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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

What Juan Pierre Means for Joe Torre
2008-03-04 06:30
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Pierre in the morning, Pierre in the evening, Pierre at suppertime ...

In this Juan Pierre feature by Tony Jackson of the Daily News, I offer my opinion that many Dodger fans simply don't think he's one of the three best outfielders on the team. Jackson talks about how people notice "the fact he rarely walks, they point to his lack of power, and they point to his water pistol of a throwing arm," but Jackson also shows the case people make on Pierre's behalf.

The case is as familiar as it is problematic:

1) Pierre has a superb work ethic. Problem: I still don't quite understand why a player who has to work hard just to be mediocre is more valuable than a player who doesn't have a famous work ethic but is already better.

2) Pierre's not a good enough hitter to draw walks, so the lack of walks aren't his fault. That doesn't change the lack of walks.

3) Pierre was a World Champion with the Marlins with 2003. Correlation equals causation?

4) Pierre is a better fit for the current Dodger lineup. Actually, it's been shown through research that this isn't true - for example, at Baseball Musings we see that a lineup with Andre Ethier in left field will improve the Dodger offense compared to last season.

5) Pierre shouldn't be penalized because the Dodgers had other problems last season. Why Ethier should be penalized for them isn't clear.

If you focus on what Pierre can do, you can make it look nice. But if you spend as much time focusing on what Andre Ethier can do, Pierre simply doesn't come off as well. It's nothing personal.

That being said, the cause is becoming a tiresome one to fight - it's like looking for a rainy day to picnic. If Pierre is to end up in left field for the Dodgers - and it's still not a done deal - well, that's just going to have to be something they overcome, like a bad call for the umpire. I don't want to spend the season upset about it.

But I've been thinking a lot lately about how long Joe Torre's honeymoon will last in Los Angeles. I tend to think fans and the media will expect winning from the get-go. That might be an unreasonable expectation, even for a good team, in a division as tough as the 2008 National League West, but nevertheless, I think that a Torre backlash is waiting to happen. Once people who are preoccupied with his star quality see that he has blind spots like every other manager, the focus figures to turn from his strengths to his weaknesses. The backlash might not come right away, but it usually comes. The 2008 race might be too challenging for it not to.

I think the fastest way for Torre to become unpopular in this city - not just for readers of this site, but on a widespread basis - will be to play Pierre regularly in a losing cause.

That's not to say the Pierre choice will determine whether the Dodgers win or lose. In fact, if the Dodgers are winning while Pierre is playing, it will only reinforce some of the arguments made on his behalf above.

* * *

  • Plans were unveiled for a Jackie Robinson Museum in Manhattan, reports Jack O'Connell of MLB.com.

  • Bill Plashcke writes in the Times about the need for the Dodgers to acquire a left-handed starter. Funny thing is, with Barry Bonds gone from San Francisco, a left-handed starter is less important than it's been in more than a decade. The best lefty hitters Plaschke could name were "San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez and Jim Edmonds, Colorado's Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe, and Arizona's Chad Tracy." I'm fairly confident that there are some righty hitters of that caliber, too.

  • Clayton Kershaw is expected to make his major league Spring Training debut today, writes Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise.

  • On his blog, Jackson writes that the lighting at Dodger Stadium will be "50 percent brighter." Park effects, anyone?

    Update: TCPalm.com produced an interactive farewell to Dodgertown. Says editorial/online graphic audience Chris Arnold: "We have a timeline of the stadium and team, photos through the years, quizzes and videos of legends talking about their memories of the stadium."

  • Baseball Analysts previews the American League West.

  • Hong-Chih Kuo has "tightness in his arm ... near the left elbow where he has undergone three surgeries," writes Leung.

  • Comments (248)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2008-03-04 07:37:06
    1.   CodyS
    That lineup analyzer means that Torre has the ability to swing the offense from 4.5 Runs / game to 5.25 Runs / game by making the right decisions about who plays and where they bat.
    2008-03-04 07:37:14
    2.   StolenMonkey86
    Plaschke could have made a nice point by noting that Matt Holliday hits right handers better than left handers, having a .057 higher career OPS against righties compared to lefties (and .070 better last year).

    But that's silly. Only nerds play the percentages by actually looking at the percentages.

    2008-03-04 07:45:52
    3.   Brian Y
    I just wanted to comment on JP's supposed "Fabulous" work ethic after spending a week in Vero Beach watching him.

    OK, so he's a hard worker because he is the first one to the ballpark right? Well, he arrives MAYBE 5 minutes early and all he does is stretch and get ready. It's not like anyone else is there to play catch with or anything. He just stretches for a few minutes more than others.

    Pierre also is NOT fan friendly. He doesn't sign autographs and doesn't even acknowledge it when someone calls out his name or wishes him luck. He doesn't even smile.

    2008-03-04 07:47:08
    4.   Jon Weisman
    3 - Did you see what he was doing before he arrived at the ballpark?
    2008-03-04 07:47:54
    5.   Jon Weisman
    Also, I think that applies more to the regular season, when games are at night and most players tend to arrive later.
    2008-03-04 07:48:43
    6.   Brian Y
    The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the A's have talked to the Dodgers about Juan Pierre.
    Oakland could certainly use center field help, but Pierre doesn't seem like the A's idea of a strong veteran pickup after posting on-base percentages of .326, .330 and .331 while seeing his defense decline over the past three seasons.
    Source: San Francisco Chronicle

    WHEW!!!

    2008-03-04 07:49:24
    7.   Brian Y
    According to the Los Angeles Times, "contrary to a published report, the Dodgers don't appear to be interested in Brandon Inge."
    Inge going to the Dodgers never made much sense given the presence of Andy LaRoche and Nomar Garciaparra at third base. The Tigers have repeatedly said that they're looking to deal Inge, but may have to eat a large chunk of the $19.1 million he's owed over the next three seasons to get a deal done.
    Source: Los Angeles Times

    DOUBLE WHEW!!!

    2008-03-04 07:50:25
    8.   old dodger fan
    Attempts to purchase single game tix for the Dodgers in DC were met by this response

    Error
    We're sorry, we were unable to process your request due to high transaction volumes. Please try to submit your request again.

    2008-03-04 07:51:09
    9.   StolenMonkey86
    and if you plug in ZIPS, then the lineup of
    Pierre
    Furcal
    Kent
    Jones
    Loney
    Martin
    Kemp
    Nomar
    scores on average 4.558 runs per game, at best 4.781, and at worst 4.258.

    To be fair, directly swapping Pierre for Ethier and Nomar for LaRoche would give you on average 4.836 runs per game, at best 5.046 runs per game, and at worst 4.568 runs per game using ZIPS.

    2008-03-04 07:51:55
    10.   Brian Y
    4. I watched JP from when the players would get to the practice field (about 9a) all the way through the game and then a bit afterwards.

    I'm sure his name comes from the reg. season but wouldn't it mean more if it were ALL the time and you could reap the benefit season long of all the work you put in during ST rather than just work hard during the reg. season?

    2008-03-04 07:52:51
    11.   Jon Weisman
    6 - A rumor isn't any more reliable if it favors the Dodgers.
    2008-03-04 07:53:36
    12.   Jon Weisman
    10 - I'm sure you may be right; I'm just saying that Pierre' workout could begin at 5 a.m. on his own, for all we know.
    2008-03-04 07:53:49
    13.   Retire 55
    If Pierre is going to cut into Ethier's time heavily, that's something I can grumble my way through. I guess.

    If the club's Pierre obsession keeps Kemp from getting his ABs, that's a full scale outrage.

    2008-03-04 07:55:04
    14.   Brian Y
    Also, Torre's line-ups are very indicative thus far of a man who knows nothing about our players.

    Pierre
    Furcal
    Martin
    Kent
    Jones
    Nomar
    Loney
    Kemp

    So he has heard great things about Martin, and knows Kent, Jones, and Nomar from many moons ago. Sounds like he doesn't know Kent and Nomar are not even close to the players they used to be.

