Scott Akasaki's latest post – Air Conditioning and Bellmen

Nine years ago, I lived in Japan and it was one of the more difficult times in my life because my command of the language was not that strong and as a result, communication was extremely difficult.  Expressing simple ideas or asking straightforward questions was difficult and forced me to learn Japanese quickly.

It was an odd feeling not being able to speak in English and have everyone understand your words.

Having lived in a foreign country before, it was interesting to feel for a second time around the same helpless feeling of not being able to communicate.  After our Saturday game in China, we were on the bus having just left Wukesong Stadium and going back to the Grand Hyatt Beijing.  The players wanted the bus driver to turn on the air conditioning.  Problem was, the bus driver spoke Mandarin and I did not.

Minutes later, shortstop Chin-Lung Hu walked from the back of the bus and asked the bus driver to turn on the air.  We were saved.  In a nutshell, that experience was how a good part of my trip felt.

From the vantage point of the logistics executor, it can be challenging when you cannot get what you want – especially when you are used to getting what you want for a group with occasionally high expectations.  Everyone in the travel party had to make mental adjustments to what they believed was the norm.  Cooperation and understanding from player to coach to staff member was crucial and greatly appreciated.

On Sunday morning, just before 6:30 am, I received an international cell phone call from outfielder Andruw Jones.  Andruw – probably a few floors above me at the hotel — explained that he handed off his suitcases to a bellman but the bellman had no clue as to where to take his luggage.

The previous day, both the Dodgers and Padres were given reassurance that the bellmen would know that the luggage was going to be collected in a large conference room for inventory.  This plan was put into motion to ensure that every suitcase and bag made it on to the correct team charter and most importantly, back to the United States.  In Andruw’s case, his particular bellman did not know what to do and that necessitated a few fast and furious phone calls to remedy the situation.

The previous evening, my prepaid MLB-issued cell phone had run out of minutes, so I had to use the room phone to call MLB staffers.  First, I had to deal with an operator who asked me to spell the name of each person whom I wanted to call.  After getting through the operator hurdle, I was able to contact MLB International’s James Pearce – I think I woke him up – and let him know of the problem.  James fixed that problem, probably through an interpreter is my guess, and we were saved again.

During the season when we travel on the road, turning on the air conditioning and speaking to the hotel about the bellmen are simple tasks that require seconds of attention.  In a foreign country where you cannot communicate, even the easiest requests require some thinking, patience, and most of all, time.

Going to China was a great experience.  Being a part of the first MLB games in China will be something that I will never forget.  The Great Wall of China was breathtaking, meeting actor and martial artist Jet Li was cool, sitting in an airplane cockpit was awesome, and hanging out with Joe Torre continues to be an invaluable learning experience.  However, if I end up going back one day to China, I want to go as a tourist with an interpreter by my side.



    It’s good to have a leadoff batter with some Pop. Isn’t it. Billz got two pitches too good hit it looks like to the ‘Stros.


    Great shot by RAFFY. See what I mean about having that Pop. Raffy should be our lead off hitter, especially if he prefers to be.


    Top 3: Astros Batting: Billingsley Pitching:
    Reggie Abercrombie bloops a single in front of Repko in shallow left center

    Abercrombie steals second

    Tomas Perez drag bunts a single to first, Abercrombie to third

    Humberto Quintero 6-4-3 Double Play, Abercrombie scores, 1-1 Tie

    Bourn homers to right, (fastball down and in) 2-1 Astros

    Pence homers to left on a hanging breaking ball up, 3-1 Astros

    Tejada strikes out swinging

    3 Runs 4 Hits 0 LOB End of 2 1/2 3-1 Astros

    Bottom 3: Dodgers Batting: Williams Pitching:

    Furcal HOMERS to right (fastball up and in), 3-2 Astros

    Ethier triples to left when Bourn loses the ball in the sun, Ethier hustling all the way makes it to third sliding, when most would have given up on the play or taken the double, ETHIER CAN DO IT ALL (except steal bases, lol)

    Sweeney walks

    Young singles to the opposite way in left, Ethier scores, Sweeney to second, 3-3 Tie

    DeWitt on a hit and run grounds to third, Sweeney to third, Young to second

    Repko singles between short and third into left, Sweeney scores, Young to third, 4-3 Dodgers

    Bennett suicide squeezes in Young from third (brilliant call and execution), Repko to second, 5-3 Dodgers

    Billz pops out to left

    4 Runs 4 Hits 1 LOB End of 3 5-3 Dodgers


    It was a great inning for the Dodgers. Including a beautiful suicide squeeze, you don’t see much of that do you? We’re up 5-3, I hope we can hold it.


    Repko has to make this team.

    Do the right thing Ned, trade Pierre. If no one will take him, cut him loose and eat the contract – you’re eating Schmidt’s anyway.


    Man, imagine Jones, Kemp, & Ethier with Repko and Young as the 2 extra outfielders.

    I can only imagine…


    I meant to say above it’s a great day for the Dodgers that inning. Let’s hope they can win this farewell to Vero game. Whooes BillZ gave up another one.


    russell’s middle name is “coltrane”, named after the jazz great. i remember people using that as a nickname, but they meant it like “coal train.”


    Top 4: Astros Batting: Billingsley Pitching:
    Cruz Jr. walks, full count

    Wigginton pops to DeWitt

    Newhan homers to center (ball down in the zone, good pitch, balls are really carrying today, that probably is caught by Jones in Dodger Stadium), 5-5 Tie

    Abercrombie strikes out swinging

    Perez doubles to left

    Quintero bloops to Young at second

    2 Runs 2 Hits 1 LOB End of 3 1/2 5-5 Tie


    good article on today’s morning edition about the closing of Bero Beach. Quotes from Wills and Lasorda.


    It’s seems like the Dodger leads last for too short a time this spring, as the Astros tie it up.


