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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

Britney Spears and the Dodgers
2008-01-09 10:01
by Jon Weisman

No, it's not a dating story. Rather, it's a philosophical question. Is coverage of the likes of Britney Spears any more frivolous than coverage of the Dodgers?

From the Times (via L.A. Observed):

(California section editor David Lauter) also addressed concerns that The Times devotes too much time and attention to the Spears saga: "A great news organization ought to be able to do more than one thing at a time, and we do." He points to the coverage in the paper that same day: "As the reader noted, there's a war going on, and The Times' news report on that day -- as on virtually every day in the last four and a half years -- included a story from one of our staff writers in our Baghdad bureau. The day's news report also included two front-page stories on the presidential campaign, an analysis of the latest economic trends which may indicate a recession in the coming year and a major new study on the cancer risk from toxic air pollutants in Southern California. Inside the front section, in addition to the war and the presidential campaign, we had stories from Times staff writers in Kenya, France, Israel, Pakistan, Colombia, Peru and Washington and several stories by our science writers.

"On the local front, in addition to the story on toxic air pollutants, our staff writers produced 15 stories on a range of topics that included allegations of police corruption, a major conservation decision involving land preservation in the hills above Glendale, religion on college campuses and the year's first homicide in downtown LA. And then there was Britney. The odds are long against any one reader's being interested in each and every one of those stories. That's why a news organization, whether in print or online, needs to offer a broad range of stories. The goal is to hold a mirror up to daily life in all its splendid diversity. The passing circus is part of that life, particularly here in Southern California, where the whirl of celebrity is very much a part of the fabric. That circus is as much a legitimate subject for coverage as the Dodgers or the Lakers, which our Sports section covers routinely without anyone worrying that they contribute to the 'dumbing down' of America." (Emphasis mine.)

Readers of this site have seen me question my own devotion to writing about the Dodgers - in the midst of continuing to do it - so I couldn't help but find Lauter's comparison interesting.

As far as a major newspaper like the Times is concerned, my feeling is that if you've done what you need to do on the important issues of the day, there's no reason you shouldn't cover the human interest stories, however banal they might be - keeping in mind you should always bring an intelligent, thoughtful approach to any story, big or small.

The question becomes whether or not more important stories get lost in the shuffle. On the one hand, there is certainly more important work to be done in the Times on any given day than writing about the Dodgers or Britney. On the other hand, if you don't cover the Dodgers or Britney (or devote space to the comics, fashion, etc.), will most people bother to get your newspaper or go to your website and see any of your stories?

The only way to combat that mystery is to do exceptional work. I roll my eyes at some of the choices news organizations make, but in the end, what matters more is the quality of the writing and reporting. For the most part, you can't keep people from being interested in the frivolous. All you can do is try to make it worthwhile.

Comments (275)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-09 10:35:53
1.   Brent Knapp
from previous thread, Izturis may be a better defensive SS than Furcal, but the gap is much smaller than the enormous gap between Kent and Abreu, defensively
2008-01-09 10:36:29
2.   JoeyP
What about Jaime-Lynn and the Dodgers?
2008-01-09 10:40:44
3.   cargill06
Spears should be compared to Nomar, one of the biggest stars in the game to begin with, injury/pregnancy starts to unravel their career, they both attempt a comeback ('06 season for Nomar, new '07 CD for Spears) and now their careers are back to their downward spiral.
2008-01-09 10:42:36
4.   Eric Stephen
Clearly Jamie Lynn is LaRoche. He's the potentially better younger sibling of an established major leaguer, and if he doesn't get the lion's share of playing time at 3rd base, the Dodgers will do to LaRoche what was done to Jamie Lynn to get her in her current "situation". :)

*Hoping the smiley face doesn't get the comment deleted.

2008-01-09 11:07:32
5.   Sam DC
It's very interesting -- I'd be curious at a qualitative look at the coverage of the Dodgers or the various Celebublondes. Which actually gets a more "intelligent, thoughtful" approach in the print LA Times.

It's an honest question. Neither would surprise me, nor would the conclusion that the paper rarely takes an intelligent, thoughtful approach to either subject I suppose.

2008-01-09 11:19:16
6.   Daniel Zappala
I don't begrudge the Times or any other media source their coverage of Britney Spears when she does something newsworthy, like lose custody of her kids. What I dislike are the paparazzi who follow her every minute of the day and night.
2008-01-09 11:20:31
7.   Daniel Zappala
I hope Jon doesn't mind if I venture into political science one more time today. Here are my questions:

* What happens to the delegates who are pledge to a candidate who then drops out later in the race?

* What happens at a national convention when there are three candidates, each with 33% of the candidates, or, even worse, 10 candidates, each with 10% of the vote?

2008-01-09 11:33:13
8.   Humma Kavula
7 I'm looking for a definitive answer to your first question.

The answer to your second question is:

2008-01-09 11:36:11
9.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm trying to guess how any sort of "whirl" could be part of a fabric. It could be a weaving technique, I guess, but that's a little presumptuous, and wouldn't jive with the other stated goal of being a mirror.
2008-01-09 11:36:12
10.   Eric Stephen
In Gurnick's latest, he has the following gem about LaRoche:

"LaRoche had almost as many walks as hits (20-21), lacking aggressiveness for a hitter that showed better Minor League power than Loney or Kemp"

Even Andy's greatest major league strength to date, his patience, is being held against him!

2008-01-09 11:36:41
11.   Humma Kavula
7 What the wikipedia page on superdelegates says is that they are not tied to caucus/primary results. They may vote for whom they choose. This part I knew.

What I don't know is: is there a formal process by which a superdelegate pledges his vote in advance? If there is such a formal system, is he able to change his vote at the convention (to show unity or to put another candidate over the top)? Or is he unable to change his vote (at least on the first round of voting)?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I'll try to find out.

2008-01-09 11:42:57
12.   Jon Weisman
10 - Gurnick views walks as a negative - it's that simple.

In any event, in that article, Gurnick conveys the feeling that the 3B job might actually be LaRoche's to lose.

2008-01-09 11:43:05
13.   D4P
I've produced a "Passivity Rating" to identify the league's worst hitters, sorted from worst to best:

2008-01-09 11:45:18
14.   Terry A
6 - Duly noted, but hard to sympathize with Spears when the paparazzi following her allegedly get "benefits" from their pursuits.

10 - Gurnick has joined Plaschke on my must-not-read list. Tony Jackson has been put on notice as well.

2008-01-09 11:50:09
15.   Jon Weisman
From a CBS press release for their show, "Power of 10":


2008-01-09 11:50:29
16.   Marty
6 That was the point that another Times editor made in LA observer, it was news because of the paparazzi:

"We wouldn't have put three reporters on a story just about her custody case -- which is sad, but similar to hundreds of others. What made this especially newsworthy is the role of paparazzi in L.A. -- it's big business here and it affects people; if you live in L.A., you see it. Also, this standoff represented something new in this relationship between celebrities and the celebrity press."

2008-01-09 11:51:14
17.   ToyCannon
I find the whole paparazzi thing to be annoying to everyone but the idiots who care about such things. I'm sure they serve a dual purpose for those who just want to be famous but if you want to pursue a career where being famous is just a by product it sucks for you and your family.
2008-01-09 11:54:17
18.   silverwidow
Gurnick has been spewing ignorant views on LaRoche since 2006. This is nothing new.
2008-01-09 12:01:21
19.   Howard Fox
15 just wondering, if you (meaning a person, not you specifically, Jon) are friends with someone you consider to be a loser, well what does that make you...
2008-01-09 12:02:34
20.   Howard Fox
I thought Simers article about Kent to be a pretty good one...
2008-01-09 12:09:20
21.   regfairfield
13 It would be interesting if someone used the pitch fx to see who leads the league in hittable pitches taken, which I think qualifies as passiveness.
2008-01-09 12:10:25
22.   Benaiah
19 - It makes you an awful person for judging your friends in such harsh terms. I have friends who I worry about because they make bad decisions (some of my friends might feel that way about me) and I have friends who I have reservations about for whatever reason, but I can't fathom thinking one of my friends is a loser. People who think like that are no doubt insecure and thus try to shore up their own self worth by placing people below them in the hierarchy of loserdom. CBS is soul-suckingly awful, as usual.

They got a name for the winners in the world, I want a name when I lose.

2008-01-09 12:10:33
23.   Eric Enders
12 "Gurnick views walks as a negative - it's that simple."

But is it that simple, really? I find it difficult to believe that anyone with even a passing familiarity with baseball would view walks as a negative for a batter. That would also mean they're a positive for pitchers, and yet I don't see Gurnick and his ilk campaigning for the Dodgers to go out and get pitchers who walk a lot of batters. In fact, Gurnick spent much of his most recent mailbag article complaining that Clayton Kershaw walks too many batters. So there is, on some basic level, a recognition that walks are good for hitters and bad for pitchers. He also has criticized Juan Pierre's lack of walks before:

I think in LaRoche's case, there are two factors at work:
1) He is looking for something to criticize about a player he already knows he doesn't like, and
2) The belief that walks are important for leadoff-type guys but not so much for power hitters.

2008-01-09 12:11:50
24.   Jon Weisman
22 - Steely Dan references make me long for My Old School.
2008-01-09 12:12:50
25.   Jon Weisman
23 - I believe the J.D. Drew saga revealed loads of people who feel that walks are a negative.

I think some people think pitchers shouldn't walk anyone and batters should hit.

2008-01-09 12:14:58
26.   cargill06
ken's going to love andruw and that minute OBP and the high K's
2008-01-09 12:16:45
27.   Eric Enders
16 [Apologies in advance for violation of informal rule] Is it just me, or does it seem like in the last 10 years there's been an epidemic increase in the media reporting on itself as news? Not that a little look in the mirror is a bad thing, but it's never done with any depth or genuine insight. Self-aggrandizement seems to be the goal more often than not. CNN, for one, is a prime offender. And reporters' phrasing, at least on TV, has changed from the standard "Spears said..." to "Britney told me..."
2008-01-09 12:17:33
28.   D4P
The people who think walks are a negative seem to view them as a cowardly cop-out for players who are afraid to swing because they might make an out.

Under this view, walks are not "manly". They're for girlie-men.

2008-01-09 12:18:45
29.   Benaiah
24 - I named my defunct blog after that song.

I'm never going back to my old blog.

