Tonight's game

Still getting back into the swing of posting the lineup before the game. Doesn’t do much good at this point, but it is:

Pierre, Martin, Nomar, Kent, Gonzalez, Kemp, Betemit, Martinez, Wolf

Russell’s already 2-for-2, which is good to see. I guess I don’t need to point out that equaled yesterday’s hit total in the first four batters today.

Also, I talked to Russell today and he’s going to have you guys recommend song ideas for when he comes up to hit, so be on the lookout for that on the site. Strangely, one of my side jobs has become the liaison between the players and the Dodger Stadium DJ, so I was asking around today to see what songs guys want. Can’t say I thought this was what I’d be doing when I was growing up…

One final thought on the one guy who seems to like posting ridiculous things in the comments section. If you keep replying to him, he’ll keep doing it. If you ignore him, he will go away just like he did last year.

41 Comments

gonzalez is the definition of a defensive liability. no bat no defense nothing to offer us, move over gonzo.

if vin of all people is already complaining about our outfield defense, its time for a change! Our GM needs to own up to his mistakes.

Why did we get Gonzalez again?? We have some arm issues in the outfield.

**** Billingsley looked great…remind me why he isn’t in the rotation?

This Ethier/Kemp platoon is pathetic. Someone needs to tell grady that Andre his over .300 against lefties last year. Of course stats and common sense don’t mean much to grady.

Andre HIT*

geez…maybe i should start writting for Rotoworld…they have pretty much said everything i have

“Just like Monday, Luis Gonzalez went hitless and had a misplay in the outfield on Tuesday,

Meanwhile, Andre Ethier was on the bench in favor of Matt Kemp. Ethier was a better hitter than Gonzalez last year, especially against lefties, and there’s an even bigger difference between the two on defense. For instance, Ethier can run the ball back to the infield faster than Gonzalez can throw it. If one of the two has to sit against lefties — and one does as long as Matt Kemp is on the roster — it’s Gonzalez who should be benched.”

“Russell Martin went 3-for-5 with a homer and a double in Tuesday’s loss to the Brewers.

Martin, who is batting second with Rafael Furcal sidelined, drove in the Dodgers’ first run, scored the second and did both for the third in the 4-3 loss. There’s a better chance of Tommy Lasorda winning the New York Marathon this year, but the Dodgers would benefit from leaving Martin in the second spot after Furcal returns and batting Juan Pierre eighth.”

THIS SEASON IS GOING TO BE A DISASTER IF PIERRE ISN’T DROPPED TO THE 8TH SPOT.

WE ALL BETTER PRAY THAT FURCAL GETS BETTER… FAST.

…AND THAT THE LINEUP WILL LOOK MORE LIKE THIS PRETTY SOON:

Furcal

Martin

Garciaparra

Kent

Kemp

Betemit

Ethier

Pierre

My Thought on Tonights Game:

Things i liked: Russel Martin- other than the hitting stats he just calls a great game. 3-2 curveball to Fielder in 5th is one example of that. Randy Wolf looked good other than the damned hr. Kemp almost taking turnbow deep on the first pitch of the inning. The Bullpen.

Things i didnt like (other than the loss): Louis gonzalez, for a second night, looked very shaky in left field and at the plate. I was really hoping he was going to come in and be like Mueller was last year before he got hurt. He still might, but i thought he was going to step up right away and silence all of the critics– many of whom use this sight as their soapbox. Andre not playing. I get why Grady isnt going to bench gonzales after a week, but i really hope he does if after 3-4 weeks he is still playing badly. At this point, after two games, I’d rather have Kemp starting if for nothing more than his defense (which isnt saying much). Kemp and Ethier both have legit arms. Max power has been awfully pesimistic, but he’s right about the Kemp/Ethier platoon being pathetic.

I’ll just say again that this is a long season. Grady will not hesistate to make moves, nor will Ned– neither of them did last year, and that being said, i really dont understand all criticism being directed their way.

They way Pierre played this spring i thought he could have a chance to bat second but he still only had 1 walk this whole spring. Pierre needs to be more patient.

As for Gonzo…so far it’s been like watching an old race horse trying to run with young studs. Gonzo will be a nice addition in the clubhouse but on the field he’s a liability.

i’d really like to see this lineup…for now at least

Pierre

Martin

Nomar

Kent

Ethier

Kemp

Betemit

Valdez

I just dont think we can win with this lineup. There’s no pop in this lineup. I love Gonzo to death but his time has passed. They are converting singles into doubles because we dont have strong arms in the outfield. We need Andruw Jones!!!

having no pop in the lineup is not the problem– besides, two HR in two games. that a good lineup max. I don’t mind ramon playing SS for the time being..

