4/29/2005 10:43:00 AM|||Andrew|||
It's a shame that as soon as I get linked from Fire Jim Tracy, I get swamped with work and can't update. I had some nice stuff planned too.

This doesn't really count either, as saying "Joe Morgan is a moron" can only happen so many times (and is pretty much redundant), but this was just beyond stupid, and had to be posted.

Greg - Boston: Hi Joe, In previous chats you've stated that the primary stat to evaluate a starting pitcher is wins. ERA isn't as important as getting the job done and winning the game. With this in mind, how do you rate Roger's performance this year with only one run in the first month of the season?

Joe Morgan: Obviously Roger has pitched well ... but obviously, whoever he was pitching against each time, THAT guy pitched better than him or just as well or else Roger would have more wins. Sure, some pitchers get more run support, but still, the object for any pitcher is to shut opposing offense down and win the game. If you are losing games, somebody else -- the other pitcher -- is throwing just as well, if not better. He is the one walking away with the win. If you look at last year, Roger got great run support to win those games. I guess the question is, would you rather be Roger Clemens at this point, or Jon Garland who is 4-0. I wouldn't trade Clemens for Garland, but the point remains -- he's winning right now. ... All that said, I think Clemens will get plenty of wins before the season's over.


What do you say to that? Kaz Ishii for Ben Sheets anyone? Really, I don't know you can be the greatest second baseman of the modern era and be this ignorant.
|||111479677696930367|||An Update5/03/2005 10:22 AM|||Anonymous Pinski|||Classic Joe. He also just earned himself a Sports Emmy:
http://www.sportsfeatures.com/PressPoint/show.php?id=218314/27/2005 11:59:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Buster Olney on last nights loss:

"The L.A. bats were quiet in a loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who must be taken seriously."

Yeah, 10 hits, and most of the outs were either lineouts or flyouts to the warning track. Real quiet. According to Buster, however, those outs are just the same as strikeouts or weak tappers back to the box. Whoever happens to own Russ Ortiz, Kaz Ishii, and Dan Kolb's souls just must like Russ better.

Can you really take anyone who says the Diamondbacks are a threat seriously anyway?
|||111462852609995581|||Bite Me, Buster4/26/2005 10:12:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Oh well.

Hee Seop went 4 for 5, that's a plus. And the Dodgers constantly smashed pitches all night. Unfortunately, they were off the only man in baseball luckier than Kaz Ishii, Russ Ortiz, so they all managed to find fielders.

If the Dodgers keep getting 11 hits a night, we'll win games. They way we were hitting, we should have had about 20.

The Dodgers had their string of luck to start the season, and now it's coming back to haunt us. Once luck normalizes out, we should win about 60% of our games, plenty good for a playoff spot.

For the negative, Erickson does have to go. I said he was an okay stop gap to start the season, but, well, I said that before I looked at the numbers. The best ERA he's had over the last 6 years is 4.80, and it gets a lot uglier from there. I'd like to see Dessens stick in the starting lineup once he comes back, and we can just release Erickson.

It was a tough loss, but, we played well. Sometimes you lose games like that.
|||111457907770596425|||Can't Win 'Em All4/25/2005 10:04:00 PM|||Andrew|||
I've had it with this. Again, Hee Seop Choi is due to come up in a clutch situation, and, what does Tracy do? Send up Olmedo "I swing at pitches that Randall Simon would say 'whoa, that was outside' too" Saenz. He proceeds to strike out on three pitches, the last one almost bouncing. At least Grabowski was starting again, so we couldn't send him up in that situation.

Since it's obvious that Jim Tracy hates Hee Seop for some unknown reason, we should trade him so we can get someone we might actually use. Swing him to the A's for Justin Duchscherer or something. Anything.

We have a fully capable first baseman that clearly won't get any use on this team. Short of firing Jim Tracy (the preferable option), it looks like the only way we are going to get any value out of Choi is to give him to a team that might actually appreciate him.
|||111449220495150842|||Trade Hee Seop5/05/2005 12:39 AM|||Blogger alan|||Dude--get off olmaedo's back. The man is tight and one of the best right-handed pinch hitters around. There is no denying that. He had an OPS around .850 last season. Get off his back. I love Hee Seop as much as the next guy, but hee (seop) can't hit left handed pitching.5/06/2005 2:00 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||Doubt you're going to see this, but this was against the very much right handed Javier Vazquez4/24/2005 08:55:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Turns out that Jim Tracy thinks that no one else could have done what Odalis did last night.

