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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

The Miller's Tale
2008-02-16 21:28
by Jon Weisman

I tend to roll my eyes at the litany of Spring Training stories of rebirth, but if I could wish for one to turn out true, it probably would be Greg Miller's. Here's Tony Jackson of the Daily News:

Spotted Greg Miller working one-on-one with Rick Honeycutt on a side mound early this morning. They were working to hone a slight mechanical adjustment that Greg made last season, when he was battling those well-documented control problems that caused him to walk 46 batters in 28 2/3 innings at Las Vegas before he was demoted to Jacksonville.

"Everything for me is about staying on my front leg and being more direct to the plate," Miller said. "Last year at times, I got kind of directional with my lower body."

Asked if that was a reason for the wildness, Miller said it was partly to blame.

"Part of it, too, I'm willing to admit, was that I just got really frustrated with it and tried to muscle my way through," he said. ...

Miller turned 23 in November.

Comments (78)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-02-16 21:52:41
1.   Jon Weisman
Bill Plaschke thinks Matt Kemp might be okay after all, just in case anyone was wondering.
2008-02-16 22:15:15
2.   Jason in Canada
I am rooting for Greg Miller.
2008-02-16 22:39:41
3.   underdog
It is amazing to think that Miller is only 23, since it feels like he's been around forever and has had so many ups and downs. But there is certainly still time for him to come in to his own, and I'm rooting for him.

Perhaps he could be that elusive 2nd lefty in the pen? Will be interesting to track him this spring.

2008-02-16 22:46:48
4.   Daniel Zappala
1 My least favorite writer with an article about my most favorite player. I won't be reading it.
2008-02-16 22:52:18
5.   derrelthomas
4. - Smart. I just read it and even though its meant to be a pre-emptive apology by Plashchke, probably before Kemp starts crushing in Spring Training, it still reads extremely annoying.
2008-02-16 23:03:40
6.   KG16
On Miller, I hope he does well, if only because we went to the same high school.

On Plaschke on Kemp, I read through it thinking, "Ok, when's he going to drop the bomb..." There just always seems to be something slightly off putting about Plaschke, like he's not the guy you want standing behind you as you're typing a password into a computer.

And you gotta love Kemp's attitude about the trash can

2008-02-16 23:06:34
7.   jasonungar07
1 Looks like Dave Stewart is a pretty smart agent...Well played. Kemp said all the right things. The article is fine, at least Bill is on Kemps side..for now.

Does bill imply the dodgers wanted him to plant a "trade Kemp article" or is that me reading into it to much?

I agree about Miller. I am rooting really hard for him to be lefty out of pen

2008-02-16 23:09:14
8.   Jason in Canada
Yeah, Matt Kemp and Greg Miller are the same age. And it seems Greg has been around forever.
2008-02-16 23:20:53
9.   Bob Timmermann
So that was the whole trash can story? That?

Kemp complained loudly that someone put a trash can next to his locker?


And everybody got upset about it?

I can think of 50 things people do at my workplace that are far more annoying.

2008-02-16 23:29:05
10.   MC Safety
4 Ditto.

Anybody see the Kimbo Slice/Tank Abbot "fight"?

2008-02-16 23:36:43
11.   Bob Timmermann
Using's telephone support is a most unsatisfying experience. I still can't figure out why they couldn't get a book with 1-day shipping that I ordered on Feb. 12 to its destination on Feb. 14.

But it should get there on Feb. 19 now! Not that I could understand the person on the phone well.

I need to work on acting indignant better.

