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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Istanbul's Not Constantinople
2008-03-12 14:03
by Jon Weisman

And Dodger Stadium is not Chavez Ravine.

Why did Chavez Ravine get the works? That's nobody's business but the U.S. Geological Survey.

* * *

Either Tony Abreu is too dumb to know he would benefit from playing in Spring Training games, or he's unable to play. My guess is that he's not that dumb. So why does he have to have his toughness questioned each time he finds himself injured, as Kevin Baxter of the Times reports?

Abreu missed much of last summer with an abdominal injury that required surgery in October. But problems have apparently lingered, limiting Abreu to three at-bats this spring. That has also led many in the Dodgers organization, most of whom haven't seen Abreu play, to quietly question his toughness.

So, after a 2007 season in which he was accused of malingering, he had surgery - because, you know, that's what you do when you're lazy and weak. And now, while players all around him kick back and nurse injuries, Abreu is being singled out again.

Maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe Abreu really is that dumb, weak and lazy. Or maybe, just maybe, the guy's really hurt. Of course, that's probably impossible - he hasn't been really hurt since ... the last time he was really hurt.


Good thing Joe Torre's around to manage the clubhouse. Oh, wait ...

Update: You might remember - after all, it was only three days ago - that the Beijing-bound Torre specifically told Abreu that his recovery was important. From Dylan Hernandez in Monday's Times:

With Andruw Jones by his side to translate, Torre spoke to infield prospect Tony Abreu, who rushed himself back from an injury only to hurt himself again in his spring debut Friday. "I just let him know that we want to get him well," Torre said.

As if the Dodgers don't know this well enough already, nothing kills this team faster than rushing back from an injury. Whoever in the organization is whispering behind Abreu's back should can it.

Update 2: Tony Jackson of the Daily News comments in a more straightforward manner about Abreu. But Jackson raises the issue of whether the Dodgers need to go outside the organization to get a third baseman. (He writes off Blake DeWitt as an option, though no one ever thought DeWitt was an alternative for April to begin with.) But is what's out there a significant improvement in the short-term over someone like Chin-Lung Hu?

Comments (130)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-03-12 14:12:27
1.   LogikReader
A number of times, I make a post and a NPUT comes up right after it. Would that be the opposite of being LAT'd?

Jon that is an AWESOME "They Might Be Giants" reference. Because, you know even Old New York was once New Amsterdam...

2008-03-12 14:14:21
2.   Jon Weisman
2008-03-12 14:16:46
3.   LogikReader

D'oh! I forgot about that.

Does that mean the "Puttin' On the Ritz" song wasn't by Taco either?

2008-03-12 14:21:00
4.   El Lay Dave
The Four Lads: Loney, Kemp, Ethier, LaRoche. They Might Be Dodgers (for a long time).
2008-03-12 14:21:57
5.   kylepetterson
So if you have a date in Chavez Ravine, she'll be waiting at Dodger Stadium.
2008-03-12 14:22:09
6.   Bob Timmermann
You can see the terrain a little better on Google.

Of course, "Chavez Ravine" became attached to the whole area, but you can see how the area along Stadium Way is lower than the surrounding area.

Sort of like a ravine.

2008-03-12 14:22:26
7.   drewjensen
From previous thread - plus 1 for Zachary's in the bay area. It's definitely the best I've had (though my experience doesn't include Chicago or New York).

Also, found out there was a Me-n-Ed's up here so took the wife there on recommendation from some other pizza thread - and it may be the worst pizza I've had. I can only assume that these things are franchised and there is a high variability between one and another.

2008-03-12 14:22:31
8.   underdog
Someone needs to put a little birdhouse in poor Tony Abreu's soul.

Yeah, I think the feeling that he's weak or dumb is entirely stupid. On the other hand, the worry that he may be injury-prone is not unfounded, alas.

2008-03-12 14:22:33
9.   Marty
Your Abreu links don't seem to work Jon.
2008-03-12 14:22:59
10.   Marty
Nevermind, they went away
2008-03-12 14:24:49
11.   El Lay Dave

Subhead: Some of his teammates wonder about his toughness.

But this is the only quote: "Abreu seems to be more hurt than I am. I've never seen this before," said Kent, who has been sidelined for a week himself with a tweaked hamstring. "He's missing a grand opportunity to show his wares."

