Rock the Vote (plus Gary Bennett and the Spring Training schedule)

A few things you can vote on these days…

The all-time Los Angeles Dodger team is now moving on to third basemen, so check that out and vote for Ron Cey, Adrian Beltre, Jim Gilliam or Pedro Guerrero. Plus, vote for first base, second base and shortstop, which are all still live.

Also, the Los Angeles Sports Council is conducting fan voting for the top moments in Los Angeles in 2007. The candidates for top Dodger moment are Russell Martin’s clean sweep of the catching awards (All-Star, Gold Glove & Silver Slugger); Takashi Saito’s record of saves converted in his first 50 career chances (he was 47 for 50); and Brad Penny’s unprecedented L.A. Dodger start to the season (13-1). Voting will last until Jan. 10 and the awards ceremony is on Jan. 20.

We announced the signing today of Gary Bennett who will back up Russell Martin. He’s a former World Champion and career NL guy who knows the league very well and should be of benefit to the team even on days when he doesn’t play. I’m sure that his inclusion in the Mitchell Report is of interest to many people, as should be his response. To me, he’s done the stand up thing by admitting his mistake and I’m glad to know this is behind him.

Also, we’re announcing our tentative Spring Training schedule today so check it out on the site. Season tickets will be on sale soon and in early ’08, you’ll be able to buy mini-plans. Tickets for individual spring games go on sale usually in early February, so be on the lookout for more info.

54 Comments

So it looks like Young’s out of options… that may change a few things with regards to pushing JP or [heaven forbid] Ethier out of the fold.

I didn’t know Kemp was from Oklahoma. I like him a whole lot better now.

So Bennett is here to replace LoDuca?

Just kidding fellas.

I am a little concerned that we signed Bennett, but I will give him his due for owning up to it. The pressure to do it makes him a victim of the era, as well as a perpetrator. And if the league does a decent job in implementing a testing program (and McCourt’s suggestion that they allow individual contracts to have testing clauses, as the Dodgers requested in 1984 is another good step), I would feel better about it.

That being said, Bennett is one of a dozen guys otherwise well-suited for the role. I’d like to see Lieberthal back, but I assume that Jungar is right that he wants to play somewhere, and still can play everyday.

I agree with MartinLoneyKemp that we have our opening day roster in place now (with some tweaking on the edges of an exta outfielder vs. reliever, etc.) and we assess where we are in June after the team has played a while. I think we’ll be in good shape, but there are always surprises. But, don’t be too harsh on Gurnick. I think he’s wrong to say that fans in general are yearning for a Scott Rolen, but there is a sentiment out there–whether drummed up by the media, I don’t know. And, in Gurnick’s defense, in his latest mailbag, he said that we should not get Rolen, who is like Nomar, and we already have a Nomar. Gurnick also puts up a pretty decent line-up suggestion (not quite mine, but everyone will have different ideas–partly because we have a lot of good options).

Lee I was just throwing it out there. He may not mind being a back up but most backups play some…You know going in baring anything happenning to RM he may play what 15 games?

The thing I noticed too Lee about Gurnick’s lineup was LaRoche in there over Nomar. I was suprised to read that.

And barring a trade do you guys really think Torre will play JP over Ethier? He might but it’s not as if he has a vested interest and neither does Ned as he aqquired both players. As for the money aspect, if your paying both than who cares? (meaning those who say things like u cant bench 36 million) the way i see it is we are paying roughly 24 million 9 hundread thousand for 5 OFers in 2008 so may as well play the best three.

Gary Bennett is not much of a hitter.

Career: .242 / .303 / .327 / 64 OPS+

He “peaked” in 2002: .265 / .314 / .354 / 66 OPS+

2008 is his age 36 season, same as Mike Lieberthal, who was a starting catcher of some renown (All-Star, several decent seasons).

The schedule may be tough to perfect, but the interleague discrepancies can really come back to haunt teams when the divisions go down to the wire. In ’08 the Rox are the only NL West team to play all five of the AL Central teams and two of the five NL West teams play an extra interleague series. I would be more happy having the Blue Crew play a fourth team and only play three games against the Angels each year.
Arizona [DET, KC, MIN, BOS, OAK]; Colorado [CWS, CLE, DET, KC, MIN]; Dodgers [CWS, CLE, DET, LAA x 2]; Padres [DET, CLE, MIN, NYY, SEA x 2]; and Giants [CWS, CLE, DET, KC, OAK x 2]

Jungar, I am very worried about the outfield situation because I don’t want to see a platoon of Kemp and Ethier in right. I would prefer for Kemp to play just about every day and for Ethier to play more then Pierre. Here’s my opening day lineup and rotation:

Furcal SS

Ethier LF

Kemp RF

Jones CF

Kent 2B

Loney 1B

Martin C

Nomar 3B

Penny P

Rotation:

Penny

Billzzzzzzzzzz

Lowe

Kuroda

Kuo!!!!