    2008-03-04 07:57:10
    15.   Brian Y
    12. They couldn't have started at 5am at Dodgertown since the fields get treated early in the morning and the sprinklers are running. And it's not like he can play in his room. Obviously, you never know, but it would be darn near impossible.
    2008-03-04 07:57:58
    16.   StolenMonkey86
    Maybe by May or June he'll figure something out.
    2008-03-04 07:58:37
    17.   Brian Y
    11. Hey Jon, I still need to know where to send your Hu ball. I also have Takashi Saito if you would rather. I tried to get Sandy Koufax but the Mets fans almost killed everyone with their pushing and hitting.
    2008-03-04 08:02:13
    18.   Jon Weisman
    15 - The gym?
    2008-03-04 08:02:49
    19.   Jon Weisman
    17 - Thanks for reminding me, Brian. Sorry - can you send me an e-mail via the sidebar?
    2008-03-04 08:03:26
    20.   Retire 55
    As for Plaschke - it's time to ask the question: why does he merit anyone's attention when he writes about the Dodgers? Because he writes for a Tribune company paper?

    What insight has he provided in the last few years?

    He's not bright or fair-minded when he writes about baseball. And his hand-wringing act is so played out that it couldn't influence McCourt anymore.

    2008-03-04 08:04:13
    21.   GobiasIndustries
    It started with a whisper.

    Then it became a roar.

    It was a sunny day in Vero.

    The 8th string catcher had just been robbed.

    The sound?

    It was Jason Schmidt's elbow disintegrating into a thousand pieces.

    The Dodgers season now hangs in the balance.

    I can't stand Plashcke! Just read his article and I don't know what offends me more, his lame attempts at trying to seem like a creative, deep thinking, thought provoking writer, or the substance of what he says.
    Either way, I'm through with him. Just like with Simers, I refuse to read his articles henceforth.

    Now does anyone think there is a realistic shot the A's and Pierre could be a match?

    2008-03-04 08:04:34
    22.   Brian Y
    18. It's possible I suppose. I would think he'd be seen walking to it but maybe not. I will give it a possibility though.
    2008-03-04 08:06:50
    23.   old dodger fan
    I kept trying and now have 3 tix for LA at Nats on 8/26. Hooray!!
    2008-03-04 08:15:13
    24.   Ken Noe
    I was never a big Torre fan, and didn't see the sense in hiring him, but I confess that there are things I like about him so far, ie, at least not simply handing LF and 3B to the vets, and giving D. Young another shot in the infield. Both suggest to me that he's not simply listening to NedCo as Grady tended to do. The lineups to be sure have been odd, but I get the sense that he's like a man in a new house, flipping the lights and looking in all the drawers. So maybe I'm a Pollyanna but I actually have hope that the best players will end up as starters, if not in April, then by June.
    2008-03-04 08:16:26
    25.   StolenMonkey86
    Joe Torre doesn't know anything about his team.

    Bill Plaschke does, and he doesn't like it.

    Joe Torre doesn't trust anyone he hasn't seen before.

    Bill Plaschke doesn't trust anyone under 30.

    The Dodgers are in trouble because of these two men.

    They have power.

    And the Dodgers GM doesn't help that much either.

    2008-03-04 08:17:45
    26.   underdog
    I've probably said this here before but I really think judgements on Torre should come, you know, during the season and after the season rather than based on what lineup is putting out there on March 3rd. Obviously he's trying to give some of the "veterans" a chance while also taking a look at some of the younger players, now. And with the fractured nature of this particular spring - Florida/China/Arizona - I would give him til May really to figure things out. And, yeah, to be prepared to not be happy about something he does. I understand expectations are high - mine are - but hope they don't make it so that people have their pitchforks out on April 1.

    Some of the Pierre quotes go all over the place, like he's being diplomatic while still giving Pierre too much of a chance, yes, but also while not being convinced he's a full-time starter either. I agree, if Pierre takes any playing time away from Kemp it's ludicrous. If he takes more than a small percentage of playing time away from Ethier it's pretty wrongheaded, too. But I'm not ready to have my season ruined by it.

    Unless the A's mgmt are reading this, in which case -- I'd be heartbroken if we lost Pierre, he's such a gamer, he could really the mean the difference between a winning season and a losing season. And all those stolen bases! But if it'll make the A's a better team... so be it. (cough)

    Now about Plaschke's column, if I had a bird cage I would be lining the bottom of it with that.

    2008-03-04 08:19:13
    27.   Brian Y
    I absolutely love that he's playing D. Young in the IF as well, I was just pointing out how is line-ups are very old-school thus far. BTW, Loney has looked great (again) this spring hitting line drives all over the field. Also, Xavier Paul and Chin-lung Hu have been playing great as well.
    2008-03-04 08:23:12
    28.   underdog
    27 Are you talking about where people are batting in the lineups, or who's in the lineups?

    I think I real "old school" lineup might have some different personnel in it.

    Yeah, Loney just seems in the zone already.

    2008-03-04 08:23:14
    29.   MC Safety
    21 Has the Schmidt bashing started? I didn't read the rest, but I don't see any reason he can't get treated like Carl Pavano. Come on, he is an ex-Giant! Let's bash this guy!!!
    2008-03-04 08:26:35
    30.   Ken Noe
    27 I'm also pretty darned pleased with X Paul and Hu, I just wasn't sure whether Torre should get the extra credit. I do expect to see both on next year's roster, and perhaps Hu as the starter.
    2008-03-04 08:27:52
    31.   Brian Y
    28. WHERE people are batting in the line-ups definitely. Though Garvey did start at 1B on Sunday but got replaced during warm-ups by Loney.
    2008-03-04 08:28:01
    32.   GobiasIndustries
    29
    That was my take on a "typical" Plashcke article. Pointless and meaningless is what I was shooting for! :)
    2008-03-04 08:30:07
    33.   fanerman
    I agree. No need to be all doom and gloom yet.
    2008-03-04 08:32:36
    34.   cargill06
    kershaw is pitching today and look at the atmospehre in here. pull yourselves together people.
    2008-03-04 08:33:21
    35.   MC Safety
    33 I love your use of the word yet fanerman.
    2008-03-04 08:35:53
    36.   JoeyP
    And with the fractured nature of this particular spring - Florida/China/Arizona - I would give him til May really to figure things out.

    I think you're giving him too much leeway.
    How hard is it to just simply look at a few stats and make out a lineup?

    Give the best players the most ABs, the ones that are worse the least.

    I think thats why this stuff infuriates people, regarding lineups and playing time.

    2008-03-04 08:36:44
    37.   GobiasIndustries
    34
    Point taken. Probably your best comment to date!
    2008-03-04 08:37:13
    38.   Disabled List
    I just got back from my first trip ever to Vero Beach. My only feeling about the place is pure sadness, that this is the one and only time I'll ever be able to visit Dodgertown. To be able to have that kind of access to the players and see them up close and personal is unbelievable. The place is Dodger nirvana, and there's no way that the new corporate park in Arizona will ever be able to re-create that.

    Jeff Kent was actually polite and said, "Thank a lot, man, I appreciate that" in an Elvis drawl when I told him I was glad he came back for another year. Matt Kemp said, "You know it, dog!" when I told him I expect him to whomp the ball this year. I engaged Jason Schmidt in a brief conversation about his shoulder, and he couldn't have been nicer. And Greg Miller seemed genuinely pleased when I told him he had lots of folks pulling for him this year.

    Plaschke and all the other Vero-haters can bite me.

    2008-03-04 08:39:02
    39.   fanerman
    35 I'll reserve my paranoia. I don't think I can have it disappear completely unless we're halfway into the season and Ethier/LaRoche are starting all the time and tearing it up all the time.
    2008-03-04 08:40:18
    40.   DXMachina
    Pierre when it's raining, Pierre when it's snowing, Pierre when the weather's fine...

    Not about Pierre, but Jeff Pearlman seems to have an axe to grind with Nomar:

    http://tinyurl.com/25vpx8

    2008-03-04 08:46:44
    41.   underdog
    36 I think he does look at stats, but he also likes to see guys play in person. I don't think that's such a big deal. He hasn't been able to see Tony Abreu bat because of his injury. Should Abreu make the team anyway because he hit the ball well last year? Regarding the starters, separate from where people bat, which is a point to debate, sure, the one real lingering issue is clearly the subject of this post. And who knows what's going on in Torre's head other than the diplomatic stuff he says. He obviously has some reservations. Ethier's been starting too. I mean, fine, let's judge him by his opening day line-up, but I'm pretty sure he's said that doesn't reflect how the rest of the season will play out either. He also hasn't managed in the NL in ages. I don't know, if people want to give him less rope that's their prerogative. I'm with Fanerman, I have some paranoia here, too, but I'd rather keep it in reserve 'til it seems to have more justification. ;-)
    2008-03-04 08:48:53
    42.   underdog
    31 Heh. I did a double-take reading that Garvey comment. Now that's old-school! Time to put Reggie Smith in the outfield while they're at it, in honor of Cardboard Gods.
    2008-03-04 08:50:56
    43.   Dark Horse
    36-"How hard is it to just simply look at a few stats and make out a line-up."

