Busy Day Around L.A.

There’s a lot going on these days, and it’s not just the five-game winning streak. On top of the usual daily duties of our department, today we had a visit to Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, as Derek Lowe and James Loney went over there to spend time with some of the kids. Derek’s hosting the bowling event at the end of the month, with some of the proceeds going to Mattel, so if you want a chance to meet him and a bunch of the other players, you can still purchase a spot or a lane here.

I wasn’t at that community event, as we had previously planned to bring Takashi Saito over to a restaurant on Sunset called Saito Sushi. FSN Prime Ticket filmed the whole thing for a segment on their pregame show that will air on Thursday, so be sure to tune in for that. Every time you get one of the players away from the field, his personality is able to come out a lot and that was certainly the case with Sammy. And in case you missed it, the L.A. Times new beat writer, Dylan Hernandez, wrote a great piece on Saito a few days ago. Dylan is fluent in Japanese, Spanish and English and he’s a great new addition to the paper.

As for Saito, he’s really a pretty funny guy. He’s picked up a little English and I’d have to say that the funniest part of the day wasn’t caught on tape. As we were leaving the restaurant, we saw a homeless man in the parking lot and Saito said, "What’s up, brother?" The guy laughed and said, "You’re a VIP." I guess the TV camera gave it away.

Meanwhile, while we were out around town with these players, there was a luncheon in the Dugout Club for the various people who have seats in the Dugout Club and Suites where Grady Little ate his first-ever Dodger dog, believe it or not.

Just another day in the front office…here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Loney, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Nomar, 3B

Kemp, RF

Lieberthal, C

Hendrickson, P

58 Comments

Good move by Grady to rest Martin today. He always should catch Billingsley.

“what’s up, brother?”…haha priceless!

VERY good move. Liebs should never ever catch Bills. Much better to let Martin do it. Back the park factors thing…can anyone confirm this, i though At&t was better for left handed hitter with the short porch and everything. I assume they designed it that was for Bond*s

For the record, we didn’t actually see Grady eat the Dodger Dog. But he did walk out of the Dugout Club with it.

A couple things that Grady & Coletti (he was there too) mentioned:

–Rumors about trading to get Dye are just that: rumors.

–The only player that they wouldn’t think of trading away would be Martin. They don’t see trading any of the young guys (Kemp, Loney, Ethier) but as Ned said, “I’m from Chicago. You know, the Godfather? ‘Make me an offer I can’t refuse’ and we’ll see what happens.”

–When the roster is expanded to 40, they could see Delwyn coming up from AAA.

GO BLUE!

AT&T is 421 to right center that is ridiculous that’s why its a right handers park.

i understand russell needs a day off but man! why does it have to be the day ima go watch the game.
i dont evdn wanna go anymore.

I’ll take your tics. watch Kemp & Loney go for six in a row!!

GO DODGERS!!!

I like the line-up. Russell needs a day off (although if a save situation arises, I’m betting that he will catch Saito).

For those of you who do not get to Dodger Stadium in time to catch the Dodgers taking BP, Mike Lieberthal frequently jacks more BP homeruns than just about anybody else (except maybe Wilson Betemit and Killer-T). He is WAAAY overdue for his first tater of the season, so look for it to happen tonight!

GO HENDRICKSON!

GO LIEBERTHAL!

GO DODGERS!

Kemp should be ahead of Nomar.

why is Nomar batting ahead of Kemp? if Kemps been hitting the ball very well?

well if anything it’s cool the Dodgers are on a nice little winning streak.

blue crew rocks!

NICE BLOG JOSH__________________I liked Dylan Hernandez’s write up on SAITO I feel funny to write this but I feel most of you would agree. I’m glad he had such a terrible time in Japan. After KEMP 3rHR the game sure got relaxing last night and D.J. cleaned up real well. PENNY was fantastic especially late in the game. I guess the big lead suped him up. I don’t expect to many games like that. Well tonight’s game is another game. LET’S KEEP THE WINNING STREAK GOING…….GO BLUE CREW.

Joey P- You make zero sense. Your cocky “you heard it here first” is cute and all but explain to us what you mean by “I stand by my statements.” You are choosing to stand by a statement that that has been proven false? In case you didn’t notice, the Dodgers are doing more than just “sniff” first place. They’re in first place. So much for your “rest of the season” prediction. Hey Joey, 2 + 2 = 5.