2008-01-09 12:19:04
30.   Penarol1916
22. When you say CBS is awful, you can't just say it is soul-suckingly awful. You really have to put it on the line, like say that you would rather have a network where are repeatedly kicked in the crotch than CBS. I know what I would do to take CBS off the air. Would you be willing to do the same?
2008-01-09 12:19:22
31.   fanerman
26 Andruw draws his share of walks. His OBP can be on the low side because his BA is low.
2008-01-09 12:19:37
32.   silverwidow
26 Andruw will have a bounce back year, so his OBP won't be "minute." Probably around .350
2008-01-09 12:20:18
33.   fanerman
24 Who or what is Steely Dan? Just kidding.
2008-01-09 12:21:09
34.   cargill06
hell if he had the year he had last year (knock on wood), he still would've led the team in HR's and RBI's
2008-01-09 12:22:00
35.   Eric Enders
The walks-are-for-girlie-men viewpoint has been around for 150 years, and is actually less common now than at any other time in baseball history. But I think that even those people recognize that walks do help the offense. They don't really mind walks as a side effect of batting, they just seem to mind players who try to walk.
2008-01-09 12:22:43
36.   jasonungar07
You would think that since he was mostly in the 8 hole (12 of his 20 walks) a normal baseball fan, let alone writer would at least mention that.
2008-01-09 12:24:16
37.   silverwidow
I'll take players who try to walk. Beats making outs 75% of the time.
2008-01-09 12:24:56
38.   cargill06
36 i wonder how many of those walks were with 2 outs runners in scoring position with the pitcher on deck??
2008-01-09 12:27:51
39.   jasonungar07

This is rad. My old School. Circa 1973

I was lucky to see Steely Dan a few years ago (supporting two against nature) and it was a great show. I didn't get into them until 1999. I feel stupid!

2008-01-09 12:28:58
40.   FelixP
"Readers of this site have seen me question my own devotion to writing about the Dodgers - in the midst of continuing to do it - so I couldn't help but find Lauter's comparison interesting."

I have no problem with you being self-reflective in public but I do sometimes worry when you post so many "remember when" re-posts. The LA Times doesn't rerun many of their front page stories; I'd hate for this blog to become a Rolling Stones concert (lots of old hits and the occasional new tune).

2008-01-09 12:30:44
41.   silverwidow
It's obvious Gurnick has a personal vendetta against LaRoche considering he refused to mention Andy's terrific defense last year.
2008-01-09 12:32:34
42.   jasonungar07
36 so make an out?

.300/.632/.500/1.13 and 9 walks in that situation you asked about.

2008-01-09 12:33:49
43.   jasonungar07 above 42 references.. 38 not 36
2008-01-09 12:34:28
44.   cargill06
42 that's fantastic numbers considering the pitcher is more likely trying to pitch around him, he's aggresive enough to have 1.132 OPS but patient enough to draw 9 walks.
2008-01-09 12:35:44
45.   cargill06
42. i was just wondering how many walks he got in that situation cause the #8 hitter gets a lot of free walks like that.
2008-01-09 12:36:59
47.   Eric Stephen
38 i wonder how many of those walks were with 2 outs runners in scoring position with the pitcher on deck??

7 (including all 5 intentional walks).

Take away those 7 PA, and he still had 13 walks in 108 PA.

2008-01-09 12:37:03
48.   cargill06
hey maybe when we stick pierre in the 8 hole his OBP will go up, now that that's solved, next issue world peace
2008-01-09 12:40:01
49.   Benaiah
A walk is more valuable than a single. It is difficult to understand how that could be true, but the opportunity cost of a walk is less than that of a single. Every walk happens in a vacuum, since 100% of walks result in trips to first base, but singles come with a necessary 2 or 3 outs. Therefore walks help OBP far more than hits. Walks don't help slugging at all though, so I can't judge just how valuable each one is but walks are definitely way underrated.
2008-01-09 12:40:39
50.   underdog
But when will Jeff Kent and Matt Kemp appear on Dr. Phil? Then I'd really be sold on the comparison! (Not to mention watch Dr. Phil.)


Gurnick is constantly referring to LaRoche's "struggles" last season, which makes it hard to take his point of view about the kid seriously - I mean Andy had so few at bats, was barely in the majors at all, had back troubles, and showed both tremendous power in the minors and great plate discipline in his brief time in the majors. The fact that he begrudges him anything at all this time is a sign of progress I guess. Makes me root for LaRoche's success even more, just to be able to ask Gurnick about it down the road.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-09 12:42:51
51.   fanerman
48 It's been discussed, and the ideal place for Juan Pierre (after the bench) is batting 8th. It's the ideal given his skill set.
2008-01-09 12:42:57
52.   cargill06
49 please explain the 100% of the walks result in trips to first base, but singles come with a nexassary 2 or 3 outs. Don't understand the singles come witha necessary 2 to 3 outs.
2008-01-09 12:44:21
53.   Eric Enders
49 Singles are, without question, more valuable than walks. Without question.

Walks do not occur in a vacuum at all; they come with the risk of striking out or being put at a disadvantage in the count. Walks do not advance runners multiple bases as singles can; they do not result in fielders' errors as singles sometimes can.

A walk is definitely not as good as a hit. Almost, but not quite.

2008-01-09 12:45:23
54.   bhsportsguy
40 Again, its the beginning of January, the Dodgers have not made any moves since the signing of Kuroda, and we are still more than 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting in Vero Beach.

The fact that Jon can come up with anything on a daily basis is something to behold because its hard to write interesting, intelligent pieces everyday, regardless of the topic.

And of all spors, baseball is built on its history. Unlike other sports, where you tend to focus only on the present, baseball has always been about the past, future and the present, each of those time periods ripe for discussion.

Trust me, there will be plenty to discuss as we get closer to spring training but I look forward to what Jon posts because it (along with the comments area) is what drives me here everyday.

2008-01-09 12:45:47
55.   Eric Enders
Actually, it now occurs to me that 49 may be satiric. If it is, you got me.
2008-01-09 12:48:07
56.   silverwidow
53 But there are also instances of players trying to turn singles into XBH and getting thrown out. Also, RISP getting thrown out at the plate on a single.
2008-01-09 12:49:37
57.   Eric Stephen
Gurnick also mentions supporters of LaRoche are "supporters of the youth movement", as if that's the only reason to prefer LaRoche. What about "supporters of the best player to play each position movement"?

Also, does anyone have a good source for MLE numbers? Is it through a premium subscription to Baseball Prospectus?

Here are LaRoche's raw minor league numbers (but I don't know what the MLEs are):

Age 20: .259/.326/.479 (A/A+)
Age 21: .305/.375/.553 (A+/AA)
Age 22: .315/.410/.514 (AA/AAA)
Age 23: .309/.399/.587 (AAA)

2008-01-09 12:49:47
58.   cargill06
56 i was thinking that's where 49 was going with 100% of the time you will wind up on 1st base with a walk, and sometimes a single turns into an out on the bases
2008-01-09 12:50:18
59.   scareduck
39 - That recording sounds so much like the original I wonder if they weren't lip-syncing.

Donald Fagan looks appropriately terrified, though, like he's trying to bite the microphone before it bites him.

2008-01-09 12:52:11
60.   Eric Stephen
LaRoche sported a .374 OBP in his age 21 season (2005), not a .375, and a .589 SLG last season (not .587) Typing errors.
2008-01-09 12:52:13
61.   scareduck
49 , 55 - If you squint hard, you can see the sarcasm dripping out of that paragraph.
2008-01-09 12:52:14
62.   regfairfield
Hitting eighth only gives you more intentional walks, it does not help in terms of unintentional ones.
2008-01-09 12:53:01
63.   still bevens
I think Gurnick's train of thought is that if you have power, you should be swinging for the fences and not trying to draw walks (hence hating on LaRoche and JD Drew). He probably loves Andruw Jones in that case.
2008-01-09 12:53:22
64.   Jon Weisman
40 - "so many"?
2008-01-09 12:53:40
65.   Benaiah
55 - It isn't. Singles come as a result of balls in play, any ball in play will result in an out 60-75% of the the time. Strikeouts are bad because they are outs 100% of the time, but because an out is always more likely than getting on base walks more than offset that even for the Adam Dunns of the world. Linear weights says walks are less valuable (.34 runs versus .50 runs) by themselves but the outs that go with the hits might offset that. I guess I overstated my case, but walks are basically as valuable as singles.
2008-01-09 12:53:52
66.   ToyCannon
I use Baseball HQ for my MLE's.
2008-01-09 12:55:24
67.   regfairfield
57 There's a spreadsheet somewhere in the Transaction Oracle archives that I never remember to save.
2008-01-09 12:57:16
68.   ToyCannon
As a fan I'll take a Vlady at bat over JD Drew 10 out of 10 times.


2008-01-09 12:57:31
69.   regfairfield
Here it is, albeit it's from 2006.

2008-01-09 12:57:36
70.   Eric Stephen
Thank you very much.

So, LaRoche's .309/.389/.589 in Vegas last season translates into a .269/.346/.505 in MLB.

Sign me up!

2008-01-09 12:59:08
71.   Jon Weisman
40 - In any case, I can understand why you wouldn't want this to become a rerun channel, but this post here was new content. The fact that it was augmented by a previous thought doesn't change that.
2008-01-09 12:59:36
72.   Eric Stephen
Thanks to you too.

The enitre True Blue LA team is coming through for me today!

2008-01-09 13:01:20
73.   regfairfield
Loney's MLE from last year: .229/.284/.316.
2008-01-09 13:02:31
74.   cargill06
66. HOW do you come up with those numbers?
2008-01-09 13:04:43
75.   Eric Enders
65 So even though you're saying a walk is more valuable than a single, that's not at all what you're actually saying. You're saying a walk is more valuable than a ball in play. That we can agree on.

If you're going to make an opportunity-cost argument to devalue singles, you can't do it without also analyzing the complex opportunity-cost equation involved in drawing a walk. Walks do not occur in a vacuum, not even close.

I think I see what you're saying now, but the way you originally stated it was very misleading. Looking at end results, "a walk is more valuable than a single" implies that you believe that, other things being equal, a player with 100 walks and 70 singles is more valuable than a player with 70 walks and 100 singles. This is, of course, ludicrous, and I'm glad that it is not in fact what you were trying to argue.

2008-01-09 13:04:44
76.   Eric Stephen
[covers ears]
La la la...not listening to la la
2008-01-09 13:10:02
77.   Eric Enders
Put me down in the pro-memory-lane corner. The pieces are always great, and what the heck else is Jon supposed to talk about in the offseason? Juan Pierre 24/7?
2008-01-09 13:12:32
78.   scareduck
65 , 75 - Singles are absolutely more valuable than walks. I can triumphantly state this because a single with men on second and third and two out will score at least one run, but a walk will only load the bases. That this should be even up for discussion falls into the same category as my math teacher who once said, "1+1=4 for very large values of one."
2008-01-09 13:13:42
79.   scareduck
78 - exception duly noted for certain well-placed infield singles, but the point is that saying a walk is nearly as valuable as a single is not the same thing as saying it is as valuable -- which it is not.
2008-01-09 13:19:57
80.   ToyCannon
I find Loney's 2007 AAA season and his 2007 major league season to be one of the great mysteries of my life. I would bet that it is even historical for a player to have 1 home run in 232 minor league at bats and then hit 15 in 344 major league at bats during the same season.