    Bottom 4: Dodgers Batting: Williams Pitching:
    Pierre grounds to second

    Furcal triples to right, (wow, it’s a great sight to see him run at full speed again)

    Ethier singles to right, Furcal scores, 6-5 Dodgers (hmm, Furcal and Ethier at the top of the lineup, that would be great)

    Ethier steals second (ok, well that’s it, he CAN do everything, this is the easiest decision in baseball history and I expect an announcement any day now Ethier is the starting LF, if not it really is all about the dollar dollar bill not winning and no words can change that FACT)

    Sweeney walks, Loney runs for Sweeney

    Young forces Loney, Ethier to third

    DeWitt grounds to first

    1 Run 2 Hits 2 LOB End of 4 6-5 Dodgers


    Slappy 3-2 pitch, grounded out-Yawn. (What good is speed if you can’t get on base?)
    Furcal-lined a triple down the RF line

    Andre “our left fielder” Ethier-hard ground ball through a drawn in infield for the RBI single, Ethier steals second but a good throw could have made it close.


    Boy, Ethier is really going to make them look ridiculous if he’s not starting the opening game of the season.


    Good to hear that Carl Erskine played the harmonica for the national anthem today, too bad I didn’t see it. How come he’s wearing a blue cap today. I’ve got on my Dodger Kelly green St. Paddy’s day T-shirt on . I don’t have a green cap.


    Yep, right now, if they don’t start Ethier, they will be a laughing stock. It is past ridiculous.


    Top 5: Astros Batting: Billingsley Pitching:
    Bourn flies to left

    Pence strikes out swinging on three pitches

    Tejada grounds to third

    0 Runs 0 Hits 0 LOB End of 4 1/2 6-5 Dodgers


    I hate to add another negative vibe but why couldn’t MLB-TV give us the home feed since this is the last game from Vero beach?


    Bottom 5: Dodgers Batting: Geoff Geary Pitching:
    Repko flies to center

    Bennett flies to center

    Billz strikes out swinging

    0 Runs 0 Hits 0 LOB End of 5 6-5 Dodgers


    KCAL and FSN ****, they showed 2 games, I thought they said they would pick up a few more. To add to the matter, TIme Warners Dodgers On Demand is worthless, their highlights **** and the segments are 3 mins long. To make matters worst, they were done w/ Spring Training coverage 8 days into ST!


    There is no home feed, only MLB.TV and the Astros radio network. The only way to watch this game is through a computer. Our radio network is in Arizona waiting since they went to China.


    Right now we are a laughing stock. And we can thank Colletti for that. All I can say is he better straighten this situation out or else I can’t blame ITD bloggers for the negative chatter. Keep it up guy, I’m with you.


    Ethier – we the dead horsemen salute you!!

    thunderbolt – you’re right – at least he’s “our” LFer.


    BTW I see Colletti’s LFer is 0 for 3.

    It’s obvious the guy can’t bat leadoff. If he HAS to play at all, why don’t they try him #8? – They can’t even figure that out.


    Yes, thanks to DeWitt, A nice play holding the runner, oowps they knocked the run in to tie it 6-6.


    Loney’s throw missed Abercombrie at 2nd after he was picked off first, strange DY covered the bag. He came around to score after stealing 3rd. Dodgers trail again 7-6


    Top 6: Astros Batting: Joe Beimel Pitching:
    Victor Diaz doubles down the line in left

    Danny Klassen grounds to Young at second, Diaz to third

    Newhan (lefty) with the infield in grounds to Young who smothers the ball to his right and throws Newhan out holding the runner at third

    Abercrombie singles to left, Diaz scores, 6-6 Tie

    Abercrombie picked off but beats the throw to Young not Furcal and the momentum takes Young away from Abercrombie and he’s safe

    Abercrombie steals third, uncontested

    Perez bloops a single in front of Ethier, Abercrombie scores, 7-6 Astros

    #93 relieves Beimel

    Quintero walks

    J.R House homers off the scoreboard in left center, Perez and Quintero score, 10-6 Astros

    Pence’s pinch hitter pops to Furcal

    5 Runs 4 Hits 0 LOB End of 5 1/2 10-6 Astros


    Billings did not give up that 3 RUN HR, I missed who replaced him as I was posting at the time.


    Bottom 6: Dodgers Batting: Geary Pitching:
    Pierre grounds to short

    Furcal flies to center

    Ethier grounds to short

    0 Runs 0 Hits 0 LOB End of 6 10-6 Astros


    Man…these Dodgers are really scaring me, I know its ST and all but we keep losing and we keep making errors, were too deep into ST to keep making errors and im afraid this might carryover to the regular season.


    Dear Dead horseman,

    I come not to bury you to but to praise you. (i know a bad shakespeare). I said in earlier posts that the Pierre bashing was enough and that the management will make the right decision. Well Mr Ethier has done what he needed to do and that is to perform. He has put his bat where his mouth is and has clearly earned the right to be the starting LF.

    If Torre does not see this, I would like to become an honrary member of the Dead Horse Society. I will not be able to restrain myself.

    I do not care what you do with Pierre, trade him and eat 50 % of his contract or buy him out. It works in the NBA with guaranteed cntracts, players taking less to get to a team where they can play. The union will b… but who cares?

    Thanks and Go Ethier!!!


    Oh MY Bad it wasn’t Beimal I see Alex you missed it too. He relieved Beimal he wore #93.


    Top 7: Astros Batting: Scott Proctor Pitching:
    Maysonet strikes out swinging

    Diaz strikes out swinging

    Klassen grounds to Proctor

    0 Runs 0 Hits 0 LOB End of 6 1/2 10-6 Astros


    Long time lurker here, and I have been a Dodger fan for over 30 years!! If “trigger” is playing on opening day I might have to become a Giants fan!


    I agree with the earlier post about the errors and the baserunning errors. that could very well be a problem when the season starts. That is why I was not excited about the china trip. it took away from the development of the team. You cannot have the team split in half and expect them to perform to top levels. There is a reason some of these guys have not made it to the ML.

    I hope the next 2 weeks in Arizona prove fruitful. Maybe they can get some continuity and learn one another. The coaching staff needs to learn them also.


    I give them til opening day and all he.. breaks loose. I have alot of pent up frustration to let loose!!!


