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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

2008-01-24 21:40
by Jon Weisman

In Variety this week, Todd McCarthy reviewed Sugar, a film about a Dominican Republic baseball player pursuing his career in the United States:

With a gently observant eye more on the lookout for revelatory cultural detail and emotional truth than for melodramatic excitement, "Sugar" intriguingly draws the curtain back on the seldom considered world of Dominican baseball players trying to make it in the United States. Sympathetic, genial and exceedingly wholesome, it's a film that, once seen, will permanently and favorably influence the way viewers regard the characters' real-life counterparts. ...

Although Dominican former World Series MVP Jose Rijo was a principal advisor and even appears here as an actor, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's follow-up to their widely admired "Half-Nelson" is no conventional success story of a young man stirringly bucking the odds to rise from obscurity to triumph. Rather, it takes stock of many the factors that can tip the balance for or against even a genuinely talented athlete to go all the way with his God-given gifts. ...

Observing without editorializing, Boden and Fleck open a hitherto unexplored world in a work that, in line with its title, leans toward the sweet rather than the gritty. Obstacles and pressures notwithstanding, Sugar's journey is seen as more of a life adventure than a do-or-die enterprise that will spell tragedy if not accomplished successfully; after all, most wannabe players from all locations never make it to the bigs, and far fewer still become stars.

The other side of this refreshing approach, however, is a lack of urgency and juice; only fleetingly does the film convey the thrill of competition, the anxiety of anticipation, the game's exhilarating highs and devastating lows, the complexity of friendships among young men competing for the same few available slots, the often raucous, taunting and bawdy camaraderie among jocks. Rather, the feeling the film imparts is of a knowledgeable inside view rather than a fully felt subjective one ....

Comments (198)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-24 22:00:26
1.   El Lay Dave
... ah, honey, honey ...
(sorry about that)
2008-01-24 22:08:32
2.   Eric Stephen
I predict a much unhealthier remake of this movie, "High Fructose Corn Syrup", will perform improbably well at the box office, much to the detriment of society as a whole.
2008-01-24 22:09:03
3.   Xeifrank
... in the morning.
vr, Xei
2008-01-24 22:11:15
4.   Xeifrank
Speaking of tornadoes from the previous thread, there was one where I work today. Luckily, it was a few hours after I went home for the day.
vr, Xei
2008-01-24 22:11:58
5.   Bob Timmermann
The best version of this film will be seen in Mexico.
2008-01-24 22:15:44
6.   LAT
Has Michael Cage been doing the Fox/UCLA post game show for long? Am I the only one who didn't know that? I loved him during his Clipper days. Work horse kind of player. Nice gerry curl too.
2008-01-24 22:17:37
7.   Eric Stephen
I believe Reggie Miller just said "21th".
2008-01-24 23:43:29
8.   T Money
I saw "Sugar" at Sundance on Tuesday and, in spite of a bloated running time, quite liked it (far, far more than I liked "Half Nelson"). It takes an interesting approach to its subject matter, and while it's inaccurate, in many ways, to classify it as a "baseball movie," I think it'll have special resonance for thoughtful baseball fans.
2008-01-25 00:06:44
9.   trainwreck
Michael Cage! That takes me back. That guy played in the NBA almost the entire time I was in grade school.
2008-01-25 07:41:36
10.   cargill06
LAT, read your post a few threads back, great stuff.
2008-01-25 08:02:26
11.   Marty
Trainwreck shouldn't be allowed to say "that takes me back" for at least ten more years.
2008-01-25 08:07:55
12.   Bob Timmermann
You can't say "that takes me back" unless you remember both Ross Porter and Bryant Gumbel doing the local sports report for Channel 4.
2008-01-25 08:14:36
13.   ToyCannon
The only source of glee I can take from these yutes is that they have never been able to properly celebrate a Dodger World Championship. Crapping in your diapers doesn't count.
2008-01-25 08:15:24
14.   Gen3Blue
I agree we should try to keep the "that takes me back" for a piviledged few. Unfortunately I'm not local enough to pass Bob's test so could we include those who saw Sandy pitch.
2008-01-25 08:20:29
15.   Marty
And Pat Sajak doing the weather.
2008-01-25 08:21:06
16.   cargill06
sorry, to keep bringing my discussions with my friends on this board. if this isn't the place let me know and i'll stop, but i want to try to get an unbias point of view. just based on talent alone the next 2 years, no contract amount factored in, Chris Young (black) or Andruw Jones
2008-01-25 08:26:29
17.   Gen3Blue
I realize I have lost a lot of my innocent optimism about prospects since the time when it looked like the two Joses would give us a middle infield for the next 10 years. Its hard to grasp just how hard Offerman was hyped before he came up.
But I have always liked Viscaino
2008-01-25 08:29:37
18.   underdog
More good stuff on that film, "Sugar," here:

Really want to see that one.

Why does it seem like there are so many more interesting films at Sundance this year than there were last year, when I was actually there? Sigh.

2008-01-25 08:30:52
19.   old dodger fan
14 Or seen the Dodgers play in the Coliseum.
2008-01-25 08:34:58
20.   Daniel Zappala
18 And why can't I get a week off from teaching every year so I can go see them?
2008-01-25 08:43:49
21.   regfairfield
16 Chris Young. I'm expecting big things from him this year. His track record suggests that he'll start walking more and I think he vastly improves that .237 average.
2008-01-25 08:43:56
22.   Bluebleeder87
12 15

Parallel Universe.

2008-01-25 08:50:04
23.   Bluebleeder87

His OBP is also horrible:

2006 - 308
2007 - 295

He also K's a ton. CF goes to the Dodgers, by far!

2008-01-25 08:53:24
24.   ToyCannon
For the next two years I'll take Andruw Jones, from 2010 on it should be Chris Young in a cakewalk. What should be interesting is to see if he stays a CF or if Justin Upton takes over. Either way the Kemp/Jones or Upton/Young combo will be one of the best in the NL in 2009.
2008-01-25 08:53:27
25.   Jon Weisman
18 - Could be an illusion. The articles I've read make it sound like Sundance needs to regroup.
2008-01-25 08:53:37
26.   regfairfield
23 Look at his minor league track record. It strongly suggests he'll start walking more, and he showed good enough strike zone control in the minors that he should hit way better this year.

Striking out once every 4.42 at bats doesn't really count as a ton either.

2008-01-25 08:54:50
27.   regfairfield
Oh wait, that was once every 4.42 plate appearances. Yeah, I guess that does count as a ton.

Still, he should improve on that this year.

