8/26/2005 08:07:00 AM|||Andrew|||
No time to go into detail, but this is a nice hatchet job on the Mike Scioscia.

When every writer says you are a genius, how can you be underrated?
|||112506891436856601|||Sciosciaball8/29/2005 10:28 AM|||Blogger DodgerDugout|||I enjoy reading your posts. I've added a link to your blog on my website, DodgerDugout.com.8/23/2005 05:08:00 PM|||Andrew|||
I'm off on buisness this entire week, so expect very little updates, epsecially since I can't watch or listen to baseball.
|||112484213121139636|||Work8/21/2005 08:56:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Izturis now has a mere .002 lead in on base percentage over Jose Reyes. Just think, at this time tomorrow, Izturis could actually have a worse on base percentage than Jose Reyes. We can actually say "I would rather have Jose Reyes leading off".

How scary of a thought is that?
|||112468316083476354|||Izturis Watch8/22/2005 1:52 AM|||Blogger fanerman91|||We can probably say that already. There's no way Jose Reyes is a worse baserunner than Izzy. The guy can steal a base without getting caught half the time.8/22/2005 1:53 AM|||Blogger fanerman91|||By the first comment, I mean Reyes's baserunning talents (compared to Izzy) already more than compensate for Izturis's miniscule OBP lead.8/23/2005 1:46 PM|||Blogger Ben|||Despite the differences in OBP, it's hard to make a case for Izturis over Reyes now anyway. Reyes' OPS is over 50 points higher than Izturis'. He steals way more bases and a much better success rate. He scores more runs. And he's two years younger. Way more upside.8/23/2005 5:07 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||Yeah, we would probably want Reyes instead of Izturis now anyway.

Isn't that horrid?8/21/2005 07:17:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Yesterday, Jim Tracy finally figured it out. It took four months, but, for the first time since the 12-2 start, the Dodgers almost had the optimal lineup on the field. Yes, it had Valentin instead of Perez, but, come on, let's not get greedy. No Izturis, no Phillips, Choi and Ledee. Tracy's genius was rewarded with 11 runs. Whether it was through divine intervention or an edict from the front office, it finally looked like everything was going to be all right.

Judging by todays game, however, it appears that a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters just wrote Hamlet.

In theory, writing a lineup should be a three monkey, ten minute deal, and, after seeing the success of the lineup last night, we'd give it another try. There would be none of that today. Izturis returned to his tenure at the leadoff spot, Kent had a very coincidental scheduled day off, and Phillips, while he was wearing his magical anti critism mask, was still playing in the game instead of Navarro. While this makes sense in a day game after a night game sense (read: the correct play) it does sadly continue the curse of Phillips.

As pointed out by Xeifrank on Dodger Thoughts (see comment #152), the Dodgers have lost the last eight games where Phillips has started, and they've only won the games where Choi and Saenz have started. While this has absolutely no bearing on anything, it is starting to get a bit annoying.

Unsurpringly, the Dodgers got shutdown by a guy who I thought the Marlins acquired from the Diamondbacks until about a half an hour before game time. Antonio Perez made one of the few contributions to the offense, but that will go unnoticed.

Thanks to the fact that Dontrelle Willis is a lefty, a Repko filled lineup will rule the day again tomorrow. Hopefully, Tracy will get lucky with the lineup some other time this year.
|||112468227484763178|||A Thousand Monkeys8/19/2005 03:26:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Derek Lowe has taken a lot of heat lately, and it's not entirely unfounded. Despite his general badness, he still has an ERA under four (a major accomplishment for a Dodger pitcher) and has had a quality start in five of his last six starts. Of course, this doesn't account for one of Lowe's major problems, unearned runs, but I'll get to that later.

Lowe's main issue this year has been home runs, and it has been truly maddening. If I were in DePo's shoes, I'd simply want to slap him.

"Hey, Derek, remember why I signed you? Yeah? Well how about you stop thinking outside the freaking bun and pitch like you were supposed to."

Lowe's career high in home runs allowed coming into this season was 17. He's allowed 25 so far. If he was simply on his carrer average pace for home runs, his ERA would be 3.25, if you make the nieve assumption that all the runners wouldn't have scored anyway. (This might be counteracted by only giving them credit for a solo home run, but it's certainly not scientific.)

Of course, we have been blessed by a much higher K/9 and K/BB ratio than Lowe has shown in years past, even in his Cy Young year. (Which, in all reality wasn't all that good, just had a massively low .238 BABIP for a contact pitcher, that's just shear luck).


K/9 K/BB
2002 5.2 2.65
2003 4.87 1.53
2004 5.17 1.48
2005 5.9 2.97

What do these things tell us? While his ground ball to fly ball ratio is still very good, 2.97/1, it's about .5 higher than it has been in 2002 and 2003. His better strike out and walk statistics tell us that Lowe is throwing more pitches in the zone. If someone gets fooled by his sinker they strike out looking instead of walking. Of course, it's also a heck of a lot easier to hit one of those pitches 450 feet.