    Not hard at all, that's why so many people play in rotisserie leagues. But it's fair to assume that managing in MLB requires more than this. How much more is disputable, I guess, but if actually being a major league manager were this simple, the job probably wouldn't exist. It could be done by the front office. But for Pete's sake, it's March. Camp is crowded. Joe Torre isn't doing his job if he doesn't actually watch his players, y'know, play the game of baseball.

    2008-03-04 08:55:50
    44.   Ken Noe
    I think Nomar and JP probably start opening day. The real question is, who starts the next game? And who are the regulars come hot weather? I'm with underdog and fanerman, let's give the guy some time.
    2008-03-04 08:57:39
    45.   underdog
    Here's more from the MLBTraderumors blogger on this (so it's just his opinion, but since it's on topic:)

    >>There's a headline I didn't expect to write, given that the Dodgers' Juan Pierre comes with a $36.5MM commitment over the next four years. Susan Slusser reports that the Athletics have inquired on him, proof that they may be looking to acquire a veteran center fielder.

    It doesn't make a whole lot of sense on the surface. Either the A's would want the Dodgers to absorb a significant portion of the money, or they'd like to pass back their own questionable contract. Front row center would be Eric Chavez, owed $37MM over the next three seasons. Chavez's ten and five no-trade rights haven't kicked in yet, and the Dodgers aren't among the teams on his current limited clause. The oft-injured Chavez isn't expected to be ready for Opening Day.<<

    2008-03-04 08:57:40
    46.   JoeyP
    "With his speed, he can ignite a lineup when the hitters behind him are above-average run producers," Colletti said. "I believe if we have three or four players with 90-plus RBIs and Juan does what Juan always does, he can score 125 runs and steal 60-plus bases with 200-plus hits. That is a very good complementary piece to a good club."

    Hmmm....

    So much wrong with this quote that its hard to digest.

    But doesnt Ned realize that in order for the team to have those "3-4 90 RBI guys" in the lineup, that in order for those players to get to 90 RBI's they need to have men on base to knock in. Something Juan doesnt do--get on base.

    Ned doesnt understand cause and effect with respect to getting on base/RBIs.

    2008-03-04 09:01:04
    47.   Indiana Jon
    Is there a live blog somwehere of the Kershaw game today?
    2008-03-04 09:02:34
    48.   cargill06
    46 to be fair to coletti's comment let's just say he bats lead-off a majority of the season and does score 115+ runs i could give a rat's hind parts what his obp is.
    2008-03-04 09:04:07
    49.   cargill06
    48 eviedence suggests that he won't but he's saying if he scores 125 runs than the guys behind him will benefit.
    2008-03-04 09:04:29
    50.   Ken Noe
    45 I like the responder who suspects this is just a Beane ruse to get the Red Sox to ask less for Crisp. Now that would be straight out of Moneyball.
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2008-03-04 09:04:39
    51.   regfairfield
    46 It's Ned's job to justify Pierre's existence, he's not going to say "yeah, he sucks, my bad". If the biggest thing you ever did at work became a disaster from the get go, you certainly aren't going to fess up to it. Signing Andruw Jones tells us more about how Ned feels about Pierre than any of his quotes would.
    2008-03-04 09:09:06
    52.   cargill06
    man 48 is going to get me into some hot water.

    51 i'm under the assumption that jones was signed as a power bat not regarded for position. with that being said, if a FA 1B power bat was available obviously we wouldn't touch it, but if A-Rod would only come over to play SS i would assume furcal wouldn't be playing SS, not because colletti feels he made a mistake with furcal but because they need a power bat.

    2008-03-04 09:10:27
    53.   cargill06
    i don't think colletti was thinking we need to sign a CF, i think he was thinking, we need a power bat and the power bat just happened to play CF
    2008-03-04 09:12:47
    54.   JoeyP
    But it's fair to assume that managing in MLB requires more than this.

    To some clubs, I dont think it does. To others, they do think it actually matters.

    Is major league baseball the only league where the best players dont always play?

    The NFL doesnt have this problem. Long-term Vets are cut all the time.

    Does the NBA have this problem? Not really.

    The oddest thing I think--is that major league baseball has had the "chemistry", "PVL", "heart and soul" stuff for years, much moreso than any other sport. But in fact, baseball is probably the sport that requires the least amount of teamwork/pvl/heart and soul etc.

    Its just strange. I think if there were a salary cap in place--->you'd almost always have the best players playing. More likely, there'd be fairer contracts that might prevent bad players/bloated contracts/ getting PT just bc of their contract (IMO is Juan Pierre's biggest issue). There'd be more of an emphasis on results than effort also.

    2008-03-04 09:16:09
    55.   cargill06
    54 the problem is that MLB is such a numbers game and the numbers can be diagnosed so many ways there are so many ways to determine who's helping and who's hurting.

    in other sports such as football or basketball it's not so cut and dry, the only way to diagnose for someone like junior seau is helping or hurting is in many ways jsut the coaches judgement. if football were baseball and there was so much evidence in the numbers i have a feeling seau would be tagged with those phrases that are used to diagnose PVL's and such.

    2008-03-04 09:16:32
    56.   still bevens
    I wouldnt be surprised if the conversation with Beane regarding Pierre went something like this: Pierre + Cash + (B+ prospect) for a C prospect from Oakland.
    2008-03-04 09:21:24
    57.   bhsportsguy
    Joe Sheehan posted a free article on Baseball Prospectus talking about lineup construction.

    http://tinyurl.com/25a83r

    2008-03-04 09:22:02
    58.   kinbote
    56 Here's what we should do:

    1. Trade Pierre @ cash to OAK for Chavez
    2. Name Chavez "Special Assistant to Bill Mueller"
    3. Win division

    2008-03-04 09:22:51
    59.   JoeyP
    to be fair to coletti's comment let's just say he bats lead-off a majority of the season and does score 115+ runs i could give a rat's hind parts what his obp is

    But his OBP is the #1 thing that matters.

    Do we even know if scoring 115+ runs from the leadoff spot is good? Do other leadoff hitters usually score that many runs? Furthermore, if Pierre is scoring 115 runs and is only having a .330 OBP while doing it, then that must mean the guys behind him are really doing a good job knocking him in. Just think if the team would put a guy that gets on base even more than Pierre in the leadoff spot--how many more runs would that player score with the guys behind him hitting well?

    You say that scoring 115 runs is all based upon Juan Pierre. But its not. He cant score unless he first gets on base, and then has someone knock him in.

    2008-03-04 09:26:56
    60.   regfairfield
    59 The average leadoff hitter scored 110 runs last year.
    2008-03-04 09:28:22
    61.   Ken Noe
    56 That I'd do, but more Beane-like would be Pierre + Laroche or Josh Bell or Blake DeWitt for Chavez + someone Beane's already given up on.
    2008-03-04 09:28:43
    62.   JoeyP
    Another reason why runs scored is an overrated stat--is because how many times could Furcal get on base, only to have Juan Pierre hit a FC. Now Juan Pierre's on 1st base, there's 1 out, and he eventually scores a run during the inning. Did Pierre really do his job? No. He just happened to get the benefit of someone else's achievement.
    2008-03-04 09:29:54
    63.   underdog
    "Kuroda brings presence to mound for Dodgers"
    Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal

    http://tiny.cc/MBUYF

    >>His defining characteristic, however, is his toughness.

    "When there are guys in scoring position, he turns it up a notch,"* says Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White, who saw Kuroda pitch in Japan.

    "When I asked people about his competitive nature, to me, (Dodgers closer) Takashi Saito is off the charts in that regard. They said this guy was just as good, if not better."<<

    *Who knew that Logan White had turned into Emeril?

