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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

Rich Man, Poor Man, Blogger Man, Thief
2008-04-03 21:35
by Jon Weisman

You know what the funny thing is about the whole stereotype about bloggers living in their parents' basements? After college, when I became a full-time sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, I moved back home to my parents' house in Woodland Hills, 10 minutes from the office, for two years. Yet during my entire blogging career, I have been a homeowner.

Today on Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner, I was asked to offer my perspective on the issue of blogger credibility and credentialbility. I understand what's prompting the questions: There's increasing discussion on whether bloggers should be allowed locker-room access, in a world where moments before my introduction, New York Times columnist Murray Chass had expressed the all-too-common view basically comparing bloggers to the Ebola virus. Nevertheless, it's fascinating to actually find a need to defend an entire class of people - especially when the attacks are coming from a class of people that is supposed to be professional, insightful, objective and open-minded. (Yes, that passes muster with the Irony Committee.)

So what's my response? It's not rocket science. Some bloggers are better than others, just like some sportswriters are better than others. Some have earned credibility and credentials, others haven't. Rather than compare the very best mainstreamer to the very worst online writer, as Chass implicitly did, I think it makes more sense to note the obvious - that there is a mix of quality in both camps.

Steiner - whom I gather doesn't live and die with Dodger Thoughts but was enough of a reader of this site that on Opening Day 2006, he actually came up to me to introduce himself, honed in on a reason why this concept seems so difficult for some longtime journalists to accept. He speculates that it's about territory, that established reporters are responding negatively to bloggers out of fear of ceding part of their turf. This is not an economic era where you want to concede that unpaid volunteers can come anywhere close to doing your job.

But beyond self-preservation, it's important to realize that condemning a medium, at least in this case, is bush-league. The medium doesn't decide whether to tell a story in a thoughtful, responsible or entertaining fashion; the messenger does. (Well, I'll concede that David Simon has caused me to reconsider this belief, but not in favor of the mainstream journalists.) In any case, trust me: There are good and bad messengers everywhere.

My roots are in sports journalism. I had my first story published in the Los Angeles Times in 1986, covered my first major league baseball game in 1987 and was full-time in the profession by the end of 1989, nearly 13 years before I began blogging. I value how hard it is to be a sportswriter, and I emphasized to Steiner today how that many bloggers rely upon the work of mainstream sportswriters to launch their posts. For that matter, I understand job insecurity. I was the hot new prodigy on staff in '89 - by '92, there was a hotter, newer prodigy, and I was on my way to being marginalized at the ripe old age of 24.

But I expect reciprocity. If I've done a good job as an outsider looking in, I expect respect, not dismissal. First, some of the analysis done by bloggers is flat-out better than anything you'll see from a major paper - and it's done without the support system of a major paper, often without any renumeration whatsoever. In some ways, it's harder work.

Second, while there's value in interacting with the players and management of a baseball team, I can testify that there's often value in not interacting with them. It can give you a level of objectivity that is often missing from mainstream reporting. And at a minimum, many kinds of analysis don't require a locker-room presence, yet can be of tremendous value when done right.

There is no good reason for an Us vs. Them mentality when it comes to mainstream reporters and bloggers. The readership benefits from their combined presence, and really, short of the sportswriter who doubles as a great blogger, one isn't going to take the other's job away. (You certainly won't see me on the Dodger beat for a local paper anytime soon.) Bottom line: A multitude of opinions and a more open debate of the issues are good things. We aren't witnessing the downfall of written baseball coverage; we're witnessing a flourishing, a tremendously rich era to live in. We should cherish this time.

Some people realize this: Steiner, for one. There's no reason to be so uptight about outsider writers. Yes, it's a rough go right now for journalists, but don't blame the bloggers for it. They're not making any more money than the journalists or taking their jobs, believe me. Forces beyond our control are killing the industry.

In the meantime, if there's one thing I could live without ever hearing again, it's that stereotype of bloggers working in their underwear from their parents' basements. I mean, I've had it. I'm not going to sit here and let mainstream baseball writers, who spend, God love 'em, 2,000 hours a year inside a ballpark, tell me that I or my blogger colleagues need to get a life. We have lives, thank you very much. Many of us have day jobs - many of us need day jobs - and many of us spend our weekends with our families and friends rather than with A-Rod and Jeter, and we see a world beyond the baseball field. Not saying that the mainstreamers don't - just that we do. Our passion for baseball drives us to write about the game, but hardly monopolizes our existence. If anything, we might have the perspective that insiders lack.

But don't let me dictate to you who's good and who isn't. Judge for yourself. Just judge after you've read an individual's work, not before.

Comments (435)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-03 21:41:54
1.   Pepperdine
From the previous thread, I'm excited to have Vin here at pepperdine. I'm graduating near the top of my class so I hope I get chance to meet him.
2008-04-03 21:51:51
2.   dianagramr
Well said Jon!

Its a point Will Carroll and I have discussed many times, as to how baseball bloggers will be able to gain admittance to the BBWAA.

2008-04-03 21:58:20
3.   Bob Timmermann
I have never lived in a house with a basement.

I also believe I know more about cows than Murray Chass.

2008-04-03 21:58:23
4.   Bluebleeder87
Great stuff Jon. I posted 3 or 4 pictures of Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium on the Flickr page, I gotta tell you guys watching him live is just totally different, his stuff is just electric!
2008-04-03 21:59:32
5.   KG16
I'm still amazed that this "debate" is still going on. and I'm amazed that it's made it to the sports page.

While in law school, I saw a lot of this kind of thing for non-sports blogging. It was incredibly intense when it came to politics. They eventually found a balance, and given that even sports pages today have blogs (there's what, five? six? on the Times website), I can't understand why people are still so upset.

Of course, you said it much better than I ever could, Jon.

2008-04-03 22:00:43
6.   Franklin Stubbs

It is crazy to paint all bloggers with the same brush, esp with you are talking about a thoughtful blog like this writen by a writer from Variety!

I read DT as many times a day as it is new before I'd read the musings of TJ Simers and Bill Plashke. The two of them represent themselves and the Dodger org. in such a less productive way than you do.

I agree that the issue is territorialism esp in the context of newspaper firings. Most bloggers fit their blogging in as a hobby after their full time jobs and their attention to family life is paid.

There are bloggers who spew lies and rumor and there are bloggers who DRAMATICALLY increase the fan's love of the team and also the value of the franchise. I dare say Jon that you are the latter!

The real question is what do you do when the LA Times wants you to be their Dodger blogger?

2008-04-03 22:00:57
7.   Jon Weisman
3 - Our house had a basement, but we kept, you know, stuff down there. Stuff that we lost when our hot water heater ripped off its moorings and flooded the basement during the Northridge quake.
2008-04-03 22:03:27
8.   Xeifrank
Nice! That's one of your best blog entries. Problem is, the people who could learn from what you said are too stubborn to be open minded and listen to what you have to say. Keep up the good work, you have our support and we are behind you and others with your writing skills and kindness 100%.
vr, Xei
2008-04-03 22:06:17
9.   imperabo
Rule 13, no more visualizing Jon in his underwear. :)
2008-04-03 22:10:28
10.   Indiana Jon
I often post messages to other people's blogs from the basement. Its my basement though, not my parents, and once I get the theater and sports bar finished down there, you are all welcome to come blog with me.
2008-04-03 22:12:05
11.   Frip
Jon: "we're witnessing a flourishing, a tremendously rich era to live in. We should cherish this time.

Some people realize this: Steiner, for one."

Steiner may realize it, but he's not man enough to just say it. When you hung up, he went into "i'm just a confused as ever" mode. Instead of saying something as easy as "hey, the more opinions the better as far as I see it". That would have been the natural conclusion to how he came off with you. But no, he's got to wimp out with some neutral nonsense, and after that New York guy slaughtered bloggers.

I've been Charlie's biggest advocate these last two years. I lost something for him today. Yes it was good to even have you on. But he showed himself to be a fence sitter of the most obvious kind.

Just another game show host in baseball clothing.

2008-04-03 22:15:11
12.   Eric Enders
This was an excellent post and should be sent to Murray Chass posthaste. I'd do it myself, but there are some empty beer cans on the floor I have to go pick up now.
2008-04-03 22:17:42
13.   Sports Tsar
what's wrong with blogging in one's underwear?


2008-04-03 22:18:52
14.   Frip
I see no sense Jon, in you having gone out of your way to mention your professional credintials on Charlie's show. This undermined the essential blogger stance of NOT having to have credentials and NOT having to have the blessing of the professional class. It was self serving and went against the whole ethos.
2008-04-03 22:19:48
15.   Eric Enders
11 I found it a little bit disturbing during the interview when Steiner said to Jon, "but you're one of the good bloggers," in that tone of voice that implies that a good blogger is something generally unheard of.

It was like something that might have come out of Katharine Hepburn's mouth in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner -- "but he's one of the good ones!" (So maybe that makes Jon the Sidney Poitier of bloggers?)

2008-04-03 22:20:54
16.   Disabled List
Great post. I'd like to add that I think one of the merits of bloggers is their lack of access. The opinion is unvarnished, there's nothing personal to pollute it. One of the huge flaws of the professional sportswriters is the way they play favorites and pick grudges. That rarely happens with the better bloggers, and I've never once noticed it with Jon.

Case in point is the way the LA sports media rallied around Juan Pierre this spring. By all accounts Pierre is a good guy who makes life easier for the writers who have to deal with primadonna jerks all the time. When Pierre's job became threatened, they all circled the wagons around him. We joked that the only people in the world who thought JP belonged as a starting OF were Ned Colletti and the Dodger press corps, but it really was the truth.

Jon, if you are ever offered a press pass to the Dodger clubhouse, you should turn it down. Don't get polluted by access.

2008-04-03 22:21:02
17.   Dodgers49
From Tony Jackson:

>> Ned shot down the Giles rumor, said he knew nothing about it. But again, with DeWitt now hitting .625, I'm not sure the Dodgers need anyone else to play 3B. Can you say Wally Pipp? <<

2008-04-03 22:22:03
18.   Eric Enders
14 That's a little harsh. If nothing else, it showed that not all bloggers fall into the stereotypical categories into which Chass would put them.
2008-04-03 22:22:26
19.   Jon Weisman
14 - I hear you and I thought about that. But I thought it was important to get across that bloggers actually come from somewhere. I don't think I sold out my colleagues - it doesn't change the fact that I was a virtual outsider when I started DT.
2008-04-03 22:22:35
20.   LogikReader

I don't think Charley was wrong to not state an opinion. His show isn't really a Jim Rome type show where he explicitly provides his opinion and point of view. He's merely serving the function of that particular program; I feel like it's obvious how he feels without having to say anything.

2008-04-03 22:23:53
21.   Jon Weisman
16 - Too late. I have press access. But I rarely use it, not out of high-and-mightiness, but just logistics.
2008-04-03 22:27:05
22.   Indiana Jon
Where can I hear this interview?
2008-04-03 22:27:17
23.   68elcamino427
Jon, you're good. You are very, very good.
It looks like you're so good and becoming so well recognized that you're scaring them.
This reminds me of the scene from ""Big" when Hanks won't give up the paddle ball.

Unfortunately, the more that "they" fear, and the harder "they" resist, the worse it will get for "them".
Whatever it is that they think they are afraid of.

Thanks again for hosting this site.
It won't be long and you'll be a name brand like Vin.

2008-04-03 22:28:02
24.   Frip
19 Sorry Jon. That's perfectly valid. Just a little upset.
2008-04-03 22:28:12
25.   Disabled List
21 Just keep it real, man!
2008-04-03 22:29:14
26.   Indiana Jon
Jon, how many hits does Dodger Thoughts get on an average day?
2008-04-03 22:29:47
27.   LogikReader
Imagine, Jon. One elongated quip at the tail end of an interview spawned almost ten paragraphs of discussion about Bloggers vs Columnists. It's been quite a day at Dodger Thoughts, and for a date when the Dodgers didn't even play, it's one of the more action-packed days we've ever seen on this site.

If I put myself in Jon's shoes, it would be so hard to come up with a response after essentially getting thrown under the bus by Murray Chass. Jon, you held your own more than admirably! If only I had that kind of toughness and fortitude, not to mention the restraint that kept everything in perspective. Remarkable!

2008-04-03 22:31:18
28.   skybluestoday
LAT'd from previous post -- for Trainwreck

Re: 137

You might be interested to know that we shot that notorious hot-tub scene for the Wyckyd Sceptre sketch at 11PM halfway up a hill at a fairly grim LAPD Sheriff's training facility in City Terrace (near Alhambra). It was right down the hill from Sybil Brand, a (defunct -- and even more grim) women's jail where we had shot the "Sweetie Pie Jones" bits earlier in the day. Yes, we had to bring in our own hot tub.

That was our final location bit for the first half of the 1998 season, and I was bloody exhausted! I got to go home and sleep for a week, but Bob and David and the producers and writers had to charge right into rehearsals for the live show. But the vibe was great, because we were all so glad to be through with those onerous location shoots. Hence the looseness and general hilarity of that scene.

(Their hot-tub ad-libs were even funnier in person -- you should have seen the stuff they didn't use.)

2008-04-03 22:38:09
29.   Xeifrank
27. I got the feeling that Murray Chass was the troll who was trying to bait Jon into a stooping response. Jon made the correct response, even though it must've been tempting to unload on MC.
vr, Xei
2008-04-03 22:38:53
30.   Bob Timmermann
Picture the Griddle on its busiest day, like the Super Bowl or the first two days of the NCAA Basketball tournament. Or me writing about Jarrod Saltalamacchia's wife.

Then multiply by about 10. And that's just people discussing which players should go to A or AA.

2008-04-03 22:41:36
31.   underdog
I already said "Well said!" in previous thread after hearing Jon's fine segment on Steiner's show today, but I'll add more huzzahs! for your post here. Can't add much to it.

I used to tell a colleague of mine who still writes for a newspaper, that the only official difference between bloggers and journalists these days is that journalists still have an editor and proofreader to correct typos and errors. However, I've seen so many bad mistakes in newspapers in recent times I don't even know if there's much difference there either.

Btw, I'm sorry I missed the Mr. Show chat in previous thread, but it did make me want to pop in a Mr. Show DVD tonight.

It also made me think we could combine discussion topics and come up with a good nickname for Loney from a Mr. Show sketch.

Fancy Pants or Blueberry Head anyone?

Van Hammersly?

2008-04-03 22:46:14
32.   underdog
28 Of all the grueling, exhausting production jobs, yours had to be one of the coolest. {jealous sigh} How was Famous Mortimer to work with?

Btw, nice to see Yhency have a good game tonight, striking out the side for the save. Of course it's AA ball, but still good to see.