2008-03-12 14:25:18
12.   El Lay Dave
Whoa - beaten to the punch by Jon!
2008-03-12 14:27:51
13.   Bob Timmermann
I need to go show my wares to people. The last time I did that though, the police intervened.
2008-03-12 14:28:39
14.   Jon Weisman
8 - I need to remember to do a full post comparing "injury prone" to "clutch hitter." The terms can accurately reflect what happened in the past, but are often unreliable when predicting the future.
2008-03-12 14:29:10
15.   Marty
Hey, I had that quote last thread!
2008-03-12 14:29:37
16.   Jon Weisman
11 - I assume there's some off-the-record questioning designed to send Abreu a message directly countering Torre's specific advice to Abreu to get well.
2008-03-12 14:29:58
17.   JoeyP
12 pitchers:

12th Spot Between: Brazoban, Koplove, Myers

I see Park making it because they'll need at the very least a long mop up guy.

2008-03-12 14:32:21
18.   Penarol1916
7. It could just be that the style of pizza of Me-n-Ed's doesn't appeal to you. I know a ton of people in the St. Louis area who swear that Imo's is the best pizza they've had, and I just don't understand it. The crust is just so absurdly thin and crisp, I don't know how anyone can enjoy it.
2008-03-12 14:35:17
19.   JoeyP
11--Kent's just a complete tool. I like the numbers he puts up, but other than that he's a waste.

Too bad Unclie Miltie doesnt post anymore. He was the #1 Jeff Kent hater and apparently he was right.

2008-03-12 14:37:48
20.   Penarol1916
19. I thought that the quote was at least mildly supportive of Abreu, saying that he was certainly more hurt than Kent and that this injury was just a really strange one. More of it's a shame that he can't play and take advantage of this chance, than I suspect he's not as hurt as he claims.
2008-03-12 14:41:07
21.   Humma Kavula
20 There is an air of disbelief to the quote. "I've never seen this before," he says.

Put me squarely in the camp that gives Abreu the benefit of the doubt and would ask Mr. Kent, politely, to keep it to himself.

2008-03-12 14:42:16
22.   Jon Weisman
20 - "Abreu seems to be more hurt than I am."

Like everything with Kent, I think it's open to interpretation. My interpretation is that Kent is doubting the injury.

2008-03-12 14:43:24
23.   Dark Horse
20-That's how I read it too. Like, "weird injury, and a shame it's preventing him from showing how well he can play." I don't think that quote is critical, although it wouldn't surprise me to find "organizational sources" are instead a certain unretired front office figure who'd like to tell me where I can put my pitch counts.

Just a suspicion. Y'know, old-school play and all that.

2008-03-12 14:44:03
24.   drewjensen
18 While I am willing to acknowledge (reluctantly) that this ultra thin crust pizza is about the exact opposite of how I usually prefer pizza...I just can't fathom that this would have been a good example of the thin crust style.

I would assume that if you're going to negate the value of having a flavorful crust, then you better go hog wild with the delicious sauce - but not so! The guy in front of me ordered his with extra sauce and maybe that's what you have to do to get up to the requisite appropriate amount of sauce, but it was definitely "under-sauced."

The toppings not so special either. Pepperoni was run of the mill. The cheese nothing special.

I'm getting fired up about this all over again thinking about it.

2008-03-12 14:45:47
25.   Jon Weisman
23 - You may be right on all counts.
2008-03-12 14:46:05
26.   trainwreck
I know we will miss Kent's offense next year, but I won't miss Jeff Kent.
2008-03-12 14:46:07
27.   underdog
21 Yes, I agree.

And 14 fair 'nuf, Jon. The past is not always indicative of the future. Especially when, as with Andy LaRoche, at least one of the injuries, the most serious one, was a complete freak accident. Still, is there something about Abreu's physique that is prone to not recovering very fast or to getting strained/wounded more easily than normal? I only agree with Kent that it's a shame he can't play more right now because it's a golden opportunity. I'm sure he's as bummed about it as anyone.

2008-03-12 14:50:18
28.   silverwidow
17 I think they will start the season with 11 pitchers. I wonder how they'll make room for Park on the 40-man (Schmidt to 60-day DL?).
2008-03-12 14:50:53
29.   Ken Noe
I'm certainly no Kent fan--I rue his signing and would have traded him last year--but in the context of the entire Gurnick article, his Abreu comments seem okay to me. Both he and Nomar stress taking it easy and not pushing until healed.
2008-03-12 14:51:04
30.   Penarol1916
24. I've never been to that place, so I of course can't comment, but that was always my problem with Imo's as well.

23. Perhaps we are just too willing to give people the benefit of the doubt and naive. Who knows, you'd probably have to hear his tone to have a better understanding of what he meant.

