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About Jon
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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
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Pitching a Fit
2008-05-16 06:45
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

With the support of most of his staff, Yankee general manager Brian Cashman placed his faith in young pitchers Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes instead of packaging them in a Johan Santana deal. As Jon Heyman writes at SI.com, Cashman's now taking heat for his decision from new Yankee emperor Hank Steinbrenner. Anyone can see that it's too soon to judge the merits of the decision.

I know some people are frustrated with the Dodger starting pitching, but I hope there continues to be a climate where faith - more or less - continues to be placed in the younger hurlers whom the team also chose to keep rather than trade.

Comments (186)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-16 07:27:01
1.   GobiasIndustries
I don't classify Penny/Lowe/Kuroda as young hurlers and those are the guys that have me worried.
2008-05-16 07:32:32
2.   madmac
Penny has me worried most. But I've never had a whole lot of faith in him.
2008-05-16 07:37:02
3.   Marty
From all I've read this year, sounds like Hank is crazier than George.
2008-05-16 07:50:20
4.   KingKopitar
Xei, check out the Yahoo! Fantasy homepage for some Guo love.
2008-05-16 07:58:25
5.   Disabled List
Mangling the best line from The Office last night: The Yankees are cruisin' for a bruisin', and Hank's the cruise director.

The tabloids love him. He's bringing back all those wonderful memories of crazy George Steinbrenner from the 70s and 80s.

2008-05-16 08:04:21
6.   Dark Horse
Why, clearly what the Yankees need is team speed and veteran leadership. The sort of spark that might be provided by a fleet outfielder and an experienced middle-infielder. We'll take those worthless pitchers off your hands, Hank...
2008-05-16 08:14:10
7.   Bluebleeder87
I've read stories about that franchise & dude I wouldn't work for a "franchise" like the Yanks even if they paid me a million bucks annually, when you really think about it it's also said his son didnt learn from his old mans mistakes...
2008-05-16 08:16:58
8.   Xeifrank
4. Yeah, I saw that. Pretty cool. Now all he needs is some "Dodger" love. Let the best pitcher on the team so far pitch a few more higher leverage innings. None of this "we need another lefty in the pen" stuff. Before the season it was, "we need a lefty in the rotation". Hope the Dodgers far east starters can do well vs the Angels this weekend. vr, Xei
2008-05-16 08:18:02
9.   Bluebleeder87
I aint buying a ticket in that cruise ship.
2008-05-16 08:21:40
10.   Michael Green
What I especially love about Jon's point is that it comes right after Bill Shaikin does a piece in The Times about the Dodgers being mediocre, the Rays and Marlins being for real. I always have felt that if you win big in April and May, you don't have to worry that much in September. But that doesn't mean that it isn't still early!
2008-05-16 08:32:49
11.   Hythloday
In the case of Santana, Cashman was wrong. Yankees prospects are overvalued and Santana was a sure and known quantity. Cashman's only argument for Kennedy and Hughes isn't this year or even next. It is at least three years away. That's three years when when Santana is likely one of the best five pitchers in the AL.

In the Dodger's case if Kershaw and McDonald (not to mention Meloan) get seasoning this year then in three years we have a murderer's row of pitchers potentially. While lopping of some significant salary bloat. We're good enough to contend because of youth at a number of everyday positions and we're positioned well for the future if Ned could just get out of his own way.

It is the difference between the Celtics and the Lakers. The Celtics have a very small window with their current team and their only prospects, Rondo, Perkins, and Powe? Have limited upside on their own. The Lakers with Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum are slightly less competitive now, but are, as we see in these playoffs no slouches, and are much better situated for the future.

Sorry for the long post.

2008-05-16 08:33:30
12.   Gen3Blue
Lowe is doing about what I expect for this time of year. On the other hand, Penny is usually at his best this time of year, and that's darned scary. Although I have watched Penny pitch a lot(TV) it's amazing how little I seem to understand what makes him good or bad. When he is off, sometimes times I'm sure its his command and other times I think it his stuff, particularly a straight fastball. Most of our pitchers I get an understanding of their basic plan, but he remains an enigma to me.
2008-05-16 08:36:41
13.   Jon Weisman
11 - Not long, and it was interesting. Though I hadn't heard that those prospects were overvalued or three years away.
2008-05-16 08:36:53
14.   MollyKnight
It's not Cashman's fault Rodriguez and Posada got injured.

I'd hate to be Hughes or Kennedy. They're under more pressure than most Yankees.

2008-05-16 08:37:36
15.   Gen3Blue
11 I agree with most everything you say, especially since the Yanks could easily afford Santana. But thanks for reminding me about the Celtics future:o)
2008-05-16 08:38:55
16.   D4P
Penny's hard to figure out. On one hand, I always feel like his peripherals "should be" better than they are.

On the other hand, given what his peripherals are, I always feel like his ERA "should be" worse than it is.

2008-05-16 08:40:47
17.   D4P
I'd hate to be Hughes or Kennedy. They're under more pressure than most Yankees

Cry me a ri-vuh...
Cry me a ri-i-vuh...

2008-05-16 08:41:58
18.   Hythloday
13 That is mostly speculation on my part, though based in part on Bill James claim about depending on young pitchers. For my part, I look at Kennedy and Hughes and see Bonderman and Maroth.

14 Very true, but that's precisely the point right? That as the core of everyday players ages your ability to wait on young pitchers to develop is much smaller. FWIW I'd hate to be a blue chip QB or pitching prospect for any NY team.

2008-05-16 08:42:54
19.   kinbote
I posted some misinformation yesterday: I said the Tigers had been shut out 8 times--the actual number is 6. Sorry.

As for the question of our young pitching, I consider Billingsley and Kershaw the future of our rotation. Frankly, if one of McDonald/Meloan makes it, that would be nice, but I don't expect them to be huge impact guys. In fact, I could see Meloan being trade bait at the deadline. (Orenduff is a fringe prospect at this point.)

