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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

2007-12-16 07:52
by Jon Weisman

Matt Patterson of The Oklahoman checked in with Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp in this interview:

Or, if you prefer passive voice ...

Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp was checked into by Matt Patterson of The Oklahoman in this interview:

Former Midwest City star Matt Kemp has packed a lot of life experience into his 23 years.

As a Bomber, Kemp helped Midwest City to a state championship in basketball, but he also saw two teammates, Shelden Williams and De'Angelo Alexander, investigated on charges of sexual assault. Kemp was also questioned by police as a witness. Charges were never filed, but it's an experience that sticks with Kemp to this day.

In his debut year with the Dodgers, Kemp hit .342 last season. He talks about life in LA, trade rumors and his feud with teammate Jeff Kent. Through it all, Kemp has called on his Oklahoma roots to stay grounded. ...

Kemp's "people are out to get you" philosophy, as expressed in the interview, is sad when you think about it - perhaps damaging in its own way somehow or indicative of damage already done - but perhaps also a pragmatic approach for him to have at this point in his life.

* * *

Hiroki Kuroda is getting a $7.3 million signing bonus for 2007 and then $5 million in salary for 2008, according to Tony Jackson of the Daily News. For the purposes of the recently updated payroll worksheet on the Dodger Thoughts sidebar, I'm putting the entire $12.3 million under 2008.

Jackson said Kuroda would get $10 million in 2009 and $13 million in 2010.

Comments (421)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-12-16 08:09:37
1.   Vishal
poor fella sounds like he's gotten slightly paranoid. it's probably good that he is though.
2007-12-16 08:10:30
2.   MC Safety
Nice read Jon. Matt Kemp essentially saying he wanted to be a Dodger for life! I mean who wouldnt be disappointed if the were traded, but that was encouraging.

His outlook on the LA nightlife was a pleasant surprise as well. TMZ is no joke.

2007-12-16 08:11:37
3.   D4P
Why is Toby Keith allowed (apparently) unlimited access to the Dodger locker room...?
2007-12-16 08:12:27
4.   Humma Kavula
And when we saaaaaaay, yo! ki yip ki yay ki you
It's just our way of saying, "You're doing fine, Matthew Kemp... Matthew Kemp, mmmmkay!"
2007-12-16 08:15:58
5.   Sam DC
I wonder if Matt Peterson would know what you call Tom and Katie's daughter wearing a fancy hat.
2007-12-16 08:21:37
6.   Vishal
3 i don't know why but i bothered to google it. i found an interview in the chicago sun-times:

Favorite Chicago sports team: The Cubs. I'm a Dodgers fan, but if you're in Chicago, you have to support the Cubs.

2007-12-16 08:23:03
7.   Humma Kavula
5 But she doesn't have Isinglass curtains you can roll right down. What if there's a change in the weather?
2007-12-16 08:25:20
8.   Gen3Blue
Though unfortunate, It seems that being a bit paranoid is very useful to Matt at this point in his life

I think it's really shameful the way the LA press has treated him. As someone once said, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you. I'm glad he seems to have enough perspective not to be too upset with the media or the vets like Kent.

2007-12-16 08:29:01
9.   Gilberto Reyes
After reading the article, I think we need to be careful about taking some of his quotes out of context. I don't believe that he has a "people are out to get you" philosophy in general. He mentioned it with regards to the LA night life, and I applaud any young player who recognizes the risks of being famous in a big city. That is a practical and sensible approach to be careful about what you do as a young athlete with money. We have all seen the mistakes that other young athletes have made and some never really recover from them. I don't think he is being paranoid.
2007-12-16 08:29:24
10.   D4P
I think Kemp's attitude is perfectly warranted. I'd recommend it to all "celebrities".
2007-12-16 08:44:48
11.   Slipstream
The Kuroda contract underscores how underpaid Saito has been the last two years. It'll be interesting to see what the Dodgers are willing to pay him now.
2007-12-16 08:51:39
12.   Izzy
Pragmatic, realistic or however you say it, he does seem grounded and, well, just learning about life. He didn't even call Jeff Kent a jerk, at least in public, so he is growing up faster than many people. If he keeps working hard, who knows what he can do.
2007-12-16 08:56:54
13.   Daniel Zappala
Or, if you prefer passive voice ...

Jon, if you ever wanted to torture me, you would write all your articles in the passive voice.

2007-12-16 09:01:03
14.   D4P
Torture you it would if Jon talked like Yoda...?
2007-12-16 09:02:57
15.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
As long as Kemp plays to his talent, I couldn't care less about him being paranoid.


2007-12-16 09:14:48
16.   Jon Weisman
13 - I actively try to avoid it :)
2007-12-16 09:23:16
17.   Bob Timmermann
Is it paranoia because the local media portrays Kemp as a troublemaker or is that paranoia a byproduct of the media portrayal?
2007-12-16 09:25:50
18.   Woody
When I was practicing law, a few years back, I would read language in deeds prepared by one of my fellow lawyers, who would indicated that someone had died by saying "Joe Smith became deceased on January 4, 1957". Always gave me a chuckle. My wife and I still use that language when we're kidding around.
2007-12-16 09:40:19
19.   bhsportsguy
Lots of baking in the last 12 hours, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, brownies, lemon bars and pecan pie bars. Did we sign anyone else while I was away?

I took out my DVD set of "The Honeymooners" and watched several episodes while baking.

My favorite bit remains, Ed Norton "addressing" the ball when showing Ralph how to start a golf swing.

"Helloooo ball"

2007-12-16 09:41:53
20.   Vishal
16 but you don't try to avoid bad puns, apparently :)

it's okay, i can't resist them either.

2007-12-16 09:42:55
21.   Vishal
17 i think you just phrased the same idea two different ways there, bob.
2007-12-16 09:46:53
22.   Sam DC
Now let's not put the cart before the horse or the equine behind the Black Maria.
2007-12-16 10:00:16
23.   Bob Timmermann
Is the paranoia caused
1) directly by media coverage regardless of what Kemp does?
2) media coverage that is a result of other activities that Kemp does?

Or is it perhaps not really paranoia....

2007-12-16 10:19:33
24.   underdog
"Plen'y of room to swing a bat!
Plen'y of heart and plen'y of Matt.

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain!"

2007-12-16 10:21:14
25.   underdog
So, Jim Edmonds is now in the Padres outfield.


I didn't know he could still walk, yet alone play. Still, I always liked him. They didn't have to give up much for him. Worth a shot, I guess.

2007-12-16 10:22:26
26.   bhsportsguy
25 I guess they are still hoping someone else signs Cameron.
2007-12-16 10:23:25
27.   dzzrtRatt
Anonymous quotes can make you especially paranoid. Who's denouncing you? The reporter, always an ethical paragon doncha know, upholds the essence of free speech by facilitating these anonymous denunciations.

An associate of mine was profiled in the Los Angeles Business Journal a few years ago. Among the things the editor allowed in the story was this:

"(Name) is generally unimpressive," said a source who asked not to be identified.

Virtually all the critical comments of Kemp are of that nature: Anonymous and insulting but unspecific.

2007-12-16 10:36:16
28.   oklahomadodger
the dailyoklahoman gives kemp lots of local press. between him and penny, it's nice to have two oklahoma boys with the blue.
2007-12-16 10:39:17
29.   MyTummyHurts
the bigger question for me was, who is Toby Keith...
2007-12-16 10:40:27
30.   D4P
Toby Keith is a country singer, on the opposite end of the political spectrum from the Dixie Chicks.
2007-12-16 10:41:47
31.   Bob Timmermann
If you were from Oklahoma, or parts nearby, you probably wouldn't ask that question.
2007-12-16 10:47:40
32.   D4P
If you were from Oklahoma, or parts nearby, you probably wouldn't be able to ask that question.
2007-12-16 10:49:34
33.   underdog
26 I thought talks with Cameron broke off which is why they quickly moved on Edmonds...? Sounds like Cameron's not coming back.
2007-12-16 10:53:42
34.   oklahomadodger
toby keith also has a man crush on bob stoops, its kinda creepy.
2007-12-16 10:57:36
35.   Eric Enders
Speaking of Matt Kemp... I am so bummed this morning. Apparently my sponsorship of his B-R page expired last night at midnight and they forgot to send me a renewal notice. I woke up this morning and happened to check some stats, and found out that not only did my sponsorship expire last night but someone else has hijacked the page already! Grrr.
2007-12-16 11:02:03
36.   Bob Timmermann
Why would any self-respecting Texan support an Oklahoman?
2007-12-16 11:02:35
37.   Eric Enders
Who are you calling a Texan?
2007-12-16 11:03:59
38.   Ken Noe
Kemp's comments on the Kent blowup, as yet not remarked on, show real maturity I think. Maybe Ned wasn't kidding when he said he had settled it.
2007-12-16 11:05:11
39.   Bob Timmermann
El Paso is in Texas, no matter what you say or where you are now.

And you root for UT.

2007-12-16 11:05:17
40.   Bluebleeder87
His signing helps counter the Friday acquisition of Dan Haren by the Diamondbacks and allows Dodgers management to consider acquiring a veteran third baseman.

This little quote from Ken Gurnik kind of made me uneasy. Hopefully by spring training Nomar & La Roche will be the ONLY ones battling it out at 3rd base, besides Nomar will probably get hurt by mid-season.

2007-12-16 11:10:53
41.   Bluebleeder87
hey, Enders & to top it all of the person who took your Matt Kemp sponsorship wrote a complimentary peace on JUAN PIERRE, ouch!
2007-12-16 11:11:44
42.   Eric Enders
39 Legally, it's part of Texas. Politically, culturally, geographically, and everything else that matters, it's part of New Mexico. And while I love the Longhorns, I only root for them because I went there and I only went there because they paid me to. It's not any kind of state allegiance thing.

Good things about Texas:
1) Austin
2) The border region
3) The Longhorns
4) San Antonio
5) Willie Nelson

The rest of the state, you can have.

2007-12-16 11:13:06
43.   Eric Enders
41 Well, they do have a big "BS" disclaimer on the upper left hand corner of their site. ;)
2007-12-16 11:14:45
44.   Eric Enders
Nomar must really be hating all this hot stove talk. Everywhere there's talk of the Dodgers acquiring a veteran third baseman, and they already have one.
2007-12-16 11:16:52
45.   Greg Brock
42 What about Kinky Friedman? Not Enders list-worthy?
2007-12-16 11:16:56
46.   Bob Timmermann
I still include San Francisco and San Diego in California despite my desire to have both cities erased from the map.
2007-12-16 11:21:18
47.   Eric Enders
45 Oh, Kinky's cool. He's covered under the "Austin" umbrella. As are Stevie Ray Vaughan, Richard Linklater, and others.
2007-12-16 11:25:26
48.   Eric Enders
"Kemp helped Midwest City to a state championship in basketball, but he also saw two teammates, Shelden Williams and De'Angelo Alexander..."

DeAngelo I can understand. D'Angelo I can understand. But De'Angelo?

2007-12-16 11:27:25
49.   Humma Kavula
The Minotaur's page on is not currently available for sponsorship, because he is not a major leaguer.

Question: let's say that when his page becomes available, someone were to sponsor it with this message: "This player does not exist. Look away."

Would that be accurate at that point? Will the Minotaur have to exist to pitch in the Major Leagues? What are the rules here?

2007-12-16 11:30:07
50.   natepurcell

As the Minotaur crosses into the Major Leagues, he also crosses into the realm of reality. Thus, through the crossing, the Minotaur carapace is shed and a real, live left handed pitcher is created.

Or at least, thats what the great book tells me.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-12-16 11:30:13
51.   Greg Brock
Did anybody watch the De La Salle/Centennial game yesterday? That flag for excessive celebration almost had me throwing things at the television.

If the Spartans would have lost because of that, I'd advocate refericide.

2007-12-16 11:31:14
52.   Eric Enders
Eventually we will have to answer the question: If Kershaw is the Minotaur, who is Theseus?
2007-12-16 11:31:27
53.   natepurcell
I forgot to add

He becomes the great Savior of the Dodgers franchise and they have a thousand year reign of prosperity and world championships.

2007-12-16 11:32:11
54.   Eric Enders
"I'd advocate refericide"

The killing of reference librarians? I'd make sure not to suggest that on The Griddle if I were you.

2007-12-16 11:36:16
55.   D4P
Bob'll be waiting. In his bath tub. With a shotgun.
2007-12-16 11:37:12
56.   Bob Timmermann
The worst part is getting the bathtub and shotgun in my car to take it to work everyday.
2007-12-16 11:37:38
57.   Vishal
46 what's your beef with the city of san francisco?
2007-12-16 11:38:13
58.   KG16
50 - when you say "the great book" are you talking The Fellowship of the Rights or The Two Towers?
2007-12-16 11:43:44
59.   KG16
58 - ugh, Fellowship of the Rings
2007-12-16 11:45:44
60.   D4P
The worst part is getting the bathtub and shotgun in my car to take it to work everyday

Don't say I never did anything for ya.

2007-12-16 11:47:31
61.   Bob Timmermann
Do I have to publish another long anti-San Francisco manifesto?
2007-12-16 11:51:18
62.   Eric Stephen
The Cardinals are paying San Diego $2 million as part of the Jim Edmonds trade, meaning San Diego is only on the hook for $6m for their new centerfielder.

[Padres GM Kevin] Towers predicted a batting average of about .270 from Edmonds, 15-20 home runs and a .350 on-base percentage to go with better-than-average defense.

The guy going to St. Louis is David Freese, a 3B who will be 25 next April, and has yet to advance beyond high A ball.