2008-01-25 08:55:37
28.   ToyCannon
Don't be so sure. His walk rate in the minors was solid and last year was his 1st year. He already showed excellent power during his 1st year, if he regains the patience he showed in the minors he could make a huge leap.
Still he's going against a future HOF who is just past peak so it is a tough comparison.
2008-01-25 09:08:22
29.   Bluebleeder87
I'm sure he'll walk more but that long swing is catered for K's not that that's all bad, specially because he slugged 32 dingers in '07.
2008-01-25 09:18:35
30.   Daniel Zappala
25 According to Kenneth Turan on NPR, it's been a great year, particularly for documentaries.

Every year it feels absolutely strange to have Hollywood invade Utah. It's like LA has finally been destroyed by an earthquake and characters from my past life have moved inland.

2008-01-25 09:18:37
31.   cargill06
last years A. Jones OPS+ 88 chris young 89, you're comparing a career worst season and a season you don't know for sure chris young can improve on. i doubt A jones skills dimished that dramatically over the course of 6 months from the end of the '06 season to the beggining of the '07 season. You have to chalk '07 up to either just a very prolonged slump which happens in baseball or injury. you have to assume that jones will be at his usual .260, 30, and 100 he's only 30. that would be tough for Chris Young to match, we don't even know if he can do what he did last year consistantly in the bigs. Jones is a much safer bet the next 2 years
2008-01-25 09:27:33
32.   NoHoDodger
I remember Stu Nahan when he was Sexy!
2008-01-25 09:27:48
33.   D4P
Non exhaustive list of players who Got On Base An Awful Lot More than Short Chris Young in 2007:

Juan Pierre

That being said, I'd still take him over Andruw.

2008-01-25 09:28:14
34.   Jim Hitchcock
Every year it feels absolutely strange to have Hollywood invade Utah. It's like LA has finally been destroyed by an earthquake and characters from my past life have moved inland.

See `Panic in the Year Zero' starring Ray Milland.

2008-01-25 09:30:45
35.   silverwidow
Speaking of Upton, his HR during the Futures Game (vs. De Los Santos, now with Oakland) is amazing stuff. Such a short, powerful swing. He will be a 40 HR guy in his prime.
2008-01-25 09:34:05
36.   Gagne55
Jones and Young have similar abilities to hit home runs. Jones does everything else much much better. Jones in a landslide.
2008-01-25 09:34:17
37.   regfairfield
31 I think it's more likely that Andruw Jones never improves than Chris Young. Young is just starting his career, and his track record is pretty much impecable. His minor league numbers scream can't miss major leaguer.

Jones is in the decline phase of his career and the last few years have seen him become more immobile and develop a swing for the fences every time attitude. When his power dropped last year, swinging for the fences every time made him hit .220. He also had games where he looked completely lost, striking out three or four times in just one game. I'm not saying that Jones will repeat 2007, I'm expecting a bit of a bounce back too, but it's just more likely that a 31 year old coming of a year where his skills obviously declined is more likely to never improve than a 24 year old star prospect.

2008-01-25 09:38:18
38.   regfairfield
36 Aside from defense, what else does Jones do better?
2008-01-25 09:39:43
39.   cargill06
37 i think a. jones in a contract year maybe put too much pressure on himself, that's my point exactley. I know Jones is unlikely to improve, we know what he is .260, 30, 110. I'm just saying that will be really tough for Chris Young to match. Also, consider Jones had a higher OBP in career worse year. I'm just saying if you look at Avg., HR, RBI, OBP, OPS, and OPS+, as a category for '08 and '09 i'd take Jones to win at least 3 of those categories each of the next 2 years
2008-01-25 09:40:55
40.   ToyCannon
I was there. Even only 19 he stood out like a sore thumb. It will be fun watching him play in our Division during his non FA years. Would not surprise me in the least to see an Upton win an MVP in both leagues during the same year sometime in the future.
2008-01-25 09:47:02
41.   underdog
25 30 I think both things are true. Sundance needs to restructure a bit, but this year's crop is undeniably strong, from what I've been reading from friends who are there. Clearly a stronger group from last year's. Just my luck. (I did get to see The Savages first there, though.) Poor Daniel. Maybe you could call in sick for a week.

Welp, I think I just saw Noah's Ark float by, but I have to go swim to work now. Later.

2008-01-25 09:47:18
42.   Daniel Zappala
34 Not quite as eerie as that! :-)
2008-01-25 09:48:02
43.   silverwidow
39 I wouldn't bring up RBI too much; that stat is dependent on your team more than anything else.
2008-01-25 09:49:00
44.   cargill06
i guess it just comes down to the fact i'm more of a guy who likes proven guys, over guys who've yet to do it for more than 1 season. i've always been more of a homer towards vets
2008-01-25 09:49:00
45.   dianagramr

I'll take it black ... with sugar

2008-01-25 09:51:04
46.   silverwidow
44 That line of thinking sends Loney to the minors for two months even though it's obvious that he's ready.
2008-01-25 09:53:42
47.   Sam DC
Paul LoDuca goes down.
2008-01-25 09:54:23
48.   regfairfield
I am curious as to what would have happened if we don't resign Nomar, give Loney the job out of Spring Training, and he hit .220/.270/.310 or whatever his MLE was for the first two months.
2008-01-25 09:54:57
49.   Bob Timmermann
College baseball preseason polls. Accept them at your own risk.

This is USA Today's.

Arizona State is the preseason #1.

CSTV's preseason #1 UCLA is #17 in this poll.

2008-01-25 09:55:27
50.   cargill06
46 - what were you supposed to do with a re-signed nomar coming off a .303 20 hr season? i would've loved to see Loney start in '07 but once Drew left colletti felt obligated to sign Nomar leaving no where for Loney to play.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-25 09:58:17
51.   cargill06
50 - they had no option but to send loney down
2008-01-25 10:02:09
52.   silverwidow
50 Nomar was horrible during the second half of '06 (.229/.286/.408), which should've been a red-flag that he was in decline. I wouldn't have re-signed him.
2008-01-25 10:05:18
53.   D4P
College baseball preseason polls: the only thing less interesting than college baseball postseason polls.
2008-01-25 10:07:53
54.   ToyCannon
Tex would now be playing 1st base for the Dodgers.
2008-01-25 10:08:48
55.   Bluebleeder87

He's always been a first half player to begin with Silverwidow, & like Cargill06 says, Ned had no option but to re-sign Nomar. For the record I didn't want Nomar for another year either but Drew opting out forced us to take the Nomar pill for 2 more years.

2008-01-25 10:09:10
56.   regfairfield
My thoughts were that Loney and Nomar were pretty much the same player, so why sign Nomar to a two year deal with a no trade clause?

Also, .303 20 home run seasons aren't that special for a first baseman. Nomar had the 14th highest VORP amongst first basemen that year, and was slightly more valuable than Wes Helms.