Hey Troll how are those Oakland A’s doing these days? Yeah that moneyball approach is awesome for about 2 runs per game isn’t it. It must be fun to watch your squad leave small villages on the basepaths, oh well at least they’re trading off veterans now for no names. Boy things sure are looking bright in Joketown.

I might miss the game tonight. (for all you flight of the conchords fans)

Tuesday Night is the night that we usually go to your Mothers place and teach her to use the video machine again.

Well I’ll try to come up around 9:30PM ET. on the MLBTV MOSAIC if that doesn’t work I still got MLB Extra innings. I just have to turn on the TV for the latter.

Wow pierreseastmeetswest i just realized you live in Brooklyn, i mean i knew that before but it didn’t dawn on me till now that you have to stay up pretty late out there to catch the games, What a trooper!………. joeyp i agree with kevinpoush, that statement you made really did make no sense at all and not only that i think i wasted about 5 sec of my life that i will never get back……. I agree with 53 up there that Liberthal will have a good game, not to sure about the dinger but he “it could happen!”……. Gotta love the winning streak and as i stated yesterday there are a couple of guys that are just plain getting the job done i.e. PIERRE (surprise, surprise… i told ya guys!) Kent, Kemp, and even Ethier is getting hotter.

GO DODGERS!!!!!!!

GO HENDY!!!!!!!!

LETS GET THE 6!

wow i hadn’t realized Lieberthal hadn’t hit one out this year fansince53 hopefully your right & he’ll hit a four bagger today.

jspelk2–At&T (or whatever Phone Company) Park has a short right field porch. It’s great for a dead pull hitter like Barry Bonds, or Ted Williams. But then it just out to a deep power alley in right field (like Williams’s home at Fenway). There have been 58 homers hit into McCovey Cove (home and away). Visitors have hit 14, other Giants have hit 10, and Bonds has hit 34. So, it’s made for Bonds as a dead pull hitter, but is tough for almost everyone else.

A lot of people have been praising the Padres and giving them the nod as the likely division winner (not here, of course, but in the press). But while they have great pitching (equal to, and maybe even slightly better than ours), their offense seems to have limited upside. We have had some frustration in the first half, but we have a huge upside. Kent, Pierre, and Nomar are all playing below their career norms (and Kent and Pierre are heating up, and Nomar is hits well at home), while Loney, Kemp, Martin, and Ethier are young guys with tremendous talent who are starting to take over (Martin moving into the 3-hole, Loney now the everyday first basemen, and Kemp now a regular, if not yet an everyday player). And Betemit clearly talented if underperforming. It’s possible to see more drop-off from Gonzo, and maybe Kent, Nomar, and JP are just not the players they used to be, but there is still way more upside.

The Padres, on the other hand, are all performing at a pretty much as-expected level. Except for a couple of years with the Braves, Marcus Giles has been, and is a mediocre player, and is not surprisingly doing worse in a pitchers park. Mike Cameron is their clean-up hitter playing exactly to his career numbers (which justify him as a solid six-hitter, or a poor lead-off man, but not the clean-up hitter for a contender). Jose Cruz and Khalil Greene are thier typical mediocre selves. Milton Bradley and Michael Barrett are both wildcards, with an emphasis on “wild.” Barrett is basically a decent hitter producing to form, and potentially a step-up over Bard, but not really a difference-maker. Bradley is a possible step-up over Cruz, but has to avoid injury, avoid controversy, and live up to his considerable talents, which is something he’s never been able to do. In other words, those 5 positions are filled with either bad hitters or role-players, but the types that a winning team will generally have one or two of. The other three positions are Kouzmanoff at third base, who is still a prospect. But unlike Loney, Kemp, Martin, etc., Kouz got the job by being a prospect. Our guys had to earn it at the Major League level (Martin got it only when Navarro went down and he played like crazy; Loney busted down the door until they were forced to move Nomar to make room for him, Kemp generates blistering power, but still got sent down last year and this year, and even hitting in the high .350′s is not in there everyday, etc., etc.) Kouz may turn out as good as they think, but he has not proven it like the Dodger kids.

Then there is Brian Giles, who’s power dropped off when he went to San Diego (not surprising given the ballpark), and has taken another tumble this year. Maybe it’s the month on the DL, but he’s also 36, and I just think the ceiling is lower.