Ned please get rid of Loaiza, we have absolutely no use for this pathetic, injury prone pitcher!

Regarding Ned Colletti, I have been generally happier with his moves (and non-moves) this off-season, but is it mere coincidence that my happiness occurs AFTER Logan White was promoted to Assistant General Manager?

Pedro Guerrero on the Dodger all-time THIRD baseman ballot?! Man, I’d have to give him careful consideration at LF – the dude was a masher! – but he was a horrendous 3B! He actually played more OF for the Dodgers than 3B; he only played 156 of his 573 games at 1B for L.A..

I agree with the rest of you that we need another lefty at least out of the pen. Kuo’s not the answer because he’s awful in relief, and if Schmidt’s right at all, Kuo won’t start either. With the 4 spot taken care of with Kuroda, I don’t see a need to carry 12 pitchers, which fortunately would open up a spot for Young.

I can’t forsee Ned doing anything from now until the end of ST when it either becomes apparent that JP will lose his starting spot (or Ethier his); Schmidt or Loaiza can’t take #5 SP; or it looks like you’ll carry only one southpaw out of the 11 pitchers.

Then the scenario’s open up:

1. Schmidt’s right, so Loaiza get’s released. Kuo’s lost being out of options.

2. Pierre gets traded for a middle reliever southpaw.

3. Schmidt and Loaiza can’t pitch and Kuo steps into #5.

4. Schmidt, Loaiza and Kuo can’t pitch, so Ethier get’s packaged with someone for a #5 starter.

I don’t think they’ll be any panic moves if Nomar and LaRoche both have bad springs. One will still start and get a chance to work himself out of it.

I’m sure I’ve missed several possibilities, but its a start…

So far I’ve voted for this LA Dodger all time infield***Steve Garvey1B**Jeff Kent2B**Maury WillsSS and Ron Cey3B, and 10 greatest moments in LA Dodger history. I see Gary Bennett ruined our perfect score of no current Dodger in the Mitchell Report. That’s alright we’ll only see him occasionally.

I noticed in Gurnick’s lineup something simular to Jon Weisman’s lineup of a few days ago Kemp batting over Ethier, wow he really advanced himself in the off-season. Most likely because the other teams keep mentioning him in trade talks. Seems like he made a hit with everybody. Pierre batting 8th will proberbly mean more walks for LaRoche if he’s prefered over Nomar, but if Nomar bats 7th it wouldn’t mean the same thing because it’s hard to pitch around him. He tries to hit it no matter where it is.

A funny thing just came across my mind, The signing of Bennett shows the Dodgers are not prejudice against guys in the Mitchell Report.******lol

Here are the Dodger outfielders vying for probably five spots, including late defense and pinch hitting:

Jones

Kemp

Ethier

Pierre

Repko

Young

Who’s the odd man out? We’ve gone over the pros and cons in here ad neauseum. Make your cut. Sorry to be a broken record, but I’ll go with the future, not the fat contract.

Can repko be optioned to triple A??? If so, it would be best to put him down– let him get his legs back under him, and prove he can still play/be healthy.. If at midseason it becomes clear he can perform, you trade pierre and bring him up. Start the year with Jones, Kemp, Ethier, Pierre, Young.

The way I see it Jones is the CF and Pierre isn’t going any future that LF, although most would prefer an outfielder with a stronger throwing arm and the ability to it the long ball, it’s seems Colletti admires his hitting and speed. Most people prefer Kemp over Ethier in RF. ***************Repko is rehabilitating and Young has shown power and hitting talent.

That should read any futher than LF.

I think Joe Torre will have a lot to say about this outfield and the 3B situation since he is the Manager.

Right field, if nobody nails it down will be like Left field was in the late ’40s up to about the mid ’50’s, when everybody played out there.

Young is out of options. Repko has one option left, but since he was tendered an offer, I believe he’ll be paid his full major-league pay (maybe $0.5M) even if he is in Las Vegas.

