Today's intrasquad

Team Koufax: Pierre (LF), Nomar (3B), Loney (1B), Jones (CF), Kemp (RF), Hu (SS), Bennett (C), Chavez (2B), May (DH).

Team Drysdale: Furcal (SS), Repko (CF), Ethier (RF), Sweeney (1B), Martin (C), LaRoche (3B), Young (LF), Martinez (2B), Lindsey (DH)

You can talk to Loney about the game and Spring Training during his live web chat later today at 2 pm PT/5 ET.



    Here’s hoping messers. Ethier, Furcal, Martin, Repko & Young go from first to third a lot on singles to left…


    I think this is a good day for an inside the park HR for Ramon Martinez on a single down the LF line…


    Wouldn’t surprise me. I definitely was hoping for Repko and Pierre to be in the same outfield…


    You’ll are a bunch of haters.
    I hope Juan Pierre has a great spring so I don’t have to hear all the talk about him *******.


    randy – we’ve been through this before (many times)… I don’t believe any of us hate JP, but we do want the D’s to field the best three outfielders, of which he clearly should be 4th on the depth chart, possibly 5th. If JP starts and has a great year, I’ll be the first to come on here and say I was wrong. But don’t misinterpret tongue-in-cheek humor for being hateful.


    The only thing we hate is seeing a better player wasted on the bench and our team losing games because of it.

    Wake up Randy. Stating facts does not equate to hate. Usually people see it that way when the point is hitting to close to home and they don’t like it. Oh No, they’re right, I better play the hate card as a smokescreen.


    What is wrong with looking back 20 to 40 years ago at the teams we had that won pennants and championships. What did those teams do and have that we have not had for the past 20 years. The Dodgers were consistant winners and won championships. We can learn from that. Those teams from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s used alot of homegrown talent, played solid defense and had great pitching. The offense was usually league average or slightly better. Getting real Sam means taking a good look at your team and trying to figure out what has gone wrong for the last 20 years. I am not saying live in the past, but learn from it. The Dodgers were a feared and respected franchise back then and we need to take a look at what they did and try to get back to that “Dodger Way To Play Baseball” that produced champions.


    I wouldn’t mind having Juan Pierre as my neighbor, but if one of my kids lost a ball in his yard, I’m afraid he wouldn’t be able to throw it back over the wall.

    Go Juan Pierre! It’s 1962 again!


    All kidding aside, if JP comes up with the bases loaded and drives in the winning run, I’ll be as happy as anyone for the Dodgers, but I just don’t think he’s the BEST option for LF and when runners are going 1st to 3rd on him I want to jam an icepick into my retina.


    Top 1:
    Chan Ho Park pitching in his return to a Dodger uniform.

    Juan Pierre pops to right

    ah, nothing has change a bit.


    An attempted objective look at the NL West this year, this is how I view the teams going into 08:

    NL West Ranks


    Pitching: 2nd, slightly edging the Giants (because of bullpen) and possibly the most consistent rotation but they’re still looking up at the D-Backs with the Haren pick-up (especially if Johnson is healthy). If Schmidt can come back healthy and servicable, the Dodgers could very well be the best.

    Hitting: 2nd, the nod still goes to the Rox with Holliday, Helton, Hawpe, Tuolowiski, Adkins. Again the Dodgers may have the most consistent line-up top to bottom if the optimal 8 are in there, hopefully Torre makes the right decisions.


    Pitching: 5th, Francis is a legit #1 but there are some big ??? after that. Jimenez and Morales showed a ton promise last year down the stretch but will they be as effective this year whhen the league familiarizes themselves with their arsenal. Fogg is gone but Cook should be back and Hirsch is looking to rebound from injury so they have depth. Solid pen anchored by Fuentes, Corpas and newcomer Vizcaino. In a league stacked with legit rotations, they are a bit behind in talent.

    Hitting: 1st, Not much more to mention here with Tuolo, Holliday, Helton, Adkins, Hawpe they might have the most lethal 2-6 in the league.


    Pitching: 4th, Peavy is obviously a stud winning the triple crown last year (wins, Ks, ERA). Young is a great 1st half pitcher and vulnerable in the second half. But who is next…I see a lot of ???S here. How much longer can Maddux battle to be average? Will Randy Wolf pitch for more than 2 months? Will Mark Prior even pitch? Hensley will fill in servicably but then who Germano? YIKES! Meredith, Bell, and God knows how but Hoffman will make for a good pen.

    Hitting: 4th, Gonzalez is a stud, I expect another .300 30 HR season. Giles is declining, Greene and Kouzmanoff will likely improve. Iguchi is an upgrade over M. Giles but not a savior. Edmonds is another big ? Headley could win a LF job in ST which will help but nothing really special here.


    Pitching: 1st, Webb and Haren make up the best 1-2 punch in the NL IMO. Johnson is a huge wild-card here but if he can be servicable, they’ll have 3 front line guys. Davis and Owings (like an AL game when he plays) are good compliments at the back end of the rotation. Lyon, Pena and newcomer Qualls will make for a decent bullpen.

