7/30/2005 05:17:00 PM|||Andrew|||

On Friday at around 5:00 PM, I was absolutely ecstatic. The Dodgers had gotten rid of Scott Erickson, and brought up Johnathan Broxton, and Dionner Navarro. While, unlike most people, I was willing to deal with Phillips' inability to throw out runners, Wednesday night's game was a truly horrible loss, and Navarro would bring a nice change of pace. Tracy finally wouldn't have Phillips starting 85% of the time, and he might be able to work his way back to respectability.

I like Jason Phillips. As a catcher hitting eighth, I believe that he is a boon to the offense. Well, at least he was until he started playing everyday.

What a difference 24 hours makes.

Phillips has to go immediately. He's become one of Jim Tracy's toys that he uses in strange and unusual ways. Catcher in the bottom of the order, great. First baseman in the middle of the order, he actively he hurts the team.

Thanks to his home run today, Phillips has secured his job as our backup to Olmedo Saenz, if not the starting first baseman job. Thanks to this new revelation, the Dodgers now have, by far, the worst first baseman in baseball. (As a point of comparison, the second worst first baseman in baseball, Darin Erstad, has a .718 OPS Phillips' OPS is ..663) This also ends any hope that Hee Seop Choi might have possibly had of regaining the starting job. At this point, either Phillips, Saenz, and Kent have to get hurt, or, if Olmedo remains healthy, Phillips, Robles, Perez and Kent have to be hurt. Is there any player in baseball that is further down on the depth chart?

After Phillips was announced as the first baseman today, I immediately violated number three on Dodger Stadium's fan code of conduct. This was despite Tommy Lasorda's pleas to make the game fun for everyone. The best way to make Dodger Stadium family friendly is to get rid of Jim Tracy.

I suppose there is some good to come out of this. The Dodgers easily have the best bench in baseball. After all, what other team can send out a guy with 13 home runs to pinch hit, and then follow that up with someone with a .335 average in 182 at bats. Of course, these tools don't help nearly as much when you have a shortstop that has put up sub-Guzman numbers for the last two months, one of your corner outfielders is best known for his massive amounts of scrap, you have the worst first baseman in baseball, and the third baseman just got out of an 0 for 26 slump.

Here's a lineup that I'm sure wouldn't be that hard to follow:

SS Robles
3B Perez
CF Bradley
2B Kent
1B Choi
LF Ledee
C Navarro
RF Repko

It's not perfect (it needs Werth to come back to fill a massive hole), but it's far better than what we ran out there today. Of course, this will never happen.

Finally, Tracy's stupidity gets an exclamation point when he brought in Carrara in a one run game. He then proceeds to give up a home run to the person that is less likely to hit one than anyone in baseball, save Jason Kendall. Just lovely. To complete this really crappy day, I got something in my eye which caused it to burn for the last two innings. That sucked.

At this point, I don't put anything beyond Tracy. If we go get Dunn, I wouldn't be surprised if we added him to the best bench in baseball. It's like he's become a parody of himself. At least if San Diego can put together a mighty seven and three stretch, it will put me out of my misery.

|||112277243575013722|||Phillips?!7/30/2005 9:18 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||If the Dodgers got Dunn, he would get benched because his average is too low for Tracy. What an idiot.7/30/2005 10:11 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||I thought the same thing --- that Phillips needs to be traded so Tracy won't keep trotting him out there.

But then when I think about it, Phillips is a damn useful player. So is Choi. This team is big enough for both of them and it's a shame that an old-fashioned, out-of-sync manager is dictating which players need to be traded. That's Depo's job -- and Depo should never trade his guys because Tracy won't play them. He and Tracy need to be on the same page. And if Tracy won't get on the page, bring in someone who will.

Depo is too "hands off" and it's hurting the development of the team.7/31/2005 6:04 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Finally, a criticism of DePo I agree with.8/01/2005 9:03 AM|||Blogger fanerman91|||Well said, ananymous #3.

Andrew,
I agree with the line-up you put out, but I wouldn't mind Robles starting over Perez when Lowe starts for defensive reasons.

I also wouldn't mind an outfield of Valentin/Ledee against righties and Ledee/Repko against lefties.8/01/2005 10:04 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||Agreed, fanerman.

I basically agree with everything anon #2 has to say. While it's sadly obvious that Tracy isn't going anywhere. (DePo did his best not to sign him, but, now that we do have him, it's on his head.)11/22/2005 8:49 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Hey guys, we're the Milton Twins, Marissa and Melissa. We're the hottest, wildest, and most willing set of twins you'll ever see in your life. That's right. identical twinswith identical tastes and we're ready to share it all with you. The fun doesn't stop there, we've gotten all of our friends involved too. Boys and girls that we love to share. You just found all your fantasies in one site. So come check it out. We promise you've never seen anything like this. Milton Sisters7/30/2005 10:28:00 AM|||Andrew|||
After failing to deal Phil Nevin for Sidney Ponson in an attempt to sabatoge his team, Kevin Towers took things a step further yesterday by trying to deal Nevin for Chan Ho Park.

I actually forgot why I thought Kevin Towers was a good GM. Can someone remind me?
|||112274468173419084|||Kevin Towers, Dodger Fan7/30/2005 11:30 AM|||Blogger Big B|||Very relevant point. Thank gawd for Kevin Towers.7/30/2005 2:31 PM|||Blogger Lance Richardson|||Perhaps you think Towers is a good GM because your presidential-candidate-led organization is looking up at the Padres in the standings, despite your hugely superior resources.
Just sayin.'7/30/2005 3:31 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||as badly chan ho has been in his stay at texas, flyball pitcher in san diego's petco field is like a fish back in water...look for his era to dip when playing away, but still a tough one for the dodgers in san diego to face.7/30/2005 6:17 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||The only way I see this trade working out is if the Chanitor doesn't get hurt, and Texas pays the full difference in the salaries.

