Spring in the air…

The countdown to pitchers and catchers has begun on the front of the site, which means we’re extremely close to departing for Vero Beach. I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t wait for Spring Training and I hope that many of you will take a trip to Dodgertown if you never have. You won’t regret it.

Also, voting began today for the top catcher in Los Angeles Dodger history so be sure to visit dodgers.com/anniversary. Obviously on that page, you can only vote without comments, but I’d be interested in hearing you all debate the various catchers on the list. I’m really interested to see who will be picked…it’s up to the fans, and it’s not just the catcher. Many positions are now open, so vote if you haven’t.

Also, for those of you with questions for Ned, he’ll be chatting with fans on Tuesday at 2 p.m. Or, you can tune in tomorrow to ESPN 710 at 3 p.m., where he’ll be in studio with Steve Mason for an hour.

26 Comments

Starting to get excited about ST – can’t wait to see how this team comes together!

If it wasn’t apparent before, the Rolen for Glaus trade said an awful lot to me that Ned has great faith in LaRoche/Nomar at third.

I gotta give all-time L.A. catcher to Piazza as he more than made up for his shortcomings defensively with that powerful bat. Actually wish the Ds had signed him as back-up catcher so that he could make his farewell tour in a Dodger uniform. I’d rank the catchers as:

1. Piazza

2. Scioscia

3. Yeager

Thanks Josh!, and my condolences to the family and friends of the recent Dodger family losses.

Love Spring Training! I can’t wait to hear Vinny’s voice again.

Favorite catcher: Yeager

Best catcher: Piazza

others getting votes: Scioscia, Fergie

Josh,
Anyword when they’re going to give Russell Martin his Gold Glove I would love to be at that game.

Best Catcher: Piazza

Best Catcher five years from now: Russell Martin!!!!!!

Mike Piazza is a Hall of Fame catcher and if he isn’t ranked #1 in this poll, there’s a problem. His time in LA was shorter than it should have been but even so, statistically he dwarfs everyone else. I love Yeager and Scioscia so I’d have to put them in my top three but I’m not sure which order. Roseboro was before my time and Lo Duca is a fraud.

Some day I hope to rank Russell Martin #1!

I noticed that Gurnick’s erroneous report that Wilson Valdez led the Dodgers in batting average last spring was never corrected. Talk about irresponsible “journalism.”

1-Sciosia
2-Piazza

3-Yeager/Roseboro

Yeager was wonderful to watch whenever someone was stupid enough to try and run on him. If he didn’t try to pull everything, he would have been a better hitter.
Scioscia was one of the best handlers of pitchers I’ve ever seen and a coach on the field. It’s a shame he’s an Angel.

All that said, and even though he made you wince whenever he threw to second, Mike Piazza was a true force in the lineup – a truly rare hitter whose every at bat you could not miss. He’s the best Dodger catcher ever. But let’s review this again in another 10 years. Russell Martin may change our minds.

How screwed will the Dodgers be if Martin gets hurt and misses substancial playing time?! Of all the players, he is probably the most indispensable.

Actually, one of my favorite catchers was Darrel Thomas – just liked his pluck for a skinny little outfielder to step behind the plate. Used to try and immulate him in the outfield too – I got pretty good at the basket catch between your knees.

You’re right jhall – out of all the players, the Ds could ill afford to lose Martin for any length of time. If he had another 2-3 years in I’d rank him above Piazza since he’s more multi-faceted in his game than the P man.

I have to say Piazza, but that Martin is going to get very close in a few years if he stays healthy!!

Piazza – no doubt in my mind. He was robbed of the 1997 MVP, which went to the Coors Field-aided Larry Walker, after Piazza finished 2nd to Ken Caminiti the year before. In 1997 he had 201 hits AS A CATCHER (7 DH games), plus 69 walks – .362 / .431 / .638 / 185 OPS+. This is the only time a catcher has had 200 hits in a season. (Joe Torre had 203 hits in 1970, but he caught only 90 games and played 3B in the others.)

