007-11-30 15:45:42
143.   Eric Enders
141 "It's not like we're the Royals or A's or Indians and need to sit back and pray our prospects pan out (which they seldom do)."

Sir, you have violated Rule 6.

And not only that, you've done it after spending the last two seasons watching Russell Martin, Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, James Loney, and Matt Kemp play.


2007-11-30 15:48:52
144.   Eric Enders
Clearly, that was directed at 135 and not 141 .

One of these days, just once, I will manage to actually use the post-linking feature correctly.

Baby steps.

2007-11-30 15:50:33
145.   GoBears
143. Perhaps he meant that the Royals' and As' and Indians' prospects rarely pan out. Which is true for the Royals.
2007-11-30 15:52:53
146.   Bob Timmermann
Mmm.... carp....
2007-11-30 16:04:11
147.   scareduck
140 - Even the Kevin Brown signing ... turned out to be a spectacular success for the Dodgers because Brown, when he was healthy, was SO good that he earned every penny of the deal and then some.

Brown was a top starter in three of his seasons with the Dodgers, but injuries reduced his playing time and made him ineffective in 2001-2. Brown is a case study in why you don't give earth-shattering contracts to pitchers in their mid-thirties. Your whole case rests on the idea that he "earned every penny of the deal" in those years he was available. In fact, his injuries led to travesties like Omar Daal, and, one could argue, more starts for the warmed-over corpse of Andy Ashby. (On the other hand... Odalis Perez in 2002 was quite the stud.) But if you have to rest your case on the "when he was healthy" (which he wasn't for a substantial portion of the time the Dodgers had him), there's something fundamentally flawed with that argument.

2007-11-30 16:10:15
148.   the2pin
The Dodgers have been unlucky with pitchers lately, there's no question.

But something I haven't seen mentioned with Santana: doesn't a healthy Santana make any team he's playing for extremely dangerous in the playoffs? He's the kind of guy that can almost single handedly win a playoff series.

2007-11-30 16:11:24
149.   SG6
140 - Dodgers got 3.5 years of great value out of the 5 they had KB, and luckily were able to dump his final two on the Yankees. So 5*$15/3.5 = $21m/year pro-rated service time.

I guess it depends on what revenue is flowing into Dodger organization these days. Maybe $150 over 7 is a wise-investment, I just don't know the balance sheet and what constitutes a wise payroll these days. He's certainly worth two Pierres, but not 40 Russell Martin's ;)

2007-11-30 16:12:06
150.   Jim Hitchcock
Eric Enders; did I ever thank you for recommending `Looking for Alaska'? Great book.

Have you ever read `A Walk in The Woods', by Bill Bryson? Hiking the Appalachian Trail made hilarious, particularly the first half.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-11-30 16:12:15
151.   trojanmansaki
"It's not like we're the Royals or A's or Indians and need to sit back and pray our prospects pan out (which they seldom do)."

I don't even wanna bother about the Royals, however the Indians and the A's have been to more playoff series and have won more play off games with the philosophy of holding on to their premium talent than that of what the Dodgers have over the past ten years with their high-price, big name off season splurges and acquisitions.

The best thing for us to do, since we have all this talent is to hold on to it and watch it grow just like the indians did with Justice, Loften,Thome, Sexson, Colon, Giles, and the current group of players that they have. Our future is bright, and I'm probably the not the first to say that.

2007-11-30 16:12:30
152.   SG6
149 - And I realize Russell's salary is not free-agent, so not a true comparison, just fun.
2007-11-30 16:12:46
153.   Eric Enders
147 We got a lot more than three seasons of Brown. In toto, here's what we got out of the Brown deal:

- 873 innings (about four and a half years) of pitching by Brown at a near Cy Young-caliber level (147 ERA+).

- 444 innings of league-average pitching from Jeff Weaver.

- A couple of partial seasons as closer from Yhency Brazoban

- First-round picks Chris Withrow and James Adkins, both of whom have shown promise thus far.

You're telling me that's not worth $105 million? The Brown portion alone is worth the $105 mil, easy. The rest was just gravy.