    Hitting: 3rd, They stunk last year, worst in the league in fact but don’t expect the same this season. Hudson and Byrnes suurounded by a very talented group of youngsters in Young, Upton, Jackson, Reynolds and Drew (who should all improve offensively this year) will make their line-up potent enough with their rotation.


    Pitching: 3rd, Cain, Lincecum and Lowry are all very young and talented SPs and should put up good numbers. Barry Zito is probably their 4th best starter in what is an impressive rotation. Correia, Sanchez and Misch will battle it out for the 5th spot. Somewhat shaky bullpen but they should be decently rested as I don’t expect the Giants to be in the lead late in games that often. Messenger, Chulk and Wilson should take a big chunk of RP innings this year.

    Hitting: 5th by a wide margin. Wow, this line-up is a mess without Mr. Bonds in it. Molina will bat 4th? They might as well wave a white-flag before the season begins. Rowand should give their offense some boost but he is very overrated. Aurilla and Vizquel have to be the oldest left side of an infield ever. Keep the AARP card out because Roberts is patrolling LF and Durham is at 2nd this season again. Winn is a decent hitter but don’t expect 3 hitter production from him. Ortmeier at first…this offense may be one of the worst I can remember going into a season.


    Nice post Charris. It is going to be a dog fight in this division. Could come down to who stays the healthiest.


    looks like kemp is off to a great start…3-5 with a double triple and a bomb in the two intrasquad games.

    pierre seems to be doing well…and ethier, besides his homer…doesnt seem to be doing well…GREAT DAY!!



    pierre seems to be doing well…and ethier, besides his homer…doesnt seem to be doing well…GREAT DAY!!


    Posted by: | February 26, 2008 12:09 PM

    Pierre went 2 for 3, scored 1 and drove in 1. Nice day.

    Ethier went 1 for 4, scored 1 and drove in 1.

    Looks like Ethier was just as productive as Pierre Bill.

    Your truly touched.


    A huge part of JPs problems offensively would be eleviated if he REALLY worked on keeping the ball on the ground rather than be Slappy McPop-up. 2 hits good. Pop-up bad. If he kept the ball on the ground, especially going the other way, he could easily add 10 more hits or so a year, which would’ve bumped his average last year up to .308

    Still no cure for his arm in the outfield though unless he smokes a corncob pipe and carries a can of spinach in his back pocket…

    But I digress… And I will admit he did have a good day today.


    Hey Old Fogey, whats your name on the Jon Weisman blog? I really hope I don’t have to see Ethier and Kemp platooning all season in right like they did all last year…


    Thats kind of my theory scott—even though it often takes the dodgers TOO long, the real talent will play out eventually. Whatever we think of this year, there’s just no way pierre is playing a corner for four more years. Theres no doubt of that.


    in each of the last 3 years pierre is in the top 3 in outs per plate apperances and least amount of extra base hits per plate apperances…why on earth wouldn’t you play that? stop hating.


    Don’t hate jungar my boy JP is gonna get 200 hits this year…lol! What do you think of my power rankings above?


    LOL Jungar. There are 9,000,000 reasons to play him. I can’t think of one legitimate reason though, unless Ethier flat out bombs. And them you’ve still got DYoung who is also a better option.


    both players have played enough and are in their primes. if i have all these stats off baseball reference so do they….this is all a big bunch of BS. Seems pre determined. LaRoche will start at 3b, Nomar utility and playing 130 games if possible and Pierre in LF do to a different reason each week besides the 9 million ones (so kemp and ethier can compete? lol)

    pretty spot on Charris. Although our offense has some potential this year. If Loney and Kemp have full seasons like half seasons last year (or whatever) we will be great. LaRoch needs to play, as he has proven no matter where he has played that even if he slumps he gets on base.

    Getting on base is the most important thing and then hitting with runners on.


    At what point does ones OBP negate bad defense? In otherwords, what would JPs and Nomars lines have to be before they overcome their shortcomings on the defensive side?

    And scott and jhall, don’t tell me the “unemployment line” ’cause I already thought of it!


    LOL enchanted. Pierre’s defense is so bad that he needs at least a .360 to offset it. As he is a one dimensional singles hitter and leadoff wanna-be, that is imperative. That is his game and he is not getting it done. Nomar, if his power returns would be acceptable with .340 or better in my opinion. Sans power(20HR season), he would also have to hit the .360 mark.


    Can anyone imagine Kemp, who hit .342 last year not being the regular RF? Even mentioning a platoon is downright blasphemy!

    jungar, you’re right on about everyone having knowledge of the same stats we’ve been seeing, so what gives?

    Also, Gurnick’s latest mentioned Ned and Torre “liking Pierre’s game”.

    What the…?


    I’m telling ya boys, don’t be surprised when the opening day line-up features JP and Nomar…

    Furcal, JP, Kemp, Jones, Kent, Martin, Loney, Nomar, Penny

    Not that Nomar’s going to be the everyday 3B, but Torre will start him on opening day as a gesture to the long-time veteran.