From the mouth of the sage himself:

"With a good-hitting pitcher, I don't know you'd get a much better at-bat than the vicious line drive he hit to right field," said Tracy of Perez's lineout to end the inning. "With what happened later [an injury to Jose Valentin], we'd run out of players. And if you're quick on the trigger in this park, you can wreck a bullpen."

Hmmm...good hitting pitcher. The best Odalis has ever hit in a season is .156, and he has been trending downwards since then. In fact, I believe as soon as Odalis strolled up to the plate, my exact words were "Why is Odalis hitting? He's a horrible hitter, even for a pitcher."

As for running out of players, you didn't have to run Hee Seop or Ledee out of the game. You don't do that, you still have Saenz and Nakamura waiting on the bench. Look, your bench has magically expanded by two players.

Really best we forget about this game.
|||111435850662346381|||Rationalization4/23/2005 11:01:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Well, that was just two hugely embarrassing losses.

Friday nights game was just a horrid game all around, but one thing did get to me: why do you start Bako after Phillips just had played for only one day prior. Jim Tracy's offical reason for starting Gabor was that Weaver performs better as his personal catcher. While this seemed slightly valid, I decided to look into it.

Turns out Gabor has only caught for Weaver once, and Weaver happened to do well. Now, I don't expect Jim Tracy to be a statistical genius or something, but did it occur to him that maybe that outing might have been a coincidence? Guess not. Oh well, that myth was shattered completely. Let's hope we quickly get back to the "start Gabor on day games following a night game" plan shortly.

Tonight's game, whoa boy was that classic. First off, Odalis is getting hammered early, not getting any outs that don't reach the warning track. (His head also didn't seem to be in the game either, Choi's throw shouldn't have found air on the first play of the game.) So what does he do? Leave him in of course.

Second inning: see first inning, except Preston Wilson hits a shot that would have reached Salt Lake if the stands weren't in the way. Third inning, Odalis holds them scoreless, but it's not exactly an easy inning.

So, with the bases loaded, at a critical time of the game, and a the pitcher coming up, do we pinch hit? Of course not. To be fair, Odalis did hit a shot that took a great grab by Restovich to stop, but why the hell was he hitting in the first place? Of course, knowing Tracy, Grabowski would have just gotten the at bat, so it may be a moot point.

Other brilliant moves by our fair manager.

-Having Grabowski be the first person off the bench again. He managed to do even less than what was expected of him. He swings at a pitch that was over his head on 3-1, then grounds into a double play. Get that boy some more swings.

-Pinch hitting for Ledee against a righty. Why? He seemed to be the most successful Dodger all day, why not let him take some swings in a crucial situation.

-Despite letting Odalis hit two more times than he should have, he's quick to bring the .167 hitting Nakamura off the bench to pinch hit for Hee Seop (1 for 3 at this point.) It's getting to the point where I'm thinking we should trade Hee Seop, just so we might have someone of equal value that me might occassionally use.

-Izturis bunting with one out and down by two in the ninth. Real brilliant. Phillips should also never show bunt, seeing as he couldn't run it out even if the third baseman had a coronary.

So yeah, pretty bitter about that one.

I guess there were some positives. J.D. Drew taking one for the team when he was down 0-2 was pretty studly. Ledee came up big multiple times tonight, and the bullpen was great yet again. (I wonder what our bullpen's ERA would be without Buddy Carlyle, don't particulary want to figure that out right now.)

Other than that, grrrrrr.....
|||111432317941686734|||Grabowski, Gabor, and Tracy4/22/2005 08:39:00 PM|||Andrew|||
By now everyone has seen the footage of Nomar writhing in pain. Anytime the words "groin" and "seperated" appear in the same sentence, you know things aren't going to go well. Word is that Nomar is done for the season.

So of course, Red Sox Nation feels like it's time to speak up. (Did I mention that it's perfectly okay to hate those bandwagon hoping jackasses now? That's probably the best part of them winning the Series.)

This steroid thing is completely ridiculous. Is it out of the question that Nomar was a roided man? No. Should we just automatically assume that the guy was full of more chemicals than an eight piece meal from KFC because he's had some injury problems of late? Hell no.

Nomar has never been a huge guy, and doesn't put up prodigious power numbers (I'm not saying 35 is nothing, but it's not stratospheric.) Granted, neither is Alex Sanchez, but, for the most part more power is a sign of roids. Nomar has never been through any massive cap size fluctuations, and never had any kind of massive explosion in his stats at any point in his carrer.

