The calming voice of autumn…

With all the craziness that is this year’s free agent pool (read this great article by Yahoo’s Jeff Passan), there’s nothing quite like hearing Vin Scully’s voice during the fall or winter and I had the honor of actually hearing his voice during the live web chat he did yesterday with the fans. Everyone else probably could hear his voice in their heads through the words on the screen and I’m glad so many people got to participate. At the end, we still had tons of questions, so our sincere apologies that he couldn’t answer them all.

The morning was filled with stories about Spring Training, from the Arizona Republic locally in Phoenix to the L.A. Times, Daily News and a few in the Vero Beach Press Journal, including this opinion piece by Ray McNulty. Though Ray says Vero Beach will never be the same without the Dodgers, he acknowledges that a move really does make sense, as he has in his previous columns. In fact, while the traditionalist in me has always loved everything about Dodgertown, I think the first time I realized that a move really was the right thing to do came when I read a column of Ray’s last year that was similar to today’s. Anyway, there’s a press conference today at 3 p.m. in Arizona, so be on the lookout for the press release once it’s posted to the website.

Also in today’s papers was Bill Plaschke’s story about Joe Beimel, which I thought hit the nail the on the head. Joe clearly understands the ramifications of his actions and was, at least in my opinion, a model citizen throughout the year. Having him back next year will be a boost to the team and I’m hopeful that he’s able to sort through his personal issues with the help of those of us in the organization and his family and friends.

That’s all for now. Ned and his staff are still in Naples, trying to land us a big bat or two, a pitcher or two and other complimentary pieces. Here’s hoping they are successful in laying the ground work for a great offseason.

57 Comments

Hate to see the Dodgers leave Vero but….
Since I go to AZ a lot that time of the year (the Sonoran Desert is fantastic in the winter) it would be great to look in on spring training.

Plaschke’s article was very helpful to me, thank you. I’m a Dodgers fan living in St. Louis and don’t always get all the subtle aspects of some of the larger stories in LA. While I don’t always participate, reading this blog helps me stay a bit more intouch. Although the Beimel incident was very disappointing, to say the least, we sometimes forget that these guys are just kids. Kids sometimes do, as we all do at all ages, stupid things. It didn’t help, but Beimel did not cost the Dodgers the series against the Mets.

Go Blue!

I would echo the same, Beimel didn’t cost us the playoffs, he just didn’t help us !! I mean lets face it, we didn’t have enough horses to win !! The 2006 Dodgers played way beyond their stats so we all have to appreciate the fact that we even made the Playoff’s !! If Ned can get it done this off season with a few good bats and arms and God willing we don’t break down like we did in 2006, we should see games in October again !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

It wasn’t Joe Beimel’s fault the Dodgers didn’t win their playoff series against the Mets… but he definitely might have had something to say about the outcome of a game or two. I like his stuff on the mound and I hope I come to like his stuff off the field from now on. He’s okay in my book for stepping forward and accepting responsibility for his actions. Let’s hope the rest of the team can forgive and forget as well. Go get ‘em Joe!

Hey Josh,

I would like to say that I was really looking forward to the Vin Scully online chat. In fact I submitted several questions which none were used. My question is how is the question selection process done ?? I see that out of 21 questions, 13 of them came from 4 different people, and Dodgerfan805 had 5 of them !! It makes it very frustrating when I’ve been on most all of these online chats, and not once has one of my questions ever been addressed. Now it needs to be said that none of my questions could in any way be construed as rude or vulgar !! So please explain why the favorites ??

One suggestion would be that for the online chat you answer what you can, but afterward you publish the balnce of the questions asked with a brief response. Or at the very least close the window for additional questions so we don’t keep wasting our time trying to get in !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

WHEN ARE WE GOING TO HAVE A CHANCE TO GET VIN SCULLY BOBBLE HEADS?

GO BIG BLUE!!!

GO DODGERS!!!

garysmith@glsmith.com

Don’t get mad Gary i’ve been posting question for the past 2 years also but finally had 2 of them answered it’s just the luck of the draw IMO.

