March Madness

February is over and we’re just 31 days away from Opening Day.

The bus is pulling away right now for Port St. Lucie and Brad Penny’s first start of the year.

In regards to the question about whether more games will be televised once we’re playing spring games in Arizona, that remains to be seen. There is a good chance that KCAL and FSN will be able to do a few more games but I don’t think we’ll necessarily get to the point where all the games are televised. Distance to Vero Beach is certainly an issue but not the only factor in how we pick the television games.

One cool thing to note is that MLB.com is going to televise the game on March 17, the Grapefruit League finale that has Tommy Lasorda managing. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if you start to see more games televised via the Internet in the years to come.

Here’s the lineup for today:

Pierre, LF

Young, 2B

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Jones, CF

Nomar, DH

Sweeney, 1B

LaRoche, 3B

Hu, SS

Penny, P

73 Comments

Looks like this game is Ethier’s chance, and, of course, another look at Pierre. I also like to get a close look at Hu. He really impresses me so far with his overall development through the minors, etc. He’ll probably play in Vegas this season, but I think that a decision will have to be made whether he’s next year’s starting shortstop. Can only imagine what Raffy will command in dollars for his next contract. If Raffy goes on to have a super year and we sign him for another three or four years, then we have a real valuable trading chip in Hu to cover some other needs. So, I hope that both do very well in 2008, but I do like Hu among the younger prospects on display.

The Dodgers gave Schmidt a nice retirement package. It’s just my opinion, but Schmidt with all the damage in his shoulder had to know he wasn’t right when he signed that contract. I wonder if there’s any way the Dodgers could get out of it. This might be something to ask Ned.

Another question for Ned is after seeing what Ariz. and Colorado did last year, why do the Dodgers block their younger players with declining veterans? Why not just let the young guys play? After all even Boston stuck with Pedroria last year after a slow start and he came around to be a valuable member of that squad.

I’d imagine that Either will be the odd man out in the Dodger outfield. Pierre is making bank, and it’ll be hard to keep Kemp out of the lineup (though Torre prefers vets). Do they plan to deal Either, or use him as a 4th OF?

http://www.fightingphils.mlblogs.com

Who would play RF if Kemp got hurt if Ethier was gone? I can see it now..

Pierre, Jones and Repko

I don’t want to see anything happen to Kemp or Ethier, but I have no problem with Repko in right.

What other pitchers are throwing today besides BP?

Inge for what? He won’t fit in here at all. DONT DO IT NED!

No to Inge. Let Nomar/LaRoche play out.

Unless they will take Pierre. LOL
No one is that stupid.

Not that I would approve the trade but it wouldn’t take much to get him. This rumor seems to be much ado about nothing. Also, it’s becoming clear they plan on keeping Delwyn Young to back up Kent and be the fifth outfielder. No play by play today, though the game is on MLB.TV. It’s the Mets feed though, which Pierreeastmeetswest among other New Yorkers can watch on CW11.

Pierre is still hitting .000

I’ll be with you as my favorite team plays my home team.

fleigel i have posted that several times..i agree with you about Schmidt. It is so convenient that his trainer for several years is the Dodgers trainers and there is a rumor…Man I cannot believe I almost fell into that trap…He was damaged goods and it got by the Dodgers. How? Well we cannot figure out who killed JFK so we are left only to speculate.

I am leaving in 4 hours for Vero Beach baby….Here I come Dodgers look out. As for Inge not really interested. Lets give laroche until June and if he is hitting 210 or less then maybe, but give him 150-200 at bats and not have to worry about a bad game. Look at the Padres, they gave Kouz a chance.

Delwyn Young just made a great diving play to his left to throw out Marlon Anderson.

Nice plays by DY

DY will make a good utility guy.

And another solid play by Young to throw out Wright. Very impressed by Delwyn this morning.

Andruw is not having a good spring thus far.

The spring just started. AJ will be fine.

I wonder who the guy in the Brooklyn shirt behind home plate stands is rooting for. You don’t know.

It’s hard to tell, he could be from B’klyn but there are a lot of Met fans there.

DY apparently just made a fantastic play at 2nd.

DY making plays that Kent could never dream of.

