Catchers…coming and going

As you might have heard by now, Mike Piazza officially announced his retirement today and all of us at the Dodgers wish him the best of luck. There’s never been a better offensive catcher in the history of the game – you can make an argument that a few might have been as good, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one better. The fact that he was a 62nd-rounder for the Dodgers tells you a lot about the player development system and his desire to reach the Major Leagues. He clearly became one of the fan favorites during his time in Los Angeles, which came to an end 10 years ago last Friday. His rightful place in Cooperstown awaits him in 2013 and we all wish nothing but the best for him and his family.

As for catchers coming and going, Gary Bennett is headed to the disabled list today and Danny Ardoin’s contract has been purchased from Las Vegas, sending Jason Schmidt to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Ardoin on the 40-man roster.

No medical update that I’m aware of on Andruw Jones’ right knee as of right now, but you can tune in after tonight’s game to see FSN’s Before the Bigs on him, as they traveled to Curacao during the winter and spoke to everyone who knew him before he became a teenage World Series hero. The series they’ve done includes Russell Martin, Bill Mueller, Brad Penny, Randy Wolf and several others, and it shows the “other” side of these guys that we see in uniform night after night.

Lineup to be posted as an update later this afternoon…

120 Comments

Looks like Ned’s piano fell on Bennett!!!

Don’t like to see Schmidt moved to the 60-Day DL though to make room for Ardoin. Was hoping he could take Lowe’s place eventually. We’d be much better off just DFAing Bennett – he serves no useful purpose on this team.

Where’s Ned’s piano going to fall next??? Hmmmm…

Here Sweeney, Sweeney, Sweeney… splat.

Personally, I don’t really care HOW Ned gets rid of our PVLs. Just as long as he does it. And the sooner the better. I’ll vote for Sweeney, enchanted! Nomore on deck!

“The fact that he was a 62nd-rounder for the Dodgers tells you a lot about the player development system” Are you giving the Dodgers scouts for credit in finding Piazza ? If so, it’s wrong. They selected Piazza because Tommy Lasorda told the front office to select him as a favor for Mike’s Father Vince Piazza. They were childhood friends. This reminds of what the Dodgers did 10 years ago! They traded Piazza! Those idiots at Fox was the worst thing that happened to the Dodgers. You might agree with Fox in not paying alot to Piazza but he deserved it. Check his stats. He is a Hall of Famer! Idiots. It gets me mad in thinking about it. I remember I saw Bob Daly (he was part of the ownership of fox or president, whatever) at Stadium a while back and I told him “You are dumb Bob” I don’t think he heard me. Anyways, Piazza going in H.O.F. as a Dodger or Met ? I’m sure it will be the Mets. They went to the World Series once and had great years like he did here in L.A. but with the way he got treated here, I’m sure it’s N.Y.

Another thing, it’s weird that Bennett is going to the D.L. I read last night that he went to a sports psychologist to fix his mental problems in throwing the ball and now he is hurt ?

Nothing against Logan White (since I have a man-crush on him), but I think he is behind the conspiracy.
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Ned: Lieberthal is retiring and we need a backup catcher.
Logan: What about Lucas May? I think he is ready.
Ned: Naw, we need a veteran backup catcher. Hey, look at this Mitchell report – I think Gary Bennett will fill the bill.
Logan (thinking) – “Gary’s got a problem with his head, we need to alter his meds. . .”

Schmidt is eligible to come off the DL on May 31 (60 days after the season started).

Something happened behind the scenes between Piazza and the Fox team. Everything happened so fast. They supposedly offered him big money to stay. I don’t remember the details anymore, but I’m sure I remember the offer would have made Mike one of the highest salaried players at the time. Something had to happen that didn’t hit the papers. There were no counter-proposals. One offer, Mike said no, trade was made. Bing, bang, boom.

Mike Piazza should have been a Dodger for life. I wouldn’t be opposed to signing him and letting him retire as a Dodger so that we could cheer him on the field, mend that fence and he might go to Cooperstown with a Dodger hat on his head.

Hopefully this “break” for Andruw will help him find his stroke. BTW, Enchanted, I didn’t say Torre played the vets becuase he hoped we would lose, I said Torre doesn’t look nearly as bad to the people in the front office if he loses playing Nedie’s vets than he does playing his kids. What I’m trying to say is I think Torre now and Grady before him tried to cover themselves by playing the vets. Its a win win for them. If the team wins, Great. If the team doesn’t win, it’s on Ned and his bad signings. I hope this makes sense to you because I simply refuse to buy into the thought that he legitamatley thinks Nomar, Pierre and Jones are better than Ethier, Kemp and LaRoche.

OMG! enchanted, you didn’t think of Bennett soon enough. I guess the railroad track will have to do for JP, but maybe there is a second, third and even fourth piano out there somewhere. Any of the above mentioned would be fine with me (JP, Sweeney, Nomar) We are all going to H***, aren’t we? LOL!!!