The wild cards to me are Kuo and Penny. I'd love to see Kuo in the rotation next year. Maybe a full year of health [knock wood] would force the issue. As for Penny, I still hold hope for a "hometown" discount deal. I know many here point to his declining peripherals, but I see the value of a veteran [gulp] in the rotation to ease the transition of our younger guys.

Ideally, next year's rotation would be:

1. Penny
2. Billingsley
3. Kershaw
4. Kuroda
5. Kuo

This assumes Kershaw makes his debut this year and does enough to warrant such a high placement.

2008-05-16 08:45:42
20.   regfairfield
What's weird is that Cashman seemed to buy into the hype about his prospects. Joba and Hughes, sure I can understand that, but Ian Kennedy is untradeable? That's like us protecting James McDonald at all costs.
2008-05-16 08:46:05
21.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Anyone named Steinbrenner makes anyone name McCourt look pretty good, if you ask me.
2008-05-16 08:46:08
22.   cargill06
like someone said yesterday, here are the era+ of the following
bills 100
lowe 94
penny 85

and we're still 21-19, these guys will pitch better this year, maybe i'm just being an optimst but i truely believe it

2008-05-16 08:46:33
23.   D4P
As for Penny, I still hold hope for a "hometown" discount deal

I think the Dodgers have a "club option", so there'll be no need for a discount in 2009.

2008-05-16 08:49:38
24.   cargill06
19 but if ned doesn't sign a pitcher who will he throw a big contract at??? orlando maybe?
2008-05-16 08:54:20
25.   regfairfield
24 Furcal, but I have to imagine we'll at least take a shot at Sabathia or Sheets. I could see Sheets getting a Ned special short term, big money contract.
2008-05-16 08:56:08
26.   Eric Stephen
While Green Day's "When I Come Around" plays in the background, here are the FIP (fielding independent pitching; it's expected ERA based on peripherals) numbers for the Dodger starters, per Hardball Times (I added their would-be ERA+):

Billingsley 3.29 (132 ERA+)
Lowe 3.51 (124)
Penny 3.89 (112)
Kuroda 4.22 (103)
Kuo 2.79 (156)
Loaiza 4.63 (94)
Park 5.45 (80)

Certainly, the length of starters' outings have been a slight problem (5.41 IP/start so far), but the pitchers have pitched well while on the mound.

2008-05-16 08:57:32
27.   Eric Stephen
If the number of Jason Schmidt future Dodger starts is 10, do you take the over or under?

I'd be inclined to take the over, but it's a tough call.

2008-05-16 09:01:29
28.   Hythloday
27 Any word on the speed of his fastball during this latest rehab? If fb > 90 then I take the over. If fb <= 90 then I take the under.
2008-05-16 09:07:29
29.   Eric Stephen
Let's see how many days in a row Blake DeWitt can give a potentially jinxing quote about his back:

Wednesday, regarding Thursday's game
"I'll be able to play tomorrow, no doubt about it,"

Yesterday, regarding Today's game
DeWitt, whose .320 average is tops on the active roster, said he expects to be ready to play today in Anaheim.

"It's not an issue," he said. "It's just a little bit tight."

2008-05-16 09:08:39
30.   Penarol1916
19. I think that Meloan is going to end up back in the bullpen and McDonald should be a nice back of the rotation guy.
2008-05-16 09:10:05
31.   LogikReader
Do we really want to take a chance on Sheets next year, knowing he is at his peak right now? Sheets is 29 this year: he has nowhere to go but down. This has Schmidt or Jones written all over it.
2008-05-16 09:13:22
32.   regfairfield
31 I can't see him falling off a cliff from ages 30-32, plus he hasn't logged all that many innings in his career. We certainly can't go into next season counting on Kuo.
2008-05-16 09:15:13
33.   kinbote
23 True. I was referring more to beyond 2009. (I wasn't clear.)

27 Wow. What's the term for completely forgetting about the highest paid pitcher on your staff? Maybe I should contact the folks at UC Irvine to study my brain.

2008-05-16 09:15:51
34.   Sagehen
It's a lot easier to have faith in the kids pitching when they pitch like Billingsley did last night.

Billingsley's success, I think, makes it that much more likely that Ned will stick with our kid pitchers.

For that matter, Edwin Jackson's success also makes it that much more likely.

It's a lot easier to let the veterans go when they perform as Penny and especially Lowe have of late.

2008-05-16 09:21:22
35.   kinbote
It's funny. I'm actually counting on Schmidt's return to the rotation. I have no idea what he'll provide, but he has to be better than Loaiza [Park is a spot starter only I imagine, largely due to his excellence at mopping up]. It seems clear that Torre likes Kuo as his 2nd lefty in the pen, so he's basically out of the running right now. If Schmidt can hold down the 5th spot for a while, it might help steady the whole rotation.
2008-05-16 09:24:27
36.   kinbote
24 25 Ned and big contracts don't mix very well. I agree that Furcal is the safest guess. I personally am interested in Mark Ellis from Oakland.
2008-05-16 09:29:18
37.   old dodger fan
0 Most of the people who post here (including me) are excited about the young players and want to keep them and watch them mature and excel but there are risks in that.

I wonder if the DT group is representative of Dodger fans in general. I suspect many fans would be willing to trade the young players that I think can give us great success for years to come for a superstar, who brings risk with him as well.

2008-05-16 09:31:53
38.   Jon Weisman
I think mainstream support of the kids has grown as more of them have done well and more veterans haven't. But I'm sure there's a solid contingent out there who wanted Santana at all costs.
2008-05-16 09:32:01
39.   natepurcell
Lets go into Car thoughts....

I am in a market for a new car. I want a sedan, preferably between 22-27k. Right now I'm looking at the 2008 Accords or Altimas.

any suggestions?