2008-01-25 10:10:57
57.   ToyCannon
So based on that logic his 2007 2nd half was
301 .351 .463 .814
Is that a green flag that he isn't in decline?
2008-01-25 10:11:08
58.   cargill06
54 good point
2008-01-25 10:12:43
59.   ToyCannon
That is simply not true. Career splits
1st Half 894 OPS
2nd Half 884 OPS
2008-01-25 10:19:03
60.   cargill06
it's so ridicoulus when people compare halves of a season and come to conclusions off of it. baseball is such a mental game and if you get into a slump, espacially a power slump it's so hard to get out of it...

reference bull durham the difference between a .250 and .300 hitter "Crash Davis" speech

2008-01-25 10:19:46
61.   Andrew Shimmin
Colletti not only had to sign LuGo and Pierre, but Nomar too, because Drew opted out? That butterfly effect is a hell of a thing.
2008-01-25 10:21:56
62.   OhioBlues12
There has been a lot of hand-wringing regarding Nomar, but he may very well turn out to be a valuable part of the team this season. If he is dispatched as a super-utility player then I could foresee a pretty productive season from him consisting of 300-350 healthy ABs. That would benefit the team greatly. If he puts together some good numbers in that capacity, I could see us extending him, at a lesser rate of course.
2008-01-25 10:23:04
63.   ToyCannon
One year splits don't make much sense but a career does. Would you bet on Beltre having OPS > 800 in the 1st or 2nd half?
2008-01-25 10:23:28
64.   cargill06
like nomar in '06, first half was awesome but all of the sudden he woke up one day in mid-july and now his skills are completely gone. baseball is a game of averages and everything eventually balances out... don't know why i'm saying that i'm sure im preaching to the chior
2008-01-25 10:27:25
65.   Marty
I thought the Crown Prince signed Nomar before Drew opted out.
2008-01-25 10:27:37
66.   Jim Hitchcock
Cool! Tornado hits Dockweiler.

I only wish it would have got far enough inland to take out the LAX Relocation Dept.

2008-01-25 10:28:22
67.   cargill06
62 that role sounds great for him, LaRoche every day 3B, like you say gets 300 healthy AB's starts a few games at 3B, 2B (can't be worse than Kent defensively), 1B, and be a great late inning PH, in that role i could easily see him getting us a 10-15 HR season and a .800+ OPS
2008-01-25 10:29:09
68.   cargill06
65 no it was after, he said when drew opted out and the thin FA power hitter market he had to sign Nomar
2008-01-25 10:31:31
69.   ToyCannon
Given the juice component it is very possible his skills will be reduced. We run the same risk with A Jones. Baseball in 2008 will be very interesting for anyone who showed unusual skills pre testing that disappeared in 2007
2008-01-25 10:34:26
70.   cargill06
69 true
2008-01-25 10:34:46
71.   regfairfield
67 Seeing as Nomar missed more plays in half a season at first base than Kent did in an entire season at second, it's entirely possible that Nomar would be worse.
2008-01-25 10:37:00
72.   Kevin Lewis
ah slumps,

Last softball season I changed my swing to hit for more power. I went from hitting about .800 and batting third to hitting .250 and batting seventh. But hey, I hit a lot of really hard line drives that were caught.

Do I stick with the new swing this season or go back to the old faithful placement swing of singles and doubles?

2008-01-25 10:40:52
73.   Humma Kavula
72 That depends. Do chicks dig the high-average guys? Or just the long ball?
2008-01-25 10:41:58
74.   cargill06
72 i know your bringing humor to the discussion, but it happens to players all the time, and many times it makes it worse. than they go back to their original swing and go back their normal selves
2008-01-25 10:42:20
75.   silverwidow
it's so ridicoulus when people compare halves of a season and come to conclusions off of it.

Not really. Nomar's pedestrian numbers from the last half of '06 were indicative of more than simply a "slump." His power disappeared in 2007 and his swing at the first pitch approach was awful and led to his mediocre OBP. Dismissing those numbers is what's really ridiculous.

2008-01-25 10:45:38
76.   regfairfield
75 The hell of it is that Nomar hit a legit .360 in the first half in 2006, he was just a line drive machine. His line drive percentage went from like 24 to 14 from the first half to the second half.
2008-01-25 10:46:41
77.   Brent Knapp
I am part of the group that has been anxiously waiting for all our young prospects to finally get a fair chance to compete for a starting spot, and I know we may have done better last year if Loney and Kemp and bills were starting from April 1. But, I think we should at least acknowledge that they may have had such success because Colleti and Co. brought them up at the perfect time, when they had fully 'matured.' We have five players (Broxton, Kemp, Loney, Martin, Billingsley) that have been pretty awesome right from the get go. Many other top prospects (alex gordon, homer bailey, andy marte, kouzmanouf) have not enjoyed the same success, maybe they just weren't brought up at the "perfect" time.
2008-01-25 10:49:48
78.   Jim57
Ned should be called the "Clown Prince".
2008-01-25 10:57:16
79.   SG6
69 - but they still don't test for HGH. I'm not convinced everyone will now be "clean", just more sophisticated: i.e. not using personal checks to pay for one's illegal drugs (how's that knee working for ya, Paul?)
2008-01-25 10:59:02
80.   ToyCannon
Kevin is being serious. He likes to keep us up to date on his softball antics.

We disagree. It was a known fact that Nomar was playing with injuries in the 2nd half of 2006 to the detriment of the team. I would not have signed Nomar because we did have Loney but I would not have bet any money that Nomar would not have been productive in 2007 based on his 2nd half slide in 2006.

2008-01-25 11:00:07
81.   ToyCannon
HGH does nothing for performance enhancement so it is a moot point.
2008-01-25 11:01:51
82.   Bob Timmermann
From watching Larry King while jet lagged in Germany in the wee hours of the morning, I learned that Suzanne Somers takes HGH every day.

So there's an endorsement!

2008-01-25 11:08:39
83.   Eric Enders
60 "it's so ridicoulus when people compare halves of a season and come to conclusions off of it."

Actually, it's not. If you believe Bill James, second-half stats are far more predictive of future performance than first-half stats. So a bad second half could very well mean an aging player like Nomar has fallen off the cliff.

Also, it's a bit of revisionist history to say that the Dodgers had "no choice" but to send Loney down for Opening Day '07. First of all, he could gotten a fair amount of playing time backing up the most injury-prone player in baseball. Secondly, he was also an outfielder then, and could/would have gotten a fair amount of playing time there too.

2008-01-25 11:09:09
84.   GoBears
I agree with those who think that re-signing Nomar was a really bad move. I thought so at the time, and hindsight makes it obvious. In no way was Colletti "forced" to re-sign Nomar after Drew opted out. The idea that fans would abandon the team is ludicrous. The Dodgers will draw 3.2 Million if they lose 100 games. It seemed obvious that Loney could more than replicate Nomar's production, and the Nomar money could have gone elsewhere.

