Konichiwa Kuroda-san

Hiroki Kuroda has passed a physical this morning and will be introduced tomorrow as the newest member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The signing has been speculated and anticipated for quite some time and seems to be a perfect fit, as it did not require the club to give up any of the young talent that has fans so excited about 2008.

As most of you know, there is a very long history between the Dodgers and Japan dating back to the team’s days in Brooklyn. It sounds like the popularity of the Dodgers as well as Kuroda’s respect for Takashi Saito and the supportive Japanese community in Los Angeles had a lot to do with his decision to join the Dodgers over the other teams that coveted him — some reports have that number as high as 20 Major League teams.

I probably speak for many baseball fans when I say that I’m excited for the talk around the game of baseball to return to the field. The Mitchell Report will have a lasting place in baseball history but I’d like to think that as an industry, we can and should accept our mistakes and continue to welcome the changes that have been made over the past few years to maintain the game’s integrity.

I’m looking forward to the day this year when Kuroda gives us eight strong innings and Saito finishes the game with a save, a fist pump and his trademark smile.

I’m sure I’ll write more tomorrow after the news conference.

76 Comments

Great signing. He is going to fit in just fine out here, He’s going to love it. Here is to 3 solid years from Hiroki Kuroda! Ned has done everything possible. If the Dodgers can stay healthy I dont see why we cant win the division. He got his big bat and a 3rd or 4th starter in the rotation without giving up any of the kids. I wouldnt be suprised to see a veteran 3rd baseman come in (Scott Rolen) Nice work Ned.

Thank You Dodgers.

NED!

One more move and its MR. COLETTI!

I really hope that a 3rd baseman is coming soon. LaRoche is not the answer, at least not yet. I would love to have Nomar win the job with his play and not by default beacause everyone else did not do enough. Would have been nice to have Betimit in camp, but Grady messed him up so bad Ned traded him. Troy Glaus could had, and Beltre would not be a bad fit now that most of his contract has been eatin by the Mariners.

I disagree tommy2. LaRoche had a great Team USA and Arizona Fall season (as did Young), and has earned a right to duke it out with Nomar for the spot. He didn’t get much of a chance last year of showing what he can do with Grittle batting him 8th.

I agree with you that Little screwed Betemit up so much last season that I don’t know if he ever recovers to become an everyday big leaguer.

Outstanding. The front office has done a terrific job this offseason.

Betemit would have been nice to have around when we were starting Hillenbrand everyday for a while. Although I don’t mind having Proctor around. If LaRoche has a great spring he should get the job, period. Nomar is there in case he faulters. There’s less of sense of loyalty to Nomar since its his last year and we all know the upside for LaRoche is huge. One could hope they learned their lesson with Loney last year but who knows.

You know it’s wonderful, right after the Mitchell Report, Russell Martin wins the Tip O’Neil award in Canada and the Dodgers are are ready to announce the signing of Hiroki Kuroda of Japan. To do this without sacrificing one player is a remarkable thing in itself. GO DODGERS!!!

We don’t need a 3rd baseman like Rolen, Beltre or others that have been mentioned around here. Let Garciaparra and LaRoche battle it out until someone proves he can play everyday.

I agree with you. I like the idea of letting Nomar and LaRoche battle, competition tends to bring out the best in players. The signing of Kuroda is huge for the Dodgers. They now COULD stand pat the rest of the way and have a successful offseason. However I would like to see Pierre traded but I doubt that can happen with his salary. That is fine if he stays on as long as he is not an everyday starter there has to be some sort of routine to keep Ethier and Kemp in there very frequently. but who knows maybe witht he limited amount of CFs left on the market, and possibly a disappointed pierre for losing his job will add up to a trade of pierre. but wow our rotation and our lineup sure is lookin pretty nice. I believe with the additions to our lineup we will see a 20 game winner in our rotation, maybe 2….

I agree with you Roberto, give both Nomar & LaRouche a chance to win the job. If we go for another Vet, we will be going up the high road and further away from a truly homegrown team.

SPANKY*** I think the only chance we have of trading Pierre will be if Pierre is unhappy with moving to left field, and he tells Colletti about it and Colletti eats the contract or most of it, in a trade, if he can find someone who could use him. but Colletti seems to like having his speed and base stealing ability and may talk him right back into staying. ****Although at the end of the season, he already said he would do it for somebody like Andruw Jones.

It is kind of a delimer in the outfield it leaves Ethier & Kemp, like Nomar & LaRoche at 3B in competition for a job, maybe this is the right way to go, it might bring out the best in them. Remember the 3-headed monster of Betemit, LaRoche and Abreu, I believe, and I’m sure Betemit was happy to leave, although he was my favorite.

