Meet the Dodgers

Today is "Meet the Dodgers Day" at Holman Stadium and we’re expecting more than 8,000 people, which is a huge crowd here in Vero. The players will be out meeting the fans and signing autographs from 11:45-12:15 so if you’re in town, be sure to get over here.

We’ll also be honoring Steve Garvey today as part of our Thank You celebration at Dodgertown, so be sure to tune in to KABC 790 if you’re back in Los Angeles. Steve will join Rick Monday and Charley Steiner for an inning to talk about his memories of Dodgertown, many of which are detailed in his upcoming book, "What I Learned from the Boys of Summer." Some of you may know that Steve’s dad used to be a bus driver for the team in the 1950s during Spring Training, long before he went on to stardom with the team.

Also joining Rick and Charley for an inning will be Frank McCourt, who is visiting Dodgertown this week and will be able to give an update on a very busy offseason, both on and off the field. As you probably know, the field level concourse is being completely redone, with the addition of two new clubs for the baseline box seat holders. This should help reduce the long lines at concession and merchandise stands and is just the latest in a multi-year plan to help make the fan experience a better one at the stadium.

And, be sure to tune in after the game for Dodgertalk with Ken Levine and Josh Suchon. They will also be hosting the Sunday night show on KABC this evening from 7-10 p.m. PT (which is obviously much later on this coast, but it will be live). Josh Suchon took over for A Martinez as the daily reporter and you’ll be hearing him all season long on the Dodgers’ flagship station. He’s a longtime baseball writer in the Bay Area who most recently handled minor league play-by-play for the Modesto Nuts while also hosting a daily talk radio show with J.J. Stokes on ESPN Radio. Ken Levine, as many of you know, was the main writer for Cheers, among many other Hollywood credits, and is formerly the voice of the Baltimore Orioles. He’s got a ton of baseball experience and hopefully you’ve had the chance to hear him and Josh together during the winter.

Here’s the lineup for today’s game:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Jones, CF

Kent, 2B

Martin, DH

Nomar, 3B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, RF

Bennett, C

Lowe, P

93 Comments

I didn’t know A was let go.

Well, looks like Torre didn’t watch many Dodger games last season but eventually he’ll figure out that Kemp and Loney need to be a lot higher in the order. Hopefully he makes the move sooner than later — it’s a tough division to lose a few games just because guys aren’t in the right slots.

drinkinmerc
thanx for the uni pix a couple of days ago.

From the last thread, 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.

I’m in overall agreement, enchanted. Let’s also consider that Grady was Colletti’s strong choice to manage the team, and I think that proved to be a disaster. It’s just fortunate that Grady wasn’t thrilled about returning for another year, because Colletti would not have had the moxie to cut him loose on his own.

Good post enchanted. I’m in agreement with most of your post with the exception of Pierre. Pierre has done all that he has been asked of since becoming a Dodger. In fact, in many ways he has exceeded expectations. Would you rather have Ned sign a So Taguchi, a guy in the same class of players who has great speed? The guy has consistently proven that he can get on base, rather than a guy like So who is asked to do the same thing and is a .260 hitter.
Pierre is a top OF in the NL, and needs to be given more credit for what he is doing well rather than where he struggles, which should be taken care of with his position move to LF.

WELL YOU STRUCK HOME__An articule in New York’s Sunday Daily News By Bill Madden: “GHOST TOWN —In leaving Vero Beach (Dodgertown, Blue Heaven), Dodgers cutting last ties to glory days of Brooklyn”, featuring a faded picture of Holman Stadium with Robinson, Podres, Reese, Campanella, Snider & Erkine looming above. Although normally it would bother me, not to see LA players, this helps me forget that none of the above will be honored when the team leaves. Vin Scully calls it “The final severing of the UMBILICAL CORD with Brooklyn” and Peter O’Malley said, “It’s not a move we could ever had made”. The article has stories by Scully, Tommy Lasorda O’Malley, Don Zimmer, Erskine, Sandy Koufax, Tom Villante, Billy DeLury and others about the above and Branch Rickey, Walter O’Malley, Walter Alston, Leo Durocher, Al Campanis, Don Drysdale, Larry Sherry, Jim Mulvey, Bud Holman, Bernie Stern, Herbie Scharfman others & themselves. and the OUTRAGE of the city fathers upon hearing of the planed departure. I regretfully say I’ve never been there but following the Dodgers since then, makes me feel like part of me has changed.

Ed,

You’re right that Pierre has done what was expected of him. His stats this year were nearly average for him. But enchanted wasn’t complaining about Pierre not living up to expectations, but rather about Colletti’s belief that what Pierre does is good for the team. You say that Pierre gets on base, but his OBP last year was .331. Taguchi’s OBP was .350. This simple fact is that Pierre doesn’t get on base all that often. And Colletti gave him a contract that ties the Dodgers to him for way too much money, for way too long. It wasn’t a good move.

Oops – forgot a big one – Gonzo C- Fairly adequate hitter for another panic move, but dreadful in the OF and in the clubhouse as it turned out.

Actually edwcarter, I’d have re-signed Kenny Lofton and waited to see how Ethier and Kemp developed. Lofton had speed, better D, and a little pop in his bat. Drew threw Ned for a loop, but his knee-jerk reaction will be costing the D’s for 4 more years. A 5-year contract is just too long when you had some top-flight prospects in the wings, especially given Ethier’s rookie year. Kemp on the otherhand was more of an unknown, but highly touted. Had Drew stayed, my question is who would’ve played CF because I doubt we’d he’d have signed JP. Surely Ned had a plan there (Ethier? Repko?) And I’d have said that Gonzo = JD somewhat. But given you already had a leadoff batter in Furcal, the JP signing didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I wouldn’t say JP exceeded expectations, but amply met them offensively to his statistical norms. Defensively, Ned should’ve know what he was getting into. I don’t see JP in left being any better than Gonzo, and he was far below average.

