If you can't live without baseball…

Be sure to check in on the Japan Series, where Rafael Furcal is playing. MLB.com has created a landing page for all things Japan Series.

While Takashi Saito isn’t playing in that series, I’m curious what people’s opinions are of him in the NL Rookie of the Year race. I know that some think it should only go to someone who has never played professionally in another league but when you consider that some people compare Japanese baseball to a Triple-A equivalent, I’m not sure I see the difference between being "called up" or "called over" from there. Just some food for thought.

And continuing the international baseball theme, Fernando Valenzuela is back at it again. He made his first start on Sunday and went 4.1 innings for Mexicali, allowing three earned runs in a no-decision. Last year, he went 4-2 with a 4.30 ERA, including a 4-1 mark and 3.89 ERA at home. In 2004, he was 2-2 in the regular season and 1-1 with a 4.02 ERA in four playoff starts. I don’t know about you guys, but I find it unbelievably impressive that he can go eight months without pitching, then work himself back into shape and pitch competitively during the winter. Pretty cool. His son, Fernando Jr., is also on the team and is hitting .315 with two homers and eight RBI in his first 15 games.

36 Comments

aramis ramirez would be a nice fit, but i’d rather see andy laroche in there, i wonder if he is getting passed up now that terry collins is gone.. but lets focus on pitching first, lets go out and get frontline help..

Sammy for ROTY? I don’t know about that one. Definitely top ten. He’s currently fifth on ESPN’s Cy Young predictor- http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/features/cy – and has a fighting chance to get a few rookie votes. Those Florida kids are a crafty bunch. And Zimmerman knocked quite a few dingers this year. I think it’s safe to say everyone here would vote for him as the Dodger ROTY. I may be wrong, there is always an intense discussion over something miniscule on this here blog.

Welcome to our little world nkirby4 !!!

Well it may be miniscule but I don’t think it’s a true ROTY award if it goes to Sammy. I think a new award should be instituted for the best foreign player with International Experience.

But that’s just my meaningless opinion !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!!

Thanks for the great news as always. I dont look forward to the winter only because there is no baseball. But I love the fact that baseball is 365 days. There isnt a day that goes by where somebody isnt talking about the MLB. This offseason should really be interesting and a very fun one.

Are the Japan games going to be telivised?

I only say miniscule because of the facts at issue most of the time. The posts start with answers to Josh’s and end in some other area. This blog and its discussions are not meaningless to me, nor do I think to anyone else who is checking this thing a week after baseball is “over,” while sitting at their computer at work counting the days until April 3. Not that I’m at work right now or anything….. right?

No problem nkirby4, I was just having some fun !! It’s good to have you here !!

Your right this blog does run off into other areas, but frankly that’s what makes this so interesting. Josh gets us started in one direction and we all take it from there !!

Enjoy the offseason, at work, home or where ever !! It’s going to be a fun time of year to track what’s going on in MLB !!

BTW, my name is Gary and I’m in Orange County and one of the “50’s” group !! Harold and “53” still call me one of the kids at 53, while they relate to the players of the 50’s.

Have a great day everyone !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

Hey nkirby4 – Opening day is on Monday, April 2nd. That one extra day would kill me! (LOL). Only 123 more day guys!

GO DODGERS!

It’s time to look for plane tickets to Spring Training 53 !!!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

it’s pretty cool that father & son are playing together & very impresive that Fernando can still play competitive ball at his age.

’07 Dodgers

“…at his age”

EASY!

i forgat how old Sr. is but i’m sure he’s above 46 yrs old no?

Aramis in Dodger blue for ’07!!

Resign Sammy and Fernando.

Josh…

Can you at least tell us if we’ll be getting an announcement soon about the next phase of stadium renovations over the winter? I know you’re sworn to secrecy but at least you can tell us when we can expect to hear about it. Thanks!

Some news about Loney and Kemp, particularly their stat lines and hopefully word about where on the field they’re playing and their emphasis would be of great interest: or a site link to the Dominican team’s website…if one exists.

Somebody in the front office knows whether Loney is hitting homeruns and if Kemp’s strikeout on curves are down, or if he’s learning how to go back on balls and is still playing too shallow…

A blog on Kemp and Loney’s winter doings would be much appreciated.

Here’s a link to a blog about the winter Domincan League- http://dominicanplayers.blogspot.com/ -couldn’t find anything official.

Just read the latest on the Dodger web site saying that Dodger announcers are up for the Flick Awards. Vin, Jamie and even Rick are a natural to win once again, but I can not believe that Steiner could be up for anything but worst announcer ever !!! I can only hope that the fan portion of the ballot will clearly show McCourt that this guy is a cancer on this team and needs to be shipped out !! Get rid of the guy !!!

Go Dodgers !!!

Is Sammy a rookie? Technically I guess, but a 36 year old coming out of Japan has a bunch of good experiance under his belt.
As I recall, Japan did pretty good this spring and no one should be surprised if they do well against the MLB team over there now.

I would not give him much consideration for ROTY, but I would make a genuine effort to resign him with a decent pay hike.

Gagne files for free agency. I guess we all knew this was going to happen. How do you think this will play out? I’m hopeful that Eric will do as promised and keep the Dodgers in a position to bargain with him.

kssparkuhl@msn.com

i’d give Gagne 3 or 5 mill plus incentives

I agree blubleeder 3-5 +

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Dodgers go as high as $6 million for Gagne (considering that his option is for $11 million). His buy out is $250,000. Unfortunately, I fear that his agent (Scott Boras) will poison Gagne’s mind into not accepting anything less than $11 million and a two (or three) year deal.

