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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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LaRoche Activated - In AAA
2008-05-04 08:38
by Jon Weisman

I can't say enough about the stupendous Dodger offense this week, so I'm not even going to try. They've taken maximum advantage of poor pitching - Florida and Colorado are 14th and 15th in runs allowed per game in the NL this season - but that's what you're supposed to do.

So I'll just spend a few moments talking about third base.

Andy LaRoche has been officially activated - and optioned to Las Vegas. With Nomar Garciaparra on the disabled list, Blake DeWitt will remain the starter at third base. Russell Martin will spot start against the occasional lefty, with Gary Bennett catching on those days.

Now, I've gotten as much of a kick as anyone out of Martin showing off his stuff at third - and at the same time, I don't expect it's going to happen every day, like it has the past two days. And I realize that Bennett has to play some, a little. And the Dodgers arguably need 12 pitchers right now, though an off day looms next week.

And I'll even give the Dodgers the benefit of the doubt that they're making this move for LaRoche's benefit, to give him some useful low-pressure at-bats before putting him on the major-league roster - as opposed to the way Garciaparra rushed back into the lineup. "At this point, Andy is healthy, and we want him to stay down there and get at-bats," Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng told Tony Jackson of the Daily News.

But essentially, on nights like Saturday, the Dodgers are choosing to start Bennett over LaRoche. And if LaRoche is healthy, that becomes pretty senseless.

There used to be a code that a player shouldn't be demoted because of an injury. Based on what happened with Matt Kemp last year and LaRoche this year, the Dodgers don't honor that code. I don't like to be a slave to codes, and I appreciate what DeWitt has done. Really. This isn't about putting down DeWitt, it's about comparing two enticing players. It's still worth remembering that if LaRoche had produced DeWitt's numbers in 2008 - .373 on-base percentage, .389 slugging percentage, zero home runs - many would have considered them disappointing. Expectations are higher for LaRoche, and he shouldn't be punished for not getting the same opportunity to meet them that DeWitt had in April - the same opportunity, as opposed to starting irregularly. DeWitt's season is reminding me at this point of Jack Fimple's 1983 season, in which he came out of nowhere when Steve Yeager and Mike Scioscia were nursing injuries and wowed Los Angeles with his simple competency and occasional clutch hits.

The situation is also sort of similar to what's happened with Juan Pierre over the past few days. With a .389 on-base percentage, Pierre has adapted well to being the fourth outfielder this season. Though I opposed his contract and his position in the starting lineup, you've never heard me demand his trade. Once the contract was a fait accompli, I've always thought he could be useful in this position, however overpaid. That doesn't mean Andre Ethier (.393 OBP, .442 slugging) hasn't deserved more playing time in the past couple of days, however, nor does it change the fact that the Dodgers will ultimately benefit most if they can get Andruw Jones unblocked.

Yes, LaRoche has to stay healthy. He left Saturday's AAA game after a rough play in the first inning, according to Dodger Thoughts commenter Nofatmike, though there was no indication he would be out for any length of time. (Update: Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise believes there might have been an online scorekeeping error and that LaRoche never played in the game.) But although there was talk last year that LaRoche wasn't dedicated in taking care of himself, that hasn't been the case this year. He came back from his hand injury ahead of schedule - a hand injury that was a freak occurrence, not a character flaw.

I'm really not trying to rock the boat. This has been a great week. The team is producing, even with Jones still struggling. That's more important. And I firmly believe in giving reserves time-to-time starts to keep them fresh and involved. (Peewee Young, your life is calling.) I just hate to see LaRoche get buried. The idea that DeWitt and Bennett have dibs on the starting lineup ahead of him - that's not a big deal for a couple of days, but longer-term, it will need to change. I trust he'll get his chance again, just like Kemp has.

* * *

The Dodgers' current thought process on Clayton Kershaw is detailed by Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise:

Before fifth starter Esteban Loaiza did his part to help blow a 6-0 lead and last only 2 1/3 innings, Manager Joe Torre said a day after Kershaw extended his scoreless inning streak to 18 1/3 innings with General Manager Ned Colletti in attendance that the Dodgers have settled on limiting the 20-year-old to about 160 innings this season. The question becomes how many of those innings should be spent in the major leagues.

One scenario exists in which Kershaw could be called up by month's end to begin his big-league career with on-the-job training as a multiple-innings reliever. But both Torre and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said they favored patience, preferring Kershaw's workload be monitored in the minors so he could eventually help the Dodgers as a starter.

"The safest thing, and I'm not sure it's the right thing, is he should be extended," Honeycutt said.

The Dodgers in the meantime are doing their due diligence in making sure Kershaw, who was still only a teenager while impressing the team as a late non-roster invitee during the spring, is successful upon his arrival to the majors.

Colletti noted that Kershaw struggled with the command of his breaking ball early on during Friday's 6 2/3-inning start, during which he did not allow an earned run and lowered his ERA to 1.11. Of the four earned runs he's allowed this year, three have come before he was through three innings. Scouts also say the team's first-round draft pick in 2006 could improve on holding runners.

Hong-Chih Kuo had a nice outing in relief of Esteban Loaiza on Saturday: 3 1/3 innings, five strikeouts. That gives Kuo 25 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings this season.

* * *

Dodgers at Rockies, 12:05 p.m.

Comments (199)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-04 09:01:30
1.   Who Is Karim Garcia
Great piece as usual, Jon. I recall sitting at the ballpark last year and hearing my brother complain endlessly about LaRoche, even though he now raves about DeWitt.

I'm quick to point out the numbers, but he's more of a Joe Morgan type. You know how that goes.

2008-05-04 09:20:37
2.   RELX
Didn't the Dodgers option Dewitt to the minors last week, only to recall him when Nomar got hurt? That means that Dewitt could be sent down to make room for Nomar, but not for LaRoche, even though, back in spring training, LaRoche was in line to be the starting third baseman? Besides the injury, what happened between then and now? Other than the possibility that the Dodgers think LaRoche needs another week in AAA (which makes no sense because they brought Nomar back after three games in rehab, even after he said that his hand still hurt), this is just stupid.

I think the problem is actually with Martin. We have heard since last season how he doesn't like to sit out any games, and now, based on two games, he has been declared part of the 3B platoon. It seems that Torre, like Little, is afraid to sit Martin when he needs rest because Martin won't like it. My question is, who is the manager of the team, Torre or Martin.

This Martin at 3B thing will be cute until he either makes an error to cost us a game, or he gets hurt playing out of position. And, as many commentators have said, while Martin has outstanding numbers for a catcher, his value diminishes considerably as a third baseman.

2008-05-04 09:23:53
3.   therickdaddy
I still don't feel like you're correct in saying that the Dodgers are choosing to play Bennett over LaRoche. Jon, Martin's workload is a concern. It's common sense that if he plays as much as he did last season, he's going to fall over at the end of the season, just like last season. Squatting for 162 games a year isn't human. As I said yesterday, if putting him at 3B saves his legs and keeps his bat in the lineup, against the occasional lefty/poor team, I'm all for it.
2008-05-04 09:27:46
4.   Who Is Karim Garcia
Agreed, I don't really like seeing Martin at third other than out of necessity, but I think he stands a much higher chance of injury behind the plate than at third. Remember the fould balls he has taken the past few nights?