It would seem that RF is now Kemp’s to lose and that Ethier might have the chance to knock the door down and kick Pierre to the bench.

Those that (erroneously, IMO) think that LaRoche already had his shot must have no use for Repko. Repko’s career numbers:

451 PA / .232 / .302 / .382 / 78 OPS+

Career minors:

2139 PA / .270 / .318 / .424 / 138 BB / 409 K

Joe Pierre: I am (far) too young to have seen Pete Reiser play, but I certainly know of him. Too bad he lost so much time to injuries and the war. I seriously doubt Repko is nearly that talented.

It seems to me that having to make these kinds of decisions are the best problems to have. Look how far we’ve come since October 1. Kudo’s to Ned, I can’t wait for February 16. Let’s go Big Blue, I don’t think any of us fans have been this excited in years. Now it’s up to the players to prove our optimism correct on the field!

Awesome signing of Kuroda!!

Ken Gurnick doesn’t know squat about who’s going to play where or what Joe Torre is going to do.

Ethier and Kemp platoon? You have got to be kidding!

Trade JP for an average reliever and let’s move on with serious baseball.

Kudos to Ned is right…Now just chill while everyone else panics..

Yeah Kemp is starting thats pretty clear. Plus he won the job out of spring last year before getting injured.

Much like the Dodgers’ site has a mailbag edited by Gurnick, here is a letter to the Chisox mailbag this week:

Is there a possibility of the White Sox going after Juan Pierre? I only ask because I know the Dodgers are looking for third-base help, and since they signed Andruw Jones to play center, perhaps Pierre is expendable?

–Dane, Lockport, Ill.

Pierre’s current deal calls for him to earn $36.5 million over the next four years. Even with a possible trade involving Joe Crede’s contract, the Dodgers would have to kick in some money to make this deal a remote thought.

There’s no denying Pierre stands out as an accomplished leadoff man and base stealer, and he was a favorite of Guillen’s during Florida’s championship season in 2003. I just don’t see Pierre’s numbers translating the same in the American League, and he doesn’t do much to help the outfield defense. So, there doesn’t appear to be a fit.

Rats!!

Don’t dispair jhall, there’s still Texas and maybe St. Louis now that they don’t have Edmunds. Don’t doubt the ChiSox are still in the picture too – if their sportswriters are as out of touch with reality as ours are, a deal may still go down. Don’t discount a package deal also, something like JP and a minor prospect for a middle reliever.

Don’t count on Torre automatically putting him in LF either. He’ll see the [lack of] defense in ST and see his speed on offense doesn’t make up for it.

We’re also living in Bizarro Ned’s world where bad decisions are now good, so maybe he’ll find a way to make something work with someone.

Just thought I’d try and cheer you up!

Thanks Enchanted, I needed that. I think you are right. Still 2 months till spring training and some teams that need a CF/leadoff hitter.

I say, as far as 3B, let’s see if someone emerges from ST and if no one does, then look for a trade, but Crede is not the answer either. LaRoche or Nomar are better.

In the mean time, get rid of JP.

Great post Scott!! I am not allowed to say the “P” word. LOL

Ned’s offseason to do list:

Sign Jones: Check

Sign Kuroda: Check

Dump Pierre: dammit!

Amen Brother!!!

Here are some comments from some posters on another Dodger forum where I post:

poster #1, That China excursion really throws a wrench in the ST schedule. Too bad, as I was really thinking of making it down to Vero to catch the Blue in action. With the schedule out of whack (and especially the split squad roster), I think a lot of folks are putting off thier plans.

poster# 2. Yep. Shot my plans to smitherines thats for shore.

poster #3. Yeah, me too. It’s unfortunate.

poster #4. Yeah … I’m pretty much calling off the 10-man excursion I had rolling. Which really, really pisses me off.

poster #5 Definitely ***** that the Dodgers feel it’s more important to **** up to Bud Selig than give a treat to their fans. I probably won’t go now because i was targeting the second half of the month due to workload issues.

poster #6 I’m really disappointed, too. Already bought our plane tickets and got a hotel months ago for March 12-19. If I had known about China, I would have planned to go to Vero much earlier in the month.

