First Day of Full-Squad Workouts – Roy Smith

Grady_and_nedIn today’s first day of full-squad workouts, the day started out with Ned Colletti, Grady Little and Tommy Lasorda addressing the club. It was the first time that either Ned or Grady had spoken to the entire team in their current roles and I’m sure it was an exciting day for both of them.

Once the players hit the field, more than anything I wanted to get eyes on our new players. While I’ve seen veterans such as Bill Mueller, Rafael Furcal, Nomar Garciaparra, Brett Tomko, Jae Seo and the rest of them play many times, it was great to see them all in Dodger uniforms. It was also great to see our highly-touted young players like Russell Martin, James Loney, Andy LaRoche, Matt Kemp and Joel Guzman mix in with the established big leaguers. I was also anxious to see Andre Ethier, who I had not seen previously. He sure appears to be good looking player.

It was also announced today that the Dodger minor league system was ranked first in terms of talent by the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. This is a tremendous accomplishment considering that the organization was ranked 28th as recently as 2002. Not coincidentally, 2002 marked the hiring of Logan White as scouting director and Terry Collins first as field coordinator then as farm director at the end of 2004. They, along with assistant general manager Kim Ng, who served as interim farm director in 2004, deserve so much of the credit for our renaissance.

Logan and Terry have also put together outstanding staffs who have scouted and helped to develop these players. We as an organization couldn’t be prouder to be recognized. However, we know that our jobs are not done and we must continue to work hard to help our current players reach the Major Leagues and to continue to add talent through our scouting efforts.   

In response to the post about Justin Ruggiano, we were very pleased with his progress last year. Justin hit a combined 15 home runs and drove in 66 between Vero Beach and Jacksonville while hitting over .300 at each stop. As to why Justin’s name doesn’t get mentioned as much, we in the organization like to think it is because we have a deep system and some of our players just get skipped over. However, the organization is aware of Justin’s play. We expect him to start in Jacksonville this year.    



    Roy–I sure appreciate your taking the time to talk directly to the fans in this format. Many thanks!

    I know you probably don’t want to make unfair comparisons or crank up the hype machine, but do any of those six prospects you mentioned (Guzman, Laroche, Martin, Kemp, Loney, & Ethier) remind you of any other major leaguers you’ve seen in your experiences?


    congratulations on the honor from Baseball America. The Dodgers future looks safe in the hands of those prospects. But also congratulations to Mr. McCourt and Ned Colletti on going out, spending money and making sure our organization makes an immediate return to prominence. Your fans sure do appreciate it. Would the Dodgers organization ever consider having some exhibition games in Honolulu? The Cards and Padres played a 3-game series at Aloha Stadium about a decade ago.


    Dear Mr. Smith,

    I will be visting Dodgertown from March 6-14 and would personally like to meet you and send regards from my friend, Dean Marrazzo.

    If this is possible, please call me at my home in Mt. Vernon so we can set a time and date.

    Sincerely yours,

    Nick Petraglia

    (914) 699-9623

    • enchantedTheBeav

      Golly, look at Ned over there smiling like a fool – I’ll bet he farted. Wonder if he has a clue what kind of schizophrenic line-ups I’ll come up with. Nah, he never has a clue about anything.

  4. JhallWally

    Pffffffffffffft!!!!!! ( | )~~~

    Tonight’s Lineup – Featuring #5-#8 No-Man’s Land (or no men who can hit land)
    Gordon SS
    Blake 3B
    Ethier RF
    Kemp CF
    Loney 1B
    Uribe 2B
    Navarro C
    Gwynn LF
    Billingsley P
    By selltheteam on June 10, 2011 3:08 pm – Reply

  5. lbirken

    Don’t you find these old posts fascinating? Just look at the names above that excited Roy Smith: All the vets except Raffy are long gone and of those only Nomar made much of a contribution. Martin, gone, LaRoche, gone, Guzman, gone, Loney sadly working his way to being gone. And not to mention, Kim Ng, gone, Terry Collins, gone. And what happened to Justin Ruggiano? And if this isn’t enough, just read the second post above. Then read it again.