    I would like to be sworn into the Dead Horse Society, as I add that I understand that Furcal would like to play for a team that would let him lead off. I hope the heck it’s this team but it’s hard to lead off if you have someone batting ahead of you. I’d hate to lose Furcal to FA. I call it the Juanpy Virus. Maybe I should change it to the Coletti Virus.


    Thanks Jhall, My wife and I watched every game last year on MLB xtra innings and everytime Slappy got the ball deep in center we would both grunt out loud as he tried to get it to his cut off man! And now that AE is obviously the “MAN” for left field Ned needs to grow a pair and send him off. I could use him on my son’s little league team!!! 🙂


    Bottom 7: Dodgers Batting: Ryan Houston Pitching:
    James Loney strikes out swinging

    Young walks, full count

    DeWitt pops to second

    Nook Logan grounds to third

    0 Runs 0 Hits 1 LOB End of 7 10-6 Astros


    What is up with bills?!!? he hasnt had a solid outing thus far. im guessing that its ST so hes trying to work and ploish some of his pitches but damm hes lookin like bombko! and ETHIER HAS TO START in lf. His numbers show it on offense and hes already had a couple assists in the of. pierre hasnt proven anything but his need for ABS to get hit hits. if pierre starts in lf hes gonna bring the defense and offense down. NEDDDDDDDD LISTEN TO YOUR FANS


    Lol, please don’t compare Billz to Bombko, that’s insulting not just to Billz but to all pitchers who strive to be as bad as Bombko.


    To Think I was 10 years old when the Brooklyn Dodgers first came to Vero Beach & I will be 70 on the 27th of this month. I saw many games played here on T.V. through the eyes of the New York Mets over the past 50 years. The Dodgers & Vero Beach are Synonomous.


    I would also like to be sworn into the Dead Horse Society~
    And may the best Player roam Left field next year.


    If Bilz didn’t bring those 3 HR balls with him he would have had a pretty good game, as it it’s only ST and he wasn’t bad.


    It is a sad day for us East coast Dodgers fans. If you have been there you would understand. It is still hard to believe!!!

    Dodgertown I will miss you!!!


    Top 8: Astros Batting: Rudy Seanez Pitching:
    Newhan strikes out swinging

    Abercrombie walks

    Perez pops to DeWitt

    Josh Johnson strikes out looking

    0 Runs 0 Hits 1 LOB End of 7 1/2 10-6 Astros


    Has anyone else noticed how Loney is struggling at the plate lately? I know he leads the team in hits, that is if Ethier hasnt passed him but, lately he is struggling. Last year he had a .411 BA, is he taking a laid back approach now that he knows he is going to start??


    Billingsley will be fine, he made some mistakes (down and in to a lefty and a hanging breaking ball) that were hammered. But, two of the three HR’s he gave up don’t go out in L.A, in the Florida wind and heat they do.


    Let’s hope they are letting Bills’ work on stuff since he’s already got a spot in the rotation.

    The writing is on the wall for the LF spot for sure.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if other players come to Ethier’s defense at this point. Start JP and you might have a mutiny brewing in the clubhouse.


    Loney knows very well what it’s like to have a great spring and have it mean very little. He’ll also be just fine.


    #96 has just hit an HR for the Dodgers and the score is now 10-7. Sorry but the announcers did not give his name.


    Loney is probably telling Ethier, keep working hard man, they’ll still ignore you for some washed up vet. ha ha!


    Thanks, you can call me Jim. This is pretty cool, I moved to the sacramento area 9 years ago from Ventura county where I was raised and it is hard finding anyone up here that has any baseball sense!! :-)It is great talking Dodgers baseball again, I forgot how much I missed it.
    And Thanks to Josh for making this all possible!


    JHALL Glad to hear you have the same BD I have. I’m celebrating my 70th on Saturday, March 29th the day the Dodgers play at the Coliseum. ***Wow Furcal just hit his 2nd 3-Bagger of the day. A N D R E HRS and it is 10- 9.


    Bottom 8: Dodgers Batting: Chad Paronto Pitching:
    Bennett pops out

    Non-Roster guy homers off the scoreboard

    Pierre chops to second, 10-7 Astros

    Furcal triples down the left field line

    Ethier HOMERS to left (a little wind aided), Furcal scores, 10-9 Astros

    (Unknown relieves Paronto)

    Loney puts out

    3 Runs 3 Hits 0 LOB End of 8 10-9 Astros


    Congratulations PierreEW. Watching this game, I am grateful to have spent 10 of my birthdays at Dodgertown over the years. Truly a blessing and cherished memory.


    DODGERBOY55::: Ive never been there, but I’ve seen many games televised, which I call through the eyes of the Mets, from Vero Beach. In my 61 years as a Dodger fans. I even remember games televised by B’klyn annoucers when I was a kid before they moved to LA.


    The’Sros hit another 2-run HR and lead 12-7 and these Astro announcers are very happy about.


    I will also miss Dodgertown :-(.

    I forget who asked for Russell Martin’s nickname. It is Turtle.

    Ok, so honestly, ladies and Gentlemen, who would take Pierre even eating part of the contract? When I was in Vero, I asked Mike Easler what we were doing about Pierre’s weak arm? He looked at me and said “we moved him to Left”. Then he said he had a weak arm too when he played, but he could hit.

    Hopefully the best players are on the field on Opening Day. -emma


    So, in Ned’s mind is Ethier just making the platoon with Kemp easier, and Juan still starts in LF?


    Top 9: Astros Batting: Greg Jones Pitching:
    House doubles off the glove of a diving Young (now in left for Pierre)

    Nick Gorneault homers to center, House scores, 12-9 Astros (eighth home run overall today, ridiculous)

    Maysonet pops foul to the catcher

    Diaz walks on four pitches

    Klassen forces Diaz (5-4)

    (Lefty Mike Myers relieves Jones)

    Newhan (lefty) strikes out swinging on three pitches

    2 Runs 2 Hits 1 LOB End of 8 1/2 12-9 Astros


    At this point, I think Ned would look like a hero even if the Dodgers had to eat the whole JP contract. He’s in a battle with DY for 5th best OF.

    Ned, look at it this way: You’ve got 2 nice corner outfielders at a steal of a price. Just pretend your paying them JP’s salary and Jp is making zero. That way Kemp and Ethier are only making 4.5 mil each. Still a bargain!