The other concern with Lowe is the amount of unearned runs that he gives up. Because of this Lowe is 8th in baseball in runs allowed. While this amount of unearned runs is somewhat of a trend. parts of it still have to be attributed to the poor defense we put out on the infield (Rate2 for our infielders: Izturis: 103, Robles: 93, Kent: 90, Phillips: 90) he certainly doesn't help the cause by frequently melting down afterwards. Sadly, the Dodgers seem to be good at acquiring head case pitchers.

In the end, is anyone actually disappointed with Derek Lowe? Despite the fact that he has become a taco vendor, his new found K/BB ratio has made up for it. Did anyone expect him to have a sub four ERA? Is the man overpaid? Yes. Had we not overpaid him, however, we'd be looking at a rotation with Kaz Ishii and D.J. Houlton in it. Avoiding that pain is well worth a couple squandered million.
|||112449187833177893|||Please Refrain From Running For The Border8/21/2005 7:54 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||You jinxed him!8/19/2005 07:39:00 AM|||Andrew|||
The Dodgers have put together the closest thing to a winning streak they've seen in a long time, taking five out of the last seven games from teams that actually aren't very bad. (Though giving this description to the Mets is pushing it.)

The following is what I consider the Dodgers regular lineup to be
Izturis
Robles
Bradley
Kent
Valentin
Werth
Phillips
Navarro

During this winning "streak", Jim Tracy has become increasingly creative with his lineup, which can only be a good thing, since his regulars are pretty much the worst possible team you can run out there.

The Dodgers bench has put up the following numbers when they have started the last seven days:

Choi: 2 for 4
Perez: 1 for 3 one run (broke up Pedro's no hit bid)
Saenz: 2 for 9 three RBI
Cruz: 2 for 7
Ledee: 1 for 6

In the same time span
Robles: 8 for 27 (three walks)
Izturis: 4 for 24
Valentin: 3 for 16
Phillips: 4 for 14

While these stats are pretty much meaningless is a small timeframe. It is a bit annoying that Izturis, Valentin and Phillips are able to perform horribly day in and day out and still keep their jobs, while the guy with the .759 OPS is our fifth best reserve.

Coincidentally, almost all of our wins in the last seven games have come from bench players performing well. Amazing how that works.

Since Phillips lost his job he has hit .250/.270/.528 for an OPS of .798. Yet, strangely, he has seemingly lost his job, only starting once at first in the last five days. While every Dodger fan should be overjoyed about this, it is a bit strange. Much like Tampa Bay releasing Alex Sanchez when he was hitting .340, I have to ask, what were you expecting out of him?

This is like being dealt an 8-4 offsuit in Texas Hold 'Em, raising preflop, having the flop come 8 4 4, and then folding. You make a stupid move, yet it pays off, and then you give up on it. While I'm certainly not unhappy about this, it is a bit baffling that Phillips did about as well as he possibly could have, and then lost his job. Of course, I could just be prematurely celebrating here, and he could start for the next week.

If the Dodgers can pull within two or three games by September, the division is easily winnable. The addition of J.D. Drew makes the Dodger's offense overwhelming when compared to the rest of the N.L. West, and the pitching staff has the ability to be dominant (if only they could do it more often.)

Of course, we could just keep running Phillips, Izturis, and Valentin out there everyday and tank the division. Whichever.
|||112446741510635484|||8-4 Offsuit8/19/2005 9:42 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Statement: "The pitching staff has the ability to be dominant."

Reaction: ???????????8/19/2005 10:22 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||Brad Penny: Has been good pretty much all year.

Odalis Perez: Has an amazing K/BB ratio throughout his career. Has put up two outstanding seasons as a Dodger and two not so great ones. He has shown flashes of brilliance this year but just hasn't been consistent.

Jeff Weaver: Another man with maddening inconsistency. Will put up quality start after quality start, but then allow home runs to Eric Milton.

Derek Lowe: Can you imagine where he would be if he just allowed his career average in home runs? Okay, it still wouldn't be that great, but seeing as I saw him as the fourth best starter coming into the year, I'd be happy. (Of course less home runs could mean more walks, but I would expect that with him.)8/19/2005 10:25 AM|||Blogger secondhandsmog|||i think phillips sitting is the right thing, despite his "hot" streak. from the matchup point of view, it's hard to maneuver PHs and double-switches with both catchers at the bottom of the batting order. you can't pull either of them out, for fear the emergency catcher (werth?) might have to don the gear. sort of like trinidad hubbard catching a few years ago. that was hilarious.8/19/2005 11:18 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||Right, I said sitting Phillips was the right thing to do, but the fact that the move has pretty much worked, yet he sits anyway, is kind of bizzare.8/13/2005 09:00:00 PM|||Andrew|||

That's the one positive thing to say about today's game.

As soon as the game starts, I get a call from Alan asking me to come watch the game. I quickly ask him if he knows who's hitting third.

"Yeah, Robles."

"What the hell is Tracy on?"