  6. selltheteam

    Ned’s Smell
    (Ripped Off from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “That Smell”)
    Juan Uribe and James Loney
    Navarro, you’re in my way
    Got you Ortiz ‘n’ ‘nother Ortiz
    Gibbons, Gwynn, and Marcus Thames!
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell?
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    The smell of Ned’s around you
    Angel Berroa was a good one
    Lasted longer than Nomar
    And Garrett Anderson
    Have a Mark Sweeney too
    One more loser
    Will drown you
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell?
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    The smell of Ned’s around you
    Now we called him Jason Schidt
    But he didn’t lose a lot of games
    So you signed up the Curacao Cow
    I can’t believe he was worse than Juan Pierre
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell?
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    The smell of Ned’s around you
    One little problem that confronts you
    Got that Frankie on your back
    Trade away all the kids for a good Dotel
    One hell of a price for you to get your kicks
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell?
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    The smell of Ned’s around you
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell?
    Ooh ooh, that smell
    The smell of Ned’s around you

  7. enchantedTheBeav

    The original master plan was for Jay Gibbons and Marcus Thames to platoon in left, but Gibbons missed the start of his season with vision problems and then Thames went on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps.
    When the left-handed Gibbons returned, he never could get it going and on Monday was designated for assignment to make room for the return of Thames. Which was curious, because on Thursday prospect Jerry Sands was sent back to triple-A Albuquerque and left-handed Trent Oeltjen was called up.
    The Dodgers could have demoted Sands on Monday and kept Gibbons. Asked why they didn’t do that, Mattingly said, “I don’t know, really.”
    Doesn’t Mattingly’s quote completely sum up the front office in a nutshell?

    • selltheteam

      It’s so nice to have a left-fielder who is so frickin’ bad that he’s got to hit eighth, behind Loweeny, NoRBI, and Nowhero. Once upon a time, someone told me that your left-fielder has to be able to rake. We got no plan, no backup plan, no chance whatsoever. How hard is it to find a LF who can bat #5 and provide real protection to Kemp?

  8. lbirken

    When I read that quote from Donnie in the paper this morning I have to admit I was a bit stunned. Once again I wonder how much input the manager has about player moves. Folks, I think Donnie is a decent guy and does understand what is happening. He has the same optomistic attitude any successful baseball manager has to have but I am sure he knows not every move he makes will work out the way he hopes. What else is he supposed to do?

  9. messagebear

    I had posted this just before everybody left the last thread —
    ” Wouldn’t it be time to let Oeltjen play left field. Gwynn has already shown that he’s a defensive guy only. Why not let the new guy take his turn to “seize the day”. We’ve only been waiting for somebody to do that for two years now.”

  10. JhallWally

    Geez, left field is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got just as big of a hole at 1st base, catcher, wherever Uribum plays, and the bullpen. Reading that management is clueless about it comes as no surprise however. Good grief, we had the immediate answer already in the system with XPaul but they just went out and wasted money on Gibbons, Thames, and Gwynn and lost him for nothing in the process. They should have given Paul a real shot. If it didn’t work out, you can try to upgrade in late June or July. Besides, you can pick up players like the aforementioned trio any time for practically nothing. Nothing good is going to transpire while McCourt is the owner of this team and G’Ned is the GM. I’m not crazy about Dondildo so far, but, until Frank and Ned are gone, it is harder to pass judgement on him. It is time to officially start the rebuilding. Unload all the over the hill, washed up, broken dung and play the kids. I can get behind that. I can’t get excited about continuing down this same path that hasn’t worked and has now left us with a freaking joke of a lineup.

  11. lbirken

    Clearly the Dodgers did not think X. Paul was much of a solution in left field. He certainly has not set the world on fire with the Pirates. I am not saying he did not deserve more of a chance considering the alternatives but my guess is management decided to take potential power over anything else including signing a guy (Thames) whose defense was clearly suspect and another (Gibbons) who was out of baseball. Again, another move of desperation because someone has to play out there. I did not like the idea of platooning but who knows what might have been had Gibbons not had the vision problems or Thames had not been injured?

    As for Kemp taking a day off and putting his consecutive game streak in jeapardy, streaks take on a life of their own and maybe it is better to break it now. Anyway, he still might get an at bat so we will just have to wait and see. I would rather they let him sit than risk further injury. Sitting Andre a few games helped him.

