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.
"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.
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)
VORP of the bench
Let's go three game win streak.
|Apr 06||2.0||Up 1|
|Apr 09||1.0||Up 1|
|Apr 13||0.1||Up 3|
|Apr 16||1.1||Up 3|
|Apr 18||0.2||Up 2|
|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 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 26||1.0||Down 1|
|Jun 28||1.0||Down 2|
|Jul 02||0.2||Down 1|
|Jul 06||1.1||Up 6|
|Jul 09||1.0||Down 2|
|Jul 15||1.0||Down 6|
|Jul 22||1.0||Up 1|
|Jul 23||1.2||Down 1|
|Jul 26||0.1||Up 1|
|Jul 31||0.1||Down 1|
|Aug 02||1.0||Up 2|
|Aug 04||0.2||Down 3|
|Aug 09||0.1||Down 3|
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?
|||112364682042459693|||Biggest Waste Of Talent
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.
Hee Seop Choi