Autographs Abound

The Dodgers have the best record in the NL and tickets are still available to see them play the team with the second-best record. Plus, if you’ve got kids, they can come and get autographs from Dodger players, who will be at the entrances signing from 11:15 – 12 p.m.

And if you’re a big kid and want an autograph, you can even purchase the jerseys worn by the players in today’s game at the silent auction on the Club Level during the game or a live auction right after the game.

It was great to meet many of the Dodger Thoughts people out here yesterday and our thanks go out to Jon Weisman for the kind words on his site. However, I cannot personally take all the credit. As with everything we do, it was a team effort and Camille Johnston was the one who had the idea of inviting Frank McCourt. I think he genuinely enjoyed chatting with those who were here, as did Camille and I.

One thing that came up that surprised me was how few people knew about the guest relations department. So keep in mind that if you’re at a game and a fan nearby is getting unruly or ruining the fan experience for everyone else, all you have to do is call (323) 224-1507 and let them know where you’re sitting and security will come down and warn that person so you don’t have to point them out publicly and worry about upsetting them. The number is also posted regularly on the ribbon boards that wrap the Loge Level.

That was just one of the many subjects touched on, but we certainly encourage people to post their questions here and we’ll do our best to get back to everyone.

Here’s today’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF (14-game hitting streak)

Martin, C (chat with him on Tuesday at 2 p.m. PT)

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Nomar, 3B

Loney, 1B

Ethier, RF (batting .425 in July)

Stults, P



    I’ll start this one off..To ALL JP Bashers. Go ahead, you can continue, to knock the man
    I will Not. ALL you have to do,is study, his play. This guy,in his own little way, IS a

    spark. He sets the table. He gets the team, moving. He generates situations, that WILL lead to runs. That is his style and he does it well. So Bash him, if you want. I certainly will Not.


    i asked this once before, but suspect it got lost at the bottom of a sea of comments. anyway, any chance you could post the game time along with the lineups? i pull this blog via rss and it’d be super convenient to know when to tune into the game within my rss reader without having to look it up somewhere else. thanks.


    I gladly, meaning I’m very happy to agree with, Jon Weisman of DODGERS THOUGHTS about the team not being out of it when they fall a couple of runs behind. It’s a heck of lot less frustrating, I mean I don’t have that crumbling loss of hope or if I do I suddenly recover knowing they can come back. I felt the same way yesterday afternoon–among several Mets fans–when David Wright, my daughter’s favorite, golf that shot that made it 0-4. WELL TODAY IS ANOTHER DAY LET’S GO STULTS. GO DODGERS*****.


    Nomar is 9 for 27 (.333) against Hernandez

    He’s one of the few righties to have success against Hernandez who is well known to be very difficult on right handers. Against Hernandez you load up on lefties where you can, so Kemp sits to start the game. It’s disappointing because Kemp is ridiculous right now but against El Duque it’s the smart move.


    And 7 of those hits came from 1998-2000, when Nomar was still a great player.

    He only has 2 hits against Hernandez in the last 5 years.


    Ah, sad no HR prediction today for Nomar? Well he’s only had 9 AB’s since 2002 against him. 2 for 9 since 2002. This is a no spin zone here…


    I agree – it’s ridiculous to justify Nomar in the lineup through historic performance against certain pitchers. This year that typically has no bearing on how he will do – I hope it will be productive, but I wouldn’t bet on it.


    The 900+ OPS Nomar from a decade could probably bang out a few hits against Duque.

    The broken down shell that we see today should be platooning at best with Betemit or LaRoche.


    Mhm, I think I’ve heard that plan before, but, but, but Nomar for whatever cosmic reason or whatever you want to believe is the same Nomar at home (just without the power) in fact his average and OBP is higher than last years numbers (at home). So, I repeat Nomar at home sure, not a problem. Road is a completely seperate issue and if Nomar is in the lineup tomorrow against Chris Sampson I’ll be the first person on here chanting “Betemit”.


    I hope we can at least split the series, i gotta go play my own game so i’ll chat with you guys later.