Ok, Delwyn Young is RIDICULOUS this morning, diving to his right behind the bag at second and throws out Manriquez.

When you think of Delwyn you think of his hitting. He’s been very impressive. That was a good inning for Park.

Break for the Dodgers but you hate to see collisions like that.

collisions?…..what happened?

Nomore is a first pitch hack.

Marlon Anderson and Ryan Church collided on an Andrew Jones blooper. Nomar grounds back to the mound with the bases loaded.

nomar probably kicks puppies in his spare time.

I hope Marlon & Church are O.K. They looked all right leaving. Why do the Dodgers always show how hard it is to score with the bases loaded no matter how many out there Are?

Park should sleep well tonight.

Ethier guns down runner at 2nd. Outfield assist..

Ah I see pierre’s been hitting the **** out of the ball. (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Would you believe Gary Cohen on SNY critizied DY on the DP. It’s not that easy a play.

LaRoche with SPECTACULAR defense. There is no way — NO WAY — Nomar could play defense like that.

Nothing wrong with the fielding. Kuo looked good.

Nice offensive display today. lol

Pitching has been solid at least, by Penny, Park and Kuo.

Gary Cohen said,”John Lindsey now at IB” and Keith Hernandez said,”He Doesn’t look like the former Mayor”.

keith hernandez should stick to rogaine commercials.

Nice long throw by Hu. Well at least we know that.

Gotta love the defense today.

Rats. Lindsey just about hit it out.

If Lindsey’s shot would have went out they’d probably would stopped comparing him to the Ex-Mayor. I think I’d forget about it Too.

Leave it to an Ex To beat us. Now that’s just another way to score when you have the bases loaded. Orendorf & Meloan had good outings. All in all it was nice to watched, welcome back baseball.

Losing a game like that in the regular season would hurt. Good pitching and defense today. Can’t defend against a HBP.

Did anyone mention, Pierre *****.

yea jhall like ethier did great today…left 4 men on base a strikeout and an 0fer…yea real solid work by ethier today…trade him!

Except for Martin, all of the offense ****** today.

1) Spring Training is a time where the eyes mean more than the numbers. See how pitchers’ mechanics and velocity are, see how hitters bat speed, etc are. But the games don’t matter, so that alone should convince you not to get hung up on the results too much.

2) Andruw Jones, Russell Martin, Delwyn Young and Andy LaRoche were the only Dodgers that got on base today. That will change tomorrow. The only thing worse than judging spring training stats is judging stats from a single spring training game. If anything, though, it should be viewed in the context of the Mets only scoring one run.

3) Repko is a good bench option. I like the idea a DT commenter brought up of having the outfield be

Ethier, Jones, Kemp

Pierre

Repko

and then Young could be a pinch hitter or super utility player.

4) The Dodgers player development folks don’t like Delwyn Young’s defense, but Larry Bowa doesn’t mind it. I’m sure there’s some sort of non-sequitur joke in there about Bowa’s distaste for helmets and why his brain works differently, but I don’t see it as being worth trying that hard.

5) Question for Ned: In your discussions with Nomar, is he more concerned with regular playing time or seeing his family during the season and playing for the Dodgers? Likeable as he has presented himself, I feel this may answer whether or not we see Nomar in LA after this season.

I sure hope we don’t see Nomar again after this season, at least not in the Dodger uniform. I’ve personally had it with management’s favorite brand on Nomar. I wish that he and Kent were not on the team, along with Pierre, of course. Unless our pitching really carries us for the season, I don’t see us as real contenders in NL West this year, and I would prefer to be patient enough to let the youngsters play and develop together for a year. I have just built a real dislike for Kent, Nomar, and Pierre and especially for Colletti, who brought them all here. Unless we by chance really surprise and go far into the playoffs, I’m still hoping that Colletti will pay the price and depart as well after this season. He’s got to be the worst excuse for a GM that I can recall. I won’t even credit him for keeping all the prospects together. I think that having blown all those bucks on Schmidt and Pierre, he really lost his credibility with the ownership, and they have him on a tight leash that won’t let him make another big disastrous deal.