Luis Gonzalez is horrible. It’s a good thing he’s such a great “character” guy to help withstand this slump. *rolls eyes*

This team is going to die a slow, painful death riding this current philosophy of playing washed up vets over the youngsters. Meanwhile, James Loney – a future gold glover and batting champ – gets to spend the forseeable future teeing off on crappy pitching he’s already destroyed. Smart move!!!

ewk216, i don’t mind ramon playing short either but they decided to carry valdez just beacuse he was out of options. If they are gonna carry him use him. If not call up Loney who deserves that spot.

To borrow a phrase from kssparkuhl –

CALENDAR CHECK. 160 games left to be played.

If you guys nitpick and whine about every lineup that is put up there every game, this blog is going to get old really fast. I for one don’t care to read half the posts on here today…so many people judging this team and this season by TWO GAMES. If you know anything about baseball, you know that’s in idiotic idea.

Hey, I’ll do the same thing. Judging by these two games, Kent and Martin are on pace to hit 81 HRs each! That’s about as likely to happen as each of your naysaying doomsday predictions. Do us all a favor – save your complaints for one meaningful post once per week rather than clogging the blog up with 5 after each game the Dodgers lose.

Stop hating the team. Or keep hating the team, and shut up.

yeah calendar check…even though it early in the year these games DO count. If we would have won opening day last year we would have won the division. ill be sure to make a Calendar check in september if we lose the division by one game.

No wonder he’s having such a bad time in Left Field. Check out:

Gonzo’s view from left field!

According to Tony Jackson, this is the view Luis Gonzalez had from left field in Miller Park yesterday, when he lost that fly ball in the windows.

http://www.sky-decks.com/misc/Gonzo.jpg

Evidently this is the normal type of view for Gonzo and probably why he’s having such a hard time playing the position right now.

The games you win in April are the ones you don’t have to worry about in September, to borrow the cliche. But it’s quite true.

The New York Mets got to rest all their players in September, and a lot of that was getting off to a good start and playing consistently well. That’s all that’s necessary. Also, as the point was made yesterday, had we won one more game, we would have won the division, but too much time was wasted in a discovery period.

I root for this team, but I’m not going to shrug off poor play. My attitude is that if the team plays as well as they can and still loses, I can accept that. But if the team loses because of particularly poor play, especially when it is poor play that reflects laziness (like shouldn’t Luis Gonzalez have practiced catching some flies in left during BP?), something should be said. It’s true, the numbers don’t mean a whole lot with such a small sample, but observation can still say plenty after two games.

More things to remember, besides that it’s game 2 of 162:
The Brewers are a very good team; they should compete for the NL Central title this year.

The Brewers are an even better team at home.

That said, I do hope, IF things continue, that the team would consider at least platooning Gonzo with Kemp and Ethier and Clark more often. It’s already really obvious to me that LG is looking his age (again, it is early and all).

And lastly, this note from

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6634638

10. Dodgers — 1B/OF James Loney

Simply put, Loney, who absolutely raked this spring, figures to give the Dodgers more than Luis Gonzalez, who’s waist-deep in his decline phase. It’s a classic case of favoring the likeable veteran over the young talent. It’s also a mistake in this instance.

Keep your chins up everyone, have a little faith in the team and the manager. Don’t shrug off their poor play but don’t expect it to be that way for the season.

But here’s the good points of the game.

*Juan Pierre walked.

*Martin was a triple shy of the cycle.

*Matt Kemp hammered the ball twice to the deepest part of the park, and would have had two homers in Dodger Stadium.

*Broxton struck out the side.

Billingsley pitched an inning on 11 pitches.

*Capuano was forced out after the 5th because of the way the team worked the count.

Underdog, you’re right, the Brewers are a better team than they’re given credit for. And the NL Central is such a pathetic division, I think that they could pull it off, especially if Chris Carpenter keeps having elbow problems.

And it is also fair to point out that Jim Tracy and the Pittsburgh Pirates are 2-0, so the standings don’t mean a whole lot right now.

Lets not forget all the great adjustments Little and Ned made last season that got us into the playoffs. Let them evaluate things for what they are after for a minute. I would guess it would be wise for Loney to hold off on getting settled in Vegas and the best players in the outfield will get the time they deserve. Little showed us his willingness to make this happen last year, which is how we got to know these young guys so well in the first place.

