No. 42

As some of you might have heard Vin Scully announce on the broadcast, the entire Dodger team will wear No. 42 on April 15 in a tribute to Jackie Robinson. There are all sorts of great events planned for that day, but given that Jackie was a Dodger, it is most fitting that we honor his accomplishments in this fashion. We’ve been planning how best to do this for quite some time and this is just one of the great things in store for April 15.

Additionally, in response to the comments regarding Ken Gurnick’s story on James Loney but without speaking for anyone in baseball operations, I can say this: It is completely understandable that when a player gets sent down to the minors and feels as though he’s ready to be in the big leagues, he’s going to be disappointed. It’s also a very good thing for a team to have more big league caliber players than you have spots on the roster. Sometimes baseball, like life, isn’t fair.

That said, I think the quotes from James’ agent make it pretty clear that he is not demanding a trade (nor does he really have the ability to do so) and there’s no one here that is looking to ship him off in exchange for nothing in return. I’m hopeful that Ned will address this publicly in the near future should one of the reporters ask him, but since you’ve asked for a response from me, this is the best I can give in the middle of the game. In short, my advice would be not to panic or believe that just because there’s a story about this means that it’s going to happen.



    if the dodgers trade loney, i’m turning in my dodger fan badge… this guy needs to play in the bigs… as a dodger!



    i agree 100% with Ray…if James is not a Dodger it will be a huge huge huge lose to the franchise who is known for their farm system and building championship clubs from within.


    Josh, Loney is the best hitter on the team! and he isn’t even on the team. Not having him on this team is ludicrous!

    Just because of veteran contracts and players being out of options, Loney gets a RAW deal.

    What Ned is doing to Loney for the sake of trying to keep his borderline big leaugers, {Valdez} is an injustice. If he is traded when you have players on the roster who no doubt couldnt hold Loneys jock strap would also cause me to turn my Dodger fan badge in also!!


    You know, I’ve been a lifelong Dodger fan, but my first reaction to reading the Gurnick story was the same as the first two above . I don’t know if I’d completely spurn the team, but I saw the wrath of the spited Fox-era Dodgers sweep us right out of October last year, and Loney has all the tools to give us a headache for years to come playing for another team.

    I understand that veterans are an invaluable, indispensabe part of a ballclub, but… well, I don’t have to tell you what we have in the farm. I know Nomar is still productive, but he can play third (Shortstop might be too taxing in this injury-prone portion of his career) and we can have the bat and the glove of a young guy WHO WANTS TO BE A DODGER, which is Mr. Coletti’s professed criterion for consideration for inclusion on this franchise. Let alone the fact that young, productive Ethier and homegrown future star Kemp are platooning in favor of having two outfielders that have the opposition burning up the basepaths like a Bugs Bunny Baseball cartoon.

    Bottom line: I trust Coletti to make the right decision, but how long do we have to suffer the wrong decision before it’s fixed, and will taken-for-granted Loney still be with us when the spot HE EARNED this spring “opens up” for him, or will he be another ex-Dodger talent winning MVP’s, Cy Youngs and World Series’ for another team (Okay, well, Loney will never have the oppurtunity to win a Cy Young, but the younger brother of another Ramon Martinez had a heck of a career after being sent away for Delino “whosits” Deshields).

    And yeah, I’ve checked the calendar, and 2007 is the Dodgers year if they want it, as far as I can see… I just don’t want to see Loney lumped in a trade for A-Rod, and have him helping the Evil Pinstriped Empire while A-Rod rides into the sunset on our payroll.


    Oh, and I’ve been bad about returning comments lately, so I want to give a couple of shoutouts:

    n4kirby, Chico State represent! Yeah, I love the Bear, best burger deal in town within less than walking distance. I will definitely have a beer for you when I get a chance (plus, it was funny seeing the crestfallen Gnats fans today after eating it in their home opener yesterday)

    euhlman: Yeah, it’d be nice if I could get that second chance to meet Steve Sax. He’s probably tougher to get a hold of than the Duke, though. At any rate, I’ll hope that I get as lucky as you did.

    C’mon Dodgers, Hold that line, block that kick… We still have this game in our grasp


    I agree with all the comments (except to a certain extent, the concern with Wilson Valdez. It’s fine to have him up until Saturday, while Furcal is on the mend, as we need a utility infielder. Longer than that, however, and the Nomar at SS debate becomes serious).