    If making only $500,000 a year is an obstacle, I’m pretty certain that Ethier would be very appreciative of a raise or an extended contract, but why would you offer that to the 4th outfielder.


    Last year I started a FIRE GRADY blog petition and let the numbers talk for themselves, this year I’m going with a starting outfield petition so we can actually see where the fans here stand. Please only vote once and keep a running tally after you vote. Here’s my vote:

    Starting OF for the ’08 Dodgers:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 1

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    It shouldn’t matter what the players are making, It should matter to Ned and Co. what we as fans make. Because we PAY to see the best players play baseball. Swallow your pride Ned and listen to the people who pay the Dodgers bills.


    Does anyone think that JP’s consecutive games played record, aside from the money because remember they are paying Schmidt more and he has done even less, has anything to do with him winning (not earning)the starting job? I can’t believe money is more important than winning. We were gonna make Nomar a super expensive sub, come on now, money is not the problem. I think Pierre is crying to the FO about this s***** record.


    P.S. If you are a believer in JP starting make your voice heard, everyboy is entitled to their own opinion and shouldn’t be chastised. By the way just copy and paste the different options on my post, it makes it quicker ;).


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 7

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    Keep the votes coming guys…the more the merrier!


    Bottom 9: Dodgers Batting: Lefty Stephen Randolph Pitching:
    Young walks, full count

    DeWitt walks, Young to second

    (Carlos Hines relieves Randolph)

    Russell Martin pinch hits and strikes out swinging for the fences (save the dramatics for the season)

    #94 NRI flies to left

    Preston Mattingly singles under the glove of the shortstop, Young scores, DeWitt to second, 12-10 Astros

    #90 NRI walks, bases loaded

    Furcal grounds to second

    1 Run 1 Hit 3 LOB

    (That was a fun game for the final Dodger game at Dodgertown, don’t really care we lost)


    12 12 1


    10 13 0

    WP: Geoff Geary

    LP: Joe Beimel

    SV: Carlos Hines

    Time of Game: 3:04


    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 8
    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    Well they loaded the bases, which, seems to be hard luck for the Dodgers, but the couldn’t make, they lose but as usual, in these games they are not out hitted.


    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 10
    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0



    Ethier is going nuts for now, but during the season, play the hot bat. Jones and Kemp are no brainers. Ethier less so. Repko and Young deserve a chance, too. Play the ones that hit and play their position well. The difficult decision in managing is how long do you give a good player (e.g., Jones) to work through a slump and get hot again?


    From the other,”Inside the Dodgers”

    Tony Jackson’s last Dodgertown meal, Crow Au Poivre!-LOL!


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 10

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 1

    *shepard let me know if I’m wrong but it looks like Jones and Kemp are locks and that you prefer a LF platoon.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 12

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 1


    Count me in:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 14

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    No platoon. I vote J-K-E

    Just sayin, play the hot bat. It’s no different than others are saying here. If Ethier goes 0-100, I expect everyone here would want to try someone else. Me, too.


    The trick is, if AJ bats .220 with little punch for the first two months, then what do you do?


    Keep him in there, his defense and power justify it, even with a BA slightly above the Mendoza line.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 15

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    Yeah I knew you would go there momo but I waited for you and others to vote just to validate it.


    It’s nice of MLB-TV to let us see an interview with an old Brooklyn Dodger Carl “irk” Erskine and “MGR”Lasorda another old Brooklyn Dodger ( before mgr LA)walking off the field and shaking hands to the fans. Well now it looks like the Dodgers are truly Western. I’m suprise to say they’ve come back with the post game recap, which is unusual. And a little more on Vero Beach. Let us say Good Bye to Vero Beach which was always synomous with the Boys in Blue. Happy St. Paddy’s day boys & girls. Enjoy your cornbeef & cabbage.


    This is a NO-BRAINER! If it doesn’t happen, somebody needs their head examined.

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 11

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    Man, I’ve been in favor of Ethier over Pierre, but can you guys believe how bad Pierre has played this spring? Hardly any offense of any kind.

    Andre, way to step it up!


    When Jones slumps he still has his glove and arm that benefits the team. When Pierre goes into a slump he has nothing but his legs. Which don’t help us at all if he’s not on base. Only to track down fly balls, but in left it limits his range. Pierre can only help if he’s on base which is his biggest problem. He’ll be a great pinch runner late in games, because someone will have done his work for him. I have no doubt he’ll demand a trade if his butt sits on the bench.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 16

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    You missed a few redfox but I got you.


    UPDATE, some votes took place while I was posting:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 16

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    I’m not surprised Scott. He has been in a decline for the past 4 years and he wasn’t that good in his prime.


    Happened again!

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 17

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    OK, what if his power doesn’t show and his average is poor? Last year may have been an aberration or it may be the start of a trend. We don’t know until we are in the middle of the season.


    Remember this from last season diehard? We got the FIRE GRADY petition going and he resigned about 1 week after we did it.


    Mario Mendoza actually had a career batting average of .215, somehow it became .200 over time. But, I’ve always known the Mendoza line to be .200, even if it really wasn’t. George Brett created the saying in 1979.


    More trivia Alex:

    What player’s consecutive game streak came to an end March 31, 2008?


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 17

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    haha, that was hilarious kssparkuhl


    I wrote this earlier:

    Billingsley will be fine, he made some mistakes (down and in to a lefty and a hanging breaking ball) that were hammered. But, two of the three HR’s he gave up don’t go out in L.A, in the Florida wind and heat they do.

    Posted by: | March 17, 2008 11:28 AM


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 18

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    oops I forgot to add your vote because I was laughing


    cool sounds like he left a few fat ones over the plate but thats why we have spring training.


    So, when Mendoza’s avg went below the Mendoza line, his career was over.

    What does that mean for JP? He hit .297 last year, .196 this spring.


    Yes JHALL answering 11:20AM PT post. But recently I was allerted to the fact that it is a possibility that Furcal wouldn’t re-sign unless he bats lead off, whether this is true or not it only adds to the puzzled that Colletti created. This along with the outfield delimer. Put 2 & 2 together and it effects the outfield, the lineup & the infield.


