Return to the Coliseum

Just got back from the morning press conference at the Coliseum and I don’t know about all of you, but this has me really, really excited. I’ve been hearing about the games that were played there for years and years, as my father was fortunate enough to be at the Campanella game, and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to see a baseball game played there.

March 29 we’ll be playing the Red Sox there and the net proceeds are benefiting ThinkCure, which is really something special. Wouldn’t it be cool if we can break the all-time record for attendance at a baseball game? It would take 94,000 people willing to come out to the game, but for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I think it’s a possibility.

Ticket information is forthcoming so stay tuned.

Not much else to report on the baseball front at the very moment. I do see that most of the comments are geared towards the rumor mill, which is great. I just caution everyone to remember to take everything they read with a grain of salt.

I have no doubt that we’re talking with tons of teams about trades and tons of agents about their free agent clients, but just because a guy’s name is attached to the Dodgers doesn’t mean that they’re our top target (or even a target at all). Remember, it benefits the agent to have their client linked to as many teams as possible to create a better market for them, which is why this information comes out in the first place. I can assure you it’s not the Dodgers who are sharing our wish list with the media on a daily basis.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and congrats to jungar on his new addition.

97 Comments

I’m definitely looking forward to the game at the Coliseum!! My concern is not that we won’t fill the place up, but that I won’t get a ticket before they’re all gone. Josh, please give us here at this blog the heads-up on ticket purchase for this game ASAP. Thanks in advance for that.

The Coliseum game should be great. Josh do you know if they are going to go retro with the experience? Will there be the old-fashioned hawkers, old-pipe organ music, retro uni’s? If the Dodgers took the time to do it right, I think it would be a memorable experience.

Responding to Sherwood from the previous thread:

I disagree that nobody will take Pierre off our hands. Pierre has some value as a major leaguer, and probably even as a starter for the right (read wrong) team. A team that wants a speedster and has a small outfield would be a good fit for Pierre at $6-7 million per year. To unload him, all we have to do is identify those teams of which I’m sure there are at least three or four (no time for research right now, sorry) and eat a couple million a year for 4 years — a total of about $10 million. It won’t be easy for Colletti and McCourt to just eat that money, but it is better than the alternatives of either playing him every day to the team’s detriment, or paying $9 million per year for a pinch-runner/sub/occasinal pinch-hitter.

I second the thoughts of charris about the Coliseum game.

In a more general sense I think the Dodgers would benefit from implementing more of the “old-fashioned” traditions for all their games. This goes along with my oft-expressed theme that baseball is best served in the long run by simply being the best baseball it can be rather than attempting to be things it’s not like basketball or a rock-and-roll concert.

Call me an old fogey, (no offense “oldfogey”) but I miss the organ music at Dodger Stadium. I want more than just the 7th inning.

What happened to “CHARGE!!!”?

What’s up with Kent? Is he coming back or not? What’s he going to tell everybody once spring training starts? If I’m the GM, I would give him a deadline to make his decision so I know what to do with the team. Maybe Ned gave him a deadline, but I sure hope it’s soon.

From the L.A Times: This should ease most of our nerves!

Citing the high asking prices for top players on the trade market and the lack of quality among free agents, Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said today that he wouldn’t “make a deal to make a deal.”

That would leave the Dodgers with a team that once again would be short on experience, something Colletti said he didn’t mind. Manager Joe Torre echoed similar thoughts.

“There’s potential for change, but as we look at the young players that we played a lot this past year, we’re less likely to fill in [positions with veterans] as much as we have in the past and more likely we’ll give the younger players greater opportunity,” Colletti said. “I’m curious to see how our young players, who really had a chance this past year to play full-time, I’m curious to see what another year does.”

Colletti called pitching a “constant priority” and Torre said that facet of the game would be the key to the team’s success. But Colletti said that trade demands for “the pitching that draws your attention” is about the same as the asking price for a middle-of-the-order bat — that is, very high and more than the Dodgers are willing to part with.

The top pitcher on the trading block, Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins, is a free agent at the end of the 2008 season and has a full no-trade clause in his contract. To acquire him, the Dodgers probably would have to give up multiple young players on their big-league roster. And to make a trade for Santana worthwhile for him and the team that trades for him, Santana probably would have to be signed to a six-year extension worth around $20 million a season.

Outside of their signing of Torre, the off-season has been a quiet one for the Dodgers so far, as they never made offers to center fielder Torii Hunter and third baseman Mike Lowell, who were on the free-agent market.

Their scheduled meeting with the 32-year-old Hunter on Sunday was called off when Hunter signed with the Angels late Wednesday. The 33-year-old Lowell was seeking a four- or five-year deal, which the Dodgers weren’t willing to give. Lowell re-signed with the Boston Red Sox.

— —

Proceeds from the Dodgers’ exhibition game against the Red Sox at the Coliseum on March 29 will be donated to the ThinkCure charity, which raises money for cancer research. The Dodgers launched ThinkCure in July with ambitions of making it their version of the Jimmy Fund, the Red Sox-supported charity. … Rodney McCray was named the Dodgers’ roving baserunning coach.

fliegel,

what do you mean?

are u telling me that Kent is the most important player on this team?

he does have a good year last season but he is 40 already!!!

i doubt that he will still produce like he did last season!

u cant wait for a 40 year old to make his decision before u make yours!

like u said what is wrong with him? why he hasn’t made a decision yet…

my answer is he think he is a VIP…

i still wish he retires!