This will be a very interesting situation, as it will give us a very clear picture of where Gagne’s self-proclaimed Dodger loyalty really is. I think that a one-year, $6 million contract with incentives would be a reasonable offer, but since when has Scott Boras been reasonable?

It would be a real tragedy for the Dodgers not to re-sign Saito and Maddux. Takashi is golden and Maddux is always good for 15 wins.

GO DODGERS!

No chance $5M or $6M for Gagne… once, wait, twice- err… 3 times bitten, 4th time shy? If he gets greedy he should be gone. When its not been more than 2 years since he was great you cant throw that kind of money at him. I believe Ned can come up with a better plan than watching the Gagne rehab routine and hoping, again…..

I want Gagne back. We don’t know for sure whether or not we’ll have Sammy next year, I don’t think Brazoban’s gonna be himself when he comes back, Tomko should be traded so he can be used as a setup man or closer somewhere else, and I think Brox needs another year before he’s ready to take on that role. I agree with everyone else, though. Scott Boras is evil!!! He and Steinbrenner are all that is evil in baseball.

I’ll have to disagree with you there dualtone. Boras is doing his job and I bet you his clients are very happy with his work. He is a businessman and has been very very successful. America is defined by Boras’ methods, he’s a failed minor leaguer and brought himself up by his boot straps. If anyone is to blame, it is the players and owners who allow themselves to be manipulated by his tactics. It is up to the players to make their own decisions. And the owners need to black ball him. As long as he pits clubs against each other and creates these bidding wars, the money-ball trend will continue.
I’m certainly not a football fan, but we should all take a look back at the Patriots and how all their big-money men took pay cuts in order to stick around with their buddies and win championships.

The way ownners throw money around, 3-6 million for one year may be realistic for Gagne. As 53 pointed out, it will be interesting to see how loyal he is.
I think the Dodgers should resign Sammy and Maddux. And Fernando.

I don’t see why Saito shouldn’t be considered for ROTY, especially since Nomo won it back in the 90’s, and he wasn’t exactly wet behind the ears himself, having great success with the Kintetsu Buffalos striking out 287 batters in 235 innings his rookie year, and 11 batters in 4 innings in ’94 . I think Ichiro won it too in the AL. Maybe one day they’ll come up with a different award for veterans of international baseball in the MLB for their first year, but since there isn’t, Saito is a legitimate MLB rookie in contention for ROTY.

It all depends on the MLB’s definition of the word “rookie”, whether it’s a first year player in their first season in the bigs, regardless of previous experience in other professional leagues around the world, or a young first year player entering their first year in any professional baseball. I was fine with Nomo winning the ROTY in 95, and he was ahead of Chipper Jones, a young talent achieving his first year of professional baseball. I don’t mind it the way it is, but I could see how people would say there’s a case that Chipper should have won it.

I have to agree with nkirby4. You really can’t blame Scott Boras for doing what he does (and he is VERY good at what he does). Instead, you have to put the blame on the owners (and players) who buy into his tactics. The guy is a wizard at what he does, but unfortunately (at least from my perspective as a baseball fan), the “good of the game” is of little concern to him.

Don’t forget that Gagne came out publicly and said that he would be willing to take less than his $11 option to remain with the Dodgers. This is not how Boras operates and, as such, I believe that Gagne will go back on his word. But we shall see. Free Agency declarations end on November 11th. After that, let the bidding wars begin!

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about “The Baseball Antichrist”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Boras

GO DODGERS!

PS: My Bad – Gagne’s 2007 Option is $12 million, not $11 million, but you guys probably already knew that.

The NPB manager had an interesting observation about MLB pitchers throwing a “heavy” ball. As a catcher it was always interesting to me how different the pitchers could be, but I’d never heard that comparison coming from from Japan before.

congratulations to mad-dog!

BELIEVE IN GOLD!

Way to bring some Gold to Chavez Ravine there Mad Dog buddy huh! There there atta boy! First since Izzy in ’04, yeah?

Sweet Mother of Pearl I hope the Dodgers can work out a deal with Maddux. The guy is invaluable in so many different ways. We NEED him!

WTG Mad Dog!

GO DODGERS!

james loney will have plenty of gold gloves before his career is over… i hope we dont re-sign Nomar.

I know I’m a few days late to this conversation but I would like to see our Dodgers sign Loney for 1st base and use the money saved from Nomar’s contract to get a big bat like Soriano and a front line pitcher like Zito. Does anyone else cringe when they hear talk of the Dodgers signing former Giants? I don’t know that I’m old enough to be called “Old School” but the thought of Giants (like Jason Schmidt) in our clubhouse makes me squirm. As someone who has followed LA for over 30 years I have an affinity for players that came up in our system and I sure hope we are able to resign Gagne. He seems to be a class act and he should have something left in that arm.

Has anyone heard anything recently about spring training leaving Vero Beach? I have such great memories of going to Vero to see the big club and it would break my heart to see us train in Arizona. I know that the “A” affiliate will no longer be in Vero, will the big club follow?

I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but did you cringe when we signed Jeff Kent, Bill Mueller, Kenny Lofton, and Ramon Martinez(all former Giants)? Personally, I don’t care where they came from, just that they don’t go back there. Honestly, with a lot of these guys I’d rather be cheering for them than facing them. On that note, however, has anyone else heard that the Giants are interested in signing Nomar to play either 1st or 3rd?

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