Air Traffic Control…

So the thread got a little long this weekend, as I was in Ohio for a wedding…at the airport now en route to Chicago, where I was set to meet up with the team. But with Manny’s assignment in Albuquerque expected to draw a lot of media attention, I’m headed there instead while the team takes on the White Sox.

Heck of a game last night from Kershaw and great to see us take two of three from the Angels. I can’t remember the last time that happened, let alone in Anaheim. If you want to ask Clayton about it, you can do so tomorrow during his live webchat at 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT.

Is anyone on this blog from Albuquerque? Would love to see ITD represented among the Isotopes crowd this week! Should be an interesting one with lots going on in a couple different parts of the country. In case you haven’t found it yet, the ‘topes have a blog there called ‘Topes’Tattler and I’d imagine they’ll be updating it all week long.



  1. bluesplash09

    So we have had a great week of baseball, taking 2 of 3 from 3 interleague series! If we can do that or better against the sox and seattle then we really have somethin special here, I dont need to remind anyone what our interleague record has been in the past. Btw, I only live about 3.5 hrs from Albuquerque, i’m movin in to a new place this week but if i’m done by friday then i’ll try to make it up to see Manny. GO DODGERS!!

  2. trublu4ever

    Good Morning ~ great series with the Angels. With an off day today, what shall we do to pass the time?

  3. enchantedbeaver

    Morning Tru!

    Actually, I’m down in Las Cruces which is about 3.5 hours one way from Alb. Too long a drive, especially after a game on a school night (mom and dad would get awful sore if I stayed up past my bedtime.) You might be right about Manny though 🙂

  4. enchantedbeaver

    After Billz blew the first game of the series, I wouldn’t have given them a snowball’s chance with Weaver and Kersh against Weaver and Lackey, but I guess that’s why you play the games.

    Nice to see them start to swing the bats a little better, especially Martin and JP. Must of been the wussybat thing…

    If it helps, they all have wussybats.

  5. trublu4ever

    You are right, Enchanted. Mom and Dad would get a little miffed if you stayed up past your bedtime! LOL

  6. trublu4ever

    And, the wussybats cetainly did the trick with Russy! I just know he read your song here and said, “I’ll show him!”

  7. nellyjune

    If you haven’t noticed, it is June 22nd, and it is summer vacation. Beav, you don’t have school. However, we will have to bring up this business of going Albuquerque with your father. It may be a little too far from home for you, and you know how he gets, thinking you will just get into mischief without us there, especially without Wally around. On second thought……………….

  8. trublu4ever

    NellyJune ~ he certainly would get into some mischief! Now, wouldn’t it be something if he took his friend Bear with him to see Manny?!!!! Talk about mischief…. LMAO!!!!

  9. nellyjune

    Josh – good luck in Albuquerque dealing with all the Manny Media. I am sure it’s going to be a tough few days for you.

  10. enchantedbeaver

    Would really like to see them reel off about 6-8 more in a row before Manny comes back.

    I don’t know how much more of a media circus it will be than last year when he came over. More negative to be sure, but I’d surmise after a couple weeks it will be yesterday’s news.

  11. nellyjune

    You are right enchanted, it will be yesterday’s news in a week or so because something else will creep into (or leak into) the MLB, just like it did with all the others. Bud will see to it that it does, to steer himself away from the controversy as well.

  12. Dodger4life

    Good Morning ITD, Dodger Faithful…
    I trust everyone had an enjoyable weekend, mine was fantastic.
    Once again that was an outstanding series against the Halo’s.
    Keep up the grit and determination in Chicago.
    Manny we LOVVVE YA and we LOVVVE the DODGERS!!
    Have a great Monday all….
    GO DODGERS!!!!!
    BRING THE RING THE TO L.A. IN 2009!!!!!


    Manny, I hope you hit the crap out of the ball – just excuse me from joining the Love Manny crowd.
    We managed to do very well without you, Manny.