Here is what I think Ned should do:
1. Sign A. Jones

2. Move Pierre to LF

3. Trade Kemp and LaRoche(NOT KERSHAW!!!) for Cabrera

4. Recommend to Joe Torre that he put a C on the chest of Martin

5. Get rid of Honeycutt and sign a better pitching coach

6. Convince Kent to come back

7. Don’t pressure Torre to play any of your high priced free agents, give him complete freedom to play who in wants in whatever batting order/ pitching order he wants

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while but I just wanted to say this:
You all laughed at me when I said I thought the Rockies were the most talented team in the division, WHO’S LAUGHING NOW!!!!!!

lol….. sorry had to say it

I Josh, Welcome Back****I hope I get to see that game from the Coliseum on March 29th on MLBTV if it’s not shown nationwide. It will be a nice 70th birthday gift for me since I was born on the 27th. I sure wish they could’ve played a game in Brooklyn, just for the few of us that are still around. A nice exibition with the Mets. at KeySpan Park. I’m really glad in a way that the Dodgers haven’t made any big moves yet. It’s a tough market. Can’t Trade or even go after a FA, without letting one of our best either go or be left without a spot in the lineup. No matter what many are saying, I think Pierre will be around for a while because it’s hard to find anyone who would want to use him, even if we paid the remainder of his contract.

yeah Alex…
thats the best news of the winter…the less we do the better we will be.

I don’t know about that Jungar. I still feel we would be alot better with Cabrera in our lineup.

hahahah..

where have you been ryan?

i didn’t laugh at you!

but i still dont agree!

the rockies show their talent at the end of the season.. why coz they are a young team!

look at the dbacks too!

young players dont get tired like the veterans do at the end of the season!

The dodgers played their Old vets along the way even they were struggling! it just proves that age gets in you!

It’s gonna take a lot more than Laroche and Kemp to get Cabrera but it’s necessary. Why not add pitcher MeLoan and throw in Hendrickson also. Then they can sign A.jones, Move Pierre to Left, play Ethier in right and I’m sure Kent would return with some power added.
Dodgers also need a #3-4 starter. Cannot win with just Penny, Lowe and Billingsley. Schmit is uncertain and Wolf will be gone. In any casee sitting aroundthinking we are competetive now is just plain foolish.

This team is not competitive now ,and as it stands will not be unless Loney , Kemp and LaRoche start being run producers in their first full year of ML play, which is highly unlikely. As for Kent I don’t think it really matters what he does, just that I think the team has a right to know so they can adjust accordingly.

i hope i can go to the colliseum game. that’ll be an unforgetable experience.

the dodgers need to make some moves and get some new players but we need to keep our valuable youngn’s. kemp, loney,martin,billz,etc.

ALEX: I just wanted you to know I’m very please to read what you have in your post of 2:29PM. I’ve been tryin to get on the LA Times website but they keep telling me they will send me an e-mail to start, but they never do. SWOOD: I disagree with#s_1_3_&_5, but the rest sound good.

No, no, no.

No “move Pierre to left” talk. Let’s cut or trade Pierre, add A. Jones, and keep every one else.

You have got to be crazy people. Pierre is a poor choice for either OF spot. We can’t play him just because we’re paying him a lot. Rational thinking MUST prevail for the Dodgers to move forward and establish credibility!

I am not excited at all about an exhibition game at the Colisuem. I am glad to see the proceeds from this game go to a well deserved charity but is it really worth the costs to make the venue baseball friendly for one game? That place isn’t even suitable for football games with the fans so far away from the field. I will admit it was impressive when the Dodgers played there in terms of attendence but no one thought it was a great place to watch baseball. However, it sounds as if most of you think this is a great idea so I hope you all get a chance to attend.

This is very cool about the Coliseum game. I agree with martinloneykemp about that game, and traditional aspects of our regular games. And bravo to the Dodgers for donating the proceeds of the Coliseum game to ThinkCure.

Great post from Alex. Also, this interview in the Boston Globe calmed me quite a bit: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2007/11/25/sign_of_turnaround_in_la/. Basically, McCourt and Torre say what most of us have been saying–we don’t need a big move, we have great talent. And now we have a top-flight manager.

There is a Ken Rosenthal article wherein Rosenthal manages to confirm in my mind that he is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but certainly the biggest tool. No need to link to it, but if you are curious, the Dodger Thoughts blog has a link to a blog post that eviscerates Rosenthal’s logic of “make a really bad move so you can say you’ve made one,. Interestingly, this seems to be motivated by no other reason than the fact that Rosenthal’s reporting all winter (and last summer) has been claiming that the Dodgers were on the verge of a big move, and the articles in the Times and the Globe, (which cite to real people, not “anonymous major league sources”) now pretty much show that Rosenthal is a lame hack who got played by agents trying to drive up the price of their players, and the only way to avoid having a generous helping of huevos rancheros on his face is if he can build a drumbeat up to make the Dodgers make a move. Fortunately, I don’t think anyone will play that game. Fox really needs to dump that clown.

In any event, good news all around. I am not going out on a limb to say that I am feeling secure–it will be a long hot stove league. And I would love to see us improve the Pierre situation (though, I think that the costs and contract make it unlikely, and I can live with it). But at least things seem better.

ethier and kemp had better seasons then jones last year. jones is not that much of an upgrade over those two if at all, but a huge upgrade over pierre on both sides of the ball

happy 70 in advance pierre!!!

i would never trade both laroache and kemp….the ends does not justify the means..both could easily go 20/80 next year.

Dodger fans forget about it. As long as Coletti is around you will NEVER win a championship. He will not sign Russ Martin to a long term deal because he is not free agent eligible for a few years. Ned would rather waste a ton of money on Juan Pierre, and pay Russ just above the minimum. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE Russ will be gone because of this treatment.

We’ll sign Russ when we get to arbitration…until then the labor agreement gives us that luxory and nobody gets a fat contract after their rookie year. And how is cutting Pierre using rational thinking? Eat 9 mill for four years instead of using a guy who can steal anybase when/if he gets on. Moving him to left is a priority but unless we get something that blows our socks off in return (which we wont) he’s in the lineup. Deal with it and move on.

thx Junger*** Let’s face it Pierre is untradable except to somebody who thinks exactly the way Colletti does. I don’t know why he signed Pierre, even though he is a talented lead off man and basestealer. I never cared for outfielders with no power and on top of that no MLB throwing arm.