Go Dodgers!!

bluebleeder, I’m not mad !! I just want more !! 21 questions just isn’t enough, especially when some are fluff !!

Vin Scully Bobble Head !! Now that would be COOL !!!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

Okay, I keep hearing all of these things about “bring Kenny back”, and “sign Juan Pierre”, and “get Gary Matthews Jr.”. Come on!!! I want to at least give Repko a shot at playing full time this year. I really thought he was gonna get his chance last year, but then he went and played defense too well and messed up his foot. He’s fast, his defense is INCREDIBLE, and I’d bet every penny I own that if he was playing full-time he’d bat .300 and steal 40+ bases. If we sign (or trade for) a power-hitting CF, I want Rep in right and Ethier in left. If we sign (or trade for) a power-hitting LF, I want Rep in center and Ethier in right. If we can’t let him play full-time, let’s trade him somewhere where they can. He deserves it, he’s too good to just spend a couple more years working as a backup OF for us. Let Matt Kemp, Delwyn Young, or Marlon Anderson have that job.

I know I’m gonna catch grief for saying let Matt Kemp be a backup, but if we really need him in the bigs, I think that’s where he belongs right now. He can’t hit a curveball (he can’t even foul one off), he gets bad reads on balls, and he strikes out TOO MUCH (if he continues his ’06 pace over the course of a full season, he’d SO ~ 207 times). Let him have a full year at AAA and then we’ll see. Right now, Repko’s my man.

Any chance you could convey those thoughts to Ned for me, Josh? :)

I agree with you dualtone428, Repko deserves a shot !! Plus he comes at the right price !! It all depends on the big bat that Ned is looking for !! I’d like to see Nomar or Loney at the other OF slot !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

If I had to choose between Nomar and Loney, I’d probably go with Loney. Granted Nomar probably has the better throwing arm, but I’m not sure his legs could take the daily rigors of playing OF. Plus his throwing motion is not conducive to those long throws. I’m with you though gary. Re-sign Nomar@1B, Loney to LF, Rep in CF, Ethier in RF, and we’ve saved money through this whole Drew fiasco. I’m gonna have to copy you on this one….

Go Ned!!

Go Dodgers!!

Yeah, Repko should get a shot.

dualtone, I agree that Repko should get a shot (heck, invite Jose Guillen to spring training while you’re at it). But like Laroche, I’ll say if Kemp isn’t ready to play everyday in the majors, let him play everyday in AAA until he’s ready for the show. He’s 22, after all.

“I’d bet every penny I own that if he [Repko] was playing full-time he’d bat .300 and steal 40+ bases.”

I’d take that bet in a second. Repko’s exciting, but he has “4th outfielder” written all over him. He surprised a lot of hardcore fans by salvaging his career, but that career appears to be as a complimentary player, not a star.

i’m as optimistic as the next guy, but really . . .

I am in no way a Bill Plaschke fan (not even a little bit), but his interview (I assume) of Joe Beimel has accomplished two very important things:

First – It has FINALLY given Dodger fans the opportunity to hear what happened straight from Joe Beimel. Not knowing the circumstances of the incident or how it has affected him has kept me (and presumably many others) extremely angry at Joe. Hearing his account of the incident in his own words and hearing what he is doing about it has finally allowed for some closure for Dodger fans. And though he still has a long way to go to gain back the trust of his teammates and fans, I believe that it is doable. Besides, I would much rather have him pitching FOR us than AGAINST us.

Second – Whether it was by Plaschke’s design or not, the interview has, in essence, given Beimel a golden opportunity to resurrect his career with the Dodgers. If what he said in the interview is sincere and heartfelt, his teammates and fans will, undoubtedly welcome him back as a Dodger. However, if he or Plaschke are using this platform to try to blow sunshine up our noses, then both of them should be banished from Los Angeles forever. I am going to give both of them the benefit of the doubt. After all, even professional baseball players and fair weather journalists are human.

Welcome back Joe!

GO DODGERS!