2008-03-12 14:51:12
31.   silverwidow
28 Or perhaps they'll just cut Mark Sweeney.
2008-03-12 14:52:03
32.   Eric Enders
"I've never seen anything like it before" is the most difficult part of the quote to parse.

I've never seen this specific injury before?
I've never seen a recurrence of an injury that was supposed to have been surgically repaired?
I've never seen a guy fake an injury?
I've never seen a guy so unwilling to play through pain when he's got a clear chance to win a job?
I've never seen two guys who play the same position on the same team get hurt simultanously, and now it's happened to the Dodgers twice in a week?

2008-03-12 14:53:24
33.   Penarol1916
32. I assumed it was a combination of the first two, like it is some kind of medical oddity and Jeff just thought it was interesting.
2008-03-12 14:54:01
34.   fiddlestick
Well Jeff, you pulled your hamstring. Abreu went under the knife. His condition would "seem" to be more serious.
2008-03-12 14:56:20
35.   Eric Enders
"And Dodger Stadium is not Chavez Ravine."

I'm surprised people are surprised by this. I mean, I don't even live in L.A., and yet it was obvious even to me that Dodger Stadium is located on top of a hill and not in a ravine.

2008-03-12 14:57:58
36.   Jon Weisman
35 - You're talking about logic, which isn't always present when names of locations are thrown around.
2008-03-12 14:58:30
37.   underdog
I was surprised the first time I went to Candlestick Park and there wasn't a single giant candlestick (or Giant Candlestick) to be found anywhere.
2008-03-12 14:59:35
38.   Eric Enders
I was surprised when I went to Riverfront Stadium, and it was on the back side of the river instead of the front.
2008-03-12 15:02:25
39.   bhsportsguy
38 I wonder if Citi Field will just have giant credit cards for outfield walls?
2008-03-12 15:05:20
40.   silverwidow
Tony Jackson is now trumpeting a trade for a 3B.
2008-03-12 15:08:14
41.   ibleedbloo
I was surprised that when I went to see a home game of the Los Angles Angels of Anaheim and I wasn't in Los Angeles.
2008-03-12 15:08:16
42.   underdog
39 Not to mention what San Diego's stadium makes me think of...
2008-03-12 15:09:29
43.   Zak
41 LOL. That is clever.
2008-03-12 15:09:50
44.   MC Safety
Anybody been to Pizza Port in Carlsbad?
2008-03-12 15:09:51
45.   drewjensen
Very much looking forward to the end of the Jeff Kent era. Like what he brought on the field...not so much off.

I wonder if mgmt will truly have their opinion of the heir apparent (abreu) shaped by the injuries he's dealing with. Will he get the "injury-prone" tag? Or worse, like Malingerer or Soft? It wouldn't surprise me terribly if Furcal's contract drive actually got Ned to extend him and maybe Hu ends up at 2nd Base. This would not be my preference, but you could see it going that way.

2008-03-12 15:12:35
46.   underdog
I actually think a Furcal-Hu combo would be stellar, wouldn't have a problem with that at all.
2008-03-12 15:13:23
47.   LogikReader
Imagine my disappointment when I went to Staples Center and I didn't get even one box of staples!
2008-03-12 15:14:17
48.   underdog
Heh. This joke could go on for awhile.
2008-03-12 15:14:32
49.   drewjensen
45 Jose Reyes played 2nd the first year or two in the league I think.
2008-03-12 15:16:14
50.   Eric Enders
Imagine my surprise when I went to a Padres game and only one of the players was Steve Garvey.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-03-12 15:17:24
51.   SMY
44 Pizza Port is very good. I miss it.
2008-03-12 15:18:00
52.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
36 Especially when L.A. has an LA-Canada freeway, and it doesn't run from LA to Canada...

(I love that joke)

2008-03-12 15:22:07
53.   bhsportsguy
If Nomar isn't playing by the weekend, I would then wonder what is status will be.

And like Jon said above and I'll add to it, Blake Dewitt isn't Evan Longoria, Dewitt wasn't even supposed to be in major league camp this spring so the idea that he could step in for the Dodgers (and grab a 40-man spot) seems somewhat misplaced.

Now, if the Dodgers have doubts about Nomar altogether, that is an entirely different subject but only the item in Peter Gammon's column seems to indicate that there was a hint of possibly eating his salary. But that was before LaRoche's injury.