Cutting pierre is only rational thinking if you want to win. If you’d rather play him every day when you have better players you could use that get paid minimum…that’s not very rational. He’s a sunk cost. You can’t just “move on” when he is affecting the Dodgers for the next for years in a negative way.

This IS a puzzle isn’t it,jspelk2?

I’d like to know what happened between Nov of 06 (or when we signed him) to Nov 07 when we cant wait to get rid of him…did the dodgers need to see it to belive it? That seems to be Coletti’s MO. Maybe he has no clue and just listens to others and then goes holy **** what was I thinking?? Danny Baez is the same, same with Loney..

Polarbear it’s rational because he hurts the pitching staff and hurts the offense.

Jungar, you and I were part of a handful of people on this blog that saw this coming. It wasn’t even a hard prediction.

I haven’t written anything for a while but have been reading the blog everyday. It’s great that the off-season has us all as passionate about Dodger baseball as the regular season.
As a Florida Dodger fan I’ve got to say that I am having a really difficult time with the plans for this spring training. I would guess that a lot of the folks on this blog live near LA and get to see the boys play on a regular basis, or maybe you live near a National League city and can see them when they come to town. I am five hours from Atlanta and can see them when they play the Braves but I really enjoy being able to see spring training games. The way the organization is treating the city of Vero Beach seems pretty wrong after all Vero has done for the team, and now they are not even playing a full final season in Vero Beach. Those fields had Jackie, Campy, Sandy, Big D, Duke, Pee Wee and every other Dodger Hall of Famer and now they are getting unceremoniously dumped from the Dodger family. I know that Arizona is closer to the huge LA fan base but they get to watch our boys play during the season. Everytime I read something about another series at the Coliseum or games in China or Arizona this spring, it’s really sad. I just wanted to make sure that people that read this blog think about the other side of these great spring games that are being planned away from Vero Beach.

Dont get me wrong….I’m not a fan of mr. pierre, I just dont see any way of getting him out of the picture, moving him to left causes the least amount of damage, until Neds gone Pierre is here to stay. But who knows miracles happen, JD opted out…maybe pierre has a clause he’d be willing to take

Josh, the Coliseum capacity is currently 92,000 people for football, according to their official website, lacoliseum.com. Since the record attendance for a baseball game at the Coliseum is 93,103 for the Dodgers/Yankees exhibition game in 1959 honoring Roy Campanella, I don’t think the record can be broken, unless there are plans for something radical like festival-style seating on the grass beyond the RF fence. (92,762 attended game 5 of the World Series that year, between the Dodgers and the Chisox.)

alaskanpolarbear31: Don’t be so pessimistic. The Angels just admitted that their move to sign a 5-year $50M CF last offseason is a bust by signing Torii Hunter to play CF for 5-years and $90M – so Ned can spin his mistake as 11% cheaper!

It is entirely possible that once the dust settles and the music stops playing, one of the teams with a CF hole is still left standing without one, with Baltimore or the White Sox as possibilities. They would find a heavily-subsidized Pierre a reasonable alternative for CF, especially since he can hit 9th in the AL, which is a good spot for a slappy speedster with a subpar OBP. Pierre + $4.5M for each of the next four year to the White Sox or Orioles in exchange for a pallet of batting practice baseballs and a case of rosin bags.

I see no reason to go after FAs Andruw & Aaron Rowand just to make less playing time for Kemp in order to trade him for Santana. This is what I’m gathering here. Now that A-Rod is out of the picture and the Fish want our best for Miggy, I think we should just skip the winter meetings. I think the Dodgers will just have to work around Pierre’s weak arm, as they’ve been doing or put him on wavers. Or make him a pinch runner or a cheer leader like this SHERWOOD suggested on the last page. I’d still rather have Loney in the OF, I know everybody thinks I’m crazy, but a first baseman doesn’t need the arm of an OF. I also think Pierre should lead off and drop Furcal to 5th. Let’s stay with Laroche at third and Nomar will backup him and first base.

leamans – I agree that the Dodgers should treat Vero Beach’s last season better and celebrate the history there with a full and final spring training in Florida, foregoing the China trip – China will always be there. (But I expect there is some MLB pressure on the Dodgers there.) (The Coliseum game is the weekend immediately preceding opening day, so it takes the place of a Freeway Series game, I guess.)

One problem is that this is the last year in Vero ONLY if the Arizona facility is ready for 2009. They just broke ground the other day, so they have barely over one year to complete this project. What’s more common, construction ahead of schedule or construction delays? It’s not unfathomable that 2009 will also be in Vero!

However, I think that after 50 years in Los Angeles, it is time to let go of some of the past and make the move to Arizona for Spring Training. Really, this is an overdue move. The Dodger spring training experience is really a prohibitive expense for L.A. fans – which is the overwhelming majority of Dodger fans – because of the coast-to-coast air travel, lodging, time, etc., but the Phoenix area is close enough to drive to L.A. for an extended weekend trip, a much more realistic option for many fans.

pierreseastmeetswest: I still worry sometimes that James Loney may not have enough power to be a legitimate 1B, so your suggestion of JP there really leaves me cold. I doubt that there’s been a slap-hitting 1B since the deadball era (other than Pete Rose as an old man)!