2008-04-03 22:47:11
33.   Indiana Jon
30 I'm not talking about actual posts. Just wondering if he knew how many visits there actually were to the site. I know there are a lot that don't post.
2008-04-03 22:48:13
34.   underdog
Well, I have to go. Have to finish up a blog entry and then say good night to my parents, before getting into my undies, going down to the basement, and watching cartoons in the dark. Tomorrow I'll probably take my weekly shower and maybe play some video games. Pretty much. Maybe a few crank calls to the Chass household. {belch}
2008-04-03 22:49:33
35.   silverwidow
Greg Miller is off to a good start in Vegas: 1 IP, ZERO walks.
2008-04-03 22:54:31
36.   Bob Timmermann
DT is consistently in 5 digit territory in visitors per day.
2008-04-03 23:02:47
37.   NWdodger
How about James 'Berserker' Loney? Looks like that one is already taken.

2008-04-03 23:07:46
38.   Eric Enders
I thought it was "Crazy Eyes" Loney, after his newfangled contact lenses.
2008-04-03 23:08:00
39.   KG16
35 - and 2 Ks.
2008-04-03 23:11:22
40.   MC Safety
34 No Cheetos?
2008-04-03 23:21:39
41.   Ken Arneson
One of the most common mistakes made when we try to understand a new medium is that, having no other frame of reference to talk about it with, we use the language and measurements of the old media to describe it.

This is the fundamental mistake that the Murray Chasses of the world make when the look at blogging. They will take an average individual article written in the New York Times and compare it with an average individual blog entry, and say: blog entries are crap. And if you measure it that way, they are right.

The problem is, this is the wrong unit of measurement. Newspaper articles live on their own little islands, but blog entries do not. Blog entries are links in a chain. The unit of measurement in blogging is not the article, the unit of measurement is the conversation.

The conversation may start with something Jon writes on DT. But then it continues in the comments. And then ToyCannon or somebody goes and writes something on the SportsBlogs Network, which prompts the other blogs on that network to join in the conversation. And it can spread from there.

The blogger doesn't have to do a bunch of research and paint a complete picture with his blog entry. The picture is painted by everyone who participates in the conversation, across multiple comments and blog entries and blogs. Believe me, if you say something wrong on the web, you will be corrected.

Yes, it's messy process full of noise, but it also is a process that leads, in the end, to a more complete and accurate picture of the issues than the voice of just one person, no matter how talented.

It's the same reason that messiness of democracy and free markets works better than the relative simplicity of dictatorships and planned economies. Progress happens most effectively when the system tests every idea and every ideamaker, and the fittest ones thrive, and the unfit are thrown out. The extent to which blogs do this and newspapers don't is the extent to which blogs are growing and newspapers are dying.

2008-04-03 23:32:17
42.   Lexinthedena
Great post Jon, my favorite of yours so far. I think that it is very much rooted in insecurity which is why many old-gaurd sports writers so badly want to think that bloggers are living in their mom's basement as it presents a much less threatening image. Rick Reilly was on the radio recently perpetuating this cliche, with nothing behind it but emotion. It's resistance and resentment to a new way. One that I suspect will fade soon.
2008-04-03 23:46:24
43.   alex 7
Ken, that was a beautiful post with excellent imagery.

One of the more insightful reads I've had here in 3 years. Thanks.

2008-04-03 23:47:30
44.   regfairfield
Steiner's slightly different characterization of bloggers living in a beer can strewn one bedroom apartment did inspire me to clean up tonight, so at least some good came from this.
2008-04-03 23:51:22
45.   Bob Loblaw
34- Perfect!
35- Encouraging.
Jon- Sorry I missed your interview with Steiner, but it sounds like you held your ground well. I wish I could participate more here, but there's too many demands on my time from family, friends, and work. I try to keep up with all the posts, but sometimes there's not even time for that.
But, I will say that I enjoy this blog every bit as much as most news sites.

I can see how Murray Chass could formulate his negative opinion of bloggers from some sports blogs. Blogs without rules can get very tiresome because all sorts of idiots are allowed to use any type of language, and bait other bloggers. On the other hand, a controlled blog like this one encourages more respectful & insightful commentors.

Thank you, Jon, for providing your insight and an informative & entertaining forum.

2008-04-03 23:53:01
46.   Bob Hendley
Jon, I find your postings to be a joy and the discussion that they elicit to be edifying. Obviously others feel this way, as you have attracted a slew of bright, articulate, evidence-based, hilarious and diverse commentators to your site. Since I came upon your site about a year ago, my already strong passion for the Bums has been enriched to no end. And for that I thank you, and the rest of you guys and gals.
2008-04-04 00:02:32
47.   bryanf
I really wish I had heard this interview. I pray someone will get it online somehow.

Jon, you nailed it again, as usual.

2008-04-04 00:18:18
48.   overkill94
It's always pathetic to hear old crotchety types get all defensive about something new they don't understand, whether it be blogging, sabermetrics, text messaging, whatever.

Luckily FJM is out there to knock these yahoos down a peg, whether they ever catch wind of it or not.

2008-04-04 01:02:28
49.   Strike4
In terms of credibility of the content, one obvious argument favoring bloggers is they are not beholden to the crass priority of trying to make a buck that is forced on commercial journalists. The well known sports columnists need readership numbers, which I think forces them occasionally into absurd postures where the reader has trouble separating facts, half-truths and opinions. I mean, who knows what TJ Simers really thinks about anything? Some of these guys seem to aim towards entertainment as much as enlightenment. Blogging information often comes with less varnish to scrape off.
2008-04-04 01:17:53
50.   trainwreck
That is awesome that you got to work on Mr. Show. My PA work has consisted of working on Last Comic Standing 6. Not quite the same.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-04 02:36:54
51.   fanerman
That was a great read! Okay I'm going to go to sleep now.
2008-04-04 04:35:25
52.   D4P
I know it's early in the season, but Dusty can't be happy with this kind of base-clogging:

Dunn: .125/.417/.125/.542

2008-04-04 05:10:08
53.   fordprefect
Perfect perspective, Jon.

Which means I agree with you, of course.

Agreed re Kershaw.

Saw him @ Maryvale last week against the Brew Crew and was impressed.

My wife saw Torre there and said "he's as short as I am!"

2008-04-04 06:35:23
54.   StolenMonkey86
36 What's that in theoretical dollars?
2008-04-04 07:08:47
55.   Terry A
48 - Keep in mind that Chass' opinion of bloggers is almost certainly colored by the skewering he gets at FJM and other places.

It's not an undeserved skewering, to be sure, but it's not easy to be objective when one's writing is being "workshopped" in front of a vast online audience.

I may be wrong, but I seriously doubt he'd have the same opinion of bloggers if he visited sites like DT regularly.

2008-04-04 07:29:36
56.   Marty
Great post Jon, and great comment Ken. It's distressing to me to see how much resistance to the online world there still is in the print business.
2008-04-04 07:29:57
57.   CanuckDodger
Looking over at Baseball Primer, I notice an article (the headline is about Zito) that quotes a veteran scout saying the following:
"Matt Kemp has more natural ability at his age than Vladimir Guerrero had at the same age. He just hasn't played as much baseball. Once he fugures it out, nobody in the game has a higher ceiling."
2008-04-04 07:41:21
58.   MollyKnight
Well, this whole debate is weird for me.

I started a blog in August 2003 when I was 21 years old. As a human biology pre-med major in college, I'd never so much as had an article published in my high school paper. I never would have had the guts to sumbit anything to a newspaper or magazine. I didn't promote it. I wrote for myself, and about five people went to it. And then more people found it and pretty soon I had a decent-sized audience and I found the feedback--positive and negative--to be absolutely exhilarating.

I enjoyed writing every day so much that I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life. So I moved to New York on a whim in October 2003, to become a writer for real. Things have worked out OK so far. I've written for seven or so magazines since being here, and now I'm happy writing about sports for ESPN.

I don't really get irritated when I hear sportswriters griping about bloggers in the locker room, because I know it's fear-based. Ninety-nine percent of the time the whining comes from men who are old enough to be my father, many of whom stopped busting their tails as journalists years ago and started blackberrying in fluffy columns while on break from Around The Horn, etc.

The blog/newspaper debate is a generational thing not unlike the Kent/Kemp debacle of last year. Which is why Plaschke's perpetual lambasting of Kemp makes me chuckle so much. I think Kemp represents the generation of which he is terrified, and I think that can be said for a lot of the older writers.

2008-04-04 07:41:52
59.   ToyCannon
Bill Plaschke does not share Murry Chase's opinion.

"hey phil...thanks for the note...that's very kind of you...and, for the record, I do NOT have disdain for performance-analysis Dodger bloggers, or any Dodger bloggers...I read the blogs and respect their efforts and celebrate their freedoms..I'm honored to live in a country where we can so openly share our views...I may not agree with the message, but I will forever defend the right of the messenger to deliver it ...thanks again for reading..."

2008-04-04 07:47:56
60.   PalmdaleSteve1

I caught bits and pieces of your XM appearance, but did not stick with it long enough to get the full story, but it was interesting.

What was it Charlie said about his breaking in the "game" as a long haired young guy with a microphone while the Fedora hatted old timers glowered on? I think that comment summarizes the heart of the matter, well that an argument about economics or maybe who are the consumers of your Dodger Thoughts blog product.

LA Times gets how many readers a day, print, online ? How much money do the readers generate in advertisement prevention for Mr. Zell? DT has no advertisements, and who knows how many views per day, not asking for numbers by the way. So if you're not keeping score with the capitalist measure of success, $$$, then who knows the value of a product?

In terms of credibility and therefore access to players/coaches/management, if people read your stuff because it's interesting or provides another point of view of worth, and they continue to read it day in and day out, must be credible, must have worth. But the other side of that argument of worth is if you don't pay for something, does it have value? Not sure I have the answer to that question/muse.

By the way, please let everyone know if you're going to be on Charlie's show again, it's one of my "must hear" daily shows.

2008-04-04 08:00:41
61.   JoeyP
57--What exactly is that scout looking at?

Vlad was way more advanced than Matt Kemp at all levels. Vlad was a freak of nature. He could hit any ball, anywhere in the strike zone or out of it. His arm was also a lot stronger than Kemp's. Kemp doesnt have the plate coverage that Vlad had, nor the bat speed to get to the bad balls. Thats just natual physical talent (bat speed), that puts Vlad in a class above Kemp.

Kemp can be comparable to alot of players, but I'm not seeing the Vlad comparison.

2008-04-04 08:08:12
62.   ToyCannon
How do you know what Matt Kemp's bat speed is? Or Vlady's?
2008-04-04 08:13:46
63.   Bumsrap
Vlad was so advanced as a young player the Dodgers signed his brother and ignored Vlad.
2008-04-04 08:15:21
64.   MC Safety
I thought Delmon Young was The Next Vlad Guerrero?
2008-04-04 08:15:49
65.   DRomo
I agree Matt Kemp is not the player yet that Vlad was when he broke in. Kemp has raw talent but not the experience that Vlad had in his young career. Vlad had the "benefit" of baseball academies in the Dominican. emp is cleary still learning how to play the game.I believe in time Kemp may have a better career and achieve a higher ceiling only if he works at it. I could very easily imagine him being the next Raul Mondesi, who had a world of raw talent. Raul was a picture of a 5 tool player but got in his own way.With a coaching staff including the likes of Easler, Bowa, and Torre I think he is in good hands. The rest is up to Matt.
2008-04-04 08:24:01
66.   underdog
62 Or of an unladen swallow?
2008-04-04 08:24:59
67.   cargill06
good post jon

wish i got a chance to listen.

2008-04-04 08:25:19
68.   screwballin
I had an odd sensation the other night as I sat in some left field seats watching Ethier warm up. It came to me that I'm far more invested in this team than any Dodger team I've ever watched (for at least 40 years). Even though I've been an avid Dodger fan my entire life, Ethier, and the others, no longer seemed like just players.

Is that because of Murray Chass, or Plaschke, or anything the LAT or ESPN has done? No, it's because of DT, primarily. (With an assist to True Blue LA and others.)

So maybe Chass is right to be worried and territorial. The territory in play is not journalism jobs, it's readers. Why would I bother reading an LAT game story, or anything Chass might write, when I can learn so much more here?

2008-04-04 08:27:04
69.   JoeyP
62--I've yet to see Kemp swing and connect to balls that Vlad could and does regularly. Just based on observations of what balls Kemp can hit and what he cant.

The only similarity that I see between Kemp/Vlad is their large K zones given their respective heights.

Mondesi had a good career with the Dodgers and I think the numbers Kemp ends up putting up will be close to his. However, even then there are quite few physical differences, the most apparent being height. Raul was only 5'11.

I'd be interested to see how much success players 6'4 and taller have at the plate.

2008-04-04 08:31:10
70.   underdog
69 It may very well true that it's unfair or unrealistic to say Kemp has as high or higher of a ceiling than Vlad, but saying that he isn't connecting with balls as well as Vlad, right now, isn't really fair either. Kemp has a world of talent, and as with Vlad many scouts feel he has 5 tools. But he does have a ways to go, and hasn't played enough baseball yet to fairly judge who he is or will be.
2008-04-04 08:34:37
71.   Sushirabbit
41 Wow. That's an excellent point.

I absolutely love the challenge/response aspect. This is also supposed to be scientific research works, but in reality it often does not.

2008-04-04 08:34:48
72.   madmac
There was a time when the first thing I did each morning was read what the Times had to say about the Dodgers. I eventually included DT in my morning reading rotation. Now the first thing is DT and if I go anywhere is else it's usually because it was referenced here.

Thanks for keeping us connected John.

2008-04-04 08:35:27
73.   madmac
crap, I meant to delete that "h"
2008-04-04 08:37:04
74.   Bumsrap
The combination of Loney wearing #7 and going by James instead of Jim leads to a nickname of maybe "Licensed" or "Thunderball" or GoldFinger or maybe just 007.
2008-04-04 08:38:50
75.   ToyCannon
I'll agree with that, I just thought maybe you had measurable information on the bat speed of both players.

I'd be happy with a Mondesi like Dodger career from Kemp as long as Kemp does not follow the Mondesi non-Dodger career arc while on the Dodgers.

2008-04-04 08:40:46
76.   JoeyP
70-- Just going off of visuals---> I've yet to see Kemp take a ball that is around his eyes and hit out of the ballpark, nor one that is almost in the dirt and hit it out. Thats stuff that only the guys with the best bat speed and plate coverage can do--and really only Vlad can do this.

Going off of actual stats----> Kemp's K rate is quite a bit higher than Vlad's was at the same age.

Vlad's arm was/is stronger than Kemp's.

So, while Kemp does have some skills, there is no evidence that points to Kemp having as high or higher ceiling than Vlad Guerrero. Vlad Guerrero is likely a 1st ballot hall of famer.

For any "scout" to suggest this, just speaks of a guy wanting to make a preposterous statement just to get his opinion published.

I'm not trying to bash Kemp.
Its more the innane comparison that leads to misplaced expectations on players.

Kemp's a good player with a likely bright future.
He's probably not a hall of famer.

2008-04-04 08:44:05
77.   Jim Hitchcock
00 I lived in my parent's rumpus room for more years than I will admit to. But I could plug in my guitar and play all night!

A friend at work just loaned me a 2 volumn set called the Dimaggio Albums, from 1989. I had forgotten that Joe had a 61 game hitting streak for the San Francisco Seals.