2008-05-16 09:36:49
40.   kinbote
28 I remember reading he topped out at 88mph.
2008-05-16 09:38:55
41.   old dodger fan
39 Be sure to look at Camrys and Avalons too. Get in them and drive them. Some sit higher or lower and you might find some just feel better to you. If your are like me you are going to spend a lot of time there so you might as well be comfortable.
2008-05-16 09:42:32
42.   Marty
Get something with better gas mileage than those.
2008-05-16 09:43:00
43.   Indiana Jon
39 I would strongly recommend a Camry. They are great cars to drive and basically indestructible. At least drive one before you choose an Accord or Altima.
2008-05-16 09:43:22
44.   Zach the Ripper
39 The new Honda Accord V6 Hybrid is sweet. Check it out.
2008-05-16 09:44:15
45.   Zach the Ripper
whatever Indiana. Why don't you let him make up his own mind? jk
2008-05-16 09:46:22
46.   MollyKnight
Can we talk about Andy LaRoche? What's going on with him right now, exactly? Why the heck would Maza get called up before LaRoche? Assuming Hu can play SS, why would you want Maza over LaRoche? Do they not feel he's fully healed? I'm so confused.
2008-05-16 09:48:07
47.   Indiana Jon
46 I was just getting ready to talk about Laroche. I find myself wishing for Dewitt's back to cause him to go on the DL. I think it would help the team in the long run. Anyone one else with me?
2008-05-16 09:49:23
48.   kinbote
39 Buy a Brazoban. But keep it in the garage and never drive it.
2008-05-16 09:49:32
49.   underdog
28 40 Schmidt did top out at 88 in his first rehab start, which was only one inning. I think it's a little early to be placing bets on him at this point, especially since we've patiently come this far.

Update: From the LA Times and Rotowire:
Jason Schmidt (shoulder) threw about three dozen pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday and is scheduled to make a minor league rehab start Saturday at Single-A.
After throwing 12 pitches in his first rehab start Sunday, Schmidt is expected to throw between 30-45 pitches in his second outing. No timetable has been established yet for his return.<<

He's really the wild card here. I mean the Dodgers have not only Kershaw in the wings but Schmidt; if the latter surprises and comes back effectively the Dodgers will have a lot of starting pitching weapons and options...

2008-05-16 09:49:43
50.   regfairfield
46 If Hu gets hurt no one on the roster can play short.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-16 09:49:46
51.   MollyKnight
I'm a big fan of Blake Dewitt. I don't want LaRoche to supplant him, necessarily. I want the team to figure out a way to work them both in. If I were Andy, I'd seriously start taking a ton of grounders at second base.
2008-05-16 09:50:10
52.   Ken Noe
Cashman's clearly a short-timer and when he goes, Boss Jr. will want veteran pitchers and vets in general to make a run at the Sox. Wonder who we could get for Lowe, Loaiza, and Pierre? I'd be willing to go with Kershaw and Kuo in the rotation.
2008-05-16 09:50:19
53.   MollyKnight
50-Martin can.
2008-05-16 09:50:31
54.   TopCat
39 You really can't go wrong with a Honda. They make Car & Driver's "10-Best" every year, for about the last 15 years. I just bought my daughter an '06 Acura TSX, low miles, for $24.4K, a sweet car and also one of Car & Driver's "10-Best". We nailed it coming off of a 2-year corporate lease, which is a good way to go.

Just slide into your new ride, head on over to the closest In-N-Out or Habit, and study the newly-crowned 5-favorite Dodgers list, current & all-time.

2008-05-16 09:51:16
55.   regfairfield
53 Says who? He's never played there professionally.
2008-05-16 09:51:16
56.   underdog
46 It was Maza's versatility and ability to play short (and 2nd and 1st and 3rd and the OF) that led to his call up right now over LaRoche.

I would like to see Andy soon, too, and am one of those wondering why the Dodgers don't try testing him at 2nd in Vegas now to see how he does. But just as a spot fill in with options, while Raffy's out, Maza made some sense.

2008-05-16 09:51:46
57.   Indiana Jon
51 Is Blake the better fielder of the two? I think Andy is better at 3B.
2008-05-16 09:51:56
58.   natepurcell
42

I don't really plan on driving a lot. If I do take trips, highway MPG for the accord is around 30.

2008-05-16 09:52:16
59.   MollyKnight
I'd rather have Martin as the back-up SS with LaRoche on the bench (or in the starting line-up) than what we have now.
2008-05-16 09:53:21
60.   underdog
As for cars, I drove a Toyota Yaris recently -- the sedan kind -- and loved the way it drove. Good power but smooth drive. Really liked it. Also enjoyed driving the Prius, once I figured out how to start it.

My sister bought a Honda Civic, the new space age looking one, and it's a great car, but I find it's not particularly roomy inside if you have any kind of stature. I get claustrophobic driving it.

2008-05-16 09:53:22
61.   MollyKnight
57-Fine. Put Blake at 2nd. I just meant that poor Andy apparently needs to show some versatility to be called up during this trying time.
2008-05-16 09:53:35
62.   old dodger fan
0 I get some sort of perverse pleasure in the fact that the Yankees can spend $209 million and have the 9th best ERA in the AL. I know, I know... it's only the middle of May.
2008-05-16 09:53:36
63.   Eric Stephen
Maybe DeWitt's backitis, or whatever he caught from Furcal, will be the crack in the door that LaRoche needs. Of course, Nomar is back soon enough to probably render that hope moot.
2008-05-16 09:54:04
64.   kinbote
It's May 16th. Does Joe Torre know his players yet?
2008-05-16 09:54:18
65.   MollyKnight
55- I'm under the impression that Russell Martin can do anything, including find a cure for cancer.
2008-05-16 09:54:24
66.   natepurcell
I just bought my daughter an '06 Acura TSX, low miles, for $24.4K, a sweet car and also one of Car & Driver's "10-Best". We nailed it coming off of a 2-year corporate lease, which is a good way to go

I like the TSXs a lot too.

re: Camry...I've heard the 08s have transmission issues and are unlike the award winning '07s.