I remember Jim Edmunds having very little minor league power but he also had very little major league power until his age 25 season.

2008-01-09 13:22:28
81.   Eric Enders
I wonder if it has anything to do with AAA pitchers being afraid to challenge Loney with fastballs and major league pitchers being willing to.
2008-01-09 13:23:45
82.   regfairfield
81 If that's the case, we could be in trouble next year.
2008-01-09 13:25:47
83.   cargill06
81 i would guess maybe just a pro-longed slump which any young hitter is valnurable to
2008-01-09 13:30:31
84.   ToyCannon
9 of the home runs came in Sept and the kid has a road career OPS of 1.081. Yowza

I was told by a bird that his turnaround happened when he stopped listening to advice from a crusty right handed hitting 2nd baseman on how to hit curveballs.

2008-01-09 13:31:33
85.   cargill06
toy how do you come up with your MLE, is it just what you're hopeful of or is there an actual formula... please educate.
2008-01-09 13:35:56
86.   Xeifrank
85. ToyC didn't invent MLE, some guy named Bill James did. :)
vr, Xei
2008-01-09 13:36:57
87.   cargill06
86 ok so how did Bill James come up with these numbers?
2008-01-09 13:37:56
88.   regfairfield
85 It just adjusts the numbers down accounting for the difficulty between the majors, and the minor league park factors. It's a decent tool, but I wouldn't take it as gospel by any means.
2008-01-09 13:38:39
89.   Andrew Shimmin
2008-01-09 13:42:32
90.   ToyCannon
I never invented anything other then 99 ways to take a nap.

If MLE was foolproof Joel Guzman would be destroying major league pitchers right now.

2008-01-09 13:43:20
91.   cargill06
off topic, I wonder why the Twins stopped talking to us about our prospects? It seems we have as much to offer as NYY and BOS plus get him out of the AL for MINN. I hope Ned just is to hard headed over the best player at his positon for arguably the most important positon in the game.
2008-01-09 13:44:19
92.   regfairfield
91 I don't think Ned wants to start Kuroda in the bullpen, we're done looking for pitching.
2008-01-09 13:45:15
93.   cargill06
92 i'd love to see Loaiza in the pen rather than the rotation
2008-01-09 13:45:38
94.   silverwidow
91 Because McCourt won't approve a $140 million contract.
2008-01-09 13:47:31
95.   cargill06
94 ya that's what i was thinking. but if he is healthy it is completely justified. plus you get furcal, lowe, and kent off the books next year that frees up a lot of scrilla
2008-01-09 13:54:34
96.   regfairfield
93 He's already there.
2008-01-09 13:56:42
97.   cargill06
96. Penny, Lowe, C Bill, Kuroda, #5?? If not Loaiza who is it??? Ned said in USA today Schmidt is "50-50" to be on opening day roster. I doubt he'll pitch this season.
2008-01-09 13:58:38
98.   scareduck
91 , 94 -- I very much doubt this has anything to do with what the Dodgers are willing to offer Santana on a hypothetical contract he might negotiate immediately after a trade, as it does the Twins' reluctance to part with a potential Hall of Fame pitcher for a basket of unknown young talent. In the public trades mooted by the press, the Yankees are being asked for combinations like Joba Chamberlain AND Ian Kennedy AND Melky Cabrera. That just isn't going to happen, which makes me think Carl Pohlad (and GM Bill Smith) aren't serious about moving him.
2008-01-09 14:01:01
99.   regfairfield
97 There's no way you can do better than Esteban Loaiza as your number six starter. The payroll is already at 124 million, we can't add another giant contract.
2008-01-09 14:04:30
100.   Xeifrank
96. Loaiza is in the pen? Then who is the other starter besides (Penny, Lowe, Billz, Kuroda)? I am not holding out hope that Schmidt is in there to start the season.
vr, Xei
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-01-09 14:05:30
101.   Eric Enders
But with Ned at the helm, we can always add another Giant contract.

Lance Niekro, anyone?

2008-01-09 14:06:27
102.   regfairfield
100 I guess I'm an optimist.

101 Would you hate me if I thought it would be a good idea to give him a minor league contract? He hits lefties decently.

2008-01-09 14:19:54
103.   natepurcell
off topic, I wonder why the Twins stopped talking to us about our prospects? It seems we have as much to offer as NYY and BOS plus get him out of the AL for MINN. I hope Ned just is to hard headed over the best player at his positon for arguably the most important positon in the game.

Colletti isn't too excited about giving 140 mil to a pitcher.

2008-01-09 14:27:50
104.   SG6
If OPS is your stat (it has one of the highest correlations to runs scored), then a single is worth two walks.

Regarding Britney, my wife made some comment about the paparazzi and how they need to be restrained (I agree to some point), but I happened to notice a copy of US magazine on the kitchen counter with the Spears Sisters on the cover. I pointed to it and told my wife she is the problem for buying that thing off the newsstand.

2008-01-09 14:31:08
105.   scareduck
104 - I agree. So long as there is a market, so long will there be those eager to sell to it.
2008-01-09 14:33:53
106.   cargill06
101. as sick as this makes me, don't be surprised if Ned makes a run at Pedro Feliz
2008-01-09 14:38:33
107.   regfairfield
106 If he's still passable at short, he's better than the average useless utility guy.
2008-01-09 14:43:27
108.   Jon Weisman
104 - But I sort of disagree with that. Having an interest in Spears doesn't imply that the press shouldn't operate with some sense of order, any more than having an interest in the Dodgers implies that I want the press to engage in wild, unfounded and senseless speculation about the team.
2008-01-09 14:44:09
109.   silverwidow
Feliz' OBP makes Juan Pierre look like Kevin Youkilis.
2008-01-09 14:44:22
110.   cargill06
I don't think Feliz would sign somewhere he won't plan like the pop he has, and Gurnick would love his 29 walks in 557 AB's compared to LaRoche's 20 in 93 ABs. But I'd much rather see LaRoche every day than Feliz, but I'd rather see Feliz every day than No-Maaaaa
2008-01-09 14:46:31
111.   cargill06
110. correction i don't think Feliz would sign somewhere he won't play. Like his pop....
2008-01-09 14:55:42
112.   SG6
108 - But the interest in Spears is probably 1000x that of the Dodgers on a national basis. Spears on the cover, or on the TV program "tease" is a guaranteed ratings bonanza. As you know, ratings = $$. So they pay large for paparazzi shots, and create a huge demand for anything Brittany. The only thing close would have been Fernandomania, but even that was primarily an LA-area thing. Brittany is worldwide. The press just responds to the public demand for info.

You may not be into "wild, unfounded and senseless speculation", but these Brittany followers eat it up - the more photos, the better.

2008-01-09 14:57:08
113.   regfairfield
109 Of course, the guy has no right being a starter, but he has great defense and some pop. So long as you keep him in a position where his weakness are kept in check, he's a useful player.
2008-01-09 15:03:08
114.   dzzrtRatt
In response to Jon's post...

The elites in Los Angeles don't like it when the LA Times descends to celebrity gossip because they're afraid the same news standard will be applied to them or their friends and family when they screw up. They want to define news as a series of acceptable topics (sports is considered very acceptable). But I tend to think readers should be the judges of that. What distinguishes (or should distinguish) the LA Times from the National Enquirer is not merely the topics they will cover, but also the quality of the coverage.

The stories about Britney Spears are valid journalism on many grounds, and the LA Times shouldn't be apologizing for them. She is an economic engine all on her own. She is also a hero and role model to millions of kids. She is also a story about wealth, celebrity, drugs, sex, showing that no one is finally immune from the dangers of making wrong choices.

There is a tragic element to it, too. She's been so successful, she finally reached a point where she is so valuable to others, including her own family, that they are reluctant to see her as a human being. So there's no one she can trust. That's the part of the story of these "celebutards" that hits me emotionally. It's unclear how committed Lindsey Lohan's mother is to her sobriety, for example, if it means she can't accompany her daughter to high-fashion coke and Cristal parties. What fun is it to be Lindsey Lohan's mother if Lindsey Lohan decided to spend most of her nights reading Shakespeare and running on a treadmill?

2008-01-09 15:11:09
115.   Sushirabbit
39 Thanks for that. I liked the comments about Walter and the Skunk. It's scary that I have all their stuff on Vinyl, only half of which will play on the cheap USB turntable I got for Christmas. (money grubbing kids (kidding, kidding)).

I enjoyed Alex's mp3 of Gossage. I hope someday some of the same pop up for people like Kent and Bonds.

2008-01-09 15:12:09
116.   CanuckDodger
In his chat at BP today, Kevin Goldstein said he considers Andy LaRoche an elite prospect and he doesn't understand why the Dodgers don't seem to agree with him. He also said that he can see Joe Blanton being traded to the Dodgers and Andy LaRoche going to Oakland.

I like Goldstein, and in the past, even the recent past, I have expressed my share of concerns about Colletti's commitment to our prospects and to LaRoche specifically. But a point can be reached where justifiable fears cease being justifiable and turn into paranoia. Who knows what Colletti will do if a key starting pitcher goes down to injury after the season starts, but one has to be pretty uninformed about the Dodgers to not realize that the Dodgers' off-season has practically been all about improving without giving up ANY prospects, let alone an MLB-ready one with a high-ceiling like LaRoche. The Dodgers don't hate LaRoche, and we are not even close to being in the market for Blanton, or any other starting pitcher. These are, I think, indisputably facts, although it can be argued that the Dodgers have not accorded LaRoche as much trust as he deserves.

The "Colletti pulls wings off flies for giiggles" line at BP really needs to be given a rest, at least until Colletti actually does something stupid with our prospects, or Juan Pierre plays LF for the Dodgers everyday while Ethier sits on the bench. Colletti has made some mistakes and thankfully he seems to have learned from them. Since the end of the 2006 season, Colletti has traded away Travis Denker and NOBODY else from the Dodger farm, yet in the same time frame BP writers like Joe Sheehan have predicted Colletti imminently emptying the Dodger farm for trades. Some credit needs to be given where it is due.

2008-01-09 15:12:24
117.   Jon Weisman
112 - You're missing my point.

You can be interested in frivolous topics without endorsing irresponsible means of getting that news.

It's a chicken-egg thing, but it's not the upskirt photo of Britney or Lindsay that drives the interest in her. The people who are interested in her would still be interested even if the press did its job responsibly. And the press could still feed that interest by doing that job responsibly.

Yes, competition is what leads some press to act irresponsibly, but in the end it's up to each individual press member to do what's right.