    Blue Crew Rocks!!


    that betemit “double” was a single that he inexplicably couldn’t run out. that really irked me and i wonder why no one brought it up. he could have easily made is to 2nd and instead set up a possible double play scenario.


    if that lack of hustle was a repetitive thing, then it would concern me. for now, i think most of us just love the power he’s shown.


    im sorry but when you hit a ball off the wall you put your head down and run, you don’t stop to admire it and cruise into 1st base. i dont watch betemit closely enough to see whether this is a repetive thing but that was not something i like to see.


    I am as big a Kemp backer as you will find, but if ever a pitcher was a bad matchup for Kemp it is the junk ball specialist in Hernandez…


    Yeah Hernandez would use and abuse Kemp with those side arm sliders and overhand slow curves!


    Nomas hitting in front on Loney and Ethier is stubbornness on Grady Little’s part. This guys has cost us more games with his horrible personnel decisions then any other manager in the league.


    Thank you to jspelk, long after the game yesterday I read this board and without seeing one comment on Betemit turning a double into a single and then clapping. Unless there was a good reason he should have been taken out of the game right then or at least when the inning was over. Noone can convince me he’s never done it before– maybe if he were 10 years younger.
    Also a minor correction of the first poster who claimed Betemit had 3 walks and a double– it was 2 walks, a fly out and a homerun oops a single.


    If you guys would smart. You would know Kemp would been bench agaist El Dugue with his good curveball. Get over it Grady would never have Nomar hitting 7 ir 8th. I see the Nomar hater or back and wanted him to back lower in the lineup.


    Be quiet the saint and if you were any smarter, you would know that Kemp was going to be bench today against Hernandez. Yeah scurtis I agree with you and I can’t believe these 2 didn’t even know he was going to sit today and it was obviously too. No manager would even have Nomar batting in the 7 or 8th hole and no he hasn’t our offense has.


    max power: I don’t believe there are enough hours in the day for you to know which manager in the national league has cost their team the most games. I live in Philadelphia, the fans here think their manager is a joke not just the worst in the league (they’re wrong btw)


    the only way Kemp will get better at hitting curverballs is if he sees them more. Thats the only way. The only way a player learns how to hit major league pitching is to……OMG HIT IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES.


    Nomar has a contract through the 2008 season. Not sure what we do about that except that we accept he will be playing frequently. He certainly can’t be faulted for lack of effort or not having a good team attitude. Unfortunately his body seems to have broken down for baseball. It’s tougher than it looks with a long season and many games. 3B is a bit of a conundrum. First not enough and now too many. Josh Bell at A level hitting for good power, Blake Dewitt at AA has regained his stroke and Andy LaRoche at AAA also seems to have regained his stroke after the injury. We also have Betemit who teases us. I expect someone has to go and might do so before the trade deadline. Someone will go for a relief pitcher. My concern for the prospects is that Johnathan Meloan is a hot commodity because of his closer potential and we have a good one in Broxton. Also Hu is backed up behind Raffy. It seems unlikely both he and Abreu will play for the Dodgers. As for Pierre, love him or not, we have him and he certainly seems to be making a good contribution, certainly for the last month. I know it is an expensive one but if we had a kid doing what he is doing we would be singing his praises right about now. Pierre seems to be a good team player and you gotta like that. Let’s get them today Stults. We need this one. GO DODGERS!!


    I also hope the Dodgers don’t embarrass me while my daughter hates to cheer for the Mets in front of her father.


    hahahaha I should lol. I hate this city but I live here for almost 25 yrs of my life.


    Do you examine every lineup in the league closely every game? And do you have some sort of psychic ability that allows you to see alternate outcomes of games with different lineups? That sounds pretty sweet. Were you born with that, or was this power imbued in you by a spider bite, or is your mind strengthened by earth’s yellow sun?


    actaully i do look at alot of lineups from different teams for my fantasy teams. BUTTTTTTTTTTT that had nothing to do with my statement. Bombko in the starting rotation cost us at least 5 games. Even a casual fan who maybe watches one game a month would have know Bombko was going to get Bombkoed. Batting Nomas third for almost half a season. Not going to Loney earlier. Batting Pierre 2nd when he was one pace for his worst season in his carrer (which he still is btw in you count walks OBP and SLG but you guys dont). Russell Martin batting 6th half the year almost.