"Well, if you look at the people who are playing, he's probably the best candidate."

God dammit, he has a point. If you move Saenz to the three slot, we lose the protection for Kent. Everyone else is just terrible. A man with with a .720 OPS is arguably the best person to hit third in this lineup. That's just truly pathetic. The one thing that Tracy had over Scioscia was that Tracy didn't hit guys like DaVanon or Erstad third. Now we don't even have that.

Today made me very sad that I ever said anything positive about Cesar Izturis. He is increasingly looking like 2003 Cesar Izturis offensively, and the stats that say he is horribly overrated defensively look correct. If you are seeing play solely due to your defensive prowess, you damn well better catch every ball that comes to you. Not only did he have two errors today, but he booted another Reyes squibber and probably could have gotten Floyd coming into second had he been in position. Combine this with him blowing the chance to actually throw out someone stealing last night, and I am getting mighty upset.

I've claimed that my ideal Dodger lineup if everyone were healthy would include Izturis. Right now, we can't afford the drop off in offense that he represents, but, I could live with it if everyone were at full strength. Now I don't know if there is anything I see in Izturis instead of Robles. I know this is just one game, but this one's going to stick with me for a long time.

Keeping with the Izturis bashing, thanks to his two hits, he extended his on base percentage lead over Jose Reyes to .12. Good for you.

What's really sad is that we can't really blame injuries for our impotence anymore. While J.D. Drew is the cornerstone of this offense, and losing him is a huge blow, the rest of the projected starters are back. Jose Cruz Jr. can even be considered a decent stopgap. Due to buffonery, however, they are mainly on the bench. The Choi/Saenz platoon? Gone. The Valentin/Perez platoon? Gone. All of this so we can watch Phillips, Izturis, and Repko screw things up on a daily basis. While I'm not willing to defect from the team like Steve from FJT has, I have to somehow declare a new low for the 80th time this year. I feel like Peter from Office Space, where everyday is the worst day of his life, and then the next day is worse.

It's truly sad to see Perez and Choi not play because of bad defense when Olmedo Saenz has trouble catching the ball. I could usually care less about fundamentals, but I have to concede that being able to handle a softly thrown ball is important to success. Saenz's offensive ability does earn him a pass. (As an aside, he only seems to do well when I get upset that he's hitting against a righty. Coincidence?)

It's good to see that Jose Cruz Jr. got even less of a chance than Choi did for the Dodgers. 0 for 7, he must not be baseball savvy! Not that I didn't see this coming.

Because I don't want to flush 10 bucks down the toilet, I want to see Piazza's last game in Dodger Stadium, and I want to enjoy some King BBQ (sucks to Phillipe's), I'll be attending the game tomorrow. I'll be the guy half way up the pavilion attempting to start a "free Choi" chant.

|||112399799796843516|||At Least Sanchez Got The Day Off8/16/2005 10:14 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||This was the only game I went to this season and it sucked. I told my 5 year old cousin to boo Oscar Robles and I got dirty looks from the 10 Mexican fans sitting in front of me that arrived at the 3rd inning and left in the 8th.

(At least I ate my first ever grilled Dodger Dog.)8/13/2005 01:18:00 PM|||Andrew|||
SS Izzy
RF Werth
3B Robles
2B Kent
1B Saenz
C Phillips
LF Valentin
CF Repko
P Houlton

(Actual writing done by King of the Hobos. Copy-pasted by yours truly)
|||112396436907515361|||Hate Jim Tracy, hate Jim Tracy, hate Jim Tracy...8/13/2005 11:54:00 AM|||Andrew|||

Attended last nights game, and it was probably the best game since April. As obvious it is for me to say this, Navarro getting that hit was huge. If he can maintain decent offensive production, combined with his plate discipline and defense, he can be our catcher for a very long time.

I also have to grade on a curve and give Tracy credit for letting Hee Seop hit against Heilman. As soon as I saw Heilman throwing from a funny arm angle, I figured there's no way he would hit. Yet, Tracy stuck with him, and he came through with a big hit after (another) solid at bat. Good for him.

That being said, there's no way the game should have come down to Navarro's heroics. Tracy bungled the eighth inning in just about every way possible.

To sum it up

Ledee gets a hit
Repko runs for him. I don't necessarily agree with this, but it's debatable.
Phillips bunts. Phillips is not a good hitter. However, he's swinging a hot bat and has .180 hitting Jose Valentin behind him. Taking the bat out of his hands is a bad idea.
Valentin walks. Bunt negated.
Navarro walks. Bunt negated two fold. Having a team that can get on base makes bunting an even worse idea.
Saenz comes into pinch hit. Very bad idea. The only thing that can truly kill you in this situation is a double play, and all you need is a single. The person that fills this role far better is Antonio Perez. (At the time, I was also upset because I thought Saenz was more likely to strike out, but I was wrong there.)

In the ninth, Perez should have came in again instead of Cruz. Again, you only need a single, and you want to stay out of the double play. Perez is almost as likely to get a hit as Cruz is to get on base. While Cruz did his job, Perez would have been far better.

