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

02  01 

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

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

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

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

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

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

09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

'Town Criers
2008-02-21 10:48
by Jon Weisman offers a photo essay of individual memories of Dodgertown, with names from Manny Mota to Archie Manning (the Saints used to train down in Vero Beach, too).

* * *

Speaking of memory lane, Ducksnorts blogger Geoff Young (he covers the Padres, for those of you who aren't in the know) revisits the stars of the 1988 Pacific Coast League for The Hardball Times.

He begins by recalling the top-10 prospects in the league, as pegged by Baseball America:

1. Sandy Alomar Jr., C, Las Vegas (Padres)
2. Ramon Martinez, RHP, Albuquerque (Dodgers)
3. Juan Bell, SS, Albuquerque (Dodgers)
4. Cameron Drew, OF, Tucson (Astros)
5. William Brennan, RHP, Albuquerque (Dodgers)
6. Greg Harris, RHP, Las Vegas (Padres)
7. Mike Devereaux, OF, Albuquerque (Dodgers)
8. Jerald Clark, OF, Las Vegas (Padres)
9. Lance Johnson, OF, Vancouver (White Sox)
10. Matt Williams, 3B, Phoenix (Giants)

Yes, I remember when Juan Bell was the bee's knees. I also saw him get ejected from the only minor-league game I've ever attended in San Bernadino. Bell helped bring Eddie Murray to the Dodgers, going to Baltimore with Brian Holton and Ken Howell 2 1/2 months after the 1988 World Series.

Young also has this year's edition of his Ducksnorts baseball annual on sale, so if you want to better know your enemy/neighbor from down south, this is the book to get. Highlights include:

  • A recap of the Padres 2007 season, from the hiring of Bud Black as manager to the heartbreak of Game 163 at Coors Field
  • Graphical displays of key players' statistical output from 2007 and other recent seasons to show trends, including comparisons with league norms by position
  • Detailed examination of the Padres farm system, including reports on more than 70 players and a list of Top 10 Prospects
  • First-hand account of a 12-day drive from San Diego to Cooperstown and back for Tony Gwynn's Hall of Fame induction, including stops in several minor-league towns along the way for the ulitmate baseball geek road trip
  • Reference materials building on work done in the 2007 Annual, such as the best players in Padres history by position and a register of every trade Kevin Towers has made since becoming general manager in November 1995.

    You can see a free excerpt here.

    Update: Phil Gurnee moonlights from True Blue L.A. with a debut column at SportsHubLA.

    Update 2: From Signe Hilton's Dodger press notes today:

    Position players, meanwhile, today went through pop-up drills. A bright sun and swirling wind certainly made things interesting, as a handful of the pop-ups fell to the earth. The award for the loudest "I GOT IT!" calls goes to non-roster first baseman John Lindsey.

    Hilton also said Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to pitch on February 29, in the game that ESPN is televising. My goodness - that's just a week from Friday. And ... Dodger video coordinator and baseball operations assistant Nick English has passed the California bar exam.

    Update 3: I'm peeking back into this can of worms because the words are so reasoned. John Sickels at Minor League Ball writes about Hee Seop Choi, whom Sickels called a Grade A prospect in 2003:

    There is lots to consider here. Choi's final major league line is .240/.349/.437, +106 OPS, in 915 at-bats, obviously not anything close to what I anticipated. Choi detractors point to his struggles in Chicago and Los Angeles as proof that he was never very good. Choi supporters point to the injuries, the sporadic playing time, and the fact that he hit great for the Marlins in '04 (you can't spin a +132 OPS in 95 games as something bad). The pattern I see is that people who doubt Choi ignore the good points and people who like Choi ignore the bad points. It all counts.

    I did not get to see Choi play in the majors as often as your average Cubs, Marlins, or Dodgers fan. The mental image I have of him remains the guy I saw in the minors, the guy who killed fastballs (including inside fastballs) and handled breaking stuff just fine, and who was a reasonably good defensive first baseman. Looking back on it, I don't regret the ratings I gave him. They turned out to be wrong, but based on the information I had at the time, the statistics, the scouting reports, and the personal observations, I have no regrets.

    That said, even if Choi had stayed in the U.S. and gotten more chances, based on what we know now, he would not have been the slugging superstar I expected. He would instead have panned out as a useful slugging bat, at worst a Sam Horn, in the middle a Ken Phelps, at best a Cecil Fielder. In short, I think that Choi did get jerked around and wasn't handled well, and that under different circumstances he would still be playing in the majors right now, but I also think he legitimately wasn't as good as expected. Nevertheless, worse players have had long careers.

    Lessons learned:

  • It's hard to be a superstar slugger. Sam Horns are a lot more common than Mo Vaughns or Jason Giambis.
  • The more dimensions to a player's skill base, the better.
  • Organizational context is important.

  • Comments (173)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2008-02-21 11:06:49
    1.   Bob Timmermann
    #6 is this Greg Harris:

    Not the other guy who played around the same time.

    2008-02-21 11:10:33
    2.   Jon Weisman
    Out of deference to Bob, I left off one of the selling points of the Ducksnorts annual.
    2008-02-21 11:12:42
    3.   Jon Weisman
    Trayvon Robinson and Xavier Paul have their defense statistically dissed here.

    2008-02-21 11:13:07
    4.   Bob Timmermann
    You don't need to be deferential to me. Eric Enders thinks the guy who wrote the foreword is the bee's knees.
    2008-02-21 11:15:05
    5.   Eric Stephen
    Eric Enders thinks the guy who wrote the foreword is the bee's knees

    As do I.