    2008-03-04 09:33:32
    64.   regfairfield
    63 Unsurpisingly, Saito is worse with men on than with the bases empty. He's so unclutch that people hit 1.000 against him last year with the bases loaded.
    2008-03-04 09:34:48
    65.   cargill06
    imo it just seems like pierre will probably be batting lead-off to start the season, we can't do anything about it, i'm not going to root for him to perform badly because it would hurt the team. you know what you have with pierre no matter how much you hate his OBP it won't improve dramitically, i'd be happy with him scoring 115 runs, it'd be a career high but i believe at least he did something productive in getting on base enough and creating enough run scoring oppurtunites while on base to score that many times.
    2008-03-04 09:36:37
    66.   cargill06
    65 so as long as he's hitting leadoff i'm going to root for him to score that many times as it seems like a possible goal for pierre, and you never know maybe he could still have a .310/.360 season in him.
    2008-03-04 09:39:33
    67.   bhsportsguy
    63 So, Logan White uses one of the overused, non-defineable qualities like competiveness as a virtue.
    2008-03-04 09:50:08
    68.   JoeyP
    I'm still waiting for the list of professional athletes that are "not competitive".
    2008-03-04 09:50:09
    69.   Dark Horse
    67-He's been known to use it before, too. He speaks of an unnamed mythical lefthander's "make-up," for example.

    Imagine.

    2008-03-04 09:50:55
    70.   KAYVMON
    The most incredible thing about all this Juan Pierre nonsense is that even subjectively most fans don't like his game. And I'm not just talking about Dodger fans, like Tony Jackson suggests. Pierre played in Chicago for a year and I have yet to meet one Cub's fan who liked his game.

    Pierre and the reporter are the equivalent of a ugly girl and her sympathetic mother trying to get her a date.

    Reporter: Meet my Pierre. Such a nice one, my Pierre. A consummate professional, my Pierre, gotta a great work ethic. Baseball people have always loved my Pierre.

    Pierre: But mom, my game isn't pretty.

    Reporter: Nonesense, your game is electrifying. Remember, when you were younger, you and your friend won cutest pair at the County Fair. You were a champion, the prettier girl can't say that.

    2008-03-04 09:52:12
    71.   Andrew Shimmin
    67- He's a witch! Burn him!

    The Kershaw half of the split squad is the one on mlb.tv today! Thank you MASN!

    Hmm. No more exclamation points for me, today.

    2008-03-04 09:56:08
    72.   dsfan
    Not sure Chad Tracy will even play for the Diamondbacks this season so why would Plaschke mention him as part of the impetus to get a LHP? Last I read, Tracy is likely to open the seson on the DL.
    Now, Plashke is saying the Dodgers should trade Penny for Sabathia, there's a lot more to talk about.
    2008-03-04 09:57:19
    73.   fanerman
    I think the worst case is that Andre still plays quite a bit, at least half the time as Mr. McPop-Up. I mostly want Ethier (and Kemp and Jones) to play. Not so much Pierre to be benched. On the contrary, I want Pierre to play every day for some other team so he can continue his quest for 3000 hits.
    2008-03-04 09:57:44
    74.   Bob Timmermann
    An NFL style salary cap would indeed reduce salaries? Why? Because the players would never accept such a horrific change in the balance of power in their labor-management struggle. A hard salary cap would tranfer BILLIONS of dollars to the owners.

    So maybe the Dodgers wouldn't sign Juan Pierre, but they might not sign Andruw Jones either.

    What cap figure do you use? How do you get the Pirates and Royals up to the level of the Yankees and Red Sox? Will the Yankees and Red Sox send more of their money to the poor stepchildren? I doubt that.

    I'm still working on the logical leap from "teams can spend what they want" to "teams won't cut high-priced veterans."

    Teams have cut high-priced veterans. The DBacks ate Russ Ortiz's salary. The Tigers took a bath on a Damion Easley contract a few years back.

    There are not 30 GMs who sit back and look at their bad free agent signings and refuse to part with them like an overprotective mother.

    2008-03-04 10:00:26
    75.   still bevens
    70 I sat in the top deck last year next to a non-blog reading casual fan who liked Pierre at the beginning of the season and turned out hating him towards the end.

    More food for thought regarding Pierre. How many instances of Pierre weakly grounding out to the pitcher with bases loaded will Torre tolerate? It seems like this happened far too many times last year.

    2008-03-04 10:00:55
    76.   dsfan
    I buy that Pierre's work ethic factored into Pierre defying a lot of skeptics and making it ot the majors and putting together a good season or two, and it was fun to watch him in the 2003 postseason, especially against the Yankees.

    But exactly what habits is Pierre reinforcing with all this work, and are those good habits? Is his approach as a hitter a good one? Is he working to adjust it? Or is stubbornly doing the same t hing, over and over, likely making things worse?

    Go to a golf range and you will see people working very hard who are doing harm to their games by practicing the same awful swing. I have not seen Pierre adjust. I think pitchers long ago adjusted to him.

    2008-03-04 10:02:35
    77.   fanerman
    76 He is stubborn. He seems to be afraid of striking out. So he never works the count as much as he should.
    2008-03-04 10:05:34
    78.   kinbote
    A lie isn't a side of a story--it's just a lie.
    2008-03-04 10:06:41
    79.   Andrew Shimmin
    Ooh, Dejesus is starting at SS.
    2008-03-04 10:09:29
    80.   Jon Weisman
    A blow to the Kuo faithful:

    http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/03/on_kuo_uh_oh.html

    2008-03-04 10:09:52
    81.   Andrew Shimmin
    79- Dumps one in front of Milledge. Count was 3-1 before he took a swing (and the strike was questionable).
    2008-03-04 10:11:14
    82.   fanerman
    Did the fonts just change for everybody else?
    2008-03-04 10:14:30
    83.   cargill06
    81 appreciate the play-by-play keep it up if you like
    82 yes.
    2008-03-04 10:15:25
    84.   OhioBlues12
    82 - Yes, it changed for me.
    2008-03-04 10:18:34
    85.   Jon Weisman
    82 - Sorry about that.
    2008-03-04 10:21:27
    86.   fanerman
    85 It's okay. I just thought either my computer went bonkers or my head went bonkers, both of which would have been bad.
    2008-03-04 10:21:56
    87.   JoeyP
    I'd hope that MLB goes to an NBA style cap with high enough price floors to keep the league fairly competitive and balanced. It'd take a hard line from the owners in order to get the players to cave, but it has worked in other sports.

    If the Royals, Pirates, etc cant get to the price floor level--either move their teams or disband them.

    As a baseball fan, you want the very best product available. If a cap can prevent some of these dumb signings, or a floor can help eliminate some of the bad teams from bringing the quality of the game down--then in the end it would be better for baseball.

    Less teams, less players, better product.

    They should get rid of the ridiculous revenue sharing compenent. Corporate welfare for teams like the Marlins isnt good for anyone, except well the Marlins.

    Of course, if the Dodgers just had a competant GM that could say "no" to the Juan Pierre's...then the current system would be ok I guess.

    2008-03-04 10:22:16
    88.   Xeifrank
    80. I don't think it's a blow. Atleast not at this point.
    vr, Xei
    2008-03-04 10:23:36
    89.   ToyCannon
    80
    Guess I'll need another player to root for.
    2008-03-04 10:24:25
    90.   Xeifrank
    Juan Pierre's base running skills are the only thing keeping him in the major leagues. Especially now that he is a left fielder.

    SFW (DS)
    http://tinyurl.com/25u954

    vr, Xei

    2008-03-04 10:25:38
    91.   OhioBlues12
    88 - What is the main point of the blog? I am sitting behind a proxy server that won't let me get to that site.
    2008-03-04 10:25:42
    92.   Andrew Shimmin
    Nomar knocked a double off the left-center wall. Jones walked, ahead of him, but stopped at third. Chico's been living on a low 80s fastball down and out. He just touched 85 for the first time.
    2008-03-04 10:27:24
    93.   silverwidow
    Kershaw is pitching in the late game, so no MLB.tv
    2008-03-04 10:29:06
    94.   Xeifrank
    91. Last year on base stealing attempts alone, Juan Pierre added 0.648 wins (calculated by WPA) and his non base running WAR was -0.21. When that .648 number climbs below the -0.21 number he will be officially considered completely useless. It's a study on the base running exploits of the four main Dodger base stealers last year. Pierre, Furcal, Kemp = Good, Martin = not so good.

    vr, Xei

    2008-03-04 10:29:48
    95.   Penarol1916
    87. An NBA-style cap would be terrible. I can't believe you want to see the introduction of the MLB trade machine and to have the trading deadline polluted with deals that make no sense from a competitive stand-point (long or short-term) and are entirely made with regard to staying within cap guidelines.
    The NBA salary cap is one of the things that made me much less interested in the game.
    2008-03-04 10:30:04
    96.   JJ42
    I'm leaving for Vero Beach on Friday and am watching 3 games out there. It'll be my first time out there. Any advice?

