Busy days

Things are definitely picking up here at Dodgertown, with the intrasquad game coming tomorrow. Today has been a crazy one, with our annual photo day among the many requests that have been flowing in. The amount of national coverage the Dodgers are getting these days is truly astonishing. Eric Neel from ESPN the Magazine arrived today and we’ve already seen the national baseball writers from Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, CNNSI.com, USA Today and countless others.

As for the KFWB comments, we truly do appreciate your sentiments and will take all of this into consideration. One thing that they are doing this year that they’ve never done is podcasting, so check out this page for regular interviews from Dodgertown. They are certainly aware of your comments and doing all they can to provide the die-hard fans with unique, original content and this is one example of that.

For anyone who missed the Saito piece by John Donovan, it’s definitely worth a look. Otherwise, we’re just gearing up for some real pitches to be thrown on Thursday.

On a sad note, I’m bummed to pass along the news that Maury Wills, Don Newcombe, Gil Hodges, Walter O’Malley and Buzzie Bavasi all fell short of the Hall of Fame balloting today. These guys really do all belong in Cooperstown and it’s a shame that they’re not in there, but we’ll keep hoping that eventually the voters realize just what they’re missing. T.J. Simers wrote about Maury Wills this morning, and he sums it up well in this morning’s L.A. Times.

As they always said in Brooklyn, we’ll wait ’til next year.

34 Comments

O’Malley and Hodges really should be in the Hall of Fame. Marvin Miller and Walter O’Malley. Those two are Legend Locks – they are two of the most important figures in baseball history not already enshrined.

I’m not sold on Wills, although I love his Dodger legacy.

What is the point of having a Veterans Committee if they aren’t going to vote anyone in?

its a shame Santo, Kaat, Newcombe, Wills and Hodges arent in the HOF.

livnlegent1 “O’Malley and Hodges really should be in the Hall of Fame. Marvin Miller and Walter O’Malley. Those two are Legend Locks”

absolutely agree with you there.

This is three times those bozos have elected nobody in three ries. No wonder they are “looking into the process”. What a joke! I’m dropping my HOF membership, and writing them a letter telling them why.
On another old-timer note, Clem Labine, a great reliever form the Brooklyn and early LA days and a wonderful GENTLEMAN, is gravely ill in Vero Beach. Your prayers would be appreciated.

Our prayers are with the Family ****.

Go Dodgers !!

Marvin Miller – LOCK.
Walter O’Malley – LOCK.

Ron Santo – probably should have been voted in by the writers and not subjected to this. The writers are very tough on 3B.

Don Newcombe – probably, career totals a little light, but he did lose some peak seasons to Korea (and later to the bottle.) ERA is over 3.5.

Wills, Hodges, Kaat et al. – Hall of the Very Good.

I agree with Old Fogey on all of those except Newcome. He lost peak years to segregated ball, war, and a minor league career that shouldn’t have been that long, but not a HOFer. He’ll always be remembered as a great Dodger, and he was dominant for a short while. Just not long enough.

And thoughts and prayers to the Labine family.

And O’Malley will never get in because a lot of people on the East Coast still hate him with the fire of a thousand suns, and the veterans are clueless.

Yeah, “probably” was too strong for Newk. I believe he played only one year in the Negro Leagues and you’re right about the minors even though he was a 23-year old rookie. Even compared to the shorter-careered pitchers, Newcombe is a bit less than, say, Dizzy Dean, and, of course, Koufax.

You are 100% spot-on regarding O’Malley.

Did you know that Don Newcome played leftfield in Japan once his pitching days were over.It’s true.

Newcombe’s 1955 batting line, in 125 PAs: .359 .395 .632

You don’t have to walk when you rake .359. And nice slugging percentage!

A really great take on statistical analysis from Jon Weisman. I hope everybody takes the opportunity to read it:

http://tinyurl.com/2jgq72

http://raysdodgerblues.blogspot.com/

up late tonite, cant wait for games…

BELIEVE IN BLUE!

http://raysdodgerblues.blogspot.com/

i’m up late tonite, ready for games to start

BELIEVE IN BLUE!

sorry for that, computer problems…

sad-panda, interesting article. Again, although I called you a stathead once before, I am not afraid of stats. In fact, I generally look at OPS before looking at average when evaluating a player. The truth is, stats are great for evaluating a player over a 162-game season. But, as my earlier complaint about Beane and Oakland said, they mean next to nothing in a 5- or 7- game series. A few modern examples of this fact would be A-Rod over the past few postseasons and Jeff Weaver in this past postseason. Stats are an excellent way of evaluating what a player will give you over the course of a given contract.
That said, I DO believe in intangibles. I don’t know of a stat that quantifies a player’s ability to make his teammates around him better; as I said a week or two ago, I don’t know of a stat that quantifies how many times a runner will advance from 1b to 3b IN COMPARISON TO another player (in other words, based on baserunning and pure speed and not the batter hitting behind him). Sure, we can just measure outs, or steals, or whatever, but there are still many aspects of the game that are not commonly defined by statistical analysis.

