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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

Torre Between Two Lovers, Feeling Like a Fool
2008-03-27 21:58
by Jon Weisman

That headline has nothing to do with this story - I just needed something. Anyway, Darren Everson of The Wall Street Journal asks, "Is Joe Torre Worth the Money?"

Frustrated by finishing fourth last season, tired of being the second-best team in town, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a major move last fall. They shelled out $13 million over three years...and hired, by one statistical measure, the sixth-worst manager in major-league history. ...

* * *

Tony Jackson of the Daily News has announced he was wrong about this.

Comments (178)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-03-27 22:17:55
1.   Gen3Blue
So I assume the game ended tied?

Tony was noble, and perhaps inerested in his credability.

2008-03-27 22:21:11
2.   Xeifrank
It will take me some time to forgive Tony. His credibility is still down in the mud to me. Managers don't make that much of a difference win/loss wise. I just hope he doesn't burn out too many arms. His hire is mostly about PR, which is fine by me.
vr, Xei
2008-03-27 22:24:21
3.   KG16
Managers matter on the psychological level more so than the tactical/strategic level. If Torre can motivate/teach/encourage the young guys, it's a good investment.
2008-03-27 22:31:06
4.   Louis in SF
I don't have game day audio yet, but usually after the game ends, the post game show comes on KABC? Instead I am listening to some ultra conservative talk show host-harkining back to the days of Ray Briem!
2008-03-27 22:35:54
5.   Frip
Wall Street Journal: "Frustrated by finishing fourth last season, tired of being the second-best team in town..."

That brings to mind a quote I read on here a few weeks ago from some sportswriter on the Dodger's 2008 season. I think it should be this season's motto.

It is time to get serious.

Sober. Non-hyperbolic. Factual.

2008-03-27 22:40:53
6.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
Tony admitting his errors earned a great deal of respect as far as i am concerned. Im just glad he was man enough to realize that Ethier should be in LF, and that Tony wasn't afraid of backtracking on his opinions. Without breaking any political rules of this sight, it was quite noble to see a popular figure change their opinion. Anyways, I hope Torre is in the same thinking as Tony.

Also, I think DodgerThoughts creator Jon, and all commenters in the pro-Ethier camp had a say in this crusade. Great job everybody!

2008-03-27 22:44:28
7.   dzzrtRatt
From the linked article: Jeff Weaver, Javier Vazquez and Kevin Brown all saw marked performance dips in New York. "One of the interesting things with Torre was his negative effect was almost completely with pitchers," Mr. Gassko says. "He was above average with hitters, but his pitching numbers were off-the-charts bad."

This statement seems to ignore a lot of other factors that might contribute to pitchers performing poorly for Torre, particularly those acquired as free agents or in blockbuster trades.

1. They have their pick of FA pitchers the first year of eligibility. Many of them have "career years" in that final year before free agency -- Jeff Weaver is the perfect example. He got a lot of hype with the Tigers, so the Yanks went for him, expecting he could continue to be a good pitcher. He's not, as the rest of his career has proved. Weaver just one example, Vazquez another, and anyone remember Ed Whitson?

2. For whatever reason, the Yankees were never scared off by age. They must hold the record for big contracts given to 42 year old pitchers. Those are always high-risk plays. Kevin Brown was obviously frail when the Dodgers shipped him off, but the Yankees didn't seem to care. That's on Cashman or Steinbrenner, not Torre.

3. There is an intimidation factor playing for the Yankees that a pitcher accustomed to tiny crowds in Florida or Kansas City sometimes can't deal with. That's been true since long before Torre's era.

His approach didn't seem to hurt Andy Pettite, Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, David Cone or El Duque.

I'm not a raving Joe Torre fan, but this is a case of stretching numbers to make a point.

2008-03-27 22:46:29
8.   Reddog
I wonder if Torre is really free to bench Pierre and play Ethier as the regular left fielder. Or does he have to start Pierre because of his large contract.

Ethier is obviously the better player. The players know it too. I would think it would be very demoralizing to Ethier if he has to ride the bench.

Damn Colletti. Signing Pierre for five years and $44 million has to be one of the worst moves a Dodger GM has ever made.

2008-03-27 22:48:52
9.   Bob Hendley
3 . I agree that they don't matter, unless your team had a bad one on the tactical/strategic level.
2008-03-27 22:48:58
10.   regfairfield
7 The actual study neutralized for those things.
2008-03-27 22:51:01
11.   Bob Hendley
8 . I think Torre can see what we see and, as his job is to win, will have no qualms about starting Ethier. Let the chips fall where the may.
2008-03-27 22:52:59
12.   ToyCannon
My little homage to Jon and everyone who hangs out here.
2008-03-27 22:53:43
13.   El Lay Dave
7 Taking chances even in the early days of FA: Don Gullett.
2008-03-27 23:05:12
14.   bigcpa
Start times posted for Saturday:

Xavier/UCLA 3:40pm PST
Louisville/UNC 6:05pm PST

2008-03-27 23:10:44
15.   El Lay Dave
12 Nice; I think you're right, it is kinda like Cheers. And it may have the pretty ladies as well.
2008-03-27 23:13:39
16.   El Lay Dave
12 I think of myself as a back-table denizen, nattering and grommish, maybe once in a while fortunate to be end-credited like this:

El Lay Dave

2008-03-27 23:14:46
17.   sporky
Mike Myers released

2008-03-27 23:14:47
18.   gibsonhobbs88
14 - so what's a good service that you can retrieve the NCAA scores to show on your cell phone while we are at the Coliseum watching batting practice?

Also we are in Section 1 Row 45 down the right field line for Saturday's game.

Any DT posters in the vicinity?

2008-03-27 23:14:52
19.   silverwidow
Starters (5):


Bullpen (6):


Infielders (6):

DeWitt (not on 40-man roster)
Martinez (not on 40-man roster)

Outfielders (6):


Catchers (2):


15-Day DL: Nomar, LaRoche, Abreu, Kent
60-Day DL: Schmidt

2008-03-27 23:15:27
20.   bigcpa
The LF battle lives to see another day... from Tony Jackson:

After the game, Joe Torre still wouldn't shed any light on the OF situation.
"I'll let you know when I know," he said.

2008-03-27 23:15:38
21.   arbfuldodger
Robin Lopez doing well for himself other than making the sweet 16

2008-03-27 23:16:23
22.   Dodgers49
Chad Billingsley will start Friday's game which should mean Kuroda starts the Coliseum game. It would be great if they would follow Kuroda with Loaiza on Saturday and let Kershaw start Sunday's game.
2008-03-27 23:16:44
23.   Xeifrank
Dodger Thoughts compared to a TV show, how appropriate. :)
vr, Xei
2008-03-27 23:20:54
24.   LogikReader
I think you're right, it is kinda like Cheers.

Dave!!!! [David]

2008-03-27 23:22:54
25.   El Lay Dave

Torre said that the need to carry extra infielders could force him to carry 11 pitchers instead of 12, making a situational pitcher like Myers a luxury the team couldn't afford.