Park also doesn't solve the problem of the Padres' anemic offense, which is somehow worse than the Dodgers.

The Dodgers are only trailing the Padres due to their injuries. (I realize San Diego has been hit by them too, but not nearly as hard as the Dodgers.) The Padres should be a better team, but the Dodgers should be much better.7/30/2005 6:27 PM|||Blogger Richard B. Wade|||Well said, Lance.

Andrew, sounds like you're channeling Jerry Crasnick. I hate Jerry Crasnick.7/29/2005 08:18:00 AM|||Andrew|||
After posting part one of his masterpiece, stating players that are locks for the hall (my thoughts are basically equal to the ones found here. (Really, Miguel Cabrera a lock for the hall of fame? What the hell are you on?)

However, he manages to easily surpass that brillance with part two, the borderline Hall of Famers. Using his massive powers of prognostication, he thinks that 22 year old Joe Mauer (who will get his 400th carrer at bat tonight) will inspire a great debate about his Hall of Fame credintals, but he deserves to squeak in. Sadly, 25 year old Mark Teixeira and 23 year old Rich Harden will fall just short.

Every time I think sports journalism can't get worse, it decides to prove me wrong.
|||112265769587060958|||Fire Dave Schoenfield8/01/2005 9:18 PM|||Blogger alan|||how the hell are David Wright and Hank Blalock in, but Rolen is out? Furthermore, how the hell is Todd Helton #40???7/27/2005 10:10:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Retrosheet did a very through study on clutch hitting during the last 45 years, well worth the read.

Unshocking result:

Shawn Green is one of the most unclutch hitters in the last 45 years.
|||112248452186318842|||Surprise, Surprise7/27/2005 1:30 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||do you have an rss feed for this website?7/29/2005 8:17 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||depodestaforpresident.blogspot.com/atom.xml7/26/2005 08:35:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Well, four games back.

The positive: We might actually salvage this horrid season and make the playoffs.

The negative: I have to drop the "LE" from LEDFP, and start caring about the day to day idiocy again. I also have to fear that if we get Adam Dunn, he might not play against Jason Schmidt because of his unorthodox overhand style and baffling "four-seam fastball".

Once again, Tracy decides to Choi Hee Seop, and determined that Mike Edwards was more valuable in the lineup. I thought we had Olmedo Saenz on the team to play in this situation? (Well, this probably wasn't DePo's ideal situation, but it's what Tracy logic has shown us.) However, when you try to play a fat 35 year old every day, he tends to get tired. If you use him in situations when he shouldn't be playing, Olmedo suddenly can't play against Eric Milton, who Olmedo would be able to tee off of.

Of course, he then got put into a position to succeed later by sending him up there against a righty. This had the benifit of forcing Tracy to pull Antonio Perez in the late innings for the powerful glovework of Saenz.

Sadly, Tracy makes lineups based on the following priorities

1. Defense
2. Speed
3. Situational Hitting
4. Proffessionalism
5. Actual Ability to Create Runs

Due to this, two very useful hitters, Choi and Perez, aren't allowed to play. The silver lining here is that because of Repko's error tonight, he might actually be forced to sit on the bench where he belongs. (Tracy logic is rarely consistent, however.) Of course, as soon as I'm ready to crucify Repko and Saenz, they go and succeed. Good for the present, bad for the future. Damn you small sample size!

I have full faith that DePo will be able to bring Adam Dunn, and possibly an impact bullpen arm to LA. Assuming our luck progresses to the mean, there are no further important injuries, and Kevin Towers continues to destroy his team (really, Joe Randa, Paul Quatrill and Sidney Ponson, is there anyone who can defend Towers now?), the Dodgers should be able to earn the honor of being swept by the Cardinals in the playoffs.

This, of course, means that I was wrong about saying the season was over, but, if I told you a month that the Dodgers could have a letigimate shot at the playoffs when they were eight games under .500, it would have been ridiculous.

I won't be proud about winning the division this way, but I'll take it.

In other news

ESPN prompts you to rank the GMs. Article about the idiocy of the populace coming tomorrow.
|||112244648166552277|||The Dangers Of Contention7/28/2005 8:20 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||I would say that Tracy decides his lineup MOSTLY on the lefty/righty matchup and "professionalism." He is truly baffling.7/29/2005 8:18 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||Good point.7/25/2005 10:19:00 AM|||Andrew|||
The opening paragraph of Rob Neyer's new article:

Ron Gardenhire has been quoted recently suggesting the Twins miss catcher Henry Blanco. If only Blanco were still behind the plate -- or so the argument supposedly goes -- the Twins would be pitching better, and winning more games.

I guess this proves that bringing in Terry Mullholland (still my choice for boneheaded move of the year) with the game on the line wasn't just a fluke lack of judgement.

How a team that has carried four catchers be unhappy with its catching situation, I don't know.
|||112231212782699620|||So That's Why He Brought In Mullholland7/24/2005 07:10:00 PM|||Andrew|||
70.9%
87.0%
87.6%
83.0%

These are the percentage of games that Paul Lo Duca started under Jim Tracy's tuttelage since 2001. With this much work from your starting catcher, is it any wonder that I can refrence the "Lo Duca swoon" and have every non-heart-and-soul loving Dodger fan know what I am talking about?

Earlier this year, I complained that Jim Tracy was underusing Jason Phillips, giving Paul Bako over one fourth of the starts. Since Mike Rose became the Dodger's catcher on May 30th, Jason Phillips has gone from being one of the most underused catchers in baseball, to being one of the most overused. This has shot Phillips from starting the 21st highest amount of games for a catcher, to the 6th.