The only way that Colletti gets a pass for re-signing Nomar (and for 2 years!) is if McCourt made him do it. It'd still be a dumb move, but the blame will have been shifted.

I was a huge Nomar fan during his Boston days. I didn't like the idea of him at 1b, and despite his hot start in 2006, I still thought it was a bad idea (I'd have given the job to Choi). Once Loney showed his stuff, Nomar became completely redundant.

I also think the idea that Nomar will accept AND thrive in a super-utility role is a fantasy. If he accepts it, I'll be very impressed. If he thrives, despite his huge defensive decline and his ill-suitedness to pinch-hitting (swing at everything), I'll be shocked if Torre doesn't find an excuse to ease his way back into starting.

Mostly, I expect he'll "win" the 3b job, and not give it up until about 2 months after it's obvious that he should. At that point, he'll either be traded (hard) or he'll mope on the bench (not good).

Of course, as in most seasons, this debate probably will be rendered moot by injuries. The guys who play will be the the guys who are healthy (or best able to pretend they're healthy).

2008-01-25 11:09:54
85.   Marty
82 It must be good for the thighs.
2008-01-25 11:09:56
86.   Eric Enders
62 You had me until the last sentence. The last sentence caused me to commence banging my head against the wall.
2008-01-25 11:12:40
87.   Bob Timmermann
The last sentence caused me to commence banging my head against the wall.

An ineffective gambit in Germany if you wish to get better customer service.

2008-01-25 11:16:41
88.   cargill06
75 like regfairfield said 1st haft .358 we all know he's not that good, 2nd half .229, we all know he wasn't as good as the .360 number but not as bad as the .229 number. it is very reasonable to expect somewhere in the middle of those two numbers in '07.
2008-01-25 11:17:52
89.   ToyCannon
I don't normally put much stock into what the talking heads say but to my surprise I'm getting the distinct feeling that LaRoche has the job headed into spring training. He could lose it with a lousy spring training but that they expect Nomar to be a super sub this year.
2008-01-25 11:19:56
90.   cargill06
81 if it does nothing to enhance performance why are people risking thier careers and reputation to take nothing that helps them?
2008-01-25 11:20:35
91.   cargill06
anyone see rob neyers blog yesterday? he had andy laroche #9 in 3B of the future
2008-01-25 11:21:23
92.   Eric Enders
Also, it should be pointed out that during Nomar's supposedly fantastic comeback season, even if you take the season as a whole, he wasn't that great. He had an sOPS+ of 106, meaning he was just barely better than the average MLB first baseman.
2008-01-25 11:24:35
93.   Eric Enders
Okay, so what's more important to us: The LaRoche Must Play battle, or the Pierre Must Sit battle? If we can only win one, which one would we rather it be?
2008-01-25 11:26:13
94.   ToyCannon
I don't think it matters. In the end performance will dictate playing time. HA HA HA
2008-01-25 11:28:42
95.   GoBears
93. If I could get it just by asking, I'd say sit Pierre. That's partly because I think LaRoche will get in there eventually anyway, and I don't need to waste a wish on it. Leaving it up to Torre and Colletti to figure out might waste a half-season, a la Loney, but they'll figure it out at some point, maybe after Nomar breaks down and LaRoche Pips him.

Pierre just seems to be a blind spot. And he never gets hurt.

2008-01-25 11:31:52
96.   Humma Kavula
93 It's not even close. Pierre must sit.

Regardless of whether Nomar plays in 2008, he is gone in 2009. Contrast that with Pierre, who could be in the outfield for many more years to come.

The first problem to address is the biggest long-term problem facing the team.

2008-01-25 11:33:43
97.   bhsportsguy
89 All I need is him to start on 3/31.
2008-01-25 11:36:44
98.   cargill06
i think the laroche must play battle, like i've said in the past if you stick Pierre in the 8 hole he doesn't hurt you. last year pierre waas .293/.331/.353 and the avg. #8 hitter got 11 IBB walks last year, let's assume pierre gets 8 IBB batting 8th next year, that pushes him up to .293/.342/.353 compared to the average #8 hitter at .255/.325/.379, i know his OPS would be below avg. (.697 compared to .704) but when you factor in the the avg. #8 hitter scored 65 runs and 5 SB last year, you could reasonably expect Pierre to score 80-85 runs in the 8 hole (the name of the game is to score runs) which would be about 30% better than the league avg and have 40-50 SB's i think that proves he would be well above average #8 hitter. With that being said it's easy too see LaRoche and Ethier should start every day, but I don't think Pierre hurts us at all in the 8 hole ( i know torre would probably bat him 1st or 2nd however.)
2008-01-25 11:38:15
99.   Bob Timmermann
Do either of these qualify as ironic?

1) Santa Anita is likely going to call off the Sunshine Millions races this weekend because of poor weather.

2) Garth Brooks is performing a series of benefit concerts for wildfire victims at Staples Center today during some of the rainiest weather.

I only think #1 is ironic.

2008-01-25 11:41:25
100.   cargill06
96 from that aspect, great point
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-01-25 11:42:10
101.   GoBears
99. Right. In part because wildfire victims might become mudslide victims due to all the rain.
2008-01-25 11:43:04
102.   bhsportsguy
84 For those outside of this forum, the most recognizable face from the 2006 team was Nomar and you cannot discount that from the reasoning behind his coming back in 2007.

And while you can be critical of his performance, he has done nothing but be a great ambassador for the Dodgers as they went from Gagne to Russell Martin, et. al, in being the "face of the organization." That may not win ballgames but it certainly helps in the box office.

So, that is why, while I thought that back in 2006 when I saw Nomar pinch hit in Game 3 of the NLDS, that I was watching Nomar in his last at-bat as a Dodger, I don't begrudge that move so much.

This spring, I certainly hope the LaRoche "wins" the job (note for those who have access, Buster Olney opines that Andy should win the job for his defense alone and that the Dodgers will not need his offense immediately with the bats they have in the lineup), but Nomar should be, if healthy, a great weapon off the bench.

2008-01-25 11:43:17
103.   Bluebleeder87

O.k. so I didn't put much thought into my last comment, basically if Ned would have TRUSTED the young all would have been well. O.k. then I get it but Colletti isn't in the business of trusting anybody so he did what HE THOUGHT WAS BEST for the Dodgers & I'm o.k. with that.

2008-01-25 11:47:36
104.   Bluebleeder87

I stand corrected.

2008-01-25 11:47:46
105.   Jon Weisman
Peculiar thing about the Nomar situation was the insistence that he couldn't play third base ... until they decided to suddenly move him there.

I was happy to see Betemit get a chance, but the stubbornness involved in not considering Nomar at third a year ago is worth remembering.