2007-11-30 16:14:26
154.   Jim Hitchcock
146 Wait another eight years, Bob, and it will be mmm...Aarp...
2007-11-30 16:14:35
155.   Eric Enders
150 Jim, I have read "A Walk in the Woods," and liked it. I'm a big Bryson fan. I also enjoyed his "In a Sunburned Country," which is a travelogue of Australia.
2007-11-30 16:14:51
156.   jystakes
143 We've certainly been lucky recently with our prospects. But the names you've mentioned are by no means proven major league all-stars. Their futures look bright, but they've had success for what, 3 months to 1.5 years at most? All I'm saying is we're a big market team that should be going after the big name guys and should be settling for no less than making the world series every year. Also, the idea is to sell when the value is high, and buy when it's low. Right now, the value of Kemp, Loney, Ethier, Kershaw are sky high. As we learned with Edwin Jackson, Guzman, etc...that can change in half a season. Even if we traded Kershaw and he lived up to all the hype, it's not like we'd be receiving some flash in the pan pitcher. we're talking about Johan Santana here.
2007-11-30 16:16:20
157.   Jon Weisman
147 - You don't have to rest the case on "when he was healthy." The point is, if you don't have Brown, then you're likely to end up with Daal and Ashby ... Tomko and Hendrickson -- only full-time.

Here's what Brown provided the Dodgers:

Three full seasons with ERA+ of 143 and 169 and 169 (1999, 2000, 2003)
115 innings with an ERA+ of 150 (2001)
One really bad year (2002)
Traded for Jeff Weaver and Yhency Brazoban, who gave the Dodgers ERA+ of 102 and 165 in 2004
Then both those guys fell off in 2005 - Weaver was average, Brazoban less so.

So in the seven years, you have what I would call 3 1/2 outstanding seasons, one very good season and one average season.

One can shy about giving seven-year deals to anyone, but Brown is not the case study against.

You can't get good years like Brown had by offering short-term deals - not without paying a premium in annual salary. And it's not as if the Furcal or Schmidt signings have proven any better for the Dodgers. The team has already gotten two bad years out of them.

Short of lucking into a Pedro Martinez (and keeping him), I don't really see a problem with throwing big money and years at great players. Better to go 7/$150 on Santana than 2/$9 on mediocrities.

That being said, I'd really like to keep Kershaw if we can.

2007-11-30 16:19:33
158.   jystakes
151 Who's won more world series in the past 20 years, the A's and Indians? Or the Yankees and Redsox? Sure the A's and Indians are fun as heck to root for, but are they world series favorites ever? Rarely, if ever. The reason the Dodger's haven't won is because of ridiculously stupid contracts, which I am not advocating. I think giving a HOF pitcher in his prime a 7-year $20 million dollar contract wouldn't qualify. Zito, Neagle, Hampton, Pavano? Yes, those qualify. The question ultimately is do we want to win? Or do we want to win in the most fun and interesting way with home-grown talent? I'll take winning at this matter how we do it.
2007-11-30 16:22:06
159.   Megaballs
Howdy .02c

In a world where Silva may be worth $10mil a year, Meche $11/yr just because their free agents, doesn't the value of 1st 2nd year major league players of even modest success go thru the roof?

Florida and Minnesota should wise up and just ask for ONE of these studs like Kemp, Ker...unmentionable or even LaRoche etc plus 2-3 legit A or AA prospects and be happy? Ned would bite maybe...our #4,5,6 guys are better than most teams top 2 or 3 prospects...

If we cut Pierre, we suffer big time...follow...5 year deal, $9mil a year. after one year of $9mil, we owe him $36mil...we eat half of that $18mil to offer Chicago, Texas, Minnesota a $4.5mil CF...frees up $18mil or a year of Andruw...
But we just spent $27million for one year of Pierre!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!better to have him back up in CF,LF and pinch run I Ned...

2007-11-30 16:23:00
160.   trainwreck
Well in the last 20 years, the A's went to three straight World Series.
2007-11-30 16:27:18
161.   trojanmansaki
"I'll take winning at this matter how we do it. "

Even at the expense of setting the Dodgers back in the long term?

Personally, I'd rather win with the home grown kids, the kids that we draft, sign, and develop. I wanna watch them go through their growing pains and ultimately figure it out with the Dodgers and not be world champs with the Marlins or another team.

2007-11-30 16:27:36
162.   the2pin
157 and 158 are both correct, in my opinion.

I firmly believe that those would wouldn't give Johan Santana a lengthy, expensive deal because he is a pitcher, or Miguel Cabrera a lengthy, expensive deal because of possible weight concerns, do not understand the current market.