Percentage of games started by Jason Phillips up to May 30th: 73.8%
Percentage of games started by Jason Phillips since May 30th: 85.1%

Can Jim Tracy actually find a middle ground? Most teams have no problem sitting their catcher during a day game after a night game, or perhaps having the backup be the personal catcher for one of their starters. Tracy, on the other hand, has no problem just running Phillips out there without thinking of the consequences, and, quite possibly because of this recklessness, Phillips has been flirting with a sub .600 OPS since Paul Bako's departure. This isn't the whole story, as Phillips has been regressing since his (admitedlly over performing) April, but his near league leading workload certianly hasn't helped him.

This is just further proof that Jim Tracy simply does not learn from the mistakes of the past. Which of course leads us to sending the runner on 3-2 with less than two out.

In other news

I never want to here Steve Lyons call a game with Jose Reyes in it again. Having to hear a prolific outmaker get called "dyanamic", "exciting", and "the future of the Mets" over and over again was easily the most painful part of the last two games. While Lyons and Steiner/Brennaman were congratulating him for being fourth in hits in the N.L. they somehow managed to miss the fact that he was hitting .273 while doing this. Is this a problem to anyone else?

The best part about it was Lyons going crazy over the bunt that Reyes was trying to lay down on Saturday. Of course, he fails, and then hit a triple. Bunting is awesome.

Chuck LaMar tells us his side of the story.

From the counting your chickens department: Dear Joe Morgan, eat it.
|||112226324107749216|||The Phillips Factor7/23/2005 11:08:00 AM|||Andrew|||
So I lied about not being able to post until Sunday.

The Padres have decided to deal Phil Nevin for Sidney Ponson. If I ever had hope for a sub .500 team to make the playoffs, it's now.

This deal makes absolutely no sense for the Padres. Their biggest asset is their pitching staff, which almost makes up for the fact that while they have a few big bats on offense, they have holes at several positions. Now, they trade one of those big bats for someone who would be a fifth starter at best. Not only that, it's a fifth starter who is owed a very large chunk of money.

The Padres have already dealt two bad starters, Tim Redding and Darrell May, for one bad relief pitcher (in what was already a ridiculously stacked bullpen). Now, they add a guy who is actually worse than Darrell May, for only an exponentially larger sum of money.

My opinion of Kevin Towers goes down with every move he makes.
|||112214259265736194|||Thank You, Kevin7/22/2005 03:57:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Due to certain circumstances, I'm going to have no access to TV or the Internet during a weekend that can give me a great amount of false hope.

Anyone who waits on pins and needles for my next post can expect it Sunday.
|||112207314552362515|||Technological Freeze7/21/2005 06:59:00 PM|||Andrew|||

Who's intelligence is closer to that of the Rock of Gibraltar?

Brad Penny has now been suspended for five days for getting upset about being thrown out of the game by a Bush League umpire. Well, that just goes to show you how ridiculous the penalty department of the MLB is.

Think about the following punishments:

Brad Penny gets upset for getting thrown out of a game for no reason: five games.
Roberto Alomar spits on an umpire: five games.
Sammy Sosa cheats by corking his bat: seven games.
Brendan Donnelly cheats by putting pine tar on the ball: eight games.
Alex Sanchez cheats by taking steroids: ten games.
Kenny Rogers picks up two assault charges: twenty(?) games.

Apparently, saying some choice words to an umpire who wanted to flaunt his power (hey, he's only got a couple weeks in the bigs, might as well make a mark before it's back to AAA) is just as egregious of an offense has hocking a fat one on some umpires grill. It's also only slightly worse than corking your bat, or throwing a Vaseline ball. Hey, as long as the punishment matches the crime, right?

That's pretty stupid, but let's see what the challenger can do.

Sadly, we can only refer to the the challenger as "anonymous GM" so things won't be as fun, but, here's a good quote from ESPN.com (who were nice enough to make me pay to read Jayson Stark.)

"...Perez is only in the first year of a three-year, $24-million contract -- "AND he's really a No. 5 starter," said one GM who couldn't change the subject fast enough when the Dodgers dangled Perez in front of him"

While Odalis is a headcase, and isn't the first guy you want to hand the ball to in a big game, he has proved to be a solid number two/very good number three starter during his brief career.

In the last three years, Odalis has finished third, ninth, and eleventh in K/BB ratio, respectively. In the two years were he didn't have any significant injuries, he had an ERA of 3.00, and 3.26. Some fifth starter, huh?

Who else is out there, instead of Odalis? How about A.J. Burnett? After all, every team would love to have A.J. Burnett, and can turn a good team into a great one, right? Who wouldn't want to add a potential ace, instead of a fifth starter. Well, let's see what the numbers say.

VORP Since 2002

A.J. Burnett, Age 28

  • 2002 - 40.9

  • 2003 - 1.6

  • 2004 - 26.8

  • 2005 - 19.7

  • Total - 89.0

Odalis Perez, Age 28

  • 2002 - 59.9

  • 2003 - 19.3

  • 2004 - 49.7

  • 2005 - 1.9

  • Total - 130.8

Hmmm...it would seem that superstar A.J. Burnett has never had a better year than Odalis Perez, in fact, he's never had a VORP within 18 of Odalis Perez. He's certainly worth having to eat Mike Lowell's salary over, isn't he?

Am I saying that I would rather have Odalis Perez instead of A.J. Burnett? No. But, to have a team willing to destroy their future for the opportunity to have A.J. Burnett for two months, while simultaneously not touching Odalis with a ten foot pole is just bad management.