Torre said he felt comfortable playing Chin-lung Hu at second base if Kent isn't ready for opening day.

If Kent is ready, is Hu headed for Vegas or is Lucille II released?

2008-03-27 23:27:16
26.   Frip
That was good Cannon. Especially good about Dodger Thoughts. I'd like to see a bit more description of the other sites though. And you didn't mention Dodger Blues.

One thing however. You cannot say that Dodger Thoughts is the "elephant in the room" and in the next sentence say it's the site that gets all the publicity.

Good comparison of Jon to Sam on Cheers. He is sort of like that.

2008-03-27 23:27:16
27.   Frip
That was good Cannon. Especially good about Dodger Thoughts. I'd like to see a bit more description of the other sites though. And you didn't mention Dodger Blues.

One thing however. You cannot say that Dodger Thoughts is the "elephant in the room" and in the next sentence say it's the site that gets all the publicity.

Good comparison of Jon to Sam on Cheers. He is sort of like that.

2008-03-27 23:27:33
28.   silverwidow
25 The last sentence answers your question, pretty much.
2008-03-27 23:32:12
29.   coachjpark
Anyone know who's starting for the Dodgers/Bo Sox game tomorrow and Sat's Coliseum game?
2008-03-27 23:33:26
30.   El Lay Dave
24 Evening everybody. Dodgers tied today so I don't know if this beer is for celebrating or consoling. [Swigs]. No, it's for drinking.

I'm no Ken Levine (in many ways).

2008-03-27 23:33:30
31.   bigcpa
Kevin Baxter's less overt mea culpa:

Outfielder Andre Ethier, locked in a battle with Juan Pierre for a starting job, had an outstanding night defensively, making a leaping catch at the wall and throwing out two runners, including the potential winning run at the plate in the eighth.

Pierre, meanwhile, went 0 for 5, leaving six runners on base and dropping his average to .179.

2008-03-27 23:34:22
32.   silverwidow
29 Friday: Billingsley; Coliseum: Park or Loaiza
2008-03-27 23:35:54
33.   El Lay Dave
29 Per tonight's game recap article in

Chad Billingsley gets the ball on Friday night at Dodger Stadium against the Red Sox, who send ex-Angel Bartolo Colon out in the 7:40 p.m. PT game

Kuroda would seem to be in line for Saturday.

2008-03-27 23:37:54
34.   El Lay Dave
28 I dunno; I can hear the Lucille II can sit on the bench, Hu starts, either here or Vegas, argument being made.
2008-03-27 23:39:28
35.   dzzrtRatt
10 I wonder how that's possible. The Yankees are sui generis. Does any other team sign so many top ranked free agent pitchers, or give big contracts to so many extremely old players? How do you "neutralize" for factors like that?
2008-03-27 23:43:10
36.   El Lay Dave
Article on the DS renovations.

"We're actually going to open up the outfield wall in straight-away center field," said McCourt. "That way kids and families can come to the field early and get right out into the center-field area -- right out onto the warning track and be able to watch batting practice right from the field surface, so they can interact with the players who are shagging balls -- maybe even catch a few balls that are hit in that direction and maybe get some autographs as well.

Am I too cynical if I think this is a bad idea? Lede: Prior to today's game, Dodger left-fielder Andre Ethier suffered a concussion after being stuck in the head by a batting practice fly ball while he was signing an autograph for a young fan in center field.

2008-03-27 23:46:18
37.   El Lay Dave
From the same article linked in 25 , on the 3B situation:

"General Manager Ned Colletti maintained that he would continue to look within the organization for a replacement, saying he preferred that to overpaying for what probably will be a short-term solution."

Learning from one's mistakes?

2008-03-27 23:48:04
38.   Bob Timmermann
Wouldn't the bigger problem be having fans get hit by baseballs? It's not like a little kid wandering out on the field while the likes of Matt Kemp are taking BP are going to be able to get out of the way all the time.
2008-03-27 23:51:43
39.   dzzrtRatt
31 "Battle" isn't quite the right word. As Jon's said, choosing Pierre shouldn't be overly influenced by his spring training numbers, and if it was, he'd be that beheaded knight from Life of Brian by now. If I'm Torre, I have to assume 2008 Pierre is more or less the same as 2007 Pierre. Ethier is just playing a lot better than Torre obviously anticipated.

The Solomonic (sp?) approach would be: Start Ethier in recognition of his torrid spring. See how the team plays. If lack of speed is costing the Dodgers games, that will become apparent, and he can always put Pierre back in the lineup.

If Torre really thinks Pierre-the-catalyst is his guy for the next three years, starting Ethier now is still the smart move for the team, because that lets Colletti showcase him for a trade. I'd have to think a #2 or #3 starting pitcher could be had for Ethier right now.

The point is not to let Ethier's value go to waste. For Torre, who probably didn't know Andre Ethier from Andre the Giant until this winter, his emergence as a potential star is like found money. You don't throw it back under the sofa.

2008-03-28 00:01:23
40.   Greg Brock
37 I hope you've had a chance to read the New York piece on D.B. Cooper.
2008-03-28 00:14:51
41.   Tommy Naccarato
Was at the Game tonight, and I'm convinced now more then ever that Juan Pierre may be the biggest waste of resource in Dodger history.

A leadoff hitter that is hitting .189....Should I say more?

2008-03-28 00:23:08
42.   KG16
9 - I didn't say that managers don't matter, I said they matter more in the way that people think they matter less, and they matter less in the way that people think they matter more. A baseball manager can't institute a new offense or defense like a coach can in another sport; so the psychological aspect of the game is important - most guys, even at the highest levels of a game, have a hard time keeping themselves motivated.
2008-03-28 00:29:57
43.   KG16
12 - very nice, I like to think of myself as one of those guys whose not entirely clear on a lot of the stats, but at least willing to hear things out.
2008-03-28 00:44:08
44.   GoBears
That was a nice piece, Toy.

But you got Rule 9 wrong. We're not to utter the dreaded phrase "no hitter" whether it's an LA pitcher or not. Even if it's a game not involving the Dodgers. I assume it encompasses the minors, college baseball, the Arizona Fall League, Spring Training, and simulated games during rehab assignments.

Just (don't) say "no."

2008-03-28 01:00:43
45.   jose89
good game, no matter the score.
rather, almost everything that i wanted to go right and wrong, did.
ill list:

1) of course, Pierre went 0-5, and left 6 men on base. either went 1-4 leaving 1 on base.
pierre had 0 stolen bases, his only real value for the team.
therefore it was another offensive favor for either.
2) Pierre, i heard, almost lost a fly ball in the sun. Ethier didnt do so bad either, having 2 assists...
Therefore, Either's defense unanimously trumped over Pierre's.
3)Furcal was on base 4 out of 5 plate appearances, continue to show that he is healthy and returning to his 2006 form (or better?)
4) Dewitt was great defensively.
5) Loney had his sweet swing in action with an RBI double.