That leaves Adrian Gonzalez, who had a breakout year last year, but is down significantly this year. Maybe it’s a sophomore slump, maybe he will get it going–it’s tough to say. He is the only one on their team that you could definitely say that he has the talent to pick it up offensively and change their dynamic.

In short, I think people picking the Padres over the Dodgers really are not seeing this. They see two good pitching staffs, and give the Padres the edge (despite the fact that Petco is now even more of a pitchers park than Dodger Stadium, which is still a pitchers park, but much less so since the new seats were added to take up foul ground, but the writers remember Koufax and Hershiser). Then, they see two offenses that seem relatively weak, and figure that they are about even. But they seem to fail to realize that the Padres are pretty much playing at the top of their game while the Dodgers have far more potential. There’s no guarantee, of course, but I think we clearly have the edge.

leekfink:

Visitors have hit 14, other Giants have hit 10, and Bonds has hit 34 [into McCovey Cove]. So, it’s made for Bonds as a STEROIDAL dead pull hitter, but is tough for almost everyone else.

There, fixed.

This is the third career start for Loney in the #3 spot.

Regarding the post at “July 17, 2007 03:45 PM”, presumably an addendum by Josh:

I hope that Ned knows what offers he CAN refuse.

Shouldn’t “Chicago” lead to a, say, Capone reference, not “The Godfather”?

Let Dye stay a rumor. I don’t want this year’s weak Dye to stain the Dodgers’ season with his .229 .283 .438 line.

thanks for the info about At&t, that’s what i thought. i agree with the assessment of the pods. They have been pitching over their heads and their offense has lived up to potential (sans AGon’s slump) so I don’t get how people just assume SD will win the division. Arizona and us have way more upside for the second half.

Here’s a photo of the phone both by the bay:

http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/national/pacbel01.jpg

It’s 309′ on the RF line, out to 421′ in that deep spot in RCF. The RF wall is 25′ high.

The overhead seating chart gives a better idea of how fast RF angles from foul pole to deeper territory. (Compare to LF.) I’d guess that bump in the RF wall to be 380-390.

http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/national/pacbelse.gif

That was a Randy Wolf type opening for HENRICKSON.

Hendrickson is not a starter – at least he can’t pull it off two games in a row.

And I’ll gladly take that remark back, if he can keep this up the rest of the way!

Give LIBBY that one.

It’s time to get started on 13.50 ERA.

With the way we have been hitting the past few games, we should be able to make up for that first inning. Can’t believe he made it out of the 2nd unscathed.

GO BLUE!!!

HENDICKSON was no wolf tonight.

Hendrickson’s stuff is just plain bad. It’s not his fault, he just does not have major league talent.

It’s really scary to imagine 40% of our games for now started by either Hendrickson or Bombko.

At least we’re getting good news from SD so far.

Looks like we’re giving up on this one, since we let Stultz bat – kind of like the Phillies did last night with Moyer rather than depleting the BP.

so grittle went from a soft tossing lefty to another soft tossing lefty.

LETS GO METS

I think we’re finding out that we do need a starter to replace the wasted $47 million man. Hendrickson and Tomko are not going to take us anywhere, as we always knew. It does not look like Stultz belongs in the majors either.

unbelievable, nice to see Grady ok to give this one up. They might as well put Olmedo in to pitch BP. Anyone else waiting for someone to ask what Dusty Baker is doing?

SIT BACK RELAX even though you can’t enjoy it.

no problem with grady leaving stultz in instead of trying for the PH 7-run HR….

luckily Stultz didnt hit into a DP and furcal got a chance with bases loaded..at least SD is losing :)

also, now that we have tomko in the rotation, we’re 1 man down in the BP….we have other games to try to win down the road and no sense in wearing out our BP in a game that seemed out of hand

This is bad. The decision by Grady was not nearly as bad as the decision by Charlie Manuel last night–there was only one out, so maybe Furcal could do something with two outs, and we had already burned a pitcher with Hendrickson getting bombed, and it’s the Phillies pitching, not against Brad Penny where you won’t get many chances. But I still think it was still a bad decision, because two hits gets us back into the game, and Stults obviously could not clamp down.

I don’t know what the deal with Hendrickson is–he does great on July 3, then comes back on three days rest, and then is clutch on Saturday against the Giants. But today, he just gets shelled.