    There is no explaining JP.


    power to jp obp round 380 or higher..390 really..nomar, cuz he should slug some, 360. like a jones wont be higher than 350 but he can slug so its cool.


    Maybe nothing but JP bounced the ball to Jones when they play catch warming up between innings maybe he was just goofing off for our benifit


    So as long as JP is at or above say .370 then, that’s a pass; and if Nomar starts (which I don’t think he will), I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and a pass at .350. Anything less and we as fans and the Ds as a team are getting shortchanged. Sound right?


    With Joe Torre switching back to the N.L., it makes me think of Willie Randolph blowing his first double switch with the Mets. The Yankees probably miss Torre with Girardi running them ragged. *****The best news I heard today was that the Rays might be interested in Bonds, I don’t know where they’ll put him unless he shares the DH with Cliff Floyd. I don’t know if that’s true, but I wish it is. I really get excited when Barry comes to the plate even though I hate the Giants. Playing in the A.L. will make it a lot easier for me. *****If he can stay out of jail.*****I wonder if Charlie Hough showed James McDonald how to throw the knuckle ball.*****Is Repko wearing protective gear and warning lights?*****According to Joe Torre Martin never did answer him about taking days off*****If Pierre really excells in what ever he does best, like steal over 150 bases will you all lay off of him? I would.


    Hey pierres, if JP would steal 150 bases this year he can have the keys to the city…

    .. of course that city would be Chicago.

    But really, if he puts up a OBP that offsets his defensive liability, I think most of us will lay off him.


    If jp could duplicate Butler’s numbers and situational hitting I would be OK with him even though he will not perform as well as Butler defensively. Don’t get me wrong, I do hope he excels and proves me wrong. I will be the first to taste the crow and enjoy it. I think Nomar and Pierre will start opening day in left and third respectively and I think they probably deserve to. I don’t have a problem with that. If they continue to start and get the job done, we will be winning games and I will be pleased. However, if it becomes apparent that they are not the best alternatives I would hope that Ned/Torre and Co. will make the necessary adjustments regardless of egos and contracts for the good of the team. I am rooting for Pierre and Nomar as well as Ethier and LaRoche. We are a team.


    I was just making a point guys. It seems to be from what Pierre stated upon coming into spring training that he knows how the fans feel and that if the team felt likewise he would wave his unlimited no trade clause, I think he is going to go all out this year and may really have a great year. If he does and we get the offense from the rest of the guys that we expected from, I think we will be very strong and people will appreciate him.


    I hate to say it, but, I would like to see Ethier get a chance to start everyday even if it is not with us. Preferably in the AL. I think he deserves it. We will have Repko and DYoung to back up and I think they will do well. If the Dodgers decide to go with Pierre as the everyday left fielder for the long term, they should let Ethier go somewhere that he can be appreciated. I will not be happy about it because I believe that he is ultimately a better choice, but I don’t want his talent to go to waste on our dysfunctional team.


    Sad that ned would force out one of his only good acquisitions for his worst. Sad. I agree though, Ethier has shown enough to earn a starting spot on a team. Id like to see what he would do with 500+ ABs.


    He should be. Pierre was in line with previous 2 year performance and is on the other side of 30. Pretty much went as expected. You play him 162 this year at the top of the order and he will do the same.

    95 runs


    10 triples

    0hr, 41rbi

    55 steals


    I agree about Ethier. I guess that’s what bothers me most. So many people defend Pierre because we say he shouldn’t be playing..but what about defending Ethier? All he has shown is hard work and a great attitude for 2 years while performing well, his future is ahead of him and it seems like no one cares.

    So now your Andre saying to yourself,,, they’re taking a lesser offensive player than myself, making him learn my position where he has never played in 8 years. And the fing guy makes more per month than I make all year. No, no f this…that’s what i’d be saying…

    Whoever dosen’t start, i call them out now as dudes with no bullocks if they don’t demand a trade.


    Gonna be tough to watch if JP puts up his usual production and both Torre and Ned disregard the numbers and still play him day after day like Grittle.

    My guess though is no matter how gamely JP tries, and I’ve no doubt he always gives it 110%, Torre, who’s used to seeing some of the best, will grow tired of watching him take bad routes to the ball and weak arm it back to the infield. Lets face it, Furcal’s going to be spending an awful lot of time in shallow to mid left so that JP can maybe hit him as the cut off, and Jones is going to have to cover all of center and at least 1/3 of left so that the runners won’t take liberties all day.

    At some point, common sense has to take over – doesn’t it?

    I still see the outfield situation remaining this way though until the trade deadline when either; (A) JPs having a tremendous offensive year and you trade Either for something you need or (B) Either’s getting most of the playing time and JP opts out and you trade him (and a whole fistfull of $$$) for something you need.


    Sad thing is that they’ll probably end up trading Ethier, then in 2009/10 when JPs base running skills are diminishing to slightly above average level, and he’s now getting 180 hits out of those 700 ABs, Ethier’s going to be getting his 40-50 doubles and 15-25 HRs for somebody else, much like Konerko.