2008-03-28 01:15:11
46.   PDH5204
Courtesy of DRaysBay, Aki Cares [and Sammy too]:

2008-03-28 03:56:56
47.   natepurcell
I get out of the bars tonight and I find my car has been broken into. The front passenger window smashed away.

I had everything in my car besides my laptop and wallet. Backpack, paychecks, books, clothes, shoes, cds, ipods, golf clubs...they were all in my car.

Fortunately, only the one ipod that was currently connected to my stereo was stolen along with the adapter.

So far everything else is still there.

Awesome night!

2008-03-28 05:11:06
48.   Ken Noe
I've diligently tried to separate JP the person (good) from JP the player (not so good). But reading this morning's game account left me positively annoyed at him. I can only hope that ridiculous last at bat left Torre equally ticked off. Grumble, grumble.
2008-03-28 05:41:43
49.   Nagman
Rotoworld's JP update after last night's game:

"It's exactly as bad as he had to play for there to be any reasonable chance of him being benched in favor of Ethier. Perhaps it will happen."

2008-03-28 06:11:47
50.   regfairfield
35 They did projections based on the standard aging curve of pitchers.

I do think there was a flaw in the method though, since several highly successful managers like Terry Francona were also on the list. Also, and this is mentioned in the study, is it Torre's fault the Yankees pitchers stunk, or Mel Stottlemeyer's. I think Bobby Cox lead the study, but you have to give most of the credit to Leo Mazonne.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-03-28 06:33:17
51.   JoeyP
Wow, a Naccarato sighting!

Once Steve comes back, the whole band will be back together.

2008-03-28 06:51:47
52.   Sushirabbit
Speaking of Aki, should the Dodgers even consider Akinori Iwamura (or Aybar)? I'm guessing that there's no interest in Pierre from TB, but still, if it would get him more playing time (somewhere else) wouldn't it be worth it? I'm not a fan or anything, just find it hard to believe that excepting for Nomar (and he had what 400+ ABs?) there really hasn't been a real starting 3B since Beltre in 2004.
2008-03-28 07:07:15
53.   Bumsrap
Dewitt may or may not make opening day with the Dodgers. But the fact that he now might is a reminder to us to not make statements that sound too certain about uncertain things.

My comments about Dewitt have been based totally on intuition and that intuitition has led me to say several times that one way or another I thought Dewitt had a better chance to be the third baseman than did LaRoche.

Sometimes I believe intuition is better than statistics in determining who will succeed, especially if one learns to tune into it. No doubt that is a brave thing to say here where stat thinking is so strong.

2008-03-28 07:11:15
54.   Jon Weisman
53 - I guess, but I'm not sure what's prompting this. Three people (including LaRoche) at the same position had to get hurt for DeWitt to have a chance to make the roster.

Are you suggesting that those who thought LaRoche had a better chance were wrong, when the only reason he didn't make it was because of a freak injury?

2008-03-28 07:12:09
55.   regfairfield
Are you really taking credit for Dewitt simply being the last person standing? He's hit .224/.339/.469 this Spring so it's not like he's forced his way onto the roster.
2008-03-28 07:13:40
56.   StolenMonkey86
How is Young defensively when compared to Kent?
2008-03-28 07:18:27
57.   OhioBlues12
52 - Iwamura is an intriguing name and the fact that the Rays are looking for OF help is also intriguing. He doesn't give the prototypical power that you would like out of a 3B but he appears to be a decent hitter nonetheless. I am not at all convinced that we are going to get a healthy Nomar this season as his injury seems a little too similar to Werth's a couple of seasons ago. It is also hard to envision LaRoche coming back, guns a blazin', after his hand injury.
2008-03-28 07:19:29
58.   Bumsrap
54 - LaRoche was clearly higher on the ladder than Dewitt. I think if both Dewitt and LaRoche are successful, LaRoche's success will be much greater than Dewitt's.

Sometimes I get stronger feelings about some players than I do others. LaRoche's injury was freak and not chronic, but just the same, it is going to allow Dewitt to get a chance to get closer to him on that ladder.

One way or another I think Dewitt will wind up higher on the ladder than LaRoche. I also feel that eventually the Dodgers will trade for a third baseman and neither Dewitt nor LaRoche will be there after this year.

2008-03-28 07:22:57
59.   Bumsrap
55 - Taking credit? More than anything I am saying that sometimes intuition works better than stats - rarely, but we should listen and develop it.

How did you condlude I was trying to take credit for Dewitt's success or LaRoche's injury?

2008-03-28 07:23:55
60.   Sushirabbit
57 - Plus they've got Longoria. I mean I'd love to have Nomar or LaRoche but 4 years seems a long time to go to have more than 45 Games Started don't know why I threw at bats out there, because Nomar was at First, too. And because I was counting on some other good years from people like Ethier and Loney, taking a gamble on Abreu seems not that big of a deal, but with those three on the DL to start, that's kinda scary, espcecially when Nomar's injury appears so similar to Werth's as you say.
2008-03-28 07:25:36
61.   regfairfield
59 Becuase the only reason your intuition was right is because every other person on the team got hurt. Dewitt probably would be just another guy with a number in the high 90s if it wasn't for that.
2008-03-28 07:27:02
62.   regfairfield
Iwamura is their second baseman and they don't have anyone else who could man the position except Aybar, who doesn't seem like the type of person I would rely on.
2008-03-28 07:29:03
63.   Sushirabbit
in 52, I meant I'm not a fan of Iwamura-- I like what I know, but I don't know that much. And I guess I can see a GM being comfortable that LaRoche or Nomar or DeWitt will work out... but that doesn't seem too much like Coletti (or McCourt). Maybe they need to go after Betemit. :-)
2008-03-28 07:32:22
64.   Disabled List
Disabled List Can't Keep Its Grubby Hands Off Abreu

I note this headline with a Jim Halpert-esque raised eyebrow and sideways glance.

2008-03-28 07:32:24
65.   Sushirabbit
62, Yep, I didn't realized he'd moved to second.
2008-03-28 07:34:07
66.   OhioBlues12
60 - The Rays basically have two OFers that they can count on in Upton and Crawford. Gomes and Floyd are frequently injured and Baldelli may not play again. Additionally, moving Iwamura would allow them to use Aybar at 2B and Longoria could then be brought up.
2008-03-28 07:34:57
67.   ToyCannon
Thanks Frip. I didn't mention Dodger Blues because I don't read them.

They were in the original article but then I thought why should I put something in that I don't bother reading myself.

I know they were the originals but when I have visited, nothing compelling makes me want to go back.

I hope this paragraph structure meets your approval.