    I hear ya scott, I just hope more people keep voting and that we can somehow get Ned to address it next time he fields questions from this blog.


    What we really need to all do is hope that they all stay healthy, the last thing we need is an injury to settle the controversy, especially to one of the ‘chosen three’. Thanks for the kind words and if there is a radio feed I’ll have PBP of tomorrow’s last Grapefruit League game as well.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 18

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    Come on, I know there are more who want to vote


    Thanks for the heads up. I come in peace from Dodger Thoughts. Please put me down for Jones, Kemp, Ethier. Nice idea.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 21

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    Thanks for keeping it rolling guys, we need to send a message here.


    I’ve been a big proponent of JP over Ethier (speed, experience, and a big bat on the bench)….
    I’m about to jump to the other side.


    The problem is Ned probably thinks the fans don’t know anything. I say the fans weren’t responsible for 4th place last year, the fans didn’t sign Tomko or Hernandez or Pierre for that matter. I doubt any of us fans would have put those guys on the team.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 23

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    randy, do you want me to put a vote in for Jones, Kemp, Pierre? I’m not sure which way you are leaning after that post.


    BTW thank you to the Dodger Thoughts people that have taken the time to vote over here.


    Randy, did you say “bigbat” and “Pierre” in the same sentence? Well, I guess any major league bat is too big and heavy for Pierre to handle.


    Do you ever wonder what the other GM’s and agents do when Ned walks away after a conversation or what they say when he is not around. I can see them looking down and shaking their heads in disbelief. Or, for the agents, thinking we’ve got a shill here. Ned, right now, you are a laughing stock.


    I have been trying to post all day, and my computer wouldn’t let me. Put me down for Jones, Kemp, Ethier. How can you not look at the numbers and see anything differently.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 24

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    I’m starting to see a trend here. I know that some bloggers support JP as our starting LFer, please chime in and don’t be afraid to make your voice heard.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 25

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    Thanks dnelson.


    Sorry, I’ve been gone:

    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 26

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    I also want to welcome all the new members of the Dead Horse Society.

    The only hazing we do is having to watch JP in LF.


    Here’s another vote for Jones, Kemp, Ethier — I’ve lurked here but never posted before, but a cause like this is enough to get me off of the sidelines.


    Thanks for the welcome enchanted. I’ve always been pro Ethier and pro Kemp and Anti Pierre. I’m also very Anti Colleti.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 27

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    Thanks for stepping up for the cause and welcome dramboy.


    Just so you not-in-LA Dodger fans know, there are a lot of us in-the-area fans that have been beating that horse in the LA Times. I myself have had 2 letters printed lately.


    You gotta love what it says overthere at Rotoworld:

    While Juan Pierre was grounding out in all five of his at-bats, Andre Ethier finished 4-for-5 with a homer, a triple and three RBI against the Astros on Monday.

    Call us crazy, but Ethier just might be the better player of the two. He’s batting .354 with five homers, 13 RBI and a 1/8 K/BB ratio in 48 at-bats.


    Alright Eric. I’m sure Captain Frank and his ship of Fools knows the prevailing sentiment surrounding Pierre. I just don’t think they give a Schidt.


    two things, first our outfield needs to be, should be,pray for it to be. Ethier, Jones, and Kemp, with Repko the fourth.
    Question for Ned, How do minor leaguers get paid? Is it based on the round they were drafted, or a certain pay for the level they play at.?


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 28

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    Unfortunately, I don’t think Captain Frank knows about anything but parking lots. I just hope Torre has enough common sense and guts to do what’s right.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 29

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    Andre Ethier,

    We want you to know that there are fans who know what you mean to this team and we won’t allow this team to not play it’s best players. We know you’re ready on day one and Pierre really isn’t equipped to handle that 3 a.m phone call…oh wait



    Also to the argument that Juan Pierre provides depth to our outfield, please note that we have several young guys Repko, D Young and also a much deserved older guy in George Lombard who had a tremendous spring and could serve as an emergency call up.


    We’ll see if Frank and Ned really want to win ,or if it’s all talk to get fans in the park and make money. If they start Pierre after the way Either has performed the last 2 seasons and this spring, then all they care about is their pride and keeping the cash flowing and couldn’t give a Schmidt about winning.


    Hopefully Ned will need his own retirement package, if the Dodgers finish any lower than first in the division. Of course he can always go back to his public relations roots. I can tell he would be capable in that capacity, since he’s still “always lying whenever his lips are moving”. Sorry, but no chance of any other owner being so dumb as to hire him for a GM.


    I just created a account so that I can post here for the first time and VOTE FOR ETHIER!! Please add my vote for Jones, Kemp, and Ethier!


    A little food for thought on the LF fiasco, but it’s spring training and i think everyone needs to remember that ST really is not indicative or anything other than how well a player is doing for a month after having not been active for 4.

    Regardless, individual performance matters a great deal in a positional battle such as the one we are being told is currently under way..

    Andre has the second most HR in the majors, the most RBI’s, is hitting .466, .708, 354 (OBP, SLG, AVG) in 48 AB’s.

    Pierre is hitting .283, .250, .208.

    Andre;s average is almost .100 points better than JP OBP.

    Basically my point is that it is clear who won the ‘battle’ for LF – will management honor their declaration? I’m not really so sure. I do think there may be a riot in Dodgerdom although if equal or more playing time than Ethier…


    We’ve got two weeks to get all of the deficiencies ironed out. Basically, the D’s are making too many mistakes in the field, not getting the situational and RISP hitting done (today excluded by the looks of the score), Billz and Lowe haven’t been exactly lights out, and Nomar and Kent have yet to see much action.

    Lefts a huge issue, but Torre’s got his work cut out for him in other areas as well.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 29

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    If you haven’t voted please do so, even if you disagree with the first 29 voters. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion.


    Scott, thanks for the post. I would love to hear more stories about the trip to China. I can’t believe that you guys didn’t take any translators with you, or hire any to stay with you while you were in China. That seems like an important blunder. I speak enough Chinese, that I could have told the bus driver to turn on the air conditioner or the bellman to take the luggage to the proper room and I am not even chinese. Perhaps you could hire/take me on your next trip to China.