    … and we’ll still have another year or two of JP.


    Yep Guys, it is amazing that we can see the big picture and the so called informed baseball people are fing blind. Good point, this is another Konerko in the making and that is extremely frustrating. There is nothing common about common sense. So everyone suffers because Ned is a mo ron. I am at the point where I see this as an injustice to Ethier. He is at the cusp of having a good major league career and all the things that come with it and some phoney is taking that away. He has talent and deserves to be able to fulfill it. I hope that someone in the Dodger organization wakes up and gets a clue..


    And also, the reason why Ethier hasn’t been defended is because he’s played half seasons for the last two years. Its the reason why even after this season Loney and Kemp and even Ethier were “prospects.” Its because they were treated like it. Because they hadn’t established themselves in a full season (and not platooned), their trade value lessened. The D’s can write off benching Ethier because well, they’ve already done it the last two seasons. Alot of teams think they can ask for alot of young players from us because we don’t show confidence in them (or they get plenty of bad press), and in the end that hurts the team’s bargaining position. Even if we were to trade Ethier, we have no room for any acquisition on our roster, and it doesn’t make any sense to trade him for prospects.


    Congratulations Josh on your promotion, which I’ll bet is well-deserved. Probably well-timed too; hope it came with a sweet pay increase, but that it doesn’t take from your time here. Or is there a talented underling waiting in the wings to take over from the master?

    Not caught up on the posts (too busy with life!), but wanted to get in here and congratulate Josh.


    Congrats on the promotion Josh. Those of us who have been with ya here from the begining are really excited for ya! Heres to you Josh!


    From Diamond Leung’s Blog:

    Joe Torre strongly hinted that Brad Penny will indeed get to start on opening day. “I think that could work,” Torre said. “He’s lined up to pitch opening day, but we haven’t declared that yet.” The conversation was brought up after Derek Lowe supported the idea. “We’re 0-3 when I pitch opening day,” Lowe said. “If I was a guessing man, I would say Brad would do it and deservedly so. He’s been our best pitcher the past two years.”

    Also interesting is the lineup Torre will use for the spring opener. All the regulars will start, including Juan Pierre in left field, Matt Kemp in right field and Nomar Garciaparra at third base. Pierre, in fact, will hit leadoff. “He says, ‘Whatever you want to do,'” Torre said of Pierre. Garciaparra, meanwhile, has been told by Torre of his status as frontrunner for the job.

    – Chad Billingsley was scheduled to start in tomorrow’s spring opener, but was scratched due to tightness in his right groin that recently developed. The discomfort is considered minor, as Billingsley will still throw in a simulated game. That said, he did say that the groin might have caused him to skip a start in an in-season situation. During the offseason, he spent time at Dodgertown working out with first-round picks Justin Orenduff and Chris Withrow. Jason Johnson gets the nod instead tomorrow.

    – Joe Torre declared Nomar Garciaparra the favorite to start at third base over Andy LaRoche. “Being the veteran guy, he has the inside track in being the starting third baseman,” Torre said. Torre said he could tell LaRoche has been a bit anxious during the intrasquad games.

    – Dodger Idol kicked off today with guest judges Jeff Kent (Simon), Juan Pierre (Randy) and physical therapist Sue Falsone (Paula). Word on the street is that the judges dressed the part, with Kent donning a tight black shirt.

    – Troy from West Virginia has landed, and Joe Beimel was indeed ready. Troy and his stepson received a bat and glove from the left-hander, who left Troy a little starry-eyed. “He was like…,” said Beimel, with his mouth agape and the “whoa” not coming out. “Dude, I’m as full of (it) as anybody else.”


    My response is: June. But, we’ll see it’s still too early to be freaking out over lineups before they’ve even played a spring training game. And believe me nobody wants Nomar to have a solid season more than me. And nobody wants LaRoche to destroy the cover off the ball to take the job from him. In regards to Pierre, as long as it doesn’t affect Kemp’s playing time during the season. Otherwise we’re right back where we started last season.

    BTW, as a reminder I will have full play by play of tomorrow’s game against the Braves right here starting at 10 a.m PST.


    Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. If this is really going to be the everyday line-up, we’re in for another disappointing season.


    to clarify..i am ok with Laroche, because he is yet to prove he is better than Nomar. Ethier has proved it already.


    Actually, it’s not as bad as it seems. It really isn’t. We’re going to go as far as our pitching can take us regardless. You can look at last season when our offense had issues, our pitching carried us to the best record in the N.L in the first three months. When Wolf went down, our pitching went down, combine that with our horrible RISP during August. So it’s not the end of the world if Pierre plays. If he could only learn to take more walks…that would be a great world to live in.



    aside from the stupidity of the decision, what good can it do to annuonce who has the inside track before exhibition games have even started?


    I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that lineup for now, since it’s only the first spring game.

    Ok, I can’t pretend any longer.******** you Joe Torre!


    Of course this is the line-up I called for opening day, but there are 4 grateful GMs in our division right now.