Other random thoughts on the game.

It's quite sad that the play of the game might have Izturis getting hit on the back of the head.

It says a lot about our manager that I was actually rooting for Robles to get out in the ninth, because if he got on, Bradley was bunting.

I come face to face with a Choi hater. After I expressed the fact that Jason Phillips was the worst first baseman in baseball, the guy next to me says "I can make the case that Choi was worse." A couple of attempts to prevent an arguement later, I finally just say "fine, make the case."

"Ummm..., he's bad"

"He's got a low average" quipped the guys wife, apparently oblivious to the fat .240 that was on the scoreboard.

Other ignorant fans around me:

"Why are the pinch hitting with Cruz here?!"

"I know, this should be Perez."

"No, we need Repko here, he's not old like Cruz."

"Repko sucks." (Yeah, that's really good debating on my part, I know.)

Dodger fans have already determined Jose Cruz Jr. sucks. He was roundly booed despite the fact he would have won the game if not for the (can't believe I'm about to write this) defensive prowess of Jose Offerman.

VORP of the Dodger's lineup (minus Kent)
48.2

VORP of the bench
61

Let's go three game win streak.

|||112395929730033279|||Navarro!8/11/2005 01:02:00 PM|||Andrew|||
One night after Duaner Sanchez was asked to do damage control after Steve Schmoll impolded, he was asked to come in with the score tied for two innings. This has been a common trend throughout the year, and is a surprisingly untouched upon part of Jim Tracy's ineptitude.

Sanchez is third in all of baseball in appearences, trailing the leaders, Luis Ayala and Scott Eyre, by one. How has he managed to do this? Because of Jim Tracy's insistence that there is never a bad time for Duaner.

Duaner Sanchez has come into the following situations this year.

Date IP RD
Apr 06 2.0 Up 1
Apr 09 1.0 Up 1
Apr 10 1.0 Tied
Apr 13 0.1 Up 3
Apr 16 1.1 Up 3
Apr 18 0.2 Up 2
Apr 20 1.0 Tied
Apr 23 1.0 Down 2
Apr 24 1.0 Up 1
Apr 26 2.0 Down 1
Apr 27 0.1 Down 3
Apr 30 2.0 Up 5
May 03 0.1 Up 2
May 07 0.2 Down 3
May 09 1.0 Down 3
May 10 1.0 Up 1
May 12 1.0 Down 6
May 14 2.0 Down 4
May 16 0.1 Down 3
May 18 0.1 Down 3
May 20 2.0 Down 4
May 21 0.2 Down 2
May 24 0.2 Down 2
May 28 1.2 Up 2
May 30 1.0 Down 3
Jun 01 2.0 Down 2
Jun 03 0.2 Down 2
Jun 04 1.1 Up 1
Jun 05 2.0 Up 4
Jun 07 1.0 Tied
Jun 10 1.0 Tied
Jun 12 0.1 Up 1
Jun 14 1.0 Down 1
Jun 18 2.0 Up 2
Jun 19 1.0 Up 1
Jun 20 0.1 Down 1
Jun 22 1.0 Tied
Jun 23 1.0 Tied
Jun 26 1.0 Down 1
Jun 28 1.0 Down 2
Jul 02 0.2 Down 1
Jul 04 1.2 Tied
Jul 06 1.1 Up 6
Jul 08 1.1 Tied
Jul 09 1.0 Down 2
Jul 10 1.0 Tied
Jul 15 1.0 Down 6
Jul 17 1.0 Tied
Jul 19 1.0 Tied
Jul 22 1.0 Up 1
Jul 23 1.2 Down 1
Jul 26 0.1 Up 1
Jul 27 1.0 Tied
Jul 29 1.0 Tied
Jul 31 0.1 Down 1
Aug 02 1.0 Up 2
Aug 04 0.2 Down 3
Aug 09 0.1 Down 3
Aug 10 2.0 Tied

Summary

Tie Games 14
+/- 1 16
+/- 2 12
+/- 3 10
+/- 4 3
+/- 5+ 4

Tracy's use of Sanchez has been utterly bizzare this whole year. While for the most part Tracy seems to have certain pitchers never come in when losing (closer and setup man, who ever they may be), Sanchez just comes in whenever the hell he feels like it. In every situation but one when Sanchez threw garbage innings (a game where the run differential is at least for), he threw in a game with a run differential of two in either the previous, or following game.

I just want to know why you rely on a pitcher to hold down a lead in a tie game, while having him throw garbage innings the next day. It simply doesn't make sense.

Despite all of the problems Sanchez has had this year, he has been our most effective reliever for pretty much the entire season. It would be nice to see what he could do if he had a normal workload, rather than being thrown into situations seemingly at random.

In other news

Watching the A's and Angels game right now, and I've heard the following gems from Rex Hudler already.

"Johnson thinks for a second, you can't do that with Figgy, since it gives Figgy time to get Figgy with it."