Pierres, I always enjoy your comments and won’t berate somebody for thinking out of the box, but I can’t agree with your thought of changing Pierre with Loney at first base. There is no indication that Pierre would make a decent infielder – I don’t get the feel that he’s any good with ground balls. His only value in the OF is his speed and expectation that he can run down fly balls. Loney is a proven ground ball fielder, but he does not possess speed that would make him particularly good in the outfield. Remember that Loney was a high school pitcher, and throughout his minor league career he’s been converted to presumably his best fielding position, which seems to be first base, in order to take advantage of his hitting. So, whatever you wish to do with Pierre, putting him at first base is not a good option.

old fogey,

I suppose I can understand your concern that Loney may not have enough power to be a first baseman. But I think that not every part has to fit in its exact place. Although first base is a traditional place for power, it’s not a disaster if your first baseman only hits 15 per year. And based on his career to this point 15 would be a very low estimate of Loney’s power (already has 19 in his first 446 ML ABs).

Even assuming 15 HR though, we’re still talking about a guy who’s going to hit well over .300, OBP of .380+, 45+ doubles and triples, around 100 RBI. It’s not Albert Pujols, but it ain’t bad.

Moving him into the outfield doesn’t make much sense when you combine his lack of speed with a belief supported by Vin Scully among others that Loney will win some Gold Gloves.

Thanks BTW to everyone who wished me and my my baby well. I have changed like 20 diapers already which is 20 more than I have in my whole life!!

Max not only did you and i discuss this Pierre thing as a 07 problem, but we thought it was a bigger problem in 08 (07 we could live with) and beyond. The same things we talked about with Loney/Nomar

I once thought that getting rid of Pierre was completely impossible, but now I just think it’s very difficulty, but possible. We should talk to the Chicago White Sox about Pierre. They want a CF, they just missed out on T. Hunter so they are looking for a CF, and they clearly don’t have a problem with starting a speedy powerless OBP-challenged outfielder(see Podsednik). Ned has to push hard on Pierre and agree to eat some of that contract. It can be done.

i should proofread before posting.

We just need to pay the majority of his contract, and he’ll be very desirable to a whole lot of teams…

The ChiSox are supposedly going hard after Rowand. So we must snap up Rowand (yes I know he’s not ideal) so that the ChiSox have no choice but to trade for pierre :)

I also think the Twins would really like the idea of getting Pierre for half price after losing Hunter…

Regardless of price, Jones is by far the better option. Inevitably you are getting Jones for a discount bc of his poor season that still produced 90 RBI and 25 HR. No way is he shot at 30 having very little injury problems…

I really wish i were the GM of the Dodgers right now. It almost seems too obvious/easy as to how to put the best team on the field: IT CANNOT BE THAT DIFFICULT TO FIND A PIERRE TAKER IF WE PAY HALF THE CONTRACT. It is worth 16 mil over four years regardless of the player we receive in return. We sign Jones– overpay for shorter term, buiild in incentives, give options, etc… but while keeping the years to 3, option 4 max. I like a lineup of:

Furcal

Ethier (I think LaRoche has good 2 spot potential)

Kemp

Jones

Martin

Loney

Kent

LaRoche

We need to pick up another pitcher, even if it is just Randy Wolf. Kuroda would be great, but for some reason i have a feeling its not going to happen- same with Pettite. I’d try and re-sign Lowe. If you know have that front three locked up so strong, i believe you can afford to wait on the younger talent. I really dont want to see Kershaw or McDonald traded but in all reality they could not be able to help the major league club this year, and any trade for pitching will almost inevitably include one of them…. Im very excited, and like i said, wish i was the GM RIGHT NOW.

GO DODGERS.

From the L.A Daily News: News on the kids from Ned, Kuroda and Kent

The names mentioned as possible Dodgers off-season targets have been rather staggering. Alex Rodriguez. Johan Santana. Miguel Cabrera. Even center fielder Aaron Rowand is enough of an offensive upgrade to get some people excited.

But after surveying the market and sky-high asking prices for those players – via trade or free agency – Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti seems to be looking a lot more favorably on the talented young players the club has developed, and every potential trading partner covets.

“Everyone we’ve talked to is very anxious to talk about our young players,” Colletti said Monday, after the Dodgers officially announced that their March 29 exhibition game with the Red Sox will be played at the Coliseum. “I think we have to be wise. We can’t just do a deal to do a deal.

“We’ve been talking about finding someone who could hit 20-25 home runs, but I think our first baseman (James Loney) and our right fielder (Matt Kemp) both might be able to do that right now, from what I saw from them the last month of the season.”

Still, Colletti said that pitching was a “constant priority” and “if the right scenario presents itself” the club wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.

Another intriguing possibility is free agent Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who is believed to prefer West Coast teams. An industry source told the Daily News that the Dodgers would be at the top of Kuroda’s list, with Seattle not far behind.

He is expected to command a contract in the neighborhood of $30 million over three years. Last week, Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi and manager John McLaren flew to Japan to meet with him. Seattle is the only potential suitor to meet with Kuroda in Japan, but the Dodgers scouted him extensively last season.

Colletti said Monday he’s spoken numerous times with second baseman Jeff Kent’s agent, Jeff Klein, and “not once did I get the indication that Jeff Kent wants to become an operator of a motorcycle.”

Kent, 40, is under contract for $9 million this season, but hinted at retirement this season and was a vocal critic of some of the team’s young players at the end of the season.

Torre spoke with Kent directly – they have the same agent – and also came away with “positive vibes” that Kent would be back.

if all he wants is 3 years 30 million dollars i’d have that deal done yesterday. Get it done NEDORINO!

Other stories about Ned’s comments yesterday can be found in the L.A. Daily News at: http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_7567019

and an oddly negative spin in the O.C. Register by a reporter who must be among those non-Dodger fans that don’t realize how pleased most Dodger fans are with the lack of trades by the team so far at:

http://www.ocregister.com/sports/dodgers-los-angeles-1929981-baseball-ned

I know practically nothing about Kuroda, but if we can make improvements without giving up any of our kids, I’m generally for that.

Of course, this kind of thinking led me to be okay initially with the signings of Pierre and Gonzalez, so buyer beware I guess.