This really isn't the point, though.

The point is now that thanks to blatant cheaters like Barry, Sammy, Bret Boone, and Sheffield, anyone who has a remote degree of success, then gets an injury, or even has an off year, while get pegged as a roid abuser. Guess what? People are actually going to listen to them too. And, once you have been accused of roids, you are guilty unless proven innocent (see McGwire), you can create a witch hunt whenever someone's groin gets removed from their conscious being.

Now that I think about it, Alex Sanchez getting caught with roids is one of the worst things that could happen to baseball. Now, you don't have to be a power hitter to be accused of roid usage, you can be anyone. Craig Counsell pulls a hamstring? Roids. Alex Cora tweaks his calf. Must be the roids.

While you would have to be completely naive to think that steriods aren't an issue in baseball, the fact that you can accuse anyone of being a roid abuser in public, with little to no consequences, is completely insane.
|||111421940931119640|||Hey, Salem was in Massachusetts4/22/2005 09:03:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Ryne Sandberg is, get this, still an idiot. I don't even think this requires commenting.

Plaschke, however, like all those other bastards who forced me to wait in line for two hours to get tickets, has joined the bandwagon.

I have to say, I have more respect for T.J. Simers than everyone of these other jackasses. He may be stupid for thinking the Dodgers would suck this year, but at least he can stick to his guns with more than 90% of the season to go. It's far preferable to just seeing Plaschke suddenly becoming one of the Dodger faithful.
|||111418619087962386|||Dodger Column Roundup4/21/2005 10:45:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Despite the fact he called for a bunt from his hottest hitter with one out and Valentin coming up, Jim Tracy is still apparently the magic that keeps us going.

--------------
I surveyed several NL scouts on the Dodgers this week, and they're all skeptical. The worries would go something like this: It will be weeks before Eric Gagne comes back. The back of the rotation (Erickson, Dessens) is scary, although Brad Penny gets Dessens out of there this weekend. They don't catch the ball in the infield. And there's no way of projecting whether Jeff Weaver, Derek Lowe or Odalis Perez will pitch like this all year. Also, two of the last three teams to start a season 11-2 -- the 2003 Royals and 2002 Indians -- failed to make the playoffs. Nevertheless, Jim Tracy is one of the best managers in the business. The division is getting more winnable with every day/week/month Barry Bonds misses. And recent history tells us there's a team every year that gets off to a good start, begins feeling good about itself and rides it all year. If nothing else, the Dodgers have given themselves a lot of room for error the rest of the way. And no one else in the division is in that position.
------------------------------

In case Mr. Stark failed to notice, the Dodgers are tied for second in runs allowed. A decent chunk of these runs have come from people who shouldn't have been on the team in the first place. (I'm looking at you, Buddy Carlyle). Are D-Lowe and Odalis going to carry sub two ERA's all year? Of course not. But, is this the seventh best rotation in the NL (so sayeth someone from SI)? Hell no.

Coming into the season, I said the Dodgers had the second best rotation in the NL (after the Cubs.) Once Burnett's elbow sails into row C, and Josh Beckett's hand turns into one gigantic blister, I think that prediction's going to look pretty good.

In regards to the fact that our infield can't catch, I think that really needs to be amended to Valentin can't catch. So far, he has our only fielding errors (unless you want to count people who shouldn't be playing in the infield in the first place, thanks again for that, Jim Tracy.) And, if we are talking about defense, then yes, Jeff Kent does equal Alex Cora. Hee Seop is a decent fielder (carrer DRAA of 2), and he's made some nice stops so far.

If we stopped our little platooning games at first (not bloody likely), then our infield defense should be fine.

Well, this is just another person to say "screw you" to when the season ends.
|||111410642250363836|||I Think We Already Know What Jayson Stark Is4/20/2005 03:47:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Much like Ryne Sandberg managed to put up nearly the same numbers as Joe Morgan during his carrer, he also manages to be just as stupid of an analyst. For example, if you were to ask Ryne Sandberg why the Dodgers are so successful, he would answer:

I think Jim Tracy deserves a lot of credit. He's one of the more well-respected managers in the game today. He gets a lot out of the talent on the Dodgers roster, and the players play hard for him. He gets the most out of everybody.