LaRoche STILL gets no respect from some. All he did last year was play great defense and put up a solid OBP.

WE DON’T NEED A 3RD BASEMAN.

Great news. I agree with alex from the last thread–if we overspent slightly, no big deal because it’s just a little cash, and no talent.

For us, the Hot Stove League is over. We have our rotation (that has 3 established aces, one future ace, and the best free agent on the market). They’re backed up by Loazia, Kuo, Houlton, Stults, Elbert, Miller, Meloan, McDonald, and Kershaw. We’ve got the pieces that will work out.

The starting lineup is pretty well set–a deal to trade Pierre so that he could play everyday somewhere and Ethier could play everyday in LA might help, but as long as Torre makes the right lineup moves, we’ll be fine. We have a solid back end of the bullpen (Saito, Broxton, Beimel, and Proctor), and it just needs filled out by guys in the organization (Brazobahn, Meloan, etc.) or non-roster invites.

Imagine if our top 4 starters have 13-18 wins and ERAs under 4.00 (which, by historical standards, the all should). Martin hits .280 with 15 homers and Furcal hits .280 with 10 home runs, which they both should.

Then, if 4 of the following six of Loney, Kent, LaRoche, Ethier, Jones, and Kemp hit .285 with 22 home runs, that’s a solid offense with a top tier pitching staff and a top-3 bullpen.

This is far from too much to expect, and it should win the division. But I would be surprised if this is all that happened. You have to figure that at least one pitcher will break out and have an ERA closer to 3.00 (in reality, we could expect that Penny, Lowe, and Bills could all have ERAs under 3.50, and Bills might really break though). Then, imagine if all of the six hitters above have 20 home run seasons, and we have just two guys who break out with .300 averages and close to 30 home runs. That makes us the class of the league.

And none of this assumes what we all think is possible–that Loney, Kemp, and Jones have All-Star seasons, that LaRoche has a ROY type season, and Kent and Ethier range from solid to very good.

Yes, I admit, things could not work out, but certainly by midseason we should know where we are at, and could make moves to make a run. Additionally, even everyone we are counting on this year does not work out, we’ll know by the end of the year if the guys we are hoping pan out are for real or not. Even if they don’t ALL work out, SOME of them will, which means we will have few questions going into 2009, and can focus on exactly the pieces necessary. And, if they do ALL work out, then we can just start the dynasty.

Ned and the front office team definitely deserve an A for the off-season.

We have a home grown team. And LaRoche did get his shot and did nothing with it. 1988 was a long time ago. Lets win now. Not saying LaRoche wont turn out well, but we are already asking our kids to play big this year. We have mabey the best rotation in the NL to go along a very good outfield, good team speed and a strong back end in the bully. Why leave 3rd to chance. I am saying this as a die hard Nomar Fan. I want Nomar to win the job, but do not want to wait another 20 years to win a World Series. If I am wrong and LaRoche has a great spring wins the job along with rookie of the year, that would be fantastic. But I know ya’ll, and when LaRoche bombs and Nomar gets hurt again or does not hit a HR until june, this blog will be filled with why didnt Ned fill the hole at 3rd that has been there since Beltre left. Why did he not go after all the 3rd baseman that were available. Its not like Ned did not try to upgrade at 3rd. He desperatly tried to get Cabrea. So if that was the case and he wanted to upgrade because there is an obvious need, why stop trying. There is still Inge, Rollen, Glaus, and Pedro Felize(FA) that all upgrades over Nomar and LaRoche. And you would not have to give up the farm to get any of them. Felize had 20 HR and played a very good 3rd last year. All I am saying is there are options that would allow the team to have just about zero questions going into spring training…..OK there will be one question cause ya’ll cant live with out talkin about him…… Drum Roll Please…….Will Pierre still be a Dodger when the season starts. I am going to hate myself for even mentioning JP……Haters

Ya your right, LaRoche did play good D and walked a bunch, but he hit like a buck 50.

Tommy,

Andy actually hit .226

Not even close to “a buck 50.”

I don’t see the need to rush out and sign a high risk 3B – Rolen and Glaus are injuries walking around waiting to happen. Glaus on the steroid list. Felize has a great glove and might be an option. However, I expect Nomar to rebound and LaRoche to break out. I love a team that includes Martin, Loney, LaRoche, Kemp, Ethier, Young, Bills, Broxton. Either Abreu or Hu will also make the roster. That is what we build around. Andruw and Kuroda are pieces added to the nucleus to be in place for a few years. Within a year or two we will have another kid or two in place in the rotation -MacDonald, Kershaw, Elbert. The fun is just beginning and it begins and ends at home.

Great job thus far Ned – good patience and good protection of our future.

