My glasses are indeed rose colored…

Back at work on Friday morning and figured I’d address the concern that I only see the team through rose-colored glasses. That is, in fact, correct and I’m not ashamed to say so. This blog has never purported to be anything but supportive of the team and it’s safe to say that you will not see me criticizing Grady, Ned, Frank or anyone else on it. That’s not actually what this is intended to do. For the most part, my job and the goal of this blog is to explain why the people in this organization makes the decisions we make on a daily or even hourly basis.

In this instance, it was pretty obvious that when Grady went out to the mound to talk to Derek yesterday, the issue of walking Willingham was brought up and Derek chose to pitch to him for a number of reasons. While a wild pitch would have still brought in the run, his main point was that if the bases are loaded, you have to be perfect and throw a strike for fear of walking the guy. If you have first base open, you can make the pitches you want to make and obviously, he didn’t make the one he wanted to make. Enough said.

Additionally, I don’t believe there’s anyone here that doesn’t think we need to improve the offense – from me to Grady to Ned to the actual players themselves. We just all have different ways we think that can be done. Some of you believe that it involves bringing up younger players to take the place of veterans and others think it’s tinkering with the lineup or changing the approach to hitting. Those are all valid options. But at the end of the day, Grady, Ned and the rest of the baseball operations staff get to make those decisions and their track records have shown that they have been successful far more often than not.

As for yesterday’s story about Nomar, I was certainly not trying to sugarcoat anything – I just saw something really cool in the clubhouse and didn’t feel like logging on at home after a six-hour flight so I put it up before we left Miami.

In any event, we continue to welcome all comments, positive and negative on the blog. I’m not nearly as concerned about the negative posts as some of the other readers seem to be, though I will gladly admit that I’m always going to look at the positive side of things or try to explain why we do the things we do – particularly when the team is in first place by a game and a half.

41 Comments

All of us here think the Dodgers have a great chance this season to be successful. Some of us think the Dodgers could do a whole lot better than they’re doing now.

Well put, Josh, and we certainly appreciate what you do and the insights that you bring to us from the management angle.

Great post Josh, I love the fact that many bloggers on this site think they have more baseball knowledge than the guys in the organization. Grady is bad, Ned made bad moves etc. I fully understand why Lowe went after Willingham and if he struck him out or got him without letting a run score, we wouldn’t have heard a word about the decision on this blog. Listen everyone, Ned is in his position for a reason, so is Grady and to think that you, I or anyone else thats not a part of the organization has more insight about this team than they do…thats just ridiculous. Its OK to criticize but remember hindsight is always 20/20.

Charris, say Lowe did strike out Willingham. Then he’d just have to face Aaron Boone and throw more pitches. Keep in mind Lowe was in the 9th with around 90 pitches. Walking Willingham would have increased our chances to get out of the inning without allowing the run.

They didn’t and he hit a home run. 99.9999% of the time Willinaham would be walked in that situation. He wasn’t and thats it. Even Willingham said “i thought they were gonna walk me”

but whatever.

Pitching with the bases loaded puts much more pressure on the pitcher than pitching with an open base, if Lowe falls behind Boone with the bases loaded, he’s forced to groove one (granted he grooved one to Willingham but that was unintentional). Bottom line is Grady talked to Lowe, Lowe told him what the more comfortable situation for him was and they went with it and if Lowe got out of that inning unscathed nobody would have questioned it.

i totally agree with charris. dodgers are in first place, so obviously grady is doing something right. besides, tonight is an entirely different game so why focus on the past? it’s not like we can go back in time and change it. the team has great chemistry and yeah maybe they’re not performing to their full potential right now but that is likely to change.

If Lowe isn’t comfortable in that situation then he shouldn’t have been pitching. He has to go to his strengths in that situation. His strengths being ground balls. But whatever we lost so It doesn’t matter…i hope me saying we lost isn;t too negative.

Great post Josh. I really find it funny that some posters actually believed that someone in PR for the Dodgers wouldn’t see something with a jaded view. It’s your job to spin things positively. lol.