Has any body else heard a rumor about Coletti extending an offer to one of these three players? (Nomar, Soriano, or Zito)

I totally agree Gary. I was frustrated at the “fluff” Scully had to answer. I hit them with my best shot yesterday… a question that I really put some thought into. It went something like this:

Vinny! Thanks for taking the time. I’m a long-time listener and have admired your work, especially with the impartiality you bring to your craft. Today’s announcers tend to offer their opinions and yet you choose to focus on the moment at hand. It seems an easy formula. Why do you feel that broadcasters of today have moved away from this type of work ethic?

Beimels young , he made a mistake. He took responsibility for it, and now it should be forgotten.

I for one am glad to have Beimel back, and there will be no boos from me, as long as he is sincere. I want Repko to get a chance. I love his hustle and his work ethic…he is by far one of my favorites.

Dodgerdugout dot com reports that Dave Roberts might be a Dodger this up coming season & that Nomar is closer to signing with the blue

Great assessment “53″ on Beimel and I agree with fliegel, he made a mistake and is making amends for it. He’s too good to just jettison away !! If baseball can give a second chance to guys like Strawberry, Bradley and others, we can surely see our way to giving this deserving sole a second chance. Especially when he has shown such remorse for his mistake !!! One other thing to keep in mind is if he does prove to be worthy, he’ll certainly come at a better price then anyone else with the same tools !!

Wow Kevin, great question for Vinnie. I would love to hear the answer to that one !! It goes right to the heart of the issue I have with Steiner !! That blow hard only wants to hear himself speak !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

If Roberts comes back that should be the end of Lofton as a Dodger !! I wonder how the Gagne talks are going !! I’ll bet it’s a tough one for Ned to stomach with Boras representing Gagne !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

I can’t believe that on the latest Dodger Poll that more people think Soriano is more important to the Dodgers then Zito. I was brought up that if you had good pitching, avg hitting would win you more games!! Without pitching your never safe !!

Spend the money on Zito and/or Schmidt Ned !!! The kids will come through !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

I love the idea of Roberts coming back to LA. I want nothing to do with Soriano. Lee would be much more affordable and he whines less.

I wouldn’t mind Roberts if we had enough power in the lineup and needed a leadoff hitter. But since neither of those is the case, I’ll pass.

“Vin Scully Bobble Head !! Now that would be COOL !!!”

Gary that = sold out months in advance

Yep bluebleeder, he’s a person we’ll be telling our grandkids about !!

Looks like Ned is wheeling and signing a few bottom dwellers. Makes sense !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

sounds like Nomar wil remain a Dodger The Times just reported it.

woo!

As much as I have always enjoyed watching Dave Roberts play, I believe that we gain very little in signing him over Kenny Lofton.

Lofton’s career stats are considerably better than those of Dave Roberts. Granted, because of Roberts’ age, he wouldn’t need to be rested as much as Lofton would, but Lofton has proved himself time and time (and time and time) again.

Roberts played in 129 games in 2006 compared to Lofton’s 120 games. Roberts made zero errors in 274 chances to Lofton’s 3 errors on 248 chances. The biggest plus for Roberts was his 49 stolen bases compared to Lofton’s 32. However, Lofton hit .301 in 2006 and has a career .299 average as compared to Roberts’ .293 average in 2006 with a career average of .270. Roberts had 2 home runs in 2006 to Lofton’s 3. They had identical OBP’s of .360 in 2006.

I say re-sign the old guy to a one-year deal with incentives. He will probably come a lot cheaper than Roberts would anyway.

GO DODGERS!

Ok, with nomar in the picture, and with the Orioles paying $12 million for Jamie Walker, how about an offer to the Detroit Tigers:

Joe Beimel for Marcus Thames

Sure Beimel may be turning around and all that. If he is, more power to him, but the Dodgers have a more pressing need for Marcus Thames, who could probably put out 35 homers if given a chance to play a full season. Hey, he had 26 in 348 AB.