As far as errors to cost us a game go, I'm sure it will happen at some point. Heck, DeWitt almost let the Rocks back in last night with 2 errors. No player is immune to error. Over a stretch they will happen.

I think it's premature to say that based on 2 games he is in a platoon. He's there because it's a viable option and partly through necessity. Flexibility isn't a bad thing.

Torre isn't afraid to sit Martin. That's just silly. Torre loves his bat in the lineup, no doubt.

Remember, Torre is best suited to understand Martin-- he moved form catcher to third base himself and knows how that a few days out of the tools of ignorance can be restful for his young star.

2008-05-04 09:40:52
5.   Jon Weisman
"This Martin at 3B thing will be cute until he either makes an error to cost us a game, or he gets hurt playing out of position. "

The first thing could happen to anyone. The second thing ... not that I'm advocating a position switch for him now, but of course he's much safer at third base than at catcher.

3 - It's been a year, and still no one has proven that Martin's play at the end of last season was so bad that it negated the impact of how good he was in the first part of the season. Yes, it's common sense that he should rest. No, it's not common sense that he needs to play consecutive games at third base to give him sufficient rest.

2008-05-04 09:42:24
6.   RELX
4 . "Heck, DeWitt almost let the Rocks back in last night with 2 errors. No player is immune to error. Over a stretch they will happen."

Dewitt was supposed to be here as a temporarily fill-in until Nomar/LaRoche was ready. While he has done a decent job, better than many expected, do the Dodgers really consider him a better alternative than LaRoche at this point?

"I think it's premature to say that based on 2 games he is in a platoon. He's there because it's a viable option and partly through necessity. Flexibility isn't a bad thing."

I have no problem with Martin playing third once in awhile, but if the Dodgers do not have plans to make it a more regular thing, why is LaRoche still in the minors?

"Torre isn't afraid to sit Martin. That's just silly. Torre loves his bat in the lineup, no doubt."

Then why has Martin played in every game this season? I love Martin's bat too, but having Bennett starting pretty much negates the advantages of having Martin in the line-up.

"Remember, Torre is best suited to understand Martin-- he moved form catcher to third base himself and knows how that a few days out of the tools of ignorance can be restful for his young star."

That is exactly what I fear--that Torre has now decided that Martin is "his man," the new Jeter as it were, and that this decision is based more on Torre's "feel" than on actual logic.

The best line-up for this team is LaRoche at third, and Martin behind the plate.

2008-05-04 09:43:29
7.   Jon Weisman
Anyway, I went out of my way to say that I'm not convinced there's a long-term problem here. But without a doubt, last night the Dodgers chose Bennett to start a second consecutive game over having LaRoche or DeWitt play.
2008-05-04 09:49:17
8.   RELX
5 . However, as usual, the Dodgers contradict themselves. Last year, the excuse for not moving Nomar to 3B sooner was that he could get hurt playing there. Does this logic not apply to Martin? (Not that I agree with this line of thinking, but it was the team's rationale last year.)

Also, why wasn't Martin to 3B talked about at all when Nomar and LaRoche got hurt during ST? Again, this just feels like some thrown together idea to placate Martin. And, as usual, one of our more promising young players gets to spend time in the minors so that Gary Bennett (and Blake Dewitt) can get major league at bats.

2008-05-04 09:54:18
9.   PalmdaleSteve1
So what happens to the solution when: Nomar healthy, LaRoche healthy, what do the Dodgers do then?

Can DeWitt catch?

Is he trade bait ?

Platoon at third...YIKES

2008-05-04 09:54:44
10.   Jon Weisman
8 - That Nomar thing was always bogus. Two wrongs don't make a right. Anyway, you do realize there's a difference between moving a first baseman to third and moving a catcher to third, right?

Furcal, SS
Pierre, LF
Kemp, CF
Loney, 1B
Martin, C
Ethier, RF
DeWitt, 3B
Hu, 2B
Lowe, P

2008-05-04 09:55:16
11.   underdog
Uh oh, Steve Phillips just picked Matt Kemp as his predicted hitter of the day. (He is 2 for 6 lifetime vs. Cook, both hits were homers.) But you can pencil in an 0-fer thanks to Steve-o!

8 Last year Joe Torre wasn't the manager. Also Martin is one of our young players, and even if 3rd base isn't easy, it's a lot easier on the brain and knees than catching every day. I agree with everyone that this shouldn't be a long term trend, but I don't think it will be. I also don't want to rush LaRoche back, personally. But with Nomar looming, too, I kinda hope they bring him back before Nomar to give him a chance. (But if not, it's likely Nomar will break down again or not do much. So basically, ultimately, I have faith it'll all work out in LaRoche's favor. Will just have some patience for a few more weeks or so.)

Okay, off to play soccer, will miss beginning of game. Let's go Bison, bust the Phillips Jinx!

2008-05-04 09:56:54
12.   CanuckDodger
I am with RELX when he says that Martin is the problem. Why, he's practically a PVL now. That's why I am now all about Double A catcher Lucas May. He has that new car smell.
2008-05-04 09:56:56
13.   underdog
A DeRoche/LaWitt platoon at third wouldn't bother me as much as a Nomar-whoever platoon. Though I do think DeWitt will benefit from playing every day in the minors more than sitting 80% of the time in the ML.
2008-05-04 09:58:13
14.   underdog
12 = Tee hee. No Carlos Santana love?
What about that future Dodger catcher 20 years down the road who is being conceived today?
2008-05-04 09:58:56
15.   berkowit28
Per ItD:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, LF

Kemp, CF

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

DeWitt, 3B

Hu, 2B

Lowe, P

Ethier's back in, Jones is out. At last (for a day, anyway...). We'll see how Hu does. With this offensive line-up, it's the best day to give Kent a break.

2008-05-04 10:00:11
16.   immouch
Well said. You've summarized my own gnawing fear that our leadership is just stupid enough to bury LaRoche. And the initial fumbling of the Pierre/Kemp situation hasn't given me optimism. But there's a weird bit of baseball Darwinism at play here too. If LaRoche is gonna be a solid big league player, he'll have to overcome major league pitching, major league pressure and Ned Colletti's peanut-sized mind. In the end, maybe he'll be better for it.
2008-05-04 10:01:08
17.   D4P
I find it interesting that Kemp gets to play CF over Pierre.
2008-05-04 10:02:34
18.   RELX
10 . Of course I know it was bogus, and that moving a first baseman to third is different than moving a C to 3B. I was just pointing out that it seemed as if the Dodgers weren't even following there own logic. Still, that is a minor point, and I am more concerned with what I said about Bennett and Dewitt getting major league at bats over LaRoche.

Whatever the case, the team is on an eight-game winning streak, so these are minor issues...for now.