We all saw the evidence again last night of what the kids can do when they are on the field together. Then the following appears on the Dodger site: “With Andruw Jones hurting and likely to miss the rest of the series, the Dodgers are hoping the loss doesn’t slow them down against the Reds.” GET REAL!! Although I feel sorry for any player who is hurting, the fact is that the Dodgers are a MUCH STRONGER TEAM when Ned’s vets are not available for Torre to play. If they’re available, Joe plays them to the detriment of team. In actuality, the DL has become a blessing to the Dodgers in many instances.

Here are Ardoin’s stats. good glove, no stick.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/a/ardoida01.shtml

Thank you Mike Piazza for the memories. Enjoy the rest of your life. It looks like the DL is helping the Dodgers again, keep it up DL we need you to save Torre and Co. from themselves!

1) Pizza Man–He Still Delivers. Mike Piazza is the best offensive catcher–and maybe the best catcher period–in baseball history. It was absolutely devastating when we traded him. And so that Josh knows, that was the moment when the Dodger Management lost its credibility, at least for me. And while the McCourts are no Fox, they still have to live with that legacy and distrust. They are doing better, and I am starting to give them the benefit of the doubt. But Al Campanis, Fred Claire, and Tommy Lasorda could have done anything–and often did–and I would give them the benefit of the doubt. Today, if Ned or Torre does something, its suspect, and that’s the sad legacy of that trade, ten years and five days ago.
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2) Roberto–Bob Daly was not involved in that deal. He did not join the team for 2 years after that–though I have no great love lost for him, either.
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3) Dodgereric–I don’t think anything happened behind the scenes with Piazza and the Dodgers except a cadre of contemptible morons at Fox undermining the Dodger General Manager (Fred Claire, for all of his faults, knew nothing of the deal) in an attempt to assert a control over a franchise which had done nothing but be the most successful National League franchise in history without them, thank you very much, in order to feed their misplaced egos. Piazza had asked for a 7 year, $105 Million deal. If that number sounds familiar, it’s because we gave that same deal in the off-season to a then-34-year-old Kevin Brown, who had about 3.5 good seasons left, and will largely be forgotten, instead of a then-29 year-old perpetual All-Star and should-be-MVP (losing out to Caminiti in 1996 and Walker in 1997 makes the BBWA look like absolute jokes in hindsight). And in the end, Piazza signed for $91 Million over 7 years with the Mets, and had one more produvtive season after that (last year with the A’s was not so good). Instead, Fox offered him only $84 Million, and he wanted to wait until after the season ended to negotiate, but he wanted to be a Dodger his whole career. It was nothing but a despicable and stupid move by Fox, and was the dumbest baseball move since Harry Frazee tried to finance “No, No, Nannette.”
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Congratulations are in order to Piazza for a great career, and his coming induction in Cooperstown in 5 years.

According to DodgerThoughts, Bennett is out with Left foot plantar fasciitis. Strange.
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Since the move to the 60-day DL is retroactive, it should not change his timeline, which seems still to be early-to-mid-June.
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But, when he does get activated, there will have to be another move to the 40-man roster. I don’t know anything about Danny Adroin, but find it odd that we called him up. Lucas May is already on the 40-man roster. Presumably, we’re not worried about the possibility of having to put Adroin on waivers when/if Bennett comes back.
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Alternatively, Nomar could end up on the 60-Day DL when Schmidt comes back, given how he’s doing.

I had the great pleasure of seeing Piazza play at Dodger Stadium and more recently last year in Oakland. Although, his Oakland stay wasn’t as memorable as the history he has with the Dodgers, but his presence was still very known in Oakland. He had a great career, and I know we will see him in Cooperstown someday soon (hopefully 5 years).

I will get to go to Cooperstown again in five years to go see nephew play in the Little League Field of Dreams tournament when he is 12 ( my son will get to go as an alumni). One of the coolest places in this country.
Hopefully, Piazza will be there by then – sad, but great at the same time.

swood – sorry if I made it sound like Torre was trying to lose going with the vets, which I don’t think he does. I just think that a manager of his stature with a 3-year contract in hand has nothing to fear from management by playing the best players. Therefore that leaves me to believe that even if not in fact, he conceptually thinks Pierre, Jones and Nomar are better than Ethier, Kemp and LaRoche. I do think he’s stuck in a different era and mindset than what this team is and needs in a manager. IMO, he’s the wrong man at the wrong time for the wrong team. Good call on Park – I was sure he was going to implode last time out.

Plantar fasciitis, formerly called “a dog’s heel” in the United Kingdom, is a painful inflammatory condition caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia of the foot or biomechanical faults that cause abnormal pronation of the foot. The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel , and is often most intense with the first steps of the day.

Don’t Sweeney and Kent have this condition too???