2008-02-16 23:51:12
12.   Bob Timmermann
Jon's post really should have been written in Middle English for full effect.
2008-02-17 00:41:07
13.   CanuckDodger
Actually, the trash can imbroglio -- which by now seems so legendary that capitalization is really in order, so make it the "Trash Can Imbroglio" -- now makes more sense. Before, I had understood that the veterans got upset that Kemp moved a trash can away from his locker, which of course struck all of us as ridiculous. But now it is clear that moving the trash can was not the problem at all. In fact, Kemp says he will move a trash can again if it is near his locker. But Kemp says that next time he will just keep his mouth shut while doing it. That tells us that what Kemp SAID when he moved the trash can was the problem, not the moving of the trash can itself. Depending on what Kemp said, maybe the veterans were entirely justified in taking offense. If Kemp, for instance, ranted and raved about being dissed by having a trash can put in front of his locker when he was carrying the team on his back, hitting well-over .300, while highly-paid guys on the team weren't carrying their own weight, well, that would get me angry, if I were Kemp's teammate, and even more so if my performance was far less than equal to my salary.
2008-02-17 01:26:02
14.   trainwreck
I just watched a replay of it. The fight took 43 seconds to end, so not much to talk about.
2008-02-17 04:50:07
15.   old dodger fan
Nook Logan in our camp? Nook Logan of career 76 OPS+ and a CFer besides. We need a CFer? This only makes sense if Ned thinks he has a buyer for JP. Am I missing something here?
2008-02-17 05:02:54
16.   CanuckDodger
15 -- He did not receive an invitation to big league camp. What the signing tells me is that the Dodgers don't plan to have Xavier Paul playing CF in Vegas, but RF, even though Paul played CF in Jacksonville last year.
2008-02-17 05:57:29
17.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Here's hoping at least one of Kuo or Miller can make it.. arragh... Kuo / Miller now Elbert... jesus is there a curse with the Dodgers and super scary dominating OMG other worldly great young left handed young SPs? let's hope it doesn't bite Kreshaw arragh.

I still can't get over Kuo's 06 September run and his first couple of starts against in 07... they were TRUELY dominating.

2008-02-17 06:07:39
18.   Gen3Blue
13 Well put.

It does seem like Miller has been around a long time and its worth remembering before his health issues, he probably wouldn't have embarrassed himself throwing in the Majors at 19.

2008-02-17 08:19:55
19.   screwballin
In Kemp's words: "I'll admit, I didn't like it, and I read every word of it," he said. "I want to know what people think about it. I care about that. It hurt to be criticized."

He should read DT. He would feel better.

2008-02-17 08:21:59
20.   Aug C
Dodger Thoughts fantasy baseball?

Hi folks, I was thinking maybe we could set up a fantasy baseball league for Dodger Thoughts readers... if you're interested, shoot me an e-mail at

Hopefully we can get at least 10 people in this thing.

2008-02-17 08:31:30
21.   Bumsrap
I would love to see a rotation of Billingsley, Kershaw, Miller, Elbert, Meloan/Kuroda doing really well. And if they show well in 08 it is less likely the Dodgers will sign/trade for more of the Loizas, Schmidts, Lowes, Kurodas.

But if LaRoche and Nomar can't start getting it done by the end of June, the Dodgers might use pitching to get a third baseman. LaRoche doing well does more than give the Dodgers another power bat, it keeps the young arms in the Dodger organization.

2008-02-17 08:44:53
22.   madmac
I am rooting for anyone in a Dodger uniform. Miller deserves to succeed more than most. Dodger fans deserve to see this guy become a ML success.
2008-02-17 09:39:37
23.   Izzy
Surprisingly, that was a good article on Kemp and pretty much confirms what I was thinking all along. It did sound like Ned intentionally floated the trade idea as a sort of "shot across the bow" tactic. I never really pictured Ned thinking like that. I also think Matt did himself well when he hired Dave Stewart to represent him. Really well. This should be great year.
2008-02-17 09:52:51
24.   screwballin
From a BP article today: The following players are out of minor league options and could be traded by the end of spring training: Texas outfielders Jason Botts, Nelson Cruz, and David Murphy; San Diego outfielder Paul McAnulty, Detroit relievers Danny Bautista, Francisco Cruceta, and Steve Grilli; and White Sox pitchers Gavin Floyd and Nick Masset.

Anyone there we should be interested in?

2008-02-17 10:06:34
25.   Ken Arneson
12 If Jon wanted full effect, he would have also had to violate rules 1, 3, 6, 7, and 11. The original Miller's Tale isn't exactly Rated G.
2008-02-17 10:09:15
26.   Lexinthedena
It really does feel like Miller has been around forever, and I have never even seen him pitch. Not even a quick little hightlight.
2008-02-17 10:26:37
27.   MC Safety
20 I am interested in a Roto league Aug C. Shoot me an invite
2008-02-17 10:32:22
28.   underdog
24 In a word, no. :-)

(Though Cruceta used to intrigue me. Maybe that's because his name sounds like a crunchy Italian appetizer.)

25 If DT was around years ago, we could also have had A Franklin's Tale to celebrate F Stubbs. Last year would've been a good time for the Physician's Tale.