Not necassarily horrible analysis, but he used the word "Figgy" three times in one second.

"Second and third one out, a perfect situation for a productive out from Erstad."

I don't think you're actually supposed to hope for an out.

After Bobby Crosby misses a home run by about two inches.

"Crosby's now perfectly setup for the double play."

Bad managing:

Scioscia doesn't warm anyone up in the pen, despite Donnelly entering the game and immediately giving up a home run and two singles. He then somehow gets two outs then allows a (rather large) three run home run. Scoscia only began warming up anyone when Chavez first came to the plate.

Finally, Oakland manages to win when Frankie Rodriguez drops the throw from the catcher. For all of my bitching that the Angels are incredibly lucky, this was adequate revenge.
|||112380027799649638|||How To Burn Out A Pitcher In 30 Days8/10/2005 09:50:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Jim Tracy's plans for Jose Cruz Jr.

Manager Jim Tracy said Cruz will occasionally start, along with providing options off the bench.

We wouldn't want Repko to lose his at bats, would we?

Hate Jim Tracy, hate Jim Tracy, hate Jim Tracy...
|||112369278778063096|||Rrrrrrrrr8/11/2005 9:10 AM|||Blogger fanerman91|||It's so much easier to just accept Jim Tracy for what he is instead of hoping he'll come to his senses. I don't think he has senses.8/11/2005 11:23 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Do not worry, because Jim Tracy might be fired if we are swept by the phils. One theory about DePo not firing JT already is because he does not want to scare away other managers. After this year JT is gone, but if he is fired now some other managers might think DePo is too aggressive. HOPE for a sweep tonight.8/09/2005 08:16:00 PM|||Andrew|||

A few years ago, a poll was conducted amongst MLB players. One of the questions was who the biggest waste of talent was in baseball. Raul Mondesi did well in the poll, finishing a strong second. However, one player managed to dominate the oft disappointing Mondesi.

Jose Cruz Jr., welcome to Los Angeles.

Despite this moniker, Cruz has been reasonably successful in his career. He's managed to improve his plate discipline throughout the years, and carries a .345 OBP this year, despite only batting .215. Cruz's 12 home runs this year in 256 plate appearances project out to about 30 home runs over a full season, so Cruz can prove to be something of an Adam Dunn light. He's not as powerful, but after a year of seeing Repko, Ledee and Edwards play the third outfielder role, seeing a guy with 25-30 home run power in a corner outfield spot will be very nice.

What are the drawbacks to Cruz? Well that .215 average doesn't help, but there are two bright sides. He has a good deal of extra base hits, and he walks enough to make up for these deficiencies (hey, a decent OPS). The second is that he has had chronic back problems all year. This either means we're completely screwed, or that the reports he is healthy are true, and he'll hit far better than his .215 average shows.

The big downside to Cruz is his defense. Despite his reputation, Cruz has been an average defender throughout his career, averaging out to about a 100 rate2 no matter what position he has played.

Under normal circumstances, I would not be concerned with Cruz's lack of defense, however, Jim Tracy controls the fates. As we've seen, Tracy does not like low average, high OPS guys with bad defense. Unfortunately, this is what can make this a bad deal. It is not inconceivable that Cruz will find himself on the end of the bench by the time September rolls around. This would be unfortunate to say the least.

Due to Tracy's mismanagement, Jose Cruz Jr. goes from being a solid rental player to potentially being a complete waste of a player to be named later. It's a shame, but it's the sad reality of having Jim Tracy as a manager.


In other news


Whoever does the camera angles for Dodger games needs to be replaced. First we have the annoying behind the back cam, and now we get introduced to the first base cam. Neither of them are conducive to actually watching a baseball game, so why do we have them?


From the Joe McDonell is an ass department: McDonell claims that a month and a half ago, he was the first to notice that Garrett Anderson wasn't giving 100 percent effort on certain plays, and people have just started to jump on the bandwagon. Right.

|||112364682042459693|||Biggest Waste Of Talent8/08/2005 11:39:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Choi is actually allowed to touch a bat, and he goes 2 for 4 with two RBIs that proved to be the difference in the game.

After seeing this, I wondered what the Dodgers record was in games which Choi started. Not content with this little question, I wondered how this applied to all the Dodgers. So I wrote a little script and learned the answer.

The following table is the Dodgers record when that player has three or more plate appearances in a game. Disclaimer: I do not beleive this to be a relevant stat by any means (look at the team leader in this category). This is merely a fun exercise.

I had to choose three or more plate appearences instead of a start because there was no good way to figure out if a player got a start through the game logs.

