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About Jon
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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
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Looking Ahead at the NL West ... And More on Martin's Future
2008-02-26 07:28
by Jon Weisman

It's still February, which means that a lot could change - including some cobwebs shaking loose in my brain - but I offered some preliminary thoughts about the 2008 National League West in a discussion at Baseball Analysts.

Looks like the Dodgers might be underdogs this year: None of the four participants in the online chat picked them to win the division, though three (including myself) picked them to finish second.

  • The Dodgers' second intrasquad game will be live-blogged by Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise.

  • In recent days, Andrew Grant of True Blue L.A. has pointed out why Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard's $10 million arbitration award could cost the Dodgers significantly.

    There's no reason for Russell Martin, or any of our young players who are nearing arbitration, to accept a long term deal at any type of discount. Martin can easily point to Howard's deal and ask for $6 million or so in arbitration. With four years of arbitration coming up, how much does Martin stand to make for 2009-2012?

    After doing some research on arbitration award patterns, Grant finds that Martin could command annual salaries of $6 million, $10.1 million, $15.1 million and $18 million over the four seasons (2009-2012) before he becomes a free agent.

    This adds up to four years, $49.2 million. Still a very reasonable deal for one of the top players at his position, but compared to his peers he's getting massively overpaid. In those years, Brian McCann will get $24 million, while Joe Mauer, who has one more year of service time, will get $33 million in the last four years of his contract. Grady Sizemore, who I think we can agree is better than all of these guys, will get $20.7 million over a comparable timespan.

    All this adds up to is that Dodgers missed the boat in signing Martin to a long-term contract. Ned Colletti says he offered an extension that Martin's agent turned down but unless it was at least in the ballpark of Mauer's deal, he wasn't really trying. The Ryan Howard ruling gives Martin zero incentive to sign for any less than $40 million over the next five years, and he could probably ask for more. This is why you need to wrap up your young stars sooner, rather than later, because you never know when the Phillies will come along and ruin everything for everyone.

  • Long Beach Poly grad James McDonald, who might make his major league debut this season for the Dodgers, gets profiled by Tony Jackson of the Daily News.

  • "This kid could throw lights out this year and I won't touch him," Dodger assistant general manager Logan White said. "Just because of how it would look. I hope the kid does well. And hopefully the kid gets drafted. You want good for the kid." Find out more about the who (high school lefty Martin Villanueva) and why from Eric Sondheimer in the Times.

    Update: Leung reports that "Tony Abreu will be shut down for a few days due to discomfort with his surgically repaired abdomen."

  • Comments (294)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2008-02-26 07:56:25
    1.   MC Safety
    God bless Bobby Darwin.
    2008-02-26 08:44:02
    2.   Jon Weisman
    The game has started - click the link above.

    Tony Abreu has been shut down for a few days, Leung says.

    2008-02-26 08:46:45
    3.   cargill06
    pierre 1-2
    ethier 0-1

    so that's settled.

    2008-02-26 08:49:26
    4.   regfairfield
    2008-02-26 08:49:27
    5.   kngoworld
    Kemp strikes out swinging, bat flies into the stands.

    Don't get the Bison angry, you wont like the Bison when hes angry.

    2008-02-26 08:53:07
    6.   wireroom
    So today when I was on the subway ride to work, there was this guy with the "L.A." of the L.A. Dodgers logo tattooed on the side of his head. I was in wonderment. I wasn't sure what to think, although I thought to myself, "that guy really loves the Dodgers." I just wanted to share that with someone. Does anybody on here have a tattoo on their head of the Dodgers?
    2008-02-26 08:56:47
    7.   old dodger fan
    6 Redefines "Bobbelhead".
    2008-02-26 08:58:09
    8.   wireroom
    Yeah, he was all decked out in Dodger Blue too. Jacket and all. What a superfan.
    2008-02-26 09:03:21
    9.   DodgerBlueBruce
    6 Not on my head, my left arm has the Dodger script logo. Got it on my 40th birthday, some years ago. Still looks good.
    2008-02-26 09:06:00
    10.   silverwidow
    Orenduff is pitching like a beast!
    2008-02-26 09:06:11
    11.   kngoworld
    Jason Repko has hammered the ball in his first two ABs. Watch out A Jones!
    Doesn't it seem like Repko has amazing spring trainings every year?
    2008-02-26 09:09:11
    12.   Terry A
    11 - It's his training regimen. Leung notes Repko spends winters training in the home of Known Steroid User Marvin Benard.
    2008-02-26 09:09:23
    13.   old dodger fan
    11 Yeah, he starts well but then runs into a wall.
    2008-02-26 09:11:22
    14.   kinbote
    "Pierre singles past second" :)
    2008-02-26 09:12:19
    15.   ibleedbloo
    Martin HR the other way...I think he's playing to much, what is Torre thinking?
    2008-02-26 09:15:16
    16.   wireroom
    9 I always say I would only get a tattoo if it really meant something until the day I die. I never really thought about it, but I guess I will always be a Dodger fan.
    2008-02-26 09:15:22
    17.   MC Safety
    6 I think those are reserved for hardcore gang members.
    2008-02-26 09:17:29
    18.   wireroom
    17 Yeah, I figured as much when I saw his girlfriend or wife's name tattooed in cursive on his neck.
    2008-02-26 09:18:11
    19.   old dodger fan
    16 Were you a LA Rams fan?
    2008-02-26 09:19:11
    20.   DodgerBlueBruce
    16 Speaking of dying...Walter Alston's grandaughter is the local undertaker. She's a friend but has not seen the tattoo, yet.
    2008-02-26 09:19:48
    21.   cargill06
    pierre 2-3
    ethier 0-2

    it's really settled now.

    2008-02-26 09:20:05
    22.   Dark Horse
    11-I've really had enough of Jason Repko. It's irrational--it dates back to my dislike of him in '05--but I'd like to see him go. Although I suppose so long as Delwyn and LaRoche make the 25-man, I won't care so much.
    2008-02-26 09:21:05
    23.   cargill06
    pierre has a 1.000 ops can he keep it up until october????
    2008-02-26 09:22:37
    24.   Xeifrank
    Not too bad of a first outing for Guo. He did strike out two batters. A little wildness with the walk and the HBP. Sounds like Jones misplayed an easy fly ball to CF that lead to the run. Baby steps.
    vr, Xei
    2008-02-26 09:24:18
    25.   StolenMonkey86
    I see LA banking on Kim Ng being a better representative than Tal Smith. Plan B is Martin gets a $100 million contract before being eligible for free agency. Plan C is that one of the worst trades of the last decade is repeated.
    2008-02-26 09:24:44
    26.   underdog
    22 Because he keeps injuring himself and other players? I don't mind him so much; in fact, I'd rather he (or Delwyn) be our 4th OFer than youknowwho, because I think both of them are much more suited to the role than youwknowwho.
    2008-02-26 09:24:57
    27.   wireroom
    19 Yes, I was a Rams fan. I can't see the Dodgers ever leaving here though. Do you have a Rams tattoo?
    2008-02-26 09:26:33
    28.   underdog
    "Kemp homers to right-center after McDonald started him off with a nasty curvevball."


    McDonald's getting hit a bit hard but that's to be expected - nerves and so forth.

    2008-02-26 09:26:34
    29.   wireroom
    20 Interesting career choice for the granddaughter of MLB manager.
    2008-02-26 09:28:41
    30.   wireroom
    I am cool with Repko as long as he doesn't steam roll another valuable player.
    2008-02-26 09:29:37
    31.   kinbote
    Diamond Leung is fast becoming a favorite. What an excellent service to provide on a Tuesday morning in late February.
    2008-02-26 09:30:50
    32.   cargill06
    pierre and ethier now have matching 1.666 ops, what do we do now?????
    2008-02-26 09:31:17
    33.   Daniel Zappala
    Ethier homers off the roof in right. Take that, Juan Pierre?
    2008-02-26 09:33:08
    34.   Daniel Zappala
    Imagine JP is traded. Besides Young and Repko, who else do the Dodgers have that could realistically contribute as a fourth or fifth outfielder this year?
    2008-02-26 09:33:28
    35.   Daniel Zappala
    Imagine JP is traded. Besides Young and Repko, who else do the Dodgers have that could realistically contribute as a fourth or fifth outfielder this year, in case one of them is injured?
    2008-02-26 09:37:41
    36.   regfairfield
    35 We'd free up a spot on the 40 man, so we could use John-Ford Griffin or something, but that's a point I've been trying to make for a while, albeit to defend why there's no way we could possibly waive Young.
    2008-02-26 09:38:53
    37.   MC Safety
    26 I'll take Repko for that price over Pierre 7 days a week.

    33 Yes!

    35 John Ford Griffin.

    2008-02-26 09:40:02
    38.   Daniel Zappala
    36 Does it also mean there's no way the Dodgers would trade Pierre? I can see the point that it is better to keep Repko as the "6th outfielder" in the minors, in case of an injury to Pierre or Young. Unless someone else can play that role, I don't see trading Pierre unless it is for a AAA minor league outfielder would could play if necessary.
    2008-02-26 09:40:20
    39.   MC Safety
    2008-02-26 09:40:29
    40.   DodgerBlueBruce
    Her father (Walter's son-in-law) owns the business.
    2008-02-26 09:41:12
    41.   OhioBlues12
    Is Choo Freeman still in the organization?
    2008-02-26 09:41:41
    42.   regfairfield
    38 I've always just assumed that Pierre is completely untradeable, but yeah, we probably need him around for this season.
    2008-02-26 09:41:58
    43.   regfairfield
    41 No, we replaced him with Nook Logan.
    2008-02-26 09:44:07
    44.   regfairfield
    Looking at Griffin's numbers, Nook Logan or Anthony Raglani would probably be better.
    2008-02-26 09:47:24
    45.   Daniel Zappala
    Nook Logan can play CF. Excellent, then Pierre is tradeable, because we still have Repko and Logan as backup CFers.
    2008-02-26 09:49:16
    46.   MC Safety
    I see LaRoche is clogging up the bases again.
    2008-02-26 09:52:02
    47.   ToyCannon
    Is Andrew missing the point that the reason they sign long term deals is for protection and security from catastrophic injury? Sure Russ could sit around each year and win in arbitration but if he suffers a catastrophic injury in 2009 ala Ray Fosse or Jason Kendell he would just be a run of the mill catcher, instead of set for life by signing now at a discount to what he would receive in arbitration each year. He is a catcher and is just one collision away from double vision and concussions. Mike Matheny, Cory Koskie, and many other promising players were just toodling along when bamm. Now they are toast.
    2008-02-26 09:52:42
    48.   old dodger fan
    Nook Logan may be the only CFer in baseball worse than JP. Why is he here? To make JP look good?
    2008-02-26 09:53:21
    49.   Andrew Shimmin
    Last year, Colletti got a perfectly cromulant reserve outfielder in exchange for Elmer Dessens. Sixth string outfielders should not be so difficult to acquire that fear of losing one influences other transactions.