2008-01-09 15:14:14
118.   Jon Weisman
116 - Good comment.

What do you expect will happen with Pierre-Ethier this year, Canuck?

2008-01-09 15:15:29
119.   jasonungar07
so this is a cute story.

My wife and I are driving around with our 7 week old and he begins to cry..So she starts to fumble with the CD player..we have a six disc changer..(she never messes with the radio or remote really) his cries grow louder she gets more frantic...She says out loud, "I think it's disc 2". She gets disc 2 loaded and the music begins to play and he shuts up immediately...she says, "oh yeah this is the song and cd that always gets him quiet, he loves's worked 5 or 6 times"

The song/disc Radio Nowhere/Magic by the Boss!

Assist from Dodger Thoughts!

2008-01-09 15:19:44
120.   bhsportsguy
I was listening to a radio show and they asked which was the bigger story, the presidential campaign or Britney Spears. I thought to myself, for most, it would be the latter, if only because again, a lot of people would think that she has all the money and the entourages and yes-people around her, it is a side show. (Not to say that some of the election coverage isn't, see NY Post and others who were down on Hillary until yesterday's results).

Look, one could trace the dumbing down of media coverage to the USA Today and now internet blurbs but we also have access to much more information but you have to sift through it.

Again, celebrity has driven news stories probably since newspapers were printed, so like Jon, I think it is up to the individual to be responsibility for how they go about presenting it.

2008-01-09 15:22:19
121.   Jon Weisman
119 - Start 'em young.
2008-01-09 15:25:43
122.   silverwidow
116 I think LaRoche won over management last July when he hit 12 HRs in the month. They were ready to call him up...then he got hurt.

I wouldn't be too worried about it yet.

2008-01-09 15:27:24
123.   bhsportsguy
116 I agree, you see that type of comment in both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus chats and articles and I just don't know what can be done about it.

And the other thing is that you don't hear it when other teams actually do trade their prospects. Again, I still think (this is my opinion) that some in the Baseball Prospectus camp was just so perturbed about how the McCourts handled the Depodesta situation and that Ned was described as an anti-Moneyball stat guy, that they are ready to deride any deals he makes and also predict Ned's dismantling of the farm system for proven vets.

As for Baseball America, they are in the business of grading drafts, minors but they really push their prospects list. So when teams actually play their prospects and they produce, its an affirmation of what they do. The Dodgers have had high grades but have been slow to promote and play them on a regular basis, hence some hesitation on their part in being confident that the MLB people will follow through and play the kids.

2008-01-09 15:28:06
124.   bhsportsguy
119 Avoid programming Radio Disney on your car stereo as long as you can.
2008-01-09 15:28:15
125.   bhsportsguy
119 Avoid programming Radio Disney on your car stereo as long as you can.
2008-01-09 15:31:04
126.   jasonungar07
this is radio't there any mouse ears out there
2008-01-09 15:32:52
127.   Jim Hitchcock
Did Bob already do an RIP for Phillip Agee?
2008-01-09 15:33:19
128.   underdog
118 doesn't "Pierre Ethier" actually sound like a Canadian name? Canuck should know about that.
2008-01-09 15:34:36
129.   underdog
119 Aww, baby he was born to run.
2008-01-09 15:37:32
130.   natepurcell

Via Diamond Leung, the Legend of Joe Beimel.

2008-01-09 15:40:16
131.   silverwidow
128 That was Andre's grandfather, I believe.
2008-01-09 15:42:46
132.   CanuckDodger
118 -- Like anybody else all I can do is speculate about the Pierre/Ethier situation, and there are precious few facts to grab hold of to help us see through the fog, but the most pertinent (as well as most re-assuring) fact might be that when other clubs contacted the Dodgers with interest in trading for Ethier they were told that Ethier is "unavailable." Not "Let's negotiate for Ethier" or "You're not offering enough for Ethier," but a flat out "Ethier is unavailable." That position makes no sense at all if the plan is to simply "slide Pierre over LF," as we've been told is the Dodgers' intention (by Gunick, Jackson, et al).

Now this is just me speculating, but I really think the Dodgers are trying to trade Pierre to the White Sox, and I don't think the White Sox are under any illusions that Swisher can be their CF. The White Sox want the Dodgers to pay a lot of Pierre's contract, at least $20 million of it, and the Dodgers don't want to do that. Each side is waiting for the other to cave, and we are going to go right up to spring training, or even the start of the regular season, with neither side caving before the Dodgers eventually do just that.

2008-01-09 15:43:18
133.   SG6
117 - Maybe I'm addressing a different point. I'm talking about the paparazzi, not the media. US mag can do a reputable job, and still fill the pipeline with all things Brittany. It seems to me that it's the paparazzi that's making such a joke of this, and how does one control that? Should they require "press passes"? If it's "that shot" of Brittany locked down on the gurney that sells a million copies off the newsstand for US or People, who is to blame? The magazine, the reader or the paparazzi? I won't bog down this fine message board any further, but it is an interesting topic to me. I can only make a logical argument that puts the reader to blame. Without demand, the supply chain will dry up and paparazzi will die off. Magazine covers is a science; they know exactly what sells on newsstands, and it's not the classy studio shot of Brittany, it's the one of her writhing on the gurney.
2008-01-09 15:45:30
134.   Jon Weisman
130 - We done did that already.
2008-01-09 15:49:02
135.   ToyCannon
I always look at actions more then words and I agree with both of you that it is irritating. On the other hand BA has a lot of interaction with the scouting community. Goldstein came from BA. It is very possible they are correct that Dodger management does not have faith in LaRoche for reasons we are unaware of. When they gave the 3rd base job to Abreu instead of LaRoche last May it seemed strange to give a younger player who had never played 3rd the opportunity over their top 3rd base prospect. The disk problem doesn't help any. I expected LaRoche to be playing for the Twins in 2008.
2008-01-09 15:50:18
136.   cargill06
132-- i like that train of thought, hopefully if that were to happen we could even get McDougal or Linebrink in return. Do you have any idea what we may get in return?
2008-01-09 15:52:23
137.   cargill06
132-- wouldn't you think Chicago would like to give Jerry Owens another season in CF to see what he can really do rather than give it to Pierre?
2008-01-09 15:53:10
138.   ToyCannon
I don't think Kenny Williams has any interest in Pierre. He already has Jerry Owens, why would he want a more expensive copy of the same thing?
2008-01-09 15:56:03
139.   bhsportsguy
135 You just want to win the bet. :)
2008-01-09 15:58:59
140.   MikeB
"... what matters more is the quality of the writing and reporting."

Ah, there's the rub - defining quality. How do you know quality when you see it, read it or hear it? Well, you just do.
It's your perspective that matters.

Personally, I get a kick out of watching Brit drive a $60,000 car with two flat tires, and then abandon it in the fast lane of the 405 Fwy. The disposable Mercedes - who knew there was such a thing!

2008-01-09 16:01:10
141.   CanuckDodger
135 -- Of course "Dodger management" isn't just one person, and rather than there being no faith in LaRoche (which I deny is even a possibility, or else LaRoche would have been jettisoned by now, like Joel Guzman was jettisoned), I think it is accurate to say that people in Dodger management have varying degrees of faith. I am sure Logan White is a big supporter, while Ned probably has some real skepticism about LaRoche, based on a bad first impression (which the media reported in 2006) plus the fact that LaRoche hit for poor average and no power in the majors in 2007. I can believe that Ned's faith in LaRoche, at this point, may be more about his faith in Logan White's opinion, but the result is the same: LaRoche is not getting traded.
2008-01-09 16:02:44
142.   fanerman
124 125 Some things need to be said twice for emphasis. I don't have kids and don't expect to have any for a long time, but from my experience with younger cousins, I agree 100%. Avoid Radio Disney like the plague!
2008-01-09 16:03:30
143.   ToyCannon
I will happily lose that bet. If I'm going to be wrong about something I hope it is something I don't want to happen.
2008-01-09 16:07:09
144.   ToyCannon
I like how confident you always are in your beliefs. Your final comment lines are always adamant, no grey lines, no doubt.
2008-01-09 16:09:28
145.   fanerman
143 I keep forgetting what this bet is about. I thought it involved Jeff Kent? Or do you have multiple bets going with multiple people?
2008-01-09 16:11:09
146.   underdog
This is interesting - did anyone see this?

How Reno may get a AAA franchise, and how that could affect the Dodgers in a sort of domino effect...

(Do I get bonus points for using a/effect properly? Or maybe I didn't.)

2008-01-09 16:12:58
147.   fanerman
146 You get an official Dodger Thoughts Digital Smiley Face Sticker™ on that comment.
2008-01-09 16:15:15
148.   Eric Enders
We don't have any concrete evidence that Dodger management dislikes LaRoche, but there are some things you can read into if you choose. For example, the fact that he didn't make the team out of spring training despite everyone knowing that spring training stats are bunk. Or the fact that once he was recalled, he wasn't given a chance to play every day. Or the fact that while Nomar was sucking wind after the all-star break, LaRoche wasn't recalled to replace him despite the fact that he was tearing it up in Vegas. Or the fact that in late August and in September, the Dodger third baseman was often Shea Hilllenbrand despite the fact that LaRoche was healthy and available.

Does any one of these things prove anything? No. Do they all add up to the notion that Dodger management thinks somewhat less of LaRoche than prospect experts do? I think the answer is yes. (Which is not to say that they'll trade him for nothing; that's another ball of wax.)

2008-01-09 16:18:22
149.   Jon Weisman
133 - The reader is at the end of the food chain. I understand one can argue that buying the issue with the photo is tacit support of nefarious means of getting the photo ... kind of like buying clothing made at a sweatshop. But it still doesn't explain why you'd put the ultimate responsibility at the hands of the reader.

Again, I'm talking about methods. Britney having a mental breakdown is news. People would read that story even if there was no image to illustrate it. People would look at the photo even if it were taken by a solitary Ansel Adams on a quiet winter's morning. It's not the existence of the photo that's problematic, it's what social and moral codes were broken in procuring it.

If I print salacious stories about Takashi Saito, and my page views increase, who's to blame when the next salacious story is printed. Morally, it's still my choice to do right or wrong. I'm the one ringing the bell. You're just the one listening to it. Certainly, if my page views didn't increase, I wouldn't have as much incentive to repeat the act. But that doesn't change that it all starts with me.

Yes, there is a demand, but it's not as if some demands don't get met.

2008-01-09 16:20:36
150.   CanuckDodger
136 -- I don't think we would get anything of any value in return for Pierre, just a minor league warm body. The trade would be all about dumping Pierre and as much of his salary as we can, not actually getting anything.