    As far as returning as a tourist. You probably want to book a group tour package on your first extensive trip unless you have family or friends there that can help you out (which I do). I am sure some of the ballplayers could easily afford translators. What we will be doing on our next trip to China is hiring a translator/tour guide in each city we arrive in. Especially in the cities we don’t no anybody or have never travelled to. I can’t believe the Dodgers didn’t do the same thing.

    vr, Xeifrank


    I don’t think it bodes well for the start of the season that both Kent and Nomar have been disabled enough that they have not participated in the ST. Veterans may not need it as much, and probably don’t care for ST too much, but it seems unrealistic to expect both of them to start the season running at full performance. Not much that can be done about that, I suppose, but it makes it all the more imperative that we use the best and hottest combination of players at every other position – especially so in LF.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 30

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    Thanks bluebleeder… does anybody have any love for JP? Vote now and make your voice heard!


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 32

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    I don’t know how regularly I’ll be able to check this so can somebody try to pick up the update duties in my absence? It looks like an official landslide but we should at least get 100+ votes so we need to keep it rolling.


    Is anybody worried about this rotation without a LEFT HANDER?..I am…because you know Lowe isn’t great against them…and should we be worried that the Dodgers haven’t won many spring games? or is it because the whole team isn’t together..We couldn’t even beat our old nemesis Pads in China…let’s hope this year isn’t a repeat of last year….WE NEED A LEFT HANDER IN THE ROTATION…and another one in the bullpen..


    By my count that makes it:

    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 34

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    drp – I’m not so concerned that we don’t have a lefty in the rotation. It’d be nice, but I think you go with your 5 best no matter what side they throw from. I’m just a little concerned that Lowe and Billz are getting cuffed around pretty good right now. They’ve got a couple weeks though to get it together.


    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 35

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    I think | March 17, 2008 02:40 PM got missed and | March 17, 2008 04:40 PM , whose vote was simultaneous with enchantedsunset’s update isn’t counted yet.

    Plus there is my vote.

    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 37

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    drpdedblnd: I don’t understand how putting a lefthander relates to how Derek Lowe performs against lefthanders? I want the five best starters, irrespective of handedness and I don’t want a lefty if he’s worse than the RHP we already have. (I don’t think there are any available anyway, and if they are, not at a price I’d want to pay.) Besides, Kershaw – and Elbert if we’re lucky, and Miller if we’re really lucky – will be here soon enough anyway. (Among recent World Champions, the 2004 Red Sox had no lefty starters, the 2006 Cards only a lousy one [Mulder].)



    Welcome to the Darkside…lol

    you all know my vote. I just got home and w went thru 254 posts. man you guys are on it today!! great reading…

    As a reminder Pierresweet:

    Here are the numbers: 4200 of 4400 career ABs as a leadoff man for furcal. we should not f with that in a contract year. He may go off if healthy. he needs to be as comfortable as possible, plus we all know he is better in that role.


    JP should feel like leia, luke , han and chewie in the trashcompactor with ethier running like this..


    who are the choices now? heh. Mr. Jones, Mr. Kemp, Mr. Ethier. It will be a mystery if they don’t start Mr. E.


    This whole group sounds like me. Of course i’ve sounded like this since day 1 of Pierre’s dodger career.


    I say Ethier, Jones, and Kemp from left to right. But I’m in favor of keeping Pierre for outfield replacement/late inning pinch runner/occasional sac bunt.
    What I would really like to happen is for Delwyn Young to make the transition to the infield as a back up and if we keep 5 outfielders to have Repko. Can you tell I want it all!!!


    If they don’t start Ethier after announcing spring was a competition then thats a real shame. Taking the whole who I want to play part out of it..Your only as good as your word, things like that really hurt teamwork. Imagine if your boss says, ok whoever sells the most bye April 1 you get a promotion. And then you win and they give it to the other guy.


    Plus there is my vote.

    Starting OF petition update:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 41

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    Thats 4 more because I know where jungar and max’s votes go. BTW max good to see you back buddy, its been awhile since I’ve seen a post from you.




    I’d really like to see the Dodgers find Vin Scully a talent to take under his wings… kind of like Red Barber did early on in Vin’s career. Can the Dodgers find someone for Vinny to mentor so that hopefully some of that “old time radio” integrity might rub off on the next generation of Dodger broadcaster? It would be great to see that legacy continue on for the Dodgers.


    I don’t post often maybe only once or twice actually….but I just had to add my vote. I vote for Jones, Kemp, Either. It’s a total no-brainer!!!That should make the updated totals…

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 42

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    I think it’s actually:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 44

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0


    for the most part, i’ve tried to stay out of the JP vs AE “debate” since it’s pretty clear that there really is no actual debate….

    but since we’re actually tallying counts in order to ‘assist’ ned in making this ‘decision’, here goes:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 45

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    it’s pretty clear that ethier should be in there everyday. the issue really is about how to berid of JP and his albatross of a contract (years and dollars). there’s got to be SOMEBODY who can take him. tampa bay???


    Pierre at least is leading all spring training hitters o=in outs made. His batting average may be a little low, otherwise he is in midseason form.


    We all know Ethier should be starting over Pierre but do you guys think one of the reasons Torre and Colletti refuse to let this happen is due to the possible rift this could cause between the team? The last thing we need is a divided club house.


    I’m preferring to think that they’re trying to showcase Pierre for a trade. The other possibility is raising my blood pressure.


    Showcasing Pierre for a trade sounds great except he’s not performing any better than he did all season last year. At this point I can’t see any team wanting him for the stuff he’s showing on the field.


    “I’m not the kind of guy who says I have to play center field. If it makes the team better, I’m not walking around sulking. I’ll play like I always play.”

    But, if Jones’ acquisition is coupled with Matt Kemp starting in right field and Andre Ethier moving Pierre to a bench role, “maybe then they’d do something with me.

    “Some people value what I do and some people don’t,” he said. “I don’t know their thought process. All I can do is play hard. I’m close to Kemp and Ethier. There’s no rift with any of them. I wish everybody the best. At the end of the day, we have to see a benefit to the team. If not, they might have to look at getting rid of me if they don’t see me as an asset.