    There are plenty of fish that are bad at baseball in the sea.

    2008-02-26 09:54:34
    50.   regfairfield
    48 The Suns needed a center fielder.

    47 How many people get career ruining injuries a year? The argument "what if he gets hurt" can be used against doing anything, ever.

    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2008-02-26 09:55:06
    51.   old dodger fan
    Kenny Lofton is still looking for work.
    2008-02-26 09:56:00
    52.   Xeifrank
    47. That echoes my thoughts too. I think he will sign a long-term deal, he probably just feels the Dodgers are low balling him. Typical negotiating ploys going on.
    vr, Xei
    2008-02-26 09:58:48
    53.   underdog
    Break up Rick Asadoorian!
    2008-02-26 09:58:56
    54.   Xeifrank
    50. Yeah, chances are he won't suffer a crippling injury or have his skills diminish due to injury or other reason, but nonetheless the risk is there. A bird in the hand...
    vr, Xei
    2008-02-26 10:02:57
    55.   ToyCannon
    Not really, 99.9% of the population doesn't have to worry about a broken finger on every pitch, a 250 pound 1st baseman coming home who won't slide, or any number of things a professional baseball catcher has to worry about. The reason they don't have long peaks is because of the wear and tear on the position. Even a simple 1st baseman like Floyd had his career ruined on a simple play at 1st base. No need to take the chance when your still going to get millions. These guys don't sign long term deals for any other reason then the security it provides them.
    And any given year multiple players will suffer an injury that will negatively impact their career, not one or two.
    2008-02-26 10:02:57
    56.   GoBears
    What do you make of this quote from Torre in Diamond Leung's story about the 3rd base battle?

    "You got a better chance coming off the bench as a veteran player," Torre said. "You can slow the game down. Young players put more pressure on themselves. Nomar's experience certainly plays into this thing."

    Veterans "slow the game down." Maybe that's generally true, but has Torre ever seen Nomar play? The most notorious 1st pitch swinger in my lifetime?

    LaRoche, by contrast, is very patient. So if this is the reason that Torre starts LaRoche and "Olmedos" Nomar, then it's the wrong reason. Still, I hope he does it.

    2008-02-26 10:08:24
    57.   Xeifrank
    56. Maybe he was referring to all the batting glove adjustments. :)
    vr, Xei
    2008-02-26 10:08:53
    58.   MC Safety
    56 Completely uninformed. Ridiculous. Ignorant.
    2008-02-26 10:09:21
    59.   Branch Rickey

    I apologize If this video of the '86 Dodgers has already been posted. If it hasn't I REALLY apologize for directing you to it.

    2008-02-26 10:11:10
    60.   silverwidow
    LaRoche is a big-time walk machine. He should get around 100 every year in his prime.
    2008-02-26 10:12:27
    61.   Rob M
    Maybe someone posted this before - I'm not here everyday like most of the core crew - but it's pretty hilarious. 1986 Dodgers doing "The Baseball Boogie."
    2008-02-26 10:12:53
    62.   Rob M
    Whoops - just posted by Branch.
    2008-02-26 10:13:29
    63.   cargill06
    58 are you aware you're calling a hall of famer who has been in professional baseball as a manager and player for 45+ years, ridiculous and ignorant? doesn't seem to me torre is the one that is ridiculous and ignorant.
    2008-02-26 10:13:57
    64.   ToyCannon
    Maybe the career 367 batting average on the 1st pitch is what he's referring to. You do what works best for you and Nomar's best average other then 2-0 and 3-0 is on the 1st pitch.
    2008-02-26 10:14:40
    65.   cargill06
    63 and did you ever think maybe he is using that as a less ego damaging reason for nomar to be super utility guy?
    2008-02-26 10:15:16
    66.   Daniel Zappala
    56 I think by "slows the game down" he means the typical veteran cliche that they are accustomed to playing at the major league level, so the game comes "more slowly" to them. They are not anxious or pressing, they are calmly playing a game they've excelled at for many years.

    I don't necessarily agree with the reasoning this way either, I just don't think he meant "slows down" as in takes a lot of pitches.

    2008-02-26 10:16:13
    67.   Jon Weisman
    56, 58 - I think you guys are misreading that quote. It seems to be all about being used to pressure, not approach to taking pitches.

    59, 61 - That video has been posted about a half-dozen times now :)

    2008-02-26 10:19:13
    68.   Rob M
    67 That's why I wish the conversations here were laid out in searchable topic threads rather than in comment threads. I still love this place, but it's impossible to know what's going on unless you spend all of your time here. Have you given any thought to having a message board here rather than just the blog comments? Not sure if that would be hugely resource (or time) intensive for you or not.
    2008-02-26 10:22:55
    69.   ToyCannon
    Why do you not agree? Most of you would agree that whatever profession your in, that as you gather experience things that used to cause anxiety at work or life is replaced by the calm knowledge that you'e seen it all before and that solutions are at hand.

    I would not be surprised at all to find that pinchhitters less then 25 do not perform nearly as well as those who are greater then 25. A kid < 25 is always trying to impress because they are still searching for playing time. A veteran like a Dave Hansen knows his chance for a full time gig came and went so he can just concentrate on doing the job.

    2008-02-26 10:23:38
    70.   Branch Rickey
    67. Sorry, kinda figured. But what if you went your entire life and didn't see that? Couldn't risk it.
    2008-02-26 10:27:02
    71.   GIDP
    Ethier, 25, recalled how when he was one of three outfielders sharing the two corner outfield positions last season, a bad week could consist of not getting a hit in a couple of games. Failure could not be made up immediately.

    You wonder if they like you," Ethier said.

    Abreu, 23, also spent a significant portion of last season on the bench.

    "Psychologically, it's difficult because you've been playing every day for so many years," Abreu said. "When you're in the dugout for so long, you feel uncomfortable."

    It's not just old coaches who think this way.

    2008-02-26 10:31:19
    72.   Jon Weisman
    68 - I have, and ultimately, 1) it's not my decision to make, and 2) I personally find threaded message boards pretty unwieldy and unattractive.

    As for search, you can try the search box on the sidebar, since that picks up a lot of the comments. Also, you can just use control-F or command-F.

    Also, look at when the link you're passing along was posted and how prominently it was posted. For example, if you got it from Tony Jackson's blog, that means it's been up for more than 24 hours at a place a lot of DT readers go. (Putting aside the fact that Sons of Steve Garvey posted it months ago.)

    Just some tips to help ... ultimately, no harm done ... The only thing that tends to bug me is when people post links to things I've already mentioned in my main post.

    2008-02-26 10:31:40
    73.   Daniel Zappala
    69 I said I didn't necessarily agree. I love being equivocal. :-) I like your reasoning, but there are also cases where the kid < 25 is simply a better hitter than the veteran option, or where a kid does have the maturity or approach to handle pinch-hitting situations. I think what Torre said is what any manager would say, but I also think any manager will take it on a case-by-case basis.
    2008-02-26 10:34:09
    74.   ToyCannon
    Yao Ming done for year. Bummer for China.
    2008-02-26 10:35:12
    75.   bhsportsguy
    64 However, first pitch batting averages are going to be high for a lot of good hitters (unless you are Todd Zeille).

    Derek Jeter, for one, is hitting .372 in more at bats than Nomar.

    2008-02-26 10:36:00
    76.   bhsportsguy
    72 I actually like this format because message boards seem somewhat mysterious and when it is a long one, it is hard to follow along.
    2008-02-26 10:36:53
    77.   fanerman
    Just as the Rockets were heating up...
    2008-02-26 10:36:54
    78.   ToyCannon
    I dislike threaded message boards.
    2008-02-26 10:40:55
    79.   Jon Weisman
    76 - I just think the overall conversation tends to be more lively this way - I like the different topics mixing together.
    2008-02-26 10:41:43
    80.   fanerman
    I don't think there are enough comments for a threaded message board. It really only works well (at least I only like it) when there are literally hundreds of commenters online at any given time of day and there are dozens of topics to go through. If there's only a few topics, I find the topic-less format to be better. I also think it helps facilitate, as Kurt Helin at Forum Blue and Gold describes, "..the free-flowing, wide ranging discussions you see someplace like Dodger Thoughts."
    2008-02-26 10:42:38
    81.   Eric Stephen
    Mike Matheny, Cory Koskie, and many other promising players were just toodling along when bamm. Now they are toast

    I don't know if Koskie & Matheny are the best examples. Corey Koskie got hurt in his age 32 season, but he already signed a contract taking him through his first two FA years. He made $26.3m in his career (per

    Mike Matheny felt the effects of his concussions in his age 35 season, and made $18.7m in his career through 2006 (not sure how the final $4.25m of his contract with the Giants was handled.

    For Martin, he really only needs to worry about 2008. His 2009 contract, even if it's a one-year deal, is likely enough to set him for life (who couldn't parlay a $5m+ salary into a retirement fund?). Security would be nice, to be sure, but he can make quite a bit more going year to year.