2008-02-17 10:37:53
29.   bhsportsguy
Ned with "Hacksaw" on his Saturday show.

"The mail I get runs 80% keep the young players."

Dodger scouts say Kuroda is a tick behind Dice K.

"As much upset as any player in the organization." On Kemp.

Andy LaRoche and Greg Miller, two players that they are high on this year.

2008-02-17 10:39:26
30.   bhsportsguy
So Marty, how'd you shoot yesterday?
2008-02-17 10:42:42
31.   MC Safety
24 I'd rather have Nelson Cruz than Nook Logan.
2008-02-17 10:45:37
32.   underdog
29 What's this mean?
>>"As much upset as any player in the organization." On Kemp.<<
2008-02-17 10:53:12
33.   regfairfield
31 You can't put Nelson Cruz in the minors so you'd basically be trading him for Delwyn Young.

I really, really doubt we're going to notice that Nook Logan is on the team. He'll probably be the Suns' centerfielder this year since Vegas ' outfield should already be set with Raglani, Repko, and Paul.

2008-02-17 10:58:12
34.   Marty
Horrible, couldn't break 100. But I had fun. The good news is I didn't injure myself. I missed a 4 foot birdie putt.
2008-02-17 11:09:17
35.   bhsportsguy
32 oops, upside and high ceiling.


34 Brookside?

2008-02-17 11:12:32
36.   Marty
35 San Dimas Canyon. It was a going away event for someone leaving my work.
2008-02-17 11:12:52
37.   Eric Enders
32 It means his locker in Vero is surrounded by a semicircle of trash cans bolted to the ground.
2008-02-17 11:22:07
38.   Dodgers49
Tony Jackson on Mike Easler:

2008-02-17 11:22:24
39.   MC Safety
33 Yeah, just sayin. Reg, do you think Ethier can produce against leftys or would you prefer a righty platoon?
2008-02-17 11:31:52
40.   Dodgers49
Dodgers Notes: All eyes on Schmidt:

>> From the looks of his first Spring Training bullpen session, Jason Schmidt is further along than advertised. <<

## Martin concedes he wore down in the second half, when he hit .275 after hitting .306 before the All-Star break. ##

2008-02-17 11:34:51
41.   still bevens
These stories of Schmidt looking good in Spring have me over excited. If hes anywhere close to where he was before the injury things are looking good for us this season. Will keep my fingers crossed.
2008-02-17 11:35:17
42.   regfairfield
39 I'd prefer Ethier gets all the at bats in left. I don't like Pierre or Young.
2008-02-17 11:43:39
43.   Eric Enders
38 Everybody knows that the main qualifications for a hitting coach are a booming voice and springy shoes.
2008-02-17 11:43:56
44.   overkill94
28 Is it possible you used to like Cruceta because he used to be in our organization? He was in the famous Paul Shuey trade along with Ricardo Rodriguez and Terry Mulholland back in 2002. Both he and Rodriguez were fairly highly-rated prospects, but neither panned out.

I guess the trend of trading pitching prospects for relievers goes back further than most remember.

2008-02-17 11:47:53
45.   Dodgers49
Russell Martin sets sights even higher in '08

>> Manager Joe Torre said he hopes to give Martin at least one day off a week to preserve the young catcher, though Martin's talent makes him a key part of the lineup. <<

2008-02-17 11:55:35
46.   Dodgers49
Vero Beach: Dodgers still won't tell us if this is the final out

2008-02-17 12:12:20
47.   underdog
44 Ah yes, maybe that was it. That was actually a decent trade for the Dodgers, since Shuey was great before he got injured, and as you said the other guys didn't really do much.

35 Ah, you had me worried. ;-)

2008-02-17 12:15:51
48.   Dodgers49
At 44, Big Unit mounts his last comeback

>> A healthy Johnson would add to an already strong Arizona rotation headed by 2006 Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb and Dan Haren, acquired in the offseason from Oakland. Byrnes and manager Bob Melvin have talked about making Johnson the No. 2 pitcher between Webb and Haren, although that has yet to be determined. <<

2008-02-17 12:33:08
49.   MollyKnight
That Plaschke piece on Matt Kemp made me want to vomit. "Veterans quietly complained to management, management told me, and then I wrote a front-page column for the LA Times suggesting Matt Kemp should be traded." And he wonders why the kid was a bit miffed/hurt/upset?