Looks like, offensively, everyone had a rough day. Lets not sound the Pierre alarm because everyone struggled. We need to give the guy a break. I admit he has a weak arm, but keep in mind his near .300 avg last year and speed.

With Nomar, its really quite a feat to be able to block two different prospects at two positions in two years. Really, incredible. Course if Nomar wasn’t here that would just give Ned more impetus to find some other retread to fill the position, so perhaps we should be grateful. I dont see any reason why we would resign him, if we want a pinch hitter Im sure we can find someone cheaper and just as effective.

Even Ned wouldn’t bring back Nomar.

LaRoche looked real good and comfortable at 3rd. DYoung’s play at 2nd was very encouraging also. He could take over next year when Kent is gone. Abreu can play all infield positions so he can be our utility infielder next year. Even if Pierre starts in left most of the time, having Ethier as a 4th outfielder gives us lots of options and flexibility. He can play all 3 outfield positions. Should get plenty of time if Torre rests the starting outfielders at least once a week. I hope Kuo holds up. He looked good. It would be great to have him as the 5th starter and it would help to have a lefty mixed in there. We unload Loaiza, Kent, and Nomar next year for sure. Hopefully Kershaw can make strides at AAA this year and be ready next year. Penny, Billz, Kuroda, Kuo, and Kershaw. I’ll take it.

I’ve said many times on this blog how much I like Repko. A former first round pick as a shortstop, this guy is gamer. That’s one of the reasons he can’t seen to stay healthy. If I’m the owner I want to keep a guy the team drafted #1 over an overpaid banjo hitter. Sorry Pierre, I’m just looking at roster numbers…

Torre says the Dodgers need to be more selective at the plate. I’m sure most of us agree. This was probably the easiest thing to notice. Even if you add Kent, Furcal, Loney & Kemp. I say that we have to do better offensively than we have in the past. I think that’s our biggest weakness. He also said we might have to depend on one or two runs being enough. I hope not. It’s like the same old story to me.*****I don’t think the A.L. makes their pitches bat during spring training like we use the DH against other N.L. teams. *****Watching Willie Randolph conversing with Rick Honeycut, Were they ever teammates on the Dodgers, I can’t remember, off hand. *****I see an alignnment between our team and my two home teams, The Yankees & the Mets, I think it’s the Torre, Mattingly, Randolph, Girardi connection. That might end if our team starts competing more.*****I hope meeting Koufax isn’t Greg Miller’s only claim to fame.*****Gary Cohen & Keith Hernandez said DY made the DP look harder than it was but they were praising him most of day. They also said Lindsey wasn’t guarding the line in the 9th.*****LaRoache said,”We’re young guys just trying to get on ESPN.

I just checked the Media Guide ***Honeycut ’83-’87***Randolph ’89-’90 I guess not, they seemed to be very familiar with each other. Probably somewhere else. Hey, Don’t I know you from someplace? **? that’s for the one I missed in the other comment.

DY hasn’t played 2nd for quite awhile. Turning the DP is one of the finer and more difficult points of the position. Considering that he has not been playing 2nd he did alright on the DP. It will get better as he gets more time there. His range and arm looked great. I was very encouraged watching him at 2nd. Now, just need the bats to get going.

MESSAGEBEARER at 4:06 PM PT you stated that you JUST built a dislike for Kent, Nomar, Pierre & COLLETTI I’m soo shocked. What came over you?

I agree jhall, I don’t think they realized that. I think they felt for him it wasn’t that good since he looked good on all the other plays. 2nd base is tough. I remember as a kid learning how to turn the DP. Man sometimes I was horrible. I took a lot beatings.lol I was suprised they didn’t give him credit for still getting the ball to Lindsey.

He made the play. His timing and handling of the DP can improve. It is learnable. Range and athleticism is not teachable. You’ve either got it or you don’t. So far, it looks like he has the tools to be a good 2nd baseman.