    2008-02-26 10:43:25
    82.   MC Safety
    67 Nomar doesn't really fit a pinch hitting role well, making it even more out of the blue. So far Torre has made some ridiculous generalizations. The guy is a first pitch fastball hitter who played most of games in Fenway Park. I think it's a mistake to assume Nomar will be more successful/suited to be some super utility/pinch hitter. Working counts isn't really part of his game and never has been.
    2008-02-26 10:45:11
    83.   fanerman
    81 If Russell Martin is really a golden god and is made out of gold, shouldn't he need more than $5M to, I don't know, sustain himself?
    2008-02-26 10:46:46
    84.   Eric Stephen
    If he plays his cards right, he can secure half of Alyssa Milano's empire! :)
    2008-02-26 10:47:51
    85.   underdog
    I don't know if Torre articulated his reasoning in the best manner, but I agree with him overall - I'd rather have a veteran pinch hitter because they'll both press less in pressure situations and in general (LaRoche might be fine as a pinch hitter, but in general) be better about jumping right into the action after sitting around all game, and then have someone like LaRoche getting the playing time as a starter. Seems logical to me. At any rate, even if his reasoning was off, if it gets Nomar to be utility bench guy and LaRoche the starter, I'm all for it.
    2008-02-26 10:49:16
    86.   fanerman
    85 Can we also use that reasoning to make Pierre the outfield utility bench guy and Ethier the starter?
    2008-02-26 10:50:01
    87.   Jon Weisman
    82 - Why does a pinch-hitter have to take more pitches than a non-pinch hitter?

    In any case, we shouldn't get carried away by looking at this question backward. The point is not to find the best pinch-hitter. The point is to find the best third baseman. I think LaRoche would be a better third baseman than Nomar and a better pinch-hitter than Nomar - but LaRoche can only be one.

    2008-02-26 10:50:09
    88.   kinbote
    Jon, why did you have to give extra motivation to the Rockies by picking them 3rd in the NL West? ;)
    2008-02-26 10:50:17
    89.   MC Safety
    85 While Nomar is a veteran, he doesn't really have the makings of an ideal pinch hitter. Andy does but we need him to start, so it's sort of backwards. Don't tell that to Nomar though, he's won batting titles.
    2008-02-26 10:50:34
    90.   ToyCannon
    You think concussions only happen to older players?
    2008-02-26 10:50:38
    91.   silverwidow
    86 If Pierre had one year left on his deal, there's no way he'd start.
    2008-02-26 10:51:58
    92.   wireroom
    I think the advantage of having a veteran pinch hitter is that in a late game situation, a guy like Nomar may have faced the other teams top relievers and knows what kind of pitch sequences to expect along with the fact that he may feel more relaxed. Basically a Trevor Hoffman may feel very confident facing a young player rather than Nomar who he has faced many times before.
    2008-02-26 10:53:05
    93.   JoeyP
    47--I agree. Plus, it'd not be a wise move to invest so much money into such a physically demanding position (catcher), that will likely have diminishing results. If you want to tie up a young RF'er--great. But not with a catcher. Too much accumulated wear and tear.

    Plus, dont arbitrators look at what other players (of the same position) get? I dont think Ryan Howard getting 10 mils is that big of deal. Howard's a 1st basemen. These arbitrators arent looking at VORP, they are sitll looking at the traditional baseball stats to assess value across position. Plus years of service with regards to what other players (at the same position) were awarded.

    Its not a big deal not L-terming Martin.

    2008-02-26 10:55:55
    94.   Jon Weisman
    88 - If there was a way for me to avoid giving extra motivation to some teams, let me know.
    2008-02-26 10:56:13
    95.   wireroom
    You often hear guys postgame say things like, "so and so usually starts me off with a breaking ball away, so I was waiting on the fastball," or some such thing. A guy like Nomar has seen a lot pitchers and knows certain tendencies that you can only gain from years of playing.
    2008-02-26 10:58:37
    96.   Marty
    All right, here is something that bugs me. Why do people shorten already short words? Not to pick on JoeyP, he's just the last one to do it. Why would you shorten long-term to L-term? It just seems weird to me.

    I particularly hate it when Astros is shortened to 'Stros. You've saved one letter.


    2008-02-26 10:59:15
    97.   Eric Stephen
    No, they just happen. But:

    (a) I don't think concussions & long-term injuries are such an epidemic that every young star should sign a long term deal ASAP

    (b) It's not like we are looking at Matheny & Koskie -- who made a combined $40m+ in their careers -- as some tragic "what could have been" tale.

    2008-02-26 10:59:59
    98.   regfairfield
    93 When's the next time a player with comparable talent to Martin's will become avialable? The only catchers that are anywhere near him now are McCann, Mauer and Martinez and the soonest any of those guys will be available is 2011, which guarantees that Martin will be our man until then. If he isn't, we lose a ton of production, especially since there's about a four player gap between the elite and guys that are just terrible.

    There isn't going to be a substitute Russell Martin that comes along for a long time, so why not lock him up? It's not like I'm saying hold on to him until age 35, just keep him up until age 29 or 30.

    2008-02-26 11:00:02
    99.   Eric Stephen
    M'rty is 100% correct.
    2008-02-26 11:00:38
    100.   MC Safety
    87 I'm not saying they have to, but wouldn't that approach be ideal? But I agree it's a minor issue compared to who's starting.
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2008-02-26 11:01:06
    101.   fanerman
    I got a concussion a couple weeks ago when somebody crashed into me iceskating and I fell. Not cool.
    2008-02-26 11:01:49
    102.   underdog
    I was flipping through yet another baseball preview magazine in a bookstore last night - this one was Lindy's annual preview, and while I knew it wasn't worth buying, it seemed worth checking out. But separate from some other oddities and a few factual errors, one proclamation in the Dodgers' section stood out for me. Can anyone debunk this one? (Or maybe better to ask, can anyone not debunk this one...)

    Basically, in their listing of some of the Dodgers' top up and coming prospects, they had Ivan DeJesus Jr listed, and said he was the main sticking point in their talks with the A's about acquiring Dan Haren this winter. In other words, they wouldn't give up DeJesus so they didn't get Haren. This sounds about as goofy as that other preview's listing of Eric Cyr as one of the Dodgers top pitching prospects.

    Am I right in assuming that's goofy, or is there something I don't know here...?

    Doesn't anyone proof these baseball mags? They're rife with errors.

    2008-02-26 11:02:02
    103.   Eric Stephen
    93 ,98
    Plus, the Dodgers will save money by locking Martin up through his arb years, whether they buyout a FA year (or two) or not.

    Certainly, injury risk is a concern, but Martin's talent is so scarce that it is worth the risk.

    2008-02-26 11:03:11
    104.   Disabled List
    96 I particularly hate it when Astros is shortened to 'Stros. You've saved one letter.

    But you saved one syllable. That's why it's such an economical form of speech. "'Stros" has 50% fewer syllables than "Astros."

    I'm not sure what to tell you about "L-term."

    2008-02-26 11:03:21
    105.   wireroom
    87 For my money, I would rather see Laroche given the shot as starter and see Nomar as super utility guy because I would rather see him come off the bench late in a game to face the closer or set up man.
    2008-02-26 11:03:46
    106.   Marty
    My only concussion came in 4th grade. I was playing basketball and was running down the court looking backward for a pass when I ran head-first into the basket pole and knocked myself out. I came to in the nurse's office. That was a bad headache.
    2008-02-26 11:05:06
    107.   Jon Weisman
    102 - I think DeJesus is a legit prospect, though I don't know about him being a dealbreaker.

    106 - I got my only concussion when the drunk driver rear-ended us. I remember instantly dreaming that all my teeth had been knocked out.

    2008-02-26 11:07:06
    108.   JoeyP
    There isn't going to be a substitute Russell Martin that comes along for a long time, so why not lock him up?

    I agree that I want Martin on the team for as long as possible.

    However, as long as Martin is arbitration eligible--I consider that "locked up".

    2008-02-26 11:07:12
    109.   Penarol1916
    96. I suppose it's all part of this new-fangled texting generation. JoeyP has been fooling us all along, he's really a 13-year old girl posting from a pink, bejeweled cell phone.
    2008-02-26 11:08:43
    110.   kinbote
    102 I read that too and immediately dismissed it. I can hardly imagine Colletti saying to his inner circle, "I love Haren. He's a top pitcher with a great contract--BUT, this DeJesus kid is just too valuable to deal. Thanks but no thanks."
    2008-02-26 11:08:50
    111.   JoeyP
    Why would you shorten long-term to L-term?

    Seen too many L Word advertisements...and occasional episodes.

    2008-02-26 11:09:03
    112.   fanerman
    109 Why would a teenage girl be posting here? Shouldn't she be talking about Hannah Montana somewhere? JoeyP, care to enlighten us?
    2008-02-26 11:09:59
    113.   Jon Weisman
    Liz Smith has called for more montages during the Oscars.
    2008-02-26 11:10:00
    114.   ToyCannon
    Those players were off the top of my head while ignoring Fosse and Kendall. We always compare Martin to a young Kendall. The only difference was that Kendall suffered the injury which killed his career. My subjective opinion is that Baseball is littered with good young catchers who were brought back to the pack by injuries by the time they were 28. I'll do some research before I comment any further in case I'm way off base other then to say it was the reason that Biggio will be going into the HOF as a 2nd baseman not a catcher.
    2008-02-26 11:13:08
    115.   Rob M
    re: message boards, search, etc. Jon, I got that link in an email from a childhood friend so I thought it came via an obscure source. I've tried using the search before and had very little success. It's impossible to prevent some repeats so I know it doesn't matter anyways. Regarding message boards - I think there would be more active posters here if we had that format. As it is, discussions last as long as there is no new post from Jon. If you aren't here all day every day, you can't meaningfully add to the conversation. Ultimately, it's Jon's blog and it's a very successful one at that, but I find it hard to follow the comments in the current format, especially in the off-season when there's no game thread to occupy me while I watch or listen to the game. I do read every new post from Jon.
    2008-02-26 11:13:43
    116.   regfairfield
    108 So why not lock him up for less than he'll get in arbitration. I imagine just doubling his salary this year would give him some encouragement to save us some millions in the future.
    2008-02-26 11:13:46
    117.   ToyCannon
    I hope the Dodgers do value DeJesus, if they do it means they value a prospect with plate discipline. Other then LaRoche he probably has the best plate discipline in the organization. Given that his Dad was the anti-walk it is strange that is the best part of his game.
    2008-02-26 11:13:59
    118.   kinbote
    94 It was a lame attempt at a joke. I enjoyed the read.