2007-12-16 11:55:36
63.   D4P
Edmonds OPS:

2004: 1.061
2005: .918
2006: .821
2007: .728

Houston, we have a pattern here.

2007-12-16 11:55:37
64.   natepurcell
kuroda press conference now
2007-12-16 12:00:55
65.   Bluebleeder87

I just checked & nothing.

2007-12-16 12:02:18
66.   Bluebleeder87

Just re-checked, got it.

2007-12-16 12:03:30
67.   Eric Stephen
Camille in her Sunday best.
2007-12-16 12:03:30
68.   natepurcell
2007-12-16 12:04:31
69.   Bluebleeder87
Camille, looks pretty smokin!
2007-12-16 12:04:53
70.   Eric Stephen
I like the use of bats for the podium.
2007-12-16 12:05:12
71.   natepurcell
2007-12-16 12:07:45
72.   Bluebleeder87
I mean no disrespect but McCourt loves hogging the stage no? or is it just me.
2007-12-16 12:08:41
73.   regfairfield
Does anyone else find McCourt saying talking about our great relationship with Japan and Japanese people vaguely unsettling?
2007-12-16 12:10:19
74.   Eric Stephen
Only in that he doesn't seem especially sincere.
2007-12-16 12:10:34
75.   unassisted
I'm just now noticing something, does Ned wear a rug?
2007-12-16 12:11:12
76.   natepurcell
Wow, Collett is like only 5'9.
2007-12-16 12:11:26
77.   regfairfield
75 I'm amazed you've never noticed before.
2007-12-16 12:11:29
78.   Eric Stephen
I hope he sticks with #08.
2007-12-16 12:12:12
79.   Eric Stephen
75 ,77
The rug looks especially noticeable today!
2007-12-16 12:12:12
80.   Johnson
63 That is a precipitous decline. I'll admit I didn't fit an exponential, but if Edmonds can keep keep spiraling down, looks like he'd OPS about .660 next year. Petco isn't going to help, either, nor is the big stack of arms in the NL West, so even if he stops declining, he's going to decline.

So if Towers is right in 62 that Edmonds is going to OBP .350, he might be slugging right around .310. And that's a really high BB/XBH ratio. Towers may be a bit optimistic there.

2007-12-16 12:12:22
81.   regfairfield
It seems like McCourt is the only one that actually wants to be there.
2007-12-16 12:13:26
82.   regfairfield
80 I think it just sounds better than him saying "we wanted someone that wasn't Scott Hairston to play centerfield."
2007-12-16 12:16:15
83.   MyTummyHurts
Kuroda is such a dreamboat..
2007-12-16 12:17:14
84.   Johnson
And as long as we're talking about Kuroda, I'm sure it's been explained before, but what is the purpose of "signing bonuses" in baseball? There's not a salary cap, so it's not like it's some sort of creative accounting to get around that. Deferred salary I can understand, but it seems like most signing bonuses are paid during the term of the contract, so why not just have that money as "salary"?
2007-12-16 12:17:18
85.   Eric Stephen
Dylan Hernandez would have asked that last question in Japanese!
2007-12-16 12:18:45
86.   natepurcell
first conflict...uniform number!!!
2007-12-16 12:18:49
87.   Paul Scott
I think I have finally decided that I do not like this signing. I am looking for an upside to it and it is just not apparent. If this were a one year deal, I would be mostly indifferent about it, but it's three years and it is structured to cost us the most in years two and three.

There are three huge FA signings available next year - Sheets, Sanatana and Sabethia. Prior to this signing - and assuming Pierre is still on the team - we were likely to go into next year with a post-arbitration team salary of around $75M. Now that is $90M. At $75M landing one of those three should have been easy. Landing two would not be inconceivable (though admittedly very unlikely). At $90M getting one of them is considerably less likely. Additionally, even if we do land one next year, wouldn't signing Lowe to a 3 year extension be a much better use of the money given to Kuroda?

The Dodgers are on the cusp of being in the best possible of positions - a team that can support a high salary with a ton of youth talent allowing us to afford several legitimate superstars. Ned - as he has done with Pierre and now Kuroda - seems intent on squandering that advantage on overpaying for average talent (and it is only average when viewed in a very generous light), rather than using it to make us truly dominant.

2007-12-16 12:19:20
88.   Eric Stephen
The is a luxury tax, and for purposes of calculating salaries the bonus is spread over the life of the contract. In this case, the bonus of $7.3m is spread out $2.43m per year.
Thus, for luxury tax purposes, Kuroda's 2008 salary will be $7.43m ($5m + the bonus).
2007-12-16 12:19:28
89.   Bob Timmermann
So, I'm just guessing that AIG is an official sponsor of the Dodgers.

I'm picking up that vibe.

I'm not sure why.

Must buy financial services!
Must buy financial services!

2007-12-16 12:21:17
90.   Eric Stephen
Looks like he will wear #18. I guess Lucille II is truly gone!
2007-12-16 12:22:12
91.   Paul Scott
"There's not a salary cap, so it's not like it's some sort of creative accounting to get around that."

Yes there is, at least of sorts. The Tax certainly makes it important to watch your total salary.

In Kuroda's case, the signing bonus is 2007 and thus will not count as part of the team's 2008 salary.

2007-12-16 12:23:09
92.   Paul Scott
88 I thought I read the bonus was all being paid in 2007.
2007-12-16 12:23:19
93.   Vishal
61 i'm okay with a link, or a copy-paste. :)
2007-12-16 12:26:16
94.   underdog
61 No, please. Not unless you want to be personally annexed to Mexico. ;-)

No one's watching the NCAA men's soccer championship game on ESPN? It's a good one so far. Ohio State just scored on Wake Forest, up 1-0 in the first. I guess if OSU wins, UCSB can't feel too bad, losing to the eventual champions.

2007-12-16 12:26:51
95.   Eric Stephen
88 ,91
I stand corrected. For luxury tax purposes, the salary (including signing bonus) is averaged over the life of the contract, so Kuroda's luxury tax number will be $11.77m in each of 2008-2010.
2007-12-16 12:29:14
96.   Bluebleeder87
man, reading that technical stuff I'd never make a good accountant, I'm just good at buying stuff.
2007-12-16 12:29:44
97.   Eric Stephen
Here are the luxury tax thresholds:

2008: $155m
2009: $162m
2010: $170m
2011: $178m

The tax rate applies to any payroll above the thresholds.

1st offense: 22.5%
2nd offense: 30%
3rd+ offense: 40%

2007-12-16 12:30:13
98.   Eric Stephen
2007-12-16 12:30:50
99.   Vishal
87 let's say we get one of 'em. i'm picturing a 2009 rotation of:

[free agent]


so why would we need two free agent starters in '09? even one might not be necessary, depending on how kershaw and mcdonald perform this year, if they're called up by the end of the season.

2007-12-16 12:30:56
100.   Paul Scott
95 What is the purpose, then, of the structure, if none of it counts in 2007? Is it purely tax related (corporate and personal tax, not baseball tax)?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-12-16 12:36:15
101.   Eric Stephen
I think it is purely (non-baseball) tax related.

The one thing that counts in 2007 is the buyout of contracts. For instance, Lieberthal made $1.15m in salary last season and the Dodgers bought out his 2008 option for $100k. His 2007 salary, for luxury tax purposes, is $1.25m.

I've always counted buyouts in the next year's salary figures. Maybe I need to change my thinking. Then again, we aren't anywhere near the luxury tax threshold, so who knows?

2007-12-16 12:37:37
102.   Howard Fox
Great article by TJ Simers today. When you read and hear about steroids, HGH, etc etc, you don't really think about it helping an athlete who isn't a star hang around long enough to get the credibility for a post career job in sports....

And, just a thought, an excuse we are likely to hear re: the Mitchell report:

yes, I tried it once, but did not circulate

2007-12-16 12:39:25
103.   Paul Scott
99 Because the FA signings are superstars. If somehow we could sign all three, why not do it? You even listed Kuroda in your projected 2009 rotation. Why would you want Kuroda there instead of any one of Sheets, Sabethia or Santana? Why would you want him there instead of Lowe?

There is nothing good about this signing except that for 2008 we have some additional depth.

2007-12-16 12:40:18
104.   D4P
"I did not inject"
2007-12-16 12:41:53
105.   D4P
I think any team who gives Kuroda more than a one-year contract is foolish. That doesn't mean they'll necessarily regret giving multiple years, but it's not the right thing to do.
2007-12-16 12:41:54
106.   Howard Fox
100 the income tax is calculated on income in the year received

the timing of salary payments may have some bearing on the structuring of contracts, but if they hire Jeter's CPA, it's all non taxable to the state anyway

2007-12-16 12:46:50
107.   Eric Stephen
A better example of a buyout / luxury tax example is probably Brett Tomko. His contract with LA was the following:

2006: $3.6m
2007: $4.1m
2008: $4.5m option ($1m buyout)

When the Dodgers released Tomko last summer, they ensured his buyout. Factoring in the pro-rated minimum salary Tomko earned while with San Diego (roughly $70,000), Tomko's Dodger salaries are as follows:

2006: $3.6m
2007: $4.03m
buyout: $1m

The total is $8.63m, which for luxury tax purposes is split evenly over the two guaranteed years of the contract, or $4.315m in each of 2006 & 2007.

2007-12-16 12:47:02
108.   Paul Scott
99 Further, let's even assume that both Kershaw and McDonald are called up by the end of the season and are the best thing since sliced bread. Let's even assume further that Billingsly improves so much that Penny is now our 4th starter. There is still no reason not to go out and sign as many of the superstars as you can get. Trade Penny or make him a super-reliever if somehow the magic you are talking about happens.

Even in the best possible of worlds for the Dodgers, nothing good will come out of the Kuroda signing.

2007-12-16 12:49:33
109.   Eric Stephen
I would guess that, at most, two of Sheets, Santana or Sabathia will be available via free agency next offseason, and it wouldn't surprise me to see all three signed to long-term deals before the 2008 is done.

I understand your point though.

2007-12-16 12:51:48
110.   Vishal
103 i listed him because we have him on contract for '09. i don't know if i'd want him instead of lowe, because we have no idea how he's going to be at this point. i do know that lowe will already be 36 though, so i don't know if i'd want to give him an extension at that point.

and i'd be fine with signing a superstar, but why would we need three of them? otherwise, what's the farm system for? if the kids are gonna be anywhere near as good as they project to be, yeah i'd rather see kershaw than ben sheets.

if we are able to dump kuroda and sign two superstars in '09 that's fine too, but if you've got good players at certain positions, then your dollars are best spent somewhere else where the marginal utility might be higher. like maybe the outfield.

2007-12-16 12:51:49
111.   ChicagoDodger
103 Why would you want Kuroda there instead of any one of Sheets, Sabethia or Santana?

Might the reason be that Sheets, Sabathia, or Santana may want $20M, $25M, $25M a year for multiple years be the reason? Isn't it possible that some GM's do not find it wise to give out 9 figure contracts to pitchers?

Why would you want him there instead of Lowe?

Might the reason be that Lowe's contract is up after 2008, and he may not want to be back with the Dodgers? Is it out of the question that Kuroda out-performs Lowe in years 2009 & 2010?

There is nothing good about this signing except that for 2008 we have some additional depth.

And all along I thought the number one reason to be happy about this signing was there was no longer a need to trade youth for starting pitching.

2007-12-16 12:52:57
112.   Paul Scott
109 Given the teams they are on, I I expect all three will be on the FA market next year. None of their current teams can afford the $100M they will garner.
2007-12-16 12:53:10
113.   Bob Timmermann
Cleveland looks like they are primed for an 8-0 win.

The Dolphins are going to make the 1976 Bucs open up their bottles of champagne if they make their field goal.

2007-12-16 12:54:03
114.   trainwreck
Yeah, in the last thread I even commented on it during the game.
2007-12-16 12:54:48
115.   MJW101
With Kuroda's signing the projected 2008 Dodgers payroll is almost exactly what it was at the end of the 2007 season. If Ned is to make any additional moves the 2008 payroll will have to be increased or expensive players will have to be removed in the process.
2007-12-16 12:55:20
116.   Howard Fox
Is Sabathia pitching for Cleveland today?
2007-12-16 12:55:50
117.   Paul Scott
111 There was no reason to do that before the signing. But if it was really felt that overpaying for a below average pitcher was essential to our 2008 plans, then a one-year contract should have sufficed.
2007-12-16 12:57:28
118.   Dark Horse
109-That's the point that gets overlooked every time, in these (to me, seemingly very wishful) arguments that X and Y will be available in 2010, so why not splurge then? It's sort of like saying we could've spent this money to get A-Rod, when in fact, he wasn't available. There's certainly never an excuse to sign a bad player--and needless to say, Colletti has done just that on a few occasions--but Kuroda doesn't necessarily figure to be that. He figures to be "above average" (or even just, average); in either case, there is an upside to the signing, insofar as our 4/5 starters last year were not even that good. They were awful. We can all be astonished and a little depressed at what it costs to purchase adequacy-plus these days, but such are the market conditions, apparently.
2007-12-16 12:57:44
119.   Eric Stephen
I suspect Santana might be traded, and signed to an extension by the new team (Yankees?).

Also, Cleveland is at $48.1m pre-arbitration in 2009 and can probably afford to extend Sabathia soon at a less than market rate.

Not sure of the Brewers' payroll going forward, but Sheets is the most likely to be a FA.

2007-12-16 12:57:53
120.   berkowit28
Can someone remind me why Saito is not a free agent capable of finding a true market salary, but instead seems to be "under the control of the Dodgers" (for six years, he should last so long?) like a rookie?