2008-03-28 07:51:41
68.   Jon Weisman
Toy, that was supremely nice what you wrote - thank you.
2008-03-28 07:56:57
69.   Gen3Blue
56 I can only make a few observations.
I happened to see the game where Young seemed to make three great plays so I was impressed. He obviously has more range than Kent( which doesn't mean much), but people seem to feel he doesn't have the hands and it would show in the longer run. I'm still impressed by the way Kent turns the double play. In my opinion its about a wash.
2008-03-28 07:59:21
70.   ToyCannon
Maybe Jon felt you had abreu e lima on your mind.
2008-03-28 08:00:54
71.   OhioBlues12
It seems like Young's stock has dropped considerably since the beginning of ST. I know he has not hit much, but I don't think that is going to be his problem long-term. It seemed like he only had that one really bad game defensively and ever since management has soured on him.
2008-03-28 08:07:50
72.   Eric Stephen
I share a birthday with Byron Scott, and former Astro Glenn Davis.
2008-03-28 08:10:02
73.   CanuckDodger
According to Baseball America, Wesley Wright is definitely making the Astros' 25-man roster. So after Billingsley, Kemp, and LaRoche, he'll be the fourth guy from the Dodgers' 2003 draft to reach the majors.
2008-03-28 08:13:19
74.   dkminnick
36 - I love this idea, especially if it opens up the Stadium to pedestrian traffic within the ballpark. That area behind centerfield seems terribly under-utilized right now.

Whenever I visit a new ballpark, I always walk all the way around it to get a feel for the place. It has always bothered me a little bit that Dodger Stadium is so compartmentalized. No way to circle the stands from inside, no downward deck-to-deck access, no grand single entryway (though this has it's advantages).

I like these improvements. Hence, my calling them improvements.

2008-03-28 08:18:07
75.   cargill06
the sun is shining and the birds are chirping this morning. last night was a good night, saito looked more like himself fastball consistantly between 92-95, you know the talent is there with kuo and last night confirmed it of he can stay of the DL, i feel a lot better about our bull-pen. now let me just worry about bills and starting a single A 3B for now.
2008-03-28 08:23:37
76.   cargill06
and how good does that garland for OC trade look right now?
2008-03-28 08:30:02
77.   dkminnick
75 - While it sure was great to Sammy pithing, his pitches did not seem to have their normal, nasty movement. They looked a little flat. I hope all he needs is to tune up a little more.

76 - When I heard about Escobar, I immediately figured that that was the Angels reason for the Garland trade. I'm sure they had an idea about Escobar.

2008-03-28 08:34:51
78.   Ken Noe
Peering into the Magic 8-Ball, I think I see NedCo giving up on Abreu. But does he resign Furcal and move Hu to second next year, or keep Hu at short and give second to someone like DeWitt? Cannot predict now.
2008-03-28 08:38:54
79.   cargill06
78 i agree about abreu. dewitt at 2nd has a .952 FP and 4.27 range factor. that would put him last in FP and RF in the majors at 2B, if that's one of their options and they dont have much of a concern about defense i'd rather give the job to delwyn
2008-03-28 08:45:45
80.   sporky
47 That really sucks.

I had my car broken into for ~10 CDs and a pack of gum. The 200 books in the backseat were untouched.

2008-03-28 08:46:30
81.   LogikReader
Reminder: Andruw Jones is coming up at the top of the hour on everybody's faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavorite radio program: The Herd on ESPN Radio.

* note: by "favorite" I mean not-so-favorite

2008-03-28 08:47:10
82.   Ken Noe
Oh, from the previous thread, best to D4P. Keep dissertating!
2008-03-28 08:55:21
83.   cargill06
81 colin is going to ask one of his "questions" that really isn't a question it's just him explaining one of is theories and than followed by am i right?
2008-03-28 09:07:19
84.   MC Safety
80 Crooks and books go together like water and oil.
2008-03-28 09:08:19
85.   underdog
Time Magazine's Ten Question for Joe Torre (submitted by readers):,9171,1725979,00.html

2008-03-28 09:12:37
86.   MC Safety
My VW bus was broken into for a set of plastic drawers, the medium suitcase in my three piece luggage set, and my girlfriend's airbrush makeup compressor thingy. The latter was the only real problem, setting us back a cool 400 bucks.
2008-03-28 09:15:37
87.   Peanuts in My Shoes
86 coffee hasn't kicked in. I first read you were saying that your old VW Bus was broken into all those in converted. I thought, wow, that's really cool and art-y. And he must have really loved his Bus. Oh, well.
2008-03-28 09:26:06
88.   Daniel Zappala
If Jon is Sam, then Bob is definitely Cliff Claven.
2008-03-28 09:29:06
89.   Marty
Why do I feel like Norm?
2008-03-28 09:31:57
90.   underdog
I think several of us are Dr. Frasier Crane.


The Giants have the poor man's version of Ethier vs. Pierre: Fred Lewis vs. Dave Roberts.

2008-03-28 09:37:00
91.   sporky
85 from the link... lol:

Apart from becoming a baseball player, what did you dream of doing as a child? Soyeun Yang, SUPERIOR, COLO.

Baseball is the only thing I ever wanted to do. When I was 16 years old, my brother Frank said, "You'd better become a catcher, because you're too big and fat to do anything else." Well, I took his advice. It was a quick way to get to the big leagues, and I've never regretted it.

2008-03-28 09:39:44
92.   Bob Timmermann
Did you know that the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain also goes by "USC"?

Things you learn from people's email addresses.

2008-03-28 09:45:22
93.   underdog
92 Is their football team called "Los Troyanos"?
2008-03-28 09:46:20
94.   Daniel Zappala
92 I'm sure they can expect a cease-and-desist order by express delivery any moment now.
2008-03-28 09:46:56
95.   blue22
So how does the roster shake out now? The staff seems set:

Penny, Lowe, Billingsley, Kuroda, Loaiza
Saito, Broxton, Proctor, Beimel, Kuo, Park

And OF and catcher are taken care of:

Martin, Bennett
Jones, Kemp, Ethier, Pierre, Young

But the infield...?

Loney, Furcal, Hu, and Sweeney appear to be locks. But if Kent, Abreu, and Nomar are all on the DL, that leaves 3 IF slots open.

Marcus Giles is a possibility as are in-house options DeWitt and Ramon Martinez, but none of those 3 are on the 40-man.

LA only opens one slot by moving Schmidt to the 60-day DL. I assumed Seanez's spot goes to Park. There may be some tough decisions coming on the roster.