GO DODGERS!!

your really going split hairs and argue semantics here, your gotta be effin crazy. A buck 50 and .226 is still the same. Its bad. And don’t say well Andruw Jones hit .222,He also hit 20 HRs drove in a large amount of runs and played a stellar CF along with being a proven Vet. LaRoche is not proven and .226 does not win Job with the Dodgers. We are not the Expos or the Devil Rays trying to pin our hopes on a hot prospect that will save our franchise. This is the Dodgers who can and should win now.

Tommy you are probably right. However, who knows what LaRoche might have done with Andruw’s 572 AB’s instead of his own 93. You are definitely right that LaRoche is not proven at the MLB level. But, up until the last year or two neither were Martin, Kemp, Loney, Billingsly, Broxton, Ethier. Players have to be given an opportunity to get big time at bats and adjust to the higher level. Look how long it took the Rockies young players to come around. Impatience is what sends a Konerko packing. If it doesn’t work out Ned makes the adjustment as the season goes along when other kids in the system become closer to the MLB level and more enticing in trades. We certainly don’t need another injury prone veteran third baseman on board. Nomar is all we should carry in that respect. I do look for him to rebound.

GO DODGERS!!

Thats my point, we are already asking Kemp, Ethier, and Loney to put up numbers for an entire season. Martin is proven, but the rest are not. I expect the rest to do well, but LaRoche has not shown anything at this level to even indicate he will have a good season. Potential is great, but I really do not want to take chances. Win now, and have no excuses at the end of the year. Look at the Tigers and what they did. They did not need Willis or Cabrea. They are ready had a good 3rd baseman with a big contract. The just decided to win or lose with no exuses Win now. We should be putting our foot on the troats of the rest of the divsion now. No excuses!!!!

Wow, I am so looking forward for the 2008 season to begin with Kuroda, and Jones and the dodger Youth Corps to start playing I can hardly stand it. I wish it was starting tomorrow. I can’t ever remember looking forward to a season to begin as this one & for the kids as Kemp, Loney, Laroche, start their Dodger careers. We are going to have a winner.

Tommy:

I understand and, to an extent, agree with your “win now” sentiments. However, I think its important to balance a desire to “win now” with a tempered a approach to building and developing a consistent contender. If a team operates with a strictly “win now” mentality they are, more likely than not, destined to fail both now and in the future. Now because only 1 team can win the world series, and in the future because a “win now” approach usually mortgages the future.

That said, I, perhaps expectedly, cannot understand why you seem to have a problem with giving LaRoche a shot at succeeding. The guy’s minor league numbers are better than Loney’s, Kemps, AND Martins. Now either he’s a slow starter and will prove to continue that trend, or he’s a product of a great hitters park who simply can’t hack it in the bigs. Whatever the case, I’d like to see him give us an answer in a Dodger uniform.

I agree, it is a risk since, at this point, he’s an unproven commodity. But based on his past performance, it is certainly a risk worth taking. Besides, what better options are there out there via trade or free agency. I’d say, not many?

You guys also forget that besides Nomar and LaRoche there is also Abreu if neither of them work out. I don’t see any reason to trade away anyone on the farm for a “proven” 3rd baseman. Feliz would be the only one that I would look at and even then not unless I had to. A .252 career AVG isn’t great either. As a matter of fact, Feliz has hit over .253 once over a full season in an a 7 year career (4 full seasons/starter, 3 partial/backup).

Oh, and as far as Inge goes, a .241 career hitter. Yeah, the Tigers didn’t want to upgrade that at all.

I don’t see Ned doing much of anything with the roster from now until ST other than maybe sign a back-up C. I think he’s content to see how things play out in the outfield before doing any tweaking. That means unless someone comes along and makes a sweetheart of a deal, JP goes to spring with the team.

If the offseason has been any indication, I think Ned’s also content to give LaRoche his shot at third, thus making Nomar the “super-sub” infielder/PH, which will give him 250 ABs barring any injuries to the regulars.

I don’t see Young, Abreu or Hu making the roster merely for the fact they need to play everyday to stay sharp if someone goes down. Think Valdez will be the extra infielder, and provided he doesn’t kill himself first, Repko will be the extra outfielder.

Plenty of arms to make up a 12 man staff. Get anything out of Schmidt or Loaiza and they may cut it back to an 11 staff and pick-up a bat for off the bench.

Unlike the rest, I might’ve kept Lurch just to eat-up 2-4 innings in blowouts where the starter only goes 2-3. Saved the rest of the BP and he always seemed to do better when he didn’t come to the park knowing he was going to pitch.

Like all the rest though, I’d like to get this thing going now. Playoffs or not, it’s going to be fun!