    I'm bringing my girlfriend and she somewhat keen on taking pictures with and getting autographs of the players. I've read stories about access to players but are there any specific places or times to be there?

    Also, what's there to do in Vero besides the games? Any recommended restaurants? Thanks guys!

    2008-03-04 10:30:53
    97.   bhsportsguy
    87 They'll never go for a salary cap at least based on current economic conditions.

    If they didn't go to a cap after 1994, why would they do so now.

    And look what happens when you have a cap, Kwame Brown becomes a valuable trade asset.

    2008-03-04 10:31:36
    98.   bhsportsguy
    97 As a Laker fan, I am not complaining but still.
    2008-03-04 10:31:50
    99.   Andrew Shimmin
    Sweeney grounded out to first (scoring Jones, Nomar to third). Zappala's guy (Lindsay), singles up the middle to bring in Nomar. Gary Bennett flies to CF on the first pitch.

    I don't think there's been nearly enough teeth gnashing over Bennett. Especially with Grittle gone, the backup catcher is going to be of some importance this year. And our backup catcher is Gary Bennett. For some reason.

    Nick Johnson was just on camera. Maybe he's wearing a girdle; he doesn't look anything like as fat as that ESPN picture yesterday made him look. I wonder if somebody didn't have a little fun with Photoshop, out in Bristol.

    2008-03-04 10:32:22
    100.   fanerman
    94 I might be wrong, but didn't Martin's base-running sort of take a dip in the latter part of the season? Could that be driving his base running value into the "not so good" range?

    I ask not to abuse splits or anything. But if so, then perhaps a better rested Martin would be in the "good" range.

    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2008-03-04 10:33:14
    101.   Andrew Shimmin
    93- Oh. I didn't realize both games today were against the Nats. That stinks.
    2008-03-04 10:34:17
    102.   GobiasIndustries
    97
    And look what happens when you have a cap, Kwame Brown becomes a valuable trade asset.

    Truer words were never spoken! I think the NBA cap is the worst in all professional sports.

    2008-03-04 10:35:20
    103.   Bob Timmermann
    Why in the world would players accept an NBA style salary cap that would greatly diminish their earning potentials AFTER MLB announced record revenues last year? MLB claimed to take in SIX BILLION dollars last year. And knowing MLB's propensity for accounting shenanigans, it's likely higher than that.

    The players aren't going to agree to contraction. And where are you going to move the Pirates (who have a new park) or the Royals to where there will be a land flowing with milk and honey? Portland? Las Vegas? How about some other city in Florida? How about Columbus, Ohio?

    Right now, the owners are making lots of money. The players are making lots of money.

    And what exactly is the competitive balance in the NBA? Realistically, how many teams have a chance to win it all? Is it a higher percentage than baseball? In the NBA, if you can latch on to a great player and keep him for a long time (see Jordan, Michael or Duncan, Tim or Johnson, Magic or Bird, Larry) you have a contender.

    I have to go now and send in my deposit for Charlotte Bobcats playoff tickets.

    2008-03-04 10:35:35
    104.   Terry A
    99 - Don't you wish you'd saved some of your exclamation points for Gary Bennett talk?

    Punctuation waster.

    2008-03-04 10:36:03
    105.   Jon Weisman
    96 -

    http://mikesciosciastragicillness.com/2008/02/23/official-guide-to-vero-beach-2008/

    2008-03-04 10:36:18
    106.   natepurcell
    So the mythical beast won't make a televised appearance today?
    2008-03-04 10:37:28
    107.   Andrew Shimmin
    Imagine a world where The Man told you how much bacon you could take from the breakfast buffet? Is that a world you want to live in? Would you want to visit the place on a dare? No, I say. No to artificial constraints on bacon, and no to salary caps.
    2008-03-04 10:37:52
    108.   Xeifrank
    100. His 9 CS were...
    5/23
    7/7
    7/30
    8/3
    8/17
    8/28
    8/29
    9/9
    9/23
    ... and he had 7 SBs in April and May. Your being tired theory affecting his SB success rate is a possibility. Could be the rest of the league paying more attention to him on the base paths as the season progressed.
    vr, Xei
    2008-03-04 10:38:32
    109.   overkill94
    100 You are correct, sir!

    April-July: 17/20 SB
    August-Sept: 4/10 SB

    It seemed that as the year wore on he didn't have quite the speed that he did earlier in the year. That or teams realized he was a threat to steal and payed more attention to him.

    2008-03-04 10:39:23
    110.   OhioBlues12
    94 - I'm confused, I thought there was something about Kuo?
    2008-03-04 10:39:23
    111.   overkill94
    108 Damn you Xeifrank! I like my breakdown in the stats better though :)
    2008-03-04 10:40:12
    112.   cargill06
    encouraging couple innings for loaiza
    2008-03-04 10:40:22
    113.   Andrew Shimmin
    Loiza's through two without doing anything interesting, so, that's something. He did plunk Milledge, but it was a curveball, and Milledge was wearing an elbow pad. So, while it came close to being interesting, it didn't quite make it.
    2008-03-04 10:45:51
    114.   Xeifrank
    111. Yeah, I hurried to be first. :) Yours looks better. vr, Xei
    2008-03-04 10:46:54
    115.   JJ42
    105 Thanks Jon!
    2008-03-04 10:47:35
    116.   Eric Enders
    Man, Ethier really tagged that one with the wind blowing in. Don Sutton thinks he'll hit 30 this year.

    Of course, to hit home runs, you have to be in the lineup.

    2008-03-04 10:47:51
    117.   Xeifrank
    110. Diamond Leung says Guo has tightness in the elbow where the surgery was. Personally, that's not enough info to be considered "a blow". Afterall, he did have surgery, I would think it is normal to have tightness and even some pain there for a while. Now if he has an MRI and they find a tear or other injury, yeah then that's "a blow". vr, Xei
    2008-03-04 10:48:58
    118.   OhioBlues12
    117 - Thanks.
    2008-03-04 10:51:12
    119.   overkill94
    Anyone ever been to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame? I've got a free day in Cleveland tomorrow so I was going to check it out. Is it easy enough to get through in one day? Are there certain exhibits to key in on? Is there a secret door where I can get in free?
    2008-03-04 10:51:22
    120.   bhsportsguy
    116 Nice friendly game between Kansas and Texax Tech yesterday?
    2008-03-04 10:53:42
    121.   Marty
    Deadspin has their preview of the Dodgers up.
    2008-03-04 10:53:48
    122.   bhsportsguy
    119 I once had about an hour and a half to before having to get to the airport so my friend and I went to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and ran through it in that time period and then caught a cab to the airport.

    It helps if you don't listen to any music.

    If you have more than a few hours, you should be fine.

    120 Texas not Texax.

    2008-03-04 10:55:21
    123.   cargill06
    116 2 hr's in a week hopefully that impressed torre.
    2008-03-04 10:55:37
    124.   MC Safety
    Between the latest Cardboard Gods, and that bit from Eric, I'm liking this Don Sutton.
    2008-03-04 10:55:57
    125.   Marty
    And it is not much to read.
    2008-03-04 10:57:22
    126.   Jon Weisman
    117 - Guess it all depends on what safe-for-work way you define "blow."
    2008-03-04 10:59:53
    127.   Retire 55
    NBA style cap in MLB is the worst idea of all time
    2008-03-04 11:00:17
    128.   JoeyP
    95--I think the NFL cap is the best for competitive balance. But the NBA cap at least allows teams to re-sign their players and go over the cap and not be penalized. I think that works out best for the fans.

    Sure there are strategic trades based solely on free'ing cap money, but I think its aleast a compromise between the NFL hard cap, and no cap at all.