Charris,

It’s not to say that anyone thinks we are smarter than these baseball people as we don’t have scouts telling us anything and we really don’t know all that goes into each job title (which would be a good post for Josh), but as far as first hand accounts of things such as Juan Pierre’s recent play and overall OF defense we definitely know what we see.

I’m sure Josh, Grady, Ned, and probably the whole team have seen who struggles and when they struggle such as Nomar’s recent struggles, Pierre’s struggles, Gonzo’s, Betemit’s, Furcal’s, Kent’s struggle to hit for power, etc BUT it is only May and I will give them that but to suggest we don’t need to do something radical and make trades or call-up players would be asinine. I myself have seen enough of Pierre’s defense in CF to actually miss Kemp’s CF defense. I’ve seen enough of Gonzo’s arm in LF to miss James Loney if only we could play Nomar anywhere other than 1B. I see Jeff Kent’s deteriorating range at 2B and wonder how Tony Abreu will eventually be in his place or if LaRoche can play 2B since he started as ****.

We are all fans of these Dodgers. Some of us know only the names of Nomar, Kent, Pierre, and Schmidt. Some of us only remember the names of Piazza, Karros, Mondesi, and Gagne. There are a few that know the youngers like Kemp, Loney, Greg Miller, Blake DeWitt, Justin Orenduff, Chin-lung Hu, Tony Abreu, and Delwyn Young, and wonder how they’ll turn out in the pros. We just love this team and want to see them do better is all. We are casual fans, and some of us are fanatics. But we all love the Dodgers just like Josh. But to say for one second we don’t know what we’re talking about….I disagree.

lv, I never said that we (the posters) don’t know what were talking about, I’m ripping on the people that continually blast Ned and Grady. Yes there is a need to improve our offense but leave it up to the organization to decide when to bring up the youngsters. As you mentioned they have an entire minor league coaching staff thats monitoring those guys on a daily basis and you can rest assured that they will let the big league management know when they’re big league ready. Teams pull up all of their top prospect when either A. They are out of contention or B. They have a playoff spot locked-up. It just seems to me that too many people are critical of a team that still sits in 1st place, sure this team has some flaws but I think were still one of the best out there.

Great posts and thanks, Josh.

hahahahaha lol. growing up playing baseball, and having pitched in that situation your taught to walk em full right there, and go for the DP. but hey no need to rip us charris, your just wrong. lowe was wrong and your wrong, but thats not negative. great post josh using qbans own words. really funny.

The great thing about the internet and blogging is that it gives those of us in a specific community, (in this case, Dodger lovers) a vehicle for venting frustration. Thanks Josh for understanding that and welcoming our comments. Forget about yesterday’s game; my only beef is with just one of Ned’s FA signings. Don’t get me wrong, I think Ned has made some very clever moves since he’s taken over. But, in this case, I’m not talking hindsight. Ever since this past year’s winter meetings, the wisdom of the Luis Gonzales signing has been festering within me. With guys like Repko, Kemp, Werth, and Loney (as a potential outfielder?)waiting for their shot, I never understood this signing. I know he’s a “great clubhouse guy” and all, but geez, his recent numbers clearly indicated that he was in the twilight of his career at the plate and in the outfield as well. Roster spots on this squad are a valuable commodity….especially those whose occupants’ are taking up space in the middle of the lineup. The lack of offense on this club is becoming alarming. What do we do now?

grafftigenus,
like it when a man quotes “the book”. i am in my upper 50′s and played through college as an outfielder and a pitcher, been looking for that book all of my life and have never seen a copy yet. as a pitcher in the exact situation as Lowe yesterday i have been asked to do it both ways and have found that there is only 1 sin in baseball, failure to execute. had Lowe got the strikeout and out of the inning and as a result a win we would all be talking about what a great game it was. bye the way i was taught on a suicide bunt to throw the ball in the batter’s ear, we don’t see that anymore either. as i have gotten older it seems to me that there are fewer and fewer black and white situations and more and more greys. Josh please keep on with the clubhouse insights and the info that we can’t get on Sports Center regardless of all of the Boo-birds, you are doing a great job. as always since the 50′s GO BLUE

What exactly has Ned proven?