Go Dodgers. With Russell getting the Tip O’Neill award and the super signing of Kuroda, there is something good going on in baseball. And it’s our Dodgers. I’m happy that Ned was able to get our power hitter and the top free agent pitcher without forfeiting any of our Baby Dodgers. Go Ned.

Yes sir. This has really been a good offseason.

Look at the #2 prospect and the “Best Tools” and the “Top Prospects of the Decade” lists:
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/265295.html

Kemp and Loney are not on the list because they are Major Leaguers. LaRoche had 30 MLB games split between May and September. Pull down his game-by-game MLB log:

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_gamebygamelog.jsp?c_id=la&playerID=451188&statType=1

He was primarily a AAA player last year, where he played very well again:

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Andy%20LaRoche&pos=&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=451188

Check out his leadership after being selected for Team USA, leading the victory over Cuba with the most HR and RBI on the team:

http://mlb.mlb.com/usa_baseball/recaps/y2007/wc_stats_111807.htm

By the way, LaRoche batted .278 in his final 10 MLB games:

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=451188

I believe that he has earned the chance to compete for 3B this spring. Bat him in any spot other than 8th and you will get an honest tryout of a player with tremendous potential. If he doesn’t win the job, we have Nomar and Abreu. We can trade for a 3B at mid-season without compromising the chance to get to the playoffs with the best Dodger team in a long while.

What do you guys think of Kuroda’s theme song being “My Kuroda” sung to the tune, “My Sharona”?

He will be with us for 3 years, so we may as well have some fun.

THANK YOU NED!!!! You have given me a sense of optimism at a time in my life when I really need it. I like all the moves Ned has done so far this offseason(with the exception of not resigning Wolf). I just wish there was a way to get a good left handed starting pitcher without having to give up any of the kids…

2 months ago, this blog was stark raving mad with bloggers calling for Ned’s job.

puppy: HAHAHAHAHA

There is 1 more deal to be done. I’m thinking late inning defensive replacements, which are important. I can see Abreu replacing Kent late in a game, and I would like to get a glove at 3rd to replace LaRoche/Nomar. See if the Chisox have interest in Pierre (they need a lead off hitter ala Podsednik), offer to eat sum of Pierre’s salary, and get Joe Crede. Reports are his surgically repaired back is fine. The guy can flat out pick it. And he would make a good bat off the bench. They want to play Josh Fields at 3rd. Make that deal, and then we’re done until the trading deadline.
Ned you da man. Go Dodgers!!

Good post, Shepherd. I eagerly look forward to watching LaRoche show his potential, but I think it’s Nomar’s job to lose. The 3B competition in ST should be interesting with Nomar/LaRoche/Abreu going at it. We definitely don’t need to shop for another 3B.

Kuroda is the missing piece for our rotation, with Elbert/McDonald/Kershaw waiting in the wings.

Jones takes over CF with Kemp and hopefully Ethier on either side, and Repko/Pierre/Young in reserve.

Ned gets an ‘A’ in my book. He’s filled in the holes while protecting the farm, and added tremendous depth to our roster. I’m flat-out excited!

L.A Times:

They get Japanese right-hander with three-year, $35.3-million deal, without losing young talent.

By Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

December 16, 2007

The Dodgers added an arm to their starting rotation and did so without parting with any of their young talent, although they will have to part with more of owner Frank McCourt’s money.

Japanese free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth $35.3 million, passed a physical Saturday morning at Centinela Hospital and will be introduced at a news conference today at Dodger Stadium.

The right-hander, who turns 33 in February, will be paid a $7.3-million signing bonus. He will earn a salary of $5 million next season, $10 million in 2009 and $13 million in 2010.

Kuroda figures to be a third or fourth starter, behind Brad Penny and Derek Lowe and, perhaps, Chad Billingsley. The acquisition of the right-hander is the second significant haul on the free-agent market for General Manager Ned Colletti, the first being center fielder Andruw Jones, who signed a two-year deal worth $36.2 million.

The 6-foot-1 Kuroda is said to have a fastball that tops out in the mid-90s, slider, forkball and “shuuto,” which resembles a reverse slider.

He was 12-8 with a 3.56 earned-run average for the Hiroshima Carp last season and leaves Japan with a career record of 103-89 and a 3.69 ERA.

Like center field, starting pitching was considered by Colletti to be an area where the Dodgers required an upgrade. But the asking prices on the trade market have been steep — the Dodgers were asked for multiple young players in exchange for the likes of the Minnesota Twins’ Johan Santana or the Baltimore Orioles’ Erik Bedard — and the talent on the free-agent market minimal.

Kuroda was the only free-agent starter to draw serious interest from the Dodgers.