2008-05-16 09:55:21
67.   underdog
63 "Of course, Nomar is back soon enough to probably render that hope moot." Yeah, but for how long? 4 days?
2008-05-16 09:55:26
68.   Marty
Try a Chrysler Pierre. It does all the little things you need from a car to make things happen.
2008-05-16 09:55:41
69.   OhioBlues12
16 - Penny almost seems like two different pitchers, the pre-All Star Game 06 Penny and the post-All Star Game 07 Penny. The first Penny tried throw everything 100 mph by everyone to disastrous results (second half 06). The second Penny figured that he didn't need to do that to be successful yielding the great 1st half of 07. However, he seems to have taken it too far to that extreme by pitching to contact to everyone at all times which has led to decline in the second half of last season and mostly underwhelming results so far this season. I think he should pitch to contact for efficiency but it doesn't seem like he tries to "hump it up there" when he gets in trouble to get a strikeout. I don't know what to make of him.
2008-05-16 09:55:48
70.   blue22
I'm seeing the 51s play in Tacoma next week. The selfish part of me wants him to stay in Vegas for another week so that I can see him in person (this just on the off chance that DeWitt's back forces him to the DL).

I watched the 51s game on tv last night. LaRoche had a couple of walks and a couple hits. His eye looks real sharp right now - not expanding his zone at all. Looks like a big league hitter.

2008-05-16 09:56:32
71.   natepurcell
but I find it's not particularly roomy inside if you have any kind of stature. I get claustrophobic driving it.

I am not a big person (5'11 165lbs), but for the last 8 years, I have been driving a 2000 Ford Expedition so I am kind of use to a certain size for my car. I don't think I can handle an abrupt jump from that to a Civic size car.

2008-05-16 09:59:28
72.   Indiana Jon
63 That's why I'm hoping for Blake to go on the DL. I don't think the Dodgers would send down Laroche with him out, even if Nomar came back. Two weeks could be all he needs to prove he should stay here, plus he's in the middle of a hot streak right now and that's always a plus.
2008-05-16 10:00:24
73.   Jon Weisman
Joe Sheehan notes that before we worry about most NL designated hitters not being very good, we should realize that most AL designated hitters are not very good either.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7531

2008-05-16 10:00:33
74.   Axim
66 The wife and I have a '05 TL, great car, although we were real close to going with a TSX. If you could get a TSX reasonably, I would do it. The only downside to Acura's over Honda's is that they require premium fuel which just adds to the cost of ownership.
2008-05-16 10:00:39
75.   Eric L
71 Nate,

I'm 6'3. I fit quite nicely in my '04 Civic. There is more than enough headroom and leg room for me. The newer Civics are even bigger on the inside than mine.

2008-05-16 10:00:44
76.   natepurcell
I find it really humorous that Andy has 18 walks and only 40 ABs in AAA so far.
2008-05-16 10:01:25
77.   TopCat
68 LOL!
2008-05-16 10:01:53
78.   old dodger fan
LaRoche at Vegas this year:
40 official AB's
14 BB
OPS 1.108
2008-05-16 10:02:07
79.   Axim
73 Any guesses on who starts for the Dodgers at DH this weekend? I'm guessing Pierre for two games and Martin for one.
2008-05-16 10:02:16
80.   Indiana Jon
76 Why so humorous?
2008-05-16 10:03:10
81.   old dodger fan
[76/78] I have got to learn to type faster
2008-05-16 10:04:58
82.   underdog
I find it excellent!

68 Your Chrysler Pierre should get the heck out of the way of my Ford Repko! I don't know where it's going half the time so you best pull over.

2008-05-16 10:05:27
83.   Reddog
DeWitt has won the 3rd base job. He's not only showed he's a fine fielder, but he's leading all NL rookies in BA, and he's also showing he has power. Plus, he looks and acts very mature and comfortable out there, something Torre has commented on.

I think LaRoche is either going to get traded, or they'll try him at 2nd base.

2008-05-16 10:06:04
84.   underdog
79 I did hear hints of Pierre getting a stint at DH since he can't field all that well. In a way it makes sense. However I hope Torre mixes it up a bit. Maybe another start for Delwyn at DH and yeah Martin for the other.
2008-05-16 10:07:03
85.   blue22
79 - Didn't Joe mention Pierre and Sweeney getting time at DH? Or was that just Gurnick-based speculation?
2008-05-16 10:08:58
86.   Indiana Jon
83 Once Dewitt comes back to reality, things will change. Blake may be a good player in the future, but he can't sustain what he is doing so far this year. His production over the next two or three years will not match Laroche's. I'm not even sure Dewitt has won the job over Nomar. I would keep him in there and Nomar the super-sub, but what will Joe do when Nomar returns?
2008-05-16 10:09:37
87.   natepurcell
80

Because he is clearly way too advanced for AAA and everyone knows it besides management. At least they can have him experiment with other positions while he is down there....rotting away.

2008-05-16 10:10:55
88.   natepurcell
75

I'll definitely test drive those but its still going to be a huge change for me going from a large SUV to a compact car.

2008-05-16 10:11:15
89.   bhsportsguy
I was trying to compare last night's Office to the current state of the Dodgers.

The only one that is the least complicated to express is how Michael not seeing the makings of a good thing with Amy and instead falling back with Jan and "his baby" is similar to Torre's refusal to play Kemp, Jones and Ethier all the time but instead foisting JP on us for the last two weeks.

See how uncomplicated that was to explain, you should have seen how I was trying to write how Jim missed opportuntiy to propose equates to Andy LaRoche.

2008-05-16 10:11:56
90.   blue22
87 - To be fair though, what would you do if you were in charge here? Send DeWitt and his .320/.397/.495 line down? It isn't as if Nomar is doing his normal routine at third in lieu of Andy - DeWitt is doing a fabulous job right now.
2008-05-16 10:12:46
91.   blue22
89 - No spoilers! Gah, too late! The words, they've been read!
2008-05-16 10:13:27
92.   natepurcell
90

I would have Laroche experiment a bit down in AAA. Throw him at 2b, maybe a little first, some left field. I definitely wouldn't send Dewitt down. He has earned his stay up here.