That he can be part of orginaztions that have never won a World Series or havent since 1908?

Ned is/was no different than Evans or Depo. Assitant Gm’s who handled contracts for the main GM and were given an opportunity to be the Dodger GM.

There is no track record. And I like the job Ned is doing in general, but still lets be realistic. This is the third GM in a row that has never built a champinoship team themselves. Thats just a fact, not saying he can’t.

When ned first took over, he promised that he would not compromise the future. He knew there were many highly regarged prospects on the way that could be cornerstones of the team for years to come. I would like to see him make good on his promise and not ship half the farm away for a slugger because some of the unfourtunate free agent signings he made haven’t panned out thus far. Last year we had to endure countless rumors of all the prospects being shopped and I fear this year will be more of the same. The problem is the true impact bats like ARod and Cabrera are the only ones who could really carry this team and they will cost the entire farm. I honestly think that would set us back more than it would help.

Sabre, great point as there are a ton of grey areas in baseball.

Graffiti, you weren’t the only one who grew up playing baseball, I pitched in HS, college, and for a short stint in the independant leagues. I still play in a league every weekend and their is no definitive way to approach that situation, which is why Grady talked it over with Lowe and decided to go the way that they did.

Josh, I always look forward to your posts and appreciate you keeping us up on all the behind-the-scenes activities. The story about Nomar was great. Lowe pitched one heck of a game and has nothing to be ashamed of, I hope he pitches that well every time out. Our offense was enemic, I hate that he took the loss. It reminded me of a story about a game Koufax pitched. Someone told Drysdale, who was in the clubhouse, that Sandy threw a no-hitter. Big D asked “Yeah, but did he win?”

GO BLUE!!!

HEY JOSH!!

you forgot to mention the article on SI.COM John Donovan did on RUSSELL MARTIN!!

Are you barred from mentioning that website or something?

Josh,
must say that i appreciate the fact that you have a big set of cojones. have yet to see a post that was directed to you that you haven’t addressed, even when you had to say that the organization had dropped the ball on something. that kind of honesty is somewhat rare these days.

It’s unknown whether Toronto will conduct a fire sale, but the Phillies, Braves, Dodgers and Orioles are among teams that have had scouts at recent Blue Jays games.

link to article… http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/20070511_Paul_Hagen___Ban_beer_in_clubhouse__Then_dont_sell_it_to_fans__either.html

I really hope the Dodger don’t go after Troy Glaus.

I agree max, Glaus isn’t ever consistent or healthy

I’d rather we try to land Rios. Kid is young and a five tool player.

Sorry you even had to post that Josh, but it’s very well said. I guess some people don’t understand what PR is (my g/f works in that field, too) – and you do a fantastic job of, yes, being positive while also being fair and realistic here. People who expect negativity from this blog can choose any one of a number of other sites where people like to rip. That doesn’t mean posters here have to see everything rosily, of course; fans can become disgruntled and post about it. But I hope people will take this blog in the right spirit and understand what your job is here. And if they want to post something critical about the team or a specific circumstance, that they do so with fair and open minds and in friendly terms. Sometimes I think people really need a perspective check or to take a little prozac before posting here.

Which isn’t to say that I’m not disgruntled with some things myself, and would like to see a couple more kids playing with the big club (Kemp and Loney f’rinstance) but I appreciate the heck out of the information you provide here and the forum.

not to mention glaus isn’t exactly a difference maker. And he makes are our team even older, and its already one of the oldest teams in baseball.

Glaus is the injury prone veteran type player Ned loves so he’s a possibility. IMO trading for Glaus would be a monumental mistake especially if either Billingsley, Loney and Kemp are in the deal.