    The Kwame Brown example is actually a good one. Bad player--but his contract is getting ready to expire so that makes him a nice trade asset. The Lakers dont have to eat any money in the deal. His contract helped them get a good player back in Gasol, and the Grizzlies get cap space to pursue free agents.

    The baseball union will eventually be broken just like the NBA and the NFL.

    2008-03-04 11:01:51
    129.   Xeifrank
    126. Perhaps it was a safe-for-work "body blow", as opposed to a safe-for-work "knock-out blow". :)
    vr, Xei
    2008-03-04 11:06:38
    130.   JoeyP
    Imagine a world where The Man told you how much bacon you could take from the breakfast buffet?

    Or imagine a world where you went to a breakfast buffet and found no bacon at all because the Man was too cheap to serve it.

    2008-03-04 11:08:41
    131.   Eric Enders
    120 With that blowout win, everyone seems to think Kansas is back in the hunt for a 1 seed. But if you compare their resume to other teams like Texas, it doesn't hold water at all. They've won a lot of games but remarkably they have zero wins over teams currently in the Top 25.

    119 It's worth a look-see, definitely, but it's not going to take a long time. They actually have very little exhibit space in the building, and it doesn't take too long to cover unless you spend a lot of time at the listening stations.

    2008-03-04 11:10:56
    132.   bhsportsguy
    128 There is no comparison between how the MLB Players Association has been run and their two main contemporaries, NFLPA and the NBA Players Association.

    The NFL already had a revenue sharing plan in place plus their TV money is divided up between all the teams. That union already signed off on non-guaranteed contracts, franchise tags and the like. The NBA and their players signed on to a salary cap, slot salaries for draft picks, restricted free agency and trades having to be within a certain pct of the total salaries involved.

    MLBPA has never agreed to anything like those terms, ever. And I don't see any opening where they would come up.

    Now, the drug testing issue, that will come up, revenue-sharing perhaps but putting in a soft or hard cap, very very doubtful unless there is evidence that teams are going out of business.

    2008-03-04 11:12:23
    133.   bhsportsguy
    130 I prefer sausage. Patties and links, thank you.
    2008-03-04 11:14:40
    134.   cargill06
    rough inning for orenduff?
    2008-03-04 11:16:04
    135.   bhsportsguy
    Okay, admit it, you played this game.

    RIP the Ultimate Dungeonmaster.

    http://tinyurl.com/2sxzgn

    2008-03-04 11:16:29
    136.   Andrew Shimmin
    The cheapest team in baseball had the highest operating income in the game, last year. Bacon is plentiful. And delicious. And plentiful.

    And delicious.

    You can't pass a rule that makes having an idiot GM painless. It doesn't work. No matter the sport, if your team's GM is an idiot, it's bad news.

    2008-03-04 11:16:59
    137.   GobiasIndustries
    133
    That's what she said.
    2008-03-04 11:19:45
    138.   Disabled List
    128 The baseball union will eventually be broken just like the NBA and the NFL.

    You must be too young to remember 1994.

    2008-03-04 11:20:54
    139.   ibleedbloo
    quick comments: I watched Kuo take BP today, no bat flips but he looked fine.

    abreu took BP on his own today. must have taken 200 swings

    either crushed that ball. I am sitting right behind torre. I made sure he knew who I thoght should be starting in LF.

    2008-03-04 11:20:55
    140.   Jim Hitchcock
    Most of you have probably seen the Airbus in Hamburg video...but it's certainly in the running for video of the year:

    http://tinyurl.com/2dy73d

    2008-03-04 11:23:07
    141.   GMac In The 909
    The San Francisco Chronicle is retracting its report that the A's have expressed interest in Juan Pierre.

    http://tinyurl.com/2c8jmo

    2008-03-04 11:23:30
    142.   Penarol1916
    128. I frankly don't really care about competitive balance, but the fact is if you really want competitive balance, then you want revenue sharing. The NFL has so much competitive balance because such a large proportion of revenue sources are shared, so the difference between the highest revenue club ($245MM) and lowest ($151MM) is substantially less than in the MLB ($277MM to $114MM, and that does not include below market local media revenues for clubs that share a parent with their local media, such as the Yankees with YES, Cubs with WGN et al, but does include revenue sharing).
    2008-03-04 11:24:34
    143.   Andrew Shimmin
    136- It's like there's no set of rules that could be passed that would make bad drivers stop tying up traffic and hitting things. You can pass laws against cell phones, and eating, having radios, shaving, whatever, while driving. But there are still millions of bad drivers hiding around every corner, merging without signaling, driving in the bike lane, and refusing to understand how four way stops work. It's a cost of doing business.
    2008-03-04 11:26:21
    144.   Eric Enders
    Nationals GM Jim Bowden being interviewed on the telecast right now.

    "There is no question that our new park will be the best ballpark in the history of the world."

    Also: Bret Boone "should have won the MVP" and "is the greatest offensive second baseman of our times."

    2008-03-04 11:32:23
    145.   Andrew Shimmin
    DeJesus takes two and Kearns's muffing a flyball. The score keeper gives him a double, anyway.
    2008-03-04 11:34:22
    146.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
    144 - Boone should be the poster boy of the Steroid era

    Is Kershaw pitching the 1st or 2nd game today? If mentioned earlier, I apologize for missing it.

    2008-03-04 11:35:13
    147.   Eric Enders
    Man, Don Sutton is a fantasic announcer. I can't believe the winningest pitcher in Dodger history works for the Washington Freaking Nationals while our radio team consists of Beavis and friend.
    2008-03-04 11:35:53
    148.   bhsportsguy
    146 Second, makes sense since that one is at Vero Beach.

    ToyCannon saw him give up a home run at AT&T last year so maybe he'll have a better outing tonight.

    2008-03-04 11:35:58
    149.   Andrew Shimmin
    145- Then he gets killed at the plate by five feet. Willy Mo Pena with the assist.

    Larry Bowa may be an idiot.

    2008-03-04 11:36:01
    150.   underdog
    Ethier's looking great so far today.

    Good thing this isn't a regular season game or I'd be shouting about sending the runner there.

    So when does The Minotaur make his appearance? (I have it on MLBTV but am at work with no sound. So I guess I missed the wit and wisdom of Jim Bowden.)

    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2008-03-04 11:36:07
    151.   Eric Enders
    146 2nd

    Ethier knocks a hard single which impresses the heck out of the Nats announcers. DeJesus thrown out at the plate, though.

    2008-03-04 11:36:16
    152.   Jon Weisman
    141 - Good of Susan to print the retraction.
    2008-03-04 11:37:30
    153.   underdog
    149 It's just the helmet pressing down on his brain, makes him more un-smarter.
    2008-03-04 11:38:17
    154.   Jacob L
    141 , 152 Sure, but it would have been nice to enjoy it for a bit longer.
    2008-03-04 11:39:07
    155.   Bob Timmermann
    The library is changing its OS to Windows XP! 2001 here we come!
    2008-03-04 11:41:10
    156.   Eric Enders
    Fly ball double off Andruw's glove. He looks about as fast as David Ortiz out there.
    2008-03-04 11:41:54
    157.   underdog
    Nice one Andre! Gunning down Dmitri at the plate. Try that Juan!
    2008-03-04 11:42:12
    158.   JoeyP
    142--You can have price floors and price ceilings without revenue sharing and still have a very competitive league.

    Economics say that price floors/price ceilings lead to supply shortages, but in the case of baseball that would never happen. There will always be a supply of baseball players to pick from unless a new league was started that did not have those constraints.

    Say the salary cap was 120mils and the salary floor was 60mils-->Are you saying that system would be worse for baseball fans than the current one? If the players are so upset about losing money, then divide up the excess revenue and put it into player pensions. Dont just give it to cheap teams and let them sit on it.

    132--Of course the NBA/NFL players unions agreed to their contracts. But to say that just because it has never happened in the past, means the MLB would never agree to it really under-estimates collective bargaining.

    All it will take is a couple of down years revenue wise for baseball, in addition to owners that will take a more hard line and there'll be some sort of cap/contraction/pricefloor/cap, etc. Nobody wants to kill the golden goose when its currently laying eggs, but eventually it'll stop and that is when you'll see these changes inacted.