128 -- I think it would be a mistake to look at Pierre and Owens through sabermeteric glasses if you are trying to assess whether Kenny Williams would want Pierre. The issue is what would Williams care about? Pierre is a PVL with a World Series ring who plays a 162 games a year and had about 30 points of batting average and 40 points of slugging percentage on Owens in 2007. I think Williams will take Pierre and what Pierre has to offer (even if what Pierre has to offer shouldn't be valued) over Owens if Pierre comes at about $4 million a year for four years, and without giving up any talent, but if the salary is higher than that, or the Dodgers want real talent in exchange, then Williams will stick with Owens.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-01-09 16:21:37
151.   ToyCannon
Everything you say is true except that Nomar was not sucking wind after the all-star break.
2008-01-09 16:21:45
152.   CanuckDodger
150 -- Make that #138 I was responding to, not #128.
2008-01-09 16:25:34
153.   underdog
147 Yay! Or what about a copy of the film Smiley Face instead?
2008-01-09 16:27:18
154.   fanerman
132 I didn't know about that little Ethier factoid. There is hope! Hmm. If the Dodgers manage to trade him, we can have Repko and Delwyn as our 4th/5th outfielders.
2008-01-09 16:27:41
155.   fanerman
153 No tradebacks allowed!
2008-01-09 16:27:56
156.   bhsportsguy
145 I believe I bet TC that LaRoche would be the starting 3B on opening day. However it would have been voided had Andy been part of Miggy Cabara deal.
2008-01-09 16:28:05
157.   Humma Kavula
I rather hope that Pierre IS traded to Chicago, so that I can root wholeheartedly for him as he continues his quest for the Hall of Fame. Right now: 30% chance -- and counting!

If he gets 3,000 hits, it will be the Best Thing Ever. And by "best," I mean "weirdest."

2008-01-09 16:31:14
158.   fanerman
156 And TC also has a bet with somebody (Eric Enders?) about Kent's performance this season? With a 2009 Opening Day ticket riding on the outcome?

157 Wow. Pierre is almost halfway there at 1440. If he keeps his consecutive games "streak" going, stays at the top of the order, and plays til he's in his late 30's, he might get there.

2008-01-09 16:31:36
159.   regfairfield
138 Pierre is a lot better than Owens, Pierre is at least a good bet to hit .290. Since the White Sox seem to be going for broke this year, it would make sense for them to go after Pierre if Owens is their actual plan.
2008-01-09 16:32:12
160.   dzzrtRatt
I'd like to know the demand for salacious stories about Takashi Saito.

What if I told you Takashi Saito was dating Alyssa Milano. Is that something you would be interested in?

2008-01-09 16:33:34
161.   Joe Pierre
I read the paper everday(Daily News N.Y.). I read the Sports section first even though it's in the back. I read baseball news closely, 12 months a year. I read articles on other sports but not too closely. I read the front page and go over the headlines of the other news. If I'm interesested I read the article. I try to keep up with news involving the MTA transit. I enjoy the comics. Currently, I spend some time on the election campaigns. I'm more interested in what Britney Spears looks like than her story. I cut out photos of her and the likes of Jennifer Lopez and rest of those lovelies( I'm a dirty old man). Everybody seems to want what they are interested in, to be on the front page. I say, Who cares? as long as it's in there. I've lived all my life in Brooklyn, but I still FOLLOW THE DODGERS.
2008-01-09 16:33:45
162.   ToyCannon
Players like Pierre die quickly. Mickey Rivers, Omar Moreno, Coleman, I see no future where Juan Pierre gets 3000 hits.

Kenny Lofton at age 39 has 2400 hits and Pierre will not be playing by the time he's 35. I'm Canuck confident.

2008-01-09 16:34:15
163.   Humma Kavula
158 If he makes it, I will take an entire week off of work just to read all of the "is-he-or-isn't-he-a-Hall-of-Famer" articles. I will sincerely enjoy that bit of handwringing.

I am a bad, bad person.

2008-01-09 16:34:26
164.   Marty
Pierre drinks Owens' milkshake. He drinks it up.
2008-01-09 16:34:55
165.   Eric Enders
149 But in the end, don't all free markets just cater to the whim of the consumer? The consumer demands these photos, and the consumer doesn't care how they're procured, so this is what happens. If consumers cared about those things, they wouldn't buy it. Just like if the consumer cared about sweatshops, the consumer wouldn't buy clothes at Wal-Mart. Or if the consumer really cared about steroids, the consumer wouldn't have attended so many ballgames featuring steroid users. All these companies are doing is giving the people what the people are demanding. The fault goes all the way up the chain to the end user, in my view.

You're talking about breaking social and moral codes, but if we, as a society, deem the viewing of scandalous photos to be more important than the right to privacy, then that is our new social and moral code, right?

2008-01-09 16:36:31
166.   Eric Enders
158 I don't recall making any bets with anyone here recently. If I did, then I was probably violating rule 11, because I sure don't remember.
2008-01-09 16:37:50
167.   fanerman
Kenny has 1 200 hit season in his career. Juan has 4 already.

Yeah the chances are slim, but as a baseball fan, I'd LOVE to see him get there... as a White Sox. Or any other team that's not the Dodgers.

There's another reason to trade him. As a Dodger, he may have to split time with Ethier. He needs to play every day! Cooperstown hangs in the balance!

2008-01-09 16:37:55
168.   Jon Weisman
160 - Bob Ryan, I presume.
2008-01-09 16:38:41
169.   fanerman
166 Oh my bad then.
2008-01-09 16:41:15
170.   ToyCannon
I would never bet with Eric Enders, it is with Eric Stephen and it originated on TrueBlue so as not to break Jon's rules.
My bet with BH came during a basketball game.
2008-01-09 16:48:02
171.   Jon Weisman
165 - Again, I'm not saying that the buyer doesn't incentivize people into providing this news.

But if some people are unhappy with the process, the place to deal with it is at the initial stage, not the end stage.

The public is interested in Britney. The public is not demanding that the media bully Britney. There are plenty of ways to feed the interest in Britney without crossing the line.

And given that there are always going to be some people who want things regardless of how they are delivered, the best hope for change is at the source.

2008-01-09 16:49:29
172.   Humma Kavula
162 Comparing the players you mentioned, at the ends of their age-29 seasons, to Juan Pierre:

Pierre: 1,440 hits
Coleman: 1,008 hits
Lofton: 883 hits
Moreno: 915 hits
Rivers: 982 hits

Juan needs everything to go right for him, but he certainly has a chance to get there.

2008-01-09 16:55:53
173.   Eric Stephen
Regarding Pierre/Ethier, I keep coming back to Pierre's comment when Andruw Jones was signed in December, something like, "I wish the Dodgers would have told me of their plans earlier."

Perhaps the optimist in me has read too much in this comment, but the Dodgers did in fact already discuss with Pierre, in October (two months earlier), that they might sign a centerfielder like Andruw. Which would mean the "plans" Pierre spoke of couldn't have possibly simply been signing a centerfielder.

I think the "plans" Pierre referred to involved him playing something significantly less than 162 games, and that's what he wished he knew earlier. But, again, I'm probably reading way too much into one comment.

2008-01-09 16:59:07
174.   Eric Stephen
Shoot, I didn't know gambling was one of the rules!
2008-01-09 17:00:15
175.   natepurcell
Pierre drinks Owens' milkshake. He drinks it up.

Haha, nice.

2008-01-09 17:02:37
176.   fanerman
173 I wonder if Juan Pierre wants to play 162 games a year because he knows 3000 hits is, however unlikely, a possibility.
2008-01-09 17:09:19
177.   underdog
176 It's certainly not for the sake of the team that he does.
2008-01-09 17:12:33
178.   Eric Stephen
I don't have any doubt that Juan Pierre thinks playing 162 games helps the Dodgers, and frankly he should think that.

It's up to management (Torre, Colletti) to decide which players (a) are with the big club, and (b) play.

2008-01-09 17:13:06
179.   Jon Weisman
174 - I don't think I've ever actually ruled on that. I'm more amused by these sporting challenges than anything.
2008-01-09 17:14:04
180.   fanerman
career hits through age 29 season:

Tony Gwynn: 1354
Derek Jeter: 1546
Juan Pierre: 1440

2008-01-09 17:14:39
181.   ToyCannon
I think "earlier" means before he signed a contract to be the CF for the Dodgers.

Sure, those names were pulled off my head.
Here is a list of players with at least 300 stolen bases by hits. You seem to think he is going to continue to get 200 hits a season. I think it is more likely he never gets 200 hits again. I don't think he will even get to 2500 hits. The general consensus is that he will not be a full time player by the time his current contract is up.

2008-01-09 17:16:08
182.   fanerman
181 I don't disagree with you. I just find this very amusing. And if he gets traded, I'll be cheering for him to gobble up as many singles as he can.
2008-01-09 17:16:12
183.   ToyCannon
Now I feel like a 6 year old who just made his parent laugh by banging his head against a wall.
2008-01-09 17:23:25
184.   KevinP78
160- I'm seriously laughing right now!

...And then it donned on me, are you simultaneously making a great joke and throwing out an Entourage reference?? If this is the case, kudos to you!

2008-01-09 17:29:32
185.   KevinP78
I'd like to take this time-out to point out (sorry for the double "out") this little fact: We are speaking positvely about Pierre today! Even mentioning his name and the Hall of Fame in the same sentence! I think we win a prize or something..
2008-01-09 17:51:33
186.   Humma Kavula
181 /182 I don't disagree, either, but this is sure fun to talk about.

Pierre's most similar player by age is Willie Wilson, who had 1287 hits by age 29.

What did he do after age 29? Two more years of that level of performance, then a "down year," then immediately became a part-time player, finishing up with 2200 hits.

This is why Juan is not a lock for 3,000 hits -- far from it. The likeliest thing to happen is that he'll have a williewilsonish finish to his career.

But there is certainly a chance that his finish will be kennyloftonish. Pierre doesn't need 200 hits a year. If he can get 800 hits or so over the next 5 years and avoid serious injury -- two huge ifs -- he's sitting on 2250 hits after age 34. Hang on for six years at 125 hits a year and he's there. Of course, he would also need a major league GM to give him a job once his hits fall below 180/year or so, but that's why the good lord has given us the White Sox.

Is this whole scenario likely? Of course not. COULD it happen? Absolutely. I'd put it at about a one-in-three shot.

2008-01-09 18:02:30
187.   Jon Weisman
Lakers are really on fire.
2008-01-09 18:07:41
188.   Eric Stephen
181 I think "earlier" means before he signed a contract to be the CF for the Dodgers.