Understood that when he first signed with the Dodgers he was not highly rated, had little market value, etc. What kind of contract did he have to sign, and why can't he revert to FA? His only options seem to be to hope that general decency on the part of the Dodgers gets him a better salary next year, or go home to Japan. (Presumably, he could actually get a much better salary in Japan now than he had there two years ago.)

2007-12-16 12:58:52
121.   Bob Timmermann
Rich Rodriguez will be introduced as Michigan's new coach Monday.
2007-12-16 13:00:34
122.   ChicagoDodger
117 You say below average. By most accounts, he was the best available free agent pitcher. We have no idea how he will perform over the next 3 seasons. The best anyone can do is speculate at this point.

Most of all, where does the 1 year contract come into play? Name a free agent pitcher as good or better then Kuroda that would sign a 1 year deal? They are not out there.

2007-12-16 13:02:08
123.   Vishal
121 i think wvu's the better gig.
2007-12-16 13:02:35
124.   Eric Stephen
122 Name a free agent pitcher as good or better then Kuroda that would sign a 1 year deal

I'd say Lieber or Wolf, but both have legit injury concerns and are not appreciably better than Kuroda projects to be. At the least, they carry a different level of risk than Kuroda.

2007-12-16 13:02:42
125.   Vishal
but then, i feel about michigan as you do about san francisco, apparently.
2007-12-16 13:03:01
126.   Bob Timmermann
Heinz Field resembles a high school football field at the end of the season.

I believe that underneath the snow, there is some substance that is nominally green.

2007-12-16 13:04:15
127.   Bob Timmermann
Ravens tie it up in Miami! There's still hope for 0-16 with a complementary 16-0!
2007-12-16 13:04:31
128.   overkill94
120 He wasn't highly sought after when he first came over, so he had to settle for a minor league contract. Once he did that, he was on the hook to the Dodgers for six years if he wanted to play in the MLB.
2007-12-16 13:07:16
129.   trainwreck
I really want the Dolphins to lose. Come on, Ravens.
2007-12-16 13:07:31
130.   Bob Timmermann
The better known Japanese players (the Matsuis, Ichiro, and Iguchi) had free agency provisions written into their contracts. I would imagine that Kuroda has a similar deal.
2007-12-16 13:07:51
131.   unassisted
127 What did Billick have to lose by going for the win there, besides their 8th straight game?
2007-12-16 13:08:29
132.   Paul Scott
127 I think the Ravens erred. 4th and goal on the 1 (closer, really). They should have just ended the game. Now MIA can get lucky in OT.
2007-12-16 13:09:25
133.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think anyone wants to be the team that Miami beats this year.
2007-12-16 13:11:13
134.   Jon Weisman
Did no one mention the best part of a signing bonus - which is that a player gets cash up front to spend instead of having to wait for his paycheck to start next spring?
2007-12-16 13:11:43
135.   Eric Stephen
120 ,128
It wasn't the minor league deal that keeps Saito chained (for lack of a better word) to the Dodgers.

Akinori Otsuka was posted and signed with the Padres in November 2003, and signed a 3-year contract through 2006, covering his "team controlled" years. Otsuka is/was still subject to arbitration from 2007-2009 (Texas non-tendered Otsuka this week; any team that signs him to a one-year deal would retain arbitration rights for 2009).

Saito's relatively low salary is simply due to the lack of interest in him when he first came over, as overkill said. We just don't notice these contract issues with Ichiro & Kideki Matsui because their contracts were so large to begin with.

2007-12-16 13:11:47
136.   ChicagoDodger
124 Lieber & Wolf? Wolf hasn't thrown for 200 innings since 2003, and barely made 100 last year with a 4.73 era (at Dodger stadium no less). Lieber has thrown for 200 innings only once since 2001 and will be 38 on or around opening day 2008. If Kuroda doesn't out-perform Lieber or Wolf, it truly is a bad signing!
2007-12-16 13:12:13
137.   Paul Scott
133 Another 15 yards and all will be fine.
2007-12-16 13:12:36
138.   berkowit28
128 Ah - a minor league contract, OK. And since they never sent him back down, and never will, he'll never run out of options.

We're incredibly lucky to have Saito. Eventually, he'll start wearing down, or worse, will injure himself, and Broxton will become the closer (we're lucky there too). At that point, we'll need someone good as set-up reliever (is that what Meloan is being groomed for?)

2007-12-16 13:14:44
139.   Bob Timmermann
Kenny Albert and Rich Gannon must be at the bottom of the CBS pecking order to draw the Baltimore-Miami game.
2007-12-16 13:15:27
140.   Eric Stephen
Rich Gannon just added a syllable to "ath-a-let-ic".
2007-12-16 13:17:04
141.   Eric Stephen
0-15-1 can still happen!
2007-12-16 13:17:56
142.   Paul Scott
136 Given what you wrote, I think the likely difference between our positions is Kuroda's projection. I think Lieber and Wolf are also appropriate comparables to Kuroda in 2008. If you think Kuroda is likely to even be an average starter, then sure, this signing is ok. I think it is very likely he is just above replacement level with a reasonable possibility to just be a bust.
2007-12-16 13:18:25
143.   unassisted
Brian Billick, meet the unemployment line.
2007-12-16 13:18:49
144.   Bob Timmermann
Winless seasons in the NFL are much more common than perfect seasons, of which there has only been one.

A lot of teams would just give up after losing their first four or five games in the 1920s and 1930s.

2007-12-16 13:20:13
145.   Vishal
144 that certainly gives the lie that people back then were made of sterner stuff, had more character, or whatever other common platitudes there are about bygone eras, doesn't it.
2007-12-16 13:20:18
146.   trainwreck
Ravens, you are worthless.
2007-12-16 13:20:51
147.   Vishal
145 whoops, forgot a few words:

*to the notion that people back then...

2007-12-16 13:21:20
148.   Paul Scott
Well, I was really hoping for 0-16, but the Raven's got what they deserved after not playing the odds and making the right call on that 4th and goal.
2007-12-16 13:21:31
149.   nofatmike
So who got penalized for excessive celebration last night, Centennial or De La Salle?
2007-12-16 13:21:35
150.   natepurcell

Thats why the Kuroda Accord was created.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-12-16 13:21:39
151.   Bob Timmermann
Usually they gave up because they ran out of money to pay players.
2007-12-16 13:25:28
152.   ChicagoDodger
142 Replacement level? Just about everything I have read about him says he should make a solid #3 or #4 starter. I have not read anywhere that he projects to be a #5 or worse. Wolf or Lieber at this point in their careers cannot be counted on for much.

Really, is this replacement value just your opinion, or do you have more concrete evidence of this?

2007-12-16 13:26:01
153.   Bob Timmermann
As an example of screwball standings, check out the 1924 season in the NFL:

Or even 1921:

The Tonawanda Kardex were a disgrace!

2007-12-16 13:27:42
154.   overkill94
142 It's not like we were bidding against ourselves - it seems that other teams thought he was worth the money as well. I doubt teams would be going crazy over a guy they figured would be below average.
2007-12-16 13:28:55
155.   trainwreck
2007-12-16 13:31:33
156.   Eric Stephen
I have always assumed there were undefeated seasons in the pre-Super Bowl era, specifically the 1920s to 1940s, but apparently that is not the case.

The Chicago Bears are the only other team to have an undefeated, untied regular season, and they did it twice, 1934 & 1942, but lost both championship games. The 1942 14-6 loss to the Redskins was especially tough, as it was revenge for the Bears' 73-0 shellacking of the Skins in the 1940 championship game.

2007-12-16 13:33:23
157.   Greg Brock
149 De La Salle scored the go-ahead touchdown with four minutes left, and got a personal foul when the wide receivers jumped up and did a chest bump.

That's it.

A chest bump.

They then missed the 35 yard extra point. So Centennial drives down the field with a chance to win by a point. Luckily, DLS held on fourth down. But it was a total garbage call, and that ref is an idiot.

2007-12-16 13:34:55
158.   Bob Timmermann
The 1929 Green Bay Packers went 12-0-1 and won the NFL Championship (which had no playoff then) over the New York Giants who went 13-1-1.

At the time, it looks like the NFL didn't count the ties at all in winning percentage. They do now and they count as a 1/2 win and 1/2 loss.

In Japanese baseball, ties are not counted in winning percentage at all. All they do is lower the denominator for winning percentage.

2007-12-16 13:39:21
159.   Paul Scott
152 He is going to be 33 and last year in Japan had a K/9 of around 6. I can't see that translating well to an average MLB starter. In both the majors and AAA, Houlton is already better than that.
2007-12-16 13:40:38
160.   underdog
Beautiful play/run/goal by Wake Forest ties it up at 1 with 23 minutes left in NCAA soccer championship game.

This is essentially a home game for Wake as it's in Cary, North Carolina.

2007-12-16 13:46:45
161.   regfairfield
157 I thought it was well known in high school athletics to never show any sign of happiness on the field, or you'll get hit for excessive celebration. It's what I was always taught.

Heck, I've had a teammate DQed for inappropriate underwear before.

2007-12-16 13:47:35
162.   ChicagoDodger
159 Huh? Lowe's was 6 last year, and his K/9 ratio was even worse his previous 2 years. (5 in 2006).

There are other stats then K/9 to evaluate a pitcher.

2007-12-16 13:48:21
163.   rockmrete
White appears to have signed off on Kuroda, you really think he would have given that amount of money, and length of contract knowing Houlton was just as good?
2007-12-16 13:50:05
164.   regfairfield
162 It's very important to show signs of domination at a lower level when you're moving up to a higher level. He's better than Houlton (Japan is better than AAA), but not be a whole lot. I'd be very surprised if he was one of our top five starters next year.
2007-12-16 13:51:34
165.   MC Safety
I thought JoeyP was pessimistic.

Houlton also threw 129 innings in 05 giving up 21 jacks with a 5.10 ERA. The LA Dodgers are not using DJ Houlton as a 5.

2007-12-16 13:51:58
166.   Paul Scott
162 I am well aware of that. However, it (along with BB/9 and HR/9) is one of the better ones commonly available. Lowe's was 6 in MLB, not in some near AAA equivalent. Lowe also has consistently one of the best GB ratio's, so he gets away with low Ks.

You want to pretend (like BTF) that his sub-2 ERA in Japan is going to translate well when his peripherals don't support it, then feel free to keep believing. We'll see soon enough.

2007-12-16 13:52:14
167.   underdog
I have nothing against Houlton, and think he can be a good swingman, but while I don't think Kuroda will be an all-star, after seeing footage of Kuroda pitch, and having seen Houlton pitch, I don't think they're equal at all. Kuroda looks like an above average pitcher and Houlton seems average to me. I guess we should wait 'til after '08 before being so sure either way, though.

Man, this game is exciting!

2007-12-16 13:52:51
168.   Eric Stephen
Paul, do you have a source for league strikeout information? I only ask because I wonder if strikeouts are down in general in Japan in relation to MLB simply due to the style of play. I have tried unsuccessfully to find league-wide information to which to compare Kuroda.

Kuroda was 10th in the Central League in total strikeouts, FWIW.

2007-12-16 13:54:27
169.   regfairfield
168 There are less strikeouts in Japan by my estimation. Japanese pitchers strikeout rates tend to go up when they move to America. They also tend to walk more and give up more bombs.
2007-12-16 13:55:47
170.   Eric Stephen
2007-12-16 13:56:01
171.   ChicagoDodger
164 A long time ago, all the way back to 2006, Kuroda pitched 189 innings with an era of 1.85 and 144 K's with 21 walks. Twenty-one!

If that's not domination, it's awfully close! No?

2007-12-16 13:56:25
172.   underdog
And Wake Forest scores again! 2-1 with 12 mins left. The OSU goalie was so upset about something with the ref afterwards he ran to the ref and almost got a yellow card for bumping into him as he yelled in fury. Not sure what he was protesting, looked like a clean run to me.
2007-12-16 13:56:45
173.   Paul Scott
I never said Houlton was likely to be better. Houlton is not close to our current #5 and is below replacement level for a starter. I merely brought up Houlton because his skill level is understandable and even he is doing better on that one essential peripheral than is Kuroda.

What I did say is that a three-year, expensive deal to Kuroda was a mistake. there are better options available, ranging from doing nothing to signing someone like Wolf to looking to bringing up some folks from our minor leagues, than signing Kurado who, again, seems likely to me to be a slightly above replacement level starter with a decent chance of being a bust.

2007-12-16 13:57:26
174.   Bob Timmermann
I only would have anecdotal evidence, but the Japanese games I've seen have never featured a lot of strikeouts. The pitchers in general don't throw very hard and are usually loath to challenge a hitter when ahead in the count.

Typical Japanese baseball pitch sequence:
Pitch 1 - Strike (called)
Pitch 2 - Strike (foul)
Pitch 3 - Ball
Pitch 4 - Ball
Pitch 5 - Foul
Pitch 6 - Foul
Pitch 7 - Ball
Pitch 8 - Foul
Pitch 9 - Foul
Pitch 10 - Foul
Pitch 11 - "Do they sell anything in the stands that isn't beer?"

2007-12-16 13:57:58
175.   MC Safety
166 So if Japan is in fact AAAA why did they win the WBC? It seems they didnt have any trouble competing with the mighty American ML'ers, let alone the Cubans.
2007-12-16 13:59:55
176.   ChicagoDodger
171 And is WHIP was .87;

By the way, aren't some of those stats I cite called peripherals? Are they not at least included in them?