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.

Pellam you are right on it. For Pierre to be acceptable with his horrific defense, he needs an OBP of at least .360.

Pierre is a top OF in the NL, and needs to be given more credit for what he is doing well rather than where he struggles, which should be taken care of with his position move to LF.

Posted by: edwcarter@gmail.com | March 2, 2008 09:03 AM

Ed, I am not sure what you’ve been watching. Pierre is not even close to being a top outfielder in the NL. He is consistantly rated as below average and in the lower echelons of outfielders. If he is so darn good, how come there is absolutely no interest in him from any other team or GM in baseball? Don’t give me the “because of his high salary” **** either. If he was a you say, an elite NL outfielder, that 9M would be a bargain and other teams would be knocking down our door to try and get him.

What was Ned’s plan had Drew stayed? Before he departed, the outfield stood at Ethier LF, Drew RF and ??. I doubt he saw Repko as the answer to CF. Would he have signed Lofton again to another 1 year? or had that boat already sailed? Would he have still signed Gonzo? If so, would Ethier or Drew have played center? I just don’t see what changed so drastically when Drew departed that you had to sign anyone to a 5-year deal.

I’ve been gone for a couple of days so I’ve missed the goings on around here. When I last was here the Dodgers weren’t scoring when they had runners in scoring position on Thursday.

Thursday I was having stomach pains. I thought it was due to the whole not scoring runners thing (Just Kidding) or bad chicken at The Olive Garden. But my wife convinced me to go to the hospital & now here I sit without my appendix! Good news is the Dr. said I can still fly to Vero on Thursday!!

Bad news is I guess not scoring runs with RISP continued on Saturday. I have Fridays game recorded so I’m going to watch it today.

I saw the 1st 2 innings and LaRoche had a nice hit. Going to right/center with some pop. The swing looked good.

I saw Ethier hasn’t done that well at the plate, but there have been only a couple of games. No one is going to call for him to be traded for that. He also had an outfield assist on a runner trying to advance to second. I guess they scouted the wrong LF’er.

On the topic of Ned I think that was an accurate post by Enchanted. Ned isn’t the worst nor the best. I think he needs more time before we start calling for his head! I always think it’s bad when teams hire/fire coaches/gm’s every other year. You need to give a GM 4-5 years and a coach 2-3.

I think the Dodgers are well on their way to have a contending team for the next 5 years.

I just saw yesterday against the A’s, Zito gave up 8 runs on 7 hits in 2/3 of an inning.

It’s just spring but nothing looks good there other than he made the start.

Mets vs. Dodgers Play by Play Coming Up: Mets didn’t bring anybody significant from Port St. Lucie

A. Hernandez, Gotay, Clark, Pagan, Castro, F. Martinez, Abreu, R. Cancel, Machado

Pierre, Furcal, Jones, Kent, Martin, Garciaparra, Loney, Kemp, Bennett

Pitchers: Oliver Perez vs. Derek Lowe

Top 1: Mets Batting: Derek Lowe Pitching: Chad Billingsley will start tomorrow morning against Baltimore:
Anderson Hernandez grounds to Furcal at short

Ruben Gotay doubles to right

Brady Clark grounds slowly to Nomar at third, Gotay advances to third

Angel Pagan grounds to Kent at second

0 Runs 1 Hit 1 LOB End of 1/2 inning No Score

Ned has given out over 250 million dollars in contracts not counting 2008. Some of those contracts have blocked our young cheap talent. Not one contract other than Lofton did we get value for our money. Not Nomar, not Kent Extension, not furcal, not Schmidt, not Pierre, not Mueller, not wolf, not Tomko and so on.

250+ mill to not when a single playoff game? Being beat out last year by two teams who did understand what they had in their own organization with both payrolls combined to be less than ours…

No you guys are too kind.

F. Strong F from this kid.

All right, Andruw with a double! Nice.

Bottom 1: Dodgers Batting: Oliver Perez Pitching:
Juan Pierre bunts in the air, it drops between Gotay and Abreu for a bunt hit

Rafael Furcal on the first pitch pops to short

With Andruw Jones at the plate, Pierre steals second uncontested

Jones on a full count doubles down the left field line, Pierre scores, 1-0 Dodgers

Jeff Kent on the first pitch pops to short

Russell Martin works a walk after starting 0-2

Nomar Garciaparra pops it up, but Gotay loses it in the sky/wind and it drops untouched for a sky aided single, Jones and Martin score, Martin showed great hustle taking his cue from Bowa to keep running hard, 3-0 Dodgers

James Loney singles to right, Nomar advances to second

Matt Kemp on the first pitch flies through the crazy wind but is caught in right

3 Runs 4 Hits 2 LOB End of 1 3-0 Dodgers

hmmm nostalgia, Grady made the lineup today!

Top 2: Mets Batting: Lowe Pitching:
Ramon Castro flies to Jones in center

Fernando Martinez strikes out swinging

Michel Abreu strikes out swinging (Solid outing for Lowe)

0 Runs 0 Hits 0 LOB End of 1 1/2 3-0 Dodgers

I’d like to see our hitters take some pitches and make the starter work. Furcal, Kent, and Kemp all 1st pitch pop ups. Martin works a walk from 0-2 count. Bret Butleresque.