I'm sure anonymous G.M. would have been willing to sell the future in exchange for Kris Benson last year, but, again, one of the most solid pitchers in the last three years is a fifth starter. Makes sense to me. Of course, this could be the same anonymous G.M. who said

"All [Marlins G.M. Larry Benifest] traded was his fifth starter (Brad Penny), a platoon guy (Hee Seop Choi), a bench player (Abraham Nunez) and two minor leaguers (Bill Murphy and Travis Chick) And he got the best setup man in the league (Guillermo Mota), one of the best catchers in the league (Paul Lo Duca), a decent fifth starter (Ismael Valdez), a starting right fielder (Juan Encarnacion) and a useful arm (Rudy Seanez). And he got the Dodgers to pay them to take their best player (Lo Duca). How 'bout that?"

Another anonymous front office man chimes in

"I believe in intangibles,And I believe Lo Duca is that kind of player. That team fed off his energy. I just wonder if they outsmarted themselves by trading him."

Jayson's Stark conclusion after both these quotes: "Larry Benifest is the best G.M. in baseball". Whoops. Conclusion: all AGM's likely are in charge of the Reds, Devil Rays, or Mariners.

Despite the absolutely ridiculous suspension that Penny received, I believe that calling Odalis Perez a fifth starter is an even worse move. It's comments like these that keep me fully confident in the Dodgers future, despite this horrendous year.

|||112200548238791264|||Selig Vs. The GM7/20/2005 03:47:00 PM|||Andrew|||
I have an odd fascination with Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMar. Even though he may be the worst GM in the history of baseball, he has managed to hold down his job since the inception of the Devil Rays in 1997.

Apparently, good ol' Chuck has decided he's tired of being taken advantage of, and, since Jim Duquette was stupid enough to trade Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, he assumes everyone else has the mental capacity of a Mets GM, and asks for everyones top prospect in exchange for the Devil Rays' crappy relievers.

So sayeth Peter Gammons:

"The Red Sox will not trade any of their top prospects. The Devil Rays who don't know how to trade asked for Hanley Ramirez for Danys Baez which is silly. Boston won't trade good prospects for average middle relievers."

I really want to know how these phone calls go.

Theo Epstein: So, Chuck, seeing as you're out of the race again, and we could really use some help in the bully, what would it take to put Baez in a Red Sox uniform?

Chuck LaMar: Hanley Ramirez.

T.E.: Ha ha, good one Chuck, really I've got lots, I could send some cash, and I've got this kid in AAA who...

C.L.: No, I'm serious.

T.E.: You're saying you want our top prospect for Danys Baez? You do know who Danys Baez is, right?

C.L.: Yes.

T.E.: Are you high?

C.L.: Right now...no.

*Click*

Just look at it this way, if this even works out once, the Devil Rays are golden.
|||112190052381038517|||Chuckie L. At It Again7/20/2005 09:39:00 AM|||Andrew|||
As part of a massive coincidence, ESPN has decided to print their version of the all scrappy team.

I have two main problems with this:
1. While I do like the choice of Ryan Freel at third base, as well as the choice of Counsell (Biggio was included to provide some much needed power) it forces them to not include Derek Jeter, this is obviously a problem.
2. They actually took this crap seriously.

Here's the rest of the article, if you want a good laugh.
|||112187808722045196|||ESPN Throws Their Hat Into The Ring7/18/2005 04:00:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Kenny Rogers is doing his best to get thrown into a jackass trifecta with Barry and Gary.
|||112172767697653553|||Kenny Rogers Throws His Hat Into The Ring7/17/2005 07:15:00 PM|||Andrew|||
As a result of a discussion with Alan, I present what is the scrappiest lineup you can possibly have:

CF Scott Podsednik
1B Darin Erstad
LF Eric Byrnes
2B Craig Biggio
3B Derek Jeter (he's a good guy, he'll accept the move)
C Paul Lo Duca
SS David Eckstein
RF Jason Repko

Think about what this team could do. Podsednik hits a bunt single, and steals second. Erstad then advances Podsednik with a ground ball to the right side. One sacrfice fly later, we have ourselves a 1-0 game. How can you lose?

Some statisics that actually matter (screw OPS):
Total Number of Gamers: 8
Total Proven Winners: 7 (Repko hasn't won anything)
Total Number of Leaders: 7 (More than one leader will be confusing, but I'm sure they can work it out with all their chemistry.)
Heart Rating: 543
Chemistry Rating: Orgasmic


I would have liked to include an actual third baseman, but, when the scrappiest one out there is the hulking Sean Burroughs, it's hard to justify his inclusion.

Yeah, that fool Neyer probably wouldn't like this team, but when has a sabermetric team won anything, Rob? Yeah, that's right. There's a real stat for you to think about.
|||112165385215211198|||Joe Morgan Is Stimulated7/17/2005 06:39:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Thanks to the fact that the Dodgers are now a team filled with career minor leaguers, sinkerball pitchers who have already given up a career high in home runs, and Jeff Kent, valuing traditional things like "being good" is obviously far to much for this team. Instead, I present another new statistic that will be in heavy use here at LEDFP, EVORP.

EVORP stands for Entertainment Value Over Replacement Player. In this case, the replacement player would be someone who inspires absolutely no emotion in me. Example: Chin Feng Chen, absolutely ambivalent to him. A positive EVORP means I was entertained by something the player did, a negative EVORP means I felt negativity towards the player.

I'll use Friday nights game as an example, since I was fortunate enough to not have continuous access to the Dodgers for the last two day.

EVORP for Friday night

Scott Erickson - 1.8: for managing to hit Jason Ellison with a pitch, while simultaneously making him suffer the embarrassingly of being struck out by Scott Erickson.

Oscar Robles - 1.1: The Dodgers player of the game, despite going 0 for 4, due to some rather studly at bats. An example of what the Dodgers looked like before Tim Wallach got to them.