    2008-02-21 11:17:12
    6.   Bob Timmermann
    (Scribbles names on list, prepares re-education camps...)
    2008-02-21 11:24:19
    7.   MC Safety
    All the comments are in the same font as the top 10 list and bullet points.
    2008-02-21 11:24:33
    8.   Eric Enders
    Juan Bell almost killed me once. I think I was ten years old. He threw a ball that sailed 20 feet over his first baseman's head, and it hit square in the middle of the seat back where I was sitting. Somehow I managed to dodge it, and I didn't even get the ball. I don't recall whether it bounced back onto the field or somebody else got it.
    2008-02-21 11:27:51
    9.   Eric Stephen
    In little league, sometimes we got to play at Angel Stadium (the one in Palm Springs), and I hit a foul ball that hit the seat next to my mom.

    Next at bat I did it again!

    2008-02-21 11:28:11
    10.   bhsportsguy
    5 Yes but Jon had Mr. DodgerTalk so there.
    2008-02-21 11:30:12
    11.   Jon Weisman
    Bronx Banter links to Steven Goldman's interview with the beyond-cool Dan Zanes.

    2008-02-21 11:30:15
    12.   bhsportsguy
    And I will state again, it was none other than Mr. Toy Cannon who as the season started told anyone who would listen that Andrew Bynum was going to be a special player.
    2008-02-21 11:31:23
    13.   Andrew Shimmin
    Matt Vasgersian is the greatest basketball player of all time.
    2008-02-21 11:32:09
    14.   Eric Stephen
    Among the myriad of reasons I will never be an NBA GM is that I was perfectly willing to trade Odom and Bynum for Jermaine O'Neal last summer.
    2008-02-21 11:33:22
    15.   GobiasIndustries
    Do you have a stat to back that up?


    2008-02-21 11:34:05
    16.   MC Safety
    Would everything being italicized have anything to do with my iMac? I know relatively nothing about computers, so bear with my stupidity.
    2008-02-21 11:34:17
    17.   bhsportsguy
    15 I heard it out of his own mouth.
    2008-02-21 11:35:10
    18.   bhsportsguy
    13 Missed you yesterday during our trip through the '70s ending with the Solid Gold Dancers.
    2008-02-21 11:37:03
    19.   Bob Timmermann
    I would be much happier if Andrew Bogut did play by play for the Padres.
    2008-02-21 11:37:05
    20.   GobiasIndustries
    Is the whole font on your computer like that or just web pages or both?
    2008-02-21 11:37:46
    21.   MC Safety
    15 Hilarious.

    12 Didn't everyone in LA say Bynum was going to burst onto the scene? From everything I heard through Kareem, that opinion was pretty common, no?

    2008-02-21 11:38:08
    22.   Eric Stephen
    Gasol to LA, Shaq to Phx, and Kidd to Dallas got all the headlines, and deservedly so, but the Spurs getting Kurt Thomas and the Hornets picking up Bonzi Wells were very nice complementary moves that will help them, even if under the radar.
    2008-02-21 11:39:13
    23.   bhsportsguy
    Did anyone catch Tony Jackson's blog this morning, he says Joe was leaning toward (in his opinion) Andy LaRoche starting but would not say it was Andy's job to lose.

    Also this nugget from his blog, if you say something long enough, it becomes a fact.

    "On my way back from lunch yesterday, I heard Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story on the radio.

    It started out with Dodgers GM Buzzy Bavasi calling a young pitcher named Tom into his office to send him to the minors, and Tom responding by saying they should keep him and send that left-handed kid with the control problems to the minors instead.

    I didn't have to listen any further. I immediately recognized the story as one I had heard a hundred times from Tom himself.

    2008-02-21 11:42:51
    24.   GobiasIndustries
    Yes that did seem to be the consensus amongst Lakers officials and "people in the know".
    2008-02-21 11:43:43
    25.   bhsportsguy
    23 Bob, has Buzzy Bavasi ever verified this story?
    2008-02-21 11:44:24
    26.   MC Safety
    20 Not quite sure what you mean, but for instance Pitchfork is regular. This happened a while back with one of Jon's posts and everything was bold. I remember someone else mentioning it and it went away. When I go to submit a comment it's in regular font but when it's posted all comments are italicized.
    2008-02-21 11:46:22
    27.   Bob Timmermann
    Although I do have Buzzie Bavasi's email address, I don't think I'll ask him.

    I believe the story is essentially true. I doubt Lasorda knew the intricacies of Koufax's contract back in 1955.

    Rob Neyer is coming out with a book on baseball myths and I'll see if he covers it. Neyer has a chapter about whether or not Don Drysdale said to Walter Alston after being taken out in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series, "I bet you wish I was Jewish too now don't you."

    2008-02-21 11:47:34
    28.   LAT
    For anyone wondering how much it cost to sit with the hoi poli at Dodger Stadium, the answer is a lot!

    · Exclusive access to climate-controlled Dugout Club and seating area
    · Unlimited access to complimentary high-end Wolfgang Puck buffet and Levy food items
    · In seat waiter service
    · Complimentary preferred parking
    · Early entry to stadium (30 minutes prior to general public)
    · One Luxury Suite night per seat purchased
    · Complimentary playoff tickets with multi-year agreement
    · Complimentary all-expenses paid Dodger Road Trip with multi-year agreement
    · Dugout Club VIP includes 2 suites per seat purchased

    VIP = $50,000 per seat, Full Season Multi = $30,000 per seat, Half Season = $20,000 per seat

    Or if you seek more value:


    · Exclusive access to BRAND NEW private, climate-controlled Baseline Box Clubs
    · Private four-person boxes located in the first two rows off the field
    · Unlimited access to complimentary high-end Wolfgang Puck buffet and Levy food items
    · Complimentary preferred parking
    · Early entry to stadium (30 minutes prior to general public)
    · Exclusive access to private seating area
    · Complimentary playoff tickets with multi-year agreement
    · Complimentary all-expenses paid Dodger Road Trip with multi-year agreement