I think Martin is an all-star in the making and someday he will be batting third or fourth.

Last note, I don’t think we’ve even seen our best pitcher this year. The order of this rotation is deceptive and probably pretty smart. Before we knock the rotation, lets give Schmidt a chance to earn his bank and see which Penny show up this year.

martin should use a song by the band refused called “new noise”. or maybe les savy fav’s “who rocks the party”.

This is why I was not happy when they resigned Grittle. Why is he playing a 40 year old outfielder when he has 2 young ones? Baseball is a young mans game and you don’t see any 40 year old players on the Brewers. Also Grittle still does not know when to pull a pitcher. For Martin’s song , how about I’m your captain by Grand Funk?

One of the last two players to avoid the turk this spring, power hitting Matt Kemp will be sharing time with Andre Ethier in right field. This unfortunate turn of events limits the value of both of these young prospects to NL-only leagues. If the Dodgers are going to play the kids wouldn’t it be better in the long run for fading stars such as Luis Gonzalez to lose playing time instead.

What? Nobody liked my “Gonzo’s View from Left Field” photo link from above? : )

I think the players should concentrate more on batting and playing the game than what song should announce their appearance.

GO DODGERS: (not rock stars).

O please…

Josh, what kind of music does he like? Give us some direction…

Someone on Dodger Thoughts had a nice suggestion of having a saxophone riff from Martin’s dad be a nice intro. Dunno how energetic that would be but still a nice idea. I picture either Russell coming out to The Shins or Green Day for some reason.

Or Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy (not that he is Crazy but it’s a cool song.)

The CALENDAR CHECK comments are justified.
That said, Colletti and Grady can’t and shouldn’t get off that easy. Many of the problems we have seen the first 2 games were very foreseeable. It was no secret Pierre and Gonzo would be defensive liabilities. It was no secret that Pierre is a weak hitter that makes a ton of out (many of them in critical situation). It was no secret that the addition of those two to the outfield would block Kemp, Ethier, and Loney (see proposed lineup below) because its hard to justify dropping Pierre in the lineup and/or benching Gonzo when they are making the kind of money Ned handed them. In other words, part of the reason people are complaining so vigorously is because many of them predicted this would happen.

If management is really interested in fielding a team that gives us the best chance to win rather than simply save face over the moves that were made during the off-season, our line-up should look like this:

1) Raffy (when he gets back)

2) Martin

3) Nomar (LF)

4) Kent

5) Loney (1B)

6) Betemit

7) Kemp (CF)

8) Ethier (RF)

Note: You might say benching Pierre is outlandish…to which I respond…Is it any more outlandish then the decision to sign him? Better to admit mistakes and move on rather than stubbornly “stay the course.”

And our staff:

Schmidt

Lowe

Penny

Wolf

Billingsley (Boy he’s looking great!)

Bullpen:

Tomko (7th inning)

Broxton (8th-until Siato loses his spot)

Siato (closer – see above)

I’d love for someone to explain to me how our projected lineup (when Raffy Returns) could be any better than what I outlined above.

I fully acknowledge that these changes won’t come overnight. Let’s just hope they happen before its too late.

It is early, but I agree if Gonzo looks like this at the end of April, something needs to be done. I am a little concerned that Kemp is going up there only looking for homers. I like the pop, but a deep fly ball is still an out. I would like to see some solid doubles and singles.

sparkuhl, I liked the picture you linked to. Pretty hard to play the outfield in that park – let’s not project an entire season of bad performance based on these 2 games.

Has anyone looked at Gonzo’s numbers from last year? They’re not great, but they’re not bad, either. His OPS was a few clicks shy of .800, and he had 53 doubles. Why wouldn’t you want a guy like that batting 5th/6th? We haven’t seen Loney play a good outfield yet, so he’s just as much of a defensive liability there.

Now Kemp, if he heats up, should win that spot. He had two blasts last night to the deepest parts of the park that might have been HRs elsewhere. But let’s remember that Kemp has to WIN that spot – he’s not being given it, with good reason after the inconsistency he showed last season. Gonzo is a ONE YEAR DEAL and is a benchable player if he doesn’t produce.

Let’s not panic yet…lots of reason to be optimistic this season.

Puppyhead said: “To borrow a phrase from kssparkuhl –

CALENDAR CHECK. 160 games left to be played.”