    The more I study this offseason, the more I like COL, MIL, & ATL (with NY the wild card). I think the NL gets a bad rap. We will clearly be fortunate just to make the playoffs this year.

    2008-02-26 11:15:00
    119.   Terry A
    Hey, I've been looking everywhere for a copy of a video of the Dodgers from the mid or late 80s doing some sort of silly rap thing.

    Can anybody help a brother out?

    2008-02-26 11:16:21
    120.   Jon Weisman
    118 - No, I got you were joking :)
    2008-02-26 11:19:44
    121.   ToyCannon
    Per Rob Neyer Chat:
    Mark, Milwaukee: Brewers owner Mark Attanasio recently said in an interview that it may be cheaper to go year to year in arbitration with the young core of Brewers rather than ink them to long term deals too soon. Whats your take on that opinion?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Depends on each player and his agent.

    2008-02-26 11:21:51
    122.   silverwidow
    DeJesus was the dealbreaker for Blanton, not Haren.
    2008-02-26 11:24:10
    123.   GoBears
    Back to Nomar and slowing down (sorry - I was out walking the dog).

    I didn't mean to imply that pinch hitters need to take more pitches. And I'll grant that veterans will know more about most pitchers than kids. I understand what coaches mean when they say that the game "slows down" for veterans. It's largely about being able to anticipate what's going to happen rather than just react once it does. There's even a physiological aspect to it - the developement of neural nets that allow more experienced people to recognize situtations more quickly and accurately.

    BUT, we're talking about Nomar, and we're talking about hitting. No matter what people say about "situational hitting," it's not like reading defenses or running a fast break - judging the hitability of a pitched ball is pretty much an isolated act. I suppose the hitting equivalent of experience aiding recognition and informing performance would be about, as someone said above, knowing a pitcher's tendencies, and being able to anticipate a pitch sequence.

    Nomar rarely experiences "pitch sequences," except when watching his teammates hit. There is nothing about Nomar's approach as a hitter that looks anything like "slowing the game down." His approach (and I know this is an over-generalization) is to swing at the first pitch he sees. It doesn't really matter if he knows the pitcher works backwards, or is wild. See ball, swing at ball. That is the very behavior that would be called "impatience" in a younger player. And impatience is sort of the opposite of "not pressing" or "slowing the game down." Now, maybe Nomar doesn't swing from the heels at every kind of pitch. Maybe, in the sense of not trying to hit a 7-run HR with every swing, he evinces veteran savvy. But unless he has determined that most pitchers throw first pitch fastballs for strikes, such that expecting that from everyone is a good strategy, I don't see how Nomar, of all major league hitters, benefits from his own experience.

    I allowed in my original comment that Torre's generalization about vets vs. kids might be correct. I simply questioned its application to Nomar Garciaparra. He might be a good first-ball hitter, but I see no evidence that his experience translates into a more mature approach to hitting.

    2008-02-26 11:25:13
    124.   underdog
    107/117 - Oh yeah, I should've made it clear that I'm not dismissing DeJesus' potential at all, I hope they do keep him - except, in the case of being able to acquire a Dan Haren. Again, it's just that I cannot for the life of me seeing him as a deal-breaker. I like DeJesus, too, just not that much. I think that section was written by the Sun's Scott Templeton.
    2008-02-26 11:26:52
    125.   Kevin Lewis
    I liked Diamond's article on LaRoche and Nomar. I think the only way the team can really lose this year is if both of them tank. If LaRoche takes the job and does great, than Nomar will be a good bat off the bench. If Nomar starts hitting like he did in first half 2006, than it is a win for us. But if both of them put up sub par years, we will have a problem. I guess the big question is will Andy get a chance to go through a slump, so we can actually see how he does with regular playing time?
    2008-02-26 11:27:16
    126.   underdog
    122 That would make more sense, though still seems a little off. But that must have been what they meant.

    113 More montages!? Cripes, only if they bring Errol Morris back to do them.

    "Anything that we want to know
    From just a beginner to a pro,
    You need a montage (montage)
    Ooh it takes a montage (montage)...
    Always fade out in a montage,
    If you fade out
    It seem like more time has passed in a montage

    2008-02-26 11:27:33
    127.   Penarol1916
    112. If I could only figure out why, maybe I'd be able to get my daughter to post here rather than on the webkins site and club penguin. Of course, then this would turn into Taylor Swift thoughts, and I don't think anyone wants that.
    2008-02-26 11:30:36
    128.   MC Safety
    Neifi's back on a minor league deal to the Rox.

    How'd you like that one Marty.

    2008-02-26 11:31:03
    129.   Eric Stephen
    Kendall got hurt in 1999, his 1st arb-eligible year. However, he has played in 137 games or more in each of the last 8 seasons, missing only significant time in 1999 when his foot faced the wrong way. Did the injury really hurt him financially? After his final arb year (2001), he signed a 6/$60m contract, and even though he is a putrid hitter now he signed a $4.25m deal with Milwaukee for 2008. That will put his career earnings at $72.5m in total. His HOF chances took a hit with his injury, but his wallet did not.

    Fosse is a more legit example, having been hurt during his first full year (1970). Pete Rose may have sapped his power, but Fosse did amass over 1500 PA from 1971-1973, and was a part-timer for 4+ seasons after that. I don't know if it was all Pete Rose that curtailed his career and earning power.

    2008-02-26 11:31:09
    130.   Jon Weisman
    Rockies writers roundtable:

    2008-02-26 11:33:03
    131.   Jon Weisman
    130 - They really dismiss the Dodgers. I think I'm starting to get a complex.
    2008-02-26 11:33:41
    132.   Ken Noe
    Well, I bought my tickets for the June Saturday and Sunday games with the Angels today. Dodger fan since 1965 but my first home games!
    2008-02-26 11:36:01
    133.   wireroom
    123 Dude, sometimes you just have to walk the dogs.
    Anyway, my point with Nomar is that even though he does swing at a lot first pitches, and that can be frustrating, I have seen him wait for his pitch. That would indicate to me, that he may be familiar with certain pitchers. The two points you make about him not trying for 7 run homers and swinging from the heels is why I may take Nomar as a pinch hitter over a younger guy. He would know what type of pitch to look for to hit a sac fly the other way. In a late game situation, he would make the manager feel comfortable I would guess.
    2008-02-26 11:37:16
    134.   wireroom
    132 Did you just move to LA?
    2008-02-26 11:38:27
    135.   Xeifrank
    131. I think a lot of the Rockie fans/writers/bloggers what have you are riding the Rockie bandwagon a little too hard this spring. They are a good team and I wouldn't be surprised if they won the division (when was the last time they won the division?) this year. But I'd put them as either 3rd or 4th best in the division right now..., of course tightly packed.
    vr, Xei
    2008-02-26 11:38:37
    136.   Jon Weisman
    132 - Yea!
    2008-02-26 11:39:32
    137.   GoBears
    125. I liked Leung's article too. It was just that Torre quote that raised an eyebrow.

    And I agree with cargill in 65 that the correct interpretation (certainly the most optimistic one!) is that Torre was just trying to frame a demotion of Nomar to the bench as not a demotion - that he might be willing to start LaRoche at 3rd because the team NEEDS Nomar's PVL on the bench.

    If that is what Torre is up to, then good.

    It was just the weird juxtaposition of the two concepts "Nomar" and "slow down" that I thought was humorous. I was not the one who called it "Completely uninformed. Ridiculous. Ignorant."

    2008-02-26 11:41:43
    138.   Jon Weisman
    I know I have my blind spots. So maybe someone needs to explain to me why I should fear the San Diego rotation more than 40 percent of their games, or why I should ignore that Colorado has no hitting in center field, second base and catcher. Maybe I'm missing something.
    2008-02-26 11:44:26
    139.   Bob Timmermann
    I thought you just had color-blind spots. Forunately, the Rockies tend to wear just white or black.
    2008-02-26 11:45:44
    140.   silverwidow
    LaRoche dumped #10 in favor of his original #28.
    2008-02-26 11:46:28
    141.   Xeifrank
    138. You are not missing something, unless Mark Prior gets reincarnated.
    vr, Xei
    2008-02-26 11:46:45
    142.   Dark Horse
    138-I think dismissing the Dodgers is something of a sport for many people, so we shouldn't put too much weight on the fact when prognosticators do it. Upthread, there was the rather startling assertion from somewhere that our line-up was "old, flickering and in decline." Other than, y'know, one possible outfield spot and a penciled-in fifth starter, I can't even begin to figure where this could conceivably be the case.

    Anyway, it's a tough division, but the idea we won't compete not just within it but beyond seems risible to me, blind spots or no.

    2008-02-26 11:47:50
    143.   underdog
    I'm in sort of a nitpicky mood in general today. Maybe because I'm spending the workday editing a lot of other things. I had to inform the Daily News that the piece on McDonald was nice but they erred when they said McDonald pitched for their Columbus, Ohio farm team, when it was actually Columbus, Georgia. (They have more catfish in Georgia than they do in Ohio.) Does that make me a bad person? Stuff like that just bugs me sometimes more than others.
    2008-02-26 11:50:32
    144.   Ken Noe
    134 No, still in Alabama. I usually catch the Dodgers in Atlanta, but the wife has a conference in Anaheim that weekend, of all places, so I'm tagging along. I'm darned excited about it too.
    2008-02-26 11:50:35
    145.   wireroom
    142 I agree, I think a lot of folks like to dismiss the Dodgers due to the fact that they are in Los Angeles and that everyone who lives here is a phony.
    2008-02-26 11:51:17
    146.   Kevin Lewis

    That was a weird chat strung together. It sounds like they are dismissing the Dodgers, but then at the end, it is a "we'll see" mentality. I can relate to the "we'll see" because after the spiral down last year, who knows what will happen. We have so much potential, but it has not been the most stable years for the Dodgers. I am encouraged by the articles on Andre and Matt learning from Andruw.