    Nomar is not blatantly inferior to LR defensively– 1.

    And 2, to respond to question earlier– if JP has an OBP above .370 than he will deserve to play everyday. Otherwise, his lack of power and below-average defense is too much to overcome. That is really the only stat that is important when discussing him. As for Nomar, if we get 15- 20 HR and .300 Avg. from him than i will not complain.


    “When people ask what it is about him that makes him special, all you can say is, ‘Wait ’till you see him,'” said pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. “It’s an explosion coming out of that arm. Some guys just set themselves apart. Some people are from this planet, and some are from another planet.”

    I am so excited for when this kid makes to the majors….


    For JP, his OBP does not only matter in a vacuum, but compared to what Ethier’s OBP would be PLUS adding in slugging pct. v. Ethier and defense. I just don’t see JP coming out on top against Ethier or even D Young.

    Can someone show me how JP is superior when weighing all factors that matter?


    Jungars post…I agree about Ethier. I guess that’s what bothers me most. So many people defend Pierre because we say he shouldn’t be playing..but what about defending Ethier? All he has shown is hard work and a great attitude for 2 years while performing well, his future is ahead of him and it seems like no one cares.

    Jungar I for one, have not seen any posts that does not agree that Ethier should start.

    Most of us that have defended Pierre, have agreed that he has shortcomings, but that he is a Dodger and we should support him until the time comes that he is no longer with us. To continually bring up the same stats and story day after day does no good. This is not to say he is above critiscism, but I believe there are far smarter men who have been doing this a long time that will make the decision as to who plays. Are they always right, no, but I trust Torre will make the proper decision and if it is Pierre on opening day , that does not mean that Ethier will not end up being the number one LF by June. Injuries, slumps, and trades can help to determine who ultimately ends up in LF.

    I love the passion that you guys bring, but lets try to be more positive enjoy the fact that we will be the NL West Champions. Lets not forget we had the best record in the NL in August and the locker room got out of hand and the team flopped. That was not Pierre it was bad management and leadership. I do not believe that will happen this year. Do not give up on the team after a couple of intrasquad games and a couple of quotes that really do not dictate anything yet. Lip service until opening day!!!


    nomar is not a good 3b according to most metrics. 15-2o hr would be great, has happened once in the last 4 seasons but there is always this year to try again

    370 is fine. hasnt happened in 3 season but there is always this year to try.

    i mean what the heck right.

    i am too negative. But then 4th place ****** last year, at least for me it did.

    i’ll see you all in a few weeks, i will be here but lay low for the most part to keep the good vibes goin, i cant help myself mean no harm..


    This team is set up so nice that Pierre is the only thing that could keep this team from dominating.

    dodgerboy, “far smarter men” were not around last season obviously, so why should I believe they’re here now?


    Well Scott, I think you just have to believe. There is a reason why they are there and we are where we are. There may come a time and place for us to criticize but in my opinion it is not now.

    Lets discuss Kershaw, if he stays healthy he is going to be something amazing. I was around the GCL team 2 summers ago for a couple of days, after he signed and the refreshing part was his attitude. He was not a prima dona, he was running around chasing foul balls and playing the role of the bat boy. Now that is exciting to think about. Lambo was the same last year and after reading about how he was a troubled teen, switched schools and got his life in order and he displays a great attitude. From what I hear he dropped some weight or redistributed and came into camp with a great attitude.

    There are so many positive things to talk about, lets do it.

    We have alot of talent still in the minors, it is an exciting time to be a Dodger fan.


    Very true dodgerboy. I can’t wait for Kershaw to be ready. Who was the last dominant Dodger lefty?

    But, fans have every right to criticize and or critique management since fans pay for everything from tickets/parking to merchandise to cable/sat fees, you name it.

    I’m not sending people to h.e.l.l here, I’m just voicing my opinion. I would say most baseball experts not named Ned Colletti are not fond of Pierre’s game at all.


    Scott no problem with opinions, but I hope you realize Pierre/3b is not the only issue with the Dodgers. How about the 5th spot in the rotation, that had more to do with the team failing last year than Pierre did. I do not feel comfortable with Loaiza/Schmidt as the 5th starter. What about another lefty in the BP?

    I have been posting on here for about 5 months and honestly tire of all the Pierre bashing and that is not to say that you are right or wrong. Just want to talk about something else for a change. Trigger has been made into glue about 100 times. We know he has a lousy arm, we know his OBP stinks, we know he hits too many weak groung balls/pop ups. I understand, he is also the reason for the subprime mortgage mess…

    I also have been critical of him, but after reading this daily non stop for 3 months I decided that he works his a… off, he shows up every day, and never complains. He has been a ML for 7 complete years, so I think he probably gets a little more respect than what most of us give him. Is he worth 45 mil, hecht no, but he was able to get it so why be a hater?

    I love Ethier as a player he has a natural swing and I think the way he hits to all fields that he will be immune to long slumps. I have said before that if he gets 500 plus at bats, he will hit .285-.300 with 20/80 capapbility, and he is an upgrade, but we do not have to belabor the point day after day.