2008-05-04 10:03:42
19.   PalmdaleSteve1

Maybe everyday play is good, but Normar's contract is up this season or next?, LaRoche, DeWitt still there next year, something has to give or DeWitt's stuck down in AAA.

Who's looking for a promising/up and coming third baseman who's interested in a trade? Keeping DeWitt up, getting him playing time to show case him for the trade market might also be a good play.

2008-05-04 10:04:06
20.   regfairfield
If LaRoche still had time left in his rehab assignment, why not use it all up before optioning him? Even if the plan all along was to keep him in AAA, why not wait in case DeWitt gets hurt?

This just burns one of LaRoche's options for no real reason.

2008-05-04 10:05:12
21.   RELX
How long does everyone think the team will let Jones play everyday if he doesn't start hitting? Does he get to the all-star break? I mean, if he is hitting .160 on June 15th, does Pierre-Kemp-Ethier become the primary OF?
2008-05-04 10:07:01
22.   RELX
20 . I believe it is option years. The Dodgers can send him back and forth as many times as they want this year.
2008-05-04 10:08:49
23.   regfairfield
22 Right, but they hadn't sent him down before this, so he just lost one of his options.
2008-05-04 10:14:26
24.   berkowit28
17 That's been going on all season, though perhaps it's happened only once or so starting. Torre made it clear from the first game, when he broke Pierre's playing streak by sitting him, that Pierre is getting no PVL privileges, while at the same time he really is an extra OF option for the team - as proved during Jones' slump/decline/end-of-life.

I'm quite impressed with Torre's willingness to be innovative, even though it sometimes goes against the grain for winning every game now. He's thinking long term (for the season), trying things out. During a winning streak, when so many players are batting well and we can spare the odd substitution of one of these experiments (Bennett, Sweeney, Martin-at-3rd, etc.) certainly feels better than during a losing streak. And the imposed experiment - DeWitt - sure worked out.

Later in the season when there are injuries, some of these substitutions will be necessary, and Torre will have a better idea of the risks involved. In the end, success for the team - getting into the playoffs - may boil down to the 3 weeks of "extended spring training" since the new manager lost much of regular spring training to the China trip and Arizona. If we can keep within spitting distance of Arizona, we still have a good chance of making the wild card.

2008-05-04 10:16:11
25.   D4P
I guess it's ultimately not surprising that Pierre isn't allowed to play CF. Ned pretty much got Jones so that Pierre's defense could be moved out of CF.
2008-05-04 10:21:21
26.   fiddlestick
20 Burning all of LaRoche's options might be the only way he sticks on the big league roster.
2008-05-04 10:21:38
27.   RELX
23 . Would this be LaRoche's third and final option year? He was up and down last year, and in 2006 as well?
2008-05-04 10:22:59
28.   PalmdaleSteve1

What sort of revisionist "stuff" is that "Ned pretty much got Jones so that Pierre's defense could be moved out of CF"? Ned got Jones for his bat, for some power in the lineup...full stop.

So far Jones has been a slight upgrade over JP based on not dropping balls and a better arm, but JP is far faster and covers the ground faster than Jabba the Hut Jones. When it comes to Jones hot bat....well Jones is yet another example of Ned not doing his homework.

2008-05-04 10:26:23
29.   D4P
I think Ned was thoroughly unhappy with Pierre's defense, but perfectly content with his offense. (After all, as has been noted many times, Pierre performed as expected on offense).

I think Ned got Jones primarily as a defensive upgrade, while also thinking that he would be a "100 RBI Big Bat In The Middle Of The Lineup" guy.

2008-05-04 10:28:13
30.   berkowit28
25 Yes, I think that's right. But I hope Ned, or McCourt anyway, has learned the lesson that it's better to spend zillions on one or two superstars in their prime (no doubt with too-long contracts) than a bunch of risky has-beens on their way down into their decline. Not that Jones looked to be anywhere near so bad as he has turned out so far - who could have guessed that? - but there were one or two other outfielders going for higher prices who had far, far fewer risks involved.

I didn't make clear in 24 that I meant that it may turn out that we lose the "margin of success" at the end of season partly due to all the losses sustained in the first three weeks which I believe were largely, or partly, due to lost spring training time. Torre could have got to know the team and tried some of these experiments during ST if he'd had a full ST. But I still think it's good he's trying them now. If we end up with the best team (hopefully that includes LaRoche) going forward, with effective substitutions when needed, we might still overtake Arizona in the playoffs if not in the regular season. There's a long way to go.

2008-05-04 10:29:24
31.   68elcamino427
Yes, LaRoche has to stay healthy

We await the days when LaRoche can remain healthy enough to play his way into the everyday line-up. Will he ever be able to show us? The kid has a ton of potential, a ton of LA hype, and a passionate following on this site. I would like to see him succeed. LaRoche is 24 and he will be 25 this September. He needs to get it together. The train is leaving the station.
Games played since 2003:
2003 - 6
2004 - 127
2005 - 127
2006 - 117
2007 - 73
2008 - 11
I'm just say'n

2008-05-04 10:29:46
32.   Icaros

Jabba the Hut makes catches Pierre cannot because Pierre has to count five alligators before knowing where the ball will land.

2008-05-04 10:34:56
33.   Bumsrap
Some random comments:

I like this lineup.

A couple of days ago when Loney did not start, making him pinch hit with the bases full was wrong because that pinch hit belonged to Young and Loney was slumping and deeded a mental rest.

LaRoche should spend a couple of weeks in Vegas for the same reason Spring Training exists for as long as it exists. Nomar was different, the option to send him to Vegas after he was cleared to come off the injured list wasn't available.

Abreu will soon be called up and no doubt Hu will be sent down and if not, something has to give when Abreu, Nomar, and LaRoche are all ready to play. Abreu can play third, short, and second which makes him a good utility player and Nomar a pinch hitter?

2008-05-04 10:39:18
34.   KingKopitar
31 When was Laroche given "LA hype?" He's always been the one prospect that wasn't.
2008-05-04 10:39:41
35.   larry slimfast
0 I hate to say it, Jon but I think you might be borrowing trouble here. If LaRoche makes himself notable in AAA (which is only fair to ask), I have no doubt we'll see him. Although a strong case could be made that he deserves a roster spot over Sweeney right now. I think LaRoche is a perfect candidate for backup corner IF/6th OF on the team... with the potential to win a starting job. To his credit, Torre seems to love these types of options. Anti-weakness matchups are the new OPS.

Dewitt is among the least of the Dodgers problems right now. I like the idea of a Dewitt/Martin platoon @ 3rd... if only Piazza was the backup catcher. Bennett sucks against lefties too.

2008-05-04 10:44:54
36.   Greg Brock
Great job, Jon. The Dewitt/LaRoche dynamic is fascinating.

One guy is an uber prospect and can't do anything right, and the other is Edward Scissorhands with the glove and has no pop, and he's done a wonderful job for the Dodgers (despite, you know, not actually doing a wonderful job).


2008-05-04 10:45:01
37.   jasonungar07
My guess is that the dodgers want to keep LaRoche down until they see what happens with Nomar. Which would be pathetic...