    2008-02-26 11:52:20
    147.   wireroom
    144 Oh that's right, you were asking about freeway's and traffic before. If you take the 5 up to the park, leave early on Saturday. Saturday traffic can be worse than weekday traffic around here.
    2008-02-26 11:54:13
    148.   wireroom
    145 Let me make clear that I don't think everyone here is a phony, but that a common view on this area is that it is populated by phonies.
    2008-02-26 11:54:24
    149.   kinbote
    138 Re Colorado: In CF, Willy Taveras is the kind of complementary player that Juan Pierre was billed to be. The overall strength of their lineup--especially with Tulo moving to the #2 hole--should enable him to be, if not the best leadoff hitter in baseball, at least far from the worst.

    At 2b, they have several candidates. I think it's a healthy competition, with Lance Nix arguably the best fit there long-term. He supposedly plays excellent defense, and he would be joining a very solid group that should ease any pressure.

    Catcher--You may have a point!

    I think the overall message is that, while every team has weaknesses, Colorado's strengths [hitting & defense] are formidable. Truthfully, AZ, COL, & LA should probably all begin the season as co-favorites (and that might be charitable to our boys in blue).

    2008-02-26 11:58:15
    150.   MC Safety
    137 What is the point of the coddling? Nomar has been bad at hitting baseballs since the second half of 2006. Being a pinch hitter and having been there is not going to change the fact he's rapidly declining, and frankly, he's just not that good at hitting baseballs anymore.
    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2008-02-26 11:59:56
    151.   Xeifrank
    148. Yes, especially in the Bay Area and the Pacific NW. Well, that's where I've seen the hatred for anything LA the most. I had to convince them not to lump all of SoCal together with LA and to atleast have a somewhat open mind.
    vr, Xei
    2008-02-26 12:00:11
    152.   Kevin Lewis
    Just throwing this out there:

    Do we have any idea that Martin wants to stay a Dodger long term? It just seems with management changes and player turnover that the Dodgers are not representing a dynasty. I can only hope McCourt has the charm to help players want to stick around.

    2008-02-26 12:01:30
    153.   wireroom
    150 I think some people too quickly brand Nomar as a useless player with no value. I am glad that he is on the team still even though I want to see Laroche get a shot at starting 3rd.
    2008-02-26 12:01:42
    154.   Eric Enders
    I wonder if Rockies fans have some sort of psychological hangup about the Dodgers. For the first 15 years of their existence they get their face beaten in over and over by the Dodgers, then all of a sudden they sweep two straight series from L.A. in September and ride that to the World Series. It's like we're the big brother that they're gleeful to have escaped from the shadow of.
    2008-02-26 12:04:15
    155.   wireroom
    151 I would bet that most of the "phonies" are tranplants from those places anyway. That is my response whenever someone tries to tell me that.
    2008-02-26 12:04:43
    156.   Eric Stephen
    It's a smaller scale San Diego. Padres fans really have a complex about the Dodgers.
    2008-02-26 12:08:46
    157.   MC Safety
    155 What exactly is a "phonie"?
    2008-02-26 12:11:23
    158.   GoBears
    150. I don't disagree. If Nomar were to retire or be released tomorrow, I wouldn't mind one bit. I'd much rather see Abreu and Hu make the team, along with Young.

    But that has nothing to do with why I was bemused by the Torre quote. At some level, I don't care if Torre makes the right decision for the wrong reason, and I care even less if he does it for the right reason, but offers a nonsensical reason to the press. I just thought that this reason, applied to Nomar, was a laugher.

    2008-02-26 12:11:43
    159.   underdog
    I for one am perfectly happy if people are ignoring the Dodgers to start the season. If the Rockies' and their connected reporters want to dismiss the Dodgers, that's fine by me. The West is clearly the toughest division in the NL so it'll be a dogfight, between 3 or 4 talented and flawed teams. But I'm perfectly happy if people underestimate the Dodgers this year; beats the usual overestimation.
    2008-02-26 12:14:05
    160.   Daniel Zappala
    143 I appreciate your effort. Erroneous information can't be allowed to live online -- it pollutes the medium, making it harder to discern truth. Fight on.
    2008-02-26 12:15:49
    161.   Daniel Zappala
    I'm more optimistic about the Dodgers this year than any year in recent memory. I'm excited to take my kids to a game and tell them about all the great young players they're watching. I'm down for 100 wins right now.
    2008-02-26 12:17:07
    162.   wireroom
    157 My guess is that it means "fake." I may be spelling it wrong and it may not even be a word. I have just heard it said. I, for one, don't have a problem with them.
    2008-02-26 12:17:23
    163.   Bob Timmermann
    That is an appropriate and necessary correction to make.

    Just like it's different than saying you were sitting around drinking coffee when you were really sitting around drinking chocolate milk.

    2008-02-26 12:23:57
    164.   wireroom
    158 The year before last, the guy was the teams best power hitter and had some of the most important hits of the year. Defensively, he is still a fine player. I just think his value is still more than two young players who aren't even physically built to play anywhere but 2nd or short.
    2008-02-26 12:24:33
    165.   ToyCannon
    His splits don't indicate that he's a bad hitter. They indicate he was a bad hitter on the road, a good hitter at home and a decent hitter from the all-star game on. Even his best at home was a decline from his worse before but an 835 OPS in over 200 at bats is hardly what you make him out to be. We would be happy to see LaRoche post an OPS of 835 at home in his rookie season.
    Last year you started out saying he stunk from the all-star game on. Then by the all-star game you said he has stunk for a year. Then by the end of the year you said he has stunk for 1 1/2.
    I guess I have a different interpretation of what a 814 OPS in the 2nd half is.
    2008-02-26 12:41:44
    166.   MC Safety
    In 2007 he OPS'd .699. That's nearly 100 points below league average.
    2008-02-26 12:46:28
    167.   GoBears
    The year before last, the guy was the teams best power hitter

    Talk about damning with faint praise. And it's only barely true. He led the team in SLG among regulars (.505), but managed only 469 ABs in 122 games. Drew's SLG was .498, in 24 more games. So I'd say that Drew was a better power hitter (same rate of production but over longer period). FWIW, Saenz and Loney (281 combined ABs) both had higher SLGs (.564 and .559, respectively). And I'll not even mention Marlon Anderson. Oops.

    Defensively, he is still a fine player.


    I'll grant you that if he can stay healthy (huge "if") he can slap singles with the best of 'em. But his power is gone and defensively, he's a liability. Not Jeff-Kent bad, but not fine.

    2008-02-26 12:53:03
    168.   MC Safety
    162 Why perpetuate such pretentiousness?
    2008-02-26 13:01:12
    169.   ToyCannon
    Sure but if Andy LaRoche had struggled in the 1st half of 2007 and then did an adequate job after he settled in would you be quoting his full year numbers or the numbers that showed he was making progress. I'm just saying give Nomar the veteran the same latitude. No doubt he sucked in the 1st half, but all of that sucktitude was based on the fact he was the worse hitter in baseball on the road.
    Can you just discount what he did at home?

    I don't know what the problem was on the road, but I don't think the conclusion that Nomar is a bad hitter is the correct one. Something was going on, the split was historic.

    2008-02-26 13:04:56
    170.   ToyCannon
    Catchers who peaked with an OPS+ > 100 at age 26 or less and never hit that peak again are listed below. Santiago did break that high many years later but there was no doubt he went into a decline for many years after his debut season. Russell Martin can bet he's a HOF player and that he won't have a decline after his age 26 season peak but he would be betting against tough odds. Many of the players below were looked upon in their early years as players with excellent potential. Now quite of few of these guys were platoon players who just had a spike but there are enough John Stearns in the list that if I was Russel Martin I'd be signing a 5 year deal ASAP.
    Player OPS+ Age
    A.J. Pierzynski 115 26
    B.J. Surhoff 102 22
    Barry Foote 99 22
    Benito Santiago 111 22
    Bill Freehan 144 25
    Bill Freehan 145 26
    Brad Ausmus 104 26
    Brian Downing 105 23
    Brian McCann 143 22
    Butch Wynegar 109 20
    Carlton Fisk 162 24
    Charlie Moore 105 26
    Clay Dalrymple 121 25
    Dave Engle 116 26
    Dave Duncan 106 25
    Ed Bailey 143 25
    Ed Herrmann 104 25
    Ellie Rodriguez 123 26
    Frank House 101 25
    Fred Kendall 106 24
    Gus Triandos 121 25
    Jason Kendall 131 24
    Jerry Grote 113 25
    Jim Essian 121 26
    Jody Davis 114 26
    Joe Ferguson 135 26
    Joe Garagiola 114 26
    Joe Mauer 144 23
    Joe Torre 156 25
    John Stearns 111 25
    John Stearns 121 26
    Johnny Bench 166 24
    Johnny Romano 132 26
    Lance Parrish 135 26
    Mark Bailey 124 23
    Matt Nokes 133 23
    Mike Scioscia 135 26
    Milt May 114 23
    Randy Hundley 103 25
    Rich Gedman 126 25
    Terry Kennedy 130 26
    Terry Steinbach 120 25
    Thurman Munson 141 26
    Tim McCarver 136 25
    2008-02-26 13:06:50
    171.   MC Safety
    166 169 Is that how you trick yourself into believing Betemit for Proctor was a good move?
    2008-02-26 13:06:56
    172.   MC Safety
    166 169 Is that how you trick yourself into believing Betemit for Proctor was a good move?
    2008-02-26 13:12:42
    173.   MC Safety
    Sorry for the double post. And yes, that was a joke, albeit a bad one. ; )
    2008-02-26 13:13:26
    174.   old dodger fan
    170 I don't understand your list. Example: Joe Torre 156 25. Joe OPS+ed over 100 11 more times after his age 25 year (1966). He OPS+ed 171 in 1971. Are you putting him in that group because he moved to 3B? Help me out here.
    2008-02-26 13:15:53
    175.   JoeyP
    The overall strength of their lineup--especially with Tulo moving to the #2 hole--should enable him to be, if not the best leadoff hitter in baseball, at least far from the worst

    How does the rest of the Rockies lineup affect whether Wily Tavares is a good leadoff hitter or not?