    “They said I would more than likely move to left field. They didn’t say nothing as far as competing for a job. My approach every year is as if I’m competing for a job so, mentally, it’s no different.”


    I’ll play like I always play.”

    I should post that one hundread and sixty times in a row and then see how many of your heads explode. lol

    I wont.


    “I sign a contract for 162 games and I like to think I honor the contract,” he said. “I know the team counts on me. There might be guys that want me to sit, but that’s just the way I feel.”


    There’s no rift as long he (pierre) is starting. Why else would he mention the team getting rid of him? There’s never a mention of him being ok with being the bench guy.


    Yeah, I get the feeling that if he’s riding the pine and serving as the pinch-runner, the nice guy team player will fade away.
    At least Nomar sounded somewhat accepting of the sub role. No one should be happy moving from starter to sub, but even he must see that he’s not in the top 3 outfielders.


    If JP rides the pine, who is on the peeved side of the speculative rift? JP? Jeff Kent? Derek Lowe? Nomar? Other than JP himself all the rest are in the last year of their contract and aren’t coming back.


    I am so sick of reading this, from Kevin Baxter of the L.A Times:

    So barring a trade or injury to left fielder Juan Pierre, center fielder Andruw Jones and the right-field platoon of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, Repko figures to start the season somewhere other than Dodger Stadium.


    If those guys (or anyone else, for that matter) gets upset with Ethier starting over Pierre, they will need to explain themselves. I would love to hear it.


    I really hope Torre does the right thing. If not he’d be doing the same thing Grady would have done. I think it’s safe to say he was Colletti’s puppet at times last year.


    As Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts pointed out in his comments, there can still be surprises, such as Matt Kemp making the team out of ST last year.

    Speaking of Dodger Thoughts and the earlier Russell Martin nickname question, the Dodger Thoughts people refer to him a “Golden God”.


    I think it’s safe to say he was Colletti’s puppet at times last year.

    Posted by: | March 17, 2008 09:57 PM



    Notice that when Grady drawled, Ned’s lips did not move!


    Long time lurker, first time poster. This cause is too important to stay on the sidelines. Jones, Kemp, Ethier all the way into October, baby!


    From the Chicago Sun Times via
    The worst-kept secret of spring training is the Cubs’ desire to make one or more trades before Opening Day. ”You try to hold off and try to get the best guy you can,” Jim Hendry said. ”And that’s what we’re still going to try to do. And the other things, you don’t know whether they are going to happen.” ……….The Cubs also have interest in Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp, a switch hitter, and the Rangers’ Marlon Byrd, a righty-swinging outfielder who could play center. The need for another outfielder has become so great, manager Lou Piniella will give right fielder Kosuke Fukudome some looks in center this week.

    Chicago Sun Times


    It should be obvious to all that the Dodgers will be strongest with an outfield of Ethier, Jones, and Kemp, backed up by Repko and Young. That leaves no room for JP, and he should be moved quickly before other teams resolve all their outfield needs. All we have heard the last few years is how the Dodgers need some power hitters. Ned has tried to sign several, offering millions of dollars in the process. Ethier is coming into his own and has shown that he can provide some of that power at a fraction of the cost. Why is it even being debated if he should play regularly or not? The answer is obvious, and all the talk to the contrary is just plain hogwash! But if Ethier isn’t given the chance to play everyday, it will impede his further development and the stress and tension will affect his performance. This is an issue that must be addressed by Dodger management. Pierre will not be happy on the bench, and he is probably not happy in LF either. He wants to play CF and leadoff, but he doesn’t fit in either case on the Dodgers now. We all should know that Ethier is the best choice in LF and Furcal is the best choice for leadoff. Put JP in either/both and you weaken the team. And in a tight NL West race, doing that initially may well cost the Dodgers a championship at the end.


    LA TIMES..Cool so they are platooning now. Perfect.

    So barring a trade or injury to left fielder Juan Pierre, center fielder Andruw Jones and the right-field platoon of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, Repko figures to start the season somewhere other than Dodger Stadium.

    But he may not be gone long.

    “Repko is a quality player,” said bench coach Bob Schaefer. “You can only have a 25-man roster. If you could go farther, then we could be talking. [But] you can only keep four outfielders the way it looks right now.”

    Ethier, who is hitting .354 and leads the Dodgers in homers (five), hits (17), runs (11) and slugging percentage (.708).


    ericmonson: Except that the Cubs already saw JP’s act in 2006; they were the ones who let him go FA!


    Tony Jackson is joining the dead horsemen? From the Daily News:

    Ethier’s big day

    Andre Ethier also had a big day, going 4-for-5 with a triple, his team-leading fifth home run of the spring and three RBI, raising his average to .354.

    Meanwhile, veteran left fielder Juan Pierre went 0-for-5 without hitting a ball out of the infield and now is batting .196, further increasing the likelihood that Ethier, and not Pierre, will be the team’s primary left fielder this season.


    i vote for ethier being our LF and pierre being dumped form the team. he is absolutely useless as ST has shown us. peirre is our 5th best OF behind jones, kemp, ethier, and repko. this is the way i look at it…sure pierre can make runs by his speed and stealing bases but he needs to get on base and his OBP shows that he is not adequate espcially with the # of abs he takes also i remember repko being just as fast although that might be questionable since repko has a history of injuries but i think that if repko then and now couldve have had produced the same type of numbers as pierre if he was given the opportunity. repko can play all OF positions and also loves any role given to him which is important for the TEAM morale. and we all know that repko cxan play some D and in additon to repko speed game he has some pop in his bat something that peirre does not. pierre is on the decline and his prime years are way past him now that he is almost 31 THIRTY ONE!!!! seriously everybody BOOOOO peirre if he is our starting LF. of should be

    JONES, KEMP, ETHIER, REPKO, D young can be a utility player backing the in and of!


    I think the real petition in here is to keep REPKO and dump pierre and his contract! does anybody agree that repko is btter than peirre.


    I worked all day yesterday so I couldn’t get in the fray.