Well I’m glad to read that Ned Colletti is nothing if not FAITHFUL to his young players. It looks like the Joe Torre era in LA will start with, perhaps, the 4th best outfield in the West.. Kemp, Pierre, Ethier… is anyone else getting goosebumps?? Oh, and don’t forget our GREAT infield of LaRoche, Furcal, Kent(he’d be smart to retire now) and Garciaparra or, ready, Tony Clark!!!! It’s amazing how Frank McCourt talks a great game, he is a **** of a salesman, heck he sold Joe Torre on how much he wanted to win, but he is just that.. TALK!! This Dodger team will be better because of Joe Torre, he will be the difference in alot of games and in the attitude in the clubhouse, but not even Joe can win it all with this sorry team. Ned Colletti and Frank McCourt are making a mockery of Dodger baseball. I have been a fan for 35 years but i have never been more dissappointed than I’ve been over the last 2 months… I’m sorry to say that the Dodgers are now in the shadow of my favorite LA team, the Angels.
Frank, Ned, you broke my heart and lost me as a fan after 35 years… thanks.

MiLB.com is counting down the Top 50 Prospects for 2008. So far they have listed Numbers 31-50. Andy LaRoche is #33 and Scott Elbert is #38.

See more at: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/news/top50/y2008/

kiper,

I fail to understand your pessimism. I noticed you didn’t mention James Loney or Russell Martin in your post.

And you also failed to mention a very good top of the rotation in Penny, Lowe, and Billingsley, or an outstanding bullpen of Beimel, Proctor, Broxton, and Saito.

Honestly, the only real weakness on this team is Pierre.

Many, perhaps most, here seem to think that this young Dodgers team will be ready to go all the way in 2009. I think they’re ready to make a World Championship run right now. We’ll need to find two more startes between Schmidt, Loaiza, and our roster/trade/free agency.

And it would be great if we could add Andruw Jones and dump Pierre.

By the time the July trading deadline rolls around, we’ll know what our needs will be, we will be at or near the top of the National League, and we certainly have the minor league prospects to fill any holes that might still exist by mid-season 2008.

As a Dodgers fan of 35 years, you’ve weathered the loss to free agency of Steve Garvey, the underperformance of a host of 1B prospects who were supposed to take his place (Brock, Marshall, Stubbs, Bream), *******’ Niedenfeuer pitching to Jack Clark, the failed free agency acquisitions of among others Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis, Pedro-for-Delino, the 1994 strike, the failure of the Piazza-Karros-Mondesi era team to win even a single playoff game, the Piazza trade, the Fox era in general, and the early mistakes of the McCourt era.

But one thing that none of the recent parade of GMs has done is trade away the farm. And now, the Dodgers are reaping the harvest.

Surely, you can hold out for a young team that I will tell you, as a fan of more than 35 years myself, is the most promising of any group since the early ’70s. More promising as a group than Marshall-Brock-Maldonado etc. in the early ’80s or than Piazza-Karros-Mondesi etc. in the ’90s.

This team already has at least 5 youngsters who have proven their ability and are on or over the verge of stardom in the majors: Martin, Loney, Kemp, Billingsley, and Broxton. (I left out Ethier because although a solid starting major league outfielder, I don’t know if he’ll ever be a “star”.)

Knocking on the door are a bunch of others including: LaRoche, Abreu, Delwyn Young, and Scott Elbert.

Fortunately for long-time fans such as you and me, kiper, we got to experience the 1974-1981 Dodgers and the Gibson Year. Unlike our younger brethren we at least have some World Series to fall back on.

Don’t give up now, kiper!!!

P.S. Anaheim is not in Los Angeles.

This is what Ned has to do:
Sign Andruw Jones and then trade Ethier, Laroche, and Mcdonald for Tejada.

It would give us an unstoppable lineup.

1.Pierre LF

2.Furcal SS

3.Tejada 3B

4.Jones CF

5.Kent 2B

6.Loney 1B

7.Martin C

8.Kemp RF

I really hope you’re just messin’ around by saying that we need Tejada? Especially for the 3 players you mentioned.

tejada? are you serious? ugh.

Their should be only 2 FA’s on our radar right now, Jones and Kuroda and maybe one potential trade (Bedard) if we can’t land Kuroda other than that, we shouldn’t do anything this offseason.

Yikes.Tejada’s dropped off after stopped taking those “vitamin B” shots. I agree Charris. Kuroda should get a serious look. And yeah ill beat the dead horse again, we need to do something with CF. But everyone knows that already so Go Dodgers!

kiper..
what exactly do you want ned to do this offseason… i mean he could trade kemp, billingsley and laroche for cabrera but that would just open a new hole in the starting rotation that would be filled by who? the free agent market is not very good and we never win with free agents anyways. as a dodgers fan of 35 years you should be excited that we are building through the farm. that is the true dodger way that all the old timers love to talk about.. the great infield for 8 years, etc.. anyways i dont get why some people are upset that we are playing talented young position players rather than trading them away for more expensive “proven” players.. These young players may not be “proven” yet but most of them are no longer prospects.. How do you expect young players to become proven? It doesn’t happen magically.. they have to play to become proven. So if your upset that the dodgers didn’t throw 90 mill at a 32 year old CF then go ahead and support the team down south. Personally I’m happy we haven’t done anything stupid

I think rick meant to say those three for Tejada and BEDARD …. Martinloneykemp — one of the best, most empathetic, sincere posts i have ever read. As a younger fan, i have NEVER experienced a Dodgers WS– i was 1 in 1988, so while i sympathize w/ kipers frustration as you do, it should be noted that achieving success in sports is so fulfilling because it is so difficult.

martinloneykemp is reading my mind!

I saw game 5 of the ’59 series at the coliseum (Shaw out-dueled Koufax) and it would be difficult to get any more people in there without adding some seating behind the right field fence.
Should be fun.

What’s Wally Moon doing these days?