Mike Piazza was the type of player a fan was willing to pay to see. If I attended a game and Piazza was not playing that day I felt disappointed. He meant so much to the Dodger attack and was more than adequate defensivly. While I still believe Piazza (and his agent) have some responsibility for the trade I have to agree trading him had nothing to do with making the team better and was all a misguided power statement by Fox.

While he does not have the power Piazza had, Russell Martin has already attained the same level of importance to the Dodgers just by the way he approaches the game. He is worth the price of admission and I understand why any manager would be reluctant to give him a day off.

I saw Piazza do some amazing things. He played like 150 games a year and hit the ball harder than anyone i have ever seen in person. easily. i still see that swing, the belt buckle all the way square and the ball heading to the right cf pavillion.

plantar fasciitis=cant throw back to the pitcherleft
strained shoulder = cant get era below 5
left knee scope=.165 avg.

I remember a ball Piazza hit to right field. My seats were a little down the right field line on the loge level so we had a good view. Piazza hit a line drive over Dave Justice’s head that hit the padding on the right field wall with such a thud I will never forget it. Justice just turned around and waited for the ball to come back to him and it all happened so fast Piazza only got a single. I also was there the night Piazza hit a ball over the Dodger bullpen and out of the stadium.

jungar, I agree with your assessment totally!

leekfink, thanks for the info. “a cadre of contemptible morons at Fox”. Nice phrase. Fitting. They were nothing but bean-counters, right? Movie studio schmucks trying to make inroads into sports.

I agree jungar, Mike Piazza hit the ball harder than anyone I remember. You couldn’t or wouldn’t dare leave the room when he was about to hit for fear of missing him hit that ball. There was something different about him. He’d straight up and BLAM! Laser beam! He was a poor thrower and an adequate catcher, but man, could he HIT!

i think if ardoin does well while he’s up here they will let him stay and get rid of bennett.. bennett hasn’t really shown much, with the exception of the game at the brewers.. and that was only offensively, he’s shown nothing defensively.. if they’re going to have a backup for martin, it might as well be a good defensive guy, because they already know they’re not going to get the same offensive production.. you don’t bring up lucas may, because it might only be for 2 weeks, and i think you don’t jerk the kids around like that..

Mike Piazza used to sit in the dugout and squeeze a set of hand springs that none of the other players could even begin to duplicate his strength. That’s why he had such tremendous wrist strength and could easily hit home runs to right center and made it look so easy. It’s all in the wrist.

For old_fogey and the rest of the “denied” bloggers, I’ve been chasing this thing now for over two weeks. mlb.com says I’m OK on their end. The Dodgers PR departemnt says they don’t handle the blog, other than what they post. They say it must be a glitch with mlb.com. Groundhog day, for sure. A dog chasing his tail.
As a forever Dodger fan I’m going to side with the glitch–at least for now. I want to believe in technical difficulties. But it troubles me that towards the end of last season The PR department was having a real problem with views expressed on Dodger Talk. The Dodgers have since changed stations in LA so that becomes a moot point. But if there is indeed censorship going on it does not bode well for this ownership. I can’t think of ANYTHING more distasteful.

Hank Aaron also had very strong wrists. He only weighed about 180 but he had strong wrists and wrist speed. He could hit a ball out that the catcher was ready to catch in his glove.

kpookiemon, I share your censorship concerns, but I doubt that they have too much substance. How else can you explain enchanted and jhall still able to post?

enchanted and jhall are the “chosen ones!”

Jungar and LBirken are right–Piazza hit the ball incredibly hard. He scorched it. And he had such amazing power to the opposite field.
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Here’s the question–should his #31 be retired?

#31 will be retired if/when he makes the Hall of Fame. That’s the Dodgers’ policy.

Actually jhall’s the chosen one – I was kicked off 3 or so weeks ago for using asterisks.

Opposing pitchers used to pitch Mike Piazza outside and he hit to right center field. He could swing so easy and it went so far. I t was hard to get a pitch past him in the middle of the plate outside.

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He was a great hitter to watch. I’ll never forgive the Dodgers for trading him.;

I love the fact that Jones and Bennett are out of the lineup. Instead of cutting the dead weight, we carry them on the D.L. Nomar, Schmidt, Loaiza; now Jones and Bennett. Maybe we can threaten Kent with turf toe or a sprained eyelid if he doesn’t start hitting. There really is no reason he should be batting clean up; under any circumstances. DeWitt should move up a spot or two and Kent should drop a couple; maybe 6th or 7th. Although Pierre had a decent game yesterday, he just doesn’t have the bat skill or strength to lead off. I get the reasoning, he’s fast. That’s it. His OBP isn’t good enough. He’s better at slapping the ball to the hole the shortstop left covering second on a hit and run, or pulling the ball past the first baseman who’s holding a runner on. I know everyone’s concerned with wear and tear on Martin, but his on base percentage is phenomenal, he’s fast (although admittedly not as fast as Pierre) and he makes contact. I’d like to see him batting lead-off temorarily until Furcal comes back. I wish Joe would have thought of that 2 weeks ago. It would help Pierre in the number 2 hole (although I think I’d rather see him batting 8th and Ethier in the 2 slot). Regardless, I’m happy to see the dead weight falling off one by one. Let’s go Dodgers! By the way, anybody seen a lineup yet?