2008-03-28 09:48:33
96.   Jon Weisman
95 - I've got the sidebar updated through this morning, though it reflects that neither Kent nor Garciaparra are on the DL (yet).
2008-03-28 09:49:17
97.   cargill06
95 i'd rather start dewitt over giles and ramon at 3rd. what's wrong with hu at 3rd young at 2nd for a short time til kent comes back?
2008-03-28 09:49:59
98.   regfairfield
97 Hu has never played 3rd professionally.
2008-03-28 09:50:55
99.   Bob Hendley
92 . So Tommy Trojan is based on El Cid?
2008-03-28 09:51:16
100.   cargill06
98 well if kent is ready opening day there is a 95% chance hu will be starting at 3rd.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-03-28 09:52:06
101.   MC Safety
87 Nope, just a good old 1972 Type 2 Delivery Van (no windows).
2008-03-28 09:52:23
102.   GoBears
96. Wow. Impressive. I'd have thought that the sidebar would be the last thing you'd have time for these days. Is something, perchance, messing with your sleep patterns?
2008-03-28 09:53:40
103.   cargill06
Rob Neyer
"I was in Anaheim last night, where Orange County hosted Los Angeles. I might have seen the end of Juan Pierre's career. He's been complaining about not getting enough at-bats this spring, while getting more at-bats than every Dodger but one (James Loney). Last night he led off for the Dodgers. He played all 10 innings, went 0 for 5, and left six runners on base in the 2-2 tie. He's now batting .179 over 78 at-bats. "
2008-03-28 09:54:44
104.   Bob Hendley
98 . With Abreu now out of the way, we'll get to see Kent display his wear(s).
2008-03-28 09:59:38
105.   cargill06
Remember all the talk about Andruw Jones' weight and girth? I saw him up-close last night and he looked pretty good to me. And when Vlad Guerrero homered over the center-field fence in the first inning, Jones' futile leap did not look like the leap of a 245-pounder.

wouldn't futile be the wrong word there?

2008-03-28 09:59:55
106.   Jon Weisman
102 - just one small part of the sidebar - the roster part.
2008-03-28 10:00:51
107.   blue22
105 - How far over his head was it?
2008-03-28 10:02:50
108.   ToyCannon
He looks like George Foreman on TV to me.

Jason Repko's leaps are futile, I think A Jones only does what is necessary.

2008-03-28 10:03:43
109.   cargill06
107 he got a couple feet over the wall timed his jump well and almost brought it back it was maybe a foot over his glove.
2008-03-28 10:05:23
110.   ToyCannon
I love the percentages you pull out of the thin air. My guess is that you have a 13% chance of being right.
2008-03-28 10:12:14
111.   MC Safety
Regfairfield, or any other fantasy players, who would you go with Kotchman, Overbay or Jacobs for a 1b.? It's a basic H2H points league.
2008-03-28 10:13:09
112.   cargill06
110 i can do odds also
2008-03-28 10:13:41
113.   cargill06
110 if kent is healthy you don't think hu will be playing 3b?
2008-03-28 10:14:56
114.   LogikReader

Boy those are slim pickin's but given the choice I'd go with Overbay.

Are there any other choices?

2008-03-28 10:16:16
115.   regfairfield
111 Kotchman. Overbay isn't that great even outside of last year and Jacobs is pretty much a platoon player. Kotchman has upside that neither of those guys have.
2008-03-28 10:18:08
116.   underdog
103 Bless Rob Neyer even more for referring to the Angels as "Orange County," not the LA Angels. Bless you Rob.
2008-03-28 10:19:22
117.   El Lay Dave
85 Ian Kachemov, xeifrank's hero.

In March your team traveled to Beijing for exhibition games. Do you think the pollution there is going to affect the Olympics? Ian Kachemov, HIGHLAND, MD.

The pollution is pretty bad over there. I think it could really have an effect unless they clean it up. You could cut it with a knife.

2008-03-28 10:23:21
118.   Eric Stephen
More from Neyer: a link to some extra stuff from the Bill James' 60 Minutes piece to air this Sunday.

2008-03-28 10:24:23
119.   Ian Capilouto
I think the irritating thing about this whole Juan Pierre situation is this; everybody on here takes it personally that he is a baseball player on the Dodgers. That is probably why Tony Jackson was irritated in the first place..

Sure, Ethier is the better outfielder, but also Pierre is a serviceable player in the big leagues. He can play center field and hit better than anybody on here can ever hope to hit or play. Him being a mediocre or even below average outfielder in the big leagues still makes him a really good baseball player.

So sure, I would rather have Ethier playing in the outfield, but I don't think Juan Pierre had much of an impact on the success/failure of the team last year. I would say that watching the entire starting pitching staff fall apart by the end of the year, except for Billingsley, is what really hurt the Dodgers. Not bad chemistry (club house fighting) or Juan Pierre's bad arm.

I guess i get irritated because for people who do look at stats, which I do, there is way too much focus on one part of the team that is a minor problem compared to mediocre pitching staff with a bad manager as was the case last year.

Plus, if all everybody did was agree with each other, things would be boring. So why can't a guy like Tony Jackson or I have a differing view of things? It is invigorating.

2008-03-28 10:29:55
120.   Neal Pollack
Outside of a dog, Juan Pierre is the worst possible choice to start in the outfield for the Dodgers. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to see.
2008-03-28 10:31:53
121.   silverwidow
119 "Serviceable" players don't create the most outs in baseball over a period of years.
2008-03-28 10:32:12
122.   Eric L
He can play center field and hit better than anybody on here can ever hope to hit or play. Him being a mediocre or even below average outfielder in the big leagues still makes him a really good baseball player.

Chances are, the worst everyday player in the league can hit better than anyone here. Relative to the general population, I was a pretty good baseball player. Pierre is a phenomenal baseball player if you look at it that way. It still doesn't make him a good major league player. You have to compare him to his peers, not the people writing about him on a blog.

2008-03-28 10:32:16
123.   wronghanded
111 If Nick Johnson, Adam LaRoche or Ryan Garko are available you may want to consider them. Overbay is below average and from what I've heard, if Kotchman doesn't produce out of the gates, Juan Rivera may become the 1st baseman. Jacobs is a big crap-shoot, I think he's probably too sreaky for h2h. How big is your league? On my depth chart Kotchman, Overbay and Jacobs are 22, 23 and 25 respectively.
2008-03-28 10:33:41
124.   El Lay Dave

More mediocre middle infielders hitting the market. Gotay is only 25 though, but he seems to be walking salty.

2008-03-28 10:34:49
125.   MC Safety
114 115 Nick Johnson, Ben Broussard and a few others of that caliber. I have Barton as well.

Also, Blalock or Encarnacion to back up Chipper?

Hurry before Kevin Lewis gets any ideas! : )

2008-03-28 10:34:56
126.   Jim Hitchcock
12 Getting in late, but TC nailed it.
2008-03-28 10:35:22
127.   JoeyP
119--I think you are over-analyzing things.

The Juan Pierre thing isnt even a debate, bc a debate would have two viewpoints.

The Juan Pierre thing is a question that has a correct answer and an incorrect answer.

If Tony Jackson gives the incorrect answer to the Juan Pierre question, he needs to be corrected. Going through life thinking incorrect thoughts is well stupidity.

As far as last year, the people that emphasize the Juan Pierre thing do so because that is one of the aspects of the team that can be controlled--playing time. There is no control over a starting pitching staff getting hurt.

Why complain about something that cant be fixed (injuries), when there are things that can be (allocating playing time, playing the right players, acquiring the right players, etc).

2008-03-28 10:35:32
128.   blue22
123 - I'd probably go with Kotchman over Nick Johnson, unless you are totally convinced he's healthy. They're very similar players though.

LaRoche and Garko will give you more power, but your %'s will suffer.