I messed up the quote. Here is the quote from Colletti on December 12:

--"The main thing he got across to me is that he wished he had more of an inkling to our thought process," Colletti said of Pierre. "He said he just wished he knew a month ago. I didn't know. Who knew?"--
(emphasis mine)

But Pierre did know of the club's plans to move positions as early as October:

--After the season finale, Pierre was asked if he was open to moving to left field and didn't sound thrilled with the idea.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," he said. "I don't know."

Asked if he would be more willing to move if he was making room for a Gold Glove center fielder like Andruw Jones, he said:

"We'll see. He's probably the best center fielder in the game. I'm not to his caliber."--

So my thinking is that Pierre wishes he knew of the new plans, which involve him playing much less than everyday.

2008-01-09 18:09:47
189.   D4P
The Lakers have a surprisingly deep and balanced squad.
2008-01-09 18:14:29
190.   Eric Stephen
The trade for Ariza has turned out great. It has made them better from an energy & defensive standpoint, and they have helped solidify the rotation by getting rid of Cook and Evans.
2008-01-09 18:20:07
191.   bhsportsguy
190 Getting rid of Brian Cook, while not in the Juan Pierre category, certainly is one of the best moves Mitch has ever made, regardless if Ariza sticks after this year (he can opt out).
2008-01-09 18:20:30
192.   dzzrtRatt
184 You peeled all the layers of my joke, so you get to eat the creamy center!
2008-01-09 18:21:06
193.   D4P
The Lakers have the 3rd best average margin of victory in the league, including the best in the west.
2008-01-09 18:21:10
194.   bhsportsguy
I'm not sure what the deal is with NBA broadcasts but I can listen to the Laker game on, it just seems weird that I can do that.
2008-01-09 18:21:38
195.   dzzrtRatt
189 Does "surprisingly deep" in this context mean that players nobody thought were any good actually are?
2008-01-09 18:22:57
196.   Izzy
In other strange news today, apparently Rick Neuheisel has a "passion bucket." I've been looking, but I can't find mine.
2008-01-09 18:28:40
197.   ToyCannon
19 months ago everyone was calling Kupchak an idiot and Jim Buss a loser owner and Riley was a genius. 6 months ago the same argument was being made right here that Jerry Buss should sell the team for the sake of the franchise and never let his son make another decision.
Right now the Heat are in a dogfight with the Clippers for a high draft pick. The Lakers are in a dogfight for the Pacific Coast lead. The winds change quickly. Phil Jackson is coaching the heck out of this team.

I'm off to watch the Clips get manhandled by Dwight Howard. Woo Hoo

2008-01-09 18:39:40
198.   D4P
I think the most surprising thing about the Lakers this year is how good they are on defense. While they give up a lot of points, they don't allow the other team to shoot very well, so I chalk up the points allowed to an overall "up tempo" style that also relates in a lot of points for the Lakers.

I would also assume that Bynum is at least partially responsible for other teams' poor shooting.

2008-01-09 18:51:56
199.   trainwreck
I will say that Bynum is looking better than I expected. I never thought he was going to be a player that was in an All-Star Game (unless it was a down year for centers). Well, if he continues on this path then he will definitely see some All-Star Games.

Fisher has been better than I expected. Getting Ariza, as I said, was the greatest trade Mitch has ever made. The young guys are getting better and everyone is getting more used to the Triangle.

Still do not trust Jim, but things are going well so no reason to complain. I just realized I sound like Kobe.

2008-01-09 19:16:05
200.   trainwreck
Don Nelson is starting a lineup where Baron Davis is the PF.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-01-09 19:28:37
201.   Daniel Zappala
I can't believe I get to be the guy who makes the obvious movie reference. In Untraceable, a serial killer rigs a contraption that kills his victim more quickly, based on the number of website hits his streaming video site receives. Sort of an extreme version of our paparazzi society. Who is to blame? The killer or the audience? If no one watched, would anyone die?

I tend to think both parties are to blame. The consumers for eating it up, and the media for acting so immorally. We don't have to pick just one of them to be doing the wrong thing.

2008-01-09 19:31:15
202.   oklahomadodger
i watched my first laker game of the season the other night. fisher was the leading scorer, but he brings so much more to the table, hes a really good defender, a good ball handler, and he has the "been there" factor. they basically traded smoosh parker for derek fisher. imho, that "trade", along with the improvement of bynum, seems to be the reason the lakers have improved so much compared to last year.
2008-01-09 19:42:13
203.   bhsportsguy
There is a debate on on the greatest individual season in pro sports/college sports (pro = MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, College = football, basketball).

For the Dodgers, LA version, I would probably go with one of Koufax's seasons with a possible asterisked 2003 season for Eric Gagne being up there too.

For Koufax, 1965 seems like a good one, 382 Ks, perfect game, won Game 7 in the World Series.

As far as a regular player, maybe one of Piazza's years, I guess Maury Wills had a great year in 1962 but I think Piazza was probably better.

As far as the debate, Wilt's 50 point average is pretty hard to beat, Marino, "the Great One", Oscar Robertson's triple double season, and Ruth's 1920-1921 seasons also should be considered.

And one more thing, should the team's success be part of the equation?

2008-01-09 19:53:14
204.   oklahomadodger
Barry Sander's 88' season was so amazing. along with the stats ESPN listed he also broke over 30 NCAA records, not counting his bowl game. As an OSU alum I might be bias, but that's without a doubt the greatest season of all time.

I like the Koufax season, those are very impressive numbers. I'm too young to have ever seen Koufax, but I don't think Piazza would compare to him. The 03' Gagne season was dominate, I have to admit I was saddened to see him name in the M.R.

2008-01-09 20:06:09
205.   Gen3Blue
Dodger management(whatever that means) may be down on LaRoche because they hear that he may bat .275, while they keep hearing critism because their aquisition--Juan Pierre- will hit .285 to .295.
2008-01-09 20:35:39
206.   Benaiah
75 "a walk is more valuable than a single" implies that you believe that, other things being equal, a player with 100 walks and 70 singles is more valuable than a player with 70 walks and 100 singles.

My point is that all things are rarely equal, in reality a player with more walks than singles in a season usually has an excellent season.

Singles are absolutely more valuable than walks. I can triumphantly state this because a single with men on second and third and two out will score at least one run, but a walk will only load the bases.

This is one situation, clearly much of the value for singles comes from RISP situations, but the two or three other times the batter popped out or GIDP instead of blooping one into the outfield balance out the stat sheet.

My original statement didn't state it clearly enough, so here goes: OPS is usually directly correlated with the ratio of walks to singles (As BB/1B goes up, so does OPS). I haven't crunched the numbers, but I believe this to be true.

2008-01-09 20:37:45
207.   Benaiah
206 - Also, because there is a correlation between K's and SLG, the fact that K's go up with BB (longer counts inevitably lead to more K's which sink AVG) is further offset OPS.
2008-01-09 21:00:59
208.   SG6
206 - OPS is better correlated with walks to SLG (as BB goes, so goes SLG, or really vice-versa).

Pitchers will "pitch around" those with high SLG (B*nds), and "pitch to" those with low SLG (even with high BA, i.e. our favorite 4th OFer), where worst case scenario is a base hit vs an extra base hit.

2008-01-09 21:35:10
209.   PDH5204
old dodger fan:

On the premise of better late than never, well, going back to that thread on the '74 team, I went to that doubleheader in Cincy that you had tickets for but missed. You should have went. It was a split but Mike Marshall set the record that day for most consecutive appearances by a pitcher. Was otherwise at the game with step-grandpa, from Columbus, where dad lived, and so I was in Reds country for my summer visitation with dad.

2008-01-09 21:50:28
210.   silverwidow
Luis "I Want to Win Now" Gonzalez is talking to the Marlins. THE MARLINS.
2008-01-09 22:21:18
211.   Johnson
206 OPS is usually directly correlated with the ratio of walks to singles (As BB/1B goes up, so does OPS). I haven't crunched the numbers, but I believe this to be true.

Let's try a little thought experiment. Let's imagine a hypothetical player in September. This player has the following stats:
500 AB, 150 H (90 1B, 40 2B, 20 HR), 50 BB.
From this we can calculate 550PA, 250 TB, 200 H+BB, which give us:

Now, to compare the effect of singles vs. walks on OPS, let's give him 10 PA, in which he gets either 10 1Bs OR 10 BBs.

If he gets 10 1Bs, his stats become:

If he gets 10 BBs, his stats become:

So his OPS goes up more with the extra singles than with the extra walks. Furthermore, the BB/1B ratio goes up in the second case, but down in the first! So it's not just the walks and singles in the BB/1B ratio that are driving OPS. To the extent that there is a correlation between BB/1B ratio and OPS, it probably has a lot less to do with BBs and 1Bs than it does with other factors - e.g. a player with more XBH draws more walks, and it's very probable that it's the XBHs replacing singles and increasing walks that causes the BB/1B ratio to change, while the change in OPS is driven not only by the OBP form the walks, but also from the extra SLG.

So to sum up, I don't think there's a real case to be made that walks are better than singles. I think the real case to be made is that high BB/1B ratios are just an epiphenomenon of having a big bat.

2008-01-09 23:01:32
212.   LAT
The difference between following the Dodgers and following Brit is that those following Brit are watching a slow motion train wreck. They a salivating at the prospect of her situation growing even worse. That is not news or if it is, its 3 seconds of back page news. Brit was never this big when she was just a singer. Its Anna Nicoleitis that everyone is waiting for. Those of who follow the Dodgers are rooting for the team, many have childhood memories or share moments at he ballpark. NO one following the Dodgers is entertained by tragedy.

As for the LAT's participation in this circus its the web's fault. I am famous at work for bad analogies so I'll make one here. The LAT's participation is like steroids in baseball. The paper has to compromise its ethics to compete with other outlets that have compromised. With TMZ and that Hilton guy telling us in real time every time Brit changes her sunglasses, Times has no choice but to lower its standards to compete. Just my take.
2008-01-09 23:13:02
213.   Andrew Shimmin
My second favorite Korean.

2008-01-09 23:23:49
214.   GoBears
202. okladodger: I agree with everything in your comment, except the notion that Fisher is a good defender. Or let's say I'd qualify it. Like most players who play hard and have been around a while, Fisher is a good team defender, which is to say, he knows when to do what, and tries to do the right thing. But he's an awful on the ball defender, especially against a quick PG (Nash, Parker, and their lesser counterparts). I'm 40, with two bad knees, and a beer belly, and I think I could beat Derek Fisher off the dribble.

But as I said, I agree with you that he's playing very well, and better than could have been expected.

2008-01-09 23:35:31
215.   GoBears
I'm also going to break tradition (for me) and disagree with Jon here. While I agree that paparazzi behave like animals, I place all the blame on the consumers who keep them employed. A free market not only makes their jobs possible, but apparently so potentially lucrative that there are so many of them. What gets me most about these hoodlums is that there will be 100 of them in the same place at the same time.