2008-05-16 10:18:50
93.   blue22
92 - I'm on board with LaRoche at 2nd, but that means we won't see him for awhile. What's his most recent experience there? Can he turn the double play?
2008-05-16 10:18:50
94.   bhsportsguy
86 Actually, I think the LaRoche/Dewitt situation was something that was going to happen to the Dodgers in terms of their young players, what would they do if they had two players ready but they were at the same position?

Now, it happened with Martin and Navarro, an Navarro got hurt, Martin got his chance and one year later he was a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove All-Star. Navarro got dealt, albeit not for much but no one disagrees that the Dodgers chose to keep the right player.

LaRoche and Dewitt both got nice bonuses to sign, LaRoche has always been the prospect with the higher ceiling but Dewitt has had his supporters and nice rankings too. (Both are the only ones to appear on BA's annual Dodgers Top 10 prospects list when eligible) How it all plays out, I don't know, it certainly doesn't have to be a rushed decision as Dewitt has 2 more options and LaRoche would obviously be protected on the 25-man roster if it came to that.

2008-05-16 10:18:53
95.   underdog
85 Yah yer right, and Diamond Leung seems to sort of confirm it (though Torre has been known to change his mind):

"Manager Joe Torre might find that interleague road games provide him with an opportunity to solve a playing time situation that exists because of an excess of outfielders. He picked Juan Pierre, Andre Ethier and Mark Sweeney as designated-hitter candidates for the three games at Anaheim beginning tonight."

Okay, um, Ethier should be in the field, Joe, he's also, you know, a good outfielder!

2008-05-16 10:19:50
96.   bhsportsguy
91 I'm sorry.
2008-05-16 10:20:30
97.   regfairfield
Would it be controversial if I thought the best outfield would be Pierre/Jones/Ethier with Kemp DHing?
2008-05-16 10:23:24
98.   blue22
96 - Don't sweat it. My fault for being Tivo-reliant.
2008-05-16 10:24:23
99.   underdog
97 Yah. Given Pierre's arm vs. Kemp's and the number of times runners take an extra base on Pierre. Curious - why would you go that way?
2008-05-16 10:25:08
100.   blue22
97 - I would ask what you're looking at that shows Pierre to be a better left-fielder than Kemp is a right-fielder.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-05-16 10:25:26
101.   D4P
97
Why do you think Pierre is a better outfielder than Kemp?
2008-05-16 10:26:07
102.   D4P
97
Why do you think Pierre is a better outfielder than Kem...

Oh, never mind.

2008-05-16 10:28:58
103.   regfairfield
I've never really been down on Pierre's defense in center. He takes terrible routes but he makes up for it with his speed. Usually, the conversion from decent centerfielder to left fielder means Gold Glove left fielder. I think the arm thing is pretty overblown, it's really hard for a left fielder to cost you a ton of runs with his arm.

Kemp has similar problems to Pierre, but isn't as quick so he covers less ground. I think that Pierre/Jones/Ethier gives us more range than any of our other options.

2008-05-16 10:31:57
104.   fordprefect
88
We rented a Hyundai Sonata while in AZ for the last wk of spring training & was surprised at the size, fit & finish, and mileage. I'd sya it compares favorably to a Camry & the likes.
2008-05-16 10:32:04
105.   regfairfield
For actual statistical evidence, Kemp's RZR in 2006 and 2007 was .856, which would put him two points away from last place in 2007. (It's way worse in 2008, but that's just sample size).
2008-05-16 10:32:17
106.   fordprefect
oops, that's say not sya
2008-05-16 10:45:00
107.   Terry A
I bought a Gagne' Streak a couple of years ago -- an odd looking Canadian hybrid vehicle.

But I find its engine performance to be totally unreliable without the aid of constant fuel additives. Breaks down a lot, too.

2008-05-16 10:46:43
108.   kinbote
Speaking of leftfield defense, that catch by the Nationals' Willie Harris last night in the 9th inning of a 1-0 game was pretty close to unbelievable. The Mets are heading off the tracks.
2008-05-16 10:53:29
109.   bhsportsguy
Today's birthdays include a Bond, an Angel, a KITH, and Wonder Woman's sidekick.
2008-05-16 10:57:06
110.   cargill06
i'm not as sold as most people at kemps ability to play CF as of right now
2008-05-16 10:59:17
111.   blue22
110 - It's suitable for the 2 days per week that Jones might sit. I'd rather keep Pierre in left permanently, and have Kemp as the back up CFer (over Ethier).
2008-05-16 11:11:46
112.   cargill06
could you imagine a clubhouse if kent and wagner were on the same team?
2008-05-16 11:13:25
113.   Eric Enders
"He picked Juan Pierre, Andre Ethier and Mark Sweeney as designated-hitter candidates"

Somebody should really introduce Torre to this Delwyn Young guy he's got on his bench. This is getting pretty ridiculous now.

2008-05-16 11:16:51
114.   Eric Enders
112 I've actually been in a clubhouse where Kent and Wagner were on the same team. And the biggest red-ass on the team wasn't one of those two, but Gregg Zaun, the backup catcher.
2008-05-16 11:19:38
115.   Andrew Shimmin
55 - Larry Bowa, that's who!

There should be a show on FSNPT where Larry Bowa arm wrestles bloggers. It'd be like Around The Horn, except with a sensible scoring system. Host throws out a topic, Bowa takes a position, blogger takes a position--then they arm wrestle. Whoever wins was right.