Player

W-L

PCT

Norihiro Nakamura

7-2

.714

Jose Valentin

11-10

.524

Ricky Ledee

20-20

.500

Jason Repko

20-20

.500

Dionner Navarro

4-4

.500

Milton Bradley

30-31

.492

Cesar Izturis

45-49

.479

Jeff Kent

45-52

.464

Olmedo Saenz

21-26

.447

J.D. Drew

26-33

.441

Jason Phillips

34-44

.436

Jayson Werth

22-30

.423

Hee Seop Choi

25-35

.417

Oscar Robles

14-20

.412

Mike Rose

4-6

.400

Antonio Perez

17-26

.395

Jason Grabowski

7-12

.368

Mike Edwards

12-28

.300


I couldn't get certain players since the script seems to crap out on them for no reason. These players include Bako, Cody Ross, and Chin Feng Chen

The most disturbing part of this expirement is that Mike Edwards has started 40 games for the Dodgers this season. While this may be irrelevant stat, I have to assume that he has something to do with the Dodgers 12-28 record in those games.

While starting Hee Seop Choi may not directly coincide with a Dodgers victory, he should still see playing time because, well, he's our best first baseman. Here's to hoping.
|||112352762840783232|||Choi Plays, Dodgers Win. Coincidence?8/08/2005 12:59 PM|||Blogger Kayaker7|||Wow. If Nakamura was an everyday starter, the Dodgers would be running away with the division! :D

I agree that Choi should start. I don't know how long this will continue before Depo fires JT.8/09/2005 11:12 AM|||Anonymous GregBrock|||So of the 8 projected Dodgers regulars, starting Choi produces the worst result?

I'm not surprised.8/09/2005 12:02 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||You noticed the part where I said this stat is meaningless, right?

According to this stat, Izturis is more valuable than Kent, who are both inferior to Repko.

Fun exercise.8/09/2005 2:10 PM|||Blogger Steve|||This is far too dangerous an exercise. Meaningless statistics can do much damage in the wrong hands.8/05/2005 07:29:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Scrolling through the dial on the way to work this morning, I hear that Colin Cowherd is going to be talking about chemistry. This should be good.

He starts off by bringing up the Yankees, they don't hang around the locker room, they come from different backgrounds, and they have varying salaries, so they can't just hang around and talk about life.

"Now, you know what team has good chemistry?" (he's going to say Oakland or the White Sox, I think, certainly he won't bring up a bad team) "Oakland. They all make similar salaries, come from the same background, 11 are from California, and, since they have no star players, pfft...Barry Zito, there is no media crush."

That's right, the team that everyone complains about for having no chemistry (scroll wheel on I-Pod, fantasy baseball, etc.) now has the best chemistry in baseball. We wouldn't want to do any actual analysis on why the A's are good, right? I'd love to be a baseball analyist, a team starts winning, it's because they have good chemistry, otherwise, it's bad. Time for a coffee break.

He then brings up an example from personal expirence, about how he communicates less and less with his co-workers on his way from local radio to ESPN. I do believe that, using his own logic, Cowherd said that he is bad at his job.

If you try to do something crazy like provide actual analysis when working with chemistry, you can see that the arguement doesn't hold water. After all, Barry Zito's three best freinds on the team, Mulder, Hudson, and Byrnes, have been traded since the end of last season, and he makes more money than anyone but Chavez and Kotsay in the A's clubhouse. Yet, somehow, he's managed to have arguably his best season ever. Wonder how that could happen?

Of course, I'm pretty sure Cowherd is one of the people that said the A's would win 60 games this year (which they have), so his opinion is irrelevant.
|||112325450490349791|||It Was Inevitable8/04/2005 11:07:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Nothing really to say about this.

Following Wednesday night when the A's actually lost a game, I learned something very important, most fans, no matter how good their manager is, want to fire him. This could be seen when, after the game, the fan base thought that taking out Harden after 102 pitches was a fireable offense.

When Dodger fans want to do this, it's justifiable. Jim Tracy is clearly a buffon. However, A's fans seem to complain that Macha should be fired because he bats Mark Kotsay 2nd or Dan Johnson 9th. Oh, and he uses Rincon.

Consequently, I post a diary over on Athletics Nation expressing my feelings about this. I just wanted to expose them to the crap that goes on when you have a baboon for a manager. While some people agreed with me, others completely missed the point and brought up the exact points I was rallying against. "Remember that time he pinch hit with Terrance Long?", and other similar points where used as counter arguments. Even after pointing out that Jason Grabowski holds the all time record for pinch hit appearances, they still didn't get it.

Dear Billy Beane,

Please listen to your fan base and fire Ken Macha.

Sincerly,
The Helpful Staff of DFP
|||112322314773215227|||Spoiled Rotten8/03/2005 06:37:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Bunting with the number three hitter worked so well the last time we tried it, Tracy decides to do it again.

Between this, and having Izturis get caught stealing, he easily fails the Goldfish Test.

Oh, and now we're running Carrara out there for another inning. Makes sense. After all, we're down by one, it's the perfect time to leave the worst pitcher in the bullpen in.

Update one: And Carrara allows a home run. Who'd of guessed?

Update two: God damnit. Predicted topics on SCSR, the importance of executing the bunt, and Choi needing to be more aggressive and swing at the two balls that were called strikes. Nothing will be made of Izturis getting caught stealing or leaving Carrara in. Seeing a pinch hitter for Navarro would have been nice, but, our manager's a muppet.