Look, I have no idea how Kuroda will turn out. For all I know, he could be a bust. I trust Logan White's judgement.

But, just because I don't know how he will turn out, doesn't mean someone else does.

2007-12-16 13:59:59
177.   regfairfield
171 Look at the guys who had great control in Japan when they went to America. Their walk rates skyrocketed. Otsuka had a K/BB of something like 12 to 1 in his last season in Japan. His walk rate more than tripled in the states. Matsuzaka went from 34 walks in 186 innings to 80 in 204 innings.

The American hitters ability to take almost any pitch in the zone out of the park means these guys have to start nibbling a lot more.

2007-12-16 14:02:59
178.   MC Safety
173 You can be saying both things at the same time. What would have been the prudent move to make Paul?
2007-12-16 14:03:46
179.   regfairfield
Wouldn't you need the beer to get through that?
2007-12-16 14:04:54
180.   natepurcell

ZIPS pessimistic projection is 92 ERA+ with an optimistic of 136 ERA+. Those don't fall in line with your "barely" above replacement level view.

CHONE has Kuroda at 3.97era 179IP in a neutral setting with a 3.27 at Petco.

Also, all this talk of theoretically picking up all 3 stud pitchers next off season is laughable.

Santana is going to be traded and signed to an extension. Sheets hasn't been healthy and really good since like 2004. So that leaves one in Sabathia.

2007-12-16 14:05:20
181.   natepurcell
sorry, 3.47 at Petco.
2007-12-16 14:06:07
182.   MC Safety
177 What is your theory on the USA having virtually no success in the WBC? Are you a timing blamer?
2007-12-16 14:07:05
183.   Bob Timmermann
The Japanese won the WBC in part because of the format. They only needed to win two games in the first round when playing at home and they easily beat Taiwan and China, but lost to Korea.

In the second round, they should have beaten the USA (who played very poorly) but got jobbed, then they lost to Korea, but beat Mexico and then advanced when the US lost to Mexico.

In the semis, instead of having the top two teams in each pool crossover to play each other, they were matched up again, so Japan played Korea a third time and Korea couldn't pull off another upset. Korea really didn't have a lot of good hitters. The Koreans got by on pitching and defense and finally lost when one of the pitchers, (Byung-Hyun Kim) had a meltdown.

Japan then drew Cuba in the final and the Cuban pitchers couldn't find home plate in the first inning and pitched themselves out of the title.

When the USA beat Japan, the US pitched Jake Peavy, Scot Shields, Todd Jones, Brian Fuentes, and Brad Lidge.

2007-12-16 14:07:19
184.   regfairfield
180 But if ZIPS misses on Kuroda as badly as it did on Matsuzaka, he's in line for something like a 5.40 ERA. Let's not speak of what would happen if we tried Igawa's prediction.
2007-12-16 14:07:49
185.   Vishal
173 in 2005 in the NL, "replacement-level" starting pitching meant a run average of 5.61. are you saying that kuroda will be "slightly" better than an RA of around five and a half?
2007-12-16 14:08:59
186.   regfairfield
182 Four games is not a sample size. The Devil Rays could easily take three of four from the Sox.
2007-12-16 14:11:39
187.   Paul Scott
178 A one-year deal or stand pat. We already have a lot of depth. Could something like our injuries in 2005 repeat in 2008? Sure. But it seems to me that trying to prepare for that is a mistake. If it happens, you write the season off and move on.

Right now, legitimately contesting for the 4 and 5 spots, the Dodgers have Kou, Schmidt, Loaiza and Meloan - plus a hand full (McDonald and Kershaw among them) that we could draw on from the minors.

If the only options are standing pat or a 3/37 deal to Kuroda, then I think we should just stick with what we have. Again, if the crop of FA pitchers coming after 2008 were not so stacked, I might feel differently.

2007-12-16 14:12:02
188.   natepurcell

I understand that but all this pessimism based on statistics needs to be countered. You guys are pessimistic, I understand that, but even statistically inclined projection programs don't even predict the doom and gloom some here see in Kuroda.

Also, this is where scouting come into play. Japanese ball has always been traditionally different than Major League ball. The focus on fundamentals and contact hitting is superior over there. Maybe the Dodger scouts believe Kuroda's stuff is superior enough to succeed over here.

I just don't think its as black and white as some here see. Oh, bad k rate, he is going to be bad. Oh, homerun rate is going to be high, that's going to sky rocket. etc etc etc.

2007-12-16 14:12:31
189.   underdog
And the Deamon Deacons are NCAA soccer champions!

Great game. Heartbreaker for OSU.

2007-12-16 14:14:28
190.   regfairfield
184 Do you think Kuroda will be one of our five best pitchers next year? Do you think the money would be better spent on extending Lowe for a couple years?
2007-12-16 14:14:53
191.   Vishal
188 i am cautiously optimistic on the signing. reservedly pro. wait-and-see.

didn't kuroda also play in a smallish hitter's park?

2007-12-16 14:15:09
192.   overkill94
The definitive Kuroda projection by yours truly:

4.22 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 187 IP, 143 K's, 14-11 W-L

2007-12-16 14:15:35
193.   natepurcell
Again, if the crop of FA pitchers coming after 2008 were not so stacked, I might feel differently.

Again, the landscape is so hard to predict a year from now. It looks stacked now but what if Sheets continues his trend of being injured and the probably trade (and extension) of Santana.

2008 offseason is not as stacked anymore.

2007-12-16 14:15:51
194.   overkill94
190 Should we leave you alone with yourself? ;)
2007-12-16 14:16:49
195.   natepurcell

Are you talking to yourself?

2007-12-16 14:16:54
196.   MC Safety
186 But arent we far superior? Him sucking is far from certain, so I'll just be positive and see how it unfolds. I do know I prefered Kuroda over just about every pitcher available just for the sake of the now defunct (?) Save Matt Kemp Society.
2007-12-16 14:17:08
197.   Paul Scott
Nate, of course the idea of signing all three is ludicrous. It was in response to someone suggesting that we shouldn't do it even if we could because we now have Kuroda and Kershaw/Elberts coming up - something I find equally ludicrous. It was similar to the "We don't need A-Rod because we have LaRoche" stuff that floated here earlier in the year.
2007-12-16 14:18:23
198.   Paul Scott
190 That (a Lowe extension) is the realistic view of how that money could have been better spent.
2007-12-16 14:18:29
199.   regfairfield
And while I do appreciate the argument that there might be something in scouting we're seeing, Ned's previous choices in pitchers apart from Saito haven't exactly been gems.
2007-12-16 14:19:23
200.   regfairfield
195 Crap, that was supposed to be for you.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-12-16 14:19:42
201.   Bob Timmermann
In Japanese baseball, the focus on fundamentals might be stronger, but that doesn't mean that the players are better at fundamentals. Most Japanese players run the bases like they are a hybrid of a confused Matt Kemp and a slow Todd Hundley.

Fielding in Japan isn't very good either.

But man do they love their contact hitting! Unless you're a gaijin brought over to play. In that case, you can hack to your heart's content.

2007-12-16 14:20:07
202.   MC Safety
At this point, honestly, why do we want to extend Lowe again? Talk about a cancer...
2007-12-16 14:20:34
203.   Brent Knapp
Question of the Week: Now that we know for certain what helped Gagne become so good, are we going to boo him when he comes to town?
2007-12-16 14:20:40
204.   regfairfield
202 Because he's a good pitcher.
2007-12-16 14:21:12
205.   natepurcell

Being a Boras client, a 4-5 year 13mil annually for Lowe's 36-40 seasons is a better way to spend the money?

I can't agree with that.

2007-12-16 14:22:43
206.   ChicagoDodger
187 Again, if the crop of FA pitchers coming after 2008 were not so stacked, I might feel differently.

And yet you seem to indicate that Colletti/McCourt would be willing to dole out a 9-figure contract, and you seemed to even advocate doing 2 of them, when it is quite possible (very likely in fact) they would do nothing of the sort!

Kershaw, Elbert & McDonald more then likely are not ready until 2009 or later. Lowe, more then likely will not be brought back, and Kuroda is a reasonable stop-gap to the youngsters. I seriously doubt the Dodgers land "any" of the 3 you mention in Santana, Sabathia or Sheets.

2007-12-16 14:22:45
207.   regfairfield
205 Sake of argument, take the 35.1, give it to Lowe for two years. It worked on Andruw Jones, it might work on Lowe.

I agree that if we'd have to go beyond two years, we should look elsewhere.

2007-12-16 14:24:30
208.   natepurcell
Do you think Kuroda will be one of our five best pitchers next year? Do you think the money would be better spent on extending Lowe for a couple years?

I do believe Kuroda will be one our 5 best starting pitchers based on the parameters I laid out in the Kuroda Accord.

I would not extend Lowe. His (Boras) demands would be no where close to what I would offer.

Everyone was bashing the 4 yr deal he got from us saying there is no way in hell he will be worth it for all 4 years.

Fast forward three years, you guys want to gamble again and see if he could be worth it for all 8 years?

With Lowe, if his 2008 is successful, I think you just have to walk away with your winnings.

2007-12-16 14:25:06
209.   Vishal
207 no way do i want to be paying derek lowe $17.5 mill a year when he's 36.
2007-12-16 14:25:38
210.   MC Safety
204 Thats semi understandable, but how long does he remain one is the 60 million (maybe more) dollar question. Do you really want to extend him right now all things (dont forget about the hip) considered?
2007-12-16 14:25:52
211.   Paul Scott
206 I don't think you can say that because Ned is too stupid to go after superstars that it makes his signing Kuroda a good move. Sure, I agree with you that Ned is unlikely to get anything good in 2008. I am pretty clearly on record as believing Ned sucks as a GM. The Kuroda signing is just more evidence of it.
2007-12-16 14:25:52
212.   Vishal
208 i am so in agreement with nate.
2007-12-16 14:26:15
213.   natepurcell

Lowe will be in a drastically different situation than Jones was this year.

Lowe is at the end of his career and probably wants that last long term deal for financial security. Jones had the luxury of "only" being 30 and thus, giving him more time to rebound to secure that long term deal.

I can't see Lowe only getting 2 years unless he doesn't feel like pitching anymore.

2007-12-16 14:27:18
214.   MC Safety
207 With all the stuff Boras has been through lately, Derek Lowe is signing on for a hometown discount at two years? Highly unlikely.
2007-12-16 14:27:50
215.   regfairfield
207 I don't think that's a huge issue with our payroll. Money only hurts you in two ways:

If it gives the opportunity for a worse player to be ensured of a job.

If it prevents you from doing something else you'd rather do. We're not on the hook for anything except Pierre (and Kuroda, who doesn't exist here) in 2010 plus arbitration payments. What's the harm?

2007-12-16 14:28:25
216.   Paul Scott
208 The two people advocating for extending Lowe are also very clearly against a 4+ year contract for large dollars. Both of us have mentioned 2-3 years and for the money we gave Kuroda. Obviously if Lowe requires 4/70 or more, then neither of us would call that a good move either. That, again, does not make signing Kuroda the right thing to do.
2007-12-16 14:28:55
217.   regfairfield
213 I think getting 17 million dollars a year would go a long way to giving him finacial security when he can probably get another contract then as salaries continue to escalate.
2007-12-16 14:29:05
218.   natepurcell
I am pretty clearly on record as believing Ned sucks as a GM.

I don't think Ned is in the upper echelon of GM's either but the Kuroda signing shouldn't be evidence for that.

Kuroda, at the most, takes up maybe 10% of the payroll. For a large market team like the Dodgers, he isn't shouldn't be a hindrance if they want to acquire a upper tier player.

2007-12-16 14:29:49
219.   Ken Noe
Given his Kentish comments and Boras's MO, I see no evidence to expect that Lowe would want to come back. His spot will fit Kershaw just fine.
2007-12-16 14:30:29
220.   natepurcell

Then the idea of even entertaining a Lowe extension is kind of fairy tale-ish when you consider the circumstances that will surround his on-coming free agency.

2007-12-16 14:30:40
221.   JoeyP
Paul Scott is correct.
Dodgers are in a excellent position, and Ned does the most to mess it up---Loazia, Nomar, Kuroda, Pierre.

Paying any type of signifcant cash for someone that has no upside to be great, is a mistake.

If the Dodgers need depth, they should use their farm system. Thats what it is there for.

This is no different than the Giants signing Matt Morris, the Tigers trading for Sean Casey, or Ned signing Juan Pierre. Costly PVL, road blocks for the kids, and investing money into player with little upside.

Pitching Kuroda instead of James McDonald/Orenduff/Houlton/Loaiza will result in exactly what advantage this year?

How valuable with Kuroda be in 2009, 2010 in his 34/35 yrs at 12+ mils a pop.

2007-12-16 14:31:21
222.   MC Safety
213 I will step aside Nate.

(picks up guitar)

2007-12-16 14:32:48
223.   Paul Scott
218 No. Kurado, in a vacuum, doesn't hinder us. But we are not in a vacuum. Ned has already blown good money on Pierre. That is a combined probability of $28M in dead weight for 09 and 10.
2007-12-16 14:37:25
224.   ChicagoDodger
211 I am pretty clearly on record as believing Ned sucks as a GM

Well, here I agree with you, but I think he's doing a good job (for Ned) this offseason.

However, I don't think "not" giving a pitcher a 9-figure contract is stupid. I actually agree with it. Again, only 3 have ever been given one. Hampton, Brown and Zito.

One could argue the "peripherals" on giving a pitcher a 9-figure deal do not look good! LOL!