    I don’t count OBP or SLG? Interesting. That’s actually the first thing I look at. But, I am not dogmatic in believing that a player with lower OPS can not be effective with other tools…

    The Dodgers had an amazing record in 1-run games in the first half; the games they lost, they usually lost by several runs, and your above-listed offensive tweaks very well might not have altered the outcomes of those games. Then again, they might have…but for you to make a definitive statement about how many games Grady has cost the Ds is pure speculation, and should be regarded as such, no matter how emphatic you are.


    Maybe Raffy is beginning to get better support from his ankle. It would be great if he can begin to stroke that ball with some of the power he was showing late last year. Also looks like Stultz is spotting his pitches very well so far. It would be great if he can go six or seven.


    MARTIN will remain unknown in N.Y. as long as he doesn’t hit against the Mets. Maybe it’s just as well.


    the dodgers have a good record in 1-run games primarily because of Broxton and Saito… saying Pierre does “little” things to help us win those games is probably not as valid a reason for our success in 1-run games than giving Brox and Sammy the credit.


    these are some good innings we’re getting from stults… more proof we don’t need to go outside the organization for another starter… Not saying Stults id our savior, but with the guys we have in out system we should be able to fill out that #5 spot in the rotation pretty adequately.


    Those of you complaining about Betimit not running out the “double” yesturday… I just want to point this out, Nomar did not hustle on that dribbler to Delgado just now… he gave up on it right out of the box.


    I can understand giving up on an infield dribbler, even though a player never should, but why not hustle on a ball hit to the gap? That makes no sense.


    There’s a difference between Nomar’s and Meat’s plays, sure, but still, Nomar didn’t hustle. I’m not saying he should be taken out of the game or anything, but if there’s anyone on the dodgers that should be hustling all the time it’s Nomar. I’m sure most major leaguers wouldn’t have hustled there… scurtis u called it! atta boy Loney.


    scurtis – keep calling the shots. I like Loney’s gap power. Similar to Mark Grace. Nice smooth swing.


    Poor machanics or something between FURCAL & PIERRE they definately were not together at all on their executions this inning.


    That was a good 5 inning for STULTS. Very good against a good hitting club. We got a good chance in this one. Let’s hope SEANEZ didn’t take an HR balls in with him.


    Martin just looks thoroughly intimidated by the Mets, both offensively and defensively. I guess everyone has a team that “owns” them. Just wish it was someone other than the Mets, since we probably have to face them in the playoffs.


    Martin isn’t intimidated! If he was, he should quit right now! Some pitchers from a team just might have your number, that’s it.


    Way to go, Nomar!!!
    I haven’t been in your camp, but it’s great to see you get going.


    Rudy “I’m looking to go 7-1” Seanez would like to shout out a big “FU” to those who don’t appreciate him in any way shape or form, or those who don’t appreciate management for giving him one more shot before he retires.

    Seanez is the perfect example of why Colletti is 10 times the GM DePodouchebag ever was.


    At least Juan Pierre is 0-3. That will give the miserable, pseudo Dodger fans over at Dodger Thoughts something to ***** about.


    DLowe’s side throwing day today is why Im guessing he is in and with us being short on relief in the bullpen. Why not! I like this!

    Sammy available to close? Or big JB the closer again today?


    hrsexton… yea… DePo was really bad… Kent, Penny, Lowe, building and keeping the farm system intact. Having one good year, and one terribly unlucky year where we set the record for most injury DL days. BTW, not giving Pierre 5 years 45 million.


    vinny just said hernandez grew up a Mets fan… By the way he’s pitched against them I’d say he’s still a mets fan.


    Well, so much for the confidence inspiring outing for Hernandez. In the future, please don’t bring him in unless we’re 6 runs ahead or behind. Better yet, DFA him now and bring up Meloan.


    Grady had to find some way to get to Broxton.

    That apparently meant pitching Lowe in relief on his work day and getting an inning out of Hernandez.