2008-04-04 08:49:31
78.   cargill06
i've always thought when kemp's career is all over it will be very similar (numbers) to torii hunter.
2008-04-04 08:53:02
79.   underdog
76 I agree with that. As I said, I don't think it's even fair to Kemp to make that comparison.

I'd be happy with a Torii Hunter career.

2008-04-04 09:06:35
80.   MC Safety
R.I.P. Klaus Dinger.
2008-04-04 09:07:29
81.   screwballin
A few Pecota comps for Kemp:
Derek Bell, Hollandsworth, Chili Davis, Andre Dawson, Ellis Burks, Ruben Sierra, Don Baylor, and, at number 18, Vlad.


2008-04-04 09:07:39
82.   D4P
If we were smart, we'd consider trading Kemp while his value is (presumably?) higher in GMs' minds than it will likely prove to be on the field. I feel like there's gotta be at least one GM out there who values Kemp the same way that GMs value Hunters and Joneses and etc., who would trade more to us than Kemp is gonna be worth.
2008-04-04 09:08:01
83.   fiddlestick
76-- Or more likely, said scout is describing Kemp in a way much more interesting and more easily understood by the interviewer and the baseball audience as a whole. He's paying Kemp a compliment by using a little bit of harmless hyperbole. The fact that you spent as much time disecting his statement and the tone with which you expressed it says a heck of a lot more about you than the scout in question.
2008-04-04 09:08:44
84.   cargill06
i'm sure it's been discussed but not a great start for james, good to see yhency strike out the side in his inning.
2008-04-04 09:09:24
85.   Daniel Zappala
Excellent post and conversation. Thank you to everyone for your insight. We're at a tremendous point in history, with access to so much information and opinion. I know I'm a much more knowledgeable sports fan because of the Internet and blogs than I ever was before.

I do want to put in a plug for basements. It's the one quiet place in our house where I can go when I need to write an article in absolute silence.

2008-04-04 09:14:38
86.   Xeifrank
Good luck this weekend against the Padres. I am leaving shortly for a weekend in Vegas. Hope to watch some final four and place a few baseball futures bets.
vr, Xei
2008-04-04 09:16:56
87.   Daniel Zappala
Say it ain't so! Mike Montgomery is going to be the new Cal basketball coach!
2008-04-04 09:18:14
88.   CajunDodger
I have been trying to put my thoughts together on this and your post crystallized my thinking for some reason. I like the blogs I visit not because the writing is better than Gurnick, Jackson, or Plaschke (though some of it is). I like it for the angles that bloggers sometimes take that the print media sometimes fails to address. Then I get the added stimulation of other people who share my interest adding to the discussion.

I don't know hardly anyone's real name here, but I respect everyone's opinion and learn more about the story behind the beat writers' posts than I ever could from just reading a mildly sarcastic mailbag from Gurnick.

Sons of Steve Garvey, 6-4-2 (for minor league stuff), TrueBlue, ITD, Dodger Thoughts, and the Kamenetzky brothers are my must reads each day. I also read Tony Jackson and Ken Gurnick.

For me, it is not a question of print vs. blog but of personal preference on writing style, content, and the extra input I get from vested fans who all play by the same commenting rules that I abide by.

2008-04-04 09:19:03
89.   regfairfield
82 But Kemp is probably more valuable than those guys. Who would you rather have for the next five years: Kemp, Hunter, or Jones? I don't think anyone would give an answer other than Kemp.
2008-04-04 09:22:22
90.   D4P
I think you missed my point.

If some GM is willing to (over)pay Hunter/Jones 18-20 million a year, you'd think said GM would also be willing to trade more for Kemp than he is worth.

I don't think Kemp will turn into the elite hitter than I'd guess at least one GM out there thinks he will.

2008-04-04 09:22:57
91.   screwballin
I think the Vlad comparison comes from Kemp putting up a .304 EqA at age 22 in the majors. Not many players have done that, as someone (Toy Cannon?) spelled out here a few months ago. Vlad's EqA at 22 was .314, followed by .309 the next year.

You could also argue that Kemp's not trying to hit fastballs at his eyes means he's MORE advanced. I've always wondered what Vlad could be doing if he were just a little more selective.

2008-04-04 09:25:58
92.   screwballin
I wasn't surprised to find Andre Dawson in Kemp's comps. That's the guy he reminds me of most.

Of course, Dawson didn't manage a .300+ EqA until he was 25.

2008-04-04 09:27:26
93.   CajunDodger
I have never looked, but I think the answer to your question would lie in an analysis of his line drive % and BA by zone around the plate. My seat of the pants view on Vlad is that he doesn't hit pitches on the periphery of the strike zone much better than the pitches around his neck.

That homer he hit off Penny in the All Star Game a few years back was a around his adams apple and he hit it out to the opposite field.

2008-04-04 09:30:02
94.   cargill06
82 that's what i suggested a number of times... be careful.

i always thought a cheap trading him for a cheap erik bedard than spending our money on dunn this offseason would be the moves to make, but that's already been discussed.

maybe rich harden if he becomes available.

2008-04-04 09:31:30
95.   madmac
what would you prefer. Kemp a life long dodger or traded for someone who slightly out performs Kemp while a Dodger.

I think I tend to lean more toward the player who I saw grow up in the Dodger system. Seems more meanigfull to me. Maybe I shouldn't though.

2008-04-04 09:32:00
96.   Jacob L
Blogs are one thing. Dodger Thoughts is another. Jon is like the best ballplayers; he makes it looks easy. I think that's because his writing is to the point and avoids ostentation. Lest anyone think that its easy to survey and dissect the latest Dodgers doings, on an almost daily basis, and then to relate the most essential points in a precise, compelling, and thoughtful manner, let me assure you its not. Years ago, a wrote for a Dodgers-related site, and tried to do what Jon does. Not that I want to turn this into another love fest.

On a more generic point, one of the differences between mediums is the relationship to the audience. There are still too many mainstream writers and columnists who feel its their job to lord it over the audience and tell them what to think. Bloggers, almost without exception, view it as their role to catalyze conversation and shared experience. That's more or less what Ken was saying above. I appreciate the fact that Tony Jackson and others are trying to break down that barrier, even while its clear that they sometimes struggle with the concept.

2008-04-04 09:32:27
97.   CanuckDodger
76 -- Without knowing what the scout meant by "natural ability" there is not much point in getting all hot and bothered about it, and you seem to be engaging in an awful lot of baseless speculation about what the scout meant. He admitted that Guerrero had a lot more experience playing baseball at the age Kemp is now, so he was not making a direct comparison or saying Kemp is as good as Vlad at the same age. I'll just take satisfaction in the compliment the scout is paying Kemp and leave it at that. And by the way, scouts were talking about Russell Martin being an MLB All-Star catcher when Martin was still in Double A and you were pimping Navarro as our future catcher and talking about making other plans for Martin.
2008-04-04 09:32:52
98.   madmac
Harden can't stay healthy
2008-04-04 09:33:06
99.   El Lay Dave
If Murray Chass was a 1600s town crier, he would be bemoaning the spread of literacy and cursing the spread of the new medium of the printing press.

Excellent post by you, Jon, and excellent comments, particularly 41 by Ken.

As an software engineer in a harware-oriented industry, I very much relate to Ken's first paragraph, "One of the most common mistakes made when we try to understand a new medium is that, having no other frame of reference to talk about it with, we use the language and measurements of the old media to describe it." This I still experience on a daily basis working in an industry whose roots are firmly entrenched in hardware engineering and assembly. People are forever attempting to deal with software in terms and methods analogous to hardware without recognizing the fundamental differences in the products (especially the ease in which software can be modified), and the limitations introduced by speaking only in hardware-oriented jargon and paradigms. Managers (almost always from a hardware background) have no choice but to have software in their systems (like newspapers being available on the net), but they fear it, they don't understand how to manage it, and they don't know how to exploit it for their own benefit, but those that do will gain a tremendous advantage over their competition.

2008-04-04 09:33:07
100.   underdog
What, no comments on the story this morning in the Times on Ethier doing some practice at first base?,1,6022707.story

Interesting. Guess it's always good to have someone else who can play first just in case, and another way to keep Ethier always in the lineup. But as a way to get Pierre in the line-up, it makes less sense.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-04-04 09:33:14
101.   Frip
Just ran across this photo of Vin. Captures not only his dignity, but his stregth. (I think we forget the stamina it takes to do what he does, both physical and mental.)

It's the best photo I've seen of him. Quite handsome. Suitable from framing, literally, I think I will, and place it on desk at work. Though I'm not sure how many times I'll have to hear, "who's that, your grandpa?", before I get annoyed and throw it in a drawer.

I have a picture of Sinatra on my office wall and I get middle aged men asking "who's that?" I mean how big a rock must you live under.

Vin photo link:

2008-04-04 09:34:24
102.   cargill06
98 well for his talent he will be really cheap because of it. it would be the ultimate gamble becuase if he does stay healthy, you're getting a very good pitcher.
2008-04-04 09:35:04
103.   madmac
100 I guess more flexibility/options is always a good thing.
2008-04-04 09:38:05
104.   LeeLacy
Excellent post, Jon.

Prior to discovering Dodger Thoughts, I had long been frustrated in my search for consistent, objective, and incisive reporting about the Boys in Blue. I didn't grow up in California and, consequently, didn't have access to local coverage of the Dodgers. So as a teen in the 80's, I subscribed to Dodger Blue, and while there was much to appreciate about that newsletter, I remember feeling that there was too much sycophancy and not enough hard analysis.

The advent of the Internet certainly expanded the universe of readily available Dodger-related content. But still, the analysis provided by traditional journalists wasn't as in-depth and satisfying as I wanted (and I found writers such as T.J. Simers to be insufferable to read). And the Dodger message boards (I'm thinking primarily of the one at so often devolved into bouts of name-calling and contests about who "owned" whom that I finally gave up on them.

Then by some good fortune, I happened to stumble upon Dodger Thoughts and finally found what I was looking for. (Hey Bono--No need to look anymore.) Jon's posts are always well-written, well-thought out, and convincingly argued. And nearly as impressive are the discussions triggered by Jon's posts. Not to engage in a little sycophancy myself, but the commenters here at DT are consistently smart and thought-provoking and frequently hilarious.

Contrary to Murray Chass's straw man notion of bloggers being a bunch of basement-dwelling recluses akin to Kevin Smith's character (the Warlock) in "Live Free or Die Hard," the DT community, from what I've been able to gather, consists of writers, lawyers, librarians, mathematicians, college professors, computer scientists, and others whose lives consist of something other than hanging out in windowless rooms all day playing the latest version of Doom while noshing Nacho Cheese Doritos and sipping flat Mountain Dew.

I think Jon's achievement in establishing such a vibrant community where intelligent and witty commentary can be found in such abundance is not a small one. His work speaks for itself.

2008-04-04 09:38:59
105.   madmac
102 that's the thing though, is giving up Kemp worth that gamble.

Seems like everyone here would say you can't base anything on just 2+ games, yet it seems like there is less shine on Kemp right now than there was a few months ago. Maybe were just being more honest with ourselves now.

2008-04-04 09:39:47
106.   El Lay Dave
103 Only if management knows how to evaluate options correctly and chooses wisely.
2008-04-04 09:41:27
107.   cargill06
105 my opinion on him i s still the same, he has the potential to be out of this world. but realistically i think he's gonna really struggle to have an OBP above .340. i just can't see him flirting with him being a .300 hitter even last year he looks like .270-.280 hitter to me.
2008-04-04 09:42:59
108.   El Lay Dave
90 Is it irony that a person whose nickname is derived from the Delino for Pedro trade, would suggest trading the player with the high ceiling?
2008-04-04 09:43:40
109.   regfairfield
102 You implied that you'd trade Matt Kemp for him, which I don't think anyone would want.
2008-04-04 09:45:42
110.   madmac
106 but doesn't having players of Ethier's ability being able to play more positions, specifically infield, lessen the need for players like Angel Chavez/Lucile II
2008-04-04 09:49:07
111.   bhsportsguy
I have never thought of sites like DodgerThoughts or TrueBlue as places where news breaks. First off, Jon is a Dodger fan and he does not have to be objective about them, he voices his opinion about the team, players, management, concession lines in terms that I as a fan can share or disagree with.

But sites like DT also provide places of discussion like Ken wrote above.

I am not sure where I stand on bloggers getting credentials to cover teams, if the blog is just something that someone self publishes, I can see the arguement against it. If its a blog like the one the LA Times, I can see an argument for it.

Usually these things have a way of working things out, when writers like Murray Chass find themselves without an outlet for their opinions, maybe then they will see the need for blogs.

2008-04-04 09:51:38
112.   cargill06
109 ya if harden can stay healthy this year, and you can bring in adam dunn in the off season i'd def do that.

of course when you make the trade you don't know those other varibles so that would make the trade that much tougher to make.

2008-04-04 09:53:03
113.   ibleedbloo
100 I don't consider that story legit until it hits the blogosphere. I can't trust these writers who sit in their climate controlled homes or behind big shiny desks. If they are wearing more than your underwear I don't trust them.
2008-04-04 09:53:32
114.   El Lay Dave
110 But it also, as 100 points, allows Pierre to start (in LF) in place of Loney, if Ethier is at first.

I have no problem with Ethier learning to play first, even if it is only in case of weird situations in extra-inning games of something.

2008-04-04 09:55:57
115.   regfairfield
I just don't see how you could trade Matt Kemp, one of the best young players in baseball, for two years, or about seven starts, of Rich Harden. If we did that, it would become another massively one sided Billy Beane trade. I think the A's would take pretty much any decent prospect for Harden at this point, the guy isn't that much more valuable than Mark Prior.
2008-04-04 09:56:37
116.   Jim Hitchcock
104 Stumbling on to Dodger Thoughts for the first time is like having the clouds clear and the sun shining doubt about it.

I wonder how many posters remember the pre Toaster days. Server Error!

2008-04-04 09:58:17
117.   El Lay Dave
Underwear-clad bloggers in beer-can strewn basements is east coast bias! West coast bloggers post using their laptops on the patio while wearing shorts and flip-flops amidst numerous empty bottles of premium microbrews.
2008-04-04 09:59:07
118.   CanuckDodger
Since I have not seen anybody mention it here yet, a few days ago Baseball America ranked the farm systems of all 30 organizations and they also did what they called a "Cumulative Ranking, Last Five Years," which I suppose is self-explanatory. They ranked the Dodgers' farm #1 for the last five years (#6 currently). They also commented: "The Dodgers have gotten more bang for their buck in the draft than any club this decade."

Also worth noting, the Dodgers released relief pitcher Mark Alexander. Quite the reversal for the guy who was our Minor League Pitcher Of the Year in 2006. Because of his great stats in 2006, we talked a lot about this guy at DT, and who would have thought, back then, that the extremely-obscure Ramon Troncoso would be in our 2008 bullpen?

2008-04-04 09:59:22
119.   cargill06
115 oh ok, maybe i'm over valuing harden too much i've just always loved the guy when he's on the mound. lets trade some of low tier prospects for him at the deadline than.
2008-04-04 09:59:37
120.   madmac
112 yeah, if had a crystal ball there are a lot of trades I'd make.