    Or are you saying that having a good #2 hitter will make the #1 hitter better? I dont really believe that to be true.

    If Martin batted 2nd with Pierre 1st, I still think Pierre would OBP his normal .330, and OPS less than .700.
    Are their real arguments to be made for batting "protection? Always thought it was a myth.

    2008-02-26 13:19:07
    176.   wireroom
    167 I think he still is a good defensive player because he can play most of the infield and in the outfield. He proved his defense at first the year before last and He is athletic enough to excel at those positions when not injured. So that it my point of him being a valuable "super" utility guy. He just might be an excellent utility player if used in that role. He may stay fresh longer.
    Sorry for the delay in response, I had to go to lunch.
    2008-02-26 13:20:21
    177.   JoeyP
    170--One of the seasons that jumped out at me from that list:

    Mike Scioscia--.296/.407/.420 in 429Abs at age 26.

    Quite a remarkable season. People forget how good of bat he had at one time, when they only focus on his defense of his latter seasons. Of course, 1985 is a big outlier in his career.

    2008-02-26 13:23:28
    178.   LAT
    More bad news for Giants. Omar to have surgery. Keven Fransden to SS. Can a Crede deal be far behind?
    2008-02-26 13:24:09
    179.   ToyCannon
    That was his peak as a catcher. The list included all catcher seasons from 1947 where they played 100 games and caught at least 50% of them. Players like Bench, Torre, Freehan, Parrish, and Munson continued to have great seasons but they never reached the peak they hit at the age 26 or less as a catcher. If Russ thinks he's one of those guys then he can bide his time but he still has a lot work to do, to even sniff the greatness of those guys. As a catcher he should sign a long term deal. Going year to year to arbitration could pay off but why take a chance?
    2008-02-26 13:27:05
    180.   wireroom
    168 How am I perpetuating it? All I have said is that it is a misnomar (ha) that Los Angeles people are labeled as fakes or phonies.
    2008-02-26 13:31:23
    181.   Johnson
    Going back to that Rockies round table, I thought this was interesting:

    Ubaldo Jimenez and Aaron Cook in the rotation are the keys. If those guys together can win 35 games, they get in.

    I'll take the under. That's 17.5 wins per. Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez would have a lot of trouble winning 18 games for the Yankees or the Red Sox. For the Rockies?

    2008-02-26 13:34:23
    182.   underdog
    178 The user comments under the SFGate article on Vizquel's injury are pretty amusing, some of them even intentionally so.

    "Way to 'get younger' Sabes!"

    2008-02-26 13:40:05
    183.   Jon Weisman
    Chad Hermansen reviewed:

    2008-02-26 13:41:39
    184.   bhsportsguy
    Is Prince Fielder heading toward's a Ryan Howard payday, hint, his agent, Scott Boras.

    2008-02-26 13:44:50
    185.   Bluebleeder87
    I liked TC's (64) comment but some patiens from him would be nice...
    2008-02-26 13:45:21
    186.   old dodger fan
    It's awful hard to put a baseball team together.

    Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Scott Kazmir missed a scheduled intrasquad game appearance Tuesday after feeling discomfort in his elbow on his final warmup pitch.

    He threw three warmup pitches before leaving the mound and walking to the clubhouse for tests.

    2008-02-26 13:46:30
    187.   wireroom
    183 I was confused at first because he writes that the guy was drafted in 2005 but then relates his playing years to the 1990s.
    2008-02-26 13:48:25
    188.   wireroom
    186 Yeah, I hated reading that. I am also bummed for Yao even though I am a Lakers fan.
    2008-02-26 13:49:15
    189.   Bob Timmermann
    Hermansen was drafted in 1995. It was just a typo.

    An unusual one.

    2008-02-26 13:53:42
    190.   MC Safety
    180 You said you bet those "phonies" were from the places xeifrank mentioned. That means you acknowledge the existence of said phonies.
    2008-02-26 13:53:47
    191.   old dodger fan
    Yao has always seemed fragile to me. I hope it makes it back next year healthy and the Rockets lose to the Lakers in the West finals.
    2008-02-26 13:58:31
    192.   wireroom
    190 Ah, gotcha. It is just my way of combating people from other places that badmouth my hometown. They usually say, "oh I didn't think of that."
    2008-02-26 14:10:08
    193.   Eric Enders
    Don't all the defensive metrics pretty much show Nomar to be below average at both first and third base? I have a really hard time buying into the notion that he's a good defensive player. To my eyes, he looked inept at both first and third last year. He definitely cost us an early-season game in San Diego with his glove.

    Whatever defensive value he has would come from his versatility -- that is, his presumed ability to play below average but possibly acceptable defense at a number of positions.

    2008-02-26 14:10:43
    194.   MC Safety
    192 When I was just in Europe over the summer, I met tons of people who have been to the US, just not one that had been to LA. New York and Miami seemed to be the Euro hot spots, with one mention of St. Louis. The flight is wicked was a common excuse.
    2008-02-26 14:11:33
    195.   MC Safety
    2008-02-26 14:15:52
    196.   regfairfield
    193 A more accurate term would be "below average to laughable". The guy is completely incompetent defensively and offensively now. He can get you a lot of singles, and that might help out from the bench, but that's about it.
    2008-02-26 14:19:25
    197.   Eric Enders
    When you think about it, Nomar is almost the same ballplayer as Olmedo Saenz: A formerly outstanding hitter whose recent performances might lead one to the conclusion that he's done, but who still might make a comeback. A guy who's injury prone, and a poor defender who can stand near first or third base.
    2008-02-26 14:21:29
    198.   Humma Kavula
    I believe that this is the game Eric is talking about in 193 , and I remember it too:

    That's SFW -- it links to the P-E.

    This is the game where Nomar inexplicably refused to feed Broxton.

    2008-02-26 14:22:10
    199.   Eric Enders
    Also, both are free-swinging right-handed hitters who now display an extremely noticeable inability to catch up to the fastballs they once crushed.
    2008-02-26 14:23:47
    200.   regfairfield
    Nomar's rank in various metrics at first last year

    +/-: 2nd to last, this is a cumulative stat so that's really hard to do in half a season

    RZR: 5th to last, interestingly just behind Loney

    PMR: 2nd to last

    Show/Hide Comments 201-250
    2008-02-26 14:29:27
    201.   Jon Weisman
    196 - He's not Butch Hobsonesque, is he? More like Pedro Guerreroesque?
    2008-02-26 14:29:30
    202.   underdog
    I guess I still kind of like Nomar - albeit as a bench player, I really don't want him starting - and if he's done, he's done. But I don't have much interest in bashing him either. He's not the defender he once was, and he may never have been great, he's not the hitter he once was, that's true, too. Whether he's done, or "incompetent" seems up for debate. I have a bit more faith in him as a role player than I did with Saenz last year, but within a month it may be clear that he can't do any better than Saenz, in which case, time to move on.
    2008-02-26 14:30:49
    203.   Gen3Blue
    Now I think you guys are being a bit hard on Nomar's defense. That said, any normal team needing a third baseman for the future, and having someone with with Laroche's record through the minors, would play him, knowing that even in a slump, he would get on base. Throughout the minors, he never failed to get on track and begin hitting nearly ten homers a month in the summer. Come on, what more do you want?
    2008-02-26 14:42:57
    204.   wireroom
    200 How did he rank defensively in 2006?
    2008-02-26 14:44:36
    205.   bhsportsguy
    Today's Bill James Stat of the Day.

    Matt Kemp had a .442 average in 2007 whenever he put the ball in play (BIP) last year.

    But the remarkable stat was whenever he hit a groundball he had the same average.

    104 AB; 58 Outs; 46 Hits; .442 Avg.

    I don't know if there is a list of the highest average in that situation and over 100 at bats but I have to believe that is one of the highest in baseball.

    2008-02-26 14:44:50
    206.   regfairfield
    204 Much better. From above average to great in most metrics. Everything about Nomar collapsed last year.
    2008-02-26 14:47:10
    207.   Eric Enders
    Nomar's defense was equally poor in 2006 according to Clay Davenport's system at Baseball Prospectus.
    2008-02-26 14:48:13
    208.   regfairfield
    205 While that's high, you should actually have a higher average on ground balls than on fly balls, unless you have a ton of home runs.
    2008-02-26 14:48:16
    209.   Gen3Blue
    200 Interesting, for comparing with what my eyes saw, it casts some doubt on RZR. Of course it is quite possible as a fan, I saw Loney's potential on some very good plays, and ignored his ocassional rookie mistakes.
    2008-02-26 14:49:00
    210.   wireroom
    206 That is why I don't completely disregard him yet. I think he is worth a shot at the type of player that Colletti and Torre are hoping that he can be this year. If he flops, then there are other guys that can fill in, possibly, in the minors.
    2008-02-26 14:54:16
    211.   Eric Enders
    Win Shares in 2006 rated Nomar 12th out of 41 NL first basemen. I can't tell about 2007 because the Hardball Times only gives one combined defensive Win Shares number for guys who play multiple positions, which is a pretty useless way to do it.
    2008-02-26 14:56:58
    212.   bhsportsguy
    208 Just looking at some of the other batting leaders, Kemp's groundball average is generally 100-120 points higher than those players.

    I know he had some "leg hits" but it did seem like last year he was hitting hard groundballs all the time that if the infielder wasn't positioned in the right place, he had no chance to get there.

    2008-02-26 14:57:03
    213.   Eric Enders
    209 Not that errors mean all that much, but Loney did have the second-worst fielding percentage in the NL after Conor Jackson. I don't expect that to continue.
    2008-02-26 15:06:45
    214.   bhsportsguy
    Not that there was a chance that they were same person but its clear now that Bob is not Bill Plaschke.

    From his LA Times chat.