2008-05-16 11:21:28
116.   cargill06
114 i wonder if they got along really well?
2008-05-16 11:21:53
117.   regfairfield
115 I don't know, bloggers tend to weigh three bills or so, it's a pretty big mismatch.
2008-05-16 11:23:29
118.   Andrew Shimmin
117- You think Bowa fights fair? That's cute. When you're turn to enter the Dodecahedron of Pain comes, I advise that you wear a cup.
2008-05-16 11:25:22
119.   underdog
113 I've been trying to get the Pee Wee as DH idea across to Torre for some time but no one there is taking my calls.
2008-05-16 11:25:40
120.   Eric Enders
116 They're actually completely opposite personalities. Kent is a grouch who usually doesn't speak to anyone unless spoken to. Wagner is one of the friendliest guys you'll ever meet. He just says some crazy things sometimes.
2008-05-16 11:31:06
121.   LeeLacy
107 That made me laugh.
2008-05-16 11:31:41
122.   bhsportsguy
119 I think there is a fair chance Young starts at 2B sometime this weekend.
2008-05-16 11:34:04
123.   D4P
In its earliest incarnation, Lucas proposed an all-out alien flick called "Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men From Mars." Spielberg and Ford didn't like that idea, and it took more than a decade of wrangling to come up with a story all three could live with.
2008-05-16 11:34:53
124.   underdog
122 Well if that's the case, I'll harumph less.

The other thing of course is that there will be other interleague series coming up so depending on how these guys fare this weekend I could see Torre mixing it up differently for the other series.

120 "Kent is a grouch"

No wonder he didn't like anyone moving trash cans -- he lives in one!

2008-05-16 11:35:52
125.   scareduck
FWIW, my interleague assessment of the Angels and Dodgers, and kind of a long-winded preview of the series:

http://6-4-2.blogspot.com/2008/05/getting-ready-for-interleague-dodgers.html

2008-05-16 11:37:51
126.   cargill06
this incident makes me think wagner maybe a grouch.

Forget the Phillies. Billy Wagner nearly started a beanball war with the University of Michigan Tuesday after one overzealous Wolverine tried to bunt on him in the fourth inning. With a runner on second and one out, center fielder Kevin Cislo pushed his bunt attempt foul.

Wagner, clearly annoyed, shook his head a number of times, and Cislo wisely chose to swing away, grounding to short. Afterward, when asked about the at-bat, Wagner couldn't believe that Cislo, a junior, attempted the bunt.
"If he got that bunt down, I would have drilled the next guy," Wagner said. "Play to win against Villanova."

Asked about Wagner's reaction, Manager Willie Randolph laughed.

"He couldn't bring himself to drill the kid," Randolph said. "Nolan Ryan might have. Nolan or Roger (Clemens) may have done it, kid or not."

While the Mets viewed the game as their preseason tuneup, Michigan was fired up, and Randolph mentioned that all the Wolverines' chatter " -- -- me off a little bit." As it turned out, the Mets had a game on their hands.

Michigan carried a 4-2 lead into the ninth and was one out away from a win before Anderson Machado drew a walk. Michel Abreu, who replaced Carlos Delgado in the third inning, smashed a deep drive off the hitter's eye in centerfield, but stopped at second when the umpiring crew -- made up of four women -- did not signal a home run.

"I couldn't believe it," Randolph said. "It went halfway up the pole. But you can't argue in a college game, man."
Moments later, Abreu was awarded the two-run homer. The game ended in a 4-4 tie, but the big loser was Notre Dame alum Aaron Heilman, who now has to sing the Michigan fight song in the clubhouse after allowing a run in the second inning. The song, "Hail to the Victors" was played over the stadium speakers before Michigan came to bat in the first inning.

"I heard it and it made my stomach cringe," Heilman said.

2008-05-16 11:44:48
127.   Daniel Zappala
I prefer driving my beat-up old Plymouth Kent. 240,000 miles, but still out-drives most of the younger cars on the market. I leave it in the garage every couple of days so it can get some rest, and use my moped to get to work. As long as I change the oil every 1,000 miles and keep the spark plugs gapped, it keeps on going.
2008-05-16 11:51:37
128.   Eric Enders
126 Like I said, he says a lot of crazy things. But I think it's instructive that he didn't actually throw at anyone.

Anyway, the most interesting thing in 126 was the fact that an umpiring crew in an exhibition game involving an MLB team was made up of four women. You don't see that every day.

2008-05-16 11:52:22
129.   Bob Timmermann
Saturday's Fox announcers for the Dodgers-Angels game: Thom Brennaman and Rick Manning.

I thank the calendar gods for making me go to work Saturday. I don't mind Manning, but Thom Brennaman is the worst high-profile announcer that Fox has.

2008-05-16 11:54:15
130.   Bob Timmermann
129
However, my info comes from Tom Hoffarth's blog and I think he got the announcers wrong. I would think it should be Dick Stockton and Eric Karros since one of the other Fox games is Cleveland-Cincinnati. It would make little sense to make Brennaman and Manning fly out West for one guy and miss the big battle of the Buckeye State.
2008-05-16 11:56:45
131.   Eric Enders
I'd really like to take that Ferrari Kershaw for a spin, even though it's got to be treated with kid gloves. If it gets a scratch, that goofy Cameron's going to catch hell from his dad. But maybe nobody will notice if we put it in reverse for 100 miles so the odometer subtracts mileage.
2008-05-16 11:57:57
132.   Eric Enders
129 Did you momentarily forget that Fox has Matt Vasgersian?
2008-05-16 11:57:59
133.   Disabled List
Car Thoughts got me wondering... what make/model matches up best with the current Dodgers?

Pierre: Mazda Miata. Ridiculously small, but goes fast and is immensely appealing to a small segment of the population.

Kemp: Cadillac Escalade. Will run over people without even noticing.

Martin: Honda Accord. Not especially flashy, but dependable, reliable, and inspires huge customer loyalty.

Jones: 1977 Ford Mustang. SoSG already covered this.

Penny: Hummer. Rugged, tough and meant for the back roads, although performance doesn't always measure up to the reputation.

Bowa: 1971 Chevy. Wonders why they don't put carburetors in cars anymore.