Thames is probably about as cheap as the Dodgers could do in terms of money and personnel. This means Matt Kemp will be available for later 2007 or 2008, and more importantly, more money for Barry Zito and convincing Saito to stay (maybe Gagne too?).

Ned Colletti, if you’re going to re-sign Nomar, get a young guy who’s got some power. If you need evidence of his character, try this article from the New York Times.

http://tinyurl.com/yamkfs

This would be a great move for LA. Throw in Tomko and/or Hendrickson. But strike now, while Detroit needs a lefty guy.

Is it cold where you guys are? because I’m still Hot about our lack of power in real games. Sure we hit crappy pitchers and knocked in a bunch with avg and patience but it still all boils down to power in the clinch.1st inn or 9th Nomar has 9th inn power soriano Has POWER. I love Dave roberts he did well as a dodger and would fill my defence void in cf but his hitting has always been streaky against mediocre pitchers and really bad against good pitchers.Finley showed that fact.I’ve looked Zito up ome side and down the other and he is not THAT Great he blew during the playoffs and that stuck in my mind more then the just better then .500 performance of ’06.Loney showed Sept value at 1B and more in the batters box.I’m not for we save money by signing Good people that is why we are the Dodgers of 88′ and got LUCKY there and I don’t want us to take the place of The NYY of the 00′ era.But we do need a serious HR threat and I think our best shot is with soriano at 2b or of with Loney Nomar and Kent juggling the if/of spots Kent and Nomar both have indurance and age problems. I’m 40 I know that wall it ***** but kent needs to be shored up **** after this past season I wouldn’t be suprised to see soriano at 2b and Nomar back at first with Loney at RF But Bottom line is that Soriano Hits HRs and he steals as much as Roberts put wills with him He’ll Steal X 1.5 Safely
then get thrown out if we do not FIRE DONNALLY he is the worst 3b coach EVER!Really glad the mets didn’t win it all because it would have come down to that game double play at Home….and drew quit!

I Love The way Jason Repko plays and the I do think he can hit for .280+ and steal 20+ maybe 30 with 10-20 HR but I don’t think the dodgers can contain him to that in what I’m saying is that he is pure almost Raw Powe and thats why Cody Ross was not kept. He will sacrifice his body for the play. But his Body will not sacrifice itself for the game and we still need a player for the game. My Bottom line on Repko is That if he can stick alllllll the ability into the Knowledge that that High sprain stuck in his nerves is that he will be a great OF but those wall climbing game saving shots Happen once in a lifetime of playing and if you are hurt and on the bench then those chances diminish.***** I Love My Home Town Dodgers and especially the home grown ones But Mr Colletti all I want for Christmas is a Store bought HR Hitter and a pitcher or 2 who can throw 2 or 3 run ball for 7 inns.

ps . Mr Christmas Zito is not the man worthy of Dodger Dollars

Tough call Roberts or Lofton “53″ both would be on my short list !! Both have the best interest of the team in their heart !! But at the end of the day I think Roberts has the better tools. I see the numbers and Lofton does have a slight advantage historically, but Roberts is much better in CF with a much better arm !!! And he’s less inclined to end up on the DL then Lofton. From my vantage point his base stealing is far more intimidating then Lofton. Plus this guy just knows how to win, he stole a win for the Red Sox on their WS journey and again for the Pads in there playoff run. Either way both of these guys are a good choice for the Dodgers !!!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!!

Welcome back Nomar, great to have you in a Dodger uniform !!

I hear the Angels are about to sign Piazza !! Who here thinks the Dodgers should take a run at him ???

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!!

Would Piazza really want to be back up?

Well think of the possibilities. Piazza as back up at catcher and plays first base, and he’s a proven 20+ HR hitter. Loney has been working out in the OF and Nomar has played all the infield positions, plus he willing to play the OF. I could see Nomar at 3B (20+ HR), Kent at 2B (20+ HR) and Pizza at 1B (20+ HR), Furcal at SS ( 20+ HR), Either ( 20+ HR) and Loney OF (20+ HR). Then you have Repco OF (15+ HR), Roberts or Lofton OF (10+ HR) and Martin C (10+ Hr). Just a thought but it could work !!! I personally don’t think Soriano, or any ball player, is worth $120 million.