I remember being glad the Dodgers didn't cave to giving up Dreifort in a package for Randy Johnson. Turns out it would have been a good idea.

2008-04-04 10:00:20
121.   Frip
111 I am not sure where I stand on bloggers getting credentials to cover teams, if the blog is just something that someone self publishes, I can see the arguement against it.

When you see that arguement, what does is look like?

2008-04-04 10:00:52
122.   cargill06
but i'm not as high on kemp as the average DT commenter. i don't think he's as good as a line drive hitter as most think, it will be a battle all year to keep that OPS above .800, IMHO
2008-04-04 10:00:53
123.   madmac
113 I don't trust anyone wearing my underware
2008-04-04 10:01:16
124.   regfairfield
I noticed Anthony Raglani isn't on any of our rosters. What's up with that?
2008-04-04 10:02:52
125.   Eric Stephen
Tonight I hope to end a depressing streak. The Padres have beaten the Dodgers the last 9 times I have attended in person.

The last Dodger win over the Padres with me at the park was April 20, 2005. Jose Valentin tripled off Scott Linebrink in the top of the 10th, scoring Drew and Kent to break a 1-1 tie. The 3-1 Dodger win was their 8th straight victory, and put their record at a division guaranteeing 12-2. :)

I'll be at Petco tonight and tomorrow, so look for a Dodger win Sunday afternoon!

2008-04-04 10:04:43
126.   El Lay Dave
Didn't Kemp flirt with .300 last year? He hit .342 in about a 1/2 season of ABs/PAs. If he had gotten twice the ABs, he'd only have to hit .258 in them to have a .300 season.
2008-04-04 10:04:47
127.   madmac
114 I know we have become accustomed to thinking Pierre is the worst thing to happen to baseball, but isn't he a better asset than Chavez/Lucile II.

I'm still assuming Pierre is the 4th OF (just a few mor starts), we were happy with that idea not too long ago. Agree though, it's got to be within reason.

2008-04-04 10:06:53
128.   CanuckDodger
124 -- And there is no Cory Dunlap either. Maybe all DePodesta guys have been purged.
2008-04-04 10:08:22
129.   regfairfield
The 51's also seem to be missing Nook Logan's scrap.
2008-04-04 10:09:01
130.   Jim Hitchcock
125 I remember that triple...he clapped his hands as he rose from the prone position.

And..what? 15 games more and he was gone?

2008-04-04 10:09:19
131.   Eric Stephen
I have no problem with bloggers getting credentials, provided:

(a) there is a large enough readership of their work, and
(b) there is consistent quality and quantity of work on the blog in question

2008-04-04 10:09:34
132.   cargill06
126 ya he did, i just see too many holes, i could be wrong but i just don't see him as a .290-.300 guy.
2008-04-04 10:11:05
133.   CanuckDodger
124 -- And I can't believe Raglani got a full write-up in Baseball Prospectus 2008. All Troncoso got was one sentence in the "Lineouts" section.
2008-04-04 10:13:19
134.   Eric Stephen
I remember the clap from Valentin! He managed to last 42 more games, putting up a stellar .120/.273/.148 after that triple.
2008-04-04 10:13:22
135.   Penarol1916
112. But you said you liked Harden because he could be had cheaply. Even if you think that Kemp is over-rated, I don't think you could argue that giving him up would be getting him cheaply. Getting Harden cheaply would be more along the lines of getting him for Xavier Paul or Jon Meloan.
2008-04-04 10:15:02
136.   cargill06
135 ya, my mistake as i said in 119 my mistake on how much it would take to get a guy like harden, you guys are probably right about that.
2008-04-04 10:17:07
137.   Johnson
123 I don't trust anyone wearing my underware

That's dangerously close to the Epimenides Paradox. At least, we can only hope it is.

2008-04-04 10:17:21
138.   LeeLacy
116 No doubt about it. In my post, I was tempted to add an impression of Will Ferrell doing his impression of James Lipton by saying, "Jon, I am born anew in your genius. Reading your posts on Dodger Thoughts each day is like looking into the face of God and seeing Him smiling back and saying, 'You are my most wondrous creation.'"

But then I decided to let the post stand as is.

2008-04-04 10:17:36
139.   JoeyP
97--I've always liked Martin ever since he proved he could get on base in the rookie leagues. I never said that Navarro would be better than Martin. I only made mention that Navarro was younger, and had already had a good rookie year campaign for the Dodgers. If you have two good players at one position, you either keep them both (especially at catcher), or trade one for something good.

Unfortunately, neither happened in this case.

It didnt take scouting to know that Russ Martin would be an above average MLB catcher. The guy OBP'ed over .400 in the Southern League.

2008-04-04 10:18:02
140.   philmc78
Just keep it up, Jon. Anyone who knows the game will recognize how helpful and insightful your writing is.

I think one of the main differences between beat writers and bloggers is that beat writers are limited in what they put in the paper. They're paid to report what happens on the field, and that's about it. Bloggers, however, analyze and interpret these actions, and a keen eye can shed a lot of light for the rest of us.

What I like about Dodger Thoughts is that you don't dumb it down for the readers, and that's why you have a decent amount of great commenters, too.

Let the mainstream writers and other members of the media continue being insecure. You're the one they're afraid of--not the guys living in their parents' basement.

2008-04-04 10:18:38
141.   El Lay Dave
I know DeWitt is off to a hot start, and it is possible that he is breaking through for good, but I'm sure we all remember that Matt Kemp came on strong when we was first called up (1.042 OPS in the first 23 games) but really cooled off (.416 OPS in his last 29 games, with 6 six back in the minors as well before the Sept. callups).

DeWitt is a talent - he is a Logan White #1 pick - with 3 1/2 professional seasons under his belt and skills that ours eyes can see, but he is still quite young, so I prefer to be cautiously optimistic. I doubt Ned and his depth fetish will be trading LaRoche anytime soon.

2008-04-04 10:22:51
142.   CanuckDodger
139 -- It certainly took scouting to know what kind of CATCHER Martin would be, as distinguished from what kind of HITTER he would be.
2008-04-04 10:25:24
143.   El Lay Dave
127 I think we're in agreement. My only point is that not all options are good choices and sometimes someone presented with a lot of options will choose worse options too frequently. Remind you of any Dodger managers of this century?
2008-04-04 10:25:34
144.   ishXdavid
Jon... I felt this was an appropriate time to express my appreciation for all the work you do. You're the backbone of the best online community on the net. Not only do I find the information here insightful, but your writing is on another level. Thank you.
2008-04-04 10:26:49
145.   Jim Hitchcock
134 Man. I hate to see anybody get hurt, but Zorro was a far lesser loss than Bill Mueller, IMO.
2008-04-04 10:26:50
146.   GiantturnedDodger
The MSM vs. Blogger discussion in sports mirrors what is happening in the non-sports world. There is an excellent article in the 3/31 The New Yorker magazine by Eric Alterman, "Out of Print" what does the web mean for newspapers, which discusses the success of political blogs and what appears to be the slow death of the newspaper business. Change is hard for most people. Anyways first chance to post in a while although I have spent way too much timing lurking. Went to opening day and was moved by the pregame. A lot of drinking going on in the parking lot however. Parking, food service seem fine. Bathrooms on lodge level were a mess though. We share season tickets and park in F and usually stay after the game to let traffic clear. More post game drinking, not me, led to a hit and run as a SUV backed in to a 7 series BMW and took off. Somewhat comical as 3 bicycle cops pursued. One cop to another as they went down the hill "call ahead on your radio!" other cop " I can't, it's dead!". This was just a few minutes before Nomar dropped someone off 10 feet from that incident. Anyways the stadium next to the ravine seemed a little scary like a few years back. Haven't seen it like this the last couple of years. Maybe it was the Giants or just opening day. Anyways, love Dodger Thoughts!
2008-04-04 10:27:50
147.   Frip
Scully, New York Times, 2006

After 57 years, this is my life," he said. "A man really determines himself by what he does. I wonder how a man feels when he isn't defined.

Like an amoeba? The color red? Anyway, interesting comment.

Does anyone have info on Vin from when he played at Fordham? I'm thinking he hit about 250 / 360 / 212.

2008-04-04 10:32:42
148.   68elcamino427
Re: The Bison
The Dodgers had Clemente.
The Dodgers had Vlad.
The Dodgers have Kemp.
Just take a look at where he has come from, out of no where really, Kemplahoma.
Kemp has so, so much natural ability. Is he bigger and badder than Vlad? Can my daddy beat up your daddy?
Kemp's stats are similar to Miguel Cabrera's, considering production at their ages and MLB experience. I think that Kemp is waaay more athletic though.
Take a look compare and see for yourself.
65 mirrors my feelings.
What was Kemp doing 24 months ago?
What will he be capable of 24 months from now?
What will he have accomplished when he reaches Vlad's age?
The shine is off? Try checking Texeria's numbers season to date. Is he done?
The Bison, he's really just a Baby Bison.
Trade Kemp?
2008-04-04 10:32:46
149.   madmac
143 yeah, we are. I do have more faith in Torre than I did in Tracy or Little. With Little though I wasn't sure if he just wasn't making good decisions on his own or if he made decisions based on what he thought management wanted. I do believe Ned when he says it's up to the manager who plays.
2008-04-04 10:32:47
150.   bhsportsguy
Minotaur Alert and Welcome Back to Mr. Morris

Tonight or this afternoon, Clayton Kershaw starts for Jacksonville while his first round teammate, Byron Morris returns from his surgery to start for the Loons.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-04-04 10:33:00
151.   bhsportsguy
Minotaur Alert and Welcome Back to Mr. Morris

Tonight or this afternoon, Clayton Kershaw starts for Jacksonville while his first round teammate, Byron Morris returns from his surgery to start for the Loons.

2008-04-04 10:35:54
152.   CajunDodger
The argument I always hear has to do with accountability. Guys who have blogs like Jon or Tony Jackson still write for organizations that can hold them accountable for a really bad post (something that is racist, libel, or false with no sources to back it up). If it is someone who has a lot of readership but no person or organization they work for who can keep them accountable for their words, most teams are reluctant to give access to that person.

Not saying that unprofessional and unsubstantiated reporting doesn't happen in the "regular" media, but that is the argument.

2008-04-04 10:37:32
153.   LogikReader
Jerry Coleman is on the aforementioned Baseball Beat program with Charley Steiner. XM 175. I think I'm hooked.
2008-04-04 10:37:42
154.   madmac
150 - 151 you are like the alpha and omega
2008-04-04 10:41:27
155.   f105kid
Very well done, Jon. Almost thou presuadest me to donate a little something to the site. Good thing I'm a cheapskate.

Keep it up!

2008-04-04 10:44:03
156.   Jim Hitchcock
138 It was a fine post, just as it was.
2008-04-04 10:45:11
157.   kinbote
141 I think DeWitt's EARLY excellence in a difficult situation has led to some new DeWitt Thoughts: one, he is now firmly in a long-term battle with LaRoche for the title of "3B of the future"; two, his development is likely pushed up a year from its previous pace. I would be shocked if he didn't see some time at AAA this year after presumably returning to AA when his time is up.

All that being said, I'm starting to wonder whether he or LaRoche would be a better candidate to switch positions to 2B in anticipation of Kent's departure. 2B is hardly the toughest position on the diamond, and I have to think one of them could manage the job if it meant 500 at-bats in the majors next year. We have a lot of uncertainty about next year's middle infield: whether to re-sign Furcal is likely to be a huge offseason issue. If we decide to go with Hu, we'd be well off to try to fit some extra offense into the 2B position. DeWitt or LaRoche might be that fit.

2008-04-04 10:47:16
158.   JoeyP
157-Should have been done at the earlier minor league levels, especially with LaRoche.

The LaRoche to 2nd base movement never really got off the ground, despite my numerous letters to Logan White.

Ok, I didnt really write any letters.

2008-04-04 10:47:16
159.   natepurcell

I'm excited for Morris.

Disappointed Withrow, Watt, and Gallagher are all stuck in short season ball again.

2008-04-04 10:48:08
160.   natepurcell

Dewitt is more fleet of foot than Laroche, and he barely handled second base.

2008-04-04 10:48:52
161.   cargill06
157 do you think re-signing furcal and putting hu at 2b could be a resolution? that would be a pretty good offensive middle infield to go with a good/great defensive middle IF
2008-04-04 10:49:25
162.   JoeyP
159 -Where's Lambo starting out?

I hope he's playing full season somewhere.

It sucks Withrow isnt playing full season ball again. Are they overly concerned with the workload on his arm, or is he not good enough?

2008-04-04 10:49:29
163.   underdog
Maybe Cory Dunlap ate Nook Logan?

I didn't expect much more from Dunlap's future other than increasing girth.

As for Mark Alexander, I suppose he, along with Eric Hull, weren't as good as their minor league stats would indicate. I always wondered why the Dodgers didn't give Hull more of a chance in the majors, but it's obvious they didn't see much ML potential in him. Must be something scouts felt just wasn't working or going to work in the bigs. Alexander had great success, too, but the couple of times I saw him pitch his stuff didn't impress me that much.

2008-04-04 10:49:46
164.   madmac
today my preference is to resign Furcal and let Abreu/Hu battle for 2nd
2008-04-04 10:50:16
165.   68elcamino427
I like it!
Power, "Hot Wheels Power"!
2008-04-04 10:50:26
166.   natepurcell

I remember a couple years ago when the Dodgers made the move for Dewitt to 2b, I was super excited and immediately started pushing him in future Dodger starting lineups as a second basemen. I was really disappointed that those plans were scrapped because I really wanted to see an infield that both Laroche AND Dewitt.

2008-04-04 10:50:47
167.   Kevin Lewis
Jon, fantastic post...very well said.

Ken, thanks for the wonderful comment; I couldn't agree more, and that comment illustrates what is so beautiful about a blogging community maintaining the conversation.

OT: I watched the pilot of FNL last night. I don't know what took me so long to watch that show. Excellent stuff!

2008-04-04 10:50:57
168.   JoeyP
Its too bad Dunlap developed no power, bc he probably had the best concept of the K zone of any Dodger minor leaguer.
2008-04-04 10:51:17
169.   natepurcell

Lambo's a Loon.

Regarding Withrow, I have no clue. I would think he is plenty good enough to start in full season.

2008-04-04 10:51:25
170.   Humma Kavula
I know nothing about anything, least of all scouting ballplayers. So take this comment with that boulder of salt.

Before I go pencilling Hu into the lineup at 2B, I want to be sure that the power he showed last year -- which, unless I'm mistaken, he's never shown before -- is for real.

The people who know something about prospects may now tell me to shut up and that I don't know what I'm talking about.