Kent: Oldsmobile. So archaic, it doesn't even exist anymore.

Saito: Toyota Corolla. Dependable Japanese import still up and running after all these years.

LaRoche: Buick LeSabre. His name just reminds me of the LeSabre, which my parents used to drive.

Kershaw: The 1964 Ferrari from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. So highly prized that no one was allowed to touch it or even look at it.

Add more if you can think of any...

2008-05-16 11:59:54
134.   Disabled List
I swear, I came up with the Ferris Bueller Ferrari-Kershaw connection completely independent of Eric in 131 . That's great.
2008-05-16 12:00:29
135.   Eric Enders
Dick Stockton is really awful too, by the way. It's clear that he hasn't paid any attention to baseball since the 1980s. He's pretty ignorant about the current state of the game. Needs to stick with football.
2008-05-16 12:02:01
136.   Bob Timmermann
People named Eric tell me that I need to appreciate Matt Vasgersian more.
2008-05-16 12:07:33
137.   Jon Weisman
I was completely unaware until this moment that Ed Goodson once had a good season. Not with the Dodgers, of course, but still ...
2008-05-16 12:13:21
138.   bryanf
66 Have a TSX. Love it. It's fun to drive and it's got all the toys.
2008-05-16 12:14:20
139.   old dodger fan
Ned prefers to drive PVL's until the wheels fall off.
2008-05-16 12:14:24
140.   underdog
I don't mind Stockton as a basketball announcer, either, but you're right about him on baseball.

The thought of Brenneman makes my eyes sweat, so even though I'm gonna watch the game I may have to mute it.

133 Delwyn Pee Wee Young: A Mini. Especially a Mini that is someone's second car that they keep forgetting about until they need it and then think, why didn't I drive this more? It's so reliable and gets great mileage.

2008-05-16 12:14:50
141.   Bob Timmermann
Ed Goodson was almost a hero for the Dodgers in this game:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN197706030.shtml

I believe Dave Winfield stole a home run from him to end the game.

2008-05-16 12:17:54
142.   ToyCannon
Great I'm a Juan Pierre model. Not sure about the newer models but the older Miata's were quick but not that fast unless you have a 3rd party turbo installed.
2008-05-16 12:18:23
143.   Eric Enders
Speaking of Brennaman, Joe Sheehan thinks he and Daron Sutton are the same guy:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7531
2008-05-16 12:19:17
144.   D4P
I like Dick Stockton as a basketball announcer, a lot. Didn't he call a lot of the Lakers-Celtics playoff games in the 80s...?
2008-05-16 12:20:12
145.   old dodger fan
133 Kent's gotta be a Harley.
2008-05-16 12:20:53
146.   Marty
I loathe Dick Stockton
2008-05-16 12:20:59
147.   underdog
144 He did. And i was feeling nostalgic for those days upon hearing his voice the other night during the Celtics-Cavs game. I do like him as an NBA announcer, agreed, I guess I just wondered if some of that was nostalgia. Though I can't imagine having the same reaction if Tommy Heinsohn was announcing again.
2008-05-16 12:22:37
148.   bhsportsguy
147 Oh, don't bring back memories of Heinsohn's green and purple tie.
2008-05-16 12:23:00
149.   bryanf
129 I assume you are not counting Tim McCarver as a high profile announcer but instead as the color analyst or something? Tim McCarver makes me wish I was listening to an announcing team of Steve Lyons and Joe Morgan.
2008-05-16 12:27:22
150.   D4P
Nice post from Depo about "Power, Speed and Defense", that begins thusly:

When a team doesn't hit, they look flat. Plain and simple. The natural gut reaction? We need to get more athletic, we need more speed, we need to create runs.

He also includes this little tidbit:

The bottom line is that the best way to create runs is to get on base and hit for power.

And this:

There are two more discussions that should occur, though both deserve their own post. The first is the distinction between correlation and causation - a distinction that is particulary important when dealing with the complexity of baseball. The second regards our need as educated/experienced fans to see the game played the "right" way, with the correct fundamentals. I'll get to each of these eventually - plenty to discuss!

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-05-16 12:30:42
151.   Bob Timmermann
150
I soon expect D4P to gather up all the valuable parts of DePodesta's blog and put them in a small red book
2008-05-16 12:37:47
152.   bhsportsguy
Dick Stockton was the play by play announcer throughout the 1980's when the NBA was On CBS.

His partner for the three Laker/Celtic Series was Tommy Heinsohn.

The Lakers played 33 series comprising 159 playoff games from 1979-1980 season to the 1988-1989 season. They went 28-5 during that time, the only Western Conference team to beat the Lakers during that time was the Houston Rockets, the Lakers lost 3 Finals series to the 76ers, Celtics and Pistons.

They played 19 games against the Celtics, the second largest amount of games during that time.

2008-05-16 12:40:06
153.   D4P
151
And then I can take the book with me to Central Park. There's really nothing to worry about: even if the FBI agent puts the book up on the restroom window ledge, it will never leave my sight, so there's no way anyone could switch it for a blank book.
2008-05-16 12:46:36
154.   Marty
153 I took that as a Harvey Pinnick reference rather than a Spanish Prisoner reference.
2008-05-16 12:47:29
155.   D4P
154
I was just happy to come up with something.
2008-05-16 12:48:13
156.   Bob Timmermann
Actually, it was a Mao Zedong reference.
2008-05-16 12:48:18
157.   bryanf
DePodesta is a good writer.

His "Power, Speed and Defense" post could also have been entitled "Why Juan Pierre Isn't Good"

2008-05-16 12:48:43
158.   Jon Weisman
Cowboy Joe featured at Mike's Baseball Rants.
2008-05-16 12:49:04
159.   Bumsrap
145 - Kent's gotta be a Harley
Yes, but an older model that leaks oil and doesn't have a rear seat.
2008-05-16 12:49:29
160.   Eric Enders
That was pretty much the only David Mamet reference it's possible to make at this site.