Update three: Stolen base gets mentioned, but it was okay because it was an agressive mistake. Talked about the importance of getting down the bunt. Don't expect any rational arguement for a bit.
|||112311959940050511|||The Definition Of Insanity8/04/2005 2:54 PM|||Anonymous vootie|||The LA Times says that Bradley bunted on his own. Even Tracy thought it was a bad idea. Also, they could not hit for Navarro because Phillips got hurt and they had no other backup catcher.

I like the sleek new look. It's purdy.8/04/2005 10:48 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||Yes, he would have been able to pinch hit, had Tracy not been a muppet and started Phillips.8/02/2005 08:09:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Getting my hopes up, again.

Washington is quickly regressing to the mean, leaving them as a team that is bad enough to take a series from. After we head in to Pittsburgh, at this time next week, we could conciveably be eight, or, if we want to ge really crazy, seven games under .500.

Sadly, I realize this isn't bloody likely. Despite the four home runs tonight Tracy basically made the wrong choice in the lineup whenever he could. There are the obvious ones like Repko and Phillips (though I'm actually starting to warmup to the idea of letting Repko touch a bat, provided he's batting 8th), but his poor lineup choices force what should be otherwise productive players into holes.

If we had our full lineup, Drew in right, Valentin in left, Perez at third, Choi at first, the whole enchilada, I have no problem with letting Izturis play. If he can simply stabalize as a .260 hitter, we can sacrifice one spot in the lineup for defensive purposes.

As it stands now, however, from 7th to 2nd, the Dodgers don't have anyone that has a reasonable chance of getting an extra base hit. Izturis is a nice luxury, but when you pair him with Robles and the bottom of the order, the Dodgers can go almost two whole innings without a reasonable chance of scoring without string together two or three hits. With such low offensive output, I prefer Robles to Izturis, because at least when Robles slumps, he can still put together a nice at bat. This opens up a slot for Perez who can provide another desperately needed at bat.

Of course, we still did win today, so that's always something to be excited about. Four home runs in RFK is nothing to sneeze at. So long as the Padres and Diamondbacks keep losing, I can never move to acceptance.
|||112304073779970253|||Just Another Dodger Victory8/02/2005 03:12:00 PM|||Andrew|||
DFP: Now with new, cleaner layout.

Ah the joys of being sick.

If you really hate it, let me know.
|||112302079796469936|||Art Deco8/01/2005 08:11:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Since several people seem to think that acquiring Chan Ho Park is a good thing for the Padres, I'll go into further detail.

Reason 1 Cash: Park is due 14 million for the next two seasons, while Nevin is due 9.5 million and 10 million in the next two. This puts the Padres a little under six million dollars in the hole over the next two years. Depending on how much "and cash" is, this is either a on factor, or a reasonable blow to a mid-budget team.

Reason Two, Park Factor - Despite Park's reputation as a target for home runs, he has only allowed eight this year, and his ground ball to fly ball ratio has been the 23rd best in baseball this year. PETCO's main contribution to a lack of run scoring is an outstandingly low home run ratio. Since home runs haven't been an issue to Park it is unlikely that he will benifit. (Park also has pitched about two runs better at home this year, but that is likely due to small sample size.)

If Park hasn't been a victim of the long ball, what has his problem been this year? Walks, and BABIP. Walks are a major issue for Park, as he has currently allowed the seventeenth most in baseball. Due to this, despite his above average eighty-four strikeouts (6.57/9), Park is 89th out of 107 in K/BB ratio. No matter how good the park factor is, it can't save you from walks.

However, Park has been extremely unlucky this season. He's currently has the fourth highest BABIP in baseball. It hasn't been all bad luck, he's allowed the 27th highest amount of doubles in baseball, suggessting he allows his fair share of line drives, but he's also given up a lot of cheap hits. By losing Soriano as his second baseman, he gains slightly better defense, which should benifit Park.

While Park will benifit by going to San Diego, it isn't for the commonly accepted reason. The defense behind him will likely help him more than the park factor will.

Reason three: Durability. Since coming to Texas, Park has been an incredibly fragile pitcher. While Nevin hasn't been all that helathy himself, he has played a decent amount more than Park.

Games since 2002:
Nevin: 387
Park (times five): 340

Not much, but it could be a factor.

Reason four: Replacement

Chan Ho Park is replacing Tim Stauffer, while Phil Nevin is being replaced by Xavier Nady.

Nady this season: .274/.330/.491
Nevin this season: .256/.301/.399

Stauffer this season: 5.33 ERA 5.44 K/9 1.68 K/BB 10 HR 81 IP
Park this season: 5.66 ERA 6.57 K/9 1.48 K/BB 8 HR 109.2 IP

On the surface this seems like a good trade. Park is slightly better than Stauffer, while Nady, at least this year, is much better than Nevin. Is this a good trade? Well, it depends on what you believe. If you believe that Nevin is nothing more than a .700 OPSing first baseman, then yes, this is a very good trade. However, there really is nothing to indicate this is the truth. Since he came to the Padres, with the exception of 2003 when he only played 56 games, he has had at least an .825 OPS in every year.