Jon is arguing, like Rousseau, that they should be better people. I would argue, like Hobbes, or Madison, that men aren't angels, so if you want them to behave better, you have to build institutions that change their incentives. One such institution is the market, but that's obviously not working. The only other, however, would entail regulation of the media - a violation of the freedom of the press.

Now, their freedoms aren't absolute, and courts occasionally nail them for slander, or assault, or trespassing, but to effectively end the job category of paparazzo, we'd have to either suck them dry through an unlikely consumer boycott or else be willing to trade away certain freedoms we hold dear.

It's an unfortunate, extreme consequence of the 1st amendment. I don't like it either, but I think that's the institutional tradeoff. Jon's plea is for men to act more like angels. I like the sentiment, but I'm not optimistic.

2008-01-09 23:52:57
216.   Bob Timmermann
RIP, Johnny Grant.
2008-01-09 23:58:18
217.   LAT
215. Agreed. Good post BH. Same arguments apply to porn.
2008-01-09 23:59:34
218.   LAT
215 Sorry I meant good post GoBears.
2008-01-10 00:03:18
219.   LAT
Who will give away the stars?
2008-01-10 00:11:22
220.   Bob Timmermann
Stan Chambers?
2008-01-10 00:34:53
221.   bhsportsguy
220 Have a good trip, 2 weeks with no Griddle?

218 I will take mistaken kudos anytime, has Red Mango yogurt opened up yet on Pico (across from Westside Pavillion)?

2008-01-10 00:49:27
222.   bhsportsguy
Just noticed a picture gallery on showing an old tradition is back, January workouts at Dodger Stadium. The players pictured include James Loney, Matt Kemp, Andy LaRoche, Andruw Jones, Ivan DeJesus, Jr., also Wes Parker was working with Loney at first, Don Mattingly was there too.
2008-01-10 07:06:10
223.   Penarol1916
215. I could not have said it better than you and Mr. Enders. Everything that happens on the value chain comes from the demand of your customer. If you are not willing to do it, then your customer will find someone who does. If you are not going to buy the photos from the paparazzi, then someone else will, and then that person will get all of the circulation and you'll be left with nothing.

I've seen it so many times with food manufacturers. They don't want to squeeze their employees and their suppliers, but they have to in order to supply Wal-Mart, or else they'll go elsewhere. Then the other supermarket chains have to squeeze them as well because they are losing market share to Wal-Mart. It is all because the consumer demands the lowest prices and generally doesn't care how they get them.

2008-01-10 07:07:05
224.   old dodger fan
209 I was very much looking forward to going but when the CO says, "Be here" there are not a lot of options.

My Cincy fan roomate who went really enjoyed it. I never did make it to a game in Cincy despite living just south of Louisville for the whole '74 season.

It was a great year to be a Dodger fan in Cincy territory.

2008-01-10 07:08:00
225.   Penarol1916
198. If you want to tell how good the Laker's defense really is, regardless of their pace, then you need to look at the rate free states, primarily points allowed per posession. I don't know who compiles those stats for the NBA, I only follow Ken Pomeroy, who compiles them for college basketball and then adjusts them for strength of schedule.
2008-01-10 07:16:50
226.   Jon Weisman
215 - You're asking for consumers to act like angels. I'm asking for the media to. What's the difference, except that one request requires fewer angels?
2008-01-10 07:30:03
227.   ToyCannon
According to Win Shares, Mike Piazza's 1997 was the best season by any Dodger in the last 50 years (39 Win Shares). He has a 3 point margin over the next best season which is quite large when viewed in the context that every other number goes in sequence.
Meaning that he has 39. The next number is 36 and then it goes in order from there.
As Bob has said many times, Mike was robbed of his MVP in 1997.
I myself would take Sandy's 1965 season when you consider what he did in the World Series. Always something special about pitching a complete game shutout game 7 with your 3rd start in a 7 game series on two days rest.
2008-01-10 07:40:06
228.   East Coast Dodger
215 I understand Jon's point. One (media being angels) involves a process. The other (consumers being angels) involves changing the preferences of a large number of people. Jon is concerned about the how the process of providing what the consumers want affects the ojbect of the consumers' desire, and how it affects society in general. That's a lot more "fixable" than changing what people want - especially given the fact that most people don't care how what they want is obtained (as evidenced by the grocery example above).
2008-01-10 07:46:01
229.   East Coast Dodger
Assuming extreme results (i.e., that Pierre gets ALL the LF at-bats for the season on one hand, or that Ethier does), how does the difference in their respective expected performance affect the teams expected win total for 2008?

I want Ethier to play over Pierre, but I suppose my question is that if all else is equal, how much is Pierre expected to hurt the Dodgers in 2008? I don't know, but my guess is that the difference between Ethier and Pierre is less than the difference between Nomar and LaRoche (performing the same analysis).

2008-01-10 07:56:08
230.   Penarol1916
226. The difference is that consumers actually have a choice between different producers, while the producers only choice is to give the consumers what they want, or get out of the business. I'm not making a judgement on whether it is good or bad, or which is more feasible, but the end users and what they want are the cause of why pretty much everything gets done the way it gets done.
2008-01-10 08:13:51
231.   Gen3Blue
224 ODF This has jogged a memory from '74 that I hadn't thought of in the recent discussion. I had a college mate in upstate NY who was a fanatical Reds fan (strangely enough from the DC area). We used to really go at it and I seem to recall the Reds swept the D's in an early series but to my relief in the next series the D's swept them back. I remember the Reds seemed like natural enenies then.
2008-01-10 08:23:27
232.   Jim57
Was Kent at the voluntary workouts? I doubt it. Would be a great way to lead by example. Oh that's right, he doesn't want to be a leader/mentor of the young guys but he wants their respect. It doesn't work that way Jeffy. Now go sit in the corner and read your magazine while you pout about the other kids not respecting you.
2008-01-10 08:23:28
233.   Bumsrap
If we are going to improve the news I prefer to start by sending the NHL back to Canada and eliminating it from ESPN news coverage.
2008-01-10 08:24:21
234.   ToyCannon
I think that was the beginning of the 1975 season which looked like it was going to be a great battle and then injuries just crushed the Dodgers and the Big Red Machine took off.
2008-01-10 08:26:43
235.   Bumsrap
How good does Hu need to be in Spring Training and how bad does Nomar and LaRoche have to be to trade Furcal and LaRoche for a third baseman?

Or, how good does Abreu have to be in Spring Training to wind up starting at third over LaRoche and Nomar?

2008-01-10 08:31:58
236.   Bob Timmermann
If the ESPN covered the NHL even less, then they would have to go back in time and erase the presence of Barry Melrose from people's memories. The NHL, since it is not carried by ESPN, doesn't matter to ESPN.

But Arena Football? That's important!

2008-01-10 08:32:11
237.   Jon Weisman
230 - You're making the assumption that producers can't give the people what they want without nefarious methods. I have argued specifically against that assumption.

Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with covering the Britney Spears story, any more than there is with covering the Dodgers.

2008-01-10 08:32:20
238.   Bumsrap
Rose / Furcal
Griffey / Peirre
Morgan / Loney
Bench / Jones
Perez / Kent
Foster / Kemp
Geronamo / Martin
Concepcion / Garciaparra

At least the Reds' starting rotation was weak.

2008-01-10 08:40:25
239.   regfairfield
235 Hu's upside right now is Furcal's average season, so that would be a really bad idea.

This discussion about how two walks equals a single according to OPS illustrates why OPS isn't anything but a quick and dirty way to evaluate a player.

2008-01-10 08:45:22
240.   Daniel Zappala
I don't see why we can't expect everyone to start acting more like angels, media, paparazzi, and consumers alike.
2008-01-10 08:45:58
241.   Daniel Zappala
My edgy take is that we should all try to act morally.
2008-01-10 08:51:17
242.   GoBears
215 You're asking for consumers to act like angels. I'm asking for the media to. What's the difference, except that one request requires fewer angels?

No, I'm not. I'm much more pessimistic than that. I realize that there aren't enough angels to go around on either side of the equation. So the only practical solution is government-enforced restraint of trade, which wouldn't pass constitutional muster. IOW, paparazzi (in their current form until they can come up with even more obnoxious versions of themselves) are here to stay. My only coping mechanism is to ignore it and hope that I'm never on the road when they're chasing down another victim.

2008-01-10 08:59:47
243.   Benaiah
211 - The odds of a .300 hitter getting ten hits in a row are about six in a million. This is my whole point, singles are better than walks in any one at bat, but over the course of a season walks cost less than singles.

Think of a season's plate appearances as a opportunities. Most of these opportunities result in outs in play; BABIP shows that for the very best hitters 65% of balls in play are outs. That means that every hit comes with at least two outs, not to mention strike outs and GIDP. When a player hits a single (worth .474 runs according to my linear weights numbers) and then makes two outs (costing -.299 runs each) his total contribution is -.124. A walk meanwhile, is worth .33 runs and it is dicier to say which outs go with walks.

All situations are not the same obviously, a single with runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs is worth 1.46 runs while a walk there is only worth .22 runs. In general though, I believe singles are worth less than walks and this will show up in OBP where each walk (or a HBP) has an effect about [(1-AVG)/AVG] times as great on OBP as each hit. Think about it, 100 walks essentially guarantees a good OBP, but even Juan Pierre can get 200 hits.

2008-01-10 09:00:53
244.   GoBears
228 I think we're actually agreeing here. Yes, "fixing" the activities of paparazzi is, in principle, possible, and easier than changing the behavior of the audience. But the market dictates that trying to fix them by cajoling them to "show some restraint" won't work. So the only other way to fix them is through gov't-enforced laws, and those would be unconstitutional. You want your Woodward and Bernstein, you have to live with your paparazzi too. I just don't see a middle ground.

There's actually a 3rd alternative to fixing the reporters or the consumers, namely fixing the objects of their obsession, the stars. But the whole point of being a star is the adulation. Some Hollywood or sport stars have managed to lead very private lives, and just let their work do the talking, by making themselves too uninteresting or too inaccessible to bother. But most in those fields are not wired that way.

2008-01-10 09:02:34
245.   Penarol1916
237. Because if the producers of this stuff could, they would. But there is a reason that they must use these nefarious deeds, either because it is cheaper or because people want the candid pictures. There was a time, when these things weren't done in covering celebrities, now they are, and it is because people want to see these pictures and those magazines that didn't get with the demand went out of business.
2008-01-10 09:05:13
246.   regfairfield
Just for fun, the worst on base percentages ever for a guy with 100 walks in a season:
2008-01-10 09:07:56
247.   cargill06
243- i could be wrong but i just wanted to check my math, the odds of a 30% probability happening are 2.33 to 1, the odds of that happening 10 times in a row would be 2.33 to the 10th power which i have as about 5000 to 1. let me know what mistake i made.
2008-01-10 09:12:05
248.   SG6
239 - For the NL 2007 season, team OPS had a .95 correlation to team runs scored. OBP had approx a .90, as did SLG. BA was around .65. I've seen similar numbers from other sources. Basically, OPS is best, SLG and OBP close second.