  12. nedsajerk

    The real lineup.

    Gordon SS
    Oeltjen LF
    Ethier RF
    Blake 3B
    Loney 1B
    Uribe 2B
    Navarro C
    Gwynn CF
    Billingsley P

      • Luisangel

        What a great idea! Unfortunately, a day at Fenway for us (a fimlay of four) it intouchable for many – they seem to gear the ticket prices more toward the wealthy! My husband and oldest son usually go to Fenway at least once or twice a year; as a fimlay we usually try to go to a minor league game (our local team is the Brockton Rox) – they are affordable and fun for families!

  13. nedsajerk

    I can’t believe this 42th rounds pick Max Povse is 6’8 185 pounds is that even possible? A right hand version of Mark Hendrickson.

  14. nedsajerk

    Look like Suzuki streak is also snap.

    The top two active games played streaks are:

    Matt Kemp: 268 straight games
    Ichiro Suzuki: 255 straight games, all starts

    Both are out of the lineup tonight.

    by Eric Stephen on Jun 10, 2011 5:32 PM PDT

  15. enchantedTheBeav

    Watching a train wreck implies that the train’s at least in motion. This is more like watching a semi run over a cat.

  16. trublu4ever

    Too bad we waited until the 9th inning to wake up and score some runs. I do like the attitude though…..not giving up is appreciated. Let’s do a better job tomorrow and who knows, maybe we can still salvage a split.

  17. nedsajerk

    How many homeruns does Lilly give up tomorrow? No way he survive that game without given up at least a homerun.

    • nedsajerk

      We win the Giants win. We lost the Giants lost. The Giants coming from behind and win and we lose.

  18. Collie

    Tru — How did you get that picture I took of you to be your gravatar? That’s pretty cool!!
    Another nice loss… At least they showed some fight. Maybe with that dinger by Matt they took notice that if he can battle and do that on 1 leg maybe they can give a little more effort. Hopefully this is Matty being a leader…

  19. dodgereric

    Oh, hell. Why make you read that other trash? We all know what the team needed last winter, but Ned went and got a bunch of .220/.300 hitters. Big surprise we’re at the bottom of most of the run-producing stats.
    Here’s the real reason why Sands went down: “Trent Oeltjen, who was called up from Albuquerque on Thursday, could have become a free agent if he wasn’t on the major league roster by June 15.”
    Ned’s compulsion to not lose worthless players is amazing.

  20. messagebear

    Obviously the other alternative to bringing Oeltjen up to the big club would have been some proactive action like dealing him to another club for a prospect who wouldn’t be immediately lost to free agency. Kind of like what might have been done with X Paul. I have to conclude that Ned knows this too, but probably can’t find any major league GM willing to deal with him on any kind of equal basis.
    As for Oeltjen, might as well give him a chance. Sands may come back and be a good big league player, but it has been proven time and again that we don’t have the capability of developing young players at the major league level. I would say that our coaching stinks pretty much like a lot of other things at the front office and organizational level. So, if a player is going to come up and stick, he better play from the start like there’s no sending him back ever.

  21. dodgereric

    bear, I almost never find myself disagreeing with you. This time is no exception. I have no doubt that Ned finds it disgusting that the other GMs are forever drooling uncontrolably while they’re talking trade. He’s also probably terrified that he’ll end up not only with the short end of the deal, but he’ll also be naked when it’s over. No other explanation is possible for continually letting young players go with nothing in return. Except, I suppose, that it’s simply cheaper to get nothing back. Even if it’s only a minor league salary.
    I even tend to agree about Oeltjen, even though his career is more along the lines of what Ned digs out of the dumpster (.237 .286 .423 .708). He hasn’t really been given much of a chance yet either.
    I think it’s interesting to see what Ned has gotten rid of in left field (2011 numbers):
    Jay Gibbons .255 .323 .345 .668
    Jerry Sands .200 .294 .328 .622
    Xavier Paul (PIT) .265 .296 .324 .619
    Xavier Paul (LA) .273 .273 .273 .545
    …….and what we have left:
    Marcus Thames .143 .182 .333 .515
    Tony Gwynn, Jr .219 .250 .302 .552

  22. trublu4ever

    And, what the hell hs happened to our “Aces”….Kersh & Billz look like shit? Except for Wallach, and, perhapa Lopes, ALL of the coaches should be fired. The BP is non-existant but, the starters must go farther than 5 or 6 innings.
    it should be interesting, Dodgereric, to see what the attendance is when we finally get home. I feel sorry for Andre & Matt having to put up with the disdain from the fans. Hoowever, I think they know we want FRANK TO SELL THE TEAM! In the long run, everybody, including the players will be much better off.