It also might be they want LaRoche firing on all cylinders so that when he is called up he can take over 3b and stay there, but thats me being hopeful.

I sorta agree with those who say that it's basically Martin taking time from 3b from LaRoche, not Bennett. I also think that LaRoche has been treated stupidly. I would have gave him 3b last year (and Loney and no Nomar) to start the season and just rolled with it.

2008-05-04 10:45:05
38.   Marty
Assuming his wrist is OK, LaRoche is the perfect candidate for starting third baseman right now.

Now, maybe we don't know the whole story, could be Andy needs more rehab for the wrist. In that case AAA is the right place for it. But if his wrist is healthy, there's no reason in my mind why he shouldn't be starting today.

2008-05-04 10:47:17
39.   Bob Loblaw
I'm pretty sure the Dodgers plan on promoting LaRoche soon, but they're gonna wait until he starts mashing the ball in Vegas before he gets the call to make sure his confidence level is up. We just need to be a little patient.
2008-05-04 10:47:23
40.   Bumsrap
While Ned and Joe may like Pierre's speed in the lineup, when Kent's power bat leaves next year and is replaced with the speed of Abreu or Hu at second, Pierre's speed will be duplicated but not Kent's power.
2008-05-04 10:51:07
41.   regfairfield
31 You do realize that the minor league season is only 140ish games, right?
2008-05-04 10:51:35
42.   Suffering Bruin
Joe Torre/Phil Jackson

Both have a stated preference for veterans and yet both are not averse to using the young guns.

Both sacrifice short-term in their lineup decisions for long-term success.

Both utilize every player wearing a uniform--they don't seem to have a doghouse and yet both are not averse to letting players know they ain't cutting it (Jackson will fire a few barbs in the press and Torre sent Pierre a message on opening day).

Both move quickly if something isn't working (witness the pulling of Loaiza and Proctor yesterday) but both are known as patient.

Both seem very calm on the bench but both are known to be intense competitors.

Both took over the reins for icons--Torre now has more presence than Lasorda and Jackson essentially took the reins that Jerry West used to have.

Both won championships before coming to LA. Jackson has since won a few. Torre...

2008-05-04 10:57:42
43.   68elcamino427
Hasn't LaRoche previously been recognized as the Dodgers top prospect? Until that fateful day during spring training,
wasn't it being promoted that Nomar would fill a super-utility role and LaRoche would be the third baseman on openeing day?
2008-05-04 11:06:10
44.   natepurcell
Hey Canuck, have you been thinking about the draft a bit?

The more I read about Ethan Martin, the more I want a position player though. This kid hits BOMBS and has an amazing eye at the plate. I wouldn't mind a Troy Glaus on the Dodgers although that doesn't seem to be the type of hitter White likes in the first.

2008-05-04 11:08:24
45.   KingKopitar
Well yeah, but being considered good and being hyped isn't the same thing.
2008-05-04 11:12:30
46.   dsfan
If you were managing, would you ever sit Martin in favor of Gary Bennett? I'd like to see Martin get more rest, but until Colletti finds a backup catcher who's at least occassionally enticing, the manager isn't going to use him. Would be nice to have a guy like Montero. Not a No. 1 catcher, mediocre defensively but a pretty good lefty stick. Can't have everything, I suppose.

As for LaRoche, I don't think this all that complicated. LaRoche could use more time in the minors. Hand fractures tend to rob a hitter of some power. I'd like to see LaRoche get more ABs, get into a groove, show that he can drive the ball, then come up.

2008-05-04 11:14:11
47.   68elcamino427
140 games, yes. I'm not against LaRoche. I want him to succeed. He has had to battle through some hurts; lower back, throwing shoulder, now the thumb on the dominant hand. As I pointed out, time is not working in his favor. September 2008 he will be 25.
September 2009 he will be 26. What has he been able to do in the previous 24 months? If he can get healthy and stay healthy, then he can be in a position to express his talent.
2008-05-04 11:23:29
48.   27indigo
47 Certainly time is making LaRoche older, but isn't that the Dodgers' fault for not calling him up any sooner than 2007? It's not like 3B has been a position of stability for L.A.

Furthermore, as Jon has pointed out, 07 LaRoche put up comparable numbers to 08 DeWitt. Yet, DeWitt is a success while LaRoche still has something to prove?

I surmise that LaRoche would be able to do plenty if the Dodgers would actually commit to playing him -- but with their track record (Loney, Kemp) I wouldn't hold my breath.

2008-05-04 11:24:25
49.   27indigo
46 Sure, but why waste an option in the process? He had plenty of time left on his rehab assignment.
2008-05-04 11:38:03
50.   dsfan
49 --

Are you sure of that?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-04 11:41:45
51.   goofus
It could be a case of trying to save money, paying him AAA wages instead of Major League minimum. Remember they tried that with Abreu.
2008-05-04 11:43:22
52.   68elcamino427
DeWitt's situation was born out of necessity and his performance thus far has been better than probably anyone expected.
Has this enabled the Dodgers to proceed without making a trade (Esteban German or others similar)?
How long have the Dodgers been searching for a really good MLB third baseman? They had a guy that now plays for the team in Seattle.
LaRoche needs to get well, because DeWitt is only 22 and has never played in more than 132 games in a season. He is one of the youngest players in the MLB, he might get worn out before September comes.
2008-05-04 11:51:45
53.   twerp
Torre seems to use a style of just easing along, not rocking the boat, getting things done quietly, innovating here and there, and getting his players to buy into his moves.

For instance, the Ethier/JP flap of the spring never got to the level it could. It was resolved the correct way. Yet JP has been productive. He's supposed to be a pro's pro, but lots of those "pros" don't do not starting well. JP got enough of a chance that while he still may think he should start, he can't really argue with what Ethier's done. Hence he really can't argue very much with Torre's decision--though he probably is thinking he can do better than this version of A. Jones, at least offensively.

More recently, we've seen quite a bit of Loaiza and Bennett, the two weak spots right now. This may be Torre's "give 'em enough rope" strategy. The more they play and struggle and the more their flaws are obvious, it becomes apparent they don't need to play much--or at all. Several pitchers already on the 40-man can do better than Loaiza, so that's not a problem. Maybe Ned will take Torre's hint and come up with something better than Bennett.

Or, could Ardoin from Vegas or do as well as Bennett? (As long as he's careful with snap throws to third.)

2008-05-04 11:52:07
54.   regfairfield
50 You get 20 days, so he still had at least 10 of those left.
2008-05-04 11:52:09
55.   27indigo
Born out of necessity perhaps, but his production is what I'm looking at -- and it hasn't been all that enthralling.
2008-05-04 11:59:01
56.   StolenMonkey86
2008 Counting Stats on May 4

James Loney: 25 RBI
Hong-Chi Kuo: 25 K

2008-05-04 12:02:32
57.   dzzrtRatt
I'm with those who think this is not a big deal. LaRoche isn't a fully-formed major league player yet. That process keeps getting delayed by bad luck and other things. To give him a couple of weeks to build up a head of steam and some confidence seems wise, especially since third base is being handled right now well enough to support a good overall Dodger effort. There shouldn't be any comparison with Nomar's situation, for all the reasons stated above.