Jason Phillips - .9: He managed to almost get thrown out on a clean double. That would have been so bad it would have simply been funny.

Hee Seop Choi - .8: Managed to stir some emotion on me when he appeared in the on deck. Also got by far the biggest reaction from the crowd when he came up to bat. If you are wondering where the love is for Hee Seop Choi, there it is.

Jayson Werth - -.7: For somehow managing to look worse and worse every at bat for the last week and a half. Despite how awful he has looked, he has tenure in the starting lineup thanks to Jim Tracy. Started to receive some boos by the end of the game.

Derek Lowe - -1: For tying his career high in home runs allowed. Way to go Derek!

Jim Tracy - -1.3: I really want to see a stat on how often the Dodgers end up in a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play when Tracy sends the runner 3-2 with less than two out.

The Fat White Guy In Front Of Me - -4: There is an appropriate time to make death threats to various players in the Dodgers. When Saenz flies out to the track is not one of them. He did gain some bonus points with me since I never once saw his ass crack, despite the fact he stood up and bent over several times during the game.
|||112165199882216497|||EVORP7/15/2005 09:49:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Now Barry is looking to miss the rest of the season. I have to say, no matter how bad the Dodgers have been this season, if Barry manages to end his carrer due to this knee injury, 2005 will be one of the finest years of baseball to ever occur.
|||112144627166603746|||What's A Matter Barry? Part Three7/14/2005 08:08:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Yet again an umpire shows why he has the best job in the world. Penny gets to first and is then thrown out for"trying to run to first". Had the umpire actually been paying attention, he would have noticed that all Penny did was turn around to look for the ball, and he had to make a step to towards second to do so. Of course, he didn't notice that, and I sensed trouble as soon as the first base umpire started running towards the bag.

So, Penny gets thrown out on a B.S. call, fine, whatever. He managed to show remarkable restraint for a man who got thrown out because he turned his head. Fox then shows the replay and I turn my head for the second, the next thing I know Brad Penny is livid. Thanks to the wonders of a DVR, I can see that Penny managed to get himself ejected by throwing his helmet. Not at an umpire, but just a flip towards the dugout like any player would do after he made an out.

This was an amazingly bush league call, but, thankfully, I got an explanation thanks to Bob Timmerman at Dodger Thoughts (see comment 207). It turns out, the umpire is, quite literally, a bush league umpire. That's good to now.

The sad thing is that nothing will come of this. Maybe if they consider promoting this guy to the Bigs this incident will come up. I doubt it though. The umpires in baseball simply have no accountability, and even if they drastically alter the outcome of a game, nothing will come of it.
|||112139868756576937|||Job Security: The Sequel7/14/2005 07:50:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Presenting DFP's amazingly simple way to rate the effectiveness of your manager.

Imagine your team was managed by a goldfish. Now, would your team be more, or less effective than if the actual manager were managing.

Example: Going into the bottom of the third, Tracy has had Penny bunt, that's a good thing. However, Perez got caught stealing, and there was a failed hit and run.

In turn - Goldfish - 2, Tracy - 1. Therefore, Tracy is a bad manager, at least tonight.
|||112139625453683418|||Goldfish Theory7/14/2005 11:29 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Hit and run with Grabowski at the plate. Pure brilliance.7/13/2005 01:27:00 PM|||Andrew|||
...'Cause they got bad chemistry!
|||112128649793194155|||The Dodgers Better Balance Those Equations7/12/2005 07:47:00 AM|||Andrew|||
After spending 20 years of my life of not having access to cable TV at the time of the All Star Break, I hurried home from work to catch the Home Run Derby. I came to three conclusions:

1. Watching people take batting practice for three and a half hours is pretty boring
2. Watching people take batting practice for three and a half hours with a ten minute down time between each one is worse.
3. There is no love for Hee Seop Choi.

I wanted to watch the Derby to see Hee Seop hit a few dingers, and hopefully not strike out. Then I watched Bobby Abreu hit for half an hour.

Finally, Hee Seop came to the plate, and I felt pretty good knowing that he wouldn't come out worse than Jason Bay. Hee Seop came up decently, with five home runs, but, you wouldn't know it by watching the coverage. ESPN, with great intentions, decided to spend the entire time talking to Reggie Jackson.

One of the benefits of talking is not having to use your eyes to do it. ESPN cares not for that, however, and chose to put Hee Seop on a split screen with Berman, Joe Morgan, and Reggie Jackson. For about a full thirty seconds, they focused entirely on the conversation, completely removing Hee Seop from the picture, causing us to miss one of his outs.

They managed to give Jason Bay and his singles fest their full undivided attention, yet when Hee Seop manages to crank five home runs on seven hits, they only break their conversation to mention that he has now hit home runs in five of his last seven swings. For every other hitter when they had a guest commentator, they at least had the decency to mention when they hit a home run, and were worthy of enough respect to never have the camera taken off of them, even the guy who came into the derby with a whopping six home runs.

The best part of the home run derby was listening to Joe Morgan pick three separate people to win, and then seeing none of them reach the final round. He started the day with Teixeira and his longshot pick, Carlos Lee (way to go out on a limb there, Joe). After Teixeira managed to complete the embarrassment of the Caucasians, he surreptitously changed his pick to David Ortiz. It was enjoyable watching Morgan put a hex on all his picks.

Even though Hee Seop Choi hit "only" five home runs (which would have been enough to go to the second round in about half the time) it would have been nice to show him the same respect that the other players got, like an interview after the at bat, or, at the very least, having the announcers at least pretend to show interest.
|||112118124626590376|||There Is No Love For Hee Seop Choi7/11/2005 12:35:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Joe Morgan hands out midseason awards. (ESPN Insider)

Some choice quotes.
"Give White Sox GM Kenny Williams credit. In the offseason, Williams traded Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik, who leads the majors with 41 stolen bases."