What Nevin got traded is the key to this trade. Park really has no where to go, pretty much WYSIWYG. If Nady can be a substaintial improvement, it will be a good trade. Nevin has a .306 BABIP. This however, doesn't mean much without knowing his line drive percentage. His unimpressive amount of extra base hits suggests that it is low. (I don't have a way to look this up) . Consequntly, Nevin has simply been in a substantial slump this season, and isn't looking like he has any indication that he will get out of it. Nady needs to be an everyday player, and this can really only backfire if Roberts gets hurt.

Well, it looks like I learned something from this. I came into this article fully expecting this to turn out in Nevin's favor, and, well, the numbers simply don't work out. I wanted them to do so very, very badly, and when I found myself working way too hard to find a justification, I knew I was wrong. I apologize for suggessting Kevin Towers is a moron.
|||112293683567107924|||Why I'm Wrong8/01/2005 10:25 PM|||Blogger Geoff|||Nice analysis. I honestly don't think this deal is going to help either team a whole lot. Nevin can't catch up to a good fastball anymore. I don't expect a whole lot from Park in SD, but the fact is the Padres needed another starting pitcher a lot more than they needed another first baseman.

Redistribution of mediocrity.

When you think about it, that's kind of the NL West in a nutshell, too.8/01/2005 10:26 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||I agree. I noted that Park isn't much better than Stauffer, but, that is in stark contrast to, "what the hell is Kevin Towers thinking"8/02/2005 8:42 AM|||Blogger fanerman91|||Andrew,
Nevin's LD% is 20.1, according to hardballtimes.com8/01/2005 07:15:00 AM|||Andrew|||
J. Weaver pinch hits for G. Carrara

The sad thing is that this might not have been the worst thing to happen yesterday.

The day started off on a very sour note, when I learned that the Dodgers not only didn’t get Adam Dunn, they came away from the trade deadline with a player to be named later from the Yankees. Spending three hours huddled over a ten-dollar radio because I had no access to the Internet, for this? At least this was a fate befitting the man who doomed us to two years of Alex Cora starting.

My immediate reaction to this was anger, my faith in DePo shattered. Once rational thought set in, however, I regained a far more moderate opinion. Yes, it sucked that we didn’t get Dunn, Lawton, or, well, anyone, but the market this year was insane. If the going price for a decent middle reliever is Hanley Ramirez, then it might be for the best.

After running some errands, I tuned back into the game just in time to hear the Antonio Perez fiasco. After I heard that we had pulled the third best hitter on our team from the game before he could touch the batters box, I decided to look up some stats. Let’s compare player A, and player B against right handed pitching.

Player A: 149 AB .289/.348/.436
Player B: 133 AB .338/.401/.429

If you need a hint about the identities of the players, player B didn’t get to hit yesterday. During this entire debacle, Charlie Steiner was in pure bliss over the fact that he got to watch two of baseballs great strategists have a meeting of the minds. Even if, for some bizarre reason, you really want the extra seven points of slugging percentage with the bases loaded and down by one, it is certainly not worth taking out the third best hitter on the team to do so.

After this, we get to head into another great situation in the ninth. Once again, Tracy bunts with the number three hitter in a game where we need one run. This has the effect that anyone, save the average major league manager would realize. The next most threatening hitter in the lineup gets walked, to set up the double play for your fat first baseman, who, while it’s taking longer than I predicted it would, is regressing to the mean.

Compare:
Last Two Months
Choi: .233/.318/.475 .793 OPS
Saenz: .252/.315/.420 .735 OPS

Last Month
Choi: .277/.382/.426 .808 OPS
Saenz: .250/.304/.481 .785 OPS

I’m not arguing Choi has been vastly superior, but Saenz shouldn’t be getting the majority of the at-bats.

Digression aside, O. Saenz proceeds to do the one thing that wouldn’t win us the game, and we head into extra innings.

After Tracy picks the worst pitcher possible to pitch the 11th (Alvarez is not a LOOGY, no matter how much you hope he is), we end up with the quandary of using up our entire bench, and needing to leave Phillips in the game. (I wonder how that could have happened?) Instead of doing the sane thing, and taking out the guy who might not have to bat, and who has already blown the game once, we take out the guy who is due up second next inning, leaving us with the following combination from the top of the order in the 11th.

Sub-Guzman
Weaver
Bradley

That’ll strike terror in to the heart of the other team. To be fair, he left Saenz in a situation where he could have easily blown the game again if given a chance.

I would say that this was the worst game ever, but, every time I say that, things get worse.
|||112291571778010718|||The Worst Day Since Yesterday8/01/2005 2:39 PM|||Blogger fanerman91|||I know what you mean...8/01/2005 7:37 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||define LOOGY8/01/2005 8:23 PM|||Blogger Kayaker7|||Lefty One Out GuY