I sense among some fans a panic that if LaRoche isn't given the job soon, someone else (Nomar, DeWitt, Martin) will steal it and we'll never know what we could've had. I think that's unlikely. Also -- the Dodgers are now back in the pennant race, though hardly in command of it. Joe Torre's extended spring training is pretty much over. It's winning time. LaRoche is no longer competing to be this year's Loney or Martin -- the surprising ingenue. He's competing to join a team in the thick of it. I believe LaRoche will contribute and won't need anyone's charity, but I don't blame Torre & Ng for waiting, and letting the guy crash his way into the door. In the long run, he'll be better off for having earned the job. I'm loving the confidence that shines off Loney, Kemp, Martin and Ethier right now. This is the path for LaRoche to develop the same thing.

2008-05-04 12:03:25
58.   twerp
I know the stolen base isn't held in very high esteem here because it isn't seen as particularly relevant to game outcomes.

Does this also apply to double steals, which the Dodgers have pulled off a few times lately?

I don't mean to argue about stolen bases. Just want to know if double steals alter the line of thinking or increase win chances. Seems like they might, since double steals put two runners in scoring position--if successful.

2008-05-04 12:03:25
59.   twerp
I know the stolen base isn't held in very high esteem here because it isn't seen as particularly relevant to game outcomes.

Does this also apply to double steals, which the Dodgers have pulled off a few times lately?

I don't mean to argue about stolen bases. Just want to know if double steals alter the line of thinking or increase win chances. Seems like they might, since double steals put two runners in scoring position--if successful.

2008-05-04 12:05:19
60.   twerp
Double posts about double steals. How 'bout that.

Have absolutlely no idea how that happened.

2008-05-04 12:06:31
61.   CanuckDodger
44 -- Ethan Martin isn't getting taken as a 3B. I could see us taking him as a pitcher, though.
2008-05-04 12:08:52
62.   silverwidow
Well, LaRoche is officially out of options (beginning in March 2009).

So he's either the everyday 3rd baseman next year, a pinch hitter, or traded.

2008-05-04 12:10:09
63.   DeucesAreWild
Is anyone else experiencing an infomercial on KCAL-HD instead of the game? I'm being forced to watch on "regular" channel 9. Ouch.
2008-05-04 12:10:22
64.   Greg Brock
58 I don't mind double steals at all. Chance to move two runner into scoring position and eliminate the DP.

As my old coach used to say, you can't throw us both out.

2008-05-04 12:11:19
65.   alex 7
i've noticed the double steals have been occurring with 1 out, which gives the team the optimal value for them. And yes, certainly getting 2 bases out of steals enhances the value even more.

The stolen base is certainly seen as valuable here so long as the runners are making it 75-80% of the time, which so far this year (outside of Loney) seems to be the case.

2008-05-04 12:11:53
66.   StolenMonkey86
58,59 - if you fail though, you get either just a runner on 2nd or just a runner on 3rd, neither of which are more valuable than having just runners on first and second, and you're down by another out.

I don't know if double steals have a better success rate than regular steals, but I know the general rule is about 75% is break-even.

2008-05-04 12:14:19
67.   LAT
This isn't relevant to anything but last night I went to a party for entertainment they had a guy there who bills himself as "the fastest Etch-a-sketch drawer in the world". Its was really cool. Not only how detailed this guy was but how fast he was. He gives you the etch-a-sketch and takes picture of the drawing.
2008-05-04 12:15:34
68.   Alex41592
Time Warner needs to get its act together they have KTLAHD on KCALHD and they are running an infomercial. And the obvious has happened, Lowe isn't good at Coors.
2008-05-04 12:20:43
69.   jtrichey
I have been told that LaRoche is not in Las Vegas lineup today either, so what's the story?
2008-05-04 12:23:30
70.   KG16
I'm one of the people that's higher on DeWitt than LaRoche at the moment, and the expectations argument is one I find fascinating.

A lot of people don't care what the level of expectations are, only whether a player lives up to those expectations. And really, the level of expectations are unimportant - a player has high expectations because he has shown potential to perform at a high level; his failure to live up to expectations is a failure, even if the outcome is the same as (or even better than) the work of a player with lower expectations.


Blake DeWitt 2008 (25 games, 72 ABs): .278 /.373 /.389 (99 OBP+)
Andy LaRoche 2007 (35 games, 93 ABs): .226 /.365 /.312 (75 OBP+)

Small sample sizes, yes, but fairly equal samples, nonetheless, showing that DeWitt has thus far out-performed LaRoche, not put up essentially the same numbers... he's out hit and out slugged LaRoche, and gotten on base a little bit more.

2008-05-04 12:23:31
71.   ucladodger
Lowe really not helping the bullpen today. He might just have to suck it up, get rocked, and go 5 or 6 today.
2008-05-04 12:23:40
72.   fiddlestick
Full count to the first 4 hitters and no outs. Not looking like a long outing for Lowe.
2008-05-04 12:26:13
73.   D4P
Was LaRoche healthy for any of his major league PAs...?
2008-05-04 12:26:39
74.   Greg Brock
70 Its a terrible measuring stick, but since it's the same terrible measuring stick for both players, it's fair and valuable information?
2008-05-04 12:27:59
75.   ucladodger
37 pitches without an out. Wheres Bob with the record for most pitches to start a game without recording an out?
2008-05-04 12:28:25
76.   underdog
This, uh, doesn't smell like a W, given the way Lowe's started, and, well, the Dodgers are certainly due for an L.

Can they call up The Minotaur just for today? Fire up the Bat Plane!
2008-05-04 12:30:17
77.   D4P
If the Rockies only score 2 runs this inning, I think they'll lose.
2008-05-04 12:30:29
78.   underdog
74 I think I heard someone whose name rhymes with Monald Schumsfeld say something like that once.

Well, in good news, my soccer team is now 4-1 to start the season, with the toughest part of our schedule still to come, though.

And I need a nap. Wake me if this one starts looking better.

2008-05-04 12:30:34
79.   KG16
74 - first, small sample sizes are not necessarily terrible measuring sticks, especially when it is all you have to go on. Additionally, assuming your premises correct, yes, it is fair and valuable information because the players are being measured by the same standard: performance at the major league level in limited playing time.
2008-05-04 12:30:49
80.   Greg Brock
76 Spartacus wouldn't give up hope after half an inning.
2008-05-04 12:31:03
81.   LAT
Paging Dr. Park, Dr. Wade, Dr. Proctor.
Paging Dr. Park, Dr. Wade, Dr. Proctor.
Please report to Coors field STAT!
2008-05-04 12:31:54
82.   Bob Hendley
70 - Are you going somewhere with this in terms of what happens to the Solution and Andy in the coming weeks?
2008-05-04 12:31:56
83.   regfairfield
79 Remember how good Mike Edwards was for those first 80ish plate apperances.
2008-05-04 12:32:12
84.   regfairfield
Great play by Kemp there.
2008-05-04 12:32:17
85.   imperabo
79 It's not all you have to go on. You also have their minor league records. And the fact that Dewitt clearly lacks homerun power at this stage.
2008-05-04 12:32:51
86.   blutomania
Everyone without an HD feed should call:
(818) 655-2299
2008-05-04 12:33:07
87.   nofatmike
80 Spartacus never saw Derek Lowe pitch.
2008-05-04 12:33:32
88.   Greg Brock
79 You could also use 750 to 1000 minor league at bats.
2008-05-04 12:34:03
89.   Greg Brock
85 What he said.
2008-05-04 12:34:27
90.   underdog
80 I think Spartacus is still up there on the cross. I should check on him.