    Count me in with Ethier, Jones, and Kemp. With my vote and there was another since the last tally it is now:

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 47

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other: 0

    Count me in for a Dead Horsemen membership.

    When I saw Ethier in Vero I told him I hoped he was starting and playing everyday. So I started calling him “Everyday ‘Dre”.

    Go Blue!!


    John Weisman probably put it best in his most recent article. “Not even considering this Spring Training results, Ethier is simply of more value to a team than Pierre” (paraphrased). At this stage, Spring Training shows me that Repko is of more value than Pierre as well. Anybody daring to play Pierre in LF or anywhere else as the starter just does not show good baseball sense and has an agenda other than putting the best team on the field.


    I’d just like to welcome all the new posters to ITD. Everyone’s opinion is welcome whether you agree with a majority of the posts here or not, and I’d like to encourage everyone to contribute as it makes for more lively debate and enjoyable blog.

    And just remember – whether others agree with your views or not we all have one thing in common – we love the Dodgers.


    Sorry to break your streak, guys, but I have a different opinion.

    Jones, Kemp, Ethier: 47

    Jones, Kemp, Pierre: 0

    Jones, Ethier, Pierre: 0

    Pierre, Ethier, Kemp: 0

    Other:, Jones, Kemp 1


    I love the way JP plays– hard. For his hitting to contribute, he needs to have an OBP of .350 or higher. Jhall has written this before and I agree. Repko plays hard, too. Ethier and Kemp play well. DY has a chance to get hot.

    Jones has a history of 30+ HR per year. Kemp has that potential, along with Loney. I say play the hot bats, as long as you get reasonable defense. Unlike many of you, I think JP in LF would be fine defensively, as long as Furcal is our SS and he has AJ next to him. Baseball is a team sport. Even AJ gets fewer than 10 assists per year, because noone will run on him. He will get more assists with JP in LF.

    I have seen many plays where a strong- armed OF is next to a weak-armed OF. The weak arm gets to the ball first, flips to the strong arm, who bare-hands, turns, and throws the runner out. The play by Ferguson cutting in front of the CF in 1974 to throw out the runner using the decoy of the weak-armed CF is another example. The main objection I have to JP in LF is his OBP relative to the other options– Ethier, Repko, DY.

    Baseball is a team sport, the only incurable aspect of JPs game is the OBP. He and the opponents will determine his OBP. If it is less than .350, bench him or trade him at a loss: sunk cost.

    When JP was next to Gonzo, you had an intolerable OF with no cure. Anything hit to 2/3 of the OF meant the runners were going. They only got caught 6 times with the JP Gonzo combo, so every manager in baseball knew to send all runners all of the time.

    With AJ and Furcal, the defensive situation is different, but hitting is JP vs. the pitcher and the infield. If I were the other team, I might consider bringing an OF into the infield on some plays. JP’s hitting relative to Ethier, Repko, and Young is the only issue for me. Kemp and Jones get 2 or 3 months to demonstrate that they can play as they have in the past.

    If JP starts on opening day, so what? Opening day is about ceremony. I would only be worried if he is still there after 1 week of poor hitting. Then it would be time to start a public campaign. Ethier has earned my respect in all aspects of the game, but opening day is not the test. Give it a week.


    I said in the last post, give it a month. It will be a difficult month to watch, but I assume Torre will try to let the veteran play through his slump before determining all is lost. A manager doesn’t decide that in the first week of the season. 3-4 weeks minimum.


    The difference is that JP had an OBP for the most recent years of .334 or less. That is no justification for keeping Ethier on the bench. JP needs to improve, which is difficult. Ethier has earned starter status. JP has not. Opening day is ceremony, then go with the hot bat soon. JP is a veteren, deserving respect, but his OBP is not sufficient relative to Ethier, the next option.

    The week is just to send a message to the team that performance in games determines who plays. JP did not perform up to standard last year. The standard is to get on base and start a rally or extend a rally. Not everyone needs to hit HRs, but everyone needs to get on base or the rally ends. If JP is getting on base, fine. The problem is that he has a history of starting slow and getting better late in the season. Why must the team suffer through his slow period, when the answer is on the bench?


    If Ethier gets his chance and doesn’t perform, you go with another option. The Ds have 4 pro players vying for LF. Each of them deserves their chance, Ethier is next in line. If he performs, he stays. If not, NEXT!


    The team that isn’t ready and trying to win every game, even in the first week, will be left behind in this division. So, I don’t think that the logic of giving it a week, and even worse a month or two, applies if we want to take the division.



    I hope Kevin Baxter doesn’t know what the h3ll he’s talking about in today’s article with that RF platoon ****.

    If the Dodgers platoon Ethier and Kemp, then the next step is to get someone fired.


    Who said anything about not trying to win?

    I said Opening Day is a ceremony, a celebration, a parade. If JP hits .400 for the first week, he wins the position for a while. Neither you nor I know how anyone will perform and get hot. ST is not the regular season. Ethier was not great last year, but he was good. He is great in ST. JP was below average last year, as many have said. The chances of JP hitting .350 OBP for a season are low, but real. The chances of Ethier continuing his hot ST are so-so, but real. Ethier showed professional hitting last year, but not amazing. We all want amazing. Who will step up?

    JP starting a game by getting on base and stealing second and third will fire everyone up and distract the defense. JP making an out will put a damper on our offense. Torre is in the hotseat, but he has the contract for it. Let Torre pick his team, let us be fans and complain if they lose, cheer if they win. Let Torre make the change when necessary. If Torre puts Ethier in LF, I will cheer unless he goes 0-5. If Torre puts JP in LF, I will watch and hope that JP gets on. If he doesn’t, boo!, write a campaign to try the next guy, repeat.


    Shepard, for a month after the star break last year, Eithier hit over 400 but was still benched and when he next played, he batted 8th. Almedo Saenz batted third.
    I think Ethier had a great year considering the buffoon who was managing and the way he was platooned.

  187. ddbluky

    If he is going to take an 0-fer the least Eithier could do is run it out to first base. That’s exactly what Kent was talking about last September with the young players. I was at that pathetic performance at Coors Field.

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