Last year the Dodgers did quite well with a band of kids, who never played in the big leagues and some veterns in their waining days. I say go with the same formula and spend the money on pitching !!!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

One other thought. Having your backup catcher playing 1B or DH aginst AL clubs opens up the bench to more situational players. Or it allows the club to carry another much needed pitcher. Look at Toby or Sandy, all they did was take up space on the bench and couldn’t be used !! This way you get more production out of the roster !!

Again, just a thought !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

I originally thought that Piazza would be a welcomed addition to the team, with him backing up Martin and playing an occasional 1b. However, now that it seems the Dodgers are close to signing Nomar and with the 1b duties probably resting on the shoulders of both Nomar and Loney, I wasn’t so sure. No doubt he is a great bat coming of the bench, but would be very limited use in the field. Bottom line, my heart says absolutely, but my head says not so sure.

Go Ned!!

Go Dodgers!!

Actually, Piazza in the AL (especially with the Angels) is a great way for the “Pizza Man” to wind down his career. He has always loved playing in the (er…ah…) Los Angeles market.

I think that the Angels would be looking at Piazza more as a DH than as a back up catcher to Molina or Napoli – although he would be available to do so if necessary.

I think that Piazza would want too much money to come back to the Dodgers, and certainly too much money for his role as a back-up catcher to Martin and only a pinch hitter. That being said, I’m OK with Toby Hall as our back-up catcher, but I know HE certainly isn’t OK with it.

Some very good points on the Roberts / Lofton thing, Gary. I think that the final decision on either will boil down to whether or not the Dodgers can get a power hitting outfielder (i.e. Soriano, Matthews Jr., Lee, etc). If that happens, I really do not see the Dodgers signing either Roberts or Lofton (although I believe that they could get Lofton for pretty cheap. I’m not so sure about Roberts). Anyway, your points are well taken and, as always, greatly appreciated.

GO DODGERS!

I think we can get great trade appeal for Toby !! And I don’t think Piazza will be as expensive now at 38 as he once was !!

Piazza actually sounds appealing. Nomar is a utility player now and can split time at 1B with Piazza and Loney. Toby should be traded, throw in some other dead wait and grab a middle reliever. Don’t resign K-Lo, let him go. Grab Gary Matthews, Soriano, or Lee for OF.

nkirby4@cox.net

Nomar is not yet a utility player why do you think that?

He can’t play more than 120 games. He has lost his full time spot at 1B to Loney as far as I’m concerned and can play second, third, **** he was an all-star SS.

& he is still a well respected hitter & fielder, i think you’re wrong kirby i really do

I’d love nothing more than for Loney to give Nomar a run for his money on the starting 1b position. However, that has yet to be seen. I don’t think Nomar is anywhere close to being considered a “fill in” utility man. For sake of arguement, if he turns out to be our utility man, he’d be the most talented one I’ve ever seen.

I think also with the “utility man” connotation there is a perception that a player is solid at many positions, but not a master of any. With Nomar he’s a master of atleast two (SS/1B) and who’s not to say other possible other positions. Nothing he does really surprises me anymore. No doubt he’s a complete gamer.

You’ve all never heard of a .300 hitter with 20 HRs and 90 RBIs (93 for the record) playing UTIL.? Give me a break. If the guy can play a full season I’ll happily let him play 1B.

AND…. he is too short to play first.

I have to respectfully disagree with you nkirby4. I believe that Nomar will be our everyday first baseman, with OUTFIELDER James Loney as his back up. Of course all of this could change if we sign a power hitting outfielder.

You must have been watching a different Nomar Garciaparra than I watched all season long. The guy is an OUTSTANDING first baseman. He made some of the greatest defensive plays that I have ever seen any Dodger first baseman make (even Steve Garvey) AND he made only four errors all season long. Heck, even Albert Pujols had six.