Because Kuroda was a free agent, he didn’t come to the majors through the posting system, which requires teams to bid for the right to simply talk to players. The Boston Red Sox paid a posting fee of $51.1 million last year to the Seibu Lions to open negotiations with pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

“There was a lot of competition for a pitcher of his ilk and we’re thrilled that he’s chosen to become a Dodger and make Los Angeles his home,” Colletti said in a written statement.

Kuroda chose the Dodgers over the Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks and Kansas City Royals. The Mariners were the other team Kuroda strongly considered.

The Dodgers sent a three-man contingent that included closer Takashi Saito to meet with Kuroda in Tokyo last month. Director of Asian operations Acey Kohrogi and scout Keiichi Kojima also went to the meeting.

Kuroda flew to Los Angeles last week to discuss his options with his agent, Steve Hilliard, who also represents Saito.

“He turned down better financial opportunities elsewhere because in the end, he thought that he and his family would feel the most comfortable in Los Angeles,” Hilliard said. “There is such a big Japanese population in the city and the assimilation process for him and his family will be easier.

“You hear oftentimes a player say that a deal wasn’t about the money, but this decision really wasn’t about the money. It was about his family.”

Hilliard said each of the final four teams vying for Kuroda’s services offered four-year contracts, including the Dodgers.

“It was his decision,” Hilliard said of Kuroda taking a shorter deal. “In the end, he was more comfortable with a three-year contract.”

The duration of the deal will allow Kuroda to return to the Carp, with whom he had an amicable parting. When Kuroda announced last month that he would leave Japan for the majors, the Carp said it would leave open his No. 15 jersey in case he ever wanted to play for them again.

According to Japanese news reports, a tearful Kuroda said at that news conference, “I made the decision because I wanted to go one step forward as a baseball player. I would’ve been fine finishing my career with the Carp, but my feelings of wanting to challenge myself in a different kind of baseball grew stronger.”

Hilliard confirmed that Saito has received an offer from the Dodgers and that they remain in negotiations. Saito doesn’t have a 2008 contract but is under the Dodgers’ control.

He earned $1 million last season when he had 39 saves.

oh great… Thank goodness he turned down four years. four years is too much. Bailed out again just like LuGo bailed us out after being offered two years and accepted one. I might be in the minority but I still want ned gone. Anyone can spend money and his track record is that he doesn’t spend it wisely. Anyone content to go with pierre in left field….is not brightest. Or sign him to a contract in the first place. I apologize ahead of time for being “repetitive.” Remember everyone was excited about Schmidt too. I’ll just wait to see how it turns out. I understand that we needed another pitcher but quality is more important than depth.

I am happy. Add bench players, get rid of Pierre(try and get pitching)

This team as it stands looks good..at the deadline shore things up. No need for other 3b.

The move for Kuroda if nothing else buys time for Kershaw, Elbert, Meloan, Mcdonald and others to develop.

tommy,

If getting yanked in and out of the lineup for no apparent reason for a total of 115 Plate Appearances (about 25 full-time games) is how a rookie is “given his chance”, then LaRoche has had a chance to prove himself.

If you think a proper chance is where a youngster is given the job and starts every day for at least a month, then LaRoche most certainly has not had his chance. We have plenty of parts to carry an unproven 3B with excellent potential in the seven or eight spot. If by July LaRoche hasn’t worked out and Nomar isn’t getting it done either, we have plenty of minor league ammunition to acquire whatever third baseman is on the market then.

As for waiting 20 years, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Not only is this team good enough to have an excellent run at a World Series this year, it’s hard to imagine this core group of youngsters failing to reach at least two World Series over the next six or seven years and very easy to envision a decade of excellence.

Last year I was calling for just a little more patience. This year that won’t be necessary. The patience the Dodgers (and a plethora of GMs) has shown with these kids is set to pay off NOW.

Get ready to enjoy 2008!!

jungar, perhaps you should read my entire post and not just pick thru it. I said it would be great if LaRoche wins the job and plays well. My point is this, why leave anything to chance. And since you and a bunch of other ROTO Fantasy baseball geeks put so much importance on minor league stats, here is a small list of farm hand the dodgers have tried to pin the hopes of a season on: Joe Thurston, Billy Ashley, Chin-Feng Chen,Gagne(as a starter), Edwin Jackson, Dioner Navarro, David Ross, Luke Prokopec, Chris Donnels, Wilton Guerrero, Roger Cedeno, Koyie Hill. All these guys were at least thought to have solid careers at the MLB Level. Thurston, Hill and Navarro all but up very good batting averages in the minors. Ashely was thought to be the next Jose Canseco with the numbers he was putting up. Hill was supposed to be the catcher of the future until Navarro showed up and we all know how Navarro turned out. Some of those guys were never heard of again and some are just hanging on to a career in the minors or with the Devil Rays and that amounts to the same thing. My long winded point is at some point they were all Andy LaRoche. I too think LaRoche is better than all the guys I referenced, but since ya’ll love your stats…. The odds are he ends up just like the rest of them. So why not increase the odds of a championship and upgrade now at a time it could put us over the top. And for every Colorado and Arizona you show me, I will give you a Florida and White sox teams who went for it and won the whole thing. And by the way Florida did it twice in recent history and did not even exsist when the Dodgers won their last World Serries. Ah screw it your right and I am wrong… Just tell Ned to call up the entire 51’s squad and trade all the Vets. Tell Penny and Lowe to go home and let Kershaw know he’s gotta be the ACE and win a title.