swood – sorry if I made it sound like Torre was trying to lose going with the vets, which I don’t think he does. I just think that a manager of his stature with a 3-year contract in hand has nothing to fear from management by playing the best players. Therefore that leaves me to believe that even if not in fact, he conceptually thinks Pierre, Jones and Nomar are better than Ethier, Kemp and LaRoche. I do think he’s stuck in a different era and mindset than what this team is and needs in a manager. IMO, he’s the wrong man at the wrong time for the wrong team. Good call on Park – I was sure he was going to implode last time out.

Plantar fasciitis, formerly called “a dog’s heel” in the United Kingdom, is a painful inflammatory condition caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia of the foot or biomechanical faults that cause abnormal pronation of the foot. The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel , and is often most intense with the first steps of the day.

Don’t Sweeney and Kent have this condition too???

By enchantedsunset@hotmail.com on May 20, 2008 2:58 PM………………………………………………………………………………….

First off, no apology necessary buddy. Second, it may very well be that because Torre is from a different era he thinks the vets will have a miraculous turnaround. Maybe its because I haven’t watched enough baseball in my lifetime, but to me its crystal clear that the kids are better than the vets. Maybe I’m missing something, but I just can’t understand how Torre can’t see that…

Has Tony Jackson posted the lineup yet…?

LF Pierre
RF Ethier
C Martin
2B Kent
1B Loney
CF Kemp
3B DeWitt
SS Hu
RH Billingsley

I would like to see Kemp and Kent switched…but other than that I’ll take it.

That lineup should get us some runs tonight vs. Belisle

You know when you think about we traded 2 first ballot hall of famers away and almost landed 2 first ballot hall of famers over the last 20 years along with all the other countless mini mistakes and it’s really no wonder we are where we are over the long period.

(Piazza, Pedro, A-rod, Vlade)

To go along with that, it’s of my opinion we also let go what will be a hall of fame manager a well.

In the present I get mad at Ned mainly because I don’t feel he has utilized his resources properly( using own farm team and free agents and trades) and you have to strike when te irn is hot. The longview is that we have 6 starters or so and few more that could be all under 26 and they look like they will all be pretty good. So as much as I bitch, things should be looking up. I am just worried the wrong an is in charge of taking us to that next level. He has no exp and you know how he feels about PLAYERS with little exp, so who the heck is he to judge. He’s a rookie GM. Lets move on.

Does anybody see any glaring differences between Grady and Torre(other than a track record)?

Yes jungar but with Ned in charge, I doubt that any of those minor league starters other than Kersh and McDonald will be given a significant chance in the majors for the Dodgers.

I would like to see Kemp not get picked off or boot balls in CF or misplay balls off the wall, but I do like to see him fo 4-4 and throw out 2 runners.

Nice lineup!!! Looks familiar – finally! lol!!!

Tonight against Zona, Lurch went five innings, gave up one run and struck out 7. Go figure. Must be the curse of Ned. Speaking of Ned, if I was a great GM, I’d look for ways to recoup some of Jones’ salary. Maybe there’s a hidden “J.D. Drew” opt-out clause tied to obesity. How can Andruw look any Dodger exec in the eye and say the injury has nothing to do with his weight?

You mention Lurch and his turnaround since leaving the Dodgers. I’ll only say again that Honeycutt hasn’t shown me any record of working with and improving his pitchers, so this does not particularly surprise me. Among other things that I’ve heard about the resurgent Lurch is that he apparently changed to contact lenses when pitching. Seems like such an irrelevant thing, but who knows. In any case, I see no value in Honeycutt, and you only have to look at the struggles of our present starting pitching staff.

.212 .281 .231 .511
.432 .512 .486 .998

Jp in leadoff vs JP in 2 hole. for heck of it, why not try anyone else at leadoff and bat jp in 2 hole. (not that I ever want JP playing mind you)

This lineup is the best Furcal-less lineup we’ve used. But still not the best lineup we could be using. Jeff Kent has had a great career, and it’s now clear that age has caught up to him. At best he should be batting seventh in this lineup ahead of only Hu. In terms of likely offensive production, at least two guys on our forty-man roster should be playing second base ahead of him — Delwyn Young and Andy LaRoche. Further, either would be at least as good as the statue-like Kent defensively. As a veteran player one could ordinarily argue that Kent has value as a leader, but we’re talking about Jeff Kent here.
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It’s a bummer to be so often negative on this blog, but the powers-that-be continue to give me so much to be negative about.
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And it would be so easy for those powers to make me a very happy Dodger fan every day; just start the best players every day, and put the best hitters at the top of the order. If that were done, I think it’s obvious that we would have a much better record. Additionally we would be developing the current and future starts of this team.