    Bill Plaschke: my favorite city is st. louis. great hospitality, and there's the best old-man bar in the world

    2008-02-26 15:10:59
    215.   Jon Weisman
    214 - Plaschke implies in that chat that campfire stories are told in one-sentence paragraphs.
    2008-02-26 15:14:08
    216.   ToyCannon
    Is it possible to do a search on baseball reference of players less then 35 but older then 30 who collapsed by over 40 points in OPS+ from the year before and then bounced back like a Mike Lowell without having to eyeball it?
    2008-02-26 15:16:35
    217.   ToyCannon
    Loney seemed to lack focus at times last year on the defensive end during the beginning of his reign. I remember one game where he took the cutoff turned and unleashed a Garvey to home. By the end of the year he looked defensively like the guy we heard was gold glove caliber.
    2008-02-26 15:18:24
    218.   silverwidow
    Ethier, who spent time in right and left field last year, doesn't seem too thrilled about the competition.

    "I could care less," he said unconvincingly. "I'm here playing. Day-to-day I'm going to show up and do whatever they tell me to do and do it to the best of my ability."

    2008-02-26 15:19:55
    219.   silverwidow
    I told you guys Ethier wanted out...
    2008-02-26 15:20:22
    220.   underdog
    What's an old-man bar?

    Is that where bitter journalists who can't embrace young baseball players go to forget their troubles?

    In single paragraph form?

    And drink a lot.

    2008-02-26 15:21:01
    221.   trainwreck
    I don't blame Andre for his feelings, just like I did not blame Loney for his feelings last spring.
    2008-02-26 15:21:06
    222.   Eric Enders
    Ethier does sometimes seem like the type who is easily discouraged and a little too sulky. On the other hand, this is shaping up to be the third consecutive year he's lost playing time to an inferior player. (Not that I blame Grady for riding Marlon Anderson's hot streak.)
    2008-02-26 15:21:48
    223.   underdog
    Single sentence paragraph form.

    That should read.


    218/219 - You seem to be reading your own suspicions into Ethier's quote there. They don't quite mesh for me.

    2008-02-26 15:23:19
    224.   fanerman
    From 218
    "Meanwhile, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier appear to be battling for the right-field spot. Both played the position on opposing teams Tuesday and both homered in the fifth inning.

    Torre said he didn't purposely set Ethier and Kemp up against each other, but he assumes everyone is trying to win a job."

    I hope Joe's telling the truth. I guess. Yuck.

    2008-02-26 15:23:52
    225.   silverwidow
    223 C'mon, if that's not a disgruntled player, I don't know what is.
    2008-02-26 15:25:33
    226.   Bob Timmermann
    St. Louis hospitality:

    "Why in the world did you come here????"
    "Thank you for actually spending money in our city!"
    "It's nicer than Kansas City! Isn't it?"

    2008-02-26 15:27:05
    227.   bhsportsguy
    224 Again, I wouldn't read into these lineups right now.

    I do think that Kemp's tools are so good that it is going to be hard not to play him in right (Torre has already raved about it and Kemp has been working with Jones in the outfield).

    More wrong than right but Ethier is going to have show Torre why he should play in front of Pierre, Juan probably doesn't even need to play really well this spring, Ethier is going to have to take the job. (And yes, I remember what Jon wrote about this situation).

    2008-02-26 15:27:13
    228.   Jon Weisman
    224 - Would it have mattered if it had been Jones and Pierre on one team, and Kemp and Ethier on the other?
    2008-02-26 15:28:37
    229.   bhsportsguy
    225 Than Juan Pierre is disgruntled too.

    226 Kansas City, Kansas or Missouri?

    2008-02-26 15:34:03
    230.   Marty
    I'm disgruntled if we hand left field to LOOGY.
    2008-02-26 15:36:05
    231.   Branch Rickey
    For over a year now I have been stating that Ethier is too easily discouraged. I really believe it sometimes hampers his ability. That said, I don't think his quote is particularly bad or sulky or sounds like it's affecting him... yet. I do continue to believe that the Dodgers would move him if they thought they could get value. And his attitude is a big part of the reason.
    2008-02-26 15:36:06
    232.   cargill06
    218 i don't see the coralation between that article and that ethier wants to be traded.
    2008-02-26 15:36:14
    233.   Gen3Blue
    213 Exactly the kind of thing I mean.
    2008-02-26 15:37:32
    234.   Bob Timmermann
    Just about everything is nicer than Kansas City, Kansas.

    At least in Kansas City, Missouri things have been updated recently.

    2008-02-26 15:37:49
    235.   Jon Weisman
    227 - Oh, I wouldn't argue against you on that. It's not as if Torre reads DT. Pierre is the incumbent, and Ethier needs to show Torre something. But then again, there is the possibility that Ethier will show Torre something. And if that encourages Torre to see the comparisons between the two in a new light ... that's why I think a change could occur.

    If Ethier needs to be told that it is possible to beat out Pierre, I do hope someone tells him so.

    2008-02-26 15:40:49
    236.   Eric Enders
    234 "Just about everything is nicer than Kansas City, Kansas"

    Except, of course, for its counterpart, East St. Louis.

    2008-02-26 15:40:59
    237.   silverwidow
    232 There's a small interview on where Ethier hints that he isn't happy. And now this quote just backs it up.
    2008-02-26 15:41:55
    238.   bhsportsguy
    235 At least Ned hinted to that and Joe (if I can call them Ned and Joe) has talked a lot about vets handling bench better than young players, etc.
    2008-02-26 15:42:58
    239.   Eric Enders
    231 "the Dodgers would move him if they thought they could get value. And his attitude is a big part of the reason."

    Sort of a chicken-egg thing there. Are the Dodgers open to getting rid of him because he has a questionable attitude, or does he have a quesitonable attitude because the Dodgers are open to getting rid of him?

    2008-02-26 15:43:18
    240.   Jim Hitchcock
    "It's nicer than Kansas City! Isn't it?"

    Well, it's got better riverboats, but KC may have the edge in BBQ.

    2008-02-26 15:44:06
    241.   ToyCannon
    In the end it won't matter. The earth will be eaten by the sun in a few billion years and everything we do now and in the future will become moot. I shouldn't have read the new cardboard gods series today.
    2008-02-26 15:44:55
    242.   cargill06
    237 if that's the case, than i back what the late great branch rickey is saying, stop being a baby and deal with it, you're helping no one (including yourself by sulking) if you're good your day will come whether it is in a dodger unifor or not. and it comes down that you're being paid millions of dollars (soon enough) to play a game.
    2008-02-26 15:46:30
    243.   regfairfield
    242 He'll get paid millions of dollars...unless he gets buried on the bench.
    2008-02-26 15:47:16
    244.   Branch Rickey
    239. It's the egg. He's got the talent. Everybody has slumps and when they're young they get sat down. Most don't start whining that they don't belong on the team and that they want/expect a trade. It's been a repeating pattern and I believe the Dodgers are worried about it.
    2008-02-26 15:47:40
    245.   Gen3Blue
    I think Ethier is very rationally in despair.

    I will hate to see him go, but if he isn't playing at the deadline, we may get value for him at the deadline if there are a few close races.

    2008-02-26 15:48:29
    246.   Jon Weisman
    I'm still not quite getting the relevance of Ethier being unhappy. Does that mean he's going to try less hard? That his performance will decline?

    I wouldn't be happy if I were in his shoes. Would you? Maybe I'd be more confident (then again, maybe I wouldn't). But in the end, I'd still be trying my best. So what exactly does it matter?

    2008-02-26 15:48:52
    247.   silverwidow
    I hope Ethier doesn't go all "Joel Guzman" on us.
    2008-02-26 15:49:37
    248.   Branch Rickey
    The anti-Pierre sentiment had definitely worked it's way into the clubhouse by mid/late last season. The same sort of mocking jokes that are made here were made by at least coaches and staff if not players (and I really assume players too). True, there's a new manager and coaches but I really believe that Ned is the last one standing behind JP. I'd bet that he has asked Torre to keep an open mind but I don't think anyone but Ned wants him to start. We'll see if that's enough.
    2008-02-26 15:49:51
    249.   Gen3Blue
    Could there possibly be a reason why good young Dodger players seem to get discouraged quite often.
    2008-02-26 15:51:44
    250.   trainwreck
    They mocked him yet they continued to play him everyday.
    Show/Hide Comments 251-300
    2008-02-26 15:52:07
    251.   cargill06
    246 negative vibes do no one any good. a bitter attitude can really change your preformance, it did for me.
    2008-02-26 15:52:26
    252.   bhsportsguy
    248 Was it why can't Juan sit once in a while like the rest of us (outfielders) or was it more than that?
    2008-02-26 15:53:29
    253.   Branch Rickey
    246. I think the impression is that he doesn't get mad, he gets defeated. And when that happens, he doesn't perform very well. Sep '07 is the best example- the belief is that he spiraled into a slump for mental reasons. I'm not 100% sure I believe it but I think that's the impression the organization has. Also, complaining youngsters are rarely tolerated unless they kick butt. Again, not necessarily agreeing with it, but I think that's how it is.
    2008-02-26 15:53:33
    254.   cargill06
    251 i believe there is a difference between being bitter and being out to prove everyone wrong. the latter could be very useful to an athlete.
    2008-02-26 15:53:46
    255.   Eric Enders
    246 Just anecdotally, it does seem like Ethier, more than most, is the kind of guy who will let his downcast emotions affect his performance. That certainly seemed to be the case in 2006, although I suppose it could have been a coincidence of timing.
    2008-02-26 15:53:57
    256.   bhsportsguy
    250 What's your prediction about UCLA's last four regular season games?
    2008-02-26 15:54:31
    257.   trainwreck
    2008-02-26 15:55:28
    258.   Branch Rickey
    250/252. Only Grady made out the lineup card. And Grady works for Ned. As he found out.
    2008-02-26 15:56:07
    259.   bhsportsguy
    257 Remember who runs this site.

    But I don't see them losing either short of something happening to one of the starting 5.

    2008-02-26 15:57:36
    260.   trainwreck
    So Ned is like Billy Beane's (hairier and fatter) evil twin?
    2008-02-26 15:57:49
    261.   bhsportsguy
    258 One complaint (that I recall reading) was that no one knew why the lineups were being made out on a certain day.