    Mission accomplished!!!!


    the last few days i think its become even more clear that if we need to trade for anything, it’s a relief pitcher. One of those two foreign guys in Texas could help us out… along with calling up Jonathon Meloan.


    Quit crying dodgerdude. Depodipsh!t is gone and so are Choi, APerez, Erickson, and the rest of his assembled ****.

    Ned Colletti. When it comes to GM’ing…the man’s a genius.


    ok hrsexton… ignore facts and use all your biased opinions. Our most productive players this year are players that DePo brought it, or players that Ned did not. the credit for the kids should go to Logan White, not Coletti. Pierre 45 million. Schmidt 47 million. great deals. but ignore all that because they’re facts, he’s a genius right?


    Ethier is prob our 6th or 7th most important player… that was a good trade though. Our big guns are not product of Ned’s doing, that’s the point i was trying to make.


    we blew this one. loney and kemp errors. the loney play was tough though but has to be made.


    now lets hope we can still win this one…with the padres getting slaughtered, losing this one after that error would hurt…but i guess we can always blame grady right? or ned? or pierre for that matter….:)

    GO BLUE!!!!


    And Dodgerdude breathes a sigh of relief as the Dodgers are set down in order in the 9th…..

    And Dodgerdude grins as he realizes the Mets have the top of their order due up in the 10th.


    if we don’t come back this inning, then this is a huge loss. no excuses. we need pitching bad if sammy is hurt and wolf can’t come back. hernandez and houlton aren’t gonna do the job.



    I really hope that Coletti can make D. Young for Dotel happen…throw in another low-level minor leaguer if he must. We need some relief help, and soon!


    A typical lost game but Wagner has blown them before they can’t think he’s invincable.


    hard to give pierre too much credit there… but i guess he put some pressure on them.


    why do people think dotel is the answer? he’s not exactly gagne in his prime…. and he’s had plenty of injury problems too. he’s not going to be a savoir for us or for anyone. just sayin’


    Reply to scurtis:Loney did not have an error. Steiner and Monday were raving about how great a play he made just to stop the ball. I don’t watch the games but I’ll take Monday’s opinion over your’s.


    This bullpen situation is getting worse day by day.

    Its really overworked. Right now we have 3 permanent starters in the rotation. Penny, Lowe and Bills. The rest are fill ins almost every game. Those fill ins usually come from the bullpen. So their stamina isn’t great so they can only go 5 innings 6 tops. That just taxes the bullpen even more. Plus Bills still needs to be more efficent. So moving Pitchings from the bullpen to make a spot start just taxes the bullpen even MORE.

    For one it takes that extra arm out of the pen and two since they won’t go 7 or 8 innings it makes the bullpen work even more. Hernandez is a waste. Get rid of him. Bring up meloan. If saito can’t go DL him and call up someone else. Grady wants 12 pitches but he’s not doing a great job managing them. Broxton was just tired today and you can’t blame him. 18 pitches plus warm up pitches yesterday and today. Come on.

  62. wasn’t an error, you’re right…but if you watched the game, it was a close play and a play that was catchable….not automatic, but certainly it could have been picked up….i think what happened was that it was hit so hard, and it just glanced off loney’s glove since human reaction speed is only so fast….good effort on his part, and as the ball sailed off his glove, he quickly tried to retrieve it and almost got delgado out…

    as far as kemp’s play…well, he just flat out missed that one…that’s 2 bad errors in this series that were quite costly.


    the bullpen is/was tired, and with saito out, it’s really hurting us. But with that said, today’s bullpen strategy with Grady worked out’re couldn’t ask for more with lower giving us an easy 7th inning, and roberto hernandez getting us through the 8th with the lead….with saito out, broxton is the natural guy to close with a 1 run lead…we just blew it today…but tommorow’s another day πŸ™‚


    Looking at the good side, Stults did a good yeoman like job that was at least beyond my expectations. He deserves another start. We need to bring up Meloan – how much worse can he be than Hernandez, who shouldn’t be with us in the first place. Broxton may have been understandably tired, but I think he was also trying to overthrow and get them out with extra velocity, and that rarely works. He’ll learn and adjust.