Mike was the best hitting catcher we ever had in LA.
Ken Gurnick’s article tells it best.
The article is bitter sweet in bringing back memories of Piazza as a Dodger and those horrible days involving the trade to the Marlins.
I was pleasantly and bitterly suprised when he arrived in my back yard of Shea Stadium.
As a Met he was my enemy, but deeply inside he was always my favorite.

Lets see what these guys can do given a month together. Last I checked, JPs OBP was .361 which is right where we decided his usefulness line was. Would rather see him bat 8 or 9 (well, actually I’d rather see DY or Repko), but that may only happen when Ferk gets back.

Don’t know what to make of these mystery ailments. My conspiracy theory of Ned getting to rebuild without having to use the “R” word was written before Bennett “went down.” Might we get our hopes up that some other dead weight will develop hang nails, halitosis, and premature balding? Might we actually see Ned trade away some vets at the deadline instead of bring more aboard?

Did anyone check the calendar to make sure this isn’t April 1st??

“We’re bad, no question about it,” Towers said. “There comes a point in time we can’t say, ‘It’s early.’ There’s nothing to lead me to believe – or the fans to believe – we’re going to turn this thing around.”

He promised changes. “Wholesale,” he said. And he waved his hands at the clubhouse, meaning most of the players in it, he had little use for right now.

“I’m certainly not going to watch this for another four months,” he said.

Oh man that’s great.

MLK, I agree with you whole heartedly. Also, if anyone other than Blake DeWitt plays 3rd base for this team it’ll be an absolute travesty; LaRoche included. I love LaRoche and think he has tremendous upside, but let’s face it, had he accomplished last year what DeWitt’s accomplished this year, there would be no third base controversy. I wish the brass would move him over to second base now, while he’s in Las Vegas. Nomar is officially gone next year, as is Kent. Hu should be getting AB’s on the triple A level. If the Dodgers plan on letting Furcal go at the end of the year, we need Hu to be ready to face major league pitching next year. He’s obviously not getting it done now. I don’t want Hu to turn into a 2008 version of Rey Ordonez; a wizard with the glove, but a stiff with the stick. My best friend is a triple A umpire, and I’ve been given a unique opportunity to hear stories about some of these guys before they were ever the big club. He’s told me all about their tendencies, upside, downside, personalities and the like. Hu’s the real deal. In fact, so far the only guy he’s predicted to be a stud who hasn’t made the club is Wilkin Ruan. I guess we’ll see, but I doubt we’ll ever see him up considering the outfield situation.

Nice 1st inning by Billz, I hope he can do it again tonight…

mike piazza was my favorite player and still is
i remember i was in new york during august of 98 at a double header with the cardinals and everyone was psyched because mcguire was about to become the first (or second i dont really rememebr) player to hit 50 in three straight seasons and he hit 50 and 51 that night but piazza SMASHED one that dwarfed bigMACs….easily over 500 feet…landed past the picnic benchs that are (were) out there behind the seats in left field…great moment in my life

Sweet! Kemp with another RBI. Runners at 2nd and #rd with no outs. Lets keep it going DeWitt!

Way to load the bases DeWitt, even if it was lucky; I’ll take it.

KEMP ties loney with 28,

Go clutch hit & RBI by BILZ

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-kershaw051408&prov=yhoo&type=lgns
If anyone’s interested, a nice article on Clayton Kershaw.

Chad is dealing!

Chad’s getting better as the night goes on.

This is the Bills we need the rest of the season. He is our best pitcher. Period… until Kershaw establishes himself that is.

I never saw Mike Piazza play at Dodger Stadium but I saw him hit 2 homers and drive in 5 runs in a Dodger victory (WP- Ramon Martinez) over the expansion Rockies at Mile High Stadium in Mike’s rookie season. … Kace, you’re right on re: comments on DeWitt & LaRoche. DeWitt, like Martin, got their opportunities, stepped up, and have never looked back. If LaRoche had done likewise last year, DeWitt would, most likely, be either at Jacksonville or Vegas today…. Vin reported on the broadcast that AJ has torn cartilage in a knee and could be out up to 6 weeks… Tonight, it seems Good Chad and the Bad Reds have shown up. Potentially, a great combination.

Nice 5 innings for BILZ

If Jones goes to the DL who will be called up to replace him??

BILZ look pretty good going through the 6th, but we better gets some runs.

7th inning
How far can he go?

I suspect, if he makes it through the 7th unscathed, it’ll be Big John & Sammy time.

WOW great Job CHAD.
This is the 2nd game in a row that BILZ has gone through the 7TH

Well win or lose we know we got at least one good starter.

Great effort by Chad. He threw first pitch strikes and didn’t have an inning with over 20 pitches. You do that consistently and pitching’s a no-brainer.

