Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Dodger Thoughts

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

09  08  07 
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

If the Dodgers Do the Right Thing, Does It Matter Why?
2007-12-03 00:03
by Jon Weisman

If the Dodgers' current apparent stance is to trust in their younger players and not make moves out of desperation, does it matter whether this stance is motivated by 1) rational analysis of the roster after reflecting on the 2007 season and postseason or 2) a pure desire by ownership to conserve spending?

This is a theoretical question, based on no insight as to whether the real motivation is 1), 2) or a combination ... or whether the stance itself will hold through the offseason.

Before going to bed (too late) tonight, I'll posit that the why doesn't matter in the short term. I'll also posit that the McCourts aren't too cheap to sign free agents, figuring they can make up the spending through aggressive marketing and pricing.

But I was just wondering what you all think.

* * *

Assuming Andre Ethier would be the odd man out of the starting lineup or even the roster, rather than Juan Pierre, how much would an Andruw Jones or Aaron Rowand signing help the Dodgers?

2007-12-03 00:19:16
1.   trainwreck
To me it does not matter, because we are going to reap the benefits (I believe) regardless. Hopefully, if we are successful it will also change managements way of evaluating the team.

As for Jones and Rowand signing, I do not want Rowand no matter what. If we sign Jones, does that mean we are going to trade Ethier or Kemp?

2007-12-03 00:23:31
2.   bhsportsguy
Thanks Jon, strange weekend, bookended by losses by UCLA, one expected, one not so much.

I don't think it matters why they came to this conclusion, it is probably a combination of several factors, a few of them that you named.

Again, the team is prepping those outside of DT for the strong possibility that the team will not do anything big aside from changing managers.

Simers, Plaschke and others will challenge the team especially if the Angels make the trade for Cabrera but the Dodgers will have to hang in there and take it.

On your second question, I choose to wait and see what happens first.

2007-12-03 00:24:03
3.   Xeifrank
I think a Jones signing would lend itself to an Ethier or Kemp trade. Kemp would reap the better bounty (perhaps Bedard or equivalent?). Or it could mean that Pierre is given a chance to play himself out of a starting LF job, much like Nomar was at 1B last year (CF->LF->Part-time->Bench). Who knows.
vr, Xei
2007-12-03 00:35:25
4.   DougS
Another vote for "It doesn't matter why."

A tangential question, though: How different would the Dodgers look now (and how would the last 10 years or so have differed) if Peter O'Malley hadn't sold the team? It just occurred to me that, at the time, we were told by various parties that the age of individual ownership of sports teams had passed, because only corporations had the resources to pay the big contracts. And yet, here we are with the Dodgers no longer in corporate hands, owned by a heavily-leveraged real estate tycoon.

2007-12-03 01:00:10
5.   thinkblue0
I don't think a Rowand signing would help us at all since Eithier will probably put up at least similar numbers. If Jones can return to form, I could see him definitely being an upgrade over Eithier...also assuming Eithier would then be dealt for something else helpful.

I would be all over paying someone to take Pierre, sign Jones, and then stand pat after that. Outfield of Kemp, Eithier, Jones? Sign me up.

2007-12-03 01:07:32
6.   CanuckDodger
I have been afraid for a long time that McCourt's determination to appear to be a big-time operator and not tick off either fans or media will keep him from allowing the full-blown youth movement I want to see. So, really I WANT McCourt to be cheaper than he is, because my vision of the 2009 Dodgers -- Hu takes over for Furcal, Abreu takes over for Kent, Kershaw (or Elbert) and McDonald take over for Lowe and Loaiza, and Loney, Kemp, Martin, LaRoche, Ethier, Billingsley, and Broxton are still on the team and playing big roles -- involves the Dodgers having about a $50-60 million payroll. I want to believe that vision will become reality, and I really believe that team would be good, with the potential to become amazing, but I know I'm kidding myself that McCourt would ever allow the payroll to drop that low. It would be a huge PR disaster suffered by a very PR conscious baseball owner.
2007-12-03 01:15:34
7.   Bleed Dodger Blue
5 That's more or less what I'm thinking. No need to dish out an extra 14 million a year for a decent defensive upgrade and a wash on offense. Andruw, I might like to see the Dodgers roll the dice on.