Bottom 2: Dodgers Batting: Perez Pitching:
Gary Bennett singles to left

Pierre forces Bennett at second

Furcal 6-4-3 Double Play

0 Runs 1 Hit 0 LOB End of 2 3-0 Dodgers

jungar – I think maybe a little harsh, but point well taken – I gave equal weight to each of the [now] 41 transactions. Actually, the major signings/trades should be given more weight than the Toby Halls and Giovanni Carreras.

It’s interesting everybody in the first inning besides the three men who made outs worked the count fairly well. Even Nomar took ball one before swinging.

Top 3: Mets Batting: Eric Stults Pitching:
Robinson Cancel walks

Anderson Machado sacrifices to Stults, Cancel goes to second

Hernandez flies to Pierre in left

Cancel goes to third on a wild pitch

Gotay strikes out looking

0 Runs 0 Hits 1 LOB End of 2 1/2 3-0 Dodgers

Bottom 3: Dodgers Batting: Aaron Heilman Pitching:
Jones strikes out swinging

Kent grounds to third

Martin doubles to the gap

Garciaparra grounds to short

0 Runs 1 Hit 1 LOB End of 3 3-0 Dodgers

Top 4: Mets Batting: Stults Pitching:
Clark doubles to left center

Pagan reaches on an infield single to short, Clark to third

Castro forces Pagan (Nomar to Kent), Clark scores, 3-1 Dodgers

Martinez singles to left, Castro to second

Abreu strikes out swinging

Cancel flies to Pierre in left

1 Run 3 Hits 2 LOB End of 3 1/2 3-1 Dodgers

He scapegoated a manager, divided a clubhouse and worse of all treated Juan Pierre like ****.

lol..anyways we all know my feelings on Bernie…i am just not a fan of the owners or the GM. Shoot me. I heart the players though..

Bottom 4: Dodgers Batting: Scott Schoeneweis Pitching:
Loney singles up the middle into center field

Kemp bloops a single into right, Loney to second

Bennett strikes out swinging

Pierre flies to left

Furcal on a full count singles to center, Loney scores, Kemp to third, 4-1 Dodgers

Jones grounds to third

1 Run 3 Hits 2 LOB End of 4 4-1 Dodgers

wait jungar who treated pierre like ****, ned? well yeah i suppose…but give me 45 mil and you can treat me like **** too lol. As far as dividing the clubhouse you right. It was more Ned’s moves than Grady that caused a split, and thats not something thats necessarily going to change. As long as there are position battles and “depth” I bet there will be some underlying issues.

Top 5: Mets Batting: Tanyon Sturtze Pitching:
Machado walks

Hernandez singles, Machado to second

Gotay strikes out swinging

Machado goes to third, Hernandez to second on a wild pitch

Clark grounds to short, Machado scores, Hernandez to third, 4-2 Dodgers

Pagan singles, Hernandez scores, 4-3 Dodgers

Pagan steals second

Castro grounds to short

2 Runs 2 Hits 1 LOB End of 4 1/2 4-3 Dodgers

Top 5: Mets Batting: Tanyon Sturtze Pitching:
Machado walks

Hernandez singles, Machado to second

Gotay strikes out swinging

Machado goes to third, Hernandez to second on a wild pitch

Clark grounds to short, Machado scores, Hernandez to third, 4-2 Dodgers

Pagan singles, Hernandez scores, 4-3 Dodgers

Pagan steals second

Castro grounds to short

2 Runs 2 Hits 1 LOB End of 4 1/2 4-3 Dodgers

Brady Clark batting third is the best proof ever that spring training games don’t matter.

Bottom 5: Dodgers Batting: Joe Smith Pitching:
Kent reaches on an infield single to second, Ramon Martinez pinch runs for Kent

Martin on a full count grounds to third, Martinez to second

Martinez to third on a passed ball

Garciaparra singles to center, Martinez scores 5-3 Dodgers, LaRoche pinch runs for Garciaparra

Loney 4-6-3 Double Play

1 Run 2 Hits 0 LOB End of 5 5-3 Dodgers

I don’t care if it is only 4 games into ST, I’m going to be very unhappy with a Ramon Martinez threepeat…

Top 6: Mets Pitching: Mike Myers Pitching:
Martinez grounds to LaRoche at third

Abreu grounds to second

Cancel flies to Jones in center

0 Runs 0 Hits 0 LOB End of 5 1/2 5-3 Dodgers

Bottom 6: Dodgers Batting: Ruddy Lugo Pitching:
Kemp singles to center

Bennett strikes out swinging

Kemp steals second

Pierre strikes out (now batting under .100, which is also his OBP, his only hit a bunt in the air that landed, it’s early but nothing has changed about his approach at the plate)

Furcal on a full count walks

Jones (would you believe they didn’t say what happened during an interview with Garvey, wow, just wow) i’ll assume strike out swinging

0 Runs 1 Hit 2 LOB End of 6 5-3 Dodgers

Top 7: Mets Batting: Brian Falkenborg Pitching: Lombard in left, Repko in center, Chavez at second, Martinez now at SS:
Machado flies to Repko in center

Hernandez doubles to the gap

Gotay grounds to Loney, Hernandez goes to third

Clark grounds to LaRoche at third

0 Runs 1 Hit 1 LOB End of 6 1/2 5-3 Dodgers

I’m not Pierre hating just pointing out the RISP facts.

Twice today Pierre up with a runner in scoring position.

Both times the runner didn’t even advance.

1st time he flew to left with runners at 1&2. Fundamentals please. Try and hit it to the right and move the runners up.