If Jones goes to the DL I can only hope it’s Repko coming!

Bills is at 103 pitches. I think we should have hit for him there.

opps sorry… following the game on yahoo… didnt see the switch

Good insurance run driven in by my name sake.

Might have something going here, it’s up to Martin.

Down in Vegas, none of our outfielders are exactly tearing up the league, Repko included. Xavier Paul’s doing about the best and he’d probably be better off playing every day.

ATTA WAY TA GO MARTIN

We’ve seen Repko succeed at the major league level. I think he’d be a great addition. Speed, great defense, Gibby-like attitude. Please take your time, Andruw…

The games in our hands.
Let’s go guys, put it away.

B_R_O_X_T_O_N_I_Z_E_D

Another reason he is on my ****-list. How sweet would it have been just to give it a try..Like Benett is better? Thats a blunder by McCourt, let alone Ned. If the Dodgers back the strongest man in so cal and buried the hatchet with him and reunited him with Tommy…..I understand if you need him to play alot (you don’t) and if god forbid martin got hurt, so u trade for a catcher…but that would have been great PR and he may have delivered some pinch hits etc for us.

http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/mlb/dodgers/

Tommy Lasorda…suggested to General Manager Ned Colletti during the offseason to sign Piazza the free agent as a backup catcher.

“(Colletti) said, ‘I just signed one two hours ago,'” Lasorda said.

Billingsley: 1.97 ERA in his last 5 starts.

Let’s start a long winning streak. The Cardinals are coming to LA and living in Waterloo, Illinois (30 miles south of St. Louis) I can barely tolerate the Cards. I hate it when the Dodgers lose to the Cards. My son is a very adamant Card fan and has season tickets. So. let’s sweep the Reds and then the Redbirds. I’ll be in Philadelphia thurs thru next tuesday to visit my other son and, yep, you guessed it, he’s a Cards fan too.

Beimel’s coming in. Makes sense, considering the left handed hitters and the non-save situation.

Billingsley is becoming our Ace right before our eyes!

Rats, there went the shutout

B_E_I_M_E_L_I_Z_E_D

S_A_I_T_O_I_Z_E_D
4 back
Keep the pressure on guys.

That’s what we need, is our pitching to gell and a lineup without Gimpy Tubbs. Way to go Bills!!! Now let’s see Kuroda next, and he’s been pitching pretty good.
Lets get a sweep, Big Blue!

B_I_L_L_I_N_G_S_L_E_Y_I_Z_E_D
Sorry folks, that’s all

Super 4 to 1 Victory By Our Beloved Los Angeles Dodgers over The Cincinnati Reds! Super Championship Pitcher Chad Billingsley was Absolutely Masterful! Chad, you wear your Los Angeles Dodger Uniform With Honor & Integrity which it so Richly Deserves! All The rest of Our Los Angeles Dodgers were Truly Magnificent! Gentleman,Your Dedication, Perserverance, and The Fact You All Have Los Angeles Dodger Uniforms Is The Driving Force Resulting in The Conquest of Our Seventh World Series Championship on Our 50 Anniversary in Los Angeles!

Oh Lord, I thought Danny Ardoin sounded familiar:

“The Dodgers are Ardoin’s 10th big league organization. His most notable moment with the Dodgers came in spring training, when a ball he threw tore a ligament in Andy LaRoche’s right thumb. LaRoche, who was competing for the starting job at third base, had to undergo surgery.

Ardoin said he and LaRoche grew close playing together in Las Vegas.

“I apologized 200 times,” Ardoin said.

Watch those throws, Blake!!

seriously, why didnt we sign Piazza to be a back up. dude still hit decently last year. maybe he didn’t wanna be a back up?

I wish I had a camera on McCourt when he watches the games. Do you think he just snaps and and says things like, what you kidding me he can’t play CF? He spent 86 million bucks cause he couldn’t play CF. How about that Matty Kemp..

I was at the game when both Nomar and LaRoche went down. Ardoin’s throw was on the money, but LaRoche got tangled up with the baserunner and was off balance trying to make the play. I believe Ardoin is very good mechanically, has been hitting fairly well of late in Vegas, and will be an improvement over Bennett.
I love Piazza, but fear his time has passed and would just be another veteran getting in the way of our kids.
Things are looking up, now if we could just get Lowe and Penny back on track…

That would have worked for me, dodgerdude. No one doing that job for the Dodgers would get a lot of work as long as Russ is healthy. If they approached him at all, I’m sure that it was either the lack of potential work or the lack of salary that Mike was looking for. I’m thinking that he probably set a salary limit and said, “If I can’t get this, I’m done.”

As I said earlier, I would have loved for him to come back for an encore season. It would have been good PR, that’s for sure.