Some team is going to give premium players premium contracts.

If, as a team, you refuse to grant these contracts, you wind up being essentially a small market team that either (a) has to rely on risky vets like Nomar to reinvent themselves, or (b) has to hope their young players can contribute.

2007-11-30 16:28:08
163.   LogikReader

Right, but I see where he was going with that.


There's also a difference between those markets and the Los Angeles market (of Los Angeles). Imagine if the A's could have kept Giambi, Tejada, AND the big three in the early 2000's. The A's might have gone to three more World Series then and there.

Money plays a big factor here.

2007-11-30 16:29:50
164.   Eric Enders
156 "All I'm saying is we're a big market team that should be going after the big name guys and should be settling for no less than making the world series every year."

I think we'd all like that, but... what was that you were saying last night about UCLA fans, Bob?

Anyway, I would dispute your notion that none of those guys have proven themselves to be outstanding major leaguers. In fact, that's exactly what they've proven themselves to be. Every single guy I mentioned. You're doing an apples-oranges comparison when you bring up Jackson, Guzman and people like that. The young current Dodgers are long past the point where they could become washouts like those two; they have already enjoyed a level of MLB success that Jackson and Guzman never did. (Not only that, but Jackson and Guzman, though they always seem to be brought up as Exhibits A and B of failed prospects, may themselves still end up having fruitful major league careers.)

I am mystified by the whole "Prospect A disappointed me, so that means we should get rid of Prospect B" mentality. Clayton Kershaw is not Edwin Jackson. He's also not Kiki Jones, or Chad Billingsley, or Ramon Martinez, or Fernando, or any other prospect we've ever had. He's Clayton Kershaw, and he should be judged on his own merits and his own potential -- not jettisoned because of some emotional baggage people still have about Edwin Jackson. Folks who don't follow prospects closely seem to often think that all top prospects are alike, that they all have the same value as the last prospect, or the next one. But Clayton Kershaw is the best pitching prospect the Dodgers have ever had. He is, in the view of Baseball America and others, the type of pitcher who comes along once in a generation. It would be a shame if we punted Kershaw's future simply because Edwin Jackson happened to lose his command one spring.

2007-11-30 16:32:43
165.   jystakes
161 Fair enough. And that's a very respectable view. And if we made the world series in say, the past 10 years, I might agree. BUt right now, let's just say our patience and tolerance for losing aren't quite in sync. We haven't seen a NLCS here since what, 1988? 19 years? That's too long in my book. No, I don't want to hamstring our future...I think a good blend of good contracts to proven players and young, cheap homegrown talent is the way to go. We have TONS of young cheap talent, so we can afford to give up one or two, but only if we're getting quality in return. There's no better quality than Johan.
2007-11-30 16:33:00
166.   KG16
163 - what's to say that the A's wouldn't have made a lot of money to pay for those big contracts if they'd have re-signed those guys?
2007-11-30 16:34:46
167.   regfairfield
So, Lastings Milledge projects to have a pretty good career.

If only we had a backup catcher to toss the Mets way...

2007-11-30 16:35:33
168.   Andrew Shimmin
Given I'm a uniter, not a divider, I propose that we give great, honking sacks of money to Russell Martin. That way, we can prove that we want to win without having to give Kershaw away. Billingsley, too. Win-win-win.
2007-11-30 16:36:02
169.   Bob Timmermann
I think we'd all like that, but... what was that you were saying last night about UCLA fans, Bob?

I'd be very happy if the Dodgers went to the Rose Bowl once every 5-6 years.

2007-11-30 16:36:20
170.   Eric Enders
167 We could give them Mike Lieberthal. But I'd hate to part with the only Dodger who appears in the opening credits of "The Office."

That, and we don't actually have Lieberthal under contract, unless I missed a rebus.

2007-11-30 16:39:19
171.   SG6
153/157 - I should have been clear on the 3.5 seasons - yes 3 "outstanding" 200+ inning seasons which were worth the money. One year he was equally strong, but only able to pitch 115 innings, hence the .5.

I think we're all able to look at trades, because we can compare the talent of players using data on both sides. But free agent signings are tough because we don't have access to "the numbers" to know if $20 million per year is feasible.

Would any object to McCourt selling naming rights to Dodger Stadium for $10 million/year?