    But as you said, it is your right to express your opinion.


    Last dominant lefty…Fernando baby, 20 years ago…I was actually a young man then. I was there in California (the only time) listening to the game on the radio when he blew his shoulder out. Thanks Tommy. He abused Fernando!


    Not sure if this was posted yet but just saw it on rotoworld.

    Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he told Nomar Garciaparra that he’d have the inside track at winning the starting job at third base over Andy LaRoche.

    Figures. “I talked to him the other day,” Torre said. “I explained to him that being the veteran guy, he has the inside track as far as being the starting third baseman. But we will (start the season) with the best 25 (players) we can get.” Torre’s love of veterans also figures to be good news for Juan Pierre. The Dodgers have shot themselves in the foot a lot the last couple of years with their playing time decisions. Torre has his strengths, but breaking in youngsters isn’t one of them.


    How come I’m not surprised. Well I figured the veterans had the inside track. So they get the jump out of the gate but they still have to perform to keep their spots. I just can’t see how you can start Pierre over Ethier with a good conscious.


    Glad to see you’re still alive jhall!!!

    I’ve had to double-up on my blood pressure medicine – Jose Cuervo.


    Rotoword is not accurate. Torre’s track record with youngsters. If I remember correctly Posada, Jeter, Cano, Melky Cabrera, Rivera were young when they came up. I do not remeber any studs that were traded away and became stars…Come on help me. I think when he has had a young player that can play he has given them an opportunity. The problem in NY is George always wanted the quick fix, so I think Torre does have a record of playing young kids.


    Well, starting tomorrow we get a chance to see what everyones got…

    Looking at this another way – Jones is an upgrade over JP in center, and JPs an upgrade over Gonzo in left. Nomar’s an upgrade over Betemit at third. We do still have Martin, and Loney gets to start from day one this year. Kemp I can’t get a fix on whether he goes 25/90 or 15/65. Kent’s usually pretty consistant. 08 Furcal’s an upgrade over 07 Furcal. Pitching’s deeper.

    This Cuervo guy really makes things better 🙂


    Congratulatons Josh. *****In case anyone don’t know how Randolph, blew his first double switch, when he became the Met’s manager. He inadvertenly forgot to inform the umpires first. I forgot what that resulted in. Maybe someone can refresh my memory. *****I hope all the outfielders get a fair and equal chance to get a starting position and I hope the best ones win. The same goes for 3rd base. Torre has one thing in mind and that is to win. I am absolutely sure that if he see that something is not right or —causing us to lose—, he will make the necessary adjustments and will not show any favoritism and I don’t think he will care if he hurts any feelings. *****Yesterday there was an all women umpiring crew for the Mets vs the University of Michigan. *****Saito said that the American strike zone is wider than in Japan. I think he is imagining it, but that’s a good thing for us. ****I don’t think it should matter who pitches first Penny or Lowe.****I hope Jason Schmidt is not our version of Carl Pavano. Come back Schmiddy.*****I can’t wait to see photos of our “Idols”.


    on July 27th, 2007, the Dodgers had a record of 57-46, tied for 2nd best in the NL. We’ve heard a lot of people talking about the importance of OBP in this blog, so let’s take a look at what the players avg of the Aug & Sep/Oct OBP’s were when we went from 1st to 4th:

    Loney .387

    Martin .381

    Pierre .369

    Kemp .366

    Kent .358

    Gonzo .347

    Nomar .325

    Ethier .316

    LaRoche .300 (Oct. only)

    Furcal .284

    Hillenbrad .270 (Sep. only)


    I wish I was like you guys. I wish I felt that Torre would play the best 25 guys without politics. I wish I believed it. I don’t.

    And if he does determine that in 2007 Nomar is a better ballplayer than LaRoche and that JP is a better ballplayer than Ethier then matters are much, much worse.


    Jungar, I guess Im just kind of numb to the bad decision making at this point after last year. Once again the players will have to let their talent “break down the door” to a starting job. Its funny cause Im really excited (but trying not to be overexcited) about Kershaw, but then Im wondering if there will even be a rotation spot for him next year. Stuff like that you wouldn’t have to worry about on other teams. You make room for people with his talent.


    Looks like JP is leading off tomorrow and Furcal hitting 2nd according the the Dodgers site on

    And Nomar starting at 3rd.


    Long Alert: Be patient it has a point I promise:

    Those OBP’s are nice, but the real reason this team dropped from 1st to 4th is a combination of many factors.

    1) The rise of the D’Backs and Rockies. We went 3-10 against the D’Backs and Rockies in September. Including going 0-7 against Colorado, though who didn’t lose to them in September?

    2) 5-105 RISP. Speaks for itself. This was horrible.