  14. cpompe1

    Good morning ITD boys and girls!
    What a game last night! I do have to be a little careful though at home. I can’t show too much emotion, so as not to show up my husband. But I was yelling and screaming inside during the entire game! I can’t tell you how much I loved having Ausmus catching Kersh yesterday. I just hope Joe realizes that Ausmus should always (or at least the majority of the time) be catching Kersh. We’ll see. It was nice to see James go long yesterday. Even though he didn’t get a hit yesterday, I’m thrilled that Russ took so many walks and, well, on Saturday night, he banged his way out of his hitting slump in a big way! I’m not sure if the rest of you saw this article (you probably did) but Russ explains the difference in his approach to the plate. And guess who he credits: Doug Mientkiewicz! Good going Russ; way to teach the youngster Doug!

  15. nellyjune

    CP – you sound like me at home when we are playing the gnats. However, I am usually not in the room when we do play each other. I listen on my computer or watch in another room if I can.

  16. 32and53fan

    Could I get a ride with you and your husband to the ITD tour and game next Saturday? I live in Camarillo so we could meet at the Park and Ride lot off of Las Posas. My car has been overheating when stopped in traffic and I don’t trust it going to LA and back. My email is

  17. crzblue2

    Good morning ITD faithfuls!
    So much going on! I am excited that the ITD tour/game is approaching. I am kitty (3) sitting very close to the stadium starting tomorrow till Sunday morning for a friend. Anyone here going to San Diego the following weekend or doing the Dodgerforlife trip to SD?

  18. thinkingblue

    Good AFternoon ITD readers
    It was a great weekend. We beat the Halos…in their own home. And RUSSELL hit his firts HOMERUN….WUSSY WAS WONDEFUL AT BAT. YEY HE DID IT. Well I can’t wait for Saturday…hope to meet many of you there!


    It was great to see the team come back and take the next two games after blowing the first one. Once again the bullpen saved the day, but I am becoming increasingly concerned at how Joe is handling the bullpen – especially Belisario, Troncoso, and Broxton. I know we all like to see those guys in there when a win is within range, but they are being overworked by too frequent usage or warming up. Joe has a bad history of burning out his relief pitchers by using his favorites too frequently, and I see that happening now. It’s great when they are able to do the job night after night, but what’s going to happen as the season wears on and they burn out and have arm injuries? If that happens, the big division lead may evaporate quickly. A little restraint and better bullpen management now would seem much more prudent for the long run.

  20. kpookiemon

    Amazing the Dodgers have such a big lead, surviving the Pods winning 10 in a row and the Rockies in the midst of winning 16 of 17.

  21. kpookiemon

    redfox, Torre must be hanging with Boche…who has already dinged Peavy and is in the process of dinging Lincecum. Two ex-catchers…….


    Who is this Manny character everyone is talking about?

    Seriously, Kahli and Redfox, what would you do differently if you were managing this same group of players with regard to the pitching?


    I hear you guys with the bullpen concern, but I don’t know that much can be done with “managing the bullpen” differently. Belisario, Troncoso, and of course Brox are the only proven reliable BP pitchers in a critical game situation. I also like what Leach has done lately as the situational lefty. Everybody else pretty much should be only used in the games long lost or where we have a substantial lead. The critical aspect to preserving the bullpen still rests with having starting pitchers that can go long enough in the ballgames. That’s where we’ve been remiss and why we need another starting pitcher who can go some innings. I don’t really know where we can find that kind of starting pitcher at this stage, because they are few and far between, and every team in contention is looking for one or two of them. In the meantime, I’m pretty well satisfied with the work of our bullpen.

    Given Kersh’s performance yesterday with Ausmus behind the plate, I would want to make sure that Ausmus is calling the next game for Kersh, and maybe a lot of games thereafter this season. I think there’s more to it than coincidence.