2007-11-30 16:39:57
172.   regfairfield
170 Ethier and Lieberthal would have been a better package.

Dang Colletti not willing to activate a million dollar option.

2007-11-30 16:40:42
173.   Andrew Shimmin
Are the Nats going to keep being broke long enough for Milledge (should his career go anything like ZIPS thinks it will) to be too expensive to keep?
2007-11-30 16:41:04
174.   Eric Enders
171 "Would any object to McCourt selling naming rights to Dodger Stadium for $10 million/year?"

[Raises hand]
[Raises other hand]
[Raises all other limbs]
[Goes nextdoor to borrow the neighbors' hands]

2007-11-30 16:42:17
175.   Jon Weisman
169 - Instead, ironically (for the purposes of this conversation), they're going to the Coliseum.
2007-11-30 16:42:21
176.   Andrew Shimmin
171- Depends on whom he sold them to. If Nippon Ham wanted to pony up, I'd be cool with it.
2007-11-30 16:43:49
177.   trainwreck
Is there a company called Chavez we can sell the rights to?
2007-11-30 16:44:36
178.   Eric Enders
173 Are the Nats still broke? My impression is that they have money they're willing to spend and are just looking for the right thing to spend it on.

In any case, they will have a license to print great hoards of money exactly 122 days, 22 hours, 15 minutes, and 46 seconds from now. (They have a timer on their site counting down the time until the new park opens.)

2007-11-30 16:47:40
179.   Linkmeister
174 That image makes me think of road-killed armadillo, for some reason.
2007-11-30 16:50:17
180.   Bob Timmermann
The McCourts would receive an avalanche of bad PR if they sold the naming rights to Dodger Stadium. Especially if it were for $10 million. The Mets are getting $20 million a year for 20 years.

The people of L.A. like Dodger Stadium. They won't like going to Vivendi Universal Stadium.

2007-11-30 16:50:25
181.   Jon Weisman
From Gurnick:

Trainer Stan Conte said all injured Dodgers are on schedule to be competitive in Spring Training. Specifically, Jason Schmidt (shoulder surgery) has just begun to toss. Brad Penny (sports hernia) and Derek Lowe (hip labrum) finished the season healthy and required no surgery. Hong-chih Kuo (elbow surgery) is on his normal offseason program. Tony Abreu (hernia surgery) has completed his initial recovery and is about to resume baseball activities. Rafael Furcal (ankle sprain) feels good enough to be considering winter ball. Nomar Garciaparra (calf) is undergoing his normal offseason rehab and training regimen. Chin-lung Hu (hamstring) has recovered and will join the Taiwan national team. Yhency Brazoban (shoulder surgery) is about to begin bullpen sessions. Jason Repko (hamstring surgery, ankle stress fracture) is resting the ankle, but the hamstring is healed. Minor Leaguers Scott Elbert (shoulder surgery) and Bryan Morris (elbow surgery) are also expected to be ready for Spring Training.

2007-11-30 16:50:48
182.   jystakes
164 "Anyway, I would dispute your notion that none of those guys have proven themselves to be outstanding major leaguers. In fact, that's exactly what they've proven themselves to be. Every single guy I mentioned." Really? Loney, Kemp and Billingsley are outstanding proven major league players? Martin, maybe, and even that's a stretch. But I don't think we have enough MLB service time and "sample size" to say that with any credibility. I think we need more than half a season to be considered a "proven outstanding major league." We may be arguing semantics here, but my point is they are considerably less proven than Johan, Cabrera, etc.

"I am mystified by the whole "Prospect A disappointed me, so that means we should get rid of Prospect B" mentality." To be fair, I didn't say anything about "getting rid of" any prospects. Nor did I use or imply the words "jettison" or "punt".'s JOHAN SANTANA.

"But Clayton Kershaw is the best pitching prospect the Dodgers have ever had. He is, in the view of Baseball America and others, the type of pitcher who comes along once in a generation." This may be true, but he still has yet to pitch a single inning in AAA or MLB. Who knows yet about his makeup, his training, how he will handle the majors, fame, money, list goes on and on. Again, we'd be trading potential greatness for greatness. That's all I'm saying.