If J.D. Drew and Hee Seop Choi begin to hit – and Eric Gagne gets healthy – that'll only make this team better. The Dodgers are on a roll, and winning is something you get used to. I still think they'll have plenty of competition from the San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks and possibly the San Diego Padres, but L.A. seems to have the upper hand on the NL West for now.

I thought it'd be hard for the Dodgers to replace Shawn Green and Adrian Beltre. But they've gotten some surprisingly good pitching, Odalis Perez and Jeff Weaver in particular, and they've gotten run production from Jeff Kent, Milton Bradley, Jose Valentin, Ricky Ledee and Cesar Izturis. Those guys are really picking up the slack. And the Dodgers are finding a way to win ball games.

-------------------------------

I like how he claims that Jim Tracy deserves all the credit, then goes on to do absolutely nothing to prove that point. I think that the last paragraph is far more telling as to why the Dodgers have been so successful at this point in the season.

Is he saying that if the Dodgers were managed by, say, Eric Wedge, they wouldn't try as hard? That's a perfectly reasonable assertion, but I would like to see some actual facts to back this claim up.

Let's try writing like Ryne Sandberg:

I think that the Dodgers are so successful because an alien named Du'Tox Inag shared his magical powers with us. You can tell this is true, due to the hot starts of Kent, Ledee, Phillips, and Izturis. Once Choi and Drew get some of this magical pixie dust, the Dodgers should really start going.

See what I did there, I made a statement, then I backed it up with facts that have absolutely nothing to do with that statement. Where's my check Yahoo?

There is nothing wrong with the assertion that the Dodgers success is due to Jim Tracy. If you are going to make this claim, however, it is best to actually provide some backing for it.

|||111403823841801935|||Ryne Sandberg is an idiot4/19/2005 01:21:00 PM|||Andrew|||
While DePo already has my vote for President, I have no problem with Milt-Dog becoming his Chief of Staff.
|||111394215875518816|||Milt-Dog Does It Again4/19/2005 12:35:00 PM|||Andrew|||
If you take out his 0 for 11 start (with seven strikeouts) Hee Seop Choi is hitting .273 (with three strike outs). While this isn't some massive turn around, it is solid numbers.

Why then, does Jim Tracy feel the need to remove Choi early in the game, for Senor Grabowski? A double switch is usually performed in order to move the pitcher down eight or nine slots in the order. This one? Two. Way to show confidence in your players Tracy.

At the end of last year, I said we were in a win-win situation. If we make the playoffs, cool, we make the playoffs, everyone is happy. If we miss, then we have an excuse to fire Jim Tracy.

I think I might have been happier with the firing.
|||111393967654516751|||Handling Hee Seop4/19/2005 11:08:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Hasn't Jim Tracy discovered that running on 3-2 with less than two out is a bad idea?

He does it all the time, and it rarely seems to work.

God dammit.
|||111393418168379641|||The Definition of Insanity4/18/2005 07:23:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Okay, maybe I was a little premature about declaring my "Mulder is done" prediction a success.
|||111387756620557415|||Premature Celebrations4/18/2005 04:43:00 PM|||Andrew|||
I'm going to have to guess that the Dodgers won't be carrying Jason Grabowski for much longer. Why? Because DePodesta has to save Tracy from himself.

Quick quiz: You need to decide on a first baseman for your lineup against a right handed pitcher. Which one of these is the best candidate?

A. The guy with a good on base percentage, but is currently struggling.
B. Your designated first baseman against lefties, who has performed consistently well.
C. A man who is being groomed for first base, but needs major league expirence.
D. Your fifth outfielder, who is clearly the worst player on the team.

If you answered "D", congratulations, you too could manage the Dodgers.

Grabowski has put up the following stats in his time with the Dodgers: .220/.295/.373. Well, the OPS is almost at .675 I guess that's a start. He's not exactly a defensive wizard either, with a carrer DRAA of -1 (granted, there's not a huge sample size on that).

Compare Grabowski's OPS to the OPS of the rest of the Dodgers bench in 2004.

Grabowski: .679
Olmedo Saenz: .857
Hee Seop Choi: .810
Jose Hernandez: .910
Robin Ventura: .699
David Ross: .544

Grabowski has the second lowest OPS on the team, and the player with the second highest OPS on the team is on the bench. In spite of all this, however, Jim Tracy decided that Jason Grabowski should get more appearances of the bench in a season that anyone had had before in the history of baseball. Obviously, Tracy likes Grabowski for some otherworldly reason, and will continue to give him at bats, not matter how horribly he fails. What's a person to do?