    huh? the fact that blowberto was put in high leverage situation was a mistake. lowe probably could have pitched two since he cruised through his first inning. really, to blame anyone person for this loss is wrong. loney’s play was tough, but don’t forget that broxton threw a wild pitch to let the runner and advance AND kemp dropped a fly ball. without those two things that run does not score.


    huh? the fact that blowberto was put in high leverage situation was a mistake. lowe probably could have pitched two since he cruised through his first inning. really, to blame anyone person for this loss is wrong. loney’s play was tough, but don’t forget that broxton threw a wild pitch to let the runner and advance AND kemp dropped a fly ball. without those two things that run does not score.


    I think Lowe could have gone another inning. Hernandez is a mop up guy at best but Grady Little thinks differently I suppose.


    jspelk –
    Would you rather have Dotel or Hernandez in the ‘pen? I’d rather have Dotel…the bullpen needs a fresh arm to reinforce it, and Dotel is a fairly solid choice. There are very few shut-it-down arms out there, and Dotel would be a decent, fairly low-cost pickup.


    I’d rather have him too, don’t get me wrong, Im just not expecting him to be nails if he comes here and it seems like everyone else is. Im just tempering my expectations that’s all. I don’t know how “low cost” it will be but i assume were not giving up top prospects for him.


    I rather have Gagne back but Dotel is not a bad option. I like Hernandez in his prime but not not now. He’s not the answer for us and hate that we signed him and he’s 42. Come on Ned dfa Hernandez and called up Meloan. I knew it was a big mistake to let Bemiel pitch another inning and ended up giving up a 2 runs Beltran homerun last night. I wouldn’t have mind seeing Beimel in that 8th innings regardless. This is why Grady shouldn’t had let Beimel pitch another innings.


    Are you sure Delgado was ibb with a 1-2 count? I doubt Grady did that. I really don’t think Grady did that with a 1-2 count and I sure the count was 2-0 with a base opened.


    Btw no managers would never ibb with a 1-2 count so what the reason this time? If the count were 1-2 and Delgado was struggling in this series.


    yeah, it was a 1-2 count, and they walked him after a wild pitch or something that advanced the runner to 3rd i think..i cant remember for sure….

    they wanted righty on righty i guess against lo doca?? and made the out…now if lo doca would have gotten a hit, this board might have crashed with the grady bashing and the micro-managing that tends to go on..fortunately for grady, and readers of this blog, lo doca made the last out


    Oh wow that’s was weird. I was sure it was a 2-0 count and I did watch manager to watch the whole game. Maybe Vin was wrong and I should had pay much attention. It hard to watch TV and type on the game thread at the same time. I have to turn my head to see the game on TV. That should had Beimel to face Delgado only to face that one person since he did try to pitch another inning and got burn by Beltran last night.


    iyt was a 1-2. Didn’t make sense but nor does grady. It worked out though.

    Andy LaRoche hit another Bomb tonight and drove in 4 runs.


    Delgado even though he’s been struggling I still don’t want him to beat us and I don’t blame Grady but you never ibb someone on a 1-2 pitch. Anyone played mlb 2007 the show? I have Reyes and Wright and Reyes hit 19 homeruns so far for me. Wright had hit 40 homeruna and driving in 108 rbi’s. I have it on rookie and he had hit 7 homerun in 2 games. The last game I played he had 4 homerun and almsot had 5. This game is too easy on rookie. It like everyone on my lineup is hitting over .400 except Ichiro and he’s hitting unner it. I really need to get rid of Nomar and I have him platooning with Nomar. Ethier and Kemp is platooning to because I have Ichiro and Crawford. I’m leading the entire league and homerun with over 200+ and the 2nd teams has under 100. I didn’t trade Sanez and he;’s doing good but too bad the real one can’t get that lucky.


    I guess the next time I better stop typing so fast. I really hate all the misspell words and they won’t let you edit it.