Josh thanks for the well wishes, I didn’t notice it before. I wish you luck with your little one as well. Maybe one day they will be playing ball together.

It’s great to see the dodgers as better put by martinloney will not go for instant gratification. I am sorry Ned for all the bad thing i said..Seriously guys for 20 years it hasn’t worked…and martinloney is right this is some serious talent. Go blue..

Gotta love this from Steve Henson and the the Hot Stove section of Yahoo sports: “The Padres are accustomed to contending for the NL West title year in and year out, counting on payroll bungling by the Dodgers…” Atta boy, Ned!

i just saw this today. It’s the brief summary at the end of the Dodgers power ranking on fox sports.

“Thanks to the Dodgers, baseball’s new power division boasts four winning teams. Next season, L.A. will need to make sure James Loney, Matt Kemp and Andy LaRoche are in the lineup every day. Jeff Kent can still hit, but he needs to shut his mouth. Juan Pierre, well, needs to be playing for someone else. “

Very well put.

LEAMANS= I’m with you all the way on Vero Beach, if I would’ve had access to a computer and got on this Website at least 10 years ago, I would’ve seriously thought of getting to one of those fantasy camps, as it is now, it won’t be long before they are stationed in Arizona a long way from Brooklyn. I have only myself to blame since I heard about it when it first started. I wanted to go but I just never got around to it. Yes, it’s a bigger shame for all those other reason you mentioned. *******************ALASKANPOLARBEAR_ Pierre Op out? I don’t think you made Leamans happy with your thoughts on Vero Beach.*************************OLDFOGEY__ How do you know Colletti wants Pierre off the team? He hasn’t indicated that.***********MESSAGEBEARER__I was only thinking, that everything would be a lot smoother with Pierre out of the outfield and the only other position for him, since he is a left handed fielder would be at 1B. ***** Good Bye KIPER04 see you when you get back.

pierre at 1B would be an even worse idea than him in CF. You can’t have a 1B with 0 homers. No way. 1B is a power position, probably the biggest power position. You hide bad gloves at 1st, not bad bats.

w0w… Kiper

goodluck being an angels fan!!!

i hope they wont break ur heart! ( well half of the emotion is i hope they will) LOL!

they have a good team right now and many thinks they would go after miggy!!!

if that team still cant win a championship it’ll be alot painful… i think u’ll go back as a dodgers fan after that happen!

Go DODGERS!!!

i agree with kiper and think you dodger fans are foolish to believe staying pat is the answer. staying pat mean last place. Do you people not get that or are you happy to continue to be the laughing stock of baseball?

here is a good interview with Ned. Why are all the New York and Boston papers getting better information straight from Ned and McCourt then all the LA Papers combined?

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/touchingbase/2007/11/nine-innings-dodgers-gm-ned-co.html

Good link max, it makes me think that Coletti might not be as naive as we think. I’m sure you loved his take on Pierre too j/k.

You know, I think it’s ridiculous that so many people talk smack about our chances if we keep the kids. But isn’t that how Colorado and Arizona ended up in the playoffs?

Plus, the fact that the same 3-5 names are called in every trade rumor should clue people in to the amount of talent we have right now (or potential talent, it could be argued, but still, everyone will not come up a bust).

I’m not worried about what the east coast rumor mills cook up.

martinloneykemp,

Believe me, I have no desire to move Loney to the OF. Loney may or may not grow into more power, but if he ends up being like, say, Mark Grace (good fielder with career batting pretty close to what you alluded to: .303/.383/.442 119 OPS+), the Dodgers can be happy with that. It is entirely Loney will have more power than that, which is one reason I can look forward to watching the 2008 Dodgers, to see how this all plays out.

I’m glad charris1010321 notice that Ned’s only reference to our incumbent CF was to his “speed”. Not that he “gets on base a lot” or some other such nonsense.

What martinloneykemp said in response to kiper04. Well put.

I would add that the talk about Tony Clark came solely from Tony Clark’s agent, who at least had the decency to be a NAMED source. Really, Clark is ok to have as a PH and backup 1B (the Saenz/Sweeney role), but I suspect he is looking for more playing time than he will get as Loney’s backup.

pierreseastmeetswest, I have no idea what Ned wants to do beyond the quotes that are reported; I was really just trying to point out that there are realistic places and situations (on other teams) to which Pierre could be moved, if there were a desire to do so.

Mark Grace never hit more than 17 HRs in a year.. I don’t think those comparisons are apt.

Color me unimpressed with the Ned interiew (although I admit I only skimmed it). Ned always manages to demean the kids even if he’s attempting to complement them.

The Angels are desparate and are making moves that will be to their determent in future years. I have been a Dodger fan for over 50 years, and I urge them to stand pat with the kids!! There is a reason why everyone wants them. If the Dodgers don’t give in to the naysayers, this will soon be one of the most exciting teams in the majors for years to come! The answer is not giving outrageous contracts to other teams’ players. The answer is building from within. Look at the contracts to players like Kevin Brown, J.D. Drew, etc. Where was the return on signing these players that was hyped up to be? Free agent signings last season probably cost us the play-offs. It was the kids who were carrying us when they got the chance to play on a regular basis. Loney, Kemp, Ethier, and Martin will provide lots of power in the years to come. LaRoche and Young may also. Trading them away to get a bat isn’t the answer in my book. I firmly disagree with those of you who are clamoring for such action. Signing Kuroda and disposing of Pierre (unless he would be content to be the fourth outfielder and pinch runner) should be the priorities and will provide a team that will be exciting next year and a potential dynasty in years to come. Before any dumb moves are made, just remember that signing Zito didn’t move the Giants out of last place and signing A-Rod didn’t move the Rangers out of last place. It got the teams a lot of publicity in off-seasons and made them look like fools later with the weight of the long-term, huge contracts. I hope that the latest comments that we are hearing from Mr. McCourt and Mr. Colletti are true and reflect a course of sanity within the Dodger organization.