    I just think the baseball product--on the field--would be better bc a cap/floor would make everything that much more competitive from a standpoint of acquiring players or even marketing the game. If the Marlins were forced to spend 60mils a year on salary, they'd probably make a better effort to market their team, draw fans, keep talent, play better baseball. And if they couldnt do it, then contract them which would make the others in the league stronger.

    2008-03-04 11:42:34
    159.   Eric Enders
    Ethier nails a runner at the plate.

    Home runs. Sharp singles. Outfield assists. His game today is like a sampler of all the things Juan Pierre is incapable of doing.

    2008-03-04 11:43:43
    160.   Disabled List
    149 , 153 Alright folks. It's only the first week of March, but Larry Bowa has already provided plenty of material for us to start looking into nicknames for him.

    Please forward all submissions to the Official Dodger Thoughts Subcommittee on Nomenclature. Thank you.

    2008-03-04 11:43:45
    161.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
    Ethier was the college roommate at ASU with a good friend of mine. He wasn't the party type, close with his family, etc. While my friend and him lost touch over the years, Either still called him when he got married last summer to congratulate him. Just another reason why he should be the starting LF.
    2008-03-04 11:46:15
    162.   Jim Hitchcock
    160 The obvious would be Bowa Blows...
    2008-03-04 11:46:55
    163.   Andrew Shimmin
    160- The unofficial Dodger Thoughts Subcommittee on Shunning the Next Person to Comment on Salary Caps has been called to an emergency meeting, and we need the office space. Would the ODTSoN yield the room to us, real quick?
    2008-03-04 11:47:41
    164.   underdog
    160 I don't know if it works as well as the Windmill, but I kind of like "The Volcano" for him.

    Obviously "Braniac" doesn't work.

    2008-03-04 11:48:30
    165.   Jacob L
    161 I'm going to assume your friend did not get a congratulatory phone call from any other left field candidates . . . Just saying.
    2008-03-04 11:49:22
    166.   Bob Timmermann
    163
    I don't believe in shunning, English.

    I've got to go raise a barn.

    2008-03-04 11:49:22
    167.   bhsportsguy
    158 I understnad that but what evidence is there of that happening. The Yankees, Mets, Twins, A's and Marlins are in the process or have built new stadiums.

    The Tigers, who are in one of the more economically depressed areas in the country are having record ticket sales.

    And right here in Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers may sell 4 million tickets this year.

    MLBAM (despite Andrew's curses) is growing every year, baseball is far far out front the other major sports in investing in new revenue streams.

    Could it end, well, I suppose KC, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay could just pack it up someday but as long as luxury tax payouts and limited revenue sharing goes on, they will continue to operate.

    I know you are writing this from an ideal world perspective, heck I heard Jerry West say a few weeks ago that the NBA would be far better off if there were less teams in pro ball too but I don't think given the labor history and record revenues, MLB is going down that road in the near future or even when the next contract comes up in 2012.

    2008-03-04 11:49:24
    168.   Marty
    I'm kind of partial to "The Idiot"

    Or maybe Fyodor

    2008-03-04 11:50:15
    169.   DougS
    Late to the game as usual, but I just wanted to add a thought to Jon's comment about Torre and Pierre:

    I can see the case that Torre has been hyped to the point where he's set up for a fall. But somehow, I think that if he sticks with Pierre in a losing cause, not much will change; those who are determined to see positives in Pierre will find someone else to blame, so Torre will probably escape blame for playing him,

    2008-03-04 11:50:20
    170.   GMac In The 909
    165 It's rumored that the other left field candidate showed up to the wedding five minutes early.
    2008-03-04 11:51:11
    171.   Disabled List
    164 I think "Brainiac" works great, if you're into the whole sarcasm thing.
    2008-03-04 11:51:30
    172.   Eric Enders
    "Old Faithful." He's old. Follows Torre around like a puppy. Periodically blows his top.
    2008-03-04 11:52:34
    173.   underdog
    Lindsay goes deep!

    Someone find this guy a team with a DH opening.

    2008-03-04 11:52:55
    174.   Andrew Shimmin
    Zappala's man comes through again. Solo HR for Lindsay.
    2008-03-04 11:53:12
    175.   ibleedbloo
    just caught lindsys HR ball...way to cap off the trip.
    2008-03-04 11:53:40
    176.   bhsportsguy
    172 Wouldn't that have been more appropriate for his old pal (and former Dodger) Don Zimmer?

    I like the Volcano, Hard Hat is another one.

    2008-03-04 11:54:45
    177.   bhsportsguy
    175 Its a spring training game so it may not matter but sometimes players will exchange HR balls for autographed ones.

    Just saying.

    2008-03-04 11:55:10
    178.   underdog
    Braniac or The Volcano -- do I get residuals every time they're used here during the season?

    I also like Bowa Constrictor.

    175 Hah, did you really? Nice one. Now go back to sitting behind Torre to whisper subliminal messages about Ethier.

    2008-03-04 11:55:17
    179.   Andrew Shimmin
    Bob, would you tell BH that bears can climb faster than they can run. Bob! Tell him!
    2008-03-04 11:55:32
    180.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
    165 170 Im just glad the CF wasn't there for the all you can eat reception.
    2008-03-04 11:55:34
    181.   silverwidow
    150 Clayton Kurveball pitches in Game 2.
    2008-03-04 11:55:42
    182.   Jon Weisman
    175 - You caught it? That's awesome!
    2008-03-04 11:55:48
    183.   bhsportsguy
    BTW - anyone mention that John Madden is going to have to get a new favorite QB?
    2008-03-04 11:56:07
    184.   GMac In The 909
    172 How about "Old Yeller"? As in, we'd all like to take him out back and, well, you know.
    2008-03-04 11:56:31
    185.   fanerman
    175 178 Also be sure to point out that the other LFer is not capable of hitting home runs, hitting hard singles, or throwing out baserunners.
    2008-03-04 11:57:14
    186.   bhsportsguy
    179 I'll stop now.
    2008-03-04 12:00:28
    187.   Retire 55
    These one inning interviews w/ nationals staffers are excruciating.
    2008-03-04 12:00:55
    188.   Disabled List
    184 Old Yeller is great. I think that one's gotta be the leader in the clubhouse right now.
    2008-03-04 12:00:58
    189.   underdog
    With no sound I can't tell who's pitching for the Dodgers now. Who is #93? He looks pretty decent so far.
    2008-03-04 12:02:46
    190.   Axim
    189 Brian Akin
    2008-03-04 12:05:12
    191.   Bob Timmermann
    183
    Today would be the perfect day for the Brewers or Bucks to do something completely outrageous. There would be no coverage in the papers.

    "The Milwaukee Brewers today traded Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun to the New York Yankees in exchange for Johnny Damon, Carl Pavano, and Kyle Farnsworth."

    2008-03-04 12:05:52
    192.   SoSG Orel
    175 182 I nominate ibleedbloo as our backup left fielder.
    2008-03-04 12:07:07
    193.   underdog
    Time for Aaron Rogers to show his mettle. Hope he doesn't meet the same fate as Brian Griese after following in the footsteps of Bob's favorite QB.
    2008-03-04 12:07:47
    194.   kinbote
    160 How about L-Bow? (pronounced "elbow")
    2008-03-04 12:07:57
    195.   bhsportsguy
    191 Not just in Milwaukee, ESPN went all Brett Favre all the time for the rest of the day.
    2008-03-04 12:08:18
    196.   Daniel Zappala
    173 , 174 Who says Loney is our best first baseman? Maybe Lindsey can take the starting job with a strong spring. Maybe people can start spelling his name correctly.
    2008-03-04 12:09:00
    197.   kinbote
    184 "Old Yeller" is good.
    2008-03-04 12:09:26
    198.   El Lay Dave
    175 Ask Larry Bowa if he carries a lunch box out there with the hard hat.
    2008-03-04 12:09:48
    199.   Daniel Zappala
    195 Here I was thinking Bob made that comment because of the coverage of the primary today.
    2008-03-04 12:09:59
    200.   Andrew Shimmin
    186- Unshun. Too late. Reshun.
    Show/Hide Comments 201-250
    2008-03-04 12:10:36
    201.   Jon Weisman
    Scroll down to the February 29 entry to see Molly throw her weight around.

    http://mollyknight.com/

    2008-03-04 12:11:20
    202.   Eric Enders
    JAHFAE
    (Just another hit for Andre Ethier.)
    2008-03-04 12:12:11
    203.   Eric Enders
    And now a stolen base!