2008-01-25 11:57:14
106.   Andrew Shimmin
Pierre won't be taking time from a hypothetical average 8th spot hitter. He'll be taking time from Ethier and Kemp, two player who are significantly better than he is.
2008-01-25 12:00:35
107.   cargill06
106 kemp will never bat 8th, and like a said in my post the team is better with ethier in LF, but pierre at #8 is still above average so he's not hurting the team.

Just so I don't get misinturpreted, I would prefer to have LaRoche playing 3B everyday and our every day OF being Ethier, Jones, Kemp.

2008-01-25 12:02:21
108.   GoBears
102 the most recognizable face from the 2006 team was Nomar and you cannot discount that from the reasoning behind his coming back in 2007.

I don't. I think that WAS the reason. I just think it was a bad reason. Panicky. And made all the worse when he became the center of the ad campaign and proceeded to lay an egg on the field, day after day after day.

And while you can be critical of his performance, he has done nothing but be a great ambassador for the Dodgers as they went from Gagne to Russell Martin, et. al, in being the "face of the organization." That may not win ballgames but it certainly helps in the box office.

I agree with the first part - that he's been a stand-up guy, at least in public. But I haven't seen any evidence that he was a good business decision, despite his on-field foibles. I agree that he's hugely popular (he still gets the biggest cheers at games), but (1) we don't know that the Nomar-less Dodgers would have drawn fewer fans who spent less money, in part because they might have won more games that way, and (2) we don't know if his replacement -- either LaRoche if healthy or Betemit if given a real chance -- would not have brought those fans right back.

The Dodgers always sell tickets. They have a terrific fan base, unlike the fair-weather fans in the Bay Area and elsewhere. I won't accept the assumption (because there can be no evidence without running history again sans Nomar) that re-signing him was obviously good for the bottom line. Especially at his price.

2008-01-25 12:02:47
109.   regfairfield
107 Pierre is replacement level at his position. He is hurting the team. Just because he bats eighth doesn't mean he's any less useless. Well, it means that someone better is hitting in front of our good hitters, but that's not Pierre's fault.
2008-01-25 12:05:08
110.   paranoidandroid
Signing Nomar was a must move for Ned and the McCourts. It was the anti-DePo move. Nomar was an instant hit with the locals and he was coming home to his roots.

Mr. Lowrider (his chosen music) thrilled many with the start he had in 2006.

The way popular Dodgers like LoDuca, Beltre, Green and Lima were cast aside in 2004/5 was part of the big undoing of DePo. Not that they weren't good baseball moves, but his PR was poor.

Signing Nomar was as much a PR move as having Tommy Lardsoda fumbling around the dugout club like he's God himself.

The fact that we're willing to consider Nomar in a role other than front and center stage is a good baseball move. I'm not sure how Nomar will react to actually having this role, but hindsight can't be used to determine whether Ned made a horrible signing. Remember, Nomar was getting other offers too. Ned could have been outbid if he wanted to be. Now Russ can carry the face of the franchise into 2008 with Kemp, Loney, and Kershaw coming soon.

2008-01-25 12:08:43
111.   cargill06
109 don't understand the 1st sentence.
2008-01-25 12:09:30
112.   GoBears
kemp will never bat 8th, and like a said in my post the team is better with ethier in LF, but pierre at #8 is still above average so he's not hurting the team.

You're missing Andrew's point, which is an excellent one. If Pierre is in the lineup, then either Kemp or Ethier is not. Say Kemp would normally bat 5th. If Pierre is in there, batting 8th, then whoever would have batted 8th gets moved up in the lineup, as (probably) do several others, to fill that empty 5 hole and any holes created by moving a guy into Kemp's slot. That means lots more plate appearances by players who are worse than the guys they displace.

But the simplest way to look at it is this: replacing Kemp's bat with Pierre's is a bad move, regardless of batting order. The different between batting 5th and batting 8th is, at most, one plate appearance per game, and it might be zero.

2008-01-25 12:11:03
113.   cargill06
107 and i'm sorry i just don't understand your logic. if a hitter is performing above league average i don't see how that hurts the team. please explain (don't use that a better player is sitting behind him, i already adressed that)
2008-01-25 12:12:24
114.   GoBears
110. Signing Nomar was a must move for Ned and the McCourts. It was the anti-DePo move. Nomar was an instant hit with the locals and he was coming home to his roots

Although I don't dispute the favorable reception that the move got, I disagree that it was in any way necessary. But we're not talking about signing Nomar. We're talking about RE-signing him. After the 2nd half of 2006 and after Loney had showed he was ready.

2008-01-25 12:12:59
115.   Dodgers49
I think people are overlooking the speed of a slimmed down Bison. :-) In fact, if I made out the Dodgers lineup Kemp would bat 3rd.

Dodgers report: Inside pitch

>> Pierre probably will play most of the time. The club still owes him $36.5 million through 2011, and he did steal 64 bases last season, the most by any Dodgers players in more than three decades. Without him in the lineup, the Dodgers would have little speed beyond shortstop and probable leadoff man Rafael Furcal. <<

2008-01-25 12:14:15
116.   regfairfield
111 There's a level of performance that can be expected from a random AAAA schlub that you can get for free. This is refered to as replacement level. Replacement level for a left fielder last year was somewhere around .270/.324/.397.
2008-01-25 12:14:21
117.   cargill06
112 i understand what you're saying now that the rest of the team has to pick up his slack by moving up a spot, makes sense
2008-01-25 12:16:07
118.   regfairfield
113 Because league average in the batting order is irrelevant. The Dodgers will score about the same amount of runs no matter where Pierre hits (about a five run swing). Why then does he go from good to bad just based on where his name appears in the lineup if the Dodgers are scoring the same amount of runs either way?
2008-01-25 12:16:18
119.   GoBears
113. Decisions should be judged against their opportunity costs. It's always true that playing one guy and sitting a better guy is a bad idea, no matter how good the guy you're playing is. This is multiplied when the better guy you're sitting costs about 5% as much as the worse guy you're playing.

League average is not the proper comparison. The "alternative choice" is the proper comparison. Sometimes, that's complicated, because it would means shuffling a bunch of people around, but in this case it was simply Nomar or Loney. Easy.

2008-01-25 12:25:43
120.   paranoidandroid
115 Count me as one who thinks Pierre plays most of the time also.

While we could properly juggle four outfielders, spring training should be the place to figure out the three you want to go with. Injuries could change all of that too.

With our recent free agent track record, Andruw could be hurt or be a dud.

I think we just need a clear direction so we don't get Grady-like line-ups that frustrate everyone involved. Find your three outfielders and move forward.

2008-01-25 12:26:15
121.   Sam DC
Chris at Capitol Punishment linked this. Where's Chuck?