To the Pro Pierre camp this is why the anti Pierre rants take place.

Bottom 7: Dodgers Batting: Steven Register Pitching:
Martinez strikes out swinging

Martin grounds to third

LaRoche pops to second

0 Runs 0 Hits 0 LOB End of 7 5-3 Dodgers

Top 8: Mets Batting: Tom Martin Pitching:
Pagan flies to Repko in deep center

Ezequiel Carrera grounds to the pitcher

Martinez grounds to Loney

0 Runs 0 Hits 0 LOB End of 7 1/2 5-3 Dodgers

dcollins – perhaps with runners on base and less than 2 outs Pierre sould ALWAYS bunt. He may get 50 sacrafices a year, but at least he wouldn’t be hurting the team. Meaningful outs please Juan!!

Bottom 8: Dodgers Batting: Nate Field Pitching:
Loney strikes out swinging

Kemp strikes out swinging

Repko walks on four pitches

George Lombard flies to left

0 Runs 0 Hits 1 LOB End of 8 5-3 Dodgers

Dcollins..

RISP for Pierre in 07

245 avg .232 in 0

291 obp .292 in 06

295 slug .296 in 06

586 ops .588 in 06

I point out 06, cause 08 won’t be any better, unless of course I am just “negative”.

Juan’s last 350 times he came up with a runner on 2nd base…the runner scored from 2nd, 77 times. In Ethier’s last 202 times with RISP, the runner from 2nd has scored 94 times.Plus as noted Ethier gets on base 35 out of 100, Pierre 33 out of 100.

And no, steals do not make singles extra base hits. To many things need to happen for that to happen. An extra base hit is an extra base hit, a single and steal is a single and a steal..

Yeah I know, numbers are boring. Facts are no fun to read in Spring when everyone are all stars. It’s these kind of numbers, that I know the dodgers know that infuriates me.

Amen:

Will the Dodgers self-destruct in five minutes?

The story is all too familiar to anyone who watched the San Francisco Giants implode over the last five years: every year, expensive veteran free agents fill out lineup spots that could have been covered by 24-year-olds for the major-league minimum. Only in San Francisco, young players would have merely performed just as well as the veterans who displaced them. Los Angeles has an even worse problem: legitimate young stars sit on the bench so that worthless veterans can drag the team down.

I just pulled up Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections for 2008. The Dodgers’ projected top eight hitters:

2B Jeff Kent (40)

RF Matt Kemp (23)

3B Andy Laroche (24)

C Russell Martin (25)

CF Andruw Jones (31)

1B James Loney (24)

LF Andre Ethier (26)

SS Rafael Furcal (30)

That’s a roster anyone could love! Unfortunately, the Dodgers have as their GM the co-architect of San Francisco’s collapse, Ned Colletti. I don’t know much about Colletti other than what I read in his 1985 Book “You Gotta Have Heart: Dallas Green’s Rebuilding of the Cubs”, but it’s that he can’t sleep at night unless he has roster built out of…heart.

Hence the presence of Nomar Garciaparra and Juan Pierre on the Dodgers’ roster. Nomar is owed $8.5M this year, while Pierre is making $8M and has four years left on one of the most worthless contracts ever negotiated. It would be one thing if Colletti recognized sunk costs and played the best man at each position, but he has shown, time and again, the need to justify his bad decisions by running a guy who’s finished out onto the field every day. This is true even if the veteran blocks a vastly better young player. Did I mention that Colletti has a reputation for being a shrewd negotiator?

At any rate, word on the street has it that the Dodgers are going to trade for disgruntled Tigers 3B Brandon Inge because Joe Torre wants a third basemen he’s familiar with. Maybe I don’t understand the insecurities of baseball men, but I’d rather have 24-year-old Laroche on the field than watch the 31-year-old Inge’s predictable decline into minor-league veteran status.

More to the point: if you’re Ned Colletti and your job is essentially on the line if you don’t produce a playoff team this year, why would you ever bet on three useless veterans? Inge, Pierre and Nomar will be predictably bad. It’s possible that Laroche, Ethier and Loney will all fail to meet expectations – there’s no doubt that a young player has a lot more spread in his possible range of performances, though the collapse rate of mediocre veterans should worry a GM even more.

On average, the Dodgers are giving up *four* wins by going with the veteran alignment, and they’re giving up any shot at upside. BP puts Loney’s 90th %ile OPS at 921, Laroche at 931, Ethier at 910 and Kemp at 988. Nomah, Pierre and Inge are at 845, 767 and 821. The upside difference between these two rosters is nearly *six* wins.

So I ask, is there a team in the majors that can afford to give away 4-6 wins? Even the Angels, who got nothing but baseball’s version of an STD during their love affair with out-maker Darin Erstad, would be hard-pressed to win their division this year under those conditions. I would argue that there isn’t one organization in the majors that would give away 4+ wins by intentionally not playing their good young players.

Yet I have exactly zero confidence that Ned Colletti and Joe Torre won’t do exactly that. And at the end of 2008, after the Dodgers finish five games back in the winnable NL West, Ned Colletti will be out of a job. But at least he’ll be able to blame it on poor veteran performances. Because as we’ve seen in San Francisco and now Los Angeles, there’s no sense taking a risk to try to win the World Series.

http://www.protrade.com/content/DisplayArticle.html?sp=Sfc307e48-e87b-11dc-bfa8-9568e713147f

link for above. i wouldnt want anyone to think I wrote that…i mean i agree 100 percent with it…but i didnt write it.