Things really look good on paper, and I’m encouraged. Now let’s see these guys prove Ned right by their actions between the white lines. No grade for Ned until the fun begins. I’m hoping to give him an “A”, and predicting a”B+”.

Would you trade Kemp for Crede? How about Martin, loney? He off career obp of .305. ops+ 92. Sorry didnt mean to geek out on you, proof of being not so good in plain view is hard to handle. I don’t need a history lesson and here are the stats again, relative to players playing now, his peers, while playing in the same parks at the same age. Not the billy ashley argument that everyone uses. common sense says he should be ok..highest ops over 5 years..while in the same lineup. he can play. try it. if you dont think ops is legit, go run a top 10 in mlb history search. the list alone should give it some merit. it’s not trigonometry, dont worry.

in the minors:

Kemp .310 .358 .518 .876

Loney .296 .363 .430 .793

Ethier .317 .389 .464 .853

LaRoche .295 .376 .525 .901

Martin .281 .391 .419 .810

if you want to go for it all with crappy veterans go for it, but where are the sox and marlins or yankees now? going for it is cool but we can be going for it year after year soon like the 90’s Braves, no need to shoot the wad now.. the dodgers right now have a good young core whom all have played together, u can see the chemistry and they are all good i just don’t get why you cant see that..our farm system since the 70’s has never produced the quality it is starting produce now its pretty special..belittle them all u want and me too i don’t care but it is clearly the direction the dodgers are goin so get on board

I agree with shep and jungar, LaRoche is this generation’s Cey except with better potential. No one knows if he’ll fulfill that potential, but I feel you give him his shot before bringing someone else in.

No way though that a guy like Crede comes here to be anyone’s late inning caddy. Would be a waste of $$$ and Crede himself wouldn’t accept it (not to mention its a bad move – would have to give up something more than JP to get him.) Nomar’s more than a capable back-up for LaRoche and the rest of the infielders. And with Nomar taking that roll, it should keep him off the DL to give you 225-275 quality ABs. Its almost like playing 4 1/2 infielders.

Only thing I’m interested in acquiring now is a decent back-up C in the Yeager mold – more D than offense and capable of stepping in for a week or two if Martin comes up lame.

Wow, you blew me away with that Trig crack. Don’t get mad its obvious you can look up stats with the best of them. Looking up stats is not trigonometry either. I believe I have said more than once that I hope LaRoche does well and that I totaly believe Martin, Kemp, and Loney are the real deal. How is that belittling them. And thinking we should have a veteran 3rd baseman to go with a starting line up of 50% kids(4 out of 8 position players, thats not trig either) is bad why? You seem to read what you want to read. Who the **** brought up Crede. I would not would trade Kemp, Loney, or Martin for a 3rd baseman. But you would not have too becuase if you actually read what I wrote you would see the guys i brought that did not include Crede would not require giving up the the those three. So tell me the part where I said we should go for it with all crapy veterans, oh yeah you can’t cause i didn’t. And its obvious that you need a history lesson because the difference amoung the Dodgers, Marlins, and White Sox and the Yankees(and again I never mentioned the Yankees)is they have something to show for the down years they had. We have had nothing but down years and have nothing to show for it. And mabey its just me but the purpose at looking back in history is to learn from not just our own short comings but at others also we can do it better next time. And as far the Fantasy Geek coment I made, It was not because I think your geek, I don’t even know you so don’t get bent out of shape. Its a statment about many baseball fans inability to seperate Fantasy baseball from baseball reality. Stats don’t show or account for the intangables like experience, heart,and hustle. Thats why every year the best team on paper with the best stats usually does not win. But someone of your stature and smarts understands all that right. It clear you think you are pretty smart and its your intention to let me know all about it. And from what I can see I can’t argue that, you are an intelegent guy. But please if your going to attempt to pick apart everything I say, here is a hint…..Make sure I said it. I never said anything about the Yankees, Crede, or going for it with all verterans, it was to the contrary. It good that Gonzo is gone, and I think Nomar should sit. But is Kent crapy vet, how about Penny, Lowe, Saito? How about Kuroda, He’s a vet. If your offended because of something I said, let me make it up to you. Your smart, I’m not. Your right, I’m wrong. But just cause I see things in a different light does not mean I am not on board, just means I see them different.