The answer, of course, is to get Grabowski off the 25 man roster. There are two ways I can see this occuring:

-Send Grabowski down. When Jayson Werth comes back, Grabowski should be the odd man out. After all, we're getting an outfielder back, the fifth outfielder should be the first guy to go. However, there is a good chance that Repko will get the call instead, since he's young, and would be better served with more at bats in the minors.

-Sell him to the Pirates for $75,000. They thought David Ross was a worthwhile investment at this cost, I don't see why they wouldn't also appreciate Grabowski as well..

It's obvious that Jim Tracy feels addicted to using bad players in platoons, like he has some sort of Little League playtime rule to adhere to. The only solution to this is to just send Grabowski off into the ether, where he can't hurt the team anymore.
|||111386732757531525|||Grabowwwwwskiiii4/18/2005 04:43:00 PM|||Andrew|||
I have no actual evidence to support this, but it seems like whenever a struggling player has a good day, Jim Tracy decides to sit them the next game.

Case in point, J.D. Drew finally gets an extra base hit, time for him to sit. Hee Seop Choi makes good, solid contact for once (his average is improving at a slow pace), time to sit. Valentin has one of the best averages in the league, sit him.

The Dodgers have only four of the usual starters out there tonight, Izturis, Bradley, Kent, and Phillips. That's right, the entire bench, save Bako, is out there tonight.

Maybe Tracy believes that Capuano sucks, and that we can beat him with our second string. Maybe he decided that half the team is tired, and needs a break. Maybe Jim Tracy is just a bad manager (that can't be it, can it?)

Well, let's hope that the current Dodger magic can keep us rolling. After all, according to Odalis' ERA we only need to score two runs tonight to win. Let's hope so.
|||111386814949501228|||Sit 'Em While They're Hot4/15/2005 12:40:00 PM|||Andrew|||
First note, this isn't really Dodger related, but, I don't expect all of these posts to be.

Sheffield is apparently in trouble again. This time he took a swing at a fan. My view on this is simple: did anyone expect anything different from Gary?

Granted, he has quieted down since he left the Dodgers and hell, he even said incriminating things about Barry, so, that will score points for me any day.

However, this is also the same man who let a few balls by him while he was with the Brewers, and called Dodger fans things that would be best if we never spoke of again. (Of course, it took them all of five innings to forgive him, but that just proves how stupid Dodger fans really are.)

I don't like Gary, I don't make it a secret. He's the only Dodger I never gave a chance (I was at the game the day after we traded Piazza, booing mightly). And well, I don't understand when ESPN is saying how good of a guy Sheffield is. Sheffield is a criminal. Always has been, always will be.

I'm hoping for a rather large suspension, if only for the fact it will hurt the Yankees. Selig will likely dispense his usual brand of justice, give him a slap on the wrist, and send Gary on his way.

Oh well.
|||111359438491710755|||The Sheff Is Cookin' Something (Trouble)4/15/2005 12:26:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Probably not the best post to start off with, but, this was on my mind.

Sports writers, more than anyone, make bold blanket statements, then quickly forget that they made them.

Case in point, Fox Sports and SI released their first power rankings for baseball this week. The Dodgers were ranked first in Sports Illustrated (previously 15th), and third at Fox (previously 10th).

Now, I can understand Sports Illustrated. They are simply ranking teams by what they've done so far this season. It's hard to argue that the Dodgers didn't have the best first week in basbeall.

Fox, on the other hand, has the Yankees still in second, despite their mediocre start. In effect, he is saying that the Dodgers are suddenly the third best team in baseball. For christ sake, have some guts. (However in going through Dayn Perry's archives, he at least isn't a blatant idiot, so I have to give him credit for that.)

All over the net, people like Buster Onley are already retracting everything they've said about the Dodgers this offseason. It's only eight games. Maybe, despite your tiny, tiny brains, you might be right. Then you will look truly stupid.

As happy as I am that the Dodgers have the best record in baseball, it's only week two. It's not time to proclaim the Dodgers champions of the NL West, (nor Toronto in the AL East), the Sox don't need to trade wells, and Mariano Rivera will be fine. Baseball is a game of averages, you need to let things settle before you start proclaiming doom.

Of course, most writers rely on collective amnesia to make their points, so, none of this will change.
|||111359388866623828|||Holding Your Own