2008-04-04 10:53:02
171.   fiddlestick
Have they announced the rotation for the Arizona series yet?
2008-04-04 10:53:43
172.   madmac
Lambo's a Loon

no need to call names

2008-04-04 10:54:47
173.   madmac
170 say what you want, this is just a blog afterall
2008-04-04 10:57:35
174.   Humma Kavula
173 True, I guess. I guess it was my way of saying that I haven't really researched the issue, that others know a lot more than I do about it, and I could be really, really wrong.
2008-04-04 11:01:04
175.   Penarol1916
169. Where are the rosters for the minor league teams this year? I want to know if I should make the effort to see the Kane County Cougars when Great Lakes goes to play them. I was supposed to go last year when Kershaw started, but that fell through. With Morris and Lambo on the roster, it already looks very likely that I'll be making a visit.
2008-04-04 11:01:32
176.   kinbote
161 Despite that nice play Hu made at 2B the other night, I think his major league destiny is at shortstop. Moving him to 2B seems to lessen his main strength, which is outstanding SS defense. Granted, his defense projects to be outstanding at 2B as well, but it strikes me as a fall-back option. I'm aware of the DeWitt-to-2B failure from a while back; I wonder if it might be revisited.

If we decide to re-sign Furcal [which has crossed my mind after the first three games!], I hope just we open up the 2B competition to all comers. In that scenario, Hu might very well be the favorite. (In short, I'm in favor of offering arbitration to Furcal, losing him, and putting Hu at SS.)

2008-04-04 11:01:41
177.   Reddog
I'll say it again. DeWitt is here to stay. He's our third baseman. Torre remarked how calm he is. LaRoche had his chances and never looked good. He looked overmatched most of the time. I think they trade LaRoche.
2008-04-04 11:01:47
178.   underdog
Gosh, Troy from West Virginia leads a kind of sad life, doesn't he?

He has a new tribute to Joe Beimel, posted on Diamond Leung's blog.

2008-04-04 11:02:16
179.   regfairfield
175 By shear coincidence, True Blue LA just updated the Big Board.

You can see the Dodgers organization at a glance there.

2008-04-04 11:02:51
180.   Gen3Blue
169 Is it a sure thing that Withrow is not going to full season ball?

Also, I may have missed it, but I don't think I've heard where and when Elbert is showing up.

2008-04-04 11:03:03
181.   regfairfield
177 Should we trade Russell Martin too? The bum is hitting .000.
2008-04-04 11:03:13
182.   underdog
157 etc., my prediction? They try DeWitt at 2nd base again, in AAA, after LaRoche is back. Mark my words.

Well, mark them in crayon maybe, but mark them nonetheless!

2008-04-04 11:05:30
183.   Jonny6
Jon, you receive so much praise around here for your posts that I rarely chime in with my appreciation because it feels redundant and a little embarrassing. Instead of hailing your writing, I usually reserve my appreciation for your patience in patrolling this site and keeping it an open minded yet peaceful forum (since nearly every other message board I've ever visited quickly devolves into vulgarities and name calling). But I didn't want to let this opportunity to pass to offer my gratitude for this site and your writing. I really enjoyed your post today and hope that you keep up the fine work. As a parent myself, I often wonder how you have the energy and fortitude to keep this thing going day after day.

The problem with Chass' take on the bloggers vs sportswriters "debate" is the same problem that infiltrates nearly any current societal argument that you want to point to. Many people like to frame things in simple black and white terms, but life is almost always more complicated than that; although it may be less straightforward and take more study, we need to discuss things with the realization that there are many shades of gray involved in nearly every issue we face.

For the record, as a lifelong Californian, I've never lived in a house with a basement. But I do wear underwear.

2008-04-04 11:05:42
184.   underdog
180 The last I heard officially was this on a couple of weeks ago:
"Scott Elbert, a No. 1 pick in 2004 and the organization's top left-handed prospect until Kershaw appeared, threw a bullpen session earlier in the week and has another planned for Saturday. Elbert is recovering slowly from shoulder surgery last year and figures to remain in Florida for extended Spring Training."
2008-04-04 11:06:26
185.   Kevin Lewis

I like Troy a lot, but he may have taken this too far.

2008-04-04 11:06:37
186.   CanuckDodger
BA's Alan Matthews did say Withrow was likely to start the season in extended spring training, rather than in low A, noting that he is raw compared to other first round HS pitchers White has taken in the first round.

Also, I think Withrow and Watt, in minor league spring training, faced really good competition for the low A rotation. Morris, Justin Miller, Steven Johnson, Kyle Smit, and Geison Aguasviva are all a bit older and presumably further along the development curve. So I am fine with Withrow and Watt being on a slower track than guys like Billingsley and Kershaw were/are.

2008-04-04 11:06:57
187.   Kevin Lewis

This coming from a guy who took some practice swings in front of the bathroom mirror today.

2008-04-04 11:08:32
188.   regfairfield
185 I guess that explains why he hasn't been fake posting for a while.
2008-04-04 11:09:27
189.   Dodgers49
Nice article on Martin's work with Kuroda:

Dodgers' Kuroda getting good reception from Martin

2008-04-04 11:11:18
190.   DougS
96 146 The first thing that this post brought to mind is that crack by Jonathan Klein of CNN about how bloggers are just a bunch of guys sitting at home in their pajamas. Clearly, people in the established media who spent a lot of years rising through the ranks feel threatened by writers who can find an outlet for their opinions and aggregate an audience without (in their view) paying their dues.

But I also think that somewhere along the line, journalists have gone from being gadflies (like the old "Front Page" days of the newspaper biz that infatuated Tom Wolfe in his youth) to being high priests. A lot of guys like Chass (and Bill Conlin) have become used to speaking ex cathedra, to shutting themselves off from other voices and opinions (except when they're yelling at each other on "Around the Horn" and such). Instead of doing the interviewing, they are interviewed on ESPN for their perceived expertise.

About blogging, I'd follow on Ken Arneson's comment by remarking that the great thing about the Internet is that it allows just about anyone to find an audience, and the problem with the Internet is that it allows just about anyone to find an audience. If you believe in Sturgeon's Law, then 90% of what's out there isn't worth your time. The trick is finding your way to that top 10% without the filtering mechanism of a newspaper editor who decides what you should and don't need to read (or even know about). I can't recall how I found out about DT, but thank goodness that I did. I come here first when I want some commentary on how things are going with the Dodgers.

But clearly, generalized sneers about bloggers like Chass' are just pig-ignorance. Blogs have allowed a lot of very good writers and smart people (our Mr. Weisman qualifying as both, of course) to gain an audience that they wouldn't otherwise have. It's not that all bloggers good, all old media bad, but that blogs have opened up the airwaves so that more people with interesting and useful things to say can be heard by more people, along with the inevitable dross.

Well, anyway.... Am I the only one who's seeing Dave Hansen with better defense in Blake DeWitt?

2008-04-04 11:14:03
191.   Eric Enders
177 LaRoche has a much higher ceiling than DeWitt at this point. He's better at hitting for power and better at getting on base. And while I've heard lots of people say he looked overmatched at the plate in the majors, I wonder if those people were watching the same guy I was, because I didn't get that impression at all. What I saw was a guy who was determined to wait for his pitch to hit, rarely got it, and so ended up walking a lot and having one of the highest OBPs on the team.

Anyway, it was only 93 at-bats. I think we need to temper our excitement about DeWitt a little bit, and perhaps ratchet up our excitement about LaRoche. To do otherwise would be to fall victim to small sample size illusions.

2008-04-04 11:14:57
192.   Gen3Blue
Thanks for the info guys. I hope this doesn't mean a setback for Elbert, I'm pretty sure I heard glowing reports that he was "back" earlier in the year.
2008-04-04 11:15:27
193.   ToyCannon
That is sweet

Work is getting in the way of the post I want to do on our 2008 minor league system. I wonder if Mr. Chase ever has that problem?

2008-04-04 11:16:23
194.   screwballin
177 I thought LaRoche looked good every time he took ball four. Which was often.
2008-04-04 11:20:06
195.   Humma Kavula
As I tune into the Milwaukee-San Francisco tilt, I pause to ask the gentlemen and ladies of this board an eternal question:

Why does Jason Kendall still have a job? Seriously, why?

2008-04-04 11:21:57
196.   cargill06
ahh always nice when you hit the over in the 3rd inning.
2008-04-04 11:22:18
197.   Bluebleeder87
great observation underdog, I really feel DeWitt's long term career might be better suited at 2nd base, I feel his arm is perfect for that position.
2008-04-04 11:24:21
198.   regfairfield
197 He was moved from the position due to defensive incompetence. I don't think he's going back.
2008-04-04 11:26:29
199.   Dodgers49
Armed and ready

>> Kershaw has one of the best fastballs in the Dodgers' organization and has been clocked in the high 90s. But during the offseason, his curveball received the most attention.

"I worked on it a lot in the offseason and feel I'm getting more consistent with it," Kershaw said. "I can throw it better for strikes than I did last year. I also worked on a changeup that is getting better." <<

2008-04-04 11:27:07
200.   cargill06
197 his career .952 FP and 4.27 RF at 2B would rank last among major league 2B in both categories last year, unless he turns out to be chase utley offensively i don't think it'll be worth it.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-04-04 11:27:27
201.   Eric Enders
I saw DeWitt play second in the Hawaii Winter League, and he looked pretty smooth there to me. He's no Roberto Alomar, but I haven't really understood why all his scouting reports at second were so awful.

His offense will likely never be enough to be a regular at third base, so we don't have much to lose by continuing to try him at second.

2008-04-04 11:29:31
202.   Humma Kavula
Home run, Bill Hall.

It's 3-0 Brewers in the first inning. Two out.

2008-04-04 11:29:44
203.   regfairfield
201 From what I've seen of him, it seems like he's got really bad reactions. A ball can get hit 10 feet away from him and he'll just sort of dive instead of moving to it.
2008-04-04 11:31:07
204.   cargill06
202 i might get the over in that game early also... ih wait the giants have to hit.
2008-04-04 11:32:24
205.   Dodgers49
Suns get grip, win opener

>> Clayton Kershaw will be on the mound for the Suns tonight at 7 in the second game of the five-game series. <<

2008-04-04 11:37:25
206.   natepurcell

how much have you seen of him?

2008-04-04 11:37:52
207.   ToyCannon
It is easy to say the Dodgers already tried the DeWitt experiment at 2nd base and found it wanting so that they won't be revisiting it anytime soon. However Joe Torre was not in the organization at the time and I'm remembering how the Dodgers refused to play Betemit at 2nd base last season because someone had decided he couldn't play 2nd. Yet as soon as he became a Yankee his first game found him playing 2nd base.

We also heard that D Young could not play the infield yet the 1st thing Torre did was find out for himself if that was true. Evidently it was but I like the fact he decided to find out for himself.

If LaRoche returns and his production meets our expectations, I would not be surprised if they do not revisit the DeWitt at 2nd base scenario. Maybe Torre's time in Saint Louis rubbed of on him and he's now a firm believer in the show me state's doctrine.

Nate mentioned Blake's lack of foot speed but quick hands and quick feet are much more important at 2nd base as Jeff Kent showed in his younger days.

2008-04-04 11:38:18
208.   regfairfield
203 Probably two games more than everyone else has seen of him. Admiteddly, I came in knowing he was supposed to be terrible, so I was looking for things like that.
2008-04-04 11:39:25
209.   ToyCannon
Your basing that on two games in spring training. How can you be the sample size mantra guy and keep going back to those two games?
2008-04-04 11:40:40
210.   natepurcell

I've never seen scouting reports saying he was suppose to be terrible at third base.

2008-04-04 11:40:59
211.   regfairfield
209 Two games, plus knowing he supposedly was bad to begin with, so that left me with "oh, that's why". I should probably stop bringing it up.
2008-04-04 11:41:56
212.   Penarol1916
179. Thank you kindly, sir. I think I may have to go down to see Kane County host the Loons. At least three somewhat interesting pitchers in Johnson, Smit, and Morris; Lambo and Baez, who were very intriguing guys last year, and the first year when I am actually hoping to see some progress out of Preston Mattingley. I believe that his first two years should be considered a wash given how raw he was coming into the system.
2008-04-04 11:42:07
213.   underdog
I stand by my prediction at 182 ™ underdog 2008.


In off topic news, I am very excited to have in my hands a copy of "Sharkwater" on DVD, which is out next week. Was sorry to have missed that in theaters.

2008-04-04 11:44:01
214.   Dodgers49
The play-by-play of the 51's home opener. Repko homers, Falkenborg implodes:

2008-04-04 11:46:12
215.   ToyCannon
We've been through this with Greg Brock but yet as Nate said I've never seen a scouting report that said he was "bad" or "terrible" at 3rd base while I can kick out quite a few reviews that say he's adequate.

I'd really like to see a scouting report linked that says he's a below average defender at 3rd base from a reliable source and not just hearsay.

2008-04-04 11:48:05
216.   bhsportsguy
I think that it is possible that the Dodgers may look at Hu to be their 2B of the future.

If Furcal is healthy, I can see them deciding that they want the veteran to anchor the infield.

2008-04-04 11:48:14
217.   kinbote
Maybe a surplus of third basemen is the last thing we should be worried about right now :)
2008-04-04 11:48:57
218.   natepurcell

interesting players on the Loons for me

Geison Aguasviva- 20 yr old pitcher who came directly from the island last summer and skipped all the short seasons in America.

DSL stats: 66IP 43H 0hr 14bb 69k 1.5era 2.56 go/ao ratio

Kyle Smit- power arm, did some dirty work in the GCL last year and still managed a high k rate while coming up to Great Lakes. Good sttuf, lets see if he can harness it.

Pedro Baez- signed last year, immediately played in GCL and now has skipped Odgen to a full season. Dodgers seem to like him a lot. I want to see some plate discipline from him.

2008-04-04 11:49:26
219.   cargill06
jason kendall what are you doing?? your ops is now 1.138
2008-04-04 11:50:33
220.   kinbote
216 Colletti want a veteran? It'll nevah happen . . .

I think my plan is the same as Nate's & Canuck's: get draft pick compensation for Furcal and Lowe and reload reload reload.

2008-04-04 11:51:50
221.   Dodgers49
It's not too late to head for Las Vegas and get your Russell Martin bobblehead:

Russell Martin Bobblehead Night on Friday, April 4 at Cashman Field

2008-04-04 11:53:12
222.   bhsportsguy
220 I raise this because Tony Abreu may not be in their plans as an everyday player, Hu appears to have the ability to play the position.
2008-04-04 11:53:33
223.   Eric Enders
While I think Hu could handle second, it's also something of a waste to put a Gold Glove caliber shortstop at second base. You could put Hu at short and Furcal at second, but then you'd be wasting Furcal's howitzer.

I've said this many times and I'll probably keep saying it until he leaves the team: Re-sign Furcal if he he expresses a willingness to move to center field, a position which seems well-suited to his skills. In 2009, Furcal plays SS and Hu/Abreu share second base. In 2010, after (and if) Jones leaves, Abreu is the 2B, Hu is the SS, and Furcal is the CF.