    The Dodgers are the front-runners for Octavio Dotel, according to’s Ken Rosenthal.
    They could probably have him tomorrow if they gave up Tony Abreu, but they see Abreu as Jeff Kent’s long-term replacement. Chin-Lung Hu could be dangled instead. However, Hu belongs at shortstop and the Royals would be sacrificing too much offense up the middle if they tried him at second next to Tony Pena Jr. at shortstop. Asdrubal Cabrera from Cleveland and Jed Lowrie from Boston could be more to the Royals’ liking.

    hrmmm not sure if I’d give up Abreu but since Kent will more then likley be around next year might as well trade Abreu and maybe try and move Hu over to second.


    Good info max. Abreu didn’t exactly dazzle after the first week of his callup; he has a ton of potential, it seems, but Hu seems like he will be a dynamite defensive player and has some offensive upside as well. I’ve always thought that if a player is a great SS, he will have no problem moving to 2b where the throws are shorter. And, as you say, Kent will probably be around next year; Hu may get a shot in ST, and be a bench player to spell Kent and he will get playing time when Furcal gets injured out of ST.


    Before we pull the trigger on Dotel, let’s wait and see what the MRI shows on Saito. Regardless of the Saito situation, let’s bring up Meloan and/or Hull and see how they perform this week before the trade deadline.


    As usual, there was not much to say about the ball dropped by Kemp. Is he not also a Major league player as is Pierre. Does the fact that Pierre makes so much money and Kemp make so little mean that there should a different level of criticism or complaining. If Pierre had dropped the ball 90 percent of you guys would have had a field day calling for his head.

    A true DODGER fan!!!!


    I don’t know if the news broke in time for Vin Scully to mention it during yesterday’s game, but the news about Mike Coolbaugh being killed by a line drive while coaching first base for AA-Tulsa was devastating. Anyone who’s listened to Vinny for any length of time knows he has constantly questioned why base coaches do not wear helmets, insisting it’s only a matter of time until someone gets hurt, or worse. Regrettably that time has come, and to make it worse Vinny won’t even be broadcasting today’s game so we can get his thoughts on the matter, though the last thing he’d ever do is say “I told you so.”


    Indeed, not much excuse for Kemp dropping the ball. The fact is that he may never be a great, or even an accomplished, fielder. Some players aren’t. I’m assuming that his speed will get him to some balls that other outfielders wouldn’t reach. Hopefully he will improve as he goes along. His major plus is, of course, hitting and particularly his power. Remember that some on this forum were advocating a trade for Dunn in order to get his power bat, and he’s been a notoriously poor fielder.


    Kemp would fit in nicely in left field. Next year without Gonzo it will most likely be Kemp, Pierre, Ethier left to right. Dunn is an adequate fielder with that kind of offensive production.


    I just heard that the Pirates are trying to offer us Ian Snell for Matt Kemp, definitely won’t happen considering we didn’t even consider a Buehrle for Kemp deal.


    Kemp’s fine. He just needs to learn how to wear sun glasses.

    I think regardless of how the MRI on saito goes we need to make the deal for Dotel. We also need to call up Meloan and get rid of some dead weight in the pen.


    come on you can’t tell me that won;t make the Madres have to take some pepto bismal.


    you have to wonder with kent’s option most likley vesting (unless he decides to retire) what they will do with abreu. sure he needs work but does anyone think he needs to spend all of next year in AAA? it makes me wonder what they’re plans are for him. i don’t think any of the positional prospects should be traded for dotel, its insane really, what where would abreu play with kent still around?


    Abreu would be in the same role as he is this year if Kent would stay. Abreu probably isn’t ready this year and might not be next. Neither will Hu but Hu has has more potential then Abreu. Hu is much better defensively along with Loney, Hu is probably the best defensive player in the organization. He’ll get on base more then Abreu and will steal more bases them Abreu.

    Hu’s hitting has just starting to come around as well. He only got better when bumped up to Triple A. Of course we have Furcal but when his contract expires he’ll probably want more money and really the Dodgers need to stop spending money they way they are. I mean look at our payroll 110 million and most of it is either washed up, overrated or injured.