    $80,000 Per 4 Person Box

    2008-02-21 11:50:48
    29.   Bob Timmermann
    The climate-controlled outdoor boxes bring up images of people sitting in small geodesic domes.
    2008-02-21 11:51:55
    30.   GobiasIndustries
    Wow, sorry. I thought I was gonna have a quick fix for you but what you describe sounds downright daffy.
    2008-02-21 11:56:32
    31.   MC Safety
    30 How despicable.
    2008-02-21 12:00:35
    32.   GobiasIndustries
    That made me laugh out loud. Coworkers are wondering what's up...
    2008-02-21 12:01:47
    33.   Dodgers49
    From Diamond Leung:

    >> Also caught up with Clayton Kershaw, who said he thought there was a chance he could have been in major league camp as a non-roster player. "I can control my own destiny," he said. "If I pitch well, I can force them to move me up." <<

    2008-02-21 12:04:26
    34.   Jon Weisman
    26 - Apparently, on some browsers, even if I open and close all my bold and italic (etc.) tags, if I don't do them in a certain order, it doesn't actually do the closing.

    Does the italic start at the very top of the post, or partway down?

    2008-02-21 12:09:27
    35.   ToyCannon
    Thanks, but I don't think I said anything that anyone who subjectively watched Bynum last Nov/Dec of 2006 couldn't figure out.
    2008-02-21 12:11:38
    36.   MollyKnight
    Since I'm a pessimist, and since Andruw Jones had such a terrible season last year, I haven't yet gotten my hopes up that he will get back to mashing the ball.

    But then thought crossed my mind that it could happen, and I allowed myself to get kind of giddy in my chair.

    It's back to my regular scowl now, obviously.

    2008-02-21 12:14:00
    37.   cargill06
    i can't believe i'd hint that i'd do dunn for ethier and penny, what was i thinking yesterday? sorry dt community
    2008-02-21 12:14:20
    38.   sporky
    I'm just giddy thinking about a full season of Loney + Kemp (and perhaps LaRoche).
    2008-02-21 12:14:45
    39.   Jon Weisman
    36 - And to think you thought Stanford would return to the Rose Bowl.

    By the way, Stanford will play Oregon State on national TV August 28. Should be huge ratings.

    Stanford has four home games remaining after that.

    2008-02-21 12:15:46
    40.   MC Safety
    34 The list and bullet points are italicized Jon, as well as all the comments.
    2008-02-21 12:17:56
    41.   old dodger fan
    38 I'm just giddy thinking about baseball season starting.
    Hopefully Laker Talk and Stanford talk will fade into the background and Martin, LaRoche, Kemp, Loney and Billingsley talk will replace them.
    2008-02-21 12:18:07
    42.   Dodgers49
    Brad Penny on Andruw Jones: :-)

    In center field, he's definitely the best in the business -- no offense to Juan Pierre."

    2008-02-21 12:20:51
    43.   StolenMonkey86
    42 - Presumably Penny thought Pierre was a defensive upgrade over Lofton last year, though.
    2008-02-21 12:21:48
    44.   GobiasIndustries
    I for one am super excited to see Jones at Dodger Stadium and have every expectation that he will hit the lights out of the ball. I don't think he has forgotten how to hit by any means. My hope is that not only will he mash like vintage Andruw, he will make pitchers throw hittable pitches to the guys hitting in front of him for fear of getting burned by the long ball. Then, in an ideal scenario, Martin doubles, Loney or Kemp walks and Andruw burns them with a 3 run dinger anyway!
    2008-02-21 12:23:48
    45.   Jon Weisman
    40 - Well, the list and bullet points are supposed to be italicized. I can't figure out why the comments are, though.
    2008-02-21 12:23:57
    46.   Eric Enders
    41 We would probably talk about Russell Martin more if he could do us the favor of sucking once in a while.

    I mean, what are we supposed to say? We can't complain about anything. We've already acknowledged that he's the Golden God and that he has the coolest middle name in the history of history. There just isn't a lot more to discuss.

    2008-02-21 12:24:49
    47.   MollyKnight
    39-I didn't become a pessimist until I started paying bills.

    In other news, I'm IMing with Diamond Leung, and he just called Clayton Kershaw "a really sweet kid. Super humble."


    2008-02-21 12:24:55
    48.   Bob Timmermann
    Continuing to Stanford Talk:
    From the L.A. Now blog at the LA Times:

    "Leland Stanford, a former California governor who made his fortune during the Gold Rush by selling equipment to the '49ers, founded the university after his 15-year-old son, also named Leland, died of typhoid fever at age 15 on a family trip to Europe. The morning after his son's death, Leland turned to his wife and declared: "The children of California will be our children.""

    Or at least the rich ones.

    2008-02-21 12:26:32
    49.   MC Safety
    44 I just want to see Andrew Jones hit a huge HR off Doug Davis. I'll be happy if thats all we get.
    2008-02-21 12:26:33
    50.   cargill06
    44 you think he still has a 40-50 hr year in him? i hope so.
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2008-02-21 12:27:24
    51.   MollyKnight
    Also of note: His wife Jane Stanford was murdered by poison, but that was covered up.
    2008-02-21 12:28:08
    52.   Eric Enders
    48 I thought the story was that he turned to his wife and said "I think all four of a horse's hooves leave the ground when it gallops."
    2008-02-21 12:28:35
    53.   Jon Weisman
    Congrats to ToyCannon for moonlighting at SportsHubLA.

    I did not put "cub" in the URL - tinyurl did.