Other than that Ned Colletti often reminds me of Jack Lemmon pathetically begging for the Glengarry leads.

2008-05-16 12:51:23
161.   D4P
I'm on board with calling Ned "Shelley" from here on out...
2008-05-16 12:55:07
162.   Disabled List
Post-mortem on The Office finale:

http://www.salon.com/ent/tv/review/2008/05/16/the_office/

2008-05-16 13:04:58
163.   Bob Timmermann
Salon is fine, but I want Slate's review to tell me how not only did "The Office" finale stink, but I should never watch TV again and better society by blowing myself up.
2008-05-16 13:09:37
164.   Disabled List
163 You would love the NY Times' TV and movie reviewers.
2008-05-16 13:10:09
165.   Jon Weisman
Frustrating that I haven't had time to write up the Office finale yet, but I guess I should be happy I got to watch it.
2008-05-16 13:13:34
166.   Eric Enders
I, on the other hand, haven't watched it yet, so I guess this is where I disembark from this thread.
2008-05-16 13:16:46
167.   underdog
Nice write-up on the Dodgers and Angels, btw, scareduck!

Though of course I think you're wrong about Loney vs. Kotchman. ;-) (No, Kotchman's great.)

I watched The Office, but I still haven't watched Lost, which I Tivo'd. So, give me a warning if any spoilers are a-coming.

2008-05-16 13:17:33
168.   Bluebleeder87
I definitely have to watch it later on tonight also...
2008-05-16 13:18:17
169.   Jon Weisman
166 - No, we're not talking about Thursday TV in this thread.
2008-05-16 13:19:20
170.   underdog
I should say I haven't finished watching Lost, that is -- I caught about half of it off and on but kept getting distracted.

Btw, anyone see that Jim Callis' has taken a first stab at a mock baseball draft?
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/mock-draft/2008/266117.html

He's guessing Aaron Hicks to the Dodgers.

2008-05-16 13:21:47
171.   natepurcell
The Office made me laugh a lot more than usual.
2008-05-16 13:22:38
172.   Jon Weisman
http://tinyurl.com/53cnsy

Alex Stepheson, a 6-foot-9 power forward at North Carolina who was a basketball standout at North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, has been granted his release from the Tar Heels so that he can be closer to his family in Los Angeles.

UCLA and USC are expected to be among the schools interested in Stepheson, who averaged six points a game during the NCAA tournament.

2008-05-16 13:22:49
173.   natepurcell
170

I don't think that is going to happen. One prep pitcher who is rising quickly is Jake Ordiorizzi. I probably spelled his last name wrong but he has like a 56 inning scoreless streak this year.

2008-05-16 13:27:16
174.   silverwidow
170 They have the Mets picking that dreadlocks guy from American Idol?!? ;)
2008-05-16 13:28:27
175.   underdog
Yah he has Odorizzi going much later, to the Rockies, but who knows. I still feel like this might be the year the Dodgers break the string and draft a HS position player, but as Hicks is both he seems as logical as any.
2008-05-16 13:43:55
176.   silverwidow
Mark Bellhorn, of all people, is playing at Jacksonville.
2008-05-16 13:46:29
177.   Michael D
For car thoughts, I got one of those 2008 space age Civics and I love it. I don't find it cramped at all either, I'm 6'1 and a little overweight at 200 pounds but I fit fine and my head has room with the roof. I love it, it drives great and for what used to be a cheapo compact car has some nice features if you get the EX.

The last Consumer Reports listed Honda as the top automaker, the only one to have every single model recommended. So get a Honda or an Acura. I've had zero problems with my car so far (although I've only got 5200 miles on it so far).

2008-05-16 13:49:09
178.   Jon Weisman
176 - Yeah, I just saw that.
2008-05-16 13:49:42
179.   Jon Weisman
"JACKSONVILLE, FLA. - 2004 World Series Champion Mark Bellhorn was promoted to Jacksonville from extended spring on May 15, 2008. "

There is an I in team, after all.

2008-05-16 13:51:34
180.   Hythloday
88 I know this is way late, but nate the recently remade Altima has gotten comparable maintenance reviews to the Accord. My car was in the shop last year and I had one as a rental. Good pickup and handling, better than my Camry. It is definitely worth a look. Because it is competing with the Accord and the Camry as well it is priced more competitively.
2008-05-16 13:52:10
181.   Jon Weisman
Without going into details, that Salon review was just too jaded for me.
2008-05-16 13:52:14
182.   tjdub
My son is seeing his first significant pitching action this year and last night he hit a kid for the first time. The batter was fine of course. My subsequent mound visit included the advice to smile a little when that happens, and possibly let out a small audible chuckle. He's not yet ten years old. I haven't confessed this to my wife yet. I felt a little evil after but if he's going to pitch I'd rather him be more Drysdalish than Glaviny.
2008-05-16 13:59:02
183.   dagwich
Got a question here totally off all the current threads. My family is getting together in July and 4 of us want to go to the Mets-Rockies game at Shea on July 11th. So we're looking for the best ticket broker or private party to deal with for 4 good seats that are "reasonably" priced (I totally expect to get skinned, it being NY, the Mets, and I'm probably a rube). Anybody got any advice on how to navigate this? The Mets website doesn't have 4 good seats together and man, Stubhub takes a bite. I'll ask at a Mets blog if I find one as civil as this group. Thanks....
2008-05-16 14:09:39
184.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-05-16 14:11:53
185.   sweepstakes
Loney: A volvo, not particulary fast but quick at the corners, and usually reliable.

Nomar: Honda Prelude, once a hot car but who cares now

2008-05-16 14:16:00
186.   Jacob L
I remember Tommy Heinsohn less for his obvious bias than for his Mondayvian ability invert sentences. Along the lines of "He puts it in the basket, McHale."

In a sense, he reminds me of our old high school coach who would pepper his half time instructions with inane and obvious rhetorical questions. We have to get the ball in the what? Basket. We have to play better what? Defense.

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