In some circles, we would refer to this as the worst trade of the off season. After all, even though Carlos Lee has thirty less points of on base percentage, he has 200 points more in slugging. However, because this is smartball, things like "what actually happens" are clearly irrelevant. Anyone who performed objective analysis could see that Carlos Lee is far more beneficial to his team. He even does things that Joe Morgan enjoys like clutch hitting (his 76 RBIs lead the NL, and, if you ask Joe Morgan RBIs are the most important stat), and even throws in 10 of those fancy stolen bases Joe so loves (with a very palatable 91% success rate.)

"Most people would call Dontrelle Willis the midseason NL Cy Young, because he has the gaudy stats (13-3, 1.89). But I favor Hernandez because the Nationals are in first place, while the Florida Marlins are in third.

Hernandez is the reason the Nationals are in first place. Without him, Washington wouldn't be in first, while the Marlins aren't in first place with Willis."

I would personally call Roger Clemens the NL Cy Young, but Willis is still a fine pick. Livan Hernandez, on the other hand, is not. While is rubber arm is very impressive, his stats are still similar to Brad Penny's. No one in their right mind would call him the Cy Young.

Would you call John Patterson the Cy Young? Of course not. However, he has a better ERA, better K/9, better BB/9, and has not allowed an unearned run. The only thing Livan has on him is more starts. John Patterson, for all intents and purposes, has been superior to Livan Hernandez this year. However, Livan is the reason the team wins, most likely because of that inspirational (stupid) 150 pitch start.

Also, Nick Johnson and Jose Guillen might take offense to Livan being called the only reason the Nationals are in first.

"I'd give the midseason MVP to Ramirez [over David Ortiz] because he plays the field"

Joe, you do realize that Manny Ramirez is easily the worst fielder in the league, right? Out of all left fielders, he is currently last in zone rating. Last year, he was last in both range factor and fielding percentage, meaning he got to less balls than any other left fielder, and of the balls he did get to, he dropped the most. It's gotten to the point where it's just sort of funny to watch him play, you never know when he might get a spike caught and go head over heels.

Shouldn't this degrade his MVP candidacy? One would think so. But, we are in a world where trading Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik is a good thing, so, who knows?

Of course, saying Joe Morgan is an idiot is just sort of redundant, but, this is always fun.

|||112106936716708438|||This Person Does Not Have Mental Disabilities7/10/2005 11:06:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Observe this.

Should I subject the author to the same level of fisking that a Plaschke article would get, just because the author happens to have a mental disability?

Such are the moral dillemas of life.

(This was changed from a far more offensive article.)
|||112106327918031143|||Sarah's Take7/11/2005 10:13 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||For the record, Sarah has a physical disability, not mental.7/12/2005 3:00 AM|||Anonymous Albert|||http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050711&content_id=1126196&vkey=news_la&fext=.jsp&c_id=la7/12/2005 3:01 AM|||Anonymous albert|||or this tinyurl version...:

http://tinyurl.com/9ah9v7/12/2005 9:06 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||i remember when reading that, i thought it was the worst article i'd ever read. how does something like that get printed on dodgers.com?7/10/2005 10:57:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Interesting.

Of course, I' m sort of ambivalent at this point as to anything that Tracy does, but it's still annoying to see.
|||112106158129764855|||Shocking Surprise7/09/2005 01:17:00 PM|||Andrew|||
How did Derek Lowe manage to get into the pinball machine commercial for the All Star Game?

Update - D-Lowe has now been edited out of the commercial.
|||112094029129960220|||Pinball7/09/2005 12:03:00 PM|||Andrew|||
So I called Dodger Talk last night, inspired by A Martinez's assertion that the Dodgers should be buyers at the deadline, simply because we are only 6 1/2 back. After all, look at what the Astros did at the deadline. Of course, the Astros had Berkman, Biggio, Bagwell, Beltran, Oswalt, Clemens, Kent, Lidge, and others and we have Repko, but, never mind that.

Unfortunately, I failed miserably. I have a very hard time speaking in public when trying to make a point, so I stuttered horribly. Of course, it doesn't help that A Martinez completely missed my point that we suck and the other teams who squeaked in to the playoffs don't. I then tried to make a point about how loaded our farm system was, and that the only kind of prospects that truly help us at this point are of the uber variety like a Daric Barton, or Delmon Young, but he seemingly just assumed I actually said to go out and get them, and dismissed me here to.

So, yeah, miserable failure.

Speaking of miserable failures, Lyons just praised Biggio for his sacrifice bunt last night. Of course, the Astros only have three worthwhile batters, and, because the bunt created an open base at first, allowed us to walk Berkman to avoid him as well. Bunting is still great, though.
|||112093678899354586|||Miserable Failure7/08/2005 07:29:00 PM|||Andrew|||
After that double given up to Berkman tonight, I have now offically lost faith in Duaner Sanchez. Sadly, there seems to be a pattern developing.

2004 up to July 8th
April: 2.45 ERA
May: 2.25 ERA
June: 4.50 ERA
July: 3.57 ERA
40.2 IP

2005 up to July 8th
April: 2.63 ERA
May: 2.84 ERA
June: 7.02 ERA
July: 2.45 ERA
46.2 IP

That didn't really seem to make the point I was getting at, so I'll try again. Last year, Duaner Sanchez was pretty solid through April and May, wasn't good during June, July, and August, and was good in September. This is through only two years worth of stats, so it might not be a trend.

This just in, Cody Ross also sucks.