    Dodger teams always have done that since 88. They want veterans god forbid they forget a majority of the 88 team came threw the system. Same with the 81 team and every other team in Brooklyn.


    through* man this is just not my dad typing wise. Earlier this morning I was filling out paper work for school online and Im pretty sure i put the date as 7/23/2001.


    right out der winder eh Max?

    I was at at yesterdays game and was right behind Kemp on that play.He didn’t even see it for half a sec but he did catch up to it.It was really hazy and humid.I was wearing sunglasses and don’t think I picked up on a single ball hit in the air. But while Either was in RF he was on top of everything as well as JP. The Play that Loney almost made was insane and from the angle I saw I thought that the ump called him out.But I could clearly see that he was safe.


    I was at yesterday’s game. The game was lost the minute Hernandez came in. Not because Hernandez is bad (he sort of is, but we need someone to eat innings, and he only gave up a run, so he’s not too bad), but because it meant that two of three of Beimel, Broxton, and Saito were not available. Let’s face it–if Broxton comes in in the 8th, he probably does not give up that run, and Saito is more likely to shut down the Mets in the 9th. Our big problem is bridging the gap to the 7th and 8th innings because our starters are not getting long enough outings (because Bills is still working through the youth and Wolf is out, and we’re not sure about Hendrickson, Stults, Tomko, etc.). The good news is that we were very close to getting everything we needed–if Kemp catches the ball, Broxton closes it out, and Beimel, Saito, and Houlton all get a day off.

    Obviously, I am very worried about Saito’s MRI, but I think Dotel is a good solution. Not because he is great, but he is good, and if Saito is OK, we already have solid 8th and 9th inning guys. Dotel is likely not too expensive and fills the need.

    Compare that to Eric Gagne, who the Rangers are shopping. If his arm is what it used to be, he is great–but way too expensive since we don’t need a closer, we need a 7th/8th inning guy. Also, I see a few people saying we should get Gagne–remember, Gagne only knows how to end games. He was not good at holding games or working ties. That’s just his mental attitude–made for a closer. That’s great, and I love him for it, but with Saito now and Broxton in the future, it just does not work into our plans.

    Back to Sunday’s game–the ball hit to Loney was slammed, and it was not ruled, nor should it be, an error. That being said, it’s the type of play that I expect Loney to make–but that’s because I have high expectations of the kid.

    Kemp misplayed that ball in right, and I was crushed. No way was the runner going to challenge Kemp’s arm, so Broxton just needed the one more out that he got. Later, when they walked Kent in the 10th to get to Kemp, I stood and applauded. I was sure that Kemp was going to end it right there. Again, I have high expectations for this kid too.

    When Loney and Kemp screw up do I cut them some slack? Sure. They are 22 and 23, less than 300 career at-bats, and could easily still be in the minor leagues. But they are tremendous talents who are now in the process of helping the Dodgers in the second straight pennant race, and are guys who are at the center of the team. When Karros and Piazza came up, they came up and took over a bad team in 1992-93, and then turned it around. When Steve Sax came up in 1982, he may have led-off, but he was inserted amongst veterans who had won 4 pennants and a World Series together. Loney and Kemp (along with Martin, Ethier, Broxton, Bills, and Saito), are supposed to be able to make mistakes, but more often than not we are relying on them–sometimes more than the veteran leaders like Nomar, Kent, Gonzo, Pierre, etc.). If we lose the division by one game this year (and I still think we will win), everyone can point back to Sunday’s game (and a few others), and Kemp’s error or Loney’s inability to handle the smack from Delgado. But, we’re asking these kids to be the difference-makers, and more often then not they are delivering. Kemp is going to be a great outfielder, but he still needs work. And if we lost yesterday because we are taking a chance on him, I think we won the day before for the same reason, and we’re going to win more because of it.

    I don’t want to get into the debate over whether Pierre or Nomar or Kent or Gonzo should be playing–but the difference is we have a pretty good idea of what we will get–high and low. Right now, we just do not know what the ceiling (if any) is for Kemp, Loney, and the rest. If Pierre costs us a game because of his weak arm, then it’s a problem we know about. When Kemp does it, it stinks, but the reality is we may be getting a whole lot more in the bargain.

    Anyway, those are my fairly unclear rantings for the day.

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