2008-03-28 10:37:43
129.   haskell
111 Daric Barton. 4 walks in two games already.

119 Thinking the opposite of the general consensus just to do so is not invigorating, it's foolish. I genuinely believe Tony actually thought Pierre had a chance to start in LF. Juan's poor play this spring has made the decision much easier for management even though it was clear to most of us last year. Tony's reporting the news. At least he's not another Plaschke.

2008-03-28 10:39:22
130.   MC Safety
122 That's like John McCain or John Kerry saying if you haven't been in a war, you can't talk about war. Which sounds absolutely insane imo.
2008-03-28 10:39:41
131.   JoeyP
Plus, if all everybody did was agree with each other, things would be boring. So why can't a guy like Tony Jackson or I have a differing view of things?

Is it really boring for everyone to believe the earth is round, or for a few to believe the earth is flat?

2008-03-28 10:40:08
132.   Ian Capilouto
120 That is my problem with your argument right there. your comparison is personal.

121 He led the league in outs for one year, in 2006, but he also led the league in at bats that year. Statistically, that would happen to anyone who has that many at bats.

122 I am only saying that he is average major leaguer.

2008-03-28 10:40:32
133.   regfairfield
119 So how good does the Dodgers staff have to be before it can not be called mediocre? We were fourth in runs allowed last year, and once you adjust for park, we probably end up ahead of the Giants.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers were 10th in runs scored, and while Pierre wasn't the entire cause of that, I'd say it was a fairly big factor.

2008-03-28 10:41:34
134.   Marty
Who said someone couldn't have a differing view of things, even Pierre? Almost anyone with a minority opinion ends up saying that his opinion isn't allowed. Nothing could be further from the truth. But, by definition, a minority opinion is going to get a lot of argument from the majority.
2008-03-28 10:42:15
135.   Ian Capilouto
131 That is a terrible analogy and a argument that was based on religious doctrine. I can show you an article on people who were theorizing that the earth was round back in the dark ages.
2008-03-28 10:43:12
136.   MC Safety
128 It's H2H. Anyone care to chime in on Encarnacion vs. Blalock?
2008-03-28 10:45:27
137.   cargill06
132 *ethier is way better than pierre as a player. but i agree with you on a couple things i don't think there is anything wrong as having him as a 4th OF, but he is not worth it if he causes clubhouse friction which is likely to happen, Jon made a post awhile back that shows juan pierres value last year was actually above average leading off an inning. i do also agree with you that there is a skewed judgement on the two players here, pierre is treated like a criminal and ethier like a saint. i believe that if ethier were the one complaining about AB's people here would be singing praise but since JP did it he's whining.

*cargill06 does believe ethier should start and both pierre and ethier are handling the situation poorly.

2008-03-28 10:45:56
138.   blue22
136 - I like Encarnacion, and wish I was in a league that allowed me to pick him up (none of my leagues are deep enough to grab sleepers like him). I'm not convinced that Blalock is any good, despite his good 2nd half and corrective surgery last year.
2008-03-28 10:47:07
139.   regfairfield
132 He isn't though. He's probably a slightly above average defender that gets that cancelled out by his arm, making his overall defensive value slightly below average. He was 21st in VORP rate amongst centerfielders with more than 300 PA, making him again below average. He's not the devil, but he is one of the worst starting centerfielders in baseball.
2008-03-28 10:47:11
140.   Penarol1916
135. His argument is that, now there is no disagreement that the earth is round, so is that boring, or just a fact. How is that a terrible analogy about what he was stating in 127., I think it is actually very apt.

My only real disagreement with you is that you say Juan Pierre is an average baseball player, I'd call him modestly below average.

2008-03-28 10:47:36
141.   still bevens
133 Cant leave Furcal out of the lack of runs scored equation either. Its not like he was putting up a .350 OBP either.
2008-03-28 10:47:40
142.   bhsportsguy
119 Nothing like a JP debate to get things rolling around here.

My fault with the JP situation last year was that he never was considered as being part of the rotation of outfielders once Kemp came up in June. Even a day off here or there might have helped to calm down the situation with the other 3 outfielders.

I believe that there are 2 issues with Pierre, one was the length of his contract, which Pierre cannot be blamed for, heck who wouldn't sign a 5-year 44 million dollar deal. The second is that his game relies on one thing only, that is getting singles and then stealing bases. And to his credit, he does that part well, probably the best in baseball.

But he doesn't do anything else offensively, defensively, once he got adjusted to Dodger Stadium, he covered enough area but his arm was severly tested and probably he was run on more than the average CF.

But once the Dodgers signed Andruw Jones, you knew he was going to play CF and then whatever defensive strength Pierre had with his speed became less important in a corner position and his offensive flaws became even bigger since you expect some power from that spot.

Finally, certainly, if you frequent DT enough, open debate is welcomed and by now, I certainly know where a lot of regulars stand on these issues. What Tony Jackson said at the beginning of Spring Training was his opinion and he is welcome to it, and he can change his mind and that's fine too. And there are times when I think message boards get real sensitive about what the media says about their team so I think there was some of that too.

2008-03-28 10:48:02
143.   Ian Capilouto
133 Ok, I understand those stats, but also for the second half of the year, you can tell me that the pitching staff was above average? If you can, than I am wrong, but I am pretty sure I watched their top two pitchers have bad second halves. Lowe was injured with a hip for several starts, and Penny did his usual bad ending.

134 I didn't say my opinion wasn't allowed. I expect an argument.

2008-03-28 10:48:47
144.   JoeyP
135--I think you missed the point. I was just giving an example of a question that has a clear correct and incorrect answer. I dont believe it be boring for everyone to agree on the correct answer, and I dont believe it to be invigorating for someone to believe the incorrect answer just to be different.

If you dont believe the Juan Pierre thing is a right/wrong clear cut decision, then you'll obviously not understand the viewpoint from which those that do are coming from.

2008-03-28 10:50:14
145.   Humma Kavula
Hi everybody,

I have two tickets to the Coliseum game tomorrow, but I can't make it.

I am asking $20 total for the two tickets ($10 each). That's 50% off face value -- and it's what I paid for the tickets.

Email me at if you are interested.

If you want the tickets you will have to pick them up from me. I work in Culver City and I live near Aviation and Rosecrans in Hawthorne.

Trust me, I'm bummed that I can't go.

2008-03-28 10:51:44
146.   bhsportsguy
142 Sorry I think my second of two points got muddled in there, the second issue with Pierre is the type of player he is singles hitter (nothing else really), with good speed but he is not a very good defensive player and he has no arm.

The Dodgers have 3 better outfielders right now who should play ahead of him. There were years when that might not have been true but it is true now.