Since two out of the three things the Dodgers needed to address in the off season have been taken care of, I don’t think there is any pressing need to add a third baseman just now.
Let Nomar (he is not done yet) and LaRoche have it out. Let’s see how good LaRoche really is.

If I really did not think that this was the year, I would agree with using what we got. Again, Normar is my favorite player and I think he should sit. I know LaRoche is probably going to be good, but the dodgers are at a place where they have the resorces to improve at 3rd even if just for a year and make it be a move that puts them in position to not just win, but be dominate. I am not old enough to ever remember a dominate Dodger team. I was 13 when the Dodgers won it all last time. I loved that team. I still watch the world serries video from 1988, but that team was not dominate. It was more magical to have the kind of team we had do what they did to the A’s, but I would be nice to have the Dodgers looked at as the Yankees West. A dominate team with a mix of kids and vets that just killed other teams. The other teams felt like they lost before the first pitch was tossed. This is the time,and because it has not come around often for Dodger Fans for 2 decades, I do not want to wait 2 more. I know the Red Sox and the Cubs waited like a 100 yrs, but I don’t care about them. I care about the Dodgers.

Ned Colletti ain’t messing around this year, he’s like a new guy some how!! I DIG IT!

tommy
I agree with you to a point. after what Colletti has achieved, I still do not see a giant need for a someone to play 3rd, but if the right deal came along, then by all means.

By that I mean someone would have to practically give us a player. We do have a very good group of youngsters I would not trade under any circumstances,given the present situation.

I would not get real concerned about how some people react to your postings. Some people seem to take it personally if you do not agree with their opinion. Of course your opinion is valid. Keep putting it out there.

I haven’t seen many people mentioning Kuo… he could be the under the radar guy who comes out of nowhere to have a great Spring and win the 5th spot in the rotation(it helps that hes a lefty). I still think Kuo has good upside and if he can stay healthy… which is a big if… I think he is no doubt better then Loaiza, and probably even Schmidt.

If I was Ned, I would go into spring with 3B the way it is now and leave all decision making as to who plays up to Torre.

I agree with the people who say lets let Nomar and LaRoche have it out for 3B, I also want to see how good LaRoche really is… he didn’t really show me much when he was in the majors last year… I don’t think it was all because Grady batted him 8th(remember Grady started by batting Kemp, Ethier, Martin etc. 8th and they were all successful) Let’s hope hes improved, if not then let Nomar play there for the first month or two until LaRoche gets hot at AAA. I wish we still had Wilson “.194″ Betemit as well.

sorry Tommy..I thought you brought up crede. And I have read what you wrote.

I really hope that a 3rd baseman is coming soon. LaRoche is not the answer, at least not yet.

There is still Inge, Rollen, Glaus, and Pedro Felize(FA) that all upgrades over Nomar and LaRoche. And you would not have to give up the farm to get any of them. Felize had 20 HR and played a very good 3rd last year. All I am saying is there are options that would allow the team to have just about zero questions going into spring training…..

And LaRoche did get his shot and did nothing with it.

and I disagree. so truce..

LaRoche did not get a decent shot. He got a preview at the end of the season. He will become a very good 3rd baseman given a real shot.

We all know what trade needs to happen. LOL

Re: puppyhead: You are so right, and no one even acts like you had a comment-they just ignore the fact that all the head hunters wanted Ned’s in a basket-and now look-it’s like it never happened. The “nay sayers” are now “yea sayers”. They have wiped out the doom and gloom.

I’m happy some of you guys are not the gm of the Dodgers. Rolen ? Feliz ? Glaus ? Oh my…

Andy and Nomar will do a decent job.

Cable and Puppy:

You guys are absolutely correct in pointing out the change in tone re. Ned. There is, however, a perfectly rational explanation for that. Plain and simple, Ned has made prudent moves (signing Jones and Koruda and, more importantly, not giving onto to the outrageous demands for Bedard, Santana, and the Piggy ). Most of the venom directed at Ned a few weeks ago eminated from the perception that that he was gonna give up the farm for one of those guys. Since then, he’s come out and squashed the trade speculation and signed Jones and Koruda. Consequently, the tone has changed, and justifiably so.

LaRoche started maybe only one game. How much can a guy really demonstrate with only one game or two or whaetver? Nomar and LaRoche will do good with the position

Hey guys, you can watch the press conference live on dodgers.com It’s going to start in 5 minutes.

If LaRoche is ever given a fair shot at third this year Nomar will get traded by the deadline.