    But I do want to thank Josh for addressing this, and I think we all appreciate your getting these messages to Ned. You’re obviously right about a player’s reaction to being sent down, and about the importance of having more big league quality players than right than roster spots (last year proved that). I am a little concerned that “no one here that is looking to ship him off in exchange for nothing in return.” Clearly, that’s true, but I don’t want to see him shipped off at all. But we’re glad you’re listening.


    Ah… the first win of the season! It seems like the Dodgers always like to give us a near heart attack, keeps it exciting. “dem bums, dem bums dem dry bums, they may be bums, but they’re my bums”

    Now, on to the Phone Booth.


    If I were King, I would be send Valdez to Las Vegas and bring up Loney and take my chances platooning him in the OF and (of course) using him to spell Nomar. Sure we might lose Valdez to waivers, but we’d have the best hitting Dodger on the big team. Please Ned (and Grady) DO NOT LET LONEY GET AWAY FROM US!



    just a note about some of the comments above:

    i am a dodger fan. for life. was when i was a little kid. will be when i’m an old man. loney, no loney. finish in last place for 10 years in a row, world series champs for the same, doesn’t matter. everyone is a fan in their own way, supports the team in their own fashion, but threating to stop following the team because a player is in AAA or gets traded? come on. i understand that some of the moves that the management makes pisses some people off, but losing ONE player, even if he was the best player in the league, which loney is not, is not the end of the world. I think Loney will be an above avg., possible all star in his time, but he’s just one guy. the TEAM, the orginazation, the history, the future relationship between a fan and his team, the joy you get when they win while in the stands celebrating with other fans, well, it’s a bit more important than one guy. relax guys, enjoy the season, win or lose. it’s baseball. besides, it could be worse. this could be the cubs blog.


    i kind of disagree with that. How would you feel about the Dodgers if they traded every young position player they had for veteran talent, kept Bills in the pen for the rest of his career, and started to refuse to pay bonuses for draft picks? Of course these are extreme examples, but there are bad decisions that a team can make that can dissuade you from being a fan of the team. No, trading Loney will not make or break the future of the Dodgers, but it definitely will have an effect.
    The Loney situation (although he’s not making things any easier) has been created by the Dodgers themselves. They don’t want to trade him, but they have “no where” to put him and he’s unhappy. I still say he could be converted to an outfielder and that there are easily 2 or 3 people on the roster that don’t need to be here, but whatever, I suppose its debatable. It appears the way that big market teams are approaching prospects is changing. Even the Yankees are starting to refuse to trade young talent. They acquired good young pitchers from the Dbacks, for example. Cashman straight up said he was not trading any of their prospects for vets. They brought Cano up and stuck him at 2nd base and let him sink or swim. If they are doing this, we should as well. Its not about just trading Loney, its about utilizing your farm talent, and fielding a team of young, exicting players that we can root for and take pride in knowing that they were “homegrown.” Loney is a piece of that. I want to see Loney playing for the Dodgers, not tearing it up on some other team. Plus, who would we be trading for, and who else on the team would be replaced? Actually, the best thing to trade for might be more top tier prospects, but at a different positon. I guess what Im trying to say is its hard to justify trading away a very good, young first baseman who would probably be successful for a long time because we have “no where to put him” and because Nomar (who we have no idea how heathy he’ll be the next 2 years) is signed. Yeah, I’d still root for the Dodgers if he was traded, but I sure would be disappointed and be wondering who is playing first base in 2009.


    Atomikkid, I disagree with your post also. Come on. This blog has been the fans only line of communication to the front office! Your post just lets Ned and the McCourts know that know matter what they do, you will blindly follow them over a cliff.

    With all the parking and ticket pricing increases, not to mention the 8 dollar beer or 4 dollar water, Heck yeah I am going to threat the loss of my “blind Alligance.”

    I love the Dodgers and probably have watched well over 2000 games over the past 20 years. This much is certain, Loney is the best hitter the Dodgers have brought up from the farm not named Piazza. I am confident to say that!

    CALL HIM UP NED, in two months we will be saying Wilson Valdez who?