    Torre has already said that he will explain his decisions to his players (though he cited that in the old days, players just dealt with it).

    2008-02-26 15:58:08
    262.   Gen3Blue
    Ethier is probably good enough to play on a play-off team, so its kind of hard to be down on him if he is discouraged for not having a chance. Of course he should wait a bit longer to see, but he has waited a while.
    2008-02-26 15:58:45
    263.   Jon Weisman
    253 - We're talking about two different things. You're talking about how the organization will react to his demeanor. I guess that's relevant, but I'm talking about whether Ethier can win this job or not.

    I don't see any proof that his lack of confidence affects his performance. It's been well-documented that he had health issues at the end of 2006. As for 2007, did no one notice that even though he had to scrape for playing time, his performance improved as the season went on?

    2008-02-26 15:59:00
    264.   Branch Rickey
    Just to follow up.. Grady definitely worked for Ned. But does Torre work for Ned or for McCourt? Who's got more juice? I strongly suspect the answer to that is Torre. I'm sure out of respect for Ned, he has to "see for himself" what Pierre is really like. He may start opening day. But I gotta believe when he sees for himself, Pierre will not be starting every day.
    2008-02-26 15:59:37
    265.   trainwreck
    They beat Stanford at their place. Yes, Stanford is playing better now, but I still think Howland will get them ready to play.

    Luc and Westbrook will be the key to getting past the Cardinal.

    2008-02-26 15:59:53
    266.   Jon Weisman
    I mean, does Ethier's self-confidence affect his BABIP numbers?
    2008-02-26 16:01:25
    267.   Branch Rickey
    263. Oh, I think he can and likely will win the job. He's better than Pierre. I'm just saying that I think the Dodgers are very open to trading him for value for the reasons stated. The trade could very well be for another outfielder. I'm not saying they will bounce Ethier to give the job to Pierre.
    2008-02-26 16:02:04
    268.   trainwreck
    I think Ethier will be sitting on the bench opening day, but over time will prove to Torre that he deserves to be playing a lot.
    2008-02-26 16:02:21
    269.   wireroom
    242 I have to agree with you on that. Torre would have credibility issues as the manager if he just gave jobs away to guys who aren't in the Jones,Kent and Furcal plateau. Ethier should go out and fight for a job. And it isn't like he is at that much of a disadvantage.
    2008-02-26 16:12:28
    270.   Xeifrank
    Tough break for the Rockets and their 12 game winning streak with the loss of Yao for the season. Maybe they can swing a deal for Shaq. I'm sure the Suns are ready to deal him by now. :)
    vr, Xei
    2008-02-26 16:28:08
    271.   Gen3Blue
    I remember when the Pierre contract was signed. I was somewhat surprised by the shock and pessimism at this site. But this was because I was just beginning to understand some of the more sophisticated stats, and also I wasn't very familiar with most players outside of the Dodgers. I quickly realized what the consternation was about. A few times, I have tried to resolve my conflict over this by comparing JP with Maury Wills. Actually the offensive nos. including speed nos. are very similiar.
    But Wills played in a pitchers era when offense was not expected from a SS. And Wills did a very good job at the most important defensive position on the diamond,
    so the comparison breaks down.
    It just seems like the position the D's are in is ridiculous.
    2008-02-26 16:29:09
    272.   underdog
    264 and 268 both sum up my feelings on the matter purty well.

    In more exciting news, I couldn't take my crappy cell phone anymore and got a deal on a new Ericsson phone via my provider, which excites me more than I'd like to admit. Plus, I had a second cell phone which was decent but for some reason I didn't take to it, and I decided to send that one (the non-crappy one) to the "Cell Phones for Soldiers" program so they can give it to a phone-less soldier overseas. Yay, me!

    Now back to editing a crummy DVD review. (The DVD and the review are both crummy.)

    2008-02-26 16:31:50
    273.   trainwreck
    Do you know if they fix cell phones that may have a little bit of a problem? Because I would be glad to send my old one to them.
    2008-02-26 16:41:13
    274.   Jon Weisman
    From Loney's webchat today at

    dodgerblue1538: Hey James, my fantasy draft is tomorrow. What kind of numbers do you expect to have this year?

    Loney: I expect big numbers, so pick me!

    2008-02-26 16:45:40
    275.   CanuckDodger
    274 -- That's charming, and the exclamation point really sells it.
    2008-02-26 16:47:35
    276.   Ken Noe
    I know I'm weighing in late, but I don't read a whole lot into Ethier's quote. JP indeed has said much the same thing. I also honestly don't think McCourt hires Torre unless he's ready to let him be the dominant man in the organization. Unlike Little, Torre will start whom he wants to start. If he's the manager he's supposed to be, that at some point will be Ethier, simply because he provides the better offensive production and defense, and healthy Furcal will add all the "speed" required.
    2008-02-26 16:49:29
    277.   Kevin Lewis

    I don't see anything in that quote that makes me think Ethier is unhappy. The only thing that leads one to think it is the sentence before that decides for us how we should read the quote.

    That being said, I wouldn't be happy, but I wouldn't publicize it.

    2008-02-26 16:49:32
    278.   Xeifrank
    274. Oh, good. Glad I have him in my keeper league. Extended for two years 16-1/2.
    vr, Xei
    2008-02-26 16:50:23
    279.   still bevens
    275 Darn those rooks. They only care about their shiny stats.
    2008-02-26 16:51:00
    280.   underdog
    237 Not sure, but you could read through their web site:

    Hm, I just read their FAQ. This bums me out, because I was hoping my phone would go to someone in the Mideast:

    Q. What do you do with the cell phones?

    A. The cell phones are sold to a company that recycles them. The money that we get for the phones is used to purchase calling cards that we send to our soldiers serving.

    Q. Do you send any cell phones to the soldiers?

    A. No. Most of the cell phones that we receive are not GSM enabled, therefore would not work in the Middle East. In addition, for security reasons, we cannot send a cell phone directly to a US soldier serving in a war zone.

    But it's for a good cause ultimately...

    Darnit, forgot about the Loney chat today.

    2008-02-26 16:52:53
    281.   underdog
    273, I meant, in my dyslexia.


    tonymrqz: With Andruw in center field, where do you see yourself hitting?

    Loney: It doesn't matter to me. I like hitting with guys on base, but you never know. Wherever they put me is fine with me. Our lineup should be pretty strong come Opening Day.

    2008-02-26 16:54:05
    282.   bhsportsguy
    BA's Top 100 Prospects (for more see 6-4-2)
    4 Dodgers, Unnamed One is No. 7, Andy LaRoche is 31, Chin-Lung Hu is at 55 and Scott Elbert is No. 88.

    Just missing, as 4 of their writer/editor types picked their top 150 and then they added up the points.

    Blake Dewitt was picked by 3, Hiroki Kuroda was picked by all 4 and Chris Withrow was also picked by 3.

    No votes for James McDonald or Jonathan Meloan.

    2008-02-26 16:55:55
    283.   Dodgers49
    Regarding the posts earlier about how this site works, I guess the one option I'd like to see would be the ability to click on a link in the comments section just as we're able to do up top in Jon's comments. In other words, I'd like to be able to go through an entire 300-400 comment thread without ever have to copy and paste anything. No biggie. :-) Just wishing. :-)
    2008-02-26 16:57:17
    284.   bhsportsguy
    Just an update on Tony Abreu from today's notes on

    Infielder Tony Abreu is on a limited work schedule as he continues to recover from October sports hernia surgery. Torre said Abreu would return to full activity over the weekend.

    2008-02-26 16:58:21
    285.   Dodgers49
    Repko returns as a healthy daddy

    2008-02-26 17:01:27
    286.   MollyKnight
    My new plan is to trade Juan Pierre + a brown bag holding $50 million cash for Ryan Braun.
    2008-02-26 17:04:08
    287.   underdog
    Sounds good, Molly. Should we start taking up a collection. Here's a $20 to get it rolling.
    2008-02-26 17:04:53
    288.   Ken Noe
    I just read the Plaschke chat and was struck by this:

    "Steven: Bill, what do you think the Dodgers should do about their current situations at 3B and in the OF? Give the job to the youngsters or let Pierre and Nomar play themselves out of positions? LaRoche has huge OBP potential...

    Bill Plaschke: because they're going with kemp and ethier, they should also go with laroche...garciaparra is more versatile off bench."

    They're playing Kemp and Ethier? I hope he knows something.

    2008-02-26 17:05:14
    289.   Jon Weisman
    2008-02-26 17:07:24
    290.   Andrew Shimmin
    283- Firefox users can get that function by installing an extension (I use "linkification," but there is at least one other that does about the same thing). Non-Firefox users, well, copy and paste is good enough for them.
    2008-02-26 17:08:21
    291.   bhsportsguy
    282 Hu replaced Loney as the other 3 players remain from last year's list (Kershaw moved up, LaRoche and Elbert moved down (in Elbert's case 57 spots down).

    In 2005 and 2006, the Dodgers had 7 and 9 players respectively, in the top 100, Billingsly, Martin, Kemp, Loney, Broxton and Ethier are on the big club, LaRoche, Elbert, Miller, and Dewitt are still in the system and Edwin Jackson and Joel Guzman were dealt.

    2008-02-26 17:34:41
    292.   Eric Enders
    That would have to be one hell of a big brown bag!
    2008-02-26 18:08:29
    293.   Indiana Jon
    272 ,273

    I've been a soldier for a long time and I've never heard of this program or seen any cell phones handed out overseas. I'll have to look that one up.
    When I was in Afghanistan, we had a huge selection of cellphones at very reasonable rates on the local economy. A typical cell phone store in Kabul would carry about 100 varieties of cell phones, mostly from the European market. All cell phone service over there was the prepay type, and all carriers were GSM. It was very expensive to call back the US on one of these, about $2 a minute. We used them in a lot of outlying areas as our primary means of communication back to post.

    2008-02-26 18:12:29
    294.   Indiana Jon
    Well, after reading what Cell Phones for Soldiers does with those phones, I now feel quite stupid.

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