But D4P is right, even with 3 runs now, if Lowe gets out of this with "only" 3, the way the Dodgers are hitting it's certainly not over.

That was a nice read by Kemp on a ball that was smoked. Not "lathered" as the Rockies' announcer said. It's not a bar of soap, fellas!

2008-05-04 12:35:23
91.   LAT
D. Lowe thinks to himself: "If only Andruw Jones hit eighth for the Rockies. He is someone I could get out."
2008-05-04 12:35:31
92.   KG16
82 - nope, just making a point about the relative value of expectations and performance to date.

83 - a valid point, and I certainly am not saying dump LaRoche in favor of DeWitt, but I do think DeWitt has shown tremendous upside while in the Majors that many didn't realize was there. But there is no reason to say that the Mike Edwards outcome could apply to LaRoche as equally as it could to DeWitt.

Personally, I'd like to see the two of them in a platoon where each gets 3-4 starts in a row, and see how it goes.

2008-05-04 12:36:12
93.   imperabo
Imagine the alternate reality where Kemp was given the center field job at the beginning of last season. He could be one of hottest properties in the game, and the Dodgers could have used the Pierre/Jones money to sign Arod.
2008-05-04 12:36:42
94.   D4P
Yeah. Why use figurative language like "lathered" when you can use literal language like "smoked"...?
2008-05-04 12:37:55
95.   CanuckDodger
Lowe makes it through the first inning on an efficient 51 pitches.
2008-05-04 12:38:57
96.   underdog
94 Yes, but one at least sounds like it fits how the ball was hit - fast, hard to handle, as opposed to, well, a bar of soap. If we're gonna use poetic language, use something that fits.

Or be creative.

Like, "that ball was banished!"

Or make words up: "That ball was really fantoozled!"

2008-05-04 12:39:21
97.   Bob Hendley
92 - What would be your roster move in order for that to happen (the platoon experiment)?
2008-05-04 12:39:22
98.   trainwreck
I really wish the Lakers would stop wearing those white jerseys. It was cool once.
2008-05-04 12:41:48
99.   regfairfield
92 Platooning like that is generally a pretty bad idea, you should already know who's going to be better before hand.

Plus, you'd need about 2/3rds of a season to get a valid sample of at bats to determine a winner.

2008-05-04 12:41:55
100.   fiddlestick
Somebody at forgot to put the broadcast back on for the top of the 2nd.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-05-04 12:42:53
101.   underdog
Oh man... the Lakers! I totally forgot. What am I doing watching the baseball game.

And I agree, I like the Lakers in gold or in purple, and that's it.

2008-05-04 12:43:11
102.   imperabo
100 Try the 800k broadcast.
2008-05-04 12:43:48
103.   KG16
ok, let's look at their minor league numbers... stipulating that their major league numbers "are essentially the same", here's what we've got:

Blake DeWitt (459 games, 1859 ABs): .279/.333/.444
Andy LaRoche (461 games, 1690 ABs): .293/.374/.521

Essentially the same?

LaRoche has out performed DeWitt in the minors by about the same level that DeWitt has out performed LaRoche in the majors.

2008-05-04 12:44:09
104.   fiddlestick
102 Tried all 3, nothing.
2008-05-04 12:44:27
105.   MMSMikey
lowe fooling nobody.
2008-05-04 12:45:13
106.   KG16
97 - Nomar to the 60 day DL? Or DFA Sweeney? Or drop a pitcher.
2008-05-04 12:46:41
107.   Jon Weisman

Diamond's latest LaRoche update.

2008-05-04 12:47:25
108.   fiddlestick
Now it's back. Let's get the bats going.
2008-05-04 12:47:31
109.   underdog
61 pitches in two innings isn't, uh, great. But at least he went through the 2nd unscathed. The less Chan Ho Park we have to see today the better so if he can just go 2 more innings at least, preferably 3 that'd be good.
2008-05-04 12:47:51
110.   Bob Hendley
106 - I could live with the first two, if that's what you need to make it happen. Pitcher, less so.
2008-05-04 12:49:10
111.   underdog
107 That's useful to know. "LaRoche is healthy, but it was decided he needed a couple days off having played in 10 of 11 games, busting his tail trying to get healthy. Barring an injury he can't be called up for another 10 days anyway. "He wanted to go in," said trainer Stan Conte, saying LaRoche was healthy enough to play. LaRoche is also battling some turf toe, but it's apparently not bad enough to keep him out."

Prediction: We'll see him in 11 days.

2008-05-04 12:49:41
112.   imperabo

"Then again, LaRoche was scratched from the lineup last night and isn't scheduled to be in today's lineup either due to a decision by Las Vegas manager Lorenzo Bundy."

Why is a minor league manager deciding LaRoche's playing time?

2008-05-04 12:50:17
113.   KG16
112 - because he's the manager and that's his job?
2008-05-04 12:51:00
114.   Greg Brock
"Nomar will begin to take batting practice tomorrow...That's good news."

If you say so, Vin.

2008-05-04 12:51:11
115.   imperabo
113 It's his job to maximize the chances of success for the MAJOR league club.
2008-05-04 12:51:37
116.   Lexinthedena
Lowe will suffer bad karma for rest of the season due to his moronic comments about our air city and it's laid back 'tude...
2008-05-04 12:52:03
117.   nofatmike
111 "We'll see him in 11 days."

Which would mean he would be called up on May 14th, a day EARLIER than the date he had to be called up if he stayed on the DL.

2008-05-04 12:52:31
118.   immouch
i'm sure people much smarter than i am have done the math on this, but i'd guess the optimal steal rate depends on which batters you steal in front of. if the 8th place hitter risks an out (via, say, a .25 out rate while trying to steal second) in front of a 9-hole hitter with a BA of .190, that's a bad risk. conversely, the risk of stealing in front of, say, kemp, might be more worthwhile. it's like doubling down in vegas; better to take a risk when the cards look good to start with.... or something like that.
2008-05-04 12:52:45
119.   Lexinthedena
116 our fair city...
2008-05-04 12:52:54
120.   trainwreck
I will be one sad and possibly fierce panda if LaRoche does not get another chance with us.
2008-05-04 12:57:46
121.   Johnson
101 I am not a Lakers fan, but I must admit that I LIKE the home whites. I think they look sharp.
2008-05-04 13:02:09
122.   Linkmeister
Er, starting the game 9 up, 9 down doesn't bode well.