2008-03-12 15:23:23
54.   bhsportsguy
Old Fedco used to sell pizza pups (hot dog wrapped in a slice of Fedco cheese pizza). I think I only had it once, but I always used to look at them in the display.
2008-03-12 15:24:47
55.   Jim Hitchcock
Chavez Ravine does have a better ring to it than, say, Chavez Gulch.

Chavez Arroyo, on the other hand...

2008-03-12 15:25:57
56.   Lexinthedena
So according to Tony Jackson, DeWitt is out of contention because of a bad hop and a liner that he didn't jump for?

Tony Jackson "real reactionary"

2008-03-12 15:26:39
57.   Lexinthedena
55 Who was this Chavez?
2008-03-12 15:27:33
58.   Eric Enders
DeWitt is more likely out of contention because he can't hit major league pitching yet.
2008-03-12 15:29:06
59.   bhsportsguy
52 But do you know what river runs through downtown Los Angeles?

Who goofed, I've got to know.

2008-03-12 15:31:11
60.   Jon Weisman
This story is strange for many reasons. Why not just let Johnson bat?

2008-03-12 15:31:24
61.   Jim Hitchcock
47 You needed to get a gift certificate from Suffering Bruin, is all.
2008-03-12 15:32:44
62.   MC Safety
51 Yeah, I love that place. Nice beers too.
2008-03-12 15:32:54
63.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Regarding the Jeff Kent distaste:

So, he comes up to bat in AT&T Park in San Francisco, and the fans, many years removed from his years in a Jint uni, boo him mercilessly.

For those who will be happy enough to see him go, how do you react to the Jint fans who boo him?

I'm curious.

2008-03-12 15:32:55
64.   underdog
Combining both running topics, perhaps the Dodgers should trade for Eric Chavez Ravine?
2008-03-12 15:33:09
65.   Jim Hitchcock
57 Julian Chavez, an L.A. Councilman of the 1800's.

That is the short version...

2008-03-12 15:34:48
66.   Jon Weisman
Fred Claire on the Rule 5 draft:

All teams realize they may have let a good player get away when a player is taken in the Rule 5 Draft.

At the Winter Meetings of 1970, the Red Sox lost a young outfielder in the Draft to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the Cardinals' final cut of the spring of 1971, that young outfielder was returned to the Red Sox. He went on to six seasons with the Red Sox and another 11 seasons with Milwaukee in a career that produced 241 home runs, 1,125 RBIs and five All-Star appearances.

That player is Cecil Cooper, now the manager of the Houston Astros.

In Houston's camp this spring, Cooper is keeping a close eye on a young pitcher by the name of Wesley Wright, a Rule 5 Draft selection from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cooper is fully aware of the ramifications of letting a good young player get away.

2008-03-12 15:37:27
67.   Kevin Lewis
From the last thread:

Can I be the wacky commentator? I could hop in a canoe in McCovey cove with my dog...oh, wait.

2008-03-12 15:37:50
68.   Eric Enders
"Cooper is fully aware of the ramifications of letting a good young player get away."

Ned Colletti, obviously, is not. Either that, or his definition of a good young player is "Mark Sweeney."

2008-03-12 15:38:46
69.   Lexinthedena
58 Ive only seen DeWitt play once, but I was more pointing out Tony Jackson's tendencies to go Chicken Little about everything but Jaun Pierre.
2008-03-12 15:39:23
70.   ToyCannon
I continue to be shocked that Kent is hurt and that Kent might be questioning someone else's toughness.

Would Eric Chavez play in Chavez Ravine?

I really don't think the Dodgers think Nomar is a viable solution and they are wise to think so. The real question is do they go for the short term solution Nomar, Hu, Abreu while Andy heals in hope that when he comes back he can stay healthy enough to help or do they bring in a long term solution(one year).

2008-03-12 15:41:00
71.   Eric Enders
So, given the financial state of newspapers in general, and of the L.A. papers in particular, should we assume that their coverage of the China games will be done by a pool reporter (or, dare I even think it, Ken Gurnick, "Special to the Times")?

Or will it be the Vero games that will be pool reported? I can't imagine that they'd fork over the dough to have reporters covering games in both places.

Or maybe they'll just run AP stories.

2008-03-12 15:44:24
72.   Jon Weisman
71 - The Times will certainly be in China. And Steve Henson is there for Yahoo. Don't know what the Daily News is doing.
2008-03-12 15:49:50
73.   Eric Stephen
I have been to the one in Solana Beach. That is the original I think (I could be wrong). We used to go in college a lot for 25 cent wing and 10 cent cheesestick night.
2008-03-12 15:50:35
74.   bhsportsguy
66 Not sure he likes what he is seeing (small sample) because Cooper has said he hates seeing his pitchers walk anyone.