  24. dodgereric

    I have a solution. Stop the 100-pitch count fiasco. Forgive me if you’ve heard this before, but by consistently taking out starters as they reach this artificial number they have created a self-perpetuating situation. Of course they get tired – because they aren’t asked to go past 100 enough. How are they supposed to build the arm strength necessary to finish a game? If you want to bench 250 do you stop training at 150?

    Sure, some are going to break down, but they’re breaking down anyway – or have you not noticed the DLs lately around MLB? I say to push these guys. Some will obviously not take to it, so back them down. Some will thrive. And on the days they pitch, the bullpen will usually get a rest.

    Billingsley has gone over 100 pitches is 13 of his 15 games, but there have been only 39 Plate Appearances in those 13 games. In other words, he’s only been allowed to face an average of 3 hitters once he’s hit 100. And he hasn’t done badly, allowing a .241 average in those 39 PAs. Let him stretch it out, Torre.

    The pitch count has created the necessity of the 12-man staff (or 13, in our case) and that limits what you can do late in a game. When was the last time you remember Torre pulling a double-switch? Can’t? Why not? I’ll tell you why not – he doesn’t have the manpower. Of course, we’re not alone. I’ll bet just about every other team has a 12-man rotation because they’ve all been sold on this pitch count crap. When did human beings stop being able to throw more than 100 pitches one day in 5? I thought athletes were supposed to be getting bigger and stronger and faster. Pitchers seem to be the only ones regressing.

    And another thing – are there really 360 guys out there that are good enough to pitch in the big leagues?

    Without someone at least occasionally going the distance, the only time the bullpen gets a rest is ……. never.


    I don’t really know, lbirken. Maybe he makes sure that Kersh paces himself differently, or calls for different pitch selection, or simply exerts a more calming effect of the pitcher. From what I read, Kersh was throwing a lot more off-speed stuff yesterday. It may be just the experience factor of knowing how to set up the batters. I know that often previously Kersh would get two strikes on a hitter, and then the hitter would foul off a bunch of pitches, and before you know it, the pitch count is way up there. I just know that one of the previous games when Kersh also went like seven innings, Ausmus was in charge, so I was just thinking that Ausmus’ approach is worth continuing until it fails to make a difference. Nothing against Martin here. I just think that some pitchers tend to match up better with a certain catcher, and that may be in play here with Kershaw/Ausmus.


    I agree with you dodgereric considering that self-fulfilling prophecy of the 100 pitch count. I believe they were showing some of Koufax games yesterday on ESPN, and Sandy was finishing off a complete game – the pitch count was 132. I think running up to 150 was not an unusual occurence back in those years.

    What I also found interesting was that Morgan was once again promoting a trade for Pierre, due to the fact that Pierre was too good to be sat down as a substitute. I hope somebody is listening to him. Let’s get some pitching, get rid of his contract, and if need be get an ordinary experienced extra outfielder who can wield some power.

  27. trublu4ever

    I think Dodgereric is right about the pitching and the so called pitch count. Pitchers used to throw until the game was over…..then, came the closer, so they went 8 innings instead of 9……then, a middle reliever was the new “flavor”…to get your team to the closer. So, the starting pitchers became soft thinking they only had to throw 5 or 6 innings and their day was over. I’d much rather have reliable bats off the bench than a flurry of relief pitchers.


    Eric, I admit that I have fallen into the trap of pitch counts. Even Vinny has fallen into it which is maybe why I have as well. I keep note of pitch counts even when I attend games since the counts are in lights on the message boards. But I recall critics of Tommy Lasorda accusing him of overusing Fernando who seemed to have what the old timers called a rubber arm. It would be interesting to hear from someone like Joe Torre how has been around a long time why they believe pitch counts have so much meaning.

  29. shad80

    Wow Josh must’ve been up early since no one probably did see the last thread with my last 2 comments there.

  30. shad80

    Estes retired on Friday, the LA Daily News reports.

    Recommendation: Estes, an spring training NRI, was effective at Albequerque with a 3.07 ERA over 73.1 innings. It’s unclear why he chose to retire, as he likely could have contributed to the bullpen later in the season.