  23. dodgereric

    I would hope that the players (at least the ones that are worth a shit) know that the fans don’t hold any distain for them. I think they’re all trying their best. Unfortunately for the team, some of their “best” is exactly what the team is getting. But I agree with you and bear, our coaching personnel and methods need a thorough re-organization. “The Dodger Way To Play Baseball” is nowhere to be seen anymore. I can’t remember the last time I even saw a proper run-down. Thinkk of that the next time we get someone trapped between the bases. One throw is all you should do, and it should be back to the base the runner last touched.
    As far as Kersh and Billz going through tough starts, all of them are going to occasionally. Koufax, Seaver, Gibson, Mathewson, Walter Johnson – not that Kersh and Billz are there yet – they all go through tough times. Look it up. They’ll be fine.
    We had a spectacular BP not too long ago, but Torre killed it. Not just by limiting the starters, but this using 4 arms in one inning is so ridiculous I’d need to invent a new word to describe it. “Torrendous”? However, I don’t think that is a problem exclusive to the Dodgers. I’ve been complaining about this for years. Stop babying the starters. Everyone is hung up on this artificial “100 pitch” limit for starters and the BP is paying the price. Stretch the starters back to where they used to be and the pen guys can be used more sensibly. Anyone who was around even 20 years ago can remember starters who regularly went 7-9 innings instead of the 5-6 innings you see now. And they didn’t get injured any more than they do today, probably less. “Quality start” my ass. Three runs in 6 innings? That’s a 4.50 ERA. Quality? That got you sent to the minors.

  24. messagebear

    Interesting to see what Dilbeck describes in the LA Times as a catching black hole for the Dodgers, with nobody promising in sight in the minors (sorry to the Ellis fans out there). It just goes to show what great planning Frank and Ned are capable of to consider that they gave up Santana and Mayes over the last two years for nothing more than saving a little salary for players who themselves were hardly worth acquiring. As many here have remarked before, longer range planning just isn’t part of the plan with the Dodger organization.

  25. lbirken

    Giving up Santana made some sense at the time with Russell Martin seemingly a lock at catcher for years to come. The black hole at the time was third base and I believe Casey Blake has adequately filled that hole. The last I looked Santana was not tearing up the league although clearly it could be argued he is better than what they have now. But the Dodgers did not know that Martin would decline and then suffer a serious injury that made resigning him a risk. It remains to be seen how well Martin does the second half of this season and I am happy things worked out well for him. He gave everything he had as a player while wearing Dodger blue. Sadly, it is just as clear the Dodgers would be better off with a healthy but crappy Martin compared to what they have now. Isn’t hindsight grand?

  26. JhallWally

    Good afternoon everyone. Enjoyed your posts. As for the catching wasteland, well, don’t look to fix it thru free agency. Take a look at this dung heap of catchers that will be free agents after this season.

    Updated 6-9-11

    Rod Barajas (36)
    Henry Blanco (40)
    Ramon Castro (36)
    Ryan Doumit (31) – $7.25MM club option for 2012, $8.25MM club option for ’13 with a $500K buyout
    Ramon Hernandez (36)
    Jason Kendall (38)
    Gerald Laird (32)
    Jose Molina (36)
    Yadier Molina (29) – $7MM club option with a $750K buyout
    Dioner Navarro (28)
    Ivan Rodriguez (40)
    Brian Schneider (35)
    Kelly Shoppach (29) – $3.2MM club option with a $300K buyout
    Chris Snyder (31) – $6.75MM club option with a $750K buyout
    Matt Treanor (36)
    Jason Varitek (40)

  27. JhallWally

    For anyone interested, here is a site with all the free agents after this season. When you peruse the list, it will become very clear why money should be spent on scouting and player development. Also, why the Dodgers need to have serious talks with Kemp and Ethier about a long term deal. The franchise going forward should be built around Kemp, Kershaw, and the promising kids we have. There really aren’t very many options out there better than the young guys coming up. Another reason we should be selling/unloading whatever we can in July. That and the fact that this team is going nowhere this year. We all pretty much conceded that before the season started. Unfortunately, the only player that could possibly get us some really good prospects is Andre. Prince Fielder could be a nice fix for 1st base, but, I doubt the Dodgers as currently situated can afford him. He’s only 28 and would look sweet in the 4 or 5 hole batting behind Kemp for the next 5 years.