    Oh yeah I forgot about that Konerko kid. He is a pretty good hitter that came from the farm, but he slips from my memory because he was traded as a rookie. We had a “Veteran” in Karros at first base.

    Sound familiar??


    I’m with atomikkid. I don’t think Ned bases any of his decisions on this blog…and nothing can shake my loyalty to the Dodgers. I watched over 100 games in ’05, that should say something about my loyalty. I hope with all my heart that Loney is a Dodger for life, but if he isn’t, there will be a lot of other good Dodger kids to root for like Ethier, Martin, Kemp, Bills, Broxton…if they trade Loney they’re not trading away the future. Maybe a potentially significant piece of the future, but not the whole organization.


    I just dont get, someone please explain it to me. For many years Ive been made fun of because the Dodgers do stupid moves like this one. Do it right this time, Loney…dont send him away.
    I bleed that blue, but its about time the organization gives me a bandaid.


    We want Loney NOW!!! Besides Valdez, there’s also Anderson who’s not going to be doing anything up here with the Dodgers. How about swinging a nominal trade for one of them to clear that spot on the 25 man roster.


    I have to say, I really liked the game the Dodgers played last night (Wednesday). With the exception of Seanez and the 8th inning, not a lot went wrong for the Dodgers. I wish they had hit better with RISP, but they still scored 5 runs. But the defense was pretty solid, there was good baserunning and good pitching…not a bad game. Hopefully they can keep playing this way. Even LuGo and JP were quite productive – who knew. I thought they were basically a senior citizen and a little-leaguer from all the talk around here. I know that doesn’t mean they’re going to be great all season long, but I think it lends credence to yesterday’s posts about the first two games being just that – two games.


    Gonzo had a pretty good game,at least he didn’t screw up in the field. But he’s still washed up and should not be on this team. If Nomar can’t play 3rd or short he should be benched ,or traded so Loney can play first. Loney has upside Nomar’s best days are behind him. Maybe we should fill Neds letter box with letters saying he should give Loney the roster spot that he clearly deserves. There are a few players whose spot he could take.


    and you know what? on top of all this, I feel like Grady is playing mind games with the youngsters that actually made the team. I mean, platooning Kemp and Ethier? Come on. What must Ethier be thinking, who thought he was guaranteed a starting spot? And Im sorry, if they can stick Valdez of all people in LF, they can put Nomar there too.


    Props to Loney for sticking up for himself. It’s truely a shame that management “can’t find a spot” for the player that led the minors in BA. I’m totally disgusted.
    Secondly, there must be some kind of somethings going on, because keeping Bills out of the rotation is also completely irrational and down right idiotic otherwise.

    These things paired together have made for an extremely frustrating first week of baseball.

    Thanks for the shoutout merc. Had some great days ******* on Gnat fans up there.


    Well said ATOMIKKID..It is all about the team not one player. I don’t care what the rest of the Yahoos say, I’M with you!!!!!!!



    Phew! I’m glad you clarified that kday01! At first I thought you meant Bo Belinsky. (I bet THAT’S a name you haven’t heard for a while, and one that quite a few on this blog have probably never heard of.) For those with curious minds, here you go:

    I was a Dodger fan long before ANY of the current Dodgers were even born, and I will be a Dodger fan long after they are all retired from the game. NO ONE is bigger than the game. Sure, I want nothing more than to see James Loney on the big team, but if he ends up being traded, Oh well – The game will go on. But one thing is for sure – I will ALWAYS be a Dodger fan!



    I don’t want the team to trade Loney. However, I will not denounce being a Dodger fan if they trade a First Baseman who has never hit more than 12HRs in a professional season at any level.


    my feelings on Loney not being on the team is that it is a long season, and in the early stages of the season you have more days off, and rainouts. Loney, La Roche, Meloan and others will get playing time in L.A. as the season goes on, none of them, or Kemp will be traded.
    Now they are getting playing time in the minors and can work at the positions, or areas they need to improve on. Our prospects are safe, as is our future. I can’t wait to see them in L.A.,but their time is coming soon.