    2008-02-21 12:28:57
    54.   MC Safety
    45 Yeah, I understand that. If this does anything the O'Malley link isnt as well as Juan Bell's link, but the Ducksnorts, Hardball Times, and free excerpt links are.
    2008-02-21 12:29:31
    55.   StolenMonkey86
    37 - As long as you're not Ned Colletti, you can say you'd like to do whatever you want.

    If you come into a position of power, though, don't try to scare me. That's all.

    2008-02-21 12:31:10
    56.   GobiasIndustries
    49 Why Doug Davis? Is there some significance there?

    50 I absolutely believe he still has that in him. Probably for a few more years. Hopefully 2 anyway!

    2008-02-21 12:32:43
    57.   Penarol1916
    28. I thought that hoi polloi meant the masses in the cheap seats, not the elite in their luxury boxes. Was I wrong all these years?
    2008-02-21 12:33:40
    58.   Dodgers49
    Joe Torre on Andruw Jones:

    Torre, however, said he's hopeful Jones remembers how to use the entire field while hitting because he's gotten "homer-conscious." And he said Jones reported to his first Dodgers camp "a bit" overweight, but "I don't think he's overweight to a point of a problem by the time we leave here."

    2008-02-21 12:35:30
    59.   MC Safety
    49 Doesn't he have like a 1.50 ERA career against the D's? It seems like he throws a shutout against us every time we face him.
    2008-02-21 12:36:37
    60.   Eric Enders
    Webster has two definitions of hoi polloi:
    1 : ordinary people : the general populace : MULTITUDE, MASSES
    2 : people of distinction or wealth or elevated social status : ELITE

    This is similar to Webster's two directly conflicting definitions of "literally":
    1 a : in the literal sense : without metaphor or exaggeration : EXPLICITLY
    2 : in effect : VIRTUALLY

    Yeah, thanks for nothing, Noah.

    2008-02-21 12:38:21
    61.   Eric Enders
    59 You underestimate Mr. Davis. He has a 1.04 career ERA against the Dodgers.
    2008-02-21 12:40:29
    62.   GobiasIndustries
    Wow. I too want to see homer conscious Jones go deep off of him now too.
    2008-02-21 12:43:37
    63.   Jon Weisman
    48 - That news is L.A. Now?
    2008-02-21 12:44:48
    64.   LAT
    58. Jones being a little overweight is more than a little disappointing.
    2008-02-21 12:44:48
    65.   Dodgers49
    53 I loved this one: :-)

    >> Matt Kemp is now ready to get advice on how to run the bases from the guy who made the biggest base running blunder in Dodger playoff history. <<

    2008-02-21 12:45:07
    66.   Sushirabbit
    Bill James Online apparently "open for business":

    2008-02-21 12:47:02
    67.   Bob Timmermann
    2008-02-21 12:47:04
    68.   Jon Weisman
    66 - for $3 per month.
    2008-02-21 12:47:50
    69.   cargill06
    64 after pics from the first dodger "mini-camp" i said he looked fat
    2008-02-21 12:50:25
    70.   Eric Enders
    I think Andruw's looked fat for a couple of years now. It hasn't seemed to affect his defense much. He's never been famous for his work ethic, of course, which is probably one reason nobody offered him a good long-term deal.
    2008-02-21 12:51:09
    71.   Jon Weisman
    67 - I see the connection.
    2008-02-21 12:53:55
    72.   Eric Enders
    From the link in 66 :

    "The five hottest hitters today are:
    James Loney 109°F
    Ryan Braun 101°F
    Brian Roberts 99°F
    Tony Graffanino 99°F
    Alex Rodriguez 96°F"

    I have no idea what that means. Is it worth $3 to find out?

    2008-02-21 12:54:40
    73.   Telemachos

    57 , 60 - "Hoi polloi", in the original Greek, most certainly means "the general people", sort of an epithet for "the great unwashed masses".

    2008-02-21 12:57:55
    74.   Andrew Shimmin
    72- The explanation is free.

    And, actually, while the rate is three bucks a month, it's billed quarterly, so you're out nine dollars up front.

    2008-02-21 12:58:32
    75.   Andrew Shimmin
    Somebody's got to bite the bullet and scout the place out for the rest of us. I nominate Bob.
    2008-02-21 12:59:36
    76.   ToyCannon
    The older he gets the more it will effect him. The man is getting 18 million to stay in shape year round. I don't see any excuse for a centerfielder to let himself get fat other then complacency about his year round job. It has bugged me for several years that he put on weight. Sure he is still a solid center fielder, but that is all these days, just solid. He used to be so much more.

    I remember getting so irritated when Tony Gwynn looked like he ate Miggy Cabrera. Sure he could still hit but his once superb defense became a joke.

    2008-02-21 12:59:55
    77.   Bob Timmermann
    If I nominated, I will not pay. If paid for by someone else, I will not read.
    2008-02-21 13:01:12
    78.   Jon Weisman
    72 - You can find out for free.

    Someone on BTF said: "I subscribed, and I'm glad I did. There are a lot of articles already on there, and I'll read anything Bill James writes, whether I agree with him or not. And most of the articles aren't short, either."

    2008-02-21 13:02:03
    79.   fanerman
    Eric Stephen, I have posted my predictions on TrueBlueLA.
    2008-02-21 13:03:26
    80.   GobiasIndustries
    Regarding Andruw Jones' weight:

    But there was something else, something he felt in his gut during the season: "I wasn't that strong."

    Told by Boras that he should lose weight to make himself more attractive on the free-agent market, Jones spent the winter leading up to the 2007 season lifting lighter weights and running more. He lost 15 pounds and reported to camp at 225.

    That Jones struck out 138 times wasn't a surprise; he has struck out at least 100 times every full season that he has played. But in previous years, when he whiffed on a pitch, he often felt that he would've crushed it over the wall had he made contact. Not last season.

    He dedicated this winter to rebuilding his strength and adding the 15 lost pounds, weight that he said won't affect his ability to play center field.