(Pearson method, scale of -1 to +1 from imperfect to perfect correlation,

2008-01-10 09:12:49
249.   GoBears
230 - You're making the assumption that producers can't give the people what they want without nefarious methods. I have argued specifically against that assumption.

OK, this is the crux of the disagreement. But it's not an assumption - it's a hypothesis that comes from the theory of market competition. If nefarious methods "work better," to get the more salacious picture, or to get the ordinary picture first, then they will not be eschewed without legal constraints.

What we really have here, though, is more like an arms race. It's not that US can get a better or quicker pic than the Enquirer by behaving more badly - it's that US won't sell without the Brit pic of the week, so their guy has to be standing next to the Enquirer's guy at every opportunity. And what we get is not necessarily bad behavior by any individual paparazzo, but collectively bad behavior by the mob of them. It's the "being mobbed" part that is so unseemly so much of the time.

I remember having the same thought during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Why in the world did there have to be 100 reporters taking the same picture of Monica leaving her apartment, or even the courthouse? Couldn't there have been an arrangement for one pool reporter to share his/her pics with everyone? The answer is no, because that's a restraint of trade and of press freedom. The only time that sort of thing can happen is when the military is involved, and the authorities can make the argument that the mob itself would pose a security risk.

2008-01-10 09:16:51
250.   cargill06
247- found my mistake, about 6 in a million is correct.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-01-10 09:17:31
251.   regfairfield
248 What's the correlation for something like EQA or VORP?
2008-01-10 09:21:22
252.   Jon Weisman
242 - Well, now you're reducing what was a philosphical debate to "what will I do." That's entirely different.

I don't think anyone expects the problem to be eliminated. My argument is only that a decision of conscience by a person in power will have more impact than yours. And there's a misunderstanding that you have to be a bully to fulfill the public's demands. You don't.

2008-01-10 09:25:20
253.   Johnson
247 The odds of a 30% probability happening are 0.30. Don't know where you got the 2.33 : 1 number. The odds of a 30% event happening ten times in a row is 0.3 to the 10th, which is about 0.0000006 or 6 in ten million.

However, in response to 243 I don't think that we should look at that hypothetical I posed in 211 as suggesting a guy would get ten hits or walks in a row - I'm just adding those stats to a "baseline" player to see what happens to OPS. Which, in the end, was just a concrete demonstration of the principle, stated by others, that a single is worth about two walks in OPS.

I'm still trying to get at the heart of what you're saying, Benaiah, but it seems that you're suggesting that a player trying to get a hit (by swinging away) will also necessarily record about two outs (on balls in play or Ks) per hit, while a player trying to walk will record an unknown number of outs (all of which would have to be Ks, I guess).

Thus, while it is clear that the outcome of a single is better than a walk (for example, from the run expectancy tables), you're arguing that the strategy of drawing a walk is better than the strategy of swinging away, because it is (possibly, unverified) more likely to succeed. Is that what you're getting at?

2008-01-10 09:27:53
254.   Johnson
253 Looks like I flubbed an extra zero in there - 6 in one million (as in 250 , 243 ) is correct.
2008-01-10 09:29:37
255.   GoBears
252. Guilty as charged. I misunderstood. I agree that it would be nice if paparazzi would behave better. But I can't imagine it happening because the incentives are all wrong.
So you'd have to change incentives, or change human nature.
2008-01-10 09:32:05
256.   cargill06
253- came up with the 2.33 to 1 number by if you were to get odds you would get 7 times you make an out 3 times you get a hit or 7 to 3, which means the odds of a .300 hitter getting a hit is 2.33 to 1.
2008-01-10 09:33:59
257.   Benaiah
253 - It isn't what you try to do, obviously players shouldn't go to the plate looking for a walk, or a home run, and definitely not a single. My point is, every hit goes with two outs because two out of every three balls in play is an out. As a result, singles are on average less valuable than walks and this shows up in OPS, especially in OBP. Adding 10 hits or 10 walks is besides the point because it is very tough (6 in a million) to add 10 hits or 10 walks (maybe Barry Bonds has had 10 walks in 10 PAs, but I doubt it).
2008-01-10 09:35:45
258.   Benaiah
256 - I see how you did it, but the denominator is at bats, not outs.
2008-01-10 09:35:50
259.   Daniel Zappala
255 I vote for changing human behavior. I'd rather people started doing the right thing because they recognize it is the right thing to do and they choose to do it.
2008-01-10 09:42:38
260.   Jon Weisman
I just saw that Arizona State beat Arizona in hoops last night. When's the last time ASU was two games up on the Wildcats in the Pac-10?

ASU was 1-24 against Arizona in its last 25 games and is 3-0 in conference for the third time since it joined in 1978-79.

2008-01-10 09:48:13
261.   SG6
Re: ethical media debate:

Publication X: Newsstand cover of a classy Brittany shot in a studio, well-lit, flattering, etc. Details on Brittany's latest CD inside.

Pub Y: Newsstand cover of a tied-down writhing Brittany being carried away, with "details inside."

Pub X will unfortunately lose this battle on the newsstand (same would apply to TV), and either parish, or have to change their ways to appeal to the consumer demand.

If the choice is to appease the consumer or parish, the end result doesn't matter, you'll only be left with pubs that feature the shots that have that "wow" factor that engage the consumer, and get them to buy your magazine.

One can't blame the media for appealing to the consumer's demand; that's their goal, no? One can only blame the consumer for demanding what they demand. It's idealistic to think consumers in total will do the "right" and "proper" thing.

2008-01-10 09:49:40
262.   Jon Weisman

Tampa Bay Devil Rays Top 20 Prospects for 2008
By John Sickels

Evan Longoria, 3B, Grade A
David Price, LHP, Grade A
Jacob McGee, LHP, Grade A
Wade Davis, RHP, Grade B+
Reid Brignac, SS, Grade B+
Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Grade B+
Desmond Jennings, OF, Grade B+
Jeff Niemann, RHP, Grade B
Eduardo Morlan, RHP, Grade B
John Jaso, C, Grade B

"This is one hell of a conglomeration of talent."

2008-01-10 09:50:00
263.   cargill06
anyone see the pictures from the Dodgers work-out yesterday?? Is it me or has Andruw Jones gotten fat?
2008-01-10 09:50:45
264.   Jon Weisman
261 - Publication X is a straw man that has nothing to with what I've been arguing.
2008-01-10 09:54:56
265.   fanerman
262 Is Kershaw an "A" prospect? How many "A" prospects do the Dodgers have?
2008-01-10 10:07:51
266.   regfairfield
262 I'm really surprised Pedroza actually made that list.

265 Kershaw and LaRoche. LaRoche might have been an A-.

2008-01-10 10:09:19
267.   Jon Weisman
Scott Radinsky interview:

2008-01-10 10:18:00
268.   fanerman
My goodness. The Minotaur is 3 years younger than me. It sucks to get old.
2008-01-10 10:28:24
269.   Kevin Lewis

So, how do we organize as a consumer to get McCourt to lower the price of parking? Mass carpooling into the stadium?

In terms of the magazines or publications, do the vendors have any responsibility? I love the fact that Trader Joe's does not have that stuff sitting at the checkout area (but that just may be a space issue)

2008-01-10 10:29:57
270.   ToyCannon
BP/Kevin Goldstein said in yesterdays chat that Tampa Bay has 6 guys who would be the top prospect in most organizations. Given that they already have Kazmir(Cy Young candidate) and BJ Upton(MVP candidate)
I think the Tampa story will be the most compelling in baseball as we see if this influx of youth will be enough to offset the financial muscle of Boston and NY. By 2010 they should collide. Can't wait for the ending.
2008-01-10 10:41:39
271.   SG6
264 - My confusion then. It just seems to me that the public ultimately creates the demand, rather than the media deciding what to give the consumer. Those media that give the consumer what they want will thrive, those that don't will fail. I wish I could agree that consumers will demand "the right thing", thereby rewarding those media that publish articles in a respectful/diligent way.
2008-01-10 10:59:52
272.   Jon Weisman
271 - With all that I've written, though, you still don't seem to get the gist of my argument. I've said over and over again I'm talking about the method, not the product. In none of my examples does my product stop being the "details inside." I'm not suggesting that the media shouldn't give the consumer what they want. I'm suggesting they don't have to be immoral to give the consumer what they want.

But I'm tired of saying the same thing over again, so thankfully, I have a new post up top.

2008-01-10 11:09:39
273.   GoBears
271. I think I understand Jon's point to be that the scuzzy parts of the media could give the public what they want, but still go about getting it in a more civil way. My point was that there's a race to the bottom that can only be arrested with the coercive power of the state or with the informal institution of stronger moral and ethical codes. Since the latter must be self-enforcing, it can't happen, except perhaps in Utah. I agree with Jon and Daniel that we can't go wrong by encouraging people to be more moral, but it's not going to be sufficient.

If there were only, say, 3 tabloids (like there were once just three TV News options, and that was a government-sponsored and regulated cartel), then one might hope that they could trade on reputations of professionalism, basically a repeated game in which the short-term payoff for acting unethically would not be worth the long-term costs. But in a free market with, really, an infinite number of producers (with YouTube, anyone can be a paparazzo!) the future is discounted much more heavily. Look at how hard it is for the networks and the most reputable papers to stay high-brow. High-brow is now a niche, aimed at a much smaller subset of consumers who value quality most of all - it's no longer the mainstream.

So I guess my argument is that with deregulation, the 1st amendment, and the democratization of technology (cell phone cameras), this was inevitable. Regrettable, but inevitable.

2008-01-10 11:24:52
274.   Jon Weisman
273 - Can't argue with that.
2008-01-10 11:53:06
275.   Johnson
257 You really shouldn't trouble yourself with the 10 hits in 10 ABs thing. I'm not suggesting a player get 10 consecutive walks/hits. It was just a device to compare the OPS of two players who are the same except for 10 singles vs. 10 walks over the course of the season.

Anyway, I wish I had time to discuss this, but I'm at work (for instance, I started writing this comment an hour ago!)

2008-01-10 12:56:58
276.   LogikReader

So is the argument "technology is the downfall of ethics"? If it is, you're absolutely right.

Without cell phones, Michael Richards doesn't get exposed (although here the technology worked in ethics' favor)

Without cable tv, Fox News is merely a bbs board.

Without the internet, well... without the internet we wouldn't have Dodger Thoughts.

My first sentence can't be quite true.

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