    ( Fri, Jun 19

    Estes retired on Friday, the LA Daily News reports.

    Recommendation: Estes, a spring training NRI, was effective at Albequerque with a 3.07 ERA over 73.1 innings. It’s unclear why he chose to retire, as he likely could have contributed to the bullpen later in the season.

    By shad15 on June 21, 2009 11:43 PM
    Report any abuse or spam
    Wow I didn’t even know he’s retired.

    By shad15 on June 21, 2009 11:44 PM
    Report any abuse or spam

  31. kpookiemon

    My feeling on the bullpen is this: If Joe only feels comfortable going to three relievers (all three very young, experience-wise) then Ned has done a crappy job in the pen. Still no “real” veteran situational lefty, and a whole slew of mediocrity taking up space down there.

  32. nellyjune

    You know this topic of pitch count is intriguing to me since I see it used practically everyday at the highschool level. After I saw Dodgereric’s post, I went and asked Michael how he felt about the magic “100” pitch count number. He thinks exactly like Eric does (…and Eric, he didn’t know it was you that made the comment until after I got his opinion). He thinks he should be able to pitch until he doesn’t have it anymore (which definitely happens and sometimes sooner than later),which he thinks more in terms of innings than in pitch count. He thinks he has done his job if he gets through 5 innings or more if he is starting (they play 7 inning games in highschool). At this level, he comes in and closes on occasion too.

    Now, granted, Michael is only 15 and thinks he can do it all, but he is a lefty with a curve, slider, two and four seam fast ball (velocity in the low to mid 80’s) and change up. The most pitches he has pitched in one single game is 118 (and he was told that information). He also says he never pays attention to how many pitches he is throwing. The only time he pays attention to the pitch count is in a particular inning if it is a quick inning………all the first pitch, ground ball out counts, and he does keep track of his strikeouts. He also said, there are weekend tournaments where he has way over 100 pitches, depending on the number of innings the tournament allows per pitcher. He may pitch 50-70 one day and another round of the same the next day depending on who they are playing. He has also been to camps where he pitches 100 pitches per day to strenthen his arm, just like Dodgereric said.

    So, even at his level, pitch count is a magic word and I guess some will never know their full potential if this standard of 100 pitches stays the norm. Dodgereric’s analogy of weight training is a great one, and that can be said of all sports where achieving one goal should just be a stepping stone into reaching for the next goal ahead.

    …and the controversy continues……………….

  33. Dodger4life

    $$$$ and the effect a wasted arm has on a teams payroll??? I personally think our entire pitching staff has been phenomonal, so far this season. I do understand the concerns…. that it can change at a moments notice. The coaching staff has done an amazing job with what they have had to deal with to this point. Not just at the big league level but throughout the whole organization. Then again what do I know. I know I have have Faith……. good points though from all 🙂
    GO DODGERS!!!!!
    BRING THE RING TO L.A. IN 2009!!!!


    If you look at the box scores of our minor league games, it’s obvious that they keep the pitch counts even more tighter than they do at the major league level. I know they’re safeguarding the arms, but by the same token nobody is getting the chance to develop any arm strength so as to pitch anything like a complete game EVER.

  35. enchantedbeaver

    Pitch count to me varies with the individual pitcher’s capabilities. Some guys may flame out at 80 while others at 125. It also varies game to game. Some days a guy has it and can work like a horse, other days he’s out early. The notion of a finite amount of pitches is erroneous. What a manager, pitching coach and catcher have to know is when that pitcher’s reached his limit for that particular game.

    The next question then becomes, is it better to take a guy out too early than too late? My thought on that is to err on the side of too early, much like you trade a guy a year too soon rather than a year too late. We’ve got 13 pitchers. If you’re going to carry that many, use them. What’s got to start happening though is the offense has to start putting games away earlier rather than put all the pressure to hold and save the game late. As much as I hate to say it, that’s where Manny could help this team far more than starters going deeper into the game.