2007-11-30 16:51:40
183.   Lexinthedena
177- The UFW?
2007-11-30 16:52:29
184.   trainwreck
Please do not play Winter Ball, Rafael.
2007-11-30 16:53:23
185.   Marty
How did Repko fracture his ankle while rehabbing his hamstring?
2007-11-30 16:54:23
186.   Lexinthedena
182- You make some valid points...but Martin a strectch? you can't be serious...
2007-11-30 16:55:44
187.   Lexinthedena
185- I'm just glad he didn't fracture Furcal's ankle while rehabbing his hamstring....
2007-11-30 16:56:38
188.   Jon Weisman
2007-11-30 16:58:01
189.   Andrew Shimmin
182- We sort of know how Kershaw's handling the money (the signing bonus, anyway). There was an interview in which he talked about sleeping on an inflatable mattress. We also know how Cabrera has handled his money; a hundred tacos for a hundred dollars.
2007-11-30 16:58:53
190.   jystakes
186 I didn't feel great writing that sentence. You're probably right. Martin is the exception. My point is simply that there should be great value placed on someone being an outstanding major league player for 5-6 years, rather than just 6 months to 1 year.
2007-11-30 16:59:06
191.   ToyCannon
I would have no problem saying Dodger Stadium or saying DWP Stadium, it makes no never mind to me. America is all about consumerism, no sense in trying to pretend different. I'm not even that partial to Dodger Stadium as it is. If most of the people here hadn't been taken to the ballpark by their Dad's I wonder how in awe they would really be about it. It is all about memories, I just don't find it that great a ballpark to watch baseball unless you have seats between the bases.

While I agree with everything Eric said 1/2 of me says I'd still trade Kershaw for either Johan or Miggy. Not because I don't think Kershaw will pan out but because I'd rather see Johan pitching his age 29-36 seasons or Miggy hitting his age 25-30 seasons with the Dodgers then Kershaw's 20-25 seasons. The other 1/2 of me wants to watch Logans Army of Loney, LaRoche, Kemp, Martin, Hu, Billingsley, Elbert, McDonald, Meloan, and Kershaw knock the snot out the beasts from the East.

The part I love about Santana is this:
December 13, 1999: Drafted by the Florida Marlins from the Houston Astros in the 1999 rule 5 draft.
Ranks, right up there with D4P.

2007-11-30 17:16:19
192.   ChicagoDodger
190 My point is simply that there should be great value placed on someone being an outstanding major league player for 5-6 years, rather than just 6 months to 1 year.

What are you talking about? Santana, by all reports will receive a contract in the neighborhood of $150 million for 6 years. Cabrera might get an extension in the $20 million a year range for multiple years.

Any of the young players on the Dodgers won't sniff that for years!

You won't find a clearer placing of value on outstanding veterans over players who have merely been outstanding for 6 months to a year then that!

Now, at some point, you have to draw a line on just how much value you place on the outstanding veteran, no matter how outstanding they have been.

And that line is clearly drawn at having to give up young talent, in addition to all that money!

I'm sorry, but I have yet to see a major league player who is worth Kershaw, LaRoche and Kemp, plus $150 million for 6 years. Simply put, that player does not exist.

2007-11-30 17:19:52
193.   ChicagoDodger
171 because I'd rather see Johan pitching his age 29-36 seasons or Miggy hitting his age 25-30 seasons with the Dodgers then Kershaw's 20-25 seasons.

I'd rather watch Kershaw pitching his 20-25 seasons "and" his 26-36 seasons, "all" as a Dodger. But that's just me.

2007-11-30 17:29:42
194.   Bob Loblaw
182 - "But Clayton Kershaw is the best pitching prospect the Dodgers have ever had. He is, in the view of Baseball America and others, the type of pitcher who comes along once in a generation." This may be true, but he still has yet to pitch a single inning in AAA or MLB. Who knows yet about his makeup, his training, how he will handle the majors, fame, money, list goes on and on. Again, we'd be trading potential greatness for greatness. That's all I'm saying.

All I'm saying is that we'd be trading potential greatness & roster flexibility for greatness & roster inflexibility.

2007-11-30 18:54:01
195.   Vishal
hm. i grew up about 3 miles from los cab.
2007-11-30 18:55:09
196.   Vishal
But Clayton Kershaw is the best pitching prospect the Dodgers have ever had

wow, ever? we've had some incredible pitchers. does that mean kershaw has higher upside than the dodger greats?

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