  28. lbirken

    Interesting list of players eligible for free agency in 2012. There are probably a couple names on that list that could help the Dodgers but certainly budget restraints and the reluctance to offer deals longer than 2-3 years will eliminate most of the younger players. Not sure about Fielder; how well has he hit at Dodger Stadium? For the most part signing free agents has not worked out too well for the Dodgers but I understand the prevailing thinking has been all about signing known commodities rather than take a chance on a younger player with no real major league track record. Historically the Dodgers were built from within and I agree with Jhall that more attention needs to be given to that strategy. Dodger fans have never heard the term “rebuild” but clearly something has gone wrong with this organization and it is more than just ownership even though it starts there. I have to think the McCourt’s came with the intent on winning but somehow got distracted by the money and status and lost focus on what is important to the fans/customers.

    • JhallWally

      No, we have not done well overall with signing free agents. It really is a crap shoot. And we keep rolling Snake-Eyes!! If you looked at the overall success of signing free agents in all of baseball, I would be willing to venture that well below 50% of the deals actually work out well for the acquiring club. My guess would be about 25%. Just more reason to get back to what made the Dodgers great and won championships, Superior scouting and player development. We’ve been getting farther away from that since our last WS and the result is, we haven’t been back in 23 years.

  29. lbirken

    Hard to understand how anyone can support Frank McCourt with all that is known. I have no idea why the AME church or any other religious group would even have an opinion on this situation. At this point even if Frank made a deal with Jamie and found adequate financial backing suitable to MLB, little would change with regard to his reputation and acceptance by his customers, the fans.

    • JhallWally

      Interesting that Nedildo cites the injury issues the team has had, but, fails to recognize the fact that he is the one who assembled a lineup filled with sick, lame, and crazy players in the first place. Its not like most of these has been/never weres didn’t have a history of injury and failure.

      • enchantedTheBeav

        You know what’s really sad Wally? It isn’t that Ned just picked out players helter-skelter, its that he actually planned this mess. AND he’s also either too stupid or too proud to admit that he’s a major cause of this franchise’s downfall. Looking at this offseason’s acquisitions in particular, its obvious he never even reads a stat sheet either. Maybe he doesn’t know how.

    • trublu4ever

      I’m tired of Ned’s sorry excuses. It’s all on HIM. Our defense is one of the best o far his year. When you score 7 runs on night and 5 the next, you should be able to win. How much better is this team supposed to be? Did Ned actually think we were going to be good? We all knew we weren’t. Remember Ned, you get what you pay for….and most of the time it bites you in the (_|_) !

    • enchantedTheBeav

      Read the posts up above and have to agree – more often than not, even the big name “can’t miss” FAs don’t perform to the level for which they were signed. You’re just rewarding them for what they did for another team that underpaid them.
      Ned however takes that to another level when he signs players like Schmidt that he KNOWS GOING IN that they’ll never perform because of pre-existing injuries. Now we can add Garland and Padilla to that list. Actually, considering how out of shape Andruw and Uribe were/are, those two as well. And he HAD to know Manny was juicing. It borderlines on criminal. Is someone getting kickbacks on the salary?

  30. lbirken

    I believe Ned is a big risk taker for the bucks he has available. He seems to want to believe that whatever ailed a player the year before will somehow be a thing of the past never to be a problem again. Did he know for sure that A. Jones was a fat lazy out of shape over the hill player or did he allow himself to ignore what he did know in hopes that he could strike lightening in a bottle? Every free agent has a downside; Ned just chooses to look the other way and hope for the best. Anyway, enjoy the game and let’s hope the Dodgers can bounce back and get a win tonight.

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