While this is purely a subjective thing, it appears on the fly ball that ended the game, he thought that he and Repko were going to collide. If you slow motion through the catch, you can see Ross' momentum start going backwards as he and Repko gets close, and he sort of pathetically flops down. Had he have kept going for the ball, there is a chance he could have caught it. It would have been a nice catch, but it certainly wasn't as pathetic as Ross made it look.

Oh yeah, Kent's hurt again, that's comforting. At least the season ends in the next three months.
|||112087920601863278|||Duaner Sanchez, You Suck7/08/2005 03:41:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Buster Olney on Sportscenter

"Buster, how do the Braves keep winning?"

"Because Bobby Cox likes his players."

Sure.
|||112086253512892663|||More Great Olney Analysis7/08/2005 02:00:00 PM|||Andrew|||
That would be flip of me, now wouldn't it.

However, after seeing the results of the voting (which I had been meaning to write about for a while, just the string of hilarious injuries got to me), and have to know what acutely the managers were thinking, mainly, with these picks:

Shea Hillenbrand (Current stats .299/.358/.440 8 HR 38 RBI)
When I first saw this pick, I simply assumed that it was because Toronto needed a default All Star, after all, a DH with a .798 OPS is nothing to write home about. Then, I realized that Roy Halladay was already on the team. Now, Hillenbrand, who has put up stats similar to those above his entire career, is going to his second All Star game. For what reason exactly? The worst part about this is that there is a clearly superior pick available at this position: Travis Hafner. Hafner's stats: .316/.423/.591 18 HR 58 RBI. How on Earth do you justify bringing Hillenbrand over Hafner? The worst part about this is because Hafner couldn't come to the All Star Game, the Indians had to send Bob Wickman.

Why Not: Travis Hafner











Garret Anderson (Current Stats: .308/.330/.474 11 HR 65 RBI)
How quickly we can go from being one of the most underrated players in baseball to being one of the most overrated. Since his shoulder injury in 2004 seemed to sap him of most of his power, G.A. has become the prototypical Angel, no pop, and doesn't walk. (This argument had more weight last week, when he only had eight home runs.) If Garrett Anderson were on my team, I would be incredibly pissed. He seemingly puts no effort into the game, and, out of the cleanup spot, a corner outfielder is on pace for 22 home runs, and an .804 OPS. All this comes at a cost only 27 times more than Jayson Werth. What does your extra $8,700,000 get you? At this point, twenty extra points of OPS. Wheee.

Sure, G.A. has 65 RBIs, but, if I had Vlad in front of me, I could easily have 30 or 40 by now.

Why Not: Trot Nixon (.301/.383/.481 8 HR 41 RBI)



Danys Baez (Current Stats - 2.75 ERA 13/19 SV/SVO 20BB 28Ks)
Yes, I realize that the Devil Rays need an All Star. However, I really hate the practice of just bringing a bad teams closer to the All Star game, regardless of his stats. Someone who has blown almost a third of his saves should not go to the All Star game, no matter how bad the rest of the team is. The worst part about it is that the Devil Rays have had a bright spot this year: Jorge Cantu. He might not be able to walk to save his life, but, if he can keep up the pace he is on right now, he could become one of the premier offensive second baseman in the game. We let Soriano in, why not Cantu?

Why Not: Jorge Cantu (.291/.316/.505 14 HR 53 RBI)

Jon Garland (Current Stats: 13-3 3.29 ERA 20 BB 54 K)
Hey ma, look at all 'dem wins. He must be good, right? Well, either that, or extremely lucky. In April, Garland went 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA. To do this, however, he needed an incredibly low .210 BABIP. What has Garland done since then? A slightly above average 3.81 ERA. Combined with his low K/9 ratio, Garland still has a good chance to regress back to his career stats.

Why Not: Matt Clement (10-2 3.85 ERA 35 BB 97 K)
Clement also has the pretty record, but actually strikes people out, and wasn't simply the beneficiary of good luck.

Bob Wickman (Current Stats 2.61 ERA 22/25 SV/SVO 13 BB 16 K)
See: Shea Hillenbrand

Cesar Izturis (.275/.322/.388 1 HR 20 RBI)
I suppose if I'm not willing to give Garland credit for his one good month, I shouldn't discredit Cesar for his one bad month. But man, was that a bad month. A month of hitting .104 out of the leadoff spot was a big reason for the Dodgers offensive woes last month. Yes, his glove is good, but there are so many other people who deserve the spot more than Izturis.

Why not: Chase Utley (.309/.393/.514 11 HR 39 RI)
There is already one other shortstop on the team in Felipe Lopez, so why not bring someone who has actually deserves the slot?

Finally, further proof that the fans shouldn't have a voice, the fans chose to vote Scott Podsednik to the final spot to the AL All Star team. While this did do the admirable duty of keeping Derek Jeter off the All Star team, if perpetuates the myth of little Scotty Podsednik.

If I showed you the following stats: (.289/.363/.337), you'd want that player on the bench. However, if I suddenly reveal that the guy is Scott Podsednik, suddenly, he's an All-Star? I really don't get it.

Why Not: Alex Sanchez (really, they are pretty similar players.)
|||112086076061815757|||Not Going To Call This The All Suck Team7/06/2005 12:09:00 PM|||Andrew|||
The salaries of the Dodgers current roster:

Starting Lineup
SS Oscar Robles - $316,000 (unconfirmed)
CF Jason Repko - $316,000
LF Jayson Werth - $337,000
1B Olmedo Saenz - $650,000
2B Antonio Perez - $320,500
3B Mike Edwards - $316,000 (unconfirmed)
C Jason Phillips - $339,000
RF Jason Grabowski - $327,000

Total: $2,921,500

Rotation
Brad Penny - $5,100,000
Odalis Perez - $4,500,000
Derek Lowe - $7,100,000
Jeff Weaver - $9,350,000
D.J. Houlton - $316,000

Total: $26,366,000

Bench
Cody Ross - $316,000 (unconfirmed)
Chin Feng Chen - $316,000 (unconfirmed)
Mike Rose - $316,000 (unconfirmed)
Hee Seop Choi - $351,500
Kent's Replacement (Nori?) - $316,000?