Why would we trade for Rios? we have a young 5 tool player in our system named Matt Kemp but he doesn’t get used so i doubt Rios would be used.

I think we should just play the season out with the people we have now. Even if we acquire a guy like Glaus i don’t see us winning it all this year. We should wait for the future. The Future is bright for us. We just have to wait until these semi-washed up veterans are gone and we will dominate the league!

Remember all those Dodger teams that were built from inside the organization in the past? I believe they were rather successful.

Thats why I was kinda upset when McCourt went outside of the organization to hirer a GM and manager.

The only player on the Blue Jays i’d care to have is Roy Halladay.

Ditto Glaus.

If you leave Lowe (a groundball pitcher) in then you need to walk the bases loaded and face the weaker hitters. If you want to pitch to Willingham and are afraid of walking in the winning run, then you need to go to the bullpen and bring in either Saito or Broxton and go for the strikeout. It’s really a no-brainer and Grady Little messed up.
vr, Xei

I’d like Halladay, but I’d take Rios too. Good power and speed combo, and the OBP will probably kick up a bit at some point.

I’m thinking we are going to use some of the stockpiled pitching as trade-bait once the tradeable bats become available. I just hope it’s the Tomko, Hendrickson types and none of our young guys like BIllingsley or Broxton (can’t wait for Kershaw, he’s going to be great).

Josh,

I just wanted to say that I understand your “rose colored glasses” and the position you are in with this blog. Thank you for all you do for us, and I did appreciate the tidbit about Nomar. I hope Derek know that game was not all on him.

I really believe that the cure to all the Dodgers ills will be taken care of when they find a middle of the lineup power bat. The pitching is strong, the mix of veterans and younger players that make up the starting eight and the 2 or 3 next guys of the bench is going to produce and hit, but!!!! We need a power guy that plays third base. Wilson Betemit is just not going to get it done and if the Dodgers are not ready to give it up to Andy LaRoche then…. How about Troy Glaus, he’s available and the Blue Jays would more than likely split the bill just to move him. I’m also thinking that if the Cubs continue to fade and with them being on the market, Aramis Ramirez may become available at some point. I don’t pretend to know a GM’s job, but i believe that without a big bat in the lineup and with Betemit at third, it’s gonna be tough to win the west, although everything else is in place.

Nice post Josh. I hope you know that most, if not all of us think the world of what you do for us and the Dodgers. I know I sound like the cheer leader most of the time, but it comes from coaching kids softball, little league, soccer and volleyball for the last 23 years. It’s in the blood. I’ve learned that you don’t break down individuals and you don’t waste time complaining about something that’s already history. You move on and you make the best with what you have. I’ve had countless parents that just waste all their engery telling me what’s wrong with another kid, or an ump / ref, a fellow coach or myself and make little effort to better the situation. I say accept the things you can not change and work on the one’s you can. At the end of the day, you’ll be a happier and better person for it.

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!!

BTW, I’ve never had a losing season, by any team I’ve ever coached in 23 years. Today our 12U Girls Softball team is in first place 12-1-1 and most of the time we’ve had to tell some of them they won at the end of the game. Life is good !! and the kids are great !!!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!!

I’m not saying I know more than Ned or Grady, but I do have eyes and I can see who isn’t performing. Why isn’t Kemp playing left field? I doubt he’d be worse than Gonzo. At the very least he can throw. Decisions to play these washed up vets over kids is frustrating to watch. If kids don’t perform it’s because their young, and if they have the talent they will improve. That would be easier to watch than guys who are well past their prime and who we know will not improve.

I hope tonight’s lineup includes our version of the Bash Brothers: Kemp & LaRoche.