Top 9: Mets Batting: Mike Koplove Pitching: Rene Rivera catching, Tiffee at first, Griffin in right:
Daniel Murphy walks

Cancel forced Murphy, (Repko to Chavez) Repko dove and could not come up with it, got up and threw Murphy out at second

Machado reaches on a two base error on John-Ford Griffin in right, Cancel to third

Hernandez strikes out swinging

Gotay reaches on an infield single to Koplove, Cancel scores, Machado to third, 5-4 Dodgers

Gustavo Molina hit by the pitch, bases loaded

(Fernando De La Cruz relieves Koplove)

Pagan singles to center, Cancel and Machado score, Molina to second, 6-5 Mets

Carrera grounds to second

3 Runs 2 Hits 1 Error 2 LOB End of 8 1/2 6-5 Mets

Great stuff Jungar. The other teams in the NL West probably can’t believe their good fortune that the Dodgers don’t play the best players.

Bottom 9: Dodgers Batting: Joselo Diaz Pitching:
Andre Ethier pinch hitting for Lombard on a full count walks

Mark Sweeney pinch hitting for Chavez on a full count strikes out looking, Ethier caught stealing

Martinez grounds out

0 Runs 0 Hits 0 LOB

Mets

6 9 0

Dodgers

5 12 1

WP: Nate Field

LP: Mike Koplove

SV: Joselo Diaz

Time of Game: 3:08

I tell ya, if Torre truely wants someone he’s familiar with at third, he should’ve stayed in the AL.

So far though, what Ned’s done (or hasn’t done) contradicts that article. He’s kept the core youth this year without dipping into it for the likes of Santana or Bedard. To do so now would make absolutely no sense when you’ve held your cards this long, but then, it is Ned. Only thing I can honestly see him doing before the season is flipping Ethier for a 5th starter.

Another great job alex – thank you!!

Thanks Alex.

Enchanted, hopefully Kuo will make a move for a 5th starter unnecessary.

I’m getting really tired of giving people like Martinez and Sweeney “another chance”. Where did they bring us last year?
The only value I could see in getting Inge would be if he re-converted to catching and could spell Martin for his off-days. As things now stand, I don’t see that we’ll get any productivity from the catcher slot when Martin takes a day off. That’s been a considerable weakness for us. Inge could, of course, also sub at third if necessary. I don’t recall, however, that he was that much of a hitter last year.

Don’t know if I’m alone, but I find it rather dismaying that Torre thinks our line-up only capable of producing 1-2 runs a game. Even with JP and Nomar playing everyday they’re capable of better than that. But if that’s all the more opinion he has of the “veterans”, then why not go with the youthful line-up which includes Ethier & LR? And does he really think that Inge is going to help that 1-2 RPG line? I’ve got to think that most of this stuff is just rumor.

If I don’t I’ll cry…

Good article jungar. I guess we should look at the silver lining, if we don’t do well this year, Ned is gone? Im not sure McCourt is smart enough to do it though.

The proven veterans will kill this team and it will finish 4th again. I’ve been saying it for the last 2 years, at least with the young players you have an upside, with the vets it’s mostly downhill. If Ned and Joe don’t see this it will be a repeat of last year.

Agreed guys. If we start Pierre and Nomar and Bloaiza and finish like last year, hopefully they will pull the plug on Ned. If we don’t start the best players the majority of the time, then they deserve to finish 3rd or 4th. It would be very disappointing but it would almost be worth it to wake some people up.

A decent GM like the one with the Diamondbacks cut loose from Gonzo a year ago and gave all his young guys a chance to mature at the major league level. The fact that they made the playoffs was probably unexpected, but a nice bonus. Our “veteran” idiot, picked up Gonzo along with the other has-beens and didn’t develop squat until he was forced into it in Loney’s case. He didn’t learn squat either, because we seem ready to pursue the same old path with Nomar, Pierre, and even Kent, who never should have received that extra year on his contract either. So far I don’t see that having Torre will change much of anything, especially if he sees such value in bringing Inge aboard. If you’re going with the youth movement, then play the youth and let them mature for a year up at the major league level. We might get a nice bonus out of that experience, and if not, then we would certainly be ready to blossom in 2009 once the deadwood is gone. Who knows, hopefully Colletti might be among that deadwood too.

Bear, have you been listening to my prayers. LOL. Makes perfect sense to me and anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together.

ST doesn’t start seriously until the squads get back together in AZ. That gives Torre & Co. a week to weed out the minor league fodder and get down to the 3-4 tough cuts. As it sits now, here’s how I see it:

Penny, Lowe, Billz, Kuroda, Kuo (Schmidt to DL)

Saito, Brox, Proctor, Biemel, Seanez, Loaiza, Myers (Brazoban cut or DL)

Martin, Bennett

Loney, Kent, Furcal, LaRoche, Nomar, Sweeney (Hu & Abreu to AAA… No Martinez or Chacon, unless they do the unthinkable and send LR to Vegas.)

Pierre, Jones, Kemp, Ethier, Young (Repko to AAA)

Bear – Ned has been under the delusion from day one that with a tweak here and there, they can win it all. This was bolstered by the fact that the ’06 team WAY overachieved. So figuring that “character” was all they lacked, we ended up with guys like JP, Gonzo and Nomar redux – partly for character, part out of panic.

Why any GM in L.A. thinks they can’t say, “you know, we’re gonna struggle for a couple years, but we have a great crop of kids coming up that you’ll be able to root for for years to come. You’ll get to see some of them this year, some next. We’ll have some growning pains, but in the end you’ll be proud of their achievements.”