    I love Loney, and want to see him develop. The thing is, the Dodgers have a lot of players who can hit for average. Ethier, Nomar, Kent, might I say Pierre, Martin…Loney is a player who hits for average. To bench Nomar, who has more power, to play Loney is ridiculous. Now, whether Nomar should have been signed is a legit question. But this team really doesn’t need more players who can hit for average…it needs players with a slugging percentage above .500.
    I’m sad he’s not on the team. But like fansince53 said, no one is bigger than the team. Loney will get his chance. Let’s root for the guys on the field for a few weeks before we give up on the current roster.



    What would you be willing to do to bring Loney up now? If he does come up, it won’t be as an every day player. Either he stays down for a bit and gets some extra work, or we get an amazing trade out of him. But with Nomar in the way, what can we do? I do not see Nomar being able to handle the grind at third.

    Needless to say, I agree with Loney’s comments and frustrations, and I think he had every right to say, “trade me if you won’t use me”


    There are some good comments on Dodger Thoughts about Dodger hitters being a little inpatient at the plate early on. Having a good approach at the plate is always good.


    It’s not just about Loney. It’s also what he represents. Sure he’s the poster boy and probably one of the better hitters of our young guys, but that’s it exactly the youth movement. Anybody notice how the Tigers did last year with a young team? Like I said before it’s a young mans game. Also what kind of a message does it send to a young player when he leads the minors in batting ,has a great spring and is sent back down?


    The message it sends is that he doesn’t have an everyday position on the roster. I think the kids in AAA know they have a chance to make the club due to last season’s additions of Martin, Ethier, and Bills last year. It *** for Loney, but it’s part of the business side of the game that every player has to deal with eventually.


    puppyhead, I read somewhere, when people were predicting MLB this year, that out of all the teams ,the Dodgers are the only one that might get better if a starter goes down. My point is why wait for that? Nomar was willing to play another position and if he did wouldn’t you agree we would be better with the addition of Loney to this lineup? If he’s to fragile to move to a different position to help this team , then he shouldn’t have been signed.


    It also sends the message that people (kids) arent going to be just handed spots, and they shouldnt be. Yea, Loney hits well in AAA– Nomar is a perennial all star, and has the fifth highest career BA for active players. I want Loney on this team as much as the next person, but people are talking like we have a crapppy team and we are still not playing the young talent. I get his frustration and am not mad at it, but people are acting like he is being benched on a team full of losers. It’s not as if AAA will hurt him– if he gets ‘hurt’ by not being on the team than it is his fault for not being mentally tough.
    If Loney started the season at 1b, and has a bad season it could have a bad effect. If he is brought up in the middle of the season there is much less pressure on him than being handed the starting job, left trying to fill Nomar’s big shoes.

    It’s just not that bad of a move having him start the season in AAA– he has only played 100 in AAA. It’s just nothing to stop the presses about, especially bc we have an all-star first baseman NOW.

    I would be very upset if he was traded, but he is simply in AAA. Really nothing to get the panties in a bunch…


    Yeah, nobody should be handed a spot, but what about those who work hard in spring and put up the best offensive numbers on a squad where offensive production is about the only glaring question mark? It just doesn’t add up for me. “Thanks for all the hard work, you put up some of the best offensive numbers this spring, but there’s no spot on this team for one of our best players, so here’s a plane ticket to Vegas.”

    Granted, it will take time, and more than one opponent, to tell what kind of team we really have this year, but I hope Ned stays true to his word that if things aren’t turning out so well, he’ll make the changes necessary to fix it.

    And I will likely be a Dodgers fan until I die. Criticism of the team by its fans has been a part of Dodger baseball since Washington Park. Haven’t you ever heard some of the good ones, like “The Dodgers have three men on base.” “Yeah, which base?” I stayed thru the playoff-swept 90’s, the hellish July day when I found out they traded away half the team just as the Fox-era players were comming to fruition. Those days were painful, but I stuck through. I guess I just share‘s final sentiment.



    I heard a Good one this morning about the cubs being sold for more then they were bought for in that the cubs are like a fine Vine…They both spend alot of time in the cellar…..


    I agree with frankjhalstead – I believe that several of our kids at Las Vegas will be brought up this season. Remember, nearly half of our team the went into the playoffs were in Triple-A (and one in Double-A) at the start of last season.

    And here is another thing to remember – Paul LoDuca spent NINE years in the minors before he finally made it into the Bigs.


    PS: Only four more days until the home opener. Man I can’t wait!