Wright 5 games 5.0 IP 3 hits, 2 runs 1 ER 1 HBP 5 BB 2 K.

2008-03-12 15:52:44
75.   Eric Stephen
how do you react to the Jint fans who boo him

The same way I react to all Giants' fans. With extreme prejudice!

2008-03-12 15:52:45
76.   underdog
68 I'm not feeling all that sad the Dodgers let Wright, or even Travis Denker, go, personally.
2008-03-12 15:54:36
77.   Eric Enders
Denker I can live without. Well, Wright I can live without, too, but he could be a decent LOOGY, and Ned gave him away for nothing.

It's debatable whether Mark Sweeney is worth even ONE of those players, but he cost us both of them.

2008-03-12 15:55:15
78.   bhsportsguy
71 Dylan Hernandez's byline has not appeared for the last day (Kevin Baxter wrote the last two stories and they jointly reported one from yesterday) so I think the Times did send Hernandez to China unless he is taking a break right now.

Tony Jackson has already happily said that he begged off the trip (with the latest cuts at their paper, I don't think they would have sent him anyway.)

Now if you are reporter covering the Red Sox or the A's, since they are playing games that count, I have to think they are sending their beat writers (and in Boston's case, probably the sportswriting staff from both newspapers)

2008-03-12 15:57:35
79.   Eric Enders
Maybe they can send Plaschke to China too. And forget him there.
2008-03-12 15:57:50
80.   underdog
77 I'm confused - how does Mark Sweeney directly relate to/effect Wesley Wright? Roster spot?
2008-03-12 16:01:56
81.   bhsportsguy
80 Actually, you could blame Mark Hendrickson since they did not offer him a new contract, why not just shuttle him off like they did with Olmedo?

And here I go again, when it comes to the guys in the minors, you have to think that Watson, White and the minor league folks had more than a say on who to keep and who to let go. To put this all on Ned is just wrong.

2008-03-12 16:02:06
82.   silverwidow
80 The Dodgers essentially chose Mario Alvarez over Wright. Neither will likely succeed in the majors, so it's moot.
2008-03-12 16:03:15
83.   Humma Kavula
At the risk of violating rules 1 and 5, and possibly others...

Here is an example of everything that's wrong with television news. "Nightline," which used to be hosted by Ted Koppel, tries to get to the bottom of the Eliot Spitzer mess by interviewing Heidi Fleiss.

"He could go to Nevada, go to the Bunny Ranch, probably have finer-looking girls, and they would protect his privacy!"

2008-03-12 16:08:43
84.   Johnny Nucleo
There is no "Boston Pizza" in Boston. There is a Chicago Pizza however. Q: Does Chicago have "Chicago Pizza"?

2008-03-12 16:10:52
85.   Hythloday
69 Whereas if Jackson went all Chicken Little on Pierre then his offensive productions issues would be alleviated. Hu and Ethier vs. Pierre and Inge? That's a toughie.
2008-03-12 16:14:59
86.   silverwidow
Tony overreacts all the time. I remember last year when Billingsley had a poor bullpen outing against Milwaukee, all of a sudden he wasn't "ready" for the rotation.
2008-03-12 16:22:36
87.   underdog
83 Sort of like HBO running their Cathouse series as a "serious documentary." Right.
2008-03-12 16:22:40
88.   Daniel Zappala
Here in Salt Lake City, the Angels' affiliate plays at Franklin Covey park. And there's not a planner in sight.
2008-03-12 16:24:07
89.   Dodgers49
In the last thread someone asked about the roster for the games in China. Below is the original roster. I know that at least two of the three alternates will be going. Kevin Howard replaced Nomar and Xavier Paul replaced Sweeney. I don't remember if Brian Falkenborg replaced anyone.

Dodgers name squad for China

2008-03-12 16:30:17
90.   CodyS
Remind me why we are so excited about Tony Abreu? His minor-league career is spotty and his major league career is poor. He seems to me like if he is really lucky, he might become a weak-hitting major league 2B/3B backup.

If Nomar could play 4 games out of 6 for the first 8 weeks of the season, we are only looking to this backup to be 1/9th of the team for 1/10th of the season until LaRoche comes back.