I find selecting the all time Dodger roster interesting but the key is we are asked for our favorite player and not the best player. The choice of catcher is even more interesting because each of the choices is deserving of selection. Roseboro, Yeager and Sciosia all played on winning championship teams and made contributions but for the most part they were not the type of player expected to carry a team. Lo Duca was not here long enough and his appearance on the Mitchell Report taints his accomplishments. Piazza played on teams that made the playoffs but never won, yet there is no doubt he was a much bigger offensive threat than the others and could carry a team. While all the others were great players in their own right, Piazza is the one I would pay to see and be highly disappointed if he was not in the lineup of a game I attended. Therefore, my choice would be Piazza first followed close behind by Sciosia and Yeager. As everyone has said, Piazza should be headed to the Hall of Fame, something that will not happen for the other choices. No matter, we love them all anyway.

Of all 5 catchers nominated Roseboro, Yeager, Scioscia, Piazza & LoDuca. I would say that Yeager & Scioscia were the best defensively, but I don’t think anyone had the offense & the power of Piazza. I saw all 5 and I feel Piazza is the one I want behind the plate, because of his bat.

The best thing in Gurnick’s latest report is that Colletti said that it wasn’t out of the realms of possiblity that ETHIER COULD START AHEAD OF PIERRE. As for myself I feel very happy with the rest of the report also. GOOD NEWS. GO DODGERS.

Piazza !!

Great comments by Colletti:

“There’s nothing wrong with competition. You have a chance of being a better club, like at third base. Let the players dictate who plays and how often. The situation ought to be debated on the field.”

There is better coverage than Gurnick’s, with more quotes, posted at Dodger Thoughts.

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/897243.html

For example (from Dodger Thoughts):::::::::::::

Neither Colletti nor LaRoche currently view his back as a concern.

“He seems to be doing fine,” Colletti said, “and it’s our understanding if he stays in proper condition and works out, it ceases to be any detriment whatsoever.”

LaRoche said his back feels “great,” and that he needs to do exercises a few times a week, 10 to 15 minutes a day.

Also from Dodger Thoughts, more Colletti on LaRoche:::::::

“It’s probably the first Spring Training where (Andy) has had more than a legitimate chance to make this club. Most of the time a player has to make the club. He’s almost gonna have to not make the club. It’s a pretty good spot to be in.”

Because Ned realizes (correctly) that he’ll more likely retain his job if LaRoche wins the job at some point and thrives versus Nomar producing like he did last year. Sorry to be kinda cynical, but thats the way i see it. Great to hear that he is open minded to whatever.

Btw, very sad that Piazza will enter the HOF as a Met.

Btw, very sad that Piazza will enter the HOF as a Met.

Posted by: jspelk2@uic.edu | January 16, 2008 04:43 PM

The legacy of the Fox ownership years, the darkest days of the the 50 seasons in L.A. Any mention of Chase Carey, who I see as the main villain in the Piazza deal and most things Fox-related, makes me retch.

Here is how I see the NL’s most TALENTED(not necessarilly who I think will finish with the best record) right now:

1. Dbacks

2. Mets

3. Rox

4. Dodgers

5. Cubs

6. Phills

7. Madres

8. Brewers

9. Braves

10. Cardinals

11. Gnats

12. Astros

13. Nationals

14. Marlins

15. Pirates

16. Reds

Now this probably won’t be where the teams end up because of the unbalanced talent in the divisions. IT’s just my take on talent level going into ST…

If there is a glaring error please let me know…

BTW Pierres, I know kinda late but, I REALLY HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR FIRST SEASON OF FOLLOWING THE DODGERS ONLINE!!!

I hate to see my Bums leave Vero Beach. They are making a big mistake & leaving alot of East Coast fans out in the cold AGAIN. And I worry about this team not having a NORMAL Spring Training, but rather being like a traveling GYPSY SHOW all over the globe – this will hurt them in the early going I believe. Having been a 50+ year Dodger fan, I am very tempted to flee to the NY Metropolitans.

Scioscia. It’s about catching.

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