Even if LaRoche was given the same about of time last year as Nomar had ******* it up the first 3 months of the season LaRoche would have won the job and would be number 1 on the depth chart now.

im watching the Kuroda press conference. This is the first Dodger press conference i;ve watched live minus the joe torre one. Im excited. If he does well im going to buy a Kuroda jersey.

I believe Nomar has a no-trade clause in his contract. He won’t be traded. If he struggles, he will just be a very expensive bench player, that’s all. We can’t do nothing about it. This is his last year.

Puppyhead,

You are right, and we all stand corrected. My apologies to Ned.

I would like to think that Ned’s wise decisions are in part due to the collective influence of Dodger fans on this site and others.

And it’s only fair, should the decision’s of this offseason fail, that before we lambast Ned we remmeber that the vast majority of us here been supportive of these moves and will be in no position to criticize.

Roberto,

Thanks for the heads-up.

Mr. McCourt looks nervous.

He’s wearing number 08 ? Why not just 8 ? Cool !

I know the 08 number is for 2008 but If he would 08 as his real number next year that would be amazing.

Ned took alot of heat for his moves of last off season because they were ill-conceived from the start. Every GM knew the Pierre signing was stupid and that Schmidt was damaged goods. The bloggers on this and other sites overwhelmingly did not want those signings before they happened. I think the majority of the bloggers/fans on this and other sites believe these are better signings. Ned deserved to take heat for last off season. Add Grady to the list of reasons for taking heat as well. He is getting Kudo’s now because he is making better decisions. If the Jones/Kuroda deals don’t work, I will not malign Ned because I think they are good risk vs reward moves. However, I did not feel bad about calling for his head when Pierre and Schmidt were a joke. I was not a proponent of either from the start.

Abreu wears # 6 not 06 Loney wears # 7 not 07 Pierre wears # 9 not 09 Nomar wears # 5 not 05

Hiroki Kuroda wears # 08

I wish Opening Day was tomorrow.

Roberto….the 08 more then likely represents the year 2008 for which he is playing his first year in America. He usually wears number 15 in Japan but that number is taken by Furcal. 08 is not his number but I wish it was.

hes gonna wear 18

He wants # 18

The Kuroda Conference was the first thing I ever watched on my P.C live. Now that we have our power hitting young veteran outfielder and new asian starting pitcher, without losing a player we could stop here until opening day. That all dependence on Colletti & Co. We could go for a veteran 3B, which I don’t think is necessary, but only time will tell. GO BLUE!!!

Puppyhead–I think that the explanation is that Ned has been abducted by aliens and replaced by a robot controlled by Jungar.

I tried to avoid the Fire Ned calls, but undoubtedly I questioned him. This off-season, he’s done great, and if it does not work for the team, we can’t blame Ned.

Tommy–I see your point, but you have Nomar, LaRoche, and Abreu as possibilities at third base (I think it should be and will be LaRoche, but we’ll find out at Dodgertown/China/Arizona). Sure, signing ARod might have made sense, and trading for Cabrerra would have been nice if we did not have to give up the players they wanted. But with the three options that we have now, you really have to weigh the value of the other options against the possibilities that we have here. Everytime, you bring up a rookie, there is a certain question and doubt. Sometimes the Dogers give up a sure thing veteran like Davey Lopes for a rookie like Steve Sax, and it turns out really well. Sometimes you give up on Steve Garvey and get Greg Brock.

I actually think that the best comparison is the 1992 off-season for the Dodgers. We had an All-Star catcher in Mike Scioscia. Obviously, a top baseball guy. And we had a rookie catcher who played 21 games and hit only .232 (with only 4 walks). It is a good thing that we did not decide that Mike Piazza had gotten his shot.

Naturally, LaRoche may not pan out–and clearly, more guys end up like Greg Brock than like Mike Piazza. But signing more veterans get ni the way of rookies who may end up being great. There are options out there, but I don’t think any of them have the same upside as our three options (and, while we all think that the Dodgers can afford to spend money, the team still has a payroll budget).

I hope there is a less signing of veterants during the season as there were in the past. I call them expirenced talent. I always seemed like they had very little confidence in our young talent. I think this year the young talent that remained with the team, thus far, is a lot more experienced and should be given more opportunitys, to make the team.

It seems to me with all this talk about Nomar, LaRoche and possibly another 3rd baseman, people fail to mention how clutch Nomar has been the last couple of years. No one can teach that kind of hitting in those pressure situations. Nomar time and time again has come through. Torre knows that and I’m sure we’ll see Nomar there at 3rd base. Kuroda is a great signing and do we really need a 3rd baseman? I think Nomar along with La Roche would be just fine. We don’t need another huge contract. We’re going to need that money to sign Jones when he has a monstrous two years!!

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