Surely Young (plus maybe Hu) can cover that.
Surely Esteban German / Ronnie Belliard could do even better, at a pretty low cost. Realistically, Abreu can only hope to become as good as German/Belliard. Young may not amount to much more.
Hu is the only real prospect in there, and then only because he plays SS. Will Hu's development be stalled by playing twice a week at third vs. major leaguers instead of 6 times a week at short vs. minor leaguers for two months? No, I doubt it. The team has nothing to lose by going with Hu for this 1/90th of the team's seasonal contribution and then taking it from there with LaRoche while Hu "develops" in the PCL.
(If developing in the PCL is have to hit about .450 there before anyone believes you can handle major league pitching)

2008-03-12 16:39:40
91.   Eric Enders
90 "His minor-league career is spotty"

Not unless "spotty" is a synonym for "excellent." I mean, he won a batting title one year and hit .360 another year, and that despite always being young for his league. His PECOTA comps include people like Rod Carew and Howie Kendrick.

There are legitimate concerns about his lack of power, walks, or steals. But there's reason to believe he'll be a .300 hitter with good doubles totals and excellent second base defense. That's not a superstar, but it's nice enough.

2008-03-12 16:44:03
92.   CodyS
Spotty means that while he has shown flashes of success, his OPS is more likely to be in the 700s than the 900s. A career .345 OBP at the minor league level projects to what at the major league level. Gee, he produced a .308 in the majors last year, about what one would expect. And his secondary average is really low. So I just kind of doubt that suddenly he'll be a super-valuable player in the majors this year.
2008-03-12 16:46:41
93.   CodyS
I think D Young's reputation as not being able to handle second base is unfair.
21 .942
22 .951
23 .971

And then they stopped letting him play there. The badness of the first two years is where his reputation comes from. .971 is not too bad anyway. Better than Tony Abreu's career.

2008-03-12 16:46:41
94.   Bluebleeder87
I give up... I've been trying to make a Kershaw comp. Liriano post on how different they are & how similar Liriano is to Santana but that Liriano would NEVER be a great starter (great closer though) cause he doesn't have the god given ability to recover from start to start like Santana does. I just sell it a lot better verbally... so I was told by my sunday league teammates...
2008-03-12 16:47:50
95.   natepurcell

For a middle infielder, he projects to be above average. His defense is excellent and his offensive track record basically states he will be around a .300 hitter that is a doubles machine.

There is value in that type of player. I don't really see and commentators proclaiming he is going to be a star in the Utley mold. But he projects to be a solid major leaguer at a position where stability for the Dodgers is unknown beyond this year.

2008-03-12 16:49:28
96.   natepurcell

For prospects, its hard to look at metrics and measure how good they are defensively. Unfortunately, due to the lack of record keeping and other variables, scouting is essentially the best way to go for minor leaguers.

2008-03-12 16:51:59
97.   Bob Timmermann
Hope for Oregon State? Colorado State, one of three teams to go through its entire conference season winless, won its opening round game in the MWC tournament over Wyoming.

However, the Beavers have a much tougher opponent in the unnamed ones. But if the Beavers were to win, it would be really sweet.

And likely make Jon happy too.

2008-03-12 16:56:17
98.   Eric Enders
"career .345 OBP at the minor league level projects to what at the major league level. Gee, he produced a .308 in the majors last year, about what one would expect."

I guess that question was rhetorical, but I'll answer it anyway. His performance in Vegas translates to .302/.348/.447 at the major league level according to BP.

If you expected him to put up outstanding numbers right away, you're holding him to a higher standard than we've held guys like Matt Kemp, Jonathan Broxton, and Andy LaRoche to.

The point you appear to be trying to make is that Abreu's not "super-valuable," and you're correct. He's merely valuable. But I don't see what's wrong with that. He's better than most of the second basemen teams are running out there. You express dismay that he's unlikely to post a .900 OPS. That's true, but since when is a .900 OPS the standard we hold second basemen to?

Your point about D. Young is well taken, but that doesn't make Abreu a bad player.

2008-03-12 16:56:30
99.   Jon Weisman
97 - Is beating Oregon State better of worse for your RPI than losing to Arizona?
2008-03-12 16:56:34
100.   LogikReader
random thought of the day:

Is there not irony in Chick Hearn being one of Bill Walton's idols... despite the fact that he's a life-long Celtics fan?



Took a good look at the China lineup for the ol' Boys in Blue. Hopefully ol' Tommy will go easy on Kershaw back in Vero.

By the way week's goodwill trip to China, headlined by position starters... and veteran utility man Mark Sweeney.