Messagebear dislike for kent, nomar and peirre?! *** and Colleti. WOW. its your opinion but kent has been PRODUCTIVE PRODUCTIVE PRODUCTIVE for the dodgers…and hes still one of the top 10 2b hitters out there. yeah maybe his defense has gone south but hes still valuable to this team. also for pierre…yeah his defense is pretty weak, but hes playing left field now A LOTTTT better than gonzo playing there last year and on top of that pierre gave us what we signed him for. and nomar…yeah his power numbers dropped dramtically but who cares he was still one of the most productive run producers with RISP. and Colletti the worst GM?!?! are you serious…um lets see good signings kent, furcal, nomar, jones, kuroda…oh and shcmidt although it looks like hes done…he still has 2 years left so dont give up just yet! WHERE IS TONY ABREU?

He didn’t like Gonzo either and he got a 1/2 loaf of bread for Grady.

So far Colletti gets a C-. He got Kuroda and didn’t give up any of the kids. That is a positive. Also, signing Jones will most likely turn out well. Even if he replicates last years #’s, his defense will be a huge upgrade from Phewerre in center and 26 bombs would’ve led our team last year. Getting Ethier for MeltinDown Bradley was a good move. Other than those three moves, Ned has bombed badly. Signing Phewerre was a huge mistake even if he won’t admit it. Extending Nomore was ill advised. The Schmidt signing was ignorant. Every other GM knew he was damaged goods. Bombko, Hendrickson, Baez, Carter, and Lugo, I don’t have to go into how bad those deals were. If Schmidt comes back at mid season and does a credible job it will improve Ned’s overall rating. Still a chance of that but I am not holding my breath. Furcal signing was not bad either if we get 06 version this year. So far he is in the middle of the road. Just about as many good deals as bad ones. The bad ones have been real bad and more expensive however. I think he is learning though as this past off season he didn’t do anything incredibly stupid like the previous off season. Not the worst GM, but far from a premier GM.

Aquiring Bloaiza goes on the negative side also. Hence the minus.

Stay away from the Giant and Devil Ray rejects Ned and you would be looking alright.

Study the GM’s from Atlanta, Oakland, and Cleveland. I hate to say it but also Boston.

approach and think about the moves that Colleti made from a his perspective and not the fan. if every one of his moves that he worked would have gone to what he initally wanted in return for whatever transaction he dealt than obviously he be the Gm of the year but no only gms like steinbrenner are good ones cause they just get the super singings! but ned on the other hand is not getting any credit and blaming him for the wrong reasons. and that reason ultimately being a championsip. sure he gambled on some of the past moves but thats life win or lose. basically ned took over a noobie and rook gm in depodesta and is fixing all the holes considering the current situation the only holes is lf and 3b. WOWWWW are u kidding me only 2 holes woww and even then the 2 holes 1 being lf which is really not a concern cause whoever you get you know will be productive. cmon pierre starting isnt the end of the world. hes a above average leadoff man. and 3b half season of nomar will be decent and laroche can show us what hes gots in reality neds done a above average job!! wayyyyyy over C- more like B or higher. Cmon he gots me thinkin playoffs for sure and as far as NLCS. once again the key is to be healthy!!! injurys greatly affect baseball teams.

Feel I have to weigh in on the Ned debate…

I’m sure I’ll miss a few trannys, but let’s take a look his two seasons as a whole:

1. Signing Brett Tomko. D. Only thing that keeps this from being an F IMO is the fact that there were several games he pitched reasonbly well, but got no offense. Had they scored and he won some of the NDs and Ls, the grade may have been a C-.

2. Signed Kenny Lofton. A. Solid year, great value.

3. Signed Nomar 1 year. A-. Only his 2nd half in ’06 keeps it from being a solid A.

4. Signed Bill Mueller. F. 2 years? C’mon. Mueller carried the hitting for about a month in ’06, then blew out his already fragile knee(s).

5. Signed Sandy Alomar. C. Wasn’t good, wasn’t bad.

6. Acquired Ethier for Bradley and A. Perez. A+. Ned’s only true steal of a trade.

7. Signed Rafael Furcal. B Contract turned out to be a deal, though seeming not at the time. Great ’06, and ’07 wasn’t his fault.

8. Signed Aaron Sele. B Got more out of this guy than anyone expected.

9. Acquired Baez and Carter for Jackson and Tiffany. C Both Baez and Carter were total flops, but then so was Jackson, and Tiffany still hasn’t made the bigs. This one’s a push.