I happen to believe Kuroda is a better option then the 1 year deals for a Lieber/Wolf type. I would not have minded if they stood pat, but that didn't appear to be an option. Not for Ned anyway.

I'd be as against signing another starting pitcher to a large contract as you seem to be with the Kuroda signing.

And I understand the "but these guys are different" argument. I just see it as everyone is different, until they get the money.....

2007-12-16 14:37:55
225.   Paul Scott
Brady and Romo both having bad days (well, bad for Brady, bad so far for Romo).
2007-12-16 14:38:30
226.   MC Safety
223 This calling Kuroda dead weight already is very silly Paul. Are you Kuroda's trainer or something? Do you know something 3 other GM's (maybe more, but he will only play West Coast or KC) dont? If so, please dont say a torn labrum.
2007-12-16 14:40:45
227.   JoeyP
Why does the choice have to be Lowe or Kuroda?

Why not signing neither, and letting either the high end youngsters, or a Sabathia, Santana, Sheets pitch?

Or adding a quality player to the offense with the money--

I guess the difference in opinion here is about projection. Some of us think we signed a Kyle Lohse/Matt Morris, while others believe we signed another Saito/DiceK.

2007-12-16 14:43:11
228.   overkill94
Why is it that so many people are assuming Kuroda will be terrible?

I don't see his contract as being any sort of hindrance in the upcoming years. Kent, Furcal, and Lowe come off the books after this year, freeing up about $31M to fill in whatever supposed holes we will have. Jones comes off the books after 2009, freeing up another $18M.

As of now, it doesn't seem that we have any long-term holes, but it's inevitable that some of the youngsters won't pan out (whether it be Abreu, Hu, or some of the pitchers). We should still have plenty of money to spend on free agents to fill in whatever holes we'll have.

2007-12-16 14:44:28
229.   Vishal
227 i think the more positive among us believe it's not either of those, but rather something in the middle. that he's not going to be a great value or an ace, but he's not going to be dead weight either. he'll probably be about worth what he's paid, give or take.
2007-12-16 14:44:50
230.   regfairfield
228 Stats, scouting reports, the history of pitchers with strikeout rates that low coming from Japan.

Note that I do think he's better than Loaiza and he helps us in 2008.

2007-12-16 14:46:57
231.   overkill94
230 How many starters have come from Japan, six? I don't think Japanese starters are at a point where we can start drawing broad conclusions based on certain stats.
2007-12-16 14:48:48
232.   regfairfield
231 Okay, why do you think he'll be good?
2007-12-16 14:49:02
233.   MC Safety
227 What do you guys say next year if those three pitchers arent available, and all of our prospects have flopped? And who are these so called quality players on offense? Those good guys arent available most of the time.
2007-12-16 14:49:34
234.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 230

The problem is that the sample size of pitchers coming from Japan makes any projection problematic. And if you're going to cite stats, you can't ignore the fact that all the projection systems, which have tried to take these sorts of issues into play, have been more positive than the pessimistic folks around here. I must assume the people who do ZIPS also know about the K/rate issue. And sure, you can cite Igawa, but again, sample size problems come into play. I'm not saying it's guaranteed Kuroda will do well, but there seems to be the belief that he's probably going to be awful. That I disagree with.

As for scouting reports, I don't see how that supports the pessimistic projections. White scouted Kuroda, and BPro's scouting report saw him as better than junk.


2007-12-16 14:49:36
235.   68elcamino427

Thank you Mr.Kuroda! The kids are still here!
We have confidence that during this upcoming season 2008, that you will perform to the standards of the average #3 starter in the NL this past season, 2007.

2007-12-16 14:50:00
236.   regfairfield
227 That's one of the two things I like about the signing.
2007-12-16 14:50:36
237.   ChicagoDodger
I think what get's lost here is this:

1) The Dodgers more then likely will not give any pitcher the kind of money the big 3 for 2008 will command. Like it or not, that's probably a given, (and one I agree with).

2) Youngsters like Kershaw, Elbert, McDonald will not be ready until 2009 at the earliest.

3) The current GM felt a need to acquire some starting pitching depth as insurance to Schmidt & Loiaza, and didn't feel injured starters like Wolf or Lieber made sense in that scenario.

If we accept those 3 premises, what move makes more sense then signing Kuroda? Standing pat doesn't count (though I agree with it) if you accpet #3 above.

2007-12-16 14:50:51
238.   MC Safety
230 And you are a big Loaiza backer correct?
2007-12-16 14:52:07
239.   PDH5204
232 Home field dimensions 300-380-300. 74 CGs in 244 career starts.
2007-12-16 14:52:13
240.   regfairfield
230 And once again, I don't think he'll be awful, I'm just not sure if he'll deserve his spot in the rotation in 2009 or 2010.
2007-12-16 14:52:52
241.   regfairfield
238 Yeah, nothing wrong with having him as a fifth starter.
2007-12-16 14:54:38
242.   regfairfield
Trying to say why I don't think Kuroda will be great has thrown me off my original position. A lot of people saw Kuroda as a piece that would really help us in 2008 and be a huge difference maker. I'm trying to argue that he's just a slight upgrade on Loaiza. I don't think he's absolutely terrible.
2007-12-16 14:54:45
243.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 232

1. On the scouting said (and from stat-heavy Baseball Prospectus no-less):

He's not Daisuke Matsuzaka, but Kuroda a very strong power pitcher with a low to mid-90s fastball and a wicked forkball. In addition, he features a plus shuuto, something like a screwball, as well as an effective change. Even if he only pans out as a third or fourth starter in the majors, he will give you innings, work deep into games, and he should be fairly consistent start to start.

Sounds like big-league stuff to me. And White has signed off on him.

2. On the stat side, all the projection systems that use stats seem to believe he won't stink.

Because ZIPS bombed on Igawa, does that mean the system is completely useless? I'm sure one can find plenty of other American players ZIPS fouled up on; does that mean we completely discard it? Of course, not. There's always uncertainty in projection, and even more so with Japanese pitchers, but we do our best with the information we have. Scouting seems to see Kuroda as alright/projection seems to think he's fine/ergo, I think there's a good chance he won't stink.


2007-12-16 14:55:44
244.   JoeyP
The Dodgers more then likely will not give any pitcher the kind of money the big 3 for 2008 will command.

I think you are right, and thats one of the problems with Dodger mgt that is illustrated by the Kuroda/Loaiza signings.

They wont pay top dollar for the true difference making stars (like A-Rod), but they will instead spread that money around as "depth". With the Dodger farm system, it should allow the team to go after the superstars and get the depth from the minor leagues.

2007-12-16 14:56:57
245.   MC Safety
241 I dont want to cherry pick here but 9 bombs in 22 innings?
2007-12-16 14:57:49
246.   regfairfield
243 True, but ZIPS has missed on every Japanese pitcher. Like you said, we don't have enough of a statistical base to make nearly as accurate of a prediction.
2007-12-16 14:57:49
247.   MC Safety
242 A slight upgrade over Loaiza is laughable.
2007-12-16 14:58:25
248.   regfairfield
245 Abberation, he was hurt.
2007-12-16 14:58:38
249.   natepurcell

We can address that issue when big stars actually hit the market.

2007-12-16 15:00:13
250.   milkshakeballa
To the person who said that injuries of '05 will probably not happen again, and if they do, you just write the season off. That is very easy for you to say, but not so easy for Ned. He doesn't have the luxury of writing this season off. Basically, if we don't make the playoffs this year, Ned is toast. So you have to understand where he is coming from and will make sure he has the depth to sustain an injury or two, which is what a good GM should do. We are the Dodgers, we don't just write seasons off.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-12-16 15:00:31
251.   MC Safety
248 So going through Loaiza's career stats, care to tell me which ones were abberations and which ones werent?
2007-12-16 15:01:09
252.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Considering the vagaries of TINSTAAP, injury risk to big-league pitchers, and the uncertainties of the free agent market, I'm astonished at the certainty some people have of what will be available in-house and via free agency in 2009 and 2010.


2007-12-16 15:01:17
253.   ChicagoDodger
244 With the Dodger farm system, it should allow the team to go after the superstars and get the depth from the minor leagues.

But, is that necessarily the best way to go? I don't happen to agree with giving out huge dollars for multiple years to pitchers. It puts too many eggs into one basket, and causes too many problems down the road, unless you have "yankee" money.

At this point, I'd rather the Dodgers get their depth from signings like Kuroda, and get the superstars from their minor league system.

2007-12-16 15:02:11
254.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 246

Which is why I included a scouting report. And the fact that White has also scouted him.


2007-12-16 15:03:22
255.   JoeyP
To be fair, Logan White also ok'ed Hendrickson, Lance Carter, Baez, Tomko, Loaiza etc.
2007-12-16 15:04:25
256.   trainwreck
No, he did not.

He was not even assistant GM when we got most of those players.

Who knows about Loaiza.

2007-12-16 15:04:25
257.   natepurcell
I was looking over Dice-K

first half: 119.2IP 3.84 ERA
second half: 85IP 5.19
Sept/Oct: 7.62 era

He pitched over 200 innings in a 5 man rotation. It seems to me, Dice-K just tired out there during the end of the season.

The Dodgers are not going to ask Kuroda to be a rotation anchor and pitch 200+ inings like Dice K.

I also think ZIPS takes into account the mlb seasons of Igawa and Dice-K. It isn't a static system. After one more year of statistics and taking everything into account, it still believes Kuroda will do decently.

Maybe its just Ned with Pierre.

ZIPS: Japanese SPs; Colletti: Pierre


2007-12-16 15:05:14
258.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
RE: 255

Did White actually scout all of them? What's the evidence of this? When head of amateur scouting, I assume White was spending all his time looking at college and HS players? Wasn't his promotion then to head of player development? Unless I see a press report indicating otherwise (as with Kuroda), I don't think it's necessarily true that White specifically scouted all those players you listed.


2007-12-16 15:05:32
259.   JoeyP
At this point, I'd rather the Dodgers get their depth from signings like Kuroda, and get the superstars from their minor league system.

But its easier to project a minor leaguer becoming at the very least depth, rather than a minor leaguer becoming a superstar.

2007-12-16 15:05:42
260.   regfairfield
254 I like that scouting report. Thing is other one's I've seen have totally different information.

251 All the ones that are based on a small amount of innings thrown when he was hurt.

2007-12-16 15:06:10
261.   ChicagoDodger
255 I don't think that is fair. He probably ok'd the players given up. Not the ones acquired. At that time, the players acquired was not in his job description. Well, maybe Loaia was, but Ned probably was more behind that then Logan.
2007-12-16 15:06:27
262.   natepurcell
Basically, if we don't make the playoffs this year, Ned is toast.

Don't tempt me to root against the Dodgers.

2007-12-16 15:07:08
263.   regfairfield
257 Very true, but I'd at least like to see them hit on a Japanese pitcher once before I put my faith in it.

I think PECOTA does a much better job with Japanese pitchers, I'd like to see what it thinks.

2007-12-16 15:07:24
264.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
RE: 260

That's the trouble with scouting, right? Well, I guess we'll just have to hope the Dodgers staff knows what it's doing.


2007-12-16 15:07:47
265.   natepurcell
To be fair, Logan White also ok'ed Hendrickson, Lance Carter, Baez, Tomko, Loaiza etc.

We don't know that. You are just assuming that. No where has it been publicized that White said to acquire those players.

What we do know is that White did go to Japan and did scout Kuroda extensively.

2007-12-16 15:09:38
266.   JoeyP
252--Its more that whether Kuroda is in the the rotation in 09/10, or isnt---wont be the difference in winning 95 games or 80 games.

Kuroda at say a 4.40 ERA, is just another guy.

The impact is minimal IMO, and for 12mil bucks just isnt smart managing.

2007-12-16 15:12:14
267.   bhsportsguy
265 I think it is fair to say that White had input on the minor leaguers (Jackson, Navarro, Guzman, Tiffany, etc.) that were dealt in some of those deals. I don't think he would have as much input on the MLB guys received.
2007-12-16 15:12:45
268.   MC Safety
260 How do you know he wasnt healed? Look at the first few games he threw for the A's, they were actually good. We didnt get anything halfway decent in the middle of a pennant race. All we got was a nibbler who gave up homeruns every time he threw a strike.
2007-12-16 15:13:44
269.   natepurcell

I agree with that.

2007-12-16 15:16:39
270.   Vishal
266 maybe that's the difference here. i probably wouldn't have signed kuroda either, personally. but i'm not pissed that we did. i have very low expectations from colletti, so as long as it's not overtly stupid, then i'm not gonna be too upset.

is kuroda the best use of $12 million/year?
probably not.

will kuroda's performance be worth $12 million/year?
maybe, maybe not.

will it be worth a good chunk of $12 million per?

will it be worth none of it, or close to none?
pretty unlikely.

ergo, i'm not outraged.

2007-12-16 15:18:39
271.   trainwreck
Kuroda is the lesser of two evils. That is pretty much how we always have to judge Ned.
2007-12-16 15:27:34
272.   Daniel Zappala
Eric, if it's any consolation, I'll always think of the Matt Kemp page as belonging to you.
2007-12-16 15:31:08
273.   Megaballs
We should be fine with Kuroda because
1/ he was extensively scouted by our Japanese scout over three years anticipating his coming to America
2/ Logan personally scouted him this summer. Logan's strength is pitcher evaluation.
3/ He seems to have multiple pitches and sufficient velocity...good for a starter.
4/ Cost us nothing but $$$, not even a draft pick. I'd like to think we overpaid for him because he's a known quantity to us.