    "My whole career, I've known how to carry my weight," he said. "I know how to run balls down."*

    Taken from this article:

    2008-02-21 13:04:54
    81.   Dodgers49
    Kent makes grand spring entrance, possibly for last time as a Dodger

    >> Last year, he was the only consistent power source on a club that finished 15th in the National League in home runs. But since his arrival in 2005, Kent's range at second base has diminished precipitously, and his outspoken, often-prickly personality has at times made him a lightning rod for controversy.

    Perhaps more important, the Dodgers have a stable of promising young middle infielders - Tony Abreu, Chin-lung Hu, Ivan DeJesus and Preston Mattingly - who are already in the majors or within two or three years of being there. And if shortstop Rafael Furcal is re-signed this fall, that would further negate the need to hold on to Kent. <<

    2008-02-21 13:06:29
    82.   Jon Weisman
    More updates to this post above.
    2008-02-21 13:08:14
    83.   El Lay Dave
    From Josh Rawitch's blog:

    Tuesday intrasquad: Penny, Park, Kuo
    Wednesday simulated game: Lowe and Stults
    Thursday home opener: Billingsley and Jason Johnson
    Friday on ESPN: Kuroda and Loaiza

    2008-02-21 13:12:07
    84.   bhsportsguy
    Ah HSC. Those were the days.

    I subscribed because I have always enjoyed Bill James writing about baseball, has interesting take on Jeff Kent's chances on being named to the HOF.

    If there is something pertinent to post here I will do so, adhering of course to Jon's rules about posting subscribser content.

    2008-02-21 13:13:28
    85.   bhsportsguy
    81 Using Mattingly and promising in the same sentence is optimistic.
    2008-02-21 13:15:54
    86.   Dodgers49
    Furcal wants to return to catalyst role

    >> Joe Torre's New York Yankees teams knew how to work the count, forcing opposing pitchers out of games early and allowing the Yankees hitters to feast on mediocre middle relief.

    "Yeah, we were a pain in the (rear)," Torre said Tuesday.

    By contrast, these Dodgers have at least two established veterans with star power - second baseman Jeff Kent and third baseman Nomar Garciaparra - who are notorious early-count swingers.

    But Torre said he doesn't plan to force a different approach on anyone.

    "I never try to take away from the individual abilities of a player," Torre said. "I never try to hamstring them to the point of, `We want you to do this,' but I do want to plant a seed. No one wants to put themselves in a compromising position by falling behind in the count all the time, but if you regularly swing at the first pitch, a lot of times you won't get a first-pitch strike.

    "It's just about making people aware. But at the same time, I don't want to try to clone everybody and make us one-dimensional." <<

    2008-02-21 13:18:52
    87.   LogikReader

    I forgot all about that. Torre's Yankees were pretty good at extending the game by working the count. Just from that, one would expect Andy LaRoche to be a favorite of his.

    2008-02-21 13:21:11
    88.   Eric Stephen
    Last year, [Kent] was the only consistent power source on a club that finished 15th in the National League in home runs

    Kent had all of 20 HR, a whopping one more than Russell Martin.

    Also, since Kemp & Loney were called up in June:

    Loney - 15 HR
    Kent - 11
    Kemp - 10

    2008-02-21 13:22:27
    89.   Eric Enders
    85 Using "Mattingly" and "middle infielder" in the same sentence is probably also optimistic.
    2008-02-21 13:26:28
    90.   LogikReader
    Kent consistent; time to go to FJM
    2008-02-21 13:27:50
    91.   LogikReader
    What would happen if Joe Morgan really was fired? The whole premise of the FJM website would be ruined.
    2008-02-21 13:28:21
    92.   sporky
    To get ready for the new season, I got a custom #55 t-shirt. I didn't realize youths had such small heads.
    2008-02-21 13:30:17
    93.   Eric Stephen
    Same thing that happened to Steve when Jim Tracy's demise was met.
    2008-02-21 13:30:22
    94.   Dodgers49
    Parents of former Dodgers' publicity director know true meaning of freedom

    2008-02-21 13:31:08
    95.   Bob Timmermann
    Joe Morgan will never be fired unless they find him in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.
    2008-02-21 13:32:20
    96.   fanerman
    95 A dead boy is okay?
    2008-02-21 13:33:22
    97.   Bob Timmermann
    I guess nobody remembers Earl Long.
    2008-02-21 13:38:44
    98.   Andrew Shimmin
    92- Would Stanky Hanke loan you a sweater, if you asked for it?
    2008-02-21 13:44:05
    99.   sporky
    98 I would only ask for one if they were cashmere. For warmth.
    2008-02-21 13:45:07
    100.   Eric Stephen
    Ben Wallace and Wally Szczerbiak to the Cavs!

    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2008-02-21 13:46:20
    101.   trainwreck
    Cavs are really going to regret taking on those big contracts.
    2008-02-21 13:49:46
    102.   Eric Stephen
    Yeah, I was shocked at the headline and posted here before reading the story. Seems like Cleveland is trying to give the appearance they are trying, to appease (a) Lebron, and (b) their fans.
    2008-02-21 13:53:14
    103.   MC Safety
    61 46 points off! I strongly dislike Doug Davis, the guy throws like 84 mph.
    2008-02-21 13:54:05
    104.   fanerman
    Looks like a good deal for the Bulls and Sonics.
    2008-02-21 13:55:19
    105.   Dodgers49
    Tigers' Sheffield Rips Ex-Agent Boras

    My favorite quote from Sheffield: :-)

    >> "Actually, I'm not supposed to be talking about this at all," Sheffield said. "But, I am anyway." <<

    I guess this is why he doesn't like Boras. :-)

    ## Several months later, Sheffield signed with the Yankees and said he negotiated the contract with owner George Steinbrenner. Boras later filed paperwork requesting 5 percent of the $39 million deal. ##

    %% Sheffield said he is going to warn everybody about Boras when their dispute is resolved.
    "It's going to be the ugliest thing you've ever seen because certain people you don't mess with," he said. "And I guarantee you, I'm one of them." %%

    2008-02-21 13:56:46
    106.   SG6
    65 - JD Drew will be a consultant to Matt Kemp?
    2008-02-21 13:57:27
    107.   Bob Timmermann
    Doug Davis is the heir apparent to Steve Trachsel's role as "most exasperating starting pitcher to watch."