'Course, neither does throwing red shirts in with underwear, which is what I'm really guarding against this morning.

2008-05-04 13:02:34
123.   Gen3Blue
Caught unaware that I would get no TV,so its Gameday for me. It's probably punishment for my outragious statements about Coors field last night.

Actually it may be a blessing, because I get so upset whem Lowe does this. Often it seems to take him an inning or two to be ready to pitch.

2008-05-04 13:03:10
124.   KG16
122 - yeah, this game is a bit too interesting for my taste
2008-05-04 13:03:40
125.   KG16
124 - ok, nevermind, let's see if they can get something going
2008-05-04 13:07:45
126.   Woden325
Cookie's got his stuff today. I'm not totally pessimistic about the Rockies' chances today.
2008-05-04 13:09:09
127.   D4P
I see that a total of 3 different Lakers scored in the first quarter.
2008-05-04 13:12:11
128.   KG16
wow, Utah won 50 games this year but was below .500 on the road, that's, um, wow
2008-05-04 13:14:35
129.   KG16
the Machine is hot, 9 points on 3-3 shooting
2008-05-04 13:17:52
130.   Greg Brock
I feel confident saying Speed Racer is going to bomb, and I couldn't be more thrilled about it.
2008-05-04 13:19:24
131.   D4P
Our $9 million/year centerfielder is out-OPSing our $18 million/year centerfielder by 242 points.
2008-05-04 13:20:28
132.   Woden325
Phooey. Bang goes the shutout.
2008-05-04 13:20:49
133.   trainwreck
2008-05-04 13:21:36
134.   bhsportsguy
Ethier realized he wasn't going to face Chris Young for a while.
2008-05-04 13:23:24
135.   natepurcell
Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!
2008-05-04 13:24:09
136.   D4P
Ethier realized that (with Pierre's good play of late and Jones's big contract) he wasn't going to face anyone for a while.
2008-05-04 13:27:07
137.   MMSMikey
how do you not come close to throwing a strike right there.
2008-05-04 13:28:53
138.   bhsportsguy
136 Yep, I guess starting 27 out of 31 games would make him feel paranoid.
2008-05-04 13:31:41
139.   Woden325
That was a screwy play.
2008-05-04 13:32:00
140.   MMSMikey
why was hu standing behind 2nd base on hollidays hit?
2008-05-04 13:35:09
141.   fiddlestick
Ole. Ouch.
2008-05-04 13:38:38
142.   fanerman
2008-05-04 13:40:41
143.   Dodgers49

Torre remaining patient with Jones

>> Jones wasn't in the lineup on Sunday, but Torre said that the reason was to give a start to Andre Ethier, who is hitting .305 but having trouble finding playing time with a hot Juan Pierre hitting .313 and Matt Kemp hitting .327 with 22 RBIs. In addition, Jones is only 2-for-12 lifetime against Colorado starter Aaron Cook.

How long will Torre stick with Jones in center field, especially knowing that he has a .300-hitting alternative on the bench?

"As long as it takes," <<

2008-05-04 13:41:29
144.   Johnson
Do you leave Young in here and sit Pierre? How's Young's outfield D?
2008-05-04 13:43:57
145.   Johnson
144 Well, I guess not.
2008-05-04 13:45:43
146.   regfairfield
144 Much worse than Pierre's.
2008-05-04 13:47:21
147.   bcg60

I watch almost every game, but I must have missed something. When Torre named Ethier the starting LF, he said he didn't want him to be looking over his shoulder, meaning that it wouldn't be taken away from him easily. He also made a remark recently that he was one of the few players that had earned to start every day. He has done nothing to warrant having the job taken away from him. I'm not saying Pierre hasn't played well lately, but Ethier hit over .300 on the road trip too and the job was supposed to be his to lose. So much for Torre being a man if his word. Seems like Ethier is always the one to end up on the short end of the stick no matter what he does. Pierre does deserve to start over Jones, but not over Ethier.

2008-05-04 13:47:34
148.   regfairfield
Now that was a stupid bunt.
2008-05-04 13:48:47
149.   Dodgers49

Kershaw compared with Chamberlain

>> Torre said it's his understanding that Kershaw's next few outings will be in relief in order to further minimize his workload. <<

## The Dodgers won't need a fifth starter until May 17. That will be too soon for the return of Jason Schmidt ##

2008-05-04 13:50:06
150.   27indigo
143 As long as it takes
Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-05-04 13:55:36
151.   underdog
130 "I feel confident saying Speed Racer is going to bomb, and I couldn't be more thrilled about it." I would like for you to be right on that, but I think your prediction is going to be off. Predict boffo box office, alas.

Iron Man's gotten great reviews for the most part and that one's quirky enough for me to support it doing well at the box office.

2008-05-04 13:57:58
152.   underdog
147 Ethier's still started the majority of the games, no? And with Pierre playing well and Jones not, he's mixed it up a bit. Ethier's getting three starts in a row here. I guess I don't think it's that big a deal. A bigger deal will be Jones continuing to slump. But having 4 starting-caliber outfielders isn't the worst thing in the world. But I agree that Ethier should get most of the starts, yes.
2008-05-04 13:58:10
153.   Woden325
151 I must say that there's nothing in the trailer for Speed Racer that makes me want to see it.
2008-05-04 13:58:18
154.   bhsportsguy
I wonder if Greg Maddux will ever get his 350th win?
2008-05-04 13:59:34
155.   underdog
I will now represent how I feel about Lowe's pitching today by performing the ceremonial cleaning of the kitty litter box.
2008-05-04 14:01:02
156.   Greg Brock
151 I'm rooting like the Dickens for Iron Man. Good for Robert Downey Jr.
2008-05-04 14:03:36
157.   bcg60
I saw Iron Man yesterday. It was good, especially Robert Downey, Jr's performance. I was actually surprised that he and Gwyneth Paltrow had such good on screen chemistry. I like them both, but would never have picked them to work so well together.
2008-05-04 14:05:30
158.   trainwreck
Well Iron Man made $104 Million, so you will get to see at least two more of those films.

I do not think any young people know anything about Speed Racer and I am not sure how many people that know the show really care to see the film.

2008-05-04 14:05:56
159.   Woden325
That interference call on Kemp seems to have freaked out Gameday. It's still stuck on "In play, out(s)."
2008-05-04 14:07:29
160.   Woden325
Also the scoreboard on the top seems to be traveling back in time. It just reset all the finalized games.
2008-05-04 14:08:50
161.   bhsportsguy
Well it looks time to start another winning streak at home.

Should bring some interesting talk tonight on Jon's debut on KABC 790.

2008-05-04 14:09:13
162.   Gen3Blue
Sounds like a bad break on gameday--says Kemp hit by Loney line drive.
2008-05-04 14:11:52
163.   JoeyP
If Pierre is going to play, it needs to be for Druw...not Ethier.