You know, Jungar, people always talk about his physical and mental mistakes. But if I were the manager, the only time that kid would be on the bench is when the other team is in the field. He’ll never learn by sitting. He’s a sure 30 – 30 guy and most likely more. But only if he plays. EVERY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!

The Cooperstown Case For Mike Piazza (Baseball Prospectus)
http://baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=873

The numbers leave me somewhat behind, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

For sure now right Eric? He is our CF most likely for a few months if the news holds on Jones and I think it will…Vinny is 100 percent behind Kemp and that bodes very well.

Same with Ethier…If Pierre keeps the OBP up as Enchanted says, i’ll grin and bear it. I am hoping Torre will rest Pierre and play Young and Young goes 4-4 and can start stealing some at bats.

My overall take on our team right now is we are close. When Furcal returns and as much as I bag on Kent I know he will pull out of it. He has good AB’s he’s just old. He fouls pitches off he used to kill. So once summer hits I hope he heats up a little.

If Lowe and Penny can return to their three year norms and we can just hold down that 5 spot every other game we can be fine. Let’s hope for Kershaw after the break..Chad will carry the staff from here on out. NExt year he will be a serious CY young candidate.

I think we are one bat short fellas. I do. I think we need that one guy who truly is a bat that can protect our young hitters..Hard to get I know. Scared to think Coletti would try but yet part of me wants him to, but dang seriously either he has the worse luck or he dosen’t know how to evaluate talent. That bat of course belongs in RF or LF to be honest with Pierre back to bench. Now that Jones is clearly not that bat this year. All other spots aside 2b are solid and I like I say I think Kent will pull thru..

As for LaRoache you all know I feel he should at the very least be up. Hope he comes up and Hu goes down when Furcal returns. He too maybe can steal AB’s in LF…

DeWitt belongs the starter as long as he prouduces..And that can be a month longer or 10 years….lets hope for the latter.

With all these bizarre injuries, I don’t know if Ned’s finally seeing the light and being creative, or if its attrition, freak of nature, or cosmic forces coming into in alignment, but we’re starting to see the team we are meant to have coming together.

I’m hoping Sweeney is next on the DL with halitosis of the bat and we get a chance to call up LaRoche. That done there’s really nothing more to do other than find a way to get Penney and Lowe back to their former selves.

Win or lose, the line-up we’ve put out there the last couple nights (save Furcal) is one I can back without much complaint. JP had some feeble ABs, but came through with an RBI and still has his OBP at .358. No lead-off hitter he, but when Ferk gets back, quite serviceable at #2 or #8.

Great game by Billz last night. I don’t want to anoint him the ace just yet, but it appears he’s turned the corner from being Bad Chad and could turn into the stopper we need.

They’ve taken the series from a hot and good hitting Reds team. Let’s hope they get Kuroda some runs for a change and they can complete the sweep.

Perhaps the medical staff could look into the possibilities of Sweeney having developed an allergy to horsehide.

I’m assuming that Torre doesn’t want to hurt Kent’s feelings by dropping him in the batting order until he gets back to hitting like himself. Even Johnny Bench hit in positions other than 4th or 5th a few hundred times.

Eric I seriously doubt Torre will drop Kent in the order. I agree with jungar though that I think Kent will get hot sometime this season. He’s not my ideal cleanup hitter on this team, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he kills our offense.

swood, I doubt it too. I’m just wondering why not? And I think I know. Ego. The thought of dropping him to 5th or 6th and replacing him with who? Kemp? Omigod. And he may not be killing the offense, but he’s not been helping it much either lately. Five for 34 in the last 10 games, although 3 of those hits are in the last 3 games. Maybe he’s waking up a bit. It would be nice to see an extra base hit again. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy.

My point is, I don’t think it’s sacrilege to move him down in the order when he is struggling. He’s been there all year and all last year as well. When did the 4 slot become his property? JD Drew hit there in half the games in ’06. He’s not exactly Babe Ruth.

Think there’s a couple reasons why Kent’s still hitting 4. First, we don’t have a true cleanup hitter. IMO Kemp ought to be #3 – power and speed. Loney I think puts too much pressure on himself when he bat’s 4. I think you’re right eric when you say ego – JoJo’s love of the vet doesn’t allow him to bruise Kent’s, but I also think Joe see’s Kent as the stabilizing veteran bat in the middle of the order.

In a perfect world with Jones being the player we thought we were getting, I think Kent slips into #6 without too much fuss. Sans a real power bat, Kent’s a #4 like JPs a #1 in the world according to JoJo.