Anyone think that’d cost the D’s 1 mil in attendance? **** no. In fact, that’s job security for the GM… think an owner’s gonna give up on them in 2-3 years?

I think McCourt wants to win. I think Ned wants to win too, but just doesn’t have the cajones to stick with one plan and see it through right or wrong. All the Ds GMs have the “I have to win it now” mentality to the ultimate detriment of the organization as a whole. L.A. will tolerate a “loser” for a couple years if they know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We just need someone in charge (either McCourt or Ned) to see that light.

I agree, we needed to start the rebuilding after 06. That was clear. Maybe bring in a couple short term FA, but no one that couldn’t be traded or released when a kid was ready. We tolerated a “loser” last year all the while being told that certain people -JP, Schmidt,Gonzo etc. were brought in to win. Those players are not even fun to watch. The young guys are fun. Even the most casual of fan knows that. Ned would rather fail with veterans then fail with kids, all the while paying a much higher price, because in the end, he can say “well, we tried”, as opposed to “well, we’re rebuilding.”

I still cant get over why they would play a guy who knocks in a guy from 2nd 1 out of 4 times versus the guy who knocks in a runner on second 1-2 times. Let alone the defense and ability to get on base. Forget the names of who they are, as a dodger fan who do u want batting in that situation?

All the Ds GMs have the “I have to win it now” mentality to the ultimate detriment of the organization as a whole.

Actually this is false, Depodesta and Evans didnt and it got them run. They got rid of major contracts (Brown and Green), helped rebuild the farm system and in Depos case, by looking to the future and trading Lodouca it cost him his job. . We all know now he was right. We had Martin, Loduca was a roid user with no more upside and we got who has become our ace for under market price for three years. Lowe was a good contract. The orginal Kent contract was great. If only Depo would have resigned Beltre instead of Drew his approval rating may have been higher. Not signing Beltre (for that money) was the right thing to do.

AS of now Depo and Ned are identical 1 wild card, one implosion (o5 had way more injurys than last year, last year we just had crappy players), but Depos team did it for 75k payrolls, not 115 million payrolls..Gosh with all that extra money depo could have signed Schmidt, Pierre and Nomar. Doh!

Payrolls don’t really matter to me other than there is no other way to really look at it and judge are we getting bang for buck. Sorta like a movie..If were winning then cool. If you make Lord of the rings for 200 million then fine,thats a first place flick but **** man we made like that Will Smith alien/western movie last year for 110 million and it got us 4th place and bombed.

I had a dream last night. It had JP wearing a shirt with writing on the front that said “Pitchers Fear Me” and writing on the back that said “especially mine”. So? The best Offense is a great Defense. My take on Joe Torre’s statement regarding the games where 1 or 2 runs will win it (paraphrased)I felt like he was refering to the pitching in the NL West! Even the Giants (dramtic spitting nise inserted here) have some quality pitching. With what the Dodgers have 1 to 4 we will be in great shape if Uncle Joe puts a defense out there. Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder who #5 is? (will be…)

When McCourt fired DePo, I don’t think it was really an expression of disapproval as much as just wanting to clean the slate and “get a whole fresh start”. I only wish he had followed the same principle last Fall, because Colletti was more of a culprit than Grady when it came to the disappointing 2007 season. If 2008 only pays lip service to the so-called youth movement, then nothing much better will be accomplished, and I only hope that McCourt will belatedly get another fresh start at the GM level.

My fantasy mag on Kemp:

Lowdown: In 446 career Major League at bats, the 23-year-old Kemp has hit .312/.344/.496 with 17 HR and 16 steals. It sounds like he’ll be buried somewhere near James Loney at the bottom of the Dodgers’ batting order, but at least he figures to be in there someplace. Kemp hit .310/.358/.518 in five minor league seasons, and he displayed power and speed at every stop. The LA Times recently reported that Kemp has lost as many as 20 pounds during offseason workouts. “I feel quicker, I feel way stronger,” he told the paper. Quicker and stronger works. This is a player worth drafting ahead of his ADP. If he’s really going to bat eighth, he should be given plenty of opportunities to steal. It’s not like pitchers and Juan Pierre can easily drive you in from first base.

“What’s unusual here,” Torre said, “is I’ve never been involved in an organization that had this many young players that seem capable of playing at the Major League level.”

I stand corrected on Pierre’s OBP as compared to Taguchi’s. However, I never said that Pierre isn’t paid more than he is worth. All I am arguing is that he does bring value to the team and deserves a starting role until he proves otherwise.
Enchanted, I agree with you. Kenny Lofton would have been a better (and less expensive) option than Pierre.

Why does he deserve a starting spot over Ethier…Why, why, why I simply do not understand.

lets go thru the checklist

better hitter for avg-tie

better hitter for power-Ethier

better defender-ethier

better baserunner-pierre

better at getting on base: Ethier

better at hitting the ball out of the infield-Ethier

better at popping up bunts-Pierre

better at slappy pop outs: Pierre

better at grounding out to 2nd base-tie

better at hitting with risp-Ethier

I dare anyone to tell me a situation that they would rather have Pierre hitting. I mean you are watching the game with your friends and Ethier is up and you say, god darn it, I wish Pierre was up instead…

Not that numbers mean anything other than proof but I can show you that in any situation, Ethier is the better player and one who may even get better, not worse as Pierre (just due to age) surely will.

You do a good job at pointing out where he falls short, but to be fair, you have to consider his strengths.
You say that Ethier is a better overall hitter, with a worse batting average? Come on now? Just because Pierre doesn’t hit for power doesn’t mean that what he brings to the table is worthless. We need his speed, his base running (especially after what we have seen so far in spring training), and his durability this season to remain competitive.