I actually thought it said "and weak utility man Mark Sweeney," when I first read it :)

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-03-12 17:02:08
101.   Eric Enders
Isn't that sort of like describing Olmedo Saenz or Manny Mota as a utility man? I guess they are utile in that their bats work.
2008-03-12 17:02:12
102.   Bob Timmermann
Beating Oregon State likely makes your RPI go down. But Stanford vs. Oregon State would be a beatdown and the Cardinal could rest anyone named Lopez or Johnson.
2008-03-12 17:06:33
103.   Jon Weisman
102 - Does that mean our coach also gets to recharge?
2008-03-12 17:07:10
104.   Jon Weisman
2008-03-12 17:07:21
105.   Bob Timmermann
Trent Johnson doesn't recharge.

He sort of sounds like a guy who just hibernates.

2008-03-12 17:10:52
106.   Eric Enders
For seeding purposes, the committee's going to care a lot more about Stanford losing their first-round tourney game than they will about whether their RPI goes up or down during said tourney.
2008-03-12 17:11:42
107.   Eric Enders
Over/under on Trent Johnson technical fouls during the NCAA Tournament: 1.5.
2008-03-12 17:12:18
108.   CodyS
I guess I'm just saying my hopes of the Dodgers success this year have really very little to do with whether or not Tony Abreu plays for us. I think that is a reasonable position to take.

Further, in 2009 and beyond, all we can hope for is that he will be average. (We HOPE he becomes as good as average). So that to me is not much reason to care about him. And if he pulls a butt muscle and can't play because of some 8-month old surgery for an undiagnosable condition, well...

For the record, I think the Dodgers treated him badly last year by maneuvering to short him on salary.

At the end of the day, he is not on my radar screen as a Dodger to care about.

2008-03-12 17:15:07
109.   fanerman
104 I like the other title better.
2008-03-12 17:19:10
110.   fanerman
104 109
*"It's just one of those freak days," Pierre said. "I never really go up there trying to walk. I wanted to see some pitches. I'll still stay aggressive like I've always done."

Pierre doesn't hit for power yet has usually swung the bat early in counts anyway. But now he is at least concentrating on working his way into hitter's counts so that an on-base percentage that has disappointed him over the past three seasons might rise.*

That second paragraph sounds like speculation, based on Pierre's quote.

2008-03-12 17:19:33
111.   fanerman
110 Oops. I really should use that "preview" button more often.
2008-03-12 17:20:30
112.   Humma Kavula
104 That is interesting. If he is using some of his famous workout and practice time on pitch recognition, that will greatly help the Dodgers.

If Pierre can walk 20-25 more times this year, pushing his OBP into the .350 range, he will be a valuable player for the team. Since he only walked 33 times last year, I realize that I'm talking about almost doubling his walk rate while keeping everything else the same. I wonder if that's even possible, beyond random chance.

2008-03-12 17:21:33
113.   Eric Enders
If that happens, will we stop carping about Pierre? Or will we continue to argue for Ethier, who would still be the better player even if Pierre's OBP goes up to .350?
2008-03-12 17:22:58
114.   fanerman
110 Oy. Nevermind. Posting while working is not, well, working, today.
2008-03-12 17:23:46
115.   Humma Kavula
110 Speculation? Or observation -- think of the part where Leung points out that Pierre spent time with Penny working on pitch recognition.

Look, I love to bash Pierre, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. It has got to be clear to him that despite his paycheck he's in danger of losing his job due to his pitch recognition skills. It's just possible that he's saying to himself, "Well, fine, if they want me to walk a couple more times, I'll walk a couple more times" -- and figuring out what he needs to do if he's going to do that.

Many of us have asked, facetiously, if he's so dedicated to working on his game, why doesn't he work on recognizing balls from strikes? Diamond Leung reports that he's doing that, and that is a good thing.

2008-03-12 17:26:24
116.   Humma Kavula
113 Ethier would still be the better player if Pierre's OBP goes up to .350, but it would be a lot closer than it is now, and Pierre wouldn't be the offensive sink that he currently is.

Maybe those are low expectations, but if we can get Pierre to the point where we can say "Not a millstone around the neck of the offense, that guy," then it may be time to address other issues on the team.

2008-03-12 17:30:29
117.   Humma Kavula
Of course, maybe it would be even better to play the player who doesn't have to work on his on-base skills, because he already has them (and some power as well), and let the guy who needs to do the work do that work in, say, Cincinnati, because he's been traded for, ohidontknow, Jay Bruce.
2008-03-12 17:43:55
118.   fanerman
115 Yeah. I've sort of retracted in 114 . Work is such a distraction from posting on Dodger Thoughts. Anyway, Diamond makes it sound like Pierre's more about trying to raise his average by hitting in good hitter's counts rather than raising his OBP by getting more walks. His performance today, with 3 walks, is what initially made me confused by the comment. But I guess pitch recognition can only help both of those skills.