In answer to the original question, I say neither: I think the FO isn't trying to be thrifty (why would you be with 3.8 mil in attendance last season?), but actually realizes that this is a crummy FA market. This is a big step, people ... this marks a vast improvement from the norm.

However, I don't think the FO is content to stand pat with the youngins' either. I'm still predicting Colletti & Co. make some lopsided trade by the end of the calendar year that we get all "Blue"-faced about and discuss here at length.

Hurray for the Hot Stove!

2007-12-03 01:24:46
8.   bhsportsguy
The Dodger payroll will never drop under 90 million in foreseeable future, with the kids or without.
2007-12-03 01:26:25
9.   bhsportsguy
6 And its not just a PR move either, frankly it would not be good business, he's not going cut prices so if they decide to fill in the roster with short-term deals to fill holes, why not.
2007-12-03 01:46:43
10.   thinkblue0

With all the complaining we're all guilty of lately, things haven't hit the fan which is good. We've still got our guys and it looks (knock on wood)like the FO is making the right decisions.

mlbtraderumors is reporting that we're after Jones...MUCH rather have Jones than Rowand.

Who knows, maybe Ned will shock us at the meetings and get someone to bite on Pierre and give a short (2-3 years) deal for Jones.

2007-12-03 06:37:25
11.   Bluebleeder87
I feel A. Jones would be big help in the infield & with his stick Rowand is just not my kind of player I'm really hoping the Dodgers pass on him. So no Kuroda news....
2007-12-03 06:41:13
12.   Bluebleeder87
err, that should be A. Jones would be big help in the outfield. sorry I just woke up.
2007-12-03 06:52:39
13.   JoeyP
I think its too early to come to a conclusion about what the Dodgers are wanting to do, or are going to do.

Maybe after ther winter meetings, if the Dodgers have done anything---then we can all breathe easier.

There hasnt been much movement this off-season from any teams yet.

2007-12-03 07:01:13
14.   Sushirabbit
What will we all say if the Dodgers move Pierre? Right now, I'd say it was a joke until I saw it happen, but given everything I think it's more likely to happen than I previously thought. And if they do that AND keep Kemp and Ethier, I don't care who they bring in. Jones CAN be really good, but I'm telling you he's at least as high as Nomar on the injury risk. I'd rather keep Ethier. I think he could even play CF.
2007-12-03 07:08:16
15.   Bob Timmermann
Hiram Bocachica is off the market:

2007-12-03 07:11:08
16.   Benaiah
Until the Dodgers actually sign an outfielder, I think it is incredibly premature to assume that Pierre will stay and Ethier/Kemp will go. Columnists are no doubt more familiar with Pierre and the move to left makes (dubious) old school baseball sense, but I have a hard time believing that Colletti really thinks that is a good idea. On the other hand, it might ultimately be Torre's call.

Statistically, Ethier seems a safer bet than Rowand or Jones. He is unlikely to ever post a sub-.800 OPS, which Jones did this year and Rowand has done several times. His ceiling, thus far anyway, is also a lot lower. It might be years before he hits over 20 home runs and his career ISOpower is about .160 (Jones's career ISO is .234 and he topped .300 in 2005, Rowand has topped .200 twice). I think over a five year contract Andruw Jones would be worth a win or more over Ethier 4 out of 5 years. Rowand might only be over Ethier at all 2 or 3 years out of five.

2007-12-03 07:13:00
17.   Ken Noe
Gurnick mentions a possibility of the Dodgers making a move to get Beltre back. I've seen this mentioned from time to time for weeks, but I didn't have the impression that Yo! Adrian was on the market. Is this (as I've assumed) just reporter rumormongering?
2007-12-03 07:32:03
18.   D Money
i too have seen the Bring Beltre back thoughts thrown about...i fail too see how Beltre is a better option than LaRoche...If i recall we waited around for 5-6 years before he had a great year and left...