Add me to the list, as well as CrzBlue (that is me :-() . I think she was planning to go mid-month.

poster #7 Screw Lizard Lips Selig. He talked McCourt out of Vlad, discourages them from paying over slot money for draftees, and then they plan to trundle off to China and leave Vero with ****. I can understand promoting baseball over there but not when the Dodgers are poised to leave Vero Beach. This is the most storied and significant relationship a team has had with its ST site. Vero Beach and all the fans deserve better than this.

poster #8 BTW, thanks for the schedule, Sam. I was hoping to do two weeks of games, but it looks like a week of games and then a return trip as we were looking at the first week of March. Can’t say I am pleased with the McCourt’s need to dance to Bud Lite’s tune.

I know this is tentative, but it looks like it will be scrubs from the 12th to 18th as the ML players will be in China that week. This is a serious slap in the face of Dodger fans who plan for a spring in Vero. If I had known that the McCourts would be so quick to pull this ****, I would’ve made the pilgrimage last year. I would say that I am angry, but the writing was on the wall and I didn’t pay attention. My own fault, I guess.

poster # ? I just officially called off my trip and broke the bad news to the boys. I AM SO EFFIN PO’D RIGHT NOW.

Yep, Dodger5,
They are making a mockery of the last ST in Vero.

While I am sad for Vero and think that McCourt is a McMess for the most part…I am stoked they will be in AZ for spring training in 09. I will be going for sure. Nothing better than some day games, some nice weather, beers, cheap seats etc..

Im going to spring training in 2009.

Regarding the China/Vero flap: Consider that McCourt has hired a new PR person high in the front office, effectively forcing out Camille Johnston who resigned the other day, presumably because she was passed over. (I’m sure Josh will tell us she left for better opportunities, but the reality is when a new boss is hired from the outside for the job you aspired to, the handwriting is on the walls.)

well it has been an exciting week since I last posted. We signed Kuroda and hopefully that means we will never get the aggravation of watching Loiaza throwing in a Dodger uniform. I feel the way about Loiaza that most us feel about P….e, I will not mention his name but fill in the dots. ST cannot get here quick enough and I hope to make it to ST for the 1st time this year, but not the first time to Vero. I have had the pleasure of 4 Fantasy camps and if any of you ever have the opportunity to do it is the best 4400. you will ever spend. Vero is such an intimate place you literally get dropped off and do not have to leave the complex. That will be missed and I can only wonder what will happen in Arizona.

Max let’s do..road trip. With drugs, booze and strippers…fear and loathing in Arizona.

My wife and kid won’t mind.

sounds good to me jungar. I’ll be 21 by then! ha.

oh **** Max as my master Yoda would say: ” hmph..much to learn you still have…”

So you and Jan need to learn the ways of the force….

I may be 36, but I look 26 and can still bring it. Ladies love Cool J. lol

Sure they do Jungar…. lol

Am i missing something or what, because from i have read there is still a decent shot we will have 09 at Vero due to late construction stuff at AZ???? Correct me if im wrong please…

Did somebody say road trip??? I’m in…but I can’t promise any sober moments once we leave the gas station.

Yeah your right ewk…they don’t. But confidence is a big part of the act.

Perfect Charris.

Pierre for President…… Been gone for a few days and thought it was time to bring balance to the force

To me the starting pitching of Penny, Lowe, Kuroda, Billingsley with Schmidt, Loaiza and proberbly others vyving for the 5th spot in spring training, looks pretty good. The fact that there are no lefthanders(mentioned above), Ken Gurnick told me today in the mail that it is of little significance if they pitch good. Personally I hope they get good support from the offense.

That looks pretty good Pierre… But I can’t wait until it’s Penny, Lowe, Bills, Kuroda, and Kershaw.

Pierreseastmeetswest..

Are you road trippin with us? I know it’s far from NYC…but the warm Arizona sun will be calling your name in 09…..

Guys if the Dodgers win th WS we all go, no excuses. You too Josh. (well you will already be *********** i want your job..hook me up. you know what they say, u cant be promoted until u find your replacement!)

Spring Training Road Trip ’09 is a must.

agreed……

lee, ewk..let’s rent a lincoln town car and do it right…lol

jungar,

I’ve been trying to go to the World Series since 1974. From ’74 to ’81 I was thwarted by lack of funds due to my age, failure to have my postcard picked (I sent at least 30 in each ’77 and ’78)in the random drawing; malfunctioning Ticketron machines; and geographical distance. Since ’88 for obvious reasons. There is almost nothing that would stop me from going this year.

I’ll be there!!!

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