    I'm telling you, the guy's like Juan Pierre... except good.

    2008-03-04 12:12:23
    204.   ibleedbloo
    Im going to see if I can get him to sign it for me. I have to get out of here soon though, got a plane to catch.
    2008-03-04 12:12:32
    205.   underdog
    Ethier just stole a base. Take that Juan!

    But then he appears to have hurt himself sliding into second. He's being replaced by X-Paul. And no, it doesn't look at all like anything serious.

    2008-03-04 12:14:06
    206.   Jon Weisman
    204 - Anyone get a picture of you with the HR ball?
    2008-03-04 12:14:25
    207.   DaveP
    205- The throw to 2nd hit him squarely in the back. He seems fine.
    2008-03-04 12:14:29
    208.   DaveP
    205- The throw to 2nd hit him squarely in the back. He seems fine.
    2008-03-04 12:16:01
    209.   fanerman
    That Andre Ethier is a gamer. I like his competitiveness. He has good make-up.

    He can hit home runs, hit hard singles, throw runners out, and steal bases.

    And not only that, he's... a GOOD GUY™.

    2008-03-04 12:17:45
    210.   Bob Timmermann
    I wonder if Shawn Johnson has issues with her father. I know a therapist who could help her out.
    2008-03-04 12:17:55
    211.   kinbote
    209 I bet if he made a lot of money, he'd be charitable too!
    2008-03-04 12:17:58
    212.   ToyCannon
    If Old Yeller wasn't wearing a helmet he would have held up the runner.
    2008-03-04 12:18:08
    213.   Dane Bramage
    Bike racks at Dodger Stadium?

    I've always been curious about this myself...

    http://tinyurl.com/2xpsyv

    2008-03-04 12:19:37
    214.   ToyCannon
    209
    If he'd only show up 5 minutes early and do some busy work he might be worth a look.
    2008-03-04 12:21:46
    215.   fanerman
    214 We should also campaign that he's a hardworker. We can just say that he works out at home before he comes to the ballpark. Sooner or later, word will get around and people will accept it as fact without any basis for it.
    2008-03-04 12:25:07
    216.   Andrew Shimmin
    Where was this pushback a week ago when we were talking about whether Ethier was more Emo or Goth?
    2008-03-04 12:25:20
    217.   Bob Timmermann
    Perhaps we could hire Margaret Selzer to write the Andre Ethier Story.
    2008-03-04 12:28:41
    218.   Sam DC
    Nationals Opening Day tickets sold out in 6 minutes.

    Tho only 4,000 tix were left for today after all the presales.

    http://tinyurl.com/2egb75

    2008-03-04 12:31:50
    219.   Jon Weisman
    213 - I'm curious, though I currently find myself without a bike.
    2008-03-04 12:32:06
    220.   ToyCannon
    Brian Akin pitched an inning without a walk. That is a notable achievement for him.
    2008-03-04 12:33:50
    221.   neuroboy002
    214 What Ethier needs to do is start rolling baseballs down the 3rd and 1st base lines before games. That would cause a few looks...
    2008-03-04 12:35:42
    222.   underdog
    Do they allow people to bicycle in LA? When I lived there and sometimes bike-commuted to work people looked at me like I was some sort of terrorist or alien or both. The more bike-friendly it gets the better.
    2008-03-04 12:36:37
    223.   underdog
    Even without sound, these MASN sideline interviews look deadly boring. Enough already.
    2008-03-04 12:37:48
    224.   Dane Bramage
    222 No, they are NOT allowed to bike in LA, but I was curious nonetheless...;-)
    2008-03-04 12:38:03
    225.   Andrew Shimmin
    223- As long as it's not Duke Castiglione, I don't complain.
    2008-03-04 12:41:12
    226.   MC Safety
    According to ESPN Gamecast Arsenal are running AC Milan ragged in the San Siro. At the half it's nil nil, but Cesc has hit the bar, and Hleb was robbed of a free kick by a corrupt ref who booked him for a dive. Should be an exciting second half, as Arsenal look to advance to the last 8 at the expense of the defending European champs.
    2008-03-04 12:43:14
    227.   Eric Enders
    James Adkins rolling around on the ground after getting hit in the knee by a hard line drive.
    2008-03-04 12:44:34
    228.   underdog
    Oh crud, was that Adkins? I was wondering who that was. He was looking pretty good, too. And tall. Hope he's okay. Was that his knee or the back of his leg?
    2008-03-04 12:44:47
    229.   Bob Timmermann
    I work in Downtown L.A. and there are lots and lots and lots of bicycles here. But they are all used by messengers and they don't worry about cars and I worry about the bikes more than the cars sometimes.

    And I really worry about the bike messenger who looks like Kevin Bacon.

    2008-03-04 12:45:53
    230.   Eric Enders
    It looked like the back of the knee area. It also looked like it might have ricocheted off the one leg and hit him again in the other leg.

    He was removed from the game.

    2008-03-04 12:48:33
    231.   kngoworld
    226 Speak english please.
    2008-03-04 12:49:07
    232.   Eric Enders
    Pinango retires the side... 5-3 LA after eight.
    2008-03-04 12:49:30
    233.   underdog
    229 Bike messengers really are aliens so they don't count quite the same in my book. The ones here in SF seem to have special powers that allow them to survive in the hairiest of situations. Wasn't that film - Quicksilver - filmed in LA but set in SF? Or was it set there, too? I just remember it being six degrees of separation away from... any good.
    2008-03-04 12:49:46
    234.   bhsportsguy
    230 Makes you wonder what Jake Peavy is thinking about when choosing comfort over protection.
    2008-03-04 12:53:16
    235.   El Lay Dave
    Bicycle to DS? I realize I'm old and out of shape, but Dodger Stadium sits on top of a substantive hill.
    2008-03-04 12:54:26
    236.   underdog
    DYoung's having a tough day at the plate today. Hope that doesn't count against him in the long run. Tough to face Cordero in the 9th in a Spring game, too.
    2008-03-04 12:56:16
    237.   Jon Weisman
    235 - If you can survive the journey, the hill will be the least of your worries.
    2008-03-04 12:56:54
    238.   ToyCannon
    The best biking is the beach trails but when Metro opened the Orange line they created a bike path that runs from Warner Center to North Hollywood. You could if you were feeling full of beans, bike from Woodland Hills to the North Hollywood train station. Take the Red line to Union Station and then bike from US to DS. The key would be to use an electric bike for the hills:)
    2008-03-04 12:57:49
    239.   Eric Enders
    I think I got 237 in a fortune cookie once.
    2008-03-04 12:57:53
    240.   JL25and3
    I recognize Torre's weaknesses quite well, but I'm not as down on him as a lot of Yankee fans. Here's my prediction: Pierre will indeed start the season in LF. It will be his job to lose - but Torre will definitely allow him to lose it. Joe will play out the veteran hand first, but he will be willing to fold it.
    2008-03-04 13:00:30
    241.   ToyCannon
    234
    Evidently he's not thinking. Helmet covers for the balls should be priority number one.
    2008-03-04 13:01:38
    242.   Jon Weisman
    NPUT
    2008-03-04 13:02:53
    243.   regfairfield
    I think Beltre's refusal to wear a cup is way more dangerous than Peavy's.
    2008-03-04 13:03:18
    244.   underdog
    240 That's kind of my prediction, too.
    2008-03-04 13:04:03
    245.   Penarol1916
    226. Like I trust ESPN's take on a Premier League club versus Serie club. American coverage of the sport in Europe has made me hate every English club in every International Competition.
    2008-03-04 13:06:48
    246.   MC Safety
    231 I don't get it. If you don't care for the sport, just carry on.
    2008-03-04 13:20:02
    247.   Dane Bramage
    235 Actually, if you enter off of Bishop's drive past Cathedral High the hill really isn't all that bad. Still a little tough, but do-able.
    2008-03-04 19:57:38
    248.   Joe Pierre
    In the end the biggest thing should be, if the Dodgers are winning and have a big season then Pierre is all right but if the Dodgers have a bad season and drop out of the race early than he's a bum and it's time to bench him.

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