OLD FOGEY: It’s funny how we all see things a little different. I can’t see the diffence in Pierre’s offensive production, whether he plays CF or 1B. I’ve been following this game long enough to know most 1B are power hitters but does it make any diffence what position the power comes from. There was a time when you didn’t expect it from a shortstop. Then we had A-Rod & Jeter & Nomar. Move them around and they’re still the same hitter. Here’s hoping Pierre arm & lack of power doesn’t hurt us. It doesn’t look like Ned is really into dumpin’ Pierre.

WRINK I just like to add the Dodgers aren’t a laughing stock. It so happens we have a lot of talent that we don’t want to get rid of.

Some of the recent interviews with Colletti are encouraging, if he really means that he’s not willing to “give up the farm” just for the sake of making a deal. I hope this feeling is genuine on his part and not just an edict imposed by McCourt. If he keeps it up and keeps our talent in tact, I’ll even consider letting up on him. If he could only find a way to fix his mistake and get rid of Pierre, I could even get on his side. Please keep it up, Mr. Colletti. You might even become a decent GM.

pierreseastmeetswest: Because a GM can almost always find reasonably-priced 1B that are better batters than Juan Pierre. Tampa Bay picked up Carlos Pena last year as a non-roster invitee! One could sign Sean Casey for next to nothing for year; last year he put up this for Detroit: .296/.353/.393 96 OPS+, not good for a 1B, but better than Pierre. One could sign Mike Lamb to play 1B for less money than Juan gets; last year for Houston: .289/.366/.453 112 OPS+. Yes, they are probably, at most, the left-hand part of a platoon (with a Nomar type?), but they provide more offense (but no speed) than JP. Heck, for all the problems the Yankees had at 1B, they got this overall from the position: .284/.350/.419, still better than JP.

Bottom line, JP’s value is speed and the fact that he can play a difficult position in CF, albeit with that weak arm. (Yes, I know bad routes, but that was an issue primarily in the early part of the season; his routes looked much better later.) In a difficult defensive position, his batting weaknesses are more “overlookable” (especially in the AL where he could bat ninth), but at 1B and LF, better batters should replace him.

Or put it this way, which is better:

Pierre 1B

Kemp RF

Jones/Rowand? CF

Loney LF

OR

Loney 1B

Kemp RF

Jones/Rowand? CF

Ethier LF

Another way to look at it, if I can play ARod at SS, I am far more likely to find a decent bat to play 3B than SS, so why move ARod to play a weak bat at SS, when I can leave ARod at SS and get an OK bat for 3B?

jspelk: “Mark Grace never hit more than 17 HRs in a year”

James Loney has never hit for more than 16 HRs in a year, at any level. Those 16 were last year, 1 in AAA ball. Mark Grace is apt comparison for the power projections some experts had for James Loney. But if Loney continues to grow into it, maybe he has more. No one would be happier than I would be if that happens, but it is not a given that it will.

(Yes I know Loney hit his 15 for the Dodgers in 375 PAs and if he kept up that rate, he would have hit around 26 if he started 150 games or so.)

The point I’m making is this**I think^^^and I hope I’m wrong^^^that Colletti has no intention to get rid of Pierre.*** I feel that he is hurting our outfield with his poor throwing arm.*** I say if we have to keep him then REMOVE him from the outfield.*** I’m not talking about who would be better or cheaper at first base,*** I’m saying moving him to first base can not change the strenght of our offense****It would just be the same lineup with two players in a different position. ***Get this***I’m not saying my suggestion is right, I’m just trying to explain it. Of course if they can trade him^^^if they intent to^^^all well and good.

LET ME SAY THIS in my own defense, I realize that even if our offense remains the same,****I’m not so dumb as to think our defense would NOT BE effected. Yes it will take time. BUT as I say, It’s only a suggestion*****that I don’t think will ever take place.

pierreseastmeetswest: I know you’re trying to find creative ways to justify Pierre at 1B, but forgetting offense for a moment, is there is smoother, more dynamic fielding 1B in baseball than Loney? And I was there the afternoon he face-planted into the right field wall trying to find a place in the lineup. Even in cesspool slo-pitch softball a team moves as few people out of position as possible. I’m afraid Mr. Pierre will have to compete with Kemp, Ethier, Repko, and D. Young for a starting spot–the way it should be. I hope Torre won’t ink his line-up based on salary.

And count me in the group that wants to hang on to the youngsters and watch them grow into stardom. I’m sick to death of high-priced veteran free agents/trades that have brought us decades-worth of Eddie Murray, Juan Samuel, D. Strawberry, Kal Daniels, E. Davis, Delino DeShields (ouch!), Todd Zeile, Tim Wallach, K. Brown, Todd Hundley, Devon White, Mark Grudzielanek, Brian Jordan, Fred McGriff (I’ll give you Sheffield and Shawn Green, two major successes in all that time). I don’t really blame the Dodgers for that sad litany…I was thrilled with each pick-up; they had no help on the farm. Now they do. In bundles!

Sign Andruw Jones and get rid of Pierre. The offense and defense will then be fine. Concentrate on the pitcing and we will do well.

pitching

From L.A Times:

Dodgers interested in Japanese pitcher

Saito was part of group that went to Tokyo last week to meet with Kuroda.

By Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

7:43 PM PST, November 27, 2007

The Dodgers sent a three-man contingent that included closer Takashi Saito to meet with free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda in Tokyo last week.

With a shortage of quality arms among free agents and high asking prices for top-quality pitchers on the trade market, the 32-year-old Kuroda could be an affordable option to bolster their rotation. Visiting Kuroda with Saito to convey the Dodgers’ interest were director of Asian operations Acey Kohrogi and scout Keiichi Kojima.