    I’m a big fan of Loney’s, and think he should be brought up. But I understand the option for now. But if Betemit falters, why can’t Nomar move? Or if Kent gets hurt, or Gonzo is not productive? And I like Loney at the big league level because Grady has already said that there are 32 games Nomar won’t play. And if you don’t give him a starting job this year, don’t you have to next year (assuming, as it’s fair to at this point, that he keeps producing)? So I really don’t want him traded.

    I wouldn’t stop being a Dodger fan if he were. You can’t wipe away 26 seasons of fandom with one bad move. But I bet I’m not the only one who didn’t go to many games after May 15, 1998.

    Loney’s no Piazza (we think–in the Spring of 1993, did we think Piazza would have the career he’s had). But, like others point out, he’s a big symbol of the future.

    I expect I’ll be a Dodger fan my whole life, but I wouldn’t go as far as atomikid. Trading Loney wouldn’t do it–but what if they traded Kemp? And Ethier? And Billingsley? And Martin? Except for the people who were Dodger fans before 1958 and stayed with the team after they left Brooklyn, there’s a limit to everyone. My law school dean was a native Brooklynite who has an authentic Jackie Robinson jersey–given to him by Jackie Robinson–hanging in his office. He was 15 when they left Brooklyn–and now he’s a Yankee fan.

    Anyway, I doubt it will ever come to that. In fact, I doubt that they will trade Loney. I actually think that Loney will be playing regularly (perhpas not daily) by the end of the season, and starting next year.

    But I appreciate the forum, and the fact that Josh is listening and passing it on to the management and ownership. We should tell them when we think they’re doing good and tell them when we think they’re doing bad.


    Was anyone else excited to see Kemp lay off the outside breaking pitches in his first ’07 at bats and wait for his pitch? Man, he really creamed a couple of those. Also, I just read the article on the main page and the AAA team is stacked! I had a chance to meet a lot of the guys at spring training this year and Loney in particular really struck me as an outstanding individual. Although his being cut was discouraging, I wish him the best of luck and am looking forward to his impending call-up to the big leagues.

    I love the debate on this blog, I’ve been reading it off and on over the past season as it gives me something to do at work besides …work. Keep it up, there’s still 159 games left in the season.

    Go Dodgers!


    Loney hit one out tonight for Vegas, by the way. Good start for the player-with-a-chip-on- his-shoulder.

    On to this weekend’s series… Luis Gonzalez is 3-for-15 with five strikeouts vs. Noah Lowry. Any chance the Dodgers will sit him down? If ever there was an obvious time to do it, that would be Friday. I hope the D’s won’t be stubborn , will take the logical choice here. Clark and/or Kemp in there would make more sense.


    Clark AND Kemp would be best. What point is there of making sure there is a balance in the outfield if your not going to take advantage of it? Not that I want to bench Ethier in favor of Clark. But it is precisely why we acquired Clark, for facing left handers. Otherwise, spots on the team being clogged by replacement level players should be going to you know who.


    Dear Grady,

    Please use the following lineup tonight:

    Pierre – CF

    Martin – C

    Nomar – 1b

    Kent – 2b

    Ethier – rf

    Kemp – lf

    Betemit – 3b

    Valdez – ss

    I remind you that Ethier can hit left-handed pitching nearly as well as right-handed pitching, although the same cannot be said for Gonzalez. I would also like to see you actually use Wilson Valdez, and if you don’t, please move Nomar Garciaparra to short and tell Ned Colletti to DFA Valdez and call up Loney.



    Anyone else think it’s great that we’re playing the Giants already? What a great way to get us pumped up right at the beginning of the season than to go beat Barry Bonds’ team in their park. I tend to think that the projected pitching matchups favor the Dodgers, and I like the Dodgers’ lineup top-to-bottom better than the Giants’. Should be a fun series to watch…you guys will have to tell me all about it since I doubt I’ll be able to watch any of the three games with my schedule this weekend.


    Minor item, but in the USA Today sports section, the blurb on the dodgers says that Valdez feels his “talent” is being wasted because he has recieved only one at bat, and he figures to go back down or be claimed off waivers when Furcal returns. Well, Valdez might make a suitable addition for some team, but he really has no place on ours with Martinez. Can’t wait till Furcal is back!

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