Great game last night. I watched the first three innings, and the last 3 innings, but those were the innings that mattered. It is great to see the kids do such a great job. It was reported on ESPN news that all 9 batters in the starting lineup got at least one hit – incredible. Billingsly was just awesome last night, and once again, a total team effort, and they all just seem so happy right now, especially Matt and Andre. There was a shot of the two of them from Baseball Tonight with the biggest smiles, blowing bubbles and an overall happiness to be there. They actually look like they are having fun again – for a while they just seemed too serious, which we all know why. These freaky injuries are such a blessing, even if it is a little suspicious. Waiting for the next piano to fall :)

Just an aside, but talking about Piazza reminded me not only how upset I was at that trade that NewsCorp perpetrated on us, but also how upset I was later that Dodger fans were booing Piazza and continued to boo him, even though it wasn’t his fault he was traded — it was a contract year, but before anything even got discussed, he was gone in what turns out to be a rather shady deal with the Florida Marlins. Anyway, I’d love for him to go into to the Hall of Fame as a Dodger but wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t. I hope the Dodgers can orchestrate a tribute to him this season, and I hope to hear everyone cheering him. An incredible player who gave us all a lot of pleasure while he was in LA.

And I was also upset to hear Ken Griffey Jr booed last night at DS. I don’t get all the booing. Just ask yourselves, why am I booing this person? What good does it do? How does it reflect on my team?

Anyway, thanks Mike P for the memories and the incredible career.
Go Dodgers, make it three!
(Go Lakers, too!)

enchanted, you make good points and I agree with all of them. I just think that they could do it for a couple of games to break it up for Jeff a little. He might respond really well. Put our captain Russ in there for a series on the road. Lord knows that Torre isn’t married to set lineups.

Funny. Now that we have most of the players we’ve been screaming for since ST started (for a couple weeks at least), and the fact that they’ve won a couple games, we’re down to debating batting order.

I imagine that other blogs are pretty much the same way. The quietness of the blogs in itself should give management a clue that they’re headed in the right direction with the personnel. Still have a long ways to go, but have taken the first baby step.

I agree dnel – the kids seem to have the joy back. Anyone watching these guys can see how special they are to one another. You can’t ask for any better chemistry between them. THAT is something Ned and JoJo need to take notice of and build upon.

i have a comment about last night. i want to know if anyone else noticed this and whta they thought.
in the bottom of the 7th delwyn young pintch hit for billingsley and layed down a sacrifice bunt. why why couldnt billingsley do that. they wasted young and it was still 2-0 at the time. if th ereds come back and tie it and it goes into extras you are now short a player. i thought that was idiotic. wanted to hear your guys, and girls thoughts.

enchanted,
This has been by far one of the quietest days on this blog.

mfc – DY is one of those little things to debate that enchanted mentioned above. Why isn’t he getting more AB’s and when he does, it’s never used to his(or the team’s) advantage. Also, when was the last time we have seen DY take the field?

I had the same thought about DY being brought in to bunt for Bills, and only thing that I could figure was that Bills was told to go ahead and shower, etc. after he finished the 7th inning and before Hu singled and made a bunt play necessary.

mfc – I kinda thought that myself when it happened. Only two things I can think of is that Billz isn’t the greatest stickman (18 PAs 1 Sac 11Ks), and/or Young is a good bunter (3 sacs in 31 PAs.) What I found maybe a little odd was that they didn’t double switch and leave DY in as a defensive replacement for JP. That’s debateable too since he hasn’t gotten too many reps in the OF this year and would’ve come in cold off the bench.

I didn’t get home until the 9th, but I see from the box score that Billz had thrown 103 pitches.

What I didn’t agree with was the “defensive indifference” allowing the SBs late. It puts runners in scoring position and takes out the force plays. It wasn’t like we had a 10 run lead.

As for DY’s utility, I would like to think that Torre has been giving all the critical pinch hitting opportunities and even some playing time to Sweeney to give Sweeney every chance to prove his value to the team before we need to activate somebody else and before trade deadline time. Sweeney, of course, has proved that he has no value anymore at all, and I would have DFA’ed him some time back. Hopefully, once that happens, it will be DY’s turn to be that more critical time pinch hitter, and he may also warrant in Torre’s mind some playing time to get his batting fine tuned. Then again, as little as I am in synch with Torre’s and Ned’s thinking, Sweeney will probably be around the rest of the year – what as shame that would be.

I thought it was a little strange at the time, but the Reds made a pitching change before Young’s at bat, but after he was announced. Young got the runner to second on the bunt, Pierre singled in Hu, eventually a fourth run came in. All of this knowing Broxton was coming in anyway. I think it was the safe move, if he doesn’t bunt there, DY could hit into a rally killing DP, but Torre gave us two shots at scoring a run and it worked.

The LA times reports: Chin-lung Hu followed by hitting a grounder to first baseman Joey Votto, but Votto failed to step on first base before throwing out Loney at home.
Actually, Votto made a smart play. With bases loaded, If he had touched the first-base bag, there would have been no forced out at home and the run would have scored. Give the guy credit.

“Conte refuted the notion that the 240-plus pounds frame contributed to Jones’ knee problem, saying that the kind of damage in Jones’ knee is usually a result of repeated twisting and turning.” Yeah, right, and the sun doesn’t contribute to hot weather…

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