I'm not positive but i dont think he did great after that stellar season.

as to the original question, i think the reasoning is VERY important....if they are trying to conserve money, then we will probably be disappointed in the long term, if they continue with that. but judging by past signings i dont think they are trying to save money.

the only way i would be happy about signing a CF is if it led the way to a Cabrera deal.

is rowand or jones/pierre/laroche better than kemp/pierre/laroche?
i dont think so

actually, the only legit move i can come up with is signing rowand or jones and shipping out pierre.

i'd LOVE Ethier/Rowand or Jones/Kemp in the OF

2007-12-03 07:37:49
19.   D Money
i just checked...Beltre's Career OB% is worse than Pierre's by .021...although Beltre is said to be a plus defender, but i don't know the stats there.
2007-12-03 07:41:44
20.   DodgerBakers
Interesting article at Hardball Times today about consistency and its effect on a team's winning percentage.
The Dodgers had the strangest run distribution of 2007.
2007-12-03 07:43:53
21.   screwballin
I think Jon's question matters a lot, because if our main motivation becomes one of saving money, we'll have a hard time consistently fielding a winner.

I know the embarrassment of riches coming from our farm system makes that a possible winning strategy in the short term. But if they follow that path and it works, will that reinforce "going on the cheap" as a long-term strategy?

2007-12-03 07:45:44
22.   screwballin
In other words, what 18 said.
2007-12-03 07:49:01
23.   D Money
bad link
2007-12-03 07:49:18
24.   Terry A
IIRC, Gurnick is pretty much the sole source of the Beltre speculation. Perhaps it's a fetish or fixation.

"If the Dodgers do the right thing, does it matter why?" This makes me think of the old saw, "It's better to be lucky than good." At this point, when Colletti does the right thing, it looks more like luck than skill (from my limited perspective). If that's accurate, then the luck will run out at some point, and we'll have more Pierres or Tomkos or Baezes running about. So it matters to me, at least, until Colletti proves he's left his PVL-lovin' ways.

2007-12-03 07:49:20
25.   screwballin
15 What's the deal, Bob? Was "Bocachica" too tough to say in pictures? :)
2007-12-03 07:55:48
26.   Andrew Shimmin
Link to the THT piece on consistency. No article yet on concetration.
2007-12-03 07:57:28
27.   ToyCannon
Mr. Beltre's game is not about OBP but everything else is solid. Defense is impeccable and his power will get the job done. He doesn't need 2004 on his resume to show he's been one of history's best home run hitters at 3rd base. Since the lousy 2005 season, he's been worth every penny of his contract.

Seattle is a pennant contending team without any 3rd base options other then Beltre. They need pitching but they can't trade Beltre without leaving a huge hole at 3rd. With LaRoche I don't see how we are a fit with Seattle and Bavasi is not bright enough to do a straight flip of the two.

2007-12-03 08:04:27
28.   DodgerBakers
23 Sorry, not sure what happened there. Thanks Andrew for the correct link...
2007-12-03 08:07:57
29.   D Money
beltres career averages are lower than what i think LaRoches could be. and btw...beltre's OPS is only .061 higher than weak hitting low OB% Pierre

seasonal averages for beltre
25 homers-good
.271 BA-bad
.327 OBP-bad
.459 Slug-not great for 'one of history's best home run hitters'
.786 OPS-not great either

2007-12-03 08:11:13
30.   Andrew Shimmin
28- One of Team Bhsportsguy's members is Kevin Mitnick. The real question is why he decided to pick on you. . . and how long you have to live.
2007-12-03 08:13:51
31.   ToyCannon
Haren had an incredible 1st half last year but it was based on a very low hit rate 23% and a very high strand rate 85%. As they normalized in the 2nd half his ERA rose with it. He was an incredibly lucky pitcher in the 1st half when he looked like a Cy Young candidate and very unlucky in the 2nd half when he looked like a league average pitcher. If Beane is going to offer him as an elite pitcher and wants Kershaw, Billingsley, or Kemp in any such deal the answer has to be no. He is worth a combination of players from LaRoche, Etheir, Elbert, McDonald, Hu, Abreu, D Young, Dejesus, DeWitt and Paul. He is not worth the cream of our crop.
2007-12-03 08:15:04
32.   CajunDodger
Our assumptions about the non-existence of clutch hitting may have been premature according to Bill James:

Interesting that the guy he uses as his #1 example for a player that defines unclutchness is our old friend Juan Pierre.