    3) Biggest misconception: Nomar among others continue to say things were going well when things were consistant with the lineups in the first half of the season. And this is true, but not because of the offense. Our pitching was incredible during the first two months of the season and hid our true weaknesses. Though you couldn’t help but see it when Derek Lowe had three complete game losses. In a season where Derek Lowe went 12-14. He easily should’ve won 16 games. With only 11 or fewer losses. This was also when Billingsley was in the bullpen and we had Tomko starting every fifth day. Not to mention Hendrickson.

    April ERA 3.43. May 3.79. June 4.11.

    April Batting Average: .259

    May Batting Average: .267

    June Batting Average: .271

    Our only great bat in the lineup for the first two months was Russell Martin. Not to mention Luis Gonzalez who had solid months in May and June. After “the move” was made in early June with Loney coming up and taking Nomar’s first base job. Combining that with Kemp’s recall after being on the DL from the death wall.

    The offense began to pick up.

    We had our best offensive month in July: .306 average

    Chad Billingsley was finally put into the rotation. But Randy Wolf went down leading to Tomko and Hendrickson starting consistantly. Also, Derek Lowe had that freak injury while warming up in the bullpen during a crucial Mets game in which a Matt Kemp error cost us the game.

    And then:

    July ERA 4.74

    August was an improvement in the ERA department with a combined 4.11 ERA. But most of those pitching performances were wasted.

    However, our downfall came during the 5-105 RISP stretch, some of which came during a Jeff Kent injury. We hit rock bottom when we were shutout 4 games in a five game span.

    August Batting Average: .262 with a horrible .318 OBP.

    September was a great month for James Loney and overall solid for the offense at least while games still meant something. Pitching wise it was not at all.

    September 5.05

    September Batting Average: .285

    Very rarely were we ever in sync last season, when our pitching was good our offense was not. Though we could win like that. It’s hard to win when your team can’t pitch. The Dodgers have made a legacy based off great pitching. You don’t need a great offense to win a championship. Though they do help. You need pitching, if our pitching stays healthy they will overcome all the Pierre/Nomar issues. But, the downfall of that is if the pitching goes south we need an offense capable of scoring runs through the rough times. That’s where Ethier and Kemp playing full time comes in. Pierre can contribute to runs scoring, but he can’t do it by himself. They can.

    Once again a reminder, I’ll have full play by play tomorrow morning at 10 a.m PST of the Dodgers first spring game of the year. I won’t do play by play on Friday or Saturday. But will do Sunday. Talk to you then.



    Thanks Alex, great post. Will be tuning in for your play by play tomorrow. A live blog is just what we need right now.


    Great post Alex. Really well said. I had to hop on.

    well I said I would jump off, I will only post positive till april 1..but wanted to get one last thing in stats wise…oh and that I would feel better if they just said the truth, which is we owe these two guys 50 million over the next two years and were gonna give them the first chance to keep their jobs. To me if JP plays LF it negates the signing of Jones on offense, since it is possible that Ethier would be a better hitter than Jones this year. He was last year. And now we just play a worse LF then the platoon we had last season.

    but this is what Ethier would have done if he was given all of JP ab’s last year:

    78 runs

    18 hr

    42 doubles

    10 triples



    20 more doubles and 18 more homeruns and 45 more rbi. thats worth 49 steals? (64 steals minus 15 times caught)

    JP hitting with RISP in 07:



    .295 slug

    .586 ops

    That’s like getting 200 on your SAT. Or like ending an inning.



    .368 ob

    .468 sl

    .836 ops


    Congrats to the Dodgers staff for opening up more tickets for the Coliseum game! And to have a FanFest as well! I’d love some details on this when you get it Josh, for instance, who will be there for autographs and what kind of events will be going on. Thank you!


    I guess my biggest reaction comes from Torre’s statement [about JP], “whatever he wants to do.” Just sounds like its rewarding mediocrity. So are we to believe he wants to bat lead-off so tough luck Raffy, we prefer to start he game with one out?, because JP regularly is a league leader in making outs. We went down this path last year. I don’t see where there’s much difference between Raffy/JP and JP/Raffy at the top of the order. And Nomar batting 3rd… typical first inning: JP – Pops out. Raffy – single. Nomar – first pitch double-play. No stick leading off, no patience batting third, coupled with no speed. Jones is going to see a lot of empty bases infront of him. That may be overly pessimistic, but not too far from reality IMO.

    (Obviously the Cuervo’s worn off.)


    Hard to believe that management would intentionally put an inferior product on the field. Just plain stupid.


    And yes I realize its only the first game of spring training and a lot of things can happen, but someone once told me, “You have to think it before you can say [or in this case do] it.”

    THAT’S what scares me.


    As far as Furcal vs. JP…I support to the idea that a leadoff hitter who’s a threat to go deep is MUCH harder for a pitcher to face and puts immediate pressure on him. I really feel Torre is saying all the right things as the new boss in town; why stir up a mess this early with players he’s still bonding with? But over the long haul I can’t see ANY manager caving to a player’s consecutive game streak or his bloated contract. Torre is here to win…and win now. Kudos to Pierre if Torre honestly feels JP will get him to October. Day in, day out Ethier makes a lot more sense.