2008-04-04 11:53:53
224.   ToyCannon
It is easy to say that with Furcal's 2007 in the rear view mirror. I wonder how easy it will be to say that if he has a season more like 2006 when he was the catalyst on a playoff team.
2008-04-04 11:54:41
225.   CajunDodger
I just wonder about how much Furcal would demand now that he is making $13 mil per year. Would that mean his extension should be in the 3/$45 range?

If so, I say to go for an infield of LaRoche/Dewitt, Hu, Abreu/Free agent (Orlando Hudson?), and Loney and then spend the $$$ we save on a front line starter and extensions for Brox, Martin, Ethier, Loney, Bills, and Penny.

2008-04-04 11:56:15
226.   Eric Enders
Nate, are you surprised that Baez ended up at Great Lakes? His performance in the GCL was not exactly indicative of a guy who should skip the next level.
2008-04-04 11:56:29
227.   ToyCannon
Interesting angle. I agree that Rafy would make a dynamite center fielder right now, not sure how valuable he would be playing the position in 2010. Would be kind of like Davy Lopes later years but with a gun for an arm.
2008-04-04 11:56:44
228.   kinbote
212 Mattingly batted 3rd last night in front of Lambo and did well. That's a high compliment to a player to bat him in that spot. I'm cautiously optimistic.

222 I agree that Abreu is in the doghouse, and I no longer consider him anything more than a utility option in the future. I could be wrong, but the writing's on the wall. I certainly agree that a Furcal/Hu up-the-middle is a very real possibility for next year.

2008-04-04 11:57:46
229.   bhsportsguy
I love how Yankee fan accuse Steiner of running down the Yankees down.
2008-04-04 11:58:21
230.   Penarol1916
218. I hand't heard anything about Aguasviva except for his name, so now I have 4 pitchers I might want to catch. This is all assuming that noone gets called up by mid-July when the Loons finally visit Kane County.
2008-04-04 11:59:01
231.   underdog
Wow, 9 strikeouts already in that Giants-Brewers game. Still 3-0, after 3.
2008-04-04 11:59:45
232.   kinbote
225 My main problem with re-signing Furcal [other than the Hu angle] is his projected salary. We "overpaid" for him already, so I see him commanding--at minimum--a 3y/$51m payout from us, and that deal would be viewed as a "hometown" discount of sorts. (No more quotation marks for me.)
2008-04-04 11:59:51
233.   ToyCannon
At any time in history has there been this many fans who know what the heck is going on in single A for their rooting team?
2008-04-04 12:02:02
234.   natepurcell
Nate, are you surprised that Baez ended up at Great Lakes? His performance in the GCL was not exactly indicative of a guy who should skip the next level.

The way publications were talking about him with sources from the Dodgers org, no not really.

Dodgers like him... alot. I mean, if any international player gets Logan White to pony up close to 300k for him, he has to have a good amount of talent.

I am really surprised Gallagher isn't up with the Loons though. He didn't hit for much power but the way he controlled the strike zone should have warranted a move up.

2008-04-04 12:02:22
235.   Dodgers49
Ten prospects to watch out for in 2008:

Kershaw leads impressive pitching crew

>> Predictions
Organizational Player of the Year -- Blake DeWitt
It came down to a pair of third basemen and the nod went to the more advanced player in DeWitt over the blossoming Josh Bell. DeWitt started turning the corner last year and should round it full speed in 2008 as he starts to show more consistent power to go along with his consistent, line-drive stroke. <<

2008-04-04 12:05:05
236.   Bob Hendley
114 - yes a bit worrisome if the idea is to get JP more at bats. If it is for emergencies or the such before Nomar comes back, as I recall Kent played a bit of first base a couple of years ago for the Dodgers.
2008-04-04 12:05:30
237.   madmac
What is funny to me is how there is so much talk of small sample size. Yet so many think they know what Ned will do and how he thinks based on such a small sample size.
2008-04-04 12:05:31
238.   ToyCannon
TGOIH has gotten off the floor and has scored 5 runs so far even with Granderson and Sheffield not in the lineup but the bigger question is, who the heck is Clete Thomas???
2008-04-04 12:06:10
239.   Eric Enders
I could definitely see Josh Bell running roughshod over the Cal League this year. His cameo callup at the end of '07 is going to help him.
2008-04-04 12:09:45
240.   ToyCannon
Where would he play? They have Mathews playing 1st base with Ortiz and Baez at 3rd base. Lambo is in the outfield. I just don't see a spot for him.
2008-04-04 12:10:45
241.   ToyCannon
29 months is a small sample size? Probably given that the Ned of 2006 is probably not the Ned of 2008.
2008-04-04 12:14:16
242.   natepurcell

Isn't Ortiz left-handed?

anyways, I do agree there is a bit of a roster crunch but with the DH available, couldn't they find spots?

2008-04-04 12:15:02
243.   bhsportsguy
Whatever happened to...?

Kyle Orr.

2008-04-04 12:16:36
244.   fanerman
Kyle Orr is catching for the Gulf Coast Dodgers... splitting time with 3 other catchers.

Wow that Big Board is cool regfairfield.

2008-04-04 12:17:30
245.   MarLoKemp
Back to the Kemp v. Vladdy Debate:

It seems to me that the fairest available measurement of these guys' early career success is to compare Vlad's 21-year-old, 325-AB season of 1997 to Kemp's 22-year-old, 292-AB season of 2007.

This comparison favors Kemp by pretty much every measurement except strikeouts.

There is no doubt that Vlad is very special in his ability to hit balls out of the strike zone. I doubt that Kemp, or most anybody else, will be able to equal Vlad in that skill.

So Kemp will need to exercise more discipline than Vlad. And, a comparison of Kemp 2006 to Kemp 2007 shows that his plate discipline is rapidly improving.

Now, it would be premature to say that Kemp is going to have a Vlad-like career. But it is not premature to say that Kemp possesses comparable raw materials.

The tinyurl below will link to Kemp at To compare him to Vlad, you'll have to open the "Compare" link at the bottom of Kemp's page.

2008-04-04 12:18:40
246.   natepurcell

Wasn't that a typo?

2008-04-04 12:19:24
247.   fanerman
246 I have no idea. I just looked at the Big Board.
2008-04-04 12:19:24
248.   cargill06
runner on 1st 2 outs bocock hitting (obviously 8th) bunts for a hit... is it just me or does bunting for a hit there seem like a horrible horrible play?
2008-04-04 12:21:10
249.   KAYVMON
What is a good HR/IP rate for a pitcher?

And how do you determine if a pitcher's home run rate is higher or lower than expected depending on their ERA?

I ask because if our pitchers give up less homeruns than expected (ie more of their runs they give up come from hits and walks) it seems like a Furcal-Hu middle of the infield seems like a cool experiment. Especially if Kuroda is able to get a great groundball ratio.

2008-04-04 12:21:32
250.   regfairfield
246 The roster has him down as a catcher, so that's where I put him.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-04-04 12:22:14
251.   regfairfield
249 I generally consider under one per nine good. Average is a bit higher like 1.1 per nine.
2008-04-04 12:23:07
252.   Eric Enders
I assumed the Orr-as-catcher thing from last year was a typo too. He was listed as a catcher on the GCL roster although he never played there.

If it's true, that would be pretty interesting. For a guy who was fairly highly touted when he was drafted, his career sure has taken forever to get off the ground. He must have been beyond raw when we picked him.

2008-04-04 12:23:24
253.   cargill06
looks like det. losing streak will reach 4.
2008-04-04 12:24:12
254.   Bob Timmermann
The White Sox are on a yellow alert in one inning in Detroit.

Konerko doubles on the first pitch from Grilli.
Dye singles on Grilli's first pitch to him.
Pierzynski homers on Grilli's first pitch to him.

Carlos Quentin did not triple on the first pitch.

2008-04-04 12:24:53
255.   madmac
241 I think nearly every prediction/assumption of what Ned would do this year has been wrong.

Since being here he has had time get comfortable with his scouts/staff. Learned to trust what he has and better understand what he doesn't.

I was better in my trade in year three than I was in year 1.

2008-04-04 12:25:02
256.   MarLoKemp
I don't have a good nickname for Loney, but my brother and I have a little ditty we kinda like:

My Loney has a first name
It's J-A-M-E-S
My Loney has a second name
It's L-O-N-E-Y

I love to watch him every day
And if you ask me "Why?", I'll say
'Cause James Loney has a way
With H-I-T-T-I-N-G

2008-04-04 12:25:17
257.   Bob Timmermann
Quentin merely singled.
2008-04-04 12:28:59
258.   Marty
Isn't Clete Thomas a roving reporter?
2008-04-04 12:30:42
259.   Kevin Lewis

Pierzinski is destroying my team in fantasy baseball this week. What in the world?!

2008-04-04 12:31:17
260.   Bob Timmermann
I had a Clete Roberts reference yesterday in my talk at the library!

He seemed like he was much more of a tool than I was led to believe.

2008-04-04 12:31:31
261.   Penarol1916
252. Didn't most of the reports when he was drafted say that he was extremely raw, but had immense power potential? Gallagher is still my favorite of the super young corner prospects because of his control of the strike zone and the raves he got about his power from the Dodger scouts when he was drafted.
2008-04-04 12:32:05
262.   KAYVMON
251 I think Im right in saying Penny's HR/Ip was around .39. Hes got to be in the top 95%, so is a standard deviation around .3.

Also another question, has anyone ever argued successfully that a good defense reduces a pitcher's walk rate?

2008-04-04 12:32:18
263.   Dodgers49
So what happens when TGOIH adds Barry Bonds? :-)

Expect Bonds to sign with M's or Tigers

2008-04-04 12:33:08
264.   Reddog
I'm impressed with Joe Torre. Clearly he is no Grady Little. He's made it quite clear that he makes the decisions, not Ned Colletti. Sitting Pierre Opening Day and ending The Streak was meant to establish that point.

I also don't think he'll juggle the line-up daily like Little did virtually all season.

He wants to field the best team he can, and he intends to take us to the World Series.

I think the players realize this too, and some are pressing a bit, trying too hard to show Torre what they can do.

2008-04-04 12:34:10
265.   madmac
I sure do appreciate all of you with so much knowledge and information on our minor leaguers.
2008-04-04 12:35:16
266.   regfairfield
263 Forutnately, it just makes tons of sense for Bonds to go to the Mariners, but they have no interest in signing him apparently. If he does, I'm probably out 60 bucks.
2008-04-04 12:35:34
267.   underdog
256 Nice!

My Tiger fan colleague looks mopier today than a benched Juan Pierre in the dugout.

2008-04-04 12:35:46
268.   fanerman
263 That team could score 2000 runs.
2008-04-04 12:40:33
269.   Bill Crain
Nate, other than Bell; what do you have on Inland Empire?

(The Red Sox announcers kept calling it Island Empire, so I may have missed an earthquake.)

2008-04-04 12:42:14
270.   LogikReader

I believe it's TGOOAT

2008-04-04 12:46:27
271.   natepurcell

The pitchers are interesting.

James Adkins- supp 1st round pick, should do well since he is a major college program draftee.

Tim Sexton- Valued at a 4th rounder but drafted way later due to signability concerns. Very nice debut at Great Lakes.

Josh Wall- This might be the year he puts it together! Cautiously optimistic due to his strong second half last year.

Jaime Pedroza- I think he might be a favorite of ToyCannon. All he did was hit in his debut last year. Younger brother of Sergio ISOpedroza.

2008-04-04 12:49:12
272.   natepurcell

I think Eduardo Perez will hit, and hit very well but at age 23, he is older than one would like.

2008-04-04 12:49:28
273.   scareduck
Wonderful piece, Jon. Reminds me why this spot is my favorite for Dodger coverage.
2008-04-04 12:49:38
274.   bhsportsguy
East Coast Bias?

Darren Collison was asked at today's press conference if he thought Kevin Love was getting slighted in recognition behind other freshman players like Michael Beasely and Derrick Rose.

Collison responded that he sees Love on the cover of SI, first team All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, so his question back is how is he not getting recognized.

2008-04-04 12:51:05
275.   Dodgers49
Torre, Dodgers will jockey for best in National League West

2008-04-04 12:52:56
276.   ToyCannon
They moved Pedroza over to 2nd which is where I like him.
They also have Carlos Santana who batted 5th and caught yesterday in their 1st lineup.

Nate and others I'd like to try something. We have an amazing array of posters who follow the minor leaguers. For those who want to particpate, pick 5 minor league players who for whatever reason your going to be following closely this season. Do a little write up on each one and send it to me at
m o l o k a i at y a h o o dot c o m
I'll publish them along with my minor league review for 2008 which I hope to publish by Saturday. Put True Blue in the subject matter.

2008-04-04 12:54:40
277.   ToyCannon
I'm not so much a fan of Pedroza as I was in how little attention he got. Whenever I'd bring him up I'd hear that he won't stick at SS, as though good hitting 2nd baseman are falling off trees.
2008-04-04 12:55:00
278.   underdog
The two new pieces on FJM re: the Reds, Dusty Baker and Edwin Encarnacion's game winner are priceless. Priceless, I tells ya. Vintage Dusty brand illogic, and Jeff Brantley eating his words on live TV.
2008-04-04 12:58:38
279.   cargill06
274 i think hansborough is on the cover of most of the issues and love is only on the cover of west coast issues.
2008-04-04 12:59:07
280.   cargill06
i love you bill hall, 1 more run needed.
2008-04-04 13:04:31
281.   Bill Crain
271 272
Thanks; going to try to get to Stockton or Modesto this summer.

I see The Big Board has Adkins as the closer.

2008-04-04 13:06:09
282.   regfairfield
281 That's actually a typo that needs to get fixed. I need more game data before I can determine those things.
2008-04-04 13:06:49
283.   Dodgers49
Giants balance risk vs. reward with young aces

>> The doozy came on May 14, 2004, when Alou allowed Jason Schmidt to throw 144 pitches while finishing a one-hit shutout at Wrigley Field. Schmidt, who had elbow surgery the previous October, exceeded 100 pitches in 20 consecutive starts that season. He threw at least 120 pitches in 10 of those.

The 20th start of that grueling run was a four-hit shutout Aug. 12 at Pittsburgh. At that point, Schmidt was 52-18 with a 2.85 ERA in 92 starts as a Giant. Since that point, he is 27-23 with a 4.20 ERA and is currently rehabbing an injured shoulder for the Los Angeles Dodgers. <<

2008-04-04 13:08:51
284.   fanerman
278 LOL I just saw the Jeff Brantley/Edwin Encarnacion video. That was awesome. If a good analyst commentator (analytator?) can intuitively predict a play before it happens, does that make Brantley the worst analytator ever?
2008-04-04 13:09:42
285.   El Lay Dave
From the link in 275 :
"Every team in this division has trouble with one other team in particular, and with us, it's San Diego," said No. 2 starter Derek Lowe. "They beat us in high-scoring games, beat us in low-scoring games, beat us with only two hits in the course of a game. Hopefully, we've got a lot of new guys and management that wasn't a part of that struggle."

But they don't beat you in games featuring four consecutive home runs.

2008-04-04 13:12:24
286.   Dodgers49
279 274 i think hansborough is on the cover of most of the issues and love is only on the cover of west coast issues.