I guess my purpose in writing this is as a conciliatory gesture toward people obsessed with stats. But at the same time, remember that those stats have virtually NO BEARING on the postseason. As long as our team is good enough to get there, stats be damned. Pitching, defense, baserunning. If our guys are fundamentally solid, 3 good series in October are all they really need.

This rather innocuous tid-bit was placed at the bottom of the “Rangers Notes” yesterday, but could be a significant red-flag:

“Gagne was absent from camp for personal reasons.”

Hmmm… haven’t we travailed this path before?

The playoffs are a complete crapshoot, because the sample size is tiny. We’re talking about, in most cases, 15-20 at bats per player. You can’t base anything on that. It would be like flipping a coin three times, and it comes up heads three times, therefore it will always be heads.

And the A’s were a stupid Jeremy Giambi slide from the World Series. Please stop saying they never get close. One mistake by one player.

I didn’t say they never get close…read my post. BTW, the A’s are the team I root for in the AL. I think Beane is great, but my criticism is for the perspective that stats are the game. I’d love to see the A’s in the WS (in fact, I was really rooting for an A’s/Dodgers rematch of ’88 last season), but as we have both now said, the postseason is too small a sampling for one’s season/career stats to be meaningful. And if a team is built on stats and not the traditional postseason strengths (pitching, defense, fundamentals: see World Series, 2006, NLDS Game 1, Dodgers-Mets, 2006), they are very likely to be in the postseason but probably more likely to be eliminated pre-WS. As we have both made our arguments, I will summarize by saying a team needs a balance between stat-production and intangible character issues. I really feel that the Dodgers this season have such a balance, and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I don’t see any negative, team-draining players in the dugout. That is one intangible that I think most would agree goes a long way to building a successful team.

If these these are “intangibles” then how can you say what the team may or may not have them? Are we talking about tangible intangibles? That’s the point of “intangibles”. You can’t explain them or quantify or identify them. How do you identify what can’t be identified? How do you measure loyalty or heart or soul? Yes, it’s good that the Dodgers don’t have murderers or thugs or whatever…But having bad characters in the clubhouse doesn’t make Juan Pierre have less power, or make Jeff Kent a worse hitter, or take three mph off Brad Penny’s fastball. If they did, it would show how weak those two players would be.

Tommy, Tommy, Tommy…

he, he, he…

kenny lofton stunk in the playoffs. hahah

And this is what you said about the Athletics on February 22:

“I’m wrong on Beane? Yes, he’s a brilliant man. I don’t argue that. But he’s not fielded a team that’s had more than half a chance in the playoffs.”

Unless you want to get into world-class word parsing, you said the A’s have never had a chance, never gotten close, etc. Those were your words, not mine.

In my opinion, the A’s haven’t had half a chance to win the World Series lately because they haven’t even gotten there (or out of the divisional series for that matter). To have half a chance of winning the world series, you would have to be one of the two teams competing in it right?

charris###, “half a chance in the playoffs” must mean to GET to the WS. The goal in the playoffs is to get to the WS.

Any team in the playoffs has defacto “half a chance” to win the world series. It’s the teams that don’t make the playoffs that have zero chance. I also think the phrase “half a chance” is full of intangibles and can’t be quantified nor proven.

Intangibles does not mean undefinables. At least, not how I’m using the word. An intangible is a known asset (such as leadership, 1b to 3b speed) that is not quantifiable. I refer to them as intangible as they are not well supported by statistics, which are tangible. Does that work for you?

I guess it’s my turn to mince words now…you’re right…5 blogs ago I said that they didn’t have more than half a chance. Is a 49% chance a good chance in a two-team series? Yeah. It is slightly less than 50/50, which is not awful. But I didn’t know we were going back to that…you asked me to “stop saying they never get close,” which implies I’ve said it repeatedly or more recently than last week, perhaps.

I really don’t want to continue this conversation after this post, so try not to bait me in your response, please.

I know I’m on a different sport here, but don’t forget Ron Artest, who made the intangibles tangible.

I have to say I am actually enjoying the point-counterpoint taking place recently on these pages.

On a more serious note, my prayers are also with the Labine family. I had the pleasure of meeting Clem and his wife a number of years ago at Dodger Fantasy Camp. The players of his era are a different breed than today’s players.

Don’t know if everybody’s heard or not but … The Dodgers have Baseball’s first billionare … and he doesn’t even start:

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/02/28/D8NJ03L80.html

When I first read that story I couldn’t believe how lucky that guy was.wow. I think Ken Gurnik wrote something about it about a week or so ago.

Just goes to show you how the Media can build up the Hype. Billionaire status is a very misleading statement. Yes there is potentionally a couple of billion dollars worth of material there but as the article goes on to say is it doesn’t take into effect any of the costs associated with mining it. It goes further to say that the property may only be worth $10 million or less as a land sale to a mining company. Not that that’s a bad thing, we should all have such a problem !!! It just goes to the point that the media will do anything to sensationalize a story.

Go Dodgers !!!

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