2008-03-28 10:52:53
147.   regfairfield
143 But we had arguably the best 1-2 in baseball in the first half. Regression was inevitable.
2008-03-28 10:53:19
148.   haskell
For the record, Juan has great speed. He'd be the best pinch runner in baseball.
2008-03-28 10:54:01
149.   MC Safety
138 It's just a 12 team H2H points. I've been thinking hard. I'm thinking Blalock could bounce back as Washington said he's getting the cleanup spot (even against lefties). Hopefully neither of the two are going to have to play much, but this is Chipper Jones' backup were talking about.
2008-03-28 10:54:15
150.   Jon Weisman
119 - There are plenty of people here who think nothing bad of Juan Pierre other than the fact that he's not one of the best three outfielders on the team.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-03-28 10:54:18
151.   kinbote
Things that seem to be true:

1. Torre is leaning toward 11 pitchers.
2. Nomar is headed for the DL
3. DeWitt has a good chance to be the opening day 3B
4. Park has an excellent chance to win the last bullpen spot
5. Ethier has "won" the LF job
6. Hu has secured a spot on the roster
7. R. Martinez is a fall-back option for the bench [and there's been plenty of falling]

Things that are possible:

1. Kent is healthy enough for opening day
2. Troncoso wins the last bullpen spot
3. Repko heads to AAA

All those things considered, here's my prediction for our opening day 25 man roster:

[Starting 8] Martin/Loney/Kent/Furcal/DeWitt/Ethier/Jones/Kemp

[Bench 6] Bennett/Pierre/Young/Sweeney/Hu/Martinez

[Rotation 5] Penny/Lowe/Bills/Kuroda/Loaiza

[Bullpen 6] Saito/Broxton/Beimel/Proctor/Kuo/Park

2008-03-28 10:56:33
152.   bhsportsguy
143 I think his point is that the offense was a bigger issue for the entire season than the pitching. I agree, seeing Tomko and Hendrickson take a lot of starts last year was not fun but the offense was really inconsistent and that was the main cause of the Dodgers failure to hold on to their playoff position.
2008-03-28 10:56:35
153.   MC Safety
137 How has Andre handled this ridiculous situation poorly?
2008-03-28 10:56:37
154.   fanerman
119 Ethier is better than Pierre. Ethier should start. Pierre should be on the bench. Pierre started every game last season.

It's nothing personal. It's as simple as that. Pierre would be a good bench player or perhaps a starter on a team with worse outfielders. For the Dodgers, he should not start. It's really that simple.

2008-03-28 10:59:06
155.   scareduck
I will mention something here about Juan Pierre that is likely to get my head blown off, but I feel compelled to blurt it out and hide behind a rock: in one of the appendices of this year's Baseball Prospectus, Dan Fox discovers that Juan Pierre is the most productive baserunner in baseball over the last three years, bar none, and it's not even close. (I figured the Angels' Chone Figgins would be in that equation, but apparently not, unless you change the boundaries.) His value isn't in stolen bases per se as much as it is in scoring runs in otherwise hopeless situations -- i.e., scoring from first on a double, going first-to-third, this sort of thing.

I agree his value is tied up in this skill, which is a young player's skill, and he is no longer young. I also agree with the majoritarian view that Pierre has little value to the Dodgers, certainly not enough to keep him employed at his current salary, and not enough to displace either Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp from their respective outfield corner spots.

But I thought I'd throw that out there.

Back to hiding, now.

2008-03-28 11:01:07
156.   Disabled List
135 A better analogy for Ethier vs. Pierre might be evolution vs. intelligent design. One option is scientifically and empirically demonstrated as being superior to the other, but there will always be believers who simply cannot be swayed.
2008-03-28 11:01:45
157.   cargill06
153 we've had this discussion before i don't remember the exact quotes about how fresturated he is not playing and how no one thinks he's good enough but some teams would
2008-03-28 11:02:04
158.   Ian Capilouto
142 I agree with that assessment you wrote and I do frequent DT enough to know I can get a good debate out of it. My main point was that although the Dodgers are better served with Ethier playing, I think there are problems with the rotation that will only be solved once guys like Kershaw and McDonald come up and hopefully live up to their expectations. I guess when it comes to reading about baseball I like to read all the differing views and value them all. Even if I don't agree with them, I still value them because there is information in it.

140 I said it was a bad analogy because it is kind of like comparing apples with oranges which is another bad analogy. argh. He says that the Pierre situation is an open and shut case and there is no second viewpoint. I say it isn't and that there are other facets of the ball club to explore. I am open to reasoning and facts. My wife is a lawyer, I have to be.

2008-03-28 11:02:04
159.   blue22
151 - I don't think that Hu, DeWitt, Kent, and Ramon are all on the roster together. I think they either:
1. have Ramon as the utility infielder which allows Hu to play SS everyday at Vegas or
2. give Hu the utility spot and don't add Ramon to the 40-man.
3. Hu and Ramon make the roster as the 3B/UT IF and DeWitt goes down.

Having Kent healthy means that they'd only need a 3B and a utility infielder.

2008-03-28 11:04:27
160.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2008-03-28 11:04:33
161.   CodyS
I think there are actually thousands of people alive today that could provide more offense than Juan Pierre in 2008, including most of AAA and a lot of AA players. Most of those people could play LF pretty well too, as it is the easiest position on the whole field. If Juan Pierre is not playing center (which he does adequately, and which is a rare thing), he does not deserve to be on a major league team.
2008-03-28 11:05:53
162.   GMac In The 909
137 Nice use of referring to yourself in third person. GMac In The 909 approves.
2008-03-28 11:06:34
163.   GoBears
121 He led the league in outs for one year, in 2006, but he also led the league in at bats that year. Statistically, that would happen to anyone who has that many at bats.

That's just plain wrong. A better hitter, given the same number of plate appearances, would make fewer outs. That's how we know he's a better hitter. But to point out that Pierre led the league in outs is not to criticize Juan Pierre for some kind of failure of judgment. The failure of judgment goes to the guy who allowed him to have so many plate appearances (by playing him every day and batting him so high in the lineup) and the guy who paid him a gazillion dollars to fill that role.

Pierre is what he is. It's not his fault he's not as good as Andre Ethier (who is good, but not great himself). The complaining might seem like it's directed at the player, but it's not. It's directed at the guys who keep running the player out there.

2008-03-28 11:14:32
164.   ToyCannon
Everything is grey in baseball as far as the future is concerned. Anyone who has followed the game should understand that. What might be right today could be wrong tomorrow.

We are not talking physics here but human beings. Marlon Anderson is the best example of that.

2008-03-28 11:14:59
165.   Ian Capilouto
147 Sure it is inevitable, but it just doesn't seem that the Dodgers are equipped with the type of starting pitching that will win the tough games late in the year. I think Penny wears down and hopefully, this year he doesn't if he is learning to pitch and not throw so hard all the time. Lowe looked good last night, and I just hope that last years physical wearing out isn't a prelude to this year.

156 I don't know because you guys are comparing baseball stats that are interpreted in different ways with physical facts like the earth being round. I mean, I can see that Juan Pierre is the height he is and that Andre Ethier is a certain height as well. And if I go into outer space I can see that the earth is round. But I can only interpret stats that are used to evaluate a game that isn't exact. I can base a theory on what will likely happen in baseball by using stats but itis still open to chance.