They actually split the country into four sections and used four covers with a member of a final four team on each.

2008-04-04 13:16:02
287.   underdog
284 Sadly, no, there are even worse analysts (yes, that's the proper way) than he.
2008-04-04 13:17:03
288.   LogikReader

Take, for example, the guy that does the Padres games (that isn't Tony Gwynn)

2008-04-04 13:19:54
289.   Frip
Writers make fun of Curt Schilling for having a blog. They write things like "Curt Schilling loves the sound of his own keyboard". "Oh Schilling is at it again." This is hypocritical and dumb. I don't get it, I really don't.

Bob why didn't you have someone video (Camcorder) your presentation and post it on YouTube? Seems like it could have been done without much hassle.

2008-04-04 13:21:55
290.   ToyCannon
Speaking of the California League, the Inland Empire 66ers will be playing in Lancaster from May 9th - 11th.
2008-04-04 13:22:04
291.   cargill06
ok jason kendall stop

1.350 ops now.

2008-04-04 13:23:08
292.   fanerman
291 That's why we shouldn't worry about Russell's being 0 for the season right now.
2008-04-04 13:23:21
293.   Bill Crain
I understand Bob was blacked out in LA because of the TV deal, but why didn't we get it up here in norcal?
2008-04-04 13:26:35
294.   Bob Timmermann
The Padres only beat the Dodgers once last year in a game with two hits.

The Padres beat the Dodgers one other time with two hits and that was back in 1985. One of the hits was a ninth inning homer by Tony Gwynn against Fernando Valenzuela.

The A's in 1994 won a game in which they scored 8 runs on 2 hits.

2008-04-04 13:26:44
295.   LogikReader
The Brewers are up 10-2 on the Giants, 6th inning.

In one game, the Brewers scored more runs on the Giants than the Dodgers did the entire series.

Nervous time?

2008-04-04 13:26:47
296.   cargill06
292 are there people worrying?
2008-04-04 13:27:28
297.   cargill06
295 cain and lincecum are good pitchers, sanchez isn't
2008-04-04 13:27:55
298.   gibsonhobbs88
274 - But "Love" is all you need :) to quote John Lennon.

I have my fantasy auction tomorrow-salary cap $26.00 - I have $4 in protection dollars list had to be turned in prior to March 16 and $2 of those went to injured pitcher John Lackey. Oh well. I do have Penny protected for $.30.

I do have a few targeted Dodgers not protected by other teams. Loney, Furcal and Kemp are at least options I'm looking at. Loney for 1B/CI, Furcal SS/MI and Kemp OF. What do you think a market rate for a Loney would be when a Pujols goes for $3.50 - $4.20 in our drafts the past two years. Howard is protected, but D. Lee, Carlos Pena, Delgado, Teixiera along with Pujols are available. Any player in our league that was bought for over $3 last year is not protectable this year. Furcal, I think can be had for less than $2 since he had a below average season last year and some owners might still be leary on him and Tulowitzki, Reyes, Jeter and others are available. Kemp, who is still raw potential, might still be had for under a dollar I think, like .70 as a 4th OF. Loney is the one I question if other owners will over value and jack up the price. I'm hoping to get him for under $2. What do you think, anybody?

2008-04-04 13:27:58
299.   Bob Timmermann
There were copyrighted images used in the presentation.

And I didn't exactly get clearance for all of them. Or any of them. Except the one picture that I took.

2008-04-04 13:28:42
300.   underdog
295 You're saying the Brewers would've easily scored 10 runs against Cain and Lincecum? I think the Dodgers would've fared better against Sanchez, at least.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-04-04 13:28:50
301.   LogikReader
One of these days, the Brewers will play the Phillies, and when they do, it will be magic.
2008-04-04 13:29:31
302.   regfairfield
297 Sanchez is pretty good himself, just not in Cain and Lincecum's league. Still, this shouldn't be considered cause for concern.
2008-04-04 13:31:13
303.   regfairfield
Bill Hall is making my panic pick in my draft look pretty good right now.
2008-04-04 13:31:37
304.   underdog
This was in Gerry Fraley's new piece on Yahoo Sports:

>>201: Pitches thrown by San Francisco starters Barry Zito and Matt Cain in only 10 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. More than 15 pitches per inning are considered hard on a pitcher.

Another Giants starter, Tim Lincecum, threw 84 pitches in four innings in a bizarre relief appearance during the series. Lincecum was scratched from a scheduled start because of an ominous weather forecast. The game was played anyway, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy made the questionable moves of bringing Lincecum in for the fourth and sending him back out for the fifth after a 74-minute rain delay.

The overriding story line for the series was that new Dodgers manager Joe Torre was getting through to his hitters. They are embracing the same grind-it-out approach that Yankees hitters embraced during Torre's ultra-successful 12-season run as manager in the Bronx. Wear out the starter, the idea goes, and you'll get into the soft part of the bullpen.

Torre stressed this approach after the club looked bad early in spring training. The challenge for the Dodgers' hitters is balancing patience and aggressiveness. As the Yankees proved under Torre, it can be done.

"You want them to have an idea how they want to hit," Torre told reporters. "When you have (Zito) averaging 20 pitches an inning, that's a pretty good way to start the season."<<

2008-04-04 13:31:52
305.   Frip
ToyCannon do you live in the Inland Empire?
2008-04-04 13:32:18
306.   bhsportsguy
302 The Giants did not take the opportunity to skip their 5th starter tomorrow so the Padres will face both Cain and Lincecum next week at AT&T.
2008-04-04 13:33:14
307.   underdog
Speaking of "soft part of the bullpen," ouch, now 13-2 Brewers over the Giants.
2008-04-04 13:33:38
308.   cargill06
i love it mil has 13 runs and braun in 0-4, funny how fantasy makes you have rooting interests against someone... i traded braun away.
2008-04-04 13:33:45
309.   LogikReader

That has extra innings written all over it :)

2008-04-04 13:34:08
310.   bhsportsguy
307 Giants are now -16 in run differential.
2008-04-04 13:36:44
311.   ToyCannon
No, I'm in Jon's home town.

I like Sanchez.

Where was that kind of production last year Mr Hall?

2008-04-04 13:39:51
312.   madmac
281 are you a valley resident? where about?
2008-04-04 13:40:07
313.   still bevens
304 If this trend continues I will be the happiest Dodger fan on earth. I can't tell you how many times I have screamed out 'TAKE A PITCH' at my TV over the years.
2008-04-04 13:44:25
314.   Frip
311 For all know Jon lives in Barstow. But thanks anyway.
2008-04-04 13:46:16
315.   ToyCannon
I assumed you read Jon's piece which mentions his home town in the 1st paragraph.
2008-04-04 13:46:31
316.   Bob Timmermann
Jon lives in a basement in Barstow. He emerges every three days to wave hello to his children and wife.
2008-04-04 13:49:29
317.   KG16
310 - what does that put there pythagorian number at?
2008-04-04 13:49:44
318.   ToyCannon
Even as JD watched it called a 3rd strike?
2008-04-04 13:50:07
319.   bhsportsguy
316 Do basements stay cool in the summer?
2008-04-04 13:54:48
320.   ToyCannon
Since very few California Homes have basements where do the bloggers live? Lofts?
2008-04-04 13:55:14
321.   fanerman
I've never lived in a house with a basement, either.
2008-04-04 13:55:45
322.   ToyCannon
Bob is way behind on being the answer man.
2008-04-04 13:56:15
323.   68elcamino427
It says that his parent's house is in Woodland Hills. It just says that Jon is a homeowner. Barstow? If Bob says so, it must be true.
2008-04-04 13:57:54
324.   CajunDodger
And to throw out the 30 or so cans of Natural Light he has consumed.
2008-04-04 13:58:25
325.   ToyCannon
I have, basements are awesome until they flood, but that is how you ruin comic books and baseball cards so you don't have to drag them around the rest of your life.
2008-04-04 13:58:39
326.   natepurcell
who's on the bump for Inland Empire tonight?
2008-04-04 13:58:47
327.   bhsportsguy
323 Without divulging state secrets, I can swear on a stack of Baseball America Prospect books that Jon does not live in Barstow.
2008-04-04 13:59:28
328.   KG16
325 - heh, I just left the baseball cards at my parents' house.
2008-04-04 14:00:05
329.   Bumsrap
Jon, maybe the blogger tag in not appropriate for you. You are a journalist. Your journalism is enhanced by posters, especially when posts stay germain to your lead article. Readers get more than your articles and related posts however, because non-related posts spice up and broaden Dodger Thoughts. You are building a site that has the Dodgers attention. Eventually Dodger Thoughts will have sufficient influence on the Dodgers image.

You are more than a blogger already. You are already influencing the minds of Dodger Fans. The Dodgers want to control the message but their message is more and more being influenced by Dodger Thoughts.

Stay focused.

2008-04-04 14:00:32
330.   bhsportsguy
326 Their home page nor the newspaper articles do not say who is starting tonight.

In Vegas, non-prospect Jason Johnson starts.

2008-04-04 14:02:52
331.   KG16
330 - do the Bums have any starting pitcher prospects in Vegas? I thought all they had there were a couple of relievers with potential. And a couple of DL replacement types
2008-04-04 14:05:57
332.   Bumsrap
I wonder how Nomar will accept the theory of working the count.

If Erik Karros would have swung at the first pitch much more often, he might have been twice the hitter--at least until the pitchers learned that Karros might actually swing at a first pitch. The

2008-04-04 14:06:16
333.   ToyCannon
Meloan is supposed to be in the rotation and Orenduff should still qualify as a rotational prospect.
2008-04-04 14:07:02
334.   ToyCannon
I thought that was Todd Zeile?
2008-04-04 14:07:42
335.   bhsportsguy
332 I was going to say this earlier and not rag on the Bison but he has a similar profile to Nomar in that sense.
2008-04-04 14:11:54
336.   bhsportsguy
334 I believe you are right.
2008-04-04 14:13:38
337.   madmac
334 they were both like that
2008-04-04 14:20:09
338.   ToyCannon
What would be the most you would be willing to pay for a 25 - 1 shot at winning a pair of Laker Playoff tickets in the first level to the 1st game via a raffle?
These tickets will probably go for $400 via StubHub or Ebay

Serious answers only as I'm helping a friend decide the price for the raffle tickets for a charity event.

2008-04-04 14:22:30
339.   haskell
25 bones. 50 is 1/8 the price.
2008-04-04 14:22:39
340.   Indiana Jon
320 Why don't homes in California have basements?
2008-04-04 14:23:15
341.   haskell
No tornadoes.
2008-04-04 14:23:19
342.   bhsportsguy
338 50, if they are the ones you have gracioulsy allowed me to join you at times and I will be first buy for the charity.
2008-04-04 14:23:54
343.   bhsportsguy
338 400 each on Stubhub.
2008-04-04 14:25:22
344.   schoffle


2008-04-04 14:25:46
345.   ToyCannon
I love this stuff.
Todd Zeile put the ball in play on the 1st pitch 552 times in 8649 plate appearances
Eric Karros put the ball in play on the 1st pitch 946 times in 7100 plate appearances
Nomar put the ball in play on the 1st pitch 1175 times in 5766 plate appearances
2008-04-04 14:26:37
346.   LogikReader

TC and others, as long as you're here, I thought I'd ask you about Lakers playoff tickets. They go on sale tomorrow morning.

Which strategy will provide better odds?

A) Getting tickets anywhere for the Finals, Home Game 1 via Ticketmaster


B) Getting tickets in the upper concourse for the same game?

I want to get two seats in the upper concourse, but if we already know going in that most of them are snagged from the presales, then I shouldn't bother. Am I right?

To answer TC's Question: I'd pay 40 bucks easily, but most folks would go for 30.

2008-04-04 14:28:21
347.   CajunDodger
If the money is going to a good cause, I would pay $40.
2008-04-04 14:29:00
348.   ToyCannon
No, private event, trying to determine if they would raise more money by selling on stubhub or selling raffle tickets.
2008-04-04 14:29:30
349.   madmac
345 but that doesn't mean they took those pitches, right? maybe Zeile just didn't make contact as much as Nomar and Karros
2008-04-04 14:30:09
350.   Jon Weisman
Kansas guard Rodrick Stewart, a senior transfer from USC, broke his right kneecap today on a dunk attempt at the end of the Jayhawks' practice session at the Alamodome.,1,462230.story

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-04-04 14:33:29
351.   ToyCannon
The only tickets available will be upper concourse. They gave the season ticket holders the right to buy extra seats yesterday and within a 1/2 hour I couldn't even get a ticket at any price to any game so I have no idea what will be available to the public.

I assume they hold back some but since the 1st two levels are already booked with season ticket holders the only seats available would be upper concourse.

Today they are allowing those who are on season ticket waiting lists to buy before the tickets go on sale to the public tomorrow.

2008-04-04 14:34:03
352.   Marty
Toy, I would price them at $20, since that is still a little over the 1/25 price of $16.
2008-04-04 14:34:55
353.   Marty
352 But that's if you were selling tickets to a bunch of cheap Martys.
2008-04-04 14:37:09
354.   Eric Enders
Stewart probably wasn't going to play anyway, but that's a pretty stupid reason to miss the Final Four. Perhaps not as stupid as the reason Andre Allen will miss it, but still.
2008-04-04 14:37:14
355.   bhsportsguy
350 You get internet access from the basement?
2008-04-04 14:37:23
356.   Kevin Lewis

I thought that is what parents were for. It still pains me that my dad's mom threw out his collection that had a Stan Musial rookie card and some other treasures. Oh, man.

Is card collecting like it used to be? I started in the 80's and it was awesome then, but now it seems the market is flooded...or am I making this up?

2008-04-04 14:38:45
357.   Bob Timmermann
Earthquakes as mentioned above is the usual reason. Creating more empty space below ground in active seismic areas requires a lot of reinforcements and makes the costs prohibitive. In some soils, I would assume that you couldn't have a basement put in even if you were David Geffen.
2008-04-04 14:40:04
358.   Jacob L
Mike Montgomery to Cal according to multiple sources.
2008-04-04 14:42:19
359.   Eric Enders
The Jays just signed Rios to a six year, $64m extension. That seems like an incredible steal even if he never improves, although he likely will.
2008-04-04 14:44:11
360.   fanerman
355 Internet connections are FASTER in basements. That's why bloggers like to live there.
2008-04-04 14:44:18
361.   Eric Enders
With the Cardinal, the Warriors, and now the Golden Bears, Montgomery has now coached every major basketball team in the Bay Area. If Cal doesn't work out, he'll have to settle for the Dons or the Gaels next time.
2008-04-04 14:47:12
362.   LogikReader

That's something to worry about later, as long as he's on my fantasy team.


TC, thanks for your advice. I think what I'll do, going in, is simply get two tickets ANYWHERE and just hope that I can afford it. The 600 dollar rebate is going to come in very handy this year.