Yeah, well these games count the same as the next 160. I’m not sure why people think April games don’t count for as much in the standings as games in August but that seems to be the case.

My biggest pet peeve is when fans, coaches, or players say “It’s only mid-April” or “It’s only mid-May” as if there is ever a good time to not be worried about poor play.

The thing is, we already know what Gonzales is going to do (or not do). We have prior evidence (2006 season, 2007 spring training) to back it up and whether it is 2 games or 20 games, we know it – he’s done for. Same with Pierre – we know he’ll lead the league in outs if given the at bats at the top of the lineup. Same with the lack of power in this lineup. These are all things we *know* yet some of us hope it does not all come to fruition.

The first two games of the season matter a whole lot. Plus, we should always win 2 of 3 from the Brewers (even if they do win the weak NL Central). And like it’s been said, if we had won opening day last year, we would have won the division outright. But also, if we had lost only 12 of 14 after the All-Star Break, rather than 13, we would have won the division. So there are a lot of times in the season when winning and losing matters.

But panicking two games into the season does not make sense. Gonzo’s problems are clear–that’s going to have to be fixed one way or another. Pierre has a weak arm, but he covers more ground than anyone else, so there are always trade-offs.

I’m not happy that we lost the first two, but if Kemp’s drive in the Top of the 6th had gone three feet to the left, three feet to the right, or three feet back, we take a 4-1 lead, and score our fifth run on Pierre’s force-out, and who knows what happens from there on out, and no one is complaining. So it’s not that these games don’t count. Every game counts. But it’s too soon to really know how we stand. Gonzo has gone two games without a hit. If he gets three hits today, he’s hitting .300. If at this point next week he is still slumping, we have problems. If it’s May and he’s slumping, I think Kemp becomes the starter.

Anyone remember the second-biggest free agent signing of the 1987-88 off-season? Mike Davis was signed from the A’s to play right field (Marshall would play first). He had hit .265 and slugged 22 home runs the year before. He was the 7th highest paid player on the team when the season began–ahead of Steve Sax, Jay Howell, Mike Marshall, John Shelby, and even future Hall of Famer Don Sutton. By the middle of the season he was riding the pine. By the end of the year, he became the answer to a trivia question (who was on second base when Kirk Gibson hit his home run?).

Gonzo may end up being the left-fielder that sparks us to a pennant. Or, he may be the big signing that we never use. But that decision won’t be based on two games.

Dodgerdude, I couldn’t agree more, that line-up is the one we should have (except, I know this will make some people gag on their cereal, I still could see an argument for Pierre staying in there – with Kemp platooning with him and the other corner guys. My problem is having both JP and Gonzo in there together. Pierre at least will make some things happen, and can track balls down there – even if his noodle arm makes me nervous. But the two of them starting at the same time is an experiment that will hopefully end sooner rather than later.) Otherwise I totally agree.

One way Gonzo could make me happier with him is if he had a better series against the hated Giants, but I’m worried he’s gonna make Bonds look like a 25 year old by comparison out there. And at least Bonds can still hit. Sigh.

Another thing to remember:
12 and 2.

That was LA’s record to start the season two years ago.

Their final record? 20 games under .500.

Every game matters but two losses can be very quickly evened out.

LuGos defense isn’t great, but its probably not as bad as it looked the last few games either. Going into the series there was already a lot of talk about how tough it is to pick up the ball in Mil, looked like Pierre and Kemp had a little trouble on a few fly balls also. Its been ugly, but lets give it a few weeks and see how the team looks…. I think Kemp looks better this year (hate the stupid divot in the Mil center field now).

Go Schmidt.

That’s Odd.

I think Martin should use Hatbreed’s “I Will Be Heard”. I was saving that for my song once I made it to the majors…but thats not looking like its going to happen.

“Now is the time for me to rise to my feet

Wipe the spit from my face

Wipe these tears from my eyes”

“I’ve got to take my life back

One chance to make it right”

I’m surprised nobody uses this song already, it is perfect. The music will definitely get anybody pumped.

You can hear the song here:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=24343433

Let’s hope we get one win under our belt today.

Go Dodgers!

May I know the quantity you require? How’s everything? He is only about five feet high.It’s time for us to say No to AmericaThe sweater is of good quality.How ever you may work hard, the boss will not be fully satisfied.How ever you may work hard, the boss will not be fully satisfied.The stars are too far away.So I just take what I want.Since I’m here, I’d like to try a typical dish of this country.

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