  36. Dodger4life

    I agree E…..Opposing pitchers will begin to shake at the knees….and that is a traight you only find once in a blue moon…….:))))) LIKE MANNY OR NOT!!!!! HE IS A BLUE MOON!!!!


    lbirken, I’m sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your question (” Seriously, Kahli and Redfox, what would you do differently if you were managing this same group of players with regard to the pitching?”). I’ve been busy away from my computer for awhile. Basically, I agree with much of what has already been said about not getting enough innings out of the starters. In addition to low expectations, I can remember several times when our starter was doing well and yet Joe pulled him in favor of the bullpen at the start of the 6th, 7th, or 8th inning. I would encourage starters to pace themselves and try for complete games. I’ve been a Dodger fan since the 1950’s, so I can remember when complete games were very common. In fact, I can even remember when Don Newcombe started both games of a doubleheader! He beat the league-leading Phillies in a tight pennant race 2-0 in a complete first game victory and then pitched seven innings of the second game, getting a no decision in a game the Dodgers won 3-2. That was certainly a rare occurrence, but a complete game by a Dodger pitcher today is almost as rare. When going to the bullpen, I would spread the work around more and try not to use the same pitchers on consecutive days except in unusual situations. If Joe doesn’t have confidence in the other pitchers he has, then they should be replaced. I would also avoid as much as possible bringing in a pitcher to pitch to just one batter and then bringing in another pitcher for the next batter. Sure, you can always argue for the situational lefthander and then pull him, but that move has backfired on Joe several times, too. I think more often than not it is costly in overworking the staff, including their warming up. Right now I know it’s popular with many to keeping bringing in Belisario, Troncoso, and Broxton game after game. But when they start becoming ineffective or end up on the DL those viewpoints may change.

  38. shad80

    Go A’ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss and the heck with the Angels since they getting cream by the Rockies after we took 2 out of 3 and should’ve been a sweep.

  39. kpookiemon

    If scores stay as they are right now, Rockies will be 1/2 game out of second place…albeit 9 out in the West…and 1/2 game out of the Wild Card. Not sure what Tracy said to that team, but Hurdle looks like a complete incompetent by comparison.

  40. dodgereric

    Right now we’re almost in a trap by being ahead so often. Sounds absurd, but it’s true to a certain extent. If we’re tied or have a lead after 6, you can bet that our starter has reached that 100-pitch limit. He’s gone. Belisario for the 7th, Troncoso the 8th and Brox the ninth as redfox says. Every game.

    If the starter was allowed to go until he’s no longer effective, say, the seventh or eighth, instead of you-know-what, we could stagger those three more often and they could get some rest.

    Another irritation (for us long-time fans) is the desire of managers to let the reliever “start fresh”, i.e., start the inning instead of coming in with runners on. Now, I agree that it’s less stressful for them to do this, but how are they going to get battle-ready (ecch, I hate war analogies for little boy games, but there it is) if they aren’t put in that very situation more often and can be comfortable in it?

    And while I’m ranting, I want to echo the voices of many here against that horrid “defensive indifference” late in the game. It’s becoming baseball’s version of the prevent defense in football. I can’t believe we allow this. Using this ‘strategy’, our opponent scores 2 runs with a walk and 2 singles. Ridiculous. It’s not baseball. Not the game I love. Why do you bother to throw to the proper base from the outfield and look the runner back on the infield for the express purpose of keeping your opponent from taking extra bases for the entire game, only to abandon it when it’s time to lock the game up? How many times has a shortstop or second baseman made a diving stop up the middle and gotten the last out of an inning because he had a force at second. We give that away with defensive indifference.

  41. sparkleplenty_1

    I’ve been thinking about why I prefer Ausmus to catch Kersh rather than Russell (reviving an earlier conversation). Ausmus slows the game down for Kersh so he can be a little more deliberate and think through what he’s doing rather than reacting and hurrying up to try and make things happen. Also, Ausmus frames pitches better and Kersh gets more favorable calls because of it.