10. Acquired Sao and Hamulack for Sanchez and Schmoll. C. Have to say this one’s another push – nobody won.

11. Signed Saito. A+ ‘nuf said.

12. Extended Jeff Kent 1+option. C- Kent still has some production, but he’s clubhouse poison. Very limited range. FA or a trade would’ve been the better route.

13. Signed Giovanni Carrera. B+ – Rode this horse a lot in 2006,

14. Acquired Toby Hall and Hendrickson for Sao and Navarro. D. Could’ve gotten the same production from what he had.

15. Acquired Elmer Dessens for Odalis Perez + 2 + Cash. B – Anything that got Odalis off the team was a good move.

16. Acquired Maddux for Izturis. A – Madduz gave us a bunch of good starts, and Izturis didn’t have a position.

17. Acquired Julio Lugo for Guzman + 1 – F. Lost a prospect for, well a Yugo.

18. Acquired Betemit for Baez and Aybar. B Shoulda, coulda, woulda, but didn’t. Still, didn’t give up much to get him.

19. Acquired Marlon Anderson for minor leager. C+. Can’t give much more for a reserve player.

20. Resigned Ramon Martinez for 2007. F.

21. Signed Nomar to two year contract. D+. As someone earlier said, he blocked Loney last year and possibly LaRoche this year. What the Ds got was a very declining year in return. Nomar can vindicate this to a C- with a good year in ’08.

22. Signed Juan Pierre to a 5 year contract. D- Total panic move by Ned in the wake of Drew bolting, coupled with the “coup” of signing him away from the Giants. On the face of it, a 3-year contract might’ve made it a D as JP brings at least speed to the table. But far less than average defense and blocking younger and better players for the next 4 years is going to make this one an F before its over with.

23. Signed Randy Wolf. B- Would’ve been a solid B but for the injury.

24. Signed Lieberthal. C Back-up catchers aren’t good for much of a grade one way or the other.

25. Signed Jason Schmidt. F Appeared to be an A at the time, but one should consult a doctor before signing someone to a $47m contract. However, any return this year and next might bring this up to a D, but certainly no higher.

26. Resigned Hendrickson. D I have a soft spot for the big guy, but let’s face it, he was given ample opportunity to do something and never did. ’06 should’ve been an indicator.

27. Signed Saenez. B+ Got a lot of games out of this old arm.

28. Signed Tsao. B. The kid pitched lights out for a couple months, and the Ds got much more than expected.

29. Acquired Brady Clark for Elmer Dessens. C – This one’s another push.

30. Signed Roberto Hernandez F. ‘Nuf said.

31. Acquired Proctor for Betemit. B Going to get a lot of work out of Proctor, and with Grady’s schitzoid line-ups, Betemit was never going to play a full time 3B.

32. Acquired Mark Sweeney. C Back-up IFs/PHs types don’t excite me.

33. Acquired Shea Hillenbrand D Can’t give it much else. At least Ned made no attempt to resign him.

34. Acquired David Wells. B+ Wells made some decent starts in a season quickly going down the drain AND, Ned didn’t resign him for ’08.

35. Acquired Loaiza off waivers. F After that first start, it was stink city. In Ned’s defense, he was clutching at straws to save the season, but its this second year that makes it an F.

36. Signed Andruw Jones. Think to be fair, we have to give this one a B+ until we see how it goes. Many GMs think his decline last year is more than an anomaly. Checking in a little overweight doesn’t help much either, though he does seem to be a positive veteran influence in the clubhouse for a change.

37. Signed Kuroda. B+ again for the same reasons.

38. Signed Gary Bennett D – maily because of his link to steroids.

39. Resigned Seanez B- Hard to tell on the face of it – I was for his signing, but he is rather old.

40. Resigned Sweeney C Hard to tell at this point, but a bench player gets a C, especially if he’s bumping someone else off the roster.

There you go, 40 moves which don’t take into affect the NRIs, etc. If I weigh it starting at 0 for an F up to 12 for an A+, Ned averages out to a C/C+.

I’d love for others to weigh in on this to get your takes.

Great post enchanted. I had forgotten some of Ned’s trades and signings. If he unloads Pierre my C- rating will jump to a solid B.

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