The only risk is if he's a slow worker who loses control of the strike zone and his mind(read Ishii, but to be fair, a certain Jim Tracy might have pushed him into Syd Barrett land)

2007-12-16 15:36:11
274.   Megaballs
There are lies and there are statistics. Personally, I think projections are useless...especially for 20 year olds and foreign players.

I'd be more into things like old fashioned scouting, walk rates, fly ball/ground balls rates, k rates...

2007-12-16 15:37:45
275.   ChicagoDodger
Just out of curiosity, what were Nomo's projections before coming to the US?

Before returning to the Dodgers for a 2nd stint?

Are there any similarities between Nomo & Kuroda?

2007-12-16 15:41:07
276.   regfairfield
275 Nomo was a lot more dominant in Japan than Kuroda. He was also young enough to expect that he would be able to improve as he developed.
2007-12-16 15:43:49
277.   ChicagoDodger
276 Thank you!
2007-12-16 15:47:35
278.   natepurcell
While fans clamor for a new third baseman like Scott Rolen, management is believed more interested in deepening the bullpen and bench, while letting Nomar Garciaparra and Andy LaRoche compete for third base in the spring. An outfield surplus (Juan Pierre or Andre Ethier) provides Colletti with trade chips

This is the first time Gurnick mentioned Pierre as a trade candidate!

2007-12-16 15:55:42
279.   bhsportsguy
278 Anyone here clamoring? Are the messageboards full with this demand?
2007-12-16 15:59:36
280.   milkshakeballa
Wow, I just watched the press conference. Frank McCourt is a pretty horrific speaker, at least in the beginning. Interesting. Anyways, loved what he said about the young guys. Frank wants to keep 'em! I think he has Ned on a very tight leash.
2007-12-16 15:59:45
281.   trainwreck
All the clamoring is in Gurnick's head.
2007-12-16 15:59:58
282.   Vishal
278 i have been clamoring AGAINST scott rolen. maybe gurnick himself is clamoring for it.
2007-12-16 16:00:12
283.   Vishal
i hold gurnick in extremely low regard.
2007-12-16 16:04:08
284.   Vishal
280 he reminds me of the president in his speaking style.
2007-12-16 16:06:28
285.   Greg Brock
Things I am clamoring for: A football coach, a pizza, Christmas break

Things I am not clamoring for: Scott Rolen

2007-12-16 16:07:45
286.   milkshakeballa
LOL Vishal, I was thinking the EXACT same thing. Sounds just like the great GW.
2007-12-16 16:08:20
287.   trainwreck
Who are you pulling for in the coaching search?
2007-12-16 16:13:34
288.   bhsportsguy
285 2 of those will come in time, the pizza, I don't know where a good pizza place is in Torrance so that's up to you?
2007-12-16 16:13:50
289.   Bob Timmermann
This is the season when we all clamor for something.

Sadly, I don't think anyone is going to buy me a sextant this Christmas. I've been clamoring for that since Friday.

The people of St. Louis are clamoring for Scott Rolen to get out of town.

2007-12-16 16:14:42
290.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA can't fill its coaching vacancy until SMU hires a coach. I hear the two schools are in competition for the same candidates.
2007-12-16 16:16:48
291.   regfairfield
288 Bonnello's is pretty much far and away the best pizza place in the area.
2007-12-16 16:17:17
292.   milkshakeballa
lol ouch Bob.
1a. Mooch
1b. Leach (out of ? :( )
2. Chow
2007-12-16 16:17:47
293.   MC Safety
Does Gurnick's job require him to watch baseball games? Is he really that dumb, or is there something sinister going on here?
2007-12-16 16:20:09
294.   Who Is Karim Garcia
I'm not so sure how so many people on this board are convinced we overspent on Kuroda... He was offered more per year as well as longer contracts by the Mariners and Royals.
2007-12-16 16:20:29
295.   bhsportsguy
289 I was reading an article on deep dish apple pie and it recommends cooking the apples first so you don't end up with that space between the top crust and the apples.

If you had Brian Westbrook on your fantasy football team, you are clamoring for him to not take a dive at the 1 foot line and just score the TD.

2007-12-16 16:21:09
296.   trainwreck
I think it is Chow or Walker.

I really wanted Leach, but that is not going to happen.

2007-12-16 16:23:33
297.   Vishal
293 i wouldn't be surprised if he actively disliked the dodgers.
2007-12-16 16:24:11
298.   Bob Timmermann
I'm telling you I'm going to be crying like a baby if there's not a sextant for me under the Christmas tree this year.

Not that I have a Christmas tree in my place.

I really need to know what latitude I'm on at all times.

2007-12-16 16:25:10
299.   MC Safety
288 Btw, the world is a much better place with bhsportsguy around. Or at least Dodger Thoughts is. Optimism is underrated if you ask me.
2007-12-16 16:26:10
300.   Greg Brock
There's a reason Chow has never been a head coach. He's as charismatic as my coffee table and he speaks in a terrible pigeon accent. If it's Chow and Walker, it's almost like having no head coach at all. Or two. I don't know.

I wish it was Leach, but it's not going to be. JIM Harbaugh would be cool, but I'll believe it when I see it. I have made peace with the impending disappointment. I just hope we win football games. Chow, Walker, Neuheisel, whatever. I just want to have a good team.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-12-16 16:26:33
301.   Bob Timmermann
Ken Gurnick has been covering the Dodgers for one media outlet or another for a very long time. Of all people covering the Dodgers daily who aren't named Vin Scully, Gurnick has likely seen the most games.

He is not a happy go lucky kind of guy. He has spent a good chunk of his adult life covering the Dodgers. He's likely transcended liking or disliking the team.

2007-12-16 16:28:19
302.   Bob Timmermann
he speaks in a terrible pigeon accent

"So, Coach Chow, how would you describe Vince Young's effort today."
"coo, coo, cooooo, cooo."
"Excuse me?"
"Don't you mean coo, coooooooo, coooo?"
"cooooooo, cooooooooooooooooo!!!!"

2007-12-16 16:28:44
303.   Greg Brock
All I wanted was a person with had coaching experience and a body of work upon which to judge them. And it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
2007-12-16 16:29:23
304.   Jon Weisman
294 - I think there are three, maybe four people commenting today who think the Dodgers overspent on Kuroda.

As far as their rationale, I think they would argue that four wrongs don't make a right.

Regfairfield and I are guarded about this signing. JoeyP and Paul Scott are against it. Am I missing any other negative reaction? I think the pro-Kuroda people have had more than a majority.

2007-12-16 16:30:49
305.   Greg Brock
I didn't weigh in on Kuroda, but I'm not thrilled with the signing. I'm not climbing a clock tower over it, but not a fan.
2007-12-16 16:33:36
306.   bhsportsguy
299 I think following the Dodgers became a much better experience with Dodger Thoughts.

But I appreciate the comment.

And this place wouldn't be the same without all the diverse views.

2007-12-16 16:35:54
307.   Marty
There's a place on Torrance Blvd in a shopping center called Scardino's I think that I used to like for pizza when I lived there.
2007-12-16 16:36:49
308.   natepurcell
Am I missing any other negative reaction?

The embodiment of cynicism and skepticism himself: D4P

2007-12-16 16:38:16
309.   MJW101
Considering we are giving our #5s $22.5M (Schmidt/Loaiza) in 2008 Kuroda, at approximately $12M, is reasonable for a #4.

The Dodgers will not extend Lowe, but, they should extend Penny (based upon a quality 2008) at something like $15-18M per year for 3 more years after 2009.


2007-12-16 16:39:02
310.   MC Safety
301 So something sinister is going on here?

Any old baseball fan who has been paying attention the last few years knows Scott Rolen has a bum shoulder.

2007-12-16 16:39:17
311.   Marty
Man was 307 poorly written. The shopping center has no name. The pizza place is Scardino's.
2007-12-16 16:41:46
312.   bhsportsguy
311 Any comments on pre-cooking the fruit before baking the apple pie?
2007-12-16 16:42:05
313.   Gen3Blue
I seem to be more optimistic than some concerning Kuroda. Japanese pitchers have worked out for us more often than not, and they seem to be ernest and at least able to burn innings.

I stand by my rather radical stance, that an organization should try to develop pitching, while supplementing its offense with free agents if necessary. This has relation to moneyball in taking advantage of economic inequities ocurring presently in baseball. Guaranteed long contracts are ridiculous, but much more so with pitchers who are more vulnerable to injuries that steal years or even careers. Maybe this is why I am somewhat unhappy with Kuroda's three year contract.
I'm just naturally atrocious at spelling,(being constantly berated by an aunt who was a librarian) so this post drove me to the dictionary, and probably isn't perfect.
Who Knows? Who Cares?

Look at the the Schmidt and Zito contracts. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, but it is a bad gamble.

2007-12-16 16:43:05
314.   Bob Timmermann
Sounds like too much work. I think my next pie will just be all berries. And I can use my mortar and pestle for the first time to smush them!
2007-12-16 16:46:22
315.   Marty
I'm not much of a baker. I've only made a couple peach pies.

But I've asked for baking equipment for Christmas, so who knows!

2007-12-16 16:53:40
316.   D4P
Here's what annoys me:

When it comes to young players, Colletti essentially discounts their minor league performance and insists on "proof" that they can perform at the major league level before even allowing them a shot at being a starter, much less giving them a long-term, expensive contract.

But give him a guy from Japan who's never played in the majors or the minors, and make him 33 years old, and all of a sudden Ned thinks the guy has proven himself worthy of a big contract and a spot in the starting rotation.

Is the Japan league that much more competitive than our minor leagues? Or is being relatively old and still playing "proof" that you deserve a big contract?

2007-12-16 17:04:59
317.   D4P
Speaking of Oklahoma, does anyone remember "Wedgie Fever" from Saturday Night Live, circa 1987-8ish?
2007-12-16 17:10:05
318.   D4P
Ned seems to take it upon himself to reward older players for "paying their dues", even (and especially) when the size of their salary greatly exceeds their actual worth in terms of performance.
2007-12-16 17:12:48
319.   Bluebleeder87
307 311

I dig it Marty. ;o)

2007-12-16 17:19:28
320.   Bluebleeder87
the thing is that you write so well that when you right something semi-bad it's welcoming...
2007-12-16 17:23:29
321.   Vishal
302 brilliant.
2007-12-16 17:26:15
322.   old dodger fan
Are there any good articles analyzing differences between Japanese baseball and American baseball and the impact the differences have on predictive analysis? For example, do Japanese hitters take more pitches, are there differences in the strike zones (actual size or the way the umpires call them), ball park sizes, etc?
2007-12-16 17:29:16
323.   Vishal
320 okay, bluebleeder, i know you like to substitute random homophones a lot in your posts, but using both terms in the same sentence is a bridge two far.

yes, two far. take that.

2007-12-16 17:30:03
324.   dzzrtRatt
Pitching Kuroda instead of James McDonald/Orenduff/Houlton/Loaiza will result in exactly what advantage this year?

Not rushing pitchers who aren't ready.

Not inserting pitchers into roles they can't successfully fill.

The reports on Kuroda suggest that in 2008, he will be better than any of those four. I'm not even sure why Houlton or Orenduff get into the conversation. And Loiza is already in the rotation unless Schmidt recovers.

Other than as a kind of intellectual game, I don't understand the priority given to spending the least amount possible. The Dodgers are not the Florida Marlins. Los Angeles is not Milwaukee. The attendance here is close to 4 million/year. They are in the second or third biggest market in the country. They're in a competitive division as well as a competitive market for fan attention. Dodger fans are strikingly loyal. Should fans feel bad for not wanting the team to send DJ Houlton out there as a key component in a pennant race if there is someone potentially better available? If you're going to overpay for anything in this game, it's pitching. If you're going to spend money on depth/redundancy in any aspect of the game, it's pitching. None of our real pitching prospects are "blocked" by Kuroda, because none of them should be forced into starting roles until '09, at which point a slot or two will surely be open.

Ned's made a few bad deals, but the only argument against this one would be if it's the last $35 million in his budget. It's not, so I don't think it's even relevant to the analysis.

2007-12-16 17:31:35
325.   Dark Horse
316-Um, I don't think that's quite true. Colletti doesn't "discount their performance" in the minor leagues; if he did, they'd all be long gone by now I'm sure. We can debate till we're blue in the face whether it's a good idea to ask minor leaguers to "earn" major league jobs--my guess is, depends on the player and any number of other things besides--but Ned Colletti isn't the devil just because he isn't sure Matt Kemp is ready to start at age 21 (after he looked lost for half a season) or because he signs Hiroki Kuroda instead of handing the ball to James McDonald and saying "Go get 'em, tiger" before signing Russ Martin to a 15 year extension tomorrow afternoon. I'll crucify Ned happily for his actual mistakes--certain outfielders who don't need to be named again--but the idea he doesn't value the young players is ridiculous.
2007-12-16 17:31:53
326.   Who Is Karim Garcia

John, I suppose my comments was based more on comments made throughout the past few days, not just in this post. I'm sorry If I'm misguided in my assessment.

Perhaps its my statistical naiveté, but I can't help but be very excited about the Kuroda signing. He's a talented pitcher coming out of a hitter's park into a pitcher's palace and he has been scouted extensively by the Dodgers.

If he fails (whatever that exactly means), I think it might speak more to our scouting department as opposed to him as a pitcher.

I'm just of the opinion that I'd rather take 12 mil and put it into him as opposed take flyers on retreads like Lohse and Silva- since it would seem that Elbert, MacDonald and Minotaur will not arrive just yet.