{stabbing himself with a pencil}

2007-12-03 08:20:45
33.   Jon Weisman
32 - People keep mentioning that article, but I found it pretty unsatisfying. I realize that it's just a tease for what's coming in the Hardball Times annual, but the article itself didn't really offer much to me.
2007-12-03 08:26:16
34.   D4P
As I said the other day, the article doesn't appear to compare how players perform in "clutch" situations with how they perform in "unclutch" situations. And even if it did, such an analysis would implicitly ignore the fact that the better you perform in unclutch situations, the less likely you are to find yourself in certain clutch situations (e.g. close games in late innings) in the first place.
2007-12-03 08:29:34
35.   Jon Weisman
Also, the argument has been that clutch hitters don't exist, not that clutch hitting doesn't exist.
2007-12-03 08:30:39
36.   CajunDodger
I have been out of it for a couple of days, so I did not know that it had been here before.

I tend to agree that it seems to be a teaser and inconclusive. No matter what, this statistic, like our currently imperfect defensive metrics, will probably vary widely depending on the model.

2007-12-03 08:31:05
37.   Bob Timmermann
Veterans Committee tabs 5.

Pictures up on the Griddle, words to follow.

2007-12-03 08:36:49
38.   CajunDodger
I have not had the chance to read the previous threads, but I will be watching my LSU Tigers from a suite in Vegas the night of the BCS title game with a couple other alums.

Not sure they are the best choice, but they may be the least of all the evils. Let's hope that LSU playing in the game (and hopefully winning it) will cause some sort of 4-team mini-playoff next year.

2007-12-03 08:42:40
39.   ToyCannon
But the .459% is right in line with all time great home run hitting 3rd baseman. 3rd baseman is the key. He's not a corner outfielder. He's only 28 and he's already hit 217 home runs. Ron Cey had only hit 81 home runs at the same age.

The expectation for LaRoche is high by all of us, but no one had better Minor League numbers then Beltre. The OBP of LaRoche in the minors or his slug% may or may not translate. Alex Gordon sure struggled, Andy Marte is still struggling. Not eveyone is Ryan Braun. Beltre never fullfilled his initial promise as an "elite" player but he has become a very solid 3rd baseman. Two years ago everyone would have jumped on Eric Chavez as the 3rd baseman over Beltre. Is anyone going to make that pick now?

I don't mean to belabor the point but your initial comment was about his subpar OBP compared to Pierre and that the only thing he brings is defense. I think he brings everything execpt a league average OBP. He's not Pedro Feliz, his OBP has fluctuated from .290 - .360 if you take out his rookie year low and his fluke 2004 high.

2007-12-03 08:44:12
40.   Bob Loblaw
Mike Cameron's name came up as a possibility for Ned to go after if he can't land Jones or Rowand. That would be a HUGE mistake! This Hot Stove Season is driving me nuts!

Can't we just sign Kuroda so there won't be any temptation to trade the farm for a SP?

2007-12-03 08:48:05
41.   bhsportsguy
37 Brooklyn and certain NY based writers will be boycotting the HOF this July.
2007-12-03 08:54:28
42.   Sushirabbit
If we could solve the outfield and keep Kemp but had to give up Broxton, would you do it? What about Gagne as setup, would HE do it?
2007-12-03 08:54:44
43.   Bob Timmermann
Strangely, there's no BTF thread yet where people can go ballistic over a certain former Commissioner being named to the Hall of Fame.
2007-12-03 08:55:10
44.   Bob Timmermann
And now there are two!
2007-12-03 08:57:41
45.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-12-03 09:01:01
46.   sweepstakes
Jones vs. Rowand: I'd pass on both and would feel content to play some combo of Kemp, Ethier, Young, even Repko, minus you-know-who.
2007-12-03 15:15:09
47.   scareduck
32 - count me among those who find the oft-recently-quoted James article very thin gruel, of a piece with "Underestimating the Fog".
2007-12-03 15:59:16
48.   BTC
Sign free agents kuroda and A jones. Keep Kemp and Ethier in the outfield and I think we have a dangerous team. Make Pierre into the Red Sox version of Dave Roberts, coming off the bench to steal bases make things happen, and also play the field to give the regulars days off. Honestly who wouldn't feel comfortable and excited with this lineup.

C - Russell Martin
1B - James Loney
2B - Jeff Kent
SS - Rafael Furcal
3B - Andy LaRoche, Nomar
LF - Andre Ethier
CF - Andruw Jones
RF - Matt Kemp

SP - Brad Penny
SP - Derek Lowe
SP - Chad Billingsly

4th & 5th starters
Pick from:

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.