Your “checklist” doesn’t cover any of this.

If Pierre keeps playing the way he is, he’ll play himself straight to the bench or to the bottom of the lineup. Torre won’t bat an eye, he’ll make changes. And the way Pierre plays in the first half of seasons it won’t take long. He dealt with a declining weak armed center fielder (Damon) last season in New York and replaced him with a younger better player (Melky Cabrera). Though it took him till June. Problem is in this division we cannot afford to be playing the wrong people. I like Ethier a lot but he’s not exactly grabbing the left field job so far. Meanwhile, Kemp has played excellent so far and no doubt should be the starting right fielder everyday. Of course we’ve only played four spring games, so we have a long way to go.

JP is a career .301 hitter
Ethier is .295

Whats that line in bull Durham, the difference between .280 and .300 is a hit a week? Or something like that..So when you include the power and on base percentage, Ethier is a better hitter. OBP is huge, a walk is as good as a hit they tell little leaguers this. When you consider things like workint the count and difficulty to get out then it’s really no contest.

did u read this part: better baserunner-pierre

and where did his awesome play daily and steal 60 bags get us last year? He didnt even score 100 runs and hit .298…

as for durability, honestly I hope it dosen’t last so we can win.i’d rather have jones, kemp, ethier, repko, young and then Juan Pierre.

Alex you commented that Torre will make changes with the Pierre situation.

We’ll see. From everything I hear, he’s planning on JP starting the season and being used the same as he was last year. Kemp is trading bait….and he’ll be used before this year’s deadline. JP is the Dodgers long term option (hence the contract), so don’t get your hopes up.

Like him or not, Pierre is here to stay.

yeah so far Kemp is hitting .500, Ethier .143 and JP at a .090

yes I agree with you on one thing Edwcarter..I think if JP wins LF, he plays 162 games there.

If the Dodgers trade Kemp, then I am done as a fan of this team for real.

Ed,
Only because there is no other team or GM stupid enough to take him off our hands. What does that tell you? If Ned could unload Pierre he would. Just no takers because everyone but you knows he *****.

Kemp isn’t going anywhere and I agree if Kemp is traded I’ll sell my tickets. If Pierre is traded I’ll buy more.

jhall

you **** buddy..

pierre is a good ballplayer, your just blind to all the good things that he does. you have nothing better to do with your life then to find everything wrong with him. ethier IS and WILL ALWAYS BE an avg. leftfielder….

he is not fast, not much power, not anything special with the glove…he offers nothing more than AVERAGE! he WILL NEVER compare to kemp, jones, or any almost any other starting outfielder in the game…he is the in betweener…not much power, and not very fast and doesnt make things happen. at least with pierre you know what you are getting…and i think that is what the dodgers need.

pierre has a different style of play…he is fast, steals bases, makes things happen, hits .300 almost every year, works especially hard, and is durable.

all you haters on pierre never acknowledge when he does well, only the bad. thats all anyone does on this STUPID BLOG is talk ****…its annoying

Why would you think Kemp will be traded. If someone is traded from the outfield it would be anyone else. I think Kemp & Jones are safe. If Kemp wasn’t traded for Santana, then who would he be traded for? I’m sorry but that just makes no sense at all.

I also think Torre will make the necessary decisions. I don’t think he is tied to playing a player due to their contract.

He took over in New York with many younger players and an owner who was “The Boss” and Torre led the way this team needs to be lead.

Torre has made statements leaning toward playing the veterns as well as for the youth. This week he has made some favorable statments about the youngsters. I think now that he has seen them in some game situations he is getting more of an idea of where the talent and strengths of each player is.

But remember we are 4 games into ST.

Please keep the sanity!!!

Alex thanks for the play by play.

Juan Pierre does one thing exceptionally well – run the bases. Of course, this talent is useful only if he is ACTUALLY ON BASE.

On-base percentage measures how often a player reaches base, just like batting average measures how often a player gets a hit (although BA ignores PAs that result in walks).

JP’s OBP the last three seasons:

.326, .330, .331

NL overall OBP (including pitchers) the last three seasons:

.330, .334, .334

JP reaches base at a below league-average rate. Letting a below-average base-reacher get 700+ PAs in the top of the order is not a winning formula.

JP’s team’s wins the last three seasons:

83, 66, 82

If JP were the player he was in 2001, 2003 or 2004 we wouldn’t even be having this argument. Three straight seasons of mediocrity, however, do not have me optimistic for suddenly improved results.

[Really, I don't want to get beating this dead horse into glue, but comments like the above keep me from controlling myself.]

jhall

you **** buddy..

Posted by: joey_rock27@yahoo.com | March 2, 2008 10:22 PM

Yea Joey, you too!!! Can’t handle the truth so you start making personal attacks. Could have seen that coming from reading your lame posts.

Cheers!!

World Series matchups, last 5 years: leadoff hitter for the season:

.394 (.429 in playoffs)

.372

.356

.362

.351

.329 (.395 in playoffs, they moved biggio there for taveras)

.380

.352

.342

and finally..Juan Pierre at.361

Will this finally give it a rest” Let’s strive to be champs not chumps. Fine, white flag, Juan is good. If so then can you all agree that Juan needs to hit these numbers,on high side do to lack of pop for the dodgers to be a contender? If he does god bless him, if he dosen’t well…

My Hero as a kid chimes in:

More than a quarter-century after he last wore the Dodgers uniform as a player, Garvey issued a polite challenge to owner Frank McCourt and the team’s current players to do whatever it takes to re-establish the Dodgers as the elite franchise they were during Garvey’s 14 seasons with the club.