Its no longer a small sample size for Druw. He was bad in 2007, and has been horrific in 2008.

I have no problem starting Pierre over Druw...and this is coming from someone that loathes Pierre.

2008-05-04 14:13:50
164.   Woden325
It's almost like Andruw Jones could use a rehab start in AAA or something. Just a stretch with no pressure to fix his swing.
2008-05-04 14:14:51
165.   jmike
Guys, sign this and spread it!

2008-05-04 14:15:27
166.   Greg Brock
Wow, did I just hear a Sidney Moncrief name drop during this game?


2008-05-04 14:16:31
167.   regfairfield
165 Methinks that you should at least petition for something that's possible.
2008-05-04 14:17:33
168.   bcg60
164 - I don't mean to be rude, but I think a trip to the fat farm to lose the extra pounds and get in shape would benefit him more than a trip to AAA. For all the money the Dodgers are paying him, the least he could have done is come to camp in shape.
2008-05-04 14:18:14
169.   trainwreck
Can't say I care that much. It's not like we have him for 5 years.
2008-05-04 14:21:06
170.   underdog
Speed Racer seems to have a cast way above what it is. Surprised Meryl Streep isn't in it somewhere, as the voice of one of the cars. I dunno, we'll see, but I think besides the desire for eye candy there's also a big "car fetish" movie audience (how many Fast/Furious garbagey sequels have there been?) But I'll pass.

Man, this stinks. My ABC (channel 7 in the Bay Area) is coming in poorly on digital cable today so I can barely watch the Lakers game. All the other channels are fine, of course.

2008-05-04 14:21:16
171.   Woden325
Dang. Way to work the at-bat Hu. Made contact with 5 of the 6 pitches.
2008-05-04 14:23:12
172.   underdog
I really don't feel like Druw's weight is as big an issue as some people have it. His problems seem more psychological. It's not like he looks slow and sluggish in centerfield. I don't think a trip to the fat farm would help him as much as some time away to work on his swing and get his confidence back. Call me kooky!
2008-05-04 14:24:57
173.   trainwreck
Mine is fine. You got jipped.
2008-05-04 14:26:38
174.   trainwreck
I said it before and I will say it again. His bad speed is slower now, so he can't make up for his bad approach at the plate. Being more patient is the only way for him to get better, but who knows if that will happen.
2008-05-04 14:26:45
175.   Woden325
My hat's off to Cookie. Probably the best start from any of the Rockies pitchers this year.
2008-05-04 14:27:03
176.   Greg Brock
172 Being a fat load may not be the problem, but it doesn't help.

I'm more apt to forgive a struggling hitter if he looks like he remotely cares about his physical condition.

2008-05-04 14:27:31
177.   trainwreck
*bat speed
2008-05-04 14:29:15
178.   underdog
Tip your hat to Cook, he pitched quite well.
2008-05-04 14:30:19
179.   JoeyP
I dont think its psychological.
Nor do I think its a weight issue.

Druw may just be too old to play at a high level. Some people age differently than others.

Finley fell off the clif at 40. Maybe Druw's cliff is at 31.

2008-05-04 14:30:51
180.   underdog
173 And I can't even call Comcast - not that that does any good - because my landlord controls the cable account. I got the game in long enough to see Radmanovic play his typically porous defense. Jazz are coming back a bit. And now it's all pixelated and blacked out again.
2008-05-04 14:31:25
181.   underdog
179 - Or maybe he is 40. ;-)
2008-05-04 14:35:21
182.   JoeyP
It is nice the Dodgers miss Johan this week. He's pitching well today against the D-bax.
2008-05-04 14:39:13
183.   twerp
Occasionally there are still references here to some contract move that could have freed up enough coin to make A-Rod a Dodger. Why?

He couldn't have been much clearer last offseason that he didn't want to play anywhere but NY. He was quoted several times saying that. But his actions spoke even louder when, following billionaire and buddy Warren Buffett's advice, he used an official with investment bank Goldman Sachs to do his new deal, cutting Boras out of the loop entirely. By then the Yankees reportedly had said they wouldn't talk further with Boras anyway.

If things had fallen apart in NY, A-Rod might have been open to relocating. But for him to be a Dodger, he'd have to have decided he wanted to be. Then the Dodgers would have to agree to some monster contract--however unwise it might be to invest that much in any one player, no matter how good. And the Dodgers haven't had just a whole lot of good luck with monster contracts in general.

As hard as it is for Dodger fans to hear it, not every star player wants to wear the blue. In recent offseasons a couple FA sluggers said they didn't want to play on the West Coast. In this day and time, star players pretty much call the shots on that type thing.

Rag on Colletti for some other things with justification. But offering the opinion that A-Rod could have been a Dodger now if Ned had just played his cards better is just, well, nuts.

2008-05-04 14:42:23
184.   underdog
Wow, he should be embarrassed for being doubled off first by Pierre.
2008-05-04 14:46:03
185.   Woden325
Holy cow, the losing skid is finally over!
2008-05-04 14:46:32
186.   underdog
Welp, congrats Woden. Y'all got one. I'm not feeling like complaining too much, myself.
2008-05-04 14:49:10
187.   Ken Noe
185 Hope things improve for your guys now.
2008-05-04 14:49:47
188.   underdog
The Lakers are making me really freakin' nervous here.

So, when's Bynum back again?

2008-05-04 14:50:21
189.   Woden325
186 Thanks. You guys have been very tolerant of my heresy.
2008-05-04 14:51:40
190.   Woden325
Now go out and beat the Mets.
2008-05-04 14:51:56
191.   Icaros

He'll be back when they're playing in Hawaii.

2008-05-04 14:53:12
192.   underdog
191 {cry}

Well, at least it gives Radmanovic a lot more playing time. {more crying}

2008-05-04 15:58:37
193.   Jon Weisman
183 - When has there been an A-Rod/Dodgers reference in the last month, or even more? I'm really not sure what prompted this. I think people have accepted that if A-Rod wanted to go back to the Yankees, there wasn't going to be much the Dodgers could or should do.
2008-05-04 15:59:31
194.   Gen3Blue
Is this site hung up. Its rare to have no comment for so long.

It will be nice if Laroche can keep healthy and we have Ethier and him for solid OBP guys in the lineup. We would have a good bench!

2008-05-04 15:59:55
195.   Jon Weisman
165/167 - My reaction was that you could redirect the petition to ask Andruw to send himself down to AAA, not that I'm behind that either.
2008-05-04 16:01:25
196.   fanerman
193 I think I read one here in the last couple days. I certainly read one at True Blue LA.
2008-05-04 16:03:06
197.   old dodger fan
Great game in AZ (2-2 in the 8th). Mets get a break with a runner thrown out at 3rd.
2008-05-04 16:11:22
198.   Jon Weisman
2008-05-04 16:15:16
199.   imperabo
193 I made such a comment today, though it was more about what the Dodgers could have bought with $25 million per season if they hadn't decided last season that Kemp couldn't play center (which he obviously can). Arod is just an example.

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