    Games started by Davis take forever.

    The only thing worse would be for Hideki Okajima to become a starter. You can go to the bathroom, then buy a hot dog, then rob an ice cream vendor, get arrested, get booked, get arraigned, get tried, serve 30 days in jail (there's overcrowding so you get out early), and Okajima still won't have thrown a pitch.

    Davis is the same except that you would need to get a suspended sentence.

    2008-02-21 13:58:06
    108.   MC Safety
    100 Hack-a-Wallace!
    2008-02-21 13:58:22
    109.   Bob Timmermann
    Kelvin Sampson, apparently getting ready to look for a new job.

    2008-02-21 14:02:58
    110.   paranoidandroid
    Very nice post on SportsHub Phil. Good job.

    Please, please, please and more please with cherries or whatever.... please refrain from ever bringing up the two guys out at home plate on a double off the wall with the bases loaded and nobody out play from the first game of the playoffs in '06. We all need to put this out of our memory. It still hits me in the gut. Please do not mention it anymore in DT or TrueBlue or even in my nightmares. Please?

    2008-02-21 14:04:23
    111.   Bob Timmermann
    To this day, I've still never seen video of that play.
    2008-02-21 14:07:33
    112.   fanerman
    111 I've never seen it either.
    2008-02-21 14:07:41
    113.   ToyCannon
    Should I talk about Jack Clark, Joe Morgan, or Ozzie Smith instead:)
    2008-02-21 14:09:46
    114.   ToyCannon
    Someone should be a beat writer for the Daily News who actually just likes to watch baseball and doesn't have young kids. Tony needs to be home with his kids.
    2008-02-21 14:11:14
    115.   Bob Timmermann
    I think I saw about five innings of the 2006 NLDS. Game 1 was played while I was at work. Game 2 was just about over when I got home from. And I was at a UCLA football game for Game 3.
    2008-02-21 14:12:05
    116.   paranoidandroid
    [111,112] If you ever see it, make sure your stomache is empty.

    113 "Damie, Damie, why do you do this to me Damie. It burns! It burns!"

    2008-02-21 14:15:46
    117.   MC Safety
    113 From what I've read that Ozzie Smith one was pretty hard to swallow.
    2008-02-21 14:17:37
    118.   paranoidandroid
    Whoops! I did a little Dan Quayle thing on stomach.

    I just read his autobiography. I especially like chapter twoe.

    2008-02-21 14:21:53
    119.   Sushirabbit
    Totally Off-topic, but I got to look at (ie not drive) an Audi R8 today. Very nice. Clearly Italian designed and the little Ferrari queues make for an interesting (hmmm) tension. I did not like the TT-esque baseball-glove-leather in it as it stuck out too much against the rest of the gray/silver/dark gray.
    2008-02-21 14:24:21
    120.   Jon Weisman
    Without peeking, guess the 2008 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice nominees for male athlete and female athlete.
    2008-02-21 14:26:15
    121.   trainwreck
    How many nominees are there?
    2008-02-21 14:28:55
    122.   Sam DC
    These negotiations had so little to do with anyone's ability to play basketball that the deal was finally settled by having Keith Van Horn—a forward who last played for the Mavs in 2006—come out of retirement to sign a new $4 million deal so he could be traded to New Jersey and not play for the Nets.

    Not to be contrary, but is this true?

    2008-02-21 14:29:23
    123.   Bob Timmermann
    Female Athlete of the Year:
    Marion Jones
    Martina Hingis

    Male Athlete of the Year:
    Barry Bonds
    Roger Clemens
    Pacman Jones

    2008-02-21 14:30:51
    124.   Bob Timmermann
    If you're acting contrary to article, then you're actually agreeing with the mainstream aren't you?

    I can't wait to buy my Aaron McKie Grizzlies jersey.

    So are the Grizzlies.

    2008-02-21 14:31:03
    125.   Sam DC
    120 Tiger Woods and Emily Hughes?
    2008-02-21 14:32:01
    126.   Sam DC
    Aaah nominees. Add Alex Rodriguez and Lebron James, and add Serena Williams and Hope Solo.
    2008-02-21 14:33:02
    127.   Bob Timmermann
    If my daughter were a topflight athlete and acted like Hope Solo did earlier this year, I would be very sad.
    2008-02-21 14:33:10
    128.   SG6
    111/112 - I was watching it live at work, along with a co-worker who is a HUGE Mets fan.

    Talk about going from elation to rock bottom in a blink of an eye.

    I got Kent, he had the green flag, and "should" have made it in but for a perfect ex-Dodger relay to the plate. However, JD Drew ran head down, ignoring Donnelley's stop sign. He then compounds things by stopping short of the plate, then continuing. He may have made it in if he didn't stop, as LoDuca was not expecting the "double surprise."