(By the way, does anyone feel a little special when John himself responds to your post.... I'm still saving a spot for Bob on my dance card as well.)

2007-12-16 17:37:35
327.   old dodger fan
326 If you want Bob to respond to your post you should suggest we sign Russ Ortiz.

You are more likely to curry Jon's favor if you spell his name correctly.

2007-12-16 17:39:18
328.   Who Is Karim Garcia

I'm just sitting here WAITING for the next possibility of catcher's interference...

Eeeek....My apologies to Jon.

2007-12-16 17:42:31
329.   Bob Timmermann
The articles I've found are either too complex for me (from a math standpoint) or too simplistic (sort of like "Gee, aren't those Japanese fans wacky?").

I can give my impressions (even though I'm a librarian, and not Fred Travelena):

1. Japanese pitchers, with a few notable exceptions, do not aggressively attack the strike zone. They prefer to let the hitters get themselves out. This leads to long at bats, lots of foul balls, and extremely long games.

2. Most of the Japanese ballparks are comparable in size to U.S. parks with Hiroshima being a noticeable exception. And that stadium is likely on its way out. However, there are a lot of domed stadiums in Japan. And in nearly every domed stadium in Japan, the ball carries very well. In the outdoor stadiums, scoring is usually lowered.

3. The stadiums almost all have symmetrical dimensions. And they have few if any odd corners. This helps to keep the number of triples down.

4. Japanese baserunners are very hesitant to take an extra base and force a throw from an outfielder.

5. Nearly every Japanese team, even ones that hit lots of home runs, will sacrifice a lot. It really doesn't matter who. They just do it. It's the thing to do.

6. The ace pitchers on each team, and few teams have more than one, usually throw a lot of pitches and stay out for a long time. In every other instance, the manager will pull a pitcher at the slightest bit of trouble and go lefty-righty from the 5th inning on.

7. The baseball in Japan has a different cover on it and pitchers coming to the U.S. have to adjust how it breaks, but this is not considered a big issue. Japanese baseballs tend to travel farther when hit.

8. The Japanese don't field as well as you would expect for teams that take full infield practices before each game and likely go through it hundreds of times in spring training (which starts in January.)

9. Foreign players brought over to Japan as hitters almost always have horrible strike zone judgment and have terrible K/BB ratios. Teams don't mind this as long as the guy hits home runs.

10. Although there is a lot of sacrificing, base stealing isn't as popular.

I've opted to stop at Moses length and not go for the Woodrow Wilson.

2007-12-16 17:47:52
330.   trainwreck
Time to bring Moneyball to Japan!
2007-12-16 17:48:03
331.   old dodger fan
If Japanese pitchers don't attack the strike zone might a Japanese pitcher who has a bit of trouble finding the strike zone be more likly to get away with it in Japan, especially if Japanese hitters will foul off a ball that a good US hitter will take for a called ball?
2007-12-16 17:49:58
332.   Bob Timmermann
I couldn't disagree with that, but I would think a scout would know better.
2007-12-16 17:51:33
333.   Bob Timmermann
I read "Moneyball" right after it came out and read the whole thing on a flight to Japan. I then gave a book to some friends in Tokyo.
2007-12-16 17:55:33
334.   trainwreck
I will make sure to credit you on Wikipedia, when Moneyball takes over Japan.
2007-12-16 17:58:01
335.   old dodger fan
333 I recently read your write up on your 2005 trip to Japan. That must have been a fun trip.

I saw a game in the 2004 China World Series. I honestly think a AA team could have beaten either of them. There were probably 500 people at the game and it was free. No tickets, just walk in. China has a long way to go baseball wise.

2007-12-16 17:58:28
336.   Humma Kavula
Looking at the map, I'm guessing I'm too far north for Bonello's to deliver (I'm near Aviation and Rosecrans).

Can anybody make a pizza place recommendation that's likely to deliver?

2007-12-16 18:00:47
337.   Bob Timmermann
China, as in PRC, or Taiwan, as in ROC?

The best team in Taiwan could hold its own in AA. The best team in China would probably lose to most good college teams.

2007-12-16 18:03:20
338.   old dodger fan
PRC. Beijing vs Tianjin. I saw the game in Tianjin. I heard somewhere that the Dodgers paid for the stadium but I don't know if it is true.
2007-12-16 18:03:40
339.   trainwreck
I also had pizza tonight. They screwed up our order so we got two pizzas now.
2007-12-16 18:03:59
340.   Ken Noe
Ned loves pitching. Can't get enough pitching. Obsesses about pitching. He was simply going to go out and get pitching this winter. Given those parameters, I prefer overspending McCourt's money on Kuroda and crossing my fingers to trading Kemp and/or Kershaw to get an established starter. For me, sadly perhaps, that's the bottom line, it prevents such a trade.
2007-12-16 18:04:26
341.   jujibee
With Gurnick stating Ethier and Pierre are trading chips, who could we deal with. The White Sox and Phillies both have openings in CF for Pierre, and there's a handful of teams that would love Ethier. Where does Pierre make sense, hoping we keep Ethier and knowing that we most likely eat 3 mil for the next 4 years of Pierre's contract?
2007-12-16 18:07:38
342.   alexx
Free Eric Hull! Judging from his minor league stats, I think he can make a good reliever.
2007-12-16 18:08:36
343.   Bob Timmermann
I believe the Yankees were the first team to start putting a lot of money into China. They signed a couple of Chinese players.

Most of the coaches in China are from Taiwan.

2007-12-16 18:09:43
344.   Marty
I'm making a pork shoulder roast. I'll probably be eating it for dinner all week.
2007-12-16 18:10:20
345.   regfairfield
Is our pitching now vastly improved over last years, considering plans A, B, and C?
2007-12-16 18:10:21
346.   old dodger fan
The Tianjin team had an Asian manager and an American pitcher. The manager had to take an interpreter to the mound to talk to the pitcher.
2007-12-16 18:15:27
347.   Bob Timmermann
RIP, Dan Fogelberg.
2007-12-16 18:16:13
348.   Vishal
340 yeah, that's another thing people need to take into account. it was likely going to be either this, or trading a bunch of talented young players to baltimore for bedard. i'll take kuroda every time.

yeah, you can make the arguement that ned shouldn't have been thinking to pick either of those options, but the fact is, he was going get another pitcher, bottom line.

2007-12-16 18:16:52
349.   Vishal
347 i would make a leader of the band joke, but... it just might be too soon.
2007-12-16 18:17:19
350.   Eric Stephen
I think our pitching will be much better in 2008 mostly because Billingsley will start a full season.

But, I also think Kuroda & Loaiza will be better than Tomko & Hendrickson (can they be worse?), with Schmidt a good bet to outperform his 6 starts of 2007.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2007-12-16 18:18:27
351.   old dodger fan
I have seen a lot of posts about pitchers that we should give opportunity to pitch. I think we normally begin the season with 11 on the 25 man roster and bump up to 12 as the season progresses.

If our starters are Bills, Lowe, Penny, Kuroda, and Schmidt plus in the pen Saito (6), Broxton (7), Beimel (8), Proctor (9) and Loaiza (10) that leaves 2 spots for Meloan, Brazoban, Houlton, Hull, Kuo, McDonald, etc.

Can all of these guys be sent to Vegas? It should be an interesting Spring.

2007-12-16 18:19:21
352.   Bob Timmermann
It's SOP for the American managers in Japan to bring interpreters out to the mound or to argue with umpires.

I should mention that Japanese umpires aren't very good and they let managers argue with them for a very long time and rarely eject anyone.

2007-12-16 18:25:30
353.   old dodger fan
352 I wonder if an American manager was criticizing a Japanese umpire if the Japanese interpreter would soften his words?
2007-12-16 18:25:56
354.   Eric Stephen
All of Meloan, Brazoban, Houlton, Hull, Kuo, Stults, and McDonald have option years remaining.
2007-12-16 18:27:36
355.   Bob Timmermann
That's a given. I don't believe most English profanities have Japanese equivalents.
2007-12-16 18:30:11
356.   regfairfield
354 Kuo doesn't.
2007-12-16 18:33:35
357.   Eric Stephen
I thought September call-ups don't count toward an option year as long as the player isn't sent back down?

Kuo was added to the 40-man when he was called up on 9/2/05, and spent the rest of the season the the big club. I have his option years used as 2006 & 2007.

2007-12-16 18:34:10
358.   Jon Weisman
347 - Wow. When I was a kid, I listened to him to a perhaps embarrassing degree.
2007-12-16 18:37:33
359.   regfairfield
357 One of the last things Dan Evans did was add Kuo to the 40 man. I used to be able to bring the old 40 man up on, but the people broke that functionality somehow.
2007-12-16 18:42:40
360.   Vishal
353 couldn't an american manager at least learn enough basic japanese to tell the ump off? how hard could it be?
2007-12-16 18:45:17
361.   Bob Timmermann
But it's more fun to argue through an interpeter!
2007-12-16 18:47:39
362.   regfairfield
Booyah, the 40 man from late 2003

Note that no one else is still on the team.

2007-12-16 18:49:17
363.   Eric Stephen
You are right. The Dodgers sent Kuo to A outright in June 2004, removing him from the 40-man. Since he was in the minors on the 40-man up to that point in 2004, 2004 counts as an option year.

So Kuo's option years used are 2004, 2006 & 2007.

2007-12-16 18:49:53
364.   Dodgers49
357 356
I thought September call-ups don't count toward an option year as long as the player isn't sent back down?

That would seem to make sense. If it were not true I would expect to see far fewer September call-ups. Why waste an option year to allow a young guy to play a few major league innings?

2007-12-16 18:50:46
365.   Eric Stephen
Nice pull!
2007-12-16 18:51:07
366.   regfairfield
364 It doesn't count as an option year because there's no minor leagues to send them down to in September.
2007-12-16 18:51:33
367.   Vishal
wow, kuo is the longest-tenured dodger. :)
2007-12-16 18:53:00
368.   Eric Stephen
Kuo is the Vince Evans of the Dodgers.
2007-12-16 18:53:14
369.   gvette
358/347-- Knew a few guys who thought it would work to keep a Fogelberg cassette in their car to impress their dates that they were "sensitive" kind of guys.

In the long run, they were better off cranking up the Aerosmith on their tinny IROC Camaro sound systems.

2007-12-16 18:54:48
370.   Gen3Blue
D4P(perhaps for 316, but also in general) (and what a great screen name now that I know what it means.) The D's have major money to spend on payroll. And Coletti spends it all on mediocre guys. This insures that he has to keep his homegrown talent to have a decent team. And I feel good about this. It is a strange world indeed. Imagine what some of these small market guys could do. (No--don't; something else would go wrong.) Just sort of imagine a guy who spent 110 Mil on getting nothing, played his rich young talent and did OK. Not so bad... eh?
2007-12-16 18:56:16
371.   rockmrete
I totally aggree with that. Muller, and Schmidt's names jump out first for me.
2007-12-16 18:56:26
372.   Dodgers49
A couple of comments about the Kemp article:

>> Kemp was also questioned by police as a witness. <<

The article we discussed here this summer had left the impression that he might have been a participant (at least as I remember it) so I hope this discription of him as a possible witness is the more accurate one.

## Jeff had said some things. Everyone was frustrated. We were losing and we weren't going to the playoffs. It was a team thing. It's unfortunate the papers got hold of some stuff and blew a little thing out of proportion. That's what papers do sometimes, but we settled it. ##

I'm kind of interested to know how we settled it. Does this mean that Joe Torre's job is already done?

2007-12-16 19:00:08
373.   dsfan
Count me as a mild skeptic on Kuroda. Encouraging that White was involved in the evaluation. Agree that McDonald/Elbert/Kershaw benefit -- all three need more development time and my basic philosophy is that you're ready to help as a pitcher, you'll get ample opportunity.

Agree that a side benefit is none of the good young players were dealt for a starting pitcher.

Someone wrote that Kurod will be moving to a pitchers palace. Not sure that's the case. Seems to me, Dodger Stadium is nuetral and a pretty good place to hit HRs. Maybe it's a better pitchers park than Kuroda's home park in Japan. I just wonder if he'll miss enough bats.

2007-12-16 19:01:09
374.   Ranma
Off topic--but one I find of tremendous interest personally--Warner Bros. just released the theatrical trailer online for the "Batman Begins" sequel, "The Dark Knight". The fanboy in me can't help but be excited about this upcoming movie, so for those who share in my enthusiasm, you can watch the trailer here:

For those who could care less, pardon the interruption and we now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

2007-12-16 19:02:46
375.   Dodgers49
294. I'm not so sure how so many people on this board are convinced we overspent on Kuroda... He was offered more per year as well as longer contracts by the Mariners and Royals.

And, by the way, he was also offered a longer contract by the Dodgers.

2007-12-16 19:03:16
376.   Gen3Blue
372 I'm with you, but I also think we may be pawns for putting any emphasis on this.
I also tend to believe "we settled it" is a good enough end of it.
2007-12-16 19:06:28
377.   Michael Green
Jocko Conlan said when he went with the Dodgers to Japan in 1956, everybody there adored umpires and called him "Ichi-ban," meaning Number One (I'm sure they weren't referring to the bad number one!). Anyway, later, umpires in Japan ran into a lot of trouble and one time, a Japanese umpire called out an American--I think it was Daryl Spencer--on strikes, and the batter turned, picked up the umpire, and shook him. No suspension or anything like that.
2007-12-16 19:08:01
378.   Gen3Blue
While I must admit to being the last person to know anything valuable about entertainment, I am perplexed by the lack of any publicity for X-mas films, with the possible exception of 'Sweeney Todd'. And this would seem to be impossible to translate to film, and less so for X-mas.
2007-12-16 19:08:08
379.   Eric Stephen
Andrew, I just sent you an email.
2007-12-16 19:08:31
380.   D4P
Wow. I had Dan Fogelberg's greatest hits cassette in my car during high school and listened to it all the time. I also played a lot of his songs on the piano.
2007-12-16 19:09:22
381.   trojanmansaki
Logan White's scouting report on Kuroda...