2008-04-04 14:47:26
363.   kinbote
359 That's good news for us interested in locking up our youngsters. It's definitely a reasonable price for a great talent.
2008-04-04 14:47:41
364.   Bob Timmermann
The Spartans and Broncos wish to assert their "major" team status in the San Francisco Bay Area.
2008-04-04 14:48:25
365.   Jacob L
361 The Gaels were better than Cal this year. The Dons and Broncos might have been, too.
2008-04-04 14:49:51
366.   ToyCannon
Let me know how it turns out. I'm curious to know what is left.
2008-04-04 14:50:25
367.   bhsportsguy
Did Grady or Jim Tracy ever get an LAT Magazine Story?
From the story.

Torre doesn't have a lot to say about last season's Dodgers turmoil; he was, after all, enmeshed in turmoil of his own. "I think it's unfair for me to go in and figure I have to right something" is about as far as he'll take it. "I've been in those situations, and even if there are issues, we're all here to do the same thing."

As to how he might handle any such conflicts, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has an idea. "They won't have that problem this year," he said of the Dodgers, praising Torre as a communicator, a conciliator, a manager who begins by gaining the trust of his players and lets everything build from there. "People say you treat everybody the same. You don't treat everybody the same, you treat everybody fairly. Different people have different personalities, and you push different buttons. You don't push the same buttons to motivate a Bernie Williams as you do with a Paul O'Neill."

2008-04-04 14:51:50
368.   madmac
358 yes and Joe Torre has been named Dodger manager
2008-04-04 14:52:03
369.   Eric Enders
364 Tell the Spartans to get their RPI above 230 and then we can talk. They've been there or worse for seven years in a row now.
2008-04-04 14:52:30
370.   ToyCannon
Vernon Wells
08:$0.5M, 09:$1.5M, 10:$12.5M, 11:$23M, 12:$21M, 13:$21M, 14:$21M

So in 2011 Vernon will be making twice what Rios makes while being 1/2 the ballplayer. OMG that is a terrible contract Riccardi gave Wells.

2008-04-04 14:54:08
371.   Jacob L
368 Sorry, if it was mentioned before, I didn't see it.
2008-04-04 14:54:42
372.   madmac
368 sorry, couldn't resist
2008-04-04 14:55:46
373.   Jacob L
371 O.K., now I see it. I guess the Stanford guys picked up on it first.
2008-04-04 14:56:11
374.   madmac
371 apologies, it's Friday and it's time to go.
2008-04-04 14:59:30
375.   Sushirabbit
Man it's tough to keep up with the comments these days!

For what it's worth I'm pretty sure Troy from W.Va. is in a basement on those YouTube vids. Might not be his parents', though. :-)

2008-04-04 14:59:58
376.   ToyCannon
Micah Owings only one hit with 8 k's after 5 innings in Colorado. Someone was ragging on him here the other day and I didn't understand why.

Eric Byrnes is batting 4th for the Diamondbacks.

Mark Redman is in the rotation for the Rockies and we worry about Loiaza?

Randy Johnson was awful in his rehab start.

2008-04-04 15:02:25
377.   Eric Enders
One hit after five innings is usually more likely to be Owings' hitting line than his pitching line.
2008-04-04 15:02:46
378.   Jacob L
374 No worries. BTW, did you hear that Mike Montgomery is going to coach at Cal?
2008-04-04 15:03:06
379.   bhsportsguy
376 Not only that but Kip Wells is also in their rotation.
2008-04-04 15:03:25
380.   Kevin Lewis

That has to be a basement. No way his wife would put with that decor in the main family room

2008-04-04 15:03:46
381.   bhsportsguy
378 And I think Bob is going give a talk at the library on Thursday.
2008-04-04 15:05:14
382.   thinkblue0
looking at the upcoming schedule...yikes. We have to face guys like Haren, Peavy, and Young a lot for the next week and a half or so.
2008-04-04 15:07:24
383.   Eric Enders
Unfortunately, we have to face guys like Haren, Peavy, and Young a lot for the next six years or so.
2008-04-04 15:09:55
384.   Bob Timmermann
This coming Thursday is Morris & McCoy on Books. They're really interesting and they know a lot about recent fiction titles.
2008-04-04 15:15:41
385.   underdog
"361 The Gaels were better than Cal this year. The Dons and Broncos might have been, too."

I watched the Dons a couple of times this year. Cal was definitely better than they, trust me.

2008-04-04 15:16:22
386.   heato
Per Diamond...

Furcal, SS
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Kent, 2B
Ethier, LF
Jones, CF
Kemp, RF
DeWitt, 3B
Kuroda, P

2008-04-04 15:17:27
387.   Eric Stephen
Jim Edmonds is eligible to come off the DL for the Friars Saturday, and it is expected Jody Gerut (who has an option) will be sent down to make room for the 37 year old CF. Outfielder Paul McAnulty is out of options and will likely remain with the big club for the season, barring a trade.
2008-04-04 15:20:54
388.   natepurcell
Interesting order.

Too bad I can't watch the game on when they consider Tucson to be part of San Diego's market.

2008-04-04 15:23:39
389.   Eric Enders
Four games, one Pierre start. I can live with that ratio.
2008-04-04 15:24:54
390.   bhsportsguy
388 So they black out Padres and D-Back games, that is not right.
2008-04-04 15:26:57
391.   cargill06
386 i like it, a. jones 6th, i guess we know who is making the line-ups, colettis two big offensive signings is hitting 6th and bench
2008-04-04 15:28:01
392.   Eric Stephen
Just a few small changes from batting in positional order. :)
2008-04-04 15:28:58
393.   natepurcell
The Arizona play by play announcer is the biggest homer I have ever listened to.
2008-04-04 15:31:13
394.   Eric Stephen
Matt Vasgersian and Eric Karros will be broadcasting for Fox TV for tomorrow's game. Hopefully, Matt will leave the booth in the 8th inning to jinx the Padres again, and subject us to the horrors of Eric Karros' play by play.
2008-04-04 15:31:38
395.   Eric Stephen
Daron Sutton?
2008-04-04 15:32:35
396.   Eric Enders features the following disclaimer: "When you are traveling and accessing your MLB.TV subscription, you will be subject to that area's local blackout restrictions and not your home territory blackout restrictions."

Except that's actually not true. They in fact black out both your home area's teams and the teams for the area you're traveling in. Seems like they should be required to choose one or the other.

2008-04-04 15:32:49
397.   natepurcell

I think so.

2008-04-04 15:33:37
398.   Eric Stephen
What I find interesting is guys like Daron Sutton, who are generally good announcers, but are homers from the moment they sign on with a new team.

Sutton was a homer with the Angels (on radio), a homer with the Brewers, and lo and behold upon his arrival last year in the desert he's a homer again.

2008-04-04 15:37:43
399.   Bob Timmermann
So what will be blacked out in Hawai'i for me?
2008-04-04 15:39:59
400.   LogikReader
The radio team for the Angels was pretty interesting before the Markas/Smith combo. Mario Impemba was the other radio guy besides Sutton, and since 2002 he's been working Tigers games for FSN Detroit.

Mario can't be too happy with the Tigers right now.

Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2008-04-04 15:40:07
401.   GMac In The 909
391 Furcal is in that group as well.
2008-04-04 15:41:20
402.   Bob Timmermann
Mario Impemba is from the Detroit area and I think he's happy to be covering his favorite team.
2008-04-04 15:42:52
403.   Dodgers49
390 388 So they black out Padres and D-Back games, that is not right.

At least those in Las Vegas catch a break as COX is carrying San Siego's telecast on Channel 96.

2008-04-04 15:45:07
404.   Eric Stephen
Seems like they should be required to choose one or the other

Probably whichever will inconvenience the customer the most.

2008-04-04 15:45:12
405.   LogikReader

Correct, but I was referencing the Tigers' 0-4 start.

2008-04-04 15:46:01
406.   Dodgers49
403 Make that San Diego. :-)
2008-04-04 15:46:03
407.   cargill06
401 what i'm trying to get at is torre is putting the lineup he wants to put out there without any influences or pressure, it's safe to say torre thinks furcal deserves to hit lead-off and it's not because colletti is telling him to.
2008-04-04 15:47:49
408.   Eric Stephen
I really liked Sutton and Impemba on the radio for the Angels. They played off each other well.
2008-04-04 15:48:37
409.   Eric Enders
There are no blackouts in Hawaii. Seems like the closest MLB team (the Giants) would have claimed that territory by now.
2008-04-04 15:50:39
410.   68elcamino427
The Money Man is batting third tonight!
J Lo, Crazy Eyes, Orbison, The Bat, ...

In the latter parts of the game, when the team needs positive production, some refer to this as money time.
The players that perform consistently in these situations are called--money players--.

This is a small sample size, only this season's first three games for Mr. Loney.
It was mentioned here earlier today that he hit nearly .400 in the first half last year.

Game 1
4th inn - Single to RF
6th inn - Single to CF
8th inn - Walk

Game 2
2nd inn - Fly ball, Deep LF
4th inn - Strikeout looking
6th inn - Walk
8th inn - Single, Line Drive to Deep CF

Game 3
2nd inn - Fly Ball to Deep CF
4th inn - Single, Fly Ball to short LF line; Martin scores; Jones to 2B
7th inn - Double, Line Drive to Deep CF-RF
8th inn - Intentional Walk

2008-04-04 15:51:32
411.   fanerman
2008-04-04 15:52:50
412.   Eric Stephen
Only the Loney
2008-04-04 15:53:49
413.   GoBears
Jon lives about 3 blocks from me, if that helps.

GoBears not happy about the advent of the Montgomery era. I hate that hoser. Blecch.

2008-04-04 15:55:05
414.   68elcamino427
Someone threw that in the hat yeterday.
as in only the lonely--Loney--.
2008-04-04 15:55:19
415.   Eric Enders
Why would a Cal fan be unhappy about the onset of what will almost certainly be the greatest period of success in the history of Cal hoops?
2008-04-04 15:56:47
416.   Andrew Shimmin
Prince Fielder is a vegetarian?


2008-04-04 15:58:24
417.   Eric Stephen
Tony Gonzalez too. He went to Cal. See how I tied everything together there?
2008-04-04 15:59:56
418.   Marty
Prince Fielder must be eating chicken-fried vegetables.
2008-04-04 16:00:36
419.   GoBears
416. I think it's a misprint. I think they meant to say that Prince Fielder EATS vegetarians.
2008-04-04 16:00:47
420.   Bob Timmermann
Prince Fielder announced he was a vegetarian back in spring training.
2008-04-04 16:01:06
421.   Dodgers49
388 Too bad I can't watch the game on when they consider Tucson to be part of San Diego's market.

Although won't show the game you'd think that since Tucson is being considered part of San Diego's market the local cable company would be carrying it. I find it rather strange that Las Vegas, which has the Dodgers AAA team, carries San Diego's games (they also carry the Dodgers when they're on FOX prime, of course).

2008-04-04 16:01:41
422.   Daniel Zappala
The unsubscribe meme is one of the funniest bits we've had here.
2008-04-04 16:03:27
423.   fiddlestick
Darren Sutton is a homer, but he's an improvement over Brennaman. That guy was just horrible.
It became a running joke among my friends to see how fast Thom could force a comment about a Diamondback or the Diamondbacks into his Fox national broadcast.
2008-04-04 16:04:29
424.   Andrew Shimmin
It was Griddled, too. I just missed it.

2008-04-04 16:05:17
425.   Kevin Lewis
The Encarnacion clip on FJM is priceless.
2008-04-04 16:09:18
426.   Marty
I have to say, Matt Leinart is setting the bar pretty high.
2008-04-04 16:12:24
427.   overkill94
426 Did you just say Matt Leinart was getting pretty high at a bar?
2008-04-04 16:13:34
428.   overkill94
Nate, Canuck, et al.

What can you tell me about Justin Miller? I had never heard of him until he was included in BA's prospect report for yesterday when he had a nice debut for our LoA team. 6th rounder out of JC - does he have much of a ceiling?

2008-04-04 16:14:58
429.   KG16
386 - so, how long until The Solution and his .556 BA is hitting second?
2008-04-04 16:16:21
430.   Jim Hitchcock
416 ,418 I used to work with Fielder's aunt Cory (before her brother hit the bigs), and she used to feed me pizza, with pepperoni.
2008-04-04 16:17:50
431.   Jacob L
427 Rimshot.

413 415 I'm with Eric. I hated Montgomery when he was at Stanford, ostensibly because he was crotchety and a whiner, but I find myself getting over that really quick. I also hated that his teams seemingly never turned the ball over or took bad shot. Trying to picture a Cal team that doesn't take bad shots is causing me some cognitive dissonance.

2008-04-04 16:21:21
432.   bhsportsguy
428 Here's a story about Miller.

2008-04-04 16:21:21
433.   Jon Weisman
Game thread is open.
2008-04-04 16:23:56
434.   Eric Enders
428 Miller's rated our 22nd-best prospect by Baseball America despite having pitched just 17 pro innings. He was something of a hidden gem in the '07 draft because he played mostly outfield in JC and was injured the year we drafted him. He throws mostly fastballs right now, 90-94 mph with sink and he gets a lot of grounders with it. Still very raw from what I understand.
2008-04-04 21:59:11
435.   Gilgamesh
Good post and debate, Jon. Just wanted to add a few things, though this might have been covered previously in comments.

1) "Some bloggers are better than others, just like some sportswriters are better than others. Some have earned credibility and credentials, others haven't." That's a true statement, but disingenuous. It belies the fact that mainstream media and bloggers do not exist on the same scale. While the best bloggers could be equal or better than the best mainstream writers, the worse mainstream writers are certainly far better than the worst bloggers. This is due to three reasons, A) media companies act as a gatekeepers that maintain a certain minimum talent level. B) blogging has a low barrier to entry, and C) a blogger could potentially write prolifically with no talent. He may have no audience or even a hostile audience, but without working within a capital market, inferior bloggers can and do exist.

2) "And at a minimum, many kinds of analysis don't require a locker-room presence, yet can be of tremendous value when done right."
This is certainly true, but may not be understood by baseball manegement. I think you should have elaborated on this. There are many more types of sports bloggers than there are types of mainstream writers. Mainstream writers perform three basic functions; beat writing, personal profiles, and manegement watchdogging. In all three cases, mainstream writers need locker room access, no doubt.
Bloggers fill niches, both large and small, and overlap somewhat, but not entirely with mainstream functions. For example, Dodger Blues and True Blue LA are both talented blogs. Each fill their respective niche (cynical humor, sabermetric analysis) well, and the blogosphere would be lesser without them. But how would locker room access improve them? I don't think it would. On the otherhand, a blog like Dodger Thoughts has a broader scope. Player and manegement analysis, personal profiles, journaling the season, personal anecdotes, history. If a person only chose to read one blog, DT should be it. If fact, I probably speak for many here, that DT is where I go first. Only occasionally do I read mainstream articles (and then it was usually refered to from here). So in the case of DT, locker room access could certainly add to the depth of coverage, since broad-based depth is what DT provides.
So then the question for baseball manegement is, How do you determine who gets player access? All talented writers? All talented writers with large audiences? All talented writers, with large audiences, and depth of coverage? The answers aren't hard, but helping manegement find them might be.

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