I swear the older writers don't want to cut these kids any breaks whatsoever. They adhere to the same B.S., elusive, "respect for the game" clause that Kent, Nomar, etc. bring up whenever they want to argue their superiority over a young player with better numbers across the board.

I'm sorry, but until Jeff Kent begins to say hello to his teammates when he enters the locker room, he does not get to accuse anyone of being disrespectful. I know he's a good, hard-nosed player, but I can't wait until he's gone.

2008-02-17 13:07:43
50.   68elcamino427
40 I'm revising my assesment of Schimdt.
As Tommy John is to the elbow, Jason Schmidt will be known for the re-constructed shoulder.
He will be the Dodgers fifth starter by the All-Star break and he will take Lowe's spot in the rotation next year when he is at full strength.
He will probably need to re-invent his pitching style to do this, but why not? It certainly worked for Tommy John.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-02-17 13:10:59
51.   68elcamino427
49 Players to Lasorda to Plaschke?
2008-02-17 13:20:10
52.   silverwidow
29 Good interview. He also mentioned that Kershaw will be a #1/#2 pitcher and could be here before the year is out.
2008-02-17 13:37:42
53.   Eric Enders
49 Same here, Molly. The part that gets me is that not only did he supposedly plant a negative article about Kemp as a favor to the Dodgers, but he cheerfully admits having done so as if there were nothing wrong with that.

The man blows with the wind more than anybody I know. He has the backbone of an unshelled mollusk. I guess that's what the Times gets for choosing their columnist lineup based on TV exposure and ability to cause controversy rather than, you know, writing ability.

And then there's this sentence -- "Once he plays, he also knows folks are watching everything from how hard he runs to first base to how he reacts in the clubhouse after losses" -- which implies that Kemp somehow had problems running hard enough last year. When in actuality, he hustles down the line more than anyone. And got piled on mercilessly for running the bases too hard at times.

The whole thing was a rotten stinking piece of trash. Even when Plaschke's on the right side of an issue, it's for the wrong reasons.

2008-02-17 13:49:33
54.   Andrew Shimmin
I could go for some catfish nuggets.
2008-02-17 13:50:27
55.   Andrew Shimmin
And I'd let Plaschke buy them, too.
2008-02-17 14:00:06
56.   Bob Timmermann
Always figured that you would go for bottom feeders.
2008-02-17 14:17:48
57.   Icaros
Always figured that you would go for bottom feeders.

Are you referring to the catfish or the Plaschke?

2008-02-17 14:45:17
58.   underdog
Mmmmmmmm.... deep fried Plaschke and chips... Ooooo...... {Drool}
2008-02-17 14:53:14
59.   underdog
Drat. My oddly timed 5pm soccer game today means I'll miss most of the NBA All-Star Game.

Oh wait, I don't care about the NBA All-Star Game. Never mind!

2008-02-17 15:03:19
60.   Eric Enders
From Diamond Leung: "The team signed two Mexican pitching prospects -- Freddy Quintero, 20, and Javier Solano, 17 -- for $250,000 signing bonuses. Two Dominican pitchers signed this month."

Are these the first international signings since the Dodgers were called out by Jon and Canuck? Anybody know anything about these guys? $250,000 isn't peanuts, so one would think they must be decent prospects.

From Googling Solano, it looks like he's a 5'10" righthander who throws 96. He played a couple of years of HS ball in the Yuma area although I guess he's considered a Mexican citizen and thus a FA for signing purposes.

2008-02-17 15:15:45
61.   Ken Noe
Plaschke's comments about shilling for the Colletti front office remind me of his recent, damning admission that he helped cover up LoDuca's steroid use for the Evans front office. At some point here, someone at the Times should be asking themselves if the Dodgers should start picking up part of his salary.
2008-02-17 15:16:12
62.   Bob Timmermann
But Michael Wilbon says the NBA All-Star Game is the "Black Thanksgiving."
2008-02-17 15:16:45
63.   CanuckDodger
60 -- I think the Japanese pitcher Robert Boothe would have been the first signee after a fuss was made about the lack of spending on international talent. Or did that signing happen before?

Anyway, $250,000 signing bonuses probably mean the Dodgers got something good, knowing how tight-fisted they are with the bucks. Pedro Baez only got $200,000 and he already made BA's Dodger Top 10.