2008-01-25 12:26:57
122.   cargill06
ok some poke a hole in this theroy for me (don't know why i'm trying to defend this guy) take his 64 SB as an extra TB, so for example he gets a single, steals 2nd and turns it into a 2B, his slugging % last year would've been .449, now let's take his CS and take that away from his H+BB+HBP and calculate his OBP, his OBP is now .310 making his OPS .759, now if you did the same thing for Ethier and subtract his 12IBB and 12 PA (he only got those batting 8th) his OPS is now .787, his is still better, but's a lot closer if you look at it that way.
2008-01-25 12:27:16
123.   Kevin Lewis
I am completely delusional to think Torre is going to bat Martin 2nd and not Pierre? I have started to expect this, but I think I am in for a big disappointment if I don't alter my expectations.
2008-01-25 12:28:21
124.   cargill06
122 obvious answer would be RBI's, but i belive Pierre makes up for it in runs scored... i know i'm wrong somewhere
2008-01-25 12:28:40
125.   Kevin Lewis
Oh and Cargillo,

I was being serious about the softball swing. It shows that I am trying to be the type of hitter I am not (power hitter), so I should stick with what works and not shoot for the long ball.

But sadly, I am still tempted to try the new swing. Ahhhhh, home runs cloud my judgment.

2008-01-25 12:28:50
126.   Eric Enders
117 First of all, you need to forget about batting orders. They are completely irrelevant to this discussion. Batting order, in fact, makes relatively little difference. If you take the same 9 players and jumble them up in random order, and play a whole season that way, studies have shown you'd still come out about the same. You'd win about one less game at worst.

What's relevant to this discussion is the production the player will provide, as compared to the production that would be provided by the alternative player. I know you "already addressed this," but you addressed it insufficiently and incorrectly. If you have a better player and are choosing to sit him, then the guy who's playing is hurting your team by the difference between their two levels of production.

Last year Pierre created .115 runs per plate appearance (this is called Runs Created). Ethier created .139. So the difference between Ethier and Pierre is .024 runs per plate appearance. Over a full season this comes out to 16.8 runs.

So Pierre costs the team 16.8 runs per year. Ten runs, roughly, are worth a win. So we lose about two more games than we otherwise would by playing Pierre.

2008-01-25 12:29:43
127.   regfairfield
122 A single and a stolen base doesn't equal a double. Stats like VORP and EQA already account for speed and Pierre still doesn't look good.

Ethier EQA: .267
Pierre: .249
Jason Michaels (the closest thing there was to a replacement level left fielder): .242

2008-01-25 12:30:06
128.   GoBears
119. I should add that there are sometimes other considerations. For example, the Phillies played Thome ahead of Ryan Howard well past the point when Howard would have produced more on the field at a fraction of the cost. But an argument could be made at the time that the Phillies would have killed Thome's trade value by benching him, so that the temporary sacrifice of Howard's expected marginal improvement in offense was offset by the acquisition of Aaron Rowand (or whoever it was) for Thome. I don't know if I agree with that, but I just wanted to admit that sometimes, all things considered, there's some sense in making the cheap, talented kid wait a little longer than you'd like to. Of course, that was Thome, who was still (IIRC) producing at the time. We're talking about the likes of Nomar and Pierre.
2008-01-25 12:33:25
129.   cargill06
127 , i just started to look in depth to more than just the standard numbers. don't know what a lot of these stats mean. Could you please explain to me what VORP and EQA means?
2008-01-25 12:33:54
130.   paranoidandroid
122 Watch out Bernanke! With creative math like yours, you can turn this economy into a bull run with a simple explanation of why people should be happy with what the status quo is.

You also forget that you can't steal first base. OBP is awful for a guy with no power.

2008-01-25 12:34:12
131.   ET90210
Great Jim Callis q&a. Solid read.

2008-01-25 12:35:45
132.   Eric Enders
122 But the value of slugging percentage is mostly not in the runner himself advancing, but in his extra-base hit advancing runners in front of him. So bumping up Pierre's slugging percentage by adding his steals to it isn't gonna cut it. A single plus a steal is not remotely the same thing as a double.
2008-01-25 12:36:12
133.   regfairfield
129 VORP - Value over replacement player. How many more runs a team scores using that player instead of a replacement level one.

EQA - Equivelent average. A stat that takes the values of everything a player does for an offense, then converts to a number that looks like batting average.

Both stats factor in everything that goes into offensive production and are adjusted for park and league difficulty.

2008-01-25 12:41:04
134.   paranoidandroid
My take on Pierre:

"Slappy McPop-up, Slappy McPop-up,Slappy McPop-up."

Now it's out of my system. I'm done commenting on him for at least a month.

2008-01-25 12:41:40
135.   cargill06
133 thanks

130 i guess i had that one coming

2008-01-25 12:46:19
136.   cargill06
i guess that i'm just realizing that pierre will probably start more games than Ethier this year and trying to rationalize that makes it ok
2008-01-25 12:46:50
137.   old dodger fan
126 Is there a measure of how many runs having a weak armed left fielder will cost over the course of a season?
2008-01-25 12:47:56
138.   underdog
131 From that Q&A:
Fleece Factor: Who are your top 5 position prospects and top 5 pitching prospects, in order, and when do you expect them to be "full-time" contributors in the majors?

Jim Callis: The hitters would be Reds OF Jay Bruce (full-time in 2008), Rays 3B Evan Longoria (2008), Royals SS Mike Moustakas (2010, and he'll move off SS by then), Cardinals OF Colby Rasmus (mid-2008) and Blue Jays OF Travis Snider (by the end of 2009). The pitchers would be Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz (2008), Yankees RHP Joba Chamberlain (2008), Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (by the end of 2008), Reds RHP Homer Bailey (2008) and Rockies LHP Franklin Morales (2008).

2008-01-25 12:48:45
139.   regfairfield
137 Almost nothing. It's really, really hard to have a bad or good arm as a left fielder. I don't remember the lower end of the scale, but I remember that Brian Giles had the 10th best arm of the last 15 years in left field, and saved his team a whopping two runs over his career. On average, Pierre cost his teams 5.5 runs as a center fielder a year.
2008-01-25 12:49:12
140.   Marty
137 I want to know how many Tums it's going to cost me.
2008-01-25 12:51:34
141.   Ricardo
126. And it gets worse if you consider that Ethier may have a better season in 2008 and JP´s weak arm. Benching Kemp or Ethier in favor of Juan Pierre. He´s a nice guy but they should sell him to the Kia Tigers.
2008-01-25 12:52:08
142.   cargill06
139 again i don't know how those calculations are formed. but i find that really hard to believe, there has had to be a number of times over a strong armed fielders career where a runner doesn't run on him at rounding 3rd or tagging because of his arm than ends up being stranded on 3rd.
2008-01-25 12:53:50
143.   Ricardo
141. Benching Kemp or Ethier in favor of Juan Pierre may cost us the division, that´s suicide.
2008-01-25 12:55:22
144.   still bevens
Anyone able to buy AZ spring training tickets? I saw the tickets went on sale today but the links arent working for me.
2008-01-25 12:56:30
145.   regfairfield
142 It looked at the average amount of times a left fielder held someone on base, and the average amount of times they threw someone out. They then calculated how many runs each one of those things are worth, then gave the people a plus minus based on how many runs they saved over average.