    2008-02-21 14:33:21
    129.   Bob Timmermann
    Actually back in 2007 for Hope Solo.
    2008-02-21 14:34:00
    130.   paranoidandroid

    Male: Winnie-the-Pooh

    Female: Hannah Montana

    2008-02-21 14:34:31
    131.   Sam DC
    Bob Timmermann: Hope Solo :: Bill Plaschke:Sasha Cohen?
    2008-02-21 14:35:17
    132.   Eric Enders
    Candace Parker, Maria Sharapova, Mia Hamm, Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Tom Brady
    2008-02-21 14:35:20
    133.   Eric Stephen
    Male: Shaun White, Tiger Woods

    Female: Candace Parker, Lindsey Jacobellis

    Just grasping at straws here.

    2008-02-21 14:36:40
    134.   Eric Enders
    Yikes, I did terrible. One right.

    Kids these days... I would have thought Candace Parker was a shoo-in.

    2008-02-21 14:37:52
    135.   wronghanded
    Lebron, A-Rod, Tiger, Brady

    Danicka Patrick, Candace Parker, Serena Williams, Michelle Wie

    2008-02-21 14:38:35
    136.   Bob Timmermann
    I'm glad I'm the Dodger Thoughts go to guy for analogies, but I think a lot of people were upset at Solo's reaction during the World Cup. The coach made a bad decision, but you don't go and throw your teammate under the bus after the match. A teammate who had done a lot for women's soccer.
    2008-02-21 14:39:19
    137.   Eric Stephen
    122 ,124
    I read that the NBA would have voided the Gasol deal if Aaron McKie didn't report to Memphis. He was working as an unpaid assistant coach in Philly since he was not officially "retired". McKie's agent suggested to the Lakers to include him in the deal to make the numbers work. Now, THAT'S an agent!

    Same thing with the Van Horn deal. The NBA approved it because Van Horn is at least making a cursory effort to join the Nets. I doubt he has any intention to play, but man, what a life. $4 million for nothing (and chicks for free).

    2008-02-21 14:40:16
    138.   Eric Enders
    136 So, then, Hope Solo:Soccer::Jeff Kent:Baseball ?
    2008-02-21 14:40:30
    139.   trainwreck
    Tom Brady
    Tiger Woods
    Shaun White or Ryan Sheckler
    Alex Rodriguez
    LeBron James

    Candace Parker
    Maria Sharapova
    Diana Taurasi
    Kimmie Meissner
    Natalie Gulbis

    2008-02-21 14:41:29
    140.   Eric Stephen
    I got one right too. Kids are dumb! :)
    2008-02-21 14:42:23
    141.   Bob Timmermann
    Hope Solo threw Briana Scurry under the bus and then came by her injured body and stole her wallet.

    Then she apologized on MySpace!

    2008-02-21 14:42:50
    142.   Sam DC
    136 I knew it was unfair upon posting.

    But I knew you would forgive me.

    I didn't love Hope's comments. But I am quick to forgive young people when they do stupid things.

    I did (and do) so many.

    2008-02-21 14:43:04
    143.   cargill06
    a few things on keith law's chat today got under my skin for some reason;

    Jamal(Cincinnati,Ohio): What do think of about Brandon Phillips? I think that he is the best second baseman in the majors. Am I wrong?

    Keith Law: Yes. You are wrong.

    it's an obvious ridicolous statement, but keith would it hurt to give him a few guys that are better and explain to him why he is wrong? you're answer didn't have to include the words "you are wrong." that just gives the impression that what you think is right when you're offering judgment.

    Tony, Chicago: Why is 'protection' a myth? You don't think pitchers pitch to someone differently depending on who is on deck and their reltive ability to drive in a runner?

    Keith Law: The studies I've seen on the subject show no significant difference in hitter performance based on the performance of the hitter behind him. (If someone has seen or written a study that contradicts this, send it along.) And the idea that a pitcher is going to throw a hitter more hittable pitches because he's scared of the guy on deck is, well, stupid.

    maybe this one hits closer to home because we've had this discussion. don't want to open up this discussion again, but many people including high ranking baseball minds would believe over the course of a season someones numbers would be signifigently higher if line, mendoza is hitting behind him compared to a-rod. again, it is giving the impression that just because you don't believe it that it is "stupid" for others to think that. again, it is coming across that he is the be all end all of discussion and many of his answers are kind of demeaning and give the impression he is talking down to some of his on-line questioners.

    2008-02-21 14:43:10
    144.   trainwreck
    Wow, I could not even get the right X-Gamer and I named two of them. Of course, that is non-sense since their choice is retired.
    2008-02-21 14:44:32
    145.   Bob Timmermann
    But wait, I still have more metaphors to describe the situation...
    2008-02-21 14:44:52
    146.   paranoidandroid
    I think Van Horn and McKie should at least be forced to be human coat racks. Or towel boys. Let them stand at the end of the bench with their arms outstretched and hang warm-ups on them.

    Those "trades" matching cap space are really getting a bit ridiculous.

    Seattle was just happy to get a bunch of expiring contracts today in exchange Wally S. It is a weird rule when you are happy that Kwame makes 9 mil and you get to have him on your team for a whole three months.

    2008-02-21 14:45:46
    147.   wronghanded
    140 I actually got 4 right, so I guess that makes me 1/2 dumb.
    2008-02-21 14:46:22
    148.   cargill06
    that just gives the impression that what you think is right when you're offering judgment.

    should read when you're just offering your judgement.

    2008-02-21 14:49:20
    149.   regfairfield
    Keith could have been less of a jerk about the Brandon Phillips thing, but the guy was wrong. Utley is easily the best offensive second baseman and arguably the best defensive one. Phillips "breakout" season involved a 105 OPS+.
    2008-02-21 14:49:26
    150.   paranoidandroid
    I'm leaving to go kiss my kids and then come back to work for a stupid school board meeting. I'm a union rep.

    Our board is approving lay-off letters for 29 teachers (I'm safe). We only have 99 teachers in our district. You'll see a big trend like this throughout the state. Labor law requires letters to go out by March 15th "if" there might be an elimination of a position. Our district is going overboard and throwing quite a few people and their families into a stressful chaos for the next six months.