Total: $1,615,500

Bullpen
Yhency Brazoban - $319,500
Duaner Sanchez - $332,000
Giovanni Carrara - $500,000
Kelly Wunsch - $550,000
Franquelis Osoria - $316,000 (unconfirmed)
Scott Erickson - $525,000
Elmer Dessens - $1,300,000

Total: $3,842,500

Total Payroll: $34,745,500

Kansas City's Payroll - $36,881,000
Tampa Bay's Payroll - $37,975,067

Well, now we know what it's like to root for a really bad team, at least.
|||112067826347051388|||Moneyball Forever7/05/2005 09:14:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Following tonights injury to Jeff Kent, I have decided to roll out the new and improved lowered expectations version of DFP.

In what I hope will be a regular feature here on LEDFP, we look at some players on the Dodgers and ask the following tough question: are they a stud, or a super stud? (Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference.)

Our first subject: Oscar Robles. Is he a stud, or a super stud?

Super stud.

After his horribly crappy start where most people suggessted shipping him back to Mexico (i.e. Me), Robles rotted on the bench, where he wasn't even allowed the at bats Grabowski would get, and got pinch hit for in the leadoff spot. I'd like to verify that that's the only time something like that has happened in baseball this year, but, it's not worth the effort. I'll just assume it is.

Since injury number two to Izturis, however, he has vaulted himself into the leadoff spot, and produced like no other Dodger has produced before.

Izturis in June: 86 at bats. Nine hits.
Robles in July: 24 at bats. 12 Hits.

Even though he has absolutely no range at short, this kind of production hasn't been seen from a Dodger shortstop since Cesar Izturis month of May 2005. Small sample size be damned. Congratulations, Oscar Robles, you are offically LEDFP's first super stud.

Coming up next: Chin Feng Chen, stud, or super stud?

In other news:

6-4-2 points out the Dodgers have lost less time to injuries than the Angels. Never mind that most of these injuries have been to the likes of Curtis Pride and Lou Merloni, and they have probably the deepest bench/farm system in baseball. The Dodgers should have no excuse here, right?
|||112062472360757408|||Stud, Or Super Stud?7/04/2005 01:37:00 PM|||Andrew|||
July 3rd, 2005, the day that the grand expirement fails.

The Dodgers need J.D. Drew to be successful, it is that simple. He brings too much to the team to have an adequate replacement. Never mind the fact that his replacement is likely going to start with "Grab" and end in "owski".

Maybe if we had an actual timetable on Bradley's return, we could hold the fort with some form of miracle but at this point this is our lineup (in appropriate Tracy ordering):

Robles
Grabowski/Repko
Werth
Kent
Choi/Saenz
Perez
Edwards
Phillips

However, this does not mean that this is DePodesta's fault. I'm not going to venture near any kind of mass media for a while, because I can already envision it. DePodesta should have never signed the injury prone Drew, DePodesta needs to be fired, we love LoDuca, etc. This was a freak injury that could have happened to anyone. It has nothing to do with J.D. Drew's knees. Will anyone care about this? It's doubtful.

I hate to say it, but now is the time to sell. The problem is that there's not many people worth selling. Weaver, maybe, but that's about it. Everyone else either makes nothing, or is necassary for success in 2006.

Maybe God just likes small ball.
|||112051041109887247|||Well, Crap7/03/2005 10:42:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Went to the games on both Friday and Saturday, had radically different experiences with both.

Friday managed to be wonderfully fun and horribly infuriating at the same time. Got incredibly upset when I heard that we were leading off with Robles and Repko, which I'm sure really endeared the people in the surrounding area to me. Further infuriation ensued after the Robles squeeze play. The pitch prior, Vasquez pitched out and I commented "who's stupid enough to try a suicide squeeze with Phillips?" I should have known the answer. I don't know how many wins that suicide squeeze will cost us in the future, but the answer is more than one.

Also had the pleasant experience of people throwing stuff at us the whole game. Granted, it wasn't entirely undeserved, my friend hit not one but two beach balls over the railing in to the Loge. I encouraged him with enthusiastic high fives. I feel absolutely no remorse over the matter, people were standing up to see the beach ball, and were blocking my view. The ushers were doing nothing, so matters had to be taken in to my own hands. In a way, I'm sort of like Batman. Well, maybe Robin, my friend is Batman.

Saturday was just horrific. Despite the fact we made what should have been four errors (the ball Robles booted, and Edwards' dive when he was ten feet away from the ball, costing us a run), allowed four home runs (Lowe's career high is 17, he's up to 13 already), and were the victims of horrific umpiring (Shawn Green is not that fast), we were still a forearm away from winning that game.

Memo to Dodger fans, you have no problem grabbing the ball when there is a double down the line. I'm not endorsing fan interference here, but, if you would have stood up and made a play for that ball like you usually do, instead of leaning back, we win that game. Yes, you get ejected, but you'd be a hero.

In summary, that game sucked.

Don't look now, but Oscar Robles might actually be a productive member of this team. Yeah, he has no pop to speak of, but he could be a decent guy off the bench. If we are willing to give J.D. Drew the benefit of "if he hadn't started 0 for 25...", we should do the same for Robles. Since starting the season 1 for 15, which could easily be chalked up to an adjustment period, Robles is hitting .343/.416/.406. If he can keep up this pace (which admittedly comes from a very small sample size), having a guy with an .822 OPS of the bench would not be a bad thing at all.
|||112041467124916752|||Two Tickets To Paradise