113 It'd be closer to Nomar-LaRoche level than the current Pierre-Ethier, except Pierre doesn't get injured. I suppose someone could argue that Pierre playing better would hurt the team because he might play more and thus make Ethier play less, even while Ethier remains the better player. But, I also suppose Pierre playing better ought to be good for the Dodgers. Maybe his trade value goes up. This whole Pierre-Ethier competition has turned me into a bit of an Ethier fan. He seems under-appreciated by the club, and I'd be disappointed that he doesn't play as much as he should.

2008-03-12 17:56:03
119.   Humma Kavula
118 I'm also rooting for Ethier to start, because I think he's the third best outfielder on the Dodgers -- but I'm not what you'd call an Ethier fan. He strikes me as average. Average is fine... average production, especially for Ethier's below-average paycheck, lets you turn your attention to bigger problems.

If I were the GM, I'd stick Ethier in LF, figure out when he'd start to get expensive, and mark my calendar to replace him before then.

2008-03-12 18:41:14
120.   JJ42
I was at the game today - Ethier hit an absolute bomb and had a nice bit of situational hitting in the first to drive the run home. He also hit the ball squarely but flied out. Runners also seem to respect his arm.

The Nat's pitchers were all over the place - great velocity but couldn't find the plate. I attribute Pierre's walks more to their wildness than their patience.

DeWitt looked strong in the field and battled nicely in some ABs - that doesn't show in the box score.

Josh Bell made his Big League camp debut and was overmatched in his one AB - however, it was against Chad Cordero so don't read too much into it.

2008-03-12 18:41:41
121.   overkill94
108 The main frustration with Abreu's lingering injuries is that he's 2nd in line at 3B with LaRoche injured, so if he isn't able to contribute then it makes it more likely that Ned will make a panic trade for someone like Inge.
2008-03-12 18:46:18
122.   Samhain
The early years when the major league Angels played in Dodger Stadium while waiting for Anaheim Stadium to be completed, the Angels refused to refer to the place as "Dodger Stadium".
Instead all their p.r. releases, letterhead; and most importantly, their broadcast teams referred to the place as "Chavez Ravine".
The local sportcasters played along too and used the term as well when the Angels were playing. The Angels always justified this by the claim that the locale for the park was Chavez Ravine.

I'm sure that the Angels public relations campaign about that helped create the (urban) legend about the name.

2008-03-12 18:47:11
123.   Bluebleeder87
I had some glimmer of hope we were gonna stick Pierre in a white sox uni but I guess the deal never went threw.
2008-03-12 18:58:35
124.   Daniel Zappala
123 Maybe they didn't go threw with it when he through for them.
2008-03-12 19:00:13
125.   Eric Enders
"White Sox" and "threw" in the same sentence? Whoda thunk it?
2008-03-12 19:44:56
126.   Eric Enders
It was bound to happen eventually. Clayton Kershaw and Sandy Koufax: Two great tastes that taste great together.

"Rookie Kershaw gets help from legend"

2008-03-12 19:48:55
127.   Bluebleeder87
that Clayton Kershaw vid really took off didn't it... I just hope the Dodger brain trust plays it right with him, I have hope, they played Billingsley as good as you can IMO.
2008-03-12 19:52:43
128.   Eric Enders
Actually, now that I look at it, that was published yesterday, not today. It can't possibly have gone undiscussed.
2008-03-12 20:57:44
129.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2008-03-13 11:13:20
130.   ceyheyjay
New guy here, at least new to this board.

I'm leaning towards the team needing to acquire a decent back-up because Abreu's status is so questionable. Whether you believe he's a wimp or really hurt is irrelevant; the fact is we can't count on him for much this season. Hu would likely handle the position fine, but the organization needs to see if he's a MLB shortstop with the Furcal contract situation pending.

It's not like acquiring a back-up would be that costly. However, the problem is finding a good defensive back-up who can hit a little. Most of the names tossed around are good hitters with little defense, which is the opposite of what we need.

I'm the biggest Greg Miller fan in the world, but even I can see that he probably needs a change of scenery. I think Miller gets us the middle infielder we need, giving him a chance to restart his career and getting us the back-up we need.

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