Hi Josh,
Great comment.This is my first time on the blog but read it every day.I’m a fifty year old lifetime Dodger fan who was weaned on our team.I could recite the players names and numbers from my granpa’s knee.I’ve lived through all their ups and downs since I can remember.My whole life goal through college was to play pro ball for the Dodgers.That dream fell short but I’ve always coached Little League and guess what team name I always demand THE DODGERS.We relocated to Northern California a few years back and it really got interesting.We now live in the middle of Giant Country.There’s never a problem getting the team name since they hate us so much.We’ve had the Dodgers the last eight years so my son is known at school as DODGER since he wears a different Dodger Jersey and Hat to school every day.We call it his ” school uniform”.We always have winning teams so were’re keeping the tradition alive up here where everyone “hates the Dodgers”.Sometime I”ll tell you about taking my family all dressed in DODGER BLUE to the hated “lions den” known as ATT Park.

Arroyo needs to spot his pitches really well to be successful add that with us having a really good record against them we should be o.k.

I’m glad we’re past the point of debating whether Lowe should have issued that intentional walk. I do find it interesting, however, to discuss the management philosophy about this team of ours. First of all, let there be no misunderstanding that I want Grady and Ned to be very successful with this team. The alternative would mean failure for the Dodgers and probably a couple of years of unachieved potential before there would be changes in either our manager or GM. I was not pleased with either of their selection at the time, and I’m not going to give them much credit to this point, because nothing much has yet been achieved. They are both of the old school, and I would have looked for younger blood with what I would call “fire in the belly” and with more of a philosophy of developing a younger player base to get us a real dynasty. I also would have preferred guys who had Dodger blood ingrained instead of a long term Giant product and someone who had been put in retirement by a pretty good organization. It is also difficult not to admire guys like Nomar, Kent, and even of late Gonzo for the legends that they are, and I certainly wish them success every time that they are on the field. If we had had them all together five, six years ago, we would probably be going to the World Series and would all be happy with the results. Today unfortunately none of them present the best that is available for our lineup. I think Nomar might have had his best “comeback” year last year, but should not have been signed on a new two year commitment when we had Loney, who at that point had proven everything that reasonably could be expected to have the first base job as a regular. Kent probably should not have been given a contract extension, and there was no reason to sign Gonzo, especially when the organization that knew him best opted to go with their own younger prospect. Now we typically have these three as the middle of our batting order, and you root for them all you can, but they are no longer able to perform either offensively, defensively or in both capacities at a level that you need on a World Series bound team. It would be even different had they all ben signed, but with the intention of playing back-up to our own youthful prospects, provided those prospects when given the chance showed that they could perform adequately at the big league level. That’s how I see such veterans being used – in a support and mentoring capacity. Naturally if the prospects do not work out, as some of them won’t, then we need to fall back on the veterans, bring up other prospects, or trade for a sepcific position. That would be my philosophy and one that I would like to see implemented by our management. To their credit they have not traded many of our promising youngsters, and they may very well be on the course that I describe, but at their own pace. If so, forgive me for being impatient, but I’m a fan. So with all the best wishes for success to our current management team, and all of our veterans, I’m still hoping and wishing for Kemp, Abreu, Miller, LaRoche, Kuo, and the many other promising guys who are just barely on the radar. I’m wishing for your dreams to come true and looking to root for you to make us a really great team. Go DODGERS!

Great post Messagebear I second that! Go Dodgers!

Josh, however distorted your opinions may be at times, I truly appreciate the work you do in running this blog. You’ve given us all a place where we can come and high five each other after victories, as well as vent from defeats. Many different people post here with many different opinions and points of views. But we all share the desire to once again say the Dodgers are World Champions. I understand your point of view, and as I mentioned earlier, I know that’s what you get paid to do. Don’t take it personal.

Welcome aboard mybaseballblog. We have a pretty interesting 50+ fan club here, Harold, ASG, ****, fansince 53 etc.. and we can always use another member !! So we’re looking forward to some of those old favorate Dodger Stories from your granpa’s knee, please share!!! I’m sure the others will be checking in with you soon. We also have our other devoted Dodger fans Kevin, Pats, Ray, graffiti (a very knowledgeable and strong minded lady ) etc…

Good to have you !!

Go Ned !!

Go Dodgers !!

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