  42. nellyjune

    Good discussion tonight for a day off. Enchanted – I agree with you on the pitchers being different from game to game, no matter the level.

    …and Dodgereric – you rant all you want. You have earned your say around here 🙂

  43. shad80

    I see the Angels tied the record with 6 WP’s and Tracy is now 19-5 since taking over for the Rockies and all of these without there ace Francis and Holliday.

  44. dodgereric

    LOL!! I don’t know about ‘earning my say’, but it sure is fun to vent here! At least I know I’m not alone! LOL!!!

  45. crzblue2

    Good evening everyone!
    Anyone get the Westways magazine? I am on page 6 for the “picture this.” I took the magazine to Camelback Ranch back in March and took a picture holding the magazine. I think I sent the picture back in May as I forgot to send it earlier.

  46. shad80

    I wonder who got the 3rd longest consecutive streak in the league since Pierre was snapped last year than Howard (343) and now Morneau (319)? Interesting trivia question I got here and I’m to lazy to look it up this morning lol.

  47. shad80

    Congratulations Konerko with 1,000 rbi’s in your career but we have to take your team down in the next 3 days and hoping that 2/16 in your career against us would go down by alot. I wonder why we have to play the White Sox again and we just played them at Dodgers stadiun last year? When do we played the Yankees, Rays or Red Sox?


    I’ve also wondered about defensive indifference. Seems like you’d want to keep the double play in order and get it over with.
    The pitch count and Koufax is an interesting subject. When he quit, he was probably the best. But his arm was killing him. We’ll never know if it was too many pitches or the over throwing early in his career. I think baseball people look at this particular case when they think about pitch counts.

  49. shad80

    What a shock I didn’t expected this at all and it going to be hard enough news when Scully pass away

  50. trublu4ever

    Good Morning ITDland ~ Let’s take our winning ways into Chicago and beat those White Sox. Kuroda will be fantastic tonight and our bats will be alive GO DODGERS!!!!! DODGER BLUE THRU & THRU!!!!!

  51. trublu4ever

    Talk about media frenzy……they are going to break into programming in ESPN to show every at bat for Manny during his start in Albuquerque!

  52. thinkingblue

    Good morning ITD
    What? Sooooo stop what you doing and put it on ESPN to watch Manny at bat (Manny being Manny). Talk about pressure for the poor guy. Well I hope Manny does well. GOOOO MANNY! And I just hope that Media remembers about the rest of the Dodger Team.

  53. trublu4ever

    Msrussy ~ for goodness sake, it is just a rehab game! The other guys are playing for real!!!! lol

  54. perumike

    Good morning everyone! I can’t wait for our game tonight. I’m also curious to see how Manny is swinging in tonight’s game at AAA.

  55. thinkingblue

    TRU – Once Manny returns to the ‘REAL’ Dodgers that’s when the media will make it “All-About-Manny”. And right now ESPN is stopping what their doing just to see Manny 1st at bat…..which hey all of us are interested…since he will soon come and join the team. We want to make sure he still GOT IT!

  56. trublu4ever

    I was hoping that by the time he joins the REAL Dodgers, the media frenzy would be over, Msrussyethier. I guess it’s just wishful thinking.

  57. perumike

    Yeah msrussy, we may not be happy about what he did, but if we’re paying him, we better get something out of it!

  58. thinkingblue

    Nope TRU I think it will get worst…all eyes will be on him.
    PERU – Yeah it’s true we do not agree with what he did, but hey I believe in giving 2nd chances and in “CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG”… And yes if we are paying for him, we want something good. Now if he doesn’t do good, then ENCHANTED will write songs about him and then he will be begging (like Jones) for a team transfer.

  59. perumike

    So enchanted was the key to Jones feeling that we treated him bad? 🙂 Well, I guess Juan Pierre is just holding in those same feelings!

  60. selltheteam

    Tru – To paraphrase the Bonds’roid: “When 50,000 home fans are booing you, you must be doing something wrong!”

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