    I’m a little disappointed in that when the Dodgers say “Thank You” to Vero Beach with the exception of Chickie Anderson, Steven Mulvey who are relatives of the Mulveys, Vin Schully, Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe I would assume, the Holmans, not much else of Brooklyn is represented. unless you count Garvey as the bat boy. Duke, Erskine Branca, Roger Craig & others who usually are there during the Fantasy camps are not mentioned. How come Peter O’Malley isn’t around. The O’Malleys to me are a big part of Dodger tradition. I’m pretty sure Koufax will be around since he lives there. I think a bigger effort should have been made. Don’t forget this goes back to 1948, 10 years before LA. I know the LA Dodgers are younger but others should have been honord.


    Let’s all unite behind our manager. I’m positively sure if things start going wrong he will notice it the same as the rest of us and he will make the changes that are needed. I mean this guy’s been around since I was in high school he knows what he’s doing. TRUST HIM.


    So Torre right now has no idea that JP has a .330 OBP for the last three years and that the previous two years has hit like this with RISP?



    This is what I don’t get. So I guess my take is, forget Juan Pierre, I can careless about the guy. What I am sick of is the BS..gotta say all the right things, gotta support the vets, cant come out and say the truth, gotta play politics…it’s been 20 years since someone came to town and said enough is enough. It’ll be another 20 I fear.


    if JP is in the lineup, why can’t we pull a larussa and just bat him 9th. that way he can leadoff in front of raffy 3-4 times a game AND get one less AB than our real batters.








    pitcher’s spot



    Last year this pissed me off. Man enough now to admit I was wrong. Willing to do so on other issues as well..Go Dodgers.

    “I think one thing that helped a lot was that I started the season in the bullpen,” said Billingsley, who stayed there until mid-June. “That taught me to be aggressive, because when you get into the game, your first priority is to get the first guy out and throw a first-pitch strike. I learned I didn’t really have to be too fine. That was really my big problem previously, trying to be too precise instead of just keeping my pitches down in the zone.”


    Torre is giving his vets a chance. That’s all they can ask for. He is also giving Ned a chance. When he determines that Juan is out of place in LF and that his speed is not enough to offset the all around hitting and that Nomar is best suited to be a utility guy, they will all have to listen. He will have that leverage, he has none now.

    There is a far greater reality behind the scenes as many suggest. Yes they have all the numbers and more than we all do. Ned watched alot of garbage from our offense last season and hopefully learned too. (Simply we can’t have two players combine for 6 homeruns and a .333 obp in 1300 plate apperances) really full years of Loney/Kemp along with Jones (hopefully, truthfully I am a bit worried about his offense and as jungar said on offense last season you couldn’t say you wouldn’t rather have Ethier up to bat) if he rebounds alone should make us stronger.

    They have a better understanding of what makes a winning club with Torre aboard. He saw first hand what his early homegrown teams did versus his last 5 years of high priced vets did with the yanks. So yeah chill and give Torre time as Pierre and Alex have suggested.


    I think this will probably (maybe) the last post I do on the JP vs Ethier debate-

    about 75% of the PA’s a player batting 1st or 2nd in the batting order experiences has either nobody on base or a man on 1st. (JP had 567 of his 729 PA’s with that) If you compare JP vs Ethier last year with either the bases empty or a man on 1st, this is what you see:

    JP- .306/.342/.368/.710

    AE- .283/.342/.383/.725

    If you add on JP’s stolen bases as if they were xtra base hits, JP would actually have the higher OPS. Ethier would have more RBI’s and SO’s over the course of the season, and JP would probably have more runs and fewer GIDP’s with his better speed/SB’s. But if you look at their #’s with RISP, Ethier’s #’s are much better. So, if you’re going to bat someone 1st or 2nd in the batting order, not such a clear choice, maybe go with JP because of his dependability, he’s going to give you 162 games a year, but if they would be batting further down the order and probably see more RISP, you go with Ethier for sure. It sort of depends on what you want to do with them.

    Last point, and this has to do with the “gamer” quote you often hear about JP. Ethier’s highest OPS in situational hitting is when there is a 4 run or greater difference in the score, his lowest is when the game is tied. JP’s OPS is HIGHEST in tie game situations, lowest with the 4 run differential.


    Alex great post…Pierre really did not cause the Dodgers to lose. They were not a TEAM last year and management was as much or more at fault than anyone else.

    For all you Chicken Little fans that think the sky is falling, there are plenty of other teams to become a fan of. Some of you guys have already written off the season because Pierre might be the lf on opening day. Wow, Torre is a ***** and is probably not a Hall of Fame manager.

    It looks like Atomikkid is pointing out a very good fact. You can make statistics to say what you want, depending on your view. All of you have had very interesting stats and I am amazed at the passion you guys attack this issue with. You all would make good arbitration attorneys.

    Has the game started yet? I cannot wait til Saturday, I fly to West Palm and drive to Vero for 3 days to see my boys. I will post pictures of Pierre and the boys when I get back.

    I am really excited I have been to 4 fantasy camps but never to spring training.

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