I can't keep up with all the reply's right now. So I am sorry and I should be writing a paper.

2008-03-28 11:15:53
166.   Ian Capilouto
163 How is that plain wrong?
2008-03-28 11:17:40
167.   ToyCannon
You can still be a good hitter and lead the league in outs. Pete Rose lead the league in outs several years. He was also quite a good hitter during those years.

The problem is not that Juan Pierre lead the league in outs, in a nutshell that means nothing. The problem is he lead the league in outs and didn't provide enough offense for the times he did get on base to negate the number of outs he made.

I really really dislike the "he lead the leauge in outs" as a reason for why Juan Pierre is not a good baseball player. Anyone can lead the league in outs if given enough at bats, even HOF players.

2008-03-28 11:20:16
168.   Ian Capilouto
Thanks I appreciate that reply.
2008-03-28 11:25:25
169.   Frip
88 If Jon is Sam, then Bob is definitely Cliff Claven.

Except Cliff Claven isn't funny.

Most painfully unfunny guys who people think are funny:

1. Keith Olberman

2. Norm McDonald (Saturday Night Live news anchor mid '90s.) Wry delivery does not equal funny. It equals wry delivery. Which comforts people who feel they're in on the in-side joke. Only there's no joke.

3. Dennis Miller - Similar wry-phenomenon as McDonald. Willfully obscure to obscure lack of real wit.

4. Doonesbury

5. Harry Anderson (Night Court judge)

6. Cheers (pleasant, likeable characters...just not all that all).

7. MASH - I couldn't so much as muster a smirk in over 30,000 episodes. (OK maybe a few times for Larry Linville as Frank Burns.) Hawkeye's et al. compulsive wisecracking is not funny, it's annoying, and in real life people roll their eyes at such guys and try and sneak past their cubicles.

8. Things that Charlie Steiner thinks are hackingly funny.

9. Boondocks cartoon (Aaron McGruder)

10. Richard Lewis. Richard Lewis especially in Curb Your Enthusiasm. What WOULD be funny is if they let the camera roll after "cut" so we could hear what Larry David probably always says to him after each take, "You know Richard, it's weird, you're actually not that funny. Not funny at all in fact." And to hear Richard simply agree with him and collect his check.

11. Eddie Griffin - Should be funny but isn't.

12 Richard Pryor - Funny in some movies. But his famed stand-up performances are funny only in spurts. The rest of the time everyone sits in silence waiting for the "genius" stuff to arrive. (Could have been a fine dramatic actor).

13. David Letterman - Paul Schaffer banter.

14. Sportswriters and sportcasters...basically, jocks and everyone connected with jocks. (Some exceptions)

15. And the All Time Most Unfunny Funny Guy...David Brenner. I'm SO glad he was 2 generations before me. Sorry you 60's and 70's dudes had to endure him for 20 years.

And a special award for The Guy You'd Think is Unfunny but is Actually Super Funny:

Michael Kinsley

2008-03-28 11:32:46
170.   bigcpa
168 If you buy into ERA+ and OPS+ as valid relative meaures of ballpark-adjusted team scoring, the Dodgers had the 3rd best pitching in the NL in 2007 and the 14th rated offense. Even after accounting for the Wolf/Schmidt injuries, Hendrickson/Tomko/Loaiza suckage and the Derek Lowe September implosion, the team still excelled at run prevention relative to the league.

The evidence points to the offense as weakness of the team, especially given their 2006 output (4th in the NL in runs). Pierre & Furcal led the team in PA's which is not surprising given their 1/2 lineup positions. Furcal had an obvious explanation for his brutal 76 OPS+ season. Pierre's 75+ was right in line with his prior 2 seasons. So long story short, Pierre really was disproportionally responsible for the offense underperforming vs. 2006. If the alternative was Repko then it's just a waste of $9M/yr. But when we all know Ethier/Kemp/Gonzalez could have played everyday- you're talking 30+ runs left on the table.

2008-03-28 11:40:32
171.   dzzrtRatt
I see two dimensions to the question of Pierre.

The first is: Does a player with Pierre's perceived attributes -- speed, base-stealing ability, making contact -- actually help a team as much as has been traditionally assumed? These attributes supposedly define the "classic leadoff hitter," but it's open to question whether the "classic leadoff hitter" is such a big help.

The second is: Does Pierre even fulfill the role assigned to him? As a base-stealer, probably yes. But he isn't really a "classic leadoff hitter" because he isn't enough of an offensive threat. Pitchers clearly aren't afraid of him. He shortens innings for them, especially the first inning.

Then there's his defense. A team will carry an offensive underperformer at SS, 2B, C and CF if there is a compensating defensive gain. In Pierre's case, however, he was a liability. He was the kind of CF you carry only if he's a major offensive threat.

Clearly, Pierre is the type of player beloved by baseball traditionalists. That's why his name is so often associated with phrases like "he plays the game the right way," "intangibles" and "doesn't show up in the stats." His defenders are really defending that type of baseball, which they see as threatened by the "stat geeks" who are said to revere walks, home runs and to discount speed and defense. Which is a caricature anyway, but the real point is, Juan Pierre doesn't even measure up to the criteria his advocates claim for him. He's no Ty Cobb. He's not even Brett Butler, or Dave Roberts.

On top of all that, with Furcal healthy, Pierre's redundant. Having two speedy leadoff hitters isn't "old-school," it's making a virtue out of an avoidable roster situation. Furcal is the more typical contemporary leadoff hitter anyway -- a guy who can hit doubles and home runs as well as get singles and walks, in the mold of Rickey Henderson.

What's happening to Pierre is sad for those who call him a friend or who admire his work ethic, but I'll be shocked if his presence in the lineup is missed. Sometimes I think he insists on playing every day and maintaining his "streak" because, subconsciously, he knows how minuscule his contribution really is, and figures that if the team wins without him, he'll be exposed at last.

2008-03-28 11:51:01
172.   uke
169 Wow, The king of what's funny... thanks for letting us know
2008-03-28 12:23:11
173.   Jim Hitchcock
145 Hey, Humma, next time you drive down Aviation by 96th St, can you check and see if my old house at 5446 w. 96th has been torn down yet?

Really, I'm just kidding :)

2008-03-28 12:23:51
174.   Bob Hendley
125 You might want to factor in for Nick Johnson, if healthy, playing in the new stadium as opposed to JFK, where the consensus seemed to be that it was not a hitter's park, notwithstanding Soriano's big year.
2008-03-28 12:26:31
175.   Jim Hitchcock
172 Echo that!
2008-03-28 12:28:41
176.   dzzrtRatt
174 It's impossible to hit a home run at JFK. The FAA won't allow it.
2008-03-28 12:45:08
177.   LogikReader

Should I tell him? Nah, I need to reduce my snark content.

2008-03-28 12:46:50
178.   LogikReader

Frip, I agree with about half the list, and I respect your opinion.

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