That stretch included four division titles, four National League pennants and one World Series championship.

“It all depends on a commitment to winning and continuity,” Garvey said. “That’s true for any owner. There are going to be tough decisions. But if the Dodgers organization does have an understanding of history, then they do know what can happen if you take a group of young players and work with them and mentor them. And those young players should want to play every inning of every exhibition game right now and show everyone what they can do.

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“It has been a long time since we were successful, and what I mean by success is the World Series. We have won one playoff game in 20years. Who would have ever bet on that?

“We have great fans, and they deserve a winner. It’s great to have a day at the ballpark, and it’s a great family environment. But winning is the goal. There needs to be a return to glory.”

Garvey urged McCourt to not only get the Dodgers back to that plateau, but to also find a way to keep them there.

“One of the things fans miss the most is the continuity of a team,” said Garvey, who was part of a legendary Dodgers infield that stayed together for eight seasons.

“If you (keep) a guy for three or four years, you’re doing pretty good now.”

Garvey, who still works in the Dodgers’ community relations department, said the large group of promising young players the team presently has reminds him a lot of a similar group in the late 1960s and early 1970s that included himself and fellow infielders Davey Lopes, Ron Cey and Bill Russell.

“This is a pivotal point for the next decade or two for the Dodgers,” Garvey said. “They have to understand that this kind of talent doesn’t come along all the time. It’s cyclical.”

blah blah blah, who’s to blame for our craptastic last season and may ruin our upcoming season. Is it Pierre, is it our owner, GM, ex-manager, Nomar? etc etc… Teams generally win as a team and lose as a team. Case in point:

I tried to see where the Dodgers failed hitting wise last year. I compared their Actual Runs Scored to Potential Runs Scored (PRS is determined by men on base + batter, i.e. a man on 1st plus the batter is 2 PRS). Here’s the Dodgers compared to the NL as a whole:

with runner(s) on-

1st- Dodgers 4% of Potential Runs Scored, NL 5%

2nd- Dodgers 11%, NL 11%

3rd- Dodgers 21%, NL 23%

1st&2nd-Dodgers 8%, NL 10%

1st&3rd-Dodgers 23%, NL 18%

2nd&3rd-Dodgers 24%, NL 25%

so over all the Dodgers scored about the same % of runners. But with the bases loaded-

Dodgers 17%, NL 29%

HUGE defeciency! HUGE! The Dodgers scored 100 runs when there was a runner on 2nd alone, and only 97(!!!!) with the bases loaded. 97! Who’s not to blame for this? With the bases loaded last year:

Player-AB’s-RBI’s

Good:

Martin-10-16

ok:

R.Marinez-10-11

Loney-6-6

Kent-6-7

Betemit-5-5

Worse:

Kemp-9-2

Pierre-14-5

Nomar-6-2

Olmedo-9-6

Furcal-13-8

Gonzo-13-10

Ethier-15-10

just to know:(A.Jones)-16-8

Only Martin did his job well. The Rockies by the way were about 31% sucessful. 17% vs 31%… difference between a World Series apperance and 4th place.

jhall – not to worry. To coin a phrase, “Some people you just cain’t reach.”

atom – totally agree. No one person was to blame for last year, though I think Ned and Grittle have to shoulder most of it. Ned for putting that team together, and Grittle for all the inane line-ups he trotted out there.

I beg to differ on Ethier’s power. Is he Manny Ramirez, no. But to say he has no power is a misstatement. Simple projection from his career numbers shows that if he got 550 ABs he’d have 34 doubles, 6 triples and 16 HRs. Earth shattering no, solid yes. Plus at 26, he still has an upside.

Two more of my biggest fears is that Kent will get off to a good start and Ned extends him for another year. Ditto with Nomar. Do I hope they both help the D’s to the playoff this year? Yes. But its time for the Ds to get out of the glue business.

jungar – nice interview with Garvey.

What suprises me most with all the post’s I’m reading is that there are many of you who would “sell your tickets” or “be done with this team for real” because of a deal that Ned may or may not make. I question if you are real fans of this team.

Great stuff Jungar, Atomik, and Enchanted. Garvey laying it between the lines.

20 years of loosing is why..ed..its jusT gettin old..the dodgers have always had the resources to be the best west coast team

ed – I believe its that many of us who have been around since the glory days are tired of seeing the Ds bring in old cows that other GMs have put out to pasture, while shooting our own young bucks that are coming up.

Not all the young guys make it – the Jacksons, Guzmans, and Tiffanys, but the Konerkos and Martinez’ do, and generally wind up on somebody elses roster so that the Loaizas and Gonzos can feed on the Dodger green.

Younger, better and cheaper is preferable to older, lesser and more expensive. Younger also leads to more continuity for a number of years, rather than a mercinary 2 or 3. And the current crop of youngs guys like the D’s have come along once in a blue moon – why do you think all the other GMs covet these guys and are more than willing to give up their veterans to get them?

Think we all want the Ds to win. Its not a question of blind loyalty – that’s for lemings, but the frustration level is mounting for those of us who want to watch the bucks run around and shoot the cows for a change.

BTW, love having Ken Levine on board with the team. I used to listen to the guy several years ago when he was part of the Mariners’ broadcast team. He has a lot of insight into the game and is great with callers. Losing A. Martinez is tough, but Ken brings a lot to the table. Thanks Josh!

Chris

http://www.dodgerfan.net

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