And apparently it can get pretty bad on the lower end of the spectrum, since J-Bay cost his team 8.1 runs in 2006 with his arm alone. It's just that almost every left fielder has a terrible arm, so they all come pretty close to average.

2008-01-25 13:00:51
146.   Eric Enders
145 "It's just that almost every left fielder has a terrible arm, so they all come pretty close to average."

If that's the case then there's no way that your original statement, "almost nothing," can be true, right? Because the guy replacing Pierre, Ethier, would rate as a super-outstanding arm if the baseline is terrible.

2008-01-25 13:01:01
147.   paranoidandroid
Tomorrow I have the option of "upgrading" my season seats. I have cheapo ones in the top deck. Currently, in section three (right behind home plate), row L (halfway up) with the first two seats on the aisle.

I have to resell lots of my games. My question is: Do you think it would be more desirable to sit in row B, C, or D and not have aisle seats and not be behind home plate? Say section 9 but in the second row? I had this option last year and passed on it.

2008-01-25 13:03:13
148.   Dodgers49
123 I am completely delusional to think Torre is going to bat Martin 2nd and not Pierre? I have started to expect this, but I think I am in for a big disappointment if I don't alter my expectations.

The main problem with that expectation is that Torre is already on record as saying that if Pierre starts he expects to bat him 1st or 2nd because he would prefer having Pierre's speed at the top of his lineup.

2008-01-25 13:04:57
149.   regfairfield
146 Yeah, I was misremembering there. The few that did have good arms, I think Geoff Jenkins and Bobby Higginson, were way above the rest. Last year, Soriano was at 17 and next for left fielders was 4.3.

Interestingly, they don't have numbers for Ethier in 2006, but in right he was at -1.5 runs last year, Pierre was at -7.5 and Gonzalez was -9.6.

2008-01-25 13:09:56
150.   kngoworld
147 Sitting on the aisle seats are preferable in lower sections, although on the top deck I would imagine it being a hassle as the rows are longer and there would be more attempts of people trying to pass in front of you. If personally, you stay in your seats for the majority of the game without many trips for food and restrooms I would opt for the lower aisles in a different section. I believe the view is not altered much moving closer to third base, being that high.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-01-25 13:10:01
151.   cargill06
ok went to wikipedia for the EqA formula and it states; H+TB+ 1.5(BB+HBP)+SB+SH+SF/ AB+BB+HBP+SH+SF+CS+ SB/3

umm if you did that juan pierre would have a .795 EqA, what mistake is wikipedia making or am i making?

2008-01-25 13:10:50
152.   Jon Weisman
148 - But as Eric points out in 126 , and as I tried to point out all last year, don't fixate on batting order.
2008-01-25 13:15:12
153.   Eric Enders
152 Agreed, although I do think batting order is meaningful in the sense that it can give us a glimpse of the way the manager sees things. I'd feel more comfortable with Pierre batting eighth than leadoff, not because it'll cost us a lot on the field, but because batting leadoff would mean he is held in unreasonably high esteem by management. Batting him eighth, on the other hand, could be the first stop on the way to benching him.
2008-01-25 13:16:06
154.   paranoidandroid
150 Thanks. I appreciate the input. I tend to upgrade myself once in the stadium so I am trying to gage what others would prefer if looking to purchase.

I have small children so the aisle seat afforded me more room to have them on my lap and let me stick a foot out. I am now going to more games with adult friends and leaving the kids at home.

2008-01-25 13:16:18
155.   trainwreck
Being a Raider fan sucks.

Now Al has decided to fire Lane Kiffin, even though Lane was the best coach we have had since Gruden.

How many days until spring training? I need some baseball.

2008-01-25 13:17:36
156.   Jim Hitchcock
An ineffective gambit in Germany if you wish to get better customer service.

Ah, but if you try slapping a weinerschnitzel on the counter at the beerhaus...!

2008-01-25 13:18:38
157.   paranoidandroid
I see batting 8th as a guy who will get less at-bats in the course of a season than a guy hitting in the 1 or 2 slot. That alone warrants the move if said player remains in the starting line-up.

Also, pinch hitters for the pitcher come up next and we know that said player is very good at sacrifice bunting.

2008-01-25 13:20:09
158.   Dodgers49
152 148 - But as Eric points out in 126 , and as I tried to point out all last year, don't fixate on batting order.

I'm not, Torre is. :-) In fact, I prefer to think of the batting order as a ring (or circle) rather than a vertical lineup. That way, after the 1st inning, anybody can bat leadoff.

2008-01-25 13:24:15
159.   paranoidandroid
158 If you look closely at the circular arrangement of a batting order that has "The Player" in it, you can see the cat and cradle.
2008-01-25 13:26:27
160.   Eric Enders
159 But I don't see Little Boy Blue and the Man in the Moon.
2008-01-25 13:32:10
161.   Dodgers49
159 The beauty of a circular lineup is that you can bat "The Player" 8th (if he must be in the lineup at all) and still consider him one of our nine leadoff hitters. :-)
2008-01-25 13:32:21
162.   bhsportsguy
155 I guess Al wants to save some money.

So, while I never think they will lose, last night's win at Oregon was certainly welcome, almost as much as seeing Darren finally getting healthy.

2008-01-25 13:32:51
163.   Jon Weisman
157 - Except the effect of that move is too small to worry about.

It's all about who plays, not where they bat.

153 - Maybe so, but the larger point still stands. I argued this point of view ad nauseum this year, but calling for Pierre to bat eighth is just a waste of energy.

2008-01-25 13:33:48
164.   silverwidow
Justin Morneau is getting a 6 year/$80 million deal.


2008-01-25 13:34:57
165.   trainwreck
Any time we win where Dragovic is forced to play down the stretch is quite the accomplishment.
2008-01-25 13:39:05
166.   bhsportsguy
165 Dennis Green, really Al, Dennis Green.

I feel bad for you.

2008-01-25 13:46:49
167.   trainwreck
I am expecting James Lofton or Rob Ryan.

We are going to be first pick in the draft anyways, so might as well have Dennis Green.
At least, I could say "We are who we thought we were," for an entire season.