He’s too short, you say? The aforementioned Steve Garvey, one of the best first basemen in Dodger history, is 5-10.

I believe that Nomar will have another great season next year and he LOVES playing here.

GO DODGERS!

Hey, did you guys hear that J.D. Drew is supposedly close to signing a two-year $30 million dollar contract with the Red Sox?

1st base spends more time digging throws out of the dirt than flagging down high throws. Sure, taller is better, but not essential. As 53 pointed out Garvey did a great job (all-star, MVP) and Nomar is an all-star at the position himself.

Good Job Ned, you’re doing the right thing by signing Nomar. As I said at the end of the season on this blog, for what Nomar did on numerous occasions to help get our team to the playoffs, he deserved the chance to play with the Dodgers again. Yes, he’s older, and yes he may be injury-prone, but if he’s handled the right way, he’ll be a productive part of this team. He’s a gamer. He can play anywhere in the infield and he swings a big stick. How can it be a bad thing?

On another subject, yes its sad that the Dodgers are about to leave Vero Beach, I always wanted to visit Dodgertown. But it sure will be easier to enjoy spring baseball when they make the move to Arizona. I applaud the decision.

Now let’s go get us that pitcher and bat we need. Oh and if we can off load Hendrikson even better. Sorry man but you just didn’t work out with the Dodgers.

Understand that Soriano is looking for a BIG contract over 7 years. I would not be in the bidding, particularly over such a long term. As we know, in those extra long contracts the guy may be happy with his deal for the first couple of years; then he gets unhappy and wants to re-negotiate, because he sees the market price increasing for players signing up three or four years later. Then you have another unsatisfied money hungry player, a la Sheffield as an example. I don’t believe we need Soriano that bad.

Nomar is likely a future HoF’r and he’s calling him a “utility man”. I love your passion Kirb, but question your knowledge. You realize that if he plays out his “rumored” 2 years with a 3rd year option, he might go into the hall as a Dodger.

Messagebear, I couldn’t agree more. Nice insight.

1) Nomar is good, but he’s not in the hall yet. I think his career average will settle around .310, but he needs to be at least as healthy next year to convince me fully he’s still on the right track.

He’s got some significant milestones coming up, like 300 HR, 1000 RBI, 1000 R, 2000 H. If he won a gold glove at first that would help too. Nomar’s great, but don’t unroll your jump to conclusions mat so quickly.

2) As for what to do with Nomar, I’d keep him in the lineup and at first, ideally moving him to second by 2008 so Loney can play first. Loney can play right field to start because, in cause you haven’t noticed, we need a right fielder. Then we need a plan for center.

3) Keep in mind that with Sori, he’s a power/speed guy now, and while that combination does age pretty nicely, he’s still probably going to start declining 5 years into the contract. Add to that that he wants a no-trade clause, and a 7 year deal doesn’t look quite as good. But I like his work ethic, his speed, his healthy history, his power, and the fact that he’s played in Japan. Only problem is that if you sign Soriano, you have to ask if he’s your centerfielder.

4) For reasons of affordability, though, I like Marcus Thames, and I would rather see a trade of Beimel for Thames while the iron is hot. While this puts Ethier in center should Nomar be signed (and his range is iffy for the job), I think it would work. I’d rather put the big money into pitching.

5) Josh, any chance of us seeing Bill Mueller post here every now and then, now that he’s in the front office?

On a Differant note.

With Mueller Retiring does that mean his Salary for 07 was offloaded to insurance and that he is in the office for free or a low office salary or are the Dodgers still Paying the balance of the contract for office duties? Do we get any compensation for him retiring while under contract? If we aren’t paying the balance then that frees up another 5M or so in 07.

I read that Mueller will be paid the remaining $4.some million on his contract for 2007, thus making him the highest paid front office employee. So, nothing will be saved for the team payroll as a result of this move. Maybe a warning forward for signing players already suspected of serious injuries to multi-year obligations.

nkirby4@cox.net i don’t like you’re point of view!!!

Report:: Cubs sign Soriano. 8 Years, 136 Million.

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