The right-hander is said to throw a mid-90s fastball, slider, forkball and “shuuto,” which resembles a reverse slider. Kuroda has a 103-89 record with a 3.69 earned-run average in 11 seasons with the Hiroshima Carp. He had his best season in 2006, when he was 13-6 with a 1.85 ERA.

Kuroda, who is expected to receive at least a three-year deal worth up to $10 million a season, could be a fourth or fifth starter in a Dodgers’ rotation with question marks. How Jason Schmidt will come back from season-ending shoulder surgery remains uncertain and late-season addition Esteban Loaiza was 1-4 with an 8.34 ERA in five starts.

But Kuroda has several suitors, including the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. The Arizona Diamondbacks confirmed Tuesday they had made an offer to the pitcher. Kuroda also hasn’t ruled out staying with the Carp.

Kuroda’s agent, Steve Hilliard, said he would meet Kuroda in Hiroshima today to inform him of the discussions he has had with major league teams. Hilliard also represents Saito.

Kuroda told several Japanese media outlets that he wanted to decide quickly whether to come to the U.S.

Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng left for China Tuesday to be part of the Young Leaders Forum for the National Committee on U.S.-China relations. The YLF intends to build economic, geopolitical and cultural ties between the two countries.

I lived through all that too, KAHLIFORNI, and I’m not looking for creative ways to justify Pierre, It’s just what I read and analyzed mixed with my 60 years experience. Yes I remember Loney crashing into the wall, I worried about it, but I didn’t conclude he couldn’t play the outfield. What about Repko? He can hardly get through a game without getting injured. That doesn’t mean he’s not an outfielder. All this is based on if Pierre remains in a Dodger uniform. Don’t worry your head over it, Colletti or Torre isn’t going to take my advice.

VERY encouraging article Alex…

From Our Good Friend Tony Jackson of the L.A Daily News:

Dodgers, Japanese pitcher Kuroda in talks

By Tony Jackson

Dodgers closer Takashi Saito joined two club officials in a Nov. 20 face-to-face meeting in Tokyo with pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and Kuroda’s Japanese agent, an industry source said Tuesday. It was the strongest signal yet that the Dodgers are serious about signing Kuroda, a veteran right-hander for the Hiroshima Carp who filed for free agency earlier this month and announced his intentions to come to the United States.

In addition to Saito, Kuroda met with Acey Kohrogi, the Dodgers’ Asian operations director, and Japan-based Dodgers scout Keiichi Kojima, both of whom were instrumental in signing Saito to a minor-league contract two winters ago after he had spent 14 seasons with the Yokohama Bay Stars.

Additionally, Kohrogi, Kojima and Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White scouted Kuroda extensively during the Japanese Central League season.

The Dodgers are one of at least two teams to have met directly with Kuroda.

Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi and manager John McLaren flew to Tokyo for a Nov. 17 meeting with Kuroda. The Mariners have been widely reported to be Kuroda’s preferred team because of the presence of countrymen Ichiro Suzuki and Kenji Johjima, who would be Kuroda’s primary catcher in Seattle. But a source with knowledge of the situation said earlier this week that Kuroda actually prefers the Dodgers for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is his close, long-standing friendship with Saito.

The Mariners reportedly have offered Kuroda a three-year contract worth about $30 million. Arizona has offered a three-year deal worth a reported $27 million, but Kuroda’s preference is to play on the West Coast for either the Mariners, the Dodgers or San Diego. It isn’t clear whether the Dodgers have made a formal offer to Kuroda, 32, who would fill the club’s need for an additional starting pitcher without the Dodgers having to give up any of their young players to get him.

Kuroda isn’t expected to sign anywhere before next week’s winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., and might wait even longer than that.

Steve Hilliard, one of two agents with San Diego-based Octagon Baseball who are representing Kuroda stateside, is scheduled to meet with his client in Tokyo today.

Okay, we’ll keep and play the kids and also raise ticket prices. That just seems to me as more money for Frank. Does it actually improve the team? Maybe it does , but there’s also just as big a chance for the team to tank. It’s true the Dodgers really haven’t done well in the free agent market in the past, but maybe it’s because they signed the wrong guys. Anyway I think it’s a fifty fifty chance of whether they’ll be good or not. Remember Colorado and Ariz finished last for a few years before they started to win with the kids. With high ticket prices and high parking fees will fans be patient with a last place club?

I always like reading Tony Jackson from the Daily News and he answers my emails!

Leamans,

Like you I read the blog daily but only post occasionally.

Yeah you are right, the Dodgers should treat Vero Beach’s last season better. I live in L.A. and have season tickets and have made the trip to Vero before. I love that place and I will be there next year again and I will probably cry when I leave it.

Here is an article from Tcpalm.com http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2007/nov/07/30dodgers-spring-training-in-china/

Oldbear,

you are getting softer in your old age if you are willing to forgive Ned :-. Glad to hear of it.

Jan,

Always good to hear from you even if you don’t like Kent. I do like him. I like his passion for the game. His frustration is only because he expected the team to do much better and who among us did not expect our team to do better? Finishing in 4th place was embarrassing. Being at the stadium every day, I’ve gotten to talk to him a few times and participate in the WIN Women’s baseball clinic which he has been an important part of it. I hope the program WIN continues next year. We only had one event this year. What is up with that JAIME?

Kiper,

Hang in there! You can’t leave us now and go with that team ANAwhatever.

wish you can revise posts, oh well. -Emma

I like what I’ve been hearing lately from Colletti. Here’s hoping its not all just positioning to get a better deal on a trade, though if it’s a trade that makes sense and only includes say 1 top prospect and a couple lesser ones for Cabrera, I’m all for it. Maybe Colletti isn’t as incompetent as he’s shown us so far to be.

Wally Moon,ha ha, that is a good one. The coliseum was the only reason he even had a job

I think it is a great idea, but I agree that they should really go for it and do it right. I wish I could go to the game, but I currently live on the east coast, so it’s not very probable

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