2008-01-25 13:47:22
168.   Johnson
151 I came up with a slightly different number (.753) going direct from Wiki but it looks like that Wiki formula is wrong.
2008-01-25 13:48:35
169.   bhsportsguy
167 Maybe Al will trade the pick for some vets.
2008-01-25 13:51:53
170.   Eric Enders
If Juan Pierre really ends up with a .753 EQA, then I suggest we play him.
2008-01-25 13:52:56
171.   cargill06
168 ya i got .753 too just wrote a number down wrong. anyone know what the mistake in the wikipedia formula is?
2008-01-25 13:53:00
172.   Eric Enders
A couple of years ago the Raider fans here were complaining about wasting a second-round pick on Thomas Howard. Guess that doesn't look so bad now.
2008-01-25 13:54:31
173.   Kevin Lewis

My seats last year were in Top Deck Section 1 row R. I did not mind being in the middle, and I loved being right behind home plate. I would go for the seats right behind home plate.

2008-01-25 13:55:30
174.   regfairfield
The sacrifice stuff isn't actually in the formula.
2008-01-25 13:56:09
175.   Johnson
151 168 Actually, according to this BP page:

that's just a "raw" EQA - there's quite a bit more that has to be done to get the final EQA number, including conversion to equivalent runs, applying a Pythagorean to those equivalent runs to get a player "winning percentage", then adjusting that winning percentage back into something that looks like batting average.

So that raw value is probably correct, it's just not what's reported as adjusted EQA.

2008-01-25 13:58:11
176.   underdog
Seriously Train? Is that confirmed? Sheesh. Give the guy a chance. What did Al expect? You know who should be fired? Al Davis. End of story.

Btw, get your UCSB friends to go to their next game - they had a poor turnout last night supposedly because of weather (but Eugene can pack 'em in an a snowstorm) and the team packed it in. They need some energy, tortillas, something!

2008-01-25 13:58:44
177.   regfairfield
Though that just changed the answer to .745.
2008-01-25 14:06:36
178.   trainwreck
The people I know that are still in SB, may not even know where the Thunderdome is.

The Commish needs to step in and take the Raiders away for Davis.

2008-01-25 14:06:39
179.   bhsportsguy
176 It has not been a good week for owners, see Donald Sterling.

Let me know when there is a way to fire an order.

2008-01-25 14:07:32
180.   trainwreck
Really? It was pretty common knowledge that the Raiders wanted him, so I am surprised people would criticize it.
2008-01-25 14:08:18
181.   bhsportsguy
178 They let that guy keep the Cardinals and the league does not have a soft spot for Al anyway.
2008-01-25 14:11:43
182.   trainwreck
I just looked up the thread where we talked about NFL draft. Thankfully, I did not bash the Howard pick. Just called it typical Al pick, because he drafts athletes.
2008-01-25 14:16:39
183.   trainwreck
Cardinals stunk because they never really tried to build a real football team for years.

Al is just a crazy old fool. He tries harder than anyone and just keeps making the team worse.

2008-01-25 14:18:11
184.   kngoworld
Article at about Paul Lo Duca's injury:

Lo Duca made news this winter after being named in the Mitchell report for allegedly receiving and using human growth hormone and steroids in the early 1990s, while he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

His first season in the big leagues was 1998, is that considered early 1990's?

2008-01-25 14:19:46
185.   T Money

I'm not sure that I agree that this year's festival was especially strong. Rather, I think that there were a preponderance of "pretty good" films, and not too many complete losers. But, keeping in mind that there were a ton of films I didn't see, nothing struck me as truly revelatory or remarkable. I did like Sharon Maguire's movie, however, and there were a handful of notable documentaries.

2008-01-25 14:21:38
186.   regfairfield
Why the heck would you wrap up two years of free agency for Michael Cuddyer? He has no defense, and he's not a great hitter for a corner guy.
2008-01-25 14:23:48
187.   underdog
Well, I'm not one for conspiracy theories but... wait, I am one for conspiracy theories:

Meow. (s.f.w.)

2008-01-25 14:42:27
188.   ToyCannon
Yuck, Raider talk. I feel like Xeifrank when TV talk shows up.
2008-01-25 14:45:56
189.   Jon Weisman
172 - The Raiders drafted Old Friend Thomas Howard?

2008-01-25 14:50:53
190.   JJ42
I had season seats last year in TD Section 7, Row C, Seats 15-16. Great seats, 2 off the aisle. Being anywhere in the first 4 rows of the top deck is a big difference than the middle or higher. I found Row C to be great. Your view is not obstructed by the fence (which it kind of is in Row B) and you have some legroom (which you wouldn't if you were in Row A). I'm not renewing the seats this year so you're welcome to take them if they're available. I was able to resell most of the games I didn't go to, albeit for not much.
2008-01-25 15:11:29
191.   Bob Timmermann
Well after much machinations with StubHub, they have promised three tickets to the Dodgers game at the Coliseum, although they lowered the price. The tickets are being referred to as "General Admission" and I'm thinking that if unreserved seats are sold, it will be a big mess.

But then again, it's the Coliseum and if it can be done half-(rule 1 violation)-ed, that's the place that will do it.

I do hope that there won't be beer sales at the game. I could picture the Coliseum turning into Heysel Stadium if that happens.

2008-01-25 15:13:59
192.   Bluebleeder87

Man, reading that makes me think Ned Colletti got jobbed big time by Pierre's agent.

2008-01-25 15:14:59
193.   Jason in Canada
Can I ask a serious question?

Am I allowed to become a free agent as a fan? I am so fed up with being a fan of team so poorly run as the Raiders. I know, I know...

How could you like them to begin? What can I say? My dad loved them when I was a kid and when they came to my little town when I was 8 and played a charity basketball game against the fire dept. I was hooked.

I can deal with losing, and picking kickers in the first round, But honestly after hearing the fire Kiffin rumors over the last month I wish I could just divorce the team and move on. Can I?

2008-01-25 15:19:30
194.   trainwreck
My sports loyalty is basically masochism when it comes to the Raiders.

I say get away while you can!

2008-01-25 15:19:53
195.   Humma Kavula
192 It's not the agent's fault. The agent did his job, which is to get as large a contract as he can for his client.

Coletti jobbed himself.

2008-01-25 15:23:50
196.   Jon Weisman
2008-01-25 15:25:19
197.   Eric Stephen
In sports fandom, I'm usually an undying loyalist, but the way the Raiders have been run the last few years have come close to turning me away as a fan. The main thing keeping me in the silver & black fold is the (seemingly) impending death of Al Davis.

I proclaimed last year before the draft that I would declare fan free agency if the Raiders drafted Brady Quinn. Luckily that didn't happen.

However, with today's ankling of Kiffin, my brother threw out a random WAG as to who the next coach could be: Charlie Weis. I'm sure this will not happen, and that it was just Evan Grant level speculation, but I would like to go on record that if the Raiders hire Charlie Weis, I'm out.

2008-01-25 15:28:39
198.   Jason in Canada
We can reasonably expect some article with JaMarcus Russell in 5 years talking about how he was a bust because he never had the same OC, QB coach or head coach for more than 6 months at a time.

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