    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2008-02-21 14:49:43
    151.   cargill06
    also from keith law's chat;

    Joe (New York): Keith, percentage chance that Chad Billingsley is more valuable than Brad Penny, this year?

    Keith Law: 25%. Penny produces a ton of value by pitching so well and throwing so many innings.

    it seems like that # should be higher, but i can't be right just ask keith

    2008-02-21 14:50:24
    152.   MC Safety
    Josh Fogg pulled a Jody Reed!
    2008-02-21 14:52:01
    153.   cargill06
    149 i agree with you i believe utley is the best 2b but he could've answered the question in a way that doesn't humilate the guy asking the question
    2008-02-21 14:58:53
    154.   ToyCannon
    Keith Law can easily get under your skin but when all is said and done he is my favorite ESPN baseball analyst.
    I'd rather have a beer with Rob Neyer who is a nice guy, but I'd rather have Law's opinion.
    When people say that Depodesta didn't have people skills I think of Keith Law.
    Law likes the Alton Brown so he has that going for him.

    Questions like the % question require crapshoot answers. He is looking at a queue of questions and doesn't have time to do a real analysis of the answer. Chats are fun but if your expecting detailed answers I think your looking in the wrong place.

    2008-02-21 14:59:13
    155.   Eric Enders
    153 While that's true, there's no getting around the fact that the guy asked a really stupid question.
    2008-02-21 15:02:24
    156.   Eric Stephen
    Law's blog has some great stuff in there. Good posts about baseball (including angry emails from ESPN readers), food, books, and movies.
    2008-02-21 15:05:31
    157.   sporky
    Gurnick's latest:

    >>Delwyn Young is still an outfielder, but the club has asked him to dust off his second baseman's glove.

    Young is taking ground balls in early work with the coaching staff before the day's regular practice begins. Young originally was a second baseman, but was moved to the outfield after leading the Minor Leagues twice in errors at the position.<<

    2008-02-21 15:05:45
    158.   cargill06
    155 well educate the guy why he is wrong, i'd like to believe that most baseball writers that like what they do would also like to consider themselves teachers. whenenver i had Q and A with my trig teacher and i get a question wrong he would never just say "you are wrong" and move on.

    jon always provides as many facts and numbers to back what he is saying and educate, i've learned a lot from him and i think he does q and a a lot better than law.

    2008-02-21 15:06:17
    159.   Marty
    Ryan Howard won his arbitration. He got $10,000,000
    2008-02-21 15:07:13
    160.   Eric Stephen
    Hopefully the Rockies will trade Franklin Morales for a Delino equivalent.

    Did Fogg turn down a sizable offer from the Rox?

    2008-02-21 15:07:47
    161.   cargill06
    158 and for someones "protection" theroy to just be dismissed as stupid is annoying also. but maybe that's because i asked what that guy asked word for word a week or so ago.
    2008-02-21 15:11:59
    162.   fanerman
    157 I had the impression that Young was so horrendously bad at 2B that he would make Kent (07 version) look like a gold glover. Was I wrong?
    2008-02-21 15:13:52
    163.   MC Safety
    160 He turned down a five million dollar deal and got one million from the Reds.
    2008-02-21 15:15:15
    164.   MC Safety
    161 It may be annoying, but so is your questioning of detailed studies to be quite honest.
    2008-02-21 15:22:48
    165.   cargill06
    164 well detailed studies suggest that we're enducing global warming is a myth and detailed studies that suggest we aren't.

    i don't want to get in the protection theroy we already discussed that a week or so ago and you already told me what you thought so no need for you tell me that i'm annoying. i have many choice thoughts about you that i never express because they're unnecisary so i'd appreciate the same.

    2008-02-21 15:22:50
    166.   Jon Weisman
    Here are the KCA nominees:

    Male athlete
    Tony Hawk
    Shaquille O'Neal
    Alex Rodriguez
    Tiger Woods

    Female athlete
    Cheryl Ford
    Danica Patrick
    Serena Williams
    Venus Williams

    I thought it was interesting that A-Rod was there, considering how many grown-ups have it in for him.

    2008-02-21 15:22:51
    167.   madmac
    164 that seems pretty out of line. It's ok to question something you don't understand or have difficulty believing. What's worse is to ignore the studies and write them off as false without trying to understand them. I don't hear him saying the studies are wrong and that's that.
    2008-02-21 15:23:45
    168.   sporky
    162 Nope.
    2008-02-21 15:24:07
    169.   MC Safety
    160 Ubaldo for Uggla?
    2008-02-21 15:29:35
    170.   Eric Stephen
    I screwed up the trade. The Rockies need to trade for a position they are replacing (Fogg:Reed) by giving up a top prospect. So they'd have to trade for an up and coming but ultimately disappointing pitcher.
    2008-02-21 15:34:15
    171.   Jon Weisman
    2008-02-21 15:35:22
    172.   MC Safety
    170 Stewart (?) for Cesar Carillo! I kid, I kid. I like Cesar.
    2008-02-21 15:36:27
    173.   cargill06
    jon, and other people on this site, i'm not trying to start trouble or tension, but it seems like i'm having to defend myself as i am being attacked by some other people.

    these comments i don't mind but i'm not just going to sit here and take personal attacks i am going to respond. i've been called a racist, bill plascke, joe morgan, annoying, and been accused of saying things i don't believe just to say them, and it does seem that other people on this site get treated with a lot more respect than me as i haven't heard any personal attacks upon any other commenter from another commenter other than directed towards me.

    like i said i'm not complaining about it i can take it but i'm going to be defensive and not going to take it and i apologize if the other bloggers have to deal with me even if it seems juvienille.

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