2008-02-17 15:30:16
64.   bhsportsguy
Does Augusta National pay Jim Nantz a fee everytime he says "a tradition like no other?"
2008-02-17 15:33:52
65.   underdog
62 Hmm, sounds like a lot of, er, stuffing to me, but, hey, whatever floats your boat.
2008-02-17 15:41:32
66.   Bob Timmermann
If you don't say it, the good people at Augusta will give you a beating like none other.

I believe that Augusta National is one of two places in America where Constitutional protections do not apply. You say the wrong thing, you feel a pin prick in your neck, and the next thing you know, you wake up a dark cell that even the CIA doesn't know about.

The other place like this is Busch Stadium.

2008-02-17 16:15:57
67.   ginocimoli
Whatever Plaschke "writes," I can't read it anymore. He single-handedly drove me away from a decades-long subscription to the L.A. Times. I'm not sure which is more lamentable, the newspaper for featuring his diatribes as if they deserved a medal, or Plaschke himself, who doesn't even practice journalism but a form of condescension, bluster, and bullying that both infuriates and depresses. If that sells newspapers, I'm not buying. Oh, for the days of Jim Murray... and renewed thanks for the days of Jon Weisman.
2008-02-17 16:22:32
68.   natepurcell

ohhh goodie! 250k from the dodgers is like a mil from the yankees/mets.

2008-02-17 16:25:04
69.   MyTummyHurts
Looking at the new photo gallery @ Dodgers.Com Chan Ho Park stills has that killer bod...
2008-02-17 16:39:35
70.   Eric Enders
I have to say, when I hear the phrase "killer bod," the first words that come to mind are not "Chan Ho Park."
2008-02-17 17:16:20
71.   sporky
70 Larry Bowa, on the other hand...
2008-02-17 17:38:54
72.   Lexinthedena
71 Tom Niedenfuer?
2008-02-17 17:50:59
73.   MollyKnight
51, 53, 55, 59, 61, 67:

Plaschke has single-handedly railroaded Kemp.

Even the "Kemp works to improve his image" headline is a slap in the face. It's not like he's ever thrown a bottle of diet coke at a fan or shown up in the batter's box drunk or hit an umpire with a cleat. All he ever did was move a flipping trash can in the clubhouse.

No one would have known about Kemp's supposed "bad attitude" if Plaschke hadn't written that negative column last fall, which pretty much stunned the pants off all of us, including traveling beat writers. And for him to admit that it was a power play by management to a) manipulate Kemp into fearing for his job and b) appease Jeff Kent et al. is atrocious and wrong. But it makes sense, because where else would it have come from?

Plaschke's attempt to set the record straight about Kemp not actually having an attitude problem after all only introduces thousands of additional fans who didn't see his column last fall to the idea that Matt Kemp has an attitude problem.

As a writer, I understand that controversy sells. But Kemp will have to live down Plaschke's sh-t-stirring for the rest of his career. It's miserably unfair. I would not have had lunch with the man if I were Kemp. But then Plaschke would have crucified him again.

2008-02-17 17:54:45
74.   Gen3Blue
Being on the east coast, I have only recently realized the horror that is Plaschke. And I must admit it has been influenced by this site. But it makes me physically ill when I think a guy like this could have any influence, let alone be some kind of mouth piece for the front office.

On a brighter note is the D's signing four prospects from Latin America. Thats pretty good odds that we get something good!

2008-02-17 17:54:48
75.   MollyKnight
Also, when I read that bit about Kemp refusing to allow Plaschke to pay for his meal, I swore Plaschke was about to go off on the kid having no respect for his elders. Yet:

"Listen," I said. "I buy for young players. I always have. When you make the big money, you can buy mine."

"No, dude," he said, firmly. "I can pay my own way."

He gets a plate full of catfish nuggets. I get a side dish of insight.

Five minutes into spring cleaning, and already I like Matt Kemp better than last year.

2008-02-17 18:10:52
76.   Jon Weisman
73 - I'm with Molly, although she's having rule 1 issues.

New post up top.

2008-02-17 18:11:24
77.   jasonungar07
Excellent post Molly. The big problem as I see it is those who called Bill to write about Kemp.
2008-02-17 19:54:26
79.   MollyKnight
Rule 1? I bleeped myself!

Is that rule 1?

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