Logan White, the assistant general manager who made his name through talent evaluation, saw enough tape of Kuroda and watched him in person enough to give the thumbs up.

"I put my reputation on the guy," said White. "He's legit."

Here's White's scouting report:

"He has a very good delivery, an easy arm motion. He throws from a three-quarters angle. He runs his fastball anywhere from 89-95 miles per hour and stays around 93. He has a slider/cutter at 89 that has a lot of sharp, crisp bite. His out pitch is what he calls a forkball that has real diving, late action at the right-handed hitter.

"He's a strike thrower, and he's very athletic, a Gold Glove-like fielder. The biggest thing, for me, is that with runners on base, he buckles down. He really is a warrior."

2007-12-16 19:12:17
382.   Gen3Blue
381 It is hard to hang out here and go against Logan W.
2007-12-16 19:14:17
383.   D4P
The biggest thing, for me, is that with runners on base, he buckles down. He really is a warrior

Hmmm. He might want to try buckling down and being a warrior before runners get on base in the first place.

2007-12-16 19:23:11
384.   Eric Stephen
"I put my reputation on the guy," said White.

Imagine this scenario in 2008:

Martin: .310/.385/.470
Loney: .325/.390/.525
LaRoche: .280/.380/.500
Kemp: .315/.355/.550
Young: .290/.350/.480
Billingsley: 21-6, 2.85 ERA
McDonald: 9-4, 3.48 ERA (midseason callup)
Kershaw: 7-2, 3.18 ERA (midseason callup)
Broxton: 1.80 ERA
Meloan: 2.45 ERA

Dodgers go 103-59, running away with the NL West.

But Kuroda flames out (think Rick Vaughn as a starter).

Ned has a meeting with Logan White in November 2008, not long after the Dodgers celebrate their first world championship in 20 years. "Sorry Logan, Kuroda didn't work out. Please turn in your key card and Dodger-issued hairpiece to HR by the end of the day. What's that, you don't have a hairpiece?"

2007-12-16 19:24:14
385.   Gen3Blue
383 How bout it--Hilarious.
2007-12-16 19:27:11
386.   CanuckDodger
Since some people have brought up pizza, I have been wondering for a while if any of you Californians are familiar with a chain of pizza restaurants called Me-N-Ed's? The chain is apparently big in California, but they have only three restaurants outside California, all in the Vancouver area of British Columbia. One of them is about a two-minute drive from my home. I ADORE Me-N-Ed's pizza. Best I have ever tasted. It's too bad the chain hasn't expanded to U.S. states outside of California. Other Americans are really missing out.
2007-12-16 19:29:42
387.   trainwreck
I have never had it, but my friends who have absolutely love it.
2007-12-16 19:30:45
388.   trainwreck
I am very interested to hear peoples' opinions on the Extras series finale.
2007-12-16 19:32:25
389.   Eric Stephen
I'm kicking myself because I canceled HBO a couple of weeks ago without knowing about the Extras' finale coming up.
2007-12-16 19:34:22
390.   trainwreck
The Dark Knight trailer looks good. Looks like Heath Ledger was a great pick for the Joker.
2007-12-16 19:37:08
391.   Jon Weisman
386 - Canuck, did you say you watched the British "Life on Mars"?

388 - Gonna try to watch it tonight.

2007-12-16 19:37:17
392.   MC Safety
This is the big leagues, and we are the mighty Americans. There are far stronger warriors that might be able to get on base even while he is buckled down.
2007-12-16 19:41:17
393.   MC Safety
386 I am a valued customer at the Me and Ed's in Lakewood on Paramount and Carson!
2007-12-16 19:44:16
394.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 381

It'll be interesting to see what this shuuto actually looks like, which White describes as a slider.


2007-12-16 19:45:35
395.   CanuckDodger
391 -- Yes, I did. All sixteen episodes. Life On Mars is the Me-N-Ed's of British television series. Why do you ask? Have you seen it?
2007-12-16 19:48:55
396.   Eric Stephen
Wait a minute! There's a "Me & Ed's" on Carson? That's awesome.
2007-12-16 19:50:27
397.   CanuckDodger
393 -- You are my brother now.:) Favorite topping? My favorite, Pepperoni, may sound trite, but Me-N-Ed's Pepperoni is no conventional Pepperoni.
2007-12-16 19:51:33
398.   Bob Timmermann
The existence of the shuuto was doubted by Rob Neyer and Bill James when I asked them about it at a SABR Convention. They were discussing their guide to pitchers and they thought that the shuuto was just another variation of the slider.
2007-12-16 19:58:15
399.   Vishal
386 hm. they seem to be concentrated in the central valley. are there any in the bay area?
2007-12-16 19:58:53
400.   trainwreck
I thought it is a screwball. But I guess some people call screwballs, backwards sliders anyways.
Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2007-12-16 19:59:44
401.   trainwreck
I do not think so. All my friends who had it, had it in Fresno.
2007-12-16 20:01:46
402.   Jon Weisman
395 - Haven't seen it, but I was maybe going to hunt for it in January when the strike leaves us dry.

Everyone hear that the Lost season premiere is 1/31?

2007-12-16 20:01:53
403.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 398

On a related note, what's your opinion on the gyroball, Bob? I.e. does that exist?

I think shuuto sounds better than slider, so I'll call it that anyway. :)


2007-12-16 20:06:25
404.   MC Safety
396 Yep, best part is it's walking distance from the Lakewood batting cages!

397 Im a sausage and mushroom kinda guy myself, but the pepp is nice.

2007-12-16 20:07:19
405.   berkowit28
324 (dzzrtRatt) Right on.

Until yesterday, everyone was, rightly, afraid that some of the youngsters would get traded for a pitcher. It's not that farfetched to think that Bedard, in a stretch, could be that "jawdropper" that Colletti would exchange for Kemp, and others. Instead, we have a pitcher who is maybe something of a gamble, but not over market rates, and for the minimum number of years possible. He's there as a number 4 and to fill the gap if/when Lowe goes, Penny falters, whatever, and without trading a single youngster. Not even the ones who haven't fully established themselves yet - Hu, Abreu, and so on. And without spending any more than last year. McCourt has the money and is willing to spend it.

Within two years, it will become clear which of the youngsters are superstars, which are stars, and which are expendable and have no position available to fill. It will cost a lot of money to sign the ones we want to keep to FA extensions, starting with Russell Martin and moving on very rapidly from there. Having Kuroda for 3 years will allow us to wait for the right FA pitcher, not to rush into things. Only 2008 will show whether in fact he was a good purchase, but for goodness sake, he's clearly a good risk with no loss of our other good risks and prospects.

2007-12-16 20:08:52
406.   Eric Enders
Russell Martin told me once that the pitch we all know and love as Takashi Saito's slider is called a "shuuto" by Saito.
2007-12-16 20:11:54
407.   Vishal
406 so it's like a slider, but filthier? :)

does francisco rodriguez throw a shuuto?

2007-12-16 20:13:04
408.   Eric Stephen
I used to go to those batting cages a lot when I lived in Long Beach. Probably not enough if you ask my softball teammates. :)
2007-12-16 20:13:38
409.   das411
405 is a very very good post.

Re: Kuroda, Wasn't there a quote from Kenji Johjima before that first Red Sox/Mariners game last season to the effect of, "Sure Dice-K throws a gyroball, over here we call it a [--i dont remember, someone help me out--]"?

And does anybody else think this Kuroda signing looks kinda like a more high-end version of my Phils bringing in Adam Eaton for rotation depth last offseason?

2007-12-16 20:26:50
410.   Eric Stephen
The Adam Eaton comparison is the "worst case scenario" in the Kuroda Accord.
2007-12-16 20:26:55
411.   Ranma
381 I definitely feel better having Logan White's personal seal of approval on Kuroda, which alleviates my initial concern over the amount of monetary and time commitment made with this contract.

390 Ledger looks like a surprisingly inspired choice by Christopher Nolan for the role of the Joker, much like Daniel Craig was for James Bond in "Casino Royale". There was quite some public dismay initially expressed when each of those actors were announced for their respective roles. I was taken aback but open-minded in each of those instances.

386 , 396 , 399 There used to be a Me-N-Ed's over in Costa Mesa but that location recently changed its name to South Coast Pizza Parlor even though it continued to have the same menu. Apparently, that location chose to stick with its Shakey's style offerings rather than keep up with the Me-N-Ed's revamp of its brand. I'm actually curious to see what an MNE pizza taste like nowadays.

2007-12-16 20:30:25
412.   Daniel Zappala
I had pizza tonight too. Rather than order out, I made it myself. The key is to use kosher salt in your crust.
2007-12-16 20:32:52
413.   Icaros
I had The Front Room pizza in SF tonight.
2007-12-16 20:33:17
414.   MC Safety
408 Right on. Lance Parrish once gave me a pitching lesson there I will never forget. Right when I found out he was a catcher I had zero interest in pitching, it was all about the tools of ignorance. Its funny because I guess the only way you could say I supported the Angels as kid was going to the 89 AS game and being a distant relative of Doug Dicenzo. The Angels never could compete with my Nana's stories of growing up in Brooklyn as a (still, I might add) die hard Dodger fan.
2007-12-16 20:39:16
415.   Daniel Zappala
I find it curious that some people accuse Colletti of throwing money after mediocre veteran players after the Kuroda signing, quickly forgetting the wise use of money in the Jones signing. I think Colletti's doing a far better job than anticipated, and is putting to rest many of the fears we had.

If I recall correctly, the biggest wishes were to get rid of Pierre, give LaRoche a chance at third (unless ARod was signed), and avoid trading the best young players. It looks quite likely that all of these will come to pass. In the bargain, we have Jones in CF and Kuroda. I'm optimistic Jones will bounce back to his regular level this year, which will give us a very strong outfield. Pierre is likely on his way out. LaRoche will have a shot at third, and may not need to wait for Nomar to struggle (remember, Torre found a way to use Betemit). Kuroda is a good risk, particularly with Logan White on his side and in light of the other available FA talent, the trade market, and the uncertainty surrounding Schmidt and Loaiza.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the job Colletti has done this year, especially in comparison to his early work.

2007-12-16 20:39:45
416.   Marty
There was a Me N Eds in Glendale on Colorado Blvd. when I lived there in the late 70s and early 80s. They cut the pizza Chicago style, in squares as I recall. But also, if I remember correctly, it wasn't very good pizza.
2007-12-16 20:43:10
417.   MC Safety
416 You don't remember correctly. ; )
2007-12-16 20:51:29
418.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-12-16 20:52:18
419.   Lee Corbett

'While fans clamor for a new third baseman like Scott Rolen, management is believed more interested in deepening the bullpen and bench, while letting Nomar Garciaparra and Andy LaRoche compete for third base in the spring.'

who's clamoring? sorry if this has already been posted.

2007-12-16 21:08:15
420.   Louis in SF
405 is a good post

I feel for the first time in years that the Dodgers are a club that can seriously contend for a playoff spot, but is also in a position to make moves in July if necessary, and also has some depth in the minors for replacements later in the season if things don't work out.

Remember since Lowe is a Boras client and this is his walk year if all pitchers are doing well but we need something else with our depth at pitching we could afford to trade Lowe.

This signing if we wanted to get crazy and the price were to come down, could also let the Dodgers back into the Santana sweepstakes, if they wanted to take a look. What if we offered Young, Billingsley, Meleon and one other prospect not Krenshaw for Santana. Doubt Minnisota would take it, but how about a rotation of Lowe, Santana, Penny, Kuroda, Scmidt/Loiaza. That would be an amazing rotation

2007-12-16 22:55:21
421.   Benaiah
304 - I am lukewarm on the signing. Kuroda is the safest bet for the first season, and there are only two seasons after that, so even if he gets Wally Pipped/Juan Pierred, he can't be as big an albatross as our aforementioned left fielder. On the other hand, we have a lot of likely pitchers for the back of the rotation (Kuo, McDonald, Elbert, Kershaw, Loaiza, Schmidt and even Houlton). Now all of the young pitchers will have to kick the door down (Kuo is out of options, but maybe we can hide him on an injury stint). Depth is one thing, but Kuroda doesn't look like much of a breakout star, so we wrote "mediocre to average" in one spot in the rotation.

If this is viewed a chess move against our own GM, as though Kuroda ensures that Kemp won't be traded then Dodger baseball is the sadly cynical. We compete against another philosophy, reliant on luck and politics in to "win" our decisions in the process.

I think the Dodgers have so many question marks going forward that contending this season is highly unlikely. It isn't that there isn't the potential for greatness (or at least potential of above average minimum making), but, there are so many "ifs" that surely someone of them won't become "thens." In 2009 some contracts will be up and there will be enough flexibility to adjust depending on how Andruw bounces back, how well Kemp learns to take a walk, how many opportunities Laroche gets (preferably injury free), how well Saito and Kent defy time and what are the backups, how does Kershaw gain control, how are Kuo, Furcal and Schmidt's recoveries and now Kuroda. A big run this year would be like rolling Yahtzee on the first roll, wonderful if it happens, but don't bank on it.

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