Fortunately, Las Vegas is only an hour flight from LA, because Eric Hull needs to get on a plane first thing in the morning. I think Stults has to be optioned back to Las Vegas as soon as the game is over. (I know they are talking about Roberto Hernandez, but he just pitched today, and Hull has options left, and when Wolf comes back, we’re either going to have to option a pitcher or Tony Abreu.

leekfink, i hope that’s the case cause i don’t want Ned to make a bone head traded for the sake of trade.

I say you play to win, especially when it’s only the 4th inning and you are facing a pitcher with a 13.5 ERA. Good points agreed, another strong arm would be nice!

Years ago, I thought that Dusty Baker would be the right guy to lead the Dodgers. But he’s not (maybe I was wrong, maybe Dusty lost it). Dusty’s answer to the bullpen problems would be to have Chad Billingsley pitch complete games on consecutive games and destroy his arm ala Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, and a bunch of Giants pitchers that never panned out because of the abuse.

I disagree with Grady’s call tonight, but I understand it. We’re trying to have a 5-man rotation with only three starters, and he’s doing the best with the personnel we have. If Wolf gets back and is OK, we may be OK, trying to find an answer amongst Houlton, Tomko, Hendrickson, etc. But we may well need to try to find a middle of the rotation pitcher, but I don’t know who is out there that we can get.

Scully says only the Phillie fans are proberbly watching. Even he’s wrong sometimes.

I was there and I’m back…so easy to move on from this game. Padres (also getting killed), Braves, D’Backs all lost, we’ll get them tomorrow. It’s like it never happened and that’s how I’m treating it. Nothing changes we still need a starter and a 7th inning guy. I do wonder how much Hendrickson pitching on two days rest affected him tonight. Regardless, bad game, we move on…with Bills in about 14 hours and it can’t get here fast enough.

Take a beating like this and still be one up on the Frias that’s not to bad.

This is a game you don’t tell your grandkids about……… unless we come back.

LIEBERTHAL with his 3 hits looks like he’s wearing the wrong uniform.

LaRoche hit ANOTHER bomb for Vegas tonight…. His avg. is now .301 and Hu went 3/3…. bright future indeed…

If you count LIBBY’s 3 hits the Phillies got 27

They break their recod if you count Lieberthal but if you did that then the Dodger hits allowed all time record would be smashed.

Tomorrow’s another day we gained a day on the Pards.

I always try to find a sillver-lining after such ugly games. Here’s some good news courtesy of my fantasy website:

Chris Young , San Diego: Speaking of dominance, Young is also being mentioned as a competitor for Jake Peavy’s eventual NL Cy Young award this season. Young has allowed a total of six earned runs in his past eight starts and since May 1 he has allowed more than two earned runs only twice in 13 starts … What was my point again? Oh yeah — trade him! His ERA just dipped under 2.00 for the first time this year and his value is at an all-time high. His ERA last year jumped nearly a full run from 3.12 to 4.00 after the break, and half a run in his rookie year of 2005 (4.01 to 4.66). He’s no Peavy — and he’s not going to reach 16 wins this year.

Of course this is all speculation but doesn’t it seem like this guy has been playing WAY over his head all year? He’s overdue to throw up some crooked numbers here in the second half.

When we get ready to bring up another relief pitcher, I hope this time it’s Meloan, even if it is a bigger reach from AA. He clearly seems to have the stuff compared to Hull or anybody else in AAA. We probably should already have let him show how he can perform at the major league level before we get into trading for a reliever.
Seeing how Ethier has improved under Mueller’s attention, I think now is the time to make sure that Ethier and Kemp get more chances to play together in the same lineup. Gonzo has earned his keep by what he has shown the first half of the season, but he has tailed off since the AS game, and he is not the future of this team.

We need to wake up to the fact that Nomar is not going to be the Nomar that we knew from the first half of last season. If we’re going to settle the third base situation, it’s not going to be with Nomar getting most of the starts. I think as soon as this home stand is over, we need to let Betemit have the starts for at least a couple of series. If he doesn’t produce at least on par with Nomar in BA and better than Nomar in extra base hits, then let’s get LaRoche back up here for sufficient time to make a decision about our future at third base.

I always considered Chris Young in the serviceable to above average type pitcher also. he’s got plenty of smarts & that goes along way so maybe it isn’t all luck charris.

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